Splatoon isn’t a game about painting. Splatoon is a game about being fresh and the depraved depths you’ll sink to in order to stay the freshest Inkling in Inkopolis. This is my story and more importantly my plea for help.
When I first arrived in Inkopolis, all the new sights and sounds instantly captivated me. Everything hit me all at once, the tall towers, the big screens, the expensive looking stores, the sheer amount of inklings loitering in the city streets. Everyone thing and everyone one looked so cool, so fresh. The inkling standing right next to me was wearing a vintage basketball jersey, big over-the-ear headphones, and neon colored trainers. And here I stood wearing a generic white tee and headband. What a loser, who even wears headbands anymore. I was definitely overwhelmed, just another small squid in a big city. I thought about turning back, going home, but then I heard it. The Squid Sisters appeared on the big screen and begun speaking. It was like they were talking directly to me. They began briefing me on the paint battles that took place in Inkopolis Tower. This was it; I saw my chance, my chance to belong. If I got good enough at these paint battles maybe inklings would like me, maybe inklings would respect me, and most importantly maybe the other inklings would think I was fresh too. So I headed off to the Inkopolis Tower with an ember burning in my stomach.
After a few awkward but progressively better paint battles, I was hooked. The adrenaline I felt as I squeezed the trigger of my Splattershot Jr, the exhilaration of my body gliding through fresh paint, the elation of having a team and purpose. It felt good to win. I now knew that Splatoon was what I was made for. Splatoon was my calling. To my surprise I received a few coins after each battle. I didn’t know from whom the mysterious coins came from but I gladly accepted them. It was nice to have some spending cash to support myself in this new big city. The coins were an outstretched tentacle to all the inklings back home that said I wouldn’t make it.
After spending my coins on necessities, I had a good amount left over. I decided to go into one of those fancy, hip stores that I walked passed each day on my way to the tower. My shoes were beginning to look a little worse for wear, a result of all the turf battles I had been through recently. I walked into Shrimp Kicks, a local shoe store run by the hippest shrimp in town, Crusty Sean. As soon as I walked in, I could feel I wasn’t welcome. Crusty kept the two eyes he hid under his purple beanie sharply on my back. I finally found some slightly out of my budget red hi-tops and walked timidly to the counter. Before I could even pull out my coins to pay, Crusty told me that he would not be selling me those red hi-tops today, or any other shoes for that matter. Apparently my rep was too low in the town, apparently I wasn’t cool enough, and I definitely wasn’t fresh. If he were to sell me those red shoes then his shop would be just as uncool as me. Shocked and dismayed, I left the store without a word or those beautiful red shoes. I decided to take my business elsewhere but things stayed the same. I thought it would be just that one rude shrimp but all the other shop owners treated me with the same disdain. Annie from Cooler Heads, Jelonzo from Jelly Fresh, nobody would take my money.
Apparently, my money was no good in their stores. I’d show them. I ran back to the tower with reignited purpose. I spent the next few days splattering my enemies, instilling fear in other inkling; improving my rank in the town. I went back into that shrimp’s store, things were different this time, he showed me the respect I deserved the first time. He said I could buy anything in the store, so I bought every shoe he had in stock. I made sure he would never disrespect me again respect.
Months passed, daily I found myself buying out the stock of every store in town but I didn’t feel any fresher. Sure people respected me, but they never thought I was fresh. How could an outsider like me be fresh? My desire to be fresh took me lower and lower. I tried to use turf battles to keep my mind occupied, I painted buildings, skate parks, concrete, steel, wood, it didn’t matter. I splattered inkling with big guns, small guns, fast guns, long guns and it didn’t matter. I couldn’t shake the feeling. I would never be fresh.
One day, when I came out of the paint for air, I saw him. It was the same basketball jersey weaning inkling I saw on my first day in Inkopolis. My tentacles filled with rage. There he was still wearing that same cheap jersey, those same dumb headphones, and those obnoxious neon shoes. No matter what he wore, he was fresh. He would always be fresher than me.
I’d had enough. If he could be fresh and I couldn’t then he, an inkling who wore the same outfit everyday, shouldn’t be allowed to wear clothes again.
I ventured into that alley that I told my self I would never go down again. Once, during my first few days in town, I had found myself lost in creepy alley next to the Battle Dojo. I was just trying to find something to drink, instead I found him. I found Spyke. Spyke told me he could get the gear that any inkling in town wore. He didn’t tell me how he did only that it would take a 24 hours. He then asked me if I was a cop, I got scared and swam away. Would he remember me in my new clothes?, Would he recognize me in my better gear? Would he help? I’d soon find out.
I arrived in the alley. There he sat, in the same place I’d had seen him before.
He looked at me and laughed.
“You again, you look different” he snickered.
“Is there something I can help you with snitch?” he asked in disgust.
I told him that I wanted him to steal every single piece of gear from the basketball jersey wearing inkling in town.
“So you finally decided to bring yourself to my level”
“I’ll pay whatever it takes”, I quickly shouted.
“I know you will”
“See you tomorrow”, Spyke said before disappearing in the darkness.
I instantly swam home and laid in bed. My mind raced. What am I doing? What would my family think? I was raised better than this. I’m acting no better than those stinking Octarains.
What would papa ink say if he saw me like this?
I had to block out all those thoughts.
I had to keep lying to myself. Convincing myself that what I was doing was important, or was it nothing more than an unachievable quest to be fresh. A little paint never hurt anybody, I told myself. A little, okay a lot of property destruction is okay, right? Everybody is doing it right? Everyone has the right to be fresh. What’s wrong with trying to be fresh?
I’ve become so obsessed with being the freshet; I have resorted to paying a sketchy, probably dangerous, alley living, dealer to steal clothes from an innocent inkling. It is one thing to battle in the tower but to bring that battle to the streets. What is wrong with me? I’ve become an addict.
My once bright and colorful dreams have become Andy Warholesque nightmares. The faces and screams of all the inklings I’ve splattered, all for the sake of freshness, have begun to mix together like pastels left in the blazing sun.
I wish I could stop, I wish I could leave this acid trip of a city behind, but I can’t. The hunger persists, so I battle on. Buying better weapons to splat more inkling more effectively, gathering more coins to buy fresher clothes. My life has become a never-ending cycle that I can’t seem to swim away from. Its true, I’d rather be a monster than a unfresh inkling.
Splatoon is no longer fun, Splatoon is no longer a game, Splatoon is my sad life.