Pages 429-561 (MSPA: 2329-2461)
Act 2, Part 3 of 5
NEW: Link to rewritten version (I recommend you read it instead of this post)
JOHN YOU DO NOT SAY NO TO COOKIES. I COMMAND YOU TO GET THEM.
Last post cut off at the end of Nanna’s exposition session, a natural stopping point. Now we continue to see John throwing a tantrum about cookies, since he’s had more than enough baked goods today, not to mention the wrath of Betty Crocker. WV is upset that John doesn’t want to eat cookies, and commands him to get cookies; these childish flip-outs about mundane things are one of John’s defining traits (see also: the time he flipped out because he suddenly hated Con Air). As Dave once put it: “thats classic john though he doesnt get pissed about anything except for the absolute dumbest shit”. It’s easy to miss that John even sticks up his middle finger in the corner of this page. WV then accidentally turns off Caps Lock, opening a capsule with food and a book on human etiquette.
Meanwhile, we get to see the progress on Rose’s verbose walkthrough, and we see that she is writing about sprite prototyping, and how she deduced that her session must be meant to have four players, implying that not just John and Rose, but also Dave and Jade, will also end up playing Sburb; how Jade will end up getting copies the game is a whole ‘nother story.
Then we get the comic’s first flashback. It’s Rose’s 13th birthday, months before the story started and in the middle of winter. She and Jade converse for the first time in the comic, and they discuss birthday presents. For Rose’s birthday, Jade doesn’t give her a present, but gives her a “tip” instead. She tells her that in a dream, she learned that Rose could use a certain video game to bring back her dead cat. We can assume that after this point, Rose researched video games with such necromantic potential and eventually found out about Sburb. This right there is Jade’s seeing-the-future ability in action—it nudges our heroes in just the right direction, towards what is destined to happen. Rose herself says that if the person who told her about the game that could bring back her cat wasn’t Jade, then she wouldn’t buy it at all. Maybe Jade’s dreams originally showed her things that would happen to her friends, and then she would tell them about those visions, and they would end up happening, which would eventually lead to Dave and Rose (not John, who she withholds that knowledge from) being able to trust anything Jade says will happen as true, which is only helped by the fact that she is generally an honest individual.
It’s easy to forget that this puppet was used for rapping by Dave’s lunatic guardian.
Dave, meanwhile, enters his brother’s living room, and what’s the first thing we see? A fuck ton of those damn puppets. Dave, as we see, has a super weird view of his brother that leaves Rose’s view of her mother in the dust. He thinks that everything his brother does is irony too intense for him to understand. What’s the deal with all this irony stuff? It’s generally how Dave shields himself from the idea that his brother is actually a pretty messed up guy. The puppet thing seems closer to a fetish than something he does for super irony, born out of the fact that one of the first objects the guy ever touched was Lil’ Cal itself, and that a splinter of him is one of the souls inside the puppet as shown in Caliborn’s Masterpiece, which is also why Gamzee and Caliborn like that puppet. He probably does it partly because it’s funny, but part of him is clearly legitimately fixated on those puppets. I mean, think about it. Three in-comic years later, Rose feels the need to ask Roxy whether she does indeed like wizards when she meets her, but Dave doesn’t ask Dirk the same about puppets. By this point, he has it set in stone that his brother loved all those puppets more than he loved him. Also, Dave gets on his brother’s computer, and checks Complete Bullshit. Most of the tabs in his brother’s Complete Bullshit program are puppet websites, Dave’s blogs, or video game websites; the odd one out is a Skaianet news feed tab, which serves as evidence that he is involved with that company. We even get to see one of his brother’s puppet websites, which has what would much later be revealed to be chatbots set up to talk about puppet ass. Dirk even says that tending to a bunch of puppet chatbots sounds like a pretty relaxing thing to do, much more so than arguing with a clone of your brain for a few years. We then see a Dave/Rose conversation we’ve already read, from Dave’s point of view. He also pesters an unresponsive John about how “awesome” puppets are—looks like someone’s in denial.
John, meanwhile, finally has his head free of commands from a weird desert wanderer, and he talks to Rose, who informs him of imps screwing around in his backyard. Then comes a game where you play as an imp making sick moves on John’s pogo ride, where you can submit your score and stuff, though I have no idea if there is any scoreboard for that minigame. This is actually the only score-submitting game in Homestuck, though interactive pages in general do remain common in the early parts of the comic, and more sparse as the story progresses. Rose accidentally breaks John’s piano when she uses it to kill an imp, and she starts building up John’s house. They bond over joking about Dave’s false admiration of his brother’s creepy obsessions, and for the first time, they reference Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff.
I forgot she could do that.
Nannasprite bakes a ton of cookies, and uses an eye beam to kill an imp. There’s another thing I missed—I totally forgot that ability was a thing. What sprite powers are there exactly? Besides her eye beam attack shown above, Nannasprite is able to heal people’s health (ties in with her post-scratch self’s aspect), write using eye beams, and even conjure objects like a ghost bed and oven; there’s also Calsprite’s puppet attacks, Davesprite’s ability to deface posters, Jaspersprite’s far-reaching tentacles (which come from the princess doll), Becsprite’s amplified first guardian powers used to shatter the giant meteor; not to mention the powers squared sprites get, like memories of alternate versions of their components, teleportation by summoning fenestrated walls, and other random knowledge like Jasprosesprite^2’s knowledge of Nepeta, or Davepetasprite^2’s urge to fight Lord English … I don’t think there’s really a set rule for what powers sprites get, maybe it’s just new powers as the plot demands.
John goes downstairs to see numerous imps making a mess of his living room. He rides his slime ghost pogo around, carrying a hammer and shaving cream and killing some imps before landing on the floor. Rose uses the fridge and the safe to kill some of the imps, and WV, now typing in all lowercase, is much more polite when commanding John. He even asks John for a can opener. Rose, meanwhile, adds pictures to her walkthrough, most of which have to do with the Sburb interface and/or her co-player John being a doofus.
WV says goodbye to John and stops commanding him for now. Dave talks to Rose about how he is suddenly buried in soft puppet ass, and Rose teases him by rapping about it in her poetic style. John plays with the new punch designix device that stands in place of his piano, and Rose moves yet another household item around his house, this time his bathtub through his wall. John then looks at all the stuff that came out of his safe when it fell: an older brown version of his Colonel Sassacre book (definitely not the same book sent through time), his father’s shaving almanac, a note from his father about how he is now strong enough to lift the safe and is a grown man, and newspapers about meteor impacts which he collected. This last one suggests that his father knows at least some bits and pieces of the mysteries of Sburb. Also, he spews stuff out of his house and Sassacre, the bathtub, and the safe all level up for slaying the imp. The page in which the safe has been slain and is carried by a ship to Vaulthalla is one of Homestuck’s big lipped alligator moments, though nowhere near as famous as the scene in which Hussie’s self insert kisses a dying Rufio. As John climbs up the stairs, a bigger imp-like creature is glimpsed climbing up the pillar of rock atop which his house stands.
Up next is a scene switch to Dave, making this a natural stopping point. See you next time as I contemplate Dave playing intense Scrabble rounds against his freakish big brother, who we also get to know in the next post.