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.
MonkeyShantae (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 attack (). 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.
ElephantGolem 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 / allows her to perform the stomp move, a downward attack while in mid-air (+). The dance sequence in Shantae is , and in Risky's Revenge it's dance pose #2.
In Tassel Town.it is gained for clearing
SpiderCackle 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. allows her to attack. The dance sequence is .
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.
HarpyTwinkle Palace). She can fly through the air (tap ), allowing access to all remaining areas, but cannot crouch or crawl. The allows her to attack with claws (). The dance sequence is .
In Hypno Baron's Castle. The Harpy Talon now allows Shantae to attack with feather projectiles.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.
MermaidShantae: 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. 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 and.that Shantae receives for clearing
An optional new form introduced in, it is bought from Tuki. This form allows Shantae to produce up to three Oranges at a time in exchange for magic. Without magic, Shantae hurts herself making Oranges.
An optional new form introduced in, 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 despite being a sea creature.
An optional new form introduced in, it is gained from trading the Warp Dance. This form lets Shantae produce Gems in exchange for magic.
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.