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- To JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
- Mettaton EX has a heart-shaped belt buckle and poses a lot, one such pose being a pelvic thrust with the arms hanging at the sides, like Dio Brando.
- The Mad Dummy screams and laughs a lot and throws knives at you. It even says "Futile! Futile! FUTILE!" and "Feeble! Feeble! Feeble!", a possible translation of DIO's famous "MUDA MUDA MUDA!" Battle Cry and "Hinjaku, hinjaku" Catchphrase, respectively.
- Mad Mew Mew seems to be a wholesale reference to DIO. In addition to being the same ghost as the Mad Dummy, she also states she's attempting to merge fully with the rest of her body by the head (not unlike DIO's head merging with Jonathan Joestar's body) and also makes an expression◊ resembling DIO's memetic "But it was me, Dio!" face◊.
- Using the Punch Card in battle displays the message "ORAAAAAAA!", a reference to Star Platinum's Battle Cry when using its Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs.
- Try calling Undyne's number on the save point in Hotlands with two knights nearby. She'll make a pretty pinpoint description of an anime she once saw purely for research purposes about a warring human who could mind control others. (In-universe, it's a totally different anime.)
- Madjick's battle dialogue consists of various "magic words" phrases ("Abracadabra", "Hocus pocus", "Please and thank you"), among which are "Tinkle tinkle hoy".
- Alphys's fan rage about one of her favourite works, "Mew Mew Kissy Cutie," having a trash sequel. Even though the fictional anime as described has only the name, a catgirl, and kissing having magical properties in common with the real manga, this reminds one a lot of the fan rage over Tokyo Mew Mew à la Mode.
- Whilst Undyne references a lot of Hot-Blooded anime heroes, Undyne the Undying is a Super Mode achieved through a combination of a pure heart, incredible strength, and a desperate need, much like a Super Saiyan.
- Papyrus and Sans' blue attack causes your soul to be literally weighed down by gravity.
- The monster Loox has a family name of Eyewalker, making its full name Loox Eyewalker. As an additional movie reference, Loox's internal filename is "Mike Wazowski".
- In the room where Mettaton disguises multiple objects as bombs, Mettaton describes a scene in his upcoming movie with him being showered with rose petals.
- If you call Papyrus from Hotland, hell express disgust over the steam grates and wonder what would happen if you were wearing a dress.
- To Homestuck:
- The $1000 Kickstarter reward was "Your Fantroll becomes Canon".
- There's also Aaron at the Waterfall, a flexing musclebound seahorse that can attack by sweating on you and definitely gives off some serious Equius vibes.
- There's a living rope on fire with the name Pyrope.
- Migospel, Migosp's Hard Mode replacement, seems to be a reference to Gamzee. It's a "messed-up clownbug" with a rather religious sounding name, and one of its battle lines is "Honk. HOOONK!", which is extremely similar to Gamzee's honking while sober.
- Several areas of the underground resemble areas in Homestuck. The ruins resemble Derse, the last corridor Prospit, Snowdin resembles LOFAF, Waterfall resembles LOWAS, and Hotland LOHAC.
- The high pitched drone in Chara's theme is similar to the one in [S] Descend.
As the game is indeed greatly inspired by the Mother
series, down to having a striped shirt-clad protagonist, it contains an abundance of references to it.
- As noted under Sdrawkcab Name, Mt. Ebott is a mountain named after the game's creator. Given the EarthBound influence, this is likely to be a reference to Mt. Itoi from the EarthBound Beginnings.
- Papyrus's costume (the chest part of it, at least) bears the Starman insignia, down to being where it is on the Starmen.
- The similarities really kick in for the endgame. In the New Home scene, you walk through a grayscale version of Toriel's house while monsters relate to you the story of Asgore, Toriel, and their children, which is very reminiscent of the way flashbacks are handled in Mother 3. Later, the Neutral path's final boss nearly quotes Porky's taunt in EarthBound for the player to cry out for help verbatim...which is exactly what happens. Each of the other six human souls answer your call for help and assist you in the battle.
- The Pacifist run's Final Boss is nearly the same concept as the final battle in Mother 3. Both are battles that are not only impossible to lose, but also tug on your emotions by having you fight someone you love in an "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight. You fail to save that special someone in the end, and as a result you witness them either become loveless again or die, respectively. Both games have yellow flowers as a major motif and plot point of sorts as well.
- With his striped shirt, kind personality, adorable design, close relationship with his family, association with yellow flowers, and relentlessly tragic existence, Asriel is pretty much a fluffier version of Lucas. The two boys are even described as "crybabies" multiple times during both of their games.
- Asriel also doubles as a Giegue/Giygas expy. They start out having a normal life with their parents, but around the way something goes wrong, leading to them losing their minds beyond the point of saving and becoming completely unrecognizable shells of their former selves.
- The battle music for the Amalgamates uses samples taken from EarthBound's Cave of the Past theme and the noises that Giygas makes. The Amalgamates even glitch out like Giygas does, and the Memoryheads resemble him. Similarly, the song "Ghost Fight" samples the sound effect for Venus' singing voice.
- The genocide route's Arc Words, "but nobody came," seem to be another reference to Earthbound, in which it's the message displayed when an enemy attempts to call reinforcements, but none show up. Made even more poignant in context - in Earthbound, the game can state, "<The enemy> called for help! But no one came." This is repeated almost verbatim throughout the game, particularly in reference to Flowey and the Amalgamates in the True Lab, all of whom died in one way or another and Came Back Wrong.
- Undyne's battle song in the No Mercy run is called "Battle Against a True Hero," a reference to the enemy tracks in Earthbound, usually called some variant of "Battle Against a ___ Opponent".
- It's likely not a coincidence that, with a single exception (the torn notebook), every Improbable Weapon you can use in the game were also used by one or more characters in the Mother series.
- Some of the True Final Boss's attacks seem to be EB references, too - STAR BLAZING in particular really, really resembles PSI Starstorm. The name itself comes from the dub of Space Battleship Yamato, which was localized as Star Blazers.
- There's a small white dog who represents Toby Fox, not unlike Ruffini the dog in Onett's drugstore who got "possessed" by the game designer to give you some gameplay tips.
- If you end up fighting Sans, his attacks make your HP damage work exactly the way it did in EarthBound: rolling back gradually.
- The snoring of the guests in the Snowed Inn sounds rather like Buzz Buzz's buzzing.
- Although the Real Knife was named after a rumor caused by some foreshadowing in the demo, it conveniently parallels the Real Bat weapon found at the end of Mother 3. You even find it inside a gift box, which are used in place of treasure chests in the Mother series.
- At the end of a Genocide run, Sans takes note of the beautiful day and says "On days like these, kids like you..." and you half expect him to toss out a comment about playing Nintendo games.
- If you try to use the Bird That Carries You Over a Disproportionately Small Gap while carrying an umbrella, the game replies "Umbrellas and birds... A bad combination." This greatly recalls a similar message that appears in EarthBound if you decide to backtrack to Happy Happy Village and try using the Carrot Key on a cow there.
- In the Ruins there's a gag with a frog complaining about the player skipping his dialogue with X, that was also done in Mother 3.
- The "WELCOME TO HOTLAND" sign resembles the wall in Lumine Hall that broadcasts Ness's thoughts.
- Papyrus's distinctive "Nyeh heh heh!" laugh could be based on Fassad's "Nwehehehe" laugh from Mother 3.
- The Vegetoids that just sit there in the ground and wait for the player to approach them (and perhaps take a bite out of them), unlike most Undertale monsters, are rather similar to the Yammonsters of Mother 3.
- The Fallen Child's theme sounds very similar to Giegue/Giygas' theme from the original MOTHER/Earthbound Beginnings.
- Similarly, "Once Upon a Time" sounds inspired by "Mother Earth."
- Combinatorial Explosion can result in the line "The Dog Salad was absorbed by the darkness." This is a reference to a much more serious moment in Earthbound where Paula's prayers go unanswered (which is similar to what happens in the Photoshop Flowey battle).
- Attempting to put the Annoying Dog in your item box gives the prompt "The box is aclog with the hair of a dog", possibly referencing the song "Hair of the Dog" by Nazareth. Or possibly the old turn of phrase "hair of the dog that bit you."
- If you return to Onionsan's room and talk to him again, he'll mention that he's starting a band called the Red Hot Chibi Peppers.
- In addition to being taken from the Cave of the Past theme in EarthBound, the ethereal vocal sample in "Amalgam", the Amalgamates' battle theme, is sourced from the Lyrical Cold Open to "Deirdre" by The Beach Boys.
- Flowey's voice clips and the Amalgamates' laugh are distorted samples from a 1960's McDonald's commercial.
- If you spare all the dogs, you find them later at Grillby's playing poker, a reference to the "Dogs Playing Poker" series of paintings by C. M. Coolidge.
- Napstablook is named after Napster, a defunct file-sharing service that was popularly used during its lifetime to illicitly share music. Examining the computer in Napstablook's house will say that it's open to a music-sharing forum.
- If you keep petting Lesser Dog, a piece of flavour text reads "Lesser Dog has gone where no dog has gone before".
- One of Papyrus's many guesses as to what the "L" on Hotland's elevators stands for is "lasagna". According to him, he doesn't make lasagna anymore because the Annoying Dog always eats it, then "retreats into a shallow blue box, covers itself with a blanket, and sleeps."
- One of Aaron's lines is "Education? Hobby? Talent?", a reference to a similarly musclebound and underdressed boss in Breath of Fire II.
- With its atmosphere, puzzles, music, and monsters, the True Lab is the closest thing to a Silent Hill dungeon this game will give you.
- To Brandish:
- The concept of a human falling down a hole into a lost underground kingdom is a Whole Plot Reference to the first game in the series.
- Likewise, Asgore is stated in the supplementary art book to have originally been based off of Brandish's own monarch, Bistall/Berebus.
- Megalovania first started out as a blend of Megalomania from Live A Live, and Brandish 2's final boss theme, Gadobadorrer (God-Badorrer if translated properly.)
- To Final Fantasy:
- The opening of Mettaton's dramatic opera trap is very similar to the Opera scene from Final Fantasy VI. The two themes related to it also use very similar instruments. The background music for the following scene is also highly reminiscent of the background music for the battle that follows FFVI's opera scene.
- Encounter Undyne after you've befriended her in a previous playthrough, and she'll end her pre-battle speech by defiantly proclaiming that she, Undyne, will knock you down.
- One of Asriel's attacks is the HYPER GONER, named after Kefka's Goner attack in the Super Nintendo version of Final Fantasy VI.
- To The Legend of Zelda:
- Mettaton prefaces one of his quiz questions with "Let's play memory game."
- A "Croissant" that awfully resembles the Power Bracelet from The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, to the point that even the protagonist mistakes it for one before realizing what it actually is.
- After Asgore destroys the MERCY button, his design shows a lot of influence from Ganon in the early Zelda games, particularly his trident.
- To Ikaruga:
- The human character Frisk seems to be a carbon copy of Shinra, a similarly dysfunctional protagonist of that game.
- Photoshop Flowey shares alot of similarities with Stone-Like, particularly the ability to destroy the world with Bullet Hell capabilities (as showcased by Stone-Like in Radiant Silvergun). Unlike Stone-Like which was destroyed even under Dot Eater achievement, Flowey is redeemably spared in the True Pacifist Golden Ending.
- To Live A Live:
- According to Word of God, Sans' boss theme, Megalovania, is a reference to the boss theme of Odio, Megalomania.
- The storytelling structure of Undertale owes quite a bit to Live A Live in general. Oboro's chapter in Live A Live also changes completely depending on whether you chose a pacifist route, a neutral route, or a Kill 'Em All strategy.
- Flowey's backstory of being mistaken for a loved one's murderer, and subsequently deciding to become a villain is parallel to the story of Oersted.
- To Yume Nikki:
- The Waterfall area has similar features to Yume Nikki's Docks area.
- Some of the NPCs in Undertale are inspired by those in Yume Nikki. This includes W.D. Gaster, who is comparable to Uboa.
- Papyrus' dating sequence plays more like an Ace Attorney game than a Dating Sim. The music is basically the Undertale main theme pretending to be "Turnabout Sisters" and "Pursuit ~ Cornered!", respectively. There's a part where you have to "perceive"note something on Papyrus' sprite à la Apollo Justice, and even a "breakdown" sequence at the end.
- At a given moment, he says: 'WHAT YOU JUST SAID IS INVALID!!!', which is essentially the same as 'OBJECTION!'
- The "dating UI" Papyrus brings up also has a population bar and a crime map that reference the SNES version of SimCity.
- The track that plays before you fight Undyne the Undying is titled "But the Earth Refused to Die". Furthermore, the narration in that same battle says "The wind is howling...", which is similar to Magus's declaration that "the black wind howls."
- Also to Chrono Trigger, Word of God says the CORE's interior design was based on the Ocean Palace.
- The bell that rings in the corridor where Sans gives you your judgment (on a non-Genocide route) sounds almost identical to Leene's Bell.
- And in the Switch version, examining the blue and red door before you can open it will say that it's closed by a mysterious seal, while an ominous piano jingle plays. Chrono Trigger did the same thing when you tried to examine a black chest before you can open it.
- The monster Lemon Bread is a reference to Melon Bread, a boss from Gunstar Heroes. One of its attacks even resembles Melon Bread in appearance.
- A few of the monster's quotes are the same as some of the enemies' from Monster Party, such as the Loox's "Don't pick on me" and "Finally someone gets it".
- When Toriel bakes you the Butterscotch Cinnamon Pie, she mentions that she thought about baking a snail pie, an obvious reference to Illusion of Gaia.
- The monster in the lower-right hand corner of Grillby's looks uncannily like Spinda.
- Alphys is a nerdy, socially awkward otaku reptile who is also a genius when it comes to stuff such as robots. While possibly unintentional, she is very reminiscent of Francis. Additionally, both games have cutesy spider girls as bosses and the seven Human SOULs are similar to the eight Pure Hearts, right down to sharing colors. They also play a near-identical role in the Photoshop Flowey battle to the Pure Hearts in the Super Dimentio battle.
- Chara's "scary face", which they show if you try to refuse destroying the world with them at the end of a Genocide path, looks almost exactly like Uboa, complete with a similar droning sound effect and screen shake effect. Not to mention how both cases involve superficially cute characters turning into freaky-looking monsters.
- The illusive W. D. Gaster (or at least the Dummied Out sprite usually assumed to be him) also shares an even closer likeliness with Uboa.
- Word of God said that the whole concept of being able to spare enemies instead of killing them, as well as each enemy having a unique method of doing so, was inspired by the Shin Megami Tensei games.
- Last corridor - Rust Corridor
- CORE - the laboratory. Also orange.
- Ambient sound effects are similar
- Elevators, doors blocked by vines
- You can choose to describe anime as cartoons, but "with gun's." Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden uses a similar incorrect pluralization every time it refers to "gun's" as an intentional "Blind Idiot" Translation.
- If you examine the oven during Mettaton's cooking show, Mettaton says "MTT-BRAND OVENS CAN REACH TEMPERATURES UP TO NINE-THOUSAND DEGREES!"
- Mettaton's Pop Quiz includes one question asking the player to name the favorite ice cream flavor of a character in a fictional series, a random piece of trivia not pointed out anywhere before and never mentioned again. Frog Fractions confronts the player with a similar question, though that game, unlike Undertale, provides no definitive answer.
- If you get to the very end of Mad Mew Mew's attacks, by doing No-Damage Run on the usual attacks, you will be greeted with 80s slang that was used to name Super Mario World's special stages.
- Papyrus was confirmed in the official Undertale art book to have originally been inspired by Dedan from Off, which you can see a little in his appearance, though Papyrus was a much more mean-spirited character back in the early development stages. In fact, Undyne seems to have taken on these characteristics.
- A sadistic but funny AI (actually a living mind in a machine body) promises to make the human protagonist a cake (which is, of course, a lie).
- The normal Final Boss looks rather like that of Portal with the dangling body, rocket launchers and random images rapidly flashing on a screen. The fight is even preceded by a Nice Job Breaking It, Hero speech.
- Hotland, especially the Core segment, could be seen as a Metal Gear Solid reference; the stoic main character traversing a strange mechanical place with the help of an awkward Otaku with a Dark and Troubled Past, especially since the art book reveals that Alphys was originally a male character before Toby changed his mind, making her perhaps an Expy to Otacon. You can even buy a revolver to use as a weapon from Bratty and Catty.
- At one point during the Mettaton News segment, Mettaton will say: "Even my words are bombs." with his words promptly falling to the floor and exploding. This is a clear reference to Princess Peach losing her voice and instead getting an explosive vocabulary in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.
- To Touhou Project:
- Just like in Touhou, a human in Undertale resolves issues with monsters via Bullet Hell fights. One of Touhou's defining traits is personalized bullet pattern attacks which highlight the individuality of each character, and Undertale has this in spades.
- Undertale's premise of a monster society sealed away by a barrier is similar to Touhou's youkai being sealed away from the outside world by the Great Hakurei Barrier. Both occurred as a result from fights with humans.
- Some properties of the monsters, particularly them being Made of Magic and prone to emotional or spiritual attacks, is shared between the series. This is far more dangerous and destructive for the monsters of Undertale, though.
- Both barriers can occasionally have things from the outside world slip in. Both Touhou and Undertale have a nerdy character dedicated to collecting these items and tinkering with them as a hobby. Neither of these characters usually fight with bullets. (Rinnosuke/Alphys).
- Additionally, the story borrows elements from Subterranean Animism.
- There is a society of exiled monsters and youkai living below ground (Underworld/Underground).
- There is a fight with a spider girl (Yamame/Muffet).
- The underground is heavily industrialized to generate energy (Nuclear Furnace/CORE).
- There is a battle in an underground palace with the ruler of the underground (Palace of Earth Spirits/New Home), (Satori/Asgore). The Last Corridor even looks similar to the Palace of Earth Spirits with its checkered flooring, stained glass, and big pillars.
- A final boss seizes great power to destroy everything (Utsuho/Flowey).
- A character related by blood to the leader of the monsters loses their ability to feel and becomes an empty shell (Koishi/Flowey).
- Undyne's battle themes use the trumpet soundfont closely associated with ZUN, Touhou's creator and composer. Other songs like Heartache and ASGORE have sections with similar composition technique. Toby Fox stated that the Touhou series of video games was one of his greatest musical influences growing up and is very familiar with ZUN's music style. Similarities might have been intentional, as the Undyne No Mercy fight especially has wide screen Touhou-esque Bullet Hell patterns.
- Photoshop Flowey's green and yellow heart themes sound exactly like Hartmann's Youkai Girl and Bad Apple!! respectively.
- Word of God has implied the Asriel fight is mainly inspired by Marisa Kirisame, whose signature bullets are rainbow stars and lasers.
- STAR BLAZING may be derived from Marisa's "Blazing Star".
- SHOCKER BREAKER functions like Marisa's vertical lasers with indicators at the bottom of the screen, such as in Light Sign "Earth Light Ray".
- CHAOS BLASTER and Asriel's final desperation beam are a dead ringer for Marisa's Love Sign "Master Spark". The former resembles the danmaku version whereas the latter resembles the rainbow beam variant from Scarlet Weather Rhapsody.
- HYPER GONER is similar to the final attack of Subterranean Animism's final boss, Utsuho's "Subterranean Sun".
- Asriel: God of Hyperdeath's design may be inspired by the angel of death Sariel from Highly Responsive to Prayers.
- Tsunderplane dons a bonnet commonly worn by Touhou characters such as Remilia Scarlet and Yakumo Yukari. The method of sparing it resembles Touhou's graze mechanic.
Webcomics & Internet culture
- At the end of the final fight on the Neutral path, the boss makes an utterly legendary Trollface.
- Skeletons named after typefaces actually are a reference to the webcomic Helvetica. Due to the game it inspired being now way more famous than the comic, it is both a "Weird Al" Effect and a Colbert Bump for the latter.
- If your character is named Gigi, Gugu, or Drak, the item name of 'Steak in the Shape of Mettaton's Face' will be shortened to 'Fsteak' in your inventory.
- In the art book, Toby states that one of Flowey's inspirations was the character of Face from NES Godzilla Creepypasta.
- The scene where the Mad Dummy is introduced features a recreation of the sting from the episode "Bad Day at Peril Park" of the Mega Man cartoon, where Guts Man is discovered disguised in a kangaroo costume. The music that follows is a recreation of the boss introduction of the earlier games in the Mega Man X series. The Mad Dummy's sudden coming to life and hovering attack also suggest the lamp at the beginning of EarthBound Beginnings.
- Papyrus gives a "NYEH HEH HEH" laugh, much like Skeletor from Masters of the Universe.
- On the No Mercy path, the speech about Sans and Papyrus not needing the player's help to "have a good time" after all and subsequent warning that the player will "have a bad time" if they persist in their Omnicidal ways is highly reminiscent of Thumper's spiel about skiing and "having a good time" from the South Park episode "Asspen":
"You French fry when you pizza
, you're gonna have a bad time." Sans:
"if you keep going the way you are now...you're gonna have a bad time.
- The Thundersnail race and its turnout are a direct reference to "The Great Snail Race" episode of SpongeBob SquarePants.
- One that's exclusive to The Merch: On Burgerpants's tarot card, MTT-Brand Burger Emporium is shown to have a "Screwup of the Month" wall that consists entirely of pictures of him, bringing to mind the "Employee of the Month" wall from the eponymous SpongeBob SquarePants episode.
- "Your Best Friend" is "The FUN Song" slowed down.
- Alphys saying "Oh no" followed immediately by Mettaton bursting through a wall and saying "OHHHH YES!" evokes a Running Gag in Family Guy where repeated cries of "Oh no!" will almost inevitably invite the Kool-Aid Man to burst into the scene in his trademark fashion and utter his Catchphrase, "OH, YEAH!"
- " Huh!? Blueprints...!? Literally. It's white paper, but covered in little blue pawprints... Wait... Blue pawprints... Could it be a clue!?" The blueprints themselves could also be a reference to the show's Pilot, "Blue's Prints".
- The training dummy outside Undyne's house says, "It's a living."
- When Undyne meets Toriel for the first time: "Hey, Asgore, is that your ex?...That's rough, buddy."
- In the Undertale 5th Anniversary Alarm Clock, Asgore mentions getting stuck in the chimney, along with someone drawing a face on his rear end.