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"The friendly RPG where nobody has to die!"
Undertale is a 2015 RPG by Toby Fox. In it, the player controls a human child, who falls down to the Underground. On their way back to the surface, they encounter monsters, and have the option to either kill them or spare them. Depending on the player's choices, they can go on either the True Pacifist Route, the Genocide Route, and a Neutral Route, referring to anything in-between.
The game was released on September 15, 2015, for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS, on July 17, 2016, for Linux, on August 15, 2017, for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, and on September 18, 2018, for the Nintendo Switch.
On October 31, 2018, Toby Fox released Chapter 1 of Deltarune, a game taking place in an alternate universe of Undertale.
For tropes specifically applying to the True Pacifist Route, see Undertale/Good Route.
The game contains examples of
- A Dog Named "Dog": All the Temmies except Bob are named Temmie. The dog characters also have dog somehow included in their name (Doggo, Dogamy, Dogaressa, Greater Dog, Lesser Dog, Annoying Dog, Endogeny, and the scrapped character Doge).
- Ambiguous Gender: The protagonist, as well as the ghosts (except Mettaton), Monster Kid, the River Person, the first fallen human and many minor characters.
- Apocalypse How: Flowey almost causes a Class X during his boss battle as the Omega Flower. See Downer Ending for a Class Z.
- Family Theme Naming: Brothers Sans and Papyrus are both named after fonts.
- Fiery Redhead: Undyne.
- Healing Checkpoint
- Hello, Insert Name Here: At the beginning, the player gets to name the fallen human although in the True Pacifist Route, it is revealed that said name is actually the name of the first fallen human, while the playable character's name is Frisk. Includes Easter Eggs when specific names are given, and some names (the names of major characters) are banned. Naming the character "Frisk" activates Hard Mode.
- Holiday Mode: So Sorry can only be encountered on October 10 between 8:00 PM and 8:59 PM.
- Karma Meter: EXP, which increases whenever the protagonist kills a monster. Gaining EXP increases the LV/LOVE. The maximum LV of 20 is reached in a Genocide Route.
- Leitmotif: Undertale is famous for these to the point that the game has lead to the term "leitmotif" becoming more well-known despite the fact that the word itself is never used in the game. There are leitmotifs for nearly every major character (some have multiple) as well as a main motif that is present in many songs in the soundtrack. The Undertale Wiki has a page dedicated to leitmotifs.
- Lethal Lava Land: Hotland.
- Mental Time Travel: All of the instances of returning to save points and resetting happen in-universe (as noted by Sans and Flowey), meaning the protagonist has this ability.
- Multiple Endings: The True Pacifist ending, the Genocide ending, and the various Neutral endings (as well as the Dirty Hacker ending).
- Nonstandard Game Over: In a Genocide Route, if the protagonist attempts to spare Sans at a specific point, they get killed by a special attack and get a game over screen with the message "geeettttttt dunked on!!!" and a sped up version of Dogsong playing instead of the typical game over screen.
- Odd Name Out: The protagonist meets four Temmies in a row, named Temmie, Temmie, Temmie... and Bob.
- Pacifist Run: What happens when the protagonist spares every monster (and a few other requirements). Can also be considered the Golden Ending.
- Rainbow Motif: The human SOUL colors, with cyan instead of indigo.
- Reset Button: Whenever the player resets the game, it is a case of the timeline resetting in-universe as well, as some characters such as Flowey and Sans are aware of timeline resets.
- Rule of Seven: Seven human SOULs or six human SOULs and every monster SOUL are needed to break the barrier.
- Save Point: There are many of them in the game, each with a specific "fills you with DETERMINATION" message. The Pacifist Route exclusive level True Lab has a fake save point which is actually an enemy encounter.
- Sequential Boss: After the switch on his back is flipped, Mettaton transforms into Mettaton EX. Asgore is also immediately followed by Photoshop Flowey.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Snowdin.
- Training Dummy: The first enemy encountered in the game is literally called the Dummy, and serves as a tutorial encounter.
- True Final Boss: Asriel Dreemurr is a final boss that can only be encountered in the True Pacifist Route, after beating both Asgore Dreemurr and Photoshop Flowey in a Neutral Route and then resetting and going through extra requirements. In this case, the fight with Asgore is stopped before it has a chance to happen and Flowey transforms into Asriel instead of Photoshop Flowey due to also absorbing nearly all monster SOULs in addition to six human SOULs. Photoshop Flowey himself is also a surprise boss showing up after the supposedly final boss Asgore, but there are no special requirements (other than not doing a Genocide Route) to get him. The Genocide Route has an exclusive final boss, Sans, who is encountered at an earlier point, and afterwards both Asgore and Flowey die in one hit and out of the player's control.
- Year X: The intro gives the year 201X. However, this is in fact the year when the first human fell, and the actual year when Undertale is set is unspecified.