Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 106: Selfie Reminiscence and Hangover Duality

Introduction

< Part 105 | Part 106 | Part 107 >

Pages 6300-6323, 6343-6375

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 1, Part 2 of 5

Featuring the long-awaited return of the eggy looking thing.

I hope you enjoyed this brief mass influx of Homestuck posts. Classes are resuming online on Tuesday for me, which means that until late April or early May I’ll probably be releasing posts at a rate no faster than weekly.

Returning to the three-way selection screen, I’m going to first select Dave’s planet on the left, then Rose’s planet on the right.

Dave’s part of the selection screen features him exploring his childhood bedroom for the first time in three years, in a memorable scene that the author clearly had WAY too much fun writing.

Continue reading

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

Introduction / Schedule (slight change!)

Part 95 | Part 96 | Part 97 >


Act 6 Act 5, Part 4 of 6


Pages 5669-5712 (MSPA: 7669-7712)


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

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

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

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


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

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


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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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


!!!!!!!!!!!

NEW FACT ABOUT CALIBORN I SOMEHOW NEVER REALIZED

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

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

Caliborn then offers Jake a phone wallpaper:


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

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


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

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


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

Note Erisolsprite flipping the bird in the background.


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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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



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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


> Jane: Solicit profound wisdom from hallway Cera.

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

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

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


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

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


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


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

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


> Jane: Examine wall Tobias.

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


This is…

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

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


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


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

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

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

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


This is immediately followed by a sudden surprise. 

Oh no.

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

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

UU: happy birthday, jane! ^u^

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

ta!


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


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

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


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

Roxy’s shirt icon makes the best facial expressions.


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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


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


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

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

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

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


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


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

Must…
Not…
Lick…
THE JUJU!!!!!!!!!!!


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

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


OW, MY EYES.

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


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

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


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

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

END OF ACT 6 ACT 5 ACT 1


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


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


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

>> Part 97: The Part Everyone Hates

Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 90: Tsundere Vacillation Station

Introduction

Part 89 | Part 90 | Part 91 >


Act 6 Intermission 3, Part 5 of 6

Page 5398 (MSPA: 7298) [Openbound: Part 3]

In which I definitely don’t underhandedly vent about school projects.


This post is extremely long. In fact, it’s my longest Homestuck post yet! Hope you enjoy.

Here’s my plan for the next few acts:

  • Act 6 Act 4 + Act 6 Intermission 4 – 1 post
  • Act 6 Act 5 – 6 posts
  • Act 6 Intermission 5 – 5 posts

I estimate that I’ll reach the end of Act 6 Intermission 5 around November 1, give or take a week. After that, we’ll see what comes next.


Time to start the third and final part of Openbound, where we meet the last three Beforan trolls!

The chest next to Rufioh has some Fiduspawn cards, which brings back long-gone memories.


First off is Rufioh Nitram, the homage character to Dante Basco. He’s alright I guess, which is way more than can be said about most of the other Beforan trolls.

Meenah’s conversation with him doesn’t waste much time establishing absurd archetypes. Rufioh says he had wings since birth and never ascended to god tier, then starts to bemoan how people think he’s braver than he actually is. Right after that, Rufioh dives into his backstory which is WAY darker than anything else we saw with the alpha trolls.

MEENAH: alright so you never god tiered but i still dont get somefin
MEENAH: didnt you have a totally fuckin stupid robot body at some point or did i just imagine that
MEENAH: that whole period of time in our session was reel foggy to me i guess because i was dead for a while there
 #maybe i got the ghost madness #could SWEAR you was a metal horse tho
RUFIOH: yeaaah…
RUFIOH: no, the robot body was def1n1tely a th1ng… 1 k1nd of blocked that out of my memory too, haha… that was… that sh*t was someth1ng else, yo! crazy…
RUFIOH: 1’m sure you remember how all that started… back when damara and 1 were st1ll dat1ng… r1ng any bells?
MEENAH: yeah
MEENAH: fuckin megido
MEENAH: do we really need to rehash that ancient bullshit drama
 #bull #lol #wait… #why dont you ever do bull puns? #FAIL
RUFIOH: no, no… heh, just say1ng 1s all… 1t was that whole th1ng… anyway, that’s when horuss was k1nd of mack1ng on me, remember… and 1 wasn’t all about to vac1llate w1th h1m and her cause 1 knew how she was… d*mn, so jealous… so f***1ng crazy…
RUFIOH: so she made me a cr*pple, remember?
MEENAH: tag that shit homie
 #abaloneism

RUFIOH: d*mn, yeah… 1 mean, she busted me up… couldn’t move a muscle… well, could st1ll flap my w1ngs well enough, haha…

And you thought Vriska was a HUGE 8ITCH, huh???

Unlike what we learned prior about the Beforan trolls’ backstory, this is WAY worse than the Alternian trolls’ backstory. Tavros was only paralyzed from the legs down and Vriska even had the courtesy to make him some sick flying equipment. Damara paralyzed Rufioh’s entire body save for his wings, all because of romantic jealousy.

RUFIOH: really, 1 thought 1t would be alr1ght, just flapp1ng w1ngs around… 1 could st1ll fly and just hang there l1mp… m1ght have been a dope look!
RUFIOH: but nah… horuss thought better of 1t. bu1lt me the robo-bod, wh1ch was pretty t1ght…
 #l1ke l1terally… #screwed that sh*t together T1GHT! #dude 1s good
RUFIOH: lost my w1ngs though wh1ch sucked… and k1nd of awkward just hav1ng a real guy’s head on top of a b1g metal body and mak1ng all those d*mn legs move the r1ght way, you know… trott1ng 1s hard work yo.
 #espec1ally on sta1rs… #}:(


And the Beforan trolls’ absurd archetypes just make Rufioh’s backstory even worse. Horuss took the opportunity to combine his horse fetish with his attraction to Rufioh and built him a robotic horse body, which he absolutely hated.

RUFIOH: better than be1ng a cr*pple though. 1 mean a quadr1pleg1c, oops, haha… but 1 guess you d1dn’t know what happened after that, s1nce you and damara were k1ll1ng each other and all…
MEENAH: no what
RUFIOH: well… 1 d1ed. yeah… but…
RUFIOH: that’s l1ke… wow, long story… guess you never heard… 1’ll tell you some other t1me, 1t’s th1s whole crazy th1ng. but…
RUFIOH: 1 was dead, r1ght? and horuss k1ssed me back to l1fe… but just my head 1 th1nk… he was probably stand1ng on some mounta1n str1k1ng a pose l1ke a f***1ng gangsta, probably f1ght1ng a hoofbeast w1th a flam1ng mane and all… 
 #hope someone pa1nted that sh*t… #1nstant masterp1ece


Rufioh’s backstory is mixed in with some callbacks to the alpha kids’ romantic entanglements. Horuss corresponds to Dirk, Rufioh to Jake, and Damara to Jane. This story makes us fear the worst for the alpha kids when we hear back from him, especially Jake.

RUFIOH: so yeah, next you saw me 1 had my normal body aga1n… 1t was cool of h1m to help me all the ways he has.
RUFIOH: and yeah, we went out, me and h1m… for a long t1me after that, k1nda off and on, even after we d1ed… 1n case you were gonna ask…
MEENAH: i wasnt
RUFIOH: r1ght… haha… too much 1nformat1on 1 guess? sorry doll.
RUFIOH: 1 always wanted to thank you for stand1ng up for me… you know, when she cr*ppled me… even though 1t cost ya… that was pure class, pe1xes, 1’ll never forget 1t.
MEENAH: man i wouldnt have had to if you could just stand up for yourself sometimes
MEENAH: i mean being paralyzed notfishstanding
RUFIOH: heh… yeah… 1 guess…
MEENAH: you are the only guy in our group who was ever even close to being pretty cool
MEENAH: everyone else sucks but you were almost alright
MEENAH: you were always such a pushover though
MEENAH: pretty lame bro
 #TW #CRIPPLE ENTENDRE #suck it

Rufioh’s pushover issues have him permanently locked in a love triangle with Damara and Horuss. Again makes us fear the worst for Jake.

> Meenah, ask Rufioh to join 

MEENAH: i probubbly shouldnt even ask this since youre not as brave as people make out with you to be
MEENAH: i mean make you out to be
 #wait #what did i say? #nm
MEENAH: but would you want to come away with me to…
RUFIOH: whoa, man… not you too!!! ahaha…
MEENAH: wut
RUFIOH: 1t’s f1ne… 1t’s alr1ght that you d1g me, 1’m flattered… you were just the last person who hadn’t h1t on me yet… and 1 k1nda dug that about you, you know?
MEENAH: i wasnt asking you out dope
RUFIOH: oh… wow… sh*t! sorry, guess 1 got the wrong 1dea…
RUFIOH: 1t’s just k1nd of a reflex, doll… you know? everybody h1ts on me all the t1me, and 1 don’t know why… sh*t 1s crazy…

Rufioh really is the Jake of the alpha trolls. All his friends are attracted to him and he doesn’t know why, and he shows signs of treating romance differently from how most people do. Dating seems to get him into nothing but trouble, so he cherishes people that aren’t romantically attracted to him.

RUFIOH: just the other day, get th1s… some orange guy 1n a green sh1rt jumped out of some bushes and tr1ed to k1ss me… and 1’m l1ke whaaat… step off jolly man, haha…

Hussie’s self-insert apparently met Rufioh and tried to kiss him, which isn’t the least bit surprising. If only Rufioh knew what all his alternate self(???) taught Hussie back in the day…

MEENAH: maybe its cause youre a bishie ass glubberfucker with a kickin hawk
RUFIOH: yo, that’s cool of you to say… you’ve got k1nda th1s otenba b1shojo th1ng go1ng on yourself, g1rl… your style rocks, 1 always thought you looked pretty slamm1n…
 #1 could g1ve you mohawk dy1ng t1ps… #you’d rock the sh*t out of that look!!!
MEENAH: for what its worth
MEENAH: i would be your moe dere dere waifu in the beat of a pump biscuit
MEENAH: if i was remotely attracted to you or found your personality more appealing
MEENAH: and also if i shared your dumb passion for troll anime and didnt think it clogged massive blowhole
RUFIOH: ahaha, bangarang! that’s a scenar1o 1’d be alr1ght w1th…
RUFIOH: no one really to talk to anymore about my stor1es, yo… s1nce th1ngs got so ch1lly w1th my ex…
MEENAH: goddamn witch
RUFIOH: seriously… she crazy…


God damn do I feel bad for Rufioh. He badly wants friends to talk to about his troll anime, but nobody other than his ex cares about it. I’m not even very well-versed in anime and I can confirm from experience that jamming with someone else about an anime you like is an absolute blast. And just to be clear, I have no idea what an “otenba” or a “bishojo” is.

RUFIOH: so what were you go1ng to ask me… uh, 1f not on a date?
 #and 1f not what brand of mohawk dye 1 use?
MEENAH: never mind
MEENAH: youre not even gonna agree anyway cause this team suuuuucks
MEENAH: later ruf


I actually think Meenah may have had a shot getting Rufioh to join her army. Who knows, maybe he likes the idea of facing off against a big green monster if it gets him away from his horrible relationship with Horuss.


> Meenah, open chest east of Rufioh

You got a BUSTED ROBOT HEAD! 

There was a rumor going around that once, through an elaborate courtship process, Horuss sent Rufioh a robotic duplicate of himself to spar with, piece by piece. The last part he sent was supposedly the head.

That’s almost certainly a myth. Horuss is a pretty strange dude, but he would have to be a total lunatic to do something like that. The anecdote strains plausibility.

Another obvious alpha kid callback. Kind of interesting that the last few Beforan trolls are used to warn us about what could easily happen to the alpha kids in their session.


Now it’s time for Meenah to meet, um,

This fucking guy.



Wait…

Are you telling me he has a name? I never would have guessed. Everyone forgets about Horuss Zahhak and I’m probably about to see why.

> Meenah, talk to Horuss

HORUSS: 8=D < Your Harness… I mean Hayness. Highness I mean.

HORUSS: 8=D < F*DDLEST*%. Please pardon my utterly e%ecrable language, and unforgivable stammering, your Horseness.
 #Sh*ot! #I mean Hayness! #Whew.


Yes, this is exactly what I need. Traumatic flashbacks to my brony phase.

… how did I never realize Horuss might have been inspired by My Little Pony characters, who stick horse terms into every other word? I feel like I should have noticed that way sooner, because I first read Homestuck right as my brony phase was drawing to a close.

MEENAH: hey uh
MEENAH: horuss what…
MEENAH: what the fuck is that thing youre prefixing all your talkin with
HORUSS: 8=D < Oh, this? What, you don't recognize it?
MEENAH: no and its weirding me out
HORUSS: 8=D < Why, it is my smiling face, you s*lly, utterly superior person, you. Goggles and all. Can't you see?
MEENAH: i
MEENAH: guess??
MEENAH: its disturbin as heck to me for whatever reason
HORUSS: 8=D < The last thing I desire is to disconcert our prodigal empress.
HORUSS: 8=D < I just thought I would try smiling permanently and uncompromisingly, rather than resnorting to all those disgruntled e%pressions I usually trot out.
 #I’ve been cutting back on the horse puns too, as you can see.


uuuugggggghhhhhhhhhhh

Rufioh deserves better than this absolute creep. Horuss says that he used to always make disgruntled face expressions, which implies that all his lines used to be preceded by ever-changing emoticons just like Meulin, rather than a constant 8=D. He also says he’s been cutting back on horse puns, implying that he used to be even worse if that’s even possible.

MEENAH: why the eff would you want to do that
HORUSS: 8=D < It was on Meulin's suggestion, actually.
 #8=3
MEENAH: huh??
HORUSS: 8=D < Oh, I guess you must not have herd. She and I have developed quite a STRONG and stable moirallegiance recently.
MEENAH: daaaang
 #disclamer: #less impressed than i sound
MEENAH: that matchup makes no glubbin sense dude
 #cats+horse #ftw
HORUSS: 8=D < E%actly. Whoof would have thought? If you a%ed me before we all died whether I would consider romantically pairing with a r*d*culous midb100d, let alone Ms. Leijon of all people, I'd probably have died regardless, due to laughter-induced asphy%iation.
 #If you’re going to go #Go out with a smile #8=D
HORUSS: 8=D < But do you know what it was that finally cleared the sweat steam-induced fog from my goggles? It was meeting our post-scratch counterparts. 
 #Dancestors #Or shall I say #Dressagecestors?
HORUSS: 8=D < Seeing our corresponding young Alternians, why it threatened to produce a tear-induced f100d on the inside of my goggles.
 #Which naturally I would drain right away through the custom sweat valves
HORUSS: 8=D < Their relationship in spite of the STRONG class disparity I found to be so moving, so pure. It made me reconsider my perspective on Meulin entirely, who horsenestly I'd hardly ever given a second thought.


Um.

Horuss isn’t all that much unlike Equius. He has all of that guy’s same fetishes, not even exaggerated all that much. It makes sense that he’d think starting a moirallegiance with Meulin would help keep his weird problems in check, with the same magic that made Nepeta and Equius’s moirallegiance work so well. Unfortunately, Meulin is only like Nepeta on a surface level and is otherwise a useless Tumblr fangirl, so all she does is tell Horuss to permanently smile.

MEENAH: man why yall still act like you give a heap of manure about dating down on the spectrum
MEENAH: you and nitram been a thing for how long now
HORUSS: 8=D < Yes, but no one was supposed to know about that!
HORUSS: 8=D < That was always to be my own private, um, e%ploration. I had no intention of creating such a stirrup. 
 #Though I have literally smithed such items before, pun notwithstanding.
HORUSS: 8=D < It was only to be a very private, fleeting dalliance with a BUOY, but the whole thing became so quickly scandalized. 
 #A spur of the moment affair, really.
HORUSS: 8=D < And soon others were whisked into it such as you and the vengeful rust b100d, and… well, imagine my embarrassment. Trust me, the last thing I wanted was for royalty such as yourself to know I was pursuing forbidden b100d. To be caught with my hoof in the chocolate jar, so to nicker.
MEENAH: ill
HORUSS: 8=D < And I suppose I would have clopped my hands of the matter after the big k*rfuffle, but…
HORUSS: 8=D < I guess I didn't e%pect to fall in love.



HORUSS: 8=D < It's true. I am not ashamed to say it. I fell mane over hooves. Phantom snout over phantom hind quarters. He…
HORUSS: 8=D < He stole my breath away.
 #With but a roguish glance.


Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. I fucking hate this guy. He was embarrassed by his relationship with Rufioh not because he knew Damara and Rufioh were in love, but because Rufioh was so low on the hemospectrum.

MEENAH: wow life story alert do not care
HORUSS: 8=D < My apologies, your E%cellency.
MEENAH: just tell me why paling up with meu means you have to make that terrible face now
HORUSS: 8=D < She's taught me to get in touch with my anger. Through a moderately discernible series of enthusiastic mimes, she has made it clear that it is much healthier to crush all negative emotions beneath a stampede of positivity, and to always be cheerful and upbeat no matter what, even if projecting that facade is at times physically painful.
 #Such as #All times.
MEENAH: that is some shitsauce advice and you should give it up homes
HORUSS: 8=D < Um, yes. Very well.
HORUSS: (;≧Д≦) < Is this better?
MEENAH: much


😦

Sounds like a language barrier right there. Maybe Meulin really did have good romantic advice for Horuss, like my theory that she keeps Mituna’s relationships steady. But Horuss didn’t read her mimes very well and took them to mean that he should smile all the time no matter how deeply depressed he is.

> Meenah, ask Horuss to join

HORUSS: 8=D < Respectfully, your Superlative Magnificency, I do not think that would be advisable.
MEENAH: whoa shocker of the centaury
 #HORSE PUN #DIS GIRL #ON FIYA
HORUSS: 8=D < Of course, I will if you order me to without hesitation. But lately I've been attempting to canter down a trail of nonviolence.
HORUSS: 8=D < I've been saddled for so long with anger and hostility, and now my focus is on solving problems in ways that do not involve confrontation or physical STRENGTH.
 #Soon I may even be able to say STRENGTH without shouting.
HORUSS: 8=D < Technology can solve so many problems, for instance. Do you have any idea how much energy is stored in sweat which may be released through its steam?
HORUSS: 8=D < Have you any clue as to the MIGHT of a quadrupedal automaton powered by raging currents of steam coursing through its e%quisite horizontal torso, and finally jetting through a perfect pair of metal nostrils? I could build as many as you like, my Empress.


Horuss’s robot horses, or at least some form of robot horses, end up useful to the plot in a roundabout way. Maybe when he met Equius, he taught him how to build robotic horses? Makes sense because after Equius became Arquiusprite, he summoned robotic horses to open his surprise entrance into the events of Caliborn’s Masterpiece. So at least Horuss has some possible semblance of redeeming quality, unlike Cronus.

MEENAH: um no think i will pass on taking an army of snorting horsebots with me
 #unless you build those suckas out of gold
MEENAH: so thats all you do is build stupid shit that runs on your sweat now?
MEENAH: cause i could really use a guy with muscle
MEENAH: i dunno if you seen this skull dude but he is RIPP-ED
 #kinda hot actually
HORUSS: 8=D < Oh no, that's far from my only preoccupation. I have also taken some time to perfect the art of humor.
HORUSS: 8=D < Would you like to hear a joke?
MEENAH: oh noes…
 #fine
HORUSS: 8=D < A horse trots into a thirst shanty. His muscular shoulders slouched, his noble head hanging low.
HORUSS: 8=D < The dairyjerk observes that the great beast is clearly despondent, and asks:
HORUSS: 8=========D < Why the long face?
MEENAH: euurergh
MEENAH: zahhak god damn it i am royally orderin you to stop doing that face forever
HORUSS: 8=o < At once, my lady.
HORUSS: 8o < My formerly perky visage withdraws, while my fully erect posture shrivels at your regal disapproval.
HORUSS: (ಠ益ಠ;) < I shall henceforth emote in my customary manner, as such.
MEENAH: respect


> Meenah, be Horuss

HORUSS: ᕦ(ò д óˇ)ᕤ < Bring me a horse, and I am yours forever.

Horuss’s words look way less creepy without the constant 8=D. Why did he have to start smiling all the time?


Rounding off the alpha trolls, it’s time to meet Meenah’s longtime nemesis, Damara Megido. Meenah’s conversation with her starts like her “conversation” with Kurloz in the last walkaround: first Damara is silent, then she flips the bird at Meenah. But right after Meenah suspects Damara of still abusing Rufioh after all this time, Damara starts speaking machine translated Japanese that Meenah can’t understand.

I’m not willing to analyze who among Damara and Meenah was in the right during this whole nasty rivalry any more than I am willing to quote the filthy sexual things Damara says. This is one of very few times I’m going to outright censor parts of the comic, for the sake of keeping things reasonably safe for work. I’ll probably do the same with the extremely graphic parts of the epilogues. If you want to read uncensored translations of Damara’s dialogue, just consult the readmspa.org transcripts.

> Meenah, ask Damara to join

MEENAH: hey so guess what! im building an army to kill lord ahahahaha
MEENAH: S)(-ELL O)( S)(-ELL
 #aka #sea lol
MEENAH: like you could give a fuck about saving reality and or wouldnt just be a huge backstabbin liability out there
DAMARA: 十分に公平。[Fair enough.]
MEENAH: but just for shits an cuttles uh
MEENAH: been sorta wondering
MEENAH: back when we like
MEENAH: kind of ruined each others shit
MEENAH: because of that whole cycle of revenge deal
MEENAH: and i ended up dyin and god tiering and all
MEENAH: remember that
DAMARA: 私が覚えている。[I remember.]
DAMARA: 時々私は、(REDACTED)。[Sometimes I (REDACTED).]
MEENAH: aight not sure i followed that but ill assume it was more weird skanky sass
MEENAH: but what i want to know is
MEENAH: after the fight
MEENAH: did i hurt you bad enough that you maybe
MEENAH: crawled off and died somewhere
MEENAH: like in a quest cocoon
DAMARA: …
MEENAH: were you maybe all bloodied up from all those forkins
MEENAH: and then maybe along comes a friend with a maddening inability to hold a grudge against you for the ways you fucked him over
MEENAH: maybe trotting along in his new robo horse body and swooped your bloody torso up on his back
MEENAH: galloped off to your cocoon and draped you on the slab while probly not havin the nerve to finish you off
MEENAH: this ringin any bells
 #like the ones in your batty as fuck goddamn belfry?
DAMARA: 性交あなたは何を話している?白痴雌犬。[What the fuck are you talking about? Bitch idiot.]


Damara is even more unhelpful when Meenah asks her to join. Meenah reasonably presumes Damara ascended to god tier, but Damara refuses to elaborate. Then she derails the conversation with more sexual nonsense.

Pictured above: the dream bubble only Damara can open.


I guess I should go over the options of “being” characters now. None of the three newly introduced Beforan trolls let you play as them right away and the way out is blocked by a dream bubble only Damara can open. Rufioh wants someone to bring him a memory of his lusus, Horuss wants someone to bring him a horse, and Meenah basically tells us that you can’t be Damara unless you’re playing as someone that speaks her language. The obvious progression is to be Horuss, then be Rufioh, then be Damara.


Meenah uses the spawn eggs on the Fiduspawn plush and out comes a Horsaponi, which can supposedly evolve to a Horsaroni if you train it enough. If you give it to Horuss, you can be him.


If you play as Horuss and talk to Meenah, she asks Horuss when he decided he was a horse. But before he can answer, Kankri comes in and “corrects” all of Meenah’s misconceptions about… whatever the FUCK Horuss’s fetishes are. Honestly I’ve already said all there is to say about Kankri by this point. I skipped over the time he intruded on Meenah and Rufioh’s conversation earlier in this walkaround. Though this bit is way funnier than it should be:

KANKRI: P99r H9russ here will likely feel triggered f9r weeks 6ecause 9f y9ur th9ughtless questi9n. Hell, even I’m feeling a little triggered 6y it, and I’m n9t even under the impressi9n I’m a h9rse. I think every9ne within earsh9t was triggered 6y that. Y9u feel triggered, right H9russ?
HORUSS: (o皿o;) < Trigger sounds like a wonderful name for a hoofbeast.
KANKRI: See? T9tally triggered. N9w let’s let the healing 6egin.


I wish the Openbound games had more pictures like this. Would liven things up a bit.


Horuss has no idea what Kankri is talking about, but is aroused by a mutant blood speaking at such length about horse identity. Meenah quietly walks away.

Horuss uses his machinery skills to open a chest next to Damara, which contains a suffocating memory of Rufioh’s lusus because Damara is a nasty bitch. You can also talk to her as Horuss, but he can’t understand a word she says. Horuss thinks Damara’s language is a lowblood accent and that’s why only Rufioh can understand her. He also mentions he’s been working on a steam-powered universal translation device that isn’t usable yet. If you read this conversation with Damara’s translations (or if you can read Japanese), Horuss seems like a normal person next to Damara with all the sexual stuff she says.


*sighs loudly, EXTRA LOUDLY*

Horuss talks at length about his past and answers the question of when he “decided he was a horse”: he felt empty all his life due to being a void player and started searching from the void within to find answers to who he is, not the least of which is the idea that he is a horse. This would be great and all if he was listening to a single word Rufioh was saying. Throughout Horuss’s ramble about himself, Rufioh nervously tries to break up with him and then gives up.

HORUSS: 8=D < But as much as I learned about myself, I could never find a way to become whole.
HORUSS: 8=D < The void was never filled until you came along, Rufioh. 
RUFIOH: wow man. that’s…
RUFIOH: wow.
HORUSS: 8=D < If there is any lesson I would like people to take from my story, it is a lesson that is a multiple system consisting of two distinct lessons.
HORUSS: 8=D < The first is how love heals all wounds, even ones consisting of the infinite essence of void permeating your entire e%istence and role as a legendary hero.
HORUSS: 8=D < The second is how if you are faced with any crisis of identity whatsoever, it's really important to do your best to manufacture esoteric features of your personality and believe in them very STRONGLY and tell people about those things as frequently as possible.


As with Cronus’s scenes in the last walkaround, I think this passage is meant to tell readers how not to behave around the Internet, especially around odd figures. I’m reminded once again of my brony phase and all the other embarrassing stuff I did around that time.

HORUSS: 8=D < I can assure you right now, the labor involved in smithing my personality into one that is interesting and complicated was rather intensive.
HORUSS: 8=D~~ < I really worked up a good sweat in the process.
HORUSS: 8=D~~~~ < (That is the sweat dripping from my face.)
RUFIOH: hey… yo… that…
RUFIOH: that’s some freaky sh*t dog!


Horuss boasts of manufacturing a complex character for himself, and yet he’s one of the most forgettable characters in the entire comic, even by Beforan troll standards. I’ll come back to this point when Meenah gets to Aranea’s exposition stand.

HORUSS: 8=D < Anyway, I apologize for talking so much. You know how you have a way of drawing the breath out of people.
HORUSS: 8=D < What were you trying to tell me?
RUFIOH: oh… yeah.
RUFIOH: uh…
RUFIOH: never m1nd.


😦 😦 😦 😦

Four frowny faces. Three for Rufioh, one for Horuss because he deserves a slight amount of pity too.

Horuss gives Rufioh his lusus and he lets you be him.


> Rufioh, talk to Horuss

RUFIOH: yo yo, horuss my gangsta, how you feel?
RUFIOH: can 1 get a way gentle f1st bump from my boy? heh, yeah… just l1ke that… f*ck yes.
 #actually that st1ll k1nda hurt…
RUFIOH: anyway 1’ve been mean1ng to talk to you about someth1ng… someth1ng uh… pretty 1mportant.
RUFIOH: about us and the future and all that… you got a m1nute?
RUFIOH: ok, cool. so… d*mn… where do 1 even start…
RUFIOH: you know we’ve had noth1ng but good t1mes together… 1t’s been the bomb.
RUFIOH: well, maybe not everyth1ng… sh*t got d1cey at the start… w1th my crazy ex and… yeah. that’s not the po1nt.
RUFIOH: remember the way you used to be… before you all started be1ng 1nterested 1n me… man you thought 1 sucked! haha, just another lowblood not worth your t1me.
RUFIOH: you were so p1ssed at people l1ke me and damara… so angry, damn. sh*t was scary… and damara… she used to be n1ce as can be… dunno what happened there. talk about a personal1ty sw1tch… for both of ya…
RUFIOH: but then for whatever reason… 1 guess you wanted to reach out to me? 1 mean… 1n secret, 1 know. you d1dn’t want to be all shamed out of your h1ghbrow CIP club, 1 could always d1g that. 1 understood, you know?


Time for Rufioh’s big breakup speech. He starts by describing Horuss in a more positive light than what we’ve seen before. Things do get iffy which he uses the acronym CIP, which shows that Horuss has gotten to him a bit too much—normally those acronyms aren’t part of anyone’s lingo unless they’re fake social justice bloggers or hemospectrum fetishists.

(Constantly censoring profanity is probably another side effect of Rufioh spending so much time with Horuss.)

RUFIOH: people always had crazy 1deas about me. l1ke 1 was th1s brave adventure guy all up 1n th1s forest be1ng a bad*ss and sh*t. people l1ke… they always wanted to be w1th me, or… maybe even wanted to BE me? 1t was all k1nd of whack… even damara when we were go1ng out d1dn’t really get me, 1 th1nk… she put me on th1s pedestal, 1 mean, back before she snapped.
RUFIOH: but you saw me for who 1 was. wh1ch was… not a perfect guy.
RUFIOH: l1ke, 1 wasn’t really sure about myself, and you saw that… so you actually helped me.

RUFIOH: when we were 1n the woods together, you taught me about combat… ph1losophy… l1fe… and love!

Little-known fact: the “combat, philosophy, life, and love” arc words from the epilogues actually originated in Openbound Part 3, as shown above. It fits because Horuss is meant as an analog to Dirk, the character most often associated with those arc words.

Just kidding, this is what Rufioh actually says:

RUFIOH: when we were 1n the woods together, you taught me to f1ght… taught me to fly… taught me to crow!

I’ve reread the epilogues so many times now that I almost expected Rufioh to mention combat, philosophy, life, and love.

RUFIOH: well, not l1terally. 1 mean… 1 knew how to do those th1ngs. 1 knew techn1cally how to flap my w1ngs and fly through the a1r. 1 knew how to say “bangarang” all loud 1f 1 really wanted to… but that was the th1ng. 1 was scared! 1 was scared of fly1ng and fall1ng… 1 was scared of f1ght1ng and fa1l1ng… and 1 was scared of crow1ng and… sound1ng l1ke a f***1ng 1d1ot 1 guess! lol…
RUFIOH: but you helped me not be so scared, or self consc1ous maybe… you just helped me be myself. l1ke… to just be ok w1th not be1ng perfect, or l1v1ng up to whatever people th1nk 1 should be.
RUFIOH: maybe 1t’s just nostalg1a… there was someth1ng better about those t1mes… just you and me ch1ll1ng 1n the woods. but then we entered the game.
RUFIOH: and for some reason… st1ll don’t know why… damara just started go1ng a l1ttle more nuts every day… gett1ng more and more jealous when she knew we were hang1ng out…
RUFIOH: then she found out 1t was more than just hang1ng out… and 1 guess the rest was h1story.


Rufioh mentions that Damara didn’t really go crazy until after the game started. This sets up a mystery arc for what caused Damara to go crazy. We’re led to believe that Damara simply learned from Sburb constructs to start being a nasty asshole; we don’t know what really changed her character until we get to Aranea’s exposition booth.

RUFIOH: and yada yada… then we all d1ed… and we been together ever s1nce. all th1s t1me as ghosts…
RUFIOH: wh1ch 1s… a long t1me, you know?
RUFIOH: and 1’ll always be grateful for what we had together… but… 1 guess people change.
RUFIOH: even as ghosts, they change, 1f you g1ve em long enough… they start want1ng d1fferent th1ngs…
RUFIOH: aw man! 1’m go1ng about th1s all wrong… say1ng way too much, but not what 1 want to say… sh*t, haha.
RUFIOH: 1 should just use the bravery you helped me understand 1 always had, and just say 1t…
RUFIOH: 1 th1nk we should break up.
RUFIOH: …
 #…
RUFIOH: uh…
RUFIOH: you ok, bro?

HORUSS: 8=D < Oh! I'm sorry, what did you say?
HORUSS: 8=D < My ear valves filled up with sweat, and I didn't catch most of that.
RUFIOH: …


😦 😦 😦

Three frowny faces for Rufioh, none for Horuss.

HORUSS: 8=D < Hey, why don't we participate in an enjoyable activity together later, as romantic afterlife partners? We could play one of those foreign card games you seem to like. What's that one called again? Fiddlespoon?
RUFIOH: um. yeah… we can do that… 1 guess. that sounds… uh… dope.
HORUSS: 8=D < I know I'm not the best partner to share your e%otic and somewhat childish interests with, but I do my best to try to understand them and enjoy them with you. The most important thing is that we spend time together, and maintain a STRONG relationship.
RUFIOH: …
RUFIOH: bangarang.


I feel bad for Rufioh again. Everyone calls his interests childish, even though there’s nothing wrong with liking things that may be aimed at children. And there’s especially nothing wrong with liking anime. Did Horuss ever try watching any of Rufioh’s favorite animes? I’m sure at least one anime had some appearance or mention of horses, which Horuss would obviously love. Though that would probably just make their relationship even worse.


RUFIOH: d*mn… thank god 1 got my lusus back… dunno what 1’d do w1thout the l1ttle guy!
MEENAH: is he even uh
MEENAH: “reel”
MEENAH: ya know
MEENAH: like the ghost of your actual lusus or
RUFIOH: er… know what? not sure, doll!
RUFIOH: he could just be a memory f1gment or someth1ng l1ke that. or maybe he’s really h1s ghost…
RUFIOH: when damara acc1dentally dropped a hunger trunk on h1m way back… crushed h1s l1ttle body… 1 always dreamed 1 m1ght meet up w1th h1m aga1n 1n the afterl1fe.
RUFIOH: so when 1 found h1m here… guess 1 d1dn’t th1nk about 1t much? 1 was just happy to see h1m.


Accidentally dropping refrigerators is usually one of the first things anyone does in a Sburb session, which might imply Rufioh’s lusus died right at the start of their session. Or it might not, because the Beforus session was a miserable failure that never went anywhere for three sweeps until they figured out how to reset the game. Either way, Rufioh losing his lusus for so long is messed up to think about.

RUFIOH: 1 remember when 1 was young… just a l1ttle runt out there try1ng to make 1t 1n the world… people would look at me funny cause my w1ngs were grow1ng 1n, and that really freaked people out yo!
RUFIOH: so 1 got way self consc1ous and d1dn’t feel at home out there… w1th everybody eye1ng me up l1ke that…
RUFIOH: so one n1ght my lusus led me 1nto the woods…
RUFIOH: and 1 found th1s whole baller v1llage of f***ck1n tree houses and rope ladders and 1 was l1ke D*MN!
 #shouted bangarang SO LOUD you don’t even KNOW!
RUFIOH: that’s when 1 became an off1c1al member of the lost weeaboos.
MEENAH: hey ok so…
MEENAH: can we not actually talk about the lost weeaboos
MEENAH: can that just be not a conversation we have
RUFIOH: uh…
MEENAH: ruf listen your storys cool but theres some junk thats just so silly i cant even try to abide
RUFIOH: yeah 1 guess… heh.
RUFIOH: but anyway, they were my boys… a better posse you couldn’t hope to ch1ll w1th, k1ck the sh*t on troll an1me… all that.
MEENAH: aw fer glub sake
 #no
RUFIOH: f1rst bumped 1nto damara out there… crazy t1mes!
RUFIOH: 1 th1nk those were format1ve sweeps for me… learned to love a lotta th1ngs 1 st1ll do to th1s day.
RUFIOH: between you and me… 1 m1ss the days 1 could just jam w1th her about troll an1me… but now… you know how 1t 1s…


Normally in these conversations I feel bad for Meenah, but in this case it’s totally the opposite and I feel bad for Rufioh. Meenah is going full on “lol anime is for losers”, which reminds me of how I was back when I hadn’t seen any anime. It’s the one case where I actually think it’s rude for Meenah to make fun of her friends’ interests. There’s just something sincere about Rufioh’s attitude that shows he isn’t a lunatic freak of nature, just a regular guy who really enjoys talking about his favorite animes.

RUFIOH: 1t’s ok, 1 get that the stuff 1 l1ke 1sn’t for everyone.
RUFIOH: people say 1t’s just for w1gglers… and 1 k1nd of assumed one day 1’d grow out of 1t, but guess 1 never d1d?
RUFIOH: then aga1n… we all d1ed… and now we really are all young forever… 
RUFIOH: just l1ke the prophecy of the lost weeaboos sa1d… 
RUFIOH: whoa spooky… 1 always thought that was a load of bs!!!
MEENAH: whoops you just said lost weeaboos again thus failing the conversation
MEENAH: in the immortal hand gestured words of the late great meulin leijon:
MEENAH: IM SO DON-E


I think it was a positive development that Rufioh accepted he wouldn’t grow out of his troll anime and decided to just keep liking the things he likes. And you know what? It’s fine that Meenah doesn’t understand all this. Obviously not everyone is going to care about all the things you care about.


Rufioh’s conversation with Damara is upsetting, even without translations handy. She’s still bitter that Rufioh cheated on her with Horuss. The conversation continues if you start playing as Damara, and that’s where things get more interesting.

RUFIOH: gotta be honest damara… 1 been feel1ng pretty bad…
DAMARA: なぜですか? [Why?]
RUFIOH: um… you can keep a secret, r1ght?
DAMARA: はい、もちろん。私はあなたの友達です。[Yes, of course. I am your friend.]
RUFIOH: yeah…
RUFIOH: 1t’s horuss… and you know… been th1nk1ng about break1ng 1t off w1th h1m…
DAMARA: 何を壊す?彼のホーン? [Breaking what? His horn?]
RUFIOH: hahaha! naw… that wouldn’t do much good…


Damara’s suggestion to break Horuss’s horn is an obvious pun on how one of Equius’s horns was broken, but I think it might also be a hint at her fatalism and belief in circumstantial simultaneity. I know that sounds a bit far-fetched, but need I remind you, there’s nothing wrong with reading “too much” into things.

RUFIOH: 1 feel gu1lty for say1ng so… 1’m just not 1nto 1t… so many repet1t1ve dates over the m1llen1a… so much l1ke… talk1ng about l1vestock and b1g muscular an1mals and… 1 dunno. those aren’t really my 1nterests…
RUFIOH: maybe we were never that compat1ble and 1 just never had the guts to say so?
DAMARA: RUFIOH 。私はあなたにこのことを告げた。毎日。永遠に。[RUFIOH. I told you this. Every day. Forever.]
RUFIOH: 1 know, 1 know… 1 d1dn’t l1sten to you… 1 f1gured you were st1ll all mad and jealous!!!
DAMARA: 私は怒って嫉妬した。[I was mad and jealous.]
RUFIOH: r1ght… 1 just don’t know what to do.
RUFIOH: he’s great… but he’s so cl1ngy! 1 don’t know how he keeps that up after all th1s t1me… dude’s got stam1na… 1’m just l1ke… romant1cally exhausted. you get me, doll?
DAMARA: はい。愛が私には死んでいる。ので、誰かがずっと前に、心臓を介して私を刺した。[Yes. Love is dead to me. So long ago, someone stabbed me through the heart.]


Rufioh always sees the best in people and can’t parse when they’re mad at him, which is again reminiscent of Jake. Both are strong cases of unending optimism leading to severe romantic turmoil.

RUFIOH: but for real… 1 just don’t want to hurt h1s feel1ngs…
DAMARA: あなたは私が彼を殺したいですか?再び? [Do you want me to kill him? Again?]
RUFIOH: no!!! god, no… don’t hurt anyone… let’s not go there aga1n!
DAMARA: 私が彼を誘惑したいですか? [Do you want me to seduce him?]
RUFIOH: er… 1 guess 1f the two of you are l1ke… um. that’s really between you and h1m? not sure he would go for that… anyway, 1 don’t th1nk that would actually help me…
DAMARA: 私は彼の魂を消費するために悪魔をもたらすでしょう。[I’ll bring the devil to consume his soul.]
RUFIOH: man, no! 1 told you, please don’t feed anyone’s soul to ANYBODY!!!
RUFIOH: you’ve got to keep crazy talk l1ke that down, damara!
RUFIOH: 1f people knew some of the sh*t you sa1d… how you say crazy sh*t l1ke you want to serve h1m… f***!
RUFIOH: 1t wouldn’t be cool… people would fl1p…
RUFIOH: h*ll, d1dn’t you hear meenah was try1ng to ra1se an army to k1ll h1m?
RUFIOH: 1f she could hear some of the th1ngs you told me… sh*t… 1 can’t ever let her f1nd out…
RUFIOH: 1f she knew, you’d both start f1ght1ng aga1n…
 #}:(
DAMARA: あなたは必然だけを遅らせる。[You’re only delaying the inevitable.]
DAMARA: 私たちの終了時間が近いです。[The end of our time is near.]


And here’s the big reveal: it turns out Damara is in league with Lord English. Not just clown bullshit like with Kurloz. She is closely tied to English and carried out real duties of his, which I’ll go over more when Aranea goes over her backstory.

Note that Kanaya isn’t glowing anymore.


As Damara, you can remove the big glacier memory and go to the trolls’ meteor, but you can’t go inside yet because you don’t have the password.

PORRIM: Damara, do+ yo+u mind? We’re having a private co+nversatio+n here.
DAMARA: 
PORRIM: Please. Leave us alo+ne. We’ll talk later, o+k?
KANAYA: …
KANAYA: (shes making me slightly uncomfortable)
PORRIM: (that’s her specialty. just igno+re her until she go+es away.)


This short passage says all that needs to be said about most of the Beforan trolls’ relationships with Damara. The only thing left to find out is what caused her to be this way.


Damara’s conversation with Horuss is more of her saying sexual things he can’t understand, but this time we have a better idea why that is: she’s extremely bitter at Horuss for stealing her boyfriend and this is the best way she can express that bitterness to him.

Only Horuss can open the chest to the bottom left, which contains a statue of horse genitalia.


If you’re playing as Meenah, Horuss, or Rufioh, you’ll see Mituna laying on the floor in a hidden corner. But if you’re playing as Damara, you’ll see Latula with him, and she says:


Kind of weird that Latula is smiling when she death threats Damara. Just goes to show how she’s burned bridges with all the Beforan trolls except arguably Rufioh. This scene is called back to if you go to the trolls’ meteor as Damara, which I’ll do at the end of this post.



And finally, Damara has a short conversation with Meenah. It’s full dramatic irony if you don’t know Japanese, especially from Meenah’s perspective. As such, I’ll present it without translations:

DAMARA: あなたは時間の領主に挑戦します。
DAMARA: あなたの哀れな軍隊は失敗しなければならない。
DAMARA: 彼はあなたの幽霊を食べるようになる。彼は現実そのものを消費するからである。
MEENAH: i think…
MEENAH: it sounded like…
MEENAH: youre tryin to wish me luck in my upcoming battle?
MEENAH: hey thanks megido
MEENAH: maybe i had you all wrong
DAMARA: ない。あなたはそうしなかった。
MEENAH: aw ive probably been a bitch to you for no reason
MEENAH: lets forget all that shit ever happened
MEENAH: hey how about a hug
MEENAH: whoa watch where youre puttin that hand!!!
DAMARA: 私は何も後悔はありません。
MEENAH: apology accepted
MEENAH: hey you get around to moving that huge quartz glacier yet
MEENAH: kind of in a hurry here


(Again, go to readmspa.org for translations.)

–––––––––––– –––––––––––– –––––––––––– ––––––––––––


Having exhausted all the dialogue options, it’s time to be Meenah again and proceed to the trolls’ meteor.


> Meenah, listen in on conversation

PORRIM: Ah, seems we have co+mpany. Guess we sho+uld wrap this up!
PORRIM: I’m very happy yo+u came to+ see me. I ho+pe yo+u’ll bear in mind what I said.
KANAYA: Yes I Surely Will
KANAYA: And Im Happy Too
KANAYA: About
KANAYA: Yes
PORRIM: Yo+u have impo+rtant wo+rk ahead o+f yo+u. The legacy o+f o+ur race is in yo+ur hands.
PORRIM: I kno+w yo+u will make me pro+ud.
KANAYA: Okay Thank You


It’s fair to assume Porrim’s words for Kanaya about resurrecting the troll race centered around feminism. Considering that Earth C is explicitly stated to be a land of absolute gender parity, I think Kanaya did indeed make Porrim proud. A bit too proud if you ask me—in the epilogues, troll reproduction becomes the crux of a major political crisis all because Kanaya wanted to take the birth of the mother grub into her own hands rather than letting 5000 years of history sort things out. I think the beta trolls’ Alternian pride becomes stronger the fewer are left alive.

> Meenah, ask Kanaya for password

MEENAH: aw snapperfish its popo merrygams and maryam lookalike kid
MEENAH: water you ladies glubbin about over here
KANAYA: Nothing I Was Just Leaving
MEENAH: oh yeah where to
MEENAH: back into your meteor right cause thats where im headed
MEENAH: cant get through the door tho
MEENAH: can i get your password
KANAYA: Pardon Me
KANAYA: No
MEENAH: come on
PORRIM: Meenah, what are yo+u do+ing? Do+n’t hassle her fo+r private info+rmatio+n. It’s rude.
MEENAH: COM-E OOOOON
MEENAH: im being nice about it
KANAYA: Are You Actually
MEENAH: im fuckin smiling aint i???
KANAYA: Well I Was Going In There Anyway
KANAYA: I Wont Give You My Password But You Can Follow Me I Guess
KANAYA: But You Can Only Remain As Long As Im Escorting You
MEENAH: da fuck
MEENAH: why
KANAYA: Because I Dont Trust You
MEENAH: aw man
MEENAH: but im cool
MEENAH: you should wise the fuck up and start thinking im cool
KANAYA: Youre Right With A Sales Pitch Like That I Would Have To Be An Imbecile Not To Crave Your Company
 #Human Sarcasm
MEENAH: what you got against me maryam clone
KANAYA: I Think Youre Probably A Sociopath
KANAYA: Ive Given Enough Of My Time To Such Characters In The Past

You know what I’m in the mood for right now? Some good, fresh Kanayanalysis. I haven’t analyzed Kanaya very much in these blog posts, not the way I have with characters like Vriska.

The deal with Kanaya is that she’s very particular about who she does and doesn’t trust. It all started with back in the trolls’ arc, when she had a crush on Vriska or something and believed the best from her, only to find that she used her lovingly crafted fairy outfit to aggressively seduce Tavros. Since then, she’s vowed not to trust people who may come off as haughty, though she often ends up falling into traps regardless. This pattern is shown here when Kanaya immediately distrusts Meenah and deems her to be a sociopath—keep that in mind when she talks to Rose later in this walkaround. In Act 5 Act 2 she steered clear of the trust trap as Rose descended into grimdarkness and ended the act preferring to talk to Jade, but through Act 6 she’s been starting to trust Rose once again, which makes their relationship go in a less than ideal direction. I still think it would be kind of cool if some pre-retcon versions of Rose and Kanaya had a proper reconciliation? Or an official breakup or something.


Playing as Kanaya with Meenah following behind, you can explore a bit of the trolls’ meteor and oh boy is this a fun throwback. Brings back good memories of the Act 5 Act 2 walkarounds. This whole second half of Openbound Part 3 is a really cool successor to the troll walkarounds we had then.

I like to think Karkat doesn’t sleep much, but when he does he sleeps HARD. Would explain how he’s sleeping on this horn pile.



In a room up north, you can find Karkat sleeping on a pile of horns, possibly with another person nearby depending on who you’re playing as.

> Examine snoring Karkat.

MEENAH: !!!!!

Hey, it’s your newly recruited Grand Threshecutioner! Looks like he hasn’t woken up from the same nap he was having last time you talked to him. The guy must have been really tired.

Why’s he sleeping in this massive pile of horns? That can’t be too comfortable. Maybe you should wake him up. Then as long as he’s awake, might as well see if he’s ready to pack his bags and head off to war.

Hold on. Maryam is eying you suspiciously. She isn’t on to your plan, is she? How could she know? This girl is really cramping your style. You’d try to shake her loose, but as a rainbow drinker she seems to have an absolutely insane fastness attribute.

KANAYA: Whatever Youre Thinking Dont Even Try It
MEENAH: what!!!
MEENAH: wasnt thinkin nofin
KANAYA: Lets Keep Moving


More of Kanaya heavily distrusting Meenah. I feel really bad for Meenah here; it’s not like she’d cause any harm trying to wake Karkat up. He already said he wouldn’t join Meenah’s army until after the meteor arrives in the alpha session.

Note the flasks of alcohol on the tables. A hint at something rather unfortunate that’s about to happen.


In the middle of the room, you can talk to Rose and Dave in whatever order you want. I’m going to start with Rose; it only makes sense for Kanaya to talk to her first.

> Kanaya, talk to Rose

ROSE: What happened!
KANAYA: What
ROSE: You’re not glowing anymore!
KANAYA: Oh Right
KANAYA: I Became So Absorbed In A Conversation With My Ancestor I Already Forgot She Taught Me How To
KANAYA: Switch Off
ROSE: Oh, so you did go talk to her?
KANAYA: Yes
ROSE: That’s great! How did it go?
KANAYA: Very Well
KANAYA: She Is Very Nice And As A Person Is As Impressive As I Was Imagining Her To Be
KANAYA: But Not Nearly As Intimidating Really
ROSE: I knew you wouldn’t regret it if you got up the nerve to talk to her.


This Rose/Kanaya conversation is extremely super shippy so far. Flirty Rose is all the way back in action, this time to her actual love interest and not Meenah.

ROSE: What did she say, besides a few vampire-to-vampire skin-dimming pointers?
KANAYA: Many Things
KANAYA: Primarily Encouraging Me To Pursue My Prior Obligation To My People
ROSE: Oh?
KANAYA: She Said She Used To Eschew Her Role Rather Vehemently
KANAYA: The Duties Of Our Caste Were Quite Limiting In Both Worlds It Seems
KANAYA: So She Renounced Them Completely And Wanted A Different Life
KANAYA: But She Also Said Something To The Effect That
KANAYA: She Found That It Wasnt Really Necessary To Reject That Role Completely
KANAYA: And The Same Is True For Me
KANAYA: As Long As I Know Within That I Am Free
KANAYA: And If My Decision Is To Embrace My Path Then It Can Be A Source Of Strength
ROSE: Then you want to try to restore your race again?
ROSE: I had begun to think you’d lost hope in that possibility.
KANAYA: Its True Theres No Orb Anymore
KANAYA: She Said It May Be Very Difficult
KANAYA: But Theres No Hope If I Dont Try
ROSE: That’s true.
KANAYA: I Dont Know How Im Going To Do It Yet
KANAYA: But Such Is The Nature Of Adventures
KANAYA: You Cant Be Scared Of Adventures
KANAYA: I Think Im Excited About It Now


It’s a good thing Kanaya mentioned her interactions with Porrim after the retcon, because it means we can assume her post-retcon self’s interactions with Porrim went basically the same as how Kanaya describes here. More specifically, it means that Porrim played a part in getting Kanaya so excited to hatch the matriorb that she wanted to do it herself after jumping forward 5000 years, and that Porrim played an indirect part in the huge troll political crisis.

ROSE: I can tell.
ROSE: We can work on it together when we arrive. Maybe the session we’re about to explore will offer some answers.
KANAYA: I Hope So
ROSE: Hey,
ROSE: You aren’t permanently de-glowed now, are you?
KANAYA: Oh No I Can Flip It Back On
KANAYA: See
KANAYA: Turns Out Its Just
KANAYA: A Silly Biological Parlor Trick
ROSE: Oh, good. You had me worried there for a moment.
KANAYA: Sorry
KANAYA: I Know How You Enjoy A Good Source Of Light
ROSE: Light is one of my favorite things.
ROSE: Please don’t take these as fighting words, but my aspect is simply the best there is.


More flirty Rose. She’s quite blatantly in love with Kanaya—laying romance a bit thick is something she has in common with Roxy.

> Kanaya, talk to Dave

DAVE: sup
DAVE: wait whats going on
DAVE: is the meteor passing through another dream bubble
KANAYA: Yes
KANAYA: Hence The Ghost Who Is Following Me
DAVE: oh
DAVE: hey

DAVE: what you dont talk now?
DAVE: you were pretty spunky before what happened
KANAYA: She Is Exhibiting Her Best Behavior While On This Tour
KANAYA: Shes Actually Doing Very Well So Far
DAVE: ok whatever
DAVE: so what are we just not even bothering to care anymore when we pass through dream bubbles now
DAVE: like no warning or alert or getting into our facetious battle stations or anything
DAVE: eh who cares actually
DAVE: i probably wont even leave the room this time
DAVE: getting a little bored of ghosts actually
DAVE: no offense sea troll
MEENAH: (hornless dirtscraper)
KANAYA: Shh!
MEENAH: 38(


Doesn’t seem like Meenah is interested in anyone in the meteor other than Karkat. I feel bad for Meenah, Kanaya really seems to see the worst in her just because she’s a genetic clone of the Condesce.

KANAYA: So What Were You Just Mumbling Over Here Before I Interrupted You
DAVE: oh just some raps
DAVE: been working on my raps
DAVE: youve heard my raps right
DAVE: want to hear some raps
KANAYA: …
DAVE: wait do you know what rap is
DAVE: its this fly human tradition where you drop a beat and talk hard
DAVE: if the flow checks out and your rhymes are dope enough then the police start unholstering their guns
DAVE: they cant help it its like reflexive
DAVE: thats how you know youre doing it right
KANAYA: I Know What Your Raps Are Theyre Basically The Same As The Ancient Artform Of Alternian Slam Poetry
KANAYA: But More Primitive And Generally Involving Less Lyrics About Towering Muscular Livestock

DAVE: slam poetry
DAVE: why didnt you tell me about this
KANAYA: I Dont Know I Dont Really Have Much Interest In The Subject
DAVE: yeah but
DAVE: it should have come up
DAVE: wait now that i think about it
DAVE: i remember some weird troll was rapping at me once
KANAYA: Well There You Go
DAVE: but i mean we could have been talking about rap all this time
DAVE: you and me i mean
DAVE: it would have come up i think if we talked more


It’s pretty funny to learn in retrospect that Equius’s rapping about horses was par for the course by troll standards. It makes a lot of sense, actually—Equius was always far more ingrained in traditional Alternian ways than the rest of the trolls.

DAVE: kanaya we should talk more we dont really talk enough
DAVE: like really just
DAVE: get down to fucking business
DAVE: just the two of us
DAVE: all conversationally and such
KANAYA: Um
DAVE: really like
DAVE: flesh out this dynamic
DAVE: see whats THERE
DAVE: we goddamn WILL squeeze blood from this stone
DAVE: this awkwardly quiet ghost troll as my witness
KANAYA: If You Are Successful In Extracting Blood From The Geological Material In Question Can I Have It
DAVE: aw man
DAVE: kinda semi self deprecating vampire jokes this is a good start i like it
KANAYA: I Dont Know How Sincere Youre Being Dave
KANAYA: Probably Only Somewhat Since The Rule Is That Everything Has To Be At Least Partially A Joke Right
DAVE: yes exactly
KANAYA: But If You Actually Want To Converse And Exchange Views On Our Respective Cultures Then Okay I Guess Thats Fine
KANAYA: I Might Be Able To Dig Up Some Classic Texts By Some Famous Slam Poets
DAVE: oh man yes
DAVE: that would be so fucking perfect
KANAYA: Ok I Will See What I Can Do



Dave and Kanaya’s dynamic is extremely underrated, as Dave himself just pointed out. I liked seeing them converse again in the epilogues, where Dave enthusiastically treats Kanaya like the sister-in-law she technically is to him while Kanaya is deadpan as usual.


DAVE: youll have to read the troll gibberish to me
DAVE: itll be just like storytime with karkat 
DAVE: kanaya edition
KANAYA: Heh Sure
DAVE: but youll have to rap the words
KANAYA: Oh
DAVE: pump up the bass and slaughter the mic
DAVE: i want to goddamn FEEL that slam poetry
KANAYA: Is It Too Late To Back Out Of This
MEENAH: yes


Here’s our first hint that Dave and Karkat’s extreme vitriol has cooled off since we last saw them. There’s a funny scene coming up where I’ll discuss their dynamic in more detail and reevaluate my stance on their friends-to-lovers plot.

Done with Kanaya’s dialogue options. Let’s be Rose and go through all of her dialogue options.

> Rose, talk to Kanaya

ROSE: Not to harp on the issue, but,
ROSE: Now that you can switch on and off, so to speak, how often do you think you’ll resort to phosphorescence?
KANAYA: I Dont Know
KANAYA: What Do You Think
ROSE: Well, which state is more comfortable?
KANAYA: I Could Go Either Way
KANAYA: Ill Probably Switch On If Im Walking Through A Dark Corridor
KANAYA: Now That I Think About It
KANAYA: Its Been A Long Time Since I Could Even Be In The Dark
KANAYA: Maybe Ill Leave It Off For A While And Refamiliarize Myself With The Experience Of Nonillumination
ROSE: Makes sense.
ROSE: Was this a biological feature common to other trolls?
KANAYA: Um
ROSE: I’m sorry. I’m really pestering you about this, aren’t I?
ROSE: We’ve never talked about it. I guess I was trying to be polite, but I’ve been really curious about it.
KANAYA: No Thats Ok
KANAYA: Im Told Its A Trait Confined To Those Of My Caste
KANAYA: They Tended To Spend A Lot Of Time In The Brooding Caverns Where A Convenient Source Of Light Was Often Handy
KANAYA: That Part Of It Makes Sense To Me But I Have No Idea What The Evolutionary Purpose Was For The Sort Of Thirst Which Accompanies This Perk
KANAYA: Strikes Me As An Odd Liability But What Do I Know
ROSE: Maybe to frighten predators away from innocent grubs?
KANAYA: Maybe
KANAYA: Or Perhaps It Was A Measured Defect Imposed On Us
KANAYA: To Keep The Auxiliatrices On A Short Leash
ROSE: I’ll agree with that assessment, on the grounds that I’ve always been a sucker for a good conspiracy theory.


More shippy interactions. I think speculation on the comic’s mysteries makes for a great shippy conversation topic. Roxy and John did it quite a bit near the end of Act 6, as did many other popularly shipped pairs.

KANAYA: The Condition Was Often Glamorized In Certain Works Of Literature
KANAYA: But Theres Really Nothing That Great About It
KANAYA: Not Nearly As Useful As Other Abilities Like The Psychic Gifts Which Some Lowbloods Are Predisposed To
KANAYA: Though I Guess Its Pretty Useful If You Want To Keep The Plans You Made After Someone Punches A Hole Through Your Gut
ROSE: I can see how that could present a whole world of convenience.
ROSE: Speaking of plans, doing anything later?
KANAYA: Not Really
ROSE: I’m working on some stuff right now, but later, maybe once you’re finished escorting your guest around, would you like to do something?
KANAYA: Sure
KANAYA: Anything In Particular That You Have In Mind
ROSE: Not really. Just to hang out. If you’re up for it!
KANAYA: Yeah That Sounds Okay
MEENAH: (holy mackerel get a fuckin room)


Meenah is of course unamused. Can’t say I blame her.

> Rose, talk to Dave

DAVE: whats up with the fish punk troll following kanaya around
ROSE: Seems she’s passing through. Kanaya doesn’t want her to cause trouble.
DAVE: cause trouble
DAVE: what the fuck could she even do here
DAVE: like kick over an old pile of garbage and cause the property value to fall even lower than jack shit
DAVE: i say let her go nuts
ROSE: Feel free to take it up with Kanaya.


I agree with Dave here. Rose is starting to do whatever Kanaya wants her to do just a bit too faithfully, which again seems to be a pattern among Lalondes and their respective love interests.

ROSE: But if you authorize her to flip a bitch, just make sure she’s nowhere near my chemistry table. 
DAVE: yeah
DAVE: cant be droppin your vials and shit all over the floor
DAVE: the only one whos got clearance to drop science is me
ROSE: Dork.
DAVE: dont even hate
DAVE: been shoring up my muthafuckin CRAFT over here
ROSE: I know. I’ve been in the same room, right over there, listening to you mumble lyrics to yourself for the last couple hours.


Here we get quite a few hints that Rose is about to become an alcoholic, which you probably won’t notice because you’re too busy laughing the absolute treasure that is all of Dave and Rose’s interactions.

DAVE: rose you know what sucks
ROSE: Yes.
ROSE: To which sucky thing are you referring?
DAVE: it kinda just occurred to me
DAVE: while i was spitting ill verse to no end
DAVE: i got this weird feeling that i might be getting like
DAVE: a little dated?
ROSE: Is this about Terezi?
DAVE: what
DAVE: no no
DAVE: dont be disingenuous word girl you know what im saying
DAVE: i mean sorta passe
DAVE: like a lumbering pop reference dinosaur
DAVE: remember we are both kind of stuck in 2009
DAVE: so im like popculturally frozen in that period
DAVE: all my references feel like they might be getting a little stale
DAVE: even though the earth ended and all and there was no culture after that point anyway
DAVE: but still
DAVE: i can feel it
DAVE: like in my bones
DAVE: i just know on some hypothetical earth that kept going my shit is starting to get so lame
DAVE: and i know it doesnt matter because its just us here so who cares
DAVE: but i care
DAVE: its a matter of integrity i am a fucking artist


Oh hey, I’m finally at the part where Dave talks about being frozen in 2009. I really love this whole ramble. It’s interesting in a metafictional way because it’s kind of Hussie’s way of lamenting that he can’t make references to pop culture post-2009 in the beta kids’ storyline.

DAVE: like i think if i make one more rap about like some fucking dane cook movie from 2008 to piss karkat off or some tired bullshit like that im going to 
DAVE: i dont know
DAVE: ill just start feeling like a fraud


Dave’s relationship with Karkat is starting to parallel his relationship with John. In both cases, he constantly makes fun of his friend’s favorite movies but in a way that makes it obvious he, too, enjoys them on some level. You could argue that the only reason Dave and John’s dynamic didn’t go in the same direction as Dave and Karkat’s is because John is not a homosexual.

If you’re reading my blog posts in chronological order and wonder why my stance on Davekat (there’s no reason for me not to call it that anymore, the name is used multiple times in the epilogues) is different now, first off, good job. I’m proud of you for managing to read all these stupid posts. Second, you’ll see the reason why soon enough.

DAVE: my game might be drying up rose
DAVE: but its not my fault like im totally hostage to this freezedried backlog of cultural garbage that can never move forward again
DAVE: so i have to pick through it like im looting a fucking tomb while still all tryin to act RAP SASSY
DAVE: like YEAH take THAT motherfuckers
DAVE: OF THE PAST
DAVE: all in your mass graves somewhere in a dead frogiverse
DAVE: i be representing some god damn STANDARDS about your media do you feel me
DAVE: im depressing myself here
DAVE: all im saying is it would be cool to have some fresh shit to work with
DAVE: like just to know
DAVE: to know what the world would be like in the year it would be for us now
DAVE: which would be 2011 i guess
DAVE: wow 2011 really
DAVE: damn
DAVE: i just want to know what would have happened
DAVE: theres so much shit we were primed for
DAVE: it was gonna be exciting
DAVE: like barack obama just turned president remember that
DAVE: we never got to see if he fixed the economy
DAVE: remember how you were dying to see if he would fix the economy you were asking me about it every damn day
DAVE: just joking nobody gave a shit about that


I can’t overstate how much I love Dave’s obsession with Obama. By “nobody gave a shit about that”, he clearly means none of his friends gave a shit and he’s lamenting that he could never talk to any of them about how great Obama was. He loves Obama so much that he won’t just accept knowing how his presidency went after the scratch, and rather started formulating theories that Obama played a secret session of Sburb and ascended to god tier. I can’t believe he turned out to be right about those theories, almost as much as I can’t get over how Obama is implied to have dated pre-scratch Dirk at one point.

DAVE: but like
DAVE: i never got to check out the next batch of stiller jams and see how bad i could mock them


Don’t worry, Dave. On the other side of the scratch you made the next batch of Stiller jams. 

DAVE: we never got to find out how the midnight crew adventure ended
DAVE: if ever


Even if you consider the Midnight Crew intermission to be the full version of the Midnight Crew adventure, this statement is probably still true. Karkat never says anything about what his Jack Noir went up to after being exiled; Vriska after the retcon presumes Spades Slick went through an unbelievable amount of stupid nonsense before arriving at the B2 session. I still can’t believe Collide so brutally killed off a fan favorite character.

DAVE: rose
DAVE: ROSE??
DAVE: what the fuck man
DAVE: whyd you go back to your bottles and shit i was right in the thick of hella elocution
DAVE: dont give me that
DAVE: yes
DAVE: uh yeah
DAVE: yes i do ACTUALLY want you to come back over here
DAVE: im waiting
ROSE: Fine. Here I am.
DAVE: wow was that so hard
DAVE: this is what civilized people do rose they fucking talk to each other like actually in each others fucking vicinities
ROSE: You just have a tendency to go on for a while. I assumed we progressed to the traditional mumbling monologue stage of Striderian discourse.
DAVE: no thats not even a thing
DAVE: i was actually like
DAVE: trying to get your take


Rose, why would you do that??? Walking away in the middle of a fascinating soliloquy was so rude of you. At least let Dave have the illusion that he isn’t talking to nobody.

ROSE: Take on what.
DAVE: i dont even know
DAVE: i bet john would have stuff to say
DAVE: hes probably going through the same frozen fucking caveman from 2009 syndrome as me
DAVE: actually what am i saying the dude is a caveman from 1997 
DAVE: hahaha like he could give a shit as long as hes got his cage dvds


I said something about this passage in a post from years ago. I’ll quote it again, why not:

I just love how even after gaining mighty airbender powers, talking to aliens from a warrior race, and learning that he is (kind of) his own grandfather, he is still a doofus who is obsessed with 90’s movies. […] At the start of the comic, Hussie decided to make John like movies from the 90’s simply because that was the era where he was the most tuned in to pop culture. However, later that interest became a serious part of John’s character, as a nerdy kid who’s all about random old movies rather than what’s going on now in pop culture, or as Dave put it, a caveman from 1997.

I talked about this theme of one-offs becoming full character traits a lot in my rewritten posts about the early acts, which are currently on hiatus because I’m now focusing once more on this actual project I started almost four years ago. This is a case where the one-off traits made up on the spot are revisited and shown to be serious parts of the beta kids’ characters. It’s also some pretty great dramatic irony if you ask me—Dave doesn’t know that being lonely on the battleship did strange things to John’s mind and now he doesn’t like Con Air anymore.

ROSE: Oh! I saw him the other night.
DAVE: what
ROSE: In a dream. It was very brief, only a few minutes. I waved to him and then woke up.
DAVE: whoa what was he doing
ROSE: He was fighting Jack. Actually, he was doing quite well!
DAVE: oh man
DAVE: you have to tell me all about this
ROSE: I will. Later, though. I’d like to get back to work.
DAVE: ok when
DAVE: tonight?
ROSE: I have plans tonight. How about tomorrow.
DAVE: plans 
DAVE: what plans
ROSE: Just some plans.
DAVE: can i come
ROSE: No!
DAVE: fuck fine
DAVE: tomorrow then
DAVE: maybe ill just dream up my own john tonight and well have an awesome time without you what do you think about that




DAVE: fu

Rose, can you please go back to not trying your hardest to impress a troll girl who already loves you dearly? Don’t pretend you miss John any less than Dave does. 

It’s been a long time, Gamzee.


If you go to the room up north as Rose, you’ll encounter Gamzee next to the sleeping Karkat. Rose’s brief conversation with Gamzee in this walkaround is the longest speaking scene he has in Act 6.

> Rose, talk to Gamzee

ROSE: You better not let Kanaya find you in here.
ROSE: She still hates you, you know.
ROSE: And not in “that way.” I think she still truly would like to kill you.
GAMZEE: yeah, i all up and motherfuckin know that already.
ROSE: I’ve wondered, doesn’t it ever get confusing? Trying to differentiate between platonic, malicious intent, and gestures of black romance?
GAMZEE: NO.
GAMZEE: like i’d even give a dayglow chainsaw bitch like that on my time of day up in any quadrant.


Rose knows surprisingly little about quadrants after spending two years on the meteor. I guess this is meant to lead up to Rose’s excitement at the prospect of Kanaya teaching her about troll romance.

GAMZEE: BESIDES, ALREADY GOT MY BLACK ROM ON WITH ANOTHER MOTHERFUCKER.
GAMZEE: been dating somebody in the motherfuckin shadows. getting pretty nasty between us. all experiencing the shit out of the dark miracle called hatebliss. 
ROSE: Wait, really?
ROSE: Who?
GAMZEE: :o)



GAMZEE: no.


GAMZEE: NO.


GAMZEE: no.

Rose sports a neutral expression asking if it’s Karkat, snickers asking if it’s Dave, and looks disquieted asking if it’s the Mayor. Her expression when asking if it’s Dave is interesting to me; it shows that she finds the idea of Dave and Gamzee hate-dating completely ridiculous, which means she knows Dave well enough that he’d never even think of dating the juggalo troll.

ROSE: Wait…
ROSE: Terezi?
GAMZEE: HONK.
ROSE: Are you serious?
GAMZEE: do i mother fucking look like i’d motherfuckin joke around with a mother fucker?
ROSE: I…
ROSE: I can’t even parse that relationship as something meaningful.
ROSE: What…
GAMZEE: IT’S SIMPLE. 
GAMZEE: mother fucker.
GAMZEE: SHE ALL GETS ON HER HATE OF ME QUITE UNDERSTANDABLY, SEEING AS TO WHAT A VILE PIECE OF CLOWN ASS TRASH I’M ALL IS.
GAMZEE: but doesn’t quite hate me enough to want to kill me. :o)
ROSE: This is a really startling revelation, I must say.
ROSE: It’s a game changer.


Surprise ship reveal, and I do mean surprise. Gamzee x Terezi blackways is indeed quite the game changer. It’s rather suspicious how little screen time Terezi gets in this intermission when she’s always been so outgoing and goofy, and the reveal that she’s hate dating Gamzee makes it even more suspicious. How is it even possible for her to fall in hate with this murderous clown instead of just wanting to kill him in the name of justice? Something strange must have happened to Terezi—we don’t find out what it is until Act 6 Intermission 5 and it’s a HUGE shocker.

GAMZEE: HEY.
GAMZEE: please don’t all tell at this noise to anyone.
GAMZEE: IF KARKAT MOTHER FUCKIN KNEW ON THIS…
GAMZEE: he actually would want to kill me. :o(


Arguably the strangest part of it all is that despite everything, Gamzee still cares about Karkat. It’s kind of heartwarming to see Gamzee still treats Karkat as a dear friend, but also unsettling if you consider he’s the only one Gamzee still sees as a friend. This is kind of a weird intermediate phase between pre-flipout Gamzee and plot-armored Gamzee.

ROSE: Yes, I can see the dilemma you’re in.
ROSE: Your social dynamics really begin to get complicated once your quadrants start to fill up, don’t they?
GAMZEE: MOTHER FUCK YEAH THEY MOTHER FUCKING DO.
ROSE: Don’t worry. Your secret is safe with me.
ROSE: Now shoo. Back into the ventilation system with you, before you’re spotted.


Rose doesn’t tell Gamzee that she’s going to tell all this to Kanaya, who she sees as a confidant she can tell absolutely anything. She doesn’t want to keep any secrets from Kanaya, which will later bite both of them in the ass.

Let’s go back to the other room. Time to, at long last, be Dave.


> Dave, talk to Kanaya

DAVE: (you shattered the ring but theres more cracks in your rap)
DAVE: (ima top off your glass cause devastations on tap)
DAVE: (wait no)
DAVE: (your act couldnt suck more dick with a puppet in your lap)
DAVE: (what)
DAVE: (puppet… man where that come from)
DAVE: (you shattered the ring but theres more cracks in your rap)
DAVE: (your flows like warm milk that goes good with a nap)
DAVE: (haha yes)
DAVE: (shit lets be rails ill be the shoosh to your pap)
DAVE: (wait that makes no fuckin sense)
DAVE: (naw ill stick with the milk one)
DAVE: (yall claimin to be the lord of time)
DAVE: (all ya makin me feel is bored with your rhymes)
DAVE: (thats ok i guess)
DAVE: (still feel like i should work puppets into this)
DAVE: (no idea why)
DAVE: (what rhymes with puppets)
DAVE: (uh)
DAVE: (smuppets)
DAVE: (dave no thats the same fuckin thing)
DAVE: (muppets)
DAVE: (what the fuck)
DAVE: (the only thing that rhymes with puppets is different kinds of puppets!!!)
KANAYA: …
DAVE: whoa
DAVE: hey uh
DAVE: how much of that did you hear
KANAYA: By The Tenor Of The Question Ill Assume More Than You Would Prefer


When rapping, Dave leaks out that two years after his guardian’s death, he still thinks about puppets way too often. This isn’t the first time in Act 6 where we learn that living with a puppet lunatic for thirteen years did quite a number on his sanity.

DAVE: all that shit was a work in progress
DAVE: aint fit for hype yet
DAVE: why you gotta be eavesdroppin
KANAYA: I Wasnt
KANAYA: I Was Just Standing Here And You Slowly Wandered Over In A Totally Oblivious Stupor
KANAYA: You Were Mumbling Your Rhymes And Walked Right Up To Me And Did Not Notice Me Until Now
DAVE: shit
DAVE: was i
DAVE: sorry i guess i just got caught up in my raps
MEENAH: do more!
DAVE: what
DAVE: no
DAVE: i cant those rhymes are still too rough around the edges
MEENAH: come on
DAVE: no itll suck
DAVE: i mean
DAVE: i could freestyle a bit i guess
DAVE: i dont know if i got a live performance in me now
DAVE: maybe it could work if someone dropped a beat
DAVE: need a good beat i could probably kill it with a fly beat
MEENAH: aheh hem…
MEENAH: dum dum PS)( ba dum dum PS)(
 #no wait wait…
MEENAH: chum chum FIS)( ba chum chum FIS)(
DAVE: awwwww yeah
DAVE: that fish beat is the shizzle
DAVE: thats what i am TALKING about
DAVE: alright settle down motherfuckers here we go 
KANAYA: They Then Proceeded To Have One Of The Most Ambiguously Rated Rap Offs In The History Of Paradox Space While I Stood By And Regarded It Neutrally


I’d have loved to read Dave and Meenah’s rap-off, dammit. Why does Hussie have to prefer writing bad rapping over good rapping???

> Dave, talk to Rose

DAVE: rose quit all the clanking around over here i cant concentrate on my raps
DAVE: what in the sweet religious name of jesus h dick are you doing with all these bottles
ROSE: Just a little alchemy.
DAVE: alchemy
DAVE: what kind of shitty thing are you alchemizing with this crap
DAVE: are you alchemizing bottles with other bottles to make like
DAVE: superbottles
 #rose_ebottles
ROSE: No. Believe it or not, I’m actually focused the contents of the bottles.
DAVE: youre a pretty good hike from the alchemiters
ROSE: The alchemy I’m practicing is a little more old fashioned.
ROSE: You know, there was a time on Earth when alchemy didn’t refer to a process whereby a large device used game constructs to materialize some idealized version of an object out of thin air.
ROSE: Alchemists used to experiment with various substances to transmute them into something more valuable.
ROSE: Its more pedestrian and scientifically credible cousin would be chemistry, which I guess is the technical term for mixing shit together.
ROSE: Which strictly speaking more accurately describes what I’m doing.
DAVE: so what your doing science now
DAVE: who do you think you are your mom


Here we have even more motherly grief buried under a layer of Dave/Rose humor. Dave jokes that Rose is trying to imitate her mother, not knowing that she actually is trying to connect to her dead guardian.

DAVE: wait that sounded like lame burn again
DAVE: every time i talk about your mom it sounds like a burn
DAVE: who do you think you are my mom
DAVE: wait scratch that
DAVE: every time we start talking about her as my mom things just start snowballing down our dumb conversational ski slope and suddenly sigmund freud and king oedipus start banging each others hot moms at some kind of depraved sexy momswap party
ROSE: Thanks for the imagery. It was almost as graphic as it made no sense.


Dave then derails the conversation further by talking about the hot mom running gag completely unprompted. This helps further obfuscate some depressing stuff about Rose we’re about to see in full light.

DAVE: so what are you making
ROSE: Beverages.
DAVE: beverages what kind of beverages
ROSE: Tasty beverages, I hope.
DAVE: apple juice???
DAVE: please let it be aj please let it be aj please let it be aj 
ROSE: I’ll see what I can do.
DAVE: omg
DAVE: omg
 #omg
DAVE: fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck yes


I wish Rose had listened to Dave and learned to make apple juice instead of alcohol. That would have been a mutually fulfilling treat.


If you go to the room up north as Dave, you’ll encounter Karkat’s dream phantom right next to his sleeping body. As promised, I am now going to talk about Dave and Karkat as a ship.

Dave x Karkat has been a controversial ship ever since it was introduced arguably out of nowhere after the retcon that brought Vriska back. I absolutely hated that ship back in the day. I found it to be the most forced thing ever and didn’t like that we didn’t see it demonstrated aside from visuals in Vriskagram and characters talking about how they are maybe a thing. When others pointed out that Dave and Karkat’s interactions before the retcon are arguably shippy, I vehemently denied any of that and also denied many accusations of being homophobic.

But all this flipped on its head when the Homestuck Epilogues came out. The epilogues are a tale of redemption arcs, and I’m not talking about Gamzee’s extremely farcical and stupid “redemption arc”. Many controversial things about the late comic were completely redeemed for me and many other fans, including arguably the two biggest: (1) Vriska and (2) Dave and Karkat’s relationship. In the epilogues, Dave and Karkat show a strong relationship with clear romantic tension that goes in different directions depending what choice John makes at the start. It’s heartening to see Dave encourage Karkat to run for president, incredibly satisfying when they finally kiss in Meat, and incredibly devastating when Karkat breaks up with him and Jade in Candy. All this made me think back to A6A6I5 and I realized that the reason Dave x Karkat felt so wrong then was simply because the tone of that act is kind of “off” compared to the rest of Homestuck, and because we didn’t see much of that ship in action aside from visuals. The Davekat Redemption Arc is an absolute piece of beauty that makes their pre-retcon interactions seem much more shippy in retrospect. I fully admit that my denial of them as a ship in prior years was largely a result of heteronormativity (which is another thing I denied back then), but I can’t say it wasn’t also partly a result of bad storytelling. But who cares about any of that anymore, this ship is redeemed now.

> Dave, talk to Karkat

KARKAT: OK, THIS IS JUST FUCKING STUPID NOW.
DAVE: what
KARKAT: I’M ASLEEP, BUT I GUESS THE METEOR IS PHYSICALLY PASSING THROUGH THE BUBBLE I’M DREAMING IN?
KARKAT: AND NOW MY “DREAM PHANTOM”, OR WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO CALL THIS VERSION OF YOURSELF, IS ACTUALLY IN THE SAME PHYSICAL LOCATION AS MY SLEEPING BODY.
KARKAT: I’VE JUST BEEN STANDING HERE WATCHING MYSELF SLEEP ON THE HORN PILE. IT’S OFFICIAL. WE’VE BREACHED A CRITICAL THRESHOLD OF BULGE NUMBING IDIOCY. 
DAVE: huh
KARKAT: WHAT DO WE EVEN CALL THIS DREAMING INSTANCE OF OURSELVES? IT CAN’T BE “DREAM SELF” BECAUSE THAT’S ALREADY A THING. AS IN THE VERSION OF YOURSELF ON DERSE OR PROSPIT.
KARKAT: BUT THAT WAS MORE LIKE A PHYSICAL, REAL SELF, THAT JUST HAPPENED TO SERVE AS A BACKUP LIFE. THIS IS SOMETHING TOTALLY DIFFERENT, LIKE A WEIRD HOLOGRAM.
KARKAT: HEY, AM I TANGIBLE TO YOU?
DAVE: uh
KARKAT: TOUCH ME.
DAVE: what
KARKAT: JUST GIVE ME A LITTLE POKE.
DAVE: no
KARKAT: DON’T BE LIKE THAT, JUST MAN UP AND TOUCH ME. MAYBE JUST BRUSH MY CHEEK GENTLY WITH THE BACK OF YOUR HAND. SOMETHING UNAMBIGUOUSLY PLATONIC LIKE THAT.



This is one of many bits I denied back in the day could come off as ship teasing. I somehow managed to convince myself that this couldn’t reasonably be interpreted as shippy, just as I convinced myself it wasn’t possible for them as a ship to be presented well. I have a tendency to convince myself of things that I deep down know are false.


DAVE: no fuck you
DAVE: im not caressing your dream hologram
KARKAT: YOU HAVE A REALLY TRAGICALLY UNDER-INQUISITIVE MIND, DAVE. THIS IS FOR SCIENCE. IF SCIENCE WAS UP TO YOU, HUMANITY NEVER WOULD HAVE COME ANYWHERE CLOSE TO RISING TO THE LEVEL OF PATHETIC INFERIORITY IT WAS BARELY ABLE TO ACHIEVE AS IT WAS.


Romantically or not, I don’t think anyone can deny that Dave and Karkat’s dynamic is absolute gold. They’re a perfect pair of characters to metafictionally tackle (or rather, fail to tackle) the concept of nonsensical dream logic.

DAVE: you look really tired man
DAVE: your sleep phantom should curl up with your napping meat torso in the horn pile and try to score some shuteye
KARKAT: YEAH, WELL MAYBE I’LL DO JUST THAT, ASSHOLE!
DAVE: ok
DAVE: hop to it
KARKAT: NO. NOT WHILE YOU’RE WATCHING.
DAVE: man
DAVE: our conversations can be so embarrassing
DAVE: im so glad we manage to have most of them in private
KARKAT: YEAH
KARKAT: ME TOO


The end of this conversation is pretty heartening. It brings back memories of Karkat’s vitriolic interactions with his troll friends, especially Sollux—I probably would have left it at that had I gotten to this scene before the epilogues came out. In retrospect, this scene comes off as the first seed planted for Dave and Karkat’s more positive dynamic and arguably their romantic tension.

–––––––––––– –––––––––––– –––––––––––– ––––––––––––


That’s it for the dialogue options in the meteor. Time to proceed to Aranea’s exposition booth.

No Charlie Brown gag this time.

Character recap time!

  • Rufioh Nitram is an homage to Dante Basco and probably a joke character.
  • Horuss Zahhak is even worse than a joke character because nobody remembers a damn thing about him.
  • Damara Megido is mostly a joke character, but she’s the most plot-relevant of the ten trolls we meet in this walkaround.

> Status report.

MEENAH: welp
 #kelp
MEENAH: im a total failure
MEENAH: didnt recruit a single ghost for my army
MEENAH: except for one guy but he was asleep
ARANEA: Don’t lose hope! I know our group of friends is a 8it lackluster in the motivation department, 8ut there are plenty of other souls out there.
ARANEA: You just need to find someone with the right amount of moxy to get you started. Then I’m sure more will follow.
ARANEA: Who knows, if you keep exploring, may8e someone like that will 8e right around the corner!
MEENAH: you seem more psyched about my army plan than you did before
MEENAH: whats with the change of tuna
ARANEA: I’ve started to 8elieve that what you’re doing may 8e important. Just a feeling.
ARANEA: It could 8e every 8it as critical as my quest to find the cheru8. I think it all could 8e related. Like legs of a stool that won’t stand unless all are in place.
 #Or, prongs of a fork, if you will.
MEENAH: how is cherubquest goin btw
ARANEA: Uh… ok.
ARANEA: I’ve still 8een…….. a little preoccupied.

Do you ever start a school project that you think is going to be really exciting and whose subject you chose yourself, but it turns out to be a boring slog and you start trying to justify what you’ve been doing to distract yourself from that project? This is how Aranea probably feels right now.

MEENAH: girl please
MEENAH: you been draggin your talking booth around to hassle people with facts aintcha
ARANEA: This is my last session, I swear!!!!!!!!
ARANEA: After this, I promised myself I would retire the exposition stand for good. May8e I’ll put it up for sale, and try to recoup some of the su8stantial losses required to operate it.
MEENAH: aranea we are such failures at stuff together
MEENAH: why are we such a couple of gorgeous and sexy failures at things
ARANEA: I don’t know, 8ut we can’t give up!
ARANEA: Once I close down shop here, I will redou8le my efforts to find that cheru8.
ARANEA: The first thing to do will 8e to figure out her name. It’s 8een so maddeningly elusive, almost as if someone’s taken care to scru8 any reference to it throughout paradox space, whether in memories or reality.


Aranea quite clearly doesn’t even know where to begin on the cherubquest. She’s decided to start with finding out the cherub’s name, which sounds like something she should know already? This is even more of her being stuck on the cherubquest because she doesn’t really want to do it.

> Tell me about Rufioh Nitram.

ARANEA: The Rogue of 8reath was always a very popular mem8er of our group. Pro8a8ly the most popular, I’d say. Sort of the anti-me, in that respect. Ever the recipient of romantic solicitations whichever way he turned. Sort of the anti-Cronus, in that respect.
MEENAH: aw yeah sick ampora burn outta nowhere hi 5
ARANEA: Indeed. His mutation made him an outcast, though. To avoid the unwanted attention his wings would 8ring him, he took refuge in the forest among those who welcomed his differences, and learned their ways.
ARANEA: The Lost Weea8oos was a guild of youthful tree-dwelling troll otakus with a zeal for fisticuffs, flight, and various forms of exotic eastern theater. 8ane to the enemies of hijinks, scourge to the seafaring classes who…
MEENAH: NOP-E
MEENAH: NOT LISFININ TO T)(IS LA LA LA GLUB GLUB GLUB
ARANEA: (GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB) centuries of feuding with the Kemonomimi tri8es (GLUB GLUB GLUB LA LA LA LA GLUB GLUB GLUB) ceremonial torchlight yaoi festivals (LA LA LA LA GLUB GLUB LA LA LA) tsundere quadrant vacillation (GLUUUUUB GLUBGLUBGLUBGLUB GLUUUUUUUUUB) threw down a daggerlance to challenge the guild’s high seme for dominance (NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO) ultimately served like a shonen on Shitsuji Island.
MEENAH: hey serket
MEENAH: how much i gotta pay you to zip yer blowhole on this shit so tight you never bring it up again
ARANEA: For such a service, I will require nothing short of the large gold statue in your palace. I think you know which one I’m talking a8out.
MEENAH: you drive a hard bargain serks
MEENAH: but you got a deal


We already know basically all of Rufioh’s backstory, so all we get here is an anime gag sequence. The little bits Meenah doesn’t glub over are pretty funny, even if they don’t make the slightest bit of sense. I assume all the tribe fighting and shonen battles are nothing more than harmless imaginary roleplaying, especially knowing the Beforan trolls.

> Tell me about Horuss Zahhak.

ARANEA: The Page of Void was a self taught master of mechanics, an avid patron of the fine arts, a passionate 8ody 8uilder, archer, am8rosia collector and steamwright. A poet, a scholar, a warrior, a lover, he was all that his caste demanded and more. A true troll Renaissance man. His name means “He Who Stalks With The Muscle8easts.”
ARANEA: 8ut all of his proficiencies were hard won, 8uilt from the 8lank slate as his aspect would imply, advancing at the slow pace his class would as well. Yet in spite of all he worked to make something of himself, he amounted to very little. Responsi8le for neither great feats of heroism nor acts of villainy, he was just another game piece to 8e moved a8out the 8oard. The aspect ruling his life would always conspire to dampen his relevance.


Horuss turned out to be forgettable both in-story and out of story—he’s not even any sort of fan favorite minor character. I can’t even put it into words how forgettable he is. He’s probably the most forgotten about among the Beforan trolls—most of the others at least have something memorable about them. I hardly remembered a thing about him before starting this post and I’ll probably forget everything about him again after this post is finished.

ARANEA: Void is easily the most mysterious aspect, the one which inherently defies rational understanding. This makes it particularly fascinating, and just as frustrating, to light players such as myself. Casting illumination upon nothing itself is futile. For to truly know void is to paradoxically cause it not to 8e!
ARANEA: The role of the void player is to somehow em8race nothingness, to 8ecome one with it. And yet in total contradiction with this, to make use of the power it grants and serve a role of relevance, one must find a way to overcome it! To see the limitless potential in the void. To find everything within nothing, and 8ring it into 8eing. 
MEENAH: zzzzzzzzzzz
ARANEA: Hey!!!!!!!!
MEENAH: wuh
ARANEA: This is a perfect case in point, regarding the path of the void player. So resistant is his story to having a relevant 8earing on anything, you fell asleep and didnt hear a word.
MEENAH: yeah thats nice
MEENAH: WH-ER-E MA MON-EY
ARANEA: You don’t get any. Your slum8er voided the transaction.
MEENAH: dag

Aranea elaborates on Horuss’s irrelevance and deems him an example of a character who did not make good use of his mythological role. When devising the Beforan trolls’ characters, did Hussie have the foresight to deliberately make Horuss the least memorable of the bunch? Because if he did, then he totally succeeded.

> Tell me about Damara Megido.

ARANEA: The Witch of Time was not always the party’s 8iggest trou8lemaker. If you recall, you wore that tiara for a long time. ::::)
MEENAH: yeah yeah
ARANEA: Once she was as meek as can 8e. Hailing from the eastern provinces, she migrated across the seas and settled near the forest concealing Rufioh’s guild. The two of them 8ecame quite fond of each other, and shared many interests!
ARANEA: He secretly 8egan seeing someone else, 8elieving she knew nothing. 8ut she always suspected his infidelity, and over time grew quite distraught. 8ut her sadness never quite turned to rage and malevolence. Not until you… involved yourself. 
MEENAH: ugh do we really have to go through this
ARANEA: If you’d like to earn your money, then yes!
MEENAH: bleh fine
ARANEA: After we 8egan our game, you quickly determined that winning was going to 8e an uphill 8attle with our team. Everyone was so preoccupied with their interpersonal issues, and no one seemed in any shape to 8e fighting major 8attles. Sound familiar?
MEENAH: deja vus a bitch serk
ARANEA: So you did your 8est to rile up the crew any way you could. Appealing to peoples insecurities, 8uried hostilities, 8rewing rivalries… needling anyone you could into confrontation with others. Your theory was that increasing everyone’s state of aggression would make them 8etter equipped to play the game. And you were sort of right a8out that! 8ut the Alternians would prove it. Not our group, sadly.
ARANEA: The poor girl who took the 8runt of your 8ullying tactics was Damara Megido. You talked up her matesprit’s 8etrayal making her feel even more dreadful, while pushing him further into the arms of her rival, until she simply snapped. She attacked him, paralyzing him from the neck down. You finally got the aggressive confrontation you were looking for. Unfortunately, you unleashed something even you weren’t prepared for, and you had to deal with her yourself. After a long 8loody duel, she killed you. 


Aranea’s description of Damara’s backstory shows us Meenah isn’t so innocent either. She tried to make her teammates more Alternian, which only ended up working with one of the trolls. And boy was the outcome nasty. While most of the Beforan trolls remained the same bunch of losers throughout their session, Damara turned into a brutal killer and played the biggest part in the Beforan trolls’ actual cycle of revenge, not the one where Latula lost her sense of smell.

ARANEA: And you would have stayed dead if not for me!
ARANEA: You never listened to me. You just kept needling and fussing and meddling until eventually you paid the price, and I had to 8ail you out.

MEENAH: (arg how bad do i even want this stupid money…)

Aranea brings up a surprising moment of friendship where she says she bailed Meenah out and helped her ascend to god tier. It’s quite powerful here because it’s easy to forget Aranea was actually part of the Beforan session and not just a random exposition nerd.

ARANEA: Damara has 8een unhinged ever since. 8y increasing her violent tendencies, instead of 8eing an asset in the game, she 8ecame a loose canon, ar8itrarily showing up at key moments throughout the timeline to sa8otage us. 

Here we finally see how Damara corresponds to her dancestor. Her role in the Beforans’ session was the exact opposite of Aradia’s: while Aradia dutifully made sure through timeline management that the trolls’ session would succeed, Damara used timeline management to ensure the Beforan session’s catastrophic failure.

ARANEA: So radical was her shift in personality, I’ve had a hard time 8elieving your incitement was solely to 8lame. It always seemed like other forces were in play, as if her acts, though apparently haphazard, were in keeping with some inscruta8le agenda. Of course it doesn’t help that it’s so hard to understand her even on a good day.

This inversion of Aradia is followed by a hint at Lord English lore. After Damara’s heart was broken, she needed something new to believe in and naturally enough, she turned into a Lord English worshipper who carries out all his (really Doc Scratch’s) instructions exactly as he wanted.

ARANEA: Strangely, the only time she was eager to help us was when we were preparing to initiate the Scratch. And it’s a good thing she was, since I’m not sure anyone else would have had the a8ility to do that kind of damage to the Cardinal Movement and release its energy. 

Technically, we already knew this before we even knew Damara’s name. Looking back, that page is a good bit of foreshadowing that cleverly disguises that Damara was the unseen hand behind their session’s failure.

ARANEA: It was almost a little eerie how happily she complied with our plan. What did Rufioh say she said? Something a8out how we would all finally get what we deserved…
ARANEA: Which at the time, I thought sounded chilling. 8ut there’s really two ways of looking at it. One is how the Scratch re8ooted our world into a state of pure chaos, culminating in the annihilation of our universe. 8ut on the other hand, we all got the chance to live out our wildest fantasies as adults on Alternia! 
ARANEA: At least you and I sure did. And I wouldn’t dou8t she feels the same way.
MEENAH: so
MEENAH: we done?
ARANEA: That’s it!
MEENAH: toughest 5 bucks i ever made


Aranea interprets Damara’s ominous statement in a surprisingly positive light, in a way that shows Meenah is the only one she actually saw as a friend and the rest she probably just views as random background characters. She knows what all her teammates’ lives were like on Alternia—remember the time she told the stories of the Alternian ancestors in Meenah’s blunt style?

Meenah most definitely lived her wildest fantasies as the Condesce, that goes without saying. It’s a bit surprising Aranea feels the same way about her life as Mindfang, because it hints that Aranea is more sinister and self-important than she lets on—that is also hinted at when Aranea starts showing more interest in the ghost army plan than the cherubquest. As for Damara, that’s some tragic dramatic irony right there. She was raised by Doc Scratch and hated every second of it, then forced into millennia of slavery as English’s handmaid to make Alternia the nightmare world it was, and at the end mercifully killed by the Condesce. Why does this comic have to be so cruel???

The narration points out this journal has a lot of mature content. Kind of raises questions about Aranea, who was very happy with who her post-scratch self turned out to be.

After the exposition booth, Meemah explores some familiar dream bubble memories and finds chests containing Vriska’s possessions, like Mindfang’s journal, the Fluorite Octet, and a broken 8 ball. It’s quite nostalgic seeing so many Vriska-related things; brings back memories of the troll walkarounds in Act 5 Act 2.

After those Vriska chests comes one of the few parts of Homestuck that I actually, legitimately hate. It’s pretty much a promo for Hiveswap, which has had let’s just say a rough history. Openbound Part 3 was released in 2012, and at the time Hiveswap wasn’t named yet; it was still only known as the “Homestuck Adventure Game”. This part stings the hardest:


Some people might say this scene “aged like spoiled milk” or something. This is an absurd understatement. A better analogy would be some devilish kind of milk which smells worse the longer it’s in the fridge and doesn’t have any kind of threshold to just how bad it can smell—every year you take it out, it just smells worse and worse even when you thought its stench last time you opened it was already the worst smell you could ever experience. Can this part just be removed from Homestuck? It’s absurdly out of place.

Vriska and Terezi are so close to reuniting, as are John and Dave. That’s incredibly sad.


After a scene that has absolutely no business being in Homestuck, Openbound Part 3 ends with Meenah encountering Vriska, Tavros, and John. This concludes the Openbound trilogy and boy was it a doozy. But we’re not done yet! There’s a bit of extra content if you go to the meteor playing as Damara, so let’s go ahead and do that.

–––––––––––– –––––––––––– –––––––––––– ––––––––––––



> Damara, talk to Rose

ROSE: Hello. I don’t think we’ve met.
DAMARA: [confused face]
ROSE: You seem confused. Are you lost?
ROSE: Maybe you shouldn’t be wandering around here.
DAMARA: PLEASE. APOLOGY.
DAMARA: NOT WANT. DISTURB YOU.
ROSE: Aw. You seem so sweet.
ROSE: Please, feel free to stay as long as you like.


Damara puts up a friendly foreigner image when speaking to humans, and god damn does Rose fall for it. She’s polite as ever to the ladies.

> Damara, talk to Dave

DAVE: hey
DAVE: who the fuck are you
DAVE: dont think you belong in here 
DAMARA: I VERY HAPPY. 
DAMARA: MEET HUMAN.
DAMARA: SAY MUCH DELIGHT.
DAVE: meh you seem harmless enough
DAVE: what do i even care
DAVE: go fuck some shit up japanese schoolgirl troll


Dave falls for the image too and thinks Damara is harmless. This is probably exactly what she was like before she became evil. Undergoing such massive shifts in personality seems to be a common trait among the Megidos.


With trolls though, Damara is nasty as ever. I wonder if Damara really is her old happy self around humans, who to her knowledge are harmless and friendly?


And Terezi echoes her dancestor’s lines about Mituna, this time much more dramatically. Damara probably didn’t help one bit with Terezi’s recent depression.


Outside the meteor, Damara encounters Hussie in the exposition booth. Apparently Aranea sold the booth to him. Hussie’s self-insert vents a bit about the real-world Hussie’s ambition with this Homestuck adventure game, and I actually do feel bad for the real Hussie in that time. Wasn’t half of the giant sum of Kickstarter money later stolen and used to fund King’s Quest or something? Hussie doesn’t let Damara talk, knowing that she’ll just say filthy things in Japanese. Instead, he offers his own commentary about each of the Beforan trolls.

Damara – Not much to say. Hussie just explains that her Japanese speech is Google translated, Damara flips her off, then Hussie apologizes and mentions character porn and Damara is confused.

Rufioh – Just a heartfelt apology to Dante Basco, an actual famous actor, for getting wrapped up in the nightmare that is the Homestuck fandom.

Mituna – 

Mega Man Sollux has some problems. He falls down and stuff and talks on a 4chan background, because of 4chan. But in spite of that, he’s brave and does his best and everyone loves him. Also no one can read a damn thing he says. His quirk is the least legible of all quirks, with Damara’s coming in at a close second.

Not much to say here either. I think I agree that Mituna’s quirk is probably the only one you can never get used to reading. Even Feferi’s quirk isn’t so bad after a while.

Kankri –

Did you know: it is a Homestuck fact that 99 percent of all readers didn’t read or care about anything Kankri said. So in other words, he is exactly like all terrible social justice bloggers. Some social justice bloggers get angry at the joke that he is, but those are the terrible ones, and being terrible is why they get angry. They want to be terrible in peace without being mocked. That is what it is like to be a justified target of ridicule. You feel sad and angry all the time and you don’t know why. 

99 percent of all readers isn’t 100 percent. You better believe that the MSPA wiki ate Kankri’s words up and extensively documented his mechanical descriptions of troll stuff that’s probably all in his imagination. It’s not their fault though. That’s what naturally happens with pretty much all wikis, whether you like it or not.

Kankri wears a cute red sweater and is otherwise fairly adorable. Porrim acts like his mom which is also cute as hell.

Kankri is incredibly far up his own ass but I must agree that he’s kind of adorable. Only natural when he’s so closely related to Karkat.

Meulin – 

Meulin is the deaf Nepeta in this kickass smorgasbord of disabled characters. She speaks in ASL to say memes which are called mimes because it’s one letter away and therefore a play on words. But you can’t actually use ASL to say animated tumblr gifs, you can only say words. She otherwise reads lips, which is funny because her bff sewed his damn mouth shut so they just sign memes to each other all day while stoned. It is implied that they smoke catnip together, as if it were marijuana, which is an especially amusing notion to people who like drugs. Moving on??

Pretty much all the basics of her character right there. Meulin actually only uses sign language to say GIFs and otherwise speaks with her mouth. I know how sign language works and all, but it somehow seems completely natural to use it to convey memes instead.

Porrim – I got nothing here. Porrim is indeed a vampire with cool tattoos and that’s the most important thing about her.

Latula – 

Latula is the gamegrl to Mituna’s gamebro. Gamebros and gamegrls aren’t really “types of people” so much as they are hollow cliches which are patronizing to multiple groups of people on multiple levels. So in other words, perfect attributes for some 1.5 dimensional NPC-caliber characters stocking a fun jrpg style walkaround game.

It’s kind of impressive just how many different groups gamebros and gamegrls rudely patronize and stereotype, as Porrim has pointed out before. That says a lot about all the work Latula has put into perfecting her rad girl act. Other than that, Hussie explains a few jokes and puns you may have missed.

Aranea – We’ve gotten to know Aranea pretty well by this point. Hussie simply says Aranea is a blabbermouth who tells flowery nonsensical stories and then complains that she charged him so much for a cardboard exposition booth.

Horuss – 


This dude is just Equius on horse steroids. The end.

Honestly, this is all anyone ever needs to say about Horuss. What else is there to say or care about this guy? Fucking nothing, that’s what.

Kurloz –

He chewed off his tongue and sewed his mouth shut because he’s a weirdo in cahoots with Gamzee and English. Who even knows what they’re up to. It’s probably just a lot of stupid bullshit. Meaningless, clownish nonsense. Want to know why they’re assembling the wicked ensemble? They probably just think it’s funny. Kurloz speaks in bones when he does his clown hypnosis shit but otherwise he mimes everything because get this: he’s pretty much literally a mime. 

I actually appreciate that Hussie went out of his way to say Gamzee and Kurloz’s Lord English worship is all a big joke, which further tells readers that Damara was the real plot-relevant unseen troll and Kurloz was just a nonsensical clown.

Also a juggalo. Because that’s exactly what Homestuck needed. Another fucking juggalo. Homestuck needed another juggalo like it needed… 

Well, another twelve trolls I guess. 

What can I say? I guess Kurloz’s character helps cement the juggalo stuff as more farcical than people probably think.

Cronus –

Cronus is the worst character in Homestuck by a nautical mile. Any questions?

Nope.

Meenah –

Meenah is kind of throwing a bone to the pisces people who got stuck with Feferi. Feferi didn’t really do anything and then she died. Meenah is a cool sassy punk who has more important stuff to do than Feferi ever did. You just spent like the last three hours playing through these games from her POV so obviously you know that. You’re probably sick of fish puns by now. After a while you start running out of fish puns. You can overdo it with fish puns, much like you can overfish the ocean. You start literally running out of fucking fish. Be careful out there.

Given how Hussie treats many of his characters like absolute shit, it’s rather gracious of him to give Feferi a cooler replacement who actually does things. She’s been a fun addition to the story so far so I’d say it was worth giving Feferi a replacement.

Meenah discovered that raising and army is hard. But you know what’s really hard? What’s really hard is making games. Games disguise the effort that go into them probably like few other crafts. In order to make a game that is even slightly better than mediocre, someone probably had to die in the process. Like building pyramids. Nobody actually died while making these games though, hence they were just ok. But still if you add up all the work done collectively on these last three games, it probably was comparable to the manhours that went into [S] Cascade. You know what that is? That’s a silly ass fact.

More semi-unfiltered rants about Hiveswap development. I guess Hussie did have to vent his Hiveswap frustration somewhere; this was back when he wasn’t so reclusive on the Internet.

–––––––––––– –––––––––––– –––––––––––– ––––––––––––


… And that’s the end of Openbound Part 3! Final verdict: I feel about it mostly the same way as I do about Part 1, but it’s a little weaker in a lot of ways. Damara, Rufioh, and Horuss’s backstory was neat to learn about, but felt much more self-contained which I wasn’t a fan of. The meteor part was a fun throwback but it wasn’t very long and didn’t do quite as much as I had hoped to dampen the weird feeling you get when going through this batch of joke characters for so long.

I did like Part 3 a bit more than Part 2 overall; the first half with new trolls was much more tolerable this time, but the second half with old characters wasn’t as remarkable as Part 2’s second half. I didn’t mind going through the Openbound games in this reread as much as I thought I would. The only parts that I found really annoying were the Beforan trolls’ introductions in Part 2 and Hussie’s rants about Hiveswap production.

I’ll go over the Openbound games as a collective in more detail at the next post, which will be my final Act 6 Intermission 3 post. See you next time as Rose and Kanaya finally kiss.

>> Part 91: Drunken Smooches and Costume Parties

Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 5 Rewritten: The Crutch of Cinematic Troglodytes

Introduction

Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 >

Act 2, Part 2 of 5

Pages 358-428 (MSPA: 2258-2328)

Link to old version / Link to new version

I was originally going to call this post “Grandmotherly Expositation Station (ft. wizards)”.

Then I was going to call this post “The Motherly Miniboss (who hates wizards)”.

But now I’ve settled on an actually good title. I need to name more posts after Dave lines.


Let’s be real here, the content covered in this post has far more focus on Rose than grandmotherly expositation. And all title pictures prior to this were from scenes focused on John so I wanted to change things up.

Another note: I’ll be referencing the old version of this post quite a bit in this one, because I’ve realized many new things related to what I talked about in that post.

Irony, summarized in one picture.


What’s the first thing we see when Rose enters her living room? An enormous wizard statue. I touched upon the kids’ pattern of guardian interests in my rewrite of post 3 and I’ll go over this pattern more as we go along.

Just look at that mystical gaze. To peer into those aloof, glassen eyes is to arrest the curiosity of any mortal. To behold the wisdom concealed in the furrows of that venerable face is to know the ceaseless joys of bewonderment itself. Any man so fortunate as to catch askance his merry twinkle or twitch of whisker shall surely have all his dreams fulfilled.

You find this grisly abomination utterly detestable.

If you read this narration closely enough, it comes across as an inversion of the narration’s ridiculously dark and gloomy descriptions of the Horrorterrors (1, 2, 3). And if you read it that way, at a glance it seems like Rose just loves dark things and hates bright and sunny things. This interpretation isn’t even close to true: as I established at the start of my rewrite of post 4, what Rose has an affinity for is the complex and unknowable, which includes the Horrorterrors just as much as it includes wizards. I like how this passage still makes sense knowing that Rose likes wizards but dislikes the way her mother uses wizards to spite her, which as you know is all in her head; it’s something of a red herring for the story to imply she hates wizards.

Also on this topic, in the old version of this post I was confused about why Rose understood her friends’ inner motives and feelings but not her mother’s love of wizards. I even speculated that her mother formed a void (haha epic classpect speculation) in Rose’s knowledge. I think I know why now: Rose can easily pick apart anything complicated but won’t accept anything simple and straightforward.



> Rose: Psychoanalyze mother’s love of wizards.

There is nothing to psychoanalyze. Your mother clearly has no real affinity for these damnable things. She only collects them to spite you. 


If anything, she finds them even more repellent than you do. She’s just a committed woman.

The line “there is nothing to psychoanalyze” shows that Rose is buried deep in her mind with how she perceives her mother. She thinks these are obvious facts and thus don’t qualify as psychoanalysis. I’m going to borrow from an earlier post again, to discuss the contrast between the ways John and Rose interpret their guardians. Here goes:

Both of [John and Rose’s] perceptions of their guardians could not be further from the truth and the ways they are far from the truth could not be more different. Rose’s perception of her mother inverts John’s perception of his father in every way. John thinks his father loves clowns though he is really just pretending, while Rose thinks her mother pretends to love wizards even though she really does love them.


A major point with the guardians is that they are twisted around a lot from how they would ideally be. John, Rose, and Dave all understand each other’s guardians better than they do their own and I think it’s quite depressing it turned out this way. A rough idea this leads to is that Rose and Dave would have been better off with their guardians swapped; I wouldn’t be surprised if this contrast is part of what inspired Hussie to devise the kids’ ectobiological family tree.

This inversion (not classpect inversion you dumbass) has important implications about the kids’ friendships. It really seems like they would be incomplete or just flat out not understand the world without each each other by their sides. And it takes seeing each other’s lives firsthand through Sburb for them to realize these connections and truths about their guardians.


Comparing it to John’s ordinary living room filled with a collection of clowns, it’s no surprise that Rose’s living room houses a giant swath of wizards in a setting a bit more eccentric than before. The two things that are likely to stick out to readers—the bronze vacuum cleaner and the squid princess doll—are explained shortly, so I’ll go over them as I go along.


You descend to the living room area of your home’s expansive open layout. There is the sound of rushing water beneath the floor. It tends to strike guests as a strange presence in a living space, but it’s become hardly audible to you through familiarity. 

This small paragraph briefly mentions guests who apparently visits Rose’s house and after all this time, it’s still an ENORMOUS oddball. In the old version of this post, I brought up this bit of text and though I didn’t point out how out of place it was to suddenly mention houseguests, it was clear based on how much I analyzed it and tried to speculate that it really stuck out to me then. And it sticks out to me just as much now.

Over the years, the human Prospit dreamers’ adult selves have had their backstories slowly but surely demystified: first through elaboration in Dirk’s exposition sequences, then through Hiveswap, and then through the Skaianet Systems documents. But the Derse dreamers’ adult selves are the opposite: over time they have almost gotten more mysterious. Dave and Dirk’s conversations go in depth on how much is unknown about their adult selves, and Roxy’s adult self is almost as mysterious as they are (though we do know now she was Joey and Jude’s babysitter). The brief mention of houseguests really does seem like a random one-off for the sake of poetic narration, but I can’t help but dwell on it and imagine what sort of deeper backstory the author might have intended for Rose’s mother. If it weren’t for Dave bias, maybe there could have been some in-comic speculation about the Lalondes’ adult selves like there was with the Striders.

There’s the front door. But hopefully there’s no need to make the long trek around the house in the rain. You might as well see if you can slip through the kitchen and out the back unnoticed.

And here’s where Rose proves herself to be just as childish with her guardian as John is with his.


A while ago you gave this as an ironic gift to your MOM for mother’s day. You even customized it with a drink holder to support one of her ubiquitous ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES. 

She “liked” the gift so much, she had it bronzed and put on this pedestal. She even left it plugged in so it can still be turned on now and then. But never to do any cleaning. It never leaves this display. 


Sometimes at night when you are in your room, you can hear it wailing from downstairs. She MUST know you can hear it. She’s completely deranged.

Ah, this odd little thing. When you reread, it’s clear that Rose’s mother will dramatize anything Rose does because she’s slobbery and overly affectionate. This is interesting to read considering that I just recently wrote a post going through Roxy acting that way to Calliope. Reading this part makes it especially clear that Roxy expands on her adult self’s hidden trait of extreme affection.

The alpha kids’ character traits and interests are largely expansions upon what we know about the guardians. Usually, I think those expansions of traits work really well and make for enjoyable characters! Even with Jane to an extent, despite the criticism her character so often gets. Roxy’s super-affectionate side is generally worked well into the story too, making for some insightful and/or hilarious storytelling. But I think this trait of Roxy’s falls flat sometimes, especially during BULLSHIT: The Act, which is sometimes referred to by peasants as “Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5”. Even before BULLSHIT: The Act, Roxy’s affectionate trait has always fallen flat on its face any time she conversed with Calliope. If you want a full discussion on the problems I have with this sort of thing, read pretty much all of this post.

Obligatory reminder that Rose’s interest in knitting was all John’s doing.


The PRETTY PRINCESS DOLL has been sitting there for months, ever since your mother got this abomination for your birthday as a totally PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE gesture.


You decided to make it much less abominable by knitting Her Majesty a new head and new arms. Now it brings a mischievous smile to your face whenever you walk by. Your mother hasn’t removed the doll yet, and probably never will. She would never be the one to blink first.

Rose’s counterpart to John’s harlequin doll is a little interesting. Rather than getting a doll similar to John’s as the story progresses, she already got one for her birthday back in December. And it shows how long ago she got it because she carefully knitted onto it a squid decoration. I take the way Rose’s doll is decorated as a hint at her silly side, considering that it always brings a mischievous smile to her face.

 


Next Rose goes into her kitchen and we learn about quite a few passive-aggressive battles between Rose and her mother.

The LIQUOR BOTTLES are out in full force. MOM is surely nearby.

Oh yeah, Rose’s mother is an extreme alcoholic. If it weren’t for the retcon fixing Rose’s alcohol issues in advance by the time she enters the merged session, surely her reunion with Roxy would have been more on the sad side like Dave’s guardian reunion was.

… Oh fuck I should really shut my lid on retcon complaints, not to mention Dave bias complaints. The last thing I want to do is end up starting another rant about you-know-who. I’ll also say that despite bias complaints, Rose’s guardian reunion was a good heartwarming scene and I’m happy enough with the way it occurred.

As we go down the refrigerator, we go through examples how Rose and her mother function together. 

This was a drawing you did of your cat JASPERS when you were younger, along with a poem about him. Your mother bought this ostentatious $15,000 frame for it, and had it welded to the door.
The top part of the fridge gives an example of Rose’s guardian dynamic when she was younger, back in its formative days. I think I’ve said enough times now that adult Roxy is crazy affectionate.
Out of all words Rose could have come up with, she wrote “shrew”?

Probably a good summary of her character.

The bulk of the fridge shows us where this dynamic is now. It narrates a complex relationship out of the strangest, most trivial things imaginable.

Using the colorful MAGNET LETTERS, you recently left a succinct message, which may or may not have been directed toward anyone in particular. But you couldn’t find the letter W, so you just stuck two V’s together.

And now I’m going to analyze one of the strangest, most trivial things imaginable. It’s obvious at this point that Rose takes a passion in doing anything strange and overly complicated and tends to exert that passion by doing, uh, something to her mother that I don’t think anyone can really understand. Maybe her spelling with magnetic letters was an attempt at working with a new art form. She clearly struggled with writing that way, as the word spelled out on the fridge shows.
Rose and Dirk conversation when?

Rose’s mother responded by purchasing a pack of twelve magnetic W’s. I think I’ve said the same thing enough times about adult Roxy now, so this time I’ll say a different thing: I don’t think Rose as the child and Roxy as the mother led to a very good relationship. Is it any wonder that Dave started to think of Roxy as a mother figure as soon as he saw her while Rose decided not to think of her that way? Not out of malice or dislike of her guardian, just that she’d rather know her simply as “Roxy”.

The birth of the velvet pillow, one of the best running gags in all of Homestuck.


Rose left a signed, watermarked thank you note with a drop of blood. Her mother put a pillow below it because the note was partially touching the floor. This hammers in the contrast between mother and daughter.

It’s hard to resist getting a little silly sometimes. Especially when you are absolutely positive no one is watching.


Now that Rose is done examining her fridge, her silly side blows full force. This moment needs no explanation or commentary whatsoever, but omitting it from this post would be a heinous crime.


After a few more antics, Rose’s mother suddenly appears!!! More of Rose being just as childish as John.

You don’t know how she does that. You’re never safe in this house. 


And of all things to be doing during a power outage. She’s up to her IRONIC HOUSEWIFE routine again. That mop bucket doesn’t even have any water in it! What an absolute madwoman.

Housewife you say?

I wouldn’t doubt that Rose’s mother is a bit lonely raising just one kid. Maybe she does things married women would stereotypically do to fill such gaps before she meets up again with her true love.

Rose youth rolls to avoid her mom and then…

Lousy goddamn stupid wizards.


This line is somehow a fitting point to switch to someone else. I can’t really place why.

Dave Strider, your neighborhood window repair expert.

(I still think that joke is funny.)


HE’S SMILING, HOLY SHIT

(yes I know it’s technically three pixels not one)


Have I ever said that I fucking love the whole notion that one pixel could serve as immense shipping fuel? There is not a shred of doubt in my mind that the author did this only to prove a point. And who would’ve guessed, the point was proven.

GG: hi dave!! 
TG: hey sup 
GG: not much sup with you!! 
GG: bro! hehehe 
TG: haha 
TG: good one 
TG: s’alright being chill i guess you know how it goes 
GG: great! feeling cool today? 
GG: mr cool guy? 
TG: oh man you know it 
GG: sooooo cooooooool!!! 
TG: you know shit is ice cold up in here 
TG: shit is wicked bananas i am telling you 
GG: 😀 


I talked about Dave and Jade as a romantic pairing in the old version of this post, but in a really boring and matter-of-fact way. This time I’ll talk about it in a slightly less boring, slightly more matter-of-fact way.

Of all the pairings between the beta kids, Dave and Jade are ship teased by far the most. All other pairings between them are at most vaguely hinted at, but those two being teased is a universal constant. It’s a little weird and forced when we first see them converse, but after that it’s pretty fun for the most part with a lot of very silly or heartwarming conversations. Jade and Davesprite’s relationship in particular gives some insight into both characters that is kind of untouched in a lot of ways because Jade is shafted throughout Act 6, especially near the end.

The rest of this pesterlog is mostly just Jade revealing clues about herself. All of these clues are true but not in the way you would expect; you can tell the author had fun writing in such a misleading way.

GG: so have you talked to john today??? 
TG: yeah we were just talking a while ago about how he sucks at his sylladex 
TG: can you believe he uses stack that kid is ridiculous 
GG: lol 
GG: well that doesnt sound like much fun! 
TG: what was it you use again… 
TG: wait nm 
TG: i forgot whenever we talk about your goofy modusses i get a migrane. what do you want with john 


The “goofy modusses” part is true but not in the way one would expect. It’s also not the way you would expect something to be “true but not in the way one would expect”. Readers at this point assume that all the kids’ fetch modi are based on types of data structures and will probably be surprised to find that Jade’s are all based on board games instead. I’ll talk more about all the pattern breaking when we meet Jade in person.

GG: 🙂 
GG: i want to tell him happy birthday and ask him about his birthday package! 
TG: oh yeah 
TG: i was being sort of cagey and told him to check the mail cause i was wondering if mine came yet 
GG: i think it did! 
TG: yeah? 
GG: and i think mine came too 
TG: so uh 
TG: i guess you want to know if he likes it or something? 
GG: no!!!!!!! 
GG: he will not open it 
GG: he will lose it!!! 
TG: oh 
TG: uh 
TG: wow sorry to hear that i guess? 
GG: no its good actually! 
GG: because he will find it again later when he really needs it
GG: which of course is why i sent it in the first place! 
TG: see like 
TG: i never get how you know these things 
GG: i dont know 
GG: i just know that i know! 
TG: hmm alright 


This of course is where we learn that Jade knows things about the future. How does she know that? Let’s not dwell on it, shall we?

I have already talked about my grievances with Jade’s character in my early acts before; there’s another Jade pesterlog later where I plan to rant about these grievances. These annoyances are somewhat made for by the wonder that is Act 5 Jade and the gorgeous flash where the truth is all revealed (NOBODY TALKS ABOUT [S] JADE: PESTER JOHN COME ON YOU COWARDS), but not enough that I don’t still see her early character as a bit of a weak spot.

GG: anyway i have to go! 
GG: i have to feed bec which is always a bit of an undertaking 
TG: man 
TG: if i were you i would just take that fucking devilbeast out behind the woodshed and blow its head off 
GG: heheheh! 
GG: i dont think i could if i tried!!! 


The descriptions of this “Bec” are true in a surprisingly literal way. This passage seems like a silly joke but when you reread this passage there’s nothing even remotely false or exaggerated in it.

TG: yeah 
TG: say hi to your grand dad for me too ok 
GG: ._. 
GG: yes i guess an encounter with him is almost certain 
GG: it is usually…….. 
GG: intense!!! 
TG: well yeah isnt it always with family 
TG: but he sounds like a total badass 
GG: yeah he totally is!!! 
GG: anyway gotta go! 
TG: see ya 
GG: ❤ 


John has a dad, Rose has a mom, Dave has a bro, so Jade definitely has a grandpa, right?

Jade’s perception of her grandfather and how she pretends he is alive is still an odd bit after all this time. We only get just some small hints every now and then that she is isolated from society, such as the one-off jokes where she cleans Dave’s towel with toilet water and where she secretly wondered whether her grandpa was Iron Man.

God, I can’t imagine what it would be like if Dave and Jade switched places in how much the late comic cares about them. Even without the battleship journey where John and Davesprite brutally died, Jade could have had some scenes just as sad as those with Dave if the story actually gave her even half as much attention as Dave got.


TG: alright 
TG: im out of my room now looking for my bros game 
EB: oh, good! 
EB: yeah, there is no sign of rose yet, i hope she is ok 
TG: well if she comes back ill be ready 
TG: you better know what youre talking about cause this could get ugly 
TG: brought my phone and i also took my awesome katana with me in case things get too hot to handle 
TG: and they always do 


Switching back to John, we skip a bit forward in Dave’s story. This pesterlog does a surprisingly good job at establishing timeframes. It kind of reminds me of how I kind of have two Homestuck post series going on at the same time, my “classic” posts and my rewritten posts.

EB: i’m in my room again, i really think there’s someone else in this house. 
EB: like monsters or something. 
TG: howie??? 
EB: haha I WISH. 
TG: dude monsters arent real 
TG: thats stupid kids stuff for stupid babies 
EB: maybe. yeah you’re right. 
TG: what are you an idiot 
TG: of course there are monsters in your house 
TG: youre in some weird evil monster dimension come on 
TG: skepticism is the crutch of cinematic troglodytes 
TG: like hey mom dad theres a dinosaur or a ghost or whatever in my room. “yeah right junior go back to bed” 
TG: fuck you mom and dad how many times are we going to watch this trope unfold it wasnt goddamn funny the first time i saw it 
TG: just once id like to see dad crap his pants when a kid says theres a vampire in his closet 
TG: “OH SHIT EVERYONE IN THE MINIVAN” 
TG: be fuckin dad of the year right there 



I’ve said two things about Dave’s trope dissection in the early acts and I’ll say these two things again: (1) Dave’s trope dissection is absolute gold and (2) I consider it to be the predecessor to Dave’s meta-commentary on the comic itself, which is even more gold.

EB: how’s it going there? 
TG: im out in the living room hes usually here 
TG: but i dont see him 
TG: might be playing his mind games hes always pulling this ninja shit 
TG: all i see is lil cal over there so i guess he cant be far 
EB: hahaha. 
EB: oh god. 
EB: SO LAME. 
TG: what 
EB: see… 
EB: i just don’t know why you think it’s cool. 
EB: his ventriloquist rapping thing. 


Here John digs a bit into Dave and the stuff he keeps telling himself is true. He knows that it makes no sense for Dave to think that puppet is cool and that he only keeps telling himself he likes puppets. John tells Dave this in a rather subtle way.

TG: oh lil cal? no man 
TG: lil cal is the shit 


This line is one of these times which reads differently if you consider who repeats it in the future. Dirk says the exact same line about his puppet later on. That callback isn’t just there to exist; rather, it tells us how Bro repressed Dave into thinking (or rather, telling himself) the exact same thoughts as him.

EB: that’s fine, you are entitled to your opinion, i am just saying that being a white guy who is a rapper with a ventriloquist doll is not cool by any stretch of the imagination or by any definition of word cool, ironic or otherwise. that’s all i’m saying. 

John speaks the truth. Especially with the word “ironic”. That word is the epitome of things Dave keeps telling himself that he knows aren’t true. Dear god is he wrapped up in nonsense.

TG: yeah bullshit 
TG: cal is dope 
TG: puppets are awesome 
TG: john egbert blows 
TG: the end 
EB: yeah, more like the opposite of all those things is the thing that is true! 
EB: i’m going to read. 
EB: good luck with your bro. 


Dave speaks blatant lies. Especially with the phrase “john egbert blows”.


Rose has an interactive strife with her mother which is mostly an expansion upon John’s strife flash. It’s full of silly moments and callbacks to the “Auto-Parry” from Problem Sleuth. Some of the scenes in this flash are called back to, either in equally silly scenes or surprisingly dark scenes. “Silly scenes” refers to the many humorous moments in the Oppa Toby Style section of Collide, especially with Roxy’s attacks; “surprisingly dark scenes” refers to Damara’s strife with Doc Scratch. 

Not shown: this pony’s debut in Rose’s strife flash.


You can’t be this stupid pony, and frankly you can’t imagine why anyone would want to! 

But you give the pony a begrudging pat on the snout anyway. 


Her name is MAPLEHOOF.

Rose’s hate for sappy, sugary things continues in full force.


When John reads a portion of Data Structures for Assholes, proto-Karkat is revisited. I think that Karkat’s character was mostly subconsciously inspired by this book, whose writer has the same general archetype as him.

These next few pages I’m going to cover in a similar way to the old version of the post: John’s scenes in one paragraph, Rose’s scenes in another paragraph. In reality, these pages alternate between the two and I decided to change things up for easier formatting. Wait no, that’s a lie, I didn’t actually end up doing that.

Would  any scene from Con Air be even remotely considered iconic if not for Homestuck?


John strifes with an imp over the course of three interactive flashes. The first is a simple reenactment of the iconic “don’t move or the bunny gets it” scene. The second is a bit more complex, with a short walkaround and battle system where John hits the imp a few times until he gets hurt. I have to say that although walkarounds in the comic’s usual sprite mode style look super cool, they aren’t all that fun to go through; switching to 16-bit art and talksprites was absolutely worth the trade.

Rose makes her way to the mausoleum and damn this fire art looks cool.

I’m kind of burnt out on discussing the Sburb video game mechanics at this point.

Unless something super interesting crops up.
The victory fanfare playing every time John collects grist is another thing the homestuck.com flash messed up.

Use this link if you want that fixed.


The last of John’s imp strife pages features him weaponizing his sylladex, then collecting all his grist. It’s kind of cool seeing him make good use of those sylladex mishaps.

Whenever John is triumphant or emotional in the early acts, he takes out those emotions by reenacting a scene from Con Air.


The echeladder is a very silly parody of needlessly complicated leveling systems in RPGs. It combines two of the most fun things about the early acts: strange video game systems and big lists of absurd names.

John’s victory dances are great, I could stare at them for hours.

For old time’s sake, I very much appreciate that Roxy reiterates John’s victory scenes many acts later.


Page 413!


Skipping several pages, the next interesting that happens is when Rose enters her cat’s mausoleum. Jaspers’ resting place is a bit comparable to Nanna’s jar of ashes; considering how Rose’s home is generally a bit stranger than John’s, it makes sense that Jaspers’ coffin is in a more eccentric setting than John’s dead family member.


And this parallel is made clearer when Rose knocks her cat’s tomb out of the way. It’s reminiscent of John knocking down his grandmother’s ashes. The pattern of dead family members that get prototyped is one of those patterns that only occurs with John and Rose. That pattern’s lack of full execution is addressed in-comic when Jade says that Dave is too cool to have any dead family members. It makes sense that pattern is toyed with so much because Dave’s and Jade’s sprites both wonderfully subvert expectations.

Sorry, Jaspers. Have to make space for the LAPTOP. 


Besides, your final resting place is already a mockery. You should have decomposed years ago under a bed of petunias like a normal cat. Not given to a taxidermist and fitted with a tiny, custom-tailored suit, and then stuffed in a coffin built for infants.

A taxidermist you say?

I take this line as a subtle early clue that the kids’ guardians know more than they let on, or at least that they’re all connected in some way. Jade’s grandpa is a proud longtime stuffer of corpses and I’d bet he was the taxidermist the narration mentioned.

There’s a bit of a continuity error in the narration, which the book commentary addresses:

Rose, you are being disingenuous. He was fitted with a tiny, custom tailored suit well before he died. It was his standard day-to-day ensemble. You are just grasping at straws for ways to criticize your poor mother.

My favorite part of the book commentary might be silly bits like this, where continuity errors or moments that don’t make sense are addressed. In this case, a quick tongue-in-cheek explanation is devised for why the narration said something that doesn’t match with what we see later.

I find it interesting that this page is in the same orientation as the first page of Homestuck.

Though that orientation is probably just meant to make Nanna’s dramatic entrance more clear, it doubles as a quick indicator of John’s room then vs. now.


John notices something amiss with his door, leading to another one of Homestuck’s most common pranks: the water bucket on the head. Pranks really do seem to be a simple archetype in the comic, done by anyone under the Egbert name. Or is more accurate to say anyone under the Twain name? Under the Crocker name? Oh whatever, you know what I mean.


Turns out this is a character establishing moment for Nannasprite. The whole notion of “pranks” in John’s family line is a strange metaphor for things that run in the family and it somehow works pretty well. Nanna is no doubt a highly experienced prankstress.


Rose catches up with Dave (or rather, reveals what Dave will be up to in the future) and then we get this interesting bit:

TG: hey 
TG: dont tell john this but i think he might have been right about the puppets 
TG: theyre sort of starting to freak me out a little 


“Don’t tell John” is something of a recurring pattern among the kids. They all think he’s too innocent to know harsh truths. Pretty much anything that’s hidden from him is hidden for no good reason. Well OK, in this case Dave just doesn’t want John to know that he was right and instead banter with him as usual. He likes Rose, but he loves John—too much for his own good. He’s scared to change anything about his relationship with John.

This pattern of not telling John things could have been made into a serious arc near the end. It is revisited near the end in a very silly way: Dave thinks John shouldn’t be told who Betty Crocker’s true identity is because he’ll have a mental breakdown, but when John learns it he surprisingly handles it like a mature person.

I’m also going to borrow something from the old version of this post: Dave even remarks that maybe John was right about the puppets; this is an early example of John’s specialty in convincing people of things and leading them in the right direction, commonly speculated to tie in to his role as a breath player. I think this statement is good insight and makes sense but I might have ripped off this idea from someone else’s analysis, I don’t remember.

Interestingly, I’m at a point now in these rewritten posts where it’s beneficial to look back my current post’s old version for reasons other than laughing at it. The old version of this post was mostly boring garbage, but I did say a few insightful things in it.

TG: i mean dont get me wrong i think its cool and all 
TG: the semi-ironic puppet thing or whatever 
TG: or semi-semi ironic 



“Semi-semi ironic” indicates that Dave is 75% of the way to realizing the truth. Keep going buddy, you’ve almost got it.

TG: man i dont even know 
TG: im just starting to think some of this shit is going a little far and its kind of fucked up 


I’ve long criticized the alpha kids’ storyline for completely changing their dynamics all over the course of one day, especially with how they all acted completely happy and friendly with each other at the start. This is an instance of something similar happening with the beta kids: apparently, only this day does Dave start to confess he’s unsettled by his guardian. There’s a pretty fair excuse for this one: today’s the day where he has his biggest, most brutal swordfight of all. By “excuse” I mean narratively, not an excuse for his guardian’s actions of course.

TT: I’ve seen his websites. 
TT: I like them. 
TG: haha yeah well YOU WOULD 



This line says way way way more than most people realize. I’ve talked before about the recurring theme that the kids (or at least Dave and Rose) would be better off with guardians swapped; this is the biggest instance in Rose’s case. In Dave’s case it’s made very obvious as the story progresses, but in Rose’s case it’s only mentioned briefly at a few points. As I say this, I know Bro Strider is kind of a puppet lunatic but if he and Rose both communicated in equally obtuse and complicated ways then maybe they would have come to an understanding and both cut down on their weirdnesses.

Another thing this hints at is that a Rose/Dirk conversation would be an absolute godsend and Hussie is a hack for not giving it to us.

TG: oh man i wish lil cal wouldnt look at me like that 
TG: with those dead eyes jesus 
TG: sometimes i dream that hes real and hes talking to me and i wake up in a cold sweat and basically flip the fuck out 
TT: Interesting… 
TG: oh god why did i just tell you my dream 
TG: youre going to have a field day with that 
TT: I am currently scrawling notes furiously into one of the many psychoanalysis journals I maintain for you. Published papers forthcoming. 
TT: Because, you know, it’s not like either of us have anything better to do at the moment than to evaluate each other’s radically debilitating pathologies. 


As he goes through his mental breakdown, Dave leaks out a bit that we aren’t supposed to know yet. In just a few pages we’ll see bits of Prospit and Derse, but not until much later will we see how much it all ties together.

Rose mentions Nannasprite and then parts ways with Dave.


Let’s talk about sprites.

In Sburb, the role of sprites is simple: a guide character through the early stages of the player’s game, both in exposition and powers. But in narrative role, sprites are one of the oddest and least consistent sets of characters. They all start up purported as exposition guides but lose that role as the story goes along and as the kids’ session goes off the rails, so only Nannasprite serves the exposition role and the other sprites’ roles are very different.

Jaspersprite is a symbol of Rose’s innocence and how far she has gone since starting the game, Davesprite is a second Dave who gets to do a lot of things the “real” Dave doesn’t, and Jadesprite is a subversion of basically everything about sprites. The trolls’ lusus sprites seem to play it straight but are mostly glossed over, with just a few things said about them. And the alpha kids’ sprites are just excuses to make amalgamations of characters, also did I mention that Hussie is a hack for not making Fefetasprite talk ever?

Sprites seem to be the general “whatever the story wants” characters. This is shown in their varied set of abilities, which I had listed in detail in a very old post (the old version of post 6, not the old version of this post). Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to kindly borrow material from my past self.

What sprite powers are there exactly? Besides her eye beam attack shown above, Nannasprite is able to heal people’s health (ties in with her post-scratch self’s aspect), write using eye beams, and even conjure objects like a ghost bed and oven; there’s also Calsprite’s puppet attacks, Davesprite’s ability to deface posters, Jaspersprite’s far-reaching tentacles (which come from the princess doll), Becsprite’s amplified first guardian powers used to shatter the giant meteor; not to mention the powers squared sprites get, like memories of alternate versions of their components, teleportation by summoning fenestrated walls, and other random knowledge like Jasprosesprite^2’s knowledge of Nepeta, or Davepetasprite^2’s urge to fight Lord English … I don’t think there’s really a set rule for what powers sprites get, maybe it’s just new powers as the plot demands.

This “whatever the story wants” role is kind of shafted in later acts, but it’s brought to full force with the squared sprites as I just said. When the squared sprites become a thing many many pages later, Rose bonks on her head with a pillow and boy can I not blame her.


NANNASPRITE: Your father was kidnapped! 
JOHN: oh no! 
NANNASPRITE: When you crossed over to The Medium, he was apprehended by the very forces of darkness which your presence here has awakened. 


It’s only natural that this sprite exposition sequence is filled with early installment weirdness. I’ve talked plenty about stuff the author planned in advance, but not so much about stuff the author planned that doesn’t happen. I’m not talking about BULLSHIT: The Act; rather, I’m talking about early installment weirdness and the hints at things that weren’t fated to be.

It seems like at this point, Hussie had lots of wild ideas for underlings being affiliated with Derse, connected with agents and denizens and whatnot. But those ideas didn’t really go many places after this introduction sequence. The agents—all of the named Prospitians and Dersites really (I’m not even sure which are and aren’t “agents”?)—are much more of their own set of characters with their own stories than a gear in the machine of Sburb’s forces. We do sometimes see those characters doing required, predestined things but it’s all very much in the background. It doesn’t help that at this point WV is the only carapacian character we’ve seen so far and we don’t yet know anything about his backstory.

JOHN: what? ok, so what is the medium you are talking about? 
NANNASPRITE: It is where we are now! A realm that is a ring of pure void, dividing light and darkness. It turns in the thick of The Incipisphere, a place untouched by the flow of time in your universe. 
JOHN: you mean because we are inside a computer, or in the game software or something? 


I still maintain that John was so excited for Sburb that he completely forgot what it was about. That’s the best explanation for why he wasn’t surprised that objects could be moved around his house. It’s also why he thinks he’s inside a computer or whatever.

… Actually, maybe this whole time he thought he was going to be inside a computer. I’m sure he’s seen plenty of awesome movies of this type. He mentions liking Japanese mangas at one point; perhaps he’s a fan of Sword Art Online? (I know fucking nothing about anime/manga, feel free to make fun of me for mentioning that one.)

NANNASPRITE: A computer? Why, what is that, dear? Some new fangled contraption, like the horseless auto-boxcar? 
JOHN: well, uh, it’s like this machine that, uh… 
NANNASPRITE: Hoo hoo hoo! Of course I know what a computer is, John! I was just pulling your leg! Hoo hoo hoo! 
JOHN: oh, ok. 


More indication that Nanna is a longtime expert at pranks. She knows her way around them incredibly well.


A cool little flash plays introducing us the world of Skaia, with music that gives a sense of intrigue and wonder. I don’t have anything to say on Nannasprite’s exposition on this topic, but I do have something to say about part of the book commentary:

Ultimately there are a lot of guides in HS, not just game-supplied ones. Characters who know more than others, and fill in details such as this, either specifically to be helpful, or just in passing conversation, or outright begrudgingly. That is, it continues to be like an RPG. The player keeps gathering information about the quest from many different sources.

This is actually a completely fair excuse for why sprite roles are subverted and shafted as the story progresses. It’s not any different from how RPGs tend to do things.


Next we revisit the sequence where John’s kernelsprite split up. It’s one of those times where we look at an old scene from a new perspective, with the player/reader’s knowledge broadened thanks to Nannasprite’s knowledge. Many works of media sometimes look at old scenes from new perspectives, but the way Homestuck does it feels like a special kind of storytelling. Though it’s probably my fault for being this obsessed with Homestuck.



These images above show some of the changes that happened when the sprite reached Prospit and Derse. It caused all constructs in this world to be clown themed—basically all the carapacians and imps. I almost kind of understand the misconception that WV is an imp now. Also I want to say these chess designs look super cool.

Nannasprite reveals a twist to the game: the forces of light are always destined to lose, not that readers have any idea what that means yet. John learns that his first goal is to build his house up to the first gate and then comes to a very “John” conclusion:

I could stare at this dance for hours too.


JOHN: ok, i think i get it now! 
JOHN: so i guess the battle against good and evil is sort of irrelevant? well, i don’t know, that all sounds kind of weird, but in any case, we build the house to get to these gates, and then i can save my dad! 
NANNASPRITE: Yes, John! 
JOHN: and then after that, we solve this ultimate riddle thing and save earth from destruction!!! 


John doesn’t understand any of this at all; he just pieces together what he can about things heroes in video games typically are meant to do and concludes he has to save his father and then save the whole world. 

NANNASPRITE: Oh no, I’m afraid not! 


… And there’s the punchline. Punch as in John feels like he just got punched cold in the face. The animation in the panel above is beautiful, please take a moment to appreciate it. 

NANNASPRITE: Your planet is done for, dear! There is nothing you can do about that! 
JOHN: oh… 
NANNASPRITE: Your purpose is so much more important than saving that silly old planet, though! 
JOHN: and that is? 
NANNASPRITE: HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO! 


Nannasprite leaves to bake John some cookies and he goes full circle to where he started: annoyance at overexposure to baked goods. It’s only natural that I end this post here, just like I did with the old version of this post.

See you next time as some stuff happens, I think? I don’t really remember what, Act 2 is a little boring after this point.

Next => Part 6: Imp Madness and Can Openers

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 51: A Tale of Two Vengeful Seers

Introduction

Part 50 | Part 51 | Part 52 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 24 of 32

Pages 3695-3716 (MSPA: 5595-5616)

When moving this blog to WordPress, I heavily edited the parts where I talk about John and Rose as a ship because let’s be real here, all I said about that pairing back then BADLY needed an overhaul.

It’s time for [S] Seer: Descend, a walkaround game that tops all others in chilling mood and rivals Alterniabound in scale while completely dominating it in plot relevance. Like some others, it opens with a flash sequence with, as the title suggests, Rose descending into the castle. I can’t help but notice the giant black squidmonster aura surrounding her, which just utterly dwarfs anything she did before going dark, and that includes glowing three different colors to my recollection.

Another part of the flash opening sequence that is pretty much impossible to screenshot: we very briefly glimpse both the green sun and a color-inverted pink sun. I’ve heard of theories that there’s a pink sun to complement the green sun, just like Alternia’s green and pink moons, though those are dismissed by many as a ridiculous crack theory that makes no sense. Only through catching the glimpse after rewatching that sequence did I notice that glimpsed pink sun. It’s really probably just a color-inverted green sun though.

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 33: Cthulhu Acid Trip Dreams

Introduction

Part 32 | Part 33 | Part 34 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 6 of 32

Pages 2841-2890 (MSPA: 4741-4790)

Yes, this really is a scene in Homestuck. I promise you, not all of it is an LSD tri—oh wait you should know this, because this post series is made on the assumption that people reading it have read Homestuck.

In which I decide against the “in which blah blah blah” thing because that would be stealing an idea from the blog that inspired this post series, and stealing ideas is a bad habit I’ve had in my creative projects for as long as I can remember; and also because I went fine adding title pictures to my older posts without any text immediately following.

Continuing from where we left off, we see what Jack Noir is up to. He yanks the ninja sword out of the beat mesa record thing, and I wonder where exactly Dave’s bro went. I actually don’t remember. I think he escaped and somehow went to LOWAS offscreen but I’m not sure. I guess I’ll see and find out.

Then comes a famously bizarre and nightmarish flash in which Jade wakes up from her dream. I’ll comment on it with the screenshot method I’ve seen livebloggers use.

I like how deceiving the Prospit loading screen is knowing what really happens in this flash.

This looks like a pseudo-old timey video game.

This flash starts with an eye-melting dream sequence about Squiddles. I think this is meant to give the impression that Jade now has regular absurd dreams? Pretty much everyone has weird dreams, but Jade should probably be a little more weirded out at that. I’m pretty sure she had gotten really used to dreaming on Prospit since she was little, so normal person dreams really should tell her that something’s wrong.

But then again, she’s dreaming, and when you’re dreaming, your mindset shifts to a whole different world. In my dreams, I’ll often have memories of things that didn’t actually happen. So maybe Jade is in her dream mindset or something, just like how she was pretty absentminded while dreaming on Prospit. This actually makes sense in Homestuck’s context; in dream bubble sequences, characters will typically take a while before they can remember stuff.

I know this might just be a tangent about stuff you already know and have experienced, but dreams are a pretty fun topic to talk about because of how weird everything about them is.

Rewatching this flash, I can tell that the zoom-out scene depicted above is meant to tell readers, “Now that Jade’s dream self is dead, she dreams in bubbles in a realm that lies way outside Derse.” But as I’ve seen, readers are more typically just plain confused by this flash, made worse by the fact that when they finish the flash and collect their thoughts, their minds will likely be clouded up by the shock of the scary squidmonster sequence in the second half of the flash. This is a noteworthy flaw in Homestuck. Flash animations meant to convey information will often just seem really cryptic to readers, or seem really inexplicable and confusing. When I first watched [S] WV: Ascend, I thought it was meant to show readers that WV and company are the ones behind Sburb.* There’s a few flash scenes that throw readers off especially often, like Aradia ascending to god tier or the Green Sun being created rather than destroyed. I think such scenes throw readers off because they will often show something happening, but they don’t put into words the reason why or how it happened.

* I should’ve mentioned that in the last Act 2 post, but I guess I forgot to. I totally could add that to that post, but it would kind of ruin the point of mentioning that here so I won’t. Maybe that could be taken as bonus information you could get from reading this blog beyond just my first ten posts or something. I don’t know.

A workaround for that problem might be accompanying the flashes with expository text. Nannasprite’s exposition sequence back in Act 2 seems to me like Hussie experimenting such a medium of conveying information. But in later acts, flash sequences will instead often be followed by exposition dumps explaining what happened in those flashes. The flash I’m currently commenting on is one of the best examples of this: immediately following the flash, Feferi will explain stuff to Jade about the Furthest Ring and what happened in Jade’s dream sequence. Other examples of this sort of thing are Jade giving John a rundown of the events that happened in Cascade about 200 pages after that flash, or Aranea explaining stuff about Lord English in the walkaround game that immediately follows [S] Caliborn: Enter.

Up next, Feferi appears in Jade’s dream, and here readers will typically think “what the FUCK”. I think this scene is meant to show us that people from different sessions can share a dream, but people watching this flash will seem to have trouble getting that, rather thinking Feferi’s a projection of Jade’s mind, which should be impossible because she’s never seen a troll in person.

I should note that I laughed pretty hard at the absurdity of this sequence. That’s when the audio and imagery start to distort, leading to a nightmarish minute-long squidmonster sequence which gradually progresses from this:

to this:

before accompanying the following imagery with giant monster whispers:

This nightmare sequence tends to flush any understanding of what’s going on out of readers, which I think might serve to help make readers feel the way Jade does about this whole thing.

So she wakes up in a really awful mood and talks to Feferi.

Look at that droopy face mixed in with all the goofy stuff Jade used back in Act 3.

CC: Glub glub. 38)
GG: what!!!!!
CC: S-E-E??
GG: see what!
GG: go away 

John, Rose, and Dave have all completely warmed up to the trolls, but here’s Jade still unable to tolerate any of them, made worse by her mood. Jade’s actions in this whole following sequence pretty heavily show us her grumpy side, going way against her giggly girl nature. You can tell by how she says “go away” without punctuation how she’s feeling.

CC: I told you!
CC: T)(ere is not)(ing to worry about at all.
GG: bluhhh what are you talking about….
GG: my head hurts
GG: just stop it, stop trolling me
GG: i hate you all!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

CC: )(oly mackerel, looks like SOM-EON-E woke up on t)(e wrong side of t)(e absurd )(uman bed! 

This contrasts pretty heavily with Jade’s little exchange with Karkat back in Act 3. She seemed a lot more energetic to tell a troll to scram back then than now. Speaking of which, I don’t recall how exactly Jade came to warm up to the trolls. I guess I’ll find out about that.

GG: my dream was horrible!!!
GG: i dont know what that was, i have never dreamed anything like it
CC: Yes, I imagine not! You )(ave spent your w)(ole life dreaming about prospit, no?
GG: oh god….
GG: prospit 😦
GG: is it really gone?
CC: Yes, Jade. It is time to face t)(e facts!
CC: Our moons are gone too. If we wis)( to sleep now, our dreams must take place in t)(e bubbles glubbed by t)(e gods w)(o live in t)(e Furt)(est Ring.
CC: It is t)(e infinite space w)(ic)( divides all sessions, completely unnavigable and unfat)(omable, untouc)(ed by t)(e time or space of any universe in existence.
CC: Its lords are our slumberbuddies now. 38) 

GG: uuuuuuuuugh D: 
CC: Don’t be ridiculous. T)(ey are not as dreadful as t)(ey look.
CC: In fact, t)(ey are quite )(elpful if you know )(ow to talk to t)(em!
CC: Don’t you remember our dream? I was trying to s)(ow you t)(at t)(ere is not)(ing to fear.
CC: But t)(en… you kind of freaked out! )(umans are so M-ELODRAMATIC. 

Here’s the exposition stuff I mentioned a little while ago. Feferi’s practically recapping the flash I just went over.

GG: could you please
GG: not use all those stupid parentheses??????
GG: i can hardly read what you type and its giving me a migraine
CC: GLUUUUB oh fine.
CC: I will suspend my neato quirk just for you.
CC: I hereby renounce the royal mark of sea dweller supremacy in the interest of INT-ERSP-ECI-ES DIPLOMACY.
GG: what about the -E thing, can you stop that too? it is also annoying and stupid
CC: JEGUS JADE.
CC: Look! It is like a cool trident I throw sometimes.
CC: 
Ψoooooo —————E 

CC: How is that not awesome!
GG: meh :\
CC: Okay, you win. I have officially humbled myself before you. Entirely glubbing peasant-IFICATED for your pleasure.
CC: Shall I clip my fins for you as well, your majesty? 

Here’s Feferi’s condescending side again, how she feels like she has humbled herself and stuff in place of the obnoxious royal typing style.

GG: hehehe
GG: ok, sorry for sounding bossy
GG: you seem pretty nice, and you sure do look exotic
GG: i kind of always thought you were all like
GG: a bunch of really obnoxious humans
CC: Well, thank you! On both counts, of being likened to something other than an obnoxious human, as well as on my exotic looks.
CC: For the record, you look pretty awesomely weird too. 

Jade has now realized that among the trolls, at least this one isn’t that bad. Also, here’s another bit of contrast between Jade then and now: she used to be really on top of things with her future knowledge she inexplicably refuses to share, but now she’s really out of the loop on the trolls at this point. I’m thinking back to Jade’s conversation with John where she talked about the stuff she somehow knew would happen but denied that she’s psychic. Jade gets a lot of development away from being the cryptic pseudo-psychic girl in this act.

GG: i remember prospit being attacked
GG: and
GG: falling…..
GG: aaaand
GG: i dunno 😦
GG: do you know what happened?
CC: Hell if I know!
CC: In your pre-death dream at least. Oh, well you died obviously, so there’s that.
GG: fffffff
GG: yeah, i gathered that! XC
CC: All I could see was what happened in your hive.
CC: You were asleep, and then your robot exploded.
CC: And then your lusus saved you! Kind of like mine saved me.
CC: Before she died. 38C 

How exactly did Gl’bgolyb save Feferi? Did it have to do with entering the game or what? I know that later she mentions that her lusus fell into her kernelsprite—is that it? I’m really not sure.

GG: also it was shortly before your friend sent me a weird message
GG: about how my robot was going to explode, and i should talk to him when it happens
GG: this was months ago
CC: Oh? Who was that?
GG: it was the most awful and angry one
GG: i am so sick of him, i really dont want to talk to that pathetic jerk ever
CC: Ah, Karkat. Of course.
GG: thats his name?
CC: Yes, he’s our leader. Why did he want you to talk to him?
GG: hmmmm
GG: thats right, it was about some kind of plan…
GG: which he said me from the future told him about?
GG: i thought it was total nonsense at the time
GG: but
GG: i guess he was telling the truth
GG: so maybe i should talk to him? i dont know 

CC: Glubshrug.
CC: He’s pretty harmless, really. You get used to his yelling.
CC: I do not even process it as yelling anymore. More like a lot of blubbering.
CC: More blubber spills out of that mouth than a gash in a poached whale. 

I guess Feferi is the one who convinces Jade that the trolls aren’t so bad. I don’t remember much how Jade deals with Karkat and warms up to him, I guess I’ll see.

CC: And hey, if you want to take another nap sometime, let me know! They will be more than happy to glub us up another bubble.
GG: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
GG: i am never going to sleep again!
GG: never never never never never never 

What if Jade does end up refusing to sleep? That might potentially parallel her with Karkat, her patron troll. But as I said in an Act 3 post, John says much later that Jade still retains her sleeping habit. It’s a bit ironic that a character who always wants to make positive contributions to whatever’s going on has such an affinity for sleeping, which I’ve speculated to be Vriska’s mind control experiments rubbing off on her mind when it’s free of influence.

Oh my god, those eyebrows. That’s such a Karkat face.
Also, notice the huge meteor in the sky on the top left.

GG: ok, my robot exploded
GG: now what smart guy!
CG: HOLY SHIT, IT’S HARLEY
CG: COMMUNICATING WITH ME OUT OF NOWHERE OF HER OWN VOLITION
CG: HOLD THAT THOUGHT WHILE I GO INFORM MY DISGRACE OF A CLOWN FRIEND ABOUT THIS TRUE REAL LIFE MIRACLE, IT MIGHT LIFT HIS SPIRITS
CG: I HAVE TO SPREAD THE WICKED WORD LIKE I’M MASSAGING SHITTY SPARKLEDUST AROUND MY NETHER REGIONS TO ASSUAGE A VICIOUS RASH
CG: IT’S LIKE I’M SEASONING A FUCKING STEAK HERE. 

I don’t think we know whether Karkat had this conversation before or after Gamzee watched that ICP video. I wonder if Karkat did indeed try that on Gamzee, or what. We don’t get any dialogue from Gamzee between his conversation with Dave I covered last post and when he becomes full-on evil. I think it’s likely that after his crisis of faith, Gamzee went out of the computer lab and questioned his life choices in private as he slowly became evil.

GG: i knew i would regret this
GG: talking to you is so terrible
GG: its making my headache worse
CG: OH YEAH, BECAUSE TALKING TO YOU HAS JUST BEEN ABSOLUTE EUPHORIA.
CG: DON’T EVEN TALK TO ME ABOUT HEADACHES.
CG: RIGHT NOW THERE’S A LUMBERJACK SPLITTING WOOD ON MY THINK PAN.
CG: HE’S GOT THE FOREARMS OF A CHOLERBEAR, A MOUNTAIN OF LOGS, AND NOTHING BUT FUCKING TIME. 

This is another parallel between Jade and Karkat: both, at this point, are really tired and woke up from a horrifying dream, and are thus grouchy and even grouchier than usual respectively. All four beta kids seem to have some parallels with their patron trolls, though I can’t put my finger on any good ones between John and Vriska at the moment.

GG: i cant believe i fell for this
GG: it was just a setup to troll me some more
GG: why do you go to such lengths to troll me? i just dont understand it
CG: TRY TO BE CULTURALLY SENSITIVE
CG: TROLLING IS AN ACTIVITY THAT SHARES A NAME WITH MY ENTIRE SPECIES
CG: DO I GET ON YOUR CASE FOR ALL THE TERRIBLE HUMANNING YOU DO?
GG: thats ridiculous, humanning isnt a word
GG: and if it was, it would be a nicer thing to do than trolling!
GG: you know what i mean, stop pretending you dont 

Here Jade’s lampshading the absurdity of what trolls do—exactly what I mentioned a few posts ago. As I said, I don’t really get the thing of trolls using their species name as a word with a lot of meanings. I guess it’s just a silly thing that expands on the term “trolling” as it’s used on the Internet.

GG: i mean you are being patronizing and disingenuous to get a rise out of me
GG: and that is really really shitty!!!!!!
GG: i am so tired of it, and i am done talking to you forever
GG: bye karkat, it was awful knowing you! 

I’m pretty sure this is the second time in Homestuck where Jade swears. Just as John starts doing the Vriska thing not long after he first talks to her, Jade ends up swearing in her first decently long conversation with Karkat.

Or does this give a hint at Jade’s hidden depths, with her own ruder tendencies? Act 5 Act 2 has Jade’s psyche explored in quite some depth, showing us some personal issues of her own. This brings to mind how Dave’s personal issues are also explored in depth. But in Act 6 this becomes pretty different: Dave’s issues are later played VERY far—excessively so I would argue—to the point of retroactively making him have even more personal issues and repressive stuff than he already did; Jade’s, however, are practically forgotten about. A common complaint is that among the beta kids, the Derse dreamers get so much more character development than the Prospit dreamers, and I must agree here. Some people argue that John has gotten zero real change and development since page 1 of Homestuck (I disagree but I won’t go on about why), and as I said when I started Act 3, it’s generally agreed that Jade has gotten way too little screen time in Act 6. This is even implicitly referenced in the most recent update featuring Jade as of the Omegapause, when the god tier version of Calliope alludes to Jade’s role in the story as she talks about the space aspect.


This tangent literally arose from Jade saying the word “shitty”. It almost feels like I’m getting comically off-track in my posts, but then again, this post series was always meant to analyze Homestuck in depth.

CG: YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T CONTACT THE RIGHT ME.
GG: what does that mean!
CG: I MEAN FUTURE ME IS PROBABLY THE ONE TO TALK TO ABOUT THIS.
CG: SINCE IT’S ALL NEWS TO ME.
GG: is this another prank
GG: you are seriously the worst at pranks
CG: I DON’T PLAY PRANKS, THAT’S JUVENILE NONSENSE. 

This is another example of Karkat being an inverse of John, who as we know, has an affinity for pranks..

CG: IN THIS CASE, I AM ACCOMPLISHING THE LATTER.
CG: HERE, CLICK THIS AND WE WILL SOLVE THE MYSTERY TOGETHER.
CG: 
GG: 😐

I never realized until now that the following memo where Jade watches Karkat argue with himself was made by Karkat to figure out this exploded dreambot stuff. I guess it diverts from the point so quickly that you forget what it even was for. Doesn’t Karkat know at this point that talking to his alternate self will inevitably lead to a heated fight?

This would be my second choice for this post’s title picture.

CCG RIGHT NOW opened memo on board FRUITY RUMPUS ASSHOLE FACTORY.

CCG: HEY FUTURE ME, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS EXPLODED JADEBOT BUSINESS?
CCG: MUST BE SOMETHING REALLY MISSION CRITICAL, OR JADE WOULDN’T HAVE BOTHERED GETTING IN TOUCH WITH US, RIGHT?
CCG: SOMETHING IMPERATIVE TO OUR SURVIVAL NO DOUBT?
CCG: HEY DOUCHE BAG, ARE YOU THERE
??? gardenGnostic [?GG] AT ?:?? responded to memo.
?GG: oh jeez, why am i doing this
?GG: this is so stupid!
CCG: PIPE DOWN HARLEY, THIS PRACTICALLY DOESN’T EVEN CONCERN YOU AT THIS POINT
?GG: bluhhh youre so funny!!!!! 

If Karkat said that Jade doesn’t have anything to do with this memo, then why did he invite her to it? So she can help explain the robot explosion?

Also, it’s hard to tell if Jade’s being sarcastic when she says Karkat is so funny. She has been in a pretty grouchy mood but it’s been noted several times that Jade generally isn’t very sarcastic.

CCG: YOU KNOW, IT’S REALLY AMAZING HOW BEHIND THE TIMES YOU ARE.
CCG: IT’S ALMOST AS IF YOU’VE SLEPT THROUGH THIS WHOLE ADVENTURE
CCG: OH WAIT, THAT IS ESSENTIALLY TRUE.
CCG: IT WAS HILARIOUS WATCHING YOU GROW UP.
CCG: YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD ALL THE ANSWERS, FROLICKING ALL OVER YOUR ISLAND BEING INFURIATINGLY CHIPPER, BUILDING ROBO-BUNNIES LIKE A MORON AND ULTIMATELY RUINING EVERYTHING.
CCG: YOU WERE SO SURE YOUR DREAMS TOLD YOU EVERYTHING YOU NEEDED TO KNOW.
CCG: AND NOW LOOK AT YOU
CCG: YOU SUDDENLY UNDERSTAND JACK SHIT. 

Karkat specifically notes that Jade being out of the loop thing I mentioned earlier. It’s kind of a recurring thing with this post series, where I make an observation about something, and then a few pages later, I end up seeing Homestuck make note of that observation.

CCG: DO YOU EVEN HAVE ANY IDEA HOW LUCKY YOU ARE TO BE GRACED BY MY DIVINE FURY?
CCG: TO HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF GETTING TO BE STUDIED AND MOCKED BY ME FOR YOUR WHOLE PATHETIC MISERABLE LIFE?
CCG: DO YOU REALIZE I’M YOUR GOD? YES, YOUR LITERAL GOD, THAT’S RIGHT.
?GG: sure karkat, whatever you say! 

This is the exact same condescending attitude Karkat displayed in his first conversation with John. He gradually warms up to John before he even starts talking to Jade, and at that point I guess he goes back to the same starting place and presents himself as a victorious almighty god, only for that to backfire yet again.

CCG: AND I HAVE TAKEN TIME OUT OF MY BUSY GODLY SCHEDULE TO SCRUTINIZE YOUR POINTLESS EXISTENCE.
CCG: OUT OF THE COUNTLESS TRILLIONS OF LIFE FORMS I BROUGHT INTO REALITY THROUGH ANGRY GRUBFUCK POWER ALONE, I HAVE SELECTED YOU FOR EXAMINATION AND HARASSMENT.
CCG: PERSONALLY I THINK THAT WARRANTS A LITTLE GRATITUDE, AND JUST MAYBE, A BIT OF DEFERENCE.
CCG: A CURTSY, PERHAPS?
CCG: BUT YEAH GO AHEAD AND KEEP BLOWING ME OFF LIKE THE FLAKEY LITTLE TWERP YOU ARE.
FUTURE carcinoGeneticist [FCG] 3 HOURS FROM NOW responded to memo.
FCG: HEY DON’T TALK TO HER LIKE THAT YOU UNCOUTH PIECE OF SHIT.
FCG: THIS IS REFLECTING POORLY ON BOTH OF US, IT’S GODDAMNED EMBARRASSING. 

Here future Karkat responds to the memo not to answer the robot question, but to call his past self out on being mean to Jade. At first I thought, oh Karkat’s just doing this to call his past self out, but then I realized that future Karkat knew exactly how that would happen, which through [incoherent time travel ramble omitted] originated from itself. Stuff being predetermined to happen is nothing new at this point but it’s still pretty mind-screwy whenever you take a moment to think about it.

FCG: I CAN’T BELIEVE I EVER THOUGHT FUTURE ME WAS THE STUPID ONE
FCG: PAST ME IS THE DUMBEST BUCKET OF FESTERING DISCHARGE I EVER FELL ASS BACKWARDS INTO. 

I mentioned two posts ago that I wanted to find when Karkat said that the only person worse than future him is past him, and this is the closest quote I found because I didn’t consider that it might have been said in a walkaround (which is when it was said).

FCG: LOOK, JADE’S NOT THAT BAD OK.
FCG: YOU JUST GOT TOO WORKED UP, AND YOU CAN’T SEE THAT.
FCG: AND NOW ALL THIS FROTHING PANDEMONIUM JUMPING OUT OF YOUR MOUTH IS JUST RIDICULOUS OVERCOMPENSATION FOR YOUR OWN SHORTCOMINGS AND MISTAKES, AND MASKING SOME FEELINGS YOU’RE NOT REALLY IN TOUCH WITH.
FCG: THIS IS ALL SO OBVIOUS, I’M FLUSHING LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER IN EMBARRASSMENT HAVING TO EXPLAIN IT TO YOU, AND EVEN WORSE, REMEMBERING HAVING IT EXPLAINED TO ME BY THE SMART ONE THREE HOURS AGO AND STILL ACTING LIKE A MOIST GLOBE EVEN AFTER BEING SO SOUNDLY SCHOOLFED.
CCG: I DON’T BELIEVE THIS. PLEASE TELL ME THIS IS A JOKE.
FCG: YOU SAID SO YOURSELF, WE DON’T JOKE AROUND. IT’S JUVENILE, REMEMBER.
CCG: I’M GOING TO VOMIT.
CCG: I’M MAKING A MENTAL NOTE TO SLAP MYSELF THREE HOURS FROM NOW, FOR BEING ENOUGH OF A SAP TO START DEVELOPING RED FEELINGS FOR A DUMB ANNOYING HUMAN, IF I’M READING BETWEEN THE LINES CORRECTLY. 

This angry past/future Karkat argument reminds me of another simultaneous parallel and contrast between him and Dave: Davesprite is considerably more open about his emotions than Dave, just like future Karkat vs. past Karkat here, but Dave and Davesprite get along just fine while two Karkats will inevitably descend into a flaming argument.

?GG: future karkat, if you really are future karkat……
?GG: where do you get off thinking you can just suddenly act like were pals because you said you apologized????
?GG: if you want to apologize then great i am all ears! but just mentioning it off hand and then yelling at yourself the same way you yell at me all the time as if i need a knight to come save me from yourself is so lame, not to mention completely insane
?GG: i cant even believe the things im typing here! this is so stupid, talking to two of you at once is the worst thing imaginable
?GG: you treat everyone horribly, even yourself, i cant even fathom how awful it is to be you
?GG: past karkat, youre acting like a bigger jerk than he is and i think you know that! why dont you take his advice and grow up
?GG: as if theres even a real difference between you two. three hours is hardly any time at all, you are the same person YOU FUCKING IDIOTS!!!!!!!!! 

I really like this speech Jade gave to both Karkats on the memo. She’s calling Karkat out on exactly what’s wrong with him.

CCG: OH SHIT
FCG: YES, THAT WAS GREAT. WE BOTH HAD IT COMING, ESPECIALLY HIM. GREAT WORK JADE. 
?GG: stop it!!!!
?GG: ugh, i dont know whats worse, jerk karkat or goofy sycophant karkat
?GG: i cant stand it, whether youre trying to be nice or just being a crazy asshole, you are just so weird!!!
?GG: im through humoring you, i dont even care about this stupid exploded robot mission, whatever that was
FCG: OH RIGHT, ABOUT THAT
FCG: YEAH WE NEED TO TALK
FCG: I MEAN WE HAVE ALREADY FROM MY PERSPECTIVE
FCG: BUT YOU’RE GOING TO BE REALLY BUSY SOON, BECAUSE YOU’RE ABOUT TO ENTER YOUR SESSION
FCG: SO DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT UNTIL YOU DO, THEN JUST HIT ME UP, WE’LL TALK ABOUT IT
?GG: hahaha, FAT CHANCE!!!!
FCG: LOOK I KNOW THINGS ARE WEIRD BETWEEN US RIGHT NOW AND YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE MAD.
FCG: ESPECIALLY AT THAT LOSER.
FCG: BUT THINGS WILL CHANGE, IN TIME YOU’LL SEE I’M NOT QUITE SO AWFUL, OK? 

It doesn’t take long for John to realize that Karkat is completely harmless and just kind of bitter sometimes, but Jade thinks he’s an absolute idiot for quite some time. Also, take note of how much Jade swears in this memo.

??? turntechGodhead [?TG] AT ?:?? responded to memo.
?TG: ahahahahah oh god
?TG: dude i cant believe you were just getting on our case about hitting on the troll girls
?TG: and then literally the very next memo you are slobbering all over jade
?TG: thats just perfect hahahaha
CCG banned ?TG: from responding to memo.
FCG rebanned ?TG: from responding to memo

Dave takes a moment to call Karkat out on being, let’s face it, kind of stupid. And past and future Karkat both agree that Dave is a shitbag.

?GG: i also cant wait for past you to past drop dead and go to hell, PAST TENSE!!!!!!!!
?GG: when are those things going to happen?? or will have already past/future happened?????
?GG: i want to put another reminder on my finger so i know when its time to throw a party!!!! 

This sounds so much like something Karkat would say. Remember when in one of my Act 4 posts I went on a tangent to moan about how robotic it is to say that Dave and Rose are always sarcastic while John and Jade never are? Well here’s another example against that. I don’t mean to sound bitter.

FCG: HOW’S THIS FOR A PACT, EVERYBODY.
FCG: PAST KARKAT ONLY TALKS TO PAST JADE FROM NOW ON, AND THE TWO OF THEM CAN BICKER LIKE SHITTY LITTLE CHILDREN FOR HOURS/YEARS RESPECTIVELY.
FCG: AND FUTURE KARKAT ONLY TALKS TO FUTURE JADE, AN ARRANGEMENT WHEREIN ONLY INTELLIGENT DISCOURSE TAKES PLACE BETWEEN TWO CIVILIZED, MATURE, GROWN ASSED ADULTS.
FCG: IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?????? 

Turns out this is pretty much what Jade ends up doing later.

?GG: aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa XO
?GG: i will just ban myself!!!!
?GG: *JADE HARLEY BANNED HERSELF FROM RESPONDING TO THE GRUMPY SHIT HEAD MISERY ZONE, AND IS NEVER COMING BACK*
?GG: pchoooooooooooooooo
[?GG] ceased responding to memo.
FCG: OK, THERE. SHE’S GONE.
FCG: MAYBE NOW YOU GET IT.
FCG: HOW HIDEOUS EVERYONE THINKS YOU ARE, MAYBE YOU’LL FINALLY STOP FUCKING EVERYTHING UP.
CCG: HUH
FCG: WHAT
CCG: I THINK
CCG: I WAS PROBABLY WRONG ABOUT JADE
CCG: SHE’S A LITTLE LESS LAME THAN I THOUGHT
FCG: SHHHHSHHSHSHSHSH
FCG: SHE CAN STILL READ THIS YOU STUPID FUCK
FCG: NOW’S NOT THE TIME TO OPEN YOUR VEINS AND WRITE POEMS ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS 
CCG: FUCK YOU, I’M JUST VOICING A HARMLESS OBSERVATION OK
CCG: IT’S NOT MY BUSINESS IF SOME LUNK HEAD IN THE FUTURE GETS CARRIED AWAY WITH WHATEVER LITTLE THOUGHTS I MAY OR MAY NOT NOW BE THINKING
FCG: I…
FCG: BUT
FCG: HOW COULD THAT EVEN BE A REAL THING I TYPED THREE HOURS AGO, HOW COULD I BE THIS STUPID. 

Shouldn’t future Karkat be happy that past Karkat realizes Jade isn’t that stupid? Or is the cringe at something he typed in the past that strong? I’m pretty sure most people look back on things they did in the past and think it was stupid, and for Karkat it must be so extreme that ruminating about romantic feelings that would later be a pretty real thing must make the cut as something to cringe over.

Also, Karkat is very often touted as disliking himself, but I don’t think hating yourself and hating your alternate self necessarily go hand-in-hand. As I just said, I think most people cringe at stuff they did in the past to some extent, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they hate themselves. Here’s an even better example: in one Calvin and Hobbes story arc, Calvin clones himself and he thinks his clone is a total jerk, but Calvin is as far away as can be from hating himself; he’s totally convinced that he’s a revolutionary genius.

FCG: WE ARE JUST THE DUMBEST FUCKERS WHO EVER LIVED AREN’T WE.
CCG: SPEAK FOR YOURSELF.
FCG: I DON’T EVEN HAVE THE ENERGY TO BAN US.
FCG: I’M JUST LEAVING.
[FCG] ceased responding to memo.
CCG: YEAH
[CCG] ceased responding to memo.

I like the note this memo ends on: both Karkats are exhausted, accept that they’re both idiots, and leave the memo.

Jade consults her reminders and throws away all but one of them because she can’t remember what any of them mean anymore. This is pretty obvious symbolism for Homestuck’s recurring theme of growing up, a theme I’ve seen lots of people bring up. She looks at her house to see John deploying stuff in it.

I remember that for about a week during my first read this was the page I stopped on.
For some reason, going back to this page brings back ALL the memories.

Jade consults her reminders and throws away all but one of them because she can’t remember what any of them mean anymore. This is pretty obvious symbolism for Homestuck’s recurring theme of growing up, a theme I’ve seen lots of people bring up. She looks at her house to see John deploying stuff in it.

This picture above is a bit of art weirdness: the cruxtruder is drawn in the isometric projection that’s used throughout the early acts, but the room in the background is not.

EB: i woke up on the battlefield which was on fire, and had flaming bits of prospit everywhere. 

If this sentence is shown to people who haven’t read Homestuck, they’d probably think “prospit” is a mineral or something. Just a little oddity I noticed.

GG: 😦 
GG: yes, but that was not prospit. that was its moon which was severed by the crazy derse agent 

What Jade says seems a bit nitpicky; usually Prospit and Derse are not thought of as separate entities from their respective moons.

EB: i also got your present, and it saved my life!
GG: really?? 😀
EB: yes, the bunny was so awesome, it was definitely the best bunny i got today.
EB: thank you so much, jade!
GG: ❤
EB: when jack saw it, he flew the hell away. and then the bunny and i went on an adventure together.
EB: does the bunny have a name? i asked him but i don’t think he can talk.
GG: i dont know! i did not give him one after applying the upgrades
GG: i gave her a girls name when i was very young, but now she is a different bunny, and also a boy i guess?
GG: its up to you john, he is your bunny 

What was the girl’s name Jade gave that bunny? Is it named after someone from Squiddles or something? I don’t think it’s ever stated.

EB: also, apparently i am supposed to marry rose. karkat said so.
GG: what!!!!
EB: it is true, it is a fact from an alien. 

I just love how John said that with a straight face. “It is true, it is a fact from an alien.” It’s like he’s a nine-year-old kid from a sci-fi movie who’s been fascinated with aliens all his life.

GG: ugh he is so weird 
GG: you shouldnt listen to him! 
EB: heheh, i did not take him that seriously. 
EB: but karkat is cool, he is angry and funny. 
GG: D: 
GG: he is angry and a huge pain in the ass 
GG: have you ever talked to two of him at once???? 
EB: haha, no! 
GG: dont ever do it! you will get a headache 
EB: that sounds kind of awesome. 
GG: noooooooo, think again 

It didn’t take long at all for John to warm up to Karkat compared to Jade, but then again he wasn’t in a really bad mood from a nightmare about an infinite dark Cthulhu-space.

EB: i’ve got it.
EB: i will name her liv tyler.
GG: ????
EB: the bunny.
GG: 😐
GG: you mean from armageddon?
EB: yeah!
GG: john that is so stupid
GG: but also kind of cute i guess
GG: ok then the bunny will be named after your silly movie star fantasy crush
EB: it’s too bad i can’t marry liv instead of rose.
EB: the girl i mean, not the bunny.
EB: but i guess she is probably dead now, along with all the other glamorous movie stars who come out to shine on the silver screen.
EB: that’s pretty sad. 

This is a really weird time for it to dawn on John that all his favorite movie stars are probably dead. I wonder if during the battleship journey, John wrote fanfiction of his favorite celebrities playing Sburb? He probably did.

GG: how much time do you suppose we have?
EB: i will find out now!

I didn’t expect this bit to be followed by a scene switch. If I didn’t already know what goes down in Homestuck I would’ve been pretty frustrated, but then again, by this point readers are probably used to scene switches like that.

Up next is another little sequence of panels where Jack Noir flies to LOWAS for a second battle with Dave’s bro, giving him his sword. This bit is notable because it shows us that Jack considers this guy to be a worthy opponent. I wonder what the latter was planning to do over there. Was he just exploring, or did he go there through his mysterious knowledge stuff?

I really like the little outer space view in this panel.
Also note the meteor near Earth; it’s almost like Earth’s second moon.

John drops a globe on Jade’s cruxtruder in order to open it, which brings to light the pattern theme that’s so prominent in the early acts. This sequence of pages is almost like a throwback to earlier acts, with the patterns relating to entering the game played out for Jade, and for the most part, not subverted. I think John mentions a little later that this feels so much like old times with deploying stuff around Jade’s house. Just for reference, the cruxtruder pattern goes as follows: John’s is opened with a hammer, Rose’s with a wizard statue, Dave’s with a toilet, and Jade’s with a globe. Remember the Jade pattern breaking count I took back in Act 3? Well, I just thought up another thing that might count. (15?) Among the four beta kids, Jade is the only one who opens her client player’s cruxtruder by accident. It’s kind of a stretch because the noted instance of this pattern is not the one that occurs last, and probably more of Dave’s instance of a pattern than Jade’s. Don’t worry though, later we’ll have a few stronger instances of Jade breaking patterns.

EB: ok, we have 10 minutes and 25 seconds.
GG: hmmmm i wonder what the significance of that number is
EB: why would it be significant?
EB: numbers don’t always need to have significance!
GG: but they usually do! 

This isn’t the first time Jade broke the fourth wall. Remember in Act 3 when Jade (not really) let the reader try playing Memory with her items and regrets breaking the fourth wall, as the narration explicitly states? Homestuck has a lot of lines that might count as breaking the fourth wall, or at least leaning on it.

EB: hey, what do you think we should prototype this fussy little orb with?
EB: heheheh, it seems like so long ago that rose fed mine a clown.
EB: we were just messing around, we didn’t even know what we were doing.
GG: i dont know…
GG: there are so many possibilities
EB: yeah… 

EB: it’s almost like your grandpa put all this crap here knowing we’d have to make that decision.
GG: hmmmmmm!
GG: yes, it sure seems that way
EB: he seems like he was an awesome guy, i would have liked to have the chance to talk to him.
GG: well
GG: maybe you will get that chance john
EB: oh?
GG: yes, as a matter of fact i am sure we will both get that chance!
GG: i once dreamt that we would 

This exchange is really enticing the mystery of what Jade’s sprite will be prototyped with. Through what we know so far, Jade’s promise that she and John will both get the chance to meet her grandpa during the game is very heavily directing readers to the idea of Grandpasprite. And this whole scene’s also implicitly directing readers to the idea of Bec prototyping himself, because both he and Grandpa’s body are next to the kernelsprite, and because of Hussie’s affinity for red herrings. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to guess that Bec and Grandpa will both be prototyped into Jade’s sprite, leading to what I’ve seen people call “Grandpawsprite”.

Arguably, Jade and John’s supposed meeting with Grandpa is still an unanswered question as of the Omegapause. She’s most likely talking about meeting Jake, but if that’s the case, it’s a little dubious whether Jade would recognize him as her grandpa, so it’s not 100% clear. I’m personally unsure if I’d recognize young versions of my parents.

EB: huh…
EB: wait, are you saying we will prototype him?
EB: like i did with nanna, to bring her ghost back to life?
EB: as…
EB: another ghost?
GG: sure, why not!
EB: i guess that makes a lot of sense, actually.
GG: that is what i believe this game is for in part
GG: you got to bring back your nanna, rose brought back her cat, i can bring back grandpa, and dave…
GG: dave got to bring back a dead bird because of course he is too cool to have any dead family members 

This bit where John and Jade discuss the possibility of prototyping Grandpa is one hell of a red herring.

EB: i just messaged [dave], he is not answering. 

The youngest instance of Dave at this point, the one wearing the black suit, is clearly still asleep, but are there really no other Daves running around to answer John? The same goes a bit later where Rose and Jade both pester Dave but get a confused consort instead. Or do all the Daves out there just think friends pestering them is past Dave business?

EB: what do we do about prototyping?
EB: we shouldn’t put your grandpa in yet, unless we want lots of imps and ogres and stuff that look like your grandpa.
GG: augh, nooooooooooooooo

Grandpa imps are surprisingly easy to imagine: just picture an imp, then picture it with Grandpa’s facial features. Maybe with his hat for good measure.

EB: we could put in something really lame, to make all the monsters weaker!
EB: or at the very least, more ridiculous looking.
EB: like one of these weird pictures of blue ladies lying around.

If both of you are OK with Grandpa mixed with a blue lady, then go ahead, chuck in one of those things! That would be a seriously absurd and messed up thing. We’ve had two sprites much later that are of ambiguous gender due to being a combination of a male and female, the former of which promptly exploded but the latter of which is very satisfied with their existence. Someone’s probably drawn Blue-Lady-Grandpasprite or whatever you want to call it.

Apparently he stitched up Cal. Rose is also into knitting so that might be a parallel between her and Dirk?

Davesprite successfully finds his bro and joins him in the fight. This is important because it shows that Davesprite still cares about his guardian to an extent, enough that he wants to catch up with him. This is much unlike how regular Dave, after a year without his guardian, makes it clear that he doesn’t want to meet his kid bro. What’s up with that difference? Davesprite didn’t assume his bro was dead during his timeline, but Dave knew for a fact that he’s gone, so maybe that’s why? Or did it take more than four months for Dave to realize his bro was messed up? Or did living on a meteor without puppets and swords everywhere make Dave realize that faster?

Davesprite choosing to fight with his guardian might support my theory I mentioned last post that Davesprite has more respect for Bro than Dave does.

EB: what is this thing, anyway??
EB: and why is it blocking your transporter?
GG: it is some sort of terrible creature my grandpa hunted
GG: he called it the typheus minion
GG: i always hated it! 

So Jade apparently completely believed her grandpa when he said that was a hideous monster he hunted. Is she like the kind of fictional kid who believes all sorts of nonsense her parents say? In the movie Instructions Not Included, the little girl spent the first seven years of her life believing everything her dad made up about her mom, who is supposedly never with her because she travels around the world saving people’s lives. But this is a pretty bad analogy because in Homestuck her grandpa’s crazy adventure exploits are very real.

EB: typheus?
EB: like the web browser?
GG: i guess so
GG: it is probably a coincidence though
EB: hmm, i don’t know…
EB: if you think numbers always mean something, why wouldn’t browser names?
GG: yeah maybe…..
GG: i guess it would make sense for someone to name a really awful web browser after such a hideous monster
EB: wow, you sure do hate that thing!
GG: well sorry, i just found it sort of a weird and creepy thing to grow up with!
EB: i think it is pretty cool.
EB: and he is actually sort of cute to be honest, :p
GG: :p!!!!!!
EB: oh, and screw you, typheus is an awesome browser!
EB: it is old school.
GG: joooohhhhhn, it is so crappy
EB: typheus is the best and that’s really all there is to say on the matter.
GG: YEAH RIGHT
GG: now is obviously not the best time to have the argument about whose browser is better….
GG: but really john you should upgrade to echidna, its so much nicer 

I love this exchange about web browsers. This is the closest Homestuck gets to directly referencing the fact that the kids’ browsers are all named after their respective denizens. I once saw a theory that Skaianet developed all of those browsers. It’s a little weird how no other time has anyone noted that their denizen shares a name with their favorite web browser. I’d be pretty surprised if I played Sburb with some hypothetical Firefox geek friend and it turns out that my denizen is called Chrome and his is called Firefox. But putting real-life browsers here just doesn’t have the same effect because they aren’t named after ancient Greek stuff, at least not the popular ones.

How does dropping a big stuffed object comically clump up everything?
Also, nice touch: Grandpa’s hat fell on the cruxtruder. What would prototyping a hat do? Is that even possible?

EB: in my foolishness, i came very close to prototyping your grandpa.
GG: D:
GG: john, try to be more careful!
EB: we very nearly had to face our grandfatherly paradox-dad as a last boss.
EB: that would probably be the worst case scenario. 

The dramatic irony is so delicious. Even though said irony is only a thing if you’re rereading, it’s still delicious.

Just got through another 50 pages, so I’ll stop here. See you next time as I extensively, and I mean EXTENSIVELY, comment on a flash which is one of my favorites.

>>  Part 34: Villain Caninification Station

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 28: The Egbert-Serket Chronicles

Introduction

Part 27 | Part 28Part 29 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 1 of 32

Pages 2626-2682 (MSPA: 4526-4582)

NOTE: I’m starting a new posting style where I do more commenting as I go and quoting everything I have to say something about rather than these wordy paragraphs and occasional quotes. I also renamed the blog post series to a somewhat more fitting title.

You finally found him. After hours of searching.
No.
SWEEPS of searching.

The opening flash of Act 5 Act 2 is absolutely brilliant. We just got done learning all about how incredibly messed up troll civilization is, and now we go back to the kids’ universe, recapping John’s life, and it seems so magical and beautiful. The scenes with John and his father are so adorably heartwarming, especially baby John riding his pogo and bruising his leg, and his dad walking over to him. He learns to cook and play piano, is taught the ways of pranking, talks to Jade for the first time, gets a green slime shirt, and then starts playing Sburb and goes through some stuff we already saw, until we see where we last saw waking John, riding a rocket board through the Veil. Karkat falls in hate with him, thinking he’s his true destined kismesis (note the spade shirt), which I didn’t realize until now is special for him because he said a little while ago that his standards are too high to have a worthy black partner, barring himself.

Note the early sneak peek of the god tier outfit.

We get to see Karkat’s first time speaking to a human in their famous “first conversation”. I find it interesting how their first conversation is not shown near the end of the kids’ arc, rather at the start of the kids’ portion of Act 5. Maybe this is done for dramatic irony, because John says multiple times that he thinks his first conversation with Karkat will be legendary, but we know how it really goes.

CG: ATTENTION WORTHLESS HUMAN. 
CG: THIS IS YOUR GOD SPEAKING. 
CG: IT IS A WRATHFUL GOD WHO DESPISES YOU MORE THAN YOU COULD HAVE POSSIBLY DARED TO FEAR.
CG: I HAVE WATCHED YOUR ENTIRE PATHETIC LIFE UNFOLD.
CG: I HAVE OBSERVED YOU WHILE YOU WOULD QUAKE AND TREMBLE IN PERSONAL PRAYERS OF SHAME.
CG: WHILE YOU PLEADED FORGIVENESS FOR BEING SUCH A WRETCHED DISGUSTING FAILURE ON EVERY CONCEIVABLE LEVEL.
CG: PROSTRATE BEFORE THE STUPID AND FALSE CLOWN GODS YOU HAVE SCRIBBLED ON THE WALLS OF YOUR BLOCK.
CG: BOGUS DEITIES WORSHIPED BY A PRIMITIVE “PARADISE” PLANET.
CG: BUT YOUR PRAYERS WILL NOT BE ANSWERED.
CG: THERE ARE NO MIRACLES IN STORE FOR YOU, HUMAN.
CG: ONLY MY HATE.
CG: IT IS A HATE SO PURE AND HOT IT WOULD CONSUME YOUR SAD UNDERDEVELOPED HUMAN THINK PAN TO EVEN CONTEMPLATE.
CG: IT IS A HATE THAT TO FATHOM MUST BE PUT INTO SONG.
CG: SHRIEKED BY THE TEN THOUSAND ROWDY SHOUT SPHINCTERS PEPPERING THE GRUESOME UNDERBELLY OF THE MOST TRUCULENT GOD THE FURTHEST RING CAN MUSTER.
CG: IT IS A HATE THAT MADE YOU AND WILL SURELY DESTROY YOU.
CG: MY HATE IS THE LIFEBLOOD THAT PULSES THROUGH THE VEINS OF YOUR UNIVERSE.
CG: IT IS MY GIFT TO YOU.
CG: YOU’RE WELCOME FOR THAT.
CG: YOU UNGRATEFUL PIECE OF SHIT. 
EB: hi karkat! 

John and Karkat’s first conversation opens with Karkat giving this whole dramatic poetic speech about his incredible hate for John, until John absolutely ruins the moment, simply by saying, “hi karkat!” I love how this simple greeting is an extreme moment killer.

CG: WHAT 
CG: HOW DO YOU KNOW MY NAME. 
EB: oh man.
EB: this is it, isn’t it?
EB: i’ve been looking forward to this!
CG: WHAT IS IT.
CG: ME HATING YOU IS WHAT’S IT.
CG: IF THAT’S WHAT YOU MEAN, YEAH, BINGO.
EB: no, i mean this is the first conversation between us, from your perspective.
EB: right? 

John being really casual and friendly to Karkat shocks the hell out of him. Part of the deal with John is how he always keeps things lighthearted unless something dumb pisses him off or if it’s something really seriously sad.

CG: AND WHY WOULD I HELP YOU AND YOUR IDIOT FRIENDS? 
CG: I WOULD JUST BE HELPING YOU BLUNDER DOWN THE PATH THAT ENDS WITH YOU OPENING THE RIFT LIKE A BUNCH OF MORONS. 
EB: you mean the scratch?
CG: WHATEVER.
EB: yes! that is the plan.
EB: you yourself said it was the only hope now. 

This conversation has quite a few hints of future events; these hints are everywhere in Homestuck and are a driving force for its mystery arc stuff. I think mystery arcs might also be why this conversation was shown to us so early.

EB: anyway, hey! 
EB: i thought this was supposed to be the conversation where you do all that AMAAAAAZING TROLLING! 
EB: come on bro, flame me!
EB: i have been really excited about this.
CG: YOU ACTUALLY WANT ME TO TROLL YOU?
CG: I MEAN
CG: DON’T WORRY, I CAN AND I WILL, AND IT WILL BE A GODDAMN BLOODBATH WHEN I GET STARTED.
CG: IT’S JUST KIND OF WEIRD YOU’RE EXCITED ABOUT IT, IS THAT NORMAL FOR YOUR RACE?
EB: um…
EB: i don’t know, probably not.
EB: i just think it’s kind of funny when you do it. 

I just love how weird it sounds for John to want Karkat to troll him. But instead of trolling John, Karkat makes it obvious that he has black feelings for him, but John turns him down with his famous line:

EB: well… 
EB: i just didn’t really have any idea that you had any sort of feelings like that, so i am kind of caught off guard. 
CG: WHAT FEELINGS, THERE ARE NO FEELINGS, END OF DISCUSSION.
EB: hey, i don’t have a problem with your weird sort of alien hate-love thing!
EB: it is just that, uh…
CG: WHAT
EB: i am not a homosexual.

It’s not uncommon for readers to argue that John was joking about it and actually is bisexual or something, or that it’s a cover-up thing, but I think John is being completely honest here. Also, the way he put it is pretty funny. Karkat doesn’t know what it means to be homosexual and finds it weird that humans have a word for that, which I think is the first confirmation that trolls are generally bisexual. This might be an alright time to talk about the kids’ sexualities and the problems and imbalances regarding how they are (or aren’t) presented *coughDavecough*, but I don’t really feel like it.

EB: anyway, i kind of got the impression that you and terezi were a thing. 

As if the conversation wasn’t hilariously awkward enough. As usual Karkat goes ballistic at this claim and says it’s none of John’s business. Amusingly John seems to think they’re in hate romance, but Karkat says that if they were a thing it definitely wouldn’t be that quadrant. Even more amusing is John’s following line, “oh god, the quadrants…”

EB: karkat, i am going to be honest… 
EB: this first conversation is not going how i thought it would at all! 
EB: it is really kind of… 
EB: awkward. 

It’s weird imagining this first conversation going the way John thought. Maybe Karkat uses terms for troll organs or something to talk about how stupid John is and John just laughs and Karkat gets angry at how John’s laughing and John laughs even more, ad infinitum?

CG: OK, LOOK.
CG: LET’S JUST AGREE TO NEVER BRING IT UP AGAIN.
CG: THE STUFF I WAS BABBLING ABOUT EARLIER.
EB: yeah, well we never really talked about it in the past, so i guess we do agree to that.

The funny thing is, three years later Karkat would freely recount that moment with John as if it wasn’t that embarrassing at all. He does say he’s put all that stuff behind him, but still.

CG: BUT IF I TALK TO YOU AGAIN
CG: IN YOUR FUTURE, LIMITED THOUGH IT IS
CG: YOU’LL REMEMBER MY EMBARRASSING SHIT
CG: SO I GUESS
CG: I’LL HAVE TO TROLL YOU BACKWARDS?
EB: told you bro!!!!!!!
EB: hahahaha.

It’s pretty amusing how Karkat says it makes no sense for him to troll John backwards but ends up doing so anyway. When he finally decides to start flaming John, he says he’s out of time, and says “see you soon”, which is yet another one of those mystery arc hints.

Up next is another funny memo started by Terezi instead of Karkat. Unlike Karkat, Terezi decided to make her memos free for everyone to post on except for Karkat; she mentioned this in a previous conversation. I think this shows a difference between her and Karkat: Karkat is uptight and wants it to be about people listening to him, while Terezi is a lot more laid back and social. Terezi asks everyone to give their input on trolling the humans, but Karkat from the past repeatedly gets on the memo and is banned from it each time. The other trolls have pretty varied reactions to the plan:

CAC: :33 < *the especially impurrtant pouncellor looks really serious and thoughtful as she scoots her chair out from under the official courty looking table and begins to pace around thoughtfurry* 
CAC: :33 < *she doesnt understand why 
CAC: :33 < i dont understand why we are doing this!
CAC: :33 < what was the point again? 


CTA: ii already told KK what ii thought about thii2 awful iidea. 

CTA: iit ju2t make2 NO 2en2e, you can count me out. 
CTA: you all can troll the2e iincompetent aliien2 all you want, iit won’t change anythiing.
CTA: ii’ll ju2t be over here waiitiing two diie wiith diigniity, ok well maybe iit’2 two late for that, but ju2t diie ii gue22, and y’all can 2uck iit biitche2. 


CAA: i will n0t be participating 


CCC: I still don’t quite understand t)(e plan eit)(er. 

CCC: I mean, I don’t really mind talking to t)(em! It could be fun and t)(ey look interesting. 
CCC: But I really don’t t)(ink t)(is is all t)(eir fault.
CCC: Can’t we say nice t)(ings to t)(em instead of troll t)(em?
CCC: Maybe even )(-ELP t)(em! 38) 

Many of them clearly aren’t really into this whole plan—ironic given that they were first introduced as some rude Internet trolls. Terezi said so in an exchange with Davesprite. Then Karkat comes in and he and Terezi start mashing each other’s keyboards and arguing.

CAG: Do you guys realize you are sharing a key8oard and taking turns to argue with each other? 
CAG: That is kind of cute. ::::) 
CTA: yeah ii hate to 2ay iit, but iit really 2ort of ii2. 

This makes at least two trolls who think Karkat and Terezi are cute together; Karkat, as usual, denies it. I always think moments like this, where a character (especially one who isn’t much into “cute” things) ships two others, are pretty amusing. Terezi’s about to end the memo until she and Karkat from the future respond, reasurring past Terezi and saying that he’ll be sick respectively, and the memo ends.

We don’t get too much plot stuff out of the memo. I think the point of it was to give a feel for what Terezi’s memos are like, and to confirm that all twelve trolls are still up and about.

He was that close.

Then we pick up John’s arc from where we left off. His first command is “Land already”, fitting given that for the last 600-odd pages we last saw him flying on a rocket board. Vriska tries to manipulate him and ends up cutting short a reunion between him and his father. I like how the first thing Vriska does to a human inadvertently ruins a heartfelt reunion, and how the Skaian clouds remind readers what we last saw the other three kids doing. It’s easy to forget how frequently Skaian clouds are used as information devices to readers in this act with all those sequences of John walking around Skaia.

AG: Joooooooo 
AG: oooooooo 
AG: oooooooo
AG: oooooooo
AG: oooooooo
AG: oooooooo
AG: oooooooo
AG: oooooooohn!
AG: W8ke up!!!!!!!!
EB: heheh. i am pronouncing that like a really long “june”. 
EB: that is so many o’s.
AG: It is 8ight groups of 8ight. I specifically counted them.
AG: It’s sort of a thing I do.
EB: you typed my name in 64 bit.
AG: Wow. What a nerd! 

This is the start of Vriska’s first conversation with John, the start of their dynamic which I promised a while back would warrant much analysis. Vriska’s first impression of John is that he’s a nerd, but John remembers talking to her months back, noting that she threatened to kill him.

EB: since one of you already managed to trick me into getting myself killed. 
EB: well, in another timeline at least. 
AG: Man.
AG: That was pro8a8ly Terezi! I should have known she would pull something like that. What a meddler.
EB: terezi?
AG: Yes. The pesky 8lind troll who licks her monitor and smells words and stuff. The one who got you killed. I’m sure of it! 
EB: huh. it never really occurred to me to ask what your names are. 
EB: kinda rude of me! 
EB: what is yours?
AG: Marquise Spinneret Mindfang. ::::)
EB: man, that sounds so made up!
EB: but if you say so, marquise. 
AG: Spinneret! Marquise is a title, stupid. 
EB: oh, ok. 

This is the first time John learns the name of one of the trolls. I don’t personally think it was that rude not to ask the names of the trolls; lots of people on the Internet, including myself, don’t share their real names. Then again the impetus for withholding one’s name—strangers rummaging through your personal information and potentially committing crimes on you—is virtually absent here. I also find it interesting how when Vriska first interacts with the humans she makes up a fake name for herself but freely mentions the names of the other trolls. Even though a bit later she admits that isn’t her name but refuses to tell him her real name.

EB: ok, i will be sure to let my guard down. 
EB: psyche!!!!!!!!! 
EB: oh damn, that was 9 !’s. 
EB: !!!!!!!1 
EB: shit! 
EB: never mind. 

I didn’t realize until now that John already did (or at least tried to do) the so-called “Vriska thing” in his first (technically second) conversation with her.

AG: You can’t sleep now, John! 
AG: What a8out J8de???????? 
EB: oh god, i forgot! 
EB: poor jade… 😦 
EB: i hope she is alright. 
AG: She’s fine. I can see her right now! 
AG: 8ut she will not 8e for long if you don’t get her into your session. 
EB: yeah, you’re right. 
EB: i have to hurry and go save her! 
EB: see ya! 
AG: Wait!!!!!!!! 
AG: Where the hell do you think you’re going to go? You don’t even have your copy of the game yet! 
EB: oh yeah… 
EB: duh, stupid stupid dumb. 
EB: do you know where i am supposed to get it? 
AG: Easy! Just w8 around for a few minutes. 
EB: hmm… 
EB: ok? 

Likewise, Vriska already starts guiding John in her first time talking to him, and she also already says exactly why:

AG: See, John? You need me to advance. 
AG: Even though you were going to do this stuff anyway, it turns out I am the reason you were going to do it anyway in the first place! 
AG: Your timeline is my we8, and suddenly you are all tangled up in it, wriggling and helpless. 
AG: Isn’t that cooooooool???????? 

This right here is the other Vriska thing: taking any opportunity to be the one responsible for important things. She’s going to be doing a lot of that in this act.

It took so damn long.

John finally gets his second disc of the game we knew about since page one of Homestuck … after over two and a half thousand pages. There’s quite a few things in Homestuck that once would expect to happen early on that happen quite late. Some other examples are face-to-face conversations between regular characters shown without any fancy methods (after all the kids become god tier), and the four beta kids all gathering together (doesn’t happen until Caliborn’s Masterpiece, and if that doesn’t count, it happens a bit thereafter but with Jade asleep). Even the alpha kids all gather together long before the beta kids do.

I like the ominous black Z bubble.

Jade lands already, just like John does. Bec saves her from falling to death, and she falls asleep again. The black Z bubble, which I didn’t notice differs from the usual Z bubble until now, is some pretty nice foreshadowing of dreaming in the Furthest Ring. WV? sees that all his soldiers are dead, and notices the ring in the river of blood. Then we switch to John again.

EB: jade is not answering! 
EB: are you sure she’s ok? 
AG: She’s asleep! 
AG: She sure seems to sleep a lot. She sort of reminds me of my goo8er teamm8. 
AG: He napped through most of the adventure, and was practically useless. 
EB: oh… 
EB: you mean carcino geneticist? 
AG: Hahahaha, no way! Karkat is so up tight, he hardly slept a wink over the whole 600 hour span of our quest. 
AG: He didn’t even wake up on the moon until AFTER we won the game, hahahahahahahaha. 
AG: What a loser. 
EB: heheh. car cat. that is how i am saying that. 
EB: beep beep, meow! 
EB: i will have to remember to give him a hard time about that. 
AG: John, you are pretty weird! I can see why you would piss him off so much. 
EB: it is really not hard to do that. 
AG: Tell me a8out it! 

Here, in the continuation of their first conversation, we see John bonding with Vriska over how easily Karkat is set off. Also now we know how John knows Karkat’s name.

EB: i never even saw prospit. 
EB: aside from flaming bits and pieces of it i guess. 
EB: something happened, and it blew up, and dream jade died, and then i was wandering around this place that was like a chess board with a huge crater in it, with loads of dead black and white guys everywhere. 
AG: Yes, I know all that! That place is the 8attlefield, which is where your dream self lives now. You will appear there any time you go to sleep. 
AG: Prospit dreamers are supposed to end up there eventually. If they’re any good, that is. ::::) 
AG: 8ut you got there so much sooner. Normally a dreamer’s journey to the 8attlefield will not 8e so spectacularly sudden and violent. Meteoric, if you will! 

What’s weird is we never see a typical example of such a journey. Do Prospit dreamers typically fly there or alchemize wings or build bridges or something? This reminds me again of how much stuff in the troll session is skipped over.

EB: the funny thing is, he is not even really my dad. 
EB: i mean, i was adopted by him, although we are not actually unrelated, i think. 
EB: he is the son of my grandmother, who isn’t really my grandmother… 
EB: nanna is sort of like my biological mother, and my biological father would be jade’s grandpa, sorta. 
EB: both of which i just created, with slime and stuff, and sent back in time as babies. 
EB: so i guess, if anything, that makes my dad… 
EB: my half brother??? 
AG: ::::\ 
EB: tell me about it!

You’d think John would be more weirded out by this revelation. But no, instead he freaks out about company he irrationally hates making a candy he loves.

EB: but i know where i’m going! 
EB: terezi already made me a map. 
AG: What!!!!!!!! 
EB: first she made a really crappy one, then a really nice one that works kind of like google. 
EB: she started helping me after she tried to kill me. 
AG: Ugh. She is still trying to one up me I see. Even preempting my awesome helpfulness! 
AG: When did she do that? I mean from my perspective? Do you think she already did it, or hasn’t done it yet? 

Not sure whether this is actually Terezi’s motives or classic Vriska misconceptions.

EB: you mean like a candle light hate date? 
AG: God, no!!!!!!!! With a human? Gross. 

This line is a bit weird because usually romance between trolls and humans isn’t generally seen as particularly weird. For example, neither John nor Roxy think that Rose and Kanaya being together is the slightest bit weird. I think we are to presume that trolls and humans are very anatomically similar, even though baby trolls are apparently insects and many people’s troll biology headcanons are pretty bizarre. Only Karkat is set off by the prospect of trolls smooching humans, which I guess can be attributed to how practically everything sets him off.

AG: You won’t win? Says who????????? 
EB: you guys. 
EB: it is practically all you ever say. 
AG: Well, ok yes, you are screwed. And so are we. 
AG: 8ut so what! 
AG: Just 8ecause you are going to fail doesn’t mean it won’t 8e any fun along the way! 
AG: 8y the looks of things, you have a very exciting 24 hours ahead of you. 
AG: It’ll 8e one hell of a reckoning!

Despite the whole inevitable failure thing, Vriska won’t pass up a chance to involve herself in relevant stuff.

AG: That form prepares Skaia to grow the new universe you will cre8te. 
AG: Or in this case, fail to cre8te. 8ut whatever! 
AG: That is no reason to deter you from completing worthwhile game o8jectives. 
EB: we are supposed to create a universe? 
AG: Yeah! You didn’t realize that yet? 
EB: no! 
AG: 8oy. How clueless can you get. 
EB: why are we supposed to do that? 
AG: What a stupid question! It is the point of the game. It’s what happens when you win, and winning is the only point of anything. 

Dammit, pretty much everything Vriska has said so far in this post makes me think “classic Vriska”.

EB: well to be honest, i never really believed any of your guys’s doom and gloom nonsense. 
EB: not because i think you are lying… 
EB: i just feel like there must still be a way to win! 

And a bit of classic John as well. This right here exemplifies John’s attitude to the world. None of the four kids actually give up when they find out that they’ll fail somehow.

This is what happened to the starting location of Homestuck.

John returns to his room to see it ruined by the imps. I remember getting to this point in my first read, reading that John must get his hands on a new computer somehow, and I never got to a point where I thought, oh, this is when John gets his hands on a new computer like the narration promised. This sequence feels kind of like a throwback to Act 1 with these pixelated zoom-ins to faces of posters, not to mention that John is commanded to examine his room, the same command he’s given at the very beginning of Homestuck.

AG: John, why are you standing around wasting time???????? 
EB: um, i don’t know. you can see my future, can’t you? 
EB: how much time am i wasting? 
AG: Enough to make me wonder what the hell your deal is! 
EB: then i would venture to guess i am wasting time because you chose to pester me just now! 
AG: Dammit, John. 
AG: Stop sounding smarter than me. It is un8ecoming of someone so inferior. 

I like how John one-ups Vriska without even trying. Dave and Rose would OWN her should she have chosen to talk to them. They do eventually talk to Vriska, but it’s after three years of knowing her; both think of her as kind of a tool but put up with her. Why didn’t she at all talk to any of the other kids? I suppose she wanted someone impressionable to meddle with, leaving Dave and Rose out of the question, and Jade is probably eliminated because she reminds her of Tavros who she already tried and failed to “improve”.

EB: i mean, i was just pausing for a moment… 
EB: to look at my trashed movie posters. 
EB: they bring back memories, of a life that i guess is long gone now. 
EB: but you probably know what that is all about. 
AG: Yeah, I know. 
EB: it wasn’t even that long ago, but it already seems like forever since i was on earth! 
EB: it was a pretty nice place, i bet you would have liked it. 

I guess John feels the same way I do about this segment.

EB: this one here is so great. it is about this street tough renegade who did hard time behind bars, and wants nothing more in the world than to reunite with his loving wife and daughter. but not so fast! he has to go on crazy and dangerous escapades through the sky with a motley assortment of rogues led by john malkovich, who is wise to cage’s heroic nature and pure heart. they tether a grumpy police man’s awesome car to the plane and smash it, and then later they crash into some casinos. cage gets out of the wreckage and hugs his family, and i usually tear up a little. 
EB: that is my working troll title for the movie, i hope it was ok. 

I like when characters speak in paragraphs like this. I also like how John made up a troll title for his favorite movie. I also like how he stops what he’s doing to tell a random troll about his glorious movies.

AG: Your pail is showing, stupid!!!!!!!!
EB: my pail? 
EB: you mean this bucket here? 
AG: Yes! Come on, will you take a hint and show some decorum???????? 
EB: umm… 
EB: i’m really not following. what do you have against buckets?
AG: Man! Nothing, really. It’s just…….. 
AG: Ok, may8e humans don’t really have any sense of shame over this sort of thing? 
EB: shame over what? 
EB: it’s just a bucket! you know, for putting soapy water in and cleaning stuff with. 
EB: why, what do trolls use them for? 
AG: Oh. 
AG: Haha, yeah, of course! 
AG: That’s what I was talking a8out. Your cleaning 8ucket. 
AG: In troll culture we consider cleaning products to 8e really indecent or something! 
AG: I am 8lushing furiously a8out it right now. Please try to 8e sensitive to my cultural ways and understandings. 

This is the first instance of the infamous bucket gag. Homestuck is known for that joke—it’s one of the things most popularly associated with it, a bit below the trolls themselves. I can’t help but wonder what trolls use to carry liquids around instead of buckets. Probably some goofy slime pod thing. Also Vriska is a terrible liar; nobody would sincerely end a statement about people’s social conventions with “or something”. But John buys it anyway.

John goes to his balcony and sees imps trashing his house, one of whom is carrying a broom. Here’s his reaction to the broom:

Oh no, more embarrassing cleaning apparatus. You’ve got to hide it before Sekret Spinneret or whatever her name is sees it and gets upset.

This narration line tells us that after conversing with Vriska for not too long, he already doesn’t want to upset her. By this point he clearly has warmed up to the trolls and realized that they’re beings with regular feelings so I suppose that’s why he does that.

I really like these perspective views.

John looks up to see his house built way up and talks to Rose about it. This is the first conversation between two humans in—hang on let me do a quick search—over 800 pages. Holy shit.

EB: hey rose! 
TT: Hi. 
EB: how are you doing? i don’t even remember the last time we talked. 
EB: i have been so busy. 
EB: and it looks like you have been too. 
EB: i mean, hopy shit! 
EB: my house is HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE! 
TT: Actually, building up your house has been one of the more trivial ways I’ve passed the time. 
TT: Great swaths of the structure may be copied and pasted with little architectural consideration. 
TT: I’ve only bothered to do so while in contemplation. 
TT: It’s relaxing. 

I can imagine that doing such repetitive patterns of building would be relaxing like Rose says.

TT: We have a lot of grist. 
EB: how much? 
TT: I don’t recall any hard figures off hand. 
TT: Last I checked, more than a million units of several different types. 
TT: Torrented between the three of us. 
EB: torrented? 
TT: Shared, through an application. 
TT: I unlocked the disc from your registry, and deployed it. 
TT: I convinced your nanna to install it on your computer. 
TT: Before an imp threw it out the window, that is. 

Rose is here catching John up on the game. It’s like the stage of video games where you have millions of these currency units and stuff but aren’t anywhere near the final goal, if that makes sense. Also, how did Rose talk to Nannasprite? I think in Act 2 Rose has said stuff that indicates that she could somehow see John’s conversations with Nannasprite, so maybe it’s however she knows it? Did she read their lips as she watched their conversations or does the game let you listen to the sound of whatever you’re viewing or what? Does she alchemize paper notes for Nannasprite to read and deploy them from there? It’s probably not an important detail but I still can’t help but wonder.

EB: what’s up with the alchemiter? 
EB: it looks weird. 
TT: Upgrades. 
EB: did you get nanna to do that too? 
TT: No, your consorts were utilized for that. 
EB: the salamanders?? 
TT: Yes. They seem eager to receive simple instruction. 
TT: I’m guessing they find their way back to your house to allow the client player to remain productive while the server player is away. 

Again, how did she contact the salamanders? Was it the same way she talked to Nannasprite or something else? Does the game just have an interface that allows you to input thoughts into people’s heads like an exile?? I don’t even know.

EB: and then i cloned some slime babies in the veil. 
TT: Did you? 
EB: yes. um… 
EB: ok, long story short is, jade is my slime clone sister, and dave is your slime clone brother, and we were all born today! 
TT: Yes. 
EB: yes? 
TT: I figured that out. 

She must have somehow found it out in books she read in her planet or something. This conversation has really been giving me a vibe of Rose suddenly being omniscient or something.

EB: rose, i am fairly sure i saw your mom! 
TT: You did? 
TT: Are you sure it was her? 
EB: well, it was a nice and proper looking lady, with a pink scarf, so… 
EB: i dunno, who else would that be! 
TT: That was likely her. 
TT: How was she? 
EB: fine, i guess… 
EB: she was with my dad. 
TT: That’s interesting. 
EB: yeah! 
TT: Did she seem happy? 
EB: happy? 
EB: wow, i dunno. 
EB: i don’t really know her well enough to say, i guess? 
EB: plus, i was a little distracted. 
EB: maybe i will find out next time i go to sleep. 

Although Rose’s reaction to John seeing her mom is surprisingly deadpan, she does take a moment to ask if she “seemed happy”. This must mean that she’s concerned about her mother’s emotional state, which I think matches up with what she later says about her when she finds out her mom died.

EB: now stop being so spookily mysterious and tell me what you’ve been doing! 
TT: Investigating, mostly. 
EB: investigating what? 
TT: Everything there is to investigate. 
TT: Information hidden in the lore of our lands, concealed in ruins and riddles. 
TT: I’m looking for whatever there is to discover about the game, and more importantly, whatever exceeds its boundaries. 
TT: The cloaked traces of myth beyond its scope. 
EB: its scope? 
EB: oh, rose, did you know that we are supposed to be creating a universe with this game? 
TT: Yes. 
EB: i think that’s pretty neat! 
TT: It is, in principle. 
TT: But it won’t happen. 
EB: so you believe the trolls then? 
TT: It’s not a matter of believing them. 
TT: The writing is on the wall. Literally. 
EB: it is? 
TT: This session was never meant to bear fruit. 
TT: It’s barren, so to speak. 

This is definitely how Rose knows everything. It’s interesting that while we resume John and Jade’s arcs from right when we left off, we resume Rose’s arc at a point some time after what they were up to at the end of Act 4, and as we learn a little later the same goes for Dave. Rose in particular seems to have gathered a lot of information offscreen. Hussie once noted this disparity on his Formspring. I think this might tie in with Prospit/Derse duality, where Derse stuff is generally more mysterious than its Prospit counterpart. For example, the Derse trolls all get less screen time than the Prospit trolls, and far less is known about the Derse kids’ cross-scratch childhoods than those of the Prospit kids.

EB: that’s a bit of a bummer! 
EB: i am still skeptical about that, though. 
TT: That’s why you’re our leader, John. 
EB: huh? 
TT: Optimism through stalwart skepticism is a defect not everyone is lucky enough to be cursed with. 
EB: that’s stupid. 
EB: i’m not your leader, i am your FRIEND, there is a BIG difference! 
TT: Statements like that are also why you’re our leader. 
EB: pff.
EB: laaaaaaaame.

This memorable bit is reiterated a few times. It exemplifies a bit about John with how he refuses to believe all this fate stuff. Also, this is the first time John successfully does the Vriska thing. It’s interesting how it doesn’t take long at all for Vriska to rub off on him.

EB: so, if you’re sure that we are going to fail… 
EB: what is the point of everything we’re doing? 
TT: Simple. 
TT: The objective is no longer to win. 
EB: um… 
EB: i mean, what are we actually shooting for here? 
TT: To do as much damage to the game as possible. 
TT: To rip its stitches and pry answers from the seams. 
TT: We will snatch purpose from the jaws of futility. 
TT: Are you ready to wreak some havoc, John? 
EB: i suddenly don’t understand anything.

And here comes the start of Rose’s massive brazen mission to break the game, the start of what she spends almost this whole act doing. Her plan for success says a good deal about her character: she wants to go against the irritating forces of the game, which she perceives as outright malevolent.

This is a good stopping point because the next pages show us what Rose is up to, after a good stretch of pages focusing on John. It’s not quite in the neighborhood of 100 pages, but this post is getting pretty long with all this quoted stuff so I’ll stop here. Seriously, it’s pretty long to scroll through, despite only half the words or so being commentary rather than quoted stuff. I think this new posting style warrants fewer pages covered per post, so expect posts covering 50-80 pages or something like that.

See you next time as Rose does stuff. Next post will likely be three weeks to a month from now, because my school schedule next semester looks pretty complicated and it may be pretty hectic sorting things out, but once I’ve got everything I’ll definitely be able to do this blog again.

>> Part 29: Crazy Destruction and Laptop Reunions