A couple of weeks ago, Nintendo revealed the next Splatfest theme for Splatoon 2. While it was announced some time ago, KoopaTV has chosen to procrastinate on writing an article about it until the last week before the Splatfest occurs. There's a reason why, but let's reveal the theme before I explain everything:
|Which sea creature do you like more?|
Squid or octopus?
At first glance, someone unfamiliar with Splatoon 2 may see that theme and think, “Well, so what?” They're just asking about sea creatures. You know, like the kind that you can go to visit an aquarium to see.
But... this is actually much more dangerous than an innocuous inquiry about sea creatures. It's extremely dangerous, as Off the Hook's Marina points out immediately after Pearl reads the fax machine message identifying what the Splatfest theme is:
|“Uh... Pearl? Don't you think this theme is kinda...I don't know...DANGEROUS?”|
In fact, it's more dangerous to the social order of Inkopolis Square than, say, the effect on the USA's social order after President Donald John Trump doubted his intelligence reports about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. (Which was actually Koopa Kingdom's doing, not the Russian Federation's, thank-you-very-much.) This is because, as of a few weeks prior to this Splatfest, there have been a growing number of Octolings coming to Inkopolis Square — the apex of Inkling culture. Could Inklings and Octolings get along, despite their historical warring?
As you can see in the video, there's an Inkling going in and out of squid form, coupled with an Octoling going in and out of octopus form. They're both screaming BOOYAH! upon successful completion of a Salmon Run shift, as is customary in Salmon Run etiquette. Clearly, Inklings and Octolings can get along in harmony, and Octolings can very much be assimilated into Inkling culture.
|Even the older generation sees great potential in the Inklings and Octolings getting along.|
For definitive evidence that Squid vs. Octopus is a proxy for Inkling vs. Octoling, consider...
- The artwork behind Off the Hook's Pearl (Inkling) and Marina (Octoling) representing Team Squid and Team Octopus, respectively, are representations of an Inkling and an Octoling! Not of sea creatures!
- As a special rule for this Splatfest, Team Squid will be only composed of Inklings, and Team Octopus will only be composed of Octolings.
- The symbols behind the Inkling/Octoling artwork are similar symbols used to represent Inklings and Octolings in a Turf War in the user interface.
We have Octolings just recently integrating into Inkling society, and now all of a sudden, there is a Splatfest specifically designed to pit them against one another. Is this all in good spirit? No. Recall that, per Inkopolis law, the winner of a Splatfest is considered “legally better” than the loser. In other words, the two races are fighting for legally-recognised supremacy, in a zero-sum game where one party forever wins, and where one forever loses.
Just like the first Great Turf War. But now it's back. This Splatfest is a race war. Here is the very first thing that the Octoling named Agent 8 saw upon coming to the surface of Inkopolis Square, after this Splatfest was announced:
|The graffiti on the wall is partly illegible, but you can see it mentions something about enlisting in the race war.|
Let me make something very clear: KoopaTV is against race wars. We made an entire videogame about how race wars are bad. (It's called Trayvon Tyson's Punch-Out!!.) Race wars are senseless and stupid, based on something almost entirely immutable. (You don't WANT to go through the exception.) We think that the circumstances of one's birth are irrelevant.
The Inklings and Octolings are smart enough to know this. They don't want this war. They want peace. It's being forced on them by a nefarious, other force, similar to how the Reverend Al Sharpton is stoking the race war in Trayvon Tyson's Punch-Out!! for his own gains. Who is this force? I don't actually know. Is it the humans seeking to turn the remnants of the squids and octopi into Squid and Octopus sushi?
|Cap'n Cuttlefish's bridge of peace between Inklings and Octolings will be a bridge to nowhere because of this dangerous Splatfest.|
If KoopaTV were to take a side in this race war, we would be partly responsible for stoking it. That goes against our ethics and values, and our sense of corporate social responsibility.
On the other hand, it's also against KoopaTV ethos to not have an opinion on something.
Despite my stated fondness for the Octopus theme from the Game & Watch Gallery games, and the fact that I like Octillery more than Malamar, I personally am on Team Squid.
I guess I can't hide that I'm a conservative, and the Inklings winning the race war would result in the least amount of societal upheaval. I'm also pretty sure they're going to win. (Also, I'm sick of being on Marina's side.)
People who read my Splatfest articles know that I don't take factors like who is likely to win or the Off the Hook idol representing each team into account when I give an endorsement. I evaluate the teams based on how much I agree with their ideology.
In this case, for the first time in Splatfest history, the simple act of selecting a team — either team — will put me on the wrong side of history, but if I start boycotting Splatfests, that opens the floodgates for an “out” option for future Splatfests that I consider intellectual laziness. So, I won't do it.
But I won't tell YOU to go pick a side, either. I recommend you skip the Splatfest on the 21st of July at the end of this week. That goes for the whole world, since it's a global Splatfest.
We need a bridge of peace.
KoopaTV is traditionally not a peace-making organisation, so this is a rather uncomfortable role to play. That is why this article took some time. Ludwig prefers inconsequential stupid Splatfests (like the one listed below this footer) to Splatfests that can overturn the entire societal order like this one.
The previous Splatfest was inconsequential and about an inferior fruit juice.
This may be the most consequential Splatfest since Callie vs. Marie's.
And the winner of the race war is...
The next Splatfest is back on the silly side. Utensil battle!
Ludwig still believes that society is better off with Inklings and Octolings working together.