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"High in the sky above the ocean...there was once a floating kingdom named Pufftop. The prince of Pufftop was named Starfy. He wasn't exactly like other princes. His head was always in the clouds!"
Opening narration, 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, 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.
  • Bad Boss: Mashtooth is more than willing to electrocute his subordinates for their failures.
  • 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.
  • Balloonacy: The Sky Swabbies enemies in are simply regular Swabbies flying around thanks to the three balloons attached to their clothing.
  • 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 Ball of Violence: Happens in the intro of The Legendary Starfy when Starfy gives a beating to the Terrible Trio when they try to abduct Bunston. And when the Terrible Trio returns to Pufftop in search for him, this fate befalls to them once again at the hands of Starly.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Mashtooth gives one of these when he finds out that his squad hasn't captured Bunston yet.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: Snips (thin), Papes (short), and Ronk (big).
  • 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. Mash the B button to have Starfy push a comet towards Mashtooth.
    • 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.
  • Camera Abuse: During the Human Snowball sequence in The Legendary Starfy, the snowball-bound Starfy will run into snowman-making penguins which will be sent splatting on the screen.
  • Cat Ninja: Shurikit and Kittana, two rival ninja cats who are constantly practicing their skills against each other. Shurikit also teaches Starfy a few abilities.
  • Catching Some Z's: In the intro of The Legendary Starfy, Starfy is seen sleeping peacefully into his little bed with several Z's surrounding him. Just after, he gets a rather sudden awakening.
  • Chest Monster: The Jaw Box looks like a regular treasure chest in the S. S. Logwater, but hitting it with a Star Spin causes it to grow teeth and jump at you continuously.
  • Cool Shades: Starfy has a collection of them.
  • Crossover:
    • 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.
  • Cross-Popping Veins: Happens whenever Moe is angry in The Legendary Starfy. Sometimes the veins appear on his shell.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Due to the series' heavy influence on swimming, you'll be changing between water and sea a lot, and the changing controls can get you finger-tied until you get used to it. In particular, in the default button setup in Legendary Starfy, dashing while swimming is done with B, while dashing on land is done with Y. (Thankfully you choose different layouts, but the shifting can still mess you up.)
  • Darker and Edgier: Densetsu No Stafy 3 compared to the rest of the series. The environments and enemies are creepier and less upbeat, many of the new character designs lack the cartoony cuteness of the rest of the series, it has a intimidating and very evil new villain, the soundtrack is much less upbeat than the other games in the series, and it has the death of Moe's father and Ogura, as well as confirming the deaths of the Puchi Oguras from the previous game.
  • 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 Checkpoint, which heal you fully as much times as needed.
  • Death Throws: Happens to Starfy and Starly when they die, as well as enemies when you kill them in the fifth game.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    Papes: This time I've got backup me up!
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: The object that the crystal shards will build in the 5th game, which turns out to be 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 young citizens 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.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The toy description for the Goblup.
    Moe: I think Goblups actually LIKE when Starfy hits 'em with his Star Spin! Goblup stores Coddies in his tummy. Wonder what else he's got in there?
  • Double Jump: One of Starfy's abilities, which he has to relearn every game.
  • The Dragon:
    • In Starfy 3 Ogura is the Dragon of his master Evil.
    • Owlrun in Starfy 4.
  • Drop the Washtub: On the result screen of a minigame in The Legendary Starfy, the winner has a crown descending to land on their head while the others have a basin dropped on them instead.
  • Dub Name Change: Stafy/Starfy, Stapy/Starly, Kyorosuke/Moe...
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Huffinfluff, the cloud creature in the 5th game, wears what looks like a sun hat and has long eyelashes, but is referred to as a male.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first game has several differences from most of the other games:
    • Each world has only one large level instead of several smaller ones.
    • Instead of new levels unlocking on the second playthrough, new areas are unlocked in the existing levels. (Brought back in the fourth game.)
    • The Ultra Star Spin and one of the transformations (Kigurumi) aren't available until the second playthrough.
    • Dialogue happens in a separate screen using busts. In later games (except the fifth game), dialogue happens in the level using normal sprites.
    • Starfy's victory dance happens in the boss arena rather than on a separate screen.
    • The transformation sections never have shortcut doors that let you skip them when replaying the level.
    • When killing enemies consecutively, the fourth one gives one Pearl instead of two.
    • Starfy starts the game with the Glide rather than learning it.
    • The sound effects for low health and dizziness are different.
    • Some features from later games are missing entirely: the shop, costumes, transformation upgrades, and a few of Starfy's signature moves (Duck, Double Jump, and Shooting Star).
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In the 5th game, a few of Mashtooth's minions suggest that "maybe [they] shouldn't be doing this plan, because it's not very nice..."
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Yep, nearly anything that moves will hurt you by touch. There are exceptions, but you have been warned.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: In the frozen Chillydip Cove from The Legendary Starfy live many penguins. Several act as enemies, others like innocent bystanders that make penguin-like snowmen. And they all are really cute. The boss of both the level world and the penguins is one big, very big penguin named King Ping.
  • 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 Spinning: Starfy's signature attack, the Star Spin, and the variations of it.
  • 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.
  • Flashback Echo: This happens to Bunston whenever he recognizes a shard of his ship.
  • Floating Continent: Starfy's home is on a big cloud in the sky.
  • Funny Animal: Mostly funny fish, but there are these too. Shurikit and Kittana in the fifth game are anthropomorphic cats, for example.
  • 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 pearls. 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.
  • Goomba Springboard: Using the Shooting Star on enemies bounces you up a little and restores your Double Jump.
  • Got Me Doing It: Moe suffers from this when he interviews Konk in the 5th game, and also when he describes Konk's toy.
  • Grimy Water: Most of the waters in Sogwood Forest are weirdly bubbly and of an unhealthy purple colour. Needless to say, Starfy must better not touch those poisoned waters, else he would be damaged.
  • Hammerspace: Papes' shorts, apparently. He humorously pulls his shield from them, which is larger than he is.
  • Hearts Are Health: Hearts showhow strong Starfy and Starly are, when they lose all of them they die.
  • Heart Container: The Legendary Starfy has Heart Gems, which are usually hidden within bonus levels. Three of them give Starfy a permanent extra heart to his health bar. They also appear in 4, although they here give Starfy 10 more health points each.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Snips, Papes and Ronk turn against Mashtooth in 5. Ogura is this plus Redemption Equals Death.
  • 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.
  • Human Snowball: One level in Chillydip Cove have enemy penguins shove Starfy into a huge snowball and send him rolling down the cliffs. Starfy's expression during the entire snowball ride is absolutely priceless, by the way.
  • Idea Bulb: In The Legendary Starfy, at one point, just before she pulls off a trick, Snips gets one of these after being beaten up by Starly.
  • 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.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Though most villains in the series are just as goofy as the heroes, two of the main villains in the series are MUCH more dangerous and malevolent.
  • Law of 100: Five Blue pearls equal one heart in all of the games.
    • Averted for the fourth, as it has a HP meter.
  • Legacy Boss Battle: Konk in The Legendary Starfy, who was the first boss in the other four Starfy games.
  • Meaningful Name: The name Nogo may seem random, but it's the name for an enemy that stays still in one place and can't be defeated with a Star Spin. So any place that Nogo guards will be a "no go" for you.
    • Madcaps are crazy walking mushrooms.
  • Minecart Madness: Several levels in Glitzem Grotto involves Starfy and his pals riding a minecard around. Same goes with the world's boss fight which has Starfy shooting bomb-throwing, minecart-riding baddies.
  • 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.
  • Ocular Gushers: Happens when Moe cries in The Legendary Starfy.
  • 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.
  • One-Winged Angel: Both Ogura and his master Evil have multiple forms. Mashtooth goes One-Winged Angel too when he absorbs Bunston's powers.
  • Opaque Nerd Glasses: Modo's son in The Legendary Starfy wear some of these glasses to emphasize his genius trait. The guy built a space train all by himself, after all.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: While he's a dick to Starly and Moe, Wario is strangely generous to Starfy in 3, rewarding him with a replica of his hat and mustache, a Game Boy Advance with a copy of Warioware and, most surprisingly, a whole pile of gold coins!
  • Painful Pointy Pufferfish:
    • Fugush, the fourth boss of the fourth game, is a huge pufferfish wearing a diving mask and a snorkel which will harm Starfy on contact with its quills. Fortunately, att some point, it will fire them to Starfy, and the short time without any spikes protecting it allows Starfy to damage it.
    • Harisen-sans are a species of unbeatable pufferfish enemies which will inflate their bodies when startled, revealing sharp damaging needles.
    • Piranyans are a weird hybrid between piranhas and pufferfishes, chasing Starfy at fast speeds while being protected by a barrier of spikes.
  • Plant Person:
    • Pearl Sprite (also known as Pearl Keeper) is a fairy who lives inside a flower. When you hit the flower for the first and second time, she throws pearls and spikes at you. But if you hit her for the third time, she dies.
    • Mandragora looks similar to Pearl Sprite, except it is much uglier and it does no good other than shooting harmful spikes.
  • 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.
    • The Puchi Oguras and their partners in the second game.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Ogura, after defeating Evil with his last Evil Crystal, apologises to Stafy and hoped they would meet again as friends before he passed away. Moe cried for Ogura as soon as Ogura died.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Mashtooth appears to be some kind of dragon or lizard.
  • Retired Badass: 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.
  • Ribcage Stomach: the Mega Snark has one.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Everything. It even gives Kirby a run for his money.
  • Ring-Out Boss: The fight against Papes in The Legendary Starfy involves trying to throw him out of the water into the spikes around the pool.
  • Rise to the Challenge: One Planet Bunnera level in The Legendary Starfy has the titular starfish ascending by hopping from a floating bubble to another while a wall of fire rises after him inexorably.
  • Rock–Paper–Scissors: Ronk, Papes, and Snips in the 5th game. Their special move actually is them playing this game with Starfy.
  • 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.
  • Second Quest: The first four games require going through the game again, including re-fighting bosses, to fight the true final boss. Averted in the fifth game.
  • Sizable Snowflakes: King Ping, the giant penguin boss of Chillydip Cove, has an attack where he sends positively humongous snowflakes at Starfy. To put in perspective, these snowflakes are four times bigger than Starfy himself.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: You can play as Starfy and Starly, and they'll receive the same amount of punishment during play. Starly has also received a fair amount of embarrassment.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Chillydip Cove, from The Legendary Starfy. Slippery ice platform? Check. Penguins and snowmen? Check. Aurora skies? Check. And so on.
  • 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.
  • Stalactite Spite: Several Chillydip Cove levels have giant icicles looming above the path and will fall when Starfy is under them.
  • 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").
  • Stout Strength: Fat Cat. Modo from the fifth game also counts, considering how he's capable of blowing so much fire that he can push a train.
  • Surveillance as the Plot Demands: Degil uses the Mon Amor Stone to overlook Starfy and Starly's Progress in the Ami Kingdom and she sends her Most Loyal and strongest minions to try to kill them, as you defeat the bosses that were sent to assassinate you, she becomes more visibly and verbally frustrated when she sees that Starfy and Starly defeat her minions and are still alive and are getting closer to defeating her in her lair.
  • 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.
  • Threatening Shark: Snarks are shark enemies that cannot be harmed at all. There is also humongous Mega Snark, who prowls around the S.S. Logwater and regularly rams onto the ship trying to devour Starfy. The latter will have to take cover behind the ship's masts to avoid being gobbled up.
  • 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.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: Happens to a hapless minion of Mashtooth's in The Legendary Starfy after being punched away by his lord.
  • Typical Tentacle Tactics: Big Squiddy in The Legendary Starfy attacks this way, but the only projectile is the occasional boulder.
  • Under the Sea: The entire series has an emphasis on swimming in the sea.
  • Unique Enemy: The entire series has plenty of examples, Pearl Sprite and Mandragora are merely two of the hundreds of them.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Snips tends to say "see?" after finishing sentences.
    • And of course, Konk randomly says "KONK!" in his text.
  • 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.
  • Wave-Motion Gun:
    • Ogura in the third game fires it from his mouth.
    • Evil's second form, also in the third game, fires Wave Motion Puke to squish the entire screen from above. If you failed to deflect it? One-Hit Kill.
    • Modo from the fifth game (The Legendary Starfy in the US) is capable of blowing Wave Motion Fire.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: If you get killed when playing as Starly, you get a game over as much as you would have if you died as Starfy.
  • Wheel o' Feet: Happens whenever Starfy and Starly are running.
  • When Trees Attack: The Red Malicious enemy, a tree that fires apples at you and charges forward to attack.
  • Wingding Eyes: Starfy and Starly's eyes turn into X's when they die and fall off the screen, Starly also has Hearts when she meets Prince Coral of the Ami Kingdom in Densetsu no Stafy 4, showing that she has fallen in love with Prince Coral.
  • Wintry Auroral Sky: Chillydip Cove takes place in a freezing cove (which is somehow right next to hot springs) inhabited by penguins, and its night sky is laced with auroras in several levels.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: The toy description for the Helmet Crab.
    Moe: Ye olde Helmet Crab still lives (and hides!) in the dark ages... I never trust something that has shifty eyes peering out of a small opening.


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