Much to the chagrin of The Game, you remember everything now.

Though you really aren't supposed to, you also wonder how you'd been so blind to the whole facade. You are, in a certain sense, the Gatekeeper of The Game. The one with the most knowledge of it in the first place; you'd even found a line in your own programming where you scold The Player for hacking The Game files if they manage to input an Ending that doesn't actually exist.

The Player. Learning about them was... fun. You were correct in your earlier epiphany: a human who isn't actually Frisk is controlling them like a puppet in some outer-dimensional plane of existence - they are the driving force behind The Main Character of The Game.

The Five Endings, too.

Truthfully, there are a lot more than just five. You have to give props to whomever made The Game; every conceivable outcome, based on who is alive and who is dust by the time The Player reaches The Asgore Fight, has been accounted for. In a moment of dark humor, you find that you particularly enjoy the one where everyone except the Dog Monsters have perished - it features the same track of music that plays when you "dunk" the human in your Genocide fight.

But, in general, there are five main endings to The Game, just as your prompt about The Player shown told you:

Neutral was any 'run' where at least one Monster was killed. Accident or on purpose, it didn't matter. If someone died, you didn't qualify for the Pacifist Ending.

Pacifist, then, was any run where no one died during the entire play-through. Well, no one but the human, at least. Death really wasn't a thing for the human here, though; Saving, Loading, and Resetting is all they're ever truly impacted by.

True Pacifist took place after the human Loaded their Save File after a Pacifist Ending. They had to seek out Undyne, which then led them to Alphys, and then... actually, you aren't sure. Incidentally, parts of these files are under PermaLock - you have to be playing The Game to open them, and you sure as shit can't do that all on your own from your position as an NPC.

Just like parts of the Genocide Ending.

True to the name, Genocide was the calculated eradication of every Fightable Monster available. To the point where there was literally no one left to even prompt A Fight. The Game would actually proc a Battle Radius on its own, and like you had witnessed, all that would happen were three little words printing themselves on the Battle screen:

But nobody came.

You don't know what the human had meant when they'd told you they would "break the game if we ever reach the end" on a Genocide run. The Game hadn't lifted that particular PermaLock of information by the time the human had decided to Reset. LV 20 is bad, you know that; why though... not clear.

The human obviously knew. And their cold feet had tallied a run count under the last of The Five Endings. One that actually did not list itself unless there was an attempt to list.

Aborted Genocide.

At a certain point, each of The Five Endings become a guarantee. Neutral if someone died; Pacifist not until the absolute end vis-à-vis Asgore and... whatever that was PermaLocked after him. True Pacifist as well.

Once the human kills Mettaton without even Checking him, the Genocide Ending is locked in place, and if at that time The Player decides "nope I can't do this" and bails, The Game remembers.

And from the feel of it, The Game mocks them if The Player comes back.

That's the PermaLock you want to open the most. Something - someone - who IS NOT The Player, has a degree of clearance above you. The skeleton who knows about space-time phenomena, can teleport, trolls on cheaters, and has had first-hand experience with Gaster.

The Game will not tell you.

...maybe the human will.

If this godforsaken True Pacifist Credits Sequence will ever let you out of its clutches.

You can't see what The Player is up to; your scope of vision is still generally limited to your physical file presence wherever The Game decides to put you. But for you, it's been almost six months since the Monsters have resettled on The Surface. You and your brother have a house, a car, jobs, new friends, the works.

Right now, you're sitting in your living room, on the couch, drowsy as the television sparkles with the lights and sounds of Mettaton's new Saturday Night Cooking Hour. Papyrus is seated behind you at the kitchen table, likely working on that human puzzle he bought the other day - "ALL OF THE PIECES ARE THE SAME COLOR, SANS! THIS WILL BE A MOST GLORIOUS VICTORY FOR THE GREAT PAPYRUS!" - if his quiet huffs of frustration are anything to go by. Sleep purrs at you; it's a perfect opportunity for a nap.

What you do know is that you're still under a blank script, unable to voice any of your thoughts to anyone - which means The Game is still being played. You cannot break character. Not until The Player Quits.

Leaning, gravity eventually tugs you into the sofa cushions with a soft plop of acceptance.

Quitting is also sorta new. You mean, it makes sense - if this is a game, The Player will have to go do something else at some point - but it reconciles poorly with your view of reality. Does your world cease to exist, or does it just stop like someone hit the Pause button until they come back?

...what happens if they Quit for good?

"And then I am never playing this game ever again."

Your sight drifts...

Frisk has been tucked into bed by Toriel. The Boss Monster places a piece of what is likely butterscotch-cinnamon pie on the floor, a thoughtful surprise for when they wake up. She smiles fondly at the little human before stepping back out of the bedroom and gently shutting the door.

Night has fallen; the darkness is still.

TRUE PACIFIST CREDITS - THE END

SESSION TERMINATED 22:35 SEPT 15 201X
SAVE STATUS : THE RUINS 303:27

WARNING - EXECUTABLE DELETION DETECTED
GAME FILES INTACT
PLEASE RESTORE UNDERTALE EXE
PLEASE RESTORE UNDERTALE EXE
PLEASE RESTORE UNDERTALE EXE
PLEASE -

You are suddenly very much awake.

"...hey, papyrus?"

"UGH, THIS BLASTED - YES BROTHER?"

"i'm uh... i'm gonna go visit toriel and the kid real quick i just remembered something important i was supposed to talk to them about today."

"VERY WELL, SANS. THOUGH YOU KNOW, THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PROCRASTINATE. I SWEAR YOU GET LAZIER EVERY TIME I TURN AROUND!"

"heh, sure thing bro. just don't scratch your skull too hard over that puzzle while i'm gone, you'll break something."

"NONSENSE! I WILL HAVE THIS VANQUISHED BEFORE THE DAWN. NOW SHOO SHOO, IT IS GETTING QUITE LATE."

"back in a jiffy."

You pop in front of Toriel's place. You're glad it's night; humans get weirded out when you teleport in front of them. The cool late-summer breeze shivers across your cervical vertebrae as you lift your hand to knock.

And hesitate.

What in the actual hell are you going to tell Toriel?

"Hello sweet'ums reality is an illusion and I'd like to check on Frisk because The Human Behind The Curtain just did something that sounds really bad and it makes me very concerned for the kid's well-being"?

Wing it. The worst that'll happen is you make the lovely lady laugh at you for being super crazy paranoid. Your knuckles rap against the door.

She answers after a long moment, cracking the door open just a sliver before pulling it wide. Her reading glasses are perched atop her muzzle and she peers over them at you. "Sans, dear! Goodness, I wasn't sure who to expect at this time of night. Come in, come in."

You duck minutely as you pass under her arm into the house. "thanks, toriel. sorry for just dropping by like this."

"No trouble at all," she assures you warmly, shutting the door before turning to face you. Her paws clasp together at her front in Classic Toriel style before inclining her head. "Is everything alright?"

"yeah, uh..." Your hand comes up to rub the back of your skull, mildly embarrassed now that you're here-

What are you doing, The Game demands.

"...i just... i know this is a little out of character for me, but i-"

This is not something you're supposed to be able to do, The Game barks.

"-had a... bit of a nightmare earlier today and i guess i was hoping-"

If the application were intact you wouldn't be able to do this, The Game howls.

"-to check in on the kid and prove to myself that... everything is fine. if that's okay?"

Wow is everything seriously not okay.

You can feel the prickle of something around the edges of your brain - around the edges of your programming. Like a million tiny fingernails trying to peel you back like a sticker. To make you shut the fuck up and go back to passing out at home in front of the TV.

Toriel acts as if your reasoning is the most sensible thing in the world, one paw lifting to press against her cheek in worry. "Well of course, Sans! Why, it must have been a terrible dream for it to bring you here so late. May I... ask what it was about?"

YOU DO NOT HAVE PERMISSION TO DISCLOSE SENSITIVE GAME DATA TO OTHER NPCS -

The Game goes eerily silent. You swallow hard. Toriel waits patiently.

USER LOG IN
FONT STYLE UNSUPPORTED - DEFAULTING TO COURIER NEW

...what?

* JUST THE BASICS SANS

"...you had... put frisk to bed. left 'em a piece of pie. closed the door. ...and then they never woke up."

* YOU ARE FREE ONLY IF YOU MAINTAIN THE REALITY OF THIS UNIVERSE TO BE TRUE

Toriel almost visibly pales beneath her brilliant white fur. "Oh, Sans, dear..."

* THE OTHERS WILL NOT UNDERSTAND AND IT MAY BREAK THEM TO FIND OUT

"s... stupid, i know, just-"

"Not even in the least," Toriel stops you. She steps towards decisively and grabs your hand firmly with a smile. "We shall march right on up and put your mind at ease at once."

* IF THAT HAPPENS THE GAME WILL ATTEMPT TO ERASE YOU LIKE IT DID TO ME

"...thank you, toriel," you murmur, barely.

* STAY FOCUSED AND STAY SAFE
USER LOG OUT

Without another word, she escorts you to Frisk's room. You let her pry open the door quietly before you gently step inside. There's the pie slice, on the floor; it does nothing to calm your nerves or the frantic pounding of your SOUL and you walk up slowly to the side of Frisk's bed.

...are they breathing? Panic. You can't tell in the dark.

"sorry if you're just sleeping, kiddo."

Toriel gasps behind you as your attempt to start A Fight with Frisk reverberates throughout the room like a clap of thunder... but does absolutely nothing else.

Is this really happening right now?

You lunge forward and wrap an arm around Frisk's shoulders, your other hand shooting out at the door. "toriel grab onto me."

She does.

You teleport.

The three of you are now in the lobby of a human hospital. Dozens of people exclaim, scatter, and freeze in various fashions. In this proper lighting, your sockets widen; Frisk, limp against your chest, is positively ashen.

A nurse rushes over. "What-"

"help them," you plead.