By Shannon Gugarty
“Undertale” was released on Sept. 15, and it’s already made a huge dent in the Internet.
The story is thus: Many moons ago, humans and monsters lived together, until war broke out. The monsters lost, and fled underground. Now, in the year 201X, a human child has fallen into the underground. From there, you control your player character in their search to exit the underground and return to the surface.
Gameplay is a mix of traditional role-playing game elements and bullet hell [manic shooter, maniac shooter, and bullet curtain] elements, with a humor similar to the cult classic “Earthbound.” The music is simply fantastic, and the story you uncover is heartbreaking.
In each combat, you can either “FIGHT” (causing damage to a monster), “ACT” (interacting with the monster), use an item, or use “MERCY.” As you kill more monsters, you gain “LV” (in the game it’s referred to as love), allowing you to take more damage and dish more damage out. What really sets “Undertale” apart from other independent video games is its mechanic of “SPARE” under the “MERCY” umbrella.
Every monster you encounter in the game can be spared, meaning that no one has to die. In-game interactions can change based on which monsters are killed, and the ending can be radically different in tone from previous endings. The game also has a certain level of humorous self-awareness, with some characters reacting to resets, reloads, etc.
“Undertale” is available on Steam, an online video game store, right now and can be purchased with or without its fantastic soundtrack.