You find yourself in a void. You have no body, no voice, no eyes, no ears. And yet somehow you can see the patterns the void offers. Somehow you can hear the voice calling to you. Somehow, someway, you can answer it. All that’s there is your soul. A soul that you and the voice work to make a body for. You choose its shape, its favorites, its gifts. You name it even. And are ready to begin a new life.

Before it cuts to black.

No one can choose who they are in this world.


          On Halloween of 2018, american game developer Robert F. Fox, known most commonly as Toby Fox, created and released a chapter of a game known as Deltarune. It was a sister series to his previous game, Undertale, and follows a young teenager known as Kris as they explore several different worlds on a quest to save their own. Along the way, they gather friends to help them battle, going with either a pacifistic or more violent route depending on your liking.

          On September 17th 2021, he released the second chapter of the game, to wide and beloved acclaim, and marked these two chapters as the demo for the game, with five more chapters planned for the full release.

          Toby Fox, while starting out as a composer for well-known pieces of media such as the web-comic Homestuck, has proven to know how to make a game with the perfect amount of wonder, comedy and fear. Undertale is a prime example of his talent, and said talent has been present in the few chapters we have of Deltarune, creating a world that feels alive and immersive despite its pixel art aesthetic, and creating a world full of characters that have real wants, desires, personalities and struggles.

          In the game of Deltarune, you control Kris in what appears to be a normal day in their everyday life, as they rush to school in a hurry after sleeping in. The teacher, Ms. Alphys, assigns group projects to the students, and you get paired up with class bully, Susie. Once the teacher notices that the chalk goes missing, she sends you and Susie out to get the chalk from the closet, and from there the two of you fall into the Dark World. During your first trek through the Dark World, you meet the lonely prince Ralsei, who tells you of a prophecy that three heroes, a human, a monster, and a prince from the dark, were chosen to seal the dark fountains and keep the balance of the world, only then to be interrupted by cool bad guy Lancer. From there, your adventure begins as you enter the Card Kingdom.

          Chapter two continues from this, as you and Susie grow closer as friends and enter a different Dark World to seal the fountain, though having Kris’s childhood friend Noelle and class smart brat Berdly get caught in the crossfire. Both chapters lead up to a boss battle against the Dark World’s monarch, and you are given the chance to befriend, or fight, or slaughter, the residents of each world.

          Toby Fox is a brilliant writer, as even the first few scenes that a character appears in can make you intrigued, and even terrified of them. For instance, the character of Spamton. Spamton appears as a seemingly random mini-boss in the middle of Chapter 2, with his introduction so jarring it instantly puts you on edge. From the way Spamton talks with glitched stutters and pauses, [[ads interrupting his speech]], to the way Spamton acts as he laughs manically before punching a dumpster with an audible bang, even from the way that Kris reacts despite never even speaking, you are meant to be off-put by him, and it works beautifully for what he has in store.

          Most of the really good writing, however, can mostly be seen in Chapter 2. Chapter 1 is undeniably weaker, though not to say that it is bad. The fight between Lancer and Susie is one of the most gut-wrenching moments, and truly gives you that feeling of helplessness, as no matter what you choose to do, it happens. However, Chapter 1’s bonus boss, arguably the most intriguing part of the story, pales in comparison to Chapter 2s. Jevil is fun and eccentric, but due to not having many scenes, or even mentions from other characters, he lacks the intriguing part of the majority of Toby Fox’s characters.

          Two specific characters that have stuck out to people are Berdly and Queen. Berdly is the rival you face many times throughout Chapter Two, while Queen is the main antagonist of Chapter Two. Berdly and Queen team up together to stall your adventure with Noelle throughout the chapter.

          Vivian, a Westfield Highschool student, gave this insight into Berdly’s character, “I think Berdly’s behavior starts to get a lot more impactful once you start looking into some of the subtext behind the subject…The logic is that if Noelle’s relationship with Queen is a reflection of her mother, the same could also be true for Berdly, and throughout the game, Queen is shown to be nothing but slightly intolerant towards him, focusing on someone or something else at the drop of a hat while he’s doing everything in his power to impress her…Essentially under this interpretation, [the spelling bee] would have taught Berdly that he needed to earn other people’s love to be worthy of it.”

          Deltarune is a great example of wonderful storytelling, getting you to love or fear a character in the first few scenes you have with them, and telling a story that can make you laugh about potassium one second and rip your heart out in another. It makes you care about the characters when you take the time to look into them, and depending on your choices, it makes you actively feel regretful if you go down a more violent route. If you want a wonderful story that focuses on characters, humor, and can still make you afraid, tense and sad, Deltarune is an amazing game to play for you.