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).
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.
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.
[S] GAME OVER and the rest of Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 3
^ 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.
God, it would have been so much cooler to go on hiatus for six months after this post, not before.
Kept you waiting, huh?
… er, not to imply I’m at all familiar with Metal Gear Solid aside from one or two memes.
Anyway, uh… where were we? Brain Ghost Dirk’s fakeness meter is increasing because ripping the soul out of Aranea’s body is apparently decreasing the power of Jake’s hope field. There’s probably a message to be taken from Aranea artificially hacking the game and how Jake hasn’t truly unlocked his hope powers, but I don’t really feel like writing a giant paragraph about it, because (1) I’ve already said plenty about Aranea in the last few posts and (2) I honestly kind of want to get this post out of the way, because it’s mostly action scenes and is the very last part before the PERFECT point to pause this post series. (MONTHS LATER EDIT: or rather, what would have been the perfect point to pause this post series)
This post’s title picture was originally going to be Terezi putting on her newly alchemized blindfold, but I feel a strange sense of obligation to use this one instead, much like I did in the posts featuring the Equius/Aradia and imagined Jade/Jadesprite kissing scenes.
Picking up from where we left off, it’s time for the middle part of the glitched selection screen, which is now the only open option. I find it amusing that the story’s glitches in this case make it more linear rather than less, as the page’s narration points out.
KANAYA: Why Would You Do That! KANAYA: I Do Not Understand Why You Needed To Impale My Friend To Demonstrate Your Resurrection Abilities! KANAYA: I Believed You! KANAYA: It Was Pointless And Cruel And Does Not Advance My Willingness To Cooperate With You At All! KANAYA: Furthermore It Did Not Prove That You Can Use Said Abilities To Harm Me! KANAYA: I Believe That Assertion Was Based On A Fallacious Theory About My Constitution! KANAYA: In Actuality One Could Easily Kill Me With Any Number Of Conventional Methods! KANAYA: Im Sure You Could Chop My Head Off Or Burn Me Alive Or Crush Me To Death And I Would Die Just Fine!
Kanaya’s rant at Jane for killing Karkat as a demonstration features an amusing expansion upon her standard typing quirk: just as each word starts with exactly one capital letter, each sentence ends with exactly one exclamation point.
KARKAT: (whoa, kanaya) KARKAT: (could you maybe not give the psycho fork girl any more ideas???) KANAYA: I Am Not Scared Of You! KANAYA: None Of Us Are! KARKAT: (i kind of am) KANAYA: Karkat Shut Up! KANAYA: If This Treacherous Despot Serving Turncoat Seeks Compliance From Me Then She Will Have To Pry It From My Mutilated Lifeless Cadaver! KARKAT: (oh no oh god oh no oh god)
Karkat interjects a few times with his immediately recognizable flavor of utter panic, just like how he was in Murderstuck when his friends started killing each other. His fear of Jane is more extreme than even his reaction to Gamzee when he turned evil, probably because he had thought for sure he was done with watching his friends die horribly.
Featuring the long-awaited return of the eggy looking thing.
I hope you enjoyed this brief mass influx of Homestuck posts. Classes are resuming online on Tuesday for me, which means that until late April or early May I’ll probably be releasing posts at a rate no faster than weekly.
Returning to the three-way selection screen, I’m going to first select Dave’s planet on the left, then Rose’s planet on the right.
Dave’s part of the selection screen features him exploring his childhood bedroom for the first time in three years, in a memorable scene that the author clearly had WAY too much fun writing.
Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 4 of 5 (probably not 6)
I’ll only split Act 6 Intermission 5 into six parts if I feel I absolutely have to, like if the next post becomes insanely huge. Really don’t want to ruin my Pitbull pun from my last post.
This is my first Homestuck post of 2020!!! As I’ve said on Twitter, I intend on releasing posts regularly (on my usual once to twice a week basis) throughout at least the first half of the year, and boy am I excited to get back in the swing of things. I’ve estimated that I’ll reach Caliborn’s Masterpiece (a significant landmark point) in May or June, which means I’ll be able to make lots of progress on my Homestuck posts this year. And if I get bored of those, maybe I’ll even resume my rewritten post series.
KANAYA: … KANAYA: … KANAYA: … KANAYA: … KANAYA: …
Picking up from where we left off, we’re about to see what everyone’s favorite lesbian couple is up to in the meteor.
This post (which I wrote on and off over the past few weeks) was originally going to cover the last ~100 pages of Act 3, but yesterday I decided to split the post in half because it was getting long. I also renamed my rewritten post series from “Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Rewritten” to “Cookie Fonster Re-Critiques Homestuck”; the last ~50 pages of Act 3 will be covered in Cookie Fonster Re-Critiques Homestuck Part 12.2.
Picking up from where we left off, John Egbert is commanded to alchemize in a 1980’s time-lapse montage. The narration declines the “1980’s time-lapse montage” part of the command because Hussie didn’t feel it was worth making John’s per-character alchemy binge into a flash, which I think was a good decision. All four beta kids get their own alchemy binge during the first five acts, and each one brings about a delightful mix of extremely plot-relevant items and inconsequential nonsense and everything in between.
First off, John tries alchemizing “pogo || hammer” instead of “pogo && hammer” and makes a hammer-shaped pogo ride. This is a clever integration of computer science technicalities to make alchemy work in Homestuck without inevitably running into captcha cards with too many or too few holes. Here’s the book commentary on this page:
You people don’t even know what the && and || operators mean, do you? Why don’t you learn computers you dorks! Although to be fair, technically the single & and | bitwise operators are what perform the described functions. So now who’s the dork. Me. I went with the logical operators (&&,||) instead because they are more recognizable and frequently used from a pure coding perspective. So it’s this weird case where I dumbed it down for the sake of people who ACTUALLY KNOW HOW TO PROGRAM. Good grief.
afw I like this commentary because it shows how much care Hussie put into balancing technical accuracy and general accessibility when writing Homestuck’s early acts. The mix of accuracy and accessibility sets Homestuck apart from Problem Sleuth, a story based fully upon technical accuracy (to its own set of rules, that is).
Eh, could use some improvement.
And here’s where John starts customizing his suit until he comes up with something satisfying. It’s common in media for characters’ outfits to set the tone of the story, and the early acts of Homestuck do that in a unique and incredibly fun way: by having characters experiment with item combinations until they make an outfit they like. Usually the outfits are just for flair and tone-setting, but Dave’s outfits are a special case because they distinguish his time duplicates.
Don’t forget that Lord English will one day eat every single hammer John has ever made.
John’s creativity starts to shine as he comes up with ways to use his complex alchemized weapons. How does he solve the problem that his Telescopic Sassacrusher is too big to carry? Simple: he makes a Remote Ghost Gauntlet—a remote-controllable arm alchemized from his fake arm, Nanna’s ectoplasm, and his father’s PDA.
Then he uses a mirror to make a Left-Handed Remote Ghost Gauntlet. Hussie’s book commentary raises an interesting point about its usefulness:
Honestly I forgot until just now that a mirror could be combined with items to flip them. I don’t think that clever tactic was ever used again. But then, in a universe where sprites can just “flip turn-ways”, maybe it’s not actually that useful?
Flipping sprites turn-ways only happens twice, both times in the Midnight Crew intermission: first when Diamonds Droog uses effigies to patch Spades Slick’s eye, then when Slick flips his own sprite so that his bar-coded arm isn’t severed. I wonder if flipping their sprites turn-ways is something carapacians can do but humans can’t? It matches with their roles as NPCs and all the other stuff I talked about in a recent post. Maybe the Kiddie Camper Handysash has a badge that grants players full ambidexterity and sprite flipping? Or maybe it doesn’t since most of the Handysash’s badges grant players abilities humans in the real world can do just fine.
Hopefully you already know that real-world controversies have greatly affected Bill Cosby’s presence in Homestuck. I find this instance rather amusing; many readers might chance upon this command and guess that because the command ends with an ellipsis, John will remember on the next page what Cosby is now best known for and decide not to alchemize anything with his Ghost Dad poster. Alas, most of Homestuck was written before the controversy which means a few parts read very differently now.
You probably already know that Hussie owns the painting of a horse attacking a football player in real life.
Through a bit of creative thinking and math, John figures out how to remove the clown drawings from his movie posters! Another bit of admirable problem solving that shows he’s smarter than he lets on—clever problem solving is a trait he has in common with Roxy which neither show very much in the brutally deconstructionist Candy Epilogue.
And then John makes… this thing. I’m not going to bother saying what everyone says when they get to this part. Instead, I’ll talk about the book commentary on this page: Bill Cosby is the perfect father. We all know this. Whereas Bing Crosby, though quite fatherly onscreen, was actually a total douche to his real kids. I didn’t know this until way after I put him in HS. I wonder if Dad would have a dramatic breakdown if he learned that? YEARS LATER EDIT – HA HA, LET’S POLITELY SIDESTEP THE FACT THAT HE’S NOW BETTER KNOWN AS A SERIAL RAPIST THAN A GOOD FATHER. HA HA, WHAT SEX CRIMES SPANNING FIVE DECADES??? HA HA, WOW, MOVING ON! *But for real, re: the Cosby debacle. Given that I was just saying what a douche Bing Crosby was, it makes sense that Bill Cosby turned out to be one as well. These two figures are cosmically linked in the Homestuck mythos, which has eternally bound their souls together whether they like it or not. Both iconic father figures. Both wretched human beings. The circle of depravity is complete. I think this commentary provides good insight into how the Cosby debacle affected Homestuck that doesn’t come across as being in bad taste. The fact that Hussie managed to form a logical connection between that whole situation and his comic’s mythos is a testament to how deeply intertwined every single aspect of Homestuck is, even the absurd celebrity jokes.
GOOD PROBLEM SLEUTH REFERENCE. That is all.
God, the Wrinklefucker has such a cool design. How can a hammer whose head is made of springs and irons possibly look so badass???
It’s like fucking christmas up in here.
Actually, it IS fucking christmas up in here, because this page was posted on Christmas.
And that’s the end of John’s alchemy binge! A whole bunch of sweet loot, including some sick weapons, a stylish new outfit, a couple wild variants on Fruit Gushers, and some inconsequential miscellany. The next three alchemy binges are even more fun.
Now it’s time for Dave’s final round of strife against his Bro.
Dave, Bro, and Cal have their grand final confrontation, face-to-face, sword-to-sword…
… and with one swipe of his anime sword, Bro Strider fulfills most of what was foreshadowed when WV looked at Dave’s exile screen. This moment establishes how unbeatable grown-up Dirk is—not just brutally defeating Dave, but also using his sword to introduce three plot points in one go: Dave’s swords breaking, Dave’s record symbol representing the Scratch, and the deep dark secrets behind Lil’ Cal (because his head is intact). Bro’s strength is also important because it’s used to show how unbeatable Jack Noir is after he becomes a dog.
Dave stumbles around some more until he lies face-up on the ground. He finally has his bro’s copies of Sburb, and all it took was his lunatic guardian handing him the brutal beatdown to end all brutal beatdowns. Post-scratch Dirk fulfills plot points through clever well-timed sequences that take advantage of every detail he can find; pre-scratch Dirk fulfills plot points simply through being an anime swordsman.
If I recall, Hussie didn’t intend for Dave’s bro to give off such strong anime vibes but rolled with it when fans pointed that out.
And with that, Bro Strider hops on his rocketboard and floats away like a mysterious motherfucker. It’s kind of crazy that he just simply hops on and flies to the meteor so he can slice it in half while Dirk in the Unite Synchronization flashes has to make use of complex physics to achieve similar feats. Is this the way adult Dirk rolls, or are the beta kids inaccurately perceiving their guardians again? I’m going to assume it’s the former, because Bro spent 30 years or so inseparable from a puppet housing the souls of several impossibly strong beings whereas the puppet’s post-scratch “clone” didn’t have any of those souls yet.
And then comes the iconic sequence. Say it with me: — turntechGodhead [TG] began pestering ectoBiologist [EB] —
TG: bro just kicked my ass TG: thats really all there is to say on the matter Bro just kicked Dave’s ass. That’s really all there is to say on the matter. Now let’s go on to [S] Jade: Pester John, a flash everyone forgets about for some unfathomable reason!
The main point of this flash, as the title suggests, is to show Jade and John’s conversations we already read from the former’s perspective. This flash is unique because it’s the only time we see a previously read pesterlog from someone else’s perspective in a full-length animation rather than still pages, which I’ve always found to be a genius method of storytelling.
This flash reveals that Jade’s dream self talks to her friends through her dreambot. It’s still so crazy to consider that Jade’s first ever onscreen conversation with someone was typed by a robot who mirrors all her dream self’s actions—perhaps even crazier than the reveals of trolls and cherubs.
After we establish that dream Jade is using her lunchtop to pester John, the flash takes a bit of time to show us how exactly Jade can “see the future”: during Skaia’s eclipses, she absorbs information from clouds that show her bits and pieces of their story. Alongside all the clouds showing past events, there are a few clouds shaped like people and items in Jade’s daily life, like the Squiddle-shaped cloud above. These shaped clouds are a nice touch to the Skaian cloud scenes and I find it a bit of a shame they’re phased out—they’re shown in this flash mostly to tie into [S] John: Wake up towards the end of Act 2.
Dream logic gets REALLY weird as we find out the truth behind the noise outside Jade’s house that “sounded like an explosion”. A Skaian cloud showing Jade’s island 413 million years in the past expands so that Jade is now “reliving” that memory, much like a dream bubble…
… then another Skaian cloud shows the prehistoric meteor arriving from the beta kids’ session, and the meteor turns into a meteor-shaped cloud …
… and then the meteor-shaped cloud crashes near the volcano, reenacting a scene from [S] WV: Ascend. The fact that the meteor is represented by a cloud instead of just being a memory of a meteor is a good demonstration that dream mechanics in Homestuck often work based on what looks the most artistically pleasing (or narratively convenient).
This flash shows us that Jade slept through John’s entry into the game, as we would expect from her.
And this is the big reveal. The loud noise outside Jade’s house that sounded like an explosion wasn’t a meteor impact, but a dream memory of a meteor impact. A bit at odds with how Skaian clouds usually work, but still a great red herring and demonstration of bizarre dream logic. It’s also a good retrospective demonstration of how protective her dog is; we know from [S] Jade: Enter that Bec will never let a meteor impact anywhere near Jade and instead destroys the meteor head-on to wipe out everything else on Earth.
This memory reveals to the reader (and to Jade) that the prehistoric meteor from [S] WV: Ascend gave birth to Becquerel, a millions-of-years-old dog who rose up out of lava in case you need a reminder how incredibly tough he is.
Please take a moment to appreciate that Jade is casually typing from atop her dream tower.
It’s also super crazy to see what Jade means by “bec doesnt want me to go near it”. She’s unknowingly referring to two versions of Bec: the dog in the real world and the dog’s dream projection. I assume that the reason she doesn’t find it surprising that she’s dreaming about Bec for the first time is because her dream self has a very different kind of brain from her waking self.
The last part of this flash shows us another John scene from Jade’s perspective: his short dream where he saw clouds shaped like items from his house and a silhouette of Jade. Jade notices him floating with his eyes shut tight and flies towards him to try and wake him up. We don’t yet know that she’s extremely antsy to finally show John around Prospit and tell him all her secrets—that’s saved for an extremely sad letter John reads after her dream self’s death.
This sequence revisiting the events of [S] John: Wake up is extremely well executed: we see the exact same shots with a bit more detail than before, showing that the shaped clouds John glimpsed at were only a small portion of a much bigger picture.
The silhouette of Jade is also revealed not to be what John thought: a look from a broader perspective reveals Jade to be wearing her golden dream outfit, shaped a bit differently from John’s perception. Jade flashes a few times in her dream outfit as we revisit John’s perspective.
And then they both wake up. How is it POSSIBLE that so many people forget about this flash?! Or the music in it for that matter. [S] Jade: Pester John may not be as fast-paced as all the iconic end-of-act flashes, but it’s a beautiful way to finally reveal how Jade “knows the future” and the truth behind her pesterlogs with John, with lots of stunning dream scenery as well. Jade’s past pesterlogs with John can be reread below this flash, helpfully accompanied by links to the pages we first read them on. GG: anyway what have you been up to john? GG: oh!!!! did you get my package yet? :O EB: er… EB: yeah, i was trying to get it, but rose dropped my car into a weird spooky bottomless pit and the package was in the car and im really sorry about that. GG: oh no! EB: wow, ok, i guess i should start at the beginning. EB: see, a meteor blew up my neighborhood. GG: thats terrible john! im so sorry! John and Jade’s pesterlogs read very differently now that we know Jade is actually her ditzy dream self. She reacts to John’s statement that a meteor blew up his neighborhood like a normal person would because she isn’t on top of things like her waking self is. EB: but i’m ok! and my house is too, sort of. EB: that game i was telling you about, sburb which i was playing with rose, sort of transported me somewhere at the last minute. EB: but now i’m trapped here and it’s weird and dark and i can’t find my dad and i just lost the car and my copy of the game in the pit and i think i have to save the world from the apocalypse!!! GG: O_O GG: well….. GG: it sounds really crazy and kind of scary but….. GG: it also sounds kind of exciting! GG: i dont know john maybe this is your destiny GG: if anyone can save the world i think it is probably you! Jade’s encouraging words again come off as extremely airheaded from her perspective now that we know her dream self forgets everything. EB: wow, you think so? GG: yes! EB: well ok, BUT. EB: it’s not even that simple! EB: i was about to connect to rose to help transport her and save her from meteors and fire and stuff. EB: but she lost battery power and i lost the game disc! EB: so i think i have to get TG to use his copy to save her! EB: but that jackass won’t shut up and stop rapping and stuff. GG: hahaha GG: he is so silly! EB: yeah. anyway i should talk to him about it, so brb. One thing waking and dream Jade have in common a special soft spot for Dave. I feel so bad for her in the epilogues, even reading short passages like this.
Jade’s next conversation with John in which she is an EXTREMELY FILTHY LIAR turns out to be her waking self and it’s just as annoying to read now as it was then. GG: hey!!!! EB: whoa, there you are! GG: how is your adventure going john? EB: it’s ok, i am making some progress, and rose finally connected again so she is helping me now. GG: thats good!! EB: oh but, like… EB: i don’t think i am actually saving the world here. 😦 EB: i dunno what i’m really accomplishing but i guess it’s not that. GG: hmm well i think whatever it is it must be pretty important! GG: dont lose hope john i think it will all turn out for the best if you stay positive…. GG: just keep listening to your grandmothers advice!!! EB: yeah, you’re probably right. EB: but, um… EB: i don’t think i mentioned nanna to you, did i? It’s somehow much more surprising now than before that Jade knows about Nannasprite. We now know that she must have seen Nanna in a dream, but it’s still really weird to see that she knows this much in advance. GG: oh uhhh……. GG: i dont know didnt you??? EB: hmm, i dunno, maybe you talked rose or dave about it or something. GG: yeah maybe that was it!! EB: they’re really weird when they talk to me about you, like they’re always trying convince me you have some spooky powers, but i’m always like no she seems like a pretty regular girl to me! GG: heheheh 😀 EB: but then when i think back maybe there are times when it seems like you know some things? EB: like maybe you know more about a thing than you are telling me? i dunno. The dramatic irony is stronger now than ever before. Come to think of it, Rose and Dave trying to tell John the truth about Jade is a bit like Roxy and Dirk trying to tell Jane the truth about Betty Crocker. GG: oh! john!!! GG: i forgot i was messaging you about that meteor that fell near my house! EB: oh yeah. EB: what ever happened with that? GG: oh boy…. well…….. GG: it turns out i was confused about it… GG: really confused! o_o; GG: see i guess i fell asleep for a while and….. GG: lost track of time GG: that happens!! EB: yeah i know, tell me about it! EB: maybe you should like, wear an alarm clock or something. EB: so what was the deal with the meteor? GG: well….. GG: its hard to explain!!! GG: but… GG: i know what it is now! GG: and now i know everythings going to be ok!!!
This part is much more tolerable when rereading, because we now know Jade is telling the truth and was indeed confused about the meteor. “Lost track of time” is a vague way to say dream Jade forgets things a lot; the truth behind the meteor is indeed hard to explain, even by Homestuck standards. EB: so what is it??? EB: or is this just another thing you’re “waiting” to tell me??? GG: oh gosh john i really want to tell you all this stuff!!! GG: but i cant yet GG: i really think you need to wake up first! EB: huh? GG: well ok not literally GG: well ok maybe KINDA literally!! EB: AUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!! EB: stop being so confusing!!!! And finally, we now know exactly what Jade means by “wake up”. Rereading pesterlogs from different perspectives is a lot of fun.
You take a moment to gather your thoughts after your dream. While you are asleep it can get very confusing figuring out what is really happening and what isn’t. Especially during the ECLIPSE, when you are exposed to many visions of the past, present, and future through a variety of CLOUD MIRAGES. It is only after you wake up that you are able to start making sense of it all, and your REMINDERS help you do this! This is one of the first instances of a pattern in the comic I very much appreciate: following flashes with textual recaps. By this point, Hussie had surely realized that some readers found big, grandiose flashes to be confusing, so he resolved this issue by recapping flashes in words for those who consume information better as text. The paragraph above is a great example of this pattern because it thoroughly explains how Jade knows the future. But on reflection, there wasn’t much in the dream about the future. You were quite surprised to see your DOG in your dream though. It was the first time the crafty guardian has ever appeared in a dream! You have learned that today is his birthday, just like it is for your other best friend. You have always wondered about this, and never had the chance to throw him a party and bake him a cake. Now you can! But if you do, it seems that you will need A LOT of candles.
This recap continues with a partial explanation of the story behind Bec. It tells us in a humorous way that the dog is millions of years old, which Jade probably deduced because she’s a huge science nerd.
Bec has never allowed you to enter the MYSTIC RUINS for reasons you never understood. You always assumed it was on account of your protection. But your dream has strongly suggested to you that is where you need to go now! Since your DREAMBOT is secured in its chamber and does not need to be looked after, Bec is taking a nap in the GRAND FOYER as he usually does. Perhaps you can take advantage of this and sneak out of the house another way?
This bit reads to me like Hussie letting readers suggest how to get Jade to the frog temple because he didn’t have any ideas. This sort of thing is done several times in the early acts back when Homestuck ran on readers’ commands.
Grown-up Karkat isn’t the only character who’s good with a zipline. Just look at teen Jade.
Upon suggested commands, Jade uses her harpoon gun to zipline down to the frog temple. This is a creative solution that I can really tell was a reader’s idea, not Hussie’s, considering the way Jade fights enemies later in the comic.
This page shows us that Rose built John’s house up all the way to his first gate. The book commentary says that his house now resembles a video game level; this is a great demonstration of the creative building aspects of Sburb, which I think is an underappreciated part of the comic.
Having been defeated by his bro, we finally get to command Dave again. His strife specibus is now 1/2bladekind, which definitely is a thing that makes sense. Everyone knows Dave’s broken sword motif demonstrates his struggles with heroism, but I see his thoughts on being “the guy who breaks swords” more as annoyance with character archetypes. He’s the one who told Rose that human beings don’t have arcs (which I vehemently disagree with) after all.
You try to grab the BETA (6) but you forgot your sylladex is completely packed.
You wonder why you jammed all this useless crap in here in the first place. Maybe you assumed you would weaponize it all during one of your customary HASHRAP battles with your BRO. But in retrospect that probably just would have been a huge chore and would have made the battle drag on forever. Sometimes you need to read the comic a bit deeply to see when Hussie is talking to readers through narration; other times like this, it’s very transparent. On this page, Hussie is telling us he was originally going to make an animated hash rap battle between Dave and Bro. It’s like what are you made of time. Obvious god tier title reference right there. This joke is reprised in Act 5 Act 2 when a doomed copy of Dave talks to Aradia, who is the Maid of Time—I wonder if Hussie had devised the trolls’ god tier titles yet by this point? Terezi mentions several of the trolls’ titles in Act 4, one of which is Aradia’s, so the answer might possibly be yes. Act 3 is fun to reread because it’s loaded to the brim with evidence that Hussie planned much of his comic’s plot way ahead of time.
Dave empties his sylladex and captchalogues his bro’s Sburb beta, then pesters Rose. — turntechGodhead [TG] began pestering tentacleTherapist [TT] —
TG: ok i got it TG: i hope you appreciate how much gross spongy proboscis i had to fellate to get this game TG: hello TG: what are you doing TG: anyway im going down stairs now and installing this thing TG: later Rose would most certainly appreciate how much gross spongy proboscis Dave had to fellate to get this game. She and Dirk are both avid fans of overcomplicated ironic scheming.
That would certainly hasten the parcel’s delivery, but the gift is not finished yet! You have spent months accelerating your knitting skills to be able to make the gift of perfect sentimental appeal. You even incorporated a cherished heirloom you have had as long as you can remember. When he sees your staggering gesture of sentimentality he will finally understand. He will understand that in the game of facetious sentimental gestures, no one gets the best of Rose Lalonde. These hints at the whole bunny mystery arc are a lot of fun to reread. I have no idea what readers might have speculated Rose’s lifetime heirloom to be, but given the appearification and sendification prevalent in the exile arc, I bet some readers immediately guessed on this page that time travel was involved.
We already learned in Act 2 that John was the one who got Rose into knitting…
… but only now do we get to read his birthday letter.
OH BOY, IT’S THIS PART. I love all the birthday letter scenes in Acts 3 and 4 so much. Each one says something big about the beta kids’ friendships and shared interests, and few of them (like this one) revisit prior scenes in more detail. dear rose,
thanks for being such a great friend all these years. i know you like to make it out like you’re playing it cool and don’t care much about the people in your life, but i know deep down you really do. hell, not even that deep down. it’s like, um, like your subconscious is having a wet t-shirt contest, and you being all aloof is this totally soggy shirt doing no good at all at hiding nothin’. oh wait, it looks like two can play at this game of cracking all these high falutin psychology books! AW SNAP!!! John’s wet T-shirt contest metaphor is a great way to show how deep and resounding the beta kids’ friendships are. He’s trying to describe through Dave’s style of snappy metaphors what Rose is like deep down; the analogy makes no sense but that’s what makes it endearing. but yeah, i got you this because i think you’re really creative and you could make something nice with it if you put your mind to it. and it might help you take your mind off a lot of all this serious business you’re always absorbed in. you know, all this weirdo pseudo-gothy stuff or whatever. frankly it’s kind of depressing.
anyway you’re the best rose! have a rad 13th! (i will catch up with you guys soon. god you’re all so old.)
~ghostyTrickster (john) John’s motivation behind this gift is to nudge Rose towards being a kinder, more approachable individual. His letter is a bit pushy and perhaps patronizing towards Rose’s interests, but it ended up working exactly as he hoped! He got Rose into knitting, an interest without which she’d come off as a completely boring fake goth girl. Getting Rose into knitting may have even played a part in her relationship and eventual marriage with Kanaya, which is kind of crazy to think about. Speaking of Kanaya…
… it’s time to dissect the HELL out of her first ever pesterlog. Are you ready?
GA: Why Is It That When The Subject Of Temporal Mechanics Is Broached Your Sparing Human Intellects Instantly Assume The Most Ingratiating Posture Of Surrender Imaginable This troll gives us one hell of a first impression—certainly a way more interesting one than Karkat gave us. The first line we hear from Kanaya is the comic’s first instance of arc words that usually show up when the story talks about alien concepts like troll romance. GA: Time Is Not That Difficult To Understand GA: It Is A Utility That A Universe May Resort To In Order To Advance A Desired Degree Of Complexity GA: Or May Not Resort To If That Is The Case GA: Its All Pretty Pedestrian GA: But No GA: When Time Travel Comes Up You Present The Face That A Man Shows When The Breeze Gradually Alerts Him To His Absence Of Netherdressings Kanaya’s complaints about the beta kids not understanding time travel may be meant to prepare readers for time shenanigans in following acts. It definitely reads this way to me, because time shenanigans kick into mega high gear when we start hearing more from the trolls. GA: I Dont See How We Are To Properly Agitate You All If You Continue To Insist On Failing To Understand Basic Concepts Which Common Infants Effortlessly Manage To Describe Via Scrawlings In Their Own Puddles Of Sloppy Discharge To first-time readers, “puddles of sloppy discharge” probably reads like a gross metaphor Dave would make. Only when rereading the comic will you know that these aren’t metaphors at all, but descriptions of troll biology. I’m going to guess that at this point Hussie had a loose idea of the workings of troll biology.
TT: Have we spoken before? GA: Yes GA: In The Future TT: You and your friends never cease to invent ways to strengthen the credibility of your assertions. GA: Oh My It Is Your Human Sarcasm Again GA: I Enjoy Listening To It And I Wish Doing So Could Serve As My Primary Form Of Recreation GA: There See I Just Did It Too GA: Saying The Opposite Thing To Emphasize My Contempt GA: But Suddenly I Feel More Primitive And Hate Myself A Little More GA: It Was Like This Funny Miracle That Just Happened In My Heart TT: I would admire the sophistication of you and your fellow future-dwellers a little more if you seemed to be aware the word “human” only functions as that sort of adjective in bad science fiction. TT: But I won’t be rude and change the subject. TT: There’s a still a bit of unflagellated straw poking out of your rhetorical effigy over here. GA: Oh Dear GA: No We Arent From “The Future” GA: But We Are All Already In Agreement That You Dont Get It And Never Will TT: I thought you said we spoke in the future. GA: We Did GA: Your Future GA: For Me It Was Only A Couple Minutes Ago TT: I understand. TT: You exist in some temporal stratum through which you have communication access to various points of my timeline. TT: It’s not that complicated. GA: Yes Thats Right GA: Will You Try To Talk Some Sense Into Your Idiot Friends GA: So That We May Proceed To Bother Them All On More Rational Terms
Is it any wonder that these two are the first couple in Homestuck to canonically marry? The only one, if you don’t consider the epilogues canon. Rose and Kanaya have strikingly similar manners of speech and levels of intelligence, but plenty of differences to make them a worthy couple. I noted in the old version of this post that you’ll know Kanaya is female from her screen name if you know what an “auxiliatrix” is, which means that this pesterlog is one of the first hints at homosexual relationships in Homestuck. I’m not sure if it’s the first hint, because Dave showed quite a few signs of having a gay crush on John in the first two acts. TT: I try to every day, with mixed results. TT: But you see, it’s not that I don’t understand you. TT: It’s just that I don’t believe you. TT: Because it’s nonsense. TT: Albeit persistent and coordinated nonsense. TT: Why would a bunch of temporally dislocated trolls want to harass a group of friends throughout completely random points in time? GA: I Will Admit This Campaign Of Provocation Wasnt All That Well Thought Out We later learn that Karkat led the campaign of provocation, which makes sense because he’s kind of a dumbass sometimes. He’s enough of a dumbass that Rose can’t logically process a mindset like his. GA: Dont Tell Anyone I Said That TT: Alright. TT: Maybe you should get some trolling tips from us humans. TT: Our sparing intellects are probably better suited to it. GA: Yeah Maybe GA: Why Dont We Be Friends TT: You want to be my friend? GA: I Think So GA: I Think Were Supposed To GA: You Suggested As Much Earlier TT: You mean I did in the future? GA: Yes A Couple Minutes Ago TT: Probably because I remembered you mentioning it in the conversation we’re having now? GA: Thats Likely TT: Hmm. TT: Your commitment to this roleplaying scenario is intriguing. TT: What choice do I have but to accept? Kanaya is hitting on Rose now, and it’s a mystery arc why that is. Though the kids are hit on by trolls aplenty through the course of their session, readers are probably invited to wonder why Kanaya has a thing specifically for Rose. It’s not revealed until the trolls’ arc that Kanaya found Rose’s Sburb walkthrough before the trolls started their game and spent much time fantasizing about what the writer of the walkthrough must be like.
Dave’s city looks oddly idyllic on a rainy day.
Rose’s flashback is immediately followed by a flashback to Dave’s 13th birthday. This scene reveals something interesting about Dave’s backstory: before he got his Stiller shades, he wore the exact same shades as his bro. You can tell through his triangular shades that Dirk raised Dave to become an anime swordsman just as tough as he is; it’s hard to even call him Dave without the Stiller shades.
John’s birthday letter to Dave is incredibly sweet, I love it so much. I’ll go through it in detail. dear dave,
i just wanted to take a break from telling you how much your gay butt stinks all the time and say what an awesome friend you are. Let’s add “Dave’s homosexuality” to the list of things in Homestuck’s late acts that were planned since at least Act 3. The signs of Dave not being straight were there SINCE ACT 3!!!, and plenty more thereafter (like in his conversation with Tavros a few pages later). It cracks me up in retrospect how much I used to insist that Dave’s sexuality arc and maybe-romantic relationship with Karkat were horrifically forced, like “J. K. Rowling revealed Dumbledore was gay” levels of forced. It’s like, how the ACTUAL FUCK could I have been so heteronormative??? I’m getting a bit off topic though. Let’s continue through the letter. seriously, on any other day i would be downplaying how you aren’t really as cool as you think you are, but just between you and me i think you might actually be that cool. i think you just gotta get out of your bro’s shadow and spread your wings dude!!! John’s encouraging words to Dave are simply incredible. He knows both his Derse-dreaming friends far better than they know themselves and is single-handedly responsible for major parts of their identities. so i got you these. they’re totally authentic! they actually touched ben stiller’s weird, sort of gaunt face at some point. i’m sure you’ll dig them because i know you lolled so hard at that movie. ok so for real, this is sort of a shitty present, but it is an ironic present because i know you wouldn’t have it any other way. maybe you can wear them ironically some time. they MIGHT even be more ironic than you and your bro’s dumb pointy anime shades. Unlike with his present to Rose, John’s present to Dave did far more than he thought it would. He thought Dave would just treat those shades like an ironic prop from one of John’s stupid movies, but Dave ended up wearing the shades on his face every second of his life. Dave’s post-scratch self mirrored this treatment of Stiller’s shades down to the letter; those shades are far more symbolic than Dirk’s anime shades could ever dream of being. (This letter is the first time in the comic anything related to Dirk is referred to as “anime”, which as I said earlier was an observation by fans that Hussie decided to go along with.) anyway, have a good one buddy! and stay busy being totally sweet!
~ghostyTrickster (john) Now that Dave has his Stiller shades, he will be busy every waking moment being totally sweet. John is an absolute prophet, I’m telling you.
Now THAT’S the Dave we know and love. Right when he finishes reading John’s letter, he puts the anime shades aside never to be worn again.
Now comes an extremely memorable humorous pesterlog where Dave owns a troll like there’s no tomorrow. AT: hEYYY, AT: fIRST, oK, i THINK YOU’RE AWFUL, AT: lET’S PUT THAT FACT ON THE TABLE WHERE WE CAN BOTH SEE IT, AT: nOW YOU HAVE BEEN PRIMED FOR THE DIGESTIVE RUINATION THAT’S ABOUT TO TAKE PLACE, aND THE COMPREHENSIVE SOILING OF THE LAUNDRY ENVELOPING YOUR PERSON, TG: oh my god you type like a tool The trolls’ typing quirks are innocuous so far, all things considered; the later ones take much more getting used to. I can’t help but notice that the first few trolls we hear from in the comic type simply with different capitalization and punctuation from the kids. Later trolls introduced have much wilder typing quirks directly based on their zodiac signs, which goes to show how much more the trolls’ arc was thought up on the spot than the kids’ storyline. Feferi in paricular had a typing quirk so hard on the eyes that it probably cost her narrative relevance; Meenah’s typing quirk is one of many ways her character is taking a second shot at a Pisces troll.
AT: yEAHHH, AT: nOW YOU’RE GETTING IT, wHAT YOU ARE IN FOR, AT: aRE YOU READY TO BE TROLLLLLED, AT: wITHIN AN INCH OF YOUR MISERABLE HUMAN CORTEX, TG: this is so weak im almost getting tired of wasting good material on you guys TG: its like TG: youve got nothing TG: its always one of you sprouting up and ranting about how hard im about to get trolled TG: with no ensuing substance TG: you dont even know anything about us TG: one of you fuckers thought i was a girl AT: oK, yEAH, bUT, AT: tHE THING IS, tHAT i DON’T CARE, AT: aBOUT YOUR ANATOMICAL DETAILS, aND THINGS LIKE THAT, AT: i KNOW WHAT YOU’VE DONE, AT: oR WILL DO, aCTUALLY, AT: iT’S THE MOST AWFUL THING, tHE WORST YOU CAN EVER DO, Tavros’s first impression is interesting knowing what’s later revealed about him. He was probably conceived simply as an example of a troll who’s not very good at trolling, but since he was one of the trolls we got to know before the trolls’ arc started, fans had plenty of time to come up with headcanons about what sort of person he must be, especially involving his unseen legs. It’s kind of weird to think that Tavros’s tragic backstory came to be simply because he was one of the first trolls to speak in the comic. TG: sorry i wouldnt cyber with you dude TG: in the future or whatever AT: wHAT, wAIT, AT: oH, AT: oK, yOU’RE THE ONE WHO LIKES TO SUBMIT INNUENDO, TG: human innuendo AT: yES, hUMAN iNNUENDO, AT: sORRY FOR THE LACK OF CLARITY, TG: so at what point in the future am i supposed to look forward to you whipping up this titanic hankerin for my knob AT: uH, TG: be honest with me TG: cause im busy TG: and i want to know exactly when i got to clear some space in my calendar for when some fuckwit blunders out of a magical phone booth and makes a ballad-inspiring play for my throbbing beef truncheon AT: sHOULD i BE PERTURBED BY THESE ALLUSIONS, TG: no man TG: look TG: i just need to know when to be there TG: when the stars come into alignment and your flux capacitor lets you finally sate your meteoric greed for crotch-dachshund TG: i wouldnt want to miss it and cause a paradox or something TG: itd suck if the universe blew up on account of you missing your window of opportunity to help yourself to a pubescent boy’s naked spam porpoise Dave Strider is not a homosexual. <- BLATANT LIES Dave Strider was obviously intended not to be a homosexual until the retcon happened. <- ALSO BLATANT LIES This pesterlog is hilarious after all this time and is an absolute highlight of Homestuck’s early acts. <- BLATANT TRUTH AT: uHHH, AT: oK, THIS IS SORT OF STARTING TO UPSET ME, TG: jesus you are such a shitty troll AT: i GUESS i’LL LEAVE YOU ALONE, AT: aND FIND ANOTHER POINT IN TIME TO BOTHER YOU, AT: wHEN, i GUESS, AT: yOU ARE MORE EMOTIONALLY SUSCEPTIBLE, aND DON’T HAVE ALL THESE BEES IN YOUR BONNET, AT: aBOUT YOUR HUMAN SEXUALITY, I used to be in a huge weird shitty denial that these lines tied in directly with Dave’s sexuality arc. Even Tavros can tell that Dave has a lot of issues to sort out regarding his human sexuality. <- BLATANT TRUTH What the FUCK was I thinking years back in this blog either awkwardly tiptoeing around or complaining about the sexuality arc?! <- QUESTION I DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER TO TG: oh no TG: no dude TG: you sassed me up TG: we are in THE SHIT now TG: together TG: for the long haul AT: i, AT: wHAT, TG: we’re motherfuckin entrenched in this bitch TG: you and me TG: welcome to nam TG: now grab my hand and shimmy your soggy ass off that muddy bank before charlie gets the fuckin drop AT: uHHH, wHO, AT: wHO’S CHARLIE, TG: hes the guy whos gonna read our vows TG: im feeling pretty friggin MATRIMONIAL all a sudden TG: take a look down by your foot see that little bottle TG: stomp on that shit like its on fire TG: noisy ethnic dudes are flipping the fuck out and waving us around on chairs til someone gets hurt TG: im your 300 pound matronly freight-train TG: and my gaping furnace is hungry for coal so get goddamn shoveling This pesterlog is fucking amazing. <- FACT WE CAN HOPEFULLY ALL AGREE ON This pesterlog is a very early stage of Dave coming to terms with sexuality issues. <- FACT WE CAN AGAIN HOPEFULLY ALL AGREE ON AT: oH MY GOD, TG: bro look in my eyes TG: that twinkle TG: that be DEVOTION you herniated pro wrestlers sweaty purple taint TG: sparklin like a visit from your fairy fuckin godmother TG: shit be PURE AND TRUE TG: thats what you see TG: a kaleidoscopic supernova of all your hopes and dreams all swishin together TG: radially effevescing arms of more little boy peckers than you can imagine TG: turning out insane corkscrew haymakers of a billion dancing vienna sausages strong Writing commentary followed by a left arrow and an all-caps noun phrase. <- THING I WILL STOP DOING I don’t know how much Hussie intended when writing this pesterlog to seriously consider Dave’s sexuality. But I can tell that he had a lot of fun looking back on homoerotic dialogue like this and trying to figure out what it means about his comic in retrospect. This pesterlog gets a GLORIOUS callback towards the end of the Meat Epilogue when Dirk tries to get Dave and Karkat to kiss; only fitting because that scene is the grand beautiful conclusion to Dave’s sexuality arc. TG: this is how we do this TG: this shits more real than kraft mayo
— adiosToreador [AT] blocked turntechGodhead [TG] — And so, the conversation ends with Tavros blocking Dave instead of the other way around. A simple but powerful line that shows us exactly why Dave is such a beloved character. I’m ending this post here. See you next time as I finish Act 3 for real, with a few more plot resolutions and a glorious flash I love to death.
“Nostalgification” is totally a real word, I swear.
Years in the future…
After a bunch of pages that were mostly romance drama and hints at the Condesce’s machinations, it’s time for a fun throwback. The image shown above depicts Roxy’s carapacian neighborhood on a rainy evening, just like how Rose’s house was in the early acts. This whole scene is going to be a lot of fun, I can tell.
I forgot how cute Roxy looks in her starting outfit, my god. Full disclosure: for me, a fictional girl’s cuteness is mainly determined by whether or not she wears tights.
It’s time to read Wizardy Herbert! You might already know that Wizardy Herbert is the name of one of Hussie’s pre-MSPA works. It’s an unfinished Harry Potter parody story with wild metafictional elements and overall insane nonsense. It is my understanding that Hussie in real life never cared much for wizards and decided when writing both Wizardy Herbert and Homestuck to crudely parody the fondness people have for them.
I don’t care much for wizards personally.
But this story? An absolute laugh riot that somehow doesn’t have a fanmade full version.
Oh boy, guys. I’m going to take you for a wild ride and dissect the HELL out of this story. I hope you’re ready for heaps of comparisons with the fanmade full version of Detective Pony, which I treat as canon in this post series. “i think you were supposed to just tackle him,” beatrix said looking all kinds of put off. “all kinds of put off” is such a Roxy thing to say. The first sentence of this page already sets the stage for her absurd story perfectly. wizardy herbert reached down to the body of the fictional camper he just shot and picked up the flag. “same difference.”
“this is some lame magical version of capture the flag. the book wanted me to capture the flag from him. the flag has now been captured. anyway, hes just a kind of brainless puppet.”
“then what are we?” she asked.
“i dunno. brainless puppets whove spent a few years in the real world. kind of like everyone else, i suppose.” When you’re talking about metafiction, the “real world” can mean a lot of things. I can’t quite tell what that phrase refers to here; I assume Roxy’s story established that phrase’s meaning at some point before this page. Unlike with Detective Pony where we only saw the first few pages and got a rough description of the rest, we’re treated right away to the portion of Wizardy Herbert where the story has fallen apart and the title character is debating with his female companion about the nature of their story. “jeez thats cynical. anyway, youre the one who said we should let the story play out the way its supposed to. im just pointing out your own rules.” I love how Beatrix’s reaction to Herbert’s metafictional nihilism is nothing more than “jeez thats cynical”. This is another bit that helps establish the story as a playful but earnest exploration of the nature of metafiction. “ehhh.” herbert made a dismissive gesture with his smoking gun. “these punks were starting to get on my nerves. we’re making progress anyway. see? listen to that. russets scene is coming up. if i remember right this is the one that introduces his recurring love interest. also i guess the chief bad guy. i mean, sorta.” At this point, both Herbert and Beatrix are playing common roles in meta stories: Herbert as the extremely meta-aware hero/villain, and Beatrix as his loyal but oft-questioning assistant. Dirk invokes these roles both in Detective Pony and in the Meat Epilogue; the former role always with himself, and the latter role variously with Minos, Jeanne Betancourt, and Rose. In the Meat Epilogue, he takes advantage of the traits Rose has in common with him as well as her declining health so that she can play the role of the meta assistant and then get a fresh new robot body. Now that I think of it, it’s rather heteronormative of Dave at the end to think Rose and Dirk might be dating just because of these tropes. Normally he’s as woke as can be about LGBT topics; maybe he thinks Dirk’s mindset has changed simply because he’s so far up his own ass with self-importance. /end tangent This page of the story continues with double narration between Roxy’s usual writing and nonsensical SBaHJ-style Comic Sans writing. It’s clear that Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff cracks Roxy up just as much as the beta kids, which is very cute. The characters written SBaHJ-style are even more fake and confusing than the “normal” ones. I have no idea what’s going on now, other than that one of the Comic Sans characters is described as a handsome young man with black hair and glasses, which will soon lead to an allegorical exploration of John and Roxy’s relationship—perhaps a forewarning of what may become of it. “why beatrix” he said with a super sly smile. “if i didnt know better, id say you were taking some enjoyment from watchin your dear pal russets smackdown.”
“what? no!” she didnt let go of his arm. but he wouldnt quit his douchey smile. she went on. “you cant just keep offing fictional characters. its… i dunno. irresponsible.”
“besides you know the scene is supposed to play out like this. russet is supposed to get rescued. how is he supposed to get rescued if the bullies are dead? you cant just go around changing things.”
“i guess youre right.”
herbert holstered his gun admiring a few more choice sucker punches to russets midriff. OOF. that onell leave a mark. beatrix regained her calm. “so whos this guy thats supposed to save him?” she asked. “you say hes the villain?”
“here he comes now.” Herbert’s shameless defiance against the story’s supposed rules reminds me of Caliborn, which makes sense because he and Dirk are alike in some ways, and because B2 Rose’s stories are also filled with cherub allusions.
Not understanding how sports work is something Roxy and Dave have in common.
Roxy skips ahead a few pages and now Herbert and Beatrix are dressed up to play some SPORTS. The Harry Potter satire is painfully obvious here—Quidditch is a staple of the series, even I know that—as is the fact that Hussie doesn’t like Harry Potter very much. As with Cronus’s backstory, elements everyone knows are incorporated and blatantly made fun of but none of the deeper plot seems to be referenced. I know this because if the plot of Harry Potter was deeply woven within Homestuck, then TV Tropes would be littered with comparisons between the two. “russet! answer me!” beatrix demanded. “why the heck didnt you tell us? or tell grant for that matter?”
herbert wasnt paying much attention. so russet was moody and cryptic and didnt tell people some stuff. what a bombshell. he worried at one of the springs poking out of his ridonkulous ball. it made a sproinging sound like a mouth harp and broke off. he wondered if the springs served any actual purpose. the springs did not serve any actual purpose.
“how could you keep something like that from everyone? that you knew all along?”
“i just wanted what was best for grant” he finally said.
she had tons of questions but couldnt settle on the next one to ask. she wasnt about to let good body language go to waste so she did kinda what mimes do when they dont like something you said. how long did he know grant was from this dogshit wizardfic? howd he escape in the first place? was it really his spell that sealed them here? how long had he been planning this? she guessed that would explain why he had an absurdly obvious pseudonym. grant anonama? yeah like THATS a real name. great job bro, or should she say SLINUS. she wondered if his bogus name wasnt an anagram for something. like a clue dangled under their noses. magic bad guys do love their anagrams. they are just so damn clever and when you finally figure them out its like whoa INSTANT MINDFUCK. Roxy’s writing continues to be a mix of Rose and Dave, in all the opposite ways from how Dirk’s writing is. Her use of serial rhetorical questions reminds me of Rose just as much as her sarcastic commentary on narrative tropes reminds me of Dave. I’ve said before that it’s kind of funny Roxy and Dirk seem to inherit traits from both their respective ancestors when it’s technically the other way around. Skipping a bit… it was time to go. the narratives invisible conductor let them know with the arrival of a carriage. it was drawn by two floating, perfectly immobile wooden horses. herbert read this thing a hundred times but still couldnt understand the authors fascination with flying rigid wooden horses. This passage is obviously a self-deprecating jab at how much Hussie loves joking about horses, but its in-universe purpose is a bit less clear. I wonder if Roxy incorporated horses in her story to obliquely vent about her hopeless crush on Dirk? She knows very well that Dirk is a fan of horses and might even be playfully referencing Detective Pony.
Roxy skips to the end of what she has so far and oh my god, what is this. Herbert and Beatrix are freaking out and flailing their arms, but the horses’ facial expressions are blank as ever. It’s clear from this image that Roxy doesn’t have Dirk’s deep, resounding appreciation for horses. If Dirk drew this panel, the horses would be the ones freaking out. “herbert watch where youre going!”
“i cant. i think the book wants us to crash.”
beatrix thought about it. she almost kicked the sides of her inert stallion to prod it along but caught herself. “do we really have to?” Here’s where we see Herbert suddenly had a change of mind regarding narrative rules. At first he brutally disobeyed what was meant to happen, but now to Beatrix’s surprise he’s following the rules.
herbert shrugged. another solid half minute of awkward horse advancement went by before the creaking oaken collision. herbert tumbled through the air and hit the grass pitch hard on his back. beatrix landed on top him. they founfd each other face to face.
“is she serious with this?” she asked regarding the hella subtle way the author decided to craft this situration*. situation. is was like, popetry in motion. plus hornses(???)
“im afaid* so. i think the story is builting romantic tension between us.”
“it IS?” it was not a question. but a statement of major concorn. *cern
“yeah. it it establushing* the groundwork for romance beween our characaters. its sort of the one token heroterosexual** romance in the book. we probably jush have to ride it out” Read this passage and tell me, TELL ME, it isn’t an accurate retelling of how John and Roxy’s relationship plays in the Candy Epilogue. Their relationship is a perfect example of a “token heterosexual romance”, so it’s only natural that it’s deconstructed to hell and back once they get back together. John is disconcerted by how easily their relationship happens but goes along with it because he thinks that’s how love is supposed to feel; Roxy is overcompensating for her grief over ruined friendships and Dirk’s death, which further hurts their relationship. beautrix dinit* dint kno whaf*T the felling of collor red wash…. but
she cloun*cloud*COULD swear the fleling
she could swar
(RAAARARRAAUUUAAAAUUAGHGHGGHGGGGHHGH DOINT WRITE WHILT DRONK U LUSHEY DUMBO) Roxy’s writing becomes more and more drunk as Herbert and Beatrix are about to have their romantic climax, which is again much like how romantic relationships in Homestuck work. Though this page of the story is mostly an allegory for John and Roxy’s relationship, this last passage most closely matches Rose and Kanaya, Homestuck’s token lesbian romance. As I’ve said in a few recent posts, these two ships have a lot of parallels that come to full light in the Candy Epilogue.
Well this sure was fun. I’m glad I got to the Wizardy Herbert section now instead of earlier, because in recent months I’ve written some metafictional stories inspired by Detective Pony and the Homestuck Epilogues that I haven’t shared with the public because they’re incredibly stupid. I can confirm that metafiction is both incredibly fun to write and incredibly easy to get carried away with. I’ll also say that although I have inserted myself into my metafictional stories, it’s always a different character who has the most meta knowledge—not because it would be too self-indulgent for my self-insert to know all the meta stuff, but because I think it’s way funnier if another character does.
Your home suddenly loses power due to the storm. Which… makes no sense? All devices in your house are powered by the portable green hubs you stole from the lab. That’s weird. Your laptop continues to run on battery power regardless.
This is a crazy cool throwback. It’s sure to remind readers of Rose’s story in the early acts, where a storm was causing her house to lose power and impeding her progress on starting Sburb. I must say, it’s incredibly refreshing to have a throwback arc after a bunch of annoying romance drama.
Roxy answers UU and it doesn’t take long for the conversation to diverge from whatever it was originally going to be. She realizes she isn’t drunk and that she somehow knows Calliope’s name.
Calliope says nothing but ellipses as Roxy observes the Furthest Ring’s damage. Roxy is given lots of commands in this dialogue sequence, but her responses to those commands are generally in dialogue instead of narration. Roxy’s monologuing is a substitute for second-person narration, which is done several other times in mid-to-late Act 6 like when Dave examines his old bedroom and breaks into tears about his old ironic nonsense, or during John’s entire retcon mission. I wish the Act 6 Act 6 intermissions had some amount of commanding characters like this instead of just constant [A6A6Ix] ====>; it would have livened things up quite a bit. I’m glad full-out second-person narration was brought back at the start of the epilogues.
Callback to a panel where Rose holds a crystal ball.
When Roxy finds Twinkly Herbert, Calliope starts talking in Morse code through… Herbert’s soul or consciousness or something? I’m not going to bother trying to explain this odd bit, but I will say I like how every dream bubble scene in Homestuck brings something new to the table of bizarre dream logic.
Calliope through Twinkly Herbert explains to Roxy that they both need to keep a low profile because Lord English is wreaking havoc upon the Furthest Ring in search for his dead sister.
TG: (the fuck?) TG: (what happened to my house) TG: (some stuff is different) TG: (i dont remember this) TG: (callie do you know whats going on) UU: -. — [no.] UU: -… ..- – / .-.. . – .—-. … / -.- . . .–. / –. — .. -. –. [bUt let’s keep going.] TG: (and what am i even wearing) TG: (what are these clothes?) UU: .. – / .- .–. .–. . .- .-. … / – — / -… . / – …. . / — ..- – ..-. .. – / — ..-. / .- / ..-. .- … …. .. — -. .- -… .-.. . / … -.-. .. . -. -.-. . / .– — — .- -. ? [it appears to be the oUtfit of a fashionable science woman?] TG: (oh yeah) TG: (like a sexy science lady suit) TG: (thats p cool i guess) Here’s where things start to get fun. Roxy is now exploring Rose’s old house, which is even darker than it was when Rose explored it in the early acts. She’s dressed as her pre-scratch self which adds to the nostalgia and makes it feel like we’re exploring Rose’s house from her mother’s perspective. This is a rare occasion when characters in dream bubbles get to play the roles of their alternate selves, which hasn’t been explored much elsewhere aside from a few scenes with Aradia. I’ve accepted by this point that dream bubbles work in whichever way is most convenient for the scene.
It’s obvious through any scene involving the Lalondes that Hussie himself hates wizards.
Next comes a funny moment where Roxy examines one of her pre-scratch self’s wizard paintings and cracks up. TG: (heck yes) TG: (hes so perf) TG: (callie check him out) UU: ..- — [Um.] TG: (that aint even a painting) TG: (ahaha its so shitty) TG: (did someone like) TG: (grab a random ass low res wallpaper off the internet) TG: (of a jolly wizard doing what appears 2 be the worlds dumbest spell) TG: (and saved at low quality then just like) TG: (printed it way too huge) TG: (lmao) UU: —… ..- [:U] TG: (its not even scaled proportionately) TG: (its stretched extra wide to fit this expensive as fuck frame) TG: (is that shit like) TG: (literal solid gold) TG: (ahahahahah i cant even deal) TG: (whoever did this was a wonderful genius) I like the implication that Rose’s mother wasn’t just a lunatic who freely collected all things wizard-related, but perhaps had a sense of humor about it all and took delight in the absurdity of old-timey wizard paintings.
Even though she’s mostly seen here cracking jokes about these wizards, it’s clear that Roxy truly thinks wizards are cool and badass.
This is such a great spooky panel.
Roxy sneaks by the corridor and here’s a fun callback. She catches a glimpse of the Condesce, just like Rose caught a glimpse of her mother so long ago. Calliope clarifies that the Condesce is only there through subconscious memories, which tells readers that this scene is there just for spooky flair.
Roxy makes her way to the observatory… or is it? The observatory symbol from Rose’s house is replaced with the cherub spiral, which signifies that things are going to be a bit different.
Note the candy flowers below the door. Are there meat flowers on the other side?
And HERE’S where things get extra fun. The memories transition to Calliope’s art style, which is another thing that’s never been done before. Calliope’s dream bubble scenes in her art style are a lot of fun and there’s going to be a few more in later acts.
There are totally meat flowers on the other side. It makes thematic sense and I feel like a genius for figuring it out.
Roxy exits the door and starts walking down a white spiral which is fun. This scene has lots of great art, especially that last panel above.
Calliope’s ghost’s visual appearance is a surprisingly spooky image which I think is a callback to at least five other panels.
The moment Roxy turns around, Calliope changes into her trollsona outfit. I think I now understand the point of that whole arc with Calliope’s appearance insecurities and Roxy’s sugary encouragement: it’s a counterpoint to John/Roxy, the token heterosexual romance as we all know. You could argue John and Terezi’s relationship is also a counterpoint to the token heterosexual romance, but that’s different because it’s an objectively better ship.
I’m going to be honest here. The art is by FAR the coolest thing about this sequence so far. It’s way more stunning than it has any reason to be, because all that’s happened so far is Calliope expositing about stuff we mostly already knew about Lord English and Roxy’s role as a void player. I’ll go through this exposition anyway because I’m kind of obsessed with Caliborn. UU: on the day he foUnd a way to kill my dream self, i was done for. thoUgh to be honest, i doUbt i’d have fared mUch better regardless. UU: i think his half was always meant to predominate. UU: my will was simply not strong enoUgh to overcome his. yoU know as well as i how stUbborn he is. i don’t think he has ever had even a smidgen of doUbt in his thoUghts, or remorse for his deeds. whereas i was always plagUed by sUch feelings. Calliope’s talk about Caliborn reminds me of his story as an artist. We saw in his conversation with Jane that his stubbornness works in his favor when it comes to art; he starts the story incapable of producing art that is even remotely coherent, but doesn’t let doubt or remorse get in the way of becoming the best artist he can possibly be. Caliborn’s tale as an artist is so inspirational I don’t even care that he wrought eternal havoc upon paradox space. UU: on some level i always knew he woUld win. bUt i fooled myself. i thoUght i coUld overcome his ego by looking beyond his negative qUalities, staying optimistic, and working together with him in a game to accomplish something extraordinary. UU: and that in doing so, perhaps i coUld begin to help him change. to teach him to evolve beyond his hatefUl natUre. and as he changed for the better, slowly but sUrely, he woUld become more like myself. UU: that was how i thoUght i coUld predominate. it was how i was going to win! and really, if he grew closer to me in that way, by learning kindness and compassion, we both woUld have won. my predomination woUld not have meant his absolUte death, but oUr trUe Union. What Calliope is saying here is that the reason her brother predominated is because she succumbed to the human emotion of “friendship”. This makes a lot of sense if you think about the timeline where Calliope predominated. The way god tier Calliope talks about her brother in the Meat Epilogue suggests she was just as good at catching his weak spots as god tier Caliborn was at catching his sister’s weak spots. UU: bUt sadly, i Underestimated how consUmed he was with the need to destroy me. UU: now he is completely obsessed with finding my soUl and wiping me oUt for good, even if it means tearing apart the reality that sUrroUnds Us. UU: he will never feel he has won Until all traces of me are gone. TG: uuuugh TG: hearing all that just makes me so unreasonably mad TG: FUCK that shitlord Hearing all that makes me unreasonably sad. I think Caliborn’s brain became kind of broken when he ascended to his final form and now he’s nothing more than a demon who’s out destroying everything in search for his sister. UU: i have reason to sUspect there may be another iteration of myself oUt here. UU: one from a doomed timeline, who has kept hidden for a long time, jUst like i have. UU: bUt Unlike me, she sUpposedly came from a reality where she predominated instead of my brother. UU: and not by the means which i described. hers was not a mild Union of reconciliation. UU: amazingly, her predomination was absolUte! a major feat of will, jUst as his was with me. UU: as sUch, she went on to play the game, and… UU: well, i cannot even imagine what followed, aside from the fact that she eventUally mUst have died for existing in an offshoot reality. UU: if she exists, i woUld be eager to meet her. it woUld be a chance to get to know a version of myself who was strong enoUgh to override the will of my brother. UU: someone i might have become if i had a little more coUrage. u_u UU: and if she is sUch a person, then i really believe all i have heard mUst be trUe. i believe she is the key to defeating him. UU: so i have no choice. UU: i mUst go in search of myself. Calliope clarifies a mystery about the lost cherub plan: the cherub who can be used to defeat Lord English is an alternate ghost of herself who predominated over Caliborn. I didn’t realize alt Calliope was introduced this early; I thought it wasn’t until A6A6I4 when she was first brought up. I assume Calliope knows about her alternate self simply through her usual method of theorizing, which is good here because it turns the boring lost cherub mission into an enticing mystery arc.
Oh hell yes. I’m LOVING this outer spacey art.
TG: you sound like a real popular lady out here TG: even you are looking for you! Roxy and Calliope’s interactions have occasional good moments like this—emphasis on “occasional”. I’m starting to think it was the author’s intent to make them deliberately too sugary, as a counterpoint to the token heterosexual romance I talked about earlier. UU: indeed. TG: well i hope you can find her TG: but TG: if thats your job TG: to find bizarro calliope and go wollop ur bro TG: then what is our heroic biz? UU: it’s the same as it always was. UU: to win the game. TG: oh yeah TG: duh UU: it is as i once told jane. UU: with victory yoU may finally exit this vast whirling storm. UU: by claiming yoUr reward yoU woUld bring closUre to a very wide coil of caUsality, one not tracing a continUoUs path like a snake, bUt intricately woven like a wreath. UU: a ring of coUntless little rises and falls, ascents and descents, on its way Up and down a pair of mUch bigger ones itself. UU: from alpha to beta, then beta to alpha, as if a moUntain to be scaled and then climbed back down. its peak toUches the eye of a storm which cannot end Until the moment yoU all walk throUgh that door. UU: only then will there be calm. TG: ._. UU: ah, bUgger. forgive me, sometimes i forget myself and begin speaking in riddles. UU: it’s jUst a habit that is in the natUre of my people. TG: yeah i know TG: at least yours r better than your bros stupid games UU: don’t remind me. in my opinion they do not qUalify as anything of the sort, mUch the same as his “shitty twists”. >:u Speaking in poetry definitely runs in the cherub family. Calliope, Caliborn, and the other Calliope all have a fixation on poetically retelling the events of Act 7, which is the grand culmination of all their artistic ambitions. UU: as the one who provoked the breach in paradox space which i jUst coloUrfUlly described, he has always exerted his inflUence on yoUr realities from afar, and from many different angles. throUgh Unwitting sUrrogates, oUtsoUrced manipUlation, oUtright enslavement, and even petty harassment. bUt most of all, he prevails throUgh the simple inertia of inevitability that has always been on his side, as a lord of time. UU: and as the one who is to blame for foolishly allowing him access to sUch power, it’s only proper that i take responsibility for finding a way to defeat him. UU: bUt even thoUgh his methods of inflUencing yoUr session are indirect, they are still formidable. UU: there will be a nUmber of powerfUl foes who stand between yoU and victory. UU: tomorrow, a terrific battle will take place. UU: when yoU wake Up, i sUggest yoU begin to prepare. Why is it so surprising to me that ending Homestuck with Collide and Act 7 seems to have been planned this early? The battle against all the villains directly or indirectly affiliated with Lord English is indeed what stands between the kids and victory, and once the retcon is executed it all sort of… happens without a hitch??? Homestuck proper’s ending is a farce beyond farces and now that the epilogues are out I can’t help but love that. TG: ummmm ok TG: how TG: like make more sick gear TG: i could hustle up another batch of illwicked guns TG: just a big ol pile of guns TG: jake can have the wimpy smaller ones TG: make jane like a fancy new fork or spoon or such TG: like an elite endgame spoon TG: whatever that is TG: like uh TG: the chowderfucker 5000 TG: janey be flippin her godspoon round bopping monsters doing like TG: CUCKOO damage TG: wont bother make nothin 4 dirk since hes basically married to his boring anime sword TG: like u could even pry that thing from his rad dead cadaver Roxy knows a surprising amount about the alpha kids’ natures, as any good leader would. She’s completely right that while the other kids all get fancier weapons as their game progresses, Dirk is eternally inseparable from the same old anime sword. UU: yes, i’m sUre new eqUipment woUld come in handy. UU: now that yoU mention it, well before i died or even realized i woUld not live to play, i made special exception to my rUle of staying linear with conversation. i messaged jane a birthday gift. UU: yoU see, i had a brief vision from skaia which sUggested to me she coUld Use a boost in morale on this special day, so i offered her something very dear to me. jUst a little token to show appreciation for her friendship. UU: i hope it will cheer her Up, and moreover that it will prove at least somewhat UsefUl to yoUr party. UU: bUt really, at this stage if yoU wish to prevail against sUch stacked odds, collecting boons sUch as new weapons and treasUres will only go so far. UU: i think yoU will need to embrace a far more sUbstantive gambit. Imagine me making queasy disgruntled noises with my mouth. That’s how I feel about this passage right now. I am sort of freaking out imagining a huge mess of pink and green emerging from my computer screen, accompanied by cupcake Jane’s enormous smile and beige skin. TG: like what TG: omg are we gonna have to enlist fefeta TG: is fefeta the secret weapon TG: its fefeta isnt it TG: poor, sweet, dear, precious fefeta 😦 You’re so close, Roxy! YOU’RE SO CLOSE!!!!! I wonder if Hussie at this point had already planned to connect Nepeta and Lord English just like fans joked about so long ago. Maybe that was one of those things he figured out naturally as the comic progressed and that’s how Davepetasprite^2 came to be? UU: it is not fefeta!!! UU: i am sUggesting a measUre that is mUch more extreme. UU: i believe yoU shoUld all strongly consider ascending to the god tiers. TG: oh TG: ok that sounds cool what do we do UU: well of coUrse it soUnds cool! bUt it’s not necessarily as easy as it soUnds, steeling oneself for death. believe me. UU: bUt if yoU can find the resolve, then here is what yoU mUst do. UU: since none of yoU have any dream selves left, it won’t do any good to sacrifice yoUrselves on the qUest beds foUnd on yoUr respective planets. UU: and even if yoU did, there is not even a battlefield from which to rise anew. no, yoUr void session had only one path to ascension all along. UU: yoU mUst travel to the centre of the moons of prospit and derse, and there in the crypt yoU will find yoUr sacrificial slabs. yoU mUst lie on them, and then… UU: then yoU all mUst die. one way or another. u_u This bit is pretty cool because it finally gives an official name to the alternative to quest beds that allowed Aradia, Rose, and Dave to reach god tier. I feel that a proper exposition on sacrificial slabs was long overdue; Aradia’s ascension to god tier is especially confusing to first-time readers. Calliope is the perfect character to talk about this topic, and now is a good time for her to do so.
Calliope goes on to foreshadow and hint at more plot stuff I don’t have much to say about. She talks more about Lord English and the Condesce and implies through mention of multiple villains that there’s another unmentioned villain under English’s command; readers are likely to think of the alpha kids’ Jack Noir, who we saw some suspicious images of not long ago.
After a few more moments where Roxy and Calliope talk about how much they trust each other, Calliope suddenly freaks out about something.
UU: WHAT IS *SHE* DOING HERE??? After Calliope fed readers a whole bunch of juicy meat, it’s time for Rose’s appearance to dangle some delicious candy just too far away from readers to reach.
ROSE: Mom?ROXY: mom? This moment, holy shit. It’s so sweet and must be surreal for both Lalondes.
Just look at Rose and Roxy’s smiles. Cuteness that transcends words.
CALLIOPE: NO NO NO NO NO! THIS WON’T DO AT ALL! CALLIOPE: A LIGHT PLAYER? A LIGHT PLAYER??? CALLIOPE: HAVE YOU GONE MENTAL? WHY DON’T WE JUST BURN A BLOODY BONFIRE IN HERE! CALLIOPE: HE’LL SPOT US ANY MINUTE! ASSUMING HE ISN’T ALREADY ON HIS WAY TO BLOW US ALL TO KINGDOM COME!!! But not so much for Calliope, who FREAKS THE FUCK OUT at the sight of a light player. If you take a moment to think about who else is a light player, you’ll probably either fear the worst for Vriska and company who are also looking for Lord English, or look at Calliope funny for being so concerned with players’ classpects.
Poor Roxy and Rose. This is the second time a reunion between them is cut short, and it won’t be the last (or the saddest).
Alternian text: YOURE WELCOME
Roxy wakes up in her jail cell and notices a folder from the Condesce. It’s one of many times in this act where the witch is portrayed in a more humorous light. Just look at the fuchsia lip markings, GIFs of her deceased clown presidents dancing, flashing boondollars, and decoration with sea creatures.
Roxy is the best at “done with your shit” faces.
The folder has instructions for Roxy to do something “stupid and impossible”, so she throws it aside. As she talked about with Calliope in a part I skipped over in this post, she doesn’t want to use her void powers when it’s to serve a genocidal alien queen. This little stretch of pages establishes that Roxy despises the Condesce the most of the alpha kids, which suggests that at this point Hussie had already planned for her to be the one to kill the empress.
Roxy then gets some gifts from the Droll: Dad Crocker’s PDA and a magic ring. She’s confused by all these, and readers probably will be as well.
The Droll is dressed like his Midnight Crew counterpart too, except he’s more free to demonstrate his love for ridiculous hats. I can only imagine him begging his superiors to let him wear a ridiculous hat; after some negotiating, the Dignitary probably let this one slide. Yet another perfect crime successfully perpetrated. And by crime, you guess you mean order from a superior. In your experience, the best crimes are the ones which are totally legal. You are so satisfied with your accomplishment, you cannot contain your exuberance for another second. You have no choice. You absolutely must do the happy umbrella dance, professional protocol be damned. Oh shoot. It seems you have misplaced your BULL PENIS UMBRELLA. There will be no dancing today. Now you’re sad. The callback to Clubs Deuce’s bull penis cane is much funnier if you know the story behind it. As Homestuck Book 2’s commentary states, Deuce in the Midnight Crew intermission used a cane for one purpose or another, then Hussie realized that the picture he found was a bull penis cane, so he made a panel where Clubs Deuce realizes the same and freaks out. It’s clear that Hussie found that incident just as funny a few years later and took the opportunity to call back to it in a line that makes spectacularly little sense out of context. I’m stopping here, right before Roxy pesters Dirk. This post was a lot of fun to write! See you next time as Dirk, Dirk, and Dirk have an existential confrontation that ends up bringing one of the funniest characters in Homestuck into existence. >> Part 95: The Bodybuilder’s Triumphant Return