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Act 6 Act 6 Act 6 + the following pages that aren’t technically part of any act
Also to end six act acts, and six act act act acts. The post’s title is even six words!
(Oh, who am I kidding, no one cares about that.)
I have only two Homestuck posts left!!!!!! Oh my god, this is so exciting, do you even know how excited I am? I’m so close to the end, and it’s going to match SO perfectly with the next phase of my real life starting, having a full-time job and saving up for my own house and car and stuff while having properly sent off my relationship with Homestuck. I can’t believe I’m almost done! And to think that for most of 2017 and 2018, I thought I would NEVER finish this post series… boy am I glad I was wrong. Let’s fucking GO!!!
This is what Collide looks like in the Homestuck Collection.
A lot cleaner than using YouTube’s interface, don’t you think?
Act 6 Act 6 Act 6 of Homestuck consists entirely of Act 6’s ending flash: [S] Collide. Collide isn’t technically a flash—it’s actually an 18-minute YouTube video, which is understandable because in 2016, I believe Flash was already announced to be discontinuing in a few years. And because the last time Homestuck had a flash over ten minutes long, the Internet basically broke.
The loading percentage hits 33% at the start of Act 6, and 66% at the start of Act 6 Act 6.
Even though it’s not technically a flash, Collide still starts with a fun little “loading screen” just like Cascade did. Collide’s loading screen charmingly shows how much Act 6’s size has expanded beyond its original intent, divided into a series of acts interspersed by intermissions, the last act of which is itself divided into a series of acts interspersed by intermissions. Collide, the last of those act act acts, is represented by black; Act 7 is represented by white. This makes for some fun color duality going full circle to Homestuck’s early acts.
Gotta love how the Sburb logo is rotated to look like an arrow.
The loading screen is followed by a nice little callback to Cascade’s “play” screen. The only differences are that it says EOA6 instead of EOA5 (duh), the Sburb logo is red instead of green, and the green circle representing Act 6 is replaced by twelve green dots representing its sub-acts and sub-sub-acts.
Unlike Cascade, the screen in Collide expands right when the music begins. The screen expanding is a predictable pattern at this point, and the best way to do it with wow factor is through a blinding flash of white. The flash of white leads to a bunch of scenes set to dramatic orchestral music built upon various longtime Homestuck motifs, showcasing our heroes about to start the battles. Most scenes don’t show us anything new, but here’s one that does:
I’m going to keep the images smaller from here on out. No need for them to be gigantic.
Not much new, mind you. This scene just shows that Jane, Jasprose, and the two Nannasprites have formed their own little healing team, which is very cute.
Also, something about this portion of the flash that’s a little disappointing: the beta kids’ musical motifs play in groups one by one (John, Rose, Dave, and Jade), but it doesn’t at all match with the characters shown. The pictures above and below both are shown in John’s motif section. I suppose I’m willing to let it slide… reluctantly. VERY reluctantly, because Dave and Jade show up in each other’s musical sections when they could have easily shown up in their own.
Also disappointing is that Sollux appears in the flash’s starting section (the Creata section as opposed to the other three songs) but doesn’t appear after the battles begin. I guess he was always a supporting character anyway, and I don’t want criticisms like this to make it seem like Homestuck isn’t extremely dear to me.
We’re still in the beta kids’ musical motif sections. This picture is in Dave’s section, strangely enough.
Aw man, look at Jade here, watching the dogs about to fight. I can tell she’s excited to do something awesome and heroic just like she did in Cascade, which makes it all the more disappointing that she ends up (literally) punched in the face to allow for the Monarch’s grand heroic moment.
I almost forgot to mention this flash finally shows us sprites of the Beforus trolls other than Aranea and Meenah!
Also of the Condesce, the Monarch’s dog form, Jack English, and of course Lord English. Pretty cool, right?
And here’s where the music builds up with what Karkat thinks is his grand heroic moment. He charges up to Lord English head-on with his sickle as everyone else in the scene reacts with confusion. For some reason, I had never before laughed so hard at all those confused reactions, or maybe I just never noticed them.
Lord English’s reaction is one of the most amusing. With the way his head is turned and his eyelids are positioned, you can tell his reaction is “what does this kid think he’s doing?” I won’t show all the reactions because they’re mostly similar to this (like Tavros shrugging at a confused Meenah), though a few ghosts in the audience do look stunned.
Vriska, meanwhile, is waiting for her time to shine, giving an annoyed look to Hussie who’s watching in excitement from behind a rock. Her heroic moment is saved for Act 7, allowing her to end on the most controversial note possible before the epilogues can slap her out of this glory.
And this is the outcome of Karkat’s supposed grand heroic moment (and of the musical buildup). He charges at Lord English head-on and is promptly eliminated from the battle. He’s lucky he’s not a ghost, or else he’d be a goner. He unknowingly provides an example to the other ghosts for exactly what not to do in this battle, which is sort of heroic but in a very ass-backwards way.
And there’s that. Karkat has woken up in Echidna’s lair, befuddled at what just happened. Collide’s intro section ended on a humorously anticlimactic note, which is just as well because we’re done with Creata*; now on to Oppa Toby Style! Holy shit, I had forgotten how much of a fucking hilarious song name Oppa Toby Style is. I’m pretty sure the song was named that because Toby Fox had no idea what to call it so he just rolled with a meme name that James Roach suggested, but maybe I’m remembering this wrong.
* The song does have a full version though. Find it yourself, I don’t want to look at the devastated Homestuck Bandcamp and cry my ass off.
“STRIFE!” for old time’s sake. Been a while since we last saw that word, huh?
You can call these hectic sprite mode battles set to hectic music “fanservice” as much as you want, but is there any way to deny that they’re INSANELY fun to watch? All these battles are high-octane storms of callbacks and slapstick humor, and you know I eat that stuff right the hell up. I LOVE these battle sequences in Collide, OK? I love them, and I always did.
Remember fraymotifs? Those didn’t stop being a thing or anything. We saw them briefly used at a few points in late Act 5 Act 2, and fans had longed for them to make a return of some sort. And in Collide, they got their wish! It’s fanservice, sure, but not any fanservice I can stay mad at.
In the fight against the Condesce, John, Rose, and Roxy demonstrate excellent use of their god tier powers. Kanaya does too with her chainsaw to an extent, but she also spends portions of the fight spacing out reading books or doing her makeup, like shown above. This leads to a common criticism that Kanaya didn’t do all that much in this fight compared to the other three players, which is sort of a fair criticism, but it’s also weird to criticize based on funny background events.
Next up, Roxy takes a round to deal some blows on the Condesce all by herself, which is cool as fuck and concludes with a glorious callback to Rose’s strife against her mother, shown above. This solo beatdown also makes sense because out of everyone in the fight, Roxy hates the Condesce the most. It’s just plain awesome to see her give the witch a piece of her mind like this.
Forced to confront the Felt all at once instead of dealing with them one by one like the Midnight Crew did, Jake’s battle against the Felt quickly descends into humorous chaos. Just look at him wielding those Zilly weapons and all the other Felt members wielding various guns and more unusual weapons like Matchsticks’ fire extinguisher.
Not shown: Gamzee being jerked around due to being stuck in a fridge.
The real troublemaker in the scene is Cans, the biggest and strongest Felt member. Arquiusprite takes the first shot at dealing with him, but his physical strength isn’t quite enough. The Midnight Crew couldn’t properly defeat him either, and not until Collide do we finally see someone who can. Same goes for Clover, who also gets a proper defeat in Collide.
With the Felt fight warped to LOFAF, Karkat hilariously exerts his aggressive fighting spirit on tiny little Clover. But Clover doesn’t turn out easy to deal with either. This scene is so fucking funny, I don’t even know what to say.
But then back on LOMAX, things get serious when Crowbar guns down Jake, reminding us that he’s the Felt’s no-nonsense guy. This leads to an interlude where the healing team helps out in the Condesce and Felt fights, and then the action resumes.
No time for emotional reconciliations. Jane and Jake are ready to get on with the fight!
Look, even Biscuits is eating cookies!
… wait, wouldn’t that be cannibalism?
I love this little scene where Nannasprite bakes a batch of cookies for Jane, Jake, and the Felt while Crowbar watches, unamused. This flash in general has such a great sense of humor.
Love this little callback to Rose’s “RL” signature at the end of her GameFAQs walkthrough.
Jasprose participates in the Condesce fight for a while, which is really cool because it means pre-retcon Rose is getting a second chance to fight the witch after her death in Game Over. She wants the Condesce dead as much as anyone else does and is exerting her probably lingering desire to avenge her Kanaya’s death, but she’s still wearing her goofy cat expression while doing so.
Nannasprite’s participation in the fight similarly makes thematic sense because back on pre-scratch Earth, she was one of very few people who knew the truth about Betty Crocker. She’s now finally getting the chance to participate in her wicked stepmother’s demise, using tons of her trademark japes and slapstick humor.
Not shown: Jane and Jake taking on the Felt as a team, which is heartening.
After a few more fun callbacks in the Condesce fight, Viceroy Bubbles Von Salamancer comes in with his skeleton army, turning the tides of the battle and fulfilling a satirical plot point in a suitably satirical fashion. But believe me, fans saw the VBVS skeleton army plot point as anything but satirical. There was so much debate over what important plot points that little salamander would fulfill, and it’s so silly in retrospect. In any case, I’m glad that extremely important and critical plot point was resolved in Collide. It’s given many fans a “HELL YES, HUSSIE REMEMBERED” reaction; that’s definitely the reaction it gave me.
Look at Dirk giving his trademark thumbs down.
Next up, the “Jack-Off” as many fans have called it (yes, I am perfectly aware of the sexual pun) begins. The first thing worth noting in this battle is the contrast between how the two Jacks are animated. Jack English moves slowly and mechanically, periodically breathing laser beams and hitting things with his crowbar, with stiffly moving sprites akin to a monster boss from an old-timey RPG. Spades Slick, on the other hand, is much more expressive, portrayed as the same hasty and aggressive mobster he’s always been. It’s so crazy that these two contrasting characters are both Jack Noir.
Dirk’s usage of a fancy santa figurine is another fun fanservicey callback.
Spades Slick is clearly frustrated with these kids intervening with his grand final showdown. He fires his gun at everyone in his way in classic Spades Slick fashion, as if to say, “get out of the way you assholes, I’m supposed to kill Lord English.” Dave and Terezi dodge the bullets, but Dirk gets gunned down and is brought back using a time/mind fraymotif from Dave and Terezi, undoing his death by selecting a more desirable character configuration. Dirk has been getting in dire situations the most out of anyone in this fight, and it’s probably symbolic of how far the others have come.
Really, can you blame Spades Slick for being frustrated with these kids? He doesn’t know who the humans are, and he probably doesn’t even remember any of the trolls except maybe Karkat. As is characteristic of any version of Jack Noir, if someone he doesn’t know about gets in the way of his goals, he won’t hesitate to shoot them down. His fate in Collide is a tragic outcome of his typical Jack Noir ways.
The screen is rapidly rotating here; this is just one frame from the scene.
Cans’ fourth wall shenanigans invite some funny little sequences with the characters not involved in fighting, as shown above. Just wanted to point this scene out because it’s cute.
I’ll never forget how hard my jaw dropped as I first watched this scene on the day Collide came out.
These two thought they were strong, huh?
This man is ready for ACTION.
And then comes a major moment of pure awesome: Dad Crocker escapes his Derse prison using his bare fists. He could have done so this whole time, but the Dignitary treated him quite well in prison, even as he surely spent time longing to be with his daughter again. Just like how Dad Egbert easily escaped prison in Act 3, Dad Crocker is about to prove that there’s no character in Homestuck with stronger fists than his.
Dad Crocker, Arquiusprite, and Cans. Three characters with little in common besides extreme strength.
The music dramatically pauses, then resumes with a check-in on the dogs and then a scene showing Dad Crocker and Arquiusprite facing together against Cans. It’s quite an unexpected character trio, showing that the strongest of the three is also the most fatherly.
Look at those dual middle fingers. Caliborn isn’t afraid of anything, let alone his denizen.
This is the first and only time we see a denizen fight in person!
Caliborn gets some screen time in this flash too, fighting his denizen Yaldabaoth using nothing but his crowbar. This guy doesn’t know or care what the intended purpose of a crowbar is: he just uses it to destroy shit, and that includes his denizen. This method of killing his denizen is both humorous and awesome.
A glimpse at Yaldabaoth’s face reveals a surprising Problem Sleuth callback: he has the same face as Demonhead Mobster Kingpin, Problem Sleuth’s final boss. Having such a strong Problem Sleuth callback this late is surprising, but I can’t stay mad at it.
In a refreshing instance of proper motif syncing, the music in this scene plays the same melody as the song “Black”.
Aw, look at Jade watching the dogs fight in severe worry and confusion. Dave’s note told her to deal with the two dogs, and while she knows about Bec Noir, she has no idea who the other dog is because she slept through Vriska’s exposition session. She so badly wants to spring into action and do something cool and heroic just like she did in Cascade, and I can’t help but feel awful for her.
I find it hilarious that Vriska’s only role in Collide is a brief scene where she gets into an incredibly silly fight with Hussie’s self-insert, complete with the return of Maplehoof. She’s left out of all the glorious action in Collide, but Act 7 is a way different story.
Wait… did Prospit always have these chessboard looking floors?
Hehe, look at Karkat flailing his arms around.
Jade does the fourth wall finger frame thing that she did in Cascade, but because she’s rendered in sprite mode, she looks derpy instead of badass, and unlike last time, she isn’t doing it with the physical object called the “fourth wall”. I’m starting to find it fascinating how Jade’s role contrasts between Cascade and Collide.
After a bit of brainstorming, Jade is ready to finally do something awesome and heroic like she did in Cascade… or so she thinks. She’s so eager to be heroic, it’s tragic.
This is god tier Calliope’s only appearance in Collide. She’s patiently waiting for her grand shining moment in Act 7…
… just like she has been through the entire comic.
And that concludes the Oppa Toby Style section! The next song is the second half of Eternity Served Cold, the song whose first half played in [S] Caliborn: Enter. Many fans had hoped that the song’s second half would be used in a flash, and they got their wish!
For some reason, the copies of Mituna in the ghost army stand out by far the most.
Caliborn: Enter had a downright brilliant dual storytelling thing going on with Caliborn and Lord English, and it’s awesome to see that return in Collide as the music picks up where it left off. While Lord English is ready for the final showdown in the Furthest Ring, Caliborn has slain his denizen and is ready to achieve unconditional immortality.
Next comes a little sequence where Serenity the firefly flies through the alpha session’s battles, giving encouragement to all the injured heroes she passes by. This sequence has always sort of felt like padding to me, but on the other hand, it does a good job smoothing the flash’s pace after all those hectic battles.
Aww, look at that big goofy grin.
Jade especially looks encouraged by this little firefly. It’s like she’s being told, “You can do it, Jade! You can stop the dogs from fighting and save the whole day!”
Heh, nice Problem Sleuth callback.
Is Karkat crying because Clover is turning out to be such a tough opponent, or because of the beauty of Serenity cheering him on?
Probably a mix of both.
This sequence concludes with a reunion between Serenity and the Wayward Vagabond, who is now far better known as the Mayor. This paves the way to a full reunion between what’s left of the exile arc’s cast—interesting that such a reunion doesn’t happen until near the end of the comic.
After some dramatic buildup to Lord English’s grand showdown, a visual callback shown above makes it extra clear that Caliborn has just earned the very same juju chest that so much of the quest to defeat his adult self has revolved around. This callback makes for great buildup to Act 7, where as we all know, Vriska unambiguously defeats Lord English for good.
… On second thought, now’s not a good time for snarky remarks about Act 7’s ambiguity. That’s better for next post, where I will probably be far more heartfelt (or at least trying to be heartfelt) than snarky, since it’ll be my last Homestuck post and all.
The action begins with Lord English taking off his Cairo Overcoat, ready for some hands-on fighting. I think the overcoat is the device that allows him to time travel, so it was probably foolish of him to do that, but I’m not sure whether Hussie had thought about this when directing the flash (or whether he was even the one who decided English should take it off).
Weirdly enough, most of the troll ghosts just stand there helplessly as Lord English vaporizes them, instead of fighting him like the story promised. This is a common criticism with Collide, and one I can’t say I disagree with, even considering that the ghosts do a gigantic stampede a tiny bit later in the flash.
Meenah and Tavros, on the other hand, do get some time to fight English head-on, and they’re doing quite well! Meenah is a natural fighter, but Tavros doing so well with his signature lance is more of a surprise—a very refreshing surprise though.
Oh my god, please appreciate how hilarious this scene is.
After all this time, Aradia is still incredibly handy with her whips.
Hey look, Meenah is using her god tier life theft powers!
Even Aradia joins in the fight against Lord English, which is super satisfying and fun to see. With so many other badass trolls around, it’s easy to forget how much of a sick deadly bitch she is.
Then the ghost army does a MASSIVE group charge at Lord English, which refreshingly contrasts against them being helplessly punched around. In the ghost army’s charge, we have a “blink and you’ll miss it” moment with a seemingly alive version of Eridan smiling brightly, sitting on the shoulder of Shrek. This is the only time Eridan EVER smiles in Homestuck! As would be later elaborated upon in external media, Hussie had this whole idea of Eridan perceiving Shrek as a father figure, which was basically a humorous way to give this genocidal grouch a happy ending. He’s talked about how a troll would view Shrek similarly to a lusus, specifically the kind of lusus who knows how to have a good time, and how Eridan supposedly never had a good relationship with his seahorse lusus. The whole Eridan/Shrek thing is a massively overlooked part of Homestuck lore, and I can tell Hussie reveled in the obscurity of Eridan’s form of positive fulfillment. I believe he’s said that the reason Eridan looks alive in the image above is because he never realized he was dead due to the joy of being with Shrek.
What do I think about this Shrek cameo, you may ask? It’s a silly little moment that raises a lot of fascinating implications about Eridan’s character, but only if you actually notice it which is quite unlikely. Not just the presence of Shrek, but how Eridan looks to be alive and smiling. This won’t be the last surprising media reference in Collide—we’ll see another a tiny bit later.
In Collide, Davepetasprite^2 is the last in line to do some badass fighting against Lord English. It’s insanely easy to forget that Nepeta has remarkable fighting prowess, and it’s awesome to see the fighting skill augmented after becoming a squared sprite. But the real highlight of Davepeta’s duel with English is…
The crazy colorful pool ball attacks give a similar vibe to Omega Flowey… or is it called Photoshop Flowey? I’ve seen both names around.
Yep, that’s right: [S] Collide has a scene paying homage to Undertale, which makes a lot of sense to include in Homestuck. During the Omegapause, Toby Fox released Undertale in full, and the game absolutely EXPLODED in popularity, enormously eclipsing Homestuck. I shouldn’t have to tell you that if it weren’t for Homestuck, Undertale probably wouldn’t exist, so this scene is basically the payback for one of Homestuck’s musicians making such an acclaimed game. It’s a fun little animation that may feel out of place to some, but I feel like it was an obligation for Homestuck to pay homage to Undertale before it ended. Homestuck has always been intricately built upon references to other media.
Speaking as someone who read Homestuck before Undertale came out, it’s been insane to see the game become such a cultural phenomenon and even get many people into Homestuck. I’ll probably talk more about this topic in my final Homestuck post, where after the credits I will take some time to reflect on Homestuck as a whole.
The fight against Lord English ends on a cliffhanger, to be revisited in Act 7. The Eternity Served Cold section of the flash also ends, transitioning to the final song in Collide: Heir of Grief.
The Heir of Grief section starts with a massive zoom-out transition from the Furthest Ring to Skaian clouds to Skaia itself…
All four characters here have a different expression here, each showing their shared determination to defeat the Condesce.
… to the alpha kids’ Skaian scepter, held by Jane as the Condesce chokes her. To this day, I’m not sure what the narrative purpose of the Condesce choking Jane is since Jane’s relationship with the Condesce has been barely discussed in so long and it’s so quickly averted, other than maybe giving the other kids a new boost of rage, ready to bring it on and finally defeat the witch? In any case, it’s clear the the Condesce is furious at her heiress and is expressing this fury one last time before she meets her demise.
Look at Dave and Dirk, being true bros in this time of crisis.
After a few more tense fighting scenes, we get a montage showing the beta kids one by one, first their houses on Earth, then their built-up houses on Earth C, and finally the places where they ascended to god tier. This montage is sort of a cool way to show how far these kids have come, but it also sort of feels like padding because the music is so long.
After a few more fight scenes that feel slightly less like padding, we see the Condesce doing one of the least advisable things in Homestuck’s reality: turning her back on the body. It’s easy to miss Roxy on the top right corner, ready to do the surprise attack that she had up her sleeve.
Before the action resumes, we get a shot of Gamzee sobbing alone, trapped in a dark, lonely fridge. This scene probably is meant as a teaser of the idea of him getting a redemption arc, which happens in the epilogues but in an extremely satirical fashion.
Not shown: Jake punching Eggs, delightfully synced to the music’s drums.
And this guy thought he was STRONG, huh?
Now we see the defeat of all the Felt’s leprechauns: Karkat has tied up Clover, Dad Crocker has beaten up Cans, and Jake has taken care of everyone else. All three are very impressive accomplishments that give moments of triumph to characters in sore need of one. They also blow the Midnight Crew’s actions in the intermission to shreds—they couldn’t kill Clover and Cans, and they certainly couldn’t defeat the rest so efficiently. I especially love Crowbar’s shocked reaction to Jake beating up his crewmates—Crowbar didn’t think this guy had it in him, but he did after all.
Set to appropriately dramatic music, Jade is leaping into action and doing something grand and heroic with her versatile powers just like in Cascade… or at least she’s trying to. Her characteristic bravery shines bright as she intervenes in the dogs’ fight, and it feels like there’s a glimmer of hope in her heroic fulfillment despite god tier Calliope’s prior words.
Meanwhile, the Jack-Off has reached a tough situation. Union Jack has caught Dirk (and his sword) in a headlock, which leads Spades Slick to go all “this is my chance!” and catch Union Jack in a headlock. Since his brain isn’t infused with a loyal dog or a raging skull monster, Slick retains the standard Jack Noir mindset of having exactly one goal and doing anything it takes to achieve that goal, and his position in his final moments fits well with that mindset. I mean, not that his death isn’t absolutely crushing, but I’ll get to that shortly.
Even as she’s inches away from the dog’s blades, Jade’s bravery is uncompromised, and her smile is intact because she knows the dogs can’t hurt her. She’s so convinced she’s doing something brave and heroic, saving the day through ensuring everyone’s victory…
… or not.
This is just like when Jake knocked Jade out with his hope bubble in the pre-retcon timeline.
Unlike in Cascade, Jade’s bravery bites back. The Monarch gets over her dog loyalty not by killing Jade, but by punching her in the face so she’s finally out of the damn way. Whether or not you think Jade deserved this anticlimactic fate, one thing’s for certain: Hussie felt it would be a lot more interesting to deny Jade from a heroic fulfillment this time around. This makes for quite an unusual spin on the concept of character arcs, as I recall him saying in his book commentary. And thinking about it, as awesome as it is to see Jade do cool things, part of me feels it is more interesting to subvert the idea of her getting a heroic fulfillment, since Cascade played it so straight. While part of me still feels that Jade simply deserved better, I feel that to truly accept a controversial scene in a story, you have to know how to see it from both sides.
Let’s face the facts: sometimes in stories, characters simply don’t succeed. However, it’s an interesting curveball for one of Homestuck’s main characters to fail her goal, near the end of the comic. Maybe it’s weird to say this, but I’m starting to feel Hussie is on to something whenever he talks about subverting heroic character arcs and happy endings.
With Jade out of the way, Bec Noir looks terrified as the Monarch faces him head-on. I can in no way blame him.
Goodbye, Spades Slick…
You were a good man. Sort of.
Oh, who am I kidding. His death is tragic either way.
And here we have it: the 3x decapitation combo, where Dave runs his sword through the necks of Dirk, Jack English, and Spades Slick, killing them all because that’s the only way out of this situation. All three decapitations have some strong symbolism going on, and I’ll go over them one by one.
Dirk’s decapitation: This is symbolic of Dave finally defeating his bro, especially considering that he broke Dirk’s unbreakable katana—let’s be real, if a weapon’s name contains “unbreakable”, that means it’ll eventually be broken. It’s weird for this defeat to happen after Dave and Dirk’s reconciliation, but the symbolism is clear nonetheless, especially considering Dave’s longtime motif of breaking his own swords.
Jack English’s decapitation: This is the closest within canon that Dave gets to fulfilling his prophecy of defeating Lord English. He basically settles for the next best thing, and it may feel incomplete if you think hard enough about it, which was surely the point considering the epilogues. The epilogues are where Dave fulfills this prophecy for real, and I’ve already discussed plenty how the epilogues are meant to deconstruct the idea of resolving lingering plot points.
Spades Slick’s decapitation: Oh man, this is the most tragic one. Unlike the other two Jack Noirs in this session, Spades Slick never had his mind altered through ring prototyping or Lord English soul infusion. This means that his goal in life is exactly the same as it was when we first met him: to avenge the destruction of his favorite casino. His extreme Jack Noir ambition caused him to meet his final moments carried away in a fight against discount Lord English (who, as far as he’s concerned, is the real thing), and the presence of a bunch of meddling kids sadly cost his life. As upsetting as it is for this fan favorite character to be brutally killed off, I don’t think you can deny that the circumstances leading to his fate match his character traits.
Obligatory mention that after Collide, Dirk’s decapitation became a massive fandom meme.
Pretty impressive that Terezi got out of this insane fracas alive.
Remember all those times adult Dirk saved Dave’s ass by being an insane ninja swordsman? Now, it’s Dave’s turn to save Dirk’s ass, which is a heartwarming inversion of that old pattern. The best part is, Dave is finally using his time travel powers again because he knows Dirk will be gone for good if he doesn’t. He went on this huge rant about never wanting to time travel again (yes, I know it was his pre-retcon self), completely forgetting that if someone he cares about is in danger, he will time travel if he has to. And in this case, he most certainly has to.
After Dave and Terezi leave the scene, Union Jack’s head explodes, blowing up most of LOTAK in a black hole. This is an event that I feel should have some major narrative significance, but it doesn’t have any aside from maybe possibly explaining how Gamzee got to the cherubs’ Earth? It’s a weird one-off event that doesn’t put any damper upon the successful creation of the new universe, apparently.
Goodbye, Bec Noir…
… and hello again, regular old Jack Noir.
Next up, the Monarch does what she almost did back in Cascade before she became a dog: slice Bec Noir’s arm off so she can neutralize him and grab his ring, giving back his other arm in the process. It’s strange that out of the three Jack Noirs, the most fearsome one makes it out alive, but perhaps it’s fitting because he was originally the Jack Noir. Not to say it isn’t completely unfair given the degrees of crimes they committed that he is the Jack Noir who survives.
Now that the other two Jacks are dead, I can finally refer to this guy as Jack with no ambiguity.
Well, not that we’ll see him for much longer.
Or anyone else in Homestuck for that matter.
As one last payback for his crimes, the Monarch punches Jack Noir in the face, and he lands in the same place next to Jade. Perhaps the Monarch’s mindset for keeping Jack alive is that if she were to murder him, would she be any better than he is? There is one character she murdered, the beta kids’ Hegemonic Brute, but he’s such a minor character compared to Noir and all the others who he killed.
And with that, the Monarch lets out a loud scream of victory: the payoff for her three years of persistence in chasing after the feisty archagent. At long last, she’s ready to take off her ring and do what she was originally supposed to do as an exile: repopulate Earth. Took long enough, didn’t it?
She turned her back on the body, and boy did she pay the price.
According to Skaianet Systems, the cherub Calamity (Calliope and Caliborn’s mother) watched the Condesce’s demise from afar.
Spooky, don’t you think?
The Monarch’s triumph is immediately followed by the Condesce meeting an exceptionally fitting fate: stabbed in the back by her longtime nemesis, Roxy Lalonde. She’s stabbed using adult Dirk’s unbreakable katana, a sword which Roxy views as a symbol of the many lives lost through the course of this Sburb session; a sword whose post-scratch copy Dave just broke. Her death is drawn out extra long, giving readers plenty of time to process that the Condesce is dead. Given the enormous length of her reign of terror across Alternia and Earth, readers do indeed need a lot of time to absorb her death. I recall a few readers speculating about Roxy inheriting the Condesce’s immortality curse after killing her, just like how the Condesce inherited the curse from the Handmaid? Sounds a bit silly in retrospect.
Aw, look at John’s triumphant victory face. He successfully helped defeat the final boss of his adventure (or at least, one of the final bosses), and he’s excited about victory just like how he was excited about starting Sburb in the first place. Rose and Kanaya are pleased too, but they also look relieved to be done with the fight. Roxy, shown above, looks smug and serious, sternly proud of finally getting rid of the nasty witch.
These victory poses fade into curtains floating in Hussiespace, set to spooky denizen noises I guess to indicate that we aren’t done just yet? The fadeout is very slow and ends with a black and white image for about thirty seconds, to make Collide’s length exactly 18 minutes. I wonder if the intent behind the flash’s length was so that Act 6 Act 6 Act 6 would be 18 (6 + 6 + 6) minutes long? I think I just cracked a mystery, guys.
And that’s the end of Collide! Turns out I did indeed have more words to say about it than I did about Game Over: 5978 words for Collide, 5168 words for Game Over. Not really a surprise, because Collide is the longest flash in Homestuck after all.
END OF ACT 6
I FINISHED ACT 6, GUYS!!!!!!!!!!
This hardly feels real.
Like… what am I even supposed to say?
A gigantic wall of text reflecting on Act 6 would be just plain silly, given that it’s half of Homestuck. It would also frankly be a complete waste of time, since next post will end with a gigantic wall of text about Homestuck as a whole. I find it a little silly to talk about Act 6 as one big subdivision like many fans do, so instead I’ll give a quick recap of Act 6 Act 6 Act 6.
[S] Collide (synonymous with Act 6 Act 6 Act 6) is a worthy counterpart to Cascade and ending to Act 6, even though Spades Slick was mercilessly killed. It’s also a worthy penultimate flash before Homestuck ends for good (though I guess with the credits, maybe it’s pen-penultimate??).
Roxy putting her mask back on had quite an impact on theories regarding the kids from Caliborn’s Masterpiece. Remember the “masked floozy” line?
The epilogues made it a moot point though.
The end of Act 6 is followed by a set of visual panels that aren’t technically part of any act, but are usually lumped under Act 6 Act 6 Act 6. For some reason, these panels were spread across six updates, which felt like a real drag, but it’s no matter to archival readers, I guess.
Anyway, these panels pretty much show the aftermath of Collide, without any dialogue. Nannasprite heals Jane, undoing her choking like it never happened. The kids from the Condesce fight fly back to the frog platform, and Nannasprite meets Dad Crocker, making for a heartwarming if unusual reunion.
Jane heals Dirk too, quickly getting the problem of his death out of the way. Maybe it’s for the best that the events of Collide are wrapped up without any walls of text, because Homestuck has had so many walls of text already, especially in A6A6I5.
Hehe, look at Ms. Paint being true to her name.
Fans probably would have been slightly more salty if no version of Jack Noir made it to the end.
Continuing the quick wrap-up, Jade wakes up and meets Ms. Paint and Calliope. Ms. Paint meets Jack Noir and patches up the spot where his arm once was, and I guess he’s her replacement for the departed Spades Slick. I recall fans saying that Noir stole Slick’s girlfriend or something, but I mean, Slick is dead now (sadly). It’s sort of bittersweet seeing Ms. Paint start things up with plain old Jack Noir, because that’s who he is now.
She’s so fed up with the orange guy, and ready to go back to being relevant.
After being beaten up by Vriska, Hussie points out one last instance of the “ironic proximity to horses” running gag, prompting a thumbs down. You’d think Lord English would have learned about the dangers of horses by now, huh?
This is followed by a single panel showing Caliborn looking inside his juju chest, in case it wasn’t obvious enough that Vriska is holding the same chest.
What a sweet little reunion.
These two are fitting characters to get rid of these rings due to their heavy involvement in the rings’ stories.
Time for the reunion between what’s left of the exile arc’s cast! WV, PM, and Serenity are reunited at long last, and because of that, it feels right to refer to them by their acronym names again. PM takes off her ring because she no longer needs those first guardian powers. Now, she is holding the white queen’s ring, and WV is holding the black queen’s ring. The black queen’s ring spent most of the comic worn by Jack Noir, whereas the white queen’s ring went through a much more convoluted timeline, was guarded by WV for years, and ended up worn by PM throughout Act 6. But now, the rings have finally been taken off, and are ready to be disposed of so that a new universe can be born.
WV looks a lot more mature and serious with his hood taken off.
Now, it falls into the exiles’ hands to do the final task for the new universe’s creation. Pretty interesting that carapacians, the NPCs of Sburb, are taking care of the ring situation; I bet that’s not something typically done in Sburb sessions.
Look, the Sburb logo has shown up!
I’m guessing that’s a result of the grist rigs fueling Skaia all the way.
Aw, look at all these kids. They’re all so happy to see each other, except maybe Terezi who’s looking lonely on the side. I think this frog platform reunion is very heartwarming without needing any dialogue. John and Jade’s wordless reunion is incredibly sweet, and as for Jake and Dirk reconciling without us getting to read what they say, it’s… whatever. I can accept that Hussie couldn’t write every possible character reconciliation.
Roxy and Calliope’s hug is very sweet too.
Seriously, look at John and Jade!!! Let’s face it, sometimes reunions need no words to be heartwarming. It’s a safe bet that their conversation starts off with something like “i missed you so much, jade!” and “i missed you too john!!!!!!” For John, it no doubt feels like it’s been years since he last saw Jade, given that he’s gone on so many crazy adventures without her over the course of Act 6 Act 6. And for Jade, it really has been years.
I recall hearing that the artists for these panels were given free rein to draw whichever character reunions they wanted, and I think they chose character groups that make sense.
Rose and Dirk greeting each other is cool, but a conversation between them is one of those things that’ll have to wait until post-canon media.
Dad thinking of Poppop Crocker nicely shows us that he and John are mutual dads in a sense, much like several beta/alpha kid pairs.
Jade’s reaction is easily the cutest of all.
Now, it’s finally time for John to have his guardian alternate self reunion, specifically with an alternate version of his dad. Unlike with all the other kids, John’s guardian reunion needs no words: just a long, tight hug. It’s an incredibly sweet scene, but it’s also incredibly bizarre that Dad Crocker doesn’t also give Jane a big hug—goes to show how utterly shafted Jane is in A6A6I5. Still, it’s cool that this reunion achieves the heartwarming factor of the other guardian reunions without needing a single word.
And for the very final scene before Act 7, WV and PM climb up the Forge, taking it into their own hands to dunk the rings into the volcano. As I’ve said before, it’s very nice to give these two one last thing to do after having little plot relevance for so long. Here’s the last panel we see before Act 7:
I always felt this was an odd panel to end things on, but come to think of it, it’s also a fitting one. These two exiles are about to complete the final task of Sburb, which is Homestuck’s entire premise; this naturally leads to Act 7, which I’ll be covering next post.
Wow, holy shit. I’m really at the brink of the end right now!!! Seriously, I cannot believe that my next Homestuck post will be my final one. Thank you for sticking with me as I go through this insane lengthy journey. I can’t even… I don’t even know what to say! I hope at least someone can believe I have only one post left before finishing my Homestuck post series, because I sure can’t. It’s just… WOW. Finishing my Homestuck blog post series seemed like a faraway impossible daydream for the longest time, but now the end is in plain sight, which feels indescribably amazing.
See you on September 20 for my final Homestuck post.
(You have no idea how unreal it felt for me to type the sentence above.)