Here’s another thing not on anyone’s 2020 bingo card: The Undertale soundtrack popping up as backing music for an ABC News story about the coronavirus.
If that sentence sounds very confusing, let me demonstrate. It’s just before the two-minute mark in this ABC News piece from August 29 about the coronavirus’s origins and how life in China has gone on.
For several seconds, as wide shots of a city, beach and people going about their day plays, you can hear music from Undertale.
The song is sans from the original Undertale OST, and you can hear the same track below (cued to the 15m 08s mark):
I have so many questions about this. How did the Undertale OST end up in the ABC’s sound library? What other news stories might it have appeared on? Who’s the secret Undertale fan in the ABC News division?
I’ve reached out to ABC to find out more, and I’ve emailed and DM’d Toby Fox (or the official Undertale email) to get answers. Neither was able to get back to me by the time of writing, but I’m staying on this and there will be updates when things become clearer.
The ABC definitely isn’t the first to use video games for news reports, if that’s what ends up being the case. A British documentary famously took footage from ArmA 2 and claimed it was actual IRA footage. ArmA 3 has ended up on Russian TV. So has AC-130 Gunship Simulator. And let’s not forget the time CNN used B-roll from Fallout‘s hacking mini-game. Or the BBC mistaking Halo‘s UNSC logo for the actual United Nations.