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aka: Shantae And The Pirates Curse

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We will dance through the danger until the world is saved!
Can't stop me now, 'cause I'm Shantae!
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In far-off, magical Sequin Land lies a quiet port village by the name of Scuttle Town. It's a nice enough place, if it wasn't for its citizens constantly being under attack by vile pirates and countless other evils. Thankfully, like many other places in Sequin Land, Scuttle Town is host to its own guardian hero that can protect them in times of need. In their case? A cute, sassy purple-haired half-genie named Shantae whose arsenal of choice happens to be her Prehensile Hair and ability to magically belly-dance into various creatures.

An unabashed love letter to the Metroidvania genre, Shantae is a franchise created by Matt Bozon that began its life in 2002, at the extreme end of the Game Boy Color's lifespan. Upon the second game's release eight years later, the franchise slowly gained popularity as WayForward Technologies's flagship series. The titular character has since gone on to appear outside her own games as a playable character in other indie games such as Mutant Mudds Super Challenge, Runbow, Blaster Master Zero, Hyper Light Drifter, and Indivisible. Shantae and her main nemesis Risky Boots also represent the franchise as spirits in Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

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    Games in the series 

Main series

  • Shantae (Game Boy Color, 2002): 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 which she can use to take over the world — but in order to do so, she needs Four Elemental Stones. It's up to Shantae to track them down before she does. The only game in the series to not be published by WayForward themselves; it was instead published by Capcom. It would later be released for the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console in 2013, and it is set to come digitally to the Nintendo Switch alongside a limited re-print of the original GBC version.
  • Shantae: Risky's Revenge (Nintendo DSiWare, 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. An enhanced release entitled Shantae: Risky's Revenge – Director's Cut was later released on PC, Playstation 4, and Wii U. Director's Cut is also set to come to the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
  • Shantae and the Pirate's Curse (Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, 2014): A direct sequel to the previous title, the game starts off with Shantae adjusting to her new lifestyle when Risky reappears. Due to the previous story, Risky's pirate crew 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. Later saw release for PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and even Amazon Fire TV.
  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero (Multiplatform, 2016): Once again, Risky Boots attacks Scuttle Town retrieve the blueprints for one of Uncle Mimic's inventions. In order to stop her foe from completing the device, known as the Dynamo, Shantae must search the land for all the machine's components before Risky has a chance to build it herself. Co-developed by Inti Creates and funded through Kickstarter, it saw simultaneous release on all major home consoles of the eighth generation, as well as PC (through Steam) and the PlayStation Vita. An Ultimate Edition of the game, bundling the game with all of its DLC and previously Kickstarter backer-exclusive content, was released in 2018.note 
  • Shantae and the Seven Sirens (Multiplatform, 2019): Shantae and her friends have departed for the tropics to take part in a local half-genie festival. Unfortunately, the other half-genies are mysteriously abducted during the celebration, leaving our heroine to scour the island for their whereabouts and the reason for their disappearance in the first place. Part 1 released for Apple Arcade and macOS in Fall 2019, with Part 2 released on March 27th, 2020. The full version of the game released for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC on May 28th, 2020.

Spin-offs

  • Watch Quest! Heroes of Time (2015): A Mobile Phone Game exclusively for the Apple Watch. A combination puzzle-RPG, it's a Gaiden Game that features Shantae and Bolo, time displaced from the usual setting of the series. The title has the player aid the characters in undertaking a series of quests that update with new events throughout the day.


These tropes are RET-2-GO!

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    Overall 
  • 100% Completion: With the exception of the Game Boy Color original, depending on the number of collectibles and the speed with which a player clears the game, they will be rewarded with special illustrations. This also extends towards the various DLC campaigns in Half-Genie Hero. Notably, the Monster Cards in Seven Sirens don't count towards 100% completion.
  • Action Girl: Shantae herself, as well as her Arch-Enemy Risky Boots. Shantae's personal theme song is titled "Dance Through the Danger," which includes lyrics about how unfazed she is by the threats she faces.
  • All Anime Is Naughty Tentacles: When describing the Dribble Fountain boss to her uncle in her Character Blog.
  • All There in the Manual: If you didn’t read the first game’s manual or WayForward’s statements on the matter, you’d be forgiven for assuming Uncle Mimic was just the brother of Shantae’s human father, as the games never try painting him as anything else. Him being an Honorary Uncle is only brought up through various supplemental materials.
  • Already Undone for You: In the first game, Risky Boots enters the dungeons before you, and in later games Save Guys are a regular sight, yet all doors are locked and puzzles untouched.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Risky Boots has lilac purple skin despite otherwise being a normal human. Meanwhile, zombies such as Rottytops and her brothers all have sickly green skin.
  • Ambiguously Brown: In perhaps the most literal sense of the term. Shantae's skin tone constantly changes in each new entry, with the only common thread being that her skin tone is always some shade of brown.
  • And Man Grew Proud: The series is implied to take place long After the End of our civilization. Numerous references are made to an Old World, with all of the modern technology in the series being excavated and replicated by artifact hunters like Uncle Mimic. What exactly happened to the old civilization is unknown.
  • Animesque: The games' art style shifted into once Inti Creates became in-charge of character illustrations from Pirate's Curse onwards. Seven Sirens even has its opening animation done by Studio Trigger.
  • Animorphism: Shantae can turn into animals in order to access new areas or battle her enemies.
  • Another Side, Another Story: The "Pirate Queen's Quest DLC in Half-Genie Hero'' tells the events of the game following Mimic's completion of the Dynamo from Risky's perspective. The "Friends to the End" DLC is also a variant of this, explaining exactly how Rottytops, Bolo, and Sky got Shantae back to normal.
  • "Arabian Nights" Days: Sequin Land.
  • Art Evolution: WayForward's art style (as established by Matt and Erin Bozon) has evolved quite a bit, from the first game's illustrations, to those of Risky's Revenge, and to the promo art for the first game's re-release on 3DS. It went from an angular style with full body proportions, to a softer, cuter style over time.
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: Half-Genie Hero has a cuter artstyle where everyone has larger heads and shorter necks, possibly due to Graphics-Induced Super-Deformed. While not as dramatic a shift, the style used in Pirate's Curse and Watch Quest is much more detailed and Animesque compared to the somewhat more simplistic styles used in the first and second games. By comparison, Half-Genie Hero seems more like a cuter take on the first two games' designs (albeit using character design updates—such as Sky's corset and pants—from Pirate's Curse).
  • Attractive Zombie: Rottytops is drawn in the same cute anime girl style as the rest of the female cast (albeit with green skin and a stapled on arm and leg).
  • Badass Normal: Shantae loses her powers at the end of Risky's Revenge and in Pirate's Curse has to rely on pirate equipment.
  • Bag of Spilling: Shantae loses all her abilities and items between each game, and there's always a different story to justify it.
    • Between Shantae and Risky's Revenge, Shantae forgot her transformation dances; a villager handwaves that she has been skipping belly dance classes and that's why she can't remember them.
    • Between Risky's Revenge and Pirate's Curse, Shantae lost her genie powers.
    • Between Pirate's Curse and Half-Genie Hero, Risky took all the pirate equipment back that was hers in the first place.
    • Between Half-Genie Hero and Seven Sirens, not only has Shantae forgot her transformation dances again, an early conversation with Zapple suggests that she also forgot about all of her forms except monkey.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Every single one of the major female characters is young and cute enough to get away with this. In fact, virtually every non-child female character — including villagers and some Mooks—bares their midriff, suggesting it's customary in Sequin Land.
  • Bat People: BatGals are humanoid enemies with yellow eyes, batlike wings on their helmets, and the ability to turn into bats.
  • The Beastmaster: Sky, a falconer, trains birds of prey. Her favorite bird is Wrench (who can act as a wrench), and in Half-Genie Hero can transform to monstrous size to carry passengers.
  • Belly Dancer: This is how Shantae transforms into her various animal forms. This is also her day job.
  • Black Comedy Burst: The series is very fond of quickly throwing in a dark joke here or there, from Shantae killing Sky's unhatched eggs, to anything to do with Rottytops' diet, and many other things. The dog you can kill in Risky's Revenge (and get an Achievement for doing so) appears in the Village of Lost Souls during the end credits scene of the sequel. Word of God handwaves it as the dog just getting lost, though.
  • Blob Monster: A Mini-Boss in the Dribble Fountain labyrinth. The Mud Bog in the first game and Mud Bog Island in the third are filled with various monsters of this type, and the second game features green slimes that spew bits of themselves as an attack.
  • Boring, but Practical: The Pike Balls, rotating satellites that float around Shantae, don't sound as cool as summoning fireballs or storm clouds. That said, they're also some of the most useful items (especially for racking up damage against bosses).
  • Bottomless Pits: All. Frigging. Over. Interestingly, the Float Muffin item in the first game 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 to warn players on which pits are bottomless.
  • Call-Back: 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.
  • Calling Your Attacks: After getting a voice actress in the third game, Shantae will do this once in a while.
  • The Cameo:
    • Shantae in her monkey form made one in a WarioWare minigame.
    • The Drifter from Hyper Light Drifter cameoes in Kickstarter-backer versions of Half-Genie Hero in the "Pirate Queen's Quest" DLC. In exchange, backers of Hyper Light Drifter got a Risky cameo and sidequest in that game.
    • Shantae is one of several crossover party member available in Indivisible.
    • Shantae is a DLC character in Blaster Master Zero, vastly more powerful than the base character.
    • Shantae and Risky appear as Spirits in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, with collecting them actually being required for 100PercentCompletion of the story mode..
  • Chaos Architecture: Scuttle Town is vastly different in each games. Partly justified in that the inhabitants have to rebuild it after Risky's repeated invasions. The distance between Shantae's lighthouse and the town varies greatly between entries though, from being just outside of town to a long walk across a bridge.
  • Characterization Marches On: Shantae is noticeably more abrasive and short-tempered in the first game and Risky Revenge. While she still has a short fuse, Pirate’s Curse onwards emphasize her Adorkable and All-Loving Hero traits.
  • 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 originally his face! Another one from the same game are the dark pieces. Or, more accurately, the remains of Shantae's corrupted Genie half, which becomes VERY important at the end of the game...
  • The Chick: Keeping with the game's whole "girl power" theme, Bolo serves as this.
  • Collision Damage: In all the games. A general rule of thumb is this: If it moves, it hurts you. This even the case when you play as Risky Boots in the "Pirate Queen's Quest" DLC for Half-Genie Hero; touching Shantae during the boss battle will still damage the player.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Get low on life and Shantae will have a tired animation when she is idle. She can do all of her actions (jumping, whipping) just fine, but take one more hit and she explodes in a shower of sparkles.
  • 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 when she really ought to be trying to save the day.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Subverted in that, it's not Shantae's mom herself, but one of the Genie Spirits who tells her this in the good ending of Half-Genie Hero; also downplayed in that it's not really brought up in any of the games (see also Angst? What Angst?).
  • 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.
  • Denser and Wackier: The first Shantae, while not lacking in comedic moments, was a simple adventure story about a girl who goes on a quest for magical artifacts. Risky's Revenge and onward jack up the silliness.
  • Disappeared Dad: While Shantae regularly inquires about her mother, Shantae's dad barely gets a passing mention, and no explanation has ever been given for his disappearance.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The theme songs for both Half-Genie Hero ("Dance Through the Danger") and Seven Sirens ("Rise and Shine, Shanate") are performed in-character by Shanate's voice actress Cristina Vee.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Starting in Risky's Revenge, no matter how many times Shantae saves Scuttle Town from disaster, Mayor Scuttle still regularly fires her whenever anything goes wrong.
  • Epic Flail: Bolo's weapon.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: In every installment where Shantae is capable of transforming, this is her signature form, always being the first one unlocked and granting her the ability to wall crawl. A conversation in Seven Sirens that pokes fun at Bag of Spilling implies that it's the only form that she can even remember how to access with any regularity.
  • 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.
    • Discussed in the first game, when Rotty gives you directions to Mount Pointy (the ice area):
      Rottytops: Err... you don't have any warmer clothes, do you?
      Shantae: Why would anyone want to wear warm clothes?
      Rottytops: Heh! No reason!
    • Averted at least partially in Pirate's Curse. Frostbite Island's wintry weather obviously makes Shantae uncomfortable.
      Shantae: OH MY GOSH, IT'S FREEZING! I'll take the hot sand and burning lava any day over this!
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Don't expect Shantae to find out any concrete details about her parents' whereabouts, or for Bolo and Sky to make any progress with starting romantic relationships, or Risky Boots to drop her villainous ways and become a good person.
  • 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, one of the quests provides a short cut in one of the islands.
  • Five-Man Band: Shantae (The Leader), Sky (The Lancer), Bolo (The Big Guy), Rottytops (The Chick) and Uncle Mimic (The Smart Guy).
  • 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. Especially pronounced in Half-Genie Hero with its gorgeous new graphics engine, where literally every adult female has varying but always generous amounts of bounce.
  • Game-Over Man: 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.
  • George Jetson Job Security: Once a game starting with Risky's Revenge, Shantae loses her job as Scuttle Town's guardian, only the be rehired by the end, then lose it again in the next game.
  • Hero Antagonist: In the Officer DLC, Ammo Baron is actually an undercover cop and gets into a fight with Officer Shantae because she ruined his investigation.
  • 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.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Despite being genuinely heroic, Shantae tends to suffer from this. In Risky's Revenge, she becomes the target of a vicious, unrelenting smear campaign by the mayor in retaliation for her failure to stop Risky from stealing the Lamp. Pirate's Curse takes it a step further by having her become a wanted criminal after assaulting the "rightful" owner of Scuttle Town and then violating her probation by going on the run with Risky. And in Half-Genie Hero, she once again gets fired by the mayor for failing to stop Risky from wrecking Shuttle Town's main street.
  • Hey, You!: How Risky Boots always refers to Shantae, constantly referring to her as an annoying brat. In Half-Genie Hero's Ninja Mode, she claims that she doesn't even know Shantae's name, stating that has so many enemies and enacts so many evil schemes that anything involving Shantae and Scuttle Town is a case of But for Me, It Was Tuesday.
  • Hot Wind: Seems that even the wind likes Sky.
  • Human Mom Nonhuman Dad: Inverted. Half-genies are the offspring of the Always Female genies and human men.
  • 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 throughout the series, using a key once on a locked door destroys that key.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • The original Game Boy Color game makes it was pretty obvious from the start there are twelve items, four dungeons, and four other things, while the dance screen also shows you all the transformations and towns ahead of time.
    • Risky's Revenge's map shows the entire game world from the start, meaning you can tell how close you are towards the end of the game by keeping up with what sections you haven't explored yet. Averted with the inventory screen, however, which only shows enough to display the current items you have.
    • Pirate's Curse shows you the number of islands. Subverted in that the last island is actually tiny and the last dungeon is actually the Sequin Land Palace. That being said, savvy players might have realized that the palace is too huge to just contain the Library.
    • Seven Sirens has four icons appear on the screen whenever using the powers of another half-genie. This is an early tip-off towards Fillin the Blank not being an actual genie.
  • 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. The fact that Risky and Shantae work together in Pirate's Curse is also briefly lampshaded in Half-Genie Hero's "Ninja Mode", where Shantae points out that Risky seems to have completely forgotten that adventure.
  • Leitmotif: The first few seconds of the title theme are reused quite a bit in Risky's Revenge. Risky Boots has her own Leitmotif in the first game. It's one of the clues that the guardian genie of Bandit Town isn't what she claims to be. Not that it wasn't obvious already...
  • 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 a sister, so she is off his radar when it comes to chasing women.
  • Lovable Sex 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:
    • In the first game, Risky steals all the Relics from Shantae after Shantae collects them all.
    • Shantae expects this to happen again in the sequel, but is surprised when it doesn't... at which point she learns Risky instead kidnapped Mimic to force Shantae to trade over the Magic Seals.
    • In Pirate's Curse, not only does the Pirate Master steal all of the pirate equipment Shantae has been collecting, he also has Shantae release the dark magic she's been collecting for him in exchange for Risky's life. However, it turns out that the dark magic has since changed into light magic due to being in close proximity of our heroine, and so Shantae gets powered up instead of the Big Bad. When Shantae ponders this at the end, she learns that Risky completely predicted that outcome.
    • In Half-Genie Hero, Risky surrenders the blueprints to Mimic's Dynamo after that first boss fight. Truth be told, Risky had tampered with the blueprints so that the device meant to protect Scuttle Town would instead be used to corrupt the magic of the Genie Realm. She comes to collect once the device is fully functional, gloating that she tricked Shantae into assembling the MacGuffin for her.
  • 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, and Half-Genie Hero reintroduces the transformation to Kickstarter/Paypal backers who pledged $55 or higher.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Inverted. A majority of enemies are female.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Taking damage will trigger this.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Shantae herself, and Rotty to some extent, but especially Risky.
    • It's safe to say that all female entities barring children, a few N.P.Cs, and certain enemies are Ms. Fanservice in one way or another.
  • Missing Mom: Shantae's mom "had" to leave her in order protect the human world from inside the Genie Realm. Furthermore:
  • Money for Nothing: While it varies from game to game, it really doesn't take much effort in any of them to earn enough gems to buy everything in the item shop. Half Genie Hero is probably the most significant in that regard, as it's easy to rack up huge amounts of gems just by replaying levels to find hidden stuff that becomes available as new powers are unlocked without additional grinding.
  • Money Spider: Zombies in Pirate's Curse drop a gem when their heads are knocked off, then another when they explode. Defeating their bodies is also like to drop one, so farming money off of them is quite easy.
  • 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 in the first game, 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 sequels; 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.
    • However, Half-Genie Hero later added a hard mode, which ups the difficulty considerably.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Averted. After Shantae destroys the prototype steam engine that Risky Boots had stolen from Mimic in the first game, Risky continues using steam power regardless in the sequels.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Sequin Land is home to mermaids, harpies, lamias, spiders, slimes, and scorpion-women among others, many of whom Shantae can transform into. All of them have visible breasts.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: 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's case, puppies.
  • Parental Abandonment: Shantae's mother was apparently raptured away into the Genie Realm; her father's absence, however, remains a mystery.
  • 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 is one, and it's where Risky Boots docks her ship.
  • 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.
  • Protagonist Title: The series is named after its protagonist, with the first having just her name. All the sequels, as noted by Shantae herself, utilize either a colon or the Character Name and the Noun Phrase formula.
  • Recurring Riff: "Dance Room", "Burning Town", 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 default outfit is a red bedlah.
  • Running Gag: In each game except the first and the fifth, somebody fires Shantae from her job as Guardian Genie of Scuttle Town, only to rehire her by the end of the gamenote .
  • 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.
    • An averted trope with the Mermaid enemies, who are topless but undetailed. Played straight in Half-Genie Hero when we meet the Mermaids' titanic Queen.
  • 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?
    • A four-year-old in Scuttle Town 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.
    • Most of this might be Lost Technology, as some things are occasionally mentioned as explicitly coming from a previous lost era.
  • Scorpion People: ScorpGals are a recurring enemy resembling red-skinned humans with six-legged scorpion torsos, and are found in desert areas. They attack either with their stingers or with scimitars.
  • 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. It's also pretty clear based on their character portraits in the games as well: Shantae will usually have rather unassuming or cute portraits, while Risky has more poses designed to flaunt her figure, including bending over and T&A poses.
    • Being a former antagonist of sorts, Rottytops flips the trope entirely by having no shame about her looks, and out of all the girls that got captured in Pirate's Curse, she enjoyed wearing her princess outfit the most.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The game does have a vaguely Arabian theme, so deserts are all over the place.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shy Blue-Haired Girl: A purple-haired variant is hinted at in Risky's Revenge.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness: Firmly on the silly side. The series wears how silly it is like a badge, with lampshades, fourth wall and meta humor all over the place. Things have taken a turn for the serious at times, for instance when the Pirate Master shows up the third 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, while there's a Naga merchant who appears in several places in the game itself.
  • Spike Balls of Doom: Shantae's Pike Balls, which orbit around her body when used.
  • Spikes of Doom: Present in some places. Instant kill in the first game, return to the room's entrance minus a bit of health in all subsequent ones.
  • 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. And when Uncle Mimic tries to make it ready in Half-Genie Hero, Risky is along to bugger it up.
  • Stock Femur Bone: Some of the enemies in the original game and Risky's Revenge disintegrate into these when killed.
  • Stripperiffic: Almost, if not every female character in the game. Primarilly achived through outfits that show off some bare bellies. 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". Double as a Two-Part Trilogy: the first game being a standalone story while "Risky's Revenge" ends with a few Sequel Hooks that are directly adressed in "Pirate's Curse".
  • 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 Run Rottytops!" in Pirate's Curse, in which Shantae cannot attack, and must survive a long obstacle course while carrying Rottytops, with both girls as a One-Hit Point Wonder.
    • The stealth section on Tan Line Island in Pirate's Curse, where most of the enemies are invulnerable and will send Shantae back to her quarters rather than hurting her.
  • Vague Age: Even though she was imagined to be a 16 year old around the conception of her character, currently, her exact age currently unknown even though it is heavillyimplied she's an adult.
  • Wall Crawl: Shantae can do this in her monkey or spider transformations. The monkey form lets her climb up side walls, whereas the spider form lets her crawl along background walls.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: 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.
  • World of Buxom: And for that matter, pretty much every single female character fails to be lacking in the chest department. Gainaxing is a common sight.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Every game from Risky's Revenge onwards will have some sort of tease about Shantae's parents.
  • You Gotta Have Blue 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) have purple hair; Rottytops has green hair.

    Shantae (2002) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/1fe7c8b3_bdc6_40f4_86dd_433e3ea0653d.jpeg
Magic to the rescue!
  • 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, and they 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: Played with. One NPC at the Zombie Caravan remarks that zombie guys are all pigs who only want one thing from girls; 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 do said charging and is difficult to control.
  • Background Boss: The boss of the Golem Mines.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: Bandit Town's got the Rusty Gullet where you can see monsters from earlier levels hanging out and having a drink.
  • Battleship Raid: The enormous mechanical Tinkertank near the end.
  • Beef Gate: Going immediately west of Scuttle Town in the beginning of the game is not a good idea unless you feel like running headlong into the game's Naga enemies, who have a ton of health, are fairly agile, and boast a homing screech attack that can kill you dead even from a distance. Since there's no way to enhance the strength of Shantae's main attack in this game, 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. Besides, even if you make it past using either brute force or Vanish Cream, you'll find a 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 just 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. Not that this is obvious to a first-time player.
  • Bottomless Pit Rescue Service: Float Muffins enables you to cross bottomless pits.
  • 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 12 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.
  • 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, it isn't possible to get the Tinkerbat Transformation as the game is emulating the Game Boy Color version, not the Game Boy Advance version (unless you know how to access the Debug Mode).
  • Early Game Hell: Getting from Scuttle Town to the Dribble Fountain is a huge pain in the ass, and you'll have a similar experience getting from Dribble Fountain to Golem Mines. The enemies in the very first area pop out of nowhere and respawn indefinitely, capable of killing you in six hits. The day/night cycle is a pain early on before you have any good ways to deal damage. And you don't get much money early on without grinding the Dance Parlor, so you might not have any healing items. At that point, you realize that getting past the Beef Gate in the desert is less "getting strong enough to defeat the enemies" and more "using every resource you can to better tank the damage".
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The only game in the series published by a major publisher in the form of Capcom. All future entries would be self-published by WayForward, with physical releases of those games done by smaller publishers.
    • The game utilizes a lives system, where any deaths respawn you at a checkpoint.
    • Transformations are considerably more cumbersome, using an actual dance system where you have to do specific button combinations to transform. Future games use more streamlined methods.
    • The game is much more Nintendo Hard thanks to the inability to increase the strength of Shantae's hair whip attack, to say nothing of its poor reach. The enemies also have a lot more health than in later entries, with the game's day/night system (inspired by Castlevania II: Simon's Quest) making enemies even more difficult to defeat at night.
    • Unlike other entries, there are several minigames that you can play to gain money.
    • Instead of running off a magic meter, Shantae's spells function as items that you can only hold limited quantities of. In additional, there are several items/spells that have never reappeared in the series, such as the Vanishing Cream for temporary invincibility, or the Float Muffins that make you immune to bottomless pits.
    • Shantae's monkey form was brown like an actual monkey, instead of being purple like her hair like it is in every subsequent appearance.
  • 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 the only game to use the mechanic.
  • Island Base: Serves as the The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: Shantae, who can use 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.
  • Made of Indestructium: The Golem Stone is supposed to be the most durable metal in the world, fabled for its ability to withstand almost anything. Granted, Shantae can still destroy it in five hits the same as all the other legendary stones, so the stone's indestructibility may be more myth than fact.
  • 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 GBC 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Rubber-Band A.I.: The race against Rottytops. Throughout the entire race, she's right behind you and a single mistake means you're definitely repeating the race. And beating her is mandatory in order to get to the third dungeon.
  • Sand Worm: One of the enemies in the desert near Oasis Town.
  • Secret Character: The Tinkerbat transformation.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Mount Pointy.
  • 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 through one to meet the 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 way to attack at first. Finding the Harpie's Talon, however, bestows upon it the single most powerful attack in the game that doesn't require charging. It can still be a little awkward to use, though, and the momentum from the form takes some getting used to.
  • 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, complete with a bird named Wrench who can function as a wrench.
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    Risky's Revenge 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/4eb8c13a_4017_4b8c_9b5a_758f5312035e.jpeg
Recover the Magic Lamp.
  • 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. They have lots of attack power, but take a while to go off and need to be manually whipped into the right place to deal damage.
  • 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.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Shantae saves the day but loses her powers in the process.
  • 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.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Remember at the beginning of the game when it's indicated that Shantae did not take very good care of the egg Sky had tasked her with caring for? Well, later on, when a rotten egg is needed for the coffee you have to make for the Cadavers, guess where Sky gets it? Sky does not mind calling Shantae out on it, either.
  • 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.
  • 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. However, only he really seems to buy into it as the other people in Scuttle Town still seem to like 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.
  • Life Meter: One that is made of hearts at the top of the screen, as seenhere.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Mimic tells Shantae they are going to do this once she finds the magic seals. Of course, considering what happens at the end of the game, that is easier said then done.
  • The Lost Woods: Tangle Forest, located east of Scuttle Town. It's got several layers to it and is the location of the Zombie Wagon and Squid Baron's labyrinth.
  • Made of Explodium: The Squid Baron. He gets better.
  • Mirror Boss: The final boss battle is against Shantae's genie half featuring all three of her transformations, which you're left to face with nothing but the items you brought with you.
  • Moral Dissonance: After you bring the Chef's dog back to her, you can "kill" it for an easy 100 Gems.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: The Ammo Baron's Battle Tower.
  • Mummy: First encountered in the Baron Desert, they begin to appear elsewhere once you advance far enough into the game.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Rottytops and the other zombies keep their human intelligence with coffee. They offer to help Shantae access the third labyrinth if she manages to bring them some.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Implied. Rotty helps her brothers kidnap Uncle Mimic for Risky to use as a hostage, but after Risky reneges on her end of the bargain, she breaks down crying and runs off just as Shantae shows up.
  • 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 has since been featured in subsequent games.
  • Revenge of the Sequel: The story centers around Risky enacting revenge on Shantae for foiling her plans in the last game. She accomplishes this in the end by stealing her genie powers and forcing Shantae to destroy them.
  • 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.

    Pirate's Curse 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/853c7c7d_6f44_416e_a7f9_07ab8b87309b.png
Moist the main snail!
  • Aborted Arc: The subplot of Shantae being stripped of her job and placed under house arrest is rendered moot at the end of the second dungeon and doesn't come up again for the rest of the game or its sequels.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Most of the Boss Subtitles.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Sky's parents are made of this trope. Upon meeting her new boyfriend, her mother brings up her bedwetting and her father calls her fat.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Parodied with the Squidsmith, who will toss her hair aside to the other eye when she turns around.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Inverted. The original American promo art features Shantae and the other girls smiling, but when the game was brought to Japan, the 3DS cover shows that Shantae is in a much more serious mood, and Risky Boots is proudly brandishing her pistol.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
  • Batman Gambit: Since Risky couldn't fight against the Pirate King's plan directly, she gave the Magic Lamp to Shantae, telling her to collect all of the dark magic. She later tell her to destroy it before confronted the Pirate Master, with the assumption Shantae would instead keep it and decide to release it in exchage for Risky's life. In actuality she knew the dark magic would simply convert to light magic that Shantae could use to defeat the Pirate Master.
  • Bootstrapped Leitmotif: Bolo and Sky's themes in this game are remixes of Harbor Town and Water Town from the original game.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Any conversation Shantae has with Squid Baron and his fear of becoming a simple filler boss.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Bolo installs the front lock of Sequin Land Palace "backwards, upside-down, and inside-out". Later on, he makes the same mistake with the Ammo Baron's Targeting Module.
    • Rottytops tries to add to her hurricane of spider web/world wide web puns from Risky's Revenge, but Shantae stops her.
    • Wobble Bell appears in the Village of Lost Souls. In Risky's Revenge, it was possible to kill the poor puppy; however, Word of God is that pooch has just gotten lost.
    • During the Ammonian attack Shantae descends down a tower while mooks attack her from below. Each of them, once killed, falls down and off-screen just like in dozens of platforming games. However, once Shantae gets to the bottom, those knocked-out mooks are in a huge pile of bodies.
    • One stretching all the way back to the original GBC game; after a run-in with Risky Boots, Bolo claims he'll never wash his head again. After the Pirate Master's defeat, he narrowly misses catching Risky, and comments that he still hasn't washed his head since that day.
  • 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.
  • Call-Back: The three coloured gamers in the Village of Lost Souls are based on the opponents in the lizard races of the first game. During the credits, they're gambling again in Scuttle Town.
  • 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.
  • City of the Damned: A sort of "Suburb of the Insufficiently Virtuous", the souls of the dead in the Village of Lost Souls such as Rottytops live on in forgetful ennui. However, the genuinely hellish Oubliette of Suffering is close by, and the area surrounding the village is a Lethal Lava Land patrolled by monsters.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: The Heavy Kick move does a whopping 10 damage per hit. However, it costs 400 gems to learn and has a long wind-up time in which you are vulnerable. In the time it takes to kick, you could squeeze in two hair whips anyway, which causes at least as much damage as the kick.
  • 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 Master 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.
  • Degraded Boss: Discussed by Squid Baron after you beat him out of his slump. He mentions he could appear as one to "make you feel real powerful."
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: You must collect all 20 pieces of dark magic to see the canon ending with Shantae reacquiring her half-genie powers and breaking the curse on Risky Boots. The last few Cacklebats can take quite a while to locate.
  • Easily Forgiven: The last game ended with Risky stealing Shantae’s genie half away and forcing her to destroy it, with help from Rotty and her brothers. Yet this game has Shantae readily teaming up with Risky to stop the Pirate Master and all it takes is a simple apology for her to make amends with Rottytops, Abner, and Poe.
  • Easter Egg: Return to Spittle Maze later in the game, and you can find a partial recreation of Dribble Fountain. There's also a hidden enemy gauntlet in the sewers.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: If you get the Golden Ending, Shantae gets her genie powers back during the Final Boss, allowing her to do 999 damage per hit. A slightly lesser example would be Ammo Baron's cannon, which is used to finish off the Pirate King, but was introduced much earlier.
  • 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: The boss that captures Rottytops in its web, as well as the second end-of-level boss.
  • 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. Using it has Shantae rapidly slam into the ground with Risky's blade.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: The guards in Tan Line Temple alternate between looking towards and away from the path you have to take to escape at regular intervals. It's particularly noticeable because whenever they look away, most of them are staring directly at brick walls and there's literally nothing else worth watching in the rooms they're in other than your way out.
  • 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.
  • Guide Dang It!: One of the final puzzles involves running over spikes using Risky's Boots. This is the only time that this is mandatory, and given that spikes are normally an instant-death in the same matter as an endless void, the only way you'd know to use it is if you've ended up Too Fast to Stop in a similar situation beforehand.
  • Hammerspace: Risky's equipment appears out of nowhere when Shantae wants to use it. This includes a pistol, a giant hat, a pirate cutlass, and even a cannon.
  • 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.
  • Hotter and Sexier: The fanservice is upped quite a bit, with an early island involving a puzzle to get two female travelers to strip down for a hot spring, and a later island being played with all major female characters in Stripperific princess outfits.
  • 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 pirate equipment. 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.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Well, as close to friends as Shantae and Risky can be (which turns out to be closer than Risky thought). It's also revealed that Risky is roughly twice Shantae's age.
  • Irony: Risky deprived Shantae of her genie magic in Risky's Revenge. Here, Shantae gets to use Risky's equipment, which was taken from her by her mutated subordinates.
  • I Want Grandkids: Very shortly after hooking up with Barracuda Joe, Sky's parents are already talking about wanting to see the two of them married and producing grandchildren. Sky is quite embarrassed at it all.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • The game's opening has Shantae mention that she's fully human, spoiling the ending of Risky's Revenge.
    • Odd in that even before the game had even been released, but Shantae appears to have her Genie powers back by the beginning of Half Genie Hero meaning the Golden Ending of the game where she finds all of the dark magic and defeats the Pirate Master permanently is canon.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Sky's reaction to the hijinks on Tan Line Island. Especially those princess outfits.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: There's a man on Saliva Island standing next to his petrified bride-to-be. When you find the Petrify spell, you take it to him and he promptly petrifies himself instead of reversing it. Then he and his fiancée crash through the floor and shatter. "Whoops" indeed. Averted in the end, as the credits show them both to be alive and de-petrified.
  • 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.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Bolo. He gets fed up about being treated like a good-for-nothing screw up and joins the Techno Baron. Eventually subverted in that he causes more harm to the villains trying to be useful than working with Shantae, and he switches back to the good guys soon after.
  • 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 leaves Shantae with all the gear and leaves. Risky then takes her cursed gear back and swears that she will take the Pirate Master down before she is cursed completely. Shantae is not happy with how everything turned out, but still believes Risky was truly trying to take her master down with her help.
  • Mythology Gag: The cursed sarcophaguses that you must track down are identical to those that contained the fan-dubbed "Spanky Joe" enemy from the unfinished Game Boy Advance Shantae game, who chased after and attempted to catch Shantae, then comedically spanked her over his knee if successful. For those who saw footage of this humiliation on Shantae's part via Wayforward's Half-Genie Hero twitch streams, it seems to be an intentional joke that when they crop up in this game, Shantae makes a particular point of refusing to open these sarcophaguses whenever she encounters one.
  • 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.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • We never learn exactly why Brandon decided to hold aloft his sword and shout that phrase.
    • Shantae apparently nibbled Sky's last Library card to oblivion due to being nervous about something. What made her nervous is never elaborated on.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Shantae uses Sky's library ID card. The guard notices that her hair and face are different, and still lets her go through because the camera adds a few pounds.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Once you complete the Run Run Rottytops section of Spiderweb Island, you can't replay it in the current save file. If you try to enter that section again, Shantae refuses and says, "There's no way I'm going back in there."
  • Planet Heck: The Village of Lost Souls appears to be set in an active volcano. It at least has a very hellish look to it.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "I take adorable little squids, and MELT. THEM. DOWN!"
  • Puny Parachute and Improvised Parachute: Risky's Hat, which acts as Shantae's glide mechanic.
  • Quad Damage: Monster Milk increases Shantae's attack power by five points, and Super Monster Milk increases it by ten. Neither one affects the Risky Boots weapons.
  • Re-Power: In the Golden Ending, Shantae's genie magic is restored.
  • 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: Part of Shantae's motivation for taking on the Pirate Master is to rescue Risky Boots from him, even agreeing to give up the dark magic she's gathered in order to save her.
  • 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.
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • This is all over the place in Pirate Mode. Having access to all of the endgame movement options (particularly the Cannon's quadruple jump) absolutely trivializes dungeon layouts, as well as eliminates some chunks of backtracking, since you can reach areas and grab keys and Plot Coupons as soon as you pass by them. It's entirely necessary if you want to meet the speedrun requirements.
    • You can skip through the Very Definitely Final Dungeon using a jump-higher-than-normal oversight with Risky's Hat in tandem with Risky's Cannon.
    • Risky's Boots usually require some running room to charge up, but a trick called the "Risky Shuffle" can be used to charge them in place by walking back and forth using both the D-Pad and analog stick. This allows them to be used virtually anywhere, and in particular allows you to skip the elevator puzzle in Oubliette of Suffering.
  • Showgirl Skirt: The Space Princess outfit is like the Dancer outfit, but the skirt just wraps halfway behind the waist.
  • 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 dragon 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: 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.
  • Tyop on the Cover: Parodied by Dagron, the Massively Misspelled Monstrosity. The achievements for defeating it with or without taking damage continue the gag with "Graet job" and "Prefectionist" respectively.
  • 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.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Zigzagged with the Ammo Baron. Everyone and their mother knows he's blatantly shady, but the law is technically on his side for the majority of the game.
  • 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 corrupted by his evil.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Played for Laughs. The Heart Containers this time are made by killing cute little Heart Squids. There's even a Steam achievement for collecting them all and not using them.
  • Womb Level: The top half of Sequin Land Palace after it becomes Pirate Master Palace.
  • World-Healing Wave: The first wish Shantae grants is the Mayor's in the ending, changing the Pirate Master's Palace back to Sequin Palace, and removing the Ammo Baron's redesigns from Scuttle Town.
  • 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 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/976a3b26_4968_454e_ab9f_6ce44baa340b.jpeg
Ret-2-Go!

  • Art-Shifted Sequel: As opposed to the pixel art spritework in previous games, this game's sprites are done in a more cartoony style similar to Skullgirls.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: After defeating Squid Baron, Shantae laments that this time the villain seemingly blew up for good. It turns out he's fine.
  • Another Side, Another Story: While the start and end of Pirate Queen's Quest fall under "Rashomon"-Style and Unreliable Narrator, respectively, the events in between detail her dealings with the Barons of Sequin Land as she assembles the Tinkerbrain. In particular, Ammo Baron in the main game mentions running into Risky, and Squid Baron's behaviour during his boss fight proves Hypno Baron's point about being 'impossible to work with'.
    • Although Friends to the End takes place within a short period of the main game from the player's perspective, it goes into greater detail on how Shantae's friends travelled through her memories to save her from dark magic and defeating Nega-Shantae.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Scuttle Town has respawning jars that can be reset via entering the Art Gallery. Handy if you're short a few gems to get that upgrade before leaving the town.
    • If you fall off of the screen at anytime during the Magic Carpet Race, Shantae gets launched back up instead of dying, with Shantae holding her butt with a shocked expression on her face. Notably, this feature is absent in Hard Core Mode, where falling forces you to restart.
    • The game allows you to save right between level segments and even before boss battles, allowing you to pick up right where you left off if you die or exit the game.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Shantae opens most Boss Battles with a proclamation of destroying the enemy; when there's a weak point to attack, she points it out.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: A number of the bosses are absolutely gigantic. The first three bosses - the Tinkerslug, the Mermaid Queen, and Wilbur - all have the screen zoom out to show how large they are.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: Cape Crustacean's first part.
  • Barrier Maiden: In the good ending, this is explained as to why the genies all left in the first place. They're out there keeping the world safe from even bigger threats.
  • Beach Episode: The aptly-named Beach Mode DLC. Shantae is on a quest not to save the world, but rather to find a good beach to vacation on.
  • Big Bad: Risky Boots, once again. She starts the game off by attacking Scuttle Town with her pirate crew. Turns out it's part of a Batman Gambit to give Shantae fake blueprints.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Risky's new ship, the Tinkerslug, which is a giant sea snail with the top half of a ship mounted on top of it. Also Wilbur, a titanic centipede-like creature.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Occurs if you immediately rush off to Risky's lair instead of helping the Barons to collect the polarizer. The day is saved, but Shantae is forced to destroy the Genie Realm to protect the world.
  • Blackout Basement: One of the hidden rooms in the third level of Cape Crustacean is pitch black inside and filled with platforms and spikes, requiring Shantae to have the Bat Sonar ability to properly navigate. Or, if one feels like challenging themselves, you can find your way through using only the placement of jugs on platforms and the small flashes of light provided by Shantae's transformations.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The French translation is still understandable, but translates some sentences too literally, and as a result many lines are confusing at best and don't make sense at worst. The Italian one, oddly enough, has a decent translation for the main game, but an atrociously literal one for the DLC contents.
  • Brain Bleach: In Jammies Mode, it turns out that Techno Baron wears the same style of pajamas as Shantae. Fortunately, this is only something that's said rather than shown, but still.
  • Call-Back:
    • When fighting Risky Boots, she uses all of the equipment she took back from Shantae in Pirate's Curse.
    • The four genies that appear at the end of the game resemble the four genies that Shantae rescued in the first game.
    • The Harpy and Spider transformations, absent in Risky's Revenge, have returned as late-game dances.
    • In the Friends to the End DLC, Shantae's memory of Cape Crustacean shows Rotty's human self, which Shantae had met in Pirate's Curse.
  • Camera Abuse: The Officer mode from the Costume DLC allows Shantae to make certain platforms appear and disappear. If an enemy is standing where a platform is when it appears, they get sent flying into the camera for an instant kill that temporally cracks the screen.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Although she's never depicted wearing it in game one of the relics you can pick up in the Item Shop is literally called "Bikini Armor". It reduces damage Shantae takes by half.
  • Chain of Deals: If you're not platforming, you're doing this in Scuttle Town.
  • Cherry Tapping: One of the trophies tasks you with defeating Risky Boots by biting at her ankles in mouse form.
  • Chest Monster: One of the backer designed enemies is a Cute Ghost Girl who hides in treasure chests "to surprise unsuspecting heroes".
  • Creepy Centipedes: The Sandworms in Tassel Town have this design. The boss, Wilbur, is a colossal variation of this trope.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Every single boss is covered in multiple explosions after being defeated. Most of them end up being non-fatal.
  • Denser and Wackier:
    • Hypno Baron, a source of some of the most nightmarish things in the game has some pretty ridiculous ambitions here. Subverted in the end where he plainly refuses to be cemented as some sort of comical relief and demands Shantae to find and give him souls so he can become stronger again.
    • The Costume DLC (Beach, Officer, Ninja, and Jammiesnote ) episodes go beyond the realm of absurdity and sheer silliness.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Shantae's voice actress Cristina Vee performs the game's theme song, "Dance Through the Danger."
  • Don't Celebrate Just Yet: Risky may be the Final Boss, but after defeating her and destroying the Dynamo, Shantae isn't in the clear; the volcano island base starts to erupt, and she has to make an Indy Escape and survive to truly finish the game.
  • Downer Ending: The ending to Pirate Queen's Quest. Though it's actually a good thing that Risky did not succeed.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: The corrupted Dynamo blasts Shantae with huge amounts of dark magic, and Shantae's genie half turns evil as a result. Nega-Shantae points out how incredible the power feels.
  • Dual Boss: Twitch and Vinegar. Also, Squid Baron and Hypno Baron, once you defeat Squid for the first time.
  • Dueling Player Characters: The final boss of the Pirate Queen's Quest DLC is the Shantae and Risky fight from the latter's perspective. That said, you probably didn't pull off half the moves Shantae is able to do during this version of the fight.
  • Dungeon Bypass: In a New Game+, Shantae starts out with her transformation dances already unlocked, including the Harpy Dance which allows her to fly and thus skip much of the platforming that was required in the first play through.
  • Easy Amnesia:
    • Every human in Scuttle Town comes down with amnesia about the time Shantae delivers the Copper Ore to Uncle Mimic. Holly is out of town at this time because she's the one that stole everyone's memories in the first place as food for her pet worm Wilbur.
    • In Risky's DLC, Risky's knowledge of Holly causes her to be remembered enough to rematerialize. After Wilbur's defeat, Holly gloats that she's still basically immortal as long as Risky remembers her... until one of the tinkerbats whacks Risky in the back of the head with a mallet, causing her to forget Holly completely.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Played with when Risky corrupts Shantae with the Dynamo. She had it tested on Shantae in order to get rid of her, but failed to consider Sky, Bolo and Rottytops being able to bring her back. Risky Lampshades it during Pirate's Queen Curse
    Risky: Bah! I should have dealt with those FRIENDS of yours first!
    • Nega-Shantae plays it staight during Friends To The End. She tries to make Sly, Bolo and Rottytops give up and lose hope by making them think she killed Shantae. It only drives them to defeat her more.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Nega-Shantae's speech to Shantae's friends is rather over the top.
    "I know what you can do... You can suffer! You can squirm like the pathetic maggots you are! Wallow in torment and pain forever in oblivion! Now beg! Beg for your very lives!"
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The entire game, DLC side stories and all, takes place over the course of just one day. This is lampshaded after the fifth boss where the gang comments that stopping evil five times in one day is a new record for her.
  • Failed a Spot Check: In the ending of Pirate Queen's Quest, if the Tinkerbats checked over the Dynamo for errors and made sure everything was okay, Risky would've won.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Wilbur, the giant memory-eating Sand Worm.
  • Foreshadowing: Unlike in the first game, the Burning Town scenario plays out after Risky has what she needs from Mimic's workshop, leaving little reason for the attack apart from For the Evulz. Once you find out Risky sabotaged the Dynamo's plans, it becomes clear the attack was staged in order to stall Shantae, giving her time to make the necessary changes before returning the blueprints.
  • Funny Background Event: When you first enter the mermaid factory, you can see Bolo being dragged by the hooks upside down. Early on, a fish envelops his head. As you progress through the level, you can see Bolo struggling with the fish on his upper body.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Risky's new ship, the Part Omni-Organic, Partially Titanic, Ocean-Optional Tinkerslug.
    Shantae: "P.O.O.P. T.O.O.T.?"
    Risky: "Don't call it that!"
  • Game of the Year Edition: The Ultimate Edition serves as one for this game, which bundles all of the game's DLCs at a discounted price, in addition to featuring previously Kickstarter backer-only content.
  • Genre Shift: Although the game still has lots of exploration and backtracking, it's much more of a straightforward action Platform Game rather than a Metroidvania. Instead of dungeons, it has lengthy platforming challenges, with discrete worlds and endpoints for each area.
  • Glass Cannon: Shantae in Jammies Mode. Your base attack starts at a whopping 10 (courtesy of Rottytops) and can be upgraded to 16, which is high enough to destroy bosses in mere seconds. But like the other costume DLC, you're limited to only three hearts throughout the campaign.
  • Golden Ending: Occurs if you don't rush off to Risky's lair and stick around town to help out the Barons. Doing so allows Uncle Mimic to create a polarizing device, which Shantae uses in the final battle to reverse the dark magic of the Dynamo. The day is saved and the Genie Realm survives, with the mysterious entity that visited Shantae thanking her for her efforts.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: Parodied in the Ninja route. Not only is she wearing a very conspicuous and skimpy ninja costume, but does things like loudly shouting "NINJA VANISH!!", admitting her identity only mere seconds after saying she should hide it, and claiming to be a tree while standing in an open field. Shantae is indeed far more detectable than a ninja should be, as according to Uncle Mimic at the end, Shantae has actually been wearing a thoroughly soiled diaper from her infancy, and hasn't noticed because she was wearing her uncle's odor-blocking mask.
  • Hybrid Power: Thanks to Shantae's genie half, she's unaffected by Wilbur's memory eating powers. Also, when Shantae's magic is turned evil, it's her human side that saves her. Uncle Mimic even states that her human side is the strongest part of herself.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: After Shantae's genie half gets corrupted by dark magic, Sky, Rotty and Bolo start to appeal to her human side, asking her to remember who she truly is. The Friends to the End DLC expands on this, showing them beating up Nega-Shantae in order to help Shantae recover.
  • It's All About Me: Holly is pretty full of herself. To the point that she made a deal with a memory-eating worm to keep the memories of her alive at the expense of others.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: Risky's Evil Plan starts with stealing the blueprints to Mimic's latest invention, which is thwarted by Shantae in the first level. Her real plan was to sabotage the blueprints while she had them, let Shantae get the plans back, and wait for Mimic to build the Dynamo to Risky's specifications.
  • Large and in Charge: The Mermaid Queen. The normal mermaids are Shantae's height, while the Queen is so big Shantae could fit in the palm of her hand.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: At the start of all of the Costume Pack DLC modes, Shantae comments that her debriefing/summer safety tips/ninja scroll is lengthy, and she wishes she had a way to just skip all of it - a subtle reminder to the player that skipping cutscenes is a thing in this game, in case they're on their second time through.
  • Lethal Joke Item: In the Jammies update, your armament is a pillow and a cute bouncy sheep. They both deal considerable damage. The pillow is at least partially justified, as Rottytops is stowing away in it.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Pressing and holding down while in crab form will cause Shantae to pull a seashell over herself, hermit crab style. She can't be harmed while doing this. There is also a shield spell available that makes you fully invulnerable when upgraded, but it rapidly drains Shantae's magic.
  • Magic Carpet: The annual Magic Carpet race, which requires Shantae to leap from rug to rug to reach the goal line first.
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: Pirate Queen's Quest ends with Risky defeating Shantae and activating the Dynamo to corrupt the Genie Realm, but a malfunction overlooked by the Tinkerbats causes the machine to explode, rendering Risky's plan all for nothing.
  • Monster Modesty: The Mermaid Queen is the only mermaid who wears a Seashell Bra, while the rest are completely topless. Justified because unlike the Shantae-sized mermaids with undetailed bumps for breasts, Mermaid Queen is so enormous that her breasts are very visible and require a bit of covering.
  • Mutually Exclusive Powerups: Some of the dances Shantae can get only from the lamia merchant are mutually exclusive. To get one, she has to trade in the other. The money-generating Gem Jug dance can only be gotten if she traded in the valuable Warp Dance, and she has to trade in the Obliterate Dance to get the Blobfish Dance. Getting them, even if you trade them back right away, is required for 100% Completion.
  • Mythology Gag: Shantae uses a grown-up version of Wrench to get around Sequin Land in this game, just as she did in the cancelled GBA title Shantae Advance.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • Hard Core Mode. Shantae takes more damage, enemies have more health as well as move faster, extra enemies and obstacles are placed where there were none before, late game foes appear much earlier, healing items are capped at 6 instead of 9, falling in the Cape Crustacean carpet race section now sends Shantae back to the beginning instead of bouncing her back up, and the Magical Tiara now gives slight magic regeneration instead of infinite magic.
    • The Friends to the End DLC is rather brutal as well - Bolo, Sky and Rottytops share a measly 3 hearts between themselves (which can't be upgraded), and while Rotty's got a healing mechanic, it eats up half her Dream Magic bar every time it's used, and almost nothing drops health or magic for the trio.
    • Beach Mode. Not only do you have the usual platforming to deal with, but now you also have to make sure Shantae has enough lotion to keep from frying up. Not so bad during the levels themselves, but the lotion can be hard to come by in the boss battles.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Harpy Talon here allows Shantae to fire off Feather Flechettes when in Harpy form, rather than actually use its talons to attack like in the first game.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: The mermaids were rampaging because their queen and many of their kind were kidnapped and imprisoned, not because they were jealous of the other maidens. After you rescue their queen and free their imprisoned members from Techno Baron, they become friendly and no longer appear as enemies on the Mermaid Falls stage.
  • Pajama-Clad Hero: The update-added Jammies Mode has Shantae go through levels in her jammies.
  • Pivotal Boss: Wilbur's boss battle (after his Advancing Boss of Doom phase in the middle of the level) is this, with Shantae running on a ring-shaped platform with the boss towering over her from the middle. The Final Boss, Tinkerbrain, is likewise fought in the same manner.
  • 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 in a shared storyline.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: Played for Laughs at the start and end of Pirate Queen's Quest. The story begins with Risky's narration proclaiming that "This is what REALLY happened"; the first cutscene is a repeat of Mimic's completed dynamo turning Shantae's light magic into dark magic, and aside from Mimic blatantly praising Risky's intellect in a way he never really would, it plays out like a basic Rashomon retelling. The final boss fight is Shantae's attack on the factory from Risky's perspective, and goes full-blown Unreliable Narrator; Risky takes victory... only for the Tinkerbrain to self-destruct because of her incompetent Tinkerbats. Turns out she's just (re)telling the story to her Tinkerbat crew.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: All the music in the Officer Mode DLC is recycled from Mighty Switch Force! 1 and 2.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Mermaid Queen is so enraged over being held captive that both her eyes and hair jewel tun red; once she's pacified, her eyes and jewel are blue, their natural color. Nega Shantae's eyes are red as well.
  • Refuge in Audacity: In the ending of the Ninja Mode DLC episode, Shantae proudly proclaims herself as a Ninja Master...until Uncle Mimic comes along and delivers some interesting news to Shantae. Her Ninja suit actually arrived. The "Ninja Suit" she was wearing the whole time was her old potty training clothes she wore as a child (including her diaper). It hasn't been washed in years and also lost its original color (it used to be white). The reason Shantae didn't notice the odor from her old clothes? The "Ninja mask" she was wearing was Uncle Mimic's odor blocking mask, and the "Ninja Scroll" she was reading? It was actually Toilet Paper.
    Uncle Mimic: Looking back, you sure did take toilet training seriously.
  • Rise to the Challenge: Wilbur, to begin with, chases Shantae up a tower. He becomes a conventional boss a bit later.
  • Rump Roast: Falling off during the Magic Carpet Race will cause your character to rise right back up in this manner, just losing some health.
  • Same Content, Different Rating: Most Shantae games are rated E10+. Half-Genie Hero is rated T, largely because of more detailed animations and slightly more overt movement.
  • Secret A.I. Moves: The Risky vs. Shantae fight at the end has this on both sides.
    • During the main game, Risky possesses a stick-bomb shot from her pistol and a giant anchor to drop down. She's also much faster and jumps much higher in the boss fight with her.
    • The Shantae boss fight in Pirate Queen's Quest and the Nega-Shantae fight in Friends to the End has her use powered-up versions of her transformations, such as dropping from the air as an Elephant, Speed Blitzing as a monkey, summoning geysers to warp between as a crab, leaping into the air as a mermaid and firing omni-directional bubbles, and turning the screen dark while flying as a bat. Also, the bat can fly up and down as well as left and right.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: Well, DLC Difficulty Spike anyways, but the bonus episodes are a lot more difficult in different ways. They also cap the player's health at 3 hearts.
    • Pirate Queen's Quest gives the player access to any level from the beginning... and scatters enemies from the near-endgame into all of them to make them more-or-less equal in difficulty.
    • In Friends to the End the only healing available during boss fights is Rotty's special move that eats half of her magic bar. The platforming in general is also trickier due to revolving around each character's unique movement tools and often leaves little to no margin for error.
    • The Costume DLC:
      • "Beach" requires the player to constantly pick up bottles of sunscreen or dive into water or else Shantae's health will rapidly drain.
      • "Officer" is based on Mighty Switch Force!, with all the brain-bending difficulty that entails. To make the experience more authentic, ducking is disabled and water is treated as a hazard akin to spikes or lava.
    • Subverted with "Jammies Mode". The 3 heart cap is still present, but Shantae's attack and sub-weapon for this mode(a pillow and jumping sheep, respectively) are both surprisingly powerful and have impressive range, and her mobility tool for this mode is a long-lasting, easy-to-control floating cloud that can bypass large chunks of levels.
  • Sequel Hook: At the end of the game, Rottytops, Bolo and Sky all mention a prospective adventure each of them have lined up. The Genie Spirit also warns that Shantae's mother had to leave in order to prevent "even worse dangers" from escaping from the Genie Realm to Shantae's world...
  • Shout-Out:
    • Ikki the Chest Monster is a tongue-in-cheek reference to Nikki from the ill-fated Swapnote application.
    • When enemies die, they launch through the edge of the screen, exploding when they cross the border.
    • One of the achievements is named "Jump Jump Slide Slide". You get it by jumping over all of the barrels in the area where Shantae's sliding down a ramp.
    • Another achievement is named "Master of Unlocking", which you get by unlocking all 10 Art Galleries.
    • Shantae instructing the player to defeat a boss at the start of most Boss Battles (i.e. "Destroy P.O.O.P. T.O.O.T.!" "Destroy the locks!" "Destroy Ammo Baron's army!" "Defeat Risky Boots!") may or may not be a Gradius reference. Or Peppy Hare in Star Fox 64.
    • When Shantae returns to Tassel Tower, it's now occupied by tiny one-eyed snakes that drop onscreen from nowhere and stalk mindlessly forward, just like the Shemum.
    • When Shantae's infiltrating Risky's Hideout as a mermaid, she could pick up some starfish companions that will act exactly like the Options in the Gradius games.
    • One of the dances Shantae has to trade (the Super Revive Dance) for is the Sophia III Dance, which changes her to a Shantae-headed tank able to shoot in 3 directions. She is a DLC character in Blaster Master Zero.
    • Techno Baron is complaining to Shantae about being forced to do a billion hours of community service for the shenanigans he did earlier in the game, Shantae suggests whistling while he works.
    • The third boss is a reference to Kill la Kill as Ammo Baron uses the fibers of magic carpets to make battle uniforms for himself and his men, and when Shantae beats him, she destroys the costumes, reducing the Baron and his men to their underwear. It may also be a call-out to Vega / M. Bison / Dictator, as Ammo Baron's upgraded commander outfit is red, and he hovers around the battle with his arms crossed and a big grin on his face.
      • When facing against him in the Friends to the End DLC, he starts making A Whole New World references, offering to "show [Sky and Rottytops] the world" and getting the Boss Subtitles "Shining Shimmering Soldier".
    • At one point, Grandma Blobfish asks Shantae to find her a hat. She eventually finds one: a trucker hat saying "Foxy Grandma."
  • Sinister Scimitar: Played straight by Risky and her Tinkerbats, being vicious pirates and all, though technically Shantae can use the Scimitar item to summon a circle of scimitars around her, though it's more of a magic attack.
  • Slide Level: The last section of Level 2 of Half Genie Hero, Mermaid Falls, ends with Shantae sliding down a waterway which requires her to jump over Bottomless Pits and falling barrels while also dodging enemies.
  • Slime Girl: The pink Slimegals enemies in Hypno Baron's castle, who turn into their blob forms to move around. Their grab attack used to eat Shantae has them hugging her before she's engulfed.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: Tuki, the snake saleswoman who sells a combination of useful and not-so useful dances for Shantae to buy and trade for. Downplayed, in that you can always trade the not-so useful dances back for their more useful counterparts at any time for no cost.
  • Spoiler Title: Of a sort. The game was announced before Pirate's Curse released. At the end of Risky's Revenge, Shantae had lost her genie magic, making her a human instead of a half-genie. Pirate's Curse starts with Shantae workng to still protect Scuttle Town as a human. The title "Half-Genie Hero" made it obvious that Pirate's Curse would end with Shantae's genie half restored.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: The background is in 3D, but the characters and enemies are sprites.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Taken to the extreme with Giga Mermaid, one of the early bosses. An enormous and beautiful mermaid queen who takes up most of the screen in the first phase of her fight. In fact, the screen has to zoom out in order to keep her in view.
  • Stealth Sequel: The story and trailer make it obvious that the game is not a prequel or a reboot. The appearance of the Chef Girl from Risky's Revenge makes it a full on sequel (and not a soft reboot, even though some people like to think of it that way). It is pretty obvious that as Shantae has her genie powers, it canonically takes place after Pirate's Curse (after the Golden Ending, where she regained her powers, Came Back Strong, and took down the Pirate Master solo).
    • One of the first characters that you talk to lampshades this by being confused what "a series" she likes did with the current installment.
    • A surprise appearance from Rotty's human form in Friends to the End further cements Half Genie Hero as a sequel to Pirate's Curse.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: In Friends To The End, Sky, Bolo, and Rottytops constantly bicker and snipe at each other (Sky and Bolo barely trust Rottytops due to her shaky history, Sky and Rottytops see Bolo as an incompetent idiot, Bolo and Rottytops think Sky is a bossy Insufferable Genius). Eventually subverted, as they learn to reel in their egos and work together in order to save Shantae.
  • Tennis Boss: Defeating Wilbur involves knocking out its eye, hitting it back and forth as it rolls around a circular platform, with the eye getting faster each time Shantae hits it.
  • Title Drop: Variations of the phrase "Half-Genie Hero" are inserted into the dialogue at several points.
    • During the final cutscene of said mode, Sky title drops Friends To The End.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: The first section of Risky's Lair is essentially a shoot 'em up level using the mermaid form (with starfish as semi-independent drones), in a Call-Back to Risky's Revenge.
  • Unstoppable Rage: When you confront Techno Baron and he reveals he has the Mermaid Queen captive, Shantae frees her while having to dodge various magical attacks from the angry titanic mermaid. However, upon being freed, the Mermaid Queen is still so utterly pissed off that she targets the closest living thing: Shantae. And she won't stop until you manage to calm her down by hitting her magical hair jewel.
  • The Unfought: Techno Baron is the only of the Sequin Land Barons who is never fought directly. Holly is never fought either.
  • Universal-Adaptor Cast: The Costume DLC does this for the cast, to match Shantae's changed gameplay mechanics.
  • Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Risky's Hideout. Complete with ominous music, tricky platforming and lava.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: During the magic carpet race, you can smack the other racers off their carpets. They can't interact with you, so you're either doing it just to be a jerk or to get the Achievement/Trophy for knocking them all off.
  • Villain Episode: Pirate Queen's Quest in Half-Genie Hero, a DLC starring Risky, who uses pirate gear and essentially plays like Shantae did in Pirate's Curse.
  • Volcano Lair: Once again, Risky's lair. Somehow, the intense heat is better for constructing her ultimate version of the Dynamo, at least according to what Mimic says when you pick up the clues...
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Subverted, as you recollect the zombie hamster after destroying the Dynamo.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The P.O.O.P T.O.O.T (It Makes Sense in Context) is incredibly easy, with you just needing to hair-whip explosive barrels into it to stun it, something which is made very obvious on the stage. Combine that with most of the projectiles being insanely easy to dodge, and it's highly unlikely you'll lose.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: At the end of Pirate Queen's Quest, Risky finally succeeds in defeating Shantae... but when she activates the Dynamo, it malfunctions and explodes, taking her entire lair down. Turns out the Tinkerbats Failed a Spot Check. Risky came so close to winning, but ultimately fell short. Ultimately subverted when you remember that this ending is simply Risky trying to explain how she failed in the main campaign without having to admit Shantae really did beat her.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Subverted at the beginning when Shantae manages to recover the dynamo blueprints. She even comments on it. It's actually a double subversion, as Risky gave her modified plans, turning the whole game into one long MacGuffin Delivery Service as you assembled Risky's doomsday device for her.

    Seven Sirens 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/aded4049_03a7_4357_8aa3_25e481f101de.jpeg
Half-Genie Superstars.

  • 30-Second Blackout: In the midst of the Half-Genies' performance, the lights suddenly go out with all of them save for Shantae vanishing.
  • Absentee Actor: Out of all the barons, Squid Baron is the only one to come back in here, although Ammo Baron is mentioned through dialogue with his brother Armor Baron.
    • Mayor Scuttlebutt also sits this game out.
  • Action-Hogging Opening: The game's opening has Shantae, Rottytops, Bolo, Sky and Mimic defend Scuttle Town from Risky and her Tinkerbat hordes in a huge battle. Naturally, none of that happens in the game proper, and since Studio Trigger animated it, no big surprise there.
  • Actually, I Am Him: The Ghost Dog that Shantae comes across actually turns out to be none other than Harmony's dead genie mother, who was responsible for sealing the Sirens in the first place.
  • Adventure Rebuff: Rottytops assumed this was the case, and hid into Shantae's luggage and later dressed up as a half-genie to make up for not being invited. Except that Shantae was looking for Rottytops, who was hiding before she could get a chance to get invited.
  • All for Nothing: Risky's latest elaborate scheme was done solely so she could claim the Sirens' airship as her own. This ultimately wound up being pointless, as Shantae's battle with the Empress Siren ended up destroying it.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Apart from Lobster Girl and Empress Siren, it's not shown what happened to the Sirens in general outside of a win screen.
  • And I Must Scream: Downplayed. Shantae and Sky are sold as life sized action figures to Squid Baron, while stuck in the armor Armor Baron made for them. However, they can still talk, and once they're freed, they do manage to wiggle free.
  • Antagonist Title: The game's main antagonists, the Seven Sirens, have their name in the title.
    • Never Trust a Title: There are, in fact, innumerable Sirens trapped at the ocean floor. The seven from the title are just the ones that get significant screen time.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: If a monster card falls off-screen before Shantae can reach it, the player still collects the card anyway. Any other kind of pick-up that falls down a pit just vanishes. Notably, this doesn't happen in New Game+.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Lampshaded. A kid in Arena Town informs Shantae about the animals she can transform into and the various impossible things they do that shouldn't be possible for their species.
  • Assimilation Backfire: The Empress Siren is able to restore her physical form by consuming some life force from the half-genies Risky Boots delivered to her. By taking the magic from five drops of genie life force, she would have true immortality and become unstoppable. Unfortunately for her, the fifth “half-genie” was actually Rottytops, and from her she took the “life” force of the undead. Her new body was rotting from the inside as soon as it was created.
  • Bag of Spilling: Shantae has none of her skills from the previous game, but now must build a new set combining her powers with the other half-genies and getting Fusion Coins.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: While the Seven Sirens are in charge of the island and have abducted the half-genies, Risky doesn't care about what's going on the island and is looking for something in it.
  • Black Comedy: Using the Refresh Dance near a skull will result in the now resurrected head to scream before dying again. Quite useful for refilling on Gems, Hearts, or Magic.
  • Breather Episode: After the high-stakes adventures of the prior games, this one sees Shantae and her friends go on a vacation at an island. She still ends up going on an adventure anyway, but even then it's to deal with a case of lower-stakes kidnapping. Or so it would seem at first glance. When Shantae learns about the true nature of the Sunken City (in that it wasn't a city, but rather an island-sized airship) and she has to reactivate it late-game to rescue "Fillin" (actually Rottytops in disguise), it escalates rather quickly and it doesn't look too far back from there on.
  • Busman's Holiday: Shantae comes to the island to relax and get away from saving the world. She's dragged right back into it when the other half-genies suddenly vanish. Sky, on the other hand, absolutely insists on enjoying her vacation, no matter what happens. Shantae eventually gets fed up with her attitude.
  • But Thou Must!: When Shantae is caged in by Risky and the Empress Siren before the Empress sends out a multitude of her Siren subjects, any of Shantae's dances, even the Seer Dance, will annihilate the enemies.
  • Butt-Monkey: Bolo suffers from several events during his stay at the island: he and Uncle Mimic lodge at a faraway house outside of Arena Town where the nearby "pool" is infested with Muckmen instead of ladies, he goes hungry for losing his Melba Toast and has been literally eating nuts and bolts, his Melba Toast actually is returned to him but he never finds out it was stepped on and stuck on the Mayor's foot, and finally he tries to break off the ladies from fighting but only gets smacked on his chin by their feet.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Rottytops disguised herself as Fillin the Blank because she assumed she wouldn't get invited to the island vacation by Shantae, so Rottytops hid in Shantae's luggage and pulled the masqeurade so she could get in on all the fun. Thing is, the only reason Shantae didn't invite Rottytops was because Shantae couldn't find her, as Rottytops had hidden herself in the luggage.
  • Defeat by Modesty: Some of the skeletal mummy enemies can be resurrected with the Refresh Dance, which causes them to immediately start covering themselves, before they pop off.
  • Directionally Solid Platforms: This game makes heavy use of them as one-way gates.
  • Discard and Draw: Most of Shantae's Fusion Coins are reworked versions of her previous dance transformations:
    • The Dash Newt is the Monkey Dance, except she doesn't stay transformed when touching the ground.
    • The Gastro Drill is a stronger version of the Mouse Dance, allowing her to burrow into sand and eliminate spiders in her way.
    • The Bonker Tortoise is an unwieldy version of the Elephant Dance, in the sense Shantae's charging blows have turned into speedy but hard to control moves.
    • The Sea Frog is a reworked and weaker version of the Mermaid Dance, as it only allows Shantae to move to adjacent directions and lacks any form of offensive capabilities. Also unlike the Mermaid Dance, Shantae can't stop moving as a sea frog.
    • The Jet Octo is a weaker version of the Harpy Dance due to granting Shantae two extra jumps, unlike giving her unlimited reach. It also heavily resembles Risky's Cannon, though its ink shots can't damage.
  • Drop the Hammer: When using the Quake Dance, Shantae is shown wearing a chainmail bikini with flaming hair and wielding a giant hammer.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The announcer over the intercom during the Half-Genie Festival is Christina Vee, the voice of Shantae. Seems like just an innocent cameo, until you learn that the entire festival was a trap orchestrated by Risky Boots. Guess who else happens to be voiced by Christina Vee?
    • Squid Baron comes up with a video game idea starring an octopus, fighting an even bigger octopus, with a cute babe in the middle of it all. This is a foreshadow to the octopus boss, which he later complains that Shantae stole the idea from him.
  • Inevitable Mutual Betrayal: Both Risky and The Empress Siren planned to betray each other from the start. The latter turned on the former without knowing the former had poisoned her.
  • Gambit Roulette: While Risky's plan this game mostly falls under Xanatos Gambit (see below) one part fall under this. Namely, Rottytops being in disguise as a Half-Genie. Risky herself states at the end that she wanted to keep Shantae around so that she could defeat the Empress Siren should she stab Risky in the back. However, if Rottytops hadn't been there, Shantae would have been taken. Hence, it was purely dumb luck that Rottytops did what she did. It’s possible that Risky intended to only give the Empress Siren 4 half-genies (as she had convinced her that Shantae’s magic was tainted), but that would not have fulfilled their bargain as it was described.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: While he isn't fought this time around, Squid Baron hounds Shantae a lot more often than usual, whether it's from his repeated attempts to have her approve his game idea, his refusal to give her away while she's an action figure, or accusing her of ripping off his ideas.
  • Guide Dang It!: Attempting 100% Completion without a guide is stressing due to several collectibles being hidden in mundane locations that only the Seer Dance can reveal... assuming you feel like something is fishy in a room to even use the dance to find out.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Inverted. Risky Boots was intending on just taking the Siren's Airship for her own in exchange for the Empress Siren to have the island to herself. Instead, the Empress Siren takes Risky's lifeforce and becomes the Final Boss Shantae has to face off against at the end of her adventure.
  • Insane Troll Logic: According to Squid Baron, Shantae's fight with the Octo Siren being similar to the boss concept he thought of obviously means that she stole the idea from him. Even though it's entirely a coincidence.
  • Latex Perfection: The Mayor of the island turns out to have been Risky in a mask and stilts all along.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: The musical themes for the upper areas of Island West and Island East are as long and elaborate as the themes for the lower areas, but since these upper areas are only a few screens long each in any direction, you're unlikely to get to hear the full song in-game unless you intentionally stop and hang around for a while.
  • Metroidvania: Like the first game, the setting is sprawling and interconnected, but it includes the towns.
  • New Game+: After beating the game, a new mode unlocks where Shantae is in her outfit from the dance parlor in Tree Town. In this mode, Shantae's magic meter drains much slower, but she takes twice as much damage.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: The Water Lily Siren doesn't appear to be hostile, unlike the other sirens. In fact, she doesn't even seem to be aware of Shantae's presense and is a threat only because moving around causes her to send out dangerous spiked roots and seeds that grow into aggressive plant creatures.
  • Not Me This Time: Early on, Shantae stumbles across Risky Boots breaking into the ruins and accuses her of kidnapping the half-genies once she runs into her. Risky is rather unimpressed with Shantae's deduction skills, and points out that there's another villainous force at work, after a quick scuffle. However, it's zigzagged. Risky Boots did organize the Half-Genie celebration to lure them to the island (disguised as the mayor), but her motivation was to gain access to the giant sunken airship.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The half-genie named "Filin The Blank" is a dead ringer for Rottytops, down to having the same design, and that her disguise isn't even in the visual with the other half-genies. Shantae realizes this when she finds out the name she gave to Harmony was 'Ima Goodgirl'. So a lying, attention-starved, cosplaying troublemaker. Shantae figures out that this could only be Rottytops.
  • Plant People:
    • The first of the sirens Shantae fights is called the Water Lily Siren, a plant woman.
    • When Shantae uses a Fusion Stone to channel Vera's refresh ability, she turns into a plant woman that looks like a Naga.
  • Puzzle Boss: The Octo Siren's boss fight consists of Shantae having to figure out the correct pattern to strike the six brains to make the Octopus Siren vulnerable, rather than a more traditional boss fight that would involve dodging different attacks until she enters a vulnerable state. Luckily, the Seer Dance makes this pattern obvious.
  • Recurring Boss: Surprisingly, considering her usual fare of mano a mano boss fights, Risky Boots fills in the role of a mid-level boss in the Sirens' Labyrinths. While she has her moves from Half-Genie Hero intact, she doesn't fight as hard or as long as she does in her other boss roles.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Armor Baron, the never-mentioned-before brother of Ammo Baron, runs a settlement east of Arena Town.
  • Revisiting the Roots: Not only is the game fully in 2-D (compared to ''Half-Genie Hero'' being halfway), it brings back the pure Metroidvania structure of the first game.
  • Revive Kills Zombie:
    • The Refresh Dance will kill or seriously damage every on-screen zombie or skeleton enemy whenever it's used.
    • The Tree Town bath attendant will tell you that the bath will restore your health...unless you're a zombie, in which case you just kind of dissolve. Then she notes to herself that she should change the bath water sometime.
  • Rewatch Bonus: A lot of business involving the Mayor takes a darker turn on subsequent playthroughs. For example, the Armor Baron has you pass off a Codebook meant to seal up the island to the Mayor, or so he says. Alternately, he could be a collaborator and provide codes to access the depths of the ship to Risky Boots, seeing as she's disguised herself as the Mayor all along.
  • Save the Villain: After defeating the Empress Siren, Shantae stays aboard the now-crashing airship to rescue Risky while the other half-genies (and Rottytops) escape. She succeeds, and much to Sky's chagrin, the Pirate Queen lives to see another day, if only to retreat in a particularly humiliating way.
  • Scary Impractical Armor: The Armor Baron makes sets of incredibly strong armor for Shantae and Sky, but they can't even move in it. It's a trap for them to be sold to the Squid Baron as action figures.
  • Sequel Hook: Which also doubles as The Unreveal: In the ending, Harmony gives Shantae the scrapbook that contains messages from all of the genies, including Shantae's mother. However, the contents are never seen in the game and remain a mystery, possibly opening the door for another adventure.
  • Spanner in the Works: Rottytops disguising herself as a half-genie after a misunderstanding turns out to be the downfall to the Empress Siren's scheme, as her rotten body taints the otherwise immortal power stolen from all the contestants.
  • Spoiler Cover: The cover of the game gives hints about several important plot points revealed very late in the game. The zombie half-genie, Fillin, isn't among the other Half-Genies in the shot, whereas Rottytops is noticeably shown alongside Sky, Bolo, and Uncle Mimic. It also shows every Siren in the game, including the Empress Siren. Lobster Girl is also grouped with Shantae's allies, her non-threatening posture in contrast with the other Sirens giving away that she is not one of the antagonists.
  • Status Quo Is God: Downplayed. While the game ultimately is yet another one of Shantae's regular adventures, there is the discovery of a book containing vital information on the genies, which is passed on to Shantae by Harmony in the ending.
  • Stealth Pun: A woman in Armor Town says the giant fans she made have many admirers, and she started... An admiration horde. Not a fan club?
  • Take Your Time: Despite the Sirens' airship's main cannon charging to destroy the island, you can finish up any side-quests you want or hunt for Cards to your heart's content and it will never fire. Justified, as Risky had no intention of firing it until the Sirens were all on land again, at which point she was going to nuke them off the face of the planet.
  • Title Theme Tune: "Rise and Shine Shantae" is the song that played during the animated opening. The last line is "can't stop me now, cause I'm Shantae!"
  • Token Heroic Orc: The sixth Siren is the Lobster Girl, who defects from the rest of the Sirens after being used to kidnap the half-genies. She helps Shantae escape from Squid Baron, and later on gives Shantae a way to reach the airship
  • Transflormation: Shantae's Refresh Dance causes her to briefly turn into a plant girl.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The first boss in the game is none other than Risky Boots. Luckily, she doesn't take the fight that seriously, although your stats are still pretty low and no upgrades are likely to have been earned yet at that time.
  • Warp Whistle: There's a series of attended rooms at the far edges and corners of the map that Shantae can use for teleporting once found.
  • Worst. Whatever. Ever!: Said by Shantae as the Metal Fish's condition steadily gets worse as it is attacked relentlessly and flooding, which doesn't faze the optimistic deep sea researcher lady until she finally gives up and agrees they're all going to die.
Shantae: THIS IS THE WORST VACATION EVER!
  • Xanatos Gambit: Subverted. Selling out the Half-Genies was the means that Risky Boots used to get in the good graces of the Empress Siren, all so Risky could steal the ancient ship for herself. Risky also deliberately played down Shantae's abilities to get the Empress Siren to leave her alone, allowing Shantae to rescue the other Half-Genies and take down the Empress Siren. Turns out this was Risky's backup plan to win; knowing that someone so evil must have Chronic Backstabbing Disorder, Risky's Plan B was to have Shantae take out the Empress Siren, then steal the ship should the Empress Siren stab Risky in the back. Too bad for Risky that the ship blew up before she could claim it, meaning that there was an eventuality that Risky didn't plan for.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The Empress Siren pulls this on Risky after their deal is done, draining the pirate's energy to restore her youth and power. However, Risky foresaw this, and in addition to downplaying Shantae's power so she could be a hero if needed and utilizing Rotty as a bogus Half-Genie, also planned to shoot down the sirens herself with the airship.

 
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Alternative Title(s): Shantae And The Pirates Curse

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Shantae: Risky's Revenge

After defeating the Squid Baron, he explodes rather dramatically. This is lampshaded by Shantae later on when he comes back.

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5 (4 votes)

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