Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 140: The Circle of Stupidity Is (Not) Complete

Introduction

< Part 139 | Part 140 (the end!)

Act 7 + Credits + Closing Thoughts

Pages 8127-8130

This is it, folks. This is the end of my Homestuck post series.

Are you ready for the grand finale of my Homestuck blog post series? After six long years going in and out of working on my Homestuck posts, I have finally reached the finish line. I cannot overstate how amazing it feels to get started on my final Homestuck post. It feels far more amazing than I could have ever imagined to actually be at the final point, not just imagining when I might reach that point.

There’s many ambitious projects that I’ve started over the years—since I was a child, in fact—but most of them fizzled very early on. A fair portion of those projects I got quite a good way through, but a much smaller portion of those did I successfully finish. On the day this post is published, I can proudly say my Homestuck blog post series has joined the elite club of personal projects that I have finished. The post series spent almost two straight years being a project that I thought I would abandon forever, but eventually I somehow had it in me to resume it after all, and from then on, it was an on-and-off climb to the finish line, which is where I am now.

After one year and seven months working on this post series, one year and ten months putting this post series on pause, and two years and nine months working on and off in months-long bursts, I proudly present to you Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 140: The Circle of Stupidity Is (Not) Complete. What better way to name my last Homestuck post than with a reference to an anime that I haven’t seen? I sure can’t think of any.

(By the way: happy sixth anniversary to my first Homestuck post! A fitting day to release the last one, if I say so myself.)


Alright, now let’s begin this post with Act 7!

Act 7, as you should already know, is a nine-minute animation that concludes Homestuck, released on the comic’s seventh anniversary. You should also already know that it is a very divisive ending that is often argued to leave a lot unresolved, and that it is animated in a style heavily inspired by anime, giving closure to the long-running misconception that Homestuck is an anime. Before writing any of the text from this paragraph onwards, I rewatched Act 7 in its entirety, and one thing is immediately clear: I had somehow never appreciated before how stunning the animation is. This may have something to do with the fact that when the flash came out in 2016, I knew nothing about any anime, and was expecting Act 7 to be… please don’t laugh at me for this… a gigantic walkaround with every character interaction possible. In retrospect, I think my dissatisfaction with Homestuck’s ending came mostly from the unresolved character interactions!

Now of course, my more positive reaction to Act 7 today no doubt relates to how the epilogues resolved the threads it left open in a way that brutally deconstructs the concept of plot resolutions. The epilogues allowed me to appreciate Act 7 much more for what it is: a beautiful animation that mostly shows things we already knew would happen, but in a fashion that’s stunning enough to be a worthwhile ending flash. But even putting aside the epilogues, I think I’ve outgrown all those childish complaints that I once had about Homestuck’s ending content. I guess that’s what happens when you’re 22 years old, huh? You realize that some things really aren’t worth getting hung up about.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 133: Tenuous Illusions of Free Will

Introduction

< Part 132 | Part 133 | Part 134 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 7 of 12

Pages 7672-7732

No, this isn’t a part where characters have an existential discussion on free will.
The title of this post simply refers to this fake character select screen.

It’s time to go through the second of A6A6I5’s character select screens in this post… except this time, it’s a fake character select screen, which the reader must go through in linear order.

Wow, 10 path options!!!

Wait a minute. You click and click, but nothing happens. This path selection screen seems to be broken. Looks like “free will” got greedy and overloaded the thing with “choice”, rendering the graphic up there completely useless, except you guess as a cool rollover thingy. For the first time EVER, in the over 9000 page history of this website, you begin to feel slightly deceived. Oh, how you would have loved to taste the fruit of free will one last time before this wild ride jerks our bodies to a deadly stop. Alas it is not to be. You must proceed through all of these options linearly, one by one. You click the link below, as usual.

Although this passage initially makes the fake select screen seem like a brutal prank, we’re instead going to be treated to a fun spin on character select screens: instead of going through options in whatever order you want, you go through them linearly, and after each option, you can hover over all the prior options to check on each group of characters. So this fake select screen isn’t completely fake: it’s more of a twist on select screens that focuses more on the rollover aspect.

Given the contents of the select screen shown above, it makes sense for it to be in linear order as I just described. Roxy/Calliope and Dave/Dirk both show up twice in the list, and there’s a lot of bias towards Roxy in there. Most of the conversations feature characters presently on the victory platform: the only ones that don’t are the two Dave/Dirk sections and Meenah/Vriska. Note that I will not be going through the entire fake select screen in this post: rather just the first eight options. I will go through the ninth (Dave/Dirk) in the next post, and the tenth (Roxy/Kanaya) up to the true final select screen in the post after that. After that is three more posts going through the rest of A6A6I5, the Collide post, and the Act 7 and credits post.

Now let’s begin the fake select screen with Dave and Dirk!

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 132: Leadership Doubt and Feline Boisterousness

Introduction

< Part 131 | Part 132 | Part 133 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 6 of 12

Pages 7635-7671

Rose represents my reaction to all Homestuck fandom drama from this year.

Holy shit. Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit. I have less than 500 pages left of Homestuck to go through. 500 pages may sound like a lot, but it’s quite a small portion compared to Homestuck’s full page count, which slightly exceeds 8000.

Anyway, we left off at Calliope getting revived by an increasingly saccharine Roxy. Now, a lengthy scrolling panel with denizen sound effects showing Echidna in person (but not her face) takes us to Kanaya and Karkat, having finished their meeting with Echidna. It’s quite a fun and detailed panel giving a good sense of scale for Echidna’s monstrous size, drawn by an external artist.

For Kanaya, the denizen meeting was brief and successful, but Karkat is still befuddled at the purpose of his presence. Kanaya says she and Echidna talked about Karkat but is reluctant to explain what they talked about, which is some withholding that Karkat isn’t too happy about. With Karkat lost on what he stands for or what his purpose is, the two discuss their aspects, and we start to learn new things about them—some directly, some indirectly. This conversation in general features us learning a lot of new things about the Alternian trolls’ session.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 131: Meeting of the Contrasting Muses

Introduction

< Part 130 | Part 131 | Part 132 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 5 of 12

Pages 7561-7634

I feel like I should mention that a friend of mine who doesn’t know anything about Homestuck recently joked about me doing blog posts analyzing Danganronpa, which I don’t know anything about.

(I really hope I didn’t jinx myself there.)

Finishing the transition from last post, Skaian clouds take us to Jade, Jane, and Calliope on the yellow spiral cherubic stage thing. The zoom-in is much less grandiose than the zoom-out from the victory platform was.

*sigh*

It’s not that I hate the dream bubble scenes in A6A6I4 and A6A6I5 with Jade, Jane, and/or Calliope. It’s just that when I try to comment on and analyze those scenes, I spend big chunks of them being completely stumped as to what to say about them, so I kind of just end up going through them quickly and picking out a few bits of dialogue that I do have something to say about. And this scene is no exception: Jane asks when and how she can wake up, Calliope offers to wake her up the same way she woke Rose and Roxy to cut short their reunion in Act 6 Act 5, but then something else happens to the stage and spiral.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 129: Four More Massive Walls of Text

Introduction

< Part 128 | Part 129 | Part 130 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 3 of 12

Pages 7502-7514 (not in order)

This is the sort of bullshit that happens when you turn your back on the body.

As the Homestuck franchise continues to collapse in on itself due to yet another storm of fandom drama, Homestuck itself is here to stay, waiting to be read or reread by anyone who just wants to enjoy a good webcomic by Andrew Hussie. As for me, I just want to get my Homestuck blog post series done, and then I never have to think about Homestuck again! Of course, that doesn’t mean I will never think about Homestuck again, just that I will never have any reason to. I have only 11 posts left. Only 11 posts. ONLY 11 POSTS!!! And I’ll finish what I wanted to for the rewritten posts… oh, I don’t know, some other time.

Continuing from the last post, it’s time to go over the bottom half of the eight-way select screen: Roxy/Dave/Rose, Kanaya/Karkat/Vriska, Arquiusprite/Vriska/Terezi/Dave, and John/Jake. I think I’ll start with Kanaya/Karkat/Vriska, starting the post with a conversation consisting solely of trolls just like last time.

Ah, the two trolls whose zodiac symbols are fancy-looking M’s.
It’s been forever since they last conversed!

This is honestly one of the weirder conversations in the selection screen. It’s not much of a long-awaited reunion or new strong relationship between two characters, but rather like, “OK, this exists I guess”. I feel like I can mostly skim through this conversation and pick out interesting bits here and there.

First, Vriska talks about how wildly enthusiastic all the humans are to have their reunions, setting this conversation as one largely about comparing humans and trolls. Vriska brings up Rose as an especially good example, because her long-awaited motherly reunion has washed away her usual dry and aloof demeanor.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 128: Four Massive Walls of Text

Introduction

< Part 127 | Part 128 | Part 129 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 2 of 12

Pages 7486-7501 (not in order)

This is my last Homestuck post whose number is a perfect power!
128 is a power of 2, but sadly it isn’t a power of 4 or of 8.

It’s time to go through the top half of the eight-way conversation select screen, which is the first of several character selection screens in A6A6I5. I made a GIF of hovering over each selection option shown above. The select screen consists of eight conversations and is accompanied by some text narrated from the reader’s perspective, humorously discussing free will and helpfully providing eight links that turn purple when you’ve clicked on them so you know when you’re done with the conversations.

You are confronted with an especially empowering CHARACTER SELECTION MENU. Eight choices???????? Free will has done it again. It has caused you to feel alarmed and anxious. But maybe, just maybe, slightly excited as well. You cautiously click on a batch of teens to discover your true feelings.

Eight possible options is actually KIND OF A LOT, now that you think about it. It may be easy to forget to click some of them. To make absolutely sure you’ve clicked on all teen batches before proceeding, you check to see if all the links below are purple first. If any of them are blue, it means you didn’t read those, and you probably should before continuing. Wow, free will sure is a lot of responsibility and hard work.

This passage reads to me like Hussie saying he’s doing this select screen for the sake of fans, since he knows they wouldn’t be happy if they didn’t get some time to read hearty reunion conversations between all their favorite fictional teens. These conversations have quite a lot of fanservice in them, and late Homestuck has received a fair amount of criticism for having too much fanservice. As usual, I’ll see for myself whether all this is as bad as people say!

Now, which order will I go through the conversations in? Linear order would be super boring. How about I do an order where I deliberately consider what would flow the best in these posts? That’s what I’ve done in prior selection screens, so I’ll do that again. I think Terezi and Vriska’s conversation is a good place to start, since I had analyzed their pre-retcon selves plenty in A6A6I4.

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

Introduction

< Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 >

Act 4, Part 1 of at least 6 (could end up splitting posts again)

Pages 1358-1454

Link to old version

I didn’t have any good ideas for a new name for this post, so I kept the old one.

Before my motivation inevitably drifts to something totally different, I figured I’d resume my rewritten Homestuck posts and try to at least do Act 4, if not all the way through Act 5 Act 1 (which is my planned ending point for the rewritten posts).

But before I start going through Act 4, I’ll quickly recap the intermission, which I reread before starting this post.

The Midnight Crew intermission is awesome as fuck. It’s a throwback to the story style of Problem Sleuth that blasts your face with extreme time shenanigans to prepare you for the somewhat lighter time shenanigans in the act that follows. It characterizes the quartet of Derse agents, two of whom we hadn’t ever seen before, through the Midnight Crew, as well as the black queen through Snowman. Most notably, the intermission cleverly drops hints about the trolls and the Midnight Crew’s past until it punches you in the face with the reveal that the intermission took place on the trolls’ planet. It also has a few hints about Lord English, an overarching villain we very gradually learn more about. All in all, the whole intermission is executed beautifully and lots of fun from start to finish.


Act 4 is one of several acts that begins with a walkaround game. The game’s music is called Doctor, composed by the deceased George Buzinkai* and remixed many, many times throughout Homestuck’s music. Doctor holds an extremely special place in my heart—it’s one of only three tunes that I managed to remember through my first read of Homestuck, the other two being Karkat’s Theme and Elevatorstuck. I’ve always held the sentiment that among Homestuck’s most iconic tunes, Doctor was the one that best captured the comic’s nostalgic spirit, better than even Sburban Jungle or Showtime. I can’t quite explain why I feel that way; I suppose Doctor just has this powerful, nostalgic feeling that transcends words.

* Read this Reddit comment by a Homestuck music team member for information about Buzinkai’s name.

As for the walkaround itself, you play as John exploring the Land of Wind and Shade, fighting imps, playing around with his sylladex, talking to Nannasprite from afar, and gathering lots of information from consorts about his planet’s lore and denizen and all that jazz, all the while receiving commands from an exile who is clearly not WV. This walkaround is very complicated and weird to come back to considering the heavily simplified format and pixelated art style of later walkarounds; playing it, I can really see why Hussie chose to rework the style of walkarounds in Act 5 Act 2. According to my past self, “Hussie has said that this game is somewhat experimental and that it probably could’ve been presented in a more effective way (which is what the famous YouTube series Let’s Read Homestuck does).” I assume I was referring to Hussie’s Formspring then, but I’ve decided not to bother with playing through the walkaround in full and instead consume it using my physical copy of Homestuck: Book 3 (the Viz Media print).

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Cookie Fonster Re-Critiques Homestuck Part 12.2: Where Making This Transpire

Introduction

< Part 12.1 | Part 12.2 | Part 13 >

Pages 1100-1153

Act 3, Part 5 of 5

Link to old version

Finishing Act 3 in my rewritten posts was long overdue.

Been a while, hasn’t it?

I figured with me going back and continuing on reformatting my posts before I moved this blog from Blogger to WordPress, now would be a good time to resume my rewritten Homestuck posts, or at least finally finish Act 3 of those, especially as I’m taking yet another break from my regular Homesuck posts. And especially considering my next regular Homestuck post would be number 122, which is 12.2 without the decimal point.

Anyway, I’m going to pick up where I left off like nothing ever happened. Where were we?

Time to be the Aimless Renegade, who is a very well-loved character by those who remember he exists. He’s one of the few characters who is killed off for real as the story goes on, with no resurrection or alternate self relevance and therefore no screen time in the increasingly controversial sub-acts of Act 6. His per-exile obsession is law and justice, which is played out very humorously as exile obsessions tend to be.

… Yeah, I must sadly admit I don’t have a lot to say about AR’s subplot so far. We learn that he harbors the Dersite hatred towards frogs and that Grandpa Harley had this absurd collection of guns and ammo that AR has been making use of. Grandpa Harley has absurd collections of everything though, which I suppose comes as a result of combining his status as a guardian with his status as a page with his fully realized potential.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 118: The End (or So It Seems)

Introduction

< Part 117 | Part 118 | Part 119 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 4, Part 1 of 8

Pages 6944-7006

God, this part is so sad.
Also shippy. But mostly sad.

Before I begin going through A6A6I4, let me get something out of the way that I perhaps should have said much sooner, like over a year ago. I hope it doesn’t come off as transphobic.

I do not plan on discussing June Egbert in my Homestuck blog post series. The reason why is simply because I see no reason to, especially considering that the canonicity of June presently goes no further than a single Twitter post by Andrew Hussie. While I have no problem with headcanoning characters to be transgender—so long as you aren’t an asshole about it, or an asshole to those who do—John Egbert being a transgender woman is simply not an idea I can personally make sense of. I do have lots of complicated thoughts and feelings about the topic of gender identity, both my own and in general, but I’d rather stray from using a fictional character as a vessel to explore those thoughts. Note that I may change my mind about this if June ends up appearing in official Homestuck media in some capacity, in which case I’ll try to keep an open mind.

With that out of the way, let’s begin Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 4! We’re in the home stretch, folks. The fifth last subdivision of Homestuck, and the second last one that’s of substantial length.

(Oh yeah, I noticed after publishing this post that I published post number 118 on 1/18, January 18. Pretty lucky coincidence.)

Nice job there, Aranea.

This image is not a promising one to start A6A6I4 on. It shows us the catastrophic fate of the pre-retcon alpha session, with evidence aplenty of who all caused this mayhem: first Jade foolishly swapping her planet with Derse, then Aranea and the Condesce smashing all the players’ planets into each other in their final face-off… well, all but two of them. It looks like all the destroyed planets’ Seven Gates were severed in the process of all this, which is pretty messed up.

The two surviving planets are symbolic of the two players who survived this timeline: the token heterosexual couple, John and Roxy, who I would be a complete and utter liar if I said I don’t think they’re insanely cute together.

John’s perception of the glitches reminds me of his perception of Caliborn’s commands in Homosuck. Perhaps it’s indicative of his unique relationship with the narrative that no other character has.

… yeah, yeah, I know it’s probably just Hussie doing cool things with the glitch effects that he hadn’t done prior, but fuck it, I can interpret Homestuck the way I want to.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 116: What the Fuck Happened Here?

Introduction

< Part 115 | Part 116 | Part 117 >

[S] GAME OVER and the rest of Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 3

Pages 6901-6920

^ This image is how I feel about Karkat wearing short sleeves.

Time to finally analyze [S] GAME OVER, a flash that came out on October 25, 2014, the third anniversary of [S] Cascade. As the title may suggest, the flash consists of most of Homestuck’s living main cast either dying or getting critically wounded, so that they may soon be replaced with post-retcon versions of themselves. This retcon character replacement is a very controversial move and for many people weighs down Act 6 in its entirety. I’ve always been bothered by it myself, but a major goal of mine in these posts is to see if it’s really that bad in retrospect.

A cool detail in the Unofficial Homestuck Collection’s version of this flash is that the browser interface switches color schemes along with the website’s background.

Game Over alternates between taking place in Act 6 Act 6 Act 3 (John fighting Caliborn) and Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 3 (everyone else in the alpha session fighting each other). The flash begins on an incredibly silly note, with a callback to John’s mental breakdown when he discovered his father wasn’t a clown, and his further mental breakdown when he discovered Betty Crocker made Fruit Gushers. The callback is very fitting, because John has mental breakdowns over the absolute stupidest things.

The manga drawings surrounding John clearly indicate that they’re his principal source of anger at Caliborn, which is both amusing and fitting. Honestly, it makes more sense to be angry about those drawings than whatever impact he had on the kids’ story as Lord English, because as Dave said in A6A6I1, he’s responsible in some ass backwards way for them all existing.

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