Densetsu No Starfy (lost original Game Boy and Game Boy Color builds of Game Boy Advance platformer; 1998-2000)
Densetsu no Starfy is the first game in The Legendary Starfy franchise, released only in Japan in September 6th, 2002 for the Game Boy Advance. The game follows Prince Starfy of Pufftop, who was moving objects around the palace until he drops a jar in the ocean, causing the being inside the jar, known as Ogura, to cause a storm inside the palace that resulted in Starfy getting knocked out into the ocean. After being found by Old Man Lobber, Starfy began his journey to go back home, while also meeting new friends along the way, such as Moe.
With planning and development initially starting in 1995, the game underwent a wide variety of changes, including a Game Boy Color (initially the original Game Boy) version of the game that never saw the light of day.
The game was first planned in 1995 as a floaty platformer game involving some sort of bubble or balloon that needed to be lifted in order to progress. However, this concept was not deemed to be "fun," therefore resulting in the game to be reworked by having that bubble/balloon be directly playable.
Development of the game came to fruition in 1998. During this time, TOSE decided to replace the bubble/balloon character with either a jellyfish or starfish. The starfish, who would later become a star-shaped creature named Starfy, was eventually chosen as the main character. The game later moved over to the Game Boy Color after Nintendo encouraged TOSE to do so, likely due to the original Game Boy nearing the end of its life at the time. Two years later, the Game Boy Color version of the game was officially unveiled to the public, with heavy promotion in the following months, and was also featured in Nintendo Spaceworld 2000 as among the various anticipated titles to be released at the time.
The Game Boy Color version of the game had several differences to the released Game Boy Advance version, with notable examples including the sprites being less detailed due to hardware limitations, Moe being originally called "Kyororon" in Japanese, and the doors lacking any physical features beyond being a simple white outline. There was also early artwork of Starfy, Lobber, and Moe, and only the latter's was reused again for promoting the Game Boy Advance version of the game, as well as on the Densetsu no Starfy 2 minisite.
The game was initially slated for a December 2000 release, but because the Game Boy Color was already nearing the end of its life, it was quietly cancelled, and instead was reworked for the Game Boy Advance.
The only known materials left of this version of the game are various early artwork and screenshots, combined with footage from both Nintendo SpaceWorld 2000 and Nintendo's Japanese website. As of 2023, not a single build of the original versions of Densetsu no Starfy has resurfaced nor has it been leaked online. With the Starfy franchise currently in limbo since 2009 beyond Starfy himself making appearances in Super Smash Bros., it is unknown if Nintendo or TOSE will ever make both the Game Boy and Game Boy Color versions of Densetsu no Starfy available to the public.
- Starfy Wiki article on the game's early builds.
- Archived SpaceWorld 2000 page that mentions the game's early build.
- Nintendo Life - Interviews: Nintendo/TOSE - The Legendary Starfy Retrieved 04 Feb '23
- Nintendo SpaceWorld 2000 listing on the game's build. Retrieved 04 Feb '23
- Nintendo Spaceworld Official Guidebook 2000 Edition page 37. Retrieved 04 Feb '23