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How Undertale Got Its “TOXIC” Fandom – The Fandom Files

How Undertale Got Its “TOXIC” Fandom – The Fandom Files


Two years ago, a man named Toby Fox released an indie RPG called Undertale, after his extremely successful Kickstarter. Little did he know that with the release of that game, would come such things as THIS. The Undertale Fandom. Helllllo Everyone! This is The RPG Monger, and welcome to the Season 1 Finale of The Fandom Files – the biweekly series where I take you into the dark, unseen crevasses of each and every fandom. Well, I really can’t avoid it any longer, can I? Ever since I started this series, I knew deep down that one day, I had to return to this fandom. And yes, I mean “return.” Around two and a half years ago, I was part of the problem within the Undertale fandom, with it being one of the most regrettable periods of my entire life. So along with everything I’ve obtained by scouring the Internet, today you’re also getting the perspective from someone who is deep in the fandom, at its height of toxicity. Oh, if you haven’t noticed yet, I am a bit sick, so my voice’s gonna be a bit more hoarse than usual. That being said however, not all members of the fandom were like how I was. While unfortunately overshadowed by their louder counterparts, there were many straight-up mature normal people within the Undertale fandom, who just solely love the game for what it was. Nothing more, nothing less. Before getting to the “soulless” acts committed by certain people within the fandom, what is it that got the snowball rolling, or hell, what is it that made the snowball so big to begin with? It was just a Kickstarter RPG after all, it take more than just that to create such a large following from day one. I mean, who even is Toby Fox at all? With over $50,000 going into his Kickstarter, he must had famed elsewhere, right? Well, look no further than another work on the Internet, that like Undertale, is infamous for its… Let’s just say… “large” following: Homestuck. Because, believe it or not, Toby Fox was quite the prolific composer for it, creating such songs that I’m sure you’re quite familiar with by now. But going even farther back, Toby was also quite the figure of EarthBound fansite Starmen.net, where under the alias “Radiation,” he would manage the PK Hack Forum all the way until 2011. And that’s not all, as it was once he made the now-infamous EarthBound Halloween Hack for Starmen.net’s 2008 Halloween Funfest, that he became well known in the public eye. So considering the diverse following he built over his years of participating in fandoms, Undertale practically already had a fandom before it had even come out. Hell, part of Undertale was even developed in Andrew Hussie’s basement! So either way, Undertale was destined to have some sort of a large fandom from the very start. No question about it. However, like every fandom, when the game was released, the fandom was absolutely wonderful, with people just sharing their love through discussions and fanart. Overall, the game was just accepted with open loving arms. Even by critics, with it getting really spectacluar reviews. And unfortunately, it would ultimately be those reviews, that would inadvertedly lead to one of the first issues within the fandom: Since with a game like Undertale, not only having a large following but great reviews as well, a Let’s Play-er would be crazy not to jump on the bandwagon. And jumped they did, because soon enough, even if you’ve played or talked about video games on YouTube, Undertale would find its way into your content one way or another. I mean normally, this wouldn’t be a problem as at this point, so many big, trending games have come and gone – that it’s just become a routine, even now with Doki Doki Literature Club. But Undertale was different. Or should I say, its “following” was. For context, one of Undertale’s most defining features, was its feature of being able to play the entire game, without killing a single monster. And by giving each monster their own unique traits and personalities, I’d honsetly say, it had a big hand in the game’s success. Though with this, you could of course, still kill some, or every monster in the game, resulting in different endings and outcomes. Well, with this, as you may have guessed, by not killing any monster, you get the best ending. So, in come the Let’s Play-ers, who go into the game not knowing any of these – making choices they want to make within the game. Nothing wrong with that, right? Well, not according to some very vocal fans. As they and those who joined them began one of the first major problems within the fandom: The notion that there is a… to play Undertale. While there are many, MANY cases, of certain people from the fandom, just about harassing Let’s Play-ers, who didn’t play the game just like how they wanted, it have to be the situation surrounding Markiplier, that’s the most prominent. Like, nearly everyone in the Let’s Play-er community, he too, started playing the game, when it was pretty new, with its fandom at the time exploding tremendously. Though unlike everyone else, he only made two videos, and never touched it again. At least until the following year. But why is that? By the second video already, the poor guy was getting mass criticized, and even harassed for such minute things, as giving Sans a “redneck voice,” and just the general choices he made while playing it. It only got worse too, as considering he wanted to go to the Genocide Route of the game, the backlash against letting the guy play a game how he wanted was unlike anything ever seen before. Like I said, he did eventually return to the game to play it how he wanted to, but the fact that this happened was just plain unnecessary. Not to mention like what I said, while he’s probably the most prominent, Markiplier’s case is not an isolated one. There would be streamers who get actual death threats, just because they had killed Toriel in their playthroughs. Going even beyond the cases of streamers and Let’s Play-ers, these sentiments against the mere notion of killing characters, or “God forbid” during a Genocide run, had at one point become so widespread that people actually developed a stigma – surrounding those who had chosen to play the game like this. From insults like calling them “horrible people,” to comparing them to child abusers and murderers, the lengths of these hopelessly blind people would go was astounding. Though before I go on to the nightmare stories, I should address one other issue with the fandom that I’m ashamed to say I was a part of. If you’ve participated in online communities, I’m sure that you’re all quite familiar with stuff getting old fast. Like when a friend recommends a show to you that just DON’T want to watch. But they keep on persisting, going surprising lengths, just for you to watch their beloved show. Well, the same thing happened with Undertale. I would know, since I used to be one of those people, who’d persist relentlessly. But it wouldn’t just be people clearly overstepping boundaries, in the attempt to drag someone new into the fandom, it would also be such things as inserting Undertale into just about everything in their daily lives: From addressing people in the voices and mannerisms of characters, to spanning references to people who clearly didn’t even care at all for the game. Overall, I and many others had led our obsession with an indie RPG game, actually altered the way we acted. And let me just say to all of you out there, that doing such things as these is never, EVER, a good idea. Not only did I basically ruin the game for my friend who avoided playing solely because of how annoying I was, but there are a whole slew of people who had grown to despise the game, just do to people like me acting like utter buffoons. Oh, not to mention the ship wars including such… interesting ships, like Sans and Papyrus, got to extremely violent levels as well, as of sure you could assume why. So now, everyone, it’s story time. Buckle up, because it’s gonna be a bumpy ride. To start off, here’s a story that actually came from one of you all. And let me tell you that it truly shows how bad the Undertale hatedom was at its height. Back in December 2015, only a few months after the game had came out, the Undertale fandom was in full bloom. And at the time, all sorts of art was being produced from all sorts of people, with the protagonist of this story being one those said people. Well, at the time, the artist in question was admittedly a bit of a Sans fangirl, and drew art that was, well… a bit on the fetish side of this spectrum, if you catch my drift. But hey, you know, they weren’t hurting anyone by it, and it was their art. Who cares, right? Well, all was going smoothly until one day, a friend notified them that their art had been stolen, and slapped right onto a YouTube channel, whose sole purpose was to harass and demean others. Of course, once faced with situations like these, our artist chose to ignore it and went on with their life. But unfortunately, it only got worse. More and more people began to harass them, telling them such things like how they were a “disgusting human being,” and that they should cut themselves, all because of some art that they drew. And after their art was stolen many more times, and the harassment grew to unprecedented levels, it only got worse. One day, they got some random guys saying the usual insults they had become accustomed to getting. But this is where it gets absolutely idiotic: Just to get the poor artist to delete their account, he took screenshots of their entire gallery, and displayed them on some such sites like Instagram for the world to see. Needless to say, this was the final nail in the coffin, because after that mess, the artist completely deleted their DeviantArt, along with all the art on it. I mean, really, how much of a low-life do you have to be to harass someone online that severely, just because you don’t like their art? I mean, why do you even care in the first place? Though as much as it pains to me to say, that incident doesn’t even hold a candle to what I’m about to tell you all: My friends, this upcoming tale is probably one of the most sinister and bizzare that I’ve ever discussed on this series ever. But I will have to include a warning for the squeamish, since this really isn’t really for the faint of heart. All good? Without further ado, let’s get into it. Never accept food from strangers, under any and all circumstances. Since to this entire situation could have been avoided, if the victim abided by this warning. Well, it all happened in a convention within Taiwan, where a popular artist was attending. Like many on the Internet, the artist drew a lot of fanart, with some of it pertaining to Undertale. Though with that Undertale fanart, the artist particularly drew a lot of fanart, for a certain ship within the fandom. Sound pretty normal to me? Well, at the convention, somebody offered the artist a gift out of a supposedly kind guesture. Low and behold, the gift was a homemade cookie, how sweet of them! Like most people given cookies, the artist didn’t waste any time partaking in the sugary goodness. Though to their dismay, it was all a sinister trap. Within the cookie, unknown to the artist, the scumbag had actually secretly hidden needles. You heard me right: NEEDLES. Immediately after biting down, the needles pierced directly through the artist’s tongue, cauing immense pain. This, everyone, is a crime. A crime committed because somebody didn’t like a ship. If the artist hadn’t acted so quickly and gotten the needles out of their mouth, their life could have truly been in danger, all because of some fanart. The fact that people will act this deranged, because they disagree with fanart of a pairing of fictional characters, is absolute madness. And to all of my content creators out there, whether you make videos or you make art: Never, EVER accept food, or consumable items, like a cookie at a convention from a stranger. Even if they tell you that they’re a huge fan. Just refuse politely, because the thought of another scenario like this happening, is probably one of my worst nightmares ever. It really is a shame that a game like Undertale, could end up to leading to so much obsession and disarray, when the entire point of the game was friendship. However thankfully, not everyone completely missed this mark. Because Undertale, despite all of this, did lead to a lot of good: Countless games were made with this game as the catalyst; hundreds of fans creating absolutely stunning fanart; and the fan projects surrounding this game were frankly incredible. Even throughout all of these bad eggs, it really is wonderful to see how people still enjoy the good parts of the fandom to the fullest. But right now, to start wrapping things up, I want to leave a message for all of those whose experiences of the game, or even opinions in general, were tarnished by idiots like me. If you’ve played Undertale and you dislike the game, then that’s no issue there. But please, don’t judge something because you have a bad experience with its fandom. If anything, that’s how a lot of hatedoms are born. And on the topic of hatedoms, please, if you can’t do anything to seize your pointless hatred, just keep it to yourselves for a change, you know? At the end of the day, whether you justify it because something just like a ship… or some other dumb garbage, all you’re really accomplishing is providing unneccessary stress to another person’s life. Another person who really never did, and never will do anything to harm you, or anything else for that matter. Hell, who knows? Maybe playing Undertale would actually teach you a thing or two about being kind. That’s the game’s motto after all. Well, there you have it. It really was only a matter of time until I cover this fandom. Considering Undertale was actually the start of my channel more or less. Anyways though, I really do have to keep thanking you guys for all the stories you’ve DM’ed to me on Twitter. Please keep sending them, because I’ve planned to feature a ton of them in the near future, and do remember to leave your worst Undertale fandom stories in the comments below, so I can feature my favourite in the next episode of The Fandom Files. Here’s my favourite from the last episode: (FNAF: Five Nights at Freddy’s) First of all, it’s always a shame when you have to deal with people not accepting that you want to change your content – it’s honestly not even something directly linked to fandoms, but just an issue any content creator has to face at some point or another. But harassing and bugging someone just because they like something you don’t is never a good thing to do. Would people ever accept that opinions can exist? All in all, before I move on to my outro, I really do have to thank all of you for making The Fandom Files what it is. The support you guys have shown this little series of mine is incredible. And hey, if you want Season 2 to come out as soon as possible, leave a like! It helps way more than you could imagine. If you enjoyed this video and want to see more like it, do subscribe. And today’s cool thing of the day is: The man, the myth, the legend: Toby Fox. I mean, come on, how could I not salute this man when talking about the Undertale fandom, as you really do have to feel sorry for him? Can you imagine what it feel like to have droves of people use your game as a reason to act like utter idiots? I couldn’t even dream it! But besides that, I just have to thank Toby Fox for making such a wonderful game, that impacted most people for the better. Above all, and best of luck and any of your future game developing ventures. So that being said, I’m The RPG Monger, and don’t forget that each and every one of you are fantastic. Subtitled by Garygoh884
Feel free to correct me if I do make any mistakes. Thanks! (By the way, SANS IS A NESS. Come on, really?)

Comments (35)

  1. The fandom is very much alive and will never die

  2. It was a nest of toxicity pure toxicity.

  3. The reason the fandom got this way was because of dirty people,multiverses such as underlust,shipping and fangirls.This is annoying to me and we need to help the undertale fandom before it gets worse!

  4. The Steven Universe fandom is worse.

  5. God stop w the anime images every second

  6. Does pacifist and genocide with 2 files at the same time I am 4 parrarell universes ahead of you
    The ships are the bane of my existence

  7. Choices are yours, I understand this will be drowned in the sea of comments,
    But I think it's silly the lengths people take just to hurt somebody who made
    a SHIP or even a FETISH [mine is omorashi // omotale] it's silly
    pacifist isn't the only route you can go. And
    just because you don't like someone's ART doesn't mean you should give
    them your delicisy recipe of Needle Cookies but.. again you shouldn't
    attack anyone for their opinions either. So I can't really be on anyone's
    side here. Also, I kinda ship Toriel X Sans.. nobody judge me…

  8. I liked Undertale while it was early. I was a Charisk shipper but after seeing tumblr being 'I diagnose you with boobs' 'lesbiaaansss!!:L' 'let's pair two brothers or a skeleton with a human' and making steamy fanart out of everything was disgusting. AU's didn't help at all, I hate them; how a lot of people used them to make their ships canon? Undertale just changed to a complicated mess. Then I see the game translated to Spanish and boy, the fandom there was worse than ever. The obsession with Sans was in it's peak and people would insult you for doing the genocide route, all people would treat the protagonist as a grown girl w/boobs??!

  9. Undertale is such a wonderful game, and the fandom always scares people away from this RPG masterpiece

  10. Moronic kiddos love it

  11. Undertale still is one of my favorite games of all time. I was kinda like this, but less so. I felt like they weren't playing the game correctly. I didn't lose my temper though and remembered thhat they didn't know, instead of screaming at them to kill themselves

  12. Me:*sees Danganronpa the Animation and Danganronpa 3 screenshots in the video*

    Also me: RanganDonpa in a TnderUale video

  13. Undertale will punish the killer/sinner LOL
    Toby was said too (don't kill anything) in his interview XD
    Welp Undertale has own system for punishment LOL

  14. the fandom was so toxic for my mental health that i dont even want to play the new game thats been out. same with steven universe, theyre just as if not possibly more toxic

  15. The goddamn fandom is the reason I lost interest.

  16. In the sweet memories of Hellkite.

  17. I liked Undertale when it first came out, I liked the story, it was fun.

    But now, people won't shut up about it
    They don't understand that games can die, but they just won't let it go.
    To me, I believe the Undertale fandom needs to end.

  18. Come on it’s just a video game it doesn’t matter you kill

  19. so a pacifist is more aggressive

  20. You know shits down when he shows his eyes

  21. I'm in the fandom and it's… Interesting.

  22. I think the fandom is chilling out, I’ve never came across people
    like this nowadays

  23. I absolutely love your art style

  24. We all know which character deserves love and attention

    TemMiE

  25. Uh…. every fandom has its aggressive fans? Haven't you see it yet? Cuz I have

  26. Yeah.., undertale's fandom was and is the worst… Im glad its mostly calmed down now.

  27. Toby Fox: makes a game where the lesson is that death isn’t the answer

    Sans fangirls: TOUCH SANS AND YOU WILL DIE A VERY PAINFUL DEATH

  28. So about a year and a half ago, I was obsessed with the game. (Not in a creepy way, I just rlly liked it) but my friend from school didn’t know what it was. So one time when she was over I practically set the game up for her and she was rlly confused. When she started to play, I assumed she would fall in love with the game like me, but she rlly just didn’t care. I continued to bug her about it, and she started to get annoyed. So whenever I mentioned the word “undertale” she would just roll her eyes. I ruined the game for her. And it took me a while to realize that. Pls don’t tell me I’m the only one with an experience like that. 😅

  29. It got worst. They decide compare the game to Touhou and said Touhou is copying undertale

  30. I actually made two friends because of undertale now that’s friendship

  31. Me : let us see the fandom
    After 15 sec
    Me : change my mind i want to burn my eyes from is ehm help me

  32. I know this is late, but, I actually feel bad for toby fox, to see all his time, sweat, blood and tears working hard on this game, Only to have 12 year old fangirls with the disturbing obsession with enlarged abdomens totally mutilate it, seeing a genuinley good undertale art is like winning the lottery, most undertale art is ships, inflation, vore, yiff, etc. I am genuinely SHOCKED, how a sweet little game that teaches you that violence isn't allways the answer and Your actions have consequences, can have the most DISCUSTING and violent fanbase ever. God forbid toby goes to deviantart and searches for his creations.

  33. and I'm 2020 we've got to the point where the people saying undertale is bad and the fandom is toxic and more toxic people

  34. I just got undertale recently! I have been in the fandom for a much longer period of time. Going in and out of it repetitively but never actually playing the game because, Im not allowed to use money without my parents permission. But recently I saved up the money and my mom bought me the game. I can't wait to finish it.(I'm currently fighting ashore) I dont know how it ends because I wanted fo learn for myself. I can't wait!

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