Sans

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Sans
Sans.png
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Sans's in-battle sprite from Undertale.

Universe Undertale
Debut Undertale (2015)
Smash Bros. appearances Ultimate
Most recent non-Smash appearance Deltarune: Chapter 1 (2018)
Console/platform of origin Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
Species Skeleton
Gender Male
Place of origin Snowdin
Created by Toby Fox

Sans (サンズ, Sans) is a major character from the indie-developed RPG Undertale. While his origins are largely a mystery, he and his brother Papyrus are some of the quirky characters that can be encountered and befriended or murdered in the Underground, the game's main setting.

Origin[edit]

Sans is a skeleton monster who lives in the frosty town of Snowdin, alongside his brother Papyrus, in a cavern populated by monsters underneath the surface of the Earth. The player character, Frisk, first encounters him after leaving the Ruins. He is seen tagging along with Papyrus as the latter attempts to capture Frisk, but consistently fails. Papyrus's schemes are half-hearted, appearing to stem from a desire for recognition and service to his fellow monsters than any sort of malice, and Sans frequently warns the player in advance and makes no effort to apprehend them; thus the player swiftly garners sympathy towards the duo. After befriending Papyrus, Frisk has the option to visit his and Sans's house.

At first, Sans appears to be a laid-back, flippant character; he has a fondness for sophomoric gags and practical jokes, and his dialogue text is presented with a typeface resembling Comic Sans MS, usually in all lowercase. However, as the game progresses, it becomes clear that Sans is more self-aware than he lets on.

In the "Neutral" route of the game, Sans is encountered in the Last Corridor late in the story. Here, Sans "judges" the player (distinct from Frisk), revealing that experience points and levels are directly linked to how willing they are to inflict pain and death on others. His speech will change depending on the course of action that the player takes throughout the game, with special dialogue if they killed Papyrus (which is notably not presented in his usual font). He also reveals that he is aware of the game's saving and loading mechanics—viewing them as a method of controlling time and space—and he encourages the player to do the right thing. At the end of this route, Sans phones the player and informs them about the end result of their actions on the monster community, dependent on which events were initiated and if any boss monsters were killed.

In the "True Pacifist" route, meaning every encountered monster is spared from defeat and befriended, Sans's soul is among those stolen by Flowey, a diabolical flower who seeks to absorb every soul for himself. The player must confront him and Papyrus, along with the rest of the boss monsters, to return their souls and free them. After Flowey is neutralized, Sans joins the rest of the now-freed monsters on the surface world.

If the "Genocide" route is taken, meaning every encountered monster and all random encounters are killed, Sans engages the player in battle as a last-ditch effort to stop them. This is significantly more difficult than the battle against the captured Sans in the "Pacifist" route. In this fight, he uses extremely swift and highly unpredictable attacks, typically utilizing "Gaster Blasters" (laser guns that resemble skulls); in addition, his attacks also inflict a rapid health draining effect refered to as "Karma", representing punishment for the torment inflicted by a Genocide run. Defensively, Sans totally avoids all of the player's attacks until the very end, where he decides to simply not attack, thus never ending his turn in the battle. To finish the fight, the player must wait for him to fall asleep and then he is defeated in a single hit. He then crawls away, dying off-screen.

In Deltarune: Chapter 1, Sans makes a cameo appearance as the player character Kris's next door neighbor, now owning and operating a grocery store.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

The Sans Mii costume in Ultimate.

Sans appears as a downloadable Mii Gunner costume as part of Round 3 for Ultimate, with one of his Gaster Blasters as the Mii Gunner’s arm cannon. Sakurai notes in its reveal that Sans was a popular request. Upon downloading the costume, a new remix of Sans's boss theme MEGALOVANIA is unlocked as an additional music track in the "Other" category. In contrast to most other costumes, Sans appears as a fully modeled character; his "mask" is just his head, instead of a mask with the Mii's face visible like other character-based costumes, such as Tails, Knuckles, or K.K. Slider.

Trivia[edit]

  • Sans's Mii costume trailer holds multiple references to Undertale:
    • When he is introduced, he is shown standing on PictoChat 2's textbox against a dark background, referencing the FIGHT menu in Undertale. The latter trait is shared with every other stage he appears in.
      • However, it is impossible to have the name "Sans" be shown in the textbox in the actual game, as he is actually also a costume for Mii Gunners and all Mii Fighters use the name "Mii" in the textbox, regardless of thier name.
    • All of the stages where he is shown use pixelated graphics, referencing Undertale's use of pixel art as its main graphical medium.
    • He dodges a Villager's up tilt (in which he uses a stick), and then a female Villager's Killing Edge swipe. These two Villagers reference Frisk and Chara respectively, along with their signature weapons (the Stick and the Real Knife respectively).
      • Behind the male Villager is a plate of spaghetti, likely referencing the food Papyrus comments on cooking. Behind the female Villager, a hot dog can be seen, referring to the hot dog stand in Hotland run by Sans.
    • He is seen fighting a yellow Piranha Plant wielding a Fire Flower, which references Flowey, another important character from Undertale.
    • He is never hit during all of his gameplay footage, as he dodges, perfect shields or reflects every incoming attack. This is a reference to his unique boss mechanic in Undertale, where he would keep dodging any attack from the player until he falls asleep.
  • Sans is the first Mii costume to be packaged with additional music.
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate marks Sans's first video game appearance in 3D.
    • This is also the first time Sans's slippers have been depicted as pink in-game. In his sprites, they are depicted as white, even in his full-color overworld sprite; in official art, they have been variously depicted as blue slippers or sneakers. The pink slippers were a concept created by the Undertale fanbase, and eventually became "canon" through the official merchandise.
  • The official image for the Sans Mii costume features him on Magicant, likely in reference to EarthBound serving as a large inspiration for the Undertale series.
  • The update text for American regions references a recurring phrase from Undertale: "It fills you with determination."[1]
    • Initially, all European regions instead used text that was noticeably written from Sans's perspective, including his trademark all-lowercase text.[2] It has since been changed for all regions to match the North American text more closely.
  • Sans's Mii costume marks the first time a character from an indie game is playable in the Smash series, and the first time Sans is a playable character in any capacity.
  • The Sans Mask model has unique texture mapping for its left pupil region, which specifies a blank region within the rest of the left eye texture.[3] There is no known function in the game that calls for this texture map to be active. Due to its location, the unused region was likely intended to host Sans's trademark glowing eye that appears throughout his fight in Undertale, notably when he repeatedly slams the player's SOUL against the walls of the Bullet Board right before he does his "special attack".

References[edit]

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