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

Introduction

< Part 139 | Part 140 (the end!)

Act 7 + Credits + Closing Thoughts

Pages 8127-8130

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 101: Faygo Degradation and Chair Tantrums

Introduction

< Part 100 | Part 101 | Part 102 >

Pages 6015-6054

Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 3 of 5 (not to be confused with Mr. 305)

My Homestuck blog post series officially has a Pitbull reference now. I have no idea why I just did that.

The first thing we see when we check back in on the meteor crew is THIS horrifying panel. Terezi reveals that her eyes are regular seeing troll eyes once more, which is an image that feels INCREDIBLY wrong, and rightfully so. Her eyes are pulsing red as if she isn’t used to not wearing her dragon hood, her mouth is in a weird frown, and there are heavy bags under her eyes that tell us what shape Terezi is in right now.

Karkat’s facial expression tells us more than words ever could. Sometimes the guy just mirrors readers’ reactions to story events SO WELL.

This panel, man. Terezi is surrounded by these horrible bottles of Faygo and clown horns, but she’s still carrying a scalemate plush to remind us that she’s the same Terezi Pyrope we’ve followed since Act 4.

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 100: Antagonist Origination Station

Introduction

< Part 99 | Part 100 | Part 101 >

Pages 5947-6014

Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 2 of 5

Imagine a gigantic balloon shaped like the number 100 filling your screen right now.

Well, I did it. After four long years, I’ve reached the 100th installment of my Homestuck post series (which will hopefully not be my last Homestuck post of 2019) on the first anniversary of this post series’ resurrection. I worked on this post sort of on and off over the course of a month, because I know well that with my Homestuck posts I’m either absurdly fast or absurdly slow. I’m rather pleased with what material my 100th post turned out to cover: Aranea’s explanation of Lord English’s backstory, a villain we’ve known about since the Midnight Crew intermission.

I must say, having these posts’ numbers in the triple digits now is really goddamn weird. It now officially feels like this is a project I’ve gotten way too carried away with—not that it didn’t before, but this is just the nail in the coffin for me getting carried away. If I keep doing about 50 pages per post, this means that I’ll reach the end of Homestuck around post 140; realistically, probably quite a few more posts than that. The end of Homestuck won’t be the end of this post series though—I will continue with the epilogues, and IF IT BECOMES ACTUALLY GOOD, Homestuck^2 as well. Again speaking realistically, I estimate that I will reach the end of Homestuck in these posts in early 2021, which is a weird date to consider, almost like I’m a Hollywood studio announcing the release date for a movie or something. In any case, 100 posts is one HELL of a milestone.

POST-COMPLETION UPDATE: After reaching the end of Homestuck, I no longer have plans to make blog posts going through the epilogues—no not out of dislike for the epilogues, but rather because I feel like I’ve already said everything I wanted to about them in other posts. Also, Homestuck^2 never happened.

… Alright, let’s stop rambling and get on with Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 100!!!

A fitting image for my 100th post if I say so myself.

Act 6 Intermission 5 Intermission 2 is immediately followed by a scene showing us what John is up to. He’s sleeping on the couch, dreaming in a bubble amidst the cracks in paradox space formed by Lord English to complete an enormous circle of stupidity, which I mean both literally and figuratively. This image humorously calls back to Caliborn’s approximation of a circle with a mess of lines, showing that some things about him just never change.

Continue reading

Pesterquest Vol. 4 (The Loneliest Girl in the World): Review and Analysis

hell. fucking. YES!!!!!!

If you’ve been following Homestuck/Hiveswap news in the past month, you’re probably aware of Pesterquest, a visual novel series following up the Hiveswap Friendsim with the MSPA Reader meeting the cast of Homestuck itself. I didn’t write any blog posts about the first few installments (John, Rose, and Dave) because there wasn’t much to say about them: they were decently written but unremarkable aside from a few moments. The most recent installment, however, focuses on Jade Harley and totally blew away my expectations!!! I was excited for Jade’s route the moment I heard someone say it was written by a major fan of her character, especially considering that Jade’s screen time in the epilogues was extremely disappointing, and it was well worth getting hyped for. I’ll go through the route in order of the bad endings, followed by the good ending, in roughly the same style as my numbered Homestuck blog posts. The dialogue has been transcribed by yours truly.

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 86: Oh God, It’s Those Characters

Introduction

Part 85 | Part 86 | Part 87 >

Act 6 Intermission 3, Part 1 of 6

Page 5263 (MSPA: 7163) [Openbound: Part 1]

Welcome to eternal hell, as the saying goes.
Also, this is my first Homestuck post to only cover one page.

Time to begin Act 6 Intermission 3 of Homestuck! This act is unusual because most of its content is in three walkaround games focused primarily on Meenah and her Beforan friends. Those walkarounds are collectively referred to as Openbound; individually as Openbound Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3; and they’re one of the most polarizing parts of the comic. Many people hate Openbound with a passion, and it is my goal to see if it is really as bad as people say.

These walkarounds are interspersed with regular pages focusing on the beta kids, plus a flash at the end called Ministrife. I’ve said this before, but to reiterate, each walkaround game will take up an entire blog post; the intermittent pages will also take up one blog post each, including the pages after Openbound Part 3. This means Act 6 Intermission 3 will be divided into six posts total.

When I first read Homestuck, Openbound was two years old.
Now it’s almost seven. And everyone thinks it’s called Meenahquest now.

The Openbound loading screen gives me immense nostalgia. When I first read this part in 2014, I remember waiting ten minutes or more for it to load. Now it barely takes ten seconds. Oh, how the times have changed.

Openbound Part 1 starts with a little Flash cutscene where Meenah Peixes watches the Furthest Ring’s destruction and runs downstairs in excitement. Although when I initially wrote this post, it was still possible to view this cutscene if you made extra sure Flash was enabled, there is now no way to view the scene on homestuck.com. In fact, I highly advise that you don’t use homestuck.com to read Homestuck. The Unofficial Homestuck Collection is the new definitive way to read Homestuck, preserving all of Homestuck’s content (yes, even the flashes) in an offline format.

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 65: Karkat Freakouts Ad Infinitum

Introduction

Part 64 | Part 65 | Part 66 >

Act 6 Intermission 1, Part 2 of 2

Pages 4346-4390 (MSPA: 6246-6290)

alternate post title: Don’t Turn Your Back on the Juggalo

As promised, I’ll go right ahead and discuss the thing of kids and trolls meeting.

The very notion of all these characters here meeting in person marks a transition in the beta kids’ storyline, one that applies to John and Jade as well. After leveling up and earning Gift of Gab, all four beta kids no longer receive commands and are only occasionally playable or narrated. This is because in the whole first half of Act 6, the beta kids’ sections are not so much about getting through the game as they are about checking up on their new daily life in the three-year intermezzo between the old and new sessions, often with discussions of plot stuff to keep the story interesting.

I have mixed feelings regarding this narrative transition. After arrival in the new session, I think it would have been ideal for the kids and trolls’ story to return to being more like getting through a video game, but Act 6 Act 6, the subdivision where that stuff happens, ended up being kind of a mess instead. Not counting Caliborn’s narration interludes, it starts off with everyone really confused about what’s going on, and instead of having the characters work through it all, things get even more messed up to the point of the survivors having to fix the whole timeline. And after that happens, the versions of the kids who do get all the stuff done are from a different timeline (with only a few exceptions), different from the ones we followed for all of Act 6, while the original versions are shafted off to irrelevance. Even disregarding that disparity, a lot of stuff in the retconned session is glossed over (things like planet quests and denizen meetings), and at times it seems just too orderly. I think all this is a result of the story trying too hard to get through events in an even more convoluted way than previously, to the point of destroying certain major story points.

But just for the sake of things, I’ll comment on this whole kid/troll meeting sequence for what it is, without acknowledging that the retcon is a thing. As I’ve done in the past, this lack of retcon discussion will be a self-challenge of sorts, something I’ll see how easily I can stick to.

Alright, let’s begin.

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 56: SBES Vol. 2 – Of Sports and Snake Monsters

Introduction

Part 55 | Part 56 | Part 57 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 29 of 32

Doc Scratch Intermission, Part 4 of 6

Pages 3936-4001 (MSPA: 5836-5901) (not in order)

NOTE: SBES stands for Scrapbook Examination Station.

Welcome back to my Homestuck post series. After nearly three weeks without any such posts, I guess it’s time for more scrapbook pages. I will do this selection screen left to right (boring order, I know), so I’ll start with Nannasprite.

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 48: Bored Superdogs and Memory Revelations

Introduction

Part 47 | Part 48 | Part 49 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 21 of 32

Pages 3546-3613 (MSPA: 5446-5513)

Only in Homestuck could this picture make any sort of sense. Even then…

NOTE: I’m really blitzing through Act 5 now (by which I mean going about 30% faster), and boy am I proud of that.

NOTE 2: As school is ending, I have a big project over the next few weeks which I have to work a lot on. This means that I’m slowing down posts somewhat, with the next three posts weekly instead of every five days. Next post coming Sunday.

: (

We now focus on what Jack Noir is up to. He just killed Dad and Mom offscreen. As with Nepeta, it’s a bit of a relief we didn’t have to see them die onscreen; showing a guy killing two loving parents of main characters in love together would obviously be even more heartwrenching than anything we’ve seen so far. Compare this to Bro, who got an onscreen death scene. This is probably not because he is (arguably) not as likable as the other guardians, rather because his death was the culmination of a fight, while the other two were just on a date when it was suddenly interrupted. If John’s dad was in a fistfight with Jack and lost when Jack became more powerful, he would no doubt get a full death scene.

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 47: Fairy Psychopomps and Sudden Vampires

Introduction

Part 46 | Part 47 | Part 48 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 20 of 32

Pages 3479-3545 (MSPA: 5379-5445)

And wordy journals.

Terezi just went missing after having caught up with Sollux when all of a sudden, we’re back to a flashback of Dave fooling around on his bro’s Xbox gaming system. One hell of a mood whiplash alright.

The puppets are all like, haha did you miss me?

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 42: Password Weirdness and Frog Breeding

Introduction

Part 41 | Part 42 | Part 43 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 15 of 32

Pages 3297-3320 (MSPA: 5197-5220)

Fitting that post number 42 (the answer to the Ultimate Question) is where we finally get an answer to a very fundamental question in Homestuck: how exactly universes are made.

First here is a flash, titled [S] Wake, that I could’ve ended last post with but didn’t. I’m not sure if it’s more thematically appropriate to end a post with the start of Murderstuck or start a post with it. Last post was getting long so I stuck with the latter.

If there’s anything about Homestuck the average person is likely to know, it’s the story behind the song Megalovania (a version of which is used in this flash). There’s really no reason to rehash it all over again, nor is there any reason to point out for the ten millionth time how funny it is that so many people got into Homestuck through the iconic Undertale song.

Continue reading