Inkling (インクリング, Inkling) is the species of player characters from the Splatoon universe.
Inklings are creatures that can transform between a squid form and a humanoid form, which act as the players' avatars in Splatoon and Splatoon 2 (the latter of which also allows players to choose Octolings if they have purchased and completed the Octo Expansion DLC). Turf War battles between teams of Inklings involve using a variety of weapons from multiple weapon classifications to cover the map with their team's colored ink - which they can swim in while in squid form - while disrupting the other team's attempt to do the same within the time limit of three minutes. Inklings are also very fashionable, as they can be seen wearing different outfits as well as sporting different hairstyles (though hairstyle options are only available in Splatoon 2). Inklings are also colored based on ink battle teams from classic Splatoon.
The Inkling Outfit/Wig being orange for female Mii Gunners and blue for male Mii Gunners is a reference to the two most prominent Inklings in promotional art (including Splatoon's cover), an orange female Inkling and a blue male Inkling. These two designs are also the basis of the original Inkling Boy and Inkling Girl amiibo designs. The pose used for the Inkling trophy in SSB4 also matches the Inkling Girl amiibo. The Inkling Squid Hat, resembling an Inkling's squid form, appears to reference the design used for the original Inkling Squid amiibo, which is also green and in squid form.
As stated before, Inklings can transform into a squid showing off their ink color during certain scenarios. In Ultimate, some of the Inklings' moveset and actions allow them to change into their squid form, including their dash, grab, and Super Jump. Squids most often use their squid legs to produce ink, as using Super Jump inks opponents. Inklings value their ink so much because they dissolve in water, a trait that is also carried over into Ultimate through Inklings taking continuous damage in water.
If Kirby swallows an Inkling, he will use the first ink color that is not being used by another fighter. For example, if Kirby is fighting an orange Inkling, he will use blue ink; if he is fighting both an orange Inkling and a blue Inkling, he will use yellow ink; and so forth. However, he will get an orange Splattershot, ink tank, and female Inkling hair.
As a costume
Inklings are the basis for two paid downloadable content costumes: the Inkling Outfit for Mii Gunners (with matching Inkling Wig headgear), and a standalone piece of headgear, the Inkling Squid Hat. Two QR codes were also released for those who wish to have the exact Miis used in the costume's advertising, one for the male and one for the female Inkling.
These outfits could be obtained for free with copies of Splatoon purchased from GameStop in North America before June 13th, 2015. Otherwise, they were made purchasable on the eShop on June 14th, 2015.
The Inkling trophy is automatically unlocked after purchasing the Inkling Outfit.
Meet the Inklings, a mysterious race of beings that can transform into squid at will! They like to octopi their time with frantic, multicolored turf wars, and they won’t miss out on any oppor-tuna-ty to get to the top. And we wouldn’t go so far as to call them cod’s gift to fashion, but check out that fresh style!
Meet the Inklings, a mysterious race of squid that can take a humanoid form at will. They like to octopi their time with frantic, multi-colored(sic) turf wars between rivals, and they won't miss out on any oppor-tuna-ty to get to the top! And we wouldn't go so far as to call them cod's gift to fashion, but check out that style!
As a playable character
Main article: Inkling (SSBU)
The Inklings, in female and male variations, are playable as unlockable newcomers in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The initial teaser trailer for Ultimate, before its title was revealed, featured the default female and male Inklings in their designs from the original Splatoon, though they were not explicitly confirmed to be playable until Nintendo's E3 2018 presentation. Inkling can potentially be the first character unlocked in the game as the first character in Samus’s Classic Mode character unlock tree.
As a costume
In addition to the returning Splatoon costumes from Smash 4, new costumes for the Mii Gunner based on the Inklings' appearances in Splatoon 2 are introduced.