The Legendary Starfy (series)
The Legendary Starfy series, known in Japan as the Densetsu no Stafy series (Japanese: 伝説のスタフィー シリーズ) is a video game series developed by TOSE and published by Nintendo. The series is about Starfy (Japanese: スタフィー), "a legend" who is the prince of a kingdom high above the ocean, above the clouds called Pufftop. Joining Starfy's adventure is Starfy's best friend Moe and after the events of Densetsu no Starfy 2, his younger sister, Starly. In all five games, something causes Starfy to fall into the ocean and fight evil. So far all of the Starfy games have been released exclusively for handheld platforms.
The games are officially known as "Marine Action" (Japanese: マリンアクション) games due to a good portion of the game taking place underwater, although not all stages in the games are set underwater. There are occasionally platformer elements in the series, and the official English Nintendo mini-site, as well as the Nintendo of Australia mini-site, lists the latest game in the series, The Legendary Starfy as a platformer game.  Gameplay generally involves Starfy and/or his younger sister, Starly, solving the problems of other characters while defeating enemies and bosses on their quest in bringing peace to Pufftop, or in the Nintendo DS games, another kingdom, including the Amy Kingdom (Densetsu no Starfy 4) and Planet Bunnera (The Legendary Starfy).
The Legendary Starfy series originated when Nintendo producer Hitoshi Yamagami was asked by his boss to come up with a kind of 'floaty platformer'. Later, he worked together with TOSE producer Yasuhiro Minamimoto and the end result, Densetsu no Starfy, starred Starfy; a starfish like creature with traits of a celestial star.
The first game in the series, Densetsu no Starfy was originally meant to be released for the Game Boy Color. A trial demo of the Game Boy Color game was shown at Nintendo Space World 2000 but development later moved to the Game Boy Advance. Various changes were made during the transition for example, the Japanese name of Moe changed from "Kyororon" to "Kyorosuke".
Due to relatively good reception of the game, four sequels were released which include Densetsu no Starfy 2, Densetsu no Starfy 3, Densetsu no Starfy 4 and The Legendary Starfy. There are numerous The Legendary Starfy series merchandise sold to promote the series, such as stuffed toys and CDs.
According to an interview with Yasuhiro Minamimoto on Nintendo Power, the first Densetsu no Starfy was well received and that is why TOSE would go on to make a sequel. Eventually, a whole series was made due to continuing good reception, including Densetsu no Starfy 2 and Densetsu no Starfy 3 for the Game Boy Advance, Densetsu no Starfy 4 and The Legendary Starfy for the Nintendo DS. 
Out of the five games in the series, Densetsu no Starfy 2 sold the most copies with 298,967 sold by the end of 2003, giving it the position of number 4 on Japanese sales charts.   Since the release of Densetsu no Starfy 3 however, it seems that the sales of the games have continually dropped, with The Legendary Starfy selling a relatively low 126,428 copies in Japan by the end of 2008. 
- Densetsu no Starfy (Game Boy Advance, 2002 in Japan)
- Densetsu no Starfy 2 (Game Boy Advance, 2003 in Japan)
- Densetsu no Starfy 3 (Game Boy Advance, 2004 in Japan)
- Densetsu no Starfy 4 (Nintendo DS, 2006 in Japan)
- The Legendary Starfy (Nintendo DS, 2009 in North America and Australasia, 2008 in Japan)
- Densetsu no Starfy (Game Boy Color, 2000)
In an interview with Nintendo and TOSE in 2009, Hitoshi Yamagami suggested that there are plans for a sixth Starfy game in the series. When Hitoshi Yamagami was asked by Nintendo Life whether are "any plans for a sixth Starfy title in the works?", he replied "Yes!" with a long pause and then a laugh.  However, no further information has since surfaced about the game.
Localization of the series overseas
Although there are currently 5 games in The Legendary Starfy series, The Legendary Starfy (Densetsu no Starfy Taiketsu! Daiiru Kaizokudan in Japan); is the only game to have been localized outside of Japan. Nintendo of America officially localized The Legendary Starfy and released the game on June 8 2008, just over a year from the Japanese release and one day earlier than scheduled. Nintendo of Australia later released and produced the game in Australasia in October 2009, although currently no other branches of Nintendo have localized the game elsewhere.
Nintendo of America appear to have no plans of localizing past games in the series. In a 2009 conference call set up by Nintendo between Nintendo Life and six developers of The Legendary Starfy, producer Hitoshi Yamagami joked that the reason why Starfy took so long to debut in the US was that he 'was swimming all the way from Japan' and explained that the series was always developed for a Japanese audience. The developers stated that they always wanted to bring Starfy to the US, but that Nintendo of America deemed the games 'too Japanese' for American audiences. In fact, various elements of the games such as certain Items and Stuff are full of Japanese cultural references. Hitoshi Yamagami, however, stated in the conference call that although TOSE had no intention of releasing the previous The Legendary Starfy series games, the possibly of releasing them exists "if Starfy proves to be a huge hit and fans demand that they have the first four Starfy games".
According to Yasuhiro Minamimoto, the development team were conscious of the sales of The Legendary Starfy from the planning stage, so he feels that is why the game made it out of Japan. Despite this, there are various localization changes in the fifth game, where for example the manga style cutscenes in Densetsu no Starfy Taiketsu! Daiiru Kaizokudan were changed and made to read from left to right instead of right to left.
- Wikipedia article
- Densetsu no Starfy (tentative title) (Japanese)
- Densetsu no Starfy Japanese official site (Japanese)
- Densetsu no Starfy 2 Japanese official site (Japanese)
- Densetsu no Starfy 3 Japanese official site (Japanese)
- Densetsu no Starfy 4 Japanese official site (Japanese)
- The Legendary Starfy Japanese official site (Japanese)
- The Legendary Starfy North American official site
- Official page for The Legendary Starfy on Nintendo.com
- Official page for The Legendary Starfy on the Nintendo of Australia website
- Interviews: Nintendo/TOSE - The Legendary Starfy - DS News @ Nintendo Life (with insight about the development of Densetsu no Starfy)
- Nintendo Power, Volume 244, page 74
- Gamesutra - Latest Japanese Sales Charts - Week Ending September 7 (2003)
- Nintendo Life Nintendo/TOSE interview - The Legendary Starfy