Deltarune, being an anagram of Undertale, is being seen by many as the much anticipated follow up to the sensational 2015 indie game. However, what has been released so far is just a prelude to the full package, which creator Toby Fox has said may take years to finish, or may not be finished ever (the demo itself apparently took a few years to make). For now though, the Internet has a 3 hour demo to go over again and again with a fine toothed comb.
The demo begins with a character creator. At the end your creation is “discarded” and you are told “no one can choose who they are in this world”, an interesting prologue to the rest of the experience.
When the game properly begins, you’re greeted with the familiar characters carried directly over from Undertale, complete with “goat mom” Toriel and her butterscotch cinnamon pie, except in a more suburban setting. Undyne is now a police officer, Alphys a school teacher, and the world is a grassy neighbourhood rather than being underground. However, Fox has stated that there is no continuity between the two games, and that all the characters in Deltarune have lived different lives to those of Undertale.
The central adventure begins when your character and the school bully enter the supply cupboard, which is a Narnia-style portal to a world not unlike the underground of Undertale. From here, the bigger differences in the core gameplay become apparent; battles now take place in a party of at least two, allowing you to sequence the actions of different party members together in one turn, making the system much more similar to a traditional JRPG. Controlling multiple characters also means that the charming NPCs you come across will cue reactions from your party members, yet your protagonist still remains silent.
The game itself is a joy to play. In many ways it’s just more Undertale, more fun little one off characters to come across, more light overworld puzzles to solve, more unconventional battles and so on. And of course, the music is gorgeous. In particular, ‘Rude Buster’ and ‘Field of Hopes and Dreams’ stand out as aural gourmet.
An article like this can only scratch the surface of what there is to discover in this limited release of what could be a massive game. I advise you to play the game yourself; especially if you are already a huge fan of Undertale. There are tons of little references and parallels to discover. A good read if you want to learn more is Fox’s recent TwitLonger post which discusses at length his plans for the game. http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sqn3p9
Image: Deltarune / Toby Fox