Can you imagine a world where we’re all represented by a font?
Huh. I wonder which one I would be.
No! Not in that way!
Just straight… as in unexciting.
[Singing] Now that’s the one! Now that’s the one!~
Hello Internet! Welcome to Game Theory!
Where instead of putting a joke here, I wanna ask you a question.
If your personality were represented by a font, what font would you be?
Take a moment and put your font in the comments.
I’m really curious to see what everyone has to say.
Maybe find a couple new cool fonts to use.
Getting bored with old Calibri 11.
And with that out of the way, it’s time to talk Undertale.
Now I don’t think I’ve ever gotten this many requests to cover a game.
Well… Except for FNAF…
And I suppose FNAF 2
Oh! And then there was FNAF 3
Wait a minute. Should I-should I be worried about something here?
Anyway, across the board on YouTube, Reddit, and Twitter, you all have wanted Undertale.
And honestly, I’m glad you brought it to my attention.
True loyal Theorists will know that EarthBound is my favorite game of all time.
So a self-aware RPG in a similar style…
Oh-hoh man! It’s like a gift from the indie-gaming heavens!
Undertale is a game where every character
from Goat Mom to grind fodder
has a sympathetic design and unique personality.
Motivations, goals, fears.
Whether you’re saving or slaughtering them, the game makes you feel something
every time you enter an encounter.
But to me, one character stood out amongst all the rest.
Sans. A skeleton names after the font “Comic Sans”
Hence all the font references at the beginning of the episode.
If you haven’t played Undertale, I’m sure that was a really weird opening.
Anyways, Sans is… well… there’s a lot of mystery around this guy.
And before we get into it, let me put up a very special SPOILER WARNING.
Undertale is a game best experienced blind.
So if you haven’t played it, pause the video and come back after you finished.
I promise you. I PROMISE you won’t regret it.
Alright, so everyone out of the pool and ready for the adult swim?
Good. Because I’m feeling pretty determined to get to the bottom of Sans’ mystery.
So just a recap for those of you who haven’t played the game
and ignored the SPOILER WARNING
or just need a refresher,
Sans is one of the two skeletal brothers who appear in the game.
His partner is Papyrus. A loud, goofy, trap lover also named after a font.
But in the world of Undertale, their origins are a big question mark.
All that we really know is what’s given to us by a shopkeeper in Snowdin.
Who explains that Sans and Papyrus, quote: “just showed up one day and…asserted themselves”
What’s more is that, well, Papyrus is just kinda the goofy sidekick,
Sans is much more complex.
Sure, he likes fart jokes, but he’s also incredibly powerful and deadly serious.
Not only is his boss battle the hardest in the game, he’s one of the only characters
to have knowledge and power over space and time.
He often takes shortcuts around the world through ridiculous routes
even walking through walls.
He also acknowledges that he’s only one of infinite versions of himself.
Making self-aware commentary of the various timelines that you’ve played through in the game.
He can even count the number of times he’s killed you.
He acts like an arbiter in this world,
passing out judgement on the player’s actions in the game
Even explaining the secrets of EXP and LOVE
or, Execution Points and Level of Violence, just to clarify.
In short, he just, doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the world of monsters.
But then… what, or WHO is he?
Well, the idea that he doesn’t belong in Underworld seems to be correct.
The evidence seems to point to the fact that he was,
in fact, formerly a surface dweller.
In the True Pacifist ending of the game as the group looks out onto the horizon,
Papyrus asks Sans about the giant ball in the sky.
Sans says, quote: “We call that ‘the sun’.”
This is important because:
A: The usage of the word “we” and knowledge of the sun
shows that Sans has a kinship, or knowledge with other humans,
and B: That despite he and Papyrus both being skeletons, are supposedly brothers,
and apparently appeared in Underworld at the same time, they [voice crack] clearly
They clearly have two very different histories.
Why would Papyrus not know the name of the sun, but Sans would?
We get further clues as to Sans’ origin as we hear his say multiple times that he wants to “go home”, or “go back”.
He says as much during his dinner date scene at the Mettaton Hotel.
He notices that the player must wanna go home and says, quote:
“I know the feeling.”
He then continues:
[QUOTE ON SCREEN]
As though he ended up in Underworld by accident.
And, in the Genocide run during his boss fight, he says, quote:
“Look. I gave up trying to go back a long time ago.” End quote.
And before you say he means going back to the surface world,
that’s clearly not the full story.
His very next line of dialogue is: “and getting to the surface doesn’t really appeal anymore, either.”
Keyword here is “either”.
Yes, he seems to hail from the surface and wants to go back
but based on his dialogue, he no longer considers it his home.
It’s as though the surface world he once knew is gone.
As though he’s from a different time.
It’s pretty intriguing.
So, we’re left with a being that appeared out of nowhere, presumably from the human surface,
but from a different time period. Who seemingly has the power to teleport.
That’s a lot of questions and not a lot of answers.
But here’s where things get really interesting…
Sans has a hidden workshop that takes a fair amount of searching to find.
You could say it takes a lot of… Determination to unlock.
Anyway, obligatory “determination” references aside…
As you start to look for this Easter egg, Sans gives you a key to his room with the words:
It’s time you learned the truth.
After some searching, you find the workshop which contains items that leave even more questions.
A photo album featuring Sans and a bunch of smiling people you don’t recognize,
a badge, blueprints with illegible handwriting, and a broken machine hidden behind a curtain.
In the latest update, one more detail was added.
A hand drawn picture of three smiling faces with the words ” don’t forget”.
So, what’s it all mean?
Well, a lot of Undertale theorists have been linking these details to a mysterious figure named a W.D. Gaster.
A ghostly character who never truly appears in the game.
Honestly, covering him is a theory all onto itself and probably one best saved for another day.
Even still, none of the Gaster theories I’ve seen have been able to explain all the details.
In particular, the photo album and the badge.
And that’s what kept nagging me as I researched Undertale.
A badge? That one in particular really stuck out to me.
Why would such an oddly specific item be included in the huge Easter egg of a room?
Something that’s supposedly reveals the truth about Sans.
Badges just aren’t important in Undertale.
And then it hit me.
What if it wasn’t from Undertale?
What if this badge was from a completely different game,
and was in fact, the most important badge in the history of gaming?
The Franklin Badge.
Now for those of you wondering what I’m talking about, the Franklin Badge is a pivotal item from the Mother series.
You know, the one with EarthBound or… maybe you don’t know that one either. Uh…
You know, the one that Ness from Super Smash Brothers? Yeah well, Ness is from EarthBound
and EarthBound is the second part in this larger Mother trilogy.
Anyway, the Franklin Badge is a really important part of that series.
It gets its start in the very first game and carries through the whole trilogy.
Saving your life multiple times in the process.
It’s so important, that Nintendo has made it a staple item in the Smash Brothers series.
So I asked myself, what if the badge in Sans’ drawer was that exact badge?
Well first off, it would make Undertale connected to my favorite game
thereby making it even cooler!
But that’s still a pretty big logical leap.
I needed more. And let me tell you, as I started looking, more and more pieces started to fit into place.
At the end of EarthBound, you’re given a photo album, covering your adventures throughout the game.
To me, it’s one of the best, most satisfying endings in gaming to look back on your journey in picture form.
And what does Sans happen to have in his other drawer?
A photo album filled with pictures of Sans with people you don’t recognize.
Of course you don’t know them. They’re not characters present in Undertale.
And note the word that’s used here: “People” you don’t recognize. Not “Underworld monsters”.
So that’s two items oddly linked to the Mother series.
But then, how do the blueprints and broken machine fit in?
Well, in the final stretch of EarthBound, Ness and his three friends must travel to the past
in order to have their final battle against the evil alien Giygas.
To do that, Dr. Andonuts… Remember him by the way. He’s gonna be important later.
With the help of the science geniuses, Apple Kid and Mr. Saturn,
create what’s known as the “Phase Distorter”.
A machine that allows people to travel through time and space.
Except… It comes with a cost.
It can’t transport organic materiel. As a result, the young heroes must put their souls into robotic bodies
to use the machine and thus save the world.
I played this game back in 1997 and I’m not ashamed to admit that when I first saw this scene, I cried.
It’s devastating. Dr. Andonuts says goodbye to his son, these characters that you’ve grown to love
and care about are suddenly promising to sacrifice their lives. For all they know, there’s no possibility
of them being able to come back home.
It’s this incredibly dark departure in the final moments of what was otherwise a fun, quirky, and colorful RPG.
So what’s this have to do with Undertale?
A lot, actually.
But the first thing you need to know is that Mr. Saturns are known for their… let’s say, unique linguistic style.
That would explain the illegible handwriting on the blueprints.
And the machine? I think a broken Phase Distorter is behind that curtain.
Now that may seem like a stretch, but it actually explains a lot.
If Sans wound up in Underworld, via a Phase Distorter, it could provide a reason for why he’s a skeleton.
He used the machine as organic matter and suffered the concequences.
Not killing him, but turning at least a part of him into a pile of bones.
It would also explain why Sans has given up hope for going home.
Remember, the distorter is a time machine. Being in Underworld, he’s not only in a different place,
but based on how he talks, he’s also in a different time.
With no hope of travelling back to the time he came from.
But the crossovers between EarthBound and Undertale continue.
When you speak to the Apple Kid at the end of EarthBound, he’s blown away by the astronomical odds
of Ness overcoming Giygas. Saying he’s going to continue studying the trait called “courage” in order to harness its power.
Seems awfully similar to the same experiments happening in Undertale around the trait of “determination”, no?
Especially since so much speculation has circulated that Sans is a key player in those experiments.
But I’m sure you also want physical evidence, right?
Well don’t worry, because I have plenty.
During one of the endings of Undertale, we see Undyne and Alphys
hanging out on the beach on the surface world. A beach that shares a lot of similarities
to the tropical resort location named “Summers” that you play through in EarthBound.
In fact, the geographic layout of the surface bears some striking similarities to the world of Mother.
When Undertale’s crew of monsters are finally able to reach the surface and look out over the earth,
they’re met with a beautiful sunset falling across a landscape of a tall mountain, a large city, and a sandy area adjacent to water.
Notice the sun’s reflection to indicate water, and a lack of trees in this middle section here, hence the sand.
Well, in EarthBound, you have the big city of Fourside, complete with skyscrapers,
which you reach via a desert that just so happens to be adjacent to some water,
And to the east,
the mountain in Onett [pronounced “oh net”] where a
meteorite lands on Earth.
I always called it Onett [pronounced “on it”]
But if that’s not clear enough for you, Mother One, “EarthBound Zero”, “EarthBound Beginnings”
Whatever you want to call it, its had a lot of names.
Had a map laying out the same geographic landscape:
a tall mountain to the eastof a large city, separated by a desert with all of it up against a cost.
I don’t know about you, but to me it seems like there’s a definite connection between the world of Eagleland [pronounced “Eagle lind]
Eagleland? [pronounced “Eagle land”]
Again, unclear how it’s pronounced.
Between the world of Eagleland, and the surface world of Undertale.
But the strongest physical connection, the one that definitely unites these two franchises,
comes from none other than Papyrus himself.
He wears a custom-made costume known as his “battle body”.
But if you look really closely at the design of the armor, you’ll notice some markings on the chest.
Is it just a throwaway detail?
That right there is an exact match to the ones that appear on the chests of Starmen
The most iconic enemy of EarthBound. And look at the way he stands!
I always thought it was awkward until I looked at the two characters side by side.
Papyrus’ curved arm and hand is a direct match to the curved arms of the Starmen in the Mother series!
In short, we have some incredibly strong proof that the EarthBound universe is somehow connected to the Undertale world.
Which brings us back to our initial question…
Who is Sans?
Well what if we took it one final step and said that Sans happened to be Ness from EarthBound.
Sent through the Phase Distorter during a test of courage, carrying the Franklin Badge
and his photo album in his trusty backpack.
Not only do all the items in the workshop suddenly fit, bus so does Sans’ behavior.
Remember, Sans can seemingly teleport, and Ness just so happens to have the PSI ability to teleport.
Now look at the way Sans always stands. Hands in his pockets, directly facing the camera,
It’s a very similar stance to how Ness is depicted standing in most marketing for the game.
It even explains why Sans bleeds when you finally hit him. He is, or at least was, a human.
Oh, and finally, Sans is only one letter removed from being an anagram for Ness.
That’s just a fun one. I thought it was worth mentioning.
But if there was any doubt, we have to look no further than the creator’s previous work.
Toby Fox, the man behind Undertale, had previously worked on a Halloween hack for EarthBound.
But this just wasn’t a simple reskin, the Halloween hack tells the tale of Dr. Andonuts after the events of EarthBound.
Remember I pointed him out? He’s the one who made the Phase Distorter.
In Toby Fox’s version of the story, we see that Giygas defeat, the souls of the kids never return home.
Instead, by going to the past to defeat Giygas, they create a new timeline that they’re stuck in.
As a result, Jeff never reunites with his father, Dr. Andonuts.
And Dr. Andonuts goes crazy with guilt. Because he’s the one responsible for creating the time machine,
and extracting the souls of his son and his son’s friends to send them back to what he assumes was their death.
In his mind, he killed four kids. And in Toby Fox’s game, he’s lost his mind trying to deal with that guilt.
I’m telling you, this hack is dark.
But that said, you see a lot of Undertale in this game. The appearance of amalgamates, the first use of the awesome song, Megalovania,
The prototypes for Flowey, and the theme of having the choice to be non-violent in an RPG, sparing your enemies.
But then, why’s this all matter to the theory?
Well remember, in Toby Fox’s version of the story, the kids don’t come back. They’re stuck
in the past with no hopes of getting home. Just like Sans.
And in the hack, one character is oddly missing with no explanation as to why.
Ness. Presumably in this timeline, his soul is in a different place than his three friends.
Which brings us back to Undertale. Three faces with “don’t forget” written on it?
It’s Ness trying to remember his three friends.
In short, Undertale is a continuation of Toby’s version of EarthBound, with Ness never being able to get home,
adopting the name Sans, and accompanied by Papyrus;
a former Starman, an alien force able to speak English and still equipped with his armor and signature posture,
but without any knowledge of earthly things, like the sun.
The pieces all just seem to fit. Now all we need is an appearance from Pokey/Porky
and we’ve got ourselves a true sequel!
But hey, that’s just a theory…
A Game Theory!
Thanks for watching!
Now go forth with that knowledge and try to tell me who Gaster is.
Don’t worry. I’ll be looking too.
I’ve a few more Undertale theories in the works as well as a Deadlock, and then there’s Goomba with another Culture Shock on the game.
So if you’re into the franchise, make sure you subscribe to get notified of those videos as they come out over the next few weeks.
And hey! If you’re interested in learning more about the EarthBound Halloween hack
and it’s role as a precursor to Undertale, we’re currently playing through it live! Our next session is
Wednesday 4pm Pacific Time right here on this channel. So check it out. It’s super creepy but also super fascinating to see the inner workings of Toby Fox’s mind.
And if you wanna catch up with what you’ve missed, BOOM! Here’s a link.
I think that this clip really sums it up best:
[MatPat]: HELL YES MEXICANS!
Or if you want to learn more about my favorite game, EarthBound, click right here.
It’s an old theory about the true meaning of the game. With an emphasis on OLD.
So go back and laugh at how bad my editing and
voice-over was. It’s, uh, pretty funny to look back.
But honestly, the message about the beauty of EarthBound is just as relevant as ever.
Hopefully by you guys watching this episode, and maybe clicking over to watch that episode,
I can share with you my all-time favorite game, and quite honestly, one of the best games ever created.
But now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve gotta go track some human migratory patterns across Southeastern Asia.
So I’ll see you guys next week.