Cookie Fonster Re-Critiques Homestuck Part 12.1: Scrawlings in Puddles of Sloppy Discharge

Introduction

Part 11 | Part 12.1 | Part 12.2 >

Pages 1052-1099 (MSPA: 2952-2999)


Act 3, Part 4 of 5

Link to old version

This post (which I wrote on and off over the past few weeks) was originally going to cover the last ~100 pages of Act 3, but yesterday I decided to split the post in half because it was getting long. I also renamed my rewritten post series from “Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Rewritten” to “Cookie Fonster Re-Critiques Homestuck”; the last ~50 pages of Act 3 will be covered in Cookie Fonster Re-Critiques Homestuck Part 12.2.

Picking up from where we left off, John Egbert is commanded to alchemize in a 1980’s time-lapse montage. The narration declines the “1980’s time-lapse montage” part of the command because Hussie didn’t feel it was worth making John’s per-character alchemy binge into a flash, which I think was a good decision. All four beta kids get their own alchemy binge during the first five acts, and each one brings about a delightful mix of extremely plot-relevant items and inconsequential nonsense and everything in between.

First off, John tries alchemizing “pogo || hammer” instead of “pogo && hammer” and makes a hammer-shaped pogo ride. This is a clever integration of computer science technicalities to make alchemy work in Homestuck without inevitably running into captcha cards with too many or too few holes. Here’s the book commentary on this page:

You people don’t even know what the && and || operators mean, do you? Why don’t you learn computers you dorks! Although to be fair, technically the single & and | bitwise operators are what perform the described functions. So now who’s the dork. Me. I went with the logical operators (&&,||) instead because they are more recognizable and frequently used from a pure coding perspective. So it’s this weird case where I dumbed it down for the sake of people who ACTUALLY KNOW HOW TO PROGRAM. Good grief.

afw I like this commentary because it shows how much care Hussie put into balancing technical accuracy and general accessibility when writing Homestuck’s early acts. The mix of accuracy and accessibility sets Homestuck apart from Problem Sleuth, a story based fully upon technical accuracy (to its own set of rules, that is).

Eh, could use some improvement.
Yes, PERFECT!

And here’s where John starts customizing his suit until he comes up with something satisfying. It’s common in media for characters’ outfits to set the tone of the story, and the early acts of Homestuck do that in a unique and incredibly fun way: by having characters experiment with item combinations until they make an outfit they like. Usually the outfits are just for flair and tone-setting, but Dave’s outfits are a special case because they distinguish his time duplicates.

Don’t forget that Lord English will one day eat every single hammer John has ever made.


John’s creativity starts to shine as he comes up with ways to use his complex alchemized weapons. How does he solve the problem that his Telescopic Sassacrusher is too big to carry? Simple: he makes a Remote Ghost Gauntlet—a remote-controllable arm alchemized from his fake arm, Nanna’s ectoplasm, and his father’s PDA.

Then he uses a mirror to make a Left-Handed Remote Ghost Gauntlet. Hussie’s book commentary raises an interesting point about its usefulness:

Honestly I forgot until just now that a mirror could be combined with items to flip them. I don’t think that clever tactic was ever used again. But then, in a universe where sprites can just “flip turn-ways”, maybe it’s not actually that useful?

Flipping sprites turn-ways only happens twice, both times in the Midnight Crew intermission: first when Diamonds Droog uses effigies to patch Spades Slick’s eye, then when Slick flips his own sprite so that his bar-coded arm isn’t severed. I wonder if flipping their sprites turn-ways is something carapacians can do but humans can’t? It matches with their roles as NPCs and all the other stuff I talked about in a recent post. Maybe the Kiddie Camper Handysash has a badge that grants players full ambidexterity and sprite flipping? Or maybe it doesn’t since most of the Handysash’s badges grant players abilities humans in the real world can do just fine.


Hopefully you already know that real-world controversies have greatly affected Bill Cosby’s presence in Homestuck. I find this instance rather amusing; many readers might chance upon this command and guess that because the command ends with an ellipsis, John will remember on the next page what Cosby is now best known for and decide not to alchemize anything with his Ghost Dad poster. Alas, most of Homestuck was written before the controversy which means a few parts read very differently now.

You probably already know that Hussie owns the painting of a horse attacking a football player in real life.


Through a bit of creative thinking and math, John figures out how to remove the clown drawings from his movie posters! Another bit of admirable problem solving that shows he’s smarter than he lets on—clever problem solving is a trait he has in common with Roxy which neither show very much in the brutally deconstructionist Candy Epilogue.


And then John makes… this thing. I’m not going to bother saying what everyone says when they get to this part. Instead, I’ll talk about the book commentary on this page:

Bill Cosby is the perfect father. We all know this. Whereas Bing Crosby, though quite fatherly onscreen, was actually a total douche to his real kids. I didn’t know this until way after I put him in HS. I wonder if Dad would have a dramatic breakdown if he learned that?

YEARS LATER EDIT – HA HA, LET’S POLITELY SIDESTEP THE FACT THAT HE’S NOW BETTER KNOWN AS A SERIAL RAPIST THAN A GOOD FATHER. HA HA, WHAT SEX CRIMES SPANNING FIVE DECADES??? HA HA, WOW, MOVING ON!

*But for real, re: the Cosby debacle. Given that I was just saying what a douche Bing Crosby was, it makes sense that Bill Cosby turned out to be one as well. These two figures are cosmically linked in the Homestuck mythos, which has eternally bound their souls together whether they like it or not. Both iconic father figures. Both wretched human beings. The circle of depravity is complete.

I think this commentary provides good insight into how the Cosby debacle affected Homestuck that doesn’t come across as being in bad taste. The fact that Hussie managed to form a logical connection between that whole situation and his comic’s mythos is a testament to how deeply intertwined every single aspect of Homestuck is, even the absurd celebrity jokes.


GOOD PROBLEM SLEUTH REFERENCE. That is all.


God, the Wrinklefucker has such a cool design. How can a hammer whose head is made of springs and irons possibly look so badass???

It’s like fucking christmas up in here.

Actually, it IS fucking christmas up in here, because this page was posted on Christmas.


And that’s the end of John’s alchemy binge! A whole bunch of sweet loot, including some sick weapons, a stylish new outfit, a couple wild variants on Fruit Gushers, and some inconsequential miscellany. The next three alchemy binges are even more fun.

PLEASE WATCH THIS YOU WON’T REGRET IT (to complete the trilogy)


Now it’s time for Dave’s final round of strife against his Bro.


Dave, Bro, and Cal have their grand final confrontation, face-to-face, sword-to-sword…


… and with one swipe of his anime sword, Bro Strider fulfills most of what was foreshadowed when WV looked at Dave’s exile screen. This moment establishes how unbeatable grown-up Dirk is—not just brutally defeating Dave, but also using his sword to introduce three plot points in one go: Dave’s swords breaking, Dave’s record symbol representing the Scratch, and the deep dark secrets behind Lil’ Cal (because his head is intact). Bro’s strength is also important because it’s used to show how unbeatable Jack Noir is after he becomes a dog.


Dave stumbles around some more until he lies face-up on the ground. He finally has his bro’s copies of Sburb, and all it took was his lunatic guardian handing him the brutal beatdown to end all brutal beatdowns. Post-scratch Dirk fulfills plot points through clever well-timed sequences that take advantage of every detail he can find; pre-scratch Dirk fulfills plot points simply through being an anime swordsman.

If I recall, Hussie didn’t intend for Dave’s bro to give off such strong anime vibes but rolled with it when fans pointed that out.


And with that, Bro Strider hops on his rocketboard and floats away like a mysterious motherfucker.

It’s kind of crazy that he just simply hops on and flies to the meteor so he can slice it in half while Dirk in the Unite Synchronization flashes has to make use of complex physics to achieve similar feats. Is this the way adult Dirk rolls, or are the beta kids inaccurately perceiving their guardians again? I’m going to assume it’s the former, because Bro spent 30 years or so inseparable from a puppet housing the souls of several impossibly strong beings whereas the puppet’s post-scratch “clone” didn’t have any of those souls yet.


And then comes the iconic sequence. Say it with me:

— turntechGodhead [TG] began pestering ectoBiologist [EB] — 

TG: bro just kicked my ass 

TG: thats really all there is to say on the matter 

Bro just kicked Dave’s ass. That’s really all there is to say on the matter. Now let’s go on to [S] Jade: Pester John, a flash everyone forgets about for some unfathomable reason!

I hope you don’t mind some self-advertisement.

The main point of this flash, as the title suggests, is to show Jade and John’s conversations we already read from the former’s perspective. This flash is unique because it’s the only time we see a previously read pesterlog from someone else’s perspective in a full-length animation rather than still pages, which I’ve always found to be a genius method of storytelling.


This flash reveals that Jade’s dream self talks to her friends through her dreambot. It’s still so crazy to consider that Jade’s first ever onscreen conversation with someone was typed by a robot who mirrors all her dream self’s actions—perhaps even crazier than the reveals of trolls and cherubs.


After we establish that dream Jade is using her lunchtop to pester John, the flash takes a bit of time to show us how exactly Jade can “see the future”: during Skaia’s eclipses, she absorbs information from clouds that show her bits and pieces of their story. Alongside all the clouds showing past events, there are a few clouds shaped like people and items in Jade’s daily life, like the Squiddle-shaped cloud above. These shaped clouds are a nice touch to the Skaian cloud scenes and I find it a bit of a shame they’re phased out—they’re shown in this flash mostly to tie into [S] John: Wake up towards the end of Act 2.


Dream logic gets REALLY weird as we find out the truth behind the noise outside Jade’s house that “sounded like an explosion”. A Skaian cloud showing Jade’s island 413 million years in the past expands so that Jade is now “reliving” that memory, much like a dream bubble…


… then another Skaian cloud shows the prehistoric meteor arriving from the beta kids’ session, and the meteor turns into a meteor-shaped cloud …


… and then the meteor-shaped cloud crashes near the volcano, reenacting a scene from [S] WV: Ascend. The fact that the meteor is represented by a cloud instead of just being a memory of a meteor is a good demonstration that dream mechanics in Homestuck often work based on what looks the most artistically pleasing (or narratively convenient).

This flash shows us that Jade slept through John’s entry into the game, as we would expect from her.


And this is the big reveal. The loud noise outside Jade’s house that sounded like an explosion wasn’t a meteor impact, but a dream memory of a meteor impact. A bit at odds with how Skaian clouds usually work, but still a great red herring and demonstration of bizarre dream logic. It’s also a good retrospective demonstration of how protective her dog is; we know from [S] Jade: Enter that Bec will never let a meteor impact anywhere near Jade and instead destroys the meteor head-on to wipe out everything else on Earth.


This memory reveals to the reader (and to Jade) that the prehistoric meteor from [S] WV: Ascend gave birth to Becquerel, a millions-of-years-old dog who rose up out of lava in case you need a reminder how incredibly tough he is.

Please take a moment to appreciate that Jade is casually typing from atop her dream tower.


It’s also super crazy to see what Jade means by “bec doesnt want me to go near it”. She’s unknowingly referring to two versions of Bec: the dog in the real world and the dog’s dream projection. I assume that the reason she doesn’t find it surprising that she’s dreaming about Bec for the first time is because her dream self has a very different kind of brain from her waking self.


The last part of this flash shows us another John scene from Jade’s perspective: his short dream where he saw clouds shaped like items from his house and a silhouette of Jade. Jade notices him floating with his eyes shut tight and flies towards him to try and wake him up. We don’t yet know that she’s extremely antsy to finally show John around Prospit and tell him all her secrets—that’s saved for an extremely sad letter John reads after her dream self’s death.


This sequence revisiting the events of [S] John: Wake up is extremely well executed: we see the exact same shots with a bit more detail than before, showing that the shaped clouds John glimpsed at were only a small portion of a much bigger picture.


The silhouette of Jade is also revealed not to be what John thought: a look from a broader perspective reveals Jade to be wearing her golden dream outfit, shaped a bit differently from John’s perception. Jade flashes a few times in her dream outfit as we revisit John’s perspective.


And then they both wake up.

How is it POSSIBLE that so many people forget about this flash?! Or the music in it for that matter. [S] Jade: Pester John may not be as fast-paced as all the iconic end-of-act flashes, but it’s a beautiful way to finally reveal how Jade “knows the future” and the truth behind her pesterlogs with John, with lots of stunning dream scenery as well.

Jade’s past pesterlogs with John can be reread below this flash, helpfully accompanied by links to the pages we first read them on.

GG: anyway what have you been up to john?
GG: oh!!!! did you get my package yet? :O
EB: er…
EB: yeah, i was trying to get it, but rose dropped my car into a weird spooky bottomless pit and the package was in the car and im really sorry about that.
GG: oh no!
EB: wow, ok, i guess i should start at the beginning.
EB: see, a meteor blew up my neighborhood.
GG: thats terrible john! im so sorry!


John and Jade’s pesterlogs read very differently now that we know Jade is actually her ditzy dream self. She reacts to John’s statement that a meteor blew up his neighborhood like a normal person would because she isn’t on top of things like her waking self is.

EB: but i’m ok! and my house is too, sort of.
EB: that game i was telling you about, sburb which i was playing with rose, sort of transported me somewhere at the last minute.
EB: but now i’m trapped here and it’s weird and dark and i can’t find my dad and i just lost the car and my copy of the game in the pit and i think i have to save the world from the apocalypse!!!
GG: O_O
GG: well…..
GG: it sounds really crazy and kind of scary but…..
GG: it also sounds kind of exciting!
GG: i dont know john maybe this is your destiny
GG: if anyone can save the world i think it is probably you!


Jade’s encouraging words again come off as extremely airheaded from her perspective now that we know her dream self forgets everything.

EB: wow, you think so?
GG: yes!
EB: well ok, BUT.
EB: it’s not even that simple!
EB: i was about to connect to rose to help transport her and save her from meteors and fire and stuff.
EB: but she lost battery power and i lost the game disc!
EB: so i think i have to get TG to use his copy to save her!
EB: but that jackass won’t shut up and stop rapping and stuff.
GG: hahaha
GG: he is so silly!
EB: yeah. anyway i should talk to him about it, so brb.


One thing waking and dream Jade have in common a special soft spot for Dave. I feel so bad for her in the epilogues, even reading short passages like this.


Jade’s next conversation with John in which she is an EXTREMELY FILTHY LIAR turns out to be her waking self and it’s just as annoying to read now as it was then.

GG: hey!!!!
EB: whoa, there you are!
GG: how is your adventure going john?
EB: it’s ok, i am making some progress, and rose finally connected again so she is helping me now.
GG: thats good!!
EB: oh but, like…
EB: i don’t think i am actually saving the world here. 😦
EB: i dunno what i’m really accomplishing but i guess it’s not that.
GG: hmm well i think whatever it is it must be pretty important!
GG: dont lose hope john i think it will all turn out for the best if you stay positive….
GG: just keep listening to your grandmothers advice!!!
EB: yeah, you’re probably right.
EB: but, um…
EB: i don’t think i mentioned nanna to you, did i?


It’s somehow much more surprising now than before that Jade knows about Nannasprite. We now know that she must have seen Nanna in a dream, but it’s still really weird to see that she knows this much in advance.

GG: oh uhhh…….
GG: i dont know didnt you???
EB: hmm, i dunno, maybe you talked rose or dave about it or something.
GG: yeah maybe that was it!!
EB: they’re really weird when they talk to me about you, like they’re always trying convince me you have some spooky powers, but i’m always like no she seems like a pretty regular girl to me!
GG: heheheh 😀
EB: but then when i think back maybe there are times when it seems like you know some things?
EB: like maybe you know more about a thing than you are telling me? i dunno.


The dramatic irony is stronger now than ever before. Come to think of it, Rose and Dave trying to tell John the truth about Jade is a bit like Roxy and Dirk trying to tell Jane the truth about Betty Crocker.

GG: oh! john!!!
GG: i forgot i was messaging you about that meteor that fell near my house!
EB: oh yeah.
EB: what ever happened with that?
GG: oh boy…. well……..
GG: it turns out i was confused about it…
GG: really confused! o_o;
GG: see i guess i fell asleep for a while and…..
GG: lost track of time
GG: that happens!!
EB: yeah i know, tell me about it!
EB: maybe you should like, wear an alarm clock or something.
EB: so what was the deal with the meteor?
GG: well…..
GG: its hard to explain!!!
GG: but…
GG: i know what it is now!
GG: and now i know everythings going to be ok!!!



This part is much more tolerable when rereading, because we now know Jade is telling the truth and was indeed confused about the meteor. “Lost track of time” is a vague way to say dream Jade forgets things a lot; the truth behind the meteor is indeed hard to explain, even by Homestuck standards.

EB: so what is it???
EB: or is this just another thing you’re “waiting” to tell me???
GG: oh gosh john i really want to tell you all this stuff!!!
GG: but i cant yet
GG: i really think you need to wake up first!
EB: huh?
GG: well ok not literally
GG: well ok maybe KINDA literally!!
EB: AUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
EB: stop being so confusing!!!!


And finally, we now know exactly what Jade means by “wake up”. Rereading pesterlogs from different perspectives is a lot of fun.



You take a moment to gather your thoughts after your dream. While you are asleep it can get very confusing figuring out what is really happening and what isn’t. Especially during the ECLIPSE, when you are exposed to many visions of the past, present, and future through a variety of CLOUD MIRAGES. It is only after you wake up that you are able to start making sense of it all, and your REMINDERS help you do this!

This is one of the first instances of a pattern in the comic I very much appreciate: following flashes with textual recaps. By this point, Hussie had surely realized that some readers found big, grandiose flashes to be confusing, so he resolved this issue by recapping flashes in words for those who consume information better as text. The paragraph above is a great example of this pattern because it thoroughly explains how Jade knows the future.

But on reflection, there wasn’t much in the dream about the future. You were quite surprised to see your DOG in your dream though. It was the first time the crafty guardian has ever appeared in a dream! You have learned that today is his birthday, just like it is for your other best friend. You have always wondered about this, and never had the chance to throw him a party and bake him a cake. Now you can!

But if you do, it seems that you will need A LOT of candles.

This recap continues with a partial explanation of the story behind Bec. It tells us in a humorous way that the dog is millions of years old, which Jade probably deduced because she’s a huge science nerd.


Bec has never allowed you to enter the MYSTIC RUINS for reasons you never understood. You always assumed it was on account of your protection. But your dream has strongly suggested to you that is where you need to go now!

Since your DREAMBOT is secured in its chamber and does not need to be looked after, Bec is taking a nap in the GRAND FOYER as he usually does. Perhaps you can take advantage of this and sneak out of the house another way?

This bit reads to me like Hussie letting readers suggest how to get Jade to the frog temple because he didn’t have any ideas. This sort of thing is done several times in the early acts back when Homestuck ran on readers’ commands.

Grown-up Karkat isn’t the only character who’s good with a zipline. Just look at teen Jade.


Upon suggested commands, Jade uses her harpoon gun to zipline down to the frog temple. This is a creative solution that I can really tell was a reader’s idea, not Hussie’s, considering the way Jade fights enemies later in the comic.


This page shows us that Rose built John’s house up all the way to his first gate. The book commentary says that his house now resembles a video game level; this is a great demonstration of the creative building aspects of Sburb, which I think is an underappreciated part of the comic.


Having been defeated by his bro, we finally get to command Dave again. His strife specibus is now 1/2bladekind, which definitely is a thing that makes sense. Everyone knows Dave’s broken sword motif demonstrates his struggles with heroism, but I see his thoughts on being “the guy who breaks swords” more as annoyance with character archetypes. He’s the one who told Rose that human beings don’t have arcs (which I vehemently disagree with) after all.


You try to grab the BETA (6) but you forgot your sylladex is completely packed.

You wonder why you jammed all this useless crap in here in the first place. Maybe you assumed you would weaponize it all during one of your customary HASHRAP battles with your BRO. But in retrospect that probably just would have been a huge chore and would have made the battle drag on forever.


Sometimes you need to read the comic a bit deeply to see when Hussie is talking to readers through narration; other times like this, it’s very transparent. On this page, Hussie is telling us he was originally going to make an animated hash rap battle between Dave and Bro.

It’s like what are you made of time.

Obvious god tier title reference right there. This joke is reprised in Act 5 Act 2 when a doomed copy of Dave talks to Aradia, who is the Maid of Time—I wonder if Hussie had devised the trolls’ god tier titles yet by this point? Terezi mentions several of the trolls’ titles in Act 4, one of which is Aradia’s, so the answer might possibly be yes. Act 3 is fun to reread because it’s loaded to the brim with evidence that Hussie planned much of his comic’s plot way ahead of time.


Dave empties his sylladex and captchalogues his bro’s Sburb beta, then pesters Rose.

— turntechGodhead [TG] began pestering tentacleTherapist [TT] —

TG: ok i got it
TG: i hope you appreciate how much gross spongy proboscis i had to fellate to get this game
TG: hello
TG: what are you doing
TG: anyway im going down stairs now and installing this thing
TG: later


Rose would most certainly appreciate how much gross spongy proboscis Dave had to fellate to get this game. She and Dirk are both avid fans of overcomplicated ironic scheming.


That would certainly hasten the parcel’s delivery, but the gift is not finished yet!

You have spent months accelerating your knitting skills to be able to make the gift of perfect sentimental appeal. You even incorporated a cherished heirloom you have had as long as you can remember.

When he sees your staggering gesture of sentimentality he will finally understand. He will understand that in the game of facetious sentimental gestures, no one gets the best of Rose Lalonde.

These hints at the whole bunny mystery arc are a lot of fun to reread. I have no idea what readers might have speculated Rose’s lifetime heirloom to be, but given the appearification and sendification prevalent in the exile arc, I bet some readers immediately guessed on this page that time travel was involved.

We already learned in Act 2 that John was the one who got Rose into knitting…
… but only now do we get to read his birthday letter.


OH BOY, IT’S THIS PART. I love all the birthday letter scenes in Acts 3 and 4 so much. Each one says something big about the beta kids’ friendships and shared interests, and few of them (like this one) revisit prior scenes in more detail.

dear rose,

happy birthday!!!

thanks for being such a great friend all these years. i know you like to make it out like you’re playing it cool and don’t care much about the people in your life, but i know deep down you really do. hell, not even that deep down. it’s like, um, like your subconscious is having a wet t-shirt contest, and you being all aloof is this totally soggy shirt doing no good at all at hiding nothin’. oh wait, it looks like two can play at this game of cracking all these high falutin psychology books! AW SNAP!!!


John’s wet T-shirt contest metaphor is a great way to show how deep and resounding the beta kids’ friendships are. He’s trying to describe through Dave’s style of snappy metaphors what Rose is like deep down; the analogy makes no sense but that’s what makes it endearing.

but yeah, i got you this because i think you’re really creative and you could make something nice with it if you put your mind to it. and it might help you take your mind off a lot of all this serious business you’re always absorbed in. you know, all this weirdo pseudo-gothy stuff or whatever. frankly it’s kind of depressing.

anyway you’re the best rose! have a rad 13th! (i will catch up with you guys soon. god you’re all so old.)

~ghostyTrickster
(john)


John’s motivation behind this gift is to nudge Rose towards being a kinder, more approachable individual. His letter is a bit pushy and perhaps patronizing towards Rose’s interests, but it ended up working exactly as he hoped! He got Rose into knitting, an interest without which she’d come off as a completely boring fake goth girl. Getting Rose into knitting may have even played a part in her relationship and eventual marriage with Kanaya, which is kind of crazy to think about.

Speaking of Kanaya…


… it’s time to dissect the HELL out of her first ever pesterlog. Are you ready?

Some time later, Rose would change her wallpaper to something much less gruesome.


GA: Why Is It That When The Subject Of Temporal Mechanics Is Broached Your Sparing Human Intellects Instantly Assume The Most Ingratiating Posture Of Surrender Imaginable

This troll gives us one hell of a first impression—certainly a way more interesting one than Karkat gave us. The first line we hear from Kanaya is the comic’s first instance of arc words that usually show up when the story talks about alien concepts like troll romance.

GA: Time Is Not That Difficult To Understand
GA: It Is A Utility That A Universe May Resort To In Order To Advance A Desired Degree Of Complexity
GA: Or May Not Resort To If That Is The Case
GA: Its All Pretty Pedestrian
GA: But No
GA: When Time Travel Comes Up You Present The Face That A Man Shows When The Breeze Gradually Alerts Him To His Absence Of Netherdressings


Kanaya’s complaints about the beta kids not understanding time travel may be meant to prepare readers for time shenanigans in following acts. It definitely reads this way to me, because time shenanigans kick into mega high gear when we start hearing more from the trolls.

GA: I Dont See How We Are To Properly Agitate You All If You Continue To Insist On Failing To Understand Basic Concepts Which Common Infants Effortlessly Manage To Describe Via Scrawlings In Their Own Puddles Of Sloppy Discharge


To first-time readers, “puddles of sloppy discharge” probably reads like a gross metaphor Dave would make. Only when rereading the comic will you know that these aren’t metaphors at all, but descriptions of troll biology. I’m going to guess that at this point Hussie had a loose idea of the workings of troll biology.

TT: Have we spoken before?
GA: Yes
GA: In The Future
TT: You and your friends never cease to invent ways to strengthen the credibility of your assertions.
GA: Oh My It Is Your Human Sarcasm Again
GA: I Enjoy Listening To It And I Wish Doing So Could Serve As My Primary Form Of Recreation
GA: There See I Just Did It Too
GA: Saying The Opposite Thing To Emphasize My Contempt
GA: But Suddenly I Feel More Primitive And Hate Myself A Little More
GA: It Was Like This Funny Miracle That Just Happened In My Heart
TT: I would admire the sophistication of you and your fellow future-dwellers a little more if you seemed to be aware the word “human” only functions as that sort of adjective in bad science fiction.
TT: But I won’t be rude and change the subject.
TT: There’s a still a bit of unflagellated straw poking out of your rhetorical effigy over here.
GA: Oh Dear
GA: No We Arent From “The Future”
GA: But We Are All Already In Agreement That You Dont Get It And Never Will
TT: I thought you said we spoke in the future.
GA: We Did
GA: Your Future
GA: For Me It Was Only A Couple Minutes Ago
TT: I understand.
TT: You exist in some temporal stratum through which you have communication access to various points of my timeline.
TT: It’s not that complicated.
GA: Yes Thats Right
GA: Will You Try To Talk Some Sense Into Your Idiot Friends
GA: So That We May Proceed To Bother Them All On More Rational Terms

Is it any wonder that these two are the first couple in Homestuck to canonically marry? The only one, if you don’t consider the epilogues canon. Rose and Kanaya have strikingly similar manners of speech and levels of intelligence, but plenty of differences to make them a worthy couple. I noted in the old version of this post that you’ll know Kanaya is female from her screen name if you know what an “auxiliatrix” is, which means that this pesterlog is one of the first hints at homosexual relationships in Homestuck. I’m not sure if it’s the first hint, because Dave showed quite a few signs of having a gay crush on John in the first two acts.

TT: I try to every day, with mixed results.
TT: But you see, it’s not that I don’t understand you.
TT: It’s just that I don’t believe you.
TT: Because it’s nonsense.
TT: Albeit persistent and coordinated nonsense.
TT: Why would a bunch of temporally dislocated trolls want to harass a group of friends throughout completely random points in time?
GA: I Will Admit This Campaign Of Provocation Wasnt All That Well Thought Out


We later learn that Karkat led the campaign of provocation, which makes sense because he’s kind of a dumbass sometimes. He’s enough of a dumbass that Rose can’t logically process a mindset like his.

GA: Dont Tell Anyone I Said That
TT: Alright.
TT: Maybe you should get some trolling tips from us humans.
TT: Our sparing intellects are probably better suited to it.
GA: Yeah Maybe
GA: Why Dont We Be Friends
TT: You want to be my friend?
GA: I Think So
GA: I Think Were Supposed To
GA: You Suggested As Much Earlier
TT: You mean I did in the future?
GA: Yes A Couple Minutes Ago
TT: Probably because I remembered you mentioning it in the conversation we’re having now?
GA: Thats Likely
TT: Hmm.
TT: Your commitment to this roleplaying scenario is intriguing.
TT: What choice do I have but to accept?


Kanaya is hitting on Rose now, and it’s a mystery arc why that is. Though the kids are hit on by trolls aplenty through the course of their session, readers are probably invited to wonder why Kanaya has a thing specifically for Rose. It’s not revealed until the trolls’ arc that Kanaya found Rose’s Sburb walkthrough before the trolls started their game and spent much time fantasizing about what the writer of the walkthrough must be like.

Dave’s city looks oddly idyllic on a rainy day.

Rose’s flashback is immediately followed by a flashback to Dave’s 13th birthday. This scene reveals something interesting about Dave’s backstory: before he got his Stiller shades, he wore the exact same shades as his bro. You can tell through his triangular shades that Dirk raised Dave to become an anime swordsman just as tough as he is; it’s hard to even call him Dave without the Stiller shades.


John’s birthday letter to Dave is incredibly sweet, I love it so much. I’ll go through it in detail.

dear dave,

happy birthday!!!

i just wanted to take a break from telling you how much your gay butt stinks all the time and say what an awesome friend you are.


Let’s add “Dave’s homosexuality” to the list of things in Homestuck’s late acts that were planned since at least Act 3. The signs of Dave not being straight were there SINCE ACT 3!!!, and plenty more thereafter (like in his conversation with Tavros a few pages later). It cracks me up in retrospect how much I used to insist that Dave’s sexuality arc and maybe-romantic relationship with Karkat were horrifically forced, like “J. K. Rowling revealed Dumbledore was gay” levels of forced. It’s like, how the ACTUAL FUCK could I have been so heteronormative???

I’m getting a bit off topic though. Let’s continue through the letter.

seriously, on any other day i would be downplaying how you aren’t really as cool as you think you are, but just between you and me i think you might actually be that cool. i think you just gotta get out of your bro’s shadow and spread your wings dude!!!

John’s encouraging words to Dave are simply incredible. He knows both his Derse-dreaming friends far better than they know themselves and is single-handedly responsible for major parts of their identities.

so i got you these. they’re totally authentic! they actually touched ben stiller’s weird, sort of gaunt face at some point. i’m sure you’ll dig them because i know you lolled so hard at that movie. ok so for real, this is sort of a shitty present, but it is an ironic present because i know you wouldn’t have it any other way. maybe you can wear them ironically some time. they MIGHT even be more ironic than you and your bro’s dumb pointy anime shades.

Unlike with his present to Rose, John’s present to Dave did far more than he thought it would. He thought Dave would just treat those shades like an ironic prop from one of John’s stupid movies, but Dave ended up wearing the shades on his face every second of his life. Dave’s post-scratch self mirrored this treatment of Stiller’s shades down to the letter; those shades are far more symbolic than Dirk’s anime shades could ever dream of being. (This letter is the first time in the comic anything related to Dirk is referred to as “anime”, which as I said earlier was an observation by fans that Hussie decided to go along with.)

anyway, have a good one buddy! and stay busy being totally sweet!

~ghostyTrickster
(john)


Now that Dave has his Stiller shades, he will be busy every waking moment being totally sweet. John is an absolute prophet, I’m telling you.


Now THAT’S the Dave we know and love. Right when he finishes reading John’s letter, he puts the anime shades aside never to be worn again.


Now comes an extremely memorable humorous pesterlog where Dave owns a troll like there’s no tomorrow.

AT: hEYYY,
AT: fIRST, oK, i THINK YOU’RE AWFUL,
AT: lET’S PUT THAT FACT ON THE TABLE WHERE WE CAN BOTH SEE IT,
AT: nOW YOU HAVE BEEN PRIMED FOR THE DIGESTIVE RUINATION THAT’S ABOUT TO TAKE PLACE, aND THE COMPREHENSIVE SOILING OF THE LAUNDRY ENVELOPING YOUR PERSON,
TG: oh my god you type like a tool


The trolls’ typing quirks are innocuous so far, all things considered; the later ones take much more getting used to. I can’t help but notice that the first few trolls we hear from in the comic type simply with different capitalization and punctuation from the kids. Later trolls introduced have much wilder typing quirks directly based on their zodiac signs, which goes to show how much more the trolls’ arc was thought up on the spot than the kids’ storyline. Feferi in paricular had a typing quirk so hard on the eyes that it probably cost her narrative relevance; Meenah’s typing quirk is one of many ways her character is taking a second shot at a Pisces troll.

AT: yEAHHH,
AT: nOW YOU’RE GETTING IT, wHAT YOU ARE IN FOR,
AT: aRE YOU READY TO BE TROLLLLLED,
AT: wITHIN AN INCH OF YOUR MISERABLE HUMAN CORTEX,
TG: this is so weak im almost getting tired of wasting good material on you guys
TG: its like
TG: youve got nothing
TG: its always one of you sprouting up and ranting about how hard im about to get trolled
TG: with no ensuing substance
TG: you dont even know anything about us
TG: one of you fuckers thought i was a girl
AT: oK, yEAH, bUT,
AT: tHE THING IS, tHAT i DON’T CARE,
AT: aBOUT YOUR ANATOMICAL DETAILS, aND THINGS LIKE THAT,
AT: i KNOW WHAT YOU’VE DONE,
AT: oR WILL DO, aCTUALLY,
AT: iT’S THE MOST AWFUL THING, tHE WORST YOU CAN EVER DO,


Tavros’s first impression is interesting knowing what’s later revealed about him. He was probably conceived simply as an example of a troll who’s not very good at trolling, but since he was one of the trolls we got to know before the trolls’ arc started, fans had plenty of time to come up with headcanons about what sort of person he must be, especially involving his unseen legs. It’s kind of weird to think that Tavros’s tragic backstory came to be simply because he was one of the first trolls to speak in the comic.

TG: sorry i wouldnt cyber with you dude
TG: in the future or whatever
AT: wHAT, wAIT,
AT: oH,
AT: oK, yOU’RE THE ONE WHO LIKES TO SUBMIT INNUENDO,
TG: human innuendo
AT: yES, hUMAN iNNUENDO,
AT: sORRY FOR THE LACK OF CLARITY,
TG: so at what point in the future am i supposed to look forward to you whipping up this titanic hankerin for my knob
AT: uH,
TG: be honest with me
TG: cause im busy
TG: and i want to know exactly when i got to clear some space in my calendar for when some fuckwit blunders out of a magical phone booth and makes a ballad-inspiring play for my throbbing beef truncheon
AT: sHOULD i BE PERTURBED BY THESE ALLUSIONS,
TG: no man
TG: look
TG: i just need to know when to be there
TG: when the stars come into alignment and your flux capacitor lets you finally sate your meteoric greed for crotch-dachshund
TG: i wouldnt want to miss it and cause a paradox or something
TG: itd suck if the universe blew up on account of you missing your window of opportunity to help yourself to a pubescent boy’s naked spam porpoise


Dave Strider is not a homosexual. <- BLATANT LIES

Dave Strider was obviously intended not to be a homosexual until the retcon happened. <- ALSO BLATANT LIES

This pesterlog is hilarious after all this time and is an absolute highlight of Homestuck’s early acts. <- BLATANT TRUTH

AT: uHHH,
AT: oK, THIS IS SORT OF STARTING TO UPSET ME,
TG: jesus you are such a shitty troll
AT: i GUESS i’LL LEAVE YOU ALONE,
AT: aND FIND ANOTHER POINT IN TIME TO BOTHER YOU,
AT: wHEN, i GUESS,
AT: yOU ARE MORE EMOTIONALLY SUSCEPTIBLE, aND DON’T HAVE ALL THESE BEES IN YOUR BONNET,
AT: aBOUT YOUR HUMAN SEXUALITY,


I used to be in a huge weird shitty denial that these lines tied in directly with Dave’s sexuality arc. Even Tavros can tell that Dave has a lot of issues to sort out regarding his human sexuality. <- BLATANT TRUTH

What the FUCK was I thinking years back in this blog either awkwardly tiptoeing around or complaining about the sexuality arc?! <- QUESTION I DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER TO

TG: oh no
TG: no dude
TG: you sassed me up
TG: we are in THE SHIT now
TG: together
TG: for the long haul
AT: i,
AT: wHAT,
TG: we’re motherfuckin entrenched in this bitch
TG: you and me
TG: welcome to nam
TG: now grab my hand and shimmy your soggy ass off that muddy bank before charlie gets the fuckin drop
AT: uHHH, wHO,
AT: wHO’S CHARLIE,
TG: hes the guy whos gonna read our vows
TG: im feeling pretty friggin MATRIMONIAL all a sudden
TG: take a look down by your foot see that little bottle
TG: stomp on that shit like its on fire
TG: noisy ethnic dudes are flipping the fuck out and waving us around on chairs til someone gets hurt
TG: im your 300 pound matronly freight-train
TG: and my gaping furnace is hungry for coal so get goddamn shoveling


This pesterlog is fucking amazing. <- FACT WE CAN HOPEFULLY ALL AGREE ON

This pesterlog is a very early stage of Dave coming to terms with sexuality issues. <- FACT WE CAN AGAIN HOPEFULLY ALL AGREE ON

AT: oH MY GOD,
TG: bro look in my eyes
TG: that twinkle
TG: that be DEVOTION you herniated pro wrestlers sweaty purple taint
TG: sparklin like a visit from your fairy fuckin godmother
TG: shit be PURE AND TRUE
TG: thats what you see
TG: a kaleidoscopic supernova of all your hopes and dreams all swishin together
TG: radially effevescing arms of more little boy peckers than you can imagine
TG: turning out insane corkscrew haymakers of a billion dancing vienna sausages strong


Writing commentary followed by a left arrow and an all-caps noun phrase. <- THING I WILL STOP DOING

I don’t know how much Hussie intended when writing this pesterlog to seriously consider Dave’s sexuality. But I can tell that he had a lot of fun looking back on homoerotic dialogue like this and trying to figure out what it means about his comic in retrospect. This pesterlog gets a GLORIOUS callback towards the end of the Meat Epilogue when Dirk tries to get Dave and Karkat to kiss; only fitting because that scene is the grand beautiful conclusion to Dave’s sexuality arc.

TG: this is how we do this
TG: this shits more real than kraft mayo

— adiosToreador [AT] blocked turntechGodhead [TG] —


And so, the conversation ends with Tavros blocking Dave instead of the other way around. A simple but powerful line that shows us exactly why Dave is such a beloved character.

I’m ending this post here. See you next time as I finish Act 3 for real, with a few more plot resolutions and a glorious flash I love to death.

Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 11 Rewritten: Magical Dreams and Retroactive Clowns


Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12.1 >

Pages 952-1051 (MSPA: 2852-2951)

Act 3, Part 3 of 5

Link to old version


Right now my priority for this blog is my main Homestuck post series I started in 2015 where I’m currently on Act 6 Act 5; this post is a bit of a divergence from the plan I’ve laid out. I finished my newest post a few days ahead of schedule, so I decided to do a rewritten post to release on Friday instead. I mostly did it as a bit of a breather from the absurd romance drama I sped through.

Who’s this guy?


At the curb of Act 3’s halfway point, it’s time for us to meet Spades Slick’s lookalike.


Spades Slick? 

Got a nice ring to it. 

But you know your own name. And that damn well ain’t your name.

Jack Noir’s naming is done a bit differently from other characters. He doesn’t have a naming box; rather, he’s meta-aware of Hussie’s fingers typing his name. The book commentary here is worth reading:

Jack at this stage is the villain. Villains in Homestuck tend to be meta-villains. That is, they exist much closer to the surface of the story’s meta-bubble, and often interact with the way it’s told. For instance, Jack Noir is the original owner of the 4th wall. (See next page.) As a universal bureaucratic game construct, he can keep tabs on everything going on in the session, including just outside the story.

Though Jack Noir is a meta-villain, there are limits to this, possibly tied to his personality. It could be the scope of his ambition never includes messing with the story itself. His desire for power lies entirely within fictional parameters. Later, there are much more flagrant meta-villains, in Doc Scratch and Lord English. They live on the surface of the meta-bubble, and at times badly puncture it. All iterations of Lord English in total basically represent the ultimate meta-villain. Though it takes a very long time for this to become apparent, and for it to be revealed exactly what this means.

I think it’s fair to assume this villain foreshadowing and easing in was intentional. Act 3 is filled to the brim with hints at the trolls’ backstory, the alpha kids, and (much more subtly) the cherubs. Jack Noir’s higher degree of meta awareness than the beta kids is a subtle but useful way to ease readers into the times villains start taking over the narration. On the topic of characters taking over narration, if you somehow haven’t read Detective Pony *****PLEASE DO SO IMMEDIATELY*****, then come back here.

Hussie enters Jack’s name and rank, leading us to his short introduction page.



You are ARCHAGENT JACK NOIR. You oversee various affairs of a DARK KINGDOM. Presently you are determining how to deal with this prisoner, who has been a thorn in your side since he was apprehended. 

Funny that I just got done analyzing the portion of the comic where the alpha kids’ Draconian Dignitary reveals he successfully imprisoned Dad Crocker by giving him a nice, cozy cell where he can communicate with Dersites about ties and shaving and start crazy fashion trends. Noir, on the other hand, isn’t good at the social side of things. Like it or not, what he’s best at is managing paperwork (and destroying everything he touches if given the power to).

You view the affairs of the kingdom through a series of FENESTRATED WALLS. You have three walls, nearly enough to form a CUBICLE OF VIGILANCE, which is a full and proper enclosure for an agent of your stature. 

However, much to your utter contempt, your FOURTH WALL was stolen some time ago.

What a cheeky pun. I don’t think I need to go over the timeline and story behind the various physical fourth walls in Homestuck, though I will say it’s probably for the best Jack’s fourth wall was stolen. Though Hussie’s book commentary states that Jack probably isn’t villainous enough to want to mess with the story itself, his desire to destroy everything BLEW THE HELL UP after the Droll killed Jade which was some time after he gained the ability to destroy everything. Who knows if he’d have taken the chance to mess with the fourth wall if it wasn’t stolen?


After we establish that Jack absolutely hates dressing like a clown, he introduces us to Hearts Boxcars’ lookalike, the Hegemonic Brute. The Brute brings something heavy to keep Dad enclosed in prison and holy shit is this guy strong.

This guy can never catch a break, can he?


But right after the Black Queen (gender-neutrally referred to as the Glorious Monarch) reminds Jack to wear his clown hat, we learn that Dad Egbert is even stronger than the Brute. That’s the only role HB ever plays in the story: he gets his ass handed to him to show how tough other characters are.


Meanwhile in his father’s room, John finds some unopened birthday presents his dad was going to give him. First off is the one on the right:


It’s a control deck that lets John customize his fetch modus! He now has way more captchalogue cards, which is… cool? I forgot the fetch modus game mechanic stuff even existed and it’s kind of weird going through it at such an on-and-off pace. Let’s pretend I am enthusiastically cheering John on for switching to a simple array modus, then confused that he settles on a queue-stack-array blend modus.


Though I won’t lie, the queue-stack-array modus looks sick. It’s a visual upgrade to the original that’s high on the weaponizability scale.


You have a staunch policy of always saving the biggest present for last. 

ALWAYS.

Now that’s something I can relate to right there. Let’s see what the leftmost present is!

Could this birthday get any better? You don’t think so.


John’s victory dances are so cute. He’s incredibly happy to get a fresh pack of delicious Fruit Gushers.

You thought wrong.


He’s even more delighted to get a fancy suit for his birthday, which is surprising but makes sense in a heartwarming way: it shows John and his father have a common interest in dressing like businessmen. Deep down, John has a lot more in common with his father than one may think, which is shown in full in the Candy Epilogue: similar fashion tastes, the exact same romantic tastes, and most of all, extreme immutable pride for his son. Remembering how proud he always was of young Harry Anderson is the one thing that finally snaps John out of his internal loop that everything is fake, because he can’t accept anything that would put his son’s realness at odds.

John inspects the box of Fruit Gushers and notices something amiss:


THE HEINOUS BATTERWITCH HAS HER GNARLED CLAWS IN EVERYTHING. 

What do Gushers have to do with baked goods anyway?? 

How does this make sense??? 

Why???? 



WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY??????????? 


If you didn’t know, Hussie’s book commentary explains that he didn’t know Fruit Gushers were made by Betty Crocker until a reader suggested John to inspect the Gushers box.


Suffice to say, the author doesn’t have an easy time processing this. John promptly has a mental breakdown in a flash with dramatic music, as if this was some kind of terrifying revelation that uproots everything he thought he knew and now he can never see the world the same way ever again.

As with FACEPALM x2 COMBO, I knew about this running gag before I read Homestuck.

Except John quickly realizes this is a completely stupid thing to freak out about. The beta kids’ universe was merely the Condesce’s test run after all.

Another flash originally scored by Bill Bolin. Though I like Mutiny more as a song, An Unbreakable Union fits much better with the flash.


Up next is Jade’s true guardian strife, [S] Jade: Retrieve package. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen before! This page shows us that her dog Becquerel has magic teleportation powers and overall ungodly strength, with occasional glimpses at the Green Sun and various other locations in the comic. All this crazy plot stuff planned in retrospect and showed way ahead of time is truly something to behold.

Jade and Bec are moving in this image; Grandpa is still as ever because he’s dead.


The strife flash ends with a cheerful victory sequence as if nothing unusual ever happened. Just a happy girl hugging her wonderful dog, her taxidermied grandpa by her side as ever. Jade in the early acts is a normal human being with normal human values.


Jade: Retrieve package was filled to the brim with hints at events and plot points that were probably fully planned by this point. Jade’s narcolepsy, on the other hand? I am almost certain the truth behind it was a retroactive decision on the author’s part, as are most things involving that one character‘s self-importance. Later that character’s self-importance becomes a cosmically retroactive decision, because after the retcon she took over Gamzee’s plot role in the alpha session with only a few differences.


Though Bec is a mystical dog, he does take proper care of Jade and takes her to bed when needed. It looks like he even tucked her blankets, truly in the spirit of dog loyalty.


Oh, you’re back home. The well-stocked bar and the vantage from the window tells you this is your MOM’S room. Or at least what you thought was her room. 

You decide not to be especially melodramatic about this revelation.

If you’re rereading knowing who Roxy is, you’ll know that Rose had just unknowingly passed by her mother’s real room. She’s already showing signs of being considerably more wrapped up in her supposedly noble goals than the other beta kids are, and not taking time to progress through the kids’ usual narrative.


Just a few seconds later, the meteor strikes the Skaianet lab and Rose needs to get out of there. It’s important she brings the cat with her, because I’m at least 80% certain a whole bunch of vital time loops would be broken if she didn’t.


Suddenly you are feeling very businessmanlike for some reason. 

You just punched a shitload of cards in anticipation of making a whole lot of cool stuff. This time you didn’t foolishly destroy any items. You just looked at the codes for some objects you rounded up, and punched them on blank cards. 

As the alpha kids’ Dignitary can attest, it seems that Homestuck characters automatically feel businessmanlike the moment the put on a fancy suit. Feeling businessmanlike puts you at far less risk for stupidly decimating your sylladex.


Next up, Jade dreams and THAT’S where things get fun. Jade has a dreambot that echoes everything she does in her sleep. For the next few pages we get some neat dual storytelling, with the dreaming world on top and the real world on the bottom.


> Jade: Obliquely foreshadow future through interpretive dance

Your silly dance foreshadows nothing and is essentially meaningless. 

But it sure is a lot of fun.

“Foreshadows” and “nothing” are two words that should never be put side-by-side in any context even remotely related to Homestuck. Everything in the entire story is interconnected in one way or another; sometimes the connections are of debatable intentionality, but that’s the fun of analyzing media. In this case, the interpretive dance is the last thing Jade’s dreambot does before it explodes.

Still not sure why characters in Homestuck always sleep with *this* of all poses…


You climb into bed and try to get comfortable. But some sort of invisible force is pressing down on you, a strange feeling of cold heavy metal. 

This happens every time you try to get into bed! No wonder you can never get any sleep.

This funny little moment has a bit more to it than meets the eye. It strongly suggests that Jade and her dream self are two different consciousnesses who share a small amount of memories. This difference is also demonstrated in pesterlogs which we don’t yet know were typed by dream Jade.

I always thought it was a little weird that dream Jade was so different from waking Jade when we didn’t see much other difference between players and their dream selves. But looking back now, I think I have a good explanation for why that is. I think the dream self’s memories diverge from the player’s memories the moment the dream self consciously wakes up for the first time. For most players, the dream self’s awakening occurs shortly before or during the game, but for space players the dream self has usually been awake since childhood. Maybe dream Jade and waking Jade have the same memories and knowledge from the first few years of their lives, but have had many years since then to diverge and are now effectively two different people. I wouldn’t be surprised if the same held for Kanaya and Calliope’s dream selves, who we don’t see as much in action because they don’t have dreambots. As I said in a post from years ago, this is also why it makes sense that Jadesprite is even less like regular Jade, because she spent eons in dream bubbles getting to know a bunch of ghosts implied to be the Beforan trolls.


> Jade: Realize you can fly!

There is not much to realize. 

Of course you can fly.

I imagine the reader who suggested this command thought it would be funny if Jade suddenly realized she could fly, but it turns out Hussie had already planned that to be true. It’s not just that Jade already knew, it’s that Hussie already knew. Or at least I assume he did. I think I have a good grasp of Hussie’s motives when writing early Homestuck, if only because I’ve read Homestuck so many times.


Jade then taunts us with a mystery package—she already knows what’s inside. I don’t remember exactly how this package time travel arc plays out, other than that it involves the exiles following instructions written by dream Jade. I think the package is mirrored between its dream projection and its real-world self? Kind of stupid to use the word “self” to refer to an inanimate object, but that’s Homestuck for you. I’m probably wrong about all this.

All of John’s clown scribbles are in Rose, Dave, and Jade’s text colors.


This leads us to a birthday flashback with a huge surprise shot: John seems to have had clown scribbles on his walls months before the story started, which we had never seen before. This will lead us to enormous dramatic irony when John comes in his room and finds all his posters defaced, which he thinks was the imps’ doing.

This image also confirms Rose, Dave, and Jade’s birthdays which is a good bonus.


— ghostyTrickster [GT] began pestering gardenGnostic [GG] — 

GT: hey, happy birthday jade! 
GG: yay thank you john!!!!! 😀 
GT: whew ok, i got your present in the mail JUST on time. 
GT: plus i sent rose’s and dave’s too. 
GT: why do your guys’es birthdays got to be all bunched together like that??? you are running me ragged! 
GG: heheh i know but it is nice of you to think of us all like that! 
GT: i can’t wait for you to see what i got you. i don’t want to spoil it or anything but hopefully it will help you solve those problems you’ve been having lately. 
GT: MYSTERIOUS WINK 😉 
GG: im sure it is great, i cant wait either!!!!! 
GG: it might take a while to get here from there but it will be worth the wait! 
GT: oh man. 
GT: i am such an idiot, i forgot about how long it takes you to get stuff. 
GT: ARGH. 
GG: john thats ok really! im sure will get to me exactly when it needs to and it will be a nice surprise when it does! 


Jade is awful at lying, which is fine because John is gullible as all hell. She speaks in her usual cryptic tone and cleverly hides that John’s gift is going to be sent back in time. It’s crazy how easy it is to forget about all the time loops in Homestuck’s early acts.

GT: ok well i hope so. 
GG: <3…… 
GG: uhhhh hold on 
GG: ok im back sorry 
GG: i had to tell someone to go away! 
GT: oh god. 
GT: the trolls again? 
GG: yup 😮 
GT: they have been such a pain in the ass lately. 
GT: it seems like there are so many. 
GT: there are either like fifty of these retards or it’s one guy with a lot of alt accounts. 
GG: ive never had any sort of feeling about them or what they want which is kind of weird!!! 


Jade’s last line here implies she never learned anything about the trolls in her dreams. I’m guessing Skaia’s refusal to show her anything troll-related was to make sure she didn’t believe anything the trolls told her about the day they fuck everything up; we see in later acts that Skaian clouds can show any scene from anything.

GG: but it seems to me like they are probably all different people and not one guy 
GG: i have counted twelve 
GT: what do they want with us!!! 
GG: some people just like to needle others for some reason john
GG: it is like a game i guess. they are like pranksters!! 
GT: oh hell no, shittiest pranksters ever. 
GG: but i think they are mostly harmless 
GG: every so often they manage to get through my block filter and hassle me. its been going on for years! actually some of them are kind of funny i think hehe 
GT: oh wow, what? years?? 
GT: ok, well i am sick of them. 
GT: i’ve been thinking of changing my pesterchum handle to throw them off the trail. 
GT: so… 
GT: i guess i’m gonna do that. 


There are so many mystery seeds planted in this conversation, which seems simpler now than what it later turns out to be. We don’t know that Terezi led John to come up with the chumhandle “ectoBiologist”, or that the troll who just hassled Jade was talking about something important to the plot.

… Wait, hold that thought. I think the time Karkat trolled past Jade about her dreambot was really just fulfilling a stable time loop, wasn’t it? God damn, thinking about all this plot stuff is kind of giving me a headache. The exact opposite kind of headache I get when I spend a long time analyzing a relationship drama section. Meat and candy, I’m telling you. The dichotomy is off the charts.


Every time you reenter your room, you shudder at the recent handiwork of some mischievous imps. You just can’t turn your back on them for a second! 

Rotten imps. Those posters were like children to you.

Wonderful use of dramatic irony. We just got done learning that these posters were defaced the whole time.


At long last, you have returned to your bedroom with a stable power supply and internet connection. 

VODKA MUTINI purrs at your side. 

You SUPPOSE you will call it Mutie for short.

Vodka Mutini is a great name. I don’t think it’s any question that Rose is the best out of the beta and alpha kids at naming animals.


Rose pesters John in a sequence I love EVERYTHING about. The psychoanalysis portion where Rose reveals to us the story behind Dad’s supposed interest in clowns is brilliant in every way and is one of the best things to come out of Rose’s character.

TT: That’s quite a totem collection. 
TT: What are you planning? 
EB: oh whoa hi! 
EB: oh… 
EB: gonna make some stuff. 
EB: are you ok? hasn’t your house been on fire for like… 
EB: five hours now? 
TT: No, that was the nearby forest, which up until quite recently would have been best described as “on fire”. 
TT: But you may be excited to learn that just as recently, my house finally notched that achievement. 
EB: wow, congrats i guess? 


Rose in the early acts is an absolute treasure. Thought I’d point that out before I get into the meat (loaded word, dammit) of this conversation.

TT: I’m going to start putting this grist to use too. 
TT: Let’s be sparing with the frivolous knickknack breeding and focus on getting you up to the gate, ok? 
EB: yeah, ok i hear you, but… 
EB: i think we’ll have plenty. i’ve been killing imps all over the house and now its lousy with gushers. 
TT: Gushers? 
EB: i mean grist. 
EB: serves them right for ruining my posters. the bastards. 
TT: Which posters? 
EB: don’t you see? my sweet movie posters. look at them, they’re fucking ruined. 
TT: John. 
EB: ?????? 
TT: Are you suggesting that imps are responsible for defacing your movie posters? 
EB: uh, YEAH? 
TT: Your posters have looked like that ever since I first saw your room. 
TT: The moment we started playing this game. 
TT: I thought you had defaced them ironically to mock your father’s interests. 


It’s so funny to me that Rose initially thought John defaced his posters to mock his father’s interests. While her initial analysis is as absurd as all the nonsense she thinks about her mother, all it takes for Rose to bring out her true psychoanalysis skills is for John to disprove her first hypothesis.


I love this panel so much. John looks like an angry businessman slamming his keyboard, perhaps frustrated that his bills didn’t arrive on time and exerting all his anger on an innocent coworker.

EB: VERY FUNNY ROSE HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA 
EB: NICE JOKE 
EB: GREAT JOKE THERE ROSE 
EB: TOP OF THE LINE PRANK 
EB: HE HE 
EB: HA HA HA HA HA 
TT: This is good. 
TT: Laughter is probably the best way to avoid being especially melodramatic about the revelation. 
EB: yes 
EB: YES 
EB: LET’S KEEP THIS JOKE GOING 
EB: BECAUSE IT IS SUCH A GOOD ONE 
EB: HA HA HA HA 
EB: OH MY 
EB: HA HA HA HA HA HA 
EB: HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA 


John’s sarcastic laughter is all it takes for Rose to put the pieces together and figure out the story behind John’s clown scribbles.


Now we check out what WV is up to. He’s in a bit of a predicament right now: he’s stuck on top of his command station and doesn’t have enough cables to climb all the way down. The exile arc is probably where reader commands shined the most in Homestuck: WV first declines a command to use his mayor sash as cable, then declines a command to appearify the frog temple.


Instead of following any suggested commands, WV notices someone else carrying a cable down—perhaps someone who knew that he needed help and that he didn’t want to sacrifice his mayoral sash. This surprising moment of friendship is a really cool way to add a third exile to the mix.

First explicit confirmation WV is male.


WV tries to appearify the cable but ends up appearifying John’s birthday package to Jade because the machine was set back a few hundred years. The package contains a letter to WV from Jade, which confuses him just as much as it probably confused readers. How could dream Jade know nothing about the trolls but be perfectly familiar with the exiles? We’ll find out soon enough.


WV then appearifies the cable and successfully climbs down, which transitions us a sneak peek at our third exile, the Aimless Renegade. This sneak peek shows him as an aloof but probably friendly exile, who seems to be a bit of a weirdo given that he’s wrapped in caution tape. I find it entirely unsurprising AR is such a fan favorite.


It’s time to go through John and Rose’s psychoanalysis session. Are you ready?

EB: ok, while i make some stuff here can you keep an eye out for imps? 
EB: just keep the safe or tub handy or something. 
EB: it’ll serve them right for trashing my posters. 
TT: I keep telling you the posters were always like that. 
EB: AND I KEEP TELLING YOU HA HA VERY FUNNY 
TT: Here, look. 
TT: http://tinyurl.com/O413nanna 
TT: http://tinyurl.com/O413weirdo 



EB: yeah, i saw those, but… 
EB: they didn’t look like that before. you must have changed them. 
TT: Even if I had the motive for such a bizarre and pointless deception, where would I find the time? 
TT: I don’t even have Photoshop. 

Funny that Rose mentions not having enough time to edit these images when she somehow managed to write an enormous wall of text in Jaspers’ mausoleum while her forest was burning down. Though maybe it makes sense she wouldn’t have the time to edit her images of John, since she doesn’t seem to be much of a visual artist.

EB: then why didn’t you TELL me they were there??? 
TT: I had no reason to think you were not aware of them. 
TT: I thought they were strange, certainly, but was not struck by any particular impulse to discuss them. 
EB: ok, it still doesn’t make sense though. 
EB: implying that i drew them a while ago and then forgot and couldn’t see them and now suddenly see them. 
EB: that’s stupid, what would that even mean. 


Here we’re about to see what sets Rose apart from the other beta kids. She can read between the lines and notice cosmic connections that fly over her friends’ heads. Sometimes it’s for the best her friends don’t care about those connections, but here cosmic connections are going to spark something HUGE in John’s mind.

The book commentary on this page rightfully pokes fun at John/Rose shippers. How boring can you even get???


TT: It looks like you were in your father’s room recently. 
EB: yeah. 
TT: And how did it make you feel to discover what was in there?
EB: oh no, i just realized! 
EB: you are going to psycho-therapify me. 
EB: well don’t bother! 
TT: Maybe I am just being a friend? 
EB: maybe… 
EB: /EYES SUSPSICIOSLY 


Though John likes to poke at Rose for acting like a stereotypical psychologist, he obviously doesn’t mean bad by it and finds her analysis fascinating and a lot to take in. Terezi likes psychoanalyzing John too, in a slightly more flirty way. (And eventually way more than just “slightly”.)

EB: anyway i guess you saw what’s in there, it’s boring and there’s not much to even see. 
TT: That doesn’t matter. 
TT: What matters is how seeing it affected you. 
TT: I think it clearly has in some way. 
EB: well… 
EB: i don’t know, at first i was nervous to go in and find more of his weird clowns, because of course they are stupid and i hate them a lot. 
EB: but then when i didn’t see any, it was weird. 
EB: i felt weirdly, like… disappointed almost. 
TT: Is it fair to say this changed your perception of your father? 
EB: yeah, i guess. 
TT: Is it such a stretch to conclude it changed your perception of other things as well? 
EB: uh no, maybe not. 
EB: but what are you getting at? 
EB: it sounds like you’re saying i’m crazy! 

TT: I don’t like to use the word “crazy”. 
EB: oh god. 
EB: see?? this is therapy bullshit! 
TT: That was a joke. 


Even though she said it in a deliberately stereotypical way, Rose is right about the word “crazy”. In the field of psychology, it’s a meaningless catch-all word that’s only useful if you want to dismiss people who you know are right.


TT: But anyway, whether it means you are crazy or not, consider this theory: 
TT: Your presumably longstanding tendency for scrawling this imagery is really your subconsious trying to express something disturbing within you. 
TT: Possibly something from your past, which you have blocked out. 
TT: And since you have supressed it, your conscious self cannot acknowledge the drawings, therefore they have been invisible until now. 


Before explaining Dad Egbert’s motives, Rose starts up a new mystery arc: what disturbing thing caused John to subconsiously draw clowns all over his posters? We’ll know what it is later in this post, but the story behind how it got there is saved for near the end of Act 5. I wonder if Hussie had already planned by this point to reveal Gamzee was behind the clown doll? It’s likely he at least planned for Gamzee to be an oddball among the trolls, knowing his chumhandle. He’s the only one whose motifs aren’t related to his zodiac sign (juggalos instead), and he had nothing even remotely resembling plot relevance until he turned evil and then was revealed to have dealt massive damage to the Black King.

EB: why now? 
TT: Perhaps because you have seen evidence that conflicts with the worldview your subconscious has constructed to obfuscate the truth. 
TT: That your dad is not necessarily the clown-loving maniac you thought he was. 
TT: All along, this negative attribute buried in your psyche may have been projected on to him, and subsequently reviled, as a sort of defense mechanism. 
EB: but this is absurd, my dad LOVES these shitty clowns. 
EB: he’s got all these statues and paintings EVERYWHERE. 
TT: Is it unthinkable that over the years it was he who believed you were the one with a passion for clowns? Because of the all the strange drawings in your room? 
TT: A father then embraces a son’s hobby to establish a stronger bond. 


And there’s the reveal of why John’s father pretended to like clowns. It’s both a demonstration of Rose’s analytical strengths and a step in a huge chain of events that leads to the human universe’s destruction. Rose’s analysis of John’s father is easy to trust because she immediately offers a blatantly false alternative explanation:

TT: Or wages a campaign of passive-aggresive mockery of your interests. 
TT: Either is plausible. I don’t know your dad that well. 

It’s too bad Rose thinks her mother is passive-aggressive. If she opened her mind to alternative analyses like she just did with John’s father, she’d know the truth about her mother before she’s tragically murdered.

EB: i dunno. 
EB: not sure about all this. 
EB: but i think we need to stop and acknowledge the bunny sassacre fedora i just made. 
TT: It’s awesome. 
EB: yeah. 


This heavy plot revelation is immediately followed by John being an absolute dork. The bunny sassacre fedora is one of the best things to come out of Homestuck, and I’m glad Rose agrees.


Then we see Rose’s progress on building up John’s house. It kind of looks ridiculous with so many tall chimneys; Rose says she’ll soon come up with a better strategy.


[S] Jade: Dream up extra arms and play advanced bass solo is another flash that was originally scored by Bill Bolin, and the only such flash where I think the old version is FAR superior. The old version has an EPIC drop and then another EPIC drop; the new version adds a scene where Jade presses keys on her bass to achieve a similar effect but it just isn’t the same.


The flash starts with dream Jade playing on her newly expanded bass. She somehow grew three extra arms and is smiling as she plays like it’s no big deal, which is an extreme case of early installment weirdness. Though all kinds of weird nonsense has happened in Homestuck characters’ dreams, this is the only time someone EVER undergoes such an unexplained bodily mutation. It doesn’t really matter though; this scene puts a smile on my face either way.


Jade’s dreambot plays the bass in the real world, which helps her plants grow. I think the whole motif of playing instruments to grow plants is a Zelda reference? Kind of weird because Homestuck doesn’t directly borrow much from iconic video games. I don’t know, it’s cute either way.


Just like with Jade’s relaxing bassline, we’re treated to a zoom-out even more surprising than the last one. At first it seems like Jade simply dreams in a pink and golden projection of the real world…


… but THEN pieces of the plot come together as the zoom-out reveals a golden planet called Prospit. Though it’s surprising to find Jade’s dreams take place on whole different planet, the puzzle REALLY comes together at the next zoom-out:


There we have it. A flash that starts as a silly advanced bass solo, but ends up revealing that Jade’s dreams take place within the world of Sburb. I can only imagine how crazy this reveal was for serial readers back then. I don’t think many people expected Jade’s dream world to have been connected to WV’s drawings and Nannasprite’s exposition the whole time.


> Jade: Change wardrobifier to cycle thru STAR HEART HORSESHOE

Ok, good idea. 

You leave the MOON in the cycle though cause you like it.

Here’s a reader-suggested command that Hussie liked and followed through with. I applaud whichever reader suggested to bring this Problem Sleuth reference to the table; it’s a great fit with Jade’s dream wardrobifier.

Note that four of the wardrobifier options are turned on in the image above: moon, star, heart, and horseshoe. All four of those are among the nine leprechaun romance symbols. I would assume that all the options on the dream wardrobifier are the leprechaun romance symbols, but there’s a tenth one unaccounted for (the topmost is a randomizer). In the spirit of MSPA, I’m going to assume the tenth one is a pumpkin. Let’s be real, what else would it be?


Jade explores the golden city and sees someone who looks familiar. Who could it possibly be??? (it’s PM)

I love the way this scene provides our very first hint at the exiles’ backstory as Prospitians and Dersites. It’s a bit of early installment weirdness, since next time we see PM in the past she’s wearing a slightly different outfit.


Meanwhile, Jade’s dreambot randomly floats around her island, echoing all of dream Jade’s moves. This serves as a convenient transition to the exile arc. We see PM right as that transition finishes, which further makes it obvious dream Jade just saw her past self.


Act 3 has been making very good use of scene retraces. They’re always shown side-by-side so you can’t really call them visual callbacks, but they do play a very similar plot role.


What exactly inspired Jade to pretty much beg WV to give PM her package in such a pushy tone and claim that “the freedom of [their] people depends on it”? Probably cloud visions that made it incredibly obvious WV likes being a mayor and PM likes being a mail lady. Maybe she also saw PM in person delivering mail, because this note was quite obviously written by dream Jade and the entire package is presumably mirrored between the dream and waking worlds.


The delivery mission has one problem though: AR is randomly shooting at everyone because he thinks he’s the lawyer of the frog temple or something. We don’t yet know AR wants to be a lawyer, but we will soon enough. Knowing how horribly Earth C’s politics fell apart in the epilogues, I’m suddenly sad AR didn’t get to rebuild civilization like the other two exiles did.


WV’s attraction to PM reminds me how separate the exile arc is from the rest of the story. Their storyline has its own unique charm and it’s unfortunately often forgotten about.

First explicit confirmation that PM is female.

I think Jade’s letters are a very creative way to confirm the exiles’ genders.


WV finally gives PM the present! Hooray!!!

Why are John’s clown scribbles glowing?

I think it’s to convey to us that these scribbles are mirrored in the waking world and/or early installment weirdness.


Jade flies to the other tower and checks in on John’s dream self, who apparently “will wake up when he is ready”. The panel where we see inside John’s dream room is a major wham shot, especially the scary clown doll. It both answers (the first half of) a plot mystery and foreshadows the main antagonist of the first five acts, which is really damn cool. Sometimes it impresses me how efficient Homestuck can be at driving mysteries.


Speaking of John, you wonder if he got the birthday present you sent him? Or for that matter, if you even remembered to send it? 

Darn! You get so confused sometimes. If only you had some system in place to help you remember things.

This page again shows us that dream Jade is considerably more forgetful than regular Jade. The book commentary on this page is very interesting:

Jade’s dreaming confusion and forgetfulness is kind of an odd symptom that’s never quite been duplicated by another waking dream self. There are two possibilities. One is I was still ironing out the dream self rules early in the story, and that symptom never panned out for others, OR, it is because her sleeping habits are imposed on her unnaturally by external forces. GUESS WHICH EXPLANATION I PREFER.

As a wise clown once said: can’t it be motherfuckin’ both things? It only makes sense that external forces, which may or may not be code for a certain self-important troll girl, would retroactively make themselves responsible for cases of early installment weirdness and story inconsistencies. I absolutely fucking hate that all this retroactive justification through *this one character* makes metafictional sense. Note the word “metafictional”—no way in HELL it makes regular plain old “sense”.


Your MOON is getting very close to SKAIA. You had better go inside soon. It is never a very good idea to be outside during the ECLIPSE. 

Maybe you can take the opportunity to log onto your computer and ask John about his present. You just know he will think it is awesome, and it will be a great way to thank him for the wonderful present he got you!

This scene hints that one of Jade’s early conversations with John was typed by dream Jade, which is fully confirmed a bit later. A very good example of feeding attentive readers breadcrumbs towards the grand reveal.

I’m ending this post here, just like I did with the old version of this post. See you next time as we go back to Act 6 Act 5 and read Detective Pony’s lesser-known sibling. And see you at some point in the future as I go through the last 100 pages of Act 3, ending with an iconic flash that is just SO GOOD AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. correction: next 50 pages of Act 3, featuring an amazing flash that SHOULD be iconic but everyone forgets about for some reason.

>> Part 12.1: Scrawlings in Puddles of Sloppy Discharge

Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 10 Rewritten: Scene Hops and Father Revelations


Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 >

Pages 836-951 (MSPA: 2736-2851)

Act 3, Part 2 of 5

Link to old version

Previously on Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Rewritten:

See you next time as we frantically switch back and forth between a whole bunch of different characters like the Easter Bunny running late for his annual job of delivering candy and eggs to the world’s children, this time during an actually fitting time of year. I wish I could say I had planned my post schedule to make the Easter joke work, but nope, just an incredibly lucky coincidence.

*clears throat*
*puts on pretentious narrator voice*

The day is June 5, 2019, and the Easter Bunny is displeased. He got so distracted reading and rereading the Homestuck Epilogues that he’s now over a month late for his annual job of delivering candy and eggs to the world’s children!!! So late, in fact, that a monkey took over Easter this year and delivered yummy bananas instead. Kids all around the world now eagerly await the Easter Monkey next year, much to the Easter Bunny’s contempt. The Easter Bunny shall exert revenge on this frisky little monkey by, um…

by…

writing more blog posts about Homestuck?

In this blog post, I am the Easter Bunny. It’s me. And I am going to announce that I think I’m now ready to resume my Homestuck blog post series. Maybe not on a custom web domain just yet, that’ll have to be in the future. I’ll just dive right in, conveniently avoiding the fact that I’m procrastinating on the post with the Unite Synchronization flashes and Caliborn: Enter.

It’s time for Dave’s guardian strife! And it’s not interactive this time. Rather, it’s a full-out flash of Bro Strider flash-stepping and puppeting Lil’ Cal, who ends the flash flailing his legs over Dave.

My reaction to this flash when I got to it in my original Homestuck post series really sticks out in my head and probably happened because it hadn’t been all that long since the grand Dave/Dirk reunion update. I was floored and breathless at how aggressive adult Dirk is. Is there a word for standing with an open mouth and breath held while watching something tense and aggressive? If there isn’t, then that’s one more reason to hate the English language.


Next up is a Jade/Rose pesterlog that takes place before Rose was properly introduced.

… Yeah, Rose and Jade’s styles badly clash as usual. Same thoughts as when I last analyzed their conversation where it’s kind of a stretch to call them friends. The plot stuff in this pesterlog is of note though.

TT: I require a font of frighteningly accurate yet infuriatingly nonspecific information. 
TT: Do you know where I can find a wellspring of this sort? 
GG: hahaha yes ok but we cant talk for long!!! 
TT: You have plans? 
GG: well yes i do but its just that you will lose your internet connection soon!!!!! 
GG: and we wont talk again for a pretty long time 
GG: not until you enter! 
TT: Enter? 
GG: yeah! 
TT: This is what I was talking about. 
TT: This was the itch that needed scratching. 
TT: My avarice for the inscrutable. It is limitless. 
GG: lol what did you want to know? 
TT: You’ve been insisting today was the big day. 
TT: We would all play a game you didn’t know the name of. 
TT: A game you said I’d get in the mail, and did. 
TT: One that would help me answer some questions. 
TT: But Strider is being obtuse, I can’t catch John at his computer, you don’t even have the game yourself, and on top of all that, my internet is unstable. 
TT: So are you sure today is the day? 


This is basically more casual reveals that Jade was behind a bit more than we knew at first. It’s kind of cool seeing a flashback conversation with Jade hinting at stuff we already knew, rather than her hinting at stuff we badly want explained in ways that aren’t imbecilic.

GG: there sure are a lot of challenges but yes i am sure!! 
GG: dave is cool, you know he will come around when the time is right 
GG: he just has a lot of work to do first 
GG: and so do you! 
GG: youll need to keep searching for a stable signal and power source, it will be hard but dont give up!!! 
GG: and dont worry about me either, focus on playing with john first 
GG: it all starts with you two! 
TT: Is there nothing else you can say to prepare me for this? 
TT: I’m sure you think little of blithely upsetting dark forces with Grandpa Moreau over there on Hellmurder Island, but honestly I’ve only read a few books on it. 


Maybe it’s because I’ve read the epilogues over and over again, but I think Rose talks almost like an actor with Jade. Exaggerating her poetic talk to the point where she’s hard to properly converse with. I think it’s fair to say she had broken the ice with Dave and John and can now talk to them like a regular person, but is still an absolute weirdo to Jade.

Oh yeah Rose mentions Hellmurder Island, blah blah blah foreshadowing. Was the foreshadowing intentional? Hell if I know. I would say no, but the phrase “hellmurder island” is dropped outright in Act 6 Act 1 which makes me think Hussie waited a long time to say it.

GG: haha dark? thats ridiculous! 
GG: i dont really know what to tell you other than its not going to be what you think it is 
GG: and most importantly you will have your questions answered, but they will be the ones you havent thought to ask yet! 
GG: just be patient and be brave youll see 
GG: it will be fun!!!!!! 
GG: uh oh looks like youve got to go 
GG: take care rose! <3<3<3 


In the old version of this post, I pointed out that this passage “[has] been cited as a quote that essentially tells new readers what reading Homestuck will be like”. At the time, that was just another thing I shamelessly stole from TV Tropes. But now, rereading it in 2019 I really feel that comparison. When I read these lines just now, I got the exact feeling you get when a friend tries to assure you that Homestuck is a good read. I’d argue it’s even more applicable to the Homestuck Epilogues—certainly not what I thought it was going to be, and answered many questions I hadn’t thought to ask yet, for better or for worse. And it definitely requires a lot of patience to fully consume the epilogues—perhaps also bravery to read along despite things you may not like (i.e. despite Gamzee).

oh my god this is good art


Here’s where the scene hops start getting a bit absurd. After the long stretch of pages focusing on Jade, now we can’t go more than three pages without switching to someone else. Harmless, welcome even, when reading for the first time; slightly annoying when writing long blog posts. I think the scene hops are a necessary step between the overly slow Act 2 and the ideal pace of Act 4.

We switch to Jade but not for long; her reminders transition us to a flash where John and Nannasprite fight two ogres. Using reminders as a transition device is fine I guess? Not much to write home about compared to some of the comic’s beautiful transitions later on.

Not shown: PM the mail lady existing. Holy shit, I miss the exiles.


Now it’s John’s turn to contribute to Rose’s walkthrough. And he actually displays a competent understanding of computer science! He professes “amazing hacker skillz” and “leet haxxor cred” which is just as funny to me now as it was almost four years ago holy shit has it been that long.

I suppose now’s a good time to talk about Roxy, an expert programmer who is also John’s number one love interest.* Even though they got together in the Candy Epilogue, Roxy did not teach John programming or anything like that, nor did she do very much with John that many fans (including me) had badly hoped. Their romantic tale in Candy is a story of OOF OW MY HEART. The two doing cool things together with their common interests is still a super fun thought though, and I wouldn’t doubt that their dynamic would approach its ideal form once more following their grand reconciliation at 39 years old.

Anyway, John’s walkthrough provides some genuine insight and humor. I highly recommend reading it if you had previously skimmed the walkthrough pages. It’s much more readable than Rose’s walkthrough, I promise.

* or was, until Terezi came along.


> Rose: Look for mad scientists.


There are no scientists to be found, mad or otherwise. Or anyone for that matter. The lab appears to be deserted. 

Come on, Rose. Do you really expect to encounter a single mad scientist in a webcomic called Homestuck? Background characters are an absolute no-go in the early acts and whoever submitted this command should feel bad for not having already realized that.


Oh my god, it’s a chessboard. I like the way this grid is designed; you might not notice it’s a chessboard right away until maybe you take a closer look. This simple chess design should be enough to pique readers’ curiosity at this mysterious lab.

The numbers in parentheses are my count of patterns Jade breaks, in case you forgot.


Jade goes down her stairs and (10) we get to know Grandpa Harley’s wide array of interests, which is much unlike the other three guardians’ singular obsessions. The flashing colors in each of these images are sneaky proof that Hussie planned out the alpha kids by this point. I really love that he foreshadowed them in such subtle but retrospectively obvious ways, with the bonus of answering the question of when he conceived of the alpha kids.

I’m obligated to mention that each of Grandpa’s four interests connects to one of the alpha kids. Should be obvious which is which.


And here’s, uh, the blue ladies. Not totally sure what to say about them other than that I imagine many readers who got to this page immediately remembered that Nannasprite is blue. Cool foreshadowing, I suppose? I like how Hussie seemed to put two and two together after he decided to make James Cameron’s Avatar one of Jake’s favorite movies.

This is your grandfather’s collection of what he refers to as his BEAUTIES. No lovely lady will be fit for his collection unless her portrait has spent at least 20 years bleaching in the front window of a beauty parlor, a sort of establishment he’s plundered no less frequently than ancient tombs. 


You guess they were sort of like your sisters while growing up, and you were always encouraged to look up to them. They are all awfully pretty ladies you suppose, but it was always hard to get as excited about them as grandpa. 

In the early acts, the beta kids referring to siblings in any capacity strikes me as a little odd. Maybe it makes sense here because Jade was raised on an island in the middle of nowhere and doesn’t understand a lot of basic social norms, like the concept of “sisters”. I don’t know, just a thought. A plus side of Hussie working with a team to write the epilogues is that one writer extrapolated upon Jade’s societal isolation in creative ways.

“Jade, study hard and keep your rifle at the ready. When adventure summons, I know you will rise to the task and take your rightful place among the DAUGHTERS OF ECLECTICA.” 

That old coot sure is a bag of wind!

Only now did it occur to me that maybe at some indeterminate point in time Hussie had some sort of conception of a place called “Eclectica”. I’m a bit miffed that I don’t live in a timeline where Eclectica is a major concept in Homestuck like Prospit or Skaia.


The Typheus minion exists? I think? I discussed it a tiny bit in this post, when Jade refers to it by name and talks about it with John.


Looks like someone’s pestering you. 

Even though you thought you logged off… ?

Oh hell, it’s TROLL TIME. This little line is a vague hint that Homestuck deals with people from another dimension, which would be way cooler if most people who know about Homestuck didn’t already know it had trolls.

carcinoGeneticist [CG] began trolling gardenGnostic [GG] at 13:04 

CG: HI AGAIN, IDIOT. 
GG: oh nooooooo 
CG: SO I GUESS TODAY IS FINALLY THE DAY YOU FUCK EVERYTHING UP.
GG: >:O 
CG: IS THERE NOTHING I CAN DO TO CHANGE YOUR MIND? 
GG: you can leave me alone!!!!! 
GG: how can you even be talking to me after i blocked you…. 
GG: AND after i logged out???? 
CG: YOU DON’T GET THAT I AM BETTER AND SMARTER THAN YOU IN EVERY WAY, FOREVER. 
CG: YOU DON’T GET THAT BECAUSE YOU ARE INCREDIBLY STUPID. 
GG: i get that youre a jerk and you should shut up! 
GG: goodbye you jerk!!!!!!!!! 

gardenGnostic [GG] blocked carcinoGeneticist [CG] at 13:06 


OK, that’s the end of TROLL TIME. This pesterlog does what it needs to and nothing more: showcasing a new character with apparently some future knowledge without revealing anything about who it is. I won’t pretend I have much else to say about Karkat’s first impression.


At the center, you find a little stage that looks perfect for supporting a spectacularly silly dance. Or it would if standing on it didn’t make you a little nervous, and also if that didn’t sound like a retarded idea given the circumstances. 

It looks sort of like the various contraptions you’ve been deploying in John’s house. You wonder what it does?

Rose is quick to catch onto patterns as usual. She doesn’t seem to make much of this resemblance to Sburb technology, but on the inside it’s safe to say she’s already started formulating a fresh new batch of theories.


Rose’s concern for structural elegance is at an all-time low, as is my concern for sylladex antics. But this panel above looks cool enough that I’ll show it regardless.


In a sequence of panels not shown here, PM gets her own equivalent to WV: Ascend. We already know all the plot twists and exile station mechanisms, so no need for another giant flash. A simple set of panels showing similar events is good enough.

Dave’s second round of Bro strife is much more face-to-face and even more terrifying/thrilling. For the most part, this flash is scary as ever when rereading and really drills down how scary Dave’s childhood was. This feeling reaches its climax when Bro bounces Dave off himself through some precise flash-stepping and puppetry, until suddenly:

SBaHJ references are a foolproof way to take a big hard smelly crap over any moment of horror or trauma. These references are so funny I can never stay mad at any of them; my personal favorite is the “are you next?” right after Kanaya is tragically murdered. This particular gag has some greater significance though: it leaks a bit that Dave’s life had yet to succumb to Cerebus syndrome.


Hussie you absolute fucking madman. Forget the meteor impact map or any of that nonsense. Instead, take a close look at one of the diagrams to the right. It’s a depiction of an eight-player session that conclusively proves Hussie had devised the alpha kids by this act. Bragging rights, anyone??? I think people aiming to write complex and long-winded stories should look up to Problem Sleuth and early Homestuck-era Hussie.


Back to the meteor map, Rose zooms in on her location and then zooms out to Dave and Jade’s locations. It doesn’t take a sharp eye to tell that John and his three friends are the “chosen ones” and that they will all play Sburb, with each player’s entry more grandiose and dramatic than the last. It’s always a pleasure to see foreshadowing that ends up true to the letter.

Having reconnected to the Internet, Rose opens Sburb on her laptop which transitions us to the second half of John’s ogre strife. Sburb as a transition device is pretty cool actually, and is used for quite a few elegant transitions in the early acts.


With help from Nannasprite, the battle ends with a cheerful victory dance and a triumphant high-five.

TT: Good work, John! 
EB: oh, hey! 
EB: you’re back. 
TT: For now. I’ll have to leave again shortly. 
TT: It looks like there’s another large meteor headed for… 
TT: My present location. 
EB: oh, so you mean dave connected with you? 
TT: Not yet. 
TT: I’ll explain later. 
TT: But I think I’ve determined that activating the timer in the game is not directly responsible for summoning a meteor to your location. 
TT: The countdown seems merely to exist as a kind of warning to the player. 
TT: As well as a strange coincidence. 


This short passage between John and Rose is good for getting less attentive readers up to speed. It clarifies that the countdowns exist as a warning, in case readers hadn’t figured that out yet.

EB: um, ok. 
EB: i don’t really think i get it. 
EB: is this relevant? 
TT: Probably not at the moment. And certainly not to you. 
TT: I have to go. 
EB: ok, later! 
TT: P.S. Try not to waste too much of that grist while I’m gone. 


John is a good obedient boy who listens to Rose’s words. He stays frugal with his grist until he figures more things out.

Not shown: John leveling up to the legendary BOY-SKYLARK rung.


JOHN: hey, nanna? 
NANNASPRITE: Yes, dear? 
JOHN: since i am trying to get up to that gate, and since you can sort of conjure floating beds and throw me around and all… 
JOHN: couldn’t you just throw me up to the gate? 
NANNASPRITE: Yes, of course, John! 
NANNASPRITE: But that would not serve your purpose well! 
NANNASPRITE: There is a very good reason why you should build up to it. And then keep building! 


Another case of the game refusing to allow obvious exploits. Sburb seems well-programmed at first, with care taken to prevent bypasses and skips. But that won’t last much longer. With trolls from another universe added to the mix, Sburb can and will be broken in all the best ways. We’ll see a lot of that in Act 4, get hyped.

NANNASPRITE: When you pass through the first gate, everything will change. You will find the place where the constellations dance beneath the clouds. And then your true work may begin. 

I can’t even keep track of these poetic phrases anymore. Hussie cranked out so many of them and the one quoted above is one of the most memorable.


Oh boy, it’s worldbuilding time. Derse is a planet that exists or something, I don’t really know what to say.


Look at the glorious Dad Egbert though. It feels so refreshing to see what he’s up to and very heartwarming to see the Egbert family all tackle these creatures.


Did he just…

punch a giant hole through a wall?

This guy’s absurd strength is one of the most underrated things about Homestuck. Please stop and take a moment to appreciate it before going on.

Skipped over the teaser of Jack Noir. I’ll have more to say about him next post.


Next we finally get to play as PM, the second exile. The narration firmly shows she’s obsessed with mail, treating it as a vital pillar of civilization and all that is good.


PM turns on Jade’s exile screen, the same screen WV chose not to turn on. And boy are we in for a surprise. The image itself invites a heap of questions already. Why is it snowing around Jade now? What’s this electric green interference?

Greetings.
Don’t I know you?


As we can see here, the image itself was just the tip of the iceberg. Why does PM recognize Jade? How did the green interference move to the command station itself?

I’d count this as a pattern broken, but I think it’s better saved for when this scene is revisited in Act 5 Act 2.


OH FUCK

WV was wise not to turn on Jade’s command screen. It would have caused the entire command station to explode! The exile screens’ serial escalation is done so perfectly, ending with a massive unexplained surprise whose true meaning nobody at this point could possibly guess.


Back to the Skaianet lab arc. While exploring the lab, Rose comes across some kind of little girl’s room? If you see through the garish bright pink, you’ll notice wizard and cat plushes abound, plus a bright pink version of the cat logo seen a few times in Rose’s residence, and might guess that this is where Rose’s mom grew up. This conclusion is way more obvious if you reread the comic knowing who Roxy is; it also shows how little Rose actually knew her mother.

You are accosted by a friendly MUTANT KITTEN.


This page needs no commentary. I included it out of obligation, because who in the world would want to read commentary on Homestuck if it ignores this wonderful page?

Not shown: John descending into his father’s room.


Holy SHIT. This image is a wham shot if I’ve ever seen one. Stuffed heads of Sburb underlings, a picture of Jade arranged like a memorial, and a structure colored like Prospit and Derse??? This picture asks so many questions, all through simple details.

As Jade prepares to face her grandpa, you may notice a set of four dolls representing his variety of interests. It’s only natural that since Grandpa has a multitude of salient interests, (11) he has a multitude of dolls to symbolize them instead of just one. And just like how Jade has one true fetch modus and one true shirt symbol, one could consider the blue lady Jade’s true “corresponding doll”. It’s the same doll that would almost get prototyped into her sprite until a certain someone interferes.


Jade finally faces off against her grandpa!!! And it turns out he was dead this whole time because Jade is a filthy stinking liar. (12) Jade’s grandpa is not her true guardian, as this joke flash shows us.

I’m really at a loss for words at this bait-and-switch. It isn’t even cleverly hidden or anything, it’s an outright lie. There’s no way you could read Jade’s descriptions of her grandfather before this page and not assume he’s alive.

I do think it’s worth pointing out that Jade’s imaginary interactions with her grandpa get Cerebus syndromed in Act 5 Act 2, where Tavros proudly reveals how her grandpa died and then hits on her. That scene isn’t talked about much which is a shame; it’s beautifully written and excels in “what the fuck” factor.

He was so much easier to deal with when he was alive.


This page hammers in that Jade’s grandpa is dead, if it wasn’t obvious already. Done right without seeming out of place.

Another pattern broken: (13) Jade goes outside without a misattributed quote coming to mind. Her misattributed quote is saved for when she enters the Medium. I’m suddenly sad now that we STILL don’t know the in-comic story behind Charles Dutton like we do with Harry Anderson or Barack Obama or Guy Fieri. The first Act 5 Act 2 book is coming in October; maybe Hussie will have a few words to say about Dutton there?


Let’s take a moment to appreciate the Sentry Worm. Nobody ever talks about this guy, what a shame.

I refuse to acknowledge that any reader could have possibly thought Rose would refuse to acknowledge the mutant kitten.

You can’t say no to cats, that’s a fact of life.


Rose encounters an appearifier styled like an arcade for some reason. Roxy is quite the fan of old video games so maybe it’s easy to imagine her pre-scratch self took an arcade and reprogrammed it to appearify things? I’m liking these obtuse hints at what kind of person Rose’s mother really is, all of which painfully fly over Rose’s head.


You mess with the controls… 

Hey, Jaspers is alive!!! 


Or, at least he was in the past. According to the time-stamp this was almost nine years ago. 

Rose is momentarily excited to see her cat alive before she reverts to her usual stoicism. Are you ready for something adorable?


Four-year-old Rose is sitting calmly in an oversized chair, patiently jotting down notes about her mysterious little cat. My god, look at her. It’s so cute to see that Rose has been a dedicated psychoanalyst since she was a baby.

It looks like you and Jaspers were having one of your sessions. You weren’t making a lot of progress though, because Jaspers was no doubt being characteristically recalcitrant. You possibly jotted this phrase down in your pad. It’s hard to remember though. 

It’s also adorable that Rose’s narration describes Jaspers as “characteristically recalcitrant”, instead of words that a normal 13-year-old would use.

Look at this cute little cat, playing with Rose’s scarf.


In the present, Rose tries to appearify Jaspers but ends up demonstrating the mysterious workings of ectobiology instead. As the book commentary states, this scene is something of a tutorial to prepare us for the scene where John creates the beta and alpha kids.

Whoever was operating this machine in the past may have been making unsuccessful attempts to perfect the science of ECTOBIOLOGY

“Whoever was operating this machine in the past”? Jeez, I wonder who that could be. It probably isn’t Rose’s mother or anything, that would be ridiculous.

Jokes aside, I think I’ve made my point by now that this scene reads way differently if you’re rereading. Rereading the comic is a necessity if you want to understand even a fraction of it and this scene is no exception. Mom Lalonde’s backstory is right in your face once you know who post-scratch Roxy is.


Back to the conveniently viewable flashback, Jaspers tells little Rose a secret and promptly vanishes and OH MY GOD, look at Rose’s expression!!! She’s stunned and beyond confused. I can’t believe it’s been almost five years since I first read Homestuck but I never stopped to appreciate four-year-old Rose—smell the roses, if you will (oh my god that’s a fucking terrible pun I’m so sorry).


After two weeks gone missing where not even the appearifier can show where he is, little Rose finds Jaspers dead. What follows is a gloomy flash fast-forwarding to the present.

Little Rose continues to make the cutest expressions. She can never disguise sadness at the loss of a loved one.

Then Rose’s mother does what all versions of Roxy are predisposed to do: hold an elaborate overdramatic funeral to exert her grief. Even as a young child, I’d bet Rose obsessively psychoanalyzed her “spiteful” and “ironic” mother. She probably spent the whole funeral wrapped up in intense maternal psychoanalysis rather than mourning their beloved cat.


IT’S JASPERS. HE’S ALIVE. 

Well ok, he’s still dead. But his body is intact. Turns out it wasn’t some kind of DISINTEGRATIFICATOR like you thought. 

It’s more like… 

AN ESCAPILIZER.

The flash ends with an image showing Jaspers’ body is intact, accompanied by some amusing narration quoted above. As before, Rose lets her sugary inner self leak out a bit before remembering the cat is still dead and going back to her usual philosophizing.


And with ten seconds to spare, Rose appearifies Jaspers’ body and leaves the lab. The story’s impromptu coinings of complicated Sburb-style words always make me smile.


As Jade goes outside to find her elusive dog, we get a small flash of the same electrical energy that blew up PM’s exile station. Together with the silhouette of Becquerel’s face, all I can say is that’s some damn cool foreshadowing.


John arrives in his dad’s room and it’s not at all what he expected it to be. It’s a room full of ties, pipes, and.. business documents?

I still love that this flash’s music is reprised in a much more horrifying context about halfway through [S] Caliborn: Enter.


Suffice to say, John doesn’t have an easy time processing this. He promptly has a mental breakdown in a flash with dramatic music, as if this was some kind of terrifying revelation that uproots everything John thought he knew and now he can never see the world the same way ever again.


Except this actually is a terrifying revelation that uproots everything John thought he knew and now he can never see the world the same way ever again.

Look at poor John. He’s trying to understand his father to the best of his 13-year-old ability.


So all those years, while you believed he was out busking up the corners with hilarious antics, he was working as an ordinary business man all along. He was just a man trying to make a good honest living for his son. Maybe he was too embarrassed to tell you the truth? Or maybe it was just that you’d never bothered to ask? 

You guess you always just assumed…

A natural part of John being “homestuck” is that he’s stuck in childish assumptions on what his father does for a living. If you’re a little kid, maybe it’s understandable if to some degree you genuinely think your dad is secretly a hilarious clown, but by the time you turn thirteen you should really know the truth or at least infer it from context.


All that said, just because Dad Egbert isn’t quite the clown lunatic John thought he was doesn’t mean he isn’t an absolute badass. This transition from son to father is done so well.

The next page is where we get to know Jack Noir, which makes for a good stopping point. See you next time as Rose puts her psychoanalysis skills to the best use imaginable.

Next => Part 11: Magical Dreams and Retroactive Clowns

Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 9 Rewritten: Air for Eclectic Fursuits

Introduction / Schedule <- still using, for now

Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 >

Pages 759-835 (MSPA: 2659-2735)

Act 3, Part 1 of 5

Link to old version

A few days (feels like a few months) later edit:

I am really fucking glad I made this post BEFORE the epilogues came out. Dear god Jade, what happened to you.


Augh…

I so badly wanted to finish Act 6 Act 3 in my classic posts before 4/13. That didn’t work out, so I wanted to finish it at least before I started Act 3 in my rewritten posts. But I can’t help myself from dwelling on the past more. Maybe it’s best that way, actually. Act 3 is light on dialogue and won’t make me sad to reread considering the nostalgic content in the epilogues so far, definitely not as much as Act 1 or 2. And this post focuses on Jade, who we haven’t heard from in the epilogues yet, so it all works out. The bit that’s left of Act 6 Act 3 is two big flashes, one last pesterlog, and a WHOPPER flash. As much as I love those three flashes, I don’t think I have the investment to dissect them right now, especially not without the readmspa.org storyboards handy. I’ll figure something out later, OK?

Oh who am I kidding. Nobody gives a crap which posts I prioritize. But I know for sure that there’s lots of people who give a crap about my posts in general, even if they don’t say as much. Come out, come out wherever you are!

Enough of me being an idiot. Let’s get on with this post.


Before Act 3 proper starts, we take a look inside the old copy of Sassacre’s, where old lady Jane wrote a note for her grandson.

You are no doubt reading this as a handsome and strapping young man! Why, the mangrit needed to lift the book is itself a sign of your maturity, not even to speak of the wisdom needed to grasp the nuance of Sassacre‘s time-tested mischief. I am so proud of you, grandson! 

How I wish I could have delivered this heirloom to you in the flesh. But I am afraid it wasn’t in the cards! For you see, John, like you, this book must yet take a journey! Its journey will end on the Final Day of my life, and even then will continue some. Though I suppose that will be up to your Father. Perhaps he will discuss it with you one day, when he and you are ready. 


First-time readers are no doubt confused here. How did John’s grandmother know all this? One may speculate that since we now know that the guardians are all involved with Skaianet, it’s only natural that Nanna knew an insane amount through her old age.

The line about mangrit is a really cool red herring. I’ve been saying “red herring” a lot lately—maybe I should come up with a different term for bits of text that seem mundane now but have complex explanations later? How about blue salmon? Salmon is a delicious fish, but if it were colored blue then it would disguise itself quite well in the ocean. I hereby dub the line about mangrit a blue salmon. Mangrit probably runs in the Egbert family (which is properly called the Twain family but I don’t want to confuse people), so one could easily imagine Nanna back in the day playing a part in that tradition. But nope, the real explanation is that the book traveled through time and Nannasprite is a sly old prankster who knows the real story, as Hussie’s book commentary helpfully explains. I wonder if I would have come to the prankster part of that revelation on my own, without the book commentary? I think it’s quite likely that I would have, which is part of why I won’t consult book commentary when I get to Act 5 Act 1 in my rewritten posts. I want to see how much I end up agreeing with the big man after I’m done with that act.

On that topic, my copy of Homestuck Book 3 arrived last Sunday! It came about a week earlier than expected, perhaps because of 4/13. I’m excited to go through Act 4 in my rewritten posts. In that act, I plan on twisting things up and consuming the comic in physical book form, with more focus on Hussie’s commentary than before.

Anyway, let’s continue through the letter.

But it is your journey I am writing about to wish you luck! There will come a day when you will be thrust into another world. And once you arrive, that is only the beginning! You will soon delve even deeper into a realm of Warring Royalty in a Timeless Expanse. A realm of Agents and Exiles and Consorts and Kernelsprites. Of toiling Underlings and slumbering Denizens

Mass drop of Sburb terminology, I see. I find it a bit interesting that terms are dropped in that order. Agents, exiles, and consorts are the resident NPCs of course, with various degrees of voicing within the narrative. Kernelsprites are a bit odd grouped with those three, though I guess the term used here really just refers to “sprites” and the use of those terms wasn’t totally set in stone. In any case, the rest of the terms listed fit well without any early installment weirdness.

Here’s a part that is most certainly a red herring and not a blue salmon: 

A realm where four will gather, the Heir of Breath and Seer of Light, the Knight of Time and Witch of Space, and together they will Ascend

Readers at this point typically deduce that these terms refer to John, Jade, Dave, and Rose respectively, falsely assuming that Jade is the Seer of Light and Rose is the Witch of Space. Jade knows the future and seems to be dreamy and sunny, while Rose likes gothy dark space creatures, so what else could it be? This designation also pairs up the ecto-siblings, which probably seem like natural groupings to readers at this point. It’s such an obvious deduction that even just now I briefly fell for that misconception as if reading for the first time. Quite a clever prank (to the readers, not the characters) if I say so myself.

John, if only you knew how important you were! I regret my passing came so early in your life. And yet I feel in my heart we have already met. But what I know for sure is that we will meet again! 

Until then, John, I do hope your Father keeps you well fed! 


I can see why Mr. Egbert hid the book from his son for so long. So much stuff that would confuse the hell out of this kid.


Nanna’s “HOO HOO HOO” subtly hints that this inscription is a bit of a prank. It probably signified to her son that this letter has more to it than meets the eye. Then he came to a conclusion about what to do with that book and locked it inside a safe for thirteen years.

… Are you thinking what I’m thinking? It’s been a long time since I last thought about stable time loops and here I am now, god damn it.

Begin Act 3.

A silly girl naps by her flowers…


Let’s talk about Jade Harley.

… actually, no. Let’s not talk about her yet. I’ll do that when she enters her room and gets her proper introduction page. It’s only in the spirit of all the patterns she breaks. The last thing I want to do concurrently with the epilogues’ release is overthink everything, which I surely would be doing right now if I was dissecting the Unite Synchronization flashes.

I’m going to do the pattern breaking count all over again as I go through these pages, with the order slightly changed from my old posts. Here goes:

(1) Jade is introduced not in her bedroom, but in her atrium. This might strike readers as odd, but probably won’t come off as a pattern breaker just yet. Her peacefully sleeping serves as a fun subversion of expectations…

Uh…
I guess..
I guess her name is Farmstink.

… that quickly leads to absolute hilarity. When I got to these pages in the community reread, I laughed way too hard, probably harder than anyone reading for the first time would have.

Pattern breaking count continues: (2) for the first few pages, the story goes along with Jade’s joke name; since she’s asleep, we have no way of knowing her real name yet. Homestuck’s naming mechanics are IMPORTANT, please pay close attention to them. This is only the beginning of many naming shenanigans to come!!! (It’s actually the end of those shenanigans, haha you just got trolled.)


> Retrieve arms from…

THEY’RE RIGHT THERE. 

IN PLAIN SIGHT. 

LOOK, THEY ARE FLASHING RED.

The “retrieve arms” joke is even more side-splitting. The game’s “player” is going all the way back to where we started, which creates some tension with the narration. The narration is confused by the joke name and exasperated at the arms gag.

I love the -ify text. A subtle way to make the tie-in with WV more obvious.


Oh shit, how could I forget about the pumpkin? I was so caught up in this arm tension that I didn’t even notice! Which is just as well, because there is no pumpkin, and frankly it is hard to imagine there ever was a pumpkin, in plain sight or otherwise.

Anyway, as the narration states, that would be a really terrible thing to do to poor, sweet Farmstink. The humor value in the story referring to this girl as Farmstink needs no explanation.

Though this letter at first seems like breaking the fourth wall, a simpler explanation can be deduced quite easily.

Jade probably saw a troll enter “Farmstink Buttlass” in her dreams or something.


The “player” retrieves Jade’s note and reads it, demonstrating to us that Jade is going to break the fourth wall a fair bit in this act. She does it in a way more traditional than Rose’s fourth wall breaking, which either makes less sense or more sense in the meta narrative depending how you look at it. Can I call Jade’s story the meta narrative and Rose’s story the meta knarrative?

Actually that is a really stupid idea, so I won’t bother.

In an alternate universe, you’d be reading an elaborate list of fanciful terms such as “King Nananarrative”, lovingly crafted by yours truly.


Instead of wasting time naming Kirby characters, the player realizes once and for all that poop jokes are immature and reluctantly enters the silly girl’s real name.

Jade wakes up and what’s that on her shirt? Why is it suddenly a pumpkin and not an atom?

Her shirt design increases the pattern breaker count: (3) Jade’s shirt symbol is not static and constantly changes. Well, for now anyway. The shirt symbol goes through first a big cycle and then a smaller cycle, before her wardrobifier explodes and she’s left with her true shirt symbol: a blue icon in the shape of her dog’s face. Jade’s patterns broken are a form of red herrings, and the shirt symbol is one of the more abstract such instances—you know, because of something called “symbolism”. If one of her ten different shirt symbols was a salmon then I’d be able to make a pretty good pun. I’ll keep my eyes out in case Feferi or Meenah says “salmon”.



Your name is JADE. You have just woken from a restful nap, and as usual, you have no recollection of having fallen asleep. You have quite a number of INTERESTS. So many in fact, you have trouble keeping track of them all, even with an assortment of COLORFUL REMINDERS on your fingers to help you sort out everything on your mind. Nevertheless, when you spend time in your GARDEN ATRIUM, the only thing on your mind is your deep passion for HORTICULTURE. 

(4) Jade’s mass swath of interests isn’t listed right away, which is just as well because her list of interests is an absolute doozy.


The first thing Jade is commanded to do is play a silly flute refrain. It seems obvious that we’d get the instrumental flash out of the way. She’s the silly girl, right? Of course her instrument would be a nice little flute! What could possibly go wrong?

Challenge of the day: find the right combination of keys to play Differences™.


(5) Jade’s musical instrument isn’t quite what we think. She can’t play the flute, as indicated by the cacophony readers are invited to create through keyboard mashing.* Flutes are for chumps anyway. The electric bass is way cooler. It’s even cooler when it plays tunes by the elusive Bill Bolin, whose music was sadly cut from the comic.

* When you press Z, a whole new cacophony is added to the mix. :::;)


Wow, you really suck at this thing! 

Maybe you should try playing an instrument you actually know how to play instead, like the one in your bedroom. 

This passage makes it quite clear that the flute is not Jade’s instrument. Unfortunately, not all readers understood that. There’s some perfectly good fan music that is RUINED because it represents Jade by a flute instead of a bass. You can’t just disregard such important clarification!

Honestly you have no idea where this flute even came from. Things seem to appear and disappear around here all the time. Especially, to your unending chagrin, any sort of large orange gourd that might be lying around. 

I’m obligated to quote the book commentary about the mystery of the flute’s origin:

I guess the implication here is that the flute appearified there from an exile station? But that doesn’t make much sense. We never saw any flutes on those stations. Obscure theory: Alt-universe Jade as an old woman sent this flute to her, because she always regretted not taking up the instrument as a young girl. Whew. Plot hole count: back down to zero.

As I’ve said before, I love when the book commentary gives thrown-together justifications for inconsistencies or explanations for forgotten mysteries. Hussie came up with it on a whim but boy does this theory work well. Alt-universe Jade was always so mysterious, I kind of hope that in future content we learn more about her. Maybe in the epilogues, maybe in book commentary, maybe in Hiveswap stuff?

Another gif created by yours truly.


(6) Jade doesn’t have one fetch modus based on data structures, but twelve different modi based on board games! My brain had told me for the longest time that she had ten modi, but nope, it’s twelve.

Here, we see firsthand why Dave says he gets a migraine whenever Jade talks about her “goofy modusses”. I have no idea how most of these could possibly work! The Boggle modus sounds like an even stupider version of Dave’s hash map, while the very concept of a Monopoly modus gives me PTSD from all the times I tried to play that game. Ouija finds a use when we meet Aradia, giving her character a touch of spooky flair. Memory and Pictionary are the only two modi we see Jade properly use, which I’ll go over in a bit. All the other modi just confuse the shit out of me. Jenga is briefly used in Act 4, proving to be a useless endeavor thanks to Jade’s narcolepsy*; I imagine the other puzzle game modi are all similarly useless.

* Somewhere in the distance, a blue-blooded troll is screaming. She so badly wants me to say her name, haha poor her.


Out of Jade’s twelve modi, Memory is her default. The narration says that she always manages to guess what’s inside on her first try, so it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting sylladex antics yet.

Just as the flute isn’t Jade’s true instrument and Grandpa isn’t her true guardian, I’d argue that Memory isn’t her true modus. Well, it is her true modus as in that’s the one she typically uses, but Jade’s obligatory sylladex antics don’t come in until she switches to the Pictionary modus in Act 4. When we see the Pictionary modus in action, it quickly proves to be a lovely match with her character as well as a good source of humorous moments. I see Pictionary as Jade’s true modus; she uses it during her per-character alchemy binge after all.


Jade is commanded to squeal like a piglet and fertilize her plants, which she predictably…

oh my god this is so much fun


… follows through with, to the letter!!! (7) Jade follows her joke command instead of rejecting it, in a very literal way to boot. “Fertilizing plants” is a rare case where the figurative meaning of something is more disgusting than the literal meaning. Also, let’s not forget about Pig Jade, what a blessing.

The book commentary on this page is one of the funniest things ever. I won’t spoil it.


After the joke command, we learn that Jade has a set of colorful reminders on her fingers. One bit I find interesting is:

[L]ooking at your index finger reminds you that there is something important to remember now! It is your friend John’s birthday. The green string reminds you that John’s birthday package will arrive today. The blue string ALSO reminds you that John’s birthday package will arrive today, though in a way that means something slightly different. 

The narration talks about things in a cryptic way that reminds me of how Jade herself tends to talk to John. It suggests to me that those vague phrasings really are how Jade thinks to herself, not this image she puts up for John. She just isn’t very good at putting up an image, which is why she says things that way. I’ll get back to this point when I write my obligatory paragraph(s) overviewing her character.


As Jade is about to leave this room, the triangle design in the middle will probably catch readers’ eyes. It’s the exact same sort of design that was found all over the place during WV’s arc of Act 2! Readers probably aren’t quite sure what this means yet, but between this triangle design and the spirograph symbol on her shirt, one might piece together a few mysteries behind her character, or maybe even behind her grandfather.

Remember when we caught a glimpse of Jade amidst a x2 PSYCHEOUT COMBO!! near the end of Act 2? In that glimpse, we saw spirograph flowers, which I thought of as an early clue about her grandpa’s involvement in Skaianet and Sburb. The image above is a much stronger clue at this involvement.

Crab Apple. Key Lime. Mandarin Orange. Eureka Lemon.

These four shall be held in reverence for the eternity they serve to cut short.


Before leaving her room, Jade captchalogues some silly little fruits! These fruits just sort of exist and nodody knows why. But somehow, I feel like Homestuck would lose most of its charm if those fruits didn’t exist. I briefly discussed those fruits in this Act 6 Act 3 post, which I wrote quite recently.


Jade transportalizes to her bedroom, accompanied by a brief flash of green. Another moment that may raise a few eyebrows.

The plushes on Jade’s floor come off to me as lighter echos of Rose’s and Dirk’s interests.


Now that Jade is in her room, it’s time to talk about her for real this time. Are you ready for a long wall of text? It’s largely adapted from the old version of this post; no way I’d retype that all from scratch.

So far, Jade’s role in the story is little more than the person who has some kind of future foresight. Of the five conversations up to this point with her in them, the first is just a regular conversation, the second might make you wonder if something’s up with her, and the last three are specifically about her knowledge of the future. While Rose and Dave before their respective introductions were established by their personality traits, Jade was established by that ability. This sets her apart from all other characters; none of the alpha kids, or any of the trolls, have a strange ability define their character before their introduction. And I’m not sure that was the best way to set up her character.

As I’ve said before, Jade in the early acts is hard to call a “character”. In this act’s book commentary, the author jokes about her being a Mary Sue, which I’m guessing is a reflection upon how her character wasn’t handled so well at first.* She seems to know everything and love everything, without ever doing something wrong. Hussie seemed to be aware of this issue and completely fixed it in Act 5 Act 2; after Jade’s dreambot explodes, she becomes one of the most lovable characters in the entire comic. That shift in her character is wondrous and feels completely justified by the story. After Jade wakes up from her Squiddle nightmare, she becomes grouchy and burnt out, then naturally develops into her true character without anything feeling forced. It’s a wonder that Hussie pulled off this change so well; I wish he could have done it that well after the retcon.

This act’s narration establishes Jade as “silly”, which is at best early installment weirdness and at worst blatant lies. Jade isn’t anything like a spaced-out girl who constantly drifts around her weird thoughts and can’t focus on anything serious; such simple archetypes are surprisingly hard to come by in Homestuck.** She is easily the most honest and open of the beta kids. While John, Rose, and Dave are all about denying harsh truths, Jade either accepts the truth with open arms or fights it head-on in the hopes of changing it. She is “silly” in the sense that she has a number of strange interests, but that’s because she was raised on an island in the middle of nowhere by a weird old man. 

It’s a shame that Jade gets so little screen time in Act 6. Throughout the battleship journey, she serves mostly as a straight man to John’s antics, and then as soon as she enters the session she becomes Grimbark Jade, which is actually a really entertaining spin on her character. I like the scenes with her post-retcon self who was put to sleep before any of that could happen, but I don’t like that none of those scenes take place in the waking world. We don’t get to see any of her wondrous dialogue reunions with anyone, not even with John who was killed early in her battleship journey! The story gives her a small speaking moment awake before it does away with dialogue. The epilogues will almost certainly give her more time in the spotlight. Maybe those dialogue reunions I’ve so badly craved could come alongside the second retcon? I can’t say I’m anything other than cautiously hopeful.

* There’s a far better time than now to discuss the other character people accuse of being a Mary Sue. Be patient, OK?

** I bring up archetypes because I realized that my old description of who Jade isn’t turned out to be an accurate description of Yui Hirasawa, a character from an anime that puts simple archetypes to good use. I’d also like to apologize to anyone that expected me to talk about anime that doesn’t involve cute girls singing.

Please take a moment to appreciate Jade’s poster of Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff as furries.

Further evidence that Dave unites the kids through his comics.


In contrast to my four-paragraph essay above, I don’t have much to say about Jade’s list of interests. I think I’ve made the atmosphere these pages give off more than clear enough already.

Jade’s list of interests falls into an odd spot where they aren’t strongly expanded on, but they aren’t notably left in the dust either. A bit of a strange middle ground that would surely be a high ground if she got more screen time outside Act 5 Act 2. Her interests are shown in greater detail when we learn about her rebellious scratched self and in some of the dream bubble scenes everyone forgets about. Though I like those dream bubble scenes with her, Calliope, and later Jane quite a bit, I can’t blame readers for forgetting about them in favor of the frog platform conversations.


I do have quite a bit to say about the narration’s descriptions of Jade’s grandfather, though.


Your worktable is littered with equipment to facilitate your tinkering. For you, experimentation is not a particularly exact science, and you lean heavily on SHARP INTUITION for consistently and eerily optimal results. Nevertheless, you have still not been able to get that broad, flat gizmo there to work, which is a design you have borrowed from one of your GRANDPA’S more mysterious inventions. 

Remember the fenestrated planes from Rose’s grimoire? None of the kids seem to have the faintest clue what these things do, which makes for a little mystery arc. We find out what those walls do when we meet Roxy, who uses them every day to get around; I think what this demonstrates is that she is the resident scientist, who the kids’ adventures on both sides of the scratch wouldn’t be possible without.


You are a great admirer of his, and you are not alone. Your grandfather is a WORLD RENOWNED EXPLORER-NATURALIST-TREASURE HUNTER-ARCHEOLOGIST-SCIENTIST-ADVENTURER-BIG GAME HUNTER-BILLIONAIRE EXTRAORDINAIRE. He has taught you everything you know. 

Jake Harley continues to be one of the most confusing characters in this whole comic. Over time, both in and out of the comic proper, we have gotten a picture of what sorts of adventures he’s gone on. Actually we haven’t gotten a picture at all; we’ve gotten a cryptic scrapbook showing numerous tales that don’t make sense in isolation and make even less sense when put together. Maybe Jade could talk about her grandpa in the epilogues?

But in spite of all his lessons, it is still difficult to escape his stern lectures when you are on the way out of the house to run your errands. He spends most of his time in the GRAND FOYER, stewing in his own intensity and charisma.

Come on Jade, stop lying to us. This guy is dead and you like to pretend he’s alive for some bizarre reason. Jade’s arc of Act 3 is one of the most trollish parts of the whole comic; her narration shamelessly lies to us again and again.


Jade’s strife specibus stands as one of the few patterns she doesn’t break. I guess the author didn’t feel like doing nonsense here.

At this point, I don’t feel like doing much nonsense either. I’m going to skip more pages from here on out. I’ve dilly-dallied way too much in this act so far, so I think it’s time to crank up the speed a bit.


Ah, the pile of plushes. Piles of things exist in Homestuck for some reason, nobody really knows why. This one gets a pretty cute callback in the Ghostbusters MMORPG scene an in-story year later, where Jade sits on a pile of plushes while John sits on a gaming chair. Jade’s early traits aren’t special or interesting now, but somehow put a smile on my face whenever they’re called back to in later acts.

Oh Jade, just wait until you meet your cool and new web comic counterpart.

EPILOGUE EDIT: Pretend I said “your future self” instead.


The narration makes a Freudian slip and mentions “fursuits”, leading to something that has no right to be as funny as it is. The story has to clear up that Jade isn’t that kind of furry, and absolutely not THAT kind of furry. It’s just as funny now as it probably was in 2009, especially to outsiders of the furry fandom. And if you DARE tell me that bronies count as furries by definition, then I will force you to listen to this for 10 hours straight.

Problem Sooth is probably the hardest thing in Homestuck for me to say anything meaningful about. Sorry about that.


The contents of Jade’s magic chest, wait I mean gadget chest, are pretty interesting. First thing I’ll talk about is is the two little cubes on the top right.

There is a COOKALIZER for preparing delicious meals, and a REFRIGERATOR, a name which clearly is a wacky variation on the much more common household item, the REFRIGIFYIFICATOR.

At this point, Hussie seemed to get caught up in the idea that it’s absolutely hilarious to claim that common English words are wacky variations of absurd Hussie-style phrases, which he brings to full light when we get to know the high-blooded trolls. I never understood what’s so funny about that idea, though I guess it goes hand-in-hand with all the amazingly absurd troll terminology he thought up over the years.

The refrigerator’s small size leads us to another pattern broken: (8) Jade’s fridge is small and portable, so it doesn’t have any sort of drawing on it. I’m quite a fan of both the refrigerator and cookalizer’s designs; they give Jade’s home life a uniquely whimsical and futuristic flavor.

On the topic of 8, here’s something cool:

“NOT EXACTLY” is the answer to Jade asking if today is John’s birthday.

I think we all know the deeper significance here.


These things are stupid and useless! 

When the MAGIC 8 BALL isn’t being frustratingly ambiguous, its forecast is always wrong! You have tested it numerous times with certain facts you know to be true. This is its reply when you ask if it is your friend John’s birthday today. See? Stupid! 

You guess maybe it could be used as a reverse-prediction device, and always trust the opposite of what it says. But that seems dumb to you. And anyway, the thing gives you a bad vibe. You might consider smashing it, but you are a little superstitious about whatever ominous consequences that might have, even if the occult talisman in question is a cheap piece of garbage.

GEE, I WONDER WHICH CHARACTER THIS IS FORESHADOWING????????

For some reason, I get a very strong impression that the foreshadowing I’m talking about here is retroactive. Being retroactive fits with the character I’m talking about, considering her meta role in the story.

The paragraph above is terse because it’s the only way I can stop myself from entering an obnoxious positive feedback cycle where I end up writing more and more about that character.



The MAGIC CUE BALL on the other hand is said to make predictions with alarming precision and specificity. Unfortunately it lacks a portal on its surface that allows you to view the prediction. 

Chekhov’s gun, anyone? Unlike with the 8 ball, there is no way I could possibly see the foreshadowing here as retroactive.


After captchaloguing all her items, Jade gives the reader a chance to play Memory! <- blatant lies


Memory is actually a pretty hard game! I really let Jade down here and I feel awful. All I managed to get out of her sylladex were some pointless fruits! <- more blatant lies


Congratulations, you advance your matching skill to the new level: YUKON HERO: LEGACY OF THE FROSTBITE AMPUTEE. 

Jade is beginning to regret breaking the fourth wall for this ill advised escapade.

I find it so goddamn funny that this is the first time the comic outright uses the phrase “breaking the fourth wall”.



If it were known in advance how terrible you were going to be at this matching game, the author may have given second thought to preparing this cool interactive Flash application. 

I don’t know what gave Hussie the idea to make a series of GIFs of the player miserably failing at Memory and pretend it’s a full-fledged interactive game. It’s one of the most stupidly hilarious things to ever exist.


You just deploy the gadgets yourself.

I feel so ripped off it’s unreal. I thought you were cool, Jade.

Jade’s refrigerator runs not through buttons, but through a rotary interface? This design is a strange mix of future and past, which may be an obtuse hint that her grandpa played a part in this technology.

“Cookalizer” sounds suspiciously like the username of someone very handsome…


Meanwhile, the cookalizer shows a rather humorous escalation, much in the same light as how weird each of the four beta kids’ daily lives are. The nuclear explosion represents Jade’s home life well, because all logic we thought we knew is thrown out the window when we meet her (i.e. right now).

After she irradiates the steak, we are treated to Jade’s real instrument flash.


Above is the loading screen for every flash featuring Jade so far, including this one. All of Jade’s prior flashes featured inconsequential antics; this is the first time I’d say it subverts expectations.



While Jade’s fake instrument flash was titled “[S] Jade: Play a silly flute refrain”, her real instrument flash is titled “[S] Jade: Play a hauntingly relaxing bassline”. This difference tells me that Hussie didn’t take Jade’s “silly girl” character to heart; it’s arguably yet another way expectations are subverted. The bassline is hauntingly relaxing, but the old version of this flash scored by Bill Bolin is hauntingly relaxing. All things considered, the new version is a decent replacement and not much is lost. I’m linking the old version here only because the follow-up to this flash originally used a kickass remix of Bolin’s song; easily the biggest loss after his infamous departure from the music team.

As Jade’s haunting bassline grows her plants, we gradually zoom out to this image:


Wham shot, anyone??? This should ring a bell to anyone that’s seen [S] WV: Ascend. It might even invite readers to look back to that flash and start solving mysteries. I love the way that zoom-out is executed, which we get on a much larger scale in this flash’s successor; Jade’s advanced bass solo will be two posts from now.


This island reveal is a fitting time to show us a mysterious blue package, ascending from the sky. It’s not as mysterious as the green package, whose contents we won’t see until Act 4’s WHOPPER ending.


Next up we get to see Jade’s computer! So far it’s simple and nothing out of the ordi—


OH FUCK

This flash is short, but honest to god mind-blowing. It’s probably my favorite subversion of expectations so far in this act. Pattern breaker count: (9) John, Rose, and Dave have regular computers with operating systems that resemble real life ones, but Jade’s has a 3-D holographic interface that looks like it came straight out of a sci-fi movie. I love this design and I especially love that Hussie didn’t just take the easy way out here. He took the time to animate this spectacular gem.


Jade opens Pesterchum Enamel, a piece of AMAZING FUTURISTIC TECHNOLOGY that gives me Back to the Future vibes. Who are these douchebags listed in the Trollslum??? Probably just some nobodies.

All jokes aside, a few troll handles might stick out a bit. Karkat’s handle is the first one listed, and it’s quite clearly a mirror of John’s. One might already speculate that this troll is a Sburb player much like John is. Gamzee’s handle is also of note, because both his and Karkat’s tie into the universe’s cancer and it’s likely that Hussie had planned Gamzee’s ultimate story way in advance too. The trollslum as a whole indicates that by this point, Hussie had a big mental image of the story’s deeper plot and how the kids and trolls tie together. Later in this act we’ll get a well-hidden similar indicator for the alpha kids, which I’ll be sure to discuss when I get there!

Here, we see Jade’s first pesterlog from her perspective, which establishes our timeframe and reminds us how wacky her day-to-day life is. This is followed by an interesting Dave monologue.

Dave likes talking to nobody. He is also apparently a furry or something? Or likes playing along with Jade’s furry stuff. This log hints at a deep friendship between him and Jade, as I discussed in the old version of this post.

Shoutouts to Bowman, I mean Jade, for turning the bland Ohgodwhat into the joyous Ohgodwhat Remix.

The FreshJamz media player tells a similar story. Most of the music sounds endearingly amateurish; Dave and Jade’s collaborations are generally the best ones.

In the old version of this post, I discussed Dave and Jade’s dynamic as something that the story had shafted, especially following the retcon. That bit is outdated now: Dave and Jade’s dynamic has been revisited quite a bit now, and in a rather strange way. The credits and epilogues put them and Karkat together in one of the buddy system groups, with a vaguely described three-way relationship. The system of pairing up characters was always kind of bullshit, but now that we know the kids’ friendships aren’t healthy that way I’m intrigued to see what those three are like now at 23 years old.


Jade reads MSPA and the self-satire is cranked up to a whole new level. Midnight Crew just finished some completely pointless intermission. I think you already know that far in the future, Homestuck ends up exactly like this. I’d be getting way too ahead of myself if I started talking about Homosuck now though; that’s a fair ways from now, even in my classic posts. Though I promise I’ll pick up the pace in those posts once I’ve gone through all the Openbound games.

If you call Hearts Boxcars’ instrument a cello, then basically fuck you. It’s very obviously a double bass.


With this intermission over, we move on to Act 1031 of Midnight Crew! This time around it’s much closer to Homestuck’s Midnight Crew intermission. Given that an intermission in the Midnight Crew adventure, this is quite obviously a teaser at the intermission following this act of Homestuck. Aside from the gray color scheme, its setting is now near identical to that of the intermission; it even features the Felt and the Problem Sleuth cast at the end. The Problem Sleuth cast doesn’t return in the intermission, but the intermission has tons of callbacks to that adventure.

The concept of Jade being a furry but specifically the innocent kind is stupidly funny to me.


Time for a Jade/Dave pesterlog we’ve already read. It’s good to read that conversation again, because it reminds us of the story behind John’s package and the convoluted time loop that follows it, as well as the mysteries behind how Jade knows all this.

Next page is the first one in this act that’s not focused on Jade, so I’ll stop here. This whole post was mostly about Jade, just like the old version.

See you next time as we frantically switch back and forth between a whole bunch of different characters like the Easter Bunny running late for his annual job of delivering candy and eggs to the world’s children, this time during an actually fitting time of year. I wish I could say I had planned my post schedule to make the Easter joke work, but nope, just an incredibly lucky coincidence.

Next => Part 10: Scene Hops and Father Revelations

Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 12: Where Making This Transpire

Introduction

< Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 >

Act 3, Part 4 of 4

Pages 1052-1153 (MSPA: 2952-3053)

Link to rewritten version part 1 (part 2 pending) (I recommend you read the rewritten version instead of this)

It’s like fucking Christmas up in here.

Last time, we literally examined the world of Jade’s dreams. This time, we’re going to round out act 3 of Homestuck with lots of stuff falling into place. First off, John alchemizes a bunch of things out of his possessions, a pattern that happens with all the kids, and which Jade doesn’t subvert. I’ll list the most notable things he makes: a green Wise Guy suit, Spy Kids-style computer glasses, several hammer weapons, ghost arms to lift bigger objects at long range, and a Cosbytop. I really like the alchemizing system, and how weird combinations can make awesome things; my favorite combination is fake arm + Nanna’s ectoplasm + Dad’s PDA = the remote ghost gauntlet (the arm which he can control from afar). I should also note that we don’t actually go through John first using each of the alchemy devices in order with captchalogue cards and cruxite dowels and all that nonsense; rather, he’s just repeated commanded to combine a few items and bam, he does so. Unlike in Act 1, at this point we take much less time to dwell on John using the captchalogue mechanics. I think the main point of the captchalogue stuff may have been to put readers in the right mindset to feel comfortable with the regular usage of the Sburb interface.

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Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 11: Magical Dreams and Clown Therapy

Introduction

< Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 >

Pages 952-1051 (MSPA: 2852-2951)

Act 3, Part 3 of 4

Link to rewritten post (I recommend you read it instead of this)

Who’s this guy?

At the curb of act 3’s halfway point, we meet the main villain of the first half of Homestuck. He looks like the Problem Sleuth extra Spades Slick, but he is actually Derse’s archagent, Jack Noir. He has great trouble dealing with John’s extra-strong father, and his fourth wall was stolen some time ago. We learn parts of what’s been going on at the kingdom: after Mr. Egbert was kidnapped, the queen made everyone dress like clowns, and Jack Noir can’t stand that. Is there any specific reason for him hating clowns like there is for all Dersites having an intense aversion to frogs? It really doesn’t look like it, though it does become extremely relevant to the plot when Jack flips out and fucks shit up. Maybe it’s like John’s hatred of Betty Crocker—hating it for no good reason. A lot of stuff in real life looks to me like hating stuff for no good reason—I often hear people talking about how much they hate things I know about but don’t really have an opinion about.

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Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 10: Scene Hops and Father Revelations

Introduction

< Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 >

Pages 836-951 (MSPA: 2736-2851)

Act 3, Part 2 of 4

Link to rewritten version (I recommend you read it instead of this post)

Pictured above: why Dave is so damn angsty about his upbringing.

Last time we got a partial tour of Jade’s bizarre house. This time, we switch perspective to Dave battling his brother. I practically lost my breath watching that flash in which Dave strifes his brother, this time around. The guy teleports around at lightning speed like a ninja using Lil’ Cal to fuck with Dave, and the flash ends with a loop of Lil’ Cal slobbering over Dave while his guardian’s elusive silhouette flashes around. In my first two reads through I didn’t have this reaction. Maybe it had to do with the recent update in which Dave vented out all his frustration to Dirk about his upbringing? But yeah. Dave has pretty much the most fucked up guardian ever.

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Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 9: Harley in Technoland

Introduction

< Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 >

Pages 759-835 (MSPA: 2659-2735)

Act 3, Part 1 of 4

Link to rewritten version (I recommend you read it instead of this post)

A silly girl naps by her flowers…

Two acts down, lots to go. Technically four acts, but acts 5 and 6 are both very long and have many subdivisions. So where are we now? In a brief interlude between acts 2 and 3, we get to read a note to John from his grandmother inside the Colonel Sassacre book. In it, there is very much written about the game he and his friends will play. You may wonder, how does Nanna know all this? One might surmise that she has some sort of foresight like Jade. However, it’s later revealed that she wrote the note after the became a sprite, and the book got sent through time. Nanna introduces several terms before we learn what they mean, and more significantly, it has the first hints of the class/aspect title system which fans love to theorize about. She mentions the four kids’ god tier titles without saying which one is which; typically, readers will guess that the Heir of Breath is John, the Seer of Light is Jade, the Knight of Time is Dave, and the Witch of Space is Rose. As it turns out, Rose’s and Jade’s titles are the other way around. Nanna also says that the book will travel through time somehow, marking the comic’s first mention of time travel. On to the start of Act 3 proper.

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