Posts Tagged ‘Undertale’

Undertale

April 24, 2018

Alright, this post is definitely going to get very spoiler heavy but for a computer game that came out over 2 and half years ago. If that sort of thing bothers you, I do not blame you if you step away right now. Also, if there is any chance that you would play a game that I will be actively endorsing (#notsponsored), go and play it first. The rest of you may stay and learn why I think that this was an important game that everybody should experience in some way. If the way you want to experience it is through reading this post instead of playing an admittedly frustrating game for hours then thank you for sticking around. That being said, let us get down to business.

The game is a combination of a roleplaying game and a bullet hell game. “Bullet Hell” is a genre that often leads to very difficult gameplay that often has a fairly sharp curve. In bullet hell games, literally a multitude of objects come at you and you must dodge them or die. Winning the fight is more about survival than actually attacking the target. The video below will illustrate what is generally considered hardest fight in the game, one I never even attempted. Most of the combat is easier than that. The other part of the game is roleplaying which means you spend a lot of time going to and fro and talking to people and fetching items while you are traveling from point a to point b. The closest thing I have seen to it is probably the Paper Mario games.

The thing about that roleplaying aspect is that practically everything that you do is a choice that you made which effects the way the story goes for the rest of the playthrough. The story begins as you play a small child who falls down from the surface to a cavernous world of monsters. In any other game, your goal would be to fight every monster you come upon to escape the monster kingdom. Except that your first clue that this may not be the case is that after you fall, you are taken in and fed by a kind sheep woman who wants to protect you. When you try to leave, she stands in your way and refuses to budge because it is too dangerous out there. Your first real choice is made at that moment. You can kill her to start your journey toward freedom or you can wear her down by being stubborn until she realizes that she cannot make the decision for you and lets you go.


This video brought to you by Holly Conrad and Ross O’Donovan.

This kind of sets the tone for the rest of the game. If you wait and see what happens, you are often rewarded with pacifist options to get through the rest of the game. Your next destination brings you to a monster village dominated by two skeleton brothers one of whom was friends with the earlier sheep lady. Their names are Sans and Papyrus (after the fonts Comic Sans and Papyrus). Papyrus talks a big game about wanting to kill all humans but when it comes down to it, he is a pathetic guy with few friends and is overjoyed to change his tune if you befriend him instead. Sans is a lazy guy who just wants to tell puns and live in peace. The fight against Papyrus is the first time where it is really difficult to tough it out until he becomes your friend. You are almost punished with harder gameplay for being nice which is a great mechanic. It is harder to be nice sometimes but it is ultimately more rewarding.

As you continue through the game in this “pacifist” route, you really start making friends instead of enemies. Befriending Papyrus allows him to help you befriend the hardcore soldier Undyne who is as intense about being your friend as she was in hunting you down. Having befriended Undyne, you will have an easier time befriending the kingdom’s nerdy, shy royal scientist Alphys because she has a major crush on Undyne. Finally, you reach the only exit of the kingdom but the King Asgore (scary name) stands in your way. You find out that he only wants to kill you because he can combine your soul with six other dead children to free his people from a magical barrier. He does not want to do it but his people will eventually die out trapped in the cavern and he feels they deserve to be free. He also wants to do it in honor of his son who died which broke apart his marriage to Toriel, the sheep lady from the beginning.

In the end, if you chose a pacifist run, you are able to defeat but not kill the king and you are to able to defeat and lay to rest the spirit of his dead son. In doing so, you are able to wield the energy from the seven hearts and break the barrier, freeing all of the monsters. It is such a touching moment as you look out over this new horizon with your new friends, all of whom have come to love and accept you. Through the game, you spend a lot more time talking to characters to get them what you want to achieve a peaceful resolution. In fact, the random monsters that pop up to attack you all can be disarmed by giving them gifts, telling jokes, complimenting them, petting them, or just running away. As I said, this makes the combat more difficult because you spend a lot of time dodging obstacles while not attacking. Instead, you spend time figuring out what each monster wants and how you can give it to them.

Of course, this is only if you do the pacifist run. To get the other half of the game’s experience, you have to finish what is called the “genocide run”. In the genocide run, you do what comes naturally in a video game. You go around and you kill everything and everyone. Doing so gives you EXP and LOVE and makes it easier to get through a lot of the bullet hell segments, at least early on. However, you later learn that EXP does not stand for “experience” and LOVE does not stand for “love”. Instead, they mean Execution Points and Level of Violence. The more creatures you kill, the more evil you become. Characters who could have become your friends now flee before you and the ones who tried to stop you in the pacifist run are even more desperate to do so. And you know what? You can sympathize with them. I actually wanted them to defeat me because I felt bad for them and their deceased friends.

Eventually, you reach the end of the genocide run and you have murdered everyone who did not run away from you. The level of power that you have absorbed from all of the blood you have shed takes a form separate from you as a malevolent murder spirit. It asks you if you want to join it in destroying the universe. Whether you agree to join it or not, it will go ahead and destroy the universe. In addition, two characters in the game (Sans and Flowey) know that they are in a game. Even if you start a new game, they will both remember that you finished the genocide run. Forever. It will permanently change any other playthroughs of the game even if you go on to be as nice as you can be. The game remembers that you were the real monster. Because, just like in real life, everybody remembers the bad things you do and you must learn to live with the mistakes you have made.

So why is this game so important to me? Why did I think it was important to let you know about it? I can answer that in one word: Morality. The game is a great example of what sticking to good morals can get you and the consequences of bad morals. You can be as wrathful as you want to be. It will probably get you money and things and power. However, it will not win you any friends of substance and you will ultimately be alone and angry. It can truly be harder to be nice and positive sometimes especially in the face of adversity. When being mean is a shortcut, we all consider it at some point. However, most of us know that we will not be able to live with ourselves afterward. This game left me with a lot to think about and hopefully, this small bit leaves you with something to think about.

Advertisements

30 Day Video Game Challenge Pt. 2

July 24, 2017


Day 11 – Gaming system of choice.

My favorite gaming system so far has been the X-Box 360 but it is also the newest one I have. The controller fits perfectly in my hand and the internet capability made loading DLC or patches to games way easier. I have way more games for the Playstation 2, which I still have. The Playstation 2 got me through a very depressed time in my life and was close to being my only friend sometimes. I think I would have to go with the PS2 because the games that impacted me most were played on it.


Day 12 – A game everyone should play.

That would be Undertale. I have not played many bullet hell games but the main game is not extremely hard. There is an optional extremely difficult mode too. However, it is not the game play that makes me recommend this one. The story and the characters are so complete that it is hard not to fall in love with every moment in the game. There is silliness, deep sorrow, adventure, and joy if you let yourself get sucked in. It deals with LGBT issues in a matter of fact, no big deal kind of way. Most importantly, it deals with morality better than any other game. It really captures the “Hell is Other People” aspect of life that many of us struggle to learn in our teen years and some people never learn.


Day 13 – A game you’ve played more than five times.

I have a lot of games that would qualify as I don’t have a lot of games compared to people who have the disposable income to keep up with everything. I think Arkham City is probably one that majorly qualifies here, though. I replayed Dark Cloud 2 more but Arkham City was a true joy to play. I enjoyed feeling like Batman as I played and it felt like a Batman story from top to bottom. I had the Catwoman DLC which loaded incorrectly the first time I played so it was a completely different experience when I played the game a second time.

Day 14 – Current (or most recent) gaming wallpaper.

Red Dead Redemption

Day 15 – Post a screenshot from the game you’re playing right now.

Day 16 – Game with the best cut scenes.

I would pick Twisted Metal Black, which had a huge impact on me when it came out. The Twisted Metal series is known for its exciting, crazy game play followed by funny/interesting cut scenes with a dark tinge to them. The characters were cartoons that have a cartoon plot attached to them complete with a sort of punchline should they win the game. With Twisted Metal Black, things suddenly took a turn into Horror Movie Land. The characters got intros that were dark and haunting to me and they had voice overs that made me get a good feel for the characters and who these monsters were. They packed the game with more cut scenes so you could unlock a better sense of the dark world you were in and it really resonated with me at the time.


Day 17 – Favorite antagonist.

I would go with Eggman/Dr. Robotnik from the Sonic games because he is just such a card-carrying member of evil and so wacky. Some of the games he is in are not very good but he is so fun to beat up on because he takes things so seriously and he is very animated. His English voice is now iconic and it is always clear cut that he is wrong and Team Sonic is right. I thought of other possible antagonists to use as answers but a lot of them are nuanced and end up not being true antagonists. Characters like Beatrix from Final Fantasy IX and Knuckles the Echidna are just too good to be bad.


Day 18 – Favorite protagonist.

Jade from Beyond Good and Evil. Jade is an orphan who helps her friend Pey’J watch over other orphans and she does it by taking on photojournalist projects. She is a genuinely good person but not a goody two shoes. She spends much of the game trying to uncover the truth of her world and rescue her friends in the process. Controlling her is really intuitive as she stealths, dodges, runs, and fights through secret bases and facilities. I also really liked having a camera mechanic that actually affected the game and having a character interested in interacting with the world around her unlike the silent protagonists in other games I have loved.

Day 19 – Picture of a game setting you wish you lived in.

This would be Traverse City in Kingdom Hearts.

 


Day 20 – Favorite genre.

Adventure games. I like a good game that I can hack and slash through enemies in. Kingdom Hearts, God of War, Dark Cloud, the Batman Arkham series, the Fable series and all the like. I like the visceral feeling of the controls directly leading to damage on an enemy. Like the Batman games, I do appreciate an element of stealth added in. Adventure games like Beyond Good and Evil would fit into this category as well. My second favorite genre would probably be RPGs. They allow me to be in complete control of battle and they remind me of Tabletop RPGs. Games like the Final Fantasy series, Chronocross, and Legends of Legaia are awesome.


Beyond the Flow

A Survivor's Philosophy of Life

Silvia Writes

Life is a story. Might as well write it.

An Artist's Path

A space for creative seekers.

Silence Killed The Dinosaurs

Comics, Stories, Dinosaurs, Cats

Daily (w)rite

Author Site for Damyanti Biswas

The Empire of Carane

Where fiction comes to life

DMing With Charisma

Stories, Reviews and Opinions!

half a 1000 miles

cringeworthy (adj) -- causing feelings of awkwardness or embarrassment

kayrayiam

Adventures of a Gypsy Nurse with a Cryptic Past

Abbs Abroad

27 Months with a Maryland Girl in Senegal

Princess of Dragons

A world of imagination, writing and dragons

the eye of the beholder

(a place where beauty is found)

%d bloggers like this: