Drop down the information below with caution unless you have completed Hero Mode or Octo Expansion. Spoilers are below.
Spoilers end here.
|“||"TARTAR IN DA HOUSE!" [DISABLING CONTEMPORARY SPEECH MODE]||”|
— Tartar, NILS Statue
In its telephone form, it appears as an old-timey telephone box. Once Agent 8 has collected all 4 of the thangs, it connects its telephone body to the thangs, transforming itself into a blender, attempting to kill Agent 8 and Cap'n Cuttlefish.
Sanitized Octarian Form
During the final boss battle, it appears as the telephone box with turquoise ooze seeping out, as well as an Sanitized Octarian tentacle poking out. The telephone also appears a bit damaged due to Agent 3's attack.
Telephone 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, so as to prevent them from meeting the same fate as humanity.
Telephone 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".
The Telephone initially appears as an ancient-looking public telephone in the Deepsea Metro. It provides Agent 8 with two items: The CQ-80 and the CQ Card.
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 in order to return. Upon gathering all 4 Thangs, however, they actually 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 and Agent 3, partially sanitizing the latter, hijacking Agent 3's mind into tying up 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 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. Despite this, the cannon is still able to fire, but is stopped by Pearl's voice-enhanced Killer Wail, with Tartar destroyed along with the statue.
Tartar 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. However, before revealing its true intentions, in his Telephone form, he appears friendly and helpful towards Agent 8, proving its capability of manipulation to achieve its goal.
- 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" that created Tartar was also Judd's owner.
- The telephone might have thought that Inklings and Octarians were no better than the human race that created him.
- This is supported by the fact that the telephone says that Inklings and Octarians war over small genetic differences, a possible reference to the American Civil War, and racism in general.
- It also says that they obsess over fashion trends, a reference to the modern age.
- 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?"