Undertale pacifist speedrun guide
Undertale is a game known for its extensive replay value. There are tons of different dialogue trees and easter eggs to find depending on how you play.
One of the most interesting experiences is doing a complete pacifist run. The only problem is that it's just so slow. You have to talk to people and enjoy their company rather than just killing them and moving on.
What if you just want to race through a second playthrough to find that secret you missed? What if you want a competitive completion time? Well, you're in luck! Here are a few tips and tricks.
The "mercy" button isn't just for sparing, so make use of running any chance you get. You're not even getting exp from being a pacifist. All you get is money, and that's only good for buying healing items... which are kind of important, I guess, but trust me on this. Every second counts. Just get good, okay?
Take this advice with a grain of salt. After all, running isn't always successful. If you want a predictably fast run, try sparing enemies instead.
"Wall humping" is a term for a glitch in the game in which if there's a wall above you, you can wiggle around like a crazy person. It's useful for triggering battles faster, but that's about it. And since we're trying to avoid battles entirely, it's not very useful for our pacifist run.
That being said, here's a couple more caveats about this maneuver.
- I could only get this to work when I was using a controller, not a keyboard.
- I don't care what the forums say. This doesn't make you go faster. I timed this going down a hallway and you go exactly the same speed.
In other words, I don't recommend it. It’s a fun glitch to play around with, but I can’t see any merit in it for pacifist speedruns.
This takes some playing and enjoying the game first. After you beat the game once, use reset (from the title menu) and start over. This changes a few things, but it's mostly important in that:
- In the fight with Mettaton EX, you can skip the intro right away. Normally, you would have to die first to skip the intro, which doesn't really save you time.
- You can trigger a phone call from Alphys right away instead of having to get the neutral ending first.
You don't actually have to use the reset option to complete a pacifist run, but it does make it a lot faster. Keep in mind, though, that the rules in some speedrun competitions may require you to go through the neutral ending first for it to count.
Not all bosses have shortcuts, but here are the known ones.
Lose to him. Just keep losing. The fastest way to get past Papyrus is to make him feel super bad for you. You gain roughly 30 or more seconds if you surrender to Papyrus instead of beating him fair and square. It may not seem like much, but that counts for a lot in a speedrun.
Did you buy a spider treat from the spider bake sale in the ruins? Well, you better have, because your generous patronage will help skip this fight entirely. Just consume a spider donut or spider cider in front of Muffet and she'll let you live.
A lot of the tricks to beating this boss quickly require preparation and money, none of which you probably have if you've been running this whole time. Still, there are a few tricks to beating Mettaton quickly if you're a poor pacifist on the run.
- The fastest way to get through without items is to boast and not get hit. It's also the hardest way. Just get good.
- When you get to the essay portion of the battle, type "legs." You'll get 350 points, which is the most anyone's been able to get for this battle.
- The battle will end if you get 10,000 points and take out Mettaton EX's arms and legs. However, the battle will instantly end if you manage to get above 12,000 points.
- Keep your old weapons and apparel. Your first weapon, the stick, can be used for a 700-point bonus.
If you do happen to have some coin to spend, remember that eating "sponsored treats" like a glamburger or Mettaton steak will land you 500 and 700 points each.
Using clothes items mid-battle will also rack up as many as 1500 "fashion points." I've only seen this tested firsthand with the cowboy hat and stained apron (which you can pick up for free in Hotland), but there may be others. Just keep in mind that some clothes are not great for fashion. Nobody's impressed by your used bandage.
The remainder of the game is pretty standard. If you're going for the top time, just remember the routes and skip through dialogue. If you're not, just have fun! Undertale rewards exploration and encourages loose gameplay, after all. But some of us just want to drive fast and feel the wind through our hair.
Got any additional tips? Don't agree with my advice? Leave a comment below.