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It does everything it can to make itself a standard RPG plot, but that intentionality is what interests me. Every time DR feels like it's going to show its hand and comment on those tropes (As the first game did), it just... never does. It creates a very uneasy feeling.

There are LOTS of reused setpieces from powerful emotional moments in the first game here that make you think it's definitely setting up for some subversion of expectations, but that just never comes. You see them and then you leave.

Majora's Mask does the same thing by re-using character assets, but it follows through with a plot that makes you reconsider them as people instead of just NPCs. It uses those assets to support its themes.

Meanwhile, DR never does anything to explicitly imply that it's NOT playing this all totally straight until the very last scene, which is vague enough that it barely counts as a hint as much as it does... I dunno, a jump scare?

One of my favorite things about Undertale was its focus on empathy, both thematically and mechanically. By having the real goal of the game be to befriend every single monster by ACTing to their unique quirks. It made every monster feel like an individual that you COULD befriend.

Deltarune? DR just seems to boil everything down to a few basic commands that can be used across almost every battle. Even the battle screen is now arranged in an "Us vs. Them" format. Susie will try and kill anything that you don't explicitly deny her the chance.

In short, it feels like the message here is "Contain your worst instincts" and "ACT so you can move on" more than anything. The game even takes away the possibility of rightful ramifications for killing a monster.

No one other than the protagonists feels real. They're charming as hell, sure, but they don't feel like they're inhabitants of their world - they feel like they exist to serve their purpose as NPCs. That's... deeply unsettling, considering the message of the previous game.

The subtext of this game rejects the notion that a player should carry their sense of morality with them into the game space. That's really chilling to me.

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