Shantae is the eponymous protagonist of the Shantae series. A half-genie, and the guardian of Scuttle Town, Shantae works tirelessly to thwart the plans of the nefarious lady-pirate, Risky Boots, or other forces threatening the town. The character was created by Matt Bozon and his wife Erin Bozon.
As the Guardian Genie of Scuttle town, Shantae lives in the small snug lighthouse by the sea where she can spot incoming ships and trouble. During the events of the first game, she is portrayed at the beginning as young and somewhat naive. In addition, her strong sense of justice drives her to help people in need. She chases Risky Boots across the map in order to stop her plans, and has a strong enmity for the Pirate as a result.
Slightly shy, Shantae is initially afraid of the citizens of Scuttle Town discovering her status as a Half-genie. In addition, she often puts herself down; believing that only being half-genie is not good enough. After being tricked by Risky near the end of the game and subsequently thwarting her plans, she overcomes her ingenuity and shyness and comes to terms with these anxieties, and is happy that the townsfolk still accept her.
Shantae has a deep care for her assumed uncle, Mimic, as well as her friends Sky and Bolo, and at the end of the first game gives up on the chance to enjoy eternal peace in the Genie Realm in order to be with them. She also considers the zombie Rottytops as her friend, although Rotty's own attitude towards her, while friendly for the most part, is more ambivalent, as she does not hesitate in claiming she would like to eat Shantae's brains (which Shantae seems to take as a joke).
In Shantae: Risky's Revenge, she's shown to have grown more confident, enough to believe that she's the only person able to stop Risky Boots and discarding Mimic's suggestion that Sky and Bolo should go instead. In the end of the game, Shantae is betrayed by Rottytops to Risky Boots in exchange for her brains (although Risky chooses to back down from the deal) and loses her genie powers, she is then shown to be much less self-assured, despite the fact that she manages to defeat the evil embodiment of her powers, Nega-Shantae. She is then comforted by her friends who tell her they will help her protect Scuttle Town.
It is mentioned several times that she doesn't know who her parents are, only that her mother was a genie. Although she's willing to explore more her genie side hoping that it will bring her closer to her mother, as mentioned above she turns down at the end of the first game the genies' offer to stay in the Genie Realm, and at the end of Risky's Revenge is shown expressing sadness as being even farther from her half-genie nature and subsequently her mother after having lost her magic powers.
Being half-genie, she posses a lot of power:
Hair Whip (sometimes called Ponytail Whip or Hair Slap) is Shantae's trademark move and the main form of offense in the series. Shantae can use her long purple ponytail hair as a weapon, cracking it like a whip by shaking her head. It was revealed in Shantae: Risky's Revenge that this skill is not a by-product of her genie half from her mother side, as she is able to use this ability after her powers are removed. It's possible that this ability came from from her human father's side, or that it may be Shantae's own magic that is not tied to her genie side's magic. As Nega-Shantae lacks this ability, it is safe to assume it could be one of the two.
Magical Belly Dances
Shantae is able to use magical bellydances to cause various magical effects. Each dance is a series of dance moves performed in a timed sequence.
Generally dances are used to make Shantae transform into various animals, but they can also be used to warp her from place to place and even heal herself.
Shantae can can learn multiple transformations, each of which gives her different abilities and allows her to access new areas and items.
Magical Spells and Items
Shantae can use various kinds of magic spells and items that are bought at shops. The magic properties of these items are apparently not tied to Shantae's genie powers, as she retains the ability to use them even after her powers are taken away in Risky's Revenge.
Costumes are outfits that Shantae can change into to change her stats and abilities. First introduced in Shantae: Risky's Revenge for the iOS to promote Shantae: Half-Genie Hero's Costume Swap stretch goal.
In 1994, as Matt Bozon was still engaged with his future wife Erin, she got a flash of inspiration while coming back from her camp counselor days, and created the character of Shantae, named after one of the campers. Matt Bozon liked the idea and fleshed out the background and mythology surrounding the character. At the time, Erin had very long hair and Matt would often take a blow in his face each time she turned around. It inspired him for the Hair Whip, Shantae's trademark attack. Erin also came up with the idea that the character could use dances to conjure animals or charm them.A 1997 archived version of WayForward Technologies' site shows that it was indeed one of the original point of her magics.It was later refined as the transformation dances.
The archived version of WayForward's site also depicts Shantae with a very different appearance, as a brunette with a less manga-ish appearance. She is described as a troubled genie, born without any magic power, although she was capable of hair whipping already.
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- Her age is unknown.
- But, she is somewhere between 15 and 16.