There’s Something Fishy About Li’l Judd in Splatoon 3

Spoiler alert: The content below contains spoilers for Splatoon 3’s story mode. Proceed at your own risk!

If you’re a casual fan of the Splatoon franchise, you might be surprised to learn that the game’s lore runs deep. From sunken scrolls and character dialogue in story mode to tidbits of canonical information in official art books, Splatoon’s story is actually quite complex.

Splatoon 2’s paid DLC, Octo Expansion, complements the base game with a unique and somewhat dark storyline. We already know there are “massive paid DLC” planned for Splatoon 3, and I believe we have enough evidence to speculate that this time around. What will be the story of

It all centers around an unlikely character: Lil Judd. There’s something fishy about him in Splatoon 3, and I believe he’ll be a central antagonist in the game’s DLC.

Jude and Lil Judd Splatoon 3

For those not well versed in Splatoon lore, let me quickly catch you up.

10,000 years ago, global warming caused sea levels to rise, causing the extinction of all land mammals. Jude the Cat was an exception – his owner had him cryogenically sealed in the hope that he would survive the extinction of mammals and live in a future civilization. It worked!

Later, Judd learns that his owner had included a function in the capsule where he was frozen that would create a clone of himself so that he would not be alone in the event of being the only cat to survive. That’s where Lil Judd comes in.

He’s Judd’s clone, but he’s not very happy with it. From the moment he was “born” he knew he was a clone of Judd. Because of this, inferiority complex is created in them.

Aside from feelings of insecurity, Lil Judd’s character goes a little darker. According to the book Art of Splatoon 2, Lil Judd is “waiting for his chance to stab Judd in the back.” We also learn in a sunken scroll in Splatoon 3 that Li’l Judd takes very specific notes on Judd’s weakest points (his toes), and describes Judd as a “victim”. Could he be planning to hurt or even kill the same cat he is a clone of?

OK OK. It’s still a lot to take.

Let’s take a look at what changes have happened in Splatoon 3 with regards to Li’l Judd and how they point to some nefarious brewing.

Returning fans noticed that Lil’ Judd has a slightly new look in Splatoon 3. This time, the outline of his body has a pointed fuzz. What else is fuzzy in Splatoon 3? The poisonous Fuzz that Mr. Gries, the main antagonist of the story, used as a weapon against Agent 3, of course! The only difference is that Li’l Judd’s new Fuzz isn’t purple… yet.

Tablet Turf Lil Judd Splatoon 3

Speaking of Mr. Grizz, did you notice any changes around him after defeating Splatsville in Return of the Mammals, the game’s story mode? There are two very important things to note.

The most obvious change is that Grizzo’s (Salmon Run) radio is now a statue of a giant fish eating a fish instead of the previous bear. This suggests that Mr. Gryz is no longer in charge of Grizzo (which seems obvious, since we defeated him), although the company continues to use his name and voice on the radio. Maybe they don’t want the freelancers to know he’s gone.

So what does this have to do with Lil Judd? Well, if Mr. Grizz isn’t behind the radio in Grizzko now, then who is? I believe it’s Lil Judd, and I’ll tell you why.

The other big change is that after Story Mode is completed, Li’l Judd wears a headset while judging Turf War battles and playing Tablet Turf. It’s not explained or even acknowledged, but since the story involves eliminating Mr. Grizz, it makes sense that Lil Judd took advantage of the opening at Grizzko and used a headset to talk into the radio.

If that sounds like a stretch, there’s more evidence pointing to Lil Judd’s involvement in Grizzo. In Tableturf game mode, Li’l Judd (who becomes a challenger at level 21) has card sleeves emblazoned with the Salmon Run logo design. Additionally, the cards in his deck are primarily Salmonid enemies and bosses. It seems awfully random, especially since Judd’s card sleeves are not related to the Salmon Run.

Tablet Turf Against Lil Judd With Salmon Run Card Splatoon
When playing against Lil Judd in Battle of TableTurf, his card has a Salmon Run-themed sleeve.

if you Even then Not convinced there’s anything wrong with Lil Judd, have you ever noticed which side he’s on when watching Turf War battles? Judd stands on the left to represent your own team, the “Good Guys,” and Lil Judd stands on the right to represent the opposing team, the “Bad Guys.” coincidence? I do not think so!

The last thing to be discussed is what would be Lil Judd’s motivation for joining Grizzko. Like Mr. Gries, he is one of the few mammals to have survived. We already know that Lil Judd has resentment towards Judd, and his sunken scroll points to impending action against his superior.

Mr. Gries had no allegiance to salmonids (bears eat fish after all) and was not afraid to bite their eggs to gain power. It seems clear to me that Lil Judd (a cat, who…

Battle of the Turf War 3 while looking at the screen Splatoon
Li’l Jud only starts wearing the headset when deciding to fight after Mr. Gryz’s defeat in story mode.

The fact that many of these hints are subtly scattered throughout Splatoon 3 makes me think it’s not just a coincidence. Li’l Judd’s character has been carefully drawn into the background to tell the story indirectly, and I believe it will eventually reveal itself when more content is added to the game via DLC.

Everything indicates that Li’l Jud is an antagonist, and the expanded material that will finally be coming to Splatoon 3 will finally be the perfect opportunity to tell this little cat’s story.