Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 119: Denizen Persuasion and Footwear Theft

Introduction

< Part 118 | Part 119 | Part 120 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 4, Part 2 of 8

Pages 7007-7058

“H3R SHO3S W3R3 R3D, SP4RKLY, 4ND D3L1C1OUS. 1 4M ONLY FL3SH 4ND BLOOD”
—Terezi Pyrope, 2014

The secondary storyline of Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 4 focuses on Jade and Calliope (later also Jane) sharing stories in dream bubbles, feeding readers hints before the grand reveal that concludes the act, by which I obviously mean the sub-sub-intermission.

Oh yeah, the trollsona stuff is a thing too. I’ll talk about all that when the characters themselves discuss trollsonas, whenever that is, I forget when. For now I’ll discuss Jade and Calliope’s conversation about their childhoods.

… actually, I have very little to say about this scene so far. It’s just Jade and Calliope saying stuff we already knew about their upbringings.

JADE: when i was a kid i grew up with plants all around me
JADE: but i was very lucky… i guess i took all the nice things about my life on this island for granted
JADE: i even had my own garden where i grew flowers and vegetables and fruits and such
JADE: that is all i ever ate, the things i grew myself
CALLIOPE: ooh!
JADE: but i will admit to having developed a taste for meat since becoming a dog <_<;
CALLIOPE: meat is very good.
CALLIOPE: for all the complaints i might have aboUt my childhood, near exclUsive sUbsistance Upon raw flesh is not one.
CALLIOPE: bUt then, i am sUre that comes with the territory of being a monster. heh.


I do want to say that I’ve always been a sucker for scenes in any media (such as the one above) where characters talk about food. Food is just such a joy to talk about—if you have a conversation with someone about food, chances are you’ll learn a lot of interesting things about that person you wouldn’t have learned otherwise. At least that’s true for me, not sure about you. Food is only rarely talked about in Homestuck, which means the occasional times characters do talk about food tend to be very charming.

Now this is a fun reimagination of Jade’s childhood atrium in Calliope’s art style. It’s the very same location we first got to know Jade in, back when she was the “silly girl” who’s all mysteriously psychic and stuff. Kind of weird that I still don’t have to say a lot about this Jade scene. I guess I’m just a little biased, by which I mean extremely biased, towards talking about John.

CALLIOPE: please tell me aboUt yoUr garden!
JADE: my grandpa set it up for me in the atrium

JADE: i would spend hours tending to my plants and playing music for them
JADE: it was one of the places where i was the happiest i can remember being
JADE: i miss that garden
CALLIOPE: what happened to it?
JADE: it blew up
JADE: and then i built my house waaaay up, on top of where it used to be
JADE: in the years since that happened i thought about rebuilding it
JADE: as a way to pass the time on my long lonely journey…
JADE: but i was too depressed to grow anything


I suppose it’s worth pointing out this first clue that we may not be following the same Jade who died before Game Over. At this point, it’s plausible that Jade was merely more depressed during the battleship journey in which she dated Davesprite than she had let on, but her elaboration upon this story will soon make the truth clear.

After writing paragraphs upon paragraphs about John and Caliborn, it’s nice to go through a scene involving their respective sisters at a much brisker pace.

Jade then encounters a memory of Caliborn’s tooth, which reminds her of a different version of Calliope who she had apparently met. I think I’m starting to realize this scene would probably be much more fun to comment on had I been reading it for the first time or forgotten all the details.

JADE: im quite sure now that we met once before while i was asleep
JADE: it was you, and yet…
JADE: it wasnt
CALLIOPE: do yoU mean to say yoU saw my trUe appearance?
JADE: i think so
CALLIOPE: egad.
CALLIOPE: i hope i didn’t frighten yoU.
JADE: i was a little scared at first actually
JADE: but it was not so much because of what you looked like
CALLIOPE: :u
JADE: your voice was the same
JADE: and i can tell now that you are basically the same person she was
JADE: yet…
JADE: you seemed so different
JADE: so much more
JADE: serious
JADE: also…
JADE: you were a god tier!


The line that I bolded is interesting because I always imagine god tier Calliope having a much deeper voice than regular Calliope. I guess this goes to show that these two versions of Calliope are effectively separate characters, which makes it difficult to imagine them having the same voice.

Oh yeah, it’s BRILLIANT and FASCINATING that Jade and Calliope are both space players and have the common trait of missing out on big chunks of the story!!! And by brilliant and fascinating, I mean annoying and dumb. I think Jade’s character shines by far the strongest in Act 5 Act 2, the only part of the story where she gets to experience all the action without being grimbark or asleep. She has a lot of awesome scenes in that act with plenty of humor and emotion and action and fun, but through most of the rest of Homestuck, she’s shafted into the sleeping world which to me isn’t so much of an artistic statement about the varying shapes of character arcs as it is Hussie sidelining her out of laziness. Likewise, shafting Jade was one of my least favorite things about the epilogues, and Homestuck^2 worsened matters because HEHE JADE IS A FURRY LOL THAT’S ALL THERE IS TO HER CHARACTER NOW.

As for Calliope, it’s cute that she has so much in common with Jade, but her shafting is just as annoying as Jade’s shafting. Again like Jade, I don’t like that the epilogues shafted Calliope, except for her it’s worse because even during the Snapchat credits she’s already relegated to being an excuse for Roxy and John not to get together. I guess it’s nice to see Jade and Calliope bond over their shafting, but… well, let’s hope I have more interesting things to say about their following scenes.

JADE: what do you think it means callie?
JADE: if that was you… but not QUITE you… then who was it?
CALLIOPE: that was a version of myself i coUld have become, bUt for whatever reason, did not.
CALLIOPE: she is the one i am sUpposed to find.
CALLIOPE: bUt it woUld seem yoU foUnd her first.
JADE: i see
JADE: an alternate universe version of yourself?
CALLIOPE: yes.
CALLIOPE: the version who was able to defeat my brother before he coUld commit his mayhem.
JADE: that makes sense
JADE: no wonder she was so…
JADE: well
JADE: no offense to her, but you are much friendlier 🙂
CALLIOPE: i was that bad, was i?
CALLIOPE: or, ahem. she?


Oh yeah, Calliope has this whole arc of feeling inferior to her god tier self, just like her arc about insecurity over her cherubic appearance. I guess both of those arcs are resolved by Roxy talking her out of it in A6A6I5? I’ve always felt Roxy was overwhelmingly positive throughout A6A6I5, like Hussie decided to continue the whole “lowkey EXTREMELY likable Roxy” thing, except he laid it so absurdly thick that it stopped being lowkey, thereby ruining the charm. Or maybe I’m just a tiny bit biased towards Roxy’s interactions with John.

… wait, Roxy isn’t even in this scene, why am I talking about her. Don’t get me wrong, I like Jade and Calliope’s characters a lot! It’s just that in this particular scene I’m getting very distracted with loosely related tangents.

Jade goes on to mention that both versions of Calliope are passionate storytellers and then offers to start an artistic storytelling session, to which Calliope eagerly concedes. She gets out the dream memory of her ~ATH book turned art journal, which is quite a nice callback. Jade says that god tier Calliope told her a story about John, which leads to the wham line:

Note that the dream memory of the ~ATH book doesn’t contain any irate instructional text about programming, which makes sense because it’s based on Calliope’s memory and she viewed that book as a blank slate to draw anything in.

JADE: this is the story about how he died


I clearly remember reading this line when this Homestuck update first came out all the way back in 2014. However, I don’t clearly recollect my initial reaction to it. I think my first guess was that Jade was talking about a version of John from a different timeline, as in a different timeline from the one this version of Jade is from. I definitely hadn’t put the pieces together that this Jade is from a timeline where John died, so in a way I was half-right, I think? In any case, this is a suitable cliffhanger to end this scene on. Now back to the main storyline of A6A6I4, which is totally not 500 million times more fun to analyze than this one is!

TEREZI: TH3 POW3RS YOU W3R3 T4LK1NG 4BOUT 34RL13R
JOHN: huh???
TEREZI: DO NOT HUH M3 3GB3RT
TEREZI: YOU LOOK L1K3 4N 1D1OT, BUT W3 BOTH KNOW YOU 4R3 NO FOOL
JOHN: hey!
ROXY: i wouldnt argue w her john
ROXY: shes all bloody and she clearly means business
JOHN: er…
JOHN: ok, you’re right.
JOHN: yes, terezi. i agree to the fact that i look like an idiot.
JOHN: primarily because you seem badly wounded and angry.
JOHN: are you sure you’re ok?
TEREZI: SHUT UP!!!
TEREZI: ON ROS3’S R41NBOW C4NDY PL4N3T
TEREZI: YOU 4PP34R3D 4ND S41D YOU H4D TH3 4B1L1TY TO CH4NG3 TH1NGS
TEREZI: TO 4LT3R H1STORY W1THOUT DOOM1NG TH3 T1M3L1N3


This scene opens with Terezi forcefully getting down to business, perfectly demonstrating her characteristically sharp mind. However, John quickly notices something amiss:

JOHN: oh.
JOHN: yeah.
JOHN: the thing with that is, um…
JOHN: wait a minute.
JOHN: terezi, are…
JOHN: are those jade’s shoes???


John upholds his pattern of getting worked up about the weirdest things, as the three question marks instead of one in this passage indicate. Terezi’s response is also very characteristic of her:

TEREZI: M4YB3
JOHN: maybe?????
TEREZI: Y3S
JOHN: yes as in yes??
JOHN: or yes as in maybe?!
TEREZI: Y3S 4S 1N M4YB3


By “maybe”, Terezi evidently means, “yes, but does it really matter?” That single word fits very naturally with her long-running love of mind games. She doesn’t confirm or deny that she’s wearing Jade’s shoes, which serves to tell John that he has much more important things to worry about than this apparent footwear theft. Much like how I have much more important things to worry about than Terezi’s sudden use of apostrophes. Hussie changed Terezi’s typing quirk due to presumably oversight, blah blah, who cares.

JOHN: terezi.
JOHN: why are you wearing jade’s shoes?
JOHN: WHERE’S JADE?!
TEREZI: J4D3’S D34D


John persists in getting to the bottom of this shoe mystery, because that’s obviously his biggest concern. However, it so happens that this trivial concern is how he learns that all his friends are dead.

This face, man. It’s the face of pure Egbertian shock and despair combined. He and Terezi echo Jake’s conversation with Dirk’s responder—the same conversation in which the latter named himself Lil Hal—as follows:

JOHN: aw, man.
JOHN: not jade too.
JOHN: are you sure?
TEREZI: Y3S JOHN
JOHN: you mean like DEAD dead?
TEREZI: 3V3RYBODY’S D34D, JOHN
JOHN: everybody??
JOHN: even dave???!!!
TEREZI: H3’S D34D, JOHN
TEREZI: 3V3RYBODY’S D34D
TEREZI: 3V3RYBODY 1S D34D, JOHN
JOHN: so…
JOHN: jade, dave, karkat… they’re all…
JOHN: EVEN THE CUTE MAYOR GUY WHO DAVE LOVES SO MUCH??????
TEREZI: JOHN L3T’S NOT DO TH1S


I think this whole “everybody’s dead” exchange is a reference to some movie, but I can’t for the life of me remember which one. Not that it matters much. It’s pretty crazy that John has to be told about all these deaths. His missing out on the events of Game Over reminds me of how it took two years into the battleship journey for him to learn who Lord English is.

JOHN: dammit.
JOHN: well, did you actually take jade’s pulse?
JOHN: you know, she does like to sleep a lot.


The last line of this passage is one that I very specifically remember feeling a need to quote in an early Homestuck post from over five years ago. I had said back then:

Interestingly, Jade seems to retain the habit of sleeping a lot even after the timespan in which the trolls can view the kids; in Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 4, John says, “you know, [jade] does like to sleep a lot.”

Reading this passage now, I think of John’s statement about Jade’s frequent sleeping a lot more in meta narrative terms; as part of the common pattern of Jade sleeping through all the action, which as I said earlier in this post I am not a big fan of. Narrative discussion aside, I don’t find it too surprising that Jade is still such a heavy sleeper. She grew up on an island in the middle of nowhere, do you expect her to learn how normal people schedule their sleep? I really could have said so much more than I did in those early acts posts. That is exactly why I started working on a project of rewriting those posts, which I’ve been sitting on for over a year.

Oh yeah, it obviously feels really weird finally getting to this line that I had quoted so long ago. Blah blah blah, I didn’t expect this post series to go on for five years and counting, you know the drill.

TEREZI: 1 SN1FF3D BOTH H3R 4ND D4V3’S PO1GN4NTLY OV3RL4PP1NG TORSOS V3RY C4R3FULLY FOR 4 HUM4N PULS3
TEREZI: 4L4S 1 FOUND NON3 >:[


As we saw in Murderstuck, Terezi never lets a murder go without thoroughly investigating it. This line has very broad implications regarding her resilience and determination to resolve this situation. I can only imagine she investigated all the corpses she could find on Jade’s planet before moving on.

JOHN: oh.
JOHN: and then…
JOHN: you decided to take her shoes.
TEREZI: Y3S
JOHN: and you thought that was an appropriate thing to do…
JOHN: why, exactly?
TEREZI: JOHN, H3R SHO3S W3R3 R3D, SP4RKLY, 4ND D3L1C1OUS
TEREZI: 1 4M ONLY FL3SH 4ND BLOOD


And then to prove she’s really Terezi Pyrope and not some bozo impersonating her, she finally admits to having looted the delicious bright red shoes from Jade’s corpse. I love, love, LOVE the last two lines of this passage, if it wasn’t obvious by the fact that I quoted them at the start of this post. She just has no shame in admitting her massive adoration for bright red things—it’s a fundamental part of her identity.

JOHN: ugh, you are such a weirdo.
JOHN: why are all troll girls so WEIRD?!
JOHN: every single one i have met is some kind of depraved lunatic.


John is humorously frustrated with how weird troll girls are, which only makes sense since he’s not a homosexual and all, and at this point rather thirsty for romance. His pattern of aggravation with troll girls is solidified with Terezi, after lots of interactions with Vriska plus a taste of Aradia—three is generally the minimum needed to recognize a pattern after all. It’s also helped by the Beforan trolls he’s gotten to know, Aranea and Meenah.

JOHN: all the troll boys i have met are just lame weenies though.
JOHN: well, except for karkat. karkat was great.
JOHN: may he rest in peace 😦


As for troll boys, John no doubt wishes he can be bros with more of them. It’s very endearing how he always sees only the best in Karkat. He sees Karkat as a lovable friend who often gets into hilarious outbursts without meaning any harm.

TEREZI: DON’T FUCK1NG S4Y TH4T!!!
JOHN: what?!
TEREZI: H3 1S NOT D34D!
JOHN: but, you just said…
TEREZI: 1 M34N, H3 DO3SN’T H4V3 TO B3!
TEREZI: 1 D1D NOT COM3 H3R3 TO B4TH3 1N TH3 R3PUGN4NT 4TT1TUD3 OF 4 D3F34T1ST DORK
TEREZI: 1 C4M3 H3R3 TO FORC3 S41D DORK TO US3 H1S 1NCR3D1BL3 4ND TOT4LLY UNPR3C3D3NT3D POW3RS TO S3T 3V3RYTH1NG R1GHT, 3V3N 1F 1T M34NS ST4BB1NG H1M UNT1L H3 COMPL13S
JOHN: ok! you don’t need to stab me, really!
JOHN: don’t you think i WANT to?
JOHN: we just lost everyone we cared about! of COURSE i want to go back and change things!
JOHN: i just have no idea HOW!!!


Man, John seriously has no idea how powerful he is. I can’t help but think about how the similarly overpowered Jade is shafted so much for that reason, while John gets plenty of time in the spotlight because he just doesn’t know he’s so powerful. I can’t complain that John gets so much screen time because I love John, but I have already complained plenty about how Jade gets so little.

TEREZI: TH4T 1S NOT MY PROBL3M
TEREZI: JUST 4S 4 L4CK OF STYL1SH G3MSTON3 STUDD3D FOOTW34R 1S 4LSO NOT MY PROBL3M, 4S OF PR3C1S3LY TOD4Y
TEREZI: TH3S3 TH1NGS 4R3 YOUR PROBL3MS TO SOLV3
TEREZI: BOTH TH3 P1T14BL3 L4CK OF COMM4ND OV3R YOUR Z4PPY PROW3SS, 4S W3LL 4S TH3 GROT3SQU3 P41R OF B4N4N4 LO4F3RS ON YOUR F33T
JOHN: EARGH, I FRIGGIN’ *HATE* TROLL GIRLS!


I love how Terezi implies John is jealous of her stylish shoes. She knows he’s absurdly weirded out by her theft of Jade’s shoes and teases him about this supposed jealousy without compromising her strong commandeering.

Roxy is looking at the statue of Nix right now, which is probably what inspired her to bring up what she’s about to ask.

Roxy chimes in and asks John the following question:

ROXY: have you ever seen your denizen?


That’s the best fucking question anyone ever asked. I don’t mean it in a joking way. It is a very good question to ask! Denizens were long overdue for a return to relevance and it’s especially weird that John, the actual main alpha timeline John, hasn’t yet seen his when we’re seven thousand pages into the comic. Jade has seen her denizen long ago; Dave has seen his, or maybe only Davesprite has, I can never remember how the whole sword planet quest thing goes; and Rose has of course stubbornly refused to see hers.

JOHN: no.
JOHN: well… i almost did once.
ROXY: what happened
JOHN: i was tricked into going to see him early.
JOHN: by a blind prankstress who shall remain nameless.
TEREZI: >:\


Even during this serious discussion on the topic of denizens, John takes a moment to poke at Terezi. Few things in Homestuck crack me up harder than the many times John and Terezi snark at each other.

JOHN: but at the last minute, i was talked out of it by a pal from the future.
JOHN: i wasn’t ready to see him yet.
JOHN: i would have died if i did.
ROXY: k
ROXY: but like
ROXY: what if u are now
JOHN: what if i’m what?
ROXY: ready
ROXY: i mean
ROXY: if nows not the right time
ROXY: then when even would be


Roxy once again raises one hell of a good point. There is indeed no time where it would be more perfect for John to visit Typheus than now. The time John was initially going to see his denizen was all the way back in Act 4, long before he became a god tier or Vriska started mentoring him or anything like that. His planet quest has been put on the backburner for so long, it’s about time he goes ahead and completes it.

JOHN: i guess you have a point.
JOHN: would that…
JOHN: actually accomplish anything though?
ROXY: dunno man im just spitballin here
ROXY: they are supposed to be these ginormous monsters that you either fight…
ROXY: or you listen to their riddles and they help solve all ur problems or something
ROXY: arent they?
JOHN: uh.
JOHN: more or less?
JOHN: i think their purpose is a bit more mysterious than that, and i guess more, like… majestic?
ROXY: majestic???
JOHN: i don’t know!


Roxy no doubt knows most of this Sburb lore from her many conversations with Calliope, which greatly comes to her benefit here. Did Roxy ever mention in her various friendship conversations after giving Calliope the Ring of Life how cool it is that she knows so many useful things about Sburb lore??? I sure as hell can’t remember, but maybe she did, I don’t remember those conversations well. The bottom line is, Calliope’s character post-resurrection could have been SO much more than it was, but that’s probably something better talked about when we switch perspective to her again.

JOHN: i’m probably not the best guy to ask about denizens. jade met hers, but she’s…
JOHN: a sprite could explain it better than me. didn’t you ever talk to your sprite about them?
ROXY: nah
ROXY: me and fefeta never talked much about that stuff
ROXY: we mainly traded lame puns n talked about our shitty love lives
JOHN: you did?
JOHN: wow, what kind of sprite did you even have??
ROXY: 😦


Yeah, I can’t believe Roxy would sink this low and talk with her sprite about fucking idol anime. Truly the worst possible sprite anyone could have. She and Fefeta didn’t even talk about a good idol anime like the Idolmaster (just joking, I haven’t seen that one).

Dumb jokes aside, downplaying her cool accomplishments and best memories (many of which no doubt involved jamming about whatever with the supposedly highly talkative Fefeta) is one of Roxy’s prime character traits. It’s very endearing.

JOHN: er, never mind.
JOHN: i did not mean to touch upon yet another sad subject.
JOHN: anyway, maybe you’re right, and my denizen could help me with these problems.
JOHN: but at the same time…
JOHN: there are SO MANY problems!
JOHN: even if i learned to control my powers better, we would STILL have to deal with all this glitchy bullshit!
JOHN: i could zap around and fix everything, but if it’s all still garbled, how would i even know it was fixed?!
JOHN: maybe you were right, roxy.
JOHN: what if it’s all too much to overcome this time, even for typheus?
TEREZI: 1 H4V3 H34RD 3NOUGH!
TEREZI: JOHN, YOU H4V3 SL4ND3R3D OUR TROLL M4L3S 4S W33N13S
TEREZI: 4ND WH1L3 1 COULD NOT POSS1BLY D1SPUT3 TH1S CH4R4CT3R1Z4T1ON
TEREZI: TOD4Y 1 L1ST3N TO 3XCUS3S FROM NON3 OTH3R TH4N TH3 SUPR3M3 W33N13 H1MS3LF!
JOHN: :O


John still underestimates his own power—telling himself he’s less powerful than he really is. And we all know that if you believe hard enough in something, it might become slightly less fake. Terezi, however, is quick to talk John out of the idea that his powers can’t overcome this whole gigantic mess, snapping him out of this belief.

TEREZI: YOU W1LL GO S33 YOUR D3N1Z3N 4T ONC3
TEREZI: 4SK H1M TO H3LP YOU UND3RST4ND YOUR POW3RS, 4ND 4CC3PT WH4T3V3R PR1C3 H3 D3M4NDS
TEREZI: TH1S 1S NOT N3GOT14BL3!
JOHN: god, alright!
JOHN: i was going to agree to go see him anyway!
JOHN: can’t a guy just think out loud a bit before making a big decision?
TEREZI: NO
JOHN: wow, ok.
JOHN: my bad i guess???
TEREZI: Y3S
TEREZI: STOP TH1NK1NG, YOU H4V3 4LW4YS B33N T3RR1BL3 4T 1T
TEREZI: L34V3 TH3 M1ND WORK TO M3


Come on, Terezi. Thinking out loud is perfectly fine—in fact, I find it WAY more productive than thinking in your head. There’s just something special about articulating your thoughts out loud to yourself that lets you come to new thoughts and realizations you wouldn’t reach in our head. And by you, I mean me, though maybe that holds true for you as well.

Kind of a side note, but I remember during my old brony phase back in 2013-2014 I had been really into watching these CinemaSins parody videos pointing out “sins” in episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, and one of the most commonly reported sins aside from lens flares was “thinking out loud”. Like Twilight Sparkle or some other pony narrates her thoughts without directing them to anyone and the video’s sin counter would increase as if thinking out loud wasn’t a perfectly normal and rational thing to do. Though maybe given that these videos all now have their titles preceded by “(Parody)”, it might have been the joke that there’s nothing actually bad about thinking out loud? Who knows, just thought it would be fun to point out. Also worth noting that just a few months ago I finally got back into MLP:FiM and the show is every bit as good as I remember it being.

Hey, don’t look at me funny. My Little Pony is a big part of why I even got into Homestuck. I was drawn to Homestuck as a new thing to obsess over after getting driven out of my brony phase. You can thank the funny horse show for these posts existing in the first place. Or curse the show, if you hate my posts and are reading them out of masochism.

JOHN: fine, then i guess it’s settled.
JOHN: i will go to lowas and see my denizen.
JOHN: but what will you guys do?
TEREZI: PROB4BLY NOTH1NG
JOHN: nothing?
TEREZI: 1F YOU 4R3 SUCC3SSFUL
TEREZI: TH3N W3 W1LL STOP 3X1ST1NG
TEREZI: 1 DOUBT 1T W1LL B3 L1K3 H4V1NG TO L1V3 TH3 R3ST OF OUR L1V3S 1N 4 DOOM3D T1M3L1N3
TEREZI: T3CHN1C4LLY TH4T 1S WH4T W3 4R3 DO1NG R1GHT NOW
TEREZI: 1 PR3SUM3 TH4T S1NC3 YOU H4V3 B33N 3NDOW3D W1TH TH3 4B1L1TY TO R3WR1T3 C4US4L1TY, NOT UNL1K3 TH3 M3CH4N1SM B3H1ND TH3 SCR4TCH
TEREZI: 3V3RYTH1NG 4S 1T 1S NOW W1LL S1MPLY C34S3 TO B3


Interesting that Terezi compares the retcon to the Scratch. Those two mechanisms have a common feature of bifurcating the story and much of the cast of Homestuck, leaving some characters alive on one side and some on the other side with hardly anyone getting to meet their self from the other side. For the scratch, Jane meets her pre-scratch self (Nannasprite) who is herself bifurcated by the retcon; for the retcon, there’s of course the infamous encounter between Vriska and (Vriska), the latter of whom at this point in the story is still Vriska.

JOHN: what do you think you will do with the time you have left?
ROXY: ummmm
ROXY: idk shit around all melancholy for a spell
ROXY: question my life choices
ROXY: probly bury my mom somewhere in the desert
ROXY: give her a quick funeral
ROXY: says goodbye to her an everything else
ROXY: and then
ROXY: curl up into a ball
ROXY: and wait to unexist?
JOHN: holy shit that’s the saddest thing i’ve ever heard!
JOHN: argh, why’d you even have to tell me that!
ROXY: hey u asked
JOHN: no, that sucks!
JOHN: don’t do that.
ROXY: meh why not
JOHN: because it’s a stupid plan for crappy idiots. [typo fixed by me]


Here, we have John do something incredibly admirable: he stubbornly refuses to let Roxy unexist. He clearly isn’t only doing this out of romantic interest. He knows that with her firsthand witnessing of much of the mayhem that went down, she’ll be a very valuable asset to the successful post-retcon alpha session. She and John both have an account of the worst way things could possibly go down, so they can provide a lot of pointers on how not to let that happen again. Matches with the common saying that those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.

ROXY: j f C what a burn
ROXY: i think i might cease to exist just from that burn
JOHN: yes, laugh at my truly sick burn if you must, but everyone’s getting on my case for being so defeatist, and THAT’S the best plan you can come up with?
ROXY: i didnt get on your case for being defeatist tho
ROXY: i was actin tons more defeatist than u on account of the emotions from my moms tragic corpse
ROXY: the trolls been the one bustin your windsock remember
TEREZI: 1T’S TRU3
TEREZI: 1 H4V3 B33N DO1NG TH4T


Another important reason John wants Roxy to stay alive is because he doesn’t want her to be let off the hook for her defeatism. Like we saw when he zapped into the canon of Homosuck, perhaps he doesn’t think it’s right for Roxy to just follow him around like she’s one of fake Dave’s loyal crew of bitches.

JOHN: yeah, i just think…
JOHN: no matter who’s going to stop existing when, if i do something proactive, then you should too!
JOHN: even if only on principle.
ROXY: …..
ROXY: such as?
JOHN: why don’t you go see your denizen too?
ROXY: wat
JOHN: that’s your denizen there, isn’t it?
ROXY: no thats a statue
JOHN: yes, i know it’s a statue.
JOHN: i mean, it is a depiction of her, right?
ROXY: oh
ROXY: yeh
JOHN: so if i’m going to see mine, why don’t you go see yours too?


John just came up with a great idea! He reciprocates Roxy’s suggestion for him to see his denizen because he sees a lot of heroism and courage in her, far more than in himself. He proceeds to bring up a lot of different ideas, like her ongoing quest to create a matriorb, phasing out of reality so she can enter the retconned session unharmed, and even doing a “voidey thing”, all of which she’s rather doubtful about. But he’s very much right that Roxy still has a lot to learn regarding her void powers and what all she could accomplish with them! After some more back and forth, John presents her the following deal:

JOHN: it just feels shitty leaving you here to have a sad funeral, and then stop existing.
ROXY: sometimes john
ROXY: u just gotta throw a sad funeral for ur dead teen mom and then stop existing
ROXY: LE SHRUG
JOHN: le shrug my LA BUTT!
JOHN: i’m not going to see my denizen unless you agree to see yours.
JOHN: that is the deal, and that’s final.


With this line, John demonstrates his natural knack for persuasion. It doesn’t take a lot of convincing for John to do what others tell him, but Roxy is much more the obstinate type. John manages to convince her regardless, all through seeing the best in her.

ROXY: daaamn son
ROXY: as in, damn, LITERAL offspring of some peeps i kno
ROXY: shit be strict
TEREZI: 4L1V3 L4LOND3, JUST DO WH4T H3 S4YS
TEREZI: PO1NTL3SS OBST1N4CY 1S 4 SH4R3D F4M1L14L TR41T WH1CH 1S MOST UNW3LCOM3 4T TH1S T1M3


Terezi is quick to notice patterns and commonalities in Homestuck’s reality. She had a lot of experience going back and forth with Dave on such matters as the whole coin flip thing and heroism stuff and I forget what else. She doesn’t even present Roxy an additional argument of her own; she basically just goes “yeah, what John said”.

ROXY: ok fiiine
ROXY: ima go see some big ass goddess of the night if itll make u get this show on the stinkin road aready!
JOHN: thank you.
JOHN: that is all i ask.
ROXY: so uh
ROXY: now?
JOHN: i…
JOHN: hmm.
JOHN: i guess?
ROXY: hmm
ROXY: like this exact actual second then
JOHN: um.
JOHN: i don’t know.
JOHN: probably?
ROXY: alright
ROXY: i guess we should like
ROXY: go then
JOHN: yeah.
JOHN: no time like the present, right?
ROXY: right
JOHN: then, um.
JOHN: so hey.
JOHN: if this works, and i somehow erase you from history…
JOHN: i mean, this version of you…
ROXY: haha
ROXY: yeah
ROXY: if that happens then uh
JOHN: it was nice to meet you… ?
TEREZI: TH1S 1S FUCK1NG BRUT4L
ROXY: 😕


John and Roxy find it obligatory to give each other parting words before they head off, but they both awkwardly stutter, having no idea what to say to each other. In their defense, what are you supposed to say to a potential love interest you met less than a day ago who you might end up erasing from existence? Or to a potential love interest you met less than a day ago who might end up erasing you from existence? There’s no established protocol for what to do or say in such a scenario.

TEREZI: 1 4M NOT 4BOUT TO SP3ND MY F1N4L MOM3NTS SLOWLY BL33D1NG TO D34TH WH1L3 TWO HUM4N DORKS OBL1V1OUS TO TH31R OWN P41NFULLY 3V1D3NT ROM4NT1C T3NS1ON FUMBL3 THROUGH 4 DR4WN OUT S3R13S OF 4WKW4RD GOODBY3S
TEREZI: D1DN’T YOU JUST M33T, L1K3 TOD4Y??
JOHN: y….. um…
ROXY: um…. y….
TEREZI: J3GUS, SOM3ON3 FLOG M3 W1TH 4NOTH3R SH1TTY CLOWN, 1 C4N’T T4K3 ON3 MOR3 M1NUT3 W1TH YOU 4DOR4BL3 DW33BS
TEREZI: YOU C4UGHT M3 4T TH3 B444D T1M3, 3GB3RT 4ND L4LOND3. 4NY OTH3R D4Y 1 WOULD B3 T34S1NG YOU 4BOUT TH1S 1N 4 PL4YFUL 4TT3MPT TO M4K3 YOU BOTH UNCOMFORT4BL3, WH1L3 G1GGL1NG M4N14C4LLY
TEREZI: BUT LOOK 4T M3
TEREZI: 1 S41D LOOK 4T M3
TEREZI: DO3S TH1S STR1K3 YOU 4S 4 F4C3 WH1CH 1S PR3P4R3D TO G1GGL3 M4N14C4LLY???
ROXY: ._.


Terezi refuses to let these two merely give awkward goodbyes. It’s so obvious that they have massive crushes on each other and it hilariously falls into Terezi’s hands to get them to realize as much.

TEREZI: 1 4M D3CL4R1NG TH1S M33T1NG OF TR4G1C Y3T 4DOR4BL3 FUCKUPS COMPL3T3LY 4ND UTT3RLY 4DJOURN3D
TEREZI: NOW S4Y GOODBY3
TEREZI: Y3S TH3R3 YOU GO, JUST L1K3 TH4T
TEREZI: H3Y
TEREZI: WH4T, YOU’R3 JUST GO1NG TO W4LK 4W4Y?
TEREZI: HOW 4BOUT 4 HUG
TEREZI: Y3S, TH3 TH1NG YOU DO W1TH YOUR 4RMS
TEREZI: NO, NOT M3! DON’T TOUCH M3
TEREZI: W1TH 34CH OTH3R
TEREZI: OK, JUST 4 L1TTL3 CLOS3R, 4ND…
TEREZI: TH3R3 YOU GO!


What would be a heartwarming hug between John and Roxy is totally trampled on with hilarity as Terezi struggles to get them to hug without letting us see it. A hug is the most obvious thing you could possibly do in a scenario like this, and the fact that it didn’t occur to John or Roxy to hug before parting ways only increases how much absolute dorks they both are, which in a way helps them come off as shippy.

TEREZI: TH1S 1SN’T BL4STOFF R3S34RCH, P3OPL3
TEREZI: 4LR1GHT, 1 TH1NK TH4T’S GO1NG TO DO 1T
TEREZI: TH3 GOODBY3 H4S B33N S3CUR3D
TEREZI: 1 M34N R34LLY
TEREZI: HOW DO YOU 3V3N FUNCT1ON ON 4 D4Y TO D4Y B4S1S W1THOUT M3
TEREZI: HOW DO3S 4NYBODY?
TEREZI: HMM
TEREZI: M4YB3 TH3Y D1DN’T?
TEREZI: 1 GU3SS TH4T 3XPL41NS TH3 M3SS W3’R3 1N. FUCK1NG 3UR3K4!


It always sucks to be the only party member who understands a simple and straightforward topic. It makes it incredibly frustrating to explain that topic to those who don’t, without a single person to back you up. Terezi frequently falls into such scenarios; the epilogues show full force how messed up things can get without her around.

Roxy goes off to see her denizen. John almost does the same, but Terezi stops him.

TEREZI: DON’T YOU TH1NK W3 SHOULD GO OV3R TH3 4CTU4L PL4N F1RST?
JOHN: er.
JOHN: i thought we just did that?
JOHN: i’m going to see typheus.
TEREZI: NO YOU N1TW1T
TEREZI: 1 M34N WH4T YOU’R3 GO1NG TO DO 1F YOU SUCC3SSFULLY L34RN TO CONTROL YOUR POW3RS
JOHN: oh yeah.
JOHN: heh. good point.
TEREZI: SO WH4T 1S YOUR PL4N
JOHN: i don’t have one.
JOHN: i mean, other than to go talk to a monster who i presume to be a giant snake, and see what happens.
JOHN: do you have any ideas?
TEREZI: HMM
JOHN: what do you think i should change, terezi?
TEREZI: 1 DON’T KNOW
TEREZI: 1 R34LLY SHOULD KNOW
TEREZI: BUT
TEREZI: 1 DON’T >:[
JOHN: why do you think you should know?
TEREZI: B3C4US3 1 4M 4 S33R OF M1ND!
TEREZI: 1T 1S MY JOB TO KNOW SUCH TH1NGS
TEREZI: 1 4M SUPPOS3D TO FOR3S33 OUTCOM3S OF C3RT41N 4CT1ONS, 4ND GU1D3 MY FR13NDS TO V1CTORY
TEREZI: BUT 1’V3 N3V3R B33N V3RY GOOD 4T US1NG MY POW3RS
TEREZI: LOOK 4T WH3R3 TH3Y’V3 L3D M3!!!
TEREZI: 1 LOST 4LL F41TH 1N MY 4B1L1T13S LONG 4GO


Terezi draws a blank as for what John should retcon. She reminds us that despite her physical resilience, she hasn’t recovered from loss of faith in her supposed mind powers. This gives John another opportunity to be his encouraging self, this time to his hate-love interest.

TEREZI: SORRY JOHN
TEREZI: 1’M NOT SUR3 1 C4N H3LP YOU
JOHN: can’t you at least try?
TEREZI: TRY WH4T, 3X4CTLY?
JOHN: anything!
JOHN: like, put your hands on your head, like psychics do, and just…
JOHN: i dunno! try anything at all that might help me figure out what to do.
JOHN: i just don’t want to be zapping around time and space at random, with no rhyme or reason to what i’m trying to fix!
JOHN: please terezi, just try.
JOHN: i need your help.


John’s advice to Terezi is similar to his advice to Roxy: namely, that she should at least try something. Beneath all their snarking, John knows well that Terezi has a sharp mind like no other, and won’t let that sharp mind go to waste.

And so, Terezi agrees to try something out, but needs John to help her. Her instructions are:

TEREZI: TRY TO HOLD 4 C3RT41N THOUGHT 1N YOUR M1ND
TEREZI: 4S CL34RLY 4ND ST34D1LY 4S YOU C4N
TEREZI: 4ND T3LL M3 WH4T 1T 1S
JOHN: a thought?
JOHN: like…
JOHN: what kind of thought?
TEREZI: 1 DON’T KNOW
TEREZI: SOM3 1D34
TEREZI: 4N 1M4G3
TEREZI: OR M4YB3…
TEREZI: 4 PHR4S3?
TEREZI: TH4T M1GHT B3 S1MPL3R
JOHN: sure.
JOHN: what kind of phrase?
TEREZI: 4NY PHR4S3
TEREZI: 4S LONG 4S YOU’R3 SUR3 YOU’LL B3 4BL3 TO R3M3MB3R 1T CL34RLY L4T3R ON
JOHN: hmm.


It’s pretty easy to tell where this is going. John and Terezi are about to synergize their powers, but they need a spark necessary to kick this whole thing off. The spark comes in the term of a simple phrase that’s memorable and easy to tie to a specific scene. After some thinking, John decides on a phrase that fits very well with the title of Homestuck:

JOHN: there’s no place like home.


There is SO much symbolism in the simple phrase, “there’s no place like home.” Not to mention that it’s an incredibly true statement: in life, there’s not a single place that gives off the same unique feeling and atmosphere as “home”, wherever that may be. Your childhood home, your current home, a place where you regularly meet friends, your workplace, it could be anything. For John, “home” of course refers to his childhood house, the very location in which Homestuck began. The same house that’s preserved, pre-scratch, pre-retcon, pre-everything, in its original form up to the credits and even in the epilogues. And then the house is destroyed in Homestuck^2 in a painfully cheap attempt to generate emotion and it’s mentioned like 50 times that John could’ve used wind powers to combat the explosion but didn’t because of meta bullshit or depression or emotional attachment or whatever, which is fucking stupid and blatantly just the authors trying to retroactively justify that criticism. Like can Homestuck^2 at least TRY to be good instead of being “bad on purpose” or whatever? Or at least try to make sense?!

That was really off topic, sorry. The point I’m making is that John has a deep attachment to his concept of home, which his chosen phrase demonstrates perfectly.

Terezi tries to do a mindy thing; the [???????] link added a few updates later cleverly foreshadows that her plan to use this moment as a starting point for the retcon journey worked as intended. I’ll say more about the password system when we get to use it in action a few posts later. For now, I’ll say that Vriska debates or not, the question mark command split are a very clever way to convey John and Terezi’s retroactive intrusion into the narrative of Homestuck. Certainly more clever than all the many times characters in Homestuck^2 and Pesterquest merely talk about the concept of canon.

Note that “fizzle…” is written in the color of the mind aspect symbol, indicating how close she came.

And Terezi’s first attempt at a mindy thing fails. Considering the command split on the prior page, this is clearly the “bad ending” of this scene.

TEREZI: 1’M SORRY
TEREZI: 1 C4N’T H3LP YOU
TEREZI: 1 C4N’T H3LP 4NYON3
TEREZI: YOU’D B3TT3R GO
JOHN: but what will you do?
TEREZI: 1 W1LL PROB4BLY JUST BL33D TO D34TH 1N TH1S D3S3RT
TEREZI: 4LON3 4ND 1RR3L3V4NT
JOHN: that’s so shitty though!
JOHN: what if you…
TEREZI: STOP!!!
TEREZI: JUST STOP
TEREZI: TH3R3’S NOTH1NG MOR3 FOR M3 TO DO
TEREZI: 1 DON’T 3V3N H4V3 4 D3N1Z3N TO GO V1S1T
TEREZI: MY FR13NDS 4R3 D34D, 4ND 1 W4ST3D MY L1F3
TEREZI: 1T 1S OV3R FOR M3
TEREZI: 4ND YOU 4R3 TH3 ONLY HOP3 W3 H4V3 L3FT
TEREZI: SO G3T OUT OF H3R3


Terezi’s depressing words make it extra clear this is a bad ending. The good ending of this scene will come after John finally completes his fabled planet quest.

JOHN: i guess you’re right.
JOHN: ok, off i go then.
JOHN: if i master my powers, i guess… i’ll figure something out?
JOHN: don’t worry terezi.


John is quick to realize what he must do and doesn’t let himself get brought down by this scene. He easily recognizes this scene as merely its bad ending, so he wastes no more time just standing there.

JOHN: i’ll make sure none of this ever happens.


What a perfect line to end this post with. Shows perfectly that John is ready to go be a hero.

See you next time as Jade relays the story of how John F1X3D TH1S, or at least some of TH1S. It’ll be suitable for post number 120, a nice round milestone number of sorts if I say so myself.

>> Part 120: The Part Where I Keep Getting Distracted Thinking About Fireflies by Owl City

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