Every so often, I will log onto Kickstarter and spend an hour on the site perusing through different sections. However, all roads lead to gaming. UnderTale caught my eye because I knew exactly what inspired creator Toby Fox the second I saw the screenshots: EarthBound (or the MOTHER series, for all of you sticklers). I have a soft spot for odd games, and this takes the cake — in a refreshing way.
I played the demo before work last week and I caught myself laughing out loud by myself, which is quite hard to do, mind you. Not only did I giggle, but I wanted to replay it immediately after because I didn’t have enough money to buy the more expensive baked goods from the spiders (yes, spiders sell sweets in this game). Not to mention, I was told by my friends I could play the game differently. Apparently, you don’t have to kill absolutely everyone. Woops.
The protagonist is young girl who climbs Mount Ebott and, while seeking shelter from a rain storm, falls down a hole and finds herself in a world full of monsters. We find out that this underground world is a sort of archaic prison for the banished race while the humans live ignorantly above. The path back home to the surface is riddled with puzzles, enemies, and eventually the villainous soul-stealing Asgore. After the first minute of play time, you quickly find out those who appear trustworthy may in fact not be at all.
The battle system is what truly won me over. It’s a cross between an old school RPG and a bullet hell. During battle, you have the option to fight, act, use an item, or show them mercy. Each enemy can be spared in different ways. When the enemy attacks, it’s chaos. Control your hit points via a small heart and dodge enemy attacks.
As I noted, what makes UnderTale different from conventional RPGs is that you don’t have to hurt anyone to progress the plot. You can use the “act” command and let them leave, either with compliments or mercy. Not hurting anyone is the harder road to take and you are often influenced to play traditionally by Flowey, the proverbial devil on your shoulder. Morality plays a huge factor. Whether or not you gain the good ending or the bad ending is up to your play style. Do you succumb to RPG stereotypes or follow your conscience?
Here’s a list of what Toby Fox plans to have in the game.
- Become friends with all of the bosses!
- Hilariously bad dating sim segments! – Seriously, you can literally have a robot husband.
Throughout the time it took to write this article, the UnderTale Kickstarter has already gained an additional $800 pledges. If that and the demo don’t convince you, I don’t know what will. I urge you to check out the Kickstarter, the UnderTale OST, the Tumblr, or subscribe to updates from Toby via Twitter. You have until July 24 to decide. This game will not disappoint.
I’ll be back replaying the demo because I’m not sure if I can wait a year for the August 2014 official release date. Look forward to seeing my name in the credits.