Resonance: Waterfall

It is no secret that the Duck adores Undertale.  One of the many things I love about the game is its amazing soundtrack, which is easily one of my favorites from any game.  I have already written a resonance post about Here We Are, which plays when you explore the True Lab, and today we shall be discussing another song from this lovely game.

When I started playing Undertale, I largely didn’t take the game or its characters very seriously.  I don’t mean that in a bad way.  I heard great things about the game, and I expected an unforgettable experience, which is exactly what I was getting.  Nevertheless, the game’s quirky humor, especially throughout Snowdin, where you encounter the goofy skele-bros Sans and Papyrus, made me assume this game was largely going to be silly and fun.

It wasn’t until Waterfall that my views changed.  While I was well aware at that point that the monsters were trapped underground, their fate didn’t really hit me emotionally.  But then I began to read the glyphs on the walls and “listen” to the wishes monsters had whispered to the glowing echo flowers…about how the monsters were trapped underground…about how they wished to be free again…to return to the surface where they could see the stars and the sky again, something the rest of us take for granted.

By now, my earlier laughter had given way to solemn thought as I considered how it would be if I was trapped underground, where something as simple as feeling the warmth of the sun was barred from me.  Wandering that dark landscape, I could FEEL the monsters’ hopelessness as if it was my own.  Our protagonist would have no trouble regaining their freedom, provided they could get past the King, of course.  But that would mean leaving the monsters we had met and befriended behind.  If something wasn’t done, who knew how much longer they would be trapped?

Undertale is amazing for its ability to mix humor with a beautiful and heartfelt story.  And as with many good games, music is vital to bridge the gap between reality and fiction, making a fictional landscape feel real to the player, something all the more important considering this game’s simple, retro style of graphics.  The music accompanying Waterfall is both beautiful and sad, a tune that plays the double role of allowing you to better appreciate the almost magical quality of Waterfall, with its calm pools of water glowing in that otherworldly blue, while also pointing out the darkness around you, a darkness from which the monsters fear they may never escape.

Video from Youtube User: Elu Tran

The music that plays in Waterfall is a mixture of sadness and hope, and without it, it would have been far easier to dismiss the monsters’ plight and ignore the darker tones of a game that seems, on the surface, light and happy.  Undertale is a game of many layers, made all the more beautiful thanks to a soundtrack that truly resonates with me.

Image from Flickr User: mars2999