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Undertale

"Undertale" is an RPG created by a team led by Toby Fox.

Outline

This is an indie game produced by Toby Fox. Support began on the crowdfunding website "Kickstarter" (external link) and was released on Steam on September 15, 2015.
The original author professes to be influenced by the "MOTHER" series, and the game has a nostalgic retro style with old-fashioned dot pictures reminiscent of the 8-bit and 16-bit game era. Although the game was initially only available in English, it gained worldwide popularity from its initial release due to its unique and humorous characters, an excellent story that changes depending on the actions of the main character, a moderately tough difficulty level, and impressive background music, among other elements. It also attracted attention in Japan, especially among PC gamers.
Later, after a Japanese-localized port of the game was released, the game gained even greater recognition and acclaim. Each port has its own special features that allow those who have played the game on other consoles to enjoy it as well.

The Steam version was initially only available in English, but an official Japanese version has been added here as well as the PS4 and PSVita versions since August 22 2017. Note that the game can be played in either language depending on the settings. The original author, Toby Fox, was also strongly involved in the localization of this title, which is a rare case of a Japanese adaptation of a Western game >https://www.famitsu.com/news/201710/11143459.html.

Many videos have been posted on YouTube, with the most viewed video having over 80 million views. Many fanart, fanmends, and remixes of background music have also been posted. />

Contents

As an indie game, it is compact, taking less than 10 hours to reach the end, but it also includes multiple endings and hidden elements that make you want to play it over and over again. The game is rich in challenging elements.
On the other hand, if you don't care about that, the game's wide opening is also appealing, as you can play it on a holiday and reach the end at first. Furthermore, the creator's hobby of having dog in every scene makes it a must for doggie lovers.

I won't go into details because it would be a spoiler, but it is a game with a strong narrative-like aspect (), and it is a work that makes the most of its game-like qualities. Therefore, you will not be able to experience the quality of this work unless you actually play it yourself.

Narrative" has a broader meaning than "story. Narrative is "a flow of people's experiences" and refers to one of the charms of games that cannot be experienced through anime, movies, manga, or novels. For an example, the article here on 4Gamer is an easy one to understand.

Multiple endings

There are three major types of endings. Each has its own exclusive battle, BGM, and an important story about the characters and worldview.
In addition to the EDs, the dialogue and actions of the main characters and mobs in towns and dungeons change in detail depending on the player's actions during the game.
The player's actions also include resetting the game, for example, if the player resets the game during a conversation with Flawee at the beginning of the game, his dialogue will change.

Combat

The combat appears to be command-based as in conventional RPGs, but that is only in appearance. According to the original author, "I liked Shin Megami Tensei, Mario & Luigi RPG, and Touhou Project, so I mixed them all" (Reference), and the battle system in the game actually reflects these works.

When attacking, the game includes elements of an action game in which the user presses the attack button at the right moment with a gauge that moves back and forth from left to right. Moreover, some weapons require a series of hits or long presses.
In addition to combat, the player can take a variety of actions, such as talking to the other player, soothing the other player, or provoking the other player, and there are a thousand different types of actions.

And what cannot be avoided when talking about this work is that it has elements of a barrage shooter. In the enemy's turn, you control your own character, which is shaped like a heart, and you must avoid enemy magic attacks within the frame provided.
If you are hit, your HP will decrease, and when it reaches zero, the soul of the heart will shatter and the game is over. It is possible to avoid almost all attacks and survive without taking any damage.

There are basically four combat commands for your turn.

  • Fight(FIGHT)
This command is used to attack the enemy. The bar moves on the gauge, and if you press the button when the bar overlaps the center of the gauge at the right moment, the attack becomes more powerful. On the other hand, if you do not press the button at all, the attack will not take place and a MISS will result. The timing and number of attacks vary depending on the weapon equipped.

ACT (ACT)
This command allows you to perform special actions on the enemy such as "Talk", "Pat", "Pick up", "Humming" and so on. Depending on the action, the enemy may lose its will to fight, or it may become excited and act in a strange manner.

  • ITEM (ITEM)
Command to use items. You can eat food items to recover.

  • MERCY(MERCY)
This command is used to give mercy and encourage a cease-fire, or to escape from a battle.

As the official title of the game is "An RPG where no one has to die", there are, in principle, other strategies than "kill the opponent by reducing his HP to zero" in all battles with enemies. This is basically the same for monsters, including bosses, and it is possible to clear the game peacefully while keeping them alive.
The real thrill of the game lies in figuring out which commands to use, in what order, and at what timing, to avoid killing the enemy. On the other hand, you can kill all enemies with just the command FIGHT. It is up to the player to decide which method he or she will use to conquer the enemy.


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