Berdly

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Character
Name: Berdly
Occupation: High school student
Relationships: Noelle Holiday (friend/study partner), Susie (crush), Kris (classmate), Queen (boss)
Fandom: Deltarune
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Berdly is a character from Deltarune. He is a minor NPC in chapter 1, and an antagonist in chapter 2.

Canon Overview

Berdly is one of Kris' classmates. He claims to be the smartest kid in the class, and always insists on partnering with Noelle for group projects because she is the "second smartest" and he wants to maintain his good grades; he perpetually bullies Kris. While not in school he works at the library, where he gives Kris a hard time over their "family debt" (due to Asriel having borrowed "How to Draw Dragons" but never returned it). If they have seen Noelle's father Rudy threatening to beat Berdly up, Kris will suggest that Berdly stand outside the hospital window so that Rudy can throw things at him, but Berdly does not take the bait.

In chapter 2, Berdly serves a much more major role. He is drawn into the Cyber World that appears in the library computer lab, and joins forces with Queen due to perceiving her as his ideal "gamer girl", also hoping to spare Noelle from getting her face roboticized. However, Queen finds his behavior unbearable and either finds excuses to send him away immediately or hides from him whenever he approaches.

As Queen's lackey, Berdly battles the party multiple times: First fighting Kris, Susie, and Ralsei on a speeding jet coaster/bumper cars, then fighting Kris and Noelle in hand to hand combat. However, when Noelle is finally captured by Queen, Berdly joins forces with Kris' party to try to help her. Seeing Kris solve puzzles that he cannot, Berdly finally reveals that as a child he was praised for beating Noelle in a spelling bee and has since developed his sense of identity around seeming smart, but knows deep down that Noelle is smarter than he is and so has become dependent on her academic help to maintain appearances, trusting that she is too meek and nervous to outshine him; hence his immense but incredibly fragile ego. Susie and Lancer manage to convince Berdly that smarts aren't everything, but Susie quoting a video game he's a fan of causes Berdly to develop a crush on her, at which she (and later Noelle) are highly unamused.

Thenceforth Berdly cooperates with the party to free Noelle, pairing up with Susie while Kris and Ralsei are sent to distract Queen. Eventually Berdly is captured and forced by Queen's wires to fight the party during the first part of her boss battle. If not freed by the party during this segment, he injures his arm severely in an attempt to free himself so that he will not have to hurt his new friends. After the battle, he volunteers to create new Dark Fountains for Queen instead of Noelle because the Dark Worlds seem so much better than the real one, but is scolded into giving up by Ralsei, who explains a surplus of Dark Fountains will cause the Roaring and destroy the world.

In the alternate route where the player grooms Noelle, Berdly realizes that "Kris" is hurting Noelle and attacks them to try to protect her. In this version of his boss battle he will only ever target Kris and behaves much more seriously. Having Noelle cast the fatal spell Snowgrave on him will lock the player onto this route.

After the party's adventure, Berdly is convinced that the Dark World was all a dream. However, if his arm was injured, he will remark upon having lost feeling in it. In the alternate route, he never wakes up at all, implying that he is comatose or braindead due to having died in the Dark World.

Berdly's Cyber World costume was designed by Tcheska "chess" Lynn B.[1] He wields a halberd, a pun on his species. During the 6th anniversary livestream, Berdly has unique dialogue about livestreaming.[2]

Fandom

The most frequent fan reaction to Berdly from 2018 until the release of chapter 2 was annoyance, followed by amusement at the exaggerated scrunchy faces he sometimes makes. Berdly was often used as an example of toxic masculinity (entitlement, competition, and the like) in nerd/gamer culture.

However, the three Fangamer members who played Deltarune's first chapter for Undertale's 6th birthday all professed fondness for Berdly, stating that they hoped to make him as popular in real life as Jockington is in-story. This was received with reactions varying from skepticism and disbelief to anticipation for incoming Berdly-related content.

Post-chapter 2 this has increased in some circles, but other fans have instead begun to treat Berdly as an example of how toxic pressure on children in achievement-based school systems can be detrimental to kids' behavior and sense of self ("gifted kid burnout" etc). Other fans point to his more serious and self-sacrificial moments to emphasize that Berdly does have one (1) redeeming feature, i.e. genuine care for his friends. Some fans who otherwise express dislike for Berdly have spoken of concern for his well-being, or that he has begrudgingly grown on them over said redeeming feature.

Common Pairings

  • Berdly/Kris

Fanworks

Fanfic

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Fanart

Meta

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Archives and Fannish Links

References

  1. ^ DELTARUNE Status Update - Sept 2021 - Toby Fox, Deltarune official website, 17 September 2021, retrieved 18 September 2021
  2. ^ * During the 6TH Anniversary Live Stream, the Fangamer crew played a version of Deltarune that also modifies Berdly dialogue to be about Gamers and Streaming. - Semi Frequent Undertale Facts via Twitter, 18 September 2021, retrieved 22 September 2021