Whelp, I did it. I have Sans’ blood on my hands. My muscles are still quivering from the fight. And now that I’ve fully dredged up every villain in Undertale, let’s talk about them.
For the record, these posts are going to be incredibly spoilerific so if you haven’t played Undertale, go do it. You won’t really be able to play the game after it’s spoiled for you. Novelty is a really important element for the game. It’s only like, idk, $15, so just go play it. It’s awesome, 500/10 stars, would recommend to everyone forever.
The first and most obvious villain is Flowey.
While I would concede that Asriel is not a villain, I will argue that Flowey is. Flowey has no soul, only the will to live, whereas Asriel is the lost soul hidden somewhere within Flowey. They’re maybe the same person, but they’re also not.
Flowey is a creature of malice, but he’s clever enough to be far more than just a killing machine. And he’s terribly creepy. Part of his creep factor is the reversal of expectations. He’s an adorable golden flower, one of the most innocent objects ever. And what a cute name, Flowey the Flower! Aww. But then he pulls his demon face on you.
He acts like your best friend, and immediately tries to kill you. Since betrayal is a primal fear, and with the effects of the reversal of expectations, yeah, it’s pretty scary.
Of course, what freaked me out the most with Flowey is that he was able to do things he shouldn’t have been able to do. Breaking the fourth wall is often hilarious but it’s not funny at all when the villain is using it to have power over you. My first playthrough, I accidentally killed Toriel. It was a total accident – she said “show me you’re strong enough” and the frogs from earlier said sometimes if you hurt someone, they’ll give up, so I assumed that was what was going to happen here. I fought her, but it’s set up so when she has like, I dunno, three, four attacks worth of health left, your attack suddenly does basically a critical hit. I hadn’t meant to kill her. I quickly restarted.
But Flowey still knew my sin. Do you know how creepy that is? No! Saves un-do it! This isn’t how it’s supposed to work! This flower defies the world as I know and understand it. I mean it’s not like it’s the first time ever a video game character has defied my use of quitting and booting up the last save.
But the way he did it…it was just…shiver…and then I rapidly uninstalled the game and cut off the cloud save from Steam. And yet…Flowey still knew. In fact he knew all too well how saves worked and claimed to be able to do a save file as well. I had to get my husband to exorcise my computer for me. I could have looked up how to do it myself but it was just creeping me out so badly I didn’t want to get near the computer again until that demon was gone.
Course Flowey is never really gone, is he? No.
Besides all that, he does use his save file power when you fight him as Photoshop Flowey. It’s. Unnerving. It’s unnerving to have an in game character delete and destroy YOUR save file and make his own and boot his own.
But in the end, I’m fond of Flowey. Because in the end, he’s just desperate and hopeless and he has a wonderful moment of…not quite redemption, but true change, because he’s witnessed pure love. Well if you do the Pacifist route anyway. He gets to taste true fear in Genocide…but it’s in playing both that you can find what he really is.
He’s just lost.
I find him to be a villain because how he copes is base and cruel. He can’t find meaning in the world in friendship and love, so he resorts to killing everyone. That’s not a good way to handle it. While he just desperately wants to feel, what he really wants to feel is love and friendship. Which is why Chara is so exciting to him. Someone who is as cold and empty as him, someone who was once a friend, who could perhaps be his companion in the dark. Instead Chara just kills him. But pacifist Frisk – and from now on if I’m going to say “Frisk” for pacifist and “Chara” for genocide for shorthand and clarity – is able to reach deep into Flowey and find Asriel, and remind Flowey of who he really is. And when he sees what Frisk has done for every character in the game, including himself…
Well, at that point, There’s only one possible villain left. And it isn’t Flowey.