Game Theory: The Tragedy of Deltarune (Undertale)

Let’s cut to the chase, Deltarune is the prequel to Undertale— Just not in the way you think it is. *Sauce-ome intro theme!* Hello internet, and welcome to game theory! Where, if Sans is Ness, then you know Lancer is gonna be Lucas. I mean, the hair is a perfect match and the letters in both names are identical Provided you swap out two, and add one and mix them all up. Theory confirmed! And now that we’ve definitely proven that connection beyond a shadow of a doubt, A few quick announcements. First, holiday theory wear is still available. So, if you like soft, cozy over sized things with hoods and in the color black, well, boy howdy! Did we create something for you. Hats, coats, sweaterdresses, P.J. pants. Check ’em out. Link is in the description. And if you order in the next couple weeks, you’ll get it in time for Christmas. You know the drill. But, don’t wait too long because a lot of the items are selling out fast. In other, quite frankly more important news, you may remember that earlier this year we lost our longest running team member, Ronnie, to suicide. In his honor, on Monday, November 26, we’re doing a 6-hour live stream to raise money for the Brain & Behavior research fund, which funds scientific research that is actively looking for better treatments, and potential cures for mental health issues– like Depression, Anxiety, and Bipolar Disorder. It is a fantastic cause, and obviously one that hits close to home for the theorist family. So, if you even have the time to join us and potentially donate, please do so. We would be so, so incredibly grateful. We have a ton of special guests coming from all different corners of YouTube to be a part of this thing, so, it should be a long day full of a lot of fun, all for a cause that can benefit a lot of theorists out there. So, please, mark it down in your calendars—November 26, starting here on the channel in New Pacific Time. Running for at least 6 hours, all for an amazing cause. Alright. With things out of the way, Let’s figure out what’s really going on in this game. In case you missed it, Deltarune came out of nowhere. One day, the Undertale Twitter account just started randomly going off about ‘New futures’, and ‘connections’, And then all of a sudden, here’s a link to a sketch-tastic website that totally doesn’t look like it’s a virus waiting to happen. (quite suspicious) But after malware-checking the file, twice, You load it up, and, oh and behold, It’s all our favorite faces from three years ago. Alphys , Toriel, Asgore, Undyne All on the surface. It’s gotta be a continuation of Undertale, right? Well… Not quite. You see, it quickly becomes apparent there’s something more than a sequel here. No one knows each other. Undyne has never heard of Alphys, and has both her eyes. Asgore isn’t a king, he’s the owner of a flower shop. Asriel isn’t some twisted demigod out for revenge, but rather, your brother, who’s away at college. And there’s no talk of surfaces and underworlds, but rather ‘Darkeners’ and ‘Lighteners’. It’s like Undertale, but not quite. Everything is just… a little mixed up. Just like the letters in the name— Deltarune is an anagram of Undertale. In short, it is all the same pieces, but they’re all… rearranged. So what’s it all mean? Well, with only chapter one released of a game that, according to Toby Fox, May take up to 999 years to complete, We should probably try to figure out what the complete story of Deltarune is gonna be all about, since if we don’t solve it now, who knows if any of us will live to the day that it’s released? And once we have a grasp of what’s really happening in this struggle between Lighteners and Darkeners, how does it connect to Undertale? Does it connect to Undertale at all? So working alongside Reddit user Whynne, on the Game Theorists Subreddit, I think the two of us have figured this thing out. Top to bottom, up, down, and sideways. Fun fact, by the way— Whynne isn’t just an advanced theorist that I found on the Game Theorist Subreddit, he’s also the creator of Trollface. Yeah, the Trollface So over the last couple of weeks, I have been in the presence of THE OG Memelord… It’s pretty fascinating actually the Internet is a surprisingly small place Anyway, I digress today, we start to solve Deltarune with an interpretation that I predict will be pretty controversial. But have no fear, I plan to solve it a second (and likely less controversial way) in a follow up theory in just a few days. So, two, maybe even three theories for just this one chapter. I mean, we gotta milk this thing. Like I said, it’s gonna take 999 years for it to come out. Sooooo, we should probably just enjoy theorizing about it now since it might go away, and we’ll never see it again. The first thing we need to address is how this game deals with the element of choice. Or, more accurately, disregards the element of choice. Immediately upon starting up the game Deltarune catches players off guard by having then create a character, imbue them with seemingly symbolic personality traits, and then immediately throw it all away saying, This theme of non-choice continues everywhere. In the classroom, you can’t choose your project partner, You’re just assigned the class bully, Susie. You can’t choose you dialogue options out in the hallway with Susie With her outright telling you, “Your choices don’t matter.” Then, once you two enter the Dark World, Susie tells you to lead the way and then immediately takes over. Your choice is removed. Later on in Chapter 1, you try to direct Susie in the prison hallways, and she just outright ignores you. Even in battles–I mean sure, there’s a violent and non-violent way to end every confrontation in the game But no one actually dies, they just run away. And sure, the dialogue for the ending changes slightly, But, the evil king still survives And you still get back home to rip out your heart and show off your cutlery Kris is Yuri confirmed! Now, this all could be a theme of the game and probably is to a certain extent, that in life, you do actually have to sometimes fight battles I mean, even if you don’t fight the king at the end of the chapter, the conversation about having to still fight him still happens. But, I don’t really believe that’s the only reason all this is in there. I think Toby Fox included this theme so strongly in Chapter 1 to set up the audience expectations for what Deltarune is, a “normal game”, it’s “a normal game.” Remember, Toby Fox is coming off of Undertale. A game that was revolutionary in its game play. One that reinvented the way we see RPGs and violence in video games, and one that was built on the principle that every decision would affect the outcome in some way. Subtitles by Cassandra Koh


  1. In my personal opinion,
    Certain mental illnesses can make you yourself.
    Obviously depression and anxiety make life hell but,
    Things like Aspergers can benefit you as you become some kind of master author
    If you’re offended I have anxiety and aspergers so if you hate on me you’re a bit retarded

  2. i thing i realized just nowhere watching this but W.D. gaster
    and jevil can make the words devil and jaster witch sound a bit like jester witch is what evil is based off of /: idk someone make something bigger of this

  3. Great theory, and may I add: the darkners talk about lightners as Gods who gave them purpose but then abandoned them in the dark.
    Basically it's about the people who left those objects in the dark closet.

  4. Wait what if kris is chara, what if after the war right asriel died then kris died then just changed their name cuz of their past and…..oh wait…..undertale and deltarune is not related ;-;

  5. It has taken me this long to see Pyro's mask in the intro.

    Damn you mat and your amazing attention to detail.

  6. You know how in sans’ room it said ‘don’t forget’ or something like that. It’s the name of the final song in Deltarune

  7. Can i point out something

    Maybe everyone got this but this is the way I see the whole angel thing:
    Asriel in Undertale looks like and (some people think) is refered to as an angel

    the angels heaven would be refering to his college or him growing up or something that means he will leave Chris (something they have no control over, there choices don't matter)
    To destroy the angels heaven would mean to not let him go, keeping him with them, giving Kris' "choiclessness" to asriel

    Just the way I see it

  8. I’m just thinking now what if on the last chapter Rasli get killed by the dark night because when Christ’s brother comes back and he changed so that asreil that Christ remembers is gone or killed from his memory…………….. idk maybe ………………………..………. but that’s just a theory a game theory thanks for reading lol 😂😂😂😂😂👌🏾😂😂😂😂😂❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  9. Everyone else: is kris a boy or a girl?
    Matpat: she locked the door to his childhood so that no one else could see it

  10. Actively pushing someone away because their ashamed of who they are? Damn, that's every edgy kid, ever. Including me, but honestly, Toby hit the nail on the head with the edgy kid.
    Also, this leaves me with one big question. How the F**K did Kris convince Susie to play with Him…Her…Them…

  11. I would rather say that the game will be about others' choices causing as much of an effect as your own than choice not mattering.
    Clearly, things like the ball of junk do matter to Kris, and your decision in that regard will probably change Kris(yourself?).
    But others' choices are always around. In Undertale, you were all-powerful, the only force of change. In Deltarune, your choices matter less because everyone makes choices.

  12. Do you maybe think Chris and Chara are connected? I mean, I might make my own theory on this but, Obviously we know Chara and Chris both stood the same place but in different Universes.

  13. 999 years later

    Toby (who somehow survived lol) : deltarune IS FINISHED!!!

    MatPat: rises from the dead I LIVEEEEEEEEE

  14. Toby:I did it..I finished deltarune chapter 2!

    Toby:well now to announce the game is out!only a small wait I mean,

    Every fan ever: already dead

  15. Ok deltarune is actually is before the undertale because your brother is flowey/asriel you fall in the big hole like frisk but you died because you wanted to give your heart to them by eating fliwers and dying but that did not went so good.

  16. i really liked the intro until i saw destiny in there, i hate that trash game with its trash community. it should honestly just be erased

  17. I just wanna say
    Thank you so much! For raising money for a cure for anxiety and depression I’ve had anxiety for so long and it’s really bothered me thank you so much for raising money for cures

  18. The lack of choice thing is wrong because when you play full pacifist the King gets overthrown by Lancer instead of normal/ aggressive where he just gets puts to sleep by Susie/ Ralsei using Pacify. You are also allowed to go back after you exit the battlefield and chat to everyone who is grateful to you for treating them well which you can't do in normal/ aggressive ending. This proves your choices DO matter, if only a little bit, to the story
    . Theres also the fact that the egg you can receive in the dark world stays with you when you go back into the 'real' world and you can put it in Asgore's fridge

    The angel's heaven thing is a bit of a stretch when it's been established by Toby that there's no connection between Undertale and Deltarune; whilst there is some evidence that the Darkner world may be a figment of Kris' imagination; for this theory to be true wouldn't Susie have had to play along with it the whole time in the cupboard? Considering she'd just slammed him into a locker, called him a mummy's boy and a freak I can't really see her doing this; going from hostility to outright acceptance within the space of a few moments doesn't really seem that plausible or realistic to me. Her rapid change of character throughout this chapter already feels unrealistic enough as it is without asking me to believe she just went along with everything from the beginning. Furthermore her reactions throughout the 'imaginary' game seem to be quite genuine; playing with a load of toys in a dark closet whilst you're hungry (as Susie presumably is) wouldn't produce quite the same emotional reactions if you knew what was happening wasn't real.

    By contrast, Kris on the other hand stays completely emotionless throughout the journey, you'd expect the opposite to be true if he truely was playing a game (and baring his soul to Susie) that he'd only ever played with Asriel before. You could pass this off as your possession of his soul cramping his style but as you acutely note in the video, he seemed to react to the hot chocolate, almost with grief and longing

    In addition, why would they both get hugely freaked out at a dark closet if it was just imagination? If only Kris got freaked out your theory may be true but Susie wouldn't have also gotten freaked out too. If you go in with her and turn towards the door to leave she starts threatening you. She also comments that 'there's no walls and this closet is broken.' A normal dark supply closet is unlikely to have made a character like Susie 'catch the freak outs.'

    This also doesn't explain how they both mysteriously ended up in the abandoned classroom adjacent to the supply closet when the door connecting them is locked as it says in the game.

  19. I’d be ecstatic if they found a cure for any of those three things, as having all three (plus a pile of other things), makes day-to-day living pretty difficult. For a lot of us bipolar patients, the meds currently on the market don’t work well…actually, I’m allergic to the base for pretty much all bipolar medication, which doesn’t help.

    It’s good you guys raised so much. I hope they find better ways to control this stuff. With bipolar it’s so difficult since it’s a chemistry issue…for some, coping skills barely do anything, not matter how hard you try. It’s like trying to tell your brain to produce different chemicals without knowing what combination does what or even having the means to do it. You can’t work these things out with therapy and willpower alone, and battling them every single day is exhausting, on top of regular life.

    My point (long-winded, sorry) is that I really hope we find a way soon. So many people have these mental issues and live very difficult lives because they have trouble keeping jobs, being around people, communicating, even doing simple daily things like eating, sleeping, showering, cleaning, etc. is hard. Everyone deserves a fighting chance to have a decent life.

    Thanks for donating to such a good cause and condolences (I know, over a year later) for Ronnie. 🙁

  20. Lies!!! The filthy Matpat LIES!!! You never mention anything about The Angel's Heaven in the next two Deltarune theories after this one.

  21. I wanna help with the brain and behavior for
    1 I have Axiady I cannot spell
    2 it is for a really good cause

    But I can’t because I know I’m too late and I have no monies

  22. Matpat you are so idiotic. The real book of "The wonderful wizard of oz" Dorthy ACTUALLY GOES TO THE LAND OF OZ. Not like that fake remake of it where they missed key elements and crammed everything in which made it suck. DORTHY ALSO HAD SILVER SHOES NOT RED ONES. Ask me some questions about the different things in the movie to the book if you want.

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