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How Undertale & Deltarune Create Fear

Nov 22, 2021

undertale

is a game that means a lot to me personally and equally speaking one that needs no introduction a huge indie hit from homestuck music veteran toby fox the game released in 2015 to a deafening success that launched him into the starring role of his own Eclectic multi-faceted fandom that surpasses that of even some of the most popular AAA games on the market Cut to Halloween 2018 and Toby would follow up the massive success with the release of Delta in Chapter One, absorbing the hype, a prospective demo for a story from the sister series' alternate universe to The Undertale Universe and, if you don't already know what to expect, it's also exploded and met with massive success, even being only a potential seventh of the full game that Toby wants to eventually make very recently in the last month.
how undertale deltarune create fear
Chapter 2 broke through. to our computer screens and consoles and its success has been predictably explosive. I could talk about the many reasons why toby fox games are so successful and loving. capable as they are, but first of all, they've already been covered so extensively by others and the second tale in particular is something of an extremely special case for me of the media becoming extremely important personally to my life and talking about it. in a comprehensive form is well beyond the ambition of the scope of what I can do today, however what I will say is that when these games are played the way they are highly recommended they are fun, friendly and vibrant experiences. with hit spotlights to improve overall. heights of positive emotion, character bonding, irreverent banter, and loving tenderness that you'll experience throughout its runtimes, but what happens when you play as a true jerk? teeth, the chill it brings is one of the loneliest and most convincingly terrifying I've ever experienced in a medium and it's in a game it seems So that's exactly what I want to talk about today about how Undertale's worst routes and Deltarune dominate both to saturn and they can just as well turn around and put you in a stranglehold of

fear

if you go looking for it this is how toby fox

create

s nightmares oh and uh spoilers for all

undertale

and

deltarune

routes up to chapter two ok undertale for those of you you who live under a rock is a game with a pretty simple premise ultimately its a jrpg style adventure in the same vein as something like mother two or three you follow a pretty simplistic path through a wacky wacky world teeming with lovable, memorable characters, hilarious and outlandish events, bizarre enemies, and an amazing soundtrack, the adventure of about 6 hours will take you however through versions slightly different path depends on your decisions, yes undertale is one of the most truly reactive games i have played when it comes to branching options because this is not a clementine.
how undertale deltarune create fear

More Interesting Facts About,

how undertale deltarune create fear...

I'll remember that level path system that takes care of everything you do to a great extent, reloads your save because you regret killing someone. Vu kills the same boss over and over again. The game identifies you as something of a weirdo and this choice system ties more to Undertale combat where you were heavily incentivized to get through the game without killing anyone, essentially sparing them back and forth. puzzle segments through the act menu commands trying to see what will pacify them and end the fight while dodging their projectiles on low defense stats during these little Touhou junior style bullet hell screens that take place in the phase of attack of each monster if you manage the sometimes high task of experiencing the game without getting blood on your hands, you arguably get the most out of the experience and are rewarded with the full length of the story and the happiest ending and Of course the time you spend with these characters, in fact Undertale's success is largely based on whether or not you can team up with these guys and if you don't I can understand why it can fail. flat for some but i loved them all so you can see why i got caught up in taking the path of least resistance and failing to not start killing things is generally not what gets you on the full path to the dark side, though this basically earns you one of the many neutral endings in the game which, depending on how many or specific people you kill, can give you anything from light conversation to a bittersweet depressing ending to a truly grim ending with sans telling you you go to hell, this means that the truth The path without mercy is not one that someone stumbles upon by accident, as it is characterized by not only killing all the monsters it encounters, but also never moving from an area until they stop finding them.
how undertale deltarune create fear
Some people call it p. ath under a different name and for a few reasons one of which is the announcement status of this video I'm not going to do that so moving down the path of a ruthless gamer in undertale is not one that is easily crossed there is a high chance that while playing the game you have at least played the pacifist run before attempting something like this and it is a sobering reality once you restart the game again after that when you are faced with the game's literal main antagonist stating that you the player it's the last hurdle in the way of these characters actually moving on to their happy ending your part is done you can close the game and go leave them to them or out of your own selfish curiosity like Flowey did when he had the power to save and reload a power that so eloquently points out was lost when you showed up, you can rip them all off reset everything to zero start over and distance yourself from the characters you've come to know r an I love to see them simply as variables and numbers wanting to see how they will react, how they will change as everything around them comes crashing down with great reluctance.
how undertale deltarune create fear
Yet you hover over the reset button anyway because that burning curiosity inside is too much to digest without it. knowing that you have to know and so you either do it or you just don't care at all which if so what happens to you and from there the game starts normally at first the changes won't be obvious because things haven't finished started to change but anyway fact, this path has several points where you could slam to a halt along the way, you'll probably get a miserable neutral ending, but it could be counted as neutral; more and more, the once vibrant and cartoonish cast of random monsters to fight is noticeably replaced by a screen declaring with cold mechanical silence in a spooky setting that no one came, this is the fir First indication during a race like this of that something is deeply wrong.
The world of Undertale is such a haven of light and joy for the most part that robbing a sense of warmth from the inhabitants begins to make it feel really empty. I said before Undertale. is a game that is relatively linear and simple in its actual path forward, but the experiences you make with the characters and the world around you is what makes that somewhat simple journey a very personal and emotionally significant one. The time you spend during this trip will inevitably be made up for. of the many encounters you face and the many creative ways you can turn a battle into slightly heartbreaking nonsense with friends in a sense, these sets of scenes, lines of dialogue, become a big blanket around you during your first match like a big happy community experience that really sucks you underground and makes you feel welcome in contrast these spaces never seemed emptier when you start killing and that's not just because they have fewer people in them these spaces Simple as they can often be, they are much more obviously simple when you stop seeing the need to stop and smell the flowers, so to speak, these spaces are not conducive to speeding your way through. beat this is a collection of snapshots of experiences you should have and here you are stomping on them, depriving yourself of them and making sure you can never have them, not alone, not when you've killed all the people who could give them to you one by one all the friendly faces that make up the bulk of your wacky adventures the first round starts to fade once the puzzles and cute environmental hazards are washed away the gameplay adapts to your prioritization of violence the merchants leave their stalls in a hurry notes begging you may you not hurt their families the encounters thin out as if the dull weight for you is a desperate offer from the monsters to try to get you out of the scum by hiding them maybe just maybe if they can hide from you long enough you won't eliminate them , but hour after hour passes one encounter after another dwindles in the now visible count of monsters you still have to deal with.
Invest in dusty corpses in the save markers and soon each area becomes another empty wasteland devoid of the allure and love that brimmed with it when you first arrived and if you brought them to this point you'll never know what it's like to see them that way again all this it culminates in one of the more convincing in-betweens meant to talk you out of doing what you're doing early in the game, talking to sans after the bridge encounter with papyrus will earn you this dialogue, he says i've been thinking it seems like you're going to fight my brother very soon here's some friendly advice if you carry on as you are now you're going to have a hard time when i say undertale is a game of choice i don't just mean the arbitrary choice to choose but rather the whole scope or f a choice the choice itself the implications the outcome the consequences the consequences everything anyone does will have some kind of relevance to the world that surrounds you after all it may not be a bad choice and your choice may not even be everyone's business ultimately the choices you make in a video game by that metric seem barely above consideration as when should the Virtual lives influence the way you see reality?
To them it's reality and no, I'm not here to argue that the Undertale characters are well and truly alive. It would be crazy and if they were clearly I'd already be holding hands with Muffet and that hasn't happened yet so what I'm trying to say is that the world of Undertale works in response to consequences the same way it does. makes ours because the characters live. in it I don't know anything else, they don't treat their lives as a game, they just treat them as their lives and if you come along and interrupt them, you destroy their lives, they will react the way you expect. or broken, battered, scared and truly repulsed by you, every line of dialogue is made to emphasize the threat you're becoming with each gradual step on this path, not even acknowledging you as papyrus human, realizing he doesn't need your company, undyne literally taking the stand as the true hero of the story to stop you once and for all is shown in anime protagonist style as his eyes glow like a light source and he gets a badass transformation outfit change but even that's not enough after all she's just a character in a game and you're out of it she can kill you as many times as she wants but you can always go back and erase her progress with another try try after try you can learn to read her and when she never can.
If she reads you inch by inch, you'll get closer to what seems like a mountain of skill gap as she gets more and more insignificant until you finally kill her once which is sadly all it takes. Another buried friend. Another ruined memory. gone another area is haunted by the holy tombs and empty walls that once held so much life the life you silenced and now there is no joy or fanfare no incident you are alone you have no one but yourself to who's to blame if you were as deeply attached to the Undertale characters as I was at this point, you'd start to realize that you may have started scaring yourself.
Consequence: All it took for what seems like a routine RPG session to become so heartbreaking and horrifying. How many times have you done this same type of thing without blinking and without even thinking twice? I don't think Undertale is necessarily trying to do it. To say that video game violence is inherently bad, I actually think that people who take that away from you are doing you a disservice by assuming that your intentions are so shallow but safe. He just wants you to think about violence and how numb we can be to it. her in certain contexts, and she sets out to provide those contexts clearly and concisely while contrasting them with elements that we don't usually include in the mix elements like, say this heavy burden of conscience that plagues us every moment of this miserable race The killer has no interest in stepping aside and letting us walk up to our necks in hell without a pushy word or doesn't want us to know exactly where we're stepping and wants to know if we're really whatcallous enough to hear that and move on anyway when you've reached Hotland, it becomes more apparent than ever that these spaces are not meant to be empty.
The well-timed interruptions of funny phone pranks. with alfies and the absurd comedy of their many encounters with mettaton they are dragged into a silent and uncomfortable darkness along the way their alertness to incoming encounters has changed from a simple exclamation point to a creepy grin these monsters want nothing more than avoiding you at all costs and yet your death march continues to the once joyous and perfectly fitting music that once characterized these places with a cool and unique atmosphere now faded into soundscapes of slow droning indicative of a death march you don't bring any kind of joy with you even metteton falls easily before you and their battle in the original game is one of the most delightfully eclectic in the run the castle feels in comparison like the last nail in the coffin while you walk the empty halls of the new home, Flowey of all people starts vibrating with you detailing exactly how he felt when he ate he started killing in a way that clearly reflects your mood going into this like you haven't been called out enough by now at the beginning i used my powers forever i befriended everyone i solved all their problems without a problem their company was fun for a while as time repeated people proved to be predictable what would happen this person says if i gave you this what would you do if i told you this once you know the answer? what if i kill them i don't like this i said to myself i'm only doing this because i have to know what's going on what an excuse you of all people should know how liberating it is to act this way at least we're better off than those psychopaths who are they stop and watch it happen those pathetic people who want to see it but are too weak to do it themselves i bet someone like that is watching right now isn't it nowadays?
I have done everything this world has to offer. I have read all the books. I have burned all the books. I have won all the games. I have lost all the games. I have appeased everyone. I have killed everyone. I've seen them all, but what really sets this scene apart from the fact that this dialogue is really meant to put you firmly in Flowey's shoes and make you understand that you've made the same descent he did is what comes next. and you realize that people of your ilk would not hesitate to kill the other if they got between them.
In the same way, the usually trusting koi and the cruel flower begin to tremble. The music becomes a looming hum. The mechanical sounds match the rhythm of the malicious footsteps marching towards their goal. self-assured cruelty melts under the pressure of

fear

, that's right, buddy flowey is afraid of you and, at this point, there's a good chance you are too, but it's a sunk cost, right? You are too deep at this point to get out of it. the driver's seat wipe your hands and say that was a bad idea you've killed too many people to think that way when you get to the courtroom you're pretty sure you know how sans is going to take all of this oh god yeah everyone they know by now what Sans is like to fight.
I'm not actually going to spend a lot of time talking about his fight just because I generally don't find much about it particularly scary, at least in the middle. Most of the fear comes. of firs t exposition and then as it winds down it's hard not to be a little excited actually when megalovania starts to play as it's obviously one of toby fox's most famous compositions for a very good reason it's just a slap in the face It's definitely hard not to feel the kind of deep discomfort that comes with the text, you feel your sins creeping down your back and Sansa's despair as she describes how she can't afford to back off and be as evasive as she usually is despite her The despair of knowing that you are eventually going to kill him is legitimately heartbreaking in a way that really makes you feel the horrible weight of making a close friend and then horribly betraying them in every imaginable way when the fight comes to an end your temptation to raise your fists and declaring victory will probably be short-lived blood pooling on him as he smiles unable to say just one thing, so I guess it's or it's all, uh, just don't say I didn't warn you, oh, I'm going to roast bee papyrus, will you?
Don't do anything, and while it's a small detail easy to miss for most of those you've been killing for so long, you'll no doubt notice the telltale signs, the sound of dust evaporating into the air as Sans dies outside. the screen and your level increases from 19 to 20. it's a hollow victory means little more than bragging about defeating a tough enemy, but he was so difficult because he was so desperate to make you stop and yet you didn't listen, you continue towards the next room just to cut your blood. Within seconds, Flowey bursts onto the scene to deliver an over-the-top finishing blow just because he's so terrified of what you've become that he's losing all face in one last plea for his own miserable life before you cut him down as well. mercy over and over again. finished until there's not a piece of it left and wow okay this part is going to be controversial hey you know this screen the one with the smiling kid I know you guys love drawing Kara here and throwing all the shit at her guilt for the murder. they bu Here's the thing geniuses it's you you overwrote Frisk's chances you killed his friends and them you reduced this world to nothing why do you think this character is named after what would almost inevitably be your own name what did you enter at the beginning?
You are the invisible hand guiding frisk on his journey when you play as a pacifist don't

create

the need for a creepy reflex like this because it doesn't exist when you play as a monster you get a monster face staring back at you because that's what you gave him indicated to the game that you have marked that this thing of leveling up gaining experience and killing people to win that is what matters most to you not friendship not puzzles not bonds no small intimate moments this is what you have longed for this is what you have better reflects this isn't just a separate character you can place all the responsibility on sure kara has some knowledge of her own don't get me wrong i know but there's also a reason toby w should name them after you success.
Every choice in Undertale is very methodical, very deliberate. This, of course, also refers to their characters. They are three-dimensional, even the villainous characters are nuanced throughout Toby's narratives. Would this be different? Why would the spirit of a randomly dead child be pure evil if it didn't clearly and sincerely reflect who has likely been named for the evil you've sincerely done? It's a hard pill to swallow and I think that's why a lot of people stay deliberately obtuse on this point, but Undertale is a game that makes you accept responsibility and if you've made it to this screen, there really is no more escape now, after everything, you have to live with these options. facts and all their results, that's why the game is so insistent on punishing you with a cursed save file for this, you can blame this invisible face for your own actions, all you want, the fact is that you will never escape them while you can't admit they're right, you're a great partner, we'll be together forever, right? uh,

deltarune

, am I right? the second chapter and up until its release, you'd be forgiven for thinking there wasn't necessarily an equivalent to what we just talked about lurking after all, the narrative emphasis of player choice that doesn't really matter much is emphasized from the start. with your create a character screen leading to a complete scrapping of your product and being in charge of the player character chris instead not only are there plenty of initial options given to you in the guise of branching responses that have little narrative difference from one another or they're completely over before you get a chance to answer all of this results in a first chapter where, at most, it's possible to be an internal murderer but not really. after all, damaging enemies enough leads to run-away encounters altogether, the same scale of violence possible in the darker ways of Undertale doesn't really seem accessible here until you meet noel noel holliday is a cute deer girl who It's one of the narratively central props of the Chapter 2 story at one point in the game, you're basically separated from Susie and Rousey, the other two main members of the group, and you're driving around town with Noel in tow, basically trying to help her out.
Gain some level of trust and also reconnect with Chris who you haven't been that close to in quite some time despite their background as childhood friends. de noel has the potential to freeze enemies freezing someone solid I'm sure you realize it's an effective way to kill someone instantly and given that you're doing it indirectly by commanding Noel, the enemies don't have time to escape with their lives. when they see things turn sour for them, this becomes an open road for the slaughter of the sadistically inclined and the game is fully explained this time around, the gradual and intensely uncomfortable change in tone that arises from this is of nature similar to the tone Undertale without mercy. takes but also takes a decidedly darker turn in one key area which I think makes a world of difference the fact that you're not completely alone in Undertale sure the isolation from it all made it especially spooky as you watched yourself transform into the monster everyone feared , that's true, but what makes the path of the snow grave, as it's known in deltarune chapter 2, so heartbreaking is the fact that you can't actually go through all of this by yourself, so basically you have to manipulate noel so that by doing it for you by proxy, she comes to depend on you for what she thinks is an ability to keep going and become stronger to abandon her passive nature and become self-sufficient. when really what she's doing is falling prey to your demands and being forced by fear to do monstrous things very soon, the enemies you see in the outside world, a feature absent in Undertale, begin to hit this point even harder by fleeing. from you instead of going to you. for combat encounters, they are desperate not to participate in that encounter because the pallet corpses littering the city are already proof enough of what awaits them on the other side.
If they do, there's a device across this section that's used for puzzles where one laser stays on unless you or don't step on the corresponding switches to let the other cross and there's literally a moment deep inside The slaughter where Noel guiltily ponders whether to flip the switch and let Chris get killed is dark and culminates in an encounter with Birdly, this chapter's other bonus accessory from the waking world cast, Birdly's alright, yeah, well, he's on his own ass, pretentious, annoying. g and worst of all a player but definitely not worth getting killed and especially not in as horrible a way as you've been forcing Noel to do up to this point but if you go through with it Birdly is apparently killed or at least something happens to him that corresponds to his outer self because he is frozen and does not appear for the rest of the chapter after this noel who, along with Birdly, would have remained an integral part of the story even after. this just sadly disappears without a trace after this point declaring that it feels horrible this is what i think really hits harder than anything else in the way of grave snow the fact that you're not just taking innocent lives with your your own hands but this time you are manipulating someone else into doing it someone who will have blood on their hands will be complicit in your actions and who is otherwise a kind and loving person noel didn't know what he was doing but you knew what you were doing to her and the fact that she could feel so dependent on you to a degree of toxic dependency while at the same time being terrified of you, yeah that's not a joke, that's pretty much abusing snowgrave, the most immersive abuser simulator on the market, no, but really you. i get my point about how somehow the isolation made it less harrowing last time, at least you were in full control of your own actions and had no one else to answer to in the case of Undertale, you knew you were a monster and you had every intention of doing this yourself to appease yourself as long as you didn't deny it in deltarune though you're tying up a third party and that's where it becomes an even sicker feeling it literally gives me goosebumps , it is so horrible that there is simply something much more crude and horrible that ishe feels about it and i guess that speaks to the strength of toby fox's ability to infuse people with emotion with his games that this intense feeling of guilt is something he can still trigger even now, especially in a game that's on his way happiest principal made me smile so hard my jaw ached.
This emotional duality is present in all of Toby's games all the time and I think that's extremely impressive because I shuddered to think that a man could be so talented as to make me laugh and smile and cry with wonder and joy and emotion. so pure and unadulterated in the very games that they have instilled more fear in me than even some dedicated horror games have been capable of god, that's not to mention how excellent weaving together some of these elements as with any of the respective fights both in the pacifist method occult or the NBA snow grave method with Spamton Neo who is equal parts hilarious, scary and host to one of the most amazing tracks on the entire chapter 2 soundtrack like yeah this is a hit, but oh my gosh, did he really say that? oh and uh i guess i thought this was obvious but chris isn't evil either guys i know it's so tempting j up again to the boy in the green shirt is inexplicably evil even though characterization and writing habits of toby fox contradict me on that, but hey, people will literally adapt to any kind of narratively incoherent explanation in the world if it takes the awkward personal responsibility off their shoulders specifically like this I guess you guys are getting uncomfortable again before I go Today, while there is one last scary part of these games that I wanted to mention and it's extremely iconic, it even comes from the pacifist version of Undertale, so most people probably know exactly what I'm doing. i'm talking but i think it's prudent to bring it up because i think it's the perfect way to concisely summarize what i've been saying here regarding toby fox's mastery of a kind of tonal duality that moment in undertale is the fight with omega flowey for those of you who have lived under a rock essentially the defining context of omega flowey is you've known flowey all along I went back to the start of the game and he was just some weird evil flower who tried to kill you and said some foreboding things starting from then on it was mostly just something that would linger in the back of your head pretty much unheard of sins with very few hints of their presence peppered with staying pacifist denying their statements that the world is kill or be killed towards the opening moments of the game, you've essentially been playing the pacifist, directly challenging their perspective, each difficult encounter you overcome is further proof that compassion and care, while sometimes the hardest path to travel is the one ultimately worth the most and in a terrifying final encounter with the king of all monsters, Asgore, who truly has no desire personal but the obligation to fight against you, you offer to the poor.
Man, your trademark sense of mercy only to have that expectation of reconciliation wiped out when Flowey shows up for the first time since early in your career killing Asgore while he's absorbing the human souls at his disposal and turning into an abominable supernatural creature of indescribable mass indescribable features and a nightmarish cackle both the visual styles and manner of presentation in this fight are vastly different from what has come before this at any point in the game's combat thus far, no matter what bizarre encounters you fought in In Undertale, the unifying visual style of the UI was enough to make everything feel at least somewhat consistent and understandable, even as new elements were constantly thrown into the mix throughout the game with Omega Flowey, this is not the case. are gone, menu commands are gone or even come back to break the rhythm of the bullet hell segments, instead, you're fighting for your life against a torrent of wretchedly cheap attacks while flowey spins in your face. projectiles unavoidable and almost inevitably kills you over and over again as strange deformed appendages sprout from your cactus Arms like flies swarm you like blood sucking locusts warheads fall from the sky raining death on you an anguished and tortured face rides in agony on the video monitor up and your only attempts at retaliation prove to have little to no effect on him for your problem it's an absolute nightmare it's a truly disorienting experience that takes all your muscle memory all your visual adjustment and throws it out the window makes the most of the psychology behind it one of the most effective methods of inducing fear which is to establish a visual style that a viewer or player of something can become very accustomed to throughout their participation in the play and then suddenly hit them with something completely foreign to that experience to that point, this inevitably creates a sense of shock. unsteadiness and restlessness that translates perfectly in a setting like this into fear, the booming orchestral swell of sheer dread that is the ultimate track The nightmare that plays during this fight is a perfect encapsulation of this cacophony of jarring melodies that sound like what it would feel like to be literally trapped in hell, but in a move that I think highlights Toby Fox's creative duality in the same way this fight does.
Of course, it has more to offer than just that during the fight, if you manage to buckle down and withstand the challenge of the misery that comes your way, you'll start playing small interlude segments when you're tasked with avoiding specific dangers related to being. human. The Blossom Exploding Souls endure these rounds long enough and will start offering short support windows to heal you up so you can take the next bare-knuckle beating you take from the monster afterwards. Constantly during this fight, there is a dynamic of being completely broken. and i destroyed but he brought me back from the brink at the last second over and over again flowey brings you to the near brink of death his relentless cruelty st saved only for another minute by the kindness of others finally when you've passed all these challenges and hope seem so far away, souls gather in a circle and show you the love you have shown everyone up to this point, all of them healing.
Simultaneously the music changes, the frenzied hellish symphony of doom disappears, and here is something soft rising to something triumphant. Flowey's defense suddenly drops to zero and his theme, which once characterized his cruel dominance over you, suddenly began to grow into an anthem filled with hope. For his promotion, his attacks slow down and become messier than ever to try to make up for the efficiency he lacks. the journey you've made from the bottom to the flames of hell and back to the starting line to fight for what's good and loving once again and as horrible as all of this w as borderline traumatic as some of the images that accompanied it seemed to sag under the weight of your light exposed by the illusory cynical convenience that was always really below the surface, Flowey loses and even after he's done, you offer him the mercy he taunted you for dishing out earlier that he can't understand it or maybe he just won't, but it's this simple principle that got you this far and even now, when it's been tested to its core, it's what you can cling to no matter what.
Everything, you're still you and I think that's what's really special about Toby's games, the fact that he can evoke such negative emotions but inject them with a sense of gravity and purpose that's not only able to coexist with his writing. ura sillier and happier, but can often work in direct service of it, both in its contrast and in illustrating the very themes that your games need to reflect in the first place, that's not nearly all your games mean to you. me for the record but i think in a month spent talking about what scares us this is a good place to start for now oh and by the way chris is non-binary please click like to scare a transphobic today.

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