The star tokens system is a game mechanic in the Hot Air series.

In each level of the Hot Air games, there are a certain amount of stars placed around the level. Usually these stars are in hard to reach or dangerous places, creating a challenge for the player. Collecting all these stars and completing the level grants the player a star token for that level.


Hot Air/Hot Air 2

In the first Hot Air game and in Hot Air 2, the star tokens look no different from Stars. They were small, yellow stars with black eyes and a red, open mouth; it appears to be smiling.

Hot Air Jr.

In Hot Air Jr, Star tokens were given a huge makeover (much like everything else in the game), and were very distinguishable from normal Stars. The star tokens were large stars with white eyes, and two bushy, brown eyebrows. Also, they sported a two-piece mustache underneath their eyes.

Game information

Hot Air

Hot Air level select screen

The level select screen prior to collecting any tokens

Placed throughout each level of Hot Air are stars. Once the player has collected all the stars in a level and then completes the level, they will be taken back to the level select screen where a spinning image of a star token appears over the level they just completed, signifying that they have collected all the stars in the level.

On the level select screen there are four rows that overall contain twenty levels that are accessible the normal way (by completing the level prior to it), but the last row of five levels are levels that can only be unlocked by collecting a certain amount of star tokens. Over each of these level images is a picture of a large gold star with the number of tokens needed to unlock the level in it.

HA Star spinning

After collecting a star token

If a player collects ten star tokens, they will unlock the first "star-token locked" level. The next is unlocked by collecting fourteen, then eighteen, twenty-two, and finally twenty-four (all the star tokens in the game). The last two (twenty-two and twenty-four) are able to be unlocked because the levels that were previously unlocked by star tokens contain stars within them as well.

Hot Air 2

In Hot Air 2, on the bottom of the level select screen where the level number and name are shown, the star token for that level is shown as well. If the player has not collected the star token in the level, an image of a transparent star token with a sad face will appear next to the level number. Once collecting all the stars in the level, however, the transparent star will change to the regular sprite of a star token.

Star Counter HA2

The star token counter

HA2 Locked path

A locked path

On the level select screen, the number of star tokens collected in game is displayed in a small black counter on the top right with a picture of a star token next to it.

In the level, once the player collects the last star token, the words "Stars Collected" will briefly appear in the middle of the screen. After reaching the red pad, the level ending pop up will appear, giving the player a 1000 point bonus for collecting all the stars. Regardless of whether they completed the level with all stars or not, completing the level for the first time also grants a new balloon.

In addition to unlocking extra balloon designs, star tokens will unlock extra levels as well. Along the path in the level select screen of Hot Air 2, there are split-offs to levels that can only be unlocked by collecting a certain amount of star tokens. These levels are blocked by a padlock until the player collects the correct amount of star tokens, shown on billboard to the side of the path. Once enough are collected, the padlock will disappear and the levels that become playable.

Levels unlocked via star tokens

Hot Air Jr

HAJ Star Token

The animation after collecting all stars

HAJ star counter

The star token counter

In Hot Air Jr, the star token counter was found in the top left of the screen while in the level select area. It showed a picture of a star token, next to a white box that would show the number of star tokens collected out of seventeen. Going near each level door will cause a white speech bubble to pop up, showing the player if they have obtained the star token, and their best score for that level.

After finishing a level, the Level ending pop up will appear, and in it show a little image of a five-pointed star, with each of the stars collected going into one point of the star. If all the spots are filled, there is a flash of light and large star token appears in the middle.

Levels 13-15 in the upper room of the house each need a certain amount of star tokens to unlock. Level 13 requires two, level 14 requires six, and level 15 requires twelve.

Ending for collecting all stars

Penguin 1

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If the player collects all the stars in the entire game, the following image will pop up:
Jr Ending All Stars