A new Splatfest is upon us, but there’s something different about this one. Normally announced by Callie and Marie, this one came in the form of an invitation. This is the Miiverse message I received from a user named ???.
Dear SuperChris, we are holding a Splatfest on May 14. You can either wear Formal Clothes or Fancy Dress. Pick wisely, as this will decide your fate.
I knew what I needed to do.
Get DRESSED UP!! Formal Clothes to a TURF WAR? You’ve got no chance! I had to wear my snorkel and squid shoes to be as flexible as possible. This is not a fashion contest, it’s a WAR! Plus, people look better when they act like themselves. I just wanted to look silly and have a lot of fun swimming in my snorkel. Best of both worlds. That is how we all grow our skills, by playing.
I needed to find some friends to have a great time with, so I had a walk around the plaza.
You’re a bit full of yourself Thomas, I don’t think we can be friends. You must be one of those players who just stand around admiring themselves saying “Nice!“. You won’t look so great when you are trapped at your spawn point at the mercy of my Inkzooka. Now THAT is awesome, a fierce tower of ink propelled forward at incredible speed. There’s nothing awesome about a man standing there in a suit.
I walked around a bit more to find some cool costume people, and noticed the plaza was a bit quiet. The whole world had been invited to this Splatfest, but something felt off.
The Black Tie banners all looked the same. With empty eyes and a limp pose, they were pinned to the wall like dead bodies. I would make some kind of joke about killing them in the Splatfest, but it was a bit too unsettling. Had they already accepted their fate? Who even drew these? Thomas looked like he couldn’t even put his sunglasses on properly. I felt a bit strange hanging out here. I had to find some costume friends to brighten the mood and the turf.
YAY! Zelapfinia here was a lot of fun to talk to, and she was ready to party in her oversized headphones and boots. I asked her how she found out about the Splatfest, and it turns out she got the same mysterious message as me. We both paused for a moment, then shrugged it off in the interest of having a great time. Splatfests are so much fun.
I tried to start a conversation to find out more about the Black Tie team, but there was something strange about Zac. He just stared at me, then looked away as if there was a camera, or other person that caught his interest. Zac buddy, you okay? He turned back to me, not saying a word. He wasn’t even dancing. I think he was taking this a bit too seriously, and that’s exactly the problem with wearing formal clothes to a Turf War. You’re going to get splatted if you don’t communicate with your team. I tried to engage one last time. ZAC! Nothing. I looked at his friend and she was just swaying left and right, as if I wasn’t even there. It felt like SHE wasn’t there. I noticed Zac wasn’t even wearing proper formal wear, you’re not going to get into a classy lounge with that helmet mate. Oh well, not my problem. Maybe he was just mad because they wouldn’t let him on the team.
This caught my attention for all the wrong reasons. Formal Costume suggests some kind of merging of both teams, and that is not what a Splatfest is about. Where’s the SMACK TALK!? The fun joking and sass? I’m pretty sure that’s meant to be Mario in a suit, and he looks very uncomfortable. This was disguised as a neutral display, but to me it seemed like Black Tie propaganda to get people on their side. The thought of everyone in the world wearing a black suit was quite ominous.
This was all too weird, I don’t care about any of these artworks. For some reason there was nothing by Team Fancy Dress to be seen. Could that just be a coincidence, or are Black Tie up to something? Maybe the costume party is somewhere else? I was sick of this place and just wanted to play with my friends. TO THE LOBBY!
I’d heard rumours that Japan had a large Inkling population, but I couldn’t believe my eyes when I entered the lobby. All 3 of my teammates, and all 4 Inklings on the other team had come all the way from Japan. I said “Nice!” to my fellow costume squids and luckily they understood that universal word and echoed it back to me. I unfortunately couldn’t pronounce their names, but one of them whispered into my floppy Inkling ear before the game. I don’t know what they said but they seemed a bit scared. It was like a warning? Maybe they were worried about the Turf War.
I had to encourage my team, so I said “Nice!” as the match started. Everybody agreed in unison and we were OFF. The first match was at Ancho-V Games, and it felt great to be swimming in my new snorkel. I was having fun before even getting to the middle of the stage. The Black Tie team had two Dynamo Rollers and two E-Litres and clearly meant business. I exploded in the middle of the stage, as a fully charged E-Litre shot pierced through my body. “Nice!” said one of my team mates. Wait, what?
There was no time for questions so I had to shrug it off and swim back to the middle. BAM! I managed to sneak up behind a roller and get a good splat in. “Nice!” said somebody behind me, now THAT’S what the button is for! I shot the propeller on the platform in the middle, and swam up onto their side. There was a Black Tie standing just under me, behind the desk. HAHA, here’s my chance! SPLAAAAT!! That was satisfying. Not sure what they were doing, probably tying their shoelaces or something. This is why the Black Ties were destined to lose, because they weren’t focused on having fun.
It was pretty close but Team Fancy Dress dominated the party in the middle of the stage. We won because we had more fun. After a pretty tough first Turf War I regrouped in the plaza. I found a few costume friends and we started squid dancing. Suddenly, a huge sound soared over Inkopolis. It was a siren. My costume friends barely flinched because we were having so much fun jumping around in our costumes, but my ears perked up a bit. I knew this was important. I went back to the lobby but the door wouldn’t open. “We’re closed” came a deep voice behind the door. What..? Closed during a Splatfest? What are we all doing here then?
Something was definitely up. The strange Black Tie artwork, the warning from my teammate, the lack of Fancy Dress posters, and the suspicious behavior of Black Tie all had to mean something. I had to get to the bottom of this.
I broke into the Ancho-V office to look for evidence. The lobby was locked but at a costume party, you make your own rules. That Black Tie player MUST have been doing something in the previous game. Papers were scattered under the desk and I could tell someone left in a hurry. If this was Team Fancy Dress, we wouldn’t feel the need to cover our tracks and there would be a funny message left on the screen. I was so confused why anybody would even be on a computer. Why would ANYONE be working during a Splatfest? It is our purpose in life to represent ourselves and fight for what we like. This must have been related to the Splatfest, perhaps a hacker trying to rig the system. Whether they wanted to bring down the whole of Inkopolis is a bit unclear. They could have been doing anything. I had to do more digging.
I went back to the plaza and Zelapfinia was there, she said costumes were really cool. I agreed and we squid partied for a bit. While transforming I went into deep thought 6 times every second. After a few minutes I came to a realisation. Ancho-V was just one of three stages in this Splatfest, maybe something happened at Walleye Warehouse? Fresh gear was being shipped and packed every day, including formal clothes and fancy costumes.
I snuck in and found some suspicious boxes in the middle of the stage. I’ve never noticed those eyes before, what did they mean? Was it some kind of Black Tie symbol? This place was quite scary at night, and very dark with the lighting only illuminating certain areas of the warehouse. I approached the suspicious box in the middle and started to open it. Suddenly, I felt a tap on the shoulder! Whoa, wha-?
I slowly regained consciousness and opened my eyes. WHERE THE HELL AM I?! I scanned my eyes around the room with my sensitivity at 5, and quickly took in what seemed like an apartment. Someone had taken my Splattershot from me and I was tied to a chair. There was a dirty kitchen and two Inklings in suits standing at the door. Are they Black Ties? What’s going on? They didn’t move or say anything. ZAC, is that you? He flinched a bit, but still wouldn’t say anything. I took that as a sign it was him.
I looked around again and noticed some trees out the window. I recognised some of them. This was Flounder Heights, the third stage in the Splatfest. Black Tie was clearly up to something big that encompassed the whole of Splatfest, but WHAT? And why was I here? Was I about to find something in that box? Is this their convoluted way of winning the Splatfest, by squidnapping us?
*putputputputputput* a noise came through the window. All of our Inkling ears perked up. It sounded like a Splattershot was making a mess outside. One of the Black Ties walked over to the window and I took this opportunity. Holding ZL I slipped out of the chair in squid form, then leaped up and grabbed the Black Tie’s Splattershot. AHA! My baby! Before I could do anything the door slammed open. An Inkling in a samurai helmet threw down a Splash Wall in front of the two Black Ties. “To Me!” he said. “Nice!“. We burst out of the room and onto the side alley of Flounder Heights. This fellow was also Japanese, so my Nice was the only extent I knew how to thank him. It looked like we had come out in a regular Turf War so I started spraying! There were two other Fancy Dress squids and four more Black Ties. The Splatfest was STILL GOING! I felt an extra sense of purpose to win this Turf War, to embrace my freedom and teach Black Tie a lesson.
Alright! I had won my freedom and the Turf War with it, despite joining this one 30 seconds late. We managed to hold on just barely for a victory, and it was so close that the Inkstrike from my team would have been the decider. I was still confused though, where did the two Black Ties in the apartment go? There was already 4 of them outside when I broke out, so having a team of 6 would be cheating. Squidnapping is one thing, but cheating in a Turf War is a no-no.
At the end of the Turf War I was in the lobby again. Wasn’t this locked?! Inklings on both teams were already in the room, so I took this chance to speak to a Black Tie.
“Oh, you’re talking about that Zac fellow and his friend? They weren’t on Team Black Tie. Zac refused to take his helmet off so we couldn’t let him on the team.“. WHAT?! “I have no idea who they were” another Black Tie player chipped in. So someone had been impersonating Team Black Tie, hacked some computers, AND had something hiding in the warehouse? What was their intention? Why would they want to make it SEEM like there was Black Tie corruption? Was it just Zac and his friend, or were there more?
Nobody really had any answers and they looked at me like I was a bit crazy. I guess they would feel differently if they got squidnapped. Oh well, as a fighting member of Team Fancy Dress there were bigger issues at hand. We HAD to win the Splatfest! Team Black Tie had to see that their ways were wrong. Maybe if they invited Zac to the party, he wouldn’t have been so salty to start this insane operation to shut down the Splatfest. I can’t stand the thought of people being left out.
Victory after victory came as I embraced my freedom and let loose. Team Fancy Dress were having a lot of fun with a chorus of “Nice!” in every team I played in. By the end of the night I was the Fancy Dress KING and it felt so good! More importantly, we all had a lot of fun! I went back to the plaza to reflect on what has been a long night.
As I looked out onto the plaza I noticed Zelapfinia’s artwork was gone… huh. She must have removed it. I looked around to ask her about it, but I couldn’t find her either. Could she have been squidnapped? Are there more mysterious Black Ties? What if she was one of them? Where did Zac go, the sewers? This was all too much for one Inkling to think about. *beep* I heard something behind my ear. I must have partied pretty hard. A ring formed right in front of me. What, someone’s Super Jumping into the plaza?! Is that even possible?! There are no Turf Wars here! I jumped down the ledge, but the ring followed me. WHAAAAT?! I tried to look around but suddenly all the lights went out. It was pitch black and the beeps in my ear were getting stronger and more frequent.