In case you were wondering
For obvious reasons neither character is going to get feats or scaling from crossover appearances in other indie games, or from character guest appearances in their own games(so no counting Kratos or the battle toads for Shovel knight).
Age: Mid or late teens
Height: Probably around 5 feet
A half-genie currently protecting a small fishing village called scuttle town. In Shantae’s world Genie’s originally served the role as protectors, sheltering the world of man from evil for generations. However as peace began to reign said genie’s decided to settle down, marry mortal human men and bring a new generation of half-genie’s into the world. Eventually these full genie’s decided to ascend to a higher plane of existence, leaving their half-genie offspring alone on the mortal plane. In the absence of the full genies, the half-genies decided to take up mankind’s role of protectors in their stead, which is what led Shantae to her current occupation. Shantae’s typically dealt most consistently with a band of pirates lead by a villain named Risky Boots, stopping her from using ancient relics(a giant robot powered by special elemental stones and a genie controlling magic lamp) for world domination. However she’s also teamed up with Risky to stop a more serious world threatening evil known as the Pirate King.
In terms of personality Shantae is bubbly, adventurous and a bit temperamental. She also shows some slight nativity, often times being manipulated by the villains in her games. She can occasionally show an uncertain side of her personality after huge failures.
Age: Probably in his 20s or 30s
Height: Probably around or under 5 feet (he’s pretty short).
A famed adventurer and treasure seeker. In times past Shovel knight spent his past days traveling the world with his beloved girlfriend Shield Knight, however during one of their quests she got possessed by a malevolent spirit trapped in an amulet called the enchantress and locked away in a building called the tower of fate. Feeling like a failure Shovel knight went into an early retirement out of shame, but eventually returned to duty when the Enchantress grew in power and convinced several other knights of the land to help her in a bid for world conquest. He eventually was successful in defeating the “order of no quarter’ knights and even took on a “rival” by the name of black knight a few times, before confronting the enchantress herself. Luckily he managed to free his possessed love, before destroying her tower and escaping.
In terms of personality Shovel Knight is righteous, semi-serious and noble. He’s also fairly smart and tactical.
Art by gamepal
Shantae’s main weapon is the long tuff of purple hair attached to her head. Amazingly she can swing this ponytail like a large whip like weapon to damage her opponents. Despite the ridiculous nature of these attacks, the speed and power of them is clearly superhuman, allowing her to easily destroy humanoid monsters, bust through armored opponents, and damage several story high monsters with little effort. Shantae can also reflect some projectiles with her hair whip, such as cannonballs, giving it some defensive properties The power and speed of Shantae’s hair whip can also be upgraded with items called silky cream and super silky cream in the game Risky’s revenge.
A large blade weapon shaped like a shovel. It’s used for exploration (digging up treasure, clearing passageways, etc.) and combat. While Shovel Knight normally just performs basic swings with the blade, he can also jump into the air and perform downward thrusting strike with it. These downward strikes cause him to bounce off opponents or objects in a manner similar to scrooge duck in ducktales, aiding in his maneuverability.
When at full health Shovel Knight can also create a ground laden beam of energy called the drop spark. He can also charger the power of his swings with an ability called “charge handle” to do 2x damage and pierce light armor. He also has an ability called trench blade, which increases the swords digging ability by 3x. Shovel knight can hit back some projectiles with his shovel blade, such as the explosive vials Plague Knight uses during his boss fight.
Shantae typically wears a standard red or blue belly dancing bedlah outfit, similar to those worn by wish granting genies in traditional Egyptian tales. This default costume has no powers or abilities on its own and is simply cosmetic.
Shantae also gained a more risqué golden plated snake themed dancers outfit called magic armor as a bonus costume in Risky’s revenge directors cut. This costume doubles the amount of magic power she can put towards the usage of certain magical items, but causes her to take 2x damage.
Shovel knight can wear various armors with different attributes throughout his game. His standard armor is called the stalwart plate, and lacks any special properties. His final guard armor is a red plated armor that reduces the amount of money a player losses upon death to 12 %( rather than 25%). His conjurer’s coat is a purple armor that increases his ability to use magic relics items (explained further below), while lowering his defenses.
Ynoomo mail is a grey set of armor that allows Shovel knight to save energy for a powerful charge shovel slash attack, after performing two shovel drop downward thrust bouncing strikes. Mail of momentum is a red/black armor that reduces knockback from attacks, at the cost of reducing ground traction. Finally ornate armor is a gold colored armor, which has no use outside of looking cool and allowing Shovel knight to jump with a slight but more grace.
Geni magic/Dance transformations
As a half genie, Shantae contains the ability to use “light magic”, a benevolent form of magic super effective against those who use a more evil derived “dark magic”(for example the Pirate King at the end of the pirates curse game used dark magic). Shantae typically manifests this magic through physical transformations or spells, which she can activates with magic belly dances. Her light magic can also be manifested through her hair during attacks for more direct dark magic enemy beat downs.
This light magic and Shantae’s genie half as a whole do not seem to be correlated to her natural strength and durability. This is very apparent in the game pirate’s curse where she retained the ability to fight with her hair, use certain standalone magic oriented weapons and tank attacks despite having her magic half removed from her in the previous game. Various uses of her magic are listed below.
Monkey Belly dance
A belly dance transformation that allows Shantae to transform into a monkey. It’s great for climbing up walls or fitting though tight spaces. After collecting a talisman or totem called the monkey claw, Shanta can attack opponents with her claws in this form, and perform a powerful horizontal head-butt by flinging herself off a wall.
Mermaid Bell dance
This belly dance transforms Shantae into a mermaid, perfect for underwater exploration and maneuvering. Shantae initially couldn’t attack in this form, but after gaining a separate talisman/relic called the mermaid bubble, she gained the ability to spit large explosive bubbles from her mouth as an attack. Due to being fish like, she can’t move well on dry land in this form, though nega Shantae (an evil counterpart of Shantae created when Risky took control of her genie half in the Risky’s revenge with a magic lamp) could jump I midair and spin while rapidly shooting bubbles as an offensive mermaid attack on dry land. Given nega-shantae was basically a copy of the real one, it is likely Shantae could perform the same maneuver.
Elephant belly dance
A belly dance that transforms Shantae in a large elephant. This form is notably slow and bulky, but has enhanced strength that can allow Shantae to charge through large stone blocks/boulders with ease. After collecting a separate talisman/relic called the elephant tote, she can also perform a powerful ground pound move in this form as well. Her dark half nega Shantae could quasai teleport into the air to attempt to crush opponents multiple times with stomps during her boss fight. Given nega-shantae was basically a copy of the real one, it is likely Shantae could perform the same maneuver.
Spider belly dance
A belly dance that transforms Shantae into a large spider, which can climb up walls for extra maneuverability. After Shantae collects a talisman or relic called spider venom, she gains the ability to use venom based projectile attack in this form.
Harpy belly dance
A belly dance that transforms Shantae into a harpy, which can fly freely through the air with no restrictions. This allows for greater mobility and air superior over the enemy. After collecting a talisman or relic called the harpy’s claw, Shantae gain the ability to attack with the claws on her feet in this form.
Tinker bat belly dance
A belly dance used to take on the form of the common minions used by Risky Boots, the tinker bats. This form allows Shantae to climb on walls, ram in to objects at forces comparable to the elephant transformation and attack opponents with a sword cutlass like weapons.
A hidden dance Shantae can learn in her original game after collecting all the “fireflies” and reading a hidden scroll called the firefly scroll. The dance allows Shantae to gradually heal herself at the cost of gems (the currency she collects in her games). She can carry over 999 in some entries however so this issue isn’t much of problem.
Shantae is capable of granting wishes due to being a half genie, however the only example of her doing this is at the ending of pirates curse, where she used her magic to return scuttle town back to normal. Shantae herself was also mentioned she hasn’t really experimented with this ability, so it’s unlikely she could use it in combat.
Shantae can collect various magical items and use as a form of attack, defense and support in her games. The magic correlated to these items do not appear to be correlated to Shantae’s natural genie magic, as she maintained the ability to use them during the final boss fight of Risky’s revenge and pirates curse when she was stripped of her genie half.
Note: The mechanics of how items are used in the Shantae series has changed slightly over the years. In Risky’s revenge there was a distinct magic meter that lower each time an item was used, making Shantae unable to access those items once it was depleted. However in the newest game (pirates curse) and the original game they were expendable items, with Shantae being able to carry around about 9 of each in the former. That being said certain purchasable upgrades such as “magic fill” in risky revenge repletes the magic meter overtime and 9 of each item is more than enough to last a single battle. Because of this exact limitations on Shantae’s magical equipment will not be outlined.
Pike balls, super pike, and mega pike ball
Various cannonball/blade like objects that Shantae can create to spin around her to damage opponents. She has 3 different variants. The pike ball produces one projectile, the super pike ball produces 2 and the mega pike ball produces 3. It can be near impossible to approach her without taking damage when she uses a mega variant.
A magic item that creates a small cloud with a smiley face on it. Said cloud rises into the air and strikes those below it with bolts of lightning.
Crush puff/ mega puff
Variants of the storm puff that produced large explosions around 12 feet or so in diameter. Shantae can push the mega puff around with hair whips attacks to change its position as it gets ready to detonate.
A magic spell that creates a large fire ball about the size of Shantae’s body and sends in horizontally along the air towards opponents.
Spitfire/ Flash bolts
A powerful magic spell that creates 3 balls of flame simultaneously and sends them horizontally away in a fan pattern.
Art by OmegaSunBurst
A magic spell that produces a constant stream of fire akin to that of a flamethrower.
A protective water like sphere that can block most minor projectile attacks. Enemies can still harm Shantae with direct physical blows however.
A special cream that renders Shantae completely invisible to enemy sight and perception. In game this allows her to walk past enemies unscathed, though the game manual specifically says she’s just invisible.
Shantae has many healing potions at her disposal. She’s had about 3 different normal health restoring potions in her first game and sequels, a magic meter restoring potion in Risky’s revenge, and a healing “auto” potion in pirates curse. She also had several health restoring food items in pirates curse, including flesh pops, meat chunks, bento boxes and lobster tails.
Twin mints, Monster milk, super monster milk
Twin mints, monster milk, and super monster milk are all various items that temporally increase shantae’s attack strength. The extent of these increases changes on a game by game basis, though typically it maxes out at slightly over 2x power.
The pirates gear are pieces of pirate equipment that originally belonging to Shantae’s nemesis Risky, but was discovered and used for Shantae’s own purposes after they had been taken/hidden from Risky in pirates curse. They can be used indefinitely with no limitations. All pirate gear is listed below.
A flintlock pistol used for light ranged attacks. It has infinite ammo and can be used to activate far way switches or traps. It can be upgraded to do additional damage.
A large pirate hat that can inflate to sizes large than the average human, and act as a makeshift parachute for slowed decent from the air. It’s useful for extending the length or jumps. Shantae can also use it to gain altitude by using it at the same place as updrafts of air and wind.
A large scimitar blade used for melee attacks and powerful jumping downward thrusting attacks. It can be upgraded to do additional damage.
A set of boots that allows Shantae to enter a powerful dash after traveling in the same direction for a few seconds. At top speeds she can run over lava, water and spikes with no problems. She can even rapidly drive through layers of rock and stone.
A powerful cannon that Shantae can shoot below herself in midair to damage ground laden enemies and boost herself upwards as a form of a double jump. She can shoot 3 cannonballs before landing, allowing her to boost her jump 3 times. She can get a few stories of altitude this way.
Over the course of the original Shantae game, Shantae could purchase various articles of clothing called the ‘fighters gear”, which allowed her to learn new physical attacks. This fighters gear included boots, a sash, a tiara and a cuff. The boot allows her to perform an upward spin kick. The sash allows her to perform a spinning downward midair kick attack. The cuff gives her the ability to perform a powerful horizontally elbow ramming attack, and finally the tiara allows her to perform a hair whip spin attack in midair (think Link form Zelda, but with hair replacing the sword).
Misc Fighters moves
In Risky’s revenge Shantae could also learn a few additional moves by purchasing tomes. Backdash allows her to perform a quick dodging back dash maneuver. Recovery allows her to recover and rebalance herself when hit by an attack in mid-air. Finally heavy kick allows her to perform a powerful side quick attack.
Relics are various magical items that Shovel knight can buy in towns or find in dungeons. In order to use them however he must expend mana energy, which he has a maximum capacity of 100 units. Common relics are listed below.
A magic wand that conjures a man sized ball of fire. It travels straight forward on a horizontal trajectory. It takes 4 mana the cast, which translates into 25 shots.
A magic locket that allows Shovel knight to temporally become intangible, allowing him to phase through enemies and attacks (though not the ground below him because reasons). The intangibility only lasts about 3-4 seconds per activation, though Shovel Knight can activate it repeatedly. Shovel knight can also still attack enemies while intangible, which makes the item itself somewhat broken in game. It takes 8 mana to use, which correlates to 12.5 maximum uses.
A powerful pair of gauntlets used for punching attacks. They can hit hard enough to propel Shovel knight through common enemies and large blocks of dirt slightly larger than he is. Takes 2 mana to use, which correlates to 50 uses.
A series of large anchors shovel knight can though in an arching fashion to hit airborne opponents. Takes 6 mana to use, which correlates to 16.6 uses.
A large golden coin that can be thrown at minor enemies to turn them into gold. Takes 8 mana to use, which correlates to 12.5 uses.
A large gear like object that Shovel knight can ride on along the ground for speedy transportation. It keeps him from being damaged by ground laden traps and jumps over small gaps and destroys small enemies by running them over. It takes 6 mana to use, which is about 16.6 uses.
A powerful horn that creates a large sound wave about a dozen feet in diameter. It instantly kills nearly all common enemies in shovel knight. It takes 20 mana to activate, which is about 5 uses.
A large propeller/fan objects that propels shovel knight several feat horizontally through the air. It can be used as a ramming weapon and takes 4 mana to activate. This correlates to 25 uses.
A fishing rod used for fishing and/or pulling up objects from beyond cliffs. It can be dropped on opponents from above for damage. It takes 6 mana to use, which correlates to 16.6 uses.
A large green sphere of energy that bounces along the battlefield like a bouncy ball. It does damage to enemies on contact. It takes 6 mana to use, which correlates to 16 uses.
Chalices used for storing potions called Ichor. Shovel knight can only carry two chalices, and has two ichors useful for combat. The first is ichor of renewal which fully restores his health and mana. The second is ichor of boldness which makes Shovel knight invincible for 10 seconds.
Despite her small size and the silly nature of her attacks, Shantae is quite the powerhouse. Her hair whip and physical attacks can damage 20 foot tall eyeball monsters, and stone monsters (albeit by targeting weak points), Giant stone golem statues , giant metallic suits of walking armor, and the large squid monster squid baron. Finally she was able to attack and bring down the massive dagron, a giant dragon like monster.
At the end of the first Shantae game, Shantae was forced to physically destroy 4 “elemental stones” that her nemesis Risky had used power an ancient artifact called the steam engine. The fire and water stones both produces infinite heat and water respectively and the ice stone produce extremely coldness useful for machine temperature regulation. Finally there was the golem stone, which Risky claims was the only stone capable of containing the power of the others. The Shantae manual also refers to it being a magical ore capable of surviving extreme conditions. Needless to say breaking it was quite an accomplishment.
That being said Shanae’s strength has limits, especially outside of her hair whipping ability. She was easily able to be restrained by risky in a bear trap like device in pirates curse and could also be temporally tied up in her original game
During Shantae’s fight with the tinkertub in Risky’s revenge she has to damage the mech by setting off its own barrel explosives before they get discharged with hair whip attacks. Given her hair whip only extends a few feet, it can be presumed she would have needed to tank the explosion of said barrels in her face point blank.
During the final stage of the original Shantae it’s possible for Shantae to get shot out a cannon and to ricochet off nearby walls. Even lowballing common cannons can shoot at speeds around 1-3 matches.
She canonically tanks a cannonball to the face from Risky’s tinkertub mech at the beginning of Risky’s revenge
While in her mermaid form Shantae can operate at fairly low water depths.
She generally has to deal with a wide variety of projectiles and weapons in her games. Fire, arrows, explosives ect. Some notable attacks include giant cannonballs and scimitars from the pirate king
After Shanta’s friend Rottytops was rendered unable to walk by a bite from a giant venomous spider(or so she claimed) Shantae quickly carried her through nearly the entire forest of spiderweb island, while avoiding tons of traps, enemies, ect It should be noted you can’t even be hit once in this segment, which shows a lot of dexterity on Shantae’s part.
Shantae managed to keep up with and outmatch the teleporting exploits of the guardian of the 3rd magic seal in Risky’s revenge
Shantae can run fast enough to travel over water when using the pirate boots. For a person of average human size to do this they would need to be going at least 60-80 MPH.
Out flew explosions on the finial island of the original game
Shovel knight can shovel and destroy mounds of dirt at least 10 or so feet squared with a single strike.
He can also obliterate house sized sections of earth by hitting specific fracture points
His shovel strikes has enough power behind them destroy various large enemies including giant dragons,giant griffins and a mech piloted by Tinker knight(granted in that last case Shovel Knight technically had to target an exposed Tinker knight himself to do damage).
A full set of medieval knight armor can easily weight over 100 pounds. Granted Shovel knight is shorter than the average knight (hence it could be assumed his armor could weigh less), but the fact he can jump a story in the air and bound around with grace with any armor relative to his body size would take a significant amount of strength on his part.
Shovel knight’s anchor relic seems to be based on a fisherman’s anchor. Lowballing their weight would probably place them around 100-200 pounds.
Shovel Knight could lift and pull up all 8 members of the order of no quarter from a ledge in rapid succession during the final stages of shovel knight on his own. Even just estimating an average 100+ pounds for armor and 200+ pounds for each person alone, puts this feat at a solid 300 pounds causal slap with his shovel.
Shovel knight can easily tank having large mounds of stone and flung at him by mole knight.
In treasure knights stage shovel knight can downwards around 6-7 screens of water. Considering his height compared to each screen (let’s say a conservative 5 feet), each screen would be around 360 inches deep (30 feet). 360 x 7 is about 2520 inches (210 feet). That’s about an extra 95 pounds per square inch and about half the depth professional divers will go, albeit with proper equipment.
Took a direct hit from a splash of attacks from final boss.
Travels between areas via catapult, being flung hundreds of feet into the air each time. This is similar to how Yang survived a fall from terminal velocity, which was stated to be over 50 tons of force by DB. It’s possible there could be some variance in this considering the weight of Shovel Knight’s armor or his short height, but around that ballpark is probably about right.
Generally has to deal with a lot of different projectile and physical attacks. Including sword blows, explosives, fire, giant ice balls ect.
Defeated a powered up black night, despite him gaining an aerial flying advantages, better projectiles, andvastly superior movement speed after being powered up by the enchantress.
Several of the knights have ways to outmaneuver him. Specter knight summons allies to help him during his fight. Treasure knight fights underwater where he can move better due to his diving gear. Polar knight fights in an arena laden with spike traps to hinder Shovel knight’s movement. Propeller Knight can fly and fights in an arena filled with tons of bottomless pits. Mole knight can dig rapidly through the ground and fights in a dirt surrounded arena that allows him to dig around/outmaneuver Shovel knight somewhat.
If in the ornate armor he can perform stylish flips and will stick his landing when flung from a catapult.
Shantae’s games require a bit more mental fortitude than most. They’re inspired by metroidvania and Zelda games, and each game in the series requires you to traverse multiple trap laden dungeons, while using your abilities to solve complex puzzles or to find weakness in bosses.
According to the manual of the original Shantae, Shantae has occasional sparring matches with her friendBolo.
Shantae was originally taught her elephant, harpy, spider and monkey transformations directly by full-fledged genies she rescued during the events of her first game.
Defeated the Pirate King. An ancient evil capable of taking over the world if left unchecked, and who darkened the skies of scuttle town with his mere presence. Albeit she needed help from Risky to do it.
Despite having notable powers as a half genie, the manual for the original Shantae implies she was more or less a beginner in terms of being a town guardian at time. Given she doesn’t have any notable changes in age during the sequels (and the fact Risky’s revenge and pirates curse happens back to back) it’s pretty likely she only has a few years of formal hero duty under her belt.
Defeated the entire order of quartet in a row with no rest during the final stages of Shovel knight.
It’s worth mentioning Shovel Knights bosses tend to stack the odds in their favor by fighting in environments suited to their abilities and not Shovel Knight. He typically has to fight smart to beat them.
The order of no quarter are all human characters who were chosen to fight for the enchantress specifically because of their smarts or fighting skill.
According to the backstory of Shovel Knight, he was supposedly one of the most famous adventures in the world prior to Shield Knight’s demise. This implies a fairly decent amount of experience on his end.
Defeated the Enchantress. An ancient primordial evil of high intelligence capable of conquering the entire countryside if left unchecked. Her mere presence covered the land in darkness. Granted he needed help from a freed Shield Knight to do so.
Can fling around small objects like shells and bounce them off walls with enough accuracy to break down adjacent barriers or hit enemies from round corners.
- Shantae’s bubble shield is a pretty decent form of protection against the majority of projectile attacks that Shovel knight could use against her in a fight.
- Shantae’s healing options are slightly better than shovel knight’s. In terms of healing items, Shantae has A LOT more varieties and can carry more of each type overall. Likewise assuming healing items aren’t included (they often aren’t), Shantae is the only one of the two that has a special move centered around healing (the healing belly dance
- The various pike ball weapons makes getting up close to deal melee damage incredibly difficult.
- Shantae overall has much faster foot speed and her various animal transformations grant her vastly
- superior mobility.
- Shantae’s magic items are slightly less restricted than Shovel Knight’s. Not only can her magic meter refill automatically over time with the right upgrades in Risky’s revenge, but she can carry multiple copies of the same magic item to use in her other games.
- If pushed into a corner she can always use vanishing cream to hide from the enemy and center herself.
- Younger, less experience and more naive
- Certain relics like the war horn have very large areas of effect and are hard to dodge at a moments notice at close ranges.
- Shovel knight is more experienced, due to being older and being implied to have been adventure for quite some time before his game started.
- Can use the phase locket to become intangible and pass through attacks.
- Shovel knight has more experience fighting smart, tactical, human opponents. Most of Shantae’s bosses tend to be near mindless monsters.
- Shovel knight has dealt with opponents that are faster than him or had ways to outmaneuver him to some extent. Shantae’s general mobility isn’t anything he hasn’t seen before.
- Shovel knights arsenal is much more restricted, with each relic drawing mana from the same pool of mana points.
- Shovel knight has less healing options. Really only having 2 ichors at his disposal at best and no natural abilities that allow him to recover from wounds.
This is actually a pretty close fight if you look at each characters base form and only Shantae’s animal trnasformations. In terms of strength both Shovel knight and Shantae are about equal to each other, being able to destroy large stone or dirt blocks/boulders and damage similarly sized monsters with basic attacks. Shovel knight can survived being flung around the countryside by a catapult, but Shantae can get shot out of a cannon into a solid wall point blank. Shantae is more mobile, especially in her animal forms, but Shovel knight has fought and dealt with opponents more mobile than himself. Finally while technically Shantae has more games under her belt than Shovel Knight, Shovel knight is implied to be much older than her and is a veteran in the adventuring business as a whole.
However there’s several very clear cut advantage on Shantae’s side the clinches the match in her favor. Firstly Shantae has a lot more secondary equipment and spells than Shovel Knight, and her ability to use them is much less restricted (she can carry multiples of most items, her magic refills overtime, and things like the pirates gear can be used indefinitely). In a match of attrition Shovel knight is just much more likely to tap himself out and be left with nothing but a shovel due to almost all his arsenal being correlated to a much more finite mana meter. In contrast Shantae will almost always have other options available to her during the fight besides hair wiping or even animal transformations, which will lead to an imbalance on her side as the fight gets prolonged.
Next should also be noted that several of Shante’s items near completely cut off Shovel knight’s combat options. A few bubble shields alone can negate the large majority of his projectile attacks and a few pike ball weapons would make it incredibly difficult for him to get up close for physical strikes. Granted Shovel knight might be able to get around this problem somewhat by using the phase locket or the boldness ichor to get up close for short periods of time unscathed, but there’s only so many times he can use those in a single match. Not to mention Shantae can become invisible with vanishing cream, which can allow for BSing her way around attacks in a similar manner.
Finally while both characters have methods of healing, Shantae’s methods are WAAAAY more numerous. There’s over a half dozen different types of healing items in the Shantae series overall, most of which she can carry multiples of. In contrast Shovel knight can only carry 2 health based ichors at most and that’s only if he wants to sacrifice his ability to use boldness ichor. Additionally even assuming DB wouldn’t include health based items (they often don’t), Shantae actually has a more innate special ability that heals herself (the healing belly dance) while Shovel knight does not.
Overall Shantae’s less limited arsenal, ability to shut down Shovel Knight’s attack options, and keep herself generally healthier gives her the win.
….but just by a hair..