If you’re a gamer, this game most likely does not need any introduction. It’s an indie game that has taken the PC gaming space by absolute storm, and people have been gushing about it for ages.
But, it occurred to me that many people who either don’t play on PC, pay attention to gaming websites, or perhaps are only occasional gamers, may not have heard of this absolute gem.
I’m sure some of you are wondering, “what does this have to do with LGBT?” Well, stick with me and you’ll find out.
So, what is Undertale?
At it’s core, it seems like an RPG done in an 8 bit style, and if you game on PC, you’ll know those are a dime a dozen on Steam. So the fact that this one has gotten so much attention and praise should tell you something.
One of the things that makes Undertale different is the combat, it’s done in a bullet hell style (see: Ikaruga, or the more recent Resogun) mixed with RPG mechanics. Quite a masterful blend that works surprisingly well, but that’s not the most interesting thing about the battle mechanics.
What makes it interesting is the option to go through the entire game without killing a single monster. Yes, even the random encounters (which are thankfully not frequent enough to get annoying.)
So, as you can see above, you have a choice. You can fight or you can “act” and do different actions until the “mercy” option becomes available. This game is one of real choice, where your choice whether or not to be a pacifist has a true impact on the game.
The acts you can do depend on the monster, and are a key part of what lends each monster personality in battle. You will encounter a lot of the monsters outside of battle (assuming you are doing a pacifist run), and you can chat to them and get to know them even more.
This is a game stocked to the brim with charming characters, and the entire game is very well written. Two of the most popular characters are skeleton brothers Sans and Papyrus, who are genuinely funny and kind of adorable. These two are worth playing the game for just by themselves.
The game messes with your expectations constantly, and manages to make even the characters you run into in battles cute, charming and actually makes you want to spare them.
Two other characters that are worth mentioning (and here’s where the relevance comes in) are Undyne and Alphys. As I mentioned before, the characters in this game are all incredibly well written and well characterised, and if you choose to do a pacifist run you will see (and help along) the blossoming lesbian relationship between these two.
Undyne by herself is a very interesting character, she is very strong in battle and a fierce person, yet she is friends with Alphys, a shy monster with a love of anime. But, with a game that has so much beneath the surface, you can fully expect these characters to have much more to them than that.
These two are only one relationship that you can cultivate and witness, I could talk all day about all the great characters in this game. I haven’t even mentioned the excellent Mettaton (a gender fluid robot) or the mysterious Asgore. But, I don’t want to talk too much more about this game. This is truly a game that is better experienced as fresh as possible, and make your own judgement about the characters and the world.
I can only tell you what I have, and encourage you to experience this truly unique game for yourself. It’s pretty cheap at £6.99, and you can get it here.
Or, if you don’t fancy playing the game, I suggest you watch this playthrough of it. But, truly, at least give it a shot. It just might surprise you and drag you into it’s truly charming and unforgettable world.