Zapfish (Japanese: デンチナマズ, Denchinamazu) are a type of an electric catfish with the ability to produce a strong electrical current, that appear in Splatoon's Hero Mode. The player must rescue one at the end of every level in order to proceed in the story.
Zapfish are the main power source of the Inklings' world. They were stolen and taken to Octo Valley, a hidden underground base used by the Octarians, because they are running out of power and to reactivate the Great Octoweapons. The player must rescue all the Zapfish, to be able to proceed to new areas. The goal of the Hero Mode is to save the giant 100 year old Great Zapfish, which is the power supply of Inkopolis.
A Zapfish is found near the conclusion of every campaign level, enclosed in a glowing sphere and sitting on a light bulb-esque pedestal. The player must shoot the sphere with Ink until it bursts, releasing the fish.
Zapfish appear similar to an Anglerfish , and a light bulb's filament. They seem to have a large head with two small eyes, two nostrils, and a big pair of orange lips. Below the head is a smaller body. When a Zapfish is successfully rescued, upon replaying that level, the Zapfish is replaced with a plush replica with a blue cap.
The Great Zapfish is a large Zapfish that first appears at the begging of the battle against DJ Octavio when it gets sucked into DJ Octavio's robot. After the player defeats DJ Octavio, the Great Zapfish appears above Inkopolis Plaza.
- Zapfish in the Octarians' spheres are surrounded by electrical charges, likely indicating that they are generating power for Octo Valley.
- The Japanese name "Denchi Namazu" (電池鯰, デンチナマズ) literally means "Catfish Battery." Similar to electric eels, some catfish produce an electrical discharge to defend themselves.
- In the map Piranha Pit around the 0:45 second mark in Turf War, you can see the Great Zapfish in the sea.
- When the Player completes a level he/she has already completed, a fake Zapfish will appear instead of a real one. The Player pats the Zapfish a few times during the end of the level music. You can see a gif below.
- Before every Boss Battle , an Octarian tentacle is shown to grab the Zapfish, if the Player has already completed the battle, it will be replaced with a fake Zapfish.