Shantae

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This article is about the video game series. For the first video game in the series, see Shantae (video game).
Shantae
Shantae series logo.png
Genres Platform
Developers WayForward Technologies
Publishers Capcom (Game Boy Color),
WayForward Technologies (all other releases)
Creators Erin Bozon, Matt Bozon
Composers Jake Kaufman
Platforms Game Boy Color, Nintendo DSi, iOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox One, Android
Platform of origin Game Boy Color
Year of inception 2002
First release Shantae
June 2, 2002
Latest release Shantae and the Pirate's Curse
October 23, 2014

Shantae is a series of platform video games developed by WayForward Technologies, with the first title having originally been distributed by Capcom. The main character of the series, a half-genie named Shantae, was created by Erin Bozon, while the games themselves were created from this character by her husband Matt Bozon. The series currently consists of three games: Shantae (2002), Shantae: Risky's Revenge (2010) and Shantae and the Pirate's Curse (2014). A fourth installment, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, was announced in September 2013 which will be released in Q4 2016.[1]

Set in the fictional world of Sequin Land, the series follows Shantae as she tries to protect her hometown Scuttle Town, and more generally Sequin Land as a whole, from various threats, which generally involve to some extent her nemesis, the lady pirate Risky Boots. The setting, despite various fantasy, dark fantasy and steampunk elements, mostly displays oriental-inspired esthetics. All games involve collecting new powers and items, which vary from game to game, to strengthen Shantae and unlock access to new areas.

Although releasing to strong reviews, the first game sunk into obscurity, its poor sales generally being attributed to its late release on the Game Boy Color, which at the time had already been replaced by the Game Boy Advance. After several years in the vault, the series resurfaced in 2010 with Risky's Revenge, and has since enjoyed more commercial success and a growth in popularity. The entire series has always met with constant critical support, and is considered the flagship series of WayForward Technologies and sometimes the American indie video gaming scene as a whole.[2]

History[edit]

The character of Shantae was created by Erin Bell, the future wife of Matt Bozon, the game's creator. In 1994, while both were engaged, Erin got a flash of inspiration while coming back from her camp counsellor days, and created the character, naming her "Shantae" after one of the campers, as well as developed her dancing abilities. Matt later asked her what she would come up with if she was to create a video game character, and she introduced him to Shantae. Matt liked the idea and fleshed out the mythology and cast of the game. Erin also imagined that the character could summon or charm animals by belly-dancing. This would later become the basis for the transformation dances. Matt has provided two contradictory stories about how the idea for the hair whip came to be; in one, he said he was inspired by the nine-foot-long hair of his future wife, while in the other he claims that Erin's sketches already featured Shantae using her hair as a weapon when she showed him the original concept.[2][3]

Matt Bozon has stated that his main influences for the game series are Castlevania, Aladdin, Mega Man, The Legend of Zelda and anime, mostly Ranma ½ which he claims as a heavy influence, and others like Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, Hayao Miyazaki's films, and G1 Pokémon, as well as 80s cartoons like DuckTales or The Transformers,[2][4] while Erin Bozon's main influence was I Dream of Jeannie. The signature catchphrase from the franchise, "Ret-2-Go", was created by a friend of them who kept using it when they were working on animation clean up for the Warner Bros. animated film The Iron Giant, and the expression made its way into the script as an inside joke[citation needed]. Matt also elaborated a bit on the development of Sky's character, who was initially named "Twitch" and had a different appearance. She was altered later on in development, and the original Twitch character served as the basis for a similarly-named character and her friend in Shantae and the Pirate's Curse.[2]

When asked about whether the Shantae series was conceived as pushing feminist values because of its strong female cast, Matt Bozon acknowledged that he liked to portray the Shantae world as having the girls "run the show" and not be defined solely by their appearances. While he admitted that the female characters near-universally had a deliberately sexy design to them, and the male characters often displayed a variety of weaknesses, he also said that he just liked depicting Shantae's world this way "for no precise reason", and that it was certainly possible that strong male characters could appear later in the franchise's future.[2]

Games[edit]

Aggregate review scores
As of June 28, 2016.
Game GameRankings Metacritic
Shantae (GBC) 77.88%[5]
Shantae: Risky's Revenge (WIIU) 87.50%[6]
(NDS) 86.33%[7]
(iOS) 83.00%[8]
(PS4) 75.91%[9]
(NDS) 85[10]
(WIIU) 77[11]
(iOS) 75[12]
(PS4) 74[13]
Shantae and the Pirate's Curse (WIIU) 84.17%[14]
(3DS) 83.75%[15]
(XONE) 82.80%[16]
(PS4) 75.57%[17]
(WIIU) 85[18]
(3DS) 82[19]
(XONE) 79[20]
(PS4) 75[21]

Shantae (2002)[edit]

Main article: Shantae (video game)

The first game in the series, Shantae was released for the Game Boy Color in 2002, and was met with generally positive responses. However, according to director Matt Bozon, the game sold poorly, due in part to releasing after the Game Boy Advance. However, the game has since gained significant recognition, with some reviewers considering it one of the best games released for the Game Boy Color.

The game was re-released for the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console on July 18, 2013.

Shantae: Risky's Revenge (2010)[edit]

The second game in the series, Shantae: Risky's Revenge was released for the Nintendo DSi via the system's DSiWare service in 2010, and was later ported to iOS in 2011. The game received positive reviews, being awarded the Best Visuals[22] and Best DS Game [23] awards for 2010 from IGN.

An enhanced port, titled Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Director's Cut, was released for Microsoft Windows on June 14, 2014, PlayStation 4 on June 23, 2015, and for Wii U on March 24, 2016.

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse (2014)[edit]

The third game in the series, Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, was released for Nintendo 3DS on October 23, 2014, and for Wii U on December 25, 2014, both via the Nintendo eShop. The game received critical acclaim, and was featured in the best sellers list on the 3DS eShop soon after release.[24]

Shantae: Half-Genie Hero (2016)[edit]

The fourth game in the series, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is planned to be released in Q4 2016 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, and Xbox One.

Other games[edit]

Some characters from the series have made crossover appearances in other games: Shantae's nemesis, Risky Boots, is featured in the Kickstarter-funded Hyper Light Drifter by Heart Machine, in a backer-exclusive quest, as part of a mutual support action between the funding campaign for this game and that of Half-Genie Hero.[25] Shantae herself will be featured as a playable supporting character in the crowdfunded game Indivisible by Lab Zero Games.[26] Shantae appeared as a guest character in Mutant Mudds Super Challenge[27] and in Runbow as a downloadable guest character.[28] In WarioWare D.I.Y., Shantae appeared in a Microgame called Shantae NAB.[citation needed]

Cancelled games[edit]

Shantae Advance[edit]

Plans for a sequel to Shantae started soon after its release. 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.[29]

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. 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.[29]

New gameplay elements for Shantae Advance included the ability to move between the foreground and background, swimming, flying in 3D on the back of Sky's bird Wrench, and some new forms for Shantae to transform into; these included a new version of the spider, a crab, and a mermaid; the first two are under consideration to be brought back for Shantae: 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.[29]

Shantae: Risky Waters[edit]

Another attempt at a Shantae sequel was Shantae: Risky Waters, a game planned for the Nintendo DS with experimental gameplay taking advantage of the double screen function of the console. Plans were scrapped after WayForward failed to find a publisher as well.[30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Shantae Half-Genie Hero". Nintendo.com. Nintendo. Retrieved December 17, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Isaac, Chris (December 2, 2015). "Interview: Shantae Co-Creator Matt Bozon Discusses the Series' Future & Shantae in Super Smash Bros.". The Mary Sue. The Mary Sue. Retrieved December 2, 2015. 
  3. ^ Whitehead, Thomas (September 12, 2013). "WayForward Fought "Many, Many Battles" to Keep Shantae as a Lead Character". Nintendo Life. Nlife Ltd. Retrieved June 18, 2014. 
  4. ^ GG-AngelThanatos (September 9, 2013). "The Kickstart - Shantae Is Back In 1/2 Genie Hero". Girl Gamer. Girl Gamer. Archived from the original on September 17, 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Shantae Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Shantae: Risky's Revenge – Director's Cut Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Shantae: Risky's Revenge Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Shantae: Risky's Revenge Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Shantae: Risky's Revenge – Director's Cut Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Shantae: Risky's Revenge Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Shantae: Risky's Revenge – Director's Cut Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Shantae: Risky's Revenge Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Shantae: Risky's Revenge – Director's Cut Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Shantae and the Pirate's Curse Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Shantae and the Pirate's Curse Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Shantae and the Pirate's Curse Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Shantae and the Pirate's Curse Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Shantae and the Pirate's Curse Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Shantae and the Pirate's Curse Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Shantae and the Pirate's Curse Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Shantae and the Pirate's Curse Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Best Visuals 2010 - Shantae: Risky's Revenge - DS - IGN". Bestof.ign.com. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  23. ^ "Best DS Game of the Year 2010 - Shantae: Risky's Revenge - DS - IGN". Bestof.ign.com. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  24. ^ "WayForward on Twitter: "#Shantae and the #PiratesCurse is on the Best Sellers for Nintendo eShop 3DS! Join the fun! "". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  25. ^ James Cunningham (2013). "Hyper Light Half-Genie Kickstarter Crossover". Hardcore Gamer LLC. Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  26. ^ Jonathan Holmes (2015). "Shantae shimmies her way into the world of Indivisible". ModernMethod/Destructoid LLC. Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  27. ^ "Mutant Mudds tweet". Mutant Mudds twitter account. March 28, 2016. Archived from the original on June 22, 2016. 
  28. ^ Jose Otero (2016). "E3 2016: 4 Wii U, 3DS Games You Shouldn't Miss This Year". Ziff Davis, LLC. Archived from the original on June 15, 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-16. 
  29. ^ a b c WayForward TV - 24hr Marathon! - World Premiere: Shantae GBA!. WayForward. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  30. ^ "The Flop That Inspired 'Contra 4′ And 'Duck Amuck'; 'Hot Coffee' Sequel; And More, In GameFile". Viacom International Inc. 2007. Retrieved 2014-11-06.