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.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • In Pirate's Curse, Shantae, Sky, Risky, and Rottytops are all seemingly mistaken for the princess of Tan Line Temple—whom they don't even resemble at all, by the way—while she is out on a shopping trip. Are the people (especially the royal adviser) really that stupid, or are are they taking advantage of the princess being out to "mistake" random passing girls as her so they can put them into "ceremonial garb"? It doesn't help that the adviser says that this happens all of the time!
    • Shantae herself. While there's no doubt that she's a good person, one has to wonder exactly what kind of heroine she is. Is she really as pure and kind-hearted as she seems, or, considering the way she kills some enemies and how cruel she can be to people like Bolo, are there sides of her we don't know? This is most prominent in the original Game Boy Color adventure. If anything, she's mellowed out over the years.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • After many fans developed Fridge Horror surrounding Wobble Bell (a dog you can murder in Risky's Revenge for a crapload of gems, with it's cameo in Pirate's Curse seemingly canonizing Shantae having murdered a puppy for money), Word of God clarified that Wobble Bell is actually still alive (and that it's cameo in the game's resident Underworld is simply because it got lost).
    • For players complaining that Half-Genie Hero is too easy, Wayforward released a brand-new Hardcore mode deliberately aiming for the old-school Nintendo Hard feel.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: The girls often wear incredibly revealing outfits, so this trope isn't really too much of a surprise.
  • 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.
    • The Wheel Beast in the first game. It's damaged by hitting switches on the wall in spider form to drop it into pits. Not only is it very easy to bait the Beast into falling into a pit, wall-crawling keeps you free from damage with no consequence.
  • 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, to the point that it was successfully crowd-funded to become one of the sleeper hits of 2016.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Risky's Revenge:
      • The skeletons. 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.
      • The mermaids. They have two attacks: a kiss which shoots hearts that move upwards, and a bubble that moves quickly (so if you're within hair-whipping range, you won't have time to jump over it) and close to the ground (so you can't crouch under it). After each attack, they dive into the ground and become invincible for a few seconds, so it's best to just jump past them then rather than take the time to kill them.
  • Ear Worm: "Dance Through the Danger". Notably, Shantae is supposedly singing it...
  • Easy Level Trick: In Half-Genie Hero. If you have access to the Magical Tiara and the third level fireball spell, you can easily clear the Barrel of Mermaids stage, as well as the escape sequence after destroying the Dynamo by hovering in place above the conveyor belt.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Everyone seems to love Rottytops. To the point that, for Half-Genie Hero, the additional backers managed to push the final total JUST over the stretch goal to add her, among others, to the game.
    • After Way Forward released the Half-Genie Hero trailer that featured a brief, well-animated scene of a giant mermaid boss you needed to unshackle by breaking her chains, the Giga Mermaid has become rather prominent in fanart.
    • Tuki, a lamia shopkeeper that you run into occasionally in levels, has a decent amount of fanart dedicated to her as well.
  • Even Better Sequel:
    • 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.
    • Half-Genie Hero, while not quite as universally loved as Pirate's Curse, is also quite well-liked and considered an improvement in several aspects.
  • 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. The opening scene of Pirate's Curse alone, with the bathtub, seems to indicate Risky has an interest in Shantae. Shantae, on the other hand, keeps trying to turn Risky to her side. While such personal level interest is part of the genre, Shantae and Risky seem to cross the line. Especially as Risky's very plan in Pirate's Curse seems to hinge on Shantae being Shantae. Indeed, the ending of Risky's Revenge seeems to play with the concept. Risky is talking about stripping Shantae of her powers, but with the line break being where it is, it becomes "Strip you(line break)of your powers." That has to be intentional, since there is more than enough room to put the line break anywhere else.
    • While barely anything of the sort occurs between Shantae and Risky in the story of Half-Genie Hero, the very first two pictures in the first Fan Art room of the art gallery features the two of them and are quite shippy.
  • 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.
    • The Oasis Town Gecko minigame in the first game. It's trivial to win over 100 gems in just a few rounds, and that's not even a big return for this game. Since it's a luck-based minigame, there's not even any skill needed to master it. If you have a run of bad luck, just reset and load from the save point located right next to the game stall. Once you reach Oasis Town, the only thing stopping you from having enough money to buy an overwhelming amount of every item while having enough left over for the Fighter's Gear is the patience to spend roughly a half-hour rolling dice.
    • In Half-Genie Hero, collecting all of the Gallery Keys and using them to fully unlock the Art Gallery will have the Mayor give you some costume jewellery in exchange, the Magical Tiara. Its effect? Infinite magic.
      • In Hardcore mode the Tiara gets nerfed into a slow magic regenerator like in Risky's Revenge.
    • Also in Half-Genie Hero, the Gem Jug transformation, which lets you generate gems at the cost of magic. Once you get your hands on a fully upgraded Attract (pulls in any nearby gems and health recovery), enter the Bath House's bath in Scuttle Town and you'll have an unlimited gem supply. The same effect can be achieved with the above-mentioned Magical Tiara. The only thing stopping you would be your patience for mashing buttons.
    • Another in Half-Genie Hero would be the Bat form. As SomeCallMeJohnny points out, proper use of the bat can break some platforming challenges in half.
    • Half-Genie Hero also has the 3rd level Bubble magic, which grants Invincibility while its active. The game tries to balance it by having it eat through your mana fairly quickly, but the game gives you lots of ways to replenish your magic. It's especially silly when combined with the earlier-mentioned Magical Tiara, effectively making it the one item you DON'T turn off.
  • 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.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Back when the Kickstarters for both games were first up, two pictures of Shantae high-fiving Beck were made by both Way Forward and Comcept. This led to backers of both games becoming Friendly Fandoms, and along came a slew of fan-art between the two. Unfortunatly, Mighty No. 9 fell into a bunch of controversies (two of the most infamous being the constant delays and the "Masterclass trailer"), and soon both Shantae fans and MN9 backers started to grow disgust towards the game, leading the once friendly fan-art turn to Shantae trying to ignore Beck. With this in mind, this makes the above two pictures extremely awkward.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In Pirate's Curse, Rottytops gets a dancer outfit, similar to Shantae, who unlocks one in New Game Plus, which she enjoys wearing, unlike everyone else. In Half-Genie Hero, Rottytops is Promoted to Playable, so could ALSO have alternate outfits!
    • In Half-Genie Hero, Ikki the Chest Monster is a tongue-in-cheek reference to Nikki, the cute host of Nintendo's discontinued Swap Note application. However, since then Nintendo has released a new version of the app called Swapdoodle, in which Nikki is back as the host; in other words, Nikki/Ikki lives again!
  • It's Short, so It Sucks: The main criticism toward Risky's Revenge. The map is quite small and there are only two dungeons. Half-Genie Hero also got such complaints, as well as being too easy.
  • Memetic Mutation: The love child between Old Spice and the ''Run Run Rottytops!'' segment. Explanation 
  • 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".
  • Moral Event Horizon: One bad guy crosses it in the fourth game. Risky's master plan? Corrupt the genie realm with the Tinkerbrain, enslave its every inhabitant - possibly including Shantae's mom - and use them to Take Over the World. Good or bad ending, she indirectly ends up instigating the destruction of the genie realm. The Bad Ending is even worse, as it forces Shantae to practically commit genocide against her own kind to protect her world. The Good Ending is slightly better as the Genie Messenger implies that the Genie Realm is safe and sound.
  • Sophomore Slump: 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 predecessor, 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. note 
    • 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.
  • Surprisingly Similar Characters: Shantae has a lot in common with Sash Lilac. Let's see: they're both Action Girls whose main form of attack is their purple Prehensile Hair, they're both descendants of a mysterious race that's no longer around, remain incredibly selfless despite having spotty reputations by the public, and they're both friends with playful green girls who are a bit more morally grey than they are. Rottytops works with Risky to get Shantae's brain once, while Carol temporarily defects after being fed up with Lilac's Chronic Hero Syndrome and is a thief. Taking into account the fact that they're both trying to stop the villain from getting a precious artifact to use for nefarious purposes and this might start to bleed into Surprisingly Similar Stories as well.
  • That One Achievement: The "Run, Run, Rottytops!" segment in Pirate's Curse may take some trial and error but isn't overly infuriating... unless you want a trophy in the console ports by clearing the entire thing without taking a single hit!
  • 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.
    • Also in Pirate's Curse, the Pirate Master's Palace: it takes multiple platforming sequences to reach the top, none of which have any margin for error allowed.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Holly Lingerbean in Half-Genie Hero. She would have been an interesting rival character to Shantae or a recurring side-antagonist, but she doesn't get at all that much screentime and is removed from the story after the Tassel Town chapter, making her come off as inconsequential. You don't even get to fight her as a boss or mini boss. This may be rectified in the later DLC campaigns.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: In Half-Genie Hero, Shantae is turned evil for less than the length of a single cutscene, and is never controllable. This is especially bizarre because it happens just before a series of quests to help the Barons rebuild their empires, which would have made much more sense if this had been further explored.
  • Tough Act to Follow: With the overwhelmingly positive acclaim of Pirate's Curse as the best game in the series, Half-Genie Hero had an uphill battle, nevermind being one of the most indie titles on Kickstarter. While general opinion is that it's a good game with many fun moments, the storyline is disjointed and lacks the consistency of Curse. It also shows why having too many good ideas can be a downside, as one of the biggest gripes is Holly's minimal screentime and a rushed endgame with Risky. The DLC characters may very well fix at least some of these complaints.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: In Half-Genie Hero hardcore mode the laughably easy P.O.O.P T.O.O.T is now harder than anything in the normal mode.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids? / What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: The Shantae series has a bit of an odd relationship with the concept of a "target age range." For the first, most mainstream game, part of the its commercial failure was sometimes attributed to this. The art and story are cute and comical, but the crap gone past the radar and the sheer sexiness of the cast seemed a bit odd for a kid's game. As the series went indie, it embraced its sexiness a bit more and added more odd bits of dark humor, but retained its underlying cute artstyle and lightheartedness. The series can be thought of as being a bit like Betty Boop: Broadly speaking, it's all-ages friendly, but there's a lot of Parental Bonus-type sly humor, and while the cast is obviously meant to be sexy, they're not sexualized. It ended up getting a T rating in the recent game just to boost this further.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Shantae