Whatever happens in Splatoon 2’s story, it’ll be a product of the game’s community.
Nintendo recently added a new section to the upcoming sequel’s website, called “Squid Sisters Stories.” That’s a reference to Marie and Callie, the pop idol duo at the center of Splatoon’s in-game “Splatfest” events.
Before we get to the site update and how the original game will influence the sequel, it’s important to understand what Splatfests are.
Splatoon is a competitive multiplayer game, and Splatfests were limited time events in which players chose between two sides. It was always something simple: Cats vs. Dogs, Art vs. Science, Messy vs. Tidy.
The labels ultimately didn’t matter inside the game, beyond giving the community competing banners to unite under. At the end of each Splatfest, each team earned a score based on a combination of overall popularity (i.e. how many players flocked to each banner) and win percentage, with the higher score nabbing a win.
In every Splatfest, Marie and Callie split up to represent each team. But for the final Splatfest, the Squid Sisters were the banners players flocked to: it was Marie vs. Callie. The event ended on July 22, 2016 and Marie was crowned the winner.
That was the end. Or so it seemed.
Now, the newly updated Splatoon 2 website features an all-text “Prologue” that directly references the result of that final Marie vs. Callie Splatfest. Here’s the relevant bit:
The showdown of Callie versus Marie ended in victory for Marie, but there was no ill will between the two. The girls left the studio arm in arm, smiling and laughing as they always had. The bond between them would continue, unbroken, for years to come.
There’s one more line after that: “Or so it seemed at the time….”
This prologue is obviously setting up the story in Splatoon 2. What’s surprising is the way the final Splatfest, a real-life event, is woven into the fictional story. I can’t think of any other case where a game featuring live elements used the results of an in-game event to influence the continuing story.
To see this coming from Nintendo, a company that has traditionally been slower to embrace industry trends — in this case, live games — is even more surprising. There’s plenty more to be revealed about Splatoon 2, but this very cool twist should go a long way toward keeping fans of the first game invested in the sequel.