Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Watch Undertale's quirky score get reimagined by a Japanese orchestra for its 5th anniversary

Illustration for article titled Watch iUndertale/is quirky score get reimagined by a Japanese orchestra for its 5th anniversary
Screenshot: Undertale

There’s plenty to love about Undertale, the 2015 ultra-indie RPG that evoked the 16-bit classics of yore while asking players to kill as little as possible. And while it’s easy to get swept up in the strange gameplay and quirky humor, it’s creator Toby Fox’s melodic (and pixelated) score you’re likely to cherish long after the game’s finished. It’s been covered numerous times over the past several years, but none of them can touch the grand and stirring rendition put on by Japan’s MUSIC Engine orchestra last year. This week, that performance roared online.

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The 8-bit charm of Fox’s original compositions is missing, obviously, but the melodies packed within them take on new dimension through the vast array of horns, strings, and woodwinds. Fox summed up the oddness of it all himself in a tweet on Wednesday.

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Fox is honored in the concert’s intro when a plush of the game’s Annoying Dog, an in-game representation of Fox, is placed on a table before the orchestra. Stick around through the credits and the Annoying Dog sprite will stroll out for a trio of piano compositions. As Fox revealed on Twitter, this was actually him.

You can watch the full thing below. It begins with roughly 40 minutes of pre-show animations. You can skip them, though there’s a few fun easter eggs peppered throughout it. The same goes for the intermission, which reimagines several of the game’s characters in a “let’s all go to the lobby”-type ad.

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Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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