Undertale Discussion Post 07/06/2016 Act 63 Comments Here you are. Let’s keep it off other threads now. Does disqus allow subscribe/unsubscribe? Ugh, we really need to get rid of disqus. RPGs, Undertale, Video Games discussion, UnderTale 63 Comments illhousen says: July 6, 2016 at 2:58 pm Alright, so, let’s kick it off with a few fic recs. One by One: http://archiveofourown.org/works/4942816/chapters/11345293 A genuinely good fic. Plot-wise, it’s a pretty standard “let’s do the time warp again and save Asriel this time” and the beginning is rather melodramatic, but once the fic gets going it becomes really enjoyable. Chara is the main villain and manages to be creepy in all the right ways. The fic culminates in a Raksha shaping battle while managing to make it meaningful, which is no small feat. Holding Pattern: http://archiveofourown.org/series/338128 A rather unique fic in that it follows an aborted Genocide run with no resets. Frisk kills everyone in the ruins and Snowdin, gets to Papyrus’ boss battle but accepts his mercy. Things progress from there. The most memorable part of the fic is a very well-executed mindfuck. Chara seals Frisk’s ability to recognize and remember names, resulting in cascading mental consequences. This is the stuff I read for and so should you. (On downside, I found the ending to be a bit weak. Everything was resolved far too quickly and neatly after the long build-up.) The Golden Quiche: http://archiveofourown.org/works/5296460/chapters/12226634 Not so much a rec as a call for mine canaries. The premise is promising: a developed magic system, Magi Association wanting to get their hands on Frisk, politics and intrigue – but the size of the fic is intimidating and I have no idea if it gets anywhere. Seems to be decently written from a technical perspective, at least. Reply Report comment Mini-Farla says: July 6, 2016 at 3:08 pm In retrospect I think One by One was a bit weak on the character front. Frisk doesn’t actually make a very active attempt to help Asriel; they mostly just rely on other people to do it for them and then fight the final battle. It didn’t really capture the emotional drive to save Asriel that a lot of players feel, I don’t think, and Frisk’s victory ends up feeling a little undeserved. Also, the thing Chara does at the end doesn’t make any sense to me, as I’ve said elsewhere. I would recommend You’re a Dicey Situation, by our good friend Ember: http://archiveofourown.org/works/7233016/chapters/16419535 I’m not sure if it’s quite as technically well-written as One by One, and the plot is a lot less ambitious, but I feel it captures the emotional and character angles a lot better. The way it uses Chara is also very clever. Reply Report comment illhousen says: July 6, 2016 at 3:24 pm Hmmm, it’s been a while since I read One by One, should reread it to see how it holds up. You’re probably right about Frisk being rather passive, with Sans being at the core of stuff actually happening. I’ll check the fic, thanks. Reply Report comment Mini-Farla says: July 6, 2016 at 3:26 pm Frickin’ Sans. I used to like him but he is in EVERYTHING and he always devours everything he touches. I rather liked him in Holding Pattern, though. Reply Report comment illhousen says: July 6, 2016 at 3:46 pm Yeah. I get why people latch onto him, but he really works much better as a background character who occasionally steps on the forefront, not the other way around. In One by One he could have, for example, opened the door to Gaster’s realm for Frisk to enter but not follow because of one reason or another, forcing Frisk to navigate the timeless void, find their way to Gaster and then decipher the messages. Reply Report comment illhousen says: July 6, 2016 at 6:45 pm Hm, the fic seems to be a slow burn. Much summation. I suspect it’s going to get going now that most of old things are out of the way, though. The emotional angle is better, though. Much less melodrama, more character exploration, so on that front the fic delivers. Reply Report comment Farla says: July 6, 2016 at 3:17 pm Holding Pattern is a great example of people needing to fucking end their fics. The original idea they describe, of a genocide run suddenly terminating with the kid staying with Papyrus, and how they write the kid, is great. The plot that develops from that is a pile of shit. Reply Report comment illhousen says: July 6, 2016 at 3:22 pm Oh, the plot is pretty weak, but I did enjoy greatly the ideas present in the fic of the mindfuck variety, and so it gets a lot of leeway from me. Reply Report comment Farla says: July 6, 2016 at 4:32 pm But that’s what pisses me off the most! There’s this great idea, the first stories/chapters are great, but then there’s ages spent on Sans’ investigation and then that determination bullshit that never matters, and all the talks about resets, and being told the character’s actually getting worse and soon there’ll be permanent damage OH WAIT NO YOU GOT IT IN TIME GOOD JOB NO CONSEQUENCES HERE HEY WAIT WHAT IF FREAKISH SOUL AMALGAMATION FRIENDSHIP? YAY!!! Reply Report comment illhousen says: July 6, 2016 at 4:49 pm Hm, thinking back on it, I can see your point. In general, not enough consequences for a story about an aborted Genocide. Asriel being pulled in was also pretty cheap, especially considering it’s Chara’s endgame. Reply Report comment Mini-Farla says: July 6, 2016 at 2:59 pm So I checked out that Determination thing and as I expected, it’s dumb. Chara is way too expressive and woobiefied and the ending makes no sense. Also, though reducing max health is a good enough gimmick, I can’t believe they didn’t take the obvious route of turning Chara into a typical RPG boss by giving them undodgeable attacks. I know this isn’t the only Chara boss hack; are there others that do that? Reply Report comment illhousen says: July 6, 2016 at 3:01 pm Ah, a shame. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this game, but I guess I should have at least watched the LP before suggesting it. My bad. Reply Report comment Farla says: July 6, 2016 at 3:14 pm I’ll chime in with my own current run and the last things I noticed: Killing Undyne directly in front of Sans makes him disappear mid-snore but changes nothing – he just lets you! However, it seems he’ll act if you actually leave her to die of the heat. Coward. Also, Mettaton’s first quiz is impossible to lose, which makes sense, except that you’re on 1HP when he asks the Mew Mew Kissy Cutie question. Alphys clearly accounted for the possibility you wouldn’t notice her hints by the fact your HP is halved each time, which suggests that something was supposed to happen on that question that’d stop Mettaton from attacking you if you screwed up. Also, I’m bugged by how killing named characters overwrites the general callouts – I got this awesome rant from Undyne because I’d killed some people but not Papyrus, while if he’s dead she only talks about him. Similarly, because I was trying to recreate my demo save, I killed several monsters, then Toriel, then reloaded to spare her, locking me out of Flowey’s “haha you think just because you spared her you’re a good person even though you’re still fine murdering others” rant. Reply Report comment illhousen says: July 6, 2016 at 3:50 pm “which suggests that something was supposed to happen on that question that’d stop Mettaton from attacking you if you screwed up.” Maybe she would have revealed her super-secret and totally not made up invention that would temporally disable his attacks but required a lot of time to charge up? That way, she still achieves her goals of helping Frisk even if they ignore her. “Also, I’m bugged by how killing named characters overwrites the general callouts” Hm, yes, it’s thematically dubious. I get why it is the way it is narratively: like it or not, named characters carry more weight in the audience’s eyes no matter what you do. But yes, for a game dedicated to subverting the general gaming mindset it’s a serious flaw. Some kind of combined call-out would be more appropriate, especially since it’s not like Undertale is lacking in little details that most people won’t ever see, so sparing effort on it wouldn’t be a big thing, comparatively. Reply Report comment Farla says: July 6, 2016 at 4:29 pm Maybe, but why not pull it out regardless? She obviously didn’t want the next question to happen, but she can’t do anything about it, suggesting that going off-script screwed up whatever she meant to do. My guess is it was some sort of power of friendship thing she meant to pull out to go with the question about her favorite friendship anime, but there’s no direct clue of what she was expecting to happen. Reply Report comment illhousen says: July 6, 2016 at 4:54 pm Well, afterwards there are no wrong answers, so if that something only works with Mettaton’s final attack, it wouldn’t work now. Not visibly so at least. Reply Report comment Farla says: July 6, 2016 at 4:59 pm Ah, that’s a good point! Reply Report comment Roarke says: July 6, 2016 at 5:43 pm Killing Undyne directly in front of Sans makes him disappear mid-snore but changes nothing – he just lets you! However, it seems he’ll act if you actually leave her to die of the heat. Coward. I was going to say something about technically, you’re defending yourself against Undyne and she’s been persistently hunting you down. But then I remembered he knows you’re the anomaly in space-time and so you can’t be killed permanently and, therefore, self-defense itself becomes a meaningless concept. On the other hand, since stopping you means killing you, he probably thinks that decision is also meaningless and he’ll just let events flow from the player’s choices. He won’t save Undyne until you leave her to die from the heat, because that’s the point where your choice is removed from the situation. He’ll only obstruct you at the end of the Genocide Run, where your choice ends everything. To me, Sans is like a metaphor for the limits of choice in an RPG. He’ll let you do whatever fantastically fucked-up thing you can think of (and allowed for in the game), and only intercedes when you’re going to “break the game”. Undertale is tightly designed enough that the usual forms of sequence-breaking don’t exist, barring hacks (which he’ll call you out on). Having Sans show up to fight/intercede only at the end of a Genocide Run does kind of make sense from that perspective, in my opinion. Reply Report comment Farla says: July 6, 2016 at 5:54 pm I was going to say something about technically, you’re defending yourself against Undyne and she’s been persistently hunting you down. But then I remembered he knows you’re the anomaly in space-time and so you can’t be killed permanently and, therefore, self-defense itself becomes a meaningless concept. Well also, her death scene is just so awful and she’s shouting about how she’s doing it for everyone else’s sake and won’t give up the whole time. Even if he wasn’t going to attack me, he could’ve tried to intervene somehow. Good point about his meta role. I guess it just annoys me – he’s willing to fight to force the player to give up out of frustration, but waits until the end. Why not try to make the game more difficult in other ways, at other points? Reply Report comment illhousen says: July 6, 2016 at 6:04 pm Ah, but that would take effort. Reply Report comment Mini-Farla says: July 6, 2016 at 6:06 pm Why not try to make the game more difficult in other ways, at other points? I believe that’s because he’s so depressed. He doesn’t see the point in stopping you before then because he knows it’ll all be reset anyway. It’s only in the absolute worst-case scenario that he works up the motivation to intervene. It’s also heavily implied that he knows the omnicide end contains permanent consequences, which means he can’t hide behind the excuse that nothing matters anymore. Reply Report comment Roarke says: July 6, 2016 at 6:49 pm Good point about his meta role. I guess it just annoys me – he’s willing to fight to force the player to give up out of frustration, but waits until the end. Why not try to make the game more difficult in other ways, at other points? I have no idea, honestly. Like, from a metagame perspective, yeah, I have a clear idea of why he won’t, for instance, stop you from killing his brother. From a character perspective, I just do not know. Reply Report comment illhousen says: July 6, 2016 at 4:15 pm Alright, so, there is a thing that kept bothering me. A lot of fics portray Frisk as a very quiet person. Sometimes they don’t like to talk, sometimes they have actual problems with speaking, sometimes they’re outright partially mute (is it a thing, by the way? I’m genuinely curious). So, why is it a thing? It’s pretty obvious that Frisk is a typical silent protagonist model: they do talk, people react to them talking, sometimes we even get to select the exact words they speak, it’s just normally we don’t see them talk on-screen, it’s only implied in narration and various characters monologue at them. It’s very common in the genre, on this blog Pokemon games probably would be the most known example, so where did this headcanon come from? Reply Report comment Mini-Farla says: July 6, 2016 at 4:25 pm Tumblr. Frisk is a precious neurodivergent baby who is just like me and if you say otherwise you’re scum!!! must be protected. People project their own issues onto characters as a weird coping mechanism. There’s nothing inherently wrong about it and I do feel kind of bad about haranguing people for it, but it really kills engagement when you can’t tell if a fic is just issuefic with no relevance to anyone but the author or a serious attempt at interpreting the characters. (is it a thing, by the way? I’m genuinely curious). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_mutism Reply Report comment Farla says: July 6, 2016 at 4:38 pm I really doubt it’s overidentification with Frisk in most cases, though. They’d have better characterization if so, and they’d be writing more fics focused on Frisk. Reply Report comment illhousen says: July 6, 2016 at 5:04 pm “They’d have better characterization if so” Would they, though? SIs tend to be poorly characterized precisely because they’re projections, not actual characters who are supposed to serve a narrative function. When you just want to use a character for vicarious living, they don’t really need such inconvenient things as personality or consistent characterization, just something to mark them as you. Reply Report comment Farla says: July 6, 2016 at 5:50 pm Well, maybe not characterization. Better depiction. What I’ve seen really doesn’t overlap with the common manifestations of speech problems much. Unless the people with selective mutism writing Frisk all have really unusual versions, they should be writing Frisk as SELECTIVELY mute, not barely talking in general in all situations. Similarly, people who actually communicate in sign language seem like they’d do more than just *Frisk signed BLAH BLAH* now on to Chara’s very important feelings. Reply Report comment illhousen says: July 6, 2016 at 6:07 pm Hm, yes, with that I would agree. Reply Mini-Farla says: July 6, 2016 at 5:48 pm Ah see, you’re looking at recent fandom, where all has been subsumed into Chara and Sans. The thing I was looking at was early fandom, and there are indeed many, many fics focused on Frisk there, almost all of which make them mute or selectively mute, combined with monsters magically all understanding sign language to explain why they can communicate. Reply Report comment illhousen says: July 6, 2016 at 6:05 pm You know, it’s kinda funny on a meta-level that Chara is ERASING everything that isn’t Chara. Reply Report comment Mini-Farla says: July 6, 2016 at 6:07 pm Yes, yes it is. Also terrifying. (What’s also meta-funny is absolutely everything getting attributed to the character who was erased from existence.) Reply illhousen says: July 6, 2016 at 6:16 pm Pffft, it’s like you think Alphys can do something on her own or something. Yeah, right. It’s all Gaster. He built the lab, he did all of the experiments here before they were attributed to Alphys, he created colored magic (including Undyne’s, which was a thing in one fan comic) and he created Mettaton (well, he created a way for ghosts to permanently occupy robot bodies), which was also a thing. That said, I can’t really hate Gaster even though the fandom makes it really easy. I mean, he erased Gaster, that’s admirable. Mini-Farla says: July 6, 2016 at 7:00 pm Wait, do we actually know he erased himself? From what I remember, the followers just say he was erased, with no mention of the cause. illhousen says: July 6, 2016 at 7:07 pm Seems to be a botched experiment judging by the entries, which is fairly plausible. There is so little info, though, that you may, say, blame Flowey for it if you want. Or anything else, really. Gust says: July 7, 2016 at 9:21 pm Alphys pushed him because he liked Kissy Mew Mew 2. 2 illhousen says: July 6, 2016 at 5:02 pm Interesting link, thanks. The theory seems plausible. Certainly, a lot of MCs in other fandoms serve as a host for fanfic writers, so I can see them projecting their issues along with power ups onto their favorite doll. Reply Report comment Farla says: July 6, 2016 at 4:26 pm My bitter theory is it’s a combination of being a great way to erase them from the narrative in favor of other characters (be it Chara devouring all their character for themself or Sans using them as a prop) while getting cookies for being so aware and supportive of whatever particular issue is the reason. Oh, and partial muteness…I mean, it’s a thing, but usually it’s a thing where the character can talk in one context and not in another, and is wholly capable of being a complete chatterbox in the right one, which I don’t see here. Reply Report comment Socordya says: July 6, 2016 at 6:59 pm Here you are. Let’s keep it off other threads now. Does disqus allow subscribe/unsubscribe? Ugh, we really need to get rid of disqus. You’re just mad you haven’t played it;) Give in, Act. If only you knew the power of the under side! Reply Report comment illhousen says: July 6, 2016 at 7:09 pm Indeed. We don’t have chocolate but we do have pies. Reply Report comment actonthat says: July 9, 2016 at 5:57 pm I literally dreampt about Undertale last night because of all the comment emails. Reply Report comment illhousen says: July 9, 2016 at 6:39 pm Yes. Because of the emails. Certainly. There is no other reason. Most certainly, we do not send dreams to people that would lead them to become one of us. That would be silly. Reply Report comment Roarke says: July 9, 2016 at 6:57 pm I’d give you my Steam info so you could play it, but the cloud keeps a record of all my sordid misdeeds in that game, which would ruin your enjoyment of it, to say the least. Reply Report comment actonthat says: July 9, 2016 at 7:02 pm The problem is that it’s so big and everyone loves it so much I want to avoid it. Not because I think everyone is lying, but because I hate having that kind of pressure going into a book/game/whatever. Also I hate everything and if I don’t like it, I’ll feel both stupid and like an asshole. The risk outweighs the reward. Reply Report comment illhousen says: July 9, 2016 at 7:28 pm You know yourself better than we do. Much as I’d like to hear your thoughts on Undertale, in the end it’s just a game and there is always more stuff to talk about that doesn’t put you under pressure. Hope we don’t bother you too much with our discussions and digressions. Now at least they shouldn’t bleed into other posts so much. Feel free to tell us if there are any other problems we can fix. Reply Report comment Roarke says: July 9, 2016 at 8:24 pm Yeah, that’s understandable. And I’m already shoving like 10 games onto your plate so I’m fine with you missing this. Reply Report comment SpoonyViking says: July 10, 2016 at 12:25 am …Times like these make me SO happy I’m not a mod. :-P Reply Report comment illhousen says: July 6, 2016 at 7:10 pm On another note. What’s the deal with Uncommon Time, specifically? I’ve tried to play it but the fights are booooring and there isn’t any obvious batshittery right away, so I’m not sure whether I’d continue. Still, I’m curious about its relationship with Chara. Reply Report comment Mini-Farla says: July 6, 2016 at 8:56 pm Yeah, it’s not something to be played, the gameplay is terrible. Watch a YouTube LP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfHFduCeq6g&list=PLClHdc5619etE6koUCxksmA2pvEJhkxuU&index=1&nohtml5=False The connection to Chara isn’t obvious unless you also know Feralphoenix’s very specific interpretation of Chara, which is basically identical to the protagonist of Uncommon Time. Reply Report comment illhousen says: July 7, 2016 at 10:23 am Thanks, I may check it out later. Reply Report comment Appaloosa says: August 16, 2017 at 11:20 am It’s been a while, but have you ever given the Duet mod for Uncommon Time a whirl? It’s a really cathartic experience, a lot like that one fic on AOOOOOOO, in that it explores a fairly short, alternate ending, but it’s amazing and redemptive. I really recommend it. 1 Reply Report comment Socordya says: July 7, 2016 at 10:05 am There’s something bugging me. At he end of the Genocide Route, when Frisk meets Asgore, he says he can’t tell what kind of monster they are. Since he had no problem identifying Frisk as a human being in the other routes, it seems we are supposed to read this as meaning Frisk has become so evil they seems inhuman. But “human” being synonymous with “good” and “monstrous” being synonymous with “bad” doesn’t make sense in the context of the game’s universe, especially from Asgore’s POV! Am I missing something? Reply Report comment illhousen says: July 7, 2016 at 10:23 am Well, on a meta-level it is about the loss of your humanity, I’m afraid. Doesn’t make much sense in the context, though the metaphor is something that would be understood by the audience, so I guess the context was sacrificed for the sake of pretty rhetoric in this case. In-universe, well, Chara is a demon of the “personification of your sins” type or close enough, so that may be visible. If your only frame of reference are humans and monsters, I guess it makes sense to not think of them as a human. Reply Report comment Gust says: July 10, 2016 at 4:53 pm “It’s a metaphor, see: You put the knife right in your hand, but you don’t give it the power to do its stabbings.” On a more serious note, apparently Bravely Second also did the thing where it calls the player out for JRPG stuff and gets all meta on the player. That could be fun for someone to do a comparison of or something. At the very least, it’ll be interesting. But I’d feel bad to put someone through that again. I could probably give it a look when I fix my 3DS troubles. But I haven’t played the first one. And I’d have to drag myself away from Binding of Isaac first. Reply Report comment illhousen says: August 2, 2016 at 11:13 am Because it amuses me. Chara’s theme song. Reply Report comment St. Elmo's Fire says: February 2, 2018 at 9:46 am So since we’re apparently using these things as fanfic advertisement boards, here’s mine: Do No Harm This is going to require some explanation: It’s based on the Underfell AU, which is basically that all the monsters are actually evil but Flowey is good. It’s mainly just an excuse to draw the skelebros in evil outfits and write a lot of torture porn; last I checked no other stories have made it past Waterfall. This was my attempt to make a full, coherent narrative out of it while also calling out all the things I disliked about it. Unfortunately, it took me over a year to finish, so I think it got drowned out in the ocean of skelebros oneshots and nobody really noticed. Don’t make the same mistake as me, kids! Stick to simple stuff for spitefics! Reply Report comment Indiscretion says: November 3, 2018 at 7:36 pm Deltarune’s out, for those who have not heard! https://www.deltarune.com/ 1 Reply Report comment CrazyEd says: November 4, 2018 at 12:26 am I know so little about Undertale I don’t even know why I should’ve heard about whatever this is. I am a god of the internet. Reply Report comment illhousen says: November 4, 2018 at 11:53 am So, I’ve played it. It’s quite fun and surprisingly meaty for what amounts to a demo. Like, you have an entire conflict with climax and resolution and shit, which is nice. The AU aspect is funny in the context of the Undertale fandom. Reply Report comment Heatth says: November 4, 2018 at 3:05 pm Yeah, it is kinda surprising how complete it feels. If Toby haven’t gone and said it was a demo I could have belived it was just a short special or something. It is a good thing it is that way, at any rate, as apparently the production of the full version haven’t even begin yet. Reply Report comment St. Elmo's Fire says: November 4, 2018 at 5:59 pm I played it, it is lovely. It feels like it’s rather pointedly addressing the criticisms leveled at Undertale — a more cynical narrative, and more typical RPG gameplay with multiple party members and abilities. I like that Toby’s outright said it’s going to be a different thing entirely — as much as I enjoyed Undertale, there wouldn’t be much point in retreading the same ground. The “your choices don’t matter” thing is a little disappointing, but I’m interested to see where it’s going with all this. The one thing is that I feel it’s a bit too silly — Undertale got extremely serious right from the opening and overall maintained a dark undercurrent even under its whimsical tone, but Deltarune feels like it lacks that depth. Susie and Ralsei’s constant presence as silly kids makes everything feel lighter. I also felt there was a lack of women (and no Alphyne!!! ;_;), but that could change. also how do you dodge Jevil’s carousel attack, WTH is that even Reply Report comment illhousen says: November 4, 2018 at 7:03 pm I like that Toby’s outright said it’s going to be a different thing entirely — as much as I enjoyed Undertale, there wouldn’t be much point in retreading the same ground. I find it funny how fans immediately went “Gaster reference!” “Sans definitely remembers Undertale events!” “Kris is Chara!” “No, Chara is the narrator once again!” “But not the intro narrator, that’s Gaster!” and so on. The one thing is that I feel it’s a bit too silly Yeah, I agree with this. The dark world is, ironically, massively lighter in tone than pretty much any part of Undertale. It kinda lacks the gravitas. Now, I can see how it could be utilized in the finalized game, as a direct contrast to whatever’s going on with Kris at the end and such, but, well, time will tell how that will turn out. Reply Report comment St. Elmo's Fire says: November 4, 2018 at 8:09 pm It would be hilarious if Gaster is totally irrelevant and the references are once again just there to troll people. If Sans is important I will be disappoint and will only forgive it if you can hook up Undyne and Alphys >_> Reply Report comment Heatth says: November 5, 2018 at 7:21 pm Now, I can see how it could be utilized in the finalized game, as a direct contrast to whatever’s going on with Kris at the end and such Yeah, I think this is where he is going for. The tone is sillier, but there is a creepy undertone, even before the ending. The “character creation”. Kris having shadows in their face, unlike Frisk. The introduction to the dark world is much more unsettling than the introdution to the underground. Overal the scenary is creepier as well. And in the “epilogue” you have all the mentions about something being wrong with Kris, before the knife scene. Not to mention that, for Undertale fans, seeing so many familiar faces in a slightly, but not completely, different context is a bit off putting. I think it is clear there is something going on underneeth all the silliness. It is not just roses. Reply Report comment Leave a Reply to Roarke Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Name * Email * Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.