Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 140: The Circle of Stupidity Is (Not) Complete

Introduction

< Part 139 | Part 140 (the end!)

Act 7 + Credits + Closing Thoughts

Pages 8127-8130

This is it, folks. This is the end of my Homestuck post series.

Are you ready for the grand finale of my Homestuck blog post series? After six long years going in and out of working on my Homestuck posts, I have finally reached the finish line. I cannot overstate how amazing it feels to get started on my final Homestuck post. It feels far more amazing than I could have ever imagined to actually be at the final point, not just imagining when I might reach that point.

There’s many ambitious projects that I’ve started over the years—since I was a child, in fact—but most of them fizzled very early on. A fair portion of those projects I got quite a good way through, but a much smaller portion of those did I successfully finish. On the day this post is published, I can proudly say my Homestuck blog post series has joined the elite club of personal projects that I have finished. The post series spent almost two straight years being a project that I thought I would abandon forever, but eventually I somehow had it in me to resume it after all, and from then on, it was an on-and-off climb to the finish line, which is where I am now.

After one year and seven months working on this post series, one year and ten months putting this post series on pause, and two years and nine months working on and off in months-long bursts, I proudly present to you Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 140: The Circle of Stupidity Is (Not) Complete. What better way to name my last Homestuck post than with a reference to an anime that I haven’t seen? I sure can’t think of any.

(By the way: happy sixth anniversary to my first Homestuck post! A fitting day to release the last one, if I say so myself.)


Alright, now let’s begin this post with Act 7!

Act 7, as you should already know, is a nine-minute animation that concludes Homestuck, released on the comic’s seventh anniversary. You should also already know that it is a very divisive ending that is often argued to leave a lot unresolved, and that it is animated in a style heavily inspired by anime, giving closure to the long-running misconception that Homestuck is an anime. Before writing any of the text from this paragraph onwards, I rewatched Act 7 in its entirety, and one thing is immediately clear: I had somehow never appreciated before how stunning the animation is. This may have something to do with the fact that when the flash came out in 2016, I knew nothing about any anime, and was expecting Act 7 to be… please don’t laugh at me for this… a gigantic walkaround with every character interaction possible. In retrospect, I think my dissatisfaction with Homestuck’s ending came mostly from the unresolved character interactions!

Now of course, my more positive reaction to Act 7 today no doubt relates to how the epilogues resolved the threads it left open in a way that brutally deconstructs the concept of plot resolutions. The epilogues allowed me to appreciate Act 7 much more for what it is: a beautiful animation that mostly shows things we already knew would happen, but in a fashion that’s stunning enough to be a worthwhile ending flash. But even putting aside the epilogues, I think I’ve outgrown all those childish complaints that I once had about Homestuck’s ending content. I guess that’s what happens when you’re 22 years old, huh? You realize that some things really aren’t worth getting hung up about.

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Homestuck post series update (for the last time)

I’ve finished writing my final Homestuck post!!! It’s all on track to release on September 20, the sixth anniversary of the first post.

Over the next few days, I’ll reread my Homestuck post series in order and go along the way fixing mistakes one last time, and perhaps trimming down on the retroactive edits as I’ve already said. I’ll be busy with an upcoming full-time job, but if I have some time to spare, rereading those posts sounds like a nice thing to do as I take a week-long break from Internet presence.

Did I mention I’ll take a week-long break from Internet presence? It’s because of my upcoming job, which I feel it’s only right to prioritize. The break won’t start today; it will be from September 13 to 19. And then on the 20th, my final Homestuck post will be released, and all will be well. I’ll see you then!!!

(Holy shit, I’m really excited to be done with my Homestuck posts.)

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 139: Six Battles to End Six Acts

Introduction

< Part 138 | Part 139 | Part 140 >

Act 6 Act 6 Act 6 + the following pages that aren’t technically part of any act

Pages 8087-8126

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.

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A few updates! (two Homestuck posts left, reformatting complete)

So… I’ve finally done it. I’ve fixed formatting on every single post from before the move from Blogger to WordPress, and it only took me just shy of two years!! Now that that’s done, I’m ready to do the last two posts in my Homestuck blog post series, and boy is it an appropriate time to wrap this project up. The next phase of my life is really shaping up now—I have a new job starting in two weeks and will spend quite some time preparing for the job (or rather, the online training it starts with), but when I’m not preparing for it, a good thing to do would definitely be to wrap up this project that I started when I was a measly little high school student.

It’s truly mind-boggling that I have only two Homestuck posts left—138 posts complete, two yet to be done, and after that I’m finished for good. Here are my plans for the last two posts.

Homestuck post number 139: This one will cover all 18 minutes of [S] Collide and the visual panels that follow. I’m going to start working on it after I publish this post, and I estimate it will take a week to get done. Expect it to come out around September 6, give or take a few days. Collide is a flash that I don’t imagine I will analyze in too much depth relative to its length, at least not compared to [S] GAME OVER. And while there’s not a lot going on in the visual panels that follow, this post will likely end up pretty long anyway.

Homestuck post number 140: This one will cover all 9 minutes of Act 7, all 6 minutes of the Snapchat credits, and end with some closing words about how Homestuck has impacted my life and how it feels to be finished with this project. I will release it on September 20, the sixth anniversary of my first Homestuck post. Hussie took seven years to complete Homestuck; I will have taken six years to complete my Homestuck post series if things go as planned. I have a lot in mind for the post series’ closing words, and I hope it comes off as heartfelt instead of just plain rambly.

One more thing unrelated to Homestuck: You may know of my work in large numbers, specifically the site Pointless Large Number Stuff. You may also know that Google Sites as we know it is going away in two days—I could simply “upgrade” to the new Google Sites, but I know a lot of formatting and images would break, and a lot of features would be unsupported. Later this year, I plan on figuring out how and where to port the content over with new revisions and updates, plus some general cleaning up. I wish I could do this updating now, but it’s difficult to dip my feet back into a field I’ve long moved past, so porting the site’s content will instead serve as a nice little side thing to do when my job is progressing and my Homestuck posts are finished. But I have some good news about the large number site: you can consume its content exactly as originally intended through the Wayback Machine! And it looks like the same will hold true for the many other sites on large numbers hosted on Google Sites, given others’ archiving efforts. I’ve made HTML backups of all the site’s pages regardless, and those will no doubt come in handy for whenever I decide to move the content somewhere new. I’ll figure all this out eventually, but for now I have a Homestuck post series to finish!!

One more thing related to Homestuck: My rewritten posts are canceled because I’m really not motivated to do them anymore. Here’s what I finished of the latest one. At least I got through some of Act 4… right?

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.

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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.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 137: You’re Welcome for Me Existing

Introduction

< Part 136 | Part 137 | Part 138 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 11 of 12

Pages 7881-7938

I finally made it to the greatest moment in Homestuck history!
That’ll be towards the end of the longest post in my Homestuck post series’ history.

I’m, um. Wow. All I can think right now as I start this post is wow. I’m really doing the final post covering pre-Omegapause Homestuck—the last part with the art drawn by Hussie, the last part before Homestuck’s true ultimate final stretch. I’m already in my Homestuck posts’ true ultimate final stretch though, since this is my fourth last post. After this post which I expect to become insanely long, I’ll only have three posts left before the finish line!! (SMALL CHANGE OF PLANS: This post won’t cover all the rest of pre-Omegapause Homestuck; Terezi’s monologue to Vriska and the flash that follows will be in the next post.)

I’ll likely finish writing my final post (number 140) quite some time before September 20, which is when I plan to release it. Before that date, I’ll do one final read through all the posts start to finish, comparing them to the old versions on my Blogger site (up to number 96). I’ll be fixing errors, editing maybe a few passages for clarity, adding back passages I needlessly removed, and probably trimming down some of the retroactive edits. While a few years ago I had wanted to rewrite my old Homestuck posts and keep them the best commentary on Homestuck I could possibly do, now I view the posts more as a chronicle of sorts detailing how my thoughts on Homestuck (and the entire concept of analyzing Homestuck) evolved from 2015 to 2021. And plus, I frankly want to move on from Homestuck for good after finishing these posts. As such, once I’m done with the final round of edits (and with my final Homestuck post), I think I’d like to keep my Homestuck posts as is.

To start this post off, we have a little scene with Calliope entering Jade’s house, which looks quite barren—everything’s been probably collecting dust during post-retcon Jade’s lonely battleship journey.

I can tell Calliope is fascinated seeing the portrait of dream Jade on the Prospit/Derse themed fireplace.

CALLIOPE: oh, hello, sir.
CALLIOPE: i’m looking for a man they call… “the mayor”.
CALLIOPE: is that yoU?

So distracted that she didn’t notice the Mayor’s sash, plainly showing who he is.

CALLIOPE: oh, silly me.
CALLIOPE: of coUrse yoU are!
CALLIOPE: it says so right there on yoUr handsome sash.
CALLIOPE: how nice it is to meet yoU!

Here, we get a cute little live example of the Mayor communicating with voiced characters using hand gestures—something we don’t get a lot of in Act 6. It’s nice to see him doing so firsthand, even if it’s for something as simple as indicating he is the Mayor.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 136: The Tripling of the Feline Sprites

Introduction

< Part 135 | Part 136 | Part 137 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 10 of 12

Pages 7812-7880

All three feline sprites are of shown in this image. Though one will soon become something different…

With my Homestuck posts, the light at the end of the tunnel is now visible with the naked eye! It’s been visible for quite some time, actually. After releasing this post, I have only four left before I reach the finish line. This metaphorical tunnel hasn’t been unpleasant and dreary as such metaphorical tunnels tend to be, but it’s still the kind of tunnel that you spend big stretches of time thinking would never end. You get so used to being inside the tunnel that the thought of what it’s like outside the tunnel stops crossing your mind… at least until you can make out the light at the end. And then you start feeling amazed and get motivated to quickly get through the little that’s left to reach the other side.

What I’m saying here is, when I’m nearing the end of an ambitious project like I am now, my motivation to finish the project kicks into extra high gear.

Picking up from the short little select screen, Jasprose is ready to prototype Jake’s kernelsprite, but first she takes care of Tavros’s cat allergies using the placebo effect: she feeds him a button from her velvet pillow, purported to be a pill, and he succumbs to the effect. While the placebo effect is a real phenomenon that occurs in real life, Tavros succumbing to the effect so easily says a lot about how much of a pushover he is, setting up the contrast with his pre-retcon self.

I’m just going to assume she got Nepeta’s head out of the tightly locked fridge using some sort of squared sprite powers.

Ready to do the blindingly obvious, Jasprose acts rude and snooty to Jake, then gives a speech about Nepeta’s poor treatment that heavily leans on the fourth wall.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Mrow, well hello there, beautiful. ;3
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Fret no more sweet princess, for as long as I am here, you will never suffer such indignity again.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: How could anyone let such monstrous injustices happen to one so dear?
JASPROSESPRITE^2: What FILTH would dare to debase you in this manner?!
JASPROSESPRITE^2: To say it was the marginalization of a bright and pure spirit, to say it was MURDER, this would be too flattering to the purrrpetrator.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: What happened to you was nothing less than the desecration of a MASTERPIECE.

Jasprose is on to something when she says that saying Nepeta was murdered is a severe understatement. In Homestuck, murder doesn’t necessarily sever a character from the realm of relevance. A murdered character could well keep having screen time in dream bubbles, prevail as an alternate self, be talked about a lot by other characters, or even just leave behind a sizable impact on the plot. Nepeta got none of those opportunities, and due to presumably her squared sprite knowledge, Jasprose thoroughly knows as much.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 135: Pleasant and Unpleasant Alternate Self Meetings

Introduction

< Part 134 | Part 135 | Part 136 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 9 of 12

Pages 7766-7811 (partly not in order)

Contrary to the post’s title, the unpleasant alternate self meeting comes first.

With this post released, I have only five Homestuck posts left!!!!! I’m rapidly approaching the end, and boy is it an enticing feeling.

Time for the tenth and final section of the fake character select screen! But first, let’s go through some of the hover options on the select screen. First off, Dave and Dirk round 1 finally shows them talking instead of sitting silently, which is very refreshing. They’re facing each other instead of sitting side by side, trading stories of their respective bros. Both of them seem to have greatly lightened up, talking about the more humorous sides of each other’s adult selves.

Meenah is dressed like the Condesce in this fantasy, in case it wasn’t clear enough that they’re the same person.

Meenah’s final fantasy (in no way a pun on the video game series) reminds us that after all this time, she’s still interested in killing Lord English—not out of narrative self-importance like the Serkets, but simply because she enjoys fighting and being badass. This makes a good leadup to the Vriskas’ verbal confrontation after the select screen ends.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 134: The Ultimate Strider Feelings Jam

Introduction

< Part 133 | Part 134 | Part 135 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 8 of 12

Pages 7733-7765

This post is dedicated entirely to one of the most touching scenes in all of Homestuck, if not THE most touching.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Contrary to what I said last post, I ended up also publishing ths one while on vacation. I won’t work on more Homestuck posts for the rest of my vacation (until August 1), but rather get on the grind to finish reformatting my old posts from May to September 2019. Those posts have had messed up formatting on this site for almost two years, and fixing them is long overdue.

It’s time to go over the ninth selection of the fake character select screen: Dave and Dirk, round 2. This section will take up the entirety of this post since it’s (1) a very long scene and (2) one of the most emotional scenes in all of Homestuck. When you hover over the first option of the fake select screen, you see Dave and Dirk back where they began: sitting side by side, ready to have their reunion at long last. It’s the exact same image we saw in the second fake select screen, which is thematically fitting.

I love how happy Rose looks fantasizing about shoving a pillow in Jasprose’s face.

Aside from Dave and Dirk, most of the groups of characters listed in the select screen are no longer in the same place, so the fake select screen has developed an interesting system for who to show in which section:

  • The six-way conversation shows whichever characters are presently on the frog platform.
  • Vriska/Meenah shows Meenah having Condesce-esque (Condesque) fantasies while the Vriskas face off.
  • Roxy/Calliope round 1 shows the frog platform zoomed out.
  • The four-way conversation shows the frog platform characters, but drawn more crudely.
  • Roxy shows Roxy (obviously).
  • Jasprose/Jane at first showed Jane, but now it shows Jasprose.
  • Roxy/Calliope round 2 shows Calliope.
  • Dave/Dirk round 2 (in the next select screen) shows Dave and Dirk but drawn more crudely.
  • Roxy/Kanaya is the last option, and the fake select screen ends after their conversation.

This system of showing characters has gotten a little cumbersome, but it’s still very fun and adds a lot of visual humor to A6A6I5. But enough humor now: time for some extreme FEELS.

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