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Video Game: The Legendary Starfy

The Legendary Starfy is a series of mascot platformer videogames by developed by TOSE and published by Nintendo. The main character is the titular Starfy, a star prince who fell from his home in the heavens and landed in the ocean, and began to take on starfish-like characteristics. He is accompanied in his adventures by his bossy and more intelligent sister Starly (Starpy in Japan) and their Jerk with a Heart of Gold clam sidekick, Moe (Kyorosuke). Also featured often is Ruby (HadeHirari), the beautiful turkeyfish that Moe constantly obsesses over and Old Man Lobber (Lobjii-san) - the elderly and wise lobster. The first three games in the series concerned Starfy's battles against Ogura, an evil genie (sometimes thought to be an eel) he accidentally unleashed. There have been two sequels each with their own stand-alone stories - 4 is about Starfy helping a princess from a neighboring kingdom repel an invasion and 5 is about Starfy protecting a space bunny from pirates.

In terms of gameplay, Starfy is very similar to the Kirby series, except most of the game takes place underwater, and thus has a greater focus on swimming. Starfy originally only started with a few basic moves, but has gathered many more abilities, power-ups, and ridable animal buddies as the series has went along.

Despite the popularity in Japan, the series wasn't localized in English-speaking countries for some time. The reasons suggested vary. Generally, the school of thought being that the stereotype of Americans hating cute things, or the games having unusually large amounts of dialogue for a children's platformer - almost every single stage has a storyline of its own, usually a fetch-quest for a friend of the level or something related to the plot. The official reason is that Nintendo thought the series was "too Japanese" to bring to America.

This series provides examples of:

  • Action Commands: In the last two parts of the fight against Mashtooth, you have to mash (pun not intended) Y repeatedly in order to win. The second of these two parts requires you to press it in almost impossibly fast succession, which is not only freaking hard but also physically painful. Your entire right hand is guaranteed to be sore afterward. The result, however, is a Crowning Moment Of Awesome for Starfy, as it involves singlehandedly holding back the goddamn moon, and then smashing Mashtooth upside the head with it!
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Starfy (and Starly) can acguire many kinds of clothes throughout the series: usually you get them by clearing the stage or buying them with pearls, starting from the second installment.
  • Atlantis Is Boring: Averted handily by mixing underwater environments with flooded areas such as forests and swamps.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: When Pufftop gets invaded, the palace guards are useless and it's Starfy and/or Starly (the prince and princess) that drive them out.
  • Badass Adorable: Every single character that ever takes an action role (See Ridiculously Cute Critter below), but especially Starly, who informs a huge group of enemies that "This pink bow is gonna haunt your bad dreams!" before singlehandedly beating them all to a pulp.
  • Badass Grandpa: Old Man Lobber. He originally sealed up Ogura along with Starfy's father and is a Bonus Boss in the 5th game, where he proceeds to go Super Saiyan and has a One-Hit Kill move.
  • Bad Boss: Mashtooth.
  • Bag of Spilling: Done rather comically; Starfy has to relearn his moves in each game because he's so absentminded that he keeps forgetting how to perform them.
  • Big Bad: In the first two games it's Ogura. In Starfy 3 it's his master, Evil. In 4 it's Dejeel and in 5 it's Mashtooth.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: Snips (thin), Papes (short), and Ronk (big).
  • Blush Sticker: Starfy and Starly.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Moe.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: 5 has a multiplayer mode that lets another player control Starly. This can only be used in a few specific areas of the game.
  • Button Mashing: Required to deal the final blow to the Final Boss of Stafy 5, in an otherwise easy game.
    • It is worse with The Dragon boss battle in Stafy 4: Owlrun spawns a tornado you are required to shoot with projectiles by pressing the Y button very quickly (you are in a propeller suit during this battle), or you'll lose a big chunk of your HP-meter. It doesn't help that this is otherwise a very difficult battle.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: See Excuse Plot.
  • Cool Shades: Starfy has a collection of them.
  • Cross Over: Aside from his cameo as an Assist Trophy in Super Smash Bros., Starfy appeared as a rare enemy in Super Princess Peach (the bestiary lists him as a "starfish").
    • The third game featured a cameo by Wario in the eighth world. You had to incinerate him so that he burns some obstacles blocking your path a la Fire Wario in Wario Land 4. He apparently teams up with you as he seeks for some treasure.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: All of the Stafy games don't use lives. When you lose all your hearts, you get a game over, but still, you can continue right in front of the last Check Point, which heal you fully as much times as needed.
  • Death Throws: Happens to Starfy, as well as enemies in the fifth game.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Happens a lot.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: Bunston's ship.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Starfy + the color pink + a bow = Starly.
  • Doomed Hometown: The final level in Starfy 3: Pufftop Castle has been raided by Ogura and his master, Starfy's younger siblings were held captive in cells you had to find the keys for in rooms guarded by enemies, dealing a One-Hit Kill whenever they catch you: the Guarding Eyes and the Ghosts would KO you if they spotted you out of the white walls/steam, and then there is the Devil Pacman...
    • He makes a comeback in Starfy 5.
  • Double Jump
  • Dub Name Change: Stafy/Starfy, Stapy/Starly, Kyrosuke/Moe...
  • Dueling Games: Often seen as the upstart rival to Kirby's fame.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You
  • Everything's Better with Plushies: Just about everyone is rounded and soft-looking, and many even seem to have stitching seams on their sides.
    • Only in the 5th game, which lead many players to be disappointed that his sprites seem to be closer to his original style.
  • Everything's Better With Princes and Princesses: Starfy, Starly, and Bunston.
    • And Koraru and Materu (Stafy 4)...
  • Evil Counterpart: One of the bosses in the first game. Shows up again as a regular enemy in Stafy 4 (Cherry Tree level).
  • Excuse Plot: Not for the overall arc of each story, but one for every single level - for instance, "I'm a conductor gopher and need you to get my baton back." and "My spring water's too cold, heat it up."
  • Exposition Fairy: Moe and Starly alternate between these roles.
  • Flamboyant Gay: Luvwithme, a fish NPC in 4.
  • Funny Animal: Mostly funny fish, but there are these too.
  • Floating Continent: Starfy's home.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: in Stafy 4, on the New Game+, there is a mole enemy in 6-3 who steals pearl coins from you. When you defeat him, single-point pearls are spilled on the floor amounting to the stolen peals. If it steals enough, then you attack him... GAME CRASH!
    • in Stafy 5, sometimes when triggering cutscenes (e.g. during boss battles), the ground won't have collision detection, so Stafy would fall through the floor endlessly.
  • Got Me Doing It: Moe suffers from this when he interview/ Konk in the 5th game.
  • Ground Pound
  • Heel-Face Turn: Snips, Papes, and Ronk.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Ogura, the Big Bad of the first three games, and Moe's dad (he'll try to hamper your progress in World 8 towards Evil), in a Heel-Face Turn against their boss, Evil in Starfy 3.
  • Heroic Mime: Starfy; although he does talk occasionally, mostly he just sits there looking happy and everyone understands him.
    • He has some kind of high pitched "EEEEEE!!" noise as a general way of expression.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: Ninja Cats, no less.
  • Joker Immunity: Subverted - Ogura is Killed Off for Real in the third game. With a Heroic Sacrifice, no less. Almost makes you forget that he kidnapped Starfy's entire family in the previous game.
  • Kansai Dialect: Starly has this in Japan.
  • Kid Hero: Starfy and Starly. In the commercial for the 4th game, Starfy is stated to be 7. Starly's age isn't given, but she's the younger sibling.
  • Law of 100: Five Blue pearls equal one heart in all of the games.
    • Averted for the fourth, as it has a HP meter.
  • Marth Debuted in Smash Bros.: His first US appearance was in Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga as a poster.
    • And much like the trope namer(s), it took an appearance in a Super Smash Bros. game to get the series localized.
  • Mutually Exclusive Powerups
  • New Game+: The third and fourth games are easy during the first playthrough... until you realize after beating the Final Boss that you can play through the game a second time through normal levels with harder enemies, but also through as many new extra hard levels. You can switch Stafy and Stapy anytime during the levels.
    • Also, when collecting all of the jewels/cards, you can face True Final Boss Evil (Ogura's Master) and Dejell's third form.
    • The second game let you fight the extra forms of Ogura, as well as remixed harder boss battles.
    • Worlds 9 and 10 for the fifth game may count.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Starfy is responsible for Ogura being released in the first place.
  • No Export for You: Until 2009, the series was restricted to Japan.
    • The first four games aren't going to be exported anytime soon.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: When wearing costumes, Stafy would respawn near the entrance with one heart down if he takes the slightest amount of damage. Averted in the fifth game.
  • Platformer
  • Playing Tennis with the Boss
  • The Power of Friendship: Literally said by the heroes to the final boss in the 5th game.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: "This pink bow is gonna haunt your bad dreams!"
  • Pronoun Trouble: Shurikit is referred to as a girl (she is) by Mermaid and Moe early in the game, yet late in the game, Moe refers to Shurikit as a "he" in one of his talk show sequences.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Snips, Papes and Ronk, the Terrible Trio.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Ogura.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Everything. Possibly to the point of giving Kirby a run for his money.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Starfy and Starly, and Bunston in the 5th game.
    • Also Starfy's father, who apparently sealed up Ougra originally with help from old man Lobber.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Actually an evil genie/eel in a bottle. Old Man Lobber and Starfy's father are the ones who sealed him in their younger days, according to the second game.
  • Sequel First
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: The challenge in the platforming part of the Stafy series has been lowered down since Stafy 3. For example, in Stafy 2, you have to deal with 3 worlds without the Glide ability, with many ground levels. This same ability is learned within the first level for all the next installments.
    • Averted with the boss fights (which get more complicated patterns and more HP) and the bonus levels.
  • Second Quest: The first four games require going through the game again, including refighting bosses, to fight the true final boss. Averted in the fifth game.
  • Sissy Villain: The Big Bad of the 4th game.
  • Slapstick Knows no Gender
  • Spell My Name with an S: TOSE said that Starfy is not the official translation, DESPITE the localization. Also, his creator stated Stafy is neither a star, nor a starfish.
  • Stone Wall: Papes, who holds a shield in front of him whenever he fights. He can't damage you unless it has a spike on it. Because of his shield, you have to either hit him from behind or push him into spikes to damage him.
  • Stopped Numbering Sequels: The series used numbered sequels for the first four installments, but for the fifth went for a subtitle in Japan ("Densetsu no Stafy Taiketsu! Daīru Kaizokudan", meaning "The Legendary Starfy Confrontation! Dairu Pirate Squad").
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Starly is distinguished from Starfy by her pink color, eyelashes, and bow.
    • And a Kansai accent in the Japanese versions.
  • Terrible Trio: Snips, Papes, and Ronk describe themselves as such.
  • Theme Naming: Snips, Papes, and Ronk from the 5th game.
  • True Final Boss: Many of them. All of them are unlocked by clearing the game once, then completing some 'Nintendo Hard' levels.
    • From the third game: Evil. You must clear the 40 "Second Quest" levels, then beat the 'Final Boss'. Has two forms, the second being the hardest battle ''in the entire series'.
    • Dejeel from Starfy 4: You'll need to finish all of the game levels a second time, including an alternate path for each one, if you want to face her extremely challenging third form.
    • Your mentor in the fifth game will face you if you complete 6 'Timed Attack' levels under a tight time limit. He has an 'One-Hit Kill' attack when low on life.
  • Tsundere: Starly.
  • Under the Sea: The entire series.
  • Violation of Common Sense: In order to get some of the chests in the fifth game... in fact, in order to progress the story, you actually HAVE to let Mega Snark eat you at some point. This can actually lead to Guide Dang It as a result.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: A feature of the series since the second game, a side-mode allows you to dress up Starfy and Starly in various outfits.
  • You Just Told Me: Starly in the 5th game.
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alternative title(s): The Legendary Starfy
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