Waterfall

Continuing my playthrough of Undertale, I came to the Waterfall area. I’m skipping Snowdin because, while Papyrus is hilarious in his own way, not much was different there than my first playthrough, and nothing out of the ordinary occurred, except… Well, I pet everything that could be pet. The dog enemies are just so cute!

But cuteness aside, I left the cheerful town of Snowdin behind in exchange for the more somber area of Waterfall. Papyrus had told me that if I just kept going, I’d eventually reach the king’s castle, and the king himself is a ‘big fuzzy pushover’ and would let me go if I asked nicely. I also ran into Sans on the way, who took me down a ‘shortcut’ to Snowdin to have a meal with me, and talk about a serious issue- Papyrus had told him of a yellow flower that talked to him, meaning Flowey is definitely up to something… but Sans seems to mistake it for someone playing a prank on Papyrus with an Echo Flower, which repeats what was last said to it.

Regardless, it was time to move on, and while Asgore may have been described as friendly, it seemed his servants are less pleasant, because almost immediately I was stalked by a hulking figure in armor with glowing eyes. Luckily, I was in some tall grass when they first arrived, so they didn’t see me at first. Papyrus arrived to provide a timely distraction, but the knight was not dissuaded by his words, and he seemed to be too intimidated to press the matter. More importantly, I found out that this was the Undyne I’d heard him speak of before, captain of the Royal Guard. After Papyrus left, I started to leave, but even the slightest movement made the grass rustle, and got their attention.

After a while they finally left, and I was able to move on. They certainly made an impression, though. In spite of their bulk, they were very perceptive, and who knows where Undyne could pop up next? The next area featured waterfalls, making me worry that they could be using the sound of them to hide their approach… but it seemed the knight had gone elsewhere, because I didn’t face them.

Instead, I ran into an interesting puzzle involving making platforms out of flowers. When four of them are lined up, they blossom, and can be walked on. I spotted a sign that couldn’t be reached normally, and used the flowers to reach it- only to laugh when I read the sign: “Congratulations! You failed the puzzle!” Luckily, the flowers can be reset by ringing a bell in the room, or just leaving it.

The actual puzzle took a few tries before I figured out the flowers had to be lined up vertically to cross. I also found an interesting item by using the flowers in a pool on the bottom right of the room- sending the flowers across that spot makes a bridge to a bench sitting on its own with an Echo Flower. When activated, the flower simply says “I just wasn’t ready for the responsibility.” Investigating the bench earned me the Abandoned Quiche, confusing and saddening me. Who left this here? Why would they?

The item description even says it’s a psychologically damaged sandwich. I assumed that was a joke- it wouldn’t really be sentient… right? If it was a joke, I thought it was in bad taste. In any case, I was loath to eat it, despite it’s usefulness as a recovery item, and I certainly didn’t want to leave it there.

Oh, speaking of recovery- I had not killed anyone since the battle with Toriel, except one accidental case with a Snow Cap, which I reset the game to undo. Turns out the fight had moved me all the way up to level 5, giving me a lot more health to work with, up to 36, and made my strikes a lot stronger than I had previously assumed. So I put a lot more use into the ACT option instead, since I could no longer safely attack much.

As for the enemies in Waterfall, the first one I ran into was Aaron, a very muscular seahorse of sorts. It seemed to want to flirt or something, I was wasn’t sure, but he was gotten rid of fairly easily- Flexing made him flex back, and after the third flex, he ‘flexes himself out of the room’.

He also seemed to be friends with another monster, Wosha, who was obsessed with cleanliness. I think he called my SOUL unclean at one point… creepy. In any case, he was more easily spared- ask him to clean you, and he will fire out a barrage of water blasts… but one will be green, and heal you. After that he can be spared.

After getting past the flower puzzle, I ended up in a cave of sorts with murals on the wall. Reading them, they seemed to be talking about the war between monsters and humans, from the monsters’ point of view. They were caught by surprise by the humans’ attack, and were nearly wiped out. Not even one human was slain in the fighting, and all of the monsters remaining were forced underground. And all of this occurred because the humans feared that one day, a monster would take their SOULs. If a monster ever does, they could gain incredible power, but the war, if it can be called that, showed there was really no chance of it happening.

After that, I ran into Sans once more. This time he seemed to be starting up a business involving a telescope, but said he could let me look through it for free. Naturally it was a prank, and the part you look through was covered in paint. I had to laugh, seeing my character run around with what looked like a black eye.

I also ran into the Nice Cream seller again, who, much like when I first saw him, seemed to have a lot of trouble selling his wares. I bought a couple more from him, and it seemed he had added something new- after every Nice Cream I buy, I can get a punch card from the chest. Three cards earns me a free Nice Cream. A neat idea… but then I made the mistake of actually looking at the card. Examining it shows the actual card, with the heartbreaking words, “Please… please come back…” This, combined with the area’s rather somber music, certainly dampened by spirits.

Then I came to a long tunnel owned by a large octopus looking monster with bright sparkly eyes… but judging fro how he talked, this was just a front to hide how lonely he is. The water levels are dropping, all his friends have moved into the capital, and he is alone.

Less sad is that along the way, I ran into a very interesting monster, named Shyren. She fired musical notes at me, but she came off as rather shy, so I started humming. Her singing became more excited, her attacks longer, and she cheered up somewhat. And soon she was singing beautifully, enough to attract a crowd and somehow put us both on a world tour. But eventually we had to part ways. Still, it was nice to have helped her gain the courage to sing.

I then came to an odd room with a piano, with instructions to follow the melody in a nearby room. I came to a room with a statue, which, when covered by an umbrella, started up a music box. Sadly, I’m not exactly versed in musical notes, and I couldn’t parse together more than the first two. Thankfully, if you wait and listen to the song long enough by the statue, the buttons you need to push on the piano will appear above it, presumably to show that your character has figured it out.

Putting in the notes, a pathway opened, revealing a small pedestal with a red orb. There was also some writing behind that, but since the pedestal was in front of it I never found out what it said. Naturally, I tried to grab the orb, but when I did, the game informed me I was carrying “too many dogs”. What? Bewildered, I checked my inventory to see I was indeed holding onto the Annoying Dog, the same one that had pestered Papyrus previously. How that happened I had no idea, but I tried to ‘use’ the dog, curious what would happen. It immediately hopped out and snatched the orb from me, absorbing it and running out straight through the game’s walls, making chasing them impossible.

However, it wasn’t all bad news- where the dog was in my inventory, I now had Dog Residue. This item, when used, fills the rest of my empty slots in my inventory with the same. The stuff itself is useless, but sometimes it will produce Dog Salad, which heals either 2, 10, 30, or all your HP. And the Residue has another use, which we’ll get to soon. Oh, and in case you were thinking it, no, it isn’t dog poop. If you examine it, it could be a puzzle a dog didn’t finish, a husk they molted out of, or other oddities.

Moving on past the statue, this part of Waterfall seemed to be perpetually rainy, which is why someone thoughtfully left a bucket of umbrellas. The Monster Kid will show up too. He seems to be a huge fan of Undyne’s, and doesn’t seem to grasp that you are human, or that Undyne is after you. He seems to assume you’re just another fan. He also confirms that Undyne is a female monster. In any case, he asks if he can follow you, which the character accepts. They walk down the rainy path, and he talks about how Asgore once came to his class, teaching them about responsibility and so on. Naturally, all he took out of it was how cool it would be if Undyne came instead. As you keep going, you get a good view of a castle, presumably Asgore’s castle, far off in the distance, which the kid stops to look at. Definitely getting closer now. As you reach the end of the path, there is a ledge just a bit too tall for you to reach, but the kid offers to give you a boost, which is especially considerate given he doesn’t have arms to hold you up, and you have to stand on his head.

After that you come to a large bridge, where Undyne ambushes you from afar, summoning spears out of the ground for you to navigate. The generally appear a couple of seconds ahead of you, but there’s plenty of warning, so you can dodge them easily enough. If you do get hit, you’ll be forced into a combat screen where a barrage of spears rains down on you for a few seconds with a very small safe spot.

The bridge itself is very wide and goes in several directions, and has a couple of dead ends, but once you reach the end, Undyne will stop attacking, and walk closer to you. After staring at you for a bit, she will separate your chunk of the bridge from the rest, making you fall. Your character will fall unconscious, and you’ll see words appear, someone meeting you and helping you up after a long fall… but when you come to, no one is there. Perhaps it was just a dream…

In any case, after you get going, you’ll find you are in the ‘Trash Zone’ part of waterfall, where a lot of junk from human society seems to end up, like appliances, comics, and so on. Soon you pass a dummy much like the one from the Ruins. You can choose whether to do anything with it or not, but either way, this encounter will go very differently. After you pass it, the dummy will suddenly float in front of you and start a fight, apparently because of how you treated it’s cousin, the dummy in the Ruins. Yes, even if you didn’t actually do anything wrong. Of course, they’re mostly just attacking to take your SOUL.

Checking it will simply describe the Mad Dummy’s defense as ‘Yes’, because, as a ghost, it cannot be hurt by your attacks. If you try, it will make the dummy fall apart, but their spirit simply reassembles it. You also can’t Spare it either, as it simply will not back down. However, the dummy attacks by having his dummy minions appear in your box and fire magical blasts, which, depending on where you are, means you can trick them into shooting the Mad Dummy. It doesn’t actually lose any health from this, but it eventually gets angry enough to fire them and use robots instead, whose homing missiles, while a little more difficult, can still be lead straight into it.

Finally, out of desperation, the dummy tries to throw a knife at you, which is very, very easy to dodge. It then realizes he doesn’t have anything else to throw at you, but is determined to halt your progress regardless, determining that if it just sits here, you won’t be able to leave the combat screen. However, familiar tear projectiles fall, chasing it off, as Napstablook appears, having wanted to join in on the fun. I guess he really is my friend! He apologies for ‘ruining’ the fight, and says that he lives nearby, and if you want to see him you can come by.

I took him up on his offer, and he was a very pleasant host- even if it turns out I can’t eat ghost food, it phases right through you. However, he does have some music you can listen to inside, and offers to just lay down with you and ‘feel like trash’. Amused, I did so… and was amazed as some rather soothing music kicked in and the background turned into space. Sort of like meditating, I suppose.

Anyway, after I left the music from their house was still on, and I ran into Aaron and Wosha. They were about to fight me, but were creeped out by the music. Aaron was legitimately terrified, and the two fled. Moving, I discovered that Napstablook also runs a snail racing business. He used to run it with some other ghosts, but they left. Poor guy. As for the race, I was to encourage my snail to go faster, but maybe I did something wrong, because to me that just seemed to slow them down, and if left encouraged, they lag behind the others.

Moving on, I ran into a shopkeeper by the name of Gerson. Aside from selling things, he also told quite a bit when prompted, such as what that symbol on the wall behind him is, the same one on Toriel’s clothes. He says it is the Delta Rune, the symbol of their kingdom. Exactly what it means is something no one knows, except that the triangles represent monsters, and the winged circle represent something other. Some people think it means an angel of prophecy, that would come and free them from the Underground, or possibly an angel of death, to ‘free’ them from mortality.

After that chat, I came into a darker area where I had to create paths using glowing mushrooms. There I found a new enemy, or rather, “Special Enemy Temmie”. Her stats were listed as “Tem outta Tem” rather than actual numbers, and she didn’t want to hurt me, just pet me. But apparently I’m deadly allergic to her touch! How sad. The only attack I saw her pull off was where a weirdly tall Temmie appeared on the screen and walks around, forcing me to stay under them lest I get trampled. Also, if if you Flex at them, it will summon Aaron to the fight, and the Temmie will leave. Temmies are easily Spared just by talking to them, but more importantly, I found my way to a Temmie Village.

The village, naturally, were full of Temmies, as well as a creepy cactus who danced when interacted with and told me I have lived a life of sin. Look, it seemed like a good idea at the time, okay? How do they all know!? Gah. Anyway. More important than creepy cacti is that there is a shop here too. The Temmie in charge doesn’t sell much of use, but unlike every other vendor in the game, you can sell things to her. This is where the Dog Residue comes in handy- since it can endlessly replicate as long as you have one, you can eventually get infinite money from her.

There is also a rather expensive thing you can do here- if you give Temmie 1000g, she will use the money to go to collage, or ‘colleg’ as she puts it. When she comes back, she will be able to sell you something new- the Tem Armor, which gives the best defense in the game. However, in a flash of meta intelligence, she pondered that it may make the game much too easy, and begs you to only buy it if you’re having serious trouble. She also says that if you die, she will reduce the price, which starts at 9999. The more you die, the cheaper it is. How she knows I’ll come back from that is beyond me.

Moving on from there, I came to a small bridge, where the Monster Kid showed up again. This time he seemed to realize I was a human, and figured that means they have to be enemies. He tried to insult me, but his heart clearly wasn’t in it, and he tried to leave. Unfortunately, he tripped and nearly fell off the bridge, but I quickly came to save him, despite Undyne closing in. Seeing that, Undyne opted to drag the kid off.

I moved on, but somehow she ended up in front of me- and more than that, on top of a cliff. She faced me, and explained that they already have six SOULs. They just need one more, and Asgore could become a god, and lead the way for monsters to return the surface. She says that traditionally, she is supposed to recite the story of her people for anyone who has come this far… but then she says “Screw it!” and says that’s a waste of time, since you’re going to die right here.

She removes her helmet, and demands I stop running and face her, that I’m standing in the way of “everyone’s hopes and dreams”. I suppose I can see why- I’m a human, humans locked them away, and I’m the final key for their release. I stepped forward, and she jumped down to face me. Undyne forces you to stand in place when your SOUL is green, as her attacks come at you, but you can use a shield of some sort to block her blows entirely, if you can keep up with her pace, increasing as she becomes more and more frustrated. None of my actions seemed to get any closer to stopping the fight, and it was clear I couldn’t beat her before her attacks probably ended me, but then I noticed- occasionally she let you go back to normal as a spear comes at you that cannot be blocked, forcing you to dodge. During that time, I could choose to Flee.

I ran straight past Undyne, which stood there confused for a moment before realizing I was making a run for it. She seemed to be faster than me, and tried to restart the battle several times, but sooner or later I would get free and the chase was on again. The scenery started to change as a giant sign told me we were entering Hotland. Sure enough, it was very hot, with lava flowing below our bridge. While I could handle the heat, it seemed Undyne, in her heavy armor, simply could not, collapsing in front of me.

There was also a water cooler, which, after a moment of deliberation, I decided to save Undyne with. Even if she did try to kill me, I didn’t want another death on my conscience. And with that, I was finally through Waterfall. The land of Hotland stands waiting for me.

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