Edward 'Shifty' Boots is the teenaged son of the queen of the seven seas, Risky Boots of WayForward's Shantae series.
When you hear about Shantae's archenemy, the Pirate Queen, what comes to mind? Probably fighting, adventure, treasure, maybe that iconic skimpy costume and her weird little 'ho ho ho' laugh. Well, imagine the exact opposite of that.
Meet Shifty. Shifty, for one, isn't keen on being a villain. He's kind and sweet, always tries to be polite (especially to girls, considering the world he lives in) and isn't always the most confident in himself. A textbook nice guy, if you will. This is definitely not how villains should act if they want to be taken seriously.
He's also, much to his mother's dismay, a little cowardly. Okay, a lot cowardly. He's the biggest scaredy-cat you'll ever see, ducking for cover whenever there's fighting or violence involved and making excuses to avoid things that could potential get him hurt. He claims that he's just trying to 'preserve' himself so he can actually be in the next Shantae game, but nobody believes him.
Because he isn't the best at living up to mama's standards, he often beats himself up over failures. Not being a good enough fighter, letting girls beat him, getting spooked so easily... If you ever see him like this, just tell him that he's important. He needs it.
He likes travelling in the abstract, but is too worried about his safety to venture out onto the high seas and actually see these sights for himself, never mind loot them. Enter the library, Shifty's favourite place: here he can read to his heart's content about faraway lands without so much as leaving Sequin Land. He can read for hours and sometimes sneaks a book or two into class.
He, inspired by the things he reads, often tries to write stories himself, with mixed results. He enjoys the process, even if he isn't that good, so that's all that matters, we suppose.
Shifty doesn't like hearing this, even if it's true, but he can easily be mistaken for a girl out of the corner of one's eye. He is of a thin build, oddly so for a boy, and has strange lightly purple-tinted skin. His face is kind of heart shaped and he has reddish eyes, one of which is covered by a purely decorative black eyepatch. His hair is a little long, stopping by his chin, and is dark violet in colour.
He is often seen wearing black pants with holes in the knees, a red t-shirt with a faded skull and crossbones decal on it and a purple jacket. On his head he has a red bandana and occasionally wears a big black pirate hat over it, but not all the time. And of course, he'd never leave home without his trademark black boots.
Before you ask, none of Shifty's clothes, or his cutlass for that matter, are magical like his mother's. She doesn't think he's ready to wield any of those yet, so he's stuck with plain old regular items.
Mama and Shifty aren't on the best of terms. First of all, there's the whole 'Why could you have been a girl?' issue. Then there's the fact that he's not exactly into the villain/anti-hero scene. And then there are a couple of other things on the side that Shifty would rather not go into. Basically, Shifty's family is kind of a mess. Whenever he's at home, he pretty much locks himself in his room with a couple of Tinkerbats and a good book rather than listening to his mother nag him about who knows what.
Shifty's a nice guy and all, but he's one of those people who's just... not really that noteworthy, I guess. He isn't all that athletic or super smart. His most outstanding characteristics are that he likes to read and write and that he's a huge coward. To most, he's easy to pass over.
Arthur and him are okay-ish friends, though. Arthur'll listen to his problems if he ever needs to vent, read some of his stories even if they aren't the best and in return, Shifty gives him candy and listens to Midnight Riders CDs with him.
Maxime Carmine isn't all that fond of him, but what else is new? She has a longstanding grudge against pirates as it is.
As for other pirates, Shifty's never really interacted with the other sea-faring kids at school, but he knows about them. Honey T. Syrup kind of intimidates him, since she's better than him at pretty much everything pirate-related and always seems like she's ready to fight.Simon Centifolia is a bit more his speed, but he's never actually bothered to talk to him, so that friendship is going nowhere. Besides, he has a reputation for being a snob, so he probably wouldn't want to hang out with him anyway.
He's a bit more familiar with Archel Ultramarine, but she's still a little frightening to him. Don't get him wrong, she's friendly, but she always insists on challenging him to wrestling matches and we can't have that. He might break a bone or something; he's a fragile little thing. He tries to avoid her when she's attempting to toughen him up.
Y'know those super cute yet really irksome bats in the caves near the Ammo Baron's outpost? Yup, one of those belongs to Shifty. It's called Quinn. Shifty wasn't exactly sure what gender it is, since most of them have long eyelashes, but he still wouldn't like to make assumptions based on that, so he gave it a somewhat androgynous name. It flits around his dorm, sometimes tries to eat Arthur's little cockroach and is generally a nuisance, but it's hard not to him. Or her. Whichever.
Romance? Really? You do realize this is shy little Shifty you're talking about, right? Not in a million years.
- The name 'Edward' comes from Edward Teach, the man commonly known as Blackbeard.
- Shifty has the same least favourite subject as both Competer and Duplicity. Missy realizes that she needs to be more diverse in the subjects that her characters like/dislike.
- Shifty, despite being referred to almost exclusively by that nickname, hates it. He's not disreputable or shady, but somehow he got saddled with that moniker and it stuck.
- Shifty is actually a fan of the Barons of Sequin Land, particularly the Ammo and Hypno Barons. The reasoning behind this is that they're both formidable villains, but don't need to physically fight to prove their worth: Ammo forces the player to complete his Battle Tower (which he himself doesn't fight in) to get his seal, whereas the Hypno Baron hides behind illusions when fighting. Who cares if it's wimpy, if he's going to be an antagonist, that's the kind of antagonist he wants to be!
- Due to Missy not realizing that she's repeating herself in writing Shifty's dialogue, he ended up with having the strange verbal tic of saying 'Well' before most of his sentences. The justification, aside from bad writing, is that he's supposed to sound shy and unsure of himself. Unfortunately, now Missy can hear David Tennant's voice in those 'well's'.