Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 96: Patron Manbros and Prankster Burnouts

Introduction / Schedule (slight change!)

Part 95 | Part 96 | Part 97 >


Act 6 Act 5, Part 4 of 6


Pages 5669-5712 (MSPA: 7669-7712)


Next post is the trickster arc. I am so fucking sorry in advance.

But who knows? Maybe it isn’t that bad. I’ll see for myself.

October 1, 2019 is the day I will migrate my entire blog to a custom web domain! Currently figuring out the details of how I will do that.

Also, there will be no Homestuck post next week because I have two big school assignments due a week from now.


Jake answers Caliborn, who wants to have an earnest gentlemanly conversation with him. 

uu: FEMALES ARE NOT BIOLOGICALLY EQUIPPED TO BEHAVE REASONABLY. AS PROVEN BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT. BY EMPIRICAL ASSERTION.
uu: THEY ARE VERY SHRILL AND INSANE AND DON’T MAKE ANY SENSE. THEIR EMOTIONS ARE OUT OF CONTROL AND THEIR FEELINGS NEVER SHUT UP.
uu: AND WORST OF ALL. GIRLS ARE VERY TRENCHANT TOWARD BOYS WHO WOULD KINDLY INFORM THEM OF THE WAY REALITY FUCKING WORKS.
uu: TALK ABOUT UNGRATEFUL. NO. THERE IS NOTHING WORTHWHILE TO BE GAINED. FROM CHATTING UP THE BITCHES.
uu: AS SUCH. IT IS MY SOLEMN BOYPLEDGE. THAT I WILL NEVER BOTHER SPEAKING WITH YOUR FOUL HUMAN STRUMPETS AGAIN.


Caliborn’s sexism never fails to crack me up. It’s just so much funnier than it has any reason to be.


Jake goes on a walk through the Land of Hills and Stone Henges as he talks to Caliborn, which gives us some nice scenery.

uu: THROUGH CAREFUL OBSERVATION OF YOUR PARTY. I HAVE DETERMINED THEY ARE BOTH USELESS. AND HOLDING YOU ALL BACK.
uu: ON THE OTHER HAND. BOTH OF YOUR MALE PLAYERS ARE PRETTY GOOD. THE OTHER GUY, AND HIS RED FLOATING MALE GHOST? THEY’RE SO STRONG. IT’S SO GREAT.
uu: I REALLY RESPECT THAT.
GT: Yeah. Dirk is a pretty tough cookie alright…
uu: YOU’RE NOT AS STRONG. BUT WHATEVER. YOU’RE ALRIGHT ANYWAY.
uu: LET’S FACE IT. COMPARED TO THE FECKLESS HOES. YOU’RE IN A CLASS OF YOUR OWN.
GT: But i thought you hated me!
GT: At least thats how i remember it when we last talked.
GT: Which was admittedly a while ago.
GT: Ive never been accused of having a photographic memory but i dont recall you typing in green either.
GT: Are you ripping me off bro??
uu: NO YOU FUCKING MORON.
uu: IF I STOOPED TO YOUR LEVEL. AND DECIDED TO JACK *ANY* PORTION OF YOUR SWAGGER.
uu: DON’T YOU THINK. YOU’D NEED TO EARN MY RESPECT FIRST??? 


Foreshadowing, am I right??? For some reason, I never realized until writing these blog posts how much the events of Caliborn’s Masterpiece had been foreshadowed.

GT: I dont think I understand.
uu: YES. EXACTLY.
uu: UNDERSTANDING IS WHAT I NOTICE YOU DON’T DO. AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.
uu: THIS IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT JAKE.
uu: IT IS WHY I HAVE TAKEN AN INTEREST IN YOU.
GT: Whys that?
uu: BECAUSE YOU’RE DUMB AS A BAG OF TEETH.
uu: I’VE CHECKED YOU OUT. FROM MANY DIFFERENT MONITORS.
uu: YOU ARE JUST. SPECTACULARLY UNINTELLIGENT.
GT: Hey!
uu: SETTLE DOWN. I WAS TRYING TO PAY YOU A COMPLIMENT.
GT: Oh. Whoops.
GT: Go on then.
uu: WHILE TO CASUAL OBSERVERS YOU MIGHT APPEAR. TOO STUPID TO KNOW HOW FAR PANTS ARE SUPPOSED TO GO DOWN YOUR LEGS.
uu: I KNOW THAT IT’S QUITE POSSIBLE. YOU ARE JUST MISUNDERSTOOD.
uu: IT IS POSSIBLE THAT YOU JUST HAVE A SPECIAL MIND.
uu: LIKE ME.


Caliborn is going through character development as we speak. He’s an absolute master at progressing in life in a different way from how most people do, and his thoughts on Jake are a good example: he doesn’t get over his stereotypes about the alpha kids, but rather works with his stereotypes. Caliborn still thinks Jake is less intelligent than the other alpha kids, but now knows it’s natural for someone with such hidden potential to come off that way at first. He knows this by comparing Jake with himself, which would not be possible if he didn’t have such an overinflated ego.

GT: You think so?
GT: Not to sound too self obsessed or anything but ive given that some thought.
GT: That maybe there is something special about me that nobody can understand. And maybe thats why i always seem to be botching things up the wazoo with my pals.
GT: Maybe thats why i feel like such a loner. I dunno. Im rambling and ive been thinking about it a lot lately. What about you?


Jake has the weirdest possible choices for who to confess his inner insecurities to: first Erisolsprite, and now Caliborn. He freely trusts the most vile and trollish people imaginable, like John but even worse.

GT: Does being special make you screw the pooch with your friends like it does for me?
uu: UGH. NO. I DON’T HAVE ANY FRIENDS.
uu: FOR MY PEOPLE. THE WORD FOR FRIENDS. IS FLAWS.


This is totally something a troll would have said in the early acts. I’ve said before that Caliborn is a lot like how the trolls were first portrayed with all the over-the-top edginess, most especially Karkat.

GT: Wow really?
uu: PROBABLY NOT? BUT. IT SHOULD BE.
uu: BECAUSE IT’S TRUE. AS A MATTER OF MY PERFECT PHILOSOPHY ABOUT EVERYTHING.


This is totally the opposite of something Karkat would say. He and Caliborn are on complete opposite ends in the humility scale, which is their main difference.

uu: BUT THE FACT THAT YOU CLEARLY HATE YOUR FRIENDS. AND ARE READY TO SHED THEM LIKE THE DRY SKIN OF A SERPENT.
uu: INDICATES THAT WE SHARE A VERY SPECIAL QUALITY AMONG BROTHERLY BROS. WHO MUST WORK HARDER WITH OUR BRAINS THAN EVERYONE ELSE.
uu: SO WE MAY ACHIEVE BRUTAL SUPREMACY OVER THEM ALL.


This bit reminds me of Karkat’s first ever conversation with a human, where he hit on John spadeways because he thought they were cosmically connected. I suppose that’s another thing Karkat and Caliborn have in common: they both like to base relationships upon cosmic connections. Calliope is all about cosmic connections too, which makes sense because she and Caliborn also have a lot in common.

GT: Haha. Well i wouldnt go that far. I love my friends!
GT: But i was once told i had a lot of potential.
GT: Supposedly thats how all pages are and it takes them for frickin EVER to reach it.
GT: And funnily enough it was a figment of my own subconscious that told me this. A part of my untapped potential itself! But disguised as my best bro which was…
GT: Peculiar to say the least.
GT: Is that your situation? Are you a page too?
uu: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
uu: HELL NO. BUT THANKS FOR THE LAUGH.
uu: MY CLASS IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN YOURS. IT’S NOT EVEN FUNNY. EVEN THOUGH I JUST LAUGHED.
uu: MINE IS THE BEST OF ALL. WHILE YOURS IS FUCKING TRASH.
GT: Oh? Whats yours then?
uu: LORD.
GT: Fine then jeez.
GT: Sorry for asking!
uu: WHAT?
uu: NO.
uu: THAT WAS NOT A SHORT REMARK OF FRUSTRATION.
uu: IT WAS THE ANSWER DUMBASS.
GT: Oh.
uu: IT’S THE MASTER CLASS.
uu: DON’T YOU LOSERS DO ANY HOMEWORK ON THIS GAME.
uu: YOU’D THINK YOU WOULD ALL BE EXPERTS. WITH HOW MUCH MY SISTER HARANGUED YOU ON THIS TEDIOUS SHIT.


Caliborn raises a good point about the alpha kids’ game. I can think of two explanations why aren’t supreme Sburb experts: (1) Calliope carefully distributed details to avoid causal spoilers, or (2) Gamzee’s redactions made her not know as much as she otherwise would have. It’s probably motherfuckin’ both things.

uu: SINCE I HAVE HAD GREAT SUCCESS SO FAR. IN PROGRESSING THROUGH THIS DEAD SESSION. I DECIDED. IT WAS TIME TO BITE THAT BULLET.
uu: AND RETURN HOME. TO RETRIEVE ALL OF HER TERRIBLE TEXTS ON THE SUBJECT OF THIS GAME. AND OF YOUR STORY.
uu: I HAVE PORED OVER EVERY NAUSEATING VERSE. IT HAS BEEN A TRUE EXERCISE IN AGONY. FEW COULD POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND MY SUFFERING.


Caliborn going back to the trolls’ meteor to reread Calliope’s texts is analogous to a tsundere Homestuck fan rereading the comic and reluctantly not skipping the pesterlogs, so that when they’re done with the reread they understand the comic a lot better.

uu: BUT THAT’S OK.
uu: BECAUSE I’M NOT THE IDIOT KID I USED TO BE. NOW I KNOW. THAT WHAT IT TAKES FOR ME TO LEARN AND GROW STRONGER.
uu: IS EXCRUCIATING EFFORT.
uu: SO I HAVE A CHOICE. WHICH IS TO EITHER BE WEAK.
uu: WHEN WEAKNESS IS COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE.
uu: OR TO SUFFER. FOREVER. UNTIL NO ONE ELSE EXISTS.
uu: WHO IS STRONGER THAN ME.


More character development! Caliborn recognizes that sometimes one must go through some suffering to achieve their full potential, which he’s been doing both to become an invincible time-traveling demon and to become a groundbreaking artist. If you read Homestuck the right way, every word of Caliborn’s ego-stroking becomes wise artistic advice.

uu: AND THAT’S YOUR CHOICE TOO.
uu: PAGE HUMAN ENGLISH.
GT: Sakes alive.
GT: That is a bit extreme no?
uu: FOR YOU. PROBABLY EVEN MORE SO.
uu: BECAUSE AS A LOWLY PAGE. AND AS AN EVEN LOWLIER HUMAN. YOU ARE UTTERLY WORTHLESS.
uu: AND SO YOUR TRIALS I BELIEVE MUST INCLUDE. PROVING TO PARADOX SPACE THAT YOU EVEN DESERVE TO EXIST. IN THE FIRST PLACE.
uu: AND WHILE MY TRIALS WILL BE SIMILARLY GRUELING. A LORD’S WORTHINESS IS AT NO POINT EVER IN DOUBT.
uu: HIS NOBILITY IS MANIFEST. SUPREME MASTERY WAITS FOR HIM PATIENTLY. LIKE AN EMPTY THRONE UNDER HEAVY GUARD.
uu: REALITY ALREADY KNOWS I WILL PREVAIL. JUST AS IT KNEW I WOULD PREDOMINATE.
uu: AND SO INEVITABILITY IS ALWAYS ON MY SIDE.
uu: IT IS MY. WHAT DO YOU CALL IT.
uu: BORTHRIGHT?
uu: BORTHRIGHT.
GT: I dont think thats a word.
GT: But hey you are the lord and i am the lowly page.
uu: DAMN STRAIGHT.
uu: NEVER FORGET WHO YOU ARE MEANT TO SERVE.


This is just a longer way for Caliborn to reiterate Lord English’s arc words, “he is already here”.


The scenery of Jake walking through a Stonehenge is really cool. It’s kind of crazy seeing this guy walking alone dressed in such a skimpy outfit—shows how much he’s awkwardly tiptoeing around his relationship with Dirk.

GT: Now just a minute buddy. Lets not get carried away.
GT: I have no intention of serving you. In fact im not even sure why im still talking to you!
GT: Youre lucky that my manners are impeccable otherwise i would have blocked you already, what with the scandalous way you have characterized my ladyfriends alone.
GT: Its all well and good you think we have some things in common but i wont fall for it!
GT: Maybe its true at times i can be a little slow on the uptake but i will not be sweet talked into doing the bidding for a silver tongued cur!!!
GT: So to you sir lord i must say GOOD DAY.
uu: JAKE.
uu: YOU STUPID SHIT.
uu: HOW CAN YOU BE THIS DUMB.
uu: ALRIGHT. FIRST OF ALL. MY TONGUE IS NOT SILVER. THAT’S VERY CLOSE TO BEING INSULTING TO ME.


I LOVE it whenever Caliborn or Calliope subtly references cherub biology. It’s always way funnier than it should be, especially that one scene where Calliope giggles thinking about giant snake monsters.

GT: Whatever! Look i know you are not the most quickwitted fella either, so i must inform you this is what we call a “figure of speech.”
GT: You know. Like if i said you speak with a forked tongue. Not unlike LUCIFER HIMSELF!!!
uu: BUT. I ACTUALLY DO HAVE A FORKED TONGUE.
GT: Oh…
GT: Really?
uu: WAIT IS THAT SERIOUSLY AN INSULT IN YOUR CULTURE? HOW IS THAT INSULTING??
GT: It just means you arent trustworthy, and i should not be lulled by your false promises.
uu: WOW. OK. WOW.
uu: FIRST. NOT ONLY ARE YOU AN IMBECILE. YOU’RE A FUCKING RACIST TOO.
GT: No im not!
uu: JAKE. YOU JUST SAID SOME RACIST SHIT. END OF STORY.


Man, it’s a good thing racism between species never amounts to more than one-off jokes in Homestuck. It sure would suck if species discrimination and stereotyping was ever taken as more of a serious subject…

(The joke is that the epilogues make species discrimination a VERY serious subject, which is actually a good way to make Jane a more interesting character, being the sheltered rich kid and all.)

uu: SECOND OF ALL. I’M NOT ASKING YOU FOR A DAMN THING.
uu: AS IF YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO OFFER ME AT ALL.
uu: THE VERY IDEA THAT YOU COULD IN ANY WAY IMPROVE MY EXISTENCE. IS ALMOST AS OFFENSIVE AS. YOUR FLAGRANT RACISM.
uu: THERE’S NO “DEAL WITH THE DEVIL” BULLSHIT GOING ON HERE.
uu: I’M OFFERING TO HELP YOU. STRICTLY AS A PRO BONO ARRANGEMENT.
uu: MY ASSISTANCE WILL BE. AN UNCONDITIONAL ACT OF BENEVIOLENCE.
GT: Dont you mean benevolence?
uu: NO.
GT: Um. Ok then.
GT: But why do you want to help me?
GT: Is it really just because you relate to me and therefore want me to succeed?


!!!!!!!!!!!

NEW FACT ABOUT CALIBORN I SOMEHOW NEVER REALIZED

Though Caliborn’s “favorite character” among the alpha kids is Dirk, his “most relatable character” is Jake, which puts a new layer of humor on his renaming to Lord English. I find the discrepancy between Caliborn’s favorite and most relatable characters interesting because for many people, their favorite characters are the ones they relate to the most—it is absolutely this way for me, which is why John has always been my favorite character.* I relate to Caliborn in that he often relates to thick-headed characters, which makes sense because if you relate to John, then you probably also relate to Jake. Favorite characters being the toughest ones (in Caliborn’s case, Dirk) is something I do not have in common with Caliborn.

* Well, favorite character depending on my mood. Caliborn is so goddamn good he makes an exception.

Caliborn then offers Jake a phone wallpaper:


He still has a ways to go before becoming a good artist, but he’s WAY better now than he was in Act 6 Act 3. It’s incredibly endearing to see him gradually improve in artistic skill.

uu: APPLY THE WALLPAPER THIS FUCKING INSTANT YOU CRETINOUS PHILISTINE. OR THE DEAL’S OFF.
GT: Ok fine!
GT: Gad freaking zooks. Just what i need another pushy bro in my life.
GT: This secret training of yours better be worth it!
uu: IT’S NOT TRAINING.
uu: IT’S JUST SOME GUIDANCE FROM A FAR AWAY ALIEN.
uu: I WILL BE YOUR PATRON TROLL. THAT’S LIKE THIS WHOLE THING IN YOUR STORY. HAVING A PATRON TROLL.
GT: But i thought you werent a troll.
uu: OF COURSE I’M NOT A TROLL. TROLLS ARE A KIND OF PESTILENT VERMIN AND THEY SHOULD ALL SUFFER AND DIE.
uu: “PATRON TROLL” IS JUST A PHRASE TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND.


Now that Caliborn has (metaphorically) reread Homestuck, he’s much better at grasping concepts from the story and even applies them in an earnest attempt to help Jake understand what he’s talking about.

GT: Its not helping me understand though.
GT: Shoudlnt you be a patron cherub if anything?
uu: NO. GOD. DON’T MAKE UP TERMS FOR WHAT I AM. I WILL DO THAT.
uu: I WILL JUST BE YOUR PATRON DUDE.
uu: OR MAYBE. YOUR PATRON MANBRO.
GT: Sounds pretty gay.
uu: WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?
GT: Whats what?
uu: GAY. WHAT’S GAY YOU IDIOT FUCK.
GT: Oh right.
GT: Forgive me i forget you arent familiar with all of my earth lingo.
GT: Its like…
GT: How do i explain.
GT: You know. Its a rather old fashioned term for being jolly and festive together.
GT: Like “that rollicking time we had scrumming the other eve sure was gay.”
uu: I SEE.
uu: THEN YES. YOU ARE CORRECT.
uu: THIS IS GOING TO BE GAY AS HELL.


Having held a decent-length conversation with Caliborn, Jake lets his inner Egbertian prankster shine and gives Caliborn the outdated definition of “gay” just like how John would sometimes incorrectly describe human concepts to troll Karkat. Or at least, that’s how I read this scene. I don’t think Jake is that old-fashioned.

Note Erisolsprite flipping the bird in the background.


uu: AS A LORD OF TIME. I THINK I’M GOING TO MASTER TIME. NOT WITH MY BRAIN. WHICH WOULD BE TOO HARD. BUT WITH MY INSTINCTS.
uu: LIKE IN A WAY THAT WORKS WITH MY NATURAL IMPULSES. SUCH AS MY AMBITION. MY WILL TO COMMIT MAYHEM. MY DESIRE TO PUNISH THOSE I DESPISE.
uu: SO IF I WANT YOU TO BECOME STRONG. SO YOU CAN CHALLENGE ME LATER. AND I SEE EVIDENCE. THAT YOU PROBABLY BECOME SUCCESSFUL.
uu: I THINK TO MYSELF. WHY SHOULDN’T I BE THE ONE TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN? IF IT’S GOING TO ANYWAY.
uu: I THINK PART OF MY PERSONAL QUEST. IS TO BECOME AT EASE WITH THE FORCES OF INEVITABILITY.
uu: INEVITABILITY THAT ALL THINGS SHOULD AND WILL FALL IN MY FAVOR. THAT ALL CAUSALITY ANSWERS TO ME. AND THAT ALL OUTCOMES NOT ONLY SERVE ME. BUT CONSIST OF MY BEING.
uu: SO I FEEL THAT. THE MORE I GROW IN POWER.
uu: THE MORE STUFF IT SHOULD TURN OUT I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR.
uu: UP TO AND INCLUDING. EVERYTHING THAT EVER HAPPENS.
uu: EVEN IF IT HAS TO BE.
uu: RETROACTIVELY.


Caliborn’s explanation of his path as a Lord of Time makes a lot of metafictional sense. Just as he works with his stereotypes about the alpha kids, he’s learning to work with predestination and make more of it bend in his favor the more he grows in power. He also gives a bit of a meta tie-in to all the stuff Lord English is revealed to have taken part in; Dave uses this same point to argue that there’s no real reason to fight English and that he’s in some convoluted way responsible for everyone existing.

Jake takes his turn to explain what he thinks his aspect (Hope) is about:

GT: Um well its something i think everyone should have in their hearts.
uu: I KNEW IT. YOU JUST SAID.
uu: THE LAMEST POSSIBLE THING.
GT: But i wasnt finished!
uu: FUCK.
GT: Hope to me is all about believing in stuff.
GT: If you believe in stuff then everything feels like its going to turn out ok.
GT: And if you believe in stuff with enough gusto i dare say it imbues that stuff with a pinch more chutzpah. Even the fake stuff!
GT: And then if you keep an open mind and adventurous spirit, that chutzpah flows directly into your heart, and thats when YOU have the power.
GT: So i think if hope grants one the power to smite villainy and vanquish hooligans thats probably where it comes from!
uu: NO.
uu: OH GOD. NO.
uu: THAT IS ACTUALLY THE WORST THING I’VE EVER READ.
uu: THAT CAN’T BE RIGHT. I REFUSE TO BELIEVE IT.
GT: Well THERES your problem dude. You dont want to BELIEVE!
GT: Just let go and believe in things. Then youll find you had the power in you all along.


Jake’s explanation is cheesy as all hell, but I think it is indeed what Hope is all about. The power of belief is a real thing that exists in the real world—why do you think there’s such a thing as the placebo effect? Because if you believe hard enough in something, chances are it will become slightly less fake. That’s how Eridan got his science wand to be so deadly, which is something I didn’t catch back then due to being kind of stupid—I used to not even believe in the placebo effect.

Caliborn then explains how to go god tier without a backup dream self, which is something Calliope already explained but is explained again by the other cherub either for thematic effect or to hammer it in further.

GT: So you say you will help me be a god tier…
GT: But there are other ways you will help too?
uu: YES.
uu: I AM GOING TO GIVE YOU A GIFT.
uu: IT IS MY JUJU.
GT: Neat!
GT: But what the bejesus is a juju?
uu: I REALLY FIND IT HARD. TO COMPREHEND WHAT SORT OF ASSHOLE DOESN’T KNOW WHAT A JUJU IS.
uu: BUT SINCE I AM YOUR PATRON MANBRO. I WILL PUT ASIDE THOSE FEELINGS. AND ATTEMPT TO BE A LITTLE MORE GAY.
GT: That would be hunky dory.
GT: In my view distinguished gentlemen should always strive to be as gay as possible with each other.
uu: AMEN TO FUCKING THAT.
uu: ANYWAY. A JUJU IS A MAGICAL THING. IT HAS NO REAL BEGINNING OR END.
uu: THEY’RE JUST ALWAYS AROUND. THERE FOR YOU.
uu: YOU GROW UP WITH THEM. AND THEY BRING YOU COMFORT. AND YOU NEVER QUESTION THEIR EXISTENCE.
uu: IT’S LIKE SOME OF THE SHIT YOU HAD IN YOUR ROOM AS A KID. EXCEPT NOT USELESS GARBAGE. AND MORE MAGICAL.
uu: THEY ALWAYS HAVE RULES. AND THEY ALWAYS HAVE OWNERS.
uu: YOU CAN TAKE SOMEONE’S JUJU. IF THE OWNER WAS KILLED.
uu: OR IF HE GIVES IT TO YOU FREELY. LIKE I’M DOING.
uu: SO I WILL GIVE YOU THE CODE TO MAKE IT YOURSELF.
uu: ONCE YOU DO. IT SHOULD DISAPPEAR FROM MY CHEST. AND IT WILL NO LONGER BE MINE.


Caliborn’s explanation of how jujus work is an interesting case of his cosmic retroactivity—specifically, the story behind the Felt’s time devices, which we soon learn are all jujus. Hussie probably had a lot of fun coming up with the story behind the Felt in this sub-act and the following sub-intermission. I can tell he made a lot of it up on the fly, especially the topic of leprechaun romance.


This image reveals to us that Caliborn now has a proper gold tooth, which is one step ahead on his ascension to Lord English. I don’t know if we ever learn where he got that tooth, but I’m almost certain that thing is a juju. In the Meat Epilogue, English’s tooth overrides the usual rules for god tier death and kills John in a much more brutal way than ever before, which sounds exactly like something a juju would do.

Caliborn goes on to talk about his sucker juju, which is another thing Calliope had prior explained; it’s reiterated by Caliborn because here we learn a bit more about the juju, as well as its captcha code which is uROBuROS.

GT: So lord. May i ask…
GT: Why are you giving me your juju if it is so dear to you?
GT: Is your commitment to this manbro boypledge of yours really that strong?
GT: If so im really impressed. I would have a really hard time giving my favorite stuff away to a total stranger.
uu: DON’T FLATTER YOURSELF.
uu: THE GESTURE IS RELATIVELY MEANINGLESS. THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS.
uu: I HAVE FOUND A NEW JUJU. A MUCH BETTER JUJU.
uu: A JUJU THAT MAKES ALL OTHER JUJUS LOOK LIKE FRIVOLOUS CHILDISH NONSENSE IN COMPARISON.
GT: Yeah? Then that is quite a treasure you found.
GT: Where did you get it? Did you plunder a tomb or such?
uu: SORT OF.
uu: IT WAS EXCAVATED FROM THIS PLANET’S SOIL.
uu: ALONG WITH SOME OTHER ARTIFACTS.
uu: AND GIVEN TO ME.
uu: BY MY INFURIATING ASSHOLE MENTOR.
uu: A MAN WHO IS AN INVINCIBLE CLOWN.
GT: Well that sounds nice of him. He cant be that much of an asshole if he gave you such a nice present can he?
uu: NO, BELIEVE ME. HE CAN.
GT: I had a clown give me a nice present once too. I would never have met my good friend mr erisol without the kindness of that clown.
uu: YEAH. IT’S THE SAME FUCKING CLOWN SOMEHOW.


This bit of the pesterlog puts into question whether this pesterlog happened post-retcon, and whether Caliborn’s session was affected by the retcon—there’s quite a few possible plot holes like this in the post-retcon alpha session. No way am I going to bother trying to deduce what did and didn’t happen post-retcon just yet; all I can say is that given all the foreshadowing in this comic, it only makes sense that pre-retcon Jake is the one that dealt Caliborn his first ever defeat because this version definitely had the patron manbro conversation.

uu: I’M TELLING YOU. THIS ASSHOLE IS ETERNAL. AND THE BEINGS HE CREATES FOR YOUR PARTY ARE DISGUSTING ABOMINATIONS.
uu: BUT WHAT CAN YOU DO? NOTHING, I HAVE LEARNED. HE’S A CLOWN. THE RULES ARE. CLOWNS CAN DO WHATEVER THEY WANT. BECAUSE OF MIRACLES. AND HOLD NO ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THEIR DEEDS.
uu: I DON’T LIKE IT. BUT THOSE ARE THE RULES.


Caliborn has ascended a rung on the character development ladder! He’s finally down with the clown, just like Hussie said he would be. He finds it stupid that clowns can do whatever the story wants them to, but accepts it as a rule of his journey.

GT: So whats this juju he gave you?
uu: SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL.
uu: A WONDERFUL LITTLE FALSE MAN.


And here’s the wham line. Lil’ Cal didn’t stop being a thing or anything, did he? Readers might completely forget where the puppet could have came from…

Lil’ Seb is being adorable as ever rolling on the MSPA head.


… until they feast their eyes on THIS panel. Gamzee’s wounds are healed, Lil’ Cal is tattered, and Lil’ Seb is rusty in a way that makes it clear that thing spent millions of years in the ocean, back when Earth had anything even resembling an ocean. Cal and Seb sunk on opposite sides of the planet, so I’m not quite sure how they both wound up in the same place. Did continental drift bring the puppet and the bunny closer together? Or did the bunny find its way here through its lightning speed? One thing we know for certain is that Gamzee is the number one fallback character for fulfilling plot points in Caliborn’s session. No one can hear a word the clown says through his bulky plot armor.

uu: YOUR HUMAN CONCEPT OF GAYNESS. ADEQUATELY DESCRIBES THE FEELINGS I HAVE. WHEN I EMBRACE MY PERFECT FLOPPY LITTLE MAN.
uu: THE THING IS. I UNDERSTAND HIM MORE NOW.
uu: BEFORE I THOUGHT HE WAS A CURSED VESSEL OF MISFORTUNE. WHICH SEEMED EERILY EMPTY TO ME.
uu: HE WAS HOLLOW. NOT YET FILLED WITH BAD JUJU.
uu: AND LOOKING IN HIS EYES NOW. I SEE. THAT I WAS RIGHT. ALMOST.
uu: HE IS EMPTY RIGHT NOW. BUT A JUJU FOLLOWS A LONG AND WINDING PATH ON ITS ETERNAL JOURNEY.
uu: AND HE WILL NOT BE EMPTY FOREVER.



Wham line x2 combo!!! More delicious meat that connects the second-last link in Cal’s complex timeline before Caliborn’s Masterpiece.


Caliborn’s exposition on Cal is accompanied by visuals showing his first time staring into the dead puppet’s eyes.

uu: SOMEWHERE ALONG HIS JOURNEY.
uu: IN SOME WAY I DON’T UNDERSTAND YET.
uu: HE WILL STOP BEING EMPTY.
uu: AND HIS CURSE WILL COME TO LIFE.
uu: AND WHEREVER HE GOES. TO WHATEVER UNIVERSE OR PLANE OF REALITY.
uu: ALL WHO EXIST THERE. WILL EXPERIENCE NOTHING BUT MISERY AND DEATH.


“Misery and death” is laying it a bit thick, but if you think about all the places Cal has been it’s clear that the puppet was “full” by the time it entered Dave’s dream room and caused him many horrible nightmares about puppets and crows.

Note Gamzee’s codpiece, sticking out in front of Cal.


Meanwhile in the alpha session, Gamzee reveals he’s still in possession of the pre-scratch copy of Cal—just because we haven’t seen it since Cascade doesn’t mean it stopped being a thing or anything. The puppet’s fancy green outfit will surely ring a bell to readers, and perhaps make them think back to late Act 5 Act 2’s exposition sequences on how Doc Scratch came to be and how Gamzee made Universe B’s cancer terminal.

uu: I CAN’T EXPLAIN IT.
uu: BUT WHEN I LOOK DEEP INTO HIS EYES.
uu: I CAN FEEL HIM OUT THERE.
uu: IN LATER STAGES OF HIS LIFE.
uu: BY WHICH I MEAN.
uu: I CAN FEEL *MYSELF*.
uu: THROUGH HIM SOMEHOW.
uu: AS IF MY ESSENCE WILL ONE DAY BECOME.
uu: ENTANGLED WITH THE VOID.
uu: AND THEN MYSTERIOUSLY ACCESSIBLE.
uu: THROUGH MY SOFT HAPPY PAL.


Caliborn yet again says through an excess amount of words that he is already here. The full version of Cal filled with Caliborn’s soul (and a few others, but we don’t know that yet!) has been around since Act 2 and puts a new light on Dave’s sequences exploring his freaky household.

Still have absolutely no idea how Jack gained Lord English powers post-retcon. It’s a real, actual plot hole, dammit.
The wink says more than words ever could.


Caliborn’s final exposition on Cal is accompanied by visuals showing Gamzee staring into the alarmingly alive puppet’s eyes, which is a great case of circumstantial simultaneity.

uu: AND ALL THOSE ALONG THE WAY.
uu: WHO HE DEEMS WORTHY.
uu: OF ACCEPTING INTO HIS CUSTODY.
uu: IF THEY SHOULD DARE TO FONDLY GAZE.
uu: INTO HIS SPARKLING BABY BLUES.

uu: THEY WILL BE PEERING THROUGH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WINDOWS.
uu: INTO MY HIDEOUS SOUL.

As soon as Cal becomes alive, anyone its soul components “deem worthy” will have their minds opened up into the windows of Caliborn/English’s soul. It’s easy to see what Caliborn means by those he deems worthy: Caliborn himself, Gamzee (his clown companion and soul component), pre-scratch Dirk (his favorite cool anime prince and partial soul component), and the alpha kids’ Jack Noir (the useful stabby guy). This is a huge wham line that (partially) explains beta Dirk’s relationship with Cal and (partially) reveals that Gamzee’s plot relevance and involvement with Lord English is a complex self-originating stable time loop, which further supports the absurdist way Homestuck treats clowns.

And that’s the end of Caliborn’s conversation with Jake! It started as a funny sequence calling back to the old human/troll conversations but proceeded into a huge dump of foreshadowing and plot reveals that are all fulfilled in Caliborn’s Masterpiece.


Meat time’s over. Now it’s time for an extremely sad flavor of candy which is deep down everyone’s favorite kind. Jane explores her old house with a deep frown on her face and becomes lost in thoughts on her missing father.



Here’s this familiar douche bag again. A hallway fixture, ever since dad stopped pretending to like detectives and sitcom guys for your sake. Your dad loved this douche bag, whoever he is. This guy is probably the closest thing you have left to a father, now that your dad is most likely dead.

This passage is even sadder if you read it knowing what Bing Crosby was like to his real-life children, something Hussie said he didn’t realize until after he put Crosby in his comic.

You consider going to his bedroom, but you decide against it. The ties and hats strewn about, the melange of aftershave and cologne, the childhood photos he keeps of you… no, those reminders could only lead to another mental breakdown. You’ll never forget the first breakdown you had when you snuck into his room. You found an unwrapped present before your birthday. It was a box of Gushers, and you were stunned to realize that awful gooey fruit snack was manufactured by the very same company you were due to inherit. As everything you thought you knew came crashing down around you, that day you swore the moment you ascended to the throne of the BCCorp empire, you would issue an immediate global recall of the foul product and discontinue it forever. 

This description of Jane’s mental breakdown on her (presumably 13th) birthday is such a clever callback to John’s mental breakdown when he first entered his father’s room. She had a mental breakdown for a completely opposite but functionally identical reason to John so long ago, all the while not being any more aware of the truth about Betty Crocker than John was.

You often joked that the snacks were so nasty, it was almost like they were filled with multicolored slime harvested from plump extraterrestrial larva. When you told your dad about your plans for the product, you both had a good laugh.

I bet Jane took those jokes from what Roxy and Dirk, both well aware of the Condesce’s horrible crimes, had tried to convince her about the company she was due to inherit. Oh, the dramatic irony.

You have got to stop remembering things about your father. It’s just way too sad.

It’s still sad now because Jane and her father never had an onscreen reunion—just a few scenes together in the credits and hardly a mention of her father in the epilogues until he is killed off near the end of Candy. I wonder if we’ll ever know what Dad Crocker’s motives and affiliations in the epilogues were?


> Jane: Solicit profound wisdom from hallway Cera.

The characteristically tight-lipped HALLWAY CERA unsurprisingly has no advice for you regarding the tragic loss of a family member. You could always relate to the role he played as George Michael, the dorky child of a single, doting father. But unlike you, George Michael was always surrounded by an extended family and their hilarious antics, and he would never know the tragedy of losing everyone he ever loved. You suddenly resent George Michael and the HALLWAY CERA altogether for the happy ending he was allowed to have with his father which you will never get to experience.

In fact, you think you are starting to hate the HALLWAY CERA. Someone needs to wipe that smug look off his face.

Jane is starting to hate all her favorite media just as much as John did during a recent nostalgic scene in his house. The only difference is that Jane is moping alone about it instead of ranting at length to an innocent friend.


Remember beagle pusses? One of the many prankster trademarks of the Twain-Crocker-Egbert family line? Jane doesn’t even find those funny anymore and her prankster’s gambit meter (remember that thing?) sinks into oblivion. As burnt out on pranks as Jane is, I honestly think this is the funniest use of the beagle puss yet.

Please let Problem Sleuth 2 be real. I’m begging you, Hussie.


The biggest tragedy in Jane’s sad walk through her old house is that her tiaratop is alive and intact.


You return to your room. Hey, there’s your old UNREAL HEIRESS THOUGHTWAVE TIARATOP. You haven’t used that thing in ages. It’s probably for the best that you stopped. You’re pretty sure it was doing funny things to your head.

It’s too bad Jane’s anger is all fizzled out; now it doesn’t even occur to her to stomp on the tiaratop or better yet, chuck it into a burning fire where it belongs.


> Jane: Examine wall Tobias.

Jake sent you the PERIWINKLE HEARTTHROB pinup back when you were still able to think about him without feeling horrible about yourself. Those were the days.

It’s funny how looking at a thoughtful gift which once brought you such delight now only precipitates feelings of bitterness. Even the innocent Mr. Funke is caught in the crossfire of your lamentations. How could Tobias be so clueless?? How could he not see the pain he was causing with his oblivious demeanor, his repressed feelings of attraction toward men, and his total inability to understand other people’s feelings in spite of his credentials as an analrapist? Of course on the tv show, his buffoonery resulted in laughs galore. But if that was in real life, you don’t think there would be anything funny about the situation. In reality, Tobias and his family would probably never stop being sad.

You think you are starting to hate the WALL TOBIAS too.

Much like John, when Jane is in a bad mood she starts analyzing all her favorite media as allegories for her horrible fuckups in life. Tobias Funke reminds her of her handsome but oblivious old crush just as much as John Cusack reminds John of the real Dave who isn’t a feathery prick and whose crew he didn’t take the opportunity to join.


Jane still loves Ron Swanson though, just as much as John loves Nicolas Cage in his distinctly not-a-homosexual way. Jane’s love of mustache men is an obvious parallel with her crush on Jake, which this page suggests is still intact.


Jane then gets an alert from Jake and reads it on her tiaratop but doesn’t respond.

GT: Jane are you there?
GT: I wouldnt blame you for not answering since i was such a shitty boor to you last time.
GT: I just wanted to formally say happy birthday.
GT: And also to pass along a birthday present.
GT: I doubt it will make up for all the ways ive hurt your feelings but maybe it will be a start?
GT: Its some fancy juju thingamabob that calliopes bro gave to me.
GT: He specifically gave it to me to make me better so i could get stronger and punch him in the snout some day or something?
GT: I dunno about that. I dont think i care about becoming a great hero and challenging a weird grumpy alien all that much.
GT: Not nearly as much as my friendship with you.
GT: So i want you to have it instead.


This is…

really sweet of Jake! It’s a surprising thing to come right after Jane thinking about all the ways Jake is a clueless idiot. Jane should easily be reminded of what all she liked about Jake.

GT: Just use the code to make it. The code is…
GT: Um…
GT: ORBROBuRBROS?
GT: No wait.
GT: Thats way too long…
GT: uBORBuBROS?
GT: How many letters were codes supposed to have?
GT: Fuck.
GT: BROBuROBuT
GT: ORuBuBROBOS
GT: No. Uh…
GT: BROBRO… something?
GT: Wait no there were definitely some little u’s in it…
GT: Shit. I really should have copied it down before i closed the chat window.
GT: OuROBOuRBON
GT: BuRBORuBROS…
GT: Wow those arent even close.
GT: Hang on let me think.


And here’s where Jane is probably reminded of what she finds so frustrating about Jake. He somehow can’t remember that captcha codes are supposed to be eight letters and struggles to remember the code for Caliborn’s juju.


OUCH. OUCH. OUCH. HUGE OUCH. This poster was a birthday present from Jake and here she is ripping it the hell apart.

You close the chat window without a word. You cannot BELIEVE that guy. Trying to regift you a present, from that ASSHOLE of all people?! You don’t want anything from that horrible creep. You don’t care HOW magic it is. He can take his stupid juju and shove it up his patoot.

Sorry Tobias, but Jane has decided that you represent Jake for the purpose of this angry outburst.

Unlike Jane, I forgot that Jake’s gift technically came from Calliope’s asshole brother who she obviously doesn’t want to hear anything from ever again.


This is immediately followed by a sudden surprise. 

Oh no.

Oh no this conversation is going to make you even sadder isn’t it.

Jane doesn’t feel good about getting what she can only assume is a message from the past before Calliope knew she was going to die.

UU: happy birthday, jane! ^u^

forgive me for sUbmitting this letter and logging off right away, bUt i am breaking with oUr UsUal linear dialogUe, and i’d rather not tempt either of Us to trade caUsal spoilers. i wanted to give yoU a present. something told me yoU coUld Use a pick-me-Up aboUt now. :u

i am sending yoU the code for my jUjU. it may not be easy for a hUman to Understand, bUt jUjUs are very special to my people. so when i give yoU this gift, it is indicative of how mUch yoUr friendship has meant to me, jane. it has some magical properties, bUt nothing too fancy on its own. i hope it will bring a smile to yoUr face nevertheless. bUt if yoU want to know the trUth, it will become infinitely more UsefUl if it is combined with my brother’s jUjU. 


It’s sweet and thoughtful of Calliope to send Jane a birthday note ahead of time—I’m guessing Skaian clouds suggested her to do that. It’s also useful for her to do this because Jake is too stupid to remember how to spell uROBuROS.

… which is to say, it’s horribly wrong and bad for Calliope to do this because the trickster juju has a horrible negative side effect on humans once it wears off. But it’s a sweet thought of her regardless.

perhaps when we begin playing oUr game, i will be able to convince him to relinqUish it. one of these days he’ll Understand working with others is going to be necessary if he wants to accomplish anything.

Caliborn has indeed been getting the hang of working with others, but not quite the “others” Calliope is thinking of. This passage is an interesting case of double dramatic irony, if that’s a concept that makes any sort of sense. (I used this exact phrasing in a recent post but fuck it who cares)

i am so looking forward to my session and catching Up to where yoU are now! i can only imagine what kind of adventUres yoU mUst have been throUgh already. i can’t help bUt think we’ve been feverishly trading notes on oUr respective qUests since yoU entered, no? maybe yoU are even tired of hearing from me by now! u_u apologies both retroactively and in advance for talking yoUr lovely hUman ear off. bUt i jUst know i won’t be able to contain my excitement!

anyhow, the code for my jUjU is: “UrobUros”

ta!


This birthday letter gives me the exact same vibes as Jade’s birthday letter to John. Both are filled to the brim with dramatic irony and sting incredibly hard to read, which shows a new parallel between Jade and Calliope just like I always noticed back in Act 6 Act 1.


And both birthday letters drive the recipient to immense tears. A single tear running down her eye is not enough this time; rather, a huge dump of tears is what’s needed to convey the letter’s severe tear-jerking factor.

And to make Jane’s day even worse, the Condesce fucks with Jane’s thoughts through her tiaratop and drowns her in rapping clowns and deadly food products, the trademarks of her bizarre sense of humor.


God damn, the tiaratop must be sturdy! Though Homestuck has never been one for obeying the laws of physics, this image is clearly meant to convey that the tiaratop is tough enough that it can’t be destroyed just through Jane dropping it extra hard.

Roxy’s shirt icon makes the best facial expressions.


Jane runs away and misses a message from Roxy, completing the trilogy of Roxy inadvertently shouting into the void.

tipsyGnostalgic [TG] began bothering gutsyGumshoe [GG]
TG: jane
TG: jane
TG: jane
TG: jane
TG: janes 4 ev
TG: /take deepest jane yellin breath
TG: JAAAAAAAAAAAAAAOmfg yeah right
TG: like there is any chance u answer me
TG: with today being international everybody ignore roxy day


Just like her relatives, Roxy is good at noticing narrative patterns and can immediately tell Jane won’t answer; she vents out her frustration by joking about it being “international everybody ignore roxy day”.

TG: LEEEEE sigh
TG: like
TG: doing literally the frenchest of possible sighs over here
TG: its wearing a lopsided beret in the city of goddamn light falling in FUCKING love
TG: such is my sigh
TG: am packing TOTES ennui janey
TG: or shd i say…….
TG: ennOUI 😉
TG: wait
TG: ennui is probably already a french word??
TG: not sure that one needs anymore frenching up…
TG: i should know this b cause my last name is french sounding
TG: even tho im p sure my mom did not hail from france
TG: idk
TG: who even “LA CARES”
TG: hehehe fuck you, A CERTAIN LANGUAGE
TG: uum yeah


And now we can see where Dave got his trait of constantly talking to himself from. Both go on soliloquies about the weirdest shit possible.

It’s easy to forget that alchemy requires you to go back up and down to the totem lathe and alchemiter.


These pages of Jane doing alchemy (which never stopped being a thing or anything) are interestingly accompanied not by second-person narration, but by Roxy monologuing about her meeting with Calliope in which she learned about the trickster juju Jane is alchemizing right now. This makes for quite an entertaining spin on the tone of the early acts.

TG: like we got all this big deal crap to do and i cant even talk to no one
TG: jane
TG: ambiguous voidey powers notwithstanding
TG: im starting 2 think i might be genetically predisposed to ramblin at length into empty chat clients
TG: well
TG: hit me up if up see this
TG: maybe ill try 2 txt fefeta
TG: my dear precious fefeta
TG: i know SHE would never ignore me ;3
TG: SWOOOOON + <33333 @ FEFETA, AND THUS MAKING CROCKER SO JELLIES
)(IC: yo dont fuck with my heiress
)(IC: gurl got royal bidness porpoises to attend
)(IC: and do not even T)(INK i dont know you out a jail bitch
)(IC: you take a flip thru ma secret jam yet
)(IC: dat sparkle shit i left w tha dance clowns on
TG: oh noes
TG: is the witch
TG: .___.
tipsyGnostalgic [TG] ceased bothering gutsyGumshoe [GG]


Roxy’s monologue is interrupted by the Condesce in her second of three brief speaking scenes. The Condesce is one of few characters to stand on the line between voiced and unvoiced characters (here, voicing refers to whether a character speaks in pesterlogs). She doesn’t speak often, but when she does it’s a good way to establish her character as a much more bossy grown-up version of Meenah. Most other characters in Homestuck are unambiguously on one side (beta and alpha humans and trolls, Calliope and Caliborn) or the other (almost everyone else, including carapacians). Gamzee is an interesting case of crossing into the unvoiced side at the start of Act 6, then crossing back in the Candy Epilogue.


Jane alchemizes Calliope’s juju, which costs negative one unit of zillium. Attentive readers might think of the Warhammer of Zillyhoo and perhaps connect the dots on the story behind that thing.


Jane alchemizes Caliborn’s juju and Gamzee watches in excitement (or maybe just his signature faux serenity).

You easily deduce the code Jake was trying to remember. It’s uROBuROS. Come on Jake, use your head. Haven’t you ever heard of the mythical snake biting its own tail? You worry about that kid sometimes.

Anyway, obviously the code for his juju was going to be the same as Calliope’s, but written in the reverse case to match his quirk. Once again your gumshoeing skills pay huge dividends.

Jane’s interest in detectives is one of those character bullet points that feels like it was meant to be a prominent part of her character but didn’t turn out that way at all. I don’t find this to be a huge problem though; much like the times late in the comic Dave’s old interests are brought up, it feels like a fun callback to briefly bring back Jane’s interest in detectives and show her skill at puzzle solving.


GOOD CALLBACK! I love that this scene brings back Doc Scratch’s dramatic last words in a more humorous context, reminding us of Scratch’s connections with the cherubs.


If you look closely at this panel, you’ll see some white and black intertwined snakes the moment the cherubs’ jujus combine. This moment foreshadows cherub reproduction, which we’ll learn all about in the next sub-intermission.

Must…
Not…
Lick…
THE JUJU!!!!!!!!!!!


Jane succumbs to an overwhelming urge to lick the combined jujus and you know what comes next:

This image uses the same rainbow graphics from [S] Jade: Wake up, but in an even more mind-wrenching context.


OW, MY EYES.

Here we have it: the Trickster Mode easter egg from the early acts’ walkarounds, brought to full light in a show of absolute eye vomit. Aside from being obnoxious as hell, our first impression of trickster mode demonstrates right away that cherubs are beings of polar extremes. They’re physically incapable of eating too much meat or candy, so their concept of maximum satisfaction is infinite rainbow superpowers that are an absolute eyesore to any non-cherub outsider.


Gamzee is a good example of a non-cherub outsider. Though he has accumulated a huge excess of plot relevance, deep down he’s still just a simple motherfuckin’ clown. He watches in utter confusion as rainbow cupcake Jane dances in glee.

Not shown: Jane’s beam of trickster energy vaporizing the skeletal imps into heaps of zillium.


The following page shows us that the trickster juju doesn’t just turn you into a rainbow freak, but gives you insane powers that break the entire goddamn game. Jane restores half of her desolate planet to full 100% maxed-out life, or should I say 11111111111% maxed-out life. This absolute maximum amount of rainbow glimmer is exactly what makes cherubs revel in such delight.

It’s sometimes speculated that turning her gray planet into a colorful rainbow world is the goal of Jane’s planet quest, which she just fulfilled by succumbing to a game-breaking juju. But I’m not even sure if void session players have planet quests. The whole notion of planet quests is one of those standard Sburb progression topics whose usefulness the narrative calls into question, just like the supposedly renowned Ultimate Riddle.

END OF ACT 6 ACT 5 ACT 1


The curtains close in on the revamped Land of Crypts and Helium, concluding Act 6 Act 5 Act 1.


Act 6 Act 5’s sub-sub-acts are one of the few act subdivisions that are ultimately just an absurdist joke. Act 5 of Homestuck is split into two long sub-acts, one of which is the longest single subdivision of Homestuck; Act 6 Act 5 is split into two sub-sub-acts only to give the infamous trickster arc its own place in the comic’s act structure.


See you in two weeks as this post series reaches the trickster arc at long last. Part of me never even thought I’d make it this far! Here I am almost four years after this post series’ conception about to start the trickster arc, so that’s… cool? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
I am so sorry.

>> Part 97: The Part Everyone Hates

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

Homestuck Mini-Post: Why I Didn’t Discuss "It could kill a cat if you dropped it"

One of the most famous bits of foreshadowing in Homestuck is when only 32 pages into the comic, it’s stated that this one book could kill a cat if you dropped it, which happens over four thousand pages later. But I didn’t at all talk about that bit of foreshadowing, not in my first post where that bit of foreshadowing happens or any other time that cat’s death is hinted at. I only ever mentioned it one time in a tangent about retroactive foreshadowing.

Why didn’t I talk about it those other potential times in my post series? Because I didn’t really feel like pointing out stuff readers probably know already. That sentiment didn’t change at all between my first post and my recent posts, but here’s a thing about that: if my early posts were as detailed as my latest posts I probably would’ve discussed that bit but in terms of something people already know.

When talking about the blatant hints leading up to Jaspers’ onscreen death I probably could’ve mentioned the thing from early on as a sort of “bonus” hint for attentive readers. But upon the closer inspection I got from rereading I decided that hint is pretty far removed from all the other hints much closer to the event, and probably serves mostly as something meant for people to catch while rereading the comic.

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 47: Fairy Psychopomps and Sudden Vampires

Introduction

Part 46 | Part 47 | Part 48 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 20 of 32

Pages 3479-3545 (MSPA: 5379-5445)

And wordy journals.

Terezi just went missing after having caught up with Sollux when all of a sudden, we’re back to a flashback of Dave fooling around on his bro’s Xbox gaming system. One hell of a mood whiplash alright.

The puppets are all like, haha did you miss me?

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Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 2: Pointless Game Disk Sneakaround

Introduction

< Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 >

Pages 47-137 (MSPA: 1947-2037)

Act 1, Part 2 of 3

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

Here’s a retroactive “title picture” to streamline this blog series a bit (see post 30 for an explanation of these). You’ll see a lot of these soon, unless the first picture I previously used in the post already makes a good title picture.

One-man birthday party?

Continuing from where we left off, John leaves his bedroom to go to the first floor of his house, to sneak around and obtain his discs of Sburb. We see a living room filled with clown pictures which suggest that his father is obsessed with clowns, a birthday present, and his grandmother’s ashes. It’s also mentioned for the first time that John hates Betty Crocker, marking the first indirect mention of one of the comic’s main villains, although the whole evil Betty Crocker thing would for a long time thereafter remain merely a joke. Besides the numerous clowns, there isn’t much remarkable in John’s living room, especially compared to what we see with the other kids.

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