Cover art of Shantae
|Release date(s)||Game Boy Color
July 18, 2013
Shantae is a platform video game developed by WayForward Technologies and published by Capcom for the Game Boy Color. Released in 2002, it became obscure due to its release coming a year after that of the Game Boy Advance; however, it did show support for the new handheld, as special features are available when played on a Game Boy Advance. The game was re-released via the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console on July 18, 2013. A sequel, Shantae: Risky's Revenge, was released for DSiWare in 2010, with an iOS port released in 2011 and a PC port coming in 2013. Two additional games, Shantae and the Pirate's Curse and Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, are currently in development.
The game's story focuses on a young "half-genie" by the name of Shantae. Having been appointed as the Guardian Genie of a small fishing town, Shantae's life is fairly quiet. That quickly changes when a gang of pirates, led by the sinister Risky Boots, attacks the town and steals a prototype steam engine from the town's resident Relic Hunter, Mimic.
Shantae soon finds herself traveling far and wide across Sequin Land, determined to retrieve the steam engine and foil Risky's wicked plan.
- Shantae – The heroine, a young half-genie charged with protecting the fishing port of Scuttle Town. Young and somewhat naïve, Shantae's strong sense of justice nonetheless propels her into action. Her main form of offense is using her magically endowed ponytail as a crude whip. In addition, she is capable of transforming into various creatures (a monkey, an elephant, a spider and a harpy) via the use of magical dances. Having failed to protect Scuttle Town from Risky Boots, Shantae finds herself obligated to find Risky and get the stolen steam engine back.
- Risky Boots – The nefarious pirate Risky Boots, and Shantae's nemesis, is known throughout Sequin Land for her love of wealth, power, and all shiny things. Risky is an unchallenged and self-appointed 'queen of the Seven Seas', and will caution and toll anyone to think otherwise. Risky is a villain with the skills and luck usually reserved for the good guys. Capable, dominating, and deadly, Risky isn't afraid to claim what's not hers. She commands an endless army of Tinkerbats who follow her orders without question, building her weapons of war and scavenging the resources that make her schemes become reality.
- Tinker Bats – Tinkerbats are Risky's silent shadow army. Individually they are not very formidable in battle, and therefore tend to huddle in groups of 3 or more. They are intelligent and skillful, yet skittish and non-communicative. Their loyalty knows no bounds, and like drones serving a queen they act as an extension of Risky's will. Where Risky harvests her Tinkerbats is unknown.
- Mimic – Old Uncle Mimic is one of the Relic Hunters... a consortium of explorers that attempt to advance the future by excavating secrets of the past. Mimic is the closest thing Shantae has to a family. He lives in his workshop in Scuttle Town, where he houses hundreds of ancient objects. Since townsfolk tend to be skeptical and stand-offish to Relic Hunters (and genies), he and Shantae make a great pair. Shantae makes Mimic her project, and refuses to let him grow old, sloppy, or comfortable. Although she can get on his nerves at times, Mimic genuinely loves Shantae and strives to keep her safe. Although Shantae has no idea, Mimic is a retired hero of days long gone and still contains dormant skills that could awaken if provoked.
- Bolo – Shantae's sparring partner is a slow-witted knucklehead with a serious lack of reasoning skills. He's hardly awake until he springs into action...usually at the chance to be a hero. As a fighter, Bolo is very efficient and skillful, as though these moments of competence are sustained by his regular state of mental hibernation. Bolo has eyes for Risky Boots and nearly anything else remotely female, although a brotherly comfort level keeps Shantae outside his level of vision. Bolo is commonly used as a punching bag or stool pigeon by Rotty, Sky and Shantae. Mimic often uses Bolo as an errand boy, which given his single track mind works fairly well.
- Sky – Shantae's lifelong friend and ally, Sky is a war bird trainer whose profitable egg hunts often span the known reaches of Sequin Land. Sky can't wait for Shantae to see more of the world and life's surprises, and seems to be in a hurry to grow up. Sky is a sort of desert rat, always nesting in out of the way places at length. For this reason, Shanatae and Sky have tend to have more unexpected reunions than they do planned visits. Even apart, their friendship is a strong one, and Sky's opinions hold equal value to Uncle Mimic's in Shantae's mind. Sky keeps a war bird named Wrench, and she is rarely seen without him. Wrench is a dangerous weapon, and is totally reliable, even following Shantae's orders. For some reason, Wrench regards Bolo as prey, and takes every opportunity to prove it.
- Rottytops – Rotty is a free sprit... friendly, energetic, and headstrong. However, she is also extremely untrustworthy, crafty, and manipulative. She loves ruffling peoples feathers or guiding then down the wrong path. She's a tease and a shameless flirt on a near-criminal level, and her scruples know no boundaries. As a family member in a Zombie Clan, Rotty travels the land by caravan gaining worldly skills and threatening to eat peoples brains. She has 2 nasty brothers that seem capable of bringing out the worst in her whenever they're all together. Rotty is obsessed with Shantae, and the challenge of corrupting her pure nature.
Shantae was generally well-received by critics. IGN gave the game a 9 out of 10, calling it a "wonderful platform adventure". GameSpot scored it a 7.7 out of 10, claiming it to be a "fine example" of a portable platformer. However, Game Informer's Andy McNamara gave it a 3/10, saying "the game just isn't compelling enough to keep you playing." Game Informer's Ben Reeves meanwhile called it the 15th best Game Boy game and felt that it was overlooked. GamesRadar listed Shantae as one of the titles they want in the 3DS Virtual Console.[dead link]
On September 15, 2009, a sequel titled Shantae: Risky's Revenge was revealed as a downloadable DSiWare title on Nintendo of America's 2009 Holiday lineup, with a tentative 2009 Q4 release date. Details on the 3-part episodic sequels were revealed in the November 2009 issue of Nintendo Power. However, plans for the episodic release were cancelled, and the game was instead released as a stand-alone sequel for a title to be available on DSiWare on October 4, 2010. The game was later ported to iOS and Microsoft Windows.
A fourth title, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, has also been announced for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One; the game was successfully crowdfunded via Kickstarter, receiving over $800,000, doubling its initial goal, and is still receiving additional funding as of March 2014 through PayPal on the company's official website.
Shantae Advance, also known as Shantae 2: Risky Revolution, was a sequel that was in development for the Game Boy Advance, but was canceled after not being picked up by a publisher. A demo of the first world was developed, and while not released to the public, WayForward streamed a full playthrough of it on October 3, 2013, as part of a promotion for the crowdfunding of Half-Genie Hero.
Shantae Advance was planned to consist of eight chapters of gameplay split over seven towns, six islands, and six labyrinths; this was estimated to take about twenty hours to play through. In addition to the regular gameplay, six minigames and a multiplayer battle mode were planned.
Four of the labyrinths were supposed to be based on the four seasons; the first labyrinth, which was featured in the demo, was based on autumn, and its hub room was filled with falling autumn leaves. A recurring miniboss in the autumn labyrinth was a blue enemy that slept in a sarcophagus until the player solved a puzzle to open it; as it attacked by pulling Shantae over its knee and spanking her, it was nicknamed "Spanky Joe" during the stream.
The story of Shantae Advance involved Risky having her Tinkerbats dig under Sequin Land, and putting a pillar in the middle, allowing the land to be rotated. This could be used in the gameplay to rotate the world, lining up the foreground with objects in the background, thus giving the player access to new areas.
New gameplay elements for Shantae Advance included the ability to move between the foreground and background, swimming, flying in 3D on Sky's bird Wrench's back, and some new forms for Shantae to transform into; these included a spider, a crab, and a mermaid; the first two are under consideration to be brought back for Half-Genie Hero, and the latter was brought back in Risky's Revenge.
As with the original game, Shantae Advance was developed by Matt Bozon on his own time.
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