17 years ago on 2 June 2002, WayForward introduced the world to their one-and-only half-genie hero – Shantae!
The original Shantae is notorious for launching on the Game Boy Colour, even while the Game Boy Advance was already on store shelves. The platforming game followed Shantae, a young girl who could whip enemies with her hair and transform by belly-dancing, as she protected Scuttle Town from danger. From the onset, she butted heads with the pirate Risky Boots – who became Shantae’s de-facto arch nemesis for the rest of the series.
Despite the original game’s unique style, however, it would go on to become a major flop. Namely, its creator Matt Bozon estimates that the title only sold 25,000 copies at most. The series would not get another chance until 2010, with the release of Shantae Risky’s Revenge as a DSiWare game!
Shantae’s fortunes would continue to swell from that point onward. Her next game, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, would be come to be regarded as one of the better Metroidvania titles out there – thus cementing WayForward as a household name among independent developers. The developer’s new clout then allowed them to pursue an even larger project in the form of Shantae: Half-Genie Hero – which is now available on various platforms, including the Nintendo Switch.
Today, Shantae and her friends are still marching boldly forward. Right now, a fifth Shantae game is already in development – and the character even received a Spirit cameo in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate! While the series certainly had a rocky beginning, WayForward’s efforts ultimately paid off for the better. Here’s hoping (and wishing) that Shantae has many more adventures in the future!
What are YOUR experiences with the Shantae series? Let us know in your comments below!