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The E3 Demo was a demo of Splatoon featured at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2014 from 10 June 2014 to 12 June 2014. It was the first publicly playable version of Splatoon, and only featured one stage and three weapons.
The E3 Demo allowed for eight players to play a test round similar to the current tutorial (but taking place in Urchin Underpass) and two rounds of Turf War in a local LAN connection. One large monitor was featured in the center of the playing area, and seven other, smaller player monitors were present on either side. A monitor displaying the Wii U GamePad map was also present.
Each player was assigned a generic character and name, ranging from "Player 1" to "Player 8." Players 1 through 4 were always on a team, and players 5 through 8 were similarly grouped on the opposing team. Each player began as an Inkling wearing various articles of gear with no apparent abilities. They participated in a brief mode similar to the current tutorial which instructed them to locate and pop balloons on a pre-release version of Urchin Underpass. Once all players had completed the necessary tutorial components, a ten-second countdown began. Upon the countdown's completion, a black screen with text displaying "Round 1" would be displayed, followed by the traditional Turf War introduction showing each team spawning.
From this point, the round progressed as a typical match of Turf War, albeit with only the Splattershot (then called the "Ink Shot"), Splat Bomb (then called the "Splatter Bomb"), and Inkzooka (displayed as "Super Weapon") available as playable weapons, and the only stage being the pre-release version of Urchin Underpass. When the first round completed, Judd would determine the winning team and a player ranking screen would be shown. This ranking screen would list all eight players from the most turf inked to the least, and display their ordinal rank in the top left corner over a splat of their team's ink. Their total Battle Points were given next to their rank, and an animation of their Inkling looking around was displayed below.
Upon completion of the first round, another black screen would appear, this time displaying text that read "Round 2" and underneath it, "(final)." This round operated identically to the first, showing a similar ranking screen upon its completion.
- Main article: Urchin Underpass/Development
The pre-release version of Urchin Underpass was the only stage available. It was slightly different from the version included upon Splatoon's release, with different grated areas, two water towers, and two wooden planks for vertical travel.
Players were limited to the Splattershot as a Main Weapon, the Splat Bomb as a Sub Weapon, and the Inkzooka as a Special Weapon. However, these weapons were given different names, with the Splattershot being called the "Ink Shot," the Splat Bomb being called the "Splatter Bomb," and the Inkzooka simply being referred to as "Super Weapon." The Splattershot and Inkzooka each had slightly different appearances to their current versions, but had largely similar performance.
When an Inkling was splatted, the ghost that would appear out of their ink was elongated and thin. The player who splatted this Inkling would receive a notification that read "Player splattered!" rather than "splatted," as in the current game. Points were also awarded for splatting opponents as shown by a small icon; this icon now only shows a darkened icon of a squid with Xs as eyes.
The rankings screen was also vastly different, showing players' rankings among all eight players and their ordinal rank, such as 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. The winning team was also awarded no bonus, compared to the 300 Battle Points bonus for Turf War matches and 500 for Ranked Battle.
The Splatoon E3 Demo was met with overwhelmingly positive reception. It received praise for being the first major intellectual property from Nintendo in ten years, and many commended it for being a kid-friendly, Nintendo take on a third-person shooter.
A notification that reads "Splattered by Super Weapon!" This weapon is now known as the Inkzooka.