Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 78: Jailbreak but it’s with an angry knife guy and about ten times more morbid

Introduction

Part 77 | Part 78 | Part 79 >

Act 6 Act 3, Part 4 of probably way more than 8

Pages 4878-4924 (MSPA: 6778-6824) (dear god how did I go over a week without fixing those question marks and all those other mistakes at the start of the post)

You wake up locked in a deserted jail cell…

We now start this whole Jailbreak throwback interlude with Jack in his jail cell and yeah I have basically nothing to say about this. I guess I could say that when I first read the comic I thought this was supposed to be 40 pages of Jake reading Jailbreak on his computer. Don’t get me wrong, I make dumb misconceptions like this all the time.*

* For instance, if you don’t mind me talking about Undertale I thought one of the royal guard guys was that Alphys person people were talking about and that I’d have to kill them and go through a bunch of emotional bullshit like I did with Undyne.

Also my first impression of practically everyone in the game was that they’re evil and/or creepy.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 73: A Reminisce on Romance Weirdness

Introduction

Part 72 | Part 73 | Part 74 >

Act 6 Intermission 2, Part 2 of 3

Pages 4709-4740 (MSPA: 6609-6640)

NOTE: I’m not going to discuss those aromantic John headcanons because I don’t really care to. Actually no, I changed my mind and discussed such headcanons in this post a few years later.

Picking up from where we left off, Kanaya is about to leave the lab when all of a sudden…

KANAYA: Augh 
KANAYA: Why Does That Always Happen 
KARKAT: EVERYBODY OUT OF THE GODDAMN WAY. 
KARKAT: I GOT A LAB FULL OF HUMANS, A MOUTH FULL OF YELLING, AND A TORTURED PSYCHOLOGICAL PROFILE FULL OF TOTALLY HYSTERICAL EMOTIONS AND UNAIRED GRIEVANCES AT PRACTICALLY EVERYBODY. 
DAVE: karkat is broken guys 

Karkat’s sudden entrance is done via a 2x callback combo, and Dave completely lampshades how bizarre that is.

Karkat and Dave immediately start arguing about stuff and dear god the insults they trade are killing me. Unlike prior cases of characters trading insults (one-sided or not), this scene is just too hilarious to be any sort of setup for character development. Despite that, the comic does a good job developing their dynamic later on; before you think I switched my stance entirely I’m only talking about before the retcon. I have to say I think I’m kind of doing an alright job not moaning too much about stuff.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 70: A Friendship Permanently Ruined

Introduction

Part 69 | Part 70 | Part 71 >

Act 6 Act 2, Part 5 of 6

Pages 4569-4594 (MSPA: 6469-6494)

Jane’s conversation with Dirk’s responder about Sburb (i.e. stuff that matters) looks like this:

but her conversation with Roxy about teen drama shit looks like this:

(click to zoom in)

I think this difference says a lot about the alpha kids’ story arc, and how much time they waste on stuff that isn’t Sburb. I don’t even have much to say about the short pesterlog, other than that Jane is noticeably enthusiastic about starting up the game and more than ready to begin, and I think her entering the game could’ve easily progressed smoothly from here on out.

However—and this is a tangent that isn’t so much saying stuff about the short pesterlog—I imagine the progression of events might be too straightforward if Jane didn’t start getting bugged by other people. In the beta kids’ arc, getting John into the game was an interesting storyline because it was our first time seeing that happen, not to mention we didn’t even know he would be transported to another dimension. In the trolls’ arc that stuff is all kind of fast forwarded through, while in the alpha kids’ arc it’s interrupted by relationship drama. I think the story probably would’ve progressed interestingly enough without that happening since plot twists regarding starting the game have already happened in the form of things blowing up. Then again I can kind of see why Jane entering would keep getting delayed like that. Act 6 Act 2 isn’t really in any position to conclude yet; for one thing we still haven’t heard from Jake at all in this act, let alone see him make progress on his bunny mission.

Anyway let’s get on with the long pesterlog.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 69: A Series of Faux Cat Mysteries

Introduction

Part 68 | Part 69 | Part 70 >

Act 6 Act 2, Part 4 of 6

Pages 4470-4516 (MSPA: 6370-6416)

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.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 68: Dream Decapitations and Smug Brain Clones

Introduction

Part 67 | Part 68 | Part 69 >

Act 6 Act 2, Part 3 of 6

Pages 4538-4568 (MSPA: 6438-6468)

My anniversary special post is coming up next, either on Sunday or on Tuesday. Are you ready?

We now switch focus to Dirk’s dream self, and the big thing I notice here is that all but a few items are tinted red: the ones that aren’t are the rocket board, Minihoof, the Dersite newspaper, Cal, and Dirk himself. My guess as to why that is is because the colored objects are items specific to the dream world, not just projections of his own possessions. The deal with the apparently “real” version of Cal in his dream self’s room is never explained, which is a bit of a plot hole: we don’t know if it’s empty or full, let alone what happens with it, and I can only assume it isn’t a projection because of its coloring.

As for the other objects being colored, Minihoof is probably colored because it’s a living being, the Dersite magazine is obvious, and I’m not sure about the rocket board. I do recall that he later uses it to travel to Roxy’s home and decapitate himself and all that and…

Wait a minute. I think I know why it’s colored like that. I’m pretty sure his dream self uses that thing in the Unite Synchronization sequences as well to pick up Roxy and Jane, and it’s definitely distinct from the waking world rocket board. With that in mind, maybe the board is colored because of its use in that sequence and how it’s taken to the real world in Jake’s island? My bet is that the waking and dreaming world rocket boards are one and the same, with the dream one making it to Dirk’s room with a reckoning portal and becoming the waking one.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 67: Meet the Rad Dude with Rad Shades

Introduction

Part 66 | Part 67 | Part 68 >

Act 6 Act 2, Part 2 of 6

Pages 4437-4469, 4517-4537 (MSPA: 6337-6369, 6417-6437)

And a rad title refrance.

NOTE: My next few posts for Act 6 Act 2 will be divided as follows:   

  • One post for the rest of Dirk’s half of the selection screen (might be a shorter post than usual?)
  • One post for Roxy’s half of the selection screen
  • Two posts for the rest of the sub-act

I’m not sure if I’ll keep going with the every Sunday schedule or do something a bit faster. I keep forgetting that I stopped being able to maintain a steady posting schedule months ago, when I had that big school project in April and May. But I still feel tempted to say how often I’ll release posts regardless.  

You’ve clearly got some time to kill before your bffsy gets back from her emergency. Might as well do some casual reading. 

Rather than going through sylladex mishaps while waiting for Roxy to get back to her, Jane decides to read some books instead, presumably because she’s so “mature”. Seriously, everything she’s done so far has come off as unbelievably childish. The only thing that prevents her from reaching Vriska levels of immaturity is feeling bad about leaving her dad in suspense.

But there’s nothing casual about hoisting even an abridged Sassacre’s up to your lap, so forget that. There’s always GAME GRL. But the articles are all a bit vapid, and in your view, somewhat demeaning to female gamers, and women in general. You and Ro-Lal are convinced the whole thing is just written by the same odious d-bags who write GAME BRO. Which is exactly what makes it GOOD 4 THE ELL YOU ELLZ, her words. 

It’s clear that Game Grl is a completely satirical magazine, perhaps even more so than Game Bro considering how sexist it supposedly is. Its purported intended audience is gamer girls, but its actual intended audience is the same sorts of people who enjoy stuff like South Park.* This brings to mind the whole thing of layers of irony, which itself brings to mind Dave. With that in mind I have a new headcanon: in the scratched universe Dave is the creator of all those satirical gaming magazines.

* Roxy would probably fall into both categories (i.e. be motherfuckin’ both things).

Alright, it’s finally time for Detective Pony. Before we begin, I’d like to note something: for the sake of this post series, I’ll consider the fanmade full version of Detective Pony to be canon. Even though I consider it to be canon regardless.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 66: The Miracle of Another New Beginning

Introduction

Part 65 | Part 66 | Part 67 >

Act 6 Act 2, Part 1 of 6

Pages 4391-4436 (MSPA: 6291-6336)

NOTE: The first 30 or so pages covered in this post are technically between Act 6 Intermission 1 and Act 6 Act 2, but it makes the most sense to consider those pages part of the latter act.

NOTE 2 (8/25/2016): Happy birthday, Andrew Hussie!

You are Jane Crocker again. 

And once again, you have woken up on the moon of Prospit, without any recollection of how you fell asleep. You think you were going outside to get the mail? You can’t remember.

Here’s a bit of dream self weirdness in action. Waking up in the dream world and taking a while to remember stuff that happened is one of the defining motifs of dream bubbles, but not of dreams in Prospit or Derse. Jade’s dreams never worked that way at all, with her essentially sleeping on and off in sort of a dual state of existence, sometimes forgetting that she’s even asleep. But in fairness, Jade has always been a special case in that regard.

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Cookie Fonster’s Problem Sleuth Commentary Part 4: Liquor Explosions and Skull Puzzles

Introduction

Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 >

Chapter 5 + part of chapter 6

Pages 328–422 (MSPA: 546–640)

NOTE: Next time I’ll try to release a Problem Sleuth post only slightly late rather than this. Sorry about all the delays.

10/1/2019 NOTE: This was my final Problem Sleuth post before I shelved the project, deeming it a failed experiment. Past the first few chapters, I couldn’t remember enough about the comic’s plot to write much meaningful about it; as such, this post isn’t really up to my quality standards. I do want to pick up my Problem Sleuth posts again someday, perhaps if I’m on a hiatus with my Homestuck posts.

When Pickle Inspector wakes to see his office flooded, the area with the elf is flooded as well. I’m kind of confused again—is that area part of the material world or not?

When Pickle Inspector is commanded to save the drowning elf, the narration says:

It is too late for him. There is nothing you can do.

First death that’s actually kind of sad.

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

Introduction

Part 64 | Part 65 | Part 66 >

Act 6 Intermission 1, Part 2 of 2

Pages 4346-4390 (MSPA: 6246-6290)

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

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

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

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

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

Alright, let’s begin.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 64: Triennium Battleship Mindfuckery

Introduction

Part 63 | Part 64 | Part 65 >

Act 6 Intermission 1, Part 1 of 2

Pages 4285-4345 (MSPA: 6185-6245)

NOTE: My next Problem Sleuth post is still in production. Stay tuned for it I guess.

One down.

The curtains closing in on a tragic explosion transition us to robotic Hussie, who completely destroys all drama with a humorous line, “One down.” I think I’m getting the hang of this black comedy thing. Though he immediately says he’s referring to the curtains, not the kids, it’s still funny regardless.

So, uh… what about all those other kids?

Huh? Who? 

Oh, yeah. Those people. 

Aren’t they all dead?

Hussie is a master at pretending not to really care that much about his comic. Some people think that due to many parts of the late comic being unsatisfying, after a certain point he actually did stop caring as much as he used to; if so, his lines above may be taken as an exaggeration of his future self.

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