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Videogame: Shantae

In the quiet Port Town of Scuttle Town, in the far-off Magical Land known as Sequin Land, a cute purple-haired half-genie with magical dancing powers at her disposal fights off evil. Released in 2002 near the extreme end of the Game Boy Color's lifespan, Shantae is WayForward Technologies' love letter to the Metroidvania genre. The series stars the eponymous Shantae, a sassy half-genie who works as the guardian of the town of Scuttle Town. Her arsenal? Her Prehensile Hair and her magical belly-dancing. Seriously.

There are currently three games in the series (all for Nintendo consoles), with one more coming in the future (which will be for ... well, everything).

  • Shantae: One day, the evil pirate captain Risky Boots raids Scuttle Town with her army of Tinkerbats and steals the Steam Engine, one of the creations of Shantae's Gadgeteer Genius Uncle Mimic. With it, she plans to build an enormous machine with which she can use to take over the world—but in order to do so, she needs the Four Elemental Stones. It's up to Shantae to track them down before she does. The game is available on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console.
  • A sequel called Shantae: Risky's Revenge was released on Nintendo's DSiWare service for the Nintendo DSi on October 4, 2010. This time around, Risky has her sights set on a magic lamp recently unearthed by Mimic. Despite failing to prevent its theft and getting fired as the town's guardian genie, Shantae vows to recover the magic seals on the lamp and prevent Risky from using it herself.(Trailer here, soundtrack trailer here) In early September 2011, WayForward released a teaser e-mail implying that a Shantae title would soon be released on iOS devices, which was later revealed to be a port of Risky's Revenge. A Steam release of Risky's Revenge for PC was released on July 15th, 2014.
  • Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, a direct sequel released October 23, 2014, starts off with Shantae adjusting to her new lifestyle when Risky reappears. Due to the events of Risky's Revenge, 20 of Risky's Tinkerbats have gained magical powers turning into Cacklebats, overthrew Risky and plan to resurrect her former mentor, the Pirate Master. As per usual in situations like this, Shantae and Risky must join forces and defeat the Cacklebats to prevent this from happening. An International Co Production with Inti Creates. The game was released for both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.
  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, a brand new HD installment in the series, which was successfully funded via Kickstarter and can still be funded via Paypal for stretch goals. It is set to be released on all major home consoles of the eighth generation, as well as PC (through Steam), PlayStation 3, Play Station Vita, and Xbox 360. Like Pirate's Curse, it's being co-developed by Inti Creates.

This game series provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

  • Action Girl: Shantae herself.
  • All Anime Is Naughty Tentacles: When describing the Dribble Fountain boss to her uncle in her Character Blog.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Well, aside from a palette-glitching trick that causes NPCs to turn funny colors, Risky Boots is almost as purple as Shantae's hair.
    • Rottytops has green skin, because she's a zombie.
  • Ambiguously Brown / Depending on the Artist: Shantae's skin tone has not been consistent but she's noticeably paler in the pre-release material for Half Genie Hero. Matt Bozon explained in an interview that this was a mistake caused by the lighting engine they're using, which was easier to tinker around with if the base color of the test character was light, and was never intended to be part of the final image. Alas, the uncolored test model was what the initial pre-release material based their art on, leading to a pale Shantae. Wayforward have confirmed they will fix this based on fan feedback and later pre-release images has her Ambiguously Brown again.
  • Animesque: The games' style is interestingly eclectic — like sticking Japanese characters into Disney's version of Aladdin.
  • Animorphism: Shantae can turn into animals in order to access new areas.
  • Another Side, Another Story: Risky Boots gets her own story in Half-Genie Hero. One of the stretch goals (which has now been reached) gives Rottytops, Bolo, and Sky their own story modes too.
  • Art Shift: Half Genie Hero has a cuter artstyle where everyone has larger heads and shorter necks possible due to Graphics-Induced Super-Deformed.
  • Badass: Shantae, killing armies of pirates, demons and undead with her hair since 2002.
    • Badass Normal: Shantae loses her powers at the end of Risky's Revenge and in Pirate's Curse has to rely on pirate equipment.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Every single one of the major female characters is young and cute enough to get away with this. Even some of the female mooks get into it.
  • Belly Dancer: This is actually how Shantae transforms into her various animal forms.
  • Big, Badass Bird of Prey: Sky, a falconer, trains these. Her favorite bird is Wrench (who can act as a wrench). He was at an absurd size in the GBA demo.
  • Book Ends: When traveling to the first dungeon of Shantae the in-universe game clock will inevitably change to nighttime, prompting the music track "Night Travel 2" to play and making all the foes in Scarecrow Fields and Tangle Forest more dangerous. When travelling to the final dungeon of Pirate's Curse, the Pirate Master blots out the sun, you fight your way through those same two areas filled with tougher enemies, and an updated remix of "Night Travel 2" begins to rock your speakers.
  • Bottomless Pits: All. Frigging. Over. Interestingly, the Float Muffin item actually renders them harmless to you for a short period of time—and you actually need to use it in one place to cross a long, un-crossable Bottomless Pit to reach a Heart Container. In Risky's Revenge, they conveniently emit skulls with crossbones.
  • Bottomless Pit Rescue Service: Float Muffins, mentioned above.
  • The Cameo:
    • Shantae in her monkey form made one in a WarioWare minigame.
    • For those who backed with pledges over $12 on Kickstarter will get a code and The Drifter from Hyper Light Drifter will make a cameo in Half-Genie Hero in Risky Mode to give her a quest. In exchange, backers of Hyper Light Drifter will get a Risky cameo and sidequest in that game.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Not only did Risky's weapons once belong to her old boss, the Pirate Master, her iconic skull bra and jaw belt, seen in all the games, were his face!
  • The Chick: Keeping with the game's whole "girl power" theme, Bolo serves as this.
  • Character Title/Protagonist Title
  • Collision Damage
  • Cute Monster Girl: For starters, there's Shantae herself, including some of her alternate forms. Then there's people like Rottytops and other members of the Zombie Caravan. Also quite a few female Mooks, like the Nagas and the Archers... Basically, Cute Monster Girls are kinda all over the place, with the majority being of the zombie variety.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Sometimes Shantae just stands there during cutscenes.
  • Dark Action Girl: Risky Boots, Shantae's archnemesis.
  • Dash Attack: The Elephant transformation can do this to destroy obstacles and enemies. Replaced with Risky's Boots in Pirate's Curse, though you need to charge it by running nonstop for a few seconds.
  • invokedDeleted Scene: That's what WayForward calls it, but you can tell it's just for fun.
  • Directionally Solid Platforms
  • Epic Flail: Bolo's weapon.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: The first spell you get turns Shantae into a monkey.
  • Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods:
    • Warp Squids and Warp Squid-like objects are common finds in Sequin Land.
    • The sequel has the Squid Baron. He has a Heel-Face Turn and will help you in exchange for finding his golden babies.
  • Evil Laugh: The "Ho ho ho!" Risky lets out whenever she does something dastardly doesn't sound like most villains' Evil Laughs, but it still qualifies.
  • Exploding Barrels: The boss battles against Risky's ship would be a lot harder if she didn't put these within hair whipping distance.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Characters won't fear cold despite being rather inappropriately dressed in icy places.
  • Fake Difficulty: There's plenty of it in the first game. The most obvious example being the enemies in the first real area that love to jump out of the ground directly below you, damaging you. There is absolutely no way to avoid it aside from never being close to the ground, which happens to be impossible until very late in the game. Some enemies like to use homing shockwave attacks before you can see them. Due to how little of the surrounding area the game shows, since the sprites are so big, there are a lot of Leaps of Faith. Some enemies hover just above where you can see them, so if you're unlucky and jump near them, you get an unavoidable hit. Sometimes it's impossible to tell where you can land, meaning you can hit enemies or other, instant death-inducing, hazards. Averted in Risky's Revenge, which even shows you which holes that are harmful.
  • Fetch Quest: A few in the games.
    • Finding baby squids and coffee in Risky's Revenge.
    • In The Pirate's Curse of of the quests help provides a short cut in one of the islands.
  • First Town: Scuttle Town.
  • Flash of Pain: Some enemies and bosses do that when hit, others don't. In Risky's Revenge, all the enemies flash.
  • Gainaxing: It actually really shows off both games' gorgeous animation, especially considering the limits of the Game Boy Color. Shantae will even adjust her top if you stand idle for a while in Risky's Revenge.
  • Game Over Woman: Risky shows up on the Game Over screen in the first and second games.
  • Genki Girl: Rottytops. She's basically a zombie cheerleader/pirate girl who loves brains, especially Shantae's.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Uncle Mimic.
  • The Goomba: Tinkerbat pirates and their variations are pretty easy to defeat. Lampshaded in the manual which describes them as pretty lousy pirates. Surprisingly however the Easter Egg Tinkerbat transformation is extremely powerful and versatile.
  • Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen: Happened in her Twitter posts. Turns out, Bolo buried them after taking one look at her Empty Piles of Clothing and thinking that she melted.
  • Green Hill Zone: The areas outside Scuttle Town—at least, toward the east. Toward the West, and it's more of a Death Mountain.
  • Ground Pound: The Elephant transformation gains one of these if you hunt out its super attack.
  • Guide Dang It: It is a Metroidvania, after all, but it's moreso needed for the plethora of items you are looking for to get 100% rather than a complex labyrinth maze you need to navigate.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Shantae is half-human, half-genie. And all adorable!
  • Happily Adopted: Shantae and her beloved Uncle Mimic.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: Boss battles in the games are often simple affairs save for the Final Boss, in contrast to the levels that are filled with painful enemies and tricky jumps over pits and spikes.
  • Harping On About Harpies: A transformation that lets Shantae fly.
  • Heart Container: Heart Holders, actually.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Every time something bad happens that Shantae was unable to prevent, she beats herself up over it because she thinks her Half-Genie powers are no good for protecting anyone. In Pirate's Curse she thinks she's a bad role model with her short temper and Bedlah Babe outfit.
  • Hot Wind: Seems that even the wind likes Sky.
  • Human Mom, Non-Human Dad: Inverted. Shantae's mommy was a genie and her daddy was human.
  • Idle Animation: In Shantae Advance demo videos, she would re-tie her waist and adjust her top. In Risky's Revenge, she adjusts her top in a different way.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: In dungeons.
  • Interface Spoiler: The sequel averts this by having spots on your inventory screen simply not exist until you have the item that goes there. The original, however, played it straight: It was pretty obvious from the start there were twelve items, four dungeons, and four other things. The dance screen also shows you all the transformations and towns ahead of time.
    • The sequel still plays it straight, as its map gives away the fact that the game is smaller in scale compared to the original. You can tell how close you are towards the end of the game by keeping up with what sections you haven't explored yet.
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: Most of the females.
  • Justified Save Point: Save Guys (yes, Save Guys) appear on the overworld in various locations, keeping track of our heroine's progress.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: The Flashbolt attack and the Fireball magic family.
  • Kick the Dog: Well, hair-whip the dog, in Risky's Revenge. You even get gems and a Steam achievement for it! In a less literal sense you also get an achievement for withholding the dog from its master.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The fact that Shantae is Brought Down to Normal at the end of Risky's Revenge is such in Pirate's Curse.
  • Leitmotif: The first few seconds of the title theme are reused quite a bit in Risky's Revenge.
  • Let's Play: On YouTube, a user named Brickroad did a 59-part Let's Play of Shantae. You can find it here. WayForward actually linked to this LP on their official site... and when they heard that Brickroad would be unable to play Risky's Revenge because he didn't have a DSi, they bought him one. Several of the LP's injokes even make it into Risky's Revenge!
    • A guy called SilverDSlite did a Let's Play of the sequel on YouTube, claiming it to be the first Risky's Revenge LP on the site. It can be found here.
    • Brickroad has also done his own Let's Play of Risky's Revenge, using the iOS version, apparently at the behest of WayForward.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Bolo sees Shantae like sister so she is out of his level of vision.
  • Lovable Girl Maniac: Bolo, pretty much. He has a crush on Risky, thinks Rottytops is cute, and brags that good looks run in his family — just look at his grandmother...
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: Risky steals all the Relics from Shantae after Shantae collects them all. Shantae expects it to happen again in the sequel, but is surprised when she doesn't.
  • Magic Is Rare; Health Is Cheap: In the first game, the only way to refill skills was to manually purchase more refills. The second game added fairly common magic jar drops instead.
  • Mascot Mook: Risky's Tinkerbat pirates, though they're not so much traditionally cute as much as strange and amusing. You can even turn into one if you play the original game on the Game Boy Advance.
    • Kickstarter/Paypal backers could/can get a Tinkerbat transformation unlock code if they pledge(d) $55 or higher.
  • Mercy Invincibility
  • Ms. Fanservice: Shantae herself and especially Risky.
  • Money Spider
  • Mook Maker: The holes in the walls that continuously drop snake enemies on you.
  • Nintendo Hard: Shantae's default attack is somewhat short-range. Add in the fact that many enemies require multiple hits to beat, and that her normal attack never gets stronger.
    • In the first game, Shantae did not restart the room with full health after dying, and enemies in the overworld had twice as much health at night.
    • Largely alleviated in the sequel; Shantae has much more health, enemies overall have less health, magic items are much more helpful, and her basic attack has a much longer range and can be upgraded at the store.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist/Renaissance Man: Mimic, who is apparently a historian, an engineer and an archaeologist — he found Shantae's lamp while on a dig.
  • One-Gender Race: Genies are Always Female in this universe.
  • Orbiting Particle Shield: The Pike Balls.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Rottytops and the other zombies are as intelligent as anyone else, and maintain their intelligence and sanity by consuming coffee. However, they are not above eating brains, or in Rottytops case, puppies.
  • Parental Abandonment: Shantae's mother was apparently raptured away into the Genie Realm; her father's absence, however, remains a mystery.
  • Pirates
    • Pirate Girl: Risky Boots, and in Pirate's Curse Shantae herself is pressed into becoming one to make up for her lost magic.
  • Port Town: Scuttle Town.
  • Prehensile Hair: Shantae's ponytail is a deadly whip! According to the rules of the 'verse, half-genie powers are almost always "quirky" such as having prehensile hair or being able to shoot milk out of your eye. Risky's Revenge suggests her prehensile hair was inherited from her father or otherwise her own unique skill, and is not a half-genie power; her belly-dancing transformations are.
  • Recurring Riff: "Dance Room" and "Boss Battle" are each remixed in each of the games after the first, though with the removal of the actual dance room the former track serves as Scuttle Town's theme.
  • Red Is Heroic: Shantae's outfit.
  • Seashell Bra: The problem behind this idea is demonstrated in the following post in Shantae's Twitter account when she was trying to find something to cover herself after someone stole her clothes while she was swimming.
  • Reverse Shrapnel: The Pike Ball and Fireball items.
  • Scary Scarecrows: Enemies in the games. In the first game they come out from the tall background grass in certain areas continuously. In Risky's Revenge they can either walk, throw exploding pumpkins, or spew some sort of gas.
  • Schizo Tech:
    • Scuttle Town hasn't reached steam power yet, but there's an automatic coffee machine, and the friendly neighborhood zombies have plastic explosives?!
    • The 4 year old in Scuttle Town who somehow has a digital watch.
    • One of Shantae's remarks in the recap mentions how the first labyrinth boss looks like something from her Uncle's animes.
    • The Ammo Baron's forces are kitted out with tanks, rifles, and "potato masher" stick grenades. He tries to upgrade his artillery to use computerized targeting.
  • Secret Character: The Tinkerbat transformation.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: Shantae was rather self-conscious about her appearance during the official recap, while Risky was flat-out stated to hate modesty in the OST Trailer.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The game does have a vaguely Arabian theme, so deserts are all over the place.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shy Purple Haired Girl: Hinted at in Risky's Revenge.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Mount Pointy in the first game.
  • Snake People: The Naga enemies. Prior to the release of Half-Genie Hero, a Naga form was even demoed and concepted for Shantae herself.
  • Spike Balls of Doom: Shantae's Pike Balls, which orbit around her body when used.
  • Spikes Of Doom: They are in some places. Instant kill.
  • Sprite Comic: There is one made by Matt Bozon in the original Shantae website's Gallery called "Bolo gets Taken Out". In short, it is about the girls of Shantae trying to get a date with Bolo for the Harbor Town Festival the next day but he already is going with Risky. Shantae kicks him in the end.
  • Steampunk: Actually, the onset of Steampunk technology is something you're trying to prevent. Sequin Island is not ready.
  • Stock Femur Bone: Some of the enemies in the original game and Risky's Revenge disintegrate into these when killed.
  • Stripperiffic: Egads. There's even a stripperiffic zombie.
  • Super Drowning Skills: In the first game. She has learned to swim in Risky's Revenge though.
  • Trilogy: The original game, Risky's Revenge and Shantae and the Pirate's Curse are considered the "sprite trilogy".
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: There are a few.
    • In the first game, the (very unforgiving) Racing Minigame against Rottytops.
    • The Shoot 'em Up section in the Sunken Cavern in Risky's Revenge.
    • "Run, Rotty, Run!" in Pirate's Curse, in which Shantae cannot attack AT ALL and must survive a long obstacle course.
  • Wall Crawl: Shantae can do this in her monkey or spider transformations but in different ways for each.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz/Letters 2 Numbers: The Leetspeak-esque "ret-2-go". They used it again in the announcement of a release date for the sequel. In a sense, it is a sort of inside joke for WayForward; they used the same line in their lesser-known game Xtreme Sports.
  • World of Action Girls: Keeping to the game's flavor, the vast majority of strong characters and a lot of the stronger monsters in this game are female. Of the few major male characters, Mimic is rather helpless, and Bolo is a comic relief character. Also, genies are Always Female.
  • You Gotta Have Purple Hair: Shantae and Risky Boots (although Risky's sprite in the first game has purple skin and black hair, thanks to the GBC's limited palette); Rottytops has green hair.
  • Younger Than They Look: Shantae is actually 15/16 years old, despite her looks. The art-style in Half-Genie Hero better reflects this.

    The First Game 
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The water dungeon, Dribble Fountain, definitely has elements of this.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: In the final dungeon.
  • All Deserts Have Cacti: Played straight. The aren't just part of the scenery — you'll take damage if you touch them.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Gender inverted with Bolo, who despite being Shantae's friend, will actively help her Archenemy Risky Boots.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Subverted/Parodied by an NPC at the Zombie Caravan:
    "All Zombie Guys are pigs, they only like girls for their brains!"
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The game begins with Risky attacking Shantae's lighthouse and Scuttle Town. She gets the Tinkerbats to fix her lighthouse at the end.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: At the end of the game, Shantae is invited to the Genie Realm to become a full Genie. However, as this would mean leaving her adopted family and friends forever, she refuses.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Your Charged Attack, while very powerful, takes a long time to charge and is difficult to control.
  • Background Boss: The boss of the Golem Mines.
  • Battleship Raid: The enormous mechanical Tinkertank near the end.
  • Beef Gate: Going immediately West of Scuttle Town in the beginning of the game will send you headlong into the game's naga enemies—who all have a ton of health, fairly quick movements, and a homing screech attack that can kill you dead even from a distance. Since Shantae's main attack never gets stronger, you'll want to stock up on items, get a few Heart Holders, and maybe pick up some Fighter's Equipment before blazing into them. (If you make it past using either brute force or Vanish Cream, you'll find a typical Broken Bridge in the form of a monkey-climbing wall.)
  • Betting Mini-Game: The lizard races.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: The scorpion people in the desert outside Oasis Town. The female variant just swipes at you when you come close, but the males will jab their stinger through the ground to hit you from farther away.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The third dungeon, full of zombies and creepy-crawlies.
  • Bizarrchitecture: There are a few upside-down pyramids floating in the skies above the desert, one of which houses the legendary Spy Scope, which you need to find in order to enter the final dungeon.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Near the end of the game, Risky manages to get Shantae tied up and totally helpless, but leaves her behind unscathed and unsupervised, allowing Shantae to break free from the ropes in about four seconds after Risky leaves.
    • Later, Risky also decides to have Shantae be destroyed by the Tinkertank in what she thinks would be a Hopeless Boss Fight. Unfortunately for her, the Tinkerbats hadn't finished installing weapons or a defense system on the tank, resulting in a very easy Puzzle Boss and all her plans for world domination going up in smoke.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: The Cackle Mound boss, who fights in a room filled with Pit Traps that you could activate by using the Spider form on the switches on the wall.
  • Bound and Gagged: When Risky steals the Relics, she ties Shantae up as she takes them. It's not very effective, as Shantae gets loose a little after Risky leaves.
  • Charged Attack: The Fighter's Cuff allows you to perform one of these.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Anyone with enough money, Genie or otherwise can just buy the Fighter's equipment from Water Town and immediately become a martial arts master.
  • Clowncar Grave: Zombies endlessly spawn from the ground in the Swamp area.
  • Collection Sidequest: Shantae can collect Fireflies hidden all over the world , unlocking a secret dance once she catches all 15 of them.
  • Creepy Cemetery: There is one east of the swamp containing the Cackle Mound, complete with ghosts haunting the gravestones and the surrounding trees.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Dying sends you back to the beginning of a room, while getting a Game Over sends you back to the last save point. All of your items and progress are saved, so the only penalty is time lost walking back to the last area. If you die transformed, you'll even stay in the same animal form. This only applies to the first game.
  • Death Mountain: Oddly, lava-free.
  • Doomed Hometown: Half of Scuttle Town is set on fire by marauding pirates in the opening. Risky attacks specifically because Mimic and, more importantly, his Steam Engine are both located there. Subverted because the town recovers quickly.
  • Dragon Rider: The boss of the Twinkle Palace.
    • Dummied Out: In the Virtual Console release. Unless you know how to access the Debug Mode.
  • Easter Egg: The Tinkerbat transformation, which is only available if you play the game on a Gameboy Advance.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Humanoid crustaceans serve as Elite Mooks in the Dribble Fountain labyrinth.
  • Giant Spider: Shantae herself after gaining the Spider transformation.
  • Goomba Stomp: The Dragon Rider boss is vulnerable to this, in a sky battle reminiscent of Joust.
  • Hailfire Peaks: The third dungeon, part Big Boo's Haunt and part Temple of Doom.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The Zombie Caravan, which is... pretty much exactly what it sounds like.
  • Hollywood Night: Although this one is purple, instead of blue.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: Monsters ramp up the cheap in the night, and towns change. This is dropped in the sequel.
  • Island Base: Serves as the The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • Keep the Reward/Refusing Paradise: At the end of the game, Shantae is given the chance to become a full genie like she's always wanted, but she refuses as it would mean leaving her family and friends forever.
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: Uses a lot of powerful magical items and spells, but is still a kick-ass unarmed fighter while in human form after purchasing the fighter's equipment.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: The Nagas and their homing sonic screams.
  • Meaningful Name: Wrench the bird, as pointed out by Brickroad.
    • Mimic is called "Mimic" due to him making copies of everything he finds as a Relic Hunter, according to an NPC in Water Town at night.
  • Mechanical Monster: The boss of the Cackle Mound.
  • Metroidvania: This was one of the aspects that set the game apart from other GBA titles.
  • Mini-Game: Three: a Rhythm Game, a Betting Mini-Game, and a Racing Minigame (the second variety).
  • Mini-Mecha: There are some Tinkerbats who pilot steam powered "mini-tinkerbots".
  • Monster Town: The Zombie Caravan, a traveling town full of... zombies. Also Bandit Village, many common enemies can be seen in its bar.
  • Non-Nude Bathing: Shantae does this when healing herself in the bath houses.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Risky disguises herself like this at one point of the game.
  • Public Bath House Scene: Shantae heals herself by bathing in city bath houses.
  • Rhythm Game: The Dance Hall minigame.
  • Rolling Attack: The Elite Mooks in the Golem Mine use one to get around, as does the boss of the Cackle Mound whenever you damage him.
  • Sand Worm: One of the enemies in the desert near Oasis Town.
  • Smells Sexy: Bolo starts following Risky just by following her perfume scent.
  • Spin Attack: The Fighter's Tiara allows you to perform one as an upgrade to your Charged Attack. It's actually pretty strong, but it's very easy to kill yourself using it, since it flings you off uncontrollably at high speed, often past the initial bounds of the screen in a game where bottomless pits and spikes of doom are everywhere.
  • Teaser Equipment: It's unlikely you'll be able to afford Water Town's powerful Fighter's Equipment when you first come across the shop.
  • Temple of Doom: The third dungeons of both games.
  • Trap Door: Risky sends you to one to meet Tinkertank.
  • Unwinnable: It's possible to reach the fourth dungeon boss early, without having picked up the Harpie transformation dance. Cue Hopeless Boss Fight, as the only way to make the boss damageable is to first fly above it and smack it in the head. Dying puts you in the same room, so the only way to get out is to get a Game Over or reset, meaning you have to play the whole dungeon again.
  • Video Game Flight: The Harpie transformation. You can fly anywhere, but you don't get it until the last level, and it has no attack to begin with. Finding the Harpie's Talon, however, bestows upon it the single most powerful singular attack in the game that doesn't require charging. Still hard to use, though.
  • Volcano Lair: Risky's hideout. Naturally, it erupts after you beat Risky.
  • Warp Whistle: Warp dance, actually. You learn them from a warp squid.
  • Wrap Around: The overworld wraps around horizontally. The world is even stated to be shaped like a ring. On a smaller scale, all the towns do this, too. Notably, this does not carry over into the sequels.
  • Wrench Wench: Sky,

    Risky's Revenge 
  • Artifact of Doom: The Magic Lamp can enslave any genie and force them to become a classic, wish granting genie to whoever holds the lamp, making the genie do anything they want. Shantae was only a half-Genie, so the lamp extracted said half, which Risky used to try to kill her.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Storm Puffs. Lots of power, but a bit long of a start-up time.
  • Bag of Spilling: It's not explained where Shantae's equipment, items or health went between the first two games, but her lack of transformation dances is justified by her being out of practice.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing:
    • Rottytops. Subverted at the last second.
    • Ammo Baron, judging by the information about the upcoming third game, Pirate's Curse. In Risky's Revenge, he's The Unfought on account of being a pretty reasonable guy behind that boisterous attitude. In Pirate's Curse, he's a recurring antagonist who tries to conquer Scuttle Town by force with an army of tanks.
  • Blob Monster: A Mini-Boss in the Dribble Fountain labyrinth. The Mud Bog is also filled with various monsters of this type. In the second game Risky's Revenge there are small green slimes that spew bits of themselves as an attack.
  • Book Ends: Risky's Revenge begins and ends with a pan of the sky above Shantae's lighthouse.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Shantae questions how the Squid Baron returns with the following statement:
    "And besides, didn't you die in a giant 'Stage Clear!' explosion?"
  • Broken Bridge: Golems with picket signs, kindly requesting that you don't smash them, are scattered in various parts of the world, preventing Shantae from entering those areas until she learns the Elephant Dance.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Shantae, after she beats the hell out of her magic-half in order to prevent Risky from using it. She doesn't get better until the end of Pirate's Curse.
  • Bubble Gun: Shantae's Mermaid transformation can attack like this.
  • But Thou Must: At the end of Risky's Revenge, you're given the choice of whether or not to trade the magic seals for Uncle Mimic. Saying no makes Shantae announce that she doesn't have a choice, and she hands the seals over anyway.
  • Chainmail Bikini: The Dancer's costume present in Risky's Revenge for iOS and Google Play is very much this, though the armour is mostly aesthetic. It's still skimpy enough compared to her regular outfit that it only provides half the defensive coverage while boasting twice as much magic.
  • Chain Reaction Destruction: That happens to the Squid Baron when he's defeated.
  • Chicken Walker: Risky's Steam Powered Oceanic Tinker Tub.
  • Continuity Nod: Guess they never got around to fixing the bridge to Shantae's lighthouse that Risky shot full of holes in the first game.
  • Cool Ship: Risky's Steam Powered Oceanic Tinker Tub.
  • Cosplay: An NPC boy says his mom dressed up as Risky for his dad. *wink*
  • Cyclops: The Ammo Baron.
  • Eat the Dog: Rotty. But Shantae saves the dog to be returned to her owner in a quest.
  • Enemy Without: The last boss is Shantae's magical genie-half.
  • Evil Is Petty: Rottytops and her brothers kidnapped Mimic in exchange for cash, the chance to eat Shantae's brain and a lifetime supply of coffee, though that last bit is not as petty as it seems; zombies in this continuity can only retain their cognitive brain functions by drinking coffee. Still doesn't excuse Rotty selling out her best friend, though.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Rottytops and her brothers, for a ridiculous reason (Shantae's brains and lifetime supply of coffee). They are visibly regretful when Risky refuses to pay up.
  • Friendly Enemy: The Barons. The Squid Baron was fighting because its children were being held hostage. The Ammo Baron is never fought, and the Mayor says he'll just talk with him to reclaim the deed to the town. The third Baron may have been actively trying to warn and help Shantae.
  • Genre Savvy: After getting the final Magic Seal, Shantae was expecting Risky to show up and swipe them like last time.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Barracuda Joe mentions he got his job by doing a saucy dance.
    • This risque comment from Risky, after swiping the lamp:
    Risky Boots: "Now hoist my booty through the roof! Put your back into it!"
  • Heel-Face Turn: One of the bosses.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Enraged over Shantae's failure to stop the lamp heist, Mayor Scuttlebutt not only fires her from the guardian job, but starts up an aggressive public smear campaign against her.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Risky captures Uncle Mimic and wagers his life for the three Magic Seals.
  • Hub Level: Scuttle Town.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: And, for some reason, no one (in a game with pirates) has opened them yet.
  • Item Get
  • Jekyll & Hyde: Sort of. Shantae's "Mr. Hyde" is essentially herself, her Genie-Half, but only at the end of the game where Risky rips it out of her and assumes control over it.
  • The Lost Woods: Lots of 'em, one of which being Tangle Forest.
  • Made of Explodium: The Squid Baron. He gets better.
  • Mirror Boss: The final boss.
  • Moral Dissonance: After you bring Wobble Bell back to the Chef, you can "kill" it for an easy 100 Gems.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: The Ammo Baron's Battle Tower.
  • Mummy: An enemy type in Risky's Revenge. They explode when defeated.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Rottytops and the other zombies keep their human intelligence with coffee.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Rottytops wasn't too keen on selling Shantae out in the first place, but when Risky refuses to keep her end of the bargain, Rotty breaks down and runs off weeping.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Mermaids appear as enemies in the fittingly-named Mermaid Cliffs. They can hide in puddles of water and turn into small fish when killed. Shantae herself can learn a belly dance that transforms her into a green-skinned mermaid, a pretty standard version for the most part, but can also shoot exploding bubbles.
  • Palette Swap: The Scarecrows and Knights get one. Also Dark Mimic and Shantae's genie side.
  • Palmtree Panic: Polyp Bay and Mermaid Cliffs.
  • Pan Up To The Sky Ending: The game ends with this.
  • The Power of Friendship: Sky and Bolo decide to help Shantae in her job as the newfound Guardian- Human of Scuttle Town.
  • Pun: Zombies communicate with each other via spiderwebs, in a manner resembling a message board or forum. Cue web, net, bug, and worm jokes.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The end of Risky's Revenge, for both parties. Shantae had to destroy her genie half, and is thus now entirely human. Meanwhile, Risky took the opportunity to flee. The beginning of Pirate's Curse reveals, however, that the remains of said genie half have merged with her Tinkerbats, who became superpowered and overthrew her.
  • Rainbow Speak: Important items and innuendo are marked with different color in the dialogue. It is since been featured in subsequent games.
  • Revenge of the Sequel: Shantae: Risky's Revenge
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud
    Barracuda Joe: Take [this key]. It's yours.
    Shantae: Thanks, Barracuda Joe! You're a lifesaver! (Kiss!)
    Barracuda Joe: Don't say "kiss" to me unless you're actually givin' me a kiss. Otherwise it's just words. Okay?
    Shantae: Ok. (Kiss!)
    Barracuda Joe: Okay, yer doing it again. Get going.
  • Self-Deprecation: The first game had an infamous part when both Sky and Mimic told you to go East to reach Mount Pointy and the Twilight Dungeon since going West to that place will make you hit an impassable wall. As every player who followed this found out, they had their directions backwards. Wayforward pokes fun at this error near the end of the Risky's Revenge sequel, which has Bolo confusing East with West while discussing the location of Risky's hideout, leading to the following exclamation.
  • Sequel Hook: Risky's Revenge ends with Shantae being Brought Down to Normal. Word of God says this is why they wanted to produce another title (Pirate's Curse).
  • Teleport Spam: One of the bosses.
  • Title Drop:
    "Heave to, boys! It's time for Risky's Revenge, so let's attack aggressively!"
  • Transforming Mecha: Risky's Steam Powered Oceanic Tinker Tub in Risky's Revenge, which can go from Cool Ship to Chicken Walker and back.
  • Underwater Ruins: The Sunken Cavern.
  • The Unfought:
    • The Ammo Baron, since he turns out not to be a villain at all. He gains ownership of Scuttle Town without a fight, and doesn't do much other than rename it Ammo Town.
    • Risky doesn't fight Shantae one-on-one this time.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: In Risky's Revenge, you could kill the forest chef's beloved pet dog for 100 gems, and unlike the Mooks you face, he will never respawn. As 100 gems is quite a lot of money, most speed runners encourage this.
  • Voice Grunting: Shantae, when she casts spells and takes damage. It is since featured in subsequent games also.
  • You, Get Me Coffee: Shantae has to retrieve coffee in one quest. It turns out it's what keeps Rottytops and her brothers from becoming regular, slow and dumb zombies.

     Shantae and the Pirate's Curse 
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Most of the Boss Subtitles.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
  • Batman Gambit: Since Risky couldn't fight against the Pirate King's plan directly, she gave the Magic Lamp to Shantae, hoping that her Chronic Hero Syndrome would turn all the dark magic back into light magic. Further, remembering how Shantae handles a Hostage for MacGuffin decision, she gambles her life on Shantae with herself as the hostage (the light magic is useless while it's still in the lamp).
  • Brick Joke:
  • But Thou Must: Just like last time, the player isn't allowed to refuse a Hostage for MacGuffin trade. This time, it's for Risky Boots.
  • Captain Ersatz: You meet a chippendale named Bran-Son by the Palace, and he's one giant He-Man pastiche.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Risky uses Ammo Baron's big special cannon to finish off the Pirate Master, with Shantae acting as the spotter.
  • Crosshair Aware: During the Ammonian invasion of Scuttle Town, there are some turret gunners across the stage, crosshairs appear where they are going to shoot. Some platforms get destroyed by artillery after Shantae lands on them (or even jumps over them).
    • In the final battle, a crosshair follows you where the giant castle buster cannon will fire; you aim it at the Pirate King to finish him off.
  • Day of the Jackboot: Ammo Baron takes over Scuttle Town and starts rebuilding it as a big fortress. Much later, the Pirate Master takes over Sequin Land Palace.
  • Easter Egg: Return to Spittle Maze later in the game, and you can find a partial recreation of Dribble Fountain.
  • Enemy Mine: Shantae and Risky in order to stop the Pirate Master resurrecting.
  • Expy: Bran-Son is a pretty obvious one for He-Man; see Captain Ersatz above. He even has the catchphrase when he transforms, "I have gained the advantaaaaaaaaage!"
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: The Oubliette of Suffering has this look, combined with Eternal Engine, and it's even implied to be a section of Hell.
  • Giant Eye Of Doom: One of the bosses is a plant that has a giant eye that has an eye beam attack. You have to go for the eye to beat it.
  • Giant Spider: One of the bosses.
  • Gilded Cage: When Shantae is mistaken for Tan Line's princess they lock her in a small but ornate bedroom, and the palace guards are instructed to force her back inside if she wanders out.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: Twenty Cacklebats are scattered through the land for you to hunt down.
  • Ground Pound: Granted by Risky's Scimitar.
  • Guns Are Useless: In terms of fighting enemies, Risky's Pistol is the weakest attack in the game, though its damage can be upgraded to "decent" level.
  • Hammerspace: Risky's Cannon appears out of nowhere when Shantae wants to use it.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Shantae's friends think that she's this when they find out that she's teamed up with Risky Boots and that she actually trusts her to an extent; warning her that Risky will stab her in the back the first chance she gets. Even the Pirate Master believes that Shantae's trust is misplaced, but it is ultimately subverted. Risky remains an ally to the very end, because her hate for the Pirate Master is just that strong.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Near the end of the game, the Pirate Master captures Risky Boots, and ransoms her for the Dark Magic Shantae has collected; but only if she has all twenty pieces.
  • Iconic Outfit: All the promotional material has Shantae in a Jolly Roger bandanna with swashbuckling gear; Risky makes Shantae take it off after only one scene, though the outfit becomes visible when using Risky's Boots Dash or the Risky's Cannon Double Jump. Shantae has it on when she uses the ship alone.
  • Inconveniently Placed Conveyor Belt: Found in Propeller Town, the Abandoned Factory and one in the Pirate Master's Palace. They're actually very convenient since they help you charge up your Sprint Shoes.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Odd in that the game hadn't even been released, but Shantae appears to have her Genie powers back by the beginning of Half Genie Hero meaning she gets them back during the course of Pirate's Curse.
  • Malaproper: Shantae's attempts to talk like a pirate.
    "Moist the main snail! Keel the port blubber!"
  • Mistaken for Special Guest: Shantae gets mistaken for the Princess of Tan Line Temple. As do Sky, Rottytops, and Risky Boots. For added hilarity, the real Princess looks nothing like them.
  • Multiple Endings: Two of them:
    • The Golden Ending requires hunting down all 20 Cacklebats. The Pirate Master decides Shantae really is worth fighting, steals his weapons back, and powers up to his final form. After a brief scrap, the Pirate Master offers a trade: the Cacklebats' dark magic for Risky's life. Luckily, the dark magic has turned back into Shantae's light magic, and together a re-powered Shantae and Risky Boots destroy the Pirate Master once and for all.
    • If you don't get all the Cacklebats, the Pirate Master just ignores Shantae. Risky escapes, but with no idea how she'll be able to defeat the Pirate Master.
  • New Game+: "Pirate Mode", where you start the game with all of Risky's pirate gear.
  • No-Gear Level/Stealth-Based Mission: The first time at Tan Line Temple, Shantae is mistaken as their princess and was changed into a skimpy princess outfit and her items were taken away. Escaping from the cell is easy enough but getting spotted by the large armored guards forces you back to the cell and start over againnote ; even picking up new items during the level won't let you use them. It is very frustrating for some speed runners.
    • "Run Run Rottytops!" takes "No-Gear Level" to its logical conclusion: you are completely and entirely defenseless, turning the level into an obstacle course.
  • Planet Heck: The Village of Lost Souls.
  • Puny Parachute and Improvised Parachute: Risky's Hat, which acts as Shantae's glide mechanic.
  • Quad Damage: Monster Milk, though it doesn't effect the Risky Boots weapons.
  • Re Power: In the Golden Ending, Shantae's genie magic is back.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Bran-Son sees no reason why men can't have purses, or at least that's his "enchanted phrase" that turns him into a superhero.
  • Retraux: The Dibble Fountain labyrinth appears as a bonus dungeon in its classic sprite graphics with the enemies in the modern sprite graphics.
  • Recoil Boost: Risky's Cannon grants three mid-air jumps this way.
  • Roundhouse Kick: The Heavy Kick which can be purchased in the item shop. It has a slight delay but it does more damage than a single hit of a hair whip attack. It is an attack that is either Difficult but Awesome or Awesome but Impractical.
  • Save the Villain: Sky wants to let Risky get what's coming to her; Shantae disagrees, and charges up Pirate Master Palace to save Risky. In the Golden Ending, Shantae agrees to give the Pirate Master a large supply of dark magic in exchange for Risky's safety.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: Enemies start dealing a lot of damage around the time you get to Tan Line Desert, and the early-game Pike Balls were nerfed. On the upside enemies drop healing items all over the place. The platforming sections in the Very Definitely Final Dungeon are brutal.
  • Sprint Shoes: Risky's Boots. Shantae combines it with Risky's Scimitar for a devastating dash attack.
  • Squick: In-universe, Shantae has this reaction when she fills up a pool with monster drool.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: The Ammo Baron wants to fire a shell at Sequin Land Palace, and the only way to advance in the game is to give him the cannon's Targeting Module. Thankfully the shot misses.
  • Temporary Platform: Found throughout the game.
    • During the Ammonian Army invasion of Scuttle Town, some of places Shantae lands is targeted by a crosshair and gets destroyed just after.
    • Some areas have a long platform made of crumbly rock platforms that slowly crumble as Shantae stands on them. They crumble faster than she can walk, however, so she needs Risky's Boots to actually cross without falling.
  • Turns Red: Squid Baron 2.0. Inverted visually, since he's red by default but dons a set of light blue metal armor.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: It is implied that because Risky took Shantae's genie power away in the previous game, it allowed the Pirate Master who was originally beaten by the Guardian Genies to resurrect.
  • Vent Physics: Used in conjunction with Risky's Hat to ascend you to new heights or keep you afloat.
  • Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Pirate Master Palace, or rather Sequin Land Palace.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Played for Laughs. The Heart Containers this time are made by killing cute little Heart Squids.
  • Womb Level: The top half of Sequin Land Palace after it becomes Pirate Master Palace.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Shantae spends the whole game hunting down dark magic to keep the Pirate Master from coming back. He comes back anyway.
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: It's possible to pick up Bran-Son's enchanted sword early (usually during a New Game+, though pixel-perfect jumping can also cross the hallway in question), but he refuses to take it back until it's plot-relevant.
  • Your Size May Vary: Risky's Hat is small enough for Risky to wear but also large enough for Shantae to use as a parachute.

    Half-Genie Hero 
  • Magic Carpet: Half-Genie Hero will have a chapter revolving around an annual Magic Carpet race.
  • Promoted to Playable: Certain stretch goals promised certain characters becoming playable with their own story and abilities in Half-Genie Hero. They have both been reached:
    • $500,000 for Risky Boots to become playable with her own story line.
    • $900,000 for Rottytops, Bolo, and Sky to become playable, though whether they each get unique stories is to be seen.
  • Villain Episode: Risky Mode in Half-Genie Hero.

Rayman 1995D Si WareSpace Ace
    Creator/Way Forward TechnologiesDSiWare
Rival SchoolsUsefulNotes/The Fifth Generation of Console Video GamesSilent Hill 1
Scott PilgrimPlay Station NetworkShatter
ScribblenautsUsefulNotes/Wii UShin Megami Tensei
Rayman OriginsUsefulNotes/The Seventh Generation of Console Video GamesSilent Hill
Senran KaguraUsefulNotes/Nintendo 3 DSShin Megami Tensei
ResistanceUsefulNotes/The Eighth Generation of Console Video GamesShin Megami Tensei
Silent Hill OriginsInternational CoproductionSine Mora
Shounen Kininden TsumujiAction AdventureShrek
Settlers of Catani OS GamesShift
Shadow Of The BeastUsefulNotes/Play Station 4 Shovel Knight
Saints Row: Gat Out of HellUsefulNotes/Xbox OneSmite

alternative title(s): Shantae
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