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Undertale is a 2015 RPG developed, published, written, and composed by Toby Fox. That’s like a lot of things for one guy. The game was critically acclaimed upon release never scoring under a 90, at least according to Wikipedia. The game is still being released on new platforms to this day with it currently being released on PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, PS Vita, and it has a planned Nintendo Switch release later this year, but that’s enough about the game; let's get into the actual review.
The Story (Spoilers)
The story goes that you’re a human who climbed up a mountain and apparently, it has some curse on it because everyone who goes up the mountain seems to never return. Probably placed on it by Katie Hopkins, cause she’s a cunt. So after falling a long distance, you snap your neck and die. Game Over. Well that’s what should happen, but instead you fall onto a patch of buttercups and then get greeted by a friendly buttercup who then turns out to be evil and then tries to kill you but then best mom comes and kicks his flower arse and then the she takes you through the ruins and helps you solve puzzles cause she’s overprotective goat mom and then she leaves you to go get some groceries, I think, and then you run into Napstablook the depression ghost who attacks you with tears, just like real emos. So after you "defeat" Napstablook, you can go and buy some spider donuts and spider cider if you have enough money and I did so that hopefully they’ll stay away from me because fuck those satan spawns. So after doing a couple more fights and some more puzzles, you get to Toriel’s (best goat mom) house and because it’s small and nice, it fills you with determination, which is actually some sort of mystical energy that humans have but I’ll talk about that later. So after goat mom gives you a tour of the house, you ask to leave and then she runs off to be the overprotective mother she is. If you follow her, she tells you to turn back or you’ll be killed but because you’re a stubborn little shit you just keep pushing till she’s like “fight me m8” then you’re like “aight” so you fight and if you’re literally Hitler you kill her but if you have a fucking heart you spare her until she gives in and hugs you and then walks away. Cause that went so well last time.
You then walk through a corridor of purple and different shades of purple; why did I include this? And you’re then greeted by that one flowy boi again and he’s like “bet you feel good cause you didn’t kill her, welp you can’t do that forever” buttttt cause you’re a stubborn little shit you’ve gotta prove him wrong. So then you walk through another door and get a title and then boom, snowy forest. So you then walk forward and get some spooks from a stick breaking, a shadow behind a tree, and then when you get to a bridge a man walks up to you and is like “turn around and shake my hand” and when you do he’s like “lol prank'd” and then it turns out the man is actually a skeleton named Sans and his font is “comic sans” and he makes constant puns. His name is literally one of his own jokes and then his brother comes along and apparently can’t see you behind this lamp even though you’re beside the lamp in plain view but I guess 2D games don’t work that way also his name is Papyrus and his text is Papyrus. Toby Fox is a fucking comedic genius but then you go do some more puzzles, fight a couple doggos, and then you fight Papyrus and you spare him cause murder is a sin and this is a good Christian Minecraft post.
So then you go to waterfall and meet Undyne the lesbian fishy who tries to kill you but then you just walk into the hotlands and she has a stroke boom done, also you should give her water and then she’ll fuck off. So now you get to meet the royal scientist, Alphys, who is a lesbian dinosaur? Digimon? I have no fucking idea, but then the gay robot Megatron I mean Mettaton bursts through a wall and is like “sup fucker I’m gonna kill ya” and then exits fashionably and then guess what, more puzzles, because this game fucking loves them. Also an enemy called Tsunderplane appears and I thought that was a good joke annnnnnnd you get two gay royal guards who you help confess feelings for each other. RG1 and RG2 best ship, best yaoi, best girl.
So after all that you finally get to a hotel and Sans is there and he takes you into a restaurant and is like, “if Toriel didn’t make me promise to not kill you, your arsehole would be 12 sizes bigger right now” and then he’s like “lol pranked again” but we all know he wasn’t joking and then he leaves a child to pay the bill. Dick. But you just leave cause you didn’t even buy anything so now that you’re in the Mettaton hotel you go through a door that leads you to some massive core thing and even moreeeeee puzzles... kill me... and then finally you get to fight the gay robot but oops you get bamboozled and then he becomes ultra mega yaoi bot 9000 and then you dance together and became stars and then Metroid gets emotional and cries because his fans love him also you basically cripple him. Good thing he can just be rebuilt but then then dyki the dino comes back and takes you along to the entrance of the final area and is like “you have to kill the king” so you’re like “fuck,” so then you walk through new home and get a complete backstory but who cares about that pussy shit so then you go meet goat dad who doesn’t wanna fight you but you gotta go fight him anyway and to make sure you do fight him, he destroys the mercy button.
What a prick butttttttt after you fight him you get the chance to spare him but when you do that Flowey is back and then kills Asgore, fuck you Flowey you arse. Then you fight super mega ultra Flowey with creepy photoshop parts and you win that by getting all the hearts back that Flowey absorbed. Oh yeah right, a bunch of humans died before you and their souls were stored by Asgore to help break the barrier and all he needed is yours to make it all the way through so that’s why Flowey absorbs them all and then wants yours so that he can become a God, but through determination and multiple boss sections, the souls start to help you and then you destroy him. But then you have the chance to kill him or spare him and because we’re good people we spray fucking pesticide on him. There is also a genocide and a true pacifist ending but this is already getting long so, next section!
Undertale has a unique combat style where you are put into a battle JRPG style and you have two options: FIGHT the enemy or SPARE/ACT the enemy. If you fight the enemy, you can damage them enough to the point that you can spare them or just outright kill them but if you ACT/SPARE an enemy, you will gain no XP at all and will stay at level 1 but after doing either options several times you can spare them. This is how you do a pacifist run. ACTing on enemies also normally contains some funny dialogue like how you shake in sync with Moldsmal or if you pet Lesser Dog his head grows and even in boss battles if you flirt with Papyrus it grants you the ability to go on a date with him. No, I’m not joking. The combat is one of Undertale’s defining features and is one of the most original things about the game. The combat is fun, fluid, and can make you laugh; but not the fighting option though, killers don’t deserve jokes.
The characters are all well-written and each has their own unique personality; even the characters that you don’t see in every playthrough like Gaster, So Sorry, and even the Gaster followers, as 2D as they’re supposed to be, have some personality. No main character is the same as another. Flowey is a psychopathic flower who can break the 4th wall, Toriel is an overprotective mother figure, Sans is a comedian with a serious side, Papyrus is naïve and always sees the best in people, Undyne is hot-headed and wants to help the underground, Alphys just wants to be with Undyne and watch anime, Mettaton wants to be a famous star, and Asgore just wants to make everyone happy; he never really wants to hurt you. The characters always introduce different aspects of the game and the writing of them helps you to fall in love with the game and its story.
Can we just skip this, please? I really don’t want to, just please. Ahhhhhh fine. The fandom is toxic. Some of it anyway. With every fandom, there is always those couple bad cookies or spoiled lasagnas in the case. Undertale is no exception to foot fetish art, vore, underage smut, ships that make me hella uncomfortable like Frans (Frisk x Sans) like, please stop. She’s like 8 and he’s a skeleton. Fucking. Stop. A lot of the comics made around Undertale are really well made and some of the AUs (alternate universes) are actually really interesting. I highly recommend looking at Endertale by TC-96 if you want to see some well written fan comics.
The walking sections can be nice for the first 2 runs, but after that it just feels rather sluggish. At least, they did for me. The ruins is very much the most boring part of the game. The puzzles in the game aren’t exactly tough. The ones that are the most difficult are the noughts and crosses puzzles in Snowdin and even then they might take 15 minutes max. I think the puzzles are simple but your walking speed is slow to make sure the game lasts for a decent amount of time but isn’t dragged on by hard puzzles. Toby Fox himself said he wanted Undertale to be short because he dislikes games that you have to put a lot of hours into completing. While it might be sluggish, the dialogue of each character makes up for it with a lot of it being humorous but also heartful.
It was composed by Fox alone. It is a work of art and easily my second favourite thing about the game. Toby Fox somehow managed to make individual themes for the characters and have them all fit well. The music while in the overworld is so soothing. The music never seems to not fit. Fox knew when to switch the tempo of the music at the right time such as in the Mettaton fight. Undyne’s theme fits far too well with her fight. Spookwave is what I wake up to and Megalovania is basically Undertale’s 5th symphony. This just shows that you don’t need an entire orchestra to create a beautiful soundtrack. Just FL Studio and too much free time.
The Boss Fights
My number one spot goes to the boss battles. They are my favourite part of the game. They are easily the part of the game that is most affected by the route you play such as the end fight—in the neutral route you fight Photoshop Flowey but in the True Pacifist route, you fight The Absolute God of Hyperdeath. However, in the genocide route, you fight no one. Well, you fight Asgore, but you like TKO him instantly so ya know, I don’t count it. Also, you fight alternate versions of Undyne and Mettaton in the genocide route but you kill Mettaton with a snap of your fingers, but the Undyne the Undying fight is pretty fun. But we all know what I’ve now gotta talk about. The most infamous boss fight yet.
One of the most dreaded fights in recent video game history, Sans’ fight is unexpected to someone who hasn’t had the game spoiled for them because as you walk into the judgement hall you expect to just get talked to like usual, but them boom, you get all your holes resized and receive 4 more. Repeat that a couple times and then you’ve got the Sans fight. Honestly though, the fight is pretty fun. Having to figure out how to dodge Sans’ attacks over and over again and realising that he doesn’t want to spare you is "fun."