grapegarden: Mary holding Ib and Garry's roses. ("All art is at once surface and symbol.")
[personal profile] grapegarden
Undertale is a game I keep close to my heart, and its world and characters are what's keeping me sane in a not-so-sane world. But nothing makes me weep quite like two striped kids and a goat monster. I'm making a fanmix for each of these kids' relationships with each other, starting with the biggest: Asriel Dreemurr and the Fallen Child (best known to fandom as "Chara")

This fanmix, like the others, is subject to my own headcanons/interpretations/speculations of Undertale and what Chara and Asriel were like outside the few moments we see them in-game. While a lot of the songs can be construed as friendshippy/queerplatonic, this is primarily a shippy fanmix. If you see Chara and Asriel as purely platonic and/or siblings, this is not the mix for you. I will not tolerate fandom/shipping wank and any such comments will be deleted. While Chara and Asriel (including Flowey) are depicted in a sympathetic light, it does NOT shy away from the darker aspects of their characters or their relationship, and includes elements of codependency, obsession, and possessiveness. Throw in canon-typical references to suicide, death & grieving, and implied dissociation, and you're in for a wild ride before anyone earns their happy ending. Oh, and Thom Yorke drops f-bombs, but that's the least of anyone's concern.

Special thanks to all my friends for offering suggestions for songs and providing support. The lovely cover art is drawn by [tumblr.com profile] deeroffal and has been used with permission. :)

How much do I dedicate to the dysfunctional-but-genuine romance between a human and a goat wearing matching green sweaters? Let's find out.

Sunlight :: A Charasriel Mix from Shamanic Shaymin on 8tracks Radio.

 

1. The Scene Aesthetic - Dear Time Traveler || 2. Tori Amos - Snow Cherries From France || 3. Radiohead - Creep || 4. Smashing Pumpkins - Never Let Me Down Again || 5. VAST - Desert Garden || 6. Lisa Loeb - The Way It Really Is || 7. Sarah Mclachlan - Hold On || 8. Fall Out Boy - Alone Together || 9. Poe - Spanish Doll || 10. Björk - Unravel || 11. The Cure - Pictures of You || 12. Fisher - Mad Girl's Love Song || 13. Garbage - Nobody Loves You || 14. Celldweller - So Sorry To Say || 15. Florence + The Machine - Howl || 16. Idiot Pilot - Strange We Should Meet Here || 17. Nine Inch Nails - And All That Could Have Been || 18. Emilie Autumn - Remember || 19. Evanescence - Good Enough || 20. Lacey Sturm - Run To You || 21. Placebo - Running Up That Hill || 22. Vienna Teng - Eric's Song || 23. Mat Kearney - Fire And Rain || 24. Tonight Alive - Safe & Sound || 25. Helen Trevillion - Over the Waterfalls


1. The Scene Aesthetic - Dear Time Traveler

Come to me and I'll tell you the story,
Of how I became the way that I became,
Set aside all the things that you've heard in the past,
I have reasons but I'm still the same,
Light my way back home cause I'm feeling so alone

Then there's you, I'm tired of waiting,
When are you coming back, coming to me?

'Cause I've been waiting here to declare a new meaning,
To feel the way I do and it just happens to be,
One of the things that I'd like pretend,
'Cause I know you can't stand,
When I wake up, hold on to your hand and I'm sorry I'm not strong enough,
To let go of the things that I love way too much


"It sounds like it came from over here... Oh! You've fallen down, haven't you... Are you okay? Here, get up... ... Chara, huh? That's a nice name. My n a m e i s..."


And so, we begin to tell the tale of a tragic friendship between a monster and a human. Said friendship provides the catalyst to the plot of the game, and its their story you hear from monsters toward the end of each Neutral run.


2. Tori Amos - Snow Cherries From France

"Can you launch rockets from here?"
Boy I've done it for years
Right over my head
And when I promised my hand
He promised me back
Snow Cherries from France

All that summer
We traveled the world
Never leaving his own back garden
Girls, I didn't know
Just what it could be
Oh, but he let me go sailing


"Howdy, Chara! You finally made it home. Remember when we used to play here? Hee hee hee... Boy! Today's gonna be just as fun."


Asriel recalls what wonderful friends he and Chara were; they're practically always together. But something dark from Chara's past seems to plague them...


3. Radiohead - Creep

I don't care if it hurts
I want to have control
I want a perfect body
I want a perfect soul

I want you to notice
When I'm not around
You're so fucking special
I wish I was special

But I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here


"Greetings. I am Chara. 'Chara.' The demon that comes when people call its name."


...Probably because Chara had been raised to believe they are Satan incarnate. They believed they weren't "capable" of love the way monsters and regular humans are, belonging neither to the surface or underground.


4. Smashing Pumpkins - Never Let Me Down Again

I'm taking a ride
With my best friend
I hope he never lets me down again
He knows where he's taking me
Taking me where I want to be
I'm taking a ride
With my best friend

~

See the stars, they're shining bright
Everything's alright tonight


"Okay, Chara, are you ready? Do your creepy face! AHHHHH!! Hee hee hee! Oh! Wait! I had the lens cap on... What!? You're not gonna do it again...? Come on, quit tricking me! Haha!"


Neither Asriel or Chara had much experience in the way of friendship, creating a bittersweet bond and a codependent mess where they hero-worship each other a liiiiiiiiiittle too much.


5. VAST - Desert Garden

Do you feel like I do
Tired of everything?
Can you feel what I can
Almost everything?

I want to leave today
The sky is big and my life is small
I want to leave with you
So we can build a desert garden

The stars are far away
I can see them with my eyes
I watch them burn away
Like the moments of my life


(You hear a passing conversation.)
"So? Don't you have any wishes to make?"
"... hmmm, just one, but... It's kind of stupid."
"Don't say that! Come on, I promise I won't laugh."
"... hmmm... if I say my wish... You promise you won't laugh at me?"
"Of course I won't laugh!"
"Someday, I'd like to climb this mountain we're all buried under. Standing under the sky, looking at the world all around... That's my wish."
(You hear laughter.)
"... hey, you said you wouldn't laugh at it!"
"Sorry, it's just funny... That's my wish, too."


It's gloomy being stuck underground... even gloomier considering what comes later...


6. Lisa Loeb - The Way It Really Is

Maybe I am
Hiding in my own confusion
Maybe we're just
A picture in my head
Maybe what if it could be
The way I wish it really was?
Maybe I don't wanna see it
The way it really is


"I... I don't like this idea, Chara. Wh.. what? N—no, I'm not... ... big kids don't cry. Yeah, you're right. No! I'd never doubt you, Chara... N-Never!"


First verse is Asriel's POV, second verse is Chara's. Asriel fears Chara is pushing him away, Chara is waiting for the rug to be pulled from underneath them. Close friends who used to share everything together become distant out of fear the two of them aren't meant to be.


7. Sarah Mclachlan - Hold On

Now you're sleeping peaceful
I lie awake and pray
That you'll be strong tomorrow and we'll
See another day and we will praise it
And love the light that brings a smile
Across your face...

Hold on
Hold on to yourself
For this is gonna hurt like hell


"Y... yeah! We'll be strong! We'll free everyone! I'll go get the flowers."


Fun Fact: This is a song about a woman whose husband is dying of AIDS. Now look up the symptoms of buttercup poisoning, remember a child decided to kill themself this way on purpose, and you'll be guaranteed to be upset for the rest of your day. You're welcome! :D


8. Fall Out Boy - Alone Together

I don't know where you're going
But do you got room for one more troubled soul?
I don't know where I'm going
But I don't think I'm coming home and I said
I'll check in tomorrow if I don't wake up dead
This is the road to ruin
And we're starting at the end


"Frisk, when Chara and I combined our SOULs together… The control over our body was actually split between us. They were the one that picked up their own empty body. And then, when we got to the village… They were the one that wanted to… … to use our full power. I was the one that resisted. And then, because of me, we…"


Needless to say, Chara's hatred of humanity and Asriel's compassion was no match for the village on the surface. Returning underground empty-handed, both children died, plummeting the monster kingdom into despair. Typically, our story would end here, and it'd count as a complete fanmix. But...


9. Poe - Spanish Doll

A memory gilded in red and gold
(de oro [of gold])
Beauty guarded and never sold
(cuidame [protect me])
I keep it with me wherever I go
And I love you still
(recuerdame [remember me])
No matter how a story will unfold
You know I always will
(esta conmigo [it is with me])
Have part of you here
In this souvenir - Spanish Doll

A stranger in this world without you
Is all that I can ever be
All I know that's pure and clear
You left it with me here
In this souvenir...

"We hear of a lovely daughter, shot down in her mistaken flight, unaware yet of how her life will be affected by this experience."
"How come it's a house of leaves?"


"I remember when I first woke up here, in the garden. I was so scared. I couldn't feel my arms or my legs... My entire body had turned into a flower! 'Mom! Dad! Somebody help me!' I called out. But nobody came."


..."And we're starting at the end." Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeah. Asriel wakes up as Flowey and Chara is a ghost. This song is basically one big reference of their shared gift with each other—the Heart Locket—and how confused and lost they've been since "coming back to life."


10. Björk - Unravel

While you are away
My heart comes undone
Slowly unravels
In a ball of yarn
The devil collects it
With a grin
Our love
In a ball of yarn

He'll never return it
So when you come back
We'll have to make new love


"I became despondent. I just wanted to love someone. I just wanted to care about someone. Chara, you might not believe this... But I decided... It wasn't worth living anymore. Not in a world without love. Not in a world without you. So... I decided to follow in your footsteps. I would erase myself from existence. And you know what? I succeeded."


Flowey grieves for Chara and commits suicide himself, discovering his resetting powers. But no matter how much he experiments, he cannot go as far back as saving Chara.


11. The Cure - Pictures of You

I've been looking so long at these pictures of you
That I almost believe that they're real
I've been living so long with my pictures of you
That I almost believe that the pictures are
All I can feel

~

If only I'd thought of the right words
I could have held on to your heart
If only I'd thought of the right words
I wouldn't be breaking apart
All my pictures of you


"There's only one person I could care about anymore. And even then, I couldn't TRULY care about them. I just like to think there's someone out there... Someone that I won't get tired of. Someone like ME."


And of course, there's the sheer guilt that comes from assisting your best friend with their suicide.


12. Fisher - Mad Girl's Love Song

"I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)


"You. You are wracked with a perverted sentimentality. Hmm. I cannot understand these feelings any more."


You know what? Just go read the original Sylvia Plath poem here. Chara recalls their feelings for Asriel, but bitterness over his "betrayal" regarding the buttercup plan colors their memories.


13. Garbage - Nobody Loves You

Coughing up feeling just for you
To find something real to hold on to
But there is a hole inside my heart
Where all of my love comes pouring out

You know you'll always be my man
But grab yourself sweetness where you can
'Cause sooner or later we're gonna die
Left to the dogs under the sky


"Hahaha... You're not really human, are you? No. You're empty inside. Just like me. In fact... You're Chara, right? We're still inseparable, after all these years..."


Despite holding Chara onto a pedestal, Flowey has pent-up resentment from being manipulated (and doesn't hide it well if his behavior toward Frisk/Chara as Omega Flowey is any indication)


14. Celldweller - So Sorry To Say

So lost, tell me how can it be?
Desperately trying
To understand why
I push you from me

So close, but so far away
I cannot see
How this happened to me
I'm so sorry to say


"Creatures like us... Wouldn't hesitate to KILL each other if we got in each other's way."


Chara under control of the Genocide Player, torn between their rage and how they used to regard Asriel as the most beloved person in their life, simultaneously despising him and terrified of losing him again.


15. Florence + The Machine - Howl

Be careful of the curse that falls on young lovers
Starts so soft and sweet and turns them to hunters
A man who's pure of heart and says his prayers by night
May still become a wolf when the autumn moon is bright

If you could only see the beast you've made of me
I held it in but now it seems you've set it running free
The saints can't help me now, the ropes have been unbound
I hunt for you with bloody feet across the hallow'd ground


"Huh? WHY am I still doing this? Don't you get it? This is all just a GAME. If you leave the underground satisfied, you'll 'win' the game. If you 'win,' you won't want to 'play' with me anymore. And what would I do then? But this game between us will NEVER end. I'll hold victory in front of you, just within your reach... And then tear it away just before you grasp it. Over, and over, and over..."


Chara and Asriel at their ugliest, angriest, and most obsessive.


16. Idiot Pilot - Strange We Should Meet Here

A moment we die
Our souls will re-align
A murder so divine
We'll heaven hell
Everything is fine, everything is fine

(Come on, I killed you anyway!)
You remind me
(Come on, face the gun!)
Of someone I used to know


"See? I never betrayed you! It was all a trick, see? I was waiting to kill him for you! After all it's me your best friend! I'm helpful, I can be useful to you. I promise I won't get in your way. I can help... I can... I can... Please don't kill me.
"

WHOO MOOD DISSONANCE. A peppy-sounding song with Stepford Smiler lyrics for the worst two endings in the game, Genocide and Soulless Pacifist.


17. Nine Inch Nails - And All That Could Have Been

Ice is starting to form
Ending what had begun
I am locked in my head
With what I've done
I know you tried to rescue me
Didn't let anyone get in
Left with a trace of all that was
And all that could have been

Please take this
And run far away
Far away from me
I am tainted
The two of us were never meant to be
All these pieces
And promises and left behinds
If only I could see
In my nothing
You were everything
Everything to me


"I feel obligated to suggest. Should you choose to create this world once more. Another path would be better suited."


After an aborted Genocide run, Chara is horrified by what happened.


18. Emilie Autumn - Remember

I would recognize your shadow in a crowded room
Change your name a million times, it wouldn't change my mind
Or what I hope to find in your heart underneath
In a new rhythm I breathe 'cause I remember you
I remember you
I remember you
I remember you
Yes I do


"Strangely, as your friends remembered you... Something else began resonating within the SOUL, stronger and stronger. It seems that there's still one last person that needs to be saved. But who...? ... Suddenly, you realize. You reach out and call their name."


With the Pacifist Player's help, Chara and Frisk call out to Asriel.


19. Evanescence - Good Enough

Drink up sweet decadence
I can't say no to you
And I've completely lost myself, and I don't mind
I can't say no to you

Shouldn't let you conquer me completely
Now I can't let go of this dream
Can't believe that I feel...
Good enough
I feel good enough
It's been such a long time coming, but I feel good


"... ... Chara... Do you know why I'm doing this...? Why I keep fighting to keep you around...? I'm doing this... Because you're special, Chara. You're the only one that understands me. You're the only one who's any fun to play with anymore. ... No... That's not JUST it. I... I... I'm doing this because I care about you, Chara! I care about you more than anybody else! I'm not ready for this to end. I'm not ready for you to leave. I'm not ready to say goodbye to someone like you again..."


Chara and Asriel at the end of True Pacifist.


20. Lacey Sturm - Run To You

I've always believed in you
You used to believe in me too
Remember the day that you turned away
It killed me to lose you
It killed me to lose you

But I'll let you go, if that's what you want
But I hope you know my love won't stop
You say it's not true and you call me a fool
But call out my name, I'll run to you


"Maybe… The truth is… Chara wasn’t really the greatest person."


Chara feels horrible about manipulating Asriel and how they treated him during their last days alive. They're willing to let their best friend go if it means he can be happy, and promises to be there should he ever need them again.


21. Placebo - Running Up That Hill

You don't want to hurt me
But see how deep the bullet lies
Unaware that I'm tearing you asunder
There is thunder in our hearts, baby
So much hate for the ones we love?
Tell me, we both matter, don't we?

You
You and me
You and me won't be unhappy


"Chara, I said it before. Even after all this time... You're still the only one that understands me."


Despite everything, Asriel stays looking after the flowers on Chara's grave. He and Chara have a heart-to-heart and have a much needed conversation.


22. Vienna Teng - Eric's Song

And of course I forgive
I've seen how you live
Like a phoenix you rise from the ashes
You pick up the pieces
And the ghosts in the attic
They never quite leave
And of course I forgive
You've seen how I live
I've got darkness and fears to appease
My voices and analogies
Ambitions like ribbons
Worn bright on my sleeve

Strange how we know each other


"* Heart Locket. It says 'Best Friends Forever.'"


Of course Asriel forgives Chara! The two of them agree to look toward the future together, whether it be the afterlife or...


23. Mat Kearney - Fire And Rain

I'll meet you half way
If you're coming the long way
Don't care what the people say
Of the prodigal runaway

'Cause hey hey, they don't know you like I do
I wait for the whole world to show you
Maybe we're not, not that gone


"Chara... I think if you're around... Just living in the surface world doesn't seem so bad."


Frisk is successful in giving Asriel a soul and Chara a body of their own, granting the two of them a second chance in more ways than one.


24. Tonight Alive - Safe & Sound

And nothing in this world could ever make me this happy
So, don't fall asleep (don't fall asleep)
I'm yours to keep (I'm yours to keep)
And from here on in, I'm giving it everything

'Cause nothing compares to what we share
I don't have a care in the world
'Cause even if it all came crashing down
As long as you're around
I'll be safe and sound


"Howdy, Chara! Smile for the camera! Ha, this time I got YOU! I left the cap on... ON PURPOSE! Now you're smiling for noooo reason! Hee hee hee!"


Chara and Asriel living on the surface together, finally getting to live like kids again.


25. Helen Trevillion - Over the Waterfalls

We're not perfect
But we try so hard
We're still children
But we're taller standing on each other's shoulders, you know-

We're not here long
There's a whole world to figure out
So cry your eyes out
And don't be afraid to feel everything

We're so fragile
And we're so strong
Don't look back now
You're already moving on


"* Despite everything, it's still you."


Despite enduring trauma no child should have to endure and struggling with the fallout into adulthood, Chara and Asriel are alive and here for each other. Most importantly, they have hope.
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