Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 38: Ascensions and Failures Thereof

Introduction 

Part 37 Part 38 | Part 39 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 11 of 32

Pages 3075-3132 (MSPA: 4975-5032)

I haven’t had title images with John in them lately, so here’s one with him I guess. We aren’t going to see him for a while anyway.

John levels to the top of his echeladder and the air returns to being cloudy, and I guess this is kind of meant to indicate that the echeladder is not at the end of the line. We’re about to get introduced to the concept of god tiers.

Up next is another walkaround game featuring John. It’s similar to the Act 4 game (with very similar music) but I guess it switched to the Earthbound style. John answers Vriska in the game, and I have a few things to say about that.

VRISKA: 8ut mostly, I am congratul8ting you……..
VRISKA: FOR GAINING ALL THE LEVELS!!!!!!!! ::::O
JOHN: oh, right! i got to the top of my echeladder somehow. i didn’t even really think it had a top, or that i would get there so fast.
JOHN: so i guess that’s it, then! don’t have to worry about leveling up anymore. that’s pretty neat.
VRISKA: Don’t 8e ridiculous, John.
VRISKA: While you may have technically gained all the levels just now, you did not truly gain ALL of them just yet.
VRISKA: In a way, this is really just the 8eginning.
JOHN: it is?
VRISKA: Yes. You are now ready to 8egin your ascent through the god tiers.
VRISKA: No8ody I know was a8le to progress this far anywhere near as fast and you, John. Not even me! I can’t tell you how proud I am.

Vriska is telling John how proud she is of him, which brings to mind the “so proud of you” thing his dad does.

VRISKA: 8ut mostly, I am congratul8ting you……..
VRISKA: FOR GAINING ALL THE LEVELS!!!!!!!! ::::O
JOHN: oh, right! i got to the top of my echeladder somehow. i didn’t even really think it had a top, or that i would get there so fast.
JOHN: so i guess that’s it, then! don’t have to worry about leveling up anymore. that’s pretty neat.
VRISKA: Don’t 8e ridiculous, John.
VRISKA: While you may have technically gained all the levels just now, you did not truly gain ALL of them just yet.
VRISKA: In a way, this is really just the 8eginning.
JOHN: it is?
VRISKA: Yes. You are now ready to 8egin your ascent through the god tiers.
VRISKA: No8ody I know was a8le to progress this far anywhere near as fast and you, John. Not even me! I can’t tell you how proud I am.

Here Vriska’s playing the role of an NPC (non-player character), which seems fully intentional. As I’ve said several times, Homestuck is a very video game-themed comic, and the concept of NPCs has been there from the beginning. In Act 1 Dave kind of served as an NPC, giving John advice with his sylladex and whatnot. All the carapacians and consorts in the game undoubtedly count as NPCs, and now Vriska is playing that role. I’ve never realized that the trolls kind of serve the role of non-player characters.

I’ll run down other stuff in the game bullet list style.

  • Lots of salamanders congratulate the Heir for doing a windy thing, and John is somehow unaware that he is the Heir, though then again, neither are the salamanders. How ironic that the character who loves video games remains unaware of how many typical video game concepts are featured in Sburb.
  • John gets a can of Tab soda and I wonder if WV appearified some of them out of John’s land. It’s kind of presumed that Serenity the firefly was appearified from John’s land, so I suppose cans of Tab having a similar story would make sense.
  • Some salamanders talk about John’s planet quest thing which kind of was forgotten for a long time but made a grand return shortly preceding the retcon section. Walkarounds have lots of information and foreshadowing stuff like this that people might miss.
  • John calls a smuppet he gets “one of Dave’s dumb butt puppets”. Why does everyone call them Dave’s puppets when they’re clearly his brother’s thing?
  • Apparently some salamanders alchemized Barbasol to try extinguish the flames??? Oh my god that’s simultaneously hilarious and tragic.
  • One fraymotif shop is the first appearance of aspect symbols other than breath. The symbols for light, time, and space are shown.
  • John talks to another salamander towards the end of the game and it turns out that he actually knew he was the Heir all along, apparently.
  • For parts that aren’t in the progression to the quest bed, the salamanders see Bec imps as horrifying demons.

Next, John goes to his quest bed and gets ready to take his legendary nap.

EB: ok, i think i’m ready to take this legendary nap! 
EB: and then climb the god tiers, i guess? 
AG: Yes, exactly! Pretty exciting, isn’t it? 
EB: yeah… 
EB: maybe it is a little TOO exciting. 
AG: What’s that mean? 
EB: i am not sleepy at all! 
EB: also, this is not much of a bed. more like a really hard slab of rock. 
EB: i don’t see how i will be able to sleep. 

At this point, we’re led to believe that you must sleep on a quest bed to ascend to god tier. If that was indeed the case like Vriska suggested, then ascending to god tier would no doubt be tricky. Not just because it’s a slab of rock, but because, as John pointed out, it’s such an exciting prospect that it’ll be hard falling asleep. You’d need to bring blankets or something, and even then, below you would be solid cold rock. So you’d need to probably bring a mattress, and in that case would that really count as being on a quest bed? I’m not sure.

EB: you mean, you’re asking me this time, instead of just doing it? 
EB: what happened to you wanting to be responsible for me becoming a hero! 
AG: John, I am clearly involved in your rise to power now regardless. That can’t 8e changed! 
AG: I am giving you the option, 8ecause at some point a hero has to start making choices. 
AG: Once you take a 8r8k from hunting treasure and stop getting distracted 8y side quests, you eventually realize that’s what this game is all a8out. 

What Vriska is saying is showing that her plan for John’s rise as a hero is actually succeeding.

Upon his request, Vriska puts John to sleep and then…

Protagonist death.

John’s death came as quite a shock to me on my first read. I knew in advance through Homestuck videos that lots of characters die, John included, but knowledge of that didn’t stop his death from being a surprising twist. I’m sure the thing of dying before you can come back to life with new powers is some kind of symbolism, but I’m not sure what.

The death is accompanied with Vriska saying “8888)”, making readers perhaps wonder if this was all a ploy for John to get killed. But the command following the page, WV telling John to rise up, promises that the main character might not be gone for good. Admittedly, I don’t know how common it is for the protagonist not to make it to the end of a story.

In the following flash, titled [S] JOHN. RISE UP.*, John ascends to god tier.

* Often mistakenly referred to as [S] John: Rise up. It’s important not to confuse the title because it signifies that WV is commanding John to rise up in hopes that the windy boy will come back to life, and as far as he can tell, the command failed.

To kick things off, WV sees John dead on his screen, and his wall drawings representing the incipisphere that he made back in Act 2 are brought to light as they zoom in to LOWAS. I like this reminder of WV’s drawings being relevant, as if to say, “Hey, remember that thing? That was foreshadowing stuff.”

Jade, Dave, and Rose are apparently watching John ascend to god tier—why else would they be shown in this flash? I’m not sure exactly how that works. Maybe it’s just stylistic effect, seeing the protagonist’s three friends watch him rise to a rank well above them.

The newly-ascended John sees his corpse in a Skaian cloud, which must be to clear up to him that he just died and then came back in grander form. I’m not sure how much sense that made to him. If memory serves me, I think John talks about how he saw his body in a Skaian cloud later and didn’t get what that meant, and I guess I’ll have to wait and see what he says about that.

It’s tragic how the last thing WV sees on his screen before it blacks out is the fearsome Jack Noir having just murdered John.

Up next is Terezi trying what we just saw with Dave, but with very different results. Although I didn’t realize it in my first two reads, it’s now pretty clear to me that this scene is meant to contrast against Vriska successfully bringing John to god tier. I’ll list out the differences as I go on. First off, John got killed by Jack, but Dave was supposed to be killed by his alternate self.

I read (present tense) the pesterlog accompanying this page and I really can’t think of anything to say so far, so I guess I’ll do the empty description thing I did a lot back when I had my old posting style of paragraphs with occasional quotes. I think I’ll be doing that sort of thing for much of this scene, so feel free to call this a Cookie Fonster Throwback™. Here we go: Dave sees another version of him sleeping on his quest bed. It’s not his past self, and according to Terezi it’s not his future self either, so it must be a doomed version of him.

There is a part of this pesterlog I do feel like commenting on:

GC: YOU WOULDNT STOP BUGG1NG M3 4BOUT WHY YOUD N3V3R B3 4BL3 TO C4TCH UP W1TH JOHN 
GC: 1 TOLD YOU YOU WOULDNT B3 4BL3 TO F4C3 YOUR D34TH 
GC: 4ND TH4T W4SNT GOOD 3NOUGH FOR YOU! SO H3R3 W3 4R3 

Comparing himself to others is kind of a big thing in Dave’s character arc. Thinking of that, maybe part of John’s role in the story is as a counterpoint to Dave’s arc. As I’ve said, many readers find the Prospit kids’ character development unsatisfying compared to that of the Derse kids. The weird thing of John being a counterpoint character is that he is the protagonist, and it’s very common for there to be a character who acts as a foil to the protagonist (TV Tropes calls it “the lancer”), but it’s stranger for it to feel like the protagonist is a foil to the lancer rather than the other way around. It’s surprisingly easy to imagine a version of Homestuck where Dave is the protagonist; however, this hypothetical “Davestuck”* may well have a different more adventurous mood than regular Homestuck (or should I say Johnstuck?) does.

* Not to be confused with the thing where people take scenes in Homestuck and change every character to Dave, which is also called Davestuck.

Also regarding protagonists, Homestuck is one of these works where there are multiple main characters of equal relevance, but at the same time John feels like the protagonist. Maybe it’s kind of an intermediate between multiple-protagonist and single-protagonist works? I’m not sure.

Protagonist digressions aside, the original topic of these paragraphs also brings to mind another thing about Dave’s arc. His whole spiel on sexuality feels like it has a purpose of arc closure, but it doesn’t really solve the issue of Dave and heroism, almost strengthening it. As I’ve said earlier, Dave has kind of excessive complications compared to other major characters, and my feelings on that are iffy, to say the least.

OK, maybe I’m being hard here, but here’s the point. I really like some things about Dave’s character, but he often feels like way more of a tragic figure than any of the other major characters.

This is an interesting Trollian feature glimpsed that isn’t exactly explained well but can be deduced easily.

Terezi explains stuff about the coin flip and if I’m reading it correctly, she’s doing it to demonstrate to Dave, who wanted to ascend to god tier to be up there with John, why he can’t face his own death. I’m going to compare this to the previous scene with Vriska and John. Vriska simply went the efficient way, bringing John up to god tier status by tricking him into dying and resurrecting anew. Terezi, however, complicated things with a coin flip decision to teach Dave a lesson which ultimately failed. What’s up with that? I thought about that before reading these pages and figured the problem may ultimately lie in Dave’s obstinacy, but now I’m not sure. I guess I’ll just roll along and see what happens.

Another bit of note in this conversation is:

GC: 4ND YOU W3R3 L1K3 hey sure terezi i will hella go along with your two face thing 
GC: WH4T3V3R TH4T M34NS >:\ 
TG: oh yeah 
GC: WH4T D1D TH4T M34N, BY TH3 W4Y 
GC: WH4TS 4 TWO F4C3 TH1NG 
TG: twoface is a human batman villain whos half ugly and flips coins all the time to make evil decisions 
GC: OH… 
GC: W3LL TH4TS K1ND OF D1SH34RT3N1NG, 1 SORT OF THOUGHT MY CO1N FL1PP1NG W4S 4 COOL 4ND UN1QU3 TH1NG >:[ 

This is one of many in-comic nods to storytelling devices Hussie has used. He has said that many of the trolls are inspired by superheroes and villains from other works of media. Terezi, for instance, is based on Daredevil and Two Face.

I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s pretty relevant to this discussion so I’ll say it again. It’s heavily implied that in the Homestuck universe, ICP is based on people’s subconscious knowledge of Gamzee, which further suggests the same for other things the trolls are inspired by. So all is not lost for Terezi; Two Face may well have been inspired by people’s subconscious thoughts of her. Even though nobody in Homestuck has put two and two together and realized that. For instance, Dave finds it no more than bizarre and hilarious that Gamzee is a blatant juggalo who doesn’t know about ICP. Maybe when our heroes create a universe the new civilization will have fictional superheroes based on John and company and it’ll all click and they’ll finally realize what’s up with Gamzee being a juggalo?

Occasionally Homestuck clarifies stuff through diagrams. Diagrams are cool.
Also, in my first read, I recognized the bottom part of this picture from Know Your Meme’s page on Homestuck.

Back to where we were, alpha Dave picked good heads to mean Terezi shows him how to reach god tier now and bad heads to mean she shows him later, but a doomed Dave made the opposite choice. Both times the coin landed bad heads so now there they are.

TG: then 
TG: this is kind of useless isnt it 
TG: i thought you were bringing me back here to finish a stable time loop not murder a guy you punked whos gonna die regardless
TG: whats the fucking point of giving a doomed version of myself superpowers anyway 
GC: M4YB3 H3 W1LL STOP B31NG DOOM3D 4FT3R YOU K1LL H1M? 
GC: M4YB3 H3 W1LL G3T TH3 D4V3 POW3RS 4ND L1V3 4 LONG 4ND COOL L1F3 NOT B31NG DOOM3D 4NYMOR3 
GC: HOW WOULD YOU KNOW UNL3SS YOU T4K3 4 ST4B 4T 1T? 
GC: H3H3H3 
TG: its just the worst thing when you get morbid 
GC: >:P 
TG: anyway maybe 
TG: but i kind of doubt thats how it works i mean 
TG: doomed means doomed doesnt it 

Dave is pretty much right here. Turns out Terezi’s trickery failed this time. What exactly went wrong? Terezi went along with Dave’s desires and made it into a choice whether he went god tier, and I guess paradox space made it so that Dave wouldn’t make it either way. The Dave who went straight to the quest bed was made to be a doomed Dave; both Dave and Terezi know this, the former realizing there’s no point in making the doomed Dave god tier if he’s, well, doomed. The non-doomed Dave I guess wasn’t going to immediately go god tier regardless. So by making it into a choice thing, Terezi failed.

Vriska, on the other hand, successfully brought John to god tier without any complicated gimmicks, just directing him to his quest bed, putting him to sleep, and the rest plays itself. I guess Vriska and Terezi have different ideas of how to make their corresponding kids into the best ones they can be. Or maybe it’s because Dave knew about the idea of going god tier and was nervous about facing mortality, so Terezi turned this into a lesson or something? I’m really not sure; as I said in response to a comment on last post, I get a migraine whenever I think hard about the coinflip stuff. 

TG: the loopholes are only temporary like look how davesprite turned out 
GC: >:[ 
GC: R1P MR OR4NG3 CR34MS1CL3S, M4Y H3 R3ST 1N D3L1C1OUSN3SS 
TG: am i wrong in guessing that 
TG: shouldnt you know better than me 

As we all know, Davesprite’s death turns out to be a so-called “Disney death”, where the character thought dead was alive all along. Davesprite has a second Disney death later on, where everyone thought he was dead but the pre-retcon version of him made it to the new timeline to everyone’s shock. Both times, the possibility that it’s a Disney death is specifically noted; it’s lampshaded especially hard the second time, where Dave says he’s sure Davesprite is dead and won’t come back as a stupid surprise, and that’s after pre-retcon Davesprite is confirmed to be alive.

Terezi tries to convince Dave to kill his doomed self because it’s going to happen anyway, but I guess he doesn’t have it in his heart to do it. Dave eventually figures the whole thing was a prank played on him, and then asks her if he will go god tier. Terezi says no but it doesn’t really matter when he has fraymotifs and is at the top of his echeladder, and the same goes for most of the trolls. I’ve seen people suggest that going god tier is just a fast way to achieve a level of power that can also be achieved with more difficulty through ordinary means. Just like Vriska, Terezi proceeds to leave Dave to his own devices and give him a hint as to what to do next: go to Jade’s land and help her out. Terezi goes on to explain stuff about her role as a Seer of Mind: 

GC: 1 KNOW YOUR M1ND B3TT3R TH4N YOU 
TG: oh do you 
GC: 1 4M NOT PSYCH1C, BUT 1 H4V3 TH3 S1GHT S33RS 4R3 M34NT TO H4V3 
GC: 1T W4S MY ROL3 TO H4V3 1T 
GC: TO T4LK TO P3OPL3 4ND S33 TH3 TUNN3LS 4ND VORT1C3S 1N TH31R M1NDS 4ND TO UND3RST4ND TH3 R34L1T13S TH3Y WOULD CR34T3 1F THOS3 THOUGHTS L34D TO 4CT1ON 
GC: FOR MY 3N3M13S, 1 W4S M34NT TO BR1NG 4BOUT TH3 1NH3R3NT R3TR1BUT1ON FLOW1NG FROM TH3 R34L1TY M4D3 BY TH31R OWN 3V1L THOUGHTS 
GC: 4ND FOR MY FR13NDS, TO PROT3CT TH3M FROM TH31R T3ND3NCY TO UND3R3ST1M4T3 TH3 POW3R TH31R CONFUS1ON H4S OV3R TH31R F4T3 
GC: TO K33P TH3M OUT OF TROUBL3, D4V3 >:] 

The conversation concludes with talking about luck and seeing people’s thoughts, and Terezi saying that luck doesn’t actually matter. The whole point of this coin flip  is rather unclear compared to the purpose of the other two doomed timelines in the kids’ session (Davesprite’s timeline and the Journal Dave timeline). It remains a topic of debate among readers as we learn more about paradox space and doomed timelines and stuff; not just the coin flip, but the whole point of doomed timelines altogether. Doomed timelines and their purpose is a debate topic right up there with the retcon, the classpect system, whether Dave and Karkat are in a relationship*, and most of all, everything about Vriska.

* It’s pretty funny when you think about it, how whether two characters are in a relationship is up there with these major plot points. It’s even better than the huge controversy surrounding Vriska. 

EDIT (8/31/2016): As of now, it’s an even bigger debate topic than Vriska, which as per fandom memes shouldn’t be possible but it is after all, somehow.

Up next is a flashback scene with Vriska and Tavros where we see how the former, beaten bloody, ascends to god tier.

Tavros comes close to using a breath kiss to revive Vriska or something? I’m not sure. Vriska chokes him via mind-control, refusing to just be kissed back to life. Hearts Boxcars also gives up on commanding him to kiss her.

Vriska starts controlling Tavros into writing messages with her blood, and that’s a really clever way to dodge face-to-face dialogue. Why does Homestuck go out of its way to avoid regular plain face-to-face conversations? Maybe it’s to emphasize the theme of isolation present throughout the story. Characters never mention friends outside the group we focus on. The closest we get is things like fans of Dave’s websites. Even when dialoglogs become a thing, there are some restrictions: only players and sprites can be involved in these conversations, no guardians or carapacians or consorts.

Tavros brings Vriska to her quest cocoon, and Vriska gives Tavros a chance to kill her. This is kind of reminiscent of how she does the same with John, and it brings to mind yet more parallelism stuff. Vriska tries on John what she tried and failed to do on Tavros, but with a somewhat different, less malicious approach.

This is seriously just WAY TOO MUCH BLOOD.
Like, ten times as much as should fit in a troll’s body.

Vriska refuses Snowman’s suggestion that she controls Tavros into doing what’s necessary. Maybe this is because it’s kind of her last attempt at strengthening Tavros or something, her ultimate test. This whole scene is significant partly it shows what caused Vriska to finally give up on Tavros. Vriska’s whole dynamic with Tavros is largely presented in anachronic order. This scene is presented between her conversation with him I covered last post and her kiilling him, and in addition, Vriska crippling Tavros is presented to us after our first impression of Vriska following Tavros’s introduction.

Vriska begs Tavros to just kill her already, and apparently she ran out of blood and uses brown stuff, which is either Tavros’s tears or his own blood, I’m not sure. I never realized that this means Vriska may have forced Tavros to stab himself or something. No wonder he broke down in tears.

Vriska ascends to god tier, Tavros flies away in tears, having failed his final test. Snowman’s final command to Vriska “Rise up, Thief”, which is notable because it’s very similar to WV’s final command to John; the childish mayor guy and the sly femme fatale both said pretty much the same thing.

From this point to her death, Vriska walks around in her god tier outfit. This is probably just a stylistic thing, but I can’t help but wonder, did she have any personal motivation for changing her clothes offscreen? Just to look like a badass or what?

Snowman’s screen shuts off, signifying that this scene parallels John’s ascension in some ways. So basically, I guess we went through three scenes that have to do with ascending to god tier.

See you next time for the conksuckiest Christmas special ever.

>> Part 39: the CRISMATS SPECAIL

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 37: I Killed Your Grandpa And I Like You

Introduction 

Part 36 | Part 37 | Part 38 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 10 of 32

Pages 3048-3074 (MSPA: 4948-4974)

Picking up from where we left off, Jade has an extremely awkward conversation with Tavros.

AT: i SPENT SO LONG SLEEPING AND DREAMING AND PLAYING ON PROSPIT, 
AT: tHAT BEING AWAKE WAS MADE TO FEEL WEIRD, aND i DIDN’T LIKE IT FOR A WHILE, 
GG: yeah i have done a lot of sleeping myself 🙂 
AT: oH, yES, i KNOW, bUT, 
AT: i SAW YOU, yOU WERE AWAKE A LOT TOO, 
AT: aFTER A CERTAIN MOMENT, i SPENT JUST ABOUT EVERY WAKING HOUR BEING ASLEEP, 

just realized something. Breath and blood are thought to be an opposing pair of aspects. Karkat, the trolls’ hero of blood, did not sleep at all during the trolls’ session; Tavros, the trolls’ hero of breath, slept almost the whole time during the trolls’ session after a certain point.

GG: what did you want to talk about? 
AT: i WANTED TO ASK YOU PERMISSION, 
AT: i WOULD HAVE ASKED PERMISSION THE FIRST TIME, 
AT: bUT AT THE TIME YOU WERE NOT ABLE TO GIVE IT, oR TALK OR ANYTHING, 
GG: permission for what? 
AT: tO COMMUNE WITH YOUR LUSUS, 
GG: with bec? 
GG: uh…. 
GG: what do you mean by commune? 
GG: and 
GG: what do you mean the first time! 
GG: you did it before? 
AT: yEAH, 

Tavros is asking if it’s OK for him to commune with Bec, even though he had already did so before, and as we’ll see, it wasn’t any good.

AT: sO THEN i COMMUNED HIM TO USE HIS AMAZING POWERS, tO, 
AT: iNTERVENE, 
AT: aND REROUTE THE PROJECTILE AWAY FROM THE PATH THAT WOULD HAVE HARMED YOU, 
AT: aND ALSO, 
AT: aS A WONDERFUL BONUS AND COINCIDENCE, 
AT: iT HAPPENED THERE WAS A FELON ON YOUR PROPERTY,

Think about that for a second. Tavros, one of the most nonviolent trolls, took an opportunity to remotely kill an old man who he somehow thought was an unwanted felon. Why did he make this assumption? Vriska thought of John’s father as a meddlesome adult human, and Terezi and Equius both recognized Dave’s brother as taking the role of his lusus. This implies that either Tavros is kind of dumb, or Jade’s grandpa left her wandering on her own way too much. Could be both.

AT: iT WAS i THINK SURELY AN AGING ROGUE WHO WAS VERY MUCH KEEN ON INTRUDING BETWEEN YOUR REALLY NICE LOOKING FAMILY, 
AT: aND AS FORTUNE WOULD HAVE IT, 
AT: tHE SMALL MISSILE WAS REDIRECTED INTO THE SENIOR INTERLOPER’S CHEST, 
AT: aND HE DIED, 
AT: }:)

And that’s how Jade’s grandpa died. Tavros of all people remotely killing someone really says something about trolls and their ways.

Also about Grandpa’s death: there are several things that turn out to be a Vriska thing, but Grandpa’s death turns out to be a Tavros thing. This exemplifies how Tavros is trying to imitate what Vriska did.

GG: omg…… 
GG: that wasnt a senior interloper, im pretty sure youre talking about my grandpa!!! 
AT: oH, 
GG: and if im interpreting correctly…. 
GG: youre saying you used bec to make me shoot him??? 
GG: augh thats so awful! 

Turns out Jade didn’t know until now how her grandpa died. Just imagine, little Jade was having an ordinary day outside, but all of a sudden she sees her grandpa dead with a hole in his chest. How traumatizing can you get?? More on that later.

GG: well im not blaming you or anything 
GG: it sounds like you were just trying to help 
GG: and you did save my life 
GG: but…… 
GG: i mean jeeeez 
GG: talk about a misunderstanding 

Jade is being surprisingly polite here to the guy who killed her grandpa out of a fatal misunderstanding.

AT: wELL, 
AT: nOW i FEEL VERY STUPID, 
AT: bUT, 
AT: i DON’T THINK i WILL GIVE INTO BAD SELF ESTEEM THIS TIME ABOUT THIS, 
AT: iT’S IMPORTANT TO STAY CONFIDENT ABOUT STUFF, DON’T YOU AGREE, 
GG: uh 
GG: sure? 
AT: aND i THINK THIS IS A GOOD OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO BOND, aND BECOME CLOSER IN AN EMOTIONAL WAY, 
AT: pROBABLY, 
GG: …. it is? 
AT: oH YES, sEE THE FUNNY THING IS, i ALSO KILLED MY LUSUS BY ACCIDENT, 
AT: i MEAN, mY LUSUS THAT WAS A LITTLE FAIRY BULL, nOT AN OLD MAN WITH A HUGE GUN, 
GG: oh nooo 
GG: how did that happen? 
AT: i MURDERED HIM INAPPROPRIATELY WITH A FOUR WHEEL DEVICE, 
GG: 😐 
GG: ummm what kind of device? 
AT: lIKE, tHE KIND BASICALLY FOR CRIPPLES TO SIT IN, aND ROLL AROUND, 
GG: oh you mean a wheelchair! 
AT: i GUESS, tHAT’S A WAY TO CALL IT, 
GG: how… 
GG: did that happen? 
AT: wELL, 
AT: i WAS SITTING IN IT, bEING CRIPPLED LIKE USUAL, 
AT: aND HE GOT UNDER THE WHEEL IN HIS NAP, 

Here, Tavros is trying to assure Jade that she isn’t alone, relating the story of how his lusus died. It’s not exactly funny though, nor is it that similar to how Jade’s grandpa died.

GG: i didnt realize you were paralyzed 
GG: not that im saying sorry for that! that would be rude i think 
GG: i am just saying sorry for your loss 
AT: oH, iT’S OKAY, oN BOTH THINGS, 
AT: hE CAME BACK TO LIFE FOR A WHILE, aND COULD TALK, AND THAT WAS FUN, 
AT: aND ALSO, 
AT: i’M NOT PARALYZED ANYMORE, }:) 
GG: oh? 
AT: nO, i HAVE ROBOT LEGS, aND i FEEL GREAT, aND i CAN WALK, 
GG: wow nice! 
AT: oH YES, iT IS TRULY NICE, 
AT: i AM A NEW AND DIFFERENT GUY, mOSTLY, 
AT: bEING NOT PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED IS MOST CERTAINLY THE KEY TO HAVING HIGH SELF ESTEEM, 
GG: um 
GG: that….. 
GG: i dont know if i agree with that! 
AT: oH ABSOLUTELY, tAKE IT FROM ME AS WHAT FACT IS TRUE, 
AT: aND NOW, i FEEL EMBOLDENED TO DO BOLD THINGS THAT HEROES SHOULD DO, 

Tavros is all about weird ideas of gaining self-confidence. There’s not only this segment, but also things like being briefly merged with Vriska and feeling her personality or learning that Rufio is a real person. Tavros’s main role in the story is as a foil to Vriska, and his arc is about overcoming her influence.

GG: i just wish… 
GG: maybe you’d told me what happened when i was younger? 
GG: i spent years wondering about it! 
GG: when i was REALLY young, i was sure the doll sitting across from him did it 
GG: and for a long time i was terrified of the evil blue girl!!! 
GG: she sort of haunted my childhood and i had trouble sleeping for a long time 

That evil blue girl is the same one that almost got prototyped into Jade’s sprite, and would’ve been combined with Grandpa if things went according to plan. That’s weird to imagine when you think about how Grandpa went on a date with that doll, weirder than Grandpa being combined with a female doll in the first place, but not as creepy as Grandpa going on dates with dolls in the first place.

GG: but of course i got older and realized that was silly, but then i just speculated that maybe it was suicide 
GG: which was just a really sad thing to think about!!! 

Jade’s life suddenly seems a lot less fairy tale-like. Is trauma about her grandpa being dead why Jade disturbingly acted as if he was alive? In an Act 3 post I talked about how Jade hides emotions the least of the beta kids, but upon closer inspection of her acting like her grandpa is alive, I’m not sure how true that is. In Acts 1-4 Jade was all about being super chipper and goofy, but the first time we got dialogue from her after her dream self’s death she was way more sour than she ever was, and since then she’s been fairly open about her feelings of contempt and bitterness. Before then, was she too carried away with her magical dreams to let out her inner grouchiness? That kind of makes sense. As I’ve said before, Jade gets a lot of development through the course of Act 5 Act 2 away from the silly dreamy girl, but in Act 6 she hasn’t gotten very much screen time. I’m really looking forward to hearing more from her after Homestuck resumes, getting her back into the spotlight and stuff.

AT: wOW, yEAH, 
AT: i, 
AT: tOTALLY BLEW THAT THEN, 
AT: i GUESS i COULD STILL TELL YOU ABOUT IT IN YOUR PAST, 
GG: buuuut… 
GG: even if you do, i dont remember you doing so! 
AT: oH, 
AT: tHEN i GUESS I WON’T, 
GG: er 
GG: ok :\ 

I’m not sure if it would be much better if Tavros did tell younger Jade how her grandpa died. She probably would think it’s a really awful prank, and she’d hate the trolls more than she already did. Maybe after the whole adventure started and she learned more about the trolls she would’ve thought that maybe Tavros was indeed responsible for her grandpa’s death, and then hate him and the other trolls still more.

AT: bUT YEAH, iRREGARDLESS,
AT: tHIS IS LIKELY TO BE EXACTLY THE KIND OF THING NOT TO STAND IN THE WAY ABOUT GOOD FEELINGS ABOUT MYSELF,
GG: …….
AT: i MEAN, i SAW THAT YOUR LUSUS SAVED YOU ANYWAY, iN ADVANCE,
AT: aND,
AT: i JUST WANTED,
AT: tO MAKE IT POSSIBLE SO THAT i WAS THE ONE INVOLVED WITH BEING THE HERO THERE,
AT: tO SAVE YOU,
AT: lIKE, tO PUT MYSELF IN YOUR STORY, iN A BRAVE CAPACITY, bECAUSE,
AT: tHAT’S WHAT FEELING GOOD AND POSITIVE ABOUT YOURSELF IS ALL ABOUT,

OK, this just screams Vriska. At this point, readers will think, oh my god Tavros, don’t try to imitate Vriska you dumbass. This is EXACTLY what Vriska’s doing, and Tavros talking about doing the very same thing is really painful to read.

GG: woooooow…
GG: you sound really confused to me!
AT: aBSOLUTELY, i AM CONFUSED LIKE A FOX,
AT: tHE KIND THAT HAS HIGH SELF ESTEEM,
GG: heheheh
GG: youre incredibly silly
GG: i cant really tell to what extent youre joking around here! 

Compare this to John’s reaction to Vriska talking about how she’s involving herself with all events. John completely takes Vriska’s claims at face value (not to imply they aren’t true), but Jade isn’t sure if Tavros really means what he’s saying. This is not so much a difference between John and Jade as it is a difference between Tavros and Vriska. Vriska is genuinely all about involving herself in everything, but Tavros is just a confused naive imitator.

AT: i’M PRETENDING THAT BEING FULLY HONEST ABOUT RUFIO’S FAKENESS, AND,
AT: bEING UP FRONT ABOUT HIS GENERAL FRAUDULENCE, tHAT IT WILL ONLY GIVE ME EXTRA CONFIDENCE,
AT: i’M PRETENDING THAT AS HARD AS i CAN, iN THE MOST CONFIDENT WAY,
AT: wHICH MAKES IT PARTIALLY MORE TRUE,
GG: that
GG: sure is a philosophy you have there! 

It’s a philosophy that doesn’t even make sense. So you have an imaginary friend, and you always keep in mind how fake he is, and knowing he’s fake will give you extra confidence?

AT: yES, bEING CONFIDENT IS ALWAYS ABOUT SAYING AND DOING THE THINGS YOU FEEL,
AT: eVEN IF THE AFRAID PART OF YOU SAYS, nO, pLEASE DON’T DO THAT,
AT: lIKE, uHHHHHHH,
AT: hERE IS A THING i’M AFRAID TO SAY TO YOU, jADE,
AT: bUT,
AT: i’M TOO CONFIDENT NOW TO LET MY AFRAIDNESS MAKE ME FEEL TERRIBLE,
GG: oh??
GG: well, what is it?
AT: rEMEMBER, i TALKED TO YOU A LOT WHEN YOU WERE SLEEPING,
GG: yes
AT: uHH, aND,
AT: wE TALKED ABOUT LOTS OF THINGS, aND WE HAD SOME THINGS IN COMMON, aND IT WAS NICE,
GG: sure!
AT: aND i THINK CONSEQUENTLY, tHE EMOTIONAL RESULT IS PROBABLY,
AT: tHAT MAYBE i HAVE SOME POSSIBLE RED FEELINGS FOR YOU, 

Jesus. Fucking. Christ. Now is not the time to hit on Jade, even if you hadn’t just revealed to her that you killed her grandpa. I’ve had several times in my life where I thought I was a new way cooler person than ever before and said some things that I now think were pretty stupid.

As I’ve mentioned before, half of the trolls developed romantic feelings for at least one of the beta kids. What does this say about the trolls? To them, the humans are four kids from the universe they created who they can spy on, and they must all have it in the back of their heads that they could meet the humans in person. Did all the trolls feel that their current friends are all incompatible and that their group is practically a romantic wreck? Is it done to entice shippers? Or is it just because the prospect of aliens hitting on humans via chat clients is funny? The latter explanation is very unlikely, because obviously nothing in Homestuck is just done because it’s funny. (hint hint)

GG: red feelings?
GG: you mean
GG: whoooooaaaaaa
GG: wait
GG: really? 😮
AT: wOW, tHAT SURE WAS A HARD THING TO SAY AND MADE ME INCREDIBLY NERVOUS,
AT: bUT i SAID IT BECAUSE OF MY REMARKABLE LEG-POWERED SELF CONFIDENCE,
AT: aND NOW i THINK ALL THAT’S LEFT IS DEFINITELY YOUR RECIPROCATION ABOUT THAT, pROBABLY,
GG: um……………..
GG: well
GG: i dont think i can reciprocate!
AT: uH OH, 

Jade’s reaction to Tavros hitting on her is pretty similar to John’s reaction to Karkat hitting on him. In both cases, a human converses with a troll he or she has conversed with many times, but the conversation quickly jerks into awkward avenue; the troll goes on to reveal out of nowhere that he has feelings for the human, and the human is caught off guard and turns the troll down. John turned Karkat down because of confusion and incompatible orientation, which makes me wonder, how would John react to Karkat’s advances if one of them was a girl? That’s a pretty good question; I think John would probably just be confused. He wouldn’t be oblivious entirely, given that he recognized what Karkat said to him as black romance stuff.

AT: bUT WHAT ABOUT, 
AT: mY ATTRACTIVE BRAVADO,
AT: aND IGNORING MY INSTINCTUAL COWARDICE HARD ENOUGH TO SAY THAT i LIKE YOU,
AT: iSN’T THAT,
AT: sUPPOSED TO BE VERY ATTRACTIVE, aND ENCOURAGE THE MAJOR HAVING OF FLUSHED FEELINGS IN OTHERS,
AT: i GUESS WHAT i MEAN IS, wHAT ABOUT ALL MY CONFIDENCE,
AT: wHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT, 

This is just hilariously wrong. What Tavros is saying is exactly what makes you come off as a fucking creep.

GG: i aaaalso think…
GG: and really this is just polite friendly advice!
GG: that if youre really confident you dont always have to say it all the time
GG: it…
GG: oh man im sorry to say
GG: it just comes of as a little insecure and off putting and kind of defeats the purpose! 

It makes you sound like a little kid who just learned what self confidence is and thinks the best thing to do is to shove how confident he is down everyone’s throats.

Grumpy Jade is back.

This conversation has gotten way off track, and Jade gets it back to the original point: Tavros communing with Becsprite.

AT: yES, oF COURSE,
AT: i WANTED TO GET APPROVAL FROM YOU, tO COMMUNE HIM AGAIN,
AT: nOW THAT HE’S A SPRITE,
AT: tO PERPETRATE ONE OF MY HEROIC IDEAS AGAIN,
GG: uh-ohhh
GG: what is your idea this time?
AT: i WILL SUGGEST TO HIM THAT HE ATTACK YOUR ADVERSARY,
AT: aS WELL AS OURS,
AT: aND MAYBE BEAT HIM, tO SOLVE EVERYBODY’S PROBLEMS,
GG: wow, i dunno about that!
AT: bUT i HAVE GREAT SKILL IN COMMANDING BEASTS TO GLORY IN BATTLE,
AT: aND YOURS IS SURELY THE STRONGEST BEAST I’VE SEEN!
GG: but hes my best friend!!!
GG: and you have already managed to get one of my family members killed 

Although communing with a first guardian to fight enemies might be a good idea in theory—did Vriska ever give thought to Tavros controlling GCat to deal with the threats?—getting a family member killed is a very good reason not to trust someone to do so.

AT: bUT ACCORDING TO MY SELF CONFIDENCE, i THINK i’M PRETTY SURE i CAN USE HIS POWER TO BE SUCCESSFUL,
AT: wHOOPS, PRETEND i DIDN’T MENTION MY SELF CONFIDENCE, oR SAY ANYTHING OFF PUTTING,
GG: but all of our adversaries have inherited his powers!
GG: i would imagine the strongest guy would have all of his powers, and then some!!!
GG: i am really not comfortable with this
AT: oH,
GG: you said you are asking me permission first and i appreciate that
GG: but if you are asking im afraid my answer is no! 

This is one wreck of a conversation. If Tavros didn’t get Jade’s grandpa killed through ignorance alone, then maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. Then again, Jade’s politeness might have deluded Tavros to an extent, thinking that she isn’t really that mad at him. After all, Dave scared Tavros the hell away just by shooting him some disturbing sexual imagery.

AT: oKAY, i RESPECT THAT,
AT: bUT, i WONDER,
GG: what?
AT: i WONDER IF A TRULY SELF CONFIDENT GUY, wITH THE BEST SELF ESTEEM THERE IS, wOULD EVEN NEED TO ASK,
AT: mAYBE THE BEST GUY WOULD JUST KNOW HE WOULD BE SUCCESSFUL, aND WOULD DO IT ANYWAY BECAUSE IT IS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD, aND EVERYONE ELSE’S,
GG: no way!
GG: that would be smug and arrogant and would make you a bully!!!
GG: later if my friends and i want to ask bec for help and decide thats our best hope, then thats our business
GG: until then, just please stop meddling!!!!!! 

Thank GOD Tavros didn’t turn into a mini-Vriska. He was dangerously close to being one but eventually came to realize that it was pretty stupid. Jade could totally tear into Vriska and rip her to shreds if she were to talk to her. It’s a bit disappointing that Vriska only decided to troll John when you think about it. Even here, Jade’s berating Vriska’s ways without even realizing it.

AT: wOW, oK,
AT: yOU’RE RIGHT ABOUT ALL THAT, i’LL RESPECT YOUR WISHES,
AT: oR,
AT: wILL i? };)
GG: nooooooooo dont dont dont dont dont
GG: im serious
GG: uuuuggghh i think my headache is coming back 
AT: i WAS jUST,
AT: mAKING A JOKE,
AT: sORRY, }:( 

Jade was just starting to warm up to the trolls, but now she feels exactly how she did when she woke up. And that’s not because of watching Karkat argue with himself, or Vriska tearing into her for being useless. It’s because of Tavros being a doofus.

Vriska proceeds to laugh at Tavros for having such an embarrassing conversation with Jade and tear the hell into him.

AG: Jade let you down too easy. She’s too nice! Someone’s got to tear into you for that appalling display, and once again, guess who’s shoulders that falls on?
AG: That’s right. Vriska’s, as usual. 

So Vriska’s saying that Tavros must be yelled at for having such an embarrassing conversation, and apparently Jade pretty strongly scolding him wasn’t enough. Seriously, Jade was pretty forthright when she criticized Tavros’s ideas, so this is really just a Vriska excuse for tormenting Tavros. Vriska is all about shitty excuses. For instance, at one point in the trolls’ arc she claimed that she built up his home with stairs to help challenge him and make him stronger.

AT: i THINK SHE HAS THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF NICENESS, pERSONALLY,
AT: aN AMOUNT THAT IS SOME, iNSTEAD OF,
AT: nONE,
AG: Hey, I’m nice when it matters, and where it doesn’t strangul8te the critical development of people I give a shit a8out, ok?
AG: Really I don’t know what you see in her. She is completely useless, like you.
AG: W8, of course!!!!!!!! It makes perfect sense. You and she represent the ideal matespritship, how could I have 8een so 8lind!

What is with Vriska and thinking Jade is super useless? If any of the beta kids at this point isn’t a moron, it’s probably Jade. She actually gets stuff done on her own in a constructive direction. Did her sleeping tendencies make Vriska think otherwise?

AG: When you talk a8out your self confidence, I throw up a little. You don’t know what confidence is. Ro8o-legs don’t give you confidence, that 8n’t no more true than saying my ro8o-arm gave me mine. See what I mean? 

This is a really bad analogy, and I’m sure Hussie intended it that way. I hate bad analogies, like when someone analogizes little bad things people do with eating poop straight out of the toilet or to murdering someone. Vriska presumably got her robot arm soon after having her arm blown off, equating to spending a short period of time one-armed, but Tavros spent four or more years in a wheelchair. It may be true that robot body parts don’t magically give people confidence, but being able to walk for the first time in years would surely give one a sense of jubilation.

AT: oK, i THINK, 
AT: tHIS IS ACTUALLY MAKING ME PRETTY MAD, 
AG: Yeah right!!!!!!!! 
AG: I’ll 8elieve that when I see it, chump. 
AT: i DON’T WANT YOU TO MOCK ME ANYMORE, 
AT: i DON’T KNOW IF MY CONFIDENCE IS REAL, oR WHAT, 
AT: bUT i WOULD LIKE YOU TO STOP SAYING STUFF LIKE THAT TO ME, 
AT: aND TO STOP SAYING BAD THINGS ABOUT MY FRIEND JADE, tOO, 

This is Tavros’s way of being angry. He’s flat out saying, “OK, this is making me pretty mad.” rather than throwing a fit like people would normally do.

AG: Jade is an idiot. 
AG: A useless, 8oring no8ody. What has she done for her party other than fuck up every step of the way? What does she ever do 8ut take naps and get in trou8le? 
AG: She’s awful, and you deserve each other. Oh w8, except she h8tes you!!!!!!!! Ahahahahahahahaha. Even the 8oring pointless girl h8s you, talk a8out a guy who can’t get a 8r8k. 

Why does Vriska think Jade is so stupid? What mistakes has she made that really are straight up her fault? Most of the trolls seem to think Jade made the horrible mistake of prototyping Bec while being air-headed as usual, though Vriska knows very well that she intentionally did it. Plus, the conversation Tavros just had with Jade makes it very clear that she is an all-around more sensible person than he is. But on the other hand, Jade and Tavros do have something in common: Vriska can’t see anything in them other than a useless boring idiot. I wonder if Vriska calling Jade boring has to do with many readers finding Jade to be a dull character? Rereading these parts of Homestuck has actually boosted my opinion on Jade’s character.

AG: Ok, Tavros, I gave her credit for something, so I’ll give you credit for something too. 
AG: Your plan to control her lusus really wasn’t a 8ad idea! 

Vriska is giving Tavros credit for being like her. As I said earlier, Tavros got close to being a mini-Vriska, and she probably would’ve liked that more than anything. That really could’ve theoretically happened, but it did not, because that would be a very unsatisfying way to handle his arc. As far as the story’s concerned, Tavros becoming exactly like Vriska is totally plausible, but for the sake of this being a satisfying story, it doesn’t happen.

AG: Practicing your a8ilities is important, so when it comes down to using them for something that really matters, you know you’re ready for prime time. 
AG: I know this first hand. 
AG: I got lots and lots and LOTS of practice with your little guinea pig friend. ::::D 

Jade’s narcolepsy? That turns out to be a Vriska thing. I never got that in my first read, because it was merely mentioned in a pesterlog and as I said many times I didn’t bother reading those. I think Vriska being behind Jade falling asleep a lot could’ve been made more obvious, maybe with a page showing Vriska putting Jade to sleep over and over again or something, I don’t know. Then again, if I had just read the damn pesterlogs I would’ve understood.

AG: Like I said! Your plan was solid. 
AG: Controlling the guardian to go after Jack was a fine idea. Sure would stir some shit up! 8etter than 8eing an insignificant stuttering piece of trash all the time, I say. 
AG: And you were definitely on to something a8out doing it “irregardless” (lol) of her wishes. 
AG: 8ecause it’s for her own good! That’s what winners do. They do what is right for someone they care a8out even if the other person does nothing 8ut 8itch and moan and act ungr8ful a8out it. 8etter you learned l8 than never. 
AG: In fact, I would go as far as saying that if you went ahead with her plan against her wishes, it MIGHT just earn you a smidgen of respect from me. 
AG: We’ll see. 

As Jade said, the enemies are now on par with Bec so controlling him is very risky. But it’s exactly the kind of thoughtless thing Vriska would do, so of course she’d approve.

AG: There’s really just one catch. 
AT: oH, 
AT: wHAT’S THAT,
AG: The catch is it’s not going to work! 
AT: wHAT ISN’T, 
AG: Are you even listening to me? Man, clear the Rufio wax out of your ears. 
AG: You couldn’t sic the guardian on Noir even if you were inclined. Not even if I were to MAKE you inclined! :::;) 
AT: uHH, 
AT: wHY, 
AG: 8ecause you are dealing with a pro here. I already thought of that. 
AG: I thought of everything!

Vriska’s going to say some messed up stuff about how much stuff she was behind.

AG: The guardian is not going to attack the agents who engineered him in the first place. 
AG: Or who I should say were “encouraged” (lol) to engineer him.

That’s an interesting thought, Bec feeling the same loyalty to the agents who created him that he does to Jade, although Vriska’s claim above can’t be taken as fact, merely as what she presumes.

As for first guardians being created, it’s almost certain the agents would’ve created Bec the same way regardless. In the trolls’ session, I’m pretty sure Derse agents and/or the Black Queen stole the books some of the trolls wrote code in and used them to make Doc Scratch, which we can assume is how first guardians are typically made. In the alpha kids’ session it’s kind of more fuzzy, but I think the Condesce used Jane to do what’s needed to create GCat; it’s unusual, but then again, the alpha session is a very special case. Vriska is pretty much retroactively making herself behind certain events, so this whole stretch of pages exploring how much stuff Vriska is behind almost feels like retconning existing events to make them Vriska things.

AG: Remem8er, I already have a lot of experience getting these simple minded agents to march to my drum 8eat. 
AG: I was exiling them left and right in our session! I’m an expert at this 8y now. 

So was Vriska part of how the Midnight Crew got exiled to Alternia? It’s made pretty clear how Spades Slick got exiled, but the others were all pretty indeterminate. But I never realized that Vriska is suggesting that she may have exiled the other three agents.

To the right there’s a crow. I thought none of the birds in Dave’s house entered the game with him but I guess I was wrong. Would those birds be survivors of Earth’s apocalypse? That would be pretty neat.

AG: Don’t you think this is how it should 8e? Shouldn’t the greatest player leave her fingerprints on every step of the rise to power of her ultim8 nemesis? 
AT: wOW, nO, tHAT’S, 
AT: i DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW TO SAY ALL THE WAYS i THINK THAT IS CRAZY,

Tavros is right on here. Two posts ago I talked about why Vriska thinking she should be behind her nemesis’s creation is dumb, and I wasn’t exactly sure how to say what I wanted to say. This is the case for a lot of what I write in this post series. 

Here’s DD about to kill the doomed Dave whose corpse Dave saw and threw into lava. It’s one thing seeing his body, but it’s another thing seeing him about to be killed, and yet another thing to see that while we learn that it’s a Vriska thing. Knowing that Vriska was involved in this Dave’s death gives new meaning to the narration line when Dave saw his corpse, “Whoever took those books was a pretty cold blooded dude.”

AG: I have every angle covered already. The human session is on full Serket lockdown. Any effort you make to disrupt my plans will 8e laugha8le, just like everything you have ever done in your life. 

Tavros controlling Becsprite seemed like a really bad idea at first, but when you compare it to the vast mass of horseshit Vriska’s been doing it’s not all that bad. Vriska saying her session is on “full Serket lockdown” is legitimately scary, even if it’s coming from Vriska.

AT: oKAY, tHEN, 
AT: aLL OF YOUR USUAL INSULTING THINGS ASIDE, mY TAKE ON THIS IS, 
AT: tHAT YOU CREATED OUR IMPOSSIBLY HARD BAD GUY, wHO WANTS TO KILL US, 
AT: aND BY ASSOCIATION, i GUESS THAT MAKES, 
AT: yOU THE BAD GUY TOO, 
AT: iNSTEAD OF A GOOD GUY WHO’S JUST MEAN, 

That’s pretty much exactly what I reasoned in the paragraph about Vriska two posts ago. Tavros is showing that deep down, he realizes that the self-insertion thing is stupid, especially the way Vriska’s doing it.

AT: aND THAT BEING THE CASE, 
AT: eVEN THOUGH i’M TERRIFIED OF YOU, 
AT: aND nOT AS STRONG, 
AT: oR REAL CONFIDENT, 
AT: oNLY MOSTLY FAKE CONFIDENT, 
AG: Yeeeeeeees? 
AG: Go on. 
AT: i THINK, 
AT: i AM GOING TO HAVE TO STOP YOU, 
AG: Yeah! That’s the spirit. 
AG: Pretty weakslime threat there, 8ut it’s a start. 
AG: Tell you what. 
AG: If you can find me in this la8, you can have at me. 
AG: I’ll even give you a free shot! No funny 8usiness or anything. 
AT: oK, 
AT: tHEN, 
AT: hERE i COME, 
AG: I’ll 8e w8ing. ❤

The worst part of this bit is that Vriska later kills Tavros instead of letting him have a shot. More on that when, well, that actually happens.

Vriska views Jade, who is looking at the fourth wall in her lab, on Trollian, and she somehow mind-controls Hussie’s self-insert as he rides a dragon who barfs on bullies Neverending Story-style, which is a weird random scene that’s mostly there to fulfill a prophecy. When Vriska later saw Hussie around in dream bubbles, I wonder, did she recognize him as the guy she saw through the fourth wall?

This post is getting pretty long so I’ll stop here, even though I only covered half as many pages as I usually would. See you next time as we go through mind-wrenching coinflip timeline stuff that’s still frequently debated about today.

>> Part 38: Ascensions and Failures Thereof

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 36: Lava Is Not Better Than Snow

Introduction 

Part 35 | Part 36 | Part 37 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 9 of 32

Pages 2997-3047 (MSPA: 4897-4947)

9/24/2019: I’ve been going through every blog post of mine in chronological order to fix up the formatting for WordPress and I have to say, I actually enjoyed rereading this post much more than the prior ones. It’s probably the first Homestuck post of mine that I think holds up.

From where we left off, Jade gets out of bed and it does appear that maybe it is indeed a sprite magic bed.

In a callback to Bec’s debut flash. Jade sees a Bec-prototyped imp and strifes it in an interactive page.

The music in this minigame, titled Sunslammer, is one of the best songs in the whole comic. It’s the kind of music that only when you listen to it on loop do you realize how awesome it is. Seriously I’ve listened to that song (and many others from Homestuck) on extended loop. As for the flash itself, it’s a lot of fun seeing a Bec imp teleport Jade around the whole incipisphere—yet another ramification of Bec prototyping himself, in action. It also has the same “review of what’s going on everywhere” feel that walkarounds have: the windy thing on LOWAS, Bec imps thrashing John’s bedroom, Rose no longer in the study room, three instances of Dave seeing Jade, how huge the kids’ houses are, and a bit of a tour of LOFAF.

Becsprite blows up the imp, and I guess this implies that Becsprite is indeed stronger than plain Bec? I’m not sure.

Jade thanks Becsprite, who responds with:

repeated nine times.

The seizure gifs do a great job at showing how enigmatic Bec is, even as a sprite. If Homestuck was a TV show, then Bec making mysterious noises* wouldn’t have the same effect, and if it was a book, neither would narrative text like “Becsprite responded to Jade with an incomprehensible deafening noise that defies description.” If Homestuck was a graphic novel it might work to put the seizure imagery in  Becsprite’s speech bubble, but it might make people  think it shows Bec thinking of the green sun, not to mention that it couldn’t be animated to get the full effect unless it’s online (or maybe if it uses lenticular printing, but that still doesn’t get the full effect). Speaking in seizure pictures really brings to light what Hussie is conveying through this spritelog: Bec is a very unearthly being.

* For reference, Let’s Read Homestuck adapts Bec’s “dialogue” by making it a warpy-sounding edit of a dog barking.

Note how much of the scene is obscured by green magic.
This same picture was shown back in Act 3 and that was the best look we got at Jade after entering the medium.

As we saw back in Act 3, PM contacts Jade at this point, but before she can say much Becsprite blows up the command station. I take this scene as demonstration how protective Bec is to Jade. He won’t let a stranger’s voice intrude into her mind, leading to another pattern Jade breaks: (18) Jade doesn’t get to have an exile command her. The kid-exile pattern is done pretty out of order regardless: first John, then Jade from PM’s perspective, then Rose, then John again, then Jade from her own perspective, then John some more, and finally Dave.

Related to this, there’s a plot hole about exiles contacting players: PM contacts Jade after she enters the game, but later she contacts John at a point where only he and Rose have entered the game. What’s up with that? A possible explanation that I just came up with is that PM’s command station synchronizes with the incipisphere’s timeline later than WV’s does. Maybe each command station works a little differently or something.

PM does some more stuff and talks with WQ about her new apparent role as a queen. I guess she’s now supposed to be a queen but isn’t really feeling it? Homestuck sort of has a thing of characters rejecting archetypes and stuff like that.

Jade goes to the now-empty grand foyer and goes upstairs to see her atrium in ruins. Then she talks to Dave.

TG: hey 
TG: welcome to the medium finally i guess 
GG: hey!!!!! 
GG: last time i talked to you i was asking for help and you were just nakking at me 
GG: what was up with that bro??? 
TG: ok i dont know what youre talking about it was probably just some horrorterror chirping at you during one of your nap bubble mindfucks 

So Dave never figured out that a crocodile stole his shades while he was asleep?

GG: in the heat of the fray i didnt notice you! 
GG: where were you? 
TG: three places 
TG: i remember seeing you twice before in different locations 
TG: but at the moment im standing in the middle of this snowy goddamn field freezing my shit off 
TG: just wanted to see if you were cool 
GG: yeah im fine, thanks for asking! 
GG: what do you mean you remember seeing me? 
GG: was i jumping through time or something? 

Doesn’t Jade know anything about how her dog’s powers work? She should be familiar with Bec’s teleportation abilities so—wait never mind. Dave claiming to have seen her multiple times must’ve made her think that.

TG: no i was 
TG: this is future me 
TG: one of the future mes that is 
GG: youre from the future? 
TG: yeah jade thats what future me means 
GG: :p 
GG: john told me you have been doing some time traveling 
TG: yeah 
GG: that is….. 
GG: really really awesome! 
TG: its ok 

Like John, Jade thinks that powers like this are super crazy awesome, while Dave and Rose shrug it off. Three years later the situation is similar: Dave refuses to time travel, while John remarks at one point that screwing with past Terezi in the retcon mission is actually pretty fun.

TG: hey its pretty fucking cold 
GG: i knoooooow 
GG: it is a really neat place but its freeeeezing 😮 
TG: so im gonna go some place warm be back in a while later 
— turntechGodhead [TG] ceased pestering gardenGnostic [GG] — 
GG: wait! 
GG: dave!! 
GG: uuugh stupid lousy cool dudes 
— turntechGodhead [TG] began pestering gardenGnostic [GG] — 
TG: ok im back 
TG: an hour later 
GG: an hour? 
TG: an hour for me 
TG: a second for you 
TG: i ran around for an hour got my ass some place warm 
TG: went back in time 
TG: picked up where we left off 
GG: :O 
GG: i can not believe how cool that is 
GG: this is me believing neither that, nor its coolness :O 

Homestuck loves exploiting time travel to do cool things. Not just cool things as in changing the past or getting a sneak peek of the future, but things you don’t usually see in time travel stories. When writing this, I thought of all the media I’ve read or watched involving time travel, including a book I read around age 10 called The Comic Book Kid. Typically characters will travel through time to make wrong things go right, more often than not for their own personal gain, but they’ll make a fatal mistake and they’ll have to hop around around the whole time continuum to set it all right. But while Homestuck has done that kind of thing sometimes, I don’t think there are many other works that use time travel for such things as keeping tabs on everyone, immediately resuming conversations where they left off after you take an hour off, or making way more money than you should be able to within a limited timeframe.

TG: i guess im sorta used to it by now i dont think of hours going by the same way anymore 
TG: i mean 
TG: they are my hours but not everyone elses theyre kind of like private hours all to myself 
TG: while everyone else is sort of in slow motion stuck in the thick of the alpha 
GG: hmmmm… 
GG: i dont know if i get that but ok! 

That’s a pretty interesting way to think about being the time traveler of the group. Homestuck very often puts an unconventional perspective on common tropes and archetypes.

TG: well yeah 
TG: my thing is time yours is space 
TG: pretty different things 
TG: you GET things about space i dont 
TG: or you will 
GG: i will? 
TG: yup 

Dave really seems to like thinking of players’ aspects as indicating which sort of topics they’ll inherently understand. One could argue that Jade already gets some things about space, because she’s stated to be something of a science nerd, even though as I noted last post, her knowledge of science isn’t shown much in action.  A commonly noted problem with Homestuck is that characters will be stated to have certain interests that are hardly shown in action. Hussie clearly has recognized this problem and taken steps to amend it: in recent updates, characters have brought up John’s interest and lack of skill in programming, Dave’s interest in paleontology, Rose’s longtime interest in psychology, and various other character interests that hadn’t been brought up in a while.

GG: im so horribly unprepared for this…. i have never even seen snow before, can you believe that!!! 
TG: pretty believable since you lived on guam or wherever the fuck 
TG: and also inside an active volcano 
GG: derp yes dave that is so where i lived 
GG: that is as biographically accurate as it gets about me! 

In that tangent back in an Act 4 post about the kids being or not being sarcastic where I talked about how it isn’t necessarily accurate to say that the Derse kids are very often sarcastic while the Prospit ones never are, this bit came to mind.

TG: well ive never seen [snow] either now that i think about it 
GG: no??? 
TG: no 
GG: isnt it great????? 
TG: nah 
TG: lavas better 
GG: lava is NOT better than snow 😐 
TG: yeah it is lava and skeletal skyscrapers all melting and shit how is that not way cooler than 
TG: snow and 
TG: like 
TG: more snow 
GG: you cant play in lava, its no fun 
GG: you can only die in lava 
TG: snows a big chilly carpet of nobody gives a shit 
TG: like old man winter spread around his nasty mayonnaise and turned the landscape into his personal asshole sandwich 
GG: eww dave no 
TG: when i look around all i see is the miles of unharnessed snowmen im just too damn cool to build 
GG: no this is so lame 
GG: i am hearing an insane and stupid guy say stupid idiot things while wearing dumb sunglasses for lame morons! 

I love this argument over whether lava or snow is better. It’s one of these moments that makes you remember that these are goddamn 13-year-old kids. By the way, I’m with Jade here.

TG: whoa jade with the fucking haymaker 
TG: i need to go look for my teeth on the canvas as soon as shit stops spinning and there stops being like ten of you 
GG: heheheh 
GG: why dont we play in the snow later 

Borderline flirting. 

GG: as soon as you get some………………………………
TG: time 
GG: ………………………… 
TG: time 
GG: ………………. 
TG: time then shades 
GG: ………. 
TG: time 
GG: …………… 
TG: time/shades lets go 
GG: ……. 
GG: …. 
GG: … 
TG: oh my fucking god 
GG: .. 
GG: . 
GG: time 8) 

I love how Dave repeatedly finishes Jade’s dramatic pun but she goes on with it anyway.

TG: no dont bother john
TG: hes on like his fuckin 
TG: wind mission or whatever 
TG: getting all his ridiculous magic cyclone powers on and realizing his huge blowy destiny 
TG: as the chump of shoosh 
GG: john has magic cyclone powers? 
TG: almost 
GG: whoa…. 
GG: you guys are all so much better than me, i feel sooooo lame 

At this point Dave could’ve said something like, “hey you always knew stuff about the future and i never could figure out for the life of me how in the hell that worked.” But instead he says:

TG: we all start out somewhere
TG: remember how i was scrambling up that tower to get that egg like an idiot
TG: what the hell was i doing
TG: i was like goddamn pooh bear in a tree reaching up his fat fuckin pooh paw for some mother fuckin honey
GG: heehee
TG: so even though im awesome now at one point i was plausibly likened to an autistic stuffed animal
TG: and you even knew what to do
TG: you told me how it worked all christopher robinning my ignorant ass about that egg
TG: but i was all like IM A LITTLE BLACK RAIN CLOUD BITCH WATCH ME CLIMB
TG: so maybe youre startin out with more sense than me 

Here, Dave is doing what I like best about him: giving sincere encouragement and advice while keeping his usual sense of humor. Dante Basco once did a dub of these lines, and it sounds like Bobby Hill thinking he’s super cool by using a lot of swear words.

TG: in any case egbert lost his computer and game disc
TG: so he cant do anything for you anyways
GG: oh no
GG: did he lose it in a magic cyclone?
TG: probably some shit like thats what happened 

I just realized that John lost his Sburb discs when they sank in the oil, meaning that he can’t play Sburb at all on the computer. The character who was looking forward to playing the game the most is the one who got the least amount of time to actually play it on his computer.

TG: but youre not completely screwed
TG: we just have to think outside the box here 

Dave’s about to devise something clever. Cleverness is another thing to like about Dave’s character, as I’ve mentioned a few times back, like in the roboslap scene.

Jade deploys the Intellibeam Laserstation in Dave’s room, and we’re about to learn what it does.

GG: what does this thing do? 
TG: its mostly pretty stupid and useless 
TG: but itll come in handy here 
TG: it reads captcha codes 
GG: on the back of cards? 
TG: yeah 
GG: but 
GG: we can already read those! 
TG: some are too garbled and complicated 
TG: the human eye cant decipher them 
TG: needs sophisticated scanning technology 
TG: and artificial intelligence to figure it out 
GG: hmm 
GG: but isnt the whole point of captchas that only humans can read them? 
GG: and not robots??? 
TG: yeah well 
TG: thats why this is so dumb

Here’s Homestuck’s video game satire aspect again. Some video games will have functionalities that are completely illogical. Here, in a comic about a video game, characters talk about how dumb it is that a game with a sophisticated interface has something that goes against logic. What’s even better is that within the comic’s universe, this isn’t just a video game device that does such a thing, perhaps as an expensive way to duplicate rare items; rather, it’s literally a robot that reads captchas in case humans can’t.

TG: im duplicating my server disc
GG: oh…. 
GG: to give it to john? 
TG: nah i told you were not bothering john 
TG: hes got shit to do 
TG: ill just install it 
GG: but… 
GG: you are already roses server player! 
GG: and john is mine! 
GG: not to mention im yours!!! 
GG: can you really be a server player to your own server player? 
TG: dont see why not 
TG: we have to get creative here 
TG: this games already so far off the rails what else is there to do but improvise 
GG: but i guess 
GG: i thought that john sort of….. 
GG: HAD to be my server? you know? 
TG: well he was 
TG: he got you in didnt he 
TG: but now hes not 
TG: been a change of plans 
TG: time to roll with it

More Dave cleverness. This bit demonstrates something about the kids I’ve brought up before: the Prospit dreamers have it in their minds that they need to follow the “rules”, but the Derse dreamers don’t. When I play video games I’ll always try to play the way it was meant to be played, but I know plenty of people who don’t.

Jade pattern breaking count: (19) Dave takes over as her server player, breaking the chain of kids connecting in the order they’re introduced.

TG: thisll be the disc i use for your connection 
TG: while the original will stay bound to roses connection 
GG: so you will be the server for BOTH us ladies??? 
GG: you just keep getting smoother, i cant handle all this smoothness 
TG: well technically 
TG: i will be your server 
TG: and past me will stay as roses server 
TG: which is to say present me will 
TG: the one in the black suit 
GG: ohh… 
GG: i guess that makes sense 

Dave clearly isn’t afraid to exploit the game mechanics to do things that ordinarily wouldn’t be done. Each of the four main characters has their own way of getting through the game: Dave exploits the quirks of the game, Rose analyzes everything intensively and completely rejects her supposed role, Jade uses tricks to keep things simple, and John just straight out progresses through like any video game.

Dave deploys Jade’s new alchemiter and immediately gives it all the cool upgrades. Jade is commanded to alchemize stuff already, but the narration’s like, haha nope. Part of the narration on that page only made sense to serial readers: it’s kind of saying that Jade’s alchemy binge won’t happen until Christmas.

Why do characters always sleep on piles of the most uncomfortable things?

We then focus on present Dave, and we’re reminded that he woke up when Jade shot an imp and then disappeared.

Davesprite killed some big fuckers offscreen.

TT: How was the nap? 
TG: weird 
TG: and kind of boring 
TG: i was in your dream room for a while spying on you 
TG: being all creepy and dream duplicitous and shit 
TT: It’s ok. 
TT: I was being similarly wake duplicitous. 
TG: whats with your book collection 
TG: or 
TG: dream book collection 
TG: all your books are bizarre and terrible 
TT: No, my books are great. 
TT: I can recommend some good titles for the next time you’re asleep. 
TG: nah 
TG: but yeah i understand defending your collection i guess if you were in my dream room and talking shit about my awesome dream portraits of dream stiller and dream snoop or whatever wed have to have a fucking talk 

This is what I love about Dave and Rose’s interactions. They pretty much always snark about each other’s tastes, and either one can just as well get the one-up.

TT: Did you do anything on the moon besides rifle through my belongings? 
TT: Such as remove your shades and turn your gaze Ringward, by any chance? 
TG: oh 
TG: yeah 
TG: i did 
TT: What did you see? 
TG: horrible things 
TT: Horribleterrible? 
TG: yeah 
TG: it was like 
TG: peering through the dark portal of an eldritch red lobster 
TG: and scoping out its all you can eat seafood buffet 
TG: and 
TG: when i saw them 
TG: their voices became clearer 
TT: What were they saying? 
TG: i couldnt really focus on anything specific 
TG: but 
TG: in totality 
TG: im pretty sure it was 
TG: like 
TT: ? 
TG: a plea for help
TT: That’s good. 
TG: no it was disturbing 

Often, Rose thinks something is cool but everyone else thinks it’s creepy and disturbing or really boring and strange. I guess that’s sort of the deal with her. She thinks adult Dirk is a cool and interesting guy but all the others think he’s a creep.

Also, Rose and Feferi totally could’ve chatted up about how awesome nightmare squidmonsters are.

First Rose had a red glow, then her dream self had a black glow, and now she has a magenta glow. What is it with Rose and differently-colored glows?

TT: You’re going to have to help them.
TT: Even if you don’t like them.
TT: They’re being massacred.
TT: Presently, already, and still to come. 

Lord English foreshadowing. At this point, Lord English is still mostly a Chekhov’s gunman since he doesn’t have that much clear significance yet.

TT: It is what it sounds like.
TT: A huge sun out in the literal middle of nowhere, and it is bright green.
TT: It is simply,
TT: The Green Sun.
TG: how big
TG: i need a sense of scale here
TG: is it like the size of our sun
TG: or bigger
TG: or is it only as big as like
TG: planet fucking jupiter
TT: It is nearly twice the mass of our universe.
TG: ok thats pretty fucking big
TG: see how important that contextualization was now i know how fucking impressed i should be
TG: i mean hopy shit thats huge 

There’s a recurring pattern with Dave. Things will ironically happen to him, and despite how much he loves irony, he is not amused. In Act 1 Dave joked about how pointless it is to give a sense of scale for meteors, but here he found it legitimately helpful to know how big the Green Sun is. Other examples are the thing of yellow liquid spilling on his turntables, his apple juice haunting him (what he calls Chekhov’s juice), or him crying (because of onions) when he claimed months back that he doesn’t cry.

TG: so whats The Tumor do
TG: i mean the tumor
TG: jesus can we stop with the fancy colored text bullshit
TT: I guess so.
TT: I thought it was more fun that way.
TG: well ok you can keep doing it then
TT: Thanks.
TT: <black>The Tumor</black> is quite a large growth at the center of the battlefield.
TT: [John] won’t be able to remove it without fully realizing his abilities.
TG: ok cool what is it
TT: Can you promise you won’t tell him?
TT: It would probably make him more nervous than he needs to be if he knew.
TG: ok i wont say anything 

“Hey, let’s pointlessly hide information from John again, even though we both thought it was stupid when Jade did that about her future sight.” In all seriousness, at least Rose has good reason not to tell John.

TT: Plus, I have other sources.
TT: One in particular has been quite illuminating.
TG: what
TT: I’ve been referring to him as an informant, when people ask.
TT: Which isn’t often.
TG: what you mean a troll
TT: No.
TT: It’s a man who exists in another universe.
TT: He wants to die.
TG: sounds like a really credible dude sign me up for trusting everything he says
TT: Only as credible as the omniscient tend to be.
TG: oh so he knows everything
TT: Yeah, I think that’s what omniscient means.
TT: But maybe I’ll ask him about that, since he’s the omniscient one.
TG: even if he is omniscient which he probably isnt what if hes just lying
TT: He says he doesn’t lie.
TT: For some reason, I believe him about that.
TT: He’s a convincing fellow. 

IRONY AGAIN. Rose explicitly hates being a pawn—that’s kind of a thing about her—but ends up used as one anyway. This parallels her with Vriska, her fellow light player.

TG: so when do i do my thing
TG: make this map
TG: which i guess is just like
TG: a solid black piece of paper
TG: this is going to be fucking stupid isnt it
TT: If there’s one thing you have more than any of us, it’s time.
TT: So, whenever you like.
TT: As long as conventionally speaking, it’s quite soon.
TG: alright
TG: so
TG: dog it as long as possible
TG: then travel back to about now and go to sleep 

How does Dave’s dream self work with time travel? Do all alpha instances of Dave asleep any given point control his dream self? That actually would work pretty well.

I left out lots of parts of this conversation, so for reference, Rose plans on navigating the Furthest Ring to plant the Tumor bomb in the Green Sun and she needs Dave to make a map.

TT: And if you have trouble going to sleep, maybe you can ask your patron troll to trick the telepathic one into putting you to sleep again.
TG: what
TT: Each of us seems to have a troll infatuated with helping us. Haven’t you noticed?
TG: no 

Here’s another notable trait in Rose: her tendency to recognize and expect patterns. I should’ve mentioned it in the post with her conversation with Jade where she asks if she, too, has subconscious writing on her walls knowing that John has such writing. This is also the origin of the term “patron troll”, a term that’s also used by fans for the troll corresponding with someone’s zodiac sign.

TT: What about the psychopath who’s currently helping you?
TG: oh yeah terezi
TG: no shes cool
TT: Isn’t that camaraderie blossoming into some sort of interspecies whatever?
TG: its blossoming into an interspecies partnership in incredibly shitty cartooning 

This is once again reminiscent of Karkat constantly denying a relationship with Terezi. But unlike Karkat, Dave freely admits to chatting with her and thinking she’s cool; he doesn’t deny it as strongly, and yet, he doesn’t imply it as strongly either.

TG: what do you mean get her to trick someone into putting me asleep again
TG: when did that happen
TT: Just now.
TG: who did that
TT: That would be John’s patron troll.
TG: god
TG: fuckin trolls
TG: too many of them who can even keep track of this shit
TG: which ones yours
TG: is it the absurd juggalo one that would be hilarious
TT: There’s a juggalo one?
TG: yeah see what i mean 

If you think about it, most of the trolls would make for hilarious patron trolls. That’s sort of the thing with the trolls: each has this weird funny thing about them.

Rose goes on to talk to Kanaya.

GA: Since The Gap Between Your Present Moment And The Implementation Of Your Mystifying Self Destruction Continues To Narrow
GA: This Will Be The Last Conversation In Which I Attempt To Talk You Out Of It Nicely
TT: I explained this.
TT: The intent isn’t true self sacrifice.
GA: First Of All Youre Underestimating The Gravity Of A Dream Death
GA: Its A Pretty Serious Thing Okay
GA: And Dream Selves Are Important To A Person In Ways That Arent Always Obvious
GA: I Think Youre Being Frivolous But Thats Not Really The Sentiment Reinforcing The Exoskeleton Of My Argument 

This whole debate about Rose’s mission brings to light something she and Kanaya have in common: they are more sensible and knowledgeable than most in many aspects (avoiding nonsense for instance), but at the same time spectacularly naive. Both of them have a good array of moments like this: for Rose, blindly following the orders of space gods and omniscient creeps; for Kanaya, thinking it’s a good idea to just hatch the matriorb in the meteor amidst hiding from Jack and early in Murderstuck, or knocking out Karkat when he specifically says all he wants is to make some kind of contribution. This might be thought of as a way the two complement each other.

GA: Your Hubris Is Really Astonishing
GA: Easily Twice The Mass Of A Universe I Think
GA: That It Hasnt Collapsed Upon Itself Into A Tiny Lavender Singularity Is The Most Striking Marvel Paradox Space Has Coughed Up Yet
TT: Maybe it did?
TT: Maybe that’s what went wrong.
TT: We figured it out!
GA: No Please Stop
GA: Humor Wont Deflect My Really Big And Important Tirade Okay
GA: You Are Investing Too Much Confidence In Evil Gods Who Oppose Skaia And Your True Purpose And
GA: I Cant Abide That
GA: And
GA: As Difficult As This Is For Me To Confess
GA: I Think Your Plan Is Very Dangerous
GA: And So Are You 

FORESHADOWING FORESHADOWING FORESHADOWING. Also, like their last conversation we saw, this is demonstrating their status as (sorry) inversions of each other. Kanaya calls the Horrorterrors “evil gods who oppose Skaia”, but it seems pretty wrong to think that. They aren’t any more or less evil than Skaia is, and they certainly don’t oppose it.

TT: Oh?
GA: Yes
GA: And
GA: Im Afraid I Am Going To Have To Devote All My Efforts To Stopping You 

It’s weird reading this when you consider that eventually those two are pretty much the only romantic relationship in Homestuck that became sturdy and stayed that way.

I’m pretty sure part of this picture, the Chekhov’s wand and the aura surround it, is ripped from Harry Potter.

TT: I’m sorry to hear that, Kanaya.
TT: What did you have in mind for this new and exciting adversarial phase of our relationship?
GA: Im So Glad You Asked
GA: You See
GA: I Have Been Training A Powerful Wizard
TT: !
GA: Yes Your Shout Pole Is Like A Tower Broadcasting Your Fear Across The Ring And You Are Right To Be Afraid
GA: I Have Commissioned None Other Than The Legendary Prince Of Hope And I Am Teaching Him The Ways Of White Sorcery
GA: I Have Observed Your Methods And You Will Come To The Most Unwelcome Realization That All Of Your Guile And Cunning Has Finally Backfired
GA: This Noble Magician Of Pure Light Will Serve As The Counterpoint To Your Arcane Debauchery
GA: He Will Hunt You Down And Goodness And Hope Will Prevail 

[…]

GA: Maybe At This Point I Should Clarify This Is All A Big Joke 

The joke here is largely self-parody on both ends, something that Hussie is fond of doing. Rose did this kind of thing in her conversation with John where she was all like “What are jokes? What is happy?” It’s also making fun of Eridan, the trolls’ pretentious toolbag.

GA: I Mean To Say
GA: The Gesture Of Hostility In This Case Was The Joke
GA: I Did In Fact “Train” This Character
GA: I Made Him A Wand To Shut Him Up
TT: Wait, you did? Really?
GA: He Wouldnt Stop Harassing Me For Your “Secrets”
TT: That’s incredible. Well done. 

Yeah it is pretty funny … at least until the wand turns out to be a serious murder weapon Eridan uses in a fit of rage to injure Sollux, kill Feferi, and temporarily kill Kanaya herself. This brings Kanaya’s naive side to light, and makes her subsequent murder of Eridan even more of a relief.

GA: Hes The One With The Royalty Complex And Speaks With All The Extra Vees And Doubleyous
TT: Oh, I knew exactly who you were talking about from the start.
GA: Okay
TT: I must say, this little project pleases me.
TT: Do keep me apprised of all further developments.
GA: Okay I Will 

As I just said, the wand later bites Kanaya in the ass. I’m imagining her and Rose, after meeting in person, discussing this wand incident, and probably regret it to an extent.

TT: At least until my looming grimdarkdeath steals me away.
GA: Uh
GA: Yeah That
GA: Is Still Something That I Dont Really Want To Joke About
GA: I Hope That Came Across As A Sincere Statement

This exchange ends with a reminder of the ominous future blackout. I’ve seen readers deduce early on that the elder gods will possess Rose, which isn’t that hard to guess.

Another 50 pages, so I’ll stop here. See you next time as I say a fuck ton of stuff about Vriska, and about Tavros.

>> Part 37: I Killed Your Grandpa And I Like You

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 35: Backwards Logic and Nightmare Faces

Introduction

Part 34 | Part 35 | Part 36 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 8 of 32

Pages 2942-2996 (MSPA: 4842-4896)

Continuing the exile arc, WV recognizes the Bec-shaped base, and only then does he remember that he had previously met the boy he commanded a while back. How come he only recognizes John now? PM recognized both John and Jade when she saw them on her command screen.

John sees WV? in the dream he told Rose about and then wakes up and does stuff we already saw. WV returns to commanding John as he promised way back in Act 2.

The whole scene is one of those moments where exile commands are shown on scenes we’ve already seen; such things are often meant to show us that exiles were behind certain things we’ve already seen, which reminds me of how Vriska is behind some stuff that happened in the kids’ session. I don’t think John mentioned having the exile voice return in his conversation with Rose, which makes sense because John couldn’t “hear” the voice.

John doesn’t listen to WV’s commands so he presses caps lock despite the narration telling him not to, locking him in the command station. Here’s an exile thing I’d like to discuss. When exiles give commands, apparently they’re sent to both characters and their own narrative prompts. The mechanics behind this are kind of a meta thing and aren’t really explained that clearly.

Before becoming a dog, Jack always used super deadly red shit.
After becoming a dog, he uses super deadly green shit.
Does this have to do with red and green being kind of dual arc colors?

AG: Psssssssst. 
AG: Hey 8rave leader. 
AG: John! 
AG: Stop ignoring me. My messages should receive top priority. 

Vriska is hilariously self-aggrandizing. This self-aggrandization is later turned into a serious problem that’s discussed, which I guess is another Cerebus syndrome thing.

AG: I was the one who put you to sleep. 
EB: you were? 
AG: Yeah! 
EB: um… 
EB: you can do that? 
AG: Yes, that seems to 8e the limit to what I can do to your primitive species. 
AG: I guess our 8rains don’t really work the same way? Who knows! 
EB: hmm. 
EB: what do you mean, “limit”? 
EB: are you saying you can usually do more than that? 
AG: Duh! So much more, John. I have a lot of gr8 powers. 
AG: When we have more time, I will tell you all a8out them. 

A lot of great powers? Her thing is just mind control. It can be exploited to do various things but it doesn’t count as multiple powers. EDIT: Maybe she’s indirectly referencing the fact that she’s a god tier, which hasn’t been revealed yet.

EB: if you’re seeing my future, and you know those things are the outcome, then why are you going back and… 
EB: i guess, involving yourself with these events? see what i mean? 
AG: Oh John, this should 8e so o8vious to you 8y now. 
AG: You are going to 8ecome a gr8 hero, that much is sure. 
AG: 8ut I want to 8e the one responsi8le for it! 
AG: And now I am pretty much guaranteed to 8e. 
AG: ::::) 
EB: ok, that… 
EB: SORT OF makes sense, i guess. 
EB: but it’s kind of hurting my head to think about! 

Vriska’s freely admitting to her self-aggrandization thing once again. Many people do things to aggrandize themselves, but they wouldn’t admit that that’s why they’re doing it because they know it’s childish. This brings me back to how I talked about Vriska having a really childish attitude.

EB: anyway, putting me to sleep and landing me in hot water is one thing… 
EB: but you sort of indirectly caused a MUCH BIGGER problem! 
EB: before i fell asleep, i was about to prototype something really ridiculous to make jack weaker. 
EB: i am pretty sure that it would have made jack lose both eyes, both arms, and give him silly blue hair, and possibly also make him be a girl? 
EB: he probably would have been pretty easy to beat!!! 

John is right, it was a very clever idea to try to prototype that armless eyeless doll. As I said last post, the doll lost its arm and eye when John picked it up, but John makes it sound like he picked the doll because it was missing an arm and eye, and I’m not sure whether or not it’s an art inconsistency.

EB: but instead, it was prototyped by jade’s first guardian dog lusus. 
EB: and now he is unstoppable! 
EB: and he becomes the one who is stirrin’ up all that trouble in your session too! 
EB: i mean, it sounds like your intentions were good, but you probably didn’t realize to what extent you were messing everything up! 
AG: Don’t 8e a8surd, John. 
AG: Of course I realized that would happen. 
AG: It was pretty much the whole point, you goof! 
EB: what???????? 
EB: vriska, why would you do that! 

Last post ended with me saying “See you next time as OH MY GOD VRISKA WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT.” I didn’t realize that what I said was pretty much John’s exact words. This all brings to mind the whole recent theme of putting up with Vriska even though she’s a toolbag. Many readers argue that this is seriously a bad thing—bad storytelling, not just regular controversial character stuff—and I agree, it puts me off sometimes—but I’m getting ahead of myself again. I promise you, I’ll have a lot to say about pretty much everything that happens after Vriska is un-killed.

AG: Listen, John. 
AG: Regardless of what I did, he is already here. 
AG: I know this consequence will 8e hard for you to accept, 8ut whenever you feel angry or confused a8out it, just repeat this to yourself. 
AG: It should 8ecome your mantra! 
AG: He is already here. 
AG: Say it, John! 

The debut of the phrase associated with both Jack and Lord English.

EB: but what does that mean! 
AG: It means what it sounds like! He’s already here!!!!!!!! 
AG: Here in our session, trying to hunt us down! Man, this should 8e elementary to you 8y now. 
AG: No matter what you or I or any of us did, Jack’s here now. That’s the reality! 
AG: And if I didn’t stop you, it wouldn’t have changed the reality for us here. We’d still 8e hiding on this rock, and he’d still 8e out there, sniffing around for us. 
AG: He wouldn’t just disappear! That’s not how this time stuff works. 
AG: All that REALLY would have happened is I would have allowed you to do something you weren’t supposed to do! 
AG: You would have prototyped with your pretty 8lue doll, 8ecause of course deep down you know you are o8sessed with me. 
AG: And then you and all your friends would exist in a splintered timeline. And you wouldn’t even 8e a8le to talk to me anymore! ::::( 
AG: And then you’d 8e doooooooomed. 
AG: I mean, more doomed than you are already. :::;) 
AG: Trust me, I am really smart. I have this all figured out. 

Some readers seriously argue that it was a good thing that Vriska involved herself in the creation of Bec Noir because otherwise it would cause a doomed timeline. Even if it was necessary to happen for all the story pieces to fit together, that doesn’t change that it’s a really really shitty thing to do, deliberately doing something that she knew would fuck everyone over. The noble thing to do would be to at least try to stop it.

EB: i don’t know if that makes sense! 
EB: i mean, it kind of does… 
EB: but something doesn’t really add up about it. 
EB: if you knew he was going to be created regardless of what anyone did… 
EB: why did you decide to involve yourself that way? 
EB: like the way you are involving yourself with me becoming a hero or whatever? 
AG: You just answered your own question! 
AG: I did it 8ecause I wanted to 8e the one responsi8le for cre8ting him. 
EB: augh! 
EB: BUT WHYYYYYYYY! 
AG: 8ecause, John. 
AG: It only makes sense that I would be the one to cre8te him. 
AG: Since I am also going to 8e the one to kill him.

This right here is the pinnacle of the fucked-up world of Vriska logic, the epitome of the field of Vriskanalysis. Vriska clearly wants to be the one who kills a bad guy, and it’s obvious why: killing a bad guy will get you recognized as a hero, and make you feel really proud of yourself. But doing the equivalent of going back in time to ensure that the bad guy would exist? That totally ruins the heroism that arises from killing a bad guy because it makes it clear you’re only doing it for your glory. But that’s just the beginning. Vriska credits herself for creating Bec Noir. Creating a villain is almost the same as being a villain, even if you intend to subsequently kill it. That doesn’t change that you knowingly caused very bad things to happen. It also destroys the point of killing a villain. Killing a villain means saving the world from a bad thing that’s happening. But if you were behind the creation of that villain, it’s nothing more than artificially giving yourself the triumphant feeling of victory at the cost of sabotaging others. Even worse, if you openly admit to doing just that, as Vriska did, then you’ll come off as even more immature because it shows that you don’t even know that doing things to glorify yourself is bad. Or in a nutshell:

EB: that is the dumbest thing i have ever heard. 

John’s going to call out Vriska on pretty much what I said, but I still wanted to get that rant about why Vriska is messed up out of my system.

AG: Just 8ecause you have your whole reckoning ahead of you to kill Jack, and somehow fail, doesn’t mean you have to 8e 8itter a8out it. 
EB: i am not bitter! i just think your plan is dumb. 
EB: if he is as strong as karkat says, he will probably kill you! 
AG: Karkat doesn’t know nothing a8out anything. 
AG: He never really appreci8ted how powerful I 8ecame. No8ody did! I am easily the strongest troll 8y far. 
AG: I am also extremely lucky! That is one of my powers, John. 8eing super lucky, and making my foes super UNlucky. ::::) 
EB: er… 
EB: is luck actually a real thing? 
AG: Yes, and I’ve got all of it. I am completely untoucha8le. 
EB: you sound pretty cocky! you should be careful about that, that is totally how people have bigtime downfalls. 
EB: especially when they act kind of nefarious!!! 

Here, John recognizes Vriska as a character archetype: the powerful character who’s really arrogant and thinks all his/her plans will undoubtedly succeed but ends up failing miserably out of ignorance. It’s totally foreshadowing what’ll later happen to Vriska. Before the retcon section I would’ve just said it foreshadows Vriska’s death, but now the scope of what it foreshadows might as well be broadened. Like what happens to Aranea after her crazy plan for defeating Lord English fails. 

AG: Nope, I don’t have to 8e careful! Too lucky for caution to matter anymore. Them’s the 8r8ks! 
AG: 8ut don’t worry, once all is said and done in your session, and 8y some incredi8ly lucky 8r8k of your own you manage to survive the scratch, we might actually get the chance to meet. 
AG: And if so, assuming I haven’t gotten too 8ored w8ting around and mopped the floor with Jack already, may8e we can take him down together! 

The funny thing is, later Vriska will realize that Jack is no longer very relevant and instead have her eyes set on Lord English. This is the case for both alive Vriska and dead Vriska. She always wants to take down not just any villain, but the strongest of them all.

AG: Dig deep down inside that pink, nerdy little torso of yours, find your awesome hero mojo, and do what you’re a8out to do. 
AG: I will talk to you again after you figure it out. 
AG: 8yyyyyyyye! ❤ 
EB: wait! 

— arachnidsGrip [AG] ceased trolling ectoBiologist [EB] — 

EB: what am i about to doooooooo! 

This is a bit of irony. Vriska wants John to start figuring stuff out for himself now that he’s been trained by her, but John still wants advice from her about that. Or maybe he’s just confused.

EB: o. 
EB: there, that was a 9th o. you don’t even deserve 8!!!!!!!! 
EB: whoops…

John’s first conversation with Vriska ends with trying and failing to do the Vriska thing. This conversation with Vriska ends with trying and failing not to do the Vriska thing. If you look, John actually does the Vriska thing pretty often in this act. She rubs off on him more so than any of the other patron trolls do on their respective kids.

WV commands John, and he suddenly does a windy thing.

Apparently WV commanding John caused him to do a real windy thing and extinguish the fire. Does this have to do with the ambiguous definition of the heir class, being naturally provided with your aspect? That would be a pretty fitting definition giving the meaning of the word “heir”. I don’t know, just throwing around ideas that I definitely didn’t see people talk about during random Internet surfing.

Does Charles Dutton know stuff about Sburb?
Also, Papyrus font!

Dave reads some Charles Dutton book called Dream Bubbles which transitions us to Jade’s planet introduction flash.

“WHY IS IT ALWAYS FROGS?”
—Everyone

Jade pattern breaking count is back! (16) Unlike with the other kids, the last word of Jade’s planet’s name is obscured temporarily before it’s revealed to be “frogs”.

“I slept and saw God’s forge in frost. Its hearth was quelled, and as it cooled so swooned the verdancy it kept above. In slumber it grew a thick winter skin, white as bedsheets. In their folds the waker dreamt, her breath as steam, her touch as hot as iron, forgotten in the fire. 

Oh, that this too too solid flesh would melt, thaw and resolve itself into a dew!” 

-Acclaimed actor and sleeping prophet, Charles Dutton

Jade’s misattributed quote is not just way later than when she first made it outside (I already noted this long ago), but (17) it also consists only partly of an existing quote. The last line is from Shakespeare, but the first paragraph was made up by Hussie.

Up next is a flashback sequence, or so it seems.

This is one of the few times we see Jade’s supposed knowledge of technology in action.
Aside from the stuff that her B2 universe self did, that is.

CC: Glub glub glub glub glub! 
GG: oh…………. 
GG: noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo 
CC: )(ey, take it easy! 
CC: I’m not )(ere to give you a )(ard time like my buddies )(ave been. 
GG: but youre a troll 
GG: and thats what trolls do! 
GG: even when they say they wont 
GG: sometimes especially!!!!!! 
CC: Ok t)(en, you can be t)(e judge of t)(at. I won’t be long! 
CC: I’ve just come to say a couple t)(ings. 
CC: FIRST! 
CC: None of t)(is is really your fault! 
CC: T)(is is swimmingly obvious to everyone )(ere w)(o takes a glubbing moment to t)(ink about it rationally. 
CC: W)(ic)( isn’t many of us! But still. 
GG: ok….. 
GG: even though i still have no idea what youre talking about 

Feferi here is going out of her way to correct what she assumes her fellow trolls are claiming. But she’s really just confusing Jade more. I guess this might show her naive side with how she just kind of assumes the way things should go through her eyes alone.

But the mistakes really aren’t the kids’ fault. It’s just paradox space being a dick, and also arguably Vriska.

CC: I mean, your lusus jumped rig)(t in t)(ere to save you! 
CC: Just like mine did. 
CC: Well ok, mine was dead at t)(e time. 38( 
CC: And s)(e just kind of… 
CC: F-ELL IN! 
CC: Kinda drifted down like fis)(food, and POW, GL’BGOLYBSPRIT-E. 
CC: )(e)(e)(e)(e)(e)(e)(. S)(e was so funny. 

Feferi thinks squidmonster sprites are funny. Did Gl’bgolybsprite actually have a sense of humor? Or is it Feferi’s view of the world acting up again? I bet she really was just kind of a typical cryptic space tentacle monster.

CC: I wanted to glub somet)(ing -ELS-E to you well before you started playing.
CC: Just to get t)(e idea in your )(ead!
CC: I am Feferi, by t)(e way. Abdicated empress to be!
GG: ok feferi. what is it?
CC: Soon I will go to sleep and speak to t)(e gods.
CC: I will convince t)(em to establis)( a series of stable dream bubbles, w)(ere we can meet in our sleep! 

Out of context Feferi sounds like she follows some bizarre religion. But as I’ve said before, this bit is more important than you might realize, because if not for Feferi, the dream bubble system would not exist, nor would the much of the longstanding arc of trying to kill Lord English.

GG: i dont understand 
GG: whats a dream bubble? 
CC: YOU’LL S-E———-E! 38D 
GG: ugh 
GG: feferi i thought you said you were going to stop using your typing quirk! 
CC: Did I? 
CC: When?? 
GG: i dont know… im sure i remember you said that 
CC: )(mm. 
CC: Jade, t)(is is t)(e first time we )(ave ever talked! 
CC: Isn’t it??? 

Here’s where the conversation gets off the rails. First-time readers will get super confused, but rereaders will recognize this as the first of many sequences which start as a flashback but turn into a dream bubble sequence. Eventually the fun of it is not that it turns out to be a dream bubble sequence, but how it turns out to be a dream bubble sequence. There’s such oddities as Vriska turning out to be Aranea, or Dirk turning out to be the mind-wrenching smartass called Brain Ghost Dirk, and several instances of characters turning out to be doomed timeline copies.

I’m going to count all the dream bubble sequences of this kind as I progress through this post series. Right now my count is at (1) Jade and Feferi.

GG: oh 
GG: yeah it is 
GG: i dont know what i was thinking…. 
GG: i just had a major case of deja vu! 
CC: W)(at’s t)(at? 
GG: i felt like we already had this conversation 
GG: actually 
GG: it still sort of feels that way 
GG: its not going away 😮 

In my experience with deja vu, I have a moment where something happens and I SWEAR TO GOD it’s happened before, but a second later I can’t recollect such a memory at all. It’s like a brain glitch or something.

GG: so what is going on? 
GG: i dont think i am asleep…. 
GG: i am not on prospit 

Two posts ago I talked about how in her first non-Prospit dream, Jade should have been more weirded out by not dreaming on Prospit or else she’s in a subdued dream mindset. Here, she’s most certainly not in a dream mindset. I talked a bit about dreams back when Jade’s Prospit dreaming was first introduced, and how I have never lucid dreamed but it sounds incredibly awesome. Three and a half months later and I still haven’t.

GG: so this is a dream?
CC: It is a dream, and a memory. It is the past, brought back to life by a witch! It’s all those things. 

I personally buy into the theory that a witch bends the rules of her aspect. Both Jade and Feferi exemplify this very well if you think about it.

Jade sees Feferi in person and…

GG: why are you here! 
GG: are you asleep too? 
CC: Nope! 
CC: I woke up from my nap a while ago. 
CC: Remember how I woke up and then messaged you? You had just had a bad dream! 
CC: And I told you there was nothing to be scared of. 
CC: Which there isn’t! 
GG: oh yeah 
GG: i do remember that 
GG: then why are you here now?

This is some CREEPY SHIT here.

CC: Because, stupid. 
CC: I’M D——EAD!

This foreshadows Feferi’s death very heavily, but when it actually happens, it still comes as a shock to readers. Think about it: this scene spoils to readers that Feferi will die.

Why is Jade’s bed suddenly white and green? Is it a sprite magic bed now?

Jade wakes up and notes that she has to stop falling asleep.

This is a much shorter post than my last several, but I’m sticking to the 50 pages thing so I’ll stop here. Besides, it’s not like this kind of thing hasn’t happened before, with how my first few posts about the trolls arc were pretty long but the next few weren’t.

See you next time as we are introduced to the Intellibeam Laserstation, the most important thing in Homestuck by far.

>> Part 36: Lava Is Not Better Than Snow

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 34: Villain Caninification Station

Introduction

Part 33 | Part 34 | Part 35 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 7 of 32

Pages 2891-2941 (MSPA: 4791-4841)

“The villain is a FUCKING DOG WEARING SUNGLASSES.”
—Andrew Hussie

Back to Jack’s duel with a wicked rad dude, his creepy puppet, and his bird son/brother, we get some panels like the one above that are creepy but crazy awesome. See, if this lightning ninja freak is fighting a villain, that’s when he’s pretty cool, like an impossibly rad character from Street Fighter or something.

This is a really rad panel.

Jack unleashes his red miles and this happens:

This serves to transition us to Rose, who’s in some dark room reading a book.

An early sneak peek at Skaia’s final form.

Notably, the book here (as well as a few others on Sburb lore) is written in consort hieroglyphics, the same kind used in the frog temple. Shouldn’t the English alphabet logically be used instead? After all, the English language seems to be a universal constant, as does the English alphabet (trolls can read both the Daedric alphabet and the English alphabet). I guess the hieroglyphs are for stylistic effect.

— tentacleTherapist [TT] began pestering ectoBiologist [EB] — 

MISTAKE CAUGHT! RED ALERT!!! … … OK, I’ll calm down. Homestuck, like any work of media, has its little mistakes, but this one is really kind of glaring. The screen names here should be reversed, because John is pestering Rose (for reference, he’s asking her for prototyping advice), not Rose pestering John.

EB: rose, i have a question, and i am in a hurry! 
EB: so hurry up and answer!!! 
TT: Did you know your planet was on fire? 
EB: oh. 
EB: it is? 
TT: Yes. It makes a good light for reading, actually. 
EB: ok, haha, that’s a confusing thing you said, but that topic will have to wait! 

Yeah, a fiery planet making a good light for reading is a prime example of something that only makes sense in context. “There’s a fiery storm on Jupiter, which makes a pretty nice reading light.”

TT: First of all, I should preface this conversation by saying I know exactly what you and Jade are going to do. 
EB: um… 
EB: ok? 
TT: The more of our future I’ve been allowed to see, the more I’m presented with a challenge I’m not very comfortable with. 
TT: The trolls have tipped us off about what’s to come without any regard for the consequences, as appears to be their nature.
TT: But maybe that’s why it’s worked for them. 
TT: Maybe their indiscretion mingles with the cosmic noise that is the fabric of temporal uncertainty. 
EB: bluhhhhhh… 
EB: rose, tick tick tick!!! 
TT: Sorry, John. 
TT: I’m just nervous about it. 
TT: About whether telling you what you definitely will or won’t do will alter a predetermined outcome. 

Here’s that recurring theme of withholding information again (though at least this time, Rose has a decent reason to do so). She’s being simultaneously anti-fatalistic and classically Skaia-esquely fatalistic. Sometimes, Homestuck’s plot seems to be filled with things like, “There’s this terrible thing that’s going to happen and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.” That’s simultaneously a problem with and part of the fun of Homestuck. A subset of this sort of thing would the theme of foregone conclusions, where the fun is not finding out what’ll happen, but how it’ll happen. Don’t some Shakespearean plays do that sort of thing? I don’t want to turn this into a high school English class so I’ll move on.

TT: I guess I can permit myself to tell you this, somewhat definitively. 
EB: what? 
TT: Failing to prototype the kernel is the absolute worst thing that you could possibly do. 
TT: Like, ever. 
EB: oh no! 

Here’s the weird let’s call it “semi-fatalistic” way Rose is acting again. She talks about how breaking certain rules of the game is very bad, but at the same time has this massive game-breaking quest going on.

EB: why is it so bad? 
TT: Because the battlefield will not be able to heal, and then transform. 
TT: It will not reach the stage which allows it to become ready to receive our universe. 
EB: but… 
EB: i thought you said it wasn’t going to be able to make a universe anyway? 
EB: wasn’t it barren or something? 
TT: Yes. 
EB: so why is it important? 
TT: Because if it does not reach this stage, we will not be able to recover the treasure hidden in its core. 
TT: Which is to say, 
TT: You will not be able to recover it. 
TT: When you go to sleep again. 
EB: OHHHHHH. 
EB: why didn’t you say so, of course the answer is treasure. 

John probably thinks “of course the answer is treasure” because that’s very typical of video games. I guess John forgot to put on his video game thinking cap for a while or something.

GG: dave! 
GG: are you busy? 
GG: i dont have much time! 
GG: i am about to make my entry item, and its a little confusing 
GG: i think the more players we add, the trickier they are to… um…… 
GG: activate! 
GG: like yours was 

Here’s the kids working together outside of the relevant client/server pairs: John and Jade ask Rose and Dave respectively for advice on Jade’s entry into the game. I mentioned a pretty long time ago how cooperation between the players is an admirable thing to see in Homestuck. In this case Dave doesn’t answer Jade, but the point still stands.

Also, why exactly does Jade think making the entry item is confusing? As far as I can tell, Jade’s process of making it isn’t any different from the other three kids, but maybe Jade thinks her case is confusing because she isn’t much into video games? I’m not sure.

GG: helloooooo? 
TG: nak nak nak 
GG: 😮 
TG: nak nak nak nak nak nak 
GG: :\ 
GG: whaaat….? 
TG: nakka nakka nak 
GG: dammit dave!!!!!! 
GG: this is really urgent! 
TG: MY GLASSES ARE TALKING TO ME MY GLASSES ARE TALKING TO ME 
TG: naknaknaknaknaknaknaknaknaknaknaknak 
GG: ._.

As I said, Jade really wants Dave’s help even though he isn’t the one in charge of getting her into the game. This really shows how the kids are naturally inclined to work together in all scenarios.

Dream Dave visits Rose’s room and there’s an ominous black aura surrounding her. Needless to say, this isn’t exactly a good sign.

Dream Dave visits Rose’s room and there’s an ominous black aura surrounding her. Needless to say, this isn’t exactly a good sign.

John wakes up from a nap and loses his Cosbytop and sprite pendant, both drowning in oil. If he ever recovered those items later during the battleship journey, I figure the pendant would still be usable but likely not the laptop.

The text here has a weird effect where it’s not only rotated, but with the letters’ vertical positions shifted around a bit. Hussie must’ve had trouble editing the text there so that it fits in the PDA picture just right. Also, fedorafreak is up and about. 

In a fit of stupidity, John throws his PDA in the oil. I remember that later Nannasprite recovers that thing fine which suggests that maybe the other things John left in the oil would still work? I’m not sure. Fits of stupidity are another parallel between John and Karkat.

EB: i don’t remember what happened, i was in the middle of helping jade… 
EB: and then… 
EB: i guess my bed crashed? 
EB: and i got knocked out i guess. 
EB: i was dreaming. 
EB: i couldn’t have been out for that long, because my dream was really short. 
TT: You weren’t. 
TT: Ten minutes, I’d say. 

Rose’s line here tells us that John woke up after Jade entered the game. In this read, it took me a little bit to figure that out.

EB: hey, how do you know these things anyway? 
EB: can you see me somehow? 
TT: Yes. 
TT: I have a crystal ball. 
EB: oh man, really? 
TT: Yes. 
EB: like a magic one? 
TT: I think so. 
EB: can it show you the future? 
EB: is that how you know what’s going to happen? 
TT: No, it can only show me various locations in the present moment, as far as I can tell. 
TT: My perception of the future has been informed by other sources. 
EB: like what? 
TT: Informants. 
EB: durrrrr. 
TT: Whispering gods, memories sifted from dreams, cryptic readings from unearthed talismans, conclusions drawn from riddles deciphered – every gambit you’d expect a quest to extend to an emerging seer. 


[…]


TT: I have more pedestrian sources too, you know. 
TT: Sometimes trolls blither tidbits about the future, and I can’t help but take note of it. 
TT: Just as they do with you. 
TT: You also have access to the oracle clouds in Skaia, whereas I do not. 
EB: oh yeah. 
TT: Knowing the future is no remarkable feat here. 
TT: It appears to be a fact of life. 
TT: I’m not all that special, John. 

Much like Dave, Rose is, as John put it, “jaded by awesome shit”. It recently hit me that this crazy knowledge stuff ties straight in with Rose’s role as a seer.

EB: ok, buuuuuut… 
EB: i guess that’s not all i’m talking about. 
EB: you seem a little different. 
EB: kind of, um… spooky? 
TT: Really? 
EB: i just mean that before, it felt like we were in this adventure together, figuring stuff out as we went along. 
EB: and now you have all the answers! because of magic, and other mysterious reasons! 
EB: and you want to use your powers to break the game, and i still don’t really understand why, and… 
EB: bluh. 
TT: I’m not actually trying to caricaturize a grim sorcerer. 
TT: There’s still a perfectly intact piece of my mind which realizes how ridiculous it is to be flying across rainbow oceans with a couple of magic wands and a salamander in a little cowl. 
TT: And it wasn’t without swallowing a little embarrassment that I revealed I was using a crystal ball just now. 
TT: It’s all pretty absurd. 
TT: And yet, 
TT: It’s been fun, and above all, practical. 
TT: For solving our problems. 

John is talking about how Rose seems kind of spooky and weirdly omniscient, and Rose’s reaction is justifying it by saying that she’s not trying to be the spooky witch (hehe) archetype.

EB: well, if you do not have any objection… 
EB: maybe later, i will drop by your planet again and rescue you, thus breaking the spooky spell put on you by your nefarious, shadowy masters. 
TT: Swoon! 
EB: that way you will stop being so grimdark and ominous, and basically completely off the deep end in every way, as is now painfully obvious to anyone with a brain. 

John’s putting on his video game thinking cap again. It’s sort of like John is Mario and Rose is Princess Peach, and she fell for a trap created by ominous Bowsers or something, except the Bowsers are ugly squid witches who cause Peach to become a spooky goth girl. So Mario has to jump through tubes and question mark boxes in a variant of the blue sewer world or something until he makes it to the next level and saves Peach. But when Mario finally finds Peach, she’s a full-out gray monster and the two go to fight [insert Mario villain here] and … you know the rest.

That was a pretty crappy analogy. The bottom line is, John now thinks Rose is a damsel in distress or something and he has the idea that it’s a video game of that sort.

TT: I will do by best to occupy myself as benignly and unmagically as possible until you show up. 
EB: yes. 
EB: please write some happy stories in your journal, about lively horses, and conspicuously not about wizards, or sadness.

Dirk, who is kind of Rose’s male counterpart, has written a story about lively horses (his edit of Pony Pals to be specific, which eventually turned into a completely rewritten story). Even though the story is also stated to be a pretty emotional tale.

(If you haven’t read the fanmade full version of Pony Pals, read it now.)

TT: … “Happy?” 
TT: What is this strange, unsad emotion of which you speak? 
EB: yes, this is good. 
EB: you see rose, these are jokes. 
EB: this are what they look like, do not be alarmed. 
TT: Jokes? 
TT: Are those the things people say when they want unusual noises to come out of the pliable crescent-shaped holes sometimes found in people’s faces? 
EB: laughs, rose. laaaughs. 
EB: also, those crescenty looking holes where laughs come out of? 
EB: those are smiles! 
EB: observe… 😀 
TT: I need to make a note of this. 
TT: Excuse me while I open this tome bound in the tanned, writhing flesh of a tortured hellscholar. The screaming will subside shortly. 
EB: ok, i will wait patiently. 
TT: Continue to not be alarmed as I record your advice with runes stroked in the black tears bled from the corruption-weary eyes of fifty thousand imaginary occultists. 
TT: And then brace yourself for the fabled blackdeath trance of the woegothics I will slip into, while quaking in the bloodeldritch throes of the broodfester tongues. 

Here, Rose is exaggerating her ominous dreary dark goth girl thing and parodying herself to poke fun at John. But as far as I can tell, many fans like to make Rose seriously be a “what’s a joke?” kind of person. Pretty much every character has some kind of super-inaccurate fanon interpretation, but Rose here almost is acting like fanon Rose.

EB: no, rose! 
EB: that sort of nonsense is exactly what is out of the question! 
EB: i see things are more urgent than i realized. 
EB: i will have to venture there straightaway, and slap you right out of that silly old trance! 
TT: One is not easily shaken from the broodfester tongues, John. 
TT: They are stubborn throes. 
EB: oh. 
EB: well shit. 

John’s whole idea of saving Rose from being all spooky has a strange meta feel to it. To get a picture of what I mean, here’s a little scale I just came up with. 

Meta level 0 would be a story that features a whole bunch of classic character archetypes without questioning them, like all the classic fairy tales and whatnot.


Meta level 1 would be a story or a part of a story that lampshades character archetypes. Very often, Homestuck enters meta level 1, where characters talk about being a hero or a villain or a sidekick, Rose’s whole idea of everyone having an arc to fulfill, or Vriska trying to make herself a super-perfect person. Meta level 1 can be as simple as a character saying, “Oh god, it’s one of those people.”


Meta level 2 is when it’s lampshaded that people are lampshading archetypes. The bit quoted above is an example of that: Rose recognizes that John thinks it’s the damsel-in-distress archetype and that following with that is harder than he thinks. Homestuck has a few other bits that are meta level 2, like Dave’s argument with grimbark Jade about being an archetypical reluctant hero vs. what he really is, or Dave telling Rose that human beings don’t have arcs.


Meta level 3 is when it’s lampshaded that people are lampshading that people are lampshading archetypes, or in less confusing terms, lampshading meta level 2. You can see how the scale continues from there. I can think of a time where Homestuck enters meta level 3: Rose lampshades how people are always lampshading the weirdness of her idea of people having arcs and stuff.


I won’t talk about further meta levels because recursion is confusing. The main point of this digression is, Homestuck is all about lampshading stuff.

EB: what is this treasure, anyway? 
EB: and how’s it gonna save us! 
TT: You’d probably be disappointed if I described it. 
EB: tell me anyway! 
TT: Ok. 
TT: It’s called The Tumor. 
EB: … 
EB: you’re right, that is the shittiest sounding treasure i have ever heard.

EB: so what is this tumor supposed to do? 
EB: and what is the significance of… 
EB: removing it, i guess? 
EB: does that mean im curing the battlefield or something? 
EB: like the planet’s doctor? 
EB: hello????? 
EB: rose????????????? 

This bit is the first introduction of the Tumor, a major driving mystery arc plot point. Here, the name is introduced, but further exploration of it is cut off. I think the deal with the Tumor is fed to us bit by bit rather than having an exposition dump about it, as the comic is prone to do.

TT: I have to go, John. 
TT: Talk to your trolls. 
TT: We’ll catch up shortly. 
EB: wait!!! 
EB: there’s stuff you didn’t tell me! 
EB: what happened with jade? did i mess anything up with the prototyping?? 
EB: aaaugh, why can’t i remember!!!!! 
EB: don’t go yet rose, tell me! 
EB: rose??????? 
— tentacleTherapist [TT] ceased pestering ectoBiologist [EB] — 
EB: BLUH BLUH 
EB: HUGE WITCH

“HUGE WITCH”? I’ve said before that the “Rose is a witch” thing is the closest Homestuck gets to the weird role inversion bullshit. But as I had previously mentioned, this probably isn’t so much role inversion as it is indication that Rose is off the rails. And I have to say, the Rose witch thing is shoving that fact in our faces pretty well. But at the same time, Rose is doing very seer-y things, if that makes sense.

I love how Karkat’s face is in the background, symbolizing him bombarding John with his anger.
Also, John’s doing a stock Vriska pose. Make of that what you will.

CG: IT’S ME AGAIN, ASSHOLE 
CG: THE ONE WHO HATES YOU, REMEMBER? 
CG: OR SHOULD I SAY FUTURE-REMEMBER??? 
EB: karkat!!!!!!!!!! 
CG: AGAIN WITH KNOWING MY NAME 
CG: IT’S REALLY FUCKING UNSETTLING WHEN YOU DO THAT. 
CG: I WONDER HOW FAR BACK YOU KNOW IT 
CG: I’M GOING TO HAVE TO MAKE A SPECIAL POINT OF NOT BEING THE ONE TO TELL YOU, I DON’T WANT TO GIVE YOU THE SATISFACTION. 

It would have been funny if Karkat ended up telling John his name regardless. That’s not what happens, but it would still be funny.

EB: hey, shut up a second! 
EB: i need you to be nice for a change and do me a favor… 
EB: have you talked to jade recently? 
EB: can you tell me what happened to her?? 
CG: WHO THE FUCK IS JADE. 
EB: uh… 
EB: hmm. 
CG: JOHN, THE FACT THAT YOU ALWAYS SEEM TO THINK I CAN READ YOUR MIND JUST UNDERSCORES WHAT A HARROWING GODDAMN IDIOT YOU ARE. 
EB: jade is the girl who i am pretty sure just entered our session. 
EB: she is my client player. 
CG: OH, YOU MEAN THE ONE WHO FUCKS EVERYTHING UP. 
EB: um, yeah… i thought you knew that? you talked to her a bunch of times, apparently. 
CG: WHY THE FUCK WOULD I KNOW THAT. 
CG: THIS IS ONLY THE SECOND TIME I HAVE EVER TALKED TO A HUMAN.
CG: AND THE FIRST TIME, MUCH TO MY MIGRAINE COMPOUNDING REGRET, WAS WITH YOU. 
EB: oh! 
EB: ok, i see what is going on here. 
EB: we are finally getting to our first couple of conversations. cool! 

Heated angry Karkat is back in action! It’s always amusing how John’s always really enthusiastic to get flamed by Karkat.

CG: YOU SEE, IN OUR FIRST CONVERSATION, WE DIDN’T EXACTLY GET OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT. 
CG: IT IS A FOOT WHICH SHOULD HAVE REEKED OF YOUR VERBAL RUINATION. 
CG: BUT INSTEAD IT SMELLED LIKE 
CG: WELL, LET’S NOT GET INTO THAT. 
CG: I AM HERE TO DO WHAT YOU AND YOUR PATHETIC CADRE OF CO-HUMANS FAILED TO DO, WHICH IS SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT. 
CG: I AM HERE TO UTTERLY ANNIHILATE YOUR SHIT. 
CG: I WILL STAY ON MESSAGE THIS TIME. I WILL NOT BE DETERRED BY YOUR GOOFY MANNERISMS AND YOUR ABSURD PENCHANT FOR REVELING IN SELF ABUSE. 
CG: WE WILL GET OFF ON A FRESH FOOT, AND BY FRESH I MEAN MOST FOUL INDEED. 
CG: ITS TOES ARE WIGGLING UNDER YOUR HIDEOUS PINK NOSTRILS. NOW BREATHE DEEP YOUR MISFORTUNE, YOU SAD LITTLE CLOWN. 
CG: THIS IS THE END OF YOU. THAT AROMA YOU DETECT WAFTS FROM THE BOUQUET PERCHED ON YOUR CORPSE BOX. 
CG: NOBODY CRIES, EXCEPT YOUR SHITTY GHOST. HEAVY SOBS FROM A SPECTER OF UNQUALIFIED FAILURE. 
CG: IT IS A SYMPHONY TO MY ANGRY EARS. 
EB: so… the smell is from a foot… but also from funeral flowers? 
EB: this metaphor is confusing. 

Some characters in Homestuck have a whole thing of getting carried away with turning idioms into elaborate metaphors.

EB: this is all that big time trolling i was looking forward to. 
EB: and it’s pretty good so far, and ordinarily i would be excited to hear more… 
CG: YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN??? 
CG: YOU ARE ACTUALLY ENJOYING THIS, WHAT A SICK FUCK. 
EB: but i really am concerned about what happened with jade! 

The funny thing about John’s interactions with Karkat is that Karkat flames him when John doesn’t want him to, and he doesn’t flame him when John wants him to.

EB: whoa… 
CG: WHAT 
EB: the ground is shaking… 
EB: what’s going on? 
CG: I’LL TELL YOU WHAT’S GOING ON. 
CG: WHAT YOU FUCKING DID IS WHAT’S GOING ON. 

Literally two pages before the wham flash, we get one more little hint as to what’s going to happen. Just from this bit I quoted, you might be able to deduce that Bec got prototyped while John was asleep and caused Jack Noir to become nightmarishly powerful. After all, Jack is currently on LOWAS so he can be inferred to be the one who caused the ground to shake. I’m pretty sure Hussie deliberately made Bec’s prototyping guessable.

EB: so tell me what i fucking did!!!
CG: OH, YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU FUCKING DID?
EB: yes!
EB: please, no more stalling or “i already told you’s” or any other maddening nonsense!
EB: just…
EB: TELL ME!
CG: VERY WELL, JOHN HUMAN EGBERT.
CG: I WILL TELL YOU WHAT YOU DID
CG: READY FOR ME TO TELL YOU WHAT YOU DID?
CG: HERE’S ME, TELLING YOU WHAT YOU DID
CG: OK, HERE GOES
CG: WHAT YOU DID IS AS FOLLOWS
CG: AS SUCH
CG: AND THUSLY 

This is pretty much code for, “massive info dump that will answer all your questions is coming soon.” In my previous post I talked about how flashes in Homestuck are often followed with info dumps, and as we’ll see, the following flash is a great example of this pattern, with a subsequent stretch of pages exploring the ramifications of what happened in that flash.

OK, time to comment on [S] Jade: Enter. As I mentioned in an intermission post, I think I missed that flash in my first read because of inadvertently skipping pages, but it’s one of my favorite flashes.

The flash opens with a series of shots of what’s going on with all the characters involved here set to piano music. The one depicted above is pretty funny because it has a dramatically shaded view of John looking solemn which would normally look pretty badass, but the Cosbytop makes it seem more like a clown filing papers.

Jade alchemizes her entry item (a Bec piñata) and a blindfold appears on her head as she does that. I can’t help but wonder, how did the blindfold get there? Did it come with her alchemization, or the Bec piñata have embedded first guardian powers to zap the blindfold on her face?

The blindfold is meant to tie in with the symbolism of the entry items, and I’ll stop here to note that I never discussed that symbolism at all. Many readers will catch on to the symbolisms associated with each of the entry items and discuss them in commentaries. Hussie goes in depth on the entry item symbolism on his Formspring here. I totally could’ve talked about this whole symbolism stuff, but I never bothered doing that. I guess it’s something I find irrelevant to discuss in something that’s meant to be my own commentary. I could go on a tangent about the nature of this post series, but that would be as pretentious as it is better fit for my recurring posts where I say stuff about this post series. Speaking of which, a day before the Omegapause ends, I will make another post where I say stuff about this series, including how it might change when Homestuck resumes.

OK I got way off track here. Back to where we were.

John comes very close to prototyping one of Grandpa’s dolls, and if you look closely, you’ll notice that it lost an eye and arm the moment John picked it up with the Sburb cursor. I always thought that John decided to prototype that doll because of the missing eye and arm, but now I guess that’s either not the case or an art inconsistency.

At the crucial moment, Vriska interferes and puts John to sleep before he can prototype the doll. I’ll stop and take a moment to wonder, what would happen if Vriska hadn’t put John to sleep? I think Hussie stated on his Formspring that whether or not Vriska put John to sleep, Bec would’ve jumped into the kernelsprite or at least tried to do that. John and Jade agreed that they shouldn’t prototype Grandpa before she enters the game, leaving Bec to combine with a blue doll. I guess that would turn Jack into a blind armless superdog? I’m not sure how dangerous he’d be then. One thing that definitely couldn’t have happened if the doll was prototyped is Jade ascending to god tier, because Jadesprite existing was necessary for that to happen.

Bec warps all the junk (and Grandpa’s body!) into outer space and jumps into the kernelsprite, and for the next ten seconds, we watch Bec transform into a sprite. This scene is prolonged, which is notable because it gives us a bit of time to let it sink in that Bec just prototyped himself into Jade’s sprite. Often in Homestuck’s flashes, lots of events will happen in rapid succession, causing people to miss out on some stuff. Bec’s prototyping clearly averts this pattern because it’s a very important moment in the plot.

Hussie says it’s kind of a mystery why Bec prototyped himself. I think it was to amplify his first guardian powers and make sure Jade is protected. The full extent of Bec’s powers is kind of ambiguous. Becsprite and Bec Noir both have demonstrated incredible powers, though it’s unclear how much of it is raw first guardian power.

A second reason why Bec might have prototyped himself is because maybe he knew that if he prototyped himself, the enemies in the game wouldn’t be able to hurt Jade.

Compare Becsprite destroying the meteor:

to Bec Noir destroying the trolls’ Prospit later in the flash:

Becsprite seems to be using all his power to destroy the meteor, but Bec Noir not only seems to have an easier time destroying Prospit, he also does it quite differently. This suggests that the two’s powers do indeed work pretty differently. In Homestuck it’s always been pretty indeterminate exactly which powers characters or objects get. I’ve mentioned several times that powers in Homestuck typically operate on the principle of new powers as the plot demands.

The fighting scenes show a bunch of sprite mode views of Davesprite with his bird wings spread out, and I have to say, it looks pretty badass. I wonder whether or not it was guest art. I would say no if not for the fact that some of the sprite mode characters in [S] Make her pay were guest art.

Here’s something that I’ll put in my Jade pattern-breaking count: (15) it’s not just her house that enters the Medium, also the volcano next to it. This was implied as early as [S] WV: Ascend where there’s a hole in the ground where the volcano once stood, but it’s best to count that event when it happened onscreen.

I love how Jack Noir’s transformation into Bec Noir is played out. His head turns into a dog head, and the green sun effects on his wings really emphasize that he’s going to be super-dangerous.

Davesprite has such a “we’re screwed” look. Or a “what the fuck just happened” look. Could be both.

Up next is a flashback to the trolls at the victory platform, accompanied with a change to 8-bit music. The music in this flash is so perfectly dramatic but it also has its own unique flavor with lots of Asian instruments and stuff.

This flash answers lots of questions, including perhaps the most enticing: who is the demon the trolls talk about? Noir is the demon. It’s him. I think the army of a thousand Aradiabots that fought Jack serves to show how strong he is (this kind of thing is done a lot in Homestuck), which was mentioned in Alterniabound but I didn’t bother discussing that.

It was really hard to take screenshots of these scenes at the right time.

Karkat wakes up on Prospit, sees Bec Noir, and recognizes him as the Jack who he felt a pretty strong bond with. His face in the picture shown above captures his reaction to what he perceives as an ally betraying him so well. I’m not sure if his emotion could be captured in Hussie’s usual art style (both pictures shown above are clearly guest art).

The flash concludes to Jade falling through snow with a goofy grin set to a slow piano and strings version of the cheerful song that played at the end of Bec’s debut flash back in Act 3. That scene has a weird saddening effect, because of the music that concludes shit hitting the fan extra hard.

This was such a whopper of a flash I don’t know what to say. I’ve decided that I won’t do much recapping stuff anymore when I already have extensive commentary so I won’t bother with a recap of [S] Jade: Enter. Nor should you expect a huge wall of words recapping the act when I finish Act 5 Act 2. I might have a shorter recap, I’m not sure.

Following the flash is a stretch of pages accompanied by Karkat’s exposition that shows us the ramifications of what went down during that flash.

Jack’s first kill as Bec Noir is Dave’s bro, one of the most badass characters in Homestuck. Let it sink in, this is demonstration of how strong Jack is now. It’s also the very first thing shown to readers after watching [S] Jade: Enter. This would also be a very fitting end for Davesprite if it didn’t turn out that he survived wounded.

CG: YOU MADE AN UNBEATABLE BOSS IS WHAT YOU DID.

This is such a great line to accompany the death of a hardcore fighter, and the presumed death of his bird sideman. The death scene fits so well wit the word “unbeatable”.

CG: THE IDIOT YOU CALL THE JADE HUMAN WENT AHEAD AND PROTOTYPED HER FREAK OF A LUSUS, WHILE YOU DECIDED TO TAKE A NAP FOR SOME REASON RATHER THAN DOING WHAT A LEADER IS SUPPOSED TO DO AND STOP HER FROM BEING SO FUCKING RETARDED.

We now know exactly what the awful mistake the kids made is, but we also know that we can’t actually blame it on the kids. In Karkat’s eyes, John and Jade both made a horrible mess of things, but in reality, if any person should take the blame, it’s Vriska.

CG: YOUR VERSION OF JACK, WHO YOU WERE SOMEHOW DUMB ENOUGH TO ENTRUST WITH THE QUEEN’S RING, BECAME ESSENTIALLY INDESTRUCTIBLE. 

Once again, it’s not the kids’ fault that Jack took the queen’s ring, at least not directly. This is half exposition dump, half misconception dump.

The fire Jack made is so strong that it made John’s whole planet look green.

EB: jade prototyped a lusus? 
EB: what’s that?
CG: OH
CG: OK, MY BAD, I FORGOT I WAS TALKING TO A MEMBER OF A GENERICALLY BIZARRE ALIEN SPECIES.

I like how Karkat calls humans “generically bizarre”. To Karkat, humans are like a stereotypical sci-fi alien race. But Homestuck’s trolls are quite different from what comes to people’s minds when they hear “alien”. I just looked up “alien” on Google Images, and most of the results are either weird nightmare creatures or have very minimalist designs, with saggy monochrome slimy skin, no hair, and big hollow eyes. I wonder what results show up when you look up “alien” on Troll Google? Some of the trolls seem to have subconscious knowledge of human stuff, so maybe humans are the troll race’s idea of aliens.

CG: I GUESS SOME HUMANS HAVE A LUSUS, WHILE OTHERS DON’T? WHATEVER.
CG: HER LUSUS IS THE CREATURE WHICH SERVES AS HER CUSTODIAN.
EB: oh, you mean her dog!
CG: I GUESS
EB: so, she prototyped becquerel?
EB: why is that so bad? 

CG: JOHN, DO YOU EVEN KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR FRIENDS?
CG: IS THIS HOW HUMAN FRIENDSHIP WORKS? YOU JUST DON’T KNOW SHIT ABOUT EACH OTHER? 

Apparently John doesn’t know that Bec is a powerful dog. Compare this to Dave, who called Bec a “devilbeast” before we even knew Jade’s name. Did Jade withhold information about the weirdness of her life from John just as she pointlessly withheld her knowledge of the future from him? I still don’t get why it would have been bad to tell him. John would have thought it’s incredibly awesome that Jade is apparently psychic.

CG: HER LUSUS EXHIBITS THE PROPERTIES OF A LEGENDARY ENTITY CALLED A FIRST GUARDIAN.
CG: IT IS AN ABSOLUTE MONSTROSITY.

Confirmation that Bec is Earth’s first guardian. This doesn’t typically come as a surprise to readers, since when Doc Scratch is first introduced, you’ll likely be reminded of Bec.

CG: AS THE DEFENDERS OF THEIR PLANETS, [FIRST GUARDIANS ARE] VIRTUALLY OMNIPOTENT.
CG: PROTOTYPING ONE IS ABSOLUTELY UNCONSCIONABLE.

CG: THE RESULT IS A BOSS A HELL OF A LOT WORSE THAN WHAT WE HAD TO FIGHT, AND WE PROTOTYPED TWELVE TIMES RATHER THAN A MEASLY FOUR.
CG: AND ONE OF OUR PROTOTYPINGS INCLUDED AN OUTER FUCKING GOD THE SIZE OF A CITY!
CG: I HOPE THIS PUTS IN PERSPECTIVE HOW TERRIBLE YOU ARE. 

This little power comparison above got me thinking. When we saw the hypothetical fight between Vriska and Bec Noir, they were evenly matched and it was as likely as not that Vriska won. But Aradia said that the trolls only narrowly succeeded in defeating the black king—who is supposedly weaker than Bec Noir—with Vriska rolling the maximum dice combo just like she did in her envisioned fight with Jack plus the other trolls all at her side plus an army of a thousand Aradiabots plus Gamzee’s super rage attack.

CG: [JACK] WAS WEARING A RING I DIDN’T RECOGNIZE, CERTAINLY NOT ONE BELONGING TO OUR QUEENS. 
CG: WE DESTROYED THOSE. 

Apparently the trolls destroyed both of their queens’ rings. This begs the question, how and why did they destroy the white queen’s ring? My guess is that they had to dunk both of the rings in the volcano in order to fully activate it, and that the white queen freely gave up her ring. This would present a challenge for the kids; Kanaya wasn’t kidding when she said that activating the forge wouldn’t be easy. Maybe they’d need to snatch the rings from Bec Noir and PM, find the Ring of Void (maybe take it from Caliborn?), use retcons to make another copy of the Ring of Life, and throw all those into the volcano. I’m looking forward to seeing how the magic ring stuff will play out.

Pictured above: one of the images accompanying Karkat’s info dump. It’s an interesting choice for Hussie to have this part of the exile side story merely accompany a conversation, rather than actually narrated from the exiles’ perspective where they’re given commands. Is this done to spread Karkat’s exposition through multiple panels and emphasize how much information he’s giving John? Or to emphasize that this is a ramification of what happened in [S] Jade: Enter?

Recently I participated in an online discussion about adapting Homestuck as a TV show or movie, a task that’s considerably harder for Homestuck than it is for most other works. Some people suggested that the best way to adapt the pesterlogs without them getting boring for viewers might be to read the pesterlogs as related scenes are shown on the screen. Homestuck itself does that pretty often, and this sequence, showing visuals of the exile arc shown alongside Karkat explaining stuff, is one of the best examples of this.

CG: ANYWAY, THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED, AND THAT’S WHY YOU ARE SUCH A DISGRACE. 
CG: THIS IS PROBABLY THE LAST TIME I WILL EVER EXPLAIN ALL THIS STUFF TO YOU, BECAUSE I CAN’T IMAGINE IT WILL HELP MY HEADACHE MUCH TO REPEAT MYSELF.
CG: I BET IT’LL BE PRETTY FRUSTRATING FOR YOU IN THE PAST! 

From John’s perspective, Karkat finally explained everything to him out of request. From Karkat’s perspective, it’s his first time explaining stuff. John learns things in the reverse order that Karkat bothers explaining them. The backwards trolling is just so beautifully mind-wrenching.

EB: yeah, i should get going too.
EB: my friend is pestering me, and i doubt she likes to be kept waiting.
EB: (she is sort of the bossy type!)
CG: WHY WOULD I CARE ABOUT YOUR DUMB HUMAN FRIEND AND HER PETULANT, MEANINGLESS DEMANDS.
CG: WHAT COULD THAT POSSIBLY HAVE TO DO WITH ME.
EB: ummm…
EB: yeah, you’re right, it is probably of no significance to you whatsoever.
EB: (hehehehe) 

John refers to Vriska as “his friend” rather than Vriska. That’s a pretty great prank on Karkat. Or should I say, trolling Karkat? If you think of it, the kids troll the trolls (as in mess with them) more so than vice versa. John, Rose, and Dave all do that pretty often.

CG: A;SLDKJFSDLKFJS;LDJFLK;J
CG: HERE, JOHN HUMAN DIPSHIT.
CG: HAVE A SECOND AND PENULTIMATE FUCK YOU:
CG: “FUCK”
CG: “YOU”
CG: MAY IT MARK THE SECOND OF MANY TO COME, AND THE MAGNIFICENT DENOUEMENT TO MANY RECEIVED.
CG: TOGETHER WE JUST TUGGED AT THE BOW TO UNRAVEL A PRESENT FULL OF GO FUCK YOURSELF.
CG: HAPPY WRIGGLING DAY YOU UGLY PILE OF TRASH.


— carcinoGeneticist [CG] ceased trolling ectoBiologist [EB] —

Karkat’s last line here is such an awesome stopping point (how did he know it’s John’s birthday?) and it’s almost exactly 50 pages so I’ll stop here. See you next time as OH MY GOD VRISKA WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT. Next post will be Thursday because it’s pretty short.

>> Part 35: Backwards Logic and Nightmare Faces

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 33: Cthulhu Acid Trip Dreams

Introduction

Part 32 | Part 33 | Part 34 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 6 of 32

Pages 2841-2890 (MSPA: 4741-4790)

Yes, this really is a scene in Homestuck. I promise you, not all of it is an LSD tri—oh wait you should know this, because this post series is made on the assumption that people reading it have read Homestuck.

In which I decide against the “in which blah blah blah” thing because that would be stealing an idea from the blog that inspired this post series, and stealing ideas is a bad habit I’ve had in my creative projects for as long as I can remember; and also because I went fine adding title pictures to my older posts without any text immediately following.

Continuing from where we left off, we see what Jack Noir is up to. He yanks the ninja sword out of the beat mesa record thing, and I wonder where exactly Dave’s bro went. I actually don’t remember. I think he escaped and somehow went to LOWAS offscreen but I’m not sure. I guess I’ll see and find out.

Then comes a famously bizarre and nightmarish flash in which Jade wakes up from her dream. I’ll comment on it with the screenshot method I’ve seen livebloggers use.

I like how deceiving the Prospit loading screen is knowing what really happens in this flash.

This looks like a pseudo-old timey video game.

This flash starts with an eye-melting dream sequence about Squiddles. I think this is meant to give the impression that Jade now has regular absurd dreams? Pretty much everyone has weird dreams, but Jade should probably be a little more weirded out at that. I’m pretty sure she had gotten really used to dreaming on Prospit since she was little, so normal person dreams really should tell her that something’s wrong.

But then again, she’s dreaming, and when you’re dreaming, your mindset shifts to a whole different world. In my dreams, I’ll often have memories of things that didn’t actually happen. So maybe Jade is in her dream mindset or something, just like how she was pretty absentminded while dreaming on Prospit. This actually makes sense in Homestuck’s context; in dream bubble sequences, characters will typically take a while before they can remember stuff.

I know this might just be a tangent about stuff you already know and have experienced, but dreams are a pretty fun topic to talk about because of how weird everything about them is.

Rewatching this flash, I can tell that the zoom-out scene depicted above is meant to tell readers, “Now that Jade’s dream self is dead, she dreams in bubbles in a realm that lies way outside Derse.” But as I’ve seen, readers are more typically just plain confused by this flash, made worse by the fact that when they finish the flash and collect their thoughts, their minds will likely be clouded up by the shock of the scary squidmonster sequence in the second half of the flash. This is a noteworthy flaw in Homestuck. Flash animations meant to convey information will often just seem really cryptic to readers, or seem really inexplicable and confusing. When I first watched [S] WV: Ascend, I thought it was meant to show readers that WV and company are the ones behind Sburb.* There’s a few flash scenes that throw readers off especially often, like Aradia ascending to god tier or the Green Sun being created rather than destroyed. I think such scenes throw readers off because they will often show something happening, but they don’t put into words the reason why or how it happened.

* I should’ve mentioned that in the last Act 2 post, but I guess I forgot to. I totally could add that to that post, but it would kind of ruin the point of mentioning that here so I won’t. Maybe that could be taken as bonus information you could get from reading this blog beyond just my first ten posts or something. I don’t know.

A workaround for that problem might be accompanying the flashes with expository text. Nannasprite’s exposition sequence back in Act 2 seems to me like Hussie experimenting such a medium of conveying information. But in later acts, flash sequences will instead often be followed by exposition dumps explaining what happened in those flashes. The flash I’m currently commenting on is one of the best examples of this: immediately following the flash, Feferi will explain stuff to Jade about the Furthest Ring and what happened in Jade’s dream sequence. Other examples of this sort of thing are Jade giving John a rundown of the events that happened in Cascade about 200 pages after that flash, or Aranea explaining stuff about Lord English in the walkaround game that immediately follows [S] Caliborn: Enter.

Up next, Feferi appears in Jade’s dream, and here readers will typically think “what the FUCK”. I think this scene is meant to show us that people from different sessions can share a dream, but people watching this flash will seem to have trouble getting that, rather thinking Feferi’s a projection of Jade’s mind, which should be impossible because she’s never seen a troll in person.

I should note that I laughed pretty hard at the absurdity of this sequence. That’s when the audio and imagery start to distort, leading to a nightmarish minute-long squidmonster sequence which gradually progresses from this:

to this:

before accompanying the following imagery with giant monster whispers:

This nightmare sequence tends to flush any understanding of what’s going on out of readers, which I think might serve to help make readers feel the way Jade does about this whole thing.

So she wakes up in a really awful mood and talks to Feferi.

Look at that droopy face mixed in with all the goofy stuff Jade used back in Act 3.

CC: Glub glub. 38)
GG: what!!!!!
CC: S-E-E??
GG: see what!
GG: go away 

John, Rose, and Dave have all completely warmed up to the trolls, but here’s Jade still unable to tolerate any of them, made worse by her mood. Jade’s actions in this whole following sequence pretty heavily show us her grumpy side, going way against her giggly girl nature. You can tell by how she says “go away” without punctuation how she’s feeling.

CC: I told you!
CC: T)(ere is not)(ing to worry about at all.
GG: bluhhh what are you talking about….
GG: my head hurts
GG: just stop it, stop trolling me
GG: i hate you all!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

CC: )(oly mackerel, looks like SOM-EON-E woke up on t)(e wrong side of t)(e absurd )(uman bed! 

This contrasts pretty heavily with Jade’s little exchange with Karkat back in Act 3. She seemed a lot more energetic to tell a troll to scram back then than now. Speaking of which, I don’t recall how exactly Jade came to warm up to the trolls. I guess I’ll find out about that.

GG: my dream was horrible!!!
GG: i dont know what that was, i have never dreamed anything like it
CC: Yes, I imagine not! You )(ave spent your w)(ole life dreaming about prospit, no?
GG: oh god….
GG: prospit 😦
GG: is it really gone?
CC: Yes, Jade. It is time to face t)(e facts!
CC: Our moons are gone too. If we wis)( to sleep now, our dreams must take place in t)(e bubbles glubbed by t)(e gods w)(o live in t)(e Furt)(est Ring.
CC: It is t)(e infinite space w)(ic)( divides all sessions, completely unnavigable and unfat)(omable, untouc)(ed by t)(e time or space of any universe in existence.
CC: Its lords are our slumberbuddies now. 38) 

GG: uuuuuuuuugh D: 
CC: Don’t be ridiculous. T)(ey are not as dreadful as t)(ey look.
CC: In fact, t)(ey are quite )(elpful if you know )(ow to talk to t)(em!
CC: Don’t you remember our dream? I was trying to s)(ow you t)(at t)(ere is not)(ing to fear.
CC: But t)(en… you kind of freaked out! )(umans are so M-ELODRAMATIC. 

Here’s the exposition stuff I mentioned a little while ago. Feferi’s practically recapping the flash I just went over.

GG: could you please
GG: not use all those stupid parentheses??????
GG: i can hardly read what you type and its giving me a migraine
CC: GLUUUUB oh fine.
CC: I will suspend my neato quirk just for you.
CC: I hereby renounce the royal mark of sea dweller supremacy in the interest of INT-ERSP-ECI-ES DIPLOMACY.
GG: what about the -E thing, can you stop that too? it is also annoying and stupid
CC: JEGUS JADE.
CC: Look! It is like a cool trident I throw sometimes.
CC: 
Ψoooooo —————E 

CC: How is that not awesome!
GG: meh :\
CC: Okay, you win. I have officially humbled myself before you. Entirely glubbing peasant-IFICATED for your pleasure.
CC: Shall I clip my fins for you as well, your majesty? 

Here’s Feferi’s condescending side again, how she feels like she has humbled herself and stuff in place of the obnoxious royal typing style.

GG: hehehe
GG: ok, sorry for sounding bossy
GG: you seem pretty nice, and you sure do look exotic
GG: i kind of always thought you were all like
GG: a bunch of really obnoxious humans
CC: Well, thank you! On both counts, of being likened to something other than an obnoxious human, as well as on my exotic looks.
CC: For the record, you look pretty awesomely weird too. 

Jade has now realized that among the trolls, at least this one isn’t that bad. Also, here’s another bit of contrast between Jade then and now: she used to be really on top of things with her future knowledge she inexplicably refuses to share, but now she’s really out of the loop on the trolls at this point. I’m thinking back to Jade’s conversation with John where she talked about the stuff she somehow knew would happen but denied that she’s psychic. Jade gets a lot of development away from being the cryptic pseudo-psychic girl in this act.

GG: i remember prospit being attacked
GG: and
GG: falling…..
GG: aaaand
GG: i dunno 😦
GG: do you know what happened?
CC: Hell if I know!
CC: In your pre-death dream at least. Oh, well you died obviously, so there’s that.
GG: fffffff
GG: yeah, i gathered that! XC
CC: All I could see was what happened in your hive.
CC: You were asleep, and then your robot exploded.
CC: And then your lusus saved you! Kind of like mine saved me.
CC: Before she died. 38C 

How exactly did Gl’bgolyb save Feferi? Did it have to do with entering the game or what? I know that later she mentions that her lusus fell into her kernelsprite—is that it? I’m really not sure.

GG: also it was shortly before your friend sent me a weird message
GG: about how my robot was going to explode, and i should talk to him when it happens
GG: this was months ago
CC: Oh? Who was that?
GG: it was the most awful and angry one
GG: i am so sick of him, i really dont want to talk to that pathetic jerk ever
CC: Ah, Karkat. Of course.
GG: thats his name?
CC: Yes, he’s our leader. Why did he want you to talk to him?
GG: hmmmm
GG: thats right, it was about some kind of plan…
GG: which he said me from the future told him about?
GG: i thought it was total nonsense at the time
GG: but
GG: i guess he was telling the truth
GG: so maybe i should talk to him? i dont know 

CC: Glubshrug.
CC: He’s pretty harmless, really. You get used to his yelling.
CC: I do not even process it as yelling anymore. More like a lot of blubbering.
CC: More blubber spills out of that mouth than a gash in a poached whale. 

I guess Feferi is the one who convinces Jade that the trolls aren’t so bad. I don’t remember much how Jade deals with Karkat and warms up to him, I guess I’ll see.

CC: And hey, if you want to take another nap sometime, let me know! They will be more than happy to glub us up another bubble.
GG: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
GG: i am never going to sleep again!
GG: never never never never never never 

What if Jade does end up refusing to sleep? That might potentially parallel her with Karkat, her patron troll. But as I said in an Act 3 post, John says much later that Jade still retains her sleeping habit. It’s a bit ironic that a character who always wants to make positive contributions to whatever’s going on has such an affinity for sleeping, which I’ve speculated to be Vriska’s mind control experiments rubbing off on her mind when it’s free of influence.

Oh my god, those eyebrows. That’s such a Karkat face.
Also, notice the huge meteor in the sky on the top left.

GG: ok, my robot exploded
GG: now what smart guy!
CG: HOLY SHIT, IT’S HARLEY
CG: COMMUNICATING WITH ME OUT OF NOWHERE OF HER OWN VOLITION
CG: HOLD THAT THOUGHT WHILE I GO INFORM MY DISGRACE OF A CLOWN FRIEND ABOUT THIS TRUE REAL LIFE MIRACLE, IT MIGHT LIFT HIS SPIRITS
CG: I HAVE TO SPREAD THE WICKED WORD LIKE I’M MASSAGING SHITTY SPARKLEDUST AROUND MY NETHER REGIONS TO ASSUAGE A VICIOUS RASH
CG: IT’S LIKE I’M SEASONING A FUCKING STEAK HERE. 

I don’t think we know whether Karkat had this conversation before or after Gamzee watched that ICP video. I wonder if Karkat did indeed try that on Gamzee, or what. We don’t get any dialogue from Gamzee between his conversation with Dave I covered last post and when he becomes full-on evil. I think it’s likely that after his crisis of faith, Gamzee went out of the computer lab and questioned his life choices in private as he slowly became evil.

GG: i knew i would regret this
GG: talking to you is so terrible
GG: its making my headache worse
CG: OH YEAH, BECAUSE TALKING TO YOU HAS JUST BEEN ABSOLUTE EUPHORIA.
CG: DON’T EVEN TALK TO ME ABOUT HEADACHES.
CG: RIGHT NOW THERE’S A LUMBERJACK SPLITTING WOOD ON MY THINK PAN.
CG: HE’S GOT THE FOREARMS OF A CHOLERBEAR, A MOUNTAIN OF LOGS, AND NOTHING BUT FUCKING TIME. 

This is another parallel between Jade and Karkat: both, at this point, are really tired and woke up from a horrifying dream, and are thus grouchy and even grouchier than usual respectively. All four beta kids seem to have some parallels with their patron trolls, though I can’t put my finger on any good ones between John and Vriska at the moment.

GG: i cant believe i fell for this
GG: it was just a setup to troll me some more
GG: why do you go to such lengths to troll me? i just dont understand it
CG: TRY TO BE CULTURALLY SENSITIVE
CG: TROLLING IS AN ACTIVITY THAT SHARES A NAME WITH MY ENTIRE SPECIES
CG: DO I GET ON YOUR CASE FOR ALL THE TERRIBLE HUMANNING YOU DO?
GG: thats ridiculous, humanning isnt a word
GG: and if it was, it would be a nicer thing to do than trolling!
GG: you know what i mean, stop pretending you dont 

Here Jade’s lampshading the absurdity of what trolls do—exactly what I mentioned a few posts ago. As I said, I don’t really get the thing of trolls using their species name as a word with a lot of meanings. I guess it’s just a silly thing that expands on the term “trolling” as it’s used on the Internet.

GG: i mean you are being patronizing and disingenuous to get a rise out of me
GG: and that is really really shitty!!!!!!
GG: i am so tired of it, and i am done talking to you forever
GG: bye karkat, it was awful knowing you! 

I’m pretty sure this is the second time in Homestuck where Jade swears. Just as John starts doing the Vriska thing not long after he first talks to her, Jade ends up swearing in her first decently long conversation with Karkat.

Or does this give a hint at Jade’s hidden depths, with her own ruder tendencies? Act 5 Act 2 has Jade’s psyche explored in quite some depth, showing us some personal issues of her own. This brings to mind how Dave’s personal issues are also explored in depth. But in Act 6 this becomes pretty different: Dave’s issues are later played VERY far—excessively so I would argue—to the point of retroactively making him have even more personal issues and repressive stuff than he already did; Jade’s, however, are practically forgotten about. A common complaint is that among the beta kids, the Derse dreamers get so much more character development than the Prospit dreamers, and I must agree here. Some people argue that John has gotten zero real change and development since page 1 of Homestuck (I disagree but I won’t go on about why), and as I said when I started Act 3, it’s generally agreed that Jade has gotten way too little screen time in Act 6. This is even implicitly referenced in the most recent update featuring Jade as of the Omegapause, when the god tier version of Calliope alludes to Jade’s role in the story as she talks about the space aspect.


This tangent literally arose from Jade saying the word “shitty”. It almost feels like I’m getting comically off-track in my posts, but then again, this post series was always meant to analyze Homestuck in depth.

CG: YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T CONTACT THE RIGHT ME.
GG: what does that mean!
CG: I MEAN FUTURE ME IS PROBABLY THE ONE TO TALK TO ABOUT THIS.
CG: SINCE IT’S ALL NEWS TO ME.
GG: is this another prank
GG: you are seriously the worst at pranks
CG: I DON’T PLAY PRANKS, THAT’S JUVENILE NONSENSE. 

This is another example of Karkat being an inverse of John, who as we know, has an affinity for pranks..

CG: IN THIS CASE, I AM ACCOMPLISHING THE LATTER.
CG: HERE, CLICK THIS AND WE WILL SOLVE THE MYSTERY TOGETHER.
CG: 
GG: 😐

I never realized until now that the following memo where Jade watches Karkat argue with himself was made by Karkat to figure out this exploded dreambot stuff. I guess it diverts from the point so quickly that you forget what it even was for. Doesn’t Karkat know at this point that talking to his alternate self will inevitably lead to a heated fight?

This would be my second choice for this post’s title picture.

CCG RIGHT NOW opened memo on board FRUITY RUMPUS ASSHOLE FACTORY.

CCG: HEY FUTURE ME, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS EXPLODED JADEBOT BUSINESS?
CCG: MUST BE SOMETHING REALLY MISSION CRITICAL, OR JADE WOULDN’T HAVE BOTHERED GETTING IN TOUCH WITH US, RIGHT?
CCG: SOMETHING IMPERATIVE TO OUR SURVIVAL NO DOUBT?
CCG: HEY DOUCHE BAG, ARE YOU THERE
??? gardenGnostic [?GG] AT ?:?? responded to memo.
?GG: oh jeez, why am i doing this
?GG: this is so stupid!
CCG: PIPE DOWN HARLEY, THIS PRACTICALLY DOESN’T EVEN CONCERN YOU AT THIS POINT
?GG: bluhhh youre so funny!!!!! 

If Karkat said that Jade doesn’t have anything to do with this memo, then why did he invite her to it? So she can help explain the robot explosion?

Also, it’s hard to tell if Jade’s being sarcastic when she says Karkat is so funny. She has been in a pretty grouchy mood but it’s been noted several times that Jade generally isn’t very sarcastic.

CCG: YOU KNOW, IT’S REALLY AMAZING HOW BEHIND THE TIMES YOU ARE.
CCG: IT’S ALMOST AS IF YOU’VE SLEPT THROUGH THIS WHOLE ADVENTURE
CCG: OH WAIT, THAT IS ESSENTIALLY TRUE.
CCG: IT WAS HILARIOUS WATCHING YOU GROW UP.
CCG: YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD ALL THE ANSWERS, FROLICKING ALL OVER YOUR ISLAND BEING INFURIATINGLY CHIPPER, BUILDING ROBO-BUNNIES LIKE A MORON AND ULTIMATELY RUINING EVERYTHING.
CCG: YOU WERE SO SURE YOUR DREAMS TOLD YOU EVERYTHING YOU NEEDED TO KNOW.
CCG: AND NOW LOOK AT YOU
CCG: YOU SUDDENLY UNDERSTAND JACK SHIT. 

Karkat specifically notes that Jade being out of the loop thing I mentioned earlier. It’s kind of a recurring thing with this post series, where I make an observation about something, and then a few pages later, I end up seeing Homestuck make note of that observation.

CCG: DO YOU EVEN HAVE ANY IDEA HOW LUCKY YOU ARE TO BE GRACED BY MY DIVINE FURY?
CCG: TO HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF GETTING TO BE STUDIED AND MOCKED BY ME FOR YOUR WHOLE PATHETIC MISERABLE LIFE?
CCG: DO YOU REALIZE I’M YOUR GOD? YES, YOUR LITERAL GOD, THAT’S RIGHT.
?GG: sure karkat, whatever you say! 

This is the exact same condescending attitude Karkat displayed in his first conversation with John. He gradually warms up to John before he even starts talking to Jade, and at that point I guess he goes back to the same starting place and presents himself as a victorious almighty god, only for that to backfire yet again.

CCG: AND I HAVE TAKEN TIME OUT OF MY BUSY GODLY SCHEDULE TO SCRUTINIZE YOUR POINTLESS EXISTENCE.
CCG: OUT OF THE COUNTLESS TRILLIONS OF LIFE FORMS I BROUGHT INTO REALITY THROUGH ANGRY GRUBFUCK POWER ALONE, I HAVE SELECTED YOU FOR EXAMINATION AND HARASSMENT.
CCG: PERSONALLY I THINK THAT WARRANTS A LITTLE GRATITUDE, AND JUST MAYBE, A BIT OF DEFERENCE.
CCG: A CURTSY, PERHAPS?
CCG: BUT YEAH GO AHEAD AND KEEP BLOWING ME OFF LIKE THE FLAKEY LITTLE TWERP YOU ARE.
FUTURE carcinoGeneticist [FCG] 3 HOURS FROM NOW responded to memo.
FCG: HEY DON’T TALK TO HER LIKE THAT YOU UNCOUTH PIECE OF SHIT.
FCG: THIS IS REFLECTING POORLY ON BOTH OF US, IT’S GODDAMNED EMBARRASSING. 

Here future Karkat responds to the memo not to answer the robot question, but to call his past self out on being mean to Jade. At first I thought, oh Karkat’s just doing this to call his past self out, but then I realized that future Karkat knew exactly how that would happen, which through [incoherent time travel ramble omitted] originated from itself. Stuff being predetermined to happen is nothing new at this point but it’s still pretty mind-screwy whenever you take a moment to think about it.

FCG: I CAN’T BELIEVE I EVER THOUGHT FUTURE ME WAS THE STUPID ONE
FCG: PAST ME IS THE DUMBEST BUCKET OF FESTERING DISCHARGE I EVER FELL ASS BACKWARDS INTO. 

I mentioned two posts ago that I wanted to find when Karkat said that the only person worse than future him is past him, and this is the closest quote I found because I didn’t consider that it might have been said in a walkaround (which is when it was said).

FCG: LOOK, JADE’S NOT THAT BAD OK.
FCG: YOU JUST GOT TOO WORKED UP, AND YOU CAN’T SEE THAT.
FCG: AND NOW ALL THIS FROTHING PANDEMONIUM JUMPING OUT OF YOUR MOUTH IS JUST RIDICULOUS OVERCOMPENSATION FOR YOUR OWN SHORTCOMINGS AND MISTAKES, AND MASKING SOME FEELINGS YOU’RE NOT REALLY IN TOUCH WITH.
FCG: THIS IS ALL SO OBVIOUS, I’M FLUSHING LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER IN EMBARRASSMENT HAVING TO EXPLAIN IT TO YOU, AND EVEN WORSE, REMEMBERING HAVING IT EXPLAINED TO ME BY THE SMART ONE THREE HOURS AGO AND STILL ACTING LIKE A MOIST GLOBE EVEN AFTER BEING SO SOUNDLY SCHOOLFED.
CCG: I DON’T BELIEVE THIS. PLEASE TELL ME THIS IS A JOKE.
FCG: YOU SAID SO YOURSELF, WE DON’T JOKE AROUND. IT’S JUVENILE, REMEMBER.
CCG: I’M GOING TO VOMIT.
CCG: I’M MAKING A MENTAL NOTE TO SLAP MYSELF THREE HOURS FROM NOW, FOR BEING ENOUGH OF A SAP TO START DEVELOPING RED FEELINGS FOR A DUMB ANNOYING HUMAN, IF I’M READING BETWEEN THE LINES CORRECTLY. 

This angry past/future Karkat argument reminds me of another simultaneous parallel and contrast between him and Dave: Davesprite is considerably more open about his emotions than Dave, just like future Karkat vs. past Karkat here, but Dave and Davesprite get along just fine while two Karkats will inevitably descend into a flaming argument.

?GG: future karkat, if you really are future karkat……
?GG: where do you get off thinking you can just suddenly act like were pals because you said you apologized????
?GG: if you want to apologize then great i am all ears! but just mentioning it off hand and then yelling at yourself the same way you yell at me all the time as if i need a knight to come save me from yourself is so lame, not to mention completely insane
?GG: i cant even believe the things im typing here! this is so stupid, talking to two of you at once is the worst thing imaginable
?GG: you treat everyone horribly, even yourself, i cant even fathom how awful it is to be you
?GG: past karkat, youre acting like a bigger jerk than he is and i think you know that! why dont you take his advice and grow up
?GG: as if theres even a real difference between you two. three hours is hardly any time at all, you are the same person YOU FUCKING IDIOTS!!!!!!!!! 

I really like this speech Jade gave to both Karkats on the memo. She’s calling Karkat out on exactly what’s wrong with him.

CCG: OH SHIT
FCG: YES, THAT WAS GREAT. WE BOTH HAD IT COMING, ESPECIALLY HIM. GREAT WORK JADE. 
?GG: stop it!!!!
?GG: ugh, i dont know whats worse, jerk karkat or goofy sycophant karkat
?GG: i cant stand it, whether youre trying to be nice or just being a crazy asshole, you are just so weird!!!
?GG: im through humoring you, i dont even care about this stupid exploded robot mission, whatever that was
FCG: OH RIGHT, ABOUT THAT
FCG: YEAH WE NEED TO TALK
FCG: I MEAN WE HAVE ALREADY FROM MY PERSPECTIVE
FCG: BUT YOU’RE GOING TO BE REALLY BUSY SOON, BECAUSE YOU’RE ABOUT TO ENTER YOUR SESSION
FCG: SO DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT UNTIL YOU DO, THEN JUST HIT ME UP, WE’LL TALK ABOUT IT
?GG: hahaha, FAT CHANCE!!!!
FCG: LOOK I KNOW THINGS ARE WEIRD BETWEEN US RIGHT NOW AND YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE MAD.
FCG: ESPECIALLY AT THAT LOSER.
FCG: BUT THINGS WILL CHANGE, IN TIME YOU’LL SEE I’M NOT QUITE SO AWFUL, OK? 

It doesn’t take long for John to realize that Karkat is completely harmless and just kind of bitter sometimes, but Jade thinks he’s an absolute idiot for quite some time. Also, take note of how much Jade swears in this memo.

??? turntechGodhead [?TG] AT ?:?? responded to memo.
?TG: ahahahahah oh god
?TG: dude i cant believe you were just getting on our case about hitting on the troll girls
?TG: and then literally the very next memo you are slobbering all over jade
?TG: thats just perfect hahahaha
CCG banned ?TG: from responding to memo.
FCG rebanned ?TG: from responding to memo

Dave takes a moment to call Karkat out on being, let’s face it, kind of stupid. And past and future Karkat both agree that Dave is a shitbag.

?GG: i also cant wait for past you to past drop dead and go to hell, PAST TENSE!!!!!!!!
?GG: when are those things going to happen?? or will have already past/future happened?????
?GG: i want to put another reminder on my finger so i know when its time to throw a party!!!! 

This sounds so much like something Karkat would say. Remember when in one of my Act 4 posts I went on a tangent to moan about how robotic it is to say that Dave and Rose are always sarcastic while John and Jade never are? Well here’s another example against that. I don’t mean to sound bitter.

FCG: HOW’S THIS FOR A PACT, EVERYBODY.
FCG: PAST KARKAT ONLY TALKS TO PAST JADE FROM NOW ON, AND THE TWO OF THEM CAN BICKER LIKE SHITTY LITTLE CHILDREN FOR HOURS/YEARS RESPECTIVELY.
FCG: AND FUTURE KARKAT ONLY TALKS TO FUTURE JADE, AN ARRANGEMENT WHEREIN ONLY INTELLIGENT DISCOURSE TAKES PLACE BETWEEN TWO CIVILIZED, MATURE, GROWN ASSED ADULTS.
FCG: IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?????? 

Turns out this is pretty much what Jade ends up doing later.

?GG: aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa XO
?GG: i will just ban myself!!!!
?GG: *JADE HARLEY BANNED HERSELF FROM RESPONDING TO THE GRUMPY SHIT HEAD MISERY ZONE, AND IS NEVER COMING BACK*
?GG: pchoooooooooooooooo
[?GG] ceased responding to memo.
FCG: OK, THERE. SHE’S GONE.
FCG: MAYBE NOW YOU GET IT.
FCG: HOW HIDEOUS EVERYONE THINKS YOU ARE, MAYBE YOU’LL FINALLY STOP FUCKING EVERYTHING UP.
CCG: HUH
FCG: WHAT
CCG: I THINK
CCG: I WAS PROBABLY WRONG ABOUT JADE
CCG: SHE’S A LITTLE LESS LAME THAN I THOUGHT
FCG: SHHHHSHHSHSHSHSH
FCG: SHE CAN STILL READ THIS YOU STUPID FUCK
FCG: NOW’S NOT THE TIME TO OPEN YOUR VEINS AND WRITE POEMS ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS 
CCG: FUCK YOU, I’M JUST VOICING A HARMLESS OBSERVATION OK
CCG: IT’S NOT MY BUSINESS IF SOME LUNK HEAD IN THE FUTURE GETS CARRIED AWAY WITH WHATEVER LITTLE THOUGHTS I MAY OR MAY NOT NOW BE THINKING
FCG: I…
FCG: BUT
FCG: HOW COULD THAT EVEN BE A REAL THING I TYPED THREE HOURS AGO, HOW COULD I BE THIS STUPID. 

Shouldn’t future Karkat be happy that past Karkat realizes Jade isn’t that stupid? Or is the cringe at something he typed in the past that strong? I’m pretty sure most people look back on things they did in the past and think it was stupid, and for Karkat it must be so extreme that ruminating about romantic feelings that would later be a pretty real thing must make the cut as something to cringe over.

Also, Karkat is very often touted as disliking himself, but I don’t think hating yourself and hating your alternate self necessarily go hand-in-hand. As I just said, I think most people cringe at stuff they did in the past to some extent, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they hate themselves. Here’s an even better example: in one Calvin and Hobbes story arc, Calvin clones himself and he thinks his clone is a total jerk, but Calvin is as far away as can be from hating himself; he’s totally convinced that he’s a revolutionary genius.

FCG: WE ARE JUST THE DUMBEST FUCKERS WHO EVER LIVED AREN’T WE.
CCG: SPEAK FOR YOURSELF.
FCG: I DON’T EVEN HAVE THE ENERGY TO BAN US.
FCG: I’M JUST LEAVING.
[FCG] ceased responding to memo.
CCG: YEAH
[CCG] ceased responding to memo.

I like the note this memo ends on: both Karkats are exhausted, accept that they’re both idiots, and leave the memo.

Jade consults her reminders and throws away all but one of them because she can’t remember what any of them mean anymore. This is pretty obvious symbolism for Homestuck’s recurring theme of growing up, a theme I’ve seen lots of people bring up. She looks at her house to see John deploying stuff in it.

I remember that for about a week during my first read this was the page I stopped on.
For some reason, going back to this page brings back ALL the memories.

Jade consults her reminders and throws away all but one of them because she can’t remember what any of them mean anymore. This is pretty obvious symbolism for Homestuck’s recurring theme of growing up, a theme I’ve seen lots of people bring up. She looks at her house to see John deploying stuff in it.

This picture above is a bit of art weirdness: the cruxtruder is drawn in the isometric projection that’s used throughout the early acts, but the room in the background is not.

EB: i woke up on the battlefield which was on fire, and had flaming bits of prospit everywhere. 

If this sentence is shown to people who haven’t read Homestuck, they’d probably think “prospit” is a mineral or something. Just a little oddity I noticed.

GG: 😦 
GG: yes, but that was not prospit. that was its moon which was severed by the crazy derse agent 

What Jade says seems a bit nitpicky; usually Prospit and Derse are not thought of as separate entities from their respective moons.

EB: i also got your present, and it saved my life!
GG: really?? 😀
EB: yes, the bunny was so awesome, it was definitely the best bunny i got today.
EB: thank you so much, jade!
GG: ❤
EB: when jack saw it, he flew the hell away. and then the bunny and i went on an adventure together.
EB: does the bunny have a name? i asked him but i don’t think he can talk.
GG: i dont know! i did not give him one after applying the upgrades
GG: i gave her a girls name when i was very young, but now she is a different bunny, and also a boy i guess?
GG: its up to you john, he is your bunny 

What was the girl’s name Jade gave that bunny? Is it named after someone from Squiddles or something? I don’t think it’s ever stated.

EB: also, apparently i am supposed to marry rose. karkat said so.
GG: what!!!!
EB: it is true, it is a fact from an alien. 

I just love how John said that with a straight face. “It is true, it is a fact from an alien.” It’s like he’s a nine-year-old kid from a sci-fi movie who’s been fascinated with aliens all his life.

GG: ugh he is so weird 
GG: you shouldnt listen to him! 
EB: heheh, i did not take him that seriously. 
EB: but karkat is cool, he is angry and funny. 
GG: D: 
GG: he is angry and a huge pain in the ass 
GG: have you ever talked to two of him at once???? 
EB: haha, no! 
GG: dont ever do it! you will get a headache 
EB: that sounds kind of awesome. 
GG: noooooooo, think again 

It didn’t take long at all for John to warm up to Karkat compared to Jade, but then again he wasn’t in a really bad mood from a nightmare about an infinite dark Cthulhu-space.

EB: i’ve got it.
EB: i will name her liv tyler.
GG: ????
EB: the bunny.
GG: 😐
GG: you mean from armageddon?
EB: yeah!
GG: john that is so stupid
GG: but also kind of cute i guess
GG: ok then the bunny will be named after your silly movie star fantasy crush
EB: it’s too bad i can’t marry liv instead of rose.
EB: the girl i mean, not the bunny.
EB: but i guess she is probably dead now, along with all the other glamorous movie stars who come out to shine on the silver screen.
EB: that’s pretty sad. 

This is a really weird time for it to dawn on John that all his favorite movie stars are probably dead. I wonder if during the battleship journey, John wrote fanfiction of his favorite celebrities playing Sburb? He probably did.

GG: how much time do you suppose we have?
EB: i will find out now!

I didn’t expect this bit to be followed by a scene switch. If I didn’t already know what goes down in Homestuck I would’ve been pretty frustrated, but then again, by this point readers are probably used to scene switches like that.

Up next is another little sequence of panels where Jack Noir flies to LOWAS for a second battle with Dave’s bro, giving him his sword. This bit is notable because it shows us that Jack considers this guy to be a worthy opponent. I wonder what the latter was planning to do over there. Was he just exploring, or did he go there through his mysterious knowledge stuff?

I really like the little outer space view in this panel.
Also note the meteor near Earth; it’s almost like Earth’s second moon.

John drops a globe on Jade’s cruxtruder in order to open it, which brings to light the pattern theme that’s so prominent in the early acts. This sequence of pages is almost like a throwback to earlier acts, with the patterns relating to entering the game played out for Jade, and for the most part, not subverted. I think John mentions a little later that this feels so much like old times with deploying stuff around Jade’s house. Just for reference, the cruxtruder pattern goes as follows: John’s is opened with a hammer, Rose’s with a wizard statue, Dave’s with a toilet, and Jade’s with a globe. Remember the Jade pattern breaking count I took back in Act 3? Well, I just thought up another thing that might count. (15?) Among the four beta kids, Jade is the only one who opens her client player’s cruxtruder by accident. It’s kind of a stretch because the noted instance of this pattern is not the one that occurs last, and probably more of Dave’s instance of a pattern than Jade’s. Don’t worry though, later we’ll have a few stronger instances of Jade breaking patterns.

EB: ok, we have 10 minutes and 25 seconds.
GG: hmmmm i wonder what the significance of that number is
EB: why would it be significant?
EB: numbers don’t always need to have significance!
GG: but they usually do! 

This isn’t the first time Jade broke the fourth wall. Remember in Act 3 when Jade (not really) let the reader try playing Memory with her items and regrets breaking the fourth wall, as the narration explicitly states? Homestuck has a lot of lines that might count as breaking the fourth wall, or at least leaning on it.

EB: hey, what do you think we should prototype this fussy little orb with?
EB: heheheh, it seems like so long ago that rose fed mine a clown.
EB: we were just messing around, we didn’t even know what we were doing.
GG: i dont know…
GG: there are so many possibilities
EB: yeah… 

EB: it’s almost like your grandpa put all this crap here knowing we’d have to make that decision.
GG: hmmmmmm!
GG: yes, it sure seems that way
EB: he seems like he was an awesome guy, i would have liked to have the chance to talk to him.
GG: well
GG: maybe you will get that chance john
EB: oh?
GG: yes, as a matter of fact i am sure we will both get that chance!
GG: i once dreamt that we would 

This exchange is really enticing the mystery of what Jade’s sprite will be prototyped with. Through what we know so far, Jade’s promise that she and John will both get the chance to meet her grandpa during the game is very heavily directing readers to the idea of Grandpasprite. And this whole scene’s also implicitly directing readers to the idea of Bec prototyping himself, because both he and Grandpa’s body are next to the kernelsprite, and because of Hussie’s affinity for red herrings. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to guess that Bec and Grandpa will both be prototyped into Jade’s sprite, leading to what I’ve seen people call “Grandpawsprite”.

Arguably, Jade and John’s supposed meeting with Grandpa is still an unanswered question as of the Omegapause. She’s most likely talking about meeting Jake, but if that’s the case, it’s a little dubious whether Jade would recognize him as her grandpa, so it’s not 100% clear. I’m personally unsure if I’d recognize young versions of my parents.

EB: huh…
EB: wait, are you saying we will prototype him?
EB: like i did with nanna, to bring her ghost back to life?
EB: as…
EB: another ghost?
GG: sure, why not!
EB: i guess that makes a lot of sense, actually.
GG: that is what i believe this game is for in part
GG: you got to bring back your nanna, rose brought back her cat, i can bring back grandpa, and dave…
GG: dave got to bring back a dead bird because of course he is too cool to have any dead family members 

This bit where John and Jade discuss the possibility of prototyping Grandpa is one hell of a red herring.

EB: i just messaged [dave], he is not answering. 

The youngest instance of Dave at this point, the one wearing the black suit, is clearly still asleep, but are there really no other Daves running around to answer John? The same goes a bit later where Rose and Jade both pester Dave but get a confused consort instead. Or do all the Daves out there just think friends pestering them is past Dave business?

EB: what do we do about prototyping?
EB: we shouldn’t put your grandpa in yet, unless we want lots of imps and ogres and stuff that look like your grandpa.
GG: augh, nooooooooooooooo

Grandpa imps are surprisingly easy to imagine: just picture an imp, then picture it with Grandpa’s facial features. Maybe with his hat for good measure.

EB: we could put in something really lame, to make all the monsters weaker!
EB: or at the very least, more ridiculous looking.
EB: like one of these weird pictures of blue ladies lying around.

If both of you are OK with Grandpa mixed with a blue lady, then go ahead, chuck in one of those things! That would be a seriously absurd and messed up thing. We’ve had two sprites much later that are of ambiguous gender due to being a combination of a male and female, the former of which promptly exploded but the latter of which is very satisfied with their existence. Someone’s probably drawn Blue-Lady-Grandpasprite or whatever you want to call it.

Apparently he stitched up Cal. Rose is also into knitting so that might be a parallel between her and Dirk?

Davesprite successfully finds his bro and joins him in the fight. This is important because it shows that Davesprite still cares about his guardian to an extent, enough that he wants to catch up with him. This is much unlike how regular Dave, after a year without his guardian, makes it clear that he doesn’t want to meet his kid bro. What’s up with that difference? Davesprite didn’t assume his bro was dead during his timeline, but Dave knew for a fact that he’s gone, so maybe that’s why? Or did it take more than four months for Dave to realize his bro was messed up? Or did living on a meteor without puppets and swords everywhere make Dave realize that faster?

Davesprite choosing to fight with his guardian might support my theory I mentioned last post that Davesprite has more respect for Bro than Dave does.

EB: what is this thing, anyway??
EB: and why is it blocking your transporter?
GG: it is some sort of terrible creature my grandpa hunted
GG: he called it the typheus minion
GG: i always hated it! 

So Jade apparently completely believed her grandpa when he said that was a hideous monster he hunted. Is she like the kind of fictional kid who believes all sorts of nonsense her parents say? In the movie Instructions Not Included, the little girl spent the first seven years of her life believing everything her dad made up about her mom, who is supposedly never with her because she travels around the world saving people’s lives. But this is a pretty bad analogy because in Homestuck her grandpa’s crazy adventure exploits are very real.

EB: typheus?
EB: like the web browser?
GG: i guess so
GG: it is probably a coincidence though
EB: hmm, i don’t know…
EB: if you think numbers always mean something, why wouldn’t browser names?
GG: yeah maybe…..
GG: i guess it would make sense for someone to name a really awful web browser after such a hideous monster
EB: wow, you sure do hate that thing!
GG: well sorry, i just found it sort of a weird and creepy thing to grow up with!
EB: i think it is pretty cool.
EB: and he is actually sort of cute to be honest, :p
GG: :p!!!!!!
EB: oh, and screw you, typheus is an awesome browser!
EB: it is old school.
GG: joooohhhhhn, it is so crappy
EB: typheus is the best and that’s really all there is to say on the matter.
GG: YEAH RIGHT
GG: now is obviously not the best time to have the argument about whose browser is better….
GG: but really john you should upgrade to echidna, its so much nicer 

I love this exchange about web browsers. This is the closest Homestuck gets to directly referencing the fact that the kids’ browsers are all named after their respective denizens. I once saw a theory that Skaianet developed all of those browsers. It’s a little weird how no other time has anyone noted that their denizen shares a name with their favorite web browser. I’d be pretty surprised if I played Sburb with some hypothetical Firefox geek friend and it turns out that my denizen is called Chrome and his is called Firefox. But putting real-life browsers here just doesn’t have the same effect because they aren’t named after ancient Greek stuff, at least not the popular ones.

How does dropping a big stuffed object comically clump up everything?
Also, nice touch: Grandpa’s hat fell on the cruxtruder. What would prototyping a hat do? Is that even possible?

EB: in my foolishness, i came very close to prototyping your grandpa.
GG: D:
GG: john, try to be more careful!
EB: we very nearly had to face our grandfatherly paradox-dad as a last boss.
EB: that would probably be the worst case scenario. 

The dramatic irony is so delicious. Even though said irony is only a thing if you’re rereading, it’s still delicious.

Just got through another 50 pages, so I’ll stop here. See you next time as I extensively, and I mean EXTENSIVELY, comment on a flash which is one of my favorites.

>>  Part 34: Villain Caninification Station