By Frankie Mesec ‘20
Undertale is a role playing game (rpg) created by indie developer Toby Fox. This was the first and most popular game he has ever made, winning awards and the hearts of millions.
Now, I know Undertale is already praised a lot and is five years old, but it deserves all the praise.
I will admit, I am a really big Undertale fan. Even though the game is held in a special place in my heart, I will be fair when reviewing it.
For this review, I will be going over my five points in the game (story, music, characters, game design, and gameplay), and then will give an overall score out of ten.
The story follows the human Frisk as they fall into the underground and have to escape while meeting monsters on the way. As the game progresses, you get to learn about the history of the underground, and the war with the humans that trapped the monsters underground.
The humans were scared of the monster’s magic, so they were locked underground by a magic barrier that only seven human souls and a monster soul can break. From where Frisk enters, the monsters have six souls from the six children who fell before you.
I’m not going to spoil the game, even though it’s five years old already, but the story really depends on how you play the game from there. If you choose to kill all monsters or spare them, your story will change dramatically. I will get more into this element of the game in gameplay.
Personally, I love the story. The story has a good blend of sadness and hopelessness in it. Most of the monsters are hopeful of freedom. They would do anything to be free from the underground, even kill you. Some parts of the story are just fun, like Undyne and Alphys’ love storyline.
When looking back at the game, the game can get really sad and dark. Alphys’ depression from self-confidence and failed experiments, mutation, loss of a friend or loved one, genocide, war, divorce due to the death of someone’s child (not going to spoil), and not being free.
Every time I play this game, I listen to the music and I am filled with hope and determination that I can pull through as the monsters and Frisk did. I can go on about the story, but I don’t want to waste time. There are other parts of the game to talk about.
Okay, here’s the long and short of it, the music is amazing.
As I’m writing this section of the review, I currently have the soundtrack playing because of how beautiful and fun it is.
The background music perfectly matches the atmosphere of the area whether it be an adventurous mood or delicate like water droplets.
The boss themes are all fun and match the characters they are associated with well, for example, the character Sans. When you first meet him, he is cracking jokes and being lazy. His theme is slower but has majors and minors to reflect the jokiness in him.
When you get Sans mad and kill his brother, then his theme becomes a lot faster and more aggressive. Megalovania perfectly matches his mood of “you killed everyone I love, and now you’re gonna have a bad time.” It still has the minors and majors that reflect his other theme, but more intense.
Finally, the music around Asriel is somber to reflect loss, whether it’s death or emotion. It also can indicate hope for the future. It is an ongoing motif in the game and can be seen whenever there is hope and or loss. Even in some boss themes, it can be heard.
Because of motifs and tone, the music turned out brilliant.
Ok, let me try and be short with this section. The characters are all fun to be around.
All the main monsters are really relatable and really fun to be around. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be friends with the energetic and fun Papyrus or the lazy and funny Sans.
They can even make the side monsters fun characters with their own lives. While you’re in a battle, if you talk with a monster, you can learn a lot. One monster, for example, just wants you to eat healthy. Another is a comedian at a hotel.
With the main monsters, you follow them around through the entire area to learn about their story. For example, Undying is trying to hunt and kill you throughout Waterfall. After you save her in hotlands, you get the option to go to dinner with her and Papyrus, where you learn about her love of cooking (to the point where she burns everything).
She is super energetic and crazy, and you can’t help but love her. The same can be said about every monster in the game. Some monsters even made me cry once I’ve seen them die. If a game can make you cry for saying goodbye to a character, they are doing something right.
For your character, you choose how they are. Frisk is really just a reflection of you. You can choose how your character acts. There is no set character for you to play, it’s just you.
The game design is unique, to say the least.
Toby Fox designed the game look and feel like the old Mother series with pixels and 2D world. Even though it came out the same year as Rocket League and Splatoon, it looks like it came out decades ago.
It is really unique; you don’t see games like it anymore. It reminds you of simpler times when there weren’t as many 3D games. Many people may not like it because of its old design, but that’s what makes it unique.
As for character designs, the characters look great. Each character fits its personality and some of the more goofy designs are fun. For example, Mettaton the acting robot looks like a robot model, and it just works.
Another character is Mew Mew, who is some anime cat doll who came to life. I don’t know why, but it works. It is so fun that it works. And then there is a dog. Just a dog. All the characters just fit so well.
Even one of the final bosses is some 3D photoshop monstrosity, and it works. Even in a game that doesn’t even fit the style of that boss, the design resembles the chaos and power the character brings, and it works really well.
For the world’s design, most locations are beautiful. Snowdin reminds me of a small town up North I always go to, and is so well designed. Even the outside world at the end is beautiful with the pixelated sunset. Who knew pixels could look so great?
This is probably the most unique part of the game.
Instead of having a set route, there are unique endings for depending on how you play. You can kill everyone, save everyone, only kill Jerry, and more.
Personally, I like saving everyone, because I like that ending the most. This ending gives the most story, and is satisfying. Depending on the ending too, the difficulty can range. If you kill everyone, the final boss is the hardest in the game. Sparing everyone is longer and can be hard, but it is more rewarding.
With all other elements, too, it makes the gameplay really fun to play and replay. You feel sucked into the world and really attached to each character.
For replay value, it can get repetitive with each gameplay, but I still love replaying it. Even if it can be repetitive, it is still a great story, and fun to play.
Now the part that everyone cares about, my rating of the game.
With each element together within the game, it makes a compelling story with great character and music to back it up. Even with not the best replayability, it is still fun to replay because of the characters and story.
I think many people can agree with me that this game doesn’t really get old, and will always be in our hearts.
Now with that said, I give this game a 10/10. This game has left an impact it has with its characters, story, and music leaves a mark, and makes you want to come back to the game. A game as great as this deserves the praise. I recommend you play this game and experience it for yourself.