These days, the overnight success of Undertale seems like nothing, as this year both Overwatch and Pokemon Go have taken the world by storm two times over. Undertale was my game of the year in 2015, and I wasn’t alone, as the game’s popularity spread like wildfire throughout the Internet, spawning many discussions on the simplistic yet dark little RPG. Looking back now, it is amazing such a small Kickstarter indie project got as much traction as it did, but a lot of that has to do with the game’s beloved cast of characters.
The characters of Undertale are by far the most iconic part of the game, as both the story and world are actually pretty simplistic by general RPG standards, the characters and how they interacted with each other is what really makes the game shine. Due to the nature of Undertale’s set up, almost every character is trying to kill you, so most of the monsters you meet end up being boss fights. With this in mind, what better game to choose for Boss Rush than a game full of them, and oh boy are Undertale’s boss fights amazing. If you have heard anything about Undertale by now, it is either about the endings, or the boss fights, each blending turn based combat with a bullet hell nightmare that bend and change the rules at a whim.
Mettaton (Pacifist Route)
Kicking things off with is a fabulous robot that knows how to make an entrance, Mettaton, the eternal performer with a thirst for human blood. Mettaton is introduced as Alphy’s creation, a box like robot turned human killing machine. He spends much of the game hunting the player down, torturing you with twisted cooking shows and melodramatic musicals. Eventually Mettaton stops messing around and takes the fight to the stage, where he transforms into his more humanoid EX form, strutting his stuff to one of the best themes in the game(Death By Glamour). Mettaton’s final fight comes down to a dramatic battle of style, where the player must pose and attack in time to an audience’s wishes, all the while trying to shoot off Mettaton’s limbs and keeping the audience view numbers increasing.
The fight is an exhilarating change of pace, switching the bullet hell mechanics into a shoot em up as you dodge Mettaton’s flamboyant attacks. Mettaton also has a tragic backstory to boot, being the cousin to Napstablook, casting off his ghost form to become Alphy’s experiment. Mettaton may have gained a humanoid form, but left his family behind for fame and glory.
Asgore (Neutral Route)
Ah King fluffybuns. I mean Mr Dreamy. I mean King Asgore Dreemurr. Quite possibly the one character in all of Undertale who is most deserving of a big hug, Asgore is the least understood and most precious floof in the entire game, yet he only ever has a bad time. Asgore lost everything that was close to him, his children, his wife, left alone in his field of buttercups, he pledged to save his subjects by any means necessary, whether that means genetic experiments or collecting human souls. Asgore was the fight that stopped me in my tracks and made me not want to fight, as even in the neutral route, he cannot be saved. His theme (Bergentrückung) is by far one of the most emotional songs in the game, mixing a tone of desperation and power as the climatic battle commences.
Asgore is reluctant to fight the player at all, offering you tea and allowing you to leave, all the while knowing it all has to end soon. Asgore is by far the most tortured soul in the underground, and I never wanted to fight him, the big guy deserves a slice of Butterscotch pie and a hug.
Sans (Genocide Route)
16 hours. That is the amount of time I spent on the Sans fight, and I will admit, Sans was the one that broke me. Those who have gone through the genocide route will understand my pain, Sans is the fight that will try and end you, and mostly likely will. Sans is without a doubt my favourite character in Undertale, his laid back cheery attitude and awful puns made this cosy skelly my main dude, which made his fight even worse. Sans doesn’t want to fight, but he has to, and will do everything in his power to destroy you, and believe me, he is powerful. This little cheery skeleton may look like a goofball, but when he reveals his cards he puts most Dark Souls enemies to shame. While this pile of bones may seem innocent at first, Sans quickly becomes one of the most fascinating and deep characters in the lore, as he understands almost everything that is going on and acknowledges the multiple timelines and routes, leading him to be one of the most powerful players in the entire game.
Oh and his boss fight? Vietnam war flash backs are the best way to describe my feelings towards that horrific nightmare of a battle, and I learned my place. Sans beat me, fair and square.
Whatever your opinion of Undertale, be it good or bad, you have to agree that the boss fights are at least memorable. These battles do the one thing good boss fights should do, get emotion out of the player. I was excited with Mettaton, I was sad with Asgore and I was furious with Sans. These characters made me feel a range of emotions when battling because I didn’t want to fight them, which is exactly what Undertale is about, you don’t have to kill anyone. I will be humming these battle themes to the day I die, and believe they hold up with the greats like ‘One Winged Angel’ and ‘It Has To Be This Way’.