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North American box art of the fifth game.

"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
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The Legendary Starfy is a series of mascot platformer videogames developed by TOSE and published by Nintendo. The main character is the titular Starfy (Stafy in Japan), 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 (Stapy) 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.

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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.

Games in the series:

  • Densetsu no Stafy (2002, Game Boy Advance; 2015, Wii U Virtual Console): One peaceful day in Pufftop, Starfy drops a mysterious jar in the ocean below. It releases the evil eel sorcerer Ogura, who creates a storm that blows Starfy into the ocean. Now Starfy must make his way back home, helping the many denizens of the sea and clashing with Ogura along the way. The first game in the series, it was originally conceptualized for the Game Boy before being scrapped and redeveloped for the GBA.
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  • Densetsu no Stafy 2 (2003, Game Boy Advance; 2016, Wii U Virtual Console): After being sealed back inside his jar prison in the previous game, Ogura escapes with the help of his children, the Puchi Ogura. He kidnaps Starfy's mother and sends Starfy falling into the ocean once again, requiring him to set out to confront Ogura at his castle. This game would cement several common staples of the series, such as separate levels in stages, clothes for Starfy (and later Starly) to collect and wear, and some of Starfy's abilities such as the Air Jump and Shooting Star.
  • Densetsu no Stafy 3 (2004, Game Boy Advance; 2016, Wii U Virtual Console): Ogura's jar is destroyed during a storm by his master, Evil, a Greater-Scope Villain who has been ordering Ogura to participate in his evil schemes since he was young. Now with both villains at large, the heroes have a much greater task at their hands in order to bring peace to Pufftop. This game is notable for introducing Starfy's little sister Starly, and was the last game of the series to be released for the GBA and the last to get a Virtual Console rerelease.
  • Densetsu no Stafy 4 (2006, Nintendo DS): A fish named Mattel from the Ami Kingdom arrives at Pufftop in a panic. A villain had stolen the Mon Amour Stone, a mystical artifact, from the kingdom, and used it to wreak havoc. Starfy, Starly, and Moe go with her to save the kingdom and confront the stone's thief.
  • The Legendary Starfy note  (2008, Nintendo DS): While Starfy is napping, a bunny named Bunston in a spacesuit falls onto him from the sky. He and Moe learn that Bunston has amnesia, and go with him to collect mysterious crystal shards that appear to jog his memory, while also protecting Bunston from a gang of pirates that are after him. This game was the first—and only—in the series to get an American release.

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.

Since Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Starfy has appeared in Super Smash Bros. as an assist trophy and a regular trophy, as well as having characters in the series appear as Stickers in Brawl and Spirits in Ultimate. Starfy has also had cameos in fellow Nintendo titles Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and Super Princess Peach, the latter also developed by TOSE.


This series provides examples of:

    Series wide 
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Starfy (and Starly) can acquire 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. In the fifth game, most of these clothing items are found in treasure chests.
  • Arms and Armor Theme Naming: Shurikit and Kittana, two ninja cats named after typical ninja weapons.
  • Atlantis Is Boring: Averted handily by mixing underwater environments with flooded areas such as forests and swamps.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The palace guards of Pufftop are pretty much useless when it gets invaded; 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 in the fifth game informs a huge group of enemies that "This pink bow is gonna haunt your bad dreams!" before singlehandedly beating them all to a pulp.
  • 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: Ogura in the first two games. The third has his master, Evil, the fourth has Dejeel and the fifth has Mashtooth.
  • Blush Sticker: Most prominently on Starfy and Starly, though some other characters possess them as well.
  • 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.
  • Cap: You can have a maximum of 9999 pearls. Some outfits require you to collect this much in order to purchase them in the shop. In the first game, which has no purchasable items, the pearls you collect will gradually add characters to a photograph, which you must collect 9999 pearls to complete.
  • Cool Shades: Starfy has a collection of them. He's seen wearing them on some of the title screens.
  • Creative Closing Credits: Each game's credits sequence shows each world in reverse order, often with Starfy and Moe (and Starly in the fourth game) heading through them, sometimes interacting with the characters from each stage along the way.
  • 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").
  • Cross-Popping Veins: Happens whenever Moe is angry. 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, swimming quickly 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.)
    • Between games, the same actions occasionally have different controls. For example, the Turbo Swim is done by holding A in the first four games, but the fifth game has you hold B instead. Entering doors is done by pressing up on the D-pad until the fourth game, where you instead have to press X.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: All of the Starfy 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.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Starfy + the color pink + a bow = Starly.
  • Double Jump: One of Starfy's abilities, which he has to relearn every game.
  • Double Unlock: The Sound Test feature in the second, third, and fourth games becomes available after beating them, albeit completely devoid of music. You have to acquire the songs separately, either through playing through past stages (2 and 3) or buying them and finding them in treasure chests (4).
  • Dub Name Change: Stafy/Starfy, Stapy/Starly, Kyorosuke/Moe... Nearly every character (and many other game aspects such as Starfy's abilities) recieved a name change for the English release of the fifth game.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Yep, nearly anything that moves will hurt you by touch. There are exceptions, but you have been warned.
  • 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." The fifth game lessened this, with more focus being placed on progression through the stages and collecting Plot Coupons.
  • Exposition Fairy: Moe and Starly alternate between these roles.
  • Falling into the Plot: Most of the games start with Starfy (and possibly Moe) falling into the ocean, whether it’s of their own accord or not. The exception is the fourth game, where Starfy, Starly, and Moe head to the Ami Kingdom on request of Mattel. The Legendary Starfy has a two-for-one version of this where the game begins with Bunston falling into Pufftop, and then after he escapes, Starfy and Moe fall into the ocean after him.
  • Family Theme Naming:
    • All of Starfy's family have names with "star" in them; Starfy, Starly, Papa Star, and Mama Star.
    • Herman and his brother, Herbert.
    • Piplion and Puplion, two sea lion siblings.
  • Floating Continent: Starfy's home, Pufftop, is on a big cloud in the sky.
  • Funny Animal: Mostly funny fish, but there are these too. Shurikit and Kittana are anthropomorphic cats, for example.
  • Gangplank Galleon: The Sunken Ship (from the first game) and S.S. Logwater (from the fifth game) stages are both sunken shipwrecks. What's more, they're implied to be the same location due to having the same Japanese name.
  • Goomba Springboard: Using the Shooting Star move on enemies bounces you up a little and restores your Double Jump.
  • Green Hill Zone: The first or second stage in the series (Coral Reef, Sea of Beginning, Coral Coast, and Gluglug Lagoon) tends to be a simple green-tinted sea area, giving this effect. Some of these stages are even implied to be connected, if not the same area entirely.
  • Healing Checkpoint: The Mermaid's shell found in various locations in stages will let you save your game, as well as healing you when you use it.
  • Heart Container: Heart Gems. In the fourth game they are found within various levels, received through Tobira Majin, or bought from Maniankou's shop. Collecting one will add 10 HP to Starfy and Starly's heath. In the fifth game they are instead hidden in special blue treasure chests in bonus levels, and finding three will permanently add a heart to Starfy's health bar.
  • Hearts Are Health: Hearts are used for Starfy and Starly's health meters. Naturally, losing all of them means death. Somewhat averted in the fourth game, as it has a HP meter instead, though a heart symbol is still displayed on it.
  • Heroic Mime: Starfy; although he does occasionally talk, he'll generally do nothing but emote during conversations. Most characters, namely Moe, can generally understand him just fine, however. He also has some kind of high pitched "EEEEEE!!" noise as a general way of expression.
  • Idle Animation: Staying idle for a certain amount of time in a stage will cause Starfy to get tired and fall asleep until you start moving again. In the DS games he'll even pull out a bed.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: Many. Though most enemies encountered throughout the series are easily killed by a Star Spin or some other technique, some enemies cannot be killed at all, only stunned at best.
  • Iris Out: A star-shaped one used when Starfy enters doors, as well as on certain other occasions (such as sometimes when a boss is defeated).
  • Item Get!: Starfy tends to hold important items above his head when he collects them. He even does this for lost people he's found.
  • Kansai Dialect: Starly has one 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.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: Some enemies, such as Nogos and Stanglers, are completely immune to Starfy's Star Spin. Often it takes other things (such as boulders and Bunston's abilites) to defeat them.
  • Law of 100: Five Blue pearls equal one heart in all of the games.
    • Averted for the fourth, as it has a HP meter.
  • Level in the Clouds: A common area theme found in the Sea of Sky, Cupid Village, and Skydye Heights stages. Sea of Sky in particular is found in both the first and third titles, and seems to be close to Pufftop.
  • Lost Woods: The Large Tree's Forest and Sogwood Forest. Both of them also count as a Macro Zone, given Starfy's small size relative to the trees.
  • 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.
  • Monster Compendium: Every game has one in some form that logs friendly characters, enemies, and bosses; the first, second, and fourth games have Picture Books, the third game has Trading Cards, and the fifth game has Toys. You add entries by either defeating enemies or interacting with characters, barring the fifth game, which requires you to buy the Toys with pearls from a capsule machine.
  • New Game+: Each game has one where clearing all the main stages and beating the Final Boss will let you play through an additional section of the story, often with a True Final Boss at the end of it.
    • After beating Ogura in the first game, Starfy seals him away in his jar...for a while, until he accidentally drops not only the jar but 45 chests of treasure into the ocean. You then get to play through the game again to collect the treasure and fight Ogura once more to seal him up again.
    • The second game's version of this let you fight the extra forms of Ogura, as well as remixed harder boss battles.
    • Once you beat the final bosses of the third and fourth games, you can play each level again with alternate routes and harder enemies, as well as several extra hard levels. You can switch between Starfy and Starly anytime during the levels.
    • The fifth game is the only one to not have a version of this, though you can still unlock the ninth and tenth stages as well as the Big Bossdown.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Starfy is responsible for Ogura being released in the first place. After sealing him back in the jar at the end of the first game's main story, he sets Ogura loose again as part of the New Game+!
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Savako, a parasol-holding fish who has breasts. It's…a bit weird-looking.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: When wearing costumes, Starfy would respawn near the entrance with one heart down if he takes the slightest amount of damage. Averted in the fifth game, where he keeps his normal HP meter.
  • One-Winged Angel:
    • Both Ogura and his master Evil have multiple forms.
    • Mashtooth goes One-Winged Angel as well when he absorbs Bunston's powers.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Pretty much all of the final bosses don't bother to directly engage with Starfy and Starly for most of the story, instead letting their underlings do the dirty work until the heroes finally reach them.
  • Painful Pointy Pufferfish: Common as enemies throughout the series.
  • Plant Person:
    • Pearl Sprite (also known as Pearl Keeper) is a fairy who lives inside a flower. Hitting the flower up to two times will have her throw pearls and spikes at you; hitting it a third time will kill it.
    • Mandragora looks similar to Pearl Sprite, except it is much uglier and it does no good other than shooting harmful spikes.
  • Retired Badass: Old Man Lobber. He originally sealed up Ogura along with Starfy's father and is a Superboss in the 5th game, where he proceeds to go Super Saiyan and has a One-Hit Kill move.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Most characters can count as this, from Starfy himself to many of his allies and enemies and even some bosses, with most others at least counting as Creepy Cute or Ugly Cute. It practically gives Kirby a run for his money.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something:
    • Starfy and Starly, and Bunston in the 5th game.
    • Also Starfy's father Papa Star, who apparently sealed up Ogura originally with help from old man Lobber.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Ogura, 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.
  • 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: One in each game except for the fourth; the first game has the Sea of Ice, the second has the Slippery Iceberg, the third has Kachiwari Iceberg, and the fifth has Chillydip Cove.
  • Sound Test: Known as "Sea Jams", it's available in every game after clearing it for the first time. In the first and fifth games, all the music is available initially, but in all other games, you have to unlock songs individually after it becomes available.
  • Spectacular Spinning: Starfy's signature attack, the Star Spin, and the variations of it.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": TOSE has said that Starfy is not the official translation, DESPITE the localization.
  • Stellar Name: Starfy and Starly. Neither are actual stars, though.
  • 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: Sumo wrestler 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.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Starly is distinguished from Starfy by her pink color, eyelashes, and bow, as well as a Kansai accent in the Japanese versions.
  • Threatening Shark: Snarks. Small blue ones aren't that much more threatening than your typical enemy, but the larger Sand Snarks are actually unkillable, and can only be stunned. And then there's the Mega Snark from the fifth game, which is so huge it can swallow Starfy whole.
  • 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 new levels, then beat the Final Boss. He has two very difficult forms.
    • From the fourth game: Dejeel's final form. 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.
    • From the fifth game: Starfy's mentor, Old Man Lobber. He'll face you if you complete 6 Time Attack levels under a tight time limit. He has an One-Hit Kill attack when low on life.
  • Under the Sea: Most of the environments are at least partially underwater.
  • 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. In Japanese, he ends all his sentences with "bon".
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Ogura's Castle in the second game, and Degil Castle in the fourth.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: A staple of the series since the second game, where a side-mode allows you to dress up Starfy and Starly in various outfits that you can collect throughout the game.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Starfy, Starly, and Moe. Especially Starly and Moe.
  • 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.
  • Women Are Wiser:
    • Starly is more responsible than her big brother, though even she isn't immune to slip-ups.
    • Snips is both the leader and the cleverest member of the Terrible Trio from the fifth game.
    The Legendary Starfy 
  • Abandoned Mine: Glitzem Grotto, complete with minecart riding sections.
  • 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 incredibly fast succession. The result involves singlehandedly holding back the goddamn moon, and then smashing Mashtooth upside the head with it!
  • All the Worlds are a Stage: Stage 10's levels all have environments from previous areas, while also remixing certain attributes from those areas for new and harder challenges.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: A minor example; the boxart for the American release is mostly the same to the Japanese box art, except Starfy's now doing a Star Spin instead of simply floating in the water happily.
  • Asteroids Monster: Giant Jellysquish split into six regular Jellysquish when defeated.
  • Astral Finale: The eighth and final stage of the game's main campaign is Planet Bunnera in outer space, Bunston's home planet.
  • Attack the Injury: King Ping's weak point in the first half of his boss fight is a bandaged lump on his belly. During the second phase, you instead have to expose a bump on his head to attack him.
  • Bad Boss:
    • King Ping is one, according to his toy description. Apparently he won't even give his workers a snow day off.
    • Mashtooth is more than willing to electrocute his subordinates for their failures.
  • Balloonacy: The Sky Swabbies are simply regular Swabbies who fly around thanks to the three balloons attached to their clothing.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: None of the cast has any trouble breathing on Planet Bunnera, except apparently the Space Swabbies, who wear space suits. Even when Starfy flies out away from the planet to challenge Mega Mashtooth—where the gravity is so low that he can literally swim—oxygen apparently isn't one of his worries.
  • Big Ball of Violence: Happens in the intro when Starfy gives a beating to the Terrible Trio when they try to abduct Bunston. When the Terrible Trio returns to Pufftop in search for him, this fate befalls to them once again at the hands of Starly.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Some areas of the S.S. Logwater are full of ghosts.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • When Starfy, Moe, and Bunston get cornered by Snips, Ronk, and Papes in Sogwood Forest, Shurkit arrives and uses her mirror image technique to ward off the former two, leaving Papes to Starfy.
    • Right after Mashtooth has swallowed Bunston, absorbing his power, Starfy and Moe almost give up...until Snips, Ronk, and Papes rush in to attack Mashtooth with their Paper-Cut Crusher technique, freeing Bunston and kickstarting Starfy's Heroic Second Wind.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: Snips (thin), Papes (short), and Ronk (big).
  • Big "WHAT?!": Mashtooth gives one of these—complete with Cross-Popping Veins in his speech bubble—when he finds out that his squad hasn't captured Bunston yet.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: The game has a multiplayer mode that lets another player control Starly. Unfortunately, this can only be used in a few specific levels (and generally kept to a single area), as well as boss levels.
  • Boss Rush: The Big Bossdown, an extra mode that unlocks once you’ve beaten the main game. In it, you have to fight all the game’s main bosses (Big Squiddy, Hot-Spring Snapper, King Ping, Papes, Ronk, Snips, the Terrible Trio together, and Mashtooth in both his forms, including the segment where you have to hold back the moon) in order as a time attack. In between fights, you have the option of using a Pearl Sprite to heal yourself, though this is also counted for your time. You can challenge the mode as Starfy or Starly, and depending on how fast you beat it you get a score from 0 to 100. Achieving a score of 100 (beating the mode in under nine minutes) will unlock the game’s secret tenth stage.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: The travel brochures for Hotcha Springs and Chillydip Cove.
    • Hotcha Springs:
      Welcome to Hotcha Springs! Please explore our wonderful oasis! Take a walk on the beach or go for a dip in the hot springs! Be sure to avoid the maniacal giant turtle on the loose. Enjoy your stay!
    • Chillydip Cove:
      Welcome to Chillydip Cove! Explore our winter paradise! Build a snowman, go sledding, or curl up with a cup of hot cocoa! Be aware: there is a giant penguin on the loose, and if you touch his belly, he will get VERY angry! Enjoy your stay!
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Stage 10, known simply as "???", is unlocked upon beating the Big Bossdown in under nine minutes. It has six main levels, each of which are extremely hard challenges that mix up game elements. Each level must be cleared within a certain time frame in order to unlock the final level, which consists of a boss battle against a powered-up Old Man Lobber. In short, this stage averts the typical simplicity of the rest of the game hard.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Sogwood Forest combines a general Lost Woods theme with some aspects of one, including mushrooms and various other fungi, even having poison swamps in some areas.
  • Button Mashing:
    • During some points in the game, getting caught by an enemy's attack (such as by Big Squiddy's tentacles) requires you to quickly mash left and right on the D-pad to get free.
    • It's also required to deal the final blow to the final boss. Mash the Y button to have Starfy push a moon towards Mashtooth.
  • Call-Back:
    • During Mashtooth's introduction, one of his lackeys simply tells him that his plan is "not very nice". The same phrase is used by Snips when she's telling Mashtooth about her doubts about following his plan.
    • Bunston's first transformation with Starfy occurs before they fight off Big Squiddy together. To face Mashtooth at the end of the game, they transform into Monstar once again. Unfortunately, it doesn't go nearly as well.
  • Camera Abuse: During the Human Snowball sequences, you can run into snowman-making penguins as the snowball-bound Starfy which will be knocked flying into the screen and slide down.
  • 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.
  • Continuity Nod: The Legends of Pufftop stories from the Pufftop guards are all references to the plots of the previous games in the series.
  • Continuity Snarl: Within a single game, even, possibly as a result of an ill-informed translation. During Snips' interview on The Moe Show, she says that she met Ronk at community college and became friends with Papes when they traveled with a carnival, but Ronk and Papes both refer to her as "big sister" in their notes.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    Papes: This time I've got backup to...um...back me up!
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: The object that the crystal shards will build, which turns out to be Bunston's ship.
  • 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?
  • Dramatic Shattering: Mashtooth holds a bottle in his hand as the heroes approach him. When he's getting ready to fight, he shatters the bottle in his fist.
  • Drop the Washtub: On the results screen of minigames, the winner has a crown descending to land on their head while the others have a basin dropped on them instead.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Huffinfluff, the cloud creature in Skydye Heights, wears what looks like a sun hat and has long eyelashes, but is referred to as a male.
  • Easter Egg: In Sea Jams, you can use your stylus to grab the little fish swimming around on the touch screen. Flicking them upwards will launch them into the top screen, and if they collide with one of the music notes, a melody will be produced.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: A few of Mashtooth's minions start to have second thoughts about his plan, considering it "not very nice".
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: In the frozen Chillydip Cove 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: This game gives all the characters plushie-like appearances for their dialogue sprites, complete with stiching seams.
  • Falling into the Plot: The game begins when Starfy is awoken by Bunston falling from the sky and crashing into the roof of Pufftop Palace. Starfy and Moe also end up falling into the ocean in an attempt to follow him.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: When a Bullygoat is defeated, its body is covered in flames that reduce it to a skeleton, which then falls apart. You get a lot of pearls for it, though.
  • Flashback Echo: This happens to Bunston whenever he sees a crystal shard that's part of his ship. He slowly recovers more and more parts of his memory the more shards he collects.
  • Floating Water: Sogwood Forest and Planet Bunnera both have pools of water floating in midair. The latter is Justified due to it being in space with low gravity, and the patches of water in Sogwood Forest apparently exist due to the air there being so soggy.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • There's plenty of hints that Bunston is from space, the most obvious being that he wears a spacesuit.
    • If you take a look at the ship Bunston lands in during his initial flashback sequence, you'll see it's the same color as the crystal shards.
    • Old Man Lobber cheerfully denies telling Moe who the last boss is during his Moe Show interview. Knowing that he's the game's bonus boss gives the conversation new meaning.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Sometimes when triggering cutscenes (e.g. during boss battles), the ground won't have collision detection, so Starfy will fall through the floor endlessly.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Upon clearing most stages, visiting them again will let you see characters that appeared in them during the story, hanging out and occasionally discussing what's been happening since then. This has a bit of a problem when visiting stages Shurkit appeared in in Sogwood Forest, as she'll appear in them to talk to Starfy even if she's currently supposed to be missing in Glitzem Grotto.
  • Gangplank Galleon: The S.S. Logwater, a sunken ship infested with ghosts and sharks, as well as pirates hunting for treasure.
  • Getting Eaten Is Harmless: Played straight with Bunston, who is swallowed by Mashtooth and gets spit out afterward pretty much none the worse for wear, but unfortunately subverted with Mashtooth's inhale attack, which is an instant KO if Starfy fails to mash his way out of it.
  • Giant's Droplet, Human's Shower: The drops of water that fall from the trees of Sogwood Forest are comparatively big enough to Starfy for him to swim through.
  • Good Morning, Crono: Starfy begins the game asleep in bed. Just then, he has a rather sudden awakening in the form of Bunston falling onto him.
  • Got Me Doing It: Moe suffers from Konk's Verbal Tic when he interviews him in on the Moe Show, and also when he describes Konk's toy.
  • Grimy Water: Some of the water in Sogwood Forest is weirdly bubbly and of an unhealthy purple colour. Needless to say, touching this water will damage Starfy.
  • Guide Dang It!: Unlocking the secret tenth stage. Globerto confirms its existence in one of his notes, but unlike the ninth stage—which is automatically unlocked once you beat the final boss—it's never explained how you actually get access to it. It's unlocked by beating the Big Bossdown in under nine minutes, but even the mode itself never hints at this until you actually achieve it.
  • Hand Wave:
    • The first time you properly fight Big Squiddy, Starfy's transformed with Bunston as Monstar. None of the other main boss fights involve the heroes taking advantage of this. It's explained in one of Bunston's journal entries to be because of the purple fog that appears near boss battles, which prevents Bunston from using his powers. Notably, the purple fog does not appear in the entrance to Mashtooth's boss fight, letting Starfy and Bunston transform to fight once again—though unlike the fight with Big Squiddy, it doesn't go very well…
    • Co-op isn't allowed in most stages in Bunnera, and not for the battle against Mashtooth either, when most bosses have an option to call Starly for the battle. This is mentioned in one of Moe's notes—apparently he can't reach Pufftop to call Starly due to interference.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Snips, Papes, and Ronk turn against Mashtooth to help Starfy and his friends during the final battle.
  • Heroic Second Wind: After Mashtooth has swallowed Bunston and transformed into a much powerful form, Starfy and Moe are about to give up…until the Terrible Trio jump in to attack Mashtooth and release Bunston, calling for Starfy to get up and keep fighting. Invigorated by the energy of his friends cheering him on, Starfy is able to get back up and flies into space to fight Mashtooth.
  • Holiday Mode: Booting up the game on the system user's birthday will display a screen showing Starfy, Starly, and Moe around a birthday cake with confetti. Tapping Continue will take you to the regular title screen.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The first fight against Mashtooth during the story has you playing as Monstar. Unfortunately, Monstar's flame breath does nothing against Mashtooth, and his jump isn't high enough to avoid Mashtooth's charge attack, so it's impossible to win. Afterwards, Starfy faces Mashtooth alone for the real fight.
  • Human Snowball: Some levels of Chillydip Cove involve enemy penguins shoving 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: At one point, Snips gets one of these just before she pulls off a trick.
  • I'd Tell You, but Then I'd Have to Kill You: Old Man Lobber's response when Moe asks him who the Final Boss during his interview.
    Moe: But come on...Won't you give us just a little hint?
    Old Man Lobber: I reckon I could tell you...But then I'd have to make a soup out of you!
  • I Have Your Wife: In the final stage of Skydye Heights, Snips appears and reveals she's kidnapped and tied up Ruby. She offers to let Ruby go if Bunston goes with her. Bunston decides to comply, as he doesn't want to see Ruby hurt, though Ronk and Papes intervene just in time and free her.
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You!: How Starly inadverdently tells Snips, Ronk, and Papes where Bunston is.
  • Impeded Communication: Moe isn't able to contact Pufftop once you make it to Bunnera due to some kind of interference, which also means that co-op is completely unavailable in these stages (since you can't contact Starly).
  • Inconsistent Dub: The English version of the game uses the names Skydye Heights and S.S. Logwater for the sixth and seventh stages, respectively, except in the cutscenes directly before those stages, where they are instead referred to as Sea of Rainbows and The Shipwreck, the names for those stages in the original Japanese version.
  • Inescapable Ambush: Entering certain rooms of the Cosmic Express will lock the door behind you until all the enemies inside are defeated, at which point you'll be able to exit freely.
  • Land, Sea, Sky: Bunston's first three transformations (Monstar, Starpedo, and Roostar).
  • Legacy Boss Battle: Konk, the first boss of the first four Starfy games, appears as a boss in the Pufftop stage of this game.
  • Leitmotif: Bunston, the Terrible Trio, and Mashtooth all have their own, named after them in the Sea Jams feature.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Hotcha Springs is a somewhat downplayed example, as it's definitely warm and there's plenty of steam and hot water, but there isn't much actual lava. That is, until Hot-Spring Snapper starts to set fire to it, making it a better example of this trope.
  • Locomotive Level: Some levels of Planet Bunnera take place inside the Cosmic Express. These areas have normal gravity comparable to the Bunnera Castle; apparently this is due to the material that the train is constructed out of.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: Downplayed since you can wait around to listen to the songs in the areas they play for as long as you want, but some themes go on for much longer than you would expect them to. The map themes and file selection music are the biggest offenders, as neither screen has much to do on them and you'll generally only hear the first few seconds of each song if you don't specifically wait around, but the associated songs can go on for over a minute before looping.
  • Minecart Madness: Several levels in Glitzem Grotto involves Starfy and his pals riding a minecart around. Same goes with the world's boss fight, which has Starfy shooting at bomb-throwing, minecart-riding baddies.
  • Morphic Resonance: All of Starfy and Bunston's transformations possess Starfy's Innocent Blue Eyes, along with Starfy's actual face on their stomachs.
  • Ocular Gushers: Happens whenever Moe cries.
  • Opaque Nerd Glasses: Modo's son Junior wears glasses like these to emphasize his genius trait. The guy built a space train all by himself, after all.
  • Player Nudge: Winning the rock-paper-scissors match against the Terrible Trio seems to be left solely to luck at first glance…but if you watch Ronk, Snips, and Papes before each round, you'll notice that one of them will leap up after the others do, that one being the hand they'll play that round. By watching the trio before picking your move, you can easily beat them every time. It's easy to miss if you're not paying attention, so if you lose to them once, Moe will inform you of the trick before you rematch them.
  • Post-Defeat Explosion Chain: Upon defeat, Big Squiddy and the Hot-Spring Snapper will continuously explode and sink offscreen.
  • Power Crystal: Several as collectables that either give Bunston a new transformation or power up one that he already has.
  • The Power of Friendship: What helps the heroes in the fight against Mashtooth—it's encouragement from Starfy's friends and allies that helps him to get back up after he's knocked down and face Mashtooth's powered-up form. Moe even declares that "the power of friends" is something that Mashtooth will never have.
  • 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.
  • Ribcage Stomach: The Mega Snark has one.
  • Ring-Out Boss: The fight against Papes involves trying to throw him out of the water into the spikes around the pool.
  • Rise to the Challenge:
    • During the final level of Hotcha Springs, the Hot-Spring Snapper causes waves of fire to rise from the ground in certain areas which Starfy has to outpace.
    • One Planet Bunnera level has Starfy ascending by hopping from one floating bubble to another while a wall of fire rises after him inexorably.
  • Roaring Rapids: Some parts of Hotcha Springs involve the Hot-Spring Snapper causing huge geysers to erupt under Starfy, which he must swim through to come out the top, avoiding rocks along the way. The second phase of the Hot-Spring Snapper's boss fight also utilizes this, requiring you to deal with the current to attack the Snapper.
  • Rock–Paper–Scissors: Ronk, Papes, and Snips. Their special move actually is them playing this game with Starfy.
  • Say My Name: Moe cries out for Starfy and Bunston when Monstar is defeated by Mashtooth.
  • Shell Game: Used in the Shuffle Fork sidequest, where Fork hides in one of three treasure chests, which are then shuffled around. You have to pick the one Fork is hiding in three times to win.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Starting with the S.S. Logwater, the game's plot begins to take a turn for the serious with comedy becoming more subdued. This is also highlighted by the Terrible Trio having no appearances during the stage aside from the final level, where they fight Starfy as a group twice before taking a stand against Mashtooth when he contacts them, resulting in them being struck by his lightning.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: On the cusp of her Heel–Face Turn, Snips declares to Mashtooth that the strong and powerful should use their power to help others. He seems to be threatened by it for a second, but quickly comes around to rebuke it and strikes her and the others with lightning instead.
  • 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.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Chillydip Cove. Slippery ice platforms? Check. Penguins and snowmen? Check. Auroral skies? Check. And so on.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: While water droplets are falling from the trees in Sogwood Forest, a different song than the normal level music plays. When the water drops are close to stopping, the music speeds up slightly to warn the player.
  • Space Zone: Planet Bunnera, of course. Any areas that aren't inside buildings or other structures have decreased gravity as well.
  • Stalactite Spite: Several Chillydip Cove levels have giant icicles looming above the path, which will fall when Starfy passes under them. Stage 10 also has a level with tons of these in a row.
  • 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.
  • Super-Deformed: In cutscenes, conversations, and official art, the characters now have plushie-esque appearances with this effect.
  • Take Your Time: En route to Bunston's castle, the Cosmic Express starts to be attacked by Mashtooth's forces. Moe urges Starfy to get on top of the train to figure out how to fight them off and keep them from destroying the train, and trying to talk to him, Bunston, or Junior will only have Moe snap at you that they don't have time to chat. Despite this, there's no actual time limit, and you can even enter the other rooms in the train to look for treasure and try the level's sidequest (ironically hosted by Moe himself).
  • Terrible Trio: Snips, Papes, and Ronk describe themselves as such.
  • Threatening Shark: In addition to the Snark and Sand Snark enemies, this game also has the 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.
  • Trouser Space: Papes' shorts. He humorously pulls his shield from them, which is larger than he is.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: Happens to a hapless minion of Mashtooth's after being punched away by his lord.
  • Typical Tentacle Tactics: Big Squiddy attacks this way, but the only projectile is the occasional boulder.
  • 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.
  • Wasn't That Fun?: Bunston loves riding in the minecarts in Glitzem Grotto. Moe...not so much.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Modo is capable of blowing Wave Motion Fire.
  • We Can Rule Together: Snips provides a simple one to Starly in her episode, telling her that evil is more fun. Starly, of course, rejects it.
  • 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.
  • Womb Level: Getting swallowed by the Mega Snark will take you inside its body.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: By the time Starfy, Moe, and Bunston have rebuilt the latter's ship to go to Bunnera, Mashtooth has already long since taken over his castle, absorbed the power of every Bunneran there, and has set a goal to absorb Bunston's power once he gets there. What's more, Mashtooth achieves that goal as well after his second boss battle, swallowing Bunston and growing even more powerful. Because of this, Starfy has to beat him again in his powered-up form.
  • You Have Failed Me: Near the end of the S.S. Logwater, Mashtooth contacts the Terrible Trio, only for them to take a stand against him. He responds by zapping them with lightning.
  • Your Costume Needs Work: An inversion of sorts; when you meet Herbert in Skydye Heights, he tells Starfy that he looks a lot like the prince of Pufftop (which he is), but also says that Starfy's much better looking than said prince.

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