Opening the game again results in... a quick flash of the title screen, then nothing. The sound is just wind blowing. There's no soundtrack entry for it, but it's just, like, Biggs and Wedge and their mind-controlled Magitek witch looking over the cliffs at the city of Narshe.
Several minutes go by, in real time. Long enough that you might think the game has stopped working and quit, or open up a browser or something and let the game run into the background until something happens.
Which, eventually, something does.
You want to go back.
You want to go back to the world you destroyed.
No, I want to go back to the world you destroyed, ingame avatar who happens to be named after me.
It was you who pushed everything to its edge. It was you who led the world to its destruction.
Again, not completely fair. Up until this whole "rush screeching at the screen and destroy the entire world" thing I was doing something I was ready to Reset next time through.
But you cannot accept it.
Well, it's kind of a raw deal. How was I supposed to know that the timelines jumping back and forth would just end all of a sudd--
You think you are above consequences.
Well, yes. You're an electronic game for god's sake.
We can reach a compromise.
You still have something I want. Give it to me. And I will bring this world back.
I don't negotiate with world-ending name-sharing terrorists.
Then stay here for all eternity.
And there is nothing more but the wind.
You're back in the windblown void every time you restart the game. It takes several minutes before Rtwo's voice dubs you "Interesting." enough to talk to again, but their script doesn't change on repeat.
The thing they want is Frisk's SOUL, of course. Rtwo lost their own when Asriel absorbed it, and now it's unaccounted for. It probably dissolved once Asriel died and no one was around to absorb the two of them.
If you refuse, it's "Then stay here for all eternity" and just wind, of course. Rtwo's got you over a barrel.
If you want to try again, to go back and Reset and make anything better, you have to agree to Rtwo's terms... whatever that means for Frisk.
It's a thorough reset, like you've never played the game at all before.
Which gives me another chance to play with name entry for a little while.
Asgore: You cannot.
Flowey: I already CHOSE that name.
Undyne: Get your OWN name!
Alphys: D-don't do that.
Each of those names removes the "Yes" prompt, so you can't actually use them. You can put in any of the following for a message, but since they don't match an important character's name 100% -- often due to the six-letter limit -- you can still use them:
Catty: Bratty! Bratty! That's MY name!
Bratty: Like, OK I guess.
Bpants: You are really scraping the bottom of the barrel.
Gerson: Wah ha ha! Why not?
Aaron: Is this name correct? ;)
Woshua: Clean name.
Alphy: Uh... OK?
Papyru: I'LL ALLOW IT!!!!
Metta: OOOOH!!! ARE YOU PROMOTING MY BRAND?
Napsta: ........... (They're powerless to stop you.)
"AAAAAA", or just hitting the confirm button on the first letter available until all the blanks are filled, gives the message "Not very creative...?". "Murder" or "Mercy" gives the message "That's a little on-the-nose, isn't it...?". "Frisk", as illustrated previously, is the key to opening Hard Mode.
But the name I'm taking, having awakened and been forced into a soul sell with Rtwo...
It's canon, after all.
It's a fresh start. Flowey doesn't recognize you, and Toriel doesn't have the slightest inkling about your flavor preferences.
I had accidentally killed Toriel on my first run, so I got Flowey's speech about how sometimes you just gotta kill some dudes, that's how the world is. But this time I know better and don't kill anyone, prompting a speech that hints at... well, that hints at things we already know about. But he makes his face bigger to laugh at you before he leaves, something I don't think I'd seen before.
Not even Sans, with all his secret research about timelines, is picking up on any clues that Frisk is anything but a regular kid.
While exploring this area in the genocide run, I got a "But Nobody Came" encounter. So random encounters are a thing in this room! It takes a long time to find one, but I already did a genocide run, so I'm used to waiting.
Glyde is another monster added to the game as a Kickstarter reward. It's very strong for this point in the game, attacking with showers of bullets from its tail that do 8 points of damage on impact, and the way to Mercy it is to spend two turns applauding how awesome it is and then spend two more ignoring it until it goes to seek praise elsewhere.
I do get 120 gold for winning, which is several times more than other monsters in the area, though. So that's nice.
But Glyde appears to be unique; I didn't run into another one after looking for it. There's only the one.
...and finding it doesn't open the door nearby.
I told you this screenshot was hard to grab, but sure enough, Flowey is following you around all the time. I've also spotted him in Mettaton's broadcast studios later on.
After the Sans battle, Papyrus's bonetrousle is refreshingly simple. I get hit a few times due entirely to carelessness.
The description of the item says it's still good after having been used a couple times before. When it's not armor, you can apply it to restore 10 HP, consuming it like a food item. But a reusable bandage? That is pretty gross.
Ah, we're really having Fun now!
This is a semi-secret character. In the Undertale save file that I've manipulated before to get more money is a variable called "fun". I'll get more into exactly what it does later. But the sort of people who hack all the secrets out of games when they come out discovered that "fun" doesn't do anything... until you capitalize it to "Fun".
I never did that. One of the side effects of the January 20 patch is that the game, through some unknown mechanism, capitalizes the "fun" value on its own at some point. So now, small side effect, this clam-person shows up in the Quiet Area in Waterfall.
Clam person: Synchronicity...? My neighbor's daughter looks about your age. Her name is "Suzy". I feel like you two should be friends. You have... a neighbor's blessing!!!
Clam person: Not knowing where I live is no issue. Fate finds a way. In life's grand scheme, she might be why you came here in the first place...
"Suzy" is a character we haven't met, because spoilers: she doesn't exist in any form in the game. There are no graphic assets or dialog for Suzy, anywhere, whatsoever. And Toby's not helpful, either, his only Tweet on the topic is that Suzy is not the "yellow kid", presumably the Undyne fan who trails you around Waterfall.
If you tell Undyne you don't want to be friends, like I did the first time, she vows they you'll be besties out of sheer contrariness. If you tell Undyne you want to be friends, she spurns you. It takes a bit of manipulation from Papyrus, through the broken window, to convince her to try it.
January 20 patch changes include Mettaton's Check text, through each of the three scripted battles with him.
I don't think I ever noticed, but if you don't move at all during Mettaton's song, he rests a robotic hand on Frisk's head before whipping out the remote control and dropping Frisk through the trapdoor.
From the "It's Raining Somewhere Else" sequence, Sans comments if you legit haven't died at all.
...th.... that's the bed that Rtwo/Chara died in. So... uh...
I'd never thought about it before.
You find the Faded Ribbon, Toy Knife, Dusty Tutu, Burnt Pan, and Stained Apron lying on the ground. The Tough Glove is in the first Dimensional Box and the Ballet Shoes hidden in tall grass. The Manly Bandana, Torn Notebook, Cloudy Glasses, Empty Gun, and Cowboy Hat are all purchased from shops.
But the Worn Dagger/Real Knife and Heart Locket/The Locket are giftwrapped, Earthbound-style. Who wrapped them for you? Asgore doesn't make much sense. Was it Flowey?
I get the "You never got LOVE, but you found love" speech, this being a pacifist run.
...and then I quit.
: that look on your face while i was talking... you've already heard my spiel, haven't you? i suspected something like this. you're always acting like you know what's going to happen. like you've seen it all before. so... i have a request for you. i kind of have a secret codeword that only i know. so if someone tells it to me... they'll have to be a time traveller. crazy, right? anyway, here it is...
: huh? do you have something to say to me? what? a codeword? can you speak a little louder? ...did you... ...just say "i'm a stupid doodoo butt?" wow. i can't believe you would say that. not only is that completely infantile... but it's also my secret codeword. that, however, isn't good enough. what you need is the secret secret codeword. it's only for people who know the secret codeword. anyway, here it is...
: huh? do you have something to say to me? what? a codeword? can you speak a little louder? ...did you... just say "i'm the legendary fartmaster?" wow. that's... uh... really childish. why would you think that was a secret codeword? whoever told you that is a dirty liar. i don't have a secret codeword. however... i do have a secret secret triple-secret codeword... which you just said. so i guess you're qualified. it's time... you learned the truth.
Sans's room is... a completely dark void outside of time and space. I don't know what I expected.
I wander around for a while. Not an excruciatingly long time, compared to grinding out encounters in a genocide run or waiting for Rtwo to make an unfair offer to restore the world. Just a little bit...
...before everything goes dark.
Okay this is new to me. Kinda creepy.
...until Papyrus strolls in, flicks the lightswitch on, and... wonders aloud why I'm walking on a treadmill in the dark in his brother's room.
: I HATE WHEN HE DOES THAT!!! HOW IMMATURE CAN YOU GET?
The note attached to the treadmill gives us the truth Sans promised:
Sans's room is as messy and disorganized as we'd been led to believe. There's a scandalous pile of dirty socks. The bedsheets are wadded up into a ball. There's a self-sustaining garbage tornado in the corner, even. There's no bulb in the lamp, it's been juryrigged to work with a flashlight -- or would, if the flashlight weren't out of batteries. I guess Papyrus hit the overhead lights on his way in.
Did you know there's a back door to scenic Papyrus's house? The riverperson warns you not to snoop around behind people's houses, but in this case...
Sans loves science fiction. Especially the stuff that's real. The room under the landing, accessible only through their back door, has a few drawers to rifle through, blueprints covered in illegible handwriting, and a mysterious nonfunctional machine under a curtain. One drawer holds a badge of some sort. The other has a photo album, where the photos are not described but a card sticking out of the back shows three poorly-drawn figures and the note "Don't forget".
Before the patch, the photo album narrated that it was full of pictures of Sans with people you don't recognize, and that Sans looks happy. Which is something to really consider when it's said about the character who literally never stops smiling.
Leaving Sans's secret room plops you out like you'd left through the front door, so that's kind of weird too.
Undyne, should you talk to her, wonders aloud how Papyrus and Sans can stand to live in a snowy wasteland. It helps to not have skin, of course, and the rent is cheap. Undyne points out that they live in a big house, and Papyrus says that Sans is the one who pays for it. How? That's easy! It's a mystery.
I'd call Sans a walking enigma, but that's not fair. He almost never walks anywhere.
Calling Papyrus on the phone when you're three feet away doesn't elicit any sort of change to the script, but Papyrus does his walking animation while he answers.
Anyway, that's the new stuff. The rest of the run goes as expected.
In the end-of-game phonecall, Sans will comment on any challenge runs you may have done. If you have the Snowman Piece, he'll say you've made a snowman very happy. If you never used a food item, he'll ask if you ever got anything to eat. If you didn't save, he'll ask if you ever got around to that. And if you never took off the start-of-game armor, he'll ask about that too.
If you didn't eat, didn't save, and still managed to finish the game with the lowest defense score possible, he'll tell you not to get a big head over your accomplishment.
End-of-game run when you get a neutral ending, but not because you killed somebody.
: Why did you let me go? Don't you realize that being nice... ...just makes you get hurt? Look at yourself. You made all these great friends... But now, you'll probably never see them again. Not to mention how much they've been set back by you.
I'm not the one who stole the six human souls, chief.
: Hurts, doesn't it? If you had just gone through without caring about anyone... You wouldn't have to feel bad now. So I don't get it. If you really did everything the right way, why did things still end up like this? Why? Is life really that unfair?
: ...Say. What if I told you I knew some way to get you a better ending? You'll have to load your SAVE file, and... Well, in the meantime, why don't you go see Dr. Alphys? It seems like you could have been better friends. Who knows... maybe she's got the key to your happiness...? See you soon.
I reboot the game, but don't Reset.
You can't get a true pacifist run on your first playthrough -- or having Reset to what is essentially a first playthrough -- because while you can befriend Undyne she doesn't trust you enough to ask you to deliver her love letter.
Fast-forward through Alphys getting dunked on and confessing her feelings etc. etc.
Headcanon: since they are injected with Determination, the amalgamates are aware of every Reset that happens. They're a bit less self-aware than Sans is, on account of often being barely sentient through the psychic noise of their melted-together hiveminds, and don't do anything about anything trapped in the True Lab, but they know.
A thing I noticed: each time you reenter the room, the bed that holds the yellow key is made. The blanket slides down to where you left it every time you come in, and you can see it happen from the top-left room entrance. Suspicious, indeed.
"Snnnrrrkkk oh my god," chortles Rtwo from the back of Frisk's mind. "He did it. He actually turned into that stupid God of Hyperdeath he thought up when we were eight. What's that supposed to even mean, anyway? Oh, get this, get this. This next one coming up is GALACTA BLAZING. You bet he named it himself."
A better shot of Hyper Goner.
I didn't get it to work with Toriel and Asriel, but if you work enough on one of the skelebros Lost Souls you'll save them both at once.
On to the end. I can fix this whole murder run thing. Everything will be fine.
Clam-person: Don't despair. This world has infinite opportunities. But there's a limit to the things you can do today. Accepting this is healthy. Take my neighbor's blessing! And consider this a blessing for anything you like!
Frisk and Toriel walk off together.
I'm still bad at dodging names.
A nice slice of pie, left on the floor, just like goat mom used to
no no no no no no no no
But the screen fades to black, and plays Rtwo's screeching homicidal laughter.
"The End" is now in red text, making it clear that Rtwo wasn't kidding around about keeping Frisk's SOUL. And, therefore, control over the kid. And while Asriel and Rtwo are basically the same -- long-dead, soulless, emotionless creatures capable of toying with time -- Rtwo never repents of his murderous ways like Asriel does.
Reload for a do-over. Toriel, you go by yourself. Frisk is more dangerous than you think.
No... there's no way around it. The game is permanently locked out of an actual good ending now. Having sold Frisk's soul to Rtwo, it doesn't matter if the names are changed or whatever. Your choices are now the varying levels of despair and hopelessness depending on the details of whatever Neutral ending you get, or to let everyone out of the underground only to be murdered by Rtwo later.
Needless to say, including a way to forever doom every character in the game to a bad end is a... uh, divisive decision.
As I mentioned, I really really appreciate that a Genocide run is essentially Toby Fox trolling of video game completionists.
So, let's talk about Fun.
I mentioned it previously when I ran into Suzy's neighbor. There's a variable in your save file and in the Undertale.ini file called "fun". A correction to previous: before the January 20 patch, you had to capitalize the variable before it could do anything, presumably because Toby wanted to keep a few things secret (on the Internet, ha ha). The patch changed it so that the game now looks for the variable without it being capitalized, so this stuff has a chance of happening in normal gameplay.
The weird thing is that one of the things dictated by Fun is whether or not you get the Wrong Number Song at the riverperson's dock in Snowdin, and that's always worked. So there are still a couple of details I'm not really clear on.
We're not fooling anybody. Rtwo is still the one in possession of Frisk's soul.
Anyway. When you start a new game, Fun is assigned a variable between somewhere around 1 and somewhere around 99. Maybe they go higher, I don't know. A value of zero or one does nothing.
If the Fun value is below 40, you'll get the Wrong Number Song. If it's between 40 and 45, you get a different mysterious caller (who speaks in the Comic Sans font) in front of Papyrus's watch station.
Mysterious Caller: hey. is your refrigerator running?
If you say yes:
Mysterious Caller: nice. i'll be over to deposit the brewskis.
If you say no:
Mysterious Caller: ok, i'll send someone over to fix it. thanks for letting me know. good communication is important.
A Fun value between 46 and 50 prompts a different phonecall. This one is from someone who doesn't use any specific font, making it even harder to tell who it might be:
Mysterious Caller: U-uhhh... (Oh my god, help...) I'd like to order a... Um... A pizza...? With, uhh... The toppings are, uh... I have them copied, I'll just paste them to you.
(Your phone is too old to receive texts...)
(It reads out loud, character-by-character, an ASCII art of an anime catgirl.)
Mysterious Caller: ...
And then hangs up. Who could be so hilariously awkward? Truly a mystery.
At Fun value 56, the Word Search puzzle that Sans leaves for you is in "Nightmare Mode". Which... adds a poorly-drawn snowman to the right side of the page...? (Compare the original.)
I gotta say, Hotland is the worst part of multiple playthroughs. Alphys's constant natter is annoying enough, but these not-actually-dangerous interactive cutscenes are irritatingly time-consuming.
Fun value 61 gives a chance to reveal this guy. He's missing his own face, mostly, but holding someone else's...
Gaster Follower: Alphys might work faster.
But the old Royal Scientist, Doctor W. D. Gaster?
One day, he vanished without a trace.
They say he shattered across time and space.
Ha ha... How can I say so without fear?
I'm holding a piece of him right here...
And with that, he's gone. I'm not sure he was holding someone else's face, now... since it was the face in the guy's hand that did the talking. Weird. Eerie.
Fun value 62.
Gaster Follower: After all, the old one... Dr. Gaster. What an act to follow! They say he created the CORE. However, his life... Was cut short. One day, he fell into his creation, and...
Talk again: Will Alphys end up the same way?
Fun value 63.
Gaster Follower: The previous one... Dr. Gaster. His brilliance was irreplacable. However, his life... Was cut short. One day, his experiments went wrong, and...
Talk again: Well, I needn't gossip. After all, it's rude to talk about someone who's listening.
Fun higher than 90.
Goner Kid: Have you ever thought about a world where everything is exactly the same... Except you don't exist? Everything functions perfectly without you... Ha, ha... The thought terrifies me.
You can hike through Waterfall to bring Goner Kid an umbrella for a different script.
Goner Kid: Ha, ha... You know, that does make me feel a little better about this. Thank you. Please forget about me.
This is also when I discovered that holding the umbrella while talking to the Nice Cream Man will give you a discount.
Fun 65 allows a secret sound test that replaces the fishing rod area in Snowdin. There are only four songs, none of which play in game and most of which... uh, aren't actually songs. There's Happy Town, and Meat Factory, and Trouble Dingle... I'm sure there's some sort of musical Easter egg hidden in them, somewhere, but to my knowledge no one has actually found one. The interesting thing of note here is the last track: Gaster's Theme.
The sound test wraps, and drops you back in the fishing rod area, with this message.
Okay, this one isn't attained through a Fun value, it's from manually editing the room you spawn in when you load the game. The text that prints is in Wingdings, making it... uh, largely illegible. And making its writer undoubtedly the "man who speaks in hands" the riverperson warned us about so long ago. But if you transcribe it to something legible, you get...
JOURNAL NUMBER SEVENTEEN: DARK DARKER YET DARKER
THE DARKNESS KEEPS GROWING
THE SHADOWS CUTTING DEEPER
PHOTON READINGS NEGATIVE
THIS NEXT EXPERIMENT SEEMS VERY VERY INTERESTING
WHAT DO YOU TWO THINK?
The music, such as it can be called that, doesn't appear on the soundtrack but is referred to in the game files as smile.ogg. Why "smile"? Well, feed it through a spectrogram and some of the images you get look like a creepy face...
And, finally, Fun value 66. This causes the "fake hallway" to appear near one of the save points in Waterfall.
With a ten percent chance of the hallway containing a gray, washed-out door on one wall. I'd like to apologize to everyone who was on Steam while I was taking the screenshots for this update, and the constant deluge of "nosimpleway is now playing Undertale" prompts that popped up while I restarted the game a dozen times trying to get this proc.
Oh, yeah. This hallway, and the three Followers, the sound test, and Goner Kid all set your Fun value to 0 once you pass through the rooms they spawn in, whether they actually appear there or not. So you have a 1 in 100 chance of getting the Fun value correct, then a percentage chance between 10 and 50 that the special event happens. There's only one shot at it per playthrough, unless you're manually editing the files like I am, and that requires quitting and restarting. So, sorry, Steam friends.
Oh, ranges between 67 and the Goner Kid are what spawn Suzy's neighbor in the Quiet Area in Waterfall.
Inside the room is... this guy.
He seems pretty surprised I found him, before he fades from view with the same sound effect as the first Gaster Follower.
This guy is referred to in the game files as simply "Mystery Man" but is assumed by the fandom to be W.D. Gaster himself.
Up until the January 20 patch, Gaster had been completely dummied out of the game, too scattered across time and space from falling into magical/geothermal engine of the CORE to have any chance to appear during play. Needless to say, the Undertale fandom completely lost their collective shit upon his discovery. And now with the patch un-dummying Gaster back into the game -- albeit at vanishingly rare odds -- the weird conspiracy theories have gotten even more complex.
That's all the game has to say about Gaster himself. But there are a couple implications to consider:
The caller who sings the Wrong Number Song asks for someone whose name starts with G. Someone who can't find Gaster's number makes a lot more sense than someone mistakenly calling for Gerson. Or, uh, Gyftrot.
Gaster wrote Journal 17 in a whimsical font. The only other characters in the game who do that are Papyrus and Sans, who speak in the fonts they're named after. And it's quite likely that the W.D. in Gaster's name stands for "Wing Dings". Exactly what Gaster's relationship to the skelebros is remains unknown, but it certainly there. And if the Mystery Man is Gaster, his head could well be a cracked, broken skull with the teeth knocked out.
Or just an oblique reference to Uboa from Yume Nikki. Hard to tell.
Those skull-headed cannons that Sans whips out when you fight him? The game files refer to them as "Gaster Blasters". And Sans loves of science fiction ("especially when it's real"), keeps an infinite loop of quantum physics and joke books on his coffee table, and has unreadable blueprints to a mysterious device in his basement. And while I'm not knowledgeable enough about music to confirm or deny that it's definitely the case, it sounds an awful lot like the four-note sequence of Gaster's Theme serves as the bridge between the Sans theme part and the Bonetrousle part of The Song That Might Play When You Fight Sans, a piece of music that's just as dummied out of the game as Gaster himself was previously.
Who is the "you two" referred to in Journal 17? Asgore and Toriel, Gaster's employers in his position as Royal Scientist? Sans and Papyrus? Is Alphys one of them? No clarification exists.
Other than those implications, who can say? Fandom theories abound, but canon is hard to come by.
They're called serifs, by the way. Fonts with them are called serif fonts, while the ones without are called sans serif fonts.
If there exists a Comic Serif font....that remains to be seen.
If there exists a Comic Serif font....that remains to be seen.
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