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Video Game / Squid Ink

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Squid Ink is an web-based Idle Game on Kongregate where the player owns a squid farm, strokes squids to make them produce ink, feeds them to make them bigger and produce more ink, and make shells (money) selling the ink.

As the player progresses, more new squids and mechanics are unlocked, such as mixing of inks to create more valuable ones, taking orders for ink, missions, cooking, and many more.

The various squids are as follows, all of which produce Black Ink and many produce one or more other types of ink:

  • Spider Squid — A squid with eight tentacles. Some may call him an octopus.
  • Ghost (White) — May be the runt of his pod but his white ink is very sought after.
  • Daisy (Yellow) — A very bright personality. For a squid.
  • Moon (Blue) — He is very rare, and so is his ink.
  • Mary (Red) — Her ink is primarily used for death threats.
  • Clown (Yellow, Blue, Red) — His ink production is no laughing matter.
  • Sir Cephalopod (Steel) — This knight recruit has been playing with metal his whole life!
  • Dazzle (Sparkle) — I'm sure you've always wondered where glitter comes from.
  • Rainbow (Rainbow) — No, this is not a unicorn.
  • Fallout (Nuclear) — I wouldn't get too close to this squid.
  • Goth (White) — If only the rest of the world was as dark as this squid.
  • Catamari (Fluffy) — Much cuter and more alive than his edible cousin.
  • Griffin (Invisible) — Making himself visible again is proving to be more difficult than Griffin had anticipated.
  • Krystal (Mineral) — If only Krystal was unable to speak like her less crystalline siblings.
  • Medusa (Stone) — After many years of studying it is still uncertain whether the snakes are Medusa's tentacles or hair.
  • His Majesty (Royal) — His Majesty would prefer it if you did not refer to him by his given name.
  • Chronos (Time) — An ancient primordial squid who just loves playing with time.
  • Mr. Wobbles (Jelly) — I know you're jelly of his wobbles.
  • Larry (Magic) — You're a squizard, Larry!

You can play the game here on Kongregate.

Due to the huge amount of spoilers in the story missions, tropes for them will be put under a separate section.

Squid Ink has the following tropes:

  • Anti-Frustration Feature:
    • Pity timers exist for almost all artifacts that are randomly dropped from chests/gift boxes or from orders, meaning that you will eventually be able to obtain them all after a good amount of time and patience.
    • Every 50th level, the Pearl Jewelry artifacts will salvage an amount of pearls you did not obtain from gift boxes (which are obtained every 5 levels). With all of them, this is 75%, meaning that you will still lose 25% of the pearls you didn't obtain, but this is far better than losing all the pearls you failed to obtain.
  • Artistic License Paleontology: Dinosaur Ink is made from Fossil Ink, which is based on Bone Ink, which is made from Bear Ink.
  • Button Mashing: Averted, unlike most clicker games. You move your mouse to stroke squids instead of clicking on them, which makes it a lot more relaxing.
  • Cat Smile: Almost all the squids have one, not just Catamari. The only exception is Griffin, since his face and smile are invisible until he gets the ability to become visible for a brief moment, and it shows that he also has one.
  • Clamshell Currency: The money you earn during the game consists in seashells.
  • Contemporary Caveman: One of the possible ink requesters is Dave. He speaks in a You No Take Candle manner, asks for fire (glowing inks) and furs (animal inks), and his idea of pets are dinosaurs and sabre-toothed cats.
  • Cute Kitten: Catamari is a cross between this and a squid and has a Cat Smile like the rest of the squids. Like any kitty, he likes being stroked and one of his abilities even increases ink produced from him if you stroke him. One of his mission abilities makes him so cute that other squids can't help but stroke him when they make contact with him.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: Rainbow produces Rainbow Ink which can be used in various rainbow-based ink recipes.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: Dazzle produces Sparkle Ink which can be used in various shiny and sparkly-based ink recipes.
  • Funny Octopus: It's a fun, relaxing game where very cute squids are stroked and produce ink that can be sold so that you can buy more cute squids.
  • Gem-Encrusted: Krystal is a squid made of rock encrusted with crystals, of which some of them are her tentacles. She appropriately enough produces Mineral Ink.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Very downplayed. One of the baits you can feed to companions to extend their offline time are crab claws and crab related stuff, and three of the companions are crabs.
  • Holiday Mode: During Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter, event-specific equipments and minigames appear for a limited period of time.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Sir Cephalopod is a knight recruit who produces metal-based inks. His mission storyline involves fighting a dragon.
  • Love Potion: The "Liquid Love Ink" special ink that can be mixed. It of course requires magic ink from Larry.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • Gift Boxes will only reward you with pearls 35% of the time. Having the Shooting Stars fully maxed out will double this chance but it's still not guaranteed, and having all the Pearl Jewelry Artifacts will soften the bad luck a bit more by salvaging 75% of the pearls you didn't get once you reach a level of a multiple of 50.
    • The chance of gaining artifacts from chests, Puzzle Boxes, and orders are also randomized, but you will eventually be able to obtain all of them thanks to pity timers.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Catamari is a cross between a cat and a squid, while Mr. Wobbles is a cross between a jellyfish and a squid. There's also Tempurra, a companion that appears to be a cross between a cat and a fish.
  • Mutants: Fallout is one and his power manifests as radioactivity. This is thanks to the owner of his birth farm experimenting on him when he was young, and several other squids in said farm are also mutants because they too were experimented on.
  • No Antagonist: The game used to be this before missions were added, as the main game lacks an overarching Big Bad or villain.
  • Non-Ironic Clown: Clown is neither a sad nor monstrous clown squid and acts like a genuine one.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: All the squids are these, what with having a Cat Smile and many having friendly dispositions to boot.
  • Shout-Out: Quite a good number:
    • There are several references to Spongebob Squarepants: Among the monuments are Squidward's clarinet, a pineapple that's a reference to Spongebob's house, a Moai statue based off Squidward's house, an Imagination rainbow based off the Idiot Box episode, and a snail that appears to be a cross between the snail from Adventure Time and Gary. One of the companions you can buy is a red crab called Mr Crab, and he coincidentally enough opens chests to collect shells and doubloons for the player.
    • Rainbow is quite clearly based off Nyan Cat, appearing to have similar colours to a pop tart and leaving behind a rainbow trail.
    • Some of Fallout's regular missions involve wasteland scavenging, visiting Vault 1337 and Super Mutant Hunting.
    • The squid that produces invisible ink is an invisible squid named Griffin who's also trying to find a cure for his condition.
    • A number of the client squids are shout-outs to other works, such as Marty (who requests time-traveling ink) and Willy (who requests candy-based ink).
    • One of the artifact types is the Teleport Crystal from Sword Art Online.
    • Larry is pretty much an expy of Harry Potter. His master Gandore is a twofold reference to Gandalf and Dumbledore.
  • Shown Their Work: The various baits all use prawn, crab, and lobster meats. Crustaceans are one of the main diets of real life squids.
  • Taken for Granite:
    • Medusa's "Petrify" active skill. Thankfully, it doesn't turn the squids into stone, instead pausing them for a few seconds accumulating ink and making them easier to stroke. When the effect wears off, the accumulated ink is then expelled at a multiplied amount.
    • Some of Medusa's missions actually use this as a Mundane Utility, such as the quarry ones.
      "Turning things to stone is much easier than mining out rocks".
  • Time Master: Chronos is capable of manipulating time on a whim and even produces Time Ink, which can be used to create things like Fossil Ink, Sabre-toothed Tiger Ink and Dinosaur Ink. His squid mission flavor texts even have him perform stuff like manipulating the timeline in the past so that treasure gets created in the present, or removing some cash in the past and letting inflation render the deficit null. Finally, his mission storyline reveals that he works for the Citadel of Chronos... whose members are also all Chronos, except from alternate timelines.
  • Time Travel: One of Chronos' time-based abilities. This allows him to take you back a number of levels so that you can re-do them and obtain pearls from them again, which is useful. His missions as well as his mission storyline all involve time travel.
  • Weird Currency: The basic currency for the game is shells. Pearls are another "currency" obtained from prestiges and act as a multiplier for ink gains.
  • Your Size May Vary: A squids' size depends on their relative weight level compared to all the other squids in the tank. Once you get a certain artifact (the Scales), you can make their size unaffected by weight.

The squid story missions have the following tropes (Spoilers abound!)

  • 0% Approval Rating: In His Majesty's mission storyline, this ends up happening to the usurper Your Grace, who becomes so tyrannical and paranoid he begins locking up innocent squids in prison. This causes the royal guards to start doubting him, and His Majesty uses the dissent to get the guards on his side, start a revolt and overthrow Your Grace.
  • Agent Peacock: Rainbow's the squid that appears to look like Nyan Cat, leaves a trail of rainbows, and produces rainbow ink, and his mission story reveals that he was actually a soldier in his country's army who was sent to assassinate a enemy general, and even returns to doing infiltration work again.
  • Alternate Universe: The Citadel of Chronos in Chronos' storyline consists of Chronos as well as his alternate universe/timeline selves. Unfortunately, this also includes an Evil Chronos.
  • Arc Villain: A number of the squids' stories have one:
    • Sir Ceph's story has an actual dragon terrorizing his squidom that had captured the Prince and a peasant girl.
    • Rainbow's story has General Wobniar, a dictator who committed several war crimes who was initially presumed dead.
    • Fallout's story has Doctor Octo, a squid farmer who conducts unethical experiments on young squids.
    • Goth's story has the squid farmer pretending to be a ghost so that he could force the squids back to his own farm.
    • Medusa's story has Neptune and Minerva, the former of which had framed her and the latter being the one who cursed her.
    • His Majesty's story has Your Grace, a tyrannical usurper of the throne.
    • Chronos' story has Evil Chronos, an evil alternate-self Chronos who sets out to Make Wrong What Once Went Right.
    • Larry's story has Deochbais, an Evil Sorcerer who captures magicians-in-training and sacrifices them to fuel his power.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Rainbow's storyline reveals that he lost his tentacles in a submarine raid when he was about to apprehend General Wobniar. His limbs as a result are Artificial Limbs.
  • Artificial Limbs: It's revealed that Rainbow's tentacles are these, after his tentacles were blown off in a submarine raid. After capturing Wobniar, he's rewarded with a pair of newer and better mechanical ones.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Just when it looks like things were over for Larry, the tiger shark familiar he summoned in an earlier part of his story comes to his rescue by eating Deochbais.
  • Close-Enough Timeline: Chronos' mission ends this way. He and Detective Chronos manage to defeat Evil Chronos by disguising themselves with seaweed and getting the ancient gods to help them. Everything's all and well when they return to the present... except that squids now worship the "Seaweed Nymph" that saved them.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • After capturing Fallout, Dr. Octo subjected Fallout to intense radiation tests in order to get rid of him. He didn't expect the radiation to instead make Fallout even stronger, allowing him to break free, release the other test subjects, and burn down the lab.
    • The final part of Medusa's storyline has her face off Minerva, the one who cursed Medusa into her current form. Minerva, being the Goddess of Wisdom and all, used a mirror shield to avoid the stone gaze... but she was not prepared for Medusa's sonic scream which shattered said shield and turned her into stone.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Dazzle's story has him open a nightclub with a rather good plan — having a good venue, hiring enough mixologists (bartenders), waiters and getting enough drinks. Indeed, the club was crowded on the opening night. There was just one problem he didn't anticipate for — he forgot to hire security, and as a result fights and chaos began breaking out in his nightclub, eventually culminating in one of the disgruntled squids setting fire to the club and burning it down.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Deochbais uses a teleportation totem to lure any aspiring wizards into his graveyard, where he sacrifices them to fuel his power.
  • Feed It with Fire: When Dr. Octo attempts to get rid of Fallout using extremely intense radiation, it initially hurts the squid... but then it starts making him even stronger and began healing him not unlike a Fallout ghoul.
  • Feghoot: The entirety of Goth's mission is a "Scooby-Doo" Hoax by a squid farmer that sets up the punchline: "and he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for that meddling squid!"
  • For Want of a Nail: Chronos' Mission storyline involves this. He accidentally drops his phone in the past, and the present has become futuristic. He tries to amend this by retrieving his phone back in the past... and the present becomes a bleak wasteland thanks to an evil alternate self of him that had also gone back to the past to Make Wrong What Once Went Right. He manages to solve this by dressing up in seaweed and defeating Evil Chronos, restoring the timeline with the one difference being that squids now worship the "Seaweed Nymph".
  • God Guise: Chronos and Detective Chronos defeat Evil Chronos in the past by dressing up in seaweed and enlisting the help of the ancient squids. In the present, squids now worship the "Seaweed Nymph" who saved them.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Doctor Octo's attempt at killing Fallout via intense radiation only ends up making him stronger, enough to break his restraints, free the squids in the facility, and burn the facility down to the ground.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard:
    • Doctor Octo tries to kill a captured Fallout by subjecting him to intense radiation, this instead made Fallout even stronger which causes the squid to break free, free the test subjects, and burn Octo's facility down to the ground.
    • This happens to Minerva, the very same goddess who cursed Medusa into her current form with the stone gaze ability. She's turned to stone by Medusa after Medusa shatters her mirror shield.
  • Invisibility Flicker: Griffin's story ends with him being able to turn visible but only periodically.
  • Jerkass Gods: Both Neptune and Minerva are these. Neptune framed Medusa by defiling Minerva's temple after she refused to go out with him. Minerva cursed Medusa into her current form for that. When Medusa goes to Olympus to confront them, Neptune still refused to admit his rumours, while Minerva on the other hand challenged Medusa to a battle in order to humiliate her further.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • Medusa's mission storyline is a much lighter retelling of the story of Medusa and Perseus from Classical Mythology. It involves her getting framed by Neptune for defiling Minerva's temple instead of being raped by him there, and she survives Perseus' encounter when she clears the misunderstanding.
    • Griffin's mission story is much lighter and completely non-violent compared to The Invisible Man. It also ends on a far happier note.
  • Mood Dissonance: Rainbow's regular missions are mainly sunshine-and-rainbows stuff such as finding a pot of gold at the end of his rainbow. His story mission on the other hand is one of the darkest as it involves a dictator responsible for a civil war in the past and is attempting to start another, and Rainbow's backstory where he lost his tentacles in a submarine raid when trying to assassinate said dictator in the past.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Actual dragons are very much a thing in the verse as Sir Cephalopod has to fight against one. There's also the baby dragon egg that he obtains after defeating it who hatches into a baby dragon companion.
  • Playing with Syringes: Fallout's story involves a squid farmer who does this to his own young squids, who was also Fallout's previous owner and the reason why Fallout is a radioactive mutant.
  • Save the Princess: Sir Cephalopod's story requires him to save the prince and a peasant girl he fell in love with from a dragon.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story:
    • Daisy's story has her spend much effort and hard work trying to grow new flowers for the squids, only to find out that the flowers were ugly and smelled bad.
    • Clown's story has him go through loads of effort and training to make a balloon squid, only to find out that the fairgoer wanted a balloon griffin, not a balloon of Griffin the squid.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: A number of the Arc Villains are surprisingly dark for a lighthearted game:
    • General Wobniar started a civil war in the past that harmed several squids' lives for years.
    • Doctor Octo is a squid farmer that conducts rather horrific experiments on young squids and even tried to outright kill Fallout via intense radiation.
    • Your Grace becomes extremely paranoid and tyrannical, arresting anyone who spoke out against him and punishing their families. Even his own guards decided that this was enough.
    • Evil Chronos traveled to the past to enslave inhabitants, create machines of war, and turn the world into a bleak, lifeless wasteland.
    • Deochbais purposely set traps to catch any wizard apprentices-in-training to sacrifice them to gain power.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: After Sir Cephalopod beats the dragon, he's less interested in the Dragon Hoard than the dragon egg left behind since he never cared much for riches.