WARNING: Unmarked Undertale spoilers below.
The Caretaker of the Ruins is an Undertale AU comic created by Peppermintbee (a.k.a. Minty), Eruto, and Ellipsis. It centers around a grown-up Chara assisting fallen humans through the Ruins, in similar vein to the canon caretaker Toriel. It even starts off similar, with Chara meeting Frisk after the latter "falls down". However, the similarities are quick to end... and not in a good way.
The comic was confirmed to be canceled on May 21. The creators plan to release a written plot summary that reveals what horrible tragedies would have befallen Frisk and Chara, as well as the thrilling conclusion to the story. Alongside the summary will be early concept art of scenes that could have been.
Provides examples of:
- Alone with the Psycho: In the Ruins, there are no monsters. There's only Frisk and Chara, with the latter seeking to kill the former over and over again for their SOUL. It's subverted with Asriel, who doesn't seem as willing to kill.
- Big Bad: Chara is shaping up to be this.
- Blatant Lies: After restraining Frisk, Chara's attempts to convince Asriel to let them kill Frisk include insisting the act isn't easy for them to do. Frisk is (rightfully) shocked to hear it.
- Bloodless Carnage: Averted. Every death Frisk suffers is seen in gruesome detail. The particularly nasty ones (e.g. failures to solve the Ruin puzzles correctly) are thankfully covered in silhouettes, but it doesn't lessen the impact.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: In direct confrontations, Chara easily overpowers Frisk. They are only briefly downed after making a poor mistake during their pursuit of Frisk, with the latter taking the opportunity to smash their trademark stick into Chara's knee.
- Evil Only Has to Win Once: Frisk ceasing their LOADS after death is the key thing needed for Chara to gain the final SOUL. Chara is aware of this, making an effort to gently persuade Frisk as much as possible to stop.
- Exact Words: The Caretaker of the Ruins is exactly that, taking care of solely the Ruins. Any human that falls through is prey for said caretaker.
- Foreshadowing: Chara acts as a simple observer for Frisk, not making any effort to help them through the Ruins' lethal puzzles. This apparent disregard for child endangerment isn't an accident; it's a means to take Frisk's SOUL.
- For Want of a Nail: Caretaker of the Ruin takes place in an Alternate Universe where Chara never dies of buttercup poisoning due to Asriel chickening out on the plan at the last second and them discovering their reset-powers as a direct result of this, instead grows up alongside Asriel, and later moves on to become the titular caretaker of the ruins.
- Gender-Neutral Writing: Both Frisk and Chara are referred to with gender-neutral pronouns.note
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: Chara attempts to trap Frisk in this in order to wear them down and steal their SOUL. However, they didn't secure ALL the escape routes...
- Hidden Depths: Chara appears to Frisk as a kindly caretaker and "guide" through the Ruins (they don't actively assist Frisk moreso than observe). A little while after reaching Chara's house, Chara reveals their true colors.
- Asriel appears to be violent, aggressive, and very hostile upon first encountering Frisk. Not too later, it's all revealed to be a big bluff, as he's actually not as willing to kill Frisk as Chara is.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Chara insists to Asriel that Frisk is dangerous and needs to be put down. The latter, however, was easily overpowered and restrained at this point. It is possible that Chara is referring to Frisk's ability to SAVE and LOAD rather than physical strength.
- "It" Is Dehumanizing: After revealing their true nature Chara refers to Frisk solely as 'it', showing how low their opinion of them really is.
- Manipulative Bastard: Both Frisk and Asriel have fallen victim to Chara's machinations, but only Frisk has become aware of it thus far.
- Mood Whiplash: Chara shifts from kind-hearted (albeit somewhat detached) to a remorseless killer during their and Frisk's meet in the house.
- Not Completely Useless: A non-video game example. The stick Frisk uses is fragile and shatters if it hits too hard against something, but it's enough to temporarily incapacitate Chara and allow Frisk to make it into Snowdin.
- Oh, Crap!: Frisk has this reaction when Chara reveals their true nature. In turn, Chara has this several times chasing Frisk down.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Chara is the red to Asriel's blue.
- Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Frisk is the only one able to remember what happened after a LOAD. At first. After dropping their mask, Chara reveals that they remember what happened, as well. Their behavior beforehand was all an act.
- Running Gag: In the non-canon "Coffee Art" series, Frisk's history with spikes have led to this.
- Save Point: Whenever Frisk's eyes glow yellow, it means one has been activated.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After Chara reveals their true nature, Frisk does this several times in order to survive.
- Spikes of Doom: The first two puzzles of the Ruins have spikes ready to impale Frisk, should they fail at solving them. Both of them end up killing Frisk, but only one time for each.
- Suddenly Voiced: Frisk, after remaining silent up to the arrival at Home, finally speaks up during a conversation with Chara.
- Wham Episode:
- During Frisk's brief stay at Home, where Chara suddenly turns on them after a moment of amiability.
- A grown-up and extremely menacing Asriel confronts Frisk during their run from Chara.
- Chara discovering their power to reset for the first time and after being briefly shocked, deciding to not go through with the original buttercup-plan and instead staying by Asriel's side and guiding him.
- Wham Line: "Human. It was nice to meet you. Goodbye."note
- Wham Shot: Frisk's death at the first puzzle. Unlike the canon version, the "caretaker" doesn't help them and a step in the wrong place turns them into shish-kebab.
- Chara reveals a hidden knife in preparation to kill Frisk.
- After Frisk bypasses the gate prior to leaving the Ruins, they are confronted by Asriel with his flames out and ready to burn them where they stand.
- A younger Chara unknowingly making a Save Point for the first time while preparing to strangle a comatose Ribbon Kid.
- Chara refusing to die and resetting the time line for the first time when they find themselves on the verge of death.