Toby Fox

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Toby Fox
Born
Robert F. Fox

(1991-10-11) October 11, 1991 (age 31)
Alma materNortheastern University
Years active2008–present
Known forCreating the video games Undertale and Deltarune
Websitetobyfox.net (archived at the Wayback Machine)

Robert F. Fox (born October 11, 1991), known professionally as Toby Fox (previously Toby "Radiation" Fox),[1] is an American video game developer and video game composer. He is known for developing the role-playing video games Undertale and Deltarune for which the former garnered acclaim and he received nominations for a British Academy Game Award and three Game Awards.

Fox's early work consisted primarily of composing music, notably doing so 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 multiple Pokémon video games.

Career[edit]

Early work and composing[edit]

Toby Fox's earliest well-known work is his "EarthBound Halloween Hack",[2] a Halloween-themed ROM hack of the 1994 Super NES game EarthBound released in 2008. He then moved onto composing 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.[3] Fox has composed music for the 2017 Homestuck video game Hiveswap,[4] Undertale artist Temmie Chang's short narrative game Escaped Chasm,[5] and Game Freak's 2019 RPG Little Town Hero, the last of which was arranged by Pokémon composer Hitomi Sato.[4] He also composed a track for Pokémon Sword and Shield,[4] a vocal song for Itoki Hana's PRAY album,[6] and multiple tracks for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.[7][8]

Acclaim and breakthrough[edit]

Undertale[edit]

Fox's most well-known work is the 2015 role-playing video game Undertale, which he also composed the soundtrack for.[9] The game sold more than 1 million copies,[10] becoming a "breakout hit" and "pop-culture phenomenon".[11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][excessive citations] 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.[19] 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,[20][21] the most notable of which was Earthbound: The Halloween Hack.[22] He thought of the character designs and ideas for Undertale while in college, where he drew them in his notebook.[23]

Following its release, Undertale garnered an extensive fanbase.[24][25] Fox commented that he did not mind if people stated that they did not like the game, saying that it was "not for everyone".[25] 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.[24]

In 2016, Fox released a number of unused musical tracks from Undertale.[26] He also became a contributor to the A Profound Waste of Time magazine.[27] Fox was then chosen to be part of the 2018 Games Forbes 30 Under 30 list for his role in creating Undertale.[28]

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 his signature weapon, dubbed the “Gaster Blaster”, and instrumental composition "MEGALOVANIA", for which Fox provided a new arrangement.[29][30][31]

Deltarune[edit]

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, for free under the guise of a "survey".[32][33] 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.[34] Fox also stated that he had been working on the project since 2012, and that the idea for Undertale developed from Deltarune during production.[34][35] 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."[36] He stated that he has written "about 50 songs past Chapter 1".[37]

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 three chapters simultaneously with a price greater than Undertale, but without any projected release date.[38]

Personal life[edit]

Robert F. Fox[9][39] was born on October 11, 1991[40] in Manchester, New Hampshire.[9]

He studied environmental science at Northeastern University.[9]

He has chronic wrist and hand pain that regularly disables him from programming and composing; Fox cited a flareup of this pain as a factor in the delayed development of Deltarune's second chapter.[41]

Works[edit]

Year Media title Role
2006–2008 Earthbound Hacks

(Segment: Arn's Winter Quest: Gway Edition, and Halloween Hack: Bad Fur Day Edition)

Writer, composer, director, designer, programmer
2009–2016 Homestuck Composer
2010 The Baby is You Writer, composer, vocalist
2012 I Miss You – EarthBound 2012 Composer
2013 Pause Ahead Additional Dialogue
2015 Undertale Writer, composer, director, designer, programmer
Potion Shop Composer
2016 Rose of Winter Composer
2017 Hiveswap: Act 1 Composer
2018 Deltarune: Chapter 1 Writer, composer, director, designer, programmer
Hiveswap Friendsim Guest composer
PRAY Guest composer and vocalist
Black Bird Game testing
Wandersong Credited with Selected Music for Undertale
2019 Escaped Chasm[42] Composer
YIIK: A Postmodern RPG Guest composer
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Guest composer (DLC)
Little Town Hero Composer
Pokémon Sword and Shield Guest composer
Pesterquest Guest composer
2020 Dweller's Empty Path Composer
Hiveswap: Act 2 Composer
Omori Guest composer (jukebox music)
Hobonichi Mother Project Illustrator
Chip Tanaka/Hammerhead Shark Song Animator
2021 Deltarune: Chapter 2 Writer, composer, director, designer, programmer
Get in the Car, Loser! Credited for providing Guest Items and Stories
2022 beatmania IIDX 30 RESIDENT Guest composer
Skies Forever Blue Composer, writer
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Composer

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Web archive – "Alternia" from Homestuck". Archived from the original on February 24, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2021.
  2. ^ "EarthBound Halloween Hack! « EarthBound Central". earthboundcentral.com. Archived from the original on December 14, 2021. Retrieved December 14, 2021.
  3. ^ Funk, John (October 15, 2012). "Land of Memes and Trolls: The Epic and Ridiculous Self-Aware World of Homestuck". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on May 20, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Goslin, Austen (November 1, 2019). "Undertale developer is composing a song for Pokémon Sword and Shield". Polygon. Archived from the original on March 28, 2021. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  5. ^ Tarason, Dominic (April 2, 2019). "Escaped Chasm is a short, sad, free story by Undertale's artist". Rock Paper Shotgun. Archived from the original on April 5, 2019. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  6. ^ Fox, Toby [@tobyfox] (August 6, 2018). "I composed a vocal song for my friend @1t0lc1 (Itoki Hana's) new album, PRAY" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  7. ^ @tobyfox (June 1, 2022). "I had the honor of composing the field music for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet! After creating a concept sketch, Game Freak arranged it into many versions that you'll hear throughout the game. You can hear a bit of it in this trailer..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  8. ^ @tobyfox (June 1, 2022). "A few more Toby Fox tracks will appear in the game, too, so please look forward to those! This time, my music is not optional!!!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  9. ^ a b c d "City Matters: Secretive NH game designer created Undertale video game". December 6, 2020. Archived from the original on June 22, 2021. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  10. ^ Grubb, Jeff (April 13, 2016). "Stardew Valley is one of the best-selling PC games of the year as it surpasses 1M copies sold". GamesBeat. VentureBeat. Archived from the original on April 20, 2016. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  11. ^ Levine, Laguna (September 29, 2015). "Undertale: A New Cult Hit in the Making". CliQist. Archived from the original on December 23, 2019. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  12. ^ McDonald, Mariko (December 22, 2015). "Why Undertale Won the Internet". Remeshed.com. Archived from the original on October 23, 2017. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  13. ^ Audureau, William (December 17, 2015). "Undertale, élu " meilleur jeu vidéo de l'histoire " à la surprise générale". LeMonde.fr. Archived from the original on August 12, 2016. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  14. ^ Abbott, Josh (February 21, 2016). "How Will We Define Undertale's Legacy?". Complete Game Reviews. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  15. ^ Groux, Christopher (December 19, 2015). "'The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time' Falls To 'Undertale' As Best Game Ever, Gamers Get Mad!". Design & Trend. Archived from the original on August 23, 2016. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  16. ^ "Toby Fox's Cult Classic Undertale Coming to Nintendo Switch". DualShockers. March 8, 2018. Archived from the original on March 28, 2019. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  17. ^ "Cult RPG Undertale gets a surprise spinoff for Halloween". The Verge. Archived from the original on October 31, 2018. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  18. ^ Wawro, Alex. "Undertale dev reflects on what it's like to have your game become a phenomenon". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on August 3, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  19. ^ Turi, Tim (October 15, 2015). "GI Show – Yoshi's Woolly World, Star Wars: Battlefront, Undertale's Toby Fox". Game Informer. GameStop. Archived from the original on January 30, 2016. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  20. ^ Han-Tani, Melos (May 25, 2013). "Toby Fox's Undertale – DEV 2 DEV INTERVIEW #1". ambient-melodic (Interview). Archived from the original on August 8, 2020. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  21. ^ Schilling, Chris (May 5, 2018). "The making of Undertale". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  22. ^ "Earthbound (The Halloween Hack) – Hardcore Gaming 101". www.hardcoregaming101.net. Archived from the original on November 5, 2018. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  23. ^ Alexandra, Heather. "Undertale Creator Shares Notebook Full Of Early Concepts And Art". Kotaku. Archived from the original on August 3, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  24. ^ a b O'Connor, Alice (September 15, 2016). "8/10: Undertale Dev Reflects On Unexpected Popularity". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Archived from the original on August 3, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  25. ^ a b Grayson, Nathan. "Undertale Creator: It's OK If People Dislike The Game". Steamed. Archived from the original on August 3, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  26. ^ O'Brien, Lucy (September 15, 2016). "Undertale Creator Releases Unused Music to Celebrate 1-Year Anniversary". IGN. Archived from the original on August 3, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  27. ^ "Ashly Burch, Toby Fox and Mike Z join the Profound Waste of Time team". Destructoid. December 15, 2016. Archived from the original on May 27, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  28. ^ "Toby Fox". Forbes. Archived from the original on December 3, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  29. ^ "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – Mr. Sakurai Presents "Banjo & Kazooie"". YouTube. Archived from the original on September 1, 2020. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  30. ^ Walker, Ian (September 4, 2019). "Undertale's Sans Joins Smash Bros. As A Mii Fighter Costume". Archived from the original on September 5, 2019. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  31. ^ "tobyfox on Twitter". Twitter. Archived from the original on September 18, 2019. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  32. ^ "Undertale creator's new game is Deltarune, a mysterious surprise". Polygon. Archived from the original on November 1, 2018. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  33. ^ "Deltarune Chapter 1 is the free and surprising start of a new Undertale saga". Rock Paper Shotgun. Archived from the original on May 2, 2019. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  34. ^ a b "Deltarune creator Toby Fox talks full release plans, upscaling". App Trigger. November 1, 2018. Archived from the original on November 13, 2018. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  35. ^ "tobyfox on Twitter". Twitter. Archived from the original on December 27, 2018. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  36. ^ "Deltarune update from creator's Twitter counter". Twitter. Archived from the original on December 14, 2019. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  37. ^ "Deltarune update from creator's Twitter counter". Twitter. Archived from the original on June 15, 2019. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  38. ^ "DELTARUNE Status Update Sept 2021". Deltarune. Archived from the original on September 18, 2021. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  39. ^ "WebVoyage Titles". cocatalog.loc.gov. Archived from the original on January 8, 2022. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
  40. ^ Fox, Toby [@tobyfox] (October 11, 2017). "It's my 26th birthday" (Tweet). Archived from the original on August 31, 2018 – via Twitter.
  41. ^ "DELTARUNE Status Update – September 2020". September 15, 2020. Archived from the original on January 20, 2021. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  42. ^ Brown, Fraser (April 3, 2019). "Escaped Chasm is a free game about loneliness from Undertale's artist". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on June 5, 2020. Retrieved May 18, 2020.