Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 10 Rewritten: Scene Hops and Father Revelations


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Pages 836-951 (MSPA: 2736-2851)

Act 3, Part 2 of 5

Link to old version

Previously on Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Rewritten:

See you next time as we frantically switch back and forth between a whole bunch of different characters like the Easter Bunny running late for his annual job of delivering candy and eggs to the world’s children, this time during an actually fitting time of year. I wish I could say I had planned my post schedule to make the Easter joke work, but nope, just an incredibly lucky coincidence.

*clears throat*
*puts on pretentious narrator voice*

The day is June 5, 2019, and the Easter Bunny is displeased. He got so distracted reading and rereading the Homestuck Epilogues that he’s now over a month late for his annual job of delivering candy and eggs to the world’s children!!! So late, in fact, that a monkey took over Easter this year and delivered yummy bananas instead. Kids all around the world now eagerly await the Easter Monkey next year, much to the Easter Bunny’s contempt. The Easter Bunny shall exert revenge on this frisky little monkey by, um…

by…

writing more blog posts about Homestuck?

In this blog post, I am the Easter Bunny. It’s me. And I am going to announce that I think I’m now ready to resume my Homestuck blog post series. Maybe not on a custom web domain just yet, that’ll have to be in the future. I’ll just dive right in, conveniently avoiding the fact that I’m procrastinating on the post with the Unite Synchronization flashes and Caliborn: Enter.

It’s time for Dave’s guardian strife! And it’s not interactive this time. Rather, it’s a full-out flash of Bro Strider flash-stepping and puppeting Lil’ Cal, who ends the flash flailing his legs over Dave.

My reaction to this flash when I got to it in my original Homestuck post series really sticks out in my head and probably happened because it hadn’t been all that long since the grand Dave/Dirk reunion update. I was floored and breathless at how aggressive adult Dirk is. Is there a word for standing with an open mouth and breath held while watching something tense and aggressive? If there isn’t, then that’s one more reason to hate the English language.


Next up is a Jade/Rose pesterlog that takes place before Rose was properly introduced.

… Yeah, Rose and Jade’s styles badly clash as usual. Same thoughts as when I last analyzed their conversation where it’s kind of a stretch to call them friends. The plot stuff in this pesterlog is of note though.

TT: I require a font of frighteningly accurate yet infuriatingly nonspecific information. 
TT: Do you know where I can find a wellspring of this sort? 
GG: hahaha yes ok but we cant talk for long!!! 
TT: You have plans? 
GG: well yes i do but its just that you will lose your internet connection soon!!!!! 
GG: and we wont talk again for a pretty long time 
GG: not until you enter! 
TT: Enter? 
GG: yeah! 
TT: This is what I was talking about. 
TT: This was the itch that needed scratching. 
TT: My avarice for the inscrutable. It is limitless. 
GG: lol what did you want to know? 
TT: You’ve been insisting today was the big day. 
TT: We would all play a game you didn’t know the name of. 
TT: A game you said I’d get in the mail, and did. 
TT: One that would help me answer some questions. 
TT: But Strider is being obtuse, I can’t catch John at his computer, you don’t even have the game yourself, and on top of all that, my internet is unstable. 
TT: So are you sure today is the day? 


This is basically more casual reveals that Jade was behind a bit more than we knew at first. It’s kind of cool seeing a flashback conversation with Jade hinting at stuff we already knew, rather than her hinting at stuff we badly want explained in ways that aren’t imbecilic.

GG: there sure are a lot of challenges but yes i am sure!! 
GG: dave is cool, you know he will come around when the time is right 
GG: he just has a lot of work to do first 
GG: and so do you! 
GG: youll need to keep searching for a stable signal and power source, it will be hard but dont give up!!! 
GG: and dont worry about me either, focus on playing with john first 
GG: it all starts with you two! 
TT: Is there nothing else you can say to prepare me for this? 
TT: I’m sure you think little of blithely upsetting dark forces with Grandpa Moreau over there on Hellmurder Island, but honestly I’ve only read a few books on it. 


Maybe it’s because I’ve read the epilogues over and over again, but I think Rose talks almost like an actor with Jade. Exaggerating her poetic talk to the point where she’s hard to properly converse with. I think it’s fair to say she had broken the ice with Dave and John and can now talk to them like a regular person, but is still an absolute weirdo to Jade.

Oh yeah Rose mentions Hellmurder Island, blah blah blah foreshadowing. Was the foreshadowing intentional? Hell if I know. I would say no, but the phrase “hellmurder island” is dropped outright in Act 6 Act 1 which makes me think Hussie waited a long time to say it.

GG: haha dark? thats ridiculous! 
GG: i dont really know what to tell you other than its not going to be what you think it is 
GG: and most importantly you will have your questions answered, but they will be the ones you havent thought to ask yet! 
GG: just be patient and be brave youll see 
GG: it will be fun!!!!!! 
GG: uh oh looks like youve got to go 
GG: take care rose! <3<3<3 


In the old version of this post, I pointed out that this passage “[has] been cited as a quote that essentially tells new readers what reading Homestuck will be like”. At the time, that was just another thing I shamelessly stole from TV Tropes. But now, rereading it in 2019 I really feel that comparison. When I read these lines just now, I got the exact feeling you get when a friend tries to assure you that Homestuck is a good read. I’d argue it’s even more applicable to the Homestuck Epilogues—certainly not what I thought it was going to be, and answered many questions I hadn’t thought to ask yet, for better or for worse. And it definitely requires a lot of patience to fully consume the epilogues—perhaps also bravery to read along despite things you may not like (i.e. despite Gamzee).

oh my god this is good art


Here’s where the scene hops start getting a bit absurd. After the long stretch of pages focusing on Jade, now we can’t go more than three pages without switching to someone else. Harmless, welcome even, when reading for the first time; slightly annoying when writing long blog posts. I think the scene hops are a necessary step between the overly slow Act 2 and the ideal pace of Act 4.

We switch to Jade but not for long; her reminders transition us to a flash where John and Nannasprite fight two ogres. Using reminders as a transition device is fine I guess? Not much to write home about compared to some of the comic’s beautiful transitions later on.

Not shown: PM the mail lady existing. Holy shit, I miss the exiles.


Now it’s John’s turn to contribute to Rose’s walkthrough. And he actually displays a competent understanding of computer science! He professes “amazing hacker skillz” and “leet haxxor cred” which is just as funny to me now as it was almost four years ago holy shit has it been that long.

I suppose now’s a good time to talk about Roxy, an expert programmer who is also John’s number one love interest.* Even though they got together in the Candy Epilogue, Roxy did not teach John programming or anything like that, nor did she do very much with John that many fans (including me) had badly hoped. Their romantic tale in Candy is a story of OOF OW MY HEART. The two doing cool things together with their common interests is still a super fun thought though, and I wouldn’t doubt that their dynamic would approach its ideal form once more following their grand reconciliation at 39 years old.

Anyway, John’s walkthrough provides some genuine insight and humor. I highly recommend reading it if you had previously skimmed the walkthrough pages. It’s much more readable than Rose’s walkthrough, I promise.

* or was, until Terezi came along.


> Rose: Look for mad scientists.


There are no scientists to be found, mad or otherwise. Or anyone for that matter. The lab appears to be deserted. 

Come on, Rose. Do you really expect to encounter a single mad scientist in a webcomic called Homestuck? Background characters are an absolute no-go in the early acts and whoever submitted this command should feel bad for not having already realized that.


Oh my god, it’s a chessboard. I like the way this grid is designed; you might not notice it’s a chessboard right away until maybe you take a closer look. This simple chess design should be enough to pique readers’ curiosity at this mysterious lab.

The numbers in parentheses are my count of patterns Jade breaks, in case you forgot.


Jade goes down her stairs and (10) we get to know Grandpa Harley’s wide array of interests, which is much unlike the other three guardians’ singular obsessions. The flashing colors in each of these images are sneaky proof that Hussie planned out the alpha kids by this point. I really love that he foreshadowed them in such subtle but retrospectively obvious ways, with the bonus of answering the question of when he conceived of the alpha kids.

I’m obligated to mention that each of Grandpa’s four interests connects to one of the alpha kids. Should be obvious which is which.


And here’s, uh, the blue ladies. Not totally sure what to say about them other than that I imagine many readers who got to this page immediately remembered that Nannasprite is blue. Cool foreshadowing, I suppose? I like how Hussie seemed to put two and two together after he decided to make James Cameron’s Avatar one of Jake’s favorite movies.

This is your grandfather’s collection of what he refers to as his BEAUTIES. No lovely lady will be fit for his collection unless her portrait has spent at least 20 years bleaching in the front window of a beauty parlor, a sort of establishment he’s plundered no less frequently than ancient tombs. 


You guess they were sort of like your sisters while growing up, and you were always encouraged to look up to them. They are all awfully pretty ladies you suppose, but it was always hard to get as excited about them as grandpa. 

In the early acts, the beta kids referring to siblings in any capacity strikes me as a little odd. Maybe it makes sense here because Jade was raised on an island in the middle of nowhere and doesn’t understand a lot of basic social norms, like the concept of “sisters”. I don’t know, just a thought. A plus side of Hussie working with a team to write the epilogues is that one writer extrapolated upon Jade’s societal isolation in creative ways.

“Jade, study hard and keep your rifle at the ready. When adventure summons, I know you will rise to the task and take your rightful place among the DAUGHTERS OF ECLECTICA.” 

That old coot sure is a bag of wind!

Only now did it occur to me that maybe at some indeterminate point in time Hussie had some sort of conception of a place called “Eclectica”. I’m a bit miffed that I don’t live in a timeline where Eclectica is a major concept in Homestuck like Prospit or Skaia.


The Typheus minion exists? I think? I discussed it a tiny bit in this post, when Jade refers to it by name and talks about it with John.


Looks like someone’s pestering you. 

Even though you thought you logged off… ?

Oh hell, it’s TROLL TIME. This little line is a vague hint that Homestuck deals with people from another dimension, which would be way cooler if most people who know about Homestuck didn’t already know it had trolls.

carcinoGeneticist [CG] began trolling gardenGnostic [GG] at 13:04 

CG: HI AGAIN, IDIOT. 
GG: oh nooooooo 
CG: SO I GUESS TODAY IS FINALLY THE DAY YOU FUCK EVERYTHING UP.
GG: >:O 
CG: IS THERE NOTHING I CAN DO TO CHANGE YOUR MIND? 
GG: you can leave me alone!!!!! 
GG: how can you even be talking to me after i blocked you…. 
GG: AND after i logged out???? 
CG: YOU DON’T GET THAT I AM BETTER AND SMARTER THAN YOU IN EVERY WAY, FOREVER. 
CG: YOU DON’T GET THAT BECAUSE YOU ARE INCREDIBLY STUPID. 
GG: i get that youre a jerk and you should shut up! 
GG: goodbye you jerk!!!!!!!!! 

gardenGnostic [GG] blocked carcinoGeneticist [CG] at 13:06 


OK, that’s the end of TROLL TIME. This pesterlog does what it needs to and nothing more: showcasing a new character with apparently some future knowledge without revealing anything about who it is. I won’t pretend I have much else to say about Karkat’s first impression.


At the center, you find a little stage that looks perfect for supporting a spectacularly silly dance. Or it would if standing on it didn’t make you a little nervous, and also if that didn’t sound like a retarded idea given the circumstances. 

It looks sort of like the various contraptions you’ve been deploying in John’s house. You wonder what it does?

Rose is quick to catch onto patterns as usual. She doesn’t seem to make much of this resemblance to Sburb technology, but on the inside it’s safe to say she’s already started formulating a fresh new batch of theories.


Rose’s concern for structural elegance is at an all-time low, as is my concern for sylladex antics. But this panel above looks cool enough that I’ll show it regardless.


In a sequence of panels not shown here, PM gets her own equivalent to WV: Ascend. We already know all the plot twists and exile station mechanisms, so no need for another giant flash. A simple set of panels showing similar events is good enough.

Dave’s second round of Bro strife is much more face-to-face and even more terrifying/thrilling. For the most part, this flash is scary as ever when rereading and really drills down how scary Dave’s childhood was. This feeling reaches its climax when Bro bounces Dave off himself through some precise flash-stepping and puppetry, until suddenly:

SBaHJ references are a foolproof way to take a big hard smelly crap over any moment of horror or trauma. These references are so funny I can never stay mad at any of them; my personal favorite is the “are you next?” right after Kanaya is tragically murdered. This particular gag has some greater significance though: it leaks a bit that Dave’s life had yet to succumb to Cerebus syndrome.


Hussie you absolute fucking madman. Forget the meteor impact map or any of that nonsense. Instead, take a close look at one of the diagrams to the right. It’s a depiction of an eight-player session that conclusively proves Hussie had devised the alpha kids by this act. Bragging rights, anyone??? I think people aiming to write complex and long-winded stories should look up to Problem Sleuth and early Homestuck-era Hussie.


Back to the meteor map, Rose zooms in on her location and then zooms out to Dave and Jade’s locations. It doesn’t take a sharp eye to tell that John and his three friends are the “chosen ones” and that they will all play Sburb, with each player’s entry more grandiose and dramatic than the last. It’s always a pleasure to see foreshadowing that ends up true to the letter.

Having reconnected to the Internet, Rose opens Sburb on her laptop which transitions us to the second half of John’s ogre strife. Sburb as a transition device is pretty cool actually, and is used for quite a few elegant transitions in the early acts.


With help from Nannasprite, the battle ends with a cheerful victory dance and a triumphant high-five.

TT: Good work, John! 
EB: oh, hey! 
EB: you’re back. 
TT: For now. I’ll have to leave again shortly. 
TT: It looks like there’s another large meteor headed for… 
TT: My present location. 
EB: oh, so you mean dave connected with you? 
TT: Not yet. 
TT: I’ll explain later. 
TT: But I think I’ve determined that activating the timer in the game is not directly responsible for summoning a meteor to your location. 
TT: The countdown seems merely to exist as a kind of warning to the player. 
TT: As well as a strange coincidence. 


This short passage between John and Rose is good for getting less attentive readers up to speed. It clarifies that the countdowns exist as a warning, in case readers hadn’t figured that out yet.

EB: um, ok. 
EB: i don’t really think i get it. 
EB: is this relevant? 
TT: Probably not at the moment. And certainly not to you. 
TT: I have to go. 
EB: ok, later! 
TT: P.S. Try not to waste too much of that grist while I’m gone. 


John is a good obedient boy who listens to Rose’s words. He stays frugal with his grist until he figures more things out.

Not shown: John leveling up to the legendary BOY-SKYLARK rung.


JOHN: hey, nanna? 
NANNASPRITE: Yes, dear? 
JOHN: since i am trying to get up to that gate, and since you can sort of conjure floating beds and throw me around and all… 
JOHN: couldn’t you just throw me up to the gate? 
NANNASPRITE: Yes, of course, John! 
NANNASPRITE: But that would not serve your purpose well! 
NANNASPRITE: There is a very good reason why you should build up to it. And then keep building! 


Another case of the game refusing to allow obvious exploits. Sburb seems well-programmed at first, with care taken to prevent bypasses and skips. But that won’t last much longer. With trolls from another universe added to the mix, Sburb can and will be broken in all the best ways. We’ll see a lot of that in Act 4, get hyped.

NANNASPRITE: When you pass through the first gate, everything will change. You will find the place where the constellations dance beneath the clouds. And then your true work may begin. 

I can’t even keep track of these poetic phrases anymore. Hussie cranked out so many of them and the one quoted above is one of the most memorable.


Oh boy, it’s worldbuilding time. Derse is a planet that exists or something, I don’t really know what to say.


Look at the glorious Dad Egbert though. It feels so refreshing to see what he’s up to and very heartwarming to see the Egbert family all tackle these creatures.


Did he just…

punch a giant hole through a wall?

This guy’s absurd strength is one of the most underrated things about Homestuck. Please stop and take a moment to appreciate it before going on.

Skipped over the teaser of Jack Noir. I’ll have more to say about him next post.


Next we finally get to play as PM, the second exile. The narration firmly shows she’s obsessed with mail, treating it as a vital pillar of civilization and all that is good.


PM turns on Jade’s exile screen, the same screen WV chose not to turn on. And boy are we in for a surprise. The image itself invites a heap of questions already. Why is it snowing around Jade now? What’s this electric green interference?

Greetings.
Don’t I know you?


As we can see here, the image itself was just the tip of the iceberg. Why does PM recognize Jade? How did the green interference move to the command station itself?

I’d count this as a pattern broken, but I think it’s better saved for when this scene is revisited in Act 5 Act 2.


OH FUCK

WV was wise not to turn on Jade’s command screen. It would have caused the entire command station to explode! The exile screens’ serial escalation is done so perfectly, ending with a massive unexplained surprise whose true meaning nobody at this point could possibly guess.


Back to the Skaianet lab arc. While exploring the lab, Rose comes across some kind of little girl’s room? If you see through the garish bright pink, you’ll notice wizard and cat plushes abound, plus a bright pink version of the cat logo seen a few times in Rose’s residence, and might guess that this is where Rose’s mom grew up. This conclusion is way more obvious if you reread the comic knowing who Roxy is; it also shows how little Rose actually knew her mother.

You are accosted by a friendly MUTANT KITTEN.


This page needs no commentary. I included it out of obligation, because who in the world would want to read commentary on Homestuck if it ignores this wonderful page?

Not shown: John descending into his father’s room.


Holy SHIT. This image is a wham shot if I’ve ever seen one. Stuffed heads of Sburb underlings, a picture of Jade arranged like a memorial, and a structure colored like Prospit and Derse??? This picture asks so many questions, all through simple details.

As Jade prepares to face her grandpa, you may notice a set of four dolls representing his variety of interests. It’s only natural that since Grandpa has a multitude of salient interests, (11) he has a multitude of dolls to symbolize them instead of just one. And just like how Jade has one true fetch modus and one true shirt symbol, one could consider the blue lady Jade’s true “corresponding doll”. It’s the same doll that would almost get prototyped into her sprite until a certain someone interferes.


Jade finally faces off against her grandpa!!! And it turns out he was dead this whole time because Jade is a filthy stinking liar. (12) Jade’s grandpa is not her true guardian, as this joke flash shows us.

I’m really at a loss for words at this bait-and-switch. It isn’t even cleverly hidden or anything, it’s an outright lie. There’s no way you could read Jade’s descriptions of her grandfather before this page and not assume he’s alive.

I do think it’s worth pointing out that Jade’s imaginary interactions with her grandpa get Cerebus syndromed in Act 5 Act 2, where Tavros proudly reveals how her grandpa died and then hits on her. That scene isn’t talked about much which is a shame; it’s beautifully written and excels in “what the fuck” factor.

He was so much easier to deal with when he was alive.


This page hammers in that Jade’s grandpa is dead, if it wasn’t obvious already. Done right without seeming out of place.

Another pattern broken: (13) Jade goes outside without a misattributed quote coming to mind. Her misattributed quote is saved for when she enters the Medium. I’m suddenly sad now that we STILL don’t know the in-comic story behind Charles Dutton like we do with Harry Anderson or Barack Obama or Guy Fieri. The first Act 5 Act 2 book is coming in October; maybe Hussie will have a few words to say about Dutton there?


Let’s take a moment to appreciate the Sentry Worm. Nobody ever talks about this guy, what a shame.

I refuse to acknowledge that any reader could have possibly thought Rose would refuse to acknowledge the mutant kitten.

You can’t say no to cats, that’s a fact of life.


Rose encounters an appearifier styled like an arcade for some reason. Roxy is quite the fan of old video games so maybe it’s easy to imagine her pre-scratch self took an arcade and reprogrammed it to appearify things? I’m liking these obtuse hints at what kind of person Rose’s mother really is, all of which painfully fly over Rose’s head.


You mess with the controls… 

Hey, Jaspers is alive!!! 


Or, at least he was in the past. According to the time-stamp this was almost nine years ago. 

Rose is momentarily excited to see her cat alive before she reverts to her usual stoicism. Are you ready for something adorable?


Four-year-old Rose is sitting calmly in an oversized chair, patiently jotting down notes about her mysterious little cat. My god, look at her. It’s so cute to see that Rose has been a dedicated psychoanalyst since she was a baby.

It looks like you and Jaspers were having one of your sessions. You weren’t making a lot of progress though, because Jaspers was no doubt being characteristically recalcitrant. You possibly jotted this phrase down in your pad. It’s hard to remember though. 

It’s also adorable that Rose’s narration describes Jaspers as “characteristically recalcitrant”, instead of words that a normal 13-year-old would use.

Look at this cute little cat, playing with Rose’s scarf.


In the present, Rose tries to appearify Jaspers but ends up demonstrating the mysterious workings of ectobiology instead. As the book commentary states, this scene is something of a tutorial to prepare us for the scene where John creates the beta and alpha kids.

Whoever was operating this machine in the past may have been making unsuccessful attempts to perfect the science of ECTOBIOLOGY

“Whoever was operating this machine in the past”? Jeez, I wonder who that could be. It probably isn’t Rose’s mother or anything, that would be ridiculous.

Jokes aside, I think I’ve made my point by now that this scene reads way differently if you’re rereading. Rereading the comic is a necessity if you want to understand even a fraction of it and this scene is no exception. Mom Lalonde’s backstory is right in your face once you know who post-scratch Roxy is.


Back to the conveniently viewable flashback, Jaspers tells little Rose a secret and promptly vanishes and OH MY GOD, look at Rose’s expression!!! She’s stunned and beyond confused. I can’t believe it’s been almost five years since I first read Homestuck but I never stopped to appreciate four-year-old Rose—smell the roses, if you will (oh my god that’s a fucking terrible pun I’m so sorry).


After two weeks gone missing where not even the appearifier can show where he is, little Rose finds Jaspers dead. What follows is a gloomy flash fast-forwarding to the present.

Little Rose continues to make the cutest expressions. She can never disguise sadness at the loss of a loved one.

Then Rose’s mother does what all versions of Roxy are predisposed to do: hold an elaborate overdramatic funeral to exert her grief. Even as a young child, I’d bet Rose obsessively psychoanalyzed her “spiteful” and “ironic” mother. She probably spent the whole funeral wrapped up in intense maternal psychoanalysis rather than mourning their beloved cat.


IT’S JASPERS. HE’S ALIVE. 

Well ok, he’s still dead. But his body is intact. Turns out it wasn’t some kind of DISINTEGRATIFICATOR like you thought. 

It’s more like… 

AN ESCAPILIZER.

The flash ends with an image showing Jaspers’ body is intact, accompanied by some amusing narration quoted above. As before, Rose lets her sugary inner self leak out a bit before remembering the cat is still dead and going back to her usual philosophizing.


And with ten seconds to spare, Rose appearifies Jaspers’ body and leaves the lab. The story’s impromptu coinings of complicated Sburb-style words always make me smile.


As Jade goes outside to find her elusive dog, we get a small flash of the same electrical energy that blew up PM’s exile station. Together with the silhouette of Becquerel’s face, all I can say is that’s some damn cool foreshadowing.


John arrives in his dad’s room and it’s not at all what he expected it to be. It’s a room full of ties, pipes, and.. business documents?

I still love that this flash’s music is reprised in a much more horrifying context about halfway through [S] Caliborn: Enter.


Suffice to say, John doesn’t have an easy time processing this. He promptly has a mental breakdown in a flash with dramatic music, as if this was some kind of terrifying revelation that uproots everything John thought he knew and now he can never see the world the same way ever again.


Except this actually is a terrifying revelation that uproots everything John thought he knew and now he can never see the world the same way ever again.

Look at poor John. He’s trying to understand his father to the best of his 13-year-old ability.


So all those years, while you believed he was out busking up the corners with hilarious antics, he was working as an ordinary business man all along. He was just a man trying to make a good honest living for his son. Maybe he was too embarrassed to tell you the truth? Or maybe it was just that you’d never bothered to ask? 

You guess you always just assumed…

A natural part of John being “homestuck” is that he’s stuck in childish assumptions on what his father does for a living. If you’re a little kid, maybe it’s understandable if to some degree you genuinely think your dad is secretly a hilarious clown, but by the time you turn thirteen you should really know the truth or at least infer it from context.


All that said, just because Dad Egbert isn’t quite the clown lunatic John thought he was doesn’t mean he isn’t an absolute badass. This transition from son to father is done so well.

The next page is where we get to know Jack Noir, which makes for a good stopping point. See you next time as Rose puts her psychoanalysis skills to the best use imaginable.

Next => Part 11: Magical Dreams and Retroactive Clowns

Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 9 Rewritten: Air for Eclectic Fursuits

Introduction / Schedule <- still using, for now

Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 >

Pages 759-835 (MSPA: 2659-2735)

Act 3, Part 1 of 5

Link to old version

A few days (feels like a few months) later edit:

I am really fucking glad I made this post BEFORE the epilogues came out. Dear god Jade, what happened to you.


Augh…

I so badly wanted to finish Act 6 Act 3 in my classic posts before 4/13. That didn’t work out, so I wanted to finish it at least before I started Act 3 in my rewritten posts. But I can’t help myself from dwelling on the past more. Maybe it’s best that way, actually. Act 3 is light on dialogue and won’t make me sad to reread considering the nostalgic content in the epilogues so far, definitely not as much as Act 1 or 2. And this post focuses on Jade, who we haven’t heard from in the epilogues yet, so it all works out. The bit that’s left of Act 6 Act 3 is two big flashes, one last pesterlog, and a WHOPPER flash. As much as I love those three flashes, I don’t think I have the investment to dissect them right now, especially not without the readmspa.org storyboards handy. I’ll figure something out later, OK?

Oh who am I kidding. Nobody gives a crap which posts I prioritize. But I know for sure that there’s lots of people who give a crap about my posts in general, even if they don’t say as much. Come out, come out wherever you are!

Enough of me being an idiot. Let’s get on with this post.


Before Act 3 proper starts, we take a look inside the old copy of Sassacre’s, where old lady Jane wrote a note for her grandson.

You are no doubt reading this as a handsome and strapping young man! Why, the mangrit needed to lift the book is itself a sign of your maturity, not even to speak of the wisdom needed to grasp the nuance of Sassacre‘s time-tested mischief. I am so proud of you, grandson! 

How I wish I could have delivered this heirloom to you in the flesh. But I am afraid it wasn’t in the cards! For you see, John, like you, this book must yet take a journey! Its journey will end on the Final Day of my life, and even then will continue some. Though I suppose that will be up to your Father. Perhaps he will discuss it with you one day, when he and you are ready. 


First-time readers are no doubt confused here. How did John’s grandmother know all this? One may speculate that since we now know that the guardians are all involved with Skaianet, it’s only natural that Nanna knew an insane amount through her old age.

The line about mangrit is a really cool red herring. I’ve been saying “red herring” a lot lately—maybe I should come up with a different term for bits of text that seem mundane now but have complex explanations later? How about blue salmon? Salmon is a delicious fish, but if it were colored blue then it would disguise itself quite well in the ocean. I hereby dub the line about mangrit a blue salmon. Mangrit probably runs in the Egbert family (which is properly called the Twain family but I don’t want to confuse people), so one could easily imagine Nanna back in the day playing a part in that tradition. But nope, the real explanation is that the book traveled through time and Nannasprite is a sly old prankster who knows the real story, as Hussie’s book commentary helpfully explains. I wonder if I would have come to the prankster part of that revelation on my own, without the book commentary? I think it’s quite likely that I would have, which is part of why I won’t consult book commentary when I get to Act 5 Act 1 in my rewritten posts. I want to see how much I end up agreeing with the big man after I’m done with that act.

On that topic, my copy of Homestuck Book 3 arrived last Sunday! It came about a week earlier than expected, perhaps because of 4/13. I’m excited to go through Act 4 in my rewritten posts. In that act, I plan on twisting things up and consuming the comic in physical book form, with more focus on Hussie’s commentary than before.

Anyway, let’s continue through the letter.

But it is your journey I am writing about to wish you luck! There will come a day when you will be thrust into another world. And once you arrive, that is only the beginning! You will soon delve even deeper into a realm of Warring Royalty in a Timeless Expanse. A realm of Agents and Exiles and Consorts and Kernelsprites. Of toiling Underlings and slumbering Denizens

Mass drop of Sburb terminology, I see. I find it a bit interesting that terms are dropped in that order. Agents, exiles, and consorts are the resident NPCs of course, with various degrees of voicing within the narrative. Kernelsprites are a bit odd grouped with those three, though I guess the term used here really just refers to “sprites” and the use of those terms wasn’t totally set in stone. In any case, the rest of the terms listed fit well without any early installment weirdness.

Here’s a part that is most certainly a red herring and not a blue salmon: 

A realm where four will gather, the Heir of Breath and Seer of Light, the Knight of Time and Witch of Space, and together they will Ascend

Readers at this point typically deduce that these terms refer to John, Jade, Dave, and Rose respectively, falsely assuming that Jade is the Seer of Light and Rose is the Witch of Space. Jade knows the future and seems to be dreamy and sunny, while Rose likes gothy dark space creatures, so what else could it be? This designation also pairs up the ecto-siblings, which probably seem like natural groupings to readers at this point. It’s such an obvious deduction that even just now I briefly fell for that misconception as if reading for the first time. Quite a clever prank (to the readers, not the characters) if I say so myself.

John, if only you knew how important you were! I regret my passing came so early in your life. And yet I feel in my heart we have already met. But what I know for sure is that we will meet again! 

Until then, John, I do hope your Father keeps you well fed! 


I can see why Mr. Egbert hid the book from his son for so long. So much stuff that would confuse the hell out of this kid.


Nanna’s “HOO HOO HOO” subtly hints that this inscription is a bit of a prank. It probably signified to her son that this letter has more to it than meets the eye. Then he came to a conclusion about what to do with that book and locked it inside a safe for thirteen years.

… Are you thinking what I’m thinking? It’s been a long time since I last thought about stable time loops and here I am now, god damn it.

Begin Act 3.

A silly girl naps by her flowers…


Let’s talk about Jade Harley.

… actually, no. Let’s not talk about her yet. I’ll do that when she enters her room and gets her proper introduction page. It’s only in the spirit of all the patterns she breaks. The last thing I want to do concurrently with the epilogues’ release is overthink everything, which I surely would be doing right now if I was dissecting the Unite Synchronization flashes.

I’m going to do the pattern breaking count all over again as I go through these pages, with the order slightly changed from my old posts. Here goes:

(1) Jade is introduced not in her bedroom, but in her atrium. This might strike readers as odd, but probably won’t come off as a pattern breaker just yet. Her peacefully sleeping serves as a fun subversion of expectations…

Uh…
I guess..
I guess her name is Farmstink.

… that quickly leads to absolute hilarity. When I got to these pages in the community reread, I laughed way too hard, probably harder than anyone reading for the first time would have.

Pattern breaking count continues: (2) for the first few pages, the story goes along with Jade’s joke name; since she’s asleep, we have no way of knowing her real name yet. Homestuck’s naming mechanics are IMPORTANT, please pay close attention to them. This is only the beginning of many naming shenanigans to come!!! (It’s actually the end of those shenanigans, haha you just got trolled.)


> Retrieve arms from…

THEY’RE RIGHT THERE. 

IN PLAIN SIGHT. 

LOOK, THEY ARE FLASHING RED.

The “retrieve arms” joke is even more side-splitting. The game’s “player” is going all the way back to where we started, which creates some tension with the narration. The narration is confused by the joke name and exasperated at the arms gag.

I love the -ify text. A subtle way to make the tie-in with WV more obvious.


Oh shit, how could I forget about the pumpkin? I was so caught up in this arm tension that I didn’t even notice! Which is just as well, because there is no pumpkin, and frankly it is hard to imagine there ever was a pumpkin, in plain sight or otherwise.

Anyway, as the narration states, that would be a really terrible thing to do to poor, sweet Farmstink. The humor value in the story referring to this girl as Farmstink needs no explanation.

Though this letter at first seems like breaking the fourth wall, a simpler explanation can be deduced quite easily.

Jade probably saw a troll enter “Farmstink Buttlass” in her dreams or something.


The “player” retrieves Jade’s note and reads it, demonstrating to us that Jade is going to break the fourth wall a fair bit in this act. She does it in a way more traditional than Rose’s fourth wall breaking, which either makes less sense or more sense in the meta narrative depending how you look at it. Can I call Jade’s story the meta narrative and Rose’s story the meta knarrative?

Actually that is a really stupid idea, so I won’t bother.

In an alternate universe, you’d be reading an elaborate list of fanciful terms such as “King Nananarrative”, lovingly crafted by yours truly.


Instead of wasting time naming Kirby characters, the player realizes once and for all that poop jokes are immature and reluctantly enters the silly girl’s real name.

Jade wakes up and what’s that on her shirt? Why is it suddenly a pumpkin and not an atom?

Her shirt design increases the pattern breaker count: (3) Jade’s shirt symbol is not static and constantly changes. Well, for now anyway. The shirt symbol goes through first a big cycle and then a smaller cycle, before her wardrobifier explodes and she’s left with her true shirt symbol: a blue icon in the shape of her dog’s face. Jade’s patterns broken are a form of red herrings, and the shirt symbol is one of the more abstract such instances—you know, because of something called “symbolism”. If one of her ten different shirt symbols was a salmon then I’d be able to make a pretty good pun. I’ll keep my eyes out in case Feferi or Meenah says “salmon”.



Your name is JADE. You have just woken from a restful nap, and as usual, you have no recollection of having fallen asleep. You have quite a number of INTERESTS. So many in fact, you have trouble keeping track of them all, even with an assortment of COLORFUL REMINDERS on your fingers to help you sort out everything on your mind. Nevertheless, when you spend time in your GARDEN ATRIUM, the only thing on your mind is your deep passion for HORTICULTURE. 

(4) Jade’s mass swath of interests isn’t listed right away, which is just as well because her list of interests is an absolute doozy.


The first thing Jade is commanded to do is play a silly flute refrain. It seems obvious that we’d get the instrumental flash out of the way. She’s the silly girl, right? Of course her instrument would be a nice little flute! What could possibly go wrong?

Challenge of the day: find the right combination of keys to play Differences™.


(5) Jade’s musical instrument isn’t quite what we think. She can’t play the flute, as indicated by the cacophony readers are invited to create through keyboard mashing.* Flutes are for chumps anyway. The electric bass is way cooler. It’s even cooler when it plays tunes by the elusive Bill Bolin, whose music was sadly cut from the comic.

* When you press Z, a whole new cacophony is added to the mix. :::;)


Wow, you really suck at this thing! 

Maybe you should try playing an instrument you actually know how to play instead, like the one in your bedroom. 

This passage makes it quite clear that the flute is not Jade’s instrument. Unfortunately, not all readers understood that. There’s some perfectly good fan music that is RUINED because it represents Jade by a flute instead of a bass. You can’t just disregard such important clarification!

Honestly you have no idea where this flute even came from. Things seem to appear and disappear around here all the time. Especially, to your unending chagrin, any sort of large orange gourd that might be lying around. 

I’m obligated to quote the book commentary about the mystery of the flute’s origin:

I guess the implication here is that the flute appearified there from an exile station? But that doesn’t make much sense. We never saw any flutes on those stations. Obscure theory: Alt-universe Jade as an old woman sent this flute to her, because she always regretted not taking up the instrument as a young girl. Whew. Plot hole count: back down to zero.

As I’ve said before, I love when the book commentary gives thrown-together justifications for inconsistencies or explanations for forgotten mysteries. Hussie came up with it on a whim but boy does this theory work well. Alt-universe Jade was always so mysterious, I kind of hope that in future content we learn more about her. Maybe in the epilogues, maybe in book commentary, maybe in Hiveswap stuff?

Another gif created by yours truly.


(6) Jade doesn’t have one fetch modus based on data structures, but twelve different modi based on board games! My brain had told me for the longest time that she had ten modi, but nope, it’s twelve.

Here, we see firsthand why Dave says he gets a migraine whenever Jade talks about her “goofy modusses”. I have no idea how most of these could possibly work! The Boggle modus sounds like an even stupider version of Dave’s hash map, while the very concept of a Monopoly modus gives me PTSD from all the times I tried to play that game. Ouija finds a use when we meet Aradia, giving her character a touch of spooky flair. Memory and Pictionary are the only two modi we see Jade properly use, which I’ll go over in a bit. All the other modi just confuse the shit out of me. Jenga is briefly used in Act 4, proving to be a useless endeavor thanks to Jade’s narcolepsy*; I imagine the other puzzle game modi are all similarly useless.

* Somewhere in the distance, a blue-blooded troll is screaming. She so badly wants me to say her name, haha poor her.


Out of Jade’s twelve modi, Memory is her default. The narration says that she always manages to guess what’s inside on her first try, so it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting sylladex antics yet.

Just as the flute isn’t Jade’s true instrument and Grandpa isn’t her true guardian, I’d argue that Memory isn’t her true modus. Well, it is her true modus as in that’s the one she typically uses, but Jade’s obligatory sylladex antics don’t come in until she switches to the Pictionary modus in Act 4. When we see the Pictionary modus in action, it quickly proves to be a lovely match with her character as well as a good source of humorous moments. I see Pictionary as Jade’s true modus; she uses it during her per-character alchemy binge after all.


Jade is commanded to squeal like a piglet and fertilize her plants, which she predictably…

oh my god this is so much fun


… follows through with, to the letter!!! (7) Jade follows her joke command instead of rejecting it, in a very literal way to boot. “Fertilizing plants” is a rare case where the figurative meaning of something is more disgusting than the literal meaning. Also, let’s not forget about Pig Jade, what a blessing.

The book commentary on this page is one of the funniest things ever. I won’t spoil it.


After the joke command, we learn that Jade has a set of colorful reminders on her fingers. One bit I find interesting is:

[L]ooking at your index finger reminds you that there is something important to remember now! It is your friend John’s birthday. The green string reminds you that John’s birthday package will arrive today. The blue string ALSO reminds you that John’s birthday package will arrive today, though in a way that means something slightly different. 

The narration talks about things in a cryptic way that reminds me of how Jade herself tends to talk to John. It suggests to me that those vague phrasings really are how Jade thinks to herself, not this image she puts up for John. She just isn’t very good at putting up an image, which is why she says things that way. I’ll get back to this point when I write my obligatory paragraph(s) overviewing her character.


As Jade is about to leave this room, the triangle design in the middle will probably catch readers’ eyes. It’s the exact same sort of design that was found all over the place during WV’s arc of Act 2! Readers probably aren’t quite sure what this means yet, but between this triangle design and the spirograph symbol on her shirt, one might piece together a few mysteries behind her character, or maybe even behind her grandfather.

Remember when we caught a glimpse of Jade amidst a x2 PSYCHEOUT COMBO!! near the end of Act 2? In that glimpse, we saw spirograph flowers, which I thought of as an early clue about her grandpa’s involvement in Skaianet and Sburb. The image above is a much stronger clue at this involvement.

Crab Apple. Key Lime. Mandarin Orange. Eureka Lemon.

These four shall be held in reverence for the eternity they serve to cut short.


Before leaving her room, Jade captchalogues some silly little fruits! These fruits just sort of exist and nodody knows why. But somehow, I feel like Homestuck would lose most of its charm if those fruits didn’t exist. I briefly discussed those fruits in this Act 6 Act 3 post, which I wrote quite recently.


Jade transportalizes to her bedroom, accompanied by a brief flash of green. Another moment that may raise a few eyebrows.

The plushes on Jade’s floor come off to me as lighter echos of Rose’s and Dirk’s interests.


Now that Jade is in her room, it’s time to talk about her for real this time. Are you ready for a long wall of text? It’s largely adapted from the old version of this post; no way I’d retype that all from scratch.

So far, Jade’s role in the story is little more than the person who has some kind of future foresight. Of the five conversations up to this point with her in them, the first is just a regular conversation, the second might make you wonder if something’s up with her, and the last three are specifically about her knowledge of the future. While Rose and Dave before their respective introductions were established by their personality traits, Jade was established by that ability. This sets her apart from all other characters; none of the alpha kids, or any of the trolls, have a strange ability define their character before their introduction. And I’m not sure that was the best way to set up her character.

As I’ve said before, Jade in the early acts is hard to call a “character”. In this act’s book commentary, the author jokes about her being a Mary Sue, which I’m guessing is a reflection upon how her character wasn’t handled so well at first.* She seems to know everything and love everything, without ever doing something wrong. Hussie seemed to be aware of this issue and completely fixed it in Act 5 Act 2; after Jade’s dreambot explodes, she becomes one of the most lovable characters in the entire comic. That shift in her character is wondrous and feels completely justified by the story. After Jade wakes up from her Squiddle nightmare, she becomes grouchy and burnt out, then naturally develops into her true character without anything feeling forced. It’s a wonder that Hussie pulled off this change so well; I wish he could have done it that well after the retcon.

This act’s narration establishes Jade as “silly”, which is at best early installment weirdness and at worst blatant lies. Jade isn’t anything like a spaced-out girl who constantly drifts around her weird thoughts and can’t focus on anything serious; such simple archetypes are surprisingly hard to come by in Homestuck.** She is easily the most honest and open of the beta kids. While John, Rose, and Dave are all about denying harsh truths, Jade either accepts the truth with open arms or fights it head-on in the hopes of changing it. She is “silly” in the sense that she has a number of strange interests, but that’s because she was raised on an island in the middle of nowhere by a weird old man. 

It’s a shame that Jade gets so little screen time in Act 6. Throughout the battleship journey, she serves mostly as a straight man to John’s antics, and then as soon as she enters the session she becomes Grimbark Jade, which is actually a really entertaining spin on her character. I like the scenes with her post-retcon self who was put to sleep before any of that could happen, but I don’t like that none of those scenes take place in the waking world. We don’t get to see any of her wondrous dialogue reunions with anyone, not even with John who was killed early in her battleship journey! The story gives her a small speaking moment awake before it does away with dialogue. The epilogues will almost certainly give her more time in the spotlight. Maybe those dialogue reunions I’ve so badly craved could come alongside the second retcon? I can’t say I’m anything other than cautiously hopeful.

* There’s a far better time than now to discuss the other character people accuse of being a Mary Sue. Be patient, OK?

** I bring up archetypes because I realized that my old description of who Jade isn’t turned out to be an accurate description of Yui Hirasawa, a character from an anime that puts simple archetypes to good use. I’d also like to apologize to anyone that expected me to talk about anime that doesn’t involve cute girls singing.

Please take a moment to appreciate Jade’s poster of Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff as furries.

Further evidence that Dave unites the kids through his comics.


In contrast to my four-paragraph essay above, I don’t have much to say about Jade’s list of interests. I think I’ve made the atmosphere these pages give off more than clear enough already.

Jade’s list of interests falls into an odd spot where they aren’t strongly expanded on, but they aren’t notably left in the dust either. A bit of a strange middle ground that would surely be a high ground if she got more screen time outside Act 5 Act 2. Her interests are shown in greater detail when we learn about her rebellious scratched self and in some of the dream bubble scenes everyone forgets about. Though I like those dream bubble scenes with her, Calliope, and later Jane quite a bit, I can’t blame readers for forgetting about them in favor of the frog platform conversations.


I do have quite a bit to say about the narration’s descriptions of Jade’s grandfather, though.


Your worktable is littered with equipment to facilitate your tinkering. For you, experimentation is not a particularly exact science, and you lean heavily on SHARP INTUITION for consistently and eerily optimal results. Nevertheless, you have still not been able to get that broad, flat gizmo there to work, which is a design you have borrowed from one of your GRANDPA’S more mysterious inventions. 

Remember the fenestrated planes from Rose’s grimoire? None of the kids seem to have the faintest clue what these things do, which makes for a little mystery arc. We find out what those walls do when we meet Roxy, who uses them every day to get around; I think what this demonstrates is that she is the resident scientist, who the kids’ adventures on both sides of the scratch wouldn’t be possible without.


You are a great admirer of his, and you are not alone. Your grandfather is a WORLD RENOWNED EXPLORER-NATURALIST-TREASURE HUNTER-ARCHEOLOGIST-SCIENTIST-ADVENTURER-BIG GAME HUNTER-BILLIONAIRE EXTRAORDINAIRE. He has taught you everything you know. 

Jake Harley continues to be one of the most confusing characters in this whole comic. Over time, both in and out of the comic proper, we have gotten a picture of what sorts of adventures he’s gone on. Actually we haven’t gotten a picture at all; we’ve gotten a cryptic scrapbook showing numerous tales that don’t make sense in isolation and make even less sense when put together. Maybe Jade could talk about her grandpa in the epilogues?

But in spite of all his lessons, it is still difficult to escape his stern lectures when you are on the way out of the house to run your errands. He spends most of his time in the GRAND FOYER, stewing in his own intensity and charisma.

Come on Jade, stop lying to us. This guy is dead and you like to pretend he’s alive for some bizarre reason. Jade’s arc of Act 3 is one of the most trollish parts of the whole comic; her narration shamelessly lies to us again and again.


Jade’s strife specibus stands as one of the few patterns she doesn’t break. I guess the author didn’t feel like doing nonsense here.

At this point, I don’t feel like doing much nonsense either. I’m going to skip more pages from here on out. I’ve dilly-dallied way too much in this act so far, so I think it’s time to crank up the speed a bit.


Ah, the pile of plushes. Piles of things exist in Homestuck for some reason, nobody really knows why. This one gets a pretty cute callback in the Ghostbusters MMORPG scene an in-story year later, where Jade sits on a pile of plushes while John sits on a gaming chair. Jade’s early traits aren’t special or interesting now, but somehow put a smile on my face whenever they’re called back to in later acts.

Oh Jade, just wait until you meet your cool and new web comic counterpart.

EPILOGUE EDIT: Pretend I said “your future self” instead.


The narration makes a Freudian slip and mentions “fursuits”, leading to something that has no right to be as funny as it is. The story has to clear up that Jade isn’t that kind of furry, and absolutely not THAT kind of furry. It’s just as funny now as it probably was in 2009, especially to outsiders of the furry fandom. And if you DARE tell me that bronies count as furries by definition, then I will force you to listen to this for 10 hours straight.

Problem Sooth is probably the hardest thing in Homestuck for me to say anything meaningful about. Sorry about that.


The contents of Jade’s magic chest, wait I mean gadget chest, are pretty interesting. First thing I’ll talk about is is the two little cubes on the top right.

There is a COOKALIZER for preparing delicious meals, and a REFRIGERATOR, a name which clearly is a wacky variation on the much more common household item, the REFRIGIFYIFICATOR.

At this point, Hussie seemed to get caught up in the idea that it’s absolutely hilarious to claim that common English words are wacky variations of absurd Hussie-style phrases, which he brings to full light when we get to know the high-blooded trolls. I never understood what’s so funny about that idea, though I guess it goes hand-in-hand with all the amazingly absurd troll terminology he thought up over the years.

The refrigerator’s small size leads us to another pattern broken: (8) Jade’s fridge is small and portable, so it doesn’t have any sort of drawing on it. I’m quite a fan of both the refrigerator and cookalizer’s designs; they give Jade’s home life a uniquely whimsical and futuristic flavor.

On the topic of 8, here’s something cool:

“NOT EXACTLY” is the answer to Jade asking if today is John’s birthday.

I think we all know the deeper significance here.


These things are stupid and useless! 

When the MAGIC 8 BALL isn’t being frustratingly ambiguous, its forecast is always wrong! You have tested it numerous times with certain facts you know to be true. This is its reply when you ask if it is your friend John’s birthday today. See? Stupid! 

You guess maybe it could be used as a reverse-prediction device, and always trust the opposite of what it says. But that seems dumb to you. And anyway, the thing gives you a bad vibe. You might consider smashing it, but you are a little superstitious about whatever ominous consequences that might have, even if the occult talisman in question is a cheap piece of garbage.

GEE, I WONDER WHICH CHARACTER THIS IS FORESHADOWING????????

For some reason, I get a very strong impression that the foreshadowing I’m talking about here is retroactive. Being retroactive fits with the character I’m talking about, considering her meta role in the story.

The paragraph above is terse because it’s the only way I can stop myself from entering an obnoxious positive feedback cycle where I end up writing more and more about that character.



The MAGIC CUE BALL on the other hand is said to make predictions with alarming precision and specificity. Unfortunately it lacks a portal on its surface that allows you to view the prediction. 

Chekhov’s gun, anyone? Unlike with the 8 ball, there is no way I could possibly see the foreshadowing here as retroactive.


After captchaloguing all her items, Jade gives the reader a chance to play Memory! <- blatant lies


Memory is actually a pretty hard game! I really let Jade down here and I feel awful. All I managed to get out of her sylladex were some pointless fruits! <- more blatant lies


Congratulations, you advance your matching skill to the new level: YUKON HERO: LEGACY OF THE FROSTBITE AMPUTEE. 

Jade is beginning to regret breaking the fourth wall for this ill advised escapade.

I find it so goddamn funny that this is the first time the comic outright uses the phrase “breaking the fourth wall”.



If it were known in advance how terrible you were going to be at this matching game, the author may have given second thought to preparing this cool interactive Flash application. 

I don’t know what gave Hussie the idea to make a series of GIFs of the player miserably failing at Memory and pretend it’s a full-fledged interactive game. It’s one of the most stupidly hilarious things to ever exist.


You just deploy the gadgets yourself.

I feel so ripped off it’s unreal. I thought you were cool, Jade.

Jade’s refrigerator runs not through buttons, but through a rotary interface? This design is a strange mix of future and past, which may be an obtuse hint that her grandpa played a part in this technology.

“Cookalizer” sounds suspiciously like the username of someone very handsome…


Meanwhile, the cookalizer shows a rather humorous escalation, much in the same light as how weird each of the four beta kids’ daily lives are. The nuclear explosion represents Jade’s home life well, because all logic we thought we knew is thrown out the window when we meet her (i.e. right now).

After she irradiates the steak, we are treated to Jade’s real instrument flash.


Above is the loading screen for every flash featuring Jade so far, including this one. All of Jade’s prior flashes featured inconsequential antics; this is the first time I’d say it subverts expectations.



While Jade’s fake instrument flash was titled “[S] Jade: Play a silly flute refrain”, her real instrument flash is titled “[S] Jade: Play a hauntingly relaxing bassline”. This difference tells me that Hussie didn’t take Jade’s “silly girl” character to heart; it’s arguably yet another way expectations are subverted. The bassline is hauntingly relaxing, but the old version of this flash scored by Bill Bolin is hauntingly relaxing. All things considered, the new version is a decent replacement and not much is lost. I’m linking the old version here only because the follow-up to this flash originally used a kickass remix of Bolin’s song; easily the biggest loss after his infamous departure from the music team.

As Jade’s haunting bassline grows her plants, we gradually zoom out to this image:


Wham shot, anyone??? This should ring a bell to anyone that’s seen [S] WV: Ascend. It might even invite readers to look back to that flash and start solving mysteries. I love the way that zoom-out is executed, which we get on a much larger scale in this flash’s successor; Jade’s advanced bass solo will be two posts from now.


This island reveal is a fitting time to show us a mysterious blue package, ascending from the sky. It’s not as mysterious as the green package, whose contents we won’t see until Act 4’s WHOPPER ending.


Next up we get to see Jade’s computer! So far it’s simple and nothing out of the ordi—


OH FUCK

This flash is short, but honest to god mind-blowing. It’s probably my favorite subversion of expectations so far in this act. Pattern breaker count: (9) John, Rose, and Dave have regular computers with operating systems that resemble real life ones, but Jade’s has a 3-D holographic interface that looks like it came straight out of a sci-fi movie. I love this design and I especially love that Hussie didn’t just take the easy way out here. He took the time to animate this spectacular gem.


Jade opens Pesterchum Enamel, a piece of AMAZING FUTURISTIC TECHNOLOGY that gives me Back to the Future vibes. Who are these douchebags listed in the Trollslum??? Probably just some nobodies.

All jokes aside, a few troll handles might stick out a bit. Karkat’s handle is the first one listed, and it’s quite clearly a mirror of John’s. One might already speculate that this troll is a Sburb player much like John is. Gamzee’s handle is also of note, because both his and Karkat’s tie into the universe’s cancer and it’s likely that Hussie had planned Gamzee’s ultimate story way in advance too. The trollslum as a whole indicates that by this point, Hussie had a big mental image of the story’s deeper plot and how the kids and trolls tie together. Later in this act we’ll get a well-hidden similar indicator for the alpha kids, which I’ll be sure to discuss when I get there!

Here, we see Jade’s first pesterlog from her perspective, which establishes our timeframe and reminds us how wacky her day-to-day life is. This is followed by an interesting Dave monologue.

Dave likes talking to nobody. He is also apparently a furry or something? Or likes playing along with Jade’s furry stuff. This log hints at a deep friendship between him and Jade, as I discussed in the old version of this post.

Shoutouts to Bowman, I mean Jade, for turning the bland Ohgodwhat into the joyous Ohgodwhat Remix.

The FreshJamz media player tells a similar story. Most of the music sounds endearingly amateurish; Dave and Jade’s collaborations are generally the best ones.

In the old version of this post, I discussed Dave and Jade’s dynamic as something that the story had shafted, especially following the retcon. That bit is outdated now: Dave and Jade’s dynamic has been revisited quite a bit now, and in a rather strange way. The credits and epilogues put them and Karkat together in one of the buddy system groups, with a vaguely described three-way relationship. The system of pairing up characters was always kind of bullshit, but now that we know the kids’ friendships aren’t healthy that way I’m intrigued to see what those three are like now at 23 years old.


Jade reads MSPA and the self-satire is cranked up to a whole new level. Midnight Crew just finished some completely pointless intermission. I think you already know that far in the future, Homestuck ends up exactly like this. I’d be getting way too ahead of myself if I started talking about Homosuck now though; that’s a fair ways from now, even in my classic posts. Though I promise I’ll pick up the pace in those posts once I’ve gone through all the Openbound games.

If you call Hearts Boxcars’ instrument a cello, then basically fuck you. It’s very obviously a double bass.


With this intermission over, we move on to Act 1031 of Midnight Crew! This time around it’s much closer to Homestuck’s Midnight Crew intermission. Given that an intermission in the Midnight Crew adventure, this is quite obviously a teaser at the intermission following this act of Homestuck. Aside from the gray color scheme, its setting is now near identical to that of the intermission; it even features the Felt and the Problem Sleuth cast at the end. The Problem Sleuth cast doesn’t return in the intermission, but the intermission has tons of callbacks to that adventure.

The concept of Jade being a furry but specifically the innocent kind is stupidly funny to me.


Time for a Jade/Dave pesterlog we’ve already read. It’s good to read that conversation again, because it reminds us of the story behind John’s package and the convoluted time loop that follows it, as well as the mysteries behind how Jade knows all this.

Next page is the first one in this act that’s not focused on Jade, so I’ll stop here. This whole post was mostly about Jade, just like the old version.

See you next time as we frantically switch back and forth between a whole bunch of different characters like the Easter Bunny running late for his annual job of delivering candy and eggs to the world’s children, this time during an actually fitting time of year. I wish I could say I had planned my post schedule to make the Easter joke work, but nope, just an incredibly lucky coincidence.

Next => Part 10: Scene Hops and Father Revelations

Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 5 Rewritten: The Crutch of Cinematic Troglodytes

Introduction

Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 >

Act 2, Part 2 of 5

Pages 358-428 (MSPA: 2258-2328)

Link to old version / Link to new version

I was originally going to call this post “Grandmotherly Expositation Station (ft. wizards)”.

Then I was going to call this post “The Motherly Miniboss (who hates wizards)”.

But now I’ve settled on an actually good title. I need to name more posts after Dave lines.


Let’s be real here, the content covered in this post has far more focus on Rose than grandmotherly expositation. And all title pictures prior to this were from scenes focused on John so I wanted to change things up.

Another note: I’ll be referencing the old version of this post quite a bit in this one, because I’ve realized many new things related to what I talked about in that post.

Irony, summarized in one picture.


What’s the first thing we see when Rose enters her living room? An enormous wizard statue. I touched upon the kids’ pattern of guardian interests in my rewrite of post 3 and I’ll go over this pattern more as we go along.

Just look at that mystical gaze. To peer into those aloof, glassen eyes is to arrest the curiosity of any mortal. To behold the wisdom concealed in the furrows of that venerable face is to know the ceaseless joys of bewonderment itself. Any man so fortunate as to catch askance his merry twinkle or twitch of whisker shall surely have all his dreams fulfilled.

You find this grisly abomination utterly detestable.

If you read this narration closely enough, it comes across as an inversion of the narration’s ridiculously dark and gloomy descriptions of the Horrorterrors (1, 2, 3). And if you read it that way, at a glance it seems like Rose just loves dark things and hates bright and sunny things. This interpretation isn’t even close to true: as I established at the start of my rewrite of post 4, what Rose has an affinity for is the complex and unknowable, which includes the Horrorterrors just as much as it includes wizards. I like how this passage still makes sense knowing that Rose likes wizards but dislikes the way her mother uses wizards to spite her, which as you know is all in her head; it’s something of a red herring for the story to imply she hates wizards.

Also on this topic, in the old version of this post I was confused about why Rose understood her friends’ inner motives and feelings but not her mother’s love of wizards. I even speculated that her mother formed a void (haha epic classpect speculation) in Rose’s knowledge. I think I know why now: Rose can easily pick apart anything complicated but won’t accept anything simple and straightforward.



> Rose: Psychoanalyze mother’s love of wizards.

There is nothing to psychoanalyze. Your mother clearly has no real affinity for these damnable things. She only collects them to spite you. 


If anything, she finds them even more repellent than you do. She’s just a committed woman.

The line “there is nothing to psychoanalyze” shows that Rose is buried deep in her mind with how she perceives her mother. She thinks these are obvious facts and thus don’t qualify as psychoanalysis. I’m going to borrow from an earlier post again, to discuss the contrast between the ways John and Rose interpret their guardians. Here goes:

Both of [John and Rose’s] perceptions of their guardians could not be further from the truth and the ways they are far from the truth could not be more different. Rose’s perception of her mother inverts John’s perception of his father in every way. John thinks his father loves clowns though he is really just pretending, while Rose thinks her mother pretends to love wizards even though she really does love them.


A major point with the guardians is that they are twisted around a lot from how they would ideally be. John, Rose, and Dave all understand each other’s guardians better than they do their own and I think it’s quite depressing it turned out this way. A rough idea this leads to is that Rose and Dave would have been better off with their guardians swapped; I wouldn’t be surprised if this contrast is part of what inspired Hussie to devise the kids’ ectobiological family tree.

This inversion (not classpect inversion you dumbass) has important implications about the kids’ friendships. It really seems like they would be incomplete or just flat out not understand the world without each each other by their sides. And it takes seeing each other’s lives firsthand through Sburb for them to realize these connections and truths about their guardians.


Comparing it to John’s ordinary living room filled with a collection of clowns, it’s no surprise that Rose’s living room houses a giant swath of wizards in a setting a bit more eccentric than before. The two things that are likely to stick out to readers—the bronze vacuum cleaner and the squid princess doll—are explained shortly, so I’ll go over them as I go along.


You descend to the living room area of your home’s expansive open layout. There is the sound of rushing water beneath the floor. It tends to strike guests as a strange presence in a living space, but it’s become hardly audible to you through familiarity. 

This small paragraph briefly mentions guests who apparently visits Rose’s house and after all this time, it’s still an ENORMOUS oddball. In the old version of this post, I brought up this bit of text and though I didn’t point out how out of place it was to suddenly mention houseguests, it was clear based on how much I analyzed it and tried to speculate that it really stuck out to me then. And it sticks out to me just as much now.

Over the years, the human Prospit dreamers’ adult selves have had their backstories slowly but surely demystified: first through elaboration in Dirk’s exposition sequences, then through Hiveswap, and then through the Skaianet Systems documents. But the Derse dreamers’ adult selves are the opposite: over time they have almost gotten more mysterious. Dave and Dirk’s conversations go in depth on how much is unknown about their adult selves, and Roxy’s adult self is almost as mysterious as they are (though we do know now she was Joey and Jude’s babysitter). The brief mention of houseguests really does seem like a random one-off for the sake of poetic narration, but I can’t help but dwell on it and imagine what sort of deeper backstory the author might have intended for Rose’s mother. If it weren’t for Dave bias, maybe there could have been some in-comic speculation about the Lalondes’ adult selves like there was with the Striders.

There’s the front door. But hopefully there’s no need to make the long trek around the house in the rain. You might as well see if you can slip through the kitchen and out the back unnoticed.

And here’s where Rose proves herself to be just as childish with her guardian as John is with his.


A while ago you gave this as an ironic gift to your MOM for mother’s day. You even customized it with a drink holder to support one of her ubiquitous ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES. 

She “liked” the gift so much, she had it bronzed and put on this pedestal. She even left it plugged in so it can still be turned on now and then. But never to do any cleaning. It never leaves this display. 


Sometimes at night when you are in your room, you can hear it wailing from downstairs. She MUST know you can hear it. She’s completely deranged.

Ah, this odd little thing. When you reread, it’s clear that Rose’s mother will dramatize anything Rose does because she’s slobbery and overly affectionate. This is interesting to read considering that I just recently wrote a post going through Roxy acting that way to Calliope. Reading this part makes it especially clear that Roxy expands on her adult self’s hidden trait of extreme affection.

The alpha kids’ character traits and interests are largely expansions upon what we know about the guardians. Usually, I think those expansions of traits work really well and make for enjoyable characters! Even with Jane to an extent, despite the criticism her character so often gets. Roxy’s super-affectionate side is generally worked well into the story too, making for some insightful and/or hilarious storytelling. But I think this trait of Roxy’s falls flat sometimes, especially during BULLSHIT: The Act, which is sometimes referred to by peasants as “Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5”. Even before BULLSHIT: The Act, Roxy’s affectionate trait has always fallen flat on its face any time she conversed with Calliope. If you want a full discussion on the problems I have with this sort of thing, read pretty much all of this post.

Obligatory reminder that Rose’s interest in knitting was all John’s doing.


The PRETTY PRINCESS DOLL has been sitting there for months, ever since your mother got this abomination for your birthday as a totally PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE gesture.


You decided to make it much less abominable by knitting Her Majesty a new head and new arms. Now it brings a mischievous smile to your face whenever you walk by. Your mother hasn’t removed the doll yet, and probably never will. She would never be the one to blink first.

Rose’s counterpart to John’s harlequin doll is a little interesting. Rather than getting a doll similar to John’s as the story progresses, she already got one for her birthday back in December. And it shows how long ago she got it because she carefully knitted onto it a squid decoration. I take the way Rose’s doll is decorated as a hint at her silly side, considering that it always brings a mischievous smile to her face.

 


Next Rose goes into her kitchen and we learn about quite a few passive-aggressive battles between Rose and her mother.

The LIQUOR BOTTLES are out in full force. MOM is surely nearby.

Oh yeah, Rose’s mother is an extreme alcoholic. If it weren’t for the retcon fixing Rose’s alcohol issues in advance by the time she enters the merged session, surely her reunion with Roxy would have been more on the sad side like Dave’s guardian reunion was.

… Oh fuck I should really shut my lid on retcon complaints, not to mention Dave bias complaints. The last thing I want to do is end up starting another rant about you-know-who. I’ll also say that despite bias complaints, Rose’s guardian reunion was a good heartwarming scene and I’m happy enough with the way it occurred.

As we go down the refrigerator, we go through examples how Rose and her mother function together. 

This was a drawing you did of your cat JASPERS when you were younger, along with a poem about him. Your mother bought this ostentatious $15,000 frame for it, and had it welded to the door.
The top part of the fridge gives an example of Rose’s guardian dynamic when she was younger, back in its formative days. I think I’ve said enough times now that adult Roxy is crazy affectionate.
Out of all words Rose could have come up with, she wrote “shrew”?

Probably a good summary of her character.

The bulk of the fridge shows us where this dynamic is now. It narrates a complex relationship out of the strangest, most trivial things imaginable.

Using the colorful MAGNET LETTERS, you recently left a succinct message, which may or may not have been directed toward anyone in particular. But you couldn’t find the letter W, so you just stuck two V’s together.

And now I’m going to analyze one of the strangest, most trivial things imaginable. It’s obvious at this point that Rose takes a passion in doing anything strange and overly complicated and tends to exert that passion by doing, uh, something to her mother that I don’t think anyone can really understand. Maybe her spelling with magnetic letters was an attempt at working with a new art form. She clearly struggled with writing that way, as the word spelled out on the fridge shows.
Rose and Dirk conversation when?

Rose’s mother responded by purchasing a pack of twelve magnetic W’s. I think I’ve said the same thing enough times about adult Roxy now, so this time I’ll say a different thing: I don’t think Rose as the child and Roxy as the mother led to a very good relationship. Is it any wonder that Dave started to think of Roxy as a mother figure as soon as he saw her while Rose decided not to think of her that way? Not out of malice or dislike of her guardian, just that she’d rather know her simply as “Roxy”.

The birth of the velvet pillow, one of the best running gags in all of Homestuck.


Rose left a signed, watermarked thank you note with a drop of blood. Her mother put a pillow below it because the note was partially touching the floor. This hammers in the contrast between mother and daughter.

It’s hard to resist getting a little silly sometimes. Especially when you are absolutely positive no one is watching.


Now that Rose is done examining her fridge, her silly side blows full force. This moment needs no explanation or commentary whatsoever, but omitting it from this post would be a heinous crime.


After a few more antics, Rose’s mother suddenly appears!!! More of Rose being just as childish as John.

You don’t know how she does that. You’re never safe in this house. 


And of all things to be doing during a power outage. She’s up to her IRONIC HOUSEWIFE routine again. That mop bucket doesn’t even have any water in it! What an absolute madwoman.

Housewife you say?

I wouldn’t doubt that Rose’s mother is a bit lonely raising just one kid. Maybe she does things married women would stereotypically do to fill such gaps before she meets up again with her true love.

Rose youth rolls to avoid her mom and then…

Lousy goddamn stupid wizards.


This line is somehow a fitting point to switch to someone else. I can’t really place why.

Dave Strider, your neighborhood window repair expert.

(I still think that joke is funny.)


HE’S SMILING, HOLY SHIT

(yes I know it’s technically three pixels not one)


Have I ever said that I fucking love the whole notion that one pixel could serve as immense shipping fuel? There is not a shred of doubt in my mind that the author did this only to prove a point. And who would’ve guessed, the point was proven.

GG: hi dave!! 
TG: hey sup 
GG: not much sup with you!! 
GG: bro! hehehe 
TG: haha 
TG: good one 
TG: s’alright being chill i guess you know how it goes 
GG: great! feeling cool today? 
GG: mr cool guy? 
TG: oh man you know it 
GG: sooooo cooooooool!!! 
TG: you know shit is ice cold up in here 
TG: shit is wicked bananas i am telling you 
GG: 😀 


I talked about Dave and Jade as a romantic pairing in the old version of this post, but in a really boring and matter-of-fact way. This time I’ll talk about it in a slightly less boring, slightly more matter-of-fact way.

Of all the pairings between the beta kids, Dave and Jade are ship teased by far the most. All other pairings between them are at most vaguely hinted at, but those two being teased is a universal constant. It’s a little weird and forced when we first see them converse, but after that it’s pretty fun for the most part with a lot of very silly or heartwarming conversations. Jade and Davesprite’s relationship in particular gives some insight into both characters that is kind of untouched in a lot of ways because Jade is shafted throughout Act 6, especially near the end.

The rest of this pesterlog is mostly just Jade revealing clues about herself. All of these clues are true but not in the way you would expect; you can tell the author had fun writing in such a misleading way.

GG: so have you talked to john today??? 
TG: yeah we were just talking a while ago about how he sucks at his sylladex 
TG: can you believe he uses stack that kid is ridiculous 
GG: lol 
GG: well that doesnt sound like much fun! 
TG: what was it you use again… 
TG: wait nm 
TG: i forgot whenever we talk about your goofy modusses i get a migrane. what do you want with john 


The “goofy modusses” part is true but not in the way one would expect. It’s also not the way you would expect something to be “true but not in the way one would expect”. Readers at this point assume that all the kids’ fetch modi are based on types of data structures and will probably be surprised to find that Jade’s are all based on board games instead. I’ll talk more about all the pattern breaking when we meet Jade in person.

GG: 🙂 
GG: i want to tell him happy birthday and ask him about his birthday package! 
TG: oh yeah 
TG: i was being sort of cagey and told him to check the mail cause i was wondering if mine came yet 
GG: i think it did! 
TG: yeah? 
GG: and i think mine came too 
TG: so uh 
TG: i guess you want to know if he likes it or something? 
GG: no!!!!!!! 
GG: he will not open it 
GG: he will lose it!!! 
TG: oh 
TG: uh 
TG: wow sorry to hear that i guess? 
GG: no its good actually! 
GG: because he will find it again later when he really needs it
GG: which of course is why i sent it in the first place! 
TG: see like 
TG: i never get how you know these things 
GG: i dont know 
GG: i just know that i know! 
TG: hmm alright 


This of course is where we learn that Jade knows things about the future. How does she know that? Let’s not dwell on it, shall we?

I have already talked about my grievances with Jade’s character in my early acts before; there’s another Jade pesterlog later where I plan to rant about these grievances. These annoyances are somewhat made for by the wonder that is Act 5 Jade and the gorgeous flash where the truth is all revealed (NOBODY TALKS ABOUT [S] JADE: PESTER JOHN COME ON YOU COWARDS), but not enough that I don’t still see her early character as a bit of a weak spot.

GG: anyway i have to go! 
GG: i have to feed bec which is always a bit of an undertaking 
TG: man 
TG: if i were you i would just take that fucking devilbeast out behind the woodshed and blow its head off 
GG: heheheh! 
GG: i dont think i could if i tried!!! 


The descriptions of this “Bec” are true in a surprisingly literal way. This passage seems like a silly joke but when you reread this passage there’s nothing even remotely false or exaggerated in it.

TG: yeah 
TG: say hi to your grand dad for me too ok 
GG: ._. 
GG: yes i guess an encounter with him is almost certain 
GG: it is usually…….. 
GG: intense!!! 
TG: well yeah isnt it always with family 
TG: but he sounds like a total badass 
GG: yeah he totally is!!! 
GG: anyway gotta go! 
TG: see ya 
GG: ❤ 


John has a dad, Rose has a mom, Dave has a bro, so Jade definitely has a grandpa, right?

Jade’s perception of her grandfather and how she pretends he is alive is still an odd bit after all this time. We only get just some small hints every now and then that she is isolated from society, such as the one-off jokes where she cleans Dave’s towel with toilet water and where she secretly wondered whether her grandpa was Iron Man.

God, I can’t imagine what it would be like if Dave and Jade switched places in how much the late comic cares about them. Even without the battleship journey where John and Davesprite brutally died, Jade could have had some scenes just as sad as those with Dave if the story actually gave her even half as much attention as Dave got.


TG: alright 
TG: im out of my room now looking for my bros game 
EB: oh, good! 
EB: yeah, there is no sign of rose yet, i hope she is ok 
TG: well if she comes back ill be ready 
TG: you better know what youre talking about cause this could get ugly 
TG: brought my phone and i also took my awesome katana with me in case things get too hot to handle 
TG: and they always do 


Switching back to John, we skip a bit forward in Dave’s story. This pesterlog does a surprisingly good job at establishing timeframes. It kind of reminds me of how I kind of have two Homestuck post series going on at the same time, my “classic” posts and my rewritten posts.

EB: i’m in my room again, i really think there’s someone else in this house. 
EB: like monsters or something. 
TG: howie??? 
EB: haha I WISH. 
TG: dude monsters arent real 
TG: thats stupid kids stuff for stupid babies 
EB: maybe. yeah you’re right. 
TG: what are you an idiot 
TG: of course there are monsters in your house 
TG: youre in some weird evil monster dimension come on 
TG: skepticism is the crutch of cinematic troglodytes 
TG: like hey mom dad theres a dinosaur or a ghost or whatever in my room. “yeah right junior go back to bed” 
TG: fuck you mom and dad how many times are we going to watch this trope unfold it wasnt goddamn funny the first time i saw it 
TG: just once id like to see dad crap his pants when a kid says theres a vampire in his closet 
TG: “OH SHIT EVERYONE IN THE MINIVAN” 
TG: be fuckin dad of the year right there 



I’ve said two things about Dave’s trope dissection in the early acts and I’ll say these two things again: (1) Dave’s trope dissection is absolute gold and (2) I consider it to be the predecessor to Dave’s meta-commentary on the comic itself, which is even more gold.

EB: how’s it going there? 
TG: im out in the living room hes usually here 
TG: but i dont see him 
TG: might be playing his mind games hes always pulling this ninja shit 
TG: all i see is lil cal over there so i guess he cant be far 
EB: hahaha. 
EB: oh god. 
EB: SO LAME. 
TG: what 
EB: see… 
EB: i just don’t know why you think it’s cool. 
EB: his ventriloquist rapping thing. 


Here John digs a bit into Dave and the stuff he keeps telling himself is true. He knows that it makes no sense for Dave to think that puppet is cool and that he only keeps telling himself he likes puppets. John tells Dave this in a rather subtle way.

TG: oh lil cal? no man 
TG: lil cal is the shit 


This line is one of these times which reads differently if you consider who repeats it in the future. Dirk says the exact same line about his puppet later on. That callback isn’t just there to exist; rather, it tells us how Bro repressed Dave into thinking (or rather, telling himself) the exact same thoughts as him.

EB: that’s fine, you are entitled to your opinion, i am just saying that being a white guy who is a rapper with a ventriloquist doll is not cool by any stretch of the imagination or by any definition of word cool, ironic or otherwise. that’s all i’m saying. 

John speaks the truth. Especially with the word “ironic”. That word is the epitome of things Dave keeps telling himself that he knows aren’t true. Dear god is he wrapped up in nonsense.

TG: yeah bullshit 
TG: cal is dope 
TG: puppets are awesome 
TG: john egbert blows 
TG: the end 
EB: yeah, more like the opposite of all those things is the thing that is true! 
EB: i’m going to read. 
EB: good luck with your bro. 


Dave speaks blatant lies. Especially with the phrase “john egbert blows”.


Rose has an interactive strife with her mother which is mostly an expansion upon John’s strife flash. It’s full of silly moments and callbacks to the “Auto-Parry” from Problem Sleuth. Some of the scenes in this flash are called back to, either in equally silly scenes or surprisingly dark scenes. “Silly scenes” refers to the many humorous moments in the Oppa Toby Style section of Collide, especially with Roxy’s attacks; “surprisingly dark scenes” refers to Damara’s strife with Doc Scratch. 

Not shown: this pony’s debut in Rose’s strife flash.


You can’t be this stupid pony, and frankly you can’t imagine why anyone would want to! 

But you give the pony a begrudging pat on the snout anyway. 


Her name is MAPLEHOOF.

Rose’s hate for sappy, sugary things continues in full force.


When John reads a portion of Data Structures for Assholes, proto-Karkat is revisited. I think that Karkat’s character was mostly subconsciously inspired by this book, whose writer has the same general archetype as him.

These next few pages I’m going to cover in a similar way to the old version of the post: John’s scenes in one paragraph, Rose’s scenes in another paragraph. In reality, these pages alternate between the two and I decided to change things up for easier formatting. Wait no, that’s a lie, I didn’t actually end up doing that.

Would  any scene from Con Air be even remotely considered iconic if not for Homestuck?


John strifes with an imp over the course of three interactive flashes. The first is a simple reenactment of the iconic “don’t move or the bunny gets it” scene. The second is a bit more complex, with a short walkaround and battle system where John hits the imp a few times until he gets hurt. I have to say that although walkarounds in the comic’s usual sprite mode style look super cool, they aren’t all that fun to go through; switching to 16-bit art and talksprites was absolutely worth the trade.

Rose makes her way to the mausoleum and damn this fire art looks cool.

I’m kind of burnt out on discussing the Sburb video game mechanics at this point.

Unless something super interesting crops up.
The victory fanfare playing every time John collects grist is another thing the homestuck.com flash messed up.

Use this link if you want that fixed.


The last of John’s imp strife pages features him weaponizing his sylladex, then collecting all his grist. It’s kind of cool seeing him make good use of those sylladex mishaps.

Whenever John is triumphant or emotional in the early acts, he takes out those emotions by reenacting a scene from Con Air.


The echeladder is a very silly parody of needlessly complicated leveling systems in RPGs. It combines two of the most fun things about the early acts: strange video game systems and big lists of absurd names.

John’s victory dances are great, I could stare at them for hours.

For old time’s sake, I very much appreciate that Roxy reiterates John’s victory scenes many acts later.


Page 413!


Skipping several pages, the next interesting that happens is when Rose enters her cat’s mausoleum. Jaspers’ resting place is a bit comparable to Nanna’s jar of ashes; considering how Rose’s home is generally a bit stranger than John’s, it makes sense that Jaspers’ coffin is in a more eccentric setting than John’s dead family member.


And this parallel is made clearer when Rose knocks her cat’s tomb out of the way. It’s reminiscent of John knocking down his grandmother’s ashes. The pattern of dead family members that get prototyped is one of those patterns that only occurs with John and Rose. That pattern’s lack of full execution is addressed in-comic when Jade says that Dave is too cool to have any dead family members. It makes sense that pattern is toyed with so much because Dave’s and Jade’s sprites both wonderfully subvert expectations.

Sorry, Jaspers. Have to make space for the LAPTOP. 


Besides, your final resting place is already a mockery. You should have decomposed years ago under a bed of petunias like a normal cat. Not given to a taxidermist and fitted with a tiny, custom-tailored suit, and then stuffed in a coffin built for infants.

A taxidermist you say?

I take this line as a subtle early clue that the kids’ guardians know more than they let on, or at least that they’re all connected in some way. Jade’s grandpa is a proud longtime stuffer of corpses and I’d bet he was the taxidermist the narration mentioned.

There’s a bit of a continuity error in the narration, which the book commentary addresses:

Rose, you are being disingenuous. He was fitted with a tiny, custom tailored suit well before he died. It was his standard day-to-day ensemble. You are just grasping at straws for ways to criticize your poor mother.

My favorite part of the book commentary might be silly bits like this, where continuity errors or moments that don’t make sense are addressed. In this case, a quick tongue-in-cheek explanation is devised for why the narration said something that doesn’t match with what we see later.

I find it interesting that this page is in the same orientation as the first page of Homestuck.

Though that orientation is probably just meant to make Nanna’s dramatic entrance more clear, it doubles as a quick indicator of John’s room then vs. now.


John notices something amiss with his door, leading to another one of Homestuck’s most common pranks: the water bucket on the head. Pranks really do seem to be a simple archetype in the comic, done by anyone under the Egbert name. Or is more accurate to say anyone under the Twain name? Under the Crocker name? Oh whatever, you know what I mean.


Turns out this is a character establishing moment for Nannasprite. The whole notion of “pranks” in John’s family line is a strange metaphor for things that run in the family and it somehow works pretty well. Nanna is no doubt a highly experienced prankstress.


Rose catches up with Dave (or rather, reveals what Dave will be up to in the future) and then we get this interesting bit:

TG: hey 
TG: dont tell john this but i think he might have been right about the puppets 
TG: theyre sort of starting to freak me out a little 


“Don’t tell John” is something of a recurring pattern among the kids. They all think he’s too innocent to know harsh truths. Pretty much anything that’s hidden from him is hidden for no good reason. Well OK, in this case Dave just doesn’t want John to know that he was right and instead banter with him as usual. He likes Rose, but he loves John—too much for his own good. He’s scared to change anything about his relationship with John.

This pattern of not telling John things could have been made into a serious arc near the end. It is revisited near the end in a very silly way: Dave thinks John shouldn’t be told who Betty Crocker’s true identity is because he’ll have a mental breakdown, but when John learns it he surprisingly handles it like a mature person.

I’m also going to borrow something from the old version of this post: Dave even remarks that maybe John was right about the puppets; this is an early example of John’s specialty in convincing people of things and leading them in the right direction, commonly speculated to tie in to his role as a breath player. I think this statement is good insight and makes sense but I might have ripped off this idea from someone else’s analysis, I don’t remember.

Interestingly, I’m at a point now in these rewritten posts where it’s beneficial to look back my current post’s old version for reasons other than laughing at it. The old version of this post was mostly boring garbage, but I did say a few insightful things in it.

TG: i mean dont get me wrong i think its cool and all 
TG: the semi-ironic puppet thing or whatever 
TG: or semi-semi ironic 



“Semi-semi ironic” indicates that Dave is 75% of the way to realizing the truth. Keep going buddy, you’ve almost got it.

TG: man i dont even know 
TG: im just starting to think some of this shit is going a little far and its kind of fucked up 


I’ve long criticized the alpha kids’ storyline for completely changing their dynamics all over the course of one day, especially with how they all acted completely happy and friendly with each other at the start. This is an instance of something similar happening with the beta kids: apparently, only this day does Dave start to confess he’s unsettled by his guardian. There’s a pretty fair excuse for this one: today’s the day where he has his biggest, most brutal swordfight of all. By “excuse” I mean narratively, not an excuse for his guardian’s actions of course.

TT: I’ve seen his websites. 
TT: I like them. 
TG: haha yeah well YOU WOULD 



This line says way way way more than most people realize. I’ve talked before about the recurring theme that the kids (or at least Dave and Rose) would be better off with guardians swapped; this is the biggest instance in Rose’s case. In Dave’s case it’s made very obvious as the story progresses, but in Rose’s case it’s only mentioned briefly at a few points. As I say this, I know Bro Strider is kind of a puppet lunatic but if he and Rose both communicated in equally obtuse and complicated ways then maybe they would have come to an understanding and both cut down on their weirdnesses.

Another thing this hints at is that a Rose/Dirk conversation would be an absolute godsend and Hussie is a hack for not giving it to us.

TG: oh man i wish lil cal wouldnt look at me like that 
TG: with those dead eyes jesus 
TG: sometimes i dream that hes real and hes talking to me and i wake up in a cold sweat and basically flip the fuck out 
TT: Interesting… 
TG: oh god why did i just tell you my dream 
TG: youre going to have a field day with that 
TT: I am currently scrawling notes furiously into one of the many psychoanalysis journals I maintain for you. Published papers forthcoming. 
TT: Because, you know, it’s not like either of us have anything better to do at the moment than to evaluate each other’s radically debilitating pathologies. 


As he goes through his mental breakdown, Dave leaks out a bit that we aren’t supposed to know yet. In just a few pages we’ll see bits of Prospit and Derse, but not until much later will we see how much it all ties together.

Rose mentions Nannasprite and then parts ways with Dave.


Let’s talk about sprites.

In Sburb, the role of sprites is simple: a guide character through the early stages of the player’s game, both in exposition and powers. But in narrative role, sprites are one of the oddest and least consistent sets of characters. They all start up purported as exposition guides but lose that role as the story goes along and as the kids’ session goes off the rails, so only Nannasprite serves the exposition role and the other sprites’ roles are very different.

Jaspersprite is a symbol of Rose’s innocence and how far she has gone since starting the game, Davesprite is a second Dave who gets to do a lot of things the “real” Dave doesn’t, and Jadesprite is a subversion of basically everything about sprites. The trolls’ lusus sprites seem to play it straight but are mostly glossed over, with just a few things said about them. And the alpha kids’ sprites are just excuses to make amalgamations of characters, also did I mention that Hussie is a hack for not making Fefetasprite talk ever?

Sprites seem to be the general “whatever the story wants” characters. This is shown in their varied set of abilities, which I had listed in detail in a very old post (the old version of post 6, not the old version of this post). Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to kindly borrow material from my past self.

What sprite powers are there exactly? Besides her eye beam attack shown above, Nannasprite is able to heal people’s health (ties in with her post-scratch self’s aspect), write using eye beams, and even conjure objects like a ghost bed and oven; there’s also Calsprite’s puppet attacks, Davesprite’s ability to deface posters, Jaspersprite’s far-reaching tentacles (which come from the princess doll), Becsprite’s amplified first guardian powers used to shatter the giant meteor; not to mention the powers squared sprites get, like memories of alternate versions of their components, teleportation by summoning fenestrated walls, and other random knowledge like Jasprosesprite^2’s knowledge of Nepeta, or Davepetasprite^2’s urge to fight Lord English … I don’t think there’s really a set rule for what powers sprites get, maybe it’s just new powers as the plot demands.

This “whatever the story wants” role is kind of shafted in later acts, but it’s brought to full force with the squared sprites as I just said. When the squared sprites become a thing many many pages later, Rose bonks on her head with a pillow and boy can I not blame her.


NANNASPRITE: Your father was kidnapped! 
JOHN: oh no! 
NANNASPRITE: When you crossed over to The Medium, he was apprehended by the very forces of darkness which your presence here has awakened. 


It’s only natural that this sprite exposition sequence is filled with early installment weirdness. I’ve talked plenty about stuff the author planned in advance, but not so much about stuff the author planned that doesn’t happen. I’m not talking about BULLSHIT: The Act; rather, I’m talking about early installment weirdness and the hints at things that weren’t fated to be.

It seems like at this point, Hussie had lots of wild ideas for underlings being affiliated with Derse, connected with agents and denizens and whatnot. But those ideas didn’t really go many places after this introduction sequence. The agents—all of the named Prospitians and Dersites really (I’m not even sure which are and aren’t “agents”?)—are much more of their own set of characters with their own stories than a gear in the machine of Sburb’s forces. We do sometimes see those characters doing required, predestined things but it’s all very much in the background. It doesn’t help that at this point WV is the only carapacian character we’ve seen so far and we don’t yet know anything about his backstory.

JOHN: what? ok, so what is the medium you are talking about? 
NANNASPRITE: It is where we are now! A realm that is a ring of pure void, dividing light and darkness. It turns in the thick of The Incipisphere, a place untouched by the flow of time in your universe. 
JOHN: you mean because we are inside a computer, or in the game software or something? 


I still maintain that John was so excited for Sburb that he completely forgot what it was about. That’s the best explanation for why he wasn’t surprised that objects could be moved around his house. It’s also why he thinks he’s inside a computer or whatever.

… Actually, maybe this whole time he thought he was going to be inside a computer. I’m sure he’s seen plenty of awesome movies of this type. He mentions liking Japanese mangas at one point; perhaps he’s a fan of Sword Art Online? (I know fucking nothing about anime/manga, feel free to make fun of me for mentioning that one.)

NANNASPRITE: A computer? Why, what is that, dear? Some new fangled contraption, like the horseless auto-boxcar? 
JOHN: well, uh, it’s like this machine that, uh… 
NANNASPRITE: Hoo hoo hoo! Of course I know what a computer is, John! I was just pulling your leg! Hoo hoo hoo! 
JOHN: oh, ok. 


More indication that Nanna is a longtime expert at pranks. She knows her way around them incredibly well.


A cool little flash plays introducing us the world of Skaia, with music that gives a sense of intrigue and wonder. I don’t have anything to say on Nannasprite’s exposition on this topic, but I do have something to say about part of the book commentary:

Ultimately there are a lot of guides in HS, not just game-supplied ones. Characters who know more than others, and fill in details such as this, either specifically to be helpful, or just in passing conversation, or outright begrudgingly. That is, it continues to be like an RPG. The player keeps gathering information about the quest from many different sources.

This is actually a completely fair excuse for why sprite roles are subverted and shafted as the story progresses. It’s not any different from how RPGs tend to do things.


Next we revisit the sequence where John’s kernelsprite split up. It’s one of those times where we look at an old scene from a new perspective, with the player/reader’s knowledge broadened thanks to Nannasprite’s knowledge. Many works of media sometimes look at old scenes from new perspectives, but the way Homestuck does it feels like a special kind of storytelling. Though it’s probably my fault for being this obsessed with Homestuck.



These images above show some of the changes that happened when the sprite reached Prospit and Derse. It caused all constructs in this world to be clown themed—basically all the carapacians and imps. I almost kind of understand the misconception that WV is an imp now. Also I want to say these chess designs look super cool.

Nannasprite reveals a twist to the game: the forces of light are always destined to lose, not that readers have any idea what that means yet. John learns that his first goal is to build his house up to the first gate and then comes to a very “John” conclusion:

I could stare at this dance for hours too.


JOHN: ok, i think i get it now! 
JOHN: so i guess the battle against good and evil is sort of irrelevant? well, i don’t know, that all sounds kind of weird, but in any case, we build the house to get to these gates, and then i can save my dad! 
NANNASPRITE: Yes, John! 
JOHN: and then after that, we solve this ultimate riddle thing and save earth from destruction!!! 


John doesn’t understand any of this at all; he just pieces together what he can about things heroes in video games typically are meant to do and concludes he has to save his father and then save the whole world. 

NANNASPRITE: Oh no, I’m afraid not! 


… And there’s the punchline. Punch as in John feels like he just got punched cold in the face. The animation in the panel above is beautiful, please take a moment to appreciate it. 

NANNASPRITE: Your planet is done for, dear! There is nothing you can do about that! 
JOHN: oh… 
NANNASPRITE: Your purpose is so much more important than saving that silly old planet, though! 
JOHN: and that is? 
NANNASPRITE: HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO! 


Nannasprite leaves to bake John some cookies and he goes full circle to where he started: annoyance at overexposure to baked goods. It’s only natural that I end this post here, just like I did with the old version of this post.

See you next time as some stuff happens, I think? I don’t really remember what, Act 2 is a little boring after this point.

Next => Part 6: Imp Madness and Can Openers

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 56: SBES Vol. 2 – Of Sports and Snake Monsters

Introduction

Part 55 | Part 56 | Part 57 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 29 of 32

Doc Scratch Intermission, Part 4 of 6

Pages 3936-4001 (MSPA: 5836-5901) (not in order)

NOTE: SBES stands for Scrapbook Examination Station.

Welcome back to my Homestuck post series. After nearly three weeks without any such posts, I guess it’s time for more scrapbook pages. I will do this selection screen left to right (boring order, I know), so I’ll start with Nannasprite.

Continue reading

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

Introduction

Part 31 | Part 32 | Part 33 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 5 of 32

Pages 2793-2840 (MSPA: 4693-4740)



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


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

She’s back!


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

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

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

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

This might be my favorite Nannasprite line.

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

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

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

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



NANNASPRITE: Here, John. Take this.

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

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

Nanna prepares some food for John and…


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


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


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


These chumps just won’t quit hounding you! 

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

TT: Accidentally? 
TT: Or on porpoise? 

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

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

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

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


caligulasAquarium’s [CA’S] computer exploded.

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

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

AA: what d0 y0u think y0ure d0ing!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Dave talks to another batch of three trolls.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gamzee watches the video and the panels progress like so…


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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



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

GC: D4V3 GR34T N3WS! 
GC: 1 FOUND 4 DR4W1NG T4BL3T 
GC: DO YOU KNOW WH4T TH4T M34NS D4V3? 
GC: DO YOU KNOW WH4T 1T M34NS W3 C4N G3T? 
TG: please dont say this party started please dont say this party started 
GC: TH1S 
GC: P4RTY 
GC: ST4RT3D!!!!! >8D 
TG: god everything is about parties with you 
GC: D4V3 TH3R3 1S NOTH1NG 3V3N CLOS3 TO B31NG B3TT3R TH4N P4RT13S, COM3 ON 
TG: ok 
TG: lets see some fine art then 
GC: WHY 1T JUST SO H4PP3NS TH4T 1 H4V3 4 FR3SH M4ST3RP13C3 FOR YOU 
GC: HOT OFF TH3 C4NV4S 
GC: 4ND ON TO YOUR COMPUT3R GL4SS3S 
GC: WH3R3 1T W1LL S1ZZL3 YOUR 3Y3B4LLS 
GC: TSSSSSSSSSSSSSS http://tinyurl.com/D4V3XD4V3 

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

GC: 1 4LR34DY 3XPL41N3D TH1S TO YOU D4V3 
GC: TH3 COOLK1D H4S TO B3 TH3 B3ST, 4ND 1 H4V3 TO M4K3 H1M TH3 B3ST 
TG: alright but 
TG: i mean even if that made sense which it kind of doesnt 
TG: karkat was saying how it was all a game and youre just flirtin and stuff 
TG: and that we should quit it because he doesnt want you in my grill or me in yours or whatever 
GC: OH, 1S TH4T WH4T H3 S41D??? 
GC: HMM 1 WOND3R 1F H3 COULD R33K OF J34LOUSY 4NY MOR3 PUNG3NTLY 
TG: well yeah thats what i thought too 
TG: and really if we got no other reason keep rolling with it at least theres that one 
TG: to piss him off 

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

GC: W3LL WH4T DO YOU TH1NK D4V3 
GC: 4M 1 1N YOUR HUM4N GR1LL? 
TG: im not saying i know for sure but it seems to me like 
TG: my grill is your goddamn prison 
TG: you are practically incarcerated in that fucker 
TG: doing hard time on a bed of charcoal and lighterfluid 
TG: privy to what i flame broil from below 
TG: what im sayin is you got a front row seat to the brown side of my burger 
TG: hows it smell btw 
GC: 1T SM3LLS L1K3 D3L1C1OUS BURN1NG 4N1M4LS 
TG: yeah i thought so 

Is is what Karkat means by Dave hitting on Terezi?

GC: YOU 4ND H1M 4R3 4L1K3 1N SOM3 W4YS 
GC: R34LLY BLUNT 4ND L1T3R4L M1ND3D 
GC: 4ND QU1T3 FR4NKLY JUST 4 L1TTL3 B1T T4CTL3SS WH3N 1T COM3S TO M4N4G1NG TH3 L4D13S! 
GC: H3 4LW4YS H4D TO KNOW 3X4CTLY WH4T TH3 D34L W4S 4ND 3X4CTLY WH4T MY MOT1V4T1ONS W3R3 4ND WH4T 3V3RYTH1NG M34NT 4ND BLUH BLUH BLUH 
GC: 1T T4K3S TH3 FUN OUT OF 3V3RYTH1NG! 
TG: thats pretty much the most insulting thing possible to say im anything like that raving gulf of shit 

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

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

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

GC: W3LL OK 1M SORT OF 3X4GG3R4T1NG 
GC: BUT R34LLY 
GC: SOM3 S1M1L4R1T13S 4R3 TH3R3 
GC: 1TS JUST YOUR 1SSU3S 4R3 
GC: COOL3R >:] 
GC: L3SS R1D1CULOUS 4ND TR4G1C 
TG: issues 
TG: what are you talking about 
GC: W3LL, FOR 1NST4NC3 
GC: K4RK4T W4S 4LW4YS TORM3NT3D BY H1S P4ST 4ND FUTUR3 S3LV3S 
GC: 4ND TH31R M1ST4K3S 
GC: L1T3R4LLY TORM3NT3D BY TH3M 1N TH3S3 4BSURD SCH1ZOPHR3N1C M3MOS 
GC: 1T W4S 1D34L FU3L FOR H1S S3LF LO4TH1NG 
GC: H3 B3C4M3 OBS3SS3D W1TH H1MS3LF 4S 4N 3LUS1V3 4DV3RS4RY 
GC: R4TH3R TH4N JUST B31NG H1MS3LF 1N TH3 MOM3NT 4ND R34L1Z1NG WHO H3 W4S SUPPOS3D TO B3 
GC: 4ND W4K1NG UP >:[ 

Terezi is getting psychoanalytical up in here.

TG: wow ok what does that have to do with me 
GC: NOTH1NG 1N 4 L1T3R4L S3NS3 
GC: BUT 1 H4V3 OBS3RV3D YOU D4V3 
GC: YOU 4R3 4LW4YS G3TT1NG B41L3D OUT OF J4MS 
GC: 4T F1RST BY YOUR BRO 
GC: 4ND TH3N BY YOUR OWN FUTUR3 S3LV3S! 
GC: 3V3N FUTUR3 D4V3SPR1T3 G3TS 1N ON TH3 4CT OF SHOW1NG UP POOR OLD PR3S3NT D4V3 
GC: WH3N DO3S PR3S3NT D4V3 G3T TO ST3P OUT OF TH3 SH4DOW OF 4LL THOS3 FUTUR3 D4V3S?? 
GC: WH3N DO3S H3 G3T TO B3 TH3 H3RO, TH4T’S WH4T 1 W4NT TO KNOW >:D 
TG: i dunno i guess maybe when i become future me 
GC: H4H4H4H4H4H4 
GC: TH4T 1S 3X4CTLY WH4T K4RK4T US3D TO S4Y 
GC: 1T W4S 4LW4YS TH3 4NSW3R 

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

GC: 4ND ON3 D4Y 
GC: YOU W1LL T4K3 OFF THOS3 DUMB GL4SS3S 4ND L3T M3 G3T 4NOTH3R SN1FF 4T YOUR 3Y3S 
TG: not gonna happen 
GC: COM3 ON! 
GC: 1 ONLY GOT ON3 L1TTL3 WH1FF 4T TH3M 
GC: WH3N YOU W3R3 4 T1NY P1NK W1GGL3R W1TH 4RMS 4ND L3GS S1TT1NG 1N 4 CR4T3R ON TH4T S4D HORS3 YOU 4T3 
GC: TH3Y W3R3 PR3TTY! 
GC: 1T 1S SO S3LF1SH OF YOU TO K33P TH3M COV3R3D UP 
GC: 4ND TH3 L4M3 S3CR3CY SURROUND1NG 1T 1S ONC3 4G41N R3M1ND1NG M3 OF 4 C3RT41N YOU KNOW WHO >:| 

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

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


Weird creepy random close-up.


TG: hey look at this change of subject going down 
TG: about this comic 
TG: are you saying im about to fall asleep 
GC: Y3S

TG: why 
GC: 1 DO NOT KNOW 
GC: M4YB3 YOU 4R3 R34LLY T1R3D! 
GC: YOU DROP SUDD3NLY 4ND SW1FTLY, L1K3 4N 3X3CUT3D F3LON F4C1NG N4PPY JUST1C3 
TG: i dont feel tired 
TG: could be rose waking me up again 
TG: bonkin me with yarn or some shit 
GC: OH? 
TG: can you see in my dreams 
GC: NO >:[ 
TG: too bad 
TG: last time i promised rose id take off my shades and look in the sky for some reason 
TG: youre gonna miss a hell of a show 
GC: BLUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHH >XO 
GC: MOST 4WFUL COOLK1D!!!!! 

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

GC: NOW R3L34S3 M1ST3R OR4NG3 CR34MS1CL3S, ST4T 
GC: 4ND H4V3 DR34MS 4S SW33T 4S H3 T4ST3S >:] 
TG: ok see ya

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


caw caw motherfuckers


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


>> Part 33: Cthulhu Acid Trip Dreams

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

Introduction

< Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 >

Act 4, Part 1 of 6

Pages 1358-1454 (MSPA: 3258-3354)

Can’t think of a caption other than “The Land of Wind and Shade”, which would be redundant.

Act 4 of Homestuck, like a few other acts, opens up with a minigame. In this game, John explores his planet, a cloudy blue world named the Land of Wind and Shade, fights imps, gathers information about his denizen and the imps and stuff from salamanders, somehow talks to Nannasprite from afar, and like in the game where he explores his house, has a voice in his head give him commands, but the voice is definitely someone different from the Vagabond. It is very similar to the game very early in Act 2, but instead of exploring his house, he explores the planet he entered. This minigame really is rather complicated, with features such as sylladex access and sending objects through a mail system and multiple attack methods and a button to talk to Nannasprite and so on. 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).

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Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 10: Scene Hops and Father Revelations

Introduction

< Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 >

Pages 836-951 (MSPA: 2736-2851)

Act 3, Part 2 of 4

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

Pictured above: why Dave is so damn angsty about his upbringing.

Last time we got a partial tour of Jade’s bizarre house. This time, we switch perspective to Dave battling his brother. I practically lost my breath watching that flash in which Dave strifes his brother, this time around. The guy teleports around at lightning speed like a ninja using Lil’ Cal to fuck with Dave, and the flash ends with a loop of Lil’ Cal slobbering over Dave while his guardian’s elusive silhouette flashes around. In my first two reads through I didn’t have this reaction. Maybe it had to do with the recent update in which Dave vented out all his frustration to Dirk about his upbringing? But yeah. Dave has pretty much the most fucked up guardian ever.

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Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 9: Harley in Technoland

Introduction

< Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 >

Pages 759-835 (MSPA: 2659-2735)

Act 3, Part 1 of 4

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

A silly girl naps by her flowers…

Two acts down, lots to go. Technically four acts, but acts 5 and 6 are both very long and have many subdivisions. So where are we now? In a brief interlude between acts 2 and 3, we get to read a note to John from his grandmother inside the Colonel Sassacre book. In it, there is very much written about the game he and his friends will play. You may wonder, how does Nanna know all this? One might surmise that she has some sort of foresight like Jade. However, it’s later revealed that she wrote the note after the became a sprite, and the book got sent through time. Nanna introduces several terms before we learn what they mean, and more significantly, it has the first hints of the class/aspect title system which fans love to theorize about. She mentions the four kids’ god tier titles without saying which one is which; typically, readers will guess that the Heir of Breath is John, the Seer of Light is Jade, the Knight of Time is Dave, and the Witch of Space is Rose. As it turns out, Rose’s and Jade’s titles are the other way around. Nanna also says that the book will travel through time somehow, marking the comic’s first mention of time travel. On to the start of Act 3 proper.

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Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 5: Grandmotherly Expositation Station

Introduction

Part 4 | Part 5 Part 6 >

Pages 358-428 (MSPA: 2258-2328)

Act 2, Part 2 of 5

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

NOTE: I know “expositation” isn’t a word, I just wanted to make “exposition” rhyme with “station”.

Here’s another title picture, in case you forgot. This one is meant to match the name of this post.

Lousy goddamn stupid wizards.

Last time, we got a taste of the weird shit that happened to John now that he made it into a mystery world, and we learned how Dave lost those Sburb discs. Now we see what Rose is up to. She examines her wizard-adorned house, and we see how strongly she believes that her mother has no real love for all those wizards she litters her house with. One thing I just now caught is how Rose sometimes has guests visit her house: the narration says, “There is the sound of rushing water beneath the floor. It tends to strike guests as a strange presence in a living space, but it’s become hardly audible to you through familiarity.” What’s the deal with those guests? Are those her mother’s fellow scientists or something? It’s weirder because Rose’s house is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, way out in the forests of upstate New York to be specific. “Forest” and “New York” are two words that sound a little weird together, given that New York makes most people think of the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building.

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