Hitoshi Yamagami

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Hitoshi Yamagami

Hitoshi Yamagami (Japanese: 山上仁志) is an employee of Nintendo of Japan. He is a director of Densetsu no Starfy and a producer of the other four games in The Legendary Starfy series. Hitoshi Yamagami and Yasuhiro Minamimoto of TOSE have worked together on the series for over fifteen years (as of 2009).[1]

Hitoshi Yamagami was notorious as a key member of Nintendo Research & Development 1, in charge of the direction of games such as Yoshi's Cookie and Tetris 2 for the NES and Game Boy. He was also the founder of Team Shikamaru, a team for scriptwriting at Nintendo. [2] As of 2004 he was promoted to the key manager and producer of Software Planning & Development Group No. 2. [3]

'Floaty Platformer'

Main article: Densetsu no Starfy (GBC)

Hitoshi Yamagami and Yasuhiro Minamimoto's first work together was on producing a 'floaty platformer' game that was originally a balloon-lifting game for the Game Boy. Hitoshi Yamagami received a directive from his boss to make it but had difficulties on having the balloon move where it was intended to. According to Hitoshi Yamagami, it turned out to be an "annoying game that wasn't any fun at all". Hitoshi Yamagami asked his boss if he could operate the balloon itself and he approved his request. In a 2009 conference call between Nintendo Life and six developers of The Legendary Starfy, Hitoshi Yamagami states that he worked on the idea of a floating character being pushed through a maze for six months. It is unclear whether he is referring to the balloon or not.

When Hitoshi Yamagami met Yasuhiro Minamimoto, they decided that using a water based character would be a good idea, as long as that character fit the environment. Initially they came up with the idea of changing the balloon into a bubble with a Nintendo character in it, but this apparently "wasn't a very practical setup". Later they talked about making the bubble itself into a character, and a jellyfish and a starfish were proposed. A starfish was chosen for the game. This game would eventually become Densetsu no Starfy for the Game Boy Color and later for the Game Boy Advance. Starfy was originally a starfish, but plans were carried out so that he would fall from the sky unlike an actual starfish.


The Legendary Starfy series

Other Games

List derived from the Kyoto Report and The Mushroom Kingdom. There are possibly more on the Japanese Wikipedia article.

External links


  • Hitoshi Yamagami wanted to sell the Starfy series overseas from the first game, but the game staff "just couldn't make it fit in with the North American climate". He explains that the reason why the games prior to The Legendary Starfy weren't released in North America was because the details in the stories and games were "geared too much towards Japanese players" and the team didn't think the games would "resonate with players overseas". [8]
  • When asked by Nintendo Power how "Starfy and Kirby would get along if they met one another?", Hitoshi replied "since Starfy and Kirby are both very friendly" "don't you think they would become friends right away?". He notes that Kirby is "very active in the sky", in the same way Starfy is "very active in the sea". [9]
  • With The Legendary Starfy, Hitoshi Yamagami feels that the game "is like his own child", and with the North American release, he feels like "his own child [was] making a major debut".


  1. Interviews: Nintendo/TOSE - The Legendary Starfy - DS News @ Nintendo Life (with insight about the development of Densetsu no Starfy).
  2. Metroid Database:: Developer Profile : Yoshio Sakamoto.
  3. Kyoto Report - Hitoshi Yamagami.
  4. Sin and Punishment credits on GameFAQs.
  5. 『超操縦メカMG』:スタッフリスト (in Japanese) - Transcription of credits hosted on shelloop.
  6. 超操縦メカMG RTA(スタッフロール含 2 02) Part6/6 - Niconico Video GINZA (staff roll starting at 23:38).
  7. Play Nintendo - Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. Roundtable - Youtube, Nintendo's channel.
  8. Nintendo Power magazine, Volume 244, Future Publishing, August 2009 (File:NP244_Starfy p72-73.jpg).
  9. Nintendo Power magazine, Volume 244, Future Publishing, August 2009 (File:NP244_Starfy p74.jpg).