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 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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