Video Game: Splatoon

Ink-oming!

"Go ahead... Make a MESS!"

Splatoon is an upcoming Third-Person Shooter, created by Nintendo for their Wii U system. Revealed at E3 2014, the game features the Inklings, a race of shapeshifting squid-kids/people who fight with all sorts of ink weaponry, which allows them to paint entire areas of their color that they can use to swim around the map faster as a squid.

The original demo and trailer shows two teams, consisting of the "Good Guys" and the "Bad Guys", that fight for control over maps, accomplished by spraying colored ink across the map, with the team with the most area of the map controlled winning.

Later on, a single player campaign was confirmed, called "Hero Mode". In Hero Mode, the Inklings must fight against the Octarian Army Corps, an army of octopi who invade from Beneath the Earth. There is also a two-player local multiplayer mode, with one player watching the gamepad while the second uses a television screen; the objective is to pop as many balloons as possible (and prevent your opponent from doing the same) before time runs out.

The official website can be found here. Also featured is an official Tumblr called the "Squid Research Lab", which reveals information in a similar vein as the "Pic of the Day" done for Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U. The game is also compatible with Splatoon amiibo; they can be used to unlock additional challenges in the single-player mode, and defeating them rewards the player with additional clothing accessories.

See the announcement trailer here, and the Hero Mode trailer here.

Splatoon provides examples of:

  • Action Bomb: One of the single-player enemies is a bomb that homes in on the player and explodes into enemy paint.
  • Alien Hair:
    • When the Inklings switch from squid to humanoid form, they retain part of their squid forms as their "hair". This is even more noticeable and alien with the Octolings, who have a mass of tentacles for hair styled in a bouffant.
    • Annie, the shy anemone girl who runs the headgear shop, has a big anemone afro with Moe the clownfish inhabiting it.
  • April Fools' Day: The official Tumblr claimed that Splatoon was actually going to be a hot new snack. The slogan? "Now you can have your squid and eat it too unless you're a squid then just eat a freakin' quesadilla!"
  • Animal Jingoism: There's a fervent animosity between the squid-based Inklings and the octopus-like Octarians.
  • Art Attacker: Turf War matches are won by the side who sprays their ink on the most surface areas.
  • Badass Adorable: The Inklings are colorful squid who shape-shift into young humanoid children, some of whom are girls with tentacle pigtails.
  • Bare Your Midriff: The Octolings' outfit in humanoid form shows quite a bit of navel.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: The protagonists of the story mode are the adorable Inklings, and the villains are the Gonkish Octarians.
  • BFG: The .52 Gal Shooter
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: While Octarians look no different from each other normally, only females display the ability to take humanoid forms. The Inklings are an aversion, with both genders having two forms that don't look too different from each other.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Well, kinda. The Inklings seem to be made of ink, so the game is either very bloody, or not at all. One of the ink colors is scarlet, which kinda blurs the line between playing this trope straight and averting it.
  • Brand X: The basic Splattershot weapon is clearly based on the original Super Soaker by NERF Brand, complete with a slightly rearranged color scheme.
  • Brown Note: The Killer Wail speacial weapon is a huge speaker that creates a massive soundwave that splatters any enemy Inkling in front of it. It doesn't paint territory on its own though.
  • Buffy Speak: The Squid Research Lab, for all of their interest in 100% methodical and serious research of technicolor squids, is a victim of unscientific speaking. For instance, "These suckers use one tentacle to work their little steering joystick thingy".
  • Button Mashing: Twintacle Octotroopers use their second tentacle to mash on their ink-shooting button, making them a bigger threat.
  • Catholic Schoolgirls Rule: An unlockable costume for the girl Inklings is a school uniform, complete with color matching skirt and tie.
  • Character Customization: The Inklings are highly customizable, from their gender and skin color to their offensive and cosmetic equipment. Furthermore, each piece of cosmetic equipment comes with associated perks that affect gameplay.
  • Character Level: Multiplayer features a leveling system that increases by area painted during a match. Higher levels make the store clerks more willing to part with more exclusive equipment, and at level 10 the player can access Ranked Battles.
  • Charge Attack: Charge-type weapons work like sniper rifles, and cover a long area in front of the player which increases the longer the attack is charged.
  • Color-Coded Armies:
    • Each team of Inklings can have have different colors. The color picked for one team also affects the other team's color by way of Color Contrast.
    • The Octarians primarily use purple as their color.
  • Competitive Multiplayer: The game was born and revealed as a 4 vs 4 multiplayer shooter.
  • Con Lang: The written language of the Inklings and Octarians is composed of a bunch of weird symbols. Now what language they're supposed to represent or be based on, if any, is another matter.
  • Covered in Gunge: The whole point of the game is to cover everything in ink, both scenery and enemies.
  • Curtains Match the Window: The Inklings have irises that match their hair, but only while humanoid — they instead have black irises when in squid form.
  • Cute Little Fangs: A variation of the trope. Inklings have the little fangs where the canines would be like most versions of the trope, but they also have a fang on the front bottom tooth made to look like the beak of a squid.
  • Domino Mask: The Inklings have black outlines around their eyes, giving them the appearance of wearing masks.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The Single Player campaign takes place in large underground domes made by the Octarians to simulate the surface world.
  • Elite Mook: The Twintacle Octotroopers, Octarian Corps enemies that have two tentacles instead of one, are much stronger than their one-tentacled couterparts. Why is that? For one, they can use their free tentacle to Button Mash their fire button.
  • Empty Piles of Clothing: When an Inkling is "splattered" by the other team, they explode into opposing-colored ink and their clothes are left behind. They spawn with a fresh set back at the starting point.
  • Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods:
    • The Inklings, squids that can change into kids.
    • The Octarians are shown as a more disturbing version, most of them taking the form of single tentacles with eyes, mouth and legs.
  • Evil Counterpart: Octolings are the Octarian version of the Inklings. Only female, they are capable to hide on their ink and take humanoid form.
  • Excuse Plot: While the single-player campaign seems to have a more concrete story with an opposing team of anthropomorphic octopus tentacles, the story of the multiplayer boils down to "You're the good guys, they're the bad guys - splatter the town with your team's color!".
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Ink guns, ink bazookas, ink grenades, oversized paint rollers... you might see a pattern here.
  • Field Power Effect: Inklings can swim at high speed through their own color of ink, but can barely move when on the other team's ink.
  • Funny Foreigner: Several jellyfish appear around the city, but most can't speak the Inkling language. Jelonzo has learned the language, but butchers it in a hilarious way.
  • Girlish Pigtails: The female Inklings have their tentacles take this form in their human forms.
  • Giving Up the Ghost: When an inkling gets splattered, their squid-form "ghost" floats upward, presumably to respawn. Defeated Octolings also leave them, octopus-shaped of course.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Hilariously, Inklings can be equipped with goggles on their foreheads. Not really gonna do much up there, even though extreme paintball would be one of the times where goggles would be most useful.
  • Graffiti Town: The setting of many arenas is industrial with some other urban elements, while nontheless still being colorful even before the Inklings wreak havoc all over.
  • Hartman Hips: The female Inklings and Octarians have proportionately wide hips. Their idle animations place some emphasis on this.
  • Hub Level: The game's "menu" is one of these. It takes place in a city filled with Inklings, with shops for Character Customization, weapons, the arena for the multiplayer and the area for the single-player campaign.
  • Improbable Weapon User: One of the main types of weapons featured is melee weapons... in the forms of oversized paintbrushes and paint rollers that can squish opponents flat.
  • Kill Sat: The Ink Strike special weapon creates an ink version of an orbital strike, sending a signal rocket into the air, followed by a humongous deluge of ink pouring from the sky.
  • Layered Metropolis: The surface world is a bustling metropolis dominated by Inklings, while Octo Valley is comparatively distopian, with the Octarians having giant monitors simulating the sky, and using electric catfish as a power source.
  • Lighter and Softer: To the usual shooter affair. The game has a very colorful art style, with guns that fire ink instead of real weaponry.
  • Mana Meter: There is a meter in the top-right corner of the screen that, when filled completely, gives a super weapon. These can be stuff like a bazooka that fires twisters of ink, a bubble shield, and an ink Kill Sat.
  • Mega Twintails: As the female Inklings' Girlish Pigtails are really their tentacles, they are quite big.
  • Morphic Resonance: The Inklings retain their eyes and their tentacle/hair is the same color as in their squid form. Furthermore, the 10 limbs real squids have are still represented in their humanoid form: 2 legs, 2 arms, 2 hair tentacles, and the remaining 4 in the back of their head.
  • Mr. Exposition: An elderly Inkling named Cap'n Cuttlefish serves as this in Hero Mode.
  • Never Say "Die": Although you clearly see defeated Inklings Giving Up the Ghost, they are called "splattered" instead of "killed".
  • One-Man Army: A single Inkling armed only with a "hero suit" takes on the whole Octarian army.
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: And pink/teal. And green/purple. And yellow/purple. Given that covering territory is the name of the game, you really want the team colors to pop.
  • Pointy Ears: Humanoid Inklings feature them, not only making them look more alien, but also giving another level of Morphic Resonance by looking like the fins real squids have in their heads.
  • Power Glows: Inklings' "hair" glows with their own color when they can use their special weapon.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Played for Laughs. In multiplayer, the "good guys" are always whichever team the player is on, and the "bad guys" are always the other team.
  • Pun-Based Title: A play on the terms "platoon" and "splat". And "toon".
  • Punny Name: The shrimp shoe store clerk is called Crusty Sean; say it fast an you get "crustacean". There are also minor puns with people like the jellyfish Jelonzo and the sea anemone Annie.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: Male and female Inklings play exactly alike, making the choice up to personal preference.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: As with any game where equipment with gameplay-affecting perks is not separate from the clothing items the character is visibly seen wearing, it's nigh inevitable that some players will choose to wear some rather "eclectic" outfits to try and optimize their characters' performance.
  • Real Is Brown: Defied, despite the game's urban/industrial setting. Not only is the game deliberately cartoonish, but it's also one of the most vibrant and colorful games on the Wii U. note 
  • Regenerating Health: Staying a couple of seconds away from fire will "clean-up" the player and regenerate their health.
  • Right Out of My Clothes: Hitting opponents with weapons will make them disappear while leaving their various accessories like headphones behind.
  • Seldom Seen Species: Annie stands out as not only a not-often-seen sea anemone, but as a humanoid one as well, complete with an also uncommonly seen clownfish living in her afro.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: While the normal Octarian troopers are Gonkish tentacles, the Octolings, the Inkling's Evil Counterpart, mirror the female Inklings while also wearing clothing more revealing than anything the female Inklings can use.
  • Series Mascot: The orange female Inkling takes front and center in most artwork and several trailers, with her squid form acting as the game's symbol, and is often accompanied by a blue male Inkling as her rival.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Inklings look vaguely like Bloopers, especially with the dark marks around their eyes. Several elements in both in-game and in promotional materials feature them. When the single player campaign with the Octarians was revealed, the trailer made similar comparisons between them and The Legend of Zelda's Octoroks.
    • Some of the posts in the game's official Tumblr make direct references to other games, such as the skate-park area reveal to Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, and the first teaser of the mysterious Octarian girl to Octodad. These make for rare instances of Nintendo shouting out games not published by them.
    • The post on Octosnipers makes two in a single post: One to the famous intro of Bad Dudes, which segues to Michael Jackson's Bad.
  • Shows Damage: Damaged Inklings will be covered in enemy ink until they are splattered or Regenerating Health kicks in.
  • Spiritual Successor: The game has frequently been characterized as "Super Mario Sunshine, except you spread goop rather than clean it up." It also gives off some serious Jet Set Radio vibes, with the trailer for Hero Mode feeling like an ad for a modern-day Dreamcast game in general.
  • Sprint Shoes: Inklings can quickly swim along ink of their color and resurface elsewhere. Particularly convenient for bypassing fences or sneaking up on nearby enemies.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Swimming on their own ink makes the Inklings nearly invisible to enemies, making stalking and hiding in the ink before striking a valid strategy for both single and multiplayer.
  • Strange Syntax Speaker: Jelonzo, who runs the clothing shop, speaks in Engrish. This is because jellyfish have their own native language, and Jelonzo is not a native Inkling speaker.
    "You! You are not the cool! You are needing more cool for wearing of my clothes!"
  • Super Drowning Skills: Inklings die the second they touch water. While it may not look like it makes much sense since they're squids, they're also made of ink, and ink dissociates in water.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Many of the multiplayer maps take place in a Tokyo-like city. Also, the Hub Level is based on the Shibuya district (itself a well-known fashion hub), with the online multiplayer building looking very much like the Tokyo Tower.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: The Inklings have a large variety of clothes, shoes and hats they can be equipped with. Each of them also come with perks that improve different abilities.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The Inklings are capable of changing between squid and humanoid form at will. Word of God says that they start life as squids and slowly become more humanoid as they age, gaining full control of their form when they turn 14. On the villains side, Octolings are also capable of changing between octopus and humanoid forms.
  • Wall Crawl: Spreading ink up along a wall allows the Inklings to swim up it to cover more ground more quickly.
  • Warp Whistle: Of a sort; turning into a squid allows the player to super jump to one of their teammates. This can mean warping to the back of the enemy's base for easy inking... or jumping into the wrong end of a firefight.
  • Widget Series: Anthropomorphic squids turn into kids with paintguns to shoot paint for the squids to swim through while battling an army of sentient octopus tentacles.
  • Wiki Vandal: Parodied. The Splatoon Tumblr page has a Suspiciously Specific Denial about Cap'n Cuttlefish writing his own entry.
  • World of Funny Animals: The cast is made up of a variety of aquatic animals such as jellyfish, anemones, cephalopods, etc.. Although the most prominent characters are the Inklings who shift between squid and humanoid.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: OK, so maybe it's not "hair", strictly speaking, but the Inklings' heads are the same bright colors as the ink they're spraying.