Deltarune | Teen Ink

Deltarune MAG

March 5, 2019
By Kirikan BRONZE, Campbell, California
Kirikan BRONZE, Campbell, California
2 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness."

Ever since I completed “Undertale,” by Toby Fox, I never thought a game would touch me in the same way again. The relatable characters, the beautiful storyline, and the difficult decisions I had to make added up to an experience I will never forget. But developer Toby Fox had no intention of stopping there. On Halloween day of 2018, he suddenly released the first chapter of a game titled “Deltarune.” When I first heard about “Deltarune,” I was practically jumping with excitement. I remained spoiler free until I was finally able to play the first chapter, released for free on Mac and Windows. My expectations were high for this game, and let me tell you, it goes above and beyond anything I could have ever hoped for.

This review will contain spoilers for the beginning and combat system of the game. If you wish to go completely spoiler free, stop reading now.

The first surprise in this game occurs before you have even stated. At the beginning of the game, a mysterious voice asks you to create your character, name it, and answer a series of questions relating to them. But the voice decides to discard all of your hard work, all of your questions, and tells you no one can choose who they are in this world! This i introduces you to a recurring theme in the game – that your choices don’t matter. The black screen start to fade, “You will be–” the voice starts saying. A sudden cry finishes his statement. “Kris!” Your eyes open. It’s your mother.

“Kris, you are finally awake!” she says. “You must not be late to school. I will wait outside for you.” You get up, and get the first look at the protagonist. He is tall and slender, with long brown hair covering his eyes. As you take a look around your house, you find a series of clues relating to your identity, parents, and brother. You are free to spend as much time in the area as you wish. There are boundless hidden secrets and “Undertale” references to be explored, not only in this room, but throughout the entire game. On your drive to school with your mother, she talks more about your brother, Asriel. As veteran fans may know, Asriel is one of the most important characters in “Undertale.” Your mother gives you no further explanation, however, and she promptly drops you off at school. You arrive late to class, and are therefore forced to be partners with the class bully, Susie. Dr. Alphys (another familiar face “Undertale” fans may recognize), now your stressed, friendly teacher, asks you and Susie to go to the supply cabinet to look for more chalk. Once inside, the floor suddenly collapses, and you and Susie are sent tumbling into another world.

The game then introduces you to the basics of damage in a way that feels natural and intuitive. As you walk, a stationary enemy shoots projectiles at you, causing your heart to appear. The player naturally feels inclined to dodge the bullets. If one hits you, you take damage, teaching you to avoid them next time. You walk into a dark castle where you meet Ralsie, the adorable leader of the Kingdom of Darkness. He tells you and Susie that the three of you are the heroes, destined to save the world from the geysers of dark energy and restore balance in the world. Susie, however, is not interested in any of this. She decides to find her own way out of this place, and starts to leave. She is interrupted, however, by a monster child riding on a flaming tricycle. He introduces himself as Lancer – the “bad guy.” A fight is initiated, and you get the first glance at this game’s amazing combat system.

“Deltarune” has a turn based combat system, using your party of monsters and humans to defeat enemies, while also dodging their attacks. On your turn, each of your specific party members can take one action. Kris, (you), has the option to fight, act, use items, or defend. Other characters have the power to use magic instead of act. Fights trigger a line to move across a bar, and you must press it in the correct location to deal damage. If an enemy takes too much damage, they will flee. Selecting “item” allows you to use single use objects with effects ranging from healing to stat increases. Defending causes your character to take less damage until your next turn, and produces TP (tension points). Magic uses up tension points and can have effects like damage, healing, or even removing a tired enemy from play.

Acting is my favorite thing to do because it allows you to interact with enemies in useful and often silly ways. You can flirt, compliment, bow, and so much more in an attempt to end the battle peacefully. Finally, you can spare. After using acts, spare an enemy, and it might just stop fighting. If you are going to do a run through of the first chapter, I recommend going pacifist – in other worlds, never killing an enemy. Flirting with an enemy until they don’t want to fight you anymore can end up being much more satisfying than just killing everything. Every enemy is like a puzzle, and you need to figure them out. All of these options add up to a unique combat system that combines some of “Undertale”’s best traits and puts a spin on them.

“Deltarune” is clearly designed for people with patience; the game has countless secrets, surprises, and Easter eggs hidden inside. I was so excited for “Deltarune,” I completed the entire first part in a day, but I could have easily spent a week on it to try and unlock the game’s secrets. From funny little tidbits, to the hardest boss fight in the game, “Deltarune” finds plenty of ways to reward the player for taking their time. I plan on doing a second play-through of the game to find parts I may have missed and to try fighting the hardest boss, who can only be unlocked with three secret keys taken from different locations. Also, his boss music is my favorite in the game.

If I have swayed you to try “Deltarune,” my final recommendation is to play “Undertale” first. Toby Fox said himself that “Deltarune” is for players who have completed “Undertale.” “Deltarune” may not be an “Undertale” 2, but it is its spiritual successor in more ways than one. If “Undertale” is about what you do when your choices matter, “Deltarune” is about what you do when they don’t. It makes you feel free, no longer bound to your choices. Only then can the game unveil the choices you make when no one is looking – morality in its purest form.

The author's comments:

A look into the story, combat system, and mesage of Toby Fox's newest game.

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This article has 6 comments.

on Sep. 22 2023 at 11:00 am
Shorthairdontcare SILVER, Houston Area, Texas
5 articles 0 photos 75 comments
I absolutely love Deltarune and Undertale and I am so glad someone feels the same way as me. Great article!

yejinn SILVER said...
on Mar. 2 2020 at 7:56 am
yejinn SILVER, Tirana, Other
7 articles 0 photos 2 comments
Great article. ^6

on Dec. 12 2019 at 3:21 pm
EpicJornalist BRONZE, Mantua, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"This too shall pass"

This was a fun game!

on Mar. 27 2019 at 2:51 pm
Tweeny42 BRONZE, Campbell, California
2 articles 2 photos 11 comments
your writing is amazing

on Mar. 27 2019 at 2:51 pm
Tweeny42 BRONZE, Campbell, California
2 articles 2 photos 11 comments
very insightful

on Mar. 27 2019 at 2:51 pm
Tweeny42 BRONZE, Campbell, California
2 articles 2 photos 11 comments
wow this is amazing