Cookie Fonster Re-Critiques Homestuck Part 16: The Dawn of the Eggy Looking Thing (unfinished)

Introduction

< Part 15 | Part 16 | (cancelled)

Pages 1455-1577

Act 4, Part 2 of 6 (if I had not cancelled these posts)

Link to old version

I’m just going to say it: My rewritten Homestuck posts are cancelled. I just don’t have the motivation to do them anymore, especially since I’m very close to the end of my non-rewritten posts—all that’s left is [S] Collide through the credits. This is what I had started of the sixteenth rewritten post; I had written it early in March and sat on it for five months.

Speaking of which, later today I will post an announcement of the very little that’s left with my Homestuck posts! Stay tuned.

Once a dutiful lawyer, always a dutiful lawyer.

What have we here? An illegally parked vehicle.

You sure hope this guy’s got a swollen porkhollow. He just landed himself in citation city.

Here’s our first look into the Aimless Renegade’s past, back when he was the Authority Regulator. His carapacian perception of the law humorously clashes against humans’ priorities, when his first thought upon noticing the wrecked car is not that it’s wrecked, but that it’s parked illegally.

> AR?: Surround the scene with caution tape.

Gonna be real here, it’s always felt a little confusing that the exiles’ past selves are noted using question marks. That confused me greatly during my first read of Homestuck, where I thought the mystery was, “is this guy AR or is he not?” I’m not sure of a better way to denote exiles’ past selves than a question mark—other punctuation characters would be much less fitting—so I guess this is the best that could be done. Maybe following alternate self acronyms with question marks is akin to something text-based adventure games tend to do and I just don’t know it because I don’t know anything about adventure games? Whatever, this is kind of a pointless tangent.

This looks much more orderly. Public safety has been assured. Your sworn duty as an AUTHORITY REGULATOR has been upheld.

To carapacians, this sort of judgement as to what is and isn’t legal is probably perfectly normal. Maybe that makes sense, because it’s a simplified version of the concept of law and exiles are meant to repopulate planets with simple ideologies.

How speciesist of the Regulator to assume everyone uses the same currency he does.

AR nabs John’s birthday package and Sburb server discs out of Dad’s car, which obviously means John will promptly receive both of them without any shenanigans involved.

You are a simple PARCEL MISTRESS on one of your routes. Today is another day of uneventful but highly satisfying deliveries.

It’s time to meet PM’s past self, in different attire from her first appearance on Prospit. Her deliveries are described as “highly satisfying” which, like AR, evokes a very simplistic interest in delivering mail.

She recognizes the package as one she has spent a long time looking for, holding a helpful note from dream Jade. Her pursuit of delivery is about to clash with AR’s pursuit of justice, even though she’d ordinarily refuse to interact with an agent from the enemy kingdom.

John has trouble killing the bigger underlings on his planet and even almost gets devoured by one of them, until we see a callback that’s as recognizable as it is unexpected:

This explains those underling heads we saw in the bottom floor of Jade’s house.

As indicated by the fact that he is moving and just shot his trademark gun, Grandpa Harley is evidently not a corpse right now. Readers at this point tend to think “what the fuck, I thought he was dead”. The mystery of how Grandpa entered the Medium is interestingly not solved until Act 6 Act 3, where Jake explores his frog temple and notices transportalizers to Prospit and Derse inside.

Book commentary:

Look, Grandpa Jake Harley doing something useful and kind on behalf of one of our young heroes. One can only assume he just wanted to shoot some monsters and didn’t actually realize he was being helpful.

Commentary likes this makes it clear Hussie thinks far less of old man Jake than many fans do. He considers Grandpa Harley to be a joke character, a pastiche of like ten different absurd stereotypes, rather than someone who’s at all heroic or cool. That puts him at odds with the other more positively portrayed guardians, which makes sense because he’s just Jade’s fakeout guardian.

You could have sworn that strange man was holding your copy of Colonel Sassacre’s.

Grandpa Harley’s extremely high aliveness attribute may be distracting from the fact that he is carrying Sassacre’s and fulfilling the tome’s time loop, so John’s narration helpfully spells that out.

WOMEN.

Meanwhile in the exile arc, PM remembers she must complete her centuries-old mission of delivering the package to John. WV and AR exchange a glance, the narration saying “WOMEN.” This moment is funny because Homestuck normally never makes jokes like this (aside from Caliborn of course). This observation by the exiles comes out of nowhere and is never spoken of again.

I find it funny how apologetic John is about his poor art skills, to the point of leaving deprecatory remarks alongside drawings he isn’t satisfied with.

It is a carved MINITABLET.

The carving is not especially clear to say the least. But your wealth of delivery experience allows you to decipher it immediately.

It is the other parcel the agent is holding. It appears you will need to acquire both from him now. It is your sworn duty.

Book commentary:

I’m glad SOMEBODY understands the mail delivery system on this planet, because I sure don’t. And I was the one who invented it. PM must be pretty smart.

Took the words right out of my mouth, Hussie. Well, minus the part about inventing the mail system, because I am not Andrew Hussie (sorry if anyone believed I was). It’s one of several story mechanics Hussie forgot about shortly after inventing them.

> PM?: Ready sword.

You do not have a sword. You are quite sure it would never occur to you to carry a sword or resort to violence under any circumstance.

Welp, now we know for sure PM is going to carry a sword at some point. The Parcel Mistress’s trademark insistence upon pacifism is going to be shattered through the rise of Jack Noir, the resident wildcard of Sburb sessions who will break the game if given the freedom to do so. It’s only characteristic of Noir to make this lady change her mind regarding usage of weaponry.

AR furiously trembles at the sight of this attractive lady and refuses to give her John’s Sburb disc until she presents the minitablet, which apparently gives her authorization to deliver the disc.

You quickly drop the ENVELOPE into an empty PYXIS. It is out of your hands now. THE BREEZE will know where to take it.

Book commentary:

Turning a key item over to the whims of the Breeze is quite a brilliant way for me to say, “All right, we won’t see this thing again until the exact moment I decide it’s important to the plot for it to show up out of nowhere, without needing to contrive any sort of logical explanation.”

Hussie’s right, this is indeed a clever way to put items on the backburner for an indeterminate amount of time. John doesn’t receive his Sburb server discs until near the start of Act 5 Act 2, which is a fitting time because at that point Jade is next and last in line to enter the game. It seems almost as if the Breeze is like the narrative forces of Skaia, allowing things to happen only when predestination demands as much.

The birthday package, on the other hand? That thing’s convoluted journey is far from finished. PM resolves to keep a close eye on it, refusing to let the package go undelivered with tenacity rivaled only by Jack Noir.

John tries to save the salamanders from the fire, but because of Homestuck’s canonical flammability of shaving cream, this happens:

Homestuck has probably led many people to believe shaving cream actually is flammable. I know it did for me.
Kind of scary how easy it is to believe random things you read on the Internet.

And then, because of the narrative convenience of the Breeze, this happens:

The townspeople rejoice and are more than willing to give you all the credit. You suspect it is probably because they are not all that smart.

Ah, yes. The “oblivious hero” archetype. In the old version of this post, I had something possibly interesting to say here:

It’s like John is some dude from Avatar who is known by everyone except him to be the true master airbender. Is there a protagonistic character in the Avatar franchise who was some kind of “chosen one” like that and doesn’t know his own ability? Damn, maybe I should have actually watched that show.

I’m not sure why this scene evoked Avatar: The Last Airbender when I had only seen tiny bits of the show (which is still true today). Maybe because it hadn’t been as long since I was exposed to Avatar than it is now? I guess that’s probably it. Because of this, I unfortunately can’t add more to my past self’s words, other that I was probably on to something with that comparison. I’m sure Avatar is a show that’s well worth watching, given its wide popularity among older viewers; some people even argue that it qualifies as an anime.

PM commands John to carve something on his stone tablet, to which he obliges, answering the question of where the carved Sburb beta came from.

You seem amenable to this request. It’s a little wobbly up on top of all these dancing lizards though.

Not that it matters because you suck at drawing anyway.

Oh John, wait till you see Karkat’s art skills. What if Karkat also had a mail system on his planet, but he sucked so bad at art that he couldn’t deliver anything and ended up confusing his planet’s consorts, who he probably relentlessly massacred? That would probably fit with how the trolls hasted their way through the game and screwed quite a few things up in the process.

WQ commands Rose to find her sprite. Rose’s narration says the following:

JASPERSPRITE is nowhere to be found. He always was a little cagey, even when he was alive.

Rose had this whole ideology of Jaspers’ personality that was probably a load of nonsense what with all her crazy feline psychoanalysis, and it seems not to have changed a bit even many years after the cat’s death. Childhood psychiatrist Rose is adorable though, so I can’t be too hard on her.

Still a rad panel. Note Vodka Mutini on the bottom right, casting a large shadow.

Rose follows a trail of footprints to where her mausoleum once stood. The mausoleum is gone, but the secret passage is still there, except it leads somewhere different now. A cool repurposing if I say so myself.

… And that’s as far as I got. Sorry if you’re disappointed to hear this, but I just don’t have it in me to finish the rewritten posts.

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