Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 113: Brain Ghost Realitification Station

Introduction

< Part 112 | Part 113 | Part 114 >

Pages 6682-6749

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 2, Part 3 of 4

This is the second last post featuring content released before the Gigapause, which is when I first read Homestuck.

Friendly reminder that among my creative projects, my current priority is making 8-bit covers of the entire soundtrack of Sonic Robo Blast 2 v2.2, which means my Homestuck post series is currently something I do every now and then when I want a break from that.

Also, friendly reminder that I’ve firmly divorced the masterwork that is Homestuck from the bloated mess that is Homestuck^2, so don’t expect me to talk about the latter in this post series unless it somehow becomes good. As for Pesterquest, there isn’t a whole lot I have to say about it because basically the whole thing played it as safe as possible. It’s really a shame this recent Homestuck media hasn’t been very remarkable after the horrifying yet incredibly cathartic epilogues, but that sure isn’t going to stop me from writing paragraphs upon paragraphs about Homestuck. I don’t think of it as “Homestuck 1” or even “the original Homestuck”, I just think of it as “Homestuck”.

A third friendly reminder that I soon hope to no longer use homestuck.com for my Homestuck posts, instead some offline archive or fanmade way to read the comic as originally intended. At some point, I should really get around to editing my old posts to include pages from homestuck.com because the MSPA domain has been somewhat unstable lately.

Anyway, where were we? Looks like I left off right before a panel with Gamzee restraining an aggravated Jane in a geometrically improbable position.

JANE: GET YOUR PAWS OFF ME YOU SHITFUCKING SHITFUCKER AUGH FUCK SHIT SHIT SHIT FUCK FUCK.
GAMZEE: honk.
JANE: YOU SCURRILOUS FUCKSHITTING CAD. UNHAND ME SO I MAY RESURRECT MY ACCOMPLICE AT ONCE.
GAMZEE: honk honk.
JANE:
WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME THIS TIME YOU DETESTABLE POO ROGERING CHARLATAN.
GAMZEE: honk.
JANE: I DO NOT WANT TO BUY ANYMORE OF YOUR POTIONS. I ALREADY BOUGHT ALL THE USELESS SLOP I COULD EVER WANT FROM YOU, AND MADE A KILLING ON REDISTRIBUTION.
GAMZEE: HONK.
JANE: YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL TACTICS LEAVE MUCH TO BE DESIRED. YOU ARE A DEPLORABLE BUSINESSMAN AND AN EVEN SHITTIER CLOWN. GET OFF ME.
GAMZEE: …
JANE: DID YOU JUST TOUCH MY BOOB. DON’T TOUCH MY BOOB YOU FUCKFACED DUNG HUFFING TOILET GUZZLING IDIOT QUIPSTER SHITPECKER DICKLARK.
GAMZEE: :o)

Hussie has always had a knack for writing humorously verbose insults, and it’s interesting that he’s doing it with Jane of all characters. A6A6I2 has been consistently putting a more comedic light than before on Crockertier Jane, and she’s a fairly understandable choice for someone to plug vocabulary jokes into. Jane’s always been high up on the scale of character vocabulary, not quite as high as Rose or Dirk but still up there. Reading these insults she gives Gamzee, most of the non-profane words are surprisingly in-character for Jane.

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Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 112: Grandfatherly Saiyanification Station

Introduction

< Part 111 | Part 112 | Part 113 >

Pages 6606-6681

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 2, Part 2 of 4

It’s over 6000!

I’m getting so close to the Gigapause, which is kind of scary to think about. I’ve been working more on music stuff lately than this post series, which is why my posting schedule hasn’t been too fast lately despite being done with finals.

Picking up from where we left off, Jane notices Jake’s hope field and has a villain-to-villain confrontation with Aranea, which as I said in my last post is a good indicator that this timeline is going way off the rails.

Still in his prison cell, Jane’s father watches the scene in stern fatherly confusion. This is the point where it starts becoming clear that Hussie is having a lot of fun throwing in humorous callbacks and early act throwbacks into all these action scenes, which further implies a burnout on writing Homestuck the way he had done shortly prior. I could complain about how the retcon that follows made so many story events arguably pointless, but I’ve come to accept that it’s more fun to analyze Homestuck in a matter-of-fact fashion.

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Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 108: Blindness Reinstigation Station

Introduction

< Part 107 | Part 108 | Part 109 >

Pages 6397-6446

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 1, Part 4 of 5

This post’s title picture was originally going to be Terezi putting on her newly alchemized blindfold, but I feel a strange sense of obligation to use this one instead, much like I did in the posts featuring the Equius/Aradia and imagined Jade/Jadesprite kissing scenes.

Picking up from where we left off, it’s time for the middle part of the glitched selection screen, which is now the only open option. I find it amusing that the story’s glitches in this case make it more linear rather than less, as the page’s narration points out.

KANAYA: Why Would You Do That!
KANAYA: I Do Not Understand Why You Needed To Impale My Friend To Demonstrate Your Resurrection Abilities!
KANAYA: I Believed You!
KANAYA: It Was Pointless And Cruel And Does Not Advance My Willingness To Cooperate With You At All!
KANAYA: Furthermore It Did Not Prove That You Can Use Said Abilities To Harm Me!
KANAYA: I Believe That Assertion Was Based On A Fallacious Theory About My Constitution!
KANAYA: In Actuality One Could Easily Kill Me With Any Number Of Conventional Methods!
KANAYA: Im Sure You Could Chop My Head Off Or Burn Me Alive Or Crush Me To Death And I Would Die Just Fine!

Kanaya’s rant at Jane for killing Karkat as a demonstration features an amusing expansion upon her standard typing quirk: just as each word starts with exactly one capital letter, each sentence ends with exactly one exclamation point.

KARKAT: (whoa, kanaya)
KARKAT: (could you maybe not give the psycho fork girl any more ideas???)
KANAYA: I Am Not Scared Of You!
KANAYA: None Of Us Are!
KARKAT: (i kind of am)
KANAYA: Karkat Shut Up!
KANAYA: If This Treacherous Despot Serving Turncoat Seeks Compliance From Me Then She Will Have To Pry It From My Mutilated Lifeless Cadaver!
KARKAT: (oh no oh god oh no oh god)

Karkat interjects a few times with his immediately recognizable flavor of utter panic, just like how he was in Murderstuck when his friends started killing each other. His fear of Jane is more extreme than even his reaction to Gamzee when he turned evil, probably because he had thought for sure he was done with watching his friends die horribly.

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Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 105: Cagey, Smirk-Tortured Info-Morsels

Introduction

< Part 104 | Part 105 | Part 106 >

Pages 6278-6299, 6324-6342

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 1, Part 1 of 5

I think this is somehow my first time ever naming a post after a Karkat line????

Also, yay for new Homestuck posts three days in a row.

I’ve been bored out of my mind the past few weeks and it probably shows with the ridiculous amount of content I’ve been outputting lately. Enjoy this post during this stream of rapid activity, which might continue even after the spring semester resumes due to staying at home all day.

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 1 of Homestuck, or A6A6I1 for short, begins with a dramatic flash that does insanely cool things with Homestuck’s website (which was preserved on the move away from Flash!!!!!). The flash uses a song called “Gold Pilot” which is a HUGE fan favorite among the comic’s soundtrack (and honestly a little overrated in my opinion), in a way that interestingly matches with the song’s original intent as a theme for Becquerel instead of the Psiioniic or however I’m supposed to spell it, and features Grimbark Jade piloting the trolls’ meteor into a Reckoning portal so she can do cool plot stuff.

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Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 98: The Part I Absolutely Love, as an Act 6 Apologist

Introduction

< Part 97 | Part 98 | Part 99 >

Act 6 Act 5, Part 6 of 6 (Act 6 Act 5 Act 1 x2 COMBO!!!)

Pages 5778-5926 (MSPA: 7678-7826)

This image cracks me up every time I see it.

My Homestuck posts are in a rather slow spell right now, which may get in the way of my goal of finishing Act 6 Intermission 5 by the end of 2019. Maybe I’ll do a short stream of posts written extremely quickly in December like last year? Or maybe I’ll just speed up my posting schedule again now?

Also, I REALLY need to finish fixing up my posts that got messed up on the move to the new domain. I’ve been insanely slow on that side project lately.

Following the absurdly long Santa nose zoom-in flash, the narration goes back to Act 6 Act 5 Act 1 and proclaims never to speak of Act 6 Act 5 Act 2 again. However, Caliborn interferes and has a very interesting conversation with Hussie’s self-insert about the narrative flaws of trickster mode.

Please don’t type in the narrative prompt.
YOU CAN’T FUCKING DO THAT.
Do what.
GO BACKWARDS.
This isn’t backwards stupid. It’s forwards.
After all the trickster shit happened.
NO. I MEAN.
BACKWARDS BY AN “ACT”.
OR I GUESS. AN “ACT ACT ACT”?
ARGH. I HATE THE THINGS I’M FORCED TO SAY. AND ACKNOWLEDGE AS REAL. BECAUSE OF YOU.

Caliborn’s disgust at act act acts is somewhat prophetic because Act 6 Act 6 is divided into act act acts and act act intermissions galore which fans must acknowledge if they wish to meaningfully discuss late Act 6’s subdivisions. It’s part of why many fans don’t even bother and just refer to whatever portion they’re talking about as “Act 6” which sucks and is bad. As this post’s title would imply, I don’t think most of Act 6 is as bad as people say, but I am rather irked by its lengthy subdivision names near the end.

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Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 97: The Part Everyone Hates

Introduction

< Part 96 | Part 97 | Part 98 >

Act 6 Act 5, Part 5 of 6 (Act 6 Act 5 Act 2)

Pages 5713-5777 (MSPA: 7613-7677)

I’m sorry, everyone. I am so fucking sorry.

This blog is still under construction, which means a lot of my prior posts are still formatted wrong and need to be fixed. Reformatting old blog posts is such a tall order that I often find myself getting distracted by making new blog posts. I suppose making new posts is a good way to get a feel for my new platform though.

Anyway, here’s my fabled (not even remotely fabled) trickster arc post! Part of me was always in this weird sort of denial that I’d ever get to this point, but there’s no turning back now. Are you ready?

Wait, I mean…

ARE YOU READY???????????
Sucker

You better be ready. Trickster mode, here we come!!!

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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 93: A Friendship Even More Permanently Ruined

Introduction / Schedule

Part 92 | Part 93 | Part 94 >


Act 6 Act 5, Part 1 of 6

Pages 5512-5571 (MSPA: 7412-7471)

Get ready for lots of sighs in this act.


One of my Act 6 Act 2 posts was originally going to be called “The Worst Part of Homestuck (So Far)” but I then decided to name it “A Friendship Permanently Ruined”.

This post was originally going to be called “The Worst Part of Homestuck (Arguably)” but then I decided on “A Friendship Even More Permanently Ruined”.


As a wise man once said, the circle of stupidity is complete.

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


Act 6 Act 5 of Homestuck opens with a short flash of Jake English sitting alone and bored on his planet, waiting for the day his cool young grandma and her movie-loving brother finally show up. In this flash, Jake’s sprite is revealed to be a combination of Eridan and Sollux, who flips him the bird. Jake wheezes laughing for… some reason? Then he gets an alert from Dirk and sighs again.


TT: Dude! 
TT: Where you at, man. 
TT: Wait. 
TT: Which computer are you using? 
TT: I’m not comfortable knowing my words could be hovering over Cage’s clownish, sort of gaunt face. 
TT: Could you maybe switch back to naked blue chicks as your exclusive desktop fodder? TIA. 
TT: But yeah. 
TT: I don’t know if you just want a little solitude. 
TT: Or if maybe you finally just got like, 
TT: A case of Strider fatigue. 
TT: I could understand that. 
TT: I mean, not to get all neurotic on you. 
TT: I’m just saying I get it, if that’s what’s going on. 
TT: But for real, if you gotta sneak away for a few days, that’s cool. 
TT: Just might be kind of dope if you at least would let me know which planet you scurried off to. 
TT: And by dope I guess I mean considerate? 
TT: Really not trying to be a drag here. 
TT: Wondering what’s up is all. 
TT: Want to meet up soon? 
TT: I found a really promising tomb we could raid. 
TT: Looks like it runs hella deep. 
TT: If I’ve got the specs right, could run as deep as the Lion’s Mouth itself. 
TT: But without all the fuckin’ fire to deal with. 
TT: Wait, I mean Lion’s Mouth. 
TT: Gotta underline that key shit. Always forget. 


What is going on with Jake? He’s always viewed Dirk as a cool friend and his whole life he’s been excited to go on tomb raiding adventures just like in his favorite movies. But now he isn’t responding to any of his best bro’s messages.

TT: Figure it should take a couple days to make it to the bottom. 
TT: Only a day if we both go limp and just fall the whole way down the stairs. 
TT: Ignoring literally every sage warning we’ve ever received about those treacherous plummetation zigzags. 
TT: Just tumbling on down in a floppy limbed trance like a couple of puppets in a race arranged by some drunk gamblers. 
TT: If you’re into another expedition, head to LOTAK and hit me up. Just don’t forget your mask this time. 
TT: The deeper we go, the worse it gets, remember? 
TT: Could be some unreal grist down there. 
TT: More puzzle shit. 
TT: Loads of skeletons. 
TT: Pack your guns dog. 


It’s so weird seeing Jake not get excited about adventures. I’m not going to try to analyze this romance drama much so I’ll keep things brief. Dirk probably has only the best intentions and wants to take Jake out on trips he knows he enjoys; Jake got bored of exploring intense deadly mazes all the time and now just wants to finally meet the beta kids.


Jake’s lock screen wallpaper is now a selfie with him and Dirk. An image that stings to look at considering Jake is currently in the process of ignoring his bro.


Jake solicits profound wisdom from his friendly guide, a miserable troll amalgam sprite named Erisolsprite. Physically he’s a sprite combination of Eridan’s corpse and Sollux’s half-corpse, but personality-wise he’s just pre-blinding Sollux with even more self-loathing—it’s easy to forget Sollux was constantly irate and ranting about his race’s doom from the trolls’ arc up until his blinding.* It’s an interesting choice for this sprite not to have much of Eridan’s personality, but rather for Sollux’s soul combination with Eridan to make him hate himself even more. Just look at these passages:

* Put more succinctly: it’s easy to forget Sollux.

ERISOLSPRITE: alriight you wwant 2ome redrom coun2el, wwell here you go. 
ERISOLSPRITE: iim of the miind2et that wwhen you havve a rock 2oliid piiece of a22 tiied twwo the dock, you dont bloody wwell tug the knot loo2e and 2hovve the fucker off wwiith the heel a your boot. 
ERISOLSPRITE: but then another part of me ju2t wwonder2 wwhat the FUCK ii ju2t 2aiid there? liike that wwa2 ju2t 2uch a wweiird 2ociiopathiic thought ii had, ii hone2tly had no iidea howw bad ii could po22iibly feel about my2elf untiil ii BECAME my2elf, iif THAT make2 2en2e. 
ERISOLSPRITE: your bro ha2 feeliin2 twwo con2iider, he2 not 2ome 2liice of grub2teak. wwhy are you con2ultiing wwiith me, iim a dii2a2ter. no iim a dii2a2ter that 2hiit iit2 emotiional pant2 wwiith thiick liiquiid CATA2TROPHE, 2o dont evven come near me. 


[…]

ERISOLSPRITE: revvolvve around? iit2 a biit late for that jake.
ERISOLSPRITE: your flu2hed quadrant ii2 a black hole and wwe are all beiing dragged 2creamiin through iit2 evvent horiizon. 
ERISOLSPRITE: ju2t talk twwo jane, and nevver fuckiin look at me agaiin for the re2t of your liife. 
ERISOLSPRITE: iim leavviing. hey here2 one for the road. 
JAKE: Ah! There she blows. Your favorite finger of all. 
JAKE: You sure do love showing that one to people. Its actually become a vaguely comforting gesture. 
ERISOLSPRITE: you knoww wwhat youvve done jake. 
ERISOLSPRITE: you havve totally RUIINED the act of fliippiin people off. 
ERISOLSPRITE: iit wwa2 the one joy ii had left. ii hope youre happy. 


Erisolsprite throws choice insults at Jake. He also states some choice facts, not the least of which is that Dirk is a human being with feelings.


Meanwhile on Roxy’s planet, we get a rather cute sight. Jane and Roxy are working hard decorating for Jane’s 16th birthday party, accompanied by some exiled carapacians and cats.

These color-coded hats are the cutest thing ever, oh my god. Even the mischievous cat has one.


Upon Erisolsprite’s suggestion, Jake pesters Jane.


I’m going to do you a huge favor that you should be grateful for. Just like last time Jane and Jake talked, I’ll skim through the pesterlog and only comment on a few interesting or especially “what the FUCK” bits.

GT: Well what in the name of willy howard tafts great tub choking bottom could i be forgetting then? 
GT: This is going to drive me CRAZY! Can you give me a hint? 
GG: Yes. It has to do with the day I was born, which was almost exactly sixteen years ago. 
GT: Of course! Your birthday!!! 
GG: Didn’t you get Roxy’s invitation? 
GG: It was my understanding that she gave you and Dirk notice weeks ago. 
GT: Yes thats right. Now i remember. The date sure snuck up on us quick didnt it? 
GT: Sorry you know how things can slip my mind. The gourd on my shoulders isnt the steel trap it used to be. Nothing like the well oiled puzzlebuster you’ve got up there. 
GG: Mm. 
GT: Well damn. 
GT: Looks like the egg monster took quite the spirited dump on my face this time. 
GG: Jake. I… what? 
GT: I feel so dumb. Ill be right over. 

Is it just me, or does Jake crank his old man speak WAY up whenever he’s being thick-headed? Or repressive, depending how you prefer to analyze Jake’s character. This pattern I’ve noticed is probably a natural effect of the usual way to write him. Clumsy metaphors are something John and Jake have in common, but only the former is self-aware about it.

GG: Well, if you recall, the party is actually tomorrow. 
GG: Like I said, we’re just setting a few things up. 
GG: Roxy is putting up some decorations. I baked a cake. You were of course free to join us early too. I just thought since I hadn’t heard from you in quite some time, you had better things to do. 
GT: You baked a cake for your own party? 
GG: Yes. So? 
GT: I dont know something seems amiss about that. Isnt that against tradition or inviting bad luck or something? 
GT: But I guess it makes sense since you love baking cakes. Its like a present you give to yourself! 


It’s easy to forget how naive Jane can be sometimes. Her misconception about baking cakes would be perfectly endearing under any other context.

Jake talks about how hard grist has been to come by and starts to speculate about the beta kids he so badly wants to meet:

GT: Sometimes i wonder if the heroes had the same problems in their game. Do you think they found an easier way to kill skeletons? 
GT: Were they just as shameless as us when it came to splurging our precious grist on swanky new duds? 
GT: Did the same enigmatic bard haunt their game? And if so which hilarious dead trolls did he throw into the flashy blobs?
GT: Mr erisol tells me he knows many things about the heroes because he saw them in action when he was alive. But he wont tell me a thing about them! These troll sprites sure do love keeping their secrets dont they? Heheh. 


Jake’s speculation is mostly way off, but in a way he’s right on about the enigmatic bard. Gamzee did indeed haunt the beta kids’ game, but in a much more roundabout fashion than with the alpha kids because that’s what bards do. I feel bad for him not getting to know anything about the beta kids’ game. Probably about the same happened after the retcon, since Vriska let Tavros come by only often enough to occasionally console Jake.

Jake then starts to monologue about issues with Dirk, and Jane’s face says all:


GT: Oh which actually reminds me of ANOTHER thing thats been bugging me about dirk. 
GT: He can often be almost hilariously self absorbed. Dont even get me started on when he starts going off on these long monologues about his philosophical gobbledygook. 
GT: I’m not sure he actually has much of a filter when it comes to what others regard as interesting points of conversation. 
GT: Not to rag on the guy too hard but i guess at times i would just like to see a little more self awareness from him is all. 


Obligatory “you’re one to talk”. That is all.


And then Jane loses her patience and starts screaming at Jake. Roxy and her best friend Fefetasprite are understandably confused.

GG: YOU MIGHT ACTUALLY BE THE MOST THOUGHTLESS, SELF-CENTERED PERSON I HAVE EVER MET! 
GG: I CAN’T BELIEVE I USED TO FEEL… 
GT: Huh? 
GT: Used to feel what? 
GG: JAKE, HAS IT EVER OCCURRED TO YOU HOW IT MUST FEEL FOR SOMEONE TO LISTEN TO HER FRIEND GO ON AND ON ABOUT HIS BOYFRIEND PROBLEMS WHEN… 
GG: WHEN ALL ALONG SHE… 
GG: BUT SHE JUST COULDN’T SAY BECAUSE SHE BLEW IT AND IT WAS TOO LATE TO… 
GG: I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHY I’M BOTHERING TO EXPLAIN THIS TO YOU. NEVER MIND. 
GT: Now hold the phone. 
GT: Jane i think i may finally understand whats been going on here. 
GT: In retrospect i cant believe ive been this blind. 
GT: Youre right i really can be deplorably thick sometimes. 
GT: Looking back i can see how many of our conversations must have been torment for you. 
GT: You really should have told me how you felt sooner! 
GG: YEAH. I… 
GG: I know. 😦 
GT: If you told me you had the hots for dirk i would have backed off without another word. 
GT: What are friends for! 


Jake’s misunderstanding is fucking incredible, I can’t even bring myself to do anything but crack up. It’s just, what is there to even say?????


ROXY: jane 
ROXY: yo uh 
ROXY: janey 
ROXY: u ok there 
JANE: I WILL BE PEACHY FUCKING KEEN ONCE I STOMP THIS NOVELTY MUSTACHE HEADSET INTO OBLIVION, AND NOT A MOMENT SOONER! 
ROXY: janey uh 
ROXY: that aint a reasonable thing you said 
JANE: AU CONTRAIRE. 
JANE: I BELIEVE YOU WILL FIND THAT ONCE THIS PIECE OF SHIT HAS BEEN REDUCED TO SUBATOMIC PARTICLES, WE WILL ALL COME OUT SMELLING LIKE FUCKING ROSES. 
ROXY: jaaaaane 
ROXY: stoppit 😦 
ROXY: ur upsettin fefeta 
ROXY: just 
ROXY: think of fefeta is all im asking 
ROXY: poor fefeta 😥 
FEFETASPRITE: 3833 < 383 

JANE: OH POOR FEFETA MY SWEET PATOOTIE! 
JANE: YOU AND I BOTH KNOW FEFETA HAS HAD TO DEAL WITH GARBAGE FROM JERKOFF BOYS BEFORE. 
JANE: SO DON’T GIVE ME THIS POOR FEFETA CRAP. 


Jane is starting to make negative amounts of sense here. Isn’t the trolls’ romance drama backstory even more reason not to upset dear, sweet, precious Fefeta?

ROXY: lol yeah 
ROXY: my girl fefeta knows whats up 
ROXY: she been around the d bag block a time or 2 
ROXY: em i rite fefeta 
FEFETASPRITE: 3833 < 3;3 
ROXY: shit yes gimme a paw bump 
ROXY: BOMP 
ROXY: jane u want in on this action 
ROXY: come give us a fist fulla sugar 
ROXY: complete the 3way for max girl power + solidarity against dumb dudes 
ROXY: janey jeez dont leave us hanging here 
JANE: SIGH. 
JANE: FINE. 
ROXY: jane that was the piss poorest paw bump ive ever seen 
ROXY: that was like a negative bump 
ROXY: we are going to have to bump long and hard into the night to dig us outta this fuckin bump hole you dug us into 
ROXY: w/ that tragic bump 
ROXY: that bump was like 
ROXY: shakespearean 
ROXY: makes me want to weep softly and leave a bouquet somewhere 
ROXY: someone plays a sad trumpet in the distance 
ROXY: look fefeta just sniffled a little at how sad that bump w- 



Fefetasprite is kind of like the alpha kids’ Mayor—she doesn’t talk but has one party member constantly proclaim her to be a rich, thoughtful, and pure soul who nobody can ever hate. There’s not really much reason not to make her a voiced character though? Maybe Hussie decided he didn’t enjoy trying to figure out how to write amalgamations of random trolls. It makes sense that after the retcon he took a second shot at making character amalgamation sprites and came up with Jasprosesprite^2 and Davepetasprite^2. I’m not sure how I feel about the squared sprites, other than that I still love everything about Rose’s reaction to her absurd cat sprite self.

Sometimes Roxy’s concerned faces tug straight at the heartstrings.


ROXY: he was a block head and forgot your birthday didnt he 
ROXY: im sorry jane 
JANE: Yeah, me too. Can we maybe not rehash the whole terrible conversation though?? 
ROXY: yeah we dont have to 
ROXY: just maybe try not to hold whatever dumb shit he said against him forever? 
ROXY: thats just how the guy is 
ROXY: its like 
ROXY: he doesnt mean to be a douche 
ROXY: but its just kind of a byproduct of the whole ridiculous jake english experience 
ROXY: like his dunkass shenanigans leave behind a residue that looks like douche and tastes like douche but it aint the real thing? 
ROXY: like douche substitute 
ROXY: “i cant believe its not douche” 
ROXY: um 
ROXY: im just trying to say not terrible things about him in hopes you dont start hating each other but i guess this isnt what you wanna hear now 
JANE: 😡 


Roxy only ever sees the best in her friends, and I do mean all of her friends. It can be a huge benefit or a huge problem depending on the circumstances, and it’s such a pivotal trait of hers that at the end of the Candy Epilogue she’s only just starting to come to terms with distancing herself from Jane.

JANE: ROXY, I GET YOU’RE TRYING TO MAKE ME FEEL BETTER, BUT A LOT OF THINGS YOU’RE SAYING HERE AREN’T REALLY HELPING! 
JANE: DO YOU EVEN REALIZE WHAT YOU’RE SAYING HALF THE TIME? 
JANE: I THINK I LIKED YOU BETTER WHEN YOU WERE DRINKING! 
ROXY: jaaane no 
ROXY: dont say that 
ROXY: i had a problem 😦 
FEFETASPRITE: 3833 < 38( 


Obligatory “ouch”. That is all.

JANE: THIS GAME IS SO MUCH MORE DEPRESSING THAN I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE! EVERYTHING IS DEAD AND EMPTY AND FULL OF GRAVES AND ALL WE’RE SUPPOSED TO DO IS JUST KEEP WAITING AND WAITING AND WAITING! BUT FOR HOW MUCH LONGER? 

Right after a surprisingly nasty remark from Jane, we’re reminded how excited she was to play Sburb at the start of Act 6 and it’s surprisingly crushing.

JANE: AND I STILL DON’T KNOW WHERE MY DAD IS, AND YOU STILL HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO REACH CALLIOPE, AND WHAT IF THEY’RE BOTH… 
JANE: AND NOW ON TOP OF ALL THAT, I MAY HAVE PERMANENTLY DESTROYED MY FRIENDSHIP WITH JAKE! 
JANE: AND NOW… 
JANE: Now… 
JANE: I just want to be alone. 
ROXY: jane wait 
JANE: I have to go! 
ROXY: where are you going! 


Jane goes on to remind us of all the other problems that aren’t resolved one bit more than they were when the alpha kids started the game and it’s again surprisingly crushing.

After all this time, I’m still extremely fond of the Youth Roll. It’s just so satisfying to watch.

Can’t forget about the Acrobatic Fucking Pirouette, what a classic.


JANE: HOME!!! 

It’s only thematically fitting that Jane shouting “HOME!!!” is accompanied by a humorous callback to the early acts.


ROXY: good lard 
ROXY: all my friends are being disasters 
ROXY: welp looks like its just us 
ROXY: party nite w gcat and fefeta 
ROXY: fefeta??? 
ROXY: oh dangit 
ROXY: hey you know i could have used some support there 
ROXY: where was all that profound shippin expertise when we really needed it! 
ROXY: usually i can barely shut you up girl 
ROXY: maybe you just clammed up at all the drama? 
ROXY: hehehe youd have loved that pun 
ROXY: the one i just said about the clams 


I don’t like that Fefetasprite never says a single word onscreen despite how talkative Roxy claims her to be. Maybe it fits thematically because Roxy is a void player and supposed to be all mysterious? I don’t say that because I actually think it makes any sense, but as an excuse to talk about a criticism I have with Roxy’s character: her being “mysterious” because she’s a void player is an informed attribute at best. Roxy doesn’t ever feel strange and mysterious, not even all that much in the epilogues. I mean sure, narrator Dirk has a much harder time understanding Roxy than any other character, but let’s be real here, the whole mysterious Roxy motif was mostly used as an excuse for the gender transition storyline and didn’t have much of a bearing on the plot.

(Hell, I’d argue that Roxy being supposedly “hard to decipher” made the transition arc feel more forced. Why else do you think so many people draw him with fucking heart-shaped sunglasses???)

With Fefetasprite asleep, GCat teleports Roxy to Derse and she’s knocked out on the floor, watched over by the Condesce.


Jane ollies outie and arrives on her own planet. The cute callback is immediately followed by her running home in a bitter mood…


… which fizzles out and becomes a sad mood.


Then she gets an alert from Caliborn. Not surprisingly, she’s extremely upset to hear from him again. Caliborn brags about how much progress he’s made in the game and his new way of spying on the alpha kids’ game.

uu: MY POWER HAS GROWN CONSIDERABLY SINCE I LAST JEERED YOU. 
uu: I HAVE MADE REMARKABLE STRIDES ON MY SACRED JOURNEY TOWARD IMPORTANT ADULTHOOD. 
uu: ON THIS BULLSHIT PLANET. WHICH USED TO BE YOUR HOME. 
uu: I HAVE FOUND MANY KEYS. AND UNLOCKED MANY HOLES. 
uu: AND NOW I CAN SEE MORE. AND LEARN MORE. THAN YOU COULD EVER FUCKING DREAM! 
GG: How wonderful for you. 
GG: I don’t care how all-seeing and all-powerful you think you are. 
GG: If your intent is to waste my time with more of your pitiful bullying, you are out of luck. 
GG: Because that is exactly NOT the sort of crap I am in the mood for today. 
GG: Toodle-oo!!! 
uu: WAIT! 
uu: I THINK I GOT OFF ON THE WRONG FOOT. 
uu: HOW ABOUT WE. GNAW THAT ONE OFF AND START OVER? 
uu: I WAS TRYING TO PAY YOU A COMPLIMENT. 


The bolded text above is one of the best puns in all of Homestuck, if not the best. It’s just so perfect.

uu: MY PEOPLE AREN’T MEANT TO LIKE ANYBODY. GET IT? 
uu: I MEAN, NOT THE WAY HUMANS DO. WE DON’T HAVE THE HUMAN EMOTION CALLED “LOVEKHEKLFSDKF”. AND WE SPONTANEOUSLY START MASHING KEYS. WHEN WE ARE FORCED TO EVEN TYPE THE WORD. 
uu: ALL OUR RELATIONSHIPS ARE DICTATED BY THE MIRACLE OF HATRED. SO WHEN I USE BAD WORDS TOWARD YOU. THAT’S JUST ME SAYING THINGS TO TRY TO KNOW YOU BETTER. 
uu: LIKE. “SOCIALLYUOIPY”. 
uu: AS A. 
uu: *SHUDDER* 
uu: A… “FRIENDJISJFDJISJSDKFLDJSDKLJF”. 


Caliborn is laying his trolling, wait I mean “jeering”, a bit thick. He’s making up complete nonsense about his species, which reminds me of how the trolls would often make up nonsense when hassling the beta kids. 

Caliborn goes on to brag about how he’s been thinking the “dirtiest” thoughts while spying on the alpha kids. Jane makes an obvious assumption on what Caliborn is talking about:

GG: What? No! 
GG: Are you insane? 
GG: I don’t care where you are, or whatever the hell it is you “unlocked” to spy on me. 
GG: You aren’t allowed to sit there all day leering at my boobs!!! 
uu: YOUR WHAT. 
GG: My… what? 
GG: Wait, what were YOU talking about? 


Unlike Dirk, Jane doesn’t know that to cherubs “dirty” means eating cake and holding hands and that they couldn’t care less about human genitalia. It turns out that Caliborn is actually talking about how fat Jane is, a memetic headcanon she aggressively denies.

uu: WAIT! DON’T SHUT ME OUT. 
uu: REMEMBER WHAT I SAID. ABOUT OUR DIFFERENT CULTURES OR WHATEVER. 
uu: HAVE A FUCKING OPEN MIND, JANE. 
uu: I MADE YOU A PRESENT. FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY. WHATEVER THAT ACTUALLY IS. 
uu: SEE HOW I’M MAKING AN EFFORT TO UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMS? 
uu: MEET ME HALF OF THE GODDAMN WAY. 
GG: Oh cripes. 
GG: What is it? 
uu: A SUBLIME ARTISTIC PORTRAIT. 
uu: REMEMBER HOW I SAID MY POWER WAS GROWING WITH EACH DAY. 
uu: THIS APPLIES AS WELL TO MY PROWESS AS A DRAFTSMAN. 
GG: Oh goodness, no. You poor delusional thing. 
GG: I don’t care what progress you think you’ve made. You will never be a good artist, dear. 


Here Caliborn encounters a typical hurdle artists must overcome: acquaintances who claim the artist is just a nonsensical egomaniac.

uu: HORSESHIT. 
uu: MY ILLUSTRATION IS STUNNING. IT IS NEARLY A PHOTOGRAPHIC REPRESENTATION OF YOUR ODIOUS MILKSHAKE. 
uu: NOW PARK THE INDUSTRIAL LOAD OF FREIGHT YOU DECLARE A BOTTOM. AND FEAST YOUR EYES ON MY FUCKING EXCELLENCE! 
uu: http://tinyurl.com/JANETHISISYOU 
GG: Groan. 


Luckily, getting past that hurdle is a no-brainer for Caliborn. He knows that one day, his masterful artwork will blow the minds of everyone he has ever known. His latest drawing is impressive in a way:

The circle of obesity is complete.



Caliborn has managed to draw a circle, and his speech about how he achieved such a difficult task is very much worth reading:

uu: I BELIEVE I HAVE CHOSEN THE PERFECT SHAPE FOR YOU. 
uu: IT IS DESCRIBED IN CERTAIN CIRCLES KNOWLEDGEABLE OF THE ARTS. AS. “A CIRCLE”. 
uu: I AM VERY PLEASED WITH HOW FAITHFULLY IT HAS CAPTURED THE OBSCENE ROTUNDITY. OF YOUR MAGNIFICENT CARRIAGE. 
uu: TRULY A SPITTING IMAGE OF THE CROCKER BITCH. 
uu: NOW LISTEN CAREFULLY. YOU MAY LEARN SOMETHING. 
uu: THE MASTERPIECE AFICIONADO WILL NOTICE. HOW I ACHIEVED THIS HIGHLY ADVANCED AND DIFFICULT SHAPE. 
uu: WHAT MOST GIFTED ARTISANS WILL TELL YOU. IS THAT. CIRCLES ARE BASICALLY FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE TO DRAW. 
uu: TRUST ME. 
uu: IT’S LIKE A PARADOX. A SHAPE WITHOUT ANGLES. WHAT?? 
uu: SO I FUCKING CHEATED. 
uu: I NAVIGATED THE IRRATIONAL PERIMETER BY MAKING A LOT OF EASILY UNDERSTANDABLE, TOTALLY LOGICAL MARKS. FORMING A WHOLE BUNCH OF LITTLE RIGHT ANGLES. 
uu: THE CHEATING PART HAPPENS WHEN I DO THIS A LOT. SO IT GOES IN A ROUND DIRECTION. 
uu: THIS ONE CAME OUT WELL I THINK. BUT THERE’S ROOM TO IMPROVE. 
uu: I HAVE THEORIZED THAT IF I KEEP MAKING BOGUS CIRCLES LIKE THIS. 
uu: WHILE DRAWING MORE AND MORE ANGLES. BUT SMALLER. SO SMALL THAT YOU START CAN’T SEEING THEM. 
uu: THAT THE ILLUSION OF THE CIRCLE WILL BE COMPLETE! AND PEOPLE WILL BELIEVE IN THE FAKE CIRCLE. LIKE A BUNCH OF SUCKERS. 
uu: I BET NOBODY HAS THOUGHT OF THAT CIRCLE STRATEGY. I THINK I’M THE FIRST AT THIS IDEA. AND BEST AT IT ALREADY. 
uu: PEOPLE THINK I’M DUMB. ESPECIALLY THE VOICE IN MY HEAD. 
uu: AND THEY MAY BE RIGHT ABOUT ME BEING DUMB. 
uu: BUT WHEN IT COMES TO THE SPECIAL WAY I DO THINGS. WHICH IS ALWAYS ACTUALLY. THE PERFECT WAY. 
uu: I AM. 
uu: A GENIUS! 


Circles are really fucking hard to draw, Caliborn is right. He found a different way to draw circles from how most people go about it and ended up with a passing approximation of a circle. He even admits that he still has a ways to go before he masters the art of drawing circles, showing that he’s truly dedicated to becoming the best artist he can possibly be. It’s kind of hilarious that his big step forward in becoming an artist was inspired by Jane’s supposed obesity of all things, which makes sense in a way—many artists find themselves inspired by the weirdest things. I know I do (though probably not to Caliborn’s extent).


uu: SETTLE DOWN AND LISTEN TO BOY REASON. DO NOT MAKE ME DEMONSTRATE THE VERACITY OF MY FACTS. YET AGAIN. 
uu: THAT SACCHARINE TRAMP IS SUCH A GONER. SHE’S NEVER COMING BACK. 
uu: JUST LIKE YOUR DAPPER HUMAN GUARDIAN. 
GG: WHAT?? WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT MY FATHER! 
GG: WHERE IS HE? 
uu: HE’S FUCKING DEAD IS WHERE. 
GG: YOU’RE LYING AGAIN!!! 
GG: TELL ME WHAT YOU KNOW! 
uu: GOD. I’M TRYING TO. 
uu: MY FACTS ARE HAVING DIFFICULTY PENETRATING YOUR HYSTERICAL ATTITUDE. LISTEN TO ME VERY CLOSE. 
uu: HE WAS CAPTURED BY AN AGENT SOON AFTER YOU BEGAN YOUR QUEST. HE WAS THEN PUT IN JAIL ON DERSE. 
GG: Ok… 
GG: So he’s on Derse, then? 
uu: BITCH, YOU AREN’T PAYING ATTENTION. DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE PRISON SYSTEM ON DERSE? 
uu: IT ISN’T LIKE THE SOFT TIME YOU DO ON PROSPIT. I BET YOU NEVER SPENT ANY TIME IN THE JOKE THEY CALL A SLAMMER THERE. LET ALONE ON DERSE. 
GG: And I suppose you have?? 
uu: I WAS NOT VERY WELL BEHAVED. I DID MORE THAN MY SHARE OF TIME. CHAINED TO THE WALL OF A CELL. 
uu: HEE HEE! LIKE I WASN’T SO USED TO THAT. I WAS LIKE. DO YOUR WORST. 
uu: AND THEN THEY DID. DERSITES DO NOT TREAT THEIR PRISONERS GOOD. TO SAY THE LEAST! 
uu: I WAS ONLY ABLE TO SURVIVE THE BRUTALITY. DUE TO MY EXCEPTIONAL CONSTITUTION. AND EVEN TO SOME EXTENT. MY ABILITY TO ENJOY ANGUISH. 
uu: BUT YOUR PATHETIC, FRAIL HUMAN “DAD” IS A DIFFERENT STORY. THERE IS NO DOUBT AT ALL. THAT HE IS DEAD BY NOW! 


Caliborn tells Jane his sister is dead, then talks about how brutally Jane’s father has been treated in Derse’s prison. I think it’s supposed to be a red herring where Caliborn projects alien values onto Jane? Caliborn doesn’t lie, but he loves omitting details. Both of the cherubs have extremely alien values, really. Why else would Calliope be so insistent on letting Gamzee have a “redemption arc”?


Rest in peace, the Astairetop. The only fatherly laptop that wasn’t horribly affected by real-life circumstances.


Jane absconds and sadjumps her way home. I find “sadjump” to be a very sad word for far more reasons than merely its first three letters.


After this whole dump of horrible romance drama, it’s time once more to see what the Dignitary is up to. He reads the daily newspaper about Jack Noir’s imprisonment.

No surprise here. The archagent is dominating the headlines, yet again. Already approaching day 154 of this debacle. It’s a big day for your kingdom. Hard to believe it’s here already. Time sure flies when you’re being smooth and well dressed. 

Soon enough we’ll see firsthand what DD means by “well dressed”, and boy is it a fun throwback.

The article covers the usual tedious politics surrounding the negotiation of his release. After weeks of posturing and grandstanding, Prospit’s terms have been bargained down to a polite apology, signed by the Condesce herself. Or those were the terms you were last aware of. You check to see if there have been any further developments. Yeah, just as you thought. She refused those terms. Prospit then countered with a new offer. The apology no longer has to be polite. 

No way she cottons to that proposal either. It’s quite obvious to you what’s going on here. The white queen was never really taking this negotiation seriously. She has been submitting frivolous proposals which she knows perfectly well the Condesce will refuse on principle, daring her in front of the whole kingdom to swallow just an ounce of pride to get her agent back. This makes her look petty in the tabloids if she refuses, which was always inevitable. Because as everyone knows, a queen is a vain creature. Even alien sea queens. 

And you thought the kingdoms were locked in a stalemate BEFORE new management took over.

Kind of interesting that when both the Black Queen and Jack are replaced, the stalemate between Prospit and Derse is preserved. It makes sense that after the Condesce took over Derse’s rule, Jack Noir had to be imprisoned because we know from experience that the Black Queen is the only thing keeping him from wrecking shit wherever he goes.

And here we see what DD means by “well dressed”. With his new outfit he looks identical to his Midnight Crew counterpart, Diamonds Droog. That’s some pretty great circumstantial simultaneity—it only makes sense that Dad and the Midnight Crew would tie together at some point, given that both of their designs had some roots in Problem Sleuth.

The press has run the story so far into the ground, you can barely bring yourself to keep up with it anymore. Sensationalism at its finest. 

Not that you’re really itching to see Noir get his old job back. Talk about a high strung boss. The time in the clink should do him good. Like a forced vacation, with accommodations nearly on par with a five star hotel on Derse. Frankly, things run much smoother around here without him blowing a gasket every other day. 

Though you will say you could really use his expertise as a pencil pusher. You never knew anyone who could file paperwork quite like Noir. Sure he complained bitterly about his desk job, but in truth he was always a reluctant savant of bureaucratic procedure and red tape. Now you’re getting buried in all these damn tax forms and parking tickets. Maybe you should have them shuttled to his jail cell on Prospit so he can catch up? You have a feeling the Prospitian authorities would be willing to oblige. Actually, that’s such a good idea, you can’t believe you didn’t think of it sooner. You’ll have to get the Droll on that pronto.

Though the Dignitary has been a cooperative archagent, we see through the huge piles of papers and narration that things don’t go too great when carapacians don’t play their game’s assigned roles. It’s a good reminder that Prospitians and Dersites are ultimately game constructs. DD’s programmed personality is also the only reason he isn’t flipping out about performing a job Jack is much better at. He’s just a little annoyed because it’s been five months without that guy.

You step over to your cubicle of FENESTRATED WALLS, which you had replaced since the Prince trashed the old ones. You ordered the Droll to sneak off to one of their worlds and whip up some fresh ones, with a few alchemical upgrades while he was at it. The Droll isn’t really the sharpest tool in the shed, but he’s certainly the most versatile. Also the most eager to please. If you have to watch his happy umbrella dance one more time, you swear to God… 

Turns out the green fenestrated walls were alchemized by the Droll. As with Gamzee and the Skaianet hub, the Droll probably looted Roxy’s house one day and maybe stole some of the kids’ grist. Probably quite a lot of grist, knowing how big these walls are.


And it’s a good thing you taught them a lesson when you did. Because the next day, the Condesce had new orders for all agents. Engaging the Nobles was thereafter strictly forbidden. No more sabotage, assassination attempts, any of that good stuff. Not until the heiress’ wriggling day. Then all bets are off. Who’s the heiress and what’s a wriggling day, you asked. The heiress is the Maid. Ok you said. And her wriggling day? That’s just her birthday, but phrased in alien. Like the anniversary of the day she was spawned, with cake and all that jazz. Come on, use your brain. Alright, got it, you said. 

Anyway, that’s tomorrow. 

Everything seems so peaceful and quiet right now, and I’m sure the Condesce intended it that way. It took me a moment to remember she has an INSANE plan up her sleeve to catch the beta and alpha kids off-guard and take full control of two of them.

Your guess is the orders came down from her boss, who from what you’ve gathered, is even more of a headcase than your presently incarcerated superior. 

Notice that Jack Noir and Lord English are mentioned in the same sentence. Very sneaky foreshadowing of what will soon become of the alpha kids’ Jack.


Note that the prisoner in this panel has the exact same body proportions as the Wayward Vagabond. If we are to assume that this is the alpha kids’ copy of WV, then this means we know something about all the B1 exiles’ alpha session counterparts except for PM. And yes, this includes AR.

You take a stroll through the Derse penitentiary. This is where the gen pop is housed. For inmates life is usually unpleasant and short down here. But the moment you laid eyes on the human prisoner, you knew you could never in good conscience lock him up in the dungeons and gulags with the common thieves, tax cheats and parking fee delinquents. That would be a crime worse than those committed by all the inmates combined. 

No, a man of such distinction and strong fashion sense needed special accommodations. A cell reserved for Very Important Prisoners.

Caliborn told us earlier that Dad Crocker was a Very Important Prisoner and that meant he was being horribly tortured in his jail cell. But it turns out the exact opposite is true:

A huge couch in a jail cell, oh my god. I’m fucking dying.



The prisoner appears to be doing well. You ask if you can get him anything. Coffee? A newspaper? Additional smoking apparatus? He indicates that since he lost his wallet, he’s been running low on pipe tobacco. You say you’ll see to it at once. 

Dad Crocker is every bit as fatherly as he was last time we saw him, I love it so much. And to think his special treatment was all because of his fashion sense, that’s so goddamn funny.

While this is a maximum security suite that is virtually impossible to escape from, you’ve made it clear to all personnel that anyone who harms a hair on this man’s head will have to answer to you. They are all very fortunate that his head doesn’t seem to have any. 

God DAMN he is good at shaving. You are not afraid to admit your envy when it comes to his prowess with a straight edge, not even to speak of his natural ability to grow whiskers in the first place. The lucky stiff.

I wonder if Jack and his quartet of Derse agents are all predisposed to enjoy dressing like businessmen? The Dignitary most certainly is, Jack definitely doesn’t enjoy dressing like a clown, the Droll will go along with anything, and the Brute is the loyal, dependable muscle backup. Maybe for every universe Lord English has infected, there’s a Midnight Crew and Felt to go along with it, just like the numerous iterations of himself Doc Scratch has mentioned. I’m sure Caliborn’s crew of leprechauns can be mass-cloned through time travel or something. I wonder if there were any other Spades Slicks out there who got the chance to face someone possessed by Lord English head-on?


Enough bizarre Midnight Crew speculation. It’s time for a humorous throwback to the occasional Serious Business chatlogs we saw on Dad Egbert’s PDA.

Note the Derse logo next to the title “Serious Business”.


Unlike Dad Egbert’s friends, the Dersite Serious Business users aren’t very intelligent. They enact a parody of the hat and pipe talk from the early acts. A user named HATLIKER asks for help because he sat on his hat and ruined it. Other users suggest that he flip his hat upside-down and sit on it again. Dad responds, talking the same way he does in his fatherly notes to John and Jane:

pipefan413: @HATLIKER. THESE MEN ARE LEADING YOU ASTRAY. SITTING ON THE HAT AGAIN WILL ONLY CAUSE IT FURTHER DAMAGE. 
NoNeed4PantsThx: @pipefan413, this will be the case even if the rumpled hat is inverted? 
pipefan413: @NoNeed4PantsThx. YES. THIS WILL BE THE CASE REGARDLESS OF THE HAT’S ORIENTATION. 
FineryFiend: greatly respect @pipefan413’s knowledge of finery. i endorse his warning. 
ChuffedAboutDuds: @FineryFiend me too. 
1dapperblackshell: @FineryFiend so do i 

Note that the Dignitary’s messages have a check mark next to them, akin to “verified” users on social media sites.


Other Dersites bring up the idea of everyone sitting on their hats to make HATLIKER feel less out of place. DD prohibits this all and behaves as his usual stern self:

The Dignitary: @HATLIKER: Incinerate the damaged hat immediately. 
The Dignitary: @HATLIKER: Do not ever wear such a thing in public. 
FineryFiend: !!!!! 
ChuffedAboutDuds: BURN THE HAT! 
NoNeed4PantsThx: BURN THE HAT!!! 
WANT_MORE_SOCKS: BURN IT! 
1dapperblackshell: BURN THE RUMPLED HAT! 
HATLIKER: I AM BURNING THE HAT! 
WANT_MORE_SOCKS: SITTING ON THE HAT WAS TERRIBLE! 
NoNeed4PantsThx: BURN ALL RUMPLED HATS! 
ChuffedAboutDuds: THEY AREN’T DAPPER AT ALL!!!!! 
1dapperblackshell: BURN THE MISTAKE WITH FIRE! 


Such is the nature of background characters in Homestuck and Problem Sleuth. In both comics, whenever large groups of background characters appear they are never anything more than drones who follow the wills and instructions of whichever voiced character is around. Problem Sleuth (the character) has a natural talent for leadership and uses it a lot on NPCs, and many characters in Homestuck are predisposed to achieve similar feats. A good example is WV, who single-handedly led a rebellion uniting Prospitian and Dersite soldiers against the black king. I don’t even remember what incited him to do that, actually. The time loops and bunny delivery stuff in the exiles’ backstory has always been one of the most confusing parts of Homestuck to me.

The Condesce’s messages not only have checkmarks, but they’re also highlighted in pink for extra flair.

I love how while Dad has his usual gray PDA and the Dignitary has a walkie-talkie typical of Dersites, the Condesce makes full use of her Pisces troll motif and uses a shellphone.

)(IC: yo i cant deal w this prissy hat chat no more 
)(IC: public works my ass what a waste of royal gold 
ChuffedAboutDuds changes status to BOWING. 
WANT_MORE_SOCKS changes status to BOWING. 
NoNeed4PantsThx changes status to BOWING. 
FineryFiend changes status to BOWING. 
HATLIKER changes status to BOWING. 
1dapperblackshell changes status to BOWING. 
)(IC: this is what i get for lettin all proper dudes run shit instead of nasty clowns 
The Dignitary changes status to DOFFING HAT. 
)(IC: @The Dignitary i want ma ring back motha fuck 


And here we hear the Condesce speak for the first time. It’s surprising but at the same time logical that she talks exactly like Meenah but a bit more bossy.

I’m ending this post here. I finished a few days ahead of schedule, which is good because Act 6 Act 5 so far has been a bit exhausting to go through. Not all of it, but most certainly the romance drama stuff. The reason I made this post so quickly is because I rushed through the romance drama parts so as not to drag myself.

See you Friday or so as I do a rewritten early acts post as a palate cleanser. And see you next time after that as we read Detective Pony’s lesser-known sibling.

>> Part 94: Wizardfic Nostalgification Station

Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 92: Quirk Resignation and Clown Vomit

Introduction / Schedule

Part 91 | Part 92 | Part 93 >


Act 6 Act 4 + Act 6 Intermission 4

Pages 5438-5511 (MSPA: 7338-7411)

The whole Caliborn/Hussie arc is a lot more metafictional than I remembered.


I always forget how good of a song Even in Death is, holy shit.


Time to begin Act 6 Act 4 of Homestuck! Unlike Act 6’s prior sub-acts, this one consists of a single flash. I think most people agree that it’s a good change of page for the alpha kids’ Medium exploration to be condensed into one flash, rather than another few hundred pages of dilly-dallying and romance drama. As with the trolls’ arc, we don’t really need to see the alpha kids’ usual game progression (or in this case, lack thereof) all over again. A montage showing us a few scenes of the alpha kids exploring their planets and their Jack Noir counting his days in jail is all that is needed.

Viewed from a different perspective, this planet probably looks like the Xbox logo.
The bluish canyon in this image is a small part of the big purple X.


Three new planets are introduced in this flash. First off is Jake’s planet, the Land of Mounds and Xenon. Better known as the Land of Hills and Stone Henges, or the Land of Stonehenges and a Big Purple X. The big X is an odd addition but it looks pretty cool, forming a pair of 360-degree canyons that intersect twice. Maybe the X is useful for planet navigation or something, who knows.


Jake’s planet is dark and desolate much like Jane’s, but not as lifeless. It has lots of mossy vegetation and civilization remnants based on real-world structures, most notably a bunch of red replications of the Stonehenge which matches with his last name. On a related note, you might already know that the planet acronym LOMAX is the same as the title character’s surname from Weekend at Bernie’s, one of Jake’s favorite movies. Fitting because Bernie Lomax is a corpse through most of the movie and the alpha kids’ planets are themed upon dead things.


Taking a closer look inside the planet, we find that the alpha kids’ session has skeletal underlings rather than your usual enemies. The enemies don’t look very easy to kill and get grist from, which doesn’t help the alpha session’s matters one bit. The dead aesthetic is pretty cool though.


The alpha kids did get enough grist, presumably through Jane’s Grist Gutter or whatever it’s called, to alchemize some cool clothes and weapons. Jake is carrying a pair of golden guns while wearing a sexy adventurer outfit, plus a Sweet Bro tattoo to match Dirk’s Hella Jeff tattoo. Probably the most humorous way possible to demonstrate that they are together now.


Meanwhile on Prospit, the alpha kids’ Jack Noir is tallying his days in prison. Do you know how CRAZY it is for there to be a Sburb session whose Jack Noir doesn’t do anything? Not even managing Derse paperwork under the queen’s command, there’s a different agent handling that.

The lights on these pyramids are colored like Jane and Roxy’s text. I should keep an eye out for more light colorings like this!


Roxy’s planet, the Land of Pyramids and Neon, is a fun one. A desolate pyramid world on the surface, but with gorgeous neon light radiating from the pyramids and throughout the sky. On the outside it looks almost as lively as some of the beta kids’ and trolls’ planets, which makes sense because Roxy’s always been the fan favorite alpha kid.

I like how Jane is casually walking around wearing a fake mustache now.


We see Roxy and Jane exploring LOPAN together and their fashion choices are interesting to me. Roxy’s wearing a skimpy purple dress plus some tight black covers on her arms and legs, while Jane has opted for an arguably more masculine outfit. I normally find denoting characters as “masculine” and “feminine” to be meaningless at best and sexist at worst, but the contrast between Roxy’s and Jane’s outfits is very obvious. (Just so you know, I’m taking a more “just for fun” approach than usual analyzing this flash.)


The alpha kids may not have alchemized as much sick gear as the betas, but they do make good use of what they have. I bet Roxy’s appearifier gun has more free reign now that they’re in a void session where there’s no way for the kids to accomplish anything useful until the beta kids arrive. Same reason their sprites have nothing predestined to prototype in them so Gamzee fills them all with troll corpses.

Dirk is so anime here it’s unreal.


After another shot of Jack tallying days in prison, the new planets are rounded off with the Land of Tombs and Krypton which is easily the wildest of the bunch. It’s a great planet-establishing shot to see Dirk jump out of a building dressed in full anime gear plus a gas mask. Unlike the other three planets, Dirk’s planet isn’t a free world of exploration but a complex maze of tombs loaded with toxic gas where getting to the surface is but a daydream. Kind of a good metaphor for Dirk’s character, especially with all his splinter selves.

I barely know anything about anime boys, regrettably enough.


Dirk and Jake exploring tombs together is quite the sight. Dirk looks like the ultimate breathtaking handsome anime swordsman, posing just like his pre-scratch self always did. And Jake looks like the anime swordsman’s dorky anime boyfriend, who is not quite as stereotypically anime but is most certainly anime by association. Dorky anime girls are a HUGE archetype so I’m going to assume dorky anime boys are as well. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

(This is extremely off-topic, but I’m normally more a fan of the stuck-up smart girl archetype than the dorky girl archetype. Just saying in case you thought otherwise.)

Yodelbooger in all his glory.

These shots of Dirk and Jake are followed by a statue depicting Yaldabaoth, who is Dirk’s denizen. Aside from looking cool, I think this image is shown to prepare readers for learning about Caliborn’s denizen, who is also Yaldabaoth. We’ll learn about this denizen quite a bit in Act 6’s next few sub-acts.

153 tally marks. Very easy to do the math.


On Jane’s 16th birthday, the tip of Jack’s Prospit spire breaks off and he stares longingly through the window of his jail cell. This is the second time in rather short succession we get to see a version of Jack Noir from a more pitiable perspective.


The flash ends with a zoom out to Skaia, showing the alpha kids’ rather barren Incipisphere in full view. The planets are rendered in the same style as in several flashes focusing on the beta kids, which is rather nostalgic. 


This zoom-out is followed by curtains, which is unexpected but also relieving, because I can’t imagine how boring it would be to read these scenes with long-winded dialogue. Some content is just better presented without text. This is not meant as an insult, it’s just a fact.

END OF ACT 6 ACT 4.


The curtains close in on the alpha kids’ void session in full view. Act 6 Act 4 was a very short act and I like it that way. It’s just one flash montage and that’s really all it needs to be. A very fitting celebration for Act 6’s first anniversary on 11/11. On to Act 6 Intermission 4!

– – – 


You are now Caliborn.

(this image cracked me up so hard)


It’s only natural that an oddball act is followed by an oddball intermission. Unlike Act 6’s prior intermissions focusing on the cast of the first five acts, Act 6 Intermission 4 is focused on Caliborn. This image above shows Caliborn leaving behind a trail of his sister’s book pages to wipe off his blood, and tells us this intermission is going to be loads and loads of fun.


As Caliborn walks, the narration has such gems as:

You love having a dead sister. Having a dead sister is an experience you would highly recommend to everybody.

and:

It’s hard being a cherub and growing up with lots of weird magical rules that nobody understands and have no discernible origin or purpose. 

It’s hard being a cherub and growing up with lots of weird magical rules that nobody understands and have no discernible origin or purpose, and nobody understands.

Caliborn’s narration is so absurdist and filled with self-deprecating callbacks, I love it.

God, I love Caliborn so fucking much.


You peer at your former prison through the scope on your MACHINE GUN. You aren’t really supposed to hold the gun by the magazine like that, but whatever. 

There’s the CRUXTRUDER. It was the only device available to be deployed. You’re pretty sure there were supposed to be more devices that went with it. But you guess your game session is a little different? 

You were also under the impression there were supposed to be gates directly above your home. But you don’t see any. Maybe if you look higher…

I find it interesting that Caliborn knows these basic facts about Sburb—facts you’d know only if you’ve read Homestuck and cared enough about it to properly digest it—and isn’t embarrassed that he knows those facts. It shows that he doesn’t quite represent generic Homestuck haters, but rather fans of the comic who are tsundere about it and/or don’t care about details like troll castes or classpects.

(I am so happy “tsundere” is part of my everyday vocabulary now. Having “tsundere” in your vocabulary is an experience I would highly recommend to everybody.)


Caliborn also observes the clouded Skaia and Prospit. His narration says:

You guess Jack Noir could still be up there too. You’ll have to catch up with him later for a debriefing. He has been very useful. You may need his service again some time.

It’s rather genre savvy of Caliborn to keep his Jack Noir handy. You’d think someone with such a twisted up mind would just walk aimlessly destroying everything in his path, but this guy knows what’s useful and works well under such minimalist conditions.

Now that you think about it, you believe your entire planet may have been sucked into the Medium, not just the cruddy statues. The landscape is very similar, minus the bright red glow from the supergiant. Add one more item to the list of things you don’t understand. You thought you were going to be sent to a cool new planet, unique to you and your adventure. Some sort of amazing new magical place you could conquer, not the same old barren ball of shit you grew up on. At least that is what Calliope had you believing. You think she was probably a liar, or just really stupid. Or both, times infinity.

Caliborn isn’t immune to perusing and taking thoughts from annoying Homestuck fans, which is to say Calliope. He can understand his sister’s theories just fine, as long as it’s something he can bring himself to care about.

Today is your first predomination day, and as with all zero preceding it, something feels… 

Something feels 

Er. 

What 

What are you looking at?


Caliborn gets a callback to the comic’s poetic title screen sequence, kind of like the one Karkat got at the start of the trolls’ arc but way more ridiculous and nonsensical.

You have a feeling it’s going to be a long walk.


Just as John had a feeling it’s going to be a long day and Karkat had a feeling it’s going to be a long night, Caliborn has a feeling it’s going to be a long walk. I can’t say I really understand Hussie’s book commentary claims that Eridan was a prototype for Caliborn. Karkat is by far the troll most like Caliborn.

Caliborn gets a message from Roxy and realizes he has his sister’s computer in his sylladex.

Oh, right. It’s your sister’s computer, still stored in your shared sylladex. You never understood what a kid chained to her bedroom needed with a portable computer. It made you mad how stupid that was.

If you’re a really attentive reader, you’ll recognize this as Gamzee’s husktop. Kind of an amusing hint that Gamzee was the one who raised the cherubs. Being the wise clown uncle he is, he surely thought it a courtesy to pass his computer down to his cherub kids just like Rose did with Jaspersprite.


Caliborn walks away, ignoring Roxy’s message. We get to read her message and it’s very endearing and rambly.

TG: so yeah we all finally entered our game 
TG: i think i was being the worst kind of turd 4 opposing the idea so long 
TG: guess i thought i was being noble 
TG: like sacrificing something that was important and we all wanted anyways just so i could fuck with the witch and her plans 
TG: but i dunno what i was thinking 
TG: cause this shit here is p great i have got to say 
TG: now we are all of the sudden in this crazy place full of pretty green hills and a black empty sky 

TG: i never actually seen anything like plants growin or a country side 
TG: its so peaceful and quiet here 
TG: i mean the racket my loudmouth pals are makin notwithstanding 
TG: we are just chilling at jakes old broken house on a mountain figuring what to do 
TG: lol this all happened so fuckin fast! 
TG: i cant believe were all together like this suddenly 
TG: just 
TG: hangin out 
TG: in actual person 
TG: in our moon jammies 
TG: this is better than i ever thought it would be in the silliest and stupidest way 


Roxy’s monologue is a great way to show readers what happened right after the alpha kids entered the game. She’s just so happy getting to meet all her friends in person and regrets opposing it for so long. I guess Roxy just never knew how great it feels to meet all your friends in person until now.

As Caliborn walks away further, Roxy humorously recaps the events of the Unite Synchronization flashes. It’s mostly stuff we already knew, but then we get this little bit:

TG: and then we get to jakes place and shit everywhere is on fire and hes asleep there so dirk splashes him with a bucket of ocean and tells me and jane to hide?? 
TG: so we do and jake wakes up and starts arguing with dirks gross head from the fucking future and climbs up on this stone wall for some reason and just starts making out with the head while the volcano explodes??? 
TG: jane and i are like what the absolute FUCK while dirks just there with his bucket all like ‘yup’ 
TG: then we ollied out of that popsicle stand so now here we are 
TG: wow 
TG: that story is a goddamn mess 
TG: what did i even just say 


As Roxy points out, most of what happens in those two flashes makes no sense out of context and I love it. She accurately describes it all as “machiavellian/heroic XTREME STRIDER BULLSHIT”.

This image is SO FUCKING FUNNY.


Continuing the running gag of renaming animals to the opposite gender, Roxy immediately thinks of the firefly sitting on her head as a boy and names him first Doctor Blinkbottom then Twinkly Herbert.

This image is even funnier than the last one. Sometimes pictures say more than words ever could.


TG: not even ten stinkin mins into our magic bestfriendquest and theyre already jacking up the drama 
TG: need to flag down the dramambulance 
TG: haul these fuckers away 
TG: wow they are really being so absurd 
TG: maybe its just cause im not tipsy atm but this shit is like hells of amateur hour to me r now 
TG: maybe if i wasnt as sober as a nun gettin slapped by a librarian i wouldnt even notice? 


Not even ten stinking minutes into their magic bestfriendquest and Roxy has already proven herself to be the only party member who’s both sane and competent.

TG: fa reals tho may i just say 
TG: dying is a hell of a way to sober up quick 
TG: got 2 remember that trick 
TG: so hey wake up soon!! 
TG: i will try again later 
TG: must deal w some shit now 
TG: urgh 
TG: i think 
TG: i could use a drink 
tipsyGnostalgic [TG] ceased pestering undyingUmbrage [uu] 


And that’s a great note to end the alpha session’s starting moments on. What a beautiful sequence.

Caliborn then looks at the blinking light and notices…

The bottom part of Gamzee’s wings is shaped a bit like John’s harlequin doll. Very fitting for the plot-armored troll.

GAMZEE????

What the actual fuck is this guy doing here?!

Unlike last time we saw Gamzee out of nowhere, he has wings on his fake god tier suit—the same wings we saw him with in Ministrife. And this time, we don’t have any visual clues on how he got here like Aradia’s time travel music boxes. Even today we don’t know how Gamzee entered Caliborn’s session. The most likely explanation is  that when B2 Jack Noir’s head exploded, the black hole took Gamzee inside the fridge (plus the crowbar) to Earth in the distant future.


We get a short interactive page calling back to last time Gamzee appeared out of nowhere. Caliborn and Gamzee stare each other down, then this happens:


I’m…

I’m speechless.

Caliborn is truly a character like no other. It’s not enough that he kills the first living being he encounters. No, he brutally guns Gamzee down for four consecutive flashes until both his wings fall off and he rests on the ground, dead.


Caliborn probably knows that you aren’t really supposed to kill the first living being you encounter in your game, and figures that shooting Gamzee once will probably be useless. So he fires at Gamzee for five minutes until he’s confident that the clown is extra, unambiguously 100% dead. A good demonstration of his rule-bending tendencies.


As Caliborn walks toward the command station, the narration starts to blatantly lie about his thoughts and feelings. The narrator claims he deeply regrets killing Gamzee; Caliborn quickly figures out what’s going on.


I love how Caliborn types slowly and meticulously while Hussie types quickly like a normal person would.

No way! 
Then who would describe what you’re thinking and feeling? 
NOBODY. 
I CAN THINK MY OWN THOUGHTS JUST FINE. 
THEY ARE LESS STUPID AND CONDESCENDING. THAN THE THOUGHTS YOU TELL MY BRAIN TO HAVE. 
But your thoughts are shitty! 
You should be grateful to have someone to spice them up for you. 
NO. WHAT’S SHITTY. IS YOU. 
AND WHAT’S ALSO SHITTY IS THIS SHITTY PIECE OF SHIT MACHINE YOU LIVE INSIDE. 
I don’t live inside this thing, you idiot. 
This is just sort of like a radio tower. It receives and transmits signals. 
That’s kind of obvious? 
IT’S NOT OBVIOUS. IT’S DUMB AND CONFUSING. 
I DEMAND TO KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON. 
TELL ME. 
Gamzee could have told you a lot of stuff. 
WHO?? 
I can’t believe you shot him like that. What’s the matter with you? 
He was literally the first living being you ever met in your whole life, and you gun him down without a single word? 
You’ve got some problems. 
OH. THE CLOWN. 
HE WAS DREADFUL AND PURPLE AND NEEDED TO BE EXTERMINATED QUICKLY. 


He was a huge fan of yours and was really looking forward to meeting you. 
He wanted to help you with your quest. 
THIS IS MY PLANET. NO ONE ELSE CAN LIVE HERE. I DON’T NEED HELP. 
Yet you want me to tell you what’s going on? 
YES. TELL ME IMMEDIATELY. 
Nah. 

Turns out Caliborn doesn’t necessarily kill everything in his path; he’s just weirdly prejudicial against clowns. What is even bad about clowns? I mean, aside from killing half their friends and causing abominable misfortune across paradox space. Clown prejudice is just one of many hurdles Caliborn must learn to overcome.


AUGH. 
What? 
I’M GETTING FRUSTRATED. BOTH BY YOU. AND THIS FUCKING KEYBOARD.

What’s the matter with it? 
IT’S MAKING IT IMPOSSIBLE TO TYPE MY QUIRK. 
No it’s not. 
YES. THE CAPS LOCK KEY APPEARS TO BE PERMANENTLY DEPRESSED. 
HOW DO I MAKE IT NOT LIKE THAT. 
It’s locked. 
You need a key to unlock it. 
You need keys to unlock a whole bunch of features on this tower. 
WHERE IS THE KEY. 
How should I know??? 
BECAUSE YOU ARE AN INFURIATING FONT OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT MANY THINGS. INCLUDING MY OWN BRAIN BEHAVIORS. 
Why should I tell you everything? 
Find your own fucking keys. It’s your quest, remember? 
NO, BUT TYPING LIKE THIS IS BAD. 
IT’S REALLY THROWING ME OFF. 
I don’t understand the problem. 
I CAN’T MAKE MY U’S LITTLE. 
No, I got that. But caps lock should make it easier. 
You do realize when caps lock is on, you can hold down shift to make letters lower case, right? 
WHAT. 
NO. 
I DON’T USE CAPS LOCK. I THOUGHT IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE A TRAINING KEY FOR RETARDS. 
A training key? 
MAYBE ALSO FOR GIRLS. FOR WHEN THEY GET HYSTERICAL AND MAKE THEIR LETTERS SHOUT. 
Ok, got it. Really great theories there. 
So… how do you usually type then? 
JUST. NEVER MIND. 
Hang on. Are you saying you hold down shift with one hand, while hunting and pecking for all the letters with the other? 
And whenever you type a ‘u’ you just let go of shift?? 
I SAID NEVER MIND. 
Wow. 


Caliborn is such a treasure. He gets by life without understanding severely basic tasks, which again reminds me of Karkat.

OK LOOK. 
I CAN ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE METHOD YOU PROPOSED IS A LOT MORE EFFICIENT AND SENSIBLE. 
I JUST HAVE MY OWN STYLE. 
THAT I’M COMFORTABLE WITH. 
AND ALSO. 
I JUST NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT. 
How old were you again? 
FUCK YOU. 
OK, THE THING IS. 
DON’T TELL ANYBODY I SAID THIS. 
BUT. 
I’VE ALWAYS HAD A LOT OF TROUBLE. 
AT. 
LEARNING STUFF. 
Yeah. 
I know.


Caliborn is an inspirational figure and no one can tell me otherwise. His brain works in strange ways, but that doesn’t stop him from becoming a mighty proud artist. As he ascends through the tiers of artistry, he tells readers they can accomplish anything if they put their mind to it, no matter what they think their talents may be. His evolution and improvement as an artist is a surprisingly realistic depiction of what it’s like to take on a form of art you’re wholly unfamiliar with and become good at it through perseverance.

Caliborn looks very determined as he figures out an easier way to type.


FUCK IT. 
I’LL JUST TYPE IN ALL BIG LETTERS. EVEN THE U’S. WHO CARES. 
Aw, looks like someone just took his first big step toward growing up! 
ACTUALLY, TYPING THIS WAY IS A LOT EASIER. LOOKS LIKE I WIN THIS ROUND ASSHOLE. 
Win what? I was the one advocating the use of caps lock in the first place, doofus. 


Part of becoming an artist is discovering better ways to do things and perhaps sacrificing techniques you thought were vital. Caliborn discovers it’s way easier to type without lowercase U’s and doesn’t feel unnatural typing that way like trolls do, or his sister who likes to pretend she’s a troll.

You may be destined for bigger things, but you’re still an atrocious, stupid child. 
And you may have won the “game” with your sister, but that doesn’t mean it was the best thing for your development as a person. 
You had her dream self killed, which is not an opportunity your species typically gets. So she died prematurely, instead of allowing the conflict within you to settle itself naturally. 
In short, you forced your predomination to happen a little too early, and now you’re stuck. 
STUCK? 
Yes. Your personality is stuck in some sort of cantankerous prepubescent limbo. You are going to be a stunted, miserable tool forever. 
WELL, HOW LONG WAS I EVEN SUPPOSED TO WAIT. FOR THAT TWEE BITCH TO GET OUT OF MY SKULL. 
It’s kind of sad. You don’t really know anything about your own species, do you? 
AND I GUESS YOU DO? 
Uh, yeah? 
Pretty much everything. 
TELL ME THEN. 
No. 
GOD. DAMN IT. 


Premature predomation is another hamper Caliborn eventually gets past: he becomes a big tough skull monster through amalgamation with a muscular sprite and an unbelievably strong clown, plus a horde of other powers to approximate what adult cherubs are supposed to look like. It’s too bad that Lord English’s pride falls apart after he kills Hussie and travels through the Furthest Ring, but Caliborn’s glory years shall never be forgotten.

(Between the debate surrounding Calliope and Caliborn’s age and maturity and their questioned capacity for human romance, most people agree it’s for the best Roxy and Calliope’s relationship was left ambiguous.)

I like how you’ll only notice Gamzee isn’t quite dead if you look closely.


THIS DIALOGUE IS GIVING ME A HEADACHE. 
BETWEEN YOUR PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE OBSTINACY. 
AND YOUR BIZARRE MOTIVATIONAL DIATRIBES. 
AND THE FACT. 
THAT I’M HAVING A HARD TIME TELLING OUR TEXT APART? 
What? 
You are? 
KIND OF. 
Well, here’s a hint. You’re the one typing in capital letters.
You’re also the one typing in surly, brief, stilted sounding phrases. 
NO, BUT THE COLORS ARE TOO SIMILAR. 
I KNOW THAT SOME LETTERS ARE BIG. AND SOME ARE SMALL. HOW DUMB DO YOU THINK I AM. 
I JUST HAVE AN EASIER TIME THINKING IN COLORS. 
What does that even mean, “thinking in colors?” 
I TOLD YOU. MY BRAIN WORKS DIFFERENTLY, SO SHUT UP. 


Thinking in colors is likely something Caliborn has in common with his sister. When Calliope sent him old pesterlogs back when she was still alive, Caliborn probably felt horribly spited and pandered to because he knows he reads things far more easily when they’re formatted with bright colors.

Hussie explains that to change his text color, Caliborn needs to solve a puzzle and connect the right wires together. Then we get this passage discussing Gamzee:

What you really need is a guide. 
A mentor, of sorts. 
Too bad you shot that clown.

STOP TOUTING THE WISDOM OF THAT IMBECILE WITH THE DISTURBING UNDERPANTS. 
THE ONLY THING HE HAS TAUGHT ME. IS HOW TO RECEIVE HUNDREDS OF BULLETS THROUGH THE TORSO. IN THE LEAST DIGNIFIED MANNER POSSIBLE. 
AND ALSO. A CRASH COURSE IN DYING A PAINFUL DEATH. HOPEFULLY. 
Sorry to disappoint you. 
He’s not dead. 
WHAT. 
What did you expect? He’s clearly a god tier. 
BULLSHIT. 
Haven’t you ever seen a god tier before? 
You do know what that is, right? 
YES, I KNOW WHAT THAT IS. 
Then you know he’s immortal, and can only die under very specific circumstances. 
Guess there’s no point in trying to kill him! 
BUT HIS WINGS FELL OFF! 
I SAW THEM FALL OFF. 
Hmm. 
Yeah. I guess they did. 
So? 
SO. I THINK. HE’S PROBABLY FAKING. 
Oh please. Paranoid much?? 
Why would anyone go to that kind of trouble? What would be the point? 
He would have to be such a jackass to do that. 
I DON’T KNOW WHY HE’S FAKING. 
I JUST KNOW THOSE WINGS WERE BOGUS PIECES OF SHIT. THAT WERE LIKE. STRAPPED ON. 
WHICH MEANS. HE IS A FRAUD. 


Caliborn doesn’t care about the why. He only cares about the what, which allows him to cut to the chase and figure out the rules. As such, he doesn’t have any trouble processing the idea that Gamzee made a fake god tier outfit.

Bloody Gamzee is extremely disturbing, whether it’s text or visual.


If you don’t believe me, just see for yourself. 
HUH? 
You made the rookie mistake of turning your back on the body. 
OH MY GOD. 

HOW CAN HE POSSIBLY STILL BE ALIVE??? 
See? Fit as a fiddle. Barely a scratch on him! 
Just please don’t shoot him again, ok? 


Turning your back on the body is one thing Caliborn never quite learned not to do. Hussie goes on to explain Gamzee’s strange immortality:

Say it with me. 
“You can’t keep down the clown.” 
NO, I WON’T SAY THAT. 
SAY IT! 
“You can’t…” 
GO FUCK YOURSELF. JUST TELL ME WHAT IT MEANS. 
It means crazy clowns just won’t die for some reason. In adventures such as yours, they tend to linger long past their welcome. 
They linger and linger and linger, and just when you think you’re totally fed up with their bullshit and you can’t take another second of it, they just linger some more. 
And you never know what they’re up to, and they’re always scheming in the shadows, and it’s quite possible that whatever master plan they’re hatching just doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense at all. 
But it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how stupid the clown’s schemes are, or how sick of him everybody is. 
He just. Won’t. Die. 
THIS IS. HONESTLY? THE WORST SALES PITCH FOR A MENTOR. THAT I HAVE EVER READ. 

Granted! 
But come on. Just let it slide this one time? Please? 
Just no more shooting. You can slap him around if you want. That’s fine. But shooting is off limits. 
WHY. 
Because you can’t kill him! He’s the most important character in… 
IN WHAT. 
Well, ok. Maybe not the MOST important. 
But he’s still really important! 


What Hussie is trying to tell us is that Gamzee’s clown immortality is the concept of “plot armor” taken as literally as possible. Gamzee is now the ultimate farcical plot device, used as the standard fallback character to fulfill plot points in Caliborn’s quest and to show his gradual character development.


Gamzee hands Caliborn a Skaianet power hub to help him out with connecting wires, but Caliborn shoots him again. I wonder where Gamzee got the hub? Maybe he looted it from Roxy’s house during the alpha session, just like Vriska did with the fenestrated walls after the retcon.

You mother fucker. 
HE LOOKED AT ME FUNNY. 
Yeah. 
Want to know why? 
BECAUSE HE’S A FUCKING CLOWN. 
DO NOT TYPE IN BIG LETTERS. IT CONFUSES ME. 


Sometimes it’s easy to forget the typical mannerisms of regular, normal clowns that don’t involve assembling bogus god tier outfits or selling jars of troll blood as they were magic potions. One day, Caliborn will be down with the clown too. It’ll just take a bit of warming up. 

Why do you have to be like this? 
Why can’t you just be down with the clown? 
I DON’T KNOW. 
I LIKE SHOOTING HIM. 
HE JUST HAS THIS. PERFECTLY SHOOTABLE TORSO. 
HEY. WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS HORRENDOUS MUSIC. 
What. You don’t like it? 
IT IS WITHOUT A DOUBT. CAUSING ME MORE PAIN. THAN WHATEVER THIS UNKILLABLE CLOWN IS FEELING RIGHT NOW. 
Well, whenever you shoot the clown, I play the elevator music.
OH FUCK. NO! 
That’s the deal. 
Either shoot the clown and face the music, or put on your fucking big boy suspenders and stop trying to murder him. 


I love that Hussie immediately realizes he can bribe Caliborn not to shoot Gamzee by torturing him with elevator music. This guy is susceptible to the most ridiculous weaknesses, I swear.


With the hub plugged in, all the monitors now have power. One is unlocked already; the rest need to be unlocked with keys. The unlocked screen shows a picture of dream Calliope’s corpse, and Caliborn says he’s been wanting to change his text color to that of his sister’s blood. All he has to do is pick a color with his mouse.

Please don’t tell me Gamzee is sexually aroused by any of this.



Unfortunately, the mouse is quite possibly the least convenient type of mouse anyone could ever use. It’s a trackball mouse welded to the counter, and because the monitor is so high Caliborn has to weirdly twist his body to be able to use it.

I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS. 
WHAT SORT OF ASSHOLE. WOULD SET UP A WIRELESS MOUSE. 
AND THEN WELD IT TO THE COUNTER. 
That’s a hell of a question. 
OHHH. 
OHHHHHHHHHHHHH. 
I AM SO. SO. PISSED OFF AT THIS. 
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS NIGHTMARE. 
I dunno. 
Someone who thought it would be funny watching you struggle with a shitty trackball mouse welded to a counter? 
I DEMAND TO KNOW. 
WAS IT YOU. 
IT WAS YOU. WASN’T IT. 
Maybe. 


“Maybe” is the correct answer. Obviously Hussie is the author of Homestuck, but in-universe we have no way of knowing who built the command tower and it doesn’t make much sense for it to be Hussie’s self-insert.

MARK MY WORDS. WHOEVER YOU ARE. 
SOME DAY I WILL TRACK YOU DOWN. AND KILL YOU. 
You already did. 
LIAR. 
It’s true. It already happened in like the quasi-future. 
UH. WHAT. 
For someone who’s supposed to be a Lord of Time, you really kind of suck at thinking 4th dimensionally. 
Let alone 5th dimensionally. 
You’ve got a long way to go, kid. 
QUIET. YOUR NONSENSE IS DISTRACTING. 


I can’t think of a single thing Caliborn says he will do in the future that turns out just to be bluffing. This guy is amazingly true to his words—as Hussie says, we already know that Lord English did indeed track him down and kill him.


OK. THERE. 
WAIT. 
THIS COLOR IS ALL WRONG. IT’S TOO MUDDY. 
Yeah. The environment is pretty grim up there. 
Skaia doesn’t provide very good lighting when it’s all clouded over like that. 
Just bump up the brightness on the display.


The image above was first seen before Calliope was revealed not to be a troll and it’s beautifully misleading. The blood looks like a muddy shade of green not unlike the colors of troll blood…


… but when the image is brightened, we get to see Calliope’s true blood color. It’s a very bright shade of green, the exact same color Lord English spoke in.

OK. HOW’S THIS. 
That looks better. 
Wait, let me check. 
Ok, yeah. #2ed73a. That’s correct. 
WHAT. 
That’s the hex code for the color. 
WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT. 
It’s the numerical representation of the color in hexadecimal format. 
OK. SO?? 
So I was just double checking to make sure it was right. 
AND. 
It was right. 
THIS IS A PARTICULARLY AGGRAVATING TANGENT. TO AN ALREADY GHASTLY CONVERSATION. 
I’M DEFINITELY GOING TO FIGURE OUT WHO YOU ARE. AND HOW TO KILL YOU. 


Despite all his character development, Lord English later ends up killing Hussie the exact same way he had tried to kill Gamzee. Maybe seeing the sarcastic command station guy being pompous as ever reminded him of simpler times? Or maybe he just lost his usual personality beyond being a huge brute after becoming Lord English.

Next up, Gamzee gives Caliborn another gift.


WHAT IS THAT. 
What does it look like? 
It’s a magic crowbar. 
WHY IS HE GIVING IT TO ME. 
I’m not sure. 
I THOUGHT YOU KNEW EVERYTHING. 
I know a lot of things. But I don’t always understand his motivation for doing the stupid things he does. 
WHY NOT. 
I just don’t. 
Like one time? He sold a girl some potions. I have no idea why he did that. 
POTIONS? 
Yes potions. 
He also threw some corpses into a sprite to revive them, and fused their identities to create a disturbing freak of nature.
I’m still not really sure why he did that. Probably just to fuck with everybody. 
WHAT CORPSES. 
It doesn’t matter what corpses. Just some corpses, ok? 
The point is, he probably didn’t even have any reason for doing it. He was just being weird and capricious. 
But that doesn’t mean it didn’t end up serving an important purpose anyway. 
After the fused corpse sprite exploded, both of their ghosts got fed up and decided to start working together. 
And now they’re doing some important stuff in the afterlife. But I kind of doubt this clown had any idea that would happen.
Or maybe he did? Who really knows with clowns. 


Here’s a funny bit where Hussie speculates on Gamzee’s motives. I love how even the author can’t come up with a logical explanation for why Gamzee did anything he did. Gamzee’s plot armor comes in two forms: armor that prevents him from dying (which is what plot armor usually means), and armor that prevents anyone from figuring out his motives (which is a definition I made up just now).

HOLY FUCK. WHO CARES ABOUT THIS. 
WHAT ABOUT THE CROWBAR. 
What about it? 
YOU SAID IT WAS IMPORTANT. 
It is important. 
But I don’t know if HE knows that. 
I BET THAT CROWBAR IS A USELESS PIECE OF GARBAGE. I WILL NOT ACCEPT IT. 
Maybe he heard you bitching about the wireless mouse being welded to the counter, and he’s giving you something to pry it off with? 


Here’s a case where Hussie can easily guess Gamzee’s motives. It’s surprisingly sweet of him to keep doing Caliborn favors. But Caliborn has a much better idea:

Callback to Doc Scratch beating up Spades Slick.
Gamzee is resilient because he’s useful to the plot; Slick because he’s an enormous fan favorite.

Hey! Stop that. 
What did I say?? 
YOU SAID SHOOTING THE CLOWN WAS OFF LIMITS. 
BUT I AM STILL PERMITTED TO SMACK HIM AROUND. 
I’M JUST FOLLOWING THE RULES. 
That’s true. 
Ok. I’ll allow this. 
YESSSSS! 

Caliborn continues to demonstrate his mindset of bending rules by taking whatever way he can to beat up Gamzee. He immediately saw the crowbar not as a tool to pry things, but as a foolproof way to break anything. That’s exactly the role the crowbar plays, and has already played, in the plot of Homestuck. It’s also what Caliborn uses to beat up his denizen and destroy his clock to gain unconditional immortality.

Related to the topic of crowbars, many members of the Felt don’t technically have magic powers but rather own objects with time powers that match their names, like Die’s doll or Quarters’ coins. But Crowbar subverts even that because his role in the story is not as the guy who pries things open or as the guy who uses his crowbar to break jujus—rather, he’s an intelligent leader who makes a perfect rival to Spades Slick.


On the next page, Hussie changes his mind and plays the elevator music extra loud. This humorous moment shows Hussie isn’t a force of paradox space like what Caliborn is used to.

This page was slightly edited to match Homestuck’s move to homestuck.com.

The old version had a bottom bar with Hussie’s self-insert in a dream bubble.


And how does Caliborn respond to Hussie’s change of mind? He uses the crowbar to mess up Homestuck’s website. This moment is so fucking good, it needs no explanation. Note that one of the pieces of candy corn from the website’s top bar passes through the fourth wall and lands on Caliborn’s counter. I never noticed that detail until today.


Thank you. 
Now what exactly would you like to know? 
EVERYTHING. 
Everything is a lot. 
Care to narrow it down a little? 
OBVIOUSLY NOT THE BORING IRRELEVANT THINGS. 
DEFINITELY NOT THINGS LIKE. WHO KISSES PEOPLE. WITH THEIR UNPLEASANT NONSKELETAL SMOOSHY LIPS. 
JUST ALL THE THINGS THAT I NEED TO KNOW TO WIN THIS GAME. 
That’s not how adventures work though. 
You don’t just make some omniscient narrator inside a computer tell you everything all at once. 
There’s like this whole process to it. You reveal certain things at the right time, depending on whether the hero has met certain requirements and is ready to learn those things. 
What you learn and what I tell you is more up to you than it is to me. 
WHO CARES. 
I DON’T WANT YOUR EXCUSES. 
Aren’t you excited about your adventure? About being unchained for the first time ever, and getting to explore this mysterious place, and meeting people and solving puzzles that will lead to the realization of who you were meant to be, and how you fit into this epic? 
NO. 
SO FAR. THE ADVENTURE IS BORING, AND FRUSTRATING, AND CONSISTS OF AN IDIOT IN A COMPUTER, AND A CLOWN WHO WON’T DIE. 
I WANT TO KNOW WHEN I GET TO START FUCKING SHIT UP. 
You’ll definitely get to do that later. 
WHEN. 
Not long from now. 
LIKE. IN A COUPLE HOURS. OR. 
That’s up to you. There are puzzles to solve all over your planet. Your mentor can help. 
The sooner you do that, the sooner the fun will begin. 

Hussie’s self-insert is the best game guide character in Homestuck. Instead of being gleefully tight-lipped like sprites or space players, he explains through narrative tropes why he can’t just tell the player everything he wants.

YOU REALLY AREN’T TELLING ME ANYTHING. 
WE HAD A DEAL. I PUT THE CROWBAR DOWN. NOW TELL ME THINGS. 
Why don’t we narrow the scope of the Q&A then? 
Try asking very specific questions, and I’ll decide if it would be appropriate to answer at this time. 
YEAH. GOOD IDEA. 
THEN MY FIRST QUESTION IS. 
WHAT IS THE PLACE. 
The Medium. You are in your game session. 
I KNOW THAT. 
WHAT’S THIS PLANET, I MEAN. 
It was called Earth. 
EARTH. THAT’S IT? 
Yes. 
Weren’t all the Statues of Liberty a dead giveaway? 
If you see one or more shitty old Statues of Liberty on any post-apocalyptic wasteland planet, that automatically means it was Earth all along, as a rule. 
Then when you realize that, you’re supposed to have a mental breakdown. 
I AM UNFAMILIAR WITH THIS RULE. AND SKEPTICAL OF ITS VERACITY. 


I like how Hussie has to say as explicitly and unambiguously as possible that the cherubs grew up on Earth, not just to Caliborn but also to readers. He jabs at readers for not getting it before by talking about the trope where characters see a rusty Statue of Liberty, realize their desolate planet was Earth all along, and promptly freak out.

OK. WHY IS THIS MY PLANET IN THE GAME THOUGH. 
Cause your kernelsprite turned into a black hole and sucked it into your session? 
NO I MEAN. I THOUGHT I WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE A COOL AND SPECIAL PLACE. 
LIKE A LAND OF SOMETHING AND SOMETHING. 
You do. 
You just have to unlock it. 
That is when your real quest will begin. 
HOW DO I DO THAT. 
You know. Finding keys. Solving problems. 
All the potential for extraordinary achievements in your quest must be unlocked first. 
We’ve been over this. 
WHERE DO I FIND THE KEYS. 
I don’t know. 
LIES. 
Why would I know that? You think I’m like an encyclopedia on key locations?? 
I got better things to think about than where all your stupid keys are. 
Find them yourself. Better hop to it! 


All this talk about finding keys and solving puzzles brings me back to Problem Sleuth. When Hussie says he has better things to think about than locations of keys, he’s probably referencing how much Homestuck grew in scope from his prior comics and is now far more than just a tale of puzzle solving.

NO. MORE QUESTIONS FIRST. 
WHAT AM I ULTIMATELY STRIVING TO UNLOCK. 
TO MAKE MY REAL LAND APPEAR. 
IS IT SOME SORT OF GIANT, FANCY KEYHOLE. 
No. More like a big door. 
A DOOR TO WHAT. 
TREASURE? 
Kind of. 


What Caliborn ultimately needs to unlock is a big door, which again reminds me of Problem Sleuth. 

If there’s any treasure in there, it would be guarded by your denizen. 
WHAT’S THAT. 
A powerful monster that rules your planet, asleep in the core.
He appeared there the moment Earth got sucked into your session. 
WHAT KIND OF MONSTER. 
IS IT A DEADLY, CHALLENGING MONSTER? 
Yes. 
He is the deadliest, most challenging denizen of all. 
He very rarely appears in game sessions, and is usually designated for the most naturally gifted warriors. 
His name is Yaldabaoth.


Now this is a surprise reveal right there. Before this page, we had reason to believe which denizen a player gets is only a matter of their aspect. But now we know there’s an exception for the strongest fighters of all. It makes sense in retrospect because Yaldabaoth is the only known denizen whose name isn’t Greek, and because we know Dirk to be an insanely tough fighter. It’s too bad his denizen doesn’t play a role in the story other than reminding us Dirk is naturally tough.

Hussie explains more about Caliborn’s denizen quest and The Choice and what do you know, I actually don’t remember the order in which this all happens. I think Caliborn met with his denizen once to unlock his timed planet destruction mission, then again to kill him and reap the spoils? Or something like that. Aranea’s going to helpfully explain all this in not too long.

SO WHAT’S SO TERRIBLE ABOUT THIS SESSION. ASIDE FROM THE FIRST STAGE BEING INSANELY BORING. 
It’s called a dead session. 
SO. 
So, there are three kinds of fucked up sessions, and yours is the worst. 
There’s a null session, which is pretty much a normal session that’s doomed to failure. 
Everything works correctly. The sprites are prototyped, the battlefield can evolve, the Forge is present, Skaia can gestate a new universe… theoretically. 
But events conspire such that this never happens. Basically the players are doomed to fail. 
Then there’s a void session, which is the same as a null session, but without even having the potential for success. 
Nothing is prototyped. The battlefield doesn’t evolve. There’s no Forge. It is completely inert. 
It has no chance of bearing fruit, at least not without some sort of miraculous external intervention. Like a deus ex machina. 
And then there’s a dead session, which is a void session but worse. It’s started by a single player. The kernelsprite collapses into a black hole, sucking the planet into it, and eventually the sun and entire solar system. There is no hope of creating a universe in such a session under any circumstance, not even with outside help. Victory and defeat in a dead session are dictated by totally different terms. 
One way of looking at it is, if you’re fortunate enough to even get your quest started, it will be like playing the game on the extreme difficulty setting. 
Hope you’re up for that! 

OF COURSE I AM. 
LET ME ASK YOU. 
IF YOU WERE THE MOST DEADLY DENIZEN OF ALL. 
WOULD YOU WANT TO MESS WITH… 

Candy corn is a surprisingly good stand-in for sharp teeth, both in Problem Sleuth and Homestuck.

*THIS*??? 

Caliborn is more than ready to play Sburb in extra hard mode. I just love that he doesn’t fear a single thing so far in this adventure.

Note the use of Gamzee’s old typing quirk, to make extra sure we feel bad for him.


Oh great. 
Now he’s vomiting blood. 
Are you satisfied? 
You made this dear, sweet, pseudo-innocent juggalo vomit liter after thick, glutinous liter of nasty purple blood. 



Hussie’s lines about Gamzee make us feel surprisingly bad for him, except for a small lapse of humor when he says he’s “pseudo-innocent” which is, well, the truth.

An exact retrace of the one time Calliope stuck out her tongue.


UUUGH. 
I’m debating whether I should play the elevator music again. 
Would that be funny? I’m not sure. 
Kind of borderline, really. 


And to top things off, Gamzee’s in such bad shape that Hussie doesn’t even want to play elevator music. I think I agree that it’s a borderline case.


Gamzee pukes up some keys and even Hussie is confused:

KEYS? 
What? 
HE PUKED UP SOME KEYS. 
That’s weird. 
What kind of keys? 
JUST SOME REGULAR LOOKING KEYS. 
WITH SOME KIND OF CLOWNY KEY RING. 
Hmm. 
Do you think they might work on this tower? 
WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU ASKING ME? 
HOW COULD THIS BE SOMETHING YOU DON’T KNOW. 
Don’t be that way. I’m just thinking out loud here. 
SO YOU HAD NO IDEA THAT THIS WRETCHED FOOL SWALLOWED SOME KEYS. 
INTENDING TO LATER REGURGITATE THEM IN FRONT OF ME. PROBABLY AS ANOTHER “PRESENT”. 
He’s kind of like a loyal pet, isn’t he? 
Dragging ridiculous stuff into the house as gifts for his master. 
Barfing up disgusting things on the carpet and beaming with pride over his generous offering. 
Isn’t that what you want from a devoted minion/mentor? 
DID YOU. OR DID YOU NOT. KNOW HE HAD THESE KEYS. 
Nope. 
I’m just as surprised as you. 
I DON’T BELIEVE YOU. 
Hey, I told you. 
I have no idea what that clown gets up to in his spare time. 
I’m not even really sure how he got here, to be honest. 
Maybe he stowed away in a shitty Liberty? 
Or maybe he was just hiding in one of the ventshafts on your meteor when you entered? He had YEARS of practice to master that move, now that I think about it. 


Gamzee’s motives are so bizarre that one must cherish these rare moments when someone so much as speculates as to what they might be.


Upon Hussie’s suggestion, Caliborn tries using keys on various slots and this comes up:


AH. YES. IT’S THIS BUMBLING TWIT. 
WHERE IS HE. 
He is in his game session, exploring his land. 
HIS LAND LOOKS COOLER THAN MINE. 
It is cooler. 
THAT FUCKER. I AM SO GOING TO MESS WITH HIM. NOW THAT I CAN SEE HIM. 
HEY. 
WHY CAN I SEE HIM NOW? THEIR GAME WAS BLACKED OUT. LAST I LOOKED. 
You were looking through a standard chat client viewport. 
This tower’s signal bypasses the field of void permeating the session. 
As long as you find the right tower, the right monitor, and have the right key, you should be able to see anything in existence from this planet. 


Caliborn is jealous of anyone whose situation sucks less than his no matter how stupid he thinks they are, which I guess means he has something in common with Eridan? I don’t know, just throwing it out there.

He then tries another key:


IT’S THE DIRK HUMAN. 
HE IS SOMEWHAT TOLERABLE. I MEAN. AS A STRONG AND COMPETENT MALE. 
What. So you’re down with the Dirk? 
NO. ALL I’M SAYING IS. THE DEATH I WISH ON HIM DOESN’T HAVE TO BE ESPECIALLY PAINFUL. 
IT COULD BE LIKE. GOING TO SLEEP. WITH MAYBE ONLY A SHORT SCREAM. 
I think you want to be bros with him. 
SHUT YOUR MOUTH. 
I WILL TRY ANOTHER KEY. 


FAN.

IN.

DENIAL.

Caliborn is just as loud and hammy about the character he likes as he is about characters he dislikes. He tries to downplay it by saying his favorite character is slightly less putrid than the others, but it’s so obvious he sees Dirk the same way Calliope sees all of the alpha kids. This is exactly what happens when you like a work of media and are embarrassed about it, which is definitely not something that’s ever happened to me oh my god don’t give me that look.


OH HO. 
AND HERE IT WOULD SEEM THAT WE HAVE. 
AN EXEMPLARY PAIR OF SAUCY BITCHES. 
DO YOU THINK… 
What? 
NO. NEVER MIND. 
IT WAS A FRIVOLOUS QUESTION. 
Think what? 
I WAS JUST WONDERING. 
DO YOU THINK IT’S LIKELY. 
IF I PEEK AT THEM FOR A WHILE. 
THEY WILL BEGIN TO. MAYBE. 
What? 
STROKE EACH OTHER’S HAIR. 
Ok, I’m leaving. 
OR MAYBE. 
WHAT’S THE WORD I’M THINKING OF. 
YOU DO IT WITH ANOTHER LIVING TORSO THAT’S NEAR YOU. I MEAN, A TORSO YOU HAVEN’T KILLED YET. 
WHEN ONE DARES TO ALLOW THE SEDUCTIVE SERPENT OF DEBAUCHERY TO SLITHER INTO ONE’S SARSWAPAGUS. 
What the fuck? 
I THINK IT’S CALLED. 
“SNUGGLING”? 
Bye. 


Caliborn’s sexy lesbian fantasies are so hilariously unfiltered I can’t even take him seriously. Being hammy about characters you find attractive is another thing fans in denial are prone to do.

WAIT! 
WHERE ARE YOU GOING. 
I think you’ve got a handle on this. 
You’re warming up to the clown, or at least you stopped shooting him every thirty seconds. 
So it seems like you’re ready to accept him as your mentor and begin taking this quest seriously. 
I FIND HIM MODERATELY LESS REPELLENT. 
AND HE HAS PROVEN HIMSELF USEFUL. I GUESS. 
I WILL ACCEPT THE RESILIENT BARD AS MY SERVANT. 
Cool. 
My work here is done then. 
Try out some more keys. Then go exploring and look for more. 
You’ll get the hang of it. 
 — The narrative prompt has been locked. — 

And just like that, Hussie’s done guiding Caliborn for now. He did all he needed and would rather not sit through a word of Caliborn imagining Jane and Roxy making out.

Boy am I glad Gamzee’s wounds heal later. I can hardly stand to look at him so bloody.


Caliborn smiles broadly as he tries one last keyhole and feasts his eyes upon this:


In Act 6 Act 4 we never quite got to see the alpha kids’ Jack in full view. This image is quite a wham shot: we see his leg chained to his jail cell just like Caliborn once was, with a golden tooth also like Caliborn.

END OF ACT 6 INTERMISSION 4

And that’s the image Act 6 Intermission 4’s curtains close in on. A surprise shot that foreshadows through cherub parallels that B2 Jack Noir won’t be harmless for much longer.

Act recap time, why not. Well, the little there is to recap anyway.

Act 6 Act 4 is just one flash montage of the alpha kids’ Sburb session, which works better than it has any right to.

Act 6 Intermission 4 is probably the most intermission-like of the Act 6 intermissions. It’s a short interlude between the beta and alpha kids’ storylines that focuses entirely on Caliborn. It’s an odd one out among the Act 6 intermissions that again works better than it has any right to.

See you next time in Act 6 Act 5 as Jane finally confesses her longtime crush on Dirk.

>> Part 93: A Friendship Even More Permanently Ruined

Homestuck Mini(?)-Post: In Defense of Act 6 Act 1

This isn’t really a mini-post at all; it’s pretty much a full blown essay. My Homestuck posts are still on a short pause, but I have an announcement post planned for Friday!

Late in Act 4 I fell behind in the Homestuck community reread and made my own blog posts instead. But in the past few days, when the reread went through Act 6 Act 1, I decided to join in again and share my thoughts.

It’s no secret that the early Act 6 acts with the alpha kids are polarizing. Some people like those acts, some people can’t stand them. Rereading the first of those acts, my feelings are more positive than negative but I do have some issues. What follows is a rundown of my thoughts on this act; skip to the end if you want it briefly summarized.

Note in advance: I still stand by most of what I said in my Act 6 Act 1 posts from 2016 (Part 60 / Part 61 / Part 62 / Part 63). Feel free to refer back to those for more detail. 

– – – 


INTRO

Overall, Act 6 Act 1 is a remix of Act 1 done a bit more in the style of Act 5 Act 2. While Homestuck itself opened with a single introductory page, Act 6 opens with a big flash teasing our four new heroes and their new alien friend; I absolutely love that flash and it still gives me chills. After Jane and Jake are introduced we get a character select screen, where you can start with Jane or start with Jake. This time I started with Jane, then did Jake. 

SELECTION SCREEN: JANE

Jane’s half of the selection screen is a bit like John exploring his bedroom, but without any of the captchalogue nonsense and modernized in many other ways. A whole different kind of nonsense is shown in Jane’s half: she is shown to be badly brainwashed by the Condesce, who has led her to believe Betty Crocker is just a friendly company that makes super awesome technology and the hyped up game of Sburb.

Jane has three pesterlogs in her selection screen:

  • One with Jake which is mostly filler and some hints at plot stuff. Kind of boring and reads way better from Jake’s perspective.
  • One with Calliope which is also mostly filler and some hints at plot stuff. Again a little boring but it works because it’s a brand new character’s debut.
  • One with Roxy which is incredibly fun and hilarious, setting us up for a brand new character readers will surely be excited to meet and with some actually exciting plot stuff. Is it any wonder Roxy is everyone’s waifu?
General thoughts on these pesterlogs: My biggest issue with the Act 6 Act 1 pesterlogs is that they tend to start with a bunch of general nonsense, setting the rough tone of the characters’ personalities. It wasn’t really much of a problem that the Act 1 pesterlogs were short; the characters were set up in a perfectly fine and enjoyable way. And this is a case where if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

SELECTION SCREEN: JAKE

Jake’s half of the selection screen is more interesting than Jane’s (who would have guessed?). We get a much more subdued and lonely spin on Jade’s magical home life and it’s surprisingly well done. The narration also doesn’t take long to establish how the bunny mission goes from Jake’s perspective, which also works really well. I’m pretty happy the story gets that arc out of the way early on; it only makes sense to do it now rather than pretending it’s a big mystery.

Jake has four pesterlogs in his selection screen:

  • One with Calliope which gets a lot of nonsense out of the way fast and has more plot hints. Still does get kind of rambly though.
  • One with Dirk, no wait, his auto-responder. Probably the most stupidly rambly of them all, mostly tolerable because the whole pesterlog is pretty much a ruse.
  • One with Jane that we already saw from Jane’s perspective. As I said before, it reads better from Jake’s perspective because the rambly opening seems a bit less out of place and it’s a little more enticing seeing Jane vaguely describe mysteries from Jake’s perspective rather than her own perspective.
  • A second one with Dirk’s responder. This time it’s actually useful to the plot and interesting to read. It also shows some parallels between Dave’s relationship with Bro and Jake’s relationships with Dirk’s splinters.
In this short reread, I wanted to see if Act 6 Act 1 read better from Jane’s perspective first instead of Jake’s perspective. Now I know that the answer is Jake. Jake’s pages give Act 6 a strong start with some plot stuff tying back to earlier acts and ruses involving Dirk; Jane’s pages are more laid back and seem harmless after reading Jake’s. If you start with Jane, you’re more likely to think “oh my god this is so boring” in her half. 

General thoughts on the guardian traits: A lot of what we learn about the alpha kids and their ancestors is extrapolations from the beta kids’ guardians and their traits. Act 6 Act 1 is weird in that regard, both in Jane and Jake’s parts; it’s loaded up with early installment weirdness. In those pages, the author chooses guardian and beta kid traits to call back to, and some of them work while others don’t. If you want specific examples, just reread the act yourself. I don’t want this post to get even more rambly than it already is.

THE FOREBODING DREAM

The next big thing that happens is a pesterlog between Jane and Jake, where she recounts a foreboding dream where Prospitians gathered around holding a funeral for Jake’s dream self. The surprise factor in this scene, as well as the message it gives, is worth analyzing.

A player’s dream self being dead in advance isn’t normally something that just happens. You can’t do that, you just can’t. Prospit and Derse both follow strict rules which are always followed without questioning. What factor could have possibly caused these rules to be thrown out the window?

I bet many readers did not expect the Condesce to be behind these rules getting broken. Jack Noir is the one carapacian who isn’t afraid to break rules, but is always held in check by the black queen. With the queen usurped, everything breaks loose; for more discussion on this topic, check out this post.

Jane thinks the dream was supposed to warn her of something, but she wasn’t sure what. It’s our very first clue to readers that things are going to go even more off the rails than ever before.

SETTING THE STAGE ON JAKE’S ISLAND

As Jake explores his island, everything we knew about Jade’s home life is beautifully subverted. His house was destroyed, with only his room and the small area below remaining; his island is a dark forested area, filled with replications of the trolls’ lusii. I think these scenes are a highlight of this act: it puts a new twist on Jade’s magical life on an island and brings back the lusii in a magnificently unusal way. 

Jake’s following conversation with Roxy is pretty cool too; a decent mix of character stuff and plot stuff. Roxy’s use of troll terminology is a subtle hint that she lives in the future, which I kind of wish was done more often rather than coming across as early installment weirdness here.

JANE’S FINAL(?) MOMENTS

Jane and Jake both have robot pseudo-guardians that I consider to count as Dirk’s splinters. Jake has Brobot who does much more later on. Jane has Lil’ Sebastian who creates a mess in the house. Jane’s conversation with Dirk (finally, the actual Dirk!) is super fun and balances characterization with plot discussion, plus a quick look into Dave’s adult self; a very strong start for Dirk’s character.

Jane’s echo of the nonsense where John (with Rose’s help) messes up his house is quite an oddity. The antics in the early acts were just the kids playing Sburb, but the antics in this act are Jane making a fool of herself trying to leave her home. It’s a much more literal interpretation of the title “Homestuck” than before.

The end of this act is super interesting to me. It’s an echo of the end of Act 1 in a way as direct as possible: a surprise explosion that, to our knowledge, would kill our new hero. In both cases, we have no idea how the victim could possibly have survived.

The Hussiebot interlude following this act is just as hilarious as I remember it being but I’d count it more as Act 6 Intermission 1 so I won’t talk about it here.

– – – 

Strong points: Three of the four protagonists are engaging to read and follow.* The twists upon the early acts are surprising and subvert many expectations. And lots of cool mysteries are teased.

Weak points: The pesterlogs spend too much time with lengthy greetings and closings. Some of the guardian callbacks are forced and then left in the dust due to early installment weirdness. One of the four protagonists is not that engaging to read and follow.

* This also holds for the beta kids in the first two acts. Jade in the early acts is kind of a shit character.

Overall: Act 6 Act 1 isn’t as bad as people say but is certainly flawed in its presentation. I can understand people’s annoyances with it, but the positive aspects often aren’t appreciated.