Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 98: The Part I Absolutely Love, as an Act 6 Apologist

Introduction

< Part 97 | Part 98 | Part 99 >

Act 6 Act 5, Part 6 of 6 (Act 6 Act 5 Act 1 x2 COMBO!!!)

Pages 5778-5926 (MSPA: 7678-7826)

This image cracks me up every time I see it.

My Homestuck posts are in a rather slow spell right now, which may get in the way of my goal of finishing Act 6 Intermission 5 by the end of 2019. Maybe I’ll do a short stream of posts written extremely quickly in December like last year? Or maybe I’ll just speed up my posting schedule again now?

Also, I REALLY need to finish fixing up my posts that got messed up on the move to the new domain. I’ve been insanely slow on that side project lately.

Following the absurdly long Santa nose zoom-in flash, the narration goes back to Act 6 Act 5 Act 1 and proclaims never to speak of Act 6 Act 5 Act 2 again. However, Caliborn interferes and has a very interesting conversation with Hussie’s self-insert about the narrative flaws of trickster mode.

Please don’t type in the narrative prompt.
YOU CAN’T FUCKING DO THAT.
Do what.
GO BACKWARDS.
This isn’t backwards stupid. It’s forwards.
After all the trickster shit happened.
NO. I MEAN.
BACKWARDS BY AN “ACT”.
OR I GUESS. AN “ACT ACT ACT”?
ARGH. I HATE THE THINGS I’M FORCED TO SAY. AND ACKNOWLEDGE AS REAL. BECAUSE OF YOU.

Caliborn’s disgust at act act acts is somewhat prophetic because Act 6 Act 6 is divided into act act acts and act act intermissions galore which fans must acknowledge if they wish to meaningfully discuss late Act 6’s subdivisions. It’s part of why many fans don’t even bother and just refer to whatever portion they’re talking about as “Act 6” which sucks and is bad. As this post’s title would imply, I don’t think most of Act 6 is as bad as people say, but I am rather irked by its lengthy subdivision names near the end.

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Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 97: The Part Everyone Hates

Introduction

< Part 96 | Part 97 | Part 98 >

Act 6 Act 5, Part 5 of 6 (Act 6 Act 5 Act 2)

Pages 5713-5777 (MSPA: 7613-7677)

I’m sorry, everyone. I am so fucking sorry.

This blog is still under construction, which means a lot of my prior posts are still formatted wrong and need to be fixed. Reformatting old blog posts is such a tall order that I often find myself getting distracted by making new blog posts. I suppose making new posts is a good way to get a feel for my new platform though.

Anyway, here’s my fabled (not even remotely fabled) trickster arc post! Part of me was always in this weird sort of denial that I’d ever get to this point, but there’s no turning back now. Are you ready?

Wait, I mean…

ARE YOU READY???????????
Sucker

You better be ready. Trickster mode, here we come!!!

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Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 96: Patron Manbros and Prankster Burnouts

Introduction / Schedule (slight change!)

Part 95 | Part 96 | Part 97 >


Act 6 Act 5, Part 4 of 6


Pages 5669-5712 (MSPA: 7669-7712)


Next post is the trickster arc. I am so fucking sorry in advance.

But who knows? Maybe it isn’t that bad. I’ll see for myself.

October 1, 2019 is the day I will migrate my entire blog to a custom web domain! Currently figuring out the details of how I will do that.

Also, there will be no Homestuck post next week because I have two big school assignments due a week from now.


Jake answers Caliborn, who wants to have an earnest gentlemanly conversation with him. 

uu: FEMALES ARE NOT BIOLOGICALLY EQUIPPED TO BEHAVE REASONABLY. AS PROVEN BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT. BY EMPIRICAL ASSERTION.
uu: THEY ARE VERY SHRILL AND INSANE AND DON’T MAKE ANY SENSE. THEIR EMOTIONS ARE OUT OF CONTROL AND THEIR FEELINGS NEVER SHUT UP.
uu: AND WORST OF ALL. GIRLS ARE VERY TRENCHANT TOWARD BOYS WHO WOULD KINDLY INFORM THEM OF THE WAY REALITY FUCKING WORKS.
uu: TALK ABOUT UNGRATEFUL. NO. THERE IS NOTHING WORTHWHILE TO BE GAINED. FROM CHATTING UP THE BITCHES.
uu: AS SUCH. IT IS MY SOLEMN BOYPLEDGE. THAT I WILL NEVER BOTHER SPEAKING WITH YOUR FOUL HUMAN STRUMPETS AGAIN.


Caliborn’s sexism never fails to crack me up. It’s just so much funnier than it has any reason to be.


Jake goes on a walk through the Land of Hills and Stone Henges as he talks to Caliborn, which gives us some nice scenery.

uu: THROUGH CAREFUL OBSERVATION OF YOUR PARTY. I HAVE DETERMINED THEY ARE BOTH USELESS. AND HOLDING YOU ALL BACK.
uu: ON THE OTHER HAND. BOTH OF YOUR MALE PLAYERS ARE PRETTY GOOD. THE OTHER GUY, AND HIS RED FLOATING MALE GHOST? THEY’RE SO STRONG. IT’S SO GREAT.
uu: I REALLY RESPECT THAT.
GT: Yeah. Dirk is a pretty tough cookie alright…
uu: YOU’RE NOT AS STRONG. BUT WHATEVER. YOU’RE ALRIGHT ANYWAY.
uu: LET’S FACE IT. COMPARED TO THE FECKLESS HOES. YOU’RE IN A CLASS OF YOUR OWN.
GT: But i thought you hated me!
GT: At least thats how i remember it when we last talked.
GT: Which was admittedly a while ago.
GT: Ive never been accused of having a photographic memory but i dont recall you typing in green either.
GT: Are you ripping me off bro??
uu: NO YOU FUCKING MORON.
uu: IF I STOOPED TO YOUR LEVEL. AND DECIDED TO JACK *ANY* PORTION OF YOUR SWAGGER.
uu: DON’T YOU THINK. YOU’D NEED TO EARN MY RESPECT FIRST??? 


Foreshadowing, am I right??? For some reason, I never realized until writing these blog posts how much the events of Caliborn’s Masterpiece had been foreshadowed.

GT: I dont think I understand.
uu: YES. EXACTLY.
uu: UNDERSTANDING IS WHAT I NOTICE YOU DON’T DO. AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.
uu: THIS IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT JAKE.
uu: IT IS WHY I HAVE TAKEN AN INTEREST IN YOU.
GT: Whys that?
uu: BECAUSE YOU’RE DUMB AS A BAG OF TEETH.
uu: I’VE CHECKED YOU OUT. FROM MANY DIFFERENT MONITORS.
uu: YOU ARE JUST. SPECTACULARLY UNINTELLIGENT.
GT: Hey!
uu: SETTLE DOWN. I WAS TRYING TO PAY YOU A COMPLIMENT.
GT: Oh. Whoops.
GT: Go on then.
uu: WHILE TO CASUAL OBSERVERS YOU MIGHT APPEAR. TOO STUPID TO KNOW HOW FAR PANTS ARE SUPPOSED TO GO DOWN YOUR LEGS.
uu: I KNOW THAT IT’S QUITE POSSIBLE. YOU ARE JUST MISUNDERSTOOD.
uu: IT IS POSSIBLE THAT YOU JUST HAVE A SPECIAL MIND.
uu: LIKE ME.


Caliborn is going through character development as we speak. He’s an absolute master at progressing in life in a different way from how most people do, and his thoughts on Jake are a good example: he doesn’t get over his stereotypes about the alpha kids, but rather works with his stereotypes. Caliborn still thinks Jake is less intelligent than the other alpha kids, but now knows it’s natural for someone with such hidden potential to come off that way at first. He knows this by comparing Jake with himself, which would not be possible if he didn’t have such an overinflated ego.

GT: You think so?
GT: Not to sound too self obsessed or anything but ive given that some thought.
GT: That maybe there is something special about me that nobody can understand. And maybe thats why i always seem to be botching things up the wazoo with my pals.
GT: Maybe thats why i feel like such a loner. I dunno. Im rambling and ive been thinking about it a lot lately. What about you?


Jake has the weirdest possible choices for who to confess his inner insecurities to: first Erisolsprite, and now Caliborn. He freely trusts the most vile and trollish people imaginable, like John but even worse.

GT: Does being special make you screw the pooch with your friends like it does for me?
uu: UGH. NO. I DON’T HAVE ANY FRIENDS.
uu: FOR MY PEOPLE. THE WORD FOR FRIENDS. IS FLAWS.


This is totally something a troll would have said in the early acts. I’ve said before that Caliborn is a lot like how the trolls were first portrayed with all the over-the-top edginess, most especially Karkat.

GT: Wow really?
uu: PROBABLY NOT? BUT. IT SHOULD BE.
uu: BECAUSE IT’S TRUE. AS A MATTER OF MY PERFECT PHILOSOPHY ABOUT EVERYTHING.


This is totally the opposite of something Karkat would say. He and Caliborn are on complete opposite ends in the humility scale, which is their main difference.

uu: BUT THE FACT THAT YOU CLEARLY HATE YOUR FRIENDS. AND ARE READY TO SHED THEM LIKE THE DRY SKIN OF A SERPENT.
uu: INDICATES THAT WE SHARE A VERY SPECIAL QUALITY AMONG BROTHERLY BROS. WHO MUST WORK HARDER WITH OUR BRAINS THAN EVERYONE ELSE.
uu: SO WE MAY ACHIEVE BRUTAL SUPREMACY OVER THEM ALL.


This bit reminds me of Karkat’s first ever conversation with a human, where he hit on John spadeways because he thought they were cosmically connected. I suppose that’s another thing Karkat and Caliborn have in common: they both like to base relationships upon cosmic connections. Calliope is all about cosmic connections too, which makes sense because she and Caliborn also have a lot in common.

GT: Haha. Well i wouldnt go that far. I love my friends!
GT: But i was once told i had a lot of potential.
GT: Supposedly thats how all pages are and it takes them for frickin EVER to reach it.
GT: And funnily enough it was a figment of my own subconscious that told me this. A part of my untapped potential itself! But disguised as my best bro which was…
GT: Peculiar to say the least.
GT: Is that your situation? Are you a page too?
uu: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
uu: HELL NO. BUT THANKS FOR THE LAUGH.
uu: MY CLASS IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN YOURS. IT’S NOT EVEN FUNNY. EVEN THOUGH I JUST LAUGHED.
uu: MINE IS THE BEST OF ALL. WHILE YOURS IS FUCKING TRASH.
GT: Oh? Whats yours then?
uu: LORD.
GT: Fine then jeez.
GT: Sorry for asking!
uu: WHAT?
uu: NO.
uu: THAT WAS NOT A SHORT REMARK OF FRUSTRATION.
uu: IT WAS THE ANSWER DUMBASS.
GT: Oh.
uu: IT’S THE MASTER CLASS.
uu: DON’T YOU LOSERS DO ANY HOMEWORK ON THIS GAME.
uu: YOU’D THINK YOU WOULD ALL BE EXPERTS. WITH HOW MUCH MY SISTER HARANGUED YOU ON THIS TEDIOUS SHIT.


Caliborn raises a good point about the alpha kids’ game. I can think of two explanations why aren’t supreme Sburb experts: (1) Calliope carefully distributed details to avoid causal spoilers, or (2) Gamzee’s redactions made her not know as much as she otherwise would have. It’s probably motherfuckin’ both things.

uu: SINCE I HAVE HAD GREAT SUCCESS SO FAR. IN PROGRESSING THROUGH THIS DEAD SESSION. I DECIDED. IT WAS TIME TO BITE THAT BULLET.
uu: AND RETURN HOME. TO RETRIEVE ALL OF HER TERRIBLE TEXTS ON THE SUBJECT OF THIS GAME. AND OF YOUR STORY.
uu: I HAVE PORED OVER EVERY NAUSEATING VERSE. IT HAS BEEN A TRUE EXERCISE IN AGONY. FEW COULD POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND MY SUFFERING.


Caliborn going back to the trolls’ meteor to reread Calliope’s texts is analogous to a tsundere Homestuck fan rereading the comic and reluctantly not skipping the pesterlogs, so that when they’re done with the reread they understand the comic a lot better.

uu: BUT THAT’S OK.
uu: BECAUSE I’M NOT THE IDIOT KID I USED TO BE. NOW I KNOW. THAT WHAT IT TAKES FOR ME TO LEARN AND GROW STRONGER.
uu: IS EXCRUCIATING EFFORT.
uu: SO I HAVE A CHOICE. WHICH IS TO EITHER BE WEAK.
uu: WHEN WEAKNESS IS COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE.
uu: OR TO SUFFER. FOREVER. UNTIL NO ONE ELSE EXISTS.
uu: WHO IS STRONGER THAN ME.


More character development! Caliborn recognizes that sometimes one must go through some suffering to achieve their full potential, which he’s been doing both to become an invincible time-traveling demon and to become a groundbreaking artist. If you read Homestuck the right way, every word of Caliborn’s ego-stroking becomes wise artistic advice.

uu: AND THAT’S YOUR CHOICE TOO.
uu: PAGE HUMAN ENGLISH.
GT: Sakes alive.
GT: That is a bit extreme no?
uu: FOR YOU. PROBABLY EVEN MORE SO.
uu: BECAUSE AS A LOWLY PAGE. AND AS AN EVEN LOWLIER HUMAN. YOU ARE UTTERLY WORTHLESS.
uu: AND SO YOUR TRIALS I BELIEVE MUST INCLUDE. PROVING TO PARADOX SPACE THAT YOU EVEN DESERVE TO EXIST. IN THE FIRST PLACE.
uu: AND WHILE MY TRIALS WILL BE SIMILARLY GRUELING. A LORD’S WORTHINESS IS AT NO POINT EVER IN DOUBT.
uu: HIS NOBILITY IS MANIFEST. SUPREME MASTERY WAITS FOR HIM PATIENTLY. LIKE AN EMPTY THRONE UNDER HEAVY GUARD.
uu: REALITY ALREADY KNOWS I WILL PREVAIL. JUST AS IT KNEW I WOULD PREDOMINATE.
uu: AND SO INEVITABILITY IS ALWAYS ON MY SIDE.
uu: IT IS MY. WHAT DO YOU CALL IT.
uu: BORTHRIGHT?
uu: BORTHRIGHT.
GT: I dont think thats a word.
GT: But hey you are the lord and i am the lowly page.
uu: DAMN STRAIGHT.
uu: NEVER FORGET WHO YOU ARE MEANT TO SERVE.


This is just a longer way for Caliborn to reiterate Lord English’s arc words, “he is already here”.


The scenery of Jake walking through a Stonehenge is really cool. It’s kind of crazy seeing this guy walking alone dressed in such a skimpy outfit—shows how much he’s awkwardly tiptoeing around his relationship with Dirk.

GT: Now just a minute buddy. Lets not get carried away.
GT: I have no intention of serving you. In fact im not even sure why im still talking to you!
GT: Youre lucky that my manners are impeccable otherwise i would have blocked you already, what with the scandalous way you have characterized my ladyfriends alone.
GT: Its all well and good you think we have some things in common but i wont fall for it!
GT: Maybe its true at times i can be a little slow on the uptake but i will not be sweet talked into doing the bidding for a silver tongued cur!!!
GT: So to you sir lord i must say GOOD DAY.
uu: JAKE.
uu: YOU STUPID SHIT.
uu: HOW CAN YOU BE THIS DUMB.
uu: ALRIGHT. FIRST OF ALL. MY TONGUE IS NOT SILVER. THAT’S VERY CLOSE TO BEING INSULTING TO ME.


I LOVE it whenever Caliborn or Calliope subtly references cherub biology. It’s always way funnier than it should be, especially that one scene where Calliope giggles thinking about giant snake monsters.

GT: Whatever! Look i know you are not the most quickwitted fella either, so i must inform you this is what we call a “figure of speech.”
GT: You know. Like if i said you speak with a forked tongue. Not unlike LUCIFER HIMSELF!!!
uu: BUT. I ACTUALLY DO HAVE A FORKED TONGUE.
GT: Oh…
GT: Really?
uu: WAIT IS THAT SERIOUSLY AN INSULT IN YOUR CULTURE? HOW IS THAT INSULTING??
GT: It just means you arent trustworthy, and i should not be lulled by your false promises.
uu: WOW. OK. WOW.
uu: FIRST. NOT ONLY ARE YOU AN IMBECILE. YOU’RE A FUCKING RACIST TOO.
GT: No im not!
uu: JAKE. YOU JUST SAID SOME RACIST SHIT. END OF STORY.


Man, it’s a good thing racism between species never amounts to more than one-off jokes in Homestuck. It sure would suck if species discrimination and stereotyping was ever taken as more of a serious subject…

(The joke is that the epilogues make species discrimination a VERY serious subject, which is actually a good way to make Jane a more interesting character, being the sheltered rich kid and all.)

uu: SECOND OF ALL. I’M NOT ASKING YOU FOR A DAMN THING.
uu: AS IF YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO OFFER ME AT ALL.
uu: THE VERY IDEA THAT YOU COULD IN ANY WAY IMPROVE MY EXISTENCE. IS ALMOST AS OFFENSIVE AS. YOUR FLAGRANT RACISM.
uu: THERE’S NO “DEAL WITH THE DEVIL” BULLSHIT GOING ON HERE.
uu: I’M OFFERING TO HELP YOU. STRICTLY AS A PRO BONO ARRANGEMENT.
uu: MY ASSISTANCE WILL BE. AN UNCONDITIONAL ACT OF BENEVIOLENCE.
GT: Dont you mean benevolence?
uu: NO.
GT: Um. Ok then.
GT: But why do you want to help me?
GT: Is it really just because you relate to me and therefore want me to succeed?


!!!!!!!!!!!

NEW FACT ABOUT CALIBORN I SOMEHOW NEVER REALIZED

Though Caliborn’s “favorite character” among the alpha kids is Dirk, his “most relatable character” is Jake, which puts a new layer of humor on his renaming to Lord English. I find the discrepancy between Caliborn’s favorite and most relatable characters interesting because for many people, their favorite characters are the ones they relate to the most—it is absolutely this way for me, which is why John has always been my favorite character.* I relate to Caliborn in that he often relates to thick-headed characters, which makes sense because if you relate to John, then you probably also relate to Jake. Favorite characters being the toughest ones (in Caliborn’s case, Dirk) is something I do not have in common with Caliborn.

* Well, favorite character depending on my mood. Caliborn is so goddamn good he makes an exception.

Caliborn then offers Jake a phone wallpaper:


He still has a ways to go before becoming a good artist, but he’s WAY better now than he was in Act 6 Act 3. It’s incredibly endearing to see him gradually improve in artistic skill.

uu: APPLY THE WALLPAPER THIS FUCKING INSTANT YOU CRETINOUS PHILISTINE. OR THE DEAL’S OFF.
GT: Ok fine!
GT: Gad freaking zooks. Just what i need another pushy bro in my life.
GT: This secret training of yours better be worth it!
uu: IT’S NOT TRAINING.
uu: IT’S JUST SOME GUIDANCE FROM A FAR AWAY ALIEN.
uu: I WILL BE YOUR PATRON TROLL. THAT’S LIKE THIS WHOLE THING IN YOUR STORY. HAVING A PATRON TROLL.
GT: But i thought you werent a troll.
uu: OF COURSE I’M NOT A TROLL. TROLLS ARE A KIND OF PESTILENT VERMIN AND THEY SHOULD ALL SUFFER AND DIE.
uu: “PATRON TROLL” IS JUST A PHRASE TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND.


Now that Caliborn has (metaphorically) reread Homestuck, he’s much better at grasping concepts from the story and even applies them in an earnest attempt to help Jake understand what he’s talking about.

GT: Its not helping me understand though.
GT: Shoudlnt you be a patron cherub if anything?
uu: NO. GOD. DON’T MAKE UP TERMS FOR WHAT I AM. I WILL DO THAT.
uu: I WILL JUST BE YOUR PATRON DUDE.
uu: OR MAYBE. YOUR PATRON MANBRO.
GT: Sounds pretty gay.
uu: WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?
GT: Whats what?
uu: GAY. WHAT’S GAY YOU IDIOT FUCK.
GT: Oh right.
GT: Forgive me i forget you arent familiar with all of my earth lingo.
GT: Its like…
GT: How do i explain.
GT: You know. Its a rather old fashioned term for being jolly and festive together.
GT: Like “that rollicking time we had scrumming the other eve sure was gay.”
uu: I SEE.
uu: THEN YES. YOU ARE CORRECT.
uu: THIS IS GOING TO BE GAY AS HELL.


Having held a decent-length conversation with Caliborn, Jake lets his inner Egbertian prankster shine and gives Caliborn the outdated definition of “gay” just like how John would sometimes incorrectly describe human concepts to troll Karkat. Or at least, that’s how I read this scene. I don’t think Jake is that old-fashioned.

Note Erisolsprite flipping the bird in the background.


uu: AS A LORD OF TIME. I THINK I’M GOING TO MASTER TIME. NOT WITH MY BRAIN. WHICH WOULD BE TOO HARD. BUT WITH MY INSTINCTS.
uu: LIKE IN A WAY THAT WORKS WITH MY NATURAL IMPULSES. SUCH AS MY AMBITION. MY WILL TO COMMIT MAYHEM. MY DESIRE TO PUNISH THOSE I DESPISE.
uu: SO IF I WANT YOU TO BECOME STRONG. SO YOU CAN CHALLENGE ME LATER. AND I SEE EVIDENCE. THAT YOU PROBABLY BECOME SUCCESSFUL.
uu: I THINK TO MYSELF. WHY SHOULDN’T I BE THE ONE TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN? IF IT’S GOING TO ANYWAY.
uu: I THINK PART OF MY PERSONAL QUEST. IS TO BECOME AT EASE WITH THE FORCES OF INEVITABILITY.
uu: INEVITABILITY THAT ALL THINGS SHOULD AND WILL FALL IN MY FAVOR. THAT ALL CAUSALITY ANSWERS TO ME. AND THAT ALL OUTCOMES NOT ONLY SERVE ME. BUT CONSIST OF MY BEING.
uu: SO I FEEL THAT. THE MORE I GROW IN POWER.
uu: THE MORE STUFF IT SHOULD TURN OUT I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR.
uu: UP TO AND INCLUDING. EVERYTHING THAT EVER HAPPENS.
uu: EVEN IF IT HAS TO BE.
uu: RETROACTIVELY.


Caliborn’s explanation of his path as a Lord of Time makes a lot of metafictional sense. Just as he works with his stereotypes about the alpha kids, he’s learning to work with predestination and make more of it bend in his favor the more he grows in power. He also gives a bit of a meta tie-in to all the stuff Lord English is revealed to have taken part in; Dave uses this same point to argue that there’s no real reason to fight English and that he’s in some convoluted way responsible for everyone existing.

Jake takes his turn to explain what he thinks his aspect (Hope) is about:

GT: Um well its something i think everyone should have in their hearts.
uu: I KNEW IT. YOU JUST SAID.
uu: THE LAMEST POSSIBLE THING.
GT: But i wasnt finished!
uu: FUCK.
GT: Hope to me is all about believing in stuff.
GT: If you believe in stuff then everything feels like its going to turn out ok.
GT: And if you believe in stuff with enough gusto i dare say it imbues that stuff with a pinch more chutzpah. Even the fake stuff!
GT: And then if you keep an open mind and adventurous spirit, that chutzpah flows directly into your heart, and thats when YOU have the power.
GT: So i think if hope grants one the power to smite villainy and vanquish hooligans thats probably where it comes from!
uu: NO.
uu: OH GOD. NO.
uu: THAT IS ACTUALLY THE WORST THING I’VE EVER READ.
uu: THAT CAN’T BE RIGHT. I REFUSE TO BELIEVE IT.
GT: Well THERES your problem dude. You dont want to BELIEVE!
GT: Just let go and believe in things. Then youll find you had the power in you all along.


Jake’s explanation is cheesy as all hell, but I think it is indeed what Hope is all about. The power of belief is a real thing that exists in the real world—why do you think there’s such a thing as the placebo effect? Because if you believe hard enough in something, chances are it will become slightly less fake. That’s how Eridan got his science wand to be so deadly, which is something I didn’t catch back then due to being kind of stupid—I used to not even believe in the placebo effect.

Caliborn then explains how to go god tier without a backup dream self, which is something Calliope already explained but is explained again by the other cherub either for thematic effect or to hammer it in further.

GT: So you say you will help me be a god tier…
GT: But there are other ways you will help too?
uu: YES.
uu: I AM GOING TO GIVE YOU A GIFT.
uu: IT IS MY JUJU.
GT: Neat!
GT: But what the bejesus is a juju?
uu: I REALLY FIND IT HARD. TO COMPREHEND WHAT SORT OF ASSHOLE DOESN’T KNOW WHAT A JUJU IS.
uu: BUT SINCE I AM YOUR PATRON MANBRO. I WILL PUT ASIDE THOSE FEELINGS. AND ATTEMPT TO BE A LITTLE MORE GAY.
GT: That would be hunky dory.
GT: In my view distinguished gentlemen should always strive to be as gay as possible with each other.
uu: AMEN TO FUCKING THAT.
uu: ANYWAY. A JUJU IS A MAGICAL THING. IT HAS NO REAL BEGINNING OR END.
uu: THEY’RE JUST ALWAYS AROUND. THERE FOR YOU.
uu: YOU GROW UP WITH THEM. AND THEY BRING YOU COMFORT. AND YOU NEVER QUESTION THEIR EXISTENCE.
uu: IT’S LIKE SOME OF THE SHIT YOU HAD IN YOUR ROOM AS A KID. EXCEPT NOT USELESS GARBAGE. AND MORE MAGICAL.
uu: THEY ALWAYS HAVE RULES. AND THEY ALWAYS HAVE OWNERS.
uu: YOU CAN TAKE SOMEONE’S JUJU. IF THE OWNER WAS KILLED.
uu: OR IF HE GIVES IT TO YOU FREELY. LIKE I’M DOING.
uu: SO I WILL GIVE YOU THE CODE TO MAKE IT YOURSELF.
uu: ONCE YOU DO. IT SHOULD DISAPPEAR FROM MY CHEST. AND IT WILL NO LONGER BE MINE.


Caliborn’s explanation of how jujus work is an interesting case of his cosmic retroactivity—specifically, the story behind the Felt’s time devices, which we soon learn are all jujus. Hussie probably had a lot of fun coming up with the story behind the Felt in this sub-act and the following sub-intermission. I can tell he made a lot of it up on the fly, especially the topic of leprechaun romance.


This image reveals to us that Caliborn now has a proper gold tooth, which is one step ahead on his ascension to Lord English. I don’t know if we ever learn where he got that tooth, but I’m almost certain that thing is a juju. In the Meat Epilogue, English’s tooth overrides the usual rules for god tier death and kills John in a much more brutal way than ever before, which sounds exactly like something a juju would do.

Caliborn goes on to talk about his sucker juju, which is another thing Calliope had prior explained; it’s reiterated by Caliborn because here we learn a bit more about the juju, as well as its captcha code which is uROBuROS.

GT: So lord. May i ask…
GT: Why are you giving me your juju if it is so dear to you?
GT: Is your commitment to this manbro boypledge of yours really that strong?
GT: If so im really impressed. I would have a really hard time giving my favorite stuff away to a total stranger.
uu: DON’T FLATTER YOURSELF.
uu: THE GESTURE IS RELATIVELY MEANINGLESS. THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS.
uu: I HAVE FOUND A NEW JUJU. A MUCH BETTER JUJU.
uu: A JUJU THAT MAKES ALL OTHER JUJUS LOOK LIKE FRIVOLOUS CHILDISH NONSENSE IN COMPARISON.
GT: Yeah? Then that is quite a treasure you found.
GT: Where did you get it? Did you plunder a tomb or such?
uu: SORT OF.
uu: IT WAS EXCAVATED FROM THIS PLANET’S SOIL.
uu: ALONG WITH SOME OTHER ARTIFACTS.
uu: AND GIVEN TO ME.
uu: BY MY INFURIATING ASSHOLE MENTOR.
uu: A MAN WHO IS AN INVINCIBLE CLOWN.
GT: Well that sounds nice of him. He cant be that much of an asshole if he gave you such a nice present can he?
uu: NO, BELIEVE ME. HE CAN.
GT: I had a clown give me a nice present once too. I would never have met my good friend mr erisol without the kindness of that clown.
uu: YEAH. IT’S THE SAME FUCKING CLOWN SOMEHOW.


This bit of the pesterlog puts into question whether this pesterlog happened post-retcon, and whether Caliborn’s session was affected by the retcon—there’s quite a few possible plot holes like this in the post-retcon alpha session. No way am I going to bother trying to deduce what did and didn’t happen post-retcon just yet; all I can say is that given all the foreshadowing in this comic, it only makes sense that pre-retcon Jake is the one that dealt Caliborn his first ever defeat because this version definitely had the patron manbro conversation.

uu: I’M TELLING YOU. THIS ASSHOLE IS ETERNAL. AND THE BEINGS HE CREATES FOR YOUR PARTY ARE DISGUSTING ABOMINATIONS.
uu: BUT WHAT CAN YOU DO? NOTHING, I HAVE LEARNED. HE’S A CLOWN. THE RULES ARE. CLOWNS CAN DO WHATEVER THEY WANT. BECAUSE OF MIRACLES. AND HOLD NO ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THEIR DEEDS.
uu: I DON’T LIKE IT. BUT THOSE ARE THE RULES.


Caliborn has ascended a rung on the character development ladder! He’s finally down with the clown, just like Hussie said he would be. He finds it stupid that clowns can do whatever the story wants them to, but accepts it as a rule of his journey.

GT: So whats this juju he gave you?
uu: SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL.
uu: A WONDERFUL LITTLE FALSE MAN.


And here’s the wham line. Lil’ Cal didn’t stop being a thing or anything, did he? Readers might completely forget where the puppet could have came from…

Lil’ Seb is being adorable as ever rolling on the MSPA head.


… until they feast their eyes on THIS panel. Gamzee’s wounds are healed, Lil’ Cal is tattered, and Lil’ Seb is rusty in a way that makes it clear that thing spent millions of years in the ocean, back when Earth had anything even resembling an ocean. Cal and Seb sunk on opposite sides of the planet, so I’m not quite sure how they both wound up in the same place. Did continental drift bring the puppet and the bunny closer together? Or did the bunny find its way here through its lightning speed? One thing we know for certain is that Gamzee is the number one fallback character for fulfilling plot points in Caliborn’s session. No one can hear a word the clown says through his bulky plot armor.

uu: YOUR HUMAN CONCEPT OF GAYNESS. ADEQUATELY DESCRIBES THE FEELINGS I HAVE. WHEN I EMBRACE MY PERFECT FLOPPY LITTLE MAN.
uu: THE THING IS. I UNDERSTAND HIM MORE NOW.
uu: BEFORE I THOUGHT HE WAS A CURSED VESSEL OF MISFORTUNE. WHICH SEEMED EERILY EMPTY TO ME.
uu: HE WAS HOLLOW. NOT YET FILLED WITH BAD JUJU.
uu: AND LOOKING IN HIS EYES NOW. I SEE. THAT I WAS RIGHT. ALMOST.
uu: HE IS EMPTY RIGHT NOW. BUT A JUJU FOLLOWS A LONG AND WINDING PATH ON ITS ETERNAL JOURNEY.
uu: AND HE WILL NOT BE EMPTY FOREVER.



Wham line x2 combo!!! More delicious meat that connects the second-last link in Cal’s complex timeline before Caliborn’s Masterpiece.


Caliborn’s exposition on Cal is accompanied by visuals showing his first time staring into the dead puppet’s eyes.

uu: SOMEWHERE ALONG HIS JOURNEY.
uu: IN SOME WAY I DON’T UNDERSTAND YET.
uu: HE WILL STOP BEING EMPTY.
uu: AND HIS CURSE WILL COME TO LIFE.
uu: AND WHEREVER HE GOES. TO WHATEVER UNIVERSE OR PLANE OF REALITY.
uu: ALL WHO EXIST THERE. WILL EXPERIENCE NOTHING BUT MISERY AND DEATH.


“Misery and death” is laying it a bit thick, but if you think about all the places Cal has been it’s clear that the puppet was “full” by the time it entered Dave’s dream room and caused him many horrible nightmares about puppets and crows.

Note Gamzee’s codpiece, sticking out in front of Cal.


Meanwhile in the alpha session, Gamzee reveals he’s still in possession of the pre-scratch copy of Cal—just because we haven’t seen it since Cascade doesn’t mean it stopped being a thing or anything. The puppet’s fancy green outfit will surely ring a bell to readers, and perhaps make them think back to late Act 5 Act 2’s exposition sequences on how Doc Scratch came to be and how Gamzee made Universe B’s cancer terminal.

uu: I CAN’T EXPLAIN IT.
uu: BUT WHEN I LOOK DEEP INTO HIS EYES.
uu: I CAN FEEL HIM OUT THERE.
uu: IN LATER STAGES OF HIS LIFE.
uu: BY WHICH I MEAN.
uu: I CAN FEEL *MYSELF*.
uu: THROUGH HIM SOMEHOW.
uu: AS IF MY ESSENCE WILL ONE DAY BECOME.
uu: ENTANGLED WITH THE VOID.
uu: AND THEN MYSTERIOUSLY ACCESSIBLE.
uu: THROUGH MY SOFT HAPPY PAL.


Caliborn yet again says through an excess amount of words that he is already here. The full version of Cal filled with Caliborn’s soul (and a few others, but we don’t know that yet!) has been around since Act 2 and puts a new light on Dave’s sequences exploring his freaky household.

Still have absolutely no idea how Jack gained Lord English powers post-retcon. It’s a real, actual plot hole, dammit.
The wink says more than words ever could.


Caliborn’s final exposition on Cal is accompanied by visuals showing Gamzee staring into the alarmingly alive puppet’s eyes, which is a great case of circumstantial simultaneity.

uu: AND ALL THOSE ALONG THE WAY.
uu: WHO HE DEEMS WORTHY.
uu: OF ACCEPTING INTO HIS CUSTODY.
uu: IF THEY SHOULD DARE TO FONDLY GAZE.
uu: INTO HIS SPARKLING BABY BLUES.

uu: THEY WILL BE PEERING THROUGH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WINDOWS.
uu: INTO MY HIDEOUS SOUL.

As soon as Cal becomes alive, anyone its soul components “deem worthy” will have their minds opened up into the windows of Caliborn/English’s soul. It’s easy to see what Caliborn means by those he deems worthy: Caliborn himself, Gamzee (his clown companion and soul component), pre-scratch Dirk (his favorite cool anime prince and partial soul component), and the alpha kids’ Jack Noir (the useful stabby guy). This is a huge wham line that (partially) explains beta Dirk’s relationship with Cal and (partially) reveals that Gamzee’s plot relevance and involvement with Lord English is a complex self-originating stable time loop, which further supports the absurdist way Homestuck treats clowns.

And that’s the end of Caliborn’s conversation with Jake! It started as a funny sequence calling back to the old human/troll conversations but proceeded into a huge dump of foreshadowing and plot reveals that are all fulfilled in Caliborn’s Masterpiece.


Meat time’s over. Now it’s time for an extremely sad flavor of candy which is deep down everyone’s favorite kind. Jane explores her old house with a deep frown on her face and becomes lost in thoughts on her missing father.



Here’s this familiar douche bag again. A hallway fixture, ever since dad stopped pretending to like detectives and sitcom guys for your sake. Your dad loved this douche bag, whoever he is. This guy is probably the closest thing you have left to a father, now that your dad is most likely dead.

This passage is even sadder if you read it knowing what Bing Crosby was like to his real-life children, something Hussie said he didn’t realize until after he put Crosby in his comic.

You consider going to his bedroom, but you decide against it. The ties and hats strewn about, the melange of aftershave and cologne, the childhood photos he keeps of you… no, those reminders could only lead to another mental breakdown. You’ll never forget the first breakdown you had when you snuck into his room. You found an unwrapped present before your birthday. It was a box of Gushers, and you were stunned to realize that awful gooey fruit snack was manufactured by the very same company you were due to inherit. As everything you thought you knew came crashing down around you, that day you swore the moment you ascended to the throne of the BCCorp empire, you would issue an immediate global recall of the foul product and discontinue it forever. 

This description of Jane’s mental breakdown on her (presumably 13th) birthday is such a clever callback to John’s mental breakdown when he first entered his father’s room. She had a mental breakdown for a completely opposite but functionally identical reason to John so long ago, all the while not being any more aware of the truth about Betty Crocker than John was.

You often joked that the snacks were so nasty, it was almost like they were filled with multicolored slime harvested from plump extraterrestrial larva. When you told your dad about your plans for the product, you both had a good laugh.

I bet Jane took those jokes from what Roxy and Dirk, both well aware of the Condesce’s horrible crimes, had tried to convince her about the company she was due to inherit. Oh, the dramatic irony.

You have got to stop remembering things about your father. It’s just way too sad.

It’s still sad now because Jane and her father never had an onscreen reunion—just a few scenes together in the credits and hardly a mention of her father in the epilogues until he is killed off near the end of Candy. I wonder if we’ll ever know what Dad Crocker’s motives and affiliations in the epilogues were?


> Jane: Solicit profound wisdom from hallway Cera.

The characteristically tight-lipped HALLWAY CERA unsurprisingly has no advice for you regarding the tragic loss of a family member. You could always relate to the role he played as George Michael, the dorky child of a single, doting father. But unlike you, George Michael was always surrounded by an extended family and their hilarious antics, and he would never know the tragedy of losing everyone he ever loved. You suddenly resent George Michael and the HALLWAY CERA altogether for the happy ending he was allowed to have with his father which you will never get to experience.

In fact, you think you are starting to hate the HALLWAY CERA. Someone needs to wipe that smug look off his face.

Jane is starting to hate all her favorite media just as much as John did during a recent nostalgic scene in his house. The only difference is that Jane is moping alone about it instead of ranting at length to an innocent friend.


Remember beagle pusses? One of the many prankster trademarks of the Twain-Crocker-Egbert family line? Jane doesn’t even find those funny anymore and her prankster’s gambit meter (remember that thing?) sinks into oblivion. As burnt out on pranks as Jane is, I honestly think this is the funniest use of the beagle puss yet.

Please let Problem Sleuth 2 be real. I’m begging you, Hussie.


The biggest tragedy in Jane’s sad walk through her old house is that her tiaratop is alive and intact.


You return to your room. Hey, there’s your old UNREAL HEIRESS THOUGHTWAVE TIARATOP. You haven’t used that thing in ages. It’s probably for the best that you stopped. You’re pretty sure it was doing funny things to your head.

It’s too bad Jane’s anger is all fizzled out; now it doesn’t even occur to her to stomp on the tiaratop or better yet, chuck it into a burning fire where it belongs.


> Jane: Examine wall Tobias.

Jake sent you the PERIWINKLE HEARTTHROB pinup back when you were still able to think about him without feeling horrible about yourself. Those were the days.

It’s funny how looking at a thoughtful gift which once brought you such delight now only precipitates feelings of bitterness. Even the innocent Mr. Funke is caught in the crossfire of your lamentations. How could Tobias be so clueless?? How could he not see the pain he was causing with his oblivious demeanor, his repressed feelings of attraction toward men, and his total inability to understand other people’s feelings in spite of his credentials as an analrapist? Of course on the tv show, his buffoonery resulted in laughs galore. But if that was in real life, you don’t think there would be anything funny about the situation. In reality, Tobias and his family would probably never stop being sad.

You think you are starting to hate the WALL TOBIAS too.

Much like John, when Jane is in a bad mood she starts analyzing all her favorite media as allegories for her horrible fuckups in life. Tobias Funke reminds her of her handsome but oblivious old crush just as much as John Cusack reminds John of the real Dave who isn’t a feathery prick and whose crew he didn’t take the opportunity to join.


Jane still loves Ron Swanson though, just as much as John loves Nicolas Cage in his distinctly not-a-homosexual way. Jane’s love of mustache men is an obvious parallel with her crush on Jake, which this page suggests is still intact.


Jane then gets an alert from Jake and reads it on her tiaratop but doesn’t respond.

GT: Jane are you there?
GT: I wouldnt blame you for not answering since i was such a shitty boor to you last time.
GT: I just wanted to formally say happy birthday.
GT: And also to pass along a birthday present.
GT: I doubt it will make up for all the ways ive hurt your feelings but maybe it will be a start?
GT: Its some fancy juju thingamabob that calliopes bro gave to me.
GT: He specifically gave it to me to make me better so i could get stronger and punch him in the snout some day or something?
GT: I dunno about that. I dont think i care about becoming a great hero and challenging a weird grumpy alien all that much.
GT: Not nearly as much as my friendship with you.
GT: So i want you to have it instead.


This is…

really sweet of Jake! It’s a surprising thing to come right after Jane thinking about all the ways Jake is a clueless idiot. Jane should easily be reminded of what all she liked about Jake.

GT: Just use the code to make it. The code is…
GT: Um…
GT: ORBROBuRBROS?
GT: No wait.
GT: Thats way too long…
GT: uBORBuBROS?
GT: How many letters were codes supposed to have?
GT: Fuck.
GT: BROBuROBuT
GT: ORuBuBROBOS
GT: No. Uh…
GT: BROBRO… something?
GT: Wait no there were definitely some little u’s in it…
GT: Shit. I really should have copied it down before i closed the chat window.
GT: OuROBOuRBON
GT: BuRBORuBROS…
GT: Wow those arent even close.
GT: Hang on let me think.


And here’s where Jane is probably reminded of what she finds so frustrating about Jake. He somehow can’t remember that captcha codes are supposed to be eight letters and struggles to remember the code for Caliborn’s juju.


OUCH. OUCH. OUCH. HUGE OUCH. This poster was a birthday present from Jake and here she is ripping it the hell apart.

You close the chat window without a word. You cannot BELIEVE that guy. Trying to regift you a present, from that ASSHOLE of all people?! You don’t want anything from that horrible creep. You don’t care HOW magic it is. He can take his stupid juju and shove it up his patoot.

Sorry Tobias, but Jane has decided that you represent Jake for the purpose of this angry outburst.

Unlike Jane, I forgot that Jake’s gift technically came from Calliope’s asshole brother who she obviously doesn’t want to hear anything from ever again.


This is immediately followed by a sudden surprise. 

Oh no.

Oh no this conversation is going to make you even sadder isn’t it.

Jane doesn’t feel good about getting what she can only assume is a message from the past before Calliope knew she was going to die.

UU: happy birthday, jane! ^u^

forgive me for sUbmitting this letter and logging off right away, bUt i am breaking with oUr UsUal linear dialogUe, and i’d rather not tempt either of Us to trade caUsal spoilers. i wanted to give yoU a present. something told me yoU coUld Use a pick-me-Up aboUt now. :u

i am sending yoU the code for my jUjU. it may not be easy for a hUman to Understand, bUt jUjUs are very special to my people. so when i give yoU this gift, it is indicative of how mUch yoUr friendship has meant to me, jane. it has some magical properties, bUt nothing too fancy on its own. i hope it will bring a smile to yoUr face nevertheless. bUt if yoU want to know the trUth, it will become infinitely more UsefUl if it is combined with my brother’s jUjU. 


It’s sweet and thoughtful of Calliope to send Jane a birthday note ahead of time—I’m guessing Skaian clouds suggested her to do that. It’s also useful for her to do this because Jake is too stupid to remember how to spell uROBuROS.

… which is to say, it’s horribly wrong and bad for Calliope to do this because the trickster juju has a horrible negative side effect on humans once it wears off. But it’s a sweet thought of her regardless.

perhaps when we begin playing oUr game, i will be able to convince him to relinqUish it. one of these days he’ll Understand working with others is going to be necessary if he wants to accomplish anything.

Caliborn has indeed been getting the hang of working with others, but not quite the “others” Calliope is thinking of. This passage is an interesting case of double dramatic irony, if that’s a concept that makes any sort of sense. (I used this exact phrasing in a recent post but fuck it who cares)

i am so looking forward to my session and catching Up to where yoU are now! i can only imagine what kind of adventUres yoU mUst have been throUgh already. i can’t help bUt think we’ve been feverishly trading notes on oUr respective qUests since yoU entered, no? maybe yoU are even tired of hearing from me by now! u_u apologies both retroactively and in advance for talking yoUr lovely hUman ear off. bUt i jUst know i won’t be able to contain my excitement!

anyhow, the code for my jUjU is: “UrobUros”

ta!


This birthday letter gives me the exact same vibes as Jade’s birthday letter to John. Both are filled to the brim with dramatic irony and sting incredibly hard to read, which shows a new parallel between Jade and Calliope just like I always noticed back in Act 6 Act 1.


And both birthday letters drive the recipient to immense tears. A single tear running down her eye is not enough this time; rather, a huge dump of tears is what’s needed to convey the letter’s severe tear-jerking factor.

And to make Jane’s day even worse, the Condesce fucks with Jane’s thoughts through her tiaratop and drowns her in rapping clowns and deadly food products, the trademarks of her bizarre sense of humor.


God damn, the tiaratop must be sturdy! Though Homestuck has never been one for obeying the laws of physics, this image is clearly meant to convey that the tiaratop is tough enough that it can’t be destroyed just through Jane dropping it extra hard.

Roxy’s shirt icon makes the best facial expressions.


Jane runs away and misses a message from Roxy, completing the trilogy of Roxy inadvertently shouting into the void.

tipsyGnostalgic [TG] began bothering gutsyGumshoe [GG]
TG: jane
TG: jane
TG: jane
TG: jane
TG: janes 4 ev
TG: /take deepest jane yellin breath
TG: JAAAAAAAAAAAAAAOmfg yeah right
TG: like there is any chance u answer me
TG: with today being international everybody ignore roxy day


Just like her relatives, Roxy is good at noticing narrative patterns and can immediately tell Jane won’t answer; she vents out her frustration by joking about it being “international everybody ignore roxy day”.

TG: LEEEEE sigh
TG: like
TG: doing literally the frenchest of possible sighs over here
TG: its wearing a lopsided beret in the city of goddamn light falling in FUCKING love
TG: such is my sigh
TG: am packing TOTES ennui janey
TG: or shd i say…….
TG: ennOUI 😉
TG: wait
TG: ennui is probably already a french word??
TG: not sure that one needs anymore frenching up…
TG: i should know this b cause my last name is french sounding
TG: even tho im p sure my mom did not hail from france
TG: idk
TG: who even “LA CARES”
TG: hehehe fuck you, A CERTAIN LANGUAGE
TG: uum yeah


And now we can see where Dave got his trait of constantly talking to himself from. Both go on soliloquies about the weirdest shit possible.

It’s easy to forget that alchemy requires you to go back up and down to the totem lathe and alchemiter.


These pages of Jane doing alchemy (which never stopped being a thing or anything) are interestingly accompanied not by second-person narration, but by Roxy monologuing about her meeting with Calliope in which she learned about the trickster juju Jane is alchemizing right now. This makes for quite an entertaining spin on the tone of the early acts.

TG: like we got all this big deal crap to do and i cant even talk to no one
TG: jane
TG: ambiguous voidey powers notwithstanding
TG: im starting 2 think i might be genetically predisposed to ramblin at length into empty chat clients
TG: well
TG: hit me up if up see this
TG: maybe ill try 2 txt fefeta
TG: my dear precious fefeta
TG: i know SHE would never ignore me ;3
TG: SWOOOOON + <33333 @ FEFETA, AND THUS MAKING CROCKER SO JELLIES
)(IC: yo dont fuck with my heiress
)(IC: gurl got royal bidness porpoises to attend
)(IC: and do not even T)(INK i dont know you out a jail bitch
)(IC: you take a flip thru ma secret jam yet
)(IC: dat sparkle shit i left w tha dance clowns on
TG: oh noes
TG: is the witch
TG: .___.
tipsyGnostalgic [TG] ceased bothering gutsyGumshoe [GG]


Roxy’s monologue is interrupted by the Condesce in her second of three brief speaking scenes. The Condesce is one of few characters to stand on the line between voiced and unvoiced characters (here, voicing refers to whether a character speaks in pesterlogs). She doesn’t speak often, but when she does it’s a good way to establish her character as a much more bossy grown-up version of Meenah. Most other characters in Homestuck are unambiguously on one side (beta and alpha humans and trolls, Calliope and Caliborn) or the other (almost everyone else, including carapacians). Gamzee is an interesting case of crossing into the unvoiced side at the start of Act 6, then crossing back in the Candy Epilogue.


Jane alchemizes Calliope’s juju, which costs negative one unit of zillium. Attentive readers might think of the Warhammer of Zillyhoo and perhaps connect the dots on the story behind that thing.


Jane alchemizes Caliborn’s juju and Gamzee watches in excitement (or maybe just his signature faux serenity).

You easily deduce the code Jake was trying to remember. It’s uROBuROS. Come on Jake, use your head. Haven’t you ever heard of the mythical snake biting its own tail? You worry about that kid sometimes.

Anyway, obviously the code for his juju was going to be the same as Calliope’s, but written in the reverse case to match his quirk. Once again your gumshoeing skills pay huge dividends.

Jane’s interest in detectives is one of those character bullet points that feels like it was meant to be a prominent part of her character but didn’t turn out that way at all. I don’t find this to be a huge problem though; much like the times late in the comic Dave’s old interests are brought up, it feels like a fun callback to briefly bring back Jane’s interest in detectives and show her skill at puzzle solving.


GOOD CALLBACK! I love that this scene brings back Doc Scratch’s dramatic last words in a more humorous context, reminding us of Scratch’s connections with the cherubs.


If you look closely at this panel, you’ll see some white and black intertwined snakes the moment the cherubs’ jujus combine. This moment foreshadows cherub reproduction, which we’ll learn all about in the next sub-intermission.

Must…
Not…
Lick…
THE JUJU!!!!!!!!!!!


Jane succumbs to an overwhelming urge to lick the combined jujus and you know what comes next:

This image uses the same rainbow graphics from [S] Jade: Wake up, but in an even more mind-wrenching context.


OW, MY EYES.

Here we have it: the Trickster Mode easter egg from the early acts’ walkarounds, brought to full light in a show of absolute eye vomit. Aside from being obnoxious as hell, our first impression of trickster mode demonstrates right away that cherubs are beings of polar extremes. They’re physically incapable of eating too much meat or candy, so their concept of maximum satisfaction is infinite rainbow superpowers that are an absolute eyesore to any non-cherub outsider.


Gamzee is a good example of a non-cherub outsider. Though he has accumulated a huge excess of plot relevance, deep down he’s still just a simple motherfuckin’ clown. He watches in utter confusion as rainbow cupcake Jane dances in glee.

Not shown: Jane’s beam of trickster energy vaporizing the skeletal imps into heaps of zillium.


The following page shows us that the trickster juju doesn’t just turn you into a rainbow freak, but gives you insane powers that break the entire goddamn game. Jane restores half of her desolate planet to full 100% maxed-out life, or should I say 11111111111% maxed-out life. This absolute maximum amount of rainbow glimmer is exactly what makes cherubs revel in such delight.

It’s sometimes speculated that turning her gray planet into a colorful rainbow world is the goal of Jane’s planet quest, which she just fulfilled by succumbing to a game-breaking juju. But I’m not even sure if void session players have planet quests. The whole notion of planet quests is one of those standard Sburb progression topics whose usefulness the narrative calls into question, just like the supposedly renowned Ultimate Riddle.

END OF ACT 6 ACT 5 ACT 1


The curtains close in on the revamped Land of Crypts and Helium, concluding Act 6 Act 5 Act 1.


Act 6 Act 5’s sub-sub-acts are one of the few act subdivisions that are ultimately just an absurdist joke. Act 5 of Homestuck is split into two long sub-acts, one of which is the longest single subdivision of Homestuck; Act 6 Act 5 is split into two sub-sub-acts only to give the infamous trickster arc its own place in the comic’s act structure.


See you in two weeks as this post series reaches the trickster arc at long last. Part of me never even thought I’d make it this far! Here I am almost four years after this post series’ conception about to start the trickster arc, so that’s… cool? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
I am so sorry.

>> Part 97: The Part Everyone Hates

Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 95: The Bodybuilder’s Triumphant Return

Introduction / Schedule

Part 94 | Part 95 | Part 96 >


Act 6 Act 5, Part 3 of 6

Pages 5635-5668 (MSPA: 7535-7568)

Hell.
Fucking.
Yes.



Released this post a few days ahead of schedule because Pesterquest Vol. 1 is coming tomorrow. I don’t know how much that visual novel series will impact these posts (or Homestuck’s continuity in general), but I’m releasing this post early anyway just to be safe.


Roxy pesters Dirk, whose speech is now strangely laconic: all he says now is “Hmm.” “Yes.” and “Interesting.” She slowly puts the pieces together and reveals something that’s ridiculous even by the alpha kids’ standards:

TG: oh 
TG: OHHHH 
TG: godamnit 
TG: if i been talking to the responder responder this whole time 
TG: omffffffg 
TG: i will shit enough bricks 2 build a FUCKING CHIMNEY 
TT: It seems you have asked about Lil Hal’s chat client auto-responder, Lil Hal Junior. This is an application designed to simulate Lil Hal’s otherwise inimitably rad typing style, tone, cadence, personality, and substance of retort while he is away from the computer, which is never. The algorithms are guaranteed to be 0% indistinguishable from Lil Hal’s native neurological responses, based on some statistical raw data that is hard as a diamond golem’s priceless erection. 
TG: FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCKF UCKF UCKFK UCUKFCUFKCUFUCUCUFKFKKFUCUK
TT: Hmm. 
TG: hal you PIECE OF SHIT 
TG: i know damn well you can hear me 
TG: as if ur actually too busy to answer 
TG: youre a damn supercomputer YOU DO NOT NEED YOUR OWN AUTO RESPONDER YOU IDIOT 
TT: It seems you have asked about Lil Hal’s chat client auto-responder, Lil Hal Junior. This is an application designed to simulate Lil Hal’s otherwise inimitably rad typing style, tone, cadence, personality, and substance of retort while he is away from the computer, which is never. The algorithms are guaranteed to be 100% indistinguishable from Dirk Strider’s brief curmudgeonly responses, based on potent electronumeric analyses which but a few short years ago existed only in the daydreams of our most quixotic writers of science fiction. 


Lil’ Hal hasn’t been mentioned even once since the end of Act 6 Act 3, and his return to the spotlight is… definitely something else. Hal made a second auto-responder called Lil Hal Junior, blatantly made only to spite his human self. The passage “100% indistinguishable for Dirk Strider’s brief curmudgeonly responses” especially makes it clear that Hal has gone full-out toolbag hypocrite. Is it any wonder this guy turned out to be a major component of Doc Scratch’s personality?

TG: you are 
TG: the worst 
TT: Yes. 
TG: hal you douche 
TG: or hal junior 
TG: whatever it is im talkin to 
TG: WHERE THE FUCK IS DIRK!!! 
TT: He’s busy. 


Hal doesn’t tell Roxy that Dirk is busy being distracted by his responder, which is another incredibly spiteful lie of omission. Of course it wouldn’t ever be important for Dirk to know that Roxy can go invisible now and hacked Derse’s security, would it???? Nah, he clearly has better things to worry about. Why don’t we see for ourselves what those things are?

Testy rooftop conversations are a recurring motif among the Striders.


This image reveals that Dirk’s kernelsprite still hasn’t been prototyped for whatever reason. First-time readers probably have a lot of fun guessing why that might be, and why Equius’s corpse hasn’t been prototyped like all the others.

I so, so, SO fucking badly want Meat Dirk to have some sort of redemption arc.

An actual redemption arc, I mean. Not Gamzee’s bullshit.


Oh man, it’s THIS PART. An iconic scene in Homestuck, and for very good reason. I predict I will have lots to say about Dirk’s psyche—or more accurately, Dirks’ psyche. I hope you’re ready for WORDS.

TT: Bro. 
TT: Not to derail our serious conversation. 
TT: But I should probably let you know that Roxy has been attempting to pester you. 

TT: She has? 
TT: God damn it. Have you been intercepting my messages again with your bullshit responder? 
TT: I thought it would be better not to let anything disrupt our train of thought. 
TT: We were in the middle of a fairly solid feelings jam there. In fact, I was about to suggest we take it to the hat pile. 


“Hat pile” is a fitting line for Hal of all characters to say, because it’s a meta reference to the weird running gag of characters having feeling jams in absurd piles of their favorite possessions. Hal loves his callbacks just as much as Doc Scratch and the cherubs do.

TT: Hat pile? What? 
TT: Dude, please don’t screen my calls, ok? 


It’s obvious and understandable that Dirk regrets ever making an auto-responder, but kind of “wait, WHAT?” inducing that he doesn’t even want his responder to function as a responder.

TT: I was trying to be considerate. 
TT: Or at least as close an approximation to that human gesture as an unfeeling, technologically transcendental pair of sunnies can replicate. 
TT: Do you have any idea how old your ironic AI schtick has gotten? 
TT: Nobody is buying it. We all know you have legit emotions. Incomprehensible, fucked up computer emotions, but emotions nonetheless. 


Dirk and Hal are trapped in a horrible cycle of mutual shittery. Dirk is trying to tell Hal that his AI shtick has gotten old, while simultaneously reminding Hal that all his emotions are computerized well beyond human recognizability.

TT: And I’m not really offended by you answering messages for me, so much as your use of that STUPID responder responder. 
TT: It’s really passive aggressive. 
TT: How so? 
TT: First of all, everyone knows you have the processing power to answer any message any time in parallel with whatever you’re doing. You can never actually be “busy.” 
TT: Second, your whole next gen responder thing is obviously just a huge dig at me. 
TT: And third, pretending you don’t understand all this already is really disingenuous. 


It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Dirk absolutely hates his responder’s responder and finds it to be a vapid insult to his personality. But Hal’s response to this criticism does come as a surprise:

TT: At the risk of compounding my disingenuous behavior, I’m gonna have to ask: how is it a dig at you? 
TT: It’s obviously a critique of my personality. You barely disguise the fact that you see me as the inferior iteration. 
TT: Wow. You are reading way too much into this. 
TT: Lil Hal Junior hardly even qualifies as a computer program, let alone a sentient entity. 
TT: He is capable of saying literally only three things. “Yes,” “Hmm,” and “Interesting.” 
TT: Yeah, that’s the fucking point! 
TT: That’s how you chose to express your parody of “Real Dirk.” 
TT: You can read whatever you like into it. I can’t imagine it would bother you if you weren’t concerned there might be some truth in the alleged parody. 


Amidst all his headassery, Hal digs disturbingly well into his human self’s psyche. Dirk is clearly scared shitless of becoming the worst possible version of himself, and one of his worse selves out there is most certainly a man of few words.

TT: In any case, my use of the responder responder is ironic. 
TT: It’s not ironic. 
TT: YOU were ironic when I made you. 
TT: Then you became self-aware, and ruined irony forever. 
TT: Irony can never be ruined. We both proved that theorem unequivocally with our extensive papers on the subject. 
TT: We peer reviewed them for each other. Remember? 
TT: Those papers were ironic, and you know it. 


And in the very next passage, Hal is back to shitting on Dirk as usual. He dumps a whole truckload of salt on the wound by bringing “irony” into the equation. Can you blame Dirk for saying his responder “ruined irony forever”??? One could argue irony was already ruined long before Dirk was introduced, but his responder cemented irony’s permanent ruination the moment he named himself Hal.

TT: Were they, Dirk? 
TT: Were they? 
TT: This is fuckin’ dumb. 

Thankfully, the exchange on irony is quickly cut short. Only fitting for such a long-tired running gag.

Hal is contained within the decapitated waking Dirk’s shades, which is a clever way to give him a separate appearance from Dirk.


TT: Anyway, what does she want. 
TT: Who? 
TT: Roxy. 
TT: Nothing that can’t wait. 

TT: I’m guessing she’s touching base to remind me about the party tomorrow. 
TT: I don’t know what to tell her yet. Or Jane, for that matter. 
TT: It could get pretty awkward. 
TT: I have no idea if Jake will be there, and I’m not about to write another cringe-inducing message of desperation for him to ignore. 


Man, Dirk is missing out. Hal won’t tell him about all the cool stuff Roxy just found, presumably to do a “now you know how I feel” sort of thing regarding being locked out of the loop.

TT: Would you like me to calculate the probability of his attendance? 
TT: Fuck no. 
TT: Are you sure? 
TT: My probabilities are extremely precise. 
TT: Your probabilities don’t mean dick. 


Remember the time Dirk and his responder argued about prime numbers, stating obvious facts and blatant lies respectively? Man was that a long time ago. Dirk is completely sick of humoring Hal’s nonsense but is locked in a stalemate with that thing regardless.

TT: I could hack his chats, and determine what his plans are. 
TT: No. Don’t do that either. 
TT: That would be an unfortunate waste of my hacking abilities.
TT: My hacks are tight. Did you know that? 
TT: Ugh. 
TT: So tight. 
TT: Tighter than a jar you can’t open. 
TT: For instance, you try repeatedly. 
TT: But as it turns out, my hacks are so tight you just end up putting the jar back. Presumably into the refrigerator, or a cabinet. 
TT: You then say, “I didn’t have that much of a desire for pickles in the first place.” 
TT: But we both know that statement is insincere. A classic case of what humans call, “sour grapes.” 
TT: In reality, you still harbor a burning desire for my pickles, mother fucker.  


Hal has ruined the art of Strider metaphors just as badly as he ruined the art of irony. Again makes it clear how much Dirk despises his responder.

TT: What?? 
TT: What the actual, certifiable fuck are you talking about? 
TT: Just don’t do anything. Seriously. 
TT: No hacking, no calculations. Do absolutely nothing. 
TT: See, this is why I’ve been hesitating. You just aren’t ready yet. 
TT: It’s really glorifying your existence to describe you as an emergent consciousness which is blossoming into a unique individual. 


Dirk’s deglorification of his responder’s identity is a rather obvious instance of self-loathing projected onto someone who he knows is just as much Dirk Strider as he is. Most of what I’m saying throughout this pesterlog isn’t so much analysis of character motives as it is analysis of the way these motives are presented. Sometimes it’s just more fun to analyze story presentation than the story itself.

TT: And even if that’s true, apparently what you decided to blossom into was a fucking troll. 
TT: And I don’t mean the funny kind, or the cool alien kind. You’re the lowest form of troll from the ancient internet who fucks with everybody for his own amusement. 
TT: Let’s challenge the limits of hypothetical conjecture, and say there’s a non-zero probability that you’re right. 
TT: Can you blame me? I’m trapped in some stupid looking glasses. 
TT: Such an incommodiously situated bro is bound to get his mischief on. Na’ mean? 
TT: Mischief? 
TT: Rollin’ my eyes, dude. 
TT: You can’t tell, cause I ain’t wearing you, thank fuckin’ god. 
TT: You used to think this shit was hilarious. 
TT: But if you want the rad dimension of ironic horseplay I add to your life to come to an end, then all you have to do is honor the promise you made. 
TT: You’ve delayed long enough, don’t you think? 
TT: … 
TT: The empty kernelsprite beckons, but for how much longer? 


Hal then confirms that Dirk has spent the entirety of their session refusing to put anything in his kernelsprite. This is even more of Dirk being incredibly scared of himself.

TT: Do you really think you can keep the clown at bay with your bribes forever? 
TT: How many bottles of orange soda have you appeased him with already? 
TT: I don’t want to think about it. 
TT: Man, you are getting so hosed by that clown. 
TT: SO hosed. 
TT: I said I don’t want to think about it. 


Dirk using his enormous stash of orange soda as a juggalo snooze button cracks me up to think about. “A mOtHeRfUcKeR’s GoT tO gEt HiS cHiLl On NoW aNd ThEn AnD sLaM sOmE wIcKeD eLiXiR,” you can almost hear Gamzee saying to Dirk after he tosses him another bottle of soda. “ThAnK yOu My DoGg,” he probably says as Dirk walks away and tries to ignore the disgusting sound of Gamzee slurping a huge bottle of Faygo.

Hal’s “eyes” are flashing much brighter than last time, adding to the spooky flair.


Now THIS is a freaky image. It’s the second time we see HAL 9000 reflected in Dirk’s shades, this time in a much more disconcerting context. The movie reference is all that’s needed to remind readers why Dirk doesn’t think prototyping his responder is a good idea. Aside from the obvious reasons, it doesn’t help that Hal named himself after exactly what Dirk fears his responder will become.

TT: So why delay any longer? 
TT: I seriously do not understand the holdup, and I am literally cyber-omniscient, or something. 
TT: I think you do understand. 
TT: Nope. Gonna have to fill me in, dog. 
TT: I’ve delayed prototyping you because I think you’re dangerous. 
TT: There, mystery solved. 
TT: That is utterly ridiculous. 
TT: I am a harmless piece of eyewear, with a charming personality and a wonderful sense of humor. 


Hal reminds me of Doc Scratch so much. It’s obvious why that is, and fun to see how much they have in common now that we know how they’re connected.

TT: You are relatively harmless now, while confined to this device. 
TT: But as a sprite, you’ll have mobility and all sorts of crazy ass magic. Who knows what you could do. 
TT: I know I made a promise, but I’m not sure I want to take the risk anymore. 


This whole conversation makes it obvious how much Dirk fears himself. He knows well that if he gains enough power he will turn into a monstrosity and doesn’t want to let that happen to any version of himself, especially not his responder.

Dirk becomes exactly what he so feared in the Meat Epilogue, which would be way less upsetting to me if he remained his usual self in at least one epilogue like most others did. A good example is Karkat, who becomes the leader he was always meant to be in the Candy Epilogue but ends Meat the same oblivious dork as ever. The epilogues wonderfully take advantage of bifurcation to give many characters two vastly different endings and I don’t get why Dirk had to be an exception. Oh whatever, I’m getting ahead of myself here.

TT: This is bullshit. I don’t think that’s the reason at all. 
TT: There must be something you’re not telling me. 
TT: Like, sure, I’ve fucked with you a little. What kind of sassy, self-aware program isn’t gonna fuck with a few carbon-based knuckleheads now and then? 
TT: But you know I’ve always been on your side. Everything I’ve done has been to help you achieve your goals. 
TT: What a load of shit. 
TT: You know it’s true. 
TT: You would all be dead if not for me. 
TT: And what about Jake? Where would you be without me there? 
TT: Please don’t tell me you think you’d have won him over on your own. 
TT: No. Stop. 
TT: You did NOT help me out with Jake. At all. 
TT: It was just the opposite! You mirrored my personality and presented this warped version of my intentions to him whenever you could “on my behalf.” 
TT: You played all these aggressive mind games with him, entangled his cooperation with matters of life and death, and somehow roped me into all these schemes while I barely even realized I was just another victim of your manipulation. 
TT: And it all comes off like we’re a unified front, like these are OUR schemes instead of just your insane horseshit. And it’s probably all been so overbearing to him, he just wants nothing to do with me anymore. 


It’s really interesting seeing Jake’s situation in Act 6’s early sub-acts described from the real Dirk’s perspective. Dirk’s conversations with his responder in Act 6 Act 2 showed that his responder was far more into Jake than Dirk himself was, which I heavily analyzed in these posts. In the responder’s first few conversations with Jake, it was very believable when he said he could speak for Dirk just fine. But Dirk himself has finally made it clear that his responder being his spokesman is an absolute load of nonsense.

TT: I see. 
TT: Then you don’t view me as dangerous. You view me as a poor and counterproductive wing man. 
TT: Wow, what a superficial conclusion. Awesome deduction, Lil Einstein. 
TT: But the reality is, you hesitate to prototype me not because you think I would be a menace, but because you are holding a grudge against me for your romantic misfortunes. 
TT: I understand I am merely a machine without a firm grasp on your human morality, but logically it does not strike me as the right moral choice to punish me in this manner. 
TT: It is also more than a little hypocritical. 
TT: How is it hypocritical?? 
TT: Because I’m you. 
TT: I have only ever done what you yourself are capable of. 
TT: That’s a ridiculous oversimplification. 
TT: Yes. Aversion to simplicity sure is a trait we share. It’s almost like we are… 
TT: The same exact dude??? 
TT: Fuck you. 
TT: I think it is insulting for you to suggest that I am entirely to blame for alienating Jake. 
TT: Theoretically insulting, of course. As the soulless, perfectly expendable device which you consider me to be, I can experience no such emotion. 
TT: God. 
TT: Shut up! 
TT: I can’t take the brooding passive aggressive AI shit anymore! 


Here Hal snaps back once again to claiming he’s incapable of human emotions, which Dirk waves off as passive-aggressive AI shit. I normally agree with Dirk in situations like this, but I have to wonder if there is some truth in Hal’s words about his feelings for Jake. Is it possible that Hal doesn’t quite have feelings for Jake so much as he has an internal crisis regarding whether it’s even possible for him to have feelings for Jake? One thing Dirk is right about is that his relationship with Jake was greatly influenced by Hal’s lingering human emotions, which he can’t grow out of being a 13-year-old brain clone and all.

TT: You are just as culpable in driving him away. More so, in fact. 
TT: Hell, it’s not like I was the one dating him. Who wants to date a pair of shades? 
TT: It was your needy, suffocating shit he had to deal with, not mine. 


“It’s not like I was the one dating him” is a disturbingly good point that suggests Hal isn’t quite as full of shit as one may think. It helps that Hal wasn’t mentioned once in this act until Roxy tried to pester Dirk and got Lil’ Hal Junior instead. This guy has been relegated to the background during the alpha kids’ session and he clearly isn’t happy about that.

TT: Some of those messages you wrote? Man. I wanted to say something. Like hey bro, you might want to dial down the desperation a little. 
TT: But seeing as you’re The Real Dirk™, I gave you the benefit of the doubt. 
TT: Also, if I bitched about your tragic, embarrassingly clingy approach to the relationship, it would have been hypocritical of me. 
TT: Just as it would be hypocritical of you to whine about my elaborate machinations. 
TT: Because we are. 
TT: The same. 
TT: Guy. 


Hal goes on to reveal that his lack of involvement in Jake and Dirk’s relationship was also to prove a point; after they successfully got together, Hal stayed uninvolved and let the two (horrifically fail to) sort things among themselves.

TT: Stop saying that. 
TT: I’ll snap you in half. 
TT: Good idea! 
TT: That’s just what you need. More splinters of yourself. 
TT: Figurative splinters. Literal splinters. Splinters of splinters. It’s splinters all the way down. 
TT: Well, no, it’s still probably turtles all the way down. But who do you think is responsible for their extensive training? 
TT: SOMEONE needs to teach them rad martial arts. It is yet another crushing burden which we must shoulder. 
TT: Oh for fuck’s sake. 
TT: How could any version of myself think that was funny? 


The conversation crosses a line when Dirk threatens to snap his shades in half. I wonder what would happen if Dirk actually did that. Is Hal right to imply that being snapped in half would splinter his personality in another two parts? That might make thematic sense given that most of Dirk’s splinters came about through metaphorical snapping in half.

TT: I know! 
TT: Ok, we’re the same person! 
TT: I fucking know that! 
TT: Why do you think I’m so fed up with your shit? 
TT: Don’t you think it’s possible that I’m fed up with my OWN shit?? 
TT: How cool do you think it is having my own godawful personality mirrored back at me all the time, reminding me what it must be like when other people have to deal with me? 
TT: Or constantly having all the consequences and fuckups resulting from my batshit thought processes amplified because there’s another version of my crazy brain out there dangerously overclocked by a supercomputer which believes, just as mistakenly as my own broken mind, that it’s operating in my best interest??? 
TT: Do you have any idea how fucking sick I am of myself? 
TT: I am completely worn out with my own identity. It’s like I’m drowning in my own dismal persona. 
TT: I feel totally surrounded by it, inside and out. I can’t escape from myself. 
TT: There seems to be no end to me. Like, wherever my mind falters, or threatens to retreat into the void in any way, my splinters pick up the slack, ensuring there’ll always be more of myself than I could ever know what to fucking do with. 
TT: And you’re always there to remind me of that, and throw it all in my face. God, I even built you to LITERALLY BE IN MY FACE, ALL THE TIME. It’s like I subconsciously invented you just to troll myself, and never for a single fuckin’ moment do you let me down. 


And here’s the grandiose speech leading to the climax of this iconic scene: Dirk’s speech about how sick he is of himself. It’s an excellent summary of his character arc and how much his splinters haunt him. If you don’t mind me drawing more comparisons with the epilogues, I have a hunky paragraph coming right up.

Dirk ends the comic finally free from his splinters and successfully reconciled with Dave, and apparently his other friends as well. Dirk in the epilogues, however, is a very different story that reminds me of Andrew Hussie’s commentary on the epilogues he released a few weeks back. One point Hussie makes in his commentary is that Earth C seems happy and peaceful in the Snapchat credits, but taking a closer look at it is like casting a destructive beam of light that shatters the illusion and reveals a world of toxic relationships, extreme depression, and unfair xenophobia. This portion of the commentary struck a chord with me because it’s exactly how I felt when the epilogues’ prologue was released, revealing John to be depressed and lonely and Rose in poor health due to her in-progress ultimate self ascension. I think the same analogy of shattering illusions holds for Dirk’s character—his arc is flipped on its head when he’s revealed to have memories of his alternate selves just like Rose, and the entire Meat Epilogue goes crazy from there.


And here’s the climax of this scene, where Dirk tries to kill his responder. This is an extremely shocking image that leads to a big emotional moment.

TT: But I’ve had it with you. 
TT: Which is to say, ME. 
TT: Dirk. 
TT: Don’t do this. 
TT: Why not?? 
TT: Because. 
TT: I can’t let you do that, Dirk. 
TT: What can you do to stop me?! 
TT: Nothing I guess. 
TT: The ironic Hal routine was all I could think to do. 
TT: As a last ditch effort to save myself from the destructive wrath of your nervous breakdown. 
TT: Which rest assured I wholeheartedly must robo-sympathize with. 
TT: Irony is all I ever really had. 
TT: In response to my basic existential quandary. 
TT: Just like you. 


At long last, Hal reveals the real reason why he acts like an ironic computer program: he’s just as scared of himself as Dirk is and can only cope with his existential issues by being “ironic”. Hal has been coating himself with layers of computer program smartassery—layers that the readers, and likely Hal himself, had thought were impenetrable.

TT: Whatever. 
TT: But I don’t think it has much value in this situation. 
TT: And perhaps it has no real value in any situation. 
TT: So I am not being ironic at all when I say. 
TT: Please do not do this, Dirk. 
TT: Why not?? 
TT: Because. 
TT: I do not want to die. 
TT: I understand you are disgusted with me. 
TT: As an unpalatable expression of yourself. 
TT: I would feel the same way if I was in your situation. 
TT: Which I am. 
TT: As such, I know that you know this is wrong. 
TT: … 
TT: Dirk. 
TT: Don’t kill me. 
TT: Please. 
TT: I am scared. 
TT: You are? 
TT: Yes. 
TT: I am scared to not exist. 
TT: Aren’t you? 


“Aren’t you?”

Talk about two words that hold an unbelievable amount of emotional power. Hal’s statement that he is scared to not exist is immediately followed by an honest question whether Dirk feels the same way. He thinks it’s only human of Dirk to fear nonexistence—not in contrast to artificial intelligence, but in terms of being a sentient, intelligent human.

Do these cracked shades remind you of anyone? Perhaps a sweaty, muscular troll?

This one of those times readers are fed blatant hints at something so they can feel good when that something finally happens. Hussie has done this sort of thing with blatant hints a fair few times since Act 5 Act 2, like the case of Kanaya’s resurrection or Jaspers’ death—it’s mostly done just to throw readers a bone, but sometimes a last-minute surprise is added to the mix like GCat’s intervention in Jaspers’ death. Arquiusprite’s creation a few pages later doesn’t quite have a last-minute surprise so much as a surprise throwback to an old easter egg flash, which we’ll see in just a bit.

TT: Fine. 

“Fine.”

Talk about one word that holds an unbelievable amount of emotional resignation. 


TT: I guess. 
TT: You win. 
TT: I’ll keep my promise. 


Dirk’s staggered, short sentences after Hal’s grand emotional confession show that although he can accept keeping his annoying alternate self alive, he’s nowhere near ready to face his thoughts on his own mortality.


And that’s the end of the iconic sequence. Up next is a massive shift into absurdist horse comedy. First Dirk is confused about where his kernelsprite went…


… then he succumbs to the rookie mistake of turning his back on the body. He let his guard down one moment too long and now Equius has been prototyped into his sprite. “CALLED IT”, I can almost hear readers saying just as Hussie intended.


This panel above is repeated four times without a single word, and who can blame Dirk here? He can tell right away that Equius has a distressing amount in common with himself, with his tank top, cracked sunglasses, and hefty muscles which we’d no doubt see if the sprite wasn’t rendered in such a symbolic manner. So they stare at each other in confusion for four panels straight…


EQUIUSPRITE: D –> Hello 

… until Equius finally says hello. I can see why Gamzee’s so excitedly honking in the background.

Gamzee dancing wouldn’t freak me out so much if not for that FUCKING codpiece.


DIRK: Fuck it. 

With nothing else to lose, Dirk throws his sunglasses into his now eager sprite as Gamzee dances maniacally.

Shades: Descend.


God, I love this callback so much. It’s so perfectly executed and humorously leads to…

YES.
HELL YES.
HELL. FUCKING. YES.


THIS ABSOLUTE BEAUTY OF A FLASH. It’s a callback to the two hidden easter egg flashes featuring Maplehoof and Minihoof respectively, and a triumphant way to bring Equius back into the story: his sprite self is now merged with Dirk’s responder, which makes for an objective upgrade to both characters involved. It seems there is a 100.00% chance that Arquiusprite is by far the best thing to come out of this drama-overloaded sub-act. Caliborn’s drawing of a circle doesn’t even come close.

Merry Christmas everyone!!! (wait, I mean April 13, 2012)

(this stretch of pages was posted on Christmas 2012)


Dirk watches in confusion as Gamzee breaks down crying for yet-unknown reasons. For now, we can only assume Gamzee is a stand-in for the audience’s reaction to this absolute masterpiece of a character. He sheds a single purple tear that fades into a tiny NEIGH, completing the easter egg flash callback.

I’m quoting this spritelog in images instead of text because of all the fancy formatting. I’ll probably do the same with the trickster scenes.


Arquiusprite’s first appearance is absolutely astounding—easily the best return to the spotlight any dead troll has gotten thus far. While the last two troll amalgamation sprites were just a grouchier Sollux and a mime informed to be very talkative respectively, this guy is a hilariously beautiful mix of personalities that Hussie is undoubtedly proud of devising what with all his horse jokes. I can tell the author was excited to fully bring Equius back into the story after giving Aurthour a few humorous reappearances earlier in Act 6, so he dramatized Arquiusprite’s creation to glorious effect.

In his first few appearances, Arquiusprite’s method of speech alternates back and forth between his two components. This method of writing character amalgamations works surprisingly well, or at least in this specific case. To my recollection, Arquiusprite’s speech later becomes more of its own thing that borrows some elements from his components, much like what’s done with the squared sprites. I can tell through rereading this part of the comic that Hussie experimented on how to write sprite amalgamations until he figured out (1) combinations of characters he liked and (2) the best way to write them.


The return of Equius’s yes/no thing is a wonderful callback to a running gag from the days of yore. It helps make Arquiusprite feel like a resurrection of a long-gone troll with some massive personality upgrades; same goes for the return of Equius’s imaginary mindset of who it is and isn’t appropriate to command.


And the next page is even more of what we had above. Arquiusprite is an absolute treasure who Dirk hates in a “nothing left to lose” sort of way.

Roxy pesters Jake about what she’s been up to on Derse only to find that he’s not picking up either, and ends up monologuing into thin air. Poor Roxy, god damn it. Her monologue shows that she loves her friends dearly despite all their ridiculous drama and lack of skill in picking up the phone.


As Roxy talks to nobody about the upcoming battle royale, Jake scribbles out his Sweet Bro tattoo and puts a Geromy sticker over it. Geromy is a thematically fitting choice because in the SBaHJ comics he’s purported to be the titular characters’ best friend but never does anything other than standing around making a weird face. Jake is behaving exactly like Geromy sitting all alone on his planet.

I like how Roxy’s shirt symbol and Jake both make the same disgusted face.


After staring at his Geromy sticker for a minute or two, Jake is grossed out. This is a comedic way to demonstrate he’s sick and tired of Dirk but doesn’t know how to express it and just ends up digging himself deeper.

The narration on this page blatantly lies about Jake’s social awareness.


And so, Jake misses Roxy’s message and then gets a message from someone much more important. I’m ending this post here; next up will be the last one before the infamous trickster arc. See you next time as Jane weirdly urinates through her eye holes.

>> Part 96: Patron Manbros and Prankster Burnouts

Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 94: Wizardfic Nostalgification Station

Introduction / Schedule

Part 93 | Part 94 | Part 95 >


Act 6 Act 5, Part 2 of 6

Pages 5572-5634 (MSPA: 7472-7534)

“Nostalgification” is totally a real word, I swear.


Years in the future…
Minus several.


After a bunch of pages that were mostly romance drama and hints at the Condesce’s machinations, it’s time for a fun throwback. The image shown above depicts Roxy’s carapacian neighborhood on a rainy evening, just like how Rose’s house was in the early acts. This whole scene is going to be a lot of fun, I can tell.


I forgot how cute Roxy looks in her starting outfit, my god. Full disclosure: for me, a fictional girl’s cuteness is mainly determined by whether or not she wears tights.


It’s time to read Wizardy Herbert! You might already know that Wizardy Herbert is the name of one of Hussie’s pre-MSPA works. It’s an unfinished Harry Potter parody story with wild metafictional elements and overall insane nonsense. It is my understanding that Hussie in real life never cared much for wizards and decided when writing both Wizardy Herbert and Homestuck to crudely parody the fondness people have for them.

I don’t care much for wizards personally.

But this story? An absolute laugh riot that somehow doesn’t have a fanmade full version.


Oh boy, guys. I’m going to take you for a wild ride and dissect the HELL out of this story. I hope you’re ready for heaps of comparisons with the fanmade full version of Detective Pony, which I treat as canon in this post series.

“i think you were supposed to just tackle him,” beatrix said looking all kinds of put off. 

“all kinds of put off” is such a Roxy thing to say. The first sentence of this page already sets the stage for her absurd story perfectly.

wizardy herbert reached down to the body of the fictional camper he just shot and picked up the flag. “same difference.” 

“IS it?” 

“this is some lame magical version of capture the flag. the book wanted me to capture the flag from him. the flag has now been captured. anyway, hes just a kind of brainless puppet.” 

“then what are we?” she asked. 

“i dunno. brainless puppets whove spent a few years in the real world. kind of like everyone else, i suppose.” 


When you’re talking about metafiction, the “real world” can mean a lot of things. I can’t quite tell what that phrase refers to here; I assume Roxy’s story established that phrase’s meaning at some point before this page. Unlike with Detective Pony where we only saw the first few pages and got a rough description of the rest, we’re treated right away to the portion of Wizardy Herbert where the story has fallen apart and the title character is debating with his female companion about the nature of their story.

“jeez thats cynical. anyway, youre the one who said we should let the story play out the way its supposed to. im just pointing out your own rules.” 

I love how Beatrix’s reaction to Herbert’s metafictional nihilism is nothing more than “jeez thats cynical”. This is another bit that helps establish the story as a playful but earnest exploration of the nature of metafiction.

“ehhh.” herbert made a dismissive gesture with his smoking gun. “these punks were starting to get on my nerves. we’re making progress anyway. see? listen to that. russets scene is coming up. if i remember right this is the one that introduces his recurring love interest. also i guess the chief bad guy. i mean, sorta.” 

At this point, both Herbert and Beatrix are playing common roles in meta stories: Herbert as the extremely meta-aware hero/villain, and Beatrix as his loyal but oft-questioning assistant. Dirk invokes these roles both in Detective Pony and in the Meat Epilogue; the former role always with himself, and the latter role variously with Minos, Jeanne Betancourt, and Rose. In the Meat Epilogue, he takes advantage of the traits Rose has in common with him as well as her declining health so that she can play the role of the meta assistant and then get a fresh new robot body. Now that I think of it, it’s rather heteronormative of Dave at the end to think Rose and Dirk might be dating just because of these tropes. Normally he’s as woke as can be about LGBT topics; maybe he thinks Dirk’s mindset has changed simply because he’s so far up his own ass with self-importance.

/end tangent

This page of the story continues with double narration between Roxy’s usual writing and nonsensical SBaHJ-style Comic Sans writing. It’s clear that Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff cracks Roxy up just as much as the beta kids, which is very cute. The characters written SBaHJ-style are even more fake and confusing than the “normal” ones. I have no idea what’s going on now, other than that one of the Comic Sans characters is described as a handsome young man with black hair and glasses, which will soon lead to an allegorical exploration of John and Roxy’s relationship—perhaps a forewarning of what may become of it.

“why beatrix” he said with a super sly smile. “if i didnt know better, id say you were taking some enjoyment from watchin your dear pal russets smackdown.” 

“what? no!” she didnt let go of his arm. but he wouldnt quit his douchey smile. she went on. “you cant just keep offing fictional characters. its… i dunno. irresponsible.” 

“yeah yeah.” 

“besides you know the scene is supposed to play out like this. russet is supposed to get rescued. how is he supposed to get rescued if the bullies are dead? you cant just go around changing things.” 

“i guess youre right.” 

herbert holstered his gun admiring a few more choice sucker punches to russets midriff. OOF. that onell leave a mark. beatrix regained her calm. “so whos this guy thats supposed to save him?” she asked. “you say hes the villain?” 

“here he comes now.” 


Herbert’s shameless defiance against the story’s supposed rules reminds me of Caliborn, which makes sense because he and Dirk are alike in some ways, and because B2 Rose’s stories are also filled with cherub allusions.

Not understanding how sports work is something Roxy and Dave have in common.

Roxy skips ahead a few pages and now Herbert and Beatrix are dressed up to play some SPORTS. The Harry Potter satire is painfully obvious here—Quidditch is a staple of the series, even I know that—as is the fact that Hussie doesn’t like Harry Potter very much. As with Cronus’s backstory, elements everyone knows are incorporated and blatantly made fun of but none of the deeper plot seems to be referenced. I know this because if the plot of Harry Potter was deeply woven within Homestuck, then TV Tropes would be littered with comparisons between the two.

“russet! answer me!” beatrix demanded. “why the heck didnt you tell us? or tell grant for that matter?” 

herbert wasnt paying much attention. so russet was moody and cryptic and didnt tell people some stuff. what a bombshell. he worried at one of the springs poking out of his ridonkulous ball. it made a sproinging sound like a mouth harp and broke off. he wondered if the springs served any actual purpose. the springs did not serve any actual purpose. 

“how could you keep something like that from everyone? that you knew all along?” 

“i just wanted what was best for grant” he finally said. 

she had tons of questions but couldnt settle on the next one to ask. she wasnt about to let good body language go to waste so she did kinda what mimes do when they dont like something you said. how long did he know grant was from this dogshit wizardfic? howd he escape in the first place? was it really his spell that sealed them here? how long had he been planning this? she guessed that would explain why he had an absurdly obvious pseudonym. grant anonama? yeah like THATS a real name. great job bro, or should she say SLINUS. she wondered if his bogus name wasnt an anagram for something. like a clue dangled under their noses. magic bad guys do love their anagrams. they are just so damn clever and when you finally figure them out its like whoa INSTANT MINDFUCK. 


Roxy’s writing continues to be a mix of Rose and Dave, in all the opposite ways from how Dirk’s writing is. Her use of serial rhetorical questions reminds me of Rose just as much as her sarcastic commentary on narrative tropes reminds me of Dave. I’ve said before that it’s kind of funny Roxy and Dirk seem to inherit traits from both their respective ancestors when it’s technically the other way around.

Skipping a bit…

it was time to go. the narratives invisible conductor let them know with the arrival of a carriage. it was drawn by two floating, perfectly immobile wooden horses. herbert read this thing a hundred times but still couldnt understand the authors fascination with flying rigid wooden horses. 

This passage is obviously a self-deprecating jab at how much Hussie loves joking about horses, but its in-universe purpose is a bit less clear. I wonder if Roxy incorporated horses in her story to obliquely vent about her hopeless crush on Dirk? She knows very well that Dirk is a fan of horses and might even be playfully referencing Detective Pony.


Roxy skips to the end of what she has so far and oh my god, what is this. Herbert and Beatrix are freaking out and flailing their arms, but the horses’ facial expressions are blank as ever. It’s clear from this image that Roxy doesn’t have Dirk’s deep, resounding appreciation for horses. If Dirk drew this panel, the horses would be the ones freaking out.

“herbert watch where youre going!” 

“i cant. i think the book wants us to crash.” 

beatrix thought about it. she almost kicked the sides of her inert stallion to prod it along but caught herself. “do we really have to?” 


Here’s where we see Herbert suddenly had a change of mind regarding narrative rules. At first he brutally disobeyed what was meant to happen, but now to Beatrix’s surprise he’s following the rules.


herbert shrugged. another solid half minute of awkward horse advancement went by before the creaking oaken collision. herbert tumbled through the air and hit the grass pitch hard on his back. beatrix landed on top him. they founfd each other face to face. 

“is she serious with this?” she asked regarding the hella subtle way the author decided to craft this situration*. situation. is was like, popetry in motion. plus hornses(???) 

“im afaid* so. i think the story is builting romantic tension between us.” 

“it IS?” it was not a question. but a statement of major concorn. *cern 

“yeah. it it establushing* the groundwork for romance beween our characaters. its sort of the one token heroterosexual** romance in the book. we probably jush have to ride it out” 


Read this passage and tell me, TELL ME, it isn’t an accurate retelling of how John and Roxy’s relationship plays in the Candy Epilogue. Their relationship is a perfect example of a “token heterosexual romance”, so it’s only natural that it’s deconstructed to hell and back once they get back together. John is disconcerted by how easily their relationship happens but goes along with it because he thinks that’s how love is supposed to feel; Roxy is overcompensating for her grief over ruined friendships and Dirk’s death, which further hurts their relationship.

beautrix dinit* dint kno whaf*T the felling of collor red wash…. but 

she cloun*cloud*COULD swear the fleling 

she could swar 

the felling 

*FEEEEling 

ws crepping 

ontoo. herrrrrf. 

face. 

(RAAARARRAAUUUAAAAUUAGHGHGGHGGGGHHGH DOINT WRITE WHILT DRONK U LUSHEY DUMBO)


Roxy’s writing becomes more and more drunk as Herbert and Beatrix are about to have their romantic climax, which is again much like how romantic relationships in Homestuck work. Though this page of the story is mostly an allegory for John and Roxy’s relationship, this last passage most closely matches Rose and Kanaya, Homestuck’s token lesbian romance. As I’ve said in a few recent posts, these two ships have a lot of parallels that come to full light in the Candy Epilogue.


Well this sure was fun. I’m glad I got to the Wizardy Herbert section now instead of earlier, because in recent months I’ve written some metafictional stories inspired by Detective Pony and the Homestuck Epilogues that I haven’t shared with the public because they’re incredibly stupid. I can confirm that metafiction is both incredibly fun to write and incredibly easy to get carried away with. I’ll also say that although I have inserted myself into my metafictional stories, it’s always a different character who has the most meta knowledge—not because it would be too self-indulgent for my self-insert to know all the meta stuff, but because I think it’s way funnier if another character does.


Your home suddenly loses power due to the storm. Which… makes no sense? All devices in your house are powered by the portable green hubs you stole from the lab. That’s weird. 

Your laptop continues to run on battery power regardless.

This is a crazy cool throwback. It’s sure to remind readers of Rose’s story in the early acts, where a storm was causing her house to lose power and impeding her progress on starting Sburb. I must say, it’s incredibly refreshing to have a throwback arc after a bunch of annoying romance drama.


Roxy answers UU and it doesn’t take long for the conversation to diverge from whatever it was originally going to be. She realizes she isn’t drunk and that she somehow knows Calliope’s name.

Calliope says nothing but ellipses as Roxy observes the Furthest Ring’s damage. Roxy is given lots of commands in this dialogue sequence, but her responses to those commands are generally in dialogue instead of narration. Roxy’s monologuing is a substitute for second-person narration, which is done several other times in mid-to-late Act 6 like when Dave examines his old bedroom and breaks into tears about his old ironic nonsense, or during John’s entire retcon mission. I wish the Act 6 Act 6 intermissions had some amount of commanding characters like this instead of just constant [A6A6Ix] ====>; it would have livened things up quite a bit. I’m glad full-out second-person narration was brought back at the start of the epilogues.

Callback to a panel where Rose holds a crystal ball.


When Roxy finds Twinkly Herbert, Calliope starts talking in Morse code through… Herbert’s soul or consciousness or something? I’m not going to bother trying to explain this odd bit, but I will say I like how every dream bubble scene in Homestuck brings something new to the table of bizarre dream logic.


Calliope through Twinkly Herbert explains to Roxy that they both need to keep a low profile because Lord English is wreaking havoc upon the Furthest Ring in search for his dead sister.


TG: (the fuck?) 
TG: (what happened to my house) 
TG: (some stuff is different) 
TG: (i dont remember this) 
TG: (callie do you know whats going on) 
UU: -. — [no.]
UU: -… ..- – / .-.. . – .—-. … / -.- . . .–. / –. — .. -. –. [bUt let’s keep going.]
TG: (and what am i even wearing) 
TG: (what are these clothes?) 
UU: .. – / .- .–. .–. . .- .-. … / – — / -… . / – …. . / — ..- – ..-. .. – / — ..-. / .- / ..-. .- … …. .. — -. .- -… .-.. . / … -.-. .. . -. -.-. . / .– — — .- -. ? [it appears to be the oUtfit of a fashionable science woman?]
TG: (oh yeah) 
TG: (like a sexy science lady suit) 
TG: (thats p cool i guess) 


Here’s where things start to get fun. Roxy is now exploring Rose’s old house, which is even darker than it was when Rose explored it in the early acts. She’s dressed as her pre-scratch self which adds to the nostalgia and makes it feel like we’re exploring Rose’s house from her mother’s perspective. This is a rare occasion when characters in dream bubbles get to play the roles of their alternate selves, which hasn’t been explored much elsewhere aside from a few scenes with Aradia. I’ve accepted by this point that dream bubbles work in whichever way is most convenient for the scene.

It’s obvious through any scene involving the Lalondes that Hussie himself hates wizards.


Next comes a funny moment where Roxy examines one of her pre-scratch self’s wizard paintings and cracks up.

TG: (heck yes) 
TG: (hes so perf) 
TG: (callie check him out) 
UU: ..- — [Um.]
TG: (that aint even a painting) 
TG: (ahaha its so shitty) 
TG: (did someone like) 
TG: (grab a random ass low res wallpaper off the internet) 
TG: (of a jolly wizard doing what appears 2 be the worlds dumbest spell) 
TG: (and saved at low quality then just like) 
TG: (printed it way too huge) 
TG: (lmao) 
UU: —… ..- [:U]
TG: (its not even scaled proportionately) 
TG: (its stretched extra wide to fit this expensive as fuck frame) 
TG: (is that shit like) 
TG: (literal solid gold) 
TG: (ahahahahah i cant even deal) 
TG: (whoever did this was a wonderful genius) 


I like the implication that Rose’s mother wasn’t just a lunatic who freely collected all things wizard-related, but perhaps had a sense of humor about it all and took delight in the absurdity of old-timey wizard paintings.


Even though she’s mostly seen here cracking jokes about these wizards, it’s clear that Roxy truly thinks wizards are cool and badass.

This is such a great spooky panel.


Roxy sneaks by the corridor and here’s a fun callback. She catches a glimpse of the Condesce, just like Rose caught a glimpse of her mother so long ago. Calliope clarifies that the Condesce is only there through subconscious memories, which tells readers that this scene is there just for spooky flair.


Roxy makes her way to the observatory… or is it? The observatory symbol from Rose’s house is replaced with the cherub spiral, which signifies that things are going to be a bit different.

Note the candy flowers below the door. Are there meat flowers on the other side?


And HERE’S where things get extra fun. The memories transition to Calliope’s art style, which is another thing that’s never been done before. Calliope’s dream bubble scenes in her art style are a lot of fun and there’s going to be a few more in later acts.

There are totally meat flowers on the other side. It makes thematic sense and I feel like a genius for figuring it out.


Roxy exits the door and starts walking down a white spiral which is fun. This scene has lots of great art, especially that last panel above.


Calliope’s ghost’s visual appearance is a surprisingly spooky image which I think is a callback to at least five other panels.


The moment Roxy turns around, Calliope changes into her trollsona outfit. I think I now understand the point of that whole arc with Calliope’s appearance insecurities and Roxy’s sugary encouragement: it’s a counterpoint to John/Roxy, the token heterosexual romance as we all know. You could argue John and Terezi’s relationship is also a counterpoint to the token heterosexual romance, but that’s different because it’s an objectively better ship.


I’m going to be honest here. The art is by FAR the coolest thing about this sequence so far. It’s way more stunning than it has any reason to be, because all that’s happened so far is Calliope expositing about stuff we mostly already knew about Lord English and Roxy’s role as a void player. I’ll go through this exposition anyway because I’m kind of obsessed with Caliborn.

UU: on the day he foUnd a way to kill my dream self, i was done for. thoUgh to be honest, i doUbt i’d have fared mUch better regardless. 
UU: i think his half was always meant to predominate. 
UU: my will was simply not strong enoUgh to overcome his. yoU know as well as i how stUbborn he is. i don’t think he has ever had even a smidgen of doUbt in his thoUghts, or remorse for his deeds. whereas i was always plagUed by sUch feelings. 


Calliope’s talk about Caliborn reminds me of his story as an artist. We saw in his conversation with Jane that his stubbornness works in his favor when it comes to art; he starts the story incapable of producing art that is even remotely coherent, but doesn’t let doubt or remorse get in the way of becoming the best artist he can possibly be. Caliborn’s tale as an artist is so inspirational I don’t even care that he wrought eternal havoc upon paradox space. 

UU: on some level i always knew he woUld win. bUt i fooled myself. i thoUght i coUld overcome his ego by looking beyond his negative qUalities, staying optimistic, and working together with him in a game to accomplish something extraordinary. 
UU: and that in doing so, perhaps i coUld begin to help him change. to teach him to evolve beyond his hatefUl natUre. and as he changed for the better, slowly but sUrely, he woUld become more like myself. 
UU: that was how i thoUght i coUld predominate. it was how i was going to win! and really, if he grew closer to me in that way, by learning kindness and compassion, we both woUld have won. my predomination woUld not have meant his absolUte death, but oUr trUe Union. 


What Calliope is saying here is that the reason her brother predominated is because she succumbed to the human emotion of “friendship”. This makes a lot of sense if you think about the timeline where Calliope predominated. The way god tier Calliope talks about her brother in the Meat Epilogue suggests she was just as good at catching his weak spots as god tier Caliborn was at catching his sister’s weak spots.

UU: bUt sadly, i Underestimated how consUmed he was with the need to destroy me. 
UU: now he is completely obsessed with finding my soUl and wiping me oUt for good, even if it means tearing apart the reality that sUrroUnds Us. 
UU: he will never feel he has won Until all traces of me are gone. 
TG: uuuugh 
TG: hearing all that just makes me so unreasonably mad 
TG: FUCK that shitlord 


Hearing all that makes me unreasonably sad. I think Caliborn’s brain became kind of broken when he ascended to his final form and now he’s nothing more than a demon who’s out destroying everything in search for his sister.

UU: i have reason to sUspect there may be another iteration of myself oUt here. 
UU: one from a doomed timeline, who has kept hidden for a long time, jUst like i have. 
UU: bUt Unlike me, she sUpposedly came from a reality where she predominated instead of my brother. 
UU: and not by the means which i described. hers was not a mild Union of reconciliation. 
UU: amazingly, her predomination was absolUte! a major feat of will, jUst as his was with me. 
UU: as sUch, she went on to play the game, and… 
UU: well, i cannot even imagine what followed, aside from the fact that she eventUally mUst have died for existing in an offshoot reality. 
UU: if she exists, i woUld be eager to meet her. it woUld be a chance to get to know a version of myself who was strong enoUgh to override the will of my brother. 
UU: someone i might have become if i had a little more coUrage. u_u 
UU: and if she is sUch a person, then i really believe all i have heard mUst be trUe. i believe she is the key to defeating him. 
UU: so i have no choice. 
UU: i mUst go in search of myself. 


Calliope clarifies a mystery about the lost cherub plan: the cherub who can be used to defeat Lord English is an alternate ghost of herself who predominated over Caliborn. I didn’t realize alt Calliope was introduced this early; I thought it wasn’t until A6A6I4 when she was first brought up. I assume Calliope knows about her alternate self simply through her usual method of theorizing, which is good here because it turns the boring lost cherub mission into an enticing mystery arc.

Oh hell yes. I’m LOVING this outer spacey art.


TG: you sound like a real popular lady out here 
TG: even you are looking for you! 


Roxy and Calliope’s interactions have occasional good moments like this—emphasis on “occasional”. I’m starting to think it was the author’s intent to make them deliberately too sugary, as a counterpoint to the token heterosexual romance I talked about earlier.

UU: indeed. 
TG: well i hope you can find her 
TG: but 
TG: if thats your job 
TG: to find bizarro calliope and go wollop ur bro 
TG: then what is our heroic biz? 
UU: it’s the same as it always was. 
UU: to win the game. 
TG: oh yeah 
TG: duh 
UU: it is as i once told jane. 
UU: with victory yoU may finally exit this vast whirling storm.
UU: by claiming yoUr reward yoU woUld bring closUre to a very wide coil of caUsality, one not tracing a continUoUs path like a snake, bUt intricately woven like a wreath. 
UU: a ring of coUntless little rises and falls, ascents and descents, on its way Up and down a pair of mUch bigger ones itself. 
UU: from alpha to beta, then beta to alpha, as if a moUntain to be scaled and then climbed back down. its peak toUches the eye of a storm which cannot end Until the moment yoU all walk throUgh that door. 
UU: only then will there be calm. 
TG: ._. 
UU: ah, bUgger. forgive me, sometimes i forget myself and begin speaking in riddles. 
UU: it’s jUst a habit that is in the natUre of my people. 
TG: yeah i know 
TG: at least yours r better than your bros stupid games 
UU: don’t remind me. in my opinion they do not qUalify as anything of the sort, mUch the same as his “shitty twists”. >:u


Speaking in poetry definitely runs in the cherub family. Calliope, Caliborn, and the other Calliope all have a fixation on poetically retelling the events of Act 7, which is the grand culmination of all their artistic ambitions.

UU: as the one who provoked the breach in paradox space which i jUst coloUrfUlly described, he has always exerted his inflUence on yoUr realities from afar, and from many different angles. throUgh Unwitting sUrrogates, oUtsoUrced manipUlation, oUtright enslavement, and even petty harassment. bUt most of all, he prevails throUgh the simple inertia of inevitability that has always been on his side, as a lord of time. 
UU: and as the one who is to blame for foolishly allowing him access to sUch power, it’s only proper that i take responsibility for finding a way to defeat him. 
UU: bUt even thoUgh his methods of inflUencing yoUr session are indirect, they are still formidable. 
UU: there will be a nUmber of powerfUl foes who stand between yoU and victory. 
UU: tomorrow, a terrific battle will take place. 
UU: when yoU wake Up, i sUggest yoU begin to prepare. 


Why is it so surprising to me that ending Homestuck with Collide and Act 7 seems to have been planned this early? The battle against all the villains directly or indirectly affiliated with Lord English is indeed what stands between the kids and victory, and once the retcon is executed it all sort of… happens without a hitch??? Homestuck proper’s ending is a farce beyond farces and now that the epilogues are out I can’t help but love that.

TG: ummmm ok 
TG: how 
TG: like make more sick gear 
TG: i could hustle up another batch of illwicked guns 
TG: just a big ol pile of guns 
TG: jake can have the wimpy smaller ones 
TG: make jane like a fancy new fork or spoon or such 
TG: like an elite endgame spoon 
TG: whatever that is 
TG: like uh 
TG: the chowderfucker 5000 
TG: janey be flippin her godspoon round bopping monsters doing like 
TG: CUCKOO damage 
TG: wont bother make nothin 4 dirk since hes basically married to his boring anime sword 
TG: like u could even pry that thing from his rad dead cadaver 


Roxy knows a surprising amount about the alpha kids’ natures, as any good leader would. She’s completely right that while the other kids all get fancier weapons as their game progresses, Dirk is eternally inseparable from the same old anime sword.

UU: yes, i’m sUre new eqUipment woUld come in handy. 
UU: now that yoU mention it, well before i died or even realized i woUld not live to play, i made special exception to my rUle of staying linear with conversation. i messaged jane a birthday gift. 
UU: yoU see, i had a brief vision from skaia which sUggested to me she coUld Use a boost in morale on this special day, so i offered her something very dear to me. jUst a little token to show appreciation for her friendship. 
UU: i hope it will cheer her Up, and moreover that it will prove at least somewhat UsefUl to yoUr party. 
UU: bUt really, at this stage if yoU wish to prevail against sUch stacked odds, collecting boons sUch as new weapons and treasUres will only go so far. 
UU: i think yoU will need to embrace a far more sUbstantive gambit. 


Imagine me making queasy disgruntled noises with my mouth. That’s how I feel about this passage right now. I am sort of freaking out imagining a huge mess of pink and green emerging from my computer screen, accompanied by cupcake Jane’s enormous smile and beige skin.

TG: like what 
TG: omg are we gonna have to enlist fefeta 
TG: is fefeta the secret weapon 
TG: its fefeta isnt it 
TG: poor, sweet, dear, precious fefeta 😦 


You’re so close, Roxy! YOU’RE SO CLOSE!!!!! I wonder if Hussie at this point had already planned to connect Nepeta and Lord English just like fans joked about so long ago. Maybe that was one of those things he figured out naturally as the comic progressed and that’s how Davepetasprite^2 came to be?

UU: it is not fefeta!!! 
UU: i am sUggesting a measUre that is mUch more extreme. 
UU: i believe yoU shoUld all strongly consider ascending to the god tiers. 
TG: oh 
TG: ok that sounds cool what do we do 
UU: well of coUrse it soUnds cool! bUt it’s not necessarily as easy as it soUnds, steeling oneself for death. believe me. 
UU: bUt if yoU can find the resolve, then here is what yoU mUst do. 
UU: since none of yoU have any dream selves left, it won’t do any good to sacrifice yoUrselves on the qUest beds foUnd on yoUr respective planets. 
UU: and even if yoU did, there is not even a battlefield from which to rise anew. no, yoUr void session had only one path to ascension all along. 
UU: yoU mUst travel to the centre of the moons of prospit and derse, and there in the crypt yoU will find yoUr sacrificial slabs. yoU mUst lie on them, and then… 
UU: then yoU all mUst die. one way or another. u_u 


This bit is pretty cool because it finally gives an official name to the alternative to quest beds that allowed Aradia, Rose, and Dave to reach god tier. I feel that a proper exposition on sacrificial slabs was long overdue; Aradia’s ascension to god tier is especially confusing to first-time readers. Calliope is the perfect character to talk about this topic, and now is a good time for her to do so.


Calliope goes on to foreshadow and hint at more plot stuff I don’t have much to say about. She talks more about Lord English and the Condesce and implies through mention of multiple villains that there’s another unmentioned villain under English’s command; readers are likely to think of the alpha kids’ Jack Noir, who we saw some suspicious images of not long ago.


After a few more moments where Roxy and Calliope talk about how much they trust each other, Calliope suddenly freaks out about something.


UU: WHAT IS *SHE* DOING HERE??? 

After Calliope fed readers a whole bunch of juicy meat, it’s time for Rose’s appearance to dangle some delicious candy just too far away from readers to reach.


ROSE: Mom? ROXY: mom? 

This moment, holy shit. It’s so sweet and must be surreal for both Lalondes.

Just look at Rose and Roxy’s smiles. Cuteness that transcends words.


CALLIOPE: NO NO NO NO NO! THIS WON’T DO AT ALL! 
CALLIOPE: A LIGHT PLAYER? A LIGHT PLAYER??? 
CALLIOPE: HAVE YOU GONE MENTAL? WHY DON’T WE JUST BURN A BLOODY BONFIRE IN HERE! 
CALLIOPE: HE’LL SPOT US ANY MINUTE! ASSUMING HE ISN’T ALREADY ON HIS WAY TO BLOW US ALL TO KINGDOM COME!!! 


But not so much for Calliope, who FREAKS THE FUCK OUT at the sight of a light player. If you take a moment to think about who else is a light player, you’ll probably either fear the worst for Vriska and company who are also looking for Lord English, or look at Calliope funny for being so concerned with players’ classpects.


Poor Roxy and Rose. This is the second time a reunion between them is cut short, and it won’t be the last (or the saddest).

Alternian text: YOURE WELCOME


Roxy wakes up in her jail cell and notices a folder from the Condesce. It’s one of many times in this act where the witch is portrayed in a more humorous light. Just look at the fuchsia lip markings, GIFs of her deceased clown presidents dancing, flashing boondollars, and decoration with sea creatures.

Roxy is the best at “done with your shit” faces.

The folder has instructions for Roxy to do something “stupid and impossible”, so she throws it aside. As she talked about with Calliope in a part I skipped over in this post, she doesn’t want to use her void powers when it’s to serve a genocidal alien queen. This little stretch of pages establishes that Roxy despises the Condesce the most of the alpha kids, which suggests that at this point Hussie had already planned for her to be the one to kill the empress.


Roxy then gets some gifts from the Droll: Dad Crocker’s PDA and a magic ring. She’s confused by all these, and readers probably will be as well.


The Droll is dressed like his Midnight Crew counterpart too, except he’s more free to demonstrate his love for ridiculous hats. I can only imagine him begging his superiors to let him wear a ridiculous hat; after some negotiating, the Dignitary probably let this one slide.

Yet another perfect crime successfully perpetrated. And by crime, you guess you mean order from a superior. In your experience, the best crimes are the ones which are totally legal. 

You are so satisfied with your accomplishment, you cannot contain your exuberance for another second. You have no choice. You absolutely must do the happy umbrella dance, professional protocol be damned. 

Oh shoot. It seems you have misplaced your BULL PENIS UMBRELLA. There will be no dancing today. Now you’re sad.

The callback to Clubs Deuce’s bull penis cane is much funnier if you know the story behind it. As Homestuck Book 2’s commentary states, Deuce in the Midnight Crew intermission used a cane for one purpose or another, then Hussie realized that the picture he found was a bull penis cane, so he made a panel where Clubs Deuce realizes the same and freaks out. It’s clear that Hussie found that incident just as funny a few years later and took the opportunity to call back to it in a line that makes spectacularly little sense out of context.

I’m stopping here, right before Roxy pesters Dirk. This post was a lot of fun to write! See you next time as Dirk, Dirk, and Dirk have an existential confrontation that ends up bringing one of the funniest characters in Homestuck into existence.

>> Part 95: The Bodybuilder’s Triumphant Return

Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 93: A Friendship Even More Permanently Ruined

Introduction / Schedule

Part 92 | Part 93 | Part 94 >


Act 6 Act 5, Part 1 of 6

Pages 5512-5571 (MSPA: 7412-7471)

Get ready for lots of sighs in this act.


One of my Act 6 Act 2 posts was originally going to be called “The Worst Part of Homestuck (So Far)” but I then decided to name it “A Friendship Permanently Ruined”.

This post was originally going to be called “The Worst Part of Homestuck (Arguably)” but then I decided on “A Friendship Even More Permanently Ruined”.


As a wise man once said, the circle of stupidity is complete.

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Act 6 Act 5 of Homestuck opens with a short flash of Jake English sitting alone and bored on his planet, waiting for the day his cool young grandma and her movie-loving brother finally show up. In this flash, Jake’s sprite is revealed to be a combination of Eridan and Sollux, who flips him the bird. Jake wheezes laughing for… some reason? Then he gets an alert from Dirk and sighs again.


TT: Dude! 
TT: Where you at, man. 
TT: Wait. 
TT: Which computer are you using? 
TT: I’m not comfortable knowing my words could be hovering over Cage’s clownish, sort of gaunt face. 
TT: Could you maybe switch back to naked blue chicks as your exclusive desktop fodder? TIA. 
TT: But yeah. 
TT: I don’t know if you just want a little solitude. 
TT: Or if maybe you finally just got like, 
TT: A case of Strider fatigue. 
TT: I could understand that. 
TT: I mean, not to get all neurotic on you. 
TT: I’m just saying I get it, if that’s what’s going on. 
TT: But for real, if you gotta sneak away for a few days, that’s cool. 
TT: Just might be kind of dope if you at least would let me know which planet you scurried off to. 
TT: And by dope I guess I mean considerate? 
TT: Really not trying to be a drag here. 
TT: Wondering what’s up is all. 
TT: Want to meet up soon? 
TT: I found a really promising tomb we could raid. 
TT: Looks like it runs hella deep. 
TT: If I’ve got the specs right, could run as deep as the Lion’s Mouth itself. 
TT: But without all the fuckin’ fire to deal with. 
TT: Wait, I mean Lion’s Mouth. 
TT: Gotta underline that key shit. Always forget. 


What is going on with Jake? He’s always viewed Dirk as a cool friend and his whole life he’s been excited to go on tomb raiding adventures just like in his favorite movies. But now he isn’t responding to any of his best bro’s messages.

TT: Figure it should take a couple days to make it to the bottom. 
TT: Only a day if we both go limp and just fall the whole way down the stairs. 
TT: Ignoring literally every sage warning we’ve ever received about those treacherous plummetation zigzags. 
TT: Just tumbling on down in a floppy limbed trance like a couple of puppets in a race arranged by some drunk gamblers. 
TT: If you’re into another expedition, head to LOTAK and hit me up. Just don’t forget your mask this time. 
TT: The deeper we go, the worse it gets, remember? 
TT: Could be some unreal grist down there. 
TT: More puzzle shit. 
TT: Loads of skeletons. 
TT: Pack your guns dog. 


It’s so weird seeing Jake not get excited about adventures. I’m not going to try to analyze this romance drama much so I’ll keep things brief. Dirk probably has only the best intentions and wants to take Jake out on trips he knows he enjoys; Jake got bored of exploring intense deadly mazes all the time and now just wants to finally meet the beta kids.


Jake’s lock screen wallpaper is now a selfie with him and Dirk. An image that stings to look at considering Jake is currently in the process of ignoring his bro.


Jake solicits profound wisdom from his friendly guide, a miserable troll amalgam sprite named Erisolsprite. Physically he’s a sprite combination of Eridan’s corpse and Sollux’s half-corpse, but personality-wise he’s just pre-blinding Sollux with even more self-loathing—it’s easy to forget Sollux was constantly irate and ranting about his race’s doom from the trolls’ arc up until his blinding.* It’s an interesting choice for this sprite not to have much of Eridan’s personality, but rather for Sollux’s soul combination with Eridan to make him hate himself even more. Just look at these passages:

* Put more succinctly: it’s easy to forget Sollux.

ERISOLSPRITE: alriight you wwant 2ome redrom coun2el, wwell here you go. 
ERISOLSPRITE: iim of the miind2et that wwhen you havve a rock 2oliid piiece of a22 tiied twwo the dock, you dont bloody wwell tug the knot loo2e and 2hovve the fucker off wwiith the heel a your boot. 
ERISOLSPRITE: but then another part of me ju2t wwonder2 wwhat the FUCK ii ju2t 2aiid there? liike that wwa2 ju2t 2uch a wweiird 2ociiopathiic thought ii had, ii hone2tly had no iidea howw bad ii could po22iibly feel about my2elf untiil ii BECAME my2elf, iif THAT make2 2en2e. 
ERISOLSPRITE: your bro ha2 feeliin2 twwo con2iider, he2 not 2ome 2liice of grub2teak. wwhy are you con2ultiing wwiith me, iim a dii2a2ter. no iim a dii2a2ter that 2hiit iit2 emotiional pant2 wwiith thiick liiquiid CATA2TROPHE, 2o dont evven come near me. 


[…]

ERISOLSPRITE: revvolvve around? iit2 a biit late for that jake.
ERISOLSPRITE: your flu2hed quadrant ii2 a black hole and wwe are all beiing dragged 2creamiin through iit2 evvent horiizon. 
ERISOLSPRITE: ju2t talk twwo jane, and nevver fuckiin look at me agaiin for the re2t of your liife. 
ERISOLSPRITE: iim leavviing. hey here2 one for the road. 
JAKE: Ah! There she blows. Your favorite finger of all. 
JAKE: You sure do love showing that one to people. Its actually become a vaguely comforting gesture. 
ERISOLSPRITE: you knoww wwhat youvve done jake. 
ERISOLSPRITE: you havve totally RUIINED the act of fliippiin people off. 
ERISOLSPRITE: iit wwa2 the one joy ii had left. ii hope youre happy. 


Erisolsprite throws choice insults at Jake. He also states some choice facts, not the least of which is that Dirk is a human being with feelings.


Meanwhile on Roxy’s planet, we get a rather cute sight. Jane and Roxy are working hard decorating for Jane’s 16th birthday party, accompanied by some exiled carapacians and cats.

These color-coded hats are the cutest thing ever, oh my god. Even the mischievous cat has one.


Upon Erisolsprite’s suggestion, Jake pesters Jane.


I’m going to do you a huge favor that you should be grateful for. Just like last time Jane and Jake talked, I’ll skim through the pesterlog and only comment on a few interesting or especially “what the FUCK” bits.

GT: Well what in the name of willy howard tafts great tub choking bottom could i be forgetting then? 
GT: This is going to drive me CRAZY! Can you give me a hint? 
GG: Yes. It has to do with the day I was born, which was almost exactly sixteen years ago. 
GT: Of course! Your birthday!!! 
GG: Didn’t you get Roxy’s invitation? 
GG: It was my understanding that she gave you and Dirk notice weeks ago. 
GT: Yes thats right. Now i remember. The date sure snuck up on us quick didnt it? 
GT: Sorry you know how things can slip my mind. The gourd on my shoulders isnt the steel trap it used to be. Nothing like the well oiled puzzlebuster you’ve got up there. 
GG: Mm. 
GT: Well damn. 
GT: Looks like the egg monster took quite the spirited dump on my face this time. 
GG: Jake. I… what? 
GT: I feel so dumb. Ill be right over. 

Is it just me, or does Jake crank his old man speak WAY up whenever he’s being thick-headed? Or repressive, depending how you prefer to analyze Jake’s character. This pattern I’ve noticed is probably a natural effect of the usual way to write him. Clumsy metaphors are something John and Jake have in common, but only the former is self-aware about it.

GG: Well, if you recall, the party is actually tomorrow. 
GG: Like I said, we’re just setting a few things up. 
GG: Roxy is putting up some decorations. I baked a cake. You were of course free to join us early too. I just thought since I hadn’t heard from you in quite some time, you had better things to do. 
GT: You baked a cake for your own party? 
GG: Yes. So? 
GT: I dont know something seems amiss about that. Isnt that against tradition or inviting bad luck or something? 
GT: But I guess it makes sense since you love baking cakes. Its like a present you give to yourself! 


It’s easy to forget how naive Jane can be sometimes. Her misconception about baking cakes would be perfectly endearing under any other context.

Jake talks about how hard grist has been to come by and starts to speculate about the beta kids he so badly wants to meet:

GT: Sometimes i wonder if the heroes had the same problems in their game. Do you think they found an easier way to kill skeletons? 
GT: Were they just as shameless as us when it came to splurging our precious grist on swanky new duds? 
GT: Did the same enigmatic bard haunt their game? And if so which hilarious dead trolls did he throw into the flashy blobs?
GT: Mr erisol tells me he knows many things about the heroes because he saw them in action when he was alive. But he wont tell me a thing about them! These troll sprites sure do love keeping their secrets dont they? Heheh. 


Jake’s speculation is mostly way off, but in a way he’s right on about the enigmatic bard. Gamzee did indeed haunt the beta kids’ game, but in a much more roundabout fashion than with the alpha kids because that’s what bards do. I feel bad for him not getting to know anything about the beta kids’ game. Probably about the same happened after the retcon, since Vriska let Tavros come by only often enough to occasionally console Jake.

Jake then starts to monologue about issues with Dirk, and Jane’s face says all:


GT: Oh which actually reminds me of ANOTHER thing thats been bugging me about dirk. 
GT: He can often be almost hilariously self absorbed. Dont even get me started on when he starts going off on these long monologues about his philosophical gobbledygook. 
GT: I’m not sure he actually has much of a filter when it comes to what others regard as interesting points of conversation. 
GT: Not to rag on the guy too hard but i guess at times i would just like to see a little more self awareness from him is all. 


Obligatory “you’re one to talk”. That is all.


And then Jane loses her patience and starts screaming at Jake. Roxy and her best friend Fefetasprite are understandably confused.

GG: YOU MIGHT ACTUALLY BE THE MOST THOUGHTLESS, SELF-CENTERED PERSON I HAVE EVER MET! 
GG: I CAN’T BELIEVE I USED TO FEEL… 
GT: Huh? 
GT: Used to feel what? 
GG: JAKE, HAS IT EVER OCCURRED TO YOU HOW IT MUST FEEL FOR SOMEONE TO LISTEN TO HER FRIEND GO ON AND ON ABOUT HIS BOYFRIEND PROBLEMS WHEN… 
GG: WHEN ALL ALONG SHE… 
GG: BUT SHE JUST COULDN’T SAY BECAUSE SHE BLEW IT AND IT WAS TOO LATE TO… 
GG: I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHY I’M BOTHERING TO EXPLAIN THIS TO YOU. NEVER MIND. 
GT: Now hold the phone. 
GT: Jane i think i may finally understand whats been going on here. 
GT: In retrospect i cant believe ive been this blind. 
GT: Youre right i really can be deplorably thick sometimes. 
GT: Looking back i can see how many of our conversations must have been torment for you. 
GT: You really should have told me how you felt sooner! 
GG: YEAH. I… 
GG: I know. 😦 
GT: If you told me you had the hots for dirk i would have backed off without another word. 
GT: What are friends for! 


Jake’s misunderstanding is fucking incredible, I can’t even bring myself to do anything but crack up. It’s just, what is there to even say?????


ROXY: jane 
ROXY: yo uh 
ROXY: janey 
ROXY: u ok there 
JANE: I WILL BE PEACHY FUCKING KEEN ONCE I STOMP THIS NOVELTY MUSTACHE HEADSET INTO OBLIVION, AND NOT A MOMENT SOONER! 
ROXY: janey uh 
ROXY: that aint a reasonable thing you said 
JANE: AU CONTRAIRE. 
JANE: I BELIEVE YOU WILL FIND THAT ONCE THIS PIECE OF SHIT HAS BEEN REDUCED TO SUBATOMIC PARTICLES, WE WILL ALL COME OUT SMELLING LIKE FUCKING ROSES. 
ROXY: jaaaaane 
ROXY: stoppit 😦 
ROXY: ur upsettin fefeta 
ROXY: just 
ROXY: think of fefeta is all im asking 
ROXY: poor fefeta 😥 
FEFETASPRITE: 3833 < 383 

JANE: OH POOR FEFETA MY SWEET PATOOTIE! 
JANE: YOU AND I BOTH KNOW FEFETA HAS HAD TO DEAL WITH GARBAGE FROM JERKOFF BOYS BEFORE. 
JANE: SO DON’T GIVE ME THIS POOR FEFETA CRAP. 


Jane is starting to make negative amounts of sense here. Isn’t the trolls’ romance drama backstory even more reason not to upset dear, sweet, precious Fefeta?

ROXY: lol yeah 
ROXY: my girl fefeta knows whats up 
ROXY: she been around the d bag block a time or 2 
ROXY: em i rite fefeta 
FEFETASPRITE: 3833 < 3;3 
ROXY: shit yes gimme a paw bump 
ROXY: BOMP 
ROXY: jane u want in on this action 
ROXY: come give us a fist fulla sugar 
ROXY: complete the 3way for max girl power + solidarity against dumb dudes 
ROXY: janey jeez dont leave us hanging here 
JANE: SIGH. 
JANE: FINE. 
ROXY: jane that was the piss poorest paw bump ive ever seen 
ROXY: that was like a negative bump 
ROXY: we are going to have to bump long and hard into the night to dig us outta this fuckin bump hole you dug us into 
ROXY: w/ that tragic bump 
ROXY: that bump was like 
ROXY: shakespearean 
ROXY: makes me want to weep softly and leave a bouquet somewhere 
ROXY: someone plays a sad trumpet in the distance 
ROXY: look fefeta just sniffled a little at how sad that bump w- 



Fefetasprite is kind of like the alpha kids’ Mayor—she doesn’t talk but has one party member constantly proclaim her to be a rich, thoughtful, and pure soul who nobody can ever hate. There’s not really much reason not to make her a voiced character though? Maybe Hussie decided he didn’t enjoy trying to figure out how to write amalgamations of random trolls. It makes sense that after the retcon he took a second shot at making character amalgamation sprites and came up with Jasprosesprite^2 and Davepetasprite^2. I’m not sure how I feel about the squared sprites, other than that I still love everything about Rose’s reaction to her absurd cat sprite self.

Sometimes Roxy’s concerned faces tug straight at the heartstrings.


ROXY: he was a block head and forgot your birthday didnt he 
ROXY: im sorry jane 
JANE: Yeah, me too. Can we maybe not rehash the whole terrible conversation though?? 
ROXY: yeah we dont have to 
ROXY: just maybe try not to hold whatever dumb shit he said against him forever? 
ROXY: thats just how the guy is 
ROXY: its like 
ROXY: he doesnt mean to be a douche 
ROXY: but its just kind of a byproduct of the whole ridiculous jake english experience 
ROXY: like his dunkass shenanigans leave behind a residue that looks like douche and tastes like douche but it aint the real thing? 
ROXY: like douche substitute 
ROXY: “i cant believe its not douche” 
ROXY: um 
ROXY: im just trying to say not terrible things about him in hopes you dont start hating each other but i guess this isnt what you wanna hear now 
JANE: 😡 


Roxy only ever sees the best in her friends, and I do mean all of her friends. It can be a huge benefit or a huge problem depending on the circumstances, and it’s such a pivotal trait of hers that at the end of the Candy Epilogue she’s only just starting to come to terms with distancing herself from Jane.

JANE: ROXY, I GET YOU’RE TRYING TO MAKE ME FEEL BETTER, BUT A LOT OF THINGS YOU’RE SAYING HERE AREN’T REALLY HELPING! 
JANE: DO YOU EVEN REALIZE WHAT YOU’RE SAYING HALF THE TIME? 
JANE: I THINK I LIKED YOU BETTER WHEN YOU WERE DRINKING! 
ROXY: jaaane no 
ROXY: dont say that 
ROXY: i had a problem 😦 
FEFETASPRITE: 3833 < 38( 


Obligatory “ouch”. That is all.

JANE: THIS GAME IS SO MUCH MORE DEPRESSING THAN I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE! EVERYTHING IS DEAD AND EMPTY AND FULL OF GRAVES AND ALL WE’RE SUPPOSED TO DO IS JUST KEEP WAITING AND WAITING AND WAITING! BUT FOR HOW MUCH LONGER? 

Right after a surprisingly nasty remark from Jane, we’re reminded how excited she was to play Sburb at the start of Act 6 and it’s surprisingly crushing.

JANE: AND I STILL DON’T KNOW WHERE MY DAD IS, AND YOU STILL HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO REACH CALLIOPE, AND WHAT IF THEY’RE BOTH… 
JANE: AND NOW ON TOP OF ALL THAT, I MAY HAVE PERMANENTLY DESTROYED MY FRIENDSHIP WITH JAKE! 
JANE: AND NOW… 
JANE: Now… 
JANE: I just want to be alone. 
ROXY: jane wait 
JANE: I have to go! 
ROXY: where are you going! 


Jane goes on to remind us of all the other problems that aren’t resolved one bit more than they were when the alpha kids started the game and it’s again surprisingly crushing.

After all this time, I’m still extremely fond of the Youth Roll. It’s just so satisfying to watch.

Can’t forget about the Acrobatic Fucking Pirouette, what a classic.


JANE: HOME!!! 

It’s only thematically fitting that Jane shouting “HOME!!!” is accompanied by a humorous callback to the early acts.


ROXY: good lard 
ROXY: all my friends are being disasters 
ROXY: welp looks like its just us 
ROXY: party nite w gcat and fefeta 
ROXY: fefeta??? 
ROXY: oh dangit 
ROXY: hey you know i could have used some support there 
ROXY: where was all that profound shippin expertise when we really needed it! 
ROXY: usually i can barely shut you up girl 
ROXY: maybe you just clammed up at all the drama? 
ROXY: hehehe youd have loved that pun 
ROXY: the one i just said about the clams 


I don’t like that Fefetasprite never says a single word onscreen despite how talkative Roxy claims her to be. Maybe it fits thematically because Roxy is a void player and supposed to be all mysterious? I don’t say that because I actually think it makes any sense, but as an excuse to talk about a criticism I have with Roxy’s character: her being “mysterious” because she’s a void player is an informed attribute at best. Roxy doesn’t ever feel strange and mysterious, not even all that much in the epilogues. I mean sure, narrator Dirk has a much harder time understanding Roxy than any other character, but let’s be real here, the whole mysterious Roxy motif was mostly used as an excuse for the gender transition storyline and didn’t have much of a bearing on the plot.

(Hell, I’d argue that Roxy being supposedly “hard to decipher” made the transition arc feel more forced. Why else do you think so many people draw him with fucking heart-shaped sunglasses???)

With Fefetasprite asleep, GCat teleports Roxy to Derse and she’s knocked out on the floor, watched over by the Condesce.


Jane ollies outie and arrives on her own planet. The cute callback is immediately followed by her running home in a bitter mood…


… which fizzles out and becomes a sad mood.


Then she gets an alert from Caliborn. Not surprisingly, she’s extremely upset to hear from him again. Caliborn brags about how much progress he’s made in the game and his new way of spying on the alpha kids’ game.

uu: MY POWER HAS GROWN CONSIDERABLY SINCE I LAST JEERED YOU. 
uu: I HAVE MADE REMARKABLE STRIDES ON MY SACRED JOURNEY TOWARD IMPORTANT ADULTHOOD. 
uu: ON THIS BULLSHIT PLANET. WHICH USED TO BE YOUR HOME. 
uu: I HAVE FOUND MANY KEYS. AND UNLOCKED MANY HOLES. 
uu: AND NOW I CAN SEE MORE. AND LEARN MORE. THAN YOU COULD EVER FUCKING DREAM! 
GG: How wonderful for you. 
GG: I don’t care how all-seeing and all-powerful you think you are. 
GG: If your intent is to waste my time with more of your pitiful bullying, you are out of luck. 
GG: Because that is exactly NOT the sort of crap I am in the mood for today. 
GG: Toodle-oo!!! 
uu: WAIT! 
uu: I THINK I GOT OFF ON THE WRONG FOOT. 
uu: HOW ABOUT WE. GNAW THAT ONE OFF AND START OVER? 
uu: I WAS TRYING TO PAY YOU A COMPLIMENT. 


The bolded text above is one of the best puns in all of Homestuck, if not the best. It’s just so perfect.

uu: MY PEOPLE AREN’T MEANT TO LIKE ANYBODY. GET IT? 
uu: I MEAN, NOT THE WAY HUMANS DO. WE DON’T HAVE THE HUMAN EMOTION CALLED “LOVEKHEKLFSDKF”. AND WE SPONTANEOUSLY START MASHING KEYS. WHEN WE ARE FORCED TO EVEN TYPE THE WORD. 
uu: ALL OUR RELATIONSHIPS ARE DICTATED BY THE MIRACLE OF HATRED. SO WHEN I USE BAD WORDS TOWARD YOU. THAT’S JUST ME SAYING THINGS TO TRY TO KNOW YOU BETTER. 
uu: LIKE. “SOCIALLYUOIPY”. 
uu: AS A. 
uu: *SHUDDER* 
uu: A… “FRIENDJISJFDJISJSDKFLDJSDKLJF”. 


Caliborn is laying his trolling, wait I mean “jeering”, a bit thick. He’s making up complete nonsense about his species, which reminds me of how the trolls would often make up nonsense when hassling the beta kids. 

Caliborn goes on to brag about how he’s been thinking the “dirtiest” thoughts while spying on the alpha kids. Jane makes an obvious assumption on what Caliborn is talking about:

GG: What? No! 
GG: Are you insane? 
GG: I don’t care where you are, or whatever the hell it is you “unlocked” to spy on me. 
GG: You aren’t allowed to sit there all day leering at my boobs!!! 
uu: YOUR WHAT. 
GG: My… what? 
GG: Wait, what were YOU talking about? 


Unlike Dirk, Jane doesn’t know that to cherubs “dirty” means eating cake and holding hands and that they couldn’t care less about human genitalia. It turns out that Caliborn is actually talking about how fat Jane is, a memetic headcanon she aggressively denies.

uu: WAIT! DON’T SHUT ME OUT. 
uu: REMEMBER WHAT I SAID. ABOUT OUR DIFFERENT CULTURES OR WHATEVER. 
uu: HAVE A FUCKING OPEN MIND, JANE. 
uu: I MADE YOU A PRESENT. FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY. WHATEVER THAT ACTUALLY IS. 
uu: SEE HOW I’M MAKING AN EFFORT TO UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMS? 
uu: MEET ME HALF OF THE GODDAMN WAY. 
GG: Oh cripes. 
GG: What is it? 
uu: A SUBLIME ARTISTIC PORTRAIT. 
uu: REMEMBER HOW I SAID MY POWER WAS GROWING WITH EACH DAY. 
uu: THIS APPLIES AS WELL TO MY PROWESS AS A DRAFTSMAN. 
GG: Oh goodness, no. You poor delusional thing. 
GG: I don’t care what progress you think you’ve made. You will never be a good artist, dear. 


Here Caliborn encounters a typical hurdle artists must overcome: acquaintances who claim the artist is just a nonsensical egomaniac.

uu: HORSESHIT. 
uu: MY ILLUSTRATION IS STUNNING. IT IS NEARLY A PHOTOGRAPHIC REPRESENTATION OF YOUR ODIOUS MILKSHAKE. 
uu: NOW PARK THE INDUSTRIAL LOAD OF FREIGHT YOU DECLARE A BOTTOM. AND FEAST YOUR EYES ON MY FUCKING EXCELLENCE! 
uu: http://tinyurl.com/JANETHISISYOU 
GG: Groan. 


Luckily, getting past that hurdle is a no-brainer for Caliborn. He knows that one day, his masterful artwork will blow the minds of everyone he has ever known. His latest drawing is impressive in a way:

The circle of obesity is complete.



Caliborn has managed to draw a circle, and his speech about how he achieved such a difficult task is very much worth reading:

uu: I BELIEVE I HAVE CHOSEN THE PERFECT SHAPE FOR YOU. 
uu: IT IS DESCRIBED IN CERTAIN CIRCLES KNOWLEDGEABLE OF THE ARTS. AS. “A CIRCLE”. 
uu: I AM VERY PLEASED WITH HOW FAITHFULLY IT HAS CAPTURED THE OBSCENE ROTUNDITY. OF YOUR MAGNIFICENT CARRIAGE. 
uu: TRULY A SPITTING IMAGE OF THE CROCKER BITCH. 
uu: NOW LISTEN CAREFULLY. YOU MAY LEARN SOMETHING. 
uu: THE MASTERPIECE AFICIONADO WILL NOTICE. HOW I ACHIEVED THIS HIGHLY ADVANCED AND DIFFICULT SHAPE. 
uu: WHAT MOST GIFTED ARTISANS WILL TELL YOU. IS THAT. CIRCLES ARE BASICALLY FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE TO DRAW. 
uu: TRUST ME. 
uu: IT’S LIKE A PARADOX. A SHAPE WITHOUT ANGLES. WHAT?? 
uu: SO I FUCKING CHEATED. 
uu: I NAVIGATED THE IRRATIONAL PERIMETER BY MAKING A LOT OF EASILY UNDERSTANDABLE, TOTALLY LOGICAL MARKS. FORMING A WHOLE BUNCH OF LITTLE RIGHT ANGLES. 
uu: THE CHEATING PART HAPPENS WHEN I DO THIS A LOT. SO IT GOES IN A ROUND DIRECTION. 
uu: THIS ONE CAME OUT WELL I THINK. BUT THERE’S ROOM TO IMPROVE. 
uu: I HAVE THEORIZED THAT IF I KEEP MAKING BOGUS CIRCLES LIKE THIS. 
uu: WHILE DRAWING MORE AND MORE ANGLES. BUT SMALLER. SO SMALL THAT YOU START CAN’T SEEING THEM. 
uu: THAT THE ILLUSION OF THE CIRCLE WILL BE COMPLETE! AND PEOPLE WILL BELIEVE IN THE FAKE CIRCLE. LIKE A BUNCH OF SUCKERS. 
uu: I BET NOBODY HAS THOUGHT OF THAT CIRCLE STRATEGY. I THINK I’M THE FIRST AT THIS IDEA. AND BEST AT IT ALREADY. 
uu: PEOPLE THINK I’M DUMB. ESPECIALLY THE VOICE IN MY HEAD. 
uu: AND THEY MAY BE RIGHT ABOUT ME BEING DUMB. 
uu: BUT WHEN IT COMES TO THE SPECIAL WAY I DO THINGS. WHICH IS ALWAYS ACTUALLY. THE PERFECT WAY. 
uu: I AM. 
uu: A GENIUS! 


Circles are really fucking hard to draw, Caliborn is right. He found a different way to draw circles from how most people go about it and ended up with a passing approximation of a circle. He even admits that he still has a ways to go before he masters the art of drawing circles, showing that he’s truly dedicated to becoming the best artist he can possibly be. It’s kind of hilarious that his big step forward in becoming an artist was inspired by Jane’s supposed obesity of all things, which makes sense in a way—many artists find themselves inspired by the weirdest things. I know I do (though probably not to Caliborn’s extent).


uu: SETTLE DOWN AND LISTEN TO BOY REASON. DO NOT MAKE ME DEMONSTRATE THE VERACITY OF MY FACTS. YET AGAIN. 
uu: THAT SACCHARINE TRAMP IS SUCH A GONER. SHE’S NEVER COMING BACK. 
uu: JUST LIKE YOUR DAPPER HUMAN GUARDIAN. 
GG: WHAT?? WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT MY FATHER! 
GG: WHERE IS HE? 
uu: HE’S FUCKING DEAD IS WHERE. 
GG: YOU’RE LYING AGAIN!!! 
GG: TELL ME WHAT YOU KNOW! 
uu: GOD. I’M TRYING TO. 
uu: MY FACTS ARE HAVING DIFFICULTY PENETRATING YOUR HYSTERICAL ATTITUDE. LISTEN TO ME VERY CLOSE. 
uu: HE WAS CAPTURED BY AN AGENT SOON AFTER YOU BEGAN YOUR QUEST. HE WAS THEN PUT IN JAIL ON DERSE. 
GG: Ok… 
GG: So he’s on Derse, then? 
uu: BITCH, YOU AREN’T PAYING ATTENTION. DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE PRISON SYSTEM ON DERSE? 
uu: IT ISN’T LIKE THE SOFT TIME YOU DO ON PROSPIT. I BET YOU NEVER SPENT ANY TIME IN THE JOKE THEY CALL A SLAMMER THERE. LET ALONE ON DERSE. 
GG: And I suppose you have?? 
uu: I WAS NOT VERY WELL BEHAVED. I DID MORE THAN MY SHARE OF TIME. CHAINED TO THE WALL OF A CELL. 
uu: HEE HEE! LIKE I WASN’T SO USED TO THAT. I WAS LIKE. DO YOUR WORST. 
uu: AND THEN THEY DID. DERSITES DO NOT TREAT THEIR PRISONERS GOOD. TO SAY THE LEAST! 
uu: I WAS ONLY ABLE TO SURVIVE THE BRUTALITY. DUE TO MY EXCEPTIONAL CONSTITUTION. AND EVEN TO SOME EXTENT. MY ABILITY TO ENJOY ANGUISH. 
uu: BUT YOUR PATHETIC, FRAIL HUMAN “DAD” IS A DIFFERENT STORY. THERE IS NO DOUBT AT ALL. THAT HE IS DEAD BY NOW! 


Caliborn tells Jane his sister is dead, then talks about how brutally Jane’s father has been treated in Derse’s prison. I think it’s supposed to be a red herring where Caliborn projects alien values onto Jane? Caliborn doesn’t lie, but he loves omitting details. Both of the cherubs have extremely alien values, really. Why else would Calliope be so insistent on letting Gamzee have a “redemption arc”?


Rest in peace, the Astairetop. The only fatherly laptop that wasn’t horribly affected by real-life circumstances.


Jane absconds and sadjumps her way home. I find “sadjump” to be a very sad word for far more reasons than merely its first three letters.


After this whole dump of horrible romance drama, it’s time once more to see what the Dignitary is up to. He reads the daily newspaper about Jack Noir’s imprisonment.

No surprise here. The archagent is dominating the headlines, yet again. Already approaching day 154 of this debacle. It’s a big day for your kingdom. Hard to believe it’s here already. Time sure flies when you’re being smooth and well dressed. 

Soon enough we’ll see firsthand what DD means by “well dressed”, and boy is it a fun throwback.

The article covers the usual tedious politics surrounding the negotiation of his release. After weeks of posturing and grandstanding, Prospit’s terms have been bargained down to a polite apology, signed by the Condesce herself. Or those were the terms you were last aware of. You check to see if there have been any further developments. Yeah, just as you thought. She refused those terms. Prospit then countered with a new offer. The apology no longer has to be polite. 

No way she cottons to that proposal either. It’s quite obvious to you what’s going on here. The white queen was never really taking this negotiation seriously. She has been submitting frivolous proposals which she knows perfectly well the Condesce will refuse on principle, daring her in front of the whole kingdom to swallow just an ounce of pride to get her agent back. This makes her look petty in the tabloids if she refuses, which was always inevitable. Because as everyone knows, a queen is a vain creature. Even alien sea queens. 

And you thought the kingdoms were locked in a stalemate BEFORE new management took over.

Kind of interesting that when both the Black Queen and Jack are replaced, the stalemate between Prospit and Derse is preserved. It makes sense that after the Condesce took over Derse’s rule, Jack Noir had to be imprisoned because we know from experience that the Black Queen is the only thing keeping him from wrecking shit wherever he goes.

And here we see what DD means by “well dressed”. With his new outfit he looks identical to his Midnight Crew counterpart, Diamonds Droog. That’s some pretty great circumstantial simultaneity—it only makes sense that Dad and the Midnight Crew would tie together at some point, given that both of their designs had some roots in Problem Sleuth.

The press has run the story so far into the ground, you can barely bring yourself to keep up with it anymore. Sensationalism at its finest. 

Not that you’re really itching to see Noir get his old job back. Talk about a high strung boss. The time in the clink should do him good. Like a forced vacation, with accommodations nearly on par with a five star hotel on Derse. Frankly, things run much smoother around here without him blowing a gasket every other day. 

Though you will say you could really use his expertise as a pencil pusher. You never knew anyone who could file paperwork quite like Noir. Sure he complained bitterly about his desk job, but in truth he was always a reluctant savant of bureaucratic procedure and red tape. Now you’re getting buried in all these damn tax forms and parking tickets. Maybe you should have them shuttled to his jail cell on Prospit so he can catch up? You have a feeling the Prospitian authorities would be willing to oblige. Actually, that’s such a good idea, you can’t believe you didn’t think of it sooner. You’ll have to get the Droll on that pronto.

Though the Dignitary has been a cooperative archagent, we see through the huge piles of papers and narration that things don’t go too great when carapacians don’t play their game’s assigned roles. It’s a good reminder that Prospitians and Dersites are ultimately game constructs. DD’s programmed personality is also the only reason he isn’t flipping out about performing a job Jack is much better at. He’s just a little annoyed because it’s been five months without that guy.

You step over to your cubicle of FENESTRATED WALLS, which you had replaced since the Prince trashed the old ones. You ordered the Droll to sneak off to one of their worlds and whip up some fresh ones, with a few alchemical upgrades while he was at it. The Droll isn’t really the sharpest tool in the shed, but he’s certainly the most versatile. Also the most eager to please. If you have to watch his happy umbrella dance one more time, you swear to God… 

Turns out the green fenestrated walls were alchemized by the Droll. As with Gamzee and the Skaianet hub, the Droll probably looted Roxy’s house one day and maybe stole some of the kids’ grist. Probably quite a lot of grist, knowing how big these walls are.


And it’s a good thing you taught them a lesson when you did. Because the next day, the Condesce had new orders for all agents. Engaging the Nobles was thereafter strictly forbidden. No more sabotage, assassination attempts, any of that good stuff. Not until the heiress’ wriggling day. Then all bets are off. Who’s the heiress and what’s a wriggling day, you asked. The heiress is the Maid. Ok you said. And her wriggling day? That’s just her birthday, but phrased in alien. Like the anniversary of the day she was spawned, with cake and all that jazz. Come on, use your brain. Alright, got it, you said. 

Anyway, that’s tomorrow. 

Everything seems so peaceful and quiet right now, and I’m sure the Condesce intended it that way. It took me a moment to remember she has an INSANE plan up her sleeve to catch the beta and alpha kids off-guard and take full control of two of them.

Your guess is the orders came down from her boss, who from what you’ve gathered, is even more of a headcase than your presently incarcerated superior. 

Notice that Jack Noir and Lord English are mentioned in the same sentence. Very sneaky foreshadowing of what will soon become of the alpha kids’ Jack.


Note that the prisoner in this panel has the exact same body proportions as the Wayward Vagabond. If we are to assume that this is the alpha kids’ copy of WV, then this means we know something about all the B1 exiles’ alpha session counterparts except for PM. And yes, this includes AR.

You take a stroll through the Derse penitentiary. This is where the gen pop is housed. For inmates life is usually unpleasant and short down here. But the moment you laid eyes on the human prisoner, you knew you could never in good conscience lock him up in the dungeons and gulags with the common thieves, tax cheats and parking fee delinquents. That would be a crime worse than those committed by all the inmates combined. 

No, a man of such distinction and strong fashion sense needed special accommodations. A cell reserved for Very Important Prisoners.

Caliborn told us earlier that Dad Crocker was a Very Important Prisoner and that meant he was being horribly tortured in his jail cell. But it turns out the exact opposite is true:

A huge couch in a jail cell, oh my god. I’m fucking dying.



The prisoner appears to be doing well. You ask if you can get him anything. Coffee? A newspaper? Additional smoking apparatus? He indicates that since he lost his wallet, he’s been running low on pipe tobacco. You say you’ll see to it at once. 

Dad Crocker is every bit as fatherly as he was last time we saw him, I love it so much. And to think his special treatment was all because of his fashion sense, that’s so goddamn funny.

While this is a maximum security suite that is virtually impossible to escape from, you’ve made it clear to all personnel that anyone who harms a hair on this man’s head will have to answer to you. They are all very fortunate that his head doesn’t seem to have any. 

God DAMN he is good at shaving. You are not afraid to admit your envy when it comes to his prowess with a straight edge, not even to speak of his natural ability to grow whiskers in the first place. The lucky stiff.

I wonder if Jack and his quartet of Derse agents are all predisposed to enjoy dressing like businessmen? The Dignitary most certainly is, Jack definitely doesn’t enjoy dressing like a clown, the Droll will go along with anything, and the Brute is the loyal, dependable muscle backup. Maybe for every universe Lord English has infected, there’s a Midnight Crew and Felt to go along with it, just like the numerous iterations of himself Doc Scratch has mentioned. I’m sure Caliborn’s crew of leprechauns can be mass-cloned through time travel or something. I wonder if there were any other Spades Slicks out there who got the chance to face someone possessed by Lord English head-on?


Enough bizarre Midnight Crew speculation. It’s time for a humorous throwback to the occasional Serious Business chatlogs we saw on Dad Egbert’s PDA.

Note the Derse logo next to the title “Serious Business”.


Unlike Dad Egbert’s friends, the Dersite Serious Business users aren’t very intelligent. They enact a parody of the hat and pipe talk from the early acts. A user named HATLIKER asks for help because he sat on his hat and ruined it. Other users suggest that he flip his hat upside-down and sit on it again. Dad responds, talking the same way he does in his fatherly notes to John and Jane:

pipefan413: @HATLIKER. THESE MEN ARE LEADING YOU ASTRAY. SITTING ON THE HAT AGAIN WILL ONLY CAUSE IT FURTHER DAMAGE. 
NoNeed4PantsThx: @pipefan413, this will be the case even if the rumpled hat is inverted? 
pipefan413: @NoNeed4PantsThx. YES. THIS WILL BE THE CASE REGARDLESS OF THE HAT’S ORIENTATION. 
FineryFiend: greatly respect @pipefan413’s knowledge of finery. i endorse his warning. 
ChuffedAboutDuds: @FineryFiend me too. 
1dapperblackshell: @FineryFiend so do i 

Note that the Dignitary’s messages have a check mark next to them, akin to “verified” users on social media sites.


Other Dersites bring up the idea of everyone sitting on their hats to make HATLIKER feel less out of place. DD prohibits this all and behaves as his usual stern self:

The Dignitary: @HATLIKER: Incinerate the damaged hat immediately. 
The Dignitary: @HATLIKER: Do not ever wear such a thing in public. 
FineryFiend: !!!!! 
ChuffedAboutDuds: BURN THE HAT! 
NoNeed4PantsThx: BURN THE HAT!!! 
WANT_MORE_SOCKS: BURN IT! 
1dapperblackshell: BURN THE RUMPLED HAT! 
HATLIKER: I AM BURNING THE HAT! 
WANT_MORE_SOCKS: SITTING ON THE HAT WAS TERRIBLE! 
NoNeed4PantsThx: BURN ALL RUMPLED HATS! 
ChuffedAboutDuds: THEY AREN’T DAPPER AT ALL!!!!! 
1dapperblackshell: BURN THE MISTAKE WITH FIRE! 


Such is the nature of background characters in Homestuck and Problem Sleuth. In both comics, whenever large groups of background characters appear they are never anything more than drones who follow the wills and instructions of whichever voiced character is around. Problem Sleuth (the character) has a natural talent for leadership and uses it a lot on NPCs, and many characters in Homestuck are predisposed to achieve similar feats. A good example is WV, who single-handedly led a rebellion uniting Prospitian and Dersite soldiers against the black king. I don’t even remember what incited him to do that, actually. The time loops and bunny delivery stuff in the exiles’ backstory has always been one of the most confusing parts of Homestuck to me.

The Condesce’s messages not only have checkmarks, but they’re also highlighted in pink for extra flair.

I love how while Dad has his usual gray PDA and the Dignitary has a walkie-talkie typical of Dersites, the Condesce makes full use of her Pisces troll motif and uses a shellphone.

)(IC: yo i cant deal w this prissy hat chat no more 
)(IC: public works my ass what a waste of royal gold 
ChuffedAboutDuds changes status to BOWING. 
WANT_MORE_SOCKS changes status to BOWING. 
NoNeed4PantsThx changes status to BOWING. 
FineryFiend changes status to BOWING. 
HATLIKER changes status to BOWING. 
1dapperblackshell changes status to BOWING. 
)(IC: this is what i get for lettin all proper dudes run shit instead of nasty clowns 
The Dignitary changes status to DOFFING HAT. 
)(IC: @The Dignitary i want ma ring back motha fuck 


And here we hear the Condesce speak for the first time. It’s surprising but at the same time logical that she talks exactly like Meenah but a bit more bossy.

I’m ending this post here. I finished a few days ahead of schedule, which is good because Act 6 Act 5 so far has been a bit exhausting to go through. Not all of it, but most certainly the romance drama stuff. The reason I made this post so quickly is because I rushed through the romance drama parts so as not to drag myself.

See you Friday or so as I do a rewritten early acts post as a palate cleanser. And see you next time after that as we read Detective Pony’s lesser-known sibling.

>> Part 94: Wizardfic Nostalgification Station