Sans' in-game appearance
|Created by||Toby Fox|
Sans is a fictional character in the 2015 role-playing video game Undertale by Toby Fox. He is introduced as a comic relief and acts as the final boss if the player chooses to kill all the monsters and go down the genocide route. His name is based on the Comic Sans font, which is used for most of his in-game dialogue. The character was praised by critics for his dialogue and boss fight, which is considered to be the most difficult in the game. His popularity with fans inspired several user-created mods and other types of projects.
History and appearances
Prior to the events of Undertale, Sans had moved to the settlement in Snowdin from an unknown location with his brother Papyrus. Papyrus was hired as a royal guard trainee sentry, and forces his brother to help in his quest to capture a human.
Sans first appears in Snowdin, initially appearing as a silhouette approaching the player from behind before shaking the player's hand, setting off a whoopee cushion. He clarifies that he has no interest in capturing humans, unlike Papyrus, who he describes as a "human-hunting FANATIC." After helping the player hide from Papyrus, Sans follows his brother throughout most of the forest, commentating on his puzzles and even contributing a word search, much to Papyrus' dismay. As the story proceeds, Sans continues to be a regular source of comic relief, performing such antics as attempting to sell the player fried snow. Later in the game, Sans invites the player to go eat at a restaurant with him. As he talks, he explains how he befriended a woman behind the large door in Snowdin who shared an equal love for puns as he did. He explains how he made a promise not to kill any humans who come to the Underground and states if he didn't make that promise the player would have been dead where they stand.
Sans makes one more appearance in the "Judgement Hall", where he reveals the true meaning of the "EXP" and "LOVE" values that the player has accumulated through the game: 'Execution Points' and 'Level of Violence', respectively. He judges the player for how high their EXP and LOVE values are before disappearing and letting the player proceed to fight the king, Asgore. After the player defeats Asgore and leaves the Underground, Sans calls them to inform them of what occurred after their departure, having different dialogue depending on the player's actions in game. If the player finishes the game without killing any monsters, Sans appears after Asgore's defeat along with the other main characters, but his soul gets absorbed by Flowey along with most of the other monsters. He is restored after the player defeats Flowey and escapes the Underground with the rest of the monsters.
If the player opts to kill every monster, Sans' behavior will be very different. He threatens the player with a "bad time" if they proceed with their actions before the Papyrus boss fight. If the player ignores Sans' warning and continues slaughtering every monster they encounter, he eventually confronts the player in the Judgement Hall to prevent them from destroying the world, acting as the route's final boss. Sans puts up a fierce fight but is eventually slain by the player, allowing them to finish the route.
Sans appears as a cameo in chapter one of Deltarune, where he is found standing outside his shop. He informs the player he has already met their mother, Toriel, and asks them if they would like to come over to his house and meet his brother.
In other media
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, a Sans costume for the playable Mii Gunner character was released as downloadable content on September 4, 2019. Sans has also been the subject of many fan works and projects, being featured in numerous games, creations, and video game mods.
Sans is listed in the credits as being created by Toby Fox with "special inspiration" from J.N. Wiedle, author of the web comic Helvetica, a series about an eponymous skeleton named after the Helvetica typeface. His first concept drawing was made by Fox on a college notebook.
The song that plays during his fight, "Megalovania", was originally composed for an EarthBound ROM hack for Halloween of 2009, where it serves as final boss music for the alternative version of Dr. Andonauts, one of the few major characters from that game. Although the song was later featured in Homestuck, "Megalovania" principally rose in popularity after the release of Undertale, spawning many internet remixes and memes.[better source needed] "Megalovania" has since appeared in games like Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum 'n' Fun! and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and was also used by a Spanish dating show, First Dates.The song was also featured in an All Elite Wrestling Halloween special, in which wrestler Kenny Omega wore a Sans costume and was accompanied by the song during his entrance.
He is one of the characters who does not use the default font in his dialogue; rather, it is displayed in lowercase Comic Sans. He is often paired with his brother named Papyrus, also named after a font of the same name.
Sans' appearance in Undertale was well-received by critics, with Dan Tack of Game Informer praising his boss fight. TheGamer ranked Sans as the third best Undertale character, stating that his jokes were "spot on in delivery". Screen Rant ranked Sans one of the top 7 of the hardest boss fights in video games. During the Undertale Q&A, Sans and Papyrus were the characters that received the most questions from fans. Sans was ranked as one of the best video game characters of the 2010s by Polygon staff and writer Colin Campbell, particularly his appearance and how: "When he makes a joke, the camera zooms in on him while he winks. It never gets old."
Sans has also been well-received by fans of the game, being the subject of many fan works. Professional wrestler Kenny Omega has expressed his love of Undertale, dressing as Sans for the October 30, 2019, episode of All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite. His addition as a Mii fighter costume in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate garnered positive feedback from fans, although The Commonwealth Times considered his addition to be a "potential problem" due to the decreasing nostalgia factor for each new character and ever-increasing size of the roster.
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