Why Splatoon 3 Was Smart to Remove Sunken Scrolls from Story Levels

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Splatoon 3 makes changes to the Sunken Scroll collectables in Rise of the Mammalians that benefit the story mode’s purpose as a tutorial.

Splatoon 3 is not the first entry in its franchise to release for Nintendo Switch, but even so it has found an impressive presence on the hybrid console. Within three days of releasing on September 9, Nintendo announced that Splatoon 3 sold over 3.45 million copies in Japan – a bigger launch than titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildPokemon Sword and Shield, and Animal Crossing: New HorizonsSplatoon 3‘s story mode Rise of the Mammalians is garnering a lot of attention in particular, both because of the lore it imparts and for the improved way it handles collectables like Sunken Scrolls.

While the Splatoon franchise is one of Nintendo’s more recent endeavours releasing its first entry for Wii U in 2015, it has a number of staple features that have carried through both sequels. Every game has a new idol group to introduce multiplayer map rotations and participate in Splatfest events, for example. Sunken Scrolls are items available in the single-player story mode for each game that provide additional world building details for anyone who finds them. Splatoon 1 and 2 hid the majority of their scrolls inside stages, but Splatoon 3 is smart to have them primarily appear in the Alterna overworld.

Story Collectibles in Splatoon and Splatoon 2

The original Splatoon‘s story mode took place in Octo Valley, where Cap’n Cuttlefish of the New Squidbeak Splatoon recruits players to serve as Agent 3 alongside the Squid Sisters Callie and Marie. Splatoon 2‘s story instead follows Agent 4 in Octo Canyon, but both feature a similar structure. Players take on a series of obstacle courses in abstract space that serve as tutorials for each games’ weapons and abilities, all with the aim of saving the Great Zapfish that powers Inkopolis from Octarian boss DJ Octavio.

While making their way through the levels accessible via Kettles scattered across Octo Valley and Canyon, players can find Sunken Scrolls; often in hidden locations or behind difficult challenges. A few could be also discovered in each region’s overworld, totally 24 in both games (though Splatoon included three more exclusive to amiibo challenges). Splatoon 2‘s Octo Expansion took a different mission structure and replaced Sunken Scrolls with “mem cakes” developed using the memories of Octoling protagonist Agent 8. One such mem cake discusses the Sunken Scrolls, which Agent 8 calls “too obtuse” and offers to dump in the lost and found.

As mentioned, each Sunken Scroll discusses an aspect of Splatoon‘s world history and current affairs. For example, scrolls in Splatoon 1 talk about the Great Zapfish being 100-years old, reveal the Squid Sisters are actually cousins and showcase the “Great Turf War” between the Inklings and Octarians. Splatoon 2‘s scrolls similarly discuss the past of its idol group Off the Hook and then-new entities like the Salmonids.

How Splatoon 3’s Changes Benefit its Story Mode

Sunken Scrolls in Splatoon 3 are identical to their predecessors, though the lore they present about characters like Shiver, Frye, and Big Man is supplemented by another forum called the Alterna Logs that reveal more about the fall of humanity. However, every scroll is found in the overworld as players clear out fuzzy ooze with their Smallfry companion and dig up Loot Anchors. They appear alongside other collectables like Tableturf card packs, decorations for one’s locker (Sunken Scrolls can also be used for this), and music discs that alter the current background song.

Nintendo was smart to keep these collectables outside Splatoon 3‘s main story levels because it gives players the opportunity to really focus on their objective without having to meticulously comb through every inch of land. This benefits the story mode’s purpose as a tutorial for newcomers, who may be excited to test their abilities rather than slowing down at each junction. Yet the challenges and hidden secrets still exist, they just pay out Power Eggs more often than not – a currency required to consume fuzzy ooze on the overworld.

Thus, searching for secrets in Rise of the Mammalians still makes it easier to unlock Sunken Scrolls without compromising a more focused-level design. There are a ton of improvements that help Splatoon 3 feel like a smoother experience than its predecessors, such as making the Anarchy Splatcast optional and opening Salmon Run 24/7, and this relatively small adjustment to the story mode is one more to add on the list.

Splatoon 3 is available now on Nintendo Switch.

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