The story starts when Frisk - a young child at that point - goes to Mt. Ebbot on purpose in order to protect the monsters from her village. There she encounters Sans and the rest of the Royal Science team, including Alphys and Dr. W.D. Gaster. At first it appears that things are going well, but one day, an experiment went wrong...
And that was when the SHIFT happened.
Now, a grown up Frisk and her sole companion G are stranded in an empty underground, seeking to restore it to what it was before.
In the fandom, Echotale mostly left its mark as being the origin of G!Sans, even though the character was created before the comic by another artist.
This comic contains examples of:
- '90s Anti-Hero: Frisk's favourite comic is about an Anti-Hero named "Victor", with a fitting cover. Sans and Alphys are quite surprised that Frisk likes such things.
- All Caps: G's speech.
- Alternate Universe: One of the many Undertale AUs. Even before the SHIFT, there are several changes and oddities, like Gaster, Alphys and Sans all working together by the time Frisk shows up, yet the amalgamates still being around. Flowey is also inexplicably absent, which is odd as he was created in the same experiment as the amalgamates.
- And I Must Scream: Implied. G occasionally talks as if Gaster and Sans still exist in his head talking to him.
- And the Adventure Continues: The last few pages of the comic are G escaping from the Underground through a portal, and waking up under the bed of a random boy in the human world. The comic even lampshades this by adding in the final panel "to be continued???"
- Apocalypse How: The SHIFT turns the underground into some sort of Eldritch Location where almost everybody is gone. It's also unknown what the true extend of the damage is, as the protagonists never try to leave.
- Bare Your Midriff: Frisk's outfit post-SHIFT exposes her belly button. Her top is actually a torn up version of the shirt she wore as a kid.
- Big Friendly Dog: Endogeny looks menacing for the grand total of one panel.
- Bizarro Apocalypse: The SHIFT caused the Underground, which was already a magical place beneath a mountain, to become a bizarre, bordering on Eldritch Location where the forests are made of letter boxes, snow is hot and lava is cold, the only flowers still around are the Echoflowers which call out messages from the SOULs trapped within them, and each area seems to have forgotten what laws of physics are supposed to apply in it, where its located and what it's made of.
- The Cameo: Papyrus, Undyne and Monster Kid briefly appear in flashbacks. Only Undyne speaks in those.
- Chained by Fashion: Frisk is wearing the remains of her handcuffs as bracelets.
- Chekhov's Gun: The comic book "Victor", and more specifically its cover, ends up serving as Sans's pivot point, which is why G looks the way he does.
- Chivalrous Pervert: G. As Frisk puts it, he teases her all the time but is respectful of her boundaries.
- Cigarette of Anxiety: G admits at one point that smoking calms him down.
- Demoted to Extra: Practically every character not directly connected to the lab is either seen as a cameo or not mentioned at all. That is not to say they don't exist.
- Demoted to Satellite Love Interest: In Undyne's only appearance, she worries about Alphy's well being. This is in heavy contrast to her major role in Undertale, where she is a huge part of the game before AND after her boss fight.
- Eldritch Location: The Underground after the SHIFT. Snow is hot, lava is cold, there are forests made of post boxes, and Echoflowers have replaced the golden flowers, and are now EVERYWHERE.
- Flash Sideways: Frisk can see into other Undertale AUs, but cannot interact with them.
- Flower Motif: A very odd one, considering that the flower that this AU is named after and infests the entire underground is not even real.
- For Science!: Literally the entirety of Gaster's motivation. He knows that indulging Chara and encouraging their inner darkness could have extremely bad results but does it anyway for the sake of science. He's also extremely excited about the SHIFT and is disappointed that he won't be around to see its full extend.
- For Want of a Nail: The original point of divergence from Undertale is that Gaster is still around when Frisk falls to the Underground, with Alphys and Sans working as his assistants. Flowey also appears to be absent. From that point on the story diverges wildly, eventually leading to the SHIFT.
- Fusion Dance:
- As always, the Amalgamates.
- What happens to Gaster and Sans following the SHIFT, which results in G. Unlike the Amalgamates, who look like amorphous blobs at worse, and Mix-and-Match Critters at best, G looks like a perfectly normal skeleton monster who bears physical similarities to his components, is perfectly solid and stable, and identifies as his own person instead of having just being two people stuck in one body.
- The Gadfly: G likes teasing Frisk all the time but never has any malicious intent.
- Grand Theft Me: Chara is possessing Frisk right from the bat. She's heavily implied to have severely harmed Papyrus.
- Has a Type: Frisk really seems to like the leather-clad Anti-Hero bad boy, Jerk with a Heart of Gold-types.
- In Spite of a Nail: Despite Alphys not being the Royal Scientist in this setting, the Amalgamates are still around. Or at least, Endogeny.
- Interspecies Romance: Eventually Frisk confesses her love for G.
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: Yoralim has deleted their entire Tumblr account and all the content they ever posted, Echotale included. The wiki link is the only reliable way to read the comic now, and images can be found reposted on other places such as Pinterest.
- Killed Offscreen: After the SHIFT, Frisk and G wake up to find everybody gone. Turns out that instead of dead, all the souls are trapped in the CORE.
- Minimalist Cast: We know that the Underground exists, but the only characters that ever appear and have any significance are the five people in the lab. Post SHIFT this trope is taken to greater extremes, as Frisk, Chara and G are the only people left in the Underground, and even then Chara is absent for the most part.
- Timeskip: The comic jumps from Frisk opening up to Sans to before the SHIFT to Frisk and G travelling together after the SHIFT. What happened in the meantime is revealed through flashbacks.
- One-Letter Name: G.
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: After the SHIFT, Frisk gets aged up to her late teens / early twenties (it's not clear).
- Recursive Fanfiction: Technically is this, as G precedes the fic as a character. In addition, as is typical with Undertale AUs, this too has become part of the Fan Verse, and works have either used this comic as inspiration, or used the setting itself.
- Rule of Cool: The In-Universe reason for some of G's choices, like his smoking or rolling up his sleeves.
- Show Within a Show: Other than Mew Mew Kissy Cutie, there's also Victor, Frisk's favourite comic book.
- Skewed Priorities: At one point Frisk nearly gets herself killed by falling rubble in order to retrieve a pack of cigarettes for G because "they seemed important to him". He calls her out on this.
- Smoking Is Cool: At least G thinks it is. That, and it calms his nerves.