DESIblitz explores how Undertale – a quirky game that prioritises peace over violence – has become insanely popular.
Players are warned of the dangers if they rely on using violence to solve conflict.
If you haven’t heard of Undertale, you are either living under a very impressive rock, or have quickly scrolled through anything related to skeletons.
This little Indie game called Undertale has become quite an Internet sensation.
Many people on popular blogging sites, like Tumblr, are stunned to see their dashboards filled to the brim with fan art involving skeletons and a young girl.
It even managed to win GameFAQS’ Best Game Ever contest, beating out many established games like Mass Effect and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
This role playing game is definitely more on the quirky side, with a unique sense of humour and graphics that are a clear throwback to the older generations of games.
Undertale has also quickly gathered great reviews with a metacritic score of 92, and a satisfied fan base urging everyone to join in on their inside jokes and potentially spoiler-y conversations.
DESIblitz finds out how it has gained a cult status.
Why is Undertale so popular?
Much of this game’s popularity stems from its unique gaming experience that is filled with references to the Internet culture.
With fangirl scientists, lovable characters named after fonts and even a village which speaks its own dialect of Doge, the more time you spend on it, the more you will enjoy and appreciate it.
Marketed as one ‘where no one needs to get hurt’, it has enjoyed an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, which raised US$51,000 (£35,210) even though the creators only asked for US$5,000 (£3,450).
Alongside the amazing humour, its pun exchange and general dynamic between the skeletal brothers Sans and Papyrus are definitely fan favourites.
Peace over Violence
One of the reasons why this game has blown everyone away is its preference for peace over violence.
Players are warned very early on in the game that there are dangers if they rely heavily on using violence to win and solve conflict.
The battle system mimics old-school turn based formula, whilst simultaneously being nothing like them.
Players are met with the option of complimenting an opponent or petting them, and are encouraged to to give them mercy, which essentially allows them the chance to run away.
This system of battle also isn’t one where you can simply button mash your way through, as your actual heart has to steer away from attacks in order to make it to the next turn.
You can also attack back using ‘Act’, which will make the battle even more layered as another battle within surfaces. But you also need to figure out what is eating each enemy and use the right remedy.
Additionally, the boss fights themselves are quite surreal, and the one against Toriel in particular really tugs at everyone’s heartstrings.
This game is something else, as you can literally go through every fight without ever laying a finger on anyone.
Its focus on morality is one we don’t see very often in video games, and for many can seem like a breath of fresh air from the mass amount of gratuitous violence.
Throughout the game, you have many choices and different paths to take. However, the game does not forget the choices you have made.
For example, the loving mother figure, Toriel, will guide you through the very beginning, teaching you how to manoeuvre your way around the world.
One way or another, you end up battling against her and given the choice to kill or spare her.
However, if you take the violent route and decide you want to start again, resetting it won’t help.
There are no ways to escape the choices you make, whether it is hurting a character’s feelings or killing enemies. Your mistakes will haunt you, even the ones made in previous playthroughs.
It is safe to say Undertale is an extremely well thought out game, one that succeeds in making every choice matter and really holds players accountable for their actions.
If you are looking for a gaming experience like no other, Undertale is what you need to get your hands on right away.
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