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This page details prerelease information and/or media for Splatoon.

To do:
There's some stuff to do:
  • Prerelease stuff
    • Prototype Splatfest and shops artwork when the game still had bunnies as the main character.
    • Some stuff from The Art of Splatoon book could work here.
    • Document E3 2014 coverage a bit better.
    • There must be some more things from early 2015 besides the April trailer.
    • London V&A Museum 2019 Splatoon development exhibition stuff.
    • https://careerhack.en-japan.com/report/detail/965
    • https://goodpatch.com/blog/uicrunch-13
    • Concept art of the Plaza which had a "woodland" theme during the bunny builds.

Splatoon was planned as early as 2012, which was one of the team's seventy video game ideas they thought up of in the span of six months after the Wii U's launch. They had trouble deciding on what the setting and aesthetics would be like, where their playable characters originally started out as tofu blocks, to rabbits, and eventually humanoid squid characters which would be Inklings.

It became a surprisingly big hit when it was launched, especially in Japan and formed a new competitive scene for the game. It also set Nintendo a new standard on the shooter genre; something that had not been done for decades since Yoshi's Safari!

Development Timeline


  • Nov. 18 - After the Wii U's launch in Japan, the developmental team thinks up of seventy video game ideas over the span of six months, one of them which would be Splatoon.[1]
  • Dec. - The concept of "tofu blocks hiding in ink" is created as a tech demo.


  • Aug. - Development on the game fully starts, when characters were bunnies.
  • Nov. - The game was shown to sales and promotion people within the company, which overall had a mixed reception surrounding the type of characters. Thus, playable bunnies were dropped.


  • Jun. 10 - The game is announced at E3.
  • Nov. 10 - The game is confirmed to have a single player mode.


  • Mar. - The game is confirmed to have amiibo support, judging from the eShop.[2]
  • May 8 - 9 - The Splatoon Global Testfire is released on the Nintendo eShop. Players could play in online Turf War matches around that date.
  • May 28 - 30 - The video game is finally released.


Splatoon image-tofu.jpg
Early Development
2012-2013. The biggest one of the many ideas.
Later Development
2013-2014. Back when there were bunnies!
[[File:| center | | 80px]] E3 2014 Build
Even though we don't have this Build in our hands, we do have images, videos and of course, original files found in Mario Maker!!!
[[File:| center | | 80px]] November 2014 Build
[[File:| center | | 80px]] Early 2015
[[File:| center | | 80px]] Late Builds
The buildup to release.



E3 2014

Careful, you'll lose an eye.
This page or section needs more images.
There's a whole lotta words here, but not enough pictures. Please fix this.
Specifically: Compare boxes with final game would probably help.
Title Screen
E3 2014 Final
SplatoonE32014TitleScreen.jpg SplatoonTitleScreen.png
(Source: Twitter)
E3 2014 Final
Loading Screen
E3 2014 Final


Results Screen
E3 2014 Final

Careful, you'll lose an eye.
This page or section needs more images.
There's a whole lotta words here, but not enough pictures. Please fix this.
Specifically: Compare boxes with final game would probably help.

Splatoon was shown off for the very first time at E3 2014. While the foundation for the game was settled down, it was only "10% complete". It was very well received by the crowd even though it was still in development.

Main Differences
  • The song playing in the trailer is an early version of Splattack!. It can be found as a bonus track in the official Splatune video game soundtrack.
  • Only one weapon, the Splattershot was seen in the trailer.
  • The "Booyah!/Nice!" and "C'mon/To Me!" icons were simply called "Signal".
  • On the D-Pad, there was a function to "signal" your teammates, it has the normal function of the D-Pad in the final game except it doesn't display a message.
  • The gamepad screen originally had a button to toggle gyro controls on and off on the fly. This is in a different menu in the final game.
Visual Differences
  • Some of the clothing worn in the trailer received some minor changes:
    • The White Tee had a slightly different design, with the Inkling language resembling これ (kore) instead of いか (ika). The pink tag wasn't present either.
  • The icon of the Inkling splatted is absent and shows how many points goes towards the inked turf.
  • The ink Tank Icon looked taller and had a different animation for being filled up.
  • Some of the background rooftops had white textures, and were most likely placeholder graphics.
  • Originally inklings had a different model for when transforming out of squid form. It also took longer to become their human-like model.
Early Final
Splatoon Original Tranformation.png
  • The ink had different lighting effects, in the final game it looks more watery.
  • Certain graphical effects like moving through ink were more simple.

Map Differences

Urchin Underpass This was the only playable map in the demo.

Early Final

It had some unfinished areas of the map blocked off by oil pumps, there is a placeholder striped floor in the blocked off sections when the map is shown from above in the results screen. The map was also unpolished, with the glass floors being completely not opaque. There was also slight changes - some platforms were only reachable by going up steep ramps etc.

Arowana Mall

  • Arowana Mall was originally long and narrow and mostly white background textures.
Early Final
Early Final

Saltspray Rig

  • Saltspray Rig featured an entirely different lower half, and the upper half had different textures and slight other differences.
Early Final
Early Final
Early Final

Walleye Warehouse

Early Final
Splatoon Early Walleye Warehouse large view.png
  • Walleye Warehouse originally had moving platforms that went horizontal in the middle of the map.
  • The containers could be climbed on from the side.

Other Differences

  • The voice when a female Inkling does a Super Jump sounded more human and higher in pitch.

Kiosk Demo

At E3 2014, various people could try out the demo of the video game.

  • There were warmup sessions before the actual match. Which gave a tutorial on Urchin Underpass.
  • There were two rounds, which also appeared in tournament builds similar to the Testfire.
  • The lobby's background is blue and purple. The Global Testfire demo also used this, but neither Turf Wars or Ranked Battles in the final game use this scheme; yet, that is.
  • The music for the last minute of the match is completely different from what is in the final version.
  • The tape graphic at the end of a battle is also different. Orange instead of Yellow.
  • The orientation on Judd during the results is angled more up instead of straight on. His animations are also pretty different.
  • The victory and defeat animations seem different or slightly unpolished. There is no animation for the mouths at this time.
  • The font for "Splatted _____!" was different.


Nintendo Direct Footage

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EXKQQmm9EE The game was shown off again, this time at the Nintendo Direct. Two new stages, which were the Blackbelly Skatepark and Camp Triggerfish were shown off along with the Octo Valley campaign.

General Differences
  • The Inklings' voice clips now matches that of the final.
  • Tentacular Circus sounds almost exactly the same, with the exception of the ending part. Though, it was likely made for the trailer.
Stage Differences
  • Camp Triggerfish's layout was different in terms of aesthetical detail even though it had a lot minor layout changes.
  • Blackbelly Skatepark, however looked more closer to the final product.
Octo Valley Differences
  • A lot of the Octo Valley stages had some minor adjustments while they were still being developed.






April Trailer

Old pose for holding rollers.

The video to the right showcases a few of the changes from the April Trailer.

  • We get our first look at Blackbelly Skatepark and Camp Triggerfish, both which have many differences.
  • The inklings still used their transformation model from E3.
  • Checkpoints/ Spawn Points didn't have the two rotating arrows in the middle.
  • An inkling is shown idling at spawn with a Dynamo Roller early on, roller head unfolded, and not slung behind the back; unlike in the final game where the roller head folds when standing or running in humanoid form.
  • The Rapid Blaster is shown having the bottom part of the Rapid Blaster Pro. Presumably this was removed to make it easier to tell the difference between both guns.
  • The Classic Squiffer had Burst Bombs in place of Point Sensors initially.
  • Gushers are missing their spigots.
  • Captain Cuttlefish's entrance to the single player mode was in a different position and had a non-grated cover.
  • Captain Cuttlefish was originally meant to appear in person in one of the game's story missions. In the final game, however, he is only seen in-person in the final mission and in the hub of Octo Valley.
  • Level 5 had a completely different, red background, contrary to the blue one in the completed game.
  • Footage of what appears to be a retro-styled platformer appears for a brief second, although it is just as possible it never was a game to begin with.
  • Octolings wore what would eventually become the Moto Boots, along with armor on the rest of their legs. They also don't appear to be wearing a belt as they do in the final game.
  • There was originally hooded Octarians, nowhere to be found in the finished product. They may have changed to Octosnipers.
  • Sunken Scrolls were changed from white sheets of paper to stained brown scrolls, presumably to give it a more ancient appearance.