YMMV: Shantae

  • Anti-Climax Boss: In the first game, Risky's Tinkerbats have apparently forgotten to install weapons and defenses to her All-Purpose Steam Powered Tinker Tank, leading to a "steam-powered behemoth" that could only damage you if you jump on its treads or stand in front of its two external steam vents. This is more than made up for by Risky Boots herself.
    • In Pirate's Curse, The Pirate Master, if you didn't collect all the Dark Magic pieces. You'll only fight his first form, which doesn't have many attacks and plenty of openings to cause damage.
  • Breather Boss:
    • Risky's Oceanic Tinker Tub is fought twice in Risky's Revenge, and while it is a bit tougher in the second bout it has nothing on how much stronger Shantae is.
    • Steel Maggot in Pirate's Curse. Its only attacks are to either walk into you, or to shoot a spread of projectiles if you shoot the wrong button on its back, both of which are easily dodged. It's a "guess the sequence" type of fight, but there are only three buttons to shoot and the sequence never uses repeat buttons, so you really have nothing to fear.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Which you can listen to here, here, and here for free, courtesy of series composer Jake "virt" Kaufman.
  • Cult Classic: The first game bombed on release and the sequel spent years in Development Hell because publishers didn't want anything from WayForward that wasn't a licensed game or a casual downloadable title, but still manages to have a sizable fanbase most other smaller games could only dream of.
  • Demonic Spiders: Compared to everything else, the skeletons in Risky's Revenge. They're fast, do more damage than anything else in the game, have plenty of health, and can reanimate after death if you don't switch to elephant form and smash their gravestones.
    • Any enemy in the GBC game, especially the scorpion and mermaid women.
  • Ear Worm: "Dance Through the Danger"
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Everyone seems to love Rottytops.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Risky Boots. In-Universe an NPC boy comments.
    "My Mom dressed up as the Pirate Lady for Dad. But I'm not allowed to talk of such things."
  • Foe Yay: Invoked between Shantae and Risky.
  • Game Breaker: Fighting the final boss as plain ol' Shantae? A nightmare. However, if you bring a full stock of Pike Balls and Fireballs, and/or use the Spider Venom, you'll be laughing all the way to the end credits.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The game has a not-insignificant Japanese fanbase despite never officially being released there. The combination of Animesque-Kawaii-Fanservice-Metroidvania likely has something to do with it.
    • And then there's this piece of fanart, released in hopes of encouraging WayForward to get hopping on the worldwide release of Risky's Revenge.
    • Hell, even Ken Sugimori is a fan of the series. Who is he, you ask? Oh, nobody important, just, y'know, the art director and character designer of POKEMON!!!
  • Goddamned Boss: Dagron in Pirate's Curse has a really simple pattern: you use a dash attack on the switches to drop platforms, and you jump on the platforms to hit Dagron in the face. Unfortunately Dagron's hitbox lurches back and forth so much that the "jumping" part of that sentence is liable to get you hit and knocked back.
  • Moe: Cited by Destructoid in their review of Risky's Revenge: Your first instinct on seeing the female main cast is probably not so much "Whoa, that's hot" as "Aww, that's cute".
    • That doesn't stop the fanbase's artistic views, however.
  • Magnum Opus: While Shantae 1 and 2 (Risky's Revenge) were definitely well-received games, Shantae 3(Pirate's Curse) was where Wayforward was allowed to really cut loose and do whatever they want with improved technology included, and the results show.
  • Sophomore Slump/Even Better Sequel: Risky's Revenge has better controls, better difficulty curve, and superb graphics, but barely half as much actual content as the first game. Pirate's Curse manages to avoid the content issue while still having better gameplay and graphics than its prequel, to the point that players and even reviewers are calling it one of the best games on the Nintendo eShop.
  • Squick: Rottytops, a (cute) female zombie, manages to break into a ruin — in order to allow Shantae access — by tearing her leg off at the knee and picking the lock with her exposed shin bone. (She puts it back on, though.) Still cute, but rather disturbing.
    • In a conversation with Bolo (Had while you are searching for the Zombie Caravan), he asks you to tell him if you meet any cute zombie girls. That's right, Bolo is a not-so-closeted necrophile.
    • How Uncle Mimic explains how he prevented triggering a pressure trap: by switching the treasure with the contents of his bowels.
    • One of the fishermen:
    "When I was a little boy with a full beard..."
    • In Pirate's Curse, two vacationing teenager girls who turn out to be Ammo Baron's henchwomen try to have fun in the island's water reserve, which is all dried up. You eventually help them get water to the pond for them to get into the swimsuits and go wild in it. What they don't know is that the water that's falling from high above is actually an endless stream of drool coming from a giant lizard, hence the name Saliva Island.
  • That One Attack: Pirate's Curse's final boss can launch a row of gigantic bouncing cannonballs. There's almost no room for error in dodging the damn things since they have faster gravity than everything else in the entire series.
  • That One Level: The entire overworld is harder than most dungeons!
    • In Pirate's Curse Mud Bog island has a bunch of enemies that chop off large chunks of health, and lots of cramped tunnels where it's hard to evade them, and as if that wasn't enough they respawn much more easily than the previous islands. Things get even worse in the Village of Lost Souls.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Part of the game's commercial failure is sometimes attributed to this. The art and story are cute and comical, and there's a definite hint of Girls Need Role Models behind the mostly-female, all ass-kicking cast. But the crap gone past the radar, the difficulty during the later stages, and the sheer sexiness of the cast seems a bit odd.