Toby Fox

Last updated

Toby Fox
Toby Fox dog.jpg
An image of the Annoying Dog from Undertale , which Fox commonly uses for his public image
Born
Robert F. Fox

(1991-10-11) October 11, 1991 (age 32)
Other names
  • Radiation
  • FwugRadiation
Alma mater Northeastern University
Occupations
  • Video game developer
  • composer
Years active2008–present
Known forCreating the video games Undertale and Deltarune
Website tobyfox.net (archived)

Robert F. "Toby" Fox (born October 11, 1991) is an American video game developer and video game music composer. He is best known for developing the role-playing video game Undertale , which garnered acclaim and has received nominations for a British Academy Game Award, three Game Awards and D.I.C.E. Awards. He has also created Deltarune , which features many characters and features from Undertale, and has also garnered significant praise.

Contents

Fox's early work consisted primarily of composing music, notably for the webcomic Homestuck , and, following the success of Undertale, he went on to compose music for a number of other independent video games. Other notable works include contributing to the soundtracks of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and the Pokémon video games.

Career

Early work and composing

Toby Fox's earliest well-known work is his "EarthBound Halloween Hack", [1] a Halloween-themed ROM hack of the 1994 SNES game EarthBound , which released in 2008. He then moved on to compose a variety of music for Andrew Hussie's 2009 webcomic Homestuck during his senior year of high school. Though he did not initially respond when Hussie started a "Music Contribution Team" in April 2009 and put up a news post asking composers to participate, Hussie took note of his work when Fox started uploading piano covers of the webcomic's music on the MS Paint Adventures forums. [2] Fox has composed music for the 2017 Homestuck video game Hiveswap , [3] Undertale artist Temmie Chang's short narrative game Escaped Chasm , [4] and Game Freak's 2019 RPG Little Town Hero , the last of which was arranged by Pokémon composer Hitomi Sato. [3] He also composed a track for Pokémon Sword and Shield, [3] a vocal song for Itoki Hana's PRAY album, [5] and multiple tracks for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. [6] [7]

Acclaim and breakthrough

Undertale

Fox's most well-known work is the 2015 role-playing video game Undertale , which he also composed the soundtrack for. [8] The game sold more than 1 million copies, [9] becoming a "breakout hit" and "pop-culture phenomenon". [10] Fox worked on the entire game independently, besides the art assets—which he asked Temmie (Tuyoki) Chang to help with—to avoid relying on others. [11] He had some experience in game development before Undertale, using RPG Maker 2000 with his three brothers to make role-playing games and EarthBound ROM hacks in high school, [12] [13] the most notable of which was Earthbound: The Halloween Hack. [14] He thought of the character designs and ideas for Undertale while in college, where he drew them in his notebook. [15]

Following its release, Undertale garnered an extensive fanbase. [16] [17] Fox commented that he did not mind if people stated that they did not like the game, saying that it was "not for everyone". [17] Despite Undertale's awards and widespread acclaim, Fox wrote that his personal opinion was that the game was still "niche" and deserved an "8/10" review score. [16] [18]

In 2016, Fox released a number of unused musical tracks from Undertale. [19] He also became a contributor to the A Profound Waste of Time magazine. [20] Fox was then chosen to be part of the 2018 Games Forbes 30 Under 30 list for his role in creating Undertale. [21]

The success of Undertale, especially in Japan, afforded Fox the opportunity to visit Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai at his home, where they discussed the series and played Super Smash Bros. Ultimate against each other, and the two reportedly had a very similar skill level, trading wins and losses equally. Sans, a character from Undertale, was later included in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a Mii costume available through downloadable content, along with an instrumental composition "Megalovania", for which Fox provided a new arrangement. [22] [23] [24]

Deltarune

On October 30, 2018, Fox tweeted a request for fans of Undertale to check the game's official Twitter account in 24 hours. The following day, Fox released the first chapter of the followup to Undertale, named Deltarune, (an anagram of undertale) for free under the guise of a "survey". [25] [26] On November 1, Fox shared more details regarding the game, including that the rest of the chapters were expected to release simultaneously, but work had not yet started, and there was no estimated timeframe for completion. [27] Fox also stated that he had been working on the project since 2012, and that the idea for Undertale developed from Deltarune during production. [27] [28] On June 12, 2019, as only the first chapter of Deltarune had been playable for several months, Fox expressed on his Twitter account he had hope he would complete the rest of Deltarune, saying: "Slowly I'm writing and drawing it all out." [29] He stated that he had written "about 50 songs past Chapter 1". [30]

On September 17, 2021, Fox released the second chapter of Deltarune for free since "the world has been really tough for everybody recently", referring to the struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic. He plans to release the next two chapters simultaneously, with a price greater than Undertale, but without any projected release date. [31]

Personal life

Robert F. Fox [8] [32] was born on October 11, 1991, [33] in Manchester, New Hampshire. [8] Along with his three brothers, he is the son of Robert Fox, a financial planner, and Barbara Fox, a retired paraprofessional. [8] He studied environmental science at Northeastern University. [8]

Fox is secretive [8] and does not typically do interviews. [8] [34] He has chronic wrist and hand pain that regularly disables him from programming and composing. In September 2020, Fox cited a flareup of this pain as a factor in the delayed development of Deltarune 's second chapter. [35]

Works

Gameography

YearTitleDirectorComposerWriterPlatformsRef
2008 EarthBound: Halloween Hack (romhack)YesYesYes Super Nintendo [1]
2015 Undertale YesYesYes Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One [8]
2016Rose of WinterNoYesNo Windows [36]
2017 Hiveswap: Act 1NoYesNo Windows, macOS, Linux [3]
2018 Deltarune YesYesYes Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch [25]
2019 Escaped Chasm NoYesNo Windows [37]
Little Town Hero NoYesNo Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One [3]
2020Dweller's Empty PathNoYesNo Windows [38]
Hiveswap: Act 2NoYesNo Windows, macOS, Linux [3]
2022 Pokémon Scarlet and Violet NoYesNo Nintendo Switch [39]

Guest composer only

Other credits

YearMedia typeMedia titleRoleNotesRef
2009–2016 Webcomic Homestuck Composer [47]
2010AlbumThe Baby is YouWriter, composer, vocalistAlbum made for Homestuck [47]
2012AlbumI Miss You – EarthBound 2012Composer [48]
2012Websitetane.usGuest Arrangement Metronomy - Black Eye Burnt Thumb (Toby "Radiation" Fox CHIP MIX) [49]
2018AlbumPRAYGuest composer, lyricist and vocalist [5]
Video gameBlack BirdGame testing [50]
2020ComicHobonichi Mother Project "Pollyanna" comicContributor [51]
Music video Chip Tanaka/Hammerhead Shark SongDirector/Animator (music video) [52]
2021Video game Get in the Car, Loser! Credited for providing Guest Items and Stories [53]
Song"Myths You Forgot"Featured artist [54]
2022Album"Skies Forever Blue"Composer, writerIn collaboration with Itoki Hana [55]
2023Song"The Greatest Living Show"Composer, writer [56] [57]
Song"Prelude"ComposerIn collaboration with bo en [58]
Animated television series We Baby Bears Voice actor (2 episodes) [59]
Animated television series Pokémon Horizons Original Composer[ citation needed ]
2024SongKatahaComposerAs a guest composer for Amane Kanata's "Unknown DIVA" album [60]

Related Research Articles

Homestuck is an Internet fiction webcomic series created by American author and artist Andrew Hussie. The fourth and best-known of Hussie's four MS Paint Adventures, it originally ran from April 13, 2009 to April 13, 2016. Though normally described as a webcomic, and partly constituted by a series of single panel pages, Homestuck also relied heavily on Flash animations and instant message logs to convey its story, along with occasional use of browser games.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Andrew Hussie</span> American author and webcomic artist

Andrew Hussie is an American author and artist. He is best known as the creator of Homestuck, a multimedia webcomic presented in the style of a text-based graphical adventure game, as well as other works in a similar style that were hosted on his website MS Paint Adventures.

<i>Hiveswap</i> 2017 video game spinoff of Homestuck

Hiveswap is an episodic adventure game developed by What Pumpkin Games and overseen by Andrew Hussie and Cohen Edenfield. Based in the universe of Hussie's MS Paint Adventures webcomic Homestuck, it focuses on a girl who is accidentally transported to the planet of Alternia—home of the troll species seen in Homestuck.

Undertale is a 2015 2D role-playing video game created by American indie developer Toby Fox. The player controls a child named Frisk who has fallen into the Underground: a large, secluded region under the surface of the Earth, separated by a magical barrier. The player meets various monsters during the journey back to the surface, although some monsters might engage the player in a fight. The combat system involves the player navigating through mini-bullet hell attacks by the opponent. They can opt to pacify or subdue monsters in order to spare them instead of killing them. These choices affect the game, with the dialogue, characters, and story changing based on outcomes.

The 2009 webcomic Homestuck, written and drawn by Andrew Hussie, currently holds a soundtrack consisting of 30 digital albums. Besides static images, Homestuck makes use of flash animations and games, which often involve background music. The music of Homestuck is composed by fans, but is published by Hussie through his Bandcamp page under the What Pumpkin record label. Hussie established a small "Music Contribution Team" for the webcomic, which is coordinated by Toby Fox.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Flowey</span> Undertale character

Flowey the Flower is a fictional character and the primary antagonist of the 2015 video game Undertale, developed by Toby Fox. The first NPC the player encounters in the game, Flowey initially appears as a friendly and helpful talking flower, but quickly reveals himself to be a megalomaniacal sadist with more sinister goals. Towards the end of the game, if the player is on the "True Pacifist" route, it is revealed that Flowey is a soulless reincarnation of Asriel Dreemurr, the son of Toriel and Asgore and former prince of the Underground.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Megalovania</span> Video game music track

"Megalovania" is an instrumental video game song composed by Toby Fox. It was first composed for the Radiation Halloween Hack, a romhack of EarthBound, developed for a Mother fansite's competition in November 2008. Inspired by "Megalomania" from Live A Live and the final boss music of Brandish 2: The Planet Buster, the track was intended for the romhack's final boss battle, and was developed by Fox screaming "whatever [he] felt like" into a microphone and copying it down. The name itself is a combination of "megalomania" and "Transylvania", the latter of which intended to tie into the project's Halloween theme. Years later the track would be remixed for internet fiction Homestuck's soundtrack as "MeGaLoVania" with help from Joren "Tensei" de Bruin, and Fox would use another rendition as the final boss theme for the "genocide" route in his 2015 video game, Undertale, when fighting the character Sans.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Toriel</span> Character in Undertale and Deltarune

Toriel is a character introduced in the 2015 role-playing video game Undertale, acting as the first area boss. A motherly figure created as an embodiment of excessive video game tutorials, she is a member of the monster race with hanging ears, small horns, white fur, and a purple robe. Literally "hand-holding" the player through the opening sections of the game and intended to serve as a tutorial whom the player must fight to progress. The player can choose to kill her or convince her to stop fighting, which affects the way the story plays out. She also appears in Deltarune in a different role.

Deltarune is a role-playing video game developed by Toby Fox. The player controls a human teenager, Kris, who is destined to save the world together with Susie, a monster, and Ralsei, a prince from the Dark World. During their quest to seal the Dark Fountains prophesied to end the world, the group makes both friends and foes. The combat system is turn-based and uses bullet hell mechanics. Similar to Undertale, enemy encounters can be resolved peacefully or through violence.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alpharad</span> American YouTuber and esports personality (born 1995)

Jacob Rabon IV, better known by his online name Alpharad, is an American YouTuber, Twitch streamer, Esports personality, and musician. He is known for his gaming videos, especially on the Super Smash Bros. series along with his participation in the fighting game community as an announcer/commentator. He is also known for his "Nuzlocke" content, a variation on the game Pokémon to make it more difficult. Currently, he focuses on creating variety content, commonly with his friends.

<i>Pokémon Sword</i> and <i>Shield</i> 2019 role-playing games

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are 2019 role-playing video games developed by Game Freak and published by The Pokémon Company and Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch console. They are the first instalments in the eighth generation of the Pokémon video game series. First teased at E3 2017 and announced in February 2019, the games were released in November 2019. The games were accompanied by a downloadable content (DLC) expansion pass consisting of Part 1—The Isle of Armor and Part 2—The Crown Tundra.

Sans (<i>Undertale</i>) Character in Undertale and Deltarune

Sans the Skeleton is a fictional character created by Toby Fox and first appeared in the 2015 role-playing video game Undertale. Initially appearing as a friendly NPC with an easy-going and laid-back personality, he becomes the de facto final boss if the player chooses to complete the "genocide route" and go out of their way to destroy the game's race of monsters. His name is based on the Comic Sans font, which is used for most of his in-game dialogue. Critics praised the character for his dialogue and boss fight, which is considered to be one of the most difficult in the game. His popularity with fans inspired several user-created mods and other types of projects.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lena Raine</span> American composer and producer (born 1984)

Lena Raine, also known as Lena Chappelle or Kuraine, is an American-Canadian composer, producer, and video game developer. Raine is best known for her work on the soundtracks of Celeste, Minecraft and Guild Wars 2. She has composed music for various other video games, including Deltarune and Chicory: A Colorful Tale.

<i>Escaped Chasm</i> 2019 video game

Escaped Chasm is a 2019 adventure game developed by Temmie Chang. As a test project, it was released on April 2, 2019 as freeware on Itch.io. The game is set in an abandoned house and follows an unnamed girl whose parents never come back. Best known for her illustration work on Toby Fox's Undertale (2015) and Deltarune (2018), Chang used the game as a way to practice using the RPG Maker MV engine. Escaped Chasm was well received, with reviewers highlighting the animated cutscenes and effective use of color.

The music of Deltarune comprises multiple soundtrack albums created and scored by Toby Fox. The first soundtrack album was released on Bandcamp on November 1, 2018, a day after the game was launched. In collaboration with Fangamer, Fox released the first chapter's soundtrack on vinyl in 2019.

<i>Undertale Soundtrack</i> Music from the video game Undertale

Undertale Soundtrack is a soundtrack album by Toby Fox, released in 2015 for the video game Undertale.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Undyne</span> Character in Undertale and Deltarune

Undyne is a character in the 2015 video game Undertale. She is a monster who serves as the captain of the Royal Guard of the Underground under its king, Asgore. She is initially an antagonist to the player-character, the human, but depending on the human's actions, she may become their ally. She is reluctant to befriend the human, but through persistence by the player, eventually realizes that they were a good person. If the human makes a point of killing every monster possible, Undyne will transform into Undyne the Undying, vowing to destroy the human in order to save humans, monsters, and all other life from their actions. She is a lesbian, revealed to be in love with Alphys.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alphys</span> Character in Undertale and Deltarune

Alphys is a character in the 2015 video game Undertale. She is a bisexual monster who serves as a scientist under the leader of the Underground, Asgore, and is a fan of anime and manga. She is also a friend to Mettaton, a robot, and the captain of the Royal Guard, Undyne, who eventually becomes her girlfriend. She suffers from social anxiety, depression, and self-harm tendencies, and the depiction of her struggles with these have been the subject of praise and commentary by critics. She watches the player-character throughout the game, offering guidance at some point, though with limited benefit. She is revealed to have dark secrets, including ones that relate to experimentation. She also appears in Deltarune in a different role.

Papyrus (<i>Undertale</i>) Undertale character

Papyrus is a character introduced in the 2015 video game Undertale. He is a skeleton with a large ego who aspires to join the Royal Guard, and also the brother of Sans and friend of Undyne. He is eternally optimistic, and despite wanting to capture the human to prove himself, finds himself befriending the human instead. He does not appear in Deltarune, but has been alluded to. He was created by Toby Fox with support from Temmie Chang. He was originally envisioned as a creepy person who wears a fedora and has no redeeming qualities, though Fox did not like this idea, so he scrapped it. His character communicates with the papyrus typeface, which had to be changed to a "faux hand-drawn vertical script" when translated into Japanese.

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Commons-logo.svg Media related to Toby Fox at Wikimedia Commons