Mod Ellipsis

Y o u   c a n   f e e l   i t   b e a t i n g.

gift for the wonderful mods at @nochocolate, because I absolutely love the quality of your story analysis and theories. Your blog is the first place I check for rich Undertale information <3

You have an eternal admirer in me u w u

Frisk: flee or help?

saemi-the-dreamer submitted: I thought quite a lot about what would Frisk do, and what “should”/could be the right thing to do in their actual situation. Well, my main conclusion is: I don’t wish to be in their shoes - sorry XD - more seriously, I was hesitating between “Frisk, run!” or “help Chara!”, I ended up voting for the latter… I might be wrong and over-idealist (^^;) but here are the reasons why I’d choose this.

(this is of course purely subjective, no one here have to agree with me and I’d understand if you choose not to publish this!)

First, the cons of each options:

Kill Chara!

  • honestly? No, it feels wrong; despite everything Chara did, and how hypocrite they sound right now (like most of those people who don’t hesitate to slaughter but then beg for their own life).
  • Frisk might have to RESET at a point, so finishing Chara would only add fuel to the whole thing; it would only “ prove” Chara right, and their accusation of Frisk being potentially dangerous and cruel true (somewhat).
  • Frisk would gain LOVE! Moreover, Chara is already severely injured, cannot defend themself nor flee, doing such a thing would be unlike Frisk and mark them in a very wrong way. It could start a dangerous downhill for Frisk, which I do not wish to see. :( They might loose themself.
  • Chara is certainly not the best person, but we don’t know that much about them either. They might still have redeemable qualities or could change their ways - okay, my optimistic side is speaking here, but so far, we can’t tell Chara is just a pure evil bastard and the only way to stop their evil deeds/ways is to kill them yet, so I’m not voting for that (yet??)

“Frisk, run!”

  • (I would have told them this if I were with them,)
  • It seems quite the most sensible thing to do at the moment, but Frisk seems to hesitate (and I can get why!)
  • Frisk could survive if they just left Chara here, but they would certainly feel guilty for doing so
  • Plus, Chara might resent them more if they did, and like I said above, their bad opinion on humans woud be proven right: the human just left them dying there when they were begging for help.

“Frisk, help Chara!”

  • this could be a trap, of course. I have no idea what Chara could do in their current state but one can never be careful enough.
  • Chara could take advantage of Frisk’s kindness later and manipulate them if Frisk helps…

HOWEVER

Caretaker!Frisk strikes me as a good child who would help anyone in need if they could, even if this person does not deserve their help. This is not about what Chara deserves, but more about doing what is right, and what would Frisk do while being true to themself.

If Frisk chooses to help Chara because they feel/think it is the right thing to do, then it is a good choice. Wether it turns against them later or not, at least, Frisk can keep their head high and shout loud and clear that they really are a good person. Even if they die, they would die being themself, and not keep living with a huge burden on their shoulders or worse: become a cold-blooded killer. It could seem naive, but I feel like this is what is right.

Frisk would stay true, Frisk would keep being Frisk.

I am surely biased because I think myself that I’d rather die being myself than becoming a monster, and easier said than done of course: were I in Frisk’s shoes in page 99, I have NO idea what I’d do. I’d probably be hesitating so much that Chara would have the time to die of blood loss or I might just run! It is really hard to choose what to do.

But honestly, as long as Frisk is true to themself as they act and that they dont try to justiy their actions, it would be fair to me.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thanks again for your great comic!

Happy Birthday, mod Ellipsis! Enjoy my Chara and Sans plushes (though honestly i don’t like Sans that much……)
I must admit, it’s really impressive how you can maintain two different blogs, @nochocolate and @caretaker-au at the same time.
Here we are in an Understage style setting, where the scene of Frisk accidentally killing Chara just finished, and now they’re hanging out as break time. And to another side is a multitude of gifts from adoring fans. 

Have a nice birthday!

W.D. Gaster Masterpost

(undertale spoilers)

Doctor W.D. Gaster is an enigma shrouded in mystery, with very little known about him. Despite the scarce amount of information, this character is a popular topic for many fans who are desperate to know who he is. After the January 2016 patch, more “fun” events became available in regular gameplay, driving more people to look for answers as to who Gaster is.

The following is a breakdown of facts, circumstantial evidence, and unconfirmed theories on Gaster. All technical information mentioned below is based on v1.001 of the game.


Facts

Before Gaster is discussed, three important characters should be considered – the followers.

Facts about the followers:

  • There are three followers.
  • Their sprite names are spr_g_follower_1, spr_g_follower_2, and spr_g_follower_3.
  • Their object names in the code are obj_gaster_follower_b,  obj_gaster_follower_a, and obj_gaster_follower_c.
  • Each follower has a very low chance of appearing.
    • Follower_1: fun value 62 and 50% chance = 0.5% chance
    • Follower_2: fun value 61 and 20% chance = 0.2% chance
    • Follower_3: fun value 63 and 50% chance = 0.5% chance
  • These are the only monsters that ever mention Gaster by name.
  • They share a monochrome gray color theme.
  • Two of them use the words “they say” in reference to what they know.
  • Frisk’s phone does not turn on in their presence.
  • Follower_2 disappears after speaking.

Since the followers are the only characters that mention Gaster by name, what is known as canon about Gaster is derived from their dialogue. However, because the followers speak in such a hearsay manner (e.g. “They say he created the Core.”), it’s hard to be sure how accurate this information is. With little else to go on, this information will be taken at face value. 

Facts and hearsays about Gaster:

  • He was the previous Royal Scientist, before Alphys.
  • His brilliance was “irreplaceable”, which is why Asgore took so long to replace him.
  • He created the CORE.
  • His life was cut short.
  • He fell into his creation.
  • His experiments went wrong. (Yes, experiments is plural here).
  • He vanished without a trace.
  • He shattered across time and space.
  • A piece of him exists with Follower_2.
  • He is still listening.

Outside of what the followers share, there are a few more things known by special events in the game and by examining the code and assets.

From the game’s code, assets, etc:

  • Entering Gaster’s name in the character name screen causes the game to restart – and it only happens with Gaster’s name.
  • The Sound Test Room in Snowdin has a 50% chance of being accessible at fun value 65 (after defeating Papyrus and before defeating Asriel in the pacifist route), and Gaster’s Theme can be played in this room. Once the song starts playing, the music cannot be changed. Eventually, the song ends and then Frisk is automatically returned to the room with the fishing rod.
  • Despite not having a battle, Gaster’s monster type identifier in the code is 666, and his stats are composed using only 6. (ex. HP of 666666)
  • Sans’ attacks, which bear resemblance to animal skulls, use six sprites called spr_gasterblaster.
  • An unused NPC field sprite called spr_gb_npc looks like the spr_gasterblaster sprites, but without a face.
  • The gasterblasters are used in the code’s obj_gasterblaster, which is used in the code’s obj_gasterbl_gen.
  • By editing the game’s save files, ENTRY NUMBER SEVENTEEN can be found in an unused room. The code for this room is called obj_gaster_room, confirming that the entry belongs to Gaster. The identifier for the text type is 666, and the game quits after the last line of the entry.

Circumstantial Evidence

The following is a list of reasonable deductions based on clues provided in the game. Unlike the facts listed above, these theories are not confirmed directly. However, they have enough circumstantial evidence to make a strong case.

Gaster is the original creator of the DT Extraction Machine.

  • Alphys specifically mentioned “using the blueprints” in her lab entry 5.
  • Since Alphys used these rather than created them, it’s presumed to be from the previous Royal Scientist.

W.D. Gaster refers to Wingdings and Aster (two fonts). 

  • Wingdings shares Gaster’s initials, W.D.
  • Because the room with ENTRY NUMBER SEVENTEEN is coded as obj_gaster_room, Gaster has a connection to Wingdings.
  • If the W.D. refers to Wingdings, the name Gaster may refer to Aster. However, there is no Aster in the game.

Gaster is a skeleton.

  • Because Sans and Papyrus are named after fonts and are skeletons, Gaster is assumed to be a skeleton.

The Core was built before New Home.

  • Considering New Home is built above the CORE, it’s reasonable to assume Gaster built the CORE before the Royal Family moved to New Home.

Gaster may have a connection to the monster that appears in a room behind a gray door in Waterfall – Mystery Man.

  • The sprites are called spr_mysteryman.
  • The object name in the code is obj_mysteryman.
  • At fun value 66, there is a 10% chance of this door appearing. That means there is a mere 0.1% chance of finding this door without hacking or cheating.
  • Frisk cannot collide with Mystery Man; they walk right through.
  • When interacted with, Mystery Man disappears, and the sound effect snd_mysterygo plays. It is the same one that plays for the disappearing Follower_2, who claims to be holding a piece of Gaster.
  • Unlike with the followers, the phone can be used, but there is no response.

Gaster may have a connection to the monster in an inaccessible room in Waterfall – Redacted A.

  • Its sprite is called spr_redacted_a_0.
  • Its object name in the code is obj_redacted_a.
  • The room can be accessed by editing the game’s save files, but only after disabling dogcheck.
  • The monster is solid and cannot be walked through. 
  • It disappears if Frisk moves away from it, and reappears if Frisk moves towards it.
  • This is the only monster that speaks in Wingdings, specifically all lowercase. Its only dialogue is “* [redacted]”.
  • The text sound used for Redacted A’s dialogue is the same one used for ENTRY NUMBER SEVENTEEN.

Sans has a connection to Gaster

  • Sans uses gasterblasters in his battle.
  • Sans has blueprints with unreadable symbols in his secret lab. The narration remarks that it may be just the handwriting that makes it illegible, perhaps implying it belongs to Alphys who’s handwriting is described as illegible chicken-scratch. However, unreadable symbols could also mean Wingdings.
  • During his battle, when Sans sleeps, he snores in an unidentified serif font. This font was originally thought to be Aster, but further examination has proven this is not the case.

Popular but Unconfirmed Theories

With how little information there is and how hard it is to find, it’s easy for “fanon” to become so popular that it is misrepresented as canon. The list below is made of popular theories that are commonly misquoted as fact. This was not written to diminish the theories in any way; in fact, the reason these ideas are so popular is that they make a lot of sense and are not directly contradicted by evidence in the game. However, it’s important to know fact from fun.

“Mystery Man is Gaster.”

  • Because the followers, the Sound Room, and Gaster’s stats all share a pattern of 6′s, Mystery Man has an association with Gaster.
  • However, Gaster was said to have shattered. If this is the case, it doesn’t seem right for him to still be intact as the Mystery Man.
  • It is more plausible that Mystery Man is a “piece” of Gaster.
  • Redacted A is the only monster in the game to speak in Wingdings, which makes it another candidate to being a piece of Gaster.
  • Dogbomber’s interpretation of Gaster was removed from the official tarot card merchandise, keeping his true identity a secret.

“Goner Kid is a follower of Gaster’s.” 

  • Goner Kid is the gray monster kid that can be found in Waterfall.
  • Their sprites are called spr_mkid_goner – it does not include the word “follower.”
  • Their object name in the code is obj_mkid_goner.
  • They have a gray color scheme like the followers.
  • However, Goner Kid appears if the fun value is above 90 – not in the 60′s. This means there is a 10% chance of running into them.
  • Unlike the followers, the phone can be used in the room with Goner Kid to call Papyrus.
  • Goner Kid never mentions Gaster.

“Gaster was forgotten by everyone.”

  • Based on the idea that Gaster shattered across space and time somehow causes his existence to be forgotten. There is no mention of this, however.
  • There is also speculation that Gaster is talking through Goner Kid about how the world can be the same “except you don’t exist.” However, Goner Kid has no confirmed association with Gaster.
  • The word “forgotten” is never used to describe Gaster.
  • His followers remember him.
  • Nothing indicates that Asgore forgot him, especially considering he took so long looking for a replacement since Gaster’s genius was “irreplaceable.”

“Gaster is in the void.”

  • There is no mention of a void in the game, other than what Mettaton says at the end of his battle: “IF I LEFT… THE UNDERGROUND WOULD LOSE ITS SPARK. I’D LEAVE AN ACHING VOID THAT CAN NEVER BE FILLED.“ This is not a literal void.
  • The followers only ever mention that he “shattered across time and space,” “fell into his creation,” and “his life… was cut short.”
  • Gaster is not stuck in any void.

“Gaster wrote the true lab entries.”

  • Other than the ENTRY NUMBER SEVENTEEN that is written in Wingdings, there is no evidence that Gaster wrote any of the entries found in the true lab.
  • Alphys explains to Frisk the experiment she carried out on the fallen monsters, which the true lab entries document.
  • Based on supporting evidence in the game, Alphys wrote all the true lab entries.

“The followers are Gaster’s assistants.”

  • Nothing indicates they ever worked with Gaster.
  • They mention information about Gaster, but in a hearsay manner.
  • The “follower” name makes them seem more like fans or cult members.
  • Sans has a photo album filled with photos of people Frisk does not recognize, which people believe is Gaster and the followers. However, Frisk can meet any one of them, even if the chances are extremely slim.

“Sans was Gaster’s assistant.”

  • Sans says “you’ll never see them again” in the Lost Souls battle as if speaking from experience.
  • ENTRY NUMBER SEVENTEEN addresses two people at the end, but nothing confirms who these people are.
  • Sans speaks about “our reports” and has a scientific background, but evidence supports that Sans may have worked with Alphys instead of Gaster.

“Gaster is Sans’ and Papyrus’ father.”

  • Gaster is speculated to be a skeleton, so it’s commonly assumed he would be their father. However, Sans and Papyrus make no mention of family outside of each other.
  • A poorly drawn picture of three people smiling can be found in Sans’ photo album under the right circumstances, but there is nothing to say who these three people are.

Conclusion

Shrouded in mystery and darkness, Gaster’s identity and story continue to elude the community. Filling the gaps with speculation is part of what makes Gaster theories so much fun. Hopefully, this comprehensive master post will aid with the guidance, testing, and formulation of fan theories. While conjecture and assumptions breed compelling speculation, it is always important to distinguish fanon from canon.

» view more: album of Gaster related content

the red soul

(undertale spoilers)

each fallen human has a specifically coloured soul associated with them. these colours can be seen on the coffins in new home, asgore’s soul containers, and the photoshop flowey boss battle. little is known about these souls, but what can be inferred is that each soul colour represents a unique trait. accessing this information requires multiple rounds of “ball game” in the snowdin forest. if the game is completed fast enough and the red flag is obtained, the following message appears.

however, red soul’s trait is never mentioned. or is it?


determination is not a trait

before exploring the red soul’s trait, it’s time to explain why determination is not the red soul’s trait. while it is a popular choice, it ultimately does not work for a few reasons. unlike the other traits, every human soul has determination. 

rather than being a trait, determination is more akin to willpower or resolve. it’s a power that gives human souls “the strength to persist after death.” furthermore, this determination is extracted from the six human souls and injected into a golden flower, bringing flowey to life and giving him the power to control the underground’s timeline. this same power is what gives the humans the power to save and load.

unlike all the other traits, determination is inherently inside all humans. furthermore, “determination” is never mentioned in the ball game. it’s also never specifically linked with the red soul nor is it ever written in red text. the word “determination” is only written in white or yellow. 

there is nothing that suggests determination is an exclusive trait to the red soul. it is merely a component in all the coloured human souls.

» read more: determination is yellow


the ball game

the different soul colours each represent their own positive traits according to “ball game.” the first time the red flag is achieved, the following message appears.

these are the positive traits of all the souls besides the red soul. when the ball game is won a second time in the conditions for the red flag, a new message appears.

it’s important to note that the ball game can only be played as long as snowdin is not cleared of monsters. if genocide is successful in snowdin, then the snowball will be gone, rendering the ball game useless. this is the only time the ball game cannot be played. in the neutral and pacifist routes, the game can be played even after reaching snowdin or after defeating papyrus.


the mirrors

from the red flag, the phrase “be yourself” is important. the idea of “being yourself” is seen repeatedly throughout the game, so long as the genocide route is not in motion. if frisk is still on the neutral route, frisk can look into the mirror in toriel’s home, and the following is said:

in new home, frisk can look into a second mirror and see the following:

this text appears in every route, except the genocide route. whether this is a reflection of frisk is up to interpretation.

in a pacifist route, after defeating asriel, frisk can look into the mirror in home once more to see this:

one of the most important elements of the pacifist route is the reveal of the protagonist’s true name, frisk. it highlights how frisk’s identity, or even their true self, is only revealed at the end of a pacifist route.

in contrast, the genocide route makes it clear that frisk is not themself from the start.


the red soul’s trait: being yourself

ultimately, the ball game holds the most important clue. the statement seems rather vague, until the one-word limitation is removed and the trait is seen as a phrase.

“being yourself” is seen in two ways in the context of undertale. the first is more obvious, with the phrase referring to how frisk is only themself in the neutral route and pacifist route. once the genocide route is in motion, frisk is no longer in predominant control – chara is. interestingly enough, when chara is in control during the genocide route and the snowdin forest is cleared, the ball game is unavailable, perhaps highlighting the fact that frisk is no longer truly themself.

the second way the virtue of “being yourself” is used in game is by its definition. “being oneself” means to be genuine, honest, or true to one’s character. along with determination, it is what allows frisk to keep going, especially in the pacifist route. sans alludes to this when he judges frisk in the last corridor.

“so as long as you do what’s in your heart” can be seen as another way to say “be true to yourself.” there is another reference to this trait in sans’ judgment should frisk have killed any monster.

while subtle, sans stresses the importance of being true to "yourself,” even in the face of committing a terrible crime.

“being yourself” may seem synonymous with integrity, but there is a difference. integrity is defined as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.” while both are a quality of being honest, there is a difference to what that honesty is towards. those with integrity are righteous, fair, and of good character. however, integrity is not needed to be yourself. being yourself is to stay true to who you are, regardless of what that may be. perhaps a word for this could be “individuality,” “nonconformity,” or “sincerity.”

conclusion

while the other soul virtues are clearly defined by their colour coded trait, the red soul remains much more ambiguous. perhaps this is because frisk, chara, and the player persist as such different individuals despite being intrinsically linked, therefore the common trait between them can only be just that: their individual “true” self.

Determination is yellow

(undertale spoilers)

Determination is “the will to keep living… the resolve to change fate.” It’s the power that gives human souls “the strength to persist after death.” It is so powerful that it brought Flowey to life and gave him the power to control the underground’s timeline. 

Because many people believe the red soul represents determination, some players associate determination with the color red. Many also incorrectly cite that determination is written in red in the genocide route. This is false.

Determination isn’t unique to the red soul. It is found in all human souls, and there is evidence that all of the fallen humans had the power to save, load, and reset. Furthermore, there is a strong link between determination and yellow – the save point.

In Entry Number 5, the word “Determination” is in yellow (and contrary to popular belief, “Determination” is never written in red). The lab entry is written by Alphys, so she would know the color of the determination she extracted from the souls. While it is not the exact same color as the save point, it is extremely close. Closer than the other yellows found in the game, such as the golden flowers. Coincidentally, Flowey is also the same color yellow as the save point. It’s possible he became this brighter yellow after being injected with determination.

However, the most conclusive evidence is from the Undertale Demo’s instruction pages – specifically the TITLE SCREEN page.

The save point is literally “the manifestation of your own DETERMINATION.” While these instructions are not included in the official release of Undertale, the statement makes sense. Determination is the source of the power to SAVE and CONTINUE/LOAD. It also ties in nicely with the facts that the color yellow is used for selection in the main menu and the save menu turns yellow on a successful save.

Ultimately, there is more evidence that determination is the color yellow rather than red.

Important Note: Please keep in mind that the color of determination is separate from the human soul traits and colors. The yellow soul has the trait Justice, and this analysis does not change that. What this analysis provides is a more appropriate color for the physical component found in all souls – determination – and this disregards it as a trait for the red soul. For those interested in what the red soul’s trait is, please read our theory, the red soul.

Human vs Monster

(undertale spoilers)

There are two important things to take into account when determining how much more powerful a human is to a monster in a fight.


1. A monster’s defense is affected by their resolve to fight.

When a monster doesn’t want to fight, their defenses are weakened. If a monster chooses not to fight, they are left open to an attack that results in the monster’s death.

While most monsters will keep fighting even when they do not want to (but can be spared), certain monsters will outright stop when they have reached the point of accepting mercy. These monsters include Toriel, Gyftrot, Papyrus, Royal Guards 01 and 02, and Muffet. All of these are guaranteed kills after they stop fighting.

» view more: betrayal kills


2. The damage caused by a human’s attack is affected by their intentions.

If a human attacks with the intention to kill, their attack can be strong enough to kill. A human can have high amounts of LOVE, but their cruel intentions really determine their killing potential. 

Even with high amounts of LOVE, Toriel cannot be killed with a single hit while her defenses are up in the neutral route. However, in the genocide route, the intention to kill is strong. As a result, Toriel falls with a single blow, even though LOVE is relatively low.

In the genocide route, Toriel, Papyrus*, Undyne**, and Mettaton can be killed with a single devastating hit even though the same amount of LOVE can be achieved in the neutral route, by the time you reach Mettaton. While there are other factors to consider, the damage numbers are extremely high. This is likely because hatred is more intense in the genocide route, as Toriel implies.

*Papyrus is sparing the human.
**Undyne’s determination helps her defy death.

» read more: the bosses in the genocide route

» read more: LOVE 15 and the turning point


tl;dr

If a monster does not fight and that human attacks, it is a guaranteed kill. However, if the monster is not sparing the human, the attack damage will be determined by the human’s LOVE and their intent to kill.

Monster Physiology

(undertale spoilers)

When it comes to monsters, not much is known about how their bodies function. Without a doubt, monsters are not like humans “with their physical forms.” Unlike humans, monsters become dust and are in tune with their souls. However, it’s important to note that they are “mostly made of magic” similar to how a human is “mostly made of water.” 

For an adult human, up to sixty percent of the body is water. While that is a majority, sixty percent isn’t that much greater than half of a whole. How much of a monster is magic is unknown, but this lends to the possibility of internal organs. It may never be known exactly how similar or different monster bodies are, but evidence from the monsters themselves gives hints to how their bodies function. Read more below the cut.

Keep reading

the sad tale of chara and asriel

(undertale spoilers)

In New Home, the monsters tell Frisk what they know of Asriel and Chara’s fate, but they only know a fragment of the story. The full story of what happened to Asriel and Chara must be pieced together from clues scattered through multiple playthroughs. Here is a chronological explanation of what happened to Asriel and Chara, from their meeting, to their deaths, to their “reincarnations.” It all starts with Chara’s fall.

Note: This is a remake of the original “the sad tale of chara and asriel” post.


★ chara’s fall into the underground in 201X

A long time ago, Chara climbed Mt. Ebott for an unhappy reason related to hating humanity. However, Chara tripped, causing them to fall into the underground. Asriel found them injured, so he took Chara back to the castle. This happened on a date at the end of 201X.

sources: intro, monster tale, asriel’s memories, new home (neutral and genocide)

Keep reading

sans’ (lack of) motivation: his refusal to stop the human

(undertale spoilers)

in most routes, sans will quietly endure whatever suffering is forced upon him. he can live through the callous murder of his brother, the slaughtering of his friends and peers, and yet he’ll do nothing to frisk but berate them. instead of disposing the human the instant they begin harming others, sans watches and waits, appearing near the end of frisk’s journey only to launch his emotional appeals. he attempts to guilt trip frisk, and by extension, the player, rather than get his own hands dirty.

there is only one exception: the genocide route. only when the situation has become the most dire does sans spring into action to do what’s right. what makes the genocide route so different from an especially violent neutral route? why does sans only wait until the genocide route to fight? continue reading for the reasons.

Keep reading

"trying to go back”

(undertale spoilers)

There are many mysteries surrounding the two skeleton brothers, including their origins. The following are context from the game that suggests Sans and Papyrus are from somewhere else.


At a glance, this statement doesn’t seem too odd. The brothers are from out of town and quickly made themselves at home after moving in.

In the neutral route, Sans mentions knowing the feeling of wanting to go home. However, suggests “it’s better to take what’s given to you,” implying he may not be able to go back.

SANS:
you can’t understand how this feels.
knowing that one day, without any warning…
it’s all going to be reset.
look. i gave up trying to go back a long time ago.
and getting to the surface doesn’t really appeal anymore, either.
cause even if we do…
we’ll just end up right back here, without any memory of it, right?

During his battle in the genocide route, Sans clarifies that he has given up on “trying to go back.” It’s likely that he is speaking about going back home. The underground is a confined space that has been settled by the monsters. One place that is unreachable is the surface, but Sans makes it clear that the surface isn’t what he is referring to.

During the Lost Souls battles, each friend reverts to the state they were in before befriending Frisk. Their desires and fears are laid bare. Once again, Sans mentions giving up and also states “you’ll never see ‘em again.” While he is speaking to Frisk, he mentions again how he had given up. It’s possible that he speaks from experience.

In Sans’ hidden lab, there is a photo of him with people Frisk does not recognize. These may be the people that Sans will never see again. While some have speculated that these are Gaster’s followers, there is a very slim chance of running into a follower in Hotland. Seeing the follower, however, does not affect the “people you don’t recognize” dialogue.


tl;dr

  • Sans wants to go back home.
  • He has given up on going back.
  • He’s not interested in reaching the surface.
  • He will never see “them” again.

It’s unknown where Sans’ home is, but it must be somewhere he cannot physically reach. Considering Sans has shortcuts in the underground, it’s hard to imagine there is a place he cannot reach, especially when it’s limited in size. His home is not on the surface and not in the underground. Perhaps home is another timeline. Unfortunately, there is no evidence to cement this, although Sans is known to play tricks across time and space.

Sans Does Not Remember Other Timelines

(undertale spoilers)

It’s a rather common idea in fanmade works that Sans is able retain memories of different timelines or even after reloads. However, the only one to demonstrate this sort of ability is Flowey, thanks to his determination. Rather than remembering other timelines, it is much more likely that Sans’ knowledge comes from  “our reports” and his observation skills.


Neutral Route

Throughout the neutral route, Sans is watching over Frisk. In doing so, he is able to pick up on some interesting things.

SANS - SNOWDIN:
heh, the old whoopee cushion in the hand trick…
wait a sec… have you heard it before or something?
you turned around before i said to…
weird.
…whatever. you’re a human, right?

SANS - SNOWDIN:
…you must be really good at puzzles, huh?
i mean.
it’s impossible for you to have seen this one before.

Notice that Sans does not indicate that he remembers these events, rather he is suspicious of Frisk’s behavior.

SANS - MTT HOTEL:
besides… 
haven’t i done a great job protecting you?
i mean, look at yourself.
you haven’t died a single time.
hey, what’s that look supposed to mean?
am i wrong…?

As long as Frisk has died once before, even if it was in a different route, Sans notices Frisk’s look, which tips him off that Frisk has died before.

SANS - JUDGMENT (IF PAPYRUS WAS KILLED):
but…
sometimes…
you act like you know what’s gonna happen.
like you’ve already experienced it all before.

this is an odd thing to say, but…
if you have some sort of special power…
isn’t it your responsibility to do the right thing?

If Frisk kills Papyrus, Sans will remark how Frisk acts like they have “experienced it all before.” He mentions a “special power,” likely referring to their power to time travel – save, load, and reset. Considering he has studied timelines and the anomaly, it makes sense for him to be suspicious of Frisk’s abilities.

SANS - JUDGMENT (ON RELOAD):
huh? you look bored.
i get the feeling you aren’t gonna learn anything from this.
well, guess I gotta judge you then.

Sans does not repeat his judgment dialogue when he realizes that Frisk looks bored. Rather than giving Frisk his usual explanation of LV, he skips to judging them.

SANS - JUDGMENT (SPECIAL CASE):
…huh?
what’s with that look in your eye?
did you go through and kill someone…
just to see what i’d say about it?
wow.
you’re a pretty gross person, huh?

Despite having LOVE of 1, if Frisk kills someone, Sans will know. Even if he is unable to witness this kill himself (as is the case when Frisk kills monsters in the Ruins), Sans can tell from “that look in your eye.”


Genocide Route

Even though Sans disappears early on in the genocide route, his observation skills come into play once again in the judgment hall.

SANS - JUDGMENT HALL (1ST DEATH):
you look frustrated about something.
guess i’m pretty good at my job, huh?

Sans explicitly states that the human “looks frustrated about something.” Not only that, Sans continues to read their expressions after each reload, accurately guessing how many times they have died.

SANS - JUDGMENT HALL (2ND DEATH):
hmm. that expression…
that’s the expression of someone who’s died twice in a row.
suffice to say, you look really… unsatisfied.
all right.
how ‘bout we make it a third?

How exactly Sans is able to precisely guess the number of times Chara dies is a mystery. He could be very good at reading expressions, or he could be taking a peek into the game’s save file, considering the “dirty hacker” ending.

SANS - JUDGMENT HALL (RELOAD AFTER GET DUNKED ON):
woah, you look REALLY pissed off…
heheheh…
did i getcha?
well, if you came back anyway…
i guess that means we never really WERE friends, huh?
heh.
don’t tell that to the other sans-es, ok?

Apparently Chara’s expression is very telling when the player is tricked into sparing Sans. Sans even makes a point to laugh at Chara’s expense. 

SANS - JUDGMENT HALL (RELOAD AFTER DEFEATING SANS):
that expression that you’re wearing…
… 
well, i won’t grace it with a description. / you’re really kind of a freak, huh?

Although he has no recollection of his own defeat, Sans is able to tell from Chara’s expression that he has already been defeated. Chara likely has a creepy expression with a smile after having killed Sans.


(Neutral) Pacifist Route

The most important pieces of evidence is likely seen by most – the codewords from Sans.

SANS - JUDGMENT (NO KILLS & ON RELOAD):
wait a second.
that look on your face while i was talking…
you’ve already heard my spiel, haven’t you?
i suspected something like this.
you’re always acting like you know what’s going to happen.
like you’ve seen it all before.

so… i have a request for you.
i kind of have a secret codeword that only i know.
so i know if someone tells it to me…
they’ll have to be a time traveller.

crazy, right?
anyway, here it is…
(whisper, whisper)
i’m counting on you to come back here and tell me that.
see you later.

If the judgment hall is revisited a second time when Frisk has not killed anyone, Sans discloses his suspicions. He knows that Frisk can travel through time, but this is very likely based on “our reports” and Frisk’s actions – not from memories of other timelines.

SANS - JUDGMENT (NO KILLS & ON SECOND RELOAD):
huh? do you have something to say to me?
what? a codeword? can you speak a little louder?
did you…
…just say “i’m a stupid doodoo butt?”
wow. i can’t believe you would say that.
not only is that completely infantile…
but it’s also my secret codeword.
that, however, isn’t good enough.
what you need is the secret secret codeword.
it’s only for people that know the secret codeword.
anyway, here it is…
(whimsper, whimsper)…
i’m counting on you to come back here and tell me that.

Even with his suspicions confirmed, Sans will give Frisk a task – to come back to this moment in time with the codeword, which will prove that they are a time traveler. As long as this moment is reached again after a reload or reset, Frisk will tell Sans the codeword.

SANS - JUDGMENT (NO KILLS & ON THIRD RELOAD):
…just say “i’m the legendary fartmaster?”
wow.
that’s… uh… really childish.
why would you think that was a secret secret codeword?
whoever told you that is a dirty liar.
i don’t have a secret secret codeword.
however.
i do have a secret secret triple-secret codeword.
which you just said.
so, i guess you’re qualified.

here’s the key to my room.
it’s time…
you learned the truth.

It’s only after three reloads that Sans will give you the key to his room. Any subsequent reload will have him saying the same thing: “i’m out of material.”

It’s possible that Sans is holding out on the player and not mentioning an ability to remember timelines. However, that would make the use of codewords useless. When Frisk completes the route with no kills, he is able to trust them enough to disclose his suspicions and share the codeword. The codeword is meant to prove to him that Frisk is indeed a time traveler, regardless of how long it takes for Frisk to return to that corridor with no kills again.


Conclusion

There is definitely more to Sans than meets the eye, but there is no concrete evidence that suggests he is plagued by the memories of prior timelines. Rather, Sans is suspicious of Frisk, and he notes when their actions confirm his suspicions. With the knowledge that there is an anomaly manipulating with the timelines and his ability to pick up Frisk’s odd behavior, Sans is able to piece together that Frisk has a special power. 

frisk can resist the player

(undertale spoilers)

throughout undertale, frisk has shown positive qualities through their actions independent of the player. however, most of their decisions are made by the player, which includes kind or cruel ACTs, FIGHT, and MERCY. whether the battle options are provided by frisk, chara, or a combination of the two is left up to speculation. regardless, there is evidence that frisk is a pacifist at heart. in certain circumstances, frisk will resist the player and refuse to be cruel even when instructed to do so.


hangout with undyne

frisk can only enter undyne’s house if all monsters have been spared. even if frisk kills a monster after fleeing from undyne’s battle, undyne will refuse to open her door, saying she “won’t hang out with a murderer.” the hangout can only occur if frisk is completely innocent of murder, and thus free of chara’s influence.

during the hangout, there are many instances where options are provided to the player. one option has the player choose how frisk will pound the vegetables.

UNDYNE:
Envision these vegetables as your greatest enemy!
Now!! Pound them to dust with your fists!!
NARRATOR:
(How will you pound?) [Strong / Wimpy]

regardless of which the player chooses, frisk does not harm the vegetables.

NARRATOR:
[Wimpy] (You pet the vegetables in an affectionate manner.)
[Strong] (You punch the vegetables at full force. You knock over a tomato.)

it appears that if frisk has not committed murder, frisk is gentle with the vegetables even when “strong” is selected, despite having been asked to “pound them to dust.”

there is an even more compelling instance of frisk refusing to cooperate with the player at the end of the visit. after undyne accidentally lights her kitchen on fire, she will challenge frisk to a final rematch to regain her lost pride. in this fight, the player can choose to FIGHT. however, no matter how accurate the hit is, the attack will only deal 1 HP of damage, the exact same amount as the “fake hit” ACT. having befriended undyne, frisk appears to resist the command to fight and instead uses the “fake hit” action. since frisk can only hang out with undyne in the pacifist route, this means that frisk’s personality is dominant. undyne cannot be harmed by frisk because frisk has no desire to hurt, even when they are instructed to.


date with alphys

the date with alphys is another event available only if the player has not killed any monsters. what makes this event unique is that it’s the only time where options are provided in a bizarre style: the words have improper capitalisation and incorrect grammar. because of how unusual it is, it’s possible that someone other than the narrator, perhaps frisk, provides these fun and flirty options for the roleplay.

OPTIONS:
YOur cute,
THEN SHe Kisses YOu
Yo your one hot hotbaby
Alphys gives u a kiss,

while this isn’t an indication of frisk resisting the player, it is a possible example of frisk influencing or overriding the available options.


battle with snowdrake’s mother

the true laboratory is available only when the run is locked into a pacifist route. it is in here that multiple amalgamates can be fought, including snowdrake’s mother. interestingly, in the fight with snowdrake’s mother, there are two ACTs that can be selected to be cruel: “laugh” and “heckle”. no other fight gives the player the opportunity to act cruel.

if the player selects “laugh,” the flavour text reads as followed.

the narrator is confused because frisk did not follow the selected ACT; frisk refused. this is something not generally seen in the game.

if the player selects “heckle”, the flavour text reads as followed:

once again, the narrator has to correct themself because frisk refused to act in the expected manner. the narrator may even be upset with frisk, if the second flavour text is directed at frisk.

it’s important to note that once frisk enters the true lab, there is absolutely NO potential to kill any monsters. any attack on the amalgamates will do no damage – instead, random words flicker in place of damage numbers and the amalgamate’s health bar increases. while the attacks on snowdrake’s mother can do damage, her health bar will never lower completely after a certain mark. this means there can be no more kills once frisk enters the true laboratory. this prevents the player from aborting the pacifist route at this point.


approaching the amalgamate

there is another event that occurs in the true lab that showcases frisk’s resistance, as pointed out by @z0eya. it occurs in one room in the true lab, where there is a bathtub with a strange shadow. 

despite there being no obstacles to slow frisk down (such as spider webs or water), frisk walks at a much slower pace than normal. it’s much slower than frisk ever walks in any part in the game. it’s interesting that this occurs only in the true lab. it showcases frisk’s fear or hesitation, which is a form of resistance against the player’s choice to move forward toward the shadow.


saving frisk’s friends

the last fight of the true pacifist route is also unique. in the fight with the lost souls, none of the options are malicious, with the only exception being the “insult” ACT towards papyrus, who takes any comment as a compliment. whether these options are provided by the narrator or frisk is uncertain. 

however, there is another unique circumstance in this fight. attacking the lost souls will result in all attacks missing. unlike in sans’ fight, none of the lost souls move to dodge or avoid frisk’s attack. it is possible that this is simply the nature of the battle, given that frisk cannot land a hit on asriel either. however, frisk has shown to be able to hold back on fight in undyne’s fight, so it’s not too far a stretch to believe frisk can intentionally miss as well. frisk may be refusing to hit the lost souls, despite being commanded to do so by the player.


conclusion

what these events demonstrate is that while frisk is under the player’s control, they can resist the control in certain situations because they are free from the negative impact of murder. this theory supports the ideas that:

  • frisk is more than just a puppet, and has their own sense of agency
  • frisk is kind and nonviolent at their core
  • the player (and chara) has far less influence over frisk in a pacifist route when there are no kills