I picked up Undertale a while ago, but I only got around to actually playing it like a week ago. I recently finished the ‘True Pacifist’ ending, and I still feel a little broken inside; knowing that I couldn’t actually save Asriel. All his patience and love and good intentions, and he ends up with one of the shittiest endings I’ve seen.
He grew up in a world with no real hope for a future, his foster sibling committed suicide, and upon returning their body to the surface, he was attacked mercilessly over a misunderstanding. And even then, when there was a trained hatred of humans among monsters and he had the power to annihilate them, he restrained. He held back and died for doing so. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, he was stripped of his emotions and resigned to an eternity of replaying through the same timeline again and again. He went from this loving young boy to the definition of a sociopath. That in itself is really saddening to me.
And when you finally beat the game and restore his soul, it’s only temporary. He suddenly feels a flood of emotion that is made more intense by the complete absence of feeling, and you can tell it tears him apart because he knows what he’s done, but now he feels it, too. He goes back to being that scared, vulnerable child just long enough to realize that his sibling is dead and to feel the immense guilt for the things he’s done. He gets to be a person again for all of five pain-filled minutes, and then goes back to being emotionless. But this time, he has no powers and an eternity alone to look forward to. That’s not a happy ending.