Author Topic: Let's talk about Tose  (Read 2675 times)

Offline Torchickens

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Let's talk about Tose
« on: February 07, 2015, 07:19:57 PM »
Tose (or TOSE) is a company who has contributed to a huge number of games, often for 'minor' things, and not taking credit. They are known for being "behind the scenes" . Confidentiality agreements have meant that they often do not disclose whether they worked on a game. However, they own part of the copyright to the Legendary Starfy series with Nintendo, and have developed those games.

Densetsu no Starfy began when Hitoshi Yamagami received an instruction from his boss to make some kind of 'floaty platformer' in November 1995. This game became a balloon-lifting game, then a game where the player had to control a bubble with a Nintendo character in it, then Densetsu no Starfy for the Game Boy Color before being reworked to the Game Boy Advance.

To make Densetsu no Starfy, Hitoshi Yamagami collaborated with Tose producer Yasuhiro Minamimoto and we can see in the Densetsu no Starfy staff credits that Tose were involved in developing it with supervision from Nintendo.

The Big Starfy stuffed toy made by Tomy can be can be seen on the coordinator icon for the job type (or "job family") page.


When discussing The Legendary Starfy coming out of Japan, Hitsohi Yamagami has described the game like "his own child" making a major debut. I feel the development team really enjoy what they made.

As part of the Starfy Wiki Tose article, I gathered different logos that Tose used on their website throughout the years. I like the rainbow one personally. When I saw Peach's up air attack in Super Smash Bros. 4, it made me think of it due to Tose developing Super Princess Peach, even though I really have doubts that is relevant.

1998+ , 2000+
c. 2003 logo , April 26 2003- logo
April 16 2005- logo , May 1 2006- logo

If you look at their website during 2003 (and maybe they had this up earlier) then you can find this section advertising Densetsu no Starfy with a nice slot machine flash thing where characters from Densetsu no Starfy are shown! These characters are Starfy, Moe, Herman, Ogura's final boss form, Konk, Old Man Lobber, an Ukizzu, Konk and Blantern with the Buranko. The characters on the panel constantly change and occasionally you get three matches. A really nice touch is that Tose added animations to the sprites, making them shine/Moe's eyes move around, etc.


The Invention King:

From 1998, Tose started a series of surveys on their website called The Invention King or TOSE Invention King, where they would talk about inventions, ask for people's ideas/opinions and give prizes for select responses.

The first "The Invention King" was for software ideas for a Playstation and Dreamcast "PDA".

The prizes were originally plain cash up to 100000 yen (about 839.38 dollars according to the conversion tool offered on Google). The series went on and the prizes decreased in value, though.

Some time later QUO Cards worth 1000 yen (and of an unspecified value during the 12th The Invention King) were offered as prizes.



Densetsu no Starfy merchandise used to be offered as prizes as well. These included a copy of Densetsu no Starfy for a 2002 mobile phone survey and Showa Note's Densetsu no Starfy soft pencil case for a December 10th 2002-Februrary 28th 2003 survey. From July 15th 2003-September 30th 2003 to April 15th-June 30th 2004, Tose continued to offer "Densetsu no Starfy goods" as prizes in their Invention King surveys but they didn't specify which goods they were.



Super Princess Peach:

As is well sourced, Super Princess Peach was developed by Tose, though Nintendo solely owns the rights to the game, scenario, music and program. Starfy cameos in that game as an enemy name as the "Starfish" (however, Starfy is actually described as a mysterious star like creature with traits of a celestial star by Hitoshi Yamagami). In that game Starfy is wearing sunglasses. In the Legendary Starfy series, Starfy likes wearing, and collecting sunglasses. He is a rare enemy in Super Princess Peach that appears in three areas of Hoo's Wood, Wavy Beach and Gleaming Glacier and when you defeat him in all three locations (with him no longer appearing after he is defeated there), he appears in the Glossary as "a star-shaped foe rumored to be the prince of a kingdom?; a reference to Starfy being the prince of Pufftop.



Here is a video of defeating Starfy all three locations.

Super Princess Peach has some other similarities to the Legendary Starfy games as well. There are fragile platforms in Shriek Mansion, Fury Volcano and Bowser's Villa and these are like the fragile platforms in Misty Town in Tose's then previous Starfy game, Densetsu no Starfy 3.



Another similarity is that there is a stage called Bowser's Villa. In Densetsu no Starfy 4 (a later game), the first Stage is called Lobber's Villa (actually Rob's Villa if we use the Japanese name of Old Man Lobber).

Though this may be coincidental, both Super Princess Peach and Densetsu no Starfy 4 feature owl bosses (Hoo and King Owlrun)



Super Princess Peach and the Legendary Starfy games share some similar options, including Bonus (like Densetsu no Starfy's Omake option), Glossary (like the 'zukan' features), Minigame, Music Room and Shop.

Within the game code, we can find more things in common. The Japanese version of Super Princess Peach and Densetsu no Starfy 4 share a large amount of unused models.

Some of these are Starfy series related, so if we rewound time and someone discovered these (assuming no one had), then one could assume that a 3D Starfy game was in the works.



Others are completely unrelated to their game:


Exclusively to Densetsu no Starfy 4 are even some Galaga textures:



From these unused models, it makes me wonder if Tose have unused stored assets in more Nintendo DS games.

It is worth stressing a lot is that although Densetsu no Starfy 4 uses some 3D models, they are only used for stage previews and the Game Over screen and possibly other things. The game is not in full 3D. Super Princess Peach uses even fewer if any 3D models.

Densetsu no Starfy 4 has the shared data between Super Princess Peach for the Koopaling bosses that didn't make it into Super Princess Peach.

More on shared assets: Dr. Mario & Puzzle League
Apparently, in one of three "bmg" files in Dr. Mario & Puzzle League there is text from the Legendary Starfy games, which I deduced to have been copied over from Densetsu no Starfy 3.

Some of the text clearly refers to debug leftovers from Densetsu no Starfy 3 (and maybe we can still access a debug menu there). This includes test messages and text for testing functions (including color change testing, animation change testing and conversation testing).

You can read more about this here.

Densetsu no Starfy's debug menu
I discovered how to activate a debug menu in Densetsu no Starfy after somebody from TCRF found debug text in the ROM where you can do various things like listening to all music (though Densetsu no Starfy does have an accessible sound test) and forcing a conversation. The debug sound test lets you listen to sound effects and an unused version of the Opening Demo music unlike the accessible sound test. The accessible sound tests are known throughout the series as Umi no Neiro (which you could translate as "Ocean Tones" or Sea Jams if you go by the localized The Legendary Starfy name).



The style of this debug menu is shared between debug screens for Game & Watch Gallery 4 and Dan Doh!! Tobase Shouri no Smile Shot!! (suggesting that Tose may have had a role in the development of that game). Both Dan Doh!! Tobase Shouri no Smile Shot!! and Densetsu no Starfy have screens called the "Debug "Main Menu"".
« Last Edit: February 07, 2015, 09:19:36 PM by Torchickens »
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Offline KidIcarus

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Re: Let's talk about Tose
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2015, 08:02:07 PM »
really informative... thank you