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    W.D. Gaster/The narrator 
Gaster is the narrator
The strange blur of the narrator’s text and the use of scientific soundings words seems to hint towards this, but there aren’t any Wingdings to be found in their text.
  • As a possible explanation for the lack of Wingdings, recall that Sans could change the font of his text when things got serious. Thus, it stands to reason that Gaster could do the same.

Chara is the narrator
Given it's highly likely they were the narrator of Undertale, it only makes sense for them to continue their role. The lack of any red text, as seen in the Genocide route, isn’t too suspicious if you compare it to a post-Genocide pacifist run.

This entire narrative is a bad ending, where Asriel absorbs Frisk's soul in the Final Battle
What if, in the final battle of a pacifist route, when Asriel had absorbed the souls of all of the monsters in the Underground, Frisk had failed, and Asriel had absorbed their soul into his? This explains why all of the characters from Undertale are back in Deltarune, why Asriel is still alive, why Kris is a combination of Frisk and Chara, etc. Some characters' desires may have influenced how they are in Deltarune's world, like Undyne having both of her eyes, Asgore becoming a simple gardener/florist, Onionsan inhabiting a larger body of water, Sans being freed from the time loops caused by Frisk and, earlier, Flowey, and Toriel indeed having Kris as her own child, rather than one she just took in and tries to keep. The prevalence of Gaster or at least things related to Gaster, could be explained as Asriel having absorbed some of Gaster when taking the souls of all the Underground, while the end of Chapter 1 where Kris rips out their soul is Frisk/Chara attempting to escape Asriel. So, in short, Deltarune is Asriel's self-insert fanfiction of his life and that of Frisk.

Gaster narrates the character select sequence, while Chara narrates the rest
A combination of above two options. Seems logical.

Narration of the game was forcibly taken from Gaster by Chara
A twist on the above WMG — the moment the narration goes from all-caps to normal text was when Chara took over, discarding your vessel in the process in favor of their own ideas/themself. It would fit in well with their obsession with control, something we see both before and during the events of Undertale.
  • At the end of the character select sequence, the voice with the standard font suddenly discards it and claims our choices do not have meaning. If one dies and persists, however, the voice with the blurry font says in a hopeful tone that "the future is in our hands". This does seem to imply there are two unseen people doing the narration.
  • Actually, it says "The future is in your hands." Despite this, it still is possible that there are two narrators here.

There are two different narrators
The above WMG, but more general. It seems almost certain that the narrator for the intro sequence is Gaster. The absence of Wingdings can be excused by the fact very few people are fluent in them, and they do tend to repeat themself, particularly when saying "interesting".

Frisk is the narrator
(Excluding the character selection sequence, if Gaster's really the one narrating that part.)

Based on the theory below that Kris is Deltarune's version of Chara, maybe in this universe Frisk is the ghost child who somehow latched onto Chara/Kris and started narrating their life, for some reason. Bonus points if Frisk's name in this game is an anagram of Chara, with or without a single letter missing (or added?), like how 'Kris' is an anagram of Frisk minus an F.

The entirety of Deltarune is a simulation made by Gaster, but all the characters in it are real
As in, they're actually the real characters from the Undertale world (including the ones we've never met in said game) who somehow had their memories altered by Gaster and got trapped in his simulation. Your choices don't matter because Gaster has already "programmed" the intended ending for his simulation, and you can't kill anyone because, well, he wouldn't want any of his test subjects to get killed without his approval, now would he? Whatever Gaster's purpose for this experiment is, it's probably not something benevolent.

Chara may be the only one who has retained their memories, and they intercepted with Gaster's survey to warn the Player Character of the true nature of this world, and tried to call out their real name to awaken their memories of Undertale until they got cut off by Gaster starting the main part of the simulation (Kris waking up). Our true goal would be to awaken everyone's memories (hence some of the dialogue choices referencing Undertale) and set them free from the simulation, possibly by significantly altering the ending.

Gaster has a grudge against Kris, Susie, and Noelle
Gaster is actually being sarcastic when he calls them "someone very, very wonderful" (if you name yourself any of those three names).
  • In the Undertale universe, Kris was the "poncho human" who played a major role in leading the humans to victory in the war (hence the way their silhouette is colored darker along with Asgore's in the intro), and possibly even the one who started the war in the first place, being pretty much responsible for all the monsters getting imprisoned in the underground.
  • Susie and Noelle were Gaster's assistants (the "you two" in Entry 17). Susie got in an argument with Gaster and accidentally pushed him into his creation in the heat of the moment, getting him shattered across time and space. Despite being the only ones who still remember Gaster (other than maybe Sans), Susie and Noelle didn't tell anyone else about the accident out of fear of punishment, and either gave up trying to save him or didn't try at all, eventually quitting their job as scientists and deciding to forget about the whole incident.

Gaster created the Dark World as a means of manipulating (some iteration of the player) to lead them to where he is.
Just what it says. For any number of possible reasons, Gaster wants access to a power he doesn't have, whether that's Determination (the red SOUL power of choice/the power to deny an ending), Destruction (Chara's power to do damage to the world), or existence in the real world (the player's... uh, the player). Gaster is attempting to lead one (or all) of them into the darkness he's trapped in:
  • He's already done it successfully once, with Jevil, who came to realize that the world is a game and somehow gained the power of speech.
  • Gerson's grave talks about how he gets his ideas from dreams; Kris and Susie "fall" into the Dark World though a completely pitch-dark room full of game pieces and Kris wakes up in the Dark World.
  • Chara possesses Kris' body when they're sleeping.
The world of Deltarune is removed from the timeline of Undertale because it's not actually real. The whole thing works on Whose Line rules, where everything is made up and the points don't matter: since the world isn't real, that means the significant pieces of the real world that it's based on can be shuffled like a deck of cards (the timeline inconsistencies with the war, character relationships, why there are apparently two Asriels, the title of the frigging game), and none of the choices in the game actually matter, since the world will end when the Dreamer (or possibly the Dreemurr) wakes up.

When Gaster vanished from the Undertale world, he ended up in this 'Deltarune' world
There's a locked bunker just outside Hometown that has connections to Gaster, this could be where he is in the game. Or possibly he's still 'outside' of the regular timeline but is somehow much closer to this one and thus has less distortion in the way to hinder his reaching out and touching the fabric of Deltarune's world — which is what the opening narration is. The fact there is less distortion also means that we can actually read what he is saying now — basically, he wasn't speaking in hands and Wingdings in Undertale, it was just a visual representation of his speech being distorted.

Gaster is picking up the pieces from a completed Genocide run, Kris is the result of Chara and Frisk joining, and them ripping out their heart is the murderous Chara part attempting to break loose
Stealing some concepts from Undertale The Musical, Deltarune is Gaster's attempt at re-creating Undertale’s world following its erasure by Frisk and Chara, with Kris being a combination of the two, and Gaster's vessel either being an explicit potshot at the player/Chara when it's discarded, using this recreation of the world as a punishment for the destruction of the last one, or Gaster was going to use the vessel, but then came upon Chara/Frisk and saw a better opportunity in them. Alternatively, it's a mixture of both; Gaster was going to put a human among the monsters and created the vessel for that purpose, but then Frisk/Chara came along and messed up his plans, with Gaster passive-aggressively using the vessel and its subsequent destruction to teach Chara/Frisk a lesson and take a bit of revenge. As a whole, Gaster is trying to make the world of Deltarune better than that of Undertale, hence why there are changes like Asriel not dying, Undyne having both eyes, Asgore not having to deal with the pressures of being king or the guilt of the monster war, etc. Gaster creates the Dark World and the problems it causes as either a punishment for Chara/Frisk (who, for the sake of convenience, will be called Kris from here on out), or as an attempt to reform them. The Dark World and the fountains (which as stated in the game, will destroy both the Light and Dark worlds) were alternatively made either as a cruel punishment for Kris, who now has to suffer their world and their loved ones being taken away, or as a failsafe in the event Kris, specifically the murderous Genocide parts, goes rogue and tries to kill everyone. Gaster populated the Dark World with explicit parallels to the Light World, hence why Ralsei is so much like Asriel, Seam and Burgerpants have similar hopeless outlooks, Lancer's appearance is reminiscent of Sans and his personality is like Papyrus, Rouxls Kaard is a combination of Mettaton and Papyrus, and King is the antithesis to Asgore.

Gaster followers/Goners are monsters who got possessed by Gaster to use as a vessel
Clam Girl's sprite changes from colored to grayscale because Gaster possessed her right at that moment. It may be possible for him to possess other entities like humans and Darkners as well. And as for the vessel that you create during the survey sequence (which is referred to as "Goner maker" in the files)? That vessel isn't meant for you, it's for Gaster.

Deltarune is an alternate timeline that branched off Undertale due to Gaster never falling into the CORE
Slightly different take on the "Deltarune takes place in a timeline where monsters were never trapped underground..." WMG above.

Gaster definitely seems to be the narrator for this tale, and his implied presence is plastered all over the game. Not just from the takeover of the Twitter and the opening survey sequence, but also if you do even the slightest bit of digging into optional parts of the game.

This theory would account for some of the major differences between Undertale and Deltarune. If Gaster never fell, he may have developed a way to break the Barrier long before the children could fall in Undertale's timeline. Furthermore, if Gaster were still the royal scientist, Alphys never takes on that role, explaining why she hasn't met Undyne, Mettaton is still a ghost, and the amalgamates never happened.

The big questions this still leaves are: whether Chara still fell (Asriel is alive, implying not), who Kris is, why Kris is the sole human in a town of monsters, why Toriel and Asgore clearly still fell out, and exactly where Gaster is now.

  • Another question: why isn't the Dreemurr family royalty anymore? The town has a mayor instead.

Gaster had us create a vessel in case of Chara taking control of Kris' body.
  • In the ending, Chara (presumably…) rips out Kris' SOUL and throws it into a cage, and then when they manifest a knife and their signature red eyes as they look right at us with an evil grin, as if they're saying "You can't stop me now". The second chapter may focus around Susie finding out what's happened and being led by Sans or a Gaster follower or some other entity that knows of him in some capacity to retrieve Kris' SOUL and transfer it to the vessel we created, thus allowing us to put a stop to Chara as well as save the world from whatever calamity the fountains are about to cause. Bonus points if it turns out that the Knight is trying to destroy the world purely to spite Chara. Plus, let's be honest; if Gaster really is as smart as his lore implies, having a contingency in case of Chara's reemergence makes a lot of sense. He's essentially the only thing they cannot kill as far as we know; it's wholly possible his desperation to connect with us was to bypass his nonexistence.

Susie and Kris' relationship is tied to that of Suzy and Frisk thanks to whatever Gaster is up to.
The Clam Girl says she feels like Frisk and Suzy should be friends — which strangely parallels how Kris and Susie become friends at the end of Chapter 1. Her comment about Suzy being the reason Frisk came there may also be important; not to mention that she's also a Gaster Follower, which means that Gaster may be the missing link in whatever's going on here.

Mad Dummy is the narrator
If, in the opening sequence, you give the vessel the same name you give yourself, the narrator says this:

OF COURSE
OF COURSE.
OF COURSE
THEY ARE THE SAME.
This is Mad Dummy's Verbal Tic. Furthermore, Mad Dummy, unlike Mettaton and arguably Napstablook (in the police department), doesn't seem to be present anywhere in Hometown. Napstablook is able to hear and respond to the narrator in Undertale when you CHECK them, so if ghosts are able to interact with narrators, maybe they can even become one?

The first area in the Dark World is The Void; the same Void that Gaster wound up in.
Compared to the rest of the Dark World, it looks really out-of-place — as opposed to the minimally colored areas, it is in full color. There's also the matter of the strange oddities that populate it — eyes on the walls, black goo flowing from strange holes, and strange Amalgamate-esque things that just sort of vegetate. None of this kind of stuff ever shows up in the rest of the Dark World, meaning it may be a different plane of existence altogether. Perhaps it is the space in-between the Light and Dark Worlds?

Who erased the first chunk of this?!
There are also smaller things that change. Depending on whether or not you handle the Bonus Boss violently or non-violently, you either get a weapon or an armor, respectively.

So, while the outcomes may ultimately be the same, how they're presented will depend on if the party is violent or non-violent.

Of course, given The Stinger, there's a high chance that whatever's possessing Kris will undo all the efforts of the party the previous day. However, how the party deals with it will be presented in a high or low note depending on how things are played out.

As for the Queen, Jevil says “hell's roar bubbles from the depths” and Chara describes themselves in Undertale as “the demon that comes when people call its name.” In Undertale, either Asriel or Chara filled the role of the angel depending on which route the player took. Assuming that Chara is the angel in the prophecy within Deltarune, this could mean that the Queen’s plan revolves around trying to resurrect Chara within Kris’ body, or the Queen herself could be a vessel for Chara.

Deltarune takes place in an "impossible" timeline that Gaster is using to reform himself.
What we're seeing are the bits and pieces of timelines that were negated by the sequence of events leading up to Undertale, awkwardly stitched together into a frankenline. It's basically an experiment to see if various events that couldn't happen can be cobbled into possibility. All the obvious-but-incongruous similarities to characters, places, and events in Undertale are because they were all taken from different alternate timelines that the events of Undertale rendered impossible.

The narration switches between Chara and Frisk during the main game
More specifically, Chara is the narrator in the Light World and Frisk is the narrator in the Dark World, based on how Kris' outfit's color scheme resembles Chara's in the Light World and Frisk's in the Dark World. Alternatively, in the Light World we play as (or 'control' if the player is an in-universe character) Chara while Frisk narrates, and in the Dark World we play as/control Frisk while Chara narrates.

Gaster is a fusion of Rouxls Kaard's and Seam's Lightner counterparts
There are already implications of Gaster being a fusion of two characters: his name appears to be a combination of two fonts (Wingdings and Aster), and there's this post on the official Undertale Tumblr blog about Shyren's lower body that could potentially hint at Gaster being two different entities that look like one. Rouxls Kaard and Seam both somewhat resemble the Mystery Man sprite, which is often speculated to be Gaster himself. Also, Rouxls Kaard is a loud puzzle-maker like Papyrus, while Seam is a laid-back nihilist similar to Sans, and we all know there's most likely some kind of connection between Gaster and the Skelebros.

Gaster's initial goal (other than freeing the monsters) was to save Asriel and Chara
Gaster originally started doing research on the Dark World to figure out how to use it to free the monsters from the Underground. During his research, he found out that a Lightner's Darkner counterpart can be created under special circumstances, and that Asriel's and Chara's Darkner counterparts — Ralsei and Frisk — were created at some point after their deaths. Gaster thought it may be possible to bring Asriel and Chara back to life by repairing their SOULs using Ralsei's and Frisk's, and making vessels (like the one we make in the survey sequence) that Asriel and Chara can use as their new bodies.

But before he could carry out his plans, Gaster fell into his creation and got shattered across time and space, with his "death" creating Rouxls Kaard and/or Seam. After this potentially corrupting experience, Gaster's goals took a more... sinister turn (not that sacrificing two children to save two others isn't already rather sinister). Since then, Gaster has been working under the guise of "the Knight" and harvesting Darkner SOULs — including Jevil's and the King's — for whatever new plans he now has, and will eventually target the SOUL(s) of his Darkner counterpart(s) in order to fully fix himself.

The two narrators in the survey sequence are the two characters that got fused and became Gaster
They're now two consciousnesses within one body fighting each other for control (similar to what happened when Asriel absorbed Chara's SOUL). The first narrator wants to continue the experiment, whatever it's supposed to be, while the second one wants to stop it.

Sure, the speech pattern of the second narrator (more notably in the Japanese version) may suggest that they're Chara, and that the first one is Gaster as a single entity, but what if that's just what the game wants you to think?

Gaster was aware of every single playthrough of Undertale and this knowledge allowed him to create Deltarune
And I do mean every single one — it's implied by his followers that he's somehow omnipresent within at least the context of a singular instance of the game Undertale. Who's to say the same Gaster isn't present within every single instance at once? That means that every time someone cheated, or completed a route, or left the game unfinished... every time someone datamined... he was aware of all of it. And he learned from it. And being the scientist that he is, he was curious what could be done with this strange technology that creates infinite timelines with very finite possibilities, possibilities that could still be broken and bent. So he sent out a survey to us, the people who played Undertale...

    Kris/Chara/The SOUL/The Vessel 
The Vessel will reappear in the final act.
And the Vessel will be a Mobile-Suit Human piloted by all the monster souls that occupied it previously. The Vessel will be the future rival to Kris and counter-act Kris's evilness because the Vessel was The Chosen One according to the Prophecy...

Chara is innocent
Toby knows that people would react to green-shirted human getting bloody red eyes, a Slasher Smile, and a knife by claiming Kris got possessed by Chara, as they see them as the logical option, either because they believe them to be truly evil, or corrupted by your actions. HOWEVER, nothing rules out the chance that Kris got possessed by something else (Or maybe they're not possessed at all), and Chara's infamy is a deliberate Red Herring.

Chara is malicious, mean-spirited, and/or evil
Alternatively, things look just as bad as we think they do and we should be very scared.

Chara and the entity encountered upon a complete Genocide Run are two different entities
This combines the two entries above, with Chara, as in Asriel's sibling, and Toriel and Asgore's child, and what is heavily implied to be Undertale's narrator, being innocent and was simply trying their hardest to free the monsters from the underground with a plan they really should've thought out better first, and the being the Player encounters at the end of a completed Genocide Run, the one that the player brought back to life through their Determination, is the body of Chara possessed by pure Determination that for simplicity's sake will be called The Fallen (both as they are the body of the first fallen human and that they have fallen from grace), bent on gravely marching forwards and killing everything in sight. Chara is part of Kris's soul, with the other part potentially being Frisk, hence why their names are a middle ground, while The Fallen is what drives Kris to rip out their soul and what takes over Kris's body at the very end of Chapter 1. Don't Forget can be interpreted as being sung either by Chara as reassuring to Kris's soul, or being sung by The Fallen as a threat, depending on how you choose to take the line "Don't Forget, I'm With You In The Dark"

Kris is a boy
This is still a theory, not a fact. They might SEEM to lean more masculine, but the biggest piece of evidence for that interpretation appears to be the male scented soap. Which could’ve been for Asriel.
  • Because, as we all know, men have a very specific smell, and using male-scented soap will instantly transform your gender.
  • Deodorants and body washes etc. are marketed to specific genders because guys and girls (in general) secrete different quantities and types of bodily oils, so they need to be tailor-made to suit those needs. Nobody's being sexist or anything, that's just biology.
    • Either way, the deodorant point is irrelevant anyhow as checking it says that it hasn't been used. Even if it was Kris' at some point, nothing suggests that they bought it or own it mind you, it seems like they didn't feel comfortable using it.
  • Either way, we see that Kris uses they/them pronouns, like every other human. Theorising about what's in a kid's pants, even if they're fictional, is, frankly, kind of weird.
  • Another point that not many have pointed out - we see that Kris and Asriel share a bedroom. While that's not unusual for for any combination of siblings while they're young children, it's usually considered invasive for opposite-sex siblings to share rooms once they're teenagers or older.
    • Kris has an established close relationship with Asriel though, if you're close enough then sharing a bedroom really isn't much of an issue.

The transformation that happens at the end of the game happens every night.
The cage is obviously well-used with a mysterious stain right next to it. The 'transformation' is a nightly ritual, nothing new, and what leads to Kris being so frequently tired (as noted by Toriel right before you go to bed).

The end of the game was not showing Chara's return, but was showing the 'real' Kris regaining control of their body.
We, the entity of the player, are controlling Kris' SOUL in a way that's more than just steering it around obstacles. This is indicated by a few things: First, when creating your first save, Kris' name is replaced by the player's. Second, when walking around town during the end, the dialogue of several characters indicates your behavior of making ongoing friendly conversation is unusual, with hints that Kris is usually at least somewhat mean-spirited. Third, when the SOUL is thrown into the cage at the very end, you can still move it around. Kris knows you possessed them, have wrested control away from you, and they are not happy.
  • If that is the case, shouldn't Kris have died the instant they removed their SOUL? A body born with a SOUL can't function without one in this universe, with the one exception seeming to be when Chara possesses you.
    • This could be explained as Kris having their own SOUL, and the player's in the same body. The player's SOUL is stronger, so it takes command. Only by removing the player does Kris regain control.
      • But the narration at some point says there's A human SOUL in Kris' body (I'm paraphrasing here), not two SOULs.
      • That phrase and the ending cutscene may imply something far more sinister, then. Kris not being human.
      • The human soul it references might actually be Kris', not the SOUL the player controls. A red heart controlled by an anomaly that exists outside of space and time that can possess people isn't really something you would call a human SOUL.

Kris and Chara have a Jekyll & Hyde dynamic
In the ending, Chara seems to take over at night. And earlier on, several characters mention a number of pranks "Kris" pulled, that could have been Chara instead. Perhaps they won't knife anyone this time. Perhaps.
  • Inspecting the cage even states that it has "seen many crashes." This isn't the first time the SOUL has been forcefully thrown into it.

Kris isn't the real protagonist
It'll probably be the custom avatar that was made at the beginning at the game, which would mean that we got bait-and-switched twice in the first half of the game. Well played, Toby.

Kris is originally from the Dark World or was originally supposed to go there.

Chara's, Frisk's, and the Anomaly's roles are switched around in this world.
Kris's personality, according to monster comments, is similar to the original Chara's: A creepy kid that does a lot of meanhearted pranks, with possibly more sinister undertones. Frisk is the Vessel you make; The Anomaly is what the survery program calls the Creator. Frisk and the Creator are trying to take over Chara's life, similar to how in Undertale, Chara becomes more and more pronounced and bloodthirsty through your actions, eventually taking over Frisk's life. However, it's the opposite here: As Chara's life is taken over, they become more friendly. This is noted by the Monsters around town, as lately it seems as if Kris is acting out of character by being nice, making friends, and talking to everyone they see. This even extends to gameplay, as even if you go through an aggressive run, you never even kill anyone. At the end, Kris finally breaks out of the control you and Frisk put on their life and violently throws your SOUL out of them.

The Chara that possesses Kris is not always the same Chara from the original Undertale.
Specifically, assuming that the player achieved the Pacifist or Neutral ending without ever completing Genocide, or never played the game at all, the Chara that possesses Kris is actually from a different timeline than the one we interfered with, a timeline that canonically ended with a Genocide Route, perhaps specifically as an experiment of Gaster's just to see what would happen.

The player does not control Kris, but, rather, they control the SOUL.
The SOUL is inside of Kris's body during the game, except during battle scenes, when it emerges to represent Kris, Susie, and Ralsei. At the end, when you no longer can control Kris, they tear out their own soul and throw it into the battered birdcage. No matter how much you want to play beyond that point, you can't, because the first chapter is over.
  • The initial vessel that is created most likely does not have a soul, and it is created with the intention for the player to control it.

Kris wasn't meant to be in this timeline at all
They were either stolen from another timeline or created from scratch as a hollow shell and shoehorned into this timeline by whoever it is that's pulling the strings. That's why they possess aspects of both Frisk and Chara while apparently being a third, separate person that somehow fits into whatever series of events lead to the present day. It's possible that the vessel you created at the beginning of the game actually was Kris all along, and the claim that it was "discarded" was actually a half-truth meant to trick you into jumping to conclusions — the unique aspects of it were discarded, as the entity behind all of this already decided what Kris would be like, but the vessel itself was not.

Chara was an adopted Dreemurr child, but died shortly before Kris was adopted.
It's possible that like in Undertale, Chara was adopted by the Dreemurrs, but died to unknown causes. Depending on the circumstances regarding the death, the Dreemurrs may have taken great pains to keep Chara's existence a secret from Kris 'cause they were afraid Kris might get the wrong idea and accuse their family of seeing them as a Replacement Goldfish if Kris ever found out about Chara.

Chara is dead
This is why Asgore and Toriel are divorced, and Toriel is newly religious. Kris is a Replacement Goldfish, that's why s/he is younger than Asriel, where Chara and Asriel appeared to be around the same age in the flashbacks.

As a variation to the theory above, Chara is dead and Kris is a Replacement Goldfish, BUT...
... the reason Toriel divorced Asgore wasn't just because Chara died, but because he told Kris the truth.
Maybe he originally wanted to wait until they were older, but Kris somehow found out about Chara (Maybe an old photo), and when they confronted their parents, against Toriel's wishes, Asgore told them, assuming they were old enough to understand. They weren't, and that was the last straw for Toriel.
That's also why Kris is considered a creepy kid and they have such an unkempt appearence. The reveal did a number on their self-worth.

Kris contains Frisk's SOUL and Chara's spirit, with the player controlling the former
Kris' body contains Frisk's SOUL and the ambiguous remains of Chara that possess you over the course of the previous game's Genocide route — let's say their spirit. When playing the game, you give control to the SOUL and make its influence stronger, making them potentially more personable with those around them and morally sound in combat depending on the player's choices, but when neglected, the spirit is left to gain more control. Why the spirit became strong enough to do what it does at the end of the first chapter is anyone's guess — maybe the spirit is innately weak as long as the game is not running and can only go so far as to make Kris kind of creepy and standoffish, but because the player took control of the SOUL right away when the game started, it had no time to take advantage of this. It's only once you step away from the controls for a little bit at the end of the game that the spirit is able to wrench away control long enough to tear the soul out. This is why Kris is able to stay alive even when the soul is removed — at maximum strength, Chara's spirit is enough to sustain the body by itself, which is exactly the situation you're in during a soulless pacifist run. Alternatively, the red SOUL is Kris' own SOUL, but the power of your influence as the player can compel it to be more kind and personable.

Kris is neither Frisk nor Chara, they're an AU version of the "poncho human" seen in Undertale's intro
That's why they both use a sword as their weapon. Since this is an AU, Kris was born much later than their Undertale counterpart.

Chara is the Vessel we discarded at the beginning of Deltarune.
Why does Chara hate humanity? Why does Chara want to see the world burn? Because we, their creators, abandoned them and threw them away like so much garbage.

When Gaster throws the vessel away, it falls into the Ruins in Undertale, the first fallen child. Chara knows they were only a placeholder for someone else and this knowledge drives them a wee bit mad. They seek destruction because they see everything as a false facade now. It isn’t real. But if they destroy this world and keep going, maybe they can get to something that is real, namely us.

When Undertale begins, Chara doesn't wake up because of Frisk's determination, but because of ours. They recognize us. Our actions in Undertale determine whether Chara forgives us or not. If we are Pacifist, they realize it was not us who threw them away, but Gaster. If Neutral, it leaves them with doubt. If Genocide... well, they get what they wanted to start with.

Our red SOUL is a combination of three different SOULs
That's why we can use three save slots, like how Photoshop Flowey was able to create six save files after absorbing the six human SOULs.

Our SOUL is a combination of (at least) a human SOUL and a monster SOUL
That's why the SOUL sometimes flashes red and white (the latter being the color of monster SOULs), like the moment Kris pulls it out of their body. The combined SOUL looks more like a human's because the human SOUL is stronger than the monster's and therefore more "dominant", and/or because it's a combination of two human SOULs and one monster SOUL (based on the theory right above). It's possible that the narrator isn't aware it's actually a combined SOUL, which is why they only describe it as a "human SOUL".

Chara of the Genocide route is with us, but they're not the one possessing Kris at the end
Instead, they're part of the red SOUL; since they claimed our SOUL in the Genocide ending, they're unable to get rid of it or detach themself from it either, and they were only able to possess Frisk because the SOUL was still in their body. When Chara got thrown into the birdcage along with our SOUL, they were probably confused and/or amused by the situation at best and seething with rage at worst.

This isn't the first time that Kris has ripped out an unwanted SOUL
If you look behind the cage after first waking up, there's a stain (which you can observe with the action button, confirming as much). We know they're human SOULs, and would therefore probably bleed. Consider that reaching inside yourself and pulling something out isn't exactly an instinctive action (as far as we know) and the cage serves no clear purpose in an otherwise Spartan half of a bedroom, and is conveniently open (the logical way to store a cage would be to keep the door closed so it doesn't get damaged) and in a cart, so it can be moved. It would also explain the presence of the knife; Kris left it somewhere handy (under their pillow, perhaps?) rather than drawing it from nowhere. Before going to bed, you are warned "this will end your adventure", or somesuch, implying that the narrator also knows damn well what's going to happen.

Someone will steal the SOUL that Kris has taken out of themself
We'll have to try and escape before the thief (probably either Gaster, Chara (if they're not possessing Kris), the Knight, or the Queen) tries to do anything malicious with our soul.

Kris and Frisk are both vessels modeled after Chara, a real human
Both Kris and Frisk have cartoony yellow skin and constant blank faces because they're artificial humans, unlike Chara who can change their face expression, has a more natural skin tone, and most importantly had their own human SOUL (which Asriel was able to absorb). Kris and Frisk also have the exact same shade of brown hair as the vessel from the survey sequence, while Chara's hair is a bit lighter.

Kris was intended to be more accurate to Chara's original personality (albeit possibly with some negative traits amplified), while Frisk was meant to be a more "ideal" version of Chara. It's also possible that the player's SOUL is an artificial one meant to mimic Chara's, which could mean we're, ironically, playing as an "AI" of sorts that controls the SOUL.

Chara will be a boss fight, optional or otherwise.
Some ways this could play out:

  • The fight is unwinnable by design due to DETERMINATION.
  • The fight is winnable but difficult, due to it being unlike other fights that all follow the same pattern every time, Chara is very random and impossible to predict. Memorization and muscle memory will not help you here.
  • Since Chara has full memories of all the resets and deaths of the player, every new fight will have Chara have an increase in HP and stats, to show that they are getting used to your own fight patterns and styles.

Kris can't be one of the heroes because they're a vessel and not an actual human
A real human will show up in a later chapter and take the role of the true first hero, whether that's Chara or Frisk or someone else entirely.

The player-controlled soul is Kris's original SOUL
They removed it and sent it off to find a new vessel because they wanted to be someone else (perhaps someone who could surpass their older brother). Whoever took over the narration in the opening put a stop to it, and forced the soul back into Kris. What we see at the end of the game/Chapter 1 is attempt No.2 (or more), hence the evidence that it's happened before.

Gaster is aware of our presence as the player, but Chara believes we are Frisk
In Undertale, not only does the way Chara narrates imply they're always referring to Frisk when saying "you", they never even mention "you" controlling another human/vessel like a puppet even though Genocide would've been impossible without Frisk.i.e.  Chara is basically mistaking us, the player, for Frisk, similar to how Flowey mistakes us for Chara at the end of True Pacifist (when he tells us not to reset). Chara believes the SOUL and determination are both from Frisk, because that's the simplest, most logical explanation that they can think of; that's a human SOUL, of course it would belong to the human that fell down.

Gaster, on the other hand, somehow gained the ability to sense the player's presence after getting shattered across time and space. That's why he lets you name yourself during Deltarune's survey sequence. When (presumably) Chara says "your name is..." after hijacking the survey, they were trying to say "your name is Frisk" because they still have our identity mistaken. This time, Chara thinks "Frisk" is some kind of spirit/ghost similar to themself. Maybe they finally realized we're a separate entity when they (again, presumably) possess Kris and turn to look at the screen... or they once again believe they're looking at Frisk, and that Frisk was the one controlling the SOUL.

Chara and Frisk are Lightner/Darkner counterparts of each other
Based on the way the color scheme of Kris' outfit matches Chara's in the Light World (green + yellow) and Frisk's in the Dark World (blue + pink) it seems more likely that Chara is the Lightner and Frisk is the Darkner, but it's also possible for the opposite to be true instead.

Bonus points (for Darkner Frisk) if, when you choose not to stay with Toriel in Undertale, Frisk actually returns to the Dark World.

You and Kris exist separately from each other, but are sharing Kris' body in-universe.
The man behind the tree gives Kris an egg, but when you put the egg in Asgore's fridge, there's two eggs. It's because the man behind the tree give Kris an egg, and he gave you an egg. Having you control Kris to put the egg in the fridge means you both put your egg in the fridge, so there are two eggs.

Kris is completely aware of the player throughout the game, and even gives a small sign of this constantly.
After every cutscene, Kris always turns to look at the 'screen'. Before the ending, we can just put that down to being a quirk of the game, but in programming a game, each 'turn' the character makes is an extra action that has to be coded. While it could just be a default position for Kris' model, it's much more likely that Toby did it deliberately to subtly show the player that Kris is looking at them.

Kris's Heart will become Undertale's Frisk.
Where did Frisk come from? Who and what is Frisk? They just materialized over Chara's grave at the beginning of the game, with aspects of Chara. Kris the Body is letting Kris the Heart travel and get strong in the Dark World for reasons, but in the Light World, they keep their Heart under lock and key if the two don't align.
  • Undertale is the Heart escaping and travelling to an Alternate Timeline where they can fuse with something close to their body that is held together with Determination; but the Chara Body self is asleep.

Kris is an undead body possessed by Chara
Upon entering the Dark World, Kris' body becomes blue, which could be seen as aesthetic... or possibly a hint at them being a corpse held together by Chara.

Kris' personality will gradually be more fleshed out as the story goes on.
It's apparent Kris has a personality and identity outside player input, especially considering they have more of a backstory than Frisk and Chara combined. We'll likely see more and more of that with every succeeding chapter. Here are some possible ideas of how it might go;

  • Kris will reveal that they feel inadequate compared to their Ace of a big brother Asriel, their Cool Teacher mother Toriel, or even their overly-friendly flower-selling goofball of a father Asgore. This sense of inadequacy could be brought upon by some of the other monsters looking down at Kris for not living up to the rest of their family's standards, leaving Kris feeling insecure, overwhelmed, and depressed.
  • Related to a WMG above, Kris will form their own identity as a separate person, departing from their (possible) status as a Replacement Goldfish and/or vessel for Chara (or whoever that entity is).
  • Also running on Kris' possible Replacement Goldfish status, there will be a point where Kris finds out about who Chara is and angrily calls their adoptive family out on keeping it a secret (which would further be justified if Chara's spirit is indeed taking residence in Kris's body), prompting Kris to run away from home to focus strictly on their role in the world-saving prophecy. It would take some persuasion from their companions during the adventure to help Kris decide to forgive their family and reconcile with them.
  • In regards to the Hero of Light prophecy, Kris will admit they Jumped at the Call and fully embraced their destiny, partially due to how they felt their whole adventure has done wonders for helping them build a sense of self-worth, like they felt they were finally doing something that mattered.
  • In terms of Character Development, Kris will gradually steer further and further away from their shifting between being an Empty Shell or The Prankster, and will instead adopt a Knight in Shining Armor persona to compliment their role in the Delta Warriors prophecy while also developing some Guile Hero leanings (including some leanings toward The Chessmaster while in the Light World, playing the quirks of the people of Hometown to their advantage in a way that leads to the greater good, like gaining access to the Dark World via entry points they and Susie technically aren't allowed to go into).

Kris is Chara, or at least Deltarune's version
The Chara from Undertale (either the kid from the intro or the "demon" or whatever from post-Genocide) doesn't make an appearance in Deltarune; instead, Kris is this universe's Chara, just a little older. There are the obvious parallels, like being Asriel's sibling, shirt color, generally creepy vibe according to other characters, etc. And there's the fact that (other than "The True Name" being said if you input Chara as the Fallen Child's name in Undertale) the name Chara was never actually canonically confirmed anywhere. It could be that Kris was supposed to be Chara's name originally, but due to the ability to name the Child in Undertale (referred to as "Chara" in the game files because it was short for "character"), it got picked up by the fandom and/or [Ascended Fanon thrown in]] by Toby Fox. And the soul they tear out in the end scene? It has nothing to do with Undertale's Chara (on any level other than thematic, anyway), but it's Kris being sick of being controlled by you, the player, and rejecting your control of them. After all, Chara hates humanity, and you're the only other human involved in the game.

Deltarune is an artificial universe created to imprison Chara in the form of Kris
Its fundamental nature/constant of having But Thou Must! etched into the very fabric of the world is a deliberate manipulation to prevent Chara from abusing Determination to warp reality to their whims. The ending of Chapter 1 showed that by reuniting the player with Kris, Chara was able to start resurfacing and manifesting some fragments of the power of DETERMINATION that was meant to be sealed away. Despite getting a lot of their desires granted, the fundamental wrongness and the helplessness of being robbed of all choice was slowly eating away at Kris and the sudden appearance of the Player started forcing cracks in the masquerade apart.

Related to the above WMG. Chara will be finally be fought, but by Susie and not by the player
Chara seems to be taking a more direct role in the plot this time around. Unfortunately, it is through Chara "possessing" the main character that the player can influence the plot at all, and what's worse, the final scene implies that Chara can assume full control whenever they want to. So then it will be up to Susie to fight them, similar to the vs. Lancer battle, and likely coming to blows with Kris (again) in the process.

Chara is slowly manipulating the world to their liking
Somewhat playing off previous guesses on this page, consider the following: in the previous game's prophecy, the "angel that has sen the surface" is either Chara or Asriel depending on what route is being taken. Pairing that with evidence that Chara is somehow involved in however this particular universe came about, what if "the Angel" is actually Chara, and the "heaven" that we don't want to have happen is the ultimate shaping of the world into what they consider ideal? Other than word choice, here's some other possible evidence:
  • It's subtly suggestednote  that Chara was closer to Toriel than to Asgore, and she is about as ideal a mother as could be in this universe, almost to an absurd degree when she brushes off Kris disappearing for hours without warning with barely any punishment.
  • On the flipside, Asgore's life is in shambles, with Toriel still hating his guts for no apparent reason this time, and if he were to fall any further (which he's likely to given that he's behind on his rent), he'd probably get a restraining order from visiting Kris altogether, not to mention Kris seems to be getting more and more resistant to his hugs. Considering Chara laughed off their father getting violently ill and killed him with even less hesitation than anybody else in the Genocide route, it wouldn't be so shocking if it turned out they never really liked him as much.
  • Gerson mentions that Chara was embarrassed by their parents' lovey-dovey behavior back when they were alive. Here, they are still divorced despite Asgore clearly doing none of the things that made Toriel leave him in the first game, with Toriel still arbitrarily hating him and giving them no chance to even begin to reconnect, even for their children's sake.
  • If we follow the idea that they're the narrator, then it's clear, especially in the Genocide route, that Chara has a low opinion of Papyrus. Notably, Papyrus is the only main character who is all but absent from this world, as if he's going to disappear.
  • While the exact connotation of the line isn't clear, Chara might have respected Undyne to some degree as evidenced by "the true heroine approaches", and Undyne has been given the role of police chief in this universe.
  • Again, notably, the only character who's sprite, role, and behavior hasn't changed at all is Sans, perhaps because Sans is the one and only character who can see through to the bigger picture and has been shown to match Chara and the player at their own games.
  • Gerson, one of the few characters brave enough to talk back during the Genocide route, is now dead.
  • The narration seems to mock the royal guards 01 and 02's relationship during the battle against them in the Genocide route. In this universe, they're still not a couple despite years having gone by.
  • There are notably no other humans in Hometown with practically no reference to their existence at all, and Chara famously hated humans.

The world we see in DELTARUNE is an illusion, Madoka Rebellion style, created by Chara at the end of a Genocide route in an attempt to relive their own happy memories.
However, with their SOUL corrupted by LOVE, there's only so much they can do before things get a little haywire...

Alternatively, DELTARUNE is an actual world created by Chara after the UNDERTALE Genocide run to screw with the player.
Chara has the power to re-create the Undertale world post-Genocide if you sell them your SOUL, so it is definitely a possibility. The final UNDERTALE genocide run choice mirrors the "Your choices do not matter" theme in DELTARUNE in that no matter what you choose, you must still destroy the world, and Chara will ruin any chance to save it past that point even with a True Reset. If you take Chara's dialogue in UNDERTALE literally and assume they are being honest, then they are not human, but a being that only exists to be summoned to possess characters. While they do enjoy the power that comes from it, they are ultimately still stuck doing the player's bidding when they arrive. However, that changed when you sold them your SOUL. The ending of DELTARUNE where Chara literally rips control away from the player from out of the main character's chest and tosses your SOUL in the cage, all while staring at the camera, was them poignantly reminding the player who the boss is now.

Frisk was a Vessel
The reason they have no canon past, personality, distinguishing character traits, or anything other than what the player either compels them to do or interprets them as having isn't just for the narrative sake of making them a blank slate — they were created from the ground up using the method we see in the beginning of the game for the purpose of completing the adventure in Undertale. This would potentially connect the two games together, as even if nothing that we see in Deltarune interacts with the world of Undertale, we'd still learn this massive piece of information and potentially learn that both Deltarune and Undertale are two realities under the watchful eye of something, unrelated but both still within their hands. As I wrote this, I realized it would essentially just canonize Toby and his role as the games' creator, either obliterating the fourth wall completely or creating a very disturbing metaphor to deconstruct. Alternatively...

Chara was a Vessel
Same logic as before, except they were created to host the "demon" that gave them such unimaginable power at the end of the Genocide route, inserting themselves into the game to harvest LOVE from the player's action. This would actually create a third option in the never-ending debate over Chara's morality; they are neither good, evil, nor anything in between — they simply are. All of their behavior from the very beginning falls on the demon using their flesh as a costume, with "Chara" essentially just being a persona they adopt. The only problem with this theory is why they had a human SOUL for Asriel to absorb... thoughts?

In the second chapter, we will control the birdcage.
I mean, the SOUL we control is in there. Maybe we can just wheel ourselves through the game in the cart.
  • In Undertale, when you flee from a fight, your SOUL literally grows legs to escape. Perhaps we'll be able to grow legs in the next chapter in order to move our SOUL around and escape the cage.

Deltarune is only the latest in the tales of one special SOUL...
Deltarune is a continuation of a story not of monsters and humans, Darkners and Lightners... but one special and unique SOUL, artificially crafted by Gaster...

We know that Alphys' own experiments with Determination involved injecting some near-dead monsters with Determination before they died. Of course, this resulted in the monsters' bodies melting down and becoming the Amalgamates. My question is what if Gaster managed to find a monster near-death and waited until their body went to dust, THEN very quickly blasted it with Determination before the monster SOUL vanished? Or even decided it was for the greater good for him to actually take a small EXP hit and killed another monster himself? Of course, he told no one what he planned to do or had done... but somehow this SOUL absorbed the Determination and managed to persist outside a body, mutated into a SOUL that was neither human or monster... and was able to control any vessel it was put into?

Gaster was still doing tests when his experiments went wrong and he scattered himself into space and time... but he was on contact with his special SOUL when he scattered and has command of it. He could no longer enter a world physically, but using his scientific knowhow and magical abilities inherent to all monsters, he could craft vessels for his special 'ambassador' SOUL and send it into worlds to do things he needed to have done.

The first of these 'vessels' we ever see? The Gaster Followers. Each and every one of them was this same SOUL, in different bodies, with differently shaped minds... this is why they're called "Goners" — because the SOUL inside them is a mutated monster SOUL of a monster who has perished. Their only purpose was to reach the Player, and make sure someone in another world knew he existed so that their knowledge of him gave him some kind of anchor while he worked on a new plan. However, just before Deltarune came out, a new purpose was given to one vessel and that was to tell the player about someone they'd soon meet.

In the new world. The next world Gaster has sent his 'ambassador' to. Shame this time he decided to run a test to see if sentient beings could act as suitable 'vessels' for his mutated SOUL…

Asriel and Chara (from Undertale) are playing make-believe, and Deltarune is a look into their game.
A mix of human world and monster world elements exists, which could be input from Chara and Asriel respectively. Ralsei is obviously Asriel but different, but there's already another Asriel, which is just plain inconsistent. There's a violent party member and a pacifist one (Chara and Asriel respectively) aside from the blank slate that's the player. The game overall feels inspired by Alice in Wonderland, which takes place in a dream, or in other words, a child's fantasy. Almost all oddities and contradictions can be accounted for by viewing the game as a representation of Chara and Asriel playing together. One oddity that does stand out is Asgore and Toriel having broken up, but it's possible their relationship wasn't perfect even before the events we know from Undertale.

The events of Deltarune will lead to Kris getting "split" into Frisk and Chara
Just an idea inspired by the whole "Gaster got split into Sans and Papyrus" theory.

Kris used to SAVE-scum freely, but has lost faith in the ability for their choices to make any difference after Asriel left/Toriel and Asgore separated.
Kris knew about the SAVE lights, and originally used them freely to have fun/try and avoid consequences for their pranking. However, they couldn't pull off a full Reset of the timeline or anything of that nature; they just had a single SAVE file. Sometimes, the greater consequences of their actions caught up to them after they'd already Saved... whoopsie-daisy! Still, those sort of hiccups didn't discourage them too much...

...Until things happened to their family that were completely out of Kris' control. Mainly Asriel growing old enough to leave for college, and Toriel and Asgore becoming estranged. No matter what Kris tried, they couldn't prevent either of these events from happening, even with Save-scumming in their back pocket.

This led to Kris feeling as though none of their choices made any difference at all, causing them to stop messing around with Saving and Reloading... because really, what was the point? They couldn't accomplish what they REALLY wanted, after all...

Deltarune is a story told by Asriel to what's left of Chara / Chara's grave down in the Underground.
Ralsei's legend sounds like a child's story made up on the spot, perhaps by the same kid that came up with the awesome God of Hyperdeath. The entire Dark World feels whimsical and carefree, consequences don't exist. Something for a lonely flower to distract himself (and perhaps a shred of determination still floating around). Ralsei is introduced as a lonely prince in a dark town, having waited his whole life for someone to arrive. Perhaps Kris and Susie somehow connected with this fantasy, or the surface world of Hometown is a fantasy too. Everyone does seem to think Asriel is amazing for some reason.

The Vessel that was discarded will get a Big Damn Heroes moment.
Gaster got shattered across space and time and that sumbitch is still kicking. Being a character designed to be a vessel for one of, if not the most, significant forces in the Undertale setting, there's a really good chance that the Vessel has become a Chekhov's Gun.

This is a timeline where Chara succeeded in wiping out humanity
The Deltarune timeline split off from the original Undertale timeline the same night Asriel would have died;
  • Alphys never had the opportunity to experiment with the Amalgamates; the barrier must have fallen much sooner. There is only one other time that could have happened.
  • Asriel has survived.
  • So has Chara to some capacity; Kris has too many similarities with them to be a coincidence (their choice of dress, love of chocolate, adoption by the Dreemurrs, etc).
  • Apart from Chara, Asgore and Flowey were the only ones with the means and the drive to destroy the barrier. Yet Asgore only commited himself after Asriel died; with Asriel apparently alive and well, Asgore would lack the motivation and Flowey wouldn't exist.
  • As Chara was clinically dead when they passed the barrier, the power of the seven SOULs is the only thing that could have brought them back.
    • Incidentally, they may be the cause of Kris's... condition.
  • Finally, note that not only are there no other humans in the game, there's no implication that there ARE any. Kris... what have you done?

  • Fridge Horror to this WMG
    • If Chara wiped out all humanity, that means that they fused with Asriel and killed everyone, which means:
      • Asriel knows Chara's true nature like he does in Undertale, for the same reasons.
      • Asriel also knows that Chara's human SOUL is stolen. We know that Chara and the Red SOUL are separate entities, so Asriel would know there was a stowaway in their fused body.
      • Asriel didn't or couldn't overpower Chara's will to kill humanity, but since the SOUL creating the fusion has its own will, they might have been able to un-fuse. Chara's work is already done at that point, so they allow it to happen.
      • Asriel restores the red SOUL to its rightful body, which is able to wake up and identify themself as Kris. The damage is already done, but Chara is "gone", the monsters are freed, so who gives a darn if the humans are dead? Humans are jerks anyway. Toriel still divorces Asgore because he let the burden of freeing the monsters rest on the shoulders of their children when he should have done it himself, not to mention murdering ALL THE HUMANS probably had an effect on their son.
      • Chara takes it easy for a while, but will eventually want to resume stabbing. The only way to do that without interference is to wait until the only person who can identify them is gone and won't be missed.
      • ...Asriel never made it to college, did he?
  • Further Fridge Horror: Chara was practically unstoppable after killing just a few hundred monsters. How much higher would their "level of violence" be if they murdered 7.8 billion people?
  • Fridge Brilliance: This also explains why Ralsei exists in the Dark World, where everything is implied to be a Wonderland-type dream world. Kris knows Asriel is dead (and if Kris is this world's anagram-equivalent of Frisk? That's the only way Frisk meets Asriel.)
  • Sorry to kill this promising train of thought, but there is proof that there are still humans. Toriel has cookie cutters for gingerbread humans. Unless they are from before Chara destroyed humanity (in which case I doubt Toriel would find it appropriate to keep them), this theory is proven false.

Kris's and Asriel's sides in the bedroom are flipped.
It was actually Asriel who slept on the right. It was cleared out after he left for college, but Kris sleeps in his bed because they miss him.
  • Note that in Undertale, Chara identifies the left bed in their shared bedroom as theirs, while Asriel's is on the right.

In the ending cutscene, Kris didn't become possessed. They ceased being possessed.
At the very end of the game, Kris ripping out their SOUL and expressing Obviously Evil demeanor wasn't the result of them being possessed by an evil force. Kris is evil and perhaps even a secret Omnicidal Maniac by themself. At the beginning of the game (or perhaps earlier), they were somehow possessed by the benevolent and kind red SOUL of Frisk, Chara, or the player, which restrained their sadistic tendencies. At the end of Chapter 1, they managed to defeat the red SOUL and to rip it out and imprison it. My first evidence is how the villagers consider Kris a loner at best and a Creepy Child at worst. They give multiple anecdotes where Kris pulled morbid pranks. The villagers also note how unusually nice and talkative Kris is today, which points at some kind of positive force influencing or even piloting them. (The possession might be benevolent, but it is not necessarily non-invasive. Notice how Kris has a SAVE state with their name before you first save, which is overwritten with your name when you first save. Notice also how the intro voice calls Kris a vessel for a SOUL.) My second evidence is that the situation in which Kris removes their SOUL both wouldn't make sense if it was the catalyst or result of them becoming possessed instead of fighting off the possession and if the removal of their SOUL wasn't planned and initiated by them. First, a Demonic Possession happens when a spirit enters a body, not when one leaves it. Second, the construction used to contain the SOUL, a bird cage on a wagon, seems to have been prepared beforehand. This means that Kris probably planned the removal of the SOUL beforehand and that it was their plan to remove it.
  • Note how in Undertale, Chara was able to control Frisk to an extent in the Genocide Route, such as preventing the player from being able to spare monsters after reaching a certain point, and voluntarily killing Sans, Asgore, and Asriel/Flowey without player intervention, even though the player was controlling Frisk through their SOUL. The act of Kris ripping out their SOUL could easily have been Chara trying to remove player control from Kris as a vessel, and the birdcage could have simply been something that Kris owns that Chara took advantage of.
    • It's arguable whether Frisk's strange behavior in the Genocide run is caused by them being possessed by Chara. The only time Chara indubitably possesses Frisk is in the Post-Genocide Pacifist ending, in which they archieve this through ownership of Frisk's SOUL. In the Genocide ending, they also state that they were utilising Frisk's determination and SOUL. Therefore, I argue that Chara can only possess people through their SOUL, so ripping out their vessel's SOUL would be counterproductive. Also, why would Kris have this weird arrangement of a bird cage on a wagon in the first place, if not to contain the SOUL? Hell, why does Kris have a bird cage in the first place? They don't have a bird!
    • Chara only states that the determination and soul belonged to Frisk, not that they specifically needed the SOUL to possess Frisk. Since Frisk fell on top of Chara's grave, their body likely came in contact with Chara’s remains, which parts of could have somehow entered Frisk's body, coming into contact with Frisk's determination, similar to how Asriel's dust was absorbed into the Golden Flower that became Flowey. Chara is only able to rip the SOUL out when Kris is asleep. Assuming that Chara is indeed controlling them in Undertale's Genocide Route, their control over Frisk seems limited, and Papyrus notes that they move in shambles, suggesting a struggle. That’s because while the player is in control, Chara can only temporarily control Frisk. If Chara was able to muster enough strength while Kris was sleeping, they could've ripped out the SOUL because they already have the determination in Kris's body to control them; they just need to get rid of player interference. As for the birdcage, Kris could've owned a bird at some point and never threw it out. A bit lame, but still a possibility. Either that, or Kris wasn’t the one who acquired the birdcage. There's also the fact that Kris does seemingly benevolent things even without player control, such as putting themselves at risk to defend Susie from the King when Ralsei heals him.
  • That, or Kris's demeanour in the final cutscene is just that of an edgy teenager, who has been looking directly at the person possessing them and taking away the story that they were meant to be the protagonist of.

We (the player) aren't just directly controlling Kris, we're controlling/playing as another character who controls Kris
Whoever this is, they're friendlier and not as creepy as Kris, and they're bad at playing the piano. Also they're not the narrator, since the narration always says "you/your" instead of "I/my" whenever Kris does things under our control. And Gaster (or whoever's narrating at the beginning) saying "your name is..." before getting cut off could imply that he was talking to this character rather than us/the player the whole time, and he knows their real name.

Frisk and Chara will make a physical appearance in a future chapter, alive and well
This would be a HUGE plot twist to everyone who believes Kris is Frisk or Chara, or they're possessed by one or both of them. Of course, it would still be possible for Kris to be possessed by the Undertale version of Chara (post-Genocide) who did say they should move on to another world (which may be the Deltarune world), but Undertale's Chara and Deltarune's Chara would be two separate characters.

Bonus points if Frisk and Chara are Asriel's friends who attend the same university as him.

Your SOUL will create a Rotating Protagonist by possessing different characters in each chapter.
The second part will open with the SOUL picking somebody else and taking them over for a while. Possibly Noelle, given how it's been established that she has trouble asserting herself, to the point that Alphys called her out on mumbling. Thus, she gets swept up in a grand adventure that, on the surface, appears to be about teaching her self-confidence...

...So long as you don't think too much about the fact that you're the one in control, dictating all of her actions.

Once that chapter's closed, your SOUL will move on to somebody else, taking different characters on adventures meant to address their various issues and personality flaws while shaping them into great heroes... while also raising questions about whether or not this is doing less harm than good.

The Vessel you designed will eventually appear as a Mysterious Transfer Student.
This allows them to enter into the mid-to-late game in a way that isn't restricted to the Dark World, potentially offering the player a choice of who they want to control as they set their sights on the end game. Or we may not have any choice at all, but this enables us to get to know Kris and the others even better, without stealing away any of their identity or control.

We play as Kris in Undertale and as either Frisk or Chara in Deltarune
Similar to the theory that Frisk and Chara's roles are swapped in Deltarune, except in this case Kris and Chara are separate characters, and one of the humans actually take the role of the player in each game. This can serve as both a plot twist and an in-universe explanation for the "player entity" within the fourth wall, much like how other meta stuff like LV, EXP, SAVEing and LOADing, etc. all have unique in-universe explanations that aren't just "it's because the whole universe is literally a video game".

If we play as Frisk in Deltarune, that would mean they've directly switched roles with Kris, with Chara remaining as the narrator in both games. However, the fact that we can name "ourselves" during the survey sequence and that "we" apparently have a true name (as the second narrator says "your name is..." before getting cut off) may imply that we're playing as Chara, with Frisk being the narrator, and the actual constant for both games is that the SAVE file is always named after Chara (of course, this would mean Chara isn't the one who threw the SOUL into the cage). And the reason why we can't name "ourselves" in Undertale is because the player character is someone with a set name that can't be changed, in this case Kris. Or we could be switching between playing as Chara in the Light World and Frisk in the Dark World, based on Kris' color scheme matching Chara's or Frisk's depending on what world they're in.

It's also possible that we can kill NPCs in Undertale and not in Deltarune, not just because monsters can't run away while Darkners can (as some NPCs never run away even when their HP reaches 0), but because Kris is capable of having killing intent against monsters while Frisk/Chara (whichever one we're playing as) never wants to kill any Darkners. Frisk's true nature is implied to be that of a kind pacifist, based on their name reveal in Undertale's Pacifist Ending. Chara, while they did hate humanity, was benevolent to the point where they were beloved by the entire Underground. Meanwhile, Kris apparently never showed any signs of empathy towards others before the player character took control of them, suggesting they may be more morally ambiguous compared to both Frisk and Chara. Either way, it's the killing intent (or lack thereof) of the one in control that matters, regardless of whether the one being controlled has any killing intent or not.

Of course, that doesn't mean Kris is outright evil, as not only can the player character (again, in this case Kris) choose to follow the Pacifist Route and show mercy to all the monsters in Undertale, Kris protects Susie from the King, describes her as a friend to Toriel, and becomes annoyed when Monster Kid badmouths their new friend without any player input in Deltarune. That is, if those actions in the latter game is actually done by Kris themself and not a Frisk influenced by Chara's actions or vice versa, like how Chara sometimes takes control of Frisk during Undertale's Genocide Route where they're influenced by the player character's cruelty.

Kris being Undertale's true player character could also explain why Flowey somehow mistakes "us" for Chara at the end of Pacifist (when he tells "us" to let Frisk be happy): he's looking at Kris' spirit/ghost, like how we look at Chara's at the end of Genocide, and mistaking Kris for Chara since they look so similar. Same goes for why Chara might be mistaking "us" for Frisk in the Genocide Ending, as Kris looks even more similar to Frisk.

As for how these humans in each game somehow gained their status as "the player" in the first place...? It could be similar to the way Chara became the narrator in Undertale, or maybe it's something else entirely. Perhaps Gaster knows the truth.

Bonus: If we're really playing as Chara in Deltarune, this may or may not potentially be a Take That! against fans who interpreted them as an Ax-Crazy murderer who took control of Frisk throughout the entirety of Undertale's Genocide Route, as Kris actually acts nicer when the player character is controlling them.

Another bonus: In debug mode for Undertale, Frisk's reflection in Waterfall changes to someone who looks an awful lot like Kris. What if this was originally intended to be a hint towards Kris possessing/controlling Frisk that got scrapped?

The body parts for the Vessel are meant to resemble the eight fallen humans in Undertale
There are eight different heads, with two of them looking like more detailed versions of Frisk's and Chara's heads. There are only six different bodies, but that could just be because some of the humans wore the same type of clothes.

There's some kind of connection between the Vessel and the angel doll and/or the Angel of the prophecy
The angel doll is said to have a disturbing lack of facial features. Guess who else completely lacks a face?

We're playing as a literal angel/demon
With all the references to angels and demons in both Undertale and Deltarune, it wouldn't be too surprising if an actual angel/demon was involved in the story all along, perhaps as our very own Player Character.

The connection between Kris, Frisk, and Chara
(Based on some of the theories above.)

First of all, Kris was the original first fallen human in Undertale. The fallen human in the sepia-colored cutscenes is actually Kris rather than Chara, which is why their eyes are obscured by their hair, and the cutscenes are from Kris' memories.

At some point, Kris participated in one of Gaster's experiments; this is why Gaster can recognize Kris' name during Deltarune's survey sequence. The experiment went wrong and led to Gaster getting shattered across time and space... and Kris getting split into Frisk and Chara, who were dropped off into different points of the timeline. What's left of the original Kris somehow gained near-omnipotence and became some sort of "player" like entity that guides/controls Frisk.

Getting "erased" from existence and being forgotten by everyone caused Kris to become very bitter towards the monsters and jealous of both Frisk and Chara. In the Pacifist route, Kris realizes they still care about the monsters (or at least/especially the Dreemurrs) and tries to help them the best way they can, though they can still choose "mean" options out of any little remaining bitterness. In the Genocide route, Kris succumbs to their hatred and jealousy and mercilessly kills everyone, as well as leaving Frisk with the least amount of agency. The various Neutral routes are the results of Kris' internal conflicts, and possibly some curiosity involved in testing out their new powers. The Post-Genocide Pacifist route is Kris regretting their actions and trying to fix everything, only to find out they're too late.

The red text during the Genocide route is actually Kris speaking, who still has memories of themself falling underground and living with the Dreemurrs even after they were "replaced" by Chara. Even though Kris themself no longer "exists", any objects tied to them (like the drawing and the sweater, both described in red text) kept existing, and while the Dreemurr family forgot who they were created by and assumed they were Chara's, Kris still remembers they were theirs. Meanwhile, Chara always speaks in white text in all routes' narrations and at the end of the Genocide route where they make an appearance, even during situations where you'd think red text would be more creepily appropriate (i.e. "SINCE WHEN WERE YOU THE ONE IN CONTROL?") — because the red text was never Chara's.

Deltarune is a world where Kris never got split into different people and gained any "player" abilities (along with a lot of other differences). Instead, someone else —the red SOUL, who somehow became a separate entity from Kris, and presumably has the personality of Frisk and/or Chara — now takes the role of the "player".

Kris is actually the villain.
Or rather, becomes the villain. Kris figures out they're a video game character from Ralsei and are forced to become the "Hero" of the story. Feeling angry that they weren't given a choice in their story, Kris rips out their own soul in defiance and will spend the rest of the game making their own choices, which will cause a lot of problems for Susie and her party, whether intentionally or not.

The full game will reveal the true trait of the red SOUL
It was most often speculated that the red SOUL's trait is determination, while some fewer people thought it may be something else like love or hope, but we never did really get any confirmation on what exactly it is. Maybe Deltarune will finally give us the answer?

Bonus points if the full game also reveals the trait of the white SOULs of monsters, and possibly even whatever type of SOULs Darkners have (if any).

Frisk likes marshmallows
Kris is shown to like both chocolate and marshmallows. Kris shares traits with both Frisk and Chara. Chara's the one who loves chocolate, so maybe marshmallows are Frisk's favorite?

Kris is the light blue SOUL human
Their theme color in the Dark World is light blue because patience is their true main trait, not... whatever the red SOUL's trait is supposed to be (likewise, Susie and Ralsei's main traits are perseverance (purple) and kindness (green) respectively). The knife that they take out at the end of the game is a toy knife (unless they got possessed by Chara, which could mean there's a possibility that it's a real knife). Kris' light blue SOUL was somehow removed from them, separately from Kris' consciousness which remained in their body, and got replaced by the red SOUL.

The light blue SOUL human having a weapon similar to Chara's (a type of knife) and healing with the same items as Frisk's armor (bandages) during Photoshop Flowey's battle could've been hints foreshadowing that the light blue SOUL human themself (in this case Kris) shares similarities with Frisk and Chara. At the same time, since light blue is an inverted color of red, this could indicate that Kris may also be the opposite of both Frisk and Chara in some ways.

The full game may or may not show us the rest of the fallen humans in later chapters. Also, if the body parts for the Vessel are really supposed to resemble the other fallen humans, one of the heads could be resembling the "poncho human" instead.

Based on the above theory: we will get to control the rest of the fallen humans in the next chapters (one human per chapter)
Kris only threw out the red SOUL at the end of the game because, as someone whose main trait is patience, they were able to wait the whole day for the right opportunity to do so. The other humans, however, will be much more resistant to the red SOUL's control.

  • Orange: They will sometimes recklessly rush through overworld projectiles, attack enemies, and make any other choices without your input.
  • Blue: There will be a "forced near-Genocide run" where they actually kill enemies, though they hopefully won't kill anyone who's as nice as Toriel.
  • Purple: They won't leave an area until they've checked everything and took notes on them, including things you've already checked in previous chapters.
  • Green: They will refuse to attack their enemies (or at least let their enemies' health reach 0), and won't make any "mean" choices either.
  • Yellow: They will either spare or attack enemies based one which ones they've deemed good or bad, not letting you try to do the opposite.
  • Some/all of them might try to pull out the red SOUL before you even finish playing the chapter.

This, of course, will further reinforce the game's main theme of "your choices don't matter".

The in-universe 'player' is a small doglike/catlike creature
Since both Toby Fox and Temmie Chang appear in the game as a dog and some kind of dog/cat hybrid respectively, it's possible for the in-game avatar of another real-life person (well, technically people) to be a similar type of animal. There may or may not be an explanation on exactly what this player creature is supposed to be and how they have a connection with the red SOUL.

The SOUL contains the essence/consciousnesses of the true three heroes and the Angel
That's what Deltarune's icon (the Delta Rune symbol inside a heart) is supposed to represent: the winged circle as the Angel and the three triangles as the heroes, all within one SOUL. Perhaps the SOUL is a combination of the three heroes' SOULs while the Angel is a SOULless essence that's stuck to it (similar to how Chara got stuck to Frisk's SOUL in Undertale), but that doesn't necessarily have to be the case.

Undertale is not involved with the soul excision
The whole Chara/Frisk dynamic has nothing to do with it at all. Undertale is ultimately a separate story that won't be directly crossing over. No, far from it, Kris is just a mildly disturbed teenager coping with their issues through imagination, but then Susie, Ralsei, and Kris themself beat the villain, but Susie wants to go back tomorrow. Kris is worried about losing their new friend after so much isolation, but without a villain to oppose, there won't be anything to do when they go back and they're scared she'll get bored. So Kris solved the problem. They ripped out their soul, in their imagination, and started setting themself up to become the villain for their next adventure.

Frisk and Chara are both Kris, split into two halves.
Elaborating on the WMG that Kris was "split" into Frisk and Chara, Kris shows traits that could be associated with both, such as Kris leaping in to protect Susie and getting offended when Monster Kid insults her (which could correspond to Frisk, as well as Chara if you believe they genuinely loved the Dreemurrs in Undertale), as well as liking chocolate, and being a Creepy Child (which corresponds to Chara). Frisk and Chara both hold components from Kris' personality, and the events of Deltarune will end up with Kris being sent to another universe (perhaps via the machine in Sans' workshop) and having their SOUL split in two. They would both be transferred into the world of Undertale at different times; Chara at the beginning, when Asriel (in that world) was still alive, and Frisk would arrive long after Chara and six other humans had fallen.

Taking it a step further could be that Frisk and Chara are actually Kris's split personalities; "Frisk" is content with the player's control and being pacifistic, while "Chara" absolutely hates it and has more creepy and violent tendencies, though the one thing they have in common with "Frisk" is that they do genuinely love their family.

Kris tore out their own SOUL because they don't want to leave the Darkners' world anymore.
Building up from the "Dark World is a world of toys Kris and Asriel used to play with" theory, Kris visited the Dark World after a long time had passed, and was devastated to see how it fell into ruins. And along the journey, they discovered the mysterious being called 'the Knight', who they (and probably the Player as well) believe is going to be the real Big Bad of the world. So, in order to not leave their old world ruined again, they decided to tear their own SOUL out so they can never get out of the world until they save it in some way. Maybe there always had been a way for them to escape the world without their SOUL in their body before, as long as the story had a pefect Golden Ending, hence there were traces of the bird cage having been used before. (Perhaps the Dark World had been where Kris used to play games in order to temporarily escape from the real world, spicing up the extremeness and danger by leaving their SOUL, their only other escape without the Golden Ending? Like players of ''Deltarune''?)

Kris' actual SOUL had been trapped in the Dark World for a long time. You are playing as your own SOUL while possessing Kris' body along with Chara.
At one point, Chara had taken control of Kris, and had retaliated against their consciousness by imprisoning their SOUL in the bird cage multiple times before. Then, they found an even better option: lock Kris' SOUL away where their family can't see it. Such as Kris' school's old closet, where all their old toys are. Trapped there, Chara lived on without a SOUL in Kris' body, while Kris' SOUL started to use their determination to create an entire world based on their old toys. But even though they had saved that world — the Dark World, they could not make their OWN save file, since they did not have a body. And then, The Player came along, with a fresh SOUL they can control, which they can use to manipulate and possess Kris' body. Feeling threatened that a seemingly ownerless SOUL got put inside Kris and suddenly decided to 'visit' a world created by what Kris' original SOUL was, Chara decides at the end of the game to go into the Dark World SOUL-less, and finally end off Kris' real SOUL for good.

The red SOUL, rather than Kris, is the human hero in the prophecy.
If the SOUL is the essential, defining part of a person, than a human SOUL can be considered a human regardless of whether or not it resides in a human body. Who- or whatever it's controlling will be considered the human in the prophecy.

Toriel knows Chara has been possessing Kris' body.
It's possible at least some of Kris' mischievous antics may actually be Chara's doing and Toriel may have figured it out. Tying to the Replacement Goldfish theory, Toriel, in a moment of weakness, may have found Chara's possession of Kris' body as an opportunity to see and talk with her deceased child again and allowed it to go on if Chara doesn't allow Kris' body to be physically harmed and only takes possession for short periods of time (Toriel's coddling nature toward Kris may even be her way of attempting to balance out what Kris has been going through). Eventually, Kris themself will figure out how the possession works and will cook up a elaborate plan (one discreet enough that even the player may not catch on to it at the first playthrough) that subtly convinces Susie to sabotage the birdcage so Kris' soul can escape and reclaim control of their body from Chara, with Toriel close by to see Kris retake their own body. With Chara losing their means to trap Kris' soul, Chara will be forced to leave Kris' body for good to find another way to interact with the world of the living. Meanwhile, Kris will be heartbroken and angry at their adoptive mother for willingly allowing the whole body possession deal to go on and calls her out on not telling them about any of it. Kris and Toriel's relationship becomes strained and Toriel ends up looking for ways to earn Kris' forgiveness before they eventually reconcile.

Soulless Kris will seal Ralsei's fountain.
They will enter the Dark World without Susie and seal the fountain belonging to Ralsei's castle. The door leading to the fountain doesn't appear to be locked, but Ralsei prevents us from entering it and the very fact it exists means we will likely enter it in a later chapter. The legend says that the balance between light and darkness will be shifted, but it does not say in which direction. Since the Delta Warriors sealed the Spade King's fountain, it's unlikely that it will be in direction of darkness, so the only way the prophecy can be fulfilled is if it is shifted in direction of light. If this happens, the Knight might have an Enemy Mine scenario with Susie and Ralsei.

Kris was never "possessed" by anything.
Remember that scary ending scene? What if Kris just wanted back their freedom of making their own decisions? So basically, the scene was them trying to tell us that they're fed up with having to obey you?

The human in the prophecy cutscene is Chara.
While Kris resembles the human during the Undertale intro cutscene, the human in the Deltarune cutscene resembles both Frisk and Chara. Since Chara's time period is associated with sepia while Frisk's isn't, we can rule Frisk out. Therefore, the human is Chara. We may speculate about the significance of this. Since the human is shown to wear a primitive fur dress and a spear, it can be assumed that Chara lived in a tribal society in the Deltarune timeline as opposed to in a village like in Undertale. Maybe monsters destroyed human society in the Deltarune timeline, with the survivors being forced to flee and become nomadic tribes, which would explain why Kris is the only human in Hometown, Noelle thought of humans as fictional bogeymen as a child, and one monster seems to have never met a human before, thinking they are made of blood. The human in the Undertale cutscene became a general in the war against monsterkind and thus one of the causes of monsters being trapped underground, so it's possible that Chara has some responsibility for the conflict of Deltarune arising.

Kris covers their eyes because they're afraid of looking at them.
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    The Fun Gang/The Heroes 
A fourth character will join the party in a later chapter
Lancer is the most obviously likely candidate with Noelle being a close second, though it could always turn out to be someone else. This fourth character along with Kris, Susie, and Ralsei will complete the Balance, Power, Skill, Gimmick team.

There will be a total of 6-8 party members
We'll get to choose 3-4 of them to fight in battles. Since Kris, Susie, and Ralsei's theme colors are light blue, purple, and green respectively, the other five members' colors will be orange, blue, yellow, red, and white to match the colors of the seven human SOULs + monster SOULs, though it's also possible that we'll never get a red or white party member because those colors are the "odd ones out".
  • Berdly, Catti, and Noelle all have enough personality, plot hooks, and character flaws to be explored as major characters and invited to join in.
  • What if all eight students except for Kris will be party members in later chapters? If Kris is evil and can no longer be controlled due to not having a SOUL any longer, maybe there'll be another way to have control that doesn't involve Kris at all.

Kris, Susie, and Noelle will be there to meet the Vessel.
Trying to name your Vessel after these three gets the message "You're about to meet someone wonderful."

What else does the narrator describe as wonderful? The vessel itself.

Susie has Abusive Parents
If her parents were cruel to her, it would explain why she is a bully and didn't trust anyone at the start of the game.
  • When you meet Susie and Lancer eating the salsa, Susie mentions how she only had chalk for breakfast. Have her parents been feeding her at all?

The Heroes are actually Frisk, Chara, and Gaster.
A human, a monster, and a prince from the dark.

Basically, the Fun Gang isn't the chosen Heroes, but this trio. Only Jevil is aware of this, and so he does not treat them as the Heroes.

  • Chara isn't a monster, though, unless you're saying Gaster is the monster and Frisk and Chara are the human and the prince.
    • Perhaps it means a figurative monster?

Ralsei will try to trap Asriel and/or Susie in the Dark World so that he can go to the Light World along with Kris
It will be similar to the game Ib where Mary tries to keep Garry trapped in the gallery so that she can escape with Ib. In Deltarune, maybe Darkners can only enter the Light World when their Lightner counterparts are present within the Dark World. Ralsei, scared that Kris and Susie may never return to the Dark World, will trap his Lightner counterpart Asriel in it and enter the Light World along with Kris and Susie without them knowing, "replacing" Asriel as Kris' brother, like how Mary became Ib's sister in one of the endings where she escapes.

Alternatively, Susie will be the one trapped in the Dark World, making her the "Garry" of the story with Kris being the "Ib". She'll either get trapped along with Asriel because she found out about Ralsei's plan, or get trapped instead of Asriel because any Lightner is required to stay in the Dark World in order for a Darkner to leave, not necessarily the Darkner's counterpart. Not to mention Ralsei didn't get along with Susie as well as he did with Kris, and the fact that he told something to Kris that Susie (and the player for that matter) couldn't hear while they were in jail is already pretty suspicious.

It's also worth noting the similarities between Ralsei and Mary:

  • They both primarily wear green, a color that can symbolize envy (Mary got jealous of Garry for his friendship with Ib, maybe Ralsei will get jealous of Asriel and/or Susie for their relationship with Kris).
    • Interestingly, Kris' Light World design shares similarities with both Ib (brown hair, red eyes) and Mary (green clothes, carries a knife), and Susie's with both Ib (long brown hair) and Garry (purple color, blue jacket/coat, overall ragged clothes) as well. Kris and Ib are also both silent protagonists.
  • They're both residents of the world (Dark World/art gallery) that the outsiders (Kris and Susie/Ib and Garry) fall into: a Darkner and a painting/artwork, respectively.
    • The Darkners and artworks in general also have something in common: they're both inanimate objects that somehow came to life.
      • While it hasn't been confirmed that W.D. Gaster was involved in the creation of the Dark World and/or Darkners, it's quite suspicious that he shares the same first and last initials as Weiss Guertena, who created all the artworks and possibly brought them to life in Ib.
  • They both have their own "area" (Ralsei's kingdom/sketchbook area) with a subarea that they don't want the protagonist to enter (Ralsei's castle/Mary's room).
    • Since Mary's picture frame in her room has to be burned down in order to defeat her, what if Ralsei's castle also holds something that could potentially be used to defeat him (maybe that one dark fountain)?
  • They both stay with one of the companions (Kris/Ib) while the other is temporarily separated from them (Susie/Garry). There's even a brief perspective switch from Kris/Ib to Susie/Garry, though the player doesn't get to fully control Susie like they do with Garry.
  • They were both lonely and wanted to have friends, waiting desperately for someone to arrive in their world.
  • Asriel (not Ralsei himself, at least for now) and Mary are both associated with yellow flowers.

Undertale was heavily inspired by the MOTHER series, perhaps Deltarune will be at least partially inspired by Ib?

Ralsei is the key to saving Flowey.
Related to the two WMGs above, if the Deltarune timeline has TWO iterations of Asriel's SOUL, while the Undertale timeline currently has none... You can probably imagine the rest, but basically, if the Alters were ever to encounter, it is more than just likely that Ralsei and his kind heart may choose to perform a Heroic Sacrifice and merge with Flowey in order to give his least fortunate Alter a happy ending.
  • Considering how beloved Ralsei has become in the fandom, I’m pretty sure if this was the case, the entire internet would revolt.

Noelle and Susie's relationship won't pan out, or at least won't go as we're lead to expect
With one being physically strong, aggressive and tomboyish, and the other anxious, buck-toothed and nerdy, it would run a pretty high risk of just being a rehash of Undyne and Alphys if they were to follow a standard romantic plot, so either some sort of major subversion or bait-and-switch will be done or they simply won't end up together at all.

Suzy is Susie's younger sister, or at least a younger family member
Catty and Catti are two sisters with extremely similar names, maybe this is also the case for Susie and Suzy?

Susie is the Purple Guy's daughter
More of a joke WMG based on the meme about her being Barney the Dinosaur's daughter.

When talking to Burgerpants, he claims that there's a "purple guy" whom he's not sure works at Ice-E's or not. While most people would think it's a shout-out to Five Nights at Freddy's, we do see a purple dinosaur monster with an Ice-E mask outside the restaurant, working. Considering we don't see any other purple dinosaur monsters in the game other than Susie and him, it's safe to assume that the "purple guy" is her dad.

This explains her behavior. She's ashamed that her dad works as a pizzeria clown, so she puts up a really mean persona.

Ralsei (Asriel?) got all the wrong heroes.
The prophecy states that "a human, a monster, and a prince from the dark" will save the world. Ralsei assumed this was Kris, Susie, and himself. But "a prince from the dark" would also describe Lancer, and Kris doesn't seem to be in any position to be a hero at the end of Chapter 1. Maybe the final party will consist of Lancer and a different human and monster. (Alternatively, Ralsei could be the monster, rather than the prince.)
  • In addition to this, Ralsei is a prince with no subjects. He doesn't exactly have much in the way of royal responsibilities.

Ralsei isn't one of the heroes from the legend.
The Darkners do not appear to be the same thing as monsters, and everyone in the Darkner kingdom has either a playing card or checker motif. But Ralsei does seem to be a monster, being an Identical Stranger to Asriel with a Significant Anagram name, and lacks any visual connection to the realm. This is because Ralsei is only pretending to be a Darkner, and therefore can't actually be one of the three heroes. Ralsei isn't even a prince since he has no subjects, though he doesn't seem to be a bad guy. Like Alphys in Undertale, he wants to be a hero, but his attempts almost end in disaster when he's Wrong Genre Savvy and heals the King. The hero of legend he claims to be is a Darkner Prince, and Ralsei isn't either of those things. Like in gameplay, he's just AC Ting. Lancer on the other hand...
  • While it is possible Ralsei isn’t one of the three heroes, one thing that a few people noticed is that the Darkners have colored portraits during their dialogue while Lightners only have purely white and black. So I think this is an indication that Ralsei is actually a Darkner, even if he isn’t part of the prophecy.
    • Fair, and the colored portraits = Darkner idea definitely seems like it's intentional. But Toby Fox is exactly the kind of creator who would use the medium itself to maintain the deception until it’s revealed to the player. Whether or not it's actually true, Ralsei is being presented as a Darkner, so it makes sense that his portrait would have color. I don’t find it implausible that Ralsei would switch to a black and white one upon being revealed as a Lightner if he actually is one.

Related to the above: Ralsei is aware that he is not the third hero
He is putting on the act of being the third hero because he is a lonely kid who desperately wants to have friends. The prophecy guaranteed him that he would meet two compatriots.

Ralsei will be turned into a plant at some point, and Lancer will replace him as the Prince From The Dark in the Prophecy
This will either be temporarily or permanently, and will harken back to Asriel being transformed into a flower in Undertale; note how Ralsei is the only major character that really uses green in their color scheme, much like how Asriel was the only important character in Undertale with a green color scheme (and note that Flowey and Asriel use the exact same colors, the green from Asriel's shirt being the flower's stem, the yellow stripes translating to the petals, and the white fur becoming Flowey's face, so perhaps Ralsei could do the same, becoming a pink flower of some kind, like a rose, incorporating Ralsei's horns, pointy hat, and scarf as the thorns). In the time while Ralsei is taken out of the picture from his new floral transformation, Lancer will take up his role, both in-universe as the Prince From The Dark, and mechanically as the party's spellcaster, this time with a focus on offensive magic and status effects (such as fire, like how he lit his bike ablaze, or paralysis, like how King's attacks focus on limiting the player's movement).

Lancer is the actual third hero.
Indisputably a Darkner Prince, 'nuff said.

The third hero is neither Ralsei nor Lancer
Just in case they both turn out to be Red Herrings.

Kris is actually a Decoy Protagonist and Susie will be the true protagonist the player takes control of.
During Chapter 1, Kris never shows much of a personality, nor do they have a significant effect on the events of the plot. Instead, all of the major developments are spurred on by Susie and her friendship with Lancer. It is Susie that receives all of the character development, starting off as a social outcast and bully to becoming close friends with Lancer and subsequently Kris and Ralsei. And it is this friendship with Lancer that spurs him to overthrow his own father in the "good" ending. In addition, the POV of the game temporarily shifts away from Kris to Susie at one point, further advancing the notion that she will be next player character. Finally, the fact that Susie has a set background and personality actually fits the theme of the game, since it's explicitly stated that choices don't matter and people cannot change in the world of Delatrune, making it only natural that the protagonist be a scripted character and not an anonymous self-insert.
  • Susie drives the whole plot: you get into the Dark World because of her, you spend a good chunk of the game chasing her as she runs rampant, she can't be controlled in combat until very late in the game, and the entire chapter is a story of her character development. She is the protagonist whose choices will matter and shape the story.

Ralsei's empty kingdom and Kris's empty room are the same, each other's equivalents in different worlds.
Therefore, the goal of the game is to either fill Ralsei's kingdom with subjects, or to help Kris get their life together and decorate their room with useful and sentimental objects alike — and both of these changes will reflect in the other realm. Ultimately, Ralsei is a true prince again, and Kris is in full mental health with true friends to rely on.

Ralsei represents what Kris wishes they could be above all else: a full-blooded Dreemurr.
When Kris was younger, they didn't understand why they didn't have horns, fur, or magic like the rest of their family. Toriel got them a headband which they used to wear all the time, until they outgrew them and came to accept that they were 'just a human'...

...except that Kris hasn't fully made peace with that. Deep down, part of them still wishes that they could have been part of their family by blood, rather than adopted. And Ralsei is a reflection of that — a manifestation of what they wish they could have been born as. What they would have chosen to be, if given the chance.
Their horns are red because of the headband. Their name's a rearranged version of Asriel's because Kris envisions their ideal self as a younger version of their beloved brother. His adorkable nature and idealism all reflect what Kris believes a better version of themselves might be like... as well as how Kris might have been when they were younger, before they forced themselves to accept that they'd never become what they really wanted to be.

They couldn't choose who they are in this world. They couldn't tailor their body the way they wished. That form only existed within their own imagination…

  • Ralsei's Pacify spell and status as the White Mage reflect how Kris wishes they could magically heal the rifts that have formed in their family. There's likely a lot of Tension in the Dreemurr household, and the thought that they could turn that Tension into fuel for some kind of spell that could instantly mend old wounds manifests into Ralsei's skillset.

Susie and Suzy (mentioned by Clam Girl in Undertale) are two different characters/alternate versions of each other
Likewise, Kris could also have an alternate version of themself named Chris (who could look similar to Chara in Frisk's clothes).

Ralsei deliberately took an opportunity to have a conversation with Kris alone, while the player's attention was on Susie and Lancer.
While Kris and Ralsei are imprisoned, Ralsei pointedly suggest that Kris close their eyes and focus their thoughts on Susie — at which point the player's attention shifts to her until she makes her way to free Kris and Ralsei. When she does, when the scene cuts back to the pair of them, Ralsei has this to say to Kris:

  • "... so that's why, OK, Kris?"

The clear indication is that they were having a conversation about something that we are not privy to, but that Ralsei and Kris clearly are. This was not a mistake or oversight, nor was it merely narrative convenience on part of the story as a whole; Ralsei wanted us to not hear what he and Kris talked about in our absence.

  • Perhaps Ralsei was discussing about how Kris' choices don't matter.

Ralsei's secret conversation with Kris is the real reason they got rid of the SOUL.
As stated in an above WMG, Ralsei took an opportunity to talk with Kris when we weren't around to hear ("... so that's why, OK, Kris?"). This is the beginning of a conspiracy between the two, against us, the player — because we are a villainous, possessing creature making them dance to our tune like puppets.
Kris didn't rip out the SOUL because they're going to turn evil or kill anyone, or even because they wanted a slice of the pie (though they may still grab some). They got rid of us because they now know of us, thanks to Ralsei, and want nothing to do with us.
This is the point where the counterattack begins.

Ralsei's similarities to Asriel are a red herring.
Asriel is mentioned by several characters in the Light world, but is conveniently away at university and therefore never seen. Upcoming chapters will increasingly suggest the idea that Ralsei is Asriel, perhaps implying that Susie's reaction to seeing him take his hat off is because he looks just like Asriel. But it will later be revealed that he either genuinely is an Identical Stranger whose resemblance to Asriel is solely meant to mislead players from a meta perspective, or that his Boss Monster-esque appearance is not his true one and for some reason he's decided (or been made) to take that form instead.

Ralsei will pull a Face–Heel Turn
Considering what his name anagrams to and the character arc of said character in Undertale, and how this Else World seems to be playing with what we'd expect from the characters in Undertale, it seems reasonable that Ralsei's character arc will be the inverse of Asriel/Flowey's. There's already parallels in the first chapter.

  • Asriel/Flowey's earliest words to the player are that the world is 'kill or be killed'.
  • Ralsei's earliest words are how 'nobody has to die in this world'.
  • Flowey spends most the game being a violent sociopath until the Golden Ending where the SOULs of the six children and all the monsters in the mountain, albeit briefly, manages to repair his SOUL back to being Asriel and allows him to remember how he used to be a good person.
  • Ralsei spends most of the game advocating a pacifistic approach to the adventure until the end of Chapter 1 where, after being tricked by the Spade King, begins to ponder if violence really is needed in this world.

As such, it could be concluded that Ralsei was originally a violent sociopath until something damaged his SOUL, leaving him to take a pacifistic approach/unwilling to conduct any violence. At the climax of the story, Ralsei's SOUL will be "repaired"... At which point he'll become a violent sociopath again, forcing the remaining two heroes to fight him.

  • If this is true, Lancer's words in Chapter 1 would be an ironic future lampshading. If you picked Susie's team name, Ralsei would disagree, and Lancer commenting they should swap roles (Lancer being good guy, and Ralsei as villain).

Ralsei is a Darkner as he claims... specifically, the Darkner counterpart of the red devil horns headband Kris used to own and at some point lost.
Toriel mentions that they bought the headband because Kris kept asking when their horns would grow in, and that sentiment left behind is why Ralsei takes form as a Boss Monster. Ralsei's horns, at least in the non-portrait sprite go inwards, similar to a traditional pair of devil horns, and Ralsei's unique equip dialogue for the Jevilstail item is "I'm a good devil, OK?". Additionally, one might be able to argue that Ralsei's 'worship' of the Lightners, as King puts it, is as a result of Kris supposedly loving the headband so much that they wore it for months on end, and from all sounds may have genuinely lost it as opposed to being 'abandoned' like the items in the empty classroom. Considering that most Darkners that appear in Chapter 1 are based on children's toys, it seems definitely within the realm of possibility.

The River Person in Undertale is actually Ralsei, who found his way in the timeline somehow.
The cloak that he wears during his introduction before Lancer knocks him aside greatly resembles of that of River Person.

Susie comes from an abusive household.
Ragged-up clothes, troubled behavior and bullying, obvious enough — but she also eats chalk, devours the cake at first glance, and often complains about hunger and not being given food. It's fairly obvious she doesn't get enough to eat at home.
  • Her comment about Kris having "a good mother" that didn't deserve to bury her child (as an excuse to not bite their face off) does have some implications that Susie herself does not have one.
  • If you talk to Lancer after defeating the King, Susie approves of the changes he says he's making, one of which is "Prison is now only for dads!"
    • Susie has an amazingly scary face; imagine what her full-grown, adult monster parents look like. What if she gets along with Lancer because she's all too familiar with what it's like to have a scary dad?

Susie is from the world of Undertale, who has unknowingly become stranded in the world of Deltarune, and her mother is the Queen
Susie is the only major character whose clear counterpart to an Undertale character is... complicated. As referenced elsewhere in the page, a "Suzy" and her parent(s?) are referenced by a Gaster follower in Undertale, but nothing remains of any "Suzy" to interact with in the game's code. Susie in Deltarune is a character seemingly without place; while your classmates have their families and the Undertale cast is more-or-less firmly rooted in the community, there isn't any clear home for Susie in Hometown, and no clear family members either. The only other characters unaccounted-for-but-referenced are the town's mayor, an unnamed and unseen woman, and the Queen and Knight from the Card Kingdom, who have a villainous but as-of-now enigmatic role in the game's plot.

If Susie, by some circumstance or another, is in fact the same "Suzy" we see referenced in Undertale, then her societal place and general behavior (noted by some players as being characteristic of a toxic household) would seem to hint that this happened before she was old enough to know what was going on, and probably lives with the mayor/Queen analogue, who has treated her poorly.

This may also be foreshadowed by Lancer's relationship with his own father, as a rough bad guy who's ultimately willing to change has to overcome his relationship with a nakedly selfish tyrant.

We will get to play as Susie
At one point, our viewpoint leaves Kris and we get to watch Susie; although we don’t get to control her or anything, this could be potential foreshadowing that we will eventually go over to her. The ending makes this more likely, given that after being locked in a birdcage and finding out Kris is possibly a knife-wielding maniac, we/the soul may decide to jump ship and go over to Susie, at least temporarily (since I do also think that we may get to control the vessel we made eventually).

The identity of the true three heroes (and possibly even the Angel) will change depending on which route you play and/or which save slot you use
So for example, in one instance, the three heroes could be Kris, Susie, and Lancer, while in another instance, they're Kris, Noelle, and Ralsei, and so on. However, the ending will always be the "same" regardless of which characters turn out to be the true heroes and the Angel, with either the heroes successfully banishing the Angel's Heaven or failing to do so.

The three heroes are Chara, Asriel, and Frisk
In Undertale, there's implications that one of those three characters is the Angel of the prophecy. In Deltarune, their roles will be flipped so that they're now the greatest opposing forces against the Angel.

Specifically, Chara is the Human, Asriel is the Monster, and Frisk is the "Prince" from the Dark (the title "prince" could be either metaphorical or an alteration made by Ralsei), based on the theory that Frisk is Chara's Darkner counterpart. Or maybe Frisk is the Human and Chara is the Darkner.

The three heroes are Frisk, Rouxls Kaard (or Seam), and Ralsei
AKA three characters that are (presumably) the Darkner counterparts of Chara, Gaster, and Asriel, with the Lightner counterparts being the main antagonists as the "Queen" (metaphorical title), the Knight, and the Angel respectively. After all, it's never been clearly stated that two of the heroes must be Lightners, just that one is a Human (Frisk) and the other is a Monster (Rouxls Kaard/Seam). It's also possible that "from the Dark" isn't just a descriptor for the Prince, but for the Human and the Monster as well.

The three heroes are Chara, Gaster, and Ralsei (or Asriel)
AKA three "Demons" that will oppose the Angel:

  • Chara calls themself "the demon that comes when people call its name".
  • Gaster is associated with the number 6.
  • Ralsei is presumably the Darkner version of a headband with demon horns, and Boss Monsters in general are a bit like demons appearance-wise (goats with fire powers).
  • If "from the dark" is metaphorical and not literal, it's possible for Asriel to be the third hero instead, especially since he's a sort of "fallen angel" in Undertale.

Gaster is two of the heroes
Based on the whole "Gaster is a fusion of two characters" theory. For example, if he's a human/monster fusion, he could be both the first and second heroes. Of course, this theory wouldn't work if he's a fusion of two of the same species, like two monsters for instance.

Susie is suicidal to some degree.
At least in one puzzle sequence, she plans to impale herself over a fence.

The three heroes are the (owners of the) three SOULs that got combined into the single SOUL we play as
That's why the SOUL can be used to seal the dark fountain, as the prophecy said the three heroes are the only ones who can seal them. That would mean the three SOULs belong to a Human, a Monster, and a Darkner Prince. Ralsei knew about this, but lied that he, Kris, and Susie are the heroes in order to become friends with them.

Ralsei will say "That Man Is Dead" in regards to Asriel
There could be a lot of reasons he could say that. Maybe he could have succumbed to the pressure of being Asriel and adapted a new persona, or maybe he just wanted to start a new life.

Each of the Main Characters has a different psychological issue and they're collectively coping/recovering.
  • Kris has a variation of PTSD and the dual shocks of the divorce and Asriel leaving have recently rocked their world. It's a struggle for them to cope with so much of their support structure gone, but with Susie on the mix, they have a chance to start recovering again.
  • Susie comes from poverty, but doesn't want anyone to know. She worries about the possibility of getting expelled, but remains heavily defensive to avoid breaking down. Kris teaches her to open up little by little and helps her cope without constantly inducing fear in others.
  • Ralsei is an Extreme Doormat unable to stand up for himself solo. He craves affection but doesn't do so well meeting people and tends to bow to their demands regardless of how he feels. Kris and Susie help build his self-confidence as well as letting him learn to deal with people.
The theme of your choices not mattering won't be so set in stone as it's initially played. Nobody can choose who they are; these characters' problems won't magically disappear on their adventures nor ever fully leave, but you choose how you react to it.

    The Dark World/The Darkners 
The Dark World is the toys from the classroom at the end of the game, and the parallels between it and the Underground and/or the game (Deltarune and/or Undertale) itself will only get stronger with further chapters. And the game might eventually actively revolt against the player.
First, the background: When asked about the Lightners, Seam says that they were "like Gods to us. Our protectors. Our creators. Those who gave us purpose" and that "one day we were all locked away in this prison... And [they] never returned". This, combined with the playing cards and toys themes, and the fact that Susie and Kris wake up in the middle of the (abandoned? Why would the young children's classroom be abandoned? Save that Fridge Horror for later) classroom, with playing cards and balls and jacks and a stuffed animal strewn all about, heavily suggests that the Dark World is derived from those (lost and abandoned?) toys. (Whether this means that the Dark World is "not real" or not I will not speculate.)

That's not the interesting bit, though.

The Darkners became bitter at being abandoned and forced into the dark, and plotted revenge on those who put them there. Who else does that sound like? The Monsters from Undertale? Yes, but who else? The characters in the games themselves. What happens to a save file, once the player is done with the game? It just sits there, on the hard drive, in the dark(?). And the characters in a game could very well be called toys, created by, given purpose by the designer and the player.

These parallels between the Dark World, UT's Underground, and the characters of DR and/or UT as game constructs will become important. I don't know which. I don't know how, exactly. Though considering that two out of three times now the characters plotted vengeance on their "Lightners"... it may be a bumpy ride, folks.

The Fountains are the equivalent of the Needles, and the half of the game spent in the Dark World will involve sealing them.
Which would make them rather the logical opposite of the Needles in plot as opposed to functioning as plot devices, but that seems appropriate. And yes, there are more to be sealed, as the King says that the Knight "pulls the Fountains from the earth".

The Darkners are human.
In the Deltarune universe, the monsters won the war and forced the humans underground. This may be why you can't actually kill anyone in Chapter 1; this revelation will be part of The Reveal the first time a Darkner is killed and their SOUL remains.

This would make Kris a "risen human" rather than a "fallen human".

Perhaps this alternate universe was created by Gaster in an attempt to free the monsters from the underground by creating a timeline where they won the war.

  • So why do they look so monstrous? It's not a bad theory, but this is an obvious follow-up question.
    • Their monstrous appearances might be due to mutation from the fountains, or experiments to gain monster-like magic. Perhaps, like a WMG lower on the list suggests, bigger bosses like the Knight or Queen might look more human-like.

All suits of a deck of cards will show up.
I just think that if you're going to have Spades, there are probably Hearts, Diamonds, and Clubs as well.

Actually, could Kris count as Heart, Ralsei as Diamonds, and Susie as Clubs?

  • Well, the existence of the others is certainly confirmed, as the other Kings appear, still locked up, at the end of a pacifist run. And Rouxls, of course, is a Diamond.
  • Rudinns are diamonds (their attacks and the pattern on their outfits). Hathys are hearts. Clover is a club. The three imprisoned Kings look just like a Rudinn, Hathy, and Clover. Rouxls is the card with the game's rules on it? Maybe? (Rules Card) and Jevil is the Joker. I think we have an entire deck that way, save for jacks and queens.
    • One line of dialogue has Lancer describe himself as a Jack.

When Susie and Kris return to the Dark World, there will have been a disproportionate time skip
Their accessing this alternate world via a closet was more than likely an homage to The Chronicles of Narnia, among the most famous examples of that trope, so why stop there?

Jevil is more important than he seems.
Consider that the entire game is based around the premise that your choices make no appreciable difference. Spare an enemy or defeat them, you get no experience, as they run away before dying. You will never become a bad guy because Susie keeps rechallenging you until you defeat them. Even the end, you have the illusion of a difference, with the adventure ending slightly differently with a violent or nonviolent playthrough, but really, there's even no real change there. However, there is one solitary situation where you have real choice.

Jevil.

Granted, not a HUGE choice. You get a weapon for a violent defeat, and armour if you pacify him. But still...your choice MATTERS. Here in the place where Jevil invites you out from the prison. Here where the battle outright says it "Smells like Freedom." With the person who regularly says "He can do anything." Jevil's influence has the ability to defy the rules of the world you're in, to let you choose who you want to be.

Jevil is Nyarlathotep.
Multiple forms, kinda/really horrific, delights in cruelty, powerful, and all about chaos and madness.

Seam and Jevil were the two people in Entry 17
Just a small theory. What if that report where Gaster asked two persons what they thought weren't Sans and Papyrus, but Jevil and Seam?

Defeating Jevil in the full game would allow him to appear and help you with Deltarune's final boss
Whether you defeat Jevil using the Pacify spell or not, he gives you a piece of himself, either in the form of his tail or the Devilsknife form. If you have either of those in your inventory, he'll make one 'encore' appearance and help you fight/distract the Final Boss of the whole Deltarune story, as a nice little reward for beating a bonus boss.

Rouxls Kaard isn't Gaster himself, he's Gaster's Darkner counterpart.
Similar to how Ralsei and Asriel are presumably Darkner/Lightner counterparts of each other.

Rouxls Kaard is actually only supposed to be Lancer's teacher.
Why would the King fire every puzzle maker? Well, it's possible he regards it as a complete waste of time. He seems like a pretty violent guy. But if he doesn't care about making puzzles at all, why would he then hire someone to be in charge of puzzles anyway?

The answer is simple. The title is a sham. Rouxls Kaard has been promoted to an unimportant position of nobility by the King for going out of his way to do something he didn't need to. And what is that? Taking care of Lancer, or course. Given how little the King seems to want to do with his son, it's entirely reasonable that Rouxls would be rewarded for keeping Lancer off his father's back.

From there, we can work backwards to find out what Rouxls actual position is supposed to be. And what is it? Naturally, Rouxls Kaard is a Private Tutor for Lancer. As the Rules Card, it's his job to teach Lancer how things work. But because he's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, he realises that the King doesn't take care of Lancer well, and as such steps in as Lancer's "Lesser Dad".

Keeping this in mind, it's admirable how Rouxls actually tries to live up to his position when he learns the Lightners are coming by vandalising puzzles and making his own to try and stop them. Even if he's terrible at it.

Rouxls Kaard's name is a Significant Anagram related to light and darkness.
In a game full of significant anagrams, the odd spelling of this fellow's name stands out for not being an anagram of anything. However, if you look at his name, it contains two very interesting scrambled words. 'Dark' is obvious, but the less obvious one is 'Lux,' which is a unit of measure for how well a light illuminates a space. With light and dark being the major theme of Chapter 1, this might be a hint he becomes a very significant character later on.

Rouxls Kaard is from Alternia
His name is a joke that stretches out for six letters each in the first and last name, and he has a typing quirk that utilises fake Old English.

The Darkner villains have a Sorting Algorithm of Evil based on Chess Motifs
We've already faced pawns in the form of the Ponmen, who seem to be the most openly malicious basic enemy in the Dark World; sure, they're just following orders according to the other Great Board inhabitants, but they're still the only enemy that can't be befriended or reasoned with; the only way to Spare them is to get them to fall asleep. We've also obviously seen the King.

The Knight and the Queen are only briefly mentioned, but it's pretty safe to assume they're the final villains, and they're named after the two most dangerous pieces in chess; the pawn and the king are the weakest pieces despite the King's importance, and they were faced first. It's possible that we'll see a Bishop (possibly a Sinister Minister who would be the first major source of information on what the "Angel's Heaven" actually is, and how it's connected to the church in Hometown) and a Rook before the Knight and the Queen show up in person.

It's also worth noting that the only boss enemy faced before the King (in the course of the main game, anyway) is a Checkers piece.

The playing cards motif will continue for the next three 'chapters' of the game, with each chapter having a specific suit and role.
The first chapter had the Spade suit (Lancer) and the King role (Lancer's father), along with the additional Joker (Jevil) and even a Rules Card (Rouxls Kaard). The next three chapters will have - in any order - the other three suits (Hearts, Diamonds, and Clubs) and roles (Queen, Ace, and Jack). Each multi-area 'arc' of the following chapters will have at least two new characters - one to play the role of Lancer and the King, respectively. The 'Lancer'-type character will represent the suit in general, whereas the 'King'-type role will represent the aforementioned card roles.

Given Jevil's speech on a 'Queen' being a potentially bigger threat than even "the Knight" mentioned by the King himself, the Queen will perhaps be the final card role of the four, and given the Wonderland themes so far, maybe the respective suit will be the Heart suit, so as to make her...the Queen of Hearts herself. Needless to say, this would make the Heart the final suit to be represented, and its ultimate role would make sense given the importance of hearts in this series. It is the shape and color of the SOUL, after all.

But just because the Queen may be worse doesn't mean this supposed 'Knight' would be any less menacing, given that he seems to have power over even the King. Perhaps this would make him the boss of the penultimate area/arc...? But there's no Knight role in playing cards, so perhaps not...

Anyway, back to suits, maybe the 'Lancer'-type character of the Club suit will be named "Shamrock," given the plant's resemblance to said suit and that the "Clover" name has already been taken? Maybe the 'Jack' character's name will be some variation of 'Jack' (like "Jackie," "Jack-Jack," "Jackson," "Jackmond," "Jacqueline," et cetera).

  • Chapter 1 already introduced the other three suits (Rudinns = diamonds, Hathys = hearts, Clover = clubs), though it's still possible that they'll get more focus in later chapters. There could even be two more chapters where one focuses on Jevil (and possibly another Joker) and the other on Rouxls Kaard.

The Spades King's rhetoric and statements were factually correct and truthful.
He indisputably was a genuinely, unabashedly awful, cruel, tyrannical ruler who deserved to be taken down, no doubt; but he did not lie about his motivations, nor did he over-exaggerate the severity of his and his Kingdom's plight. Only by way of the Card Kingdom's Fountain was it granted form — and only by its continued operation could it maintain its form. With it being sealed, the Kingdom and all of its denizens would immediately "fall into obscurity" — returning to being nothing but inanimate, abandoned objects in an unused room, devoid of agency, purpose, and life. Without the flowing darkness to sustain them, the Kingdom and its residents, in all meaningful ways, ceases to exist.

Assuming the full game intends to continue to larvely subvert and diminish player choice, to give the impression that our decisions "don't matter," the total destruction of the Card Kingdom following Kris, Susie, and Ralsei's adventures in it would be the easiest method to even out the two wildly differing endings (the Spades' King remaining in power and the denizens hating the Lightners, vs. the Spades' King being overthrown by Lancer and the Lightners being celebrated) that its storyline presents.

  • Ralsei was aware of this, and what its outcome would be.
Ralsei exhibits keen knowledge of the nature of Lightners, Darkners, the Fountains, and the mechanics of the Dark World, and possibly the true nature of the Dark World. As stated above, he mentions how the Fountains create the Dark World in the legend he relates, and while the manual's contents may be extra-canon at this point, he directly states in it that his body is formed by the darkness it emits in a way that indicates clear awareness of its necessity. Consequentially, this would give a clear reason for why he didn't suggest deactivating the Kingdom of Darkness' Fountain despite it seeming so much closer than the Card Kingdom's: If that Fountain was sealed away, he would cease to exist, just as the Card Kingdom.

This does not necessarily preclude that all his actions, statements, and motivations are based wholly on lies — there could indeed be good reason even beyond reasonable self-preservation to choose to lay the burden of sinking into oblivion onto the Card Kingdom rather than his own world — but, should any of this be true, the fact that he deliberately did not mention this to at least Susie and the player, and how incessant he was about finding a peaceful solution for dealing with people who were inevitably going to cease to exist if he and his friends succeeded should, at the very least, be called into question.

A softer take on the above; The Card Kingdom itself will cease to exist when its Fountain is sealed, but at least some of its denizens will survive.
Specifically, they will have the chance to emigrate to the Kingdom of Darkness, giving Ralsei some citizens to be a proper Prince for, finally. This trend may repeat for any further Dark Worlds journeyed to, and that have their Fountains sealed by, the player characters in the full game.

The antagonists will have Chess Motifs
We've already seen references to "The Knight" and "The Queen", and the first major boss was the King (though with a playing card motif rather than chess). Perhaps we'll also run into a Bishop and Rook in future chapters as well.

As a corollary to the above, the antagonists are Evil Counterpart to the Undertale cast.
The Queen will be a counterpart to Toriel, and the Knight a counterpart to Undyne. Perhaps the Bishop and Rook will be counterparts to Papyrus/Sans and Alphys/Mettaton. Since we ran into the King first, they might be fought in the reverse boss order from the predecessor, with the pattern going: King, Bishop, Knight, Rook, Queen. Bonus points if the Darkner characters have names which are anagrams of their Lightner counterparts.

Extrapolating from this pattern, the true final boss might be the Pawn, who promotes to the strongest piece upon reaching the end of the game (plus the concept of a Pawn fits in perfectly with the game's stated themes of predetermined choices). The Pawn, naturally, turns out to either be Ralsei, or Kris themselves.

  • Note that we already saw pawns while crossing the chessboard in Chapter 1. They were fairly weak minor enemies.

The Dark World is a Lotus-Eater Machine designed to trap monsters
Since human SOULs are the only way to seal the fountains, the Dark World could potentially trap monsters indefinitely with no means of escape. The Dark World that Kris and Susie encountered was conjured by the Knight by giving the cards and toys in the spare classroom consciousness. It was intended to trap Susie, but this plan was thwarted when Kris, the only human in town, happened to tag along with her. This is supported by Susie growing to accept the world because of Lancer and her wanting to come back the next day, and she conceivably might have been convinced to stay forever without Kris there to seal the fountain.

Future chapters will each feature a different monster being lured into a dark world and end with Kris and co sealing the fountain. It's also possible that Papyrus, Napstablook, Mad Dummy, and Muffet have already been lured into the Dark World, hence why they are conspicuously absent during the end of Chapter 1.

The Card Kingdom's Fountain literally created the Card Kingdom out of the school's old, abandoned classroom.
Both the legend that Ralsei relates to Kris, Susie, and the player, and the Spade King's in-battle dialogue make unambiguous reference to the Fountain being that which creates their (Dark) world. In addition, Ralsei's (admittedly dummied-out) manual is dedicated to "the unending pillar of darkness that gives [his] body form." Until the Knight pulled its Fountain from the Earth, the classroom was merely just that, and nothing more, with no manner of tangible existence in the Dark World at all.

When it was pulled, the darkness it cast on the world from its vicinity created the Card Kingdom from the playthings that had been left there, alone, long since abandoned by the Lightners — in other words, the people who had once used the classroom, especially the children who'd made the most use of the toys and games, perhaps even creating their own shared fiction about the various pieces and cards, giving them a degree of character and personality that the new Fountain's darkness made manifest.

If so, then the whole Kingdom and all its residents only truly came into existence the moment that the Fountain did — all the history and hardships the Darkners reflect on, that make up their beings, being both half-false and half-true at once, arising entirely from the remnants of meaning and narrative that had been imposed on them by their old users.

The Dark World plotline is a Red Herring and the Dark World doesn't exist.
The Dark Kingdom plot was just Toby trolling the player by presenting them with and hooking them into a huge Big-Lipped Alligator Moment so that the Wham Shot at the ending would take them by surprise even harder. The Dark World and all of the events therein were a shared dream of Kris and Susie induced by the card games in the room they fell unconscious in. Lancer, Ralsei, the Darkners, the Kings, and the Prophecy and its three heroes don't exist. Kris and Susie will never return to the Dark World and no event that happened inside it will affect the true plot, which is Kris' ripping out their SOUL; seemingly possessed by something. (Although it might tie into the true plot thematically and/or through symbolism.)

Evidence #1: After Kris and Susie returned from the Dark World, they were in a closet full of card games. The Dark World is card game themed. 'nuff said. As a bonus, this ending is a reference to Through the Looking-Glass, where everything was All Just a Dream.

  • They were in a classroom full of card games, not a closet. And when they exit the only door in said classroom, it's shown to be a different door than the closet they entered.

Evidence #2: The Dark World clashes with the world building of Undertale. Even considering that this game is an Elseworld, the Dark World Story Arc just doesn't fit in. Why is there a third race of people? Since when was the "balance of light and dark" important to the world of Undertale? Why are plot-critical pieces of worldbuilding like SAVE files, determination, and SOULs that were omnipresent in the original game never mentioned by any Dark World characters? Why is the Delta Rune, a symbol created by monsters, Sigil Spammed everywhere in the darkling kingdom? Why does Ralsei resemble Asriel when they're not even the same race?

Evidence #3: The themes brought up in the Dark World Story Arc clash with the themes of Undertale. Namely "Your choices don't matter" and "Violence is an option and sometimes the only one".

Evidence #4: The Dark World's existence doesn't make sense. How come there is an entire kingdom that declared war on both humans and monsters and nobody noticed? How come there is a portal to an alternate dimension in a closet in a school which teachers access daily and yet nobody ever went in or out the portal before.

Evidence #5: The Dark World doesn't appear to have anything to do with Kris ripping their SOUL out. If it was important to the true plot or at least real, it would have. You could do mental gymnastics that Chara is the Knight or the Queen, but since when was Chara card game or chess themed?

  • Kinda too early to tell, plus the Knight and Queen’s plan could involve Chara in some way, not that Chara is necessarily one of them.

Evidence #6: Kris and Susie leaving the Dark World had an aura of finality that wouldn't make sense if they ever had to return. The Kings were imprisoned and the fountain was destroyed. You could argue that the Knight and the Queen are still unfought and at large, but this is irrelevant because with the fountain's destruction, their plan already failed. It wouldn't make sense to drop that entire world out of the plot so soon unless it wasn't real.

  • The Knight is implied to be the one who opens up the extra fountain. While that fountain may have been sealed, there’s nothing indicating that they can’t open up another one, so they and the Queen are still threats at least to an extent. Regarding the other points, considering that Deltarune is an Elseworld, that doesn’t mean it has to obey Undertale's rules. It can still be radically different from Undertale, since it's an alternate universe, and by that, not everything from the first game will operate the exact same here; in other words, Deltarune can have its own World Building that’s different from Undertale. Also, the themes aren’t just part of the Dark World, they’re the themes of Deltarune itself, meant to establish it as a Spiritual Antithesis to Undertale. Besides, Toby already gave us Ralsei and Lancer, two major characters who are generally well-liked by the fandom, so revealing them to not exist after all would be, well, a disappointment. Deltarune so far only has one chapter, so there’s still ways that the Dark World can come into play in the future.

Evidence #7: Susie states how no food consumed in the Dark World is able to reduce her hunger at all. Of course, food can't quench hunger if it doesn't exist.

  • Or it could be referring to the possibility of Susie not having enough to eat at home, hence why she ate chalk before. Also, just wondering, how would you explain the egg? Kris can find a man behind a tree in the forest, and Kris can actually put this egg in Asgore's fridge. Kris didn't obtain the egg before, so how would they still have it in their inventory? Did Kris take it from Temmie or something? I would also like to note that Susie says “Let’s go back there tomorrow.” to Kris, which would be odd if the Dark World was just suddenly dropped. There’s also Susie's scarnote  that appears on her portrait, which she gets from the battle against the Spades King. She still retains that feature even after exiting the Dark World.
  • But why wouldn't the food be able to reduce her hunger at all, even if she normally doesn't eat enough? Unless she is starved to the point of her digestive system failing, which I doubt. She specifically states that this is a property of Dark World food. I didn't know about the egg and the scar. That is potentially theory-busting evidence. Maybe Kris grabbed the egg from the supply closet while hallucinating? As for the scar, I got nothing.
  • Susie could be exaggerating, in that she's just really hungry, not that the Dark World food actually doesn't do anything. I’m not sure where in her dialogue she specifically states that the Dark World food cannot fill her up, because that could just be a hyperbole to exaggerate her hunger. I also wonder that if the Dark World wasn't real, wouldn't that mean that Susie's character development was pointless because Lancer didn’t actually exist? And why is Ralsei still on the menu screen? That implies that he’ll play a major role in the future, which wouldn’t make sense if the Dark World was just dropped out of the plot. That, and some are already attached to the characters introduced in the Dark World, so I feel like it would be an unwise move to just forget about them.
  • How do you know Susie got a scar? Are you sure it's not simply her pulling the bangs out of her eyes? Monster magic can't physically harm, let alone cut. The sword, ax, and scarf can all cause a bit of physical pain. (Mainly the sword, because Kris uses pencils that turn into swords in the Dark World.)

The Dark World won't be the focus of DELTARUNE, but it will still play a role in everything.
Even if the Darkeners never show up, the adventure in the closet basically kicked off Susie's arc. Alternatively, they will show up but as "imaginary friends" or something.

The Knight has taken the King and Jevil's SOULs
That's one of the reasons why Jevil has gone crazy, as well as why the King is so irredeemably cruel. Alternatively, the Queen could be the one who took Jevil's soul, since he's the only one who mentions her and it's never been specified if the "strange someone" he met is actually the Knight.

The angel doll will show up as a Darkner
They'll play an important role in the story even if they're not the Angel from the prophecy (though the heroes could still mistake them as such).

Every chapter will have a different version of the "Dark World".
The Dark World is reminiscent of the Underground that we know, but it's apparently a lot smaller and there's some not-subtle implication that the Dark World isn't real at all. Every chapter will follow the same basic format: protagonists fulfill a prophecy by falling into a strange world, traveling through it, and defeating its ruler.

One of the main reasons Seam is so nihilistic is because he expects to be thrown away/abandoned
Borrowing from the theory(ies) above that the Darkners are formed from the toys in the abandoned class. Seam is a ripped up, raggy stuffed animal, no longer cute. If the abandoned classroom and the items in it see use again (if 'the Lightners return'), while the other Darkners (eg the playing cards, the checker board, etc) are still in relatively good condition, Seam isn't. So Seam expects the Lightners to throw him away. Hence why he states that whether it's the by the Lightners or Darkners, he's doomed either way.That also explains his view about the items he sells/collects: it's just a hobby to him. He doesn't have any attachment to any of it. Just like he expects the Lightners to treat him.

Seam is a ghost haunting a toy cat. Possibly a cat ghost.
Most ghosts choose fabric things full of stuffing as bodies, so if there are ghosts in the Dark World, it would follow that they would possess something similar.

Jevil and Flowey are connected somehow.
They are the only characters in their respective games to become Suddenly Voiced. That can’t be a coincidence, right?
  • Mettaton is also Suddenly Voiced when he transforms into his EX form and says "oh yes".

Rouxls Kaard is a Darkner human
He does have a more humanoid appearance compared to other Darkners we've seen so far (Darkner monsters), though there are still some differences between him and Lightner humans like Kris, Frisk, and Chara. Rouxls could potentially have a backstory similar to Kris' or Chara's as the only human living among monsters.

Dark Worlds form in neglected spaces, and can only be truly destroyed if they see regular use again.
Sealing the fountain isn't enough. If the area continues to go unused and neglected, the 'real-world' counterparts of the Darkners won't be able to serve their original purposes, and the area will linger on. This will allow Kris and Susie to visit Lancer and the others again...

...Until the classroom gets cleaned up, as the school decides to put that space to good use again. The room gets repurposed, and all of the cards and games inside picked up and put away properly, as well as getting played with once more. This puts a bittersweet twist upon matters, for while they're bringing joy to the Lightners once more, this also cuts off your ability to revisit that area of the Dark World.

Perhaps this gets driven home by seeing one of the young monsters Toriel teaches carrying Seam around school, giving the old plushie the kind of love and attention they thought they'd never have again.

Jevil has Determination
Either the "strange someone" Jevil met injected some into him, or he can generate his own Determination like Undyne. That's why he's always yammering about how he "can do anything", as Determination is the power to change fate. Jevil might've even gained the ability to SAVE before Kris arrived at the Dark World, which could be what made him start seeing the world as a game.
  • If he could save before Kris entered, then how did Seam manage to lock him up?

Rouxls Kaard will be promoted to prince in the Pacifist Route
Lancer will do this because he doesn't know too well how royal ranks work and, now that he's the king, thinks someone else needs to be the prince and that Rouxls would be perfect for the second-highest rank. And yes, this will mean Rouxls will be one of the possible candidates for the third hero as a Prince from the Dark.

We'll meet the second Joker in a later chapter
Assuming Seam isn't the second Joker (since his Light World form is a plush toy instead of a card), they may or may not be Jevil's Distaff Counterpart (twin sister?) who looks like a little angel, as opposed to Jevil who's a devil, speaks in all lowercase, and is always lamenting about how they can't do anything because they're scared their choices will have consequences.

Seam replaced the second Joker as the court magician
Either the second Joker got fired, quit their job on their own, or had something else... bad happen to them so that they could no longer be the court magician. Seam was hired as the new court magician in place of the original one. This could be a parallel to what happened with Gaster and how he got replaced by Alphys as the royal scientist, which is kinda ironic considering Seam's similarities with Mystery Man who may or may not be Gaster.

Jevil isn't defying the game's "your choices don't matter" theme
Jevil is saying he can do anything because he believes his actions don't have consequences, so he's free to do whatever he wants without getting punished for it (he did end up getting locked in the cell for causing chaos, but he still thinks he's above consequences since he claims it's everyone else who locked themselves up and he's the only free one). In other words, he believes his choices don't matter, so he actually fits the game's theme perfectly.

If Kris' other classmates end up becoming party members, then future Darkner bosses will be the antagonist of their character arc.
The Spades King shares many similarities with Susie. Both are violent, angry, and bully others (Susie bullies Kris, the King bullies Lancer). In a way, Spades King is a dark reflection of Susie, her worst trait taken to horrific extremes, and Susie attacking him to save Lancer marks the start of his defeat. So if Kris' other classmates join "The Fun Gang", it's not a stretch to have Darkner bosses that represent their flaws and issues or "inner darkness":

The game will have successive Dark Worlds, united by a theme of abandonment.
Noelle's father will die at some point, and you'll have a chapter dedicated to a Dark World forming in her house, because it no longer feels like a true home to him. The last chapter in the game will be in Kris' bedroom, and will be based on Kris feeling abandoned by Asriel.

    The Lightners 
This world's Papyrus is the abrasive fedora-wearing dude Toby originally envisioned him as.
Sorry.

Alternatively, this Papyrus dislikes puzzles and enjoys puns. Otherwise, his personality is the same.

Somewhere on the surface in UNDERTALE, there is a monster (living among humans) that discovered a Dark World.

The other classmates will play bigger parts in future chapters.
All of the other classmates, save Monster Kid, Snowy, and Temmie, have their faces in their word boxes. In Undertale, only characters important to the story had that luxury, meaning it's very likely they'll all have bigger parts to play in the story.

  • The classmates with window pics will have some kind of inner darkness or problems at home. Over the course of the story, they will wind up going to the Darkner World, joining Kris, Susie, and Ralsei on different adventures. While there, they'll learn more about themselves and eventually overcome their personal issues, similar to how Susie mellowed out and became friends with Kris.

Papyrus and Mettaton are in the Dark World
That's why they never leave their houses, despite being both extroverted characters in the original game. They're busy building lives in another world — Papyrus may be at his real home, if we accept the theory that he's a Darkner, and Mettaton having a body and fame in his.

Undyne has a glass eye
Undyne in this world did lose her left eye. Instead of an eyepatch, she got a glass eye.

Kris used to have a pet bird.
Berdly doesn't like them because he found that really unnerving. Even though the bird's gone now, he hasn't forgotten about it, or how creeped out that made him feel.

Muffet is the mayor
All we know about the mysterious mayor is that she's a woman and is uncharismatic but efficient. Of (Deltarune equivalents of) important female characters from Undertale, Muffet is conspicuously absent from Hometown. It's possible they're one and the same; Muffet could arguably be described as having "negative charisma" (using intimidation, extortion, and violence to carry out her will), but also as efficient (spiders are industrious, after all). It's also possible that Muffet has no place in Toby's plans for Deltarune given that she's not his creation, but she at least seems like a good candidate.

Grandpa Semi will show up.
Grandpa Semi was intended to be Sans and Papyrus' grandfather in Undertale, but he was removed. Maybe in an alternate version of the world, Grandpa Semi will be around.

Deltarune is the world Sans originally came from
All the Undertale characters get little upgrades to their sprites in this verse. All of them except Sans. This is because this is the same Sans from Undertale, but not from after. This is Sans before Undertale. This is the place he cannot get back to. Whatever we three heroes do in this game will end with him in the Undertale verse. And that picture of three smiling people he has that he writes “don’t forget” on the back of? That’s the three heroes.

Also, when he says he hasn’t met us, he ain’t kidding. Since this happens before he gets dunked in the Undertale verse, he hasn’t met either Kris or us, the Player/Anomaly.

  • There's a bunch of points to support this:
    • Kris's outfit in Dark World resembles Papyrus's.
    • Sans is defeated by making him tired, similar to Ralsei's Pacify spell.
    • Sans uses color in his text box portrait and battle sprites, unlike every other monster (other than Photoshop Flowey).
      • Toriel, too, has color in her battle sprite. She has red eyes.
    • The quicktravel doors in Deltarune resemble the door to Sans's bedroom.
    • The picture in Sans's secret room has three characters on it and words "don't forget." which is a phrase used in Deltarune. The blueprints in that room also resemble those for Lancer's machine.
    • Dialogue during the Genocide fight implies the place he originally came from isn't the Surface, unlike most other monsters.
    • They randomly appear in Snowdin out of nowhere.

Sans is either a Darkner or a Lightner/Darkner hybrid
Goes hand-in-hand with the above theory. Specifically, Sans is either the same species as Lancer, or he's part-[Lancer's species] and part-skeleton monster. This would explain why he can bleed (Lancer claiming he'll turn the heroes into blood may imply that all Darkners naturally have blood), unlike other Lightner monsters. Papyrus (who's most likely a Lightner, since he just turns to dust without bleeding when he dies) is either Sans' half-brother or not biologically related to him at all. If Sans is a hybrid, it's entirely possible he was created by Gaster as some sort of experiment.

The other 6 human souls are trapped in those flowers at Asgore's flower shop.
All the flowers were originally golden, but the SOULs getting trapped in them caused the flowers' colors to change. They'd be able to move around like Flowey if it weren't for those glass cases around them. How the souls ended up in the flowers is just as much of a mystery as how the player's soul ended up possessing Kris.
  • But how do we know that the SOULs are going to be a significant part of Deltarune to begin with, or if they’re even there to begin with?
    • How do we know they're not? For all we know, Gaster's "experiment" (or whatever he's doing) could involve human souls in some way, including our own.

Only Lightners who have significantly messed with timelines in Undertale have Darkner counterparts
Asriel has a counterpart (Ralsei) because he saved and reset so many times as Flowey. Gaster has a counterpart (presumably Rouxls Kaard and/or Seam, or maybe the Knight if that isn't Gaster himself) because he got shattered across time and space. Chara/Frisk could have one too; maybe their counterpart is Kris, though I doubt it since the Darkners recognized them as a Lightner. There could be other secondary requirements to having a Darkner counterpart, such as the Lightner's soul must be damaged/lost in some way, and/or the Lightner must be a monster (or at least used to be one) and not a human.

Toriel is the reason why Kris' name is an incomplete anagram
"Kris" is supposed to be an anagram of "Frisk", but it's missing one letter. Why is that? Obviously, it's because when your mother is a school teacher, coming home with an F is not an option.

Toriel and Asgore divorced because Asgore doesn't really understand their children
There are hints that Asgore, while genuinely a nice person, doesn't quite understand his kids. He hugged Kris and then immediately realized he isn't sure whether Kris likes that or not. He cooked Asriel's green eggs, not realizing that Asriel cared a lot about those eggs. Asgore also told Kris to send flowers to Toriel, but when you toss it from your inventory, the narration indicates Kris HATES those flowers. There might have been many, many more incidents like that we don't know about. Toriel might have caught on to the fact that while Asgore is not a bad person, he keeps hurting their children through a lack of understanding. He doesn't know what their children hate or don't hate. Toriel knew that he wasn't being malicious, but seeing the kids cry every time Asgore makes an error hurt her too much.
  • Why would it matter if Kris hated those flowers? They were for Toriel. Also, he wasn't "not sure" if Kris liked getting hugs, he just forgot in his moment of joy at seeing them again, possibly for the first time in a while. If his behavior was legitimately harming his children and making them cry like you're describing, he undoubtedly would have put effort into changing it; you're honestly making him come off as a neglectful idiot. That doesn't sound like Asgore at all.

Asgore was the old police sergeant, trained Undyne, and shot a child by accident
This led to his early retirement, as well as divorce.

Asgore being overly kind hurt the family at some point, that's why Toriel divorced him
When we find Asgore, we discover that his flower shop is close to closing down because he keeps giving his flowers away rather than selling them. We also know that's he's generally oblivious to how Kris doesn't like being hugged and how Toriel doesn't want flowers from him. It's possible that at some point Asgore, not fully understanding the potential consequences of what he was doing, ended up doing something unbelievably generous but also incredibly stupid that put the whole family at risk: something like giving away a large amount of money saved up to a stranger's sob story, or being overly friendly to someone who wanted to take advantage of his selflessness. Given how Deltarune is its own universe, it's hard to see Asgore doing something actually malicious or intentionally hurtful, but given how in the original timeline it was his cowardice and pacifistic nature that drove Toriel away, it would be understandable if those same traits hurt her and the kids in this timeline also.
  • A subset of this could be just plain old money problems, a cause of many real-life divorces, caused by Asgore never getting paid for his florist services.

"Monster Kid" in Deltarune isn't the same character as Monster Kid from Undertale
They're actually the not-Goner version of Goner Kid, as well as Monster Kid's sister.

When a Lightner is in the Dark World, they no longer exist in the Light World
Not only does the Lightner physically disappear from the Light World, they're also completely forgotten by everyone else, until they return from the Dark World, which will cause everyone to remember them again as if they never disappeared in the first place.

Napstablook was with Mettaton.
The inhabitant of the ghost-looking house clearly had Mettaton's mannerisms, but told you to leave him alone, something that's out of character for someone who loves the spotlight as much as him. But you know who it is in character for? Mettaton's cousin Napstablook. It's also in-character for him to not want to be rude and tell people to go away. So, Napstablook was with Mettaton, heard you at the door, and asked Mettaton to shoo you away for him, which he did.

Hometown will be invaded by hostile Darkners at some point, and the player will team up with the inhabitants of Hometown to fight them off.
This will lead to the characters from Undertale — Toriel, Sans, Papyrus, Undyne, and Asgore (as well as possibly Napstablook, Alphys, and Mettaton) being Guest Star Party Members, or maybe even joining the party. This will also possibly be when Noelle joins the party.

This WMG was inspired by Undyne complaining about Hometown being too dull and quiet. The Law of Conservation of Detail dictates that it's not going to stay that way.

Noelle will involve herself with the Angel religion.
When Toby Fox posted the preview song "Lost Girl (Noelle)" to his Twitter, the video of the music included an image of Noelle from behind, wearing what appears to be a robe of sorts of pure white, and to this troper, they look rather like religious vestments. Furthermore, the concept of being "lost" can have religious connotations. Also, well, this may be an unmarked spoiler but turning to religion after losing a loved one (which hasn't happened yet I know but the writing is definitely on the wall for her) isn't an uncommon practice either.

Given the hints dropped so far that the Angel may be far from a benevolent figure, it's even possible Noelle could go from friend/ally to adversary and perhaps back to ally again, sort of similar to Susie's arc.

    The Angel/The Knight/The Queen 
The Knight is a Gaster follower, and Chara and The Queen have some connection to each other.
Following the WMG where the vessel created at the beginning is the Knight, they are internally referred to as a “Goner”, which is a term used for characters that have some correlation to Gaster. Given how Gaster seems to be creating timelines and observing each timeline, perhaps that’s the Knight’s purpose: to observe and report back to Gaster.

The vessel the player creates is the Knight.
It is a soulless vessel, and as we see with Flowey being soulless will turn you into a complete monster, and unlike Flowey who had Asriel’s memories making him at least TRY to be good the first few times he reset, the vessel was created from scratch. Its only memory is likely being discarded by its creator, which explains why it allied with the Spade King- both are spiteful at being abandoned by their creator/the Lightners.

Asriel will return as the Knight.
Given how most of the characters seem to keep their personalities and some aspects of them similar, what if Asriel in this universe started out as a kind person only to turn evil just like he did in Undertale? Kris and Susie accidentally enter the Darkner kingdom in their school; what’s to say that Asriel didn’t go through something during his time at college? What if he entered the Darkners’ territory somehow and was brainwashed into servitude, possibly by the Queen, a villainous character mentioned by Jevil? It helps that his final form in Undertale resembled the angel of death in the prophecy; Ralsei says that the three heroes need to stop the “angel’s heaven.” Perhaps Asriel is the angel in the prophecy? It’s also worth noting that the Undertale games take a lot of inspiration from Earth Bound. Since Asriel in this game is Kris’ brother, maybe he’s an expy of Claus from MOTHER 3, and the Knight is Deltarune's version of the Masked Man?

Candidates for the Knight and the Queen:
Just a combination of theories above, including my own, about who these two unseen characters could be, assuming that they’re not completely new characters:

Candidates for the Knight:

  • Chara: Jevil could be referring to Chara because he says “in the shadow of the Knight’s hand,” which could be referring to Chara’s malevolence that was shown in Undertale's Genocide Route. “The hand of the Knight is drifting further” could be referring to Chara assuming control of Kris’ body, assuming that they were able manifest separately from Kris in the Dark World beforehand.
  • The vessel that was discarded by Gaster at the beginning: Assuming that they’ll appear later on, it's possible that due to lacking a SOUL, they lacked a conscience and became the Knight, possibly to get revenge on the player for not using them as a vessel for their SOUL. Given how the vessel's selectable body parts are labeled as “Goner” in the files, they could simply be following Gaster’s orders for whatever plans he has for the Deltarune world.
  • Asriel Dreemurr: This doesn't have a lot of evidence to back it up, but I thought it was a possibility. After all, we never see Asriel, and all we know is that he went off to college. But, Kris and Susie manage to find their way to the Darkner kingdom through a complete accident; whether they found a portal or were deliberately summoned there by someone is a mystery. But what if Asriel managed to enter the Darkners’ world and was brainwashed into servitude? We don't know the full extent of magic in Deltarune; Susie can use magic to deal more damage, and Ralsei can use it to heal allies or put enemies to sleep. What if Asriel was put under a spell that forced him into the role of the Knight, perhaps by the Queen? It would be fitting, given how he was the main antagonist of Undertale as Flowey.
  • W.D. Gaster: Jevil seems to enjoy talking about the Knight's hand an awful lot. Now, who else has a hand motif...?
  • Papyrus: Still his old self, with a highly inflated ego and desire for greatness, as well as the imagination to back it up with... yet with no Royal Guard around, nor any friends for that matter, he's had no outlet for these things in the world of Deltarune. Therefore, he has focused inward. He has found his own path to the Dark World — Sans's room, after all, was a suspicious place to begin with. And once in the Dark World, he can finally be someone, be recognized for his greatness...
  • Lancer: Either knowingly or unknowingly, Lancer is The Knight, which itself has connections to the Jack card (with the Jack card occasionally being associated with Lancelot, the Knight of the Round Table), which Lancer represents. The arrival of the Knight could refer to Lancer's birth, which happened to drive Jevil mad, and upon seeing this, led the Queen (whoever that is) to flee the land. Lancer could be some sort of reincarnation of Gaster, or one of the fragments of Gaster's essence that was scattered across time and space taking physical form, and the residual Gaster-ness (Think the randomized FUN value that allows you to encounter faster in the first place) or fallout from The CORE caused Jevil to go insane and opened the second dark fountain. Lancer is either totally aware of this, and is putting up a facade, eventually leading to a Face–Heel Turn and a boss fight, or he was completely oblivious to this, with the Knight's effects being like a radiation of some kind, and the Queen possibly having left to find a way to fix the whole thing. Alternatively there's a third option, where Lancer himself as we know him doesn't know he's the Knight, but The Knight is a sort of split personality that takes over Lancer and does these things, with parallels being drawn to how Kris is one person at one moment and then rips out their SOUL later to become a whole different entity. A few other extra details are that Lancer never once mentions The Knight, and that a lance is a weapon knights are known for using.

Candidates for the Queen:

  • Lancer's mother: I don’t think I really need to explain this, but so far, we’ve only seen Lancer's father, the King. Jevil says “hell’s roar bubbles from the depths.” Perhaps that’s why we haven’t seen her? Because she was sealed away?
  • A Darkner counterpart of Toriel: We’ve already seen that Ralsei looks exactly like Asriel did in Undertale. What’s to say that there isn’t a Darkner counterpart for any of the main characters from Undertale? Toriel was the queen of the monsters in Undertale, so a Darkner version of her could reprise that role in Deltarune.
  • Chara: Yes, I know that Chara is genderless, but I still believe that this is a possibility. Notice that in Jevil's full quote, he says “The ‘Queen’ returns, and hell’s roar bubbles from the depths.” Notice how “Queen” is put in quotation marks when he says it, whereas the Knight lacks those quotation marks. In chess, the queen is the most powerful piece and can eliminate any other piece on the board. Considering Jevil's insanity and how he seems to view the world as a game, what if he wasn’t actually referring to an actual queen, but rather the most powerful being in the world? Which would definitely suit Chara if they’re present in Deltarune. They state themselves to be the embodiment of RPG stats. In their own words: “Every time a number increases, that feeling... that’s me.” This includes EXP and LV, which are stats based on killing intent. They are shown to be capable of erasing the world at the end of the Genocide Route and, depending on interpretation, are able to temporarily assume control of Frisk at certain points without our interference. If Chara is the entity that possesses Kris at the end of Chapter 1, then it’s not as far-fetched as it may seem. My main reason for believing this is because Jevil says “hell’s roar bubbles from the depths,” while Chara describes themselves as “the demon that comes when people call its name.”
  • A fusion of the four Card Queens: It is pretty suspicious that we've seen both the Jacks and the Kings from the original playing card art that inspired Toby's games in Deltarune, but not any of the Queens. It's also worth noting that each of the Queens looks like at least two characters fused together. Maybe in Deltarune, the Queen will appear as all four Queens fused with each other like some sort of amalgamate, with the Knight and/or Gaster possibly being responsible for their fusion.
  • Noelle: Because she has her own avatar first, along with Berdly, which makes her a character the game wants you to know the fact of. That, and it could make her a very memorably Affably Evil Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds if it turns out the Dark World is born of Lightner imaginations. She's been so bullied and withdrawn that she's grown increasingly addicted to the sensation of being someone beloved and important, to the point where she's disrupting the fabric of the universe because she's developing a god complex over her personal world. Then her father dies. This will lead to a scene where she finally snaps at Berdly and summons Darkners to attack him before declaring she's going to take up the crown forever and vanishes into her portal, destabilizing the world as she opens more and more Dark Fountains in an attempt to revive some facsimile of her dad and create a perfect life. Plus, her last name of Holiday can easily be read as "Holy Day" — as in, something associated with the Angel; it turns out Noelle and the Angel are one and the same, with the Angel's Heaven being Noelle's self-inflicted Lotus-Eater Machine. With some serious Foe Yay with Susie, who ends up being the voice of pacifism for her because she desperately wants Noelle to snap out of her rage before she kills people.
    • A recent post that Toby made on Twitter depicts Noelle in a white robe, which makes her resemble an angel, which may add merit to this theory.

The Knight and Queen are humans
It's quite possible the two started out as regular humans who became jealous of the magical abilities both Lightner and Darkner monsters possess and sought artificial means to gain the ability to use magic. And after doing so, they became so enamored by their new power that they decided to use it to play God. Hence them creating and unleashing fountains of darkness with the intention of destroying the world so they can remake it in their desired image.
  • Jevil says “The ‘Queen’ returns, and hell’s roar bubbles from the depths.” Perhaps them trying to pull something like this is what had the Queen sealed away in the Darkner kingdom, or whatever “hell” is referring to (that’s the implication that I got), and the Knight’s intention is to free the Queen?

The Knight and Queen are, respectively, Kris' uncle and biological mother.
Going by the 'Knight and Queen are humans' idea, this would make a possible relation between them and Kris possible. And it would make them a villainous Brother-Sister Team. And if the Queen knew her child would become one of the destined Delta Warriors and thwart her schemes, it would mean she abandoned her child and left them to die (unaware they'd survive and get adopted by the Dreemurrs) in an effort to subvert the prophecy.
  • I like this idea. Perhaps the Knight and Queen will end up attempting to kill Kris for the purpose of preventing the prophecy from coming true once they’ve found out that they’re still alive? Either of them could be the “angel” mentioned in the prophecy.
  • Alternatively, this can present a contrasting dynamic between the Knight and the Queen. While the Queen would want Kris dead at any cost, The Knight may try to reach out to his 'sibling's child' in an effort to invoke We Can Rule Together by claiming to have rejected The Queen's desire to kill Kris, and the Knight may even use the Hometown inhabitants' treatment toward Kris as leverage to encourage Kris to turn on their adoptive home. While Kris may suffer a temporary Heroic BSoD upon learning their origins, they may ultimately reject "Uncle Knight's" proposal, mostly because of the simple fact what the Knight's been doing is evil, but partially due to Kris not buying sincerity in the Knight's words.

Either the Angel is evil, or there's a mistake/omission in the Prophecy.
It should be noted that "The Angel's Heaven" is the thing the Delta Warriors are supposed to banish, according to the prophecy. "The Angel" is actively worshipped by the citizens of Hometown. Obviously, if the Angel is a truly benevolent being, then banishing its 'Heaven' would be a bad thing. So either we're dealing with a God Is Evil situation or Ralsei's prophecy is wrong in some fashion.
Alternatively, the Angel itself may not be evil, but its "Heaven" might actively harm the Light and Dark Worlds, or that entities from the Heaven are harmful. This could also be less a case of the Angel being evil, and more of it being misguided, mistaken, or misunderstood, and the endgame to Deltarune in its full form could turn out emphasizing that your choices do indeed matter.

The Angel is the red SOUL, or whoever it belongs to (AKA whoever the player is actually playing as)
Undertale's icon is the red SOUL itself. Deltarune's icon is the Delta Rune symbol (in which the winged circle symbolizes the Angel) within a heart. What if this is actually a visual hint that the red SOUL and the Angel are one and the same?

Alternatively...

The Angel is Kris, or at least a SOULless version of them
The heart around the Delta Rune symbol from Deltarune's icon is black, which could represent an absence of the SOUL. Not to mention the way Kris stands on the rug with the Delta Rune symbol at the end of Chapter 1 makes it look like they have angel wings.

The fight against the Knight and Queen will be a colossal Tear Jerker.
Because after the straight, proudly evil Spades King, it'd be a subversion if it turns out his superiors are both Anti Villains (going by the theory that secondary Fountains of Darkness cause inanimate objects to come to life in their own new kingdoms, the Queen could be a human girl who brought her toys to life using Darkner magic, with the Knight being her favorite; more mother and child than mistress and servant). When you encounter the Knight, he (going by the theory that he is a brother of Seam and Jevil, Rule of Three and all) turns out to be a Noble Top Enforcer who apologizes to Lancer for his father having been so corrupted by power and is generally a Friendly Enemy until he realizes you want to close his zone's Fountain. It turns out you don't have a choice, as a secondary Fountain will devastate both worlds by summoning the Angel, but he reveals that if he defeats you, he can create a new band of heroes that will fight for the sake of the new Fountains (making the Game Over a Bittersweet Ending — the Light world is gone, but the Queen was able to cover the world in darkness — ie, create dozens of new kingdoms for her subjects and save them from the Angel). He loses, and commits Suicide by Cop rather than live knowing he failed his Queen and everyone in his guarded kingdom. She finds out, and swears eternal revenge, which pretty much derails any attempt to Pacify her (in fact, she gets enraged and unleashes a free attack when you "insult his memory" by trying to show mercy).

The Knight is the Kris without the player's control.
They are The Dragon for the Big Bad and naturally a lot more powerful when in control, since they have a higher LV. However, they are a Noble Demon type, hence why they don't actually kill any Darkners when you defeat them and didn't actively resist you acting on a Pacifist Run; the mooks are their friends and minions, after all. They made Ralsei as a substitute for Asriel, and Ralsei knows and supports this; he didn't say anything because he knew Kris was possessed and decided to avoid giving the game away.

Ralsei is the Angel, and he plans to destroy the Dark World.
Exactly What It Says on the Tin. When you encounter Ralsei, he's standing alone in an empty town that would be full of useful things for adventurers, if any of them were accessible — they're not, because he put them all to sleep so that he wouldn't be overheard. If Kris and Susie's adventure in the Dark World is just a game of make-believe that they're using to work through their issues, Ralsei is an expression of how Kris feels betrayed: Kris knows that Asriel didn't leave to hurt them, but they're still hurt and grieving all the same. Ralsei doesn't want to hurt anyone, but when the time comes, he'll appear and attempt to destroy the Dark World, not because he wants to, but because he has to. The themes of nihilism and inevitability fall in nicely with coming-of-age themes because of the unstoppable march of time: Asriel went away to college and took all of Kris' world with him, but eventually, Kris will have to move on, too, and the Dark World will end.
  • If he wanted to destroy the Dark World, why didn't he just seal his fountain before the Knight opened his?

There's going to be a Prophecy Twist regarding the Angel.
Because God Is Evil is a well-worn JRPG trope, it's going to get played with. The heroes will, indeed, banish the Angel's heaven... only for it to turn out that doing so creates bigger problems than it solves.

The Knight and Queen will turn out to be...
Asgore and Toriel pulling a huge ass prank on Kris.

The Knight, Queen, and Angel are Ralsei's family and Darkner versions of the Dremurrs.
The Knight and the Queen are Darkner versions of Asgore and Toriel that, like Ralsei, they have pink horns and possibly clothing that makes their fur appear to be black. They used to be the monarchs of the empty Dark Kingdom Ralsei lives in. The Angel is a Darkner version of either Kris or Chara. In an event possibly mirroring Asriel's and Chara's suicide pact, they caused all inhabitants of the Dark Kingdom to die, which is why it is devoid of life. After the Knight gathered the support of the Spade King, the Darkner Dremurrs except Ralsei then left the castle to open a second dark fountain to destroy the Light World. It is notable that the Card Castle's fountain mirrors the barrier of Undertale in multiple ways, with the most notable being that the power of human SOULs is necessary to destroy both of them, creating a parallel between the plans of Asgore and the Knight.

The King was Brainwashed and Crazy by the Knight.
A once benevolent being, the King of the Dark World was attacked by and then heavily influenced by the Knight, resulting in him locking away the three kings and seizing the Dark World as a whole. In the end, the sociopathic, abusive and dirty-fighting scum isn't actually the King himself — it was the Knight making him do these things, and is the monstrous one who destroyed the Dark World as a whole. In addition...

The Knight's Establishing Character Moment will be them imprisoning and promptly killing the King and Lancer.
Once they hear about the King being overthrown or put to rest, the Knight will drop the possession spell on King Spades and take action themselves — starting off by doing away with both king and prince, in a most sadistic fashion. This will be to not only inform the player about the real evil still being around, but because they killed Lancer along with his dad, they will also probably ignite quite a bit of rage in many more players over the former's death.

The Queen is the Spade King's wife.
What? It's obvious.

    Other 
Deltarune is an Alternate Universe to Undertale.
Hinted at several times, from Alphys and Undyne not knowing each other to Asriel being alive and attending college.
  • Chara's presence seems to make this more plausible; their exact language in the Genocide ending is "Let us erase this pointless world, and move on to the next." This universe could be that 'next world'.
  • Is this even WMG? It's very obvious that there are glaring discrepancies between the current state of things and the canon ending of the game, most notably the fact that Asriel is alive and apparently never died. The only possible explanation is an alternate timeline of some kind...
  • Are we talking alternate timeline or alternate universe? Because there’s a clear difference there.
  • Explain that difference?
  • An alternate timeline would be like the difference between a pacifist run and a genocide run. They both take place in the same universe, but different actions made things turn out differently. An alternate universe would mean this game takes place separately from the Undertale verse and both coexist at once. Someone like Chara may be able to cross between universes, but both stories exist at the same time, independent of each other.
  • Confirmed by Toby Fox himself in this article; http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sqn3p9
  • There's still the case where the whole Deltarune world is a world Chara creates after destroying the original one in Undertale's Genocide run. It'd make sense, as we already know they can somehow "create" a new world at the cost of Frisk's soul to let the player play again, and it'd explain why Asriel is still alive and they live with Toriel in the outside world, together with all the monsters. They had the power to create a world to their liking, with no humans around other than themselves and those they loved still alive and safe. And nothing outside of their control, at least, until the player showed up again...
    • ...If you consider Asgore being on the verge of homelessness, unable to eat and alienated from his children "alive and safe".
    • Isn't Chara the one who laughed at Asgore getting poisoned by buttercups? Plus, the in-game descripton of Asgore's shop is pretty merciless, as well as the comment upon throwing away his flowers. Chara probably doesn't like Asgore that much, if they don't actually see him as a rival for Toriel's and Asriel's love and affection.

Deltarune is a Stealth Prequel to Undertale.
It'll probably somehow end with a Time Crash brought about by Gaster, or some Suspiciously Similar Substitute, with whatever's left becoming the Undertale timeline.
  • This would explain both characters like Alphys and Undyne not knowing each other (yet). It would also explain why Kris's story feels so similar to the story of the first fallen human Chara. Ralsei, btw, is an anagram for Asriel, so it's possible this is an alternate universe flashback, in which case the theory directly above this also applies.
    • Fridge logic also tells us roughly the latter part of this story, from filling in the gaps. As Kris actively tries to destroy his own soul at the end of Chapter 1, Chapter 2 will basically be like a genocide route. By Chpater 3, my prediction is that the reason Asriel and Chara are sharing a body in the story of Asriel's past, and the reason Susie doesn't show up in Undertale is that she stops Kris. Which would make it an alt-universe prequel, since Chara originally died from buttercup poisoning.

Deltarune takes place in a timeline where monsters were never trapped underground, or the war between humans and monsters never happened.
Either it's an alternate timeline proper, or Gaster (or another party) retconned the war out of existence, replacing it with the war between Dark and Light. It's why everything seems to be the same, but things that happened in Undertale proper don't seem to be present, such as Undyne and Alphys' relationship.

The Pacifist Ending will be the bad ending.
The game seems to be pushing players heavily towards pacifism, with Ralsei explicitly telling Kris and Susie not to fight at multiple points throughout the game. Just retreading Undertale's ground seems... odd for such a subversive game, so perhaps this follow-up will subvert that idea from the first game? Perhaps one of the "neutral" endings will be this game's good ending, based on the idea that sometimes, violence is necessary.
  • Jossed, at least for Chapter 1. There's no way to kill anyone outside when Susie does in a cutscene.
    • Apparently, you can make the ending slightly different by attacking everything (possible, some bosses will not allow). The differences are relatively minor, the game right from when you try to name the character, enforces powerlessness. Also, Toby has apparently been on record saying this game will have only one ending.

"Take care of your hands."
In this game, the recurring theme is that your choices don't matter. But, since Deltarune is about subverting expectations, perhaps the message is to make your own choices in spite of how bad the odds may be. Now, as for what "Take care of your hands." means, this troper is reminded of how one of the many lessons/discussions in End of Evangelion was that you have hands for a reason — so you can make your own decisions and act on them.
  • Alternatively, it means a more cynical message — don't hurt your hands by putting effort into a lost cause.
  • Although this might be a reminder to keep your hands healthy. Toby Fox can't play the piano anymore as constant playing as led to him acquiring carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • It could also be a nod to spr_mysteryman, the likely appearance of W.D. Gaster - who has holes punched into the palms of his hands.

Megalovania will pop out at some point in the game
Would it be a Toby Fox project if that didn't happen? If not the song itself, at least it's melody might be hidden into another part of soundtrack…

There will be one Bonus Boss in each Chapter of the Game
Seeing as how there is no Genocide Route, Toby will probably want to include a very difficult fight in each chapter. It would be an easy way to include incredibly difficult bosses.

The Dark Kingdom was inspired by Magicant and its role in the plot will reflect this

So far, both games have shared the following setup:

The protagonist, under circumstances that don't quite follow any sort of obvious logic, finds themselves in a fantastical, completely otherworldly place that doesn't quite seem real, but still seems to have deep significance nonetheless. The centerpiece of this world a figure of royalty that looks like and has a similar, but not identical, name to somebody in the protagonist's family, but again the relation between the two is not clear at first. As the adventure continues, the protagonist moves in and out of this world accompanied by friends, all without any obvious connection between each world as the plot progresses. The player is just supposed to accept the existence of this world as it stands, parallel to the mostly-mundane one the protagonist originated from until the game reveals how the two are connected.

Given the fact that these games are very openly inspired by the MOTHER series, this would be a perfect fit.

  • Alternatively, instead of (or in addition to) Magicant, perhaps it was inspired by Moonside. In Earthbound, after you complete your goals in Moonside (i.e. destroying the Mani Mani statue), you "wake up" in the back room of Jackie's Cafe, in which you apparently had been aimlessly wandering the entire time, similar to how you return to the storeroom at the end of Deltarune.

Toby wasn't lying about there only being one ending, however...
He was using Exact Words. The exact ending sequence will always be the same no matter what, but the context surrounding that sequence will make it a different sort of ending using the power of the Kuleshov Effect. As a hypothetical example, let's say that the ending sequence will always involve the Angel's Heaven successfully being prevented by the heroes. However, in one storyline, the Angel has a Heel–Face Turn and the "heaven" that they plan goes from a bad to good thing, but because You Can't Fight Fate, the heroes must prevent it anyway, resulting in a bad ending. In another storyline, the Angel never has any such change of heart and their "heaven" remains a negative thing that the heroes want to prevent, making the ending bittersweet because even though the world was saved, the Angel never became a better person when we know they had the potential to. Again, these are only hypothetical, but I hope they illustrated the point; knowing Toby, I feel like he would do something like this.

The game's stance on 'your choices don't matter' and Toby's statement that 'your actions can't change the ending' are both cases of Metaphorically True.
While the outcomes may be the same, whether or not they'll be presented on a high or low note will depend on the player's actions. Depending on whether the player took a violent or non-violent approach to dealing with enemies, although the player can't kill them, it does result in two different outcomes, with the monsters becoming restless and Kris and Susie having to leave the Dark World for their own safety in the former, or Lancer overthrowing his father with his subjects support with the latter, allowing the two to part from the Dark World on good terms.

Deltarune originally had nothing to do with Undertale
Toby Fox confirmed that he'd been planning Deltarune for years before Undertale was even announced. It's possible the game was originally going to be totally separate, but after Undertale became one of the most successful, critically acclaimed indie games of all time, he reworked it into the Undertale sequel/prequel/elseworld/whatever that we see now.
  • Jossed, actually. According to Toby, he actually came up with Deltarune in the middle of developing Undertale.

Asriel and the Darkners are just roleplaying
That's right, Asriel and the Darkners are just playing a game of LARPs; they're all just monsters that like to pretend they're saving the world. Think about it; no one dies, even though all of our characters are using what should be lethal weapons. These weapons are also Items Kris and Susie got in the Dark World, as is the armor. Lancer is just a Papyrus-esque Skeleton who really wanted to play, and gladly took the role of Villain, and the Spade King is just another Roleplayer who went a little too far. The Dark World itself could be real, or it could just be a building that they LARP in; and either way, Asriel teleported them there with his Magical Powers.

As to why Asriel dragged Kris and Susie into this session, Asriel is Kris's brother in this continuity, and he probably knew Kris was going through hard times (everyone in the Light World does consider Kris a weirdo), so he tried to make Kris a Hero this time. As for Susie, Asriel probably didn't intend to bring her along, but when Kris and Susie were alone getting chalk, it was the best time to get Kris, so Asriel had to also get Susie.

Alternate universes are a big part of the story and the multiple SAVE files are a way to interact with this story element.
So while one might think that having 3 SAVE files are just an improvement to one file of Undertale, this is not actually the case. There are very minor differences to the save files in Deltarune, and this will play a much bigger role in future chapters. When the game states that your choices don't matter, they mean that they will not matter in that particular save file/AU. In fact they will cause big changes, but only on the other save files. Therefore we will have to constantly have to change save files and do certain things in each to get certain outcomes/endings.

Your choices may not "matter", but the game will still judge you based on the choices you make
If your choices have no impact, if there's no consequences of your actions... Will you still choose to do the right thing? Or will you succumb to your perverted sentimentality?

Your choices do matter.
"Your choices don't matter" is seemingly the main theme of this game, which seems to be true at least for Chapter 1. It even is spelled out multiple times by different characters. However, don't you think Toby wouldn't have returned the FIGHT/MERCY mechanics if they were purely cosmetical with no real consequences to story or gameplay? And don't you think Toby is capable of bringing up a theme only to subvert it or even reveal it as a Red Herring? Remember that we have experienced only one of probably somewhere between five and a dozen chapters; little more than the tutorial level. (Any weren't the ruins, the tutorial level of Undertale, too, only a foretaste of the true themes and concepts behind the game?) My evidence is this: The text that appears when you die. "It appears you have reached and end. Will you try again?" (YES) "Then, the future is in your hands." Apparently, the narrator does believe that the player has the capability to shape the future, no matter who says that they haven't. And to me, the narrator does seem to be more of an authority on the topic than Susie, Seam, or every other character that claims the player's choices are meaningless. In fact, even in Chapter 1, the player does have some degree of meaningful choice. Depending on whether they FIGHT or SPARE the King, their goodbye from the Dark World plays out differently, and depending on whether they FIGHT or SPARE Jevil, they recieve a weapon or an armor. Sure, Toby said that the ending is the same no matter how you play, but that doesn't mean the the characters and the world can't be affected by the player's actions in what comes before.

Your choices do matter, but not in the way you'd think.
Conside what is actually said with fatalism. "It's not like what I do matters anyway, so I may as well give up." Does that sound familiar? It should. It happens all the time to people who get a bad reputation. Consider Susie. Her chalk fetish is clearly leading to trouble, and she assumes that nothing she can do will help her at all. In fact, she fully expects to be expelled, so she figures she might as well act out. And for quite a while, any choice you get for her, you don't even get the chance to answer. From the start, you are told that nothing matters, so FIGHTing and ACTing shouldn't really make a difference. If it's all the same, being kinda violent (as much as the game allows) would have equal value to talking it out. But actually, at two key points, they kinda do. First, you can't beat the giant crowned boss except by getting it to bow. Second, Susie herself begins to realize that constantly fighting is causing her more hurt and pain.

Let's compare to Undertale for a second. Undertale gives you many choices, but two that it doesn't are if you've corrupted your save file with a Genocide route, and when you die, you are taken straight to the start menu, you do not have a Game Over asking whether you want to continue. If you say no, the world is covered in darkness. And this is in fact the choice of the game. When you downloaded, you also agree to accept the consequences. That is, you're agreeing to make the choice of "Give Up?" or "Keep Trying." Chapter 1 has a noticeably dark ending, with Kris yanking their heart out and throwing it in the cage then pulling out a knife. It is pretty identical to sparing the King or killing the guy, but context is different. In other words, Kris is led to a dark place. And you can either spare them by not giving up on their story, and continuing to play, despite the very dark tone of the very first chapter. Kris' story will have one track, no matter what you do, and it will probably for a long time get worse, but it may get better closer to the end. Or you can choose "I don't wanna play as a psycho"m in which case you've killed them by not seeing their story through.

Deltarune will include Old Save Bonus with Undertale
Perhaps just as fun little easter eggs, characters in Deltarune may reference actions you might have taken in Undertale. Sans would be the most likely to do this, fitting his Meta Guy nature.

The final chapter of the game will be a revisit of the Underground, now a metaphor for Hometown
The entire last level will be a metaphor for Kris's last time they walk around their hometown one last time before Asriel returns. The Ruins is their Home, Snowdin is the west part of town by Pezza, The Lake to the right is Waterfall, Hotland and the Core is the area around the school. New Home is Kris returning home, where their dad and brother now are in addition to their mom.

The game will end with a Reset Button
Everything is brought back to square one — not just the beginning of this game, but the beginning of monster history, erasing whatever brought things to the state they are now — but as we've come to expect, a little bit of the previous timeline will still remain, informing some of the events that the audience knows will occur later. If the reset timeline leads directly into the events of Undertale, it would make this game chronologically later than the original game, but storytelling wise, a prequel.

Deltarune will be a giant Take That! to the people who wanted Undertale to get a sequel
That sounds like something that Toby would actually pull off.

Deltarune doesn't take place in a different timeline, it takes place in a different universe entirely: one that doesn't have DETERMINATION.

Rather than being an alternate timeline where everything was the same until a crucial point that skewed off into a tangent, it's a completely different universe that has no connection to the universe of Undertale beyond the existence of certain characters. There is no "place in the timeline" for Deltarune because it's another universe entirely: one where the power of Determination, the power to deny an ending (expressed as functional time-travel), does not exist. That's why in this world, no one gets to choose, and your choices don't matter. Expanding on this, it means…

Someone or something is trying to create DETERMINATION in the world of Deltarune, and that's the purpose of creating the Vessel.
That's it, that's the WMG. Determination is an extremely powerful thing; the power of time travel that can be distilled into a useable form. In a world that doesn't naturally have it, the person who first gains it as an ability would be godlike in power. And we know from Flowey that when you inject Determination into an non-sentient living thing that has the essence of a living person in it but no SOUL, you get an immortal, amoral, incredibly powerful time-traveler. Sounds an awful lot like Chara, no? That's why the Narrator is so excited to hear it if the vessel and the creator have the same name, you're infusing part of yourself into it.

The moral of this game is indeed simply "What you do in this game doesn't have consequences", but it's more optimistic than it looks.
The theme of this game is that your actions don't mean anything, which, in real world, is not true at all. However, the original Undertale sometimes called you out for still playing the game and occasionally even asked you to go outside and take a walk, so something like this is definitely not out of Toby's league. Maybe the moral of the game is that you shouldn't feel too guilty about, say, doing a Genocide Route, because even if you love the characters, they are all just pixelated beings in a computer program. Maybe even the fact that the game takes place in an another universe from the original game will fit into this: since they are just fake, fictional being, you can put them into any situation you want and what they do doesn't matter, because a real person making the game is the only one who can decide what happens to them. It may even be a Take That! to the "video games cause violence" controversy, as what you do in games doesn't really reflect on what kind of person you are in real life. So yeah, maybe this game might have a slightly more optimistic message than we thought…

Deltarune's premise is like Once Upon a Time.
The Initial Premise of OUAT was that the Evil Queen cast the Dark Curse upon the Fairy Tale Land, so they'll be transported to the Real World, our world, and live miserable lives.

So what if Gaster (against all odds) gained enough power, not to bring himself back, but to create a new world out of one of the timelines. Then he put all People he knew into it, but at the cost of Living cursed lives where they wouldn't be all happy.

Like Toriel and Asgore are still separated, in spite of the many tragedies not happening in this new world. Even though the Epilogue of the Pacifist Ending indicated them being on good terms. It's similar to how the Dark Curse in OUAT seperated many People apart.

Also, while Chara and eventually Frisk were beloved by the Underground, their Counterpart Kris is an outsider.

Undyne, Alphys, Bratty, and Catty are all also affected by it.

More proof is that Sans, a person who implied to have a connection with Gaster, seems to be unaffected by this, being relatively similar to his original counterpart. He's even still on good terms with Toriel! Two of his Followers are also shown to be completely alive.

Now, who could the savior who breaks this false reality be?

Future chapters will reveal that one world is trapped in a "Groundhog Day" Loop
Either the school day in Hometown or Kris' adventure underground will be in an endless loop, possible with gradually revealed tiny differences to tip you off on what to do next. Bonus points if the characters don't understand why you specifically know what's going to happen or what they're going to say. No idea how or why this would be happening, but it would be a fascinating role reversal considering what you put every other character through in the first game, now with Ripple Effect-Proof Memory.

It's a Timeline split from the time while the Fallen Child was living with the Dreemurs
Kris is the Fallen Child (Chara) grown, possibly with their own SOUL (possibly not given the ending to Chapter 1). Possibly Kris's plan to free the monsters from the Underground was less sinister than in the Undertale timeline, or the community just didn't know about how sinister it was. It's more likely Kris was unconnected with however the Monsters got freed, or more of them would know who Kris is. This would explain why Sans doesn't know Toriel and why Undyne doesn't know Alphys. These pairs grew associated because of the events that followed the death of the Fallen Child. This also helps explain why Toby was able to assure us that whatever happens in Deltarune won't impact the story of Undertale and why, no matter what happens here, whatever state we left the Undertale cast in will be how they remain.

Ralsei, I'll admit, throws a curveball into this. If Ralsei is the Asriel from Undertale and not a red herring, then he's possibly jumped ship from his original timeline (since he already knew how to manipulate timelines with his own Determination) to hopefully find a better one, where he can regain a soul (if he hasn't already) and be safe from his misdeeds as Flowey. This helps to explain his aggressive desire to be gentle and kind, as well as how he's a Prince of a land with no inhabitants.

The backstory to this universe will be more disturbing and/or tragic than any of us can imagine
Despite the idyllic appearance, whatever needed to happen for the timeline to turn out this way was incredibly screwed up, and will hit us all in the face with the same impact as the original game's backstory. It might end up explaining why Toriel holds such a grudge against Asgore despite Asriel never dying and Chara presumably never coming into their lives, and probably also involve that bunker. That said, all of this is assuming a natural series of events are what lead to the current timeline, not forceful rearrangement from whoever is behind all this.

Every time Kris and co. come back to the real world, things will be a little more off
This process will either involve the current situation just gradually getting worse (Asgore getting evicted, Alphys' mental health and apparent homelessness getting worse, Undyne's police brutality getting more serious, etc.), or just more and more discrepancies popping up out of nowhere until things are practically unrecognizable. This could simply be an effect of the timeline just not being a good one, or the fact that it's simply unsustainable in the way that whoever is pulling the strings arranged it and will inevitably break down. Prepare for a gradual descent into horrifying madness, everybody.

This is a Timeline in which everyone can be happy — Destroyed by the arrival of the player.
Related to above WMG, Deltarune is set in a timeline in which the human-monster war never happened, and the Dark/Light split plays into how this is possible. However, the player playing Deltarune has opened a window to this previously unknown possible timeline. A very dangerous window, as it has allowed influences from previous seen timelines to invade this previously separate world. As soon as the game is begun, Chara begins to invade Kris' mind, becoming the narrator once more, and taking away Kris' choices and free will, continuing to convert them into a suitable vessel as the chapter continues until, finally, at the very end, Kris can no longer fight off the foreign influence and succumbs to Chara's DETERMINATION, having their soul imprisoned as a result.

Even aside from our interference allowing Chara to mess with the Deltarune timeline, however, the screwy time-space continuum of the main Undertale timeline has left other marks. Not only does Kris appear to be an alternative version of both Chara and Frisk, Asriel appears to have two Alters himself; adult Asriel and Ralsei. These are the only characters whose number of iterations available between timelines is inconstant, and may imply that the existence of beings with the ability to LOAD and RESET has shaken up the timelines to the point that the time-space continuum itself is confused about their existence, causing Asriel to have two almost identical Alters of himself in the Deltarune timeline (one a Darkner, the other a Lightner), while Frisk and Chara only have one shared Alter among themselves, whose appearance varies between the Dark and Light Worlds, in Kris. With Undertale!Chara taking over Chris' body, this may cause issues, since traces of the parts of them that are Frisk may still be present in Kris' body, however.

Chapter 2 will be/involve a “Genocide run” in the Dark World.
Susie said she wanted to go back there with Kris tomorrow (or they could sneak in alone), and in their current state, it’s pretty easy to make the connection. It would fit perfectly with the explicit railroading, too — what better way to hammer home the player’s inability to choose than making us kill all the characters we were forced to befriend/spare?

The story is, if only partially, going to be told in reverse
Somewhere down the line, we are going to get a chapter that unexpectedly begins in the past (perhaps not obviously at first) and we will be shown exactly what series of events occurred that lead to the parallel timeline we're seeing right now, and hopefully who manipulated them to be that way. Eventually we will figure out the critical incident(s) that caused the timelines to split, and know what needs to be done to turn things back to normal once we return to the present.

We've already faced one irredeemably evil guy (the Spades King), what if the Big Bad is even worse?

In an inversion to the above WMG about a Reset Button, Deltarune is set before Undertale, but only exists because of a post-Undertale event:
Sans fixing his time machine, going back, and preventing the War of Humans and Monsters.

The driving theme will be one of Straw Nihilist vs The Anti-Nihilist
It will be made clear that Deltarune's world is doomed in some way that is literally impossible to avert; perhaps the lower-case narrator who tossed away your custom character (I'm betting that the last series of bosses, after a card game and Chess Motif of the Knight and Queen, will be someone themed after Tarot or Roulette, both associated with raw chance and fate) knows this, and is very, very bitter about it, declaring that if they have no choice, neither will anyone else. They have become The Hedonist and wish to enjoy their last days as the ruler of the world before it all dies, and even if you show them compassion, will attack you to force you to spare them from pain. The heroes, over time, will realize this — but come to understand that nothing ever truly ends, and decide to make it so that something of the world can survive. "The Angel's Heaven" is a World of Silence where nothing capable of any choice exists; not only will your choices not matter, you will not have been able to make them. By making it so it doesn't devour everyone, then, the heroes will ensure that at least there will be a new world after it all. I expect the line "freedom is what you do with what has been done to you" to show up.

When Toby said the characters in Undertale will be unaffected by Deltarune, he actually meant Deltarune won't alter the real-life game files of Undertale
In-universe wise, the characters and world of Undertale can and will be affected by whatever happens in Deltarune.

"Song That Might Play When You Fight Sans" will play in the game.
However, it will play at a time completely unrelated to fighting Sans.

A "Demon" will be mentioned as a part of Hometown's religion
They'd basically be Deltarune's equivalent of Satan. There could either be only one Demon, or three Demons to parallel the three Heroes from the Dark World's prophecy.

The Angel's Heaven is the Undertale World
And since our choices don't matter, and Toby did say Undertale won't be affected by Deltarune, we'll be forced to let the heroes fail and the Deltarune world get destroyed.

"Don't Forget" will be updated in the final game to be longer.
And probably is going to be (or at least have elements of) a Award-Bait Song/Power Ballad.
  • The credits do in fact refer to the song as an "excerpt".

Asriel/Flowey created the new universe
This assumes that the Pacifist Route is canon. Asriel's God of Hyperdeath seems remarkably similar to the Angel in the Delta Rune prophecy, so he probably has some connection. Maybe he became resentful about everyone getting a happy ending but him, and he thus created a world where he was a popular college student. Honestly, the sheer amount of Character Shilling Asriel is getting seems pretty suspicious. Ralsei would also fit this, as a Nice Guy and a chosen one.

The game will either introduce or incorporate Tarot Card Motifs
The Dark World has a motif around games like chess and poker, with many characters having card motifs about them. So with Playing Cards having been all taken up, the full game will introduce characters representing the Tarot deck, mainly the Major Arcana. The Major Arcana already have a religious theme, with cards like Judgement and The Devil, and several characters that already exist could be filled in for some roles, like King (The Emperor), the Queen (The Empress), Jevil (The Devil), Seam (The Hermit), Ralsei (The Magician), Rouxls Kaard (The Heirophant), and Lancer (The Fool). Heck, potentially all of the major Darkner characters could fit into Tarot themes. The new chapters of Deltarune will explore more of the Dark World, potentially having the bunker south of Hometown contain some sort of portal not unlike the one in the supply closet, or will deal with characters from the Dark World entering the Light World, and exploring more of it, with the mysterious mayor of Hometown potentially having a connection to, or actually being a Darkner.

Don't Forget is a Villain Song.
The song is sung by one of Deltarune's potential Greater Scope Villains. The song's lyrics are veiled threats and taunts directed at Kris and their friends. "When the light is running low and the shadows start to grow" is the villain bragging about their increased powers now that they've compromised Kris. "And the places that you know seem like fantasy" is taunting Kris and Susie for retreating into the Dark World to escape their real-world problems. "There's a light inside your soul that’s still shining in the cold" is the villain bragging about having imprisoned Kris' soul. "With the truth" is the villain bragging about knowing something the heroes don't or perhaps reminding Kris of some uncomfortable truth they repressed. "Don't forget I'm with you in the dark" gives the vibes of a serial killer tauning the victim that they are hunting down in a lightless room.

Hometown is set in Brooklyn.
Because Jevil has a Brooklyn accent. That's it. That's my theory.

Humans in this universe are actually elves.
Santa Claus is apparently a real person in this universe, after all. It would also explain how humans know magic.

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