Released: June 2, 2002 (GameBoy Color)
July 18, 2013 (Nintendo 3DS / VC)

Shantae is a side-scrolling, platforming action-adventure game series created by Matt Bozon, the creative director of WayForward, a well established developer known best for their creativity and passion for 2D gaming. Some of their works include Contra 4, Ducktales Remastered, Double Dragon Neon, Adventure Time: Hey Ice King..., Regular Show, Aliens: Infestation, A Boy and His Blob, Silent Hill: Book of Memories, The Mighty Series, Batman: Brave and the Bold, Sigma Star Saga, and LIT.

Nintendo Life - 9 out of 10
IGN - 9 out of 10
Nintendo Power 4.4 out 5
Portable Review - 39 out of 40
GamePro - 4.5 out of 5

The Shantae series debuted in 2002 for the Game Boy Color, right around the end of the GBC's life, and one year after the new Game Boy Advance. Due to the timing of this, there was only a limited release of the game which has made it extremely valuable among collectors and fans of the series. Shantae pushed the limits of the Game Boy Color hardware offering rich visuals, unique character lighting and coloring techniques, a high level of sprite quality and animation as well as a stellar chiptune soundtrack by Jake "Virt" Kaufman. While the game did have a Advance Mode that could be unlocked by playing it on a Nintendo Game Boy Advance, the general consensus was that Shantae was released too late in the Game Boy Color's life cycle - and, from several perspectives, it was never given a real fighting chance. As legends have it, only around 12,000 of the original Game Boy Color cartridges were ever sold. One other interesting fact about the series was that it was originally started out as a Super Nintendo game, that was in development around 1994-95.

Over the years, Shantae's popularity grew and
knowledge of this series became much more
widespread among fans of this genre,
and also in value. Currently a complete
copy of Shantae sells for around $500
or more depending on it's condition.
The game itself is a bit of a hybrid
between several classic NES
games that many gamers
from the early 80's and 90's
grew up with. Generally it
plays like a Metroidvania
(Meaning Castlevania and Metroid) style
game where the key to experiencing the
full adventure is to unlock Shantae's
potential as a Genie, or rather
"Half-Genie" to gain access to new
areas, items and secrets. The first
game in the series is a mixture of
several themes found in classic
NES titles such as Castlevania II:
Simon's Quest and Legend of Zelda II.
Since Shantae's original release,
3 sequals have been developed for
DSIWare and the 3DS eShop, with
a 4th game in HD for multiple
patforms being released due
to a successfully funded

The player controls Shantae
on a quest to discover ancient
secrets and treasures that
would best be left out of the
hands of her arch-nemesis,
the dreaded lady pirate,
Risky Boots.

On her journey, Shantae will grow
stronger and unlock her own inner
potential to master "Genie Magic" and
become a better protector of the land
she employed to protect and serve
as a "Guardian Genie"

You might say that its in her job to kick some pirate booty and she does this quite well. Shantae's main method of attacking enemies is by whipping them with her long magical hair. It's really quite an interesting concept and it works on so many levels given the fact that she is a belly-dancer and can also use belly-dancing transformations to turn herself into animals and other mythological creatures in order overcome many obstacles in her path.

The setting is a fictional Arabia-esque world full of magic and monsters that is akin to the stories told from Scheherazade's 1001 Nights, perticularly the story of Aladdin and the Genie's Lamp, as well as other classic texts, such as Sindbad the Sailor and his seven voyages. You might say that the world of Shantae would fit right in to these classic tales of literature.

The location of the game series revolves around an area in the world known as Sequin Land, of which consists of desserts, forests, mountains, waterfalls, marshes, caves, and underwater caverns, each hiding many different ancient ruins and labyrinths waiting to have their secrets discovered.

Our hero Shantae is a half-genie, offspring of both Genies and Mortal Man. To earn the title "Guardian Genie", Shantae has settled in a lighthouse near a small fishing village called Scuttle Town, where she keeps a vigilant watch for danger. When duty calls, she delivers justice with a crack of her magical ponytail, and confounds enemies with her belly dancing skills. Shantae is determined, athletic and adaptive, able to learn new fighting skills rapidly. Although innocent and somewhat naive, Shantae takes her first steps into adulthood with a childlike view of right and wrong.

Shantae's life-long friend and ally, Sky is a war bird trainer who's profitable egg hunts often span the known reaches of Sequin Land.  Sky can't wait for Shantae to see more of the world and life's surprises, and seems to be in a hurry to grow up.  Sky is a sort of desert rat, always nesting in out of the way places at length.  For this reason, Shantae and Sky have tend to have more unexpected reunions than they do planned visits.  Even apart, their friendship is a strong one, and Sky's opinions hold equal value to Uncle Mimic's in Shantae's mind.  Sky keeps a war bird named Wrench, and she is rarely seen without him.  Wrench is a dangerous weapon, and is totally reliable, even following Shantae's orders.  For some reason, Wrench regards Bolo as prey, and takes every opportunity to prove it. 
Shantae's sparring partner is an slow-witted knucklehead with a serious lack of reasoning skills. He's hardly awake until he springs into action...usually at the chance to be a hero...and begins twirling his bolo balls. As a fighter, Bolo is very efficient and skillful, as though these moments of competence are sustained by his regular state of mental hibernation. Bolo has eyes for Risky Boots and nearly anything else remotely female, although a brotherly comfort level keeps Shantae outside his level of vision. Bolo is commonly used as a punching bag or stool pigeon by Rotty, Sky and Shantae. Mimic often uses Bolo as an errand boy, which given his single track mind works fairly well.

Old Uncle Mimic is one of the Relic Hunters... a consortium of explorers that attempt to advance the future by excavating secrets of the past. Mimic is the closest thing Shantae has to a family. He lives in his workshop in Scuttle Town, where he houses hundreds of ancient objects. Since townsfolk tend to be skeptical and stand-offish to Relic Hunters (and genies), he and Shantae make a great pair. Shantae makes Mimic her project, and refuses to let him grow old, sloppy, or comfortable. Although she can get on his nerves at times, Mimic genuinely loves Shantae and strives to keep her safe. Although Shantae has no idea, Mimic is a retired hero of days long gone and still contains dormant skills that could awaken if provoked.

Rotty is a free sprit... friendly, energetic, and headstrong. However, she is also extremely untrustworthy, crafty, and manipulative. She loves ruffling peoples feathers or guiding then down the wrong path. She's a tease and a shameless flirt on a near-criminal level, and her scruples know no boundaries. As a family member in a Zombie Clan, Rotty travels the land by caravan gaining worldly skills and threatening to eat peoples brains. She has 2 nasty brothers that seem capable of bringing out the worst in her whenever they're all together. Rotty is obsessed with Shantae, and the challenge of corrupting her pure nature.

The nefarious lady-pirate Risky Boots is known throughout Sequin Land for her love of wealth, power, and all shiny things. Risky is unchallenged on the Seven Seas, and as it's self-appointed queen will caution anyone to think otherwise. Risky is a villain with the skills and luck usually reserved for the good guys. Capable, dominating and deadly, Risky isn't afraid to claim what's not hers. She commands an endless army of Tinkerbats who follow her orders without question, building her weapons of war and scavenging the resources that make her schemes become reality.

Tinkerbats are Risky's silent shadow army. Individually they are not very formidable in battle, and therefore tend to huddle in groups of 3 or more. They are intelligent and skillful, yet skittish and non-communicative. Their loyalty knows no bounds, and like drones serving a queen they act as an extension of Risky's will. Where Risky harvests her Tinkerbats is unknown.

Shantae and the Shantae Logo are owned and copyrighted by Matt Bozon and Wayforward Technologies. is not affliated with Wayforward and is for fan purposes only.