Inkling (インクリング, Inkling) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Although the default form is female, both male and female forms of this character are playable. They were first characters that were suggested to appear in the then unnamed Ultimate in its first teaser trailer at the end of the March 8th, 2018 Nintendo Direct, and officially announced as a newcomer in Ultimate's E3 2018 trailer , alongside Daisy and Ridley. Inkling is classified as fighter #64.
Yuki Tsujii voices both genders of Inkling, via voice clips from Splatoon.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Inkling must then be defeated on Moray Towers.
Inkling is a character that excels greatly in many areas, but is typically defined by quick, slippery movement and fast attack speed. As a result, most attributes are overall consistent with combo-heavy middleweights, with a focus on a fast-approach "footsies" playstyle: the Inkling has fast overall mobility due to high initial dash (16th highest) and running speeds (22nd highest), alongside high air speed (12-16th fastest, tied with Sonic, Mario, Little Mac and Donkey Kong). However, the rest of of Inkling’s traits are mostly average, with middling air acceleration, fall speed, walk speed, and weight. As a result, Inkling has can easily traverse large distances very quickly, but can have issues changing directions in midair; additionally, the combination of middling weight and fast fall speed do not give much of an advantage when escaping combos.
Inkling's greatest strength, is, fittingly, fast general movement and attack speed. While the range on many attacks is rather lacking, this is made up by extremely fast frame data, which allows Inkling to put the fast mobility to good use and rush opponents down in a flurry of moves. Additionally, Inkling boasts a strong ground and aerial offense, with many moves being capable of stringing together, particularly when coupled with an up throw, which is an effective combo initiator till high percents and can even KO through its setups, the Inkling's rushdown abilities are very effective. As a result, opponents can have a tough time finding openings in the Inkling's offense, since the high speed and low landing lag allow the Inkling to weave around any foe very easily, and an extremely potent combo ability easily turns any mistake on their end into a potential combo starter.
The Inkling's damage racking potential is further enhanced by the unique ink mechanic, lifted from their game of origin, Splatoon. Select moves will cover opponents in ink, which increases damage and knockback dealt to them up to a maximum of 1.5x, though this will wear off over time. When an opponent is fully inked, many combos are capable of effectively dishing out surprising amounts of damage over a short period on careless opponents. As a downside, this ink mechanic also affects the power of certain moves such as neutral attack infinite, forward throw, special moves and smash attacks, which lose significant KO power or damage without ink (and with some moves, completely fail to do damage). Due to this, the Inkling has to recharge the ink tank by going into a "charging" stance once the ink tank is completely depleted. As this leaves Inkling wide open to attacks with no escape options till the charge animation ends, managing the ink supply with care is crucial.
Inkling also has powerful offstage capability due to their attributes. They boast a lengthy, albeit somewhat linear recovery with them being able to double jump out of their Splat Roller in combination with Super Jump, allowing it to be less predictable, and coupled with the sheer speed of the moves makes it difficult to challenge them with an offstage edgeguard. They also have one of the best air speeds supplementing this, and likewise can edgeguard very proficiently themselves with their Splat Bombs, their aerials, and their Splattershot, to name a few.
Even with a fantastic set of strengths, there are some major weaknesses as well. Inkling's main weaknesses are that they have to be resourceful with their tools and not waste ink with a wrong decision for a punish that can last quite a while, as without ink, they see trouble scoring kills with their Splat Roller, have mediocre damage, and contain a lack of access to their ranged tools.
It is currently unknown how well the Inkling will fare in the meta, but early looks at them in local and regional tournaments have shown promising results, with names such as Armada, Abadango, Cosmos and Xzax using Inkling as their mains. Their potential in doubles was noted by Sakurai himself as being one of their strengths, allowing teammates to rack up damage even faster. One of their most notable results by far was at GENESIS 6 in which Cosmos placed 7th.
The specifics of the ink mechanic are explained in detail after the moveset table.
Inkling has a unique mechanic: a handful of attacks will cover opponents in ink. Characters affected by ink are shown being coated with varying amounts of brightly colored liquid (which varies on the Inkling's alternate costume), and can be repeatedly inked until they are fully coated. Inked opponents take additional damage proportional to the amount of ink covering them. However, the damage/knockback multiplier (up to 1.5x) is maxed out after the victim is coated by roughly 60% of the maximum value. Applying more ink only lengthens the duration of being coated, and has no further effect on damage and launch rate.
Ink gradually disappears over time, from around 5s for the smallest application, to around 20s for a completely covered character. Ink can also be applied onto some Assist Trophies.
Once the Inkling runs out of ink, the only ways to regain charge are to be KO'd, or manually recharge it by holding the shield and special button at once (or via the special button with an empty tank). The charge animation lowers the Inkling's hurtbox enough to dodge grabs and projectiles, but it can can only be done on the ground, prevents the Inkling from dodging or moving, and has noticeable ending lag, making it very punishable.
The ink mechanic affects:
Lands with a splash of ink in squid form before transforming back, then flaps both arms excitedly before drawing the Splattershot. This is the Inkling's entrance animation from Octo Valley in Splatoon.
The Inkling Boy has an altered standing stance, where he does not shake his hips as much as the Inkling Girl. However, this does not apply when holding a small item.
All of Inkling's animations are based on the victory poses when using particular weapons in Splatoon and its sequel. The animations vary slightly between female costumes and the male costumes.
In competitive play
Classic Mode: An Inkredible Journey
Inkling fights fighters with differently colored alternate costumes, referencing the concept of Turf War from the Splatoon games. The boss of this route, Marx, also fits in with this theme due to his multicoloured wings.
Note: Every stage except for the Bonus Stage plays a track from the Splatoon universe, no matter what universe it originates from. The boss battle against Marx also plays Calamari Inkantation instead of his standard boss theme.
Role in World of Light
The Inklings (both female and male) were among the fighters that were summoned to fight the army of Master Hands.
During the opening cutscene, the Inklings were present when Galeem unleashed his beams of light. They decided to each hide in a puddle of their own ink; however, this proved ineffective when the beams of light destroyed the cliff they were on. Both were then placed under Galeem's imprisonment alongside the rest of the fighters, except for Kirby.
In the mode proper, the female Inkling can be fought in a city area, in a space that clearly is Moray Towers.
Inkling's Fighter Spirits can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. They are also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Inkling in World of Light allows the player to preview the first spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As Fighter Spirits, they cannot be used in Spirit Battles and are purely aesthetic. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
Additionally, the Squid form of the default Inkling appears as a Support Spirit.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
All of the Inkling's alternate costumes feature wearable gear that can be found in Splatoon and Splatoon 2. Each of the costumes has a different Ink color, which matches the color of their hair and squid form.
Character Showcase Video
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