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Fantastic fantasy gameplay

‘Deltarune’ outshines predecessor ‘Undertale’

UP graphic by Shelia Mullen
UP graphic by Shelia Mullen

“In this universe, your choices don’t matter.”

This statement is made in “Deltarune” right after you make your character and have it subsequently tossed into the garbage. It is the in-universe successor to the popular 2015 game “Undertale.”

“Deltarune,” developed by Toby Fox, is a top-down RPG about pacifism and friends or brutality and enemies. This shares a lot in common with the first game, “Undertale.” Unlike it though, in this world your choices have little to no effect, and that’s not a bad thing.

In addition to the gameplay, there are plenty of things to like about this game.

It has a fantastic soundtrack that rivals that of its predecessor, as well as the pixel art graphics, made by the lovely Temmie — the graphic artist that has a fan following of her own — haven’t drastically changed, but are noticeably improved with more detailed sprites and more complex animations.

The gameplay has been tweaked, too, as a response from the fans of “Undertale.” A run button has been included and an option has been included for auto-run as well. The writing is sweet, charming, funny, and relatable and it gives the same warm feeling that “Undertale” had given to players and characters within the storyline.

I highly encourage playing “Undertale” first — it’s available on many more platforms like Nintendo Switch, PS4, PSVita and PC — it teaches players that their actions have consequences and that everyone they talk to has a story to tell that progresses the game forward.

“Deltarune” is differentand changes that gameplay dynamic because players learn that sometimes their actions don’t always have the outcome they’re trying for.

This might not be the most cheerful resolution, but the best way to put it, is for as much as we do to change the world with voting, recycling, protesting, etc. we need to stop and realize that we don’t need to ponder over every small decision we make, because sometimes they just don’t matter.

With a society that pressures one to be wary of every single decision they make, this game challenges that sometimes we just need to have some faith and leap before we look.

The game teaches this with a surprising bait-and-switch when it gives players a menu in which to customize their character, then throws it away without a second thought and gives you a pre-made character.

In the bigger picture, the player’s choices didn’t matter. It presents this again when the player is given their first decision and it is immediately ignored with the line, “Don’t even say something, I’ve already made up my mind.”

This is great, because this is already true. You, yourself, cannot change the world, but you can inspire thousands to try. Nobody by themselves is going to stop war, stop pollution, cure cancer or even just do something as small as clean up your local county. It takes a team to do so and it takes determination to make it happen.

“Undertale” taught players that every conversation is meaningful and can have an impact on both parties. It mirrors this perfectly with its gameplay, giving players an opportunity to talk it out passively with opponents, one-on-one, and leave the fight with both parties unharmed.

“Deltarune” is different, as the game focuses on teamwork. The puzzles require teamwork, the combat requires teamwork as players need to balance attack and defense in the team, and some opponents require collaboration with other teams to move the game forward.

Though “Deltarune” has a different combat system, this game shares a common element with “Undertale” in that sparing your opponents is important. This game is unique as players can complete the whole game without killing a single opponent — or have a bloodbath if that’s what they so desire.

Just as “Deltarune’s” title is an anagram of “Undertale,” so is the gameplay an anagram of “Undertale’s” world. The same characters, in-world, combat, but rearranged into a new meaning.

“Deltarune” has only one chapter in current release, but it’s definitely worth your playing time.

“Undertale” is available at for $15.99 and “Deltarune” is available at and is free.

Story by Jason Hebner, UP contributor

Category: Features