Since its release in 2015, Undertale has been the source of no small number of memes. None of them, however, could have prepared anyone for recent video footage of a circus troupe performing an act to the tune of an orchestra-performed rendition of “Megalovania”–a well-known boss theme from Undertale–for Pope Francis in the Vatican.
Pope Francis holds a General Audience every Wednesday, where people come to hear the leader of the Catholic church. The assembly often concludes with performances of all shapes and sizes, from audio to visual.
Enter Rony Roller, an Italian circus who has performed at the General Audience for both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis in the past. The last act in Rony Roller’s show on January 5th was a juggling performance set to a rendition of the infamous battle theme of Sans, the hot-dog-loving Undertale Skeleton who knows a bit too much. The scene itself was bizarre to say the least, with a number of performers juggling, dancing, and performing low-excitement gymnastics to the fever-pitch of “Megalovania” while the other members of the circus, Pope, an unenthusiastic audience, and a solitary Swiss guard watched in stoic silence. In spite of this, Pope Francis did thank the troupe afterward, saying such performance “puts us in touch with beauty, which always brings us happiness,” and that “beauty is a way to find the Lord.”
Somehow, this isn’t the first brush with Undertale Pope Francis has had. Back in 2016, YouTuber MatPat had the opportunity to meet the Pope and used it to give His Holiness a copy of the game. While it’s unlikely Pope Francis ever played the game, let alone heard “Megalovania” at the end of the extremely-dark Genocide ending in Undertale, the fact the current Pope now has two stories involving the acclaimed indie game is as hilarious as it is absurd.
As one would expect, fan reaction to the scene from the Vatican was one of bewilderment and disbelief. Most initially believed the Undertale music was superimposed over the performance until UltimaShadowX, the Twitter user who clipped the performance from the hour-long official video, shared the source.
Flabbergasted fans had no choice but to puzzle over how such a comical series of events could have unfolded. UltimaShadowX posited either Pope Francis himself must have requested the Undertale song because he actually did play the game, or that Rony Roller was aware of the fact he was given Undertale as a gift several years ago and wanted to get in on the joke. Otherwise, this performance was perhaps the biggest–and certainly the most bizarre–coincidence in the history of gaming.
Undertale is available now for MacOS, PC, PS4, PS Vita, Switch, and Xbox One.