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Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 1, Part 5 of 5
This is probably going to be my last Homestuck post for at least a few weeks, depending what content we get on this year’s 4/13. I’m honestly kind of nervous for it, it might be something really cool or it could just be more unreadable meta drivel.
Anyway, as this post’s title says, I’ve been waiting to get to this part for over four years and now I’m finally here. I was so excited to finally make this post and I’m just as excited now to finally release it.
Oh my god, this is happening, it’s happening, it’s actually happening!!!!!! I seriously can’t believe I’ve made it to John’s first conversation with Roxy in my Homestuck post series after all this time, but I really shouldn’t waste any time rambling about how I never thought I’d get to this point until I finally got there, oh wait, I’m rambling about it right now, oh you know, whatever. Let’s jump right the fuck in.
Wait for it… wait for it… (also, note the pumpkin)
Here we GO!
Roxy is humorously making it clear that she’s making the most of her time in prison by goofing around in a pyramid she made using void powers. All through these three words, “who goes thr”, it’s clear that…
I don’t know what it’s clear that, actually. Nor do I have any idea to phrase that sentence in a way that sounds like proper English grammar.* I’m just… like, wow. Now that I’m finally here, I don’t even know what to say. This is pretty much a special post in my Homestuck post series, like a holiday special episode of a TV show or whatever else might constitute a “special episode”.
* I actually do (“I don’t know what’s clear”), I just thought it would be funny to say I didn’t. Though it’s probably not very funny at all.
Help me, why am I having so much trouble thinking of what to say about this scene??? I’m smiling so hard reading this pesterlog, you don’t even know. It’s hilarious and endearing, and feels insanely rewarding to finally reach. I’ll try my best to say actual words related to Homestuck about it regardless. Let’s begin.
JOHN: don’t worry, i am not a villain.
JOHN: i’m just passing through, looking for someone.
JOHN: i was told to find a girl named roxy.
ROXY: roxy huh
ROXY: sounds like a babe
JOHN: yeah, maybe.
JOHN: do you know her?
JOHN: have you seen her??
ROXY: nope not in a while i am fraid
John’s first time meeting Roxy starts with her playing a prank on him, likely aided by the fact that he can’t see her face or notice her internal laughing.
ROXY: i could help you find her though
ROXY: w a series of vexing riddles + clues
ROXY: each more bewildering than the last
ROXY: each less infuriating than the next
ROXY: for i am the sphinx of this pyramid and that sort of coy bs is the shit i get up to ery day
ROXY: (all pyramids have sphinxes i decided j now)
Roxy takes a moment to parody the mystical ways of Sburb’s forces, but can’t help herself from inserting humorous commentary just like in her wizard stories when she says she’s decided that all pyramids have sphinxes. She’s an avid fan of cats, which may be part of why she decided to use a sphinx analogy.
JOHN: no, that sounds really dumb.
JOHN: i would rather just have some straightforward information as to her whereabouts.
ROXY: *strokes sphinxly chin enigmatically*
Have I said “sphinxly chin” yet? Hold on, I don’t think I have.
Alright, I’ll cut it out. I just want to make it clear that I fucking love the phrase “sphinxly chin”.
JOHN: can you at least tell me what she looks like?
ROXY: well the thing is
ROXY: shes hard 2 recognize lately
ROXY: she started wearing a mask for some fukin reason
ROXY: maybe so as to avoid detection from snoopy boys??? 😉
ROXY: (just wonked @ u fyi)
JOHN: you just what?
JOHN: alright, well…
JOHN: can you tell me where and when you last saw her?
ROXY: heck yes
ROXY: it was last time i looked in a mirror
ROXY: theres no mirrors in jail though
ROXY: which is a shame
ROXY: could use an eyeload of that stone cold fox 2 get me thru the long nites
ROXY: hardest time i ever done 😦
JOHN: oh my god.
JOHN: it’s you!
JOHN: how could i possibly fall for such a stupid prank.
John seems on the surface to be disappointed with himself for falling for Roxy’s prank, but he’s clearly much more impressed with her for pranking him so thoroughly than he is disappointed with himself. Right when he says “how could i possibly fall for such a stupid prank,” it’s clear that he already sees Roxy as a friend he can jokingly bicker with just like Rose, Dave, or Jade, which is something he outright tells Dave in the lilypad conversations. John tends to be very quick to make friends with people, as he proved with the likes of Karkat and Vriska, but Roxy is a record-setter that blows anyone else he got to know over the course of a day to shame.
ROXY: ell em ay friggin OH
ROXY: youre almost as gullible as english
ROXY: how perf is it that thats some kinda family trait
ROXY: you must be john right
JOHN: how did you know that?
ROXY: because jake rambled about meetin you a bunch of times
ROXY: also u sound like him
Near the start of A6A6I1, Roxy was disappointed that Jade is grimbark and would much rather simply be friends with her; now, she’s absolutely delighted to see the beta kids having traits in common with her friends just as she had always imagined. Just like how John immediately sees Roxy as a friend, she thinks of John kind of like a hilarious longtime friend’s equally hilarious cousin who she’s surprised she didn’t get to know until now.
JOHN: it seems like you have me at a disadvantage then.
JOHN: which is impressive, considering you are in jail, and also in a little green pyramid thingy for some reason.
JOHN: did you…
JOHN: did you actually build that thing?
ROXY: f yeah!
JOHN: that’s cool. it’s like a little fort.
JOHN: i built a fort once in my room. i made it out of a bed sheet, and some cruxite dowels.
JOHN: then my friend threw it in a bottomless pit.
ROXY: thas awesome
JOHN: it was alright.
ROXY: no but 4 real dont wreck my fort or i fuck you up
JOHN: i wouldn’t dare.
It doesn’t take long at all for John and Roxy to realize they have something in common: they both love building forts just because they can, which is a trait we don’t even remotely see in anyone else. Certainly not Rose, who threw John’s fort into a bottomless pit in a surprising act of hostility.
JOHN: aren’t you going to come out so i can see you?
ROXY: i would but
ROXY: ive been tryin to concentrate on something
ROXY: so i built this sick pyramid deal to help focus my brain chi and spiritual majyyks and if at all possible to blitz my chakras out the yin yang
JOHN: is it working?
ROXY: but at least its nice and dark and quiet in here and free of distactions
ROXY: or it was until a guy came along lookin for some chick
With her line “or it was until a guy came along lookin for some chick”, Roxy reciprocates John’s flavor of jokey pseudo-frustration, which is already how she acts with basically everyone but is still pretty cute.
Oh hey, did I just say the C-word? “Cute”? I guess I should clear things up: I think Roxy and John are unbelievably cute together and there’s no reason to pretend I don’t think they are. With that now made firm and clear, I can go on.
JOHN: what are you trying to do exactly?
ROXY: i have to make a spikeball appear out of thin air
ROXY: but all i can make are these lame cubes
JOHN: you made all these cubes??
JOHN: that’s a neat power.
ROXY: i also made some pumpkins
ROXY: cubes n pumpkins
ROXY: the manifestations of amateurs
ROXY: theyre basically freebies for void players i think
JOHN: i remember making some of those cubes with my alchemiter.
JOHN: i think that’s what a blank card makes? so yeah, they’re super primitive.
JOHN: but making pumpkins is pretty impressive. they’re like… these big ol’ vegetables.
ROXY: no dude
ROXY: pumpkins are helllls o primitive
ROXY: voidwise theyre like the middle square on a bingo card
ROXY: drummin up a dumb gourd aint nothing to write home about
John compliments Roxy’s progress on using her void powers, which is the kind of thing he’s much more likely to do with potential love interests than with his three childhood friends or Karkat.
JOHN: well, if you’re really having trouble…
JOHN: i know a thing or two about learning to use god tier powers.
JOHN: maybe i could help?
When John offers to help Roxy out, she responds by finally showing her face:
ROXY: hay look
ROXY: its jake stuffed in a blue windsock
Roxy continues to find it hilariously perfect how much John has in common with Jake, which is a very Roxy thing to do. While Homestuck has plenty of characters who have an easy time being friends with people, Roxy just has this distinct flavor of being amazed by subtle (or not so subtle) family resemblances.
ROXY: so what kind of hot god tier trix can you teach me
JOHN: i guess i don’t know any actual TRICKS per se, aside from how to use some of my powers.
JOHN: but i don’t know if the same tricks apply to using your powers…
ROXY: u said u could help tho
JOHN: i said MAYBE i could!
JOHN: i dunno, i was just throwing it out there.
JOHN: like, maybe if i told you about some of the experiences i had when i was learning to do my windy stuff, you might have some kind of… voidey epiphany?
ROXY: a voidey epiphany
The two then talk about god tier powers and Roxy’s current situation, with John giving her plenty of simple-minded but honest advice. I would talk more about how John’s straightforward honesty is part of what causes their marriage to fall apart in the epilogues, but I think I’d rather take a break from shipping talk because what follows is a fairly plot-relevant conversation on god tier abilities.
ROXY: k then
ROXY: im all ears johnny windsock
ROXY: let loose ur wisdom whilst i rake in the epiphanies
JOHN: ok, um,
JOHN: i’ve noticed whenever i learn to do new things with my powers, it’s usually in response to something. like something important that has to be done.
JOHN: so why are you trying to make this spike ball?
JOHN: and how important does it feel to you?
Here John gives an honest remark about something many readers have criticized about his character: his tendency to use his vast swath of powers only if other people tell him to. I don’t think that’s much of a problem? His character develops so much through the course of Homestuck that it’s mostly just funny to see the stuff about him that doesn’t change. It’s good, even, that some things about him are the same as how he was at the start of the comic, because it shows he’s still the same John despite everything. There aren’t a whole lot of other characters in the comic who are quite like this, in terms of changing while simultaneously staying the same—maybe Karkat and Jake fall under that category too.
ROXY: well at first i was mainly tryin to make it because dog girl was forcing me to
ROXY: but now i think i keep trying because im gettin obsessed with making this dumb spikeball and PO’d that i cant do it
JOHN: i see.
JOHN: what actually IS this spike ball, if you don’t mind my asking?
ROXY: its an alien egg
ROXY: 4 tha trolls
ROXY: to hatch em all back to life
ROXY: but only to be ruled by an evil witch so its gonna be shitty for them
ROXY: so yeah its kind of an important thing
ROXY: but at the same time it would probably be terrible if i actually made it so…
JOHN: then maybe the fact that you’re conflicted about it is why you’re having trouble?
ROXY: yeh maybe
JOHN: if you think it’s important to make, but don’t want to give it to the bad guys, why don’t you just…
JOHN: break out of jail?
JOHN: then you could try to make the egg at your own discretion, and use it however you think is best.
ROXY: i broke outta here once already and the fuckin witch just nabbed me again
ROXY: and that was BEFORE she recruited jakes omnipotent goofball grandma to zap me back here the moment i step outside
John gives Roxy honest advice, and she retorts by reminding him of Jade’s versatile powers:
JOHN: yeah. it is a tricky situation with grimbark jade on the loose, that’s for sure.
JOHN: but i’ve been managing to evade her.
JOHN: i just swoosh the breeze around to hide my scent, and dissolve into wind and fly away if she finds me.
JOHN: maybe you could do something like that too?
JOHN: it seems to me if anyone should be able to avoid detection using their powers, it would be a void player.
JOHN: get it? a void… as in, avoid?
ROXY: that is legit sound reasoning yo
ROXY: + a way lame pun 2 boot
ROXY: but remember how we were just talkin about the fact that when it comes to god tier shit i dont know what the eff im doin??
… so John provides another counterargument, saying that Roxy seems like exactly the kind of person who would be good at avoiding evil Jade knowing her aspect. This positive, encouraging advice is a trait of John’s that he’s admirably developed over the course of the comic and is better at it now than ever before. He might be reminded of how Vriska mentored him to make good use of his powers during the Sburb session and is trying to do the same to Roxy but in a less self-aggrandizing manner. This would make sense because he talks about Vriska a bit later in this scene.
My god, look at her coy smile with those goddamn eyebrows.
Now it’s Roxy’s turn to revisit to her roots: being insanely flirty in a humorous fashion, just without the alcoholism.
ROXY: i thought you were going to regale me with stories of your ascent through the windsock tiers
ROXY: such that i may through osmosis glean the vagaries of godhood
ROXY: then all i got to do is wait for this rude tidal wave of epiphanies n junk to wash over me and get me hella wise
ROXY: then and only then
ROXY: i will b able to make this shitty egg happen
JOHN: ok. where should i start?
ROXY: at the beginning!
JOHN: you mean like when i first became a god tier?
JOHN: that’s a long story… i was kind of tricked into that.
JOHN: it might take some setup to understand.
ROXY: dude look
ROXY: i dont have grand illusions that this yarn you spinll be like some actual efficacious tutelage on fuckin pajama spells
ROXY: i just want to hear u talk about stuff
ROXY: wanna kno ur stories!!!
ROXY: go :3
Quick to catch on to what sort of person John is (aided by the fact that he’s related to Jake), Roxy cleverly gets him to talk at length so she can just… examine him for a while.
JOHN: in that case, i guess it all started on my thirteenth birthday.
JOHN: which was three years ago, by the way.
JOHN: i heard about this awesome game, or at least one i thought was awesome, and i wanted to play it with my friends.
JOHN: but it wasn’t so easy to start. i had to get it from the mail, which meant sneaking around the house while avoiding my dad.
JOHN: which was kind of stupid and childish in retrospect, but blah blah blah.
And it works just as intended! As you can see here, at the very start of John’s impromptu summary of Homestuck before Roxy starts tuning him out, he mentions that it was stupid and childish of him to sneak around avoiding his dad, which is something I remember pointing out all the way back in my Act 1 posts (which were so much shorter than my posts are now, holy shit). Back then, I cut my discussion on this scene short by saying, “But holy balls am I getting way ahead of myself.” And here I am now, so far ahead of my 2015 self that all I can say in response is “holy balls”.
… Pointless reflections aside, bits like this are why the more I reread Homestuck, the more confused I am that some fans think John never had any character development, or god forbid, never had any character development aside from temporarily not liking Con Air anymore. At this point he’s clearly filled with regrets over all sorts of things—treating his now departed father like a video game boss, thinking Vriska isn’t an absolute monster, and in general being kind of mean to some of his old friends. I can tell that for him, meeting Roxy is a chance to set right what went wrong and finally get to know a girl who isn’t total bonkers.
I also love how the moment John’s story dissolves into a stream of blahs is right when he starts using his immediately recognizable faltering sentence structure, filling his sentences with asides that begin with a comma and conjunction (“but” in this case). This makes it easy to imagine how the rest of his story goes even after the dialoglog replaces most of it with “blah blah blah”—a candid retelling of Homestuck from John’s perspective, with plenty of side remarks about how he feels differently about things now. It kind of reminds me of how my old Homestuck posts tended to be, now that I think of it.
JOHN: blah blah blah blah blah.
JOHN: blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.
ROXY: go on
Seeing John from someone else’s perspective is pretty hilarious, I must say. It’s an unexpected change of storytelling pace that leads to a hilarious panel:
If you don’t mind, I’m going to discuss the fate this ship suffers in the Snapchat credits. It always seemed odd to me that Roxy and John weren’t shown together much in the credits, but thinking about this panel together with the events of the credits I can now roughly imagine what happened. There’s no way Roxy could have possibly forgotten the mental note shown here: after the creators made their new home on Earth C, Roxy probably tried to start a relationship with John early on, and though he was always incredibly happy to see her when they did hang out, he didn’t take living on a renovated Earth quite as well as all his friends did and ended up missing the old Earth far too badly to let himself think much about Roxy, which is why she entered an ambiguous relationship with Calliope instead.
Enough talk about sad things though. Let’s go back to fun things and continue analyzing one of my favorite scenes in all of Homestuck.
JOHN: blah blah blah blah blah blah blah meteor.
JOHN: blah blah blah.
JOHN: blah blah blah blah blah nannasprite blah blah blah blah oil everywhere blah blah blah blah blah blah imps blah blah blah.
ROXY: m hm
JOHN: blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.
JOHN: blah blah blah your daughter blah blah at least i think she is blah blah blah blah.
Amidst this blue stream of blahs, there’s a few bits that make it obvious this recap of Homestuck was given by John. “at least i think she is” is a snippet of another one of those asides that John litters his speech with, and there’s plenty of other interesting bits in John’s story.
JOHN: blah salamanders blah blah blah.
JOHN: blah blah blah blah blah trolls blah blah blah blah blah rocketpack blah blah blah died.
The line with “trolls”, “rocketpack”, and “died” is clearly referring to his untimely death in the timeline Davesprite came from, and comes right before John talks about ectobiology and Jack Noir stealing the black queen’s ring (all of which are events that happened in Act 4). If you know what happens in each act of Homestuck as painfully well as I do, John’s story says a lot about how he perceives the past. He remembers all that happened on his 13th birthday in an almost encyclopedic fashion, which is an effect of his unusually strong attachment to events relevant to the story’s canon. I think this attachment to canon is a more likely reason he remembers what he learned about Davesprite’s timeline than simply spending three years with Davesprite and Jade; since Davesprite doesn’t appear very often in the pages of Homestuck, John thinks of him as a forgettable side character much unlike regular Dave.
JOHN: blah blah karkat blah blah blah blah blah ectobiology.
JOHN: blah blah blah jack noir.
JOHN: blah blah blah blah blah blah blah queen’s ring blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah my dad blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah a girl named vriska.
JOHN: blah blah blah blah windy thing blah blah blah blah blah blah ocean of green fire.
I love how the only two trolls John mentions in his story are Karkat and Vriska, as usual. It shows once again that in his mind, the trolls are simply “Karkat, Vriska, and a bunch of others”, which is a perfect demonstration of his simplistic worldview. You can tell that he briefly stops when mentioning Vriska, so as to emphasize how much he presently regrets ever thinking she was a good person; as for Karkat, John simply talks about him like a regular old friend just like his fellow beta kids.
JOHN: blah blah blah quest bed blah blah blah blah blah.
JOHN: blah blah prototyped blah blah blah blah blah blah blah jade’s omnipotent dog.
JOHN: blah blah chess guy blah blah blah blah blah flying around in my dad’s car blah blah blah blah blah blah blah liv tyler.
JOHN: blah the battlefield blah blah blah blah huge wind drill blah blah blah blah the tumor.
JOHN: blah blah.
ROXY: pls continue
JOHN: blah blah blah followed rose blah blah blah blah blah blah blah mom and dad died blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah kissed her back to life.
JOHN: blah blah blah blah the scratch.
JOHN: blah blah huge record blah blah blah blah blah blah giant needle.
JOHN: blah blah blah blah blah green sun blah blah blah blah blah reset blah blah blah blah blah god tier jade blah blah blah blah blah blah blah golden battleship.
ROXY: ur kiddin me
I don’t have much to say about the rest of John’s recap of Act 5 Act 2, other than that it’s again really funny how mechanically he remembers all these events that happened over the course of a single day.
JOHN: blah blah blah blah blah through a giant window.
JOHN: blah blah three years blah blah blah blah blah blah con air.
JOHN: blah blah thought it sucked blah blah blah blah but eventually came to my senses blah blah.
JOHN: blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah ghost busters 2 mmorpg.
When John finally gets to the three-year battleship journey, his story considerably speeds up, but he doesn’t see it that way. He talks about the few scenes shown in-comic with him that took place on the battleship: first he talks about watching Con Air on his fifteenth birthday, then he apparently backtracks a little and remembers the time he hosted a group game of the Ghostbusters 2 MMORPG on his fourteenth birthday.
Roxy is closely examining John to determine how good of a boyfriend he would make; he misreads her expression as boredom, which I have two completely separate things to say about. I’ll first talk about the bitter, then the sweet.
The bitter is that in the Candy Epilogue, John has a painfully hard time understanding Roxy and why she feels so strongly about him (and how she feels about everything else going on in the world), which gradually makes their marriage flop on its head.
The sweet is in this panel presently: John’s thoughts written in blue show that he reciprocates Roxy’s immediate feelings for him. Though he has trouble putting into words that he likes this girl, it’s obvious he’s already scared of the possibility of losing this new love interest, so he makes a last-ditch effort to tell her about more exciting things.
JOHN: blah blah blah blah blah blah DUEL WITH JACK NOIR!
JOHN: blah blah blah TURNED INTO WIND AND ESCAPED blah blah blah blah blah blah.
JOHN: blah blah blah blah COOL HAT WITH RABBIT EARS!
JOHN: blah blah blah CRACKS IN PARADOX SPACE blah blah blah ENCHANTED DESERT blah blah blah MAGIC RING!
JOHN: blah blah ADVENTURE ON THE HIGH SEAS blah blah blah blah blah blah GHOSTLY TROLL PIRATES!
JOHN: blah ULTIMATE WEAPON blah blah blah blah blah blah DEFEAT LORD ENGLISH!
This right here, folks, is how John understands the concept of “flirting”. He goes over the top with dramatic storytelling in a semi-conscious attempt to win Roxy’s heart, which is way funnier than it has any right to be. This lack of understanding what it means to flirt isn’t an insult to John by any means: I’m saying that he’s naturally charming and doesn’t need to go much beyond his usual self to be romantic.
JOHN: blah blah blah blah HOUSE SHAPED THINGY!
JOHN: blah blah POKED MY HAND INSIDE blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah UNSTUCK IN CANON!
JOHN: blah blah blah TURNED BLURRY blah blah blah blah CLOWNS ON TOP OF THE WHITE HOUSE blah blah blah blah VAMPIRE HISSED AT ME blah blah blah blah LITERALLY INSIDE CON AIR blah blah blah GLITCHY BULLSHIT blah blah blah MET MYSELF blah blah blah blah FINALLY FOUND YOU HIDING IN THIS LITTLE GREEN PYRAMID! WHEW!
For one last amusing bit which makes it easy to tell this story was told by John, he mentions that he was “LITERALLY INSIDE CON AIR” among the absolute most exciting things to ever happen to him. He has to catch his breath when he makes it to the end of his story because, again, being ridiculously loud and hammy is what he thinks it means to flirt with someone.
JOHN: so that’s…
JOHN: pretty much the whole story?
JOHN: i left a bunch of stuff out though.
JOHN: if more important stuff that i forgot occurs to me, i will let you know.
ROXY: hey no thats fine
ROXY: that was all great and exciting as heck
ROXY: it sounds like you guys got up to a lot more crazy shit than we did
I find it amusing that John says he left a bunch of stuff out, because his recap seemed pretty thorough to me. He’s rather humble about it, exactly the way I imagine he’d be if he tried to concisely retell the plot of one of his favorite Nic Cage movies.
ROXY: for us its been mostly dicking around in a session full of spooky skeletons for half a year
ROXY: then fefeta died
ROXY: the end
ROXY: fefeta was a dear sweet precious dear DEAR friend of mine
ROXY: she was beautiful and sweet and lovely
ROXY: she sploded
JOHN: i’m sorry.
ROXY: oh we also became tricksters which as far as things that happen go was sooo dumb
ROXY: i guess thats kinda the epilogue of our story?
What good is a ship without some humorous contrast between the two parties involved? Roxy’s storytelling is as minimalist as can be, with her going back and adding relevant parts as they occur to her.
ROXY: oh yeah then we had hangovers and went god tier accidentally
ROXY: thats the double epilogue
ROXY: the end ex two combo
I remember that when the beginning of the epilogues was released, numerous people pointed out this passage which is an amusing… coincidence? At least I assume it’s a coincidence. It could be intentional foreshadowing of the epilogues, considering that meat/candy duality existed in the comic since Act 6 Act 3 with some cherub scenes, but it still feels weird to imagine how long ago Hussie must have planned the epilogues.
JOHN: i don’t know, that all sounds pretty interesting to me.
JOHN: sometimes in life, when you look back on things it can feel like it was all boring and uneventful.
JOHN: but when you really think about it, you remember all these cool things that happened you forgot about.
ROXY: hm yeah
ROXY: them wise words j sock
Wise words indeed. I relate a lot to what John is saying here, and it’s a great thing to keep in mind if you feel that you spent a whole period of your life accomplishing nothing whatsoever or otherwise doubt that you’ve lived a worthwhile life. It’s probably among the top 10 most inspirational quotes in Homestuck, actually. Or at least the top 10 most inspirational quotes that aren’t said by Caliborn.
JOHN: anyway, if you remember more about your adventure and want to tell me some time, i would love to hear it!
ROXY: haha ok
ROXY: um but hey
ROXY: i could not help but notice in ur story you was talkin about my mom sometimes
After John tells Roxy he’s eager to hear more of her stories, Roxy takes the conversation in a more retrospectively emotional direction by bringing up Rose.
They’re… they’re standing together. Oh my god, they’re standing together.
JOHN: your mom?
JOHN: well, yeah. but i know her as your daughter.
JOHN: but i mean, who the hell knows at this point?
ROXY: i know rite
ROXY: the curious case of the mutual moms
ROXY: it is
ROXY: the biggest mystery?
ROXY: u no
ROXY: once i even caught wind of some lore that implied i might even be my OWN mom
ROXY: (fefeta hinted that @ me once during a long spiel DAMN that girl could talk)
ROXY: how messed up would that be tho
After Roxy bonds with John over the mysteries of paradox space, she reminds us that Fefetasprite was apparently very talkative and joyful to be around. It’s pretty much a running gag Hussie devised to poke fun and Nepeta and Feferi’s uselessness which he talks about a few times in his recent book commentary.
JOHN: there is probably something to that actually.
JOHN: you were all the first batch of babies, after all.
JOHN: i think you were literal copies of yourselves?
JOHN: that’s what it supposedly means to be a paradox clone.
JOHN: i guess i kind of glossed over this stuff in my story.
JOHN: but i was the one who made us all in the first place, with a weird cloning machine.
ROXY: no fuckin shit???
ROXY: *is impressed*
JOHN: it was no big deal though. i was just messing around with a control panel, and some babies appeared.
ROXY: so we already met huh
ROXY: and i dont even remember because i was just some idiot bb
ROXY: that aint fair!
Roxy doesn’t take long at all to make it clear that she feels about John the exact same way he feels about meeting her: it’s quite possibly the best thing to ever happen to both of them, which makes the directions their relationship later goes in heartwrenching. But enough about that, let’s go on.
JOHN: come to think of it, we met one other time too.
JOHN: but you were asleep.
JOHN: you were floating around in purple pajamas, and i pushed you out of the way of a flying fork.
JOHN: i almost forgot about that. but yep, that was you alright.
ROXY: you shoulda woke me up then
JOHN: i might have, but the fork stabbed me in the chest, and dream killed my sleep ghost. or something.
JOHN: you know how it is with dream logic.
ROXY: u mean how it makes lil 2 no sense ever
JOHN: yes, exactly.
It’s pretty impressive that John remembers seeing Roxy’s dream self when he first met Meenah (which would turn out to be an annual thing for three years straight, meeting Meenah I mean). It makes sense though, because that was an event we saw onscreen on his fourteenth birthday. I also forgot until now that Meenah asked if Roxy was John’s matesprit that day, which is obvious foreshadowing if I’ve ever seen some. I still wonder what led Meenah to think that. Was it just that obvious that those two make a good match, even when one of them is snoring while drunk and even to a troll who doesn’t know or care who either of them are?
JOHN: i guess i didn’t think much about it at the time, but i had a sneaky suspicion that’s who you were.
JOHN: you really look a lot like rose.
John thinks of the alpha kids much more as their own cool people than relatives of his cool friends, which is another contrast against Roxy. He does point out that she looks a lot like Rose, but doesn’t think too much of what she has in common with Rose and Dave.
JOHN: she is looking for you, by the way.
JOHN: she told me to go find you. and i did.
JOHN: so, she says hi.
ROXY: o man
ROXY: what else did she say
JOHN: she said…
JOHN: she’s looking forward to meeting you?
John’s sweetness shines when he blatantly fills in for what Rose wanted to say to Roxy. This definitely makes Roxy even more curious to see what her mother/daughter is like, so it’s a win-win.
ROXY: well if u see her again before i do tell her i cant wait to meet her too
ROXY: though tbh im kinda nervous about it but dont tell her that part haha
JOHN: there’s nothing to be nervous about though.
JOHN: she’s just a nice nerd who likes to read and knit.
These two, man. These two. John tells Roxy what Rose is like in a simple but encouraging way that again probably tells Roxy more about John is like than what sort of person Rose is. John is also unintentionally bragging when he mentions that Rose likes to knit, because he’s the one who got her into knitting. This detail again makes John’s brief description of Rose say more about him than about Rose.
ROXY: i shouldnt be surprised to hear that
ROXY: me and all my friends are a bunch of silly nerds too
ROXY: even dirk who thinks hes 2 cool 4 school
ROXY: when in reality he is nowhere close to clearing the coolness threshold which exempts one from attending an educational institution :p
JOHN: speaking of which…
JOHN: i’ve been wondering where he is?
JOHN: i know jade’s grandpa is in jail too, getting badgered by my evil nanna…
ROXY: u mean jake n jane
JOHN: yes, sorry.
JOHN: but i have not seen hide nor hair of dave’s bro yet.
ROXY: i figured he got thrown in jail too
ROXY: although come to think of it i probly would have heard a bloody ruckus by now resulting from his inevitable escape attempt
ROXY: im not that worried about him though hes good at takin care of himself
ROXY: in fact i feel like all of us will be ok now that you guys are here
When Roxy tells John a bit about the other three alpha kids, I can’t help but think about how in the epilogues, it’s said that John never knew Dirk very well and he doesn’t seem to think of Jane as much of a friend either, aside from one mention from Jade that the two used to be close. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the two alpha kids he thinks of in positive terms in the epilogues are the ones he has substantial conversations with in canon—Jake and Roxy. I’m not saying that I think the epilogues’ authors intended (or didn’t intend) for this pattern, I’m just thinking of it in terms of analyzing John’s character. This is very much in contrast with most other pairs of beta and alpha kids, who have gotten to know a lot about each other before the events of the epilogues.
I do still think it’s weird though, that the comic ends before all the notable combos of final character reconciliations and potential conversations have been fulfilled, especially those involving Jade or Jane. Maybe Hussie just gave up after writing so many long conversations between characters throughout A6A6I5 and decided to leave any further character interactions to post-canon media. I guess I can’t blame him if that’s the case, though that sort of thing (wrapping up character interactions) was why I had hoped Act 7 would be a walkaround of some sort after I learned it would only be two pages. I’m kind of getting off topic though, let’s continue. This is supposed to be a special post after all.
ROXY: there is still one of my friends im worried about the most
ROXY: shes my best friend
ROXY: well ok
ROXY: i got a few best friends u know?
ROXY: but she was always kind of a special best friend
ROXY: and last time i saw her she was in big trouble
JOHN: oh no.
JOHN: where is she?
ROXY: in the afterlife
ROXY: being dead
ROXY: her bro killed her
ROXY: which is bad enough
ROXY: but now hes out there
ROXY: hunting for her ghost
ROXY: shes doing her best to hide
ROXY: but her bro is an awful and relentless piece of shit and im afraid
ROXY: im afraid she might be already gone 😦
John and Roxy’s conversation goes back into plot stuff when Roxy talks about the current situation with Calliope. It makes sense for that to happen, because their first conversation can’t be entirely just cute shippy moments. With the way Roxy talks about Calliope as a longtime alien friend, it makes sense that John in the credits would be blindsided by Roxy getting into an ambiguous relationship with her.
JOHN: you’re right, that is very concerning.
JOHN: who is she? would i know of her?
ROXY: how in the loop are you on cherubs?
JOHN: surprisingly, i know a LOT about that subject.
JOHN: for instance, did you know they turn into gigantic snakes when they have sex?
JOHN: i know. weird, right?
JOHN: that’s probably not very relevant to the topic at hand, though.
John closely paid attention to every word of Aranea’s story about cherubs, as made obvious here. It’s endearing how eager he was to hear the story compared to the rest of the trolls on the ship, and it fits with his tendency to remember anything that happened onscreen from his perspective. Seriously, there’s just so many characters Calliope could have jammed with about the lore of Homestuck for hours on end (John is definitely one of them), which makes it mystifying that she ends the story as basically Roxy’s sidekick.
ROXY: yeah prob not
ROXY: anyway u know about lord english right
JOHN: uh huh.
ROXY: ok well
ROXY: shes his sister
ROXY: her name is calliope
JOHN: ok, this is starting to make sense.
ROXY: shes supposed to be critical to defeatin him somehow
ROXY: shes going on some quest out there to find a deadlier version of herself or whatever
ROXY: i dunno that could be all be true…
ROXY: and maybe its selfish of me but all i rly care about now is if shes ok??
JOHN: i understand. she is your friend.
JOHN: i would feel the same way.
JOHN: wait a minute…
JOHN: i’ve got it!
ROXY: got what
JOHN: i have such a good idea that would solve your problem.
JOHN: all you have to do is bring her back to life!
Roxy’s first impression of John continues soaring high when he immediately presents to her a solution to an issue involving one of the most important people in her entire life. She then makes this adorable face:
JOHN: i have a magic ring!
ROXY: u have one too
JOHN: wait. what do you mean too?
JOHN: you have a magic ring??
ROXY: i HAD one
ROXY: fuckin lost it though
ROXY: made peeps invisible who put it on
Ah yes, there’s this whole symbolism thing with John and Roxy and their respective magic rings. I think I’ve said before that the ring symbolism arc ends with representing how John unwittingly allowed Roxy and Calliope to get into an ambiguous relationship, which makes for an upsetting (or heartwarming, depending which pairing you prefer) red herring.
JOHN: no, mine doesn’t do that.
JOHN: it brings ghosts back to life!
ROXY: no wai
JOHN: yes wai. way.
JOHN: it’s back at my house.
JOHN: i could go get it right now!
ROXY: damn son
ROXY: i find this 2 be some truly baller happenstance
ROXY: if ur claim is true im…….
ROXY: im cry :’)
JOHN: it is quite true.
JOHN: it should be a piece of cake.
JOHN: you just wear it when you go to sleep, and it comes with you in your dreams.
JOHN: then you find your cherub friend, put it on her finger, and bring her back!
JOHN: i think you can only use it once though. so once she’s wearing it, it would be hers forever, or at least as long as she wants it.
The prospect of using a magic ring to bring back Calliope sounds so simple and perfect that it feels inevitable that something will go wrong in the process. But eventually, Roxy manages to do exactly what she wishes to with the help of John’s retcon powers which leads to some lilypad platform scenes that I think feel almost unbearably happy and perfect. Not because I hate Calliope or anything, just because I think her role in the end of the story as simply Roxy’s sidekick was a huge missed opportunity for her to have some really cool or memorable scenes just so that Roxy would have a logical reason not to get together with John.
ROXY: john thats amazing
ROXY: i dunno though that sounds like
ROXY: such an obscenely precious commodity
ROXY: u sure you want to let me use it?
JOHN: it’s no big deal, really.
JOHN: for a while i was hanging on to it, thinking that i might give it to…
JOHN: aw man, this is going to sound dumb.
JOHN: there was a girl who i was considering giving it to, for some reason.
JOHN: remember? she was the diabolical one who figured prominently in my long story.
ROXY: oh yea
ROXY: fresca right
JOHN: yes, close enough.
Only something like ten minutes into his first time ever talking to Roxy and John already sees her as someone who he can tell his embarrassing secrets. Since his opinion on Vriska is currently at an absolute low, he doesn’t even bother with correcting Roxy’s mispronunciation of her name and says “yes, close enough” as an implicit dunk on Vriska.
JOHN: see, she REALLY wanted that ring.
JOHN: and she found out i had it, and…
JOHN: honestly, i’m not sure why it even crossed my mind to give it to her?
JOHN: i guess i was just used to the idea that i liked her for some reason.
JOHN: at least i thought i did.
JOHN: it was a stupid idea based on hardly anything. like one day of conversations.
I find it funny that though John is convinced that one day of conversations wasn’t enough to judge his opinion on Vriska, as if a single day wasn’t more than enough time needed for someone to become an important figure in his life. And look at him now, he’s all over Roxy after only one conversation with her. To be fair, right after this he justifies why he feels differently about Roxy than about Vriska:
JOHN: but since i’ve gotten to know her better…
JOHN: i don’t know.
JOHN: i think i might actually…
JOHN: kind of hate her?
JOHN: yeah, she’s…
JOHN: actually pretty awful!
JOHN: she’s so full of herself, and mean to her friends, and…
JOHN: really, really dangerous.
ROXY: well what can i say john
ROXY: love sux
JOHN: yeah. it does.
JOHN: anyway, i don’t think i can let anyone like that have the ring.
ROXY: but u dont mind trustin me w it?
JOHN: it’s funny, after spending some time with a person who is legitimately crazy, it becomes easy to tell right away when someone…
ROXY: u sure about that
JOHN: well, yeah, everyone is a little crazy. i just mean not BAD crazy.
JOHN: besides, you don’t even want the ring for yourself.
JOHN: you want to give it to someone you care about.
JOHN: that is what makes you one of the good guys.
John is making it abundantly clear how much Roxy is a refreshing change of pace from the likes of Vriska, Terezi, and Aradia, and it’s no coincidence that these are all girls (he is not a homosexual after all). It’s interesting to think that in the Candy Epilogue, Roxy and Terezi’s roles for John are reversed, which I don’t entirely find heartbreaking because I am a major fan of John’s dynamic with Terezi too, perhaps even more so than with Roxy (though god damn is it a close call).
ROXY: what a nice thing to say
ROXY: i bet sayin stuff like that is why ur their leader
JOHN: what makes you think i’m the leader?
ROXY: come on dude you are obvs the leader of otherkid teamsquad
ROXY: i can just tell
JOHN: haha, ok. i’ll take that as a compliment.
Roxy immediately guesses John is the leader of the beta kids in an interesting subversion of the usual “statements like that are also why you’re our leader” running gag. While John responded to Rose’s statement about him being their leader with snooty bickering, he can’t help but take it as a nice compliment when Roxy says it.
JOHN: anyway, i’ll go get the ring now.
ROXY: ill wait here
ROXY: no need to set off the alarms with a daring escape just yet
ROXY: lets keep em lulled into a false sense of control over the sitch
ROXY: we can start scheming under their nose while u keep sneakin around undetected
ROXY: the last thing we want is for all hell to break loose before we know what were doin
JOHN: yeah, that’s a good plan.
JOHN: if i had to guess, i’d say you must be the leader of your team squad too, right?
ROXY: that’s jane
Statements like that are also why Roxy is their leader. She and John both have their unique flavor of humility when met with assumptions that they’re the leaders of their respective friend groups, which is another one of many things they have in common.
ROXY: as you can see shes the one with a knack for ruthless executive authority
ROXY: is a shame she only uses it when evil tho 😦
Roxy predicts Jane’s role in the epilogues word for word right here. It’s a shame indeed that Jane only uses her leadership skills when evil, but honestly it feels weird trying to analyze her character during a conversation between John and Roxy. It is worth pointing out that pre-scratch Jane avoided any potential positions of leadership or power and instead led a quiet life owning a prank shop and raising John’s father, while keeping her mouth shut about all the secrets she learned during her life until she came back as a sprite. I can’t think of any characters’ alternate selves that are more different than Candy Jane and Nannasprite; not even the various versions of Jack Noir throughout the story are anywhere near as different from each other.
JOHN: but maybe we can do something about that, if we work together.
JOHN: alright. off i go.
JOHN: keep practicing your powers!
JOHN: see you, roxy.
And so, this memorable conversation ends with a big smile emote from Roxy and a typical friendly goodbye from John. God, this scene was an absolute blast to analyze, but we still have a few pages left in A6A6I1.
Roxy reassembles her pyramid using Homestuck’s standard game mechanics just like characters usually did in the early acts, then sits on top of it so she can test out her powers with her newfound Egbert-induced motivation. This is what happens:
She’s halfway there!
… which is synonymous with “halfway not there”, like a glass half full, half empty sort of thing.
John flies back to the golden battleship, and it’s easy to miss that Jake’s house has now been built all the way up which crosses off one of the few remaining steps needed to complete the beta/alpha Sburb session. I would say that it’s a plot mystery who handled this house rebuilding, but I remember a scene early in A6A6I2 that shows Crockertier Jane building up Jake’s house (and presumably all the others), a duty fulfilled instead by the similarly cybernetic Arquiusprite after the retcon.
John Egbert’s ring has gone missing.
Much like at the start of A6A6I1, the narration tells us a worrying statement about something going missing that feels alarming because narration is no longer very common at this point in the comic.
Sensing that his next turn to take over the narrative is about to start, Caliborn executes a callback to a recurring phrase from the trolls’ arc that fits his narrative voice like a glove. His crudely drawn curtains close in on a shot of John’s living room after he zaps away.
Just like at the end of any act, I’ll go ahead and recap Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 1. In this case, it’ll be less of a recap and more of a statement on how I feel about this act in retrospect now that Homestuck has ended.
A6A6I1 is littered with clues that things aren’t quite going the way they are supposed to, with endless glitches, statements from characters that things don’t feel right, selection screen shenanigans caused by a mix of Caliborn’s glitches and John’s retcon abilities, and plenty of other conversations about how characters didn’t think this would be the way things go. These clues are easy for me to pick up on years after the retcon arc and its following updates were released, no longer clouded by confirmation bias or salt about the retcon overwriting interesting story events. I still won’t pretend that I’m completely happy with the execution of events following the retcon, but reading this act for the first time in years softens those issues quite a bit. I’ll just have to see how the rest of Act 6 Act 6 reads differently now, whenever that ends up being.
Aside from reading differently to me now than it did years prior, A6A6I1 has some pretty fun throwbacks to prior acts—use of Pesterchum, artwork of the beta kids’ planets and houses, even occasional resurgences of the Sburb interface. Grimbark Jade’s scenes are all really funny, and Dave reexamining his room and ranting about how he doesn’t want to kill Lord English are also highlights. John’s first conversation with Roxy is a perfect note to end A6A6I1 on: a happy, hopeful, and humorous scene (no alliteration intended) that leads into a shocking surprise, whose answer opens A6A6I2.
See you at some point, likely not until after this year’s 4/13, as Caliborn presents the second act of Homosuck.
Edit: I only said likely not.