A list of characters in the Splatoon franchise. Beware of unmarked spoilers!
- Playable Charactersnote
- Idol Groupsnote
- Inkopolis and Splatsvillenote
- Deepsea Metronote
- Manga Charactersnote
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Humanity — UNMARKED SPOILERS!
The previous dominant species on the planet, before rising tides and other disasters brought on their extinction. Their remaining structures and creations often influence the events of the world of Splatoon.
- Ascended Extra: At first, most mentions of humanity were relegated to the occasional nod from characters, a Sunken Scroll or two, and the existence of Judd. As the series has gone on, their influence has grown more prominent, and their history more prominently discussed. The third game's story mode even has you going through the ruins of an old research base established by humans, with it being revealed through the files you uncover that said location is directly linked to the rapid evolution process that lead to current marine-life dominated world.
- Fallout Shelter Fail: The Octarian domes are implied to have once belonged to humans as survival shelters. Given the fact the Octarians found them empty, it's easy to tell they didn't work out.
- God Guise: Splatfest announcements come from a mysterious and ancient device, picking up signals from ancient debates from the distant past. In actuality, it's just an ancient fax machine that picks up the inane arguments humanity used to have that were beamed up into space, and later bounced back to Earth.
- Hoist by Their Own Petard: According to the first game, humanity seems to have wiped itself out through a mix of nuclear warfare and exacerbated global warming causing worse and worse natural disasters. According to Splatoon 3, a fair amount of humans actually managed to survive this and found refuge in a volcanic caldera. This would only last a few generations however, as the descendants of these survivors ended up accidentally killing themselves when a rocket they were testing hopes of returning to the surface caused harmonic feedback with their own survival bunker, causing it to collapse on the people living there.
- Hope Spot: In spite of the cataclysmic events that brought The End of the World as We Know It, humanity didn't immediately go extinct and Splatoon 3 revealed that two human groups each individually survived the initial mass extinction, teasing at the possibility that humans manage to survive to the present day... only for the Alterna Logs to reveal the downfall of each group (Alterna humans accidentally killed themselves after a few generations and the Ark Polaris crash killed everyone except Bear #03, who would go on to become Mr. Grizz).
- Humanity Is Infectious: Literally. The humans that survived the apocalypse took shelter in a grotto and raised squid and octopi for food. They used the blood of the squids and octopi to make data crystals that would record their memories and serve as holographic projectors. When the survivors stupidly blew themselves up, these crystals broke apart into microscopic fragments in the sea and were absorbed by sea life, giving the creatures human personalities and drives, and combining with the lingering radioactivity to hasten their evolution into terrestrial beings. Octopi and squids were the most compatible thanks to their bodies rapidly absorbing the data crystals made from cephalopod blood; as a result, Inklings and Octolings are basically humans in terms of psychology and culture.
- Humans Are Flawed: This generally seems to be Splatoon's take on humanity in general. Good, well-meaning humans exist, such as the Professor and his intent to Fling a Light into the Future, but humankind is too prone to engaging in irrational behavior to the point of negating that. Sometimes it's harmless, like Alternan humans creating statues of their favorite historical art pieces and dreaming about viewing the sky; but most of the time it's dangerous, like starting multiple world wars, ignoring experts about an impending climate catastrophe, and Alternans actually attempting to return to the surface, creating certain doom for the last members of the human race in doing so.
- This is perhaps best spelled out by Commander Tartar, though it might not realize such. When it criticizes the irrational behavior of Inklings and Octolings fighting over genetic differences, it doesn't realize that's actually apt to critique humans about as well.
- Million to One Chance: In the Alterna logs:"Soon, the surface of the Earth became a barren wasteland, completely inhospitable to life."
"Error! Against the odds — computed to be 42,791 to 1 — some humans survived. Therefore, the planet was only NEARLY completely inhospitable to life."
- Too Dumb to Live: How dumb? Despite the elders of the community telling them that it would a terrible idea, the Alterna citizens decided to test experimental rockets — in their underground shelter. With the intention of busting through the roof made of psychically-resonant ink crystals. The few that managed to survive would die shortly after anyway, as there was nowhere hospitable left to go.
- True Art Is Ancient: Remarked on in the Alterna Logs, explaining the weird presence of moai there:"Of course, not even scientists are immune to nostalgia. The humans began constructing large-scale 3D-printing operations. This allowed them to recreate some of humanity's favorite artifacts within the confines of Alterna."
- World War Whatever: Humanity was on to their fifth world war when they accidently nuked Antarctica, which didn't help the already worsening climate situation.
The Professor — UNMARKED SPOILERS!
A human scientist who tried to warn world leaders of rising sea levels in the distant past, but was paid no heed by them. He was the original owner of Judd who saved him by cryogenic freezing and an anti-aging drug. He also created Commander Tartar in the hopes it would guide the next dominant species not to repeat humanity's mistakes.
- Benevolent Precursors: He tried to be this for the Inklings by creating Commander Tartar to help them learn from humanity's messes. Unfortunately, Tartar itself came up with other plans. Ironically, the professor ultimately became this by saving Judd, who became the authority figure that the Inklings needed.
- Ignored Expert: He and other scientists tried to warn the world's policy makers about the rising tides, but they took no action, leading to all of humanity being drowned by the ensuing flood.
- Kind Hearted Cat Lover: He was the original owner of Judd, deciding to save him once it was clear humanity was doomed. He even gave Judd's pod a cloning mechanism (which would birth Li'l Judd) just to ensure Judd wouldn't be lonely.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Some of his feats include cloning, AI creation to create Tartar, drug engineering for Judd's anti-aging serum, and a general understanding of mechanics to build Judd's cryogenic/cloning device.
- Poor Communication Kills: The professor created Tartar with the intention of having it pass on humanity's knowledge to the next dominant species to guide and prevent them from repeating humanity's mistakes. Unfortunately, his choice of words in directing Tartar was if the species was 'worthy' of the knowledge. As consequence, Tartar twisted the word of worthy until it decided that the Inklings and Octarians were not worthy of the knowledge and wipe them out to replace them with a 'worthy' species.
- Posthumous Character: The rising sea levels claimed his life in the distant past, but his legacy lives on through several Sunken Scrolls, Judd, Li'l Judd, and Commander Tartar.
- Pungeon Master: It seems that he enjoyed using cat puns around Judd, which Judd himself has picked up during the present day.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
- He created Commander Tartar to guide the earth's next dominant species, but the professor failed to account for Tartar judging that said dominant species would be unworthy, leading to Tartar trying to eliminate all sentient mollusks because of it.
- He also gave Judd's freezer a function to clone him, hoping to give him company if he himself can't make it. Little did he know that Lil' Judd would go through Clone Angst and start plotting to kill Judd.
- Inverted with Judd; the Professor was merely showing him kindness by granting him his immortality, and likely never expected Judd to become the guide that Tartar would fail to be.
The Squid Research Lab
A group of humans that document the Splatoon series and present information about the game in a lighthearted tone.
- Advertising-Only Continuity: Pretty much only exist in promotional material concerning the game.
- Ambiguous Situation: Most of the series' promotional material on social media, as well as general game updates, come from these guys. To what extent they actually exist in the universe versus being an Advertising-Only Continuity isn't clear: you can pick up their SRL Labcoats from Grizzco's clothing rotation in 2, but they talk about the franchise like it's a game and the Deep Log doesn't mention the survival of any humans that weren't within the doomed Alterna and Ark Polaris colonies.
- Cloudcuckoolander: They're really, really eccentric. Examples include the departments remarking about how the others tweet too often, implied office pranks involving throwing water balloons over cubicle walls, and an unsupervised intern raiding the workplace's fridge when nobody else is working.
- The Last of His Kind: Maybe, if you accept the ambiguous situation that they exist in-game as well and are thus the last remaining humans on the planet.
An artificial intelligence in charge of Alterna, who runs the tests New Agent 3 has to go through to progress through the story.
- A.I.-cronym: O.R.C.A. stands for Omniscient Recording Computer of Alterna.
- Ambiguous Situation: Just how sapient the O.R.C.A. is is hard to figure out. It has definitely not grown beyond their programming, as everything it does in Alterna -running the tests, recording information and helping in other systems- is exactly what it was built to do, and maintains a completely impersonal relationship with the characters. On the other hand, the fact that the tests are designed for Inklings and Octolings to participate in was definitely not programmed into it, and the Alterna Logs are written in first-person with something of a storyteller's flair you wouldn't expect from a machine. There's even a moment where it is evidently annoyed that the Inklings don't know what an actual orca is, represented with Visible Silence. Whether these are programming quirks or signs of actual sapience from the A.I. is, at present, unknown.
- Contrasting Sequel Main Character: To Octo Expansion's Commander Tartar. Tartar is an AI Bitch in Sheep's Clothing that attempts to appear trendy to hide its genocidal intentions; O.R.C.A. is a detached AI with a formal manner of speaking who is used as a mere tool by the true villain to further his plans.
- Death from Above: Its preferred method of splatting those who fail objectives is targeting them with a beam of light before releasing a concentrated stream of ink directly on top of the poor subject's head.
- Game-Over Man: Fail an objective and O.R.C.A. will helpfully inform you before splatting you."Mission... failed. You <reason for failure>."
- Meaningful Name:
- It's named after a type of marine creature in the English, Dutch, and Spanish localizations, as is usual for pretty much everything in the series. Specifically after a mammalian sea creature, which serves as Foreshadowing for its involvement with humans.
- The Japanese and Chinese localizations follow a similar trend, dubbing it I.R.K.A., after their language's word for dolphin, which is likewise mammalian.
- Russian goes in a different direction; it's dubbed "И.К.Р.А.", or "I.K.R.A.", meaning "caviar". Caviar is made of fish eggs, and Alterna is the birthplace of the Inklings and Octolings as a species.
- Mr. Exposition: The "Omniscient" part of its name isn't just Fun with Acronyms. Its Alterna logs reveal a ton of information about the setting, from before its creation to the modern day.
- Omniglot: Again, not "Omniscient" for no reason. It is perfectly capable of speaking the same language as the other characters, despite being built by humans at least 12,000 years before the main plot.
- The Omniscient: It's what the O in O.R.C.A. stands for. Its observations of the Splatoon world extend well past the confines of Alterna and into the surface world, and the final log shows it was aware of the events that occurred on the Ark Polaris, despite having been built well after it had gone into space. How exactly it managed to observe all of these events isn't explained.
- One-Hit Kill: Same trigger as C.Q. Cumber, different execution. Fail a test? Prepare to be slimed.
- One-Steve Limit: Averted, as Splatoon's local OSHA stand in, the Occupational Regulatory Commission for Accidents shares the same acronym with ORCA.
- Our Graphics Will Suck in the Future: Despite being a highly advanced and intelligent AI, the images it includes in its Alterna Logs are low-resolution, pixellated, and full of dithering to make up for a small color palette.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To C.Q. Cumber. Both share the same role of introducing a stage's task, keeping track of weapon selection, and remotely killing you if you fail an objective. Additionally, both are seemingly unaware of their superiors' true motives.
- Unwitting Pawn: In the final stages, O.R.C.A. assists Grizz's plan by activating various launch protocols, inadvertently hindering Agent 3's progress. While its level of sentience (especially compared to Tartar) is debatable, it seems to only be following its programming in this instance and does not seem aware of Mr. Grizz's intentions.
- The Voice: As an AI, it seemingly lives in Alterna's architecture and makes no physical appearance, only represented as a digital orca via intercom dialogue. O.R.C.A.'s central mainframe or server is never encountered in the entirety of the campaign, making it a mystery where the AI is based.
- Super Smash Bros.