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

Introduction

< Part 139 | Part 140 (the end!)

Act 7 + Credits + Closing Thoughts

Pages 8127-8130

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 139: Six Battles to End Six Acts

Introduction

< Part 138 | Part 139 | Part 140 >

Act 6 Act 6 Act 6 + the following pages that aren’t technically part of any act

Pages 8087-8126

Also to end six act acts, and six act act act acts. The post’s title is even six words!
(Oh, who am I kidding, no one cares about that.)

I have only two Homestuck posts left!!!!!! Oh my god, this is so exciting, do you even know how excited I am? I’m so close to the end, and it’s going to match SO perfectly with the next phase of my real life starting, having a full-time job and saving up for my own house and car and stuff while having properly sent off my relationship with Homestuck. I can’t believe I’m almost done! And to think that for most of 2017 and 2018, I thought I would NEVER finish this post series… boy am I glad I was wrong. Let’s fucking GO!!!

This is what Collide looks like in the Homestuck Collection.
A lot cleaner than using YouTube’s interface, don’t you think?

Act 6 Act 6 Act 6 of Homestuck consists entirely of Act 6’s ending flash: [S] Collide. Collide isn’t technically a flash—it’s actually an 18-minute YouTube video, which is understandable because in 2016, I believe Flash was already announced to be discontinuing in a few years. And because the last time Homestuck had a flash over ten minutes long, the Internet basically broke.

The loading percentage hits 33% at the start of Act 6, and 66% at the start of Act 6 Act 6.

Even though it’s not technically a flash, Collide still starts with a fun little “loading screen” just like Cascade did. Collide’s loading screen charmingly shows how much Act 6’s size has expanded beyond its original intent, divided into a series of acts interspersed by intermissions, the last act of which is itself divided into a series of acts interspersed by intermissions. Collide, the last of those act act acts, is represented by black; Act 7 is represented by white. This makes for some fun color duality going full circle to Homestuck’s early acts.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 137: You’re Welcome for Me Existing

Introduction

< Part 136 | Part 137 | Part 138 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 11 of 12

Pages 7881-7938

I finally made it to the greatest moment in Homestuck history!
That’ll be towards the end of the longest post in my Homestuck post series’ history.

I’m, um. Wow. All I can think right now as I start this post is wow. I’m really doing the final post covering pre-Omegapause Homestuck—the last part with the art drawn by Hussie, the last part before Homestuck’s true ultimate final stretch. I’m already in my Homestuck posts’ true ultimate final stretch though, since this is my fourth last post. After this post which I expect to become insanely long, I’ll only have three posts left before the finish line!! (SMALL CHANGE OF PLANS: This post won’t cover all the rest of pre-Omegapause Homestuck; Terezi’s monologue to Vriska and the flash that follows will be in the next post.)

I’ll likely finish writing my final post (number 140) quite some time before September 20, which is when I plan to release it. Before that date, I’ll do one final read through all the posts start to finish, comparing them to the old versions on my Blogger site (up to number 96). I’ll be fixing errors, editing maybe a few passages for clarity, adding back passages I needlessly removed, and probably trimming down some of the retroactive edits. While a few years ago I had wanted to rewrite my old Homestuck posts and keep them the best commentary on Homestuck I could possibly do, now I view the posts more as a chronicle of sorts detailing how my thoughts on Homestuck (and the entire concept of analyzing Homestuck) evolved from 2015 to 2021. And plus, I frankly want to move on from Homestuck for good after finishing these posts. As such, once I’m done with the final round of edits (and with my final Homestuck post), I think I’d like to keep my Homestuck posts as is.

To start this post off, we have a little scene with Calliope entering Jade’s house, which looks quite barren—everything’s been probably collecting dust during post-retcon Jade’s lonely battleship journey.

I can tell Calliope is fascinated seeing the portrait of dream Jade on the Prospit/Derse themed fireplace.

CALLIOPE: oh, hello, sir.
CALLIOPE: i’m looking for a man they call… “the mayor”.
CALLIOPE: is that yoU?

So distracted that she didn’t notice the Mayor’s sash, plainly showing who he is.

CALLIOPE: oh, silly me.
CALLIOPE: of coUrse yoU are!
CALLIOPE: it says so right there on yoUr handsome sash.
CALLIOPE: how nice it is to meet yoU!

Here, we get a cute little live example of the Mayor communicating with voiced characters using hand gestures—something we don’t get a lot of in Act 6. It’s nice to see him doing so firsthand, even if it’s for something as simple as indicating he is the Mayor.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 134: The Ultimate Strider Feelings Jam

Introduction

< Part 133 | Part 134 | Part 135 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 8 of 12

Pages 7733-7765

This post is dedicated entirely to one of the most touching scenes in all of Homestuck, if not THE most touching.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Contrary to what I said last post, I ended up also publishing ths one while on vacation. I won’t work on more Homestuck posts for the rest of my vacation (until August 1), but rather get on the grind to finish reformatting my old posts from May to September 2019. Those posts have had messed up formatting on this site for almost two years, and fixing them is long overdue.

It’s time to go over the ninth selection of the fake character select screen: Dave and Dirk, round 2. This section will take up the entirety of this post since it’s (1) a very long scene and (2) one of the most emotional scenes in all of Homestuck. When you hover over the first option of the fake select screen, you see Dave and Dirk back where they began: sitting side by side, ready to have their reunion at long last. It’s the exact same image we saw in the second fake select screen, which is thematically fitting.

I love how happy Rose looks fantasizing about shoving a pillow in Jasprose’s face.

Aside from Dave and Dirk, most of the groups of characters listed in the select screen are no longer in the same place, so the fake select screen has developed an interesting system for who to show in which section:

  • The six-way conversation shows whichever characters are presently on the frog platform.
  • Vriska/Meenah shows Meenah having Condesce-esque (Condesque) fantasies while the Vriskas face off.
  • Roxy/Calliope round 1 shows the frog platform zoomed out.
  • The four-way conversation shows the frog platform characters, but drawn more crudely.
  • Roxy shows Roxy (obviously).
  • Jasprose/Jane at first showed Jane, but now it shows Jasprose.
  • Roxy/Calliope round 2 shows Calliope.
  • Dave/Dirk round 2 (in the next select screen) shows Dave and Dirk but drawn more crudely.
  • Roxy/Kanaya is the last option, and the fake select screen ends after their conversation.

This system of showing characters has gotten a little cumbersome, but it’s still very fun and adds a lot of visual humor to A6A6I5. But enough humor now: time for some extreme FEELS.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 133: Tenuous Illusions of Free Will

Introduction

< Part 132 | Part 133 | Part 134 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 7 of 12

Pages 7672-7732

No, this isn’t a part where characters have an existential discussion on free will.
The title of this post simply refers to this fake character select screen.

It’s time to go through the second of A6A6I5’s character select screens in this post… except this time, it’s a fake character select screen, which the reader must go through in linear order.

Wow, 10 path options!!!

Wait a minute. You click and click, but nothing happens. This path selection screen seems to be broken. Looks like “free will” got greedy and overloaded the thing with “choice”, rendering the graphic up there completely useless, except you guess as a cool rollover thingy. For the first time EVER, in the over 9000 page history of this website, you begin to feel slightly deceived. Oh, how you would have loved to taste the fruit of free will one last time before this wild ride jerks our bodies to a deadly stop. Alas it is not to be. You must proceed through all of these options linearly, one by one. You click the link below, as usual.

Although this passage initially makes the fake select screen seem like a brutal prank, we’re instead going to be treated to a fun spin on character select screens: instead of going through options in whatever order you want, you go through them linearly, and after each option, you can hover over all the prior options to check on each group of characters. So this fake select screen isn’t completely fake: it’s more of a twist on select screens that focuses more on the rollover aspect.

Given the contents of the select screen shown above, it makes sense for it to be in linear order as I just described. Roxy/Calliope and Dave/Dirk both show up twice in the list, and there’s a lot of bias towards Roxy in there. Most of the conversations feature characters presently on the victory platform: the only ones that don’t are the two Dave/Dirk sections and Meenah/Vriska. Note that I will not be going through the entire fake select screen in this post: rather just the first eight options. I will go through the ninth (Dave/Dirk) in the next post, and the tenth (Roxy/Kanaya) up to the true final select screen in the post after that. After that is three more posts going through the rest of A6A6I5, the Collide post, and the Act 7 and credits post.

Now let’s begin the fake select screen with Dave and Dirk!

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 130: um i guess this is the one where vriska devises the battle plan

Introduction

< Part 129 | Part 130 | Part 131 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 4 of 12

Pages 7515-7560

I couldn’t think of a good name for this post, so I’m left with a shitty name instead. Sorry about that.

The character select screen is officially over, and now we’re back to business with a comedic callback to Gamzee playing with dead trolls’ heads in [S] Flip. As much as A6A6I5 lays it thick with callbacks, I can’t stay mad at this one.

VRISKA: Ok every8ody, time’s up!!!!!!!!
VRISKA: Wrap up your convers8tions. Our tactical meeting is officially 8ack in order!

This passage combined with the panel above briefly portrays Vriska’s style of leadership in a more comedic light than usual.

This is a pretty fun group picture. I love how Vriska is standing on top of a fridge to indicate her leadership.

Vriska goes over the battle plans for our heroes to take down all remaining adversaries: the Condesce, Jack Noir, Jack Noir, Jack Noir, and possibly the Prospitian Monarch. She goes over them one by one, and so will I.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 129: Four More Massive Walls of Text

Introduction

< Part 128 | Part 129 | Part 130 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 3 of 12

Pages 7502-7514 (not in order)

This is the sort of bullshit that happens when you turn your back on the body.

As the Homestuck franchise continues to collapse in on itself due to yet another storm of fandom drama, Homestuck itself is here to stay, waiting to be read or reread by anyone who just wants to enjoy a good webcomic by Andrew Hussie. As for me, I just want to get my Homestuck blog post series done, and then I never have to think about Homestuck again! Of course, that doesn’t mean I will never think about Homestuck again, just that I will never have any reason to. I have only 11 posts left. Only 11 posts. ONLY 11 POSTS!!! And I’ll finish what I wanted to for the rewritten posts… oh, I don’t know, some other time.

Continuing from the last post, it’s time to go over the bottom half of the eight-way select screen: Roxy/Dave/Rose, Kanaya/Karkat/Vriska, Arquiusprite/Vriska/Terezi/Dave, and John/Jake. I think I’ll start with Kanaya/Karkat/Vriska, starting the post with a conversation consisting solely of trolls just like last time.

Ah, the two trolls whose zodiac symbols are fancy-looking M’s.
It’s been forever since they last conversed!

This is honestly one of the weirder conversations in the selection screen. It’s not much of a long-awaited reunion or new strong relationship between two characters, but rather like, “OK, this exists I guess”. I feel like I can mostly skim through this conversation and pick out interesting bits here and there.

First, Vriska talks about how wildly enthusiastic all the humans are to have their reunions, setting this conversation as one largely about comparing humans and trolls. Vriska brings up Rose as an especially good example, because her long-awaited motherly reunion has washed away her usual dry and aloof demeanor.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 128: Four Massive Walls of Text

Introduction

< Part 127 | Part 128 | Part 129 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 2 of 12

Pages 7486-7501 (not in order)

This is my last Homestuck post whose number is a perfect power!
128 is a power of 2, but sadly it isn’t a power of 4 or of 8.

It’s time to go through the top half of the eight-way conversation select screen, which is the first of several character selection screens in A6A6I5. I made a GIF of hovering over each selection option shown above. The select screen consists of eight conversations and is accompanied by some text narrated from the reader’s perspective, humorously discussing free will and helpfully providing eight links that turn purple when you’ve clicked on them so you know when you’re done with the conversations.

You are confronted with an especially empowering CHARACTER SELECTION MENU. Eight choices???????? Free will has done it again. It has caused you to feel alarmed and anxious. But maybe, just maybe, slightly excited as well. You cautiously click on a batch of teens to discover your true feelings.

Eight possible options is actually KIND OF A LOT, now that you think about it. It may be easy to forget to click some of them. To make absolutely sure you’ve clicked on all teen batches before proceeding, you check to see if all the links below are purple first. If any of them are blue, it means you didn’t read those, and you probably should before continuing. Wow, free will sure is a lot of responsibility and hard work.

This passage reads to me like Hussie saying he’s doing this select screen for the sake of fans, since he knows they wouldn’t be happy if they didn’t get some time to read hearty reunion conversations between all their favorite fictional teens. These conversations have quite a lot of fanservice in them, and late Homestuck has received a fair amount of criticism for having too much fanservice. As usual, I’ll see for myself whether all this is as bad as people say!

Now, which order will I go through the conversations in? Linear order would be super boring. How about I do an order where I deliberately consider what would flow the best in these posts? That’s what I’ve done in prior selection screens, so I’ll do that again. I think Terezi and Vriska’s conversation is a good place to start, since I had analyzed their pre-retcon selves plenty in A6A6I4.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 127: Proper Relevance at Long Last

Introduction

< Part 126 | Part 127 | Part 128 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 1 of 12

Pages 7449-7485

A6A6I5 has so many painfully boring panels, so I figured I’d have fun with the title pictures whenever I get the chance.

With my Psycholonials review post finished, now I can finally get on with the true home stretch of my Homestuck blog post series! It’s time to dive right in and analyze the final act of Homestuck that’s of substantial length: the polarizing Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, or A6A6I5 for short.

Whether you love or hate Vriska, you can’t deny that her getting down to business with fully alive eyes is a satisfying shot.
Or maybe you can deny that?

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5 begins with a flash called Vriskagram. Technically, the flash is called [S] ACT 6 ACT 6 INTERMISSION 5, but everyone calls it Vriskagram because, well…

I love how the V in the Vriskagram logo is based on Vriska’s horns.

Yep, this is another instance of late Homestuck parodying social media of its time. In my Psycholonials review post, I talked at length about how the story explores the danger and perils of social media; Homestuck, in contrast, incorporates parodies of social media websites just for the hell of it. This light satire of social media is a fun motif, I must admit.

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Cookie Fonster Re-Critiques Homestuck Part 15: Ditzy Dreamers and Exile Cookouts

Introduction

< Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 >

Act 4, Part 1 of at least 6 (could end up splitting posts again)

Pages 1358-1454

Link to old version

I didn’t have any good ideas for a new name for this post, so I kept the old one.

Before my motivation inevitably drifts to something totally different, I figured I’d resume my rewritten Homestuck posts and try to at least do Act 4, if not all the way through Act 5 Act 1 (which is my planned ending point for the rewritten posts).

But before I start going through Act 4, I’ll quickly recap the intermission, which I reread before starting this post.

The Midnight Crew intermission is awesome as fuck. It’s a throwback to the story style of Problem Sleuth that blasts your face with extreme time shenanigans to prepare you for the somewhat lighter time shenanigans in the act that follows. It characterizes the quartet of Derse agents, two of whom we hadn’t ever seen before, through the Midnight Crew, as well as the black queen through Snowman. Most notably, the intermission cleverly drops hints about the trolls and the Midnight Crew’s past until it punches you in the face with the reveal that the intermission took place on the trolls’ planet. It also has a few hints about Lord English, an overarching villain we very gradually learn more about. All in all, the whole intermission is executed beautifully and lots of fun from start to finish.


Act 4 is one of several acts that begins with a walkaround game. The game’s music is called Doctor, composed by the deceased George Buzinkai* and remixed many, many times throughout Homestuck’s music. Doctor holds an extremely special place in my heart—it’s one of only three tunes that I managed to remember through my first read of Homestuck, the other two being Karkat’s Theme and Elevatorstuck. I’ve always held the sentiment that among Homestuck’s most iconic tunes, Doctor was the one that best captured the comic’s nostalgic spirit, better than even Sburban Jungle or Showtime. I can’t quite explain why I feel that way; I suppose Doctor just has this powerful, nostalgic feeling that transcends words.

* Read this Reddit comment by a Homestuck music team member for information about Buzinkai’s name.

As for the walkaround itself, you play as John exploring the Land of Wind and Shade, fighting imps, playing around with his sylladex, talking to Nannasprite from afar, and gathering lots of information from consorts about his planet’s lore and denizen and all that jazz, all the while receiving commands from an exile who is clearly not WV. This walkaround is very complicated and weird to come back to considering the heavily simplified format and pixelated art style of later walkarounds; playing it, I can really see why Hussie chose to rework the style of walkarounds in Act 5 Act 2. According to my past self, “Hussie has said that this game is somewhat experimental and that it probably could’ve been presented in a more effective way (which is what the famous YouTube series Let’s Read Homestuck does).” I assume I was referring to Hussie’s Formspring then, but I’ve decided not to bother with playing through the walkaround in full and instead consume it using my physical copy of Homestuck: Book 3 (the Viz Media print).

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