skelebro: (pretty rad dude)
sans. ([personal profile] skelebro) wrote2016-04-28 11:08 pm
Entry tags:


player name: zero
contact: arcaneswearwords on aim, [ profile] arrpee
characters currently in-game: krieg


character name: sans
character age: ambiguous
canon: undertale
canon point: following his death on a no mercy route
history: right over here
externally, he's a laid-back skeleton who prefers lazy-boning around to doing any actual work. he'll go to absurd lengths to avoid doing his job, including getting another job by starting a 'hot dog' stand to hawk hot dogs (which aren't even real hot dogs) to passersby. he’s very relaxed, very easygoing, and wholly adoring to his naive, excitable, eternally positive brother papyrus. that still means he’s going to troll the hell out of him, whether by having an absolute trash heap of a room or by plaguing papyrus’s life with incidental music and horrible puns. despite that, he clearly loves his brother deeply. he genuinely thinks he's pretty great, going out of his way to make papyrus happy, whether by giving the opportunity to meet a real live human or by persistently ribbing him with bad jokes. he's friendly and easygoing, and low-key protective of both his brother and the player character, should they befriend the skeleton brothers - though that doesn't mean he really excels at keeping either of them safe. he won't intervene on papyrus's behalf if the player kills him, but simply vanishes from the game until his ending judgment. he allegedly made a promise to toriel, the former queen of the underground, that he'd protect whatever human passes through, though he later informs the player character that if he'd never made that promise, he would've slaughtered them on the spot. if the player kills papyrus but still qualifies for a neutral ending, sans will call them out on it, quite openly furious that they murdered his brother - who is, incidentally, the only monster absolutely incapable of killing you, even accidentally.

naturally, he has a knack for pranks and jokes. his establishing character moment, regardless of the path the player takes, is asking the strange human to shake his hand - and revealing moments later that that hand had a whoopee cushion in it. this laziness and joking nature is fully exemplified in the font he speaks in: comic sans font, all lower-case.

beneath that veneer, however, sans...sans is not well. his boss fight at the end of the no mercy route reveals many of the darker aspects of his personality, including the fact that he's smart enough to intuit that the game mechanics mean anything can be reset at any moment, the characters' memories torn away, and their happy (or sad) endings completely reversed. he also knows that the player has a level of persistence and determination that no one else in the game can access by virtue of being able to SAVE and reload, so even standing up to them in his final battle is ultimately pointless. it still says a lot that it takes the player murdering literally every available creature in the underground for him to get off his bony ass and do something about it.

in his fight dialogue he reveals that the player is basically an anomaly in spacetime, so he’s apparently much smarter than he seems. in fact, looking through the brothers' house reveals a joke book inside of a quantum physics book inside a joke book inside a quantum physics book inside a possibly endless loop of joke books inside quantum physics books, books which almost certainly belong to sans. so sans's laziness is most likely a result of knowing that at any moment in time, everything could be reset, so why bother trying to change anything at all? though he also admits this could be an excuse to support the laziness he's always exhibited to begin with. either way, it's pretty clear that the easygoing personality and perpetual grin says a lot about his state of existential depression and world-weary apathy. he knows everything he does will amount to nothing since it can always be reset, so eventually he just stopped trying. it's only when the player commits to murdering every possible creature in the underground and progresses toward ending the world itself that sans actually gets up and does something about it because he has an inkling as to the end result, since that is the only action the player can take that will have lasting consequences that endure even when the game is reset. his fight is meant to stop the player on a meta level as well as an in-game one: a no mercy playthrough permanently affects future playthroughs. sans will do everything he can to prevent that outcome. even when the player eventually strikes him down, his grin never goes away. he simply gets up, says he's going to get some food, and saunters offscreen, where he asks his (now dead) brother if he wants anything and we hear his body dissolve into dust, signifying his death.
  • a handful of ketchup packs
  • a quantum physics book inside a joke book inside a quantum physics book inside a joke book inside a...
  • a whoopee cushion
  • a single joy buzzer
  • a silver key (to his workshop underground - now useless)
  • the clothes on his back
- excellent at puns
- excellent at doing absolutely nothing
- presumably can play the trombone?
- but wait, there's more

- shortcuts: he seems to have some kind of knack for teleportation but mostly uses this trick to gently troll the player character or his brother, papyrus. he also uses it to get into places through routes he might not otherwise be able to take, with his only excuse being that he 'knows a shortcut' - i.e. some kind of short-distance teleportation. he’s capable of taking the player with him in this case, so i'll say he can take a maximum of one other person with him. obviously, these shortcuts will not be able to take him out of the city.

- highly intuitive: it's evident that he doesn't have a ripple-effect-proof memory between RESETs. he expresses a faint sense of deja vu like other characters in the game, commenting that the player character looks familiar, but only reveals a sharper awareness of the game's mechanics at the end of a no mercy run or when the player does a series of LOADs before his speech in which he renders judgment near the neutral/pacifist end. he's good at reading people and their expressions, able to distinguish how many times a no mercy player has failed to beat him by expression alone - or if they beat him and immediately LOADed to beat him again. conversely, his permagrin makes him fairly inscrutable. his scruts are airtight.

- blue magic: like his brother, sans has the ability to turn someone's soul blue. this subjects someone to the effects of gravity, and he can basically throw them around like a ragdoll for a short time by shifting their personal gravity. it's worth noting that this is extremely tiring for sans so he's not likely to go off and do this whenever.

- bone attacks and gaster blasters: a check of his stats assures the player that sans has 1 def, 1 hp, and 1 atk, and is therefore the weakest monster in the game. this is technically true. it is also incredibly misleading. it's only in a no mercy playthrough that a player will have to confront sans as a fightable boss, but when they do he’s easily one of the most powerful monsters in the underground because of a sharp medium awareness and an intimate working knowledge of game mechanics. he can toss a fast-moving gauntlet of bones, all of which deal a minimal amount of damage but completely negate any kind of after-hit immunity, meaning they do 1 damage per frame. gaster blasters are massive dog-skull things that fire freaking laser beams at the player, which he busts out multiple times during his boss fight to give the player the worst time possible. this is also exceedingly tiring for sans to do for any kind of prolonged time period.

- karmic retribution: a poisonous after effect dealt after contact with any of his attacks that slowly saps the player of life proportional to the duration of their contact with one of said attacks. KR will never kill the player, but it can chip away at their health progressively. its damage is seemingly proportional to the Level of ViolencE the player has committed.

- working knowledge of quantum and game mechanics: as evidenced by the book in the bone brothers' house and his dialogue in a no mercy run, sans has got a pretty good grasp on the mechanics of time travel and RESETs. it's not clear to what extent he makes use of this in combat, but the general consensus is 'a whole fucking lot' because sans can use the game mechanics against the player. he interrupts his own opening monologue to take his attack turn first, is literally impossible to hit (every attack misses), targets the player's cursor in the menu, randomly skips to different points in time throughout the battle, tricks the player into sparing him only to abruptly finish them off, and, in a last-ditch attempt to keep the player from progressing, uses his turn to do literally nothing, indefinitely, therefore trapping the player in the fight screen. bear in mind that if the player has chosen this route, they’ve maxed out their stats at this point. sans is just that tough and resourceful.
well, long story short, sans is lazy. this is in part because he's got an awareness of how he's caught in a repeating loop and therefore nothing he does really matters so he's just kind of wallowing in his own existential depression. as much as it seems like a harmless character quirk, some of the less fun neutral endings and the no mercy route hint that there's a lot more that goes behind that goofy grin. the fact that he literally only gets off his ass when there is absolutely no other choice says a lot, because he won't even step in to save his own brother from imminent death, even if this is the only action the player can take that will consistently cut sans to the core. his laziness ultimately gets him killed, due to him trying to catch a wink in the fight screen and getting practically bisected for his trouble. there's also the fact that he promised to protect the human child (aka the player) and does...a very bad job of that, since the player can die hundreds of times throughout the game. he pops up frequently throughout the game (unless you kill his brother, in which case he completely vanishes and does jack squat to keep an eyesocket out for you) but does very little to actively protect you other than occasionally pull you aside for a chat and make horrible puns.

additionally, in battle, he's utterly and unspeakably ruthless due to his aforementioned abilities: smugly mocking the player in a battle designed to make someone rage quit on a meta level as well as an in-game one. even if the player doesn't kill anyone and does a flawless pacifist route, sans still feels the need to remind them that if he hadn't made a promise to protect whatever human came through the underground, he would have slaughtered them on the spot. that's a fucking threat is what it is.

lastly, sans is fairly fucking manipulative. as much as he loves and adores his brother, he tells him absolutely nothing about the nature of the world they're in. he tells absolutely no one, in fact, not even the player character, not even in the neutral endings where almost everyone dies. this results in his brother's death bunches of times over. sans doesn't tell anyone anything, even if his knowledge could potentially save them from death at the human child's hands. he lies and skirts truths, such as telling his brother that all the friends that the human may have killed are simply on a very long vacation, sparing him the pain of knowing they're dead. he deliberately puts forth a face of the innocent, laid-back jokester, and every monster in the underground buys it.
action log sample: boink