If you’ve been following my work over the last two or so years, you’d know that one of the first things I wrote about was Deltarune Chapter 1. Deltarune Chapter 2 came out over the weekend after absolute daredevil Toby Fox and his newly assembled team (which is why it probably took so long to come out) just dropped it out of nowhere. I played through it in one sitting. I have some things to say about it.
The game starts right where chapter one leaves off, but on a hilarious bait and switch. That serves as the establishment of the tone of Chapter 2. The story opens with Kris and Susie, two of the three Lighteners from Chapter 1, proceeding to have another day at school trying to go about their lives, meeting with Ralsei in the castle town, and get their group project done. After getting invited to study at the Library with their classmates, the absolute sweetheart Noelle and class know-it-all Berdly, they find out that there’s another Dark World, this time in the library’s computer lab. From there, they meet the principal antagonist, the laughable evil Queen. What follows is an utterly hilarious romp through Cyber City that’s also rather endearing and sweet in places. At least on the Pacifist route which is mostly what I’m going to be discussing here today, can’t bring myself to do a Genocide run because I’m not a fucking monster.
But you’ll notice that I did say that there is a Genocide run this time around. Because while Chapter 1 of Deltarune tried its damnedest to make it so that your choices didn’t matter; this time around, they do make a difference. I say this because while Genocide/Snowgrave as it’s called this time around, is available to do from the get-go, it requires a lot of jumping through hoops to go through with it with plenty of opportunities to back out of it. So if you want to be a completely heartless bastard, the option is there, but you gotta work for it. But as I was saying about tone previously, compared to the entirety of Chapter 1 and the bits of Undertale I have played, Deltarune Chapter 2 is almost a complete 180. It opts to go for more off the wall, rapid-fire comedy on the pacifist route (which feels like it’s being set up as the default), throwing out so much humor that I couldn’t help but chuckle throughout the three-hour runtime of the whole thing. Queen is a huge part of this because, unlike King who opted to take the “unseen enigma” approach and be in the background until the climax, she shows up almost immediately and is a constant source of humor throughout the entire chapter. In a chapter that has a bunch of great characters in it, she ended up stealing the goddamn show. This is also contrasted by the ending which is just as, if not more wild than the first one.
From a gameplay Standpoint, Deltarune Chapter 2 is a more polished version of Chapter 1. You still have the standard turn-based battle system, but it has an interesting new wrinkle to it. Kris still has the Act action, which lets you and the rest of the team pull of special actions if you opt to go through the Pacifist route, but the main change here is that your other party members have access to their versions of the Act command, that while not as varied or in-depth as Kris’s still gives them something to do in non-lethal playthroughs. There’s also a wider variety of puzzles, and combat encounter types in Chapter 2 compared to Chapter 1, all being capped off with an excellent final boss and an absolutely buckwild secret boss that I need to make another save to get to because once you finish the final boss in Cyber World, you are locked out of it. But it means playing the game again, so I’m cool with it, to be honest.
Lastly, there’s the music. I need to bring this up specifically because Toby Fox is known for his ability to bust out absolute bangers in his soundtracks. And here he doesn’t disappoint, though he does bring in some extra oomph in the form of extra arrangements by Lena Raine, composer of Celeste and it shows. My favorite track in the game is Attack of the Killer Queen which has been stuck in my head since I finished the game. It’s so good that I immediately bought the soundtrack off of Toby’s Bandcamp page after the credits rolled.
And yeah, If I had to describe Detarune Chapter 2 is that it’s more Deltarune. And that’s great when there’s such a fantastic baseline of quality. This makes the eventual wait for chapters 3, 4, and 5 that much more agonizing because I want more and I want it now.