"Long ago, two races ruled over the Earth: HUMANS and MONSTERS. One day, war broke out between the two races. After a long battle, the humans were victorious. They sealed the monsters underground with a magic spell. Many years later..."
"Can you show mercy without fighting or running away...?"
Mt. Ebott 201X. Legends say those who climb the mountain never return. A small child playing in a cave trips and falls down an enormous hole. They wake up on a bed of leaves in a mysterious place.Undertale is an RPG made by Toby Fox, planned for release by the end of 2014. A demo is available at http://undertale.com/.Undertale draws heavily from Earthbound and Mother 3, but also plays very differently from typical RPGs. Instead of inputting a command and tanking hits, each enemy attack brings up a screen where your soul must dodge bullets, eventually becoming Bullet Hell. In each fight, you can choose to FIGHT an enemy or SPARE them.
Adult Fear: Everything Toriel does stems from her desire to protect the protagonist.
All There in the Manual: Available in it are character and story information, instructions for gameplay and a note from your best friend, Flowey! Too bad someone ruined the page regarding enemy attacks, though.
Bullet Hell: Many enemies attack with bullets. Battles can become hectic when more than one is present. Flowey would rather have you not know about this.
But Thou Must: Even if the player obeys Toriel's order to go back to your room or fleeing the battle, you are told to continue. Going to sleep in your room has a mysterious voice call out to you telling that the future of humans and monsters depend on you.
Dating Sim: The Kickstarter description implies there will be elements of this in the full game.
Deconstructor Fleet: Though not immediately apparent, the game is a massive Deconstruction of RPGs, both on a superficial level from sarcastic flavor text and characters as well as the deeper plot.
Deliberately Monochrome: All monsters except Toriel and Flowey are completely monochrome. The protagonist is the only one who's rendered fully in color aside from Flowey.
And then there are Sans and Papyrus, whose sprites have been revealed in a Kickstarter video.
The Determinator: The Player Character is one to the point that save points exist because of it. Using a save point shows that something interesting in the room makes the protagonist determined. However, going full murderer on everyone drops the fluff and the protagonist now simply is determined.
Even if you do save her and go on a pacifist run, Flowey calls you out on it and says that at some point you have to kill something or quit the game, while leaving a bit of forshadowing, depending on what you did in your playthrough.
Even the website has a hidden message for those who try trawling the source code:
What are you doing? Looking for secrets? Don't put your nose where it doesn't belong. Or you might learn something you DON'T like... Hee hee hee.
Toriel's boss fight is coded from the ground up to take in account virtually every possible outcome. In addition to the many speeches she has for every possible way to end the fight, her bullets curve out of the way and are virtually impossible to be hit by when you're low on health, as, despite her aloof and suddenly violent behavior, she still has no intention whatsoever of actually killing you. If you allow yourself to be hit by enough bullets in a volley that began when you had just enough health that she's still using potentially lethal force, it is possible to be killed, much to her horror. The sprite used is entirely unique and is unlikely to be seen unless you actively try to off yourself.
Earn Your Bad Ending: Getting the worst ending in the game requires significantly more effort as it requires the player to hunt down every monster in every area.. Given, any genre-savvy player running the game blind could very well do exactly that by accident.
Also, getting a Game Over in the Boss Battle with Toriel takes a lot of effort. You really have to be trying.
Earn Your Happy Ending: On the other hand, the best ending is slightly counterintuitive and requires avoiding some areas and encounters. Or just sparing or fleeing monsters.
Epic Fail: As described on the Funny page, should you continuously miss the Dummy, it will "get tired of your aimless shenanigans" and just float away.
Exact Words: "Three out of four grey rocks recommend you push them." The fourth grey rock you see isn't as much of a pushover.
Experience Points: No need to kill enemies for EXP. Just hurting them a bit before sparing them is fine.
According to Radiation in this post, he's planning on changing that so that you can only get EXP from defeating enemies.
Fake Trap: The corridor of spikes can't harm you because the spikes that aren't part of the correct path only act as barriers. You wouldn't realize this at first because Toriel guides you throught the path.
Final First Hug: If you keep Toriel alive, she hugs the protagonist before they part ways.
I'm a Humanitarian: One of the enemies is a sentient carrot, which you can eat with a dialogue option to recover HP (once it's been weakened). They even offer diet advice, so it's hardly murder to take them up on it is it? OF COURSE IT IS! That's what makes it fun! Hee hee...
I Am Who?: The protagonist has the power to SAVE. This is crucial since it shows that they're not actually playing by the rules of the world. Since it is acknowledged in-universe by the Big Bad, the implications it has would be explored in the full game, possibly.
The ending to the demo is also much darker than the silly, tongue-in-cheek atmosphere of the rest of the game up to that point.
Multiple Endings: Depending on your actions in game, this will change, including if you spared or killed Toriel (and also how you killed her), if you killed every enemy, and if you've played the game more than once. This also changes the final page of the instruction manual, depending on your ending.
My God, What Have I Done?: Many players kill Toriel on accident because while trying to only weaken her, even a weak hit suddenly does 10 times more damage. Bonus points if you were going for a pacifist, near-pacifist or neutral run.
Toriel herself has this reaction if she accidentally kills you.
New Game+: The game keeps track of various stats and uses them to alter the dialogue on subsequent playthroughs. Specifically, the demo tracks the number of times you've done the opening encounter with Flowey and the number of times you've either killed or spared Toriel at the end.
Nightmare Face: Flowey can shapeshift his face into monstrous forms or a mockery of Toriel's face.
No Kill Like Overkill: If you've defeated all the random encounters, the final battle with Toriel is oververy quickly. At a time when the most damage you've done up to that point is around 30, attacking Toriel will deal about 22,000. The same will happen if you deliver the cheap shot as described in I Surrender, Suckers.
Non-Action Guy: Most enemies in the demo aren't aggressive and some of them are very easy to SPARE. It's implied this is very atypical of the Underground.
Not So Different: Toriel tells you this if you betray her while seemingly not wanting to fight. Kill her three times and Flowey mockingly says you're like him. Kill everyone and he does the same, but in a respectful tone.
Not So Stoic: The stoicism is obviously put-upon from the start, though. In the Boss Battle with Toriel, they consistently act cold and aloof, but will display a sudden expression of shock and horror if they accidentally kill you.
Personality Powers: Played with. She isn't hotheaded, impulsive, or violent, the typical personality traits associated with Playing with Fire. She instead embodies the concept of an enduring, nurturing flame — light, life, and warmth rather than chaos and destruction.
Save Scumming: Characters in the game will react if you save and go back to previous events. Going back after killing Toriel and saving her reveals Flowey is able to do this as well, or was able to until you came along.
Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: You have one, but closer examination reveals Flowey does as well. Continuing to repeat the opening sequence has him grow more and more angry at you.
Your character actually considers telling Toriel they killed her last time if you use the "Talk" option on Toriel after reloading. You wisely think better of it on the basis it could make for an awkward conversation.
Sequel Hook: Well, more like full game hook, considering it's only a demo. Beyond the actual warning Toriel gives at the end, going back after killing her once and sparing her after shows Flowey has Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory and that saving is an actual ability that you both have.
Sheathe Your Sword: All battles can be won by "sparing" enemies instead of attacking them, though you may have to perform special actions first.
In particular, to save Toriel you have to keep using Spare over and over, rather than attack, even when it doesn't look like it's having any effect.
The Social Darwinist: "Kill or be killed" is stated to be the guiding philosophy underground. Even Toriel believes in it, which is part of why she's so protective. If you repeatedly spare her, she eventually starts screaming, "What are you doing? Attack or run away!" If you persist, though, you prove it wrong. For now.
Spikes of Doom: Early on the story, one puzzle is a field of spike panels. Toriel holds your hand through the right path out of concern, but if you go back afterwards, you'll realize the panels are harmless.
Stealth Pun/Visual Pun: Toriel is a anthropomorphic she-goat and acts as a substitute mother figure for the player. In other words she is a literal nanny goat.
Strength Equals Worthiness: Toriel says she'll only let you out of the ruins if you prove you're strong enough to defeat her. Justified, seeing as she's seen many children die due to being too weak to survive and doesn't want to make the same mistake again.
Tsundere: "Ah, the cactus. Truly the most tsundere of plants."
Unwinnable by Design: Minor example. Selecting anything other than "cheer" after Napstablook cries himself a hat will prevent you from ending the encounter nonviolently. (Yes, even "spare".) You can't even flee afterwards.
Fortunately, however, this does not lock you out of the Pacifist Run ending, as Napstablook doesn't register as a kill if you reduce his HP to 0.
Villainous Breakdown: Flowey gets really petty and unhappy if you're in a pacifist ending, and if you dodge his, ahem, "friendliness pellets" in the opening he goes increasingly pissed until he just does his failed unavoidable attack, realizing that yyou guessed at what his deal was.
Wake-Up Call Boss: Et tu, Toriel? Subverted in that the attacks will start evading you when you're low on health, but played straight in that you really have to make an effort to spare her.
We Can Rule Together: In the worst ending, Flowey implies the player character is an old acquaintance of his and asks for assistance in destroying the world.
Flowey: "So you were able to play by your own rules. You spared the life of a single person. [lists off each monster] Think about those names. Do you think those monsters had friends? Do you think they had families? Each one could have been someone else's Toriel. Selfish brat. Someone is dead because of you."