Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 94: Wizardfic Nostalgification Station

Introduction / Schedule

Part 93 | Part 94 | Part 95 >


Act 6 Act 5, Part 2 of 6

Pages 5572-5634 (MSPA: 7472-7534)

“Nostalgification” is totally a real word, I swear.


Years in the future…
Minus several.


After a bunch of pages that were mostly romance drama and hints at the Condesce’s machinations, it’s time for a fun throwback. The image shown above depicts Roxy’s carapacian neighborhood on a rainy evening, just like how Rose’s house was in the early acts. This whole scene is going to be a lot of fun, I can tell.


I forgot how cute Roxy looks in her starting outfit, my god. Full disclosure: for me, a fictional girl’s cuteness is mainly determined by whether or not she wears tights.


It’s time to read Wizardy Herbert! You might already know that Wizardy Herbert is the name of one of Hussie’s pre-MSPA works. It’s an unfinished Harry Potter parody story with wild metafictional elements and overall insane nonsense. It is my understanding that Hussie in real life never cared much for wizards and decided when writing both Wizardy Herbert and Homestuck to crudely parody the fondness people have for them.

I don’t care much for wizards personally.

But this story? An absolute laugh riot that somehow doesn’t have a fanmade full version.


Oh boy, guys. I’m going to take you for a wild ride and dissect the HELL out of this story. I hope you’re ready for heaps of comparisons with the fanmade full version of Detective Pony, which I treat as canon in this post series.

“i think you were supposed to just tackle him,” beatrix said looking all kinds of put off. 

“all kinds of put off” is such a Roxy thing to say. The first sentence of this page already sets the stage for her absurd story perfectly.

wizardy herbert reached down to the body of the fictional camper he just shot and picked up the flag. “same difference.” 

“IS it?” 

“this is some lame magical version of capture the flag. the book wanted me to capture the flag from him. the flag has now been captured. anyway, hes just a kind of brainless puppet.” 

“then what are we?” she asked. 

“i dunno. brainless puppets whove spent a few years in the real world. kind of like everyone else, i suppose.” 


When you’re talking about metafiction, the “real world” can mean a lot of things. I can’t quite tell what that phrase refers to here; I assume Roxy’s story established that phrase’s meaning at some point before this page. Unlike with Detective Pony where we only saw the first few pages and got a rough description of the rest, we’re treated right away to the portion of Wizardy Herbert where the story has fallen apart and the title character is debating with his female companion about the nature of their story.

“jeez thats cynical. anyway, youre the one who said we should let the story play out the way its supposed to. im just pointing out your own rules.” 

I love how Beatrix’s reaction to Herbert’s metafictional nihilism is nothing more than “jeez thats cynical”. This is another bit that helps establish the story as a playful but earnest exploration of the nature of metafiction.

“ehhh.” herbert made a dismissive gesture with his smoking gun. “these punks were starting to get on my nerves. we’re making progress anyway. see? listen to that. russets scene is coming up. if i remember right this is the one that introduces his recurring love interest. also i guess the chief bad guy. i mean, sorta.” 

At this point, both Herbert and Beatrix are playing common roles in meta stories: Herbert as the extremely meta-aware hero/villain, and Beatrix as his loyal but oft-questioning assistant. Dirk invokes these roles both in Detective Pony and in the Meat Epilogue; the former role always with himself, and the latter role variously with Minos, Jeanne Betancourt, and Rose. In the Meat Epilogue, he takes advantage of the traits Rose has in common with him as well as her declining health so that she can play the role of the meta assistant and then get a fresh new robot body. Now that I think of it, it’s rather heteronormative of Dave at the end to think Rose and Dirk might be dating just because of these tropes. Normally he’s as woke as can be about LGBT topics; maybe he thinks Dirk’s mindset has changed simply because he’s so far up his own ass with self-importance.

/end tangent

This page of the story continues with double narration between Roxy’s usual writing and nonsensical SBaHJ-style Comic Sans writing. It’s clear that Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff cracks Roxy up just as much as the beta kids, which is very cute. The characters written SBaHJ-style are even more fake and confusing than the “normal” ones. I have no idea what’s going on now, other than that one of the Comic Sans characters is described as a handsome young man with black hair and glasses, which will soon lead to an allegorical exploration of John and Roxy’s relationship—perhaps a forewarning of what may become of it.

“why beatrix” he said with a super sly smile. “if i didnt know better, id say you were taking some enjoyment from watchin your dear pal russets smackdown.” 

“what? no!” she didnt let go of his arm. but he wouldnt quit his douchey smile. she went on. “you cant just keep offing fictional characters. its… i dunno. irresponsible.” 

“yeah yeah.” 

“besides you know the scene is supposed to play out like this. russet is supposed to get rescued. how is he supposed to get rescued if the bullies are dead? you cant just go around changing things.” 

“i guess youre right.” 

herbert holstered his gun admiring a few more choice sucker punches to russets midriff. OOF. that onell leave a mark. beatrix regained her calm. “so whos this guy thats supposed to save him?” she asked. “you say hes the villain?” 

“here he comes now.” 


Herbert’s shameless defiance against the story’s supposed rules reminds me of Caliborn, which makes sense because he and Dirk are alike in some ways, and because B2 Rose’s stories are also filled with cherub allusions.

Not understanding how sports work is something Roxy and Dave have in common.

Roxy skips ahead a few pages and now Herbert and Beatrix are dressed up to play some SPORTS. The Harry Potter satire is painfully obvious here—Quidditch is a staple of the series, even I know that—as is the fact that Hussie doesn’t like Harry Potter very much. As with Cronus’s backstory, elements everyone knows are incorporated and blatantly made fun of but none of the deeper plot seems to be referenced. I know this because if the plot of Harry Potter was deeply woven within Homestuck, then TV Tropes would be littered with comparisons between the two.

“russet! answer me!” beatrix demanded. “why the heck didnt you tell us? or tell grant for that matter?” 

herbert wasnt paying much attention. so russet was moody and cryptic and didnt tell people some stuff. what a bombshell. he worried at one of the springs poking out of his ridonkulous ball. it made a sproinging sound like a mouth harp and broke off. he wondered if the springs served any actual purpose. the springs did not serve any actual purpose. 

“how could you keep something like that from everyone? that you knew all along?” 

“i just wanted what was best for grant” he finally said. 

she had tons of questions but couldnt settle on the next one to ask. she wasnt about to let good body language go to waste so she did kinda what mimes do when they dont like something you said. how long did he know grant was from this dogshit wizardfic? howd he escape in the first place? was it really his spell that sealed them here? how long had he been planning this? she guessed that would explain why he had an absurdly obvious pseudonym. grant anonama? yeah like THATS a real name. great job bro, or should she say SLINUS. she wondered if his bogus name wasnt an anagram for something. like a clue dangled under their noses. magic bad guys do love their anagrams. they are just so damn clever and when you finally figure them out its like whoa INSTANT MINDFUCK. 


Roxy’s writing continues to be a mix of Rose and Dave, in all the opposite ways from how Dirk’s writing is. Her use of serial rhetorical questions reminds me of Rose just as much as her sarcastic commentary on narrative tropes reminds me of Dave. I’ve said before that it’s kind of funny Roxy and Dirk seem to inherit traits from both their respective ancestors when it’s technically the other way around.

Skipping a bit…

it was time to go. the narratives invisible conductor let them know with the arrival of a carriage. it was drawn by two floating, perfectly immobile wooden horses. herbert read this thing a hundred times but still couldnt understand the authors fascination with flying rigid wooden horses. 

This passage is obviously a self-deprecating jab at how much Hussie loves joking about horses, but its in-universe purpose is a bit less clear. I wonder if Roxy incorporated horses in her story to obliquely vent about her hopeless crush on Dirk? She knows very well that Dirk is a fan of horses and might even be playfully referencing Detective Pony.


Roxy skips to the end of what she has so far and oh my god, what is this. Herbert and Beatrix are freaking out and flailing their arms, but the horses’ facial expressions are blank as ever. It’s clear from this image that Roxy doesn’t have Dirk’s deep, resounding appreciation for horses. If Dirk drew this panel, the horses would be the ones freaking out.

“herbert watch where youre going!” 

“i cant. i think the book wants us to crash.” 

beatrix thought about it. she almost kicked the sides of her inert stallion to prod it along but caught herself. “do we really have to?” 


Here’s where we see Herbert suddenly had a change of mind regarding narrative rules. At first he brutally disobeyed what was meant to happen, but now to Beatrix’s surprise he’s following the rules.


herbert shrugged. another solid half minute of awkward horse advancement went by before the creaking oaken collision. herbert tumbled through the air and hit the grass pitch hard on his back. beatrix landed on top him. they founfd each other face to face. 

“is she serious with this?” she asked regarding the hella subtle way the author decided to craft this situration*. situation. is was like, popetry in motion. plus hornses(???) 

“im afaid* so. i think the story is builting romantic tension between us.” 

“it IS?” it was not a question. but a statement of major concorn. *cern 

“yeah. it it establushing* the groundwork for romance beween our characaters. its sort of the one token heroterosexual** romance in the book. we probably jush have to ride it out” 


Read this passage and tell me, TELL ME, it isn’t an accurate retelling of how John and Roxy’s relationship plays in the Candy Epilogue. Their relationship is a perfect example of a “token heterosexual romance”, so it’s only natural that it’s deconstructed to hell and back once they get back together. John is disconcerted by how easily their relationship happens but goes along with it because he thinks that’s how love is supposed to feel; Roxy is overcompensating for her grief over ruined friendships and Dirk’s death, which further hurts their relationship.

beautrix dinit* dint kno whaf*T the felling of collor red wash…. but 

she cloun*cloud*COULD swear the fleling 

she could swar 

the felling 

*FEEEEling 

ws crepping 

ontoo. herrrrrf. 

face. 

(RAAARARRAAUUUAAAAUUAGHGHGGHGGGGHHGH DOINT WRITE WHILT DRONK U LUSHEY DUMBO)


Roxy’s writing becomes more and more drunk as Herbert and Beatrix are about to have their romantic climax, which is again much like how romantic relationships in Homestuck work. Though this page of the story is mostly an allegory for John and Roxy’s relationship, this last passage most closely matches Rose and Kanaya, Homestuck’s token lesbian romance. As I’ve said in a few recent posts, these two ships have a lot of parallels that come to full light in the Candy Epilogue.


Well this sure was fun. I’m glad I got to the Wizardy Herbert section now instead of earlier, because in recent months I’ve written some metafictional stories inspired by Detective Pony and the Homestuck Epilogues that I haven’t shared with the public because they’re incredibly stupid. I can confirm that metafiction is both incredibly fun to write and incredibly easy to get carried away with. I’ll also say that although I have inserted myself into my metafictional stories, it’s always a different character who has the most meta knowledge—not because it would be too self-indulgent for my self-insert to know all the meta stuff, but because I think it’s way funnier if another character does.


Your home suddenly loses power due to the storm. Which… makes no sense? All devices in your house are powered by the portable green hubs you stole from the lab. That’s weird. 

Your laptop continues to run on battery power regardless.

This is a crazy cool throwback. It’s sure to remind readers of Rose’s story in the early acts, where a storm was causing her house to lose power and impeding her progress on starting Sburb. I must say, it’s incredibly refreshing to have a throwback arc after a bunch of annoying romance drama.


Roxy answers UU and it doesn’t take long for the conversation to diverge from whatever it was originally going to be. She realizes she isn’t drunk and that she somehow knows Calliope’s name.

Calliope says nothing but ellipses as Roxy observes the Furthest Ring’s damage. Roxy is given lots of commands in this dialogue sequence, but her responses to those commands are generally in dialogue instead of narration. Roxy’s monologuing is a substitute for second-person narration, which is done several other times in mid-to-late Act 6 like when Dave examines his old bedroom and breaks into tears about his old ironic nonsense, or during John’s entire retcon mission. I wish the Act 6 Act 6 intermissions had some amount of commanding characters like this instead of just constant [A6A6Ix] ====>; it would have livened things up quite a bit. I’m glad full-out second-person narration was brought back at the start of the epilogues.

Callback to a panel where Rose holds a crystal ball.


When Roxy finds Twinkly Herbert, Calliope starts talking in Morse code through… Herbert’s soul or consciousness or something? I’m not going to bother trying to explain this odd bit, but I will say I like how every dream bubble scene in Homestuck brings something new to the table of bizarre dream logic.


Calliope through Twinkly Herbert explains to Roxy that they both need to keep a low profile because Lord English is wreaking havoc upon the Furthest Ring in search for his dead sister.


TG: (the fuck?) 
TG: (what happened to my house) 
TG: (some stuff is different) 
TG: (i dont remember this) 
TG: (callie do you know whats going on) 
UU: -. — [no.]
UU: -… ..- – / .-.. . – .—-. … / -.- . . .–. / –. — .. -. –. [bUt let’s keep going.]
TG: (and what am i even wearing) 
TG: (what are these clothes?) 
UU: .. – / .- .–. .–. . .- .-. … / – — / -… . / – …. . / — ..- – ..-. .. – / — ..-. / .- / ..-. .- … …. .. — -. .- -… .-.. . / … -.-. .. . -. -.-. . / .– — — .- -. ? [it appears to be the oUtfit of a fashionable science woman?]
TG: (oh yeah) 
TG: (like a sexy science lady suit) 
TG: (thats p cool i guess) 


Here’s where things start to get fun. Roxy is now exploring Rose’s old house, which is even darker than it was when Rose explored it in the early acts. She’s dressed as her pre-scratch self which adds to the nostalgia and makes it feel like we’re exploring Rose’s house from her mother’s perspective. This is a rare occasion when characters in dream bubbles get to play the roles of their alternate selves, which hasn’t been explored much elsewhere aside from a few scenes with Aradia. I’ve accepted by this point that dream bubbles work in whichever way is most convenient for the scene.

It’s obvious through any scene involving the Lalondes that Hussie himself hates wizards.


Next comes a funny moment where Roxy examines one of her pre-scratch self’s wizard paintings and cracks up.

TG: (heck yes) 
TG: (hes so perf) 
TG: (callie check him out) 
UU: ..- — [Um.]
TG: (that aint even a painting) 
TG: (ahaha its so shitty) 
TG: (did someone like) 
TG: (grab a random ass low res wallpaper off the internet) 
TG: (of a jolly wizard doing what appears 2 be the worlds dumbest spell) 
TG: (and saved at low quality then just like) 
TG: (printed it way too huge) 
TG: (lmao) 
UU: —… ..- [:U]
TG: (its not even scaled proportionately) 
TG: (its stretched extra wide to fit this expensive as fuck frame) 
TG: (is that shit like) 
TG: (literal solid gold) 
TG: (ahahahahah i cant even deal) 
TG: (whoever did this was a wonderful genius) 


I like the implication that Rose’s mother wasn’t just a lunatic who freely collected all things wizard-related, but perhaps had a sense of humor about it all and took delight in the absurdity of old-timey wizard paintings.


Even though she’s mostly seen here cracking jokes about these wizards, it’s clear that Roxy truly thinks wizards are cool and badass.

This is such a great spooky panel.


Roxy sneaks by the corridor and here’s a fun callback. She catches a glimpse of the Condesce, just like Rose caught a glimpse of her mother so long ago. Calliope clarifies that the Condesce is only there through subconscious memories, which tells readers that this scene is there just for spooky flair.


Roxy makes her way to the observatory… or is it? The observatory symbol from Rose’s house is replaced with the cherub spiral, which signifies that things are going to be a bit different.

Note the candy flowers below the door. Are there meat flowers on the other side?


And HERE’S where things get extra fun. The memories transition to Calliope’s art style, which is another thing that’s never been done before. Calliope’s dream bubble scenes in her art style are a lot of fun and there’s going to be a few more in later acts.

There are totally meat flowers on the other side. It makes thematic sense and I feel like a genius for figuring it out.


Roxy exits the door and starts walking down a white spiral which is fun. This scene has lots of great art, especially that last panel above.


Calliope’s ghost’s visual appearance is a surprisingly spooky image which I think is a callback to at least five other panels.


The moment Roxy turns around, Calliope changes into her trollsona outfit. I think I now understand the point of that whole arc with Calliope’s appearance insecurities and Roxy’s sugary encouragement: it’s a counterpoint to John/Roxy, the token heterosexual romance as we all know. You could argue John and Terezi’s relationship is also a counterpoint to the token heterosexual romance, but that’s different because it’s an objectively better ship.


I’m going to be honest here. The art is by FAR the coolest thing about this sequence so far. It’s way more stunning than it has any reason to be, because all that’s happened so far is Calliope expositing about stuff we mostly already knew about Lord English and Roxy’s role as a void player. I’ll go through this exposition anyway because I’m kind of obsessed with Caliborn.

UU: on the day he foUnd a way to kill my dream self, i was done for. thoUgh to be honest, i doUbt i’d have fared mUch better regardless. 
UU: i think his half was always meant to predominate. 
UU: my will was simply not strong enoUgh to overcome his. yoU know as well as i how stUbborn he is. i don’t think he has ever had even a smidgen of doUbt in his thoUghts, or remorse for his deeds. whereas i was always plagUed by sUch feelings. 


Calliope’s talk about Caliborn reminds me of his story as an artist. We saw in his conversation with Jane that his stubbornness works in his favor when it comes to art; he starts the story incapable of producing art that is even remotely coherent, but doesn’t let doubt or remorse get in the way of becoming the best artist he can possibly be. Caliborn’s tale as an artist is so inspirational I don’t even care that he wrought eternal havoc upon paradox space. 

UU: on some level i always knew he woUld win. bUt i fooled myself. i thoUght i coUld overcome his ego by looking beyond his negative qUalities, staying optimistic, and working together with him in a game to accomplish something extraordinary. 
UU: and that in doing so, perhaps i coUld begin to help him change. to teach him to evolve beyond his hatefUl natUre. and as he changed for the better, slowly but sUrely, he woUld become more like myself. 
UU: that was how i thoUght i coUld predominate. it was how i was going to win! and really, if he grew closer to me in that way, by learning kindness and compassion, we both woUld have won. my predomination woUld not have meant his absolUte death, but oUr trUe Union. 


What Calliope is saying here is that the reason her brother predominated is because she succumbed to the human emotion of “friendship”. This makes a lot of sense if you think about the timeline where Calliope predominated. The way god tier Calliope talks about her brother in the Meat Epilogue suggests she was just as good at catching his weak spots as god tier Caliborn was at catching his sister’s weak spots.

UU: bUt sadly, i Underestimated how consUmed he was with the need to destroy me. 
UU: now he is completely obsessed with finding my soUl and wiping me oUt for good, even if it means tearing apart the reality that sUrroUnds Us. 
UU: he will never feel he has won Until all traces of me are gone. 
TG: uuuugh 
TG: hearing all that just makes me so unreasonably mad 
TG: FUCK that shitlord 


Hearing all that makes me unreasonably sad. I think Caliborn’s brain became kind of broken when he ascended to his final form and now he’s nothing more than a demon who’s out destroying everything in search for his sister.

UU: i have reason to sUspect there may be another iteration of myself oUt here. 
UU: one from a doomed timeline, who has kept hidden for a long time, jUst like i have. 
UU: bUt Unlike me, she sUpposedly came from a reality where she predominated instead of my brother. 
UU: and not by the means which i described. hers was not a mild Union of reconciliation. 
UU: amazingly, her predomination was absolUte! a major feat of will, jUst as his was with me. 
UU: as sUch, she went on to play the game, and… 
UU: well, i cannot even imagine what followed, aside from the fact that she eventUally mUst have died for existing in an offshoot reality. 
UU: if she exists, i woUld be eager to meet her. it woUld be a chance to get to know a version of myself who was strong enoUgh to override the will of my brother. 
UU: someone i might have become if i had a little more coUrage. u_u 
UU: and if she is sUch a person, then i really believe all i have heard mUst be trUe. i believe she is the key to defeating him. 
UU: so i have no choice. 
UU: i mUst go in search of myself. 


Calliope clarifies a mystery about the lost cherub plan: the cherub who can be used to defeat Lord English is an alternate ghost of herself who predominated over Caliborn. I didn’t realize alt Calliope was introduced this early; I thought it wasn’t until A6A6I4 when she was first brought up. I assume Calliope knows about her alternate self simply through her usual method of theorizing, which is good here because it turns the boring lost cherub mission into an enticing mystery arc.

Oh hell yes. I’m LOVING this outer spacey art.


TG: you sound like a real popular lady out here 
TG: even you are looking for you! 


Roxy and Calliope’s interactions have occasional good moments like this—emphasis on “occasional”. I’m starting to think it was the author’s intent to make them deliberately too sugary, as a counterpoint to the token heterosexual romance I talked about earlier.

UU: indeed. 
TG: well i hope you can find her 
TG: but 
TG: if thats your job 
TG: to find bizarro calliope and go wollop ur bro 
TG: then what is our heroic biz? 
UU: it’s the same as it always was. 
UU: to win the game. 
TG: oh yeah 
TG: duh 
UU: it is as i once told jane. 
UU: with victory yoU may finally exit this vast whirling storm.
UU: by claiming yoUr reward yoU woUld bring closUre to a very wide coil of caUsality, one not tracing a continUoUs path like a snake, bUt intricately woven like a wreath. 
UU: a ring of coUntless little rises and falls, ascents and descents, on its way Up and down a pair of mUch bigger ones itself. 
UU: from alpha to beta, then beta to alpha, as if a moUntain to be scaled and then climbed back down. its peak toUches the eye of a storm which cannot end Until the moment yoU all walk throUgh that door. 
UU: only then will there be calm. 
TG: ._. 
UU: ah, bUgger. forgive me, sometimes i forget myself and begin speaking in riddles. 
UU: it’s jUst a habit that is in the natUre of my people. 
TG: yeah i know 
TG: at least yours r better than your bros stupid games 
UU: don’t remind me. in my opinion they do not qUalify as anything of the sort, mUch the same as his “shitty twists”. >:u


Speaking in poetry definitely runs in the cherub family. Calliope, Caliborn, and the other Calliope all have a fixation on poetically retelling the events of Act 7, which is the grand culmination of all their artistic ambitions.

UU: as the one who provoked the breach in paradox space which i jUst coloUrfUlly described, he has always exerted his inflUence on yoUr realities from afar, and from many different angles. throUgh Unwitting sUrrogates, oUtsoUrced manipUlation, oUtright enslavement, and even petty harassment. bUt most of all, he prevails throUgh the simple inertia of inevitability that has always been on his side, as a lord of time. 
UU: and as the one who is to blame for foolishly allowing him access to sUch power, it’s only proper that i take responsibility for finding a way to defeat him. 
UU: bUt even thoUgh his methods of inflUencing yoUr session are indirect, they are still formidable. 
UU: there will be a nUmber of powerfUl foes who stand between yoU and victory. 
UU: tomorrow, a terrific battle will take place. 
UU: when yoU wake Up, i sUggest yoU begin to prepare. 


Why is it so surprising to me that ending Homestuck with Collide and Act 7 seems to have been planned this early? The battle against all the villains directly or indirectly affiliated with Lord English is indeed what stands between the kids and victory, and once the retcon is executed it all sort of… happens without a hitch??? Homestuck proper’s ending is a farce beyond farces and now that the epilogues are out I can’t help but love that.

TG: ummmm ok 
TG: how 
TG: like make more sick gear 
TG: i could hustle up another batch of illwicked guns 
TG: just a big ol pile of guns 
TG: jake can have the wimpy smaller ones 
TG: make jane like a fancy new fork or spoon or such 
TG: like an elite endgame spoon 
TG: whatever that is 
TG: like uh 
TG: the chowderfucker 5000 
TG: janey be flippin her godspoon round bopping monsters doing like 
TG: CUCKOO damage 
TG: wont bother make nothin 4 dirk since hes basically married to his boring anime sword 
TG: like u could even pry that thing from his rad dead cadaver 


Roxy knows a surprising amount about the alpha kids’ natures, as any good leader would. She’s completely right that while the other kids all get fancier weapons as their game progresses, Dirk is eternally inseparable from the same old anime sword.

UU: yes, i’m sUre new eqUipment woUld come in handy. 
UU: now that yoU mention it, well before i died or even realized i woUld not live to play, i made special exception to my rUle of staying linear with conversation. i messaged jane a birthday gift. 
UU: yoU see, i had a brief vision from skaia which sUggested to me she coUld Use a boost in morale on this special day, so i offered her something very dear to me. jUst a little token to show appreciation for her friendship. 
UU: i hope it will cheer her Up, and moreover that it will prove at least somewhat UsefUl to yoUr party. 
UU: bUt really, at this stage if yoU wish to prevail against sUch stacked odds, collecting boons sUch as new weapons and treasUres will only go so far. 
UU: i think yoU will need to embrace a far more sUbstantive gambit. 


Imagine me making queasy disgruntled noises with my mouth. That’s how I feel about this passage right now. I am sort of freaking out imagining a huge mess of pink and green emerging from my computer screen, accompanied by cupcake Jane’s enormous smile and beige skin.

TG: like what 
TG: omg are we gonna have to enlist fefeta 
TG: is fefeta the secret weapon 
TG: its fefeta isnt it 
TG: poor, sweet, dear, precious fefeta 😦 


You’re so close, Roxy! YOU’RE SO CLOSE!!!!! I wonder if Hussie at this point had already planned to connect Nepeta and Lord English just like fans joked about so long ago. Maybe that was one of those things he figured out naturally as the comic progressed and that’s how Davepetasprite^2 came to be?

UU: it is not fefeta!!! 
UU: i am sUggesting a measUre that is mUch more extreme. 
UU: i believe yoU shoUld all strongly consider ascending to the god tiers. 
TG: oh 
TG: ok that sounds cool what do we do 
UU: well of coUrse it soUnds cool! bUt it’s not necessarily as easy as it soUnds, steeling oneself for death. believe me. 
UU: bUt if yoU can find the resolve, then here is what yoU mUst do. 
UU: since none of yoU have any dream selves left, it won’t do any good to sacrifice yoUrselves on the qUest beds foUnd on yoUr respective planets. 
UU: and even if yoU did, there is not even a battlefield from which to rise anew. no, yoUr void session had only one path to ascension all along. 
UU: yoU mUst travel to the centre of the moons of prospit and derse, and there in the crypt yoU will find yoUr sacrificial slabs. yoU mUst lie on them, and then… 
UU: then yoU all mUst die. one way or another. u_u 


This bit is pretty cool because it finally gives an official name to the alternative to quest beds that allowed Aradia, Rose, and Dave to reach god tier. I feel that a proper exposition on sacrificial slabs was long overdue; Aradia’s ascension to god tier is especially confusing to first-time readers. Calliope is the perfect character to talk about this topic, and now is a good time for her to do so.


Calliope goes on to foreshadow and hint at more plot stuff I don’t have much to say about. She talks more about Lord English and the Condesce and implies through mention of multiple villains that there’s another unmentioned villain under English’s command; readers are likely to think of the alpha kids’ Jack Noir, who we saw some suspicious images of not long ago.


After a few more moments where Roxy and Calliope talk about how much they trust each other, Calliope suddenly freaks out about something.


UU: WHAT IS *SHE* DOING HERE??? 

After Calliope fed readers a whole bunch of juicy meat, it’s time for Rose’s appearance to dangle some delicious candy just too far away from readers to reach.


ROSE: Mom? ROXY: mom? 

This moment, holy shit. It’s so sweet and must be surreal for both Lalondes.

Just look at Rose and Roxy’s smiles. Cuteness that transcends words.


CALLIOPE: NO NO NO NO NO! THIS WON’T DO AT ALL! 
CALLIOPE: A LIGHT PLAYER? A LIGHT PLAYER??? 
CALLIOPE: HAVE YOU GONE MENTAL? WHY DON’T WE JUST BURN A BLOODY BONFIRE IN HERE! 
CALLIOPE: HE’LL SPOT US ANY MINUTE! ASSUMING HE ISN’T ALREADY ON HIS WAY TO BLOW US ALL TO KINGDOM COME!!! 


But not so much for Calliope, who FREAKS THE FUCK OUT at the sight of a light player. If you take a moment to think about who else is a light player, you’ll probably either fear the worst for Vriska and company who are also looking for Lord English, or look at Calliope funny for being so concerned with players’ classpects.


Poor Roxy and Rose. This is the second time a reunion between them is cut short, and it won’t be the last (or the saddest).

Alternian text: YOURE WELCOME


Roxy wakes up in her jail cell and notices a folder from the Condesce. It’s one of many times in this act where the witch is portrayed in a more humorous light. Just look at the fuchsia lip markings, GIFs of her deceased clown presidents dancing, flashing boondollars, and decoration with sea creatures.

Roxy is the best at “done with your shit” faces.

The folder has instructions for Roxy to do something “stupid and impossible”, so she throws it aside. As she talked about with Calliope in a part I skipped over in this post, she doesn’t want to use her void powers when it’s to serve a genocidal alien queen. This little stretch of pages establishes that Roxy despises the Condesce the most of the alpha kids, which suggests that at this point Hussie had already planned for her to be the one to kill the empress.


Roxy then gets some gifts from the Droll: Dad Crocker’s PDA and a magic ring. She’s confused by all these, and readers probably will be as well.


The Droll is dressed like his Midnight Crew counterpart too, except he’s more free to demonstrate his love for ridiculous hats. I can only imagine him begging his superiors to let him wear a ridiculous hat; after some negotiating, the Dignitary probably let this one slide.

Yet another perfect crime successfully perpetrated. And by crime, you guess you mean order from a superior. In your experience, the best crimes are the ones which are totally legal. 

You are so satisfied with your accomplishment, you cannot contain your exuberance for another second. You have no choice. You absolutely must do the happy umbrella dance, professional protocol be damned. 

Oh shoot. It seems you have misplaced your BULL PENIS UMBRELLA. There will be no dancing today. Now you’re sad.

The callback to Clubs Deuce’s bull penis cane is much funnier if you know the story behind it. As Homestuck Book 2’s commentary states, Deuce in the Midnight Crew intermission used a cane for one purpose or another, then Hussie realized that the picture he found was a bull penis cane, so he made a panel where Clubs Deuce realizes the same and freaks out. It’s clear that Hussie found that incident just as funny a few years later and took the opportunity to call back to it in a line that makes spectacularly little sense out of context.

I’m stopping here, right before Roxy pesters Dirk. This post was a lot of fun to write! See you next time as Dirk, Dirk, and Dirk have an existential confrontation that ends up bringing one of the funniest characters in Homestuck into existence.

>> Part 95: The Bodybuilder’s Triumphant Return

Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 11 Rewritten: Magical Dreams and Retroactive Clowns


Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12.1 >

Pages 952-1051 (MSPA: 2852-2951)

Act 3, Part 3 of 5

Link to old version


Right now my priority for this blog is my main Homestuck post series I started in 2015 where I’m currently on Act 6 Act 5; this post is a bit of a divergence from the plan I’ve laid out. I finished my newest post a few days ahead of schedule, so I decided to do a rewritten post to release on Friday instead. I mostly did it as a bit of a breather from the absurd romance drama I sped through.

Who’s this guy?


At the curb of Act 3’s halfway point, it’s time for us to meet Spades Slick’s lookalike.


Spades Slick? 

Got a nice ring to it. 

But you know your own name. And that damn well ain’t your name.

Jack Noir’s naming is done a bit differently from other characters. He doesn’t have a naming box; rather, he’s meta-aware of Hussie’s fingers typing his name. The book commentary here is worth reading:

Jack at this stage is the villain. Villains in Homestuck tend to be meta-villains. That is, they exist much closer to the surface of the story’s meta-bubble, and often interact with the way it’s told. For instance, Jack Noir is the original owner of the 4th wall. (See next page.) As a universal bureaucratic game construct, he can keep tabs on everything going on in the session, including just outside the story.

Though Jack Noir is a meta-villain, there are limits to this, possibly tied to his personality. It could be the scope of his ambition never includes messing with the story itself. His desire for power lies entirely within fictional parameters. Later, there are much more flagrant meta-villains, in Doc Scratch and Lord English. They live on the surface of the meta-bubble, and at times badly puncture it. All iterations of Lord English in total basically represent the ultimate meta-villain. Though it takes a very long time for this to become apparent, and for it to be revealed exactly what this means.

I think it’s fair to assume this villain foreshadowing and easing in was intentional. Act 3 is filled to the brim with hints at the trolls’ backstory, the alpha kids, and (much more subtly) the cherubs. Jack Noir’s higher degree of meta awareness than the beta kids is a subtle but useful way to ease readers into the times villains start taking over the narration. On the topic of characters taking over narration, if you somehow haven’t read Detective Pony *****PLEASE DO SO IMMEDIATELY*****, then come back here.

Hussie enters Jack’s name and rank, leading us to his short introduction page.



You are ARCHAGENT JACK NOIR. You oversee various affairs of a DARK KINGDOM. Presently you are determining how to deal with this prisoner, who has been a thorn in your side since he was apprehended. 

Funny that I just got done analyzing the portion of the comic where the alpha kids’ Draconian Dignitary reveals he successfully imprisoned Dad Crocker by giving him a nice, cozy cell where he can communicate with Dersites about ties and shaving and start crazy fashion trends. Noir, on the other hand, isn’t good at the social side of things. Like it or not, what he’s best at is managing paperwork (and destroying everything he touches if given the power to).

You view the affairs of the kingdom through a series of FENESTRATED WALLS. You have three walls, nearly enough to form a CUBICLE OF VIGILANCE, which is a full and proper enclosure for an agent of your stature. 

However, much to your utter contempt, your FOURTH WALL was stolen some time ago.

What a cheeky pun. I don’t think I need to go over the timeline and story behind the various physical fourth walls in Homestuck, though I will say it’s probably for the best Jack’s fourth wall was stolen. Though Hussie’s book commentary states that Jack probably isn’t villainous enough to want to mess with the story itself, his desire to destroy everything BLEW THE HELL UP after the Droll killed Jade which was some time after he gained the ability to destroy everything. Who knows if he’d have taken the chance to mess with the fourth wall if it wasn’t stolen?


After we establish that Jack absolutely hates dressing like a clown, he introduces us to Hearts Boxcars’ lookalike, the Hegemonic Brute. The Brute brings something heavy to keep Dad enclosed in prison and holy shit is this guy strong.

This guy can never catch a break, can he?


But right after the Black Queen (gender-neutrally referred to as the Glorious Monarch) reminds Jack to wear his clown hat, we learn that Dad Egbert is even stronger than the Brute. That’s the only role HB ever plays in the story: he gets his ass handed to him to show how tough other characters are.


Meanwhile in his father’s room, John finds some unopened birthday presents his dad was going to give him. First off is the one on the right:


It’s a control deck that lets John customize his fetch modus! He now has way more captchalogue cards, which is… cool? I forgot the fetch modus game mechanic stuff even existed and it’s kind of weird going through it at such an on-and-off pace. Let’s pretend I am enthusiastically cheering John on for switching to a simple array modus, then confused that he settles on a queue-stack-array blend modus.


Though I won’t lie, the queue-stack-array modus looks sick. It’s a visual upgrade to the original that’s high on the weaponizability scale.


You have a staunch policy of always saving the biggest present for last. 

ALWAYS.

Now that’s something I can relate to right there. Let’s see what the leftmost present is!

Could this birthday get any better? You don’t think so.


John’s victory dances are so cute. He’s incredibly happy to get a fresh pack of delicious Fruit Gushers.

You thought wrong.


He’s even more delighted to get a fancy suit for his birthday, which is surprising but makes sense in a heartwarming way: it shows John and his father have a common interest in dressing like businessmen. Deep down, John has a lot more in common with his father than one may think, which is shown in full in the Candy Epilogue: similar fashion tastes, the exact same romantic tastes, and most of all, extreme immutable pride for his son. Remembering how proud he always was of young Harry Anderson is the one thing that finally snaps John out of his internal loop that everything is fake, because he can’t accept anything that would put his son’s realness at odds.

John inspects the box of Fruit Gushers and notices something amiss:


THE HEINOUS BATTERWITCH HAS HER GNARLED CLAWS IN EVERYTHING. 

What do Gushers have to do with baked goods anyway?? 

How does this make sense??? 

Why???? 



WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY??????????? 


If you didn’t know, Hussie’s book commentary explains that he didn’t know Fruit Gushers were made by Betty Crocker until a reader suggested John to inspect the Gushers box.


Suffice to say, the author doesn’t have an easy time processing this. John promptly has a mental breakdown in a flash with dramatic music, as if this was some kind of terrifying revelation that uproots everything he thought he knew and now he can never see the world the same way ever again.

As with FACEPALM x2 COMBO, I knew about this running gag before I read Homestuck.

Except John quickly realizes this is a completely stupid thing to freak out about. The beta kids’ universe was merely the Condesce’s test run after all.

Another flash originally scored by Bill Bolin. Though I like Mutiny more as a song, An Unbreakable Union fits much better with the flash.


Up next is Jade’s true guardian strife, [S] Jade: Retrieve package. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen before! This page shows us that her dog Becquerel has magic teleportation powers and overall ungodly strength, with occasional glimpses at the Green Sun and various other locations in the comic. All this crazy plot stuff planned in retrospect and showed way ahead of time is truly something to behold.

Jade and Bec are moving in this image; Grandpa is still as ever because he’s dead.


The strife flash ends with a cheerful victory sequence as if nothing unusual ever happened. Just a happy girl hugging her wonderful dog, her taxidermied grandpa by her side as ever. Jade in the early acts is a normal human being with normal human values.


Jade: Retrieve package was filled to the brim with hints at events and plot points that were probably fully planned by this point. Jade’s narcolepsy, on the other hand? I am almost certain the truth behind it was a retroactive decision on the author’s part, as are most things involving that one character‘s self-importance. Later that character’s self-importance becomes a cosmically retroactive decision, because after the retcon she took over Gamzee’s plot role in the alpha session with only a few differences.


Though Bec is a mystical dog, he does take proper care of Jade and takes her to bed when needed. It looks like he even tucked her blankets, truly in the spirit of dog loyalty.


Oh, you’re back home. The well-stocked bar and the vantage from the window tells you this is your MOM’S room. Or at least what you thought was her room. 

You decide not to be especially melodramatic about this revelation.

If you’re rereading knowing who Roxy is, you’ll know that Rose had just unknowingly passed by her mother’s real room. She’s already showing signs of being considerably more wrapped up in her supposedly noble goals than the other beta kids are, and not taking time to progress through the kids’ usual narrative.


Just a few seconds later, the meteor strikes the Skaianet lab and Rose needs to get out of there. It’s important she brings the cat with her, because I’m at least 80% certain a whole bunch of vital time loops would be broken if she didn’t.


Suddenly you are feeling very businessmanlike for some reason. 

You just punched a shitload of cards in anticipation of making a whole lot of cool stuff. This time you didn’t foolishly destroy any items. You just looked at the codes for some objects you rounded up, and punched them on blank cards. 

As the alpha kids’ Dignitary can attest, it seems that Homestuck characters automatically feel businessmanlike the moment the put on a fancy suit. Feeling businessmanlike puts you at far less risk for stupidly decimating your sylladex.


Next up, Jade dreams and THAT’S where things get fun. Jade has a dreambot that echoes everything she does in her sleep. For the next few pages we get some neat dual storytelling, with the dreaming world on top and the real world on the bottom.


> Jade: Obliquely foreshadow future through interpretive dance

Your silly dance foreshadows nothing and is essentially meaningless. 

But it sure is a lot of fun.

“Foreshadows” and “nothing” are two words that should never be put side-by-side in any context even remotely related to Homestuck. Everything in the entire story is interconnected in one way or another; sometimes the connections are of debatable intentionality, but that’s the fun of analyzing media. In this case, the interpretive dance is the last thing Jade’s dreambot does before it explodes.

Still not sure why characters in Homestuck always sleep with *this* of all poses…


You climb into bed and try to get comfortable. But some sort of invisible force is pressing down on you, a strange feeling of cold heavy metal. 

This happens every time you try to get into bed! No wonder you can never get any sleep.

This funny little moment has a bit more to it than meets the eye. It strongly suggests that Jade and her dream self are two different consciousnesses who share a small amount of memories. This difference is also demonstrated in pesterlogs which we don’t yet know were typed by dream Jade.

I always thought it was a little weird that dream Jade was so different from waking Jade when we didn’t see much other difference between players and their dream selves. But looking back now, I think I have a good explanation for why that is. I think the dream self’s memories diverge from the player’s memories the moment the dream self consciously wakes up for the first time. For most players, the dream self’s awakening occurs shortly before or during the game, but for space players the dream self has usually been awake since childhood. Maybe dream Jade and waking Jade have the same memories and knowledge from the first few years of their lives, but have had many years since then to diverge and are now effectively two different people. I wouldn’t be surprised if the same held for Kanaya and Calliope’s dream selves, who we don’t see as much in action because they don’t have dreambots. As I said in a post from years ago, this is also why it makes sense that Jadesprite is even less like regular Jade, because she spent eons in dream bubbles getting to know a bunch of ghosts implied to be the Beforan trolls.


> Jade: Realize you can fly!

There is not much to realize. 

Of course you can fly.

I imagine the reader who suggested this command thought it would be funny if Jade suddenly realized she could fly, but it turns out Hussie had already planned that to be true. It’s not just that Jade already knew, it’s that Hussie already knew. Or at least I assume he did. I think I have a good grasp of Hussie’s motives when writing early Homestuck, if only because I’ve read Homestuck so many times.


Jade then taunts us with a mystery package—she already knows what’s inside. I don’t remember exactly how this package time travel arc plays out, other than that it involves the exiles following instructions written by dream Jade. I think the package is mirrored between its dream projection and its real-world self? Kind of stupid to use the word “self” to refer to an inanimate object, but that’s Homestuck for you. I’m probably wrong about all this.

All of John’s clown scribbles are in Rose, Dave, and Jade’s text colors.


This leads us to a birthday flashback with a huge surprise shot: John seems to have had clown scribbles on his walls months before the story started, which we had never seen before. This will lead us to enormous dramatic irony when John comes in his room and finds all his posters defaced, which he thinks was the imps’ doing.

This image also confirms Rose, Dave, and Jade’s birthdays which is a good bonus.


— ghostyTrickster [GT] began pestering gardenGnostic [GG] — 

GT: hey, happy birthday jade! 
GG: yay thank you john!!!!! 😀 
GT: whew ok, i got your present in the mail JUST on time. 
GT: plus i sent rose’s and dave’s too. 
GT: why do your guys’es birthdays got to be all bunched together like that??? you are running me ragged! 
GG: heheh i know but it is nice of you to think of us all like that! 
GT: i can’t wait for you to see what i got you. i don’t want to spoil it or anything but hopefully it will help you solve those problems you’ve been having lately. 
GT: MYSTERIOUS WINK 😉 
GG: im sure it is great, i cant wait either!!!!! 
GG: it might take a while to get here from there but it will be worth the wait! 
GT: oh man. 
GT: i am such an idiot, i forgot about how long it takes you to get stuff. 
GT: ARGH. 
GG: john thats ok really! im sure will get to me exactly when it needs to and it will be a nice surprise when it does! 


Jade is awful at lying, which is fine because John is gullible as all hell. She speaks in her usual cryptic tone and cleverly hides that John’s gift is going to be sent back in time. It’s crazy how easy it is to forget about all the time loops in Homestuck’s early acts.

GT: ok well i hope so. 
GG: <3…… 
GG: uhhhh hold on 
GG: ok im back sorry 
GG: i had to tell someone to go away! 
GT: oh god. 
GT: the trolls again? 
GG: yup 😮 
GT: they have been such a pain in the ass lately. 
GT: it seems like there are so many. 
GT: there are either like fifty of these retards or it’s one guy with a lot of alt accounts. 
GG: ive never had any sort of feeling about them or what they want which is kind of weird!!! 


Jade’s last line here implies she never learned anything about the trolls in her dreams. I’m guessing Skaia’s refusal to show her anything troll-related was to make sure she didn’t believe anything the trolls told her about the day they fuck everything up; we see in later acts that Skaian clouds can show any scene from anything.

GG: but it seems to me like they are probably all different people and not one guy 
GG: i have counted twelve 
GT: what do they want with us!!! 
GG: some people just like to needle others for some reason john
GG: it is like a game i guess. they are like pranksters!! 
GT: oh hell no, shittiest pranksters ever. 
GG: but i think they are mostly harmless 
GG: every so often they manage to get through my block filter and hassle me. its been going on for years! actually some of them are kind of funny i think hehe 
GT: oh wow, what? years?? 
GT: ok, well i am sick of them. 
GT: i’ve been thinking of changing my pesterchum handle to throw them off the trail. 
GT: so… 
GT: i guess i’m gonna do that. 


There are so many mystery seeds planted in this conversation, which seems simpler now than what it later turns out to be. We don’t know that Terezi led John to come up with the chumhandle “ectoBiologist”, or that the troll who just hassled Jade was talking about something important to the plot.

… Wait, hold that thought. I think the time Karkat trolled past Jade about her dreambot was really just fulfilling a stable time loop, wasn’t it? God damn, thinking about all this plot stuff is kind of giving me a headache. The exact opposite kind of headache I get when I spend a long time analyzing a relationship drama section. Meat and candy, I’m telling you. The dichotomy is off the charts.


Every time you reenter your room, you shudder at the recent handiwork of some mischievous imps. You just can’t turn your back on them for a second! 

Rotten imps. Those posters were like children to you.

Wonderful use of dramatic irony. We just got done learning that these posters were defaced the whole time.


At long last, you have returned to your bedroom with a stable power supply and internet connection. 

VODKA MUTINI purrs at your side. 

You SUPPOSE you will call it Mutie for short.

Vodka Mutini is a great name. I don’t think it’s any question that Rose is the best out of the beta and alpha kids at naming animals.


Rose pesters John in a sequence I love EVERYTHING about. The psychoanalysis portion where Rose reveals to us the story behind Dad’s supposed interest in clowns is brilliant in every way and is one of the best things to come out of Rose’s character.

TT: That’s quite a totem collection. 
TT: What are you planning? 
EB: oh whoa hi! 
EB: oh… 
EB: gonna make some stuff. 
EB: are you ok? hasn’t your house been on fire for like… 
EB: five hours now? 
TT: No, that was the nearby forest, which up until quite recently would have been best described as “on fire”. 
TT: But you may be excited to learn that just as recently, my house finally notched that achievement. 
EB: wow, congrats i guess? 


Rose in the early acts is an absolute treasure. Thought I’d point that out before I get into the meat (loaded word, dammit) of this conversation.

TT: I’m going to start putting this grist to use too. 
TT: Let’s be sparing with the frivolous knickknack breeding and focus on getting you up to the gate, ok? 
EB: yeah, ok i hear you, but… 
EB: i think we’ll have plenty. i’ve been killing imps all over the house and now its lousy with gushers. 
TT: Gushers? 
EB: i mean grist. 
EB: serves them right for ruining my posters. the bastards. 
TT: Which posters? 
EB: don’t you see? my sweet movie posters. look at them, they’re fucking ruined. 
TT: John. 
EB: ?????? 
TT: Are you suggesting that imps are responsible for defacing your movie posters? 
EB: uh, YEAH? 
TT: Your posters have looked like that ever since I first saw your room. 
TT: The moment we started playing this game. 
TT: I thought you had defaced them ironically to mock your father’s interests. 


It’s so funny to me that Rose initially thought John defaced his posters to mock his father’s interests. While her initial analysis is as absurd as all the nonsense she thinks about her mother, all it takes for Rose to bring out her true psychoanalysis skills is for John to disprove her first hypothesis.


I love this panel so much. John looks like an angry businessman slamming his keyboard, perhaps frustrated that his bills didn’t arrive on time and exerting all his anger on an innocent coworker.

EB: VERY FUNNY ROSE HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA 
EB: NICE JOKE 
EB: GREAT JOKE THERE ROSE 
EB: TOP OF THE LINE PRANK 
EB: HE HE 
EB: HA HA HA HA HA 
TT: This is good. 
TT: Laughter is probably the best way to avoid being especially melodramatic about the revelation. 
EB: yes 
EB: YES 
EB: LET’S KEEP THIS JOKE GOING 
EB: BECAUSE IT IS SUCH A GOOD ONE 
EB: HA HA HA HA 
EB: OH MY 
EB: HA HA HA HA HA HA 
EB: HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA 


John’s sarcastic laughter is all it takes for Rose to put the pieces together and figure out the story behind John’s clown scribbles.


Now we check out what WV is up to. He’s in a bit of a predicament right now: he’s stuck on top of his command station and doesn’t have enough cables to climb all the way down. The exile arc is probably where reader commands shined the most in Homestuck: WV first declines a command to use his mayor sash as cable, then declines a command to appearify the frog temple.


Instead of following any suggested commands, WV notices someone else carrying a cable down—perhaps someone who knew that he needed help and that he didn’t want to sacrifice his mayoral sash. This surprising moment of friendship is a really cool way to add a third exile to the mix.

First explicit confirmation WV is male.


WV tries to appearify the cable but ends up appearifying John’s birthday package to Jade because the machine was set back a few hundred years. The package contains a letter to WV from Jade, which confuses him just as much as it probably confused readers. How could dream Jade know nothing about the trolls but be perfectly familiar with the exiles? We’ll find out soon enough.


WV then appearifies the cable and successfully climbs down, which transitions us a sneak peek at our third exile, the Aimless Renegade. This sneak peek shows him as an aloof but probably friendly exile, who seems to be a bit of a weirdo given that he’s wrapped in caution tape. I find it entirely unsurprising AR is such a fan favorite.


It’s time to go through John and Rose’s psychoanalysis session. Are you ready?

EB: ok, while i make some stuff here can you keep an eye out for imps? 
EB: just keep the safe or tub handy or something. 
EB: it’ll serve them right for trashing my posters. 
TT: I keep telling you the posters were always like that. 
EB: AND I KEEP TELLING YOU HA HA VERY FUNNY 
TT: Here, look. 
TT: http://tinyurl.com/O413nanna 
TT: http://tinyurl.com/O413weirdo 



EB: yeah, i saw those, but… 
EB: they didn’t look like that before. you must have changed them. 
TT: Even if I had the motive for such a bizarre and pointless deception, where would I find the time? 
TT: I don’t even have Photoshop. 

Funny that Rose mentions not having enough time to edit these images when she somehow managed to write an enormous wall of text in Jaspers’ mausoleum while her forest was burning down. Though maybe it makes sense she wouldn’t have the time to edit her images of John, since she doesn’t seem to be much of a visual artist.

EB: then why didn’t you TELL me they were there??? 
TT: I had no reason to think you were not aware of them. 
TT: I thought they were strange, certainly, but was not struck by any particular impulse to discuss them. 
EB: ok, it still doesn’t make sense though. 
EB: implying that i drew them a while ago and then forgot and couldn’t see them and now suddenly see them. 
EB: that’s stupid, what would that even mean. 


Here we’re about to see what sets Rose apart from the other beta kids. She can read between the lines and notice cosmic connections that fly over her friends’ heads. Sometimes it’s for the best her friends don’t care about those connections, but here cosmic connections are going to spark something HUGE in John’s mind.

The book commentary on this page rightfully pokes fun at John/Rose shippers. How boring can you even get???


TT: It looks like you were in your father’s room recently. 
EB: yeah. 
TT: And how did it make you feel to discover what was in there?
EB: oh no, i just realized! 
EB: you are going to psycho-therapify me. 
EB: well don’t bother! 
TT: Maybe I am just being a friend? 
EB: maybe… 
EB: /EYES SUSPSICIOSLY 


Though John likes to poke at Rose for acting like a stereotypical psychologist, he obviously doesn’t mean bad by it and finds her analysis fascinating and a lot to take in. Terezi likes psychoanalyzing John too, in a slightly more flirty way. (And eventually way more than just “slightly”.)

EB: anyway i guess you saw what’s in there, it’s boring and there’s not much to even see. 
TT: That doesn’t matter. 
TT: What matters is how seeing it affected you. 
TT: I think it clearly has in some way. 
EB: well… 
EB: i don’t know, at first i was nervous to go in and find more of his weird clowns, because of course they are stupid and i hate them a lot. 
EB: but then when i didn’t see any, it was weird. 
EB: i felt weirdly, like… disappointed almost. 
TT: Is it fair to say this changed your perception of your father? 
EB: yeah, i guess. 
TT: Is it such a stretch to conclude it changed your perception of other things as well? 
EB: uh no, maybe not. 
EB: but what are you getting at? 
EB: it sounds like you’re saying i’m crazy! 

TT: I don’t like to use the word “crazy”. 
EB: oh god. 
EB: see?? this is therapy bullshit! 
TT: That was a joke. 


Even though she said it in a deliberately stereotypical way, Rose is right about the word “crazy”. In the field of psychology, it’s a meaningless catch-all word that’s only useful if you want to dismiss people who you know are right.


TT: But anyway, whether it means you are crazy or not, consider this theory: 
TT: Your presumably longstanding tendency for scrawling this imagery is really your subconsious trying to express something disturbing within you. 
TT: Possibly something from your past, which you have blocked out. 
TT: And since you have supressed it, your conscious self cannot acknowledge the drawings, therefore they have been invisible until now. 


Before explaining Dad Egbert’s motives, Rose starts up a new mystery arc: what disturbing thing caused John to subconsiously draw clowns all over his posters? We’ll know what it is later in this post, but the story behind how it got there is saved for near the end of Act 5. I wonder if Hussie had already planned by this point to reveal Gamzee was behind the clown doll? It’s likely he at least planned for Gamzee to be an oddball among the trolls, knowing his chumhandle. He’s the only one whose motifs aren’t related to his zodiac sign (juggalos instead), and he had nothing even remotely resembling plot relevance until he turned evil and then was revealed to have dealt massive damage to the Black King.

EB: why now? 
TT: Perhaps because you have seen evidence that conflicts with the worldview your subconscious has constructed to obfuscate the truth. 
TT: That your dad is not necessarily the clown-loving maniac you thought he was. 
TT: All along, this negative attribute buried in your psyche may have been projected on to him, and subsequently reviled, as a sort of defense mechanism. 
EB: but this is absurd, my dad LOVES these shitty clowns. 
EB: he’s got all these statues and paintings EVERYWHERE. 
TT: Is it unthinkable that over the years it was he who believed you were the one with a passion for clowns? Because of the all the strange drawings in your room? 
TT: A father then embraces a son’s hobby to establish a stronger bond. 


And there’s the reveal of why John’s father pretended to like clowns. It’s both a demonstration of Rose’s analytical strengths and a step in a huge chain of events that leads to the human universe’s destruction. Rose’s analysis of John’s father is easy to trust because she immediately offers a blatantly false alternative explanation:

TT: Or wages a campaign of passive-aggresive mockery of your interests. 
TT: Either is plausible. I don’t know your dad that well. 

It’s too bad Rose thinks her mother is passive-aggressive. If she opened her mind to alternative analyses like she just did with John’s father, she’d know the truth about her mother before she’s tragically murdered.

EB: i dunno. 
EB: not sure about all this. 
EB: but i think we need to stop and acknowledge the bunny sassacre fedora i just made. 
TT: It’s awesome. 
EB: yeah. 


This heavy plot revelation is immediately followed by John being an absolute dork. The bunny sassacre fedora is one of the best things to come out of Homestuck, and I’m glad Rose agrees.


Then we see Rose’s progress on building up John’s house. It kind of looks ridiculous with so many tall chimneys; Rose says she’ll soon come up with a better strategy.


[S] Jade: Dream up extra arms and play advanced bass solo is another flash that was originally scored by Bill Bolin, and the only such flash where I think the old version is FAR superior. The old version has an EPIC drop and then another EPIC drop; the new version adds a scene where Jade presses keys on her bass to achieve a similar effect but it just isn’t the same.


The flash starts with dream Jade playing on her newly expanded bass. She somehow grew three extra arms and is smiling as she plays like it’s no big deal, which is an extreme case of early installment weirdness. Though all kinds of weird nonsense has happened in Homestuck characters’ dreams, this is the only time someone EVER undergoes such an unexplained bodily mutation. It doesn’t really matter though; this scene puts a smile on my face either way.


Jade’s dreambot plays the bass in the real world, which helps her plants grow. I think the whole motif of playing instruments to grow plants is a Zelda reference? Kind of weird because Homestuck doesn’t directly borrow much from iconic video games. I don’t know, it’s cute either way.


Just like with Jade’s relaxing bassline, we’re treated to a zoom-out even more surprising than the last one. At first it seems like Jade simply dreams in a pink and golden projection of the real world…


… but THEN pieces of the plot come together as the zoom-out reveals a golden planet called Prospit. Though it’s surprising to find Jade’s dreams take place on whole different planet, the puzzle REALLY comes together at the next zoom-out:


There we have it. A flash that starts as a silly advanced bass solo, but ends up revealing that Jade’s dreams take place within the world of Sburb. I can only imagine how crazy this reveal was for serial readers back then. I don’t think many people expected Jade’s dream world to have been connected to WV’s drawings and Nannasprite’s exposition the whole time.


> Jade: Change wardrobifier to cycle thru STAR HEART HORSESHOE

Ok, good idea. 

You leave the MOON in the cycle though cause you like it.

Here’s a reader-suggested command that Hussie liked and followed through with. I applaud whichever reader suggested to bring this Problem Sleuth reference to the table; it’s a great fit with Jade’s dream wardrobifier.

Note that four of the wardrobifier options are turned on in the image above: moon, star, heart, and horseshoe. All four of those are among the nine leprechaun romance symbols. I would assume that all the options on the dream wardrobifier are the leprechaun romance symbols, but there’s a tenth one unaccounted for (the topmost is a randomizer). In the spirit of MSPA, I’m going to assume the tenth one is a pumpkin. Let’s be real, what else would it be?


Jade explores the golden city and sees someone who looks familiar. Who could it possibly be??? (it’s PM)

I love the way this scene provides our very first hint at the exiles’ backstory as Prospitians and Dersites. It’s a bit of early installment weirdness, since next time we see PM in the past she’s wearing a slightly different outfit.


Meanwhile, Jade’s dreambot randomly floats around her island, echoing all of dream Jade’s moves. This serves as a convenient transition to the exile arc. We see PM right as that transition finishes, which further makes it obvious dream Jade just saw her past self.


Act 3 has been making very good use of scene retraces. They’re always shown side-by-side so you can’t really call them visual callbacks, but they do play a very similar plot role.


What exactly inspired Jade to pretty much beg WV to give PM her package in such a pushy tone and claim that “the freedom of [their] people depends on it”? Probably cloud visions that made it incredibly obvious WV likes being a mayor and PM likes being a mail lady. Maybe she also saw PM in person delivering mail, because this note was quite obviously written by dream Jade and the entire package is presumably mirrored between the dream and waking worlds.


The delivery mission has one problem though: AR is randomly shooting at everyone because he thinks he’s the lawyer of the frog temple or something. We don’t yet know AR wants to be a lawyer, but we will soon enough. Knowing how horribly Earth C’s politics fell apart in the epilogues, I’m suddenly sad AR didn’t get to rebuild civilization like the other two exiles did.


WV’s attraction to PM reminds me how separate the exile arc is from the rest of the story. Their storyline has its own unique charm and it’s unfortunately often forgotten about.

First explicit confirmation that PM is female.

I think Jade’s letters are a very creative way to confirm the exiles’ genders.


WV finally gives PM the present! Hooray!!!

Why are John’s clown scribbles glowing?

I think it’s to convey to us that these scribbles are mirrored in the waking world and/or early installment weirdness.


Jade flies to the other tower and checks in on John’s dream self, who apparently “will wake up when he is ready”. The panel where we see inside John’s dream room is a major wham shot, especially the scary clown doll. It both answers (the first half of) a plot mystery and foreshadows the main antagonist of the first five acts, which is really damn cool. Sometimes it impresses me how efficient Homestuck can be at driving mysteries.


Speaking of John, you wonder if he got the birthday present you sent him? Or for that matter, if you even remembered to send it? 

Darn! You get so confused sometimes. If only you had some system in place to help you remember things.

This page again shows us that dream Jade is considerably more forgetful than regular Jade. The book commentary on this page is very interesting:

Jade’s dreaming confusion and forgetfulness is kind of an odd symptom that’s never quite been duplicated by another waking dream self. There are two possibilities. One is I was still ironing out the dream self rules early in the story, and that symptom never panned out for others, OR, it is because her sleeping habits are imposed on her unnaturally by external forces. GUESS WHICH EXPLANATION I PREFER.

As a wise clown once said: can’t it be motherfuckin’ both things? It only makes sense that external forces, which may or may not be code for a certain self-important troll girl, would retroactively make themselves responsible for cases of early installment weirdness and story inconsistencies. I absolutely fucking hate that all this retroactive justification through *this one character* makes metafictional sense. Note the word “metafictional”—no way in HELL it makes regular plain old “sense”.


Your MOON is getting very close to SKAIA. You had better go inside soon. It is never a very good idea to be outside during the ECLIPSE. 

Maybe you can take the opportunity to log onto your computer and ask John about his present. You just know he will think it is awesome, and it will be a great way to thank him for the wonderful present he got you!

This scene hints that one of Jade’s early conversations with John was typed by dream Jade, which is fully confirmed a bit later. A very good example of feeding attentive readers breadcrumbs towards the grand reveal.

I’m ending this post here, just like I did with the old version of this post. See you next time as we go back to Act 6 Act 5 and read Detective Pony’s lesser-known sibling. And see you at some point in the future as I go through the last 100 pages of Act 3, ending with an iconic flash that is just SO GOOD AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. correction: next 50 pages of Act 3, featuring an amazing flash that SHOULD be iconic but everyone forgets about for some reason.

>> Part 12.1: Scrawlings in Puddles of Sloppy Discharge

Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 93: A Friendship Even More Permanently Ruined

Introduction / Schedule

Part 92 | Part 93 | Part 94 >


Act 6 Act 5, Part 1 of 6

Pages 5512-5571 (MSPA: 7412-7471)

Get ready for lots of sighs in this act.


One of my Act 6 Act 2 posts was originally going to be called “The Worst Part of Homestuck (So Far)” but I then decided to name it “A Friendship Permanently Ruined”.

This post was originally going to be called “The Worst Part of Homestuck (Arguably)” but then I decided on “A Friendship Even More Permanently Ruined”.


As a wise man once said, the circle of stupidity is complete.

––––––––––– ––––––––––– ––––––––––– –––––––––––


Act 6 Act 5 of Homestuck opens with a short flash of Jake English sitting alone and bored on his planet, waiting for the day his cool young grandma and her movie-loving brother finally show up. In this flash, Jake’s sprite is revealed to be a combination of Eridan and Sollux, who flips him the bird. Jake wheezes laughing for… some reason? Then he gets an alert from Dirk and sighs again.


TT: Dude! 
TT: Where you at, man. 
TT: Wait. 
TT: Which computer are you using? 
TT: I’m not comfortable knowing my words could be hovering over Cage’s clownish, sort of gaunt face. 
TT: Could you maybe switch back to naked blue chicks as your exclusive desktop fodder? TIA. 
TT: But yeah. 
TT: I don’t know if you just want a little solitude. 
TT: Or if maybe you finally just got like, 
TT: A case of Strider fatigue. 
TT: I could understand that. 
TT: I mean, not to get all neurotic on you. 
TT: I’m just saying I get it, if that’s what’s going on. 
TT: But for real, if you gotta sneak away for a few days, that’s cool. 
TT: Just might be kind of dope if you at least would let me know which planet you scurried off to. 
TT: And by dope I guess I mean considerate? 
TT: Really not trying to be a drag here. 
TT: Wondering what’s up is all. 
TT: Want to meet up soon? 
TT: I found a really promising tomb we could raid. 
TT: Looks like it runs hella deep. 
TT: If I’ve got the specs right, could run as deep as the Lion’s Mouth itself. 
TT: But without all the fuckin’ fire to deal with. 
TT: Wait, I mean Lion’s Mouth. 
TT: Gotta underline that key shit. Always forget. 


What is going on with Jake? He’s always viewed Dirk as a cool friend and his whole life he’s been excited to go on tomb raiding adventures just like in his favorite movies. But now he isn’t responding to any of his best bro’s messages.

TT: Figure it should take a couple days to make it to the bottom. 
TT: Only a day if we both go limp and just fall the whole way down the stairs. 
TT: Ignoring literally every sage warning we’ve ever received about those treacherous plummetation zigzags. 
TT: Just tumbling on down in a floppy limbed trance like a couple of puppets in a race arranged by some drunk gamblers. 
TT: If you’re into another expedition, head to LOTAK and hit me up. Just don’t forget your mask this time. 
TT: The deeper we go, the worse it gets, remember? 
TT: Could be some unreal grist down there. 
TT: More puzzle shit. 
TT: Loads of skeletons. 
TT: Pack your guns dog. 


It’s so weird seeing Jake not get excited about adventures. I’m not going to try to analyze this romance drama much so I’ll keep things brief. Dirk probably has only the best intentions and wants to take Jake out on trips he knows he enjoys; Jake got bored of exploring intense deadly mazes all the time and now just wants to finally meet the beta kids.


Jake’s lock screen wallpaper is now a selfie with him and Dirk. An image that stings to look at considering Jake is currently in the process of ignoring his bro.


Jake solicits profound wisdom from his friendly guide, a miserable troll amalgam sprite named Erisolsprite. Physically he’s a sprite combination of Eridan’s corpse and Sollux’s half-corpse, but personality-wise he’s just pre-blinding Sollux with even more self-loathing—it’s easy to forget Sollux was constantly irate and ranting about his race’s doom from the trolls’ arc up until his blinding.* It’s an interesting choice for this sprite not to have much of Eridan’s personality, but rather for Sollux’s soul combination with Eridan to make him hate himself even more. Just look at these passages:

* Put more succinctly: it’s easy to forget Sollux.

ERISOLSPRITE: alriight you wwant 2ome redrom coun2el, wwell here you go. 
ERISOLSPRITE: iim of the miind2et that wwhen you havve a rock 2oliid piiece of a22 tiied twwo the dock, you dont bloody wwell tug the knot loo2e and 2hovve the fucker off wwiith the heel a your boot. 
ERISOLSPRITE: but then another part of me ju2t wwonder2 wwhat the FUCK ii ju2t 2aiid there? liike that wwa2 ju2t 2uch a wweiird 2ociiopathiic thought ii had, ii hone2tly had no iidea howw bad ii could po22iibly feel about my2elf untiil ii BECAME my2elf, iif THAT make2 2en2e. 
ERISOLSPRITE: your bro ha2 feeliin2 twwo con2iider, he2 not 2ome 2liice of grub2teak. wwhy are you con2ultiing wwiith me, iim a dii2a2ter. no iim a dii2a2ter that 2hiit iit2 emotiional pant2 wwiith thiick liiquiid CATA2TROPHE, 2o dont evven come near me. 


[…]

ERISOLSPRITE: revvolvve around? iit2 a biit late for that jake.
ERISOLSPRITE: your flu2hed quadrant ii2 a black hole and wwe are all beiing dragged 2creamiin through iit2 evvent horiizon. 
ERISOLSPRITE: ju2t talk twwo jane, and nevver fuckiin look at me agaiin for the re2t of your liife. 
ERISOLSPRITE: iim leavviing. hey here2 one for the road. 
JAKE: Ah! There she blows. Your favorite finger of all. 
JAKE: You sure do love showing that one to people. Its actually become a vaguely comforting gesture. 
ERISOLSPRITE: you knoww wwhat youvve done jake. 
ERISOLSPRITE: you havve totally RUIINED the act of fliippiin people off. 
ERISOLSPRITE: iit wwa2 the one joy ii had left. ii hope youre happy. 


Erisolsprite throws choice insults at Jake. He also states some choice facts, not the least of which is that Dirk is a human being with feelings.


Meanwhile on Roxy’s planet, we get a rather cute sight. Jane and Roxy are working hard decorating for Jane’s 16th birthday party, accompanied by some exiled carapacians and cats.

These color-coded hats are the cutest thing ever, oh my god. Even the mischievous cat has one.


Upon Erisolsprite’s suggestion, Jake pesters Jane.


I’m going to do you a huge favor that you should be grateful for. Just like last time Jane and Jake talked, I’ll skim through the pesterlog and only comment on a few interesting or especially “what the FUCK” bits.

GT: Well what in the name of willy howard tafts great tub choking bottom could i be forgetting then? 
GT: This is going to drive me CRAZY! Can you give me a hint? 
GG: Yes. It has to do with the day I was born, which was almost exactly sixteen years ago. 
GT: Of course! Your birthday!!! 
GG: Didn’t you get Roxy’s invitation? 
GG: It was my understanding that she gave you and Dirk notice weeks ago. 
GT: Yes thats right. Now i remember. The date sure snuck up on us quick didnt it? 
GT: Sorry you know how things can slip my mind. The gourd on my shoulders isnt the steel trap it used to be. Nothing like the well oiled puzzlebuster you’ve got up there. 
GG: Mm. 
GT: Well damn. 
GT: Looks like the egg monster took quite the spirited dump on my face this time. 
GG: Jake. I… what? 
GT: I feel so dumb. Ill be right over. 

Is it just me, or does Jake crank his old man speak WAY up whenever he’s being thick-headed? Or repressive, depending how you prefer to analyze Jake’s character. This pattern I’ve noticed is probably a natural effect of the usual way to write him. Clumsy metaphors are something John and Jake have in common, but only the former is self-aware about it.

GG: Well, if you recall, the party is actually tomorrow. 
GG: Like I said, we’re just setting a few things up. 
GG: Roxy is putting up some decorations. I baked a cake. You were of course free to join us early too. I just thought since I hadn’t heard from you in quite some time, you had better things to do. 
GT: You baked a cake for your own party? 
GG: Yes. So? 
GT: I dont know something seems amiss about that. Isnt that against tradition or inviting bad luck or something? 
GT: But I guess it makes sense since you love baking cakes. Its like a present you give to yourself! 


It’s easy to forget how naive Jane can be sometimes. Her misconception about baking cakes would be perfectly endearing under any other context.

Jake talks about how hard grist has been to come by and starts to speculate about the beta kids he so badly wants to meet:

GT: Sometimes i wonder if the heroes had the same problems in their game. Do you think they found an easier way to kill skeletons? 
GT: Were they just as shameless as us when it came to splurging our precious grist on swanky new duds? 
GT: Did the same enigmatic bard haunt their game? And if so which hilarious dead trolls did he throw into the flashy blobs?
GT: Mr erisol tells me he knows many things about the heroes because he saw them in action when he was alive. But he wont tell me a thing about them! These troll sprites sure do love keeping their secrets dont they? Heheh. 


Jake’s speculation is mostly way off, but in a way he’s right on about the enigmatic bard. Gamzee did indeed haunt the beta kids’ game, but in a much more roundabout fashion than with the alpha kids because that’s what bards do. I feel bad for him not getting to know anything about the beta kids’ game. Probably about the same happened after the retcon, since Vriska let Tavros come by only often enough to occasionally console Jake.

Jake then starts to monologue about issues with Dirk, and Jane’s face says all:


GT: Oh which actually reminds me of ANOTHER thing thats been bugging me about dirk. 
GT: He can often be almost hilariously self absorbed. Dont even get me started on when he starts going off on these long monologues about his philosophical gobbledygook. 
GT: I’m not sure he actually has much of a filter when it comes to what others regard as interesting points of conversation. 
GT: Not to rag on the guy too hard but i guess at times i would just like to see a little more self awareness from him is all. 


Obligatory “you’re one to talk”. That is all.


And then Jane loses her patience and starts screaming at Jake. Roxy and her best friend Fefetasprite are understandably confused.

GG: YOU MIGHT ACTUALLY BE THE MOST THOUGHTLESS, SELF-CENTERED PERSON I HAVE EVER MET! 
GG: I CAN’T BELIEVE I USED TO FEEL… 
GT: Huh? 
GT: Used to feel what? 
GG: JAKE, HAS IT EVER OCCURRED TO YOU HOW IT MUST FEEL FOR SOMEONE TO LISTEN TO HER FRIEND GO ON AND ON ABOUT HIS BOYFRIEND PROBLEMS WHEN… 
GG: WHEN ALL ALONG SHE… 
GG: BUT SHE JUST COULDN’T SAY BECAUSE SHE BLEW IT AND IT WAS TOO LATE TO… 
GG: I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHY I’M BOTHERING TO EXPLAIN THIS TO YOU. NEVER MIND. 
GT: Now hold the phone. 
GT: Jane i think i may finally understand whats been going on here. 
GT: In retrospect i cant believe ive been this blind. 
GT: Youre right i really can be deplorably thick sometimes. 
GT: Looking back i can see how many of our conversations must have been torment for you. 
GT: You really should have told me how you felt sooner! 
GG: YEAH. I… 
GG: I know. 😦 
GT: If you told me you had the hots for dirk i would have backed off without another word. 
GT: What are friends for! 


Jake’s misunderstanding is fucking incredible, I can’t even bring myself to do anything but crack up. It’s just, what is there to even say?????


ROXY: jane 
ROXY: yo uh 
ROXY: janey 
ROXY: u ok there 
JANE: I WILL BE PEACHY FUCKING KEEN ONCE I STOMP THIS NOVELTY MUSTACHE HEADSET INTO OBLIVION, AND NOT A MOMENT SOONER! 
ROXY: janey uh 
ROXY: that aint a reasonable thing you said 
JANE: AU CONTRAIRE. 
JANE: I BELIEVE YOU WILL FIND THAT ONCE THIS PIECE OF SHIT HAS BEEN REDUCED TO SUBATOMIC PARTICLES, WE WILL ALL COME OUT SMELLING LIKE FUCKING ROSES. 
ROXY: jaaaaane 
ROXY: stoppit 😦 
ROXY: ur upsettin fefeta 
ROXY: just 
ROXY: think of fefeta is all im asking 
ROXY: poor fefeta 😥 
FEFETASPRITE: 3833 < 383 

JANE: OH POOR FEFETA MY SWEET PATOOTIE! 
JANE: YOU AND I BOTH KNOW FEFETA HAS HAD TO DEAL WITH GARBAGE FROM JERKOFF BOYS BEFORE. 
JANE: SO DON’T GIVE ME THIS POOR FEFETA CRAP. 


Jane is starting to make negative amounts of sense here. Isn’t the trolls’ romance drama backstory even more reason not to upset dear, sweet, precious Fefeta?

ROXY: lol yeah 
ROXY: my girl fefeta knows whats up 
ROXY: she been around the d bag block a time or 2 
ROXY: em i rite fefeta 
FEFETASPRITE: 3833 < 3;3 
ROXY: shit yes gimme a paw bump 
ROXY: BOMP 
ROXY: jane u want in on this action 
ROXY: come give us a fist fulla sugar 
ROXY: complete the 3way for max girl power + solidarity against dumb dudes 
ROXY: janey jeez dont leave us hanging here 
JANE: SIGH. 
JANE: FINE. 
ROXY: jane that was the piss poorest paw bump ive ever seen 
ROXY: that was like a negative bump 
ROXY: we are going to have to bump long and hard into the night to dig us outta this fuckin bump hole you dug us into 
ROXY: w/ that tragic bump 
ROXY: that bump was like 
ROXY: shakespearean 
ROXY: makes me want to weep softly and leave a bouquet somewhere 
ROXY: someone plays a sad trumpet in the distance 
ROXY: look fefeta just sniffled a little at how sad that bump w- 



Fefetasprite is kind of like the alpha kids’ Mayor—she doesn’t talk but has one party member constantly proclaim her to be a rich, thoughtful, and pure soul who nobody can ever hate. There’s not really much reason not to make her a voiced character though? Maybe Hussie decided he didn’t enjoy trying to figure out how to write amalgamations of random trolls. It makes sense that after the retcon he took a second shot at making character amalgamation sprites and came up with Jasprosesprite^2 and Davepetasprite^2. I’m not sure how I feel about the squared sprites, other than that I still love everything about Rose’s reaction to her absurd cat sprite self.

Sometimes Roxy’s concerned faces tug straight at the heartstrings.


ROXY: he was a block head and forgot your birthday didnt he 
ROXY: im sorry jane 
JANE: Yeah, me too. Can we maybe not rehash the whole terrible conversation though?? 
ROXY: yeah we dont have to 
ROXY: just maybe try not to hold whatever dumb shit he said against him forever? 
ROXY: thats just how the guy is 
ROXY: its like 
ROXY: he doesnt mean to be a douche 
ROXY: but its just kind of a byproduct of the whole ridiculous jake english experience 
ROXY: like his dunkass shenanigans leave behind a residue that looks like douche and tastes like douche but it aint the real thing? 
ROXY: like douche substitute 
ROXY: “i cant believe its not douche” 
ROXY: um 
ROXY: im just trying to say not terrible things about him in hopes you dont start hating each other but i guess this isnt what you wanna hear now 
JANE: 😡 


Roxy only ever sees the best in her friends, and I do mean all of her friends. It can be a huge benefit or a huge problem depending on the circumstances, and it’s such a pivotal trait of hers that at the end of the Candy Epilogue she’s only just starting to come to terms with distancing herself from Jane.

JANE: ROXY, I GET YOU’RE TRYING TO MAKE ME FEEL BETTER, BUT A LOT OF THINGS YOU’RE SAYING HERE AREN’T REALLY HELPING! 
JANE: DO YOU EVEN REALIZE WHAT YOU’RE SAYING HALF THE TIME? 
JANE: I THINK I LIKED YOU BETTER WHEN YOU WERE DRINKING! 
ROXY: jaaane no 
ROXY: dont say that 
ROXY: i had a problem 😦 
FEFETASPRITE: 3833 < 38( 


Obligatory “ouch”. That is all.

JANE: THIS GAME IS SO MUCH MORE DEPRESSING THAN I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE! EVERYTHING IS DEAD AND EMPTY AND FULL OF GRAVES AND ALL WE’RE SUPPOSED TO DO IS JUST KEEP WAITING AND WAITING AND WAITING! BUT FOR HOW MUCH LONGER? 

Right after a surprisingly nasty remark from Jane, we’re reminded how excited she was to play Sburb at the start of Act 6 and it’s surprisingly crushing.

JANE: AND I STILL DON’T KNOW WHERE MY DAD IS, AND YOU STILL HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO REACH CALLIOPE, AND WHAT IF THEY’RE BOTH… 
JANE: AND NOW ON TOP OF ALL THAT, I MAY HAVE PERMANENTLY DESTROYED MY FRIENDSHIP WITH JAKE! 
JANE: AND NOW… 
JANE: Now… 
JANE: I just want to be alone. 
ROXY: jane wait 
JANE: I have to go! 
ROXY: where are you going! 


Jane goes on to remind us of all the other problems that aren’t resolved one bit more than they were when the alpha kids started the game and it’s again surprisingly crushing.

After all this time, I’m still extremely fond of the Youth Roll. It’s just so satisfying to watch.

Can’t forget about the Acrobatic Fucking Pirouette, what a classic.


JANE: HOME!!! 

It’s only thematically fitting that Jane shouting “HOME!!!” is accompanied by a humorous callback to the early acts.


ROXY: good lard 
ROXY: all my friends are being disasters 
ROXY: welp looks like its just us 
ROXY: party nite w gcat and fefeta 
ROXY: fefeta??? 
ROXY: oh dangit 
ROXY: hey you know i could have used some support there 
ROXY: where was all that profound shippin expertise when we really needed it! 
ROXY: usually i can barely shut you up girl 
ROXY: maybe you just clammed up at all the drama? 
ROXY: hehehe youd have loved that pun 
ROXY: the one i just said about the clams 


I don’t like that Fefetasprite never says a single word onscreen despite how talkative Roxy claims her to be. Maybe it fits thematically because Roxy is a void player and supposed to be all mysterious? I don’t say that because I actually think it makes any sense, but as an excuse to talk about a criticism I have with Roxy’s character: her being “mysterious” because she’s a void player is an informed attribute at best. Roxy doesn’t ever feel strange and mysterious, not even all that much in the epilogues. I mean sure, narrator Dirk has a much harder time understanding Roxy than any other character, but let’s be real here, the whole mysterious Roxy motif was mostly used as an excuse for the gender transition storyline and didn’t have much of a bearing on the plot.

(Hell, I’d argue that Roxy being supposedly “hard to decipher” made the transition arc feel more forced. Why else do you think so many people draw him with fucking heart-shaped sunglasses???)

With Fefetasprite asleep, GCat teleports Roxy to Derse and she’s knocked out on the floor, watched over by the Condesce.


Jane ollies outie and arrives on her own planet. The cute callback is immediately followed by her running home in a bitter mood…


… which fizzles out and becomes a sad mood.


Then she gets an alert from Caliborn. Not surprisingly, she’s extremely upset to hear from him again. Caliborn brags about how much progress he’s made in the game and his new way of spying on the alpha kids’ game.

uu: MY POWER HAS GROWN CONSIDERABLY SINCE I LAST JEERED YOU. 
uu: I HAVE MADE REMARKABLE STRIDES ON MY SACRED JOURNEY TOWARD IMPORTANT ADULTHOOD. 
uu: ON THIS BULLSHIT PLANET. WHICH USED TO BE YOUR HOME. 
uu: I HAVE FOUND MANY KEYS. AND UNLOCKED MANY HOLES. 
uu: AND NOW I CAN SEE MORE. AND LEARN MORE. THAN YOU COULD EVER FUCKING DREAM! 
GG: How wonderful for you. 
GG: I don’t care how all-seeing and all-powerful you think you are. 
GG: If your intent is to waste my time with more of your pitiful bullying, you are out of luck. 
GG: Because that is exactly NOT the sort of crap I am in the mood for today. 
GG: Toodle-oo!!! 
uu: WAIT! 
uu: I THINK I GOT OFF ON THE WRONG FOOT. 
uu: HOW ABOUT WE. GNAW THAT ONE OFF AND START OVER? 
uu: I WAS TRYING TO PAY YOU A COMPLIMENT. 


The bolded text above is one of the best puns in all of Homestuck, if not the best. It’s just so perfect.

uu: MY PEOPLE AREN’T MEANT TO LIKE ANYBODY. GET IT? 
uu: I MEAN, NOT THE WAY HUMANS DO. WE DON’T HAVE THE HUMAN EMOTION CALLED “LOVEKHEKLFSDKF”. AND WE SPONTANEOUSLY START MASHING KEYS. WHEN WE ARE FORCED TO EVEN TYPE THE WORD. 
uu: ALL OUR RELATIONSHIPS ARE DICTATED BY THE MIRACLE OF HATRED. SO WHEN I USE BAD WORDS TOWARD YOU. THAT’S JUST ME SAYING THINGS TO TRY TO KNOW YOU BETTER. 
uu: LIKE. “SOCIALLYUOIPY”. 
uu: AS A. 
uu: *SHUDDER* 
uu: A… “FRIENDJISJFDJISJSDKFLDJSDKLJF”. 


Caliborn is laying his trolling, wait I mean “jeering”, a bit thick. He’s making up complete nonsense about his species, which reminds me of how the trolls would often make up nonsense when hassling the beta kids. 

Caliborn goes on to brag about how he’s been thinking the “dirtiest” thoughts while spying on the alpha kids. Jane makes an obvious assumption on what Caliborn is talking about:

GG: What? No! 
GG: Are you insane? 
GG: I don’t care where you are, or whatever the hell it is you “unlocked” to spy on me. 
GG: You aren’t allowed to sit there all day leering at my boobs!!! 
uu: YOUR WHAT. 
GG: My… what? 
GG: Wait, what were YOU talking about? 


Unlike Dirk, Jane doesn’t know that to cherubs “dirty” means eating cake and holding hands and that they couldn’t care less about human genitalia. It turns out that Caliborn is actually talking about how fat Jane is, a memetic headcanon she aggressively denies.

uu: WAIT! DON’T SHUT ME OUT. 
uu: REMEMBER WHAT I SAID. ABOUT OUR DIFFERENT CULTURES OR WHATEVER. 
uu: HAVE A FUCKING OPEN MIND, JANE. 
uu: I MADE YOU A PRESENT. FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY. WHATEVER THAT ACTUALLY IS. 
uu: SEE HOW I’M MAKING AN EFFORT TO UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMS? 
uu: MEET ME HALF OF THE GODDAMN WAY. 
GG: Oh cripes. 
GG: What is it? 
uu: A SUBLIME ARTISTIC PORTRAIT. 
uu: REMEMBER HOW I SAID MY POWER WAS GROWING WITH EACH DAY. 
uu: THIS APPLIES AS WELL TO MY PROWESS AS A DRAFTSMAN. 
GG: Oh goodness, no. You poor delusional thing. 
GG: I don’t care what progress you think you’ve made. You will never be a good artist, dear. 


Here Caliborn encounters a typical hurdle artists must overcome: acquaintances who claim the artist is just a nonsensical egomaniac.

uu: HORSESHIT. 
uu: MY ILLUSTRATION IS STUNNING. IT IS NEARLY A PHOTOGRAPHIC REPRESENTATION OF YOUR ODIOUS MILKSHAKE. 
uu: NOW PARK THE INDUSTRIAL LOAD OF FREIGHT YOU DECLARE A BOTTOM. AND FEAST YOUR EYES ON MY FUCKING EXCELLENCE! 
uu: http://tinyurl.com/JANETHISISYOU 
GG: Groan. 


Luckily, getting past that hurdle is a no-brainer for Caliborn. He knows that one day, his masterful artwork will blow the minds of everyone he has ever known. His latest drawing is impressive in a way:

The circle of obesity is complete.



Caliborn has managed to draw a circle, and his speech about how he achieved such a difficult task is very much worth reading:

uu: I BELIEVE I HAVE CHOSEN THE PERFECT SHAPE FOR YOU. 
uu: IT IS DESCRIBED IN CERTAIN CIRCLES KNOWLEDGEABLE OF THE ARTS. AS. “A CIRCLE”. 
uu: I AM VERY PLEASED WITH HOW FAITHFULLY IT HAS CAPTURED THE OBSCENE ROTUNDITY. OF YOUR MAGNIFICENT CARRIAGE. 
uu: TRULY A SPITTING IMAGE OF THE CROCKER BITCH. 
uu: NOW LISTEN CAREFULLY. YOU MAY LEARN SOMETHING. 
uu: THE MASTERPIECE AFICIONADO WILL NOTICE. HOW I ACHIEVED THIS HIGHLY ADVANCED AND DIFFICULT SHAPE. 
uu: WHAT MOST GIFTED ARTISANS WILL TELL YOU. IS THAT. CIRCLES ARE BASICALLY FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE TO DRAW. 
uu: TRUST ME. 
uu: IT’S LIKE A PARADOX. A SHAPE WITHOUT ANGLES. WHAT?? 
uu: SO I FUCKING CHEATED. 
uu: I NAVIGATED THE IRRATIONAL PERIMETER BY MAKING A LOT OF EASILY UNDERSTANDABLE, TOTALLY LOGICAL MARKS. FORMING A WHOLE BUNCH OF LITTLE RIGHT ANGLES. 
uu: THE CHEATING PART HAPPENS WHEN I DO THIS A LOT. SO IT GOES IN A ROUND DIRECTION. 
uu: THIS ONE CAME OUT WELL I THINK. BUT THERE’S ROOM TO IMPROVE. 
uu: I HAVE THEORIZED THAT IF I KEEP MAKING BOGUS CIRCLES LIKE THIS. 
uu: WHILE DRAWING MORE AND MORE ANGLES. BUT SMALLER. SO SMALL THAT YOU START CAN’T SEEING THEM. 
uu: THAT THE ILLUSION OF THE CIRCLE WILL BE COMPLETE! AND PEOPLE WILL BELIEVE IN THE FAKE CIRCLE. LIKE A BUNCH OF SUCKERS. 
uu: I BET NOBODY HAS THOUGHT OF THAT CIRCLE STRATEGY. I THINK I’M THE FIRST AT THIS IDEA. AND BEST AT IT ALREADY. 
uu: PEOPLE THINK I’M DUMB. ESPECIALLY THE VOICE IN MY HEAD. 
uu: AND THEY MAY BE RIGHT ABOUT ME BEING DUMB. 
uu: BUT WHEN IT COMES TO THE SPECIAL WAY I DO THINGS. WHICH IS ALWAYS ACTUALLY. THE PERFECT WAY. 
uu: I AM. 
uu: A GENIUS! 


Circles are really fucking hard to draw, Caliborn is right. He found a different way to draw circles from how most people go about it and ended up with a passing approximation of a circle. He even admits that he still has a ways to go before he masters the art of drawing circles, showing that he’s truly dedicated to becoming the best artist he can possibly be. It’s kind of hilarious that his big step forward in becoming an artist was inspired by Jane’s supposed obesity of all things, which makes sense in a way—many artists find themselves inspired by the weirdest things. I know I do (though probably not to Caliborn’s extent).


uu: SETTLE DOWN AND LISTEN TO BOY REASON. DO NOT MAKE ME DEMONSTRATE THE VERACITY OF MY FACTS. YET AGAIN. 
uu: THAT SACCHARINE TRAMP IS SUCH A GONER. SHE’S NEVER COMING BACK. 
uu: JUST LIKE YOUR DAPPER HUMAN GUARDIAN. 
GG: WHAT?? WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT MY FATHER! 
GG: WHERE IS HE? 
uu: HE’S FUCKING DEAD IS WHERE. 
GG: YOU’RE LYING AGAIN!!! 
GG: TELL ME WHAT YOU KNOW! 
uu: GOD. I’M TRYING TO. 
uu: MY FACTS ARE HAVING DIFFICULTY PENETRATING YOUR HYSTERICAL ATTITUDE. LISTEN TO ME VERY CLOSE. 
uu: HE WAS CAPTURED BY AN AGENT SOON AFTER YOU BEGAN YOUR QUEST. HE WAS THEN PUT IN JAIL ON DERSE. 
GG: Ok… 
GG: So he’s on Derse, then? 
uu: BITCH, YOU AREN’T PAYING ATTENTION. DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE PRISON SYSTEM ON DERSE? 
uu: IT ISN’T LIKE THE SOFT TIME YOU DO ON PROSPIT. I BET YOU NEVER SPENT ANY TIME IN THE JOKE THEY CALL A SLAMMER THERE. LET ALONE ON DERSE. 
GG: And I suppose you have?? 
uu: I WAS NOT VERY WELL BEHAVED. I DID MORE THAN MY SHARE OF TIME. CHAINED TO THE WALL OF A CELL. 
uu: HEE HEE! LIKE I WASN’T SO USED TO THAT. I WAS LIKE. DO YOUR WORST. 
uu: AND THEN THEY DID. DERSITES DO NOT TREAT THEIR PRISONERS GOOD. TO SAY THE LEAST! 
uu: I WAS ONLY ABLE TO SURVIVE THE BRUTALITY. DUE TO MY EXCEPTIONAL CONSTITUTION. AND EVEN TO SOME EXTENT. MY ABILITY TO ENJOY ANGUISH. 
uu: BUT YOUR PATHETIC, FRAIL HUMAN “DAD” IS A DIFFERENT STORY. THERE IS NO DOUBT AT ALL. THAT HE IS DEAD BY NOW! 


Caliborn tells Jane his sister is dead, then talks about how brutally Jane’s father has been treated in Derse’s prison. I think it’s supposed to be a red herring where Caliborn projects alien values onto Jane? Caliborn doesn’t lie, but he loves omitting details. Both of the cherubs have extremely alien values, really. Why else would Calliope be so insistent on letting Gamzee have a “redemption arc”?


Rest in peace, the Astairetop. The only fatherly laptop that wasn’t horribly affected by real-life circumstances.


Jane absconds and sadjumps her way home. I find “sadjump” to be a very sad word for far more reasons than merely its first three letters.


After this whole dump of horrible romance drama, it’s time once more to see what the Dignitary is up to. He reads the daily newspaper about Jack Noir’s imprisonment.

No surprise here. The archagent is dominating the headlines, yet again. Already approaching day 154 of this debacle. It’s a big day for your kingdom. Hard to believe it’s here already. Time sure flies when you’re being smooth and well dressed. 

Soon enough we’ll see firsthand what DD means by “well dressed”, and boy is it a fun throwback.

The article covers the usual tedious politics surrounding the negotiation of his release. After weeks of posturing and grandstanding, Prospit’s terms have been bargained down to a polite apology, signed by the Condesce herself. Or those were the terms you were last aware of. You check to see if there have been any further developments. Yeah, just as you thought. She refused those terms. Prospit then countered with a new offer. The apology no longer has to be polite. 

No way she cottons to that proposal either. It’s quite obvious to you what’s going on here. The white queen was never really taking this negotiation seriously. She has been submitting frivolous proposals which she knows perfectly well the Condesce will refuse on principle, daring her in front of the whole kingdom to swallow just an ounce of pride to get her agent back. This makes her look petty in the tabloids if she refuses, which was always inevitable. Because as everyone knows, a queen is a vain creature. Even alien sea queens. 

And you thought the kingdoms were locked in a stalemate BEFORE new management took over.

Kind of interesting that when both the Black Queen and Jack are replaced, the stalemate between Prospit and Derse is preserved. It makes sense that after the Condesce took over Derse’s rule, Jack Noir had to be imprisoned because we know from experience that the Black Queen is the only thing keeping him from wrecking shit wherever he goes.

And here we see what DD means by “well dressed”. With his new outfit he looks identical to his Midnight Crew counterpart, Diamonds Droog. That’s some pretty great circumstantial simultaneity—it only makes sense that Dad and the Midnight Crew would tie together at some point, given that both of their designs had some roots in Problem Sleuth.

The press has run the story so far into the ground, you can barely bring yourself to keep up with it anymore. Sensationalism at its finest. 

Not that you’re really itching to see Noir get his old job back. Talk about a high strung boss. The time in the clink should do him good. Like a forced vacation, with accommodations nearly on par with a five star hotel on Derse. Frankly, things run much smoother around here without him blowing a gasket every other day. 

Though you will say you could really use his expertise as a pencil pusher. You never knew anyone who could file paperwork quite like Noir. Sure he complained bitterly about his desk job, but in truth he was always a reluctant savant of bureaucratic procedure and red tape. Now you’re getting buried in all these damn tax forms and parking tickets. Maybe you should have them shuttled to his jail cell on Prospit so he can catch up? You have a feeling the Prospitian authorities would be willing to oblige. Actually, that’s such a good idea, you can’t believe you didn’t think of it sooner. You’ll have to get the Droll on that pronto.

Though the Dignitary has been a cooperative archagent, we see through the huge piles of papers and narration that things don’t go too great when carapacians don’t play their game’s assigned roles. It’s a good reminder that Prospitians and Dersites are ultimately game constructs. DD’s programmed personality is also the only reason he isn’t flipping out about performing a job Jack is much better at. He’s just a little annoyed because it’s been five months without that guy.

You step over to your cubicle of FENESTRATED WALLS, which you had replaced since the Prince trashed the old ones. You ordered the Droll to sneak off to one of their worlds and whip up some fresh ones, with a few alchemical upgrades while he was at it. The Droll isn’t really the sharpest tool in the shed, but he’s certainly the most versatile. Also the most eager to please. If you have to watch his happy umbrella dance one more time, you swear to God… 

Turns out the green fenestrated walls were alchemized by the Droll. As with Gamzee and the Skaianet hub, the Droll probably looted Roxy’s house one day and maybe stole some of the kids’ grist. Probably quite a lot of grist, knowing how big these walls are.


And it’s a good thing you taught them a lesson when you did. Because the next day, the Condesce had new orders for all agents. Engaging the Nobles was thereafter strictly forbidden. No more sabotage, assassination attempts, any of that good stuff. Not until the heiress’ wriggling day. Then all bets are off. Who’s the heiress and what’s a wriggling day, you asked. The heiress is the Maid. Ok you said. And her wriggling day? That’s just her birthday, but phrased in alien. Like the anniversary of the day she was spawned, with cake and all that jazz. Come on, use your brain. Alright, got it, you said. 

Anyway, that’s tomorrow. 

Everything seems so peaceful and quiet right now, and I’m sure the Condesce intended it that way. It took me a moment to remember she has an INSANE plan up her sleeve to catch the beta and alpha kids off-guard and take full control of two of them.

Your guess is the orders came down from her boss, who from what you’ve gathered, is even more of a headcase than your presently incarcerated superior. 

Notice that Jack Noir and Lord English are mentioned in the same sentence. Very sneaky foreshadowing of what will soon become of the alpha kids’ Jack.


Note that the prisoner in this panel has the exact same body proportions as the Wayward Vagabond. If we are to assume that this is the alpha kids’ copy of WV, then this means we know something about all the B1 exiles’ alpha session counterparts except for PM. And yes, this includes AR.

You take a stroll through the Derse penitentiary. This is where the gen pop is housed. For inmates life is usually unpleasant and short down here. But the moment you laid eyes on the human prisoner, you knew you could never in good conscience lock him up in the dungeons and gulags with the common thieves, tax cheats and parking fee delinquents. That would be a crime worse than those committed by all the inmates combined. 

No, a man of such distinction and strong fashion sense needed special accommodations. A cell reserved for Very Important Prisoners.

Caliborn told us earlier that Dad Crocker was a Very Important Prisoner and that meant he was being horribly tortured in his jail cell. But it turns out the exact opposite is true:

A huge couch in a jail cell, oh my god. I’m fucking dying.



The prisoner appears to be doing well. You ask if you can get him anything. Coffee? A newspaper? Additional smoking apparatus? He indicates that since he lost his wallet, he’s been running low on pipe tobacco. You say you’ll see to it at once. 

Dad Crocker is every bit as fatherly as he was last time we saw him, I love it so much. And to think his special treatment was all because of his fashion sense, that’s so goddamn funny.

While this is a maximum security suite that is virtually impossible to escape from, you’ve made it clear to all personnel that anyone who harms a hair on this man’s head will have to answer to you. They are all very fortunate that his head doesn’t seem to have any. 

God DAMN he is good at shaving. You are not afraid to admit your envy when it comes to his prowess with a straight edge, not even to speak of his natural ability to grow whiskers in the first place. The lucky stiff.

I wonder if Jack and his quartet of Derse agents are all predisposed to enjoy dressing like businessmen? The Dignitary most certainly is, Jack definitely doesn’t enjoy dressing like a clown, the Droll will go along with anything, and the Brute is the loyal, dependable muscle backup. Maybe for every universe Lord English has infected, there’s a Midnight Crew and Felt to go along with it, just like the numerous iterations of himself Doc Scratch has mentioned. I’m sure Caliborn’s crew of leprechauns can be mass-cloned through time travel or something. I wonder if there were any other Spades Slicks out there who got the chance to face someone possessed by Lord English head-on?


Enough bizarre Midnight Crew speculation. It’s time for a humorous throwback to the occasional Serious Business chatlogs we saw on Dad Egbert’s PDA.

Note the Derse logo next to the title “Serious Business”.


Unlike Dad Egbert’s friends, the Dersite Serious Business users aren’t very intelligent. They enact a parody of the hat and pipe talk from the early acts. A user named HATLIKER asks for help because he sat on his hat and ruined it. Other users suggest that he flip his hat upside-down and sit on it again. Dad responds, talking the same way he does in his fatherly notes to John and Jane:

pipefan413: @HATLIKER. THESE MEN ARE LEADING YOU ASTRAY. SITTING ON THE HAT AGAIN WILL ONLY CAUSE IT FURTHER DAMAGE. 
NoNeed4PantsThx: @pipefan413, this will be the case even if the rumpled hat is inverted? 
pipefan413: @NoNeed4PantsThx. YES. THIS WILL BE THE CASE REGARDLESS OF THE HAT’S ORIENTATION. 
FineryFiend: greatly respect @pipefan413’s knowledge of finery. i endorse his warning. 
ChuffedAboutDuds: @FineryFiend me too. 
1dapperblackshell: @FineryFiend so do i 

Note that the Dignitary’s messages have a check mark next to them, akin to “verified” users on social media sites.


Other Dersites bring up the idea of everyone sitting on their hats to make HATLIKER feel less out of place. DD prohibits this all and behaves as his usual stern self:

The Dignitary: @HATLIKER: Incinerate the damaged hat immediately. 
The Dignitary: @HATLIKER: Do not ever wear such a thing in public. 
FineryFiend: !!!!! 
ChuffedAboutDuds: BURN THE HAT! 
NoNeed4PantsThx: BURN THE HAT!!! 
WANT_MORE_SOCKS: BURN IT! 
1dapperblackshell: BURN THE RUMPLED HAT! 
HATLIKER: I AM BURNING THE HAT! 
WANT_MORE_SOCKS: SITTING ON THE HAT WAS TERRIBLE! 
NoNeed4PantsThx: BURN ALL RUMPLED HATS! 
ChuffedAboutDuds: THEY AREN’T DAPPER AT ALL!!!!! 
1dapperblackshell: BURN THE MISTAKE WITH FIRE! 


Such is the nature of background characters in Homestuck and Problem Sleuth. In both comics, whenever large groups of background characters appear they are never anything more than drones who follow the wills and instructions of whichever voiced character is around. Problem Sleuth (the character) has a natural talent for leadership and uses it a lot on NPCs, and many characters in Homestuck are predisposed to achieve similar feats. A good example is WV, who single-handedly led a rebellion uniting Prospitian and Dersite soldiers against the black king. I don’t even remember what incited him to do that, actually. The time loops and bunny delivery stuff in the exiles’ backstory has always been one of the most confusing parts of Homestuck to me.

The Condesce’s messages not only have checkmarks, but they’re also highlighted in pink for extra flair.

I love how while Dad has his usual gray PDA and the Dignitary has a walkie-talkie typical of Dersites, the Condesce makes full use of her Pisces troll motif and uses a shellphone.

)(IC: yo i cant deal w this prissy hat chat no more 
)(IC: public works my ass what a waste of royal gold 
ChuffedAboutDuds changes status to BOWING. 
WANT_MORE_SOCKS changes status to BOWING. 
NoNeed4PantsThx changes status to BOWING. 
FineryFiend changes status to BOWING. 
HATLIKER changes status to BOWING. 
1dapperblackshell changes status to BOWING. 
)(IC: this is what i get for lettin all proper dudes run shit instead of nasty clowns 
The Dignitary changes status to DOFFING HAT. 
)(IC: @The Dignitary i want ma ring back motha fuck 


And here we hear the Condesce speak for the first time. It’s surprising but at the same time logical that she talks exactly like Meenah but a bit more bossy.

I’m ending this post here. I finished a few days ahead of schedule, which is good because Act 6 Act 5 so far has been a bit exhausting to go through. Not all of it, but most certainly the romance drama stuff. The reason I made this post so quickly is because I rushed through the romance drama parts so as not to drag myself.

See you Friday or so as I do a rewritten early acts post as a palate cleanser. And see you next time after that as we read Detective Pony’s lesser-known sibling.

>> Part 94: Wizardfic Nostalgification Station

Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 92: Quirk Resignation and Clown Vomit

Introduction / Schedule

Part 91 | Part 92 | Part 93 >


Act 6 Act 4 + Act 6 Intermission 4

Pages 5438-5511 (MSPA: 7338-7411)

The whole Caliborn/Hussie arc is a lot more metafictional than I remembered.


I always forget how good of a song Even in Death is, holy shit.


Time to begin Act 6 Act 4 of Homestuck! Unlike Act 6’s prior sub-acts, this one consists of a single flash. I think most people agree that it’s a good change of page for the alpha kids’ Medium exploration to be condensed into one flash, rather than another few hundred pages of dilly-dallying and romance drama. As with the trolls’ arc, we don’t really need to see the alpha kids’ usual game progression (or in this case, lack thereof) all over again. A montage showing us a few scenes of the alpha kids exploring their planets and their Jack Noir counting his days in jail is all that is needed.

Viewed from a different perspective, this planet probably looks like the Xbox logo.
The bluish canyon in this image is a small part of the big purple X.


Three new planets are introduced in this flash. First off is Jake’s planet, the Land of Mounds and Xenon. Better known as the Land of Hills and Stone Henges, or the Land of Stonehenges and a Big Purple X. The big X is an odd addition but it looks pretty cool, forming a pair of 360-degree canyons that intersect twice. Maybe the X is useful for planet navigation or something, who knows.


Jake’s planet is dark and desolate much like Jane’s, but not as lifeless. It has lots of mossy vegetation and civilization remnants based on real-world structures, most notably a bunch of red replications of the Stonehenge which matches with his last name. On a related note, you might already know that the planet acronym LOMAX is the same as the title character’s surname from Weekend at Bernie’s, one of Jake’s favorite movies. Fitting because Bernie Lomax is a corpse through most of the movie and the alpha kids’ planets are themed upon dead things.


Taking a closer look inside the planet, we find that the alpha kids’ session has skeletal underlings rather than your usual enemies. The enemies don’t look very easy to kill and get grist from, which doesn’t help the alpha session’s matters one bit. The dead aesthetic is pretty cool though.


The alpha kids did get enough grist, presumably through Jane’s Grist Gutter or whatever it’s called, to alchemize some cool clothes and weapons. Jake is carrying a pair of golden guns while wearing a sexy adventurer outfit, plus a Sweet Bro tattoo to match Dirk’s Hella Jeff tattoo. Probably the most humorous way possible to demonstrate that they are together now.


Meanwhile on Prospit, the alpha kids’ Jack Noir is tallying his days in prison. Do you know how CRAZY it is for there to be a Sburb session whose Jack Noir doesn’t do anything? Not even managing Derse paperwork under the queen’s command, there’s a different agent handling that.

The lights on these pyramids are colored like Jane and Roxy’s text. I should keep an eye out for more light colorings like this!


Roxy’s planet, the Land of Pyramids and Neon, is a fun one. A desolate pyramid world on the surface, but with gorgeous neon light radiating from the pyramids and throughout the sky. On the outside it looks almost as lively as some of the beta kids’ and trolls’ planets, which makes sense because Roxy’s always been the fan favorite alpha kid.

I like how Jane is casually walking around wearing a fake mustache now.


We see Roxy and Jane exploring LOPAN together and their fashion choices are interesting to me. Roxy’s wearing a skimpy purple dress plus some tight black covers on her arms and legs, while Jane has opted for an arguably more masculine outfit. I normally find denoting characters as “masculine” and “feminine” to be meaningless at best and sexist at worst, but the contrast between Roxy’s and Jane’s outfits is very obvious. (Just so you know, I’m taking a more “just for fun” approach than usual analyzing this flash.)


The alpha kids may not have alchemized as much sick gear as the betas, but they do make good use of what they have. I bet Roxy’s appearifier gun has more free reign now that they’re in a void session where there’s no way for the kids to accomplish anything useful until the beta kids arrive. Same reason their sprites have nothing predestined to prototype in them so Gamzee fills them all with troll corpses.

Dirk is so anime here it’s unreal.


After another shot of Jack tallying days in prison, the new planets are rounded off with the Land of Tombs and Krypton which is easily the wildest of the bunch. It’s a great planet-establishing shot to see Dirk jump out of a building dressed in full anime gear plus a gas mask. Unlike the other three planets, Dirk’s planet isn’t a free world of exploration but a complex maze of tombs loaded with toxic gas where getting to the surface is but a daydream. Kind of a good metaphor for Dirk’s character, especially with all his splinter selves.

I barely know anything about anime boys, regrettably enough.


Dirk and Jake exploring tombs together is quite the sight. Dirk looks like the ultimate breathtaking handsome anime swordsman, posing just like his pre-scratch self always did. And Jake looks like the anime swordsman’s dorky anime boyfriend, who is not quite as stereotypically anime but is most certainly anime by association. Dorky anime girls are a HUGE archetype so I’m going to assume dorky anime boys are as well. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

(This is extremely off-topic, but I’m normally more a fan of the stuck-up smart girl archetype than the dorky girl archetype. Just saying in case you thought otherwise.)

Yodelbooger in all his glory.

These shots of Dirk and Jake are followed by a statue depicting Yaldabaoth, who is Dirk’s denizen. Aside from looking cool, I think this image is shown to prepare readers for learning about Caliborn’s denizen, who is also Yaldabaoth. We’ll learn about this denizen quite a bit in Act 6’s next few sub-acts.

153 tally marks. Very easy to do the math.


On Jane’s 16th birthday, the tip of Jack’s Prospit spire breaks off and he stares longingly through the window of his jail cell. This is the second time in rather short succession we get to see a version of Jack Noir from a more pitiable perspective.


The flash ends with a zoom out to Skaia, showing the alpha kids’ rather barren Incipisphere in full view. The planets are rendered in the same style as in several flashes focusing on the beta kids, which is rather nostalgic. 


This zoom-out is followed by curtains, which is unexpected but also relieving, because I can’t imagine how boring it would be to read these scenes with long-winded dialogue. Some content is just better presented without text. This is not meant as an insult, it’s just a fact.

END OF ACT 6 ACT 4.


The curtains close in on the alpha kids’ void session in full view. Act 6 Act 4 was a very short act and I like it that way. It’s just one flash montage and that’s really all it needs to be. A very fitting celebration for Act 6’s first anniversary on 11/11. On to Act 6 Intermission 4!

– – – 


You are now Caliborn.

(this image cracked me up so hard)


It’s only natural that an oddball act is followed by an oddball intermission. Unlike Act 6’s prior intermissions focusing on the cast of the first five acts, Act 6 Intermission 4 is focused on Caliborn. This image above shows Caliborn leaving behind a trail of his sister’s book pages to wipe off his blood, and tells us this intermission is going to be loads and loads of fun.


As Caliborn walks, the narration has such gems as:

You love having a dead sister. Having a dead sister is an experience you would highly recommend to everybody.

and:

It’s hard being a cherub and growing up with lots of weird magical rules that nobody understands and have no discernible origin or purpose. 

It’s hard being a cherub and growing up with lots of weird magical rules that nobody understands and have no discernible origin or purpose, and nobody understands.

Caliborn’s narration is so absurdist and filled with self-deprecating callbacks, I love it.

God, I love Caliborn so fucking much.


You peer at your former prison through the scope on your MACHINE GUN. You aren’t really supposed to hold the gun by the magazine like that, but whatever. 

There’s the CRUXTRUDER. It was the only device available to be deployed. You’re pretty sure there were supposed to be more devices that went with it. But you guess your game session is a little different? 

You were also under the impression there were supposed to be gates directly above your home. But you don’t see any. Maybe if you look higher…

I find it interesting that Caliborn knows these basic facts about Sburb—facts you’d know only if you’ve read Homestuck and cared enough about it to properly digest it—and isn’t embarrassed that he knows those facts. It shows that he doesn’t quite represent generic Homestuck haters, but rather fans of the comic who are tsundere about it and/or don’t care about details like troll castes or classpects.

(I am so happy “tsundere” is part of my everyday vocabulary now. Having “tsundere” in your vocabulary is an experience I would highly recommend to everybody.)


Caliborn also observes the clouded Skaia and Prospit. His narration says:

You guess Jack Noir could still be up there too. You’ll have to catch up with him later for a debriefing. He has been very useful. You may need his service again some time.

It’s rather genre savvy of Caliborn to keep his Jack Noir handy. You’d think someone with such a twisted up mind would just walk aimlessly destroying everything in his path, but this guy knows what’s useful and works well under such minimalist conditions.

Now that you think about it, you believe your entire planet may have been sucked into the Medium, not just the cruddy statues. The landscape is very similar, minus the bright red glow from the supergiant. Add one more item to the list of things you don’t understand. You thought you were going to be sent to a cool new planet, unique to you and your adventure. Some sort of amazing new magical place you could conquer, not the same old barren ball of shit you grew up on. At least that is what Calliope had you believing. You think she was probably a liar, or just really stupid. Or both, times infinity.

Caliborn isn’t immune to perusing and taking thoughts from annoying Homestuck fans, which is to say Calliope. He can understand his sister’s theories just fine, as long as it’s something he can bring himself to care about.

Today is your first predomination day, and as with all zero preceding it, something feels… 

Something feels 

Er. 

What 

What are you looking at?


Caliborn gets a callback to the comic’s poetic title screen sequence, kind of like the one Karkat got at the start of the trolls’ arc but way more ridiculous and nonsensical.

You have a feeling it’s going to be a long walk.


Just as John had a feeling it’s going to be a long day and Karkat had a feeling it’s going to be a long night, Caliborn has a feeling it’s going to be a long walk. I can’t say I really understand Hussie’s book commentary claims that Eridan was a prototype for Caliborn. Karkat is by far the troll most like Caliborn.

Caliborn gets a message from Roxy and realizes he has his sister’s computer in his sylladex.

Oh, right. It’s your sister’s computer, still stored in your shared sylladex. You never understood what a kid chained to her bedroom needed with a portable computer. It made you mad how stupid that was.

If you’re a really attentive reader, you’ll recognize this as Gamzee’s husktop. Kind of an amusing hint that Gamzee was the one who raised the cherubs. Being the wise clown uncle he is, he surely thought it a courtesy to pass his computer down to his cherub kids just like Rose did with Jaspersprite.


Caliborn walks away, ignoring Roxy’s message. We get to read her message and it’s very endearing and rambly.

TG: so yeah we all finally entered our game 
TG: i think i was being the worst kind of turd 4 opposing the idea so long 
TG: guess i thought i was being noble 
TG: like sacrificing something that was important and we all wanted anyways just so i could fuck with the witch and her plans 
TG: but i dunno what i was thinking 
TG: cause this shit here is p great i have got to say 
TG: now we are all of the sudden in this crazy place full of pretty green hills and a black empty sky 

TG: i never actually seen anything like plants growin or a country side 
TG: its so peaceful and quiet here 
TG: i mean the racket my loudmouth pals are makin notwithstanding 
TG: we are just chilling at jakes old broken house on a mountain figuring what to do 
TG: lol this all happened so fuckin fast! 
TG: i cant believe were all together like this suddenly 
TG: just 
TG: hangin out 
TG: in actual person 
TG: in our moon jammies 
TG: this is better than i ever thought it would be in the silliest and stupidest way 


Roxy’s monologue is a great way to show readers what happened right after the alpha kids entered the game. She’s just so happy getting to meet all her friends in person and regrets opposing it for so long. I guess Roxy just never knew how great it feels to meet all your friends in person until now.

As Caliborn walks away further, Roxy humorously recaps the events of the Unite Synchronization flashes. It’s mostly stuff we already knew, but then we get this little bit:

TG: and then we get to jakes place and shit everywhere is on fire and hes asleep there so dirk splashes him with a bucket of ocean and tells me and jane to hide?? 
TG: so we do and jake wakes up and starts arguing with dirks gross head from the fucking future and climbs up on this stone wall for some reason and just starts making out with the head while the volcano explodes??? 
TG: jane and i are like what the absolute FUCK while dirks just there with his bucket all like ‘yup’ 
TG: then we ollied out of that popsicle stand so now here we are 
TG: wow 
TG: that story is a goddamn mess 
TG: what did i even just say 


As Roxy points out, most of what happens in those two flashes makes no sense out of context and I love it. She accurately describes it all as “machiavellian/heroic XTREME STRIDER BULLSHIT”.

This image is SO FUCKING FUNNY.


Continuing the running gag of renaming animals to the opposite gender, Roxy immediately thinks of the firefly sitting on her head as a boy and names him first Doctor Blinkbottom then Twinkly Herbert.

This image is even funnier than the last one. Sometimes pictures say more than words ever could.


TG: not even ten stinkin mins into our magic bestfriendquest and theyre already jacking up the drama 
TG: need to flag down the dramambulance 
TG: haul these fuckers away 
TG: wow they are really being so absurd 
TG: maybe its just cause im not tipsy atm but this shit is like hells of amateur hour to me r now 
TG: maybe if i wasnt as sober as a nun gettin slapped by a librarian i wouldnt even notice? 


Not even ten stinking minutes into their magic bestfriendquest and Roxy has already proven herself to be the only party member who’s both sane and competent.

TG: fa reals tho may i just say 
TG: dying is a hell of a way to sober up quick 
TG: got 2 remember that trick 
TG: so hey wake up soon!! 
TG: i will try again later 
TG: must deal w some shit now 
TG: urgh 
TG: i think 
TG: i could use a drink 
tipsyGnostalgic [TG] ceased pestering undyingUmbrage [uu] 


And that’s a great note to end the alpha session’s starting moments on. What a beautiful sequence.

Caliborn then looks at the blinking light and notices…

The bottom part of Gamzee’s wings is shaped a bit like John’s harlequin doll. Very fitting for the plot-armored troll.

GAMZEE????

What the actual fuck is this guy doing here?!

Unlike last time we saw Gamzee out of nowhere, he has wings on his fake god tier suit—the same wings we saw him with in Ministrife. And this time, we don’t have any visual clues on how he got here like Aradia’s time travel music boxes. Even today we don’t know how Gamzee entered Caliborn’s session. The most likely explanation is  that when B2 Jack Noir’s head exploded, the black hole took Gamzee inside the fridge (plus the crowbar) to Earth in the distant future.


We get a short interactive page calling back to last time Gamzee appeared out of nowhere. Caliborn and Gamzee stare each other down, then this happens:


I’m…

I’m speechless.

Caliborn is truly a character like no other. It’s not enough that he kills the first living being he encounters. No, he brutally guns Gamzee down for four consecutive flashes until both his wings fall off and he rests on the ground, dead.


Caliborn probably knows that you aren’t really supposed to kill the first living being you encounter in your game, and figures that shooting Gamzee once will probably be useless. So he fires at Gamzee for five minutes until he’s confident that the clown is extra, unambiguously 100% dead. A good demonstration of his rule-bending tendencies.


As Caliborn walks toward the command station, the narration starts to blatantly lie about his thoughts and feelings. The narrator claims he deeply regrets killing Gamzee; Caliborn quickly figures out what’s going on.


I love how Caliborn types slowly and meticulously while Hussie types quickly like a normal person would.

No way! 
Then who would describe what you’re thinking and feeling? 
NOBODY. 
I CAN THINK MY OWN THOUGHTS JUST FINE. 
THEY ARE LESS STUPID AND CONDESCENDING. THAN THE THOUGHTS YOU TELL MY BRAIN TO HAVE. 
But your thoughts are shitty! 
You should be grateful to have someone to spice them up for you. 
NO. WHAT’S SHITTY. IS YOU. 
AND WHAT’S ALSO SHITTY IS THIS SHITTY PIECE OF SHIT MACHINE YOU LIVE INSIDE. 
I don’t live inside this thing, you idiot. 
This is just sort of like a radio tower. It receives and transmits signals. 
That’s kind of obvious? 
IT’S NOT OBVIOUS. IT’S DUMB AND CONFUSING. 
I DEMAND TO KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON. 
TELL ME. 
Gamzee could have told you a lot of stuff. 
WHO?? 
I can’t believe you shot him like that. What’s the matter with you? 
He was literally the first living being you ever met in your whole life, and you gun him down without a single word? 
You’ve got some problems. 
OH. THE CLOWN. 
HE WAS DREADFUL AND PURPLE AND NEEDED TO BE EXTERMINATED QUICKLY. 


He was a huge fan of yours and was really looking forward to meeting you. 
He wanted to help you with your quest. 
THIS IS MY PLANET. NO ONE ELSE CAN LIVE HERE. I DON’T NEED HELP. 
Yet you want me to tell you what’s going on? 
YES. TELL ME IMMEDIATELY. 
Nah. 

Turns out Caliborn doesn’t necessarily kill everything in his path; he’s just weirdly prejudicial against clowns. What is even bad about clowns? I mean, aside from killing half their friends and causing abominable misfortune across paradox space. Clown prejudice is just one of many hurdles Caliborn must learn to overcome.


AUGH. 
What? 
I’M GETTING FRUSTRATED. BOTH BY YOU. AND THIS FUCKING KEYBOARD.

What’s the matter with it? 
IT’S MAKING IT IMPOSSIBLE TO TYPE MY QUIRK. 
No it’s not. 
YES. THE CAPS LOCK KEY APPEARS TO BE PERMANENTLY DEPRESSED. 
HOW DO I MAKE IT NOT LIKE THAT. 
It’s locked. 
You need a key to unlock it. 
You need keys to unlock a whole bunch of features on this tower. 
WHERE IS THE KEY. 
How should I know??? 
BECAUSE YOU ARE AN INFURIATING FONT OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT MANY THINGS. INCLUDING MY OWN BRAIN BEHAVIORS. 
Why should I tell you everything? 
Find your own fucking keys. It’s your quest, remember? 
NO, BUT TYPING LIKE THIS IS BAD. 
IT’S REALLY THROWING ME OFF. 
I don’t understand the problem. 
I CAN’T MAKE MY U’S LITTLE. 
No, I got that. But caps lock should make it easier. 
You do realize when caps lock is on, you can hold down shift to make letters lower case, right? 
WHAT. 
NO. 
I DON’T USE CAPS LOCK. I THOUGHT IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE A TRAINING KEY FOR RETARDS. 
A training key? 
MAYBE ALSO FOR GIRLS. FOR WHEN THEY GET HYSTERICAL AND MAKE THEIR LETTERS SHOUT. 
Ok, got it. Really great theories there. 
So… how do you usually type then? 
JUST. NEVER MIND. 
Hang on. Are you saying you hold down shift with one hand, while hunting and pecking for all the letters with the other? 
And whenever you type a ‘u’ you just let go of shift?? 
I SAID NEVER MIND. 
Wow. 


Caliborn is such a treasure. He gets by life without understanding severely basic tasks, which again reminds me of Karkat.

OK LOOK. 
I CAN ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE METHOD YOU PROPOSED IS A LOT MORE EFFICIENT AND SENSIBLE. 
I JUST HAVE MY OWN STYLE. 
THAT I’M COMFORTABLE WITH. 
AND ALSO. 
I JUST NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT. 
How old were you again? 
FUCK YOU. 
OK, THE THING IS. 
DON’T TELL ANYBODY I SAID THIS. 
BUT. 
I’VE ALWAYS HAD A LOT OF TROUBLE. 
AT. 
LEARNING STUFF. 
Yeah. 
I know.


Caliborn is an inspirational figure and no one can tell me otherwise. His brain works in strange ways, but that doesn’t stop him from becoming a mighty proud artist. As he ascends through the tiers of artistry, he tells readers they can accomplish anything if they put their mind to it, no matter what they think their talents may be. His evolution and improvement as an artist is a surprisingly realistic depiction of what it’s like to take on a form of art you’re wholly unfamiliar with and become good at it through perseverance.

Caliborn looks very determined as he figures out an easier way to type.


FUCK IT. 
I’LL JUST TYPE IN ALL BIG LETTERS. EVEN THE U’S. WHO CARES. 
Aw, looks like someone just took his first big step toward growing up! 
ACTUALLY, TYPING THIS WAY IS A LOT EASIER. LOOKS LIKE I WIN THIS ROUND ASSHOLE. 
Win what? I was the one advocating the use of caps lock in the first place, doofus. 


Part of becoming an artist is discovering better ways to do things and perhaps sacrificing techniques you thought were vital. Caliborn discovers it’s way easier to type without lowercase U’s and doesn’t feel unnatural typing that way like trolls do, or his sister who likes to pretend she’s a troll.

You may be destined for bigger things, but you’re still an atrocious, stupid child. 
And you may have won the “game” with your sister, but that doesn’t mean it was the best thing for your development as a person. 
You had her dream self killed, which is not an opportunity your species typically gets. So she died prematurely, instead of allowing the conflict within you to settle itself naturally. 
In short, you forced your predomination to happen a little too early, and now you’re stuck. 
STUCK? 
Yes. Your personality is stuck in some sort of cantankerous prepubescent limbo. You are going to be a stunted, miserable tool forever. 
WELL, HOW LONG WAS I EVEN SUPPOSED TO WAIT. FOR THAT TWEE BITCH TO GET OUT OF MY SKULL. 
It’s kind of sad. You don’t really know anything about your own species, do you? 
AND I GUESS YOU DO? 
Uh, yeah? 
Pretty much everything. 
TELL ME THEN. 
No. 
GOD. DAMN IT. 


Premature predomation is another hamper Caliborn eventually gets past: he becomes a big tough skull monster through amalgamation with a muscular sprite and an unbelievably strong clown, plus a horde of other powers to approximate what adult cherubs are supposed to look like. It’s too bad that Lord English’s pride falls apart after he kills Hussie and travels through the Furthest Ring, but Caliborn’s glory years shall never be forgotten.

(Between the debate surrounding Calliope and Caliborn’s age and maturity and their questioned capacity for human romance, most people agree it’s for the best Roxy and Calliope’s relationship was left ambiguous.)

I like how you’ll only notice Gamzee isn’t quite dead if you look closely.


THIS DIALOGUE IS GIVING ME A HEADACHE. 
BETWEEN YOUR PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE OBSTINACY. 
AND YOUR BIZARRE MOTIVATIONAL DIATRIBES. 
AND THE FACT. 
THAT I’M HAVING A HARD TIME TELLING OUR TEXT APART? 
What? 
You are? 
KIND OF. 
Well, here’s a hint. You’re the one typing in capital letters.
You’re also the one typing in surly, brief, stilted sounding phrases. 
NO, BUT THE COLORS ARE TOO SIMILAR. 
I KNOW THAT SOME LETTERS ARE BIG. AND SOME ARE SMALL. HOW DUMB DO YOU THINK I AM. 
I JUST HAVE AN EASIER TIME THINKING IN COLORS. 
What does that even mean, “thinking in colors?” 
I TOLD YOU. MY BRAIN WORKS DIFFERENTLY, SO SHUT UP. 


Thinking in colors is likely something Caliborn has in common with his sister. When Calliope sent him old pesterlogs back when she was still alive, Caliborn probably felt horribly spited and pandered to because he knows he reads things far more easily when they’re formatted with bright colors.

Hussie explains that to change his text color, Caliborn needs to solve a puzzle and connect the right wires together. Then we get this passage discussing Gamzee:

What you really need is a guide. 
A mentor, of sorts. 
Too bad you shot that clown.

STOP TOUTING THE WISDOM OF THAT IMBECILE WITH THE DISTURBING UNDERPANTS. 
THE ONLY THING HE HAS TAUGHT ME. IS HOW TO RECEIVE HUNDREDS OF BULLETS THROUGH THE TORSO. IN THE LEAST DIGNIFIED MANNER POSSIBLE. 
AND ALSO. A CRASH COURSE IN DYING A PAINFUL DEATH. HOPEFULLY. 
Sorry to disappoint you. 
He’s not dead. 
WHAT. 
What did you expect? He’s clearly a god tier. 
BULLSHIT. 
Haven’t you ever seen a god tier before? 
You do know what that is, right? 
YES, I KNOW WHAT THAT IS. 
Then you know he’s immortal, and can only die under very specific circumstances. 
Guess there’s no point in trying to kill him! 
BUT HIS WINGS FELL OFF! 
I SAW THEM FALL OFF. 
Hmm. 
Yeah. I guess they did. 
So? 
SO. I THINK. HE’S PROBABLY FAKING. 
Oh please. Paranoid much?? 
Why would anyone go to that kind of trouble? What would be the point? 
He would have to be such a jackass to do that. 
I DON’T KNOW WHY HE’S FAKING. 
I JUST KNOW THOSE WINGS WERE BOGUS PIECES OF SHIT. THAT WERE LIKE. STRAPPED ON. 
WHICH MEANS. HE IS A FRAUD. 


Caliborn doesn’t care about the why. He only cares about the what, which allows him to cut to the chase and figure out the rules. As such, he doesn’t have any trouble processing the idea that Gamzee made a fake god tier outfit.

Bloody Gamzee is extremely disturbing, whether it’s text or visual.


If you don’t believe me, just see for yourself. 
HUH? 
You made the rookie mistake of turning your back on the body. 
OH MY GOD. 

HOW CAN HE POSSIBLY STILL BE ALIVE??? 
See? Fit as a fiddle. Barely a scratch on him! 
Just please don’t shoot him again, ok? 


Turning your back on the body is one thing Caliborn never quite learned not to do. Hussie goes on to explain Gamzee’s strange immortality:

Say it with me. 
“You can’t keep down the clown.” 
NO, I WON’T SAY THAT. 
SAY IT! 
“You can’t…” 
GO FUCK YOURSELF. JUST TELL ME WHAT IT MEANS. 
It means crazy clowns just won’t die for some reason. In adventures such as yours, they tend to linger long past their welcome. 
They linger and linger and linger, and just when you think you’re totally fed up with their bullshit and you can’t take another second of it, they just linger some more. 
And you never know what they’re up to, and they’re always scheming in the shadows, and it’s quite possible that whatever master plan they’re hatching just doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense at all. 
But it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how stupid the clown’s schemes are, or how sick of him everybody is. 
He just. Won’t. Die. 
THIS IS. HONESTLY? THE WORST SALES PITCH FOR A MENTOR. THAT I HAVE EVER READ. 

Granted! 
But come on. Just let it slide this one time? Please? 
Just no more shooting. You can slap him around if you want. That’s fine. But shooting is off limits. 
WHY. 
Because you can’t kill him! He’s the most important character in… 
IN WHAT. 
Well, ok. Maybe not the MOST important. 
But he’s still really important! 


What Hussie is trying to tell us is that Gamzee’s clown immortality is the concept of “plot armor” taken as literally as possible. Gamzee is now the ultimate farcical plot device, used as the standard fallback character to fulfill plot points in Caliborn’s quest and to show his gradual character development.


Gamzee hands Caliborn a Skaianet power hub to help him out with connecting wires, but Caliborn shoots him again. I wonder where Gamzee got the hub? Maybe he looted it from Roxy’s house during the alpha session, just like Vriska did with the fenestrated walls after the retcon.

You mother fucker. 
HE LOOKED AT ME FUNNY. 
Yeah. 
Want to know why? 
BECAUSE HE’S A FUCKING CLOWN. 
DO NOT TYPE IN BIG LETTERS. IT CONFUSES ME. 


Sometimes it’s easy to forget the typical mannerisms of regular, normal clowns that don’t involve assembling bogus god tier outfits or selling jars of troll blood as they were magic potions. One day, Caliborn will be down with the clown too. It’ll just take a bit of warming up. 

Why do you have to be like this? 
Why can’t you just be down with the clown? 
I DON’T KNOW. 
I LIKE SHOOTING HIM. 
HE JUST HAS THIS. PERFECTLY SHOOTABLE TORSO. 
HEY. WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS HORRENDOUS MUSIC. 
What. You don’t like it? 
IT IS WITHOUT A DOUBT. CAUSING ME MORE PAIN. THAN WHATEVER THIS UNKILLABLE CLOWN IS FEELING RIGHT NOW. 
Well, whenever you shoot the clown, I play the elevator music.
OH FUCK. NO! 
That’s the deal. 
Either shoot the clown and face the music, or put on your fucking big boy suspenders and stop trying to murder him. 


I love that Hussie immediately realizes he can bribe Caliborn not to shoot Gamzee by torturing him with elevator music. This guy is susceptible to the most ridiculous weaknesses, I swear.


With the hub plugged in, all the monitors now have power. One is unlocked already; the rest need to be unlocked with keys. The unlocked screen shows a picture of dream Calliope’s corpse, and Caliborn says he’s been wanting to change his text color to that of his sister’s blood. All he has to do is pick a color with his mouse.

Please don’t tell me Gamzee is sexually aroused by any of this.



Unfortunately, the mouse is quite possibly the least convenient type of mouse anyone could ever use. It’s a trackball mouse welded to the counter, and because the monitor is so high Caliborn has to weirdly twist his body to be able to use it.

I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS. 
WHAT SORT OF ASSHOLE. WOULD SET UP A WIRELESS MOUSE. 
AND THEN WELD IT TO THE COUNTER. 
That’s a hell of a question. 
OHHH. 
OHHHHHHHHHHHHH. 
I AM SO. SO. PISSED OFF AT THIS. 
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS NIGHTMARE. 
I dunno. 
Someone who thought it would be funny watching you struggle with a shitty trackball mouse welded to a counter? 
I DEMAND TO KNOW. 
WAS IT YOU. 
IT WAS YOU. WASN’T IT. 
Maybe. 


“Maybe” is the correct answer. Obviously Hussie is the author of Homestuck, but in-universe we have no way of knowing who built the command tower and it doesn’t make much sense for it to be Hussie’s self-insert.

MARK MY WORDS. WHOEVER YOU ARE. 
SOME DAY I WILL TRACK YOU DOWN. AND KILL YOU. 
You already did. 
LIAR. 
It’s true. It already happened in like the quasi-future. 
UH. WHAT. 
For someone who’s supposed to be a Lord of Time, you really kind of suck at thinking 4th dimensionally. 
Let alone 5th dimensionally. 
You’ve got a long way to go, kid. 
QUIET. YOUR NONSENSE IS DISTRACTING. 


I can’t think of a single thing Caliborn says he will do in the future that turns out just to be bluffing. This guy is amazingly true to his words—as Hussie says, we already know that Lord English did indeed track him down and kill him.


OK. THERE. 
WAIT. 
THIS COLOR IS ALL WRONG. IT’S TOO MUDDY. 
Yeah. The environment is pretty grim up there. 
Skaia doesn’t provide very good lighting when it’s all clouded over like that. 
Just bump up the brightness on the display.


The image above was first seen before Calliope was revealed not to be a troll and it’s beautifully misleading. The blood looks like a muddy shade of green not unlike the colors of troll blood…


… but when the image is brightened, we get to see Calliope’s true blood color. It’s a very bright shade of green, the exact same color Lord English spoke in.

OK. HOW’S THIS. 
That looks better. 
Wait, let me check. 
Ok, yeah. #2ed73a. That’s correct. 
WHAT. 
That’s the hex code for the color. 
WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT. 
It’s the numerical representation of the color in hexadecimal format. 
OK. SO?? 
So I was just double checking to make sure it was right. 
AND. 
It was right. 
THIS IS A PARTICULARLY AGGRAVATING TANGENT. TO AN ALREADY GHASTLY CONVERSATION. 
I’M DEFINITELY GOING TO FIGURE OUT WHO YOU ARE. AND HOW TO KILL YOU. 


Despite all his character development, Lord English later ends up killing Hussie the exact same way he had tried to kill Gamzee. Maybe seeing the sarcastic command station guy being pompous as ever reminded him of simpler times? Or maybe he just lost his usual personality beyond being a huge brute after becoming Lord English.

Next up, Gamzee gives Caliborn another gift.


WHAT IS THAT. 
What does it look like? 
It’s a magic crowbar. 
WHY IS HE GIVING IT TO ME. 
I’m not sure. 
I THOUGHT YOU KNEW EVERYTHING. 
I know a lot of things. But I don’t always understand his motivation for doing the stupid things he does. 
WHY NOT. 
I just don’t. 
Like one time? He sold a girl some potions. I have no idea why he did that. 
POTIONS? 
Yes potions. 
He also threw some corpses into a sprite to revive them, and fused their identities to create a disturbing freak of nature.
I’m still not really sure why he did that. Probably just to fuck with everybody. 
WHAT CORPSES. 
It doesn’t matter what corpses. Just some corpses, ok? 
The point is, he probably didn’t even have any reason for doing it. He was just being weird and capricious. 
But that doesn’t mean it didn’t end up serving an important purpose anyway. 
After the fused corpse sprite exploded, both of their ghosts got fed up and decided to start working together. 
And now they’re doing some important stuff in the afterlife. But I kind of doubt this clown had any idea that would happen.
Or maybe he did? Who really knows with clowns. 


Here’s a funny bit where Hussie speculates on Gamzee’s motives. I love how even the author can’t come up with a logical explanation for why Gamzee did anything he did. Gamzee’s plot armor comes in two forms: armor that prevents him from dying (which is what plot armor usually means), and armor that prevents anyone from figuring out his motives (which is a definition I made up just now).

HOLY FUCK. WHO CARES ABOUT THIS. 
WHAT ABOUT THE CROWBAR. 
What about it? 
YOU SAID IT WAS IMPORTANT. 
It is important. 
But I don’t know if HE knows that. 
I BET THAT CROWBAR IS A USELESS PIECE OF GARBAGE. I WILL NOT ACCEPT IT. 
Maybe he heard you bitching about the wireless mouse being welded to the counter, and he’s giving you something to pry it off with? 


Here’s a case where Hussie can easily guess Gamzee’s motives. It’s surprisingly sweet of him to keep doing Caliborn favors. But Caliborn has a much better idea:

Callback to Doc Scratch beating up Spades Slick.
Gamzee is resilient because he’s useful to the plot; Slick because he’s an enormous fan favorite.

Hey! Stop that. 
What did I say?? 
YOU SAID SHOOTING THE CLOWN WAS OFF LIMITS. 
BUT I AM STILL PERMITTED TO SMACK HIM AROUND. 
I’M JUST FOLLOWING THE RULES. 
That’s true. 
Ok. I’ll allow this. 
YESSSSS! 

Caliborn continues to demonstrate his mindset of bending rules by taking whatever way he can to beat up Gamzee. He immediately saw the crowbar not as a tool to pry things, but as a foolproof way to break anything. That’s exactly the role the crowbar plays, and has already played, in the plot of Homestuck. It’s also what Caliborn uses to beat up his denizen and destroy his clock to gain unconditional immortality.

Related to the topic of crowbars, many members of the Felt don’t technically have magic powers but rather own objects with time powers that match their names, like Die’s doll or Quarters’ coins. But Crowbar subverts even that because his role in the story is not as the guy who pries things open or as the guy who uses his crowbar to break jujus—rather, he’s an intelligent leader who makes a perfect rival to Spades Slick.


On the next page, Hussie changes his mind and plays the elevator music extra loud. This humorous moment shows Hussie isn’t a force of paradox space like what Caliborn is used to.

This page was slightly edited to match Homestuck’s move to homestuck.com.

The old version had a bottom bar with Hussie’s self-insert in a dream bubble.


And how does Caliborn respond to Hussie’s change of mind? He uses the crowbar to mess up Homestuck’s website. This moment is so fucking good, it needs no explanation. Note that one of the pieces of candy corn from the website’s top bar passes through the fourth wall and lands on Caliborn’s counter. I never noticed that detail until today.


Thank you. 
Now what exactly would you like to know? 
EVERYTHING. 
Everything is a lot. 
Care to narrow it down a little? 
OBVIOUSLY NOT THE BORING IRRELEVANT THINGS. 
DEFINITELY NOT THINGS LIKE. WHO KISSES PEOPLE. WITH THEIR UNPLEASANT NONSKELETAL SMOOSHY LIPS. 
JUST ALL THE THINGS THAT I NEED TO KNOW TO WIN THIS GAME. 
That’s not how adventures work though. 
You don’t just make some omniscient narrator inside a computer tell you everything all at once. 
There’s like this whole process to it. You reveal certain things at the right time, depending on whether the hero has met certain requirements and is ready to learn those things. 
What you learn and what I tell you is more up to you than it is to me. 
WHO CARES. 
I DON’T WANT YOUR EXCUSES. 
Aren’t you excited about your adventure? About being unchained for the first time ever, and getting to explore this mysterious place, and meeting people and solving puzzles that will lead to the realization of who you were meant to be, and how you fit into this epic? 
NO. 
SO FAR. THE ADVENTURE IS BORING, AND FRUSTRATING, AND CONSISTS OF AN IDIOT IN A COMPUTER, AND A CLOWN WHO WON’T DIE. 
I WANT TO KNOW WHEN I GET TO START FUCKING SHIT UP. 
You’ll definitely get to do that later. 
WHEN. 
Not long from now. 
LIKE. IN A COUPLE HOURS. OR. 
That’s up to you. There are puzzles to solve all over your planet. Your mentor can help. 
The sooner you do that, the sooner the fun will begin. 

Hussie’s self-insert is the best game guide character in Homestuck. Instead of being gleefully tight-lipped like sprites or space players, he explains through narrative tropes why he can’t just tell the player everything he wants.

YOU REALLY AREN’T TELLING ME ANYTHING. 
WE HAD A DEAL. I PUT THE CROWBAR DOWN. NOW TELL ME THINGS. 
Why don’t we narrow the scope of the Q&A then? 
Try asking very specific questions, and I’ll decide if it would be appropriate to answer at this time. 
YEAH. GOOD IDEA. 
THEN MY FIRST QUESTION IS. 
WHAT IS THE PLACE. 
The Medium. You are in your game session. 
I KNOW THAT. 
WHAT’S THIS PLANET, I MEAN. 
It was called Earth. 
EARTH. THAT’S IT? 
Yes. 
Weren’t all the Statues of Liberty a dead giveaway? 
If you see one or more shitty old Statues of Liberty on any post-apocalyptic wasteland planet, that automatically means it was Earth all along, as a rule. 
Then when you realize that, you’re supposed to have a mental breakdown. 
I AM UNFAMILIAR WITH THIS RULE. AND SKEPTICAL OF ITS VERACITY. 


I like how Hussie has to say as explicitly and unambiguously as possible that the cherubs grew up on Earth, not just to Caliborn but also to readers. He jabs at readers for not getting it before by talking about the trope where characters see a rusty Statue of Liberty, realize their desolate planet was Earth all along, and promptly freak out.

OK. WHY IS THIS MY PLANET IN THE GAME THOUGH. 
Cause your kernelsprite turned into a black hole and sucked it into your session? 
NO I MEAN. I THOUGHT I WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE A COOL AND SPECIAL PLACE. 
LIKE A LAND OF SOMETHING AND SOMETHING. 
You do. 
You just have to unlock it. 
That is when your real quest will begin. 
HOW DO I DO THAT. 
You know. Finding keys. Solving problems. 
All the potential for extraordinary achievements in your quest must be unlocked first. 
We’ve been over this. 
WHERE DO I FIND THE KEYS. 
I don’t know. 
LIES. 
Why would I know that? You think I’m like an encyclopedia on key locations?? 
I got better things to think about than where all your stupid keys are. 
Find them yourself. Better hop to it! 


All this talk about finding keys and solving puzzles brings me back to Problem Sleuth. When Hussie says he has better things to think about than locations of keys, he’s probably referencing how much Homestuck grew in scope from his prior comics and is now far more than just a tale of puzzle solving.

NO. MORE QUESTIONS FIRST. 
WHAT AM I ULTIMATELY STRIVING TO UNLOCK. 
TO MAKE MY REAL LAND APPEAR. 
IS IT SOME SORT OF GIANT, FANCY KEYHOLE. 
No. More like a big door. 
A DOOR TO WHAT. 
TREASURE? 
Kind of. 


What Caliborn ultimately needs to unlock is a big door, which again reminds me of Problem Sleuth. 

If there’s any treasure in there, it would be guarded by your denizen. 
WHAT’S THAT. 
A powerful monster that rules your planet, asleep in the core.
He appeared there the moment Earth got sucked into your session. 
WHAT KIND OF MONSTER. 
IS IT A DEADLY, CHALLENGING MONSTER? 
Yes. 
He is the deadliest, most challenging denizen of all. 
He very rarely appears in game sessions, and is usually designated for the most naturally gifted warriors. 
His name is Yaldabaoth.


Now this is a surprise reveal right there. Before this page, we had reason to believe which denizen a player gets is only a matter of their aspect. But now we know there’s an exception for the strongest fighters of all. It makes sense in retrospect because Yaldabaoth is the only known denizen whose name isn’t Greek, and because we know Dirk to be an insanely tough fighter. It’s too bad his denizen doesn’t play a role in the story other than reminding us Dirk is naturally tough.

Hussie explains more about Caliborn’s denizen quest and The Choice and what do you know, I actually don’t remember the order in which this all happens. I think Caliborn met with his denizen once to unlock his timed planet destruction mission, then again to kill him and reap the spoils? Or something like that. Aranea’s going to helpfully explain all this in not too long.

SO WHAT’S SO TERRIBLE ABOUT THIS SESSION. ASIDE FROM THE FIRST STAGE BEING INSANELY BORING. 
It’s called a dead session. 
SO. 
So, there are three kinds of fucked up sessions, and yours is the worst. 
There’s a null session, which is pretty much a normal session that’s doomed to failure. 
Everything works correctly. The sprites are prototyped, the battlefield can evolve, the Forge is present, Skaia can gestate a new universe… theoretically. 
But events conspire such that this never happens. Basically the players are doomed to fail. 
Then there’s a void session, which is the same as a null session, but without even having the potential for success. 
Nothing is prototyped. The battlefield doesn’t evolve. There’s no Forge. It is completely inert. 
It has no chance of bearing fruit, at least not without some sort of miraculous external intervention. Like a deus ex machina. 
And then there’s a dead session, which is a void session but worse. It’s started by a single player. The kernelsprite collapses into a black hole, sucking the planet into it, and eventually the sun and entire solar system. There is no hope of creating a universe in such a session under any circumstance, not even with outside help. Victory and defeat in a dead session are dictated by totally different terms. 
One way of looking at it is, if you’re fortunate enough to even get your quest started, it will be like playing the game on the extreme difficulty setting. 
Hope you’re up for that! 

OF COURSE I AM. 
LET ME ASK YOU. 
IF YOU WERE THE MOST DEADLY DENIZEN OF ALL. 
WOULD YOU WANT TO MESS WITH… 

Candy corn is a surprisingly good stand-in for sharp teeth, both in Problem Sleuth and Homestuck.

*THIS*??? 

Caliborn is more than ready to play Sburb in extra hard mode. I just love that he doesn’t fear a single thing so far in this adventure.

Note the use of Gamzee’s old typing quirk, to make extra sure we feel bad for him.


Oh great. 
Now he’s vomiting blood. 
Are you satisfied? 
You made this dear, sweet, pseudo-innocent juggalo vomit liter after thick, glutinous liter of nasty purple blood. 



Hussie’s lines about Gamzee make us feel surprisingly bad for him, except for a small lapse of humor when he says he’s “pseudo-innocent” which is, well, the truth.

An exact retrace of the one time Calliope stuck out her tongue.


UUUGH. 
I’m debating whether I should play the elevator music again. 
Would that be funny? I’m not sure. 
Kind of borderline, really. 


And to top things off, Gamzee’s in such bad shape that Hussie doesn’t even want to play elevator music. I think I agree that it’s a borderline case.


Gamzee pukes up some keys and even Hussie is confused:

KEYS? 
What? 
HE PUKED UP SOME KEYS. 
That’s weird. 
What kind of keys? 
JUST SOME REGULAR LOOKING KEYS. 
WITH SOME KIND OF CLOWNY KEY RING. 
Hmm. 
Do you think they might work on this tower? 
WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU ASKING ME? 
HOW COULD THIS BE SOMETHING YOU DON’T KNOW. 
Don’t be that way. I’m just thinking out loud here. 
SO YOU HAD NO IDEA THAT THIS WRETCHED FOOL SWALLOWED SOME KEYS. 
INTENDING TO LATER REGURGITATE THEM IN FRONT OF ME. PROBABLY AS ANOTHER “PRESENT”. 
He’s kind of like a loyal pet, isn’t he? 
Dragging ridiculous stuff into the house as gifts for his master. 
Barfing up disgusting things on the carpet and beaming with pride over his generous offering. 
Isn’t that what you want from a devoted minion/mentor? 
DID YOU. OR DID YOU NOT. KNOW HE HAD THESE KEYS. 
Nope. 
I’m just as surprised as you. 
I DON’T BELIEVE YOU. 
Hey, I told you. 
I have no idea what that clown gets up to in his spare time. 
I’m not even really sure how he got here, to be honest. 
Maybe he stowed away in a shitty Liberty? 
Or maybe he was just hiding in one of the ventshafts on your meteor when you entered? He had YEARS of practice to master that move, now that I think about it. 


Gamzee’s motives are so bizarre that one must cherish these rare moments when someone so much as speculates as to what they might be.


Upon Hussie’s suggestion, Caliborn tries using keys on various slots and this comes up:


AH. YES. IT’S THIS BUMBLING TWIT. 
WHERE IS HE. 
He is in his game session, exploring his land. 
HIS LAND LOOKS COOLER THAN MINE. 
It is cooler. 
THAT FUCKER. I AM SO GOING TO MESS WITH HIM. NOW THAT I CAN SEE HIM. 
HEY. 
WHY CAN I SEE HIM NOW? THEIR GAME WAS BLACKED OUT. LAST I LOOKED. 
You were looking through a standard chat client viewport. 
This tower’s signal bypasses the field of void permeating the session. 
As long as you find the right tower, the right monitor, and have the right key, you should be able to see anything in existence from this planet. 


Caliborn is jealous of anyone whose situation sucks less than his no matter how stupid he thinks they are, which I guess means he has something in common with Eridan? I don’t know, just throwing it out there.

He then tries another key:


IT’S THE DIRK HUMAN. 
HE IS SOMEWHAT TOLERABLE. I MEAN. AS A STRONG AND COMPETENT MALE. 
What. So you’re down with the Dirk? 
NO. ALL I’M SAYING IS. THE DEATH I WISH ON HIM DOESN’T HAVE TO BE ESPECIALLY PAINFUL. 
IT COULD BE LIKE. GOING TO SLEEP. WITH MAYBE ONLY A SHORT SCREAM. 
I think you want to be bros with him. 
SHUT YOUR MOUTH. 
I WILL TRY ANOTHER KEY. 


FAN.

IN.

DENIAL.

Caliborn is just as loud and hammy about the character he likes as he is about characters he dislikes. He tries to downplay it by saying his favorite character is slightly less putrid than the others, but it’s so obvious he sees Dirk the same way Calliope sees all of the alpha kids. This is exactly what happens when you like a work of media and are embarrassed about it, which is definitely not something that’s ever happened to me oh my god don’t give me that look.


OH HO. 
AND HERE IT WOULD SEEM THAT WE HAVE. 
AN EXEMPLARY PAIR OF SAUCY BITCHES. 
DO YOU THINK… 
What? 
NO. NEVER MIND. 
IT WAS A FRIVOLOUS QUESTION. 
Think what? 
I WAS JUST WONDERING. 
DO YOU THINK IT’S LIKELY. 
IF I PEEK AT THEM FOR A WHILE. 
THEY WILL BEGIN TO. MAYBE. 
What? 
STROKE EACH OTHER’S HAIR. 
Ok, I’m leaving. 
OR MAYBE. 
WHAT’S THE WORD I’M THINKING OF. 
YOU DO IT WITH ANOTHER LIVING TORSO THAT’S NEAR YOU. I MEAN, A TORSO YOU HAVEN’T KILLED YET. 
WHEN ONE DARES TO ALLOW THE SEDUCTIVE SERPENT OF DEBAUCHERY TO SLITHER INTO ONE’S SARSWAPAGUS. 
What the fuck? 
I THINK IT’S CALLED. 
“SNUGGLING”? 
Bye. 


Caliborn’s sexy lesbian fantasies are so hilariously unfiltered I can’t even take him seriously. Being hammy about characters you find attractive is another thing fans in denial are prone to do.

WAIT! 
WHERE ARE YOU GOING. 
I think you’ve got a handle on this. 
You’re warming up to the clown, or at least you stopped shooting him every thirty seconds. 
So it seems like you’re ready to accept him as your mentor and begin taking this quest seriously. 
I FIND HIM MODERATELY LESS REPELLENT. 
AND HE HAS PROVEN HIMSELF USEFUL. I GUESS. 
I WILL ACCEPT THE RESILIENT BARD AS MY SERVANT. 
Cool. 
My work here is done then. 
Try out some more keys. Then go exploring and look for more. 
You’ll get the hang of it. 
 — The narrative prompt has been locked. — 

And just like that, Hussie’s done guiding Caliborn for now. He did all he needed and would rather not sit through a word of Caliborn imagining Jane and Roxy making out.

Boy am I glad Gamzee’s wounds heal later. I can hardly stand to look at him so bloody.


Caliborn smiles broadly as he tries one last keyhole and feasts his eyes upon this:


In Act 6 Act 4 we never quite got to see the alpha kids’ Jack in full view. This image is quite a wham shot: we see his leg chained to his jail cell just like Caliborn once was, with a golden tooth also like Caliborn.

END OF ACT 6 INTERMISSION 4

And that’s the image Act 6 Intermission 4’s curtains close in on. A surprise shot that foreshadows through cherub parallels that B2 Jack Noir won’t be harmless for much longer.

Act recap time, why not. Well, the little there is to recap anyway.

Act 6 Act 4 is just one flash montage of the alpha kids’ Sburb session, which works better than it has any right to.

Act 6 Intermission 4 is probably the most intermission-like of the Act 6 intermissions. It’s a short interlude between the beta and alpha kids’ storylines that focuses entirely on Caliborn. It’s an odd one out among the Act 6 intermissions that again works better than it has any right to.

See you next time in Act 6 Act 5 as Jane finally confesses her longtime crush on Dirk.

>> Part 93: A Friendship Even More Permanently Ruined

My Homestuck post schedule for the next few months

For the first time in almost three years, I’ve been outputting a steady weekly-ish stream of new Homestuck blog posts! Posts that aren’t rewrites of old posts, that is. And I am extremely proud of myself for regaining that old motivation.

School is starting next week for me. It’s going to be my third and final year as an undergraduate student, after which I’ll probably get a full-time job (I have a part-time job on campus this fall semester and probably also spring). As I said in an earlier post, with school coming up I feel it’s a good time to bring back my schedule of new Homestuck posts every Friday morning (but probably earlier). I’m going to continue this schedule until the end of Act 6 Intermission 5, then probably put my Homestuck post series on a short hiatus just like Hussie did after he finished Act 6 Intermission 5. I already know exactly how I’ll divide my Homestuck posts for these next few acts and I have planned dates for each of those posts. My plans are as follows:

  • 08/16/2019 – Part 92 (A6A4 + A6I4) (done!)
  • 08/23/2019 – Part 93 (A6A5 part 1)
  • 08/19/2019 – Part 93 (A6A5 part 1) (released early!)
  • 08/23/2019 – Part 11 rewritten (Act 3 part 3)
  • 08/30/2019 – Part 94 (A6A5 part 2) (released two days early!)
  • 09/06/2019 – Part 95 (A6A5 part 3)
  • 09/13/2019 – Part 96 (A6A5 part 4)
  • 09/20/2019 – Part 97 (A6A5 part 5, the trickster section)
  • 09/27/2019 – Part 98 (A6A5 part 6, the split screen section)
  • 10/04/2019 – Part 99 (A6I5 part 1)
  • 10/11/2019 – Part 100 (A6I5 part 2)
  • 10/18/2019 – Part 101 (A6I5 part 3)
  • 10/25/2019 – Part 102 (A6I5 part 4)
  • 11/01/2019 – Part 103 (A6I5 part 5)
Obviously, these plans are subject to change. Not the act divisions, those are finalized and I know exactly which pages each post will start and end at. But the dates are most certainly subject to change. It does feel good though having an estimated date for when I’ll finish Act 6 Intermission 5. It also feels crazy that post 100 isn’t too far away. Obviously my 100th post has to be something special, and I think it’s good enough for number 100 to be the part where Aranea tells us about Caliborn’s backstory.

9/1/2019: “New posts every Friday morning” has evolved from a posting schedule to a deadline, one that I’ve consistently been early for in the past few weeks. I think at this point you can reasonably expect new posts to come out once a week, maybe? Or maybe every Wednesday, I don’t know. I finished post 95 today and I’ll probably make some revisions the next few days and release it, unless I turn out to be REALLY busy with schoolwork.

Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 91: Drunken Smooches and Costume Parties

Introduction

Part 90 | Part 91 | Part 92 >


Act 6 Intermission 3, Part 6 of 6

Pages 5399-5437 (MSPA: 7499-7537)

Featuring the best psycheout in all of Homestuck.


If only John and Vriska knew how much their friends nearby miss them…



You reach the end of the game to find an intriguing convergence of outrageous personalities. You are just dying to see what these heavyweights of badittude have to say to each other, but somehow you discover within yourself the superhuman restraint to hit pause. 

When I got to the end of Openbound Part 3 in the last post, I already knew that the walkaround ended right before Meenah could talk to Vriska, John, and Tavros but I was still a bit disappointed to remember it cut off right there. But upon further consideration, I think it’s fair to cut things off here and resume this arc with something other than a walkaround because we’ve been overdosed with walkaround content this whole intermission. You probably know that Homestuck doesn’t have any more full walkaround games after Openbound. I’ll discuss this point at the end of this post, where I recap Act 6 Intermission 3.

There is a whole world of fucking around going on with the meteor crew during the second year of their voyage, and it would be a criminal act of negligence to end this intermission without at least having a peek at their tomfoolery. A weaker person would just want to see what happens with Meenah and Vriska right away. Thank goodness you are a player with a strong sense of responsibility and discipline.

Every scene on the meteor so far in Act 6 has been hilarious, so I’m totally down for checking out what those characters are up to even though we’ve already seen plenty of it in this intermission so far.


Seems like this image is supposed to give a time scale for the meteor crew’s portion of Act 6 Act 3. The meteor crew first met Aranea and Meenah a year into the journey, and shortly after that Dave witnessed Lord English’s dream bubble explosion. Openbound Part 1 takes place a year into the meteor crew’s journey; Part 2 also probably a year, given what Terezi had to say about her upsettingly radical ancestor. Part 3 takes place two years into the journey, less than a day before Rose and Kanaya’s date. I was always pretty confused about that whole timescale, not knowing that the image above clarifies everything.

Dave Strider is not a homosexual, as we all know. (BLATANT LIES)


I fucking love this panel so much, everything about it is perfect. The scribbled out rap notes. Karkat riding a giant penis into the sunset. His usual screaming expression while riding the penis. Lord English drawn with the same body form as Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff.

Obama’s raps are unfortunately nothing more than Dave’s silly fantasies. (ALSO BLATANT LIES)


DAVE: (just dropped that shit like a bad phone connection) 
DAVE: (i put gravity in charge of its downward direction) 
DAVE: (unfettered descents what it considers perfection) 
DAVE: (shit thinks of the ground and it gets an erection) 
DAVE: (best hope its carpet bound in its downward spiral) 
DAVE: (cause linoleums frowned on, met with an eyeroll) 
DAVE: (landin on grass is just the course that its par for) 
DAVE: (but hardwood fuckin floors what its woods gettin hard for) 
DAVE: (guess i should mention stead a motherfuckin hardons) 
DAVE: (how my motherfuckin french could use a presidential pardon) 
DAVE: (KICK IT BARACK) 
DAVE: (heres where obamas rap solo comes in) 
DAVE: (no but how dope would that be!) 
DAVE: (oh fuck me that would own) 


Dave’s obsession with Obama continues to be one of my favorite things about Homestuck. Given that Obama supposedly dated Dirk at one point, we can safely say Dave’s “Obama the rapper” theory ended up just as true as his “Obama’s secret session of Sburb” theory.

ROSE: SLUUUUUUUUUURRRRP. 

Oh mother fuck.


Oh mother FUCK.

Both Lalondes have a habit of dressing up way too fancy when going out with their love interests. It’s kind of funny going back to these pages after seeing what Roxy was like in the Candy Epilogue.

DAVE: dammit 
DAVE: rose dont drink so loud its messing up my raps 
DAVE: i can actually hear your sips through my headphones 
ROSE: Yea well,, 
ROSE: I can her your rasps through your whipsers. 
ROSE: *Whipspers… 
ROSE: *Whip.. 
ROSE: …… 
ROSE: Zers. 
ROSE: 😉 
ROSE: HIC!!! 
DAVE: oh my god 
DAVE: you are so fucking hammered 
DAVE: how strong did you even make that stuff 


What the fuck…

Rose is way more incoherent and prone to speech slip-ups now than Roxy ever was.


Dave asks Rose why she hasn’t made any apple juice, and Rose goes on a drunk lecture about apples which I’m guessing was first written in Hussie’s usual prose, then smeared all over with typos to make it unreadable. I can tell because I just now took the time to rid Rose’s speech of typos. See for yourself:

DAVE: and where the FUCK is my applejuice rose 
DAVE: gotta say 
DAVE: you really let me down on the aj front 
ROSE: I tried!! 
ROSE: I tried making it… 
ROSE: Is was HARD, Dave. 
ROSE: (Sluuurp.) 
DAVE: bullshit it was hard 
DAVE: whats so hard about applejuice its like 
DAVE: the most basic goddamn juice 
DAVE: like the square one of juice 

ROSE: Yes, that’s the POINT! 
ROSE: Apples are startlingly difficult to reproduce. 
ROSE: We take for granted our ability to take idealized instances of even quite complicated objects and conjure them from the void. 
ROSE: But complexity implies a heavily recombinative nature. So many things are synthesized from a series of much simpler ideas. 
ROSE: To those entities capable of conceptualization and abstraction, an apple is as close to being a notionally irreducible object as it gets.
ROSE: Tell me, hotshot, what ideas would you combine to make an apple? 
DAVE: uh 
ROSE: Exactly. 
ROSE: This is why apples are such indivisible symbols, when it comes to the field of ideas and their reductionistic essence from the perspective of humans in particular. 
ROSE: Both from a standpoint of cultural and mythological significance, and from a practical one a swell, if you happen to find yourself actually trying to engineer one. 
ROSE: Why do you think Adam and Eve were punished for biting into one? 
ROSE: They attempted to penetrate an indivisible unit, of fundamental knowledge. To consume the interior of a thought which cannot be reduced any further. 
ROSE: This knowledge was forbidden, so humanity was forever banished to live in sin, and has strived ever since to redeem itself from the hubris of this intellectual folly. 
ROSE: Or what about the tale of Isaac Newton under the tree? He was BONKED on the head by an apple. 
ROSE: Not really an apple though, an atomic idea. An elemental unit of inspiration itself, it clocked him right on the noggin. 
ROSE: And this indivisible notion colliding with his awareness, much like a high speed particle fired to create a nuclear chain reaction, jarred from the void a more profound understanding of the intrinsic nature of nothingness. That is, gravitation. 
ROSE: Of course, these stories are actually bullshit. They didn’t happen in reality. But the fact that they are bullshit makes them more interesting. 
ROSE: Men have crafted many stories that are bullshit out of symbols risen from the abyss of consciousness without necessarily knowing what the fuck they were doing or saying, as they floundered around for some truth. 
ROSE: But in spite of themselves, they would for however briefly cross through a ray of light regardless. Because of the symbols. Dave, the symbols hold all the power. 


With the typos cleared out, Rose’s speech about apples reminds me of Detective Pony. And you know I get super excited whenever anything reminds me of Detective Pony. In case it wasn’t clear, I am telling you to read the typo-free version of Rose’s apple speech quoted right above.

Kanaya somehow looks way fancier simply with her long undershirt taken off.
Terrifying panel.


After some nonsense where Rose denies she’s going on a date, Kanaya arrives and Rose realizes she “forgod” about their date!!!!!!!!!!!!! 


And then the date begins. Rose and Kanaya walk down a dark hallway, Gamzee honking in the background. I said at one point in this blog that I like to think this whole scene is a parody of lesbian fanfictions, which was really just something I read somewhere and thought “oh hey that makes sense”.


Upon rereading this scene, I feel Rose is a severely exaggerated fanfic parody while Kanaya is her usual self, a little confused at this whole situation but truly in love with her idealized version of Rose.* So I guess this is a parody of lesbian fanfics.

Rose asks Kanaya to keep a secret and tells about Terezi and Gamzee’s black relationship.


Just like John was in love with an idealized version of Roxy in the epilogues. 


ROSE: I learned somethin earlier today. 
ROSE: It was trobuling. 
ROSE: Something about, 
ROSE: Teresi. 
ROSE: Aand, 
ROSE: … 
KANAYA: And What 
ROSE: And Gamshee. 
KANAYA: !!! 
ROSE: See… 
ROSE: I bumped into him earliar. 
KANAYA: You Did 
KANAYA: Where?? 
ROSE: No no please, pleeasse don’t get angry, and. .. 
ROSE: Go on another vengeful clown hunting espedition, I… 
ROSE: This is the point, this is was troubling me abou this. 
ROSE: I don’t want anyone to fight! 
KANAYA: Actually 
KANAYA: Theres No Need To Worry About That 
KANAYA: I Think Im Done Trying To Kill Him 
ROSE: You are? 
KANAYA: Yeah 
KANAYA: He Has Achieved Victory Through The Gambit Of Cowards Default 
KANAYA: Dont Get Me Wrong He Is Still Utterly Awful 
KANAYA: But Sometimes You Just Have To Let A Thing Go 
KANAYA: You Know 


At this point, I think Kanaya has succeeded in learning how to let go. Well… mostly succeeded. Her insistence not to put stock and trust in people who may seem fishy (literally or otherwise) is rivaled by her love for the girl who wrote the mind-blowing poetic Sburb walkthrough so long ago.

ROSE: Yeahhh, 
KANAYA: What Were You Saying About Terezi And Gamzee 
ROSE: Righ, well apparenly they.. 
ROSE: Are. 
ROSE: An item? 
ROSE: Blackways, I mean. 
KANAYA: What 
ROSE: The y’are spades dating. In theh shadowns… nobody knows. But me. An now, 
ROSE: You. 
KANAYA: Are You Serious 
ROSE: Yesh!! 
ROSE: And it’s been troubling me, the more I thing about it. 
ROSE: All lot. 
KANAYA: Why 
ROSE: Because it presends a prickly prolitical sishuation. 
ROSE: Terezi’s relationship with Karkant is already somewhat tenuous, with their… well from, what I’ve gathered, about their hishtory. 
ROSE: And Dave! His involovment makes in even more complicated, and, 
ROSE: I think, with Karkat being moirails to Gamzee, if he finds out Gamzee iss spades with Tetreezi, then… 
ROSE: Correct me if I’m wrong but isin’t that whole arrangemen getting into territory of social taboob? 
ROSE: * Tabob. Escuse me. 
KANAYA: That Could Be Very Awkward Yes 


Kanaya is trying to politely tell Rose that she doesn’t quite understand the deal with troll romance as well as she thinks, by saying the romantic situation “could be very awkward” rather than agreeing with her that it’s social taboo.


ROSE: Right!! 
ROSE: I don’t no if it’s my ser powers or what, but, HIC, I can see it unfolting all too clearly. 
ROSE: Karkast finds out about it and flies inno a rage. It ruins hish moirlallegelleninance… I mean his moiraHIC!.. It ruins his diamonds with Gamzee, who thefore becomes less stable. 
ROSE: And he villifies Trepezi as well, and who knows how she reacs. Or what happens with Dave for that matter. 
ROSE: Would Dave actually be aright wich Terezi dating a psychotic clown on th side, even if its is a releationship centered around only enmity? I kinof doubt it. 
ROSE: He could side with Korkat on the matter.. Not even tos peak of where your alignment is on the subjech of Gamzeen. 
ROSE: Which is, what I fear. I’m afraid that, 
ROSE: This could create a schisasm in our group, that we could all be torn apart. 
ROSE: And I don’t wand that!!!!! 
ROSE: I want us all to stay friends, and jus be… peaceful togehter. 😦 


Rose is starting to show shades of Roxy, with severe concern for her friends’ relationships and desire to keep them all happy. What she fears is a major falling out where most of her friends refuse to talk to each other. But what actually happens is a… *shudder* buddy system. As in one where pairs of people are bound together and barely talk to anyone else and it sucks and is upsetting.

Rose talks about how unhealthy she thinks it is for Terezi to hate-date Gamzee. Kanaya explains auspisticism as a way to mediate between a chaotic black relationship. Rose reacts as follows:


ROSE: Yes… 
ROSE: . 
ROSE: hic. 
ROSE: . 
ROSE: YES….. 

ROSE: KANAYA THAT IS EXAGLY WHAT I NEED TO DO!!! 
KANAYA: Oh No 
KANAYA: Really 
ROSE: Absoulutely. 
ROSE: I haf never been so shure.. about, anything. 
ROSE: Well maybe, almost anaything.. :), but yes. 
KANAYA: I Dont Think I Would Advise It 
KANAYA: Its Extremely Difficult And Can Often Feel Like A Thankless Undertaking 
KANAYA: In Truth It Is Probably The Most Challenging Quadrant To Master 
KANAYA: Trust Me 
ROSE: I believe you. 
ROSE: But I wants to know. 
ROSE: Can you teach me? 
KANAYA: I 
KANAYA: … 
ROSE: There’s so mouch I just don’t understand. 
ROSE: About your romanse, but, 
ROSE: I’m soi curious. 
ROSE: I try to understand the concept of either contentatious or plastonic relationships as something that… 
ROSE: Can be parshed through the emotions assoliated with romance but,, 
ROSE: It still doesn’t realay compute to me. 
KANAYA: I Really 
KANAYA: Dont Know If I Would Be A Good Teacher 
KANAYA: Of Auspisticism 
KANAYA: I Honestly Was Not Very Good At It Myself 


Kanaya isn’t particularly enthusiastic about helping Rose auspisticize between Terezi and Gamzee. She’s lost the hubris she once had as the master mediator between rivalrous trolls due to catastrophic outcomes involving her friends, especially Vriska who she used to have a huge crush on.


ROSE: Tha’s fine.. 
ROSE: Forget aushpipshit… 
ROSE: Auspishtishimish.. 
ROSE: Good damn. 
ROSE: Forget specificulty that right now,. 
ROSE: I want… 
ROSE: You to teach me evvverrreeything! 
KANAYA: Everything 
ROSE: Yez. 

KANAYA: That Is 
KANAYA: A Lot Of Things 
ROSE: I want you… to, 
ROSE: Teash me ALL the quadrans. 


And yet, Kanaya’s love for Rose is strong as ever and she complies just like she did with Vriska so long ago.


ROSE: I want you toot, 
ROSE: Tell me about your spabes, 
ROSE: Your didamounds, 

ROSE: I wank you to, 
ROSE: Share wish me yur clumbs… 
ROSE: And your hearst. 

ROSE: I want.. 
ROSE: Yuouo…. 

Beneath all the drunken misspellings, you can’t argue that these are some heartfelt words from Rose. Shortly followed by…

Trivia time!

This whole sequence of pages, ending in the big kiss, was posted on October 25, 2012. The second anniversary of Alterniabound and the first anniversary of Cascade. I THINK it was intentional?


THE KISS.

A stunning image, just like Jake and Dirk’s severed head’s kiss not long ago. Rose is all the way into it. Just look at her closed eyes and hands running through Kanaya’s smooth hair. Kanaya is into it too and no doubt thinks Rose is very beautiful in her dress, but she’s using her arms to keep Rose’s balance and prevent her from—

This SBaHJ reference is so perfectly executed, I love it.
HOLY SHIT I FORGOT ABOUT THIS


—executing what is arguably the best SBaHJ reference in all of Homestuck. This is fucking incredible mood whiplash, as is the narration that follows:

And with the smitten Seer’s inebriated descent down a flight of escalation zigzags through the dark subway-like belly of the meteor, and with teen xenolove mingling with weird honks wafting from the ventshafts to fill the fetid laboratory air with equal parts mirth and gaiety, we are ready to bid adieu to this vignette of hyperimportant fucking around on the pitch-perfect note of a single textbook deployment of the rare yet highly embarrassing DRUNK HAPPEN xROSE COMBOBOB. 

And once again we find ourselves poised to attempt to exit this intermission prematurely, while forgetting to address exactly no loose ends whatsoever. You turn the page to find a pair of green curtains that won’t close, and are fooled completely by them, as usual.



And there you have it. Literally the worst psycheout in Homestuck to date, hands down. 

But seriously, we still need to see what Meenah and Vriska have to say to each other. Proceed to the next page to find out how these twin titans of in-your-face delinquency react to each other’s unique brands of reckless antihero chutzpah.

The worst psycheout in all of Homestuck is immediately followed by the BEST psycheout in all of Homestuck.


This loading screen starts off fast but then becomes extremely slow, then fast again, then even slower as it crawls up to 100%. When it reaches 100%, we’re treated to this:

[in dialoglog, masked by a “spoiler warning”]

You spend no less than 90 seconds staring at this fucking GIF image before you realize the actual Flash animation is on the next page.


I fell for this psycheout so hard the first (or second?) time I read Homestuck. I’m pretty sure I’ve fallen for it at least twice and it made me so mad every time. Still cracks me up to this day.


MINISTRIFE is the actual Meenah vs. Vriska flash animation and my god is it fun. It cracked me up the first and/or second time I read Homestuck. It’s still pretty good but not the same knowing the twist that it turns out to be the exact opposite of what its title implies.

MEENAH: H-EY YOU! serket lookin girl
MEENAH: wanna join my army
VRISKA: Oh, I see. It’s the Peixes wanna8e. So you’re the one raising this army. That’s hilarious.
VRISKA: Sorry, I can’t join your dum8 army. I’m 8usy pursuing a much more intelligent strategy.
MEENAH: who da fuck you callin a wannabe?? lousy pants wearin smart mouth aranea ripoff
MEENAH: now get in my army fore i poke you up beeyotch
VRISKA: Not gonna happen!!!!!!!! I am however looking for a large num8er of recruits to follow me on my treasure hunting expedition.
MEENAH: wut
VRISKA: I need an enormous mo8 of ghosts following me around to get that asshole’s attention, so he can wreck more empty space and help me find the treasure! You want in?
MEENAH: that makes no fuckin sense at all
MEENAH: anemoneway i dont recall giving anyone clearance for a whalenormous treasure hunt
MEENAH: as the rightful heiress that sorta noise has to go through me yo!!!
VRISKA: Haha! Wow, I had no idea the Peixes twin was such a riot! At least, I HOPE you were trying to 8e funny with that remark.


Meenah and Vriska’s first ever meeting does not disappoint. The ambitious-minded thieves immediately show a humorous rivalry between combat and treasure hunting and they resolve to fight over it.


Vriska changes into her god tier outfit, Meenah changes into hers and cycles through various other fashion styles, and then Vriska rolls her dice and changes into her pirate outfit which looks pretty sick if I say so myself.


And then Meenah and Vriska start bringing in more and more troll ghosts from their respective groups. Here’s a highlight amidst the silly nonsense:

ARADIABOT 1: lets annihilate them
ARADIABOT 2: yes lets. i am in the m00d t0 ruin s0meb0dy
VRISKA: Right on! I knew I could count on you crazy metal 8roads for some mayhem.
SOLLUX: hey aradia, uh… y0ur rob0 clones l0ok like they’re ab0ut to flip the fuck 0ut. they’re making me nervous, eheheh. can you try talking s0me sense into them?
ARADIA: sorry sollux my robotic duplicates have always been free agents totally exempt from my influence and better judgement
ARADIA: equius do you think you can calm them down?
EQUIUS: D –> They are pernickety devices
EQUIUS: D –> Often sweat seeps into their circuitry and causes them to behave more erratically
EQUIUS: D –> Which unfortunately only causes me to sweat even more profusely, I am afraid
ARADIA: equius weve never talked about it but im not sure how comfortable i am with you um… courting such a great plurality of my mechanical doubles
EQUIUS: D –> On a scale of 1 to 100, how depraved would you say you find my behavior?
EQUIUS: D –> (please be 100, please be 100…)
ARADIA: i never should have kissed you that time it was such a mistake 😦
EQUIUS: D –> (I NEED A TOWEL)
EQUIUS: D –> (A NEW ONE I MEAN)


Equius is living the DREAM right now. How lucky do you have to be to get to spend the afterlife tending to and managing thousands of loyal robotic clones of a girl you’re fetishistically obsessed with? Not even to speak of how lucky you need to be for many different versions of yourself to get treated to such luxurious servitude.

Kurloz seems to be not only a mysteriously talented matchmaker, but also a talented costume designer. So many hidden depths from this Beforan clown…


MITUNA: HA7H 4NYW0NG 533N MY H4ML37
KURLOZ: :o)
MITUNA: 000H WH04 N1C3 C057UM3 8UDDY
KURLOZ: :o)
CRONUS: (be quiet. by saying anything youre really making a horrible impression on people we should be trying to impress here.)
MITUNA: 1M 50RRY
CRONUS: (ill forgivwe you, but this is the last time i evwer do. im at my vwits end with you.)
MITUNA: 1M 50RRY PL3453 PL3453 F04G1V3 M3 4G4IN


Most of the Beforan trolls seem to be treating this fight as a costume party, but Cronus is treating it as an opportunity to hit on new faces. Assuming this version of Cronus didn’t go god tier, he might have gotten the idea of making a fake god tier outfit with a codpiece from Gamzee.

I like how there is only one version of Gamzee in this whole crowd, alive and wearing his ridiculous fake god tier suit.

What is Gamzee even thinking about? He’s probably too busy being satisfied with his new attire.


After a heap of hilarity and trolls freaking out over meeting their dancestors, we suddenly run into a miserable ghost of Rufioh permanently stuck in a robotic horse body. By taking a long, hard look at this version of Rufioh, I am only now realizing how simultaneously hilarious and horrifying it must be for a troll to be trotting around in a mechanical horse body.

After a Karkat ghost is grouchy as ever running through this crowd, the scene gets bigger still:

Ministrife is nothing if not true to its title.


Now this is quite a sight. Numerous versions of all twenty-four Beforan and Alternian trolls, all gathered in one place and each saying at least one line. This flash is the first and only time that ever happens.

TAVROS: (none of Them, can uNderstAnd,)
bot!ARADIA: destr0y
RUFIOH: haha, yo 1 th1nk 1 hear my young ancestor wh1sper1ng from all the way over here… about someth1ng prec1ous… sh*t 1s crazy!
TAVROS: (tHe beAUTY, of my PrEcious,)
HORUSS: 8=D < It reminds me of when I was similarly sm*tten, and searched everywhere for the perfect snout ring for you, to FORTIFY our commitment. Do you remember, Rufioh?
RUFIOH: whoa, yeah! heh, those were the days… 

RUFIOH: (hey doll, m1nd 1f we talk a b1t? 1 ma1nly want to look d1stracted… so the guy w1th the ponyta1l leaves me alone… you d1g?)
ARADIABOT: death t0 all
RUFIOH: ahaha… d*mn. so much l1ke the real th1ng 1t’s… freaky }:o
ARADIABOT: like what real thing
RUFIOH: uh… you know, l1ke…
ARADIABOT: if y0u say like alive aradia i will make y0u BEG f0r a h0rse b0dy
RUFIOH: no no, l1ke someone else!!! d*mn… uncanny…
ARADIABOT: 0h 0k
RUFIOH: hey, you’re pretty cool babe… want to… like… if you aren’t doing anything…
EQUIUS: D –> E%cuse me, what is going on over here
RUFIOH: (man… not another zahhak! haha, this is f***in crazy…)
ARADIABOT: this guy with the m0hawk was flirting with me and i was being fully receptive to his advances
RUFIOH: whoa you were?


Ministrife takes a moment to revisit Rufioh and Horuss’s romantic drama by having Rufioh just as desperate to get away from his relationship as Cronus is to have any relationship. The robotic Aradias’ aggressive demeanor gives me strong Damara vibes.

EQUIUS: D –> I see. Aradiabot #100502, why must you devastate my pump biscuit so?
NEPETA: :33 < *the pouncellor astutely pawbserves the exchange and updates her shipping grid with startling developments of the heart!*
EQUIUS: D –> Nepeta, stop!
NEPETA: :33 < no!
EQUIUS: D –> Yes
NEPETA: :33 < no
EQUIUS: D –> Yes
NEPETA: :33 < no
GAMZEE: HONK
some!TEREZI: MOR3!!! MOR3 1 S4Y!!! 4444H4H4H4H4H4H4H4H4!!!!!!!


Nepeta still exists! Remember her? An eccentric but friendly roleplayer who copes with her loneliness by shipping her friends, with a moirail obsessed as ever with Aradia. This whole flash is a pretty great brief return to spotlight for many of the trolls killed in Act 5, and they all are the same as ever when we just got done meeting their exaggerated ancestors.


And here’s the troll crowd at its fullest. Numerous ghosts of 23 different trolls plus a coy as ever Gamzee. Most of these outfits are regular, dream, or god tier, but there’s some more humorous outfits and some that reference fandom memes. Just take a look for yourself in case you forgot all the wacky outfits troll ghosts are wearing in Ministrife.

Vriska and Meenah are both annoyed with this absurd crowd. Aranea tries to intervene.


ARANEA: Listen to me, 8oth of you! This duel is incredi8ly pointless! Surely there is a way for you 8oth to pursue your o8jectives without conflict.
ARANEA: In any case, I don’t have time to moderate your ridiculous fight. I have a cheru8 to find!!!!!!!!
VRISKA: I couldn’t agree more! Making him think we’re all looking for the cheru8 is a very important part of the plan! I guess gr8 minds think alike.
ARANEA: No, 8ut I REALLY AM looking for her!
VRISKA: All the 8etter then. That’ll really help sell the ruse.
ARANEA: It’s not a ruse!!!!!!!!


Holy shit, I feel bad for Aranea. She’s still trying to keep up the image that she’s concerned with a mysterious and boring cherubquest even though she’s obviously more excited about the other two parts of the plan.


Meenah and Vriska fight anyway to see whose plan wins. This stunning image transitions us to…


… Calliope’s trollsona self-insert fanfiction???


I LOVE how Calliope’s self-insert fic of all things is used as a transition device, doubling as a way to show what sort of stories our fandom satire cherub girl likes to write: existing scenes from the comic, but with the Callie Ohpeee intervening so that she plays a role in the story’s plot. The premises of Calliope’s self-insert fics are all adorably amateurish and simplistic.

I love the “S” in “BITCHES” written partly over the side of the book.

Now that his sister is dead, Caliborn has free reign to scribble over her fanfiction and tear it apart.


This funny little cherub moment shows us another self-insert fic, which transitions us to what John is up to. Sometimes you have to appreciate just how many different things can be used as transition devices in Homestuck.


John wakes up and it turns out he has the ring now.


The curtains finally close in for real on a Skaian cloud showing the mysterious ring in John’s hand. A great wham shot to end this intermission on.

– – – 


Time to recap Act 6 Intermission 3!

The main highlight of this act is the Openbound games, which to many readers are one of the worst parts of Homestuck. I liked Openbound Part 1 a lot; Parts 2 and 3 are fine on their own but the whole concept of troll walkaround games gets really grating near the end, which I assume is why a lot of people hate Openbound.

As I said before, Homestuck doesn’t have any more proper walkaround games after Openbound. Going through those games, I’m totally fine that there aren’t any more because these walkarounds did get tiring near the end. There was, however, one point in time where I badly wanted Homestuck to have another walkaround game. When Act 7 was announced to be only two pages, I thought for sure that it must be a huge walkaround because that was the only way I could imagine so many plot points could even come CLOSE to being resolved. Then I was kind of salty that Act 7 turned out to be a single flash. But what can I say, the epilogues were an EXTREMELY satisfying follow-up to Homestuck that made plot point resolution itself into a plot point so arguably it was all worth the frustration of Homestuck’s non-ending.

Homestuck may have been done with walkaround games after Openbound, but its expanded universe sure wasn’t. Imagine me ranting about how much it sucks that over the years Hiveswap has gone through such opaque development hell and unfulfilled promises. Now imagine me saying I’m going back on topic now to recap the rest of Act 6 Intermission 3.

Aside from the Openbound games, Act 6 Intermission 3 is largely an act of nostalgia, with plenty of scenes revisiting prior parts of Acts 1-5 in new styles. These scenes are a lot of fun, especially John’s dream bubble fight against Jack Noir, but mix those with the Openbound games and you get an act whose pacing is all over the place. The strange pacing makes it hard for me to judge Act 6 Intermission 3 as a whole, I’m afraid to say. In the acts that follow, I’ll be sure to see for myself if the end of Act 6 Act 3 really is a turning point in Homestuck’s enjoyability.

The next standard act after this is Act 6 Act 5, which isn’t a very well-liked part of Homestuck. Act 6 Act 4 is a single flash which I remember having kickass music, and Act 6 Intermission 4 is a short stretch of pages focused on Caliborn which I remember being an absolute laugh riot. My next post will cover both those acts, which will probably be a lot of fun. In the next post after that I’ll start Act 6 Act 5.

See you next time as Caliborn meets the two most important characters in Homestuck.

>> Part 92: Quirk Resignation and Clown Vomit

Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 90: Tsundere Vacillation Station

Introduction

Part 89 | Part 90 | Part 91 >


Act 6 Intermission 3, Part 5 of 6

Page 5398 (MSPA: 7298) [Openbound: Part 3]

In which I definitely don’t underhandedly vent about school projects.


This post is extremely long. In fact, it’s my longest Homestuck post yet! Hope you enjoy.

Here’s my plan for the next few acts:

  • Act 6 Act 4 + Act 6 Intermission 4 – 1 post
  • Act 6 Act 5 – 6 posts
  • Act 6 Intermission 5 – 5 posts

I estimate that I’ll reach the end of Act 6 Intermission 5 around November 1, give or take a week. After that, we’ll see what comes next.


Time to start the third and final part of Openbound, where we meet the last three Beforan trolls!

The chest next to Rufioh has some Fiduspawn cards, which brings back long-gone memories.


First off is Rufioh Nitram, the homage character to Dante Basco. He’s alright I guess, which is way more than can be said about most of the other Beforan trolls.

Meenah’s conversation with him doesn’t waste much time establishing absurd archetypes. Rufioh says he had wings since birth and never ascended to god tier, then starts to bemoan how people think he’s braver than he actually is. Right after that, Rufioh dives into his backstory which is WAY darker than anything else we saw with the alpha trolls.

MEENAH: alright so you never god tiered but i still dont get somefin
MEENAH: didnt you have a totally fuckin stupid robot body at some point or did i just imagine that
MEENAH: that whole period of time in our session was reel foggy to me i guess because i was dead for a while there
 #maybe i got the ghost madness #could SWEAR you was a metal horse tho
RUFIOH: yeaaah…
RUFIOH: no, the robot body was def1n1tely a th1ng… 1 k1nd of blocked that out of my memory too, haha… that was… that sh*t was someth1ng else, yo! crazy…
RUFIOH: 1’m sure you remember how all that started… back when damara and 1 were st1ll dat1ng… r1ng any bells?
MEENAH: yeah
MEENAH: fuckin megido
MEENAH: do we really need to rehash that ancient bullshit drama
 #bull #lol #wait… #why dont you ever do bull puns? #FAIL
RUFIOH: no, no… heh, just say1ng 1s all… 1t was that whole th1ng… anyway, that’s when horuss was k1nd of mack1ng on me, remember… and 1 wasn’t all about to vac1llate w1th h1m and her cause 1 knew how she was… d*mn, so jealous… so f***1ng crazy…
RUFIOH: so she made me a cr*pple, remember?
MEENAH: tag that shit homie
 #abaloneism

RUFIOH: d*mn, yeah… 1 mean, she busted me up… couldn’t move a muscle… well, could st1ll flap my w1ngs well enough, haha…

And you thought Vriska was a HUGE 8ITCH, huh???

Unlike what we learned prior about the Beforan trolls’ backstory, this is WAY worse than the Alternian trolls’ backstory. Tavros was only paralyzed from the legs down and Vriska even had the courtesy to make him some sick flying equipment. Damara paralyzed Rufioh’s entire body save for his wings, all because of romantic jealousy.

RUFIOH: really, 1 thought 1t would be alr1ght, just flapp1ng w1ngs around… 1 could st1ll fly and just hang there l1mp… m1ght have been a dope look!
RUFIOH: but nah… horuss thought better of 1t. bu1lt me the robo-bod, wh1ch was pretty t1ght…
 #l1ke l1terally… #screwed that sh*t together T1GHT! #dude 1s good
RUFIOH: lost my w1ngs though wh1ch sucked… and k1nd of awkward just hav1ng a real guy’s head on top of a b1g metal body and mak1ng all those d*mn legs move the r1ght way, you know… trott1ng 1s hard work yo.
 #espec1ally on sta1rs… #}:(


And the Beforan trolls’ absurd archetypes just make Rufioh’s backstory even worse. Horuss took the opportunity to combine his horse fetish with his attraction to Rufioh and built him a robotic horse body, which he absolutely hated.

RUFIOH: better than be1ng a cr*pple though. 1 mean a quadr1pleg1c, oops, haha… but 1 guess you d1dn’t know what happened after that, s1nce you and damara were k1ll1ng each other and all…
MEENAH: no what
RUFIOH: well… 1 d1ed. yeah… but…
RUFIOH: that’s l1ke… wow, long story… guess you never heard… 1’ll tell you some other t1me, 1t’s th1s whole crazy th1ng. but…
RUFIOH: 1 was dead, r1ght? and horuss k1ssed me back to l1fe… but just my head 1 th1nk… he was probably stand1ng on some mounta1n str1k1ng a pose l1ke a f***1ng gangsta, probably f1ght1ng a hoofbeast w1th a flam1ng mane and all… 
 #hope someone pa1nted that sh*t… #1nstant masterp1ece


Rufioh’s backstory is mixed in with some callbacks to the alpha kids’ romantic entanglements. Horuss corresponds to Dirk, Rufioh to Jake, and Damara to Jane. This story makes us fear the worst for the alpha kids when we hear back from him, especially Jake.

RUFIOH: so yeah, next you saw me 1 had my normal body aga1n… 1t was cool of h1m to help me all the ways he has.
RUFIOH: and yeah, we went out, me and h1m… for a long t1me after that, k1nda off and on, even after we d1ed… 1n case you were gonna ask…
MEENAH: i wasnt
RUFIOH: r1ght… haha… too much 1nformat1on 1 guess? sorry doll.
RUFIOH: 1 always wanted to thank you for stand1ng up for me… you know, when she cr*ppled me… even though 1t cost ya… that was pure class, pe1xes, 1’ll never forget 1t.
MEENAH: man i wouldnt have had to if you could just stand up for yourself sometimes
MEENAH: i mean being paralyzed notfishstanding
RUFIOH: heh… yeah… 1 guess…
MEENAH: you are the only guy in our group who was ever even close to being pretty cool
MEENAH: everyone else sucks but you were almost alright
MEENAH: you were always such a pushover though
MEENAH: pretty lame bro
 #TW #CRIPPLE ENTENDRE #suck it

Rufioh’s pushover issues have him permanently locked in a love triangle with Damara and Horuss. Again makes us fear the worst for Jake.

> Meenah, ask Rufioh to join 

MEENAH: i probubbly shouldnt even ask this since youre not as brave as people make out with you to be
MEENAH: i mean make you out to be
 #wait #what did i say? #nm
MEENAH: but would you want to come away with me to…
RUFIOH: whoa, man… not you too!!! ahaha…
MEENAH: wut
RUFIOH: 1t’s f1ne… 1t’s alr1ght that you d1g me, 1’m flattered… you were just the last person who hadn’t h1t on me yet… and 1 k1nda dug that about you, you know?
MEENAH: i wasnt asking you out dope
RUFIOH: oh… wow… sh*t! sorry, guess 1 got the wrong 1dea…
RUFIOH: 1t’s just k1nd of a reflex, doll… you know? everybody h1ts on me all the t1me, and 1 don’t know why… sh*t 1s crazy…

Rufioh really is the Jake of the alpha trolls. All his friends are attracted to him and he doesn’t know why, and he shows signs of treating romance differently from how most people do. Dating seems to get him into nothing but trouble, so he cherishes people that aren’t romantically attracted to him.

RUFIOH: just the other day, get th1s… some orange guy 1n a green sh1rt jumped out of some bushes and tr1ed to k1ss me… and 1’m l1ke whaaat… step off jolly man, haha…

Hussie’s self-insert apparently met Rufioh and tried to kiss him, which isn’t the least bit surprising. If only Rufioh knew what all his alternate self(???) taught Hussie back in the day…

MEENAH: maybe its cause youre a bishie ass glubberfucker with a kickin hawk
RUFIOH: yo, that’s cool of you to say… you’ve got k1nda th1s otenba b1shojo th1ng go1ng on yourself, g1rl… your style rocks, 1 always thought you looked pretty slamm1n…
 #1 could g1ve you mohawk dy1ng t1ps… #you’d rock the sh*t out of that look!!!
MEENAH: for what its worth
MEENAH: i would be your moe dere dere waifu in the beat of a pump biscuit
MEENAH: if i was remotely attracted to you or found your personality more appealing
MEENAH: and also if i shared your dumb passion for troll anime and didnt think it clogged massive blowhole
RUFIOH: ahaha, bangarang! that’s a scenar1o 1’d be alr1ght w1th…
RUFIOH: no one really to talk to anymore about my stor1es, yo… s1nce th1ngs got so ch1lly w1th my ex…
MEENAH: goddamn witch
RUFIOH: seriously… she crazy…


God damn do I feel bad for Rufioh. He badly wants friends to talk to about his troll anime, but nobody other than his ex cares about it. I’m not even very well-versed in anime and I can confirm from experience that jamming with someone else about an anime you like is an absolute blast. And just to be clear, I have no idea what an “otenba” or a “bishojo” is.

RUFIOH: so what were you go1ng to ask me… uh, 1f not on a date?
 #and 1f not what brand of mohawk dye 1 use?
MEENAH: never mind
MEENAH: youre not even gonna agree anyway cause this team suuuuucks
MEENAH: later ruf


I actually think Meenah may have had a shot getting Rufioh to join her army. Who knows, maybe he likes the idea of facing off against a big green monster if it gets him away from his horrible relationship with Horuss.


> Meenah, open chest east of Rufioh

You got a BUSTED ROBOT HEAD! 

There was a rumor going around that once, through an elaborate courtship process, Horuss sent Rufioh a robotic duplicate of himself to spar with, piece by piece. The last part he sent was supposedly the head.

That’s almost certainly a myth. Horuss is a pretty strange dude, but he would have to be a total lunatic to do something like that. The anecdote strains plausibility.

Another obvious alpha kid callback. Kind of interesting that the last few Beforan trolls are used to warn us about what could easily happen to the alpha kids in their session.


Now it’s time for Meenah to meet, um,

This fucking guy.



Wait…

Are you telling me he has a name? I never would have guessed. Everyone forgets about Horuss Zahhak and I’m probably about to see why.

> Meenah, talk to Horuss

HORUSS: 8=D < Your Harness… I mean Hayness. Highness I mean.

HORUSS: 8=D < F*DDLEST*%. Please pardon my utterly e%ecrable language, and unforgivable stammering, your Horseness.
 #Sh*ot! #I mean Hayness! #Whew.


Yes, this is exactly what I need. Traumatic flashbacks to my brony phase.

… how did I never realize Horuss might have been inspired by My Little Pony characters, who stick horse terms into every other word? I feel like I should have noticed that way sooner, because I first read Homestuck right as my brony phase was drawing to a close.

MEENAH: hey uh
MEENAH: horuss what…
MEENAH: what the fuck is that thing youre prefixing all your talkin with
HORUSS: 8=D < Oh, this? What, you don't recognize it?
MEENAH: no and its weirding me out
HORUSS: 8=D < Why, it is my smiling face, you s*lly, utterly superior person, you. Goggles and all. Can't you see?
MEENAH: i
MEENAH: guess??
MEENAH: its disturbin as heck to me for whatever reason
HORUSS: 8=D < The last thing I desire is to disconcert our prodigal empress.
HORUSS: 8=D < I just thought I would try smiling permanently and uncompromisingly, rather than resnorting to all those disgruntled e%pressions I usually trot out.
 #I’ve been cutting back on the horse puns too, as you can see.


uuuugggggghhhhhhhhhhh

Rufioh deserves better than this absolute creep. Horuss says that he used to always make disgruntled face expressions, which implies that all his lines used to be preceded by ever-changing emoticons just like Meulin, rather than a constant 8=D. He also says he’s been cutting back on horse puns, implying that he used to be even worse if that’s even possible.

MEENAH: why the eff would you want to do that
HORUSS: 8=D < It was on Meulin's suggestion, actually.
 #8=3
MEENAH: huh??
HORUSS: 8=D < Oh, I guess you must not have herd. She and I have developed quite a STRONG and stable moirallegiance recently.
MEENAH: daaaang
 #disclamer: #less impressed than i sound
MEENAH: that matchup makes no glubbin sense dude
 #cats+horse #ftw
HORUSS: 8=D < E%actly. Whoof would have thought? If you a%ed me before we all died whether I would consider romantically pairing with a r*d*culous midb100d, let alone Ms. Leijon of all people, I'd probably have died regardless, due to laughter-induced asphy%iation.
 #If you’re going to go #Go out with a smile #8=D
HORUSS: 8=D < But do you know what it was that finally cleared the sweat steam-induced fog from my goggles? It was meeting our post-scratch counterparts. 
 #Dancestors #Or shall I say #Dressagecestors?
HORUSS: 8=D < Seeing our corresponding young Alternians, why it threatened to produce a tear-induced f100d on the inside of my goggles.
 #Which naturally I would drain right away through the custom sweat valves
HORUSS: 8=D < Their relationship in spite of the STRONG class disparity I found to be so moving, so pure. It made me reconsider my perspective on Meulin entirely, who horsenestly I'd hardly ever given a second thought.


Um.

Horuss isn’t all that much unlike Equius. He has all of that guy’s same fetishes, not even exaggerated all that much. It makes sense that he’d think starting a moirallegiance with Meulin would help keep his weird problems in check, with the same magic that made Nepeta and Equius’s moirallegiance work so well. Unfortunately, Meulin is only like Nepeta on a surface level and is otherwise a useless Tumblr fangirl, so all she does is tell Horuss to permanently smile.

MEENAH: man why yall still act like you give a heap of manure about dating down on the spectrum
MEENAH: you and nitram been a thing for how long now
HORUSS: 8=D < Yes, but no one was supposed to know about that!
HORUSS: 8=D < That was always to be my own private, um, e%ploration. I had no intention of creating such a stirrup. 
 #Though I have literally smithed such items before, pun notwithstanding.
HORUSS: 8=D < It was only to be a very private, fleeting dalliance with a BUOY, but the whole thing became so quickly scandalized. 
 #A spur of the moment affair, really.
HORUSS: 8=D < And soon others were whisked into it such as you and the vengeful rust b100d, and… well, imagine my embarrassment. Trust me, the last thing I wanted was for royalty such as yourself to know I was pursuing forbidden b100d. To be caught with my hoof in the chocolate jar, so to nicker.
MEENAH: ill
HORUSS: 8=D < And I suppose I would have clopped my hands of the matter after the big k*rfuffle, but…
HORUSS: 8=D < I guess I didn't e%pect to fall in love.



HORUSS: 8=D < It's true. I am not ashamed to say it. I fell mane over hooves. Phantom snout over phantom hind quarters. He…
HORUSS: 8=D < He stole my breath away.
 #With but a roguish glance.


Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. I fucking hate this guy. He was embarrassed by his relationship with Rufioh not because he knew Damara and Rufioh were in love, but because Rufioh was so low on the hemospectrum.

MEENAH: wow life story alert do not care
HORUSS: 8=D < My apologies, your E%cellency.
MEENAH: just tell me why paling up with meu means you have to make that terrible face now
HORUSS: 8=D < She's taught me to get in touch with my anger. Through a moderately discernible series of enthusiastic mimes, she has made it clear that it is much healthier to crush all negative emotions beneath a stampede of positivity, and to always be cheerful and upbeat no matter what, even if projecting that facade is at times physically painful.
 #Such as #All times.
MEENAH: that is some shitsauce advice and you should give it up homes
HORUSS: 8=D < Um, yes. Very well.
HORUSS: (;≧Д≦) < Is this better?
MEENAH: much


😦

Sounds like a language barrier right there. Maybe Meulin really did have good romantic advice for Horuss, like my theory that she keeps Mituna’s relationships steady. But Horuss didn’t read her mimes very well and took them to mean that he should smile all the time no matter how deeply depressed he is.

> Meenah, ask Horuss to join

HORUSS: 8=D < Respectfully, your Superlative Magnificency, I do not think that would be advisable.
MEENAH: whoa shocker of the centaury
 #HORSE PUN #DIS GIRL #ON FIYA
HORUSS: 8=D < Of course, I will if you order me to without hesitation. But lately I've been attempting to canter down a trail of nonviolence.
HORUSS: 8=D < I've been saddled for so long with anger and hostility, and now my focus is on solving problems in ways that do not involve confrontation or physical STRENGTH.
 #Soon I may even be able to say STRENGTH without shouting.
HORUSS: 8=D < Technology can solve so many problems, for instance. Do you have any idea how much energy is stored in sweat which may be released through its steam?
HORUSS: 8=D < Have you any clue as to the MIGHT of a quadrupedal automaton powered by raging currents of steam coursing through its e%quisite horizontal torso, and finally jetting through a perfect pair of metal nostrils? I could build as many as you like, my Empress.


Horuss’s robot horses, or at least some form of robot horses, end up useful to the plot in a roundabout way. Maybe when he met Equius, he taught him how to build robotic horses? Makes sense because after Equius became Arquiusprite, he summoned robotic horses to open his surprise entrance into the events of Caliborn’s Masterpiece. So at least Horuss has some possible semblance of redeeming quality, unlike Cronus.

MEENAH: um no think i will pass on taking an army of snorting horsebots with me
 #unless you build those suckas out of gold
MEENAH: so thats all you do is build stupid shit that runs on your sweat now?
MEENAH: cause i could really use a guy with muscle
MEENAH: i dunno if you seen this skull dude but he is RIPP-ED
 #kinda hot actually
HORUSS: 8=D < Oh no, that's far from my only preoccupation. I have also taken some time to perfect the art of humor.
HORUSS: 8=D < Would you like to hear a joke?
MEENAH: oh noes…
 #fine
HORUSS: 8=D < A horse trots into a thirst shanty. His muscular shoulders slouched, his noble head hanging low.
HORUSS: 8=D < The dairyjerk observes that the great beast is clearly despondent, and asks:
HORUSS: 8=========D < Why the long face?
MEENAH: euurergh
MEENAH: zahhak god damn it i am royally orderin you to stop doing that face forever
HORUSS: 8=o < At once, my lady.
HORUSS: 8o < My formerly perky visage withdraws, while my fully erect posture shrivels at your regal disapproval.
HORUSS: (ಠ益ಠ;) < I shall henceforth emote in my customary manner, as such.
MEENAH: respect


> Meenah, be Horuss

HORUSS: ᕦ(ò д óˇ)ᕤ < Bring me a horse, and I am yours forever.

Horuss’s words look way less creepy without the constant 8=D. Why did he have to start smiling all the time?


Rounding off the alpha trolls, it’s time to meet Meenah’s longtime nemesis, Damara Megido. Meenah’s conversation with her starts like her “conversation” with Kurloz in the last walkaround: first Damara is silent, then she flips the bird at Meenah. But right after Meenah suspects Damara of still abusing Rufioh after all this time, Damara starts speaking machine translated Japanese that Meenah can’t understand.

I’m not willing to analyze who among Damara and Meenah was in the right during this whole nasty rivalry any more than I am willing to quote the filthy sexual things Damara says. This is one of very few times I’m going to outright censor parts of the comic, for the sake of keeping things reasonably safe for work. I’ll probably do the same with the extremely graphic parts of the epilogues. If you want to read uncensored translations of Damara’s dialogue, just consult the readmspa.org transcripts.

> Meenah, ask Damara to join

MEENAH: hey so guess what! im building an army to kill lord ahahahaha
MEENAH: S)(-ELL O)( S)(-ELL
 #aka #sea lol
MEENAH: like you could give a fuck about saving reality and or wouldnt just be a huge backstabbin liability out there
DAMARA: 十分に公平。[Fair enough.]
MEENAH: but just for shits an cuttles uh
MEENAH: been sorta wondering
MEENAH: back when we like
MEENAH: kind of ruined each others shit
MEENAH: because of that whole cycle of revenge deal
MEENAH: and i ended up dyin and god tiering and all
MEENAH: remember that
DAMARA: 私が覚えている。[I remember.]
DAMARA: 時々私は、(REDACTED)。[Sometimes I (REDACTED).]
MEENAH: aight not sure i followed that but ill assume it was more weird skanky sass
MEENAH: but what i want to know is
MEENAH: after the fight
MEENAH: did i hurt you bad enough that you maybe
MEENAH: crawled off and died somewhere
MEENAH: like in a quest cocoon
DAMARA: …
MEENAH: were you maybe all bloodied up from all those forkins
MEENAH: and then maybe along comes a friend with a maddening inability to hold a grudge against you for the ways you fucked him over
MEENAH: maybe trotting along in his new robo horse body and swooped your bloody torso up on his back
MEENAH: galloped off to your cocoon and draped you on the slab while probly not havin the nerve to finish you off
MEENAH: this ringin any bells
 #like the ones in your batty as fuck goddamn belfry?
DAMARA: 性交あなたは何を話している?白痴雌犬。[What the fuck are you talking about? Bitch idiot.]


Damara is even more unhelpful when Meenah asks her to join. Meenah reasonably presumes Damara ascended to god tier, but Damara refuses to elaborate. Then she derails the conversation with more sexual nonsense.

Pictured above: the dream bubble only Damara can open.


I guess I should go over the options of “being” characters now. None of the three newly introduced Beforan trolls let you play as them right away and the way out is blocked by a dream bubble only Damara can open. Rufioh wants someone to bring him a memory of his lusus, Horuss wants someone to bring him a horse, and Meenah basically tells us that you can’t be Damara unless you’re playing as someone that speaks her language. The obvious progression is to be Horuss, then be Rufioh, then be Damara.


Meenah uses the spawn eggs on the Fiduspawn plush and out comes a Horsaponi, which can supposedly evolve to a Horsaroni if you train it enough. If you give it to Horuss, you can be him.


If you play as Horuss and talk to Meenah, she asks Horuss when he decided he was a horse. But before he can answer, Kankri comes in and “corrects” all of Meenah’s misconceptions about… whatever the FUCK Horuss’s fetishes are. Honestly I’ve already said all there is to say about Kankri by this point. I skipped over the time he intruded on Meenah and Rufioh’s conversation earlier in this walkaround. Though this bit is way funnier than it should be:

KANKRI: P99r H9russ here will likely feel triggered f9r weeks 6ecause 9f y9ur th9ughtless questi9n. Hell, even I’m feeling a little triggered 6y it, and I’m n9t even under the impressi9n I’m a h9rse. I think every9ne within earsh9t was triggered 6y that. Y9u feel triggered, right H9russ?
HORUSS: (o皿o;) < Trigger sounds like a wonderful name for a hoofbeast.
KANKRI: See? T9tally triggered. N9w let’s let the healing 6egin.


I wish the Openbound games had more pictures like this. Would liven things up a bit.


Horuss has no idea what Kankri is talking about, but is aroused by a mutant blood speaking at such length about horse identity. Meenah quietly walks away.

Horuss uses his machinery skills to open a chest next to Damara, which contains a suffocating memory of Rufioh’s lusus because Damara is a nasty bitch. You can also talk to her as Horuss, but he can’t understand a word she says. Horuss thinks Damara’s language is a lowblood accent and that’s why only Rufioh can understand her. He also mentions he’s been working on a steam-powered universal translation device that isn’t usable yet. If you read this conversation with Damara’s translations (or if you can read Japanese), Horuss seems like a normal person next to Damara with all the sexual stuff she says.


*sighs loudly, EXTRA LOUDLY*

Horuss talks at length about his past and answers the question of when he “decided he was a horse”: he felt empty all his life due to being a void player and started searching from the void within to find answers to who he is, not the least of which is the idea that he is a horse. This would be great and all if he was listening to a single word Rufioh was saying. Throughout Horuss’s ramble about himself, Rufioh nervously tries to break up with him and then gives up.

HORUSS: 8=D < But as much as I learned about myself, I could never find a way to become whole.
HORUSS: 8=D < The void was never filled until you came along, Rufioh. 
RUFIOH: wow man. that’s…
RUFIOH: wow.
HORUSS: 8=D < If there is any lesson I would like people to take from my story, it is a lesson that is a multiple system consisting of two distinct lessons.
HORUSS: 8=D < The first is how love heals all wounds, even ones consisting of the infinite essence of void permeating your entire e%istence and role as a legendary hero.
HORUSS: 8=D < The second is how if you are faced with any crisis of identity whatsoever, it's really important to do your best to manufacture esoteric features of your personality and believe in them very STRONGLY and tell people about those things as frequently as possible.


As with Cronus’s scenes in the last walkaround, I think this passage is meant to tell readers how not to behave around the Internet, especially around odd figures. I’m reminded once again of my brony phase and all the other embarrassing stuff I did around that time.

HORUSS: 8=D < I can assure you right now, the labor involved in smithing my personality into one that is interesting and complicated was rather intensive.
HORUSS: 8=D~~ < I really worked up a good sweat in the process.
HORUSS: 8=D~~~~ < (That is the sweat dripping from my face.)
RUFIOH: hey… yo… that…
RUFIOH: that’s some freaky sh*t dog!


Horuss boasts of manufacturing a complex character for himself, and yet he’s one of the most forgettable characters in the entire comic, even by Beforan troll standards. I’ll come back to this point when Meenah gets to Aranea’s exposition stand.

HORUSS: 8=D < Anyway, I apologize for talking so much. You know how you have a way of drawing the breath out of people.
HORUSS: 8=D < What were you trying to tell me?
RUFIOH: oh… yeah.
RUFIOH: uh…
RUFIOH: never m1nd.


😦 😦 😦 😦

Four frowny faces. Three for Rufioh, one for Horuss because he deserves a slight amount of pity too.

Horuss gives Rufioh his lusus and he lets you be him.


> Rufioh, talk to Horuss

RUFIOH: yo yo, horuss my gangsta, how you feel?
RUFIOH: can 1 get a way gentle f1st bump from my boy? heh, yeah… just l1ke that… f*ck yes.
 #actually that st1ll k1nda hurt…
RUFIOH: anyway 1’ve been mean1ng to talk to you about someth1ng… someth1ng uh… pretty 1mportant.
RUFIOH: about us and the future and all that… you got a m1nute?
RUFIOH: ok, cool. so… d*mn… where do 1 even start…
RUFIOH: you know we’ve had noth1ng but good t1mes together… 1t’s been the bomb.
RUFIOH: well, maybe not everyth1ng… sh*t got d1cey at the start… w1th my crazy ex and… yeah. that’s not the po1nt.
RUFIOH: remember the way you used to be… before you all started be1ng 1nterested 1n me… man you thought 1 sucked! haha, just another lowblood not worth your t1me.
RUFIOH: you were so p1ssed at people l1ke me and damara… so angry, damn. sh*t was scary… and damara… she used to be n1ce as can be… dunno what happened there. talk about a personal1ty sw1tch… for both of ya…
RUFIOH: but then for whatever reason… 1 guess you wanted to reach out to me? 1 mean… 1n secret, 1 know. you d1dn’t want to be all shamed out of your h1ghbrow CIP club, 1 could always d1g that. 1 understood, you know?


Time for Rufioh’s big breakup speech. He starts by describing Horuss in a more positive light than what we’ve seen before. Things do get iffy which he uses the acronym CIP, which shows that Horuss has gotten to him a bit too much—normally those acronyms aren’t part of anyone’s lingo unless they’re fake social justice bloggers or hemospectrum fetishists.

(Constantly censoring profanity is probably another side effect of Rufioh spending so much time with Horuss.)

RUFIOH: people always had crazy 1deas about me. l1ke 1 was th1s brave adventure guy all up 1n th1s forest be1ng a bad*ss and sh*t. people l1ke… they always wanted to be w1th me, or… maybe even wanted to BE me? 1t was all k1nd of whack… even damara when we were go1ng out d1dn’t really get me, 1 th1nk… she put me on th1s pedestal, 1 mean, back before she snapped.
RUFIOH: but you saw me for who 1 was. wh1ch was… not a perfect guy.
RUFIOH: l1ke, 1 wasn’t really sure about myself, and you saw that… so you actually helped me.

RUFIOH: when we were 1n the woods together, you taught me about combat… ph1losophy… l1fe… and love!

Little-known fact: the “combat, philosophy, life, and love” arc words from the epilogues actually originated in Openbound Part 3, as shown above. It fits because Horuss is meant as an analog to Dirk, the character most often associated with those arc words.

Just kidding, this is what Rufioh actually says:

RUFIOH: when we were 1n the woods together, you taught me to f1ght… taught me to fly… taught me to crow!

I’ve reread the epilogues so many times now that I almost expected Rufioh to mention combat, philosophy, life, and love.

RUFIOH: well, not l1terally. 1 mean… 1 knew how to do those th1ngs. 1 knew techn1cally how to flap my w1ngs and fly through the a1r. 1 knew how to say “bangarang” all loud 1f 1 really wanted to… but that was the th1ng. 1 was scared! 1 was scared of fly1ng and fall1ng… 1 was scared of f1ght1ng and fa1l1ng… and 1 was scared of crow1ng and… sound1ng l1ke a f***1ng 1d1ot 1 guess! lol…
RUFIOH: but you helped me not be so scared, or self consc1ous maybe… you just helped me be myself. l1ke… to just be ok w1th not be1ng perfect, or l1v1ng up to whatever people th1nk 1 should be.
RUFIOH: maybe 1t’s just nostalg1a… there was someth1ng better about those t1mes… just you and me ch1ll1ng 1n the woods. but then we entered the game.
RUFIOH: and for some reason… st1ll don’t know why… damara just started go1ng a l1ttle more nuts every day… gett1ng more and more jealous when she knew we were hang1ng out…
RUFIOH: then she found out 1t was more than just hang1ng out… and 1 guess the rest was h1story.


Rufioh mentions that Damara didn’t really go crazy until after the game started. This sets up a mystery arc for what caused Damara to go crazy. We’re led to believe that Damara simply learned from Sburb constructs to start being a nasty asshole; we don’t know what really changed her character until we get to Aranea’s exposition booth.

RUFIOH: and yada yada… then we all d1ed… and we been together ever s1nce. all th1s t1me as ghosts…
RUFIOH: wh1ch 1s… a long t1me, you know?
RUFIOH: and 1’ll always be grateful for what we had together… but… 1 guess people change.
RUFIOH: even as ghosts, they change, 1f you g1ve em long enough… they start want1ng d1fferent th1ngs…
RUFIOH: aw man! 1’m go1ng about th1s all wrong… say1ng way too much, but not what 1 want to say… sh*t, haha.
RUFIOH: 1 should just use the bravery you helped me understand 1 always had, and just say 1t…
RUFIOH: 1 th1nk we should break up.
RUFIOH: …
 #…
RUFIOH: uh…
RUFIOH: you ok, bro?

HORUSS: 8=D < Oh! I'm sorry, what did you say?
HORUSS: 8=D < My ear valves filled up with sweat, and I didn't catch most of that.
RUFIOH: …


😦 😦 😦

Three frowny faces for Rufioh, none for Horuss.

HORUSS: 8=D < Hey, why don't we participate in an enjoyable activity together later, as romantic afterlife partners? We could play one of those foreign card games you seem to like. What's that one called again? Fiddlespoon?
RUFIOH: um. yeah… we can do that… 1 guess. that sounds… uh… dope.
HORUSS: 8=D < I know I'm not the best partner to share your e%otic and somewhat childish interests with, but I do my best to try to understand them and enjoy them with you. The most important thing is that we spend time together, and maintain a STRONG relationship.
RUFIOH: …
RUFIOH: bangarang.


I feel bad for Rufioh again. Everyone calls his interests childish, even though there’s nothing wrong with liking things that may be aimed at children. And there’s especially nothing wrong with liking anime. Did Horuss ever try watching any of Rufioh’s favorite animes? I’m sure at least one anime had some appearance or mention of horses, which Horuss would obviously love. Though that would probably just make their relationship even worse.


RUFIOH: d*mn… thank god 1 got my lusus back… dunno what 1’d do w1thout the l1ttle guy!
MEENAH: is he even uh
MEENAH: “reel”
MEENAH: ya know
MEENAH: like the ghost of your actual lusus or
RUFIOH: er… know what? not sure, doll!
RUFIOH: he could just be a memory f1gment or someth1ng l1ke that. or maybe he’s really h1s ghost…
RUFIOH: when damara acc1dentally dropped a hunger trunk on h1m way back… crushed h1s l1ttle body… 1 always dreamed 1 m1ght meet up w1th h1m aga1n 1n the afterl1fe.
RUFIOH: so when 1 found h1m here… guess 1 d1dn’t th1nk about 1t much? 1 was just happy to see h1m.


Accidentally dropping refrigerators is usually one of the first things anyone does in a Sburb session, which might imply Rufioh’s lusus died right at the start of their session. Or it might not, because the Beforus session was a miserable failure that never went anywhere for three sweeps until they figured out how to reset the game. Either way, Rufioh losing his lusus for so long is messed up to think about.

RUFIOH: 1 remember when 1 was young… just a l1ttle runt out there try1ng to make 1t 1n the world… people would look at me funny cause my w1ngs were grow1ng 1n, and that really freaked people out yo!
RUFIOH: so 1 got way self consc1ous and d1dn’t feel at home out there… w1th everybody eye1ng me up l1ke that…
RUFIOH: so one n1ght my lusus led me 1nto the woods…
RUFIOH: and 1 found th1s whole baller v1llage of f***ck1n tree houses and rope ladders and 1 was l1ke D*MN!
 #shouted bangarang SO LOUD you don’t even KNOW!
RUFIOH: that’s when 1 became an off1c1al member of the lost weeaboos.
MEENAH: hey ok so…
MEENAH: can we not actually talk about the lost weeaboos
MEENAH: can that just be not a conversation we have
RUFIOH: uh…
MEENAH: ruf listen your storys cool but theres some junk thats just so silly i cant even try to abide
RUFIOH: yeah 1 guess… heh.
RUFIOH: but anyway, they were my boys… a better posse you couldn’t hope to ch1ll w1th, k1ck the sh*t on troll an1me… all that.
MEENAH: aw fer glub sake
 #no
RUFIOH: f1rst bumped 1nto damara out there… crazy t1mes!
RUFIOH: 1 th1nk those were format1ve sweeps for me… learned to love a lotta th1ngs 1 st1ll do to th1s day.
RUFIOH: between you and me… 1 m1ss the days 1 could just jam w1th her about troll an1me… but now… you know how 1t 1s…


Normally in these conversations I feel bad for Meenah, but in this case it’s totally the opposite and I feel bad for Rufioh. Meenah is going full on “lol anime is for losers”, which reminds me of how I was back when I hadn’t seen any anime. It’s the one case where I actually think it’s rude for Meenah to make fun of her friends’ interests. There’s just something sincere about Rufioh’s attitude that shows he isn’t a lunatic freak of nature, just a regular guy who really enjoys talking about his favorite animes.

RUFIOH: 1t’s ok, 1 get that the stuff 1 l1ke 1sn’t for everyone.
RUFIOH: people say 1t’s just for w1gglers… and 1 k1nd of assumed one day 1’d grow out of 1t, but guess 1 never d1d?
RUFIOH: then aga1n… we all d1ed… and now we really are all young forever… 
RUFIOH: just l1ke the prophecy of the lost weeaboos sa1d… 
RUFIOH: whoa spooky… 1 always thought that was a load of bs!!!
MEENAH: whoops you just said lost weeaboos again thus failing the conversation
MEENAH: in the immortal hand gestured words of the late great meulin leijon:
MEENAH: IM SO DON-E


I think it was a positive development that Rufioh accepted he wouldn’t grow out of his troll anime and decided to just keep liking the things he likes. And you know what? It’s fine that Meenah doesn’t understand all this. Obviously not everyone is going to care about all the things you care about.


Rufioh’s conversation with Damara is upsetting, even without translations handy. She’s still bitter that Rufioh cheated on her with Horuss. The conversation continues if you start playing as Damara, and that’s where things get more interesting.

RUFIOH: gotta be honest damara… 1 been feel1ng pretty bad…
DAMARA: なぜですか? [Why?]
RUFIOH: um… you can keep a secret, r1ght?
DAMARA: はい、もちろん。私はあなたの友達です。[Yes, of course. I am your friend.]
RUFIOH: yeah…
RUFIOH: 1t’s horuss… and you know… been th1nk1ng about break1ng 1t off w1th h1m…
DAMARA: 何を壊す?彼のホーン? [Breaking what? His horn?]
RUFIOH: hahaha! naw… that wouldn’t do much good…


Damara’s suggestion to break Horuss’s horn is an obvious pun on how one of Equius’s horns was broken, but I think it might also be a hint at her fatalism and belief in circumstantial simultaneity. I know that sounds a bit far-fetched, but need I remind you, there’s nothing wrong with reading “too much” into things.

RUFIOH: 1 feel gu1lty for say1ng so… 1’m just not 1nto 1t… so many repet1t1ve dates over the m1llen1a… so much l1ke… talk1ng about l1vestock and b1g muscular an1mals and… 1 dunno. those aren’t really my 1nterests…
RUFIOH: maybe we were never that compat1ble and 1 just never had the guts to say so?
DAMARA: RUFIOH 。私はあなたにこのことを告げた。毎日。永遠に。[RUFIOH. I told you this. Every day. Forever.]
RUFIOH: 1 know, 1 know… 1 d1dn’t l1sten to you… 1 f1gured you were st1ll all mad and jealous!!!
DAMARA: 私は怒って嫉妬した。[I was mad and jealous.]
RUFIOH: r1ght… 1 just don’t know what to do.
RUFIOH: he’s great… but he’s so cl1ngy! 1 don’t know how he keeps that up after all th1s t1me… dude’s got stam1na… 1’m just l1ke… romant1cally exhausted. you get me, doll?
DAMARA: はい。愛が私には死んでいる。ので、誰かがずっと前に、心臓を介して私を刺した。[Yes. Love is dead to me. So long ago, someone stabbed me through the heart.]


Rufioh always sees the best in people and can’t parse when they’re mad at him, which is again reminiscent of Jake. Both are strong cases of unending optimism leading to severe romantic turmoil.

RUFIOH: but for real… 1 just don’t want to hurt h1s feel1ngs…
DAMARA: あなたは私が彼を殺したいですか?再び? [Do you want me to kill him? Again?]
RUFIOH: no!!! god, no… don’t hurt anyone… let’s not go there aga1n!
DAMARA: 私が彼を誘惑したいですか? [Do you want me to seduce him?]
RUFIOH: er… 1 guess 1f the two of you are l1ke… um. that’s really between you and h1m? not sure he would go for that… anyway, 1 don’t th1nk that would actually help me…
DAMARA: 私は彼の魂を消費するために悪魔をもたらすでしょう。[I’ll bring the devil to consume his soul.]
RUFIOH: man, no! 1 told you, please don’t feed anyone’s soul to ANYBODY!!!
RUFIOH: you’ve got to keep crazy talk l1ke that down, damara!
RUFIOH: 1f people knew some of the sh*t you sa1d… how you say crazy sh*t l1ke you want to serve h1m… f***!
RUFIOH: 1t wouldn’t be cool… people would fl1p…
RUFIOH: h*ll, d1dn’t you hear meenah was try1ng to ra1se an army to k1ll h1m?
RUFIOH: 1f she could hear some of the th1ngs you told me… sh*t… 1 can’t ever let her f1nd out…
RUFIOH: 1f she knew, you’d both start f1ght1ng aga1n…
 #}:(
DAMARA: あなたは必然だけを遅らせる。[You’re only delaying the inevitable.]
DAMARA: 私たちの終了時間が近いです。[The end of our time is near.]


And here’s the big reveal: it turns out Damara is in league with Lord English. Not just clown bullshit like with Kurloz. She is closely tied to English and carried out real duties of his, which I’ll go over more when Aranea goes over her backstory.

Note that Kanaya isn’t glowing anymore.


As Damara, you can remove the big glacier memory and go to the trolls’ meteor, but you can’t go inside yet because you don’t have the password.

PORRIM: Damara, do+ yo+u mind? We’re having a private co+nversatio+n here.
DAMARA: 
PORRIM: Please. Leave us alo+ne. We’ll talk later, o+k?
KANAYA: …
KANAYA: (shes making me slightly uncomfortable)
PORRIM: (that’s her specialty. just igno+re her until she go+es away.)


This short passage says all that needs to be said about most of the Beforan trolls’ relationships with Damara. The only thing left to find out is what caused her to be this way.


Damara’s conversation with Horuss is more of her saying sexual things he can’t understand, but this time we have a better idea why that is: she’s extremely bitter at Horuss for stealing her boyfriend and this is the best way she can express that bitterness to him.

Only Horuss can open the chest to the bottom left, which contains a statue of horse genitalia.


If you’re playing as Meenah, Horuss, or Rufioh, you’ll see Mituna laying on the floor in a hidden corner. But if you’re playing as Damara, you’ll see Latula with him, and she says:


Kind of weird that Latula is smiling when she death threats Damara. Just goes to show how she’s burned bridges with all the Beforan trolls except arguably Rufioh. This scene is called back to if you go to the trolls’ meteor as Damara, which I’ll do at the end of this post.



And finally, Damara has a short conversation with Meenah. It’s full dramatic irony if you don’t know Japanese, especially from Meenah’s perspective. As such, I’ll present it without translations:

DAMARA: あなたは時間の領主に挑戦します。
DAMARA: あなたの哀れな軍隊は失敗しなければならない。
DAMARA: 彼はあなたの幽霊を食べるようになる。彼は現実そのものを消費するからである。
MEENAH: i think…
MEENAH: it sounded like…
MEENAH: youre tryin to wish me luck in my upcoming battle?
MEENAH: hey thanks megido
MEENAH: maybe i had you all wrong
DAMARA: ない。あなたはそうしなかった。
MEENAH: aw ive probably been a bitch to you for no reason
MEENAH: lets forget all that shit ever happened
MEENAH: hey how about a hug
MEENAH: whoa watch where youre puttin that hand!!!
DAMARA: 私は何も後悔はありません。
MEENAH: apology accepted
MEENAH: hey you get around to moving that huge quartz glacier yet
MEENAH: kind of in a hurry here


(Again, go to readmspa.org for translations.)

–––––––––––– –––––––––––– –––––––––––– ––––––––––––


Having exhausted all the dialogue options, it’s time to be Meenah again and proceed to the trolls’ meteor.


> Meenah, listen in on conversation

PORRIM: Ah, seems we have co+mpany. Guess we sho+uld wrap this up!
PORRIM: I’m very happy yo+u came to+ see me. I ho+pe yo+u’ll bear in mind what I said.
KANAYA: Yes I Surely Will
KANAYA: And Im Happy Too
KANAYA: About
KANAYA: Yes
PORRIM: Yo+u have impo+rtant wo+rk ahead o+f yo+u. The legacy o+f o+ur race is in yo+ur hands.
PORRIM: I kno+w yo+u will make me pro+ud.
KANAYA: Okay Thank You


It’s fair to assume Porrim’s words for Kanaya about resurrecting the troll race centered around feminism. Considering that Earth C is explicitly stated to be a land of absolute gender parity, I think Kanaya did indeed make Porrim proud. A bit too proud if you ask me—in the epilogues, troll reproduction becomes the crux of a major political crisis all because Kanaya wanted to take the birth of the mother grub into her own hands rather than letting 5000 years of history sort things out. I think the beta trolls’ Alternian pride becomes stronger the fewer are left alive.

> Meenah, ask Kanaya for password

MEENAH: aw snapperfish its popo merrygams and maryam lookalike kid
MEENAH: water you ladies glubbin about over here
KANAYA: Nothing I Was Just Leaving
MEENAH: oh yeah where to
MEENAH: back into your meteor right cause thats where im headed
MEENAH: cant get through the door tho
MEENAH: can i get your password
KANAYA: Pardon Me
KANAYA: No
MEENAH: come on
PORRIM: Meenah, what are yo+u do+ing? Do+n’t hassle her fo+r private info+rmatio+n. It’s rude.
MEENAH: COM-E OOOOON
MEENAH: im being nice about it
KANAYA: Are You Actually
MEENAH: im fuckin smiling aint i???
KANAYA: Well I Was Going In There Anyway
KANAYA: I Wont Give You My Password But You Can Follow Me I Guess
KANAYA: But You Can Only Remain As Long As Im Escorting You
MEENAH: da fuck
MEENAH: why
KANAYA: Because I Dont Trust You
MEENAH: aw man
MEENAH: but im cool
MEENAH: you should wise the fuck up and start thinking im cool
KANAYA: Youre Right With A Sales Pitch Like That I Would Have To Be An Imbecile Not To Crave Your Company
 #Human Sarcasm
MEENAH: what you got against me maryam clone
KANAYA: I Think Youre Probably A Sociopath
KANAYA: Ive Given Enough Of My Time To Such Characters In The Past

You know what I’m in the mood for right now? Some good, fresh Kanayanalysis. I haven’t analyzed Kanaya very much in these blog posts, not the way I have with characters like Vriska.

The deal with Kanaya is that she’s very particular about who she does and doesn’t trust. It all started with back in the trolls’ arc, when she had a crush on Vriska or something and believed the best from her, only to find that she used her lovingly crafted fairy outfit to aggressively seduce Tavros. Since then, she’s vowed not to trust people who may come off as haughty, though she often ends up falling into traps regardless. This pattern is shown here when Kanaya immediately distrusts Meenah and deems her to be a sociopath—keep that in mind when she talks to Rose later in this walkaround. In Act 5 Act 2 she steered clear of the trust trap as Rose descended into grimdarkness and ended the act preferring to talk to Jade, but through Act 6 she’s been starting to trust Rose once again, which makes their relationship go in a less than ideal direction. I still think it would be kind of cool if some pre-retcon versions of Rose and Kanaya had a proper reconciliation? Or an official breakup or something.


Playing as Kanaya with Meenah following behind, you can explore a bit of the trolls’ meteor and oh boy is this a fun throwback. Brings back good memories of the Act 5 Act 2 walkarounds. This whole second half of Openbound Part 3 is a really cool successor to the troll walkarounds we had then.

I like to think Karkat doesn’t sleep much, but when he does he sleeps HARD. Would explain how he’s sleeping on this horn pile.



In a room up north, you can find Karkat sleeping on a pile of horns, possibly with another person nearby depending on who you’re playing as.

> Examine snoring Karkat.

MEENAH: !!!!!

Hey, it’s your newly recruited Grand Threshecutioner! Looks like he hasn’t woken up from the same nap he was having last time you talked to him. The guy must have been really tired.

Why’s he sleeping in this massive pile of horns? That can’t be too comfortable. Maybe you should wake him up. Then as long as he’s awake, might as well see if he’s ready to pack his bags and head off to war.

Hold on. Maryam is eying you suspiciously. She isn’t on to your plan, is she? How could she know? This girl is really cramping your style. You’d try to shake her loose, but as a rainbow drinker she seems to have an absolutely insane fastness attribute.

KANAYA: Whatever Youre Thinking Dont Even Try It
MEENAH: what!!!
MEENAH: wasnt thinkin nofin
KANAYA: Lets Keep Moving


More of Kanaya heavily distrusting Meenah. I feel really bad for Meenah here; it’s not like she’d cause any harm trying to wake Karkat up. He already said he wouldn’t join Meenah’s army until after the meteor arrives in the alpha session.

Note the flasks of alcohol on the tables. A hint at something rather unfortunate that’s about to happen.


In the middle of the room, you can talk to Rose and Dave in whatever order you want. I’m going to start with Rose; it only makes sense for Kanaya to talk to her first.

> Kanaya, talk to Rose

ROSE: What happened!
KANAYA: What
ROSE: You’re not glowing anymore!
KANAYA: Oh Right
KANAYA: I Became So Absorbed In A Conversation With My Ancestor I Already Forgot She Taught Me How To
KANAYA: Switch Off
ROSE: Oh, so you did go talk to her?
KANAYA: Yes
ROSE: That’s great! How did it go?
KANAYA: Very Well
KANAYA: She Is Very Nice And As A Person Is As Impressive As I Was Imagining Her To Be
KANAYA: But Not Nearly As Intimidating Really
ROSE: I knew you wouldn’t regret it if you got up the nerve to talk to her.


This Rose/Kanaya conversation is extremely super shippy so far. Flirty Rose is all the way back in action, this time to her actual love interest and not Meenah.

ROSE: What did she say, besides a few vampire-to-vampire skin-dimming pointers?
KANAYA: Many Things
KANAYA: Primarily Encouraging Me To Pursue My Prior Obligation To My People
ROSE: Oh?
KANAYA: She Said She Used To Eschew Her Role Rather Vehemently
KANAYA: The Duties Of Our Caste Were Quite Limiting In Both Worlds It Seems
KANAYA: So She Renounced Them Completely And Wanted A Different Life
KANAYA: But She Also Said Something To The Effect That
KANAYA: She Found That It Wasnt Really Necessary To Reject That Role Completely
KANAYA: And The Same Is True For Me
KANAYA: As Long As I Know Within That I Am Free
KANAYA: And If My Decision Is To Embrace My Path Then It Can Be A Source Of Strength
ROSE: Then you want to try to restore your race again?
ROSE: I had begun to think you’d lost hope in that possibility.
KANAYA: Its True Theres No Orb Anymore
KANAYA: She Said It May Be Very Difficult
KANAYA: But Theres No Hope If I Dont Try
ROSE: That’s true.
KANAYA: I Dont Know How Im Going To Do It Yet
KANAYA: But Such Is The Nature Of Adventures
KANAYA: You Cant Be Scared Of Adventures
KANAYA: I Think Im Excited About It Now


It’s a good thing Kanaya mentioned her interactions with Porrim after the retcon, because it means we can assume her post-retcon self’s interactions with Porrim went basically the same as how Kanaya describes here. More specifically, it means that Porrim played a part in getting Kanaya so excited to hatch the matriorb that she wanted to do it herself after jumping forward 5000 years, and that Porrim played an indirect part in the huge troll political crisis.

ROSE: I can tell.
ROSE: We can work on it together when we arrive. Maybe the session we’re about to explore will offer some answers.
KANAYA: I Hope So
ROSE: Hey,
ROSE: You aren’t permanently de-glowed now, are you?
KANAYA: Oh No I Can Flip It Back On
KANAYA: See
KANAYA: Turns Out Its Just
KANAYA: A Silly Biological Parlor Trick
ROSE: Oh, good. You had me worried there for a moment.
KANAYA: Sorry
KANAYA: I Know How You Enjoy A Good Source Of Light
ROSE: Light is one of my favorite things.
ROSE: Please don’t take these as fighting words, but my aspect is simply the best there is.


More flirty Rose. She’s quite blatantly in love with Kanaya—laying romance a bit thick is something she has in common with Roxy.

> Kanaya, talk to Dave

DAVE: sup
DAVE: wait whats going on
DAVE: is the meteor passing through another dream bubble
KANAYA: Yes
KANAYA: Hence The Ghost Who Is Following Me
DAVE: oh
DAVE: hey

DAVE: what you dont talk now?
DAVE: you were pretty spunky before what happened
KANAYA: She Is Exhibiting Her Best Behavior While On This Tour
KANAYA: Shes Actually Doing Very Well So Far
DAVE: ok whatever
DAVE: so what are we just not even bothering to care anymore when we pass through dream bubbles now
DAVE: like no warning or alert or getting into our facetious battle stations or anything
DAVE: eh who cares actually
DAVE: i probably wont even leave the room this time
DAVE: getting a little bored of ghosts actually
DAVE: no offense sea troll
MEENAH: (hornless dirtscraper)
KANAYA: Shh!
MEENAH: 38(


Doesn’t seem like Meenah is interested in anyone in the meteor other than Karkat. I feel bad for Meenah, Kanaya really seems to see the worst in her just because she’s a genetic clone of the Condesce.

KANAYA: So What Were You Just Mumbling Over Here Before I Interrupted You
DAVE: oh just some raps
DAVE: been working on my raps
DAVE: youve heard my raps right
DAVE: want to hear some raps
KANAYA: …
DAVE: wait do you know what rap is
DAVE: its this fly human tradition where you drop a beat and talk hard
DAVE: if the flow checks out and your rhymes are dope enough then the police start unholstering their guns
DAVE: they cant help it its like reflexive
DAVE: thats how you know youre doing it right
KANAYA: I Know What Your Raps Are Theyre Basically The Same As The Ancient Artform Of Alternian Slam Poetry
KANAYA: But More Primitive And Generally Involving Less Lyrics About Towering Muscular Livestock

DAVE: slam poetry
DAVE: why didnt you tell me about this
KANAYA: I Dont Know I Dont Really Have Much Interest In The Subject
DAVE: yeah but
DAVE: it should have come up
DAVE: wait now that i think about it
DAVE: i remember some weird troll was rapping at me once
KANAYA: Well There You Go
DAVE: but i mean we could have been talking about rap all this time
DAVE: you and me i mean
DAVE: it would have come up i think if we talked more


It’s pretty funny to learn in retrospect that Equius’s rapping about horses was par for the course by troll standards. It makes a lot of sense, actually—Equius was always far more ingrained in traditional Alternian ways than the rest of the trolls.

DAVE: kanaya we should talk more we dont really talk enough
DAVE: like really just
DAVE: get down to fucking business
DAVE: just the two of us
DAVE: all conversationally and such
KANAYA: Um
DAVE: really like
DAVE: flesh out this dynamic
DAVE: see whats THERE
DAVE: we goddamn WILL squeeze blood from this stone
DAVE: this awkwardly quiet ghost troll as my witness
KANAYA: If You Are Successful In Extracting Blood From The Geological Material In Question Can I Have It
DAVE: aw man
DAVE: kinda semi self deprecating vampire jokes this is a good start i like it
KANAYA: I Dont Know How Sincere Youre Being Dave
KANAYA: Probably Only Somewhat Since The Rule Is That Everything Has To Be At Least Partially A Joke Right
DAVE: yes exactly
KANAYA: But If You Actually Want To Converse And Exchange Views On Our Respective Cultures Then Okay I Guess Thats Fine
KANAYA: I Might Be Able To Dig Up Some Classic Texts By Some Famous Slam Poets
DAVE: oh man yes
DAVE: that would be so fucking perfect
KANAYA: Ok I Will See What I Can Do



Dave and Kanaya’s dynamic is extremely underrated, as Dave himself just pointed out. I liked seeing them converse again in the epilogues, where Dave enthusiastically treats Kanaya like the sister-in-law she technically is to him while Kanaya is deadpan as usual.


DAVE: youll have to read the troll gibberish to me
DAVE: itll be just like storytime with karkat 
DAVE: kanaya edition
KANAYA: Heh Sure
DAVE: but youll have to rap the words
KANAYA: Oh
DAVE: pump up the bass and slaughter the mic
DAVE: i want to goddamn FEEL that slam poetry
KANAYA: Is It Too Late To Back Out Of This
MEENAH: yes


Here’s our first hint that Dave and Karkat’s extreme vitriol has cooled off since we last saw them. There’s a funny scene coming up where I’ll discuss their dynamic in more detail and reevaluate my stance on their friends-to-lovers plot.

Done with Kanaya’s dialogue options. Let’s be Rose and go through all of her dialogue options.

> Rose, talk to Kanaya

ROSE: Not to harp on the issue, but,
ROSE: Now that you can switch on and off, so to speak, how often do you think you’ll resort to phosphorescence?
KANAYA: I Dont Know
KANAYA: What Do You Think
ROSE: Well, which state is more comfortable?
KANAYA: I Could Go Either Way
KANAYA: Ill Probably Switch On If Im Walking Through A Dark Corridor
KANAYA: Now That I Think About It
KANAYA: Its Been A Long Time Since I Could Even Be In The Dark
KANAYA: Maybe Ill Leave It Off For A While And Refamiliarize Myself With The Experience Of Nonillumination
ROSE: Makes sense.
ROSE: Was this a biological feature common to other trolls?
KANAYA: Um
ROSE: I’m sorry. I’m really pestering you about this, aren’t I?
ROSE: We’ve never talked about it. I guess I was trying to be polite, but I’ve been really curious about it.
KANAYA: No Thats Ok
KANAYA: Im Told Its A Trait Confined To Those Of My Caste
KANAYA: They Tended To Spend A Lot Of Time In The Brooding Caverns Where A Convenient Source Of Light Was Often Handy
KANAYA: That Part Of It Makes Sense To Me But I Have No Idea What The Evolutionary Purpose Was For The Sort Of Thirst Which Accompanies This Perk
KANAYA: Strikes Me As An Odd Liability But What Do I Know
ROSE: Maybe to frighten predators away from innocent grubs?
KANAYA: Maybe
KANAYA: Or Perhaps It Was A Measured Defect Imposed On Us
KANAYA: To Keep The Auxiliatrices On A Short Leash
ROSE: I’ll agree with that assessment, on the grounds that I’ve always been a sucker for a good conspiracy theory.


More shippy interactions. I think speculation on the comic’s mysteries makes for a great shippy conversation topic. Roxy and John did it quite a bit near the end of Act 6, as did many other popularly shipped pairs.

KANAYA: The Condition Was Often Glamorized In Certain Works Of Literature
KANAYA: But Theres Really Nothing That Great About It
KANAYA: Not Nearly As Useful As Other Abilities Like The Psychic Gifts Which Some Lowbloods Are Predisposed To
KANAYA: Though I Guess Its Pretty Useful If You Want To Keep The Plans You Made After Someone Punches A Hole Through Your Gut
ROSE: I can see how that could present a whole world of convenience.
ROSE: Speaking of plans, doing anything later?
KANAYA: Not Really
ROSE: I’m working on some stuff right now, but later, maybe once you’re finished escorting your guest around, would you like to do something?
KANAYA: Sure
KANAYA: Anything In Particular That You Have In Mind
ROSE: Not really. Just to hang out. If you’re up for it!
KANAYA: Yeah That Sounds Okay
MEENAH: (holy mackerel get a fuckin room)


Meenah is of course unamused. Can’t say I blame her.

> Rose, talk to Dave

DAVE: whats up with the fish punk troll following kanaya around
ROSE: Seems she’s passing through. Kanaya doesn’t want her to cause trouble.
DAVE: cause trouble
DAVE: what the fuck could she even do here
DAVE: like kick over an old pile of garbage and cause the property value to fall even lower than jack shit
DAVE: i say let her go nuts
ROSE: Feel free to take it up with Kanaya.


I agree with Dave here. Rose is starting to do whatever Kanaya wants her to do just a bit too faithfully, which again seems to be a pattern among Lalondes and their respective love interests.

ROSE: But if you authorize her to flip a bitch, just make sure she’s nowhere near my chemistry table. 
DAVE: yeah
DAVE: cant be droppin your vials and shit all over the floor
DAVE: the only one whos got clearance to drop science is me
ROSE: Dork.
DAVE: dont even hate
DAVE: been shoring up my muthafuckin CRAFT over here
ROSE: I know. I’ve been in the same room, right over there, listening to you mumble lyrics to yourself for the last couple hours.


Here we get quite a few hints that Rose is about to become an alcoholic, which you probably won’t notice because you’re too busy laughing the absolute treasure that is all of Dave and Rose’s interactions.

DAVE: rose you know what sucks
ROSE: Yes.
ROSE: To which sucky thing are you referring?
DAVE: it kinda just occurred to me
DAVE: while i was spitting ill verse to no end
DAVE: i got this weird feeling that i might be getting like
DAVE: a little dated?
ROSE: Is this about Terezi?
DAVE: what
DAVE: no no
DAVE: dont be disingenuous word girl you know what im saying
DAVE: i mean sorta passe
DAVE: like a lumbering pop reference dinosaur
DAVE: remember we are both kind of stuck in 2009
DAVE: so im like popculturally frozen in that period
DAVE: all my references feel like they might be getting a little stale
DAVE: even though the earth ended and all and there was no culture after that point anyway
DAVE: but still
DAVE: i can feel it
DAVE: like in my bones
DAVE: i just know on some hypothetical earth that kept going my shit is starting to get so lame
DAVE: and i know it doesnt matter because its just us here so who cares
DAVE: but i care
DAVE: its a matter of integrity i am a fucking artist


Oh hey, I’m finally at the part where Dave talks about being frozen in 2009. I really love this whole ramble. It’s interesting in a metafictional way because it’s kind of Hussie’s way of lamenting that he can’t make references to pop culture post-2009 in the beta kids’ storyline.

DAVE: like i think if i make one more rap about like some fucking dane cook movie from 2008 to piss karkat off or some tired bullshit like that im going to 
DAVE: i dont know
DAVE: ill just start feeling like a fraud


Dave’s relationship with Karkat is starting to parallel his relationship with John. In both cases, he constantly makes fun of his friend’s favorite movies but in a way that makes it obvious he, too, enjoys them on some level. You could argue that the only reason Dave and John’s dynamic didn’t go in the same direction as Dave and Karkat’s is because John is not a homosexual.

If you’re reading my blog posts in chronological order and wonder why my stance on Davekat (there’s no reason for me not to call it that anymore, the name is used multiple times in the epilogues) is different now, first off, good job. I’m proud of you for managing to read all these stupid posts. Second, you’ll see the reason why soon enough.

DAVE: my game might be drying up rose
DAVE: but its not my fault like im totally hostage to this freezedried backlog of cultural garbage that can never move forward again
DAVE: so i have to pick through it like im looting a fucking tomb while still all tryin to act RAP SASSY
DAVE: like YEAH take THAT motherfuckers
DAVE: OF THE PAST
DAVE: all in your mass graves somewhere in a dead frogiverse
DAVE: i be representing some god damn STANDARDS about your media do you feel me
DAVE: im depressing myself here
DAVE: all im saying is it would be cool to have some fresh shit to work with
DAVE: like just to know
DAVE: to know what the world would be like in the year it would be for us now
DAVE: which would be 2011 i guess
DAVE: wow 2011 really
DAVE: damn
DAVE: i just want to know what would have happened
DAVE: theres so much shit we were primed for
DAVE: it was gonna be exciting
DAVE: like barack obama just turned president remember that
DAVE: we never got to see if he fixed the economy
DAVE: remember how you were dying to see if he would fix the economy you were asking me about it every damn day
DAVE: just joking nobody gave a shit about that


I can’t overstate how much I love Dave’s obsession with Obama. By “nobody gave a shit about that”, he clearly means none of his friends gave a shit and he’s lamenting that he could never talk to any of them about how great Obama was. He loves Obama so much that he won’t just accept knowing how his presidency went after the scratch, and rather started formulating theories that Obama played a secret session of Sburb and ascended to god tier. I can’t believe he turned out to be right about those theories, almost as much as I can’t get over how Obama is implied to have dated pre-scratch Dirk at one point.

DAVE: but like
DAVE: i never got to check out the next batch of stiller jams and see how bad i could mock them


Don’t worry, Dave. On the other side of the scratch you made the next batch of Stiller jams. 

DAVE: we never got to find out how the midnight crew adventure ended
DAVE: if ever


Even if you consider the Midnight Crew intermission to be the full version of the Midnight Crew adventure, this statement is probably still true. Karkat never says anything about what his Jack Noir went up to after being exiled; Vriska after the retcon presumes Spades Slick went through an unbelievable amount of stupid nonsense before arriving at the B2 session. I still can’t believe Collide so brutally killed off a fan favorite character.

DAVE: rose
DAVE: ROSE??
DAVE: what the fuck man
DAVE: whyd you go back to your bottles and shit i was right in the thick of hella elocution
DAVE: dont give me that
DAVE: yes
DAVE: uh yeah
DAVE: yes i do ACTUALLY want you to come back over here
DAVE: im waiting
ROSE: Fine. Here I am.
DAVE: wow was that so hard
DAVE: this is what civilized people do rose they fucking talk to each other like actually in each others fucking vicinities
ROSE: You just have a tendency to go on for a while. I assumed we progressed to the traditional mumbling monologue stage of Striderian discourse.
DAVE: no thats not even a thing
DAVE: i was actually like
DAVE: trying to get your take


Rose, why would you do that??? Walking away in the middle of a fascinating soliloquy was so rude of you. At least let Dave have the illusion that he isn’t talking to nobody.

ROSE: Take on what.
DAVE: i dont even know
DAVE: i bet john would have stuff to say
DAVE: hes probably going through the same frozen fucking caveman from 2009 syndrome as me
DAVE: actually what am i saying the dude is a caveman from 1997 
DAVE: hahaha like he could give a shit as long as hes got his cage dvds


I said something about this passage in a post from years ago. I’ll quote it again, why not:

I just love how even after gaining mighty airbender powers, talking to aliens from a warrior race, and learning that he is (kind of) his own grandfather, he is still a doofus who is obsessed with 90’s movies. […] At the start of the comic, Hussie decided to make John like movies from the 90’s simply because that was the era where he was the most tuned in to pop culture. However, later that interest became a serious part of John’s character, as a nerdy kid who’s all about random old movies rather than what’s going on now in pop culture, or as Dave put it, a caveman from 1997.

I talked about this theme of one-offs becoming full character traits a lot in my rewritten posts about the early acts, which are currently on hiatus because I’m now focusing once more on this actual project I started almost four years ago. This is a case where the one-off traits made up on the spot are revisited and shown to be serious parts of the beta kids’ characters. It’s also some pretty great dramatic irony if you ask me—Dave doesn’t know that being lonely on the battleship did strange things to John’s mind and now he doesn’t like Con Air anymore.

ROSE: Oh! I saw him the other night.
DAVE: what
ROSE: In a dream. It was very brief, only a few minutes. I waved to him and then woke up.
DAVE: whoa what was he doing
ROSE: He was fighting Jack. Actually, he was doing quite well!
DAVE: oh man
DAVE: you have to tell me all about this
ROSE: I will. Later, though. I’d like to get back to work.
DAVE: ok when
DAVE: tonight?
ROSE: I have plans tonight. How about tomorrow.
DAVE: plans 
DAVE: what plans
ROSE: Just some plans.
DAVE: can i come
ROSE: No!
DAVE: fuck fine
DAVE: tomorrow then
DAVE: maybe ill just dream up my own john tonight and well have an awesome time without you what do you think about that




DAVE: fu

Rose, can you please go back to not trying your hardest to impress a troll girl who already loves you dearly? Don’t pretend you miss John any less than Dave does. 

It’s been a long time, Gamzee.


If you go to the room up north as Rose, you’ll encounter Gamzee next to the sleeping Karkat. Rose’s brief conversation with Gamzee in this walkaround is the longest speaking scene he has in Act 6.

> Rose, talk to Gamzee

ROSE: You better not let Kanaya find you in here.
ROSE: She still hates you, you know.
ROSE: And not in “that way.” I think she still truly would like to kill you.
GAMZEE: yeah, i all up and motherfuckin know that already.
ROSE: I’ve wondered, doesn’t it ever get confusing? Trying to differentiate between platonic, malicious intent, and gestures of black romance?
GAMZEE: NO.
GAMZEE: like i’d even give a dayglow chainsaw bitch like that on my time of day up in any quadrant.


Rose knows surprisingly little about quadrants after spending two years on the meteor. I guess this is meant to lead up to Rose’s excitement at the prospect of Kanaya teaching her about troll romance.

GAMZEE: BESIDES, ALREADY GOT MY BLACK ROM ON WITH ANOTHER MOTHERFUCKER.
GAMZEE: been dating somebody in the motherfuckin shadows. getting pretty nasty between us. all experiencing the shit out of the dark miracle called hatebliss. 
ROSE: Wait, really?
ROSE: Who?
GAMZEE: :o)



GAMZEE: no.


GAMZEE: NO.


GAMZEE: no.

Rose sports a neutral expression asking if it’s Karkat, snickers asking if it’s Dave, and looks disquieted asking if it’s the Mayor. Her expression when asking if it’s Dave is interesting to me; it shows that she finds the idea of Dave and Gamzee hate-dating completely ridiculous, which means she knows Dave well enough that he’d never even think of dating the juggalo troll.

ROSE: Wait…
ROSE: Terezi?
GAMZEE: HONK.
ROSE: Are you serious?
GAMZEE: do i mother fucking look like i’d motherfuckin joke around with a mother fucker?
ROSE: I…
ROSE: I can’t even parse that relationship as something meaningful.
ROSE: What…
GAMZEE: IT’S SIMPLE. 
GAMZEE: mother fucker.
GAMZEE: SHE ALL GETS ON HER HATE OF ME QUITE UNDERSTANDABLY, SEEING AS TO WHAT A VILE PIECE OF CLOWN ASS TRASH I’M ALL IS.
GAMZEE: but doesn’t quite hate me enough to want to kill me. :o)
ROSE: This is a really startling revelation, I must say.
ROSE: It’s a game changer.


Surprise ship reveal, and I do mean surprise. Gamzee x Terezi blackways is indeed quite the game changer. It’s rather suspicious how little screen time Terezi gets in this intermission when she’s always been so outgoing and goofy, and the reveal that she’s hate dating Gamzee makes it even more suspicious. How is it even possible for her to fall in hate with this murderous clown instead of just wanting to kill him in the name of justice? Something strange must have happened to Terezi—we don’t find out what it is until Act 6 Intermission 5 and it’s a HUGE shocker.

GAMZEE: HEY.
GAMZEE: please don’t all tell at this noise to anyone.
GAMZEE: IF KARKAT MOTHER FUCKIN KNEW ON THIS…
GAMZEE: he actually would want to kill me. :o(


Arguably the strangest part of it all is that despite everything, Gamzee still cares about Karkat. It’s kind of heartwarming to see Gamzee still treats Karkat as a dear friend, but also unsettling if you consider he’s the only one Gamzee still sees as a friend. This is kind of a weird intermediate phase between pre-flipout Gamzee and plot-armored Gamzee.

ROSE: Yes, I can see the dilemma you’re in.
ROSE: Your social dynamics really begin to get complicated once your quadrants start to fill up, don’t they?
GAMZEE: MOTHER FUCK YEAH THEY MOTHER FUCKING DO.
ROSE: Don’t worry. Your secret is safe with me.
ROSE: Now shoo. Back into the ventilation system with you, before you’re spotted.


Rose doesn’t tell Gamzee that she’s going to tell all this to Kanaya, who she sees as a confidant she can tell absolutely anything. She doesn’t want to keep any secrets from Kanaya, which will later bite both of them in the ass.

Let’s go back to the other room. Time to, at long last, be Dave.


> Dave, talk to Kanaya

DAVE: (you shattered the ring but theres more cracks in your rap)
DAVE: (ima top off your glass cause devastations on tap)
DAVE: (wait no)
DAVE: (your act couldnt suck more dick with a puppet in your lap)
DAVE: (what)
DAVE: (puppet… man where that come from)
DAVE: (you shattered the ring but theres more cracks in your rap)
DAVE: (your flows like warm milk that goes good with a nap)
DAVE: (haha yes)
DAVE: (shit lets be rails ill be the shoosh to your pap)
DAVE: (wait that makes no fuckin sense)
DAVE: (naw ill stick with the milk one)
DAVE: (yall claimin to be the lord of time)
DAVE: (all ya makin me feel is bored with your rhymes)
DAVE: (thats ok i guess)
DAVE: (still feel like i should work puppets into this)
DAVE: (no idea why)
DAVE: (what rhymes with puppets)
DAVE: (uh)
DAVE: (smuppets)
DAVE: (dave no thats the same fuckin thing)
DAVE: (muppets)
DAVE: (what the fuck)
DAVE: (the only thing that rhymes with puppets is different kinds of puppets!!!)
KANAYA: …
DAVE: whoa
DAVE: hey uh
DAVE: how much of that did you hear
KANAYA: By The Tenor Of The Question Ill Assume More Than You Would Prefer


When rapping, Dave leaks out that two years after his guardian’s death, he still thinks about puppets way too often. This isn’t the first time in Act 6 where we learn that living with a puppet lunatic for thirteen years did quite a number on his sanity.

DAVE: all that shit was a work in progress
DAVE: aint fit for hype yet
DAVE: why you gotta be eavesdroppin
KANAYA: I Wasnt
KANAYA: I Was Just Standing Here And You Slowly Wandered Over In A Totally Oblivious Stupor
KANAYA: You Were Mumbling Your Rhymes And Walked Right Up To Me And Did Not Notice Me Until Now
DAVE: shit
DAVE: was i
DAVE: sorry i guess i just got caught up in my raps
MEENAH: do more!
DAVE: what
DAVE: no
DAVE: i cant those rhymes are still too rough around the edges
MEENAH: come on
DAVE: no itll suck
DAVE: i mean
DAVE: i could freestyle a bit i guess
DAVE: i dont know if i got a live performance in me now
DAVE: maybe it could work if someone dropped a beat
DAVE: need a good beat i could probably kill it with a fly beat
MEENAH: aheh hem…
MEENAH: dum dum PS)( ba dum dum PS)(
 #no wait wait…
MEENAH: chum chum FIS)( ba chum chum FIS)(
DAVE: awwwww yeah
DAVE: that fish beat is the shizzle
DAVE: thats what i am TALKING about
DAVE: alright settle down motherfuckers here we go 
KANAYA: They Then Proceeded To Have One Of The Most Ambiguously Rated Rap Offs In The History Of Paradox Space While I Stood By And Regarded It Neutrally


I’d have loved to read Dave and Meenah’s rap-off, dammit. Why does Hussie have to prefer writing bad rapping over good rapping???

> Dave, talk to Rose

DAVE: rose quit all the clanking around over here i cant concentrate on my raps
DAVE: what in the sweet religious name of jesus h dick are you doing with all these bottles
ROSE: Just a little alchemy.
DAVE: alchemy
DAVE: what kind of shitty thing are you alchemizing with this crap
DAVE: are you alchemizing bottles with other bottles to make like
DAVE: superbottles
 #rose_ebottles
ROSE: No. Believe it or not, I’m actually focused the contents of the bottles.
DAVE: youre a pretty good hike from the alchemiters
ROSE: The alchemy I’m practicing is a little more old fashioned.
ROSE: You know, there was a time on Earth when alchemy didn’t refer to a process whereby a large device used game constructs to materialize some idealized version of an object out of thin air.
ROSE: Alchemists used to experiment with various substances to transmute them into something more valuable.
ROSE: Its more pedestrian and scientifically credible cousin would be chemistry, which I guess is the technical term for mixing shit together.
ROSE: Which strictly speaking more accurately describes what I’m doing.
DAVE: so what your doing science now
DAVE: who do you think you are your mom


Here we have even more motherly grief buried under a layer of Dave/Rose humor. Dave jokes that Rose is trying to imitate her mother, not knowing that she actually is trying to connect to her dead guardian.

DAVE: wait that sounded like lame burn again
DAVE: every time i talk about your mom it sounds like a burn
DAVE: who do you think you are my mom
DAVE: wait scratch that
DAVE: every time we start talking about her as my mom things just start snowballing down our dumb conversational ski slope and suddenly sigmund freud and king oedipus start banging each others hot moms at some kind of depraved sexy momswap party
ROSE: Thanks for the imagery. It was almost as graphic as it made no sense.


Dave then derails the conversation further by talking about the hot mom running gag completely unprompted. This helps further obfuscate some depressing stuff about Rose we’re about to see in full light.

DAVE: so what are you making
ROSE: Beverages.
DAVE: beverages what kind of beverages
ROSE: Tasty beverages, I hope.
DAVE: apple juice???
DAVE: please let it be aj please let it be aj please let it be aj 
ROSE: I’ll see what I can do.
DAVE: omg
DAVE: omg
 #omg
DAVE: fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck yes


I wish Rose had listened to Dave and learned to make apple juice instead of alcohol. That would have been a mutually fulfilling treat.


If you go to the room up north as Dave, you’ll encounter Karkat’s dream phantom right next to his sleeping body. As promised, I am now going to talk about Dave and Karkat as a ship.

Dave x Karkat has been a controversial ship ever since it was introduced arguably out of nowhere after the retcon that brought Vriska back. I absolutely hated that ship back in the day. I found it to be the most forced thing ever and didn’t like that we didn’t see it demonstrated aside from visuals in Vriskagram and characters talking about how they are maybe a thing. When others pointed out that Dave and Karkat’s interactions before the retcon are arguably shippy, I vehemently denied any of that and also denied many accusations of being homophobic.

But all this flipped on its head when the Homestuck Epilogues came out. The epilogues are a tale of redemption arcs, and I’m not talking about Gamzee’s extremely farcical and stupid “redemption arc”. Many controversial things about the late comic were completely redeemed for me and many other fans, including arguably the two biggest: (1) Vriska and (2) Dave and Karkat’s relationship. In the epilogues, Dave and Karkat show a strong relationship with clear romantic tension that goes in different directions depending what choice John makes at the start. It’s heartening to see Dave encourage Karkat to run for president, incredibly satisfying when they finally kiss in Meat, and incredibly devastating when Karkat breaks up with him and Jade in Candy. All this made me think back to A6A6I5 and I realized that the reason Dave x Karkat felt so wrong then was simply because the tone of that act is kind of “off” compared to the rest of Homestuck, and because we didn’t see much of that ship in action aside from visuals. The Davekat Redemption Arc is an absolute piece of beauty that makes their pre-retcon interactions seem much more shippy in retrospect. I fully admit that my denial of them as a ship in prior years was largely a result of heteronormativity (which is another thing I denied back then), but I can’t say it wasn’t also partly a result of bad storytelling. But who cares about any of that anymore, this ship is redeemed now.

> Dave, talk to Karkat

KARKAT: OK, THIS IS JUST FUCKING STUPID NOW.
DAVE: what
KARKAT: I’M ASLEEP, BUT I GUESS THE METEOR IS PHYSICALLY PASSING THROUGH THE BUBBLE I’M DREAMING IN?
KARKAT: AND NOW MY “DREAM PHANTOM”, OR WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO CALL THIS VERSION OF YOURSELF, IS ACTUALLY IN THE SAME PHYSICAL LOCATION AS MY SLEEPING BODY.
KARKAT: I’VE JUST BEEN STANDING HERE WATCHING MYSELF SLEEP ON THE HORN PILE. IT’S OFFICIAL. WE’VE BREACHED A CRITICAL THRESHOLD OF BULGE NUMBING IDIOCY. 
DAVE: huh
KARKAT: WHAT DO WE EVEN CALL THIS DREAMING INSTANCE OF OURSELVES? IT CAN’T BE “DREAM SELF” BECAUSE THAT’S ALREADY A THING. AS IN THE VERSION OF YOURSELF ON DERSE OR PROSPIT.
KARKAT: BUT THAT WAS MORE LIKE A PHYSICAL, REAL SELF, THAT JUST HAPPENED TO SERVE AS A BACKUP LIFE. THIS IS SOMETHING TOTALLY DIFFERENT, LIKE A WEIRD HOLOGRAM.
KARKAT: HEY, AM I TANGIBLE TO YOU?
DAVE: uh
KARKAT: TOUCH ME.
DAVE: what
KARKAT: JUST GIVE ME A LITTLE POKE.
DAVE: no
KARKAT: DON’T BE LIKE THAT, JUST MAN UP AND TOUCH ME. MAYBE JUST BRUSH MY CHEEK GENTLY WITH THE BACK OF YOUR HAND. SOMETHING UNAMBIGUOUSLY PLATONIC LIKE THAT.



This is one of many bits I denied back in the day could come off as ship teasing. I somehow managed to convince myself that this couldn’t reasonably be interpreted as shippy, just as I convinced myself it wasn’t possible for them as a ship to be presented well. I have a tendency to convince myself of things that I deep down know are false.


DAVE: no fuck you
DAVE: im not caressing your dream hologram
KARKAT: YOU HAVE A REALLY TRAGICALLY UNDER-INQUISITIVE MIND, DAVE. THIS IS FOR SCIENCE. IF SCIENCE WAS UP TO YOU, HUMANITY NEVER WOULD HAVE COME ANYWHERE CLOSE TO RISING TO THE LEVEL OF PATHETIC INFERIORITY IT WAS BARELY ABLE TO ACHIEVE AS IT WAS.


Romantically or not, I don’t think anyone can deny that Dave and Karkat’s dynamic is absolute gold. They’re a perfect pair of characters to metafictionally tackle (or rather, fail to tackle) the concept of nonsensical dream logic.

DAVE: you look really tired man
DAVE: your sleep phantom should curl up with your napping meat torso in the horn pile and try to score some shuteye
KARKAT: YEAH, WELL MAYBE I’LL DO JUST THAT, ASSHOLE!
DAVE: ok
DAVE: hop to it
KARKAT: NO. NOT WHILE YOU’RE WATCHING.
DAVE: man
DAVE: our conversations can be so embarrassing
DAVE: im so glad we manage to have most of them in private
KARKAT: YEAH
KARKAT: ME TOO


The end of this conversation is pretty heartening. It brings back memories of Karkat’s vitriolic interactions with his troll friends, especially Sollux—I probably would have left it at that had I gotten to this scene before the epilogues came out. In retrospect, this scene comes off as the first seed planted for Dave and Karkat’s more positive dynamic and arguably their romantic tension.

–––––––––––– –––––––––––– –––––––––––– ––––––––––––


That’s it for the dialogue options in the meteor. Time to proceed to Aranea’s exposition booth.

No Charlie Brown gag this time.

Character recap time!

  • Rufioh Nitram is an homage to Dante Basco and probably a joke character.
  • Horuss Zahhak is even worse than a joke character because nobody remembers a damn thing about him.
  • Damara Megido is mostly a joke character, but she’s the most plot-relevant of the ten trolls we meet in this walkaround.

> Status report.

MEENAH: welp
 #kelp
MEENAH: im a total failure
MEENAH: didnt recruit a single ghost for my army
MEENAH: except for one guy but he was asleep
ARANEA: Don’t lose hope! I know our group of friends is a 8it lackluster in the motivation department, 8ut there are plenty of other souls out there.
ARANEA: You just need to find someone with the right amount of moxy to get you started. Then I’m sure more will follow.
ARANEA: Who knows, if you keep exploring, may8e someone like that will 8e right around the corner!
MEENAH: you seem more psyched about my army plan than you did before
MEENAH: whats with the change of tuna
ARANEA: I’ve started to 8elieve that what you’re doing may 8e important. Just a feeling.
ARANEA: It could 8e every 8it as critical as my quest to find the cheru8. I think it all could 8e related. Like legs of a stool that won’t stand unless all are in place.
 #Or, prongs of a fork, if you will.
MEENAH: how is cherubquest goin btw
ARANEA: Uh… ok.
ARANEA: I’ve still 8een…….. a little preoccupied.

Do you ever start a school project that you think is going to be really exciting and whose subject you chose yourself, but it turns out to be a boring slog and you start trying to justify what you’ve been doing to distract yourself from that project? This is how Aranea probably feels right now.

MEENAH: girl please
MEENAH: you been draggin your talking booth around to hassle people with facts aintcha
ARANEA: This is my last session, I swear!!!!!!!!
ARANEA: After this, I promised myself I would retire the exposition stand for good. May8e I’ll put it up for sale, and try to recoup some of the su8stantial losses required to operate it.
MEENAH: aranea we are such failures at stuff together
MEENAH: why are we such a couple of gorgeous and sexy failures at things
ARANEA: I don’t know, 8ut we can’t give up!
ARANEA: Once I close down shop here, I will redou8le my efforts to find that cheru8.
ARANEA: The first thing to do will 8e to figure out her name. It’s 8een so maddeningly elusive, almost as if someone’s taken care to scru8 any reference to it throughout paradox space, whether in memories or reality.


Aranea quite clearly doesn’t even know where to begin on the cherubquest. She’s decided to start with finding out the cherub’s name, which sounds like something she should know already? This is even more of her being stuck on the cherubquest because she doesn’t really want to do it.

> Tell me about Rufioh Nitram.

ARANEA: The Rogue of 8reath was always a very popular mem8er of our group. Pro8a8ly the most popular, I’d say. Sort of the anti-me, in that respect. Ever the recipient of romantic solicitations whichever way he turned. Sort of the anti-Cronus, in that respect.
MEENAH: aw yeah sick ampora burn outta nowhere hi 5
ARANEA: Indeed. His mutation made him an outcast, though. To avoid the unwanted attention his wings would 8ring him, he took refuge in the forest among those who welcomed his differences, and learned their ways.
ARANEA: The Lost Weea8oos was a guild of youthful tree-dwelling troll otakus with a zeal for fisticuffs, flight, and various forms of exotic eastern theater. 8ane to the enemies of hijinks, scourge to the seafaring classes who…
MEENAH: NOP-E
MEENAH: NOT LISFININ TO T)(IS LA LA LA GLUB GLUB GLUB
ARANEA: (GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB) centuries of feuding with the Kemonomimi tri8es (GLUB GLUB GLUB LA LA LA LA GLUB GLUB GLUB) ceremonial torchlight yaoi festivals (LA LA LA LA GLUB GLUB LA LA LA) tsundere quadrant vacillation (GLUUUUUB GLUBGLUBGLUBGLUB GLUUUUUUUUUB) threw down a daggerlance to challenge the guild’s high seme for dominance (NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO) ultimately served like a shonen on Shitsuji Island.
MEENAH: hey serket
MEENAH: how much i gotta pay you to zip yer blowhole on this shit so tight you never bring it up again
ARANEA: For such a service, I will require nothing short of the large gold statue in your palace. I think you know which one I’m talking a8out.
MEENAH: you drive a hard bargain serks
MEENAH: but you got a deal


We already know basically all of Rufioh’s backstory, so all we get here is an anime gag sequence. The little bits Meenah doesn’t glub over are pretty funny, even if they don’t make the slightest bit of sense. I assume all the tribe fighting and shonen battles are nothing more than harmless imaginary roleplaying, especially knowing the Beforan trolls.

> Tell me about Horuss Zahhak.

ARANEA: The Page of Void was a self taught master of mechanics, an avid patron of the fine arts, a passionate 8ody 8uilder, archer, am8rosia collector and steamwright. A poet, a scholar, a warrior, a lover, he was all that his caste demanded and more. A true troll Renaissance man. His name means “He Who Stalks With The Muscle8easts.”
ARANEA: 8ut all of his proficiencies were hard won, 8uilt from the 8lank slate as his aspect would imply, advancing at the slow pace his class would as well. Yet in spite of all he worked to make something of himself, he amounted to very little. Responsi8le for neither great feats of heroism nor acts of villainy, he was just another game piece to 8e moved a8out the 8oard. The aspect ruling his life would always conspire to dampen his relevance.


Horuss turned out to be forgettable both in-story and out of story—he’s not even any sort of fan favorite minor character. I can’t even put it into words how forgettable he is. He’s probably the most forgotten about among the Beforan trolls—most of the others at least have something memorable about them. I hardly remembered a thing about him before starting this post and I’ll probably forget everything about him again after this post is finished.

ARANEA: Void is easily the most mysterious aspect, the one which inherently defies rational understanding. This makes it particularly fascinating, and just as frustrating, to light players such as myself. Casting illumination upon nothing itself is futile. For to truly know void is to paradoxically cause it not to 8e!
ARANEA: The role of the void player is to somehow em8race nothingness, to 8ecome one with it. And yet in total contradiction with this, to make use of the power it grants and serve a role of relevance, one must find a way to overcome it! To see the limitless potential in the void. To find everything within nothing, and 8ring it into 8eing. 
MEENAH: zzzzzzzzzzz
ARANEA: Hey!!!!!!!!
MEENAH: wuh
ARANEA: This is a perfect case in point, regarding the path of the void player. So resistant is his story to having a relevant 8earing on anything, you fell asleep and didnt hear a word.
MEENAH: yeah thats nice
MEENAH: WH-ER-E MA MON-EY
ARANEA: You don’t get any. Your slum8er voided the transaction.
MEENAH: dag

Aranea elaborates on Horuss’s irrelevance and deems him an example of a character who did not make good use of his mythological role. When devising the Beforan trolls’ characters, did Hussie have the foresight to deliberately make Horuss the least memorable of the bunch? Because if he did, then he totally succeeded.

> Tell me about Damara Megido.

ARANEA: The Witch of Time was not always the party’s 8iggest trou8lemaker. If you recall, you wore that tiara for a long time. ::::)
MEENAH: yeah yeah
ARANEA: Once she was as meek as can 8e. Hailing from the eastern provinces, she migrated across the seas and settled near the forest concealing Rufioh’s guild. The two of them 8ecame quite fond of each other, and shared many interests!
ARANEA: He secretly 8egan seeing someone else, 8elieving she knew nothing. 8ut she always suspected his infidelity, and over time grew quite distraught. 8ut her sadness never quite turned to rage and malevolence. Not until you… involved yourself. 
MEENAH: ugh do we really have to go through this
ARANEA: If you’d like to earn your money, then yes!
MEENAH: bleh fine
ARANEA: After we 8egan our game, you quickly determined that winning was going to 8e an uphill 8attle with our team. Everyone was so preoccupied with their interpersonal issues, and no one seemed in any shape to 8e fighting major 8attles. Sound familiar?
MEENAH: deja vus a bitch serk
ARANEA: So you did your 8est to rile up the crew any way you could. Appealing to peoples insecurities, 8uried hostilities, 8rewing rivalries… needling anyone you could into confrontation with others. Your theory was that increasing everyone’s state of aggression would make them 8etter equipped to play the game. And you were sort of right a8out that! 8ut the Alternians would prove it. Not our group, sadly.
ARANEA: The poor girl who took the 8runt of your 8ullying tactics was Damara Megido. You talked up her matesprit’s 8etrayal making her feel even more dreadful, while pushing him further into the arms of her rival, until she simply snapped. She attacked him, paralyzing him from the neck down. You finally got the aggressive confrontation you were looking for. Unfortunately, you unleashed something even you weren’t prepared for, and you had to deal with her yourself. After a long 8loody duel, she killed you. 


Aranea’s description of Damara’s backstory shows us Meenah isn’t so innocent either. She tried to make her teammates more Alternian, which only ended up working with one of the trolls. And boy was the outcome nasty. While most of the Beforan trolls remained the same bunch of losers throughout their session, Damara turned into a brutal killer and played the biggest part in the Beforan trolls’ actual cycle of revenge, not the one where Latula lost her sense of smell.

ARANEA: And you would have stayed dead if not for me!
ARANEA: You never listened to me. You just kept needling and fussing and meddling until eventually you paid the price, and I had to 8ail you out.

MEENAH: (arg how bad do i even want this stupid money…)

Aranea brings up a surprising moment of friendship where she says she bailed Meenah out and helped her ascend to god tier. It’s quite powerful here because it’s easy to forget Aranea was actually part of the Beforan session and not just a random exposition nerd.

ARANEA: Damara has 8een unhinged ever since. 8y increasing her violent tendencies, instead of 8eing an asset in the game, she 8ecame a loose canon, ar8itrarily showing up at key moments throughout the timeline to sa8otage us. 

Here we finally see how Damara corresponds to her dancestor. Her role in the Beforans’ session was the exact opposite of Aradia’s: while Aradia dutifully made sure through timeline management that the trolls’ session would succeed, Damara used timeline management to ensure the Beforan session’s catastrophic failure.

ARANEA: So radical was her shift in personality, I’ve had a hard time 8elieving your incitement was solely to 8lame. It always seemed like other forces were in play, as if her acts, though apparently haphazard, were in keeping with some inscruta8le agenda. Of course it doesn’t help that it’s so hard to understand her even on a good day.

This inversion of Aradia is followed by a hint at Lord English lore. After Damara’s heart was broken, she needed something new to believe in and naturally enough, she turned into a Lord English worshipper who carries out all his (really Doc Scratch’s) instructions exactly as he wanted.

ARANEA: Strangely, the only time she was eager to help us was when we were preparing to initiate the Scratch. And it’s a good thing she was, since I’m not sure anyone else would have had the a8ility to do that kind of damage to the Cardinal Movement and release its energy. 

Technically, we already knew this before we even knew Damara’s name. Looking back, that page is a good bit of foreshadowing that cleverly disguises that Damara was the unseen hand behind their session’s failure.

ARANEA: It was almost a little eerie how happily she complied with our plan. What did Rufioh say she said? Something a8out how we would all finally get what we deserved…
ARANEA: Which at the time, I thought sounded chilling. 8ut there’s really two ways of looking at it. One is how the Scratch re8ooted our world into a state of pure chaos, culminating in the annihilation of our universe. 8ut on the other hand, we all got the chance to live out our wildest fantasies as adults on Alternia! 
ARANEA: At least you and I sure did. And I wouldn’t dou8t she feels the same way.
MEENAH: so
MEENAH: we done?
ARANEA: That’s it!
MEENAH: toughest 5 bucks i ever made


Aranea interprets Damara’s ominous statement in a surprisingly positive light, in a way that shows Meenah is the only one she actually saw as a friend and the rest she probably just views as random background characters. She knows what all her teammates’ lives were like on Alternia—remember the time she told the stories of the Alternian ancestors in Meenah’s blunt style?

Meenah most definitely lived her wildest fantasies as the Condesce, that goes without saying. It’s a bit surprising Aranea feels the same way about her life as Mindfang, because it hints that Aranea is more sinister and self-important than she lets on—that is also hinted at when Aranea starts showing more interest in the ghost army plan than the cherubquest. As for Damara, that’s some tragic dramatic irony right there. She was raised by Doc Scratch and hated every second of it, then forced into millennia of slavery as English’s handmaid to make Alternia the nightmare world it was, and at the end mercifully killed by the Condesce. Why does this comic have to be so cruel???

The narration points out this journal has a lot of mature content. Kind of raises questions about Aranea, who was very happy with who her post-scratch self turned out to be.

After the exposition booth, Meemah explores some familiar dream bubble memories and finds chests containing Vriska’s possessions, like Mindfang’s journal, the Fluorite Octet, and a broken 8 ball. It’s quite nostalgic seeing so many Vriska-related things; brings back memories of the troll walkarounds in Act 5 Act 2.

After those Vriska chests comes one of the few parts of Homestuck that I actually, legitimately hate. It’s pretty much a promo for Hiveswap, which has had let’s just say a rough history. Openbound Part 3 was released in 2012, and at the time Hiveswap wasn’t named yet; it was still only known as the “Homestuck Adventure Game”. This part stings the hardest:


Some people might say this scene “aged like spoiled milk” or something. This is an absurd understatement. A better analogy would be some devilish kind of milk which smells worse the longer it’s in the fridge and doesn’t have any kind of threshold to just how bad it can smell—every year you take it out, it just smells worse and worse even when you thought its stench last time you opened it was already the worst smell you could ever experience. Can this part just be removed from Homestuck? It’s absurdly out of place.

Vriska and Terezi are so close to reuniting, as are John and Dave. That’s incredibly sad.


After a scene that has absolutely no business being in Homestuck, Openbound Part 3 ends with Meenah encountering Vriska, Tavros, and John. This concludes the Openbound trilogy and boy was it a doozy. But we’re not done yet! There’s a bit of extra content if you go to the meteor playing as Damara, so let’s go ahead and do that.

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> Damara, talk to Rose

ROSE: Hello. I don’t think we’ve met.
DAMARA: [confused face]
ROSE: You seem confused. Are you lost?
ROSE: Maybe you shouldn’t be wandering around here.
DAMARA: PLEASE. APOLOGY.
DAMARA: NOT WANT. DISTURB YOU.
ROSE: Aw. You seem so sweet.
ROSE: Please, feel free to stay as long as you like.


Damara puts up a friendly foreigner image when speaking to humans, and god damn does Rose fall for it. She’s polite as ever to the ladies.

> Damara, talk to Dave

DAVE: hey
DAVE: who the fuck are you
DAVE: dont think you belong in here 
DAMARA: I VERY HAPPY. 
DAMARA: MEET HUMAN.
DAMARA: SAY MUCH DELIGHT.
DAVE: meh you seem harmless enough
DAVE: what do i even care
DAVE: go fuck some shit up japanese schoolgirl troll


Dave falls for the image too and thinks Damara is harmless. This is probably exactly what she was like before she became evil. Undergoing such massive shifts in personality seems to be a common trait among the Megidos.


With trolls though, Damara is nasty as ever. I wonder if Damara really is her old happy self around humans, who to her knowledge are harmless and friendly?


And Terezi echoes her dancestor’s lines about Mituna, this time much more dramatically. Damara probably didn’t help one bit with Terezi’s recent depression.


Outside the meteor, Damara encounters Hussie in the exposition booth. Apparently Aranea sold the booth to him. Hussie’s self-insert vents a bit about the real-world Hussie’s ambition with this Homestuck adventure game, and I actually do feel bad for the real Hussie in that time. Wasn’t half of the giant sum of Kickstarter money later stolen and used to fund King’s Quest or something? Hussie doesn’t let Damara talk, knowing that she’ll just say filthy things in Japanese. Instead, he offers his own commentary about each of the Beforan trolls.

Damara – Not much to say. Hussie just explains that her Japanese speech is Google translated, Damara flips her off, then Hussie apologizes and mentions character porn and Damara is confused.

Rufioh – Just a heartfelt apology to Dante Basco, an actual famous actor, for getting wrapped up in the nightmare that is the Homestuck fandom.

Mituna – 

Mega Man Sollux has some problems. He falls down and stuff and talks on a 4chan background, because of 4chan. But in spite of that, he’s brave and does his best and everyone loves him. Also no one can read a damn thing he says. His quirk is the least legible of all quirks, with Damara’s coming in at a close second.

Not much to say here either. I think I agree that Mituna’s quirk is probably the only one you can never get used to reading. Even Feferi’s quirk isn’t so bad after a while.

Kankri –

Did you know: it is a Homestuck fact that 99 percent of all readers didn’t read or care about anything Kankri said. So in other words, he is exactly like all terrible social justice bloggers. Some social justice bloggers get angry at the joke that he is, but those are the terrible ones, and being terrible is why they get angry. They want to be terrible in peace without being mocked. That is what it is like to be a justified target of ridicule. You feel sad and angry all the time and you don’t know why. 

99 percent of all readers isn’t 100 percent. You better believe that the MSPA wiki ate Kankri’s words up and extensively documented his mechanical descriptions of troll stuff that’s probably all in his imagination. It’s not their fault though. That’s what naturally happens with pretty much all wikis, whether you like it or not.

Kankri wears a cute red sweater and is otherwise fairly adorable. Porrim acts like his mom which is also cute as hell.

Kankri is incredibly far up his own ass but I must agree that he’s kind of adorable. Only natural when he’s so closely related to Karkat.

Meulin – 

Meulin is the deaf Nepeta in this kickass smorgasbord of disabled characters. She speaks in ASL to say memes which are called mimes because it’s one letter away and therefore a play on words. But you can’t actually use ASL to say animated tumblr gifs, you can only say words. She otherwise reads lips, which is funny because her bff sewed his damn mouth shut so they just sign memes to each other all day while stoned. It is implied that they smoke catnip together, as if it were marijuana, which is an especially amusing notion to people who like drugs. Moving on??

Pretty much all the basics of her character right there. Meulin actually only uses sign language to say GIFs and otherwise speaks with her mouth. I know how sign language works and all, but it somehow seems completely natural to use it to convey memes instead.

Porrim – I got nothing here. Porrim is indeed a vampire with cool tattoos and that’s the most important thing about her.

Latula – 

Latula is the gamegrl to Mituna’s gamebro. Gamebros and gamegrls aren’t really “types of people” so much as they are hollow cliches which are patronizing to multiple groups of people on multiple levels. So in other words, perfect attributes for some 1.5 dimensional NPC-caliber characters stocking a fun jrpg style walkaround game.

It’s kind of impressive just how many different groups gamebros and gamegrls rudely patronize and stereotype, as Porrim has pointed out before. That says a lot about all the work Latula has put into perfecting her rad girl act. Other than that, Hussie explains a few jokes and puns you may have missed.

Aranea – We’ve gotten to know Aranea pretty well by this point. Hussie simply says Aranea is a blabbermouth who tells flowery nonsensical stories and then complains that she charged him so much for a cardboard exposition booth.

Horuss – 


This dude is just Equius on horse steroids. The end.

Honestly, this is all anyone ever needs to say about Horuss. What else is there to say or care about this guy? Fucking nothing, that’s what.

Kurloz –

He chewed off his tongue and sewed his mouth shut because he’s a weirdo in cahoots with Gamzee and English. Who even knows what they’re up to. It’s probably just a lot of stupid bullshit. Meaningless, clownish nonsense. Want to know why they’re assembling the wicked ensemble? They probably just think it’s funny. Kurloz speaks in bones when he does his clown hypnosis shit but otherwise he mimes everything because get this: he’s pretty much literally a mime. 

I actually appreciate that Hussie went out of his way to say Gamzee and Kurloz’s Lord English worship is all a big joke, which further tells readers that Damara was the real plot-relevant unseen troll and Kurloz was just a nonsensical clown.

Also a juggalo. Because that’s exactly what Homestuck needed. Another fucking juggalo. Homestuck needed another juggalo like it needed… 

Well, another twelve trolls I guess. 

What can I say? I guess Kurloz’s character helps cement the juggalo stuff as more farcical than people probably think.

Cronus –

Cronus is the worst character in Homestuck by a nautical mile. Any questions?

Nope.

Meenah –

Meenah is kind of throwing a bone to the pisces people who got stuck with Feferi. Feferi didn’t really do anything and then she died. Meenah is a cool sassy punk who has more important stuff to do than Feferi ever did. You just spent like the last three hours playing through these games from her POV so obviously you know that. You’re probably sick of fish puns by now. After a while you start running out of fish puns. You can overdo it with fish puns, much like you can overfish the ocean. You start literally running out of fucking fish. Be careful out there.

Given how Hussie treats many of his characters like absolute shit, it’s rather gracious of him to give Feferi a cooler replacement who actually does things. She’s been a fun addition to the story so far so I’d say it was worth giving Feferi a replacement.

Meenah discovered that raising and army is hard. But you know what’s really hard? What’s really hard is making games. Games disguise the effort that go into them probably like few other crafts. In order to make a game that is even slightly better than mediocre, someone probably had to die in the process. Like building pyramids. Nobody actually died while making these games though, hence they were just ok. But still if you add up all the work done collectively on these last three games, it probably was comparable to the manhours that went into [S] Cascade. You know what that is? That’s a silly ass fact.

More semi-unfiltered rants about Hiveswap development. I guess Hussie did have to vent his Hiveswap frustration somewhere; this was back when he wasn’t so reclusive on the Internet.

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… And that’s the end of Openbound Part 3! Final verdict: I feel about it mostly the same way as I do about Part 1, but it’s a little weaker in a lot of ways. Damara, Rufioh, and Horuss’s backstory was neat to learn about, but felt much more self-contained which I wasn’t a fan of. The meteor part was a fun throwback but it wasn’t very long and didn’t do quite as much as I had hoped to dampen the weird feeling you get when going through this batch of joke characters for so long.

I did like Part 3 a bit more than Part 2 overall; the first half with new trolls was much more tolerable this time, but the second half with old characters wasn’t as remarkable as Part 2’s second half. I didn’t mind going through the Openbound games in this reread as much as I thought I would. The only parts that I found really annoying were the Beforan trolls’ introductions in Part 2 and Hussie’s rants about Hiveswap production.

I’ll go over the Openbound games as a collective in more detail at the next post, which will be my final Act 6 Intermission 3 post. See you next time as Rose and Kanaya finally kiss.

>> Part 91: Drunken Smooches and Costume Parties