Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 2, Part 4 of 4
God, it would have been so much cooler to go on hiatus for six months after this post, not before.
Kept you waiting, huh?
… er, not to imply I’m at all familiar with Metal Gear Solid aside from one or two memes.
Anyway, uh… where were we? Brain Ghost Dirk’s fakeness meter is increasing because ripping the soul out of Aranea’s body is apparently decreasing the power of Jake’s hope field. There’s probably a message to be taken from Aranea artificially hacking the game and how Jake hasn’t truly unlocked his hope powers, but I don’t really feel like writing a giant paragraph about it, because (1) I’ve already said plenty about Aranea in the last few posts and (2) I honestly kind of want to get this post out of the way, because it’s mostly action scenes and is the very last part before the PERFECT point to pause this post series. (MONTHS LATER EDIT: or rather, what would have been the perfect point to pause this post series)ROSE: Mr. Strider?
ROSE: What are you doing to this troll, if I might ask?
DIRK: GET HER THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!
This scene is the closest Rose and Dirk get to having a canonical interaction, which is completely inconsequential trivia that I still felt an obligation to point out.
Rose follows Dirk’s orders and carries the sleeping Roxy, which makes me think about how Roxy is the only character presently in this scene who makes it to the end of the comic. Neither she nor John get to witness large chunks of the catastrophic events following Aranea’s interference, which is a little weird to think about.
[haha oops after this point I stopped working on this post for five months or so]
Terezi is still failing to inflict pain on Gamzee, who seems to have a bottomless supply of purple blood. However, Aranea’s mind control is starting to fade from him, which may mean… something? I forget.
Jane notices Jake’s hope bubble is dwindling and does this:
Jane killing Jake (which turns out to be a neutral death he resurrects from) is something like four callbacks stuffed into one, and it also serves as a demonstration of the Condesce’s tendency to cut to the chase. Evil Jade and Jane have both been interesting demonstrations of the witch’s mannerisms, her ways of getting shit done.
I suppose this would be a good time to talk about Jane’s absurdly brutal and heartless portrayal in Homestuck^2. Want to know what I think of Homestuck^2’s portrayal of Jane? It’s COMPLETELY STUPID and MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO FUCKING SENSE!!!!!!!!! Homestuck^2 is a miserably bad trainwreck that completely butchers each and every single character that appears in it, reducing most of them to wonky extrapolations upon their most basic and superficial traits. Jane, however, is an odd one out: her personality is completely overwritten to be a flat, monstrous villain, probably helped in part by that whole dumb meme of “lol who cares about Jane she’s not a character hahahahahahaha”. And much worse than all this, a recent update of Homestuck^2 features the phrase “each other” spelled as “eachother”—seriously, who the hell DOES that?!
… I may have gotten carried away with this rant. The bottom line is, Homestuck^2 is abysmal and we should all forget it exists. Let’s move on.
With Jake dead, Brain Ghost Dirk dissipates, but his anime sword remains. I forget, did I ever talk about how the Unbreakable Katana is probably a juju? If I haven’t, then let me say this: the Unbreakable Katana is probably a juju. It’s intricately woven into the story’s plot and various iterations of it (probably mostly the same iteration) have played a role in such crucial moments as Dave’s bro initiating the beta kids’ scratch, Bec Noir’s massive rampage, dream Dirk’s rebellion on Derse, Jane and Jake’s death in [S] GAME OVER, the Condesce’s demise, a whole bunch of things I’m probably forgetting, culminating in Dave’s 3x decapitation combo where the sword fails to live up to its name.
Callback to Tavros’s death, complete with Terezi bouncing in surprise at the body’s massive PLOP.
… wait, I mean the body’s massive DEAD. There, that’s more like it.
Released from Aranea’s mind control, Gamzee makes a surprised expression, which I can’t bring myself to analyze because every square inch of his body is still covered in plot armor.
[after this took another break for a few weeks, then started working on this again on December 30 because I wanted to finish this post before the end of 2020]ARANEA: Good GRIEF, that was painful.
It’s a small detail, but I really like that Aranea says “good grief” here, rather than “holy shit” or “god damn” or something similarly profane. It shows exactly what Vriska said in the last post: she’s a nerdy bookworm who suddenly decided to flip the badass switch and expects people to take her seriously.
Jane attacks Aranea (not shown), and Terezi gets ready to attack Gamzee, only for him to say the following:GAMZEE: TeReZi…
GAMZEE: PlEaSe StOp.
GAMZEE: YoU’rE mOtHeRfUcKiN…
GAMZEE: hUrTiNg Me. :o(
Excuse me… what the fuck? Why the fuck? How the FUCK?
It’s completely pointless to try to decipher Gamzee’s motives in this scene. Instead, I’ll try to decipher Hussie’s motives. My guess with this scene is that the author is pulling the leg of fans who sympathize with this shitty clown for some incomprehensible reason. He has talked plenty in his Homestuck book commentary about the intent behind Gamzee: a loathsome (I like that spelling better than “loathesome”) joke character made for fans to go “haha he will NEVER become evil” and then they spit out their cereal. Now that Gamzee has been evil for long enough, Hussie has started doing whatever he wants with that guy, mostly using him as a heavily armored plot device. I don’t think it’s that strange for Gamzee to randomly revert to his old personality, considering the complete nonsense his entire story arc has been. Who cares why he momentarily did that? I sure as hell don’t.
Terezi apparently falls for Gamzee’s reversion, and drops her cane in tears.TEREZI: OH…
TEREZI: OH GOD
TEREZI: WH4T H4V3 1 DON3
Are these the sort of interactions Terezi and Gamzee regularly had during their hate relationship? I don’t think it’s unlikely. She probably found it somehow arousing how wrong it was for the goofy juggalo troll to be doing all this to her.
Aranea intercepts Jane’s attack by putting her to sleep, and is unamused at her apparently very loud snoring. Why does Crockertier Jane snore so loudly? Probably an unintended consequence of the tiaratop’s alterations to her brain.
Terezi apologizes to Gamzee, but he responds by snapping back out of it:
I imagine Hussie got quite a laugh out of reading fans’ essays analyzing Gamzee’s motives in this scene. I’m not going to write such an essay, because what is there to even say? This is such an obvious prank pulled on Gamzee apologists, which is a type of Homestuck fan that exists for some reason.
When a Serket loses her glasses, THAT’S how you know shit just got real.
While asleep, Jane manages to hassle Aranea and even get her in a headlock. I imagine the Condesce is probably controlling Jane to do this; I doubt she’s merely sleepwalking.
Caliborn’s stardust glitches didn’t stop being a thing or anything.
Free from mind control, Gamzee clobbers Terezi while Jane struggles to leave a dent on Aranea. Horrific and amusing respectively.
The callback to John’s resurrection is so obvious that we aren’t losing much to the glitches.
And of course, the glitches just HAVE to reach their apex at a critical moment: Brain Ghost Dirk’s unbreakable katana didn’t stop being a thing or anything, nor did the rule that god tiers resurrect if their death is not deemed heroic or just.
The glitches conveniently obfuscate an especially nasty blow dealt on Terezi.ROSE: GAMZEE!
ROSE: STOP THAT!!
ROSE: Or, wait.
At long last, Rose attempts to stop this madness, in a way much unlike her whole crazy rebellion grimdark arc (“grimdarc” for short) in Act 5 Act 2. She’s now far more concerned with trying to do the right thing, whatever it is.
ROSE: Is this some sort of blackrom thing?
ROSE: I certainly hope not.
ROSE: What did Kanaya tell you about this quadrant?
ROSE: Does it really involve such gruesome fisticuffs?
ROSE: I can’t remember!
ROSE: I was probably drunk during that particular lesson.
ROSE: What am I saying.
ROSE: I was drunk for all the lessons!
ROSE: Ugh, what a disgrace.
ROSE: I am the actual worst auspistice who ever lived.
ROSE: THE ACTUAL WORST!!!
KANAYA: [Insert Lengthy Wall Of Text Explaining The Nuances Of Auspisticism Here]
Rose is easily smart enough to read up on the workings of quadrants herself. It’s a total cakewalk compared to those Lovecraftian monsters and the workings of Sburb and whatnot. She didn’t need Kanaya to explain all this to her. She just wanted to space out listening to her girlfriend’s lengthy words while chugging glass after glass of liquor. I imagine those lessons all went something like this:
ROSE: Hehehe,, Kaneeya. Ur so verbo…, versbo-s-…. vreb– wordy.
ROSE: Pleas explane somme more. 😉
(yes, I made sure to use a misspelling of Kanaya’s name that’s not included in Homestuck)
This panel is interesting because you can barely make out Terezi getting back on her feet to backflip and catch Gamzee off guard. Or is it Gamzee picking Terezi up again and suplexing her? I think it’s the latter, but it’s kind of confusing. You can much more easily make out Jake watching the scene in worried confusion.
Very interesting cartoon physics in this panel. Amidst all their wrestling, Gamzee somehow generates a massive push of upwards momentum to make him and Terezi catapult at about three times their height. I like to think Gamzee’s physics are completely at odds with the rest of the characters, like he’s from a different reality and somehow wound up in Homestuck’s reality.
Note Jake wincing in the middle of the panel.
A panel highly reminiscent of Problem Sleuth and early Homestuck.
Wait… on second thought, maybe it isn’t cartoon physics. It could well be an actual character ability that Gamzee has for probably clown nonsense reasons, as the “ATOMIC DOUBLE JUGGALO BACKBREAKER” text seems to indicate.
It’s easy to forget how absurdly strong Gamzee is. He slammed Terezi’s body into Jade’s tower so hard that he broke one of its chunks apart with lots of residual cracks.
And with that, Terezi almost falls into the lava, as does Jane’s scepter. Kanaya and Karkat finally arrive to the scene, the former enraged and the latter terrified, saying exactly what you’d think he would:KARKAT: TEREZI…
After all this time, Skaian clouds are still SUCH an awesome transition device.
Since the glitches aren’t doing us any good, Jane’s scepter is showing us some interesting scenes in the Skaian clouds. I’ll go over them top to bottom:
- Rose looks determined to fight, presumably wielding her needles and more than ready to end this severely distorted black relationship once and for all.
- Aranea is levitating the sword, or at least I think it’s her doing it. Despite her headlock, she can still use her ghost mind control to her advantage.
- Bec Noir and the Monarch are carrying Jade’s corpse to her quest bed, thinking it will revive her again. This misconception amusingly demonstrates how narrow and rudimentary carapacians’ knowledge of Sburb mechanics is, which I THINK I discussed in my post going over [S] Cascade.* … weird, I thought for sure I did. Maybe it was in some other post.
- Kanaya and Karkat are carrying their weapons, ready to give Gamzee the justice he deserves. Kanaya has the same chainsaw she used to kill Eridan, and Karkat has his good old Thresh Prince sickle, the Homes Smell Ya Later.**
* I read the start of that post and am IMMEDIATELY bombarded with the text, “This image might be symbolic of the Karkat/Gamzee universe cancer thing.” Oh, 17-year-old me.
** Come to think of it, was there such a thing as Thesh Pince on Alternia? I sure hope there was, because believe me, the Fesh Pince of Blair is fucking LEGENDARY.
In the scepter’s last moments of visibility, Gamzee performs an apparent act of mercy on Terezi. This would be far more surprising if he wasn’t such an unapologetic plot device.JAKE: Pardon me…
JAKE: Sir jester?
JAKE: I dont know what this masked bandit has done to deserve such a throttling…
JAKE: Something sufficiently felonious i presume?
JAKE: But it is hard to imagine she has not been punished enough and then some.
JAKE: Perhaps you could um…
JAKE: If its not much bother…
JAKE: See to…
JAKE: Unhanding the lady?
And now Jake is back to being regular old confused Jake, seeing only the best in people. He doesn’t have much he can do here, so Rose steps in.
Aha, so she WAS carrying those needles.ROSE: I don’t care if it IS some sort of grisly courtship ritual.
ROSE: THIS HAS TO STOP!
Rose finally realizes how much of a distraction all this quadrant stuff was and gets down to business, accomplishing the following:
The distance Jake was knocked back helpfully indicates how powerful this explosion was.
And with that, Rose has finally ended Terezi and Gamzee’s kismesissitude (is that how you spell it?), or at least symbolically, just as her inebriated self so hoped. Which is… something I never realized until today? I don’t know how I keep realizing things about Homestuck well over six years after I first read it.
Terezi and Gamzee’s hands are still physically locked together, but that doesn’t stop her from reaching for her trusty cane, finally done with prioritizing Gamzee’s defeat over all else.
Clever use of glitches as a transition device.
Aranea gets ready to do something with that sword, and Gamzee yanks Terezi up to get the dramatic cane retrieval over with.
Gamzee then demonstrates how fed up he is with this nonsense with a curt middle finger reminiscent of his dancestor Kurloz, reminding us he’s still dangerous.
Karkat is enraged and delivers Gamzee his signature flavor of insults, in preparation to finally kill this awful clown:KARKAT: OH ******HELL****** NO
KARKAT: LET HER GO THIS *INSTANT* YOU HEINOUS COD PACKING SHIT MIME!
KARKAT: WE AREN’T GONNA HUG IT OUT *THIS* TIME BRO, I’LL TELL YOU THAT MUCH RIGHT FUCKING NOW!!!
This moment is intercepted by the arrival of an awaited figure, known for her tendency to cut to the chase and get shit over with. Wait, I mean a sweet, loving fictional baking mascot who John hates for no reason. Sorry, I don’t know what got to me.ARANEA: Oh shit.
Coming from Aranea, the line “Oh shit.” carries a lot of weight. When she says “oh shit” instead of something like “good grief”, that’s when you know that, in the words of, oh let’s say Cherub Ernest Hemingway, “theres problems”.
(I am almost certain Cherub Ernest Hemingway said that.)
This is it, folks. The Condesce’s battleship is in plain sight, and the witch herself is in the center, ready to conclude this tense, thrilling scene.
The first two people the Condesce notices in this scene are her loyal heiress and her most unwanted intruder. The perfect combination of people fighting to set the Condesce off. It sure would be weird if Homestuck paused for an entire year after such a cliffhanger…
Note that most characters are covered by Caliborn’s curtains, but the Condesce and her battleship aren’t. A perfect example of villains breaking the fourth wall, which I only realized today.
… and what do you know, Homestuck DID pause for an entire year after this cliffhanger! Such is the conclusion of Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 2, and the conclusion of pre-Gigapause Homestuck. I’ll take some time to reflect on all this before recapping this act (sub-sub-intermission, whatever, who cares).
During the year-long Gigapause—July 2014 to be specific—I read Homestuck for the first time, at least under a generous definition of “read”. As such, the panel above is extremely memorable to me. It feels weird that it now has the text “> ACT 6 ACT 6 ACT 3” below it, even though it’s been there for six years.
The first time I read Homestuck… man, it feels like a LIFETIME ago. And to be fair, six years is a pretty long time, but it’s still crazy how much I’ve been through during that time. What’s craziest is, I started my Homestuck blog post series only a year after I first read Homestuck, before the comic itself ended, and it’s been five years and three months and I’m still not done!!! For some perspective, the Gigapause began four years and six months into Homestuck’s run, and ended exactly a year later. Much like Homestuck itself, my Homestuck blog post series has gone through numerous pauses, the longest one almost twice as long as the Gigapause (a year and ten months). It feels completely surreal to have finally made it to the last page of Homestuck when I first read it. When I first devised this post series on a bike ride home from high school*, I thought I would reach this point after a year or two at most. But it took five years instead! How weird is that?!
* I don’t know about you, but I’ve come up with LOTS of creative projects while riding a bike, some that came to fruition and some that didn’t.
That said, I’m sure this surreal feeling of reaching the Gigapause’s cutoff point will be eclipsed when I finish my Homestuck blog post series, whenever that may be. My guess is that I will finish these posts around August 2021 at the earliest, and August 2022 at the latest. Who knows what’s going to happen during that time frame? 2020 has been a long, grueling year, and I thought it would be nice to cap it off with this post. As much as I like to gripe about it, Homestuck is incredibly near and dear to me. I wouldn’t be where I am now without Homestuck—in fact, I dread to imagine where I would be without Homestuck. And even though Homestuck^2 is complete garbage, I still have a fun time critiquing it and complaining about how little sense it makes, as well as appreciating its very occasional good moments. If you’re wondering about Hiveswap Act 2, I haven’t played it but I imagine I’ll have a reasonably fun time with it and then forget about it.
Now, before I get too carried away here, I’m going to recap A6A6I2, then talk about what reaching this point means for my post series.
Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 2 is a substantial change of pace from the prior parts of Act 6. It’s a lot more focused on action scenes and callbacks to the early acts, with minimal dialogue except for some delicious morality conversations between first Meenah and Aranea, then Meenah and Vriska. Leading up to the Gigapause where he took a break from doing Homestuck-related things, I can tell Hussie wanted to do something different for a change before this pause. It’s quite a jarring change, but it’s as fun to read as any other part of Homestuck is.
This recap wasn’t very long, but I don’t think it needed to be long. I have a few more things to say before I conclude this post.
My Homestuck blog posts after this one will likely read quite differently from before, because from here on out, these are pages that I read as they came out, not archivally. Expect a lot more discussion on how I thought about things then compared to now, and some honest criticism on the direction the story went in. And since this is such a turning point for this post series, it’s only natural for the series to get its fourth and final name. At the start of 2016 (start of Act 5 Act 2), when I reworked my posting style to be more detailed in-line commentary instead of long paragraphs, Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck became Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary. In December 2018 (middle of Act 6 Act 3), when I resumed these posts from a pause of nearly two years, Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary became Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck. What name will I use at the start of 2021, when I go over post-Gigapause Homestuck? You’ll just have to wait and see.
I should also note that starting from my next post, I will be using the absolutely wonderful Unofficial Homestuck Collection instead of reading Homestuck in a browser. The Homestuck Collection, if you don’t know, is the current definitive way to read Homestuck, fixing each and every one of the numerous issues with Homestuck’s website in a custom browser format, and it came out just two months ago. Click on the link to learn what all the collection offers and download it right now!
And since I always say it: see you next time—next year, rather—as Caliborn showcases the latest installment of his fine art. May or may not include [S] GAME OVER, haven’t decided yet. EDIT: Next post does not include GAME OVER, that’ll be in the post after that.