About the AU
In the world of Scartale, the war between the two races escalates and becomes bad enough that more drastic measures are taken. The Monsters begin experimenting with advanced technology and end up using captured humans to create a biological weapon known as Chara Syndrome, while the Humans decide to use genetics and SOUL conditioning to create an army of merciless super-soldiers.
The war ends when the Monster's pride, the experimental CORE device, is sabotaged; the resulting explosion levels Mt. Ebott, irradiates the area for miles around with unstable magic, and tears a hole into the void that comes to be known as the Scar. Anything with a SOUL that was able to survive the blast becomes permanently changed, exchanging a stable SOUL for extraordinary abilities.
By the time the player enters the Ruins, the war has been over for several years and the races have achieved an uneasy peace as they try to salvage a life from the wastelands. The player is one of many humans that have become infected with Chara Syndrome, a virus-like disease that causes schizophrenia and violence in its hosts, and their plan is to enter the old Monster cities to find some kind of cure.
The plot of Scartale changes drastically depending on the actions of the player. If they make the decision to befriend the various characters encountered, they are able to reach the Old City unscathed, where they face off against a Chara-Flowey amalgamate before sealing the Scar and earning the True Ending. If the player allows Chara to overtake them and decides on a Genocide Run, the game and setting take on a darker tone and many of the characters become actively antagonistic, seeing the player as a threat to their newfound peace; the Genocide Ending culminates with the player tearing the Scar wider and allowing the Void to engulf the entire area.
Although Scartale takes place on the surface, the locations parallel those found in the Underground. Many of these locations are very similar to those in the canon game, although aesthetically they appear more crumbled and abandoned. Main differences are outlined below.
The Ruins in Scartale are at the edge of the wastelands and battlefields that make up most of the setting, and as such they were barely damaged by the blast; Toriel has been residing here after Asriel's demise and she is the one to guide the player through this area while teaching them the game's mechanics and pieces of the backstory. Although she is hesitant for the player to leave in the Pacifist Run, she realizes that their chances of finding a cure are better closer to Old Home.
Because the Scar and the CORE explosion have tainted the atmosphere, no actual snow exists in this area; instead Snowdin is named for the constant white powder that falls on the area, a mixture of Monster dust and Human ashes. The forest surrounding Snowdin is made entirely of dead trees, as very little plant life survived the blast. This area is relatively inviting, and the Monsters that live here have become used to the constant dust in the air, but the player will eventually begin to take damage if they have not equipped the Bandana or the Mask over their face.
Waterfall is one of the rare places in the wastelands where clear water can be found, since the CORE blast forced springs to erupt from underground and the dust is filtered out by the water's constant motion. Unlike other AUs, Waterfall is the most populated area, as it also one of the only places where plant life can be grown. Fog covers this location where the water vapor has mixed with the dust in the air, making visibility difficult.
Most of this area is coated in magma coming from the wrecked Mt. Ebott, and thick smoke erupts from the ground at random intervals. This is the location where the most Monsters confront the player, as the proximity to the explosion has made their behavior more erratic and violent; this is also where Ash begins his Final Judgement attack during a Genocide Run if he hasn't already.
This area is knows as Alphys's lab instead of being called the Core as it is in other AUs, it is a makeshift area of metal and gears that has been cobbled together after the war ended. The Amalgamates can be encountered here, and to achieve a Pacifist Run the player needs to help Alphys with her research into anchoring lost SOULs to reality; it is this research that eventually helps the player seal the Scar.
Old Home is the ruined Monster capital city, and is the quietest of the locations and also the most damaged. Asgore's Garden can be found here, as well as the True Lab that Gaster worked in. This is the only area where live flowers can be seen, since Asgore can cause them to grow even in a toxic environment.
The area past the Old City is almost entirely engulfed by a time-space anomaly called the Scar, where the CORE's destruction has torn a hole through the world into the Void. The Scar is the source of Chara Syndrome, as Chara's body fell into the void, and a Flowey-Chara hybrid is the final boss that the player has to face before using the other character's abilities in unison to seal the Scar and obtain a good ending. This entire location is blackened and wrecked, with various SOUL-amalgamates skittering through the area.
- Scartale's concept is partially inspired by Vengeance of Dragons by Holly Lisle, in which a magical war irradiates areas of the world and turns the inhabitants into mutated monstrosities.
- The landscapes of Scartale are typically colored with a muted warm palette, the washed-out colors representing everything being coated in ash and dust.
- Because the player's case of Chara Syndrome is progressive, without the cure found in the Pacifist Ending the player will die. Because of this, a Neutral Ending is not achievable, and the game ends in this way with the player collapsing in the wasteland where their body is eventually found by Ash.