Undertale is the story of a human child who falls into the underground, which has become the home and prison of the monster race ever since humans drove them from the surface. Monsters have set up a life in this new place, but long to return to the surface. You are given the ability to spare or kill almost every one of these monsters on your own journey to return to the surface.
Undertale turns the medium itself into a critical piece of the narrative. Elements such as saving, loading, restarting, and the UI are all apart of the game’s world. The very nature of a game and the control a player has over it is tied into the outcome of the player’s actions. These actions persist through subsequent play throughs, previous saves, and even erased saves, resulting in them permanently impacting the player’s experience.
Undertale is a 2015 2D role-playing video game. it was created by American indie developer Toby Fox. The player controls a child who has fallen into the Underground: a large, secluded region under the surface of the Earth, separated by a magical barrier. The player meets various monsters during the journey back to the surface, although some monsters might engage the player in a fight. The combat system involves the player navigating through mini-bullet hell attacks by the opponent. They can opt to pacify or subdue monsters in order to spare them instead of killing them. These choices affect the game, with the dialogue, characters, and story changing based on outcomes.
Characters in the Game
The Protagonist (Frisk): The protagonist originally takes up the name you input at the beginning of the game, but the protagonist’s true name is later revealed to be Frisk. Frisk is a human child of ambiguous gender that holds the key to saving and loading: Determination. Being a human, their soul is extremely powerful when compared to that of a monster’s soul. Having fallen into the underground, they seek a way to return to the surface.
Toriel: she acts as a mother figure to the player. She guides the them through the game’s combat and puzzle mechanics, namely the ability to ‘ACT’ instead of ‘FIGHT’. Toriel is a kind hearted individual who has shut herself away from the rest of the monsters due to their more hostile nature. She dislikes violence, even if it is used against humans. After the player leaves the tutorial she cuts contact with them.
Flowey: is the first character the player is introduced to. Flowey usually appears bright and cheery, but in actuality he is cruel and heartless. Flowey’s main philosophy is “Kill or be killed”, and judges the player throughout the game based on the actions they have taken, namely the monsters they have killed or spared. Flowey lacks a soul and thus is unable to feel love or any other form of emotion. Flowey is also
the only other character, aside from the player, that fully retains their memories regardless of when you save and load, and is able to make reference to events that you may have saved over.
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Asriel: he was a kind and loving soul who sacrificed himself to save the life of his human brother. He was later resurrected into what we know him as now,Flowey. He was resurrected without a soul, but maintained his determination. Because of this he had an enormous amount of power and drive, but no aspirations. The result was a homicidal being who sought to destroy everything because he couldn’t understand it.
Asgore: he is the king of monsters. He is kind hearted and puts the well being of his citizens above all else. While he is seeking human souls in order to break the barrier that prevents monsters from entering the surface, he has yet to kill a human himself. He has an extreme dislike for violence, though he will still put up a fight if there is no other option. He is the father of Asrial (Flowey) and the husband of Toriel, though he hasn’t seen either of them in quite some time. He knows that either the player or himself must die in order for the barrier to be broken, and regrets that there is no other way.
Sans: he is the first monster the player will meet outside of the tutorial. He is extremely laid back, often found sleeping or putting little to no effort into anything. He is kind and caring towards the other monsters, and even the player character despite them being human. He enjoys joking around and making puns involving skeletons. Though he keeps a cheery appearance, he can become serious and
even threatening when the situation calls for it. He holds other’s well being in high regard, and would go so far as to fight for them, despite being one of the weakest monsters. He is the most judgemental of the player’s actions, due having some knowledge of ‘SAVING’ and knowing his own memories are being reset. Though he doesn’t retain his memories through saves, he is able to tell by the way the player is
acting that his memories have been reset. This causes him to act as both a guardian angel to the player, and an ominous foreshadowing of events to come.
How to save your Game in Undertale
Saving the game is generally done by looking for for a graphics that looks like an animated flashing yellow light. By interacting with it. You are typically filled with DETERMINATION and should be able to save your progress.
The SAVE files, in-universe, are created by the characters that can SAVE. There are three SAVE files in the game files (located at
%LOCALAPPDATA%\UNDERTALE on Windows,
~/.config/UNDERTALE on Linux and
~/Library/Application Support/com.tobyfox.undertale/ on macOS):
file0: When a SAVE point is used, the actual state of the world is saved to this file. When the player quits and reloads the game, the game loads this file.
file8: This file is created when Flowey absorbs the six human souls and persist in the game files even after a True Reset. It is supposed to be Flowey’s file.
file9: This file is used by the game to save the actions of the protagonist automatically at hidden auto saves. It is reloaded after the protagonist receives a Game Over. The game copies
file0and pastes it in
file9whenever the game is reloaded. It is unclear whether this is the protagonist’s file, or whether the protagonist’s file is
file0and this simply represents the “real” state of the world.
Note: It is optional to SAVE, and it is possible to reach all endings of the game without SAVING. Towards the end of the Neutral or Pacifist Routes, the game acknowledges that the protagonist has not SAVED at all.