Side Order is an upcoming single-player campaign mode comprising Wave 2 of the Splatoon 3: Expansion Pass paid downloadable content. It was revealed through a teaser trailer during the February 2023 Nintendo Direct and is scheduled to release in Spring 2024 at the earliest. The mode is intended to be highly replayable.
During the Splatoon 3 Direct on 10 September 2022, large-scale paid downloadable content involving Off the Hook was announced to arrive in a later Splatoon 3 update. A Tweet was put out by Nintendo of Europe the same day reiterating Off the Hook's association with the DLC.
During the 8 February 2023 Direct, Side Order was revealed as Wave 2 of the Splatoon 3: Expansion Pass, without a release date. The teaser trailer features Agent 8 in a bleached-out version of Inkopolis Square. Shortly after the Direct, some brief information about Side Order was listed on official Nintendo websites detailing the Splatoon 3: Expansion Pass'.
A longer gameplay trailer was shown during the 14 September 2023 Nintendo Direct, in which the Octoling player character seen in the teaser trailer was confirmed for the first time to be Octo Expansion's Agent 8; additionally, Pearl and Acht were revealed as major supporting characters. The mode's Floor progression system and Palette skill tree system were briefly demonstrated. After the trailer was shown, the Spire of Order's name was revealed, and the mode's release date was stated as Spring 2024 at the earliest.
The same day as the trailer's release, an official Japanese website went online.
On 21 November 2023, an online version of the winter issue of the Japanese Nintendo Magazine was made available for free; pages 42-43 of this issue cover Side Order. An English language version of the issue is also available, though its translation is noted to possibly differ from official localization choices, as the magazine is not intended for the international market.
A teaser trailer revealing Side Order was shown in the latter half of the Splatoon 3: Expansion Pass trailer shown in the February 2023 Nintendo Direct. The teaser trailer opens with a slow pan across a dull, stark white version of Inkopolis Square from Splatoon 2, slowly focusing on Agent 8, who is wearing new gear. This altered version of Inkopolis Square features presumed dead or bleached coral; Deca Tower has been replaced with the Spire of Order. A swarm of fish-like objects "swim" around Agent 8 towards the end of the clip shown.
Throughout the trailer, various cryptic static images and short video clips briefly flicker on-screen; the images primarily depict Agent 8 in strange bright white locations, as well as Off the Hook, while the clips seemingly depict biological components such as cells, blood, and organs.
A dull, slightly out-of-tune music box melody with steady electronic percussion accompanies the teaser trailer, which slowly grows more intense; towards the end, someone can be heard speaking.
Side Order trailer
A second Side Order trailer which focused on gameplay was shown in the September 2023 Nintendo Direct. The trailer opens with Agent 8 in an updated version of the dull, stark white version of Inkopolis Square alongside the Pearl Drone, a drone resembling Pearl, as the same out-of-tune music box melody featured in the first trailer plays.
Agent 8 is shown descending into an unknown Floor via a grappling attachment on the Pearl Drone. The Pearl drone, Agent 8's equipment and a new type of unknown fish-like enemy are revealed, then gameplay footage of Agent 8 in combat with the enemies is shown. The new enemies appear to spawn en masse from a black orb-shaped mechanism.
Cutscene footage of Agent 8 and Pearl encountering Acht in an elevator is then shown; within it, Acht introduces themself as an old friend of Marina's. The Floor Selection and Palette screens are shown, then Agent 8 enters the Exposed Winding Floor. Gameplay footage of several different unknown Floors is shown in quick succession, then the trailer abruptly cuts to a clip of Agent 8's octopus ghost entering a crystalized shell resembling their form, seemingly spawning into a Floor. After a cut to black, Agent 8 is shown running in slow motion alongside the Pearl Drone towards a very large six-tiered mechanical contraption; each of its tiers has separate types of protruding components and spins independently of the others. After another cut to black, the mode's title is shown with glitch and black coral effects.
Throughout the trailer various scenes depict the Spire of Order's Floors seemingly spontaneously generating with a Matrix-style code effect. Many Floors shown appear to have blocky, black holes in their walls reminiscent of a greeble effect. Additionally, Armor pickups and an unknown can-shaped pickup bearing Marina's poster design can be spotted within certain Floors.
Agent 8's ink color is significantly paler compared to the previous trailer; their ink color tint appears to change between clips, seemingly being affected by different color chips. Their gear appears at various stage of upgrade throughout the trailer; the seemingly well-upgraded version includes thin, bright, hologram-like extensions on their Dualies, as well as an eyepiece similar to the See-an-Enemy HUD.
The trailer opens with the same musical box tune heard in the teaser trailer, then cuts to a slow-paced electronic glitch song with prominent industrial percussion. Midway, the song swaps for a more intense electronic song, then at the end into a different slow, echoed song.
Agent 8 has been unexpectedly transported to the Order Sector, a mysterious world that is build out of its own unique rules. Agent 8 wakes up to find what appears to be Inkopolis Square, suddenly drained of color and uninhabited. They are challenged to ascend the Spire of Order, a tower that changes floor structure each time it's entered, which has mysteriously replaced Deca Tower. Pearl, having been transformed into a drone called the Pearl Drone, accompanies Agent 8 and assists them in combat.
The mode's missions take place in the Spire of Order's many different Floors, where an unknown species of creatures that resemble robotic fish serve as enemies. Clearing Floors rewards the player with enhanced abilities and tokens of an unknown purpose.
Side Order's level system consists of the Spire of Order's individual floors.
The following Floors' names have been revealed:
- Spiraling Slope Floor
- Exposed Winding Floor
- Sitting Duck Valley Floor
|“||As for the second wave, we're flummoxed! What is that strange tower? Why has everything turned white and ghostly? What's on that Octoling's mind? We're going to get to the bottom - or maybe the top - of this, so stay tuned for further updates on our research.||”|
— @SplatoonNA on Twitter
|“||A new single-player campaign called Side Order super jumps to the Splatoon 3 game in the second wave of this DLC. See what has become of Inkopolis Square, the central area featured in the Splatoon 2 game!||”|
— eShop description
|“||Challenge yourself to a new single-player campaign, Side Order! See what has happened to Inkopolis Square from the Splatoon 2 game, and what would've happened if Order thwarted Chaos to rule the city!||”|
— Official DLC webpage
|“||As Agent 8, you wake up to discover Inkopolis Square has been drained of colour and its residents have gone missing. Alongside a drone who claims to be Off the Hook member Pearl, ascend the floors of the Spire of Order and strengthen your abilities as you climb the tower in a single-player experience that's designed to be replayed over and over!||”|
— Official UK DLC webpage
|“||Based on what we know so far, it's safe to speculate that Agent 8 is in for a tall order of trials in this new world. Side Order is planned to launch spring 2024 at the earliest, so please have patience while we make everything...perfect.||”|
— @SplatoonNA on Twitter
|➤ View the gallery|
- Side Order marks the first single-player campaign to feature a returning Agent as the playable character.
- Side Order's inclusion of Acht marks the second instance of a non-idol musician making an interactable debut, the first having been Harmony.
- Side Order was announced in February of 2023, two years after Splatoon 3 was announced.
A side order is another term for a side dish, a food item meant to accompany a larger main item as part of a meal. The title is a pun on the mode being a side story about Team Order, the Splatfest team lead by Marina that lost the Final Fest in Splatoon 2.
Names in other languages
|Dutch||De Toren der Orde||The Tower of Order|
|French||Tour de l'Ordre||Order Tower|
|German||Ruf zur Ordnung||Call to Order|
|Italian||Torre dell'Ordine||Tower of Order|
|Decent serving[note 1]|
|Spanish||La cara del orden||The face of order|
- A wordplay on the words порядок poryadok ("order") and порядочный poryadochnyy ("decent") having the same root
- Splatoon™ 3 Expansion Pass for Nintendo Switch - Nintendo Official Site
- Image shown briefly in the announcement trailer
- Nintendo Direct 9.14.2023 - Nintendo Switch
- @SplatoonNA on Twitter
- Splatoon 3 | Nintendo Switch games
- Splatoon 3 for Nintendo Switch - Expansion Pass - Inkopolis & Side Order DLC - Nintendo Official Site (archived version)
- Nintendo Magazine 2023 winter pgs. 42-43
- @SplatoonNA on Twitter
- SplatoonNA on Twitter