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

Introduction

< Part 139 | Part 140 (the end!)

Act 7 + Credits + Closing Thoughts

Pages 8127-8130

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Introduction

< Part 138 | Part 139 | Part 140 >

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

Pages 8087-8126

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 132: Leadership Doubt and Feline Boisterousness

Introduction

< Part 131 | Part 132 | Part 133 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 6 of 12

Pages 7635-7671

Rose represents my reaction to all Homestuck fandom drama from this year.

Holy shit. Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit. I have less than 500 pages left of Homestuck to go through. 500 pages may sound like a lot, but it’s quite a small portion compared to Homestuck’s full page count, which slightly exceeds 8000.

Anyway, we left off at Calliope getting revived by an increasingly saccharine Roxy. Now, a lengthy scrolling panel with denizen sound effects showing Echidna in person (but not her face) takes us to Kanaya and Karkat, having finished their meeting with Echidna. It’s quite a fun and detailed panel giving a good sense of scale for Echidna’s monstrous size, drawn by an external artist.

For Kanaya, the denizen meeting was brief and successful, but Karkat is still befuddled at the purpose of his presence. Kanaya says she and Echidna talked about Karkat but is reluctant to explain what they talked about, which is some withholding that Karkat isn’t too happy about. With Karkat lost on what he stands for or what his purpose is, the two discuss their aspects, and we start to learn new things about them—some directly, some indirectly. This conversation in general features us learning a lot of new things about the Alternian trolls’ session.

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

Introduction

< Part 129 | Part 130 | Part 131 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 4 of 12

Pages 7515-7560

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Introduction

< Part 128 | Part 129 | Part 130 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 3 of 12

Pages 7502-7514 (not in order)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Introduction

< Part 127 | Part 128 | Part 129 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 2 of 12

Pages 7486-7501 (not in order)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Introduction

< Part 126 | Part 127 | Part 128 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 1 of 12

Pages 7449-7485

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Introduction

< Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 >

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

Pages 1358-1454

Link to old version

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 116: What the Fuck Happened Here?

Introduction

< Part 115 | Part 116 | Part 117 >

[S] GAME OVER and the rest of Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 3

Pages 6901-6920

^ This image is how I feel about Karkat wearing short sleeves.

Time to finally analyze [S] GAME OVER, a flash that came out on October 25, 2014, the third anniversary of [S] Cascade. As the title may suggest, the flash consists of most of Homestuck’s living main cast either dying or getting critically wounded, so that they may soon be replaced with post-retcon versions of themselves. This retcon character replacement is a very controversial move and for many people weighs down Act 6 in its entirety. I’ve always been bothered by it myself, but a major goal of mine in these posts is to see if it’s really that bad in retrospect.

A cool detail in the Unofficial Homestuck Collection’s version of this flash is that the browser interface switches color schemes along with the website’s background.

Game Over alternates between taking place in Act 6 Act 6 Act 3 (John fighting Caliborn) and Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 3 (everyone else in the alpha session fighting each other). The flash begins on an incredibly silly note, with a callback to John’s mental breakdown when he discovered his father wasn’t a clown, and his further mental breakdown when he discovered Betty Crocker made Fruit Gushers. The callback is very fitting, because John has mental breakdowns over the absolute stupidest things.

The manga drawings surrounding John clearly indicate that they’re his principal source of anger at Caliborn, which is both amusing and fitting. Honestly, it makes more sense to be angry about those drawings than whatever impact he had on the kids’ story as Lord English, because as Dave said in A6A6I1, he’s responsible in some ass backwards way for them all existing.

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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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