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    Undyne's sportsmanship 
  • When Undyne chases you through the tunnel and Papyrus phones you, why does Undyne pause and wait for you to finish the conversation instead of, you know, just turn Frisk into a kebab?
    • Same reason she doesn't kill you in her house, and why she gives you a spear to fight back. She may hate humans, but she does have a sense of honor.
    • Or it could be Undertale's usual Rule of Funny humor.

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    Toriel and the ruins 

  • Toriel introduces you to the puzzles in the ruins, but when she leaves you on your own, she expects you're going to stay put until she comes back. So why bother with the explanations? (And why bother with resetting the puzzles, which apparently she did while she was on her way to check the flower bed where you fell?)
    • Many of the puzzles aren't actually dangerous; rather, it's the monsters that risk harming you. Perhaps she reset the puzzles in an attempt to bar your path so you'd stay put in the corridor where there are no random encounters.
      • Maybe she didn't want to risk you possibly killing the monsters...
    • She's also cautious to an extreme and has made her whole house child-safe. She might even be afraid of you scraping your knee while running around.
    • According to the theory about the previous six humans' personalities and deaths, the one with the teal soul died in the ruins because they were too patient or too afraid. Just before she leaves you alone, Toriel tests you by telling you to walk to the end of the room by yourself. When you reach the end, she says she was testing your independence, not how well you'd follow her instructions. There's more than a little fodder here for Alternate Character Interpretation.
    • She was preparing you to live in the Ruins. Her asking you to stand still was only temporary.
  • So, in the Genocide route, it's established that Chara was haunting/stalking/possessing you all along, right? That goes for the other routes too, since Chara is the narrator. Therefore, if Chara was stalking and following Frisk as a ghost the whole time...Why didn't Napstablook see Chara? He's a ghost too, so shouldn't he have seen Chara standing next to Frisk or something? That goes for Metatton too, since he's also a ghost.
    • But Napstablook does see Chara, or at least acknowledged them. They react to Chara's narration. As to why Mettaton didn't react to them, maybe it has to do with his robot body?
    • "Chara is the narrator" is actually only a fan theory. A very convincing one, but still not canon. And even if we don't really know what exactly Chara is while following Frisk, we don't really know how exactly ghosts work in Undertale (could be that they can't see each other while invisible)... and Napstablook does actually react to the narration at one point.
    • Are we sure that it's only a theory? I'm asking this because in the genocide run, Chara directly states and heavily implies several times to us that they ARE actually possessing Frisk (for example, when interacting with a monitor showing Frisk in Alphys's lab, the narration box will say: "It's me, Chara"). Granted, we don't know what Chara is (Ghost? Demon? Something even more horrifying?) but it's quite clear that Chara IS controlling Frisk and narrating the game(for the genocide route, at least) somehow. Plus, at the end of the route, when they speak to the player, Chara clearly knows what you've been doing during your time in the underground. If they haven't been stalking Frisk or haven't been possessing them...how do you explain the fact that Chara knows what you've been up to?
    • Same reason you can't see Mettaton's ghost form. Chara's possessing you, albeit not strong enough to take control, so there's no reason for Napstablook to be able to see her.

    Souls after death 

  • It's said that only the soul of Boss Monsters (i.e. Asgore and Toriel) can persist after death, and since Asriel is the son of two Boss Monsters, we can assume he inherited this ability, which is, theoretically, how he'd be able to reincarnate as Flowey during Alphys's experiments, because his essence would still persist in the flowers of Asgore's garden; however, when he does reincarnate as Flowey, he doesn't have a SOUL. Why? Is his SOUL not the very reason he reincarnated?

    • The thing is, Asriel tainted his soul with Fallen Child's. It's possible that unholy void of this being's soul destroyed Asriel's, leaving it in shambles when he died without bringing slaughter to the human world.
    • Boss Monster souls also only persist for a short while. You see this when you kill Toriel, her soul persists for only a few seconds before "dying" itself. So it's entirely possible that Asriel's "essence" is simply his memories or an echo of his mind or something like that, not his literal soul.
      • Basically this. It's mentioned in a library book that monster funerals involve spreading their dust on something they loved in life, which then allows their essence to live on in that object forever. When Asriel died, his dust dispersed over the flowers in the garden, which were later used by Alphys in her Determination experiments. Injecting the flower that contained Asriel's essence with Determination revived Asriel's consciousness within the flower, but not his soul, which died shortly after his body.

    • It could be just the case that these souls just are capable of changing to higher vibrant frequencies, thus vanishing quickly in higher dimensions (thus becoming out of reach, physically as well as visually). The containers for souls also have to do with that, as they are a cause of attachment. The body of a monster dissolves pretty quickly in non-living matter, allowing the soul in question to rise quickly in higher frequencies as there is no anchor to hold them down. Human souls have the problem that with death of the body, that all the living tissue needs to dissolve first into non-living matter for the attachment to go away, and when conserved it will take more than centuries for this process. We used to burn in ceremonies the bodies of the deceased in the past, so they can move on quickly. There is some Fridge Brilliance, because the bodies of the dead children are conserved in a little crypt. Without the reinforced attachment, Asgore would lose them too quicky.

    • What was the point of even telling the audience about Boss Monster souls being able to persist for a short time after death, anyway?
      • 1. World Building. 2. In one of the neutral routes, Asgore tells you to take his soul and cross the barrier, until Flowey destroys his soul anyway. If Boss Monster souls couldn't persist, this would have been impossible.
      • Because that justifies why you would specifically need to claim Asgore to escape. If it weren't stated that Boss Monsters are different from other monsters, the player would be asking "Why can't I just escape using a Froggit's soul?"

    Toriel and the groceries 

  • One frog says that he saw Toriel come through a certain doorway with groceries, but if you go through the doorway, there's only a balcony. Where did Toriel get the groceries?
    • It's likely that it's the entrance to the town you see in the background of that "balcony," and it just isn't programmed in at all. Thus, just a shot of it in the background.
    • Alternatively, Toriel can fly.
    • Well... when fully powered, her son can.
    • According to one theory, the Boss Monster species is not that of a humanized goat, but instead is one of a furry dragon. This makes things make a lot more sense. What if the wings were hidden under the robe?

    Barrier and children 

  • There's a magical barrier separating the underground from the rest of the world. Why doesn't it prevent children from falling in? And why haven't the monsters tried climbing out from the same spot?
    • Given that it was humans who cast the spell, it could be assumed that it was made to keep monsters from getting out and also allow humans to get in...for some reason. Perhaps they didn't think that something so historic as a war would be watered down to a vague rumor over time, so they didn't bother. Toriel also mentions that while it would take seven human SOULs to break the barrier, it takes only one to cross it one way, and two to cross it the other.
    • It's mentioned that the barrier is one-way; things can go in but can't get out without fighting the barrier to some capacity.
    • The barrier turns the underground into a prison. Of course they'd want to allow anyone they deem too dangerous to be shoved in there with no chance to return. The reason children fall in is due to the negligence of the ones who made the barrier; they simply want to forget about what happened, so of course they wouldn't draw attention to it by putting guards to prevent random people from wandering over, while they didn't take coincidence into account.
    • It's also possible that the hole the eight humans fell through didn't always exist. This would explain why nobody would fall through from what seems to be medieval times to 201X...

  • Is it explicitly mentioned those six souls are belonged to children? I can't remember it mentioned in game; isn't it more plausible that there are adults and/or teenagers?
    • The coffins looked small, though.
    • They're also larger than Frisk and copy and pasted from a general, first coffin. The only difference is the color of the heart on the lids... perhaps Toby Fox just felt it too cumbersome to make them all unique?
    • I believe that if you do a second pacifist run, after Toriel tells you she knew your preference, she specifically refers to everyone that fell before you as a child.
      • I checked the Undertale text dump and couldn't find anything like that. There is an old interview of Toby's referring to them as children, but that interview is from 2013 and refers to Frisk as "some girl", so it's really outdated.
    • All humans who fell had to have come through Toriel's house first, so it seems likely that they'd be children given the box of children's shoes in her house.
    • The box of shoes might be from Chara. Toriel refers to humans who fell down to the Underground, not children specifically, unless I missed a line in the Undertale text dump. The coffins look small, but they're definitely taller than Frisk.
      • One thing that could bear considering here is to examine the items themselves that you find on your travels: things like the Tutu and the Manly Bandanna stand out in particular as childish items: it's vaguely plausible that an adult Gun-slinger would be up on a mountain (although if the gun is as old as it appears, it could be from a time and place when kids were likely, maybe even expected to use a gun), but an adult chef walking around in their apron with the frying pan at the ready? An adult woman in a Tutu (which fits Frisk)? That doesn't really fit an adult's behavior pattern. A child, though... (Then again, why would anyone be up their on the mountain carrying those items, child or not?)
      • It doesn't seem to me that there's any time and place when children were expected to use guns, and the humans are all presumed to have fallen after Chara, which was in 201X. Children who would cook often enough to run around with a frying pan and apron are pretty rare too. That the clothing all fits Frisk is a good point, although it's funnier to imagine them running around with the end of a huge apron dragging behind them.
      • Your initial statemate is incorrect, there is actually a long and often disturbing history of children being allowed — even expected — to use guns. It even happens today quite often. Many places did not always have the protective Children Are Innocent view that is prevalent today, and historically, the world has not always been safe. In fact, the period of the child with the "cowboy" hat and gun strikes me as being from quite a likely period for children to understand guns. Many would've viewed it as a perfectly reasonable thing to teach their young children how to handle firearms for their own safety. Even taking into account the fact that all the kids must have fallen after Chara did, we don't know exactly when the game is set or if it's actually our world.
      • Chara fell in the year 201X. As in, during the 2010s. Such a specific time period is given to us to make us assume that the game takes place in what is roughly the equivalent of present day in our world, when in reality it's in the future. If a child was allowed or even expected to own a gun in a time period after ours, then the kind of world the humans in Undertale live in is much stranger than first thought.
      • I find that very doubtful. The backstory speech given to you by the monsters in Asgore's home mentions Asriel bringing Chara to "the village of the Humans" and laying them to rest in the village square so he could "see the flowers from his hometown". This wording seems to imply that Chara lived in a pre-industrial society, especially since the way the villagers attacked sounds very similar to a stereotypical medieval peasant mob.
      • If that's the case, why did Chara have a relatively modern fashion sense and Asriel have access to a tape recorder? And true, communities that can be classified as "villages" aren't very common nowadays, but they do exist, especially in places far removed from society like mountain ranges.
      • There are plenty of mountain communities with limited electricity and technology, especially since many people don't live in the heart of the village proper. Besides, no one said Frisk was in America.
      • Perhaps the souls most likely to be any age are the Purple and Yellow ones. A notebook and glasses doesn't indicate youth nor adulthood, and a cowboy hat could potentially fit anyone (though a gun may actually be telling of someone older). The Green Soul's apron might be one-size-fits-all, and again, anyone could own a frying pan. The others are likely to be young based on the clothing. But imagining any person carrying the found items to a mountain with a dangerous reputation, regardless of age, is challenging to rationalize...
    • The big thing about the weapons is that it's never stated that they're 'real' items. Like real as in existing, yes, but the empty gun could just as easily be a plastic nerf, given that it's not the weapon that matters but the intent behind it. What's more realistic: someone running around in an apron with a real frying pan, or a child playing in the woods with a plastic toy frying pan and a cutesy little apron? Maybe the person with the gun was having a tricked-out paintball fight while playing cowboys. All of these things make sense if you account for children running around playing make-believe.

  • The above actually begs another question: if everyone who fell down into the Underground was a child... why? There are eight separate instances of humans entering the Ruins... how come every single one of them was a kid?
    • Kids following rumours and playing where they shouldn't, as kids are wont to do? Unlikely. It's a frigging mountain. There are technical definitions for that. That is... a very high place to climb for any reason. What was a single child doing there in the first place, let alone eight of them?
    • Could there be a more sinister reason? Maybe kids were being sent there? Any evidence of this? Asriel asks Frisk why they climbed Mt. Ebott, suggesting several possibilities.
      Asriel: Everyone knows the legend, right? "Travellers who climb Mount Ebott are said to disappear." Frisk... why would you climb a mountain like that? Was it foolishness? Was it fate? Or was it... Because you...?
      Well, only you know the answer, don't you?
    • And if that's not creepy enough, he also says that he knew why Chara climbed the mountain, and "it wasn't for a very happy reason" (the implication being that Chara and Frisk both intended to disappear somehow, whether that meant just leaving the human world, or committing suicide).
      • There's a WMG that states that the 'Abandoned Quiche' tells the backstory of Frisk inside all its flavor text and the nearby echo flower.
    • It could be that only children can get into the Underground for whatever reason. Malice is a real and tangible force in the Monster world, and adults accumulate a whole lot more ill intent by that age, so it would make sense that they'd have done something to the barrier to keep overly malicious humans out (especially considering that one could wipe them from existence entirely) and just forgotten that children can also be overly malicious.
  • So in the true Pacifist ending you end up outside the barrier. But how? The protag doesn't die, and weren't seven souls necessary? If not, why is Asriel waiting around the underground?
    • Simple. It says specifically that "the SOULs of all monsters would be roughly equivalent to one human SOUL", or something like that, in the Snowdin Library. Asriel used the 6 human SOULs, as well as using the SOULs of all the monsters (except Napstablook), to break the barrier. The power requirements match up, and it didn't specifically say the SOULs would be destroyed in the process. The barrier was destroyed, and Asriel left with all the other monsters.
      • That makes sense, but then why didn't Asgore himself do that before now? Wouldn't it have made more sense to do that rather than waiting around for another child to kill?
      • It's stated that monsters can't absorb monster SOULs, so that wasn't an option for Asgore. The only reason Asriel could do it is because, as Flowey, he technically wasn't a human or monster, so he could absorb both kinds of SOULs.

    Undyne's Echo Flower 

  • There's a dark hallway in Waterfall that's seemingly a dead end and the only examinable object when you first enter is an echo flower that says "B E H I N D Y O U", signaling Undyne's dramatic appearance. It's echoing her voice presumably, but again, this flower's in a dead end. Did she go there just before you for the sake of drama, then backtrack to sneak up on you, or..?
    • It's entirely possible that it wasn't Undyne at all. Trolls might put that message in an echo flower at a dead end just to screw with others. Undyne may have decided to be a Troll by waiting. She is a monster, after all.
    • It seems equally possible that the one who placed that message there was either Sans (who's been shown to be able to alter his voice text when appropriate, and who's been protecting you this whole time), or Flowey (whose ultimate intent really is to get you to the end).
    • Well, as we find out later, Undyne does watch a lot of anime and does over-dramatic cool-looking things like suplexing boulders (or herself) just because she can...so setting up a cool dramatic moment like that just for the heck of it would not exactly be out of character for her.
      • It was most definitely Undyne who set up the flower. Listen closely — the flower uses Undyne's voice sound.
      • Objection! Do you not remember that both Sans and Flowey can imitate others' voices?
      • Silence! Sans might be able to change his voice, but he has never shown the ability to imitate the voices of others like Flowey can. That only leaves Undyne and Flowey as our potential suspects, and Flowey lacks a motive to use Undyne's voice specifically.
      • Another thing to note is that Undyne believes that anime is Human history. Is it too much of a stretch that she'd set up an ambush in this way?
      • It's obvious! It was Burgerpants!

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    Character Ages 

  • The main character is clearly intended to be a young child (how young is unclear, but young nonetheless — certainly no older than a teenager), indicated both by appearance and dialogue with various characters. And yet, Papyrus and Alphys, presumably both adults (albeit incredibly immature ones), are perfectly happy to go on dates with this child. Do monsters have different conceptions of age and appropriate age differences in relationships? Or perhaps completely different notions of what dating even is?
    • Alphys seems to be doing it largely just to humor them, probably with the intention of letting them down easy after the fact, and the whole thing was just a big misunderstanding from the start. As for Papyrus... it probably never occurred to him, and he admits to never having felt that way about the protagonist at the end of the date.
    • Yeah, Papyrus is a definite case of being his usual, odd self, and both of them were basically copying the fictional interpretations of "dating" that you get from video-games or guidebooks. (Which both of them did.) And it's not uncommon for prepubescent children to "pretend date" and gossip about "liking people" to tease one another without really understanding or experiencing the concept. I mostly just read it as a bunch of cloudcuckoolanders being exactly that.
    • Are we definite that Papyrus and Alphys are adults?
    • Um, a child being the Royal Scientist? Papyrus is maybe a kid, nay, probably, judging from his... strange, to say the least, fashion sense and his general innocence, but I really don't see how it's possible Alphys is a kid.
      • Then again, consider this: very few monsters actually refer to you as a child, and all of them are ones that logically would know what human children look like (Toriel, for example). Given how how strange monsters in general look, it's possible that they simply don't know that you're a child, not being able to judge age based on appearance.
      • But Frisk has a striped shirt, and Monster Kid implies that all kids wear it, so the other monsters should understand from this that Frisk is a kid.
    • It's possible that 'kid' is just a classification of monster, given that monsters don't age until they reproduce and give their life energy to a child, or that Monster Kid is a child who's applying blanket logic that doesn't really work. Most likely the latter.
      • ...Except that "Only ages after reproducing" rule only applies to Boss Monsters - all other monsters age normally (though at slower pace than humans, as evidenced by Gerson). And Asriel was a child, so even they aren't born adult.

    Killing Mettaton (spoilers for Hotland and Mettaton's backstory) 

  • After Mettaton's boss fight, an anxiety-ridden Alphys insists that he could've been/can be rebuilt, depending on how exactly the fight ended. Mettaton insists that it's alright and tells you something similar if you destroyed him, but in both cases, it's implied that this isn't exactly true, given that Mettaton is, in actuality, a ghost inside a robotic body, who is able to die if you destroy said body with him in it. But... What's the problem, exactly? If you "kill" the Dummy at the start of the game, Mad Dummy isn't enraged because you killed its cousin. Mad Dummy is enraged because you destroyed its cousin's house. This means that the destruction of something a ghost is possessing doesn't kill the ghost, and makes what's implied to happen to Alphys if you destroyed Mettaton make a whole lot less sense. She literally could just build another Mettaton.
    • If you attack the Dummy at the beginning of the game and continue with a No Mercy run, by the time you meet the Mad Dummy, it's so furious at your actions that it bonds with the dummy it's possessing, allowing you to completely kill it. Mettaton wanted his robot body very badly, to the point where he abandons his cousin and friend despite his promises to not do so. Presumably his strong feelings towards his new body (the humanoid form seems to come out of his rectangular body) were so strong that he bonded with it, allowing you to kill him as well.
    • Alphys says this after "killing" him (by shooting his heart) in a Neutral or Pacifist run, but he is only out of batteries. She is able to fix him, and Mettaton is completely fine when you find him in front of his and Napstablook's houses during the Playable Epilogue.
    • Don't forget that if you try to kill Napstablook in the prologue, he'll only lower his HP out of politeness and tell you that ghosts can't really die (at least not from physical damage), and you also can't hurt the mad dummy unless you turn their magic attacks against them for the same reason.
      • You can't hurt the Mad Dummy, but you can kill the Glad Dummy normally (and in one hit) in a No Mercy run, because at that point, he's not a ghost anymore, he's found a body to permanently bond with, which you can kill.

    The Abandoned Quiche 

  • During the date with him, Papyrus mentions Sans baked a quiche with a "sugary, non-egg substance". That one was most likely a pie, but in a secret room you find an "Abandoned Quiche" item sitting on a bench, and the Echo Flower next to it states "I just wasn't ready for the responsibility". The descriptions for it highlight how traumatized the snack feels. If Sans was the one who cooked and brought it there, then who was he talking with?
    • Some have speculated that that flower is a little meta, and hints at Frisk being an abandoned/neglected child. In that case, you shouldn't think about it too much.
    • A quiche with a "sugary, non-egg substance" isn't a quiche. It's a pie.
    • The point is that by talking about quiches in the first place, Papyrus implies Sans has made one in the past, which he could've abandoned there for whatever reason. It being a metaphor for Frisk and/or Chara being abandoned is also interesting, however. Of note is that Toby mentioned finding an abandoned quiche under a bench back in 2013. It could simply be a joke on how we can feel intrigued upon finding lost objects but never learn who owned them.
    • It's never actually mentioned that Sans has ever made a quiche or even knows what one is. In fact, it's mentioned that he rarely ever cooks, and the one time Papyrus recalls him cooking he made a pie which Papyrus simply mistook for a quiche because Papyrus is a Cloud Cuckoo Lander. In reality, the only character who is ever shown to definitely have any idea what a quiche even is would be Papyrus himself, making him, if anyone, the most likely former owner of the Abandoned Quiche. If this is the case, then both the abandoning of the quiche and the explanation of "I just wasn't ready for the responsibility" apparently given to no-one in particular can be chalked up to Papyrus being melodramatic and strange.

    Relative Age of Skelebros 

  • Is there any instance in the game which states whether Papyrus or Sans is the elder brother? I've seen people online fully convinced one way or another, and even referring to some line in the game (without ever quoting it), but I don't recall it ever being confirmed either way.
    • Maybe they are twins? How do monsters reproduce anyway? I won't be surprised if they were 'born' at the exact same time.
    • Sans could be mentally older since he was aware of time loop (and who knows how many times the loop happened).
    • To answer your question, no. I don't believe there is any text in the game that explicitly states which one of them is older. And they both have traits that could make it go either way — Sans is more savvy but also looks up to Papyrus and thinks he's cool, while Papyrus takes care of Sans and encourages him but acts more innocent and naive. Good arguments could be made for either one of them being the elder...or they could just be twins.
    • In a recent twitter post about a hypothetical Japanese localization, Toby said that "Papyrus would definitely use 'aniki'". "Aniki" is a honorific towards older brothers, so it might mean that Sans is the older one. Then again, it might be that Toby meant that this would be the case if Papyrus was younger.
      • Considering the tweet he was replying to didn't specify which of the brothers, it's probably safe to assume Papyrus is the younger brother, as Toby seemed to specifically point him out.
      • Or he just thinks of Sans as older, because at least mentally, he is. They might both be incredibly strange, but Sans is easily the most 'normal' of the two, and... well... It just makes sense for it to go either way, and Sans may be of equal age to Papyrus, but at the very least, he's mentally an adult (sort of, anyway), while mentally, Papyrus is a child.
    • In the Japanese localization, Papyrus consistently refers to Sans as his older brother.

    About the True Pacifist Ending (HEAVY SPOILERS!) 

  • Let's be honest, that is one massive Fanfic Fuel. But how long has it been since the war between humans and monsters? The intro shows some sort of medieval-ish setting while the true ending shows a modern, present age with cars and skyscrapers. This also brings question on monsters ages (though Asgore and Toriel are explicitly stated to be immortal without any biological children). Also, how did monsters integrate on society? Did the war happen so long ago that humans don't even care about it anymore? If yes, then again, what about their ages?
    • It's implied that it has been long enough for several generations (Boss Monsters aside) of monsters, quite a few monsters don't even recognize that Frisk is a human, some just think they're a type of monster they haven't seen before, the rest presumably only have an idea from what they've learned in school. Besides Asgore (they never say if Toriel was already the queen when they were sealed up), the only other character we see who we know to have participated in the war against humans was Gerson, which A.) He's a turtle monster, and B.) even despite being a turtle, he's visibly an old man. As for monsters and humans, look at today (since the ending takes place in about this time period); we're a lot more tolerant as a society, not to mention critical of our past because we're aware of Written by the Winners. It wouldn't be too hard to assume that the monsters' return would be handled diplomatically and humanity would listen, acknowledge, and be penitent of the fact that they were the ones who struck first. There's also the fact that they show a lot of stuff in the ending that's time-sensitive (Papyrus driving a car, which takes at least a few months of learning to get a license, Toriel opening a school, which has a hilarious amount of bureaucracy behind it) that implies there's a several-month time skip while humanity gets used to sharing the planet with monsters... which just adds more Fanfic Fuel about the interim.
    • When you talked to everyone in true pacifist route, Catty and Bratty mentioned the monsters had been trapped for a millenia. It could be an exaggeration, though.
    • I take it that time in the monster world passes slower than in human world, as the war may have been roughly a few decades, whereas in monster time, it was about a millenium or maybe the monsters interpret time differently.
      • This would especially be the case if Flowey's resetting shenanigans only affected inside the barrier, causing a sort of stuck state of time until Frisk came along.
      • And keep in mind that Frisk's presence led to even more resetting/reloading shenanigans (at least one reset/reloadnote  is mandatory to reach the True Pacifist ending, and this assumes a perfect Pacifist No Death Run (anytime Frisk dies causes an automatic reload from the last save)).
    • How the hell did Toriel have a tape recorder and VCR before the monster-human war, and equally how do a lot of monsters have TVs, then?
      • Bratty and Catty mention that before she became very reclusive, Alphys used to spend a lot of time dumpster-diving with them. Presumably, she (and others like her?) reverse-engineered and recreated human technology for monster use.

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    The Fallen Child (SPOILERS) 

  • After finishing the Golden Ending route and looking up a bunch of info online, there's really only one thing puzzling me... who or WHAT is Chara? Like...I don't know where to start. We're not told if they really hate humans, and if so why, and we also don't know how long they were planning on tricking a monster into taking their soul. The question is, how are they able to possess/influence Frisk? That kind of ability isn't really elaborated on IIRC, and if Chara is (as they say) some kind of demon that appears when their name is submitted into the naming screen, were they always that way? Guess it's time for some WMGs... though the ambiguity of it all really adds to the freakiness of the character.
    • The general consensus seems to be that Frisk and Chara merged somehow, possibly even sharing bodies — the place where Frisk fell is Chara's burial site and Frisk's starting armor is a bandage, which you can also find in Chara's coffin in the castle. One interpretation is that Frisk actually died in the fall and persevered due to determination (similarly to Flowey), which would create an opening for Chara to latch on to the body, if their consciousness was still around.
    • No, Frisk's bandage is clearly described as an adhesive band-aid type when equipping it. The ones in Chara's coffin are mummy-like. They're different types of bandages. Chara most likely latched onto Frisk when Frisk landed on Chara's grave, the flower patch in the Ruins. I believe post-death Chara might be a being similar to Flowey, with memories but no soul. And just as Flowey is not a whole representation of Asriel, the Chara we revive with violence in No Mercy is probably not what they were like in life. Their memories guide you on your journey. It's been speculated that Chara is also the white text narration — because Frisk wouldn't know anything about the monsters (CHECK) or how to read monster language, but Chara certainly would.
    • This has bothered me since I learned about the Genocide route after completing the game, and I'm still not sure exactly what is up with it. Of what we see and hear of post-mortem Chara, they are pretty messed up, but not straight up psycho — they see poisoning as a joke, but don't seem to wish for Asgore to die by it, they just see it as a joke. Likewise, when they commit suicide by buttercups, it's mostly implied that they do it to further a plan to destroy the barrier with Asriel, something that doesn't happen because Asriel can't stomach killing innocent humans, and goes back to the Underground instead. The Chara we get in the game does seem to be a spirit inhabiting the body of Frisk (however that works... I mean, when did we learn that non-monster ghosts existed?!), but it's not the evil demon that Chara may become in the Genocide playthrough; they are simply the child they were before, a bit malevolent, but ultimately still with the Underground's best interests in mind. So, if you go Neutral or Pacifist, the Player and Chara guide Frisk together, you by guiding Frisk in conversations and protecting their SOUL, and Chara by their knowledge of the Underground and by dropping small hints through the white text. However, should the Player's Killing Intent be so aggressive that it borders on insanity, Chara's evil side takes more and more hold, to the point where Chara essentially becomes pure hate and killing intent, rather than the nuanced specter they were before — basically the way Asriel only shows up when shown a lot of mercy and happiness, and stays Flowey if they are not. Flowey and Frisk are one large expy on each other — both are controlled by a malevolent creature (a flower with no SOUL and a human with no SOUL), both have Determination, both have genuinely merciful entities in them (Asriel and Frisk). The only difference is that Frisk has You, the Player... And that can be both bad and good.
      • Alternatively, Flowey is just Asriel without virtue and Chara and Frisk are just the player (as they express themselves in the game with a little bit of vague backstory to justify the background information they know). Chara is more or less positive and involved in things beside murder, because you are.
    • In the epilogue, Asriel tells you that Chara hated humans and was "not the best person." They were the one who controlled their shared body to cross the barrier and walk into the human town, but Asriel was able to keep them from killing anyone and return underground.
      • As with the rest of Chara's actions, this is subject to interpretation. Chara left a life where they had everything, in a way which they knew would be excruciatingly painful, making a pact with Asriel to procure the human souls needed to free Monsterkind. Asriel changed his mind and refused to fight despite the people of Chara's village inflicting deadly wounds upon him. We don't know if Chara was a cold-blooded killer. It seems likely that they were mistreated by humans and cared for by monsters, but we don't know whether they actually hated humans, wanted their feelings to be that black and white, or even just wanted to make their allegiance to their new people clear.
    • Determination, even from an outside source, has been shown to raise the dead (specifically with Flowey and the Amalgamates), and it also seems to cause their "spirits" to inhabit the nearest viable object (such as a flower, in Flowey's case) — it's possible Frisk simply had so much Determination, their presence in such close proximity to Chara's body allowed the Fallen Child's spirit to resurrect and the closest object at hand for said spirit to possess was Frisk.
    • In a second genocide ending, Chara refers to itself as a demon that comes when people call its name. It may be that Chara never truly WAS human to begin with (which would go a long way to explaining their hatred of humanity) and only impersonated one. It latched onto Frisk when they landed, hoping they would be a suitably violent individual — in the event that Frisk is (the player following the genocide route), that violence empowers Chara and eventually allows them to take complete control.
      • Alternatively, it could simply be an expression. Someone willing to commit suicide through a method as painful as Buttercup poisoning cannot possibly have a healthy sense of self-worth, and the phrase "you monster" doesn't really work in Undertale. So what else do humans consider to be the antithesis of mercy and love? Demons. Heck, it's possible that even the suicide plan was half motivated out of a fear of destroying everything they touch. Chara couldn't have been more than 12 years old or so when they died. Can you imagine what would make someone who hasn't even reached their teenage years try to kill themselves, and then try to do so again, in an agonizing method? And if we go by the theory that they're corrupted by the genocide run, then a 12-year-old that already has some serious issues and disdain for humanity, being brought back from the dead and forced to watch in 1st person as a human mows down not only the entire underground, but also every single member of their family, and they have to watch their closest friend die all over again. It's frankly impressive that they can even speak complete sentences after being subjected to that.
      • But Chara must have originally been human at some point, because it's specifically stated that you need a human soul and a monster soul to cross the barrier. When they died, Asriel had to have absorbed Chara's human soul and used that to cross over and take back their body — it's something that simply wouldn't be possible if they didn't have a human soul. What I really want to know is what happened to Chara's soul after that, because it's not in the coffin at the end and I'm pretty sure Genocide Chara doesn't have it — they have the six Asgore collected, but they want yours as well.
      • It just says you need the power of a human SOUL, not the SOUL itself. Is it possible that demonic SOULs are just as strong (or even stronger) than human ones?
      • Personally, I think the Fallen Child simply died in the fall, and Chara took over their body and absorbed their soul. Those golden flowers that break Frisk's fall wouldn't have been there at the time. Anyway, they go over this (briefly) in the game: When Asriel came back from the surface and died of his wounds, his remains, dust and soul alike, scattered into the seeds he carried back with him, and eventually grew into the flowers that would eventually become Flowey and the flowerbed itself the thing that breaks the future fallen children's fall. We don't actually know what humans do with their dead in this world, though, so we don't know what happens to their souls except that they can be contained and will disappear if they aren't. Most likely it escaped with Asriel's when he died, leaving the purely-demonic entity of Chara to haunt the flowerbed, waiting for its next host.
      • That wouldn't really make sense, in that then the demon would have easily been able to manipulate Frisk into a less than savory route. Even if we believe that the demon had trouble taking over because Frisk was still alive, making this theory plausible, there's not as many clues leading to it than there are clues leading to the "Chara has malleable morals and the player teaches them right from wrong" theory.
    • "The demon that comes when you call their name" is a programming pun. The game needs a name for the variable used to represent the player character. (Because the player can enter different names for their character, using that would require rewriting the code for every game.) "Chara" is the name of that variable. (Presumably short for "Character".) When you change the stats or otherwise do things that the game records, you are changing "Chara". When you increase LV, you are literally increasing Chara's Level of Violence. (This is why they say that they are the source of the feelings you get when your stats change.) Whoever they where in the backstory, in-game Chara is the player's digital reflection.

    Toriel fighting to the death 
  • Why does Toriel allow you to kill her, when Asgore, who is explicitly suicidal, holds on after a similar Critical Hit?
    • Toriel wants you to prove you're strong enough to survive outside the ruins, and even if you're willing to wound, that only makes a few enemies back off, she wants you to prove you can kill if you must. As for Asgore, he's going to die anyway after the final blow, so he chooses to hold on so that he can tell you that you can take his soul so you can leave before it disappears; he isn't expecting mercy.
    • That...seems really extreme, especially since the monsters aren't nearly that violent and tenacious. It's odd that she's willing to kill herself just to prove a point, especially since the trauma it would inflict on a small child almost certainly outweighs any benefit to survival. As for Asgore, he kills himself if you go back after killing Flowey, which implies he would have survived otherwise. So, again, even if she was as suicidal as Asgore, it's inconsistent that he clings to life but she doesn't, especially when she has a lot more to live for than he does.
    • It's possible that Toriel simply has some skewed visions on how the rest of the underground works. She had exiled herself to the ruins for years and is aware that all the humans to fall into the underground before were killed after leaving the ruins.
    • Another possibility could be that the difference between Toriel and Asgore surviving isn't due to their differences, but because of the child's/player's emotions at the time. Assuming they're not on No Mercy and killing them in one hit, then you're likely trying to spare them by weakening them with necessary force. With Toriel being the first major boss, no matter how weak she gets, she shows no sign of giving in. Combined with the player likely not wanting to fight her in the first place, wondering why she doesn't just give up leads to a moment of desperation and rage which, because monsters are susceptible to the emotions of their assailants, causes the suddenly fatal strike that ends her life. For Asgore, on the other hand, because it's the end of the game, you are far more experienced and in control of yourself, even if you haven't killed anyone. You know what's at stake now and are more able to control yourself than when you fought Toriel, meaning you are successfully able to hold back within an inch of their life now unlike before.
    • Toriel might just not be as tough/determined as Asgore. Badass as she is, Toriel hardly seems to have used her skills since isolating herself, except to cook and start fires (in the fireplace, of course), whereas Asgore likely trains with his royal guard and has proven to be better than Undyne. Asgore also has very good reasons not to die and is clearly a very dedicated individual, whereas Toriel already seems to have near given up on a lot of things.
    • Toriel's dialog during the fight implies that she's nearly a Death Seeker at that point due to her failure to save the previous six children; discovering that she can't even save you is enough to push her over the edge. Also, she does linger on for a short while, long enough to give a few final words... but it seems likely that she didn't want to survive after letting the final child go to what she believes to be certain death.

    Vegan Cake 
  • When you're making the cake with Mettaton, you gather eggs, sugar, and milk to make the cake with. Mettaton then reveals that the secret ingredient is a human soul, but Alphys calls and suggests a substitution in the recipe in case someone is vegan. Mettaton has an artificial soul substitute, but... eggs and milk aren't vegan. Nobody mentions this.
    • Firstly, monster foods are implied to be made of magic and work differently than human foods. The eggs and milk were also not properly refrigerated. Since monster food doesn't come from animal products in the first place, it's possible that the word vegan means something entirely different, or that vegan milk and eggs can exist. Secondly, the only people who would have said anything are Mettaton and Alphys. It's a bit subtle, but Alphys spends most of Hotland on the verge of a panic attack (possibly leaving to go have a panic attack at a few points). Mettaton, meanwhile, is just going along with whatever Alphys wants while putting his own flair on things. Viewers might interpret it as a bit of a gaffe, but not think enough of it to bring it up.
    • Maybe Alphys meant to say vegetarian, but fudged her line and said vegan instead. Note how Mettaton flatly repeats the word to her before going on with the show. (Considering her nervous demeanor and Mettaton's attempts to make Alphys appear to be your savior, albeit with a gradual loss of patience, this is more likely than not what's going on.)
      • Pretty much, it's just another flubbed attempt to appear to save you and Mettaton immediately rolls with it once he gets over the shock, trying not to dwell on it and hoping no one notices. Other similar flubs include disrupting you while you try to disarm the lasers, and when you fail the tile puzzle, you can see Mettaton slowing the walls of fire and stalling for time because Alphys missed her cue to disable them sooner.
    • For that matter, where is Mettaton getting this Human Soul Substitute? Who figured out what a human soul tastes like and then artificially reproduced it? When did it become a cooking staple?
      • Well, when you do the True Lab bit, you find out that Alphys has been doing experiments with the human souls, so one of the first things she probably tried was recreating an artificial soul so they could break the barrier without having to wait for another human to fall in. Obviously it didn't work, but maybe then she somehow found it was good in cakes?
      • Or maybe there was no human soul in the actual recipe. Examining the substitute after the cooking show reveals that it's stuck to the table. It could have been just another artifact on Alphys' "quest" to be your hero.
      • It's a cooking show. He baked it beforehand, and when is the last time you've seen a normal cake require a SOUL in the recipe? He just wanted an excuse to look like he was trying to kill you.

    The Mouse 
How exactly do you know the mouse will get the cheese one day? Are you from the future? In some places, it's been left out so long, you could just as easily guess the mouse never wanted it in the first place.
  • It's a running gag that's just saying that the mouse can do anything if it's determined. Don't think too hard about it.
    • The line is that the mouse may get the cheese. You're hoping for the possibility, not knowing it for certain.
    • And if you backtrack after finishing the True Pacifist ending, you'll find out that, yes, indeed, the mouse got the cheese. Even when it was trapped in a crystal or in an electronic safe.

     Determination & Saving 

In the No Mercy run when Flowey talks about how you falling into the Underground caused his ability to Save being taken and given to Frisk, the implication is that whoever is the most determined is able to utilize "Saving". But how far is that area of judgment? Like, what's the rule on determining who gets to save, and does it affect the whole world or is it only in a given area? Because that implies that some child is the most determined being in the entire planet.

  • My guess it only works in the underground. Reason as follows:
    • Flowey only failed to save AFTER Frisk came to underworld, not before.
    • If Frisk could SAVE before they fell, they could simply reach their SAVE files. No need to go through the barrier.
    • The barrier separated both worlds. Monsters cannot save. Frisk is the only one able to save because they are the ONLY human in the underworld.
    • Flowey could originally SAVE because he was Asriel and Chara's fused conciousness, so to speak. Once Frisk fell into the underworld and Chara latched to them, Flowey was reduced to Asriel only, and as such lost the perks of the human/monster soul fusion.
      • Except not quite. Flowey could SAVE because Alphys injected determination extracted from the human souls into a flower that was imbued with Asriel's essence. That's also the only reason he's alive. Flowey never had Chara's consciousness; both Chara and Asriel were killed, and only Asriel was able to be resurrected because it was his body that turned to dust and spread over the flowers.
      • Also if the "SAVE only works in the Underground" thing is true it begs another question: did Flowey get his ability to SAVE back after Frisk left, and if so, would that ability only exist in the underground? Can he not reset the world above, too?
      • Well, if humans have powerful determination, wouldn't that mean that humanity as a whole has greater powers to load and save? Flowey would have to contend with the whole of human determination, and thus his save scumming powers would be worthless. Humans could revert back any changes he made immediately after he made them, and even override any world changing revisions. Heck, you the player, being sufficiently determined, can override another human's powers by undoing the No Mercy run. So the underground is just this period of time in a place where humans other than Frisk aren't aware of any changes (not being involved) to the timestream, so he and Frisk have some flexibility in manipulating time just in the underground. Once Frisk showed up, Frisk became a static, constant inevitability, so Flowey couldn't make any changes that could have prevented Frisk from showing up, nor undo anything Frisk has "saved", so he effectively lost his powers to Frisk. He can't make changes until he becomes stronger and can force his own inevitability upon Frisk, and even then isn't safe from Frisk nor the Human souls' collective power of determination. Having determination might mean being able to lock out other beings from possible timelines — there's never a possibility of Frisk dying, because we and Frisk don't allow it, and Photoshop Flowey can lock us out of defeating him at first by preventing that possibility from occurring via save states, which is stopped by us making it so the only possible outcome of the fight is him being insta-destroyed any time he tries. In conclusion, the underground is a bit like a timey wimey wibbly wobbly Schrodinger's box as far as time is concerned, as until the whole of humanity looks upon it, anything can happen in there as far as time travel, but once enough observers look at it, it collapses into inevitability.
      • As for why you can reset the game to a no mercy run after the monsters escape to the Human world, you have to realize that you're not an Undertale human, you're a Real human, and your powers of determination make you more like a kind of god that can overrule anything and even manipulate the game's code, so not even the whole of Undertale Humanity can overpower your determination.
  • Or you simply ARE the most determined being on the planet. Imagine: You have Frisk's determination, plus Chara's, plus, yours as the player. That's 3 people's worth of determination.

    Sans' backstory 

  • So Sans has an idea about determination which has been shown to allow one to go back in time through saving, and he seems to be able to utilize it. So (and I'm not sure where this falls in relation to other events like Flowey learning about his ability to save), why didn't he use determination to go back and prevent whatever happened that you learn about in his secret lab?
    • He doesn't go back because he can't go back. He is aware of saving and resetting, and depending on your actions seems well aware that you're a time traveller, but nothing in the game implies he himself can time travel any longer. The most he can do to either the player or Flowey when things go wrong is to make their life so miserable they reset on their own volition.
      • Assuming his dodging is just regular dodging, some of his attacks feature him seemingly teleporting and behave like Flowey's save states. There are times out of battle where he seems to teleport as well. So it is likely that he still has said abilities. It is just that SAVE trumps those. Beings who can save seemingly can reach beyond timelines. If time travel is like Gaster's determination experiments, then it is just a poor man's save. Note how Sans says nothing matters as if he can't change anything, but Flowey simply got bored because he ran out of different ways to change time on his own.
      • Your use of the words "poor man's save" made me wonder... I remember Sans "bleeding" if you beat him in No Mercy. This can't be blood, and the popular theory is that it's ketchup. But maybe not. Determination allows the Player character to go back in time, right? And we also know that Determination isn't just a trait, but a physical force. So if Determination the Force were related to time-travel, and Alphys was doing experiments with Determination... maybe that's what the red stuff is, and maybe that explains Sans abilities in the final battle? He used it out of desperation (I also note that it looks like he's sweating - could that possibly mean he's melting a little bit like Undyne did?) He isn't able to Reset because he doesn't have enough Determination, but injecting yourself with it would probably have a similar effect (yes, it is scientifically possible to inject directly into bone.)
      • Except Sans would likely begin melting, which is what happened to the Amalgamates in the True Lab. Sans appears to have known some things for awhile, so if he was injected with determination well before the events of the game, he'd be pretty malformed at this point. It's more likely that he has done time-travel through some other method, lost it (if the broken machine in his workshop is anything to go by), and is able to make accurate guesses based on how a person reacts. (Like when Frisk shakes his hand before Sans tells them to, or the look on their face when you've been killed an X amount of times by Sans.)
      • Not saying he did it before the start of the game. He could very well have just done it immediately prior to the fight with Chara/Frisk and all it did was amplify what he could already do.
      • Sans looks a lot different — shorter, less sprawled out — than his brother Papyrus. Maybe he was deformed.
      • There is also a theory that the mysterious W.D. Gaster experimented on Sans when he was very young.

    "Fallen down" and the experiments (heavy spoilers for True Pacifist ending) 

  • So the notes in the True Lab, Mettaton's diary entry, and a book at the Snowdin Library inform the player that monsters refer to dying as "falling down". We know that monsters immediately turn to dust when they die except during rare cases. However, one of Alphys' notes in the True Lab mentions that the monsters she had received for the determination experiments were comatose but that they would soon turn to dust. We can assume they were alive but barely. What kind of power could cause multiple monsters (including those who may have once been members of the Royal Guard) to go into a vegetative state? Was it disease? The work of a previous fallen human?
    • Maybe falling into a coma before dying is the natural way monsters die? Murdering any monster in cold blood makes them die quickly, yes, but who's to say dying from something like old age is the same on their bodies?
      • Bingo. A Dummied Out history book entry explicitly defines a monster falling down as lying down completely immobile when they're about to expire from old age. Granted, the fact that it's removed from the final game means it's not 100% guaranteed to be canon, but it's the best lead we have regarding what "Fallen down" means.
    • It could have been a more literal event like a cliff collapsing with a group on top, causing them all to "fall down" and go into comas. Old age sounds unlikely just because it doesn't explain why so many of them were around at the same time in that state to be used in the experiments.
    • Based on the fact most of the 'fallen' monsters are adult characters' parents, it's probably a euphemism/literal description of the short period of time before a monster dying of age or illness dusts. Interpreting it as a euphemism for death/impending death also makes the implications of the title 'fallen' child... interesting...
    • It's implied through one of the entries that monsters were falling down due a loss of hope. Monster souls are said to be composed of love, hope, and compassion. The order from Asgore to Alphys to conduct experiments on their bodies took place during a time when it seemed like the situation underground was never going to be fixed, so various monsters succumbed to hopelessness. In which case, they literally died of a broken heart.

    Lemon Bread (heavy spoilers) 

  • The forms the Amalgamates take while hiding in the True Lab seem representative of their past lives. Snowdrake's Mother assumes the form of a fridge, possibly representing her hometown (Snowdin) and the fact that she was "fridged" for the narrative. Endogeny is found in a foggy room with flecks of snow-like ash floating in the air, also reminiscent of Snowdin. Reaper Bird consisted of three unhappy, existentially weary monsters and reveals itself in front of a wall of mirrors. However, Lemon Bread is unusual in that she disguises herself as a save point, an object used by only those with the ability to save. Lemon Bread is also the only Amalgamate and possibly the only monster that speaks the Arc Words, "But nobody came". If the Amalgamates’ mannerisms and dialogue are indicative of their past lives, then there’s the implication that one of Lemon Bread’s host parts (Shyren’s sister, Aaron’s sibling, or a relative of Moldbygg) somehow encountered Flowey or was familiar with determination/the ability to save. The question is: which one and how much did they know?
    • Given that Shyren seems to be the one who seems to be given a somewhat significant presence (her place in Mettaton's band at the end, Undyne personally giving her piano lessons, the fact that if you do the right actions you two can have a whole concert with Sans even selling toilet paper tickets/conversely, if you've killed Papyrus, "a hooded figure watches from a distance"), I would put my bet on Shyren and her sister.
    • Lemon Bread appears in front of the Determination Draining Machine; she's somehow foreshadowing Flowey's fate either through coincidence or finding the information.

     Purging The Fallen Child (heavy spoilers) 

  • The way I see it, there is only one thing that is really left to be stopped when it comes to a True Pacifist run — the real threat to Monster and human society, as long as it can continue to influence those who fall within Mt. Ebbot — Chara. Why don't we get the chance or earn the right to bring happiness to Asriel and protect both worlds by being given the right to expel and remove Chara from harming other worlds, and cause them to be destroyed or even partially redeemed? That way, no world can ever experience the intense fear and death that occurs from his influence.
    • Because that would dilute the meaning of the game's theme. The only way you can protect other worlds from Chara is by not being Chara. You are the one who brings Chara's influence into the world; in a purely pacifist playing of the game, Chara does not appear except as a memory. That's why No Mercy has an irreversible effect: Even if you go back and try to do everything right, you've proven that your soul contains the essence of Chara, the willingness to kill everything because it's all just a game. And so the game shows that Chara lives on within you — if you are capable of killing all of the characters in Undertale, you are surely capable of annihilating other worlds in the same way, bringing Chara into those worlds "just to see it happen".
    • Yes, I cannot stress this enough. The player's actions cause Chara to warp into a world-destroying Eldritch Abomination at the end of No Mercy. Chara outright says this to the player: "My 'human soul'. My 'determination'. They were not mine, but YOURS." and "Why was I brought back to life? YOU. With your guidance, I realized the purpose of my reincarnation." Chara lingers in Frisk as a neutral presence from the beginning of the game. They are with you the entire time and follow what you do. They never turn violent unless you choose to kill. However, Chara only becomes something terrifying in No Mercy because the player tells them murdering people to become strong is the only option. You save Asriel in Pacifist with Chara's memories, but you also save Chara themself when you show them a happy ending without a need for violence. One of Undertale's themes is that no one is past redemption, so it doesn't really make sense to treat Chara as some absolute evil. If anything, YOU are the true threat to a Pacifist ending.
      • But that's just it: Asriel himself, by his own admission, claimed that Chara wasn't the happiest or the nicest person when it came to the subject of humans. While we never really understand the reason why, or the reasons why they poisoned them and Asgore — which I've seen argued and implied in-game as intentional in order to become Godlike — it didn't paint the greatest picture of a person who is capable of redemption, as you claim. If they rest inside the player — even if the player's actions ultimately are what cause their revival — it was Chara's influence that could have made fighting a reasonable response in the first place...and would be something that Frisk, by the theme of the game, should be able to remove from themself. In that sense, it fits even better: No one is beyond redemption? How about yourself, and the monster you helped create?
      • Well, no, because "No one is beyond redemption" is not a theme of the game. The only character who actually gets any form of redemption is Alphys, but the narrative never actually condemns her to begin with. The few characters who do anything really wrong have to live with the consequences of their actions, and so do the ones who had awful things happen to them that weren't their fault: Asgore made a rash decision in a fit of grief and anger but stuck with it out of cowardice, and it cost him his relationship with his wife. The Amalgamations are never restored to their full selves and the ones that get to go home to their families are only going to one family, that of the most dominant mind in the hive (Snowdrake even mentions that he doesn't mind that his mother is sixteen other people, he's just happy to get his own mom back), while the others are just #### out of luck. Burgerpants will be Burgerpants forever. The souls of the other humans are freed, but they're still dead and no one knows what really happened to them. And then Asriel, who you make all the effort in the world to truly redeem, still has to go back to being a soulless flower. There is very little redemption in this story, but there is a lot of forgiveness, and all the things that point to Chara being a horrible person are their own efforts, not bad circumstance, or emotional turmoil sustained by weakness, or an accident. Chara is a selfish, greedy, hateful little ####, and if you go through the entire long, tedious process of murdering damn near everyone in the game, then you're proving that you're beyond redemption to begin with, and Chara, being either not human at all or just a ghost controlling Frisk, has no one left alive to forgive them. If you do a Genocide run, it doesn't matter what your reasons are, because you had to know exactly what you were doing and why it's wrong... unless you think it's not that bad because you can restart and bring them all back to life, because it's all just a game, because you couldn't not get all the endings. A tainted Pacifist ending is the consequence you get to live with for thinking that you could just skirt consequences altogether, and since you're the single most powerful entity in the world of Undertale, you have no one to blame but yourself. Asking "Why can't you just purge Chara's influence?" is like asking "Why can't God go to confession?"
      • Beg pardon? Redemption just isn't about good and evil, it's about personality, and every single named character is redeemed about something over the course of the game. Toriel and Asgore both directly attempt Suicide by PC, sans is redeemed (mostly) of his depression, Alphys has her dark secret, and Undyne has a goal that requires the death of an Innocent Child. In each case, you force someone to do something they don't want to do (or the reverse). While this doesn't solve Chara, it does beg the question why you can't force Toriel and Asgore to meet with Asriel one last time.
      • Taking another tack... let's backtrack and say it did happen, and Chara gets expelled from every possible world. What other game do you know of where an omnicidal childlike murderer, who destroys entire worlds out of boredom, just got locked out of every other world and timeline on grounds of ruining too much?

     Everyone deserves MERCY...except Chara. 
  • Why are there so many entries talking about Chara being a demon, a sociopath, or, to quote the above, a "a selfish, greedy, hateful little ####" who likes to kill things For the Evulz? Even Asgore doesn't receive that treatment, and he's killed six human children! The only person Chara kills, at least voluntarily, is themself. The other kills that can't be accounted for by you, the player, (such as Sans' death) only happen after you, the player, have already killed their mother Toriel as well as every single monster you come across, raising thier LOVE to the point where their actions don't resemble who they really are.
  • Not to shove a way of thinking down anyone's throat, but the Narrator Chara theory just seems to make the most sense. Chara falls into the Underground, implied by Asriel to be a Bungled Suicide. They're taken in by the Dreemurs and befriend Asriel. The "buttercups/cups of butter" incident was an accident. Chara may have "laughed it off" because laughing or smiling is thier coping mechanism, which is a common theme in the game (multiple characters laugh when they are about to die, and then there's Sans, Snowdrake, and his father, who are all implied to be Sad Clowns). Additionally, it could be that they are not conciously smiling, as agony resembles smiling despite being the exact opposite.
    Of course, they plan to get 6 human souls to break the barrier. Obviously, this is bad. But due to the nature of the barrier, it seemed like they had no other choice, as the way Asriel broke the barrier in the Pacifist Route was unprecedented. But this is usually where people begin to think of Chara as someone who only wants to kill humans because they hate them. But if Chara only wanted to kill humans, why didn't they just kill one of the Dreemurs and cross the barrier?
  • Thinking of Chara as a demon or a violent sociopath just raises more questions than it answers. If Chara isn't human, why could Asriel use their soul to cross the barrier? If they're a sociopath, how can Flowey recognize Frisk as Chara in a Pacifist route? If they wanted to kill everyone, why didn't they just kill one of the Dreemurs and use thier boss monster SOUL to cross the barrier? Why would they put in time and effort to make sweaters and drawings for thier adoptive parents if it was all an act?
  • Every character in the game tries to kill, capture, or lie to you in order to get what they want. Yet, everyone is still given MERCY, even Flowey. Why not Chara?
  • Honestly I've always gotten the impression that the hatred for Chara some people seem to have is a bit forced. To me it more seems like they're pushing responsibility onto Chara. The player is the one ultimately responsible for a genocide run happening, and yet time and time again people seem content to push the blame completely on Chara when given an out.
    • But why turn Chara into a scapegoat? True, there's not much information on them and they appear to be villainous at first glance, but considering that literally every other character in the game is forgiven by the fans, with some even going above and beyond to do so, it's odd that Chara of all characters isn't considered the same way.
    • To be fair, Asriel himself (who was Chara's best friend in life) describes them as "not the best person" in the Pacifist ending, in which the player didn't "make them" do anything. They also were described as hating humanity, and killed themselves in a pretty awful way for the sake of breaking the barrier. This is... not exactly the behavior of a normal child, by any stretch. While yes, they're probably not as over-the-top evil as a lot of people say, they're not completely innocent, either.

     Sans' behaviour during Pacifist/Neutral Route 

  • Playing through the game, Sans seems to be a "judge first, actions later" kind of guy, laid back and not bothered with getting his hands dirty unless absolutely necessary, although it's implied the lazy part is due to his awareness of timelines and how hopeless it is. When you meet him for a second dining session, however, he shows one instance of his dead serious attitude, stating that if it weren't for the promise he made to Toriel, "You'd be dead where you stand."... Then casually plays it off as a joke. While it might just be that it seems unlikely, and also seems out of character (especially if you've been playing the Pacifist Route and not killing anyone), It'd be more warranted for him to say that in a No Mercy run, so why go to this extreme? What's the motive for him wanting to get rid you? Granted, he is probably talking about when he first met you so whatever actions you took don't matter and the only thing to think of him killing you is giving Asgore the soul, but that seems quite out of character for him to even bother with.
    • Sans can see different timelines. In the back of his and Papyrus' house is a broken time machine. During a No Mercy run, he clearly states he can see the timelines converging on a point where everything just...disappears. It's an implicit warning of the sort of bad time you'll be in for if you do a No Mercy run later — the first major victim of a No Mercy run is Toriel.
    • Sans is still the kind of guy who tries to be friends with everyone he can, despite how lazy he is. It's not hard to think that he was fine with killing a human to free all the Monsters just because it's a generally good thing for him to do from their perspective at the time. He doesn't personally care about leaving the Underground, so he's fine with keeping Toriel's promise to directly keep her happy. He breaks the promise not because he cares about getting your soul, but because you've become a legitimate threat. The dialogue is just him musing that you owe your life to a random act of kindness Toriel made probably before either of them even met you. The mention of friends he makes in No Mercy isn't about having a good feeling about you, anyone who mentions similar feelings have them due to vague memories from your SAVES and Sans says this regardless of how many times you played. Instead, it's Sans speaking in general terms. That he recognized an oncoming threat so big it would end time itself and identified you as the likely cause, but he was hoping deep down that you were still a person and all you needed was some friends and a little fun to stay on the straight and narrow, so he greets you casually like he does with everyone else.
    • The short answer? Because of your powers. You have the ability to SAVE, and thus the potential of messing around with the timeline however you want. His Genocide dialogue implies that he's terrified of this, and his somewhat nihilistic behavior stems from the fact that even if he did try to do anything, you could just reset everything to scratch — completely if you choose to delete the save file entirely. So he wants you to stop your run and either stop playing the game entirely or reset it and go through a less violent route. On a Neutral/Pacifist run, Sans is still wary of you due to Flowey. On one of the Neutral ending conversations, Flowey says that Sans has caused him his "fair share of resets", meaning that Sans likely has knowledge of him. On a Genocide run, Flowey mentions that he's done everything, from saving everyone to killing everyone. Sans likely thinks you're similarly interested in "doing everything", and even if you never killed anyone at all your first run, it would be only a matter of time before you got bored and/or curious and started killing everyone instead (which is exactly what Flowey did). If he hadn't made that promise, he'd have killed the anomaly while it was still weak. With a level in the single digits and a few weak recovery items, your game would've ended as early as Snowdin. Instead, he's giving you a warning; "I can and WILL kill you if you give me a reason to."
    • Well, the Occam's Razor explanation is that Sans means exactly what his dialogue in this conversation suggests: he has (reluctantly) been looking out for you, because he promised to, and without his intervention you would have run into something that he judged likely to kill you. His following dialogue seems to support this: if Sans at this point isn't sure you're a time traveller, then from his perspective, by definition you haven't run into anything you couldn't handle — because you're still alive. Even so, he very clearly suspects something's up. His line "you haven't died a single time" is outright fishing for a reaction.

     Ruins door conversation 

  • At what point in the timeline of the game does Toriel ask Sans to promise not to kill Frisk? She might have had time to go to the door and tell jokes after meeting Frisk and leaving them alone in the Ruins, but does the whole exchange that Sans talks about on your date happen between the dog stealing her phone as well? If so, she also says all this before knowing that Frisk intends to leave the Ruins, although she probably just assumed based on the actions of the other six humans.
    • It's been some time before the events of the game since she got Sans to promise. He notably doesn't talk about the other children that have been through as if he knew them personally, despite Toriel having met all of them and trying to keep them away.
    • Seems to me that this probably happened immediately before the battle with her. Note that Sans mentioned that she was usually happy and cheerful, but was more sad and somber when his conversation with her took place. Much the mood that she was in when the battle with her happened, since she knows you're likely going to be leaving her soon. Note that he's already there behind you as soon as you leave the ruins.
      • That seems to be stretching it. Narratively speaking, the player could literally be two seconds away from Toriel the entire time she's heading to the door. Sans also implied that he had been telling her a few jokes before she made him promise. Odds are that the promise occurred some time after the sixth human was killed but before Frisk showed up; possibly on an anniversary. Probably on the anniversary of Chara's arrival/death.
      • It could be that during the time she went to get groceries, what was "taking longer than expected" to paraphrase, she could have already been at the door to the ruins, talking to Sans; she had a feeling the cycle would repeat again.
    • I think that the most logical time for Toriel and Sans to have that conversation would have been when Frisk was asleep in their room, which is required to progress the game. While Toriel didn't want to let Frisk to leave, she probably already knew that such eventuality was still very likely, and took pre-emptive action.
    • Is it really required? I remember once going through Toriel's house without sleeping in the bed. But anyway, Toriel's dialogue to Sans isn't "A human is going to come through this door, please protect them," it's "If a human ever comes through this door..." Which implies more that she can guess it's going to happen again, but doesn't know for sure. It seems more likely to me that something — like an anniversary as said above — made her upset about the other deaths and she decided to take preemptive action via Sans.

     Sans Forgot About His Powers? 

  • So when you fight Sans in the No Mercy route, he has an unstoppable guaranteed-to-kill-you attack that he only uses when you "Spare" him. But the thing is... why doesn't he just use this attack whenever he wants? Sure, from a gameplay perspective, it wouldn't be very 'fair', but pretty much the whole point of the fight is that Sans is trying to frustrate you into quitting the game, so wouldn't it actually make sense for him to mix in a One-Hit Kill attack with his regular patterns at complete random? For that matter, why doesn't he just use it at the start of the fight instead of his usual opening barrage? One could make the argument that he can only use it when you Spare him because your guard is down, which doesn't really make sense considering what you've had to endure just to get to that part of the fight, or that Sans is deliberately holding back as an act of mercy, which also doesn't make a whole lot of sense since Sans has no real reason to hold anything back, especially since he knows you can just reset if he kills you.
    • Presumably the same reason that if you get someone's name to turn yellow and attack, it does a ton of damage; you've dropped your guard so it opens you up to an absolutely devastating strike that can't be done otherwise. It might also be that it takes a long time to charge up and would leave Sans vulnerable to actually being hit, so he could only do it if you spare him. Also, he beckons you closer for a hug, so it might be something that can only be done at point blank range.
    • At this point in the No Mercy run Frisk is almost entirely taken over by The Fallen Child, who in turn takes advice from you, the player, and has been implied to be no longer truly human (Sans commenting about you pretending and Asgore mistaking you for a monster, for example). It's entirely possible that the player opting for mercy weakens The Fallen Child and your influence, or breaks their guard so thoroughly to the point that such a devastating attack could even be used against them. If Sans fluffed it and failed to kill, he could possibly be too weak to defend himself against the now very pissed off Fallen Child and player.
    • It's a hug. You can't dodge something he does after deliberately walking over and letting him hold you still. The move taking up your whole window is just illustrating you took a hit at point blank.
    • In the game itself, Sans is the final barrier between you and Asgore. The last defense. But he is aware, to some extent, of you (the player), and knows that you will keep coming back, so just killing your character won't work. The only way for him to defeat you is to, essentially, drive you mad trying to beat him. If there was no hope, you (both the character and the player) would get bored and leave. A chance at success, however small, is what keeps you determined, and what keeps you from ever leaving. And that's what Sans' duty is. To keep you from doing any more damage.

     The death animation 

  • Whenever your HP falls to 0, you're shown an animation of your SOUL heart splitting in two and then shattering. Naturally, this is because a monster attack has killed you. But a pretty big plot point is made of the fact that Asgore needs your SOUL intact to destroy the barrier, so killing you only harms monsterkind in the long run. While this can be excused for some of the more malicious or idiotic monsters, the various Royal Guards, Undyne, Mettaton, and Asgore himself really should know better.
    • Maybe that animation isn't actually a death animation, but rather it represents resetting back to your last save.
      • This is likely the case. Your SOUL isn't shattering, but rather just returning to the Menu so you can Continue again through Determination. What supports this is that upon reaching New Home on a No Mercy run, Flowey will tell his story and how disillusioned he grew and how he attempt suicide — only to discover, after mortally wound himself, he could use SAVE as well.
    • It's possible that you don't need the soul intact all the time. Even if it's shattered, the pieces are still visible as they break apart. Now, Asgore is keeping human SOULS in jars/power capsules/whatever you wanna call them, and even though everyone who owned them presumably died (suffering the same shattered heart animation), they're intact. It just may be that the souls can be reassembled/kept alive in these jars/power capsules/whatever. So basically, they're gonna try and kill you because it doesn't matter if your SOUL gets destroyed — they can put it back together and by the time it's repaired, it's trapped in a jar.
      • When fighting Asriel, your SOUL will re-fuse when it's destroyed. It may imply that even shattered, a SOUL isn't fully gone and retains some form of consciousness even if it's not whole.
  • Alternatively, the animation is merely symbolic of Frisk's physical death rather than their soul actually being destroyed. Either a human soul losing its HP simply results in the body dying, or the entire battle interface is a symbolic representation of Frisk themself dodging their enemy's attacks. (This is disregarding what Flowey says, as he is fourth-wall aware anyway.) ... Of course, that leads to some Fridge Horror if you instead take it to be Frisk's body shattering to pieces.
  • Or maybe Frisk shatters their SOUL on purpose to evade the And I Must Scream scenario that became the other SOUL's fates.
    • Or they have to shatter it to respawn.

     Protagonist's SOUL truly needed? (Spoilers) 

  • So it's known that the barrier requires seven human SOULs to shatter, or a human and monster soul to walk through. Did Frisk really need to be killed for their soul, though? As Asriel shows when shattering the barrier, the SOULs don't get destroyed, but either go missing somewhere or return back to their host if they're still alive. Since Asgore already has six of the seven he requires, it should be possible to just absorb them and team up with Frisk's remaining soul (since humans can't absorb human SOULs) to shatter the barrier and things should be more or less fine. (This is of course not taking into account Flowey, as he was unexpected anyway.)
    • Asgore wasn't just in it for destroying the barrier, he was in it to keep the seven SOULs in himself so that he could become a god and wipe out humanity. Six is impressive but seven seems to be the threshold for power verging on omnipotence.
      • Are we sure we're talking about the same Asgore here? He's so much of a softie that he's actively trying to postpone the fight, makes small talk in attempting to offer Frisk tea, and even tries to make Frisk feel at ease of the situation. Even when fighting you, can tell he can't bear to look Frisk in the eye while he's fighting. In the end, he flat-out states he doesn't want power. He's not truly in it to have seven SOULs and become a god, he really just said it in a fit of anger and followed along thus far with the plan because it gave them hope. And really, the monsters just want the barrier to be broken, as they don't seem to have much malicious intent against humans aside from maybe Undyne, except for the player's actions, which can be straight up pacifist. It's not hard to imagine that the wiping out humanity part could be put to the side after this feat.
      • In relation to the above, see, that's the thing. Asgore had to keep up the deal he regretted because he was afraid of backing out. And he's been brooding about this for a long time now without really having any friends to talk him out of it. Toriel got disgusted and left and everyone else was so supportive of the idea because of the hope it gave them. Remember, you are the first human to make it to Asgore, everyone else was killed prior and had their SOUL transported to the castle. At that point Asgore doesn't want to kill you, but the alternative of confronting his hopeful subjects with changing his mind frightens him too much to heel-face. Only by Frisk's influence (after fighting them or after they brought everyone back from Asriel's godmode and broke the barrier) were they inspired to change for the better. Also, to the main point: Why would Chara willingly give up his life if human and monster souls could just be combined that easily with the human remaining intact? It's not like they were suicidal, that was clearly a gambit to get back up and murder people. Perhaps he simply can't just team up with Frisk.
      • How would 'teaming up' work? The only real way it could work like described would be if Frisk knew magic (like the 7 human mages who made the barrier), but considering Asgore's willing to commit suicide to let Frisk leave it sounds like there's no method of teaching Frisk human magic from within the barrier. Without that, there isn't really any way to get SOUL power from Frisk without actually taking their SOUL.
      • Imagine Flowey absorbing all the monster SOULs but instead it is Asgore absorbing Frisk. There's no need for Frisk to learn any form of magic, just let Asgore borrow their power to help in breaking the barrier.
      • The problem with that is there's no guarantee Frisk can survive that. Monsters have bodies that are largely made of magic so their being able to revive after the final battle might have been attributed to that. Humans have mundane physical bodies and it's quite possible that having Frisk's SOUL removed would kill the body and leave him with no where to to return to. There's also the question of if anyone other than Flowey even knows how to do that.
      • One of the entries in the True Lab states that removing the soul of a living monster would kill the soul's host. While this does bring a little bit of Fridge Logic to the final battle, odds are doing the same thing to a human would kill them too.
      • Would it remove their SOUL from their body though? It seemed kind of unclear but this troper interpreted it as the monsters being absorbed both body and SOUL. While you have a point with the fact that Frisk's body is more physical than it is magical, it seems doubtful that containing six SOULs (which is near omnipotent) wouldn't override this normal setback, or heck, even resetting/reversing the destruction of Frisk if it did after the fact. Death is shown to be a slap on the wrist when it comes to resetting.
      • Even with Monsters, Asgore's body is destroyed before his SOUL is revealed. Likewise, Asriel carried Chara's corpse after absorbing his SOUL. Likewise all the child souls are separate from their bodies in the coffins. Also even with all 7 souls, Asriel wasn't able to create a permanent body for himself. Determination is powerful, but it does have limits. It prevents you from dying, but it can't bring the dead back to life, which is what losing your SOUL completely would do.
      • Asgore and Boss Monsters in general are the only ones to have the SOUL persist for a moment after the body is destroyed. Any other monster would perish immediately if their body was destroyed, meaning it's impossible to absorb the SOUL of a monster without also absorbing the monster itself too. Determination ironically can bring the dead back to life, but only in respect to Frisk and the Monsters that you may have killed for the duration of the game. (By way of reset, which is part of it as Flowey/Asriel demonstrates.)
      • Alphys's notes mention that she already figured out how to extract SOULS from monsters, but doing so would kill the body too. Determination also isn't so much bringing them back to life as it is reversing time. At the very best, it can hold a SOUL together when it would normally shatter, but any further and you'd just be reloading to an earlier save before you died, which would be useless if you want to progress through a plan that involves dying since all you'd be able to do is go back to before you did it.
      • She notes a possibility of extracting SOULs via injection of determination to let it persist after death, but it doesn't work. The monsters instead melt because their bodies can't handle that concentration of determination. Besides, what Alphys was trying to achieve wouldn't be the same result for every other monster that Flowey absorbed, hence they must be absorbed alive; there was no other way. Asriel himself, while he doesn't go through with it, implies that resetting the entire world completely is just something that he can do now. Whether or not it reverts him back to his original state is unknown, but if it's any indication of the call you receive just before the second elevator brings you back to Asgore's place, then Asriel does have some power over time even before his transformation happens.
      • The note on extracting SOULs mentions it requiring a lot of power and "instantly destroying the host". Her notes on Determination come after along with finding out that it melts Monster bodies from the following experiments. The reason The Monsters come back in the end seems to be because Asriel absorbed everyone whole rather than ripping their souls out, which might not be possible with a physical human. Not sure what you mean by the elevator call but Flowey has always been able to reload to previous save files before Frisk appears. He notes it as just before he's about to die, he gets a strong desire to continue living, then he wakes up earlier in time.
      • The call comes when you bring the power back on in the True Lab and then walk through the second elevator. It's heavily implied to be Asriel since it's a voice you haven't recognised before and is just before Flowey's plans come to fruition. Flowey has indeed used that ability but Frisk's mere presence alone overpowers Flowey's determination. That's why once he gets the SOULs he regains that hold over the ability. Even if it's not possible for Asgore to absorb Frisk and not kill them in the process, Asriel's time travel showcase by calling you before the cause and effect happens could very well mean that Asgore can do something similar to Frisk's body/the barrier.
      • Asriel isn't time traveling, that's just Flowey using his original voice as Asriel so you don't recognize it. Flowey shows frequently he can alter his face and voice when he feels like it and is particularly fond of using a goat face to imitate either Toriel or 'your best friend'. To drive the point home, when you exit the elevator, it is sealed by vines, which is a Flowey thing.

     Saving Asriel (Spoilers) 
  • So the one sad part of the True Pacifist ending is how, because he doesn't have a soul anymore, Asriel is doomed to turn back into Flowey. But after destroying the barrier, Asriel released all the souls he had absorbed and they returned to their original owners. Couldn't they have just given one of the six human souls, whose owners are no longer around to return them to, to Asriel so that he would not turn back into a soulless flower?
    • The Neutral and True Pacifist final bosses both establish that SOULs have their own consciousness and desires, at least to some extent. Even if they didn't, that'd be kind of a dick move, akin to desecrating the dead — since they do, it's arguably even worse. Asriel's probably had enough soul-hijacking for one lifetime.
      • Even putting the ethical question aside, let's remember that it took the SOUL of practically every monster currently alive in addition to the six human ones for Asriel to regain his original monster form. With only the six human SOULs...well, the Neutral ending shows us where that gets him.
      • The SOULs of nearly all the monsters basically equate to one human soul as explained during the Waterfall segment. So really it takes 7 Human SOULs or an equivalent thereof for Asriel to regain his form. This may be lying into WMG territory, but an idea that comes to mind is that Asriel's form is like plasma; it may take so much power to kickstart it, but once it's running then all that's needed to maintain it is a fraction of that. The fact that Asriel himself even boasts he's been only using a fraction of his full potential may support this.
    • Interestingly enough, there is a fan comic that plays around with this idea, except that it's Frisk's SOUL that Asriel gets, which was offered by Frisk willingly. While it's not canon to the plot, it does raise two questions; What if the SOUL was given willingly, and would it be enough to maintain Asriel's form?
  • On that note, might it be safe to assume that in the Golden Ending, Frisk told Toriel and Asgore about what happened to their son, so that they could find a solution? Alphys feels guilty enough about her experiments, but in theory the monsters can find Asriel or Flowey, contain him, and try to get him back to normal. It's the prince after all, and an eight year old monster that got coerced into assisting his adopted sibling in a Thanatos Gambit.
    • I can't see that happening. That would be the sort of information that could break Asgore, Toriel, AND Alphys. Learning that their adopted child committed suicide and was murderous, and was responsible for their biological son's death; and that said son has since been forced to live in a completely alien body, without a soul; driven to suicide attempts and potentially insanity, becoming amused by death and anguish, and that he would have to "exist" in that state forever... Can you imagine the parents being able to live with that knowledge, or Alphys (who is already suicidal) being able to get over her guilt for being responsible for dooming Asriel to that existence? The only person I can see Frisk telling is Sans, and that's only if they work out that he knows a lot more than he lets on.

    Royal Guard Sans 
  • Sans's attacks are leagues ahead of Asgore and Undyne, the most powerful warriors in the underground. So why is he not captain of the royal guards or at least among their number?
    • He promised Toriel that he wouldn't harm any humans, so that would be one mark against him for royal guard. Secondly, he's very lazy so it's doubtful he'd even bother trying for that. Also in terms of strength and strategy, Sans is stronger than Undyne and Asgore, but he isn't tougher than them. He only has 1 hp while Undyne takes several hits to beat and while Asgore can be cut down immediately, he at least has a lot more hp.
    • There's more to being a royal guard than just being strong. Sans doesn't even do his regular job of maintaining puzzles and keeping watch for human activity really. He's even converted one of his guard stands into a hotdog stand so he could slack off from work by doing completely different work. He's to the point where he doesn't even try to stop you as you tear your way through countless civilians, he ONLY directly fights you when you're not just a threat to Monsters, you're a threat to EVERYTHING. Undyne might not be as strong as him, but Monsters only speak about her with lots of respect and reverence. She begins trying to stop you as soon as she hears you're around, and she's so well known and respected that she can channel the hopes and dreams of all monsters in the No Mercy run. Royal Guards are like policemen, they have jobs and reputations. Sans is like a gorilla (no insult intended). He's on a completely different level strength wise than any other person, but he's not going to be chief of police like Undyne could be.
  • Because Sans would have refused, or just not did his duties?
  • Sans seems to be using his many 'jobs' as a cover for something else. The dialogue in the No Mercy run reveals he and at least one other person ('we') have been watching the timelines. By "slacking off" where presumably pretty much everyone in the Underground can see, nobody ever guesses he is something more than a layabout. It's the perfect cover. Being a guard would make him look too competent.
  • All in all, the reason he's not in the Royal Guard is that he's just too freaking lazy to do it, and thus, although he would be the strongest on the guard, he would also be the most useless, as he'd slack off 99% of the time.

    Sans's Behavior in a Neutral/No Mercy Run 
  • Sans knows there's a threat of you killing his brother. In a No Mercy run, he even explicitly states there will be consequences if you do. So why does he not stop you from killing his brother? For that matter, why does he wait until the end of a No Mercy run after you've killed so many people if he's already aware of the danger?
    • Probably because he promised Toriel not to harm you. Even then he only breaks it when he knows there's no choice left but to attempt to stop you/make you reset with his bullet hell, and at the very least he really doesn't want to see you again after killing his brother but staying Neutral otherwise.
    • Two other perspectives. One is he simply hoped you would change before it went too far. Even in his fight when you spare him, he hopes you don't come back/reset the game and bring his brother back. The second would be a gameplay reason. Imagine fighting Sans at the beginning of the game. Even at lvl 19, one level below the cap and dealing only one damage, he's still a tough fight. Taking him on at the beginning of the game would probably be an impossible task.
    • It's possible that Sans cannot hurt the player much when they are at LV 1 (He relies on KARMA to deal the heaviest damage). This is exemplified by the Genocide Route assuming you've played a nicer route first (i.e. skipping entire boss fights, forcing the player into green or blue mode with no tutorials.)
    • Not to mention Sans seems to pretty much expect everything to reset eventually, even if you do damage and kill people you'll just reset back to the beginning sooner or later and bring everyone back. The no mercy run is the only route that can never be fully undone.
      • It's possible Sans has TRIED to change things in previous timelines, but the most likely reality is current Sans wouldn't have that experience and so far as he is aware he has only lived one life — which makes me wonder if the "he doesn't act because he knows it's pointless" theory isn't entirely accurate, but that's another kettle of fishbones. He is aware of the time distortions, he knows they're repeating, but he isn't able to affect them (though fanon often suggests he can to heartbreaking effect, there's no hard evidence of this). He knows they've done this many times, and can hypothesise what you might do based on the evidence they have of those resets, but he doesn't actually remember doing this before and can't be 100% certain what the "best" thing is to do in any situation. Maybe if he acts, or doesn't act, Papyrus will be killed anyway. (Another thing to note is that Sans has 1 HP. He would be ridiculously easy to kill if he would only stand still, and he knows he's no good to anybody dead). I think it's best to think of each Reset worlds Sans as their own individual, entirely separate from their other timeline selves, and they act slightly differently each time.

    Nose nuzzle champs ' 98 
  • The dogi boast that they were #2 nose nuzzle champs '98. Later, you find the #1 trophy in Asgore's room. Toriel has been gone for so long that only old man Gerson can remotely remember her, indicating that the cup has been won a loooong time ago. This means that a)there were two nose nuzzle championships '98 (1998 and another one some centuries earlier, which begs the question of who got the newer #1 cup), b) the dogi are really just that old, or c) Toriel actually hasn't been gone for that long and people somehow forgot her in that short amount of time. None of these explanations really make sense.
    • If you look closely, the one who fell in the opening sequence is actually Chara. Chara fell at 201x. Toriel and Asgore are still together at 1998. It is unknown at what year the game exactly took place, but given the true pacifist ending, it is probably only decades later. It wasn't that long ago. Gerson is simply an old man who forgot things. People didn't pay attention to Toriel since she secluded herself in the ruins.
    • '98 isn't necessarily 1998. It could be any previous century.
    • For Toriel being forgotten, she actually isn't really, Alphys even mentions the day the queen left in her notes in the True Lab, presumably those close to the royal family don't say her name because it makes Asgore depressed, and you don't learn it until close to the end because it never became relevant until then. One decade, two tops is most likely, since it gives time for a new generation to come in (Undyne being trained by Asgore from youth and becoming the captain of the guard, the Bone Bros showing up) but not know the queen because those still aware of her don't mention it for Asgore's sake.
    • I would like to add that the lady taking care of the shop in Snowdin says the door to the Ruins has been locked "for generations". This implies that more than one generation has passed. Also, in reply to the above troper, Alphys also says "There's two of them?!" when being confronted with Toriel and Asgore, meaning that she likely knew of the queen's history, but not the queen herself. It's safe to assume that Dogamy and Dogaressa are not Boss Monsters since their souls disappear with their body instead of lingering, so perhaps monsters have drastically different lifespans depending on what kind they are?
    • It's also possible that the ruins had actually been locked from the inside for much longer than Toriel was there. Being the queen, she may just have had the key. If we assume the main character monsters mature similarly to humans, Bratty, Catty, and Alphys, who are roughly agemates, seem to be young adults. If Toriel left, say, 20 years ago, it seems pretty likely that monsters who grew up away from New Home never saw her. The Royal Guard, however... not so much.
    • Since none of Gerson's stories about Toriel mention her children, it's possible that Toriel became more reclusive after Asriel's birth (basically being a stay-at-home mom), and that's why younger monsters don't recognize her by sight. They didn't forget her, they just hadn't met her in person before.
    • The timeline of Alphys' Determination experiments (she used the golden flower "that grew before all the others" — flowers don't live very long, and even if this one was preserved with magic, Alphys still knew exactly which flower was the first without having to ask Asgore — and most of the Amalgamates have living relatives, the youngest of whom is only a teenager) suggests that only a few years have passed since 201X, maybe a decade and a half at most.
    • It couldn't have been just a few decades because hardly any monsters recognize the player as a human. If it wasn't that long ago that a human was part of the royal family, lots more should know the kid's species immediately.
      • That is incorrect. True, some characters don't realize you're human, but most of them do. That's why they're trying to capture/kill you in the first place. The rest of them are probably having a Clark Kent moment where they're thinking "man, that little kid really looks like a human..." but find the idea that you're actually a human so implausible they don't even think twice.
      • No, no, no. Most monsters aren't trying to kill you on sight. It's stated at some point that they're highly resistant to magical damage and take advantage of this by using highly dangerous spells for mundane tasks. Note that almost none of the spells used by regular enemies seems like it was made for combat. They aren't fighting to kill, or fighting at all — they're goofing around, thinking that the player is another monster and thus also immune to magic. Or are we supposed to believe that Aaron sees a human, knows he can kill them and that he'll become a hero if he does, and is perfectly content with letting them go after a flexing contest?
      • I said "some", not all. Toriel specifically mentioned that the reason you'll be encountering monsters left and right is because you're human, and therefore, if a monster doesn't have an expressed reason for being near you (Temmie thinks you're cute, Aaron wants to flex with you for some reason, etc.), we can assume they're trying to capture you. And about how most of the attacks don't "seem" like they were made for combat, look at Greater Dog — he is definitely trying to catch you, and one of his attacks consists of a puppy frolicking around the screen. Just because an attack doesn't "look" like it's meant to hurt you doesn't mean it won't. It's a strange game, strange things happen. And as for why the monsters let you go after you do something nice to them, that's kind of the point of the entire game — monsters are naturally soft-hearted, and it's difficult for even an extremely hardened and strong one like Undyne to continually try to attack you even after you've shown her kindness.

     Toriel being mad at Asgore 
  • Toriel's reasons for being mad at Asgore seem somewhat hypocritical. She hates how vengeful he was for declaring war on humanity, but also hates him for not wanting to get his hands dirty by killing 6 humans. Question is: why didn't SHE take the first human soul, cross the barrier and kill 6 humans herself? She's the Queen of the Underground; even divorced from Asgore, she's still a powerful Boss Monster that's perfectly capable of breaking the barrier on her own to save her people. Did she not want to get her hands dirty? If so, then why insult Asgore for not doing the same thing?
    • When I got to that part, I interpreted it as wanting Asgore to kill 6 bad humans, the same way that Undyne says that she'll let you go, and wait for some mean human to fall so she can take their soul instead. I don't think anyone would've minded if Asgore had taken a human SOUL and used its power to hunt down 6 serial killers, for example.
  • Instead, she hides away in the ruins and TAKES CARE of the humans that fall down into the Underground. Why not kill them herself, if she wants to get out that badly?
  • I think her point was that she didn't want to leave if it meant killing others, and that she knew Asgore didn't want to do so either — because if he had, he would have done it the easy way that she mentions. He just didn't have the guts to tell his subjects that they were going to have to stay in the underground forever because the only alternative was killing seven humans, so he tried to do the killing in a way that made him feel less responsible for it. In the neutral endings in which Toriel takes over the leadership of the underground, she shows her actual viewpoint on the matter by immediately declaring an end to the killing of humans.
    • Basically, the choice was between "kill seven now and we go free immediately" or "kill seven slowly over a drawn out period while stringing everyone in the underground along on a promise of eventual escape (maybe-someday?)" . If he was going to do something so horrible as serial murder, then he should've done it right away instead of letting everyone live in the dark (literally and metaphorically) for millennia. Toriel considered this cowardice on Asgore's part.
      • What she didn't realize, though, is that Asgore's plan had long ceased to be about destroying humanity the most efficient way. It was about keeping morale. While initially he declared war in an outburst of grief and rage, what made him stick to the plan was the nearly unanimous support of the monsters. Meanwhile, he had Alphys look into alternatives to break the barrier, the same Toriel does as a queen. It's telling that some violent Neutral endings have Toriel deposed for supporting the humans, or show the monsters hopeless as society falls apart.
      • Of course, Asgore's plan for 'keeping up morale' wouldn't have been necessary if he'd committed the seven murders that he claimed he would at the beginning (granted, that would possibly have led them right back into the same war with humans they had just ended, so maybe not the best plan straight away, but even so...)
  • But that's the thing: Toriel's idea would have (according to Asriel) started yet another war with humanity and led to genocide. Not to mention the fact that frankly she just seems to be lashing out. As Rhysellin points out here "Toriel accuses Asgore of being simultaneously too meek and too violent. She says that he is a “miserable cretin” for trying to harm Frisk, but also a “meek coward” for not immediately slaughtering humans when he had the chance. It seems to me that her standards for acceptable behavior from Asgore are impossible to meet. ". Just seems like they both were in a no win scenario.
    • I honestly saw that scene as Toriel reacting to Asgore trying to justify his actions from the perspective of freeing monsterkind (and exterminating the human race) by saying "Oh cut the crap, Asgore, if you really wanted to end monsterkind's suffering, you could've done it by now! Don't dress up what you're doing as anything noble!"
      • Essentially, this isn't about him meeting her "standards" by doing or not doing what she would approve of. it looks like a no win situation because it is one. Toriel's anger began the moment Asgore decided to kill a bunch of humans out of vengeance in the first place — how he intended to kill seven humans was irrelevant. It was just the lesser of two evils in her eyes to do it as quickly as possible to limit monsterkind's suffering.
      • ...or did it? There is much to suggest that her anger at Asgore began the moment Asriel was killed (a toxic grieving pattern which is often observed amongst couples whose child died unnaturally and sometimes even natural deaths is one partner blaming the other for the child's death as a coping mechanism). It's possible that on some level, the real root of her anger is an emotional need to punish someone for Asriel's death, and she seems to be focusing that emotional energy on Asgore.
      • What is this "much" you speak of? It seems far more likely to me that she's simply disgusted with Asgore issuing an edict of child murder and genocide out of rage and then being too in thrall to public opinion to correct his mistake. That's easily grounds to leave somebody in any universe.
      • A lot of her dialog seems to point to someone fixated on a pre-existing guilt complex and an obsession with children (even when it is questionable if the subject in question was, by any legal definition, a child). Furthermore, her speech to Asgore suggests that the war was merely one such reason, not the primary reason. Also, given that some of the endings have her doing much of what Asgore did as a 'solution' (hoping for a scientific solution but otherwise effectively sitting on her hands), one questions just what cheesed her off.
      • I can't deny the theory, but I think it's just as, if not more, plausible that Asgore routinely murdering every child that came through after is probably a more believable root for her anger than the death of a child in a manner neither of them could prevent -Toriel seems a fairly rational person at the end when she says "it's not fair to kill someone just to let someone leave", (or indeed when she realises at the start of the game that it's wrong to keep you there against your will) so while she might have a toxic grieving pattern going on, Asgore has done plenty more to actually gain her ire since.
      • That's the thing though....we only know for sure that ONE of the humans who died was a child (toy knife/faded ribbon), who may have actually fallen to their death given the positioning of the items. Toby has gone out of his way to refer to them as the HUMANS and judging by the items and their descriptions, most would be late teens or adults (especially the bearer of the gun and cowboy hat).
      • On top of that several of the items are covered in monster dust and have really murdery sounding descriptions, suggesting that the users were killing monsters and had to be stopped. Furthermore, 'rationality' is often not at play when it comes to traumatic events. The forefront of this would be avoiding reliving that pain. In the above example, the parent will attempt to put blame on the other parent to cope. Given her judgement on humans some of whom ended up being quite dangerous, I find the source of that ire questionable.
      • I don't see why the actions of the humans who fell should affect Toriel's anger towards their killer. She clearly doesn't believe in "an eye for an eye" given her efforts to protect the humans, (whatever their ages, it's not really relevant), even is they actively try to harm her. This may be indicative of a guilt complex on her part, sure, but Toriel clearly didn't want anybody to be killed. So Asgore, again, routinely killing six people, could still anger her regardless of those person's intent. If all the humans since Chara had behaved like Chara -aka routinely slaughtering everyone- then Toriel's mercy towards them, and her being angry at their killer, would make less sense, sure... But we have no particularly solid evidence to suggest that the Fallen Humans were all violent and attacked monsters on sight, or even that those who did acted in anything but self defence. Toriel perhaps doesn't see them as deadly creatures so much as confused and frightened (which they would be, and rightfully so -they just fell into a world of monsters from legend that their ancestors locked beneath the earth and then spent centuries spinning horror stories about). Toriel sympathises with them, and believes they were worth saving - Asgore destroyed their potential by killing them. (And yes, you can raise the point that some weapon descriptions sound murdery" but do they really sound that bad? The ballet shoes, perhaps, and the tutu is implied to have monster remains on it. But the descriptions are mostly straightforward or interpretable -the gun, easily the most outwardly violent tool, is simply described as a gun without bullets and gives it's stats.)
      • ...and trying to keep them locked up in her house also destroys their potential. Furthermore, her need to 'mother' even psychotic murderers also points to a guilt complex, perhaps even to the point of projecting their actions and tendencies onto Asgore. Also, bear in mind those descriptions, far from being straightforward,seem to hint at the nature of their former masters (the gun is empty, with one of said bullets possibly being the cause of Undyne's lost eye given hints in game, and the connected hat sounds as if it belonged to worn and battle hardened gunslinger). Far from fearful children, some of these descriptions point to some tough individuals far and away deadlier than Frisk. Leading me to doubt the 'panicked self defense claim'. You'll also note, I never said "ALL" humans. My point was is if even two or three of them were deadly genocidal maniacs, then it brings into question exactly where her anger comes from, and there is considerable evidence to suggest that.
      • What evidence, though? All I can think of are a few pieces of clothing that have darkish descriptions? Mentions of Dust on a tutu and dangerous ballet slippers (if that wasn't just a joke in the first place because what under earth is dangerous about ballet shoes -unless you could the risk to the muscle structure of the people wearing them?) We have barely any other evidence of what was going on in the underground during the time the other six humans were wandering about, but we just don't have the evidence to say they were genocidal or even murderous (re: the Undyne's eye theory. She says at one point in pacifist that she "used to think humans were cool [before meeting Frisk]" which I doubt she'd think if one of them were responsible for blinding her in one eye.) The attitudes of those who figure out Frisk is a human (Papyrus, Monster Kid, Alphys, even Undyne who is the most passionate about hunting you down, can't really think of much to say about how bad you are) don't seem to imply that any of the previous humans to fall were especially malicious or violent. Also Hypocritical =/= Having no right to be angry with someone for doing really bad stuff. Whatever Asgore's reasons -and I think he has as good a reason as it's possible to have- it was still murder and attempted murder, and whatever Toriel's guilt complexes or physiological issues or hypocrisies, her anger still seems perfectly well founded. Both of them have flaws and hypocritical behaviour, doesn't mean either of them are entirely in the wrong.
  • The simple solution is that Toriel didn't want him to kill anyone. Human souls linger after death, and unlike monsters, they die of natural causes normally. It makes no sense for her to want her husband to just go around murdering random people because that's just not her character, but there's no reason that collecting six human souls from the surface means killing six people. Asgore could have walked through a graveyard and got the job done, but it's mentioned in a few places that Toriel is the brains of the outfit; it probably never occurred to him.
  • Toriel saw what humans were capable of during the war before the monsters were forced underground and sealed in. She just doesn't believe all humans, least of all children are evil by default or should be made to suffer or blamed for the actions of others, much less die. Her lingering anger at Asgore even after he shows remorse seems harsh but look at it from her viewpoint Even after the war they set up New Home, rebuilt their lives, she and Asgore were happily married, and had a child, it doesn't seem like life Underground was so terrible even if it wasn't ideal they seemed content. One day a human child falls into the underground and they wind up adopting said child and loving him or her as their own. They're all happy for awhile, until both their children die on the same day, unknown to her or Asgore one is a case of suicide (they think it was just illness),while the other was more obviously murdered. Asgore in a rage declares war on all humans and orders that any future human children that fall into the Underground are to be killed, ignoring the fact that their own adopted child fell from the surface and was human, Toriel, grieving and reeling the loss herself, still tries to dissuade him and drag him out of his vengeful mindset, and when he refuses, Toriel unable to bring herself to go along with such a plan leaves him in disgust. Possibly she was also disheartened by how fast the other monsters would cheer on such a plan too, considering Chara whether evil or not, did seem to be well liked among the monsters in general while he or she was alive, and she had loved them as her own child. So she goes to the Ruins, sets up a home, and locks herself in.
    • The first couple of children she maybe just cares for and allows to rest and recover from the fall, maybe explains a bit about the world, but lets them go when they ask, but then they die. Saddened but determined after their deaths, she sets up puzzles, training dummies, and tries to more actively teach and train all future children to fall how to survive, but still they die. Meantime she is developing her friendship with Sans, one day after a child has died she is really upset and Sans notices she's not really responding to his jokes and asks her what's wrong. She asks him to promise to not kill any humans who go through the door, and he agrees. The children do get further, but still die, Toriel cannot take losing yet another child, which is why she decides when Frisk falls the only way to save them is to keep them with her and block of the exit to the ruins forever, even if that would mean isolating herself even further too, its not that she wants to force you to stay, its a last resort, because to her, why would she trust that Frisk stood any chance of surviving at all when none of the other children did?
    • She probably knew all of the previous fallen children personally and likely grew to care for each to some degree, plus consider her compassionate and nurturing nature, and the fact Asgores law, whatever his reasons or regret, effectively caused her to relive the deaths of her own children over and over again....I think she has every reason to feel deeply hurt and angry. And forgiveness and for something like that would take time, not be the instant result of an apology, even then expecting the relationship to ever go back to the way it was before the damage was done isn't realistic or fair to expect, sometimes what we break can never be fully repaired.
    • Toriel was right and her plan could have been carried out non-violently. Asgore didn't need to kill six potentially seven times to break the barrier, or need to kill at all, humans have shorter lifespans than monsters anyway, they could use the soul of a person who died naturally to get to the surface — obtain the souls of people who are about to die anyway, and then use those to break the barrier, after which all the souls are released, and the monsters freed. Murder and violence was never necessary. Toriel would have acted to free the monsters herself if given the chance to do so peacefully, but was not willing to do so by force or at the cost of innocent lives.

     The Timeline 
  • During true pacifist, Catty and Bratty mentioned the monsters had been in kept in the underground for a millenia. Let's assume it wasn't an exaggeration (since the humans during the war looked medieval). In the true pacifist ending, it is revealed the human that fall in the beginning is Chara, not Frisk. So Chara fell in 201x (supported by the old calendar in Toriel's house).
    • How is it that Chara the first human that fall in about thousand years (more or less) into the underground? Is there really no other human that ever climbed that mountain (and fall) within a thousand years? And the first human that managed to do so, is a child?
      • Since the mountain was where the monsters were sealed away, it stands to reason that humans would stay away from it lest they accidentally fall down a hole there or release them. Over time the whole war against monsters and humans and the mountain's story becomes folklore and while they might not know what exactly happened, they do know it's bad to try climbing it. Chara, who's a young child and probably doesn't know about it or does but doesn't care, ends up in a situation that makes them hate humanity. Maybe they got into a scuffle with the village or he has terrible luck, but either way it pushes him to run away where no one can find him; the mountain. There he trips, falls into a hole and lands in the Undergound.
  • Toriel and Asgore kept a VHS recording before Asriel's birth. Assuming Asriel grew up at the same pace as humans, he was more or less Chara's age, so he was either born in 199x or 200x. Gerson implied Asgore was there during the war.
    • Just how old are Asgore and Toriel? Did they wait for about a thousand years to finally get together and conceive a child?
      • It's entirely possible. The lore notes that Boss Monsters like them don't age unless they have a living child, so they could be thousands of years old.
      • See Immortal Procreation Clause, even if they were together when monsters were first sealed up (it's never stated, but commonly accepted fanon they met/married before the war), it's possible it just took them a thousand years of trying to have a kid.
      • Boss monsters are effectively immortal until they have a child, then once they do have one they die relatively soon, probably not long after the child reaches adulthood. With this in mind, I think it' quite plausible that they really have waited all this time, until they decided that they have lived long enough and are ready to grow old and die.
  • Monsters started collecting human souls after Chara and Asriel's death. It can't be more than decades (in the true pacifist ending, the surface doesn't look that 'futuristic'). And suddenly there were six more humans fallen into underground, after a thousand years without humans. And all of them were children, given the coffin sizes.
    • How is it happening? You'd think there were adults or teenagers climbing the mountain. Did the mountain suddenly become a popular choice for suicidal kids? Is there some kind of magic that ensure only children would survive the fall?
      • Since we know that at the time of Chara's death and Asriel's emergance from the underground, there was a village nearby which was most likely rural. This cuts down most potential visits to the mountain to the village only. The village probably considers the mountain a bad omen that they stay away from or consider it dangerous. This means that children who aren't as privy to this information and in the case of Chara, didn't like humans, played around there or even ran away. Over time it becomes condemned as a place where people/children disappear if they scale the mountain and nobody wishes to go near it, especially after the incident with Asriel and the humans possibly fueling this fear.
      • There's also the simple possibility that the hole that the kids started falling down simply wasn't there, there might have been a cave-in at some point that let to the underground and Chara was the first one to find it.
      • Do they ever actually specify that all of the souls that they got were indeed from children? Because I find it fairly hard to believe that a child falling into the Underground would have a gun, even if it is an empty one.
      • The coffins are all the same size as Chara's who we know to be a kid, and the children's shoes in different sizes at Toriel's home may be another indication. It could also very well be a nerf gun or a plastic toy gun.
      • The coffins may all be the same size, but they're definitely taller than Frisk. Maybe Chara was placed in an adult-sized coffin, since who keeps a bunch of child-sized coffins around?
      • Monsters turn to dust when they die, and the library entries indicate that they don't use coffins. (Or urns, for that matter.) The idea of coffins has to have come from somewhere else.

     Royal Guard recruitment policy 

  • In one of the phone calls, Papyrus brings up a good point: how did the Lesser Dog get to be a royal guard while he didn't? The whole reason Papyrus couldn't join was that he was too sweet and optimistic and could never really hurt another person, but the Lesser Dog is at the very least as bad — he's only looking to be pet and it's incredibly easy to make him stop fighting altogether. What was the rationale for Undyne to let him in, while still snubbing Papyrus?
    • To an extent, you can say the same about Greater Dog since he only fights because he thinks it's play and it's very easy to get him on the player's side since he's just looking for affection.
    • You can die against the dogs, you can't die against Papyrus. Even Toriel, who didn't want to kill you, could kill you. He's THAT pacifist.
      • Pretty much. Dogs ARE apex predators and, while friendly and sweet, they are perfectly capable of guiltlessly taking a life if they have to.
    • I think the whole point in Undyne only wanting to let Papyrus join the royal guard after he captured a human is that she knows that he's too nice to do so (seeing as she said that Papyrus would be too nice to do well as a Royal guard), or that she doubted that another human would drop down into the underground because she can't get herself to let him down and to give him hope.
      • Undyne also cares very strongly for Papyrus and may be too afraid of him dying in the line of duty due to his foolhardy niceness. Nice and distractable as Lesser Dog and Greater Dog may be, they're still not stupid enough to try to spare an unrepentant murderer.

     The gun 
  • Is it a real gun? How did one of the children manage to get a gun?
    • It's more or less stated that it's a real gun, just out of ammo (the cursor having to be accurate is most likely just a meta-nod to make it stick out, and not actually shooting), given the whole "nobody climbs Ebott for happy reasons", it's easy to assume they stole it before running away from home, or they were given it by their parents who were sentimental enough to at least give them a chance, but still chose to abandon them.
    • Also, no one ever said that any of the other humans was children, let alone that all of them were. It's just what bloody everyone here assumes for some reason. Maybe this one was actually carried by an adult? It may even have had bullets once, but they ran out.
      • It's assumed that they were all children because the coffins of the humans are shown to be the same size as Chara's coffin, who was also a child. There's also that box of children's shoes that Toriel has in her house.
      • The coffins are definitely taller than Frisk — it's probable that Chara was placed in an adult-sized coffin, since nobody keeps a bunch of child-sized coffins around. That box of children's shoes might also belong to Asriel or Chara, since fallen children wouldn't randomly leave their shoes with Toriel in preparation for walking all over the Underground.
      • To be honest, the coffin size doesn't tell us anything. The Underground wouldn't have Coffins at ''all' is the thing here — we learn of Monster Funerals from the library, and the bodies don't stick around. The coffins downstairs were likely just Asgore's attempt to be at least a little respectful of those he'd slain by placing their bodies in what he remembers to be a traditional human burial casket. With that in mind, it's no wonder that all the coffins are the same size — he might've planned ahead, and Monsters just wouldn't be particularly familiar with making coffins anyway. So there's no certainty that the coffins size is indicative of the age of the owners.
      • That box of shoes comes in "a disparity of sizes", so they couldn't just be Asriel/Chara's shoes alone.
      • Kids' feet grow. That's totally what you get from having two little kids growing up, plus whatever of the other kids wandered through.
      • Hoping you realise "disparity" means great differences, not minor like a child's feet growing would do. But yeah, it'd be most likely that the disparity comes from the other 7 humans.
      • A child's size 12/1 (UK sizing) and a child's size 4 would probably be a bit enough difference to constitute as a disparity, so there's no certainty that using the word disparity means any of the shoe sizes were bigger than a 5. Incidentally, I was a size 6 by the time I was 11 and I'm only 5ft 2"; kids can have big feet.
      • Even if they are a child, in lots of parts of the world it is more or less normalized for kids to grow up around guns and learn to use them.
    • Bit of WMG here, but it's possible it was actually a toy gun and neither the monsters nor Frisk have seen a real one before, so Bratty and Catty just assumed it was a real gun and Frisk just took their word for it (or made the assumption themselves in a Genocide run).

     Neutral-Pacifist Ending (Spoilers) 
  • In the Neutral Endings Frisk exits the Underground, leaving the monsters behind. But at least a human soul and a monster soul are required to pass through the barrier. So in the Neutral-Pacifist ending, in which you do not kill anyone but only don't date Papyrus, Undyne and/or Alphys, whose monster soul did Frisk use to get out? Asgore's soul was destroyed by Flowey and Flowey himself has been explicitly stated not to have a soul.
    • The battle with Omega Flowey involved major distortions to the world and far more power than just one human and monster soul. The aftermath seems to place Frisk somewhere outside of the barrier just due to how chaotic it was. In repeats, Flowey still takes the 6 souls and probably throws you out of the barrier just to get you out of his hair.
    • It doesn't take a human soul AND a monster soul to pass the barrier. Just a human soul. The barrier was made to keep monsters in. It seems that that's the full extent of its power.
    • It does take a human soul and monster soul to pass the barrier according to Alphys, but presumably on the inside as Frisk falls into the Underground at the start. Toriel confirms this in the True Pacifist ending.
    • One semi-plausible theory by some that subscribe to the Narrator Chara theory is that Frisk absorbed what was left of Chara's/Asriel's soul when they fell onto the same flower bed they died on, which gave them enough power to cross the barrier without having to absorb another monster soul. Before you argue "But humans can't absorb human souls!": Chara and Asriel died as an ascended monster with a fused soul, and if the Genocide ending is any indication, Chara might not be entirely human to begin with. Not the most watertight theory, admittedly, but it's something.

    Undyne's eyepatch 
  • What happened to Undyne's eye? It doesn't seem to be that her eye was messed up/inoperable since birth. If that was the case, then she probably wouldn't feel the need to wear an eyepatch, if having one good eye was all she's ever known. It's not likely that anyone would make fun of her for having a messed-up eye since there are so many different kinds of monsters and they don't make fun of each other for their physical features. Maybe it's just for the effect of making her look more badass, which is fine. But it would be cool if there was a story behind it, like she accidentally speared herself while training OR the human with the gun shot her in the eye.
    • Given the prominence of left eyes when situations are serious, and that other monsters (especially Sans), are shown to use them to channel their magic, it's possible Undyne isn't blind in that eye, but given her strength of character and determination, if it was uncovered her magic would be almost out of control, this may also be why she loses it as Undyne the Undying, she's breaking out all the stops so she's willing to let her eye show so she can go at you full force.
    • Or, more simply, she just lost it at some point. She has a very dangerous profession and is extremely hotheaded, so she could have damaged it in any number of ways.
    • Or, even more simply, she just wears it because it looks cool. As a huge anime fan, she knows that people with scars or eyepatches look cooler.
      • No — the eyepatch comes off when she becomes Undyne the Undying, and there's nothing but a black pit underneath.
    • Seeing that the only two Humans who made it past Undyne were the Green and Yellow Soul humans, and the Green Soul is shown in the Ball Game to be kind, gentle, and caring, the Yellow Human shooting Undyne's eye out wouldn't be too far fetched.
      • It's doubtful she's ever actually fought a human before. She expresses incredulity at how durable you are as if she had no idea humans were this tough. If she had fought another human before and not had this difficulty, she would've assumed that it was just the player who was tough, not all humans. Just because those are the only items you find past her doesn't mean those humans actually went past her. She might not even have been a knight yet.

     Chara, destroyer of worlds? (Spoilers) 
  • How does Chara plan to kill everything, exactly? In the monster world, they most certainly could, seeing as how they have that much hatred. But hatred doesn't amount to anything in the human world, so does that just make them a child running around with a knife? I know it's implied Chara's pretty much a demon or a malevolent being at this point, but we don't actually see any of those powers other than possessing Frisk.
    • Chara's speech implies that he's that feeling when you level up in an RPG game. If we take that at face value, then what he is simply stating is wrapping things up and moving on to the different game. After all, when you've finished an RPG you would usually move onto another one. Chara destroying the world is symbolic of "There's nothing more to be done in this world, move along." Since Toby Fox suggested naming the Fallen Human on the naming screen after yourself, the implication is that Chara is in you, the Player, and you're taking the spirit of "kill everything" to other RPG games.
    • Another thing that it can be taken to mean is that Chara directly attacks you, because since you're the player, the world stops existing when you die, so in killing you, he's taking the world with it. This fits in very well with how the fourth wall shatters like glass in the final moments of the no Mercy run.
    • I just thought he took the six souls Asgore had, and became an all powerful being, literally destroying the world.
      • Humans can't absorb human SOULs and the same for monsters with monster SOULs. Chara has to manifest himself through Frisk's body so it wouldn't apply, but perhaps he can do it simply because he doesn't have a SOUL in the first place? He most certainly has one when you make the deal, however.
      • Chara is no longer human, they're a soulless creature like Flowey, who was able to absorb monster souls in spite of being a former monster.
    • Chara could kill Asgore or Toriel and absorb their Boss Monster souls. The engravings in the waterfall area say that doing so gives a human godlike power, just like a monster who absorbs seven human souls. With that power, they could then annihilate the human world. (In practice the monsters could fight back by each absorbing the souls of seven willing humans, but the resulting warfare between demigods would probably cause catastrophic disasters either way, and it's possible Chara with Asgore's soul would have enough power to annihilate everything before any monster realized what needed to be done to stop them.)
      • No they don't; they say that a monster absorbing a human soul becomes incredibly powerful and that seven human souls are needed to break the barrier, but it doesn't say anything about a human becoming godlike by absorbing a monster soul. That wouldn't make any sense anyway; we know seven human souls=godlike power, so if a human soul+a monster soul=godlike power, then a monster soul would have to be equal in power to six human souls, whereas the engravings say that it takes almost every monster soul in the Underground to equal one human soul. The only thing we know absorbing a monster soul does to a human is that it allows the human to exit the Underground through the barrier, and even that's debatable (since it's implied Frisk was able to escape without one at the end of a Neutral run, and two of the main characters — Papyrus and Undyne — seem to think you'll be able to get through without it as long as Asgore lets you pass.)

     Sans' Photographs 
  • In the lab that Sans lets you into if you reload multiple times at the final corridor, checking the leftmost drawer brings up the description "There are photos of Sans with a lot of people you don't recognize. He looks happy". That's still an unsolved mystery for Sans' backstory, and all in all is interesting but not too crucial to the plot. However, when you come back after fighting the True Pacifist Boss Battle, the description changes to "There's a photo album inside the drawer. There are photos of Sans with a lot of people you don't recognize. ... and, one photo of you standing with Sans and all your friends". This is in most likelihood referring to this photo, which you only get after deciding not to stay with Toriel and after finishing the entire credits sequence. This would make sense if somehow Sans managed to keep the photo after a potential reset or load to the last save, but the photo still appears in the drawer even if the player/game has not gone through any sort of reloading after getting the True Pacifist Ending for the first time. Does that mean Sans can access different timelines of different games/playthroughs, even if they're not on the same plane of existence (read: different computers)?
    • Occam's Razor: the photo is taken after you defeat the Final Boss but before you leave the Underground (hence why everyone is together). Sans then placed the photograph into his album and returned to the rest of the group using his pre-established teleportation powers. Just because you first see the photograph after the end credits does not mean the photo was taken after the end credits.

    Jerry 
  • If the damage you do (and your LV) is related to how much you wish to cause harm, then why is killing Jerry so hard? No one likes him, you'll ditch him without even thinking twice, shouldn't the damage caused by an attack be even bigger on him than on the other monsters in the same fight?
    • Jerry's obnoxiousness trumps bloodlust.
    • Jerry is less empathetic than other monsters, so your killing intent doesn't affect him as much.
    • Jerry is so repulsive that not even Chara would want to tolerate him long enough to kill him.
    • Perhaps Jerry is just so obnoxious, that Chara feels that killing him would be doing the other monsters a favor, and Chara wants them to suffer?
    • It is likely that at this point in the game, you will be using the Tough Glove. This means that you have to punch monsters to kill them. Punching Jerry would require touching him, and this disgusts Chara so much that they are unwilling to kill him.

    Humans use magic 
  • It's been stated in the game that humans will never know the joy of using magic but their souls have other qualities. When humans can't use magic, how did they erect a MAGICAL barrier? Seems like a large plothole.
    • It's a rather good question, one thing that it can be meant is that in the time that passed since the barrier's erection and the events of the game, The Magic Goes Away and humans, while once able to use magic, couldn't when the book that explains this was wrote. Also, the barrier explicitly states it's SOUL power and not magic, which, given the difference between Human and Monster SOULs and what they're capable of, it's possible that it's distinct from magic in an entirely different way, and that's why monsters specifically need human SOULs to break it.
    • Something to point out: the lore says that humans will never know the joy of expressing themselves through magic. Not that they can't use it. Monsters are made of magic; they often use it in ways that's personalized for them or expresses their feelings (like making bullet-pattern birthday cards). It's possible that humans have to teach themselves magic, and can only use it in limited ways (i.e. "spells").
    • Yeah, monsters are made of magic, so using it is as natural as moving a limb is for a human. Humans, on the other hand can learn to use spells that, with their much heartier bodies and stronger souls, have the potential to surpass anything a monster could do, but it takes a lot of study and effort.

    Monster Attacks and Your Soul 
  • In gameplay, your SOUL is locked in a box. Monsters use a variety of bullet patterns to try and hit it. Some of them don't know you're human, and some think they're actually helping you. But many others fight you to take your SOUL. So why would the monsters try to destroy what they're trying to capture? Is the gameplay not as literal as "this is your SOUL, avoid such and such?" Are they just trying to weaken your SOUL so it'll be easier to capture?
    • The library has books writing about monsters expressing themselves through magic. Given that they are magic, it's likely that some of what they do wouldn't necessarily be an attack against another monster, rather just an over-enthusiastic greeting or something that hurts all the same against a body made of meat. It's impossible to say where the line between "bullet pattern birthday card" and "just plain bullets" is since they don't seem to know how humans work. The gameplay is so abstract that it's hard to say just what happens in any given battle.

    Mettaton's second form 
  • Is Mettaton NEO incapable of attacking you at all? If so, why didn't he stick with the box form? The lack of attacking clearly can't be because he doesn't want to hurt you, because he can kill you on the pacifist/neutral run.
    • If you haven't killed everyone yet, and go to fight him, he makes a big deal about how you "won't harm humanity" once you cast the first stone. He was most likely waiting for you to make the first move to judge what you would do. He also mentions how Alphys should've worked on the defenses more once you strike him down: he wasn't expecting to be taken out in one hit. Theoretically, the most likely course of action he was planning was to tank the hit and then judge based on that whether you were a threat to the world or not.
      • Mettaton's box form still has a huge switch on the back, so it's not ideal. He's also capable of ending your No Mercy run just based on what you do. He's a showman, the only person you fight that actually could tank a hit was Undyne, so coming after that, he instead tries to appear so flashy that you stop your momentum just to see what he can do, which would cause you to lose because he succeeded in getting you to do something other then senselessly slaughter.
      • If by "based on what you do", you mean the rumor that you'll go off the Genocide path if you do anything other than immediately attack him, that's actually false; You can faff about for 20 turns and whiff your attack as much as you want, but you'll only go on the neutral route if you didn't kill everything beforehand. The misconception most likely comes from the line where he mentions "you were holding back".
      • This bothered me too for a while, since the Pacifist run makes a big deal out of Mettaton being immune to soul-based attacks, with a perfectly logical explanation. But in a No Mercy run, you have the Glad Dummy to show that Frisk/Chara's soul has become strong enough to easily kill a ghost possessing an object. It can be inferred that Mettaton had no chance of surviving a hit, and took a more intimidating form on the slim chance Frisk/Chara didn't know that.
      • Only problem with this is the nature of the Mad Dummy's corporealization is different from Mettaton's. The Mad Dummy bonds with the entire dummy body, whereas Mettaton is only fused to a core component inside of him from which he controls the rest of the body. This is why Mettaton needs power to move, whereas the Mad Dummy was perfectly capable of moving an an otherwise inanimate object even after fusing with it. The only reason Mettaton EX (and presumably Neo) was vulnerable is either because his body is unfinished and fragile, and/or his SOUL core is not properly protected. (On his EX Body it's outright exposed.) In this way, Mettaton in his box form should be immune to the player's LOVE for the same reason as a human. Like a human, he is essentially a SOUL protected by a body made up of purely physical matter. This would have actually made him an effective human-killing machine if Alphys had actually put more time into that function. Being made of metal and sturdily built gives him the fringe benefit of also being resistant to actual weaponry. Really, even with the switch on his back, he still stood a better chance in this form than he did as Mettaton Neo. He should have at least considered the fact that the NEO body was unfinished and might be more dangerous to use in either case. It's quite possible though he was ignorant to how LOVE functioned and thought he was just as vulnerable as any other monster, so he went NEO to at least try to intimidate/stall you.
      • Maybe Mettaton accepted the bad defenses/higher attack tradeoff of the NEO body because he wasn't corporeally bonded to it before confronting you, so he didn't expect your physical attacks to actually work. But he bonded with it by accident or something.
      • Perhaps, he's just trying to live out his dreams of being a star. He knew that, even if he took the box form, you'd eventually find some way to destroy him. So, instead of just letting himself be worn down to buy time that isn't needed, he decided to go out with a flash. To not go out as some naive, dull grindfest; but to die as himself. ...feel free to drop that off [[Tear Jerker/Undertale here]].

    Asgore and the Barrier (SPOILERS) 
  • If Asgore didn't really want to hurt the player character, why didn't he just absorb the 7 human souls and ask the player character to attack the barrier with him? Wouldn't that be the power of 8 human souls attacking the barrier at once? Or why didn't he just keep the children in New Home until he had 8?
    • Asgore didn't have seven human souls. He only had six, which were all sealed in jars. The soul of the first child was absorbed by someone else, and probably disappeared when they died. It takes seven souls to break the barrier. Still, the game heavily implies that the souls' power needs to be concentrated in one place (Asgore) in order to break the barrier from inside. It can be argued that the humans who originally made the barrier didn't need to do this, but they still made the barrier by casting a spell. Monsters' magic is very different from human magic; they don't use spells, much less know any.
      • Maybe not quite related, but what happened to the first human's soul is that Asriel absorbed it. I imagine that since it was then bonded to Asriel's soul, when Asriel died and his soul died, Chara's soul died with it. It never was stated what happens to a human soul after it is absorbed after all, it may just be converted into power for the monster's soul.
  • Why didn't Asgore attempt to absorb six human souls, and then gather up the monster populace and borrow their souls long enough to break the barrier, like Asriel eventually did? It is inscribed in one the runes in the Waterfall that every monsters' soul could equal one human soul, so he could have broken the barrier long before Frisk showed up. Did he feel he needed the seventh soul to retain his godlike power in the eventual war against humanity? Was it Asgore's cold feet that had him draw out the plan as long as possible? Were there some monsters who did not trust the king to possess their soul?
    • "A monster cannot absorb the souls of other monsters." Remember, Asriel lost his own SOUL. He was meant to be an empty vessel.

    Mettatton's Origin (SPOILERS) 

  • It's said that Mettaton was either reprogrammed to be a human-hunting robot (by Alphys on a Neutral or Pacifist run) or created as one (by Mettaton himself on a No Mercy run), but if this is true, wouldn't Mettaton have a problem with it? When using Bratty and Catty's Mystery Key to access his old home, you learn that he created, or at least regularly attended, a human fan club - not to mention that his dream was to become humanity's star. Did Mettaton plan to run off with the first human soul he confiscated? Was this before his ghost self possessed the original robot? Was it a sort of repayment for Alphys creating his perfect body? Also, how long have the ghosts been around? Mettaton seems to know humans better than anyone but the Dreemurrs, considering having a fan club while still passing Alphys's "Human History" off as dumb cartoons. (See Mettaton's Diary Entries)
    • Mettaton says himself that the whole "reprogrammed to hunt humans" thing was a lie Alphys made up so that she could play hero. He was just playing along until he decided to kill you so that he could save the rest of humanity.
      • So, the reprogramming was a lie, but he does still tell you that he was built to kill humans during No Mercy... They just decided that the killer robot was fit to be a TV star in his spare time, I guess.
      • It could also be that going along with Alphys failing to create an artificial SOUL, she had the killer robot body already created but couldn't figure out how to get it running and later met Mettaton and let him use it instead.
      • Mettaton shows up in Snowdin manning the anti-human defense puzzle, although he isn't recognized. He also says in the quiz show that he was built to impress Asgore, since the king is interested in weaponry. Those varying backstories were probably just something Alphys cooked up and he went along with, since it's not a bad backstory at all.
    • I saw a theory hypothesizing that both the neutral and no mercy backstories were lies, and the truth is that Mettaton always started as the box and Alphys altered the nearly-finished EX model to NEO in a no mercy run. I think this makes sense — after all, why would his original form be called "NEO"?
    • We can almost definitely conclude that Alphys was lying in the neutral run (the whole thing was just a setup to make Mettaton seem like a villain so she could save you; he was never actually a human-killing robot at all in that path.) The No Mercy backstory is harder to be sure about, but my theory is that he was simply bluffing to buy time for people to evacuate — after all, he dies in one hit and never attacks. He knew you wouldn't know his backstory, so he invents something intimidating-sounding on the spot in hopes that it'll make you delay a few more precious moments before killing him and buy everyone else a bit more time.
      • Yeah, considering the No Mercy path is the only time that even comes up, this theory seems pretty likely.

    The Genocide Evacuation 
  • So wait, if you go on a Genocide, the Underground evacuates, right? So... where, exactly, are they evacuating TO? Hotland 2 or the other parts? The True Lab? The Capital? These are the only places you NEVER visit in the Genocide routenote  but I can see only one making sense...
    • If you abort it into a 'normal' run at the very last opportunity, your phone call from Alphys implies she took everyone to the True Lab after you fought Undyne.

    Flowey and the No Mercy ending (SPOILERS) 
  • Why would Flowey bother to show up in the finale of the No-Mercy run? By this point, he knew what a merciless monster the player character is. As a Flower with the power to hide underground, he could have been as safe as houses by just staying away rather than showing up to plead for his life. For a double headscratcher bonus: How is this ending even possible? Flowey showed up and destroyed Asgore's soul, the only remaining way out of the Underground. There's no way Chara could destroy everything in the world thanks to his actions. If anything, Flowey's last attempt to win Chara's favour probably justified the eagerness with which Chara destroyed him. Unless there's some whole WMG theory about how Flowey chose to save humanity at the end, I just don't get why he showed up at the end.

    • About the world-destroying thing: The only world we actually interact with in-game is the Underground. So my view is that Chara "destroyed the world" the same way Flowey messed with you at the end of a Neutral run: by affecting/attacking the game's programming. Since an actual full surface world isn't programmed into the game for you to explore, the world in this context refers to the Underground. What exactly happened to the Underground after Chara's attack isn't clear; they could've deleted the Underground from the game, or it could still be there, hidden by Chara to trick you.

    • Asriel/Flowey has made it clear that he'll do anything to keep Chara around, and considering he wouldn't be able to follow you out of the Underground (Asgore still only has six human souls, he can't break the barrier either), it's not surprising. Also, with Asriel gone, Chara, not being fully human, might have been able to take the six souls for themself. Combined with Frisk's "stolen soul," they could easily have the power to break the barrier and destroy everyone.

      • Yeah, that's a good explanation for why he showed up to destroy the soul. However, I'm a bit skeptical about Chara's ability to absorb another human SOUL. There's a number of potential cut offs for the theory. The problem is can we really say he's "not fully human"? It's already clarified humans can't absorb human SOULs. What counts more? The host body of Frisk and his soul? Or Chara's presence (whatever they are)? Chara might be monstrous, but human beings are certainly capable of monstrosities. He could be nullified for a number of reasons. Even then, Chara only gained full control over Frisk at the end of the game. I'm not sure he could handle the wills of six other SOULs.

    Papyrus' Bones 
  • Where did Papyrus get the bones he uses to attack you? He has a box at his house where he keeps the ones he uses on you, so they were actual physical bones rather than just a metaphor for "being attacked by a skeleton". Monsters turn to dust when they die, there'd be no bones to gather anyway that way (plus, given his strange theory on why Humans have skeletons inside them, it's likely that even if monsters contain bones at all, he isn't aware of it). He doesn't seem to be using his own; he's never drawn missing any, his attacks seem to use far more bones than he's made of, and frankly if he was attacking by hurling his limbs around, you'd expect some jokes about it. No-one else except Sans is shown making use of bones, in or out of combat, and given how much time has passed it seems unlikely that any bones that may have already been there were still around to be gathered and intact enough to weaponise, but Papyrus uses *hundreds*.
    • Most likely he creates them from thin air with his magic, and then just gathers the created bones in a box afterwards, so they won't be left lying around.
    • Maybe he keep them in the box if he wasn't fighting and summoned them during the battle?
    • Being monsters, there's a chance Papyrus and Sans are only skeletons in appearance; that their attacks and bodies are comprised of other organic material, and that everyone, including themselves calls them skeletal because of their appearance. When you actually land a hit on Sans, he bleeds in an unbroken line, as if there were no space between his "ribs", and that's assuming the blood spilled from real bones can splatter the way they're shown. After all, Tsunderplane is shown blushing once you can spare her, and despite being combustible(?)... planes don't have blood, and you kinda need that stuff to blush, implying that monsters may not necessarily be made of the same substances they're modeled after. Maybe.
    • They probably just washed up at the garbage dump like every other human artifact.

    Flowey and Saving (Spoilers, Kind of) 
  • Flowey/Asriel Dreamurr knows how to manipulate the timeline and can SAVE and LOAD on command, especially during the Neutral Run. Since Flowey is big on "Kill everything", why didn't Flowey restart the timeline anytime you chose mercy? He could basically force you to kill, otherwise you're stuck in an infinite time loop, and since he really just wants to hang out with you to the extreme, it would make sense for him to force this on you. On top of that, during the Genocide Run, when Flowey realizes you're too much of a monster even for him, or when you kill Asgore, or when you're about to kill him, why didn't he force a restart himself then?
    • If you kill Toriel and then reset to fix your mistake, he'll tell you, and he reiterates it on No Mercy, that you stole the power to SAVE, LOAD, and Reset from him when you fell because your determination is greater than his; it's only on the neutral path where he absorbs the six human SOULs and becomes just shy of a god that he's strong enough to brute-force past your determination and get saving/loading back.

    Muffet Battle 
  • Who paid Muffet to attack Frisk? She explicitly states that 'someone' lied to her about Frisk being violent towards spiders and offering her money for Frisk's soul, but as far as I'm aware, the game never elaborates on exactly who it is. The only two candidates that spring to mind have serious problems: Flowey is relying on you to reach Asgore to complete his plans, so it doesn't seem to make much sense for him to set a potentially fatal trap (and besides, you'd think Muffet might comment on having been spoken to by a flower), and Mettaton is at that point still only pretending to kill you as part of Alphys' plan (explicitly sparing you from the coloured tile puzzle which comes afterwards), so leaving you in a situation where you can't be rescued seems strange. So who tricked Muffet?
    • It's heavily implied it was Mettaton trying to be sneaky about it; sure, he's still honoring the puzzles for Alphys' sake, but if you suffered an awful misfortune outside of his scenes, then he gets his wish and also gets to wash his hands of letting Alphys down/betraying her trust in him.
    • Mettaton outright admits that he's the one who hired everyone to kill you. He approached Muffet in his EX form so he wouldn't be recognized (which would risk revealing to Alphys that he was going off-script), which likely means that he did the same for the others. Muffet even says that she caught a glimpse of him starting to change shape after their deal, but didn't see it clearly enough to realize what was actually happening.

    Undyne's Weapon 
  • It's rather odd that someone who relies on throwing spears has an eye-patch, where then she lacks depth-perception. Spears would be incredibly ineffective...
    • Depth perception affects these things a great deal less than people might think.
    • To elaborate: her spears are made of magic, and even real spears travel in a (roughly) straight path after being thrown. A ball, not so much. This is why people with no depth perception (speaking from experience; I had a lazy eye and it never got corrected) can be great at archery but might never be able to throw a beanbag into a bucket...

    Who exactly knows... (spoilers) 
  • ...That the protagonist has the power of time-warping determination? From what I can tell, only Sans and Flowey are supposed to know, but a lot of characters judge you morally as if they know you can do that too, like with Undyne and what's implied to be most of the monster population if you get a "killed too many monsters but left all the important characters alive" neutral ending, who hold you to the same "if you can infinitely rewind time, you have no excuse but to go for perfection" moral standard that Sans and the game hold you to. Do they actually know?
    • They don't. Only Flowey and Sans (apparently subconsciously) are aware of SAVE and LOAD. The others can still take issue with your actions in a single timeline. In your scenario, from their perspective, you may not have killed the important characters, but you still killed a significant number of people seemingly at random. To you, the player, it's just a few mistakes, but to them, it seems to be cold-blooded murder. They have a right to be angry about that even if they didn't know that you have the ability to undo it all at will.
    • Except nearly every single one of the monsters you are likely to kill was trying to kill you first, so calling it cold-blooded murder is absurd without knowing that the monster who did the kills was so impossible to kill that any threats to their wellbeing are irrelevant.
    • Actually, most of the monsters aren't trying to kill you at all. They use those bullet patterns for things in their daily lives like birthday cards and probably other things too. While there is a book about it in Snowdin's Library, it's likely that nearly no monsters know that humans don't respond well with bullet patterns, and those who do know are trying to attack/kill you or at least know because they are/were in ranks with said human hunters.
    • Then why does Toriel have a death glare on her face when she sees you beaten up and bruised when you make it to her house with low HP and says "You will get an apology" very pointedly, as if the monsters knowingly did something wrong?
    • Because Toriel knows that humans can't handle bullet patterns. Remember, she had an adopted human child, so it had to have been found out at some point. That doesn't mean the Froggits, Whimsuns and other early monsters know they damaged Frisk, but Toriel will set them straight.
    • I don't buy this, honestly. The narrative tells us that a portion of the monster population significantly exceeding 50% hates humans with a fiery passion and wants them all to be wiped off the face of the earth to the point that Asgore's only going through with this genocide plan now to stop them from losing hope. There is a huge number of monsters out there who want the protagonist dead, I have extreme difficulty believing that we meet almost none of them. And if a totally normal facet of monster everyday life is what's being lethal to the protagonist, why isn't he in danger in any of the towns?
      • At least a few monsters don't even know what a Human looks like. Those that do include Asgore and Toriel (adopted one prior), Mettaton and Alphys (aficionados of humanity, and the latter has numerous... "research materials"), Undyne (also watches anime), and the Skeleton Brothers (Papyrus being extremely eager to prove himself by capturing one, and sans, meanwhile, is savvy enough about the timelines that recognizing a human is probably a prereq, given higher determination, and the latter's link to Time Travel). All of the above are either in on the plan at least initially, or have a clear personal reason for objecting to it.
    • All they seem to care about is actually getting out from the underground and probably destroying humans afterwards. Only Asgore gets committed to doing this but only because his subjects were so full of hope. If they were truly that desperate to kill the protagonist you'd be seeing everyone in the towns gathering around trying to do so, but they either don't know or don't care much that you're a human. You can actually see with some monsters that they're doing what they feel is friendly, like Woshua trying to wash you, Aaron flexing his muscles, Temmie trying to touch you, ect. These don't seem to be acts of intentional violence towards the protagonist, but rather just being friendly towards them albeit not knowing they're causing damage. It's monsters like the Royal Guards, Undyne, Papyrus, ect. that are truly out for your SOUL. Also in the defense of the towns, they're talking to you, not surprising you out of nowhere.

    Light in the Garden and the Last Corridor 
  • When you reach the Last Corridor, there seems to be light shining through the windows. Everything's a blend of yellow and orange. Moments later, in Asgore's garden, you can see patches of light shining from the ceiling, as well as from another window behind his throne. Where's the light coming from? Is sunlight shining through because of their proximity to the barrier? Is it some magical or artificial lighting?
    • Considering the "Twilight is shining through the barrier" battle intro text, chances are the throne room is placed directly at the cave entrance you emerge from in the True Ending. There could be some cracks in the thinner rock ceiling by the mountain's exit causing the light in the garden, but the windows are likely facing the barrier itself, and therefore the only source of sunlight in New Home.

     Genocide Ending (SPOILERS, obviously) 
  • Other than the practical need for you to be able to play the game again, what is the point of Chara taking your SOUL? What does the modified Pacifist ending mean for the story? Is it just supposed to be a creepy reminder to the player that they murdered everyone at one point?
    • It means that, at any time the fallen can repossess Frisk offscreen and effectively nullify the happy ending by not only killing all of the free monsters (who know Frisk as their savior and someone precious to them), but now they're also above the surface to go after humanity as well (this doesn't happen in the normal Genocide ending because of Flowey destroying Asgore's SOUL, leaving Chara trapped). Effectively, the game is punishing you for thinking a reset would fix everything by showing that your attempts to make things right have just made things much, much worse.
      • That doesn't make a lot of sense to me, for the following reasons: One, freeing everyone just to then turn around and kill them along with humanity feels like the worst possible setup for a plot to destroy humanity and/or gain power from killing monsters. They would start at LV 1 when killing the free monsters, and being on the surface would mean that if monsters have truly integrated with humans, then humans would be trying to stop Chara as well (and they'd have a much easier time doing so since to them, Chara is just a child, and their intent to kill doesn't make them any better at doing so). Two, they would effectively be repeating their actions from the genocide run at that point. Making the deal for the SOUL implies that there is something greater they wish to do, despite the fact that they literally destroyed the world. Chara doesn't seem like the type who would want to destroy the world again just for the heck of it, as they themselves describe replaying the game as "a perverted sentimentality" that they don't understand. Lastly, if the post-genocide pacifist ending is really the worst possible ending, why does Flowey still tell you that the only remaining threat to everyone's happiness is your ability to reset? If this version of the pacifist ending was that different from the normal one, it seems like Flowey would be aware of your stolen SOUL and say something like "If you really care about your friends that much, the best thing you can do for them now is to bring them back, then leave and never return."
      • I'm assuming the LV "carries over" onto Frisk since Chara (someone who has not only completely distanced themselves from guilt of killing, but embraced it) is possessing them.
    • One of the WMGs suggest that Chara's goal is destroying humanity after all. Chara can't do that in genocide ending, with the barrier still standing and Flowey's destroying Asgore's soul. It's possible that Chara didn't really destroy the world, just messing with the player like Flowey did in the normal ending (crashing the game, creating his own 'world', etc). In the Soulless pacifist ending, Chara succeeds in breaking the barrier and finally could destroy both monsters and humanity alike.

    "Behold, my mighty clone army!" 
  • What's up with the random encounter monsters? My first time through (due to a bunch of coincidences relating to the monsters I killed being the unique Snowdrake and the nameless moldbyggs) I assumed they were all unique and that killing most of them would cause them to disappear forever (which warped my perception of the game I'll admit, since the monsters came across as extremely creepy since they seemed to keep deciding to attack you literally just after being convinced you were alright). But then I saw a Genocide run LP and I got incredibly confused. Since their deaths piss people off I'm assuming they actually die, but they're then immediately afterward replaced with identical monsters with the exact same name, fighting style, physical appearance, and personality. ...What's going on here? Does the monster world have some kind of clone army going on where whey clone monsters and raise them in isolation in the exact same way to make tons of identical individuals?
    • The Doylist explanation is that it's too much work to make a unique monster for every possible random encounter, especially since there's over a hundred of them taking the Genocide run. The Watsonian explanation is that they're all from the same "species" of monster, and monsters of the same species have similar attacks. This is seen when Toriel and Asgore both use fireballs, for example.
    • I get the Doylist explanation, but it really messes with willing suspension of disbelief, and it makes all efforts to humanize the monsters backfire, because they all have the same personality and even name. Surely giving them a bunch of different names wouldn't have been so hard.
    • They do probably have different names, like even though you see the Snowdrake, you learn later he's named Snowy, not actually Snowdrake. Presumably it's the same for the rest of them and they don't bother telling you because, well, why should someone about to die (you or them, depending on your run) know a random person's name? It's pretty much the same reason why Frisk spends the entire game known as "The Human", nobody asks until the Pacifist ending, so they never bother to tell.
    • That works for the ones with species names, but what about Aaron and Woshua and the others like that?
    • On that note, why can you only kill Snowy once but kill Chilldrake multiple times? Chilldrake is implied to be a single character rather than a species and has a unique personality, and seems to be a Snowdrake himself so being able to kill him multiple times makes no sense.
    • It's likely that the opposite is true. Chilldrake is the species while Snowdrake is unique. The line "Snowdrake Realizes His Name Is A Pun And Is Freaking Out" line makes it clear that he was named Snowdrake, or Snowy, and he is a Chilldrake, with there being multiple Chilldrakes in existence.

    Undyne and the Nice Neutral Endings (SPOILERS) 
  • Why is Undyne not angry with you in the "nice" neutral endings when all of the monsters think you've killed Asgore (out of necessity)? In every other neutral ending if she's alive, she's either upset about it or angry enough to start an insurrection or have an Anti-Human policy enacted. Why is it then that she is perfectly okay with you killing Asgore if you've killed no one else? To her, all monsters lives are valuable, and attacking one is like personally attacking her. So why is she okay with it?
    • She's still very upset about his death regardless, but she only doesn't blame you for it if you befriend her. She's probably aware of the fact that Asgore forced you to fight him to the death.
    • In the neutral endings where you befriended her and didn't kill anyone except Asgore, she specifically says that "You were just doing what you had to." Given how much she respects his abilities, it's also quite likely that she believes (correctly) that he wasn't fighting at full strength and that he wanted to be killed. (Depending on how it happened, he may even have committed suicide — she doesn't know that that's exactly what happened, but she's smart enough and knows Asgore well enough to put together the pieces and figure out that he decided to die, regardless.)

    Frisk, The Other Souls, and DETERMINATION (SPOILERS) 
  • If all Humans have the power to SAVE and RELOAD, why would the other Humans be dead at all? Couldn't they have constantly RELOAD to their last save and not die and not have their souls stolen? If they don't have this power, then why does Frisk have this power?
    • It's not said that this power is held by all humans; it's just a power governed by determination (which in this universe is both a physical matter and metaphysical concept). The other humans may not have been determined enough (if at all) to SAVE; for all we know, they only had to die the one time. This is backed up with the golf game, which talks about other virtues like PATIENCE and GRACE while referring to the color that same colored SOUL. Red is DETERMINATION, the others were different virtues that would keep them alive up to the point they died, but no farther because the obstacles they encountered were the perfect counter to them.
    • The Asgore and Sans battles both already illustrate how Determination doesn't make you 100% invincible. It's a power that only works for as long as you really want it to (assuming someone else isn't overwriting it). As soon as you give up trying, then you die permanently. Both Asgore and Sans are aware that you're fighting them over and over and dying each time, they're just trying to make that happen enough that you give up. Just imagine if one of the bosses were, to you, completely unwinnable. You can RELOAD forever, but eventually you'll have enough and just stop playing the game,
which is permadeath.
  • No, they did not have the power to rewind time. In Genocide route, Flowey explicitly states that the player character's arrival was the first time Flowey's ability to rewind time had been canceled out, and apparently only one person can have this power at a time. This means the other humans didn't have enough determination because, at least according to the wiki, they embodied other virtues like patience and courage and justice.
  • But Alphys extracted Determination from the six human souls; she says it's something that humans have, and that's how Flowey gained the ability to SAVE in the first place. That's why the second explanation above (that the other humans were able to SAVE, but they just gave up on the game at some point) makes the most sense to me — unless it was actually Chara's determination we're seeing in Flowey.
  • But they couldn't save, because however much Determination they had, it wasn't enough to override Flowey's, or he would've said something about it in the Genocide route. Sure, they had some determination, just like the other humans besides the green one had some kindness and the others besides the orange one had some bravery, but they didn't have the huge amount of it that allows Frisk/Chara to overpower Flowey and seize control of the timestream.
  • You misunderstand. Flowey never faced the other humans because he didn't exist yet. Flowey was created from the DETERMINATION that Alphys extracted from the six souls in her attempts to bypass the need for a seventh. Flowey has only existed for a few years himself. He's just reset so much that it could have been centuries relative to him. We can't know for sure how strong any of the six's DETERMINATION was individually. All we can say is that it was almost certainly lower than Frisk's and likely lower than Flowey's until they were awakened and worked together to defeat him in the neutral ending.
  • They don't. A monster with a human soul becomes extremely powerful... and so does a human with a monster soul. And by falling right where he died, Frisk absorbed whatever was left of Asriel's Soul. (Flowey has just enough of a mixture that he can save, but can't overwrite Frisk's determination.) This, by the way, is also how Frisk can get through the barrier on a neutral run. (After all, Sans can't find you, and if he can't find you, you're not in the Underground.)
    • What? No. Asriel died at the other end of the Underground, and nothing was left of his soul to absorb. Also, there is one line of dialogue from Toriel that makes it clear that all humans could reset.
    Toriel: "When humans fall down here, strangely... I... I often feel like I already know them. Truthfully, when I first saw you, I felt... ... like I was seeing an old friend for the first time."
    • Which returns us to the initial question. If the humans before could reset, why haven't they since they died? The best answer to the question I can come up with is very simple: they gave up. To illustrate: if the player lets Frisk die, and the player does not load the last SAVE or Reset the game, what happens to Frisk's SOUL? In all likelihood, Asgore claims it, breaks the barrier, and declares war on humanity. But if you press on, there is no obstacle you and Frisk cannot overcome. The six children before reached obstacles that, no matter how much they tried, they could not overcome...and so succumbed to despair.

     Music motifs 
  • Ghost Fight, Dummy!, these songs are related to each other because they both have to do with ghosts. But why does Spider Dance have their melodies? Aside from a spiderweb for the bake sale being in Napstablook's house, Muffet and the ghosts don't really seem to be related.
    • All I've been able to think of to explain it is that ghosts and spiders are both common "spooky" symbols for Halloween and things like that.
    • Possibly because Mettaton paid Muffet to attack you, having bits of the Ghost family's leitmotif might be an tip off to show that if it wasn't for Mettaton, she wouldn't be fighting you at all. Though unless you're on a repeat playthrough, it's impossible to catch this the first time around since you don't know Mettaton is actually a ghost (Metal Crusher also has notes of the Ghost theme, but it's so distorted in the song it's hard to hear).
    • I figured that the "Ghost Family" motif was actually just the mini-boss motif, as the bass-line of Ghost Fight/Dummy! is very similar to Dogbass and - when you include Spider Dance - this results in the mini-boss themes for every major area, that has a mini-boss note , using the same motif(s). another note 

     Ever heard of a talking flower? 
  • Is there evidence that Sans is in any way aware of Flowey's existence? Was he just pretending when he brushes off the talking flower Papyrus was talking to as an echo flower? It wouldn't be terribly out of character for him to do so, and while he can't remember any previous timelines directly, you'd think the fact that he'd caused Flowey "more than his fair share of resets" would have retained in his mind somewhere. During the genocide battle with him, Sans refers to an "anomaly" that's been warping time and space; was he referring to the player and any saving/loading they'd done during that playthrough and any previous ones, or did he actually think all the horrible things Flowey had been doing were caused by you? If it's the latter, it would explain why he had plans to kill you if he hadn't made his promise to Toriel, but it would also raise a number of other questions: if he legitimately thought that all the space-time atrocities had been caused by some weak little kid, wouldn't he have stopped and thought to himself "why wasn't I able stop this from happening earlier?" Why would he treat you any differently from run to run if he always assumes you're the anomaly? And just how trusting is this guy if all it takes is one pacifist run to get him to be friends with you? Flowey mentions having done his own pacifist runs in the past, then later going against them, so why did this one make any difference from Sans' perspective?
    • There's no indication anywhere in the story that Sans knows about Flowey, so the simplest explanation is that he simply doesn't. Sans doesn't seem to have the ability to retain memories across timelines; no matter how many resets Flowey caused, Sans won't remember any of them. He's good at picking things up if he gets a hint (since he knows timelines exist), but Flowey was extremely careful to avoid Sans during the playthrough's timeline. There's no reason Sans would necessarily leap to any deductions about him based on very vague statements about a talking flower, especially not when the player is there to serve as a much more obvious source of any disruption.
    • One of the game's subtler subversions of videogame storytelling is the assumption that everyone acts with perfect information. The game goes out of its way to demonstrate that that's not the case here. Alphys' knowledge of the Core is sorely lackingnote , Papyrus doesn't realise Undyne will never be home to have a 'date' with you if you befriend him but kill her, and I'm certain Sans is talking about Flowey (mostly) in his Genocide monologue, but he thinks you're the one to blame since...well, you're the one right there in front of him with LV 19 and the crazed gleam in your eye. It's possible to take a linear path through the game regardless of how many times you die, but Flowey states he exhausted all the possibilities he could think of before you arrived, which presumably showed up on Sans' readings much more strongly.
    • If that's the case, a possible explanation for Sans' leniency with the player is that while he mistook Flowey's manipulation of the timeline to be the actions of the player, he has no way of knowing what those actions actually were. As in, he knows something was constantly playing through and resetting the timeline, but doesn't know in the current timeline anything it had been doing every time it did this. He has no reason to assume the player is necessarily good or evil - in fact, in the genocide battle, he outright states that he believes the anomaly is only doing what its doing because it wanted to be happy. That would actually explain his actions in all possible runs of the game pretty darn well, and says quite a lot about his character to boot.
    • From Flowey's word, he's failed to beat Sans so many times that he now goes out of his way to keep Sans from realizing he exists. I imagine that Sans has some subconscious memories of the battles. Enough to be wary of a talking flower, but either he doesn't remember the flower specifically enough to actively hunt him down knows that he's not enough of a threat that he's impossible to ignore. At least, not until you show up and give him either a (far more dangerous) accomplice or just a distraction.
    • For what it's worth, when Sans says, "Ever heard of a talking flower?", 'talking flower' is in the same yellow text that Flowey uses; Frisk says "yes" or "no" and Sans continues, "right, the echo flower"—with 'echo flower' in blue. It might just be the game reminding you of Flowey, but Sans has previously used different text colours before: when he's telling you about blue attacks and Papyrus's attacks and blue stop signs. Maybe Sans suspects.

     The Player's Gender 
  • What was the point of not giving the player character a gender?
    • The same reason they weren't given a race, age, or any real personality; they're supposed to be a blank slate for the player to project their own traits onto.
    • Except they're not a blank slate. This the whole point of the Pacifist ending when you are told they have a name already. That you named the fallen child. Frisk is their own person.
    • Yes, but they're still the voiceless protagonist the player is supposed to project themselves onto. Even though you secretly name the fallen human and not them, you still aren't told the named character exists until the near the end of the game, and don't even meet them until the end of a genocide run. Just because a video game character has a canon name doesn't mean they're not meant to be a blank slate.
    • Why wouldn't the player character be of undetermined gender? There's lots of other things we don't know about them — their birthday, their blood type, their favourite flavour of snail. Why would gender be any different?
    • Toby Fox in general refuses to answer any questions on the Player Character's gender, and since it tends to cause flame wars online, it's just best to use whatever you imagine that character's gender to be. It's really not that important to the game anyway.

     How has the Underground not gone unnoticed by Humans? 
  • How has Humanity not discovered the Underground? It seems like Humanity isn’t aware of the existence of the Underground or the Monsters and the War between Humans and Monsters is just an old folklore from 1000 Years ago. While the Monsters seem to have their own TV/Internet completely separate from Human TV/Internet, it seems unlikely that in the 1000 years since the war that the Underground wouldn't have accidentally been discovered by some miners, geologists, archeologists, or even policemen responding to the disappearance of one of the 6 humans on Mount Ebott. Especially since all Frisk seems to do to enter the Underground is trip and fall down a hole.
    • Whatever internet or television they have is extremely limited to the underground and may even be held back by the barrier. Throw in a once true but now turned legend fairy tale, say the mountain is cursed (or it could even be that it's a bad omen/dangerous to even attempt to climb), hence why authorities wouldn't dare go near it. There are real places in the world that have never been touched by humans for the fact that it's uncharted waters and dangerous at every turn, and it could be understandable why humanity doesn't know about it. For all they probably know, they likely know tales that say "Stay away from this mountain", but aren't sure the reason why.
      • But Mount Ebott can't be in some remote/dangerous location because of the garbage in Waterfall. The garbage is clearly Human in origin, as Alphys's various DVDs and VHS are human-made anime and inspecting the garbage gives you "there's quite a few brands you recognize". There's clearly some human town dumping their garbage on/near Mount Ebott and it's falling into the underground, which makes it unlikely that humans wouldn't have noticed something.
      • For all we know, that could be a far ways away. It is being carried to the underground by waterfall, so it's being carried by a river most likely, and we have no clue as to how far it's been carried.
    • My theory is that the Mountain itself might be a National Park or something, and thus such research (Dig into the mountain to see if there are monsters in there) would be illegal. It would also probably be viewed as insane too, like Milo Thatch in Atlantis: The Lost Empire, because people would only want to look into the Mountain when the legend is simply viewed as a 'myth'.
    • Maybe the culture that sealed the monsters under the mountain is no longer around to warn people off.
    • I'd assume it's the works of barrier magic. Maybe like something from Harry Potter that repelled muggles, but it worked for all humans in this case. Except children. The same magic also caused the mountain image (taken from the satellite) would look like a normal mountain.

     Toriel and Sans (SPOILERS) 
  • It is mentioned throughout the game that Toriel and Sans were talking to each other through the door leading back to the Ruins and in the pacifist ending, the two of them meet face to face for the first time. What I don't understand is why did Toriel choose to talk to Sans through the door and not step out to see him? Or at the very least, couldn't she invite him to the Ruins to have a friendly face to face conversation?
    • She may have been too timid, or afraid her new 'friend' might report back to Asgore.
    • Pretty much, she's in self-exile so she doesn't want anyone to know who she is because she doesn't want people seeking out the former queen for any reason, telling jokes through a door is a lot different from trusting someone with her face, especially since Boss Monsters are very distinct and she could be easily connected to Asgore. Note that she doesn't have any hesitation in letting Sans join her in self-exile in a neutral ending where she lives but the Underground goes into Anarchy.

     Toriel's soul 
  • A human who absorbs the soul of a boss monster gains godlike power. Yet if you kill Toriel, her soul always shatters; you never get a chance to absorb it (not even if you're on a No Mercy run, where you'd expect your character to grab as much power as possible as a matter of course.) With Asgore, Flowey always prevents you from grabbing his soul, but there's no explanation why you were unable to get Toriel's.
    • Because at that point in time, your character doesn't know that, you don't learn it's a thing that's possible until you start reading the glyphs in Waterfall.
    • But you have determination, so you can reset and keep your knowledge (we know that this is an in-setting thing you're capable of doing because it's necessary in order to get the key to Sans' room, as well as affecting eg. some dialog with Toriel if you killed her previously.) So after reading the glyphs in the waterfall, nothing stops you from resetting back to before Toriel was killed, killing her, and taking her soul with that knowledge.
    • The glyphs in the ruins never specify how the process of absorbing a soul actually works, nor does anything else in the game. For all we know, it's a lot more complicated than just "touch the floating heart thingy." Plus, we do know from the Photoshop Flowey battle that souls are still autonomous when outside the body, and if they really don't want to be absorbed by somebody, they can rebel. Call me a pessimist, but I highly doubt Toriel would have any interest in being absorbed by the protagonist at that point.
    • That's also a really strong point. On Pacifist, Toriel is alive, on Neutral, Frisk is probably still too kind at heart by that point to force another creature to serve them by absorbing their SOUL. And even on the Genocide run, Chara definitely wouldn't try to take her SOUL because they know from personal experience how two SOULs sharing a body can lead to conflicting interests, since that's what got Asriel and them killed.

     Neutral Endings and the Barrier (SPOILERS) 
  • In the Neutral Endings, how can the Player Character/Frisk get out? He only learns after beating Mettaton that you need both a Human Soul and a Monster soul to pass the Barrier. Up to this point, regardless of whether you've been killing monsters or not, you do not have a Monster's soul. Regardless of whether you kill Asgore or not, his soul is destroyed by Flowey. Regardless of whether you kill Flowey or not, the Human souls go away and Flowey himself has no soul. It appears that the PC/Frisk has no way to actually pass the barrier, so how did they do it? You can use the popular theory that the PC/Frisk is actually dead, but then his body would've been discovered and Sans and the other characters would not bother calling.
    • This has been answered above, but the most likely is that Flowey kicked Frisk on the other side of the barrier after the fight with his empowered form, since there was way more power than a human SOUL and monster SOUL, it would have been completely in his power to have you end up on the other side of the barrier.
      • That doesn't sound like Flowey. Flowey doesn't want the Human to leave, thinking they're his best buddy in the whole world. Flowey also talks to the Human (or the Player Character) afterwards as long as he doesn't die, and since Flowey would count as a 'monster', he couldn't get past the barrier himself to do so. Combine with the fact that Flowey couldn't even get a chance to do that (How else could you kill or mercy him after the battle?), that answer doesn't work.
      • He doesn't necessarily need to do it on purpose. The whole fight was turned on it's head about halfway and by the end of it the SOULs rebelled, destroying Omega Flowey in the process. It's then very likely that either Omega Flowey accidentally brought Frisk beyond the barrier during the confusion of the fight, or that the SOULs let Frisk pass the barrier.
  • There is no real confirmation that Frisk ever escaped in the Neutral endings. Sans leaves you a voicemail message, and the text boxes appear on a black screen. Who's to say that Frisk didn't end up trapped underground, or even inside their own SAVE file, and died from starvation or a careless monster? The fact that you, the player, are hearing the message, and you, the player, are talking to Flowey (in the case of the Pacifist-Neutral ending) doesn't mean Frisk is still there.
  • Sans says outright he can't find you. While it might be a lie to placate Papyrus (and others), it doesn't seem in Sans's character. Frisk got out the exact same way they saved. By having a monster soul in him the entire time.... Asriel's soul tainted with Chara.
    • If you spare Papyrus but kill at least Undyne, Papyrus says on the phone that Sans told him she was on a really long vacation. So yes, lying about someone's death to keep Papyrus happy would be in-character for Sans.

     Even worth taking a soul? 
  • In Neutral, the six souls refuse to do Flowey's bidding and help you instead. Did he fail because he has no soul of his own to counter with? If not, if a soul can rebel against a monster it dislikes, what's the point of absorbing one?
    • It's possible that the monsters just didn't KNOW that was what would happen upon absorbing a soul. The game states that it's never been done (excluding Asriel which they apparently don't know about), just that it's hypothetically possible. Asgore might not have been able to use the souls either.
    • Maybe once upon a time, it could have been used for teamwork?
    • Or maybe, if someone has absorbed seven souls and become a god, the one who absorbed the souls gains absolute power and control over them, but not if they only have six or less.

    Asgore not prepared in Genocide 
  • A big deal is made of the fact that Alphys saw the battle with Undyne, who mentioned Asgore will be contacted to absorb the six human souls so he can crush you. Mettaton can fly and seems to know fighting you will not end well for him. Sans is right down the hall from the king, and Flowey didn't stop him even though he knows how dangerous Sans is. But when you get to Asgore, he has no idea what's going on.
    • Undyne says that Alphys should have called Asgore and told him to absorb the souls, Flowey warns him about you, he knows what's going on. He likely still doesn't want to hurt anyone.
    • ...I really don't buy that. He's totally prepared to kill a relatively innocent or even totally pacifistic child, there's no way he's going to specifically go out of his way to avoid killing a demonstrably evil one.
    • Asgore would be looking for a murderous human, what he thinks he sees is a monster, that's why he's unprepared for you.
    • There's no plausible reasons for why he wouldn't know what the player looks like after all of this went down. There are cameras everywhere, and the king, in this major time of crisis, has no business having no idea what's going on, he'd have to have watched the feed.
      • Those were Alphys's cameras, not Asgore's. Alphys was the only one with access to the footage and she was probably too preoccupied with the evacuation to think to send it to him.
  • I think him not knowing what he should have is kind of his thing right now. Denial.
  • Here's another complication. In a pacifist fight with Asgore, you can talk to him to weaken his resolve. But in a neutral battle, it won't work. While it could be because both of you, in this scenario, have engaged in Dirty Business to get that far, it does imply that he has an easier time willing himself to harm a killer. Either Alphys went back on yet another commitment, or he was so caught off guard by what was confronting him that he froze up.
  • In Genocide, Asgore mistakes the human for a monster, which, acoording to the game's lore, makes absolutely no sense. One of the pictures shown at the beginning of the game shows Asgore leading the monsters during their war with humanity, so he should know what a human covered in monster dust would look like.
    • During the war? What wa... oh, that monster massacre, which is strongly implied to only have lasted for a day or so? Not likely that Asgore remembered such details, being preoccupied with getting everyone to safety and running for his life himself and all. And even if — it was many centuries ago and much happened since then. He wouldn't remember everything. And it's implied that LOVE changes the human's apperance just as much as physical wear and tear. Obviously during the war humans also gained LOVE — but a) there were thousands of them, not just one, and while they also killed much more monsters than the player, it was still much more monsters divided between much, much more humans and b) it's also implied very strongly that humans during the war were driven mostly by fear and prejudice rather than actual bloodthirst (heck, they wouldn't end up creating the Barrier if they started the war just for fun). While LOVE accumulates in the same way no matter the reason behind the kill (with possible exception of a Mercy Kill — I might be wrong at this point, but IIRC, killing Asgore doesn't give us any EXP), it seems to affect the person differently depending on said reasons (compare Neutral No Mercy player on 11 LV, who has no trouble killing, but never looks for a fight and can still have many genuine Pet the Dog moments, and True Genocide player on 11 LV — around the time we fight Undyne the Undying — who Would Hurt a Child without a second thought because it "looks like free EXP".

    Empty Gun accuracy? 
  • Why does the Empty Gun require so much precision if you're just bashing enemies with the gun part?
    • Possibly because the humans aren't wielding actual weapons against the monsters, they're wielding their intent to hurt backed with human power. Aiming a gun at a living thing calculating the place it would cripple them the most would be more purposeful in that way than just hitting them with it.
      • The projectiles look a bit like the SAVE point stars, so perhaps when Frisk is using the gun, they're actually learning to focus their DETERMINATION through it. The gun is fairly late-game content, so it can symbolise the growth of the protagonist being able to fight fire with fire.

    Blood vs. Ketchup 
  • How exactly is there any ambiguity regarding the red liquid that pours out of Sans as he's dying? Looking at it with all the information we've been given makes it pretty obvious in my mind that it can't be anything except blood. We clearly see a few drops of it come out of his mouth, independent from the slash against his torso, and the only way that could have happened if it were ketchup would be if he vomited due to his injury. Monster food is explicitly stated to turn into energy the instant it's ingested, so the idea of him even being capable of vomiting in the first place, much less ever have anything come up if he did so, is illogical.
    • Normally when humans eat food it takes awhile for the food to be broken down, especially when it's been a big meal. While it's not exactly known how a Monster's digestive properties work aside from converting it to energy, it can be inferred that perhaps because Sans drinks so much ketchup that his Monster body is literally backlogged with undigested/unconverted ketchup. If Sans' body was then slashed the food contents would probably spill out which in this case is the ketchup. As for the few drops of blood on his mouth, maybe the damage cracked a few more bones in his body than it appears.
    • If that's the case, shouldn't he constantly be on the verge of regenerating HP as the ketchup in his stomach converts into energy? He doesn't drop dead immediately upon taking lethal damage; is your HP hitting zero simply an automatic, irreversible death sentence, even if you immediately get some food inside you? This seems to contradict other situations we see in the game - when you bring Asgore's HP down to zero, for example, he's wounded and incapacitated, but he's still able to hold out until either you or Flowey deal the killing blow.
    • Asgore only holds out for maybe a few seconds and wouldn't have survived anyway even if Flowey hadn't sped up the process a bit. In neutral and pacifist runs of his fight you only bring him down to near-0 HP, and it's either Frisk, Flowey or himself who takes him out. Also, the minute the Frisk's HP drops to 0, that's it; game over. The same could be said of nearly all monsters in the Underground who turn to dust almost immediately after their HP drops to 0, and it appears there's no recovering from it. The exception to that "almost immediately" seems to be most bosses you fight and the boss monsters themselves.
  • If we look at it from a gameplay perspective, Sans bleeding after you kill him makes a whole lot more sense. Killing Sans is the final breaking point. Once you exit the Judgement Hall, you lose control over what happens next. The character still moves on your command, but there are no more choices to make. Sans is the final obstacle, and once it's gone, the run is over. Seeing Sans bleed is what makes that known to you. A splash of color on the black and white battle screen, a sudden instant in which the pattern you are accustomed to is broken, meant to shock you into realization. The blood on Sans' mouth and chest serve as the final reminder of what exactly you've done.
    • Oh, I always understood the symbolic meaning of the blood/ketchup; nobody's arguing about that. The question here is if it's Symbolic Blood or actual, literal blood, since it possibly being the latter is sometimes important when speculating about him.
      • It really depends on your personal headcanons about Sans. I personally believe that the Toby intended Sans' blood to be purely symbolic, but there have been several theories that try to explain it, which might be better discussed on the WMG page.
  • In battle screens, the only thing we see that is coloured instead of white is magic/things channelling magic, as well as the human's red SOUL. Why would ketchup be coloured red? The food Muffet pelts you with isn't coloured.
    • .....maybe the food pellets are white because Muffet is pelting you with meringues?
    • Actually, there is one other thing that's always colored during battle screens: blushing, as seen during the Mettaton quiz and both the dating scenes. And what causes blushing? Blood.

    Asriel's soul and essence (SPOILERS) 
  • When Asriel died, his soul presumably shattered, leaving his "essence" on the flowers in the garden. The game explains that the soul is the very essence and culmination of one's being, so for Asriel's essence and mind to be brought back in Flowey, wouldn't that mean that some part of his soul came back as well? "Essence" is nebulously defined in-game, but this makes it seem like it's a crucial part of the soul.
    • It's unlikely that Flowey has his SOUL anymore or even a part of it, as he is able to absorb both Monster and Human SOULs alike. A handy bit of backstory during the True Lab segment reveals that Alphys needs a vessel to absorb the monster SOULs she's preparing to use, as Monsters cannot absorb Monster SOULs just like a Human can't do the same to a Human SOUL. The most likely explanation is that Asriel's "essence" in Flowey is nothing more than an imprint, or perhaps leftover in his dust SOUL after his SOUL shatters.
    • Seems confusing. So the "essence" is leftovers of the SOUL? Then isn't that technically part SOUL? Or what is an "imprint"?
  • And even though Flowey states that he can't feel anything, the endings appear to change that. In a Neutral ending, sparing Flowey causes him to cry and run away. At the end of Genocide, when he realizes his predicament, he begins shaking in fear, saying "What's this feeling?", which shows that he hadn't felt fear for a long time, possibly not since he first woke up. Then when he meets Asgore, he's said to have been crying, and he cries again at the very end, when he switches to his real face and voice. In the True Pacifist ending, when Flowey returns in the end, he still seems to have some lingering compassion, as he asks for the player to either let everyone be happy, or erase his memories.
    • Flowey does feel emotion; however, he lacks empathy as a result of not having a SOUL and soon loses whatever compassion he had when he starts experimenting on the residents of the Underground in violent ways, which makes him into the creature he is by the start of the game. Like Flowey had said, he got scared about what happens when dying without a SOUL, and that appears to be the last time Flowey experiences fear before Genocide. It's unclear to me whether or not Flowey actually reverted to Asriel or not by the end of Genocide, but I wouldn't put it past him since he's truly scared of what his adopted brother/best friend is about to do. Flowey at the end of True Pacifist regains a sense of compassion after the fight because of the combined SOULs allowing him to do so temporarily, implying that one needs a SOUL to have these. Most likely it will fade away from Flowey again or could just be the memory of compassion.
    • Flowey can't feel empathy or closeness to others, but he can still choose to live by Asriel's moral values. He does that for a long period of time before going mad from the trauma of his violent death and loneliness of living as a soulless flower. The events of the True Pacifist ending heal him enough to change his mind about his 'kill or be killed' philosophy. Flowey decides that the others' well-being matters to him, even though he can't relate to their emotions or feel the warmth of kinship anymore.
    • Flowey appears to actually care about Frisk and the others after the True Pacifist ending. If not, then why would he decide to live by Asriel's moral values? And if the others' well-being matters to him... does that mean he cares for them? Is that the same as empathy?

  • The nature of souls is also a bit confusing, especially in this situation. A book in the Librarby says that monster souls are thought to consist of love, mercy, and compassion, although may not be true because human souls can exist even without those things. Additionally, some monsters have shown a lack of some of these things, such as the Mad Dummy, who attacks without mercy and angrily berates/fires his minions. Asgore similarly refuses to let himself or Frisk show mercy to the other in battle. Wouldn't that mean that Flowey could still have somewhat of a soul, even without demonstrating kindness?
    • The nature of SOULs is indeed a little confusing, but this troper believes the reason for the difference between Human and Monster SOULs in what they consist of is the fact that Monsters are solely composed of magic/their SOUL, while Humans are grounded in more physical bodies, hence why humans can go without those. The Mad Dummy is merciless at you but because of a misguided (or possibly actual) thought that you did some pretty terrible things to his cousin, showing that he has compassion and love for his cousin. Asgore shows no mercy because he doesn't want to kill Frisk, but must because it puts everyone in the Underground with high spirits. Again, he shows compassion and love. Flowey on the other hand has no compassion or love for anyone except perhaps Chara, and does not display any sort of mercy unto others, only asking for it when frightened for his life. It's only until he becomes Asriel that he regains these things if only for a short period of time.

     Why Not Just Capture The Last Human? 
  • This applies more to Undyne than to Papyrus since Papyrus is a Minion with an F in Evil, but instead of challenging you to a fight, why don't the boss monsters just grab the human child, incapacitate them so they can't fight, stuff them in a Bag of Kidnapping, and sling them over the shoulder to take to Asgore? That way the risk of any monsters dying due to the child's violence becomes minimized, if humans are as dangerous as a few monsters claim, and Asgore can break the barrier more quickly. Undyne has the physical strength for it, and Papyrus can lock you up in his garage if he lowers your HP, but Undyne makes it a point to fight you and give you a spear if you try to run. Surely the need for a Combat Pragmatist would win over Honor Before Reason, especially since other children have killed monsters in the Underground.
    • Undyne isn't a Combat Pragmatist. She's a hardcore anime fan who's more focused on looking cool than actually getting the job done. As for the Bag of Kidnapping plan? Who's to say that she wasn't planning to do that after (presumably) knocking you unconscious?
      • Undyne isn't trying to knock the player unconscious; she makes it abundantly clear that she's actively trying to kill them. While she has a sense of honor and flair and she's influenced by anime, her Hot-Blooded personality isn't just an act.
  • In Toriel's case, why not take the child to their room and lock the door while they are sleeping so she can destroy the exit without interruption, or destroy it as the child confronts her instead of giving them a chance to prove themselves? She doesn't want you to be unhappy, but she doesn't want the other monsters to kill you either.
    • For starters, the door to the child's room may not even have a lock. More importantly, Toriel's plan seemed to be that she wanted to make you so happy that you didn't want to leave. And you're given many hints during your brief tenure with her that she really doesn't want to hurt you. Tough as she may seem, she's as big a softy as Asgore.

     "You're hurting me, please stop!" 
  • I've heard people say that an undisclosed number of the random encounters aren't actually trying to hurt you, they just don't realize their bullet patterns are lethal to humans. If that's true, why is the option of essentially saying "you're hurting me, please stop" only a dialogue option with the Vulkins? Furthermore, we know for a fact from Toriel's reaction if you arrive at her house with low HP that bullet patterns cause visible physical damage to the child, so why do none of them have any reaction whatsoever to their bullet patterns causing nasty cuts and bruises? And this is assuming that Frisk's possession by Chara makes Frisk as emotionally dead as their sprite appears to be and that they aren't constantly crying out in pain from getting injured like any normal child would.
    • I feel like the monsters must surely KNOW that their abilities hurt humans. You can read in the "librarby" that they are aware of humans' lack of innate magic, that humans are mostly water, and that magic is empathic in nature, so it just doesn't make a lot of sense to me that they wouldn't know. There could be other explanations, but none of them REALLY answer the question of "why can't we just ask them to stop?" Still I'll voice them here in case they give other people ideas:
      • Maybe some Monsters just aren't intelligent enough to understand the harm they cause? There are only a few examples of this I can think of (Volcan, Greater and Lesser Dog, and Temmie) where this is plausible.
      • It makes more sense to me that the Monsters are genuinely afraid of you (you're a human after all) and attack in a misguided idea of self defence — so they might not believe you when you ask them to stop —
they could think you're faking it, or lying to them. After all, their history shows that humans are violent and dishonest.
  • Aaaand the most horrid idea I can think of is that Frisk just doesn't tell them because they don't want to be spared. They never give an explanation of why they went up Mt. Ebott in the first place, but there is an implication that they went there to die. But somehow they survived, and out of mild curiosity, or perhaps some glimmer of hope, decided to continue. Frisk is obviously unusual in many ways: they don't react as any normal child would react in the situation they're in. Maybe all along Frisk thinks they're in some kind of purgatory, or simply just... don't wish to fight back because they vaguely hope that the next monster will successfully finish them off. Still, they're kind hearted and while they don't value their own life (at least not at first),
as they go on, they still bond to others around them and thus, continue to interact and befriend them. Truthfully, if any of this has any merit, then I see a lot of echoes of the struggles of depression in Frisk. They're in this dark place I can relate to where they're not actively seeking out death any more — but they're also not doing anything to avoid it. That kind of refusing to tell others your pain because you don't think you're worth saving is, sadly, something many can relate to, as is the glimmer of not-quite-hope that we give ourselves when we manage to hang onto our curiosity and desire to learn about those around us. (tl;dr Frisk was suicidal and didn't WANT the monsters not to hurt them, and the monsters are too Cloud Cuckoolander in comparison to humans to understand.)
  • That last one sounds suspect. Frisk is basically immortal, there's no way they're a Death Seeker, or at least that attitude wouldn't last past the first revival. If they wanted to kill themselves, they probably wouldn't want to put their blood on another's hands if they had any ounce of decency. I also don't buy that the others are afraid of you, because few if any of them act anything remotely like that. Whimsun and Froggit maybe, but Aaron? Snowdrake? Their ridiculously casual behavior while attacking you doesn't make much sense if they're afraid of you (though to be fair, that behavior also doesn't make much sense with much of any interpretation other than that they're completely batshit insane).
    • Maybe not a Death Seeker, per se. I don't really think it's that clear cut. But suicide is definitely implied to be one of the possible reasons Frisk went to Mount Ebott in the first place, so I still think it's plausible that they actively chose not to fight back- perhaps not because they were seeking death exactly but because of any number of reasons ranging from it being a form of self harm, to a lack of pain awareness, to just... Them being a person who is somehow alive, when they expected not to be, going along with events and seeing what happens because honestly, what else are they going to do? They probably expected to be dead, it's not like they knew they were going to turn out to be quasi-immortal, and it's not like they had a plan here (which could also explain the "they have decency" point- obviously being suicidal doesn't mean you want to harm or cause others to harm you, but Frisk can RESET and they know it - so it's not like the monster responsible would be killing them really. They'll just make it so it never happened.) It takes an extreme amount of... Well, determination to not at least raise a hand to defend yourself. But that kind of behaviour (speaking from actual experience here I'm afraid) is not uncommon in those with extreme problems in self-esteem.
    • And while we don't know their age, it can be assumed that it's not normal for their age group to Flirt with basically anyone (slimes, goats, skeletons, fish ladies, etc), much less having the option to choose to call Toriel "Mom", THEN Flirt with her. They may not have had a particularly warm home life, and ended up with a somewhat... confused view of familial love. Papyrus' Pre-Boss battle speech sounds like it's just a bait and switch gag of him not wanting to admit he's lonely, but he has shown to be more observant than he appears at first glance: for example, being competent enough to be able to stop the fight immediately upon you reaching 1hp, when even Toriel can kill you; or when he uses reverse psychology to challenge Undyne to befriend Frisk. It's not impossible that Frisk really did have "A DESIRE TO HAVE A COOL, SMART PERSON THINK YOU ARE COOL." Low self esteem might also explain why they would call Toriel their mother, yet also be willing to run away from the ruins so soon. They may simply believe they aren't good enough for her. ...If true, it makes Papyrus' geno-speech simultaneously even more heartbreaking and more heartwarming

     Who is talking to you during the 'Game Over' screen? 
  • Sorry if this is really obvious, but it's been bothering me. But when you die, a voice says, "[Insert Name Here], don't give up hope!" "Stay determined!" or variations thereof, then you can start what you're doing again before you died. Who exactly is speaking? At first I thought it was Flowey (since he needs you for his plans), then I thought it was Sans using his "serious font", then I started wondering if it was Asriel. (Since it's implied he's the one who talks to you when you fall into the Garbage Dump.) Hell, it could be Toby for all we know, but I thought it was an interesting touch of the game that when you hit a Game Over, the game encourages you to keep going. It seems like Flowey might be the most likely candidate, since he's the only one who can talk to you during any possible time you die, as the first character you meet. The font and sounds make Toriel an unlikely choice.
    • I believe I heard somewhere that it's the fallen child having a flashback to Asgore talking to the poisoned fallen child and begging him to hang on.
      • You are correct. Voice bips in the game over screen is the same as Asgore's and in the True Lab, you can find video tapes and one of them has Asgore using the same words from the game over screen to the fallen child who grew ill.

    Every monster SOUL (Pacifist spoilers) 
  • So Asriel is able to destroy the barrier because he has six human SOULs and every monster SOUL, which is literally equivalent to a human SOUL. But Mettaton and Napstablook canonically hid inside and weren't absorbed by Asriel. Does that mean ghosts don't count as monsters? Does it mean they don't have SOULs?
    • Mettaton was absorbed, he knows Frisk's name when you go talk to him. Napstablook doesn't because his soul wasn't inside Asriel when Frisk told him their name.
    • It's likely just you need only need NEARLY every SOUL to equal a human SOUL and can get away with missing one or two. But the buffer might be so thin that Flowey only even attempts to absorb them all if he knows it's a True Pacifist run so he has the absolute best chance to succeed since he also can't hope to try again if it fails.
      • You are indeed correct; in the waterfall segment of the game, the panels giving you backstory on the great war between humans and monsters notes that it would take nearly every monster SOUL to match a single human SOUL. It's a common misconception that people think you need every single monster SOUL, and this troper assumes it's because the fine print of the sentence is glossed over.

    EXP and LOVE (spoilers for the Genocide route) 
  • Why does Sans give you so much EXP? Gameplay-wise, it serves as a reward for the absolute hell you just went through, but honestly, a monster with 1 HP should give you maybe one or two EXP points, not 5000. Is there a rational reason for this?
    • EXP and LOVE is a measure of the intent to you aim to kill someone with; given the hell he put you through, it's safe to assume the final blow is delivered with such a massive amount of killing intent that it causes you EXP to skyrocket.

    Flowey's reaction after stopping a genocide run 
  • Near the end of a genocide run in New Home Flowey becomes scared of you after fearing you'll kill him too, so why is it that if you reset after that point he's upset with you? Shouldn't he be relieved?
    • The Genocide run end does not seem to work the same as the others. Chara says "let us erase this world and move on to the next" — this implies they're not just resetting the world via loading a save file, they're obliterating the world from existence. (This is the only reason Sans interferes in Genocide but never any other runs - because he realises your victory means the end of EVERYTHING.) If you wait long enough after Genocide, Chara will offer to "bring the world back" in exchange for your soul, but I think it's safe to say this is not just a reset because Chara just destroyed that world altogether. What Chara does is called a True Reset — which, as Flowey mentions, erases everyone's memories, including his. It's probably an entirely new version of the world, not just a reset to an earlier point of the same world. So basically, Flowey isn't relieved because the Flowey that was scared no longer exists; the one you meet on the next run — soulless pacifist — is an entirely new Flowey.
    • A True Reset doesn't recreate the world, it just erases everybody's memory of it more thoroughly than a regular reset, even somebody with a lot of Determination like Flowey. Flowey's non-reaction to you resetting after a Genocide run is for the same reason as his non-reaction to you resetting a True Pacifist ending. With that out of the way, that doesn't seem to be what the original poster meant; what I think they were asking is why, if you were to reset any time after Flowey realizes you're a threat to him but before reaching the end of the game, a move that he should be able to remember, Flowey's reaction is the same "why did you stop?!" he would give if you'd done it at any prior point. In all honesty, it's probably just Gameplay and Story Segregation. Toby may have put a lot of effort into making sure every single possible outcome was covered, but he's not perfect.
      • For what it's worth, this seems to have been patched up recently. I reset after killing Sans, and Flowey was nowhere to be seen in the Ruins.

    Is Frisk Aware of Resets? (Spoilers, of course) 
  • This may be impossible to answer, but it is... unsettling... to think that a child is experiencing death over and over again against their will, even if it is to rescue an entire race from their prison.
    • I don't have any proof of this, by I took Frisk's sprite's utterly deadpan expression (compared to the incredibly lively expression in the opening sequence and in promotional art) to mean that Chara's possession of Frisk rendered them emotionally deadened and disconnected and kinda generally out of it. Though this doesn't explain the trolling pranks you can pull on people or Frisk's cute interactions with Toriel, which would be creepy if they were emotionally deadened.
      • There's a lot of evidence that Frisk is indeed aware of resets — at the very least, they're aware of save files. They must surely see the save file being destroyed by Flowey when you reload the game after You/Flowey kill Asgore. During the Battle with Asgore, you can also tell him how many times he's killed you so far. If you reload from a previous save after accidentally killing Toriel so you can undo it, you see the comment: "you think about telling Toriel you saw her die... but... that would be creepy." And most damning for me is that near the end of the game,
you have an exchange with Sans:
Sans: besides haven't I done a great job of protecting you? Look at you, you haven't died once.
Sans: What's with that face? Am I wrong?
  • That's also what makes the True Reset so absolute, it wipes everything, not just Flowey's memories, but Frisk's as well. After all, if Frisk is still themselves from the end of the Pacifist ending, there's no way they'd willingly go along with you starting a Genocide run. Doing it requires that Frisk be a blank slate and, in retrospect, makes doing a True Reset an even worse Kick the Dog moment than originally percieved.

    "Suddenly I won't let you hurt the humans!" (spoilers) 
  • So... what's with Undyne's behavior in Genocide run? On every other run she is totally willing to kill human children to give Asgore the power to wipe out all of humanity. Even if that's not her primary objective and she just wants to return to the surface, she clearly doesn't care anywhere near enough about the wellbeing of humanity to actually fight to protect them. So why does that suddenly change once she's confronted with the most psychotically, irredeemably evil human being she could have possibly met? Why does that, of all things, make her suddenly decide that she wants to fight to protect humans as well as monsters?
    • I think it's implied that Undyne knows humans can't be all that bad? At the very least, she doesn't think every human deserves to die because of one homicidal maniac. She says on pacifist that she "used to think humans were cool" so it's not that she was biased against humans, so much as she felt killing them was the way to earn Monsters freedom; along with a fair amount of (kind of justifiable) anger that they caused such harm to people she cares for. A lot of Undyne's behaviour is bravado. She tries to be 'the hero' and the way she convinced herself that was what she was in the Pacifist Run was by making the invading human into an enemy worthy of her anime-inspired speeches -hence her ever increasing frustration if you refuse to fight back or run: you're not letting her keep up that self-delusion. Once she sees that, she realises she's standing between you and destruction of everything and, fittingly, that's the moment she becomes a real hero.
    • It's pretty apparent in all routes that Undyne has a love/hate relationship with humans; while she is angry at them for what they did in the past, she exaggerates this anger to the point of Fantastic Racism before you become friends for the sake of looking cool and heroic. In a moment of seriousness like in the Genocide route, she's able to set both her pride and her anger aside and adopt the mentality of "whatever evil things humans did in the past, they don't deserve to be mindlessly destroyed by the likes of you". It's also worth noting that Undyne has caught on to the fact that you've become something neither human nor monster by that point, which probably helped her reach that mindset.
      • Undyne is a Hot-Blooded, anime-obsessed, over-enthusiastic heroine, with extreme self-confidence (even to the point where she is able to produce her own determination, a substance normally only found in humans.) She has a strong sense of right and wrong, and when confronted with a creature that plans to destroy, not only the monsters that she defends, but the humans that she 'studies', of course she would do something. Undyne would never stand by and let you destroy everything she loves. Now that you are a real threat, rather than just the last piece of the puzzle she's been building, she would dive into hell if she thought she could drag you down with her.

     "Freeing" in the Genocide run (spoilers) 
  • Why does Flowey say "Let's free everyone, and show them what humanity is really like!" to you during his speech right before the final boss of the Genocide run? His plan was for everyone to die; how exactly does that allow him to break the barrier (and even if he did, who would be left to free)?
    • His plan was for you two to play together forever. After you killed everyone, you could (in theory) reset and do it then, since Flowey retains his memories with normal resets. Remember, he's been trapped there forever, and he didn't expect to be murdered by his childhood friend, either.
    • No, he didn't mean freeing in the literal sense. He was being much darker. It's an explicit callback to the prophecy represented by the Delta Rune. As Gerson says when he explains the rune: "Legend has it, an 'angel' who has seen the surface will descend from above and bring us freedom. ... Lately, the people have been taking a bleaker outlook... Callin' that winged circle the 'Angel of Death.' A harbinger of destruction, waitin' to 'free' us from this mortal realm..."

    Flowey's sneak attack (spoilers) 
  • Before the true pacifist final boss, Flowey attacks Asgore, Undyne, Toriel, Sans, Alphys, and Papyrus. They all look very distressed and hurt from this attack, yet all of them are still alive. When you check him in the genocide final boss, Sans is shown to have only 1 HP. Considering that I can't imagine Flowey is one to use non-damaging attacks in any scenario and every other part of gameplay can apply to their normal universe outside of battle, I must ask: how is Sans alive?
    • Flowey needs every single SOUL in the Underground in order to make an artificial 7th SOUL. If he killed Sans, he would probably not have enough power to transform. Flowey knows how physically weak Sans is, and relying on the simple scare factor from suddenly being WRAPPED IN A GIANT FRICKIN' VINE rather than actual damage from said vine is less of a gamble than using more force and potentially destroying one of the SOULs he so desperately needs.
      • A nice idea, but it's known that you only need nearly all Monster SOULs in the Underground, not every single one. Napstablook wasn't even absorbed by Asriel since he shut the curtains due to the bright lights.
      • Most likely, Flowey doesn't want to risk not having enough and avoids killing Sans.
    • Flowey can put enough of a squeeze on someone with his vines to be painful without actually causing damage. If any pain at all caused one hit point to drop, Sans would have been filling up a dust pan ages ago after he stubbed his toe.

    In My Way (SPOILERS) 
  • In the Genocide Route, you encounter Monster Kid on the bridge in Waterfall. He tries to stop you from proceeding, and you hit him with a devastating blow (this happens even if you use a strike that would normally be weak). Undyne takes the hit, tells Monster Kid to leave, and transforms into Undyne the Undying. Cue badass music and the hardest fight in the game up to that point. My question is, why does Chara continue to land a killing blow on Undyne, despite knowing what will happen? Surely, attacking Monster Kid with less force, or perhaps a false hit, would draw Undyne into attacking you, and you could kill her in her normal form.
    • Wait, what? Why would Chara know what's going to happen next? They can't see the future.
      • Well, unless you beat Undyne the Undying on your first try (which is nigh impossible because of the difficulty of the fight), you will be fighting her over and over. My question is, after realizing that attacking Monster Kid will bring Undyne's wrath upon them, why does Chara continue to do so?
    • Because Chara represents thirst for LV and EXP, no matter how cruel or hard it may be. Also, you CAN attack Monster Kid with less force, but it always ends up transforming Undyne into her Undying form. Not to mention, how do we know that it wouldn't transform Undyne into her Undying form? From her perspective, you killed basically everyone before that, including many members of the royal guard and her Adorkable Nice Guy of a friend who actually gave you a chance and now you (again, from her perspective) attempted to kill an innocent little kid. She would most likely still feel the need to stop you and her determination to do that wouldn't let her die. That's how I see it.
      • So, to elaborate on that, Chara's thirst for LOVE and EXP are so strong that they can't resist attacking full force, even with the knowledge that attacking Monster Kid will bring on a much harder fight. Yikes.
    • Another possibility is that it isn't Chara attacking full-force, but rather, Frisk, reaching out to try and stop Chara (and YOU) before it's too late, in any way they can, even if it means dying over and over again.

    "ALL OF YOUR SOULS ARE MINE!" (spoilers) 
  • How was Flowey able to absorb the SOULs of all the monsters in the underground without killing any of them? To directly quote Alphys' third lab entry, "But extracting a SOUL from a living monster would require incredible power... Besides being impractical, doing so would instantly destroy the SOUL's host." Obviously Flowey has the "incredible power" part down, but going by the game's own words, none of the monsters should have survived that.
    • Flowey was able to save and reload with only six souls, he easily could have done it again to bring everyone back.
    • Wouldn't that have also undone the act of breaking the barrier?
    • Remember that at this point of the game, Asriel is in fact, a God. A god with a really silly name, but still a god. In the end, Asriel's last acts are to destroy the barrier, then restore everyone's Souls back in their physical forms.
    • Flowey was specifically designed to absorb souls from both humans and monsters. Monsters, as we know, are made almost entirely of magic Asriel, with his all-but-divine powers could easily expel enough magic to rebuild them as long as their souls are still intact. He couldn't do the same for the six human souls, apparently, either because they were already dead or because he couldn't make fully physical bodies to support them.
      • Or maybe because the power from those human souls ended up becoming the magic that formed every monster's body after that was said and done.

     Neutral Ending Final Boss (spoilers) 
  • How does Photoshop Flowey have mechanical/machine parts? The goat/sheep face parts make sense, because of Asriel, and the overall shape seems to allude to the Determination Extractor, but in the Neutral ending, Flowey only has the six human souls to use for power, and the boss fight takes place in the barrier chamber. There's no machine parts anywhere, so where do they come from?
    • With his newfound god-powers he could make himself look like anything. He's really just using magic to change his appearance.
    • It's been theorized by others that the mechanical pieces came from the True Lab, with the DT Extractor making up the physical face of Photoshop Flowey, the TV used to watch the Dreemur's home videos used as Flowey's TV Head, and the air ducts making up the 'body'.
      • Lends itself to some pretty awful Fridge Horror there. It not only suggests that Flowey strongly recalls what happened to him in the True Lab, but also that with all that extra power from the other souls, he was able to pull up pieces from the True Lab to incorporate into his new form by digging his roots under it. Which begs the question: where did those weird fire-spouts come from...?

     Breaking the Barrier (Spoilers!) 
  • Seven human souls are needed to break the barrier. But, are the souls supposed to come from dead people? If not, why did Asgore and Undyne have to kill Frisk in the first place?
    • "Seven of the humans' greatest magicians" cast the spell to create the barrier, a power equivalent to seven human souls is required to undo it. They could have taught a child how to use magic and cast the counter-spell simultaneously, but it may have taken years if it requires the skill level implied. It's much more convenient for a skilled, experienced monster who uses magic naturally to do it alone within a few seconds. If Asgore could have taken care of Frisk (like he wants to if you spare him), he may have taught them how, but a certain someone wouldn't let that happen.
    • They wouldn't have to train one human mage, they'd have to train seven to work simultaneously from scratch. A much more demanding task. Not that it matters, since out of all the time they've been under the mountain, only a handful of humans have fallen in, and only very rarely at that. So even if they managed to convince and train a human to aid them, they'd run into the problem that there's no guarantee that the required number of humans would fall down within any one human lifetime. That's not even counting the possibility that a trained human wizard could turn on them using their soul-powered magic and physical superiority to overpower them. So containing souls until they got the required number underground is a more feasible solution. It's not a good one and, as Toriel angrily pointed, it ignores the much more pragmatic solution (i.e. letting one monster take a human soul, leave, collect six others in whatever way necessary, and come back within a far more reasonable amount of time), but it is what Asgore could come up with in his weak-willed state.

     Snow in Snowdin: How? 
  • How is it possible for there to be snow underground? Especially since the only known holes to the surface are a one-way fall into the Ruins and the Barrier?
    • Presumably the cavern is high enough that it has its own weather. There are caves in the real world high enough that they get clouds and rain. I'd be more curious about all the trees — we might have to resort to "magic" as an explanation for that.

    Cellphones 
  • How exactly are cellphones able to operate in the underground? Surely they'd get zero reception due to being deep under a remote mountain, too far from any towers to receive signals? Unless the underground just uses wifi throughout the place.
    • The underground apparently has its own private internet, so the latter would make sense.
    • Many of the caverns are quite expansive in their own right, so they may just have their own cell towers lined up. Only the narrower passageways would need a denser network.

     "Chara" in the True Pacifist Ending (SPOILERS) 
  • What makes Flowey/Asriel believe the protagonist is Chara in the pacifist ending? The only other time he gets that idea is in the genocide run (when he's apparently correct). In the neutral endings, he makes a point of the fact that you're certainly not "the one person he cares about," and it seems that the more violent you are, the more he sees Chara in you. So why does he suddenly seem so sure of this when you're doing the run in which you may have never once killed anyone?
    • If you look at the sprites for Chara and Frisk, they have identical outlines. Plus, Flowey/Asriel has only seen about five or six humans in his life, so of course he'd assume any humans that look alike are the same human wearing different clothes. Plus, Chara was probably his only friend in life, being his sibling, and wouldn't you miss your sibling if you relived the same few days/week/months over and over and over again?
    • Asriel also admits at the end of the Pacifist route that he knew from the beginning that Frisk wasn't really Chara, he was just projecting onto Frisk because he desperately missed his friend.
    • Actually, Flowey only realizes Frisk is Chara in the Genocide route because killing everyone in the Ruins is an act that only a soulless person would do. Because Chara lost their soul alongside Asriel's when they died, Flowey expected Chara to — just like him — be soulless should they return. As for him confusing Frisk for Chara, it's exactly what the user above me said: Asriel is projecting his relationship with Chara onto Frisk, possibly because him finally recovering his original body made him feel really nostalgic.
    • Flowey probably detected Chara's soul-phylactery thing on Frisk that attached onto him the moment Frisk fell onto the patch of flowers.

    So, about that narrator theory... (SPOILERS, KIND OF) 
  • I know we're veering into fanon here, but after looking at the evidence, I have to conclude that some variant of the "Chara is the narrator the entire time" theory is the most likely from a canonical standpoint. I really want to wholeheartedly believe it, but there's one specific thing about it that's keeping it from making sense to me: if it were true, then Chara's attitude would have absolutely no middle ground. You can be slaughtering people left and right, up to an including Chara's own adopted parents, but as long as you're not on the path of killing everyone, the narration will still still follow the same goofy/encouraging/funny routine that it would if you hadn't been killing a single thing. Weirder still, you could be on the Genocide route for the majority of the game, "Chara" giving their psychopathic harbinger-of-destruction narration the entire time, but as soon as you let one monster slip by, no matter how insignificant, suddenly its jokesy fun times again. Heck, "Chara" sort of comments on this if you get through Snowdin without killing Snowdrake, calling the act of forgetting him a "failure" before resuming the normal narration. It's almost as if "Chara" somehow knows that they can't be brought back at the end of the game unless the dust of every single monster is on your hands, and the aforementioned comment means that they're hoping/planning for you you doing so, which completely contradicts the non-evil personality their normal narration suggests. And it's not like "Chara's" corruption in the Genocide route is a slow burn either - they'll be demanding to know where the knives are as early as the Ruins, and by the time you get to Papyrus they'll be calling the act of potentially killing him (which is possibly the single most common "I had to stop Genocide when I got here" moment in the game) "forgettable". This wouldn't bother me so much except Undertale is populated exclusively with major characters that are nuanced, dynamic, and believable - if the narrator theory were true, then Chara would be a very blatant exception from that rule, with actions never affecting their personality even slightly no matter how traumatic or heinous, until you complete a very specific set of actions then suddenly they're completely different. I know the other theories have bigger holes in them, but that doesn't mean the narrator theory, at least in my mind, makes very much sense either... anyone have any input that could help resolve this?
    • The narration when checking objects in Toriel's house becomes pretty morose if she's dead, and there's very little narration at all during the fight with Asgore, so they are affected by killing them at least. They also seem dismayed by Undyne's death and regard the bag of dog food in the lab as "half-empty" rather than "half-full" if you kill even one monster. But it would still make sense even if they didn't show any reaction at all; they have no soul of their own, and are looking to Frisk (and you) for guidance as to what their purpose is now that they're "resurrected"; if that purpose is to kill monsters, so be it. The narration reverting back so suddenly if you abandon a Genocide route is probably just a limitation.
    • Asking where the knives are in the Ruins during a Genocide run is probably because in said run, by the time you reach Toriel's house you've just finished hunting down every last monster in the Ruins. In a Neutral run, you don't kill all the monsters. In Genocide, you devote yourself to killing every single monster you come across. Anything else is likely just a limitation of the game.
      • Actually, the narration only regards the dog food bag as half-empty if you kill at least twenty monsters, and find it funny if you kill twenty monsters plus Doggo.
      • No, the dog food bag is regarded as half-empty the moment you kill a single monster, though you are correct about when it becomes funny.
      • In a weird way, it makes sense if you think of Frisk, Chara and "the anomaly" (you, the player) as a Freudian Trio, with Frisk as the ego, Chara as the superego, and the anomaly as the id. Chara provides the memories, the narration and the 'rules' of the game, and is a bit emotionally detached from the game as a whole (with one exception), while the anomaly fills in with emotional whims, which — depending on the player — can run from "Let's save everyone!" to "Let's kill everything in sight". Frisk, as the ego, reconciles the narration/rules with the player's impulses. So when the narration gets blunt and morbid, it's not really Chara — it's the anomaly. It's you and your decision to kill everything.
      • That doesn't make any sense — the blunt and morbid narration uses first-person dialogue when referring to situations only Chara has been through, like sharing a room with Asriel and drawing the flower picture.
      • The blunt and morbid narration is Chara, because Chara is the narrator. Their narration style changes from blunt and morbid to quirky and helpful depending on whether or not you're on a Genocide or Pacifist run, which you — the Anomaly — have the power to choose from.
      • There actually is a reason why Chara's outlook is so moldable — they, like Flowey, have no soul. It was fused with Asriel's when they were attacked by the humans, and so they both died together. This caused both of them to come back soulless. Without a soul, Chara doesn't have the empathy that should be telling them that killing is wrong — after all, they did die as a result of Asriel refusing to fight the humans that attacked them, even for self-defense. So it's up to us to teach them. If you go through the game without killing anyone, even in self-defense (like during Undyne's fight), then Chara will be reassured that Asriel's decision not to kill in self-defense was right. However, they won't share details of their past with you like they do in the Genocide narration in New Home because they still consider Asriel to be their best friend. But if you kill even one monster, that shows them that there are situations where killing is justified, proving Asriel wrong. This causes them to consider you thier best friend, and share some of their past with you. However, they become pessimistic. If you kill over 20 monsters (plus Doggo), they will become numb to the idea of killing, possibly even to the point of becoming sadistic. This is because the more monsters you kill, the more EXP and LOVE they gain. Since those things numb you to the idea of killing, they wouldn't be as affected by it, even if they still had a soul. However, they still go quiet on the fights with Toriel and Asgore, not wanting to fight their family, and they hesitate before killing Asriel — YOU are the one who prompts them to kill thier brother.
      • Can you point to me evidence within the game that Chara came back without a soul? Their soul didn't fuse with Asriel's when they died, Asriel simply absorbed it into his own body, along with his own soul. If absorbed souls are forcibly 'fused' with their host, then the ending of the Omega Flowey battle wouldn't have been possible.
      • Humans can't absorb human souls. If Chara still had a soul, they wouldn't be able to fuse with Frisk at the beginning or take their soul at the end (without soul of their own they'd no longer count as a human themself). Also, Chara explictly states that Frisk absorbed their essence — and essence is something completely different from soul. Their soul might have survived and probably did, but it still got separated from the body and essence, and thus once they are awakened, they don't have soul (as in, it's separated from them, not destroyed).
      • No matter how Chara and Asriel's souls were configured when they died, they still both came back soulless. Flowey even says this when you meet him at the end of a Pacifist run. However, we don't know if their souls survived their body dissolving into dust.

    Delta Rune before the prophecy? 
  • In the game, Gerson says that the Delta Rune symbolizes the prophecy, where an Angel who has seen the surface comes to free the monsters from the Underground. However, at the very start of the game, the first thing we see that begins the story, is a Boss Monster wearing the Symbol. This was before the War that forced the monsters into the Underground in the first place. On top of that, Gerson mentions that the Symbol existed before recorded history, but the Monsters haven't always been Underground. So what was the Symbol supposed to mean before that?
    • Maybe the symbol was never intended as a prophecy. It could have meant nothing at all, or its original meaning may have been lost. Once the monsters became trapped underground, it seems quite possible someone could make a prophecy out of that simply because the monsters all desperately want to believe that something will come along in the future to free them.
    • It seems pretty likely that Deltarune will answer this question.

    Changed layout of the Core 
In Pacifist/Neutral, the Core layout is different to what it usually is because Mettaton hacked into it and rearranged it to throw off Alphys's map guidance. But the layout is the same in Genocide as in Pacifist/Neutral. Why'd he change it? He has no reason to oppose Alphys in that run.
  • Mettaton wants to stop the human in all three runs (Neutral, Pacifist, and Genocide), it's just his reasoning that differs. In Neutral and Pacifist, he wants their soul so that he can go to the surface and become a star, stopping Asgore from going up and causing trouble in the process. In Genocide, he simply wants to stop the human from killing monsterkind and posing a threat to the humans above. In every run he's less opposed to Alphys and more opposed to the human; him butting heads with Alphys in Neutral and Pacifist is less a result of him wanting to screw with Alphys' plans and more a result of having his own plans that contradict hers. In Genocide neither one of their plans are put into action as they're more focused on stopping the human and protecting what's left of monsterkind. Thus, he fudges the Core's layout and forces the human to go through the longer, more dangerous path littered with his hired mercs in hopes that they'll die before they reach him so he can harvest their soul (on Neutral/Pacifist) or stop their murderous rampage (on Genocide).

    Undyne's Theme in Waterfall and... Ruins? 
You can hear a melody from "Spear of Justice" in Waterfall and the Ruins' background music. Waterfall is obvious, but why would she be associated with the Ruins?
  • Toriel is part of the royalty. Undyne is in the Royal Guard. Also, Home (the city in the Ruins) is one of two major epicenters of monster population, the other being in New Home; Undyne fights for all monsterkind.
  • It could just simply be because Undyne represents the end of the first half of the game - a half that has the Ruins leitmotif in a lot of places (2 out of 3 of the areas). This is in a similar vein to how Mettaton's theme includes the themes of the Core and Hotlands - as well as how both of the motifs of "Undertale" note  are used in both the True Pacfist and Neutral final boss themes. note 

    Just what exactly are EXP and LOVE, anyways? (MAJOR SPOILERS) 
Are they some loose statistic/measurement that monsters use, or are they actual forces? Each side has compelling arguments:
  • They're really real forces.
    • They have a pretty serious impact on your killing ability
    • They don't just skyrocket once you're set on Genocide
    • They're only referenced by characters who are known for breaking the fourth wall
    • You (Chara?) get a jolt of feeling when they go up
    • Killing Papyrus crosses a pretty serious line. Hence, you go from LV 1 to 6 if he's your first kill.
OR
  • They're a measurement used by monsters
    • It's reset along with everything else. While your killing intent may linger between sessions and frankly can vary wildly, who, among monsters, knows what killing intent you have if you haven't hurt a single creature?
    • Killing monsters thought to be powerful by others nets you a higher EXP sum; though, who knows the popular consensus on Sans?
    • Perhaps, rather than measuring your killing intent, when it comes to damage calculations, it measures monster's fear of you, making their attacks and defenses more feeble. With naive or stoic monsters, such as Undyne and Papyrus, who wouldn't normally care, this is why they have higher HP - though they do harbor some primal, subconscious fear of you, effecting them on some level, they just don't know/care how dangerous you actually are.
    • If your finger slips and you accidentally kill a Jerry or something, does that really make you want to kill more? One could argue this is some fringe case that was glossed over, this game is infamous for deconstructing RPG tropes, smashing the fourth wall, and Developers' Foresight.
    • The underground is pretty small; a child can traverse nearly the entire thing without stopping for a break, eating, drinking, etc; and the one or two major cities are implied to not add much more space than what you already see. Damn near everyone had to have heard of that harmless goofball Papyrus at this point. Killing someone so harmless is pretty ####### sadistic to anyone who knew him even on an incredibly casual level.
    • God of Hyperdeath Asriel and Photoshop "This isn't even my FINAL FORM!" Flowey don't think you stand a chance. Sans knows very damn well you DO, but he has barely any motivation or HP to begin with, and he's a hell of a Combat Pragmatist and fits in with the earlier badass/clueless characters. Your petty LOVE has no effect on their ability to fight you (It would only affect some of Asriel's moves), but you're certain to have only 20 HP at that point unless you're a dirty hacker.

So, which is it?

  • Gonna go with measurement. Many people who support those being real forces say that Chara feeds on said forces, and that they get more powerful the higher your LOVE is. But that's simply not true. You can do a full Genocide route, then abort it at Mettaton NEO, and you'll still be at LOVE 19 by New Home. But Chara will stop controlling you. If LOVE was a real force, then Chara would have simply forced you to go back and finish off Hotlands after you kill MTT NEO. Although, on the other hand, Chara does let Frisk take control and doesn't force them to do something(outside of the Geno ending), so it's possible that it is real power that Chara simply doesn't feel like using. My main argument for it being a measure is that, if it were real power, then murderers on the surface would get really overpowered, as all the killing they do would rack up a lot of LOVE.
    • Murderers on the surface? Presumably killing intent is a kind of thing that only works on monsters.
  • Regarding killing intent: You'll notice that if you punch the dummy in Waterfall, there's a noticeable difference between a zero-EXP punch ("You tap the dummy with your fist. You feel bad.") and a punch with EXP ("You sock the dummy. Who cares?") Seems to be an indication that killing someone (even an unpleasant jerk like Jerry) leads to It Gets Easier, as Sans implies.

     Ghosts and the Barrier 
If ghosts are truly incorporeal, shouldn't they be able to to cross the barrier?
  • The fact that a normal human can't cross the barrier from inside(at least not without some additional power in the form of a monster soul) despite the barrier only being meant to keep in monsters points to the possibility that the barrier doesn't discriminate and just blocks everything from that side.

     High Level, Neutral Judgement Hall 
Near the end of the game, you see Sans in a hall, he judges you based on your actions from your LOVE. If you have a high level, he says that "you're not as evil as you could've been" and he can say that the maximum LOVE is 20. In the Genocide battle, he says that he "knows your type," that you do things just because you can. My question is why does he tell you that you could be more evil or that the maximum LOVE is 20? Since he knows that there are people who do things just because they can (such as the Anomaly), to someone like that, it's basically feeding them the idea of going back to do something worse, something he clearly does not want to happen.
  • I doubt that he's making a suggestion by saying that you could be more evil; he can be just mocking you because he's bitter and disappointed, without giving any thought into his words possibly backfiring. Alternatively, he's encouraging you in a roundabout way to do better — since you're not completely rotten and unable to go all the way, you might as well stay on the straight and narrow next time.

     Asriel's Final Fate (Pacifist Run Spoilers) 
This might sound pretty morbid, but wouldn't it have been more merciful to kill Asriel/Flowey at the end of the Pacifist run? I know that this goes against everything that run is about, and killing Asriel is not something most players could stomach, but as Asriel himself says, he's inevitably going to revert back to Flowey, which means that he's left to a horrible fate, without a SOUL, feelings and company, under the mountain, forever (since he's a boss monster and has no children, he's presumably immortal like his parents). If we take what he says in the No Mercy run at face value, this is going to be pure torture to him. He might even be worse off than the first time, since now he's completely alone. Is this really better than being dead and finally at peace?
  • Or a more optimistic theory, the fact you can't kill him conforms that Toby intends to bring him back at some point.
    • That would run entirely contrary to everything the player had done until that point.
  • When he turns back into Flowey, he isn't technically a boss monster any more; he's a giant buttercup with the memories of a boss monster. It's possible he will actually die eventually. However, if you reopen the game after getting the True Pacifist ending, Flowey pops up to address the player. He actually seems pretty happy with his lot in life, and even shows indications of having gone through Character Development to no longer think like... well, like Flowey. Exactly what led to him being so chill is entirely up for speculation, but it could be that his brief stint of being a god led him to a new outlook on life, or he's found a more comfortable means of existing, or maybe even his recent experiences with mercy and compassion have led him to develop a soul of his own somehow... who knows?

     Toriel and the Sock Drawer 
So why DOES she have a drawer full of socks?
  • Think about it. Most children wear shoes when climbing mountains. What do people wear with shoes? Socks.
  • It's possible she simply likes and collects them. Papyrus says that Sans has started a sock collection "recently" — and "recently" is the code word the game always uses for ways in which Toriel and Sans influence each other. Has she got him excited about the merits of sock collecting?

     Kind of going across universes here, but... 
If you listen closely, Flowey's theme "You Idiot" and Uboa's screaming theme sound kinda similar. Why is that?
  • Given that Toby Fox drew a lot of inspiration from Earthbound for this game, it's not impossible he knows about Yume Nikki. The unused sprite for W.D. Gaster also looks pretty similar to Uboa himself.

     Trait as good as duplicated. 
Determination and Perseverance are basically synonyms; what's the difference between them that warranted them being separate traits in the game?
  • Perseverance is treated as more like simply enduring challenges while Determination is that alongside the drive to push forwards to a goal. So the purple soul could withstand the Underground for a good while, but eventually they reached a point that became so difficult to pass that they couldn't find the motivation to keep banging their heads against the wall and gave up.
    • The text for the purple flag in the golf minigame seems to suggest that drive is also a part of Perseverance, so I doubt that's the difference.
    "Even when you felt trapped, you took notes and achieved the end of ball."
  • Perseverance is possibly more short-term than Determination, and likely doesn't allow one the time powers the two Determinators we've seen in-game have.
    • Basically persevering without feeling determined is basically being a Knight In Sour Armor. Being determined without a sense of perservering means that one has big plans but doesn't actually carry them out.

     "You really are no different from them." 
Toriel says the above if you attack her after she's stopped attacking. That implies that she thinks the other monsters are just as cruel as you are. Why does she hold such a low opinion of other monsters? All monsters are friendly by the end of the day.
  • Toriel was disgusted with Asgore's plans to kill off any humans that fell to the Underground, and everyone else was — and still is — on board with the idea, to the point of "King Asgore will save us/free us all/get revenge on the humans". It's possible she saw everyone else as just as bad as Asgore and isolated herself in the Ruins until Sans showed up.

     "Why such hatred for the underground?" 
  • Practically every monster you meet is fixated on leaving the underground, to the point where the underground is utterly abandoned should the barrier go down. Yet Asriel admits in the playable epilogue that "whatever they may believe, it's much nicer down here." There appear to be no shortages of fuel, shelter, sustenance, and room, and they have been living there for millennia. They have modern technology on par with our own, and the ability to create and innovate their own original designs. It's been so long since the barrier went up, that they don't even know what the surface is like anymore; Undyne, the leader of their armed forces, has such horrible Intel that she's convinced that anime is real. Furthermore, in the endgame, they abandon 100% of their infrastructure, dwellings, and businesses overnight, implying that they are so intent on leaving that such a loss means nothing to them. Most shocking of all is that an otherwise upright and ethical society would be desperate enough to murder seven children to achieve this goal in a glaring exception of their moral code. In summary; If monsters have an advanced, sustainable civilization which provides all their needs, and are overwhelmingly naive about the surface, why are they so universally hell-bent on leaving?
    • According to the mouse monster in Snowdin, they actually are having a shortage of room and the place is quickly getting overpopulated. In addition, you appear to be making some assumptions here; we don't know if there's enough fuel, sustenence, etc. for everyone. We aren't given enough information to really know that. There's an entire, massive section of the underground, the capitol, that we only see from a distance, and it's implied to be the "main" part of the underground. Judging by the way everyone talks about it and the general sparseness of everyone, it's very possible that the parts of the undeground we go through - Snowdin, Waterfall, and Hotland - are the outer fringes of their society with a low enough concentration of people that they're able to self-sustain fairly well. Also, you're assuming they abandoned everything, but we're never given any indication of that; according to the Snowdin Shopkeeper, she moves all her inventory to the surface and rebuilds her shop there. And regarding technology, Undyne explicitly states that the only technology they have is stuff that floats down from the surface. This allows them to have some things, true, but they're most likely rare and sporadic. And one last thing, as an aside: I don't think Asriel is really the best person to ask regarding how the surface world is like compared to the underground, considering his one and only experience with the surface involved him getting beaten to death by an angry village.
    • Food is still abundant enough to be sold as a luxury item. (Granted, we don't know just how expensive 25G is for the average monster). As for energy, Magic is free and easy enough to make ovens redundant, as indicated in Asgor's Toriel's and Undyne's homes. For energy needs where magic just doesn't cut it, they have the Core; a massive geothermal plant which "provides energy for the whole underground". As for technology, my impression is that they just needed a few samples to reverse-engineer before they started making their own. Undyne, Sans, Papyrus, Toriel, Alphys and Asgore all live in very modern and well-provisioned homes, so the junk heap can't be the only source of modern appliances. You're absolutely right about the underground remaining inhabited however; even though the credits depict all the monsters you encountered living on the surface, that only accounts for a tiny portion of the population. The fact that Snowdin, Waterfall, and Hotland are on the far fringe is another compelling point; from what we see, the inhabitants of those zones could fit into the city many dozen of times over.
    • A few more things that I've considered since I made my first reply:
    • 1. Monsters are still technically in active war with humans. According to Gerson, monster society's near-unanimous desire to get to the surface is only a fairly recent development, when once upon a time they believed it unthinkable. As I said in your other entry below, prejudice against humans is still flourishing in the world of monsters - perhaps a large part of their desire to leave is fueled by their eagerness to see Asgore give humanity what for. When you're approaching the castle, the monsters there describe how eager they are for Asgore to set them all free immediately after explaining their backstory and how "the humans had once again taken everything from [them]".
    • 2. The desire to get to the surface may not be quite as unanimous as it seems, even if it is very popular. Gerson apparently felt "betrayed" when Asgore told him he'd changed his mind about living down there forever, and at the MTT resort, Sans expresses his lack of enthusiasm for the idea with pretty much the exact same arguments you used.
    • 3. As we see in the Genocide route, even if society is functioning well now, the fact that all the monsters are concentrated in one tiny area still poses a very big risk in the event of a crisis. What if an illness of some kind broke out, or a natural disaster like a flood or an earthquake? Monsters would have no choice but to batten down the hatches and wait until it's over, losing many in the process. In fact, here's a sobering thing to consider: according to the mouse monster, overpopulation is becoming a serious problem, but why is it only now becoming a serious problem when they've been trapped there for, potentially, millennia? What if a disaster has already brought monsters to the verge of extinction and they're terrified of it happening again? What if several of them have happened and monsterkind is extremely lucky to have lasted this long?
    • 4. Even setting aside everything else, there's one last simple thing to keep in mind: the finest home on earth is still a prison if you can't leave. Mt. Ebbot is only so big and a child is able to walk from one side of it to the next in what appears to be only about a day — unless a monster actively remains in one location their entire life, it'd be extremely easy for them to see absolutely everything the underground has to offer in only a few weeks at most. A few weeks out of an entire lifetime. I mean, technically, in real life, we could fit the entire human population comfortably into a location only about as big as Los Angelas. But even if we could, would we really want to? When there's an entire world outside full of possibilities, new discoveries, and mysteries? Not a chance. One of the most powerful forces in human nature is a desire to explore, expand, and discover, and the game shows us time and time again that humans and monsters are not as different as they seem. Even if the underground was an absolutely perfect in every way, the fact alone that there's a massive world outside that they've been actively barred from would be enough to drive at least some of them to try and escape it.

     One messed-up child ending existence. 
There is obviously something very, very wrong with Chara. Sadly, history has seen its fair share of traumatized and sadistic children. If the world is so fragile that a single being like Chara can destroy it, then how has it lasted so long?
  • If it's because she's an Eldritch Abomination, how did she obtain those powers in the first place? Being a sadist isn't enough to unravel reality, so no amount of EXP or LOVE would have allowed her to pull off what she did in the No Mercy ending.
  • If her abilities are granted through the power of DETERMINATION, does that mean anyone could ruin existence if they really, really wanted to?
    • (I had an answer here before but it wasn't very good, so to wit:) Anybody with DETERMINATION can kill a lot of monsters. But Chara's monologue at the end of a No Mercy run isn't so much "let's blow up Mt. Ebbot" as "there's nothing left here for you to do in this world, so let's erase it all and move onto the next game". Chara, like Flowey, is at least somewhat aware of their universe's fictional nature and doesn't see any of the inhabitants as real people, and by the end of the game they're not really a character anymore — they're more the player's impulse to kill everything/complete the Genocide run made manifest.

     Execution rather than Natural causes? 
  • If the monsters needed the souls of seven humans, but were reluctant to kill them, why not simply wait for them to die of natural causes? Both Toriel's and Asgore's agenda would have been fulfilled without any conflict between them, and the monsters wouldn't have needed to compromise their morality. If a human had fought to the bitter end, killing them would have been justified, but judging by Frisk's playthrough, the option to live out their lives peacefully wasn't even presented.
    • My guess is it's because prejudice against humans is still running strong in the world of monsters, especially after the death of Asriel. As we know, it doesn't take long for them to get over it once they meet you, but still; the game makes it clear that it's very much the norm for them to see all humans as mindless killing machines that need to be destroyed. Bratty and Catty excitedly talk about the destruction of humanity like it's a party or something, for example. The average monster would see waiting around for the human to die as a waste of time. And remember, Asgore himself doesn't want to kill any humans — he's only doing it because of all the pressure put upon him by his people and his desire to give them hope. Fear is probably also a factor; considering how dangerous humans are to monsters, not only would many see it as a waste of time, they might also see it as a hazard to everyone's safety.
      • Good point. Given how Frisk has the potential to slaughter their way from one end of the underground to the other, the execution seems downright prudent when considering a no-mercy run.

     Ancient humans sparing monsters? 

     First discovery of Soul Stealing? 
  • The knowledge of how a monster can steal a human soul is a well known fact to the monsters themselves, and the humans were so certain of its reality, that they started a war over it. The question is, how was this first established? Did the monsters just inherently know about it, and then inform the humans about it, or did it happen enough times before the war to become common knowledge?
    • Maybe a monster grieving a dying human friend accidentally absorbed their Soul, suffered some Power Incontinence from not knowing what happened, and the other humans panicked.

     Jerry undermines the entire moral of the game. 
  • The Aesop of Undertale, or one of them, is that everyone deserves compassion, everyone is capable of redemption, and that if you take the time to listen, you can provide those things to anyone you meet. The entire ACT mechanic is designed around this Aesop: to take the time to be a good and loving person to everyone you meet. Except for Jerry. Jerry doesn't deserve any of that, apparently — the only thing under his ACT menu is "Ditch." So what did Jerry do to be so irredeemable? He didn't kill six kids. He didn't create a bunch of eldritch monstrosities out of people's sick family members and then lie about it. He didn't hijack people's souls and send the entire universe into genocide and apocalypse just because he could. No, he just complained about it being cold, acted mildly snarky, and expressed understandable concern that the people he thought were his friends keep ditching him and then celebrating doing so. His entire character is a cruel joke that undermines the moral of the game: sure, it's good to love people, unless they're one of those people that no one likes.
    • I dunno. You can love people, deeply and profoundly, and recognize their goodness, and still dislike them or find them irritating — look at every argument you've ever had with a parent or a sibling. I think we've all known that one person, at school or work or the bus stop, where we wouldn't wish them any harm and we hope they have a good fulfilling life, but every single time they (crack their knuckles/breathe loudly/chew noisily/interrupt other people/start complaining) it's like "Oh God, that person again". Jerry's basically that person, personified. He's definitely not as bad as Flowey by a long, long, long shot — but honestly, it's easier to have compassion for a grand tragic villain with a horrible backstory than it is for someone who's just plain annoying. Same reason everyone hates Umbridge on a personal, visceral level but goes "oh, yeah, Voldemort, right": it's rare for people to know an evil genocidal murderer, but we all know that one person who just loves to nitpick and be petty and make everyone's life miserable. So I think Toby is/was trying with Jerry to underline the point that good is not always nice: you can be a good person, even a hero, and still not click with someone for whatever reason — even if it's as shallow as "he gets Cheeto crumbs everywhere" or "she leaves her towels on the floor" — and that's okay. You don't have to be everyone's best friend, and you're allowed to be irritated by things. As long as you're not cruel or nasty, and you fight a giant goat-dragon monster with rainbow guns and exploding stars to save the world through awesome rock music and DETERMINATION, you're still a good and loving person.
    • I mean, sure, but ditching the dude and celebrating his being gone goes way beyond "not clicking with someone." Especially when it's the only thing you can do. It's not the only instance of weirdly incongruous dickishness in a very morally charged pacifist run (you can be an absolute cock to the snowman, Gyftrot, Onionsan, Napstablook, etc), but it's the only one where being a dick is literally the only option. And I get the meta-joke that Jerry is supposed to be parodying tank-y RPG monsters that everyone hates because they're annoying to kill. It just doesn't seem thought through. Flowey of all people spells it out: that Jerry guy you were such a dick to? He could have been someone's Toriel.
    • All of those crimes you listed were by Woobies with Dark And Troubled Pasts that made their actions, while not necessarily justified, at least explicable and understandable. Jerry doesn't have that caveat, he's just a whiny brat for the sake of having a whiny brat, and since Frisk can't find any other way to act to spare him because he's so whiny and picky about everything, the only other "mercy" option they have is to flee, so that's what they do. And let's face it, if you were fighting for your life against magical attacks, and someone's presence made those attacks last a couple seconds longer — a couple more seconds you have to survive before you can heal/run/etc. — wouldn't you be at least somewhat happy they were gone? And wouldn't you groan if they came back before you were finished sparing the others? Also, some of the flavor text for certain Acts against the Snowy Amalgamate imply that what's being said and what Frisk is actually doing aren't necessarily one and the same—it could just be that whoever or whatever is doing the narrating is the one celebrating, not Frisk.

     Flowey's soul snatching power (SPOILERS FOR THE PACIFIST ENDING) 
So, how exactly did Flowey manage to take souls of all the monsters before the final boss? He did not kill them or anything, he just imprisoned them with his vines and wham, he turned into Asriel. How?
  • The mechanics of soul stealing aren't really explained, ever. Asgore has the six human souls trapped in jars in the Neutral ending, and when Flowey gets his hands — or vines — on them, there's a flash of light and then (after you reboot the game) they're inside him, or at least inside the monitor where his face is. In the Pacifist ending, Flowey steals the human souls off-screen, and then absorbs everyone again through the same flash of light. So... maybe it has something to do with magic? A monster's Level of Violence? Who knows.
  • At that point Flowey was or, via the souls, had become powerful enough to steal a monster's soul out of their living body, as Alphys' notes foreshadowed. Only question is how doing that didn't kill the monsters, but that's discussed in another headscratcher.

     Color of your SOUL... 
So, color of your soul depends on your defining trait (yellow - justice, green - kindness, red - determination, etc). Frisk's soul is red, because their determination is their strongest characteristic... except it isn't. They ARE determined — but it isn't their main trait. Their determination is hardly ever referenced to in other way than as some sort of Phlebotinum. But both in- and out-universe, they are best known for their kindness and willingness to help others. Shouldn't their soul be green rather than red?
  • They're known for their kindness and helpfulness on a Pacifist run. You can kill a lot of people — heck, you can botch a flawless Genocide run at the last minute — and still get the "it's you!" message from the mirror in New Home. And Frisk got the ability to save and reload — to alter the space-time continuum itself — through their sheer, utter determination. I'd say that's their top trait, no matter what else is going on with their personality. (Also, in a meta sense, Red is Heroic.)
    • No. It's a common misconception that only Frisk can reset because they are far more determined that any other human, when in reality it's noted that determination is what fuels resets — but it's also stated that ALL humans in the Undertale universe can do that under the right circumstances. It's not an ability exclusive to Frisk — every human can do it, and it's even stated at one point that all the Fallen Humans had that power. Also, the "It's you!" message is directed towards the player — not Frisk. It's not until after finishing the Pacifist Route that it changes to indicate that player and Frisk are no longer one and the same.
  • Also, despite what most people think, 'Determination' is never, EVER said to be the 'trait' of red SOULed humans (as all humans have Determination) — the Ball Game mentions Bravery, Justice, Integrity, Kindness, Perseverance, and Patience, but the only other text you get for the red flag is "Try as you might, you continue to be yourself."
    • Perhaps, but the very definition of something being determined is that it has already been decided. That is, Determination is not merely about resolve, it's a matter of the very concept of self. One could argue that's more Integrity, but Integrity is a matter of acting in a manner that is honest with yourself. That's completely redundant for Determination, because you CAN'T lie about who you are, because you just ARE. It's not who or what you are, it's that you exist, and that you are you. Mental Time travel is effectively the epitome of a permanence of self: even in death, everything you've experienced, your memories, your pain, all stay with you. One of the oldest names for the Hebrew God translates to simply, "I am who I am". That is, their name, their personality, all of that is irrelevant. Their single most defining trait is their existence itself. Frisk's most important trait, meanwhile, is not that they are compassionate, nor that they can be cruel. Their very existence influences the underground one way or another, and due to the power of SAVE, no power of man or monster can snuff out their existence.

     SOUL Modes 
Releated to above: SOUL Modes. How are they supposed to work? Basically, a monster attacks us, changing color and abillities of our soul. So what? Is one hit from Undyne's spear enough to turn complete jerkass to genuine Nice Guy? Did Alphys write a program that brainwashes any human who uses it to Relentless Guardian of Justice? Is Muffet's spider tea some kind of drug that makes you ten times more perservering when you drink it? Can someone explain this to me?
  • Maybe Chara isn't the only passenger hitchhiking in Frisk's head, and the eight other humans' memories are along for the ride as well — the same way Flowey woke up with Asriel's memories but no soul. Or maybe there's a trace of them left on their weapons and armour that Frisk picks up. So Green drops in to help you with Undyne and Purple helps you out with Muffett, and Alphys — who's worked with ghosts and machines before — knows how to summon Yellow somehow through the cellphone. And ultimately, you repay them in the end by freeing their souls from prison and putting them to rest. (That's the best guess I've got, to be honest.)
    • SOUL modes often work out more in the Boss' favor than ours, so more than likely they impose the 'rules' of these SOULs upon yours to help them. Papyrus' bones are a joke when we can free move ("YOU'RE BLUE NOW. THAT'S MY ATTACK!"), we can't escape from Undyne when your SOUL is red ("As long as you're GREEN you CAN'T ESCAPE!"), and Muffet traps you in her webs in Purple mode ("I think purple is a better look on you!"). Yellow ultimately helps you because Alphys enacts it specifically to help you. So it's not actually giving you integrity, kindness, perseverance, and justice, just forcing your soul to work in certain ways.

     Why are monsters called enemies? 
In a game that's all about making friends, the word 'enemy' seems to crop up a lot. Even in the True Pacifist run, one of the flavour texts for a certain monster calls it an 'enemy' when at this point you're not trying to defeat them ever. It's not short-hand for anything that 'monster' wouldn't describe, why even use the term?
  • Even in True Pacifist they still attack you before they are befriended, and we have to meet them in fight to befriend them. Even if we don't kill or even attack them, we still have to fight them to spare — so technically, they are still enemies.
  • Perhaps it's being technical, in that they are the 'enemy encounters' within the game? The game does have a tendency to drop technical game terms like that.
  • Humans and monsters were at war, which makes them literal enemies.

    Flowey's faces (Spoilers) 
Is there any reason (besides Rule of Scary) why Flowey is able to contort his face into all these weird expressions? This part is especially strange.
  • We see from the Amalgamates that significant amounts of Determination makes monsters amorphous in form... maybe Flowey is the same idea but much much more stable and practical?

    Flowey after Pacifist Run (Spoilers) 
Why is this better to leave Flowey/Asriel alone in the Underground at the end of Pacifist Route? Of course, he is still a dangerous sociopath. However, what made him so cruel was his power to control time and the fact that, being trapped down there with only a few dozen people, there was only so much he could do before getting fed up with everything. But now a) with so many humans around, it's doubtful he will ever be able to reset again and b) with roughly 7,000,000,000 people in the world, there is much more to do. There is also another, more pragmatic reason not to leave him alone: with the Barrier gone and the Underground empty, he can easily travel to any place in the world and do anything he wants, and then just run away — and since no one knows about his existence, no one will know what happened. This small flower can somehow dig through solid rock, concrete, and other substances normally too hard for plants to destroy (or at least too hard for them to get through within a single century). Wouldn't it be safer to take him to the surface, place in a flower pot hard enough for him not to be able to break it, and have him under constant observation while at least trying to "repair" him back to Asriel?
  • He can't go back to being Asriel. There's simply too much power needed. He was only able to do it the first time by absorbing the souls of nearly everyone in the Underground, and that's not happening again (at least without triggering war or mass slaughter). But he does have enough awareness of being Asriel to not wish harm on anyone: the very final scene you get in a Pacifist run, after you try to start the game up again, is Flowey addressing you directly, asking you to leave everyone in peace and let them have their happy ending. Whether you think being left alone in the Underground is too much punishment or not enough for Flowey's previous actions is up to you.

    Need more souls. 
So as it turns out at the end of Core, one human soul alone is not enough to pass the Barrier, and a monster soul — almost impossible to absorb — is also needed. Not only is this a blatant Ass Pull with the only foreshadowing being an offhand comment from Sans that we should think more about what happens if we don't succeed on our quest, it makes no sense story-wise. Of course, we may assume, however improbable this would be, that it isn't a common knowledge among monsters and so we didn't met anyone who would know. But there is one person who HAD to know this, and who wanted us to stay Underground: Toriel. Why didn't she tell us when we wanted to leave Ruins? Don't you think such little detail is too important to just conveniently skip over — especially by person who doesn't want us to die and knows perfectly just how dangerous our hopeless task is?
  • The 'one human soul and one monster soul' makes sense — in a really sadistic way — from the point of view of the people who erected the Barrier: if humans could come and go as they wanted through the Barrier, but monsters couldn't, humans might start getting... ideas. Talking to the monsters. Sympathizing with them. Making it so you needed a monster soul to get out would discourage people from approaching the barrier and meeting the monsters at all — unless you were fine with killing a monster to absorb its soul, in which case, no need to worry.
    • I am not questioning if it makes sense itself, but it's still an Ass Pull with zero foreshadowing.
    • If you go back and look, Alphys was acting really shifty about you leaving the entire time you're in Hotland, especially this moment of Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    * Um... I noticed you've been kind of quiet...
    * Are you w-worried about meeting ASGORE...?
    * ...
    * W-well, don't worry, okay?
    * Th-the king is a really nice guy...
    * I'm sure you can talk to him, and...
    * W-with your human soul, you can pass through the barrier!
    * S-so no worrying, OK?
    * J-just forget about it and smile.
  • As for Toriel: she doesn't think Frisk will make it to — or through — Asgore. Her line of dialogue is something like, "He... ASGORE... will kill you. I am only trying to protect you, do you understand?" That Frisk could kill Asgore and absorb his soul doesn't cross her mind.
    • She doesn't believe they will be able to make it through Asgore, and yet they still want to try — so why hide from them that their task is hopeless anyway? Toriel only tells us she doesn't believe we are strong enough — not that it's impossible. There is anbig difference between "In order to fulfill your task, you'll have to beat the Big Bad, which I believe is impossible" and "In order to fulfill your task, you'll have to obtain power nigh-impossible to get, which requires you to kill in cold blood person who, while not good, doesn't deserve it." And before someone points this out: yes, this IS power nigh-impossible to get for a human (ancient texts in Waterfall mention that it's only believed human can absorb boss monster souls, but it never actually happened) and no, Toriel doesn't want Asgore's death (she outright states this on Pacifist Run).
      • Toriel outright states that she only realized she didn't want Asgore to be sacrificed for your sake after some time and introspection. Say what you will about what this says about Toriel as a character, but it's not a plot hole.
      • Maybe I should repeat... Toriel. Wanted. Us. To. Stay. If. She. Skipped. Over. Such. Important. And. Discouraging. Detail. Then. It. Is. A. Plothole.
      • Maybe in desperation Toriel would have eventually told you "please don't leave - even if you manage to survive, you'll have to kill someone in order to leave", but realized that keeping you there wasn't right before doing so. Clearly, her mind was just obsessed with the very real possibility of you getting killed, and didn't even consider the possibility that you'd somehow survive and kill Asgore. The way I see it, she was able to realize that that 1. Maybe you will survive out there, even against Asgore, and 2. Keeping you here would be cruel at the exact same time. And like I said before, it took her a little while to realize that Asgore having to be sacrificed wasn't justified. Maybe it's a weird thought process, but I can still buy it. You need to give a bit of leeway when asking the question "is a personal decision made by a character a plot hole?"
      • Even if you're right, the main problem isn't the morality of killing Asgore. To cross the Barrier, Frisk must absorb his Soul, and we don't know if it's even possible — texts in Waterfall only speculate about how powerful — human with monster Soul would be, but also state that such a thing never happened, and in none off the endings does Frisk actually do this. Now, some preemptive counters for arguments someone will now probably give. First, of course, just because something didn't happen, doesn't mean it's impossible. But let's be honest: if humans really feared monsters for their abillity to steal Souls and really desperately looked for a counter, they had to sonner or later try doing this. Considering how an eight-year old can oneshot a Boss Monster with FREAKING PLASTIC TOY KNIFE if they want it enough, they didn't fail because they couldn't kill any, but because they couldn't take the Souls. It doesn't automatically make it impossible — but it's definitely much harder than just touching the heart. Also, no matter how many monsters we kill on our way, as long as we don't go full Genocide, Alphys will be lying to us throughout whole Hotland Arc, trying to give us hope — so it's not the Sadistic Choice of either breaking no-killing rule or never leaving the Underground that she hides, but the fact that we have to absorb a Boss Monster Soul before it disappears — something no one knows how to do. Second, what does it all have to do with Toriel? Toriel KNOWS ABOUT THIS. She knows that stealing a monster Soul is extremely hard if not impossible and will probably take many tries before we succeed — and if so, it's not only Asgore we would have to kill, but many other, innocent Boss Monsters (if there are other Boss Monsters than Asgore and Toriel still alive). And even if she believes we can do it on the first try — really is "My child, before you leave, you must know you will need Asgore's Soul to pass the Barrier" such hard thing to say? And third: yeah, Flowey manages to do this. But at this point he has six Human Souls with him, and he steals Souls from living monsters — something that is said to require huge amounts of power to do. Frisk wouldn't be able to do the same.
      • The neutral ending of the game actually implies that not only is taking a Boss Monster's soul possible, but relatively easy; when Asgore is defeated, he requests that you take his soul and leave, prompting Flowey to immediately destroy the thing so you can't do it. It's not proof, but it seems weird and pointless for Toby to write the scene that way if you taking Asgore's soul wasn't possible. As far as Toriel not warning you goes... actually, when you think about it, the real question is why nobody tells you. All your friends know that you want to leave as well, don't they? With that in mind, consider this: maybe the fact that both a human and a monster soul is needed to cross the barrier isn't common knowledge. Maybe every other monster in the underground assumes that a human soul is strong enough to cross the barrier, but Alphys, being a scientist, knows that it falls just barely short and needs a monster soul as well. And before you say "but Toriel acts like she knows about that in the Pacifist ending", not necessarily. She tells you that she knew you'd need to make a terrible decision in order to leave, which doesn't necessarily mean taking Asgore's soul - it could just mean killing him so you could get past him. In her mind, Asgore won't ever let you get past him peacefully, and won't stop until either he's dead or your dead. And as for Asgore's request for you to take his soul, I offer two explanations: 1. He's fairly close to Alphys, who he knows is studying soul magic, so maybe he does know. 2. His exact request was "leave and see if you can get the humans to let us out somehow." If you took Asgore's soul and left, he could continue to exist within you and would make that job a lot easier.
      • Toriel isn't even slightly surprised when Asgore tells us we will have to stay Underground, since we have no way to leave. She had to know this beforehand. For the fact that Asgore gives up his Soul if we decide to spare him... it doesn't change anything. I must once again repeat: it's THEORISED that human might be able to steal monster Soul, but IT NEVER HAPPENED before. Asgore hopes we will do this, but doesn't tell us how to, and, as I already said, it's definitely harder than just "touch floating heart thingy before it disappears" - otherwise sooner or later someone would manage to do this. In other words, not even Asgore is sure if it is possible or how to do this - he just sacrifices himself, hoping that Frisk will get extremely lucky and do something no human managed to do throughout hundreds of years before Barrier was created.
      • We know that it's possible, with precedent, for a monster to absorb a human soul. Perhaps the monsters assumed that the reverse scenario would work the same way, and the only reason it never happened before is the simple fact that monster souls usually don't stick around long enough to be absorbed. Boss Monster souls are the exception, but just barely—if you kill Toriel, her soul lasts about five seconds before shattering. Since it's implied that humans declared war on monsters because they thought that a monster with a human soul would be unstoppable, they might have assumed that absorbing a monster soul would be impossible. Even if there were initially other Boss Monsters besides Toriel and Asgore before the war, it's a safe assumption that the soul would have vanished by the time a fighting human noticed it in the heat of battle. Even the Law of Averages regarding that isn't a guarantee that eventually someone would have spotted it and gone for it—Boss Monsters are implied to be relatively rare, and there's still the fact that we likely didn't see every last corner of the Underground, meaning there might be more Boss Monsters left after the war that we never met, so we can't know for sure how many, if any, Boss Monsters died in battle and were at the risk of their soul being harvested.

    Post-"No Mercy" Wind (SPOILERS) 
  • After you finish a No Mercy run and start the game up, you hear wind signifying the complete destruction of the world. But wait, if there's nothing left in the world, how is there any wind in the first place?
    • Perhaps the planet itself is still intact, but it's been reduced to a completely empty and desolate wasteland? Wind is just moving air, it'd still be here even if everyone was dead.
    • IDK about an in-universe explanation, but from a player standpoint it was probably to serve as an auditory clue that the game had loaded and was running; if you opened up the game and just saw a blank screen with no sound, it'd be easy to assume that the game had locked up mid-load and had to be restarted. With this in mind, I can buy Gameplay and Story Segregationwe can hear wind, but there might not even be that in-universe.

    Mad Dummy, Napstablook, and Mettaton 
  • So it's obvious that the group of ghosts possessing things are related somehow. But there's a lingering question that never went answered that's been bugging many people; If they're ghosts, who, or more terrifyingly what, where these specters before they met their demise? Were they humans at one point? Did they have any relations to one another before they died? Are they just monsters that happened to be ghosts upon birth?
    • In all likelihood, they were always ghosts. Monsters come in all shapes, sizes, and forms, after all, and we know that not all monsters have exactly the same nature and abilities. Therefore, a type of monster having the nature and abilities of a conventional ghost without actually being a dead spirit is entirely plausible.

    Reaper Bird (True Pacifist Ending Spoilers) 
  • The last boss battle in the True Lab is known as Reaper Bird, an Amalgamate created by an Astigmatism, the Final Froggit, and Whimsalot. It is one of the toughest Amalgamates, due to the entity that attacks you, Everyman, having very spastic attack patterns. Two questions remain, however. First, of course, what or who is Everyman? It never appears before or after this battle, and seems like an enormous Big-Lipped Alligator Moment. Second is the more interesting one; Every Amalgamate has their names revealed, usually something normal like Snowdrake's Mother or Endogeny. Reaper Bird, along with being the only one with an abnormal name, is the only one who has a name that relates to their deadly fates. What does it mean?
    • You left out Lemon Bread (Shyren, Aaron, and Moldbygg), the Memoryheads, and the unknown figure that tucks Frisk in when they go to sleep. If I had to guess at the meaning of Reaper Bird's name, I'd go with a) it looks vaguely like a stork, b) it's composed of monsters who were dead and then forcibly resurrected, c) it can kill Frisk if you're not careful. As for Everyman, it could be trying to mimic Frisk's body shape, as a warning or a threat, but honestly, I'd chalk it up to general weirdness at that point.

    Mettaton's plan 

    "I'm not gonna use magic to hurt anyone!... No, you know what? I'm not gonna use it at all!" 
  • The reason for Asriel's death was because he refused to hurt anyone - even in self-defence. Okay, it's pretty reasonable... so why not just use defensive magic in way that won't be dangerous to anyone around? Of course, magic in Undertale works mostly on souls, and not on body... but it still clearly DOES have effect on material world (on two occasions - three, if you count Undyne fight in Pacifist/Neutral and Genocide as two different - Frisk is seen holding one of Undyne's magic spears with no problems and no ill effects, Papyrus' bones are just lying in a box when not in use, bandage - the only purely mundane healing item in our inventory - does have some healing effect, so clearly we take some physical damage from attacks, and you're not gonna tell me that Mettaton turning from a box with lights to Ridiculously Human Robot didn't use any magic. Heck, monster food and monsters themselves are mostly made of magic, and yet they seem pretty material to me), so it's not like he couldn't just try and conjure some sort of shield to protect himself from blows.
    • What you need to keep in mind is that Asriel was not acting out of his own free will in that moment - he and Chara were wrestling for control over their body, and all Chara wanted was for the people who were attacking them to die. Judging by the way the event is described, it seems almost certain that it was all Asriel could do to hold Chara back and keep this from happening, and any energy or focus he could have spend defending himself was taken up by this. By the time Chara was like "okay Asriel, you win, let's just put up a force field before we both die", the two of them were already fatally wounded. And that's assuming Chara ever did surrender like that; ignoring the fact that they're one of the most morally ambiguous characters made in recent years, the kid was clearly mentally unwell, so for all we know, they were in 'fight, kill, destroy' mode all the way up until they were literally beaten to death.
    • Asriel's a kid at that point. He probably doesn't know very much magic at all, or isn't that powerful. He's a kid who's doted on by his parents and likely well regarded in the kingdom, so it's pretty doubtful he's ever fought anyone before in his life. He's a kid who's grieving, scared, fatally injured, in a lot of pain, and has a Chara soul yelling at him in his head to kill everyone already. That he manages to get back to the Underground without hurting anyone is pretty damn impressive on its own, never mind casting a spell of any kind.

     Heavily populated ruins 
  • The Ruins are supposed to be nearly abandoned, so why are there so many random encounters there? (possibly more than any other area in the game) Napstablook says he goes there because there's hardly anyone there, yet that clearly isn't true.
    • Watsonian: The Ruins used to have a lot more monsters there — there used to be a lot more monsters in general — but the war with the humans and subsequent depopulation have reduced their numbers. The sum total of everyone you meet in the Ruins might be all that's left. Think of a small town of 5,000 people in this world brought down to 20 people (the number of encounters before you hit the "But nobody came" message in No Mercy)—that definitely qualifies as "nearly abandoned". Doylist: the game wants to make sure you've nailed the battle mechanics before things get any harder.

     Alphys would have been better off keeping her secret. 
Alphys' big fear was that if people found out what she did in the True Lab, then people would hate her. This fear was enough to make her suicidal. Guess what happened in the fanbase after players found out what she did in the True Lab? Not all of them, but a lot of fans immediately started to hate her, with a weird passion you don't really find for comparable characters. (Dr. Andonuts in Mother 3 is a cliched comparison but a good one — both characters did their experiments under duress, but Alphys didn't know what would happen with the determination experiments, but Dr. Andonuts knew exactly what would happen with the Chimeras, and did it anyway, even finding joy in it.) The story treats this as some irrational phobia she should get over and glosses over the fact that the only reason Alphys wasn't proven right was luck and monsters' Blue and Orange Morality.
  • To answer this actual headscratcher, the story doesn't treat it like an irrational phobia she should get over. It treats it like something she needs to get over because it's the right thing to do. Alphys told the truth not only because it was the best thing to do for herself (because the guilt and stress of keeping it a secret was killing her) but because the amalgamates deserved to be free and their families deserved to know the truth. So no, Alphys wouldn't have been better off keeping her secret. Her not having serious consequences for it was a mix of the in-story reasons listed by others below and the fact that Alphys' story arc, as well as the main game, was already over and we didn't need to see every person who called her out on it.
  • 1. Dr. Andonuts is not a fair comparison because he was blackmailed into doing what he did - finding joy in it was the best he could to do cope. 2. The fans who have a problem with her usually don't have a problem with her just because of what happened in the True Lab - they dislike the fact that she got away with it 100% consequence-free. Same goes for the the other morally-fishy things she did, like manipulating a child into taking part in her real-life self-insert fanfiction that repeatedly put them in apparent mortal danger. If she weren't such a Karma Houdini, my guess is that fans would generally be much more forgiving of her actions.
  • Alphys didn't get away with it consequence-free — concretely, Toriel fires her, and less concretely is mentally scarred for life. (Anyone who says being suicidal counts as "consequence-free" has never been suicidal.) She's also not the only one, or even the worst one, for "morally-fishy things." Omitting the obvious (Flowey and Asgore): Toriel manipulates a child — several actually — into taking part in her real-life Replacement Goldfish fanfiction and, if the child decides they'd rather not do that, attacks them, putting them in actual mortal danger. Undyne stalks a child with the intent of murdering them in cold blood, and the best-case scenario is her deciding she'll just murder some other kid instead. Sans is a lazy fuck who probably could have prevented a lot of the bad stuff in the storyline if he so chose, and if it weren't for talking to Toriel he would also have put said child into mortal danger. None of these characters receive any consequences for any of this. And regardless of all of this, you kind of just proved my point: Alphys was not irrational but absolutely correct in thinking people would hate her if her secret came out, and she probably would have been mentally better off if she never mentioned anything.
  • 1. Forgive me, but you seem to be implying that suicidal people don't need to own up to their mistakes just because they're suicidal. I know being suicidal is incredibly serious and requires a lot of support and sympathy - I've had to talk my friend out of it multiple times, I get it, trust me, but if I'd found out he was doing something like what Alphys was doing, I'd still call him out for it. Mentally ill people need to be held to the same moral standard as mentally healthy people; to not do so would imply they're somehow incapable of making moral choices in the same way as the mentally healthy, which is bigotry. 2. Her being fired was a complete moot point because everybody was leaving the Underground anyway, and the ending montage definitely does not suggest she's scarred for life. 3. Please stop Complaining About Characters You Don't Like. Sans didn't stop everything bad from happening in the story because of his meta awareness - if he'd stepped in and stopped everything bad that happens, the game wouldn't have been fun and you would've shut it off and never played it again because "that annoying skeleton kept preventing anything interesting from happening", thereby preventing the Golden Ending. Sans isn't being lazy, he's being tactical. Undyne's very clearly over her human prejudice by the end of the game - the "I'll just kill another kid " thing was a temporary gig - and she actually does get comeuppance for stalking you by almost roasting to death and being humiliated. Toriel wasn't making self-insert fanfiction - she was raising children to the best of her ability, who just so happened to play the role of a Replacement Goldfish, and only stopped to use desperate means to stop you after losing eight children total. I don't think it was right of her to attack you, but she doesn't put you in mortal danger - she deliberately re-directs her attacks in order to keep you from dying - and she clearly regrets her decision almost immediately, with the consequences of her actions being that she now has to lose her new child and, in most endings, never see them again. 4. There's also a lot of people in the fandom who like and aggressively defend Alphys as well, you're not really factoring them into this equation. 5. I don't really understand why this is on the headscratchers page...
  • I actually don't dislike any of the characters, I'm just pointing out actions that could be viewed as equally morally suspect. The reason this is on the headscratchers page is in the original post. The story treats it as some irrational fear with no basis in reality to present a nice, tidy arc where Alphys comes clean, no one could possibly be upset, and she feels much better about herself. A nice moral, except for the fact that without the story's Ass Pulls (the Amalgamates' original families just happening to be OK with it, somehow) things would never happen that way.
  • I apologize for my assumption - your use of strong language in your response lead me to believe you were dragging other characters to prove your point. And I see now that your original point here is to criticize Toby's writing of her arc, and not the fanbase's negative reaction to her, which I personally cannot contribute much to because I have the exact same problems. Perhaps it has something to do with monsters being inherently more prone to being good and forgiving people than humans? Maybe, but there's a difference between being forgiving and being blind to serious mistakes...
  • In my opinion, if someone is genuinely contrite about what they did, then holding a grudge or punishing them is unnecessary; if they already know they messed up, feel horrible about it, and want to make amends, why make it harder for them by rubbing salt in the wound? Keep in mind that one definition of mercy, the Central Theme of the True Pacifist run where Alphys's crimes are revealed, is to show compassion to someone who you wouldn't think deserves it, so Alphys being forgiven for the amalgamates is in line with the story. And keep in mind that she was hated previously—it had gotten to the point where she wouldn't answer calls or letters because they were all about the monsters being angry with her because, as far as they knew, she was keeping their families hostage after telling them that everyone was alive and that they'd be sent back. Between finally being reunited with their lost families and learning they're alive, and the fact that that happens in a close timespan to everyone being freed from the Underground at last, it's not surprising that everyone was likely in a forgiving mood. And let's face it, the monsters are implied to be rather compassionate and empathetic (heck, compassion is said to be a component of monster souls in one history book), so it probably isn't too much of a leap to it wasn't hard for them to understand why Alphys was so reluctant to tell them. Finally, if it really bugs you that much, we see very little of everyone's actual reaction to Alphys's reveal—they're all just happy to see their families again, and all we see of Alphys is her spending time on the beach with Undyne in the end credits. For all we know, they were bitter at her for a while after the "Yay! We're free!/They're back!" euphoria wore off and we just never saw it because the story doesn't go that far.

    Dropped a bridge under them 
  • What was Undyne trying to accomplish by collapsing the bridge Frisk was on? She could have attacked Frisk directly while they were cornered, but instead she decided to let gravity decide their fate. She didn't even come down to see if Frisk had survived the fall or not. Does she not want them dead?
    • Well... Undyne is just Undyne. She probably found Disney Villain Death to be the best way of disposing of the last fallen. Plus, we don't really know if she didn't come down. Thing is, even Undyne isn't hot-blooded enough to just jump headfirst down a cliff this size, and only other two ways down here we know about (either with help of Bird That Carries You Over A Disproportionately Small Gap, or through Hotland) take some time. It might be she was going to check if Frisk survived, but they reagined consciousness after the fall too fast and managed to run away.
      • She likely took the bird, since she's done it before. However, she's wearing heavy armor, so by the time she reached the other side, the Human was long gone.
      • Couldn't she just jump across? Can't she do the jimpity jumpity joodle? It's not like the armor would slow HER down, considering how quickly she got to the top of that spire before you battle her.
      • If you mean jumping down the cliff — the scene on the bridge later shows that even Undyne can't get away unscatched from such a fall. If you mean jumping over the Disproportionately Small Gap — she probably can, but she still needs time to backtrack. Plus, the Bird really seems to insist on helping even those who can get across the gap on their own.

     Papyrus gets his wish in Neutral-Pacifist but not True Pacifist? 
  • At the end of a Neutral-Pacifist run, the phone call states that Papyrus was made the new Captain of the Royal Guard. Even though all he does is water flowers, and the rest of the Royal Guard disbanded due to Toriel's new policy to treat humans as friends instead of enemies, he's clearly overjoyed. And it's a clear win-win since he got his dream without being in any sort of danger like Undyne feared. Why doesn't this happen in a True Pacifist run? Instead, Toriel outright says they won't need a Royal Guard anymore if you talk to Papyrus in the Playable Epilogue, making his lifelong dream impossible. His reaction is played for laughs ("THIS IS THE WORST POSSIBLE ENDING!"), but why wouldn't what she did in Neutral-Pacifist work in True Pacifist. Sure, they might not be the leaders up on the surface anymore after monsters successfully integrate with humans, so "Royal Guard" would be a misnomer, but considering watering flowers is already about as far as you can get from what you'd suspect a Royal Guard would do, they could probably still give him some other mundane job and still call him Captain of the Royal Guard, even if the title is meaningless, and he'd still be happy.
    • Thing is... you said it yourself - for monsters to fully integrate with human society, Asgore and Toriel must give up the titles of king and queen (or at least any authority and power that come with it, becoming titular king and titular queen). Thus, they now have to adhere to human laws - and, going by those, they have no right of appointing members of Royal Guard if they are only titular royalty. And since giving Papyrus such mundane tasks as watering flowers shows that Royal Guard wasn't need in first place, it would be only a matter of time before it would have to be disbanded anyway.

     What's taking so long? SPOILERS FOR PACIFIST RUN 
At the end of Pacifist route, Flowey absorbs SOULs of the monsters and instantly becomes Asriel. However, after he unleashes the SOULs to destroy the barrier, not only is he able to feel emotions and empathy for a long time, but he doesn't turn into Flowey. What?
  • Asriel's new body is clearly much stronger than body of a normal monster (he is the only boss other than Mettaton who can No-Sell any attack; Mettaton, being a robot made with both magic and technology, is also more durable, as evidenced by the fact that he is the only monster to leave a body behind when killed). It's still purely magical, but more stable and thus most probably can still exist on it's own for some time, even though normally monster bodies fall apart moment they are separated from their SOULs. As for him still being able to feel... notice that the last conversation with Asriel after he releases the SOULs is... he doesn't really show any strong emotions here. Everything he talks about are just pure facts and while he does look sad, it's not like Flowey is completely devoid of any emotions - he just can't truly feel love or tenderness and lacks empathy.

    "The Wrong Crowd" 
  • What on earth did Undyne mean in the neutral path after you kill Snowdrake when she described him as somebody who "fell in with the wrong crowd"? What crowd? Doesn't she mean her crowd? The genocidal child-hunting crowd? What bad behavior is Snowdrake guilty of that she herself isn't preparing to commit while she's saying this to you? What is she talking about?
    • Most probably she believes Snowdrake wouldn't meet the player and die if he didn't run away from home — which, while not always the fault of toxic friends, is often blamed on them even in real life.
    • If you kill Snowdrake, you have a chance of running into Chilldrake, who is a rebellious type ("NEVER do your homework!"). The thing is, Chilldrake is strongly associated with Snowy, and wonders where he is. This is likely the "wrong crowd" that Undyne was talking about.

     Using a soul without killing 
  • We know that six humans have been previously killed for their souls, and that seven are needed to remove the barrier. However, could there have been an option to utilize a human's soul without killing them, should the need arise? I mean, granted, keeping the other humans prisoner until another one comes along would be inconvenient, but had the thought never occurred in case one of these monsters formed a connection or bond with a human and they didn't want to sacrifice them? It seems the monsters are very advanced in terms of technology and magic, so it seems like it's a possibility that they could figure out a way to temporarily use a human's soul without killing the human, especially if it was the seventh soul needed. Or would that be too risky?
    • The SOULs clearly need to be all absorbed by one monster (or human, but they would have to absorb monster SOULs instead). Finding a way to use SOULs without killing the humans? Yeah. After all, there wasn't even a single case of a experiment involving SOULs going wrong. Like this one time when Alphys tried to use human SOULs to revive fallen monsters... Or when she decided to make a SOUL-absorbing vessel with them... And since the original plan was to not only break the Barrier, but also kill all humans and it took an extensive use of in- (and possibly out-) universe Save Scumming, an extremely pacifist child and one Deus Ex Flowey to actually make Asgore give up on that, so it's not like monsters were willing to spare the Fallen Humans anyway.
      • For the record, it wasn't a human soul that Alphys used in an attempt to revive fallen monsters or to make a soulless vessel, it was clearly stated that it was just determination she used. Determination is apparently something separate from a soul in this universe. And the original plan came about because Asgore was upset over the loss of his children. When people are upset, they say or do stupid things they don't really mean. He may have taken those other souls, but when you defeat him, he mentions that he doesn't really have any desire to become a god and wipe out humanity, he just wanted to bring back hope to his people, and that's why he said what he said.
      • While not the SOUL itself, Determination is still part of the SOUL. Also, Asgore didn't want to wipe out humanity - but was still clearly going to do it, just like he killed six children and tried kill seventh, even though he didn't want to.

     LOVE means never having to say you're sorry... or kill someone 
  • As we all know, your LV doesn't really stand for 'love'. It stands for 'level of violence', and it increases every time you kill a monster. So far, so good. But on a Pacifist run, you have the option of beating Papyrus to a fraction of his HP so that he spares you — and on a Neutral Pacifist run, you beat up Asgore as well. You don't get any points towards your LV, you don't get thrown off of Pacifist into Neutral, and in Papyrus's case it's the quickest way to defeat himnote . So... violence doesn't count unless it's murderous violence?
    • Doylist answer: in the demo version you did actually get EXP just for hurting enemies and then sparing them. It was deleted, because it would make the Pacifist Route too easy and would undermine the whole deconstruction of level grinding that Genocide Route is supposed to be. As for Watsonian... LOVE measures one's ability to distance themself from the others, so it probably only increases at conscious and deliberate violence done in spite of other options being available. When you kill someone in Undertale, it's almost always after they already stopped fighting, so it's deliberate and conscious murder. However most of the time player fighting back not to kill, but to force enemy to accept mercy could be interpreted in-universe as Frisk being too afraid to think clearly. As for Asgore's and Papyrus's case... actually, in Papyrus case neither making him spare you out of pity nor "beating mercy into him" is the conventional way to spare him - similarly as with Toriel, you have to dodge his attacks and try sparing him yourself until he actually does the same. Asgore meanwhile FORCES YOU to fight him and doesn't want to listen to your arguments - violence is your only option here, and even then in the end you can spare him (though he'll either commit suicide or get killed by Flowey anyway) and I actually believe that you DO get some EXP if you don't.
      • All true, and I totally get the self-defense rationale. I just can't stop picturing it: "You punched me in the face like eight million times and you kind of stabbed the King, like, a lot." "Yes, but did either of you die? No? WELL THEN."
      • If you look hard enough, you can find loopholes and inconsistencies in pretty much any video game with a morality system — we're not advanced enough yet as a medium to emulate the nuances of real-life morality, and probably never will be. If you focus too much on the minor details and plot holes of pretty much any story, you miss out on the bigger picture, the message that the artist was trying to get across. Like all video games, the point of Undertale isn't in the weird but technically possible - the point is in the overall experience, and the situations that people are most likely to run into when playing the game normally and following the directions provided by the creator. In other words, breaking Undertale's morality system in that way would be, if such a thing exists, a narrative example of Unwinnable by Insanity.

     Why isn't genocide harsher? SPOILERS 
I first played through to true pacifist, then played through the genocide route. Granted, most of the sad/you bastard moments had been spoiled already, so maybe that's why it didn't really affect me, but I found the genocide route unfulfilling. Now, you can say that's Toby's way of saying you shouldn't be rewarded for being a psychopath/jerk, but I feel he didn't go far enough for someone who wants to emphasize the importance of lasting consequences. If killing a monster is supposed to be so horrific why don't the other monsters react when you kill their friends? They just keep right on attacking like robots. I think only the two guards, and the married dogs actually become more aggressive if you kill one of them. With the simple mechanics of the game battle it's hard to feel bad for something that doesn't react to or show damage, and then just disappears in a poof. I can understand the whole not wanting to reward villainy bit, but there's a fine line between being clever and being lazy. I wish that genocide had been as richly developed as pacifist was, instead of just ripping out 75% of the game, emptying the towns, and making things tedious as hell to get rid of the all the random encounters in the area. Imagine how much worse it could feel if you killed a monster, and the other one fled in terror, and you could see his sprite fleeing from you in the overworld and you had to chase it down to finish the job. Imagine going into the town and actually seeing everyone in the process of fleeing and screaming in terror, a child falling on the way only to hurriedly be grabbed by his parent. Oh......... but you left one monster alive in the previous area, so you're cool. We'll just save the calling you out bit for your meeting with Sans when he explains what LV and EXP means and give you a black screen text ending later on. Even a neutral end could have more impact if there had been a picture of the survivors to give a little emotion to it. In that regard being able to abandon genocide at any time to return to a neutral ending seems like a hindrance to the theme of consequence. I'm sure there will be those that disagree, but I feel Toby really dropped the ball on the genocide side of things. He focused so much on sucking the fun out of the experience that when I got to parts that should have made me feel guilty/sad I just felt annoyance or indifference.
  • I think that's arguably part of the deconstruction. There's a quote by Simone Weil that goes: “Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating.” We have an entire Evil is Cool page for video games, where playing the protagonist of a GTA game, or a Sith Lord, or a renegade Shepard, or a Dovahkiin who's joined the Dark Brotherhood and the Thieves' Guild, gets you all these really cool powers and gear and sexy outfits and total domination. But the reality remains the same: you're going around killing people, taking their stuff, blowing things up, making the city/world/galaxy a worse place. So I think Toby Fox is taking the whole "evil is cool" concept and stripping away the 'cool' part in a sort of Reality Ensues moment: the evil route isn't cool. There's no humour, no puzzles, no background chatter or bystanders, no music except a groaning crawl. It's long periods of grinding for XP punctuated by either a) anticlimactic one-hit kills or b) insanely difficult boss battles. It's not even fun. But you're doing it because you wanted to see the Genocide route, because it was part of that hundred-percent completion. You're doing it because you have to.
    • OP here. I wasn't saying that your character should be romanticized into being cool for what they do. More that the game should have gone further into making you kick the dog if you really wanted it. Things like monsters out for revenge, or taking hits for their friends. Like what happens with Monster Kid and Undyne. Things to make you question if it's really worth it to keep going. The game treating random encounters as no big deal doesn't convey the impact or weight of what exactly you're doing. If the monsters don't react to me killing their friend in cold blood than what makes them any better? Heck, Undyne's neutral death makes me feel more like a bastard than almost anything in the genocide route. Slowly melting, her attack getting slower and slower as she refuses to accept death but still wanting to stop you. That's what genocide needed more of, to properly convey just how horrible what you're doing truly is. "You felt your sins crawling on your back." Maybe I actually would if there were more heart-wrenching scenes that had to make you close your heart in order to continue.
    • But your character is still kicking the dog. If you kill random monsters on a Neutral run but spare Toriel, Flowey's dialogue goes: "Froggit, Whimsun. Vegetoid, Loox. Migosp, Moldsmal. Think about those names. Do you think any of those monsters have families? Do you think any of them have friends? Each one could have been someone else's Toriel. Selfish brat. Somebody is dead because of you." I honestly think that's the point: that the random Froggit is just as much a person as Toriel is, and still suffers just as much if he dies, and that it shouldn't take a horrendous, heartbreaking death scene with family members wailing over his corpse to feel bad about killing him in the first place — just like with any other random mook in a video game.
    • OP: Which is, again, part of the problem I have. Even though you can abandon the genocide route at any time, the game does little to encourage you to stop on that path on an emotional level, short of having to decide to attack a helpless child. It mainly does so through a mental level: how much tedium will you endure (endless grinding and brutal bonus bosses), to get your other end? The neutral route does what the genocide route doesn't: try to push on you that you're doing the wrong thing. Undyne's achingly slow death, Flowey lecturing you if you try to just leave alive Toriel. There's probably more I'm not remembering. I guess that's the logic though. If on neutral you may be acting out of ignorance or self-defense, and have to be clued-in you might be in the wrong. In genocide you likely know just what you're doing so why bother trying to talk you down?
    • That's exactly it. The plain fact of this route is that you're systematically hunting down and murdering every single person you can find in each area, and doing it carefully so you don't accidentally abandon the Genocide route by progressing too far, in what is the most tedious slog possible for the game. From that perspective, there's no point appealing to your "better nature" because you honestly just don't have one (at least in regards to this fictional video game.) Not to mention, a lot of people enjoy fictional angst in a video game, and the amount that's already in this route is arguably more popular than all the heartwarming moments in Undertale. Giving you more fictional angst like what you're asking for just encourages you to continue.

     If one child can genocide the entire monster race, how was there a "long war" between humans and monsters? 
I just started watching Jacksepticeyes's LP of Undertale, and got hit with a dose of fridge logic during the intro. Your character is somewhere between 8-15 years old, and just by the force of your will you can wipe out the entire race single-handedly. So multiply that by possibly hundreds or thousands of humans, and you have to wonder how the monsters put up a good enough fight that it was actually a war and not a straight-up slaughter.
  • That's some fridge horror for you: it was a straight-up slaughter, more or less. You (and/or Frisk) are looking at the remnants of what's left — and deciding to wipe them out entirely, if you go down the Genocide path.
    • OP here. It couldn't be just a straight-up slaughter, as the intro specifically says it was a "long war." And watching the LP I got the answer. I forgot some of the backstory material you can read about the war. When a human dies it's possible for a monster to take their soul and grow stronger(like Asriel did with Chara), so there was a feasible way for them to defend themselves if they took a human by surprise. It would make them a little stronger than a human, but wouldn't turn the tide of battle, since Asriel was fatally wounded by humans despite having a human soul in him. (I know he chose not to fight, but the point is that he could still be hurt)
    • Edit: And a little further along it says that not a single soul was taken, so now I have no explanation for how it could be a long war. It's called a war, so the monsters must have fought back, but now I don't know.
  • The main reason why the Fallen Child is so much more powerful than the monsters is their determination — more specifically, Power of Reset. Without it, they are still dangerous, but not to the point where they can slaughter the whole nation alone (it's next to impossible to succeed at Genocide Route without Resets). Also note how we mostly fight civilians through the game — those who actually do put a good fight are usually either soldiers (Undyne, RG-01 & 02), stated to be very talented (Papyrus, Asgore), empowered (Asriel, Amalgamates), or just plain Inexplicably Awesome (Sans). During the war, neither of those two would come into play: war being war, soldiers do most fighting, and Reset is said to be a power exclusive to the most determined being in a given location (with no word about how big exactly the "location" is, though it's safe to assume that the Barrier limits its radius — Frisk only got the power after fall, otherwise they would be able to just reset to before the fall). The "most determined" would of course be human, but it should be noted that they wouldn't necessarily be a soldier, and even then it would be just one soldier who can control time (which, by the way, is more of a Mutual Disadvantage than actual advantage when it comes to fights between armies). It doesn't strike this troper as very probable that such a person would be willing to screw up the whole timeline every time some random guy gets killed just because they want a happy ending for everyone (then again...). And there is also the fact that such a person would probably have to get killed to learn about the power — and the war was mentioned as pretty much one-sided, so it's not implausible that they didn't.
    • There's also the fact that history tends to be Written by the Winners. Humans started the war for no good reason and needed something to justify it, so they came up with the idea of monsters being dangerous and evil. However, for it to be believable, they also had to gloss over the fact that "the great war" was actually a slaughter (which is stated explictly by the tablets at Waterfall).

    Mettaton's popularity 
  • In-universe, just how popular is Mettaton? When you go through a few of his TV show segments he mentions having 10 loyal viewers, then the next one it goes down to 9, and the NEXT one down to 8. This would imply that he's not actually that much of a hot-shot except in his own mind, if so few people are tuning in, and at a declining rate with each skit he does with you. Yet when you get to the hotel you see he's popular/wealthy enough to have a brand name and a hotel, a fountain of him, etc. On the final encounter when he reveals his EX form you get to see the ratings, which start at about 4000. That's a huge jump from the 8-10 people from earlier, though I will admit I don't know what determines ratings. Is it how many TV's are on a certain station? From the moment the battle starts the ratings rapidly drop, so it seems Mettaton's dance moves aren't impressing the audience. The ratings only go up(or in some cases down faster) based upon your actions, like using certain items, dodging attacks, etc, and have little to do with the star himself. Yet come battles end everyone is calling in to tell him how much they love him and don't want him to go. It seems very inconsistent to me.
    • The comment about absurdly low ratings seems like more of an offhand joke than Mettaton being serious. As for his battle — it's a battle, not a dance show. People want to see him kill the human, not dance — and since everyone clearly believes that it was all made up and there's no real human...

    New ruler (Spoilers) 
  • At the end of a neutral run, you'll get different endings based upon who's left alive at the end. One thing in particular I'm curious about is what qualifies those who become the new ruler after you kill Asgore. Toriel makes perfect sense. She used to be queen, so she could come out of retirement (though she'll be chased out again for pro-human messages if you've killed too many monsters along the way). Undyne is another reasonable contender. She may be hot-blooded, but she's strong and passionate. Mettaton is very popular, and he grabs the position himself and makes things worse. Given his ego, it's not surprising. Then we have Sans, Papyrus, and Alphys. If you've fought genocide route Sans, you see he can be extremely strong, but to the average monster, he probably doesn't have much of a presence to rule, nor would he really want to. Papyrus is a nice guy, but doesn't seem like he'd make much of a ruler. And then there's Alphys..... She only gets this if you kill everyone else but a single monster along the way, and becomes ruler of whatever monsters she managed to get to safety, but still she doesn't have the personality for it either. The text at least implies that she's rising to the occasion because she's forced to, but getting some people to a safe spot doesn't quantify one for leading an entire race. At least Papyrus can coast on his cheerful personality if nothing else. Who steps up for rulership seems a little arbitrary on some of them, seemingly only getting the job because they're extremely important plot-relevant characters along the way. It would be odd for, say, Flame Heatsman to become the new ruler.
    • What we see in-game is just the remnants of a once-great civilization. Judging by statistics shown during Mettaton's boss fight, there seem to be somewhere between 20,000 and 100,000 monsters (depending on how we interpret statistics — is that the actual number of viewers, of the number of TV sets set on MTT Channel?) in the whole Underground, which is the size of a small town to a mid-sized city. Monsters are scratching the bottom of the barrel when it comes to rulers — anyone who has any idea about ruling is a good ruler. And you say that "getting some people to a safe spot doesn't qualify one for leading an entire race." Except... it does. She managed to organise the evacuation of the whole Underground, all alone, without anybody's help, and managed to save 99% or even more of people (again - somewhere between 20,000 and 100,000, out of which we only kill around 200 in a Genocide Run). It's a pretty big feat of organization skills from someone who spends their life watching anime, hiding in the trash from everyone, and nerding out to their small group of trusted friends. Especially from someone who spends their life watching anime, hiding in the trash from everyone, and nerding out to their small group of trusted friends.

    Alphys, make sure not to tell Asgore anything (Spoilers) 
In the genocide route, after fatally wounding Undyne, she says that she warned Alphys she might fall against you, and if that happened, she should get others to safety (which she DOES do) and to tell Asgore about your murderous rampage and he'd absorb the six human souls to take you down (which she seemingly DOESN'T). When you make it all the way to Asgore, he certainly doesn't seem on high alert, or even know who you are, nor absorbed the six souls (if he did, he certainly didn't show it).
  • Asgore was prepared to fight... a human. At this point, the player doesn't resemble one anymore, thus he's caught off-guard.

    DESTROY THE WORLD... somehow. (Major spoilers) 
  • If you finish a genocide route and reboot the game you'll start up to a blank screen with wind blowing, implying that the whole world(or at least the underground) was destroyed. How? I know your character is a psychopathic monster at the end, and has a super-high level and killing intent galore, but they're still 'just a human.' The real knife seems to be their weapon-of-choice, which is fine for narrow focused attacks on singular targets, but that scarcely adds up to environmental destruction, and on such an extreme level. Unless Chara can somehow shoot DBZ sized planet-destroying Kamehameha's out of their knife, I don't see how that's possible.
    • That scene isn't actually supposed to make much sense storywise due to how meta it is. By saying "Let's erase this pointless world and move to another", Chara basically means "You achieved everything in this game, there is no point in playing it anymore, so let's instead focus on Skyrim or GTA or Arkham City or whatever".
    • LV could be as exponential as it is in most Role Playing Games. By grinding on some monsters, a human in the Undertale world might become able to tank gunfire and hack mecha apart with a blade — just like RPG main characters are wont to do after killing a few slimes.
    • It's quite simple. Your Chara returned to your viewpoint and made you attack the world. All of those 9s were the world's damage that you inflicted. Chara couldn't have killed you, the weapon attack sprite faces the same was as an attack you project outward.

    And then bring it back (Major spoilers) 
  • Related directly to the above, if you wait around for ten minutes at the start-up screen Chara will offer to restore the world if you give them your soul. How does that work? Presumably they're just loading a save-state to the beginning of the game, because if they're literally reconstructing the world that's getting into some whole new level of god-like ability, which Asriel needed the power of seven souls to get anything like it. It probably works on the same principle's of Photoshop Flowey, where he controls the save/reload function because their determination is higher than the players/Frisk with all that power, but how would they have a save-state at the beginning of the game if it belonged to Flowey before you came in, and then Frisk had it you when you first got in and can only have one save file by yourself? Also the fact that Chara had been dead all that time. Chara also claims that the determination was "yours (the player)" and not theirs, so why can't you overpower them? I suppose it's because they've grown stronger than you (SINCE WHEN WERE YOU IN CONTROL?) so how should one take that line?
    • Simple: you sold your soul to Chara, so now they have control over your determination. And depending on how you understand "your soul" ("your" meaning player character — Frisk — or "your" meaning player themself?), it's also possible that Chara gets Frisk's save state — thus they can reset everything to the beginning.

    Escaping the Undeground on neutral? (Spoilers) 
  • There are a variety of neutral endings, and I don't know how the dialogue changes between all of them, but I'm just gonna go with the typical one you get on a pacifist run that's headed for true pacifist. At the end of that run, after beating Photoshop Flowey, your character heads through the doorway past him, and the game ends there. It's heavily implied through the phone call from Sans and the rest, then the dialogue from Flowey, that you left the Underground and returned to the surface at the end. My question is, How? The barrier would still be up, and your one human soul wouldn't be able to cross without a monster soul inside you, and you haven't killed any to get there. I forget if it's stated if a human could absorb another human's soul, but if you could in theory it explains it, as the other six human souls would add their power to yours to allow you to do so. However, if that's the case then why don't you destroy the barrier with the seven total soul requirement? Given that the monsters easily integrate into human society after a true pacifist run then couldn't frisk just find some decent humans after leaving the underground and combine powers with them to break the barrier?
    • And if Frisk DIDN'T leave the underground at the end of that route, then... where the heck did they go?
      • No, humans can't absorb human souls. As for an explanation... Sans mentions that the Six Souls disappeared somewhere, never to be found again. They escaped from Flowey, so it's not that they were destroyed (unless they actually were), so they clearly left the Underground. It might be that the Souls were able to somehow weaken the Barrier for long enough to escape (there are six of them after all; only slightly more than one is needed to cross the Barrier) and Frisk took advantage of this weakening.

    Boss monsters VS. aging 
  • In the Playable Epilogue of the True Pacifist Run, Gerson mentions that boss monsters (Toriel, Asgore, and Asriel) only age when they have children, which are a sort of energetic vampires that use the life energy of their parents to grow up. Okay. This, however, raises several questions.
    • Gerson mentions that just one child is enough to make Boss Monsters die of old age... how? Don't children stop sucking up their parents' energy the moment they achieve maturity? If not, just what happens with said energy? It's not used to grow up anymore and it's not that it's used to sustain their youth, since boss monsters are eternally young anyway. Only logical explanation would be that half of their lifespan (not taking into account time they spend not aging) is spent as a child, which... makes very little sense, actually.
    • What happens when boss monsters have two or more children? It's not that they can't — due to how evolution works, if that was the case, they would be an one-off mutation rather than an actual species. But when it happens... just what, exactly? Where does the energy to sustain the second child come from? Do parents age at twice the normal rate? Do children grow up two times slower than normally? Does only one child grow, while the other stays infant until their sibling matures? If none of this happens, then where does the aditional energy come from?
    • We know that boss monsters stop aging if their child dies (once again stated by Gerson, and it also makes sense considering how Asgore and Toriel seem to be in their late 20 to early 30 many years after their only child died at the age of around 10). But what with the reverse, when both parents die before their child reaches adulthood? Is the child stuck forever as a kid? And what happens when a child of a boss monster past the reproduction age dies? Is that monster then stuck too old to have another child, but too young to die?
    • This one actually regards fanon rather than canon, but... what with hypothetical half-boss monster, half-human/other monster hybrids? How do they age? If they age at the normal rate for humans/species of monsters other than bosses, then does the boss monster parent stay young forever? If it grows up the same way as boss monsters do, then... just what? Does the boss monster parent age twice as fast as normally (since they have to give amount of energy normally shared between two boss monsters), does the other parent age faster (since in addition to normal rate for their species they also give some of their life energy to their child), or does the child grow up slower than normal (since it only gets the energy from boss monster parent, which isn't enough to grow normally)?

    "You're the future of humans and monsters" Spoilers 
  • I've played through both routes of the game, and recently watch Jacksepticeye do the same, and... I still feel lost about this. Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but what was Chara supposed to DO? I know there's that prophecy you can read, about an angel from the surface coming and emptying the Underground, but even assuming Chara was as good as Frisk they still wouldn't actually have the power to solve anything. Given that at this point in time the hatred of humans caused by the death of Asriel and Chara hasn't happened yet, the only way for Chara to have done anything about the barrier would require a lot of death, either by what canonically happened(killing themselves so that a monster could use their soul to cross the barrier) or killing a boss monster to take theirs(which is stated to be an uncertainty.) Asgore and Toriel would both have been steadfastly against either option, so from their point of view how was Chara important in a "free the monsters" way?
    • It seems to be something along the lines of "Destiny says so, so that's what will happen, even though I have no idea how". Also, it was said somewhere that Chara's fall gave monsters a new hope that they might be free — even if they couldn't do anything on their own, they were important as a symbol. And finally, just by being there they showed that humans and monsters can coexist peacefully — which by itself would be of great help if either monsters found another way to break the Barrier or humans found out about existence of monsters.
    • It's entirely possible that the Dreemurs were willing to wait for Chara to reach old age and die, giving Asriel their soul. Alternately, one of the plaques in Waterfall mentions that a human could absorb a boss monster soul if they were quick enough, but that no one knows what would happen "and now no one ever will" (paraphrasing.) That implied to me that the plan was for Chara to absorb Asgore or Toriel's soul when they died (either of old age or otherwise.) With two souls, Chara or Asriel could have gone past the barrier and either taken more souls, or somehow gotten help from the humans in taking down the barrier peacefully.

    Why is Flowey the only one with an unblockable attack? (spoilers) 
  • Obviously, from a meta standpoint it would be unfair, but in-universe what's the deal? To be fair, a large number of monsters aren't that committed to ending you, letting you go if you do some random action. So let's talk about the ones with absolutely no reservations about your morality and know you need to be taken down: Undyne the Undying and Sans in a genocide route. In the pacifist route, if you do the fight with Undyne a certain way, she'll tell you she GAVE YOU a spear to block her attacks with. Given her honorable nature, being fair is normal. But why would she do the same in the genocide route? Undyne just saw you attempt to murder a helpless child in cold blood, and believes that you'll not only kill all the monsters, but every human too, unless someone takes you down. Fair shouldn't be part of the equation here. I think we can discount you stealing the spear from her, since we see she can make them vanish at will (like on the bridge chase scene) The other questionable one is Sans, who at the very beginning of the battle the final portion of his 'strongest attack' is two gigantic Gaster Blasters which take up all but the very bottom and very top of the battle box. If he had had them at different heights they would have crippled you from the start. My guess is that, even though they want you gone, if they didn't extend just a tiny bit of mercy and attacked without you being able to fight back they would be no better than you, who takes advantage of the helplessness of others as you rampage through the Underground. The reason why Sans uses an unblockable attack if you spare him is that your hesitance to be fully committed shows there's a possibility you could go back and fix the mess you made, and he might assume you NEED to die to reset the timeline. Hence the 'if we're really friends you won't come back.'
    • Mostly WMG answer here, but... it could be that act of giving the player the spear is what turns their soul to green — meaning that without it, they would be able to just dodge the attacks instead of blocking. It's also possible that an attack impossible to dodge would take up too much energy — remember that monster's bodies are made of pure magic, so overusing it might be dangerous to them. Note that Gaster Blasters are always either very small or positioned opposite each other so they actually shoot at each other — it might be that this way Sans can actually recycle some energy he puts into attacks, but if he didn't do that, he would just use up all his power almost immediately. His one unblockable attack is after the player lowers his guard, so it's much easier to do. And as for why Flowey can do this while everyone else can't... as said earlier, monsters are limited because their bodies are magical. Flowey's body is physical and only infused with magic and DT, so it's probably less dangerous for him.

    There is no genocide route? (Spoilers) 
  • After replaying both sides of the story recently, I posted some questions here, which brought up some fridge logic. One of them was about Mettaton's popularity, where he claims to only have a single digit viewer count that's going DOWN, and yet later on his ratings starts at 3000. The answer I got was that Mettaton was just messing around by deliberately stating a low number. The second question was how does Chara destroy the world at the end of genocide route, as no matter how much killing intent they had or how unrepentingly psychotic they are, at the end of the day they're still just a kid with a knife, not someone from Dragonball Z who can shoot planet busting energy beams. The response I got for that was that it wasn't meant to be taken literally, as it was such a meta scene. (The game's over, so in effect the world of Undertale disappears for you, as you'll move on to another 'world') If you take the ratings literally, that there were at least 10-12 THOUSAND monsters watching (what you need to get up to in order to spare Mettaton EX), then by the end of the 'genocide' route you've only killed about 80 monsters, so you didn't even succeed in knocking off a single percent of them. That would seem to mean there's a lot of the Underground you haven't seen, as besides Boss Monsters you don't see a single house where anyone lives.
    • It might depend on how important you interpret LV to be. Sans said that 20 was the cap, and killing all the monsters you did in-game got you to that cap. With each LV you gain, your stats get higher. Maybe, like how a monster only has to kill 1 human to become powerful and only 7 to become God, a human only needs to kill 80 or so monsters to become an entity capable of destroying worlds or whatever it was that really happened. Why this is would end up going into WMG territory, though. Also consider that, if the neutral routes are to be believed, you also killed every other viable candidate for leadership and doomed all the thousands of monsters left to a slow death by political turmoil (on top of all the other problems they were having.)

    Hypocritical morality and EXP? (Spoilers) 
  • Even though the monsters have a justifiable reason for disliking humanity, considering they were attacked out of paranoia rather than any genuinely bad thing they've done, the fact that only YOU are called out for killing anything is hypocritical to me. This isn't a complaint against the game as much as the creator who set it up that way. The main issue I take with this is the judgement hall right before Asgore. Sans tells you that EXP stands for EXecution Points, which is a blatantly false denomination unless you specifically attack someone who's sparing you and not fighting. I looked up execution style killing and this is what I got: An execution-style killing, is an act of criminal murder where the perpetrator kills at close range a conscious victim who is under the complete physical control of the assailant and who has been left with no course of resistance or escape. Monsters are always the ones to come up to YOU and start fighting, with the exception of Asgore, where you come to him. Even Papyrus, while he won't kill you, is perfectly willing to beat you to within an inch of your life, much like Toriel. Even attacking Undyne, one of the few monsters who knows you're a human, absolutely cannot be spared or talked down, and comes at you with murderous intent, counts as an 'execution,' even though she's the 'relentless killer' Flowey foreshadowed and is one of the times you could definitely claim self-defense in. On the main page it brings up 'the crime of self defense,' where monsters like Bratty and Catty talk about being 'hyped for the destruction of humanity.' So it's okay for them to be excited for a plan to genocide humanity, but you're an evil jerk for killing just one monster? The saving grace here is that they don't even know you're a human until the playable epilogue where you can embarrass them by telling them so. So you have to wonder how many monsters don't even know what you are and are just messing around with 'a fellow monster,' though it still doesn't quite negate their excitement at a whole race being wiped out. I guess, given the golden ending where humans and monsters coexist easily enough, it could be less 'we want humanity dead' and more 'we want to live in peace on the surface, and those evil humans would be in the way of that.' Given Frisk's true nature as a pacifist who wouldn't kill even in self-defense I don't fault the game for being what it is, as it was a very compelling story. I just think Toby was a little heavy-handed in pushing you to feel bad for ever killing with that EXP thing. Do you agree/disagree? (Just want to make sure I add I'm not talking about genocide, where you're going out of your way to kill everyone and should be called out for it)
    • Agreed. Part of the problem is that even if the argument is that monsters don't know Frisk is human, they still had no problem attempting murder. And another aspect to keep in mind is that the monsters already willfully and happily murdered 6 other children and stole their souls. We know next to nothing about these other souls or who they were, much less how their attempts at traversing the Underground went or if they hurt anyone at any point. We know their items and the significance of their soul colors, but that's about it. Yet it is openly stated that not only were they murdered and their souls stolen, but that said souls were also experimented on by Alphys. The notes in the True Lab reveal that she took the determination from the souls, noting that it is the key difference that keeps the human souls around after death. The problem there is that she outright stole that determination from those souls. And since the souls are pretty much floating hearts at that time, there was no indication as to what effect her experiments had on them. Since the soul is the culmination of a person's being, that means Alphys stole essential parts of these people just to use those bits on monsters and ultimately created abominations. Furthermore, at no point does Alphys, Asgore, or really anyone express even the slightest bit of guilt for this. For all that Asgore, at least, acts like he feels guilty about their deaths, he at no point acknowledges what this experimentation could have done to the souls or what sort of strain it should by all counts have put on them to force them to remain despite taking away the aspect that was supposed to keep them there. Instead, everything works out, the monsters are free, and the souls simply disappear like there was nothing wrong with them being murdered and used as commodities for the benefit of the people who thought it was okay to murder them and then experiment on their souls.
    • Agreed on a lot of the above points, I like to headcanon the monsters are a little screwy in terms of morality. (It sure was hilarious when Asgore tried to apologize for killing you and then took it back because Undyne pointed out that pretty much everyone had tried to kill Frisk at some point. They kind of seem to be a "go with the crowd/hype" type.) I think one of the key things to remember though is that the monsters cannot reset, but Frisk can and this is an in-story detail as much as a meta one. If a monster kills Frisk in self-defense or on accident (which, to make a little detour, is a strong possibility for at least some the monsters who don't know Frisk is a human, because monsters are hurt by the intentions of their attacker whereas humans will be hurt either way. So Snowdrake, for example, trying to get Frisk to leave him alone might not realize his attack will actually kill them because it wasn't his intention) then it's a new experience for them and as much as they want to fix it, they can't. Frisk can always go back and not kill someone they killed before—this is a plot point that comes up for lots of people who accidentally kill Toriel. Frisk can't use self-defense or an accident as an excuse, because it's entirely possible for them to go back and find another way. I think this is brought up in-game too—if you have multiple tries to get something right, why don't you? It's also important to remember that Flowey, aside from Sans, is the one shaming you for much of the game—and he has his own motives for doing so. I think I recall reading or hearing that he'll try to tip you towards one or the other of the extremes—Pacifist or Genocide—depending on how many people you've killed in a neutral run. So, something to keep in mind.
      • And for the whole spiel about the souls and the other kids killed, you're gonna just have to chalk this one up to the fact that they were a dying a slow death via their imprisonment underground. They could very well feel guilty about all that they've done (just because they don't go on and on about it in-game doesn't mean they don't) but no one thought of any more peaceful options. The only reason the Pacifist route works to free them is by a huge number of chance occurrences that could never be replicated again. You can argue experimenting on souls was immoral and wrong and bad, but they're scraping the bottom of the barrel here.

    Case of the missing locket. 
  • There are two heart lockets: one belonged to Chara and other to Asriel. We only find one in game, but there are clearly two - Chara mentions during Genocide that the locket we found was theirs, and yet during Pacifist Asriel has an identical one - and besides, lockets with words "Best Friends" engraved generally come in pairs. So... where is the other one? If the missing one was Chara's locket, then we could just assume that it was buried with them - but the locket we find evidently belonged to Chara - it's found next to THEIR bed, along with THEIR knife, and, as already mentioned, they identify it during Genocide Route as theirs. Asriel's locket just kinda disappeared and unlike Chara's, it can't be explained by it being buried with him, as monster burial consists of spilling their dust over their favourite things. It's also not like it was created magically by Asriel and fell apart after his death - in this case both lockets would most probably fall apart. So... just where it is?
    • When you visit New Home, both the heart locket and the worn dagger are sitting in gift-wrapped boxes in Asriel and Chara's room. The only person who would be remotely inclined to do that is Flowey: he gives Frisk the dagger for his upcoming battle with Asgore (and himself) and the locket because he already sees Frisk as a Replacement Goldfish for Chara anyways. So knowing all that, it's likely he took Chara's locket from their body and kept his own hidden away somewhere throughout his many, many resets.
    • Seems like it's simply Asriel has kept it on his person all this time as he wears it in his God of Hyperdeath form, shown in both his in-game battle sprite and official tarot card.
      • But he had no way of keeping it on his person as Flowey. The locket he is wearing during his boss fight is almost certainly not the same one that he had as a kid, but an identical copy created with magic (just like he doesn't have a Delta Robe at first and only conjures it after being resurrected).

    A garbage dump... atop the cursed mountain? 
  • Garbage Dump is clearly said to be HUMAN dump (Alphys mentions scavenging for human technology there, protagonist recognises some brands there). Garbage is dumped into river and is then carried by water underground, and then to THE Undeground. Except... with the location of the Underground, it doesn't make sense. Underground is located under a mountain. Even if it does extended below plains surrounding Mount Ebott, both entrances there are on the mountain side, and we travel between them almost entirely in a straight line - meaning that all locations we visit, including the Dump, are under the mountain (or Mount Ebott just has a very strange shape - which doesn't seem probable, considering how small it seems to be). Now, rivers obviously don't go uphill, and the big waterfall in the Dump seems to have its source up at the surface - meaning that the river that carries all the trash Underground must have its source somewhere on Mount Ebott. So... humans made a garbage dump atop a remote mountain, with only civilization nearby being a backwater village whose residents believe that aforementioned mountain is cursed (or sacred, it's never actually specified), in spite of several reported disappearances on the mountainside, with a river source just nearby (which would violates just about every ecological convention there is)... or what?
    • Humans made a dump near their village. Garbage gets into the nearby river. The river flows past the village and down through the mountain, carrying the garbage. I'm honestly not sure where the confusion is.
      • If that was the case, garbage would be carried AWAY from the mountain (and Underground), not TOWARDS it. Rivers don't go uphill. Only remotely plausible explanation would be undeground rivers - but those could carry a can or book, but not bike, fridge or A WASHING MACHINE.
      • They don't have to literally CARRY them, just drag them along. Rivers can move just about anything given enough time.
      • It's not about the current of such river, but its size. An underground river big enough to carry or even drag along a fridge? Also, it would have to go underground and then make a 180 degree turn towards the mountain to actually drag the garbage to the Underground. That's even more implausible.

    Suddenly we know everything. 
  • How did monsters know what actually happened to Asriel on the surface? It's said in game that he stumbled back to the Underground and immediately died before even giving any last words and, being a monster, he didn't leave a body to examine. For all they knew, he could have just stumbled upon some wild animal or fell while climbing down the mountain or maybe even actually befriended humans and just had an accident that turned out to be fatal.
    • Maybe Asriel told them in their final moments? Maybe a piece of human media covering the event, like a newspaper, traveled down underground?
      • That's assuming that such piece of media was created in the first place. It all took no longer than few minutes and no evidence was left (Chara's body was taken back to the Underground, and any fur Asriel left would turn to dust either immediately or after his death). At most there might be Asriel's footprints, but even then they might be just written of as some wild animal. Also, it would take at the very least a week for such thing to get to the Underground. By this time Asgore would still be in denial, but no longer enraged enough to declare war on the whole human race.
    • Nothing's canon about how they were attacked, but most versions I've seen were either arrows or spears. The wounds in either case would have had an obvious source.
      • Except the fact that Asriel would have turned to dust before anyone could examine them. Also, we know that Chara and Asriel had a camcorder back when they were still alive (and it was rather old, considering that the first record made with it was made by Toriel shortly before or just after Asriel's brith), and it's stated that much of monsters technology (except for the most advanced) is reverse-engineered from human technology... and Chara had a rather modern-looking sweater on when they first fell down, so it clearly had to come from the surface. Arrows and spears just don't fit in this setting.

    Timey-Wimey Barrier 
  • Using Determination, you can travel in time. Only the most determined person in the world can do that. However Flowey can still do that even though he clearly ISN'T such person, as long as there is no one more determined than him behind the Barrier. So... the only explanation would be that the Barrier actually divides the universe into two... "sub-universes"... which raises many questions.
    • If Flowey's (and the player's) resets can only affect what's behind the Barrier, then what happens when we save, then something/someone gets behind the Barrier, and then we reset? That person/item doesn't return to the surface, since resets can't affect it, and it doesn't stay Underground, as they weren't there when we saved. Do they join Gaster's legions of not-exisitng followers? Is that what actually somehow happened to Gaster?
    • And when it happens the other way around - someone/something leaves the Barrier and then we reset to before they left? Does it create a copy of them? Or are they somehow pulled back to the Underground?
    • Contrary to popular among fans' belief, the Barrier is stated to be a dome or bubble surrounding the whole Underground rather than a wall of light blocking out the only entrance - which means that the Barrier isn't airtight (otherwise by the time Frisk came, rather than small but existent civilisation they'd find a huge sea of dust, much carbon dioxide and zero oxygen). Besides, the Barrier clearly lets light in - leading to another question: what happens when the reset is done? Shouldn't it cause huge hurricanes due to air masses suddenly completely switching places and starnge optical effects due to photones doing the same?
      • What makes you jump to the conclusion that resetting timeline only affects things inside the barrier? That is never even suggested.
      • Flowey is almost for sure less determined than a human - Alphys only took some DT from Souls and even then it wasn't all given to him, but shared between him and at least 30 other monsters - and yet can reset as long as he is the most determined being Underground. There is still someone out there who can reset on the surface - so if resetting Underground affected surface and vice versa, it would actually make things even more awkward. Also, Flowey is strongly implied to have used resets to relive those same few weeks over and over, not letting time flow forward. If resets really affected surface, Frisk would have never fallen.
      • I'm going to go ahead and speculate: a) humans used to have magic (the wizards), but for some reason or another the magic has gone away—civilization up above doesn't seem all that different from our own in the real world. However, magic has persisted underneath Mount Ebott due to the Barrier. So regular humans don't have the ability to reset, but monsters behind the Barrier do with enough determination. Frisk gains this ability by falling through the Barrier with a soul full of determination (the regular psychological trait); thanks to the magic, it manifests as an actual, physical ability. The others had souls dominated by kindness, perseverance, justice, etc., so they lacked the ability to reset—hence, their items and coffins. b) When Frisk resets, they're jumping back to the point in the timeline when they saved, so whatever happened up to that point happened and whatever happens afterwards hasn't. From our perspective, yes, if someone crossed the Barrier they'd be back outside, but from their perspective they never left because it hasn't happened yet. No teleportation or Gaster followers involved. Same with all the air and light passing through the Barrier—it's Frisk that's moving around in time, not everything else.
      • Toriel and Asgore make it rather clear that all the Fallen Humans could reset, not just Frisk. Also, DT is not the same as magic - magic is strongly implied to be made possible thanks to... something called "essence", yet Chara states at the end of the Genocide that essence and DT are two completely different things. And if reseting surface doesn't affect Underground and vice versa, then it doesn't - no ifs or buts, no "it never happened". It just wouldn't work.
      • In order: a) If all the Fallen Humans could reset to the same extent as Frisk, they'd still be around. When Frisk/the player dies in the game, they don't get stuffed into a coffin like the others, they warp back to the last save point because of their determination. So if the other Fallen Humans ever had the power to reset, it was much more limited than Frisk's. b) I'm aware that magic and determination are different things—that's what I was arguing. Frisk is a determined person —> Magic exists behind the Barrier —> Frisk falls behind the Barrier —> magic makes Frisk's determination manifest as an actual ability to reset upon death. Maybe other people on the surface are more determined than Frisk, but they don't have access to the magic behind the Barrier. c) Resetting affects everything. When Frisk dies, they are sent back to the point at which they saved. Anything that happened after Frisk saved the last time is gone. It never happened, either in the one timeline or in this particular timeline. There's nothing to change or get rid of because nothing has happened. If I somehow 'saved' at the start of my day, went out and got a sandwich, and then went back to the 'save point', I wouldn't have an invisible quantum sandwich. I'd have no sandwich. Because I hadn't gone out yet at that point.
      • It still doesn't explain how in spite of constant resets Frisk could fall down. If everything was affected by Flowey's resets, then continuum would never get to the point when Frisk climbed Mount Ebott and fell to the Underground. And at the beginning of the game Flowey clearly just started a new cycle not long ago (he didn't befriend, kill or manipulate anybody except for Papyrus yet, and almost no one knows anything about him), so it can't be handwaved with him waiting too long with another reset and letting time flow too far forward.
      • He did, though. Flowey's talk during the visit to New Home on the No Mercy Path (along with some of Sans's comments) lays it out: he initially reset a bunch of times to try and feel things—or kill everybody, or kill a few people, or just generally muck about—while Sans sort-of somehow picked up on it. Then he stopped, because he'd done everything at that point and there was nothing left, and time flowed forward. Toriel stuck around in the ruins, Papyrus tried to join the Royal Guard, Bratty and Catty opened their shop, Mettaton become a star, Burgerpants started smoking, etc. Then Frisk fell behind the barrier, gained the ability to reset, and Flowey went "oh, hey, this is interesting" (or "oh, hey, it's Chara!", depending on how you play) and started taking an interest.
      • Where is it stated that any of those things only happened after Flowey was born? Also, while Flowey is becoming increasingly bored, he clearly didn't fully lose hope for something new, as evidenced by him still trying to manipulate Papyrus (and it's not that he only started after Frisk fell - Sans makes it clear in the neutral ending that the whole game - maybe with exception of Ruins - took place over the course of one night, and yet he also states during his first hangout that Flowey and Papyrus already knew each other for some time), and yet no one except for Papyrus knows about Flowey - so it couldn't be long since last reset, or Flowey would already make more progress.

    (Spoilers) From any other point of view, this is obviously a crime 
  • When people talk about the subjective, seemingly-debatable moral quagmire that is Alphys and her amalgamate debacle, people always seem to focus exclusively on her mistake of making the amalgamates, and people on her defense sometimes bring up the fact that she still kept them alive and healthy while they were being kept in the lab to help their case. What I want to know is why I've never seen a single person address what happened afterward, and why she got away with it so cleanly - keeping the amalgamates in her lab against their will in order to protect her own feelings. People tend to talk and think about the amalgamates as if they were at or slightly above the level of animals in terms of how self-aware and deserving of rights they are, but we see in the game that despite the state they are in, they are very clearly still the self-aware intelligent adults they were in life, even if they've been coagulated into each other. Therefore, even if they'll need a lot of help in the future, they should still very much have the exact same rights and liberties that other monsters should... and the game treats the fact that Alphys held them in her basement for weeks or possibly months on end against their will like it was something she just needs to fix by letting the amalgamates go, that she shouldn't even say she's sorry for, and shouldn't feel cripplingly ashamed of to the point where her entire character arc is dedicated to it. Yeah, uh... unless this is a society where kidnapping and forcibly withholding people from their lives isn't a crime for some reason, in which case it's a tremendously screwed up society that wouldn't be appropriate for the game's idealistic philosophies at all, Alphys shouldn't be playing a Gameboy on the beach in the game's epilogue; she should be in prison. And before anybody brings it up, no, this situation is not comparable with Asgore ordering the death of the six fallen humans. In that situation, he's being held to his word by the entire underground population of anti-human-minded monsters who are looking up to him as their savior and only source of hope, all for something that he did in the heat of the moment and now can't go back on because that's how being a king works. Alphys, on the other hand, is continually choosing to do something that is hurting dozens of innocent people that she could willingly stop doing at any given moment and the only person she's protecting by not doing so is herself (and possibly the amalgamates' families, but it's generally not considered morally okay to lie to people about the lives/well-beings of their loved ones to spare their feelings.)
    • Yes, Alphys SHOULD have been punished for it - however it should be noted that she reveals what she has done moments after Asgore declares that the Kingdom of Monsters will stop being an independent country as soon as they start integrating with human society. Basically she no longer can be held accountable for what she has done by monsters law (since that no longer exists), however due to Lex retro non agit (law is not retroactive) rule she also can't be judged by the law of whatever country The Kingdom becomes part of, since at the time of commiting crime law of that country didn't apply to her - basically making her an unintentional Karma Houdini. Unfortunately, law and justice aren't always the same. (Since this troper has only very basic understanding of how law works, he might be completely wrong. In this case please correct me.) It also should be noted that Alphys is implied to have tried fixing the Amalgamates (which doesn't fully excuse her, but is already a palliation of sorts) and most importantly - monsters are said to be much more forgivable and compesionate than humans, and humans had no way of knowing what Alphys did without someone telling them - and it's not unreasonable to think that monsters MIGHT have just enough leniency to "forget" about that thing. Once again - not really fair, but makes sense.
    • If this is a society where all parties are expected to turn a blind eye to this kind of thing it brings up a lot of uncomfortable questions about what a society of people who are universally that level of Easily Forgiven would be like, especially considering the fact that Alphys' character arc is used as a means to give a relatable and poignant message to the audience about telling the truth and forgiving yourself that really does seem nice unless you think about long enough. It might also send Alphys herself into something of a character-specific Esoteric Happy Ending, as she basically just had her moral conscience taught out of her under the guise of a heartwarming and healthy character arc. Lord knows what a person who's been taught not to feel guilty for very serious and harmful self-serving crimes could do, especially now that she's in the human world where we don't exactly take kindly to those kinds of people and she's in a relationship with somebody...
    • Anybody in the, uh, state that the Amalgamates are in, in real life, would be an unambiguous candidate for a 5150: involuntary, possibly indefinite psychiatric hold, for being a danger to others/oneself or "gravely disabled" — all three for which the Amalgamates qualify. Whether involuntary psychiatric confinement is ethical is a subject of debate, but it is not currently a crime. There are obviously no mental hospitals in this world, but the King's laboratory is probably the closest thing.
    • "There are obviously no mental hospitals in this world." Can you provide evidence of this...? Also, the fact that the amalgamates were all allowed to live with their families once they were released pretty firmly invalidates that claim. Disabled though they may be, they still have the right to freedom.
    • Oh for crying out loud, how pedantic. There are obviously no mental hospitals because there are none in the game. We don't see any indication of mental healthcare being a thing in the Underground, even though there's plenty of indication that what we would consider mental health issues are common problems and no one is being treated for them, and monsters view mental illness and physical injury very differently from the way humans do. It's making a lot more assumptions that a race of creatures who disintegrate when exposed to human virtues actually does have an organized mental healthcare system, it just doesn't exist anywhere near the central government and its only known scientist. Whether that's the case for human part of the world is irrelevant, and that is a ridiculous thing to focus on in the context of Alphys' ethical mistreatment of the Amalgamates. You want to talk about "rights"? Dude, they don't live in a democracy, they live in a kingdom ruled by a (strongly implied to be incompetent) king, he decides what rights they have, and he was the one who decided to send them to Alphys. And yes, Alphys did commit a crime, she knows she did wrong, which is why she hid what she had done. The monsters forgave her, presumably because even though they're collectively a mess, that's still better than them being dead, which is what they effectively were before (technically they 'fell down', but that's more or less the same thing). She may not have been as successful as she wanted to be, but at the end of the day, she still succeeded, and those families did get back the loved ones they had already lost hope of ever seeing again. That's why they forgive her.
      • An extremely minor and strongly off-topic nitpick, but... where, aside from Ron the Death Eater fanfics, is it implied that Asgore is incompetent?
    • There's an entire section of the underground that appears to be far more industrialized and populated than any other that we see, and we don't have any freedom to explore it or even see a single building other than the castle. I think the assumption that there aren't any mental health facilities in the game just because we don't see any is pretty presumptuous... we never see any regular hospitals in the game, does that mean whenever somebody gets sick or injured they either suck it up or die? We never see any factories or production plants in the game but we have to assume they exist somewhere for this society to have functioned this long. We never see any post offices or schools but we know they exist because of dialogue in the game, but because we never physically saw the buildings, that dialogue is suddenly invalid? The idea that you think that something doesn't exist in the society presented in the game just because we as the player don't get the chance to see it on this extremely linear path we're given is honestly really confusing to me... and regarding the characters who are suffering mental health issues, I'm assuming you're referring to Sans, Napstablook, and Alphys (all three with depression, one with anxiety). First of all, I don't think any of those mental illnesses would constitute needing to be held in a mental hospital. They're in desperate need of treatment, yes, but they're not a danger to themselves or others and could be treated at home with counseling. Second of all, just because these specific characters aren't getting the treatment that they need doesn't automatically mean that there's no mental healthcare in the Underground - many people in real life aren't getting the proper treatment that they need simply because they aren't seeking it out, maybe because they feel like they don't deserve it, they feel ashamed and don't want to admit to having them, or any other similar reasons. Sans and Blooky are both completely apathetic, especially to their own needs, and Alphys is trying to put up a facade of being a competent royal scientist, making them all unfortunately very likely candidates for this mentality.
      • Asgore is not the one who sent the bodies of the fallen monsters to Alphys - that was the families of said monsters who donated their bodies to science. The fact that they were going to come back to life was never a part of the agreement, nor something they were anticipating. They were supposed to die for Alphys' experiment to be successful.
      • If you agree that Alphys did something very wrong, hid it from the world, and then got away with it, why are you arguing with me so vehemently?
      • Here's the thing - before finally letting the amalgamates free, she called all their families and told them that their loved ones were now alive and healthy again. She then let them believe this for what seems to be a very long time - possibly months- without giving them an update or responding to their letters. She let them believe that she was holding their completely-healthy family members hostage in her lab for months without any explanation or any updates on their well-being. In that context, the reveal of the amalgamates should have been a horrible slap in the face to everybody and likely not a "Oh it doesn't matter what you did, at least you brought them back to life!" kind of deal.

    Timing of Flowey's plan (MAJOR PACIFIST SPOILERS) 
  • Once the player befriends Undyne, everything else leading to the True Pacifist Ending is set in motion by Papyrus manipulated by Flowey. This includes: convincing Undyne to send a love letter to Alphys, asking player to visit Alphys in her lab and leading all monsters to stop player's duel with Asgore, leading to latter's Hazy Feel Turn. Flowey himself meanwhile blackmails Alphys into opening the True Lab. However, all of this only happens after player completes Neutral Pacifist at least once and befriends both Papyrus and Undyne. Now, all of this makes perfect sense in context of Flowey's plan: he needs all monsters alive, so only sets everything in motion after making sure player won't kill anyone; He needs to release Amalgamates to make sure he can steal their souls (remember that Blooky was saved from it simply by closing the window shutters); He wants monsters to distract Asgore for long enough for him to steal human souls; By making player befriend Alphys, he gives them easier access to True Lab; Undyne gives player easy way to befriend Alphys, and Papyrus — to befriend Undyne; finally, he traps player in True Lab for three reasons: to make absolutely sure that Amalgamates will be released, to make player see tapes and to give himself more time for other steps. What doesn't make sense is timing: Undyne's letter can be only picked up after completing Neutral Pacifist and defeating Mettaton EX - but once we complete Neutral Pacifist, we can just reload save from before Asgore's fight and go back to MTT Resort (which will take about three minutes out-universe, and at most five in-universe), immediately getting a call from Undyne about the letter. So... what? In a span of five minutes Flowey managed to convince Papyrus to convince Undyne to write a letter, and Undyne actually did it, even though she herself states she isn't good at it? The first part might not be that impossible — but even without Flowey's suggestions Papyrus still tries and fails through the whole game to make Undyne reveal her feelings to Alphys. And it gets even worse later on — most importantly when he asks Papyrus to call everyone. He had to call him after player left True Lab (otherwise Papyrus would have no way of contacting Alphys) — meaning it took Papyrus and Sans to get from Snowdin, Alphys to get from Hotland and Undyne to get from wherever she was at the moment to the Throne Room just a mere minutes longer than it took player to get there from several rooms away.
    • To the first one, I offer two counter-points: 1. There's no way to say for sure how far Asgore's save point is from MTT Resort. Actual distance and geography is very rarely set in stone in RPGs, especially 2D ones. In a Final Fantasy game, for example, are you really expected to believe the entire adventure takes place over a stretch of land that could be covered on foot in say, fifteen minutes? No, of course not, because an epic kingdom-spanning adventure would be horrifically boring if done in real time. With this in mind, it's entirely plausible, probable in fact, that the walk from Asgore's throne room and MTT resort is far longer than it really is. 2. Flowey has been through every possible timeline in this universe and knows the script for every single conversation to be had in it. He knows exactly what to say to convince anyone to do exactly what he wants as fast as it can happen.
      • 1. It's not entirely the same. Generally Final Fantasy and similar games have a "World map" (which is purely symbolic - of course our heroes can't traverse the world on foot in 15 minutes, but it would be boring if it took longer) and "Location maps" (which, while most probably still not entirely to scale, are much closer to reality). Undertale instead only has a location map. And it's not like "Underground is actually much bigger, it's just shown to be small so the player doesn't get bored" - it's mentioned in several endings that it really only took Frisk a few hours to traverse the Underground. 2. But there are still certain limits to what can be done even with the knowledge of the script, and Flowey can't be even sure if his old tricks would still give the same results with Frisk interfering (AND Flowey's knowledge of the script doesn't include anything regarding Frisk, do it wouldn't help him with any such thing). Also, Flowey is only manipulating Papyrus and making him make other people do what he wants them to do. It's much harder than just manipulating people normally and the knowledge of script might not help - especially since he mentions at some point that Papyrus is much more erratic than any other monster and even with knowledge of script it can be hard to predict what will he do.
    • To the last one: Sans can teleport. What if he can teleport others?
      • Not only "what if" - he clearly can (he teleports Frisk with himself twice on Pacifist Run - at the beginning of Waterfall and at MTT Resort - and constantly teleports them around the place throughout the second phase of his boss fight). However, Sans arrives last at the scene, just after Papyrus, so question still stands (and in fact him arriving last in spite of being able to teleport and most probably being second to learn about everything raises even more questions).

     Undyne's House Fire 
  • When you take part in Undyne's cooking session, the house winds up catching on fire. I know this was meant to be played for humor, but what about the aftermath of the whole deal? Why does no one bother to put the fire out? And for that matter, why is it still on fire during the epilogue? Wouldn't it have burned to the ground by that point?
    • Like you said, this was probably due to Rule of Funny on the most part. As to why nobody puts it out, Undyne obviously doesn't care much, Napstablook is afraid of Undyne and thus wouldn't go over to her house, and both of their houses is fairly out of the way. Additionally, the entirety of the game takes place in less than a day.
    • Well, Grillby the bartender seems to be made totally of fire, so... maybe... Undyne was cooking with magic and the fire got infused with magic and... it turned into a monster and... look, I got nothin' here.

     Tsunderplane and humans. 
  • It's made pretty clear during the Playable Epilogue that most monsters don't know what a human looks like and didn't recognise Frisk as one until they tried to fight Asgore. Those few monsters that DO know are those who logically should know, or at least have a good reason to know: Dreemurrs (used to live with a human child), Undyne and the Royal Guards (recognising and hunting down humans is kinda their job), Alphys (obsessed with anime, plus she used to work with human souls and probably interacted with or at least saw at least one of the Fallen before), Sans (Inexplicably Awesome, and he is also implied to have killed at least one of the Fallen), Papyrus (warned by Sans), Monster Kid (warned by Undyne), Mettaton (warned by Alphys), Muffet (warned by Mettaton), all monsters in Ruins (warned by Toriel) and Core (hired by Mettaton), Temmie (Author Avatar and Cloud Cuckoo Lander)... and Tsunderplane. Just what makes her important enough to know? Isn't she just another random encounter with zero plot importance? And more importantly - while everyone else who knows either is on the player's side from the very beginning or becomes their ally before they can contact anyone, so they have a good reason to help the Fallen Child stay unknown, Tsunderplane never befriends them - and yet it doesn't seem like she is trying to warn anyone about a human in the Underground.
    • Her name is Tsunderplane, so... maybe she watched the same anime as Alphys?
    • She may have learned what a human was at the monster high school that she's late to every day! She doesn't contact everyone because she might secretly like you.

     How did the humans react? 
  • At the true ending to the game, all the monsters go back up to the surface... but the humans do nothing about it? They are all just perfectly ok with hundreds, maybe even thousands of creatures they've never seen before suddenly living alongside them? Wouldn't at least some of them be terrified of the monsters?
    • We don't see the process the monsters underwent to integrate into human society. It very well could have taken a lot of time and negotiation. In fact, considering Toriel is seen with her dream job as a teacher, Papyrus has a driver's license, and Mettaton has a new body that combines the traits of both of his old ones, a significant amount of time must have passed between the scene on the cliff and the sequences we see in the credits.

    How aware is Papyrus... 
  • ...that humans have to be killed in order for their souls to be used to break the barrier? He doesn't seem that surprised when Undyne informs him she's going to kill the human and yet I can't quite fathom him bringing a human to their death.
    • He appears to be more aware of the weight of the situation than he usually gets credit for. A big part of his character is assuming the best of even the worst people, and another big part of it is that he's often RIGHT. Most players who attempt a genocide run end up abandoning it by the time they realize they have to kill Papyrus, and while both Undyne and Mettaton assume Asgore is all in on the plan still, Papyrus notes that if you asked, Asgore would probably let you go. While Asgore does still fight you, he gives you every single chance to flee from him, every possible excuse to not fight you. Papyrus is kind of there to deconstruct and defy the idea that in order to be an idealist, you have to be ignorant of people's true nature. And when Papyrus says she doesn't need to kill you to open the barrier, he's technically right, even ignoring the True Pacifist route: you could simply live out the rest of your natural life with the king, then he could use your soul once you pass on.

    WTF Spontaneous Goat-to-Flower Transmutation (Spoilers for True Pacifist Ending) 

So... how exactly does Asriel transform into Flowey after the True Pacifist Ending concludes?! The first time he became Flowey, it was the end result of a specific series of known magical reactions and para-psychological principles (warning: long plot summary ahead):History of Flowey 

  1. Chara commits suicide and dies, and Asriel absorbs Chara's SOUL, becomes his adult self, and crosses the barrier with the combined power of his and Chara's SOULs. This is a ploy to collect more SOULs and break the barrier.
  2. Asriel takes Chara's body to the human village Chara hailed from to lay it to rest, but due to looking like, well, a terrifying monster, the villagers assume that Asriel murdered Chara and attack him. Chara tries to control Asriel's body to slaughter the villagers, and Asriel refuses to allow Chara to do this. As Asriel and Chara's SOULs struggle for control of Asriel's body, the villagers attack Asriel without impediment and mortally injure him.
  3. Asriel makes his way back to the Underground, where he succumbs to his injuries and perishes. As he dies, his body immediately collapses into dust, like any monster's body does on death (due to being composed mostly of magical energy rather than physical matter). Asriel's SOUL lingers on for just a moment, then vanishes to wherever monster SOULs go after death. Chara's SOUL also vanishes due to losing the necessary Determination to linger after death and not being attached to any monsters or devices (like whatever Asgore would later use to hold the six human SOULs the monsters collect in the future).
  4. At the same time that Asriel's SOUL vanishes, Asriel's dust settles on a golden flower, infusing that flower with Asriel's essence. This essence lacks both a SOUL and Determination, and thus remains inanimate, dormant, and inert.
  5. Asgore is furious over his children’s demise, and declares that he will break the barrier and wage war on humanity. He starts collecting human SOULs from humans who fall into the Underground, but calms down over the course of collecting the first few SOULs and realizes that he doesn't actually want to kill anybody; however, by this point, he cannot back down from his promise due to not wanting to deprive his subjects of hope, so he just rests on his laurels and waits.
  6. Toriel leaves Asgore in disgust over his half-hearted, murderous-yet-cowardly plan to break the barrier. She takes Chara's body and buries it beneath a patch of golden flowers, which become infused with Chara's essence.
  7. Meanwhile, Asgore has collected some human SOULs, but is quickly growing disillusioned with murdering humans, so he has Alphys conduct experiments with Determination to find a way to break the barrier without needing to take any more lives. One of those experiments involves injecting Determination into various things, like plants and fallen-down monsters, to try to create a SOUL vessel. This results in the Amalgamates. It also results in Asriel being "revived" when the flower holding his essence is injected with Determination.
  8. Asriel is not happy about his resurrection, as not only in he a body completely different from his own, but he also lacks a SOUL and cannot feel love, empathy, or compassion, no matter how hard he tries. In despair, he attempts to commit suicide, only to stop himself at the realization that he will cease to exist if he dies. During the aborted suicide, he realizes that his Determination allows him to manipulate the timeline. He uses this power to interact with the residents of the Underground in various ways, slowly growing bored with them and losing his morality. He eventually becomes a bitter, sociopathic nihilist believing that the only true law of the world is "kill or be killed", due in part to lingering guilt over his role in botching his and Chara's plan to break the barrier, and starts calling himself Flowey.

Okay, so that’s how Asriel became Flowey to begin with. This was not spontaneous — it required Asriel to die, losing his body and SOUL while also infusing a vessel with that essence, and for that essence to be awakened by Determination. Now let's go over the events of Undertale proper to see how Flowey regained his true body — Asriel Dreemurr.

  1. Frisk falls into the Underground, landing directly on top of Chara's grave. This reawakens Chara's essence, causing it to attach itself to Frisk.
  2. Frisk encounters Flowey, who realizes that he has a golden opportunity to claim Frisk's SOUL and... well, it'll open up something new for him to do; he surmises that he'll take Asgore down, steal the human SOULs, and wreak havoc on the surface as a godlike being. (At this point, he hasn't yet realized that Chara’s essence is attached to Frisk.) Flowey either deceives Frisk into charging headlong into a "friendliness pellet" or, failing in that, just flat-out sucker-punches them; either way, Flowey beats Frisk within an inch of their life, but takes a moment to gloat before finishing Frisk off, which allows Toriel to intervene and blast Flowey away with a fireball.
  3. Flowey watches from a distance as Frisk and Toriel make their way through the Ruins. It’s at this point that Flowey realizes that he can no longer SAVE, LOAD, or RESET, due to Frisk's Determination surpassing his own. This makes it futile for Flowey to confront Frisk directly, even after Toriel separates from Frisk to run an errand. Flowey instead keeps tabs on Frisk's actions — even those that Frisk LOADs or RESETs to undo.
  4. Frisk, seeking to leave the Underground, finds themself forced to fight Toriel to exit the Ruins. Frisk either kills Toriel or convinces her to allow them to pass, proceeding to the exit. It's here that Flowey pops up and addresses Frisk, either using everything he's observed to taunt Frisk or — if Frisk murdered all the monsters in the Ruins — recognizing Chara’s essence, mistaking Frisk for Chara, and inviting them on a murderous crusade through the rest of the Underground to claim the human SOULs.
  5. Frisk embarks on their journey through the Underground proper — Snowdin, Waterfall, and Hotland — with Flowey following them throughout their journey. If Frisk had started the Genocide Route, they abandon it at some point (since the Photoshop Flowey fight needs to happen in this timeline), forcing Flowey to come up with another way to claim the human SOULs from Asgore and reclaim control over the timeline (though his top priority is now rekindling his friendship with "Chara" — not that he'll admit it). If Frisk did not start the Genocide Route, Flowey gradually recognizes Chara's essence and starts mistaking Frisk and Chara as being one and the same, causing his subconscious goal to slowly shift from “claim seven human SOULs and become God” to "regain control of the timeline and trap Chara in a time loop with me so we can play together forever". Either way, he is not going to let Frisk have Asgore's SOUL and escape from the Underground.
  6. Frisk eventually reaches New Home and confronts Asgore, is forced to fight him, and overcomes him. Flowey seizes the opportunity to finish Asgore off (if Frisk refused to do so), destroy his SOUL so Frisk can't claim it, and then claim the human SOULs. This allows Flowey’s Determination to exceed Frisk's, giving Flowey control over the timeline; Flowey promptly crashes the timeline to trap Frisk in an alternate timeline of his own making. Here, Flowey uses the 6 Human SOULs to transform his body into the nearly-omnipotent abomination known as Photoshop Flowey (the 6 human SOULs don’t have enough power to restore Flowey's original body). Flowey claims that he intends to take Frisk’s SOUL so that he can truly become God, reclaim his original form, and conquer the surface... but even if he kills Frisk, he finds the fight so fun that he reloads the battle back to the beginning so he can do it again... and again... and again... This allows Frisk to reach out to the human SOULs, one at a time, and prompt them to rebel against Flowey, weakening him enough for Frisk to fight back and defeat him. Flowey reloads back to the start once more to undo his defeat, salvage victory, and kill Frisk repeatedly, but before Flowey actually gets around to claiming Frisk's SOUL, the other human SOULs have had enough and break free from Flowey’s control; they strip him of his control over the timeline, and proceed from there to strip him of his power entirely, forcing him to revert back to his original Flowey form. Flowey admits defeat and tries to goad Frisk into killing him; regardless of whether or not Frisk does, they find themselves incapable of passing the barrier without Asgore's SOUL, forcing them to reset or reload the timeline. Flowey continues thwarting Frisk's attempts to claim Asgore's SOUL, locking them in a stalemate.
  7. Flowey now realizes that he can't use his Photoshop Flowey form again, as the Human SOULs would revolt against him before he could kill Frisk and claim absolute power. In order to force the human SOULs to obey him, he needs a seventh human SOUL, which he can't get because Frisk controls the timeline again. So Flowey starts up Plan B. He feigns disillusionment with his "kill or be killed" philosophy and advises Frisk to refrain from killing anyone and to befriend Papyrus, Undyne, and Alphys in order to get a proper happy ending (unless Frisk hadn't killed anyone to begin with, in which case Flowey gets to skip straight to guiding Frisk to the True Lab). Once Frisk is in position to confront Asgore without having killed any monsters along the way, as well as having befriended Papyrus, Undyne, and Alphys, Flowey uses Papyrus to manipulate Frisk into entering the True Lab and meeting the Amalgamates. While Frisk is there, Flowey manipulates Papyrus into manipulating every monster in the Underground into congregating at New Home. Once Frisk is about to exit the True Lab, Flowey reroutes them to New Home.
  8. Frisk confronts Asgore, but this time, the fight is stopped before it starts by Toriel, followed by Papyrus, Sans, Alphys, and Undyne. Flowey then ambushes everyone and captures the monsters in vines, then confronts and attacks Frisk. However, Flowey's attacks are thwarted by Frisk's friends, and then the rest of the population of the Underground arrives to back Frisk up, exactly as Flowey planned. Flowey quickly proceeds to take both the human SOULs and the SOULs of all the monsters in the Underground (except for Napstablook), regaining his true form.
  9. Asriel confirms that he has been restored to his true self, then turns to acknowledge Frisk (addressing them as Chara), powers up into his God of Hyperdeath form, and challenges Frisk to a never-ending duel. However, Asriel isn't in control over the timeline this time, as Frisk is determined to save their friends. No matter how many times Asriel takes Frisk down, Frisk gets right back up to continue the fight. Eventually, Asriel gets sick of this and powers up further, paralyzing Frisk and blasting him with lasers. However, despite losing access to their SAVE file, Frisk still refuses to die, and reaches into Asriel's collection of SOULs to wake their friends up. This reawakens Asriel's compassion and gradually causes him to realize the gravity of everything he's done and lose the will to fight. Eventually, Asriel reverts to his original true form and reconciled with Frisk, acknowledging that they are not Chara, then proceeds to use the power of all the SOULs to break the barrier. Asriel then promptly releases all the SOULs to restore the monsters back to life and allow the humans to move on. However, despite releasing the SOULs, Asriel retains his body.

As we can see from the above timeline, at the end of the Pacifist Route, Asriel is back in his original body, but lacks his SOUL, meaning that he cannot feel compassion (though he has recent enough memories of feeling compassion that he can force himself into a mindset similar to compassion, as seen when he addresses a player about to perform a True Reset). Given a long period of time, he may very well grow sufficiently bored and re-jaded to fully regain the personality of Flowey as seen in Undertale (and this time, he has nobody to interact with, which can't be healthy for his mental state. However, I have a hard time grasping how lacking a soul can cause Asriel's body to spontaneously metamorphose and physically transform back into Flowey again; even if I accept that he needs a SOUL to maintain his body, I would presume that it is far more likely for his body to crumble into dust and die than to spontaneously change its physiology as the magic sustaining it runs out. Is there something I missed about how SOULs and magic work in the world of Undertale that explains how Asriel voluntarily releasing the SOULs on good terms with them (unlike when he was Photoshop Flowey) would still cause him to revert to being Flowey, in clear violation of ontological inertia? I can see how lacking a SOUL could lead to Death of Personality or literal death, but not reversing a transformation caused by claiming SOULs unless the SOULs themselves decide to reverse the transformation as they leave.

  • Asriel used his god-powers to transform his flower body into his monster body. Without the human souls giving him power he can't maintain the transformation and it will eventually fail and revert to his flower form. It's just a transformation, no bodies were actually switched.

    Future? 
  • As revealed during the fight with Asriel, Chara was the one who fell in the year 201X. Given the fact that most of the monsters don't recognize Frisk as a human, that would mean many years have passed since at least the sixth human's fall. So why doesn't the surface world look more futuristic in the True Pacifist credits?
    • Considering that humans know magic in this universe, it is possible that magic has severely regressed the evolutionary line of technology.

    Humans can take monster souls? 

Ok, so, the writing on the wall says that the monsters ability to steal souls is just that; the monsters special ability. But just before you go to face Asgore, Alphys tell you the terrible truth: that in order to cross the barrier, you'll have to take Asgore's soul. Um, what? Even Asgore at some point offers you his soul himself to help you cross the barrier. If humans can't absorb monster souls, and Asgore and Alphys would definitely be two monsters who should know a lot about this, then how would that even work?

  • As noted above, the soul stealing mechanic has never been properly explained. Presumably, Frisk would just seal Asgores soul in a spare soul jar or whatever by using DETERMINATION, or something.

    Alphys during a violent neutral route 
Alphys has been watching you pretty closely, and she ALWAYS helps you in a neutral route. If you've been playing in a borderline-genocide manner, does that mean she's knowingly "assisting" a murderer?
  • She might not think she can judge you too harshly considering her own crimes.
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