The enemy Ikki which periodically appears when opening treasure chests is a reference to Nikki from the Nintendo 3DS message service Swapnote.
Risky's black and red outfit is based on her sprite in the original Shantae game.
Shantae's blue outfit is based on a concept designed for a pitch to create a Shantae title on the SNES and PC. At the end of her adventure her red outfit would turn a triumphant blue.
The game started off as a Kickstarter project with a goal of $400,000. The campaign succeeded, making twice as much money than it originally intended. When the campaign ended, WayForward was still accepting donations through PayPal for the game to be funded. Donations discontinued on December 16, 2014. Making the campaign to be funded with $947,937.