Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 83: A Cherubic Reminisce on the Fun of Fun Things

Introduction

Part 82 | Part 83 | Part 84 >

Act 6 Act 3, Part 9 of 11 (yes 11 not 10, at least 95% sure of this)

Pages 5085-5136 (MSPA: 6985-7036)

I will watch K-On before this post series is finished. Mark my words.

EDIT (7/9/2019): Yui Hirasawa is best girl and that’s really all there is to say on the matter.

3/2/2019: Every post up to number 59 (end of Act 5) now has homestuck.com page numbers alongside the MSPA numbers. Only about 20 posts to go! I also just did the same with my Problem Sleuth posts.

3/5/2019: Post 5 rewritten is still in progress! Tentative date for it is March 8. I’m over halfway done and have been doing it at a relaxed pace. A few more rewritten posts this month too. More tentative dates: April 6 for post 84, April 13 for post 85 plus something secret.

Good time for us to be reminded that CotL exists.

We saw those same chess pieces earlier in the cherubs’ chess game, so this poster entices the mystery of who those two really are. (We don’t know they’re cherubs yet, shhhhhhh!)

Now that we’re done with the character select screen, it’s time to see what Roxy is up to, again.

The fenestrated wall showing what the alpha kids are up to is a nice touch, matching with the whole fourth wall visual metaphor. It seems like a transition device more than anything, but I have to wonder if this is what the wall would’ve actually shown if it was turned on, just like with Hussie’s self-insert scenes.

You quickly put everyone on bucket duty to douse the flames. Now you guess you understand why your mom left all these buckets in the house? You always thought it was a passive aggressive reminder for you to keep up with the housework.

At the behest of their roguish leader, the loyal band of Merry Men go straight to work in getting the fires under control. The Robin Hood reference is lost on them. Also lost on everybody is the sordid spectacle this appears to resemble from an alien perspective, with all these buckets sloshing around and whatnot. Your void powers cannot black out this graphic debauchery soon enough.

Bucket jokes are a little old by now, but sure, we’ll take it. It makes enough sense that Rose in this universe knew of little details like this, to give Roxy a slight boost in time to get into the game. The detail’s just a little oddly specific though.

Jake’s volcano erupts, which is a surprising thing we don’t normally see happen; this exception is probably because Jade’s volcano already entered the kids’ combined session. Seems like all the fires around are the alpha kids’ replacement for meteors as a reminder to get things going.

You run the server program which auto-connects with Jake and a viewport of his old house just pops right open. This is going to be so easy. You can already tell, compared to you, everyone else sucks so bad at this game, not to mention at computers in general.

Oh yeah, Roxy’s narration also says some silly hacker related things I guess. I take this as a bit more foreshadowing that she’s the alpha kids’ true leader. Sorry to any Jane apologists reading this, I’m just stating facts.

Just a heads up: normally I’d sidestep any discussion of Roxy and Calliope as a ship but in this pesterlog I have a very good reason to talk about it.

uranianUmbra [UU] began cheering tipsyGnostalgic [TG] 
UU: i can’t see yoU, bUt yoU mUst be back by now, yes? 
TG: y 
TG: and i am how haxxing up storm 
TG: p stank by 
TG: *stand 
UU: haxxing? :u 
TG: u dont even no 
TG: my fingers are the mean lil beaks 
TG: of furirus woodpeckers 
TG: and my keyboard 
TG: is a pitiful plank of cruddy wood 
TG: guarding a trove of tasty bungs 
TG: it is guarding them i might add 
TG: moist fucking unsuccessfully 
UU: u~u 
TG: as my digits rain danger 
TG: on this hapless lamptop 
TG: the result of my tappy onslaught 
TG: is line after wicked line 
TG: of leetfilthy codes 
TG: aka.. 
TG: the governments worst nightmare 
UU: Um……….. 
TG: i will be in an out 
TG: of the systerm 
TG: before breakfast knows what ate it 
TG: JACKPOP BABBY 
TG: im am ur cryptogodress 8) 
UU: roxy? 
TG: it is womon verse machine 
TG: a struggle old as stuff itself 
TG: she will bring sburb to its knees 
TG: and then turn 
TG: with her shitwreckingest face 
TG: and stare 
TG: into the void 
TG: and the void 
TG: will wonk first 
TG: ;3

Roxy continues the Derse dreamers’ pattern of saying vaguely silly and flirty things to her friends. Dave has a habit of doing the same thing with Jade. I don’t think Roxy is even flirting with Calliope in particular, just dumping this nonsense into any old chat window because why not. Not to mention she’s kind of hung over?

TG: what were you going to give me back there? ;D 
UU: right! 
UU: it’s a present i made for yoU. 
TG: ooh! 
UU: it coUld be… 
UU: a farewell gift actUally. 
TG: huh? 
TG: are u leaving 
UU: maybe. 
UU: i am aboUt to go to sleep one last time before oUr schedUled entry. 
UU: and there is a very real possibility that i will never wake Up. 
TG: oh no! 
TG: why!!! 
UU: it is complicated. 
UU: there is mUch to say aboUt it which i have never told yoU, dUe to my adherence to the rUles. 
UU: some of which i am aboUt to break now, in order to give myself a fighting chance.

It’s only fitting that when Calliope, the perfect rule-follower, is under such tension, she has to break rules as a last resort. I talked about Calliope and Caliborn’s duality with following vs. bending rules in my last post featuring the cherubs (post 82), which makes me wonder: in the timeline where Calliope predominated, did Caliborn start feeling the need to break the rules? I think the answer is yes. The Caliborn from that timeline is shrouded in mystery, but it only makes sense that when bending rules did him no good, he had no choice but to shed his dignity and break them.

Maybe in those two’s chess game, Calliope learned to play chess like Bobby Fischer and could tell that something was fis(c)hy with the way her brother moved his king and queen. And she was the one who uncovered his crowns, much to Caliborn’s shock. Now that’s an interesting alternate universe story!

UU: bUt before i go down that serpentine path with yoU, here. 
UU: one last bit of artwork from an admirer. something to remember me by, shoUld we never speak again. 
UU: http://tinyurl.com/roxyisthisyoU (link to the picture shown above)
TG: !!!!! 
TG: ssdlkjfs;lkfjdlskfj

If you’re a real savant in MSPA trivia, Calliope’s drawing of Roxy will remind you of John’s Trickster Mode rendition, back when “Trickster Mode” was just an easter egg in flashes and in only one case made anyone colorful and candy-themed. It makes sense that Calliope, the in-universe “person who obsesses over Homestuck but doesn’t truly understand it”, would speculate based on such obscure things. And Rose’s tome, as we’ll see soon enough, is the in-universe MSPA wiki.

TG: ohhhly SHIT 
TG: *hooooooly 
TG: holiest of shits 
TG: the shit….. 
TG: is down right 
TG: SACROSANCT 
TG: omgogmogmomog 
TG: this owns 
TG: my bones 
UU: ^U^ 
TG: look at my outfit 
TG: want 2 wear that outfit 
TG: want 2 kiss + marry that outfist 
TG: look 
TG: at that lollipop 
TG: that fuckin LOLLIPOP 
TG: hehhe look at me goin in 4 a lick 
TG: like im the queen of fuckall yall 
TG: what is that in my hair 
TG: is that 
TG: COTTONE CANDY???? 
UU: indeed it is! 
TG: say helloes to new phone wallpp 
TG: sry baby eatin jake husband u r out 
TG: /DIVORCE’D 
TG: yes perfection 
TG: more like 
TG: perferection 
TG: is what is givin me 
TG: am getting the perfbonerz up in here

And here Roxy goes back to ambiguously flirting with everyone she sees. This time, including herself. Calliope is but one of those people she’s that way with.

UU: i really enjoy drawing yoU. it is a treat. 
UU: yoU are jUst so pretty. :u 
TG: awwwwwwwwww 
TG: <3<3<#<#<## 
TG: hearts n hashes 
UU: anyway, i am very pleased that yoU like my drawing. ~u~

Calliope seems to be referencing that Roxy is a fan favorite of the kids.

TG: i love it 
TG: i love U 
TG: U x2 combot 
UU: yoU do? 
UU: really?? 
TG: yes 
TG: fo rillies 
UU: :U 
UU: blimey. 
UU: this comes as qUite a sUrprise. 
TG: well i mean 
TG: not like lets got get space married love 
TG: more like ur the best and i like you a lot love 
UU: oh. 
UU: then the conciliatory type. i Understand. 
TG: wait 
TG: i didnt mean to jerk you around… 
TG: did u feel that way about me 
TG: aww shit im sorry 😦 
UU: no! don’t be. 
UU: trUst me, that is not how i feel aboUt yoU. or anyone. 
UU: thoUgh i trUly wish i were capable of those feelings.

Time for a ~~~~~~SHIPPING TANGENT~~~~~~

THE TEXT BELOW IS KIND OF RAMBLY AND DISCONNECTED FROM THE REST OF THIS POST FEEL FREE TO IGNORE

This is, dare I say, fitting buildup for Roxy and Calliope as a real red ship? Some people argue that them as a ship makes sense considering the late comic’s theme of abandoning social norms or what people are told is true, similar to Karkat’s idea that John has black feelings for Terezi.

And… fuck man. This is really weird to say, but those people aren’t wrong. They aren’t wrong at all! They raise a really good and fascinating point!!!!!!

But there’s one big caveat: as I established in my rewrite of post 4, those two as a ship aren’t presented well at all, especially after Calliope is brought back. Their conversations are just kind of super-positive and sugary fluff. And it doesn’t help that those two immediately follow buildup for a ship that’s still special to me after all this time and is, in many ways, the opposite of this ship. John and Roxy as a pairing are a bit weird narrative-wise, considering they crush hard on each other after a very short timeframe. But those two are pretty much the cutest duo in the whole comic, yes I just said that, it’s a fact, you can’t fight me.

Basically what I’m saying is: have Roxy and Calliope had a deep, resonant friendship that one could argue has potential to develop into something greater? The answer is hell yes. But did Calliope ever say anything like “what did ur monster say?” only to promptly correct herself? The answer is hell no. I don’t know about you, but I think I prefer fun things over things that might make more sense in the broader narrative.

The bottom line is: fun things are fun.* End shipping tangent.

—Maki Nishikino, probably.

Time to go back to talking about things like a kind of normal person, maybe. As much as dissecting Homestuck endlessly for 3+ years can qualify as “normal”.

UU: perhaps the fact that i am not is why the topic fascinates me so. 
UU: and why i have been prone do indUlge in sUch… 
UU: fancifUl visUalizations. 
UU: of yoUr people’s lovely bright red relationships. 
UU: they mUst be nice. u_u

Wait a minute, wasn’t Calliope supposed to be a troll? I think this passage is lead-in to the grand reveal that she isn’t one, with her discussing romance in a way completely unlike trolls.

(Though really, the writing was on the wall from day one. Why would a troll “cheer” or “jeer” people instead of trolling them?)

TG: lol well its not like i would know either way 
TG: but thats cool i didnt know that about you 
TG: i dont know ANYTHING about u but i wish i did 
TG: cant you at least tell me your name bfore you uh 
TG: maybe go ways 4 ever? ;( 
UU: yes, as a matter of fact. 
UU: that is actUally the reason i am contacting yoU. 
UU: it is one rUle i have decided to break. 
TG: oh fuck! 
TG: what is it!!!!!!! 
UU: my name is calliope. 
TG: 😮 
TG: ….. 
TG: ilike it :3 
UU: it feels so strange to type that! 
UU: bUt also good, actUally.

Calliope’s name reveal is more lead-in to her truth. It’s kind of another case where the story holds the reader’s hand leading up to the mystery, but to be fair those are only hints that she’s not a troll rather than what she is. Probably not likely people will pay enough attention to glean something from her name’s first three letters.

Roxy talks to John right after this, right?

… She doesn’t, but telling myself that will make it a little less fake.

TG: well ty for finally confiding in me calilope 
TG: *calliope sorrey 
UU: yoU’re welcome. it is good to get it off my chest. 
UU: bUt i am primarily telling yoU this as a last resort, in hopes of saving myself. 
UU: yoU see, this rUle between me and my brother is a kind of trUce. 
UU: we have both agreed not to say oUr names to anyone so that things will not get oUt of hand, and so it became one of the rUles. 
UU: if anyone were to say his name to me, i woUld immediately fall asleep, and he woUld wake Up.

Man I sure love that saying a cherub’s name as a wake-up call is never used for anything, ever. It seems like the author just brought it up as a plot point for us to reveal her name then it vanished into the void. No, not that kind of void, just the regular goddamn void. I guess he just didn’t know where to make that thing useful so it remains only used as a way for us to learn the UU alien’s name.

UU: oh bUgger. this is so embarrassing to have to admit. 
UU: i am sorry for saying things which may have reasonably led yoU to believe this. 
UU: probably way too many things. u_u; 
UU: bUt i am not actUally a troll. 
TG: o 
TG: rrrrrelay 
UU: i have never actUally claimed to be. bUt i’m sUre i have implied it, probably dUe to wishfUl thinking.

THE BIG REVEAL.

It only makes sense that Calliope would accidentally lie through omission, as she says here. And it’s a little interesting she recognizes she unintentionally misled people about it and the most likely reason she did it. I commend Hussie for being able to work the misleading exposition dump fangirl into the story in a way that kind of makes sense. Homestuck may be whimsical at its core, but sometimes things do need an in-universe reason to exist.

UU: i have spent so mUch time wishing i coUld be one. 
UU: trolls are a remarkable and fascinating race. 
UU: hUmans are too, please don’t get me wrong! 
UU: bUt i am oUt and oUt smitten with trolls and their history and ways. 
UU: they have sUch amazing, coloUrfUl social dynamics that soUnd like so mUch fUn to be a part of. 
UU: and they are so beaUtifUl.

It is at this point that readers slap themselves on their heads for having though Calliope was a troll, and rightfully so. Of COURSE the fangirl character would obsess over everything about trolls!!! To be fair, Karkat is a troll and has talked in depth about his own race’s romance so maybe it’s not completely out of the question Calliope would as well.

Oh yeah Calliope has an arc of low self-esteem about her appearance or something? Snore.

TG: then what kinda alien are you 
TG: wait dont tell me youre ACUTALLY from urnanus?? 
UU: heehee. no. 
UU: that jUst happened to be a planet from yoUr system i thoUght was lovely. 
UU: i was particUlarly strUck by its UniqUe rotation. 
UU: it has very nice… 
UU: bollocks, what’s the word. 
UU: the term that refers to a ball’s topspin? 
TG: ??? 
UU: it doesn’t matter.

Hey this moment is pretty funny and silly. If only the rest of those two’s interactions were like this. I’m going to expand on this train of thought before I continue with Calliope’s exposition.

Sburb stuff is happening in the background here, I forgot to say that.

Efficient storytelling, probably.

Let’s talk a bit about how Calliope could be a better character.

Calliope’s dynamics with the other alpha kids are mostly pretty similar to with Roxy; they treat her as the mysterious friendly troll and it’s not really super fleshed out. It kind of sucks a little that her dynamics with the other three aren’t really expanded beyond her being the exposition character; I can’t even imagine how she’d be improved in that aspect.

There is one character whose interactions with Calliope I surprisingly really enjoy and can’t place why. That character is Jade Harley! Her dream bubble scenes with Calliope are a super fun change of pace from what we had in the comic prior, with a lot of storytelling style and scene design we’d never seen before. I think Hussie succeeded at making the human and cherub space players, two of the most openly friendly characters, bounce off each other well while being more than just sappy fluff (or sappy fluff ft. a few stories told along the way). As I’ve said before, not everything about late Homestuck is bad, just the bad aspects stick out a lot by nature.

This is not to say that Jade is the only character who could possibly have conversations with Calliope that are actually fun to read. Roxy and Calliope’s interactions have a lot of potential to be better if maybe just a bit more humor was inserted into them. I’m just kind of bleh about this whole thing.

Calliope goes on to explain several more things.

(1) she is a cherub and her race only ever meets others of its kind through violent hate-sex;

(2) her Sburb session with Caliborn was really only a one-player session with BAD consequences, which I’ll say something about:

UU: this was always meant to be a session of one. 
UU: and i am finally starting to Understand… 
UU: the reality of that coUld have conseqUences more horrifying than we coUld begin to imagine. 
TG: um 
TG: how 
UU: the thing is, yoU don’t know him like i do. 
UU: as hard as it may be to believe, he is even worse than yoU think.

I’m glad I started working on my rewritten posts recently! When I got to, well, skipped to, the intermission in those, I noticed the way Lord English was described as an enormous, mysterious danger that nobody fully understands. Calliope’s lines strongly hint that her brother is the young Lord English, simply through describing how dangerous he is.

(3) she and Caliborn are both super-powerful master classes, the Muse of Space and the ???? of Time respectively:

UU: well, i was always led to believe i woUld be an extraordinary type of player. 
UU: both of Us woUld be. we are both assigned extremely rare and powerfUl classes. 
UU: they are the two master classes! 
TG: oh yeh? 
TG: what is urs 
UU: mine is the most passive on the scale. a class designated for females only. 
UU: i am the mUse of space. ^u^ 
TG: sounds p cool 
TG: whats a muse do 
UU: i’m not entirely sUre. i was hoping to discover that on my joUrney. 
UU: anyway, his is the other master class. 
UU: the most active class of all, reserved for male players.

Let’s talk about god tier Calliope again.

We now know that Calliope’s alternate timeline self is the one who fully realized her role as the Muse of Space. There was this whole thing where the Calliope we’ve been following since the start of Act 6 didn’t have to do anything similarly big, just function as a normal person. The reason I say “there was this whole thing” at the start of that sentence is because we don’t see her functioning as a normal person that much, other than continuing the saga of sugar overload interactions with Roxy. This brings to mind the two photo montage sections of Homestuck and what all could have been done in those.

“Vriskagram.” The name alone brings back upsetting memories for many readers. The meteor crew’s journey, which we followed in great detail before the retcon, is now just a photo montage that feels a lot more fake, not to mention every problem is apparently solved by, uh, Vriska. And we’re now supposed to care about and be invested in these brand new changed versions of the characters we knew and loved who are now dead! Not to mention that characters seem to hang out in exclusive pairs most of the time, which was a really unhealthy thing that happened in the tail end of the journey before the retcon but now is completely normal and happy???

The credits flash is another photo montage, in many ways an upgrade to Vriskagram. We get a lot more detail than before and it does have some dialogue and plenty of silly moments. I’d almost say the credits would be an ideal conclusion if Homestuck actually felt like it ended after Act 7. But either way, one big problem from Vriskagram carries over to the credits: that shitty buddy system is back in full force! The number of people in each group has increased from 2 to 3-4, which is a little better I guess but still kind of dumb. We don’t even get to see Calliope as a regular friend of the kids, just Roxy’s sidekick as usual. That of course isn’t helped by the problem that there never was a “final dialogue dump” or anything where every character gets a cool moment or an engaging conversation. If there was, maybe all those problems would have been solved!

I got off track, again. What did you expect from me? Anyway my point is, it makes sense for this version of Calliope just to be a regular friend of the kids but her character just isn’t fleshed out enough after being brought back to life for that idea to feel like it means anything.

Calliope ends the conversation going back to your usual “finish what you have to do, see you soon!” and then we get the BIG reveal.

I like how the reveal starts with a reminder that Calliope has troll horns. If you’ve been to a lot of conventions with troll cosplayers then you can definitely see where this is going. Whether or not you have, it’s a fun way to see how badly the author pranked readers.

The moment we see Calliope has green hands, attentive readers will likely connect the dots as to who her brother is. Funny enough, this is done concurrently with the reveal that she owns gray face paint just so she can pretend to be a troll.

When we see Calliope in full, it turns out that she was wearing cosplay horns this whole time (hence the myserty). A good metaphor for how readers probably feel about her big reveal; it makes them angry that they were misled, but it also makes a lot of sense. Oh yeah she looks like Lord English, that’s a thing.

You are now Calliope.

This picture of Calliope’s room has a LOT to unpack. A really, really huge amount. To my recollection, Calliope examines most of this stuff as we go on so I won’t cover everything here at once. I imagine the things that stick out to readers the most might be the shackle on her leg with Caliborn’s symbol, Karkat’s ~ATH book, and Doc Scratch’s gun. All some interesting hints right away at her identity and backstory. Each of the things I mentioned hints at a different part of that backstory. The book hints at where her room originally was, Doc Scratch’s gun hints that her brother is Lord English, and her shackle hints at the true nature of cherubs.

When Calliope takes off her horns and lays them on top of her white wig, things look REALLY familiar. We now know what Complacency of the Learned was foreshadowing, in a really obtuse and twisted around way. When that story was described and peeked at in Roxy’s narration pages, it probably doesn’t make sense to first-time readers, but when rereading, everything almost falls into place. By “almost”, I mean that it’s not a precise retelling, but twisted and remixed to the point of confusion.

Also now that we know as much about the Condesce as we do—that she was watched over and nudged by Calliope and Caliborn’s mother this whole time—it makes even more sense than before that she would be intimidated by those stories, with strange twisted retellings of the cherubs’ lives.

You have many fond memories of solo-cosplay in your room. It’s a lot of fun and alarmingly comfortable to just lounge around your room in-character.

This is a rather interesting passage. It has some odd implications about Calliope’s character and suggests she might genuinely “identify” as a troll, if that’s the right word. Maybe her getting over that obsession makes sense with the idea that Homestuck is partly a story about growing up, but it doesn’t totally sit well with me how much this is forgotten, especially in the credits where she is among the rulers of the carapace kingdom (not the troll kingdom) due to the workings of the dumb stupid dumb stupid dumb stupid buddy system.

These are just a few of the many drawings you have done over the years celebrating your absolute all-time favorite characters. Er… you mean friends.

Calliope: *says things like the narration above*
Roxy: ur pretty

Deep friendship right there.

… OK that joke was a little mean I admit. All exaggerations aside, Calliope definitely has some issues. It’s just one of many things that the story kind of weirdly abandons near the end.

Calliope ships Jake x Dirk, that’s still my headcanon.

Or a word that makes me sound like less of a dork than “headcanon”.

You often like to draw your TROLLSONA too, CALLIE OHPEEE. Yes, you suppose that’s a stretch, fitting your name into the 6/6 letter format like that. That’s ok, though. The limebloods reportedly had some unusual names. And they sure weren’t very popular. You like to believe you’d have fit right in.

You’ve written endlessly about her, and nearly filled a hard drive with related artwork. You have wished for nothing more in your life than to be her. Alas, you are resigned to living out the rest of your days as a little green skull monster. It really sucks!

Calliope is quite adorably clumsy at making a self-insert fantroll. I would say more about how the story is less adorably clumsy at handling her as a character outside of that aspect but I’ve done that so much already.

To the left is a drawing of nothing in particular. Nothing you understand, at least. This is a symbol which has haunted your visions for as long as you can remember.

Mmmmm, juicy foreshadowing. This seems like a case where readers are supposed to take a stab at what this could possibly represent and then get surprised. We do already know that the spiral is an arc symbol of the cherubs so that rules out a lot of possibilities.

You stow the delicious mess in your sylladex. You might be inclined to snack on it now, but due to the nature of your JUJU MODUS, you cannot access it. Once you captchalogue something, only your brother can use it. And vice versa. 

By this point, when we see a new character’s fetch modus it’s mostly just a one-off indication of the character’s general nature or a major trait. In this case, it hints that Calliope and Caliborn share a body.

The special stardust is a hint that Gamzee raised the cherubs. I probably could have mentioned it in our first peek at Calliope’s room but whatever. It was never totally clear what that thing does, but now it makes sense that Gamzee, the resident plot armor guy, would be affiliated with that substance. It has no bearing on the plot other than signifying that Gamzee is up and about. EDIT (3/18/2020): Wow, I sure forgot that Caliborn would later use this stardust to clog the Act 6 Act 6 cartridge, didn’t I.

Calliope checks out what Caliborn has captchalogued for her and OH MY GOD GOOD PROBLEM SLEUTH REFERENCE. It is excellently worked into the story and even referred to as “unpleasant notes”.

Caliborn x Problem Sleuth is a GOOD COMBINATION. Need I say more?

The Caliborn spin on Ace Dick’s unpleasant notes, aaaaaa so good

In this last note, Caliborn spoils a lot of the future. He hints at his identity as Lord English once again, referencing the time English spoke in green and the green color scheme of the Midnight Crew Intermission’s world.

Next up, Calliope takes a look at Rose’s Sburb journal from the meteor

I very much appreciate that this is the same RL lettering that appears on Rose’s walkthrough. Indicates how similar those two are, both in and out of story.

Whenever Rose writes something lengthy and detailed, you can guarantee it falls into just the right hands for it to be indirectly responsible for pretty much everything ever.

Of course Calliope didn’t discuss this discovery with Rose like Kanaya did with her discovery, because being sappy with Roxy and nobody else is more important than any of that nonsense.

Did he arrive when this was being written? Or was he already there, somehow? He is supposedly an exceptionally advanced Hero of Time, after all. Could it be that your horrible stupid brother of all people has been inextricably involved in your beloved epic all along? For the first time ever, you have just uncovered compelling evidence that this might be true. 

[…] But now that you think about it, maybe your theory is just too far fetched. Actually, it is completely preposterous, and you don’t even know what you were thinking there. You’re sure he would get a kick out of the idea though, what with his megalomaniacal view of himself as some sort of lethal puzzlemaster, always boasting that red herrings swim through his veins and such. Which is just about the biggest crock of shit you’ve ever heard.

How exactly does Calliope know that her brother really is dangerous if she didn’t have any idea before? Is it just an inference based on the fact that a master class player will be doing a one-player session? Maybe it’s better if I don’t dwell too much on this silly bit and move on, because it’s mostly meant just to establish that the cherubs live on the trolls’ meteor after they left it behind

Why is every character in the comic so bad at detecting Gamzee is behind things?

Gamzee doesn’t need to be particularly clever to mislead people. He just magically turns everyone into idiots when he’s around.

Yeah, see here?

These are the dark spots you were referring to. Little tidbits here and there have been redacted by some fool with no respect for history. Looks like he used some kind of peculiar indigo ink.

Frustratingly enough, most of the redactions target any piece of information about the indestructible demon who was either directly or indirectly behind every terrible event in the story. Everything about him, like where he came from, information about his manipulative right hand man, his agenda, his abilities, his name… all of it has been voided out.

This is probably the most obtuse way possible to reference a character’s god tier title; specifically, Equius’s role as a void player. Only the most attentive readers could ever catch this on their own: the void player’s blood is the one used to black out information. A brilliantly subtle touch that makes the story just a tinge more convoluted than it already is.

Most of the other blot-outs seem to target one member of the post-scratch troll group. Some guy who drinks a lot of soda? These omissions strike you as much less consequential. Frivolous, even. Whoever that guy was, he sounds like he was easily the least important character in the entire story.

And this is of course where Calliope falls short on speculation. She can’t figure out that the guy who drinks a lot of soda is probably connected to that indestructible demon, even though were clearly redacted by the same person.

It’s some sort of programming book. You don’t care much for programming, but you’ve adapted it as a FANFICTION JOURNAL. You’ve filled it up completely with your most colorful headcanons and romfics. You’ve also pasted in some of your artwork, turning a rather dreary manual on some morbid, tilde-heavy language into a lively scrapbook. Many of the stories involve Callie, and all of them involve heavy themes of romance. Particularly the other three quadrants which are completely alien to you, and therefore especially titillating.

I wonder which other character finds regular simple human romance to be sexually arousing? And which other character keeps this fascination a deep secret, especially from their sibling?

That’s right, Caliborn is scarily similar to Calliope in this regard. It’s a known fact that people who obsessively love something and people who obsessively hate it have a LOT in common that they will never admit. And the two cherubs match this analogy hilariously perfectly.

> Calliope: Open it.

Er, no. You’d rather not. Down that road lies only endless embarrassments. THE THINGS YOU MADE SWEET, INNOCENT CALLIE DO.

Holding hands and eating cake, am I right??? There is not a shred of doubt in my mind that her stories go no more explicit than characters occasionally holding hands and smiling and that qualifies as dirty and smutty to her.

Hopefully this reminds readers of Hussie’s duel with Lord English now.

Calliope’s strife specibus is another little pattern that at this point is just an indicator or hint at the cherubs’ nature and overarching themes.

“Why don’t we stop wasting everyone’s time, shut the lid on this lousy MacGuffin, and get on with it.”

Makes me a little upset but matches what I’m doing with discussing this page.

Calliope opens her juju chest or whatever that is and the narration lampshades that we aren’t going to see it for a while and it’s probably not that great or exciting, which is a funny thing to read in retrospect considering how—NO FUCK THIS I’M NOT GOING TO WASTE TIME RANTING ABOUT ACT 7 AGAIN.

I don’t think I’ve said before that the shackles are a rather literal way to incorporate the comic’s title into the story; it makes the cherubs stuck inside their homes and unable to explore much of the outside world. What’s interesting about this instance of characters being “homestuck” is that the outside world isn’t an alien land the story never explains; rather, it is the world of the comic’s great mysteries, which Caliborn explores after he bites his leg off. Gamzee made the cherubs forcibly stuck inside their own home, rather than just metaphorically stuck like the kids and trolls generally are.

This is the chain you shackle to your other leg when you’re about to go to sleep. You are the only one who is able to unlock it.

[…]

Sleeping with shackled legs doesn’t make for very comfy slumber. Still, it’s advisable to stay in the habit, unless you want all your belongings to get messed with.

This bit is pretty interesting, because it suggests that the cherubs are kept in check by both sleeping with shackled legs. And the reason they keep themselves in check is, amusingly enough, just that they both don’t want the other to touch their belongings. But that premise works well and completely makes sense as an explanation to why they’re locked inside their home.

Frustratingly, Caliborn’s half of the room is kept a mystery throughout the whole comic.

But it’s made up for by the fact that he is the best character in all of Homestuck so it’s hard to feel all that broken up by it.

Like you said, you don’t have a bed.

You have a SARSWAPAGUS.

Every time you wake up, you are always sure to put the lid back on neatly.

Considering you virtually always find it exactly where you left it, you doubt your brother is anywhere near as diligent about making the bed. Wait, you mean sarswapagus. 

But the fact that he’s a slob was never exactly breaking news to anyone. 

I like the thrown-in reference to the pattern that Prospit dreamers always make their beds while Derse dreamers never do. It’s just about the best way to do it without revealing exactly who Caliborn is.

Neither is the fact that you both share a body.

I mean come on.

Out of all the ways the story could have revealed that Calliope and Caliborn share a body…

Well it kind of makes sense that it’s done this way. I can’t imagine any way that would be outright stated in narration without feeling shoehorned in so it makes sense to reveal it in a comedic way, basically saying “this is canon now but come on you already knew that”. The same is done for a few other revelations about cherubs later on, including the whopper one (Caliborn is Lord English, who would have guessed????) and then a few in Caliborn’s conversations with Hussie’s self-insert.

Next, Calliope looks outside to see the sun and through visual callbacks—if memory serves me, to Terezi’s blinding in [S] Make her pay—which I think are meant to establish that the sun outside is shining really bright. It’s supposedly a red supergiant on the verge of death.

A zoom out reveals a familiar image. The trolls’ meteor is still a thing that exists, just situated on a barren future world now. Another thing that is obvious at this point but good to confirm because it makes a huge amount of sense in retrospect.

The next thing we see outside is a funny moment: the world she lives on has a JPEG Statue of Liberty, somehow. It seems like a silly one-off, but Hussie’s self-insert later tells Caliborn (and with it, many readers) “this means that this was Earth the whole time and you’re supposed to have a mental breakdown you dumbass”. Both an advantage and a disadvantage of the spirit of Homestuck. Advantage because it’s a clever spin on the usual realization; disadvantage because it may come off as just a stupid joke.

This is a thing Calliope could have discussed with Dave but didn’t because as before, Hussie was too busy writing his 50th goddamn Roxy/Calliope friendship conversation.

Wait that isn’t just one Statue of Liberty. Calliope’s narration gives us another hint at where she truly lives:

You have always had the feeling that whoever used to live on this planet had a really strange sense of humor.

Who could this person possibly be? I already explained before that the revelation that she lives on Earth is shown in a slightly strange way, which the author full-out lampshades.

As promised, I’m stopping this post here before the selection screen narrated (yes yes I know it’s really just pesterlogs) completely by Caliborn. See you next time as everyone fucking dies, probably. And dream Dirk confuses everybody.

>> Part 84: Cherubic Gloats and Confused Glances

Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 3 Rewritten: Immersive Simulation Gone Apocalyptic

Introduction

Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 >

Act 1, Part 3 of 3

Pages 138-247 (MSPA: 2038-2147)

Link to old version

Coming up with new names for these posts is pretty fun.
Spoiler: “Down the Chitinous Windhole” will not be renamed.

Welcome aboard to the wonderful, mysterious world of SBURB! Come join as I play the role of a first-time reader, fallen into the trap of confusion that catches many readers of Act 1.

The first thing we see of the game is Rose viewing John’s house, with symbols and icons related to captchalogue cards, seemingly used for moving and adding things to John’s house. “Wait a minute,” the reader thinks, “this isn’t your usual video game.” Is Rose able to edit a digital recreation of John’s house? Or is this a real live camera, able to edit things from afar?

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Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 80: Two Refreshing Changes of Pace

Introduction

Part 79 | Part 80 | Part 81 >

Act 6 Act 3, Part 6

Pages 4932-4962 (MSPA: 6832-6862)

I’m back.

Bet you didn’t expect a new Homestuck blog post to come now, did you? I wrote this post on a whim in a few hours; explanation coming shortly.

10/8/2019: From here on out, the posts are recent enough not to need many 2019 edits.

In the no-nonsense spirit of the Draconian Dignitary, the character we’re currently following, I’m just going to comment on interesting things that happen in the comic and act like nothing ever happened. Weird how that was kind of a perfect place to put the post series on hiatus for almost two years.

I don’t know if I’ve said it on this blog before, but I’ve always felt that the Derse agents are an underrated part of the comic. If the trolls didn’t exist, maybe the agents could have gotten more attention; they’re just a fun quartet of four personalities. Though I guess the intermission did serve as a way to characterize those four in a completely alien setting. A bit of a shame they didn’t get much closure in the end, besides the BULLSHIT that the beta kids’ Jack was spared in the end and not the others.

Instead of painstakingly trying to comment on everything, here’s the first thing from this arc focusing on DD that I find interesting:

By now the [prince] is up to his goddamn neck in convoluted gothic architecture. He’s burrowed fuck deep in flying buttresses and purple pointy things. He even stopped by the boss’s CUBICLE OF VIGILANCE and sliced up his FENESTRATED WALLS to make searching for him harder. Cunning bastard. 

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