People who want to know more about entries in the Splatoon series always have to work for it. Information isn’t given freely. You have to hunt for it. The world’s history and character details are stowed away in the story mode, hidden away in collectible Sunken Scrolls. In Splatoon 2, it feels like things are even better defined. Since the game doesn’t have to provide the history behind the inklings, octarians, and Turf Wars, it is free to focus more on characters and what has happened between the two games. It successfully pulls people in.
Editor’s Note: There are spoilers for Splatoon 2’s Sunken Scrolls and story mode below.
The Sunken Scrolls serve a slightly different purpose in Splatoon 2. In the original game, they told us about the world and its history. They were a source of lore. Each one built up the world and the basis for the fights within it. While a few of the Splatoon 2 scrolls provide information about how things work in this world, much of it is designed to help bridge the gap between the two games. It helps us learn more about every character.
Let’s consider the first Sunken Scroll entry. It focuses on Pearl, one of the members of Off the Hook, the idols that introduce the maps and perform at Splatfests in Splatoon 2. It shows a young Pearl at a Youth Folk-Singing Contest, suggesting she caused a shock wave with her singing that destroyed equipment. It suggests she is a rapper, rather than a singer, because her voice is so destructive. It’s a good way to kick off this series of collectibles, as it both introduces one of the new heroines and shows they will be used to cover what’s happened between games, as well as bring up details about characters.
Naturally, the next entry is about Marina. However, it is more subtle. The Sunken Scroll itself is about the concert at the end of Splatoon. We see the Squid Sisters performed with DJ Octavio. It was apparently a life changing experience, and Marina was one of the Octolings whose lives was altered. She appears very prominently in the crowd. We can take this installment to mean the performance two years ago helped her decide to become a singer, just as Pearl’s experience two years ago convinced her to rap, rather than sing. At the same time, this entry foreshadows future events. The Splatoon 2 boss is DJ Octavio performing with Callie. In each case, a concert closes things out.
Other characters are developed via the Sunken Scrolls. We find out about Sheldon’s shop moving to Inkopolis. We learn that Crusty Sean is entering the food business by buying a food truck. Judd’s is especially interesting. We know he survived due to what was essentially a science experiment. But how does that explain Li’l Judd? Even Pearl and Marina speculate on his nature, with Marina offering a head-canon of him being a time-traveling Judd. The truth is in the Sunken Scrolls. The scientist considered Judd may wake up and be lonely, and offered a function that would allow him to create a companion.
Even more minor characters are discussed. We learn about the new Wet Floor album in the Sunken Scrolls. They’re one of the “groups” behind the Splatoon 2 soundtrack. We see Spyke is trying to sell people on a get rich quick scheme. Flow is shown in an advertisement for Inkopolis Square.
Marie becomes a more fleshed out heroine in Splatoon 2. Some of this is due to the Sunken Scrolls. We learn she is host of a show called “Problem Solved: Studying with Marie!” But it is also due to her roll in levels. We were used to her practicality and dry wit in Splatoon. We saw it in clips, whenever Callie and Marie would discuss stages and Splatfest. But here in the campaign, we hear from Marie on every stage. We see her seem someone exasperated when we dawdle and search for every secret. She is impressed when we get through stages clearly. We see she is clearly intelligent, thinking up puns on the fly during stages and boss fights. Marie is shown to be a very competent and intelligent character, picking up on details like boss fight areas having a woman’s touch, recognizing the character who talks to us between areas, and coming in to save the day at the end. She’s more human here than she was in the previous game. There, she was above us. Here, she is on our level.
Likewise, we get to see a bit more about Callie. Part of it comes from the Sunken Scrolls again. We see that she’s going through a lot as an actress. Her scroll says she was filming a drama in New Sardine, and seemed stressed when confronted by fans. It helps explain why she may have been susceptible to being captured by Octarians in Splatoon 2’s campaign. Once we do start hearing from her in the campaign, we see that she is more straightforward than Callie. Her tone is more casual, evidenced by another Sunken Scroll showing a post for her fans on her blog. She can’t disguise that she is the one behind the post-boss calls for long. In the final boss fight, where DJ Octavio is in the Octobot King and they perform “Bomb Rush Blush,” she’s clearly talented. But more of her personality is shown when revisiting that boss fight. The ending dialogue changes. When we return, we see Callie is brainwashed again. Marie says, “Why are you here, Callie?! WE ALREADY RESCUED YOU.” It turns out she put the brainwashing sunglasses back on again, all because they looked good on her. We see that she may be vain and fashion obsessed than Marie, to the point where she’ll willingly return to the same, dangerous situation for the sake of looking good.
The Sunken Scrolls and story both even hint at the future. In the campaign, Marie says Captain Cuttlefish and Agent 3, our character in the previous game, are out on a mission. The Sunken Scrolls has a letter from the Captain to his granddaughters. Here, we get more details. Apparently, he is on a research trip. It’s at the cape, where ever that may be. Perhaps it is even hint at a future adventure or experience.
Just like Splatoon, Splatoon 2 is a game with hidden depths. It is only when people take the time to fully explore the campaign that they get answers to many questions they might not even have. The Sunken Scrolls are enlightening, offering all kinds of details about different characters. Even when they’re subtle, they infer so much. The campaign itself gives us chances to learn more about the Squid Sisters and those close to them. Every bit helps flesh out the world and show how much can happen in two years.
Splatoon 2 is available for the Nintendo Switch.