Thursday, 1 October 2015

Video Game Character of the Month - October 2015 - Inklings - Splatoon

Video Game Character of the Month
October 2015

I walk down a seemingly empty street, brandishing my gun as I look for my next target. The sun shines brilliantly, reflecting off of the multicolored liquid covering the floor and walls. I stand still for a moment, tensing at the sound of movement behind me. Something's here. I readied a grenade and was about to throw it a little ways in front of me, splattering what was left of the enemy over the floor. I heard a cry behind me and turned just in time to see one of my team members roll over another enemy and reclaim yet more territory from those worthless scum. I laughed and changed my form, swimming through the remnants of the battle and humming a tune to myself - "You're a kid now, you're a squid now." Soon enough, I rose from the ground and another five enemies fell to my weapons. My team and I took their land with glee. And, then, when the battle was done and the Cat had announced us victorious, it was time to go leave. And go shopping! Well, we do have to 'Stay fresh', after all! 
And now for a bit of information on the causes of this massacre we call a 'kid-friendly' game - the Inklings (Oh, Nintendo, what have you done?):

They, along with some other marine humanoids, are the dominant species on Earth after some unknown catastrophe wiped out humankind (seriously, how dark is this game?)
They are highly aggressive
They communicate with high-pitched gargling noises
They have excellent eyesight
They don't die when shot but do turn into ghosts and disappear (where do they go?), only to respawn later on
They are made of liquid and have no bones
They cannot swim (and, instead, dissolve, when in water)
They can, however, fit through tiny grates when they are in squid form
They have ten limbs (including tentacles)
They can change between squid and humanoid form at will
At 14 years of age, they develop the ability to change between 'squid' and 'kid' forms
Before this, they resemble squids with four limbs and, when infants, they are just squids
They have quite a long lifespan, with Cap'n Cuttlefish being over 100 years old
They participated in a war with the Octarians (known as the Great Turf War) 100 years ago and (after being beaten for a while due to their inability to get up early enough) drove them underground
They use Zapfish as a source of power
They can leap five feet in a single bound
Female Inklings have thinner eyebrows, straight cut bangs and two long tentacles flowing from the sides of her head
Male Inklings have thicker eyebrows and his main tentacles are secured in a ponytail
Inkling's eyes appear to be joined together
Their favorite sport is a game called 'Turf War' where they fight for control over territory (this also comes in Control Point and Capture the Flag variants)
They participate in massive competitions where they determine the answer to a debate through a combination of fighting and voting - debates are often about something in popular culture (3000 year old human pop-culture, that is)
amiibo also seem to have achieved sentience and, yet, are confined boxes licensed by the presumed overlords of the world - Nintendo (this may, or may not, be an actual part of the lore ;))
They probably evolved from the Humboldt Squid
They seem to have a social standing where your position depends on how 'fresh' you are
Inklings were originally tofu-like blocks, humans, Mario, rabbits and, finally, squids

Origin of the Inkling:
Splatoon was developed by Nintendo as both a new IP and their first foray into the multiplayer shooter genre. In the early stages of development many different designs of characters were tried and developed. Originally, the Inklings were black or white tofu blocks with 'noses' that you would use to shoot out the ink. These were used as their geometric shapes could easily hide in ink which allowed for the covert strikes that game is made around. However, the team felt, quite rightly, that, blocks of tofu weren't very relatable or easy to sell to the public and, so the idea of humans (and, later, Mario - as it is Nintendo, after all) were trialed. However, these designs couldn't hide in ink as easily, as it is much easier to spot a human figure than a single colour block of tofu. Therefore, the idea of a rabbit came about as a means to solve some of these design issues - such as showing where the movement was (shown by the direction of the ears), a way to show when characters are inked (as rabbits can be one solid colour) and the selling issue (who doesn't love rabbits?). These designs eventually gave way to the squid designs that we all know and love. However, there was a time where only the female Inkling existed. Apparently, this was both as a way of diversifying the predominately male cast of Nintendo characters as well as a ways of making it more accepted over seas. 
In terms of lore, the Inklings appear to have evolved from squids during the Mollusk Era after some great catastrophe wiped out humankind and most land-dwelling animals. 

Evolution of the Inkling:
Due to only being in one main game, the Inkling's haven't really evolved a great deal (although they have been 8-bit-ified in Super Mario Maker, thanks to the amiibo functionality and Mystery Mushroom). However, in-game, the characters certainly have evolved thanks to players being able customize their clothes (and, therefore, some of their stats) as well as their weapons. Furthermore, thanks to the huge amount of free DLC that Nintendo has released for Splatoon, along with more promised, the characters can only change and improve.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS:  released (Japan) on September 13, 2014/ (North America/Europe) on October 3, 2014/ (Australia) on October 4, 2014 
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U: released (North America) on November 21, 2014/(Europe) on November 28, 2014/(Australia) on November 29, 2014/(Japan) on December 6, 2014
Splatoon: released (Japan) on 28 May 2015/(Europe/North America) on 29 May 2015/(Australia) on 30 May 2015 on Wii U
Super Mario Maker: released (Japan) on 10 September 2015/(Europe/North America) on 11 September 2015/(Australia) on 12 September 2015

Well, that's it on the post-apocalyptic soldier that is the Inkling (seriously, I mean it, how dark is this game?). If you have any ideas on future video game characters that should win the award, or have spotted any mistakes that I've made/missing information that I've ignored, then please don't hesitate to comment! 

Goodbye for now, Harry


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