YOU'RE A KID NOW! YOU'RE A SQUID NOW! YOU'RE A KID YOU'RE A SQUID YOU'RE A KID NOW!
—Announcer who can't make up their mind, Splatoon commercial
The Inklings are the squid-kid-things from the very-recently released Wii U title Splatoon, and have a surprisingly large base of support for Super Smash Bros for 3DS / Wii U. They ended up being the first confirmed newcomer(s) for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch, surprising no one.
Since Splatoon isn't even out yet (2018, still waiting), we don't know much about the Inklings. They can turn into squids and shoot ink. That's about it. They also don't like octopi too much. Regardless, Splatoon has drawn a lot of hype from the members of the board, In fact, many people (including Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation) think that Nintendo is going to put the Inklings in Smash Bros as a way of advertising the game, just like how they Roy in to advertise Fire Emblem: Binding Blade (even though roy only made it in because he could easily be a marth clone while the inklings would almost certainly have to be unique). These claims aren't completely baseless, though, as Nintendo has been hyping this game up a lot, constantly streaming it on Twitch, giving it its own amiibo, and having Playboy models come play it for some reason. Regardless, the Inkling has a lot of support, especially for a new IP that hasn't even come out yet. Though they will be much more likely if the game gets a ual. (Spoiler alert, it did, and they made it in.)
On May 7, 2015, Nintendo broadcasted a Splatoon Nintendo Direct. While there were some expecting Inklings to be confirmed for SSB, most of the board had finally realized that it would be stupid to expect Smash news in another game's direct. And wouldn't you know it, they revealed that the Inklings will be DLC for Smash 4. As Mii costumes. This has lead to lots of debate as to whether it means that the Inklings have been deconfirmed or not. People who still think Inkling has a chance point to the Link costume (and erroneously the X costume) as proof that Inklings could have a Mii costume and be playable. People who don't think so generally say that that Link is SS Link and that playable Link is from Twilight Princess, among other things (plus there have been arguments that so much effort was put into them for costumes because they won't be playable. Yeah). Still, this potential deconfirmation has attracted a lot of butthurt to the Smash 4 boards, even though, as stated before, the game itself isn't even out yet. It's a big mess. But since it's Splatoon, I guess that's the point.
And now they're in. Good job, guys.
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Inklings were actually confirmed for the next "Super Smash Bros." title in 2018. Watch the E3.