|Created by||WayForward Technologies|
|Years on Air||2002-2016|
|Others||4 video games|
The character of Shantae was created by Erin Bell, the future wife of Matt Bozon, the game's creator. In 1994, while both were engaged, Erin got a flash of inspiration while coming back from her camp counsellor days, and created the character, naming her "Shantae" after one of the campers, as well as developed her dancing abilities. Matt later asked her what she would come up with if she was to create a video game character, and she introduced him to Shantae. Matt liked the idea and fleshed out the mythology and cast of the game. Erin also imagined that the character could summon or charm animals by belly-dancing. This would later become the basis for the transformation dances. Matt has provided two contradictory stories about how the idea for the hair whip came to be; in one, he said he was inspired by the nine-foot-long hair of his future wife, while in the other he claims that Erin's sketches already featured Shantae using her hair as a weapon when she showed him the original concept.
Matt Bozon has stated that his main influences for the game series are Castlevania, Aladdin, Mega Man, The Legend of Zelda and anime, mostly Ranma ½ which he claims as a heavy influence, and others like Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, Hayao Miyazaki's films, and G1 Pokémon, as well as 80s cartoons like DuckTales or The Transformers while Erin Bozon's main influence was I Dream of Jeannie. The signature catchphrase from the franchise, "Ret-2-Go", was created by a friend of them who kept using it when they were working on animation clean up for the Warner Bros. animated film The Iron Giant, and the expression made its way into the script as an inside joke. Matt also elaborated a bit on the development of Sky's character, who was initially named "Twitch" and had a different appearance. She was altered later on in development, and the original Twitch character served as the basis for a similarly-named character and her friend in Shantae and the Pirate's Curse.
When asked about whether the Shantae series was conceived as pushing feminist values because of its strong female cast, Matt Bozon acknowledged that he liked to portray the Shantae world as having the girls "run the show" and not be defined solely by their appearances. While he admitted that the female characters near-universally had a deliberately sexy design to them, and the male characters often displayed a variety of weaknesses, he also said that he just liked depicting Shantae's world this way "for no precise reason", and that it was certainly possible that strong male characters could appear later in the franchise's future.