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Splatoon (universe)

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Splatoon (universe)
Splatoon logo.png
Developer(s) Nintendo
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Genre(s) Third-person shooter
Console/platform of origin Wii U
First installment Splatoon (2015)
Latest installment Splatoon 2 (2017)
Article on Inkipedia Splatoon (universe)

The Splatoon universe (スプラトゥーン, Splatoon) refers to the Super Smash Bros. series' collection of elements originating from Nintendo's premier multiplayer-focused third-person shooter franchise. It's comprised of two installments (with a third game setting to be released in 2022) where players take on the role of Inklings, a race of shapeshifting humanoid squid creatures, and fight in paintball-styled team matches by using a variety of weapons that use their ink to "splat" opponents and cover the ground in the ink of their color. It holds the key distinction of being the first multiplayer shooter franchise to be represented in the Super Smash Bros. series.

Franchise description[edit]

In the past, first and third-person shooter games had been released on Nintendo platforms, but they were rarely developed by Nintendo themselves, instead being made by external developers (as seen with Rare's GoldenEye 007 on the Nintendo 64 and Retro Studios's Metroid Prime series) due to Nintendo's stance on producing family-friendly content. While franchises like Call of Duty and Halo have received and continue to receive consistent praise for being gritty and realistic, fans of both have also agreed that the genre had grown stale with each installment, with little room for gameplay innovation. To the surprise of many, at E3 2014, it was announced that Nintendo themselves were developing an online multiplayer third-person shooter known as Splatoon for the Nintendo Wii U. The game was a fresh take on the shooter genre, featuring creatures called Inklings shooting ink at each other in a turf war battle style, with the victorious team being whichever could cover the most area with their ink's color. Inklings themselves are capable of transforming into squids, allowing them to speed through the battlefield through their own ink (and simultaneously recharge their ink supply). The team behind the development of Splatoon was made up of core developers of the Animal Crossing series, later joined by the director of Star Fox 64 3D.

When the game was being developed, characters were one of the later thoughts the team had. Originally, the player was represented by a box with a nose (affectionately referred to by the development team as blocks of tofu), but as time went on, the team thought up ideas regarding anthropomorphic squids, rabbits, and robots. Mario characters were also considered, though the team wanted the game to be an original IP and not make it a part of an existing franchise. Due to not finding valid reasoning for rabbits or robots to shoot ink at each other, the squid idea was expanded upon, and eventually resulted in the creation of the shapeshifting humanoid characters known as Inklings.

At the forefront of the online game modes is Turf War, in which players shoot ink in an arena for a predetermined time of three minutes. In that time, the player must cover as much territory as possible with their ink; they may recharge their ink supply by transforming into their squid form while standing on their own ink. If they are hit enough times by a player on the opposing team, they will be KO’d and respawn after eight seconds. There are also special timed events called Splatfests where players can pick teams based on two choices depending on the theme and region (including cats and dogs, the past and the future, being physically fit or being rich, and even special crossover Splatfests with Pokémon, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Transformers). These Splatfest battles are announced by Callie and Marie, of the in-universe Squid Sisters pop duo; the two also announce when stages change in the multiplayer modes, occurring every four hours.

Other multiplayer modes include Ranked Battles, in which players can participate in one of three modes: Splat Zone battles feature King of the Hill-type battles where players fight for control over a particular area in the stage; Tower Control battles feature players taking control of a tower, and they have to remain in control of it so that it reaches their base before the opponents’; Rainmaker battles are Capture the Flag-style matches centered around players grabbing the titular Rainmaker weapon and carrying it to the other team's base, with opponents being able to pop the shield surrounding the Rainmaker, resulting in a large explosion. Players can make teams with people in their friend list in the Squad Battle or Private Battle mode as well, with the latter allowing the players to choose the game mode and stage as well.

Beyond online, Splatoon offers a full-fledged 32-level single player campaign known as Octo Valley. The premise is that the power source of Inkopolis, the Great Zapfish, has been stolen by the Octarians and the player, dubbed Agent 3, must work with Cap'n Cuttlefish and the Squid Sisters to retrieve it. The levels presented are structured similarly to a linear 3D platformer, with mid-level checkpoints keeping track of progress, various collectibles and upgrades to be found, hub worlds to explore, and bosses to fight upon clearing all the levels in a given hub. Even more single player challenges were unlocked via amiibo, with Splatoon seeing its own dedicated line of figures growing well into 2016.

Splatoon was released on May 28th, 2015 in Japan, the following day in North America and Europe, and two days after in Australia. It was critically acclaimed for its innovative ideas, and became the fifth-fastest selling Wii U title in the UK. The game's critical reception on release was incredibly positive, with outlets praising it for reinvigorating the stagnant shooter genre while also not sacrificing the signature "Nintendo" style. Initial criticisms were mainly directed at the game's lack of voice chat compatibility, amiibo-locked content, and limited online options. Over time the game saw numerous free content updates with Nintendo adding in new gear, weapons and game modes, as well as continuous Splatfests. The final Splatfest theme for Splatoon was Callie vs. Marie and concluded on July 24th, 2016, thus ending all official support and content updates for the original Splatoon. By the end of its lifespan the game had sold about 5 million copies, making it the most successful new home console IP since Wii Sports.

Splatoon-like gameplay was spotted in the official debut trailer for the Nintendo Switch console in October 2016, and months later it was announced that a full sequel, Splatoon 2, would be released for the new system. On July 21st, 2017, Splatoon 2 released worldwide to another round of critical acclaim and becoming one of the top ten best-selling games on the Nintendo Switch. Splatoon 2 kept several aspects of the first game, but also brought its own fair share of changes, switching Callie and Marie out with Pearl and Marina, of the in-universe Off the Hook pop duo, and featuring several new modes. A new Ranked Battle mode, Clam Blitz, was added the December after Splatoon 2's release and features players attempting to fill the enemy team's basket, and if ten clams are collected, the player obtains a Power Clam which possesses the ability to destroy the barrier around the basket if it is thrown at it. League Battles replace the Squad Battles from the previous game, while the new Salmon Run is a horde mode that has players collecting a set amount of salmon eggs while fighting off Salmonid enemies in a set of three waves. Another wave of amiibo figures themed around Splatoon 2 also saw periodic releases, and the game was also compatible with all previous Splatoon series amiibo.

On March 8th, 2018, it was revealed in a Nintendo Direct that the first ever piece of paid DLC in the series would be coming to Splatoon 2 on July 31st, 2018 in the form of the Octo Expansion, focusing on a new character, Agent 8, an Octoling who has lost their memories and wants to escape the underground subways and testing facilities they ended up in, fighting the Octarians who have turned against them to get to the surface. Upon finishing the mode, Octolings will become playable in multiplayer matches and Splatfests. At E3 2018, it was revealed that the expansion would be released for download on June 13th, 2018. The final Splatfest theme for Splatoon 2 was initially Chaos vs. Order, but four encore Splatfests have occurred with the fourth and final one being Super Mushroom vs. Super Star, which concluded on Janurary 17, 2021, three years and 6 months after the game first launched. As of June 2020, the game had sold over 10.71 million copies worldwide, making it the ninth best-selling video game on the Nintendo Switch overall. There are currently no plans for future paid DLC for Splatoon 2. In a Nintendo Direct on February 17th, 2021, a third installment, Splatoon 3 was announced, set for a release in 2022.

Since its debut in 2015, Splatoon content has been featured in a number of Nintendo and non-Nintendo related media, to the point of being considered Nintendo's latest mascots. For example, the Inklings were featured in a crossover with the Squid Girl manga series, as downloadable Mii Fighter costumes in Super Smash Bros. 4, as Mystery Mushroom costumes in Super Mario Maker on Wii U, as playable guest characters in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on Nintendo Switch, and the Inkling Squid's eyes being used as a sticker bundled with Nintendo Labo: Variety Kit. The Splatoon franchise was prominently featured as the first new universe in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, with the Inklings appearing as playable newcomers.

In Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

While it is a small first appearance, the Splatoon universe makes its debut in Super Smash Bros. 4, in the form of Mii Fighter costumes and a trophy.

Mii Costumes[edit]


  • MiiGunnerHeadSSB4-U.png Inkling Outfit (DLC): Mii Fighter costumes based on the Inklings were released as downloadable content on June 14th, 2015. The costume changes depending on which gender the Mii wearing it is. For female Miis, it is based off of the female Inkling commonly used in promotional art and the game cover for Splatoon, wearing the White Tee and Pink Trainers, while also wielding a Splattershot with orange ink inside. If the Mii is a male, it is based off of the male Inkling seen in most promotional artwork and on the game cover for Splatoon, wearing the Zink Layered LS and the Purple Hi-Horses, while wielding a Splattershot with blue ink. Downloading the costume also gives the player the Inkling trophy.


  • Inkling Wig (DLC) The other part of the Inkling Set. Like the costume, the wig itself will change depending on the gender of the Mii wearing it. Female Miis will wear the Inkling Girl hair from Splatoon, while male Miis will wear the Inkling Boy hair. Their colors match up with the promotional artwork Inklings, with females having orange hair and males having blue hair.
  • Inkling Squid Hat (DLC) A hat is based off of the Inkling's squid form, more specifically a green Inkling Squid similar to the Inkling Squid amiibo.


Both Versions[edit]

  • Inkling

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

Splatoon representation was massively expanded on in the transition to Ultimate, elevating it to a primary universe with the addition of a new fighter in the form of the Inkling, as well as a new Assist Trophy and stage, many new tracks and remixes, and a new Mii Gunner costume based off of the default Inklings in Splatoon 2.


  • 64.
    Inkling: The playable race of the games appears in Ultimate in both Girl and Boy variants. Inklings use their ink to increase the amount of damage foes take from attacks, but must manage their supply of ink or else they will be left at a disadvantage. The alternate costumes showcase a variety of colors and clothing styles, moreso than most other playable characters. Their moveset (particularly their smash attacks and special moves) incorporates a wide variety of weapons from their series such as the Splattershot, Blaster, Splat Roller, Inkbrush, Splat Bomb and, for the Final Smash, the Killer Wail.


Assist Trophy[edit]

  • Squid Sisters: The famous singing cousins Callie and Marie debut as an Assist Trophy. When summoned, the screen slowly zooms onto them, making the blast zones closer and making it easier to KO opponents with them.

Mii Costumes[edit]




Original Tracks[edit]

Arrangements and remixes unique to Ultimate.

  • "Splattack!": A jazzy remix of the main theme from Splatoon, which can also play during multiplayer matches, as well as including a remix of "Opening" and "Now or Never!" from the same game. Heard in the Inkling's character trailer.
  • "Seaskape": A techno remix of "Seaskape", a multiplayer battle song from Splatoon.
  • "Now or Never!": A remix of the theme that plays when there's a minute left in a multiplayer match in Splatoon.
  • "Bomb Rush Blush": A remix of the theme that the Squid Sisters originally played at Niconico Chokaigi 2016, which later appeared in Splatoon and Splatoon 2 when scanning in the Callie amiibo.

Source Tracks[edit]

Tracks sourced directly from the Splatoon games.

  • "Splattack!": The main theme, as well as a multiplayer match theme, sourced from Splatoon.
  • "Ink or Sink": A multiplayer match theme, sourced from Splatoon.
  • "Kraken Up": A multiplayer match theme, sourced from Splatoon.
  • "Metalopod": A multiplayer match theme, sourced from Splatoon.
  • "Split & Splat": A multiplayer match theme added in the 2.0.0 update, sourced from Splatoon.
  • "Now or Never! - Splatoon": The song that plays in the last minute of a multiplayer match, sourced from Splatoon.
  • "Now or Never! - Splatoon 2": The song that plays in the last minute of a multiplayer match which itself is a remix of the track of the same name from Splatoon, sourced from Splatoon 2.
  • "Ink Me Up": The song that played during a Splatfest, sourced from Splatoon.
  • "Now or Never! (Splatfest version) - Splatoon": The song that plays during the last minute of a Splatfest match, sourced from Splatoon.
  • "Now or Never! (Splatfest version) - Splatoon 2": The song that plays during the last minute of a Splatfest match, sourced from Splatoon 2.
  • "Octoweaponry": A medley of the three parts of the theme when fighting an Octoweapon, with each part corresponding to a phase of the fight, sourced from Splatoon.
  • "I Am Octavio": A medley of the three parts of the first phase of the final boss theme against DJ Octavio, with each part corresponding to a part of the phase, sourced from Splatoon.
  • "Calamari Inkantation": The Squid Sisters' signature song, played during the second phase of the fight against DJ Octavio, sourced from Splatoon.
  • "Inkoming!": The main theme, as well as a multiplayer match theme, sourced from Splatoon 2.
  • "Rip Entry": A multiplayer match theme, sourced from Splatoon 2.
  • "Undertow": A multiplayer match theme, sourced from Splatoon 2.
  • "Don't Slip": A multiplayer match theme, sourced from Splatoon 2.
  • "Endolphin Surge": A multiplayer match theme, sourced from Splatoon 2.
  • "Ebb & Flow": A theme that can play during a Splatfest battle, sourced from Splatoon 2.
  • "Acid Hues": A theme that can play during a Splatfest battle, sourced from Splatoon 2.
  • "Muck Warfare": A theme that can play during a Splatfest battle, sourced from Splatoon 2.
  • "Deluge Dirge": A theme that can play during a match of Salmon Run, sourced form Splatoon 2.

Victory Theme[edit]

  • "Victory! Inkling": A remix of the online victory jingle from Splatoon.


The kanji aruji "" denotes a master spirit.

1,025. Inkling (Girl)
1,026. Inkling (Boy)
1,027. Inkling Squid
1,028. Judd
1,029. Li'l Judd
1,030. Squid Sisters
1,031. Off the Hook
1,032. Sheldon
1,033. Annie
1,034. Jelonzo
1,035. Crusty Sean
1,036. Spyke
1,037. Flow

1,038. Jelfonzo
1,039. Bisk
1,040. Murch
1,041. Cap'n Cuttlefish
1,042. Octoling
1,043. DJ Octavio
1,044. Octobot King
1,045. Zapfish
1,046. Great Zapfish
1,047. Octoling Girl & Octoling Boy
1,048. Octoling Octopus
1,049. Super Sea Snail

Games with elements from or in the Super Smash Bros. series[edit]


  • Playable Characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. 4Mii Fighter Costumes based on the designs of the male and female Inklings debuted in this game and were added as DLC.
    • Super Smash Bros. 4There is a DLC Mii Fighter hat based on the Inkling Squid.
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateInkling's main design is based around their appearance in Splatoon.
  • Stages:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateMoray Towers is based around its appearance in Splatoon.
  • Stage elements:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateJudd makes a cameo appearance on Moray Towers.
  • Assist Trophies:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe Squid Sisters, Callie and Marie, appear as an Assist Trophy.
  • Trophies:
    • Super Smash Bros. 4The male and female Inklings, using their design from this game, appear as DLC trophies.
  • Spirits:
    • Super Smash Bros. UltimateInkling (Girl), Inkling (Boy), Octoling, Spyke, Super Sea Snail, DJ Octavio, Octobot King, Annie, Zapfish, Great Zapfish, Inkling Squid, Jelonzo, Judd, Squid Sisters, Zapfish, Crusty Sean, Sheldon, and Cap'n Cuttlefish all originated in this game.
  • Music:
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Splatoon 2[edit]

  • Super Smash Bros. UltimateLi'l Judd makes a cameo alongside Judd on Moray Towers.
  • Super Smash Bros. UltimateOff the Hook, Li'l Judd, Flow, Jelfonzo, Bisk, Murch and the Octo Expansion Octolings appear as spirits, while Crusty Sean's spirit uses his design from this game.
  • Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe Inklings' Splatoon 2 designs are used as Mii Fighter costumes.


  • Splatoon is the first and only dedicated shooter franchise to be represented in the Super Smash Bros. series with a playable fighter; while other universes such as Metroid or Metal Gear prominently feature a multitude of ranged weaponry, they are not the focus of their core gameplay.
  • With the addition of downloadable content, Splatoon became the newest universe to be represented in Super Smash Bros. 4, as the first game released 6 months after the release of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
    • With the addition of Inklings as playable characters and other Splatoon content in Ultimate, the franchise was the newest major universe in the Super Smash Bros. series to be represented with a playable character prior to the announcement of Min Min as DLC.
  • Splatoon is the only major universe introduced in Ultimate to have been represented in previous installments prior to its playable character's debut, as a trophy and a Mii costume for the Inkling is available in Smash 4 as DLC.
  • With the Inkling trophy, the Splatoon universe is the only minor universe to have a trophy available in both versions of SSB4.
  • Splatoon is the only non-DLC first-party universe with playable characters introduced in Ultimate that previously did not have any.
    • It is also the only first-party franchise that debuted on the Wii U to have playable characters.
  • From December 15th-16th 2018, a Splatfest was held in Splatoon 2 that crossed over with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate called "Hero vs. Villain". Villains would end up winning the Splatfest, 2-1.