This is a gameplay FAQ for Shantae. Please feel free to post questions in the comments.

General advice

I'm a bit lost. Help?

If you're trying to figure out where to go and how to get there, consult the map page: Overworld (Shantae)

More generally, it's easiest to visualize the world as a ring-shape that loops around. There is a single 'main' path of areas spanning across, with a few tangents and shortcuts through caves. For the most part, to get anywhere, just keep walking in one direction.

I keep dying! This game is hard! Help me out.

The game is actually hardest at the very beginning, and becomes easier the further you progress. Here are some tips to make it easier:

  • Stock up on potions.
  • Avoid traveling at night until you're tough enough to handle it. You can put off hunting Fireflies until you're ready for it.
  • Check out the Heart Holder list below for some of the easier to acquire HH's.
  • If you're in an area with a lot of pits, chow down a Float Muffin for protection.
  • The Fighter's Gear Boot and Sash can make hitting enemies both above and below you much easier, and additionally do more damage than your standard attack.

What's a good way to make money?

Gems are handy to have, and once you reach Water Town you might find yourself tempted by the Fighter's Gear, which is really expensive. Here are a few ways to make some cash:

  • Snakes - The towneys will often advise you to fight scarecrows or other creatures to make money, but snakes are the easiest because they respawn so quickly and are not the slightest bit a threat to Shantae. Use a Greedy Jar (available at the store) and the gems they drop will double for a period of time.
  • Dance Parlor (Scuttle Town) - Dance for gems by pressing the correct button sequence. It requires precise timing and I suggest you practice on lower levels first and gradually increase as you master each level, but you get nice bonuses for doing a perfect job.
  • Gecko Match (Oasis Town) - There is less skill involved here, and just a mild amount of strategy. It's basically a dice game, where you score a point (represented by how high your lizard is on his pole) for each winning role. You can bail out at any time, and hitting the top will net you 100 gems. The strategy, such as it is, is as follows: If the enemy gets two points ahead of you, bail out. Since the gem investment increases with each turn, bailing early on loses you very little money. Your goal is to get to the top and make the bonus, and if that possibility ever looks unlikely, there is no point in continuing. So the old saying "Quitters never prosper" is actually the opposite of true in the Gecko Chamber.

More specific topics

How do I beat Rottytop's race?

Getting beaten by a zombie in a foot race is pretty humiliating. Shantae can outrun her easily, but Rotty flawlessly evades the obstacles, so it's necessary to do a nearly perfect run. If you have trouble reacting to the obstacles fast enough, try memorizing the sequence:

  • Jump
  • Slide
  • Jump x2
  • Slide
  • Jump
  • Slide x3
  • Jump
  • Slide
  • Jump
  • Slide x2
  • Jump
  • Slide
  • Jump

How do I get to Twinkle Palace at the top of Mount Pointy?

A point of confusion with this game is the incorrect advice Shantae's friends provide about reaching the summit of Mount Pointy. Approaching from the east will just run you into an impassable cliff-face. To get to the top, you have to go west (which is to say left).

Where is the Zombie Caravan gone?

After your first mandatory visit at the Zombie Caravan, you'll notice it's no longer in its original location. Actually, from this point onwards, you may only get back there out of pure luck by crossing two overworld areas at night (any area will do). Don't worry: the place is no longer required for plot progression, but it can be useful to get back there, for three reasons: the items are cheaper, racing against Rotty again can get you some gems, and if you warp there with the Warp dance, you will automatically bring the night, which can be useful, for example if you're trying to catch the fireflies. The best way to ensure you can go back to the Zombie Caravan anytime you like is still to bring four Baby Warp Squids during your first visit.


Where are the Heart Holders?

Shantae GBC - sprite - Heart Holder The Heart Holders increases the heart counters, and thus allow you to live longer. They are found in the wilderness and in caves. Bring a wide variety of items with you as you will need several kinds to get them all. See here for the exact locations.
# Location Required Description Img
1 Scarecrow Field On a slab of rock held by two pillars. Have the monkey jump up there. Shantae (USA) 45 HH1
2 Naga Wasteland After a crawlspace through a stone bump, there is a ladder down into a cave where you'll find a strange eyeball-door blocking the way to a holder as you approach. Slam a Vanishing Creme and walk on through.[Note: It is possible to get the heart holder without the vanishing creme by forcing the door to open then rush on in while the door is raising up.] Shantae (USA) 46 HH2

Shantae (USA) 48 HH2

3 Spider Forest There's a pyramid-shaped hill with slidey leafy slopes in the Spider Forest. It would take a spider to reach it. [Note: This holder does not technically need the spider. It can be obtained by rather haphazardly jumping off the blocks in the middle on to the leaves and then jumping off again for an early-game health boost.] Scr hh spider forest
4 Mud Bog +/ Use the elephant to smash a square of rock found at the foot of one of the rocky bits. Within you will find a cave with a wide pit and a low ceilling. Slamming a Float Muffin will allow you to cross the pit, or you can come back when you have the Harpy form. Src hh mudbogg
5 Archer Forest + When you encounter the archer who shoots on top of a stone arch which stands over a stump. Destroy the stump by using the elephant form and go down the ladder, in the cave there will a be weirdo clown who enjoys cute girls dancing. Use the Twin Mints, and simply dance. Scr hh clown
6 Mens Desert High above the sands are upside down pyramids floating there like gravity were someone else's problem. On one of them you'll find a Heart Holder. Scr hh mens desert
7 Mount Pointy If you flap around the icicle 'roof' of the area enough, you'll find an indentation with this Heart Holder sitting in it. It's on the left side of the summit of Mount Pointy. Scr hh mount pointy
SRR - sprite - key The above section was transcluded from Heart Holders (Shantae). Go there to edit it.

Where are the Fireflies?

There are 12 fireflies in Shantae. Getting all 12 will allow Shantae to read the scroll in the Firefly Shrine in Water Town that will allow her to learn the Healing Dance. They only appear at night, and only in outdoor locations (so there's no point in searching in caves or labyrinths).

Because - unlike other collectible items in the game - Fireflies are only useful when you have all of them, it's best to leave the Firefly hunt to the end when Shantae is more powerful and can transform into the Harpy or Tinkerbat. This will make the whole process easier and faster.

# Location Required Description Screenshot
1 Scarecrow Field - Hovering over a small platform held up by two pillars. Shantae (USA) 54 FF1
2 Rain Storm - The Firefly is easily found near the beginning. Scr ff rain storm
3 Waterfall Lake This one is in plain sight from the start, but cannot be reached until the Spider form is acquired. Scr ff lake
4 Snail Wasteland / About two thirds of the way through the Snail area is a rocky area that can be climbed. Immediately to the right of the top of this plateau is a Firefly. Scr ff snail
5 Hidden Waterfall / In the Hidden Waterfall area, stand on the branch on the far right and turn into either the monkey or the harpy and climb/fly upwards through the gap. There is a little chamber with a Firefly in it. Scr ff hidden waterfall
6 Naga Wasteland + The leftmost rocky part of this area (the one that features a vertical shaft lined with spikes) has this Firefly at its summit. While it's possible to get it with the Monkey and the Spider, it's far easier just to come back later as a Harpy. Scr ff naga
7 Eagle Wasteland + Close to the right entrance is a tall climbable surface for the Spider. Towards the top there is a platform with two bats nearby. From there, drop to a platform just out of sight below that one where you will find the Firefly. Scr ff eagle wasteland
8 Mount Pointy The Firefly is in plain view just above the Save Guy, on the western cliff face of the mountain. Scr ff mount pointy
9 Mud Bog The very first climbable area you find heading westward, climb it, and you'll immediately find a glowing insect. Scr ff mud bog
10 Ghost Forest It is found at the first of the walls that initially divides this area. If you use the Monkey to climb up, you will find a little area inset into the wall with a Firefly. Scr ff ghost forest
11 Ghost Forest Fly directly above the left entrance and find this Firefly in an indentaiton in the rocks. Scr ff ghost forest 2
12 Archer Forest In plain view over some ruins just right of the massive pit that requires the Spider to pass. Scr ff artcher

SRR - sprite - key The above section was transcluded from Fireflies. Go there to edit it.

Where are the Baby Warp Squids?

The Baby Warp Squids in Shantae are hidden in the various labyrinths and must be brought to Warp Squid Mothers so that Shantae may learn the Warp dances. These dances enable her to warp instantly to the corresponding town.

Most BWSs can be acquired on the first visit to the labyrinth, but there is one in each of the first three labyrinths that will require revisiting at a later time once the requisite transformation is acquired.

Dribble Fountain

# Required Description Screen
1 - In the green lit chamber following the first encounter with a shapeshifting water elemental miniboss, this one can be found just sitting on a pile of pink blocks. Scr dribble ws2
2 - In a hidden room accessible by crawling under an overhang of pink stones at the bottom of the shaft in the chamber immediately to the right of where the white worm platforms first appear. Scr dribble ws1
3 To the west of the Guardian Genie chamber there is a baby warp squid on a raised platform.

It is also reachable without the monkey transformation by pushing the stone block from the destroyed pillar on the right, only if the stone block hasn't been used yet.

Scr dribble fountain ws3
4 / In the room that must be reached by running over a succession of pits with jumping fish in them, there are little indents in the ceiling indicating a secret passage. You can get up here with the Monkey, but if you have trouble you can just come back with the Harpy form, since you'll need to come back anyway to get the last one. Be sure to ride all the way up, as there are two floors in this secret passage, and the baby's up there on the second one. Scr dribble fountain ws4
5 / Atop a platform you can't initially reach in the platform/water/jumping eye fish section near the start. Come back later with the Spider or Harpy form and either climb the background blue grid as the Spider or fly as the Harpy. Scr dribble fountain ws5

SRR - sprite - forest key icon The above section was transcluded from Baby Warp Squids in Dribble Fountain (Shantae). Go there to edit it.

Golem Mine

# Required Description Screen
1 Take the first elevator down until you reach a point where you are flanked by two circular barred windows. Walk through the wall on the right to find the little guy. Scr golem mine ws1
2 You can see this one from the elevator, but you won't be able to reach it till later. Behind a locked door to the left of the elevator shaft is a room with a golem and four hanging lantern platforms. Use the monkey to scale up a shaft on the ceiling and then the elephant to smash through some stalagamajigs in an opening on the right. Scr golem mine ws2
3 In the chamber just above the shaft you scaled to reach the last warp squid, there are a bunch of blue lightning guys who rain bolts down on you. Go to the left and find the secret passage that leads you up to their level, and turn the tables on them. Once you've killed them all you'll find a baby warp squid to the right. Scr golem mine ws3
4 Close to the entrance, past the first set of stalageroonies you encountered on your way down, is a room where you fight one of those magnet men and acquire a key. The top left corner of this room has a hidden chamber with a warp squid inside. Scr golem mine ws4
5 In the room where you have to elephant charge a statue to get some stalagmites to fall into a pool of lava (all the way down the main elevator, then go through the left door), there is a BWS on a platform to the left and to the up of the lava pool in that room. Scr ws golem mine 5

SRR - sprite - forest key icon The above section was transcluded from Baby Warp Squids in Golem Mine (Shantae). Go there to edit it.

Cackle Mound

# Required Description Screen
1 Immediately after the entrance hall is a room with two vertical shafts. At the top of both is a passageway leading betwixt the two, with a little cephalopod waiting for you. Scr cackle mound ws3
2 In the first room with the eyeball platforms and spikes, ride the eyeball to the right until you pass under an overhang and arrive at another eyeball similarly placed under the floor like the first one. There is an eyeball platform above that can be reached with the monkey - ride it upwards to find a baby warp squid. Scr cackle mound ws2
3 - There is a long corridor with a spiked ceiling and a floor full of spike traps. At one point you are expected to ride an eye platform up to reach another area - but if you stay aboard, you'll pass through the ceiling and find a warp squid waiting for you in a hidden chamber. Scr cacle mound ws1
4 There's a room with an arrow pointing up. While it may be an insanely obvious clue, it's also easy to overlook. Jump up there with the Monkey (be careful to get exactly the right spot) and climb to find it. Src ws cackle mound 4
5 There is a room made of slopes that will slide Shantae all the way to the bottom. Once you have Harpy form, fly upwards from the bottom to find an enclave across from the last slope with Baby Warp Squid. Scr ws cackle mound 5

SRR - sprite - forest key icon The above section was transcluded from Baby Warp Squids in Cackle Mound (Shantae). Go there to edit it.

Twinkle Palace

# Required Description Screen
1 In the first room you find with the fiery vortexes that spin Shantae around and spit her out in whatever direction you press, there is a set of hidden tunnels crossing through the leftmost wall. Both are clearly suggested by an inset in the wall. Following the horizontal one will lead you to a little space with a Baby Warp Squid. Scr ws twinkle palace 1
2 From the 'floor' of the first fiery vortex room, Monkey climb the eastern wall and jump onto the strange-shaped platform of ice. Transform into Shantae and do a leap of faith to the left. When you hit the vortex, press Controls-left and you will arrive on another platform, this one with a Baby Warp Squid. Scr ws twinkle palace 2
3 There is a room later in the labyrinth with two entrances, each with a suspicious crawlspace below, and a large 'crown' shape in the middle of the room which holds three puddles of jumping fish. Crawl into said crawlspaces and navigate hidden passages until you reach the baby warp squid and a fiery vortex. Scr ws twinkle palace 3
4 / To the left of the previous squid, past a locked door, is a tall room filled with puddles of jumping fish. The warp squid is on a high ledge but otherwise in plain view and easy to access. Scr ws twinkle palace 4
5 You'll see this one early on from above, but you'll need the Harpy form to be able to get it from below. Fly to the top of that first fiery vortex room, and there it is. Scr ws twinkle palace 5

SRR - sprite - forest key icon The above section was transcluded from Baby Warp Squids in Twinkle Palace (Shantae). Go there to edit it.

SRR - sprite - key The above section was transcluded from Baby Warp Squids (Shantae). Go there to edit it.

Where are the Transformation Talismans?

The Transformation Talismans are the final Alliterative Acquirables the player will encounter. They are utterly optional but allow you to attack while transformed.
# Name Location Required Description Scr
1 a cave in
Hidden Forest
At the far end of the Hidden Forest is a cave with a strange little creature with a TV antennae. An electric Storm Puff blast will clear him from your path, allowing access to the Monkey Claw. Scr tt monkey claw
2 a cave near
Waterfall Lake,
Snail Wasteland, Hidden Waterfall
There's a cave that connects the Snail Wasteland to Waterfall Lake. The tote is plainly visible within. Scr elephant tote
3 Mud Bog The venom is found atop the secondest mushroom/insect pillar. Scr tt poison
4 Scarecrow Field When you come across the first group of pillars, fly as high as you can - directly above is a strange-shaped floating ruin with the Harpy Talon resting on it. Scr harpy talon
SRR - sprite - key The above section was transcluded from Transformation Talismans. Go there to edit it.