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Prerelease:Deltarune

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This page details prerelease information and/or media for Deltarune.

Hmmm...
To do:
  • Add comparisons where appropriate.
  • The version of the game shown in the 6th Anniversary livestream had some differences to the released versions of the game. These were all/mostly Easter eggs or jokes, but may still be worth noting.
  • Replace the images with higher-quality versions if possible.

Development Timeline

2011

  • Unknown - During a bout of illness, Toby Fox dreams about the ending to a game that doesn't exist. After waking up, he decides to make that game a reality.
(Source: Interview with Nintendo of Japan (English translation))

2012

  • March 29 - Characters were created by Kanotynes on Tumblr. Toby goes on a concept spree.
  • April 26 - Early drafts of an unnamed project by Toby are made.
  • December - Toby starts to learn about basic programming variables in RPG Maker 2000. He begins to develop an RPG, which would later become Undertale.

2013

  • August - Toby starts creating concept art of the characters, a few months after the Kickstarter for Undertale opens.

2015

  • September 15 - Undertale is fully released to the general public. Several references to "the dark" appear, indicating that Deltarune was in mind when creating Undertale.
  • December 9 - The first snapshot of an image called him.png appears on web.archive.org. The image, used for the site deltarune.com, appears to be completely black; however, when brightened, it reveals a passage of Wingdings text that translates to "THIS NEXT (space) EXPERIMENT (space) SEEMS (space) VERY (space) VERY (space) INTERESTING", quoting the text from the unused room_gaster in Undertale.
(Source: Christopher Moon on Twitter)

2016

  • July 1 - The first complete snapshot of deltarune.com appears on web.archive.org. The website is completely black, except for a new version of him.png on the left. When brightened, the Wingdings passage reads "THREE HEROES APPEARED (space) AT WORLD'S EDGE". This is a direct quote from the Legend in Deltarune, indicating that the Legend (or at least this part) was finalized at this point.
  • August 17 - deltarune.com is updated to again revise the Wingdings text in him.png, this time reading "THREE HEROES APPEARED (space) TO BANISH THE ANGELS HEAVEN". This too is a reference to the Legend in Deltarune.

2017

  • July - Undertale is released for the PlayStation 4. This version has a new menu theme titled Before The Story, which would later be used for the file select screen in Deltarune Chapter 1.

2018

2019

  • April 18 - Toby states he is making great progress with the design of Chapter 2, and also shows some concept art of a dog tank that never made it into Chapter 2.
  • June 12 - Toby states that 50 songs past Chapter 1 have all been concepted out and are at various stages of completion. Toby also states that he is making pretty steady progress on Chapter 2.
  • July 5 - Toby talks about showing some of the game's main scenes to other members on the team and having them react.
  • September 15 - Undertale turns 4. Toby teases many things from Deltarune Chapter 2.

2020

  • September 15 - Undertale turns 5. A pre-recorded anniversary concert is held live on YouTube. At the end of the stream, several Deltarune Chapter 2 songs are teased in piano form by Toby.
  • September 20 - Toby posts about the status of Deltarune in its entirety, among other things citing a chronic hand and wrist pain flareup as a factor in the chapter's delayed development.
  • October 31 - Deltarune turns 2. Toby states that steady progress is being made on Chapter 2 and comments on how it's a very funny chapter.
  • November 23 - Toby posts an image of Cyber City that has a abnormally large-sized toilet that Temmie sprited, Toby would end up using this in the final game where if you tried to go beyond the second mouse puzzle room as Kris, Ralsei, and Susie exploring Cyber City, you would be blocked off by the big toilet.

2021

2022

  • May 16 - Toby states that "the game development is going well" and that he's brought even more people on-board to assist with development, reinforcing his positivity about the game's direction.

Early Development

(Chapter 1, 2012-18)

Early/Concept Dialogue

Hmmm...
To do:
List the sources of these screenshots.

*notices your chaos* OwO??

Early Final
Hee hee hee! UEE HEE HEE!
We'll play a harmless numbers game. OH, IT'S JUST A SIMPLE NUMBERS GAME.
When your HP drops to 0, you lose. WHEN YOUR HP DROPS TO 0, YOU LOSE!

For the parts of the dialogue that do not have an in-game equivalent, there is not an entry in the table.

Judging by this concept dialogue, Jevil was meant to talk with proper grammar, instead of talking in all capital letters. He is also lacking his usual clown-like dialogue, save for the "how banal, how trite" part.

Hey! Listen!

Ralsei was also meant to be more talkative and explain everything. Another thing to note is the fact that Kris/the player was supposed to make more choices than in the final game. There is no in-game equivalent for this dialogue.

C'mon, Toby, this isn't 1995 anymore. I mean, really? BMPs? Are you using MS Paint or something? Oh, wait...

In the screenshots Toby took of the dialogue shown above, a folder is seen listing quite a few files that have not been shown yet, as of now. Notably, the dialogue is written in text files, the dates are from April 2012 (which is, coincidentally, when the song April 2012 is assumed to have been made) to August 2013. All of the script files have been edited last on the exact same day at the exact same time: May 2nd, 2012, at 1:21 PM.

Early Music

Hmmm...
To do:
Document "waltz of seccom masada" and its reuse in Deltarune.

tobyfox.net/msuics

treasure_discovered.mp3

This track, uploaded by Toby to his website on July 12, 2015, appears to have served as the basis of the track "THE HOLY", which plays during the fountain cutscenes near the end of Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.

(Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20151210172608/http://tobyfox.net/msuics/)

6th Anniversary Livestream

On the 6th Anniversary of Undertale, Toby Fox and a few dads friends from Fangamer played Deltarune Chapter 1. A half-hour before the stream is started, some Undertale music and early Deltarune music were played. Several notes written by Toby himself along with official titles appears when these songs were played.

School (alternate)

"I actually really like this arrangement. The only reason I didn't use it was that I was worried about overusing the main theme too much. Instead I decided to make a song based off the town theme and use it for the school.


... What do you think?"

- Toby Fox

Checkerboard

"Originally played in the Great Board area. However, the area isn't very long, so I felt like if I played a song here, it would actually have the opposite effect of making the area feel disappointing if it had its own unique music but didn't amount to much.


When I have a song, I feel like I need to do the song justice by having a certain amount of content that goes along with it..."

- Toby Fox

Epic Rouxls Battle

"I started to come up with an epic song for when you first battled Rouxls. After starting the song though, I realized... He's not very epic at all. Feels like if he had a song like this, you'd actually be able to defeat him in one hit. So, I didn't do anything with this one."

- Toby Fox

Character Joined (Long)

"Originally played when Susie joined. But it was awkward being frozen for ten seconds."

- Toby Fox

King Boss (Orchestral)

"I only had the idea for the intro of the song, but it didn't feel like it fit too well. So I only made forty seconds of it."

- Toby Fox

Legend (Alternate)

"I made like three different versions of the song. This version was pretty good too, but the intro had the wrong atmosphere."

- Toby Fox

Fountain (unused)

"I actually really like this song and wanted to use it to introduce a leitmotif, but I ended up using a more evocative song with a different motif. I'll try to make an excuse to use the song in the game somewhere."

- Toby Fox

Game Main Theme (Piano Sketch)

"The arrangement is really early, but I created this thinking of an animated intro for the game, similar to Wild Arms. I still see it in my head when I listen to the song.


The best part would have been at the end when everyone is running up the staircase as the silhouettes of the bosses from all the chapters show up, and the Knight, standing in a white door at the top of the stairs, turns around and looks down at them..."

- Toby Fox

Of note is the mention of multiple bosses and the Knight. And so begins the endless speculation...

Concept Art

Characters

Kris

Guys, look, it's Sans Real!

Early concept art of Kris, by Toby Fox. Being the player character, Kris never has any direct dialogue in Chapter 1, and as such is never given a portrait like the other protagonists, which begs the question as to where this would have been used. The second portrait also shows Kris smiling, with one of their eyes glowing, which only happens at the end of Chapter 1.

(Source: @tobyfox)

Deltarune Kris Battle Concept Art.jpg

Concept art of Kris' animations at the start and end of a battle, by Temmie Chang, including some commentary from Temmie herself.

(Source: Nintendo of Japan)

Ralsei

Rough Sketch

Some goofy and not-so-goofy concept art of Ralsei, drawn by Toby Fox. According to him, Ralsei was originally supposed to remain hatless during the entire game, rather than having his hat on up until the end of Chapter 1. Another notable difference is the symbol on Ralsei's robe; it appears to be a flame here, instead of the heart seen in the final game. This lines up with a remark Toby Fox made in an interview conducted shortly after Chapter 1's release, where he stated that "[he] was going to give a certain character a fire spell, but decided against it for the first chapter."

(Source: @tobyfox)
Overworld Sprite Sketches

The power of fluffy boys shines within you.

Concept art of Ralsei's overworld sprites drawn by Temmie Chang. The symbol on Ralsei's robe is an upside down spade instead of a heart seen in his overworld sprites, indicating some relation to the Spade King. Most of Ralsei's overworld sprites (and his dancing sprites during the Sweet Cap'n Cakes fight) in Chapter 2 would switch over to the inverted spade design.

(Source: @tuyoki (temmie))
Battle Sprite Sketches

Deltarune Ralsei Battle Concept Art.jpg

Concept art of Ralsei's in-battle sprites drawn by Toby Fox. Ralsei's robe is blank here, but the idea of him hiding his face with the shadow from his hat was already present by this point.

(Source: Nintendo of Japan)

Susie

Rough Sketches

Goofier concept art of Susie by Toby Fox. It seems that Susie was supposed to show her eyes far more often than she does in the actual game, and even have a ponytail. Again, according to Toby, the removal of Susie's ponytail was a rather recent change.

(Source: @tobyfox)

Long Susie says hi.

Character doodles by Toby. Toby says these doodles weren't necessarily concept art, but they're neat to see anyways. Some of these (barely any) would later become face sprites in Chapter 2.

(Source: UNDERTALE 6th Anniversary So We Play DELTARUNE Chapter 1 For Some Reason - LIVE!)
Overworld Sprites

Concept art for Susie's overworld sprites, also drawn by Temmie Chang. Sprite sketches for Susie were also shown off in the Deltarune livestream, drawn by Toby. Toby says the top right sprite is based on Chrono Trigger, and that he considered making the entire game look like that before shifting back to the Undertale-esque art style.

(Source: @tuyoki (temmie))
Battle Sprites

Deltarune Susie Battle Concept Art.jpg

Concept art for Susie's battle sprites, drawn by Toby Fox. Yes, the image really is this crunchy in the original source.

(Source: Nintendo of Japan)

Noelle

Imagine how much... er... "fanart" she would get if she appeared like this in the final game.

Concept art of Noelle drawn by Toby Fox, along with a comment about her fashion choices.

(Source: @tobyfox)

Berdly

THE HORROR

Concept art of Berdly, drawn by Toby. Two of these faces would go unused, but the rest were pixelized and put into the final.

Lancer

Lancer was the first major character to be designed by kanotynes. He, along with the other Chapter 1 Dark World NPCs, came from a 52 playing card deck that was created for design class way back in March 2012. A scratchpad of sprites for Lancer was later done, illustrated by both Toby and Temmie. On the 6th anniversary livestream, Toby says he liked the sprites made by Temmie, but wanted to change them up a bit to make Lancer look more round and chaotic, reflecting his character. In these screenshots are some unseen sprites of Lancer posing and jumping, likely for a cutscene of some sort.

My dad bought me this radtacular motorbike! What do you think, Toothpaste Boy?

Concept art for a design of Lancer's bike, drawn by Kanotynes. Toby says this was part of a bunch of other sketches for bikes made by Kanotynes, but ultimately, the ideas were scrapped in favor of Lancer using a bicycle, as it was "too cool" for Lancer.

(Source: UNDERTALE 6th Anniversary So We Play DELTARUNE Chapter 1 For Some Reason - LIVE!)

DoomTank

A Machine That Cannot Thrash Your Own Ass (Because It Is Unused)

Concept art of the scrapped DoomTank. Drawn by Toby Fox. According to Toby, before the idea of both Kris and Ralsei making a blueprint for the Thrash Machine, Susie and Lancer would just make it themselves. It is noted by Toby that this would just be a cardboard cutout with Susie behind it, similar to the "Bowser???" fight in Paper Mario.

(Source: UNDERTALE 6th Anniversary So We Play DELTARUNE Chapter 1 For Some Reason - LIVE!)

Locations

Empty Town

Temmie's art outshining Toby's in almost every way as usual.

Concept art for the desolate castle town just south of Ralsei's castle. The well was eventually replaced by a save point later in development.

(Source: @tuyoki (temmie))

Field of Hopes and Dreams

Deltarune Field of Hopes and Dreams Concept Art.jpg

Concept art for the field just past the door to the east of Castle Town, depicting the area in a style reminiscent of Paper Mario. Of course, it's unlikely that the game was ever meant to look like this.

(Source: Nintendo of Japan)

NPC Concepts

Mama miba!

Concept drawings of Topchef. The sprite on the bottom is nearly identical to the final's.

Jack Black from Deltarune is in no way related to any persons living or dead.

A concept for the Jack NPC seen in the overworld. It looks nothing like the final game. The ball next to him, however, is almost exactly the same.

Design being drastically changed... such is the way of the worm.

Concept art for the worm NPC found in Chapter 1. The face would undergo a drastic change in the final demo, while the body remained pretty much the same.

This article is Pissing me off... i'm the original starwalker

Early concepts of the original Starwalker. Barely anything changed, including the dialogue.

I TOLD YOU ABOUT PIZZA, KID

Early drawings for Pizzapants. (Un)fortunately, most of these face sprites were left unused and were never put into Chapter 1 or 2.

Horrifying

Early drawings for the Ice-E mascots outside of Ice-E's P"E"zza. These were converted into sprites, with some added bunny ears for good measure.

(Source: UNDERTALE 6th Anniversary So We Play DELTARUNE Chapter 1 For Some Reason - LIVE!)

Enemy Concepts

BARRY!! HANG IN THERE BARRY!!

An early drawing of a Jigsawry, drawn by Toby Fox. Jigsawry's faces remain largely the same in the final demo, with the exception of the eyes on the "BARRY" sprite looking up in the final sprite.

It's not always about the money, Shpidaman.

An early drawing of a Bloxer, once again by Toby. This one illustrates some extra designs for the enemy, though only one would emerge in the final demo.

Tree Guy! Can do whatever a tree does! And other stuff!

An early drawing of an enemy based off the trees in the scarlet forest. This was later replaced with the tree puzzle during the Jevil key search.

Deathlord wants you to say your goodbyes.

A concept for an enemy dubbed "death lord" by Toby. This could be a joke, but Toby said he drew this while thinking of designs for enemies.

(Source: UNDERTALE 6th Anniversary So We Play DELTARUNE Chapter 1 For Some Reason - LIVE!)

Cutscenes

The Legend

Deltarune Legend Storyboards.jpg

Storyboards for the cutscene that plays while Ralsei recounts the Legend, drawn by Temmie Chang. The notes here confirm that the hooded figure representing "a prince from the dark" is indeed Ralsei.

(Source: Nintendo of Japan)

Later Development

(2018-Present)

Chapter 2 Concept Art

Chapter 2 Characters

Deltarune-Tasque Manager materials.jpg

Tasque Manager material sheet by Nelnal.

(Source: @nelnalium)

Deltarune-Sweet Cap'n Cakes concept art.jpg Deltarune-Sweet Cap'n Cakes concept art 2.jpg

Sweet Cap'n Cakes concept art by Nelnal, including an alternate design for Sweet and a few looks at Cap'n without his cap or sunglasses. Toby asked Nelnal to design a single music-themed enemy, but Nelnal ended up drawing three potential designs. Toby liked all three designs so much that he used them all, splitting the "musical enemy" into a trio.

(Source: @nelnalium, Nintendo of Japan)

Deltarune-Dog Ralsei concept art.png

An MSPaint sketch of Ralsei's Dog costume during the Tasque Manger fight, by Toby Fox.

(Source: @toby)

Deltarune-Wide Susie concept art2.png

Deltarune- Wide Susie concept art1.png

MSPaint sketches of Wide Susie by Toby Fox.

(Source: @toby)

Deltarune Early Hacker Sprites.png

Early sprites for the Hacker by Samanthuel Gillson, featuring the character's body forming the shaft of the pointer rather than having the entire icon serve as his head. According to her, the sprites of the Hacker without his sunglasses are not meant to be indicative of how his eyes would look if they were to appear in the final game.

(Source: @splendidland)

Chapter 2 Locations

Deltarune-Cyber City concept art 1.png Deltarune-Cyber City concept art 2.png

Concept art for Cyber City by ggdg.

(Source: @_ggdg_)

Deltarune-Cyber City Field concept art.png

Concept art for the Cyber City "field" by ggdg.

(Source: @_ggdg_)

Deltarune-Queen's Castle Entrance concept art.png

Concept art for the entrance to the Queen's Castle by ggdg.

(Source: @_ggdg_)

Cyber City Mock Up September 2019

On Undertale's 4th Anniversary, Toby teased a good amount of things from Chapter 2, a mockup of Cyber City with an early version of Welcome To The City, the Annoying Dog's car animation from Chapter 2, and two versions of Lost Girl, in which the first one was said to play repeatedly through the game even if Noelle isn't in the scene, but in the final game, it's only used in the endgame with Noelle scenes. The second version teases dialogue portraits of Susie, Noelle, and Ralsei which said version is not shown anywhere in Chapter 2, but may get reused for Chapter 3+.

September 2019 Build Deltarune Chapter 1&2
DRChapter2Sept2020KrisFacingRight.jpg
DRCH2CurrentKrisFacingRight.png

Interestingly Kris's standing sprite also looks different in this Mockup than the sprite in the final Chapter 2 (which is carried over from Chapter 1). The cape around their shoulder has a greater amount of blue shading on it, and their arm is tilted slightly further forward compared to the final.

This version of Welcome To The City is in 160 BPM while the final game slows it down to 152 BPM, it was likely slowed down so the music didn't loop so much. The teased Welcome to The City music is also still in the final game titled cybercity_old.ogg. Although Toby jokingly stated "the City is extremely small.", it might have not been planned to be as large as it is in the final game based on the speed of the teased music. The mockup features a room design not seen in the final game and the Annoying Dog that would end up as an Easter egg in Cyber City. A silhouette of Queen is also seen, which meant her design was finalized by September 2019.

(Source: @tobyfox)

September 2020 Build

Hmmm...
To do:
Add the other prerelease screenshots.

When Toby Fox posted a status update of the entirety of Deltarune up to that point on Undertale's 5th Anniversary, he also released some screenshots of Chapter 2 that have a couple of differences from the current release version.

September 2020 Build Deltarune Chapter 1&2
DRChapter2Sept2020LancerInMenu.png
DRCH2CurrentLancerInMenu.png

After you leave Castle Town in this build, while it looks like Rouxls is not in your inventory in this build, he is actually, on the right side of the box there are a couple of blue pixels belonging to Rouxls's right hand. It's likely Rouxls was censored in this teaser to make it a surprise for when he does show up in your inventory in Chapter 2. Kris and Susie still have their HP from Chapter 1 and not the higher amount of HP you get from Chapter 2 and the edges of the room were made a bit rounder in the current release.

November 2020 Test Builds

Hmmm...
To do:
Could use some tweaking and polishing

After there was a call for more developers to join the Deltarune team that would help work on Chapter 2 and future chapters in the September 2020 Status Update, a few new members were accepted and joined the team, one of them being Fred Wood. He was tasked with handling all the Maus interactions besides the battles. In November 2020, he was working on the Maus bridge puzzle that comes from the acid river portion of the Queen's mansion, and on May 21, 2022, he decided to showcase one of his many recordings he did while working on Chapter 2, one of which was a very preliminary version of the Maus bridge puzzle he worked on.

At the time it appears there was no tileset for the acid river section of the Queen's mansion yet, and so there is only simple placeholder tiles instead. The sprites for the Maus themselves were different, the sound effects were also placeholders, and it seems you originally had to get the Maus to the cheese instead of filling up two uncolored houses.

(Source: @Fred Wood)

Miscellaneous Concept Art

Deltarune Random Concept Art.png

MSPaint sketches by Toby Fox depicting Kris, Ralsei, Susie, and a just barely on-screen Noelle. While Ralsei uses his Chapter 2 design here, Toby simply describes these sketches as "random concept art," not specifying if they're for Chapter 2 or a later chapter.


(Source: @tobyfox)

Deltarune Concept Art That Makes Toby Fox Question His Sanity.png

More MSPaint sketches by Toby, this time depicting a variety of vignettes involving Kris, Susie, Ralsei, Noelle, and Catty. Again, Toby hasn't specified the intent of this concept art. Of note is the Noelle sketch that pastes a screenshot of her in-game sprite over her face.


(Source: @tobyfox)