Evidence from the game suggests that two people are aware of the True Reset power: Asriel and Chara.
It’s implied in Flowey’s request after the pacifist route that he is aware of a True Reset that will bring everyone back and wipe away everyone’s memories, including his own. What may come as a surprise is that Asriel himself wants to use the True Reset power in the game. During his battle with Frisk, he says the following:
ASRIEL: You know… I don’t care about destroying this world anymore. After I defeat you and gain total control over the timeline… I just want to reset everything. All your progress… Everyone’s memories.
The last three lines describe the power of a True Reset – it resets everyone’s memories and brings all progress back to zero.
While normal resets erase the memories of the monsters, it is not perfect. The monsters Frisk befriends will have a sense of déjà vu when they see Frisk because of their strong bond. Frisk’s expression also gives away certain things to monsters (i.e. that they have died when Sans says they have never died before). The game files keep track of important events Frisk has completed through each run, despite the resets. However, a True Reset will completely eliminate the déjà vu feeling and reset all values in the game files (except for the one that keeps track of the completed genocide route).
What cements the idea that Asriel was aiming to use a True Reset is the following dialogue:
FLOWEY: YOU still have the power to reset everything. Toriel, Sans, Asgore, Alphys, Papyrus, Undyne… If you so choose… Everyone will be ripped from this timeline… …and sent back before all of this ever happened. Nobody will remember anything. You’ll be able to do whatever you want. … That power. I know that power.
Given how Asriel/Flowey talks about this power right before the True Reset power becomes available in the menu, both dialogues support the idea that the power Asriel wants to use in his battle is the True Reset.
Despite not having determination, which is the power to “reshape the world,” Chara is the one who has the True Reset power. This is stated by Flowey in his request:
FLOWEY: Well. There is one thing. One last threat. One being with the power to erase EVERYTHING… Everything everyone’s worked so hard for. … You know who I’m talking about, don’t you? That’s right. I’m talking about YOU. YOU still have the power to reset everything. […] So, please. Just let them go. Let Frisk be happy. Let Frisk live their life. … But. If I can’t change your mind. If you DO end up erasing everything… … You have to erase my memories, too. … I’m sorry. You’ve probably heard this a hundred times already, haven’t you…? …
Flowey could be addressing the player instead of Chara. However, everything in the game should be able to apply to both a character (Frisk or Chara) and the player, since the player as a separate entity is still just a theory. Ultimately, it is up to personal interpretation whether or not he is addressing Chara or the player.
Regardless, it’s not Frisk who has the True Reset power. Not only does Flowey beg “Chara” to “let Frisk go,” but there is nothing to indicate that Frisk should have the power of True Reset. There is no evidence that Frisk gained more “control over the timeline” after defeating Asriel and reaching the surface. It wouldn’t make sense for the the True Reset power to belong to Frisk. It’s also peculiar that Frisk would choose to True Reset after working so hard to save everyone, given their kind personality.
Source of this Power
True Reset is a bizarre power. It’s something only available at the end of the pacifist route, and it is something Asriel attempts to use. By the nature of the game’s design, it is a mechanic that allows the player to play the game again on a clean slate. But how is this possible within the context of the story?
The source of the power appears to be “total control over the timeline,” as Asriel claims.
While Asriel has more determination than Frisk at this point, he speaks about gaining “total control” by defeating Frisk. Perhaps, as long as Frisk is determined, he is unable to completely wipe everything and return it all to zero.
How Chara could have this power at the end of the pacifist route is unknown. Chara is a strange force in the game and the underground. Nothing implies that gaining the max amount of LOVE would give anyone the power to destroy the world, yet Chara is able to do this in the genocide route. Coincidentally, destroying the world is the only other way to return everything to a clean slate (with the exception of the surprise ending in the pacifist route).
At the end of the pacifist route, Chara represents the player’s inability to let goof the game and its characters. They are the force that will bring everyone back in order to keep playing. With Frisk gone and Flowey no longer determined to reshape the timeline, perhaps Chara uses the player’s determination to bring the game back to start. The power of True Reset is one of the game’s many mysteries.
How was Undyne able to resist dead in the genocide route if monsters can't have determination?
This is actually a misconception. Nothing in the game states that monsters cannot have determination. It’s actually a case where monsters cannot handle determination like humans do.
Here is the the unused lab entry about the amalgamates.
ENTRY NUMBER 17 monsters’ physical forms can’t handle “determination” like humans’ can. with too much determination, our bodies begin to break down. everyone’s melted together…
This information is echoed by what Alphys says to Frisk in the true lab.
From these two, it’s clear that physical matter is required to handle determination, and “monsters’ bodies do not have enough… physical matter” to handle the excessive amounts of determination that humans are capable of. This lines up with the comparison between humans and monsters’ physiology.
Humans have physical forms that allow them to handle high concentrations of determination. Their physical forms make them stronger than monsters. However, monsters must have some physical matter to them if they’re not all magic. Moreover, there are a few instances in game where monsters are said to have determination.
GERSON Undyne? Yeah, she’s a local hero around here. Through grit and determination alone, she fought her way to the top of the Royal Guard.
ASRIEL: With everyone’s power… With everyone’s determination… It’s time for monsters… To finally go free.
UNDYNE: Now, human! Let’s end this, right here, right now. I’ll show you how determined monsters can be! Step forward when you’re ready! Fuhuhuhu!
Undyne is able to resist death because of her determination, similar to how a human’s soul persists after death. But why would she only become Undyne the Undying in the genocide route?
One possible explanation is that in the neutral route, Undyne does not have enough determination to become Undying. While this clearly contradicts the idea that monsters cannot handle excessive amounts of determination, there is one important thing to note in the genocide route: Undyne’s body is “reformed.” Her body literally breaks apart upon death and is recreated to become Undyne the Undying. This is thanks to her determination to save not only the monsters, but the humans as well – “to save Earth.”
On the other hand, in the neutral route, Undyne is only fighting for the monsters in the underground. After losing all her HP, her body melts because she is trying so hard to defy death with her determination – her “will to keep living.” Unfortunately, it’s not enough to reform her body.
the scientists, the anomaly, the machines, and the true lab.
there are a lot of mysteries surrounding the true lab and the nature of timelines. in fact, it’s hard to make sense of anything to do with anyone in undertale who has been confirmed or implied to be a scientist. there are secrets that frisk is never privy to – all we can do is try to scrape together the small bits of information scattered throughout the game. this post is an attempt to do just that.
for those who know about the previous royal scientist named gaster, it seems that “our” might refer to sans and gaster. however, there is not enough information to assure this. on the other hand, there is another scientist that sans appears to be familiar with: alphys.
aside from the lack of in-game evidence, there are a few reasons as to why it is unlikely that “our” includes gaster.
gaster disappeared long before flowey was created and started messing with the timeline, thus he could not have been there to study flowey as the anomaly
if gaster and sans were studying the anomaly when the other fallen humans used their powers, they surely would have realized the timeline manipulations stopped after a human’s soul was acquired
in the pacifist ending, alphys seemed to be familiar enough with sans that she could predict what he was going to say before he even said it.
alphys’ reaction to knowing sans is even more curious and sans just brushes it off in typical sans style. does that not suggest that they’ve been up to something unbeknownst to everyone else?
there is also another ending that implies alphys may be familiar with sans – the alphys ruler ending. if genocide is aborted at the very last moment by not meeting the kill quota before fighting mettaton, then alphys will become ruler of the underground. but she is not alone.
sans is with her in this ending, and she knows him well enough to call him “a good guy.” in contrast, she does not seem to know enough about papyrus to mourn for him, as he is not mentioned in the list of people she misses.
God… I miss everyone. Now that they’re gone, it… It feels so clear what I should have done. What I should have said. Undyne… Asgore… Mettaton… At least Sans is still here.
in sans’ hidden workshop, there are blueprints, possibly in wingdings, related to the broken “strange machine”.
entry number 5 in the true lab mentions “the blueprints”. these are the only two instances of the word “blueprints” in the entire game in regards to machinery. (the only other instance of “blueprint” is used in the ruins for one of the first puzzles.)
if alphys was operating her own invention, it is unlikely that she would be “using the blueprints”. considering she likely inherited this lab from her predecessor gaster, the blueprints could very well be something of his that was left behind. if this is true, then perhaps both sets of blueprints were left behind by gaster, especially since sans’ blueprints are written in either weird symbols or bad handwriting. the symbols could be the wingdings font that is connected to gaster. hidden entry number seventeen, which is only accessible through debug, is presumed to have been written by gaster and is written completely in wingdings.
if it’s bad handwriting, perhaps it is alphys’ writing as frisk has no trouble reading sans’ handwriting on the sticky notes in the living room or on the note in his bedroom. on the other hand, alphys seems to have hard-to-read writing, given her note in the lab.
another example is found earlier in game. when papyrus uses the colored tile puzzle, he mentions it was created by dr. alphys. if papyrus leaves without turning on the puzzle (either because he’s asked to repeat the instructions too many times or because chara refuses to play along), there is a note on the ground.
it’s unlikely this is written by papyrus, considering all his notes are legible. since this was a puzzle created by dr. alphys, it makes sense that the instructions would be written by her as well.
if sans’ blueprints are written in wingdings or in alphys’ handwriting, these blueprints would be another connection for sans and alphys.
the “it” alphys extracted from human souls using the blueprints is determination.
the DT extraction machine can be found later, the same machine that looks strikingly similar to photoshop flowey. it seems odd to think that alphys would need blueprints just to figure out how to work the machine. it makes more sense that she’d have used the blueprints in order to build it.
could sans’ blueprints also relate to determination or using the power of souls? could sans’ machine have something to do with alphys? sans’ strange machine and the dt extraction machine are the only objects with blueprints, implying there is some sort of connection.
sans has the ability to teleport anywhere in the underground, it seems. it also appears evident that he knew alphys quite well. he is able to tell exactly what frisk has killed and whether they ran away from monsters “with a smile”. there are many instances where sans is implied to have been watching frisk throughout their entire journey (such as during shyren’s battle if papyrus is killed), perhaps in a similar way to how flowey watches frisk at all times. if he can teleport everywhere, easily watching anything, and knows alphys very well, it’s hard to imagine that he had no idea about the amalgamates in the true lab. he could have even been involved in some way.
calling papyrus outside of alphys’ lab provokes papyrus’ confusion about the word “laboratory”. sans’ reaction to the possibility of dogs inside could suggest that he knows about endogeny.
there is another hint that sans may know about the amalgamates and that he may have even helped care for them: a phone call with papyrus inside alphys’ lab that was added in the game’s january patch (game v1.001). to have this conversation, undyne must not be befriended yet.
the fact that these lines of dialogue were added in a patch seem to imply that they’re important. for some reason, sans had this bag of dog food in his possession at some point. the empty dog food bowl in the true lab suggests that alphys feeds dog food to endogeny and possibly the other amalgamates. if sans had the same bag of dog food, he may have been doing alphys a favour as it’s unlikely that he was really eating the dog food himself. it is another instance of sans hiding his connection to alphys, the other time being in the true pacifist ending.
another small hint that sans may have been in the true lab is found in his fridge – the bag of chips.
while frisk is not able to explore all of the underground, the true lab is the only known location where chips can be bought. this may be more than a coincidence when coupled with the rest of the evidence.
Sans is Not Lazy
those close to sans, including papyrus, have a habit of calling him lazy. exasperated, papyrus claims that “ALL YOU DO IS SIT AND BOONDOGGLE,” while undyne notes in a phone call that sans tends to do the bare minimum to get by (he’s always "slacking off” and “his results are JUST good enough to not fire him”). contrary to this generally accepted belief, sans himself states that he is quite the opposite of lazy.
sans mentions this to frisk if papyrus is called “uncool” in grillby’s. he does not elaborate further, but what he says hints that he is busy with secret work – perhaps working on those reports in search of the anomaly, unbeknownst even to those closest to him.
sans and alphys clearly know each other, and how they know each other is kept a secret from papyrus and likely everyone else. both have hidden labs with blueprints and machines. sans also possibly helps take care of the amalgamates, or at least knows of their existence. considering all this, it is very likely that sans and alphys worked together on these reports about the anomaly.
also since no one else has mentioned it, fiidora just sitting like a fair maiden after he falls like “oh? where did link go?” is adorable and feels 100% like he just saw his prince charming & is all bummed that he had to leave
Do you think that some elements in the game implies that Frisk's past wasn't very nice or that he/she is orphan? After all Asriel points it at the end (why are you came?), Frisk can call Toriel mum immediatly and has the possibility to stay with her. And Frisk asks to Gerson "What if the child is a human" when speaking about Asgore's life and children, meaning that Frisk thinks about being adopted by Asgore.
Unfortunately, there is no concrete evidence of what Frisk’s life is on the surface or why they came to Mt. Ebott. The NarraChara theory suggests that the game’s narration is provided by Chara, and while it’s possible some of the choices throughout are provided by Frisk, the separation is unclear. However, while Frisk is able to call Toriel “Mom” very quickly, they also want to leave the Ruins. There is no option to stay with Toriel in the Ruins.
Of course, it’s possible that Frisk doesn’t actually want to go home as much as they initially thought. By the end, their goal changes from going home to freeing the monsters.
Upon catching up with Asriel in the Ruins, he briefly muses about Frisk’s possible motivations for climbing an infamous place like Mt. Ebott, drawing from his own experiences with Chara. However, he does not dwell on the question and therefore provides little more than a vague, possible implication at best.
ASRIEL: Frisk… Why did you come here? Everyone knows the legend, right…? “Travellers who climb Mt. Ebott are said to disappear.” Frisk. Why would you ever climb a mountain like that? Was it foolishness? Was it fate? Or was it… Because you…? Well. Only you know the answer, don’t you…?
Then finally, at the end, there are two options – stay with Toriel or leave.
Interestingly, there is no mention of “home” in these options. Perhaps wanting to go home was simply an excuse Frisk used to try and convince Toriel to let them go. Unfortunately, there is not enough evidence to support or deny this. Frisk’s background is a complete mystery.