Life Lessons I Learned from a Little Retro-Styled RPG: Undertale

A few weeks ago, my friend introduced me to this game called Undertale which is about a human that lands in the world of monsters underground and has to make their way home through the various monster-towns. At first, I thought it was just a cute game where you fight cute “monsters,” but the whole challenge of the game is to get through without fighting. Bunched in with the game’s pacifistic ideals are bunch of life lessons.

  1. What is a Soul? If you are any bit spiritual, then you have probably contemplated the existence of a soul and when trying to define what it actually is, you have probably fallen into despair. Well despair no more! This flower-monster you meet in the beginning of the game pretty much sums it up for you:

2. No matter how much inner turmoil you have faced, nobody will ever be able to tell from the outside. Whenever you as a player click on a mirror throughout the game, the game tells you: “"Despite everything, it's still you." The seemingly simple act of looking in the mirror is actually an act of introspection, a moment of you realizing no matter how far you have come in the game, or in your journey in life, the changing of you and the preservation of you as a person are both important.

3. "Don't kill, and don't be killed. That's the best you can strive for." A quote to beat the game as it was intended, and a quote to live by. This world would be a better place if we could all just hug and talk things out.

4. But you can’t just hug everybody. Respecting people’s boundaries is important too.

5. The most important thing in life is DETERMINATION! If you take the pacifist route in the game, you “fight” monsters by dodging their attacks in the form of mini-games. Then when it’s your turn, you try to do actions to end the fight peacefully. If you lose all your health in the mini-games, you die. BUT the end game screen encourages you to keep going, telling you that your failure should fill you with DETERMINATION. You are also told to stay determined when saving the game. In the game, you could take the easy route and kill everyone, but you choose to take the hard route by working through problems and misunderstandings with the monsters. In life, it’s better to pursue something that you believe is for the greater good. Even if it’s hard, you must stay determined.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please be sure to check out The Universe Speaks as well.

Tasmima Tazin