Blaster Master Wiki
BMZ ShantaeByInti

More in-depth information about Shantae is available on the Shantae Wiki.

Shantae is the star of her own titular platforming video-game series produced by WayForward Technologies, and one of the latter two Extra Characters introduced to Blaster Master Zero in the Version 1.3 update on July 6, 2017. She was introduced alongside fellow modern platforming hero and Kickstarter campaign headliner Shovel Knight, who was made available the following month.

For the Nintendo 3DS and Switch release, she was made available for free for one month after release, then priced at USD $1.99 afterward. She and Shovel Knight were released as paid add-ons alongside the Steam release.

Appearances & Synopses[]

Blaster Master Zero[]

BMZ HeartHolder

As with all other Extra characters, no story cutscenes are given to explain Shantae's appearance in the Underground, nor her acquisition of Sophia III (or Sophia Zero, should the player meet the requirements to access Area 9). As well, all in-game character dialogue is disabled, and the Receiver has no effect in the first eight areas.

Sophia 3rd's primary palette becomes purple and red to match Shantae's attire, but its performance is otherwise unchanged. Life Capsules are changed to Hearts, Life Ups are changed to Heart Holders, and major item pickup sound effects are changed to natively synthesized versions of Shantae franchise item pickup chimes.

Jason's additional subweapons and the Energy Guard are turned into dummy pickups, offering no benefit to Shantae but counting towards the item completion rate. They are shaded in grayscale in the same manner as Jason's Life Ups/Energy Guard in Destroyer Mode.

Blaster Master Zero 2[]

Jason will mention Shantae when discussing Gun Level 6: WHIP as a girl that it was inspired by that can do that with her hair.

Gameplay Changes[]

Instead of using a Gun and conventional sub-weapons, Shantae utilizes fast whipping attacks from her prehensile ponytail, genie magic, and transformation dances for attack and mobility in both top-down view and side view areas. Many of these are iconic favorites from her series, with an eye toward translating their aesthetic from the concurrently-released Shantae: Half-Genie Hero.

Furthermore in side-scrolling mode, Shantae is immune to fall damage/fall death, takes only standard damage from attacks (rather than double damage like Jason), and may (mostly) freely use the "Call SOPHIA" button where the "Talk with Eve" button was originally placed (as all Extra Characters can, as of the Version 1.4 update).

Hair Whip[]

Shantae's signature attack, replacing the Gun in both modes as the Shoot button attack while she is in her human form. It has a short range of roughly 1.5 blocks in both modes, but can reach over/through walls to hit enemies and break blocks. Rapid fire is also possible in top-down mode, with mashing the Shoot button repeatedly allowing Shantae to relentlessly whip in her facing direction as long as she doesn't enter the cooldown frames toward the end of an individual strike (this is more consistent when facing in a diagonal direction, as attack animations in those positions appear to have one or two fewer cooldown frames).

Each whip attack deals ~8/5 Blaster damage in top-down view (doubled against most bosses) or 2x Normal Shot damage (1x Hyper Shot damage) in side view. The Hyper Shot chip must be collected before Shantae's Hair Whip can damage armored enemies (wall mutants and Skeleton Boss) in side view.


All of Shantae's Magic abilities draw from a mutual MM (Magic Meter) bar instead of having their own separate ammo counts. Picking up either Ammo or Gun Capsules in top-down mode will refill this bar (up to a maximum of 100) based on the type of capsule:

  • Ammo Capsule: 15/30 MM (small/large)
  • Gun Capsule: 25/50 MM (small/large)

All Magic abilities are available from the start of the game and can be activated via the Sub-weapon button while equipped, provided that Shantae is in her human form. Tapping the Switch Weapons button cycles through Magic abilities in order while holding the button allows the desired ability to be selected directly.

In the Weapon Select Screen, selecting any Magic ability highlights Shantae's hands.


Shoots a ball of fire that torches enemies!

A simple fireball with a cost of 8 MM that fires forward, after a ~0.2 second cast time, from Shantae's facing direction until it hits a wall or enemy. Upon hitting an enemy, it will deal secondary burn damage, in the same manner as Jason's Flame projectiles. While in flight, it will melt the ice and spike tiles found in Area 6, and it will break the blue rocks found in Area 4 upon impact with them.

Fireballs, which have no on-screen shot limit, deal 4x Blaster damage directly and another 4x Blaster damage over ~3 seconds as burn damage (1x Blaster damage per tick for 4 ticks, 0.75 seconds between ticks). Fireballs which hit an already-burning enemy will only deal their direct damage component. Against most bosses, both direct and burning damage components are twice as effective.

Storm Puff[]

Call forth a cloud that shoots lightning bolts!

An angry-looking cloud with a cost of 20 MM that persists for 3 seconds, continuously shocking enemies with thunderbolts in a cross-pattern for 3x Blaster damage every 0.5 seconds (doubled against most bosses). Shantae can only have 3 Storm Puffs active at a time, but can whip active puffs in any direction desired to change their positions. Unlike Jason's equivalent Turret subweapon, puffs will not draw enemy fire or aggro. Deploying a Storm Puff will illuminate dark areas indefinitely.

BMZ PranceThroughTheDanger


Magical swords spin around Shantae that slice & dice enemies!

A magic ability with a continuous MM cost that summons five scimitars to rapidly orbit Shantae at a roughly 2.5 block radius from her, rapidly dealing 1x Blaster damage per hit to enemies as they attempt to pass through (damage per hit is doubled against most bosses). MM drains at about 10 per second while they are deployed, and they may be dismissed with another tap of the Sub-weapon button (or by switching to another Magic ability).

BMZ ShantaeHGHDance


Shantae's transformation dance system is faithfully ported from Half-Genie Hero, with each dance activated by holding the Enter Tank button, pausing game time in the meanwhile, until the icon for the desired dance appears (excepting the Monkey Dance, as no icon is displayed), then releasing. Pressing the Enter Tank button again while transformed reverts Shantae to human form.

Falling into water or pits or being caught in Area 4's water surges forces Shantae to immediately revert to human form, and she cannot transform at all while in contact with water. In addition, she cannot transform while the Enter Tank button is able to perform its default functions (i.e. while in front of SOPHIA or on a Retry Point).

In the Weapon Select Screen, selecting any dance highlights Shantae's whole body.

Monkey Dance[]

Transform into a wall-clinging, high-jumping monkey!

The only one of Shantae's dances accessible in side-scrolling mode (and conversely, the only one unavailable in top-down mode), it extends her jump height to double the norm (equaling Shovel Knight's natural jump height), increases run speed and allows for traversal of crawl spaces at full speed, and enables her to crawl up and down walls by holding the D-pad/Stick accordingly, plus jump off said walls much like Gunvolt's wall jump. She cannot attack or hold onto ladders in this form, though, and it cannot be used underwater (and is instantly reverted if Shantae falls into water, echoing her home series' rules about transformations interacting with water).

BMZ MutantVsMutant

Mutant Dance[]

Turn into a cute little GX680 mutant, trudge around, and fire away!

The first icon displayed when dancing in top-down view, this dance transforms Shantae into a bold purple facsimile of the basic box enemies. While in this form, she moves slower than usual but can fire pellets in her (ambiguous) facing direction by tapping the Shoot button and going through a ~0.25-second firing animation. These pellets behave similarly to, and deal the same 2x Blaster damage as, Jason's Penetrator rounds, except with a considerably slower velocity, a maximum of five on-screen shots instead of two, and no bonus damage against large blocks. (Pellet damage is doubled to 4x Blaster damage against most bosses.)

GX680 enemies which are near Shantae while in her GX680 form will forgo ranged attacks and will instead relentlessly chase her until the transformation is reverted.

Elephant Dance[]

Transform into an elephant that can smash enemies and obstacles with powerful tackle attacks!

The second icon displayed when dancing in top-down view, this dance transforms Shantae into a lumbering elephant form with decreased movement speed relative to her human form. Pressing the Shoot button in this form causes her to charge 5 blocks forward over ~0.4 seconds, damaging enemies for 8x Blaster damage (doubled against most bosses), instantly destroying large blocks and breaking down cracked walls should she come in contact with one. Shantae is invulnerable to damage from enemies or hazards during a charge, allowing her to safely cross small stretches of hazardous terrain (but not pits/pools) with this transformation; however, activating the charge incurs a 1-second delay before she can charge again, leaving her vulnerable for at least 0.6 seconds after the charge ends.

Brainy Dance[]

This dance doesn't make you smarter, but it DOES transform you into the boss mutant Mother Brain!

The only dance not available to Shantae at the beginning of the game (an "X" holds its place while selecting transformations in top-down view until it is collected); she must receive it from fellow cameo character Squid Baron in Area 5 (the center shelf of the top-right room, opposite the path to the Life Up/Heart Holder). This dance transforms her into a Mother Brain with a commanding top-down mode sprite size (though it is only half the size of the actual Mother Brain boss mutant). Shantae floats in mid-air in this form, ignoring all hazards and obstacles other than walls and blocks until she reverts to her human form.

Holding the Shoot button in this form arrests Shantae's movement and "blooms" her brain for ~0.4 seconds before releasing a stream of brain projectiles in her facing direction, with roughly the same spread as Jason's Auto Gun Level but no maximum travel distance and a ~0.15 second delay between consecutive projectiles. Each brain explodes for 4x Blaster damage on contact (doubled against most bosses). Releasing the Shoot button ceases the projectile stream and closes the "bloom" over ~0.4 seconds before allowing free movement once more.

The stream of brains can be slowly steered in the middle of firing by using movement inputs to dictate the desired aim direction (e.g. holding Down while shooting to the left will cause the stream to swivel counter-clockwise until it is shooting downward or the Down input is released), allowing brains to be shot in directions which are not possible with many other ranged attacks. However, aim direction can only be changed at a rate of ~60 degrees per second, so turns of more than 45 degrees are better served by ceasing fire and setting back up in the new fire direction.

Unlike Mutant Dance's GX680 form, taking on Brainy Dance's Mother Brain form while fighting against Mother Brain (or Mother Brains) does not alter the boss's behavior in any way.

Reciprocity in Half-Genie Hero[]

HGH SophiaIIIDance

On July 31, 2018, a final update to the Half-Genie Hero Kickstarter campaign revealed one last version update to the HGH executable, introducing the "Sophia III Dance" in Original and Hero Modes for owners on all platforms (along with the arcade-style Jammies Mode). Requiring Shantae to buy, then later trade in, the Super Revive Dance from the Snake Lady found in most stages' late levels, this dance turns her into a chibi-fied Sophia III with her head replacing the cockpit.

While in this form, Shantae can fire off cannon blasts for 2 damage apiece as fast as rapid-tapping the Y (Nintendo consoles)/Square (Sony consoles)/X (XBox One) button will permit, and can angle the cannon straight up (but not diagonally) by tilting the D-pad/analog stick, but boasts no superlative mobility outside an increased horizontal movement speed (on par with the Monkey Dance's).


External Links[]