NILS Statue

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The NILS Statue rising from the ocean.
That form... But they were said to have been destroyed so long ago. It's... HUMAN!
— Cap'n Cuttlefish in Octo Expansion

The NILS Statue is the center of Kamabo Co.'s facilities.[1] It has a distinctly human form, despite humanity having been wiped out thousands of years before the events of the Splatoon series take place.

During Octo Expansion's finale, Commander Tartar, an AI created 12,000 years ago by a human professor, attempts to use the statue as a weapon to destroy Inkopolis, Inkling civilization, and life across the world.


The NILS Statue is a massive off-white sculpture in the shape of a human man's bust that strongly resembles ancient Greek sculptures. The statue has a massive cannon containing sanitizing ink protruding from its mouth. The statue's face has two different Kamabo Co. insignia on each of its cheeks and another on its shoulder. The statue has stylized short curly hair, and one of its eyes has been hollowed out, wherein Tartar can be seen. The statue is surrounded by miscellaneous scaffolding, giving it the appearance of an incomplete construction site, or that of an in-progress archaeological dig site similar to how real-life ancient Greek sculptures are retrieved. Electronic panels and warning tape are present in many parts of the statue.

The cannon in the statue's mouth spins as the statue charges. Its structure includes several blenders that resemble the one created by the thangs that Agent 8 and Cap'n Cuttlefish stepped inside.


Octo Expansion

The Escape missions Agent 8 must clear to escape the Deepsea Metro take place inside the NILS Statue.[1] Each phase of the Escape sequence is named after organs or biological functions found in the human torso, foreshadowing the NILS statue's human appearance.

The exterior of the NILS Statue is the location of Turf War, the final mission of Octo Expansion. It is revealed via emerging from within the ocean shortly after Agent 8's successful escape from the Kamabo Co. facilities. Commander Tartar is revealed to be within it.

During the mission, Agent 8 must completely cover the statue in ink using Marina's hyperbombs to prevent it from charging a large cannon in its mouth. When they succeed, the cannon fires anyway, but Pearl uses the Princess Cannon to intercept its beam and destroy the statue, sinking it. If Agent 8 fails to ink the entire surface or falls into the ocean at any time during the mission, the NILS Statue destroys Inkopolis and players are given the choice to try again or skip the mission.

Shifty Station

The partially sunken NILS Statue appears in the background of MC.Princess Diaries, the final Shifty Station used for Chaos vs. Order. Here, it is revealed that various jellyfish are studying it and its destroyed cannon.

Dear Pearl, a humorously fictionalized autobiographical manga written and illustrated by Marina, depicts her accidentally knocking the statue over and into the ocean while constructing MC.Princess Diaries, which offers a possible explanation for its topple. The accuracy of the events depicted in the manga is unknown, as the statue is already sunken during the credits of Octo Expansion.

Splatoon 3

A destroyed NILS Statue can be seen from Hammerhead Bridge, still partially submerged; however, the researching jellyfish who once were there are now gone.



  • The statue may have been included as an element of vaporwave, an aesthetic Octo Expansion makes heavy usage of.
  • With its extremely large size and location off the coast of a major city, the NILS statue may be a reference to the Statue of Liberty, despite having different facial features and seemingly being made of marble rather than copper.
    • If this is the case, the NILS statue parallels the use of the Statue of Liberty as a representation of a past human civilization seen in the film Planet of the Apes.
  • The NILS statue bears a striking resemblance to depictions of the ancient Greek gods Hermes and Helios.
    • The latter god, Helios, was considered the god of the sun, and shares several symbolic elements with the statue:
      • The statue absorbs sunlight, an element strongly associated with Helios.
      • The Colossus at Rhodes, which the Statue of Liberty is based on, was a depiction of Helios.
      • The cover of the album Floral Shoppe, an album considered one of the first examples of the vaporwave genre and aesthetic, features the bust of Helios.
  • If one looks through the glass on the base of the weapon, an Octoball can be seen floating around inside. They can also be seen flying out of the Statue once the Princess Cannon strikes it.
  • It is unclear what "NILS" means or refers to.
    • The most likely origin for the name is that "NILS" is a transliteration of the statue's Japanese name, "ネルス像", or Nerusu-zō. The "Neru" in the Japanese name of the statue refers to the Japanese name for Kamabo Co., but the statue's name was more directly transliterated rather than localized to match the company name. A similar situation of "Neru" being transliterated instead of localized into "Kamabo" is present with the Null Armor Replica and its related items.
    • The term "nil" means zero. This is likely a reference to Tartar's goal to destroy all life.
    • As an acronym, "NILS" may be a reference to the National Institute for Longevity Sciences, a real-life institute in Japan that has since been closed down and superseded by the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology.
  • There are 8 helicopters hovering around the statue, referencing the number 8 and its association with octopuses and Agent 8.
  • An unused gear item exists in the files of Splatoon 2 that appears to be modeled after the NILS statue. The data that once existed for it implies that it was at one point intended to be an unlockable reward in Octo Expansion in some way.[2]
  • Boat tours are available.[3]

Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese ネルス像
Nels Statue, where Neru is Kamabo Co.'s Japanese name, which can mean "練る" (knead / working into paste).
Netherlands Dutch NELS-beeld NELS statue
Canada French (NOA) Statue Patapoulpe Kamabo statue
France French (NOE) Colosse Patapoulpe Kamabo colossus
Germany German Kamabo-Koloss Kamabo colossus
Italy Italian Impastatua From impasto, "paste" and statua, "statue"
Russia Russian Пастарес
From паста pasta ("paste") and Арес Ares ("Ares", the Greek god of war).
SpainMexico Spanish Efigie pastificadora Paste-ifying effigy