(Legit.) Shantae G.B.C. Reproduction Cartridge

Hello fellow Capcom enthusiasts. I just thought I would let you folk know that Limited Run Games has some Shantae rereleases for sale on their website. Yes, I count Shantae as a Capcom game. Granted, Capcom did not develop the game: That honor goes to Wayforward Software. However, Capcom was its official publishing house for the Gameboy Color in 2002 and it has the capcom logo front row and center on both the original box and the original cartridge, and I assume Capcom vetted the game before deciding to take it under their wing.

Some of you may already be aware, since I saw some talk about some video posts and some Shantae games in the Switch thread, but I thought this particular release really deserved its own topic to maximize awareness before it is too late, especially since it is not actually the switch version which interests me most. Specifically, they are selling a Wayforward licensed Shantae repro. cart for the Gameboy Color.

I would strongly advise anybody who wants a legal copy for the Gameboy Color, or might want a copy for the gameboy color, to place an order for it before preorders close on the 11th.

For those of you who might not realize why this is such a big deal, it should be noted that Shantae was a critically acclaimed and heavily advertised game that actually managed to sell quite poorly, so Capcom never made a second run of the Gameboy color version.

You might take poor sales to be a sign of a bad game, but the usual explanation for this is that it was a gameoy color game released in 2002, which was the year the Gameboy Advance was released, so people were not interested in playing Gameboy Color games irrespective of how good they were. It is a shame if that is the case because the Gameboy Advance was backwards compatible and Shantae was Gameboy Advance enhanced, and if that fact were better advertised it might have done better, but that is not what happened.

Because it never got a second run, it ended up being one of the rarer Gameboy Color games. It was listed at approximately $80 just for a loose cartridge until the time Half Genie Hero revived interest in the series. Then it rose to about $300, and I have even seen listings priced at over $1000, and presently there is an auction on ebay where it is priced at $510 due to end in about 19 hours, with the cheapest Buy It Now listing for an authentic cartridge being $800 (no links because I am not trying to endorse any particular e-bay listing). I know this because I did not buy the game when it was new, which is a decision I have regreted for years because I really wanted to play the game, but I could never bring myself to pay such inflated prices for a used game I could have bought new for just $30.

I also can’t bring myself to play games illegally due to complex ethical considerations (copyright is more than just profit from imminent sales of new media, but the ability to control demand through restricting supply to either encourage immediate purchase while the product is on the market or leverage higher prices later on), and while a 3DS e-shop release is just $5, I try to refrain from buying downloads to support the continued release of physical media that can be legally redistributed, even though as it turns out the used prices may seem unfair, and also prefer playing older games on original hardware where possible for the most authentic playing experience.

It should also be considered that the 3DS eshop won’t be around forever, especially since the 3DS line was recently discontinued, and that being able to play the game on an oriiginal Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance or G.B.A. player is the most authentic experience somebody could hope to have for this game.

Since I have personally regretted missing the opportunity to legitimately play the game for a long time, I want as many interested parties who may feel the same way do to know they can purchase such copy of the game which was legitiimatly licensed by Wayforward Software. Since this is a capcom-centric commuunity, and some of the forum’s primary games of interest are even older than Shantae, most notably including Street Fighter II, I feel as if this is one of the best places to reach out to others who may have felt like myself.

Limited Run games is selling quite a bunch of Shantae related merchandising, but the standard edition of just the game itself for the Gameboy color is $45, but there is also a collector’s edition for $75 that comes with some extras, such as a soundtrack C.D. or a poster. Granted, it does not have the Nintendo seal of approval or the Capcom logo, since those companies are no longer involved with its publication, but I do not think those things are objectively worth $450+ either.

I would like to say more about the game, but for the reasons described above, I never played it myself. I have read good things about it obviously and believe it will be a great game, or else I wouldn’t bother with this. For those of you who might wonder what the game might play like though, Limited Run Games has released a trailer video for it on Youtuube which demonstrates some gameplay:

It looks quite fun to me.

1 Like

I honestly do not recall the game being heavily advertised as someone old enough to have existed and pre-ordered the game at the time. I only stumbled upon it via the old Game Informer site, and at that time ran out to purchase Xtreme Sports to see what Wayfoward was all about while waiting for my Shantae pre-order to come in.

I’ve been pro-Shantae since 2002.

Still have my copy of the game, despite the potential to re-sell it at a massive profit.

I’m considering grabbing a Switch copy to have playable versions of all the games on a modern system.

Do check it out if you’re interested. It’s not the greatest game ever made, but it was a lot of fun at the time and the belly dancing transformation mechanics are something that I hear have been done away with or altered in later entries in the series.

1 Like

I already got my pre-orders for the Switch and Gameboy Color.

I one concern is if they did the line level voltage conversion correctly. Some of these later reproduction carts have mismatched voltage specs compared to the consoles they run on, and it does cause damage to said console.

Perhaps someone should reach out to Limited Run.


I do not really expect it to be. I mean, there can only be one of those and if asked what I thought it was, I probably would not hesitate to say that it is Super Mario Bros. 3, and specifiically the version seen in Super Mario All Stars, since it was graphically enhanced while faithfully maintaining the original style and adds a much needed save feature to the long game.

Meanwhile Game Informer has maintained that the Legend of Zelda for the N.E.S. was the greatest game of all time from issue 100 through to 200, although the latest compilation in issue 300 changed the rankingss significantly.

I am mostly just expecting it to be one of the better gameboy color games, and perhaps not even the best out of those. There is not much in the way of competition on the system, if we strictly count games which require G.B.C. hardware to run, but what little competiition that does exist is strong. Pokemon crystal, the Zelda Oracle games, Wario Land 3 and the Megaman Xtreme games come to mind. Granted, the list of Gameboy color enhanced games is longer, but it’s scarcely any fairer to consider those gameboy color games than it is to consider Shantae a Gameboy Advance game, and the only apparent reason it might be fairer at all is because the boxes for those games read Gameboy Color on the side of the box and the trademark black cartridges which distinguished them from original gameboy era games, but neither of those are very substantial differences.

It is hard to say for sure since I do not recollect exact timeframes, but that actually may have been too early. Really only the very most anticipated games get very much in the way of prerelease press coverage. Professional online reviews for the game seem to have been published after the game was released in June of 2002. I.G.N. did not review it until december 12th 2002, which was only scarcely within the holiday shopping season for that year, and Gamespot waited all the way until May of 2003 which is nearly a full year after the initial release date. You would have already owned the game by then, and would have no particular reason to seek out an online review by that time.

Granted, you are discussing advertising specifically, but the other factor is that the advertising I saw for the game were not online, but rather full page advertisements in a magazine. The advertisements were not very informative, and consisted mostly, if not entirely of the game’s cover art. I guess the marketers did it like that to avoid showing off the obsolescent gameboy color’s graphics.

Doing a little more research into the matter, the only review that came out prior to the release, if I am reading the archive correctly, is the May 2002 review from Game Informer, which (unlike I.G.N’.s practically glowing review or gamespot’s 7.7) , was actually a very negative one. Game Infomermer only gave it a 3.3 out of 10. I can’t provide the full article since it is a magazine, but somebody took a screenshot of the Game Informer Review Archive score and STN79 on Game F.A.Qs. provides some excerpts of the summary portion of the review if you want some idea regarding what their opinion was.

I find the excerpt regarding the game’s concept vaguely funny. They claimed it was to “[u]se a sexy temptress to fool gamers into believing this game is good.” which I must admit is sort of how it came across when I saw the advertisements featuring little more than a scantly clad gal, though it is also sort of hypocritical in a way 'cause I thought they usually ate that stuff up with a spoon but I guess that sort of marketing tactic works better for higher fidelity graphics.

My understanding of the situation is that Game Informer was not only giving away their magazine at the time, but practically paying people to subscribe with discount offers at Gamestop and acquisitions like Funco land. Consiidering that, and that a preemptive review would have more of an effect on sales than late ones, and especially so during that critical launch period, I suppose that review would have most significantly affected the game sales.

Seems like the one criticism they all have in common though is the obsolescence of the graphics when compared to Gameboy Advance games, which probably wouldn’t bother a gameboy color collector in the least, which is not to mention that people have a greater tolerance for low fidelity graphics than they did back then, if not an affinity for them. It is kind of funny how tastes change with the times and what’s old becomes new again, is it not?

Oh yeah, I vaguely remember hearing about some sort of controversy with flash carts, including earlier revisions of the popular Krikzz Everdrives (Krikzz modified his deigns afterwards to be on the safe side). Nintendo Life reported on the naturre of the problem “Flash Carts Could Be Slowly Killing Your Retro Consoles”, which was reported upon by Nintendo Life.

For example, after a whole bunch of electrical engineering stuff involving diodes that I do not fully understand, BennVenn Electronics asks “Can a cheap chinese cart put your console at risk?” and is conclusion is no, but that “S.D. carts have the potential to put your system at risk if they are designed incorrectly.” in his youtube video “Can a bootleg/flash cart prematurely age or damage your console?”.

It is hard for me to say just how much risk the problem poses to the console, since it is not liike an immediate short, and if this has killed a console, it could have been falsely attributed to some other cause given just how old these consoles are. Probably couldn’t hurt if somebody wanted to ask, but I’m not going to worry about it too much. Unlicensed cartridges like Atari’s Tengen line have existed since at least the dawn of the N.E.S., and early revisions of the everdrive which supposedly had the problem have been successfully used for years, and even the person who discovered the problem was on record as saying there was not sufficient data to reach a definitive conclusion as to the long term effects on original hardware back then.

Moreover, if BennVenn is right, then I doubt that the Shantae Gameboy Color cartridge is going to be designed worse than the cheap Chinese counterfeit gameboy catridges he used for demonstration, or make any use of S.D. cards, so it should be safe, at least for the console, although a reproduction cartrige which lacks the appropriate resistor to lower incoming voltage could wipe itself, and I suppose it is good to be aware of the possible risk though.

It’s hard for me to find the Youtube videos I watched on the subject, since Retrogrb’s weekly roundups tend to cover a whole bunch of different hardware at once, and I can not find a specific video on that channel regarding the subject leading me to believe it was a post-roundup interview or something, but there is a topic about this subject on the shmups forum for anybody who wants a little more information regarding the everdrive controversy and what people thought of it.

On an unrelated note, I would like to add that the pirate themed enemies remind me somewhat of Wario Land II, and especially the pirate gooms for some reason, and not just because they are pirates since I also played Donkey Kong Country II, and some of Donkey Kong Land II even. I guess the coloration has something to do with it? I wanted to mention that last time, but I forgot.

1 Like

Yeah, people were distracted by the new.

It’s like trying to articulate to an '09er why Street Fighter 3 and the CPS-3 games (JJBA) were so impactful back in the late 90’s. They just see pixels and go “ICK!” Not knowing how we lived in those days, and how we grew weary of the recycled sprites of the CPS-2 money makers.

Then again, I was also a bit of a nut who would make the 347 mile pilgrimage (one way) to Super Just Games when attending Anime Central to partake in obscure and esoteric games unavailable in my area. 694 miles round trip, just to bask in the glory of your dumb hobby. I don’t know many folks who would undertake that trek.

I recall at the time Shantae had very impressive animation for both a mere Gameboy and unheard of 3rd party game. That may seem odd in 2020, or like being the tallest midget in a midget height contest - but it still counted and lent itself to the charm of enjoying the game which I was playing out on a small pier in the sunny park on a Gameboy Advance thanks to Nintendo being able to release a portable with a screen that was not visible under normal lighting conditions. :stuck_out_tongue:

Ordered all the Switch versions of the Shantae titles. I’m 20 years into being a cheerleader for the series. . . why stop? :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like