Submission #5248: arandomgameTASer's GBC Shantae "100%" in 1:19:15.18

Console Game Boy Color Emulator Bizhawk 1.11.7
Game Version USA Frame Count 284015
ROM Filename Shantae(USA).gbc Frame Rate 59.7275005696058
Branch 100% Rerecord Count 54139
Unknown Authors arandomgameTASer
Game Shantae
Submitted by arandomgameTASer on 10/9/2016 10:43:06 PM

Submission Comments
Shantae is a unique metroidvania game released in 2002 for the Gameboy Color. It is an incredibly ambitious title for the system, featuring a sprawling world with a plethora of content, fluid and beautiful looking graphics, and a female main character. Naturally, it failed miserably when it was first released, but gained a following that's growing to this day thanks to the success of its two sequels.
100% in this game is defined as all dances, all collectables, and all items. This includes a full inventory of shop items, 7 Heart Holders, 12 Fireflies, 20 Warp Squids, and the Fighter's Gear.
This run beats my old 100% TAS by 72061 frames, or roughly 20 minutes, thanks to a major route overhaul, more optimization, and a plethora of new tricks and glitches. All of this will be explained below.


Unique to Shantae is the ability to shapeshift into various different forms once you obtain them. Similar to upgrades in Metroid or Castlevania, these can be used to access previously unreachable areas.

Base Form

Shantae's regular half-genie form, and the one she has to be in order to change into any other form. She's relatively fast, has a hair whip that can be used in midair, and only suffers 1 frame of slowdown from jumping. Additionally, she can run across 1-tile gaps without stopping.

Monkey Form

The first form Shantae gets, obtained in the Dribble Fountain. Its main gimmick is that it allows Shantae to climb on walls and jump much higher. While it runs just as fast as base form, jumps delay movement an extra 2 frames compared to base form, and it can't attack until I get the Monkey's Claw.

Elephant Form

Second form Shantae gets, obtained in the Golem Mine. Compared to monkey and base form, its uses are quite situational. It has a dash move that is able to destroy any obstacles in its path, which can be used as a decently powerful attack. However, this small advantage is completely sidelined by how slow it moves. Can get a stomp ability with the proper item, but it's worthless.

Spider Form

The third form Shantae obtains, obtained in Cackle Mound. It moves slowly and can't attack without an upgrade. Its gimmick is that it allows Shantae to climb on background walls and spider webs, which makes it even more situational then the Elephant. Used as little as possible.

Tinkerbat Form

A special form that Shantae can obtain in Bandit Town the game registers that it's being played on a GBA. It combines the abilities of the first three forms, meaning it can climb on walls, scale backgrounds, use a charge attack, and even use a sword. However, its dance is 1 step longer then the other ones, and its jumps are 3 frames slower compared to base form. Still, it's used in the late game to save some transformations.

Harpy Form

Shantae's last form, obtained in the Twinkle Palace. It allows Shantae to gain infinite amounts of height, allowing her to grab powerups that are completely out of her reach. However, it builds and loses speed very slowly, and it's unable to attack with the corresponding item. Mainly used for item cleanup.

Tricks, Glitches and Optimization

Luck Manipulation

One interesting thing about Shantae is the ability to manipulate luck via pressing buttons in certain combinations. Thus, Shantae can manipulate luck without ever stopping movement if you do it right.
The disadvantage to this, however, is the sheer amount of luck manipulation required in this game. Everything from enemy drops, to puzzle solutions, to even enemy spawn and movement patterns, require some degree of luck manipulation. Thus, it can take a very long time to get the proper result.

Lag Reduction

Unlike luck manipulation, lag can only be reduced one way: attacking. For some reason, lag magically goes away if Shantae hair whips.
My pet theory for this is how the game processes Shantae's animation cycle. Whenever she's running or jumping, her animation is very dynamic and requires the game to constantly check to see what's going on. Whenever she attacks, however, her animation is always fixed, freeing the game up to do other things. Or it's just random. Who knows.

Crouch Transition Extra Hit

One of the first tricks I found in this game, letting go of Down a frame before Shantae connects with an attack while crouching will immediately put Shantae in her standing pose, confusing the game and making her attack happen twice.
While this sounds very useful, its uses are mostly situational due to most enemies having instant invulnerabilty periods. Most prominently, it's used on the first phase of Risky's boat fight to one-cycle the bomb keg.


To do this one, press Down a frame before Shantae starts falling from a ledge. This will put Shantae in her crouching animation until she reaches the ground. She can even jump out of it, which is used at various points throughout the run as tiny shortcuts.


A subset of the Crouch-Falling glitch, pressing Down and immediately afterwards pressing Select will allow Shantae to dance while falling through the air. This is done in many places where my destination is directly below me to save some time dancing.

Slide Climbing

While in base form, Shantae has a 1 frame window when landing on vines or slides to jump again, skipping what was supposed to be a forced slide back down.
This is used on many slopes throughout the run, but the most prominent uses are to grab the Spider's Forest Heart Holder early, and to get to a key in Cackle Mound without Spider.

Instant Stop

Pressing Down as soon as you let go of Left or Right while running will immediately put Shantae to a stop. This is used whenever I need to transform, saving a bit of time everywhere. It can also be used to make Shantae start falling one frame earlier whenever she's going off a ledge to the right.
This trick can sort of be done in Monkey Form, but in that case it only saves a frame, so it's faster to just do a jump and transform out of that.

Entrance Loading Trick (New!)

Whenever Shantae goes through an entrance that goes into the screen, for example a town or labyrinth, you can reduce the amount of loading the game does by doing certain actions. Easiest things to do is either run, jump, or start the transition to a different screen. Can save between 2 to 15 frames.

Locked Door Cancel

Jumping before opening a locked door prevents the game from freezing Shantae. Saves a little bit of time.
This glitch leads directly into:

Temporary Base Form (New..sort of)

If a form jumps into a locked door at a certain angle, they will temporarily shift into a version of base form with an incorrect palette. This will persist until Shantae comes to a complete stop. Since Shantae's base form is fastest in terms of movement, this is used as often as possible to save frames or skip detransformations.

Door Transformations (New!)

Thanks to hitboxes, transforming to and from a form in the right position will take Shantae to the next screen while she's finishing a transformation or reverting to normal. This can be done in any doorway, but going from base form to a different form tends to be glitchy or plain not work.

Cutscene Interruption (New!)

Normally, Shantae is not in a position to take damage in any way when intiating a cutscene with someone. Unfortunately for the developers, they forgot to check the effects of the Storm Puff when a cutscene is starting, allowing Shantae to regain control if the puff kills her.
Do note that this does not work on the Firefly scroll or any in-field collectable, since they freeze Shantae's sprite and prevent the death animation until their cutscenes are finished.
In terms of routing, this is by far the most important glitch in the entire run, since it allows for a variety of tricks. I'll elaborate:

Shop Glitching (New!)

Getting hit by a Storm Puff when starting a shop allows Shantae to move while the menu is still up. Most importantly, leaving at the right time when buying an item not only gives Shantae the item, but due to the way the game handles money transactions, ADDS money to Shantae's wallet based on how much the item was.
Needless to say, this glitch removes the need for Gecko Racing, which saves well over 6 minutes, not counting the time saved on the quicker shops in general.

Genie Cutscene Skips (New!)

Dying to a Storm Puff at any point after you start talking to a Genie gives you the transformation dance they normally dole out, but without the cutscene normally required. Saves at least a minute.

Squid Overflow (New!)

Dying to a Storm Puff at any point after you start talking to a Mother Warp Squid lets you regain control during the cutscene. If you then talk to her again, you can force an additional text box to show up. The way the game handles multiple text boxes is it'll only allow you to advance one box, but with a times multiplier based on how many boxes are active. For example, if you have two text boxes active, text scrolling will be 2X as fast.
Anyway, doing this glitch when Shantae has 1 Squid in her inventory allows her to trick the game into displaying the 'give squid' option choice an additional time, forcing the game to jump from 0 to 255 squids. Thus, one can setup town warps much earlier then intended by using squids you don't have!
It is worth noting that the squid count CAN go back to normal if you collect in-field squids, in which case it'll go from 255 to 0.

Fighter's Gear (New!)

Oh hey, the Fighter's Gear is actually used now! Anyway, the Fighter's Gear is comprised of four different items, of which each set of two is 'linked', IE they can't be used effectively without each other.
This piece allows Shantae to do a neat up kick, which looks really cool and deals twice the amount of damage a hair whip does. However, its startup time is slow. Connected to is:
The crown jewel of the Fighter's Gear, this piece allows Shantae to do a 'Spiral Kick' after a up kick, which instantly cancels her upwards momentum and turns her movement into a diagonal one. This is highly useful, since it can be gotten out in about 4 frames, which is far faster then hair whipping. In addition to that, it's three times as powerful as a hair whip, allowing Shantae to completely annihilate any enemy that doesn't have fixed damage values. As if that weren't enough, if you hit an object or enemy in midair with this thing, you can jump out of it the same way you can with an item, which is used a few times to get some items early.
This piece lets Shantae do a dash move if you stand still for a few seconds, which deals fives times the amount of damage a hair whip does. Used sparingly.
This piece lets Shantae do a 'twirl' after a dash move, which sends Shantae flying in the air with whatever speed the dash move currently has her at. Used about as much as the Cuffs.

Invincibility (New!)

A unique quirk about Shantae is the multiple ways there are to become completely immune to enemy projectiles and damage. The way used in this run is hitting the center of a cactus. See the cactus is actually two damage sprites put together. By getting hit by both of them at the same time, the game gets confused and triggers the glitch.
This is done twice on route to Golem Mine to save 86 frames, plus some saved jumps.

Item Hopping (New!)

After using an item, Shantae has a 1-frame window if she's in the air to jump again, which allows for some unique shortcuts. Most importantly, this allows me to get the Dribble Fountain and Cackle Mound Warp Squids on the first visit, which removes a large amount of backtracking.

Twinkle Palace OOB

In one specific place in Twinkle Palace, Shantae can clip in a block by transforming from Monkey to base form. You can then continually transform back and forth to clip outside of the game map, allowing you to skip the rest of the dungeon after you get the Harpy form. Saves on travel time and having to get an extra key.


Opening/Scuttle Town

-Lots of time was spent managing lag here, saving about a second overall.
-I manipulate 75 gems from Tinkerbats for a shop immediately after the opening.
-Phase 2 of Risky's ship goes much faster now thanks to lag reduction.

To Water Town

-Immediately went to the Scuttle Town shop and bought 40 Storm Puffs, some Pike Balls, a Small Vial, a Vanish Cream, and a few Large Vials to get my gems up to 280.
-Manipulated some more enemies to get my gems to an even 300.
-Did Slope Climbing to get the Spider's Forest Heart Holder (H 3 > 4).
-Since I did so many shop glitches earlier, I have extra time to set up the Rain Storm River deathwarp. I grab this Firefly now instead of later because it's the only time it's ever night in this area. (F 0 > 1)

Water Town/To Dribble Fountain

-I save here in order to set up a pseudo warp point. If Shantae loses all her lives, she'll be sent to the last place she saved at with all of her progress still intact, which shall be done later on to get from Golem Mine to Water Town quickly.
-Bought all of the Fighter's Gear, 4 Exit Candies, Flash Bolts, and a Medium Vial here. In case you're wondering why I go to talk to Bolo after buying the Sash, the game stops ticking your money up if you talk to the shop. Since I absolutely need that money, talking to Bolo while waiting is faster.
-Saved 19 frames on the way back to Dribble Fountain by optimizing the climbing route.

Dribble Fountain

-One thing I forgot to mention, in certain situations it's faster to use a spiral kick to start movement again. Usually, this is faster after a cutscene since Shantae is forced to build her speed back up.
-Did a Spiral Kick Jump/Item Hop to grab the fifth warp squid.
-Used a Storm Puff on the slime girl miniboss instead of Flash Bolts. I'll have to deequip the Flash Bolts later anyway to glitch the genie cutscene, so this saves about 7 seconds.
-After the second key, taking the route where I take damage from a fish is about 40 frames faster.
-Spiral Kick destroys these quickly.
-You can use spiral kicks to 'ride' the puzzle block, which saves about 10 seconds over pushing it normally.
-Cutscene interrupted the Monkey genie. Saves 15 seconds.
-Used a dash/twirl on the boss to kill it in one hit.

Path to Oasis Town

-Unlike the old TAS, I relegate the Scarecrow Fields Heart Holder to Harpy cleanup to save having to do a worthless Monkey transformation.
-Used 4 squids to setup the Scuttle Town warp point.
-The Vanish Cream Heart Holder Door (VCHHD) can be faked out by just moving weird, which saves a larger amount of time then it looks. (H 4 > 5)
-I deliberately took damage in places where it would save the most time. For example, taking damage near ledges in the Naga Wasteland.
-Invincibility glitch is done on a cactus as the final hit I need. It saves 43 frames plus the lesser amount of jumps I need to do. For those wondering, invincibility is only permanant if it brings you from 1 HP to 0. Elsewise, it lasts until you load a new area.

Oasis Town/To Golem Mine

-Utilized Squid Overflow to setup the Oasis warp. My squid count is now -2, or 254.
-Sky talks a lot sorry.
-After talking to Sky I warp to Scuttle Town and go through the Naga Wasteland again instead of backtracking through the Women's Desert/cave again. This saves about 8 seconds.
-Used the invincibilty glitch again in Men's Desert for another free 43 frames.

Golem Mine

-Despawned the elevator's hitbox by hitting its switch at a specific time. I don't know why that works, but hey 130 frame timesave.
-Spiral kicks open key chests insanely quickly.
-Got the second key with blue polarity instead of red polarity. Saved about 5 seconds.
-Cutscene interrupted the Elephant genie. Saves less time then the first one since I need to warp after the cutscene anyway.
-One shotted the magnet miniboss. Bai boio.
-I dance on an elevator while traveling to the second miniboss. For some reason, finishing a transformation on an elevator lets you gain control of it sooner, which saves a few frames.
-While falling to the second miniboss I maintain a ground state by spamming dashes against a wall as I fall. This lets me hit him a little earlier.
-Did a Dash/Twirl in the lava room to skip a transformation and short cutscene.
-Did a Spiral Kick Jump to get the last squid.
-I finally hunted down the HP value to the Golem. He's vulnerable to damage seemingly randomly, so that's nice.

Path to Monkey Claw/Zombie Caravan

-Used a Storm Puff to deathwarp since I need to use them soon anyway, and it saves 30 frames.
-I have to Squid Overflow again because my squids have flowed back up from -3 to 2 after Oasis. Its value is now at -2.
-Got the Waterfall Firefly as Monkey (F 1 > 2). This was the last piece to skipping a really long Harpy backtrack, so an 80 second timesave.
-Warped after getting the Monkey's Claw instead of deathwarped. Saves 20 seconds.
-No changes en route to Zombie Caravan besides staying in base form a lot to save frames.

Zombie Caravan/Path to Cackle Mound

-Rotty's race sucks, nothing new.
-Setup the ZC warp point. My squid count is now -6.
-Bought 5 Float Muffins, 5 Twin Mints, a Greedy Jar, and 10 Fireballs in the ZC shop. I now have every shop item.
-Grabbed the Ghost Forest Firefly en route to Cackle Mound (F 2 > 3)

Cackle Mound

-Did an Item Hop after the first key room to get the fifth warp squid.
-Did the third key room basically in reverse. Saves about 10 seconds.
-Did a Dance-Fall after the fourth key to save 5 seconds.
-Dash/Twirl destroys the miniboss.
-Spiral Kicks destroy the other miniboss. No spoilers.
-I grab the last Warp Squid before heading to the genie room, instead of the other way around. Saves 5 seconds.
-Cutscene interrupted the third genie for a free 15 second timesave.
-Utilized Temporary Base Form right before the boss to cut a detransformation.

Path to Bandit Town/Twinkle Palace

-The Zombie Caravan warp changes location every time it is day, with the exception of right after Cackle Mound. You can manipulate where the ZC goes if you haven't visited it during this cycle yet. I do it to get to Eagle Wasteland quicker.
-Very minor time saved detransforming into base form before Bandit Town to do a midair jump. Also saved some time transforming into tinkerbat on a loading screen after talking to Risky.
-Setup the Bandit Town warp. -5 squids now.
-Got the Tinkerbat for only 500 gems. Broken transformation.
-Constantly attacking with Tinkerbat prevents it from grabbing the background, which is way slow.
-Eagle Wasteland Firefly (F 3 > 4)
I grab both the Twinkle Palace and Archer's Forest Fireflies before entering the palace (4 > 6). If I didn't grab both of them I would be forced to wait over 80 seconds later on. This route is impossible without a item hop to get back up to....Gisky.....

Twinkle Palace

-Tinkerbat is used to cut some transformations here.
-Block puzzles gave me slightly better RNG, so some time saved there. Block puzzles are the only kind of RNG I can't manipulate for some reason.
-Cutscene interrupted the last genie.
-OOB travel was improved slightly.
-Boss was improved by doing spiral kicks as the first and last hits of every cycle to save frames.

Twinkle Palace to Elephant Tome

-Grabbed TP Heart Holder (H 5 > 6)
-In order to get the Twin Mint kid to kill himself with spikes, you must have a Twin Mint active and have danced for at least 6 frames. (H 6 > 7)
-Forced to wait 15 seconds for the last Ghost Forest Firefly, down from the 80 I mentioned earlier. (F 6 > 7)
-Used Tinkerbat for Snail Wasteland since I need to destroy a block anyway. (F 7 > 8)
-Hidden Waterfall Firefly and Elephant Tome (F 8 > 9). Danced Oasis Town.

Mudbog to Spy Scope

-Once again, Tinkerbat for those blocks. (F 9 > 10)
-Float Muffin cave was improved by manipulating my jumps so it ends with a big jump. (H 7 > 8)
-Grabbed Spider Venom and danced Zombie Caravan again. Since it's daytime again, I manipulated its position to be between the Men's Desert and Naga Wasteland so I can grab their rewards very easily. (F 10 > 11) (H 8 > 9)
-Finally, danced Scuttle Town and grabbed Harpy's Talon, Firefly (F 11 > 12), and the Heart Holder I skipped way earlier (H 9 > 10). Danced Oasis and headed to the Spy Scope.

Risky's Island

-Monkey is used to climb the Tinkertank instead of Harpy to skip a transformation/detransformation.
-A minor glitch gets exploited heavily in Tinkertank, in that the game isn't able to freeze Monkey for a camera movement if you do an attack at the right time, which allows me to head to locations immediately. Saves a lot of waiting.
-Did a Dash/Twirl on the Steam Engine to make it blow up ASAP.
-Risky is finished off with a Fireball in order to move Shantae as close as possible to the left side of the screen. You see, in the cutscene Shantae has the leave the screen in order to turn into Harpy offscreen. If there's less screen to travel until she's obscured, the cutscene will be shorter.
-Saved about 25 frames killing Shantae right as the screen starts to fade out in the autoscroller, since for some reason that reduces lag.


Since I took quite a few screenies this time around, here's an imgur album on them:
Feel free to vote for which one you want in the thread, I don't care.

Q and A

Q: When's any%?
A: Not anytime soon. I feel very burnt out on Shantae.
Q: Do this again on Hard?
A: what.
Q: So what's next?
A: Dunno. Maybe something more well-known? We'll see.

Special Thanks

-Samsara because I can't format for shit
-Masterjun because he reminded me that I forgot about the special thanks.
-finap13 because he's needy
-and you!

Samsara: Judging.
Samsara: Think I found an improvement, mate, so you're gonna have to start over again. Sorry about that.
...Nah, I'm messing with ya. The work you've done with this game recently is incredible. Accepting as an improvement to the published run!

Last Edited by on 1/1/2022 6:13 PM
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