Spooptober: The Amalgamates

Undertale is an odd mixture of quirky humor and downright dark and unsettling moments.  Easily the creepiest location in the game is the True Lab, where the topic of today’s post resides.  But first, I must warn you that spoilers for the True Pacifist Route are beyond this point.

On the surface, so much of Undertale feels lighthearted and outright silly.  But once you start to delve a little deeper, the game’s lore takes a turn that I wasn’t quite prepared for.  Or more accurately, it’s beneath the surface of Dr. Alphys’ lab in Hotland where the true horror lies.  In this dark and dreary place, we slowly begin to learn about the sketchy nature of Alphys’ work.

And along the way, we begin to meet the residents.

A mysterious tentacle in the bathtub.  An ooze coming out of the faucet.  A looming shape with many legs that resembles a dog.  Many of these creatures don’t hesitate to attack you, and it’s clear there’s something decidedly wrong with them, from their misshapen appearances to their bizarre or even outright disturbing attacks. 

Nice doggy… Sit! Stay! Um…play dead?

But they’re not all hostile.  If you take a nap in one of the many beds, a shape will materialize behind you.  And if you’re patient, it will move its arm closer and closer, until…it pulls the sheets over you, gently pats you on the head, and vanishes as quickly as it appeared.  SpooOOky…

By the end, however, we finally piece together the truth behind these entities.  When monsters die, they turn to dust.  So when they were on the verge of death, Alphys injected them with a substance known as Determination, the very same thing responsible for making humans so powerful.  This brought them back from the brink, but in the process, the Determination caused them to melt and merge together into the horrible abominations known collectively as Amalgamates.

Sure, some of the Amalgamates did try to murder us, but they can be spared just like any other monster if treated with care.  And we mustn’t forget that these guys have families and friends who have no idea of the terrible fate that has befallen them.  Probably the saddest would be the Amalgamate that includes Snowdrake’s mother.  She can barely even attack you, and you can end the battle by reminding her of her son by telling bad jokes about snow.

And it’s not like they really wanted to hurt you.  After all, according to Alphys, they were just being “sassy” because they were hungry.  Sure, Alphys, sure.

Video from YouTube User: Virtual Bastion

It’s no surprise that Undertale, a game all about mercy and understanding, can show us that even the most frightening of creatures can have a gentler side deserving of sympathy.  The Amalgamates may be unsettling, but they’re really just the victims of an experiment gone wrong.  Sad though their fate may be, at least our time in the True Lab ends on a more hopeful note, as Alphys promises to make right this horrible wrong.  The Amalgamates will finally be able to return home.  They’re going to finally see their families again.

And I can only imagine they won’t be so sassy anymore, huh?