I'd really like to keep this as spoiler free as possible. I'm fairly early on in Undertale. I've just gotten to Toriel's home. I'm not sure where to go, but it

"doesn't seem like talking is the solution"

and I'm not sure how to

"show mercy without running away"

Are there instances where you must attack in order to advance?

A little bit more blunt:

I reset, exited, and re-entered my game after trying everything I could to not kill Toriel. However, it seems like the game saved anyway as the game makes reference to how "You thought about telling Toriel that you saw her die." Is there any way to recover from this state? I'd really like to move forward without killing anyone.

  • I don't think so that's the whole thing about undertale, but I'm not 100% sure.
    – Aequitas
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 1:45
  • Well, in the instance above, you just need to keep using spare numerous times until the battle ends. I'm still not sure about the overall question though.
    – zero298
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 2:06
  • 5
    In reference to your third spoiler, the game has a lot of instances where it saves stuff even when you're not specifically at a save point, and makes reference to when you reload a save (among other things). It's pretty meta like that.
    – Pyritie
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 9:12

5 Answers 5


While a no-kills run is possible, the FIGHT command is still required to complete the game.

Unless you clearly demonstrate you have no intent to show mercy, there are exactly two encounters (both at predetermined points) in the game where the FIGHT command must be chosen even if you do not want to kill anyone. Both of those occur at the very end of the game on the first playthrough. Every other encounter in the game can be peacefully resolved without ever using the FIGHT command.

With regards to the fight you mentioned:

If you remember that one of the froggits mentioned that you may have to use the spare command even if a monster's name tag isn't yellow to resolve a battle without killing anyone, the solution becomes a bit easier to fathom. SPAREing a monster means telling them you do not wish to fight. Toriel wants to make sure you are strong enough to survive on the other side of the door before allowing you to pass through it. If you have enough determination, though, she'll concede and stop attacking you (and the flee option will be removed from the MERCY menu when this happens).

Additionally, since it was also asked, I'll go ahead and answer the question raised in the spoiler block at the end:

When using "ingame" methods to handle your save data (like restarting from a save point after ALT-F4'ing out of the game), the game will have already saved some information about what you've done. This includes whether you had killed or spared Toriel (and how many times for each), what cutscenes you've seen (and how many times you've seen them), and so on, and this is kept separate from the actual "savegame" file. With one "major spoiler" exception, though, none of these will actually block you off from any ending. It is, however, possible to fully reset this by deleting the save folder (located at AppData\Local\UNDERTALE) and disabling steam cloud saves (if applicable, since it will "helpfully" restore the files you just deleted). Doing this will give you a fresh start, as if you had just played Undertale for the first time.


Keeping as spoiler free as possible, yes. There are instances where you must attack to progress through the game. This isn't the same as killing however, and Toriel is not one of these instances.

The way to save Toriel:

Go to the Mercy menu and keep sparing her (about 20 times). Eventually she will relent.

As far as I know there's no way to make the game forget you failed to save her the first time.

  • You can remove the save data entirely from the folder where it's stored, but yes, the game itself will not always allow you to backtrack without anyone noticing.
    – gwj17
    Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 18:12
  • 1
    "As far as I know there's no way to make the game forget you failed to save her the first time." - The game will forget nearly everything if you do a True Reset (after finishing the game with the best ending).
    – Kevin
    Commented Feb 23, 2019 at 21:53

There are two instances where you must attack to proceed with the game.

The first instance in the game where you must attack to progress:

Towards the end of game when you fight Asgore Dreemurr in the neutral story route, he starts the battle by destroying the 'MERCY' option. You still have the 'ACT' option, but while this helps lower Asgore's stats, you have to attack him until his health gets low. Once you've weakened him enough, you'll do a critical hit that will put him a single hit away from dying, and the fight effectively ends here.

The one other time you must fight:

Is the fight against Flowey. You don't choose the 'FIGHT' option in the menu as you do in a standard fight, but the option appears on the field towards the end of the fight where you can use it by selecting it with your heart over the icon.

  • You also keep the ability to use your items during the Asgore fight, and if you kept Toriel's Pie, eating it will lower Asgore's Attack and Defense as he "Recognizes its scent". Commented Apr 14, 2022 at 18:22

There is no need to kill anyone in Undertale.

Undertale's tagline is: The RPG game where you don't have to destroy anyone and of course because of this they ensure that there is always some option to advance without killing.

Common kills:

Toriel is the one that most players think that there is no way to advance without killing her but even with Toriel there is no need to kill.


The dummy at the beginning of the game also counts as a kill which is commonly thought by players to not count.


Another common kill used to be the Vegetoids, eating them was regarded as a kill in the demo but is no longer counted as a kill.

  • 4
    This doesn't technically answer the question asked, and is therefore misleading. You don't need to kill anyone, yes, but you DO need to attack in certain circumstances even for a perfect pacifist run. (Not that Toriel is one of those circumstances.) Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 17:16

From my experience so far of not killing any of the characters, there are some instances where there is no way getting around having to attack the characters, but even then with each of those characters, the game gives you the option to spare or kill them at the end of the battle anyways. The game only really makes you do this with a couple characters at the end of your adventure.


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