This post should have been a long time coming. Since the game was released on the 15th of September, I’m obviously late to jump on the bandwagon. Undertale is popular, madly popular, sprouting memes and raving reviews over the net.
Undertale follows the journey of a young human who has fallen underground – into the world of monsters. You control this child, and lead the way to the surface.
Now, I would like to say that I’ve never bought a game from the Steam Store before. Because:
A. I own a Mac.
B. Nothing interests me.
D. I own a Mac.
Then, little comments here and there started creeping in. “Everyone HAS to play this,” “Personal game of the year,” “The experience is nothing short of magical,” “I feel alive,” “MOM 😦 “. So I took a sneak peek by watching a play-through on YouTube. Then I saw this.
This game plays out like an RPG, yet retains a refreshing touch with its battle system. To fight? Or not? As you make your decision, you have to dodge and weave through the monster’s attacks as a tiny heart. Showing MERCY would require you to figure out how to convince the monster not to fight anymore. Brutally murder every monster you meet, or complete the story without killing anyone. Your actions determine the ending you’ll get.
Here’s a neat trailer. Beware, it may not load on Google Chrome. Or you can watch it HERE.
Alright, here’s my take on Undertale. What I am going to mention below is my experience with ‘certain routes’. There is another distinct ‘path’ you can take but when I was two hours in, I regretted my decision. It’s not for everyone. Besides feeling awful, I realised I won’t have the determination to see it through. Take heed, people, you’re gonna have a bad time.
The trailer should have offered a glimpse of how the battles are going to look like. Some monsters don’t even want to fight. Or are complete trolls. And some of the boss battles are insanely creative. You’ll be going, “Wait, that was possible???” Just when you though Toby’s bag of tricks had run out, he shoves and rubs another one in your face. I really, truly, had a blast. But hey. If you hate having to avoid projectiles/obstacles/things, Undertale may not be your cup of tea.
The characters are a riot. Also wonderful, loveable and charming. Who doesn’t love a skeleton who dishes out puns and speaks in Comic Sans? I do. I can’t help but fall in love with all of them and their silly shenanigans. Even the smaller NPCs have personality. Nothing feels forced, the interactions flow smoothly. Except the jokes, maybe.
It is impressive how the game is designed to appear almost self-aware. In new runs, it shows it remembers previous SAVE files (You can read more about it on this webpage, but MAJOR MAJOR SPOILERS ahead). In addition, two characters in particular are very perceptive to your actions outside of the story (e.g. resetting the game), to the point of breaking the fourth wall. Playing through these moments was really weird. I know it’s a game but sometimes it strangely feels a tad too real.
Needless to say, Undertale is a goldmine of jokes. They just keep on coming. Personally, I embraced every little bit of cringe-worthy humour the game threw at me. Because I laugh at the smallest things. Humour includes:
knock-knock jokes and puns
ghosts with low self-esteem
anime trash ❤
sexy robot with great legs
hOI!!!!!! i’m tEMMIE!!
- awkward dates
Story-wise, 10/10. Undertale gave me a roller coaster ride of emotions and feels. I’m a sucker for that. Even now, I can’t stop thinking about it. There’s a big chunk of the plot just thrown at the end, so it may be hard for some to take all of it in quickly. Nevertheless, when you look at the big picture, it will blow your mind. I’m not saying anything else; you go and find it out for yourself 😀
Music can make or break a game, that’s my belief. The OSTs of this game are incredible. The game wouldn’t be the same AT ALL without the music. To give an example, I was nearing the end of my journey, just when the plot begins to significantly unravel itself. The music started out nostalgic. As I carried on, it picked up. Soon, it grew strong and nothing short of epic. Listening to it, I felt a sense of finality, you know. The realisation that my game was going to end hit me like a brick. To add, the story was making me emotional at this point. I just sat there in silence. I cannot describe how I felt in words. If I could, I would love to experience this moment again.
Undertale is a game full of heart and it shows in every corner of this beautiful world. Toby Fox is one of the most dedicated devs I’ve ever seen. If you really invest the time to explore, it’s a treasure trove of secrets. There’s also an intriguing sub-plot involving a certain Dr. Gaster. Hmm… Anyway, I highly recommend you play it yourself. You’ll be supporting the developers too! With all the hard work that went into making the game, I think they deserve that much.
DISCLAIMER: I dove into Undertale with some knowledge of the plot, gameplay mechanics and secrets. So the first two hours weren’t as magical as they should be. I was a little sad I missed out on the element of discovery. Also, compared to uncovering secrets by pure luck/paying attention to dialogue, I already knew certain things to look out for. Bummer… At least I just had snippets of information, so for the most part, I still had to do some exploring.
Take my advice, AVOID anything that could give the game away. Even this post (
whoops). Play it through once, then for subsequent runs you can go hunting for spoilers as much as you like.
IF YOU’RE THINKING OF GOING IN COMPLETELY BLIND, PLEASE TURN BACK NOW
I’M WARNING YAH.
Alright, you asked for it.
FYI, not spoiling any content here. But there’s a tip(?) I would like to share with those who don’t want gameplay to become too time-consuming.
There are three main routes you can take – ‘Neutral/Neutral Pacifist‘, ‘True Pacifist‘ or ‘Genocide‘. The first is relatively easy to get, just don’t murder everyone. I recommend looking up information on getting the third.
‘True Pacifist’ is less straight-forward. In order to get it, a ‘Neutral/Neutral Pacifist’ run must be completed first. If you killed at least one monster, you’ll go neutral. A ‘Neutral Pacifist’ run means sparing every monster you meet. However, this may prove frustrating for some players during one of the boss battles, in which you are required to fight back to proceed. Given that it is entirely possible for players to never use the FIGHT option, most will probably get stuck for quite a while because they’ll still be holding on to the “don’t hit anyone at all” mindset.
After a ‘Neutral’ run, you’ll have to start from the beginning to attempt ‘True Pacifist’. On the ‘True Pacifist’ route, not only do you have to show MERCY to all the monsters and bosses, you’ll have to meet some conditions as well. On the other hand, if you have been on the ‘Neutral Pacifist’ route on your first run, the game allows you to start from your last save point. It even directs you where to go. From there, you can backtrack to fulfil the requirements. So for those who don’t want to waste time for a do over, spare everyone in your first run.
That is all.
EDIT: I defeated the boss of the genocide run😀 This game brings out the worst in me.