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— Commander Tartar during introduction of the final boss fight of the Octo Expansion

Telephone (デンワ Denwa?), also known as Commander Tartar (タルタル総帥 Tarutaru Sōsui?), is the main antagonist in Splatoon 2's Octo Expansion.

He normally speaks like an actual human sometimes, but when you get to the final boss he disables that speech mode, indicating that humans where smart enough to add extra modes.


Telephone Form

In its telephone form, it appears as an old-timey telephone box. Once Agent 8 has collected all four thangs, it connects its telephone body to the thangs, transforming the thangs into a blender under its control, attempting to blend Agent 8 and Cap'n Cuttlefish into raw material.

Sanitized Octarian Form

During the final boss battle, it appears as the telephone box with turquoise ooze seeping out, as well as a Sanitized Octarian tentacle poking out. The telephone also appears a bit damaged due to Agent 3's attack.


The Telephone is an AI created by a human scientist referred to only as "The Professor" 12,000 years prior to the events of Splatoon 2. Unlike Judd, it did not seal itself in a pod, and it sat for 12,000 years as it may be waterproof. 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.

The 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 also annihilating the existing lifeforms on Earth. The Sanitized Octarians are its creations, spawned from the biomass it 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 four 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, and the Telephone seems 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 seemingly destroyed along with the statue.


Being an AI, Tartar does not have any major personality traits, though 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. It seems to have been programmed to only recognize things that people need, and the Inklings' love for fashion seems unreasonable to it. As a result of this disgust building up over millennia, it ends up with a crazed, passionate hatred of life on the planet, seemingly being its only driving force. However, before revealing its true intentions, the Telephone initially appears friendly and helpful towards Agent 8, proving its capabilities of manipulation and deception to achieve its goal. It has a very futuristic AI.




  • 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 humans 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 Telephone's quote "Are you ready to join something bigger than yourself?" is similar to the quote spoken by Mr. Grizz "You ready to be part of somethin' bigger than yourself?", which appears when the player visits Grizzco Industries for the first time.
  • 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. [1]
    • 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?"
  • Tartar’s first dialogue upon starting the NILS Statue fight is “TARTAR IN DA HOUSE”. This could be a reference to the first dialogue in the fight against DJ Octavio.
    • In Tartar form, it seems that the bells and speaking tube are completely disconnected from the box, as the ooze is covering the entire box.
  • Commander Tartar's name is a reference to tartar sauce, a sauce made using mainly mayonnaise, which may reference the ooze seeping out of it. Tartar sauce is primarily used for seafood, referencing its displeasure for the evolved sea creatures and desire to annihilate them.
    • Tartar's name could also be a reference to Tartarus, a deep abyss far in the underworld in Greek mythology. It would reference how the facility is deep underwater. This may also tie into the possibility that the NILS Statue is meant to resemble the Greek god Hermes.
  • Commander Tartar's "contemporary speech" mode is only present in the English and Latin American Spanish localizations of the Octo Expansion. In other localizations, it wonders if Agent 8 has ever heard of the promised land out loud before explaining what it is.
    • In the NOA Spanish localization, Tartar's "juvenile jargon" mode is demonstrated with exaggerated use of Mexican slang. The mode is already deactivated by the time Tartar reveals the NILS Statue.
  • Tartar hints that it is going to blend up Agent 8 in most of its dialogue.
    • The term it uses for Inkopolis, "promised land", may be a reference to heaven or afterlife. It also calls the promised land a "utopia of light beyond your wildest dreams", supporting this theory.
    • When it first turns on its slang mode, it refers to the player as "home skillet". A skillet is a frying pan, a hint that Tartar is essentially going to "fry up" Agent 8.
    • It says the opportunity to pass tests to eventually get to the promised land is "once in a lifetime".
    • When Agent 8 has collected all the thangs, it asks if they are ready to "ascend to a higher plane" and "join something bigger than yourself".
Characters in the Splatoon Series
Main Major

JuddLi'l JuddGreat ZapfishMr. GrizzIso PadreDenizens of the deepSpykeTelephone

Story Mode/Octo Expansion Bosses
Salmonid's Bosses
  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Splatoon 2 Famitsu interview