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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Merits of Having Callie vs. Marie Determine Splatoon 2's Story Mode

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'm not sure how meritorious it is, but the final Splatfest certainly affected a lot about Splatoon 2. (Spoilers, duh.)

I got a request a long time ago before Splatoon 2 came out, asking me:
Write the merits of having the final Splatfest determine Splatoon 2's story mode if it did so (have to wait until the game comes out).” 
Well, I obviously waited long after the game came out. I... had to think about this.

First, let's make sure we're all on the same page regarding the Squid Sisters and Splatoon 2

We write a lot about Splatfests here on KoopaTV. Splatfests are Inkopolis's cultural mega-events where all the squids and kids vote on which option they prefer when presented with two choices. Each choice is backed by one of the newscasters, be they the Squid Sisters in Splatoon (Callie and Marie) or Off the Hook in Splatoon 2 (Pearl and Marina). And when I say mega-event, I mean the whole Inkopolis Square or Inkopolis Plaza transforms into a festive situation with dancing, the night sky, and special music. All participants dedicate their activity to the Splatfest. We like them on KoopaTV because they give us things to talk about that we normally wouldn't, and then it's game-related.

For background to the request, Splatoon's final Splatfest, Callie vs. Marie, ended in Marie winning. That is a very formative event. It then wasn't until Splatoon 2's demo Splatfest that Off the Hook gave context to all of the Splatfests we've been participating in for the first Splatoon: The winner of a Splatfest becomes legally better than the loser of the Splatfest.

In-between Splatoon and Splatoon 2, Nintendo released a series of “Squid Sisters Stories” on the official Splatoon website, from Marie's perspective. It starts right after the final Splatoon Splatfest that she had just won...

...Despite Marie now legally being better than Callie, they both had significantly greater success for a while, with both getting lots of shows and stardom. That just caused them to have different schedules, so even though the Squid Sisters lived together, they hardly saw one another.

It was then Marie continuously wondered if Callie was jealous and holding Marie's greater popularity against her. Marie loathed herself for thinking this way, and they met in a restaurant in Arowana Mall. The ensuing conversation demonstrated to Marie that Callie was the same Callie, nothing wrong. ...At least, for now.

They walked out of Arowana Mall together, but will this be for the last time?!

Then, Marie visited her parents in Calamari County, and invited Callie. Callie said she would come the next day. When Marie got there and a day passed and Callie wasn't seen on the train (typical crappy trains), Marie got worried again. Even worse, the Great Zapfish disappeared once more. Marie convinced herself that Callie's disappearance was related to the Great Zapfish's disappearance (it's unclear on what basis), and set out to find herself a hero to rescue the Great Zapfish, but more importantly, investigate Callie's disappearance.

That brings us right to Octo Canyon, or Splatoon 2's story mode. It turns out that Callie's disappearance (and the Great Zapfish's) actually WAS due to the Octarians, and DJ Octavio basically brainwashing her with a pair of hypnoshades. This got Callie under Octarian control, resulting in her contributing to Turquoise October (an Octarian band)'s songs.


After leading Agent 4 through the Octo Cannon, Marie and Agent 4 cornered DJ Octavio and Callie in some kind of shiny light-filled stadium. They teamed up against Agent 4, until Marie sniped the hypnoshades off of Callie with her Charger. (Her favourite weapon was always the Charger...)

Marie Splatoon Chargers are the very best Moray Towers stage news favorite weapon
Marie is a Charger girl, established in the first Splatoon.

Splatoon 2 Hero Mode Octo Canyon Marie Splat Charger low-tide ink cutscene
Marie using her Charger loaded with low-tide ink to snipe the hypnoshades off Callie's face.

In the end, we never find out if Callie acting distant from Marie pre-hypnoshades was just Marie's own insecurities, or if Callie really was genuinely upset about being legally declared inferior to Marie. After all, Callie HAD won more Splatfests than Marie did, but since she happened to lose the last one, that was the only one seen as mattering. That's not fair at all.

That also makes it less meritorious that the final Splatfest determined what happened next, but like America's current immigration system, not everything is based on logic or merit. In the world of Splatoon, it matters not who the best Squid Sister actually is, but the Squid Kids’ perception of who the best is. When you let rascal teenagers decide society, it's bad news.

I was going to take a step back and make statements regarding the Splatfest determining the sequel's story from an out-of-universe perspective, but “When you let rascal teenagers decide society, it's bad news.” would apply just-as-equally, would it not?

Let's think what would happen if Callie had won the final Splatfest, and Callie and Marie would swap places in Splatoon 2's story. I SUPPOSE the only different thing if Marie and Callie were swapped is that Callie wouldn't use a Charger in that final cutscene.

Splatoon 2 Marie Agent 4 is pretty adorable thoughts
...And I'd actually blush if Callie said this.

Otherwise, you could swap the character models out and change the dialogue slightly, and it would still make sense. After all, you can do anything to a character's personality if you can explain it away with hypnoshades.

For an example of scenario planning, take a look at how Seinfeld planned out two different scenarios depending on the real-life event of who would become (or remain) the next mayor of New York City: Rudy Giuliani or incumbent David Dinkins.


I'm sure that, given the mere one-year gap between the final Splatfest and the release of Splatoon 2, that the developers were already working on Splatoon 2's story mode while Splatoon was having its final Splatfest, and they had this scenario analysis planned out.

Regardless of how it was planned, the fact that Splatoon 2 has continuity in its lore to begin with and that it is player-driven is a fantastic touch appreciated by the franchise's fans. The attention to, promotion of, and circumstances surrounding the lore make Splatoon a series I want to keep supporting time and time again. It makes the Splatfests and other game events feel like they have real, permanent world-changing meaning, which is atypical for the game's competitive genre and really makes Splatoon special for players to enjoy. Think about it this way: there was a lore-based connection between multiplayer and single-player experiences that games like this would rather, and wrongly so, keep completely segregated.


Feel free to hit Ludwig up for a friend request on the Nintendo Switch and play Splatoon 2 with him on the weekends. He's usually too busy to play on weekdays, unless someone else writes KoopaTV's daily article for him. If you want to do that, go ahead and check out how to write Guest Posts. He'll play with you if you write something publishable. Otherwise, weekends.

11 comments :

  1. I suppose a Pearl vs Marina Splatfest would drastically change the storyline of the next game given one is an Inkling and the other is an Octoling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For whatever reason, I don't think we'll get a sequel to Splatoon 2. Maybe a fork.

      I mean, for all we know, they'll just port Splatoon 2 to the Nintendo Switch U.

      Delete
  2. It was about time you wrote about this! Also don't even bother adding Luddy on the switch! He won't play with you! Also, the videos presence in this article is quite disturbing, it's preventing me from enjoying this article.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What? I play with YOU regularly! I play with you more than I play with anyone else, in fact. <_<

      Delete
    2. Oh yeah, just a friendly reminder that we're playing Salmon Run later. (;

      Delete
  3. Contrary to what ShinyGirafarig said, I'm more inclined to think that the final Splatfest of Splatoon 2 would be the Off the Hook team against the Squid Sisters.

    Out of curiosuty, did you enjoy the Final Boss music?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also, speaking of continuities, there are no Sunken Scrolls on weapon blueprints. Agent 3 found all of them and gave it to Sheldon, which he gives out for data purposes during the story.

      Basically, it's yet another attention to detail.

      Delete
    2. So where did the Brella come from, then? But yeah, otherwise good point!

      I... might've gotten a little emotional at the final part of the final boss, music-wise. I liked the first half of it too.

      Delete
    3. amiibo™? Or alternatively, Sheldon may have done reverse-engineering.

      I don't know why, but I felt more emotional towards these games than a Pixar movie (even Coco, my favorite so far). I talked with a friend, and we both agreed that the music was the best part, but of course, what more could one expect from the Squid Sisters?

      Delete
    4. Or maybe Marie built the Brella herself somehow.

      Right, being pop artists, you'd expect music to play a big role in anything they do!


      As for the final Splatfest being Off the Hook vs. the Squid Sisters... would that mean that either Pearl or Marina would have to side against themselves? Or would you have four people on the newscast at once?!

      Delete

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