Lunar Legend is a re-made version of Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete for the Game Boy Advance and was developed by Media Rings Corporation after acquiring the rights to produce a handheld adaptation of Game Arts' role-playing game. The game was announced in a November 2001 issue of Japanese Weekly Famitsu magazine as a "powered up" version of the original Sega-CD and the 32-bit versions, with changes that would benefit players on the go and provide new story materials for veteran fans. Because of the game's limited 8-megabyte cart size, many features standard to the Lunar series such as voice acting and video sequences were omitted, with Media Rings instead utilizing real-time cutscenes using larger, more detailed character sprites to tell the story. Still images taken directly from Silver Star Story Complete's animated videos would appear at certain points during the game to give it a more cinematic feel. Game Arts' primary goal in co-developing the new version was to provide the previous game's music, art, and script for Media Ring's use. The Lunar series' producer Yoichi Miyaji joined the development team as a consultant, along with several other members of the Game Arts staff, in assisting project director Hisashi Sugawara in crafting a new vision of the game that would retain the same feel as previous adaptations. The game was originally scheduled for a March 2002 release, but was pushed back to the following April for last-minute changes.
The North American version became the first English Lunar title to not be produced by Working Designs, with company president Victor Ireland passing on the project for undisclosed reasons. During the 2002 IEMA Executive Summit, Ubisoft Entertainment announced they had acquired the publishing rights to Lunar Legend, with an initial release date of November 2002. Ubisoft's script remained closer to the original Japanese version than previous English endeavors, but retained Working Designs' character names and overall light-hearted tone. Rather than develop their own official Lunar Legend website, Ubisoft approached Mickey Shannon, webmaster of Lunar series fansite LunarNET, to create and host the game's official English page on his server.