Shantae can learn multiple transformations, each of which gives her different abilities and allows her to access new areas and items. She learns them from Guardian Genies and Magic Fountains, both of which are found in the games' labyrinths (with the exception of the Elephant form in Risky's Revenge, which is in the Forest Cave). She can also buy form dances from certain merchants.
The monkey is the first form Shantae learns in Shantae (Dribble Fountain), Shantae: Risky's Revenge (Squid Baron's Labyrinth) and Shantae: Half-Genie Hero (Main Street). It is a small, fast form that allows her to climb walls and perform wall jumps, and move quickly through narrow passages. When the monkey touches a wall while in mid-air, she can be made to climb it by pressing up or down, or wall jump off of it (). The
allows the monkey to spring off of a wall horizontally like a bullet (holding pressing or and releasing), which functions as both an attack and a way to reach new areas. The dance sequence in Shantae is , and in Risky's Revenge it's dance pose #1.
In the WarioWare: D.I.Y. microgame Shantae NAB!, Shantae is for some reason stuck in her monkey form and can only return to normal form by catching a gem bouncing on the ground.
The Elephant form is the second form she receives in both Shantae (Golem Mine) and Shantae: Risky's Revenge (Tangle Forest Cave). The elephant is large, slow moving, and can barely jump, but her charge can instantly destroy certain rocks, walls, and creatures (such as Stone Golems). It is the only normal form to come with an attack. The
In Tassel Town and can also withstand sand storms.it is gained for clearing
The Spider is the third form she acquires in Shantae (Cackle Mound). Like the Monkey, she is small and can climb surfaces. However, unlike the Monkey she climbs surfaces in the background rather than walls in the foreground.
In, it is changed to having the ability to crawl on the ceiling after doing a double jump or jumping in mid-air. She is also able to spit spider venom like in previous games. The spider form is the only alternate form that can duck.
The Harpy is the final required form found in Shantae (Twinkle Palace). She can fly through the air (tap ), allowing access to all remaining areas, but cannot crouch or crawl. The
In Hypno Baron's Castle. Repeatedly tapping the jump button allows Shantae to fly, and collecting the Harpy Talon allows Shantae to attack with feather projectiles. As a compensating drawback for the freedom of movement, this form has high horizontal inertia and is unable to glide, making it hard to navigate obstacles with precision.it is gained for clearing
The Tinkerbat is an optional 'secret' form in (Advanced Genies! (500 gems)) in Bandit Town, available only if the game is played on a Game Boy Advance (or through Debug Mode). She can climb on walls and background surfaces, wall jump, and charge with a battering ram (by pressing +), combining the functionality of the Monkey, Spider, and Elephant. She also has a cutlass which swings in a wide arc, attacking enemies above and below. She also has an amusing run animation that suggests insane panic. Because of her variety of abilities, the Tinkerbat is the best general-purpose form and is highly recommended as it reduces the amount of transformation during exploration. The main drawback is that despite her small size, the Tinkerbat cannot crawl through narrow spaces, requiring the player to revert back to Shantae form every so often. The dance sequence is .
InTinkerbats will return as exclusive dlc for backers who contributed $55 or more to the Kickstarter campaign. This form attacks with a sword and can limitedly fly for a short time with using the jump button.
The Mermaid is the third and final form she acquires in Shantae: Risky's Revenge (Hypno Tower). She can swim () in this form and submerge below the surface, allowing her to discover new areas that she can't even begin to reach in her normal form. With the
she can fire bubble projectiles that can destroy rocks that block her path (). The dance pose is #3. Not surprisingly, the Mermaid form is useless on land, as Shantae can barely move and jump on her fins and hands.
In Mermaid Falls. Certain enemies won't attack this form and actually follow and help attack when Shantae uses Mermaid Bubble.it is found in
The Crab is a new form that appears in Mermaid Falls. In this form, Shantae gains the ability to freely move along surfaces under water and descend slowly like a parachute in open water. Shantae also gains the ability to tuck into her shell when on a surface and is invulnerable in this state. Because this form is small, it can go through gaps the Mermaid form cannot pass. Gaining the Crab Claw lets this form attack and snip certain obstacles.and the form she receives for clearing
It was originally planned to appear in. Back then, it was supposed to be able to run and drop in the water like a parachute (much like its use in Half-Genie Hero), allowing Shantae to reach more underwater places. This ability was supposed to become useless further in the game, as Shantae would gain the Mermaid transformation.
An optional new form introduced in Mermaid Falls. This form allows Shantae to fly only horizontally. Unlike the Harpy form, it does not need the repeated pressing of the jump button to fly, but it can only fly in a horizontal line. Gaining the Bat Sonar lets you see in the dark within short radius.found in
A new form introduced in Cape Crustacean. This form allows Shantae to enter very small, maze-like passageways indi. Gaining the Mouse Bite lets this form attack.that Shantae receives for clearing
An optional new form introduced in Tuki. This form allows Shantae to produce up to three Oranges at a time in exchange for magic. This form can't move or attack but is completely invulnerable., it is bought from
An optional new form introduced in Waterfall Relic despite being a sea creature., it is gained from trading the Obliterate Dance. This form has Shantae continuously bounce around as a blobfish. The bouncing damages enemies but one wrong move and Shantae takes damage instead. It is not considered a water-based form for the purpose of the
An optional new form introduced in, it is gained from trading the Warp Dance. This form lets Shantae produce Gems in exchange for magic. Like the Dryad form, it cannot move or attack but is invulnerable.
An optional new form introduced in Sophia 3rd vehicle from the Blaster Master series. This form moves at double speed (like the Monkey) and can fire blasts of energy either forward or up at a high rate., it is gained from trading the Super Revive Dance. It is a reference to the
NewtIntroduce a brand a new form but with the same existing ability as the monkey using via instant transformation without the use of her dancing talents.
It can scale walls and dash onto enemy or objects with a single use of a button.
Gastrol DrillThe Gastrol Drill in is a brand new form using via instant transformation without the use of her dancing talents.
Upon finding soft surface of terrains, she can borrow deep inside and drill onto another area of the level.
One of the proposed forms for introduced in the Kickstarter campaign. This form would have allowed Shantae to hover through air, command the undead, and stun foes with her stare.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero concepts
Several transformations were proposed in Shantae: Half-Genie Hero's development period. Contributor-tier Kickstarter backers had the opportunity to vote on these. A few forms used as examples are in the gallery below. The bat and crab transformations were added to the game, and their designs have been refined for the final product.