This is a theory about @loverofpiggies AU @askerrorsans please go read everything there first i use some panels from her comic to point out certain things in the story. These panels are much better in context and should be read spoiler free and trust me its much more interesting than my theories. once again artwork belongs to @loverofpiggies go there read her shit its awesome.
Background (my relation with the topic):
On new year’s eve I decided to indulge some curiosity and check out the game I’d been hearing so much about Undertale. With that simple decision I was tossed head first into the Undertale fandom. Quickly becoming full blown Undertale trash I discovered this particular fandom lent itself well to the creation of AUs or alternate universes in which a creator imagines the characters in a new and different scenario. The AU I quickly latched on to (in fact I created a Tumblr just to follow it) was Ask Error! Sans by loverofpiggies.
And it’s this AU we will be diving into on the first official installment of Over Analytical Nerds.
Background (Sans and Error! Sans):
For those of you who don’t know the story of Undertale you play as a child of ambiguous or nonexistent gender after he falls into “the underground” a civilization under a mountain. A long time before the story a races know as monsters were sealed underground by humans. You trek through the underground meeting monsters and befriending them. For this discussion the important one is Sans.
Sans is a laid back skeleton with vague and mostly undefined telekinetic and time travel abilities. The most noticeable is his ability to remember his timeline being reset and it seems he is also at least vaguely aware of other universes .
The AU of Ask error follows a strange entity known as Error! Sans and his murderous adventures through the multiverse. Error was at one point a normal Sans who through a currently unknown reason became pretty crazy and is on the war path to destroy all other AUs.
The question: What is wrong with Error and why is he so crazy?
Part one: What is wrong with Error?
Before we can delve into motives or why he’s crazy (if in fact he is) we have to start with the very basic. Is he actually crazy and if so what sort of crazy? In other words, our adventure begins with a diagnosis and a diagnosis begins with looking at the symptoms. Looking through all of the Ask Error comic I discovered many recurring symptoms.
1. Homicidal tendencies
Throughout the updates Error demonstrates that not only has he murdered multiple people and universes he’s expressed joy in doing so.
2. Hearing voices
Error interacts will the askers by hearing the asks and responding to them however it is shown that unlike general ask blogs Error is the only one who can hear the askers and this is acknowledged by Error’s *cough* guest.
3. Periods of Catatonia
Catatonia is a psychomotor disorder meaning it effects how people move and react to stimuli. Error exhibits two types of Catatonia. Excited Catatonia and retarded catatonia (note: that’s a clinical term). Excited Catatonia is catatonia in which the patient is excited, impulsive, hyperactive, aggressive, and combative.
After meeting ghost! toriel excited, aggressive, and combative
Error has one current episode of retarded catatonia when he “crashes” while trying to deal with an emotional blueberry Sans
Though these three are the most unusual he still goes into many smaller catitonic episodes normally when dealing with something from his past. It has been stated by the author that this is to protect error from past memories.
kleptomania is an impulse control disorder where a person will often steal items they don’t need they don’t need. Error will continually steal things from Underfell! sans the current list is a slipper, chocolate, and soda. He also claims to take trophies from universes he destroyed (see image 3).
fear of touch or being touched. He explicitly states this
6. Delusions of grandeur
A delusion that you are greater, more powerful, and more influential than you are. Error is convinced that he must destroy all divergent timelines and that he can in fact achieve this.
to simplify the belief that people are out to get you. There is only one direct example (pictured below) where he believes his friend is “toying with him”. There are many times where he isn’t outright paranoid but is overly suspicious of other people.
9. Loss of memory
this is another thing clearly stated his first memories were well after he entered the “anti-void” meaning he has no memories of either entering the void or his life before the void.
10. Angry outbursts
Error will often just randomly burst into anger or will go to anger for no reason
From these symptoms we can try to ascertain what is wrong with error. My findings may actually be rather unsurprising but I believe Error has two devastating mental conditions. One can say is most likely Schizophrenia. Error shows signs of both positive and cognitive schizophrenia. Positive symptoms are psychotic behaviors including hallucinations (hearing voices), delusions (delusions of grandeur, paranoia). Conative schizophrenia includes disorganized thinking and troubles with memory.
As for his second condition there are two mental conditions that could fit the bill although he is very unlikely to have both. The first option is borderline personality disorder. Borderline personality disorder is characterized by unstable moods and behaviors. This includes extreme bouts of uncontrollable anger, impulsive behavior (kleptomania), distorted views of self (delusion of grandeur and self-depreciation), difficulty with relationships, stress related paranoia and other psychological episodes such as his catatonic episodes.
With schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder there is only one symptom not accounted for. His homicidal tendencies. Most the time when Error kills people or talks about killing people he speaks of it as if it’s a job something that must be done. Combine that with other factors I will speak about in more detail below it is possible he has a condition called complex post-traumatic stress disorder. C-PTSD is different from normal PTSD due to the fact PTSD tends to deal with single incidents while C-PTSD is often from something systemic. C-PTSD has 6 main areas of symptoms associated with it
1. Difficulty with impulse control and emotional regulation (kleptomania, angry outburst, mood swings)
2. Alteration in consciousness (memory loss, catatonia)
3. Alterations in self-perception (self-depreciation, delusions of grandeur)
4. Alterations in relationships (paranoia, haphephobic,)
5. Somitalization also known as physical manifestation of psychological trauma. It’s often shown that error is in pain when under moments of extreme mental duress.
6. Alteration in systems of meaning. Changes in how you derive your meaning.
There’s a lot more to cover on C-PTSD but it requires some more information I’ll cover in the next section so let’s move on for now.
Part 2: Why is he so crazy
While both borderline personality disorder and schizophrenia have strong genetic ties in universe no other Sans appears to have these conditions so we can assume there isn’t a strong genetic correlation though there may be some that are more highly present due to environmental factors.
In schizophrenia there are three main environmental factors to look out for an environment that’s constantly in a high emotional state, a highly judgmental environment, and psychological stress. Funnily enough borderline personality disorder shares the same environmental factors. Now that we know what to look for let’s look at Error sans history.
Now we return to the anti-void I mentioned before. The anti-void is that white place error is in most the time. It appears to be a hub between different AUs where Error spends most of his time. It is a pure white timeless void that is to quote blueberry sans is suffocating quiet.
Error also talks about his time in the anti-void. He states when he first arrived there he did nothing but sleep until he got bored of sleeping. This actually could go with a condition Sans has in all timelines, Hypersomnia. Which is excessive napping daytime sleepiness, and a tendency to fall asleep during things like meals and conversations. It should be noted that hypersomnia has a tendency to raise chances of anxiety, memory issues, and auditory hallucinations. Though I couldn’t find an actual number for how long that would take but the longest continues sleeping I could find was in a medical journal from the 1800s where it stated a farmer slept for 5 days strait 3 in short succession so for the sake of argument (since sans is a skeleton) let’s say he slept for a month. After that he claimed he screamed until the screams started screaming back.
Though this doesn’t give us a conclusive timeline it gives us something to start with and that’s 15-30 days in a state similar to sensory deprivation. Since Error still has his sight and can hear it isn’t true sensory deprivation it is in fact something called White torture but the effects of the two are the same so for the sake of simplicity we’ll call it sensory deprivation. Numerous studies show that sensory deprivation can start showing psychological effects such as visual and auditory hallucinations in as little as 24 hours even in mentally and physically healthy people.
Needless to say this would be more than enough psychological stress and would leave you in a very unstable psychological state. It’s also shown that talking to much about his past leaves him in his catatonic states. The memory repression mixed with these temporary states indicate Error also suffers from some form of PTSD. However, since these episodes only occurred when directly confronted about his memory indicates that it has been a very long time since the memories actually occurred since there are studies that show that memory repression is actually a cumulative effect of consciously pushing away those memories.
Part 3: C-PTSD and Errors past
While schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder can explain most of his symptoms I don’t think its correct. The schizophrenia is probably correct he needs some meds for that but the borderline personality disorder is less solid. Going back to something I mentioned earlier, C-PTSD, let’s look at that a little more closely especially the last symptom alteration in system of meaning. Assuming Error is fairly similar to normal Sans a lot of their meaning is derived from their family and friends people who the mere mention of send him into a cationic state or into a state of rage.
Now his meaning derives from destroying AU’s. From killing people who he used to derive his life’s meaning from. This leads us to one of the most common results of C-PTSD, revictimization. Revictemization as the old saying goes the victim becomes the victimizer. I think the Void may have increased the C-PTSD but the cause of it is the deaths of everyone he cared about and the destruction of his AU leading him to intern kill everyone in other worlds and destroy their worlds as well.
My final conclusion is that Error suffers from schizophrenia which was enhanced by spending an extended time undergoing “White Torture”. This along with the loss of his world has also led to the development of C-PTSD. This causes Error to revictimize all other AU’s the way his AU was destroyed but due to his own mental defenses (and the white torture) he can’t even remember that’s why he’s doing it.
And that’s this nerd’s analysis for today
the blog and all the pics
The blog author
“Effects of Sensory Deprivation.” Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine
Interview with Brian Keenan
Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep : National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Schizophrenia Daily News Blog: Schizophrenia: Psychological and Social Causes and Treatments
Can Someone Have Schizophrenia and Borderline Personality Disorder? | Ask the Therapist
NIMH » Schizophrenia
Delusions of grandeur – definition of delusions of grandeur by The Free Dictionary
Catatonia: Practice Essentials, Background, Pathophysiology and Etiology