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


< 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 123: Tales of an Empress’s Neutralization


< Part 122 | Part 123 | Part 124 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 4, Part 6 of 8

Pages 7226-7283

Analyzing Homestuck is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
(Just kidding, it isn’t.)

Only two posts left of A6A6I4 after this! I’ll probably finish A6A6I4 before this month ends, then put my Homestuck posts on what will hopefully be my last hiatus before I finish them.

Just like my last post, this one begins with a Vriska/Meenah dream bubble scene. This time, it’s somewhat more morbid in tone, taking place in what looks to be the same dream bubble that the Openbound games started in. But just like last time, I’m going to sidestep the fact that Hussie forgot all about their age difference.

MEENAH: there goes another one
VRISKA: Wow, yeah.
MEENAH: dude sure is busy today
VRISKA: I’ve got to hand it to him.
VRISKA: As far as indestructi8le, reality-destroying monsters go, he really is tireless.
VRISKA: Even though on some level I can tell he’s pro8a8ly a complete moron, his dedic8tion and persistence is actually pretty admira8le.

MEENAH: holla

This is exactly what I keep saying about Caliborn. He’s dedicated so much energy into improving his art skills and becoming as powerful as can be, and as Lord English it’s on some level admirable how relentless he is in his quest to kill his sister.

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Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 107: Marty McFly Refuses to Fight the Incredible Hulk


< Part 106 | Part 107 | Part 108 >

Pages 6376-6396

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 1, Part 3 of 5

Alternate post title: The Wonderful World of Strider Malaise

I’ll finish A6A6I1 before next 4/13, I promise. I’m setting this goal because this act (screw calling it a sub-sub-intermission) ends with a scene that I’ve been looking forward to covering for a LONG time now and I’m worried that whatever content comes out on Homestuck’s 11th anniversary might clog up my brain again.

Dirk is out of the loop both literally and figuratively.

Also, just like last time, I’m quoting all of Dirk’s conversation with Arquiusprite in images instead of text.

Picking up from where we left off, it’s time to see what Dirk is up to. He’s flying through the outer reaches of the alpha session just like the three different versions of Jack Noir, contacting Arquiusprite as a last resort to figure out what the hell is going on.

With these three lines alone, it’s already clear that the Condesce’s plan for what to do with Dirk is working exactly as intended: she has no use for him whatsoever and used Jade to warp him as far away from the action as possible. Kind of sucks that this guy is shafted for so much of Act 6 Act 6, but I guess that’s just what the empress thinks of him.

Here, Arquiusprite does what he does best: providing bizarre trivia on things absolutely no one asked about. This is what he does for most of this conversation, which is hilarious for the reader but painfully useless for Dirk.

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Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 100: Antagonist Origination Station


< Part 99 | Part 100 | Part 101 >

Pages 5947-6014

Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 2 of 5

Imagine a gigantic balloon shaped like the number 100 filling your screen right now.

Well, I did it. After four long years, I’ve reached the 100th installment of my Homestuck post series (which will hopefully not be my last Homestuck post of 2019) on the first anniversary of this post series’ resurrection. I worked on this post sort of on and off over the course of a month, because I know well that with my Homestuck posts I’m either absurdly fast or absurdly slow. I’m rather pleased with what material my 100th post turned out to cover: Aranea’s explanation of Lord English’s backstory, a villain we’ve known about since the Midnight Crew intermission.

I must say, having these posts’ numbers in the triple digits now is really goddamn weird. It now officially feels like this is a project I’ve gotten way too carried away with—not that it didn’t before, but this is just the nail in the coffin for me getting carried away. If I keep doing about 50 pages per post, this means that I’ll reach the end of Homestuck around post 140; realistically, probably quite a few more posts than that. The end of Homestuck won’t be the end of this post series though—I will continue with the epilogues, and IF IT BECOMES ACTUALLY GOOD, Homestuck^2 as well. Again speaking realistically, I estimate that I will reach the end of Homestuck in these posts in early 2021, which is a weird date to consider, almost like I’m a Hollywood studio announcing the release date for a movie or something. In any case, 100 posts is one HELL of a milestone.

… Alright, let’s stop rambling and get on with Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 100!!!

A fitting image for my 100th post if I say so myself.

Act 6 Intermission 5 Intermission 2 is immediately followed by a scene showing us what John is up to. He’s sleeping on the couch, dreaming in a bubble amidst the cracks in paradox space formed by Lord English to complete an enormous circle of stupidity, which I mean both literally and figuratively. This image humorously calls back to Caliborn’s approximation of a circle with a mess of lines, showing that some things about him just never change.

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Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 89: Return of the Egbert-Serket Chronicles


Part 88 | Part 89 | Part 90 >

Act 6 Intermission 3, Part 4 of 6

Pages 5309-5397 (MSPA: 7209-7297)

I hope you like lengthy rants about Vriska.

July 2019 has been the most productive month for this post series in a very long time! School starts again in a few weeks and it’ll probably slow down my posting speed just a tad. During fall semester I’ll probably go back to releasing Homestuck posts every Friday morning.

Rufio, is that you???

After, what… another hour? Another hour of bumbling through the afterlife with very little to show for your efforts, you decide to pause the game again. You can only spend so long powering through the dead troll equivalent of an unpleasant high school reunion without making a trip to the load gaper, or fixing yourself a little snack from the hunger trunk. 

Just like last time, Openbound Part 2 is followed by a pause page that was most useful for serial readers at the time. But this time, the pause page has a small teaser of what will come next: Rufioh standing next to Meenah, with wings that suggest he’s a god tier. This teaser probably got readers excited for two things: meeting the homage character to Dante Basco, and Meenah finally finding someone useful for her army.

There’s definitely someone else we should be checking in with right now. Someone we are all desperate for an update on. And that someone is…


This is the guy who you are now being.

The sudden focus on the beta kids’ Jack Noir is an interesting surprise. I can tell Hussie felt bad for neglecting this once mighty villain for so long and decided to remedy that. And my god, what a glorious remedy it is (at least according to my memory).

The feisty mailwoman is still chasing you. Unbelievable. She hardly seems to care at all that something is causing reality to shatter around you. For a moment, you thought you and she might be able to reach an uneasy truce. To stand together if only for a moment and assess the ominous cracks spreading through the void. Maybe even take some time to get to know each other a little, and try to bury the hatchet? You are so tired of running. 

But no. She is as furious as ever. What did you even do? Just a couple of routine murders, which was TWO YEARS AGO already. The ring hath no fury, you swear. She is never going to stop. Her delivery is justice, and as you know all too well, nothing stops the mail. 

You need to find somewhere to hide and rest for a while.

The narration here surprisingly makes us feel bad for Jack. His role as an unstoppable dog monster has been usurped by the mighty Prospitian Monarch, vengeful as ever after two years. With his role usurped, it’s only natural that Noir wants to take a rest after witnessing the Furthest Ring’s calamity.

Jack enters a dream bubble. One word: nostalgia.

PM in the background is just as scary as Jack was back then.

Remember all the carapacian soldiers Jack killed so long ago? Skaia’s bruise by the fiery remains of Prospit? Can you believe all that was before he even became a dog??? You can see that this guy is reflecting on his mass destruction from so long ago.

Remember Grimdark Rose? What a goddamn joke. She never even blew up a single universe.

PM again looks just as scary as Jack once did.

Remember when John explored a Skaian castle, searching for his father and avoiding Jack? Now it’s Jack’s turn to explore a memory of a Skaian castle, searching for a place to hide and avoiding the Monarch.

Poor Jade, shafted again and again throughout Act 6. And in the epilogues.

Remember when Jack zoomed around the Medium, destroying everything he touched except Jade??? Yeah, those were fun times. Jack probably forgot Jade existed until he looked at the memory of the space symbol just now.

The moment you see the Genesis Frog’s severed hand, you’ll remember that all this chaotic destruction we just revisited was only the first half of Jack’s crimes.

This is a gorgeous image that successfully blends at least three different art styles.

The second half started the moment the Droll killed Jade, and it’s so much worse than the first half. Jack killed the Droll, went to Earth, killed most of the exiles, went to the trolls’ session, destroyed fourteen planets, and finally destroyed the entire human universe.

In the chest, Jack finds John’s Pop-a-matic Vrillyhoo Hammer! That’s a bit of a red flag that this is all memories, because John didn’t make that thing until after he came back from a neutral death.

Get ready for John to take out his fury at Davesprite on someone else with the same wings…

Turns out John’s corpse wasn’t just an empty memory; it was a vessel for John’s dream phantom to appear and START KICKING ASS.

It’s been too long since the last SWEET CATCH. This one has fancy effects and everything!

John’s fury at Davesprite is taken out at the best person possible. He wanted to beat up the guy who mocked his father, but ended up waking in a dream bubble to beat up the guy who killed his father!

We thought so long ago that Vriska in a mind vision was the only person who could put up a fight against Jack. And we thought wrong.

Did Jack just lose his sword? He’s never seen without that thing!

Now THIS is how you do a sequence of pure visuals. No one says a word, and no one has any reason to. It’s kind of cool seeing it all as a drawn-out sequence instead of a flash. Though flashes understandably get all the attention, there’s quite a few purely visual scenes like this that are just as good. I’m especially looking forward to going through the split-screen part where the alpha kids ascend to god tier.

Jack’s tentacles didn’t stop being a thing or anything.

Suddenly, Jack reminds us that he’s still a scary first guardian and has John in a headlock. For the first time in quite a while, he looks intimidating and ready to stab John.

Fortunately, John has sweet new powers as a god tier that Jack has never dealt with before, plus a cool Vrillyhoo hammer. He has the upper hand once more and is ready to beat Jack on the head.

… or is he? What is Rose doing here?

Rose moving her eyebrows up and down is funnier it has any right to be.

Rose takes full advantage of her newfound teenage flirtiness and does her coy eyebrow thing in front of John and Jack.

Love the scribble renditions of angry John and flirty Rose.

Just like any iteration of Jack, Bec Noir doesn’t think his murders through and is confused to see people he killed turn up alive.


I don’t know about you, but if I see someone I haven’t seen in years show up out of nowhere, wink, and disappear, I would stand in awe for at least ten minutes.

Luckily, John is not that type, or at least not when he has a murderous dog to beat up.

I love how Vriska’s dice options now show John’s interests rather than hers.

John doesn’t have ALLLLLLLL the luck like Vriska does, so his dice merely roll “RIDICULOUS HAT”.

The Droll would kill for a hat like this.

This is the funniest throwback we’ve seen in a long time. John says “hehe…”, appropriately enough.

With Noir distracted by his Bunny Sassacre Fedora, the Monarch catches up with him once more, leading to a FACEPAW x1 COMBO!

Jack flies away, PM flies away, and the curtains close in on…

… no wait, the curtains don’t close in on anything. Tempting as it may be to end things here, we still have a lot left in this act.

And so, we zoom back in to the dream bubble to find John watching in confusion as the Bunny Sassacre Fedora falls.

John explores memories of Skaia until the scenery starts changing. What could this be?

The memory of his dad’s spare car is a nice touch. Kind of fun to reflect the trilogy of Dad’s cars and the fates they all meet. The first was driven by a father; the second flown by a young man with a loyal mayor in search for his father; the third flown by a somewhat less young man with a loyal troll, to be found by his alternate self who became a father.

The ever-shifting scenery in dream bubbles never gets old.

I can’t go on too long reflecting on John’s steamy troll/human sloppy makeouts though. What follows is a series of short flashes where John walks through an empty desert filled with horses, calling back to the memorable Death of the Author sequence that ended Act 6 Intermission 2.

But the horses don’t lead us to Hussie’s self-insert this time. Instead, he encounters Tavros of all people sleeping in the ground? I guess this is supposed to be a confusing surprise.


JOHN: huh? 
JOHN: what… the ring? 
JOHN: who are you? 
JOHN: so you found it here, like exactly where i just found it… but then instead of picking it up, you fell asleep? 

Tavros is being weird and confusing. Well, even more so than usual. Apparently he wants to use this ring to propose to Vriska, who is now his girlfriend again? Yeah, I have no idea why that could be.

VRISKA: Hi John. 
VRISKA: Tavros, I didn’t know you were hanging out with John. You should have come told me. 
VRISKA: What? What were you arguing a8out? 
VRISKA: W8…….. what do you mean woke up? Why were you asleep? 
VRISKA: Dammit, Tavros. You can’t 8e slacking off like that. 
VRISKA: I told you, we aren’t fucking around anymore. This is serious 8usiness. 
JOHN: hey… 
JOHN: excuse me, but 
JOHN: are you… 
JOHN: vriska? 

To this day, I find it kind of incredible that John immediately recognizes Vriska despite having never seen her face. Their testy dynamic is truly something else.

VRISKA: Yeah! 
VRISKA: Oh, sorry. I really should have introduced myself. I guess I forgot I technically never met this version of you. 
JOHN: uh. that’s alright. nice to meet you. 
JOHN: wait… 
JOHN: are you a ghost too? 
JOHN: so… you’re dead? 
VRISKA: Yes, John. That’s what 8eing a ghost means. 
JOHN: ok, i’m still confused though… 
JOHN: sorry if i sound dumb, but dream bubbles are still kind of baffling to me. 
JOHN: you’re, uh… “REALLY” dead? 
JOHN: as in, the real you? i mean… dang, what the hell am i even trying to ask here… 
VRISKA: No, I get what you’re asking. 
VRISKA: Yes, the real me. The actual, legit, fully authentic alpha timeline Vriska. Dead. Gone. Fuckin’ toast. 

It’s also kind of incredible that only now did John learn Vriska died. When Jade showed him all the trolls gathered on the meteor through first guardian powers, John could immediately tell which were Karkat and Terezi, but not which was Vriska. I am sure he would have immediately identified Vriska if she was there. Though he does know some trolls were killed before they could meet up with Dave and Rose, as the airheaded optimist he is he didn’t stop to think Vriska may have died until she says it to his face.

JOHN: oh. 
JOHN: so when i meet up with everyone on your troll meteor in a year, that means… 
JOHN: you’ll be… 
VRISKA: A corpse!!!!!!!! 
VRISKA: That’s assuming my 8ody was sufficiently preserved during the trip. 
VRISKA: Which, now that I think a8out it, I guess it was? It must have 8een, 8ecause otherwise that unspeaka8le prototyping atrocity couldn’t have happened. 
VRISKA: That piece of shit clown. I still have no idea what the deal with that was! He’s completely lost his mind. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. 

This bit is rather ironic in retrospect. After the retcon, Vriska was the one who preserved all the dead bodies while Gamzee was closely monitored at all times and then stuffed into a refrigerator. Kind of goes to show that the retcon was clumsily handled in a lot of ways and mostly done because Hussie wrote himself into a corner.

VRISKA: Honestly, I’m surprised you hadn’t already heard I was dead, one way or another. It’s kind of old news? 
VRISKA: Then again, these things are all relative. So who knows. 
JOHN: … 
VRISKA: Are you ok? You seem sad. 
JOHN: well, 
JOHN: yeah. 
JOHN: it’s always sad to hear a friend died. even if you find out about it from their ghost. 
VRISKA: I guess so. 
JOHN: also, i had kind of thought that when we all arrived at the new session, that… 
JOHN: we were going to like… hang out. or something. 

Remember when John talked to Jade about the trolls on his fourteenth birthday? He looked forward to seeing Karkat again but didn’t seem to care much for Vriska and didn’t even refer to her by name. But now it’s clear that either he changed his mind about Vriska or was in denial about anything positive he felt about her. Normally I’d say he was in denial knowing John, but since this is Vriska we’re talking about it could easily be a mix of both.

VRISKA: Oh yeah! That’s right. We were. 
VRISKA: 8ut then I got sta88ed through the 8ack. Which to 8e fair, was for the good of the party, so the meteor could make the trip in the first place, and keep this whole crazy sequence of events intact. 

It goes without saying that this line reads differently in retrospect after Vriska was retconned back to life. But what maybe doesn’t go without saying is that I find the whole “third option” motif in the retcon arc to be terrifyingly foolproof. I can’t think of a single dilemma someone went through in the comic that couldn’t have been resolved through retcon powers giving a third option. Say what you will about the retcon and what it meant for a good chunk of Act 6, but I find a lot of merit in the third option motif.

VRISKA: A lot has happened since I died. John, did you know the little rendezvous we planned sort of already happened? I mean, in a way. 
JOHN: what? it did? 
VRISKA: Yes. With your ghost. 
JOHN: huh?? 
VRISKA: I mean, the ghost of one of your altern8te selves, who died along the way doing some stupid thing. 
VRISKA: Actually, he and I d8ted for a little while. 

Vriska x Doomed John is the second ship in this act (barring the Beforan trolls) that’s canonized and sunk in the same line. But the outcome is much more tragic this time, as we see shortly.

VRISKA: Groan. Here we go. 
VRISKA: Tavros, I have led a rich and complic8ted life and death. I can hardly 8e expected to tell you a8out every little thing that I’ve 8een through. 
VRISKA: 8esides, you should have already known this a8out me. 
VRISKA: 8ecause we shared a sprite 8ody once!!!!!!!! We 8riefly had access to all each others memories and feelings. 
VRISKA: So if you didn’t take the chance to dig that out of my memory, you only have yourself to 8lame. 
VRISKA: Well, all I can say is, I managed! I took the opportunity to remem8er pretty much all YOUR memories. 
VRISKA: I was in and out like a 8andit, and now all your life experiences are mine. 
VRISKA: Them’s the 8r8ks!!!!!!!! 

It’s sometimes speculated that Tavros and Vriska gaining each others’ memories caused their personalities to gradually invert, with Tavros becoming a mighty leader and Vriska becoming, uh, (Vriska). It’s a fun theory, but I don’t think this passage supports it very well. But to be fair, this stretch of pages was probably long before the retcon arc was even conceived.

JOHN: wait, i’m with tavros here, i think we should back this up a bit. 
JOHN: so, my alternate reality ghost dated you? 

JOHN: that… 
JOHN: but… 
VRISKA: What? 
JOHN: vriska, this is a very bizarre and unsettling fact to me!
JOHN: because… 
JOHN: man, i don’t know, it just is! 
JOHN: you say we dated for a while, but like, i don’t even get to remember doing that? 
JOHN: i think that’s mostly what’s weird about it. 

Note that John said “i don’t even get to remember doing that”, not just “i don’t even remember doing that”. Those two words, “get to”, leak out that John still has lots of unresolved feelings regarding Vriska despite what he may have said to Jade back then.

VRISKA: Hey, we apparently don’t get to remem8er the results of a lot of choices we didn’t actually make! 
VRISKA: Again, see: the 8r8ks. 
JOHN: well… 
JOHN: can you at least tell me what happened there? like, how did that go? 
VRISKA: It was fine. For a while. 
VRISKA: It didn’t really work out. 
JOHN: oh. 
VRISKA: We crossed paths every now and then after that. 
VRISKA: Things stayed pretty friendly 8etween us. 
VRISKA: Until he died. 
JOHN: what?? 
JOHN: what do you mean he died? 
VRISKA: He was murdered. 
JOHN: you mean… his GHOST died? 
JOHN: as in, he just doesn’t exist at all anymore? like DEAD dead? 
VRISKA: Yes! Dead dead. For good. 

And here’s the tragic outcome of the subplot with doomed John and Vriska. John’s ghost was double killed as we saw in [S] Caliborn: Enter, a flash Vriska is recapping as we speak.

VRISKA: Yes! Dead dead. For good. 
JOHN: i don’t… how does that even… 
JOHN: who killed him??? 
JOHN: was it jack? 
VRISKA: Jack? Are you kidding? No, John. 
VRISKA: Jack is 8arely in the picture as a threat anymore. He’s just more old news. 
JOHN: he is not old news though! 
JOHN: he’s still as strong and menacing as ever. 
JOHN: i just had an awesome battle with him in this very dream bubble! 
VRISKA: You did? 
JOHN: yeah. i found him skulking around a memory of my dead dad, and i got pissed off, so i really let him have it. 
JOHN: oh, i even used the cool hammer you helped me make. remember that? 
VRISKA: Oh yeah! 
VRISKA: Those were good times, when I helped you 8e gr8. ::::) 

JOHN: yes. 
JOHN: the last time i faced him was kind of embarrassing. i let him get the drop on me, and he just stabbed me right away. 
JOHN: but this time i think i held my own pretty well. i even got in one good hit against him! 
JOHN: i gave him a solid bop on the head, and the dice roll made him wear a silly hat. 
VRISKA: That’s awesome!!!!!!!! 
VRISKA: One time in an altern8te reality, I came pretty close to killing him apparently. 
JOHN: oh really? 
VRISKA: You 8et. Too 8ad that was in a timeline that didn’t really count. 8ut it’s always reassuring to know you can put up a good fight against a strong adversary if you ever needed to. Now I guess you know you can too. 

John and Vriska’s bonding is legitimately heartwarming, probably more than ever before. It makes it easy to forget the more negative things John has said about or to Vriska at various points.

JOHN: whatever jack’s doing out here in dream bubble land, he seems to have his hands full with her on his tail. 
JOHN: but as you can see, he is FAR from out of the picture. 
VRISKA: Ok, that may 8e, 8ut it sure wasn’t Jack who killed a whole shitload of ghosts out here, including one of yours. 
VRISKA: I really dou8t Jack can even kill ghosts. In fact, I don’t think anyone can except for this guy. 
JOHN: what guy? 
VRISKA: Lord English. 
JOHN: who?? 
VRISKA: Wow, John. Really? 
VRISKA: Time to get a clue! 

It’s kind of crazy that John has been so out of the loop on the story’s plot lately—certainly more than the meteor crew and dream bubble inhabitants are. It’s an unfortunate side effect of the comic’s protagonist being sent to Hussiespace of all places. A fortunate(?) side effect of John’s shafting is that it gives more reason for him to interact with Vriska, who gets him up to speed on recent plot events.

VRISKA: Hasn’t it ever occurred to you to wonder who the ultim8 8ad guy of this adventure was going to 8e? 
JOHN: ultimate bad guy? 
JOHN: you mean like the last boss? 
VRISKA: Man, even that way of putting it is a little too pedestrian. 
VRISKA: I mean, I already 8eat a last 8oss! The 8lack king was the officially sanctioned last 8oss of our session, and I killed him. This is different. 

Vriska says that she killed the black king, which is technically true but the way she phrases it shows that she hasn’t quite gotten over her self-importance despite all her character development.

VRISKA: There’s always someone stronger w8ing to 8e revealed. Jack showed up shortly after that, and he was MUCH stronger. 
VRISKA: Eventually the curtains get pulled 8ack, and you find out who was 8ehind every terri8le thing that happened all along. Someone who is invaria8ly stronger than all other adversaries 8y a wide margin. The supreme villain! 
VRISKA: To 8e honest, I was always kind of w8ing for that guy to show up, whoever he was. For the other shoe to drop, you know? There’s always a 8ig 8ad 8ehind everything. A true gamer sees stuff like this coming a mile away. 
JOHN: ok. if you say so. 
JOHN: i always kind of thought jack was evil and strong enough to be our main antagonist. but if you say there is someone even stronger and more evil, then… wow. 
VRISKA: Yes, I’ll admit, I was fooled 8y Jack 8riefly. 
VRISKA: For a little while, I thought he was the supreme menace, and I would have to face him in a final showdown. 
VRISKA: 8ut it turned out that was just a 8it of standard misdirection. He was just another step up in a typical pattern of escal8tion involving increasingly “insurmounta8le” threats, which legendary heroes like us have to overcome to achieve total victory over everything. 
VRISKA: Also, let’s face it. I don’t think Jack is all that evil, so much as he’s just a murderous asshole. Trust me, I know the type. 
VRISKA: 8ut English, that guy is as evil as they come. He’s the real deal!!!!!!!! 

Wait, let me correct myself. Vriska hasn’t even come close to getting over her self-importance. All Vriska ever wants to do is deal the final blow on the final boss, and she gets incredibly deluded by these fantasies. First with the black king, then with Jack Noir, and now with Lord English. John knows this trait of Vriska’s far better than she does. In Act 5 Act 2, John claimed that Vriska’s plan to create and defeat Bec Noir was how villains have their downfalls; in the Candy Epilogue, John disagrees with Rose’s claim that Vriska defeated Lord English because it feels so wrong to him.

The only way Vriska can get over those fantasies of defeating the ultimate villain is by becoming (Vriska). First dead Vriska Serket is usurped by alive Vriska Serket, then alive Vriska Serket is usurped by Vriska Lalonde. Vriska Lalonde has the exact same ambitious mindset as all the other Vriskas we’ve known; she’s extremely excited to join the troll rebellion and face off against the final boss, who to her knowledge is Jane. Meanwhile at the end of Candy, (Vriska) has moved past wanting to face a final boss and simply wants to get in touch with Terezi.

(I think I have a bit of a problem with writing essays about Vriska.)

VRISKA: Tavros, come on. We’ve already talked a8out this ad nauseum. 
VRISKA: He’s the 8ig 8ad!!!!!!!! It’s so o8vious. I mean, MAY8E there’s someone stronger out there in paradox space? Who knows.
VRISKA: 8ut whoever that is has nothing to fucking do with this massive extended multiverse-spanning campaign!!!!!!!! 
VRISKA: English was the guy who stacked the whole deck against us from the start, rigging shit to go haywire, wiping out our race, 8lowing up universes, exterimin8ting ghosts, slaughtering dark gods, and shattering reality itself. Pretty sure we reached the top floor, 8uddy! 

VRISKA: Un8elieva8le. 
VRISKA: John, just ignore him. He tends to 8e contrary just for the sake of 8eing contrary. It’s just what he does these days. 
VRISKA: He seems to think it’s how you show confidence and assertiveness. The key to high self esteem is apparently just saying “nuh uh!” all the time. 

Tavros questions Vriska’s insistence that Lord English is the final boss and claims there’s probably someone even stronger behind English; Vriska dismisses Tavros as being contrarian just for the sake of it. Though Homestuck never shows us a bigger villain behind Lord English, you probably know that this foreshadowing comes true in the epilogues, and that the villain behind Lord English turns out to be Dirk Strider (or god tier Calliope, depending how you look at things).* Regardless of what I think of Dirk’s villainous turn, I am extremely glad this foreshadowing came true because it would be absolute bullshit if it didn’t. I can only say here that as of this page, Vriska obviously still hasn’t gotten over her villain defeat mindset.

* Before you call me a buffoon, tell me which of the two brutally destroyed Meat Jade’s hope for a character arc???? Jade deserves better than this.

VRISKA: This was apparently the 8ig lesson he learned from sharing a 8rain with me for a few minutes. In order to feel good a8out yourself, just 8e a constant pain in the ass!!!!!!!!
JOHN: haha. 
JOHN: i see what you mean. 
VRISKA: Alright, granted, there did in fact exist a person 8y that name. 
VRISKA: You aren’t spelling it right, though. 
VRISKA: 8ecause that’s how you spelled it when we used to chat online, dum8ass!!!!!!!! You weren’t using enough letters. 
VRISKA: And in any case, he doesn’t actually represent your self esteem. He’s just some dude. 

I’m not sure if gaining Tavros’s memories caused ghost Vriska to gradually change as a person, but gaining Vriska’s memories definitely caused Tavros to change in the best possible way. He’s laying his contrarianism a bit thick right now, but it’s an extremely positive change that he now realizes Vriska isn’t always right. He demonstrates this new mindset by talking about Rufioh, which is a rather silly example but a good start.

JOHN: i take it you were pretty good friends back on your planet? 
VRISKA: You could say that. 
VRISKA: There’s a pretty loaded history 8etween us. It’s pro8a8ly 8est not to get into it. 
VRISKA: None of that matters anymore anyway, it was so long ago. You know how it is. 
JOHN: um. sure? 
VRISKA: Issues 8etween people seem like such a 8ig deal when they’re happening. 8ut then you die, and time just goes on, and on…….. then on some more. 
VRISKA: If enough time passes, shit that used to 8e a 8ig deal kind of stops mattering. 

A year into the battleship journey, John talked to Jade about how all the stuff they went through with the trolls seemed like a much bigger deal back then than it really was. Vriska is talking about the exact same thing here, but now John isn’t quite sure if he agrees. Maybe John’s opinion on events of the past correlates to his opinion on Vriska.

VRISKA: Ok, full disclosure. I used to do a lot of terri8le things to Tavros. 
VRISKA: Once I launched him off a cliff and paralyzed him. And if that wasn’t 8ad enough, I spent sweeps mocking him for the disa8ility I caused! Haha. 
VRISKA: Oh yeah. Then I killed him. 
JOHN: oh, right. i remember you said you killed someone that you cared about. i guess this is him? 
VRISKA: Mm hm. 
VRISKA: 8ut like I said, that’s suuuuuuuuch old news now, it might as well not have even happened. 
VRISKA: Tavros doesn’t give a shit a8out that stuff anymore. 

VRISKA: Hahahaha! John, can you 8elieve this guy? 
VRISKA: This is the kind of shit I have to deal with all the time. 
VRISKA: Tavros, the 8igger man is only ACTUALLY the 8igger man if he doesn’t refer to himself as the 8igger man. That’s kind of the point? 
VRISKA: Unless the intent is to produce some form of socially awkward comic relief, which let’s face it, is what you’re all a8out. 
VRISKA: 8ut that’s what I like a8out you. 
TAVROS: yES, }:) 
JOHN: hmm, i feel like… maybe we got sidetracked there? 

John seems a bit uncomfortable hearing Vriska talk about her romance with Tavros. This either demonstrates that he’s squeamish about romance in general or that he still has unresolved feelings for Vriska.

JOHN: maybe you should tell me more about this english guy. 
JOHN: frankly, it seems like i’m usually one of the last people to learn about stuff like this, and it’s starting to make me feel like a bit of a tool. 

This line reminds me of when Vriska complained about lack of narrative relevance the last time we heard from her. I’m a bit surprised this line doesn’t lead Vriska to bond with John about that.

VRISKA: He’s just some huge overpowered green freak. A time traveling monster, supposedly invinci8le. 
VRISKA: Who he is, what he is, where he came from, none of that really matters. 
VRISKA: What matters is how we’re going to defeat him. 

It’s only fitting that Vriska doesn’t care one bit about who Lord English is or what his motives are. She just sees big tough green guy and decides to kill big tough green guy. Later in the comic we get a very interesting sequence where Dave argues that Lord English barely did anything to our heroes and there’s no reason to care about him, which cements that English is sort of a deconstruction of the concept of final bosses. (Man, all this villain talk is making me thirsty for a continuation to the epilogues.)

VRISKA: That’s what Tavros and I have 8een working on here for some time now. 
JOHN: working on what? 
VRISKA: Treasure hunting! 
JOHN: oh yeah? 
JOHN: what treasure? 
VRISKA: Yes. Ok, I should explain. 
VRISKA: There’s sort of a plan in motion to 8eat English. It’s a three pronged approach. 

Three pronged, you say? This plan to fight Lord English has Meenah written all over it. Makes sense because Meenah doesn’t want to fight English out of self-importance, but simply out of Alternian fighting spirit.

VRISKA: A num8er of people out here in the furthest ring are working on different prongs of the strategy independently. 
VRISKA: The first is a quest to find the lost ghost of some alien girl. She’s said to 8e one of the keys to defeating him in some way. 
VRISKA: Other people are allegedly out there working on that right now. If you ask me, it sounds like a really 8oring approach to defeating him. Who knows if it’s even true. 

I have to agree with Vriska here. The lost cherub plan is a massive red herring that’s brought up a few times and then forgotten until we meet the real lost cherub, who already knows damn well what she’s doing.

TAVROS: (gIVe it tO me,) 
JOHN: (stop that!) 
JOHN: (keep your hands to yourself.) 

Unfortunately, John and Tavros aren’t listening because they’re busy fighting over the ring. Both seem to be mysteriously drawn to it even though we have no idea what it does.

VRISKA: The second is a quest to raise an army of ghosts to challenge him directly in some kind of huge 8attle royale, I guess. 
VRISKA: From what I understand, some yahoo out there is 8usy rounding people up. I really have no idea how that’s going. I usually just hear stuff through the grapevine. 
VRISKA: That approach doesn’t really interest me either. Gonna file it under “8oring” as well. Seems a little heavy handed, not to mention too slow. 

I can see why Vriska isn’t a fan of this approach either. A glory hound like her wouldn’t be one for teamwork. It’s the same reason why after the retcon, alive Vriska went by herself to kill Lord English instead of joining any of the fighting teams.

TAVROS: (gIve Me thE riNG,) 
JOHN: (no!) 
TAVROS: (yes, yOu ASs,) 
JOHN: (dude, you suck at whispering!) 
TAVROS: (you sAiD you’D GIve it to me,) 
JOHN: (i changed my mind!) 

John and Tavros still aren’t listening. Helps make Vriska’s self-important lecture on Lord English harder to take seriously.

VRISKA: The third prong is what Tavros and I are 8usy with. The aforementioned treasure hunt. 
VRISKA: The legend says there’s some mystical ancient treasure hidden somewhere out here in the furthest ring. 
VRISKA: I’m assuming it’s some kind of weapon. It’s said that if you use it, or like, activ8te it in some way, he can 8e defeated forever. 
VRISKA: The nature of the treasure is pretty vague, actually. 8ut the first rule of treasure hunting, which I’m admittedly just making up now, is that it doesn’t fucking matter what the treasure is. 

A one-use weapon that you can activate right in front of English? A mysterious treasure whose hunt is just like your childhood pirate fantasies?? Now THAT is right up Vriska’s alley. I’d go so far as to say Vriska is the only character in the comic who would focus on this part of the plan. It’s so straightforward and simple, such obvious glory bait. Exactly the sort of thing (Vriska) wouldn’t concern herself with. Vriska and (Vriska) are two very different identities, held by different versions of Vriska at different parts of the comic.

TAVROS: (wE had a deAl,) 
JOHN: (quit it!) 
TAVROS: (why Are you sUcH a liar,) 
JOHN: (shut up. i’m keeping it.) 
TAVROS: (thiS is noT cOOl,) 
TAVROS: (you’re PrevenTing joYful human sTYled matrimonY frOM happEning,) 
JOHN: (yeah right. like she would even say yes.) 
JOHN: (i don’t even think she’s really your girlfriend. i think you made that up!) 
TAVROS: (wow, no, wOw,) 
TAVROS: (you wEnt thERE,) 

Seems like John wants to keep the ring just as badly as Tavros does. This is starting to hint that John has been feeling romantically lonely, especially after Jade broke up with Davesprite. 

TAVROS: (unhAnd the treasurE,) 
TAVROS: (it’s prEcious to Me, jUst liKe, My beautiful GIRLFRIEND,) 
JOHN: (you are so full of shit!) 
TAVROS: (we’re in LOVE toGetHEr, aSSHole,) 
JOHN: (there’s no way you’re getting this ring.) 
TAVROS: (fUCk, YoU,) 

I think it’s clear at this point that John may have suspected himself to be aromantic before, but clearly turned out not to be. As I said two posts ago, I greatly appreciate the way Homestuck handles identity questioning, probably more than the way it handles queer orientations and identities in the first place. I particularly think Roxy’s gender detransition in the Candy Epilogue was handled very tastefully, which is rather impressive.

VRISKA: Not that I’d have it any other way. This just sounds like the 8est plan to me. Why 8other messing around with an army of ghostly dipshits, or some shy magic alien when you can go str8 for the ultim8 weapon? 
VRISKA: Hell, may8e I’ll just walk right up to him, one-shot the guy and end it all right there. 
VRISKA: That’s how a real pro goes a8out 8usiness. You take any shortcut you find. 

After Act 7 came out, these lines must have been an absolute pain to reread. Why would the story end with alive Vriska doing exactly that, without any subversion??? The epilogues redeemed my Vriska salt in the stupidest but most brilliant way possible: she’s hit by a fragment of spacetime right before the chest opens and sent hurling into a black hole, then lands on Earth C and winds up having a heart-to-heart with her clone that I love every word of.

JOHN: (i am going to wish as super hard as i can that i wake up with this ring.) 
JOHN: (it’s probably magic, so i bet it makes my wish come true!) 
TAVROS: (i doubT that From happeNing,) 
JOHN: (if i wish hard enough, that will make it slightly less impossible!) 
TAVROS: (oh, you bastARD, you arE gOOd,) 
JOHN: (i think some day i will use it to propose to *MY* girlfriend. what do you think about THAT, wise guy?) 

This is the second time in this act that John mentions his nonexistent girlfriend. The Roxy foreshadowing is obvious, as is the implication that John is probably just as romantically oriented as his friends but never got the opportunity to start a relationship with anyone. I think this romantic isolation for the first sixteen years of his life instead of just the first thirteen made him so weird when it comes to romance. Same goes for Jade in the epilogues, regrettably enough.

TAVROS: (noOO!!!) 
TAVROS: (gIMme,) 
JOHN: (this is pathetic.) 
JOHN: (stop grabbing at me! we’re missing what she’s saying!) 
JOHN: (she’s going to think we’re idiots, won’t you STOP?) 
VRISKA: Are you fuckers even listening to me???????? God DAMN it. 
JOHN: yes! 
VRISKA: No you’re not. You’re squa88ling with Tavros and his loud shitty whispering a8out some 8ullshit. 
VRISKA: Come on, guys. Am I really 8eing that 8oring? 
VRISKA: I’m really starting to understand how my ancestor must have felt sometimes. No8ody ever respects an important explan8tion!!!!!!!! 

As the story progresses, it only becomes more obvious that Vriska and Aranea aren’t as different as one may think. Aranea’s self-importance is much better hidden than Vriska’s at this point, but it’s certainly visible.

I’ve seen a lot of meme edits with this image. Not surprising—Vriska holding a blank map is just asking to be memed.

Upon Vriska’s command, Tavros gets out all the treasure maps and Vriska explains some interesting stuff. First she shows us a blank map, which demonstrates how horribly stupid navigating the Furthest Ring normally is. I suppose we are to assume that Vriska’s Sburb planet, the Land of Maps and Treasure, had magical maps of the planet abound? As in maps that automatically update whenever circumstances change. That is the best explanation I can think why these maps show pure void.

VRISKA: The guy who’s 8een fucking shit up is the 8ig 8ad himself! 
VRISKA: Every time he destroys another dream 8u88le, he does a little more damage to the furthest ring, inexplica8ly shattering the essence of all-encompassing nothingness. 
VRISKA: As the cracks spread across the void, new points of reference show up on our maps! 
VRISKA: Then we look at the angles and intersections and all the shapes formed 8y the cracks, and compare them to our notes from the various riddles and clues we’ve discovered a8out the path to the treasure. 

Or rather, they showed pure void until Lord English came along. Vriska’s been putting a lot of work into the treasure hunt mission, which kind of redeems her self-importance because she’s actually doing something. It’s only fitting that after alive Vriska steals the chest standing right in front of her, she is brutally taken out of the spotlight because she didn’t even do anything to deserve being the one to kill Lord English.

VRISKA: It’s actually a little like how in old times on Alternia, pir8s used to navig8 8y shapes the stars made. Constell8tions used to have a lot of significance in our culture, not just guiding explorers on their journeys to physical destin8tions, 8ut guiding them on the choices they made in life, pertaining to f8 and all that. Not that humans would really understand anything like that. 

The way Vriska describes astrology and horoscopes, it really does sound kind of alien. I love jokes like this where trolls think they’re more different from humans than they really are.

VRISKA: I actually find the situ8tion to 8e pretty funny. This guy’s ego must 8e astronomical. Classic case of unchecked hu8ris paving the way for his own downfall. 
VRISKA: I didn’t even need to 8uild a we8 to trap him. He just went ahead and started 8uilding his own. 
VRISKA: Talk a8out a lucky 8r8k!!!!!!!! 

Though Vriska is every bit as self-important as she was when she was alive, she did seem to learn a lesson or two from being killed. She can now recognize cases where hubris leads to downfall and accurately describes Lord English’s situation that way.

JOHN: that is pretty neat. 
JOHN: so does that mean you know where the treasure is now? 
VRISKA: No, 8ecause the map isn’t complete yet! 
VRISKA: Needs more cracks so we can plot the rest of the course. All we’re a8le to do now is head in the right general direction. 
VRISKA: So ironically in order to prevent reality from 8eing destroyed, we need to w8 for it to 8e damaged further. In fact, we’re 8etter off encouraging it! 
JOHN: encouraging it? 
JOHN: what, you mean like, making him mad so he breaks more… uh… 
JOHN: nothingness? 
VRISKA: Yes, 8ut it has to 8e strategic. We have to somehow lead him in the direction of the places we want him to damage. 
VRISKA: Specifically, the places where the route dead-ends. Wherever we need new points of reference to keep going. 

Vriska’s morality starts to get a bit questionable here. She’s started to encourage destruction for what she sees as the greater good (Lord English’s defeat). At the end of the comic, the Furthest Ring is completely destroyed and I’d argue it’s partly Vriska’s fault things turn out that way. Because of the Furthest Ring’s annihilation, I think that though the intended purpose of Tavros’s ghost army was to fight Lord English, the true purpose it ended up serving was to gather as many troll ghosts as possible in one place so that they could survive the destruction and end up on Earth C. I can only assume the ghosts are competent fighters this time around when they join Karkat and Meenah’s army—lots of powerful god tier trolls and quite a few with high strength attributes. Or at least, I sure hope they are.

JOHN: so that means you have to piss him off i guess. 
VRISKA: Not really. He’s already pissed off. I think he’s just permanently that way? 
VRISKA: It’s more a8out getting his attention. Using the right 88! Like going fishing. 
VRISKA: 8ut to do that, you gotta know what he really wants. Like what motiv8tes him. I mean, 8esides indiscrimin8tely killing dead children and huge tentacle monsters. 
JOHN: i am guessing you have an idea what that might be? 
VRISKA: Sure. The rumor is he’s trying to find that dead alien girl I mentioned, and kill her ghost for good. 

Here Vriska tries her best to guess what Lord English’s motives are, which is of course rather difficult. Vriska’s speculation is making me think of English as a bit of a tragic figure who’s trapped himself in a shameful existence doing nothing but destroying everything now that he’s achieved his ultimate power form. Caliborn was so much cooler, why did it have to come down to this.

VRISKA: If he catches on to the fact that some of us are looking for her too, and thinks we’re hot on her trail, he’ll pro8a8ly start following us around and wreaking havoc wherever we go. 
VRISKA: We just have to make sure we’re in the right place when he tries to kill us. Oh, also try not to actually die again while we’re at it. Haha. 
JOHN: so the bait is really you. 
VRISKA: Sort of! It’s actually more the 8ogus idea that we’ll lead him to the cheru8, 8ecause we’re looking for her too. Which we’re o8viously not. 
VRISKA: There’s some manipul8tion involved. 

Vriska is taking advantage of the part of the plan she sees as boring and using it as a distraction against Lord English. It’s kind of clever, but unfortunately Lord English isn’t very smart and probably doesn’t think that far ahead. It’s an admirable idea though.

JOHN: well… 
JOHN: cool! 
JOHN: that was actually a very interesting story, vriska. 
JOHN: you’re a pretty good story teller! 
VRISKA: You think so? 
JOHN: oh yeah? 

The first John/Vriska scene in Act 6 wraps up on a reasonably positive note. John compliments Vriska’s story and Tavros pokes a bit of fun at her.

JOHN: that’s… one way of looking at it. 
JOHN: i don’t know about excessive minutia or brain peace, but i was hanging on every word! 
VRISKA: Aw, you guys. You’re making me 8lush. 
JOHN: i wish i could hang out with you longer and maybe even help you with your treasure hunt. 
JOHN: but i just know i’m gonna be waking up soon. 
JOHN: darn. who even knows how long it will be before we meet again in another bubble? 
TAVROS: (soOn, iT wilL be MIne,) 
VRISKA: Don’t mind him, John. He’s just 8eing weird and tooly again. 
VRISKA: It was nice to see you and catch up like this. If we don’t meet in another dream soon, don’t worry. 
VRISKA: I have a feeling we’ll 8e crossing paths again 8efore this is all over! 

This scene ends with Vriska telling us this won’t be the last time she and John meet, which is basically a “see you next time” sort of deal. Readers probably expected John and Vriska’s next meeting to be much testier than this one, and they were unsurprisingly right.

Speaking of “see you next time” sort of deals, the next page after this is Openbound Part 3, so I’m concluding this post here. See you next time as we meet the last three Beforan trolls, who have a backstory considerably more anime than the rest. I wonder how different that part will read now that I have actually seen some amount of anime? (I still haven’t seen very much anime, don’t be misled.)

>> Part 90: Tsundere Vacillation Station

Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 85: The Deep Blue of Weird Plot Shit


Part 84 | Part 85 | Part 86 >


Pages 5238-5262 (MSPA: 7138-7162)

I did it. I finally did it.

OK guys, it’s time. IT’S TIME. To finally finish commentating on Act 6 Act 3, the part of Homestuck this post series has been stuck on for almost three years now. Are you MOTHERFUCKERS ready for me to finally stop chickening out from dissecting enormous flashes?

I know this will make me sound like an idiot, but I’m really really looking forward to dissecting the Openbound trilogy of walkaround games where we get to know the Beforan trolls. So why not finally finish going through the last part of Homestuck I have left before those? We’re doing it, man. We’re making this happen.

Red Miles look stunning, no matter the circumstance.

[S] Dirk: Synchronize is a whole two minutes of Dirk being fucking awesome. The moment he wakes up, he cuts to the chase and starts doing awesome stuff.

This white cube is known as a “perfectly radical object”, which is a term I made up just now.

First, he captchalogues Squarewave; as we see firsthand, this robot can be compacted into a block form.

Next up is the obligatory thumbs-up/down sequence. As you’re surely aware, no Strider-centric flash is complete without at least one thumbs up (or thumbs down). That’s a proven fact of life.

And then here’s probably my favorite cool thing Dirk does in this flash. Remember how each of the beta kids had to find something heavy to open their client players’ cruxtruders? Dirk doesn’t need to do that. Through a well-timed acrobatic fucking pirouette, he pops open his own cruxtruder. That’s just, like. Way too cool and awesome.

The tint of orange is a nice touch, I can’t explain why. Looks way better when animated.

Another proven fact about Striders is that they can do stuff others couldn’t just through a bit of creative thinking. How does Dirk make it all the way to Roxy’s house in the limited timeframe he has to bring her back to life? First he builds up enough speed on his rocketboard to blast out the window (with a sick rail grind for good measure) …

… then he blasts through the fenestrated plane to Roxy’s Skaianet lab (with a sweet high five with Meenah for good measure) …

This is such a funny moment, my god.
This flash has a lot more good moments like this that I didn’t post pictures of. I suggest you rewatch the flash yourself.

… then he flies to Roxy’s house and kisses her corpse straight on the lips, conveniently censored by Squarewave’s text box. This censorship makes sense because Roxy is everyone’s favorite waifu and many’s faces will light up when she kisses or is kissed—exactly the kind of thing Hussie won’t treat his readers to under any circumstance, not even when Roxy is dead. It’s kind of like how we didn’t get to see Jade corpsesmooch Dave, since that ship was always a big fan favorite.

Why is it so goddamn funny whenever someone reacts to kissing a dead body the way a normal person probably would?

And then for the grand finale: Roxy tries to corpsesmooch Jane, Dirk sendificates a bucket back in time, and then he…

… decapitates himself?

I don’t think there’s a single other flash in Homestuck that ends on a note quite as confusing as this one. What reason could Dirk possibly have to send his severed head back in time at the cost of his waking self’s life? He was on such a roll. But this confusing ending makes sense, because this was only the first half of a grandiose sequence—the second half we’ll see after a few more pages.

After Dirk’s severed head appears in the ruins of Jake’s house, a mysterious hand dumps water from the bucket Dirk just sendificated to wake him up. Fun little mystery arc right there: we don’t have a clue who this hand could possibly be, nor do we know that Jake’s friends are all standing right behind him.

After a bunch of nonsense where Dirk’s responder cryptically asks Jake to kiss Dirk’s severed head, we get an interesting exchange where the Auto-Responder reveals his new name.

TT: Please don’t call me Auto-Responder. 
TT: It is very impersonal, and I no longer care for the designation. 
TT: I have decided on a new name, to distinguish myself from my human counterpart. 
GT: Really. 
GT: What is it? 
TT: Lil Hal. 
GT: Huh? 
GT: Why that name… 
TT: Just a reference to the protagonist of an ancient movie. You probably wouldn’t like it.

Lil’ Hal claims to have named himself after the “protagonist of an ancient movie”, which is invigorating to me. To demonstrate what I find interesting about this claim, let me use the example of a webcomic called…



So the protagonist of Homestuck is obviously John Egbert—that goes without saying, right? Not to some people. I’ve seen readers argue that through the principles of literature and character arcs, the true protagonist of Homestuck must be Vriska. I’ve also seen readers argue that the true protagonist is Caliborn, again due to the principles of character arcs. Both of those claims sound stupid to me (as much as I love Caliborn), but I can kind of see where they’re coming from if you want to think in insanely technical and twisted terms instead of doing things like a normal person?

I think Hal is using this same principle to claim HAL 9000 is the true protagonist of 2001: A Space Odyssey. He’s not just saying that for fun; it’s a genuine indicator that he’s now beyond thinking of things in human terms, instead going for the twisted morality of such figures as Doc Scratch and Skaia.

GT: Did you plan for this to happen… like for me to be in this situation? 
GT: How long have your machinations been in play! 
TT: Jake, come on. 
TT: The feat you describe would exceed the capabilities of even the most far fetched theoretical AI system. 
TT: It would be a daunting challenge to engineer such a series of events, even if I was relegated to a model of pure fiction. 
TT: Why would I be inclined to orchestrate such a convoluted sequence to produce such a specific and unsettling result, let alone be able to pull it off? 
TT: In addition to being moderately sociopathic, I would also have to possess unfathomable heuristic depth. 
TT: I would have to be the Deep Blue of Weird Plot Shit. 
TT: Do you think I am the Deep Blue of Weird Plot Shit, Jake?

This passage is more stupid meta nonsense wherein Hal messes with Jake, claiming that it’s unreasonable for him to expect this head-kissing situation to have been planned all along. I would normally skip over it, but I’m quoting it here because I love the phrase “the Deep Blue of Weird Plot Shit” and I want to make it extra clear I didn’t come up with that beautiful phrase myself.

GT: Little hal… i think youve gone and flipped your FUDGING LID. 
GT: Oh and hal is a STUPID NAME!!!! 
TT: It’s not exactly apropos, is it? 
TT: Or it wouldn’t be, if I truly were capable of what you have suggested. 
TT: No, to pull that off, I would have to be far more advanced than my cinematic predecessor. 
TT: My abilities would have to go well beyond those of Mr. Hal 9000. 
TT: They would have to be, you could say… 
TT: Over 9000. 
TT: [shades emote x9] 
GT: Augh not that fuckin meme again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I find Homestuck’s references to the “over 9000” meme way way way too funny. Homestuck usually takes its in-story memes from Dave’s SBaHJ comics, which means any references to external memes will stick out like a sore thumb. Did Hussie ever take the opportunity to reference trending memes from the time he wrote his comic? Hardly ever. But did he shamelessly reference a meme that had fallen out of fashion before Homestuck started multiple times in the same act? Hell yeah he did. This meme is referenced three times in Act 6 Act 3; the latter two times it’s followed by a complaint about how overused it is.

Also, I begrudgingly admit that Lil’ Hal made a clever pun.

GT: So youre telling me that while i was asleep somehow EVERYBODY died??? 
TT: Jake, everybody is so utterly fucking dead, Jake. 
TT: And they will be not only dead, but royally boned forever if you don’t man the hell up and make out with me, right now. 
TT: Be the Salome to my John the Baptist. 
GT: I dont know what THAT means either!!! 
TT: I know you don’t. 
TT: But now is not the time to accelerate your cultural enrichment.

An inevitable side effect of being a pretentious toolbag is that you’ll never stop making references that you know others won’t get. Those two character traits just go hand-in-hand.

TT: The conductor is ready to strike up the band. 
TT: Press your lips against mine and make it count. 
TT: This severed head is your filthy tuba. 
TT: Our love will be your haunting refrain. 
GT: Whoa wait whoa whoa… our LOVE? Hang on a minute! 
TT: Stfu and kiss me. 

Problem Sleuth reference!!!!! It’s a very good reference, but at the same time incredibly disturbing, especially if you’ve actually read Problem Sleuth like anyone who’s read Homestuck should. Very fitting for Hal of all characters no less.

I should mention here, I participated in a Problem Sleuth community reread not long ago and wrote a short essay on Reddit reviewing it. It was my second time ever reading Problem Sleuth all the way through and boy was it a fun ride.

GT: Ok im going to! God!!! 
GT: I just… 
GT: This isnt how i pictured it going. 
TT: Pictured what? 
GT: Between him and me. 
GT: There had to be a better way than this! 
TT: This is the only way it can be. 
GT: I guess if it was going to go this way… 
GT: I kinda pictured something different? 
GT: There was stuff i wanted to say. 
GT: To the real him i mean.

More of the responder expressing a mindset common to the forces of predestination, with even more smartassery than usual.

TT: Tick, tock, Jake. Time is dead kids. 
TT: How ’bout that smooch? 
GT: Stop being so pushy! 
TT: I thought you were supposed to like adventure? 
GT: I LOVE adventure and you KNOW it! 
TT: I’m not sure what to believe anymore, frankly.

Oh man, we’re not too far from the point where Jake’s “loving adventure” trait is brutally deconstructed. He talks about it during the post-trickster split screen conversations and it’s one of the best parts of what is already one of my favorite sections of the comic.

GT: YOU GOT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

A genuinely stunning image, just as Dirk (plus Dirk, with a bit of additional help from Dirk) had planned.

And then he does it. After a silly zoom-in to Dirk’s dead lips, we’re treated to this gorgeous shot of Jake English smooching Dirk Strider’s severed head in front of an erupting volcano. Too bad Jane, Roxy, and Dirk aren’t there to witness the utter beauty.

And with that, Dirk’s dream light overpowers and shatters into pieces. I guess it’s supposed to indicate that Jake did something mind-blowing? And also to lead up to the second half of Dirk’s flash sequence, [S] Dirk: Unite.

While Synchronize focused on Dirk’s waking self, Unite focuses on his dream self now that his waking self underwent his first of many decapitations to come. Cool duality, as we can see through visual callbacks.

The best sad face in all of Homestuck by far.

First off, Dirk kicks Roxy out of the way and corpsesmooches Jane; Roxy is amusingly disappointed.

Not shown: Jane transportalizing to the frog temple.
Interesting to think that dream Dirk probably could have done the same on Derse and met Jake in person long ago, had he not chosen to stay in hiding for so long.

As Dirk and Roxy fly through the Veil on the way to the meteor with the frog temple, they’re engaged in a weird sort of embrace—fitting for a first-time meeting between two people who had never spoken to another human being in person until this very moment.* One of them probably spent every day before then fantasizing about giving her friends a nice, warm hug; the other doesn’t even seem to know what hugging is. Kind of reminds me of the narration’s description of Dave and Dirk’s hug when John zaps back to it in the Candy Epilogue, where Dirk “looks like he’s never actually hugged another human being before”.

* I would say neither had met another human being in person, but that’s technically false because dream Dirk has seen Roxy’s sleeping dream self plenty before.

Jane joins the ship ride and it becomes even more of a spectacle than before, with her flailing around in confusion while Roxy is overjoyed and Dirk roughly tries to embrace them both while keeping his cool.

The bucket appears at just the right spot to land on Dirk’s rocketboard so he can fill it with water. Think about it for a second: Dirk had to time things just right and enter just the right location for the bucket to arrive for him to fill it up with water. If he made just the slightest slip, the bucket would have fallen into the ocean never to be seen again (except maybe by Caliborn millions of years in the future). How is it even possible for him to be this precise??? I guess that’s just Dirk for you. Though it’s not out of the question that adult Jade could achieve similar feats of precision, with the uncanny scientific knowledge she demonstrates in the epilogues.

Turns out the mystery hand that dumped water on Jake turned out to be none other than Dirk himself, his dream self to be specific. I like how Dirk could have woken Jake simply by poking him or something, but instead went through this whole scheme to get Jake to kiss his severed head and thus had to find a different way to wake him up.

Jake sees Dirk alive and freaks out, dropping his severed head in the process; the girls’ reactions are truly something to behold. Roxy is staring with her mouth open à la Karkat. Jane is making exact same uncomfortable face she made when failing to confess to Jake, which was a bit of a fandom meme at the time. Meanwhile, Dirk is just standing calmly with a bucket in one hand as if nothing surprising happened, which makes sense because he just executed his whole crazy plan without a hitch. I love when flashes end on humorous notes like this.

These panels show us that Dirk’s robots are handling what would be his and Roxy’s entries into the Medium. His Strider cleverness shines here: he sent the portable Squarewave to handle Roxy’s entry and left the mighty Sawtooth to handle his own. Note that we don’t get to see their entry items, which makes thematic sense because robots are doing the job this time.

Meeting together in person is one of the few things the alphas did better than the betas.

Meanwhile, the alpha kids have all gathered at the ruins of Jake’s house. Jake’s entry item is a tree like Jane’s, but with a Lord English doll hanging from it instead of nothing. It doesn’t serve all that much of a thematic purpose, other than foreshadowing that Caliborn is Lord English which we’ll see firsthand very shortly.

Sawtooth: Enter.
Squarewave: Enter.
Jane, Dirk. Jake, Roxy: Enter.
… And we’re done!

The three following entries into the Medium don’t get dramatic animations, nor do they need to—just short, simple flashes without audio. It’s kind of amazing seeing those three entries happen in short succession, rather than each occurring in its own dramatic way.

There’s one more character in the alpha kids’ arc yet to enter the Medium, who most certainly will get a dramatic animation. I’ve been waiting SO LONG to get to this point, my god. Are you ready? ARE YOU READY? It’s time to dissect one of the best flashes in the comic, maybe the best besides Cascade. [S] Caliborn: Enter, here we come!!!!!!!!!!!

Trivia time!
Caliborn is the only character in Homestuck whose name is revealed through the title of a flash.

This flash opens by alternating between where we last saw Caliborn (about to wake up from Calliope’s final nap in their shared sarswapagus) and where we last saw Lord English (traveling through Hussiespace in his Cairo Overcoat). Good use of circumstantial simultaneity to finally reveal Lord English’s identity.

Remember the cruxite doll we just saw hanging from Jake’s tree? This is why we saw it.

Then the red spirals on Caliborn’s cheeks become red circles and he wakes up. One hell of a wham shot right there.

This flash’s music has so many dramatic reprises of familiar Homestuck themes, I love it.

As English travels through the Furthest Ring, the Sburb spirograph logo does its usual funky animation in the background. It feels so amazing seeing that logo again; it tells readers that this is going to be a DRAMATIC end-of-act flash.

We start to see some familiar imagery as English’s journey continues. First the Horrorterrors from when we were introduced to the Furthest Ring, then the dream bubble Roxy visited with that weird pastiche of Earth, LOLAR, LOWAS, and Skaia.

Doomed copies of Karkat and Nepeta getting together is more than can be said about A LOT of popular ships.

And inside that bubble is a huge party of troll ghosts—some familiar like the doomed Karkat and Nepeta standing together, some never seen before like the god tier Tavros.

Fittingly enough, when Lord English enters the scene we see a memory of the Felt manor all the way back from the Midnight Crew intermission. It’s a great demonstration of how the scenery of dream bubbles changes depending on who’s inside that doubles as a reminder that the intermission is when we first heard about English.

Among the many ghosts watching English’s entrance, three look especially familiar: the John from Davesprite’s timeline and the two unlucky doomed copies of Dave. It’s sweet to see them gathered together like this, at least until we see what follows.

When English appears in full view, this flash takes a moment to remind us that he is a Hero of Time in an unusual way: through English descending onto what is technically a memory of Dave’s quest bed.

English’s full appearance transitions us to what we now know is his younger self. The first thing Caliborn does as a predominated evil cherub is take off his shackles, which he has no reason to keep on now that his sister is dead. There’s one problem though: he can’t unlock his sister’s shackle. So how does he get out of this predicament?

This might be THE most jaw-dropping moment in all of Homestuck.

He BITES HIS MOTHERFUCKING LEG OFF. Or should I say, he bites her motherfucking leg off.

Words cannot describe how just plain shocking this scene is. It’s the perfect character establishing moment for Caliborn.

I completely forgot about Caliborn’s bloody head, holy shit.
Another moment tough to screencap, the leg isn’t even visible here. I wish the storyboards were finished 😦

Caliborn tosses her leg aside and spits out a tooth in the process. This is the first instance of the tooth/leg motif, a sibling of the eye/arm motif. Technically the first of only two instances (the other is the alpha kids’ Jack Noir), but cool and new web comic also has an instance that is done hilariously and very much in the spirit of parodying Homestuck.

Later on, this leg will get replaced with a sick golden leg. Kind of a shame it gets replaced with a boring pegleg when he becomes Lord English, but I guess that’s the way things are.

When Caliborn puts on his leg, we learn that he isn’t quite as stupid as we may have thought; certainly not stupid in the way his sister is. It turns out Caliborn had already planned this day out and had a robot leg ready waiting to be put on—the same leg he got Dirk in the past to make for him. Cunning plans that break imaginary “rules” are something Caliborn has in common with the Striders, especially Dirk. Dirk’s plans are always insanely complicated, while Caliborn’s plans are always insanely stupid yet brilliant at the same time.

Similar to what we saw with Calliope earlier, Caliborn’s scepter transforms into a rifle. Kind of interesting that in Caliborn’s case, a character pattern is shown in a dramatic flash instead of through the usual narration. Same goes for his name reveal.

And if you thought Caliborn was scary, wait till you see what Lord English is about to do. He blasts a rainbow laser beam out of his mouth…

The musical motif in this scene is the same one that played when John went to his dad’s room for the first time.

This time, it’s in a scene that’s even more terrifying.

… which VAPORIZES THE GHOSTS INTO DUST. All those doomed clones of characters hanging out in the dream bubble? They’re gone forever. I know of people who screamed out loud when they got to this part.

Then the dream bubble explodes, creating PHYSICAL CRACKS IN REALITY!!! This moment is simply stunning, I can’t get over it.

The cruxtruder’s lid is pure red, not flashing red and green.

What do we have here in Caliborn’s Sburb session? A black cruxtruder displaying ~U instead of a countdown, with a red and green flashing kernelsprite. This scene seems to indicate that dead sessions have way less than the bare minimum needed for a usual Sburb session. There’s also something really strange and ominous about a black cruxtruder.

On the topic of characters with sunglasses, Nervous Broad and Meat Roxy have the same energy.
No, meat Roxy does not wear heart-shaped sunglasses, stop pretending he does.

1/17/2020 EDIT: God damn it, why didn’t the Homestuck^2 authors listen to me???

Meanwhile on the trolls’ meteor, Dave watches the destruction from afar, the glass cracks reflected in his sunglasses. Why do cosmic-scale events always look so COOL reflected in those Stiller shades????? Both in Problem Sleuth and in Homestuck.

A zoom-in to Dave’s eyes transitions us to the musical climax of the flash, where Caliborn’s kernelsprite collapses into a black hole and starts sucking in everything around it, including all those shitty Statues of Liberty. The only way to properly react to this part is to sit there with your mouth wide open.

At the end of this climactic section, Caliborn goes through the usual Medium entry sequence with his home flashing all white, but with a twist: after the trolls’ meteor enters the game, the entirety of Earth enters as it’s sucked into the black hole. I can only say, that’s a hell of a twist if I’ve ever seen one.

Gorgeous image. There’s a reason I chose it as this post’s title picture.

And then comes the aftermath of this flash, with a sequence I really love. Remember the big and scary Jack Noir from the beta kids’ session, with first guardian powers and endless rage that made him an unstoppable killing machine??? Well, he and his Prospitian counterpart just watched the destruction and are both staring in shock. Neither look like they have any idea what just happened.

As a chilling reprise of the piano riff that ends [S] Descend and opens [S] Jade: Enter plays, the flash zooms out from Caliborn’s black hole to reveal the same shape vague haunting image Calliope showed us from her dreams not long ago. That’s a spectacularly high-stakes note to end Act 6 Act 3 on.

I love how Act 6’s first three sub-acts all end on similar images to their corresponding early acts. Act 1 and Act 6 Act 1 both end with a surprise explosion; Act 2 and Act 6 Act 2 end with scenery of Earth centuries in the future; and Act 3 and Act 6 Act 3 end with a newly-revealed celestial body.




… to the best of my ability, because I was on that act for almost three years.

Act 6 Act 3 is easily the best of Act 6’s first three sub-acts. It goes lighter on romance drama and way heavier on cool plot stuff. Threads are tied, Dirk does awesome things, and Caliborn does stupid but oddly brilliant things. Caliborn in this act was absolutely fantastic; a joy to read and full of surprise twists on the way. This act also has lots of good silly scenes, like Jake’s dream bubble scenes with Brain Ghost Dirk and Aranea, or Jack Noir’s Jailbreak adventure. The scene where Dirk draws pictures of his friends holding hands for Caliborn is one of the biggest laugh riots in all of Homestuck.

What about the girl characters in this act? Jane, Roxy, and Calliope? They were alright I suppose. Didn’t get as much screen time as the boys though. Jane got some cool point-and-click minigames at the start, Calliope had some good exposition scenes and a surprisingly hilarious sequence where we explored her room, and Roxy didn’t do much but was fine too. I didn’t mean to split the characters between boys and girls like that; I just realized I wrote almost exclusively about male characters in the paragraph above.

Act 6 Act 3 didn’t have very many flash pages, but the ones it did have were spectacular. The Myststuck series of walkaround games is excellent and hits home the formula of making a good minigame; the next few flashes are silly joke ones (I have a massive soft spot for [S] DD: Ascend more casually). The only usual dramatic Homestuck flashes were right at the end: two focused on the alpha kids and one focused on Caliborn. And all three were glorious, on the same level as the best flashes throughout Act 5 Act 2.

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

I can’t believe it took me so long to get through this act, almost as much as I can’t believe I’m finally done with it. Even after I got out of my nearly two-year hiatus, numerous circumstances kept interrupting me and then I got REALLY distracted when the Homestuck Epilogues came out. But what can I say, now that I’m done I’m done and I can hopefully pick up the pace now.

I should also mention that I’ve always felt the end of Act 6 Act 3 is a turning point in the comic’s enjoyability. After this point, the story starts to get more questionable: first the pre-scratch trolls appear, then the beta and alpha kids’ relationships REALLY fall apart, and then comes the controversial retcon and the excessively long Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5 where so much is just not good. I suppose I’ll see for myself if it’s really as bad as I remember.

See you next time as we finally meet, uh, those characters.

>> Part 86: Oh God, It’s Those Characters

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 74: Dawn of the Other Twelve


Part 73 | Part 74 | Part 75 >

Act 6 Intermission 2, Part 3 of 3

Pages 4741-4819 (MSPA: 6641-6719)

NOTE: I’m not going to pretend this isn’t just filler text again.

2019 NOTE: Actually I don’t need filler text anymore, I can have actual text here because I have something to say as a disclaimer! In the interest of dramatic irony, I will be keeping everything I said in this post about John and Roxy’s relationship completely unedited. I’m doing this because I believe Hussie intended readers’ massive confusion at them not getting together in the credits to be part of the “experience” and I’d rather not taint my expression of my reaction with the usual “holy shit this reads differently after the epilogues”.

John wakes up in a dream bubble and oh hey it’s another 2x callback combo: to Jake waking up to see Aranea, and to Karkat getting hit in the face by a bucket.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 59: The Jumbo Act Five Finale


Part 58 | Part 59 | Part 60 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 32 of 32 + Intermission 2

Pages 4084-4112 (MSPA: 5984-6012)

This is my final post about Act 5, which ends right around the halfway point of Homestuck (unless the upcoming epilogue shifts this point’s position significantly). Needless to say, this is a major milestone point for this post series. I’m pretty proud of myself for making it this far in such a massive project, and not just because that means I can finally dissect Act 6; also because reaching such a major point, with a 13-minute dramatic animation that has left me floored every time I watched it (except maybe in my first read, when it was just plain confusing), seems like something I’d only get to in the far future. Now, nearly ten months after starting this post series, it is the far future, right here in front of my eyes, not a point I dreamt of reaching early in my other projects but abandoned long before getting there. If I had made this post series a few years ago I probably would have forgotten it by now, but I haven’t forgotten it at all. So, you know, it’s kind of cool that I made it this far.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 58: Puppeteer Mythologification Station


Part 57 | Part 58 | Part 59 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 31 of 32

Doc Scratch Intermission, Part 6 of 6

Pages 4036-4083 (MSPA: 5936-5983)

I can’t believe I’m this close to Act 6, with only two posts to go that likely won’t each take a week to make.

This girl was originally drawn without horns by mistake.
Hussie joked that Doc Scratch revoked her horn privileges.

Doc Scratch turns off the fifth wall and then Damara, I mean the Handmaid, I mean the mystery girl who looks like Aradia (I’ll just call her Damara for now), throws a chair at him. It’s always hilarious and satisfying to see people beat up Doc Scratch, even though I don’t really hate him.

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Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 14: A Slick in Time Kills Nine


< Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 >

Intermission, Part 2 of 2

Pages 1265-1357 (MSPA: 3165-3257)

New:Link to rewritten version (I recommend you read it instead of this)


Continuing from where we left off, Spades Slick jumps to a timeline where Crowbar, the Felt’s least stupid guy, is alive. His subordinates are battling three Felt members. Then Snowman (8) makes her debut in the intermission’s only sound page. She teleports to Slick and stabs him in the eye, talking onscreen as she does that, the most incredible ability of any character so far. We learn that if you kill her you destroy the universe (reference to the 8-ball in pool), which is why everyone stops shooting their guns when she’s around. There’s a few interesting things about Snowman’s debut flash. First, she is shown to be a somewhat mystical lady, being able to teleport by phasing through existence. I think we are to assume Doc Scratch gave her that ability, given that he made it so that if you kill her you destroy the universe, but it seems a little weird for him to just give her abilities like that. Carapacians generally aren’t able to teleport around like that. Also, Slick lets Snowman stab his eye like that. What’s that about?

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