P’raps ye don’t be knowin’ this, but this ol’ ferryman may be on his way to your island.
It’s time for Animal Crossing: New Horizons fans to get excited. Nintendo announced during the September 2021 Nintendo Direct that changes were on the way, and then teased the arrival of a long-awaited NPC fans have been asking for: Brewster and the Roost Cafe. However, that might not be all. In fact, there’s a whole direct dedicated to Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Oct. 15.
While we don’t know much more about what to expect, there are some rumors that Brewster isn’t the only NPC who may be headed to the island. Along with the coffee-peddling pigeon, players might be hearing a sea shanty from the ferryman, Kapp’n, in the latest update. It isn’t confirmed, but adding Kapp’n could bring some exciting changes to New Horizons that the game sorely needs. So, hop on board as we explore who Kapp’n is and what impact he could have.
Who is Kapp’n?
Those familiar with the series will instantly recognize this green sea turtle. Kapp’n has a distinctive character design, from his crinkly mouth to the bald spot on his head. Sporting a green shell and a heavy accent akin to pirates or an ol’ salt of the sea sailor, he is an equal mix of creepy and codger. Oh, and don’t forget about all the sea shanties he sings!
Fun fact: Kapp’n is loosely based on a Japanese mythological creature called the Kappa. Kappas are mischievous, reptilian river demons known for taking children unless you gift them with cucumbers. While he may not be as nefarious as his namesake, he does love cucumbers. He also takes on the role of a ferryman of sorts, transporting players in several Animal Crossing titles. He drives taxies, rowboats, buses, and more, and usually sings as the new scenes load.
His costume changes depending on which game you’re playing, but he’s been seen in a bus driver uniform and a more relaxed flower-print button-down. And he has his own amiibo, though it’s not super rare.
Kapp’n’s role in Animal Crossing
Kapp’n has worn many hats over his Animal Crossing tenure, but he mostly does the same thing. He transports the player between loading screens and gets them where they need to go. He’ll sing, make inappropriate comments, and get you there safely.
His mode of transportation changes between games. In the original game, Kapp’n served as the ferryman transporting players to a special island, provided you had a Game Boy Advance and a link cable. Players could head to this new island and get exclusive fruits and animal friends.
In Wild World, Kapp’n drove a taxi to town. He took over Rover’s role, the cat from the first game, and would ask players a handful of questions that determined their look. You also found him having a cup of joe in the Roost now and again.
In City Folk, Kapp’n drove the bus from the town to the city, allowing the player to complete a bunch of fun activities. The city was the place to be and buy clothes, attend auctions or the theater, or just get your hair done. Kapp’n also made regular appearances at the Roost in this title, as well.
Finally, his role in New Leaf had Kapp’n boating to a specialty island once again. For a small fee, Kapp’n would speed players off in his motorboat to Tortimer Island. Players could gather at Tortimer Island with other players and participate in minigames to earn prizes. Or, if you are more of a solo player, you could chill at the tropical paradise and farm difficult-to-find fish and insects for big bells. When not waiting for customers, you could also find Kapp’n at the Roost.
What does this mean for New Horizons?
So, what impact could adding Kapp’n have on Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Well, a bit of variety could do this game some good. Sure, the role of “ferryman” is passed off to Dodo Airlines, but sometimes you don’t need to take a plane. Plus, those surprise island tours are pretty dull, and all the islands are very similar.
It would be cool to be whisked off to a city, a tropical resort, or an island full of minigames. If there’s one thing New Horizons is missing, it’s a sense of purpose and variety. And Kapp’n always took us to fun, exclusive, and new places. More importantly, he took us to areas to play minigames with our friends. More activities to do with your friends are always good because some of the games you make up can only take us so far.
While it isn’t certain that Kapp’n will be coming in this next update, the fact that he was a regular at the Roost does leave us with a bit of hope. Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll have to wait until Oct. 15 to find out. Regardless, some significant changes are on the horizon.
An ol’ sea turtle
For Wii U
A cute and fun amiibo, the Kapp’n is always ready to take you where you need to go. While he doesn’t do much for New Horizons right now, you can still get a sweet poster.