I’m getting so close to the Gigapause, which is kind of scary to think about. I’ve been working more on music stuff lately than this post series, which is why my posting schedule hasn’t been too fast lately despite being done with finals.
Picking up from where we left off, Jane notices Jake’s hope field and has a villain-to-villain confrontation with Aranea, which as I said in my last post is a good indicator that this timeline is going way off the rails.
Still in his prison cell, Jane’s father watches the scene in stern fatherly confusion. This is the point where it starts becoming clear that Hussie is having a lot of fun throwing in humorous callbacks and early act throwbacks into all these action scenes, which further implies a burnout on writing Homestuck the way he had done shortly prior. I could complain about how the retcon that follows made so many story events arguably pointless, but I’ve come to accept that it’s more fun to analyze Homestuck in a matter-of-fact fashion.
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.
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
“Nostalgification” is totally a real word, I swear.
Years in the future…
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.”
“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.”
“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
(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
If only John and Vriska knew how much their friends nearby miss them…
You reach the end of the game to find an intriguing convergence of outrageous personalities. You are just dying to see what these heavyweights of badittude have to say to each other, but somehow you discover within yourself the superhuman restraint to hit pause. When I got to the end of Openbound Part 3 in the last post, I already knew that the walkaround ended right before Meenah could talk to Vriska, John, and Tavros but I was still a bit disappointed to remember it cut off right there. But upon further consideration, I think it’s fair to cut things off here and resume this arc with something other than a walkaround because we’ve been overdosed with walkaround content this whole intermission. You probably know that Homestuck doesn’t have any more full walkaround games after Openbound. I’ll discuss this point at the end of this post, where I recap Act 6 Intermission 3. There is a whole world of fucking around going on with the meteor crew during the second year of their voyage, and it would be a criminal act of negligence to end this intermission without at least having a peek at their tomfoolery. A weaker person would just want to see what happens with Meenah and Vriska right away. Thank goodness you are a player with a strong sense of responsibility and discipline.
Every scene on the meteor so far in Act 6 has been hilarious, so I’m totally down for checking out what those characters are up to even though we’ve already seen plenty of it in this intermission so far.
Seems like this image is supposed to give a time scale for the meteor crew’s portion of Act 6 Act 3. The meteor crew first met Aranea and Meenah a year into the journey, and shortly after that Dave witnessed Lord English’s dream bubble explosion. Openbound Part 1 takes place a year into the meteor crew’s journey; Part 2 also probably a year, given what Terezi had to say about her upsettingly radical ancestor. Part 3 takes place two years into the journey, less than a day before Rose and Kanaya’s date. I was always pretty confused about that whole timescale, not knowing that the image above clarifies everything.
Dave Strider is not a homosexual, as we all know. (BLATANT LIES)
I fucking love this panel so much, everything about it is perfect. The scribbled out rap notes. Karkat riding a giant penis into the sunset. His usual screaming expression while riding the penis. Lord English drawn with the same body form as Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff.
Obama’s raps are unfortunately nothing more than Dave’s silly fantasies. (ALSO BLATANT LIES)
DAVE: (just dropped that shit like a bad phone connection) DAVE: (i put gravity in charge of its downward direction) DAVE: (unfettered descents what it considers perfection) DAVE: (shit thinks of the ground and it gets an erection) DAVE: (best hope its carpet bound in its downward spiral) DAVE: (cause linoleums frowned on, met with an eyeroll) DAVE: (landin on grass is just the course that its par for) DAVE: (but hardwood fuckin floors what its woods gettin hard for) DAVE: (guess i should mention stead a motherfuckin hardons) DAVE: (how my motherfuckin french could use a presidential pardon) DAVE: (KICK IT BARACK) DAVE: (heres where obamas rap solo comes in) DAVE: (no but how dope would that be!) DAVE: (oh fuck me that would own) Dave’s obsession with Obama continues to be one of my favorite things about Homestuck. Given that Obama supposedly dated Dirk at one point, we can safely say Dave’s “Obama the rapper” theory ended up just as true as his “Obama’s secret session of Sburb” theory. ROSE: SLUUUUUUUUUURRRRP. Oh mother fuck.
Oh mother FUCK. Both Lalondes have a habit of dressing up way too fancy when going out with their love interests. It’s kind of funny going back to these pages after seeing what Roxy was like in the Candy Epilogue. DAVE: dammit DAVE: rose dont drink so loud its messing up my raps DAVE: i can actually hear your sips through my headphones ROSE: Yea well,, ROSE: I can her your rasps through your whipsers. ROSE: *Whipspers… ROSE: *Whip.. ROSE: …… ROSE: Zers. ROSE: 😉 ROSE: HIC!!! DAVE: oh my god DAVE: you are so fucking hammered DAVE: how strong did you even make that stuff What the fuck… Rose is way more incoherent and prone to speech slip-ups now than Roxy ever was.
Dave asks Rose why she hasn’t made any apple juice, and Rose goes on a drunk lecture about apples which I’m guessing was first written in Hussie’s usual prose, then smeared all over with typos to make it unreadable. I can tell because I just now took the time to rid Rose’s speech of typos. See for yourself:
DAVE: and where the FUCK is my applejuice rose DAVE: gotta say DAVE: you really let me down on the aj front ROSE: I tried!! ROSE: I tried making it… ROSE: Is was HARD, Dave. ROSE: (Sluuurp.) DAVE: bullshit it was hard DAVE: whats so hard about applejuice its like DAVE: the most basic goddamn juice DAVE: like the square one of juice
ROSE: Yes, that’s the POINT! ROSE: Apples are startlingly difficult to reproduce. ROSE: We take for granted our ability to take idealized instances of even quite complicated objects and conjure them from the void. ROSE: But complexity implies a heavily recombinative nature. So many things are synthesized from a series of much simpler ideas. ROSE: To those entities capable of conceptualization and abstraction, an apple is as close to being a notionally irreducible object as it gets. ROSE: Tell me, hotshot, what ideas would you combine to make an apple? DAVE: uh ROSE: Exactly. ROSE: This is why apples are such indivisible symbols, when it comes to the field of ideas and their reductionistic essence from the perspective of humans in particular. ROSE: Both from a standpoint of cultural and mythological significance, and from a practical one a swell, if you happen to find yourself actually trying to engineer one. ROSE: Why do you think Adam and Eve were punished for biting into one? ROSE: They attempted to penetrate an indivisible unit, of fundamental knowledge. To consume the interior of a thought which cannot be reduced any further. ROSE: This knowledge was forbidden, so humanity was forever banished to live in sin, and has strived ever since to redeem itself from the hubris of this intellectual folly. ROSE: Or what about the tale of Isaac Newton under the tree? He was BONKED on the head by an apple. ROSE: Not really an apple though, an atomic idea. An elemental unit of inspiration itself, it clocked him right on the noggin. ROSE: And this indivisible notion colliding with his awareness, much like a high speed particle fired to create a nuclear chain reaction, jarred from the void a more profound understanding of the intrinsic nature of nothingness. That is, gravitation. ROSE: Of course, these stories are actually bullshit. They didn’t happen in reality. But the fact that they are bullshit makes them more interesting. ROSE: Men have crafted many stories that are bullshit out of symbols risen from the abyss of consciousness without necessarily knowing what the fuck they were doing or saying, as they floundered around for some truth. ROSE: But in spite of themselves, they would for however briefly cross through a ray of light regardless. Because of the symbols. Dave, the symbols hold all the power. With the typos cleared out, Rose’s speech about apples reminds me of Detective Pony. And you know I get super excited whenever anything reminds me of Detective Pony. In case it wasn’t clear, I am telling you to read the typo-free version of Rose’s apple speech quoted right above.
Kanaya somehow looks way fancier simply with her long undershirt taken off.
After some nonsense where Rose denies she’s going on a date, Kanaya arrives and Rose realizes she “forgod” about their date!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And then the date begins. Rose and Kanaya walk down a dark hallway, Gamzee honking in the background. I said at one point in this blog that I like to think this whole scene is a parody of lesbian fanfictions, which was really just something I read somewhere and thought “oh hey that makes sense”.
Upon rereading this scene, I feel Rose is a severely exaggerated fanfic parody while Kanaya is her usual self, a little confused at this whole situation but truly in love with her idealized version of Rose.* So I guess this is a parody of lesbian fanfics.
Rose asks Kanaya to keep a secret and tells about Terezi and Gamzee’s black relationship.
* Just like John was in love with an idealized version of Roxy in the epilogues.
ROSE: I learned somethin earlier today. ROSE: It was trobuling. ROSE: Something about, ROSE: Teresi. ROSE: Aand, ROSE: … KANAYA: And What ROSE: And Gamshee. KANAYA: !!! ROSE: See… ROSE: I bumped into him earliar. KANAYA: You Did KANAYA: Where?? ROSE: No no please, pleeasse don’t get angry, and. .. ROSE: Go on another vengeful clown hunting espedition, I… ROSE: This is the point, this is was troubling me abou this. ROSE: I don’t want anyone to fight! KANAYA: Actually KANAYA: Theres No Need To Worry About That KANAYA: I Think Im Done Trying To Kill Him ROSE: You are? KANAYA: Yeah KANAYA: He Has Achieved Victory Through The Gambit Of Cowards Default KANAYA: Dont Get Me Wrong He Is Still Utterly Awful KANAYA: But Sometimes You Just Have To Let A Thing Go KANAYA: You Know At this point, I think Kanaya has succeeded in learning how to let go. Well… mostly succeeded. Her insistence not to put stock and trust in people who may seem fishy (literally or otherwise) is rivaled by her love for the girl who wrote the mind-blowing poetic Sburb walkthrough so long ago. ROSE: Yeahhh, KANAYA: What Were You Saying About Terezi And Gamzee ROSE: Righ, well apparenly they.. ROSE: Are. ROSE: An item? ROSE: Blackways, I mean. KANAYA: What ROSE: The y’are spades dating. In theh shadowns… nobody knows. But me. An now, ROSE: You. KANAYA: Are You Serious ROSE: Yesh!! ROSE: And it’s been troubling me, the more I thing about it. ROSE: All lot. KANAYA: Why ROSE: Because it presends a prickly prolitical sishuation. ROSE: Terezi’s relationship with Karkant is already somewhat tenuous, with their… well from, what I’ve gathered, about their hishtory. ROSE: And Dave! His involovment makes in even more complicated, and, ROSE: I think, with Karkat being moirails to Gamzee, if he finds out Gamzee iss spades with Tetreezi, then… ROSE: Correct me if I’m wrong but isin’t that whole arrangemen getting into territory of social taboob? ROSE: * Tabob. Escuse me. KANAYA: That Could Be Very Awkward Yes Kanaya is trying to politely tell Rose that she doesn’t quite understand the deal with troll romance as well as she thinks, by saying the romantic situation “could be very awkward” rather than agreeing with her that it’s social taboo.
ROSE: Right!! ROSE: I don’t no if it’s my ser powers or what, but, HIC, I can see it unfolting all too clearly. ROSE: Karkast finds out about it and flies inno a rage. It ruins hish moirlallegelleninance… I mean his moiraHIC!.. It ruins his diamonds with Gamzee, who thefore becomes less stable. ROSE: And he villifies Trepezi as well, and who knows how she reacs. Or what happens with Dave for that matter. ROSE: Would Dave actually be aright wich Terezi dating a psychotic clown on th side, even if its is a releationship centered around only enmity? I kinof doubt it. ROSE: He could side with Korkat on the matter.. Not even tos peak of where your alignment is on the subjech of Gamzeen. ROSE: Which is, what I fear. I’m afraid that, ROSE: This could create a schisasm in our group, that we could all be torn apart. ROSE: And I don’t wand that!!!!! ROSE: I want us all to stay friends, and jus be… peaceful togehter. 😦 Rose is starting to show shades of Roxy, with severe concern for her friends’ relationships and desire to keep them all happy. What she fears is a major falling out where most of her friends refuse to talk to each other. But what actually happens is a… *shudder* buddy system. As in one where pairs of people are bound together and barely talk to anyone else and it sucks and is upsetting. Rose talks about how unhealthy she thinks it is for Terezi to hate-date Gamzee. Kanaya explains auspisticism as a way to mediate between a chaotic black relationship. Rose reacts as follows:
ROSE: Yes… ROSE: . ROSE: hic. ROSE: . ROSE: YES….. ROSE: KANAYA THAT IS EXAGLY WHAT I NEED TO DO!!! KANAYA: Oh No KANAYA: Really ROSE: Absoulutely. ROSE: I haf never been so shure.. about, anything. ROSE: Well maybe, almost anaything.. :), but yes. KANAYA: I Dont Think I Would Advise It KANAYA: Its Extremely Difficult And Can Often Feel Like A Thankless Undertaking KANAYA: In Truth It Is Probably The Most Challenging Quadrant To Master KANAYA: Trust Me ROSE: I believe you. ROSE: But I wants to know. ROSE: Can you teach me? KANAYA: I KANAYA: … ROSE: There’s so mouch I just don’t understand. ROSE: About your romanse, but, ROSE: I’m soi curious. ROSE: I try to understand the concept of either contentatious or plastonic relationships as something that… ROSE: Can be parshed through the emotions assoliated with romance but,, ROSE: It still doesn’t realay compute to me. KANAYA: I Really KANAYA: Dont Know If I Would Be A Good Teacher KANAYA: Of Auspisticism KANAYA: I Honestly Was Not Very Good At It Myself Kanaya isn’t particularly enthusiastic about helping Rose auspisticize between Terezi and Gamzee. She’s lost the hubris she once had as the master mediator between rivalrous trolls due to catastrophic outcomes involving her friends, especially Vriska who she used to have a huge crush on.
ROSE: Tha’s fine.. ROSE: Forget aushpipshit… ROSE: Auspishtishimish.. ROSE: Good damn. ROSE: Forget specificulty that right now,. ROSE: I want… ROSE: You to teach me evvverrreeything! KANAYA: Everything ROSE: Yez. KANAYA: That Is KANAYA: A Lot Of Things ROSE: I want you… to, ROSE: Teash me ALL the quadrans. And yet, Kanaya’s love for Rose is strong as ever and she complies just like she did with Vriska so long ago.
ROSE: I want you toot, ROSE: Tell me about your spabes, ROSE: Your didamounds, ROSE: I wank you to, ROSE: Share wish me yur clumbs… ROSE: And your hearst. ROSE: I want.. ROSE: Yuouo…. Beneath all the drunken misspellings, you can’t argue that these are some heartfelt words from Rose. Shortly followed by…
This whole sequence of pages, ending in the big kiss, was posted on October 25, 2012. The second anniversary of Alterniabound and the first anniversary of Cascade. I THINK it was intentional?
THE KISS. A stunning image, just like Jake and Dirk’s severed head’s kiss not long ago. Rose is all the way into it. Just look at her closed eyes and hands running through Kanaya’s smooth hair. Kanaya is into it too and no doubt thinks Rose is very beautiful in her dress, but she’s using her arms to keep Rose’s balance and prevent her from—
This SBaHJ reference is so perfectly executed, I love it.
HOLY SHIT I FORGOT ABOUT THIS
—executing what is arguably the best SBaHJ reference in all of Homestuck. This is fucking incredible mood whiplash, as is the narration that follows: And with the smitten Seer’s inebriated descent down a flight of escalation zigzags through the dark subway-like belly of the meteor, and with teen xenolove mingling with weird honks wafting from the ventshafts to fill the fetid laboratory air with equal parts mirth and gaiety, we are ready to bid adieu to this vignette of hyperimportant fucking around on the pitch-perfect note of a single textbook deployment of the rare yet highly embarrassing DRUNK HAPPEN xROSE COMBOBOB. And once again we find ourselves poised to attempt to exit this intermission prematurely, while forgetting to address exactly no loose ends whatsoever. You turn the page to find a pair of green curtains that won’t close, and are fooled completely by them, as usual.
And there you have it. Literally the worst psycheout in Homestuck to date, hands down. But seriously, we still need to see what Meenah and Vriska have to say to each other. Proceed to the next page to find out how these twin titans of in-your-face delinquency react to each other’s unique brands of reckless antihero chutzpah.
The worst psycheout in all of Homestuck is immediately followed by the BEST psycheout in all of Homestuck.
This loading screen starts off fast but then becomes extremely slow, then fast again, then even slower as it crawls up to 100%. When it reaches 100%, we’re treated to this:
[in dialoglog, masked by a “spoiler warning”]
You spend no less than 90 seconds staring at this fucking GIF image before you realize the actual Flash animation is on the next page.
I fell for this psycheout so hard the first (or second?) time I read Homestuck. I’m pretty sure I’ve fallen for it at least twice and it made me so mad every time. Still cracks me up to this day.
MINISTRIFE is the actual Meenah vs. Vriska flash animation and my god is it fun. It cracked me up the first and/or second time I read Homestuck. It’s still pretty good but not the same knowing the twist that it turns out to be the exact opposite of what its title implies. MEENAH: H-EY YOU! serket lookin girl MEENAH: wanna join my army VRISKA: Oh, I see. It’s the Peixes wanna8e. So you’re the one raising this army. That’s hilarious. VRISKA: Sorry, I can’t join your dum8 army. I’m 8usy pursuing a much more intelligent strategy. MEENAH: who da fuck you callin a wannabe?? lousy pants wearin smart mouth aranea ripoff MEENAH: now get in my army fore i poke you up beeyotch VRISKA: Not gonna happen!!!!!!!! I am however looking for a large num8er of recruits to follow me on my treasure hunting expedition. MEENAH: wut VRISKA: I need an enormous mo8 of ghosts following me around to get that asshole’s attention, so he can wreck more empty space and help me find the treasure! You want in? MEENAH: that makes no fuckin sense at all MEENAH: anemoneway i dont recall giving anyone clearance for a whalenormous treasure hunt MEENAH: as the rightful heiress that sorta noise has to go through me yo!!! VRISKA: Haha! Wow, I had no idea the Peixes twin was such a riot! At least, I HOPE you were trying to 8e funny with that remark. Meenah and Vriska’s first ever meeting does not disappoint. The ambitious-minded thieves immediately show a humorous rivalry between combat and treasure hunting and they resolve to fight over it.
Vriska changes into her god tier outfit, Meenah changes into hers and cycles through various other fashion styles, and then Vriska rolls her dice and changes into her pirate outfit which looks pretty sick if I say so myself.
And then Meenah and Vriska start bringing in more and more troll ghosts from their respective groups. Here’s a highlight amidst the silly nonsense: ARADIABOT 1: lets annihilate them ARADIABOT 2: yes lets. i am in the m00d t0 ruin s0meb0dy VRISKA: Right on! I knew I could count on you crazy metal 8roads for some mayhem. SOLLUX: hey aradia, uh… y0ur rob0 clones l0ok like they’re ab0ut to flip the fuck 0ut. they’re making me nervous, eheheh. can you try talking s0me sense into them? ARADIA: sorry sollux my robotic duplicates have always been free agents totally exempt from my influence and better judgement ARADIA: equius do you think you can calm them down? EQUIUS: D –> They are pernickety devices EQUIUS: D –> Often sweat seeps into their circuitry and causes them to behave more erratically EQUIUS: D –> Which unfortunately only causes me to sweat even more profusely, I am afraid ARADIA: equius weve never talked about it but im not sure how comfortable i am with you um… courting such a great plurality of my mechanical doubles EQUIUS: D –> On a scale of 1 to 100, how depraved would you say you find my behavior? EQUIUS: D –> (please be 100, please be 100…) ARADIA: i never should have kissed you that time it was such a mistake 😦 EQUIUS: D –> (I NEED A TOWEL) EQUIUS: D –> (A NEW ONE I MEAN) Equius is living the DREAM right now. How lucky do you have to be to get to spend the afterlife tending to and managing thousands of loyal robotic clones of a girl you’re fetishistically obsessed with? Not even to speak of how lucky you need to be for many different versions of yourself to get treated to such luxurious servitude.
Kurloz seems to be not only a mysteriously talented matchmaker, but also a talented costume designer. So many hidden depths from this Beforan clown…
MITUNA: HA7H 4NYW0NG 533N MY H4ML37 KURLOZ: :o) MITUNA: 000H WH04 N1C3 C057UM3 8UDDY KURLOZ: :o) CRONUS: (be quiet. by saying anything youre really making a horrible impression on people we should be trying to impress here.) MITUNA: 1M 50RRY CRONUS: (ill forgivwe you, but this is the last time i evwer do. im at my vwits end with you.) MITUNA: 1M 50RRY PL3453 PL3453 F04G1V3 M3 4G4IN Most of the Beforan trolls seem to be treating this fight as a costume party, but Cronus is treating it as an opportunity to hit on new faces. Assuming this version of Cronus didn’t go god tier, he might have gotten the idea of making a fake god tier outfit with a codpiece from Gamzee.
I like how there is only one version of Gamzee in this whole crowd, alive and wearing his ridiculous fake god tier suit.
What is Gamzee even thinking about? He’s probably too busy being satisfied with his new attire.
After a heap of hilarity and trolls freaking out over meeting their dancestors, we suddenly run into a miserable ghost of Rufioh permanently stuck in a robotic horse body. By taking a long, hard look at this version of Rufioh, I am only now realizing how simultaneously hilarious and horrifying it must be for a troll to be trotting around in a mechanical horse body. After a Karkat ghost is grouchy as ever running through this crowd, the scene gets bigger still:
Ministrife is nothing if not true to its title.
Now this is quite a sight. Numerous versions of all twenty-four Beforan and Alternian trolls, all gathered in one place and each saying at least one line. This flash is the first and only time that ever happens. TAVROS: (none of Them, can uNderstAnd,) bot!ARADIA: destr0y RUFIOH: haha, yo 1 th1nk 1 hear my young ancestor wh1sper1ng from all the way over here… about someth1ng prec1ous… sh*t 1s crazy! TAVROS: (tHe beAUTY, of my PrEcious,) HORUSS: 8=D < It reminds me of when I was similarly sm*tten, and searched everywhere for the perfect snout ring for you, to FORTIFY our commitment. Do you remember, Rufioh? RUFIOH: whoa, yeah! heh, those were the days… RUFIOH: (hey doll, m1nd 1f we talk a b1t? 1 ma1nly want to look d1stracted… so the guy w1th the ponyta1l leaves me alone… you d1g?) ARADIABOT: death t0 all RUFIOH: ahaha… d*mn. so much l1ke the real th1ng 1t’s… freaky }:o ARADIABOT: like what real thing RUFIOH: uh… you know, l1ke… ARADIABOT: if y0u say like alive aradia i will make y0u BEG f0r a h0rse b0dy RUFIOH: no no, l1ke someone else!!! d*mn… uncanny… ARADIABOT: 0h 0k RUFIOH: hey, you’re pretty cool babe… want to… like… if you aren’t doing anything… EQUIUS: D –> E%cuse me, what is going on over here RUFIOH: (man… not another zahhak! haha, this is f***in crazy…) ARADIABOT: this guy with the m0hawk was flirting with me and i was being fully receptive to his advances RUFIOH: whoa you were? Ministrife takes a moment to revisit Rufioh and Horuss’s romantic drama by having Rufioh just as desperate to get away from his relationship as Cronus is to have any relationship. The robotic Aradias’ aggressive demeanor gives me strong Damara vibes. EQUIUS: D –> I see. Aradiabot #100502, why must you devastate my pump biscuit so? NEPETA: :33 < *the pouncellor astutely pawbserves the exchange and updates her shipping grid with startling developments of the heart!* EQUIUS: D –> Nepeta, stop! NEPETA: :33 < no! EQUIUS: D –> Yes NEPETA: :33 < no EQUIUS: D –> Yes NEPETA: :33 < no GAMZEE: HONK some!TEREZI: MOR3!!! MOR3 1 S4Y!!! 4444H4H4H4H4H4H4H4H4!!!!!!! Nepeta still exists! Remember her? An eccentric but friendly roleplayer who copes with her loneliness by shipping her friends, with a moirail obsessed as ever with Aradia. This whole flash is a pretty great brief return to spotlight for many of the trolls killed in Act 5, and they all are the same as ever when we just got done meeting their exaggerated ancestors.
And here’s the troll crowd at its fullest. Numerous ghosts of 23 different trolls plus a coy as ever Gamzee. Most of these outfits are regular, dream, or god tier, but there’s some more humorous outfits and some that reference fandom memes. Just take a look for yourself in case you forgot all the wacky outfits troll ghosts are wearing in Ministrife. Vriska and Meenah are both annoyed with this absurd crowd. Aranea tries to intervene.
ARANEA: Listen to me, 8oth of you! This duel is incredi8ly pointless! Surely there is a way for you 8oth to pursue your o8jectives without conflict. ARANEA: In any case, I don’t have time to moderate your ridiculous fight. I have a cheru8 to find!!!!!!!! VRISKA: I couldn’t agree more! Making him think we’re all looking for the cheru8 is a very important part of the plan! I guess gr8 minds think alike. ARANEA: No, 8ut I REALLY AM looking for her! VRISKA: All the 8etter then. That’ll really help sell the ruse. ARANEA: It’s not a ruse!!!!!!!! Holy shit, I feel bad for Aranea. She’s still trying to keep up the image that she’s concerned with a mysterious and boring cherubquest even though she’s obviously more excited about the other two parts of the plan.
Meenah and Vriska fight anyway to see whose plan wins. This stunning image transitions us to…
… Calliope’s trollsona self-insert fanfiction???
I LOVE how Calliope’s self-insert fic of all things is used as a transition device, doubling as a way to show what sort of stories our fandom satire cherub girl likes to write: existing scenes from the comic, but with the Callie Ohpeee intervening so that she plays a role in the story’s plot. The premises of Calliope’s self-insert fics are all adorably amateurish and simplistic.
I love the “S” in “BITCHES” written partly over the side of the book.
Now that his sister is dead, Caliborn has free reign to scribble over her fanfiction and tear it apart.
This funny little cherub moment shows us another self-insert fic, which transitions us to what John is up to. Sometimes you have to appreciate just how many different things can be used as transition devices in Homestuck.
John wakes up and it turns out he has the ring now.
The curtains finally close in for real on a Skaian cloud showing the mysterious ring in John’s hand. A great wham shot to end this intermission on.
Time to recap Act 6 Intermission 3! The main highlight of this act is the Openbound games, which to many readers are one of the worst parts of Homestuck. I liked Openbound Part 1 a lot; Parts 2 and 3 are fine on their own but the whole concept of troll walkaround games gets really grating near the end, which I assume is why a lot of people hate Openbound. As I said before, Homestuck doesn’t have any more proper walkaround games after Openbound. Going through those games, I’m totally fine that there aren’t any more because these walkarounds did get tiring near the end. There was, however, one point in time where I badly wanted Homestuck to have another walkaround game. When Act 7 was announced to be only two pages, I thought for sure that it must be a huge walkaround because that was the only way I could imagine so many plot points could even come CLOSE to being resolved. Then I was kind of salty that Act 7 turned out to be a single flash. But what can I say, the epilogues were an EXTREMELY satisfying follow-up to Homestuck that made plot point resolution itself into a plot point so arguably it was all worth the frustration of Homestuck’s non-ending. Homestuck may have been done with walkaround games after Openbound, but its expanded universe sure wasn’t. Imagine me ranting about how much it sucks that over the years Hiveswap has gone through such opaque development hell and unfulfilled promises. Now imagine me saying I’m going back on topic now to recap the rest of Act 6 Intermission 3. Aside from the Openbound games, Act 6 Intermission 3 is largely an act of nostalgia, with plenty of scenes revisiting prior parts of Acts 1-5 in new styles. These scenes are a lot of fun, especially John’s dream bubble fight against Jack Noir, but mix those with the Openbound games and you get an act whose pacing is all over the place. The strange pacing makes it hard for me to judge Act 6 Intermission 3 as a whole, I’m afraid to say. In the acts that follow, I’ll be sure to see for myself if the end of Act 6 Act 3 really is a turning point in Homestuck’s enjoyability. The next standard act after this is Act 6 Act 5, which isn’t a very well-liked part of Homestuck. Act 6 Act 4 is a single flash which I remember having kickass music, and Act 6 Intermission 4 is a short stretch of pages focused on Caliborn which I remember being an absolute laugh riot. My next post will cover both those acts, which will probably be a lot of fun. In the next post after that I’ll start Act 6 Act 5. See you next time as Caliborn meets the two most important characters in Homestuck. >> Part 92: Quirk Resignation and Clown Vomit
If there were any, you’d better believe they can fire in spurts.
Lucky coincidence: today is the first anniversary of Homestuck’s migration from MSPA to homestuck.com!
I made this GIF myself, please appreciate it.
Why didn’t I think of making my own GIFs for these posts sooner? There’s plenty of sort non-[S] Flash pages I could have done that with.
Once again, last post ended with Calliope and this post starts with Caliborn. This selection screen gives us teasers of what he looks like. It leaves out just enough not to outright confirm that he is Lord English. undyingUmbrage [uu] began jeering uranianUmbra [UU] uu: HEY. uu: I WOuLD LIKE TO PLAY A GAME. uu: IT’S CALLED “BOND WITH AN IDIOT SISTER OVER SOME BuLLSHIT SHARED INTERESTS BEFORE SHE DIES FOREVER.” uu: DOES THAT SOuND FuN. uu: HERE’S A GOOD PART OF THE STORY I THINK. uu: YOu MuST KNOW THE ONE I MEAN. uu: LET’S TALK ABOuT IT TOGETHER. uu: SHARE SOME THEORIES. uu: DO SOME FAN GIRLING. uu: PRODuCE SOME. uu: “FAN ART.” We got more than enough story told through Calliope speculating already, so it’s only fair that now we get a big dump of Caliborn’s speculation. Both cherubs’ speculation is surprisingly reliable and accurate; you’ll never fully understand how much those two have in common unless you dig deep into the stuff they say. Or if you have a realization that you were in denial about being a fan of something. I mean, purely hypothetically of course. It’s not like I was ever in denial about liking something people like to trash on, haha what are you talking about!!!!! (I was in denial about liking something people like to trash on. Let’s not dwell on it, OK?)
Homestuck avoids face-to-face dialogue in all the best ways possible.
Dialogue conveyed through visuals in speech bubbles isn’t done enough in Homestuck; that storytelling has an odd sort of charm to it. It showed up quite a bit in the Doc Scratch intermission with Jack Noir and the Droll and makes a return here when Caliborn takes the reins. Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5’s fake selection screens bring back these silly speech and thought bubbles (example 1, example 2). It’s one of those things I actually like about that clusterfuck of an act and I’m glad they made a return. uu: LOOK AT THIS IDIOT WOMAN. uu: NOT DOING WHAT THIS BRAVE AND INTELLIGENT MALE IS SAYING. uu: YOu JuST KNOW HER FOOLISHNESS WILL BE PuNISHED. uu: AND RIGHTLY SO. As we see here, Caliborn’s speculation is surprisingly reliable and accurate just like Calliope’s is. Jane’s thought bubbles show us that she is highly distracted by her feelings for Jake; too distracted to follow directions. I think this act’s pattern of making the alpha kids’ crushes on each other mostly background noise has worked well. It feels quite a bit more like prior acts, considering the romance feelings the trolls harbor for the kids and for each other; those feelings weren’t enunciated much, but did play a sizable role in the plot. The occasional romance moments through this act weren’t common, and when they did happen they served as good gags or subtle moments of emotion. And I don’t mean EMOTION, I just mean emotion.
uu: BOO. YEAH.
Oh fuck, this just happened. Its been too long since we last saw a character just straight up fucking die.
Let’s talk about Jane’s death. This panel, where we see her body on the ground covered in blood, is a crazy unsettling sight. Normally characters don’t start dying until they start alchemizing new outfits. Everything about this panel is a great way to show how much the stakes have gone up. Derse’s grounds are shaking and cracking apart, with one kid’s alert dream self next to another’s waking self’s corpse. And with a bunny robot joining in no less. This is a level of chaos the beta kids’ session wouldn’t have dared to touch at least until the omnipotent dog came into play. It makes sense that things go this bad in the alpha session so early, because Jack was broken free from the Queen’s rules before the story started. I discuss that point more in this mini-post, under the header “THE FOREBODING DREAM”. … Oh my god why am I rambling so much. There really is no hope left for me.
It’s easy to forget that the Dignitary is just as scary as Noir.
I’m going to regret writing all these paragraphs.
Then one of Derse’s towers collapses, blocking off the transportalizer and ruining hope further. Another thing that we haven’t seen happen much prior.
This genuinely sad death is interrupted with a funny moment: Caliborn bangs on the screen, complaining about the viewport’s sudden blackout. We can tell he’s super invested in the kids’ story, just in a twisted-up way, because he is happy when the story starts actually being good and upset when the good part suddenly is cut short. Calliope probably didn’t know about the kids dying aside from the blackout, because she is a goody two shoes and doesn’t spoil herself on anything about her favorite characters. She might have outright stated that before, I can’t remember. But I’m too lazy to check if she did.
No longer able to view the alpha kids’ story, Caliborn takes matters into his own hands. His art needs no commentary; just sit down and appreciate it.
uu: WILL YOu GET A MAMMOTH LOAD OF THIS CLuELESS DuMBFuCK. uu: HE ACTuALLY “CARES” ABOuT STuFF. AND LIKE. WEIRDLY uRINATES THROuGH HIS EYE HOLES. WHAT A JOKE.
Urinating through eye holes sounds like something a troll would have said in the early acts. As far as Caliborn is concerned, crying and peeing are the same thing. uu: I REALLY HATE HIM. uu: WHY ALL THE BITCHES. uu: FLuSH OVER THIS MuMBLING. SOCIALLY STuNTED IMBECILE. I WILL NEVER KNOW. uu: TALK ABOuT THICK HEADED. CALIBORN IS SMART!!!!! I firmly believe that if you see any bit of Caliborn in yourself, then you have won the game of Homestuck and are allowed to call yourself a TRUE fan of it. Caliborn secretly has a strong understanding of the alpha kids’ story and what all sucks about it.
uu: HIS SKuLL.
uu: IS ALMOST AS THICK AS MINE.
Dirk’s splinters (this includes his robots) have a tendency to bail people out of bad situations in the nick of time; this is the first time we see Lil’ Seb do that and it’s shocking as ever. Sebastian is normally just a little mischievous bunny, but here we’re about to see how tough he really is. Dirk’s splinters all have overarching themes and patterns which tend to haunt the “main” Dirk.
It’s a fact of life that Dirk gets incredibly carried away with his projects. All of his creations have a bit more to them than meets the eye; many of his robots are secretly INCREDIBLY good fighters. This is a good thing here because the little guy ends up saving Jake’s life.
This bit is accompanied by a tiny “THIS IS STUPID”. A nicely executed callback that’s nothing more than a hidden funny moment. Small text like this indicates that the callback isn’t meant to be taken seriously.
Jake’s island is on fire now! This is such a cool panel I don’t know what to say. I like how although the alpha kids don’t have meteors approaching their homes, other factors abound create something just as threatening.
During his flight, Jake encounters a dragon in the sky. But it might not be immediately clear to readers who this dragon is …
… so a callback to a memorable troll flash makes it clear. We can now tell that this dragon is an echo of Redglare’s lusus, Pyralspite.
The “glaresplode” makes the dragon’s identity even clearer. This dragon and the dragon from ancient troll times have something in common: they both let out a blinding glare that impacts the plot in a convoluted way.
Lil’ Seb sinks in the ocean, to resurface millennia later as Caliborn’s little helper. I don’t know if that thing did anything specific to help Caliborn succeed in his session, but I wouldn’t doubt that he proved to be of use.
As Jake falls down towards the remains of his old house, the skulltop makes a return and should now be more familiar than ever. Good way to both hint that Caliborn is Lord English and demonstrate that Jake learned some very wise tips from old Jade. Carrying less than five computers at any given moment is a very inadvisable thing to do and I’m glad Jake learned the same. uu: LOOK AT THIS. uu: FuCKING SHAMELESS. uu: EITHER HE IS LIKE. uu: MY PERSONAL ONE MAN FANDOM. uu: KIND OF LIKE. A HYPOTHETICAL SuRROGATE FOR ALL MY POTENTIAL ADMIRERS. uu: OR. uu: HE IS A WORTHLESS HACK. uu: HE MAKES NO BONES ABOuT GANKING MY LOOK. uu: IT’S PATHETIC. uu: YOu DON’T JuST GO AND JACK A MAN’S SWAGGER. uu: THAT’S THE CARDINAL FuCKING RuLE OF BROS. RIGHT? uu: PROBABLY SOME DAY. uu: I’LL TEACH HIM A LESSON FOR THAT. THE FORESHADOWING. I continue to be amazed at much the events of Caliborn’s Masterpiece are foreshadowed; evidence that Hussie planned out those events for a long time. There always seems to be some hints out there that I hadn’t caught prior and this is one of them. This page in the Masterpiece echoes the passage shown above.
It’s always the same goddamn stock image.
Caliborn’s drawing of Jake jacking his swagger actually almost looks like a real person.
If Caliborn was a better artist, his drawing would clearly resemble Lord English. And that would be no good, spoiling twists like that! You have to feed readers breadcrumbs instead. If you spoil too much, they will urinate from their eyes.
Caliborn poking at Roxy is exactly what one would expect. Hussie is well aware that Roxy is everyone’s #1 waifu. There’s no reason for me to pretend I don’t think she’s super fucking cute, it’s a fact of life. uu: CHECK OuT THIS TOP SHELF HO. uu: DON’T YOu LIKE HER THE MOST? uu: YOu *WISH*. THAT YOu COuLD BE SO EASY ON THE EYES. uu: IT’S TOO BAD YOu WILL DIE HIDEOuS! uu: AND YET YOu WILL LEAVE BEHIND. A TRuLY BREATH TAKING CORPSE. uu: BuT I THINK. uu: THIS DELuXE BITCH HAS GOTTEN A BIT CARRIED AWAY HERE. uu: ALL THINKING SHE CAN. DO HEROIC STuFF. AND “SAVE LIVES”. uGH. uu: BuT THE ROXY HuMAN HAS MISCALCuLATED. Top shelf ho? Deluxe bitch? Caliborn represents the wokest of the Homestuck fans. They love the comic so much that they try to pretend they hate it! He thinks the girl characters are attractive and is physically incapable of hiding that. Here’s a tangent on Caliborn in general, not necessarily just him thinking Roxy is hot. When I say Caliborn is the best character, I no longer just mean that he’s absolutely hilarious. This character helped me realize stuff about myself that I never knew prior; the same revelations that made me write this mini-post. To put in terms of memes: broke: “Calliope made me rethink my life and realize important things about myself” woke: “Caliborn made me rethink my life and realize important things about myself” I don’t mean to demean anyone that identifies with Calliope or finds her story arc to be enthralling. That’s perfectly fine and I’m glad that finding a character to connect with improved their lives! I just really want to hammer in that Caliborn doesn’t just represent people who hate Homestuck, but represents people who love Homestuck so much that they hate it.
uu: THIS RIDICuLOuS FEMALE HAS FAILED TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION. uu: THAT. uu: YOu CAN’T………… uu: ESCAPE. uu: THE MIIIIIIIIIIILES! uu: AAAAAAAAAAAH HAA HAA HAA HEE HEE. uu: “YOu CAN’T ESCAPE THE MILES” IS TOTALLY GOING TO BECOME A THING, CAL! uu: THERE’S NOTHING YOu CAN DO ABOuT IT. BECAuSE YOu’LL BE DEAD! uu: HOOOOOOOOOOO HOO HOO HOO HAA HAA! I find it slightly adorable that Caliborn tries so hard to force a running gag, namely “you can’t escape the miles”. He complains about phrases and patterns people say over and over, but won’t shut up about having come up with that mildly catchy phrase; it seems like he’s genuinely proud of devising it. Just because Caliborn is a representation of Homestuck’s very most devoted fans doesn’t mean he isn’t still naive about some things.
uu: HAA HAA HEE HEE HAA HOO WAIT. FuCK. uu: FuCKING TERMINAL. WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN WITH THIS BITCH AGAIN? uu: YOu SAID SOMETHING ABOuT THAT ONCE I THINK. BuT IT WAS BORING. uu: GOD DAMN IT. JuST SHOW ME THE MONEY SHOT YOu PIECE OF SHIT! This is another passage with multiple implications. Caliborn does pay some amount of attention to his sister’s stories and isn’t bad at gathering implications from them. But he could not care less about the classpect system. On this topic, here’s something recent I want to talk about. In the countdown to 4/13, you may have heard of someone named “vfromhomestuck”, or “V” for short. V is a mysterious individual who played a part in the Hiveswap Friendsim and wrote one of its most polarizing installments, and even did an AMA of sorts on Curious Cat a few days ago. Though most of the answers to questions were vague or non-answers, V did express a strong lack of interest in the classpect system, which I found funny. It was just one of many times where V questioned the typical thoughts and mindsets of Homestuck fans. I’ve complained before about how Hussie’s cronies are at times the “face of Homestuck” which feels infuriatingly fake, but this time I am genuinely interested in what content V has to offer. Side note: My favorite parts of the AMA were the parts where V questioned readers’ suspicions that the parts of Homestuck they didn’t like were ghostwritten. I’ll quote those directly: (1) I don’t know why you guys are so obsessed with the idea that Andrew could never make anything that sucks (2) Why is the answer to “there’s something in Homestuck I didn’t like” always “a ludicrous conspiracy made it this way” I think these answers raise an important point about the pedestal readers put Hussie on. Homestuck tends to attract, or maybe create, readers who think their opinions are objectively true and everyone who disagrees is a dumbass. I don’t know why things turned out like that, and while it’s usually hilarious to see fans act this way, V’s response to those questions puts things in a whole new light.
Roxy’s screen shuts off, but we see the outcome of that event anyway; Caliborn says that Roxy was obviously going to die, because you can’t… … … … … … … reasonably expect someone to survive the super deadly red shit under such conditions as this. Thank god he’s smart.
Roxy’s corpse in the middle of her room is just as upsetting to see as Jane’s. The girl everyone loves is now dead on the floor. Here is Caliborn’s reconstruction of that scene:
You can just barely tell from Caliborn’s rendition of Roxy that he thinks she is attractive.
uu: OK. uu: SAY WHAT YOu WILL. uu: ABOuT THE BITCHES. uu: AND THE BRAIN DAMAGED JACKASS IN SHORTS. uu: BuT. THE DIRK HuMAN IS A PRETTY COOL GuY. uu: HE GETS THINGS DONE. uu: AND ISN’T AFRAID TO FuCK SOME SHIT uP. uu: LIKE. HE ACTuALLY LISTENS. uu: TO STuFF THAT’S IMPORTANT FOR A DuDE TO GET OFF HIS CHEST. uu: YOu KNOW. HE *GETS* EXACTLY THAT WHICH THE BITCHES CAN NEVER uNDERSTAND. uu: I GuESS WHAT I MEAN IS. HE REALLY KNOWS WHAT IT MEANS. uu: TO TRuLY BE A BRO. Ah, here is Caliborn praising Dirk. The Homestuck fans Caliborn represents follow many patterns. One of those patterns goes as follows: those people despise many of the comic’s characters, but always seem to have a certain character they love everything about. Well, two characters they love everything about, because if you don’t love Caliborn then you don’t love Homestuck. Dirk is the character Caliborn loves everything about.
If there’s a character other than Caliborn that I “love everything about”, it would be John. I maintain that throughout the comic, he is a great character with great development.
uu: OH FuCK. uu: WAS I JuST “FAN GIRLING” TOO HARD THERE? uu: GIVE ME A FuCKING BREAK. uu: I AM NEW TO THIS. uu: GuSHING OVER THIS POINTLESS CLAPTRAP. uu: I AM REACHING OuT TO YOu CAL. uu: WE HAVE TO SAVOR. uu: THESE PRECIOuS FEW MOMENTS WE HAVE LEFT TOGETHER! uu: HEE HEE. After realizing that he is fanboying over Dirk (boys are just as capable of obsessing over media as girls are), Caliborn backtracks and claims it’s just to make fun of his sister more. I’ve said before that Caliborn being a “fan in denial” can also represent fans of media other than Homestuck, especially those who claim that said media has only one good character.
Debris falls on Dirk and Caliborn claims that he’d still love to watch Dirk die. Fan in denial, anyone?
You know the pattern now. Dirk’s screen shuts down, he is knocked out, and Caliborn draws his interpretation this scene. Note that he extrapolates Roxy’s death from Jane’s death and Dirk’s knocking out from Jake’s knocking out. Caliborn’s speculation seems to be derived from his misogynistic distinction between male and female characters and it works in his favor; his drawings are let’s say interesting, but accurate, renditions of what happened to Roxy and Dirk. Also note that the Prospit dreamers’ drawings are on a white background and the Derse dreamers’ on a black background with the phrase “ARTIST’S RENDITION”. I never realized that until now!
Meanwhile in the waking world, Dirk is also knocked unconscious. uu: I TOLD HIM! uu: WHAT DID I TELL HIM??????????? uu: THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE! uu: THERE CAN ONLY. uu: EVER. uu: **********EVER.*********** uu: BE ONE. Here’s where Caliborn shoves in our faces another mildly catchy phrase he came up with, because “you can’t escape the miles” wasn’t enough. Does “there can only be one” actually count as a running gag (or a failed attempt at one) in any capacity? It sounds like one and that’s good enough for me.
And with that, Lil’ Cal sinks into the ocean. I would say “good riddance”, but this is not good riddance at all. The puppet is harmless and empty; if the puppet hadn’t later fallen into Caliborn’s hands it would have stayed that way.
Dirk is knocked out, Squarewave and Sawtooth are confused, and Caliborn accompanies the scene with increasingly drawn-out “HAA. HAA. HEE. HEE. HOO. HOO”s. You can tell what Caliborn’s laugh (and also the time he referred to his sister as “Cal”) is supposed to hint at if you think back to the laugh Lil’ Cal made when he was a sprite.
Caliborn draws Dirk knocked out again, this time still visible through the terminal. I think I just had a revelation!!!!!!!!! Please hold with me: I never was quite sure whether only waking Dirk could be seen through the cherubs’ waking viewport, or if dreaming Dirk also could be seen. I think I know what to take from this scene. The cherubs can only directly view waking Dirk. They can view dreaming Dirk if another kid is near him, as was the case with Jane and Jake. But since Jane’s screen shut off before Dirk’s did, Caliborn doesn’t get to see dreaming Dirk get knocked out, only waking Dirk.
With the selection screen finished, the next order of business is the alpha kids’ lights on Jane’s planet. All three shut off, but Dirk’s is still faintly glowing.
With both waking and dream Dirk knocked out, something really strange happens. Dream Dirk himself dreams, leading to the first ever dream self’s dream self.
And that dream self’s dream self comes into being through Brain Ghost Dirk, somehow? This mechanic is never really explained, but it provides a convenient way for dream dream Dirk to enter a scene that isn’t the middle of nowhere. Brain Ghost Dirk is played for laughs more than anything; his mechanics make absolutely no sense and he would rather screw with Jake’s head than explain those mechanics. Dream rules in Homestuck never made much sense, but the brain ghost cranks it into a whole new level. DIRK: What just happened? TEREZI: B34TS M3 DIRK: Ok you really need to step off, troll girl. TEREZI: NO TH1S 1S F1N3 TEREZI: 3V3RYTH1NGS F1N3 DIRK: Holy shit you are loud when you’re not whispering. TEREZI: *SN1111111F* DIRK: Does this mean you can see me now? TEREZI: NO
TEREZI: BUT TH3Y C4N Oh my god this panel. Two members of each of the two groups of kids, all standing together. This page seems like setup for some crazy mega conversation between all those characters, right? Such a conversation would be absolute hilarity!!!!
This is one of the best panels in all of Homestuck.
DIRK: Alright. DIRK: Uh. DIRK: Hey everyone. DIRK: So… DIRK: Here’s the thing. DIRK: I have to go. DIRK: Like, right now. DIRK: All of my friends are either dead, or lying on the ground unconscious, including me. DIRK: So I have to try to wake up and fix everything. And it is absolute hilarity, but in a way different way from what one might expect. We got a giant log of hilarity between all of those characters not long ago, so this time it makes sense that everyone just stands there confused while Dirk gives everyone vague words. It’s arguably even more hilarious than the giant log.
DIRK: Sorry I can’t hang around your bubble and shoot the breeze for a while. DIRK: It’s not like I don’t want to. DIRK: I guess I have to be this huge fucking wet blanket as usual because there’s stuff that needs doin’. The regular Dirk handles this situation way differently from how his splinters would. All the other Dirks would be complete smartasses here, but the real Dirk shows that he actually wants the best for everyone and isn’t anywhere near as malicious as one would think from his other selves. Dirk’s clutch is that he creates a lot of malicious or just plain strange beings, due to having such a vivid mind.
DIRK: Also I’m just gonna steal her if you don’t mind. DIRK: She needs to come home. This brief moment of holding hands is awkward and vaguely heartwarming. Dirk wants the best for Roxy but struggles with conveying it in the right way.
DIRK: Tell the aquatic punk girl my idiot bro is sorry for beating the shit out of her. DIRK: Ha ha, who am I kidding. DIRK: She stone cold does not give a fuck. Does the real Dirk know of Brain Ghost Dirk? If so, is it directly or indirectly? I think this whole scene is the only time something like that is even slightly hinted at; I’m almost certain Dirk doesn’t reference his brain ghost self anywhere else. Brain Ghost Dirk was witness to Meenah’s cold beating and that’s a likely reason why Dirk knows Jake beat her up. Dirk may be a psychoanalyst on par with Rose, but I can’t see him just being able to figure out something like that.
DIRK: So, yeah. DIRK: See you later. This was such a “Dirk” scene I don’t even know what to say. The stock flying animation shows up yet again for no particular reason. Probably because Hussie isn’t good at showing characters flying other than through this animation.
When Dave makes a confused or disgruntled face, you know he just got CRAZY shocked. This face speaks so much more than any measly words could. Teen Bro was probably the last thing Dave expected to see in this bubble. He’s gone long enough without being raised by Dirk that seeing the guy again doing anything that even slightly reminds him of his guardian absolutely throws him off.
Switching scenes, Calliope takes off her shoes and her feet might catch readers’ eyes, especially if they think back to Lord English. Her feet are followed by something much more surprising:
Calliope revealing Caliborn’s shirt underneath her jacket is a crazy image to see. It’s a good way to visually demonstrate that cherubs share a body without showing us Caliborn in full.
And then she goes to sleep. Subtle teaser for Caliborn’s grand reveal.
Switching back to Dirk, it’s time for him to exploit game mechanics typical of the Strilondes, which is a term for the human Derse dreamers that I somehow haven’t used in this blog until now.
You know the time in Openbound where Karkat’s dream phantom asked Dave to touch him?
Knowing this scene, my guess is that Dave would be able to touch Karkat just fine.
I guess it’s not like the episode of Regular Show where ghosts can pass through real objects, but not through each other.
Dirk knows his way around the Furthest Ring plenty already, through all the times he’s kept an eye on Roxy sleepwalking through those bubbles. As a dream self’s dream self who is through some mysterious means connected to Brain Ghost Dirk, he must test out the bubble first before he can take Roxy. He sees if it’s possible for him to leave the bubble; it looks like he can’t leave it.
So instead, he does the next best thing: throwing dream Roxy out of the bubble. Now that’s a cool thing we haven’t seen done before!
This is one of very few times in Act 6 where WV is a character other than “everyone’s mayor friend”. That’s pretty sad.
With that, WV loses his firefly friend. Only one more year till they can reunite, right? Or two more years? It’s kind of ambiguous how long into the meteor journey this scene takes place, unless I’m missing something.
Aranea wakes Dirk up with her mind powers, subtly intervening in the alpha kids’ story in a way that may just slightly remind readers of Vriska. Unlike all the stuff Vriska did to the beta kids’ session to make her feel self-important, this moment with Aranea waking Dirk is brief and wholly benevolent. However, I can only wonder if readers at the time found this to be a hint that Aranea and Vriska have more in common than one might first think. Aranea certainly didn’t do anything villainous, but I have a hunch that she wanted to take a short moment to involve herself in the kids’ story, which might just show a bit of Vriska in her. … In some weird twisted way, I actually kind of miss writing long paragraphs about Vriska. I’ve been avoiding it as much as possible in my rewritten old posts and that’s probably for the best. I just couldn’t resist analyzing this little moment given that Aranea brings it up again after she full-out hijacks the alpha session. After Dirk wakes, the fun really begins with the Unite Synchronization flashes and all that. As such, I am stopping here. See you next time for one of the most kickass act finales of all time. >> Part 85: The Deep Blue of Weird Plot Shit
Act 6 Act 3, Part 9 of 11 (yes 11 not 10, at least 95% sure of this)
Pages 5085-5136 (MSPA: 6985-7036)
I will watch K-On before this post series is finished. Mark my words.
EDIT (7/9/2019): Yui Hirasawa is best girl and that’s really all there is to say on the matter.
3/2/2019: Every post up to number 59 (end of Act 5) now has homestuck.com page numbers alongside the MSPA numbers. Only about 20 posts to go! I also just did the same with my Problem Sleuth posts.
3/5/2019: Post 5 rewritten is still in progress! Tentative date for it is March 8. I’m over halfway done and have been doing it at a relaxed pace. A few more rewritten posts this month too. More tentative dates: April 6 for post 84, April 13 for post 85 plus something secret.
Good time for us to be reminded that CotL exists.
We saw those same chess pieces earlier in the cherubs’ chess game, so this poster entices the mystery of who those two really are. (We don’t know they’re cherubs yet, shhhhhhh!)
Now that we’re done with the character select screen, it’s time to see what Roxy is up to, again.
The fenestrated wall showing what the alpha kids are up to is a nice touch, matching with the whole fourth wall visual metaphor. It seems like a transition device more than anything, but I have to wonder if this is what the wall would’ve actually shown if it was turned on, just like with Hussie’s self-insert scenes.
You quickly put everyone on bucket duty to douse the flames. Now you guess you understand why your mom left all these buckets in the house? You always thought it was a passive aggressive reminder for you to keep up with the housework.
At the behest of their roguish leader, the loyal band of Merry Men go straight to work in getting the fires under control. The Robin Hood reference is lost on them. Also lost on everybody is the sordid spectacle this appears to resemble from an alien perspective, with all these buckets sloshing around and whatnot. Your void powers cannot black out this graphic debauchery soon enough.
Bucket jokes are a little old by now, but sure, we’ll take it. It makes enough sense that Rose in this universe knew of little details like this, to give Roxy a slight boost in time to get into the game. The detail’s just a little oddly specific though.
Jake’s volcano erupts, which is a surprising thing we don’t normally see happen; this exception is probably because Jade’s volcano already entered the kids’ combined session. Seems like all the fires around are the alpha kids’ replacement for meteors as a reminder to get things going.
You run the server program which auto-connects with Jake and a viewport of his old house just pops right open. This is going to be so easy. You can already tell, compared to you, everyone else sucks so bad at this game, not to mention at computers in general.
Oh yeah, Roxy’s narration also says some silly hacker related things I guess. I take this as a bit more foreshadowing that she’s the alpha kids’ true leader. Sorry to any Jane apologists reading this, I’m just stating facts.
Just a heads up: normally I’d sidestep any discussion of Roxy and Calliope as a ship but in this pesterlog I have a very good reason to talk about it.
uranianUmbra [UU] began cheering tipsyGnostalgic [TG] UU: i can’t see yoU, bUt yoU mUst be back by now, yes? TG: y TG: and i am how haxxing up storm TG: p stank by TG: *stand UU: haxxing? :u TG: u dont even no TG: my fingers are the mean lil beaks TG: of furirus woodpeckers TG: and my keyboard TG: is a pitiful plank of cruddy wood TG: guarding a trove of tasty bungs TG: it is guarding them i might add TG: moist fucking unsuccessfully UU: u~u TG: as my digits rain danger TG: on this hapless lamptop TG: the result of my tappy onslaught TG: is line after wicked line TG: of leetfilthy codes TG: aka.. TG: the governments worst nightmare UU: Um……….. TG: i will be in an out TG: of the systerm TG: before breakfast knows what ate it TG: JACKPOP BABBY TG: im am ur cryptogodress 8) UU: roxy? TG: it is womon verse machine TG: a struggle old as stuff itself TG: she will bring sburb to its knees TG: and then turn TG: with her shitwreckingest face TG: and stare TG: into the void TG: and the void TG: will wonk first TG: ;3
Roxy continues the Derse dreamers’ pattern of saying vaguely silly and flirty things to her friends. Dave has a habit of doing the same thing with Jade. I don’t think Roxy is even flirting with Calliope in particular, just dumping this nonsense into any old chat window because why not. Not to mention she’s kind of hung over?
TG: what were you going to give me back there? ;D UU: right! UU: it’s a present i made for yoU. TG: ooh! UU: it coUld be… UU: a farewell gift actUally. TG: huh? TG: are u leaving UU: maybe. UU: i am aboUt to go to sleep one last time before oUr schedUled entry. UU: and there is a very real possibility that i will never wake Up. TG: oh no! TG: why!!! UU: it is complicated. UU: there is mUch to say aboUt it which i have never told yoU, dUe to my adherence to the rUles. UU: some of which i am aboUt to break now, in order to give myself a fighting chance.
It’s only fitting that when Calliope, the perfect rule-follower, is under such tension, she has to break rules as a last resort. I talked about Calliope and Caliborn’s duality with following vs. bending rules in my last post featuring the cherubs (post 82), which makes me wonder: in the timeline where Calliope predominated, did Caliborn start feeling the need to break the rules? I think the answer is yes. The Caliborn from that timeline is shrouded in mystery, but it only makes sense that when bending rules did him no good, he had no choice but to shed his dignity and break them.
Maybe in those two’s chess game, Calliope learned to play chess like Bobby Fischer and could tell that something was fis(c)hy with the way her brother moved his king and queen. And she was the one who uncovered his crowns, much to Caliborn’s shock. Now that’s an interesting alternate universe story!
UU: bUt before i go down that serpentine path with yoU, here. UU: one last bit of artwork from an admirer. something to remember me by, shoUld we never speak again. UU: http://tinyurl.com/roxyisthisyoU (link to the picture shown above) TG: !!!!! TG: ssdlkjfs;lkfjdlskfj
If you’re a real savant in MSPA trivia, Calliope’s drawing of Roxy will remind you of John’s Trickster Mode rendition, back when “Trickster Mode” was just an easter egg in flashes and in only one case made anyone colorful and candy-themed. It makes sense that Calliope, the in-universe “person who obsesses over Homestuck but doesn’t truly understand it”, would speculate based on such obscure things. And Rose’s tome, as we’ll see soon enough, is the in-universe MSPA wiki.
TG: ohhhly SHIT TG: *hooooooly TG: holiest of shits TG: the shit….. TG: is down right TG: SACROSANCT TG: omgogmogmomog TG: this owns TG: my bones UU: ^U^ TG: look at my outfit TG: want 2 wear that outfit TG: want 2 kiss + marry that outfist TG: look TG: at that lollipop TG: that fuckin LOLLIPOP TG: hehhe look at me goin in 4 a lick TG: like im the queen of fuckall yall TG: what is that in my hair TG: is that TG: COTTONE CANDY???? UU: indeed it is! TG: say helloes to new phone wallpp TG: sry baby eatin jake husband u r out TG: /DIVORCE’D TG: yes perfection TG: more like TG: perferection TG: is what is givin me TG: am getting the perfbonerz up in here
And here Roxy goes back to ambiguously flirting with everyone she sees. This time, including herself. Calliope is but one of those people she’s that way with.
UU: i really enjoy drawing yoU. it is a treat. UU: yoU are jUst so pretty. :u TG: awwwwwwwwww TG: <3<3<#<#<## TG: hearts n hashes UU: anyway, i am very pleased that yoU like my drawing. ~u~
Calliope seems to be referencing that Roxy is a fan favorite of the kids.
TG: i love it TG: i love U TG: U x2 combot UU: yoU do? UU: really?? TG: yes TG: fo rillies UU: :U UU: blimey. UU: this comes as qUite a sUrprise. TG: well i mean TG: not like lets got get space married love TG: more like ur the best and i like you a lot love UU: oh. UU: then the conciliatory type. i Understand. TG: wait TG: i didnt mean to jerk you around… TG: did u feel that way about me TG: aww shit im sorry 😦 UU: no! don’t be. UU: trUst me, that is not how i feel aboUt yoU. or anyone. UU: thoUgh i trUly wish i were capable of those feelings.
Time for a ~~~~~~SHIPPING TANGENT~~~~~~
THE TEXT BELOW IS KIND OF RAMBLY AND DISCONNECTED FROM THE REST OF THIS POST FEEL FREE TO IGNORE
This is, dare I say, fitting buildup for Roxy and Calliope as a real red ship? Some people argue that them as a ship makes sense considering the late comic’s theme of abandoning social norms or what people are told is true, similar to Karkat’s idea that John has black feelings for Terezi.
And… fuck man. This is really weird to say, but those people aren’t wrong. They aren’t wrong at all! They raise a really good and fascinating point!!!!!!
But there’s one big caveat: as I established in my rewrite of post 4, those two as a ship aren’t presented well at all, especially after Calliope is brought back. Their conversations are just kind of super-positive and sugary fluff. And it doesn’t help that those two immediately follow buildup for a ship that’s still special to me after all this time and is, in many ways, the opposite of this ship. John and Roxy as a pairing are a bit weird narrative-wise, considering they crush hard on each other after a very short timeframe. But those two are pretty much the cutest duo in the whole comic, yes I just said that, it’s a fact, you can’t fight me.
Basically what I’m saying is: have Roxy and Calliope had a deep, resonant friendship that one could argue has potential to develop into something greater? The answer is hell yes. But did Calliope ever say anything like “what did ur monster say?” only to promptly correct herself? The answer is hell no. I don’t know about you, but I think I prefer fun things over things that might make more sense in the broader narrative.
The bottom line is: fun things are fun.* End shipping tangent.
—Maki Nishikino, probably.
Time to go back to talking about things like a kind of normal person, maybe. As much as dissecting Homestuck endlessly for 3+ years can qualify as “normal”.
UU: perhaps the fact that i am not is why the topic fascinates me so. UU: and why i have been prone do indUlge in sUch… UU: fancifUl visUalizations. UU: of yoUr people’s lovely bright red relationships. UU: they mUst be nice. u_u
Wait a minute, wasn’t Calliope supposed to be a troll? I think this passage is lead-in to the grand reveal that she isn’t one, with her discussing romance in a way completely unlike trolls.
(Though really, the writing was on the wall from day one. Why would a troll “cheer” or “jeer” people instead of trolling them?)
TG: lol well its not like i would know either way TG: but thats cool i didnt know that about you TG: i dont know ANYTHING about u but i wish i did TG: cant you at least tell me your name bfore you uh TG: maybe go ways 4 ever? ;( UU: yes, as a matter of fact. UU: that is actUally the reason i am contacting yoU. UU: it is one rUle i have decided to break. TG: oh fuck! TG: what is it!!!!!!! UU: my name is calliope. TG: 😮 TG: ….. TG: ilike it :3 UU: it feels so strange to type that! UU: bUt also good, actUally.
Calliope’s name reveal is more lead-in to her truth. It’s kind of another case where the story holds the reader’s hand leading up to the mystery, but to be fair those are only hints that she’s not a troll rather than what she is. Probably not likely people will pay enough attention to glean something from her name’s first three letters.
Roxy talks to John right after this, right?
… She doesn’t, but telling myself that will make it a little less fake.
TG: well ty for finally confiding in me calilope TG: *calliope sorrey UU: yoU’re welcome. it is good to get it off my chest. UU: bUt i am primarily telling yoU this as a last resort, in hopes of saving myself. UU: yoU see, this rUle between me and my brother is a kind of trUce. UU: we have both agreed not to say oUr names to anyone so that things will not get oUt of hand, and so it became one of the rUles. UU: if anyone were to say his name to me, i woUld immediately fall asleep, and he woUld wake Up.
Man I sure love that saying a cherub’s name as a wake-up call is never used for anything, ever. It seems like the author just brought it up as a plot point for us to reveal her name then it vanished into the void. No, not that kind of void, just the regular goddamn void. I guess he just didn’t know where to make that thing useful so it remains only used as a way for us to learn the UU alien’s name.
UU: oh bUgger. this is so embarrassing to have to admit. UU: i am sorry for saying things which may have reasonably led yoU to believe this. UU: probably way too many things. u_u; UU: bUt i am not actUally a troll. TG: o TG: rrrrrelay UU: i have never actUally claimed to be. bUt i’m sUre i have implied it, probably dUe to wishfUl thinking.
THE BIG REVEAL.
It only makes sense that Calliope would accidentally lie through omission, as she says here. And it’s a little interesting she recognizes she unintentionally misled people about it and the most likely reason she did it. I commend Hussie for being able to work the misleading exposition dump fangirl into the story in a way that kind of makes sense. Homestuck may be whimsical at its core, but sometimes things do need an in-universe reason to exist.
UU: i have spent so mUch time wishing i coUld be one. UU: trolls are a remarkable and fascinating race. UU: hUmans are too, please don’t get me wrong! UU: bUt i am oUt and oUt smitten with trolls and their history and ways. UU: they have sUch amazing, coloUrfUl social dynamics that soUnd like so mUch fUn to be a part of. UU: and they are so beaUtifUl.
It is at this point that readers slap themselves on their heads for having though Calliope was a troll, and rightfully so. Of COURSE the fangirl character would obsess over everything about trolls!!! To be fair, Karkat is a troll and has talked in depthabout his ownrace’s romance so maybe it’s not completely out of the question Calliope would as well.
Oh yeah Calliope has an arc of low self-esteem about her appearance or something? Snore.
TG: then what kinda alien are you TG: wait dont tell me youre ACUTALLY from urnanus?? UU: heehee. no. UU: that jUst happened to be a planet from yoUr system i thoUght was lovely. UU: i was particUlarly strUck by its UniqUe rotation. UU: it has very nice… UU: bollocks, what’s the word. UU: the term that refers to a ball’s topspin? TG: ??? UU: it doesn’t matter.
Hey this moment is pretty funny and silly. If only the rest of those two’s interactions were like this. I’m going to expand on this train of thought before I continue with Calliope’s exposition.
Sburb stuff is happening in the background here, I forgot to say that.
Efficient storytelling, probably.
Let’s talk a bit about how Calliope could be a better character.
Calliope’s dynamics with the other alpha kids are mostly pretty similar to with Roxy; they treat her as the mysterious friendly troll and it’s not really super fleshed out. It kind of sucks a little that her dynamics with the other three aren’t really expanded beyond her being the exposition character; I can’t even imagine how she’d be improved in that aspect.
There is one character whose interactions with Calliope I surprisingly really enjoy and can’t place why. That character is Jade Harley! Her dream bubble scenes with Calliope are a super fun change of pace from what we had in the comic prior, with a lot of storytelling style and scene design we’d never seen before. I think Hussie succeeded at making the human and cherub space players, two of the most openly friendly characters, bounce off each other well while being more than just sappy fluff (or sappy fluff ft. a few stories told along the way). As I’ve said before, not everything about late Homestuck is bad, just the bad aspects stick out a lot by nature.
This is not to say that Jade is the only character who could possibly have conversations with Calliope that are actually fun to read. Roxy and Calliope’s interactions have a lot of potential to be better if maybe just a bit more humor was inserted into them. I’m just kind of bleh about this whole thing.
Calliope goes on to explain several more things.
(1) she is a cherub and her race only ever meets others of its kind through violent hate-sex;
(2) her Sburb session with Caliborn was really only a one-player session with BAD consequences, which I’ll say something about:
UU: this was always meant to be a session of one. UU: and i am finally starting to Understand… UU: the reality of that coUld have conseqUences more horrifying than we coUld begin to imagine. TG: um TG: how UU: the thing is, yoU don’t know him like i do. UU: as hard as it may be to believe, he is even worse than yoU think.
I’m glad I started working on my rewritten posts recently! When I got to, well, skipped to, the intermission in those, I noticed the way Lord English was described as an enormous, mysterious danger that nobody fully understands. Calliope’s lines strongly hint that her brother is the young Lord English, simply through describing how dangerous he is.
(3) she and Caliborn are both super-powerful master classes, the Muse of Space and the ???? of Time respectively:
UU: well, i was always led to believe i woUld be an extraordinary type of player. UU: both of Us woUld be. we are both assigned extremely rare and powerfUl classes. UU: they are the two master classes! TG: oh yeh? TG: what is urs UU: mine is the most passive on the scale. a class designated for females only. UU: i am the mUse of space. ^u^ TG: sounds p cool TG: whats a muse do UU: i’m not entirely sUre. i was hoping to discover that on my joUrney. UU: anyway, his is the other master class. UU: the most active class of all, reserved for male players.
Let’s talk about god tier Calliope again.
We now know that Calliope’s alternate timeline self is the one who fully realized her role as the Muse of Space. There was this whole thing where the Calliope we’ve been following since the start of Act 6 didn’t have to do anything similarly big, just function as a normal person. The reason I say “there was this whole thing” at the start of that sentence is because we don’t see her functioning as a normal person that much, other than continuing the saga of sugar overload interactions with Roxy. This brings to mind the two photo montage sections of Homestuck and what all could have been done in those.
“Vriskagram.” The name alone brings back upsetting memories for many readers. The meteor crew’s journey, which we followed in great detail before the retcon, is now just a photo montage that feels a lot more fake, not to mention every problem is apparently solved by, uh, Vriska. And we’re now supposed to care about and be invested in these brand new changed versions of the characters we knew and loved who are now dead! Not to mention that characters seem to hang out in exclusive pairs most of the time, which was a really unhealthy thing that happened in the tail end of the journey before the retcon but now is completely normal and happy???
The credits flash is another photo montage, in many ways an upgrade to Vriskagram. We get a lot more detail than before and it does have some dialogue and plenty of silly moments. I’d almost say the credits would be an ideal conclusion if Homestuck actually felt like it ended after Act 7. But either way, one big problem from Vriskagram carries over to the credits: that shitty buddy system is back in full force! The number of people in each group has increased from 2 to 3-4, which is a little better I guess but still kind of dumb. We don’t even get to see Calliope as a regular friend of the kids, just Roxy’s sidekick as usual. That of course isn’t helped by the problem that there never was a “final dialogue dump” or anything where every character gets a cool moment or an engaging conversation. If there was, maybe all those problems would have been solved!
I got off track, again. What did you expect from me? Anyway my point is, it makes sense for this version of Calliope just to be a regular friend of the kids but her character just isn’t fleshed out enough after being brought back to life for that idea to feel like it means anything.
Calliope ends the conversation going back to your usual “finish what you have to do, see you soon!” and then we get the BIG reveal.
I like how the reveal starts with a reminder that Calliope has troll horns. If you’ve been to a lot of conventions with troll cosplayers then you can definitely see where this is going. Whether or not you have, it’s a fun way to see how badly the author pranked readers.
The moment we see Calliope has green hands, attentive readers will likely connect the dots as to who her brother is. Funny enough, this is done concurrently with the reveal that she owns gray face paint just so she can pretend to be a troll.
When we see Calliope in full, it turns out that she was wearing cosplay horns this whole time (hence the myserty). A good metaphor for how readers probably feel about her big reveal; it makes them angry that they were misled, but it also makes a lot of sense. Oh yeah she looks like Lord English, that’s a thing.
You are now Calliope.
This picture of Calliope’s room has a LOT to unpack. A really, really huge amount. To my recollection, Calliope examines most of this stuff as we go on so I won’t cover everything here at once. I imagine the things that stick out to readers the most might be the shackle on her leg with Caliborn’s symbol, Karkat’s ~ATH book, and Doc Scratch’s gun. All some interesting hints right away at her identity and backstory. Each of the things I mentioned hints at a different part of that backstory. The book hints at where her room originally was, Doc Scratch’s gun hints that her brother is Lord English, and her shackle hints at the true nature of cherubs.
When Calliope takes off her horns and lays them on top of her white wig, things look REALLY familiar. We now know what Complacency of the Learned was foreshadowing, in a really obtuse and twisted around way. When that story was described and peeked at in Roxy’s narration pages, it probably doesn’t make sense to first-time readers, but when rereading, everything almost falls into place. By “almost”, I mean that it’s not a precise retelling, but twisted and remixed to the point of confusion.
Also now that we know as much about the Condesce as we do—that she was watched over and nudged by Calliope and Caliborn’s mother this whole time—it makes even more sense than before that she would be intimidated by those stories, with strange twisted retellings of the cherubs’ lives.
You have many fond memories of solo-cosplay in your room. It’s a lot of fun and alarmingly comfortable to just lounge around your room in-character.
This is a rather interesting passage. It has some odd implications about Calliope’s character and suggests she might genuinely “identify” as a troll, if that’s the right word. Maybe her getting over that obsession makes sense with the idea that Homestuck is partly a story about growing up, but it doesn’t totally sit well with me how much this is forgotten, especially in the credits where she is among the rulers of the carapace kingdom (not the troll kingdom) due to the workings of the dumb stupid dumb stupid dumb stupid buddy system.
These are just a few of the many drawings you have done over the years celebrating your absolute all-time favorite characters. Er… you mean friends.
Calliope: *says things like the narration above* Roxy: ur pretty
Deep friendship right there.
… OK that joke was a little mean I admit. All exaggerations aside, Calliope definitely has some issues. It’s just one of many things that the story kind of weirdly abandons near the end.
Calliope ships Jake x Dirk, that’s still my headcanon.
Or a word that makes me sound like less of a dork than “headcanon”.
You often like to draw your TROLLSONA too, CALLIE OHPEEE. Yes, you suppose that’s a stretch, fitting your name into the 6/6 letter format like that. That’s ok, though. The limebloods reportedly had some unusual names. And they sure weren’t very popular. You like to believe you’d have fit right in.
You’ve written endlessly about her, and nearly filled a hard drive with related artwork. You have wished for nothing more in your life than to be her. Alas, you are resigned to living out the rest of your days as a little green skull monster. It really sucks!
Calliope is quite adorably clumsy at making a self-insert fantroll. I would say more about how the story is less adorably clumsy at handling her as a character outside of that aspect but I’ve done that so much already.
To the left is a drawing of nothing in particular. Nothing you understand, at least. This is a symbol which has haunted your visions for as long as you can remember.
Mmmmm, juicy foreshadowing. This seems like a case where readers are supposed to take a stab at what this could possibly represent and then get surprised. We do already know that the spiral is an arc symbol of the cherubs so that rules out a lot of possibilities.
You stow the delicious mess in your sylladex. You might be inclined to snack on it now, but due to the nature of your JUJU MODUS, you cannot access it. Once you captchalogue something, only your brother can use it. And vice versa.
By this point, when we see a new character’s fetch modus it’s mostly just a one-off indication of the character’s general nature or a major trait. In this case, it hints that Calliope and Caliborn share a body.
The special stardust is a hint that Gamzee raised the cherubs. I probably could have mentioned it in our first peek at Calliope’s room but whatever. It was never totally clear what that thing does, but now it makes sense that Gamzee, the resident plot armor guy, would be affiliated with that substance. It has no bearing on the plot other than signifying that Gamzee is up and about. EDIT (3/18/2020): Wow, I sure forgot that Caliborn would later use this stardust to clog the Act 6 Act 6 cartridge, didn’t I.
Calliope checks out what Caliborn has captchalogued for her and OH MY GOD GOOD PROBLEM SLEUTH REFERENCE. It is excellently worked into the story and even referred to as “unpleasant notes”.
Caliborn x Problem Sleuth is a GOOD COMBINATION. Need I say more?
The Caliborn spin on Ace Dick’s unpleasant notes, aaaaaa so good
In this last note, Caliborn spoils a lot of the future. He hints at his identity as Lord English once again, referencing the time English spoke in green and the green color scheme of the Midnight Crew Intermission’s world.
Next up, Calliope takes a look at Rose’s Sburb journal from the meteor
I very much appreciate that this is the same RL lettering that appears on Rose’s walkthrough. Indicates how similar those two are, both in and out of story.
Whenever Rose writes something lengthy and detailed, you can guarantee it falls into just the right hands for it to be indirectly responsible for pretty much everything ever.
Of course Calliope didn’t discuss this discovery with Rose like Kanaya did with her discovery, because being sappy with Roxy and nobody else is more important than any of that nonsense.
Did he arrive when this was being written? Or was he already there, somehow? He is supposedly an exceptionally advanced Hero of Time, after all. Could it be that your horrible stupid brother of all people has been inextricably involved in your beloved epic all along? For the first time ever, you have just uncovered compelling evidence that this might be true.
[…] But now that you think about it, maybe your theory is just too far fetched. Actually, it is completely preposterous, and you don’t even know what you were thinking there. You’re sure he would get a kick out of the idea though, what with his megalomaniacal view of himself as some sort of lethal puzzlemaster, always boasting that red herrings swim through his veins and such. Which is just about the biggest crock of shit you’ve ever heard.
How exactly does Calliope know that her brother really is dangerous if she didn’t have any idea before? Is it just an inference based on the fact that a master class player will be doing a one-player session? Maybe it’s better if I don’t dwell too much on this silly bit and move on, because it’s mostly meant just to establish that the cherubs live on the trolls’ meteor after they left it behind
Why is every character in the comic so bad at detecting Gamzee is behind things?
Gamzee doesn’t need to be particularly clever to mislead people. He just magically turns everyone into idiots when he’s around.
Yeah, see here?
These are the dark spots you were referring to. Little tidbits here and there have been redacted by some fool with no respect for history. Looks like he used some kind of peculiar indigo ink.
Frustratingly enough, most of the redactions target any piece of information about the indestructible demon who was either directly or indirectly behind every terrible event in the story. Everything about him, like where he came from, information about his manipulative right hand man, his agenda, his abilities, his name… all of it has been voided out.
This is probably the most obtuse way possible to reference a character’s god tier title; specifically, Equius’s role as a void player. Only the most attentive readers could ever catch this on their own: the void player’s blood is the one used to black out information. A brilliantly subtle touch that makes the story just a tinge more convoluted than it already is.
Most of the other blot-outs seem to target one member of the post-scratch troll group. Some guy who drinks a lot of soda? These omissions strike you as much less consequential. Frivolous, even. Whoever that guy was, he sounds like he was easily the least important character in the entire story.
And this is of course where Calliope falls short on speculation. She can’t figure out that the guy who drinks a lot of soda is probably connected to that indestructible demon, even though were clearly redacted by the same person.
It’s some sort of programming book. You don’t care much for programming, but you’ve adapted it as a FANFICTION JOURNAL. You’ve filled it up completely with your most colorful headcanons and romfics. You’ve also pasted in some of your artwork, turning a rather dreary manual on some morbid, tilde-heavy language into a lively scrapbook. Many of the stories involve Callie, and all of them involve heavy themes of romance. Particularly the other three quadrants which are completely alien to you, and therefore especially titillating.
I wonder which other character finds regular simple human romance to be sexually arousing? And which other character keeps this fascination a deep secret, especially from their sibling?
That’s right, Caliborn is scarily similar to Calliope in this regard. It’s a known fact that people who obsessively love something and people who obsessively hate it have a LOT in common that they will never admit. And the two cherubs match this analogy hilariously perfectly.
> Calliope: Open it.
Er, no. You’d rather not. Down that road lies only endless embarrassments. THE THINGS YOU MADE SWEET, INNOCENT CALLIE DO.
Holding hands and eating cake, am I right??? There is not a shred of doubt in my mind that her stories go no more explicit than characters occasionally holding hands and smiling and that qualifies as dirty and smutty to her.
Hopefully this reminds readers of Hussie’s duel with Lord English now.
Calliope’s strife specibus is another little pattern that at this point is just an indicator or hint at the cherubs’ nature and overarching themes.
“Why don’t we stop wasting everyone’s time, shut the lid on this lousy MacGuffin, and get on with it.”
Makes me a little upset but matches what I’m doing with discussing this page.
Calliope opens her juju chest or whatever that is and the narration lampshades that we aren’t going to see it for a while and it’s probably not that great or exciting, which is a funny thing to read in retrospect considering how—NO FUCK THIS I’M NOT GOING TO WASTE TIME RANTING ABOUT ACT 7 AGAIN.
I don’t think I’ve said before that the shackles are a rather literal way to incorporate the comic’s title into the story; it makes the cherubs stuck inside their homes and unable to explore much of the outside world. What’s interesting about this instance of characters being “homestuck” is that the outside world isn’t an alien land the story never explains; rather, it is the world of the comic’s great mysteries, which Caliborn explores after he bites his leg off. Gamzee made the cherubs forcibly stuck inside their own home, rather than just metaphorically stuck like the kids and trolls generally are.
This is the chain you shackle to your other leg when you’re about to go to sleep. You are the only one who is able to unlock it.
Sleeping with shackled legs doesn’t make for very comfy slumber. Still, it’s advisable to stay in the habit, unless you want all your belongings to get messed with.
This bit is pretty interesting, because it suggests that the cherubs are kept in check by both sleeping with shackled legs. And the reason they keep themselves in check is, amusingly enough, just that they both don’t want the other to touch their belongings. But that premise works well and completely makes sense as an explanation to why they’re locked inside their home.
Frustratingly, Caliborn’s half of the room is kept a mystery throughout the whole comic.
But it’s made up for by the fact that he is the best character in all of Homestuck so it’s hard to feel all that broken up by it.
Like you said, you don’t have a bed.
You have a SARSWAPAGUS.
Every time you wake up, you are always sure to put the lid back on neatly.
Considering you virtually always find it exactly where you left it, you doubt your brother is anywhere near as diligent about making the bed. Wait, you mean sarswapagus.
But the fact that he’s a slob was never exactly breaking news to anyone.
I like the thrown-in reference to the pattern that Prospit dreamers always make their beds while Derse dreamers never do. It’s just about the best way to do it without revealing exactly who Caliborn is.
Neither is the fact that you both share a body.
I mean come on.
Out of all the ways the story could have revealed that Calliope and Caliborn share a body…
Well it kind of makes sense that it’s done this way. I can’t imagine any way that would be outright stated in narration without feeling shoehorned in so it makes sense to reveal it in a comedic way, basically saying “this is canon now but come on you already knew that”. The same is done for a few other revelations about cherubs later on, including the whopper one (Caliborn is Lord English, who would have guessed????) and then a few in Caliborn’s conversations with Hussie’s self-insert.
Next, Calliope looks outside to see the sun and through visual callbacks—if memory serves me, to Terezi’s blinding in [S] Make her pay—which I think are meant to establish that the sun outside is shining really bright. It’s supposedly a red supergiant on the verge of death.
A zoom out reveals a familiar image. The trolls’ meteor is still a thing that exists, just situated on a barren future world now. Another thing that is obvious at this point but good to confirm because it makes a huge amount of sense in retrospect.
The next thing we see outside is a funny moment: the world she lives on has a JPEG Statue of Liberty, somehow. It seems like a silly one-off, but Hussie’s self-insert later tells Caliborn (and with it, many readers) “this means that this was Earth the whole time and you’re supposed to have a mental breakdown you dumbass”. Both an advantage and a disadvantage of the spirit of Homestuck. Advantage because it’s a clever spin on the usual realization; disadvantage because it may come off as just a stupid joke.
This is a thing Calliope could have discussed with Dave but didn’t because as before, Hussie was too busy writing his 50th goddamn Roxy/Calliope friendship conversation.
Wait that isn’t just one Statue of Liberty. Calliope’s narration gives us another hint at where she truly lives:
You have always had the feeling that whoever used to live on this planet had a really strange sense of humor.
Who could this person possibly be? I already explained before that the revelation that she lives on Earth is shown in a slightly strange way, which the author full-out lampshades.
As promised, I’m stopping this post here before the selection screen narrated (yes yes I know it’s really just pesterlogs) completely by Caliborn. See you next time as everyone fucking dies, probably. And dream Dirk confuses everybody.
Act 6 Act 3, Part 8 of 10 finally I have an actual number oh my god (it might be 11)
Pages 5029-5084 (MSPA: 6929-6984) (partially not in order)
NOTE: This will probably be my last post for a while because I’m getting ready for vacation soon. It’s been a fun ride the past few days, even if parts of this post I feel are a bit weak.
The title represents an analogy I am proud of devising.
alternate post title: Harleyberts in Derserland
(OK this title sucks ass, I’m just including it because a few of my posts (1, 2, 3) had Alice in Wonderland themed titles and this part of the comic has a few references to Wonderland too…)
So many details of what the cherubs look like are omitted.
After the emotional montage of the bunny, we get to see Calliope and Caliborn playing a game of chess, seemingly over the past few days. Calliope checkmates her brother …
Still not sure what these prankster meters actually mean. Though I know this isn’t the last time we’ll be seeing them…
… or rather, she would have if it weren’t for Caliborn’s shittiest twist yet.
Turns out Caliborn disguised the king as the queen, and vice versa. He explains the following:
uu: HEY! I DIDN’T BREAK ANY RuLES. uu: I MERELY ASKED IF YOu WOuLD AGREE. TO ME SWAPPING THE START POSITIONS OF THE KING AND QuEEN. uu: AND YOu DID AGREE. uu: BuT THEN I DIDN’T ACTuALLY DO IT. uu: WHEN DID I SAY I WOuLD? NEVER. uu: I WAS ONLY GAuGING YOuR WILLINGNESS TO MAKE THE EXCEPTION. uu: I THEN WENT ABOuT DECORATING MY KING AND QuEEN WITH NICE LITTLE HATS. uu: WHICH IS *ALSO* NOT AGAINST THE RuLES.
Bet you didn’t expect a new Homestuck blog post to come now, did you? I wrote this post on a whim in a few hours; explanation coming shortly.
10/8/2019: From here on out, the posts are recent enough not to need many 2019 edits.
In the no-nonsense spirit of the Draconian Dignitary, the character we’re currently following, I’m just going to comment on interesting things that happen in the comic and act like nothing ever happened. Weird how that was kind of a perfect place to put the post series on hiatus for almost two years.
I don’t know if I’ve said it on this blog before, but I’ve always felt that the Derse agents are an underrated part of the comic. If the trolls didn’t exist, maybe the agents could have gotten more attention; they’re just a fun quartet of four personalities. Though I guess the intermission did serve as a way to characterize those four in a completely alien setting. A bit of a shame they didn’t get much closure in the end, besides the BULLSHIT that the beta kids’ Jack was spared in the end and not the others.
Instead of painstakingly trying to comment on everything, here’s the first thing from this arc focusing on DD that I find interesting:
By now the [prince] is up to his goddamn neck in convoluted gothic architecture. He’s burrowed fuck deep in flying buttresses and purple pointy things. He even stopped by the boss’s CUBICLE OF VIGILANCE and sliced up his FENESTRATED WALLS to make searching for him harder. Cunning bastard.
Fun fact: the music in this walkaround was written for Rose’s planet, and yet it somehow works reasonably well here.
Act 6 Act 3 opens up with a walkaround game where Jane explores her planet, much like Act 4 did. As much as it established Doctor as a memorable song, the Act 4 walkaround was definitely a drag to get through. This one is very different with a more point and click style that makes it somewhat harder to miss out on anything, but requires more of you actually doing stuff and figuring it out. Or at least, it did according to my memory. Better see for myself.
This isn’t very cautious of her, actually.
Unlike in the last view of Jane’s house, her mailbox is gone once again.
When Jane enters the game, the first thing she does is jump off the balcony of her sinking house onto this platform thing. Unlike when John entered the game, she’s immediately exploring the world which is weird considering how much the alpha kids are thought of as doing nothing pretty much forever. At least this is a step in the right direction; if I remember right this whole act is one of the better parts of Act 6.
This post is now a week too late to be the anniversary special. I guess it’s still sort of the de facto anniversary special?
We now switch focus over to Roxy and the first interesting bit we get is her examining her collection of dead cats. The narration says about one of them:
The biggest one has been around for as long as you remember, encased in that glass-like material. You’ve considered giving it a name, but it always struck you as a little morbid to name a dead cat.
Yet another subversion of a longstanding motif in the comic; in this case, different people giving animals different names of different genders. In this case I guess it’s only fair that happens because the cat has already gotten two names. Besides, it’s yet another recurring thing that’s gotten a bit stale. That motif happens again later on with Serenity the firefly, but in that case it’s a somewhat more unexpected thing to happen.