Nintendo have responded to the rumor that new Splatoon 3 host Shiver is non-binary with definitive confirmation that the character “identifies as female.”
First introduced in Nintendo’s August Splatoon 3 Direct, the blue-haired, shark-teeth-earring-wearing Shiver is one of the three members, alongside the yellow-themed Frye and the manta ray Big Man, who collectively make up the in-game music group Deep Cut.
Like the past game’s Squid Sisters (Callie and Marie) and Off the Hook (Pearl and Marina), Deep Cut’s members serve as the ‘hosts’ of Splatoon 3‘s numerous online events and competitions.
Speculation regarding Shiver’s identity was first put forth by Nintendo-centric news outlet Nintendo Life, who noted that both the Direct and other official Splatoon 3 did not use any direct pronouns for her, while these materials did for Frye and Big Man.
The fact that this idiosyncrasy reportedly held consistent across other languages, including those that use gendered adjectives or verbs, was offered up as further proof of the character’s non-binary identity.
As further evidence in support of this theory, The Gamer pointed to both Shiver’s seemingly androgynous appearance, as well as Deep Cut’s declaration during their in-game introduction that “We’re not supposed to be anything”
However, it should be noted that in context, the trio are responding to a question regarding their initial hiding of their identities with bizarre fish masks, rather than making any outright statement regarding how they view themselves.
Caught off-guard by their sudden and disguised appearance, the Direct’s narrator – playing into the joke that the masks are hiding the trio’s identity – asks “Huh? Who are you supposed to be?!”, to which one of them – presumably Frye – fires back, “We’re not SUPPOSED to be anything” before introducing themselves.
Both Nintendo Life and The Gamer also note how the Splatoon 3 logo also features the colors of the non-binary pride flag; yellow, white, purple, and black.
However, both outlets do admit that this point, more than any of the others, is most likely to be a coincidence.
Seeking an answer to the question, The Verge raised the issue to Nintendo SVP of Development and Publishing Nate Bihldorff, who in turn confirmed that Shiver “identifies as female” and would appear in Splatoon 3 using she/her pronouns.
Notably, Nintendo seemed to dance around outright stating that Shiver was a girl, even reiterating the fact that she “identifies” as female when discussing the subject with GameXplain.
As noted by The Verge, following in the footsteps of such previous Nintendo titles as Animal Crossing: New Horizons and recent Pokémon releases, Splatoon 3 doesn’t mention gender on its character creator screen.
Instead, the game sorts Inklings and Octolings into two distinct “styles”, each of which offers up a male or female base for players to customize.
Shiver is set to debut in all her feminine glory when Splatoon 3 hits shelves on September 9th, 2022.