Undertale is one of the best games I have ever played.

Ritchian

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Jul 29, 2009
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There is so much I could say about Undertale. The music is what got me to buy it. After finding a link to the game's website, I started listening to a few of the tracks, so I wanted to know more. Then finding out it's an RPG where you don't have to kill anyone, my interest was piqued. So I bought it. And it is easily the best game I've played all year. More than that, I'm trying to figure out what I want to bump off my favorite games of all time list to find Undertale a home there.

It is such a beautifully built game. Almost everything works together perfectly. It is the best meshing of gameplay and story I've seen in a long time. I hope bigger developers take notes from Undertale on how to make a choice system show the player the consequences to their actions through the gameplay.

If I had to nitpick, my biggest complaint about game is the character's speed starts to feel a bit slow, especially with some of the backtracking you'll want to do. A run key or perhaps unlocking some sort of bicycle later in the game to speed up traveling would not have been amiss.

I would recommend Undertale to pretty much anyone. It's a great game and deserves every single bit of praise that has been heaped upon it. The story is brilliant, deep and deconstructs a lot of RPG staples. The humor is right up my alley, and the heartwarming bits are truly heartwarming for all the right reasons. It's an homage to classic RPGs while managing to create a unique world and gameplay system. And the music, the thing that drew me in in the first place, is some of the best video game music I've heard in a long time. The game is well worth the price tag.
 

Eric the Orange

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Apr 29, 2008
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DementedSheep said:
IS this some elaborate joke? It seems incredibly boring.
I don't really know how to respond to this. I guess, no, this isn't some kind of vast conspiracy to make people play a bad game. I mean you can look at metacritic stuff maybe if you want a wider spread of opinions.
http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/undertale
 

Infernal Lawyer

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The Wykydtron said:
So is this one of those games that tries to guilt you into feeling bad about killing the enemies? An 8-bit Spec Ops: The Line sort of thing? Ehhhhhh I dunno, maybe i'll get it whenever it goes on sale but I don't really care for the retro 8-bit look and i'm over the novelty of a game saying "you know thinking about it, killing all of these people that we told you to kill is actually really fucked up, good job you"
Undertale is like if Spec Ops didn't actually force you to do anything, and the horrible moments aren't scripted. If you kill someone or commit an atrocity, it's not because "whoops! You did this scripted thing that you couldn't avoid, but you're still a bad person!", it's either because you wanted the rewards for killing, for the sake of the kill, or because you FUCKED UP, SON.

For a more specific example of what makes Undertale so amazing, you remember the white Phosphorus Scene, right? Of course you do, that's one of the reasons Spec Ops left a sour taste in your mouth.
Imagine if you realized you fucked up, replayed the scene, and... hey, you found a way to avoid that scripted moment that kills all the civilians! You're not a bad person anymore! You feel great!

And then Konrad calls you on the radio, asks if you're having fun playing God, and calls you a coward who can't live with his mistakes. Because HE knows what you've done, even if it technically never happened.
 

briankoontz

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inu-kun said:
The problem is that pretty much all games has the monsters immediately aggro the PC (though a good idea for a game is one where you achieve initiative every time, thus being the one who "shot first"). Also, I don't really care for politics in games, for me a game deconstructing needs to say something about the medium than about myself, in the end the player follows the medium to reach it's conclusion.
Of course - but then why do such a high percentage of games require *murder*, err, the "cleansing of monsters", to form the basis for power progression? Also, why do games generally separate the world into two groups - villagers, city-folk, *civilized* people, viewed as good and not subject to extermination, and the "world outside the city", either the countryside crawling with monsters or the underground filled with dark nasties. If a gamer were to take games quite seriously, he might become terrified if he didn't himself live within a populated area. "Am I a monster?", he may ask. The games he plays certainly seem to think so.

If we take off our "defend video games at the expense of reality" glasses for a moment, we might conclude that the ideology of video games is based on the colonization model - the purpose of "killing monsters", deemed within the game itself as "saving humanity from evil", is actually just to clear the land of threats so that the human "civilization" can expand to that land. After all, those "good" city-dwellers, who have gotten their existing land in just that way, are going to need more land than they currently have soon enough. What better way to gain that land than by demonizing every living creature who would be a martial threat on it, sending out a "hero", a poor naive fool (Link?) with delusions of grandeur, and having him kill all of those living creatures, thus paving the way for expansion? It's a bad idea for the "hero" to feel bad about the genocide he's causing, so he's "killing monsters to save humanity from evil". Dick Cheney - "It's good what we're doing, George, we're saving humanity from barbarism". George, just like Link, is only doing God's work, at least in their own minds.

As far as "monsters immediately aggro the PC" goes - it's self-defense. When European colonists in North America just happened to wander westward with guns, they were "ruthlessly and savagely attacked without provocation" by "evil monsters" (err, Native Americans). They were simply defending themselves by exterminating them, and then they just happened to wander further westward with guns, and man, again they were attacked savagely and without provocation, and jeez, what else could they do but exterminate the monsters in order to defend themselves? And then just happen to wander further westward, with guns...

It's easy to view colonial victims as foolish to bother to defend themselves with force, but one needs to erase history to not note that that's never the first choice of the "monsters" in their relations with the "humans". Another way that games warp reality is to present the point at which "monsters" have GIVEN UP on dealing with the "humans" in any way but through martial self-defense as if it's FIRST CONTACT between the two. Usually colonial victims begin with a lack of understanding that they are besieged by a colonial force, so they consider the situation much more benign, and gain an understanding of the reality over time (usually through burying their friends and family), at some point turning to martial self-defense in desperation, which is the point at which they become "monsters" and receive final extermination (the "final solution").

Just because the player begins the game at a certain point, doesn't mean that the gameworld has no prior history of it's own. Yet the player is conditioned (and naturally inclined) to believe what the developer tells him about the world, while the developer himself (usually) is ideologically in line with colonialism itself. So the developer tells the player that Link is a hero, saving the world from evil, and the player believes him. And he goes on believing him, as Link depopulates the "uncivilized" world in game, after game, after game. And then we turn to Joseph Campbell's "Hero's Journey" to further "clarify" what's happening in games.

But here's the rub. Truth doesn't exist in a vacuum. What we call "truth" is actually determined by political and other forces within the world. That's why Native Americans were "monstrous savages" while they had land the Europeans coveted and then "unfortunate victims" once they were genocided and their remnants left to exist in a world of their own murderers, but they are also "pathetic alcoholics" who should stay on reservations, so that they don't "infect" the "good people" with their history.

Global capitalism has reached a stage now where it's more difficult to demonize people. It still does it's best, so Muslims are barbaric inhuman terroristic monsters, which the oil the Middle East holds that Western multinational corporations hope to control has nothing to do with whatsoever, but even contented Westerners viewing cat videos on the internet might stumble across a video log of an Iranian citizen sharing his life and become confused about how this person could be such a monster, and this confusion might lead to further uncovering of reality.

inu-kun said:
About the talk button, art is minimalistic, the absence of a talk button signals that talking is meaningless, thus the player plays by the games' rules of beating the monster, I can even give you a modern example, Priscilla (from Dark Souls), most players will not fight her as she does not aggro you and gives you a way out of the world, the game gives you a text and visual indication that violence is optional, thus you can choose whether to use it or not.
This process is certainly fascinating. Game content is always gated, and the mechanics of unlocking that content is what the player needs to do to explore the game itself. So while Link is victimized into being a mass murderer through the delusion of "saving the world from evil" for us we just do whatever it takes to unlock further game content. That the *method* of that unlocking is usually to kill "monsters", harvesting them for gold, gear, and XP, has only received any consideration in recent years, and is still marginal, usually waved away under the banner of "fun".

I love Dark Souls, and one thing I love about it is that the monsters are humanized, and the protagonist is dehumanized, which is not at all to say that monsters are good and the protagonist is evil. In Dark Souls the protagonist is a part of the world and the monsters have a measure of meaning and reality in the game. The game embraces, rather than attempts to eliminate, the history of it's gameworld.

Yet the game is still about remaking the world in the agenda of the protagonist, it's still about the ignorance of the protagonist with regard to the reality of the world, and it's still about harvesting monsters deemed inferior to the protagonist (they've lost their humanity while the protagonist wavers between human and undead) for a power progression to allow the protagonist to fulfill his agenda.

inu-kun said:
I'm sorry I misunderstood you about the monsters and humans, it's just I fear people will try to make it into "good" and "evil" camps, though in the game the description seems to suggest that monsters are incredibly inferior to man.
What do you mean by inferior?
 

Jmp_man

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inu-kun said:
1. I think you are a bit looking to deeply into it, especially as most games where you defeat "monsters" are japanese, which as far as I know never got too outwards in colonialization, and if I remember correctly games like Dragon Quest don't even have killing creatures (they say they run away once they are defeated). Regardless I think JRPG demonization is far different to western demonization. The best roots to why we go around killing monsters I can give you is emulating classic DND. Edit: or even better, folklore and mythos, from Giglamesh and Hercales to Momotaro, basically the story of heroes is engrained in our mind after telling them throughout human history.
You need to think about this in the context of "bringing harm" to someone and not "killing them".

inu-kun said:
2. I think only have 3 times in DS we actually have monsters humanized: the spider lady, while had a good cause, killed hundreads to protect her sister. The butterfly and Sith. All others are either evil or crazed enough we do them a favour. About the protagonist creating a world in his agenda, it's only happens in the evil ending, in the good ending it's the complete opposite, both themtically (we were manipulated) and purpose (sacrificing ourselves for lengthening the world rather than change it).
Once you get past an area... if you didn't kill everyone you should turn around and go back. You might be in for a surprise ;). Edit: Just realized I made an mistake on what game you talking about. I still stick with my idea that the game does a good job of humanizing monsters so they're not just seen as another notch in your experience bar.
inu-kun said:
3. The fact that a little kid can manage to murder everyone can be seen as this, especially that he doesn't even use real weapons
Monsters are actually harmed only if the person harming them wants to. By killing monsters you're emotionally distancing yourself from the idea of killing and thus you are able to inflict more pain. Conversely the game also mentions that Monster's souls are to their will. If you be kind will do less damage because they will lose the "will" to harm you. Overall you don't need weapons to kill... just the willingness to do it.
 

Azure23

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inu-kun said:
briankoontz said:
1. I think you are a bit looking to deeply into it, especially as most games where you defeat "monsters" are japanese, which as far as I know never got too outwards in colonialization, and if I remember correctly games like Dragon Quest don't even have killing creatures (they say they run away once they are defeated). Regardless I think JRPG demonization is far different to western demonization. The best roots to why we go around killing monsters I can give you is emulating classic DND. Edit: or even better, folklore and mythos, from Giglamesh and Hercales to Momotaro, basically the story of heroes is engrained in our mind after telling them throughout human history.

2. I think only have 3 times in DS we actually have monsters humanized: the spider lady, while had a good cause, killed hundreads to protect her sister. The butterfly and Sith. All others are either evil or crazed enough we do them a favour. About the protagonist creating a world in his agenda, it's only happens in the evil ending, in the good ending it's the complete opposite, both themtically (we were manipulated) and purpose (sacrificing ourselves for lengthening the world rather than change it).

3. The fact that a little kid can manage to murder everyone can be seen as this, especially that he doesn't even use real weapons.
What about Nito? He was just a force of nature, neither good nor evil. Or Priscilla? Who just wants to be left in piece, but is harvested for her badass scythe and dagger? Is Gwyndolin evil, or is she trying to hold onto her father's legacy as the only surviving lord in Anor Londo? Is the Bed of Chaos evil, or is it just a font of wild, unconstrained life? Even the Darkwraiths, designed to look like your stereotypical death knights, are just trying to rebel against the lords by bringing the dark soul back together. Ceaseless Discharge forlornly watches over the grave of his sister, and only attacks once you desecrate it. The bridge Wyvern is merely an animal defending it's favorite hunting spot, the gaping dragon is an everlasting dragon warped by it's immense hunger, but it's not evil, hell it's barely existing, sitting at the bottom of the depths feeding on whatever scraps the butchers discard. There is precious little binary morality in Dark Souls, by design. Even your designation of one ending as good and the other as evil leads me to believe you've misinterpreted large parts of the game. More than anything the bosses in Dark Souls are usually just part of the natural processes of the world, or the result of said processes.

Don't really have much to offer on the discussion of Undertale, except that it's radical, but when someone is wrong about Dark Souls I'll come out swinging.
 

EyeReaper

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Eh. I liked the game, but I kinda wish I had avoided reading some reviews/going on the TvTropes page. Not because I spoiled myself, but because I'm going through some major hype burnout from everyone calling it the second coming of furry gaming Jesus

It was good, really good, especially for a pretentious artsy 8-bit-style indie game, but there were plenty of irks I had. A solid 8/10, but definitely not game of the year, or "greatest RPG of all time"

Honestly the biggest downfall is that the game pretty much peaks a little too early

 

jhoroz

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I came in blind to this game so so I managed to avoid all the hype backlash. I loved it. I think its perfectly serviceable as an Earthbound homage, but it went even further than I expected with the end game stuff. Absolutely my GOTY.
 

Coruptin

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Jul 9, 2009
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Azure23 said:
What about Nito? He was just a force of nature, neither good nor evil. Or Priscilla? Who just wants to be left in piece, but is harvested for her badass scythe and dagger? Is Gwyndolin evil, or is she trying to hold onto her father's legacy as the only surviving lord in Anor Londo? Is the Bed of Chaos evil, or is it just a font of wild, unconstrained life? Even the Darkwraiths, designed to look like your stereotypical death knights, are just trying to rebel against the lords by bringing the dark soul back together. Ceaseless Discharge forlornly watches over the grave of his sister, and only attacks once you desecrate it. The bridge Wyvern is merely an animal defending it's favorite hunting spot, the gaping dragon is an everlasting dragon warped by it's immense hunger, but it's not evil, hell it's barely existing, sitting at the bottom of the depths feeding on whatever scraps the butchers discard. There is precious little binary morality in Dark Souls, by design. Even your designation of one ending as good and the other as evil leads me to believe you've misinterpreted large parts of the game. More than anything the bosses in Dark Souls are usually just part of the natural processes of the world, or the result of said processes.

Don't really have much to offer on the discussion of Undertale, except that it's radical, but when someone is wrong about Dark Souls I'll come out swinging.
Nito is an arbitrator of nature not nature itself. Death exists separate from him.
Priscilla is literally an abomination aesthetically. A joke that the development crew included in a geographically cut off part of the game because "she" was so disparate from the rest of Dark Souls tonally.
Gwyndolin is a he. The other lords aren't dead. They simply left Anor Londo. Gwyndolin is the only one crazy or damaged enough to try to hold onto a dying legacy.
Bed of Chaos is evil in the sense that a cancer killing your mom is evil.
Dickwraiths do their job by invading other undead and stealing their humanity, turning the victims hollow in the process. It's fairly evil.
The Hellkite Dragon is actually a drake and therefore is merely an animal. It isn't humanized, just a menace to be taken care of like a rabid dog in the neighborhood. Likewise for the Gaping Dragon. It's mental faculties are probably not all there anymore.
It's okay for someone to interpret the endings as good and evil. You have to choose one, so you might as well examine the evidence and decide which one is what.


Undertale is a good game. I don't like how rigorous the Genocide route is though. I do like the Genocide route itself separate from the kill limit you have to reach in every area. What convinced me to buy the game was a video of someone killing Undyne. Undyne was being so cool. I wanted to kill her myself and give her and other characters the cool deaths that they deserved. It's a protagonist I didn't know I wanted so much before. A villain who causes grief to allow others to be heroes and die heroes' deaths, vicariously feeding off the emotions of others that my actions caused. It's the distilled essence of tragedy in fiction. We love tragedy, so might as well cut the bullshit and become the instigator of tragedy ourselves. Only a videogame could achieve this adequately, and I'd like to see it done again every so often.

I don't think that Toby Fox did this intentionally though. Seeing as how the ending is kind of dumb. I thought that the first child was supposed to be us "possessing" the will of the latest child, but the Genocide ending sort of throws that out the window. It makes me feel like the actions of my character don't reflect my intentions as a player.
 

Maximum Bert

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Its pretty good to be honest but it did not hook me I got to the first skeleton boss (cant even remember his name its been a couple of days, he likes spaghetti) and died then found I could not be bothered to try again. I gotta admit that the combat is probably my least favourite part of the game reminds me of Shadow Hearts in that it starts off really cool and interesting but quickly becomes a chore that only gets in the way of the fun characters and world.

I was also charged twice from the games webpage so have to sort that out. I may go back to it but I doubt it. I can see it is not a bad game at all but there was little connection for me and I have no real want to see the end so to speak for me personally it is definitely not in my top 10 favourite RPGs but I do appreciate that it is doing something a little different to most. In years to come I doubt I will remember the game at all because it elicited no strong feelings either positive or negative.
 

distortedreality

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Finally got around to putting a couple of hours into it last night.

It's definitely charming, the characters are great, the story elements are all interesting, the gameplay is innovative and interesting, am cool with the art style.

I'm not 100% sold it on it yet though - admittedly, I was pretty damn tired while playing, so that may be shading my experience somewhat, but I'll reserve judgement until I've completed (at least) a run.

It's good, don't get me wrong, there's plenty of reasons to enjoy it, I'm just not sure I rate it as highly as a lot of others do. Will wait and see.
 

briankoontz

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inu-kun said:
briankoontz said:
1. I think you are a bit looking to deeply into it, especially as most games where you defeat "monsters" are japanese, which as far as I know never got too outwards in colonialization, and if I remember correctly games like Dragon Quest don't even have killing creatures (they say they run away once they are defeated). Regardless I think JRPG demonization is far different to western demonization. The best roots to why we go around killing monsters I can give you is emulating classic DND. Edit: or even better, folklore and mythos, from Giglamesh and Hercales to Momotaro, basically the story of heroes is engrained in our mind after telling them throughout human history.
What's a monster? Weren't Native Americans monsters in the sense of something the dominant civilization needed to kill to expand it's power? Aren't Palestinians monsters as they stand in the way of the Zionist project? Isn't the entire Middle East monsters as they object to Western domination of their oil, Al Qaeda and ISIS merely convenient in the sense that they make the demonization of the Middle East all the easier?

Aren't witches monsters? How about Atheists? They can't be fully culturally integrated into religious society, so at least to some degree they are monstrous (as viewed by Theists), even if they are usually tolerated and not exterminated on sight.

I agree that stories of heroes are ingrained into our minds. What's a hero? Isn't Dick Cheney a hero, at least according to Dick Cheney? Isn't Barack Obama a hero as he assassinates Middle Easterners to "continue to save the world from barbarism"? Isn't Anders Breivik a hero? He gunned down dozens of "leftists" and otherwise foolish people, thus helping to clear the world for people who "think the right way".

We (well, most of us) think of Anders Breivik's victims as humans, but isn't that just *perception*? Anders Breivik perceived them as monsters, and he was just doing what any self-respecting RPG hero would do in that situation. He was merely saving the world from evil.

Do witches think of themselves as monsters? Do Atheists? Do homosexuals? Do Palestinians?

Let's consider Anders Breivik himself. Should we say he's a monster, for killing humans? After all, in those stories that's often one of the primary ways a monster is defined as such, along with their grotesque appearance. So should the REAL HERO, as it were, murder Anders Breivik, just as Hercules tore apart monsters with his bare hands? Should we bathe in Breivik's blood and be happy, to have cleansed the world of evil?

Let's consider a Palestinian suicide bomber. He lives in perpetual poverty, sees friends get blown apart by Israeli (American-made) missiles, exists in an open-air prison monitored by the Israeli military. Is he heroic for killing dozens of Israelis? Is he only heroic if he kills Israeli military but not civilians? Or is he doomed to be a monster no matter what he does because he's an obstacle for Zionism?

If monsters simply don't exist in the real world, if Hitler himself was merely a product of a depressed country with decimated pride subsequent to World War I, if Dick Cheney and Anders Breivik are truly well-meaning, just as Link is, what's the purpose of creating them in mythology? What's the purpose of repeatedly, in game after game after game, creating fictional evil beings so that a fictional good creature can exterminate them? And why, even if these "evil" creatures actually existed, wouldn't we simply use Law to restrain them, such as imprisoning Anders Breivik rather than killing him and looting his corpse for gold. In a RPG we might carve up Breivik's body and use his bones to fashion gear.
 

briankoontz

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One seperate point, to refer to Japan's colonialism and treatment of monsters in games. As ignorant as I am of Japan's history, they are at least an imperial power - imperialism being colonialism without the land grab. Imperialism benefits from the same demonization of the target population, so that's why Muslims are terroristic monsters even though the US isn't going to send some of their population over to settle the area.

Japan's media in general is greatly inspired by the United States. Disney is the primary (media) source for Japan's animators, and the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark greatly inspired early Japanese video-game RPG designers, along with another American creation, Dungeons and Dragons. So Japan has it's own imperial history to draw from, but is also inspired by a Western archaeologist who thinks nothing of looting ancient sites for the glory of himself and his museum, regardless of the wishes of the local population.
 

Lina Jones

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I found it incredibly boring to play, honestly, and the dialogue quite annoying. That said, it's a neat idea for a story, the graphics are fun, and it is a pretty unique mix of genre elements. Elements I personally don't like, but seem to fit together pretty well, especially with how the game works its storytelling into the mechanics. So, I'd recommend it to those who like weird and experimental games, but it is pretty niche in the end, so it definitely can be polarizing.
 

Shoggoth2588

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I really wanted to like Undertale. I like the characters, love the dialog and, adore the soundtrack but the game part of the game just...it's tedious. It's slow, it breaks its own rules and, I found it to be incredibly, frustratingly, tedious. I wanted to quit after the mannequin boss but shortly after I made it past that boss I watched footage of the final boss fight during a top-something list on youtube and, watching that combat footage (it was passive) was all I needed to decide against going back and playing any more of the game. I really, really want to like Undertale but I think it would be better if I could mod it into a walking simulator.
 

Corven

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I did probably the worst thing and watched a let's play of the game first, thinking that the game probably wouldn't be to my taste, turns out I was wrong; the music, the characters, the game story weaved into game mechanics, the sense of humor, everything was right up my alley.

Even though I didn't get to experience first for myself, I still bought and played through it the other day because toby fox deserved to get paid for what I consider my game of the year.
 

Dalisclock

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Played through this twice a couple weeks back.

As far as I'm concerned, this is Mother 4, or at least as close to Mother 4 as we're ever gonna get at this point, and considering Mother 3 made me cry, that's high praise.

There's a lot I can say about it, but what stuck out the most for me is that the game's tone is very different depending on how you play. The neutral playthrough is a varying mixture of light and dark depending on how you played and who was left alive, the pacifist true ending was extremely heartwarming....and then there's the genocide ending(which I admit, I pussied out and watch it on Youtube).

Yeah, I never thought I'd say that I'd play something that made Spec Ops seem like it was being nice to you, but Undertale managed to do it. Especially since Spec Ops Railroads you into killing pretty much everyone, whereas undertale you gotta work hard(and single mindedly to boot) for the prize of everyone(including the game itself) hating your guts
 

SweetShark

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Dalisclock said:
Played through this twice a couple weeks back.

As far as I'm concerned, this is Mother 4, or at least as close to Mother 4 as we're ever gonna get at this point, and considering Mother 3 made me cry, that's high praise.

There's a lot I can say about it, but what stuck out the most for me is that the game's tone is very different depending on how you play. The neutral playthrough is a varying mixture of light and dark depending on how you played and who was left alive, the pacifist true ending was extremely heartwarming....and then there's the genocide ending(which I admit, I pussied out and watch it on Youtube).

Yeah, I never thought I'd say that I'd play something that made Spec Ops seem like it was being nice to you, but Undertale managed to do it. Especially since Spec Ops Railroads you into killing pretty much everyone, whereas undertale you gotta work hard(and single mindedly to boot) for the prize of everyone(including the game itself) hating your guts
Indeed, I have saw so many praise about Spec Ops The Line, but they never adress that you don't have a choice.
In Undertale you have not only choice, but also complete freedom to express whatever kind of human being you want to be.
I am very glad you played this game until the end. I suggest you to play as well the Fan-Videogame which myself I played recently. You will love it I believe!

https://www.reddit.com/r/Undertale/comments/3x5uw2/hi_i_made_thorough_undertale_tribute_game/

Cheers!!!