Splatoon has been a big hit since its initial reveal and has been going strong since its release over two years ago. While the multiplayer aspect of Splatoon is what draws in most players, there are quite a few who have enjoyed the single player portion so much they’ve found themselves wanting more. Not just more game to play, but more story on the lore behind this unique deep-sea anthropomorphic world. What better way would there be to dive into the lore of Splatoon than with some sort of RPG spin-off?
The world of Splatoon is one that is still shrouded in quite a bit of mystery, and while the single-player offers small tid-bits on characters it isn’t as expansive as many players would like. Take the new center stage Octoling Marina, for example. Her inclusion was a surprise to many as she remains the only Octoling that we know of who isn’t fighting alongside the other Octarians. The reasoning behind this, however, hasn’t been revealed and she instead remains fairly mysterious. While a Splatoon RPG wouldn’t have to exclusively have to be about characters players know in the main series, this is easily something that could be touched on in a full blown RPG experience. Not only that, but it would give players a chance to explore outside the entirety of Inkopolis while also traveling away from it to discover secrets of the world and how it came to be.
RPG titles are traditionally story-driven, but in Splatoon’s case it would likely incorporate a unique combat using the many different weapon types. While the main characters would likely be Inklings, they could have some of the other undersea characters as additional party members to create a more varied party. In Splatoon fashion, the characters could even be customizable in appearance to let players add their own personality to each one. The characters could take on weapons appropriate to certain classes, or even have the option to mix and match, with sub-weapons being power ups used in battle. The use of gun-like weapons isn’t completely unheard of in an RPG, but it is less common in more fantasy settings, so Splatoon could take advantage of its large arsenal to really create some unique mechanics.
Players know Splatoon mostly for the multiplayer and that could be incorporated into a RPG spin-off as well. There could be a way for parties to work together in order to get through a challenging dungeon, having to solve puzzles together or apart in order to progress and team up in order to fight a boss at the end. If working together feels too friendly, there could also be a mini-game mode where players compete for fun and maybe earn some bonus items for playing together. Mini-games could be a simplified version of turf wars or maybe even something a bit more in line with Mario Party but with a fun Splatoon twist to it. There was also a 2D sprite mini-game shown off in some of the original Splatoon footage that never made it to the final game, something that could easily come back in a spin-off.
One of the biggest part of RPG titles is puzzle solving inside dungeons or even in the overworld areas. While some of them do go light on the puzzles, Splatoon could make use of the unique abilities of the Inklings in fun and creative challenges. Traversing terrain in the Inkling’s squid form or incorporating certain ink colors that needed to be found while exploring would make for simple but unique puzzles that could even be altered to be easier or harder to make it more accessible for younger players. Other non-Inkling party members could also have unique abilities that could be used in order to access certain areas, such as using the idea that Inklings can’t swim in certain water so perhaps their jellyfish comrade has to go and explore underwater alone in order to make it to the next area.
While an RPG would make for a unique experience for Splatoon, there’s a lot of different directions a potential spin-off could go. Nintendo has made an enjoyable series that lead to an equally successful sequel, but Splatoon has a lot of potential if they want to offer even more while reaching other audiences that aren’t necessarily interested in the more competitive nature of the main titles. Splatoon would not only make for a fun, likely light-hearted RPG experience that would be appropriate for all ages, but also give even more to the world that Nintendo has put so much work into. As the Splatoon series continues, hopefully we get to see some more creative side stories or adventures for the Inklings and others to go through that adds even more to the pure simple fun the series has brought.