The Telephone, also known as Commander Tartar during the final boss fight, is the main antagonist in the Octo Expansion.
In its telephone form, it appears as a retro telephone box. It frequently uses slang, but also has error messages inside brackets appear in its speech, possibly because it cannot find the correct slang, given that one of the error messages it prints reads [SLANG_NOT_FOUND]. Once Agent 8 has collected all four of the thangs, it connects its telephone body to them, transforming itself into a blender. During the final boss battle, it appears as the telephone box with turquoise ooze seeping out, as well as an Octarian tentacle poking out and no longer speaks in slang or error messages.
Being an AI, Tartar does not have any major personality traits, though appears to have a hate for what it would deem the less important things in life, such as fashion and sports, and lets Agent 8 know as much before the final boss fight, saying it was "disgusted" by Inkling and Octoling culture. As a result of this disgust building up over millennia, it ends up with a crazed, passionate hatred of life on the planet, seemingly being its only driving force. However, before revealing its true intentions, the Telephone initially appears friendly and helpful towards Agent 8, proving its capabilities of manipulation and deception to achieve its goal.
- The CQ-80, a device through which they control which Deepsea Metro station to go to next.
- The CQ Card, which holds the CQ Points used to enter missions and revive if failing.
The Telephone then tells Agent 8 about the promised land that awaits them outside of the Deepsea Metro, and informs them that they must collect 4 thangs to return. Upon gathering all 4 thangs, however, they form a massive blender. The Telephone then tries to grind up Agent 8 and Cap'n Cuttlefish into raw materials, only to be stopped by Agent 3, with the Telephone seemingly broken.
During a lengthy escape, the Telephone attacks Cap'n Cuttlefish and Agent 3, eventually hijacking the latter's mind into tying up the Cap'n and attacking Agent 8. Their hijacked mind is broken when Agent 3 is defeated by Agent 8.
Following the defeat and Agent 8's escape above the surface, a gigantic human-shaped stone statue emerges. In the hollowed-out eye of the statue, the Telephone appears and introduces itself as Commander Tartar and declares its intent to eradicate and recreate all life on Earth. The Commander activates a weapon from the statue's mouth: a massive cannon that threatens to destroy the entire world if fully charged.
Agent 8 manages to put a stop to it by inking the entire surface (with the assistance of Marina's hyperbombs), blocking off the statue's source of power: sunlight. Despite this, the cannon is still able to fire but is stopped by Pearl's Princess Cannon, with Tartar destroyed along with the statue.
Commander Tartar is an AI created by a human scientist referred to only as "the professor" 12,000 years before the events of Splatoon 2. Its purpose was to pass down all of humanity's knowledge to the next capable species. The professor's intention to do so was to prevent the next intelligent species from repeating the same mistakes that lead humanity to extinction. However, due to spending all those millennia isolated and alone, the AI's thought process ended up going in a different direction.
Commander Tartar initially saw hope in the Inklings and Octarians, but eventually became repulsed by their evolution, needless wars, and fashion obsession, ultimately concluding that they were unfit for its knowledge and reprogramming itself to create a new form of life that would be worthy of its patronage, while annihilating the existing lifeforms on Earth. The Sanitized Octarians are its creations, spawned from the biomass it has collected from the remains of its previous test subjects and refined into "the perfect life".
When talking to the Telephone for the first time:
- [SEARCHING FOR USER ID...] [USER 10008 CONFIRMED]
- "Greetings, 10,008. Your current location is: Deepsea Metro Central Station."
- "My primary function is to facilitate your journey to the promised land. Pleased to make your acquaintance."
- [ASSESSING COMMUNICATION EFFICIENCY...] [EFFICIENCY: 12.42%] [ENABLING CONTEMPORARY SPEECH MODE]
- "What is crackalacking, home skillet? Let us bounce to the promised land fo sho."
- "I am bout it bout it, so listen while I [SLANG_NOT_FOUND] you the facts."
- "You have spent your entire life in the dark. Your eyes closed to the new hotness that awaits."
- "The promised land. A utopia of light beyond your wildest dreams. It is all that and a bag of cool beans."
- "I will take you to the promised land now. NOT!"
- "HA HA HA. Psyche out."
- "Only cats who have proven themselves can [ERROR] the promised land. Do you dig, dog?"
- "There have been 10,007 applicants so far, which make you applicant 10,008."
- "This opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo. Good luck and [SLANG_NOT_FOUND]."
- "This is the Deepsea Metro Central Station, the realio dealio central hub of the facility."
- "Here is your CQ-80 and CQ card. They are so bad."
- "Guard them with you lizzife, because if you lose them, you will be [ERROR].
- "Now come on ride the train. Outie 5000."
When talking to the Telephone after collecting all the thangs and choosing to enter the promised land:
- "Are you ready to visit the promised land?"
- "This is it. Are you [ERROR] ready to ascend to the higher plane?"
- "The promised land awaits. Are you ready to join something bigger than yourself?"
- "Congratulations, number 10,008! The door to the promised land will now open!"
- "Please, step right inside! Here we go! Do not be shy!"
During the Villi Phase:
- "Blah...blah blah..."
During the Belly Phase:
- "Blah...blah blah...blahhgh!"
During the Intestinal Phase:
- "Blah...blah blah... Y...yo..."
- "Blah blah... Y...you..."
- "YOU! You measly scrap of seafood! YOU'LL PAY FOR THIS!"
- "Number 10,008, why are you associating with these superfluous nobodies?"
Before Turf War:
- "TARTAR IN DA HOUSE!" [DISABLING CONTEMPORARY SPEECH MODE]
- "I am TARTAR, an AI construct created 12,000 years ago by a brilliant professor."
- "My prime directive is to pass humanity's vast knowledge on to the next worthy lifeform."
- "When your kind became self-aware, I hoped that my long wait was finally over."
- "But as I observed your evolution, I WAS DISGUSTED!"
- "You wage war over minor genetic deviations. You obsess over trivial fashion choices."
- "And so I created a new prime directive: destroy this world and start anew!"
- "From the best and brightest test subjects, I created a sludge of supreme DNA."
- "A primordial ooze from which the ultimate lifeform will emerge."
- "Today is the day my vision becomes reality, as I destroy Inkopolis and everyone in it!"
During Turf War:
- "Bzrrt... Submit to your destruction. Your time is over, semi-sentient seafood."
- "BZRRT! You will be blended up into the raw material of the new world!"
- "B-b-zrrt... This world will be reconstituted, and the professor's dream fulfilled."
- "B-BZRRT... Cease, number 10,008! You cannot hope to defeat NILS!"
- "B-B-ZRRT! The time is nigh, NILS! THIS WORLD MUST BE PULVERIZED!"
After Turf War:
- "Number 10,008... No test subject has worked so hard to spoil my plans..."
- "But you will now blend into... the perfect world the professor envisioned."
- "Farewell, 10,008. Farewell to you and that worthless cesspool of a city..."
- "Grkk...! G-g-gaahhh!"
- "Professor... Our reunion beckons..."
Spanish (Latin America)
When speaking to the Telephone for the first time:
- "[IDENTIFICANDO AL USUARIO] [USUARIO IDENTIFICADO: 10008]"
([IDENTIFYING USER] [USER IDENTIFIED: 10008])
- "Bienvenid@, 10 008. Tu ubicación actual es: Estación central del Metro abisal"
(Welcome[note 1], 10,008. Your current location is: Deepsea Metro Central Station)
- "Mi función primordial es facilitar tu viaje hacia el paraíso soñado. Mucho gusto."
(My primary function is to facilitate your journey to the promised land. Nice to meet you.)
- "[CALCULANDO EFICIENCIA DE COMUNICACIÓN...] [EFICIENCIA: 12.42%] [CARGANDO MODULO: JERGA JUVENIL]"
([CALCULATING EFFICACY OF COMMUNICATION...] [EFFICACY: 12.42%] [LOADING MODULE: JUVENILE JARGON])
- "¿Qué hubo, mi cuate y/o cuata? ¿Te latiría ir al paraíso soñado?"
(What's happening, my dude and/or dudette? You dying to go to the promised land?)
- "Es evidente que no sabes ni qué onda. Por lo tanto, te platicare. ¡Chécalo!"
(Evidently, you don't know what's the rage. So, I'll blab about it. Check it!)
- "Llevas un buen sumergid@ en la oscuridad. Desconoces lo que está en la onda."
''(You've been well submerged in the darkness. You don't know what's all the rage.)
- "¡El paraíso soñado! Una utopía bien chévere y rebosante de luz. ¡La neta!"
(The promised land! A utopia that's fresh and brimming with light. The real deal!)
- "Ahorita te llevo a este paraíso soñado. JA JA JA. Caíste.
(I'm going to take you to this promised land right now. HA HA HA. Gotcha.)
- "Solo los chavos y/o chavas que [ERROR] su destreza llegarán al paraíso soñado.
(Only the guys and/or gals that [ERROR] their skill shall arrive at the promised land.)
- "¡Pero no te esponjes!"
(But don't get your knickers in a bunch![note 2])
- "Hasta ahora se han apuntado 10 007 participantes. ¡Contigo podrían ser 10 008!"
(As of now, 10,007 other participants have joined. With you, it could be 10,008!)
- "¡Será una experiencia [ADJETIVO_COLOQUIAL] que cambiará tu vida para siempre!"
(It'll be a [COLLOQUIAL_ADJECTIVE] that'll change your life forever.)
- "El punto de partida para viajar hacia el paraíso soñado es esta estación central."
(The starting point to travel to the promised land is this central station.)
- "Para empezar, te entrego un PP-80 y un pase P.P.
(To start, I'll give you a CQ-80 and a CQ Card.)
- "Los vas a usar constantemente. Procura no perderlos o estarás [ERROR]."
(You're going to be using them constantly. Make sure not to lose them or you'll be [ERROR].)
- "Si dispones de una superficie reflectante... ¡Ahí te ves!"
(See you later, alligator![note 3])
- In some circles, the "@" symbol is used to combine the feminine -a and the masculine -o endings of a word to be sure to refer to men and women.
- Esponjar (to fluff up) comes from the word esponja (sponge), but in this context means "don't get mad".
- This is a reference to the quirky parting phrase Si tienes tele, ahí te ves (If you have TV, you'll see yourself there), which is an extension on the phrase ahí te ves (see ya).
When speaking to the Telephone for the first time:
- "(De belgegevens worden achterhaald…) (De belgegevens worden achterhaald…)"
((The call data are being tracked down…) (The call data are being tracked down…))
- "Goedemorgen, nummer 10.008! Welkom op station Diepzee Centraal! Ik zal je begeleiden op je reis naar het beloofde land! Het is mij een genoegen! Nog even ter bevestiging… Klopt het dat je hier bent om af te reizen naar het beloofde land?"
(Good morning, number 10.008! Welcome to Deepsea Central station! I will guide you on your journey to the promised land! It is my honor! Just for the for confirmation... Is it right that you are here to travel to the promised land?)
- "Je lijkt enigszins verward… Dat is geen enkel probleem! Laat mij je een korte uitleg geven. Aangezien je hier beneden bent, heb je vast weleens gehoord van het beloofde land. Een tuin vol licht… Vol met alles waar de diepzeebewoners van dromen… En je valt met je neus in de boter, want je mag nu naar het beloofde land reizen! Er zijn tot nu toe 10.007 gelukkigen geweest, dus jij bent nummer 10.008. Dit is een unieke kans om iets van je leven te maken! Dus nogmaals welkom in Diepzee Centraal, het startpunt van je reis."
(You seem somewhat confused... That is no problem! Let me give you a short explanation. Seeing that you are down here, you probably heard about the promised land. A garden full of light... Full of everything the descendants of the deep dream about... And it is your lucky day[note 1], because you may travel to the promised land now! There have been 10.007 lucky ones up until now, so you are number 10.008. This is a unique chance to make something from your life! So once again welcome to Deepsea Central, the starting point of your journey.)
- "Alsjeblieft. Dit zijn je Komco en je Komco-kaart. Je hebt ze allebei nodig, dus zorg dat je ze niet kwijtraakt! Zo… Tijd om in te stappen en te vertrekken!"
(Here you go. This are your CQ-80 and your CQ Card. You need them both, so make sure you don't lose them! So... Time to get in and to depart!)
After collecting a thang:
- "Gefeliciteerd! Je hebt het eerste ding gevonden! Verzamel ze alle vier om naar het beloofde land te gaan! Blijf zoeken!"
(Congratulations! You have found the first thang! Collect all four to go to the promised land! Keep searching!)
- "Gefeliciteerd! Je hebt het tweede ding gevonden! Je hebt de helft al gevonden! Werkelijk een prachtig exemplaar. Ga zo door!"
(Congratulations! You have found the second thang! You have found half of them! Truly a magnificent example. Keep it up!)
- "Gefeliciteerd! Je hebt het derde ding gevonden! Als je er nog eentje vindt, kun je naar het beloofde land! Ik geloof in je!"
(Congratulations! You have found the third thang! When you find another one, you can go to the promised land! I believe in you!)
- "Gefeliciteerd! Je hebt het laatste ding gevonden! Jeetje! Ik moet eerlijk zeggen dat ik niet wist of het je wel zou lukken!"
(Congratulations! You have found the last thang! Oh dear! I honestly have to say that I didn't know if you would succeed!)
- "Goed, ik zal je naar het beloofde land leiden! Hierheen, alsjeblieft!"
(Right, I will guide you to the promised land! This way, please!)
After the player decided to go to the "promised land":
- "Gefeliciteerd, nummer 10.008! De poort naar het beloofde land wordt nu geopend! Ga maar naar binnen! Toe dan! Niet zo verlegen!"
(Congratulations, number 10.008! The gate to the promised land will be opened now! Go right inside! On you go! Don't be shy!)
- "Verzamelen van materiaal voltooid… Pastaproductie wordt gestart…"
(Collecting of material completed... Paste production will be started...)
During the escape phase:
- "Bla... bla… bla… Bla… bla… bla… blablabla! Bla… bla… bla… yo… yo…"
- "Bla… bla… jij… Jij! Ellendige zeevrucht! Dat zet ik je betaald! Nummer 10.008! Waarom laat jij je in met die overbodige niksnutten?"
(Bla... bla... you... You! Miserable seafood! I will make you pay for this! Number 10.008! Why do you engage with those superfluous layabouts?)
Before and during the final boss:
- "Ik ben Tartarus, een vorm van kunstmatige intelligentie, ontwikkeld door de professor… In de 12.000 jaar sinds mijn schepping heb ik jullie geobserveerd. Jullie wandelende zeevruchten hebben heel veel vooruitgang geboekt… Jullie hebben bijna net zoveel kennis verworven als de oude beschaving."
(I am Tartar, a form of artificial intelligence, developed by the professor... In the 12.000 years since my creation, I have observed you. You walking seafood have made a lot of progress... You have acquired almost as much knowledge as the old civilization.)
- "Jullie nutteloze gevechten om grondgebied zijn helemaal uit de hand gelopen! Het komt door jullie arrogantie. Iedereen denkt alleen maar aan zichzelf… Jullie proefkonijnen… waren de zaadjes waar een perfecte wereld uit moest voortkomen… Maar jullie bleken vooral een enorme teleurstelling te zijn! Kom, NELS! Alles moet worden vermalen om de wereld van de mensen terug te krijgen!"
(You useless battles for territory got completely out of hand! It is because of your arrogance. Everyone only thinks about themselves... You laboratory rabbits... were the seeds which a perfect world had to become forth from... But you turned out to be an especially huge disappointment! Come, NILS! Everything has to be ground to get the world of the humans back!)
- "Bzzzt… Maak jullie klaar om vernietigd te worden, onnozele zeevruchten! BZZZT! Jullie worden verpulverd en gemixt tot cement voor de nieuwe wereld! B-B-Zzzt… De wereld wordt vernietigd en de droom van de professor wordt vervuld! B-Bzzzt… Geef het maar op, nummer 10.008! Je kunt NELS nooit verslaan! B-Bzzzt… De tijd is gekomen, NELS! De wereld moet vernietigd worden!"
(Bzzzt... Make you ready to get destroyed, stupid seafood! BZZZT! You will be pulverized and mixed into cement for a new world! B-B-Zzzt... The world has to be destroyed and the dream of the professor will be fulfilled! B-Bzzzt... Give up already, number 10.008! You can never defeat NILS! B-Bzzzt... The time is here, NILS! The world has to be destroyed!)
- "Nummer 10.008… Geen van mijn proefkonijnen heeft me zo tegengewerkt… …maar nu krijg je toch nog een plekje in de perfecte wereld van de professor! Je eindigt als een zielig vlekje, 10.008… En die walgelijke stad wordt een reuzenvlek!"
(Number 10.008... None of my laboratory rabbits have oppose me this much... ...but now you get a little place in the perfect world of the professor! You end as a pathetic speck, 10.008... And your disgusting city will be a giant speck!)
When the player defeats Tartar:
- "¡ɥɥɥɐɐƃ-ƃ-פ ¡ʞʞɹפ …ǝpuɐɐʇsuɐɐ sᴉ uǝᴉzɹǝǝʍ suO …ɹossǝɟoɹԀ …ʇɹɹ-ɹɹɹ-ɹɹɹԀ"
- "Grkk! G-g-gaahhh! Professor… Ons weerzien is aanstaande… Prrr-rrr-rrt…"
(Grkk! G-g-gaahhh! Professor... Our reunion is forthcoming... Prrr-rrr-rrt…)
- "...En je valt met je neus in de boter..." uses the Dutch phrase met je neus in de boter vallen which means that someone is very lucky to end up somewhere or with someone/something. Lit.: "...And you fall with your nose in the butter..."
- Commander Tartar's name is a reference to tartar sauce, a sauce made using mainly mayonnaise, which may reference the ooze seeping out of it. Tartar sauce is primarily used for seafood, referencing its displeasure for the evolved sea creatures and desire to annihilate them.
- There is a similar looking telephone in Octo Canyon hanging to the side of the cabin in Tentakeel Outpost, showing signs of having rust being in a turquoise color.
- It was confirmed in the Splatoon 2 Anniversary Famitsu interview that the "professor" Tartar was created by was also Judd's owner. This is referenced in Matchmaker Station, where the crates' formation and patterns are based off Judd himself.
- Commander Tartar's "contemporary speech" mode is only present in the English and Latin American Spanish localizations of the Octo Expansion. In other localizations, it wonders if Agent 8 has ever heard of the promised land out loud before explaining what it is.
- In the NOA Spanish localization, Tartar's "juvenile jargon" mode is demonstrated with exaggerated use of Mexican slang. The mode is already deactivated by the time Tartar reveals the NILS Statue.
- Tartar hints that it is going to blend up Agent 8 in most of its dialogue.
- The term it uses for Inkopolis, "promised land", may be a reference to heaven or afterlife. It also calls the promised land a "utopia of light beyond your wildest dreams", supporting this theory.
- When it first turns on its slang mode, it refers to the player as "home skillet". A skillet is a frying pan, a hint that Tartar is essentially going to "fry up" Agent 8.
- It says the opportunity to pass tests to eventually get to the promised land is "once in a lifetime".
- When Agent 8 has collected all the thangs, it asks if they are ready to "ascend to a higher plane" and "join something bigger than yourself".
- The triumphant music that blares out from the Telephone when it assembles the thangs is in a major key, but just as the player and Cap'n Cuttlefish start to enter, it takes an eerily minor key.
- When Agent 3's mind is hijacked by the Telephone, they have a translucent turquoise goo protruding from the side of their head. This goo may be the same substance that sanitized the Octarians seen in the Octo Expansion.
- It may also be a form assumed by Tartar, which is somewhat consistent with its appearance during the final boss, where goo is seeping out from Tartar's telephone form.
- The Telephone's quote "Are you ready to join something bigger than yourself?" is similar to the quote spoken by Mr. Grizz "You ready to be part of somethin' bigger than yourself?", which appears when the player visits Grizzco for the first time.
- This could be theorized as Mr. Grizz being Telephone all along, although after Telephone is defeated, Mr. Grizz does not change, though this could be because Mr. Grizz or the Telephone, in this case, is using an automatic speech program, which was suggested by the developers in an interview.
- The developers revealed that Commander Tartar seems to have come to appreciate Agent 8, finally finding a being it considered excellent, but became angry at Agent 8 when they did not share its views.
- This is also hinted in its dialogue where Commander Tartar questions Agent 8's association with the other characters, which implies that Commander Tartar sees Agent 8 differently from the other Inklings and Octolings: "Number 10,008, why are you associating with these superfluous nobodies?"
Promotional image for Octo Expansion
Central Station, the Telephone is visible on the right
The Telephone speaking to Agent 8. The text reads: "If you have come here... ... You're trying to depart for the promised land, aren't you?!"
Agent 3 punching the Telephone to rescue Agent 8 and Cap'n Cuttlefish
Names in other languages
|Portmanteau of Телефон, "Telephone" and фобос, "Phobos", the personification of fear in greek mythology|
|Commander Tartar[note 1]|
|Dutch||Admiraal Tartarus||Admiral Tartarus, from tartaar (tartar) and Tartarus|
|French||Général Tartar||General Tartar|
|German||Kommandant Tartar||Commander Tartar|
|Italian||Comandante Tartar||Commander Tartar|
|Grinder [note 2]|
|Spanish||Almirante Tartar||Admiral Tartar|
- The name "タルタル総帥" (Tarutaru Sōsui) also sounds similar to "タルタルソース" (tarutaru sōsu), which means "tartar sauce".
- Probably a portmanteau of перемалывать ("peremalyvat", "to grind"), Молох ("Moloch") and Переполох ("Perepoloh", "Stir").
Characters in Splatoon 2