Undertale has left me feeling very loved…and determined

Player character Frisk, as drawn by me.

Player character Frisk, as drawn by me.

Over the past week, I’ve been dealing with a really unpleasant cold, so I spent my Friday doing nothing but finishing my playthrough of wildly popular RPG Undertale. I went for true pacifist (because really, who has the heart to hurt Papyrus?) and now consider a bunch of fictional monsters to be my friends. I really, really like my new friends, and so does pretty much anyone else who befriends them, too.

The game’s almost universal appeal, it seems, comes from the fact that it plays with and even subverts the concept of what an RPG is all about, in one major case entirely inverting it: you can get through this game without killing a single enemy and leveling up. Every encounter in the game can be ended non-violently, a stark contrast to most RPGs, which involve grinding on area enemies to gain EXP and become strong enough to take on boss battles. In one of the routes, a mechanic in the final boss fight actually involves you dying and reloading the fight where you last saved because the boss knows how to use save files too. You can’t sell things to most shopkeepers for money because that’s generally not how it works in the real world. (The exception is in one location, Temmie Village, and it’s implied that Temmie is the only one not bright enough to stop you from selling things back to her.) The game completely shakes up what an RPG is supposed to be, and it’s absolutely beautiful.

If that wasn’t enough, the writing and soundtrack are killer, and the character designs are a delight to behold. Oh, and you get to date a skeleton at one point. He’s wonderful. You will love him. Everyone loves him. Papyrus the skeleton is undeniably Character of the Year. He’s the best thing about this game, bar-none.

If you’ve somehow managed to avoid playing this game, you can get Undertale right here! It’s one of those things that I really don’t suggest avoiding. After all, it’ll fill you with determination, and what’s better than that?

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