- This article is about the playable characters. For the non-playable enemy Octolings found in Hero Mode, see Octoling (enemy).
The player can switch between them and the Inklings in the Player Settings, however, the game will save both the player's Inkling and Octoling so they can play as Agent 4 or Agent 8 with the same features in their respective game mode.
The playable Octolings were once fighters in the Octarian military, brainwashed by the music of DJ Octavio, but when they heard the Calamari Inkantation, it nullified the brainwashing effect, freeing their souls from the oppresion. Many (but not all) of them escaped to Inkling society in Inkopolis afterwards, hoping to start anew. This happened during the "Enter the Octobot King!" mission of the first game.
Like Inklings, Octolings can switch between a humanoid form and an octopus form.
Their octopus form is widely different to the Octarian ones with two long tentacles that helps them move with a smaller one on top that resembles a mustache and four smaller ones on the underside along with a pair of eyes that are separated and resemble an Inkling squid's eyes. The suction cups are located on the underside of their tentacles (the white part), as opposed to their humanoid form having suckers on the colored side. The tip of their tentacles, as well as the head, have a ring pattern on them. They have a total of eight tentalces.
The humanoid form has black markings around their eyes with both genders having two sharp edges and a thicker underline, where the female Octoling has an added dash to their markings. Octolings don't have their markings connect over the middle, having it again seperated compared to Inklings. Their teeth are also different, having one sharp end tooth on their left side on the top, and another sharp tooth on the right side on the bottom. The ears are round and asymmetrical, with the right side being flat and the left side being indented, each respectively resembling the fin and siphon on an octopus. Similar to enemy Octolings, the end of their fingers are semi-sharp, but the playable Octolings don't have these ends being tinted in their ink color. Their eyebrows are also different from Inklings, with males having a half oval shape and females having a curved droplet shape.
Just like Inklings, Octolings are able to choose from a variety of skin tones, hairstyles, and eye colors. The choice of eye color and skin tone are identical to the Inklings. Both the male and female Octoling possess two differed choices in hairstyle. The female Octoling's first hairstyle will either have a hairstyle where she has two thinner tentacles in front reaching past their shoulders with thicker, shorter tentacles in the back both with curled tips. Her second features two tentacles tied back into a ponytail while the other two as sideburns. The male Octoling's first hairstyle features a mostly shaved style with a single tentacle acting as a mohawk with three smaller tentacles are lined up in the back of his head. His second hairstyle is an afro reminiscent of an Octopus's mantle, this hairstyle notably molds while wearing headgear.
Octo Expansion introduces the mysterious Octoling character Agent 8, and will allow players to use Octolings in multiplayer upon completing its story mode. The male version of Agent 8 is also the first appearance of a character which is clearly shown to be a male Octoling in-game. Their octopus form is more reminiscent of the squid form of Inklings with a key difference being that their eyes are separated instead of together.
When the player completes Octo Expansion, they will be able to change from being an Inkling to an Octoling in the player settings. Playable Octolings have different animations for trying on gear, winning or losing, and for taking photos with amiibo. Octolings also have unique hairstyle options as well. As of Version 3.1.0, the Octoling girl has the choice between a hairstyle featuring parted bangs with two long curlier tentacles in front, and one with a small tentacle on both sides of the face and two tentacles tied up into a ponytail. The Octoling boy has the choice between a shaved head with a single tentacle as a mohawk and three smaller ones down a column in the back, and another with a giant afro that resembles a real-life octopus' mantle that changes shape depending on headgear. The Squid Research Lab US Tumblr shows that Octolings are more serious than Inklings and have an interest in technology, e.g. instead of aiming with weapons, they will look more closely at them to see how they work; they'll wave around their phones and look at them more closely; and their icons in battles aren't seen smiling. Due to have been defecting from the Octarian army, their animations around the square make them look curious and almost confused around the place.
While both types of characters are called "Octolings" in English material about the expansion, the Japanese version makes a notable distinction between the player Octoling, called タコ(JP), "Octopus" and the enemy Octolings, called タコゾネス(JP), "Octopus-Amazon." The latter specifically refers to the older elite female unit that only a select few of the former can become.
- When an Octoling is splatted, they will fly off in the form of a small ghost, just like Inklings. They even have their own unique octopus ghost for this.
- This difference extends to other parts of the GUI, such as the weapon / status indicators, splat messages, splatted enemy markers, etc. having a small cartoon octopus instead of a squid.
- Octolings are prohibited from entering Octo Canyon. Instead, the game will automatically switch back to the previous Inkling used, customization options included, since that character would canonically be Agent 4. Similarly, vise versa will happen when entering Octo Expansion as an Inkling.
- Marina's ears are not often shown, presumably hidden underneath her headphones. However, her ears have been shown to exist throughout various artworks.
- In the art book, they were originally going to have Inkling masks and floppy ears like a dumbo octopus. The ideas were discarded except for the curly, above suckers hair and armor.
- However, the rounded ears may have been reintroduced in Agent 8's design and the design of the playable Octolings.
- Concept art of Salmon Run show both Inklings and Octolings fighting together against early versions of the Salmonids, suggesting that Octolings were planned to be playable from early on.
- The playable female Octoling model appears to not be as curvy as the hostile Octoling model.
- The playable Octolings reveal that there are male Octolings as well in the Octarian army.
- The playable Octolings use the pink ink now in the Player Settings and the Inklings use the green ink now instead of the Inkling boy being green and the Inkling girl being pink.
- After Octolings are unlocked, the Player Settings screen now has octopuses swimming up with the squids in the background.
- Octolings' smartphones are different than Inklings', and have a round shape, similar to an octopus's head.
- Octolings in the plaza have different movements than Inklings. Notably, the ones with phones show confusion when trying to use their phones and the Octoling Girl tends to demonstrate a shyer demeanor.
- Unlike Inklings, the Octolings' both genders have different animations in the Player Settings.
- In the Squid vs. Octopus Splatfest, players on Team Octopus will have their avatar switch to Octolings when inside battles, even if they don't have the Octo Expansion. In Inkopolis Square, the avatar remains unchanged. The reverse is true for Team Squid.
- As seen in the Squid vs. Octopus Splatfest, the Splatfest pictures stylize an Octoling's eyes as separated as opposed to Inklings' eyes being together conjoined.
- In a Splatoon 2 Anniversary Famitsu interview with the developers, it reveals more information about Octolings:
- Octolings were considered to be playable during the start of Splatoon 2's development, but they wanted an explanation as to why they're playable and to have the player empathize with them along with the new band, Off the Hook which led to Octo Expansion being made.
- The Octolings that aren't Agent 8 (the player) found other means and routes to get to Inkopolis similar to Marina.
- Due to the Inklings' easy-going and inattentive nature, they didn't notice the Octolings' arrival.
- They're slightly younger than the enemy Octolings and the explanation for no male enemy Octolings is due to only elite female ones are able to become the specific Octoling soldiers fought in the single-player campaigns.
- Splatoon 2's art director Seita Inoue wanted the afro to be the default hairstyle for the male Octoling. There even appeared to be concept art for the female one having an afro.
- The Octolings seem to take losing badly (in comparison to the Inklings), as shown in their winning/losing animations, with many of them falling on the ground in dissapointment, the boy shaking his fist, and the girl crossing her arms. Additionally, when they win, they tend to strike poses in comparison to the Inklings jumping for joy.
Promotional image of playable Octolings with Inklings in multiplayer.
Player Octolings wearing different gear
Player Octolings wielding various weapons
Playable female Octoling with an Octobrush
Playable male Octoling with a .52 Gal
The playable Octolings' octopus form. (link to file)
Promo video of the second boy hairstyle (link to file)
Promo video of the second girl hairstyle (link to file)
Names in other languages
|French||Octaling||From octarien (octarian), similar to English name|
|From English name|
|Spanish (NOE)||Octariano/a||The same as Octarian|
Characters in Splatoon 2