Personality and traits
Like Inklings they have the ability to transform, but into octopi. Octolings can switch between octopus and humanoid form at will. They make up an elite corps of the Octarian forces, and are heavily armed with bombs and ink guns.
It appears that only female Octolings are in Hero Mode, but DJ Octavio may be an Octarian with the ability to transform between two forms at will. Octolings may have been the main opponent of the Inklings in the Great Turf War (But according to a sunken scroll it appears that Captain Cuttlefish was friends with DJ Octavio as they are seen sitting down together having a cheerful conversation).
There are two versions of the Octoling: the red-haired regular troopers (such as the one pictured on the right), and the second elite soldiers, which features blackish hair with seaweed on the sides.
These elite Octolings with seaweed on the sides are called デラタコゾネス Deratakozonesu in Japanese. (meaning something like deluxe, or decorated Octoling). It should be noted that in the later stages of Hero Mode, these upgraded versions of Octolings may appear and are harder to splat than regular Octolings.
According to their original Japanese name, Takozonesu (from octopus and Amazoness), they all are female. In fact, the Octolings that the player encounters appear to be female.
However, male Octolings exist. In one of the Sunken Scrolls, there appears to be a humanoid form male Octarian and Cap'n Cuttlefish. Judging by the hat and the Wasabi under the Octarian's arm, it could be a humanoid DJ Octavio. He may be a male Octoling. The Octo Expansion introduced customizable male and female Octolings for players to control in multiplayer.
Octolings appear to have the most aggressive AI when compared to other Octarians, and can pull off any move the player can.
To deal with the Octolings, use some of the following strategies:
- The Octolings jump frequently, so hit them while they are on the ground.
- Octolings shoot bombs frequently, so send Seekers at them.
- If in trouble, turn into a squid and swim away. They don't follow you when you do.
- Throw bombs at them if you don't have a long range weapon. In Splatoon 2, throw a few autobombs and you may not ever have to directly face them. Of course, this might not always work.
- When surrounded by enemy ink, the Octolings will attempt to swim away in octopus form, however they will be trapped by your ink and move far slower. When you find an Octoling flailing in an attempt to get away, take the chance while it's slowed.
- In Splatoon 2, there will usually be at least one Octoling guarding each Mini Zapfish. However, they will not be there immediately; instead they will super jump in, and the super jump sign will appear on the ground (identical to the ones in multiplayer). Spray ink at it so that when they jump in, they won’t be able to escape.
The Octo Expansion introduce the Sanitized Octolings using all previous as well as new weapons, subs, and specials, including Octarian versions of the Herobrush, Hero Dualies, and Hero Brella. They are also able to use additonal subs including the Burst Bomb and Autobomb. They are also capable of using specials, including the Inkjet, Tenta Missiles, Sting Ray, Ink Storm, Splat-Bomb Launcher, Ink Armor, and Splashdown. The physical coloration of the Octolings are very different from the normal ones. They are shown to have pale greenish skin, dark teal colored finger tips and blue hair with neon yellow tips.
While both types of characters are called "Octolings" in English material about the expansion, the Japanese version makes a notable distinction between the player Octoling, called タコ (Tako), "Octopus" and the enemy Octolings, called タコゾネス (Takozonesu), "Octopus-Amazon."
- Once the player completes Hero Mode, they receive three pieces of Octoling equipment for them to wear: Octoling Goggles, Octoling Armor, and Octoling Boots.
- The player does not receive this gear in Splatoon 2. The reason for this is currently unknown.
- Other than possibly DJ Octavio and Agent 8 from the Octo Expansion, the only other known Octoling character is Marina, the second member of the band "Off The Hook" in Splatoon 2.
- Her black-teal hair may suggest that she was a former Elite Octoling who might had defected to Inkopolis for a career.
- Some players of the Original Game hacked into it to create a glitch which changes their playing characters into Octolings. Some of those attempts ended with a corrupted game for themselves and other users in any games they are involved with, and, at worst, they can get banned from multiplayer matches for hacking.
- In the Nintendo Direct of 3/8/18 it was shown that male Octolings do exist, other than just DJ Octavio. Also announced in the direct was the Octo Expansion, a paid DLC that added a new story mode and playable Octolings.