Shantae Advance: Risky Revolution | Once cancelled, now coming to Game Boy Advance

Shantae Advance key art

Around 20 years after it was cancelled, Shantae Advance is finally being finished and released thanks to Limited Run Games.


The lost platformer Shantae Advance: Risky Revolution has been announced as part of the Limited Run Games showcase, which was absolutely packed with reveals for retro-gaming fans, including a remaster of Clock Tower.

The long-running Shantae series began on the Game Boy Color in 2002, but the first game met with poor sales. The developer behind it, WayForward, was already deep into creating a sequel for the Game Boy Advance when the GBC game came out, and the lower than expected sales forced them to change their plans. As explained by creative director Matt Bozon in a video interview, publishers were only willing to provide relatively small cartridges for the sequel given the low sales of the first entry, and WayForward ultimately decided to scrap the project rather than try to squeeze the game into a smaller memory footprint.

The Metroidvania-influenced franchise returned in 2010 with Shantae: Risky’s Revenge for the Nintendo DS, which was followed by Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse in 2014, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero in 2016 and Shantae and the Seven Sirens in 2019. Over the years, the Shantae series has steadily built up a dedicated fanbase, which has meant that the rare, original GBC game now commands quite a price on the secondhand market, sometimes selling for more than $500. Limited Run announced it would produce a reproduction Shantae GBC cartridge in 2020, and this quickly sold out. At around the same time, the game was ported to the Nintendo Switch.

Now, Limited Run has teamed up with WayForward to finish and publish Shantae Advance: Risky Revolution on the Game Boy Advance. At the moment, it seems the game will only be available on original GBA cartridges, although there is the possibility it might be available on over formats later on. In a Twitter post in response to a question about whether the game would come to Switch, WayForward said: “We don’t have any announcements to make about other platforms at this time, sorry!

Read more: Celebrating Shantae | From obscurity to cult classic

The story of Shantae Advance: Risky Revolution sees the series’ antagonist Risky Boots discovering a secret subterranean device that can rotate the land above. The video footage for the game shows Shantae activating one of these devices, which rapidly rotates the background. Interestingly, the game will also feature four-player battles via the Game Boy link cable – although I imagine it will be quite tricky to gather together four people with a Game Boy Advance in this day and age.

“To make a Game Boy Advance game in [2023] is crazy,” said Matt Bozon, “but I think it’s a better version of the game than it would have been if it had come out in 2003 or 2004.”

Shantae Advance is set to be released via Limited Run Games on Game Boy Advance in early 2024.

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