Undertale/Fallout 4 Pasta by AdamantSky. Major Spoilers for both, if you haven't played them.
Hello, my name is Kyle. I’m a nineteen year old student at Amherst College in Massachusetts, currently working towards a degree in Social Science.
I’ve been an avid gamer for quite some time, with a rather broad range of interests. First Person Shooters, Role-playing Games, Open World…among many others.
One genre I never really had any interest in, however, was “Retro Games”; people using obsolete graphics engines (usually from the 8-bit or 16-bit era) to create new content. I mean, to each their own, but it always just came across as lazy to me. There were plenty of affordable 3D graphics engines that developers these days could use, if they were willing to learn.
But towards the end of September, I started hearing a lot of great things about a Retro Game called “Undertale”. People were going so far as to hype it up as a game that would reshape the industry. I found that a rather absurd (but funny) embellishment.
Overhyped or not, it was only 10$. I decided to give it a try.
I first did a neutral run, killing any monster that appeared before me, but not going out of my way to hunt them down. I liked many of the characters, and found myself not wishing to kill them…though my poor understanding of how to spare certain monsters made this oftentimes difficult.
When I reached the end and was given the option to spare Asgore, I took it…only for Flowey to render it a moot point by killing the kind-hearted King. I was then greeted to a nightmarish battle with the now God-like sunflower, as he casually broke the fourth wall and promised me more suffering each time I died and reloaded the game.
After persisting and finally defeating him with the aid of the six human souls he had enslaved, I was given the option to spare him. Despite really wanting to kill him at that point, I forced myself to show him mercy in spite of his threats.
It was then that he challenged me to do a pacifist run, to try and avoid killing any monsters. I had enjoyed the game enough up till that point that I was good for another round, so I restarted.
This time I searched for help online to learn how to properly spare everyone. I managed to avoid killing any monsters, and successfully befriended everyone that I came across. I found this playthrough to be far more enjoyable than my last, with the humor and wacky cast of characters making me smile throughout the entire adventure.
When I defeated Asriel Dreemur and received the “Golden Ending”, I felt satisfied with how things had turned out. Everyone received the happy ending they deserved.
But while I was searching for tips online on how to get the pacifist ending, I learned that there was a third ending you could get by doing the exact opposite. By killing literally everyone, you could get the Genocide Ending.
I had grown attached to the characters by that point. Though they were fictional, I couldn’t help but feel a fondness for them, and I didn’t really want to kill him...but not doing that route made it feel like I wasn’t seeing all that the game had to offer. So, despite Flowey’s pleas that I not reset the world, I did so. I began my Genocide Run.
It…really was a bad time.
The humor of the other routes was more or less gone. Even the normally upbeat music was reduced to a depressing and haunting melody, with the game making it no secret that you were unambiguously the villain this time.
Despite dying many times to Undyne and Sans, I finally managed to beat the Genocide run. That was when Chara appeared. He explained that he was a demon that was summoned whenever someone called its name with the intent of getting stronger. He asked that I take the final step and destroy the world. Since I had come that far, I agreed and he dealt the killing blow.
I felt awful.
It was just a game with pixelated graphics, but I still felt horrible for destroying it. For betraying the friends I had made in the previous route, friends that even seemed vaguely aware of what had transpired before in previous timelines.
In order to feel better, I just had to undo it, to get the Golden Ending again.
But the game wouldn’t just let me reset it. It was gone. My save file was gone. All that was left was Chara, and if I wanted to reset the game, there would be a cost: My soul.
I…actually laughed at that. Did the game think it was being scary by asking for my soul? I naturally accepted without a second thought. I just wanted to replay the good ending, and leave the game behind on a happy note.
So, I did. All seemed quite well. I spared everyone again, made friends and saved Asriel. Like before, I saw everyone enjoying their happy lives in the outside world…but something was different this time, at the very end. The picture which showed Frisk standing with everyone? Their faces were all crossed out, and Frisk had been replaced by Chara.
…He’d killed all of them! Instead of the Golden Ending, I received a twisted mockery of it. That was what the game meant when it told me to sell my soul: I was allowing Chara to permanently possess Frisk, and no matter what I did…he would never again let the characters have a happy ending. The crimes I had committed couldn’t just be erased, even if I reset the game.
I see now why everyone was so impressed with Undertale. Its message ran far deeper than the pixelated graphics indicated. It legitimately made me felt terrible for wanting to see everything, even at the cost of killing the friends I had made.
I didn’t have time to dwell on it, though. Finals were coming, and I had to give that my full attention for the next several weeks. In that time, amid the pile of work racking my brain, I forgot all about Undertale. I didn’t really have time for any games, in truth, until November. Thankfully, the timing was perfect: that was when Fallout 4, a game I had been anticipating for months, would be released.
I preloaded the game on Steam, and the moment it released, I dived headlong into it.
My friends likely thought I had died in my room for the next week as I obsessively played the game for days on end, exploring every nook and cranny of its vast world, doing its countless side quests and only completing the main game’s storyline once I was certain I had seen and done everything that I wanted. I recalled that in Fallout 3, once you completed the main story, you couldn’t continue playing…at least until the expansion packs. I didn’t want to risk it being the same here.
The ending…was alright. It wasn’t anything special, to be honest. I had decided to destroy the Institute and side with the Minutemen; the ending I felt would be the happiest one.
To my surprise, it allowed me to continue playing after the ending. I was glad that Bathesda had listened to their fans on that note.
I was pretty burnt out by that point, though, and decided to take a break for the next few days. Remind my friends that I was still alive and all.
After about a week, I returned to the game to see if there was anything I might have missed. There almost certainly was, after all, being a Bathesda game. I immediately noticed that the title screen was different: instead of showing you your docked power armor, it was an overlook of the Commonwealth.
The sky was a dull grey, and there was no music playing. Only the howling of the wind could be heard as the camera slowly swept over the area. It gave an odd sense of…lifelessness that seemed strangely familiar to me.
Considering the ending had at least been somewhat optimistic, I found this to be an odd replacement. Nevertheless, I chose to continue my game.
Instead of where the game had ended, I found myself back in my old house at Sanctuary Hills, in the remains of the bathroom from the start of the game, to be exact. Exiting the bathroom, I looked out the nearest broken window to see that the sky was the same dull grey from the title screen. The wind battered against the partially dilapidated house, and all of the flora – even the garden I had planted outside – had been reduced to withered husks.
I felt like I was staring at a dead world, one beyond the hope of recovery.
I tried using my Pipboy to turn on some music to alleviate the chilling howl of the wind, but all of the stations were silent…and my hands were covered in blood. That was definitely new. No matter how much of a “mess” I had made of my enemies in the game, their blood never splattered on me. I didn’t appear to be injured either, so it wasn’t my character’s.
Confused and unnerved, I decided to try and figure out what the hell this was all about. That was when I stepped out of my house and saw Codsworth…or what was left of him.
The faithful Mr. Gutsy looked like he had been torn to pieces, his three optical receptors being strewn about him alongside his severed arms, while his internal circuitry spilled out from his spherical chasse. Was this some kind of warped after game event? It seemed a bit twisted, even for the setting.
I hadn’t downloaded any mods, having wanted to complete the game normally before messing with it…so this could only be something intentionally put into the game by the developers. That was my reasoning at the time.
I felt angry, like they had spit in my face after all my many dozens of hours of hard work in a game I had paid for. After having achieved what I considered to be a decent enough (if underwhelming) ending, I was left with what looked to be a dead world and a murdered butler.
Still, curiosity drove me onward. The world was changed, and that made me want to see exactly how far they had taken this morbid post-game charade. For whatever reason, fast travel no longer worked, so I had to do this the slow way.
Investigating the rest of Sanctuary Hill revealed the settlers living there had all been gruesomely murdered, sometimes in very specific ways: Mama Murphy, for example, had her eyes gouged out.
I left Sanctuary Hill and began traveling the Commonwealth in search for any sign of life. Along the roads I found dead caravans and raiders alike. Feral Ghouls, Super Mutants, Synths…all of them had been sliced to pieces with what looked to be a bladed melee weapon. The settlers, though…they were always the worst. Their expressions were ones of confusion and shock, even betrayal…
I was never attacked by any enemies during my explorations. I only encountered the bodies of dead NPCs and creatures of all shapes and sizes. I found an isolated shack I hadn’t even seen before, where a woman had been dismembered alongside her half-dozen cats, their blood staining the pictures adorning their home.
On my way to Diamond City, I happened upon Drumlin Diner. Predictably, everyone was dead…but there was blood-spattered recording near Wolfgang’s corpse. When I pressed play, it began with him seemingly recording the names and locations of his “clientele”, but it quickly grew darker. I will script the relevant parts for you below:
“…Huh? Hey man, you lookin’ to buy or…wow! Dude, what’s with that blood?” The sound of footsteps could be heard, along with the shuffling of items. “And…w-what the fuck’s with that smile, man? Why the fuck are you smiling like that?!”
I then heard gunshots from right next to the recorder – Wolfgang’s, I imagine – and screaming, both male and female. The recording then ended abruptly.
It gave me chills, just a little. Bathesda had spared no expense here, it was now clear. It made me want to find out just who was responsible for this, even though it looked like there wasn’t much left to be saved.
When I at last made it to Diamond City, I had managed to steel myself for whatever it was that awaited me inside.
The entrance had been barricaded as if in preparation for an attack, though said barricades had been cut open. Even the front gate, which could only be opened from the inside, had been torn apart. The severed and dismembered bodies of Diamond City Security littered both the barricade and the gate, with Danny lying unceremoniously alongside his fallen comrades. It looked as if they had been expecting a battle and prepared accordingly…but that it had simply not been enough to stop…whatever it was that had done this.
I felt…horrified, but also intrigued on some level. This was pretty impressive, even if it was really twisted. The devs clearly put a lot of work into this. The death of this world had been rendered in such loving detail. Even the crows that often gathered could be seen lying dead in the streets.
Inside the city there were more dead security men. Nick Valentine was with them, his body torn in half at the waist. Takahashi lay broken over his noodle stand, and a whole pile of civilians lay massacred at the foot of the lift leading to the mayor’s office, which wouldn’t descend no matter how many times I pushed the button. It looked like the power to it had been cut.
Since I couldn’t figure out how else to get there, I used no clip on the console to see if anyone there had survived. Inside the Mayor’s office, the secretary’s desk had been overturned as a makeshift barrier, and more dead security littered the room. Mayor Geneva lay dead in the next room, her throat slit.
I now no longer expect to find anyone alive here, but there was one place I still felt I needed to see. The character I chose to romance in the game was Piper. I had to see her house.
I now regret my morbid sense of curiosity.
When I opened the door, I felt my heart sink. Piper’s headless corpse was posed sitting on the couch, a newspaper in her hands. A short distance away was her little sister Natalie, whose innards had been spilled across the floor.
That…was really when it started to sink in that something was very, very wrong with this situation, and I don’t mean from a general moral standpoint. Bathesda has always been very strict about not allowing you to kill children in their games. Oblivion, Fallout 3, Skyrim…none of them had allowed you to kill children. During the main game of Fallout 4, they had been similarly invulnerable, I was absolutely certain of it.
There’s just no way Bathesda would have coded such a gruesome death in. I would have definitely heard about the massive controversy that would’ve no doubt ensued, since I was hardly the first person to complete the game.
I was feeling really creeped out at this moment. Part of me wanted to quit, but another was urging to me to continue. To see how deep this sordid rabbit hole went. Ultimately, I turned towards Piper’s body and took the newspaper from her hands.
It was a copy of “Publick Occurrences”, one I had never seen before. It read:
“A LAST STAND FOR FREEDOM
The Lone Wanderer approaches our beloved Diamond City. There is no point in denying this immutable truth. Refugees from across the Commonwealth have flocked to our gates for protection, but if we have any hope for survival, every last man and women must do their part to hold the line.
The Minutemen are dead. The Brotherhood of Steel is gone. We’re all that’s left.
I once thought of the Wanderer as a hero…a friend, and more. But whatever I saw in him then is now gone, replaced with a remorseless, relentless killer that will not stop until everything is gone.
The line must therefore be drawn here. We must not falter. Only we can put an end to his reign of terror.
People of Diamond City! Let this be our finest hour, the day we saved the Commonwealth from an unspeakable evil!
Let this be our last stand for freedom!”
I sat there for a solid minute trying to process what I had just learned. My character was the one that did this? He slaughtered all of his friends, his lover, everyone he had worked so hard to save and protect? It didn’t make any sense!
I wonder if this was some sort of sick joke. Had one of my friends…snuck into my room and hacked my game while I was out? No, I knew that was absurd. None of them had the skill to pull something like that off. To do all of that…it would’ve been a full on modding project that was weeks or even months in the making. The game hadn’t been out that long.
I could feel my heart pounding in my chest, but I had already decided to see this through to the end. Leaving Diamond City, I continued to explore the Commonwealth. It was all the same. Goodneighbor was no better off than Diamond City. All the settlements I had built up were left in ruins.
There was nothing left.
Having spent hours thoroughly searching this world without ever encountering a single living NPC or creature, there was but one place I hadn’t thought to go back to yet. The place where it had all began: Vault 111.
Journeying back to Sanctuary Hill, I ascended the familiar path towards the Vault. The area around it had never exactly been full of life, so there wasn’t too much different here, relatively speaking. As I activated the lift and began my slow descent, I could only hope that it would yield some answers about what the hell was going on here.
I stepped off the lift to the familiar sight of skeletal bodies littering the area, the remnants of the long dead Vault Tec staff. There was one new body in the central hallway, however: Dogmeat.
His stomach had been slit open, causing his intestines to spill out onto the cold metal floor beneath him. His eyes showed confusion and sorrow, as much as a dog possibly could. His jaws were also caked in dried blood…it didn’t appear to be his own.
But of course, he was your most faithful companion. No matter what heinous things you did within the game, he would never leave you. He must have stayed with – and aided - the Wanderer till the end, only to ultimately meet the same fate as all the others.
For some reason, that felt vaguely familiar.
I continued forward past his body, until I reached the cryochamber where you first awaken.
That was when my heart skipped a beat. There…was someone standing there! At the center of the room, was a living person! Moreover, it was a child. Their back was too me, but they were definitely alive since I could see them idliy shuffling their feet.
I started to approach, but then I froze, unable to progress any further. It took me a moment to realize that a cutscene had just started. The child turned to face me, and I felt an odd sense of déjà vu.
They were wearing a green shirt with a single, fat yellow stripe through the middle, and brown pants. Their hair was fairly long, stopping a short ways above their shoulders. Their facial features were quite androgynous, so I couldn’t really tell whether they were male or female…even when they spoke…
“So, you’ve finally made it here,” they stated, their lips stretched into a smile that caused me to physically shiver. “I’m sorry, but I wasn’t sure when you were coming back. I was bored, so I went ahead and maxed out our level. I promise to wait for you next time, though, partner.”
Looking at the child made me shift uncomfortably in my seat, and that was when I noticed that their eyes…they were following my face. Whenever I moved my head, their gaze would follow. I could feel my jaw trembling upon this realization, as they continued to speak.
“There’s not really much else to do here, though,” they noted with a shrug, “So I think it’s time to destroy this world, so we can move on to the next.”
That was when it clicked. This…”child” I was staring at…it was Chara! The Fallen Child from Undertale that had taken Frisk’s soul and corrupted my second Pacifist playthrough. The…demon.
I was paralyzed for the next few moments, my eyes locked to the screen, locked to theirs…because I had realized it hadn’t just been the game’s dumb attempt to scare me. This…thing…it had my soul.
It would follow me into any game I played where you named your protagonist. Chara was just the “true” name. It had many. It had mine.
It was then I noticed that the dialogue wheel had popped up. There were only two options. “ERASE” and “DO NOT”. It was just like before, just like when they had asked me to destroy the world of Undertale. I had accepted then, when I thought it was all just a game. When I thought they were just…pixels that didn’t really matter.
But I knew they mattered then. Beneath my breath I managed to whisper “No”, and before I could even touch my mouse again, the dialogue wheel vanished and Chara’s eyes narrowed.
“You think you can back out now?” They chided, “You’ve already made your choice. Your soul is mine. And I…am the one in control!”
In that moment, their face…it distorted. Their eyes became a void of black that spilled out over their face in a murky ichor, their mouth stretching apart as they rushed at the screen with a horrific howl, a glowing blade plunging at me and causing the monitor to go black.
I screamed at the top of my lungs and fell back in my chair, hitting my head on the floor as it toppled over.
Clutching at the spot where I smacked the floor, I looked up to see that Fallout 4 had CTD’d. I could feel my heart pounding in my ears; my face must have been drained of all color. This thing…had destroyed another world’s future, thanks to me.
I thought I was above the consequences of my actions, but oh how wrong I was…
I swear, I will never touch another game. Any game. I never want to risk seeing that again…
But that is just a temporary escape, I know. It has my soul…and when I die…
Chara will be waiting for me in hell.