Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 138: Emotional Memories and Fight Preparations

Introduction

< Part 137 | Part 138 | Part 139 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 12 of 12

Pages 7939-8086

I’m so close to the finish line… SO CLOSE.

My eyes aren’t deceiving me, are they? Will the next Homestuck post after this one really be the second last, as the text “Part 139” above so indicates??? If this is true and I’m not hallucinating, then all I can say is god DAMN. This has been one hell of a wild ride—a ride with numerous excessively long bathroom breaks, but a wild ride no less. I think it’s fair to say we’re now in the home stretch’s home stretch!

Finishing up the pages I had wanted to cover last post, it’s time to go through Terezi’s monologue to Vriska, which together with the following flash was the last Homestuck update before the Omegapause began.

gallowsCalibrator [GC] began trolling arachnidsGrip [AG]

GC: H3Y
GC: YOU TH3R3?

I love the choice of making this monologue a pesterlog instead of a dialoglog, and not just for nostalgia reasons. The dialogue format is a great way to remind us of the turbulent relationship Terezi and Vriska have had since the trolls’ arc and how far back their dynamic goes… OK, fine, it’s also nostalgic.

Wow, Terezi’s rocket wings must be really fast if she already zoomed this far past Skaia.

GC: GU3SS YOU MUST B3 BUSY
GC: F1ND1NG TH4T W34PON
GC: OR R3CRU1T1NG GHOSTS, OR K1LL1NG LORD 3NGL1SH
GC: WH4T3V3R 1T 1S YOU’R3 DO1NG OUT TH3R3
GC: 1 JUST W4NT3D TO S4Y 4 F3W TH1NGS
GC: B3FOR3 1 H4V3 TO GO F1GHT
GC: 4CTU4LLY
GC: M4YB3 1TS B3TT3R YOU 4R3N’T R3SPOND1NG, FOR NOW
GC: M4YB3 1 C4N F1N4LLY S4Y SOM3 TH1NGS 1 W4NT TO S4Y
GC: TH4T 1 M1GHT NOT H4V3 B33N 4BL3 TO WH3N YOU W3R3 4ROUND

So many characters have opened up to each other and had heartfelt reunions, and upsettingly enough, Terezi only gets her turn to open up when Vriska isn’t available. Time shenanigans in the Furthest Ring are both preventing Vriska from responding and allowing Terezi to open up.

I really like the choice to have one panel showing what Vriska is up to amidst the panels showing Terezi flying alone to LOTAK. It’s a heartwarming sight to see Vriska and Meenah looking proud of Tavros, all three eagerly ready to fight Lord English with a massive ghost army behind them. There’s even a teaser of Aradia and Sollux on the top left, showing that they’re going to help in the fight against English… or at least Aradia is.

GC: 1T’S B33N 4 GOOD F3W Y34RS
GC: 4 MUCH B3TT3R T1M3 TH4N 1 PROB4BLY D3S3RV3D TO H4V3, CONS1D3R1NG…
GC: WH4T 1 4LMOST D1D
GC: TH4NK GOD 1 D1DN’T

This is some MASSIVE mood whiplash here—whiplash in the opposite direction from what “mood whiplash” usually refers to. Pre-retcon Terezi thought her retconned self would be much happier having not killed Vriska, but it turns out she still greatly regrets almost killing Vriska and feels she isn’t worthy of happiness like all our other heroes.

GC: W3LL
GC: TH4NK JOHN, 1 GU3SS
GC: H3’S 4 GOOD K1D
GC: TH3Y 4LL 4R3
GC: 3V3N TH3S3 N3W SCHMUCKS
GC: WH4T 4 SW33T 4ND CH4RM1NG BUNCH OF STUP1D LOS3RS
GC: DON’T FUCK1NG D4R3 T3LL 4NYON3 1 S41D 1T
GC: BUT 1 LOV3 TH3M 4LL
GC: 1 DON’T KNOW WH4T 1S WRONG W1TH M3
GC: TH4T 1 C4N’T JUST S4Y STUFF L1K3 TH4T, D1R3CTLY TO P3OPL3
GC: TH3Y C3RT41NLY DON’T 4PP34R TO H4V3 TH4T PROBL3M

Terezi is really insecure about being positive and heartfelt, and this insecurity is striking considering that even Dirk managed to open his inner heartfelt side in A6A6I5. It’s quite remarkable how sharply the mood has shifted between this scene and the last one—the scene before this was as lighthearted as can be, setting up contrast against this monologue.

GC: 4ND YOU N3V3R S33M3D TO H4V3 MUCH TROUBL3 S4Y1NG WH4T3V3R W4S ON YOUR M1ND
GC: M4YB3 TH4T’S WHY…
GC: 1 H4V3 SO MUCH TROUBL3 W1TH TH3 1D34 OF L3TT1NG GO OF YOU
GC: YOU 4R3N’T 4FR41D OF WH4T’S 1NS1D3 YOUR M1ND
GC: YOU 4LW4YS S33M 4T 34S3 W1TH YOUR OWN C4P4C1T13S
GC: 3V3N 1F TH3Y L34D YOU DOWN 4 RO4D OF S3LF D3STRUCT1ON

Terezi provides us some interesting Vriska analysis that we now know isn’t quite true due to the confrontation between Vriska and (Vriska), where we saw how much more open (Vriska) was about her insecurities. That same scene suggests that deep down even alive Vriska may not always so sure of herself, and she chose to repress those insecurities by brutally tearing into her ghost self.

The monologue is spread across many more panels than I am showing here.

GC: L1K3, Y34H, W3’V3 CL4SH3D ON STUFF
GC: 1 4CT3D L1K3 1T W4S 4LL 4BOUT 1D34LS
GC: 4ND HOW M1N3 W3R3 B3TT3R OR SOM3TH1NG
GC: BUT M4YB3
GC: 1 W4S JUST P1SS3D 4BOUT YOUR 4TT1TUD3 OF C3RT41NTY
GC: 4ND 4NGRY 4T MYS3LF FOR NOT H4V1NG 1T
GC: 1 TH1NK 1T’S SOM3TH1NG 1 N33D3D 1N MY L1F3
GC: 3V3N 1F 1T C4M3 FROM SOM3ON3 3LS3
GC: 1F ONLY TO K33P M3 4SSUR3D 1T’S POSS1BL3 TO F33L TH4T W4Y
GC: 1 KNOW YOU TH1NK 1’M W34K FOR N33D1NG YOU
GC: NOT TH4T YOU’D 3V3R T3LL M3 TH4T
GC: 1T’S N1C3 TH4T YOU C4R3D 3NOUGH N3V3R TO J4B M3 4BOUT 1T
GC: BUT 1 COULD 4LW4YS S3NS3 1T
GC: TH4T YOU KN3W
GC: YOU KN3W 1 D3P3ND3D MOR3 ON YOU TH4N YOU D1D ON M3
GC: 4ND YOU P1TY M3 FOR 1T
GC: 1 M34N, NOT L1K3, M4L1C1OUSLY
GC: YOU PROB4BLY JUST S33 M3 4S 4 B1T TR4G1C
GC: YOU C4N’T H3LP 1T
GC: 4ND 1 DON’T BL4M3 YOU

I can really see it, Terezi and Vriska’s post-retcon pale relationship being so lopsided. Vriska barely seemed to consider Terezi’s feelings when she decided to go off and fight Lord English, and she hastily presumed the two would easily be able to see each other again. Terezi has her doubts about this, and only now is it clear how much bravery and confidence she sees in Vriska.

GC: 1 TH1NK
GC: SP3ND1NG T1M3 W1TH 4LL THOS3 CUT3 GOOB3RS
GC: 4ND S331NG HOW WH3N TH3Y’R3 4LL TOG3TH3R, TH3Y S33M TO L1K3…
GC: COMPL3T3 34CH OTH3R?
GC: 1 TH1NK 1T M4D3 M3 R34L1Z3 TH1S 4BOUT US
GC: OR 4BOUT MYS3LF
GC: 1 N3V3R F3LT WHOL3
GC: 1 ST1LL DON’T
GC: 4ND YOU M4D3 1T SO 1 D1DN’T H4V3 TO F4C3 TH4T F33L1NG
GC: FOR 4 WH1L3 4T L34ST

The tragedy of the retcon’s effects on Terezi is all too clear. Pre-retcon Terezi managed to set things up in the right way so almost all the kids are happy and complete each other, but she didn’t successfully make herself happy, which is clearly what she had intended the most. Terezi here feels overshadowed by her pre-retcon self, who proved her heroism after facing much greater difficulties.

GC: 4ND NOW TH4T 1 TH1NK 1 KNOW TH1S 4BOUT MYS3LF
GC: 1 TH1NK 1 G3T 1T
GC: TH3 F33L1NG W1LL PROB4BLY N3V3R GO 4W4Y
GC: ONLY COV3R3D UP 4T MOST, M4YB3
GC: W3 COULD W1N TH1S F1GHT
GC: CR34T3 4NOTH3R UN1V3RS3
GC: SUCC33D 1N 3V3RY W4Y POSS1BL3
GC: 4ND 1’LL ST1LL F33L 1NCOMPL3T3
GC: V1CTORY WON’T F1X M3
GC: M4YB3 NOTH1NG C4N
GC: M4YB3 TH3R3’S TOO L1TTL3 SUBST4NC3 1NS1D3 M3 TO 3V3N B3 F1X3D

Terezi spoils in advance that at the end of Homestuck, happy endings and resolutions won’t extend to her. From a narrative perspective, it’s perplexing to make her an exception to the happy endings that all the other creators seem to get—why leave her out? With the credits and epilogues released, I think I sort of have an answer to that question. John ends the credits isolated and depressed, making him and Terezi both excluded from happy endings and creating a cliffhanger for the epilogues, while also giving the two a special bond. And yet, Terezi ends the epilogues still unresolved as ever. And remember, as far as this post series is concerned, Homestuck^2 never happened, and even if it did happen, she didn’t get anything resembling a resolution, so… there’s that. I feel like Hussie felt it would help with his deconstruction of the concept of endings to deny Terezi a happy ending.

GC: BUT 4T L34ST 1 TH1NK 1 UND3RST4ND TH4T NOW
GC: 4ND SHOULD B3 4BL3 F1GHT W1THOUT H4V1NG SOM3TH1NG GN4W 4T M3
GC: SOM3TH1NG TH4T F3LT UNKNOW4BL3, 4ND M4D3 M3 CONST4NTLY WOND3R WH4T 1 W4S DO1NG WRONG
GC: 1’M OK W1TH L1V1NG L1K3 TH4T
GC: NOT GO1NG TO PR3T3ND 1T WOULDN’T B3 N1C3 TO…
GC: P4TCH MYS3LF UP, SOM3HOW?
GC: GU3SS TH4T SH1P S41L3D, THOUGH
GC: B4CK 1N OUR S3SS1ON, 1N WH4T3V3R W4Y 1 BOTCH3D MY QU3ST
GC: OR D1DN’T R34CH GOD T13R, OR…
GC: 1 DON’T 3V3N KNOW WH4T 1T W4S 1 D1D OR D1DN’T DO
GC: 1 GU3SS TH4T’S TH3 PROBL3M, 1SN’T 1T?
GC: TH3 MYST3RY OF 1T
GC: TH3 TH1NGS 1’V3 SUPPOS3DLY DON3
GC: GOOD 4ND B4D, 1N D1FF3R3NT R34L1T13S
GC: TH3 M1ST4K3S 1 M4D3, BUT C4N’T L34RN FROM
GC: B3C4US3 1 C4N’T R3M3MB3R
GC: OR TH3 H3RO1C TH1NGS 1 SUPPOS3DLY D1D
GC: S4CR1F1C3S 1 M4D3
GC: TO S4V3 YOU
GC: TO S4V3 3V3RYBODY
GC: WH1CH T3LL M3 NOTH1NG 4BOUT MYS3LF, 4ND WH4T 1’M R34LLY C4P4BL3 OF
GC: B3C4US3 1 C4N’T R3M3MB3R!

In her search for happiness and fulfillment, Terezi starts to think that maybe she’ll be happier if she remembers her alternate selves. While she does end up remembering those selves after this monologue, the epilogues (or even just her absence in Act 7’s Earth montage) show that that didn’t magically bring her happiness either.

Terezi’s almost made it to her destination, and she spent the entire flight venting out to Vriska.

GC: M4YB3 1T’S D3LUS1ON4L OF M3
GC: TO 1M4G1N3 TH4T JUST H4V1NG 4NOTH3R S3T OF M3MOR13S 1S GO1NG TO M4K3 M3 F33L MOR3 COMPL3T3
GC: 1 C4N’T STOP TH1NK1NG 4BOUT 1T THOUGH
GC: 1 GU3SS 1T’S 4LW4YS T3MPT1NG TO TH1NK TH3R3 1S ON3 H1DD3N 4NSW3R TO 3V3RYTH1NG
GC: NO M4TT3R HOW F4NT4ST1C4L OR 1N4CC3SS1BL3
GC: 4ND 1F ONLY YOU COULD F1ND 1T, YOU’D F1N4LLY H4V3 TH3 P3RF3CT R3SOLUT1ON TO 3V3RYTH1NG 4BOUT YOURS3LF YOU C4N’T ST4ND
GC: SO 1 JUST K33P WOND3R1NG TO MYS3LF
GC: TH4T M4YB3 1F ONLY 1 COULD JUST R3M3MB3R
GC: 1 WOULDN’T H4V3 TO F33L L1K3 TH1S

I think the problem with Terezi is that she has too much foresight and awareness. She knows how the world works and how her friends function, and most of all how she functions, which has brought her both great heroism and great misery. She knows that remembering her alternate selves won’t bring her happiness, but a longing part of her wants to believe it will.

Look at those bags under her eyes…

GC: UH… WOW
GC: 1 W4SN’T R34LLY 3XP3CT1NG TO T3LL YOU 4LL TH4T
GC: 1 JUST W4NT3D TO C4TCH YOU B3FOR3 YOU GO OFF TO B4TTL3, 4ND W1SH YOU “LUCK” >:]
GC: 4ND TO L3T YOU KNOW HOW 1MPORT4NT YOU’V3 B33N TO M3, 1N 4 W4Y TH4T W4SN’T L1K3
GC: CLOUD3D BY OUR USU4L TR4SH T4LK 4ND M1ND G4M3S
GC: 1 GU3SS TH1S 1S WH4T YOU G3T FOR 1GNOR1NG M3 FOR TWO S3CONDS
GC: 4 L1TTL3 TOO MUCH R34L1TY FROM 4N 1D1OT WHO’S MOR3 M3SS3D UP 1NS1D3 TH4N SH3 3V3R L3TS ON
GC: UM
GC: 4NYW4Y
GC: L4T3R, S3RK3T

Do you ever vent out a whole bunch of honest feelings and then get blown away by the fact that you did that? This happened to Dave in his reunion with Dirk, and it just happened to Terezi. She concludes her vent with yet another hauntingly self-aware statement about the circumstances that led her to vent.

gallowsCalibrator [GC] ceased trolling arachnidsGrip [AG]

With the alert bubble slowly fading and the “ceased trolling” message taking up an entire page, Terezi’s monologue to Vriska ends on a distinctly somber note. Within canon, it’s the last time Terezi says anything to Vriska, and the message shown above again brings back memories of the trolls’ arc.

The rational side of Terezi knows that remembering her alternate selves won’t make her happy. But she really, really wants to remember anyway, and as such, she starts doing a mindy thing. Her desire is just that strong.

And her mindy thing leads us to a flash called [S] Terezi: Remem8er. The very fact that this flash during A6A6I5 has a unique name, not just ====> upon ====>, clearly indicates that the flash is going to be something special and big, something worthy of a new game. Readers getting to this point will easily brace themselves for extreme emotions.

This flash starts off simple enough, with a mind aspect symbol loading screen and a montage of (Vriska) gloomily walking through the blank space of nowhere. Something interesting about this flash is that the music, titled Do You Remem8er Me, was originally based on doomed John and Vriska’s first time meeting in the Doc Scratch intermission; even the title of the song is a quote from that scene. But here, the song has been repurposed for something that arguably matches its emotional tone MUCH better: pre-retcon Terezi and Vriska reuniting at long last, succumbing to a fate where all they have left is each other.

Then something neat happens: the flash’s screen expands, and the original area of the screen changes shape to show the tiles that (Vriska) is walking on. I find it weird that in Act 6 Act 6, flashes expanding beyond the usual screen became the rule rather than the exception, and I always felt that effect gradually started to lose its charm, but this flash at least does the bigger screen transition in a cool way.

As (Vriska) continues to walk, we get a montage of what is essentially fan art of her and Terezi’s childhood. I remember finding it annoying that the flash’s scenes came off like fan art, but now I don’t really mind it. The art serves its purpose well for this emotional flash, and it’s not like it conflicts against anything we previously knew about Terezi and Vriska. All indications are that they were once upon a time good friends.

We then pick up where we left off with pre-retcon Terezi, who wakes up in a dream bubble as her eyes fade to white. Throughout A6A6I5’s updates, I remember badly wanting to hear from characters killed in the Game Over timeline, and I was not satisfied only hearing from pre-retcon Rose. Those expectations were far-fetched in retrospect, and it’s quite generous that this flash is even showing pre-retcon Terezi so much.

Not shown: Jade’s eyes fading to white.

We see a few more of Game Over’s casualties wake up in dream bubbles, and… god dammit. If you don’t mind hearing more unrealistic A6A6I5 expectations I had, I had badly hoped for pairs of pre-retcon characters in Game Over to wake up in dream bubbles and have reconciliations with walls of text, as if A6A6I5 didn’t have enough goddamn walls of text anyway. As strange as it is to have so much of Homestuck’s cast overwritten with post-retcon versions, and as sad as it is that no version of Jade gets much screen time in A6A6I5, in retrospect it’s probably better for the Game Over casualties’ reconciliations to be wordless. The dramatic impact is much higher in an emotional flash, since we don’t get to read pre-retcon Dave saying any hilarious snarky things.

The same goes for pre-retcon Jane and Jake. As nice as it would have been for them to have an onscreen reconciliation, it’s assuring to know that their pre-retcon selves are working through their differences, with the words they say to each other left to the reader’s imagination.

Man, is something wrong with me? Why can’t I feel as salty about A6A6I5 as I used to? Is it really better than I remember??? Or have I just decided to resign myself to the fact that Homestuck isn’t without flaws? I think at this point, I can accept that Homestuck has its flaws without denying how much the comic means to me. I used to imagine my A6A6I5 posts being much more negative, and I’m glad they ended up being more honest reflections than bitter complaints.

As pre-retcon Terezi walks, the montage of her and Vriska’s childhood continues. Those scenes do a good job indicating something that’s very easy to forget: before the trolls’ cycle of revenge, Terezi and Vriska were close friends. I think I used to not believe this was the case for some reason? But it was indeed the case, and this flash is merely reminding us as much.

The characters in some of these scenes are drawn at different heights and weights, which is weird but not that big of a deal in retrospect.
At least, it’s not worth going on a rant about when there are far more interesting things to talk about here.

Next up, we see Eridan waking up in a dream bubble, greeted by Feferi who’s ready to reconcile with him, plus Aradia and Sollux. I’m not sure exactly what the point of this scene is—I think it’s to make this flash an homage and sendoff to all the comic’s dead characters and alternate selves, not just Terezi and Vriska from the pre-retcon timeline? It may also be for the sake of padding, but sure, I’ll take it. It’s very rare for the comic to throw Eridan a bone like this.

Equius and Nepeta also get a dream bubble reconciliation scene, and it’s as heartwarming as it is confusing. It’s very sweet to see them reunite after death, but if Arquiusprite had just said that his troll half refused to let himself think about Nepeta, then how do you explain this scene? I guess this means that when dead trolls are prototyped into sprites, they don’t recall anything that they did in dream bubbles, though I guess Jadesprite is an exception or something.

And the miscellaneous ghost scenes don’t end there. We get a montage of various kids and trolls’ waking selves and dream selves waking up as ghosts, and it raises a lot of implications about the difference between waking selves’ and dream selves’ consciousnesses. For example, this flash shows us that when John’s waking self died on his quest bed, even though he ascended to god tier as his dream self, his waking self left a ghost behind. I’d presume that his consciousness was transferred from waking John to dream John when he went god tier, so it’s weird to see a ghost was left behind. However, this idea of ghosts being left behind has precedence since Act 5 Act 2, when Jadesprite talked about how she made lots of dream bubble memories that waking Jade didn’t make. What can I say though? Dream selves are and have always been weird.

Also, here’s some pointless trivia: in each of Homestuck’s four parts (as denoted on the adventure map), the doomed Dave who tried to steal the Dignitary’s journals appears once. In part 1, the alpha Dave sees his corpse and throws it into lava; in part 2, we see him about to be killed by a retroactively mind-controlled DD; in part 3, we see Lord English vaporize his ghost; and in part 4, we see his ghost waking up in dream bubbles. Quite anachronous, I must say. I made this observation years ago, and somehow I haven’t forgotten about it.

Terezi and Vriska’s childhood montages show something extremely rare: unnamed trolls. Even though we virtually never see unnamed trolls in Homestuck, I wouldn’t say they’re out of place here. The three trolls in the middle don’t have any shirt symbols or strong details visible, making them nothing more than background characters.

To finish the childhood montage, Terezi and Vriska having a moral argument is followed by them bathing in riches, cementing that they were very close friends despite their differences. And it’s silly to assume they never were close friends—why do you think they called themselves the Scourge Sisters? Since trolls have no concept of siblings, the words “brother” and “sister” for them are simply used as synonyms for “friend”.

Some readers argue that the bright red tile is symbolic of red romance.

And here we have it: the pre-retcon Scourge Sisters, reunited at long last. Looking at them, it’s obvious how much they’ve been through apart, and how delighted they are to see each other regardless of all their changes. Their reunion is wordless, and it’s far more powerful and emotional that way.

Staring at the cracks in the sky, Terezi and Vriska know that this is probably going to be the end for them, but they’re too focused on both the beauty of the destruction and the fact that they’re finally together again to be afraid of the end. And by the end, I mean the capital-E End. Any onscreen dialogue between them would impede upon the emotional impact of this moment.

This is the last we ever see of pre-retcon Terezi and Vriska; the screen fading to white heavily implies that Lord English destroys both of their ghosts. What can I even say? This is an extremely bittersweet ending for both of them. The Terezi who killed Vriska, fell into depressive cycles of beating herself up about it, was talked into getting her eyesight needlessly healed, and fell into an abusive black relationship with Gamzee, but still managed to work her way back up to heroism and save everyone’s asses with the very last of her life power. The Vriska who struggled to work her way back up to relevance after death, made progress on the quest to defeat Lord English, but then was metaphorically punched in the face by Aranea and started to reconsider everything with Meenah by her side. Then she was replaced in narrative relevance by an alive version of Vriska and deserted by the one person she had left, breaking down in tears as her relevance dissipated. And now, all the two have left is each other as they face the end together.

To end the flash, all the ghost scenes rapidly flash by and fade into the mind symbol, indicating that Terezi has now remembered it all. On both sides of the retcon, she got a ton of mileage out of her mind powers without even going god tier! Think about that for a second.


After [S] Terezi: Remem8er, Homestuck went on a nine-month pause called the Omegapause. It is the pause during which I spent a lot of time reflecting on Homestuck and eagerly anticipating what was left in it. I thought about Homestuck so much during the pause that two months into it, I started the blog post series that you are reading right now. Throughout the pause, I had trouble facing the truth that Homestuck was about to end. While analyzing the comic in great depth, I expected so much more than could have ever been feasible. My blog post series made it about halfway through Act 5 Act 2 before Homestuck started its absolute final stretch: the little that’s left of A6A6I5, Act 6’s ending flash, and Act 7.

Oh, how I wanted to end the last post with Remem8er and start this post with the resumption from the Omegapause. But I guess that was not meant to be. The final stretch of Homestuck is quite short, taking up only two weeks total. All I can think about as I start analyzing that stretch is how absurdly far-fetched my expectations were back then. Analyzing Homestuck in depth has greatly changed my perception of the comic, and at this point it’s the last step before I’ve fully accepted that Homestuck went as it did; the last step before sending off my relationship with Homestuck and finally moving on with my life.


Now with all that said, let’s begin post-Omegapause Homestuck! Everything I’m covering from this point onward had not yet come out when I started my Homestuck post series.

HE’S BACK!!!!!!

Your name is SPADES SLICK. You are the leader of a notoriously stupid gang of mobsters called the FELT. Your previous gang known as THE MIDNIGHT CREW at some indeterminate point in the past all died off due to time shenanigans. Oh, how you loathe time shenanigans. Your long quest for revenge has finally taken you through the front door of the clock belonging to the host plush who in some gruesome manner gave birth to your gang’s former boss, LORD ENGLISH.

Post-Omegapause Homestuck starts us off with the return of narration from a fan favorite character, Spades Slick. We get a callback to his introduction page from the start of the intermission, reminding us what his mission in life is, and how he will stop at nothing to achieve this goal.

Your former subordinates, CLUBS DEUCE, DIAMONDS DROOG, and HEARTS BOXCARS, are all dead. Your current subordinates, ITCHY, DOZE, TRACE, CLOVER, FIN, DIE, CROWBAR, STITCH, SAWBUCK, MATCHSTICKS, EGGS, BISCUITS, QUARTERS, CANS, MS. PAINT, and a CENTAUR BUTLER, are all being stored in the magic oven you are currently carrying. They are mostly a bunch of idiots, and you aren’t particularly fond of them. Except that MS. PAINT dame, you suppose. She’s a real looker.

You have rocketed to this session from the FURTHEST RING, using the ROCKET ASS, which you apparently have. Your objective is to locate and murder LORD ENGLISH, to once and for all complete your quest for revenge.

Spades Slick is still around after all this time, and he’s just as determined to take revenge on Lord English as he was at the start of the intermission. This unending determination is a universal constant among all versions of Jack Noir, as Hussie has discussed in his book commentary. A lot of fans felt that Slick deserved to kill Lord English since he had first dibs, and we’re about to see where this quest leads to.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention. The post-Omegapause portion of A6A6I5 has outsourced art, drawn in art styles relatively close to that Homestuck’s usual style, like shown above. Despite my various gripes with unfitting outsourced art, I was always OK with this change in art; it’s a nice change of pace from the fast and loose art style we previously had.

You know an explosion is powerful when it knocks someone’s hat off!

Slick drops the oven and releases the Felt, and they look super intimidating grouped like this. Given how Vriska described this as the irrelevant joke battle, Jake was not prepared to deal with such a large crowd.

And his facial expression shows as much. He was convinced he would be fighting an easy battle with Tavros at his side, but while most of his friends are in groups to take on one villain, this poor guy has to take on fourteen green guys all by himself. From Jake’s perspective, these aren’t a bunch of pointless green idiots—they’re a bunch of fearsome green monsters! Vriska has conflated relevance with difficulty when it comes to battles. While it’s not particularly plot-relevant for Jake to beat the shit out of a bunch of green guys, it’s a jaw-dropping accomplishment that serves as a lighthearted way for post-retcon Jake to realize his page potential.

What the hell is that…

If only you could get a closer look. Too bad that’s just a fake red plastic eye you’ve got there.

Jack. Jack what are you doing. No. You are flagrantly ignoring continuity now. I didn’t give you a working cybernetic eye, stop that.

Fine, you want to pretend it’s a real fucking cyber eye, go ahead. What do I even care at this point. Just make shit up to spite me. It’s fine.

How I missed these silly narrative shenanigans, blurring the line between Hussie’s words and Spades Slick’s thoughts. Hussie was always unsure if Slick’s robot eye was real, but now it looks like Slick simply willed it to be real, or something. Maybe because he’s that determined to take down Lord English.

You zoom way in with your APPARENTLY REAL CYBER-EYE(???) and see it is none other than your arch nemesis, LORD ENGLISH himself. Or at least, the closest thing passing for him in this session. You will leave these knuckleheads to rumble amongst themselves. You suddenly don’t care about them at all.

Here, Spades Slick settles to take down not the real Lord English, but the next best thing: the alpha kids’ Jack Noir. But as far as Slick is concerned, this guy is Lord English. This is a pretty strange way to conclude his arc of wanting to take down English, but I don’t think this hasty decision is out of character for Slick. No iteration of Jack Noir has ever concerned himself with nitty-gritty details; if he wants someone dead, then he wants them DEAD.

Man, Homestuck has had so many versions of Jack Noir running about and causing havoc, and only near the very end are two of them about to meet up. And it won’t be a friendly encounter, oh no. Spades Slick is dead set on killing Jack English, because as far as he’s concerned, this guy is the real deal.

All you care about is PAYBACK. You’ve got a casino to avenge. Remember that? That didn’t stop from being a thing.

To end Slick’s little portion of A6A6I5, we’re reminded why he’s stuck around for so long in the first place: he won’t stop at anything to avenge the casino that the Felt knocked down. This motive for defeating Lord English was mentioned at the very beginning of the intermission, but never again until now, which makes for some very fitting circularity.

Been a while since we last were on Derse, huh? First time since the Gigapause.

JOHN: here we are.
JOHN: ready everyone?
ROSE: I guess as ready as one can be, to initiate lethal combat with the extraterrestrial founder of a nefarious baking good syndicate.
JOHN: wait, what?
JOHN: i thought we were fighting the condesce.
ROSE: We are.
ROSE: The Condesce is Betty Crocker.

JOHN: she is??
ROSE: Yes.
ROSE: Wait. John, are you telling me you’re only realizing this now?

JOHN: um…
ROSE: Unbelievable.
JOHN: hey, nobody TOLD me, ok?

It sure took John long enough to learn that the Condesce is Betty Crocker. Even after all this time, he’s still amazingly bad at putting two and two together and often takes way too long to learn things that everyone else already knows about. John’s hatred of Betty Crocker was first mentioned all the way back in Act 1, before he even got his copies of Sburb, so it makes thematic sense that only near the very end of the comic does he finally learn who Betty Crocker is.

ROSE: There’s this thing called inference, John.
ROSE: Examining a large body of evidence, putting the pieces together, making certain logical leaps, drawing conclusions…
JOHN: sorry, i guess i was too busy saving everybody from dying horribly, to solve a very stupid mystery about a shitty cake woman. :p
ROSE: I guess so.

Even though at first glance, John seems to be the same classic John, we quickly see a surprising moment of character development from him. He’s telling us that this whole time, he had far more important things to worry about than the face behind a company he hated as a kid, especially towards the end of Act 6.

ROSE: So what do you have to say about that?
JOHN: about what?
ROSE: About the alias of the Condesce.
JOHN: oh.
JOHN: it’s fine, i guess.

ROSE: Fine?
JOHN: yeah…
JOHN: what else am i supposed to think about it!

ROSE: I don’t know.
ROSE: I guess I thought you might be floored by this stunning revelation, given your irrational hatred for that particular dessert corporation.
JOHN: eh, it’s alright.
JOHN: sorta makes sense actually. what’s the big deal?

ROSE: John, you’re kind of letting me down here.
JOHN: sorry!!!
JOHN: i just think we have bigger fish to fry, than… heh heh, fish…
JOHN: i mean more important things to do, than get down on the floor, and have a melodramatic tantrum about a ridiculous and stupid fact that doesn’t matter.

ROSE: John, stop it.
ROSE: The degree of maturity you are showing here is really bad for morale.

Yes, some fans seriously say John Egbert never had any character development. Hopefully this passage puts into light how ridiculous such statements are. It’s great character development for John to move past a childhood grudge that he had for completely mundane reasons, and it makes for one last fun round of playful banter with Rose. All in all, this passage demonstrates both the ways John has changed and the ways he hasn’t changed.

JOHN: oh, shush.
JOHN: listen, whatever she is, cake mogul, or alien empress, or queen of derse, or sexy sea lady with too much hair…
JOHN: let’s just fuck her up!
ROXY: yeah!!!

And he ends the page with some quick inspirational words that show the breadth of the Condesce’s horrors, indicating that they’re all ready to get on with the fight.

Jane is practically a ghost in this scene. For some reason, she doesn’t have a word to say.

JOHN: hey, roxy…
JOHN: what are you doing with that sword?

ROXY: what this?
JOHN: yes.
ROXY: it was um
ROXY: sorta my improvised grave stone deal but i guess became kind a meaningless when my cat robbed the grave
ROXY: so i figured i might as well go nab it again
ROXY: why let a cool sword go to waste??
ROXY: u know my boy di-stri would not approve
JOHN: that’s true, i guess.
JOHN: is that why you took it out of the stone slab thingy in the first place?

ROXY: kinda
ROXY: that was different
JOHN: how?
ROXY: back when i first saw it on your blue planet
ROXY: that was when i just lost all my friends and i thought for a while they all might be gone for good
ROXY: and i saw the sword pokin out of there and it reminded me of dirk
ROXY: it reminded me of everyone we just said goodbye to
ROXY: even if that only turned out to be temporary
ROXY: i dunno what it meant to people before i came along
ROXY: but to me it was a symbol
ROXY: of all the people who didnt make it as far as we did
ROXY: so i stole it

Oh man, the plans up Roxy’s sleeve are unreal. She gives a cool symbolism speech with the sword—the same one that pre-scratch Dirk wielded and was eventually killed by—and how it represents the many lives lost throughout their whole adventure. But there’s a hidden side to this speech that she’s not telling anyone: for all these symbolic reasons, she feels that this sword will be the perfect weapon to kill the Condesce with. It’ll be a fitting payback for all the mayhem the witch caused, as we’ll see in Collide.

ROXY: see
ROXY: im a goddamn rogue
ROXY: i TAKE shit
ROXY: and now ima take back from the WITCH
ROXY: everything she stole that shoulda been ours
ROXY: promise of a better life
ROXY: a future for humanity and trolls alike
ROXY: all that shit
ROXY: im going to swipe its lack
ROXY: and make it all start being a thing again
ROXY: lets never let all that stop from being a thing ever again
ROXY: k guys???
KANAYA: What
JOHN: yeah!!!
KANAYA: Okay Yeah
KANAYA: Im Sure That Possibly All Made Sense Good Speech

This is a great last round of inspirational words from Roxy, even if she may have been WAY too sappy throughout A6A6I5. Kanaya’s reaction is a last tiny bit of amusing snark from her, subtly showing that she was spacing out during the speech.

Now with this page finished, we can say goodbye to any dialogue from John. Three other characters too, of course, but I’m specifically mentioning John because I’ve always had a special fondness for his character. He’s funny and endearing in a way like no other character, and he’s a much more nuanced character than a lot of fans give credit.

Roxy captchalogues the sword, tucking it away before the Condesce can see it—an important step in her secret plan to give the empress what she deserves.

She’s finally here, and the kids are ready to take her on. Everything is shaping in place for the alpha session’s final battles.

Dad Crocker watches from his jail cell, not in stern fatherly disapproval or confusion, but in proud fatherly admiration, which is a heartwarming contrast against the last two times he watched the kids’ exploits on Derse. This is our first time seeing Jane’s dad since the Gigapause, and in Collide he’s about to kick some serious ass.

Next up is a scene whose writing I’ve always felt was very hasty: the one where Karkat wakes up in a dream bubble and talks to Meenah for the first time in quite a while. I just think Karkat feels less verbose and more flatly profane than usual in this scene, but it’s… whatever. Let’s get on with this scene.

After Meenah recognizes Karkat as not some random ghost clone, but the real alive Karkat, this bit of confusion occurs:

KARKAT: HI
KARKAT: YOU’RE…
KARKAT: WHAT THE FUCK WAS YOUR NAME AGAIN?
KARKAT: THE PUNKY TEEN VERSION OF THE CONDESCE, RIGHT
KARKAT: AREN’T YOU LIKE, A BAD GUY? OR DO YOU HAVE SOME SORT OF FUCKING ANTI-HERO THING GOING ON.
MEENAH: no you fool im a good guy
MEENAH: im leadin this whole ghost army and everything
MEENAH: we gonna kill lord english

KARKAT: OH, IS *THAT* WHAT YOU’RE DOING WITH ALL THESE GHOSTS.
KARKAT: WOW, THAT IS PRETTY FUCKING AMBITIOUS.
MEENAH: yeam man
MEENAH: hey we TALK-ED aboat this
MEENAH: dont you remember

KARKAT: WE DID?
MEENAH: yeah i told you this whole plan once
MEENAH: that i was gonna raise an army and kill a big dude
MEENAH: i got kinda side tracked from that whole thing for a while
MEENAH: girl trubs, smh
MEENAH: im sure you know how it is

KARKAT: NOT REALLY.
MEENAH: anyway i finally did it
MEENAH: i raised the army with a lil help from some fronds and now here it is
MEENAH: and if i recall i told you all this and you said you wanted to run away and join my army
MEENAH: but you never did >38(

KARKAT: HUH.
KARKAT: SORRY, NONE OF THIS IS RINGING A PEAL SCREAMER.
KARKAT: ARE YOU SURE IT WAS ME YOU WERE TALKING TO?
KARKAT: MAYBE IT WAS THE RED SWEATER GUY.

This passage brings out the troubles of being a character unaffected by the retcon. Since the version of Karkat speaking here is post-retcon, he never had that memorable conversation with Meenah in Openbound Part 2, but Meenah is the same Meenah as she always was, so she remembers that. In A6A6I5, the pre-retcon timeline is far from forgotten, and I feel people overlook that for understandable reasons.

KARKAT: SO THIS IS REALLY IT, THEN.
KARKAT: THIS IS WHERE IT’S ALL GOING TO END FINALLY?
MEENAH: yea
KARKAT: THEN IT’S PROBABLY FATE THAT I ENDED UP HERE… HOWEVER THAT HAPPENED.
KARKAT: I GUESS I TRIPPED AND FELL, AND HIT MY HEAD OR SOMETHING?
KARKAT: PROBABLY SOME SORT OF SUBCONSCIOUS SLIP, LIKE SOME PART OF ME *KNEW* I HAD TO FALL ASLEEP NOW, TO FULLFILL MY DESTINY.
KARKAT: THIS MUST HAVE BEEN WHAT ECHIDNA WANTED ALL ALONG!
MEENAH: uh sure whatever
KARKAT: OK.
KARKAT: I’LL DO IT.
KARKAT: I WILL JOIN YOUR ARMY!

Karkat may have doubts about leadership, but his fighting spirit is still there. He’s hasty to decide that Echidna wanted him to take part in the fight against Lord English, which is weirdly naive of him. I mean, the guy is naive a lot of the time, but this still feels exaggerated.

KARKAT: COME ON.
KARKAT: YOU YOURSELF SAID I WASN’T JUST SOME RANDO.
KARKAT: CAN I BE AT LEAST A *LITTLE* MORE IMPORTANT THAN LIKE DOOMED EQUIUS #45832, WHO IS WEARING A SAUCY MAID OUTFIT FOR SOME FUCKING REASON?!
MEENAH: what do you porpoise
KARKAT: WHAT DO I PORPOISE?!
MEENAH: what do you propose
KARKAT: OH.
KARKAT: I DON’T KNOW, CAN I AT LEAST MAYBE…
KARKAT: BE ON THE FRONT LINE?
KARKAT: HOW ABOUT I’M THE GUY WHO’S LEADING THE CHARGE. IS THAT OK?

Karkat talked at length to Kanaya about not wanting to be a leader anymore, but now he does want to be a leader, apparently? That’s a weird reversal of mind. I feel like this is a somewhat forced way to lead up to Karkat’s great moment of foolishness at the start of Collide: charging at Lord English head-on and quickly getting woken up by English’s rainbow mouth beams.

I guess the army has copies of Aranea and the other trolls that weren’t there after all?
Must be lack of attention to detail on the artist’s part.

With a newfound burst of enthusiasm to fight and lead, Karkat is convinced he’s fated to give a grandiose inspirational speech. Meenah lets him give his speech…

There’s the Green Sun again.

KARKAT: ALRIGHT, I WON’T BE LONG.
KARKAT: UM…
KARKAT: HMM
KARKAT: WAIT. DID I JUST GET TRICKED INTO GIVING A SPEECH TO MYSELF IN FUCKING OUTER SPACE???
KARKAT: FUCK.
KARKAT: OK, NEVER MIND THEN.

… except it’s facing away from the ghost army, making the speech pointless. Karkat was very easily tricked here, which perhaps strengthens the leadup to his grand foolish moment.

KARKAT: THE LAST THING I WANT TO DO IS START EMULATING STRIDER’S INSUFFERABLE RAMBLING SOLILOQUYS.
KARKAT: WHO DOES HE EVEN THINK HE’S TALKING TO??
KARKAT: HOW MANY TIMES HAVE PEOPLE YELLED FROM THE OTHER ROOM, “DUDE, ARE YOU TALKING TO US? WE CAN’T FUCKING HEAR YOU!”
KARKAT: OH MY GOD, I’M DOING IT NOW, AREN’T I.
KARKAT: FUCK!
KARKAT: THANK GOD HE’S NOT HERE TO HEAR ME SAY THIS. I’D NEVER HEAR THE END OF IT.
KARKAT: I WONDER HOW HE’S DOING RIGHT NOW, FIGHTING…
KARKAT: WAIT, WHO WAS HE FIGHTING?
KARKAT: ONE OF THE LIKE 50 FUCKING JACKS?
KARKAT: I FORGET ALREADY. WHEN I TRIPPED AND FULFILLED MY DESTINY AS A WARRIOR, I MUST HAVE HIT MY THINK PAN HARDER THAN I THOUGHT.
KARKAT: WOW, “FULFILLED MY DESTINY AS A WARRIOR” IS ANOTHER THING I’M GLAD DAVE DIDN’T HEAR ME SAY. JESUS CHRIST!

As such, Karkat’s thoughts quickly shift to Dave, first about something Dave does that annoys him, but then he starts monologuing about his respect for Dave in a subtly shippy manner.

KARKAT: UH ANYWAY
KARKAT: WHOEVER IT IS HE’S FIGHTING NOW…
KARKAT: I HOPE HE’S OK.

Karkat’s supposed inspirational speech ended up a total dud, but he did conclude it with something that’s heartwarming in a very Karkat way—one last moment of slight verbal Davekat tease before the comic ends.

Somehow, I never noticed before that Karkat staring into the Green Sun served as a transition device to Jade and god tier Calliope floating right next to the sun. It’s a lovely and elegant transition if I say so myself.

Not nearly as pleasant are the final words god tier Calliope has to say to Jade.

CALLIOPE: we are here.
JADE: where?
CALLIOPE: our destination.
JADE: you mean
JADE: the green sun?
JADE: it feels like we have been approaching it for hours
JADE: do you mean we are finally close enough to it for…
JADE: whatever it is we have to do?

CALLIOPE: yes, we are close enough now.
CALLIOPE: but we do not have to do anything.
CALLIOPE: only i do.
JADE: oh
JADE: then… what do i have to do?

CALLIOPE: nothing.
CALLIOPE: you needed to accompany me on this journey, so that time could pass for you.
CALLIOPE: and now, that time has passed.
JADE: i… see
CALLIOPE: is there anything you would like to say, or ask, before we part ways for good?
JADE: uhhh
JADE: for good??
JADE: you mean i will never see you again after i wake up?

CALLIOPE: no one will ever see me again after you wake up.
JADE: 😦

Jade has it so rough in A6A6I5. This whole time, her contribution to the kids’ completion of Sburb has been staying asleep so the Condesce can’t control her, which god tier Calliope seems to view as a worthy sacrifice for the greater good, but Jade not so much. And now she’s accompanied god tier Calliope in her flight to the Green Sun so that, uh… time could pass for Jade? Due to whatever opposing aspect shenanigans the cherub went on about earlier.

According to god tier Calliope, the only plot-relevant thing left for Jade to do is use her powers to place Earth in the new universe, which disappoints her greatly. I feel like Jade and god tier Calliope’s conversations were meant to get readers thinking and debating about whether all this Jade shafting was worth the thematic symbolism. I feel like it’s “controversial on purpose” so to speak, much like everything about Vriska. And no, “controversial on purpose” is not the same as “bad on purpose”. Maybe the two concepts are loosely related, but “bad on purpose” is almost always a bullshit justification.

CALLIOPE: if you must have advice, i will give you some similar to that i gave your other space-playing friend.
CALLIOPE: i told her to live, where before she had not.
CALLIOPE: so too, you are similarly imprisoned by various inertias.
CALLIOPE: these weigh on you.
CALLIOPE: you are a child, belonging to a race for which that distinction is understood to correspond with experiences of “enjoyment.”
CALLIOPE: perhaps you should try to have,
CALLIOPE: “fun.”

These final words to Jade are much like god tier Calliope’s final words to her alternate self. It seems like she’s sternly trying to encourage those space players less fortunate than her in terms of relevance to simply enjoy life, and in both cases, the recipient of the advice enters a storm of thoughts about whether to accept irrelevance.

Ooh, pretty panel.

After Calliope says goodbye to Jade, it’s time for her to meet someone new.

And that someone is Davepetasprite^2. After introducing themself, Davepeta gives us a fun little SBaHJ callback:

JADE: im so happy to see you, even if you have gone through some uh… pretty big changes!
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < yeah!
JADE: so what are you doing here?
JADE: are you asleep too?
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < nah im awake
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < and like “actually here” and stuff
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < guess i just decided to fly away up to the sun like a fucking piece of garbage after all
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < like i always said i would

This is a super cool prophecy fulfillment that I have a feeling wasn’t even any sort of prophecy or foreshadowing until now. But as I said so long ago in an Act 5 Act 2 post when bringing up this bit of dialogue, retroactive foreshadowing has a charm of its own and fits well with the spirit of Homestuck: making plot points out of the silliest things.

JADE: haha
JADE: you did?
JADE: i dont remember that
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < yeah i said stuff like that sometimes
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < jade i used to be fairly depressed
JADE: yeah…
JADE: well i DO remember that
JADE: you seem to be in pretty high spirits now though 🙂

In retrospect, lines like flying up to the sun like a fucking piece of garbage are very fitting for a depressed cranky bird Dave to say—perhaps an ironic repressive roundabout way to say that he hates his existence. But now that he’s part of Davepeta, they simply take amusement in this callback.

DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < im actually on my way to go fight lord english
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < have you s33n him
JADE: no
JADE: ive spent the last… however long, hiding from him actually
JADE: with calliope
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < who
JADE: shes my new friend!
JADE: well, i guess one of two new friends by that name, technically
JADE: one of them is presumably back with our friends now
JADE: the other just… quite literally flew away up to the sun
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < like a fucking piece of garbage???
JADE: NO 😛
JADE: she is quite dignified and aloof as a matter of fact
JADE: i sincerely doubt she has ever done ANYTHING like a piece of garbage
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < ok heheheh

Oh man, please, PLEASE appreciate this little bright spot of endearing and silly Jade dialogue like we got a lot of in Act 5 Act 2 and a tiny bit in other acts. Jade’s line about doubting god tier Calliope has ever done anything like a piece of garbage is such a delightfully Jade thing to say, so I insist you take a moment to appreciate it.

JADE: anyway if you want to find him
JADE: i would guess all you have to do is follow his trail of destruction
JADE: see the cracks?
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < oh yeah
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < good point
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < guess i could sniff him out
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < except i dont know what he smells like
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < but i guess i do know what some people who will be NEAR him smell like
JADE: like who?
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < vwiskers, for one!
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < also supposedly a staggering dick ton of ghosts
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < ill just smell around for where the ghosts are all at

I’m happy to see the Nepeta side of Davepeta has some usefulness come into play. It’s incredibly easy to forget that she lived in caves and hunted animals, so it makes sense that she’d have a sharp sense of smell and good instincts to figure out where people she knows are. Davepeta probably feels that the actual, authentic, alpha timeline Vriska has an especially sharp and unmistakable smell.

And then the conversation turns into a combination of battleship journey talk and loneliness talk, where we’re brutally reminded of how rough Jade had it in A6A6I5. She learns she dated Davesprite pre-retcon and is unsurprisingly sad to miss out on it, even if it didn’t end well.

DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < so THATS what space means?
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < bein lonely??
JADE: thats a bit of an oversimplification!
JADE: but i think that can be one of the results of gaining a deeper understanding of it
JADE: or becoming connected to it more…
JADE: i dunno, this stuff is all pretty mysterious :p
JADE: i dont have it all figured out yet obviously
JADE: i just feel pretty sad that as i get closer to understanding my abilities and true nature
JADE: it apparently means being deprived of some important experiences
JADE: like i get closer to my aspect, but further away from everyone i love, and further from…
JADE: feeling like a person?
JADE: its just a really empty feeling after a while
JADE: empty like…
JADE: space i guess
JADE: heh

God tier Calliope has quite a dreary interpretation of the space aspect, doesn’t she? Even when told to enjoy life and have fun, Jade can’t help but drift to thoughts of how lonely it must be to embrace her role as a space player. Those words about being a space player have really sunk in for Jade, far more than the words about having fun.

And Davepeta responds with a speech about the concept of ultimate selves, which is quite a divisive topic among Homestuck’s fans. Readers are torn whether ultimate selves are a cool concept that adds a new layer of depth to Homestuck, or if they’re a haphazard excuse for replacing so much of the cast with new retconned versions. I was never sure what I thought of this concept, but I always felt like it was something Hussie would elaborate upon in post-canon media, which he did end up doing to some extent. At this point, I think I can accept having mixed feelings about the retcon and ultimate selves and all that. Not everything needs a firm, solid stance, especially if it’s from a webcomic.

DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < maybe i “got it” quicker though because of the two people i was and their aspects
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < understanding heart is all about the nuances of a distributed self
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < nepeta never got to make much headway with her aspect but shes finally gettin the chance

Whether or not you think ultimate selves are a load of nonsense, it is interesting to see Nepeta’s role as a heart player elaborated upon. She’s one of those Sburb players who never made it far in understanding her aspect, but she remedied that after becoming a squared sprite. Davepeta is a fun way to give Nepeta a proper conclusion and relevant role but with a twist thrown in—the twist being Davepeta, of course. Davepeta also brings up how the time aspect strongly relates to alternate selves.

DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < hey what are you doing out here anyway
JADE: im asleep
JADE: i want to go join our friends and help out
JADE: but im not supposed to wake up :\
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < why not
JADE: i dunno
JADE: im just not!
JADE: calliope said i was too strong or something
JADE: but she also said i should have “fun” so
JADE: i dunno
JADE: i guess im just waiting around for the right moment
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < nah thats dumb
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < you should be able to do whatever you want
JADE: really?
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < well at least she was right about the having fun part
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < maybe thats what she meant??
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < maybe she was leaving it up to you in a mysterious way
JADE: leaving what up to me?
JADE: the decision to wake up?
DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < sure why not

Much like John, Jade was never the best at interpreting the metaphorical meaning of things. But when Davepeta puts it this way, it seems obvious that god tier Calliope was implicitly telling Jade that it’s a choice of her own whether to wake up.

And then Davepeta drops a total bombshell of a kiss—not to wake Jade up, but just to, um… presumably to show that despite everything, Davesprite really did love Jade and wanted to express that to her post-retcon self who didn’t get to date him. It’s quite a snappy way to express that love.

But then, Davepeta wakes Jade up for real. From their perspective, it goes without saying that Jade has been asleep long enough and should just wake up already—the benefits massively outweigh the risks.

Well, THAT took long enough.

Jade is greeted by Calliope and the Mayor, and then she checks out the note Dave left her. What’s it say?

Amusingly snappy on one side, surprisingly sweet on the other. This note is a nice little encapsulation of Dave’s character that tells Jade exactly what she needs to do. She smiles in response to it, already cheered up quite a bit.

Alright, we don’t have much dialogue left now. The little we do have is saturated with callbacks…

DAVE: did someone just bark
DAVE: terezi was that you
TEREZI: WH4T? NO 1 D1DN’T B4RK
TEREZI: 1 THOUGHT TH4T W4S YOU

DAVE: why would i bark
TEREZI: W3LL WHY TH3 FUCK WOULD 1 B4RK???
DAVE: ok this exchange is asinine it was probably just jade

… like this, for instance. I guess Hussie wanted the final spoken dialogue in Homestuck to be a callback storm for some reason? I’m not sure why this is, but maybe it’s sort of cool for this to be a final storm of verbal callbacks.

JADE: looks like you gave me a little assignment in case i woke up
JADE: well, as it turns out……
JADE: i am very much awake!
JADE: and i intend to stay that way 🙂

Callback number two. Dave thinks Jade is supposed to go back to sleep, but Jade calls back to Aradia’s memorable line about being alive, which I guess indicates that she’s extremely eager to be awake and never wants to sleep through important events again. And can you blame her for being this eager? I sure can’t.

JADE: see you guys
JADE: apparently ive got a couple of dogs to deal with
JADE: oh yeah by the way dave…
JADE: youre a pretty good kisser!
JADE: even when youve got cat lips 😉
DAVE: WHAT
JADE: see ya!!!!!!!!!!

This is exactly the sort of weird shit that happens when you force Jade to sleep for so long. When she finally wakes up, she gets ridiculously exuberant and says a bunch of things that make no sense out of context.

TEREZI: BY3, 1D1OT
TEREZI: WH4T3V3R
TEREZI: L3T’S HOP3 TOD4Y, OF 4LL D4YS, 1S NOT TH3 D4Y SH3 FUCKS 3V3RYTH1NG UP

Callback number three. This one references the first words ever said by a troll in Homestuck, specifically from Karkat to Jade. We’ve come full circle to a troll worrying in a grumpy way that Jade will fuck everything up, this time saying goodbye instead of hello.

Next up, we have the very last dialogue spoken in all of Homestuck. It’s spread across multiple pages, one line per page, but I’ll quote it all in one chunk. Are you ready? The final dialogue in Homestuck is as follows:

DIRK: Ask me anything.
DIRK: Go ahead.
DIRK: I’ll give you a straight answer.
DAVE: alright
DAVE: here goes
DAVE: why are we so fucking awesome

DIRK: Dave.
DIRK: That’s the best fucking question,
DIRK: Anybody ever asked.

Yep, that’s right. Homestuck’s final piece of dialogue is a callback to Dave asking the same question to Dirk that he had once asked Davesprite, and receiving the same response. It’s weird that these final words are reused from Act 4 instead of being something new. But then again, it is a good passage, and the spreading across multiple panels does a good job conveying how the Striders and Terezi are at long last prepared for the battle against not one, but two versions of Jack Noir. Additionally, it’s a cool honor for Dave and Dirk to get this last dialogue; two characters that had spent so long fearing their inevitable reunion.

From this point on, my Homestuck post series will never quote dialogue from the comic again. All that’s left now is visual panels and flashes. I’m so close to the end!!!

The battle against Jack English just got a whole lot more interesting—now it’s a three-way fight with Spades Slick mixed in, as vengeful as ever against the destruction of his favorite casino. But the Striders and Terezi aren’t afraid. They’re ready to take on whatever foes this intense fight brings them. Even if it means killing off Spades Slick… *sniff*…

Looks like the ghost army doesn’t contain any Serkets or Makaras after all. Or Damara.

Look at this scene. Meenah is leading the ghost army front and center, Karkat is behind her wielding two copies of Homes Smell Ya Later, and Tavros has been bumped down to third in command, which is still pretty good. The ghost army is ready to take on Lord English.

As for Vriska…

Look, Hussie is here too!

Ah yes, this is the panel that gave birth to a fandom meme that came to be known as “Sitska”. And I sure can’t blame fans for memeing the hell out of this picture. It’s such a funny pose for Vriska to make, and I’ve seen so many Sitska memes that Vriska here almost seems like a frozen statue that you can pick up and move around without it changing its pose.

And here he comes. Lord English arrives at the scene in his Cairo Overcoat, which didn’t stop being a thing or anything. The sheer power of the overcoat’s thinginess leaves a massive impact on the floor, and the army of trolls is ready to face him off.

This panel has some really cool color tinting.

Been a while since we last saw Lord English in person, huh? He’s fearsome as ever, and the guest art does a good job getting us hyped for the grand fight against him, despite all the conversations about how English isn’t worth caring about.

Alongside everything in Vriska’s battle plan, there’s one addition to Act 6’s final round of battles: Caliborn’s fight against Yaldabaoth. I certainly wasn’t expecting to see Caliborn again in A6A6I5, but it’s a cool addition to the battles in Collide and wraps up his rise to power in a very nonlinear manner. Plus, these panels do a good job showing how steaming hot and dangerous Yaldabaoth’s lair is.

Look at the blinding glare of Yaldabaoth’s strangely two-dimensional face. Caliborn isn’t scared of this massive snake monster. He’s ready to bring it on.

Bec Noir and the Prospitian Monarch are also ready to bring it on. Just like how the fight against the Condesce takes place on Derse, the dogs’ duel begins on the what’s left of Prospit, a planet that I didn’t think we would be seeing anything on again given how badly it was wrecked. It’s a thematically fitting location because the beta kids’ Prospit is where the Monarch came from the first of many planets Bec Noir destroyed (though that was before he became a dog).

The dogs are ready to have their final duel once and for all, both blaring with first guardian energy as we’re reminded once more that the Green Sun is where their first guardian powers come from—the same sun that god tier Calliope is about to destroy, just like Dave and Rose thought they would so long ago.

With the dogs ready to fight, A6A6I5 finishes off with a series of multi-panel pages showing all the battles about to happen in [S] Collide. First was Bec Noir vs. the Monarch as we just saw; second is Caliborn vs. Yaldabaoth.

Karkat is so convinced fighting Lord English is his destiny, it’s kind of adorable.

Third: the entire ghost army vs. Lord English. Karkat’s presence alongside Meenah in the second panel shows how strongly he’s convinced he will perform a great act of heroism in this fight, which builds up to a grand fakeout as he’s the first to be eliminated in the battle.

Fourth: Jake vs. the Felt, a battle that turns out a far taller order than he was expecting.

They’re fearless.

He wants REVENGE.

And he’s, uh… an angry rainbow eye lunatic?

Fifth: Dave, Dirk, and Terezi vs. Spades Slick vs. Union Jack. An unexpected three-way battle with an admirable lack of fear from all parties.

And last but not least: John, Roxy, Rose, and Kanaya vs. the Condesce. A pivotal battle featuring the protagonist of Homestuck, making it a very fitting one to close A6A6I5 with. Only now have I realized that Act 6’s final flash ends with six grand battles, which is a fitting number.

A6A6I5 doesn’t end with curtains; instead, we go on to [S] Collide, Act 6’s ending flash which also is Act 6 Act 6 Act 6, and then we have curtains. The lack of curtains is a little odd, but fair! A6A6I5 leads directly to Collide, so curtains would be weird.


Time to recap A6A6I5!

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5 is one of the most polarizing parts of Homestuck, with much criticism directed towards the seemingly never-ending dialoglogs and loose art, and a whole bunch of ridiculous stupid theories about how Hussie secretly hired someone else to ghostwrite the act. And what can I say about A6A6I5? It really isn’t as bad as I remember. Like sure, there’s weird empty fluff here and there, but there’s also plenty of cool parts. Dave and Dirk’s conversations, the conclusion of what little is left of typical Sburb stuff, John and Rose’s meta banter, and the squared sprites stand out the most in A6A6I5. Maybe you’ll think I’m weird for saying this, but I don’t have it in me to be as negative towards A6A6I5 as I used to be. Perhaps it has something to do with me owning up to the fact that Homestuck is very important to me, after having tried to shove it aside for so long?

HOLY SHIT, HOLY SHIT, HOLY SHIT, HOLY SHIT. I AM SO CLOSE TO THE END!!!!!!! HOLY SHIT. HOLY. FUCKING. SHIT. See you for the second last time as I finally analyze [S] Collide, Act 6’s ending flash which is also the longest flash in Homestuck.

>> Part 139: Six Battles to End Six Acts

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