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Inking back, and with a vengeance!

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 these squid-human creatures still love spraying each other with their multi-colored ink.

Splatoon 2 is the sequel to the Third-Person Shooter sleeper hit 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.

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 co-op mode in Ranked Battle. 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 DLC, 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 13th, 2018.

You can watch the first trailer here, the Salmon Run trailer here, the single-player trailer here, and the Octo Expansion trailer here.


Tropes associated with Splatoon 2:

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    Main Game 
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Once Callie breaks free of the hypnosis thanks to Marie hitting Callie with a sniper shot made of low-tide ink and singing "Spicy Calamari Inkantation" during the final boss, Sheldon grants Agent 4 a modified Rainmaker to help them defeat Octavio. It does not have the time limit of the Rainmaker in Ranked and League Battles, as well.
  • 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, and an ink rain cloud that you can toss into the sky. 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.
  • Adult Fear:
    • The Squid Sister Stories hit home for all too many of the older fanbase, as many of them have experienced simply drifting apart from seemingly inseparable loved ones due to life just... getting in the way. No big fights, no confrontations, just less and less time to spare for each other.
    • Followed up by a loved one just... disappearing. Callie left from work and never made it to the apartment, or onto the train.
  • 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.
    • During the "Rush" event in Salmon Run, Chum and Goldies will dash, single-file, to whichever Inkling has the Glowflies around his or her head. If one of the players has a Roller (not including brushes), that player can lower the Roller down in front of the Salmonids, and they will all crash into the Roller and splat themselves.
  • The All-Seeing A.I.: Justified in Salmon Run. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • In Salmon Run, 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.
    • 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.
    • Another one in Salmon Run: if a team member disconnects, the amount of Golden Eggs you need to get are decreased.
  • Anti-Grinding: In Salmon Run, after you get the second special bonus in the rotation, the only things you can earn in this mode 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 
  • Anti-Rage Quitting: The game is still at it with punishing ragequitters, 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.
    • 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.
  • Artistic Licence Economics: In Salmon Run, all rewards you get are called "bonuses" based on hitting certain tiers of points, however you never appear to receive any other form of payment for doing it aside from the "bonuses", so technically you would be working on commission, not 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 rage 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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 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 man-made ecological disaster, even after ten millennia.
    • 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.
  • 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, and Splashdown:
      • 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".
  • 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.
    • 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:
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • Difficulty Spike: In Salmon Run, the first rank provides very easy runs with less Salmonids attacking at once and very few if any "special" waves. Once you rank up the first time, you will begin to experience far more hostile environments.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Evil Overlooker: A piece of artwork accompanying the single-player trailer reveals the Inkling Girl 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.
  • 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.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: 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.
  • 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 vs. 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.
  • Glass Cannon: While the Inklings are no more durable between games (less so now that Defense Up has been removed), special note must be taken towards the special Grizzco weapons, where the mindset is basically "jailbreak this weapon until it achieves maximum DPS, no matter the cost". The weapons are Purposely Overpowered as a result, which is why they only appear in Random Loadout Salmon Runs.
  • 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.
  • 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 pronounciation.
  • 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 in Hero Mode 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.
  • 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, Medimum, and High) so you know weather to head out to the shore or clear out from the lower half.
    • In the "Find the Goldie" 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 4 valves start up at once. Even worse is the failure hint for the event mentions only the brightness of the gushers being an indicator, which doesn't really seem to mean anything.
  • Guns Akimbo: The Splat Dualies let you effectively dual wield SMG inkblasters that allow for some John Woo-style dodge jumping.
  • 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 Sister 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 when Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • 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".
  • Improvised Weapon: 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 rockets.
      • 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 an oversized 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.
    • This also applies to Specials:
      • 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.
    • Salmonid weapons are even more improvised. 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.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Grizzco brand of weapons, available exclusively during random weapon sessions in Salmon Run. Their power is far superior to the regular weapons, being able to deal high damage and spread ink faster than any of the standard weapons.
  • 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. Though the Octo Expansion reveals nobody was aware that Marina was an Octoling until after the events of that campaign, with even her best friend Pearl only having her suspicions, making this an unintentional example.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. The Flyfish attacks in this manner in Salmon Run.
  • 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 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-
      Pearl: YOU'RE IN DIRECT VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 3 SECTION 2 OF SPLATFEST LAW!
  • 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).
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: 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.
  • 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.
    • The Damage Up and Defense Up abilities have been replaced by Sub Power Up and Bomb Defense Up. As the names imply, the new abilities only work with sub-weapons, unlike the originals, which also affected damage from primary weapons. As a side effect, no Damage Up means no fast charges on Charger weapons, meaning you have to bear the entire charge duration.
    • 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, not to mention 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Depsite 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.
  • 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.
  • Product Placement:
    • A few of Japan's 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.
    • 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 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 scheduled in late May/early June 2018.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Purposely Overpowered:
    • The powered-up Rainmaker you get during the final phase of the Final Boss, which has no time limit and boosted charge speed and range.
    • The Salmon Run-exclusive Grizzco-brand weapons 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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: While not totally short-ranged by any means, the Brellas have a firing range only marginally better than the Sloshers, and much shorter than most of the other ranged weapons in the game. They also increase in effectiveness the closer you are to the target when you fire; the Tenta Brella, for example, can score a One-Hit Kill if fired at point-blank range at an enemy. The Brellas otherwise experience significant damage dropoff the farther you are from the target.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Exploshers in Salmon Run are pretty much garbage at dealing with most things...except for Flyfish, being one of the very few main weapons that can destroy its missile pods.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Something similar occurs in Salmon Run mode: 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.
  • 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.

    Octo Expansion 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/800px_octo_expansion_key_art_horizontal.jpg
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.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Commander Tartar is a sentient AI created by a human scientist 12,000 years in the past, with the sole purpose of finding a sentient species to pass on the humans' knowledge to. However, after spending millennia watching the cephalopod Inkling and Octarian species evolve and realizing how petty they are, he decides to simply start over by destroying the world.
  • 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 kill 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.
  • Book-Ends: 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.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Strictly speaking, you don't need to complete all 80 tests to beat the Octo Expansion. You only need to collect the "thangs", which (if you know the optimal route) can be done by only doing 23 tests; even less if you choose to pass over multiple levels by using the skip feature. However, collecting entire sets of Mem Cakes by completing each line earns you unique two-star gear from Iso Padre, with nine of the ten forming their own gear sets. Completing all 80 tests unlocks a Bonus Boss which can earn you the three-star Golden Toothpick headgear.
  • Brown Note: The Killer Wail Special. It's used by Pearl at the end of the game to defeat the Big Bad.
  • 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, but it's so obsessed with its purpose and with its idealized image of humanity that it can't see that the flaws it observes in cephalopod life are 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.
  • 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.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Inkopolis should consider itself lucky that the Big Bad's world ending super weapon just so happened to be solar powered; otherwise, ink-based weapons wouldn't have been much good in dealing with it...
  • Cyber Punk: 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 bio-weapon death ray.
  • Darker and Edgier: The bright and comedic story mode of the main game is contrasted with the Expansion's much more serious atmosphere. 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.
  • Difficulty Spike: The challenges are leagues beyond Hero Mode and other forms of gameplay.
  • 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.
  • 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, 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.
    • The escape sequence's areas are all named after human anatomy, and the final boss is a 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.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: Twofold. The Big Bad is a sentient AI created by humans ages ago to preserve humanity's knowledge for when the next major 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. However, at the end of the first Splatoon, she heard the Squid Sisters perform "Calamari Inkantation" live in Octo Valley and realized that she could no longer live under the oppression of the Octarians, causing her 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 Square 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.
  • 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.
  • L33t L1ng0: Captain Cuttlefish has a tendency to talk this way in the chatlogs with Pearl and Marina. (Mostly by mistake.)
  • Left Hanging: It's never quite revealed just who the "someone" is that ambushed both Agents 3 and 8 and interrupted their fight, leading to the crew falling into the Metro. There's a possibility it was Tartar or an agent of it, but nobody expresses any familiarity with Tartar even after it reveals itself, and Cuttlefish doesn't recognize Sanitized Octolings on first seeing them, so unless they were taken by surprise before anyone could see the assailant, it was apparently something... else.
  • 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.
  • 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 a world-destroying 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-Damage Run: There are stages where you have to run down a clock without taking any damage whatsoever.
  • 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.
  • Nonstandard 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 otherhand 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.
  • 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: Pretty much 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 he's 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 start the second half of the DLC, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, dwarf lanternsharks, a sea angel, a Marrus orthocanna, predatory tunicates, and gulper eels.

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