When WayForward Technologies debuted Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, those familiar with prior Shantae games noted that the Shantae character’s skin tone was lighter than it had been in previous titles, now leaning closer to a more pale skin colour, as opposed to Shantae’s original brown-ish complexion.
WayForward have taken note of the feedback, and are presently trying out new colour palettes for Shantae’s main sprite. Above is a look at their current progress. You can compare this new sprite’s skin tone with the previous one here.
WayForward have also provided an explanation regarding how colours work in their game, and other details regarding Shantae’s more stylized and exaggerated design:
The night time colors are meant to be like the underwater or nighttime scenes in shows like 1980’s GI Joe and Transformers, or like the night time scenes in many Animated Disney Classics (like Aladdin) .
Regarding some other design elements, these were arrived at by drawing the character large, looking something like the pixel sprite. Then it was shrunk down until it was tiny on screen and edited at a micro-sized view. Body parts where exaggerated until you could clearly see her eyes, face, navel, and hip-tilt direction even at a great distance from camera. Then it was enlarged again, and cleaned up. This is the reason for the bowling pin shaped body, the very tall eyes, the long torso, and black triangular pants. She was designed for maximum contrast and readability on screen no matter how far we pull back the camera. This way we could have her battle a boss that’s truly colossal, or solve a puzzle that requires an extremely zoomed out view (think Harmony of Despair).
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is in development for PC, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. A separate game, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, is in development for the Nintendo 3DS.