Calamari Inkantation is primarily an electronic-style song, showing musical similarities to J-Pop. In-game, the Squid Sisters' version is a cover of the chorus of Calamari County. The song is shown to have major in-game significance, as the melody is described as being etched into Inklings' and Octolings' DNA, and listening to the song causes powerful effects, from heightened strength to curing brainwashing. It is first played in Splatoon during Enter the Octobot King!. At the beginning of the fifth and final phase, the Squid Sisters, as Agents 1 and 2, override DJ Octavio's I am Octavio to play the Calamari Inkantation, which gives Cap'n Cuttlefish the strength to break free of his restraints and dance, while Agent 3 continues and defeats Octavio, who also dances with the music. It can also be heard in Squid Beatz after hearing it during Enter the Octobot King, and using either the Callie or Marie amiibo also allows the player to watch the Squid Sisters perform the song as if they were in a Splatfest. It is included in Splatune and Splatoon Live in Makuhari.
In Splatoon 2, it is shown that Octolings hearing the Calamari Inkantation are freed of their brainwashing and defect from the Octarian forces. Sunken Scroll 2 reveals that the final battle of Splatoon was somehow interpreted as an underground music show and Marina can be seen enjoying the song.
During the Octo Expansion, Cap'n Cuttlefish notes that Agent 8 was humming the Inkantation whilst unconscious, causing him to abandon his attack out of respect and help them. In Marina's Chat Room, Cuttlefish researches Marina's past as an Octarian combat engineer, whose files show that she went missing from the Octarian army after listening to the song. Marina later confirms that now her and Agent 8's "souls have been freed, there's no way we can continue to live under the oppression of Octarian society". Later, Pearl notes the many Octolings beginning to populate Inkopolis Square have also listened to the song.
The Sunken Scroll at Stage 23 in Hero Mode contains the sheet music for this song. It was the customary chorus of Calamari County, which began as a way to celebrate and show respect for the bounty of the sea.
The lyrics for "Calamari Inkantation" were revealed in Splatune as Japanese hiragana. These only give the pronunciation for the Inkling language lyrics, and are gibberish in Japanese, violating the phonotactic rules with clusters like にぃ (nyi), ordinarily not a valid sequence of sounds. A transliteration is also provided below.
や うぇに まれぃ みれきゃらひれ
Ya weni marei mirekyarahire
Remixes and covers
Chorus of Calamari County
|“||The customary chorus of Calamari County. Nowadays, this song and dance may as well be carved into the very DNA of all Inklings. It began as a way to celebrate and show respect for the bounty of the sea.||”|
The Chorus of Calamari County, also referred to as the Calamari Shanty in the European release of Splatoon, is a folk rendition of the song, with few instruments used. It is meant to depict a recording of various Inklings singing along together, presumably by the beach. The beginning and end include ambient noise of Inklings talking and waves splashing nearby. In-universe, this version is not a remix, but rather the original version before the Squid Sisters made their cover. However, the ambience suggests that the chorus is not the original song either, as the song could be so old and traditional that no original recording exists, similar to various real-life traditional songs.
It is only mentioned in the game through the 23rd Sunken Scroll, although this version of the song is not heard in Splatoon. Instead, it was first heard in Splatune and was also used in a promotional video depicting the young Squid Sisters in kimono outfits dancing to this track. However, most of the ambient intro and outro was cut. In Splatoon 2, the song can be heard playing in the background in Skipper Pavilion, but is only noticeable during Recon where no other music is present.
This is the song that the Squid Sisters performed at the first Inkopolis Annual Youth Folk-Singing Contest, and the booklet in Splatune revealed that they caught the eye of committee member "Shy-Ho-Shy" due to their performance of the song, and helped them arrive to Inkopolis. It is possible that the recorded song is meant to depict a recording of Callie and Marie's winning performance, backed up by its use in the aforementioned promotional video. However, multiple voices other than the Squid Sisters can be heard in the recording, possibly discrediting this idea.
Spicy Calamari Inkantation
A new remix was created for use in Splatoon 2's single-player campaign. This version remains very similar to the original, yet has additional electronic-style production. It also has a different intro from the original, more akin to the gradual build-up intro from the live versions. The melody of City of Color's chorus can be heard after the end of the chorus during the small instrumental break. In a similar vein to how the Calamari Inkantation played during the final phase of the first game's final boss, the same occurs during Tide Goes Out. At the beginning of Phase 4 of the fight, Callie starts to regain control of herself after Marie's blast from her Hero Charger and this music causes Callie to transform back into her original self. The reunited Squid Sisters then perform the song together on Sheldon's flying truck while Agent 4 finishes defeating DJ Octavio.
- Calamari Inkantation can be played on the password screen for Private and Squad Battles by moving the cursor over the numbers in the following pattern.7--67--6|7--67656|7--67--6|72387--6|7--67--6|76567234|3--21--2|34943276|1
- To celebrate the Final Splatfest for Splatoon 2, during the second day of the Splatfest, Calamari Inkantation was played during Turf War matches, indicating that Off the Hook asked the Squid Sisters to play it during the matches to help celebrate the Final Splatfest.