BY: DYLAN DEL RIO
November 16, 2018
On Sept. 15, 2015 indie developer Toby Fox released the role-playing video game “Undertale.”
The game follows a child who has fallen into a giant cave filled with monsters and, to escape, he has to cross a magic barrier guarded by the king of the monsters.
What makes the game unique is that the player is able to get through the game without killing a single monster, instead being able to pacify or befriend them in order to move on.
Upon its release, the game was met with universal praise with people lauding its unique mechanics and interesting story.
Despite the massive critical and commercial success of the game, Fox expressed little interest in making a follow-up to the game and, after three years, it seemed like “Undertale” was a one and done deal.
On Oct. 31, 2018 Fox released “Deltarune” for free on his site. The game follows a human boy names Kris and his classmate, a female monster named Susie, after they had fallen into a place known as “The Dark World”.
They eventually come across Ralsei, the Prince of the Dark World who tells them they are the chosen heroes destined to save the world from imminent destruction. From there the trio must make it to the castle and defeat the king before it’s too late.
“Deltarune” plays very similar to “Undertale” as the player controls the main character through an overworld map. In battle, the player has the option to either attack or act, the latter selection allowing Kris to get through the fight without harming the monster.
There are two party members that accompany Kris through the majority of the game.
In battle, Susie wails on enemies with her ax. Kris can find ways to stop Susie from killing the enemies by either warning them of upcoming attacks or putting Susie to sleep.
The second party member is Ralsei. Unlike Susie, the player is able to control Ralsei’s actions in battle. His unique trait is his ability to cast spells. The pacify spell removes a tired monster from battle and a healing spell can be used on himself or his allies.
Like “Undertale,” one of the major selling points of “Deltarune” is the game’s writing, wwith some notable high points being the interactions between Susie and the recurring villain, Lancer.
A lot of game is focused on oddball humor, with moments like pacifying a three-headed cat monster by talking to it about its personal interest; the trio and Lancer coming up with a team name; and one of the main villains who claims to be The Duke of Puzzles.
There are also moments that are more serious. For example, Susie starts the game as the resident school bully. Everyone is scared of her and as a result she shuns most people’s attempts to talk to her, believing they don’t really care.
When she falls into the Dark World she starts bonding with Lancer and they eventually become friends. It’s a simple, but effective character arc that lets Susie stand out as more human, despite being a lizard monster.
The most interesting thing about “Deltarune” is its exact connection to “Undertale.” At the very beginning and very end of the game, Kris can interact with several characters from “Undertale,” however, they never bring up the events from that game.
In an interview with Kotaku, Fox revealed the game takes place in a parallel universe from “Undertale,” so while a lot of the same characters are still present, they are not the same versions from the first game.
Fox also confirmed that “Deltarun” was a teaser of a bigger project and that the game is only chapter one.
However, he also admits he has no idea if he will ever be able to finish it.
His scope and scale for “Deltarune” is much bigger than “Undertale” and, while most of the story is finished, the actual game’s development has not even started and will take years to finish.
The future of “Deltarune” is uncertain, but its first chapter has proven to be very enjoyable.
Photo by Madame Sharky.