The Homestuck Epilogues: Initial Thoughts

Happy 10th anniversary to Homestuck (again)!

First things first, the title of this post is a lie. My initial thoughts were as follows:

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

I’m glad I was home alone reading this. I have something of a pattern regarding screaming at media while home alone. I was home alone when I fought Omega Flowey (or is it Photoshop Flowey?) in Undertale, and I screamed all the way through. I was home alone when I played all the way through Doki Doki Literature Club, and again I screamed all the way through. And I am so goddamn lucky that I was home alone when the beginning of the Homestuck epilogue went up. In the last few minutes leading up to 1:00 PM EST (EDT? fuck if I know), I listened to Sburban Jungle at full blast, so that near the end of the song the epilogue would go up. And that was when I started screaming.

My thoughts about the epilogue so far after all the screaming though… oh boy. Oh boy.

Wait fuck, I keep forgetting. It’s not the epilogue. It’s the epilogues, plural. Calling it “epilogues” instead of “epilogue” will take some getting used to.

The Initial Presentation

Anyway when I first read the epilogues, things went off to a strong start. Late Homestuck had a pattern of telling the story through various forms of social media. In chronological order, we had Tumblr, DeviantArt, Vine, Instagram, and Snapchat. Listing those websites in order really makes it all sound stupid, but don’t be misled: I actually like the whole concept of storytelling through social media, and I feel it matches perfectly with the way Homestuck experiments with pretty much anything. It’s just that the content in those is a bit questionable.

Why do I mention all this social media? Well, in the days leading up to 4/13 I started to wonder if the epilogue would continue this pattern of parodying social media. And today I was not disappointed. They chose to parody Archive of Our Own, better known as AO3. A very good and surprising choice if I say so myself; it made me scream even harder than before.

A Second Retcon?

So what about the plot stuff in the epilogue? (I can call it the epilogue for now; what we got today was probably just one of “the epilogues”.) It’s pretty cool I’d say. I’m incredibly intrigued by a possibility of a second retcon, this time one that maybe isn’t centered around Vriska. I was actually super intrigued by that idea during the Masterpause and Omegapause, but once Act 7 happened it kind of fell off my hopes, especially considering that retcon powers were used again by John to tie into Caliborn’s Masterpiece.

Most readers saw the tie into the Masterpiece coming for quite some time now. But I did not expect the twist that John would bring in younger versions of the kids, before they started gradually disconnecting from canon. On the topic of “canon”, I really love the way Rose breaks the fourth wall.* It fits her character perfectly, all the way back to her very first pesterlog. And on the topic of the second retcon, I now remember how invigorated I was back then by the concept of John having another retcon arc. Follow-ups to things can be super fun if done right—I feel like any media can get a good follow-up if done right. I mean, look at Deltarune. Nobody thought that Undertale would ever get a real sequel, but now it has one and it’s absolutely a follow-up done right! John’s retcon is no exception either. I could easily see him doing a retcon arc that’s an absolute blast to follow, especially if it’s gone about way differently from the first retcon arc.

* Which fourth wall, you ask? I don’t know, any fourth wall. I’m too HYPED to even consider dwelling on such minutia.

THE BUDDY SYSTEM
———————–
IS GONE!!!

OK, this header’s title is also a lie. The buddy system, if you didn’t know, is the term I use to refer to the pattern after the retcon where characters would be split up into pairs and it’s all natural and healthy—first in Vriskagram, then in the credits. I’ve always HATED that pattern and it’s always felt so fake and plastic.

What is “GONE!!!” here is not the buddy system itself, but the pretense that the buddy system is even remotely healthy or good for our heroes. Their dynamics are clearly not healthy; the story shows that any pair of characters that the buddy system didn’t group up displays a swath of loneliness and depression, heavily suggesting that the character relationships through the buddy system are NOT good.

I’ll rip the bandage off your hairy legs and speak the truth: John and Roxy did NOT get together after they entered Earth C. John hid that thought from himself for years, it seems; denying sad thoughts is another pattern in John’s character that I’m glad to see continued here. When he thinks about it again on his 23rd birthday, remembering their happy and wondrous flirting back then, he gets depressed; it’s not out of the question that Roxy has similar feelings.

Maybe the second retcon could fix the kids’ dynamics for real this time???? As in make them ALL good friends with EACH OTHER, with maybe some healthy canon ships sprinkled in. Rose/Kanaya isn’t going anywhere, I can say that much. John/Roxy on the other hand absolutely is going somewhere. Where it’s going, I can’t say yet; it just somewhere instead of nowhere. Or at least their arc will get REAL CLOSURE THAT I’VE BEEN WAITING ON FOR YEARS. I’m thankful that the ships that I tend to complain about are left vague and ambiguous for now. The bottom line is, the characters’ dynamics are NOT good and I’m very glad that they’re NOT good. It shows that things aren’t quite perfect and happy and John might get the chance to change things more.

Concluding Thoughts

I am SO

FUCKING

HYPED

to read the further Homestuck material! For at least the next week, if not more. I don’t know if I’ll make a new post every time there’s an epilogue update. All I can say for now is, uh…

OK I don’t have anything else to say so I’ll promote something else I made instead.

Did you read the other thing I released today yet? Go check if out if you want. It’s a more polished version of my rewritten posts about Act 1 and Act 2, hosted on Google Sites. Click this link to read it!

Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 3 Rewritten: Immersive Simulation Gone Apocalyptic

Introduction

Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 >

Act 1, Part 3 of 3

Pages 138-247 (MSPA: 2038-2147)

Link to old version

Coming up with new names for these posts is pretty fun.
Spoiler: “Down the Chitinous Windhole” will not be renamed.

Welcome aboard to the wonderful, mysterious world of SBURB! Come join as I play the role of a first-time reader, fallen into the trap of confusion that catches many readers of Act 1.

The first thing we see of the game is Rose viewing John’s house, with symbols and icons related to captchalogue cards, seemingly used for moving and adding things to John’s house. “Wait a minute,” the reader thinks, “this isn’t your usual video game.” Is Rose able to edit a digital recreation of John’s house? Or is this a real live camera, able to edit things from afar?

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