The Obligatory Homestuck Epilogues Post, In Full

I am still burnt out on this blog, that’s still a thing. Only a week since hiatus and I already wince at the thought of reviving my Homestuck posts, especially on a platform that’s not convenient at all for hosting these posts. I’m sick of gaining pretty much no traction because Blogger and search engines go together like jelly and hot dogs. I currently plan on switching to a different platform, maybe even purchasing a personal web domain because I’m 20 and that’s what 20-year-olds do. But for the time being, I might as well write a post providing my full thoughts on the Homestuck Epilogues.

BRIEF SUMMARY

4/20, read through Meat: epilogues pretty good
4/20, started Candy: what the fuck
4/21, stopped: aaaaaaaaughhhhh bluh i hate everything
4/24-ish, continued Candy: epilogues alright i guess also i am sad now
4/27-ish, finished: I LOVE HOMESTUCK

BRIEF-ISH SUMMARY

Meat was a wild ride that started as cool plot stuff and things that make you go “OH FUCK”, continued as basically chapters 7-9 of Detective Pony (which I naturally enjoyed a lot), and ended as a mess of sheer chaos and destruction. My thought process ended as, “oh duh, this is the bad ending, candy must be the good ending”. I was in for quite the nasty surprise.

I quit reading Candy just a few pages in. It didn’t take long for it to suddenly become the weirdest fanfiction ever. Frustrated, I started skipping and searching through later parts and got rather salty when it turned out both sides were the “bad ending”. I saw firsthand what vfromhomestuck meant by “clear your whole week”: this is not something most people can just read in one sitting. Then I recovered a few days and read Candy in earnest, in a somewhat anachronous order and with many parts read multiple times. Slowly, I started to hope that the epilogues would be followed up with a true happy ending for real this time. I may or may not have written a snippet of some form of fanfiction paving the way for a happy ending.

Once I finally accomplished the equivalent of reading Candy as intended, I got hit HARD with feels. I accepted that the epilogues have many issues but as a whole (not just the sum of parts) are an absolute masterwork, sometimes because of those issues. It didn’t take me long to realize the brilliant duality either. Meat is a side-splitting metafictional farce that (for me at least) is impossible to treat as anything resembling a story of people doing things. Candy is a tale of FEELS, and I don’t use the word FEELS lightly. FEELS means I almost cried, like I did when I watched the Futurama episode Luck of the Fryrish.

DETECTIVE PONY AND METAFICTION

Before I move on and talk about the CHARACTERS, I’m going to discuss the meat epilogue’s resemblance to sonnetstuck’s Detective Pony. I love everything about Detective Pony, more than almost anything else in existence. My abnormal love for that godlike fanwork probably skewed my perception of Meat a bit. Starting from page 17, Dirk takes over the narration then fights over it with god tier Calliope; both do rather questionable deeds and Dirk was hit hard by fans as a result. Seeing other fans react towards that character with such hostility gave me a very distinct feeling of “what, am I missing something?” Dirk’s takeover felt like a lengthy work of comedy to me; a story that never strips away from the fact that it’s fiction, in a vein near identical to that of Detective Pony. I like to think I am in the right for perceiving that arc this way, because I think everyone who has read Homestuck should read Detective Pony. One of the epilogue authors read Detective Pony after writing the epilogues and was struck by it; I take this accidental mirroring of (post-)canon as proof that sonnetstuck understands Hussie’s ways through and through. I like to think I have a solid understanding of Hussie’s ways by now, but this guy is on a whole new level.

That said, the meat epilogue gets a bit carried away with metafiction to the point of making me think, “god when will things go back to normal”. Towards the end of Detective Pony, Dirk goes through an existential crisis followed by a powerful revelation, and then resolves to do whatever it takes to erase his abominable creation. But the meat epilogue ends with (both figurative and literal) crashing and burning; no ultimate redemption for our poor Strider. Homestuck doesn’t usually have much of a problem with getting carried away with stupid nonsense; maybe a few rare occasions in cases like Hussie’s self-insert scenes. But getting carried away is a major criticism I have with cool and new web comic. I love that comic to death, but the parts that take a long time to dwell on the cool and new characters being creepy or weird are a chore to go through. o (the author of CaNWC) seems to have improved in that regard; the cool and new trolls’ arc is much more to-the-point with such nonsense.

Meat getting carried away with metafiction is a major cause of my initial burnout shortly after starting Candy. I was sick of this mass dump of metafiction and expected Candy to be a refreshing change of pace. Haha, if only. My fault for reading Meat first. At night I sometimes ponder in envy of the parallel universe me that started with Candy. Actually I don’t do that, I just thought it was a funny thing to say. Though I have on more than a few occasions sat in bed fantasizing about how awesome my life probably is in some parallel universe. What point was I making again? Oh whatever, it doesn’t matter. I guess I should write a similar overview of Candy’s narrative nature. Here goes:

LUCK OF THE FRYRISH AND SADSTUCK

Sad things are sad.

^ There, that’s my candy overview. How hard was that?

With the two summaries out of the way, I figure the best way to dump out my residual thoughts on the epilogues is going character by character. I won’t do every character, mostly just the ones who played large roles and were already characters in Homestuck proper. I’m sorting these characters in tiers of how well I think the epilogues handle them, mostly from worst to best.

N-TIER

N is not the lowest tier; it’s the tier that cannot be ranked. N stands for two things here: “Not Applicable” and “Narrators”. Naturally enough, two characters fit into that tier.

Dirk Strider: I’ve already talked about this guy quite a bit. I have a fondness for Dirk’s character and I think his dialogue and narration in meat do a good job portraying some ascended, ultimate version of his character without straying from his voice, the tone that makes him Dirk. That said, I’m a bit peeved that “normal Dirk”, the one iteration of Dirk Strider that isn’t total bonkers and just wants his friends to be happy, doesn’t exist in this story. In Candy, Rose suddenly loses the memories of her alternate selves, but for some reason Dirk keeps those memories and soon after commits suicide; he’s left out of the picture until Candy’s postscript, which I guess is a reasonable balance considering his indulgence throughout Meat. But why is only one of the succulently verbose Strilondes let off the hook? Some readers imagine Dave as the comic’s protagonist and Dirk as the antagonist; I’ve toyed with that idea myself and can see it symbolized, but it just feels so wrong to me. Maybe the authors did too good a job writing Dirk for me to be complacent with such a shift in role. His conversations with Rose were just as delightful as I had hoped and they aren’t weighed down too much in light of his shift in role, at least not for me.

Alt Calliope: The narrative rival to Dirk, as I mentioned previously. I’m not totally sure what to say about her, other than that one could see her as a counterpart to let’s say Anna Harley; a necessary piece in the Detective Pony analogy. Alt Calliope’s narrative arguments with Dirk were hilarious and that’s all there is to say on the matter.

G-TIER

I’m lucky Gamzee’s name starts with a G, because this means I can give him a tier of his own worse than F. As an individual arc that is; he’d get a much higher rating when taken as part of a whole.

Gamzee Makara: Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. I despised reading every word that came out of this guy’s mouth as soon as his “””redemption arc””” started. But I can clearly tell that was the point and that the suffering that is reading his words has a much greater purpose. Before you deem me a masochist or the kind that insists everything is “bad on purpose”, know that I am neither of those things but really do mean what I say here. Gamzee’s role in Candy draws tension between individuality and the whole. Reading this guy’s hogwash is suffering in and of itself, but ultimately it serves a role of showing us how fucked up the world of Candy is and helps the reader experience John’s existential crisis with him.

F-TIER

As before, these tiers are strictly about character arcs in isolation and not the big picture. This tier is home to none other than the legendary…

Jane Crocker: Boy did I predict the future on that one. A bit like Dirk, I would’ve liked it more if in only one epilogue did sweet innocent little Jane become such a monster. No way in hell am I going to run through the asshole things she does; it’s a load of sensitive topics I’m not comfortable discussing in any capacity. Instead, I’ll say that if I had to choose only one epilogue where Jane ran through her crazy presidential campaign it would be Candy; as with Gamzee’s arc, this campaign serves well as a part of John’s existential crisis. What’s weird here is that in Candy she originally cancelled all this, but later ended up basically doing it anyway with Dirk gone. I can imagine Jane going back to normal in Meat, maybe? Or in the hypothetical “true ending” I discussed prior.

D-TIER

Better known as “meh” tier. Mostly the characters that don’t do much and I wished did more.

Meenah Peixes: Needed more screen time, god damn it. She survives the Furthest Ring apocalypse, nabs the Ring of Life, then makes her way to Candy Earth and joins Karkat in the rebellion. Maybe it makes sense that her and Karkat teaming up in war is relegated to the background, to show how far the shouty guy has come in comparison to everyone else. I’ll come back to this point when I talk about Karkat.

Roxy Lalonde: Doesn’t do too much in either side, but does go through some touchy topics I’m not sure what to think about; I’m most certainly not ready to talk about those topics now. And regardless, Roxy’s role in the epilogues is better discussed when I talk about John and Terezi a few tiers up.

* UPDATE: I have now written a post about these touchy topics. Read at your own discretion.

Calliope: Doesn’t do all that much either, full circle to being the exposition alien with mysterious morality. I’m actually pretty OK with that. Certainly beats out the slog of endless “ur pretty” conversations. Calliope pretty much fades into the background on both sides, which is sad but fitting.

(About pronouns: I’ll keep referring to Roxy and Calliope as “she” unless I find reason to talk about the little those two do in Meat. I just avoided using pronouns in those paragraphs above.)

C-TIER

Better known as “meh” tier, but with a more positive “meh” than before. It’s the “meh” that indicates lukewarm satisfaction rather than annoyance at mediocrity.

Jade Harley: Really should be on a lower tier, because she did dick squat other than being horny and painfully oblivious to all the nonsense going on. But I’m a sucker for Jade being “Jade” and was happy to see even a trace of that early in Meat. As before, I’ll avoid the controversial topics surrounding Jade in the epilogues, aside from pointing out that this post reads very different now.

* UPDATE: I have now written a post about her in the epilogues too.

Karkat Vantas: This guy’s a bit of an odd spot. His leadership role is addressed in the absolute last way I expected. Could’ve gotten more attention from the story I suppose, but damn if his character arc didn’t get the most triumphant return imaginable.

Kanaya Maryam: I touched upon Rose and Kanaya’s relationship when I discussed the “buddy system” in my first epilogues post and I still stand by what I said there. Her strong attachment to Rose is integrated well into Meat without seeming like fluff or defining her entire character, because she actually does other things there too. In Candy they remain a stable happy relationship and I guess I’m cool with that.

Aradia Megido: Role is the same as ever and I’m fine with that. Death fangirl who works for predestination and has ambiguous morality. Her arc with alt Calliope ends with a cliffhanger that is easily the biggest reason to hope for a follow-up to the epilogues; if such a follow-up were to happen, I really look forward to hearing more from Aradia.

Sollux Captor: Sollux is by nature the other guy, that’s an immutable fact of life. He doesn’t do much other than snarking at whoever’s nearby and I can’t imagine it any other way.

Jake English: If not for a scene near the end of Candy, I’d put Jake at D-tier. Through all of Meat and most of Candy, Jake’s role is one of the oddest spots of all and it’s pretty hard to pinpoint what the authors were going for, lest I dabble in controversial topics some more. But Jake’s scene with John near the end of Candy is uniquely touching and makes the most out of his role as a second John. He moves in with John, bringing his son Tavros with him, and encourages John to reconcile with his former wife and make amends of sorts, ultimately giving a small portion of the cast a pseudo-happy ending. That whole part of Candy made me tear up.

Talking about the really GOOD parts is a perfect point for me to move on to…

B-TIER

Stuff that didn’t make it into A-Tier, which I’ve reserved for what struck me HARD.

Dave Strider: In both epilogues, Dave’s behavior generally seems based on how he acted in Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, which is actually a LOT better than it sounds and hell if I know why that is. Dave’s rants about politics and sexuality now have a charm I can’t quite describe. His absurd fixation specifically on the economy matches shockingly well with the nature of Homestuck. The three-way romance between him, Karkat, and Jade goes in very different directions on either side, which I’ll discuss a bit later. The epilogues even made Dave x Karkat an actually decent ship, how crazy is that??? The writers deserve a big badge of honor for doing that. Not sure what to say about specific things, but Dave was really well-written in an unexpected way.

Rose Lalonde: Again not sure what to say about anything in specific. Just really enjoyed reading Rose on both sides of the story. Shoutout to the heartwarming moment with John near the end.

A-TIER

Oh boy. Oh boy. Time for the big guns.

Vriska Serket: My mind hurts to process just how good Vriska’s appearance in Candy was, after leaving the Furthest Ring and landing on Earth. First she talks with John rather aggravated, then she brutally murders Gamzee, then she sits down and has an honest talk with her ectobiological clone raised by Rose and Kanaya, and in the end gets in touch with Terezi which leads to a cliffhanger. The story somehow created the PERFECT balance of sincere reflections and typical Vriska flavor, which was deeply lacking in A6A6I5 with its horrific polar opposite versions of Vriska. The two Vriskas’ conversation late in Candy is incredibly endearing and almost feels like an apology for the controversial Vriska/Vriska encounter back then. I accept the apology with open arms. Why is everything always so wonderful?

John Egbert: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ <3. WHY IS EVERYTHING ALWAYS SO WONDERFUL? John gets a deep meaningful existential crisis arc in both epilogues; both cases I easily latched onto and found a bit of myself in. I absolutely loved seeing him and Terezi interact as a duo of people with some perception of canonicity; I’ll get back to that point soon enough. John’s marriage to Roxy not working out is a testament to both his issues with canon and Roxy’s issues dealing with harsh situations. Roxy latches onto John and their son as a huge carefree pushover and he doesn’t like that at all. And that’s actually cool with me because John x Terezi is better in every way, as the epilogues made me realize. If that wasn’t enough, the end of Candy spoils our little hearts by having John reconcile with Roxy anyway and give hope for a better future. Though a part of me does want to see a true happy ending where John and Roxy date with their delightful dynamic from their first interactions, I’m beyond pleased with the epilogues’ handling of John either way. Swaying deep into some rather sad territory while remaining 100% faithful to his character that I’ve always loved so much.

Terezi Pyrope: FUCK YES FUCK YES FUCK YES FUCK YES FUCK YES. Every scene with Terezi in the epilogues was so goddamn awesome. Her interactions with John were such a blast to read, with exactly the mix of humor and touching aspects that make both of the big John/girl ships what they are. How did the authors pull it off, making deeply emotional scenes without ever sacrificing that goofy Terezi flavor???

S-TIER

S in rating systems these days is way misused in my eyes. Normally A is meant to be the highest rating and S is used for the very rare absolutely exceptional case A doesn’t do justice. But now you see shit like SS, SSS, SSSS everywhere like one S isn’t the ultimate badge of honor? S is a rating I’d gladly give Detective Pony and may or may not give cool and new web comic. Same goes for my very favorite Futurama episodes. I’d give a few of Neil Cicierega’s works that rating if I’m feeling up to it. In this post, I’ve reserved the S rating for:

Barack Obama: THE BEST PART OF THE EPILOGUES, HANDS DOWN. His conversation with Dave near the end of Candy is perfect in every way, it really transcends words. Humor, emotional touching, plot revelations, and straight up “Homestuck feel” are blended into the most delicious melting pot imaginable. When Dave confesses that he might be gay and explains troubles in his three-way romance, Obama responds with a truly inspiring speech about identity that raises an excellent point about the differences between the epilogues involving aspects of people that may seem immutable to some. I think Obama’s speech leaves a powerful message I never expected Homestuck of all things to convey so well. I hope readers take that speech’s message into account, though I know many will probably be a bit naive about it.

If you refuse to read the epilogues at all costs, then I implore you to read Dave and Obama’s conversation anyway. You won’t be disappointed.

CONCLUSION

This post was so much fun to write, holy shit. I so badly needed to get all this out of my system. The only thing stopping me from continuing my Homestuck post series (plural) is that I don’t want to do it on Blogger anymore. The move to a new platform will happen soon enough, once I have some real-life things sorted out.

I am burnt out

Please don’t misread the title of this post. In my case, being burnt out is a good thing!

I am burnt out on writing blog posts, especially those where I ramble about myself or about my Homestuck posts or whatever the hell. I think writing and reading fanmade annotations on Homestuck is super fun and awesome. But who the actual hell would want to read my pointless ramblings about those posts?! If a post is delayed, then a post is delayed, I don’t need to write a goddamn essay about it. 

I think I know myself well enough that I can predict when and how my Homestuck posts’ current hiatus will end. I’ll probably be bored one day, hopefully a long time from now, and next thing I know I’m suddenly back in the swing of things. That’s kind of how I do things; pretty much any project I put on hiatus I’ll one day abruptly resume.

I am SICK of rambling to myself about all my projects!!! I felt a sour taste in my mouth even typing the relatively short paragraphs above.

Enough being melodramatic. For now I think I will go back to being a regular person that exists, kind of like I was before I suddenly resumed my Homestuck posts. As a certified regular person that exists, I will probably go back to doing regular projects that exist until the cycle inevitably repeats itself.

My Homestuck posts are on real hiatus, for real, again

It is with a heavy heart that I announce the following: my Homestuck blog post series is back on hiatus.

Not to spoil too much about the epilogues, but reading them was… intense.

I’ll try to avoid spoiling as much as I can so I’ll say: I started with meat. I really enjoyed reading it, but it ended as a sad mess of mindfuck. It did remind me of Detective Pony which was cool.

I started candy afterwards but quickly found it unreadable. Not that it’s bad, just that it’s a shameless dump of basically fanfiction. And by fanfiction I mean your usual run-of-the-mill fanfiction, not the holy trinity of literary masterworks that is cool and new web comic, Detective Pony, and Roxy’s Threesome Addiction. I skipped ahead a bit and skimmed a lot; the end of the candy epilogue is also sad.

I think I’m going to kind of not think about Homestuck much for a while. The absolute last thing I want to do is debate with people about the epilogues!!!!! This means I’m going to put my Homestuck posts on hiatus; both the absolute mess that is my regular posts I’ve done since 2015, and my rewritten posts.

During the coming months, I’ll do many other things. Some of those things might take place in a strange alien world known as “real life”. I’ll probably also dive deep into other media, which I have already been doing lately. And maybe I’ll read through my physical copy of Homestuck Book 3 like a normal person if I’m not going to write blog posts about it. 

I have one more Homestuck-related thing up my sleeve; specifically, something related to the comic’s music that I’ll post to YouTube. Till then, peace out. Those four months of returning to Homestuck and rambling about it like a lunatic were fun and I won’t forget them.

Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 9 Rewritten: Air for Eclectic Fursuits

Introduction / Schedule <- still using, for now

Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 >

Pages 759-835 (MSPA: 2659-2735)

Act 3, Part 1 of 5

Link to old version

A few days (feels like a few months) later edit:

I am really fucking glad I made this post BEFORE the epilogues came out. Dear god Jade, what happened to you.


Augh…

I so badly wanted to finish Act 6 Act 3 in my classic posts before 4/13. That didn’t work out, so I wanted to finish it at least before I started Act 3 in my rewritten posts. But I can’t help myself from dwelling on the past more. Maybe it’s best that way, actually. Act 3 is light on dialogue and won’t make me sad to reread considering the nostalgic content in the epilogues so far, definitely not as much as Act 1 or 2. And this post focuses on Jade, who we haven’t heard from in the epilogues yet, so it all works out. The bit that’s left of Act 6 Act 3 is two big flashes, one last pesterlog, and a WHOPPER flash. As much as I love those three flashes, I don’t think I have the investment to dissect them right now, especially not without the readmspa.org storyboards handy. I’ll figure something out later, OK?

Oh who am I kidding. Nobody gives a crap which posts I prioritize. But I know for sure that there’s lots of people who give a crap about my posts in general, even if they don’t say as much. Come out, come out wherever you are!

Enough of me being an idiot. Let’s get on with this post.


Before Act 3 proper starts, we take a look inside the old copy of Sassacre’s, where old lady Jane wrote a note for her grandson.

You are no doubt reading this as a handsome and strapping young man! Why, the mangrit needed to lift the book is itself a sign of your maturity, not even to speak of the wisdom needed to grasp the nuance of Sassacre‘s time-tested mischief. I am so proud of you, grandson! 

How I wish I could have delivered this heirloom to you in the flesh. But I am afraid it wasn’t in the cards! For you see, John, like you, this book must yet take a journey! Its journey will end on the Final Day of my life, and even then will continue some. Though I suppose that will be up to your Father. Perhaps he will discuss it with you one day, when he and you are ready. 


First-time readers are no doubt confused here. How did John’s grandmother know all this? One may speculate that since we now know that the guardians are all involved with Skaianet, it’s only natural that Nanna knew an insane amount through her old age.

The line about mangrit is a really cool red herring. I’ve been saying “red herring” a lot lately—maybe I should come up with a different term for bits of text that seem mundane now but have complex explanations later? How about blue salmon? Salmon is a delicious fish, but if it were colored blue then it would disguise itself quite well in the ocean. I hereby dub the line about mangrit a blue salmon. Mangrit probably runs in the Egbert family (which is properly called the Twain family but I don’t want to confuse people), so one could easily imagine Nanna back in the day playing a part in that tradition. But nope, the real explanation is that the book traveled through time and Nannasprite is a sly old prankster who knows the real story, as Hussie’s book commentary helpfully explains. I wonder if I would have come to the prankster part of that revelation on my own, without the book commentary? I think it’s quite likely that I would have, which is part of why I won’t consult book commentary when I get to Act 5 Act 1 in my rewritten posts. I want to see how much I end up agreeing with the big man after I’m done with that act.

On that topic, my copy of Homestuck Book 3 arrived last Sunday! It came about a week earlier than expected, perhaps because of 4/13. I’m excited to go through Act 4 in my rewritten posts. In that act, I plan on twisting things up and consuming the comic in physical book form, with more focus on Hussie’s commentary than before.

Anyway, let’s continue through the letter.

But it is your journey I am writing about to wish you luck! There will come a day when you will be thrust into another world. And once you arrive, that is only the beginning! You will soon delve even deeper into a realm of Warring Royalty in a Timeless Expanse. A realm of Agents and Exiles and Consorts and Kernelsprites. Of toiling Underlings and slumbering Denizens

Mass drop of Sburb terminology, I see. I find it a bit interesting that terms are dropped in that order. Agents, exiles, and consorts are the resident NPCs of course, with various degrees of voicing within the narrative. Kernelsprites are a bit odd grouped with those three, though I guess the term used here really just refers to “sprites” and the use of those terms wasn’t totally set in stone. In any case, the rest of the terms listed fit well without any early installment weirdness.

Here’s a part that is most certainly a red herring and not a blue salmon: 

A realm where four will gather, the Heir of Breath and Seer of Light, the Knight of Time and Witch of Space, and together they will Ascend

Readers at this point typically deduce that these terms refer to John, Jade, Dave, and Rose respectively, falsely assuming that Jade is the Seer of Light and Rose is the Witch of Space. Jade knows the future and seems to be dreamy and sunny, while Rose likes gothy dark space creatures, so what else could it be? This designation also pairs up the ecto-siblings, which probably seem like natural groupings to readers at this point. It’s such an obvious deduction that even just now I briefly fell for that misconception as if reading for the first time. Quite a clever prank (to the readers, not the characters) if I say so myself.

John, if only you knew how important you were! I regret my passing came so early in your life. And yet I feel in my heart we have already met. But what I know for sure is that we will meet again! 

Until then, John, I do hope your Father keeps you well fed! 


I can see why Mr. Egbert hid the book from his son for so long. So much stuff that would confuse the hell out of this kid.


Nanna’s “HOO HOO HOO” subtly hints that this inscription is a bit of a prank. It probably signified to her son that this letter has more to it than meets the eye. Then he came to a conclusion about what to do with that book and locked it inside a safe for thirteen years.

… Are you thinking what I’m thinking? It’s been a long time since I last thought about stable time loops and here I am now, god damn it.

Begin Act 3.

A silly girl naps by her flowers…


Let’s talk about Jade Harley.

… actually, no. Let’s not talk about her yet. I’ll do that when she enters her room and gets her proper introduction page. It’s only in the spirit of all the patterns she breaks. The last thing I want to do concurrently with the epilogues’ release is overthink everything, which I surely would be doing right now if I was dissecting the Unite Synchronization flashes.

I’m going to do the pattern breaking count all over again as I go through these pages, with the order slightly changed from my old posts. Here goes:

(1) Jade is introduced not in her bedroom, but in her atrium. This might strike readers as odd, but probably won’t come off as a pattern breaker just yet. Her peacefully sleeping serves as a fun subversion of expectations…

Uh…
I guess..
I guess her name is Farmstink.

… that quickly leads to absolute hilarity. When I got to these pages in the community reread, I laughed way too hard, probably harder than anyone reading for the first time would have.

Pattern breaking count continues: (2) for the first few pages, the story goes along with Jade’s joke name; since she’s asleep, we have no way of knowing her real name yet. Homestuck’s naming mechanics are IMPORTANT, please pay close attention to them. This is only the beginning of many naming shenanigans to come!!! (It’s actually the end of those shenanigans, haha you just got trolled.)


> Retrieve arms from…

THEY’RE RIGHT THERE. 

IN PLAIN SIGHT. 

LOOK, THEY ARE FLASHING RED.

The “retrieve arms” joke is even more side-splitting. The game’s “player” is going all the way back to where we started, which creates some tension with the narration. The narration is confused by the joke name and exasperated at the arms gag.

I love the -ify text. A subtle way to make the tie-in with WV more obvious.


Oh shit, how could I forget about the pumpkin? I was so caught up in this arm tension that I didn’t even notice! Which is just as well, because there is no pumpkin, and frankly it is hard to imagine there ever was a pumpkin, in plain sight or otherwise.

Anyway, as the narration states, that would be a really terrible thing to do to poor, sweet Farmstink. The humor value in the story referring to this girl as Farmstink needs no explanation.

Though this letter at first seems like breaking the fourth wall, a simpler explanation can be deduced quite easily.

Jade probably saw a troll enter “Farmstink Buttlass” in her dreams or something.


The “player” retrieves Jade’s note and reads it, demonstrating to us that Jade is going to break the fourth wall a fair bit in this act. She does it in a way more traditional than Rose’s fourth wall breaking, which either makes less sense or more sense in the meta narrative depending how you look at it. Can I call Jade’s story the meta narrative and Rose’s story the meta knarrative?

Actually that is a really stupid idea, so I won’t bother.

In an alternate universe, you’d be reading an elaborate list of fanciful terms such as “King Nananarrative”, lovingly crafted by yours truly.


Instead of wasting time naming Kirby characters, the player realizes once and for all that poop jokes are immature and reluctantly enters the silly girl’s real name.

Jade wakes up and what’s that on her shirt? Why is it suddenly a pumpkin and not an atom?

Her shirt design increases the pattern breaker count: (3) Jade’s shirt symbol is not static and constantly changes. Well, for now anyway. The shirt symbol goes through first a big cycle and then a smaller cycle, before her wardrobifier explodes and she’s left with her true shirt symbol: a blue icon in the shape of her dog’s face. Jade’s patterns broken are a form of red herrings, and the shirt symbol is one of the more abstract such instances—you know, because of something called “symbolism”. If one of her ten different shirt symbols was a salmon then I’d be able to make a pretty good pun. I’ll keep my eyes out in case Feferi or Meenah says “salmon”.



Your name is JADE. You have just woken from a restful nap, and as usual, you have no recollection of having fallen asleep. You have quite a number of INTERESTS. So many in fact, you have trouble keeping track of them all, even with an assortment of COLORFUL REMINDERS on your fingers to help you sort out everything on your mind. Nevertheless, when you spend time in your GARDEN ATRIUM, the only thing on your mind is your deep passion for HORTICULTURE. 

(4) Jade’s mass swath of interests isn’t listed right away, which is just as well because her list of interests is an absolute doozy.


The first thing Jade is commanded to do is play a silly flute refrain. It seems obvious that we’d get the instrumental flash out of the way. She’s the silly girl, right? Of course her instrument would be a nice little flute! What could possibly go wrong?

Challenge of the day: find the right combination of keys to play Differences™.


(5) Jade’s musical instrument isn’t quite what we think. She can’t play the flute, as indicated by the cacophony readers are invited to create through keyboard mashing.* Flutes are for chumps anyway. The electric bass is way cooler. It’s even cooler when it plays tunes by the elusive Bill Bolin, whose music was sadly cut from the comic.

* When you press Z, a whole new cacophony is added to the mix. :::;)


Wow, you really suck at this thing! 

Maybe you should try playing an instrument you actually know how to play instead, like the one in your bedroom. 

This passage makes it quite clear that the flute is not Jade’s instrument. Unfortunately, not all readers understood that. There’s some perfectly good fan music that is RUINED because it represents Jade by a flute instead of a bass. You can’t just disregard such important clarification!

Honestly you have no idea where this flute even came from. Things seem to appear and disappear around here all the time. Especially, to your unending chagrin, any sort of large orange gourd that might be lying around. 

I’m obligated to quote the book commentary about the mystery of the flute’s origin:

I guess the implication here is that the flute appearified there from an exile station? But that doesn’t make much sense. We never saw any flutes on those stations. Obscure theory: Alt-universe Jade as an old woman sent this flute to her, because she always regretted not taking up the instrument as a young girl. Whew. Plot hole count: back down to zero.

As I’ve said before, I love when the book commentary gives thrown-together justifications for inconsistencies or explanations for forgotten mysteries. Hussie came up with it on a whim but boy does this theory work well. Alt-universe Jade was always so mysterious, I kind of hope that in future content we learn more about her. Maybe in the epilogues, maybe in book commentary, maybe in Hiveswap stuff?

Another gif created by yours truly.


(6) Jade doesn’t have one fetch modus based on data structures, but twelve different modi based on board games! My brain had told me for the longest time that she had ten modi, but nope, it’s twelve.

Here, we see firsthand why Dave says he gets a migraine whenever Jade talks about her “goofy modusses”. I have no idea how most of these could possibly work! The Boggle modus sounds like an even stupider version of Dave’s hash map, while the very concept of a Monopoly modus gives me PTSD from all the times I tried to play that game. Ouija finds a use when we meet Aradia, giving her character a touch of spooky flair. Memory and Pictionary are the only two modi we see Jade properly use, which I’ll go over in a bit. All the other modi just confuse the shit out of me. Jenga is briefly used in Act 4, proving to be a useless endeavor thanks to Jade’s narcolepsy*; I imagine the other puzzle game modi are all similarly useless.

* Somewhere in the distance, a blue-blooded troll is screaming. She so badly wants me to say her name, haha poor her.


Out of Jade’s twelve modi, Memory is her default. The narration says that she always manages to guess what’s inside on her first try, so it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting sylladex antics yet.

Just as the flute isn’t Jade’s true instrument and Grandpa isn’t her true guardian, I’d argue that Memory isn’t her true modus. Well, it is her true modus as in that’s the one she typically uses, but Jade’s obligatory sylladex antics don’t come in until she switches to the Pictionary modus in Act 4. When we see the Pictionary modus in action, it quickly proves to be a lovely match with her character as well as a good source of humorous moments. I see Pictionary as Jade’s true modus; she uses it during her per-character alchemy binge after all.


Jade is commanded to squeal like a piglet and fertilize her plants, which she predictably…

oh my god this is so much fun


… follows through with, to the letter!!! (7) Jade follows her joke command instead of rejecting it, in a very literal way to boot. “Fertilizing plants” is a rare case where the figurative meaning of something is more disgusting than the literal meaning. Also, let’s not forget about Pig Jade, what a blessing.

The book commentary on this page is one of the funniest things ever. I won’t spoil it.


After the joke command, we learn that Jade has a set of colorful reminders on her fingers. One bit I find interesting is:

[L]ooking at your index finger reminds you that there is something important to remember now! It is your friend John’s birthday. The green string reminds you that John’s birthday package will arrive today. The blue string ALSO reminds you that John’s birthday package will arrive today, though in a way that means something slightly different. 

The narration talks about things in a cryptic way that reminds me of how Jade herself tends to talk to John. It suggests to me that those vague phrasings really are how Jade thinks to herself, not this image she puts up for John. She just isn’t very good at putting up an image, which is why she says things that way. I’ll get back to this point when I write my obligatory paragraph(s) overviewing her character.


As Jade is about to leave this room, the triangle design in the middle will probably catch readers’ eyes. It’s the exact same sort of design that was found all over the place during WV’s arc of Act 2! Readers probably aren’t quite sure what this means yet, but between this triangle design and the spirograph symbol on her shirt, one might piece together a few mysteries behind her character, or maybe even behind her grandfather.

Remember when we caught a glimpse of Jade amidst a x2 PSYCHEOUT COMBO!! near the end of Act 2? In that glimpse, we saw spirograph flowers, which I thought of as an early clue about her grandpa’s involvement in Skaianet and Sburb. The image above is a much stronger clue at this involvement.

Crab Apple. Key Lime. Mandarin Orange. Eureka Lemon.

These four shall be held in reverence for the eternity they serve to cut short.


Before leaving her room, Jade captchalogues some silly little fruits! These fruits just sort of exist and nodody knows why. But somehow, I feel like Homestuck would lose most of its charm if those fruits didn’t exist. I briefly discussed those fruits in this Act 6 Act 3 post, which I wrote quite recently.


Jade transportalizes to her bedroom, accompanied by a brief flash of green. Another moment that may raise a few eyebrows.

The plushes on Jade’s floor come off to me as lighter echos of Rose’s and Dirk’s interests.


Now that Jade is in her room, it’s time to talk about her for real this time. Are you ready for a long wall of text? It’s largely adapted from the old version of this post; no way I’d retype that all from scratch.

So far, Jade’s role in the story is little more than the person who has some kind of future foresight. Of the five conversations up to this point with her in them, the first is just a regular conversation, the second might make you wonder if something’s up with her, and the last three are specifically about her knowledge of the future. While Rose and Dave before their respective introductions were established by their personality traits, Jade was established by that ability. This sets her apart from all other characters; none of the alpha kids, or any of the trolls, have a strange ability define their character before their introduction. And I’m not sure that was the best way to set up her character.

As I’ve said before, Jade in the early acts is hard to call a “character”. In this act’s book commentary, the author jokes about her being a Mary Sue, which I’m guessing is a reflection upon how her character wasn’t handled so well at first.* She seems to know everything and love everything, without ever doing something wrong. Hussie seemed to be aware of this issue and completely fixed it in Act 5 Act 2; after Jade’s dreambot explodes, she becomes one of the most lovable characters in the entire comic. That shift in her character is wondrous and feels completely justified by the story. After Jade wakes up from her Squiddle nightmare, she becomes grouchy and burnt out, then naturally develops into her true character without anything feeling forced. It’s a wonder that Hussie pulled off this change so well; I wish he could have done it that well after the retcon.

This act’s narration establishes Jade as “silly”, which is at best early installment weirdness and at worst blatant lies. Jade isn’t anything like a spaced-out girl who constantly drifts around her weird thoughts and can’t focus on anything serious; such simple archetypes are surprisingly hard to come by in Homestuck.** She is easily the most honest and open of the beta kids. While John, Rose, and Dave are all about denying harsh truths, Jade either accepts the truth with open arms or fights it head-on in the hopes of changing it. She is “silly” in the sense that she has a number of strange interests, but that’s because she was raised on an island in the middle of nowhere by a weird old man. 

It’s a shame that Jade gets so little screen time in Act 6. Throughout the battleship journey, she serves mostly as a straight man to John’s antics, and then as soon as she enters the session she becomes Grimbark Jade, which is actually a really entertaining spin on her character. I like the scenes with her post-retcon self who was put to sleep before any of that could happen, but I don’t like that none of those scenes take place in the waking world. We don’t get to see any of her wondrous dialogue reunions with anyone, not even with John who was killed early in her battleship journey! The story gives her a small speaking moment awake before it does away with dialogue. The epilogues will almost certainly give her more time in the spotlight. Maybe those dialogue reunions I’ve so badly craved could come alongside the second retcon? I can’t say I’m anything other than cautiously hopeful.

* There’s a far better time than now to discuss the other character people accuse of being a Mary Sue. Be patient, OK?

** I bring up archetypes because I realized that my old description of who Jade isn’t turned out to be an accurate description of Yui Hirasawa, a character from an anime that puts simple archetypes to good use. I’d also like to apologize to anyone that expected me to talk about anime that doesn’t involve cute girls singing.

Please take a moment to appreciate Jade’s poster of Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff as furries.

Further evidence that Dave unites the kids through his comics.


In contrast to my four-paragraph essay above, I don’t have much to say about Jade’s list of interests. I think I’ve made the atmosphere these pages give off more than clear enough already.

Jade’s list of interests falls into an odd spot where they aren’t strongly expanded on, but they aren’t notably left in the dust either. A bit of a strange middle ground that would surely be a high ground if she got more screen time outside Act 5 Act 2. Her interests are shown in greater detail when we learn about her rebellious scratched self and in some of the dream bubble scenes everyone forgets about. Though I like those dream bubble scenes with her, Calliope, and later Jane quite a bit, I can’t blame readers for forgetting about them in favor of the frog platform conversations.


I do have quite a bit to say about the narration’s descriptions of Jade’s grandfather, though.


Your worktable is littered with equipment to facilitate your tinkering. For you, experimentation is not a particularly exact science, and you lean heavily on SHARP INTUITION for consistently and eerily optimal results. Nevertheless, you have still not been able to get that broad, flat gizmo there to work, which is a design you have borrowed from one of your GRANDPA’S more mysterious inventions. 

Remember the fenestrated planes from Rose’s grimoire? None of the kids seem to have the faintest clue what these things do, which makes for a little mystery arc. We find out what those walls do when we meet Roxy, who uses them every day to get around; I think what this demonstrates is that she is the resident scientist, who the kids’ adventures on both sides of the scratch wouldn’t be possible without.


You are a great admirer of his, and you are not alone. Your grandfather is a WORLD RENOWNED EXPLORER-NATURALIST-TREASURE HUNTER-ARCHEOLOGIST-SCIENTIST-ADVENTURER-BIG GAME HUNTER-BILLIONAIRE EXTRAORDINAIRE. He has taught you everything you know. 

Jake Harley continues to be one of the most confusing characters in this whole comic. Over time, both in and out of the comic proper, we have gotten a picture of what sorts of adventures he’s gone on. Actually we haven’t gotten a picture at all; we’ve gotten a cryptic scrapbook showing numerous tales that don’t make sense in isolation and make even less sense when put together. Maybe Jade could talk about her grandpa in the epilogues?

But in spite of all his lessons, it is still difficult to escape his stern lectures when you are on the way out of the house to run your errands. He spends most of his time in the GRAND FOYER, stewing in his own intensity and charisma.

Come on Jade, stop lying to us. This guy is dead and you like to pretend he’s alive for some bizarre reason. Jade’s arc of Act 3 is one of the most trollish parts of the whole comic; her narration shamelessly lies to us again and again.


Jade’s strife specibus stands as one of the few patterns she doesn’t break. I guess the author didn’t feel like doing nonsense here.

At this point, I don’t feel like doing much nonsense either. I’m going to skip more pages from here on out. I’ve dilly-dallied way too much in this act so far, so I think it’s time to crank up the speed a bit.


Ah, the pile of plushes. Piles of things exist in Homestuck for some reason, nobody really knows why. This one gets a pretty cute callback in the Ghostbusters MMORPG scene an in-story year later, where Jade sits on a pile of plushes while John sits on a gaming chair. Jade’s early traits aren’t special or interesting now, but somehow put a smile on my face whenever they’re called back to in later acts.

Oh Jade, just wait until you meet your cool and new web comic counterpart.

EPILOGUE EDIT: Pretend I said “your future self” instead.


The narration makes a Freudian slip and mentions “fursuits”, leading to something that has no right to be as funny as it is. The story has to clear up that Jade isn’t that kind of furry, and absolutely not THAT kind of furry. It’s just as funny now as it probably was in 2009, especially to outsiders of the furry fandom. And if you DARE tell me that bronies count as furries by definition, then I will force you to listen to this for 10 hours straight.

Problem Sooth is probably the hardest thing in Homestuck for me to say anything meaningful about. Sorry about that.


The contents of Jade’s magic chest, wait I mean gadget chest, are pretty interesting. First thing I’ll talk about is is the two little cubes on the top right.

There is a COOKALIZER for preparing delicious meals, and a REFRIGERATOR, a name which clearly is a wacky variation on the much more common household item, the REFRIGIFYIFICATOR.

At this point, Hussie seemed to get caught up in the idea that it’s absolutely hilarious to claim that common English words are wacky variations of absurd Hussie-style phrases, which he brings to full light when we get to know the high-blooded trolls. I never understood what’s so funny about that idea, though I guess it goes hand-in-hand with all the amazingly absurd troll terminology he thought up over the years.

The refrigerator’s small size leads us to another pattern broken: (8) Jade’s fridge is small and portable, so it doesn’t have any sort of drawing on it. I’m quite a fan of both the refrigerator and cookalizer’s designs; they give Jade’s home life a uniquely whimsical and futuristic flavor.

On the topic of 8, here’s something cool:

“NOT EXACTLY” is the answer to Jade asking if today is John’s birthday.

I think we all know the deeper significance here.


These things are stupid and useless! 

When the MAGIC 8 BALL isn’t being frustratingly ambiguous, its forecast is always wrong! You have tested it numerous times with certain facts you know to be true. This is its reply when you ask if it is your friend John’s birthday today. See? Stupid! 

You guess maybe it could be used as a reverse-prediction device, and always trust the opposite of what it says. But that seems dumb to you. And anyway, the thing gives you a bad vibe. You might consider smashing it, but you are a little superstitious about whatever ominous consequences that might have, even if the occult talisman in question is a cheap piece of garbage.

GEE, I WONDER WHICH CHARACTER THIS IS FORESHADOWING????????

For some reason, I get a very strong impression that the foreshadowing I’m talking about here is retroactive. Being retroactive fits with the character I’m talking about, considering her meta role in the story.

The paragraph above is terse because it’s the only way I can stop myself from entering an obnoxious positive feedback cycle where I end up writing more and more about that character.



The MAGIC CUE BALL on the other hand is said to make predictions with alarming precision and specificity. Unfortunately it lacks a portal on its surface that allows you to view the prediction. 

Chekhov’s gun, anyone? Unlike with the 8 ball, there is no way I could possibly see the foreshadowing here as retroactive.


After captchaloguing all her items, Jade gives the reader a chance to play Memory! <- blatant lies


Memory is actually a pretty hard game! I really let Jade down here and I feel awful. All I managed to get out of her sylladex were some pointless fruits! <- more blatant lies


Congratulations, you advance your matching skill to the new level: YUKON HERO: LEGACY OF THE FROSTBITE AMPUTEE. 

Jade is beginning to regret breaking the fourth wall for this ill advised escapade.

I find it so goddamn funny that this is the first time the comic outright uses the phrase “breaking the fourth wall”.



If it were known in advance how terrible you were going to be at this matching game, the author may have given second thought to preparing this cool interactive Flash application. 

I don’t know what gave Hussie the idea to make a series of GIFs of the player miserably failing at Memory and pretend it’s a full-fledged interactive game. It’s one of the most stupidly hilarious things to ever exist.


You just deploy the gadgets yourself.

I feel so ripped off it’s unreal. I thought you were cool, Jade.

Jade’s refrigerator runs not through buttons, but through a rotary interface? This design is a strange mix of future and past, which may be an obtuse hint that her grandpa played a part in this technology.

“Cookalizer” sounds suspiciously like the username of someone very handsome…


Meanwhile, the cookalizer shows a rather humorous escalation, much in the same light as how weird each of the four beta kids’ daily lives are. The nuclear explosion represents Jade’s home life well, because all logic we thought we knew is thrown out the window when we meet her (i.e. right now).

After she irradiates the steak, we are treated to Jade’s real instrument flash.


Above is the loading screen for every flash featuring Jade so far, including this one. All of Jade’s prior flashes featured inconsequential antics; this is the first time I’d say it subverts expectations.



While Jade’s fake instrument flash was titled “[S] Jade: Play a silly flute refrain”, her real instrument flash is titled “[S] Jade: Play a hauntingly relaxing bassline”. This difference tells me that Hussie didn’t take Jade’s “silly girl” character to heart; it’s arguably yet another way expectations are subverted. The bassline is hauntingly relaxing, but the old version of this flash scored by Bill Bolin is hauntingly relaxing. All things considered, the new version is a decent replacement and not much is lost. I’m linking the old version here only because the follow-up to this flash originally used a kickass remix of Bolin’s song; easily the biggest loss after his infamous departure from the music team.

As Jade’s haunting bassline grows her plants, we gradually zoom out to this image:


Wham shot, anyone??? This should ring a bell to anyone that’s seen [S] WV: Ascend. It might even invite readers to look back to that flash and start solving mysteries. I love the way that zoom-out is executed, which we get on a much larger scale in this flash’s successor; Jade’s advanced bass solo will be two posts from now.


This island reveal is a fitting time to show us a mysterious blue package, ascending from the sky. It’s not as mysterious as the green package, whose contents we won’t see until Act 4’s WHOPPER ending.


Next up we get to see Jade’s computer! So far it’s simple and nothing out of the ordi—


OH FUCK

This flash is short, but honest to god mind-blowing. It’s probably my favorite subversion of expectations so far in this act. Pattern breaker count: (9) John, Rose, and Dave have regular computers with operating systems that resemble real life ones, but Jade’s has a 3-D holographic interface that looks like it came straight out of a sci-fi movie. I love this design and I especially love that Hussie didn’t just take the easy way out here. He took the time to animate this spectacular gem.


Jade opens Pesterchum Enamel, a piece of AMAZING FUTURISTIC TECHNOLOGY that gives me Back to the Future vibes. Who are these douchebags listed in the Trollslum??? Probably just some nobodies.

All jokes aside, a few troll handles might stick out a bit. Karkat’s handle is the first one listed, and it’s quite clearly a mirror of John’s. One might already speculate that this troll is a Sburb player much like John is. Gamzee’s handle is also of note, because both his and Karkat’s tie into the universe’s cancer and it’s likely that Hussie had planned Gamzee’s ultimate story way in advance too. The trollslum as a whole indicates that by this point, Hussie had a big mental image of the story’s deeper plot and how the kids and trolls tie together. Later in this act we’ll get a well-hidden similar indicator for the alpha kids, which I’ll be sure to discuss when I get there!

Here, we see Jade’s first pesterlog from her perspective, which establishes our timeframe and reminds us how wacky her day-to-day life is. This is followed by an interesting Dave monologue.

Dave likes talking to nobody. He is also apparently a furry or something? Or likes playing along with Jade’s furry stuff. This log hints at a deep friendship between him and Jade, as I discussed in the old version of this post.

Shoutouts to Bowman, I mean Jade, for turning the bland Ohgodwhat into the joyous Ohgodwhat Remix.

The FreshJamz media player tells a similar story. Most of the music sounds endearingly amateurish; Dave and Jade’s collaborations are generally the best ones.

In the old version of this post, I discussed Dave and Jade’s dynamic as something that the story had shafted, especially following the retcon. That bit is outdated now: Dave and Jade’s dynamic has been revisited quite a bit now, and in a rather strange way. The credits and epilogues put them and Karkat together in one of the buddy system groups, with a vaguely described three-way relationship. The system of pairing up characters was always kind of bullshit, but now that we know the kids’ friendships aren’t healthy that way I’m intrigued to see what those three are like now at 23 years old.


Jade reads MSPA and the self-satire is cranked up to a whole new level. Midnight Crew just finished some completely pointless intermission. I think you already know that far in the future, Homestuck ends up exactly like this. I’d be getting way too ahead of myself if I started talking about Homosuck now though; that’s a fair ways from now, even in my classic posts. Though I promise I’ll pick up the pace in those posts once I’ve gone through all the Openbound games.

If you call Hearts Boxcars’ instrument a cello, then basically fuck you. It’s very obviously a double bass.


With this intermission over, we move on to Act 1031 of Midnight Crew! This time around it’s much closer to Homestuck’s Midnight Crew intermission. Given that an intermission in the Midnight Crew adventure, this is quite obviously a teaser at the intermission following this act of Homestuck. Aside from the gray color scheme, its setting is now near identical to that of the intermission; it even features the Felt and the Problem Sleuth cast at the end. The Problem Sleuth cast doesn’t return in the intermission, but the intermission has tons of callbacks to that adventure.

The concept of Jade being a furry but specifically the innocent kind is stupidly funny to me.


Time for a Jade/Dave pesterlog we’ve already read. It’s good to read that conversation again, because it reminds us of the story behind John’s package and the convoluted time loop that follows it, as well as the mysteries behind how Jade knows all this.

Next page is the first one in this act that’s not focused on Jade, so I’ll stop here. This whole post was mostly about Jade, just like the old version.

See you next time as we frantically switch back and forth between a whole bunch of different characters like the Easter Bunny running late for his annual job of delivering candy and eggs to the world’s children, this time during an actually fitting time of year. I wish I could say I had planned my post schedule to make the Easter joke work, but nope, just an incredibly lucky coincidence.

Next => Part 10: Scene Hops and Father Revelations

The Homestuck Epilogues: Initial Thoughts

Happy 10th anniversary to Homestuck (again)!

First things first, the title of this post is a lie. My initial thoughts were as follows:

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

I’m glad I was home alone reading this. I have something of a pattern regarding screaming at media while home alone. I was home alone when I fought Omega Flowey (or is it Photoshop Flowey?) in Undertale, and I screamed all the way through. I was home alone when I played all the way through Doki Doki Literature Club, and again I screamed all the way through. And I am so goddamn lucky that I was home alone when the beginning of the Homestuck epilogue went up. In the last few minutes leading up to 1:00 PM EST (EDT? fuck if I know), I listened to Sburban Jungle at full blast, so that near the end of the song the epilogue would go up. And that was when I started screaming.

My thoughts about the epilogue so far after all the screaming though… oh boy. Oh boy.

Wait fuck, I keep forgetting. It’s not the epilogue. It’s the epilogues, plural. Calling it “epilogues” instead of “epilogue” will take some getting used to.

The Initial Presentation

Anyway when I first read the epilogues, things went off to a strong start. Late Homestuck had a pattern of telling the story through various forms of social media. In chronological order, we had Tumblr, DeviantArt, Vine, Instagram, and Snapchat. Listing those websites in order really makes it all sound stupid, but don’t be misled: I actually like the whole concept of storytelling through social media, and I feel it matches perfectly with the way Homestuck experiments with pretty much anything. It’s just that the content in those is a bit questionable.

Why do I mention all this social media? Well, in the days leading up to 4/13 I started to wonder if the epilogue would continue this pattern of parodying social media. And today I was not disappointed. They chose to parody Archive of Our Own, better known as AO3. A very good and surprising choice if I say so myself; it made me scream even harder than before.

A Second Retcon?

So what about the plot stuff in the epilogue? (I can call it the epilogue for now; what we got today was probably just one of “the epilogues”.) It’s pretty cool I’d say. I’m incredibly intrigued by a possibility of a second retcon, this time one that maybe isn’t centered around Vriska. I was actually super intrigued by that idea during the Masterpause and Omegapause, but once Act 7 happened it kind of fell off my hopes, especially considering that retcon powers were used again by John to tie into Caliborn’s Masterpiece.

Most readers saw the tie into the Masterpiece coming for quite some time now. But I did not expect the twist that John would bring in younger versions of the kids, before they started gradually disconnecting from canon. On the topic of “canon”, I really love the way Rose breaks the fourth wall.* It fits her character perfectly, all the way back to her very first pesterlog. And on the topic of the second retcon, I now remember how invigorated I was back then by the concept of John having another retcon arc. Follow-ups to things can be super fun if done right—I feel like any media can get a good follow-up if done right. I mean, look at Deltarune. Nobody thought that Undertale would ever get a real sequel, but now it has one and it’s absolutely a follow-up done right! John’s retcon is no exception either. I could easily see him doing a retcon arc that’s an absolute blast to follow, especially if it’s gone about way differently from the first retcon arc.

* Which fourth wall, you ask? I don’t know, any fourth wall. I’m too HYPED to even consider dwelling on such minutia.

THE BUDDY SYSTEM
———————–
IS GONE!!!

OK, this header’s title is also a lie. The buddy system, if you didn’t know, is the term I use to refer to the pattern after the retcon where characters would be split up into pairs and it’s all natural and healthy—first in Vriskagram, then in the credits. I’ve always HATED that pattern and it’s always felt so fake and plastic.

What is “GONE!!!” here is not the buddy system itself, but the pretense that the buddy system is even remotely healthy or good for our heroes. Their dynamics are clearly not healthy; the story shows that any pair of characters that the buddy system didn’t group up displays a swath of loneliness and depression, heavily suggesting that the character relationships through the buddy system are NOT good.

I’ll rip the bandage off your hairy legs and speak the truth: John and Roxy did NOT get together after they entered Earth C. John hid that thought from himself for years, it seems; denying sad thoughts is another pattern in John’s character that I’m glad to see continued here. When he thinks about it again on his 23rd birthday, remembering their happy and wondrous flirting back then, he gets depressed; it’s not out of the question that Roxy has similar feelings.

Maybe the second retcon could fix the kids’ dynamics for real this time???? As in make them ALL good friends with EACH OTHER, with maybe some healthy canon ships sprinkled in. Rose/Kanaya isn’t going anywhere, I can say that much. John/Roxy on the other hand absolutely is going somewhere. Where it’s going, I can’t say yet; it just somewhere instead of nowhere. Or at least their arc will get REAL CLOSURE THAT I’VE BEEN WAITING ON FOR YEARS. I’m thankful that the ships that I tend to complain about are left vague and ambiguous for now. The bottom line is, the characters’ dynamics are NOT good and I’m very glad that they’re NOT good. It shows that things aren’t quite perfect and happy and John might get the chance to change things more.

Concluding Thoughts

I am SO

FUCKING

HYPED

to read the further Homestuck material! For at least the next week, if not more. I don’t know if I’ll make a new post every time there’s an epilogue update. All I can say for now is, uh…

OK I don’t have anything else to say so I’ll promote something else I made instead.

Did you read the other thing I released today yet? Go check if out if you want. It’s a more polished version of my rewritten posts about Act 1 and Act 2, hosted on Google Sites. Click this link to read it!

4/13 project is here!

https://sites.google.com/site/homestuckcommentaryabridged/

^ My 4/13 project is finally out! It’s refined, polished commentary on the first two acts of Homestuck in a website that should be much easier to navigate for this kind of stuff than Blogger is.

I can’t even begin to process that real content is going to come out today. Or that Homestuck began ten years ago today. 

EDIT ~10 AM EST: Epilogues, plural? I have only two words to say:

oh fuck

One day left… (an analysis of vfromhomestuck’s tweets)

Weekly Friday posts are still a thing, probably. My 4/13 project is basically done, aside from the video trailer and some finishing touches. I’m super excited to release it to the world!!!!!

In the countdown to 4/13/2019, the tenth anniversary of Homestuck, a mysterious figure known as “vfromhomestuck”, who took part in the Hiveswap Friendsim and probably its most controversial installment, has been posting a lot about Homestuck on Twitter. Normally the words “Homestuck” and “Twitter” will make me rage if seen together, but this case is way different. V isn’t just doing your usual obnoxious shitposts or fantroll memes. She speaks intelligently about Homestuck and Hiveswap and seems to be a bit reserved about discussing its controversial aspects. V recognizes the dislike fans have for parts of the comic and tends to question their reasoning and motives, or how much they really know at all. The strangest part is that nobody knows who V is outside of her involvement in Homestuck and Hiveswap. It feels strange that she is currently taking the reins of hyping Homestuck material, but it’s also a welcome change of pace from getting info out of Hussie’s more shitposty friends (looking at you, James Roach).

For the past two weeks, V has been hyping up something that must be HUGE, which most people assume is the epilogue. She has posted some mysterious and vague lines that give me a strange form of hope I don’t know if I’ve ever felt before. I’ll go over those tweets in chronological order.

March 13: “homestuck”

This is where the timeline begins; the first thing V tweeted (not replying to others) after over two months of silence. Seeing the word “homestuck” (lowercase is important!) makes me groan in numerous contexts, but perhaps the biggest offender is just seeing it on its own. I can’t place why that is and this annoyance probably makes me sound like an idiot.

At this point in time, I was burnt out on seeing Hussie’s friends or whatever tweet about his comic, rather than the big man himself. But soon after, my views on this mysterious V person would flip on their head.

March 29: Curious Cat AMA

About two weeks ago, V did an AMA on Curious Cat which I went over in this post. All the most important stuff has been gone over in this Reddit thread, so no need to rehash it again. Overall, this AMA made me very intrigued by V, especially compared to the others that would sometimes disclose Homestuck info.

April 7: “Are you guys ready for the most important and earth shattering artistic comeback the world has ever known”

My best guess is that this tweet teases something involving Caliborn. What else could it possibly be? Late Homestuck’s art is rather infamous for being “fast and loose”, as the author had warned us; either that, or fanart compiled into flashes and visual montages, which is also a bit polarizing. I can’t read that tweet as just Hussie making good art again like many readers so desperately crave; I am almost certain that it’s in some way related to Caliborn, which would be awesome because he is the best character in Homestuck.

April 10: “It’s almost here”

I can analyze this tweet in just two words. Here goes:

oh fuck

April 10: “clear your whole week”

This tweet strangely made me happy to read. One of my worries about what’s coming 4/13 was that we’d get a massive dump of stuff all at once, instead of more spread out content like Homestuck had always done. With this tweet, we can tell that it’ll likely be spread out content, with probably BIG but not HUGE content on the exact day and the rest spread across a week or more.

The main reason I hope what comes out on 4/13 isn’t too big is because lots of fanworks are planned for that day and I want them to shine just as much as official material does. Many people, I can tell, have planned large-scale projects of their own to release that day; I most certainly have.

Also worth noting: if this content is enough to get readers hyped and invested for a whole week, then that means I might put my blog posts on a hiatus of sorts again. I can easily see myself next week too busy reading and talking about the new material to work on my next Homestuck posts, but we’ll see what happens.

April 11: “I hope you guys have been rereading Homestuck”

This tweet is easily the most enticing so far! Despite my usual refusal to involve myself in Homestuck Twitter, I immediately retweeted the hell out of it.

One of the prime aspects of my philosophy on Homestuck is that you can’t fully experience it unless you’ve reread it over and over. I most certainly have been rereading Homestuck the past several months, in a somewhat anachronic order, so I’m glad to read that tweet. The /r/homestuck community reread helps matters too, by encouraging many to reread the comic leading up to its anniversary.

I interpret the tweet about rereading Homestuck to mean that the new material we’re getting may be a return to form for the comic; a return to crazy plot threads and astounding revelations, just like the first five acts of Homestuck and early Act 6. V seems to be telling us that if you haven’t reread Homestuck recently, you probably won’t fully understand the upcoming material. What crazy stuff could this material call back to or get answers on??? By calling back I don’t mean those forced callbacks that are thrown in for no real reason; rather, real parallels or revisitations of prior scenes that tell us something new through calling back. And don’t even get me started on all the things fans have badly wanted answers on. Basically everything that happened in Act 7, for one. Or what happened after Caliborn’s Masterpiece. Maybe even a broader cosmic justification for the retcon, or perhaps a return of the pre-retcon characters? The possibilities are endless, I’ve barely scratched the surface.

I am experiencing the strangest form of hype imaginable, but I’m going to go try and keep my calm until the clock strikes.

Announcement about plans leading to (and after) 4/13

As I said in this schedule post (for now, still my dumping ground for small announcements), I’m currently sticking to a schedule of new Homestuck blog posts (usually) every Friday morning. But today I don’t have a Homestuck blog post in store, so I’m going to write an announcement post instead, slightly longer than the random updates I’ve added to that schedule post.

Classic Posts

Homestuck post 85 is currently planned for 4/19. I wanted to get Act 6 Act 3 done before 4/13, but I’m not sure if that’s possible. Over the next week I’ll focus more on my 4/13 project, watch a certain anime, and maybe make some videos if I’m feeling up to it such as the Futurama 20th anniversary tribute that I badly need to finish. Probably no more numbered Homestuck posts before the comic’s tenth anniversary.

I have fully planned out how to divide the acts up to Act 6 Act 5, but I don’t feel like posting that plan here; it’s not really all that interesting. Post 100 will be some point early in Act 6 Intermission 5.

Please note that all my plans are subject to change! Even though that’s probably obvious if you follow this blog, I feel obligated to restate it anyway.

Rewritten Posts

I have some rough plans for the next few acts of my rewritten posts. I’ll start Act 3 right after I release post 85. Intermission posts I already did, so I will do a recap post for those, then go on to Act 4.

I will not start my Act 4 posts until I have a physical copy of the Act 4 book. This is because the book commentary there gets very long at parts and is inconvenient to read with Homestuck Companion; I can tell that it’s far better read in book form. That’ll be a good way for me to experience the Homestuck books firsthand.

Act 5 Act 1 (the trolls’ arc) is the opposite case. In those rewritten posts, I will have a policy of not consulting the book commentary. The main reason for this is because the trolls’ arc is one of the acts I forget the most about, so I think rereading it will be interesting enough without Hussie’s commentary alongside it. I want to make my own judgments about that act’s characters and pacing as I go along; I don’t need Hussie telling me that Nepeta is a prototype for Calliope or whatever.* Maybe in the future I’ll make versions of my Act 5 Act 1 posts where I consult book commentary, but in this rewrite project I think I’ll do without it. Also worth noting that the next Homestuck book after Act 5 Act 1 won’t be released until September.

* Though I am eager to see if I end up agreeing with that idea.

My rewritten posts are really only mapped out up to Act 5 Act 1. After that point, my plans are nothing more than “we’ll see what happens”, especially considering what I have planned for my 4/13 project.

Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 84: Cherubic Gloats and Confused Glances

Introduction / Schedule <- important news, probably!

Part 83 | Part 84 | Part 85 >


Act 6 Act 3, Part 10 of 11

Pages 5137-5237 (MSPA: 7037-7137)

But no coconut guns, sadly.

If there were any, you’d better believe they can fire in spurts.



Lucky coincidence: today is the first anniversary of Homestuck’s migration from MSPA to homestuck.com!

I made this GIF myself, please appreciate it.

Why didn’t I think of making my own GIFs for these posts sooner? There’s plenty of sort non-[S] Flash pages I could have done that with.


Once again, last post ended with Calliope and this post starts with Caliborn. This selection screen gives us teasers of what he looks like. It leaves out just enough not to outright confirm that he is Lord English.

undyingUmbrage [uu] began jeering uranianUmbra [UU] 
uu: HEY. 
uu: I WOuLD LIKE TO PLAY A GAME. 
uu: IT’S CALLED “BOND WITH AN IDIOT SISTER OVER SOME BuLLSHIT SHARED INTERESTS BEFORE SHE DIES FOREVER.” 
uu: DOES THAT SOuND FuN. 
uu: HERE’S A GOOD PART OF THE STORY I THINK. 
uu: YOu MuST KNOW THE ONE I MEAN. 
uu: LET’S TALK ABOuT IT TOGETHER. 
uu: SHARE SOME THEORIES. 
uu: DO SOME FAN GIRLING. 
uu: PRODuCE SOME. 
uu: “FAN ART.” 


We got more than enough story told through Calliope speculating already, so it’s only fair that now we get a big dump of Caliborn’s speculation. Both cherubs’ speculation is surprisingly reliable and accurate; you’ll never fully understand how much those two have in common unless you dig deep into the stuff they say. Or if you have a realization that you were in denial about being a fan of something. I mean, purely hypothetically of course. It’s not like I was ever in denial about liking something people like to trash on, haha what are you talking about!!!!!

(I was in denial about liking something people like to trash on. Let’s not dwell on it, OK?)

Homestuck avoids face-to-face dialogue in all the best ways possible.


Dialogue conveyed through visuals in speech bubbles isn’t done enough in Homestuck; that storytelling has an odd sort of charm to it. It showed up quite a bit in the Doc Scratch intermission with Jack Noir and the Droll and makes a return here when Caliborn takes the reins.

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5’s fake selection screens bring back these silly speech and thought bubbles (example 1example 2). It’s one of those things I actually like about that clusterfuck of an act and I’m glad they made a return. 

uu: LOOK AT THIS IDIOT WOMAN. 
uu: NOT DOING WHAT THIS BRAVE AND INTELLIGENT MALE IS SAYING. 
uu: YOu JuST KNOW HER FOOLISHNESS WILL BE PuNISHED. 
uu: AND RIGHTLY SO. 


As we see here, Caliborn’s speculation is surprisingly reliable and accurate just like Calliope’s is. Jane’s thought bubbles show us that she is highly distracted by her feelings for Jake; too distracted to follow directions.

I think this act’s pattern of making the alpha kids’ crushes on each other mostly background noise has worked well. It feels quite a bit more like prior acts, considering the romance feelings the trolls harbor for the kids and for each other; those feelings weren’t enunciated much, but did play a sizable role in the plot. The occasional romance moments through this act weren’t common, and when they did happen they served as good gags or subtle moments of emotion. And I don’t mean EMOTION, I just mean emotion.

uu: BOO. YEAH.


Oh fuck, this just happened. Its been too long since we last saw a character just straight up fucking die.


Let’s talk about Jane’s death. This panel, where we see her body on the ground covered in blood, is a crazy unsettling sight. Normally characters don’t start dying until they start alchemizing new outfits. Everything about this panel is a great way to show how much the stakes have gone up. Derse’s grounds are shaking and cracking apart, with one kid’s alert dream self next to another’s waking self’s corpse. And with a bunny robot joining in no less.

This is a level of chaos the beta kids’ session wouldn’t have dared to touch at least until the omnipotent dog came into play. It makes sense that things go this bad in the alpha session so early, because Jack was broken free from the Queen’s rules before the story started. I discuss that point more in this mini-post, under the header “THE FOREBODING DREAM”.

… Oh my god why am I rambling so much. There really is no hope left for me.

It’s easy to forget that the Dignitary is just as scary as Noir.
I’m going to regret writing all these paragraphs.


Then one of Derse’s towers collapses, blocking off the transportalizer and ruining hope further. Another thing that we haven’t seen happen much prior.


This genuinely sad death is interrupted with a funny moment: Caliborn bangs on the screen, complaining about the viewport’s sudden blackout. We can tell he’s super invested in the kids’ story, just in a twisted-up way, because he is happy when the story starts actually being good and upset when the good part suddenly is cut short.

Calliope probably didn’t know about the kids dying aside from the blackout, because she is a goody two shoes and doesn’t spoil herself on anything about her favorite characters. She might have outright stated that before, I can’t remember. But I’m too lazy to check if she did.


No longer able to view the alpha kids’ story, Caliborn takes matters into his own hands. His art needs no commentary; just sit down and appreciate it.

uu: WILL YOu GET A MAMMOTH LOAD OF THIS CLuELESS DuMBFuCK. 
uu: HE ACTuALLY “CARES” ABOuT STuFF. AND LIKE. WEIRDLY uRINATES THROuGH HIS EYE HOLES. WHAT A JOKE. 

Urinating through eye holes sounds like something a troll would have said in the early acts. As far as Caliborn is concerned, crying and peeing are the same thing.

uu: I REALLY HATE HIM. 
uu: WHY ALL THE BITCHES. 
uu: FLuSH OVER THIS MuMBLING. SOCIALLY STuNTED IMBECILE. I WILL NEVER KNOW. 
uu: TALK ABOuT THICK HEADED. 


CALIBORN IS SMART!!!!!

I firmly believe that if you see any bit of Caliborn in yourself, then you have won the game of Homestuck and are allowed to call yourself a TRUE fan of it. Caliborn secretly has a strong understanding of the alpha kids’ story and what all sucks about it.

uu: HIS SKuLL. 
uu: IS ALMOST AS THICK AS MINE. 
uu: t~mut


Dirk’s splinters (this includes his robots) have a tendency to bail people out of bad situations in the nick of time; this is the first time we see Lil’ Seb do that and it’s shocking as ever. Sebastian is normally just a little mischievous bunny, but here we’re about to see how tough he really is. Dirk’s splinters all have overarching themes and patterns which tend to haunt the “main” Dirk.


It’s a fact of life that Dirk gets incredibly carried away with his projects. All of his creations have a bit more to them than meets the eye; many of his robots are secretly INCREDIBLY good fighters. This is a good thing here because the little guy ends up saving Jake’s life.


This bit is accompanied by a tiny “THIS IS STUPID”. A nicely executed callback that’s nothing more than a hidden funny moment. Small text like this indicates that the callback isn’t meant to be taken seriously.


Jake’s island is on fire now! This is such a cool panel I don’t know what to say. I like how although the alpha kids don’t have meteors approaching their homes, other factors abound create something just as threatening.


During his flight, Jake encounters a dragon in the sky. But it might not be immediately clear to readers who this dragon is …


… so a callback to a memorable troll flash makes it clear. We can now tell that this dragon is an echo of Redglare’s lusus, Pyralspite.


The “glaresplode” makes the dragon’s identity even clearer. This dragon and the dragon from ancient troll times have something in common: they both let out a blinding glare that impacts the plot in a convoluted way.


Lil’ Seb sinks in the ocean, to resurface millennia later as Caliborn’s little helper. I don’t know if that thing did anything specific to help Caliborn succeed in his session, but I wouldn’t doubt that he proved to be of use.


As Jake falls down towards the remains of his old house, the skulltop makes a return and should now be more familiar than ever. Good way to both hint that Caliborn is Lord English and demonstrate that Jake learned some very wise tips from old Jade. Carrying less than five computers at any given moment is a very inadvisable thing to do and I’m glad Jake learned the same.

uu: LOOK AT THIS. 
uu: FuCKING SHAMELESS. 
uu: EITHER HE IS LIKE. 
uu: MY PERSONAL ONE MAN FANDOM. 
uu: KIND OF LIKE. A HYPOTHETICAL SuRROGATE FOR ALL MY POTENTIAL ADMIRERS. 
uu: OR. 
uu: HE IS A WORTHLESS HACK. 

uu: HE MAKES NO BONES ABOuT GANKING MY LOOK. 
uu: IT’S PATHETIC. 
uu: YOu DON’T JuST GO AND JACK A MAN’S SWAGGER. 
uu: THAT’S THE CARDINAL FuCKING RuLE OF BROS. RIGHT? 

uu: PROBABLY SOME DAY. 
uu: I’LL TEACH HIM A LESSON FOR THAT. 

THE FORESHADOWING.

I continue to be amazed at much the events of Caliborn’s Masterpiece are foreshadowed; evidence that Hussie planned out those events for a long time. There always seems to be some hints out there that I hadn’t caught prior and this is one of them. This page in the Masterpiece echoes the passage shown above.

It’s always the same goddamn stock image.
Caliborn’s drawing of Jake jacking his swagger actually almost looks like a real person.


If Caliborn was a better artist, his drawing would clearly resemble Lord English. And that would be no good, spoiling twists like that! You have to feed readers breadcrumbs instead. If you spoil too much, they will urinate from their eyes.


Caliborn poking at Roxy is exactly what one would expect. Hussie is well aware that Roxy is everyone’s #1 waifu. There’s no reason for me to pretend I don’t think she’s super fucking cute, it’s a fact of life.

uu: CHECK OuT THIS TOP SHELF HO. 
uu: DON’T YOu LIKE HER THE MOST? 
uu: YOu *WISH*. THAT YOu COuLD BE SO EASY ON THE EYES. 
uu: IT’S TOO BAD YOu WILL DIE HIDEOuS! 
uu: AND YET YOu WILL LEAVE BEHIND. A TRuLY BREATH TAKING CORPSE. 

uu: BuT I THINK. 
uu: THIS DELuXE BITCH HAS GOTTEN A BIT CARRIED AWAY HERE. 
uu: ALL THINKING SHE CAN. DO HEROIC STuFF. AND “SAVE LIVES”. uGH. 
uu: BuT THE ROXY HuMAN HAS MISCALCuLATED. 


Top shelf ho? Deluxe bitch?

Caliborn represents the wokest of the Homestuck fans. They love the comic so much that they try to pretend they hate it! He thinks the girl characters are attractive and is physically incapable of hiding that.

Here’s a tangent on Caliborn in general, not necessarily just him thinking Roxy is hot. When I say Caliborn is the best character, I no longer just mean that he’s absolutely hilarious. This character helped me realize stuff about myself that I never knew prior; the same revelations that made me write this mini-post. To put in terms of memes:

broke: “Calliope made me rethink my life and realize important things about myself”

woke: “Caliborn made me rethink my life and realize important things about myself”

I don’t mean to demean anyone that identifies with Calliope or finds her story arc to be enthralling. That’s perfectly fine and I’m glad that finding a character to connect with improved their lives! I just really want to hammer in that Caliborn doesn’t just represent people who hate Homestuck, but represents people who love Homestuck so much that they hate it.


uu: THIS RIDICuLOuS FEMALE HAS FAILED TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION. 
uu: THAT. 
uu: YOu CAN’T………… 

uu: ESCAPE. 
uu: THE MIIIIIIIIIIILES! 
uu: AAAAAAAAAAAH HAA HAA HAA HEE HEE. 
uu: “YOu CAN’T ESCAPE THE MILES” IS TOTALLY GOING TO BECOME A THING, CAL! 
uu: THERE’S NOTHING YOu CAN DO ABOuT IT. BECAuSE YOu’LL BE DEAD! 
uu: HOOOOOOOOOOO HOO HOO HOO HAA HAA! 


I find it slightly adorable that Caliborn tries so hard to force a running gag, namely “you can’t escape the miles”. He complains about phrases and patterns people say over and over, but won’t shut up about having come up with that mildly catchy phrase; it seems like he’s genuinely proud of devising it. Just because Caliborn is a representation of Homestuck’s very most devoted fans doesn’t mean he isn’t still naive about some things.


uu: HAA HAA HEE HEE HAA HOO WAIT. FuCK. 
uu: FuCKING TERMINAL. WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN WITH THIS BITCH AGAIN? 
uu: YOu SAID SOMETHING ABOuT THAT ONCE I THINK. BuT IT WAS BORING. 
uu: GOD DAMN IT. JuST SHOW ME THE MONEY SHOT YOu PIECE OF SHIT! 


This is another passage with multiple implications. Caliborn does pay some amount of attention to his sister’s stories and isn’t bad at gathering implications from them. But he could not care less about the classpect system.

On this topic, here’s something recent I want to talk about. In the countdown to 4/13, you may have heard of someone named “vfromhomestuck”, or “V” for short. V is a mysterious individual who played a part in the Hiveswap Friendsim and wrote one of its most polarizing installments, and even did an AMA of sorts on Curious Cat a few days ago. Though most of the answers to questions were vague or non-answers, V did express a strong lack of interest in the classpect system, which I found funny. It was just one of many times where V questioned the typical thoughts and mindsets of Homestuck fans. I’ve complained before about how Hussie’s cronies are at times the “face of Homestuck” which feels infuriatingly fake, but this time I am genuinely interested in what content V has to offer.

Side note: My favorite parts of the AMA were the parts where V questioned readers’ suspicions that the parts of Homestuck they didn’t like were ghostwritten. I’ll quote those directly:

(1) I don’t know why you guys are so obsessed with the idea that Andrew could never make anything that sucks

(2) Why is the answer to “there’s something in Homestuck I didn’t like” always “a ludicrous conspiracy made it this way”

I think these answers raise an important point about the pedestal readers put Hussie on. Homestuck tends to attract, or maybe create, readers who think their opinions are objectively true and everyone who disagrees is a dumbass. I don’t know why things turned out like that, and while it’s usually hilarious to see fans act this way, V’s response to those questions puts things in a whole new light.


Roxy’s screen shuts off, but we see the outcome of that event anyway; Caliborn says that Roxy was obviously going to die, because you can’t…







… reasonably expect someone to survive the super deadly red shit under such conditions as this. Thank god he’s smart.


Roxy’s corpse in the middle of her room is just as upsetting to see as Jane’s. The girl everyone loves is now dead on the floor. Here is Caliborn’s reconstruction of that scene:


You can just barely tell from Caliborn’s rendition of Roxy that he thinks she is attractive.


uu: OK. 
uu: SAY WHAT YOu WILL. 
uu: ABOuT THE BITCHES. 
uu: AND THE BRAIN DAMAGED JACKASS IN SHORTS. 
uu: BuT. THE DIRK HuMAN IS A PRETTY COOL GuY. 
uu: HE GETS THINGS DONE. 
uu: AND ISN’T AFRAID TO FuCK SOME SHIT uP. 
uu: LIKE. HE ACTuALLY LISTENS. 
uu: TO STuFF THAT’S IMPORTANT FOR A DuDE TO GET OFF HIS CHEST. 
uu: YOu KNOW. HE *GETS* EXACTLY THAT WHICH THE BITCHES CAN NEVER uNDERSTAND. 
uu: I GuESS WHAT I MEAN IS. HE REALLY KNOWS WHAT IT MEANS. 
uu: TO TRuLY BE A BRO. 


Ah, here is Caliborn praising Dirk. The Homestuck fans Caliborn represents follow many patterns. One of those patterns goes as follows: those people despise many of the comic’s characters, but always seem to have a certain character they love everything about. Well, two characters they love everything about, because if you don’t love Caliborn then you don’t love Homestuck. Dirk is the character Caliborn loves everything about.

If there’s a character other than Caliborn that I “love everything about”, it would be John. I maintain that throughout the comic, he is a great character with great development.


uu: OH FuCK. 
uu: WAS I JuST “FAN GIRLING” TOO HARD THERE? 

uu: GIVE ME A FuCKING BREAK. 
uu: I AM NEW TO THIS. 
uu: GuSHING OVER THIS POINTLESS CLAPTRAP. 
uu: I AM REACHING OuT TO YOu CAL. 
uu: WE HAVE TO SAVOR. 
uu: THESE PRECIOuS FEW MOMENTS WE HAVE LEFT TOGETHER! 
uu: HEE HEE. 


After realizing that he is fanboying over Dirk (boys are just as capable of obsessing over media as girls are), Caliborn backtracks and claims it’s just to make fun of his sister more. I’ve said before that Caliborn being a “fan in denial” can also represent fans of media other than Homestuck, especially those who claim that said media has only one good character.


Debris falls on Dirk and Caliborn claims that he’d still love to watch Dirk die. Fan in denial, anyone?


You know the pattern now. Dirk’s screen shuts down, he is knocked out, and Caliborn draws his interpretation this scene. Note that he extrapolates Roxy’s death from Jane’s death and Dirk’s knocking out from Jake’s knocking out. Caliborn’s speculation seems to be derived from his misogynistic distinction between male and female characters and it works in his favor; his drawings are let’s say interesting, but accurate, renditions of what happened to Roxy and Dirk.

Also note that the Prospit dreamers’ drawings are on a white background and the Derse dreamers’ on a black background with the phrase “ARTIST’S RENDITION”. I never realized that until now!


Meanwhile in the waking world, Dirk is also knocked unconscious.

uu: I TOLD HIM! 
uu: WHAT DID I TELL HIM??????????? 
uu: THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE! 

uu: THERE CAN ONLY. 
uu: EVER. 
uu: **********EVER.*********** 
uu: BE ONE. 

Here’s where Caliborn shoves in our faces another mildly catchy phrase he came up with, because “you can’t escape the miles” wasn’t enough. Does “there can only be one” actually count as a running gag (or a failed attempt at one) in any capacity? It sounds like one and that’s good enough for me.


And with that, Lil’ Cal sinks into the ocean. I would say “good riddance”, but this is not good riddance at all. The puppet is harmless and empty; if the puppet hadn’t later fallen into Caliborn’s hands it would have stayed that way.


Dirk is knocked out, Squarewave and Sawtooth are confused, and Caliborn accompanies the scene with increasingly drawn-out “HAA. HAA. HEE. HEE. HOO. HOO”s. You can tell what Caliborn’s laugh (and also the time he referred to his sister as “Cal”) is supposed to hint at if you think back to the laugh Lil’ Cal made when he was a sprite.


Caliborn draws Dirk knocked out again, this time still visible through the terminal.

I think I just had a revelation!!!!!!!!! Please hold with me:

I never was quite sure whether only waking Dirk could be seen through the cherubs’ waking viewport, or if dreaming Dirk also could be seen. I think I know what to take from this scene.

The cherubs can only directly view waking Dirk. They can view dreaming Dirk if another kid is near him, as was the case with Jane and Jake. But since Jane’s screen shut off before Dirk’s did, Caliborn doesn’t get to see dreaming Dirk get knocked out, only waking Dirk.


With the selection screen finished, the next order of business is the alpha kids’ lights on Jane’s planet. All three shut off, but Dirk’s is still faintly glowing.

With both waking and dream Dirk knocked out, something really strange happens. Dream Dirk himself dreams, leading to the first ever dream self’s dream self.


And that dream self’s dream self comes into being through Brain Ghost Dirk, somehow? This mechanic is never really explained, but it provides a convenient way for dream dream Dirk to enter a scene that isn’t the middle of nowhere.

Brain Ghost Dirk is played for laughs more than anything; his mechanics make absolutely no sense and he would rather screw with Jake’s head than explain those mechanics. Dream rules in Homestuck never made much sense, but the brain ghost cranks it into a whole new level.

DIRK: What just happened? 
TEREZI: B34TS M3 
DIRK: Ok you really need to step off, troll girl. 
TEREZI: NO TH1S 1S F1N3 
TEREZI: 3V3RYTH1NGS F1N3 
DIRK: Holy shit you are loud when you’re not whispering. 
TEREZI: *SN1111111F* 
DIRK: Does this mean you can see me now? 
TEREZI: NO 

TEREZI: BUT TH3Y C4N 

Oh my god this panel. Two members of each of the two groups of kids, all standing together. This page seems like setup for some crazy mega conversation between all those characters, right? Such a conversation would be absolute hilarity!!!!

This is one of the best panels in all of Homestuck.


DIRK: Alright. 
DIRK: Uh. 
DIRK: Hey everyone. 

DIRK: So… 
DIRK: Here’s the thing. 
DIRK: I have to go. 
DIRK: Like, right now. 

DIRK: All of my friends are either dead, or lying on the ground unconscious, including me. 
DIRK: So I have to try to wake up and fix everything. 


And it is absolute hilarity, but in a way different way from what one might expect. We got a giant log of hilarity between all of those characters not long ago, so this time it makes sense that everyone just stands there confused while Dirk gives everyone vague words. It’s arguably even more hilarious than the giant log.


DIRK: Sorry I can’t hang around your bubble and shoot the breeze for a while. 
DIRK: It’s not like I don’t want to. 
DIRK: I guess I have to be this huge fucking wet blanket as usual because there’s stuff that needs doin’. 


The regular Dirk handles this situation way differently from how his splinters would. All the other Dirks would be complete smartasses here, but the real Dirk shows that he actually wants the best for everyone and isn’t anywhere near as malicious as one would think from his other selves. Dirk’s clutch is that he creates a lot of malicious or just plain strange beings, due to having such a vivid mind.


DIRK: Also I’m just gonna steal her if you don’t mind. 
DIRK: She needs to come home. 

This brief moment of holding hands is awkward and vaguely heartwarming. Dirk wants the best for Roxy but struggles with conveying it in the right way.


DIRK: Tell the aquatic punk girl my idiot bro is sorry for beating the shit out of her. 
DIRK: Ha ha, who am I kidding. 
DIRK: She stone cold does not give a fuck. 


Does the real Dirk know of Brain Ghost Dirk? If so, is it directly or indirectly? I think this whole scene is the only time something like that is even slightly hinted at; I’m almost certain Dirk doesn’t reference his brain ghost self anywhere else. Brain Ghost Dirk was witness to Meenah’s cold beating and that’s a likely reason why Dirk knows Jake beat her up. Dirk may be a psychoanalyst on par with Rose, but I can’t see him just being able to figure out something like that.


DIRK: So, yeah. 
DIRK: See you later. 

This was such a “Dirk” scene I don’t even know what to say. The stock flying animation shows up yet again for no particular reason. Probably because Hussie isn’t good at showing characters flying other than through this animation.


When Dave makes a confused or disgruntled face, you know he just got CRAZY shocked. This face speaks so much more than any measly words could.

Teen Bro was probably the last thing Dave expected to see in this bubble. He’s gone long enough without being raised by Dirk that seeing the guy again doing anything that even slightly reminds him of his guardian absolutely throws him off. 

Switching scenes, Calliope takes off her shoes and her feet might catch readers’ eyes, especially if they think back to Lord English. Her feet are followed by something much more surprising:


Calliope revealing Caliborn’s shirt underneath her jacket is a crazy image to see. It’s a good way to visually demonstrate that cherubs share a body without showing us Caliborn in full.


And then she goes to sleep. Subtle teaser for Caliborn’s grand reveal.

Switching back to Dirk, it’s time for him to exploit game mechanics typical of the Strilondes, which is a term for the human Derse dreamers that I somehow haven’t used in this blog until now.

You know the time in Openbound where Karkat’s dream phantom asked Dave to touch him?

Knowing this scene, my guess is that Dave would be able to touch Karkat just fine.

I guess it’s not like the episode of Regular Show where ghosts can pass through real objects, but not through each other.


Dirk knows his way around the Furthest Ring plenty already, through all the times he’s kept an eye on Roxy sleepwalking through those bubbles. As a dream self’s dream self who is through some mysterious means connected to Brain Ghost Dirk, he must test out the bubble first before he can take Roxy. He sees if it’s possible for him to leave the bubble; it looks like he can’t leave it.


So instead, he does the next best thing: throwing dream Roxy out of the bubble. Now that’s a cool thing we haven’t seen done before!

This is one of very few times in Act 6 where WV is a character other than “everyone’s mayor friend”. That’s pretty sad.


With that, WV loses his firefly friend. Only one more year till they can reunite, right? Or two more years? It’s kind of ambiguous how long into the meteor journey this scene takes place, unless I’m missing something.


Aranea wakes Dirk up with her mind powers, subtly intervening in the alpha kids’ story in a way that may just slightly remind readers of Vriska. Unlike all the stuff Vriska did to the beta kids’ session to make her feel self-important, this moment with Aranea waking Dirk is brief and wholly benevolent. However, I can only wonder if readers at the time found this to be a hint that Aranea and Vriska have more in common than one might first think. Aranea certainly didn’t do anything villainous, but I have a hunch that she wanted to take a short moment to involve herself in the kids’ story, which might just show a bit of Vriska in her.



In some weird twisted way, I actually kind of miss writing long paragraphs about Vriska. I’ve been avoiding it as much as possible in my rewritten old posts and that’s probably for the best. I just couldn’t resist analyzing this little moment given that Aranea brings it up again after she full-out hijacks the alpha session.

After Dirk wakes, the fun really begins with the Unite Synchronization flashes and all that. As such, I am stopping here. See you next time for one of the most kickass act finales of all time.

>> Part 85: The Deep Blue of Weird Plot Shit