Foundation and purpose
Kamabo Co. was founded by Commander Tartar an unspecified amount of time before Octo Expansion's events to assist Tartar with creating "supreme DNA", the primary tool with which it planned to create a new lifeform after eradicating Inkling society. Candidates eligible for improving the DNA are recruited willingly to prove their capabilities via a series of tests under the pretense of Kamabo Co. rewarding them with access to the "promised land" at the testing's conclusion. The testing concludes with the test subject being blended by the thangs to extract their DNA, which is then eventually added to the "supreme DNA".
The center of Kamabo Co.'s operations is the NILS Statue. Kamabo Co. operates and oversees a massive network of underground test facilities called stations interconnected via a subway system called the Deepsea Metro; the corporation owns the facilities and subway system alike. The metro trains are conducted by a large amount of identical, diligent beings each called C.Q. Cumber, which were created by the corporation for this purpose. These conductors also help manage testing, as they are in charge of giving test subjects advice for each test, as well as activating the bombs strapped to each subject should they fail.
Test subjects are tasked with retrieving the components to a machine with which they will be killed, which can only be reached via successfully passing more and more tests. Subjects are rewarded with Mem cakes as they clear tests, which were created via compressing the test subject's memories.
Apart from testing subjects for their eligibility in improving Tartar's "supreme DNA", Kamabo Co. also brainwashes Octarians in a process known as sanitization within its facilities. These sanitized Octarians are then placed within individual tests to function as opponents against test subjects.
Kamabo Co. keeps a friendly, currently-relevant exterior to hide its shady inner workings and true purpose; Commander Tartar, recruiting subjects through the telephone, feigns enthusiasm and guidance through its "contemporary speech mode", while the underground tests have humorous, pop culture-related titles. The stations themselves are heavily decorated with retro, vaporwave aesthetic designs.
By the time of Agent 8's arrival at the facility, exactly 10,007 other subjects had entered Kamabo Co.'s testing program, but the percentage of test subjects that were subsequently killed and added to the DNA formula is unknown. Iso Padre, a passenger of the Deepsea Metro that Agent 8 meets, mentions being a former test subject; his survival suggests the existence of an option to opt out of the testing program, though this process seems to have led to him becoming trapped in the subway network.
Agent 8, a trainee member of the Octarian army, was brought to the facility alongside Cap'n Cuttlefish and Agent 3, the latter of which they had been in the middle of battling somewhere in Octo Valley. After being attacked by an unknown third party, Agent 8 joined the test program, boarding the Deepsea Metro alongside Cap'n Cuttlefish, having lost their memories in the attack's aftermath. Clearing through the testing program with the aid of the pop star duo Off the Hook, Agent 8 recovered their memories. Unlike other subjects that successfully collected all Thangs, Agent 8 evaded being killed after their testing period with the help of Agent 3, entering the facility's obscured inner workings in the process. Upon exiting the facility, Commander Tartar revealed itself, the NILS Statue, and its plan to eradicate all life. In the mode's finale, Agent 8 destroyed Tartar as well as the NILS Statue with Off the Hook's help, leaving the company in disarray.
Despite losing its leader and central facility, Kamabo Co. appears to not have shut down. The Deepsea Metro continues its operation after the events of Octo Expansion.
The company's logo is made of two wave shapes that together resemble feces or dollops of paste, symbolizing a "processed" nature. A variant of the logo places the wave shapes within an eye shape.
The "main" logo appears frequently throughout the facilities featured in Octo Expansion, where it can be found in loading screens, challenge selection, and on various items, such as CQ Cards and C.Q. Cumber's hat. The logo is also seen on the Rainmaker and the Tower in tests in place of the regular Ranked Battle logo, or if the player fails to defeat the final mission, where it is visible on a monitor in Inkopolis Square. Additionally, there are two Kamabo Co. posters near the entrance to the subway in Inkopolis Square, first appearing in Version 3.1.0 alongside the release of the Octo Expansion.
The "eye" logo sometimes features text at the bottom that seems to spell "No 10008-85", where the "No 10008" part is identical to the text that appears when Agent 8, also known as test subject number 10,008, clears a station. 85 can be read as "hachigō" in Japanese, which is phonetically similar to Agent 8's name in the Japanese version.
A variant of the Kamabo Co. logo with text at the bottom
Another variant featuring the eye shape as seen on many of the posters
A horizontal variant that is primarily seen on the NILS Statue
A simplified version of the logo
A Kamabo Co. poster that can be seen throughout the facility
A less common variant of the poster
A poster showcasing an early logo, which is slightly more exaggerated and features a third wave at its top
The Kamabo Co. logo, seen on the floor of a station
The final frame of the video in the Belly Phase containing the Kamabo Co. eye logo
Stickers that represent Kamabo Co. which are found throughout Octo Expansion.
- Kamabo Co. parallels Grizzco Industries in many ways, as it is also an unethical, shady company founded by someone seeking to destroy all life to make way for their supreme" life-forms.
- Interestingly, both Commander Tartar and Mr. Grizz ask if the player character is "ready to join something bigger than [themself]", though this similarity is exclusive to certain localizations.
- Alongside C.Q. Cumber mentioning that Kamabo Co. was in disorder after Tartar's defeat, Cuttlefish also has two raps in the post-game that hint that Commander Tartar was the CEO of the company.
- One is "Kamabo Co. tried to mash us into paste, but Agent 3 showed up 'n' laid 'em to waste!", referring to the blender that was controlled by Tartar.
- The other is "Kamabo Co.'s CEO got legit smacked down!", referring to the battle on the NILS Statue.
- When the telephone reveals itself as Commander Tartar, the ink on it is shaped like the Kamabo Co. logo.
- In the Belly Phase, the boxes containing Sanitized Octarians have a monitor that displays what looks to be "1 + 1 =" followed by Kamabo Co.'s eye logo.
Names in other Languages
|Neru Corporation, where ネル can mean "練る" ("knead"/"working into a paste"). The same word can also mean "train"/"drill"/"exercise"/"practice," referring to the tests conducted by the company
|Komco comes from zeekomkommer ("Sea Cucumber"), with the -co suffix of a company name, and bv is short for "Besloten Vennootschap" ("private company")
|Pata is a combination of the words "pâte" ("paste") and "à" ("of"), and poulpe is the French word for octopus
|Kamabo & Co.
|Impas comes from Impastare ("Knead"), and -tec comes from "tech."
|Paste & Co.[a]
|From pasta (paste), with the -tec coming from "tech."
Yì shēng qǐyè
- From паштет pashtet ("paste") and и Ко. i Ko. ("& Co.")
- Fan translation of HaikaraWalker Pg. 179-193 by rassicas
- Concept art translated by rassicas
- Splatoon Base character profile
- C.Q. Cumber dialogue after clearing Fake Plastic Station.
C.Q. Cumber: Mem cakes are formed by compressing memories into physical form. They'll be awarded to you by Kamabo Co. to commemorate each test you pass.
- Telephone dialogue in Octo Expansion's intro.
Telephone: There have been 10,007 applicants so far, which makes you applicant 10,008.