Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Splatoon 2

Go To
Inking back, and with a vengeance!

Splatoon 2 is the sequel to the Third-Person Shooter Splatoon. After being teased at the end of the Nintendo Switch reveal trailer, the game was officially revealed months later during the January 2017 Nintendo Switch Presentation. A Global Testfire demo was held the weekend of March 24-26, 2017, while an early Splatfest was held July 15, 2017. The game was released worldwide on July 21, 2017.

Two years ago, the Great Zapfish was recovered from the Octarians. Their army's attempt to attack Inkopolis under the leadership of DJ Octavio was stopped by a single Inkling, before the public was even aware of anything being amiss...

Oh, and Team Marie won the final Splatfest.

Since then, the major hub of activity in Inkopolis has moved across town to Inkopolis Square. Bands have broken up or have entered irrelevance as new acts have emerged. Fashion continues to march forward and new faces have shown up in the city. But if there's one thing that hasn't changed, it's that all these hip squid-people still love spraying each other with their multi-colored ink.


In the single-player campaign, DJ Octavio has escaped captivity and the Octarians have once again stolen the Great Zapfish in a second bid to invade Inkopolis. Under the guidance of former Squid Sister Marie, and with some help from weapons expert Sheldon, it's up to the player to stop the Octarian army and find Marie's cousin Callie, who has mysteriously disappeared. The campaign has been expanded to now have the player use the wide variety of weapon types throughout its stages, rather than just the basic Splattershot weapons.

Alongside returning multiplayer modes (Turf War, Splat Zones, Tower Control, and Rainmaker) are two new modes: Salmon Run and League Battle. The former is a horde mode in which a team of four must work together in order to defeat waves of mutated salmon and collect their eggs for prizes at the end of the day, while the latter is a variant of Ranked Battle in which player group into squads of two or four and play the usual Ranked modes, trying to earn as many ranking points as possible and outrank other squads by winning matches over a two-hour period. In December 2017, another Ranked Battle mode called Clam Blitz was added, wherein teams must collect clams and throw them into a balloon net on the opposing team's base after breaching the protective covering by breaking it after collecting enough clams.


In March 2018, it was announced that game would receive a second single-player campaign through its first piece of paid Downloadable Content, entitled the Octo Expansion. In this Expansion Pack, the player takes the role of Agent 8, an Octoling who awakens with no memory in an old subway system that is now being used as a underground testing facility. As Agent 8, you must now make your way to the surface while trying to recover your memories and discover the purpose of the facility. The campaign launched on June 13, 2018.

In June 2019, the final Splatfest of the Splatoon 2 era was announced, titled "Final Fest: Splatocalypse". Players were asked to choose between a world of chaos or one of order, and to defend their choice on the battlefield. Pearl sided with Team Chaos while Marina led Team Order, and every other character in the gamenote  pledged their alignment in the days leading up to the event. The Splatfest took place between July 18-21, ending on the game's second anniversary in a victory for Team Chaos.

The final major content update, version 5.0.0, was released on July 31, 2019, though minor balance and bugfix patches would continue. Much to players' surprise, however, Nintendo introduced a series of bonus Splatfests in 2020. The first of these was a rematch of "Mayo vs. Ketchup" in May 2020, which was presented as a "bonus, one-off" event alongside a new Testfire demo; however, it was later announced that three more of these bonus Splatfests would be held before March 2021. These ended up being rematches of "Chicken vs. Egg" (August 2020) and "Trick vs. Treat" (October 2020), as well as a "Super Mushroom vs. Super Star" Splatfest to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Super Mario Bros. franchise (January 2021).

The official website can be found here. Also featured is an official Tumblr called the "Squid Research Lab", where you can find in-character news and information about the game. You can watch the reveal trailer here, the Salmon Run trailer here, the single-player trailer here, and the Octo Expansion trailer here.

During the February 17, 2021 Nintendo Direct, Splatoon 3 was announced to be in development, and set for a 2022 release.

Tropes associated with Splatoon 2:

    open/close all folders 

    Main Game 
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Before the last phase of the final boss, Sheldon gives Agent 4 a modified version of the Rainmaker, the Purposely Overpowered weapon from the Ranked Battle mode of the same name. It doesn't have the time limit that it has in Ranked and League Battles, and it is capable of firing much farther and quicker.
  • Abnormal Ammo: An oddity even among Splatoon's ink and paint loaded Supersoakers, the Clash Blaster appears to be loaded with crayons. The end result is a rather unusual weapon, being a weak rapid-fire gun in a class known for slow but powerful shots.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Callie calls back to the first game by trying to speak into her microphone upside-down, rendering the textbox upside-down and making herself unintelligible.
  • Action Bomb: The Baller special puts the user in a plastic bubble, reducing damage and letting them roll quickly, before filling up with ink and detonating in a large explosion. It must be used quickly as sustained fire can and will eventually break it.
  • Actionized Sequel: Compared to the first game, this game features crazier weapons for players to use, including dual pistols that let you dodge roll, an ink commando launcher that fires multiple shots, an ink jet pack, an ink rain cloud that you can toss into the sky, a giant hammer you can stamp the ground with, and even a spirit bomb-type weapon powered by the cheers of your team! The maps also seemed to have been designed to be a bit smaller this time around, which means opposing players are more likely to run into each other, and in turn encouraged to engage one another in combat.
  • After the End: The series takes place approximately 12,000 years after humans and the vast majority of mammals were driven to extinction due to rising sea levels caused by global warming. This time it's made more explicit, with the maps in the Salmon Run mode being the polluted ruins of man-made structures inhabited by Salmonids and characters making references to our extinct species.
  • A.I. Breaker: Octolings have no way to deal with Autobombs. You can simply chuck an Autobomb at an Octoling, then watch from a safe distance as she futilely either ducks back into her ink or attempts to shoot at it while standing still until it explodes in her face. Even Octotroopers have the common sense to retreat when they see an Autobomb coming.
  • A.K.A.-47: The Splatoon series features all manner of unconventional weapons in its arsenal, so it really sticks out when Agent 4's Weapon of Choice is what appears to be a neon yellow P90. In game, the gun is referred to as the Hero Shot. It shares this name with the gun used by Agent 3 in the original Splatoon, but that one is an earlier model that is far more toylike in design.
  • All or Nothing: In Splatfest Pro Battles, winning gets you clout points equal to the enemy team's Splatfest Power level, while losing gets you zero.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • "Squid Sister Stories" explains how characters and the world changed during the Time Skip, with most of the focus being on how Callie and Marie's friendship changed following the final Splatfest, culminating in Callie's sudden disappearance.
    • A relationship chart posted on the series' official Twitter account confirms that Li'l Judd is Judd's clone. Li'l Judd is aware of this fact. Judd is not.
  • Animal Gender-Bender: The violinist of Bottom Feeders, center, looks pretty female, but is supposed to based on a Betta fish — and only the males of the species look so flamboyant. Because so little beyond appearance and musical style (Celtic punk) is known about them, some parts of the fandom have rolled with it outright being Dude Looks Like a Lady. Others argue that the musician's muted color scheme isn't quite flamboyant enough for a male.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • If someone on your team gets disconnected early into a Ranked match and you lose, your rank will not be affected. The game will even notify you as such when it happens.
    • The final single-player hub area primarily has small platforms to walk on, making falling off easier than in previous areas. To reduce the backtracking needed if this happens, checkpoints are present in some spots, in contrast to how previous areas only had checkpoints in the actual levels.
    • An update added the ability to change your weapon and gear between matches without having to return to the lobby.
  • Anti-Rage Quitting: The game is still at it with punishing ragequitters with 5-minute wait times, but now issues a direct warning to knock it off. Mercifully, that same message also asks players who are having connectivity issues to check their internet for optimal performance. Also holds the quote for that page.
  • Archive Binge: In the Japanese version, after winning the "Action vs Comedy" Splatfest, Marina tells Pearl that they're gonna binge a seven season drama later. Pearl is less than excited. invoked
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: The Ink Armor was nerfed in Version 1.3.0. so that sufficiently powered attacks can deal direct damage through the Special while simultaneously breaking it and inflicting significant Knockback. Namely, anything that hits for more than 100 damage will apply up to 80 points of direct damage in addition to breaking Ink Armor.
  • Artifact Title: The Rapid Blaster is called such because when it was introduced in the first game, it had the fastest firing rate out of all Blaster weapons. However, this game introduces the Clash Blaster, which shoots even faster, making the Rapid Blaster's firing rate feel like an eternity in comparison.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • In a meta reference to the infamous 'I wish Squids were real' Miiverse post, a conversation Pearl and Marina can have when talking about Shellendorf Institute has Marina wishing humans were real.
    • The Booyah Bomb introduces a mechanic in which its user makes it charge faster by saying "Booyah" while their teammates get a bonus in their special meter by "Booyah"-ing back. They actually made the "Booyah" meme a mechanic for this weapon!
    • Hisashi Nogami's memetic pose that he made during the game's unveiling at the Nintendo Switch Showcase in January 2017 shows up in the end credits.
    • One of the Memcakes has the inkling girl making the same face as a this meme.
    • A long-standing theory that the violinist of Bottom Feeders is a dude was acknowleged in the White Day artwork depicting male band members, which features him as a centerpiece.
  • Athletic Arena Level: Goby Arena, whose intended purpose is for the Inklings' version of basketball but can be repurposed for ink battling too.
  • Balance Buff:
    • In the first game, a charge of a charger class weapon would be immediately cancelled upon entering squid form. Splatoon 2 changes it so that charger weapons save their charge for a limited amount of time, allowing players to fully charge a shot, quickly change position, then reemerge with a fully charged shot. Scope models and the returning Bamboozler do not have this functionality, however, while the new Goo Tuber extends the duration you can hold the charge, allowing for ambushing.
    • The rollers now have a vertical fling when jumping. This creates a line of ink that are longer than the roller's typical range, but not as wide. This can be used to both ink walls with a climbable trail faster and gives the roller just enough range to match the range of most conventional shooters, preventing situations where shooters will have an advantage even when the roller noticed them ahead of time. The Flingza Roller specializes in vertical jump flings, being able to chain horizontal flings into verticals, while the Dynamo Roller's vertical fling has a huge range to compensate for its long start up time.
    • The Point Sensor now lasts several seconds before disappearing, compared to the previous game where it was active for less than a second.
    • The Stingray finally got one in the form of a wider area of damage if you hold down fire long enough. This went a long way in making it a super on par with the others, as before its very small area of damage and slow turn speed made it difficult to do anything productive with it if a target wasn't intent on staying in one area.
  • Barely Changed Dub Name: Marina — Iida in Japanese — is an unusual example in that she appeared at first to have a straight Dub Name Change, before her full name was revealed during the Octo Expansion. In the English version, this scene revealed her surname, making her full name Marina Ida. In Japanese, however, the same scene instead revealed that Iida was her surname — she was previously only known on a Last-Name Basis, and her given name was actually Marine. In other words, her Japanese name, Marine Iida, was changed in English to Marina Ida.
  • Bifurcated Weapon: The Dualie Squelcher introduced in this game is the Dual Squelcher from the last game in two halves. When the crosshairs temporarily merge after a dodge roll it'll even take on the appearance of the latter.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Jellyfish can now change their colors to show support to whatever team they are supporting in Splatfest. The official explanation to why they can suddenly do that now is that one jellyfish discovered that they are bioluminescent by mistake, which then spread into the collective jellyfish Mind Hive and now all jellyfish can change their colors.
  • Black Comedy Burst: The conversations Pearl and Marina have are usually pretty lighthearted, but the latter will occasionally take things to a dark place, explaining that it's common to see human bones when digging or remarking that they all live in a simulation and free will is a lie.
  • Blah, Blah, Blah: Pearl in one discussion jokingly imitates Marina by saying this. Marina appears to agree that she sounds like this without a hint of irony.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • While the bomb launcher super is active, the game still lets you use your weapon normally. This can be useful if somebody slips through your wall of explosions or you get stuck on some enemy ink.
    • While the Autobomb can be used to damage enemies, they can also be used simply for detecting hiding enemies or herding them, as Sheldon explains.
    • The Fizzy Bomb can be charged up by physically shaking the controller, which is a fun integration of the weapon literally being a soda can, but in practice it's more straightforward and practical to just wiggle the analog stick back and forth while mashing B to charge, since the controller is tied to the camera (by default) and will thus mess up your aim if you shake it.
  • Boss Remix: The first phase of the final boss is Bomb Rush Blush in a minor key. The second is a mash-up of that and Tide Goes Out. Finally, the third is a new remix of Calamari Inkantation.
  • Boss Subtitles: All of the main campaign bosses are introduced with their names and descriptions.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The Replicas of the Hero weapons are now this. They can be unlocked by clearing every single level in Hero Mode with that Hero weapon, but the Replicas are identical in function to an existing weapon. Their only practical use is getting more fresh bonuses after winning enough matches in a row, since each weapon can only get each fresh bonus once.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Originally, there were two primary defensive abilities: Bomb Defense Up and Cold-Blooded. The former improves overall defense against Bomb weaponry, while the latter decreases the amount of time you are affected by tracking status effects. After 4.3.0, both abilities were taken out and replaced by a new ability called Bomb Defense Up DX, which has the effects of the aforementioned abilities combined.
  • Call-Back:
    • Some of Marie's dialogue in Octo Canyon references Splatfests from the first game, like the American Marshmallows vs. Hot Dogs Splatfest, or the European Pro-Pineapple vs. Anti-Pineapple (on Pizza) Splatfest.
    • Like in the first game, Callie speaks into her walkie-talkie upside-down at one point which makes her unintelligible, once again by showing the text box upside down.
    • Some of DJ Octavio's new lines in the Final Boss rematch are taken directly from the Final Boss fight from the first game, including the infamous "D-D-D-D-DROP THE SEA BASS!" line. Lampshaded immediately by Marie following the aforementioned line in a Take That!.
      Marie: Look, I know you DJs recycle old content for a living, but at least get some new dialogue.
  • Character Customization:
    • The game vastly expands the ability to customize the look of your character over the first game. Not only is there a greater variety of clothing items, but you can also choose from a selection of hairstyles and legwear.
    • Clearing the Octo Expansion adds the ability to play as an Octoling, with each gender of Octoling having its own two choices of hairstyle. Either species is playable in multiplayer, but only Inklings are playable in Octo Canyon and only Octolings are playable in the Deepsea Metro. (The game saves whichever appearance you'd last used for each species and automatically switches to it when you start their respective modes.)
    • It's also possible to customize the appearance of Agent 3 in the Octo Expansion, giving you the opportunity to make them look like your character from the first game.
  • Colorblind Mode: Enabling Color Lock in the options locks teams colors to golden yellow versus dark purple, in an effort to always have sufficient contrast for colorblind players.
  • Comeback Mechanic: If the enemy team breaks your barrier in Clam Blitz, once your barrier reforms, your team will get a free Power Clam that spawns right under your team's clam basket to fight back.
  • Company Cross References: The 8-bit Bloopers and Octorocks from the first game reappears in this game. In addition, 8-bit renderings of Gunion, the octopus enemies from Super Mario Land, and the octopus from the titular Game & Watch game are also found in various locations, after which the Octolings' octopus forms are designed. There are 8-bit renderings of a Unira, the urchin enemies from Clu Clu Land, which appear in Starfish Mainstage as there are urchin characters in this game. Marina even mentions at one point during an event that she's making plans to play a new video game coming out in the weekend, which was very heavily implied to be Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • Confusion Fu: The main draw of the Dualies weapon type is using the dodge-roll function to evade and disorient opponents, going in to splat them while they try to get a bead on you. The Tetra Dualies in particular allow you to dodge four times in a row instead of the usual two, making it great for practically dancing around enemies.
  • Console Cameo: Several Nintendo consoles, among them an original model Game Boy, a GameCube, and a Switch (naturally), can be spotted as artifacts in the background of Shellendorf Institute.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Crusty Sean's mix of the Booyah Base theme can be heard when you meet him at the Crust Bucket food truck.
    • Among the many tunes that can be heard around Inkopolis Square is a stripped-down instrumental remix of "City of Color", the Splatfest plaza theme from the first game. The same song also appears in "Spicy Calamari Inkantation".
    • In the single-player, Marie quotes Cap'n Cuttlefish's "Way to be, Agent 3!" line from the original game's campaign, just replacing "Agent 3" with "Agent 4".
  • Critical Existence Failure: Downplayed in both of this game's single-player campaigns: your base suit also functions as a layer of armor, which breaks if you take enough damage that otherwise would splat you. It self-repairs after a while, but you're severely slowed down during that.
  • Crosshair Aware: Being targeted by the Tenta Missiles causes a reticle to appear underneath you, and the ensuing rockets will be marked by small circles on the ground. The large reticle also has a small bit that points towards the general direction of the player firing the Tenta Missiles.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • The original Splatoon put the jump button at X, but Splatoon 2 sets it to B, with the X button now opening the map. The changes were made because of a fundamental design difference between the Wii U and Nintendo Switch: the Wii U's Gamepad meant that the map could be on the controller's screen at all times during play. Not only is it impossible to use the Nintendo Switch's screen while it is outputting to the television, but they would have needed a workaround for handheld play regardless. And on the Wii U Gamepad, the right analog stick is above the buttons, making the X button the closest to the stick and thus the easiest to reach from it. On the Switch, however, the right analog stick is below the buttons, which makes the B button closest to it. As such, veterans of the original playing the sequel for the first time will often find themselves accidentally opening the map in the middle of a firefight for a little while.
    • Many of the weapons from the first game return, but in many cases have different sub weapons and specials, meaning it's not uncommon to accidentally throw the wrong kind of bomb or activate your special at a sub-optimal time because you forgot that it's changed.
    • The Ballpoint Splatling is unique in that it plays nothing like a normal Splatling. The Ballpoint Splatling's gimmick is that the first quarter circle of charge will have inaccurate but faster than average shots that have weak range, but everything after the first quarter circle has immense range and perfect accuracy but fires slower than your normal Splatling. The trick is that you can re-spin your Splatling in the middle of firing, which will allow you to recharge while maintaining whatever firing stage you were at. A typical Splatling user holds ZR before the end of their charge to commence re-spinning immediately when their charge runs out, so the ability to re-spin while firing can be disorienting at first glance. However, mastery of the Ballpoint's technique makes it one of the strongest weapons in the game.
  • Dark Reprise: A remixed and far more serious version of Callie's "Bomb Rush Blush" serves as the theme for the first phase of the final boss fight. "Tide Goes Out" joins in once the second phase kicks in.
  • Darker and Edgier: Not that much darker, but still a factor.
    • The color palette for the game is a bit more muted overall - while the ink is still plenty bright and inky, the areas themselves tend to be a bit darker lit, indoors and made of things like metal.
    • The developers joked about Marie's appearance solo in the first trailer not meaning much. Then "Squid Sister Stories" revealed that Marie and Callie's friendship began to die following the events of the first game...and that the latter mysteriously disappeared while Marie was out of town visiting her parents.
    • Now, the modern Splatoon setting doesn't get that much darker, yes, with the squids remaining cute, the kids remaining cute, and even the Salmonids seeming a bit more ridiculous than anything... but the backstory of the setting takes a much darker turn in this game, and takes a turn much more in line with the game's ostensible genre. Not only do some Inkling religions treat the advent of major Salmonid migrations and attacks as a harbinger of the apocalypse (and the Salmonids being on the move are why Grizzco can operate), but during the Inkling equivalent of the medieval period, the Salmonids explicitly destroyed entire cities, also explicitly slaughtering and devouring the Inklings within. The modern, relatively peaceful and idyllic Splatoon setting seems built upon centuries of prior conflict and tragedy.
    • The final Splatfest of the first game was simply "Which Squid Sister is better?" Splatoon 2's final Splatfest, on the other hand, is far more grandiose: It's called the Splatocolypse, the two factions are Chaos and Order, and the various characters of the game are grouped into one of those two factions. Though it's unclear whether this will actually be a canon occurrence or just a stylistic promotional thing, the post-Splatfest banter from Off The Hook suggests it was simply talking about the direction of the band, though the post-Splatfest banter at the end of Callie vs. Marie ended on a high note as well, and that didn't turn out particularly well...
  • Death from Above:
    • A special called Splashdown causes the Inkling to leap in the air and slam the ground, creating an explosion of ink. What makes it qualify for this trope is that unlike other specials, this one can be used with a Super Jump to possibly deal with potential Super Jump campers.
    • The Inkjet used to be able to do this via its jetpack, whose ink propulsion system would inflict a One-Hit Kill on any player that you fly over. The jetpack received a Nerf in 1.3.0 that chopped its damage by 75%, making it so that not only does it no longer kill on contact, it does damage at a much slower rate than your actual cannon. That being said, it can still be used to pick off already-injured players, though.
    • More mundanely, any roller will still deal damage when rolling off a ledge; this can be used to drop on somebody hiding right below you.
  • Decomposite Character: Well, weapons actually, but the new Subs and Specials lead to a few situations where two new weapons take on one of the traits of a previous one.
    • For sub-weapons, there's the Curling Bomb and the Autobomb. Each one took a perk of the Seeker and expanded upon it:
      • The Curling Bomb takes the Seeker's rapid-advance-enabling potential in the form of a solid line of ink left behind it, and allows it to bounce off walls instead of bursting on contact.
      • The Autobomb takes the homing elements and puts them in a throwable grenade. It will track its target relentlessly but without leaving a trail of ink like the Seeker did. It also boasts better turn speed to allow it to hassle people out of their hiding spots behind walls (instead of needing an open area to find a hidden enemy efficiently). However, though it has better tracking AI than the Seekers, it still tends to fall off ledges.
    • The Inkstrike Special was a rocket that could create a large whirlwind of ink anywhere you tapped on the map. This has been split into the Tenta Missiles, Ink Storm, Splashdown, and Booyah Bomb:
      • Tenta Missiles are the same remote deal, only instead of choosing anywhere on the map you lock on to enemies inside a cone of vision to fire small rockets at; this takes the remote attack capacity of the Inkstrike and applies it to a lock-on dependent version. It lowers the coverage of said attack as well if you don't get all four enemies locked onto (and that can be difficult depending on the enemy).
      • Ink Storm covers a wide area like the Inkstrike, but it's dependent on the player's location and is so weak that only enemies that are already heavily damaged will be splatted by it.
      • Splashdown keeps the "huge-area ink coverage" but now localizes it to your character, forcing them to be at wherever they want the coverage to be. It requires high ground to be at its most effective—presumably to help stave off the games that were decided by a last-minute Special its user saved all match long. However, it can also be used with a Super Jump; this makes it more defensive and gives it more uses than just "cover a large area with ink and maybe hit a person if they stand still".
      • The Booyah Bomb creates an expanding whirlwind of ink similar to the Inkstrike, but has a more limited range (it can hit at a greater distance than most weapons, but still must be within line-of-sight) and must be charged up via spamming the "Booyah!" command before use.
  • Denser and Wackier: The Hero Mode bosses in the first Splatoon were odd, but still fit the ocean and water-related theme of the rest of the game. In this game, you go up against, among other things, a giant oven full of evil loaves of bread, and a unicycle-riding Octarian samurai wielding a motorized Roller that doubles as a respawn point.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • If you try scanning the Callie and Marie amiibo before completing story mode, they instead show letters from the two about how they're in the middle of something.
    • Certain stages will have modified layouts if you play them with weapons other than the intended weapon. For example, if you play Stage 6 with a weapon other than the Hero Charger, a good number of platforms will have extra blocks that you can scale added to them so you can hit Grapplinks with Bombs.
    • Similar to the first game, if you rematch the Final Boss after beating the game, instead of replaying the same cutscene from the first time you fought it, you instead get an entire set of... rather amusing alternate dialogue.
    • Nintendo seems to have caught on that dataminers uncover post-Splatfest dialogue before their respective Splatfests are completed. So for the Final Splatfest, placeholder dialogue that was not meant to be shown to the player was put in, just enough text to say which faction won and to inform players that their prizes can be picked up in the Square. The actual dialogue, which is much more fleshed out, wasn't implemented into the game's data until near the end of the Splatfest.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • The Flingza Roller. Its horizontal flings are quick and powerful but have shorter range than other Rollers, while its vertical flings are longer range, but are weak and have a start up time that's only shorter than the Dynamo Roller. Not helped by the fact the game doesn't even tell you what the form changes do to the flings.
    • While all of the heavyweight weapons are on the trickier to side to play as a whole, the Explosher is perhaps the biggest example of the bunch due to its sheer clunkiness. Unlike other Sloshers it fires large projectiles that passes through enemies and deal 55 damage, leaving a thin trail in its path before exploding upon contact with the ground into a large circular patch of ink that deals 35 damage to anyone caught in the explosion (giving it potentially up to 90 damage if an enemy is hit by a direct projectile and its explosion. What makes it so cumbersome to use however is the very slow windup and endlag of the sloshes, forcing the user to commit a lot of time to every shot and leaving them very vulnerable to getting rushed down by short-range weapons. To make matters worse, unlike a lot of weapons that want to keep enemies at an arm's distance, both variants of the Explosher have support-focused Sub Weapons, leaving it with no means to fight someone that gets into its zone. When mastered, however, the Explosher becomes like a mortar, locking down areas on its own with its long range high turf coverage and threatening enemies with near-1-hit-splats.
    • The Respawn Punisher ability gives you the ability to induce respawn time and special gauge loss penalty to whoever you splat, and to yourself (by a greater degree) if you get splatted, so it's a great ability if you can survive for a long time while you focus on splatting opponents.
  • Diminishing Returns for Balance: The more of a specific sub-ability you stack onto a piece of gear, the more Ability Chunks you'll need for each new copy of the ability; the first time you put on a specific sub-ability, it will cost 10 chunks, the second time costs 20 chunks, and the third time costs 30 chunks (in other words, to have three of the same sub-ability on one weapon, you need 60 chunks). The more chunks of any particular ability you put on your gear, the less benefit you get from each new chunk.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: The Friendship Bracelet gear makes your character go barefoot.
  • Double Unlock: Just like in the first game, you must advance through levels to make weapons available to purchase from Ammo Knights, and from there you must then purchase the weapon to unlock it for use.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: An In-Universe example by Marina in the Villains versus Heroes splatfest. Her reasons for siding with the Villains are interesting to say the least, especially because the Villains side include Ganondorf, Ridley, and King K. Rool, characters that one would have to stretch really hard to see them as "misunderstood" even if they are popular in their own right. The Heroes won the popularity vote 2 to 1, but since the Villains won the Splatfest overall, Marina talks about how this is the first step for her evil plan.
  • Drop the Hammer: The Ultra Stamp special allows you to summon an enormous stamp mallet to make your mark on the battlefield.
  • Ear Worm:
    • "Calamari Inkanation" from the first game is, canonically, this, as it is said by Cap'n Cuttlefish to have engraved its sound into the very souls of anyone present at the "concert" at the end of the first Splatoon. In fact, it's such an Ear Worm that it manages to survive Agent 8's amnesia, and according to a chat log in Octo Expansion, its effect was strong enough that induced Marina's Heel–Face Turn.
    • One piece of banter for the New Albacore Hotel stage has Pearl singing what is presumably the hotel's advertising jingle, to Marina's anguish, as she bemoans that now she'll have it stuck in her head all week.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Just like the Squid Sisters in the last game, standing next to the window where Off the Hook is for a few seconds will make them react. If you look as an Inkling, Marina smiles and waves at you while Pearl looks at you in annoyance but then poses for you with a smile. If you look as an Octoling, both Pearl and Marina recognize you as Agent 8, react warmly, then smile and pose.
    • Pressing buttons on the lobby screen lets you mess around with the music. Moving the left control stick changes the pitch and tempo, and the right control stick adds a band-stop filter.
    • Just like last time, the back of the amiibo box is completely textured, and is even written in the Inkling language. This time, it's possible to see it without glitches, due to the gratings.
    • If you throw the Curling Bomb while standing still, the player character will stay in a throwing stance if you don't move after throwing. If the Curling Bomb detonates while in this stance, the player character will perform a celebratory fist pump with nod.
    • Similarly to the last game, destroying all of the moving targets in the weapon test area simultaneously (only possible with a Baller explosion or Splashdown) will cause your Inkling to vocalize happily.
  • Energetic and Soft-Spoken Duo: Pearl and Marina are an Odd Friendship example. Loud and short Inkling Pearl is best friends and music partners with a shy, lanky Octarian woman named Marina. This is most seen in their Japanese dialogue as the English translation made Marina a more assertive character, however it still shines through in the English versions too.
  • Energy Weapon: The Stingray is an ink cannon special weapon that behaves like a constant-stream-firing beam cannon. It has the ability to shoot through terrain and (as of version 1.3.0) can generate shockwaves when fired long enough without stopping.
  • Eskimos Aren't Real: In the Unicorns vs. Narwhals Splatfest, Pearl expresses her disbelief in the latter by way of the page quote. Marina, of course, shoots back that her landlord is a narwhal.
  • Evil Overlooker: A piece of artwork accompanying the single-player trailer reveals Agent 4 and Marie being overlooked by a lot of Octarian enemies and Callie.
  • Extra-Strength Masquerade:
    • One Sunken Scroll reveals that the climactic confrontation at the end of the first game's Hero Mode was interpreted as the underground concert experience of a lifetime. Taking advantage of this, the new final battle is set in a massive stadium, with DJ Octavio and Callie headlining.
    • The playable Octolings are apparently considered 'Inklings with fad/weird hairstyles' by most of the population of Inkopolis. Even during the Squid VS Octopus Splatfest, no one seems to make the connection, despite the fact that Inklings and Octolings are only playable on their respective teams during that Splatfest. The only one who lampshades how 'dangerous' the theme could be is Marina, an Octoling herself. Of course, whether or not Pearl's dialogue can be interpreted as naive or actively trying to enforce this trope depends on if the player has completed the Octo Expansion DLC.
  • Fake Longevity: Unlocking the hero weapons requires playing through every single story mode stage using only that weapon, for a total of nine replays.
  • Fantastic Measurement System: One of Callie's factoids from her "Agent 4 Factopedia" measures how much turf you've inked with a particular weapon in terms of Maries laid down end to end.
  • Foreshadowing: The new music for the Octo Canyon stages have female vocals in the background. Listen closely... don't they sound familiar? That's Callie.
  • Fur Against Fang: The fourth Splatfest for North America and Oceania pits vampires against werewolves. Pearl takes some time in the intro to dabble in the Slobs Versus Snobs aspect of the trope:
    Pearl: Vamps don't even eat steak! They drink the juice inside of it like civilized beings. Werewolves, on the other hand, eat steak straight from the source! They're mindless, slobbery dogs with ZERO sophistication or impulse control.
  • Genre Mashup: Unlike the last game, which uses straight pop-rock for Turf Wars and Splatfests and straight techno for Octo Valley, this game's soundtrack is all over the place. There's the expected soft rock, but also electric fiddle-heavy Celtic punk, a sort of tropical techno heard in certain stages in Story Mode, whatever the Salmon Run themes are supposed to be, frenetic jazz rock mixing trumpets with kazoos and slide whistles... and the final boss even mixes in-universe pop music and techno sounds with dramatic orchestral fanfares.
  • Glass-Shattering Sound: The first Sunken Scroll depicts a young Pearl singing, which was purportedly loud enough to destroy speakers. This actually comes into play during the final battle of the Octo Expansion as Pearl's singing voice is loud enough to counter and overpower a world ending super-weapon when filtered through a Killer Wail.
  • Giant Novelty Check: Teams who win 100x battles for their side in Splatfests are displayed on the Splatfest Terminal screen holding one of these.
  • Gimmick Level: Every Shifty Station map uses some sort of gimmick, such as moving floors, spinning walls, self-painting turf, invisible terrain, cannons, and domes that close in and lock players from entering/leaving.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Any player under the effect of Ink Armor has their eyes glow bright while being wreathed in a Battle Aura of their color.
  • Gratuitous English: In the Japanese version Marina and Pearl's dialogue features the occasional bit of English, however Pearl's Running Gag is that she usually botches the pronunciation.
  • Grenade Launcher:
    • Using any of the Bomb Launcher specials causes one of these to appear on your back, and it enables you to rapid-fire a Sub-Weapon not unlike the first game's Bomb Rush. Unlike the Bomb Rush specials, the Bomb Launchers are independent of that weapon's sub weapon slot.
    • The Rainmaker in this game has been overhauled so that it falls more in line with this. It now fires a large, arcing bomb of ink that detonates shortly on impact, instantly splatting any enemy in its blast radius. The bomb also leaves a trail of ink as it flies, allowing you to cover ground faster.
  • Grind Boots: The Inkrails (used on Hero Mode, the 'Ruins of Ark Polaris' Salmon Run map, and the "Railway Chillin'" Shifty Station) also allow you to grind on them in kid form, in addition to being able to swim through them as a squid. This also allows you to fire your weapon while riding the Inkrail, which is used as a mechanic in various levels.
  • Guns Akimbo: The Splat Dualies let you effectively dual wield SMG inkblasters that allow for some John Woo-style dodge jumping.
  • Halloween Episode: In October 2018, the game held a special Splatfest event called "Splatoween". Not only is the theme about trick-or-treating, but the entirety of Inkopolis is also dressed up in appropriately-themed decorations, with several NPCs wearing costumes. Special in-game gear was also given out during the event for players to join in on the festivities.
  • Herd-Hitting Attack: The Tenta Missiles use an extra-wide targeting reticule; upon pressing the fire button, missiles will be launched at all enemies in the reticule. If all of your enemies are crowded together, or at least all in front of you, you can easily disrupt the entirety of the enemy team's plans or even nail a full-team splat.
  • Here We Go Again!:
    • The final Squid Sisters Stories chapter reveals that DJ Octavio's snow globe was found shattered with no other clues, and the Great Zapfish has once again disappeared.
    • After clearing the Story Mode, Callie and DJ Octavio will once again be back at their boss level should you attempt it again...with the excuse that Callie put the brainwashing glasses back on because they look good on her.
  • Heroic Mime: Lampshaded. Just like in the last game, when asking the player if they want to help save the Great Zapfish, Marie says that she'll take the awkward silence as a "yes".
  • High-Altitude Battle: The last phase of the Final Boss takes place high above the arena in the air, with the player riding on ink rails.
  • History Repeats: While the Splatocalypse was intended to be the final Splatfest, the COVID-19 Pandemic cooped up players enough that four Splatfests were added during the lockdown. While the first - Mayo vs Ketchup - averted this trope, the other two - Chicken vs Egg and Trick vs Treat - play it straight.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs:
    • Used in an European concert:
      Pearl: Don't tell me you're getting cold tentacles , Marina.
    • Also used in the same concert:
      Pearl: Gotta get the ink  pumpin!
  • Homemade Sweater from Hell: One NA Splatfest was a competition between ugly holiday sweaters and ugly holiday socks.
  • Hotter and Sexier: It's still family-friendly, but things definitely skew racier this time around. The lewdest thing in the first game is some slight hints of cleavage on the Squid Sisters, but Splatoon 2 sees a noticeable upswing in sexual humor and significantly more fanservicey designs for characters, most notably Marina and Callie while Brainwashed and Crazy. And the Body Armor as Hit Points no longer stops at fully clothed in a jacket, leading to your Inkling in a midriff-baring tank top (if female) or shirtless (if male).
  • Hurricane of Puns: The Octo Oven boss battle, whose dialogue from Marie consists almost entirely of her making food and baking-related puns.
  • Hypno Trinket: The shades that cause Callie to become Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Throughout most of the final battle, Marie tries calling out to Callie in an attempt to bring her back to her senses. It doesn't quite start taking effect until she snipes the hypnoshades and starts singing "Tide Goes Out".
  • Informed Attribute: That Inklings don't have bones is reaffirmed through a conversation in the game's Hero mode, and it can be assumed that Octarians, also being evolved cephalopods, don't either. For boneless creatures, though, they sure are... well, bony. Characters still move like humans instead of flopping and squishing around, and several Inkling and Octarian characters, including both members of Off the Hook, the Squid Sisters (again), and even playable Inklings in certain outfits show off their collarbones and/or shoulder blades to some degree. Some shading on Marina's and Callie's bellies under certain lighting conditions even hints at a rib cage.
  • Insistent Terminology: In a bit of dialogue between Pearl and Marina when introducing Blackbelly Skate Park:
    Marina: Pearl! It's "stage," not "map!" Are you trying to get us fired?!
  • Interspecies Friendship: The "Off the Hook" duet consists of the Inkling Pearl and the Octoling Marina. Their banter and occasional references to off-stage shenanigans indicates that it's not just for show, and the Octo Expansion affirms beyond any doubt that the pair are True Companions both on and off the air.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Shooter-type weapons, and especially the Splattershot and it's variants. While not having any outstanding strengths over other weapon types, their combination of decent range, mobility, fire rate, damage and ink coverage make them extremely versatile in most situations.
  • Jet Pack: The new Inkjet Special causes the player to don a large jet pack that constantly fires continuous streams of ink out of it as a means of propulsion while arming the player with a rocket launcher that fires explosive globs of ink. The means of propulsion also means that flying over enemies causes them to take damagenote .
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • During one Moray Towers conversation, Pearl complains and asks why she's always the first to speak, with Marina mentioning that's so she can follow up and poke fun of Pearl that way.
    • Pearl and Marina sympathize with any player that falls to a Sprinkler.
    • During the final boss rematch, one of Callie's lines is 'Turn them into Calamari', causing Marie to actually mention she'd never actually noticed their Punny Name.
    • For the "Super Mushroom vs. Super Star" Splatfest, Marina pauses the duo's usual banter to question why they're having a completely new Splatfest after what was meant to be the Grand Finale. Pearl happily states that Mario is the exception.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: One of the changes in single-player mode was addition of this mechanic. After taking damage that would normally splat your Inkling, you'll instead receive few seconds of Mercy Invincibility to find yourself some cover. Then, you'll need to stay safe for some time (hiding in own ink will speed it up) or reach a checkpoint to regain normal health - however, any hit taken in this state will send you back to spawn.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • A bit of official artwork for New Year's 2018 manages to spoil two things right off the bat and imply two others. Not only does it prominently feature Callie (spoiling that she's in the game at all), it shows her next to a pair of Octarians (implying that she sides with them) covered in Agent 4's ink, smiling and posing with Marie (both implying that this doesn't take, with the latter spoiling that the Squid Sisters get back together). About the only thing about Hero Mode it doesn't spoil is the purpose of those shades on Callie's forehead.
    • The final Shifty Station layout, "M.C. Princess Diaries", assumes you've already played and beaten Octo Expansion, as it features the wreckage of the NILS Statue in the background, Marina's Hyperbombs, and Pearl using the Killer Wail.
  • Lens Flare: Players on a winning streak in Ranked Mode will find their weapons gleaming at the spawn in the beginning of the match.
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band: Once Octavio is beaten after Marie snipes Callie's hypnoshades off, "Tidal Rush" comes to a halt to make way for the Triumphant Reprise of (a remixed) "Calamari Inkantation".
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The new Brella-type weapons can open up when ZR is held down after firing; this blocks enemy fire directed towards your front. Held longer, the Brella will then fire itself forward, deflecting attacks while leaving a trail of ink and splatting enemies that happen to be in its flight path. However, once the Brella is fired, you can't use the Brella shield for some time.
  • Luck Manipulation Mechanic: On top of a gear's brand, you can buy a drink from Crusty Sean, which increases the probability of its corresponding sub-ability filling a gear slot.note 
  • MacGyvering: Continuing the tradition from the previous game:
    • Main weapons:
      • The Goo Tuber is basically a siphon pump for soy sauce. Its Japanese name is even "Soy Tuber".
      • The Splat Brella is a shotgun with an umbrella attached. Its bigger cousin, the Tenta Brella, is the same, but with a tent canopy.
      • The Flingza Roller is a Roller that's attached to an oversized Swiss Army Knife with a fountain-pen head on the end that faces forward during a vertical swing.
      • The Clash Blaster is an electric pencil sharpener that uses crayons as ammunition.
      • The Squeezer is basically a weaponized champagne bottle. The powerful single taps represent the cork popping, and the weaker rapid shots is the fizz afterwards.
      • The Glooga Dualies are basically weaponized hot glue guns.
      • The Ballpoint Splatling is a huge multi-color ballpoint pen.
      • The Explosher is a gas-powered jet heater with a jerrycan casing, which Sheldon admits to in his description of the weapon.
      • The Bloblobber is a miniaturized bathtub.
    • Sub Weapons:
      • The Fizzy Bomb is a soda can attached to a frame resembling a frag grenade (with a pin).
      • The Autobomb is an exploding miniature submarine with the legs of a wind-up walking toy.
      • The Torpedo is a disposable fish soy sauce bottle with a resealable nozzle and a plastic propeller on the bottom.
    • Special Weapons:
      • The Baller is an oversized transparent beach ball.
      • The Bomb Launcher frame is a modified Nintendo Ultra Machine.
      • Tenta Missles are made from soda crates, and the missiles themselves are implied to be soda bottles.
      • The Sting Ray is a gas-powered pressure washer.
      • The Bubble Blower is basically a giant bubble wand mixed with a lacrosse stick with an attached tank of blowing bubble liquid.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: One of the Specials is the Tenta-Missiles - a twin-pack of dual-wielded multi-missile launchers that lock on the targeted enemies and launch four Ink Missiles per target.
  • Medium Awareness: Like their predecessors Callie and Marie, Off the Hook display some level of awareness that they are characters in a video game, most commonly through referring to updates and patches by name, although many more of their dialogues lean on or overtly break the fourth wall. In one of the dialogues for Snapper Canal, for example, Pearl tries to tell Marina something important, but can't because her text box runs out of room, which Marina points out.
  • Mighty Glacier: Many if not most of the longer-ranged weapons in the game. They hit hard if you land your shots and tend to have high accuracy, but usually suffer from low fire-rates and movement-speed penalties to compensate for this (The Dynamo Roller, H-3 Nozzlenose, .96 Gal, and entire Charger-category of weapons are good examples).
  • Mini-Game Credits: Once again, you shoot ink to reveal them.
  • Missing Secret: Subverted. Originally, the subway hidden in the back alley behind the studio did nothing, making a lot of players scratch their heads. It was later revealed to be the entrance to the Octo Expansion DLC once you purchase it.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: There's a new story, new maps, new characters, several new gameplay modes, new gear, and new weapons, but the base gameplay is the same as before.
  • Money for Nothing: Subverted. While you will eventually run out of upgrades to spend Power Eggs on in Octo Canyon, you can purchase a random meal ticket for 1500 eggs a pop once you do.
  • Mood Whiplash: The Chicken vs. Egg Splatfest quickly gained infamy for a rather... jarring line that Marina says in response to Pearl.
    Pearl: Wait... Which side am I on?
    Both: HAHAHA!
  • Multilingual Song: It's implied that Off the Hook provides a fictional language example. Their songs are in Conlang Simlish, but the Japanese concerts provide some lyrics. The text implies that Pearl raps in the typical Inkling language while Marina sing her parts in Octarian (shown by her singing in katakana instead of hiragana).
  • Ms. Exposition: Callie, who will read you various facts about Agent 4 from the "Agent 4 Factopedia" that she acquired from Marie. Said facts include strange tidbits such as how much turf you inked measured in Maries, percentage of Roller swings split between horizontal and vertical swings, and Brush swing speed measured in swings per minute.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Marie's facial expression suggests she's feeling this way when she destroys Callie's Hypnoshades and gets ink in her eyes, even though she knows in her heart that it's necessary to free her from DJ Octavio's brainwashing powers.
  • My Rule-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours:
    • Played for Laughs after the conclusion of the first Splatfest.
      Marina: Well, that settles it. Ice cream is officially better than cake.
      Pearl: Well, I don't know if it's "officially" better...
      Marina: Actually, according to chapter 3, paragraph 5 of the Splatfest rules, it is. Ice cream is now legally better than cake. It's the law, Pearl.
    • Pearl turns this against Marina at the end of the NA/EU "The Chicken vs. The Egg" Splatfest.
      Pearl: You know the Splatfest rules, Marina...the chicken officially came before the egg. BOOYAH!
      Marina: Actually, I think most scientists would disagree wi-
      Pearl: The chicken came first, Marina. The Splatfest proved it.
      Marina: I'm just saying that genetic mutations over the course of many generations-
    • Semi-Inverted with the global "Squid vs. Octopus" Splatfest. Marina mentioned in the pre-banter how due to Splatfest law, that such a Splatfest could be dangerous, but neither the Eastern nor Western post-fest banter (after Squid won) mentioned any in-universe legal ramifications.
    • The intro to "Chaos vs. Order" has Pearl do this, the implications of which aren't entirely clear yet:
      Pearl: I hereby invoke Article 4 of the Splatfest Law! That means that the losing side has to accept the world the winning side wants.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In Japan, there was a limited edition gear inspired by Emperor from the manga. It was accessible through buying a specific CoroCoro magazine.
    • The Japanese "Champion vs Challenger" Splatfest used Emperor and Goggles as representatives. The official picture even had Team Emperor facing off against Blue Team.
    • Pre-purchasing the Octo Expansion DLC lets you have the Octo-themed headphones and an octopus-themed layered LS as a bonuses, similar to the bonuses when pre-purchasing the first game in the Global Testfire (which are Studio Headphones and a squid-themed layered LS).
  • Nerf:
    • The old tactic of camping an enemy's Super Jump point has been somewhat nerfed in this game, since the Splashdown special can be activated during a Super Jump to actively punish these players for it. In addition, wearing gear with the Drop Roll ability allows players to dodge-roll on contact with the ground, which acts as a fairly decent countermeasure against jump camping.
    • Stealth Jump no longer hides the player's Super Jump landing spot from nearby enemies. The only compensation is it no longer slows down the player's Super Jump.
    • The Quick Respawn ability was nerfed so that you have to get splatted at least twice without downing a single opponent, making it less practical for competent combatants. Combined with the nerf to Stealth Jump the infamous chain jumping strategy that used to dominate Tower Control in the first game has essentially been destroyed.
    • The Tenta Missiles' lock-on system severely punishes opponents who stick closely together, making it a suitable counter to spawn-camping teams.
    • The Rainmaker's shot type was changed from an Inkzooka Shot to a mortar shot that explodes after a second at the aimed zone, and each shot causes kickback. This makes it harder for the carrier to ink areas and defend themselves without help.
    • The use of Sprinklers to cover turf has been nerfed by giving the devices a limited ink tank, diminishing area of effect the more time passes, and through a gear ability that increases damage to devices, vastly shortening their lifespans.
    • Twitch campers are double-nerfed thanks to the Tenta-Missiles and Sting Ray's ability to pierce terrain and target them directly, and by the Brella's ability to block their shots if they are spotted.
    • Damage Up has been split into two separate abilities: Sub Power Up and Main Power Up, the latter of which was not introduced into the game until over a year after release.
    • Defense Up has been replaced by Bomb Defense Up. Currently there is no Main Defense Up.
    • Many of the new Special Weapons are essentially weaker versions of the specials from the previous game:
      • The Sting Ray is similar to the Killer Wail in that it can hit enemies through terrain. However, the Stingray needs to hit an enemy for a lengthy duration to splat them while the Killer Wail atomized its victims quickly, and the Sting Ray has a much narrower radius than the Killer Wail, making it harder to hit people with it, and it turns slowly. Thankfully patch 1.3.0 made it start giving out shock waves after firing for a bit, which also increases it's radius, making it far more effective. Version 3.0.0 nerfed it back, on the other hand, by pushing its user off the spawning pool while it's in use to prevent it from being fired in absolute safety.
      • Ink Armor is similar to the Bubbler in that it protects the user and their allies. However, Ink Armor can only take a certain amount of hits before disappearing instead of granting temporary invincibility, and it takes a second for Ink Armor to actually take effect, while the Bubbler worked immediately. On the flip side, Ink Armor will affect all allies regardless of distance, and the user isn't pushed back by enemy attacks like the Bubbler. It also has a bit of a non-obvious nerf in that you become visible even when swimming in your own ink while its in effect, preventing the ability to sneak in right under somebody's nose even with Ninja Squid.
      • The Baller is similar to the Kraken in that it provides protection and increased speed with a lethal attack, and has a similar role of breaking though enemy lines via huge explosion. However the Baller can only take so many hits before it's canceled, needs time to charge up its explosion, has a smaller inking area while moving and increases the push back from attacks just like with the Bubbler. It's also solid, which is a bit of a sidegrade; you can't go through grating to attack foes, but you also can't fall into the water by using it, either.
      • Sub-Launchers are a nerf to Bomb Rush in a minor way. With Bomb Rush all subs were used as normal, you just had a limitless supply of them during the super. Now it's changed to where they get less range (Or less time before it explodes in the case of Curling Bombs) than a normal throw if you just spam it, but you can charge it to make the sub go even further than normal at the cost of waiting for the charge. This seems to make it so spamming is more defensive than offensive, while getting good distance and coverage gives you less "throws" per super.
  • Never Say "Die": Considering the rest of the game plays this straight by substituting words like "splat", "defeat", "cook", "toast", and so on, it really stands out when Callie embarrassedly mentions trying to kill you the first time you speak with her.
  • Noodle Incident: In one of the dialogues of announced stages, Pearl suggests doing a concert at Manta Maria until Marina reminds her the last time they did resulted in a boat ending up at the bottom of the sea.
  • No One Else Is That Dumb: Marie goes from wondering who the mysterious person hijacking her calls to Agent 4 is to immediately figuring it out after one transmission comes in upside-down.
  • Nostalgia Level: Several maps from the first game return in this one with makeovers ranging from mild to significant, including the addition of elements not found in the original game to provide additional movement options. Specifically, they are:
    • Moray Towers (with added Inkrails)
    • Port Mackerel (with added Sponges)
    • Kelp Dome (with a few new platforms)
    • Blackbelly Skatepark (mostly the same, although are the spawn points are now slightly off-center and the layout is slightly more open)
    • Walleye Warehouse (no changes besides the updated graphics)
    • Arowana Mall (solid walkways alongside the grated walkway to the charger platform)
    • Piranha Pit (spawning pool is pulled further back, central conveyor belts are spaced out)
    • Camp Triggerfish (Inkrails to open additional routes throughout the area)
  • Not the Intended Use: Activating your Special Weapon has the added effect of immediately topping off your Ink tank. If you have a Bomb Launcher Special, one option for getting splats in a pinch is to throw your Special, then keep firing your main gun to off the opposition. To a much lesser degree, the same can be used with the Sting Ray, except you can use a subweapon to briefly ward the enemy as you fire.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: Splatfest Tees have the added benefit of costing only 10% of what it normally costs to Scrub slots. Originally, Splatfest Tees followed roughly the same EXP curve as every other Top equip, so the recommended method to grind Ability Chunks near a Splatfest was to grind until you unlocked only the first Sub Ability, then take it to Murch and Scrub it and repeat. The Version 1.3.0 patch "fixed" this by re-balancing the EXP needed to unlock Sub Abilities on Splatfest Tees so that each level costs the same amount, so that players are no longer encouraged to only grind the first Sub. This was changed further in Version 4.0.0, where during the Splatfest itself, a Tee with all three Sub Abilities unlocked will keep grinding EXP, and any unlocks after the third will automatically flake off as Ability Chunks until scrubbed.
  • Older Than They Look: Pearl might look like a moe teenager, but she's actually 21.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted in the Spanish-language versions: Marina retains her English name, but Callie is also still called "Mar."
  • Orchestral Bombing: In a break from the mostly pop and rock influenced soundtrack, this is used in most of the pieces played during the Final Boss.
  • Order Versus Chaos: July 2019's Splatfest was themed around this. Dubbed the Final Fest: Splatocalypse, it had Marina representing Team Order and Pearl representing Team Chaos. Pearl was supported by Callie, Agent 4, DJ Octavio, Annie & Moe, Spyke, Flow & Craymond, Iso Padre, and the Salmonids, while Marina was supported by Marie, Agent 3, Agent 8, Jelfonzo, Murch, Bisk, Crusty Sean, Cap'n Cuttlefish, C.Q. Cumber, Commander Tartar, and the Octarians.
  • Out of Focus: Unlike the Squid Sisters in the first Splatoon, Off the Hook has no role in the main story. However, they are inolved in Octo Expansion.
  • Over 100% Completion: The single-player campaign can reach 1000% completion if you beat every stage and boss battle with all nine hero weapons. Though you'd only know that the game considers this to be 1000% if you use the SplatNet2 companion app, which tracks a bevy of player statistics.
  • Painting the Medium: Callie once again in a callback to the previous game, by showing an upside-down textbox when she speaks into her microphone upside-down.
  • Parasol of Pain: The Splat Brella, though it's used for firing short-range shots and as a moving shield rather than swinging it around like a club.
  • Pinball Projectile: The Curling Bomb sub-weapon spawns a bomb similar to a curling stone which quickly slides forward along the ground and can bounce off walls before detonating when in range of an opponent.
  • Pocket Dial: Marina points out that pocket dialing is a particular hazard during a commentary for Camp Triggerfish.
    Pearl: My phone always malfunctions here and makes random calls. Magnetic fields?
    Marina: Pretty sure you're just butt-dialing people when you dodge roll.
  • The Power of Friendship: The Booyah Bomb charges faster if you continuously use the "Booyah!" command, but it will charge even faster if your teammates also mash the "Booyah!" command. Teammates who shout "Booyah!" while the Booyah Bomb is being charged also gain a slight increase to their own Special Gauge.
  • Power-Up Food: Crusty Sean started his own food truck, which sells food and drinks that give you various bonuses after playing online matches, like Experience Booster, Money Multiplier, and tilting the RNG to give you higher odds of rolling the Abilities you want when your gear unlocks subs.
  • Product Placement:
    • Some of Japan's exclusive Splatfests were sponsored by third parties:
      • Their third Splatfest was sponsored by McDonald's and pitted Fries against Chicken McNuggets (the latter of which are also considered a side dish in Japan).
      • Their sixth Splatfest was sponsored by the Japanese clothing company Uniqlo, with Heattech (warm inner wear) against Ultra Light Down (warm outer wear).
      • Their seventh Splatfest was another collaboration with CoroCoro magazine based on the official manga. The sides were Champions (e.g. Emperor) vs. Challengers (Goggles).
      • Their ninth was sponsored by Nike and put New-model Shoes against Popular-model Shoes.
      • Their tenth was a collaboration with the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), and the sides were Undiscovered Creatures vs. Advanced Technology.
      • Their sixteenth was a rematch between Mushroom Mountain vs. Bamboo Shoot Village from the first game, sponsored by Meiji Dairies.
      • Their nineteenth was between classic Pocky Chocolate vs. the then-newest flavor Pocky Ultra Slim (which is basically just chocolate dipped onto thinner cracker sticks), sponsored by Glico.
      • Their twenty-second was another collaboration with CoroCoro magazine based on the official manga, as a rematch of the first game's Boke vs. Tsukkomi Splatfest, with the manga's Team Blue split between the Splatfest teams — Goggles and Bobble-hat on Team Boke, and Specs and Headphones on Team Tsukkomi.
    • Meanwhile, a "tournament-style" trio of back-to-back Splatfests for North America, Oceania and Europe were announced for the month of May promoting Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the subject being who the many Inklings believed to be the best Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. First was Raphael vs. Leonardo, second was Michelangelo vs. Donatello, third was between the two winners, Raphael vs Donatello.
    • A Japanese "tournament-style" Splatfest between Sanrio characters was likewise held in late May/early June 2018. First was Hello Kitty vs. Cinnamoroll, second was My Melody vs. Pompompurin, third was between winners Hello Kitty and My Melody.
    • Nintendo themselves sponsored the twentieth Splatfest — a global Splatfest asking whether players preferred the Heroes or Villains of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • Promoted to Playable: You play as an Octoling in Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion. Completing the expansion pack allows you to take your Octoling into online matches.
  • Put on a Bus: A late-game conversation with Marie reveals that Captain Cuttlefish and Agent 3 are out on an unidentified research mission. They both reappear in the Octo Expansion DLC.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: In a game where clothing affects both appearance and abilities, this is once again quite possible. However, some new features were added for the benefit of those willing to go out of their way to avoid the problem. Annie's new SplatNet Gear Shop sells gear identical to what's available from the Galleria but with different main abilities. The catch is that you will need the Nintendo Switch Online app, the gear is only available in certain timeframes, and orders are sent to Murch who will charge you cash on delivery.
  • Rank Inflation:
    • While version 2.0 of Splatoon did this by adding S and S+ ranks above A+, this game inflated the ranks even further by giving S+ 50 numbered ranks of its own. The version 3.0 update shortened S+ to only 10 ranks, but added X rank above that (which features its own internal "X Power" ranking system that works altogether differently from the lower ranks).
    • Salmon Run ranks seem to top out at Profreshional 99 (as indicated by the usual x/99 numerical indicator), but once you exceed 99 and fill the rank gauge up the numercal counter can keep going up, all the way to 999.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: If Team Callie had won, it would be Callie searching for a missing Marie instead. It wasn't until around Nintendo started posting the "Squid Sisters Stories" in the weeks leading up to launch that players realized that the outcome of the final Splatfest from the first game directly impacted the story of this one.
  • Recoil Boost: The dodge roll ability of the dualies weapon type is justified in-game as boosters on the back of each gun blasting ink. Consequentially the maneuver uses a bit of ink.
  • Reverse Grip: Brellas are held like this until fired.
  • Rocket-Tag Gameplay: Like in the first game, it's quick to splat (or be splatted by) an opposing team member, especially since there's only Bomb Defense Up and no Main Defense Up (as opposed to Defense Up in the first game).
  • Running Gag: "I'll take your (adjective) silence as a yes!", which lampshades the Heroic Mime property of the Player Character, is said by both Marie to Agent 4 (as a Call-Back to the first Splatoon) in the main story and Cap'n Cuttlefish to Agent 8 in Octo Expansion.
  • Rhythm Game: This game features a refined version of Squid Beatz, known as Squid Beatz 2. Unlike the original, it's unlocked by default instead of being an amiibo reward, and actually tells you that there's a mini-game this time. Like the original, however, it serves no practical purpose.
  • Sad Battle Music: "Tidal Rush" might be a lot more joyous in tone than other examples of this trope, yes, but it's still a lot heavier and more emotional-sounding than something you'd expect from a game about cute cartoon squid people. There's a good reason for it, too—it's Marie desperately trying to snap Callie out of her brainwashing by reminding her of the happy times they used to share. Marie sounds like she's about to cry, and even Callie sounds a little emotional in places.
  • Same Character, but Different:
    • The Ink Mine returns from the first game, and still activates when an enemy player gets close to it. However, the damage it now does has been greatly reduced, and it now has the additional properties of a Point Sensor, showing the location of any enemy that was in its activation range, allowing for a number of unique strategies depending on the weapon it's paired with.
    • The Dual Squelcher, a long-range automatic shooter in the first game that was held in one hand, is now reclassified as a two-handed Dualies weapon renamed the Dualie Squelcher. Like other Dualies, it allows the user to roll if you press the jump button while firing, with the Dualie Squelcher resembling its old self during so.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: The first Splatoon effectively had a Grand Finale in the form of the global Callie vs. Marie Splatfest, which Marie won. Supplementary material revealed that this result is canon within the series and was the catalyst for some of the events in Splatoon 2.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: As with the previous game, leveling up Gear and unlocking their Ability Slots requires you to pull this off, jumping into battles with gear that has them locked and potentially putting your Inkling at a slight or massive disadvantage depending on the loadout of your allies and the enemy team.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: The single player mode in the first game served primarily as a way to familiarize the player with the game's mechanics. The single player mode in this game is much tougher, throwing in a higher density of enemies, more complex puzzles, and borderline Platform Hell sequences. The collectibles are either more well hidden or require solving puzzles or performing tricky maneuvers to obtain. Plus, there's two major collectibles per level instead of just one. Most of the bosses are also much more difficult. In the first game, most of them could be defeated fairly easily once you knew their attack patterns. Here, even if you know how they attack, actually taking advantage of that weakness requires a decent amount of skill.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • The Sunken Scrolls in this game state that Cap'n Cuttlefish and Agent 3 have been on an unidentified "research mission" throughout the events of the game. While it is never explained what this research mission was, it sets up their appearance in Octo Expansion.
    • Once the Great Zapfish is returned both Pearl and Marina agree that the Great Zapfish looks like it's starting to shrink.
    • The "Final Fest: Splatocalypse", Chaos vs. Order, came with the stipulation that whoever took home victory would also be influencing the future of Inkopolis. Splatoon 3 appears to have borne that out (as Team Chaos was the winning team).
  • Series Fauxnale: The Chaos vs. Order Splatfest was intended to be the capstone Splatfest of Splatoon 2 and was named such ("The Final Fest: Splatocalypse"). However afterwards there were four more Splatfests throughout 2020 and early 2021. The first three were revisits of earlier Splatfests ("Mayo vs. Ketchup", "Chicken vs. Egg", and "Trick vs. Treat") but the true final Splatfest was a completely new theme ("Super Mushroom vs. Super Star", hosted in honor of Mario's 35th anniversary).
  • Series Mascot: While the mascot is still a teenage Inkling girl, Splatoon 2 has a short-haired pink one using Splat Dualies as opposed to the orange, Splattershot-wielding one from the original game.
  • Short-Range Shotgun:
    • Rollers and Brushes create a sizable death zone up close but drop down to tickles very quickly.
    • Subverted with Brellas- their shots have surprisingly realistic shotgun mechanics, complete with comparable effective range to the game's SMG equivalents.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: The Splat Brella doubly functions as a shotgun, spraying a short-ranged burst of ink before folding out into an umbrella and shielding the user.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: During the main campaign, Marie tells the player that Captain Cuttlefish and Agent 3 are out on an unidentified research mission. The Octo Expansion campaign takes place at the same time, following Agent 8 and Cap'n Cuttlefish after the failure of that research mission, in their attempt to find Agent 3 and return to the surface.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Of the two Squid Sisters, Callie was absent from the reveal trailer. It was later revealed that Callie's absence is part of the game's story.
  • Skill Gate Characters: The Autobomb has solid attributes at face value: it's a Bomb that automatically homes in on opponents, with average blast radius and great damage. At low-level play, many players fear the Autobomb because of its persistent homing properties allowing it to chase players for abnormally long distances. At higher-level play, however, the Autobomb is considered average at best due to its mostly limited applications as an offensive tool and being very easy to evade once you learn how, reducing its usability to surprise attacks and forcing enemies out of cover.
  • Souvenir Land: Wahoo World is a stage set in the middle of a large amusement park, complete with an enormous roller coaster dominating the skyline.
  • Stance System: A minor case with the Squeezer weapon where, depending on whether you hold down fire or mash the button, can respectively have low range and high spread or high range and low spread.
  • Stop Hitting Yourself: Just like the first game, the Final Boss involves inking the giant gold fists on DJ Octavio's mech until they fly back at him, causing him to hit himself. Marie also says this directly during the rematch.
  • Suicidal "Gotcha!": It is possible to jump out of bounds while using the Inkjet special and then fly back to the nearest edge rather than dissipate.note  Naturally, some players have exploited this mechanic to catch opponents off guard.
  • Take That!: One of Pearl's reasons for supporting Team Action during the Action vs. Comedy Splatfest is that she doesn't want to "see Sheldon tell nerdy crab jokes in front of a laugh track".
  • Take That, Audience!: In the Chaos vs Order splatfest announcement, when Pearl is trying to prove Marina has more things in her life than just being part of Off the Hook, a vital key point Pearl mentions is that the fans like Marina more than they do her and ends it off with, "I've seen the internet". This is an obvious, fourth-wall breaking jab to the fact that within the Splatoon community and the internet as a whole, Marina is by far the more popular Off the Hook member.
  • Tele-Frag: You can combine the Splashdown special with a Super Jump to gib opponents who try to camp your landing spot.
  • Temporary Online Content: Splatfests are time-limited events that, among other things, each feature a unique Shifty Station layout that is used only for that Splatfest and is permanently gone after the Splatfest ends. However, the 5.0 update releasing after the final Splatfest adds a Splatfest Turf War mode for Private Battles in which any of the Shifty Stations, as well as the nighttime versions of the regular maps, can be selected.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: As the fight against Callie and DJ Octavio progresses, Marie begins singing "Tide Goes Out" in an attempt to snap Callie out of her brainwashing. After she's broken out of her brainwashing, Callie joins Marie in singing a remixed version of "Calamari Inkantation" from the first game to signal that it's time to put Octavio in his place.
  • There Is Another: Judd, originally thought to be the Last of His Kind in the first game, now has a smaller cat companion judging alongside him.
  • Time Skip: The game takes place two years after the events of the original Splatoon's single-player campaign. As a result, a number of characters have disappeared and the previously Shibuya-inspired Inkopolis Plaza has been left behind in favor of the Times Square-inspired Inkopolis Square. This also has parallels with the real-world, as Splatoon 2 released a little over two years after the first game.
  • Too Old to Trick-or-Treat: This is brought up during the introduction to the game's "Splatoween" event, in which Pearl and Marina argue over the best way to celebrate Halloween. Pearl is shocked that Marina still goes trick or treating, but she soon turns out to be Not So Above It All herself:
    Pearl: Seriously?! YOU ARE A GROWN WOMAN.
    Marina: The house down the street gives out KING-SIZE CANDY BARS!
    Pearl: Aight, fair enough.
  • Tracking Device: Basically what the Ink Mine has been changed to. Rather than dealing any significant damage, the Ink Mine is more useful for planting in an area to let you know when somebody passes by it and where they are going by letting you see their position anywhere on the map if they're in its area when it goes off. Unlike the first game it actually has an indicator of when when it's been destroyed, so even if it doesn't catch the person it still lets you know when somebody has been close enough to destroy it. In comparison, the Point Sensor does no damage, but cannot be stopped once deployed and persists for a period of time; any opponent who passes through its zone of perception will be revealed to the Point Sensor's user and their teammates.
  • Tron Lines: Found on certain pieces of terrain, such as the weighted platforms in the third part of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Splatfest. In these cases, the glowing lines always shine right through the ink.
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change:
    • Just like last time, the background music for the single-player stages goes up a semitone at the final checkpoint.
    • "Tidal Rush" starts in C, but quickly transposes up a full tone to D.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll:
    • The Splat Dualies allow the user to roll sideways to dodge fire and then concentrate their own. There's a hard cap of two rolls (four for the Tetra Dualies) in a row before the user is forced to stop. Furthermore, while the Dualies' aiming reticles are separate, they merge into a one single one after a roll, meaning a skilled player can initiate a roll to quickly focus fire on one target.
    • The new Footwear-exclusive Drop Roller Skill allows the player to roll immediately after Super Jumping by tilting the analog stick in the middle of a Super Jump, which can be used to get out of the way of any campers trying to splat you on arrival. Originally, the actual directions you could roll in were somewhat restrictive, and usually had to involve some forward movement, but the Version 1.4.0 update buffed Drop Roller so that you can now roll in any direction desired.
  • Verbal Backspace: During the Christmas Splatfest, Marina mentions "Octivus" the Octoling version of Christmas, before correcting herself to "Squidmas".
  • Violation of Common Sense: In Turf War stages, there's a delay in respawning if the other team splats you, but none if you fall off the stage/into water. Not only that, but you won't explode in a burst of the other team's ink. Thus, it can make perfect sense to jump off the stage rather than be splatted if an opponent has you cornered, reducing the amount of area they can cover as well as getting you back in the action more quickly.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Octo Samurai, the second boss. His attacks are fast and random, and he requires a LOT of direct attacks before his respawn device, his real weakness, is exposed. He's also the first boss in the game to break the pattern established by the original Splatoon and not attack in a pattern of blatantly telegraphed moves, and the ones that are are fast.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Octo Oven, the first boss. It has a simple fixed pattern of attacks and telegraphs itself quite clearly. Once you figure out how to reach the tentacle at the top, it's as good as dead. As mentioned above, bosses after this do not follow these traits.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: As of Version 1.3.0., the Sting Ray, when fired for at least 1.5 seconds, begins to emit an enormous shockwave that increases both damage and hit radius. Incidentally, it now looks a lot like the Killer Wail when its shockwaves activate.
  • "X" Makes Anything Cool: The Rank above Rank S+10 introduced in Ver. 3.0 is called Rank X.
  • You Mean "Xmas": "Squidmas" and "Octivus" are the Inkling and Octoling versions of Christmas, complete with giving bad gifts like ugly sweaters and socks.

    Salmon Run
Welcome to Grizzco Industries.
  • A.I. Breaker: During the "Rush" event, Chum and Goldies will dash, single-file, to whichever player has Glowflies (which are a bunch of fireflies) around them. If said player has a Roller (not including brushes), they can lower the Roller down in front of the Salmonids, who will all crash into the Roller and splat themselves.
  • The All-Seeing A.I.: Justified. Salmonids can see where you are and attack accordingly even if you're in squid/octopus form and remaining still and hidden in your own ink; Mr. Grizz explains that their strong sense of smell lets them easily locate hidden enemies. They will also jump up to get you even if you hide in the tallest of walls (like those at Lost Outpost).
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Once the buzzer sounds the wave is automatically counted as complete, meaning that even if you get splatted by a bomb or missile as the round ends, it won't count as a team wipe even if everyone is out of commission.
    • If a team member disconnects, the amount of Golden Eggs you need to get are decreased.
  • Anti-Grinding: After you get the second special bonus in the rotation, the only things you can earn in Salmon Run are more of the clothing item they're currently offering for the month as a guaranteed drop and a random clothing drop from the previous months. This is to encourage playing the other modes for both the money and exp for your main levels.note 
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: The Grizzco Slosher has the unique attribute of being able to go through anything. This includes armored bosses and even the Flyfish, the latter of which is otherwise impossible to kill unless you use the Sting Ray or Feed It a Bomb.
  • Arrange Mode: Salmon Run sometimes has a variation of this. Usually, each Salmon Run rotation has four weapons that are made available to use, with who gets what being randomized for each of the run's three waves. However, sometimes there are rotations where one or more of the four weapon slots is replaced with a question mark, in which you get a completely random weapon, and the weapon you get could be a rare Grizzco weapon that's heavily optimized for damage. Far more rarely, you will get a rotation where all the weapon slots are golden question marks, which guarantees that all four players will receive a Grizzco weapon for each wave; as of June 2019 there have been only two such rotations since the game's July 2017 release.
  • Artistic License – Economics: All rewards you get are called "bonuses" based on hitting certain tiers of points. However, you never receive any other form of payment aside from these "bonuses", so technically you would be working on commission instead of getting bonuses. This is somewhat justified by the fact that Grizzco is characterized as a rather sketchy business, so it's not terribly surprising that there would be something off about their payment system.
  • Boss Bonanza:
    • Salmon Run manages to do this as a tutorial level, of all things. Granted, its purpose is to familiarize one with the various bosses in the game mode and offer strategies for taking them down, but it can still feel far more hostile.
    • A straighter example is how on higher levels in Salmon Run, several bosses spawn in a single wave, meaning players can easily become overwhelmed if they're slow in taking bosses down.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Grizzco weapons share the common trait of having the world's worst ink efficiency despite their Purposefully Overpowered attributes. It's essentially the equivalent of burning a large hole in the bottom of your ink tank, and you will need to dive in constantly to keep up with their insane ink consumption. The Grizzco Slosher in particular is fantastic at destroying bosses, and can even eliminate ones that normally can't be defeated by simply firing at them (such as Flyfish and Steelheads), but has a really hard time against almost anything else due to its slow rate of fire, slow shots, and an ink consumption of 25% per shot.
  • Crosshair Aware:
    • Green circles appear on the ground where Flyfishes' missiles are going to hit, akin to Tenta Missiles.
    • A small fishing lure floats in green ink and emits a pulse when it gets close to players just before Maws erupts from the ink to feast on Inklings. You NEED to get away before then; the Inkjet will NOT save you as they surface quite high.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Salmon Run game mode darkens the lore a little bit - not only are there thrash punk-inspired mutant salmon running around out there in the Splatoon world, there are also relative wasteland areas outside of places like Inkopolis - which is to say, there are parts of the planet that still haven't recovered from the human-made ecological disaster, even after ten millennia.
  • Developers' Foresight: The ending section of the first Salmon Run tutorial is a Timed Mission where you collect just one Golden Egg and bring it to the basket. It's almost impossible to lose by accident, but in case you fail somehow (i.e. deliberately stalling out the timer without bothering to collect an egg), you'll get unique dialogue from Mr. Grizz and pass the tutorial anyway.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Unlike the other Grizzco weapons, which are easy to use and ink and kill reliably well, the Grizzco Slosher is much harder to use due to its Painfully Slow Projectile and 25% ink consumption per shot meaning that you have horrendous ground coverage with your shots. However, what it lacks in coverage it more than makes up for in kill power, as it sports an Armor-Piercing Attack that can One-Hit Kill damn near every Salmonid in the game. If you can get the full support of your team to back you up, a Grizzco Slosher wielder can turn practically every boss enemy in Salmon Run into sashimi at the drop of a hat.
  • Drugs Are Bad: A subtle variation. Similarly to how most weapons are made of household appliances from the days of humanity, the four Grizzco weapons, which are illegal in Inkopolis due to how overpowered they are, are made with bottles of prescription drugs.
  • Feed It a Bomb: One of the game's recommended strategies for dealing with Maws is to toss a bomb where it's about to emerge, which will cause it to consume the bomb and die instantly.
  • Guide Dang It!: The game explains a lot of things pretty well, but there are a few things it doesn't:
    • At the beginning of each round in Salmon Run, there's a translucent indicator at the bottom of the screen that tells you what the tide is going to be (Low, Medium, and High) so you know whether to head out to the shore or clear out from the lower half.
    • During the "Goldie Seeking" event in Salmon Run, the game will hint at where the Goldie is at by the height of the gusher's output. This can be hard to notice since you often won't be doing it by yourself so it becomes easy to miss this fact when multiple valves start up at once. Even worse is Mr. Grizz's hint for the event only mentions the brightness of the gushers being an indicator, which doesn't really seem to mean anything.
    • Probably the worst piece of advice in the entire training manual says that since you can only carry one egg at a time, when you kill a boss and get your three-egg reward you should call your teammates over and wait there until they show up so the Snatchers don't steal any eggs back. This strategy actually turns out to be a terrible waste of time, a good way to get surrounded with no close support, and a constant source of frustration to your more seasoned teammates who have learned not to do it. Almost no one makes it to "Profreshional" before learning to abandon this practice.
  • Harder Than Hard: The ranks and associated difficulty for Salmon Run are: Intern, Apprentice, Part-Timer, Go-Getter, and Profreshional. It seems like difficulty tops out at Profreshional, but a team averaging 600 points or more in Profreshional rank will encounter what is known as Hazard Level MAX!!, in which Golden Egg quotas and boss spawn rates are at their maximum.
  • Hold the Line: The Salmon Run mode involves hordes of salmon rushing towards the central crate the Inklings use to store Power Eggs. As such, the Inklings must fend them off while collecting Power Eggs and, most importantly, Golden Eggs, with good performance netting you money and other bonuses. Cohock Charge is this especially. Shooting down most bosses with the supplied Ink Cannons is a piece of Octo pie. Actually getting the eggs and transporting them to the basket is a whole different kettle of Salmonids. Oh, and you have to watch out for Maws too, as they are the only boss you can't shoot down and they can take you out while you're in the cannon.
  • Improvised Weapon:
    • Lesser Salmonids use spoons and pans as melee weapons. Stingers basically emulate the Stingray by using pressure cooking with their pot towers. Motherships use coolers as dropships.
    • All Grizzco Weapons except the Grizzco Slosher have prescripion medication bottles attached to them. The Grizzco Charger (a modified Bamboozler 14) in particular looks to be a bike pump made of bamboo reinforced by some metal.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Grizzco brand of weapons, available exclusively during random weapon sessions in Salmon Run. They are ludicrously powerful compared to conventional weaponry and have unique attributes such as enhanced rate of fire and ink spread or an Armor-Piercing Attack at the cost of putting a huge amount of stress on your ink tank.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • Salmon Run can occasionally feel like this in several ways. First, you have no control of what weapons you'll be given for each shift, meaning you can be in trouble if you get stuck with something you aren't good at using. Second, the various boss Salmonids spawn more or less at random, and certain combinations are much more difficult to defeat than others. Third, there are different types of rounds (low tide, high tide, glowfly stages, etc.) which sometimes utilize different mechanics. Certain combinations of these three factors can make some rounds almost unwinnable.note  In addition, the stages themselves present different problems. Spawning Grounds is smaller, and while it's easier to get around, some of the bosses will cause more trouble due to the enclosed space. The ship causes more trouble with Stingers and Flyfish, due to their ability to attack inklings no matter how far away they are while the inklings might have to go across the entire map just to deal with them.
    • All Random Loadout Salmon Run cranks this way up. In All Random Loadout, the weapon you get every round is completely randomized from any of the possible weapons on the entire setlist, so you can get anything between getting stuck with a Charger for two or three waves to three or four players getting some Grizzco-brand weapons.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Despite its Random Number God nature, All Random Loadout Salmon Run is typically seen as a great way to grind for Ability Chunks, due to the randomized nature potentially giving players a huge advantage based on the weapons dispensed, especially if at least one Grizzco-brand weapon is deployed.
  • Power Up Letdown: The Grizzco Brella is generally considered the worst of the Grizzco weapons due to it largely being a ganked Grizzco Blaster that more or less does the same thing as the Grizzco Blaster, just not as well, and at the cost of the Brella shield that makes the weapon type unique. This weapon's only saving grace is its longer range.
  • Purposely Overpowered: All Grizzco-brand weapons, which are exclusive to this mode, are this, being illegally-modified versions of regular weapons:
    • The Grizzco Blaster can only be acquired during All Random Loadout Salmon Runs, and for good reason, as it has the range and power of a Blaster, but a fire rate that's even faster than the Clash Blaster. It goes through your ink tank quickly as a result, but utterly destroying everything in front of you is a power high like none other in the mode.
    • October 14th, 2017 All Random Loadout introduced the Grizzco Brella. It can't open up to shield you, but in its place is an auto-fire mechanism when ZR is held down that enables it to crank out shots as fast as the Grizzco Blaster. On top of that, it even boasts greater range and wider spread on each individual shot than the Tenta Brella, making it the ultimate mass Salmonid splatting weapon.
    • The April 28th-30th, 2018 All Random Loadout introduced the Grizzco Charger. It has an instant charge time and has the range of an E-Liter. The only drawback is its insanely high ink consumption.
    • The June 16th-17th, 2018 All Random Loadout introduced the Grizzco Slosher, a souped-up Sloshing Machine that travels slowly but pierces everything except terrain; Flyfish and Scrappers can be destroyed with one well-placed shot. Only its ridiculous ink consumption (25% per shot) keeps it balanced.
  • Shout-Out: The Maws reference Jaws in themselves, right down to the easiest way to defeat it.
  • Shown Their Work: The Salmonids being part of a Horde Mode is not a coincidence. It's similar to a real phenomenon where Salmon become "zombies" after spawning, because their bodies break down from lack of food and not handling freshwater. Splatoon 2 seems to take place in a universe where Salmon were able to do it a little too well.
  • Stealth Pun: In Salmon Run, Stingers station themselves on stacks of metal cookware, generally being out of reach. This allows them to take potshots at you. They are also able to fire Stingray blasts by heating the ink in the pots to get enough pressure. They're using pressure cookers.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Exploshers in Salmon Run are garbage at dealing with most things...except for Flyfish, being one of the very few main weapons that can destroy its missile pods.
  • Too Awesome to Use: In this mode, you have 2 charges of special weapon across 3 waves, with no way to refill. You don't lose them upon death, so you'll want to save them until wave 3.
  • Uncommon Time: All three of this mode's battle theme don't use 4/4 as their time signatures.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Because the game doesn't consider you dead until the death animation finishes, and because the drowning animation is a few seconds longer than the normal splatting animation, it can be beneficial to deliberately jump in the water at the end of a round if the counter is almost out and your team is in danger of being wiped. Doing so gives you a few extra seconds to run out the timer that you won't have if you get splatted by an enemy.

    Octo Expansion
Are you prepared to reach the Promised Land?
  • 100% Completion: Clearing all 80 stages with all colored Mem Cakes (meaning no skips) unlocks a final chat log that includes Marie and the Bonus Boss. Completing all challenges in each stage and the Inner Agent 3 boss battle rewards a Kamabo Co.-themed flair on Agent 8's CQ-80, with the text "COMPLETE" in Inkling.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Commander Tartar is a fully sentient, highly advanced artificial intelligence developed by a human scientist 12,000 years in the past, with the sole purpose of finding a sentient species to pass on human knowledge to. However, after spending untold millennia watching the Inklings and Octarians evolve and realizing how petty they are, it's overwhelmed by absolutely enormous disgust and buckling under its own pure, ever-growing hatred for these species, decides to simply start over by destroying the planet.
  • All Just a Dream: It's not clear how much of the Inner Agent 3 fight is imagined and how much is literal memories; all we know is that it takes place in Agent 8's head as a result of them being reminded of "that day" two years ago.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Iso Padre will award a piece of gear for every set of Mem Cakes you collect. Defeating Inner Agent 3 awards the Golden Toothpick Headgear.
  • Another Dimension: Chatlogs indicate the Deep Underground is an alternate dimension from Inkopolis thanks to magnetic fields.
  • Antagonist Abilities: As a boss, Agent 3 is capable of using multiple different specials on very little charge, most evident when they use three splashdowns in quick succession. Marina mentiones that they must have "removed the limiter." In addition they can dodge roll and slide despite wielding the Hero Shot.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • In addition to unlimited lives during the Rainmaker and Tower Control simulations, if you get splatted during the latter, there's a jump point that will drop you right back onto the tower.
    • Just like in a multiplayer Turf War, the Turf War against Tartar will silently extend the timer to allow last second turf coverage from active bombs and specials... like an exploding Hyperbomb.
    • If you run out of CQ Points, Pearl will loan you 3000 Points, but you'll owe her later. You can still complete the game while being in debt, but you won't be able to buy anything from the vending machine that unlocks after beating the DLC while you still have debt on you. You also can't unlock the Inner Agent 3 battle when in debt.
  • Arc Number: 8. The single-player campaign features an Octoling going by the codename Agent 8 and has 80 levels, with the hub areas stylized after the 1980s, compared to the 90s aesthetic of Inkopolis. The poems for Mem cakes follow a three line, 8 syllable structure. Some of the levels task you with guiding a giant 8-ball. The 5 new music tracks from the Octo Expansion are numbered 80, 81, 82, 83 and 84 in Squid Beatz 2. After beating the final boss, the Turf War bar shows 888.8% turf covered, and the light that triggers the Inner Agent 3 Bonus Boss fight is in locker #8.
  • Ascended Meme: If you are splatted by Agent 3, he/she will begin squidbagging repeatedly (rapidly transforming in and out of Squid form), which is a popular taunt gesture used commonly in online play.
  • Aside Glance: During the credits, when the "Thank you for playing" message appears near the end, Agent 8 will turn their head to look at the camera.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Despite playing as an Octoling, even one who formerly fought against Agent 3 during the events of Splatoon, the Deepsea Metro is a set of testing chambers separate from the main Octoling habitats, which aren't explored during the game, and very little about the Octarians is revealed beyond some backstory for Marina.
  • Bathos: Even at its most serious, the final escape has several silly moments thrown in, like the blender scene having Pearl say "They're gonna get smoothied!" and a world-destroying superweapon being stopped by Pearl's loud voice.
  • Beam-O-War: After stopping Tartar's Wave-Motion Gun from destroying the world, Pearl whips out a customized Killer Wail and screams into it, deflecting Tartar's laser beam and destroying it, and Tartar, for good. The actual beam-to-beam combat is represented by the Good Guys/Bad Guys progress bar that appears at the end of a Turf War, which takes on a new meaning, in this case.
  • Beef Gate: The only ways to Line J are through very difficult obstacle courses or bosses, all of which carry a steep fee.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When the Telephone attempts to murder Agent 8 and Cuttlefish with a massive blender, Agent 3 suddenly appears via Dynamic Entry and knocks over the blender, breaking it and freeing both Agent 8 and Cuttlefish. However, he/she is knocked out from the impact.
  • Bookends: The first thing you hear upon beginning the Octo Expansion is Calamari Inkantation as a mysterious poem appears onscreen. The Inkantation also plays over the Bonus Boss against Inner Agent 3.
  • Bonus Boss: The rematch with Agent 3, unlocked after completing all 80 tests in the Deepsea Metro.
  • Boss Remix:
    • Agent 3's battle theme is a more frantic and distorted version of the first game's "Splattack!", fitting perfectly with the one-on-one duel between them and Agent 8.
    • The Final Boss theme is a remix of Ebb & Flow, the music during Splatfests,in the last minute of the fight. The first two minutes use an original song, but it incorporates the tune that played when you completed Deepsea Metro missions.
  • Boss Subtitles: All of the main campaign bosses return with new subtitles.
  • Brown Note: The Killer Wail Special. It's used by Pearl at the end of the game to defeat the Big Bad and break its superweapon.
  • The Cake Is a Lie: The Telephone promises Agent 8 and Captain Cuttlefish to take them to the Promised Land (aka Inkopolis) if they collect four "thangs" scattered across the Deepsea Metro system. When they finally get all four "thangs" to the central hub, the Telephone assembles the pieces into a blender-looking device that is "the door" to the Promised Land. Turns out, it really is a blender and it would have turned Agent 8 and Cuttlefish into calamari smoothie had Agent 3 not arrived to save the day at the last moment.
  • Call-Back: The Inner Agent 3 fight, which is a memory that took place during the final boss fight in the first game, features the Blue and Orange Contrast ink iconic of that entry.
  • The Cameo: Marie appears during the chat log once all 80 stages are completed.
  • Central Theme: Unlike the previous two single-player campaigns, which were largely just fun romps with some background lore attached to flesh out the world and give flavor, Octo Expansion has a very consistent theme and message - "a person or group's past and history does not need to absolutely define who they will be in the future" most broadly, and more specifically, "the young should not feel or be shackled to the prejudices and history of their elders". Marina, Cuttlefish, and Agent 8 all grapple with these ideas at various points, either in the Chat Logs, the Mem Cakes, or in the main story itself, and Pearl gets to make a nice Kirk Summation during Chat Log 6. The theme even applies to Tartar, in a real way - it is, in many ways, the "child" of the Professor who made it. In fact, its creator (and by extension, its "father") programmed it to pass on humanity's knowledge in hopes that the next intelligent species would not repeat the same mistakes humanity made. However, it became so obsessed with its purpose and with its idealized image of humanity that it cannot see that the flaws it observes in cephalopod life are also very human failings, and it is driven to villainy as a result of its inability to reconcile its image of the past with the reality of the present, and must be defeated as a result.
  • Character Select Forcing: Girl Power Station in Octo Expansion lets you pick any one of the nine basic weapons to use for the test, in addition to one of three Bombs. However, unless your aim is godly, picking anything except the Roller or the Brush is more or less suicide.
  • Comical Nap Drool: Pearl has a picture of Marina doing this, which she gladly uses to embarrass her.
  • Company Town: According to a Japanese-only artbook, the Deepsea Metro essentially serves as a connective area for Kamabo Co. employees and their families living on its property.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • Agent 3 as a boss is capable of evading without using Dualies and can spam Specials repeatedly. Marina partially justifies this by explaining that Agent 3 probably removed his/her limiter.
    • Inner Agent 3 runs rampant with this, as, in addition to the perks from the original fight, he/she has seemingly no limit to ink capacity and can evade while using the Bubble Blower.
  • Console Cameo: Most stages feature Nintendo consoles, cartridges and controllers floating in the background. Ink & Watch Station has Game & Watch systems. McFly Station has floating NES consoles. Brute Rollup Station and Iceman Station have Game Boy Color systems. Shrinky Ink Station has SNES consoles. Da Bomb Station has Nintendo 64 consoles. Ink From Above Station has GameCube consoles. One-Shot Station has various Nintendo controllers, while Cratebuster Station has N64 cartridges. There is also an advertisement for the SNES in Central Station.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Inkopolis should consider itself lucky that the Big Bad's planet-destroying superweapon just so happened to be solar powered; otherwise, ink-based weapons wouldn't have been much good in dealing with it...
  • Cue the Sun: Once Agent 8 reaches the surface, the sun rises over Inkopolis.
  • Cyberpunk: While a fair bit of it applies to Agent 8 themselves (as discussed on the character page), the expansion as a whole does have a very cyberpunk atmosphere without diving completely into the genre. The whole thing is set in a gritty, 90s-inspired subway system, the soundtrack is electronica, a lot of the stations and whatnot are lit in neon, retro computing equipment is a common background element, the CQ-80 devices have some incredibly advanced technology compared to much of the setting (like their projected displays), Marina hacking into the facility mainframe is both a gameplay mechanic and a plot beat in a few cases, and the facility is run by a rampant AI that wants to destroy all life with a bioweapon death ray.
  • Dark Reprise:
    • A remixed version of "Splattack!" plays during the boss fight with a mind controlled Agent 3 which is much more distorted and chaotic. Not only is it a callback to Splatoon 1, but it also reflects the state of the boss during the fight.
    • In addition, a creepy distorted version of "Telephone's Theme" plays when the Telephone reveals himself as Commander Tartar and explains his motives before activating the Wave-Motion Gun on the NILS Statue.
    • A minor-key version of the Splatfest match-start riff plays at the beginning of the "Turf War" upon the NILS Statue.
    • A very sad, hollow-sounding version of "Color Pulse" plays over the "bad ending" cutscene where Inkopolis gets covered in Tartar's primordial ooze.
  • Darker and Edgier: The bright and comedic story mode of the main game is contrasted with the Expansion's much more serious atmosphere that deals with much more heavier themes as well such as: racism, self acceptance, and isolation. You're playing as an amnesiac character trapped in a decayed subway system that only travels between testing chambers and possibly doesn't even exist in the same plane of reality as the rest of the game. Agent 8 is the 10,008th person to attempt the trials. Those who fail remain in the subway system without memories of their past, while those who succeed get blended up into a turquoise sludge to become part of a world-killing bioweapon. In comparison to the more light-hearted faux concert final boss of the main campaign, the final boss of the Octo Expansion has you in a Timed Mission to stop said bioweapon from going off and destroying all life on the planet.
  • Dark World: Labyrinth Station seems to take place in the tutorial area from when the main game is launched, except the atmosphere is dark and gloomy, with garbage lining the streets, tougher enemies, and sinister music.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: During the ending sequence, you can repeat a phase as many times you want, and all you'll lose is a pittance (seriously, double digits at most) of CQ Points. The final battle lacks even that penalty.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Even before the reveal that Commander Tartar intends to wipe out Inklings and Octolings, Kamabo Co.'s goals and the like are reminiscent of Nazism; for example, Octarians being "sanitized" is eerily similar to "cleansing" (as in, ethnic cleansing), and the Sanitized Octarians are/were put through biological experimentation, making them essentially zombies - keep in mind the Nazis also performed abhorrent experimentation on humans, with effects just as, or even significantly more, devastating. These all fall into place during The Reveal, with Commander Tartar admitting it's orchestrated the genocide and experimentation of over 10,000 Octolings, and using their remains for the sake of creating his vision of an "ultimate lifeform" - which also bears eerie similarities to the idea of a "master race" - then planning to kill everyone else with said remains.
  • Downloadable Content: Summer 2018 saw the release of the Octo Expansion, which includes playable Octolings and a new single player campaign around one particular Octoling called Agent 8.
  • Drought Level of Doom: Several test chambers prevent you from refilling your ink tank. Run out of ink and C.Q. Cumber will blow you up on the spot; note that even if the goal is right in front of you when you empty out, you still need to hit it with ink to tag it and complete the test.
  • Dueling Player Characters: Just before Agent 8 escapes the facility, they have to fight a Brainwashed and Crazy Agent 3.
  • Ear Worm: In-universe, "Calamari Inkanation" from the first game is canonically this, as it is said by Cap'n Cuttlefish to have engraved its sound into the very souls of anyone present at the "concert" at the end of the first Splatoon. In fact, it's such an Ear Worm that it manages to survive Agent 8's amnesia, and according to a chat log in Octo Expansion, its effect was strong enough that induced Marina's Heel–Face Turn.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Using the option to skip a challenge will award Agent 8 with a mem cake without its memories. The challenge must be completed fully to obtain the real mem cake.
  • Easy Amnesia: Agent 8's amnesia is conveniently specific, in their case it helps him/her to get out of the octarian indoctrination in which they have lived leading to search for their identity. That causes Agent 8 to go on an adventure that changes their perception of the world after the events of the Octo Expansion. Agent 8's change can be noticed through his/her auditive hallucinations in the Deepsea Metro music. Though it later turns out that Agent 8 was one of those Octolings who wanted to leave the army in the first place. As it’s revealed that they too listened to Calamari Inkantation.
  • Eldritch Location: Marina states in the chat log that the Deepsea Metro is coated in such powerful electromagnetic waves that reality itself is distorted.
  • Explosive Leash: There's a pouch filled with cyan ink attached to your ink tank in certain test stations; if you violate the rules of such a station (like losing an 8-ball, taking damage during a No-Damage Run level, exceeding the time limit, etc.), C.Q. Cumber will detonate it, splatting you instantly regardless of Mercy Invincibility.
  • Final Boss: Unorthodox in that instead of a proper fight, the final boss is a giant game of Turf War played on a massive statue of a human. The entire statue must be covered head to chest in ink with Marina's Hyperbombs to stop the Big Bad from charging his world-ending Wave-Motion Gun.
  • Final Solution: Commander Tartar's ultimate plan. It observed the evolution of the new dominant species and became disgusted with the Inklings and Octarians, specifically citing their wars over minor genetic deviations and obsession with trivial fashion choices as proof of their inferiority. Instead of following its prime directive to pass humanity's knowledge to them, Tartar creates a new prime directive: Destroy the world, and then start anew with a sludge of supreme DNA made from past test subjects to create the ultimate new life-form.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: Commander Tartar was created to pass on the knowledge of humanity to the next dominant species that rose up. Too bad it decided Inklings and Octarians didn't deserve it.
  • Flunky Boss: Octo Oven XXL. It makes the fight much, much, much more difficult.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The four thangs look like pieces of a blender.
    • If you squint when you look at the logo of Kamabo Co., you may notice it looks a lot like soft-serve ice cream, made by mixing air into the ingredients. Its name also sounds an awful lot like "kamaboko," a type of cured surimi - which is made from pureéd fish.
    • The escape sequence's areas are all named after human anatomy, and the final boss is a weaponized statue of a human.
    • If you pay close attention to the first picture that Pearl shows off of Marina in the chat logs, you notice that she's wearing Octoling armor, hinting at her history with the Octarian Military some time before Cuttlefish fully reveals it.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: A bit more like "interface & story segregation", but still there: after beating the main story, if you return to the Metro to finish out stages and whatnot, the option to return to the main plaza is still labeled "Imagine Inkopolis" and fades to white as it always did. This is in spite of the fact that, by the end of the expansion, you have very definitively made it to Inkopolis and have no need to "imagine" it, as was the in-universe justification earlier; Cuttlefish even says at points, if you talk to him at this stage, that you two should finish your business swiftly so you can return to the city.
  • Gender-Neutral Writing: Used for dialogue related to Agent 3, although this curiously happens after you're allowed to choose their gender.
  • Genetic Engineering is the New Nuke: Twofold. The Big Bad is a sentient AI created by a human professor millennia ago to preserve humanity's knowledge for when the next dominant species takes over, that's none too happy with the creatures who replaced humanity as the dominant life forms. In turn, Tartar created its own bio-weapon it intends to use to not only wipe out all remaining life but will also end up becoming the new sentient life to replace the old ones.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Since the Octolings started off as an Evil Counterpart Race to the Inklings, this is to be expected for the playable Octolings.
    • Agent 8 was said to been a fierce foe for Agent 3 and Cap'n Cuttlefish. However, after they all got stuck in the Deepsea Metro, Agent 8 loses all of their memories except for hearing "Calamari Inkantation" two years ago, and later teams up with Cuttlefish to get out of the labyrinth. The Mem Cakes reveal that Agent 8 had yearned for life on the surface in Inkopolis Square and getting to do all the fresh activities that Inklings do ever since that fateful musical event, to the point of apologetically leaving behind the Octarian Army.
    • According to a top-secret file in Cuttlefish's possession, Marina was formerly an immensely brilliant and skilled combat engineer in the Octoling ranks, graduating at only 9 years old, and helped design and maintain various Octoling weapons, including the Flooders. Like Agent 8, however, she heard the Squid Sisters perform "Calamari Inkantation" live in Octo Valley at the end of the first Splatoon. Hearing their music made her realize that she could no longer live under the oppression of the Octarians, and she decided to escape and join the Inklings in Inkopolis Square.
    • Chat Session 10 reveals that a number of Octolings have abandoned the Octarian Army and begun integrating into Inkopolis after hearing "Calamari Inkantation" as well. This is the lore justification for other players' Octolings appearing in your plaza.
  • Heroic Mime: Lampshaded, just like in the main campaign. When asking if the Calamari Inkanation has etched itself into your soul, Cap'n Cuttlefish says he'll take your confused silence as a "YES!".
  • Identity Amnesia: Agent 8 suffers from this upon waking up at the start of the story.
  • In-Game Banking Services: If you run out of CQ Points and need more to continue, Pearl will let you take out a loan of 3000 points at a time. These loans don't accumulate interest and you can take out as many as you want, but having an outstanding balance will restrict you from unlocking certain features until you've paid it off.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: In the fight against Commander Tartar, if you die or run out of time, you get a short cutscene of Inkopolis being destroyed by Tartar's laser, covered in the primordial soup. Thankfully you're presented with the standard "Continue?" screen afterwards to try again.
  • Laser Hallway: In the second half, you'll be introduced to hallways with laser beams that must be evaded to proceed. Contact with a laser beam will turn you into fried calamari instantly.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • It's minor, but Callie and DJ Octavio's mem cakes use their designs from this game, which could be a bit of a spoiler if you play the DLC before completing the original story mode.
    • Commander Tartar's true form appears in the artwork for the final Splatfest.
  • Leet Lingo: Captain Cuttlefish has a tendency to talk this way in the chatlogs with Pearl and Marina. (Mostly by mistake.)
  • Left the Background Music On: When you reach Phase 2 during the second half of the DLC, the previously ominous background music is replaced with Off the Hook's "Nasty Majesty". Later on in the stage, Pearl comments on being able to hear their own music, which they realize is coming from Agent 8's CQ-80, meaning they're approaching the surface.
  • Level in Boss Clothing: The Final Boss of the expansion doesn't actively attempt to harm you in any way; instead, the entire thing plays out like a game of Turf War, where you need to ink the entirety of the arena before time runs out. Half the challenge of the battle is trying to figure the optimal route to activate all the Hyper Ink Bombs before time runs out.
  • Magic Music: It's implied that the Calamari Inkantation may be this. It's said to free Octolings from the brainwashing and/or indoctrination they are subject to (with the phrase "etched into their souls" used more than once), and Cuttlefish even says it has "powers no one can explain."
  • Meaningful Name: Kamabo Corporation, or Kamabo Co. for short. Kamaboko is a type of cured surimi (aka fish paste) made by pureeing various fish together, foreshadowing before you even find the first "thang" that what you're doing probably isn't in your best interest.
  • Memento Macguffin: Completing trials rewards players with what are called Mem Cakes, physical manifestations of Agent 8's lost memories. Each one represents a memory related to Inkopolis like its residents, brand logos, or turf war paraphernalia. They resemble kamaboko cakes modeled after their subjects.
  • Mercy Mode: If you get a game over twice on any of the tests, Marina offers to hack the test into automatically passing you. However, the Mem Cake rewarded will be colorless and won't have all its memories until you finish the test legitimately. In the final sequence, you can skip a phase after dying five times, with the exception for the final boss, which you can skip after just one loss.
  • Meta Twist: With the series' love of repurposing random items into tech and weapons, it makes the assembly of the four Thangs seem like it could be a creatively designed elevator or teleporter... until Pearl and Marina panic and confirm that no, it's just a giant blender. For blending whatever's in it. Like 8 and Cuttlefish are right now.
  • Minimalist Run: invoked You only need to pass enough tests to collect the four thangs; the bare minimum to complete the game is 21 tests out of 80 (just over 25%), not counting the final escape sequence or final boss. Combine that with the test skip function, and you can beat the campaign without any legitimately beating any of the levels.
  • Mirror Boss: The Agent 3 fight is ostensibly this, as Agent 3 is capable of everything a normal player can do. The keyword being ostensibly, since, well, he/she cheats like hell.
  • Money for Nothing: Subverted. Depending on player skill, it's possible to rack up more CQ Points than you know what to do with, but after beating the DLC, you can spend extra CQ Points on a vending machine that will give you various items that are of high value in the main game, including Drink Tickets, Meal Tickets, a random assortment of Ability Chunks, Credits, or more CQ Points.
  • Mood Whiplash: Most of the stages and story aren't anything too scary until the end of the expansion makes things very dark. This is then followed by a battle with an extremely powerful superweapon that's partially countered by Pearl's super-loud voice.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: The Hyperbomb, a mega-sized Suction Bomb that Marina was developing prior to the events of the story, is used to stop the Wave-Motion Gun at the end of the game. However, the existence of the weapon is never hinted at at any point in the story, making it extremely convenient that Marina just so happened to be working on an ink-based superbomb that could stop the Big Bad.
  • Nintendo Hard: Octo Expansion is Splatoon at its most brutal. While some challenges can be pretty simple and easy, there are a fair amount of puzzle and platforming challenges are vastly more difficult than anything ever presented in Hero Mode, with some particular tasks being borderline sadistic, such as the No-Damage Run tasks. Rule of thumb is that if any given level gives you five lives or one, you better buckle the hell up.
  • No-Gear Level:
    • Several test chambers don't let you enter with a main weapon, forcing you to use sub-weapons for offense.
    • Subverted with Girl Power Station, which looks like it's going to be a sub-only test...but then the test chamber proper gives you a choice between 9 main weapons. You'll need that generosity.
    • In the first few phases of the escape arc, you don't have any weapons. You eventually pick up Splat Bombs and an Octoshot.
  • No Fair Cheating: In Girl Power Station, all of the hostile Octolings are lined up on a wall outside the battlefield, and Super Jump in at regular intervals. If you attempt to attack them while they're standing on the wall, they will break their rotation to immediately Super Jump onto the field, then add even more Octolings for good measure. It is possible to get them all with the Charger if you have quick hands, but this won't stop extras from dropping in.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: Averted during the escape sequence. The Kamabo Co. facility lacks respawn points, so in-story Agent 8 actually dies for real if you get splatted. The option to continue is purely a gameplay convenience rather than a canonical ability as it is everywhere else in the series.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Downplayed in the ascent to the surface; if you perish, Captain, Marina, or Pearl will call out for you in concern before you respawn. On the other hand if Agent 8 falls or time runs out before covering Tartar's statue in ink, the scene cuts to Inkopolis covered in slime.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: It is not explained how Agent 3 managed to infiltrate Tartar's lair and acquire a employee-model CQ-80 while Agent 8 was in the testing chambers. The entire point is glossed over by the time Agent 3 appears.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: There are stages where you have to run down a clock without taking any damage whatsoever. Taking a hit won't splat you proper; instead, C.Q. Cumber detonates your exploding sack of ink.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The phone is working with an incomplete slang dictionary, as clearly evidenced by its [SLANG_NOT_FOUND] and [ERROR] messages. It could also be Censored for Comedy, but it's hard to tell.
  • Out of Focus: Due to Simultaneous Arcs, the Squid Sisters and DJ Octavio only cameo as mem cakes and photographs appearing in certain chat logs. Marie (but not Callie, due to the dialogue having to make sense for both pre- and post-game) gets a few lines of dialogue in the bonus chat log obtained by completing every stage in the Deepsea Metro.
  • Outside-Context Problem: The Big Bad and his Apocalypse How plot have never been dealt with at any point in the Splatoon world, so their appearance comes as a big surprise to everyone present. Thankfully, Marina's analytical skills allow her to devise a plan on the fly to counteract the threat.
  • Palette Swap: Almost every enemy in the test chambers is taken from the regular single player mode, but colored an unnatural shade of neon green. The only difference besides color is that according to Marina, they don't register as living creatures. Tartar makes those out of the primordial ooze it made from blending most of the previous test subjects into paste.
  • People Jars: When remembering what they look like, Agent 8 imagines themselves suspended in green fluid, completely nude and curled into a fetal position. Whether this is just interesting imagery or something that they actually experienced isn't explained.
  • Pinball Zone: Some of the Octo Expansion stages involve guiding large 8-Balls to particular places. Tubular 8-Ball Station contains elements like habitrails, pop bumpers, up-kickers, and whirlpool scoops. Another stage plays very similarly to a bingo machine, a close cousin of pinball.
  • Point of No Return: Once you decide to "visit" the Promised Land, you can't return to the Deepsea Metro until you finish the game. The game points this out by having you confirm three times before progressing.
  • Precision F-Strike: Pearl, after Marina offers to do some Hollywood Hacking and help Agent 8 past a station they might be having trouble with: "Are you freaking serious?"
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: Once you've collected the third thang, Captain Cuttlefish asks you to help him put up a sign looking for Agent 3, and this determines what he or she looks like when they save Agent 8 and Cuttlefish from being blended.
  • Purposely Overpowered: There are several stages where you get unlimited use of a Special which you can use for the whole stage, and not just for a limited period of time. For example, you can blow up the Baller, and afterwards, it'll instantly recover around you.
  • Recollection Sidequest: Downplayed. Each level cleared awards a "mem cake", which is stated to be a physical manifestation of Agent 8's lost memories. However, there are no flashbacks; each cake simply has a poem attached that gives a glimpse into Eight's psyche.
  • Recurring Boss: All bosses from Hero Mode save for the final boss reappear in upgraded forms in various locations in the subway. Said upgrades crank up the boss's difficulty by a significant margin.
  • Released to Elsewhere: It is told that collecting all the thangs will provide passage to "The Promised Land". The thangs are actually pieces of a giant blender, and going to the promised land is being blended by it to contribute your genetic material to a primordial ooze.
  • Ring-Out Boss: Inverted with Revenge of Octo Samurai, where Octo Samurai is trying to ring you out into a Bottomless Pit while you try to splat him with an infinite use Baller.
  • "Save the World" Climax: The story begins with a simple objective: escaping the underground and reaching the surface. But in the end, the stakes are higher than ever before in the Splatoon series. A giant superweapon has to be stopped from destroying the world.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: It's possible to unlock challenges from much later lines early on, leading to super-difficult challenges next to easy ones.
  • Schrödinger's Question: Cap'n Cuttlefish's picture of Agent 3 is determined by the player's answers, allowing the player to customize Agent 3 however they wish.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: The "Denizens of the Deep" that ride the subway include a giant isopod, a ping pong tree sponge, a blobfish, longsnout dogfish, sea angels, a Marrus orthocanna, predatory tunicates, and gulper eels.


Splatoon 2 - Baller

The Baller lets the user roll around inside a large inflatable ball filled with ink. It can then be detonated, spreading the ink over a large area.

How well does it match the trope?

4.75 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / ActionBomb

Media sources: