In a time when the quality and success of a game are strongly tied with innovative graphics and gameplay experience, it’s incredible to see something like UnderTale elevate to such a level of popularity. It was a project launched by Toby Fox, an independent game developer. There were no impressive graphics. If anything, the game takes us back to relive the good ol’ retro gaming experience, with minimalist graphics, and very Pokemon-ish music. Despite all of that, UnderTale sold over 500,000 copies worldwide, a truly fantastic achievement for an indie game, and was nominated for Game of the Year by many publications.
In UnderTale, players control a child, who winds up in the Underground, a subterranean world inhabited by intelligent creatures called “monsters.” They explore the various towns, villages, and dungeons of the Underground, solve puzzles and battle the various monsters they encounter. The game’s praise comes from the unique gameplay experience, the brilliant characters, as well as the engaging tone. But this is just the plot, a basic type of knowledge. Let us present to you 12 Fun Facts About UnderTale You Probably Didn’t Know.
1. Small Team
UnderTale was created by a very small team, something that Toby Fox insisted on because he feared too many people might have slowed down the development. Still, it was Toby Fox that did most of the work, since he wrote, composed, and designed the game himself.
2. Game Length
This is a game with a relatively short play time. Apparently, UnderTale is six hours long, and there was a good reason behind that. When explaining his choice, Toby Fox compared games to movies, saying that two hours are enough for a movie to get you invested and leave you fulfilled.
3. Game Endings
You might think that this is a commonly known fact, but it’s not something that a casual player may be aware of. Did you know that there are three possible endings to the game? Player choices weigh a lot in the story, altering interactions, dialogue, and combat options around them. And speaking of combat, this is where players choose the routes that take them to either of the endings. Killing everything you encounter takes you on the Genocide run, killing some things you encounter (but not all) takes you on the Neutral run, and showing mercy to all that show up before you leads to the Pacifist run.
4. The Music
Toby Fox used to be a composer for the popular web comic series Homestuck. In fact, he is the mind behind all of the music scores in UnderTale, having drawn inspiration from many retro Nintendo games. UnderTale was widely appreciated for its soundtrack, and it seems that the creators are aware themselves of how good it is since you can find UnderTale listed under the “great soundtrack” tag on Steam. Apparently, it was the song Undertale that was the most troublesome to produce, since Fox went through three different drafts, before eventually settling for the final version.
5. Before The Game
Toby Fox said that UnderTale took two years and seven months to complete. But what led him to the creation of the game? Fox entered the world of game development when he was only ten years old after he and his brothers downloaded RPG Maker. After that, he moved on to a game maker software, which is what he used for the creation of UnderTale. It goes without saying that it’s a product that means a lot to him, but it probably means even more given that it’s the only “actual game he made that isn’t either a bad ROM hack or a joke RPG game.”
6. Naming Screen
You probably know at this point that, at the start of the game, you are asked to name the fallen child. However, this is more than just a feature meant to boost immersion in the story, and that’s because it’s packed with Easter eggs. If you try to name the child after some of the characters in the game, you will be stopped by messages from the characters themselves, and then returned to the naming screen. For example, don’t try to use the names Sans or Toriel, because it won’t work.
Another hidden detail is unveiled if you name the child “Frisk.” Choosing this name is going to unlock the hidden hard mode. However, it doesn’t last for the entirety of the game, being only as long as the demo was.
A huge distinctive characteristic of UnderTale is its sense of humor. Because of it, Toby Fox was incredibly surprised to see how popular the game was since he had assumed only a very particular niche would enjoy it. Apparently, he took inspiration for the comedy from many places, such as humor Twitter accounts and Mister Bean. A recurring theme in the game is the constant use of puns with perhaps the best example being Toriel. Her name is a wordplay which basically makes it the shortened version for “tutorial.” Toriel herself is a parody of all the characters whose only purpose is to present tutorials to the player.
8. Hot Dogs
Sans can be found selling hot dogs and hot cats in Hotland. If you choose to purchase a hot dog without any free space in your inventory, Sans will place it on your head. Keep buying more, and he will stack them on top of each other until they exit the screen.
9. True Rebel
Papyrus is the only character in the game to not have an asterisk before his dialogue.
10. Lesser Dog Battle
When fighting Lesser Dog, repeatedly petting him is going to result in his head stretching until it exits the screen, and passes through the dialogue box. If spared, when the player later encounters him in Snowville, he’ll be building an ice statue. The more he was petted during the battle, the more ice sculptures will be scattered around.
11. Papyrus Battle
You can’t die when battling Papyrus. If your health reaches zero, you will simply be respawned in his garage, then proceed to fight again. If you keep failing, Papyrus is simply going to give you the option to stop the fight manually.
12. Goodbye, Yellow Text
When talking to Froggit about the importance of the yellow text in the game, you can choose to say that you don’t like it. If you do that, the yellow text will be removed, making sparing enemies more difficult. However, you can talk to Froggit again, who will tell you that you can have colored text back, only in pink. The yellow names can later be found in a pile of garbage while exploring the Underground.
These 12 Fun Facts About UnderTale You Probably Didn’t Know don’t even scratch the surface of all the details the game has to offer. In fact, I’m fairly certain that it’s impossible to discover them all by yourself, even with the most thorough exploration. Who knows, perhaps one day, we’ll be able to say that we’ve unveiled all the mysteries that UnderTale has to offer.