Though the hype surrounding the sequel to everyone's favourite squid fighting simulator has died down a bit, players are still flocking to the game's ever-changing horde mode.
Salmon Run drops a team of four inkings onto a small map with a host of possible challenges. Water levels rise and fall, waves of fog creep in, and armies of murderous fish beasts slosh forth from the ocean to crack your skull with their handy frying pans. When players aren't fleeing for their life from some mutant salmon demon, they're frantically shoving golden eggs into the nearest depository. No David Attenborough documentary series has prepared you for this kind of natural phenomenon.
While I was initially drawn to Splatoon 2 by my love of the original game for Wii U, Salmon Run soon became my obsession. The fact that it isn't available for play round the clock makes it that much more special and mysterious. The true stars of this new mode are the aptly dubbed "Boss Salmonids", terrifyingly silly creatures with distinct forms of attack and defence. The Salmon Run tutorial does a great job of introducing each boss and showing the best strategy for defeating it.
But yelling, "Here comes a Scrapper!" or, "We've got a Flyfish over here!" just wasn't doing it for me. So my dedicated squad of squid friends and I crafted elegant and timeless nicknames for each Salmon Run boss.
Allow me to introduce...
Given Name: Steelhead
Explanation: OK, I'll admit I'm not exactly starting off with the most clever one. The Steelhead throws enormous paint bombs from his noggin. Bombs that must be shot as he pushes them slowly out of his grotesque neck if players want to burst his bubble. Without a powerful and well-timed volley of ink the Steelhead can stay alive for far too long, tossing bombs willy nilly. Thus, he was bestowed the title of "Bomberman", gaming's most iconic bomb tosser.
Given Name: Flyfish
Explanation: The Flyfish has been known to turn the tide on even the best of teams. This hovering trash monster blasts rockets of ink from his side compartments and can only be properly blown to bits by some well placed splat bombs. Why Elton John? Because he's a Rocket Man... ROCKET MAAAN. Burning out his fuel out there alone. And I think it's going to be a long long time before touchdown brings you round again to find he's not the fish you think he is at home. Oh no, no, no. He's a rocket man.
The Kids' Choice Awards
Given Name: Steel Eel
Explanation: Winning a prestigious award is great (I assume), but winning an orange blimp that's secretly a kaleidoscope and getting doused in a shower of slime while Rosie O'Donnell screams your name is an honour reserved for only the most perfect human beings. Now YOU can live the dream of every American child in the mid-'90s by getting absolutely soaked by a steady stream of unappealing snot-coloured liquid. The Steel Eel does just this as it cruises slowly towards each member of your unit. Radical!
Given Name: Maws
Explanation: The Maws can swim through any solid bit of environment while tracking its prey. No one is safe from its sneak attacks and tenacious jaws. The name Maws is already pretty clever, so "Biter" might be a bit of a downgrade in terms of official labels. It's just more fun to say. Though certainly not as enjoyable as Grandmaw.
"Aww, what happened?! You were the only one still alive."
"This Grandmaw came out of nowhere and ate me!"
No matter what sentence you use to describe your fate at the hands of a Grandmaw, you're sure to get a chuckle out of it.
Long Island Iced Tea
Given Name: Stinger
Explanation: If you've ever seen (or drank) a long island iced tea you know that they are traditionally served in tall glasses. The Stinger's towering body, topped with a straw-like laser canon, gives it just enough of a resemblance to the fruity drink to make the nickname stick. And what happens when you have too many Long Island Iced Teas at once? That's right — you get blasted.
Given Name: Drizzler
Explanation: The Drizzler (seen top left in the image above) floats down from on high to launch its special ink storm clouds. Its main form of transportation and defence is its sturdy steel umbrella-ella-ella, eh, eh, eh. You see where this is going, right?
Given Name: Scrapper
Explanation: The Scrapper's only weakness is its unprotected backside. Teamwork is needed to distract it while someone sneaks around and lights up the poor schmuck from behind. Since this bumbling baddie looks like an increasingly hostile baking device it has acquired a moniker to match. So check on those biscuits and pump this sucker full of ink.
[Image: The Game Fanatics]
Given Name: Griller
Explanation: The Griller is part of a special wave that is solely dedicated to these mindless and bloodthirsty backyard barbecues. The Griller has only one objective - kill. With the help of its somehow-even-more-annoying swarm of small fry salmon it slowly paints you into a corner. And then it paints the life right out of you. God help us all.
Given Name: Goldie
Explanation: The Goldie are part of a few special occurrences in Salmon Run, the most notable simply known as a "Rush". These freakishly aggressive and brightly glowing thugs will lead wave after wave of their minions to overwhelm your team while you shout obscenities at your television screen. Much like the legendary warrior race featured in the Dragon Ball series, they are a shining beacon of justice and terror. The number of Super Saiyen-led salmon on screen during a Rush phase is easily over 9000.
Surely I can't be the only one who has nicknamed these suicidal salmon deviants. Regale me with the tales of your hysterical and well-thought-out titles in the comments below.