|This article is a stub. You can help Codex Gamicus by .|
Undertale (stylized as UNDERTALE, formerly UnderTale) is a role-playing game developed independently by Toby Fox with additional art by Temmie Chang in the Game Maker: Studio engine. It was released for Microsoft Windows and macOS on September 15, 2015, and for Linux on July 17, 2016. The game has been met with overwhelmingly positive reviews.
Undertale is a role-playing game that utilizes many of the traditional mechanics normally seen in role-playing games but with a number of differences.
The battle system in Undertale is turn-based and seems to be heavily inspired by bullet-hell games - in particular, the Touhou series - where the protagonist's SOUL, represented by a red heart, must avoid attacks unleashed by the opponent. As the game progresses, new elements are introduced, such as colored obstacles which require the soul to stand still or move through them, and boss battles which change the way the heart is controlled. During the player's turn, they have the opportunity to fight the opponent (involving quick-time input), perform actions that can change the opponent's mood, use items, and show mercy by sparing the enemy, which ends the combat if the correct actions have been used. Killing an enemy will reward EXP and LV, but neither are given if they are successfully spared; GOLD is earned in both cases. The game has a large emphasis on the morality of killing and sparing the Monsters encountered, as the player's actions determine what ending they will receive. Unlike traditional RPGs, it is possible to complete the game without ever killing a single monster.
The overworld mostly consists of puzzles that the player must solve to progress. Monster battles can also be seen as puzzles, requiring the right set of actions to resolve the fight peacefully. However, should the player decide to commit to murdering every monster they encounter, almost all the puzzles are disabled, and the player is required to grind to progress the game. Unlike traditional RPGs, grinding (under a neutral setting) and backtracking are not mandatory, and no side quests exist within the game.
The game is also known for its dialogue that is witty and humorous as well as having drastic alterations based on the player's actions, and occasional breaking of the fourth wall. While killing/sparing results in notable dialogue changes, the most prominent alteration involves the manipulation of the game's SAVE feature, particularly quitting or resetting the game: almost every major character possesses meta-knowledge, remembering actions the player had performed in previous playthroughs.