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

3 thoughts on “Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 35: Backwards Logic and Nightmare Faces

  1. It's true, and I can see how it can really make some people angry. Vriska has a lesson to learn, she has to see that Homestuck isn't about Vriska and her sidekicks, but about a bunch of heroes, who all have the same level of importance. Her treatment of Jake didn't strike me that bad, mostly because I knew what she was saying was not true! We saw that he's not useless, far from it, actually. We saw that he's full power leaves Jade unmatched, and she has First Guardian powers on her side. I just know she will be taught a lesson. She already got the first taste of it, actually, with Tavros forming an army, not only doing something extremly usefull, but doing something there, where Vriska fails, where she's helpless. It is one of my favourite moments in Homestuck and it's highly cathartic after all Vriska did to Tavros. I believe Jake shall also prove himself usefull, who knows, maybe he'll be the one to take down LE? I agree that Vriska has to learn a lesson, and I believe that she will.

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  2. I think what gets me the most about the retcon is that much of the story following it feels kind of Vriska-centric. Vriska gets some serious positive development at first (think of how cheery Vriskagram is), but then her arc really kind of goes in circles given how rude she is to Tavros and Jake and later her alternate self. The deal with Vriska is that she thinks it's a story about her but it isn't, but now it kind of is a story about Vriska.

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  3. A rather short post, so not much to say here.I guess the retcon posts are going to be huge. It's not surprising, considering what a controversial topic it us. Though it's controversy came as a huge surprise to me, since I am the one of few of my kind who liked the retcon, and probably the only one who loved it! Though I won't lie, it certainly has a lot to do with Vriska being my favourite charcter and still maintainig this status after the retcon. The time to discuss this topic will be much later in the story.

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