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Zapfish (デンチナマズ Denchi Namazu?, lit. Battery Catfish) are a type of an electric catfish with the ability to produce a strong electrical current and appear in Splatoon's, Splatoon 2's, and Splatoon 3's Hero Mode. The player must rescue one at the end of every mission in order to proceed in the story.

The Great Zapfish (オオデンチナマズ Ō Denchi Namazu?, lit. Great Battery Catfish) is the main subject of the single player modes of Octo Valley and Octo Canyon. It is an extremely large Zapfish that powers all of Inkopolis.

There are different types of Zapfish in the game: normal Zapfish are small, approximately the size of an Inkling's head; the more powerful and much larger Great Zapfish provides enough electricity to power Inkopolis. Normal Zapfish are held captive by bosses in each world, while the Great Zapfish is held by the final boss, DJ Octavio. In Splatoon 2, a new type of Zapfish is introduced. It is the Mini Zapfish. Mini Zapfishes are smaller than a normal Zapfish. In stages that have them, you normally have to collect 8 Mini Zapfish to pass, or free one to pass.

Appearance

Normal

Zapfish appear similar to a catfish, and a light bulb's filament. They seem to have a large head with two small eyes, two nostrils, and a big pair of orange lips. Below the head is a smaller body. When a Zapfish is successfully rescued, upon replaying that mission, the Zapfish is replaced with a plush replica with a blue cap. Also, the victory scene of the protagonist will be different from the one shown when they first rescued the real Zapfish.

A good example being in the Hero Mode of Splatoon 2. When a female Agent 4 rescues a Zapfish, she hugs it close with an overjoyed smile on her face, even when wearing additional armor. When replaying the mission and rescuing the plush replica, she simply jumps up into the air with a satisfied smirk at having kicked Octarian brine again to clear the stage and rescue the plush replica.

Mini Zapfish

Mini Zapfish only appear in Octo Canyon inside Octoling missions. There is a total of eight Mini Zapfish scattered across the map in each mission, and it is Agent 4's job to collect all of them. It is stated by Marie that all eight Mini Zapfish combined have the power output of one normal Zapfish.

Great Zapfish

Unlike other Zapfish, the Great Zapfish is massive and more similar to the real-life electric catfish. It has yellow curled whiskers that give off electricity, an orange mouth, a peach face, a dark blue body, a small, dark blue tail with lime green along the edges, and similarly colored fins.


Description

Zapfish are a type of electric catfish that power the city of Inkopolis. Through an Inkopolis News broadcast at the start of both Splatoon and Splatoon 2, the player learns that the Great Zapfish has been stolen and taken to Octo Valley and Octo Canyon respectively, both places being a hidden underground base used by the Octarians. The player is guided by Craig Cuttlefish or Marie and must rescue all the Zapfish in order to restore Inkopolis' power supply. A Zapfish is found at the end of every level, enclosed in a glowing sphere of electricity and sitting on a light bulb-esque pedestal. The player must shoot the sphere with ink until it bursts, releasing the Zapfish. If it is not grabbed after some seconds, a new bubble will form around it.

History

Normal Zapfish

Zapfish are the main power source of the Inklings' world. They were stolen and taken to Octo Valley, a hidden underground base used by the Octarians, because they are running out of power and to reactivate the Great Octoweapons. The player must rescue all the Zapfish, to be able to proceed to new areas. The goal of the Hero Mode is to save the giant 100 year old Great Zapfish, which is the power supply of Inkopolis.

In Splatoon 2, eight smaller Zapfish spawn were used in some levels to power the same amount of energy generated by one adult Zapfish, and each of them were kept in spotlight-like containers. Occasionally, they can also spawn singularly in some stages. These are known as Mini Zapfish.

In the Octo Expansion, Zapfish are replaced by a different goal, which has a thin, silver, pencil-like design. They are the way for Agent 8 to complete levels that task them to get to the goal. They function the same way as a Zapfish, with bombs exploding instantly if they touch it. In The Diaphragm Phase also features an object called the Energy Core which looks like a red spherical Zapfish. HaikaraWalker has confirms that it's a Zapfish egg.

A Mini Zapfish mem cake can be found on the Ride with Me Station and a Zapfish mem cake can be found on the Radio Station.

A Zapfish is found near the conclusion of every campaign level, enclosed in a glowing sphere and sitting on a light bulb-esque pedestal. The player must shoot the sphere with ink until it bursts, releasing the Zapfish. In boss levels, the Zapfish will be seen hanging over a pool of Octarian ink in a similar container before the boss' tentacle lashes up to grab it and drag downwards to commence the boss. Once the boss is defeated and blows up in a huge splash of the player's ink, the Zapfish will be left behind to be claimed just like in the other stages.

Great Zapfish

The Great Zapfish, resting on Inkopolis Tower.

The Great Zapfish is a large Zapfish that first appears at the beginning of the battle against DJ Octavio when it gets sucked into the Octobot King. After the player defeats DJ Octavio, the Great Zapfish appears above Inkopolis Plaza.

In Splatoon 2, the Great Zapfish has been kidnapped again by DJ Octavio and his Octarians, along with Callie of the Squid Sisters. With the help of Sheldon and Marie, the player defeats DJ Octavio and saves Callie and the Great Zapfish. After DJ Octavio's defeat, the Great Zapfish does not return to Inkopolis Tower, but will instead be resting on Deca Tower or on the tracks above Grizzco Industries, or even flying around the sky, producing a barely audible jingle (the same jingle that plays in the final level of Octo Canyon, Tide Goes Out, when DJ Octavio is sucking the Great Zapfish into the Octobot King II).

Trivia

  • Zapfish in the Octarians' spheres are surrounded by electrical charges, likely indicating that they are generating power for Octo Valley.
  • The Japanese name "Denchi Namazu" (電池鯰, デンチナマズ) literally means "Catfish Battery." Similar to electric eels,  some catfish produce an electrical discharge to defend themselves.
  • In the map Piranha Pit around the 0:45 second mark in Turf War, you can see the Great Zapfish in the sea.
  • When the player completes a mission he/she has already completed, a fake Zapfish will appear instead of a real one. The player pats the Zapfish a few times during the end of the level music. You can see a gif below.
  • Before every [Category:Boss boss battle], an Octarian tentacle is shown to grab the Zapfish, if the player has already completed the battle, it will be replaced with a fake Zapfish. The tentacle that grabs the Zapfish also sports a cross-shaped scar on it similar to that seen on DJ Octavio.
  • The Great Zapfish resembles the Pokemon Whiscash.
  • Zapfish were used in a dungeon in Super Smash Bros Ultimate. In this game, the Great Zapfish also appeared as a Support Spirit.

Gallery

See also

Characters in the Splatoon Series
Main Major
Minor
Story Mode/Octo Expansion Bosses
Salmonid's Bosses
Vendors
Bands
Other
Species
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