The recent “Iwata Asks” post on Nintendo, reveals a rather interesting fact about the colorful squids found in the companies own WiiU title, Splatoon. It may surprise you that, prior to their aquatic makeover, the squids actually started out as blocks of monochromatic tofu!
According to Splatoon producer, Hisashi Nogami, when discussing an early prototype:
“There was a white thing and a black thing shaped like blocks of tofu, and they were shooting ink and they had to steal each other’s turf.”
While, personally, I think playing the game as blocks of tofu might have been hilarious, the meat substitute would have been a hard sell, says Shintaro Sato, Program Director for the game. From there the quest to the eventual squid included rabbits, humans, and even the possibility of Mario!
The eventual decision to use squids came from Splatoons Director, Tsubasa Sakaguchi. In the interview Sakaguchi first suggested the squid after pondering the statement “A motif where it makes sense for it to be squirting ink.” Once that had been answered, the team pushed to turn squids into the lovable characters now in Splatoon.