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Formerly known as "Friends Mode," Friends to the End is one of the DLC expansions for Shantae: Half-Genie Hero. It was released formally to the public on December 12, 2017. It was originally envisioned as three separate "Hero Modes," but they were condensed into one story, along with the unfunded "A Dish Served Cold!" chapter proposed during the game's Kickstarter campaign.

Summary

Friends to the End takes place chronologically in the climax of Shantae’s storyline. This new mode is considered “official canon”, and fills in a part of the narrative that we, as the audience, were previously not witness to. Shantae has been turned to evil by the foul Risky Boots by way of a polarity-swapping machine, and is reborn as Nega-Shantae! Sky, Bolo, and Rottytops must enter Shantae’s mind in order to rescue her consciousness from the “Nightmare Realm”; a series of twisted memories designed to swallow Shantae whole.[1]

Gameplay

Players are able to take control of Rottytops, Sky, and Bolo. Each has a distinct gameplay style which players are required to juggle between in order to get through various puzzles. Gems collected in this mode are not used as currency, but instead function like experience points and increase the party's level to strengthen their attack power.

Rottytops is a close-range fighter, yanking off her leg to deal damage to enemies. She can also throw her head as a short-range teleport, as well as heal the party by tapping into Dream Magic. Her attacks are the strongest of the three.

Bolo is a medium-range fighter, swinging his flail to deal damage to enemies. He can also grapple and swing with his Spring Claw, as well as summon bouncing projectiles with Dream Magic.

Sky is a long-range fighter, commanding seagulls to deal damage to enemies. She can also throw eggs that hatch into platforms to stand on, and summon a small circle of defensive birds with Dream Magic. She is able to glide for short distances with Wrench's assistance. Her attacks are the weakest of the three.

The main goal is to reach the end of each stage. While there are Dream Squids available as a secondary collectible, they only affect what Win Screens the player earns, and have no bearing on the story.

Trivia

  • This mode is the first to give Sky, Bolo and Rottytops voice actors - Karen Strassman, Nathan Sharp and Cherami Leigh, respectively.[1]
  • The following achievements are associated with this mode:
    • Deja vu?: Relive a past event in Friends to the End. (Standard)
    • Learn to Fly: Keep one of Sky's attack birds in flight for a full 60 seconds in Friends to the End. (Standard)
    • That's using your head!: Defeat 10 enemies with Rotty's head throw in Friends to the End. (Standard)
    • Half-Wit Hero: Defeat 20 enemies with Bolo's grapple attack in Friends to the End. (Standard)
    • Kid Squids: Collect all Dream Squids in Friends to the End. (Standard)
    • Friends to the End: Save an ally with the power of friendship in Friends to the End. (Standard)
    • True Friends!: Obtain all win screens of Friends to the End. (Standard and Ultimate Edition)
    • Max Power!: Raise all three friends to Max Level! (Ultimate)
    • Somewhat Familiar: Save blah blah blah... (Ultimate)
    • Following the trail...: Free a captivating captive! (Ultimate)
    • Forgotten Memory: Brings back memories... (Ultimate)
    • Never Give Up: Take down an army. (Ultimate)
    • The Survival Horror: Clear the residence of evil. (Ultimate)
    • Dream Warriors: Save your friend from a sinister force. (Ultimate)
    • BFFs: Achieve 100% completion as Sky, Bolo, and Rotty! (Ultimate)


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