First, there were only squid kids. Now, we have octolings! In Splatoon, these slick cephalopods served as major villians, adorable octopus counterparts to the players. When the franchise announced its expansion with a Switch-bound sequel, rumors circled of playable octopi- this was confirmed as upcoming paid content. But Nintendo wasn’t just selling players a fresh look…

For Splatoon 2‘s first paid DLC, players unlock 80 stages of brand new story missions- and upon completion, the option to play as your customized Octoling! Prior to last week’s E3 conference,  the launch date of this expansion was set for July 31st of this year. Then, in a surprise announcement, Nintendo revealed Octo Expansion would drop the night following, June 13th, nearly two months early. This delighted veterans and series newbies alike and the anticipation was palpable all over the internet, on top of the Splatoon 2 hub world, Inktopolis.

The new story is one full of intrigue as you traverse the deep sea subway to reclaim your memories with help from Captain Cuttlefish, as well as some new fishy faces! But with allies new and old comes one heck of a gauntlet…

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This creative underground railroad reef has players calling it a major challenge, something it seems the interface itself is designed to handle on behalf of those having trouble beating the increasingly tougher stages. The faces of Splatoon 2, Pearl & Marina, act as your loan manager and hacker respectively; some might call this pay-to-win, but it’s not so insidious; firstly, once you’ve purchase for this DLC, that’s the only real world currency you pay. While rich squid Pearl gives you cash, you still have to beat stages to earn more currency (and pay back MC.Princess for the loans,) in order to make in-game purchases later.

As stages are unlocked, through standard play or hacking courtesy of DJ_Hyperfresh, various pathways open up. Your goal to complete the story is to obtain “four thangs” throughout your ride on the Deepsea Metro. Once stages are beaten, you obtain “mem cakes” which don’t just contain cryptic poems of your memories, but allow you to trade with custodial crustacean Iso Padre for Octoling gear to use in multiplayer mode!

At $19.99, you unlock an abundance of content and hours of gameplay, well worth the price of admission. So choose your way to play! Focus on the Four Thangs, obtain your Octoling ASAP, go back later to unlock the mem cakes and gear; go for 100% on your first run; whatever! Your only limit is your swim speed and reach of your tentacles! Happy splatting!