I came up with this post’s title months ago, so please appreciate it.
Just a reminder, don’t expect more Homestuck posts for probably the next few months. I have a real life too! Not to mention ambitious projects unrelated to these posts.
It’s time for John to read the final instruction on Terezi’s scarf. He has the following to say about it:
JOHN: uh, wow. JOHN: not sure what to expect for this one. JOHN: alright, here goes.
I can imagine how confused John is. He’s far too thick-headed to have any idea who Terezi wanted him to stop her from killing. Obviously it can’t be Vriska, right? As far as John knows, Vriska and Terezi hardly knew or cared about each another. I never stopped to think about how long it took for him to learn that Terezi killed Vriska—he didn’t know that until he was about to stop that event from happening!
I’m going to analyze this one a bit differently from prior episodes. Specifically, I will be discussing spoilers for later seasons (up to season 6), where Trixie becomes a recurring character instead of a one-off (two-off, rather). If an episode’s title is colored red, that means my review will contain spoilers for later episodes!
In five words: Twilight begins irrational Trixie grudge.
Premise: A boastful magician named Trixie visits Ponyville to perform a magic show, and Twilight Sparkle develops a gnawing urge to one-up her and prove she’s full of nonsense, because clearly the entire point of magicians is to tell the truth and never deceive anyone, and also to never make up an exaggerated fictional backstory to immerse the audience.
The episode begins with Twilight Sparkle practicing her magic skills by giving Spike a mustache, which she gets rid of once he starts thinking about impressing Rarity. This scene makes it clear that magic is a skill that Twilight is very proud of and holds in high regard, setting up her rivalry with Trixie, who is more skilled in the illusory kind of magic.
Spike: 25, Twilight. 25 different kinds of tricks and counting! I thought unicorns were only supposed to have a little magic that matches their special talents. Twilight Sparkle: True, for ponies whose talents are for things like cooking or singing or math. But what if a unicorn’s special talent is magic? Spike: Like you, Twilight! And you know a ton of magic.
This passage comparing Twilight Sparkle against your usual unicorn suggests to me that she’s probably a magic elitist who makes a sharp distinction between true magic and bogus magic and is aggravated when people conflate the two. Even though Twilight responds with modesty, her passion for the field of magic is undeniable, and she always gets annoyed when people misunderstand things she’s passionate about.
Poor John remains eternally oblivious to how crucial that honk is.
Second last post of A6A6I4! After my next post, I’ll go on another pause (probably my last pause) as I finish my final college semester before I graduate.
Picking up where we left off, John continues his retcon journey and encounters Dragonsprite, Terezi’s lusus sprite.
DRAGONSPRITE: sniff sniff DRAGONSPRITE: sniff sniff sniff sniff JOHN: (hey, would you quit it!) JOHN: (i’m trying to keep a low profile here.)
Spritelogs with the trolls’ sprites probably weren’t high on the list of things people expected to return in A6A6I4, but they return here. John’s statement about trying to keep a low profile doesn’t refer to hiding his presence from Terezi entirely, but rather returning the favor with some subtle retcon pranks of his own.
In five words: Season’s overarching gala arc introduced.
Premise: Princess Celestia gives Twilight Sparkle two tickets for the Grand Galloping Gala, but she can’t decide which of her friends to give the second ticket to because they all have different reasons for wanting to go.
The episode starts with Twilight Sparkle helping Applejack gather apples, then Spike burps out a letter from Celestia inviting Twilight to the Grand Galloping Gala, plus two tickets. Both ponies are excited to go to the gala, while Spike insistently dismisses it as girly nonsense he wants no part in. His dismissal is humorously performative and reminiscent of the many people who are in denial about being a brony, like I was for years. More on Spike’s hammy denial when I get to the end of the episode.
Analyzing Homestuck is as easy as 1, 2, 3! (Just kidding, it isn’t.)
Only two posts left of A6A6I4 after this! I’ll probably finish A6A6I4 before this month ends, then put my Homestuck posts on what will hopefully be my last hiatus before I finish them.
Just like my last post, this one begins with a Vriska/Meenah dream bubble scene. This time, it’s somewhat more morbid in tone, taking place in what looks to be the same dream bubble that the Openbound games started in. But just like last time, I’m going to sidestep the fact that Hussie forgot all about their age difference.
MEENAH: BOOM MEENAH: there goes another one VRISKA: Wow, yeah. MEENAH: dude sure is busy today VRISKA: I’ve got to hand it to him. VRISKA: As far as indestructi8le, reality-destroying monsters go, he really is tireless. VRISKA: Even though on some level I can tell he’s pro8a8ly a complete moron, his dedic8tion and persistence is actually pretty admira8le. MEENAH: holla
This is exactly what I keep saying about Caliborn. He’s dedicated so much energy into improving his art skills and becoming as powerful as can be, and as Lord English it’s on some level admirable how relentless he is in his quest to kill his sister.
Before I begin, I’m going to explain how these posts reviewing every episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic will be organized and scheduled. Hopefully this statement will make me come across as a bit less of a lunatic than if I just dived right in.
Organization: Each post will cover two to three episodes, depending on how much I have to say about the episodes covered. This division means that each season will be divided into anywhere between 9 and 13 posts, except for season 3 which is half as long as each of the others, and thus will take up about half as many posts.
Schedule: My current plan is for these posts to be weekly, coming out every Friday at 9:00 AM EST. Unlike with prior post series of mine, these will work under a scheduled queue system, allowing me to work on them at what should be a reasonable pace and perhaps even mitigating the lengthy pauses my creative projects tend to run into.
Now let’s begin!
Season 1 Episode 1: Friendship Is Magic, Part 1
(Yes, I know it’s capitalized “Friendship is Magic” in the title card, but I consider it proper formatting to capitalize all verbs in titles, even short ones like “is”. Despite this, I’m very much used to typing the show’s acronym as MLP:FiM with a lowercase i.)
In five words: A fairly typical first episode.
Premise: Twilight Sparkle, along with her sidekick Spike, is sent to Ponyville and meets the rest of the show’s main cast. You know, the usual first episode.
“W3 M4K3 OUR OWN LUCK 4ND YOU’R3 4BOUT TO PROV3 TH4T” —Terezi Pyrope, 2014
I would say not to expect the rest of my A6A6I4 posts to come out quickly, but not even I can predict my own work ethic. For me, motivation comes and goes like the wind.
I can tell that few things give Hussie more joy than joking about juggalos.
Time for the first of several Meenah/Vriska scenes in A6A6I4! Better known as “scenes where Hussie forgets about Meenah and Vriska’s significant age difference and then awkwardly backpedals in A6A6I5”. It’s a shame the author ended up forgetting something so significant, because this is quite a fun scene giving insight into both of these characters in a more casual setting than adventurous quests to take down Lord English.
VRISKA: Hey Meenah. VRISKA: Any idea where we are now? MEENAH: iunno VRISKA: Do you think… VRISKA: This could 8e the “Dark Carnival”?? MEENAH: nah MEENAH: that shit aint real MEENAH: its a made up religious belief pimped out by trash clowns VRISKA: Are you sure? MEENAH: shell yes MEENAH: be fake as shit MEENAH: of course the religious beliefs themselves are real MEENAH: makin it convenient for anyone who wanna exploit those delusions for her own badass objectives MEENAH: like pulling in clams hand over flipper and ruthlessly subjugating the general public MEENAH: i mean MEENAH: not that id ever bother with a dope scheme like that MEENAH: just saying
Meenah is contrasting herself against the Condesce when she says she wouldn’t ever bother with using clowns for public subjugation. Clown nonsense is so prevalent in Homestuck that I can’t blame Meenah for not wanting to get involved in it. Perhaps Meenah’s apathy towards clowns is because Kurloz, her group’s resident clown, is nothing more than a pious servant of indecipherable juggalo schemes that relate to Lord English tangentially at best.
I didn’t have any good ideas for a new name for this post, so I kept the old one.
Before my motivation inevitably drifts to something totally different, I figured I’d resume my rewritten Homestuck posts and try to at least do Act 4, if not all the way through Act 5 Act 1 (which is my planned ending point for the rewritten posts).
But before I start going through Act 4, I’ll quickly recap the intermission, which I reread before starting this post.
The Midnight Crew intermission is awesome as fuck. It’s a throwback to the story style of Problem Sleuth that blasts your face with extreme time shenanigans to prepare you for the somewhat lighter time shenanigans in the act that follows. It characterizes the quartet of Derse agents, two of whom we hadn’t ever seen before, through the Midnight Crew, as well as the black queen through Snowman. Most notably, the intermission cleverly drops hints about the trolls and the Midnight Crew’s past until it punches you in the face with the reveal that the intermission took place on the trolls’ planet. It also has a few hints about Lord English, an overarching villain we very gradually learn more about. All in all, the whole intermission is executed beautifully and lots of fun from start to finish.
Act 4 is one of several acts that begins with a walkaround game. The game’s music is called Doctor, composed by the deceased George Buzinkai* and remixed many, many times throughout Homestuck’s music. Doctor holds an extremely special place in my heart—it’s one of only three tunes that I managed to remember through my first read of Homestuck, the other two being Karkat’s Theme and Elevatorstuck. I’ve always held the sentiment that among Homestuck’s most iconic tunes, Doctor was the one that best captured the comic’s nostalgic spirit, better than even Sburban Jungle or Showtime. I can’t quite explain why I feel that way; I suppose Doctor just has this powerful, nostalgic feeling that transcends words.
* Read this Reddit comment by a Homestuck music team member for information about Buzinkai’s name.
As for the walkaround itself, you play as John exploring the Land of Wind and Shade, fighting imps, playing around with his sylladex, talking to Nannasprite from afar, and gathering lots of information from consorts about his planet’s lore and denizen and all that jazz, all the while receiving commands from an exile who is clearly not WV. This walkaround is very complicated and weird to come back to considering the heavily simplified format and pixelated art style of later walkarounds; playing it, I can really see why Hussie chose to rework the style of walkarounds in Act 5 Act 2. According to my past self, “Hussie has said that this game is somewhat experimental and that it probably could’ve been presented in a more effective way (which is what the famous YouTube series Let’s Read Homestuck does).” I assume I was referring to Hussie’s Formspring then, but I’ve decided not to bother with playing through the walkaround in full and instead consume it using my physical copy of Homestuck: Book 3 (the Viz Media print).