Toby Fox - Undertale
Mar 20, 2020
90
My Favorite Game Of All Time...

Ok, so first I want to preface this. This will not be a review of the soundtrack for Undertale. The OST is undoubtedly amazing but does have quite a lot of filler so for that reason I can't give it a perfect 10. With that out of the way, this is my review of my favorite game of all time, Undertale.

Talking about Undertale in 2020, huh? Yeah, it definitely is strange considering the game was released five years ago. However, yesterday as I was browsing YouTube for some of that quality content I came across an old playthrough of Undertale. "Oh, it's that game," I thought to myself, "It wouldn't hurt to get a bit nostalgic for boredom's sake." What I didn't know is that I would be thrown back in the fandom that burdened me back in 2016/2017.

Feeling way more than just a "bit nostalgic" I headed to Spotify to listen to the Undertale soundtrack. What came after was several tears. Not of sadness, but of nostalgia for a simpler time, where I didn't have to worry about my future. A time where I had no job, no advanced classes...just a carefree life. Now let me try to distance myself from the nostalgia that I feel a lot of and attempt to give the proper review this game deserves.

In early September of 2015, a game developer of the name Toby Fox released Undertale to the public. The game boasted the claim of, "The RPG game where you don't have to destroy anyone." For an RPG game, this was a strange claim to have.

An RPG game where no one has to die? But isn't the entire point of an RPG to kill monsters and grind experience points. What no one, including me, knew at the time was the RPG breaking aspects of Undertale. The game could be completed without killing a single enemy! But how!?

At first glance, I was skeptical of the game from its graphics to even the character designs I saw online. However, with the pleas of my friends and even my sister, I downloaded the game onto my subpar laptop and began my journey through the underground. After meeting Flowey who seemed to have some bipolar issues going on, my interest in the game really started to sprout. The graphics seemed simplistic but still had a strange charm to it.

Soon, Toriel would show me through the Ruins and upon meeting the dummy, the first "battle", my sister informed me to spare the dummy and not kill it. Seeing no reason to deny her request, I spared the dummy as well as the rest of the monsters I would meet as I reached ever closer to Toriel's home.

It wasn't until I entered into her home, where I realized that this OST was something else. The soft guitar plucks of "Home" with its odd changing time signature screamed nostalgia, even on my first playthrough. Later, in the fight with Toriel, I saw no way to spare Toriel. Out of ideas, I began to attack Toriel hoping she would flee or something of the sort. Instead, I did the opposite of what everyone had asked of me and accidentally killed her. I was immediately slapped in the face by my sister claiming that I "messed up."

A few days later, I returned to the game by myself and restarted the game, not killing Toriel this time. Afterwards, I came upon probably the most iconic character in the entirety of the game, SAAANNNNSS! Along with Sans' brother, Papyrus, I trenched through Snowdin with harder battles but amazing humor.

I stuck to my guns and continued sparing the monsters. I was tempted several times to just kill, but I knew if I did I would have to restart. I assumed the pacifist ending was the best, and I couldn't have been more right. Through Waterfall and Hotland, I met many more interesting and dynamic characters. Undyne, Alphys, Burgerpants, Mettaton, Muffet...just to name a few.

At this point, the soundtrack had me completely sold. Every track fit whatever scenario it happened to be paired with. Some will say the leitmotif that makes several appearances through the soundtrack gets old but I just can't understand that claim. This melody is iconic and when it appears, even if for a moment, in a track I become flooded with an unbreakable nostalgia.

The CORE was filled with tough monsters, but still I held on and continued sparing each enemy I came across. I had already gotten through Muffet, who at the time was the hardest boss for me, so I felt fairly confident. It wasn't until I came upon Mettaton for the millionth time that I knew I was sorely mistaken.

At first glance, I was confident that it was going to be another silly "fight." However, as soon as Mettaton's switch was flipped I knew it was game over. After several arduous attempts, I had finally gotten Mettaton beaten. Next was nothing short of beautiful. A six minute experience through the "New Home."

While I walked through the house, the soundtrack's self-titled track played, eventually bursting into an all out orchestrated beauty. It is the only song that I ALWAYS cry to. I have cried to several upon several songs but this one makes me feel more than sadness. It reminds me of myself and and the joy I felt during this game.

Soon after, I came upon Sans to get judged. Thankfully, I had chosen the pacifist route so I could spare myself the insane battle I would later torture myself with in the genocide route. Seeing my pacifist intent, Sans had given me the A-OK and I would finally reach Asgore and come face to face with the barrier which divided the humans from the monsters. This was it.

After nearly a week of failing, I had reached the end of the battle with Asgore. "This is the end!" I thought to myself. Flowey was ready to pop from the ground and prove me wrong. What would ensue next would be the most creative but simultaneously disturbing boss battle in the game's runtime thus far. A photoshopped mess of colors and images which somehow worked so perfectly with Flowey's disturbing intentions.

After the insane battle I endured, I was given a choice: kill the one who had tried so hard to kill me or ignore everything and just let him go. Despite everything, I let him live continuing my pacifist run. What I thought was the end of a great game wasn't quite the case.

After journeying through Alphys' hidden lab and discovering the failed experiments of the Amalgams, I would help the shy Alphys and the outspoken Undyne...hook up 😎. Unexpectedly, Flowey returns and more furious than ever!

However, what I got was not just another Flowey battle but an all out war with the child of Toriel and Asgore, Asriel! From the start of the battle to the very end of the game: a nonstop assault of emotions would ensue. The music, visuals, and the idea that I would have to say goodbye to all of the friends I had made on my journey. Simply put, it was heartwrenching.

The game finally ended on one of the most creative special thank credits...ever. One last time, the leitmotif that I had come to love so much would play one last time and the game finally comes to and end.

I truly cannot put into words how much this game means to me. My review didn't even scratch the surface of everything this game offers. It showcases complete and utter brilliant writing, emotive music, and a fun graphic style. This is my favorite game ever and I love it so much.

Favorite Tracks: Once Upon A Time, Ghost Fight, Home, Home (Music Box), Sans, Snowy, Dogsong, Snowdin Town, Shop, Bonetrousle, Dating Start!, Dating Fight!, Waterfall, Memory, Dummy!, Thundersnail, Temmie Village, Tem Shop, Spear Of Justice, Alphys, It's Showtime, Metal Crusher, Another Medium, Hotel, Can You Really Call This A Hotel I Didn't Receive A Mint On My Pillow Or Anything, Death Report, Spider Dance, It's Raining Somewhere Else, CORE, Oh My..., Death By Glamour, Undertale, Song That Might Play When You Fight Sans, The Choice, ASGORE, Your Best Nightmare, Finale, An Ending, She's Playing Piano, Fallen Down (Reprise), Don't Give Up, Hopes And Dreams, SAVE The World, His Theme, Reunited, Menu (Full), Respite, Bring It In Guys!, Last Goodbye, But The Earth Refused To Die, Battle Against A True Hero, MEGALOVANIA, Good Night
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