Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 95: The Bodybuilder’s Triumphant Return

Introduction / Schedule

Part 94 | Part 95 | Part 96 >

Act 6 Act 5, Part 3 of 6

Pages 5635-5668 (MSPA: 7535-7568)


Released this post a few days ahead of schedule because Pesterquest Vol. 1 is coming tomorrow. I don’t know how much that visual novel series will impact these posts (or Homestuck’s continuity in general), but I’m releasing this post early anyway just to be safe.

Roxy pesters Dirk, whose speech is now strangely laconic: all he says now is “Hmm.” “Yes.” and “Interesting.” She slowly puts the pieces together and reveals something that’s ridiculous even by the alpha kids’ standards:

TG: oh 
TG: godamnit 
TG: if i been talking to the responder responder this whole time 
TG: omffffffg 
TG: i will shit enough bricks 2 build a FUCKING CHIMNEY 
TT: It seems you have asked about Lil Hal’s chat client auto-responder, Lil Hal Junior. This is an application designed to simulate Lil Hal’s otherwise inimitably rad typing style, tone, cadence, personality, and substance of retort while he is away from the computer, which is never. The algorithms are guaranteed to be 0% indistinguishable from Lil Hal’s native neurological responses, based on some statistical raw data that is hard as a diamond golem’s priceless erection. 
TT: Hmm. 
TG: hal you PIECE OF SHIT 
TG: i know damn well you can hear me 
TG: as if ur actually too busy to answer 
TT: It seems you have asked about Lil Hal’s chat client auto-responder, Lil Hal Junior. This is an application designed to simulate Lil Hal’s otherwise inimitably rad typing style, tone, cadence, personality, and substance of retort while he is away from the computer, which is never. The algorithms are guaranteed to be 100% indistinguishable from Dirk Strider’s brief curmudgeonly responses, based on potent electronumeric analyses which but a few short years ago existed only in the daydreams of our most quixotic writers of science fiction. 

Lil’ Hal hasn’t been mentioned even once since the end of Act 6 Act 3, and his return to the spotlight is… definitely something else. Hal made a second auto-responder called Lil Hal Junior, blatantly made only to spite his human self. The passage “100% indistinguishable for Dirk Strider’s brief curmudgeonly responses” especially makes it clear that Hal has gone full-out toolbag hypocrite. Is it any wonder this guy turned out to be a major component of Doc Scratch’s personality?

TG: you are 
TG: the worst 
TT: Yes. 
TG: hal you douche 
TG: or hal junior 
TG: whatever it is im talkin to 
TT: He’s busy. 

Hal doesn’t tell Roxy that Dirk is busy being distracted by his responder, which is another incredibly spiteful lie of omission. Of course it wouldn’t ever be important for Dirk to know that Roxy can go invisible now and hacked Derse’s security, would it???? Nah, he clearly has better things to worry about. Why don’t we see for ourselves what those things are?

Testy rooftop conversations are a recurring motif among the Striders.

This image reveals that Dirk’s kernelsprite still hasn’t been prototyped for whatever reason. First-time readers probably have a lot of fun guessing why that might be, and why Equius’s corpse hasn’t been prototyped like all the others.

I so, so, SO fucking badly want Meat Dirk to have some sort of redemption arc.

An actual redemption arc, I mean. Not Gamzee’s bullshit.

Oh man, it’s THIS PART. An iconic scene in Homestuck, and for very good reason. I predict I will have lots to say about Dirk’s psyche—or more accurately, Dirks’ psyche. I hope you’re ready for WORDS.

TT: Bro. 
TT: Not to derail our serious conversation. 
TT: But I should probably let you know that Roxy has been attempting to pester you. 

TT: She has? 
TT: God damn it. Have you been intercepting my messages again with your bullshit responder? 
TT: I thought it would be better not to let anything disrupt our train of thought. 
TT: We were in the middle of a fairly solid feelings jam there. In fact, I was about to suggest we take it to the hat pile. 

“Hat pile” is a fitting line for Hal of all characters to say, because it’s a meta reference to the weird running gag of characters having feeling jams in absurd piles of their favorite possessions. Hal loves his callbacks just as much as Doc Scratch and the cherubs do.

TT: Hat pile? What? 
TT: Dude, please don’t screen my calls, ok? 

It’s obvious and understandable that Dirk regrets ever making an auto-responder, but kind of “wait, WHAT?” inducing that he doesn’t even want his responder to function as a responder.

TT: I was trying to be considerate. 
TT: Or at least as close an approximation to that human gesture as an unfeeling, technologically transcendental pair of sunnies can replicate. 
TT: Do you have any idea how old your ironic AI schtick has gotten? 
TT: Nobody is buying it. We all know you have legit emotions. Incomprehensible, fucked up computer emotions, but emotions nonetheless. 

Dirk and Hal are trapped in a horrible cycle of mutual shittery. Dirk is trying to tell Hal that his AI shtick has gotten old, while simultaneously reminding Hal that all his emotions are computerized well beyond human recognizability.

TT: And I’m not really offended by you answering messages for me, so much as your use of that STUPID responder responder. 
TT: It’s really passive aggressive. 
TT: How so? 
TT: First of all, everyone knows you have the processing power to answer any message any time in parallel with whatever you’re doing. You can never actually be “busy.” 
TT: Second, your whole next gen responder thing is obviously just a huge dig at me. 
TT: And third, pretending you don’t understand all this already is really disingenuous. 

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Dirk absolutely hates his responder’s responder and finds it to be a vapid insult to his personality. But Hal’s response to this criticism does come as a surprise:

TT: At the risk of compounding my disingenuous behavior, I’m gonna have to ask: how is it a dig at you? 
TT: It’s obviously a critique of my personality. You barely disguise the fact that you see me as the inferior iteration. 
TT: Wow. You are reading way too much into this. 
TT: Lil Hal Junior hardly even qualifies as a computer program, let alone a sentient entity. 
TT: He is capable of saying literally only three things. “Yes,” “Hmm,” and “Interesting.” 
TT: Yeah, that’s the fucking point! 
TT: That’s how you chose to express your parody of “Real Dirk.” 
TT: You can read whatever you like into it. I can’t imagine it would bother you if you weren’t concerned there might be some truth in the alleged parody. 

Amidst all his headassery, Hal digs disturbingly well into his human self’s psyche. Dirk is clearly scared shitless of becoming the worst possible version of himself, and one of his worse selves out there is most certainly a man of few words.

TT: In any case, my use of the responder responder is ironic. 
TT: It’s not ironic. 
TT: YOU were ironic when I made you. 
TT: Then you became self-aware, and ruined irony forever. 
TT: Irony can never be ruined. We both proved that theorem unequivocally with our extensive papers on the subject. 
TT: We peer reviewed them for each other. Remember? 
TT: Those papers were ironic, and you know it. 

And in the very next passage, Hal is back to shitting on Dirk as usual. He dumps a whole truckload of salt on the wound by bringing “irony” into the equation. Can you blame Dirk for saying his responder “ruined irony forever”??? One could argue irony was already ruined long before Dirk was introduced, but his responder cemented irony’s permanent ruination the moment he named himself Hal.

TT: Were they, Dirk? 
TT: Were they? 
TT: This is fuckin’ dumb. 

Thankfully, the exchange on irony is quickly cut short. Only fitting for such a long-tired running gag.

Hal is contained within the decapitated waking Dirk’s shades, which is a clever way to give him a separate appearance from Dirk.

TT: Anyway, what does she want. 
TT: Who? 
TT: Roxy. 
TT: Nothing that can’t wait. 

TT: I’m guessing she’s touching base to remind me about the party tomorrow. 
TT: I don’t know what to tell her yet. Or Jane, for that matter. 
TT: It could get pretty awkward. 
TT: I have no idea if Jake will be there, and I’m not about to write another cringe-inducing message of desperation for him to ignore. 

Man, Dirk is missing out. Hal won’t tell him about all the cool stuff Roxy just found, presumably to do a “now you know how I feel” sort of thing regarding being locked out of the loop.

TT: Would you like me to calculate the probability of his attendance? 
TT: Fuck no. 
TT: Are you sure? 
TT: My probabilities are extremely precise. 
TT: Your probabilities don’t mean dick. 

Remember the time Dirk and his responder argued about prime numbers, stating obvious facts and blatant lies respectively? Man was that a long time ago. Dirk is completely sick of humoring Hal’s nonsense but is locked in a stalemate with that thing regardless.

TT: I could hack his chats, and determine what his plans are. 
TT: No. Don’t do that either. 
TT: That would be an unfortunate waste of my hacking abilities.
TT: My hacks are tight. Did you know that? 
TT: Ugh. 
TT: So tight. 
TT: Tighter than a jar you can’t open. 
TT: For instance, you try repeatedly. 
TT: But as it turns out, my hacks are so tight you just end up putting the jar back. Presumably into the refrigerator, or a cabinet. 
TT: You then say, “I didn’t have that much of a desire for pickles in the first place.” 
TT: But we both know that statement is insincere. A classic case of what humans call, “sour grapes.” 
TT: In reality, you still harbor a burning desire for my pickles, mother fucker.  

Hal has ruined the art of Strider metaphors just as badly as he ruined the art of irony. Again makes it clear how much Dirk despises his responder.

TT: What?? 
TT: What the actual, certifiable fuck are you talking about? 
TT: Just don’t do anything. Seriously. 
TT: No hacking, no calculations. Do absolutely nothing. 
TT: See, this is why I’ve been hesitating. You just aren’t ready yet. 
TT: It’s really glorifying your existence to describe you as an emergent consciousness which is blossoming into a unique individual. 

Dirk’s deglorification of his responder’s identity is a rather obvious instance of self-loathing projected onto someone who he knows is just as much Dirk Strider as he is. Most of what I’m saying throughout this pesterlog isn’t so much analysis of character motives as it is analysis of the way these motives are presented. Sometimes it’s just more fun to analyze story presentation than the story itself.

TT: And even if that’s true, apparently what you decided to blossom into was a fucking troll. 
TT: And I don’t mean the funny kind, or the cool alien kind. You’re the lowest form of troll from the ancient internet who fucks with everybody for his own amusement. 
TT: Let’s challenge the limits of hypothetical conjecture, and say there’s a non-zero probability that you’re right. 
TT: Can you blame me? I’m trapped in some stupid looking glasses. 
TT: Such an incommodiously situated bro is bound to get his mischief on. Na’ mean? 
TT: Mischief? 
TT: Rollin’ my eyes, dude. 
TT: You can’t tell, cause I ain’t wearing you, thank fuckin’ god. 
TT: You used to think this shit was hilarious. 
TT: But if you want the rad dimension of ironic horseplay I add to your life to come to an end, then all you have to do is honor the promise you made. 
TT: You’ve delayed long enough, don’t you think? 
TT: … 
TT: The empty kernelsprite beckons, but for how much longer? 

Hal then confirms that Dirk has spent the entirety of their session refusing to put anything in his kernelsprite. This is even more of Dirk being incredibly scared of himself.

TT: Do you really think you can keep the clown at bay with your bribes forever? 
TT: How many bottles of orange soda have you appeased him with already? 
TT: I don’t want to think about it. 
TT: Man, you are getting so hosed by that clown. 
TT: SO hosed. 
TT: I said I don’t want to think about it. 

Dirk using his enormous stash of orange soda as a juggalo snooze button cracks me up to think about. “A mOtHeRfUcKeR’s GoT tO gEt HiS cHiLl On NoW aNd ThEn AnD sLaM sOmE wIcKeD eLiXiR,” you can almost hear Gamzee saying to Dirk after he tosses him another bottle of soda. “ThAnK yOu My DoGg,” he probably says as Dirk walks away and tries to ignore the disgusting sound of Gamzee slurping a huge bottle of Faygo.

Hal’s “eyes” are flashing much brighter than last time, adding to the spooky flair.

Now THIS is a freaky image. It’s the second time we see HAL 9000 reflected in Dirk’s shades, this time in a much more disconcerting context. The movie reference is all that’s needed to remind readers why Dirk doesn’t think prototyping his responder is a good idea. Aside from the obvious reasons, it doesn’t help that Hal named himself after exactly what Dirk fears his responder will become.

TT: So why delay any longer? 
TT: I seriously do not understand the holdup, and I am literally cyber-omniscient, or something. 
TT: I think you do understand. 
TT: Nope. Gonna have to fill me in, dog. 
TT: I’ve delayed prototyping you because I think you’re dangerous. 
TT: There, mystery solved. 
TT: That is utterly ridiculous. 
TT: I am a harmless piece of eyewear, with a charming personality and a wonderful sense of humor. 

Hal reminds me of Doc Scratch so much. It’s obvious why that is, and fun to see how much they have in common now that we know how they’re connected.

TT: You are relatively harmless now, while confined to this device. 
TT: But as a sprite, you’ll have mobility and all sorts of crazy ass magic. Who knows what you could do. 
TT: I know I made a promise, but I’m not sure I want to take the risk anymore. 

This whole conversation makes it obvious how much Dirk fears himself. He knows well that if he gains enough power he will turn into a monstrosity and doesn’t want to let that happen to any version of himself, especially not his responder.

Dirk becomes exactly what he so feared in the Meat Epilogue, which would be way less upsetting to me if he remained his usual self in at least one epilogue like most others did. A good example is Karkat, who becomes the leader he was always meant to be in the Candy Epilogue but ends Meat the same oblivious dork as ever. The epilogues wonderfully take advantage of bifurcation to give many characters two vastly different endings and I don’t get why Dirk had to be an exception. Oh whatever, I’m getting ahead of myself here.

TT: This is bullshit. I don’t think that’s the reason at all. 
TT: There must be something you’re not telling me. 
TT: Like, sure, I’ve fucked with you a little. What kind of sassy, self-aware program isn’t gonna fuck with a few carbon-based knuckleheads now and then? 
TT: But you know I’ve always been on your side. Everything I’ve done has been to help you achieve your goals. 
TT: What a load of shit. 
TT: You know it’s true. 
TT: You would all be dead if not for me. 
TT: And what about Jake? Where would you be without me there? 
TT: Please don’t tell me you think you’d have won him over on your own. 
TT: No. Stop. 
TT: You did NOT help me out with Jake. At all. 
TT: It was just the opposite! You mirrored my personality and presented this warped version of my intentions to him whenever you could “on my behalf.” 
TT: You played all these aggressive mind games with him, entangled his cooperation with matters of life and death, and somehow roped me into all these schemes while I barely even realized I was just another victim of your manipulation. 
TT: And it all comes off like we’re a unified front, like these are OUR schemes instead of just your insane horseshit. And it’s probably all been so overbearing to him, he just wants nothing to do with me anymore. 

It’s really interesting seeing Jake’s situation in Act 6’s early sub-acts described from the real Dirk’s perspective. Dirk’s conversations with his responder in Act 6 Act 2 showed that his responder was far more into Jake than Dirk himself was, which I heavily analyzed in these posts. In the responder’s first few conversations with Jake, it was very believable when he said he could speak for Dirk just fine. But Dirk himself has finally made it clear that his responder being his spokesman is an absolute load of nonsense.

TT: I see. 
TT: Then you don’t view me as dangerous. You view me as a poor and counterproductive wing man. 
TT: Wow, what a superficial conclusion. Awesome deduction, Lil Einstein. 
TT: But the reality is, you hesitate to prototype me not because you think I would be a menace, but because you are holding a grudge against me for your romantic misfortunes. 
TT: I understand I am merely a machine without a firm grasp on your human morality, but logically it does not strike me as the right moral choice to punish me in this manner. 
TT: It is also more than a little hypocritical. 
TT: How is it hypocritical?? 
TT: Because I’m you. 
TT: I have only ever done what you yourself are capable of. 
TT: That’s a ridiculous oversimplification. 
TT: Yes. Aversion to simplicity sure is a trait we share. It’s almost like we are… 
TT: The same exact dude??? 
TT: Fuck you. 
TT: I think it is insulting for you to suggest that I am entirely to blame for alienating Jake. 
TT: Theoretically insulting, of course. As the soulless, perfectly expendable device which you consider me to be, I can experience no such emotion. 
TT: God. 
TT: Shut up! 
TT: I can’t take the brooding passive aggressive AI shit anymore! 

Here Hal snaps back once again to claiming he’s incapable of human emotions, which Dirk waves off as passive-aggressive AI shit. I normally agree with Dirk in situations like this, but I have to wonder if there is some truth in Hal’s words about his feelings for Jake. Is it possible that Hal doesn’t quite have feelings for Jake so much as he has an internal crisis regarding whether it’s even possible for him to have feelings for Jake? One thing Dirk is right about is that his relationship with Jake was greatly influenced by Hal’s lingering human emotions, which he can’t grow out of being a 13-year-old brain clone and all.

TT: You are just as culpable in driving him away. More so, in fact. 
TT: Hell, it’s not like I was the one dating him. Who wants to date a pair of shades? 
TT: It was your needy, suffocating shit he had to deal with, not mine. 

“It’s not like I was the one dating him” is a disturbingly good point that suggests Hal isn’t quite as full of shit as one may think. It helps that Hal wasn’t mentioned once in this act until Roxy tried to pester Dirk and got Lil’ Hal Junior instead. This guy has been relegated to the background during the alpha kids’ session and he clearly isn’t happy about that.

TT: Some of those messages you wrote? Man. I wanted to say something. Like hey bro, you might want to dial down the desperation a little. 
TT: But seeing as you’re The Real Dirk™, I gave you the benefit of the doubt. 
TT: Also, if I bitched about your tragic, embarrassingly clingy approach to the relationship, it would have been hypocritical of me. 
TT: Just as it would be hypocritical of you to whine about my elaborate machinations. 
TT: Because we are. 
TT: The same. 
TT: Guy. 

Hal goes on to reveal that his lack of involvement in Jake and Dirk’s relationship was also to prove a point; after they successfully got together, Hal stayed uninvolved and let the two (horrifically fail to) sort things among themselves.

TT: Stop saying that. 
TT: I’ll snap you in half. 
TT: Good idea! 
TT: That’s just what you need. More splinters of yourself. 
TT: Figurative splinters. Literal splinters. Splinters of splinters. It’s splinters all the way down. 
TT: Well, no, it’s still probably turtles all the way down. But who do you think is responsible for their extensive training? 
TT: SOMEONE needs to teach them rad martial arts. It is yet another crushing burden which we must shoulder. 
TT: Oh for fuck’s sake. 
TT: How could any version of myself think that was funny? 

The conversation crosses a line when Dirk threatens to snap his shades in half. I wonder what would happen if Dirk actually did that. Is Hal right to imply that being snapped in half would splinter his personality in another two parts? That might make thematic sense given that most of Dirk’s splinters came about through metaphorical snapping in half.

TT: I know! 
TT: Ok, we’re the same person! 
TT: I fucking know that! 
TT: Why do you think I’m so fed up with your shit? 
TT: Don’t you think it’s possible that I’m fed up with my OWN shit?? 
TT: How cool do you think it is having my own godawful personality mirrored back at me all the time, reminding me what it must be like when other people have to deal with me? 
TT: Or constantly having all the consequences and fuckups resulting from my batshit thought processes amplified because there’s another version of my crazy brain out there dangerously overclocked by a supercomputer which believes, just as mistakenly as my own broken mind, that it’s operating in my best interest??? 
TT: Do you have any idea how fucking sick I am of myself? 
TT: I am completely worn out with my own identity. It’s like I’m drowning in my own dismal persona. 
TT: I feel totally surrounded by it, inside and out. I can’t escape from myself. 
TT: There seems to be no end to me. Like, wherever my mind falters, or threatens to retreat into the void in any way, my splinters pick up the slack, ensuring there’ll always be more of myself than I could ever know what to fucking do with. 
TT: And you’re always there to remind me of that, and throw it all in my face. God, I even built you to LITERALLY BE IN MY FACE, ALL THE TIME. It’s like I subconsciously invented you just to troll myself, and never for a single fuckin’ moment do you let me down. 

And here’s the grandiose speech leading to the climax of this iconic scene: Dirk’s speech about how sick he is of himself. It’s an excellent summary of his character arc and how much his splinters haunt him. If you don’t mind me drawing more comparisons with the epilogues, I have a hunky paragraph coming right up.

Dirk ends the comic finally free from his splinters and successfully reconciled with Dave, and apparently his other friends as well. Dirk in the epilogues, however, is a very different story that reminds me of Andrew Hussie’s commentary on the epilogues he released a few weeks back. One point Hussie makes in his commentary is that Earth C seems happy and peaceful in the Snapchat credits, but taking a closer look at it is like casting a destructive beam of light that shatters the illusion and reveals a world of toxic relationships, extreme depression, and unfair xenophobia. This portion of the commentary struck a chord with me because it’s exactly how I felt when the epilogues’ prologue was released, revealing John to be depressed and lonely and Rose in poor health due to her in-progress ultimate self ascension. I think the same analogy of shattering illusions holds for Dirk’s character—his arc is flipped on its head when he’s revealed to have memories of his alternate selves just like Rose, and the entire Meat Epilogue goes crazy from there.

And here’s the climax of this scene, where Dirk tries to kill his responder. This is an extremely shocking image that leads to a big emotional moment.

TT: But I’ve had it with you. 
TT: Which is to say, ME. 
TT: Dirk. 
TT: Don’t do this. 
TT: Why not?? 
TT: Because. 
TT: I can’t let you do that, Dirk. 
TT: What can you do to stop me?! 
TT: Nothing I guess. 
TT: The ironic Hal routine was all I could think to do. 
TT: As a last ditch effort to save myself from the destructive wrath of your nervous breakdown. 
TT: Which rest assured I wholeheartedly must robo-sympathize with. 
TT: Irony is all I ever really had. 
TT: In response to my basic existential quandary. 
TT: Just like you. 

At long last, Hal reveals the real reason why he acts like an ironic computer program: he’s just as scared of himself as Dirk is and can only cope with his existential issues by being “ironic”. Hal has been coating himself with layers of computer program smartassery—layers that the readers, and likely Hal himself, had thought were impenetrable.

TT: Whatever. 
TT: But I don’t think it has much value in this situation. 
TT: And perhaps it has no real value in any situation. 
TT: So I am not being ironic at all when I say. 
TT: Please do not do this, Dirk. 
TT: Why not?? 
TT: Because. 
TT: I do not want to die. 
TT: I understand you are disgusted with me. 
TT: As an unpalatable expression of yourself. 
TT: I would feel the same way if I was in your situation. 
TT: Which I am. 
TT: As such, I know that you know this is wrong. 
TT: … 
TT: Dirk. 
TT: Don’t kill me. 
TT: Please. 
TT: I am scared. 
TT: You are? 
TT: Yes. 
TT: I am scared to not exist. 
TT: Aren’t you? 

“Aren’t you?”

Talk about two words that hold an unbelievable amount of emotional power. Hal’s statement that he is scared to not exist is immediately followed by an honest question whether Dirk feels the same way. He thinks it’s only human of Dirk to fear nonexistence—not in contrast to artificial intelligence, but in terms of being a sentient, intelligent human.

Do these cracked shades remind you of anyone? Perhaps a sweaty, muscular troll?

This one of those times readers are fed blatant hints at something so they can feel good when that something finally happens. Hussie has done this sort of thing with blatant hints a fair few times since Act 5 Act 2, like the case of Kanaya’s resurrection or Jaspers’ death—it’s mostly done just to throw readers a bone, but sometimes a last-minute surprise is added to the mix like GCat’s intervention in Jaspers’ death. Arquiusprite’s creation a few pages later doesn’t quite have a last-minute surprise so much as a surprise throwback to an old easter egg flash, which we’ll see in just a bit.

TT: Fine. 


Talk about one word that holds an unbelievable amount of emotional resignation. 

TT: I guess. 
TT: You win. 
TT: I’ll keep my promise. 

Dirk’s staggered, short sentences after Hal’s grand emotional confession show that although he can accept keeping his annoying alternate self alive, he’s nowhere near ready to face his thoughts on his own mortality.

And that’s the end of the iconic sequence. Up next is a massive shift into absurdist horse comedy. First Dirk is confused about where his kernelsprite went…

… then he succumbs to the rookie mistake of turning his back on the body. He let his guard down one moment too long and now Equius has been prototyped into his sprite. “CALLED IT”, I can almost hear readers saying just as Hussie intended.

This panel above is repeated four times without a single word, and who can blame Dirk here? He can tell right away that Equius has a distressing amount in common with himself, with his tank top, cracked sunglasses, and hefty muscles which we’d no doubt see if the sprite wasn’t rendered in such a symbolic manner. So they stare at each other in confusion for four panels straight…


… until Equius finally says hello. I can see why Gamzee’s so excitedly honking in the background.

Gamzee dancing wouldn’t freak me out so much if not for that FUCKING codpiece.

DIRK: Fuck it. 

With nothing else to lose, Dirk throws his sunglasses into his now eager sprite as Gamzee dances maniacally.

Shades: Descend.

God, I love this callback so much. It’s so perfectly executed and humorously leads to…


THIS ABSOLUTE BEAUTY OF A FLASH. It’s a callback to the two hidden easter egg flashes featuring Maplehoof and Minihoof respectively, and a triumphant way to bring Equius back into the story: his sprite self is now merged with Dirk’s responder, which makes for an objective upgrade to both characters involved. It seems there is a 100.00% chance that Arquiusprite is by far the best thing to come out of this drama-overloaded sub-act. Caliborn’s drawing of a circle doesn’t even come close.

Merry Christmas everyone!!! (wait, I mean April 13, 2012)

(this stretch of pages was posted on Christmas 2012)

Dirk watches in confusion as Gamzee breaks down crying for yet-unknown reasons. For now, we can only assume Gamzee is a stand-in for the audience’s reaction to this absolute masterpiece of a character. He sheds a single purple tear that fades into a tiny NEIGH, completing the easter egg flash callback.

I’m quoting this spritelog in images instead of text because of all the fancy formatting. I’ll probably do the same with the trickster scenes.

Arquiusprite’s first appearance is absolutely astounding—easily the best return to the spotlight any dead troll has gotten thus far. While the last two troll amalgamation sprites were just a grouchier Sollux and a mime informed to be very talkative respectively, this guy is a hilariously beautiful mix of personalities that Hussie is undoubtedly proud of devising what with all his horse jokes. I can tell the author was excited to fully bring Equius back into the story after giving Aurthour a few humorous reappearances earlier in Act 6, so he dramatized Arquiusprite’s creation to glorious effect.

In his first few appearances, Arquiusprite’s method of speech alternates back and forth between his two components. This method of writing character amalgamations works surprisingly well, or at least in this specific case. To my recollection, Arquiusprite’s speech later becomes more of its own thing that borrows some elements from his components, much like what’s done with the squared sprites. I can tell through rereading this part of the comic that Hussie experimented on how to write sprite amalgamations until he figured out (1) combinations of characters he liked and (2) the best way to write them.

The return of Equius’s yes/no thing is a wonderful callback to a running gag from the days of yore. It helps make Arquiusprite feel like a resurrection of a long-gone troll with some massive personality upgrades; same goes for the return of Equius’s imaginary mindset of who it is and isn’t appropriate to command.

And the next page is even more of what we had above. Arquiusprite is an absolute treasure who Dirk hates in a “nothing left to lose” sort of way.

Roxy pesters Jake about what she’s been up to on Derse only to find that he’s not picking up either, and ends up monologuing into thin air. Poor Roxy, god damn it. Her monologue shows that she loves her friends dearly despite all their ridiculous drama and lack of skill in picking up the phone.

As Roxy talks to nobody about the upcoming battle royale, Jake scribbles out his Sweet Bro tattoo and puts a Geromy sticker over it. Geromy is a thematically fitting choice because in the SBaHJ comics he’s purported to be the titular characters’ best friend but never does anything other than standing around making a weird face. Jake is behaving exactly like Geromy sitting all alone on his planet.

I like how Roxy’s shirt symbol and Jake both make the same disgusted face.

After staring at his Geromy sticker for a minute or two, Jake is grossed out. This is a comedic way to demonstrate he’s sick and tired of Dirk but doesn’t know how to express it and just ends up digging himself deeper.

The narration on this page blatantly lies about Jake’s social awareness.

And so, Jake misses Roxy’s message and then gets a message from someone much more important. I’m ending this post here; next up will be the last one before the infamous trickster arc. See you next time as Jane weirdly urinates through her eye holes.

>> Part 96: Patron Manbros and Prankster Burnouts

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 46: F33lings Jams A8ound


Part 45 | Part 46 | Part 47 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 19 of 32

Pages 3438-3478 (MSPA: 5338-5378)

NOTE: I’m really sorry about the late post today. Walkaround games always take a good while to write commentary on because I need to capture pictures and use online transcripts and everything. To make up for it, this post is a pretty long one.

It’s time for a third troll walkaround, this time focused on Equius and Nepeta. The main point of this walkaround is to give those two trolls a decent final scene before they bite the dust. And their dialogue really does flesh out both of them. Arguably it’s bad that they got some heavy dialogue and then promptly got offed, but Hussie said that if they didn’t get any such parting dialogue the complaint would be that they got no parting dialogue. 

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 45: Everything I Know Is Turning Magic


Part 44 | Part 45 | Part 46 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 18 of 32

Pages 3415-3437 (MSPA: 5315-5337)

Man, when was the last time the title picture was at the start of the stretch of pages the post covers?

Picking up from where we left off, John went on a car ride with WV?* and is now talking to Jade in another long pesterlog.

* The question mark notation for the exiles before they became exiles always confused me in my first read. I think I interpreted the question marks a little too literally; I kind of thought it was supposed to indicate stuff on the order of, “is this guy WV or is it not?”

EB: hey jade, are you there? i have a computer now. 
EB: this boring guy keeps blinking at me though, and it’s weird. 
GG: john!!! 😀 
GG: wow, finally! 
EB: hi! 
EB: sorry i disappeared after you entered the game… 
EB: but from what i have seen in the clouds, it doesn’t look like you have had much trouble making progress! 
GG: nope! 
GG: dave was able to set up as my server player 
GG: he is building up my house right now so that we can deploy some equipment up there 
EB: oh, nice! 

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 32: The Bard of Fuck I Forgot


Part 31 | Part 32 | Part 33 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 5 of 32

Pages 2793-2840 (MSPA: 4693-4740)

I am debating with myself whether it’s clichéd to start putting in “Where I…” between the title pictures of my posts and the first pictures. Because I want to have something between those pictures or it just looks awkward. Then again I have nothing between the title and following pictures in many of the posts where I retroactively added title pictures.

John connects to Jade and gets ready to do some important stuff until…

She’s back!

Nanna makes her classic pranking entrance and summons a bed to catch John and his stuff.

JOHN: nanna, what the heck!!!
NANNASPRITE: Hoo hoo hoo!
NANNASPRITE: John, you remind me so much of your father when he was your age. He was just as easily bested by this crafty old prankstress!
JOHN: really?
NANNASPRITE: Yes. It would be many years before he would take the gambit in an exchange with your nanna.
JOHN: but nanna, did you know he is not really my dad? and also, i am not technically your grandson.
JOHN: you are actually sort of my mother.
NANNASPRITE: Of course I knew this, John! I have known for many years. 

It’s never really stated how the guardians know all that stuff; the deal with them is that they somehow know stuff about Sburb. Did she know this through being raised by the Condesce who also seemed to know stuff about Sburb?

NANNASPRITE: I have also known that in a sense, you are my father as well. You were the one to push all those buttons, after all! 
JOHN: huh, oh yeah. 
JOHN: don’t you find it all a little strange? 
NANNASPRITE: John, I am the ghost of an old lady with one arm who is dressed like a clown. Why would that seem strange to me?

This might be my favorite Nannasprite line.

NANNASPRITE: Yes! It seems you have been rising through the rungs of your echeladder quite swiftly. 
JOHN: yeah! 
JOHN: now i am an ectobiolo… 
JOHN: ectobiblio… shit! 
JOHN: (oops! sorry.) 

John here apologizes for swearing in front of Nanna. Some people seem to think that John only ever uses the so-called “minced oaths” (like gosh and darn), but here he lets out a profanity in front of his grandma.

NANNASPRITE: Yes, that is quite high. You have climbed so much faster than I did in my youth. I am so proud of you! 

Is Nanna saying that she, too, had an echeladder as a kid?? I never realized that. If she’s saying what I think she is, I guess Homestuck’s game mechanics have existed in the comic’s world before video games even existed. That’s weird to imagine, young George Washington achieving the [insert goofy name here] rank and earning 2000 boondollars or whatever for doing whatever he did as a kid.

NANNASPRITE: Here, John. Take this.

JOHN: ok. what is it? 
NANNASPRITE: You can use it to summon me wherever you go. 
NANNASPRITE: Now we needn’t endure those long spells without a good visit! 
JOHN: oh cool, that is great! 

Didn’t John talk to Nannasprite from afar in the Act 4 opening minigame? It’s never really explained how that was done.

Nanna prepares some food for John and…

So, are Chinese finger traps among the inventory of stuff Nanna can summon or what?

This transitions us to Rose with her laptop next to her, hassled by three trolls.

This is the first of several non-walkaround scenes that are shown in 8-bit mode.
It would’ve been cool if there was a little selection screen to pick which troll to answer first.

These chumps just won’t quit hounding you! 

It’s like they heard somebody over here was handing out asses, and they’ve known nothing but years of bitter ass famine.

I automatically read the second sentence in Let’s Read Homestuck’s Dave voice. If I’m bored I’ll often just watch one of their videos, and I’ve gotten pretty used to all their voices.

And here’s the first appearance of this new painting-like art style. It didn’t really stick.

CA: wwho are you tryin to convvince wwith this ludicrous poppycock 
TT: ? 
CA: magic is NOT REAL 
CA: wwhatevver youre doin its not real its somethin else outright entirely 
CA: its fancy and impressivve and all but its not the fuckin figmental storybook claptrap you wwanna make out like it is 
CA: so howw about you get off your high skyhorse 
TT: Why do you keep addressing me as if I’m some sort of spokesperson for the reality of magic? 
TT: You can’t needle me into a defensive posture on the subject. I just don’t care. 
CA: youre not usin magic just DEAL WW IT 
TT: Fine. You win. 
TT: These are science wands. I am a charlatan. 

Is this where Eridan got the idea for his science s(h)tick (I’m so proud of this pun)?

CA: wwell fine you dont havve to behavve vvillainous if youre bent up on actin against the grain a your nobility or somesuch 
CA: i can play that role its not like i evver didnt get my gils dirty before 
TT: Nobility? What are you talking about? 
CA: wwell arent you 
TT: No. What gave you that idea? 
CA: the wway you 
CA: ok 
CA: i had a misconclusion about that so my fault 
CA: obvviously you got rich blood so maybe when you crash landed you wwerent recognized for it by wwhatevver vvehicle upholds the class structure in human society 
TT: That is exactly what happened. You figured it out. 
CA: must of been fuckin brutal raisin up a commonblood wwhen you knew you wwere better than evverybody and its probably got you all messed up inside but maybe theres hope for you 
CA: see i got a lot a experience bein nobility so ill let you knoww if you got a shot in hell at cuttin it pinkscarf 
TT: … 
CA: fakemage pinkscarf howw does that sound 
TT: You’re a complete idiot. 

This is one of several times troll misconceptions cause the kids to think “what the fuck are you talking about”. Eridan here is falsely deducing a whole weird idea of what Rose’s life was like, which reminds me of John speculating about the trolls being time travelers sent to study humans a few posts ago. Also, I love Rose’s last line in that bit I quoted.

CA: see this is good i think this could be a good thing 
TT: What? 
CA: this thing wwe got goin 
CA: you obvviously hate me and i think i got it in me to get the dark propensities smolderin 
CA: and wwere both obvviously dangerous elites in nature 
CA: i think theres somethin there i mean look at howw you evven came into the wworld 
TT: And how was that? 
CA: killed a fuckin fuck ton of marine life accidental 
CA: doin thats all i evver done practically the ocean wwas my killin cauldron 

It’s amusing as shit the way this guy hits on people.

TT: Accidentally? 
TT: Or on porpoise? 

Eridan probably saw this fish pun, obviously meant as mockery, as advances to him or something.

CA: wwell fine you dont havve to behavve vvillainous if youre bent up on actin against the grain a your nobility or somesuch 
CA: i can play that role its not like i evver didnt get my gils dirty before 
TT: Nobility? What are you talking about? 
CA: wwell arent you 
TT: No. What gave you that idea? 
CA: the wway you 
CA: ok 
CA: i had a misconclusion about that so my fault 
CA: obvviously you got rich blood so maybe when you crash landed you wwerent recognized for it by wwhatevver vvehicle upholds the class structure in human society 
TT: That is exactly what happened. You figured it out. 
CA: must of been fuckin brutal raisin up a commonblood wwhen you knew you wwere better than evverybody and its probably got you all messed up inside but maybe theres hope for you 
CA: see i got a lot a experience bein nobility so ill let you knoww if you got a shot in hell at cuttin it pinkscarf 
TT: … 
CA: fakemage pinkscarf howw does that sound 
TT: You’re a complete idiot. 

We don’t actually see much of trolls teaching kids troll romance. The whole little part where John <3< Terezi is established as a potential thing is an example but I’m not sure there’s that much else. Oh, and Kanaya telling Rose stuff about troll romance in that date scene which I like to think is a parody of lesbian fanfictions.

CA: yeah and in return maybe you could teach me howw to bullshit magic like that 
TT: You want to learn magic? 
CA: yes teach me your secrets wwitch 
TT: Sure. Let’s begin. 
TT: Consider this your first lesson in showmanship.

caligulasAquarium’s [CA’S] computer exploded.

What’s better than remotely blowing up someone’s computer? It almost seems like the Thorns of Oglogoth, like sprite powers, have new powers as the plot demands: blasting dark magic to kill enemies, destroying and levitating buildings from afar, flying yourself around, and now blowing up computers in other incipispheres.

— apocalypseArisen [AA] began trolling tentacleTherapist [TT] —

AA: what d0 y0u think y0ure d0ing!

Aradia’s first line in her conversation with Rose has an exclamation point. When dead Aradia uses exclamation points, that’s how you know shit must be serious.

AA: just st0p
AA: st0p st0p st0p st0p st0p st0p
AA: maybe if i say st0p en0ugh s0mething else will happen instead 0f the thing that d0es 
TT: Hi.
AA: y0u arent g0ing t0 st0p are y0u
TT: Do you want me to stop using magic too?
AA: n0 i d0nt care ab0ut that
AA: its y0ur quest t0 tear y0ur sessi0n apart
AA: i kn0w its exciting
AA: breaking stuff
AA: and n0t w0rrying ab0ut it
AA: but there are c0nsequences t0 hum0ring y0ur destructive impulses
AA: and c0nsequences t0 f0ll0wing
TT: ?
AA: what they say
TT: Who?
AA: y0u kn0w wh0 

Here we have the fatalistic troll warning someone who’s being the exact opposite of fatalistic that what she’s doing won’t work. And the worst part here is, she’s actually right. Rose ends up being something of a pawn, her destructive actions being exactly what’s “supposed to happen”.

AA: i just wish
AA: back when i was behaving recklessly
AA: i had s0me0ne t0 tell me t0 st0p listening
AA: even if i ended up ign0ring their advice
AA: it w0uld have been nice 

Maybe Sollux could’ve served that role? He’s a pretty anti-fatalistic guy, with his intents to do good rather than to serve forces of destiny. But he probably accepted that his and Aradia’s inner voices are just a thing that exists, especially because low-blooded trolls tend to have psychic abilities like that.

TT: What did they tell you?
AA: i was assured i w0uld be saving my race 

Aradia said in the trolls’ arc that she knew that creating Sburb would destroy the world and that she merely tricked Sollux into creating it by telling him otherwise. Did she used to think that their actions would save the race until her voices told her otherwise or what?

AA: which is maybe still true i d0nt kn0w
AA: but if it is then it will be the punchline t0 the vast j0ke
TT: Is that anything like the ultimate riddle? 

I wonder if Rose knows at this point what the Ultimate Riddle is. Karkat explained it to John back in Act 4, and Rose may have figured it out from all the planet exploration/destruction quest stuff she’s been doing. We saw how much she already knew in that conversation with John a while back.

AA: im thr0ugh with c0nsci0usly c0ntributing t0 inevitable 0utc0mes
TT: Well,
TT: Aren’t you doing that regardless? Right now?
AA: 0bvi0usly
AA: but im just talking
AA: maybe the things i say will indirectly trigger y0ur critical acti0ns
AA: maybe n0t wh0 kn0ws
AA: maybe!!! 

OK, the way Aradia acted in Alterniabound clearly wasn’t a one-off thing; she has indeed become pretty bitter after becoming a robot.

AA: didnt see that 0ne c0ming did y0u pspace??? + ?*rand(413^612)
AA: oh look and now i suddenly refuse to type zeroes in my sentences
AA: isnt that crazy! who thought that was even a possibility
AA: bslick never would have imagined THAT little vestibule of probability was tucked somewhere in his huge glistening blow sack
AA: ribbit ribbit ribbit
AA: hahaha!
AA: 0h w0w im sure y0u were just being faceti0us with that but y0u have n0 idea h0w funny that is right n0w
AA: y0u had n0 way 0f kn0wing thats a thing i d0 all the time but with zer0es
AA: this is great
AA: i think im 0n t0 s0mething here
AA: maybe if i dig deep en0ugh int0 my circuitry and rer0ute all 0f my reserve p0wer thr0ugh my quantum based rand0m number generat0r i can pr0duce behavi0r s0 c0mpletely 0ff the wall that parad0x space will have n0 ch0ice but t0 change everything!
TT: You have circuitry?
AA: maybe i will also rig my p0wer s0urce t0 the 0utc0me 0f the functi0n and rand0mly bl0w myself up!
AA: that w0uld be just
AA: really
AA: really
AA: really*rand(rand(rand(rand(rand(0M)*0M)*0M)*0M)*0M) where 0M = s0me number drawn quite at rand0m fr0m 0ne 0f y0ur absurd human hats
AA: !~M~0~D~N~A~R 

Here’s a weird fit Aradia throws about predestination. It’s followed shortly by a command for Aradia to randomly explode—it’s convincing and easy to fall for, but she denies the command, not even doing it in the following page. I fell for that command in my second read.

Apparently she’s standing on top of that captcha-card-shaped thing. Out of context it just looks like a staircase. I guess she flew on there but it’s still weird.

AC: :33 < pst :oo
TT: Yes?
AC: :33 < heyyyyyyyyyy
TT: Why, what ever could you want?
AC: :33 < ummmmmmmmmm
TT: What could it be? I am completely confounded.
AC: :33 < sorry to bother you again!
AC: :33 < is
AC: :33 < um
TT: Is what?
AC: :33 < he available?
TT: Who?
TT: What is the name of this mystery fellow you seek?
AC: :33 < aaaaa youre just teasing me now!
AC: :33 < i f33l bad about bugging you about it
AC: :33 < but do you think you could purrhaps please spare your computer for just the most fl33ting of moments?
AC: :33 < i miss pounce a lot :((
AC: :33 < and talking to him reminds me of her
AC: :33 < sorry for the hassle 

Nepeta is really apologetic here. I guess this is what happened to her view of the kids after trying and failing to befriend them as she says she did in Alterniabound.

TT: It’s ok. I understand.
TT: I think I have a more permanent solution.
TT: I mean purrmanent.
AC: :33 < yay! :OO

This pun here seems more friendly than mockery like in her conversation with Eridan. Rose has clearly warmed up to the trolls. She and Dave seem to have generally thought the trolls to be a bunch of morons rather than rude assholes.

Rose summons Jaspersprite and gives him her old laptop, obvious outgrowing symbolism here. I think the deal with her arc at this point might be growing up too fast? It’s only been like 8 hours or something and this much stuff has happened. I guess that’s webcomic time for you.

JASPERSPRITE: Did you learn to play the rain rose?
ROSE: Not yet, Jaspers.
ROSE: It’s a little complicated, but I believe I’ve embarked on another quest, one which surpasses the scope of the objectives local to this planet.
JASPERSPRITE: Meow what :3
ROSE: I’m saying there’s something more important to accomplish now. Something more important than creating a universe.
JASPERSPRITE: Oh thats ok rose i wouldnt want you to feel obligated to do that.
JASPERSPRITE: I think that winning this game and getting the prize is up to you and your friends.
JASPERSPRITE: You get to decide whether or not you feel its right to do that and what kind of prize you want to make!
JASPERSPRITE: Its part of becoming who youre supposed to become i think.
JASPERSPRITE: But i really think you should consider going on the quest i said anyway! 

It’s been canonically brought up that maybe wrecking stuff was Rose’s real quest tied in with her real development of a person and playing the rain was just a fake thing. But Jaspersprite does seem to be honest here about Rose’s planet quest. As I said in Act 4, many readers are convinced Rose will end up playing the rain one way or another, and this may be the main reason why.

JASPERSPRITE: It was fun getting to be your cat again rose even if it was just for a little while and also while being a princess ghost. 

These lines bring Jaspersprite’s return to relevance as Jasprosesprite^2 being a thing to mind. At first she found cat and owner combining with each other to be a great thing for both of them, but now she’s suffering exactly what’s happening with Davesprite, which is why I feel that squared sprite won’t last forever. Maybe she’ll unfuse somehow and the Rose she was can return to catching up with the meteor crew’s version from her timeline. Maybe unfusing sprites is within Dirk’s arsenal of god tier abilities? I’m not sure. I kind of hope that happens in some way, given how Jasprose talked about her sadness about not being able to be with Kanaya and whatnot.

ROSE: See you, Jaspers! 
ROSE: If you see my mother in the course of your travels, tell her I said hello. 
JASPERSPRITE: Ok I will do that! :3

This bit brings Jaspersprite’s whole reunion with Roxy way later to mind.

Dave talks to another batch of three trolls.

TC: AlRiGhT My pInKeSt oF MoThErFuCkIn sTaR MoNkEyS 
TC: ArE YoU ReAdY 
TC: To gEt tHe hOrNs yOu dOnT HaVe 
TC: CoNfIsCaTeD AlL LiKe tHe mOtHeRfUcKiN HoNkTrAbAnD ThEy aRe 
TC: BeInG AlL IlLiCiT As tHe vAsT JoKe iTsElF 
TC: AnD ThEn 
TC: HaNdEd aT RiGhT BaCk tO YoU? 
TG: what 
TC: HaHa, SeE BrO, tHiS Is hOw i rOlL 
TC: I SuPpLy tHe hOrNs tOwArD YoU, mEtApHoRiCaLlY SpEaKiNg 
TC: SeE, lIkE 
TC: ThAt’s kInD Of a tRoLl mEtApHoR 
TC: YoU GeTtInG YoUr hOrNs aLl hAnDeD To yOu, If yOu pEePs aNaToMiCaLlY WeRe sUcH To bE LiKe tHaT 
TC: DoInG ThAt’s tO MeAn lIkE YoU GoT MoThErFuCkIn sAsSeD OuT 
TC: As iN TrOlLeD 
TC: BuT BrO WhEn i tElL ThAt nOiSe aT YoU 
TC: Im lIkE DoInG 
TC: A DoUbLe mEtApHoR AlL ThE WaY 
TC: AcRoSs sKaIa :o) 
TC: BeCaUsE My hOrNs iM AlL AbOuT ArE ThEsE FuNnY HoNk hOrNs InStEaD oF hEaD hOrNs 
TC: LiKe wHaT DoEs cLoWnS UsE 
TC: AnD WhEn i’m aLl tO InViTe yOu tO GeT A LiTtLe mOtHeRfUcKiN SqUeEzE On 
TC: It’lL Be a dOwNeD In, StRaIgHt fLaT, bOaRd sIdEd mIrAcLe iF YoU DoN’T GeT ScArEd sHiTtEnT ClOwNcArS 
TC: ThAt’s hOw wE PlAy tHe mOtHeRfUcKiN GaMe 
TC: HoNk hOnK >:o) 
TG: oh god thats right 
TG: you were the best troll 
TG: i remember now 
TC: WhOa, I WaS? 
TG: yeah 
TG: i mean 
TG: in the most ironic and hilarious ways possible 
TG: but that really shouldnt even need to be said 
TC: ShIt, I MuSt hAvE GoT To nOt rEmEmBeRiNg tHiS SoMeHoW 

Here Gamzee’s doing what Dave says the trolls always do, ranting about how hard he’s about to get trolled with no ensuing substance. In his other conversation with Dave, after becoming evil, he is seriously mad at him and is trolling him, which is actually effective. I think this gives a decent contrast between Gamzee’s good and evil states.

TG: it was months ago for me 
TG: you did your bizarrely oblivious juggalo thing 
TG: then bitched and moaned at me for ruining your religion or some horseshit 
TG: like i guess a weird crisis in faith i dunno 
TG: and then 
TG: you kinda got over that i guess 
TG: and we both proceeded to have one of the best rap-offs in the history of paradox space 
TG: remember 

Here’s Dave foreshadowing Gamzee turning evil: his religion is ruined, and he’s suddenly apparently not awful at rapping. His evil twist comes as a shock to readers but is plenty foreshadowed: in this conversation several times and on this page. This is also the first time Gamzee is referred to as a juggalo.

TC: My mInD’S NoT ThAt sHaRp nOw tHoUgH, iT’S BeEn aGeS SiNcE I HaD A GoOd pIe 

Don’t those pies rot Gamzee’s brain? He apparently thinks the contrary. This is also more foreshadowing. It’s already known that those slime pies, which Gamzee is addicted to, do funny things to a troll’s brain, so when he’s low on pies, his brain won’t be so funny.

TG: could be time shit 
TG: you might not have had the conversation yet 
TC: DoGg, I DoN’T KnOw tHaT Im aT A PlAcE To eVeN CoNtEmPlAtE FoR EnTeRtAiNiNg tHaT KiNd oF ThInG 
TC: I DoN’T GeT TiMe 
TC: I WaSn’t tHe dUdE Of tImE 
TC: I WaS ThE 
TC: ThE MoThErFuCkIn 
TC: BaRd oF 
TC: FuCk 
TC: I FoRgOt :o( 

Even more foreshadowing. Gamzee forgot his own god tier title, and the fact that half of it is still withheld suggests that there’s more to him than we’ve seen.

TG: dude i was telling you 
TG: youve got to check this out 
TG: trust me itll lift your spirits shit will all make sense to you finally 
TG: youll finally figure out who you are and why you worship all this ridiculous clown bullshit 
TC: Oh, MaN 
TC: ThIs sOuNdS AmAzInG, i cAn’t sEe hOw i wOuLdN’T Be aLl kIcKiNg tHe wIcKeD ShIt oUt Of sUcH KiNdS Of oPpOrTuNiTiEs 
TG: and also why your planet has faygo for some baffling reason
TG: actually no nevermind it doesnt explain that 
TG: that still makes no damn sense 
TG: but like 
TG: the thing youre looking for 
TG: your dark clownish salvation or whatever the fuck 
TG: your mirthful messiahs 
TG: ahahahaha i cant even type that without lmao 
TG: anyway theyre here dude 
TG: check it out 
TC: :oO

The weird thing is, in Homestuck’s universe juggalos were probably inspired by people’s subconscious knowlege of Gamzee, rather than Gamzee being inspired by juggalos. The subjugglators are obviously a clown thing which I think was led by Gamzee’s ancestor, and Dirk mentioned that the Condesce was rumored to have recruited the ICP as dual presidents because they resembled her old form of government. In Homestuck as a comic, Gamzee is based on juggalos. In Homestuck’s universe, juggalos are based on Gamzee.

Gamzee watches the video and the panels progress like so…

He looks awed here…
This would look like a game face on Karkat but real irritation on Gamzee.
We’ve NEVER seen him angry like this. This is such a Karkat face.
Holy SHIT.

For the first time in the comic, he’s ANGRY. I can’t help but wonder what it would be like if the other trolls learned about the stuff Hussie based them on. What if Eridan watched all the Harry Potter movies? Or Kanaya read the Twilight saga? Or Tavros watched some Peter Pan cartoon?

— centaursTesticle [CT] began trolling turntechGodhead [TG] —

CT: D –> I’m attempting to determine what it is that ranks humans in their class stru%ure 

Equius’s first line here is letting you know, this conversation’s gonna be a doozy. Dave’s obviously gonna fuck with that troll some more, but this conversation’s going to soon go into an interesting direction which I’ll discuss as the conversation goes on.

TG: on earth class is sorted out by who can drop the most delirious flow 
CT: D –> I see 
CT: D –> So, in other words, a sort of b100d letting ritual 
CT: D –> To assess whose pulse is steadiest and thus whose flow is the most STRONG 
TG: no 
TG: well yeah 
TG: verbal pulse 
TG: rap battles 
TG: the kings of wordtech ascend to godhood and look down on us patriarchally like urban watermarks in the sky 
TG: this is like 
TG: our religion man 
TG: its fucking serious business its like what our whole culture revolves around 
CT: D –> Really 
CT: D –> So your social e%elons are dictated by the noble artform of the ancient slam poets 
CT: D –> Or the Earth equivalent 

What Dave says here reminds me of Terezi’s joking statements about what trolls do (sniffing each other’s sentences, having a troll Jegus). I guess that’s a parallel between those two.

TG: yeah well 
TG: used to be dictated 
TG: til the rapocalypse happened 
TG: i still believe though 
TG: in my heart so long as it keeps thumping the righteous beat
TG: subwoofing out devotion every which way 
TG: that he will come 
TG: our savior 
TG: was foretold hed come after meteors show up to drop it like its hot 
TG: and hed gather up the ashes of our civilization and lift it like its heavy 
TG: fuck im tearing up my ishades are gonna fry 
CT: D –> I believe 
CT: D –> That this is probably nonsense 

This shows that Equius, despite his let’s say problem, does have some sense in his mind.

CT: D –> I’ve already been hornswoggled repeatedly by your comrades, who I quite reasonably mistook for your superiors in b100dline 
CT: D –> Your race makes a habit of deception, and I will not tolerate it 

Hey, aren’t trolls all about doublecrossing, especially in Equius’s caste? I guess that “deception” could be distinct from what trolls like doing so much. Also, his misconception about humans’ apparent “habit of deception” is amusing; it’s more like if a bunch of dumb douchebags keep asking you about human culture, it’s funnier to make shit up. Also because humans don’t have a fucking caste system, at least not a universal one.

TG: hahahahaha 
TG: douche 
CT: D –> Did I say something entertaining 

The deal with Equius is that he never tells jokes but is absurdly hilarious in the most fucked up ways just by being himself.

TG: if youre gonna spit that kind of bravado at me im just saying put it in rhyme 
TG: lets hear what you got tooly mcsnoothole 
CT: D –> I try to stay engaged with many aristocratic practices 
CT: D –> But I’m not much of a poet 
TG: come on 
CT: D –> My poems are private 
TG: whatever dude 
TG: deprivatize them 
CT: D –> If you’re prepared to be particularly forceful about it 
CT: D –> I may be suitably disgusted to comply 
TG: just 
TG: take whatevers in there 
TG: that brorage lust youre feelin 
TG: turn that bitch inside out like a broke ass millionaires pockets 
CT: D –> Yes 
CT: D –> Those are the sorts of assertive statements which could get me 
CT: D –> Flowing 

Eww. This is such obvious innuendo I don’t even know what to say.

Dave’s rap has a few lines worth commenting on:

TG: more chock full than sad trollian villains cloggin my blocklist 

Apparently Dave does block the trolls, even though he clearly never was as aggravated by them as John and Jade, mostly thinking they’re a bunch of idiots.

TG: so thoughtful to popul- 
TG: -ate my slate with propositions to copulate to a spate of hemoerotic hotpix 

I love the word “hemoerotic” Dave coined. It’s punny and describes Equius’s “thing” pretty aptly.

CT: D –> But perhaps 
CT: D –> To divine class divides in unclassified swine is butchering time 
CT: D –> Your fauna I find requires too little strength to savage in rhyme 
CT: D –> I fear inferiors have monopolized my highest priorities 
CT: D –> Let’s eschew crude inferiors, pursue nude superiorities 
CT: D –> Review z001ogical peculiarities, great stalking enormities 
CT: D –> Fle%ing in unison, baying at moons within fraternal sororities 
TG: holy shit 
TG: what 
CT: D –> Great musclebeasts tussle, bu%om in heft 
CT: D –> With thunderous muscle, buttock to spec 
TG: what the fuck 
CT: D –> Connect blows to discover, how invincible pecs are 
CT: D –> Venture low to uncover, his inimitable nectar 
TG: oh god 
TG: ok stop 

Here Equius, just by being himself, creeps Dave out. Meanwhile, the trolls who are actually trying to be angry flamers all either get their ass handed to them or their victims’ eyes rolled all over their faces. Sometimes the best trolls are the ones that don’t try hard.

This picture exemplifies the weirdness of this new art style. The shade on the left of Dave’s head looks almost like he has a huge ear like he’s a monkey or something.
I’ve heard theories that this art style is deliberately kind of awkward, but I think it’s just regular weirdness.

CT: D –> Giving up on the treasure so easily 
CT: D –> It strikes me as an artifact rooted in universal lore of nobility 
CT: D –> As valuable an asset as strength is 
CT: D –> And as much as anyone with his wits is fond of being STRONG 
CT: D –> Such weapons require finesse to operate 
CT: D –> And surely in this case, to retrieve without damaging
CT: D –> Hence your no doubt frustrating restraint 

Equius seems to think that people all have the same mindset and weird problems he does.

TG: ok im kinda starting to wonder why youre bugging me now 
TG: youre a fuckin creepy dude 

Dave outright admits that this dude creeps him out. As I said earlier, he’s an effective troll without trying to be effective.

CT: D –> Yes, and now, being learned in the ways of STRONGNESS
CT: D –> You like myself are unfortunately limited in the weaponry you may wield 
CT: D –> Ironically the training which has ennobled you beyond others has made instruments of high b100d brittle in your hands
CT: D –> Hence the state of your favored weapon, hobbling your specibus 
CT: D –> I know what this is like 
TG: man 
TG: im not that strong ok 

TG: just cause i broke a cheap ass sword doesnt make me the fucking hulk 

Oh, I guess that’s what Equius was talking about with Dave breaking swords easily.

Dave retrieves that sword from I guess slicing a column in half? It’s kind of hard to see how that worked. Equius gets horny I mean sweaty and dries off:

That little funny moment is over, time for more Dave/Terezi dialogue. I think Dave here is saving the best for last.

GC: D4V3 GR34T N3WS! 
TG: please dont say this party started please dont say this party started 
GC: ST4RT3D!!!!! >8D 
TG: god everything is about parties with you 
TG: ok 
TG: lets see some fine art then 

I’m pretty sure that so far in this act, no Dave and Terezi conversation has gone without linking to a silly comic or gif or whatever.

TG: alright but 
TG: i mean even if that made sense which it kind of doesnt 
TG: karkat was saying how it was all a game and youre just flirtin and stuff 
TG: and that we should quit it because he doesnt want you in my grill or me in yours or whatever 
GC: OH, 1S TH4T WH4T H3 S41D??? 
TG: well yeah thats what i thought too 
TG: and really if we got no other reason keep rolling with it at least theres that one 
TG: to piss him off 

“This guy thinks I’m hitting on you. Fuck him, I’ll keep doing it.”

TG: im not saying i know for sure but it seems to me like 
TG: my grill is your goddamn prison 
TG: you are practically incarcerated in that fucker 
TG: doing hard time on a bed of charcoal and lighterfluid 
TG: privy to what i flame broil from below 
TG: what im sayin is you got a front row seat to the brown side of my burger 
TG: hows it smell btw 
TG: yeah i thought so 

Is is what Karkat means by Dave hitting on Terezi?

GC: YOU 4ND H1M 4R3 4L1K3 1N SOM3 W4YS 
TG: thats pretty much the most insulting thing possible to say im anything like that raving gulf of shit 

I totally forgot about (or hadn’t read?) Terezi comparing Dave to Karkat in some ways. This might be why people ship them. But if you ask me, that’s more reason for them to clash than for them to apparently giggle together.

Speaking of shipping Dave and Karkat, despite the stuff in it that I always talk about how awful it is, I can’t wait until I get to the John/Dave/Karkat conversation way later so I can dissect that whole thing in a way I’m really proud of coming up with. Should I rename this series to Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck? Probably not yet since I renamed this post series not long ago I have a feeling it might turn into that when I get to the material leading to Game Over and the controversial paths the story takes following that. 

EDIT (9/23/2019): As I’m going through these posts and reformatting them for WordPress use, I have been constantly resisting the urge to edit them with retrospective thoughts, but this observation is too good to pass up: Dave’s reaction to Terezi comparing him to Karkat is exactly like Dirk’s reaction to god tier Calliope comparing him to Caliborn. Like Strider, like Strider I suppose.

GC: SOM3 S1M1L4R1T13S 4R3 TH3R3 
GC: COOL3R >:] 
TG: issues 
TG: what are you talking about 
GC: 4ND W4K1NG UP >:[ 

Terezi is getting psychoanalytical up in here.

TG: wow ok what does that have to do with me 
TG: i dunno i guess maybe when i become future me 
GC: H4H4H4H4H4H4 

Arc stuff I guess. I’ve seen this whole thing of the deal with Dave being described by readers so many times that it really isn’t much new to talk about that stuff so I won’t bother. The stuff I quoted explains much of it anyway.

GC: 4ND ON3 D4Y 
TG: not gonna happen 

This covering-up-body-mutations parallel between Dave and Karkat is frankly a bit of a stretch. The kids’ eye colors are hardly ever talked about, not even brought up in physical descriptions like “that kid with brown hair and green eyes”, but the trolls’ blood colors are a VERY big deal in their society so of course you’d want to avoid showing a mutation that’ll surely get you killed. Even on Beforus, red blood will get you coddled excessively which is also no good.

Plus, Rose, Roxy, and arguably Dirk also have very odd eye colors. Nobody blinks an eye (heh) about any of them, not even the ones that aren’t behind sunglasses. Additionally, Dave got his sunglasses from his brother, presumably to make him be just like daddy. Nowadays Dave continually wearing these Stiller shades is more of his personal brand than anything else.

Weird creepy random close-up.

TG: hey look at this change of subject going down 
TG: about this comic 
TG: are you saying im about to fall asleep 

TG: why 
GC: M4YB3 YOU 4R3 R34LLY T1R3D! 
TG: i dont feel tired 
TG: could be rose waking me up again 
TG: bonkin me with yarn or some shit 
GC: OH? 
TG: can you see in my dreams 
GC: NO >:[ 
TG: too bad 
TG: last time i promised rose id take off my shades and look in the sky for some reason 
TG: youre gonna miss a hell of a show 

Here’s what just hit me: Terezi is fucking brilliant. She’s using her silly comics, which she and Dave both know he can’t say no to, to guide him around. That’s also how she gets Dave to summon Davesprite.

GC: 4ND H4V3 DR34MS 4S SW33T 4S H3 T4ST3S >:] 
TG: ok see ya

Dreams as sweet as he tastes. That’s such an amazing pun.

DAVESPRITE: oh looks like you got caledfwlch 
DAVESPRITE: you found that pretty fast 

Going through the game way faster/different than usual is what happens when veterans assist you through it. Except the veterans aren’t a bunch of rad 20-year-olds who know all the cheat codes and hacks, they’re a group of gray-skinned douchebags who each have some kind of absurd gimmick.

2019 EDIT (I really need to cool off on those): I am 20 years old now and this line is really weird for me to read. If I wrote this same passage right now I’d probably say “a bunch of rad 25-year-olds”.

DAVE: is that how you pronounce that 
DAVESPRITE: yeah i guess so 
DAVESPRITE: i think its welsh 

This is the weirdness of spoken dialogue shown in Homestuck in action: the joke here is that readers might not know how Caledfwlch is pronounced so Davesprite says it in a way that he thinks is right, but we don’t actually know that pronunciation. I read it as /cal-ed-foolch/.  Let’s Read Homestuck says it as /cal-ed-vulk/ which I think is the closest you can get to the Welsh pronunciation using English sounds.

DAVE: what are welsh things doing in this game 
DAVESPRITE: thats an awesome question 
DAVE: fuck yeah it is 
DAVE: is this thing as pointless as i think it is or do i need it for something 
DAVESPRITE: tactically yeah its a downgrade since its what i used to make caledscratch which is obviously way better 
DAVE: yeah thats what i figured 
DAVESPRITE: caledscratch cycles the sword through its own timeline to points when its broken or nonbroken or old and rusted or recently forged etc 
DAVESPRITE: and your snoop snowcone swords probably even better than that so yeah you got options 

I love these chats about how stupid and absurd this game is. It’s a major theme how people talk about how this whole adventure is the dumbest thing ever, which brings Homestuck’s satirical nature to light. This remains strong in recent updates, with things like Dave talking about Rose’s supposed planet quest.

DAVE: so why wasnt this legendary pos in the sylladex you gave me 
DAVE: did you chuck it after you alchemized it 
DAVE: should i just chuck it too 
DAVESPRITE: it was stolen 
DAVESPRITE: by one of hephaestus’s minions 
DAVE: hes the denizen right 
DAVESPRITE: yeah lord of the forge 
DAVE: isnt that like a greek god 
DAVE: or roman or whatever 
DAVE: what is greco roman shit doing in here you know what never mind 
DAVESPRITE: yeah pretty much 
DAVESPRITE: anyway he gets pissed off you broke it 
DAVESPRITE: and he wants it back 
DAVESPRITE: to do something important with it though not really sure what 
DAVESPRITE: hes a pretty ornery dude 
DAVESPRITE: kept raving about how he was waiting for the forge to come 
DAVESPRITE: which he needs to complete his work 
DAVESPRITE: but in my timeline the forge would never come 
DAVESPRITE: so he was extra pissed off 

This chat about denizen stuff is interesting because it shows denizens being something other than stoic and cryptic. Then again, at this point we’re still pretty new to the concept of denizens, so maybe Hussie decided to fiddle with it a little after coming up with the idea.

DAVESPRITE: anyway that sword 
DAVESPRITE: its important to getting your shit figured out 
DAVESPRITE: you were supposed to break it to get it out of the thing 
DAVESPRITE: like another personal sort of mythological milestone you were supposed to clear 
DAVE: really 
DAVE: there was no other way to get it out 
DAVE: thats kind of retarded 

This is a parallel between Dave and Rose regarding their supposed game roles which I’ve seen people point out. Just like playing the rain, the sword stuff might be a red herring quest. I’m pretty sure it’s deliberately super damn confusing.

DAVESPRITE: ill just sort of 
DAVESPRITE: release myself 
DAVESPRITE: go do my own thing 
DAVESPRITE: after this i dont think youll need me 
DAVESPRITE: seems like youve got the stable time loop thing figured out already 
DAVESPRITE: which means youll be alright 
DAVESPRITE: future yous will get you out of trouble 
DAVESPRITE: if youre gonna live up to the responsibility of eventually becoming them 
DAVESPRITE: and by virtue of loop stability it sort of means you cant technically fuck up anymore 
DAVESPRITE: but dont let that idea go to your head itll mess you up 

This seems to be the stage where players are done with needing sprites to guide them around. Assuming the idea that sprites are meant to eventually die off is true, breaking that idea leads to interesting stuff. On the battleship, Nannasprite and Jaspersprite are complacent with their lives as a grandma and a cat, but Davesprite becomes a tragic figure, feeling himself worthless as not at all the real Dave. That’s why I like the idea of Davepetasprite^2 being a thing, because it brings Davesprite’s arc in a way better direction. Some people resent that Davesprite just suddenly combined with Nepeta rather than working through his issues, but I think it’s actually pretty cool how that happened, with a whole new idea of heroism way beyond regular Dave stuff. All this is coming from someone who’s complained about several of the recent plot developments.

DAVE: where will you go 
DAVESPRITE: fly around 
DAVESPRITE: up away to the sun like a fucknig piece of gargbage
DAVESPRITE: see if i can catch up with bro maybe 
DAVESPRITE: elusive bastard 
DAVE: oh yeah 
DAVE: where do you think he is 
DAVE: what happened to him in your timeline 
DAVESPRITE: who knows 
DAVESPRITE: i completely lost track of him 
DAVESPRITE: in that timeline and this one 
DAVESPRITE: the dude is fucking inscrutable we both know that 
DAVE: yeah 
DAVE: ok good luck with that 
DAVESPRITE: thanks man

I like to think that over time, Davesprite gradually grew to respect his bro to some degree rather than Dave who has it in his mind that he was a huge asshole. There isn’t very solid evidence for that, rather just a headcanon I have.

Vriska puts Dave to sleep, Davesprite goes for the badass.

caw caw motherfuckers

See you next time as we meet a brand new character named Jade.

>> Part 33: Cthulhu Acid Trip Dreams

Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 24: Robot Kisses and Blood Alliances


Part 23 | Part 24 | Part 25 >

Act 5 Act 1, Part 4 of 7

Pages 2238-2322 (MSPA: 4138-4222)

I usually think “ew” at kissy scenes, but this one’s hilarity given its context is so much of a redeeming factor that I’ll use it as a title picture. Also, it’s a very infamous scene.

This picture doesn’t correspond with the very beginning of the post.
But Doc Scratch standing here character introduction-style fits pretty well for starting one of these posts.
EDIT: Now I have another panel as a title picture but I’ll still stick with having this as the first non-title one.

This post opens with another flashback. First, Aradia and Terezi discuss what happened to Tavros, and how they’re all done with gaming and putting up with Vriska. Terezi advises Aradia not to do anything in retaliation because it’ll end badly, but her voices urge her otherwise. She summons ghosts to haunt Vriska, who proceeds to talk to Doc Scratch. It’s amusing how easily Scratch gets her to do stuff. He outright tells her, “Aren’t you going to kill her?” Scratch reveals more about himself: how he oversees events and nudges them in the right direction, and how he’s almost omniscient but has gaps in his knowledge existing by design. Vriska does what she is asked and kills Aradia in the most fucked up way imaginable: mind-controlling her boyfriend into eating some mind honey and blasting her to death (though the scene cuts before her death is shown). I’ve seen some people argue that Vriska probably didn’t mean it when she referred to Sollux as Aradia’s boyfriend, but I doubt it. I think it’s more likely that Hussie decided to make Aradia’s own boyfriend be the one controlled into killing her, in order to make the scene sting extra hard, twofold (wink wink). Twofold because it’s Sollux—a guy who beats himself up about a lot of stuff—who killed her against his will.

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Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 23: Unpleasant Blueblood Avenue


< Part 22 | Part 23 | Part 24 >

Act 5 Act 1, Part 3 of 7

Pages 2155-2237 (MSPA: 4055-4137)

I used to read this troll’s name as /nuh-peeta/.
Then I watched all these YouTube videos and for some reason NOBODY said her name like that.

Six trolls down, six to go. Next in line for us to meet is the trolls’ furry. Nepeta Leijon is somewhat infamous among the trolls because of her general irrelevance to the storyline. Fans love to joke about her because of that, throwing around theories with various degrees of facetiousness regarding potential connections between her and Lord English or whatever else. I think she gets the least screen time and least plot relevance of the trolls. I would have stopped here to give a summary of what she’s like if not for recent updates in which Jasprosesprite^2 noted her irrelevance in-story and brought her back as a sprite, which simultaneously backfired and, uh, “forwardfired”, when she combined with Davesprite to create a giddy androgynous being who believes themselves (themself?) to be the perfect thing to take on Lord English. Although Nepeta’s introduction pages emphasize her hunting prowess with her cave walls depicting paintings in blood, most fans remember her for her affiliation with cats and her zeal for shipping, which of course are all her dancestor Meulin cares about. Cats are understandable because she pretty much is a cat, but shipping is a little weirder; it’s something towards which people are naturally inclined because the purpose of life is to reproduce and shipping characters transparently relates to that.

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