Undertale, with the main characters on top of the title

Mechanics and Dynamics of Undertale

I absolutely love Undertale, the absolute MASTERPIECE that it is, so I ran into a little trying to decide what parts I wanted to talk about. I finally decided that I wanted to look at the mechanics behind combat in the game. Combat is operated as a turn-based interaction with whatever mob you are fighting, where they attempt to hit your heart, and you must try to dodge these attacks. On your turn, you get the option to either act or fight. Mobs can either be defeated by you fighting until it dies, or after a series of events dependent on the mob, you can show it mercy, sparing it and defeating it in the process. Another mechanic players have is with their interactions with other characters, and we can actively choose how nicely we want to interact with other characters. As a result, we can build relationships or actively create enemies.

These mechanics create a dynamic where players get to choose how the game plays out for themselves. They have the ability to choose where their strengths lie (whether physically or in their soul), and these choices have a huge effect on how the game actually end, and it includes three possible tracks: “Pacifist”, “Neutral”, and “Genocide”. This dynamic creates an expression fun for me, and I have played to get the three endings, enjoying each thoroughly. Without this expression fun, I most likely would not have played the game multiple times, and this type of fun did literally keep me coming back.

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