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A Belly Dancing Hair-Whipping HD adventure from WayForward: makers of Ducktales Remastered, Adventure Time, & Contra 4!
A Belly Dancing Hair-Whipping HD adventure from WayForward: makers of Ducktales Remastered, Adventure Time, & Contra 4!
18,558 backers pledged $776,084 to help bring this project to life.

Shantae Visual Design History


Hi folks, we're a THIRD OF THE WAY to reaching our goal! Thanks to everyone who's helped this project to go so far, so fast!

To celebrate we've just revealed another one of our stretch goals: the COSTUME SWAP! Imagine gallivanting around Sequin Land while masquerading as Officer Patricia Wagon!

And on a side note: mark your calenders! Series creator Matt Bozon will be on "Sup, Holmes?" this Sunday at 1:00PM PST.  

But wait! Before you run off... let's look back at the many faces of Shantae, starting with her creation in 1994... all the way to the present! Enjoy the evolution of our Half-Genie Hero!

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    1. WolfThunder on November 17, 2014

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    2. Sarah Jesness on September 7, 2013

      Hm, I think my favorite one has to be the DS version. Great colors, and all the rough edges are smoothed out. Plus she has the "confident and sexy" thing going on the most in that version.

      Personally I'm not TOO big on the more chibi-like designs of the new game, but they still look nice and I understand the technical reasons for the change.

    3. Guilherme Albuquerque on September 6, 2013

      @Todor Imreorov
      I also thought it's an origin tale :)

      Design consistency aside, Shantae is a great character and I love seeing her development in the course of the series. She accomplish many things in her two first games, even facing enemies many times larger than her (Tinkertank comes to mind), and when you think she can only do all that amazing stuff thanks to her half-genie powers, she still kick asses without then on Pirate's Curse.

      And that's the reason I've pledged (and maybe the reason of so much controversy): she amazing :)

    4. Nakano
      on September 6, 2013

      My favorite is also Nintendo DS Shantae design & skin color in the postcard image.

    5. Missing avatar

      Tanks on September 6, 2013

      I love how people are up in arms about Shantae's skin tone. Any true fan would know that both the lighter and tan tones are cannon from the very first game. Try playing the first game with the GBA palette enhancement and then come back and whine to Mr. Bozon. :P

    6. Todor Imreorov on September 6, 2013

      Is it possible that she is less tanned because of the story? Perhaps it's an origin tale :)

    7. Missing avatar

      Lorenz Jugel on September 6, 2013

      Since we're apparently choosing our favourite artwork in the series from the examples above:

      I'll have to vote for the DS Shantae (2006-2010).

      She looks like an adolescent or maybe even young adult, is tanned (which makes her pretty unique), has an agile/sporty build that is still pleasingly plump where it ought to be from my decidedly male perspective, .... However, she looks like she can take whatever the Universe throws at her.

      The newer revisions, not so much. I wanna trap 'em inside a bottle to keep them safe, the poor widdle things.
      The older revisions are still too rough around the edges, although I appreciate the unique art style and rank it above the newest revisions. The DS Shantae is just polished enough to be pleasing to the eye, but still unique enough to make her stand out.

      To be honest, I fear this newer design may be in danger of becoming too generic, but I think it's still too early to speculate about that since we've barely seen anything. Oh well. (Just, please WayForward, fix the tan. The colors still feel all out of whack with the white Shantaes, and they both feel far less exotic, which robs the game of atmosphere. The rest will surely fall into place. I can get used to Kiddy Shantae. Will mourn the sexy aspect, but it's not a requirement. )

    8. Alenonimo on September 6, 2013

      I'm not that upset with her paleness, but is there any specific reason for her not having the trademarked tan-colored skin?

    9. Richard Neznarf on September 6, 2013

      Chiming in to say that while I am very excited for this game, you have to take notice that the majority of us do not like the pale skin tone that this newer version has adopted. The chibi style, while not everyone's cup of tea, is understandable, but this lighter skin tone is upsetting many fans of the series. I hope that you'll take that into consideration.

    10. Steven Tyler McCullough on September 6, 2013

      Very nice progression! (Shame the GBA game never made it!) I must say I do prefer DSi art style myself, but I think it's interesting to see a character made in different art styles. Keeps the characters interesting and unique each time! Everyone is gonna have their own preferences, but regardless, I know this game will be great! Can't wait to play! (Now that I think about it, maybe a sprite/art style switch mode with different art styles might be something to add as a stretch goal!)

    11. Giuseppe Pantaleo on September 6, 2013

      You've gotten to darken her up! Totally hotter.

    12. giga-ganon on September 6, 2013

      yup. the game will be awesome, no doubt about it! but the design still disappoint, i prefere the DS version

    13. Seth Brown on September 6, 2013

      I really think 2006-2010 had the best art design. Actually, I'll just flat out say that it does have the best. No question. After seeing it back to back, the new design really just kind of disappoints me. I mean, I liked it on it's own merits, but in comparison it's a step down to me.

    14. Antonio Garcia
      on September 5, 2013

      Again with the skin thing? Look, this is WayForward's IP! If the lighter skin color makes her pop better against the HD backgrounds, what is the problem with that?

    15. Carlos Veliz on September 5, 2013

      She still looks white to me. Try again, please.

    16. Missing avatar

      Devin Smith on September 5, 2013

      I like how Half-Genie Hero's art style seems more in line with WayForward's Mighty series. She also looks younger... could Half-Genie Hero be a prequel?

    17. Vince Vazquez
      on September 5, 2013

      @Tom Terranova: I really like the newer versions of Shantae. The art looks more like the sprite, which has always been cuter and more bubbly than the art. There's less disconnect there. And the cuter, more chibi style works better for sprites - the proportions make it easier to read on a screen.

      At any rate, it's really cool to see the evolution of the designs. I had no idea this thing started up in '94! It's almost Shantae's 20th Anniversary, technically! And it's always nice to get a look at the lost GBA game. Even though there are short vids on Youtube from IGN of the title... I don't think a lot of it got reused for Risky's Revenge or any other game, so unless you guys keep it's memory alive, it's just dust in the wind. Like all other Wayforward games though, it looked fantastic though :D

    18. Kennan Ward on September 5, 2013

      @Tom Terranova I'm hoping that that is just a terrible picture for the 3DS one, in addition to what you said, not sure what's going on with her ears.

    19. Tom Terranova on September 5, 2013

      I really like that Shantae is a sexy, adult woman with exotic eyes and a hint of mischief in the art for the DS. But then in the 3DS art, she's been given a generic anime makeover with bigger, more rounded eyes and lighter skin. And she's lost the slight emotional complexity she had. Then in the newest art, she's been made into a super-deformed child with pale skin, a gray-alien-styled nose, and a significant breast reduction (which makes sense for a pre-pubescent kid, I guess.)

      Why is Shantae no longer a sexy, exotic looking adult?

      As for the lighter skin, she gets around more now – so maybe being away from the desert sands has made her skin grow paler – or maybe it's just a fashion fad with genies right now. If it's the latter, please warn her not to use any Japanese skin whiteners made by Kanebo Cosmetics, Inc. – because she'd look awful with permanent skin blotching!

      Is the new story a prologue from when she was a pre-teen, or are you trying to make her more family friendly?

    20. WhattheFnu on September 5, 2013

      Interesting...I wonder how Patricia's "Switch" mechanic would be used in Shantae's universe. Adding a costume that offers maybe a new move or two is easy enough, but if they introduce whole new mechanics, I'm even more excited for this.

      Also, I know you've heard it a lot in comments below already, but yeah: Shantae's skin color was fine as-is. As weird as it is to say, anything other than a white character is kinda rare in more cartoony games, unless it's something totally out there like green or blue. Especially with the art style you have, it gave her personality (not to mention made sense because of the Arabian influences). Ultimately, I don't imagine it would detract from my enjoyment of the game if you decided to keep her white, but it would be nice if you didn't.

    21. Zéfling on September 5, 2013

      The last is version is really kawaii.
      A color skin, like the Collin Klein's picture, is a little more better. :D

    22. Guilherme Albuquerque on September 5, 2013

      @ Collin Kliewe is right, -> this is the Shantae we're looking for! :)

    23. Missing avatar

      Kyle on September 5, 2013

      Maybe just a little darker.

    24. Kennan Ward on September 5, 2013

      Art on the new one look like a Mighty Switch Force character

      @Elton Borges Mesquita Agree with all that

    25. Paul Hutchison on September 5, 2013

      All the art looks great, but please make her skin color darker again.

    26. Mark Bozon on September 5, 2013

      Gah! GBA version brings me back. Time to release that demo as-is in some sort of "Extras" area within HGH. Just let people run around and check out what could have been!

      Dooooooo iiiiiiiiiiiiiit!

    27. Gary Stewart on September 5, 2013

      All three costumes look downright awesome and have no clue which I like the most. Please make it happen peeps!

    28. Missing avatar

      Wyatt on September 5, 2013

      Woah, when did you guys snipe Harada Takehito to do your art? The HGH version wouldn't look at all out of place in Disgaea! ;)

    29. Garrett Austin Boyle on September 5, 2013

      A Patricia costume, eh? How about Alta and Luna, too? AND Kebako? All the love for WayForward girls.

    30. Missing avatar

      Lorenz Jugel on September 5, 2013

      Awesome timeline. Funny that it goes from system name to game name in the last slide.

      Heh, as the years go by, she gets younger. Or shorter/pudgier. Admit it, this is actually a prequel. ;)
      ( Would explain the missing tan, too. Which is still a bit bothersome if I may say so. )

      What a cute stretch goal. Let's do this! I want these costumes!

      By the way: Shantae and the Pirate's Curse ( ) looks great. I know cross-promotion in an update for a PC game about a game on another platform would probably be a bit controversial. I think it's OK if a backer does it. So, guys, go out and look for SatP'sC, only for 3DS, coming to the eShop around the end of this year. You want more Shantae in your life-

      Shame that I don't have a 3DS, I actually prefer the pixels to the Flash-like HD sprites... and I'm not talking about the missing tan or other aspects of the artwork here. I grew up with bleeps, bloops and chunky graphics, so all this newfangled 3D polysomethings/voice acting shenanigans/HD rez business goes straight over my head. Heh. Wonder how that makes the team feel, considering they surely spent a ton of work on properly HD-ifying Shantae. Sorry, guys. ;-P

    31. Missing avatar

      Benjamin Kline on September 5, 2013

      Ah, you gotta love Art Evolution. Shantae and the gang have come quite a ways since then!

    32. Calvin Lindfors on September 5, 2013

      Yeah, the skin whitening is super obvious when you line them up like this. I trust WayForwards comments from the past couple days though, I assume this is just concept art that was finished before the Kickstarter started.

    33. Missing avatar

      Dyllon Ashton on September 5, 2013

      Rottytops is looking pretty good there in her Pirate's Curse incarnation.

    34. Tyler Johnson on September 5, 2013

      Thanks for these great sketches! Can't wait to get my hands on this game. I will say this though, I would definitely like it if she got her tan back. It doesn't make sense how pale she is. If we can get that changed, this is pretty much perfect. Great work!

    35. Rebecca VixyNyan Loveheart on September 5, 2013

      Adding to my last comment, I really love what I'm seeing, as recently shown on a in-game screenshot.

    36. Rednal on September 5, 2013

      I'd just like to say that, personally, I like the paler skin better. It's more visually attractive to me, though I recognize that a lot of long-time fans might prefer a darker tone. ^^

    37. Missing avatar

      Collin Kliewe on September 5, 2013

      Noticed you made her a little bit more than she was in the trailer, but I'd still like a little bit more.
      Try to go for something like this

      Honestly her color scheme works better this way

    38. Harrison Wood on September 5, 2013

      The Patricia Wagon costume is a nice tough, I hope we get to see her dressed up like some other Mighty protagonists!

    39. Rebecca VixyNyan Loveheart on September 5, 2013

      Aw she looks so adorable in her Pirate's Curse art design (the 2011-2013 image) and also the one that shows up at the top of the 2006-2010 image, cute soft curvy hips and boobies, and she's smiling so blissfully~ ^w^ That's an outfit I'd love to stitch together for a cosplay someday. :3

    40. T.J. F.
      on September 5, 2013

      Hm, given Half-Genie Hero's name and art style, I wonder if a pixelated version will work its way in as an option. But then, Wayforward's pixels are above and beyond the throwback stylings of Marvelous's "Ultimate Boy".

    41. Stephen De Carlo on September 5, 2013

      I'm curious why her skin color changes.

    42. Stupacabra on September 5, 2013

      Any chance of higher-res versions of these images?

    43. Elton Borges Mesquita on September 5, 2013

      I really hope she gets more tanned in the final version. And it's funny, but the newer version look much more like the protagonists of Mighty Force than the old versions of Shantae!
      Anyway, I really wish to see this game done! Good luck WayFoward.

    44. Missing avatar

      Kyle on September 5, 2013

      Interesting, does that mean Harpy form was the first form thought up or just the one on display?

    45. Princess Erimemushinteperem on September 5, 2013

      Wow. You guys are right. She just keeps getting whiter, doesn't she? That's... Really sad, actually.

      It's almost certainly to do with sales. I'm honestly ashamed.

    46. Agent Gold on September 5, 2013

      I'm not normally someone who goes nuts over bikinis... but I like all three of those outfits, and I'm not sure which one I'd be most excited to try! XD

    47. Dan Murphy on September 5, 2013

      I thought the Gameboy Advanced game never got released?

    48. Jesse Dylan Watson on September 5, 2013

      Oh, the GBA version never came out! That explains that.

    49. Jesse Dylan Watson on September 5, 2013

      Sometimes she's tan, sometimes she's white!

      Gosh, I'd totally forgotten there was ever a GBA Shantae. I wish there was some way to get it on 3DS.