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Have You Played… Undertale?

You felt your emotions crawling on your back

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The thing about Undertale is, I’m not sure I have many more words to say about it. Why am I electing to write more then, I hear you ask? Well, you hear me reply, it impacted me in a very profound way at a time in my life when I felt very depressed and very impressionable. Being a massive emo about Undertale is where I found my start in games journalism. It’s stuck around in my mind ever since.

Undertale’s soundtrack is one of the only game soundtracks that I actually listen to regularly, and there’s a reason for that. Not only is Toby Fox a talented composer, but the music is anchored to some of the more emotional video game moments I’ve experienced. The song Finale still makes me a bit of a teary mess whenever I sit down and give it a listen, and Bonetrousle slaps and I can’t stop bopping my head from side to side. I’m listening to it right now, as I type this, on repeat.

I got a little bit lucky on my first playthrough. I played it with a friend who had already made it through the whole thing, so I didn’t get the experience of accidentally killing [redacted so you can have that experience] and having that bastard plant Flowey guilt me for doing a bad thing. But it did mean that I had the good sense to look after Sans, Papyrus, Mettaton, and all of my other new friends, all until the very end.

If you’ve played Undertale too you know that if you reach the end of the game, you’re met with a moral conflict over going through it all again for a different ending. You force all of the game’s characters through that same grief, too. Logically, this doesn’t matter: the characters aren’t real, the game is just 1’s and 0’s arranged in a way that they produce the image a fabulous dancing killer robot. But I still can’t stomach the thought of replaying Undertale, because I’m apparently a big baby. And because Toby Fox’s clever little RPG moved me.

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Who am I?

Astrid Johnson

Video Person

Deputy Editor of this very site Alice Bell once described Astrid as a "Neo-retro-revolutionary." Now, she embodies that aesthetic via an audiovisual medium for Rock Paper Shotgun's YouTube channel. Got a weird game that's political, or gay, or political and gay? Send it here: astrid.johnson@rockpapershotgun.com

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