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
Right now my priority for this blog is my main Homestuck post series I started in 2015 where I’m currently on Act 6 Act 5; this post is a bit of a divergence from the plan I’ve laid out. I finished my newest post a few days ahead of schedule, so I decided to do a rewritten post to release on Friday instead. I mostly did it as a bit of a breather from the absurd romance drama I sped through.
Who’s this guy?
At the curb of Act 3’s halfway point, it’s time for us to meet Spades Slick’s lookalike.
Spades Slick? Got a nice ring to it. But you know your own name. And that damn well ain’t your name. Jack Noir’s naming is done a bit differently from other characters. He doesn’t have a naming box; rather, he’s meta-aware of Hussie’s fingers typing his name. The book commentary here is worth reading: Jack at this stage is the villain. Villains in Homestuck tend to be meta-villains. That is, they exist much closer to the surface of the story’s meta-bubble, and often interact with the way it’s told. For instance, Jack Noir is the original owner of the 4th wall. (See next page.) As a universal bureaucratic game construct, he can keep tabs on everything going on in the session, including just outside the story. Though Jack Noir is a meta-villain, there are limits to this, possibly tied to his personality. It could be the scope of his ambition never includes messing with the story itself. His desire for power lies entirely within fictional parameters. Later, there are much more flagrant meta-villains, in Doc Scratch and Lord English. They live on the surface of the meta-bubble, and at times badly puncture it. All iterations of Lord English in total basically represent the ultimate meta-villain. Though it takes a very long time for this to become apparent, and for it to be revealed exactly what this means. I think it’s fair to assume this villain foreshadowing and easing in was intentional. Act 3 is filled to the brim with hints at the trolls’ backstory, the alpha kids, and (much more subtly) the cherubs. Jack Noir’s higher degree of meta awareness than the beta kids is a subtle but useful way to ease readers into the times villains start taking over the narration. On the topic of characters taking over narration, if you somehow haven’t read Detective Pony *****PLEASE DO SO IMMEDIATELY*****, then come back here. Hussie enters Jack’s name and rank, leading us to his short introduction page.
You are ARCHAGENT JACK NOIR. You oversee various affairs of a DARK KINGDOM. Presently you are determining how to deal with this prisoner, who has been a thorn in your side since he was apprehended.
Funny that I just got done analyzing the portion of the comic where the alpha kids’ Draconian Dignitary reveals he successfully imprisoned Dad Crocker by giving him a nice, cozy cell where he can communicate with Dersites about ties and shaving and start crazy fashion trends. Noir, on the other hand, isn’t good at the social side of things. Like it or not, what he’s best at is managing paperwork (and destroying everything he touches if given the power to). You view the affairs of the kingdom through a series of FENESTRATED WALLS. You have three walls, nearly enough to form a CUBICLE OF VIGILANCE, which is a full and proper enclosure for an agent of your stature. However, much to your utter contempt, your FOURTH WALL was stolen some time ago. What a cheeky pun. I don’t think I need to go over the timeline and story behind the various physical fourth walls in Homestuck, though I will say it’s probably for the best Jack’s fourth wall was stolen. Though Hussie’s book commentary states that Jack probably isn’t villainous enough to want to mess with the story itself, his desire to destroy everything BLEW THE HELL UP after the Droll killed Jade which was some time after he gained the ability to destroy everything. Who knows if he’d have taken the chance to mess with the fourth wall if it wasn’t stolen?
After we establish that Jack absolutely hates dressing like a clown, he introduces us to Hearts Boxcars’ lookalike, the Hegemonic Brute. The Brute brings something heavy to keep Dad enclosed in prison and holy shit is this guy strong.
This guy can never catch a break, can he?
But right after the Black Queen (gender-neutrally referred to as the Glorious Monarch) reminds Jack to wear his clown hat, we learn that Dad Egbert is even stronger than the Brute. That’s the only role HB ever plays in the story: he gets his ass handed to him to show how tough other characters are.
Meanwhile in his father’s room, John finds some unopened birthday presents his dad was going to give him. First off is the one on the right:
It’s a control deck that lets John customize his fetch modus! He now has way more captchalogue cards, which is… cool? I forgot the fetch modus game mechanic stuff even existed and it’s kind of weird going through it at such an on-and-off pace. Let’s pretend I am enthusiastically cheering John on for switching to a simple array modus, then confused that he settles on a queue-stack-array blend modus.
Though I won’t lie, the queue-stack-array modus looks sick. It’s a visual upgrade to the original that’s high on the weaponizability scale.
You have a staunch policy of always saving the biggest present for last. ALWAYS. Now that’s something I can relate to right there. Let’s see what the leftmost present is!
Could this birthday get any better? You don’t think so.
John’s victory dances are so cute. He’s incredibly happy to get a fresh pack of delicious Fruit Gushers.
You thought wrong.
He’s even more delighted to get a fancy suit for his birthday, which is surprising but makes sense in a heartwarming way: it shows John and his father have a common interest in dressing like businessmen. Deep down, John has a lot more in common with his father than one may think, which is shown in full in the Candy Epilogue: similar fashion tastes, the exact same romantic tastes, and most of all, extreme immutable pride for his son. Remembering how proud he always was of young Harry Anderson is the one thing that finally snaps John out of his internal loop that everything is fake, because he can’t accept anything that would put his son’s realness at odds. John inspects the box of Fruit Gushers and notices something amiss:
THE HEINOUS BATTERWITCH HAS HER GNARLED CLAWS IN EVERYTHING.
What do Gushers have to do with baked goods anyway??
How does this make sense???
WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY??????????? If you didn’t know, Hussie’s book commentary explains that he didn’t know Fruit Gushers were made by Betty Crocker until a reader suggested John to inspect the Gushers box.
Suffice to say, the author doesn’t have an easy time processing this. John promptly has a mental breakdown in a flash with dramatic music, as if this was some kind of terrifying revelation that uproots everything he thought he knew and now he can never see the world the same way ever again.
As with FACEPALM x2 COMBO, I knew about this running gag before I read Homestuck.
Except John quickly realizes this is a completely stupid thing to freak out about. The beta kids’ universe was merely the Condesce’s test run after all.
Up next is Jade’s true guardian strife, [S] Jade: Retrieve package. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen before! This page shows us that her dog Becquerel has magic teleportation powers and overall ungodly strength, with occasional glimpses at the Green Sun and various other locations in the comic. All this crazy plot stuff planned in retrospect and showed way ahead of time is truly something to behold.
Jade and Bec are moving in this image; Grandpa is still as ever because he’s dead.
The strife flash ends with a cheerful victory sequence as if nothing unusual ever happened. Just a happy girl hugging her wonderful dog, her taxidermied grandpa by her side as ever. Jade in the early acts is a normal human being with normal human values.
Jade: Retrieve package was filled to the brim with hints at events and plot points that were probably fully planned by this point. Jade’s narcolepsy, on the other hand? I am almost certain the truth behind it was a retroactive decision on the author’s part, as are most things involving that one character‘s self-importance. Later that character’s self-importance becomes a cosmically retroactive decision, because after the retcon she took over Gamzee’s plot role in the alpha session with only a few differences.
Though Bec is a mystical dog, he does take proper care of Jade and takes her to bed when needed. It looks like he even tucked her blankets, truly in the spirit of dog loyalty.
Oh, you’re back home. The well-stocked bar and the vantage from the window tells you this is your MOM’S room. Or at least what you thought was her room. You decide not to be especially melodramatic about this revelation. If you’re rereading knowing who Roxy is, you’ll know that Rose had just unknowingly passed by her mother’s real room. She’s already showing signs of being considerably more wrapped up in her supposedly noble goals than the other beta kids are, and not taking time to progress through the kids’ usual narrative.
Just a few seconds later, the meteor strikes the Skaianet lab and Rose needs to get out of there. It’s important she brings the cat with her, because I’m at least 80% certain a whole bunch of vital time loops would be broken if she didn’t.
Suddenly you are feeling very businessmanlike for some reason. You just punched a shitload of cards in anticipation of making a whole lot of cool stuff. This time you didn’t foolishly destroy any items. You just looked at the codes for some objects you rounded up, and punched them on blank cards.
As the alpha kids’ Dignitary can attest, it seems that Homestuck characters automatically feel businessmanlike the moment the put on a fancy suit. Feeling businessmanlike puts you at far less risk for stupidly decimating your sylladex.
Next up, Jade dreams and THAT’S where things get fun. Jade has a dreambot that echoes everything she does in her sleep. For the next few pages we get some neat dual storytelling, with the dreaming world on top and the real world on the bottom.
> Jade: Obliquely foreshadow future through interpretive dance Your silly dance foreshadows nothing and is essentially meaningless. But it sure is a lot of fun. “Foreshadows” and “nothing” are two words that should never be put side-by-side in any context even remotely related to Homestuck. Everything in the entire story is interconnected in one way or another; sometimes the connections are of debatable intentionality, but that’s the fun of analyzing media. In this case, the interpretive dance is the last thing Jade’s dreambot does before it explodes.
Still not sure why characters in Homestuck always sleep with *this* of all poses…
You climb into bed and try to get comfortable. But some sort of invisible force is pressing down on you, a strange feeling of cold heavy metal. This happens every time you try to get into bed! No wonder you can never get any sleep. This funny little moment has a bit more to it than meets the eye. It strongly suggests that Jade and her dream self are two different consciousnesses who share a small amount of memories. This difference is also demonstrated in pesterlogs which we don’t yet know were typed by dream Jade. I always thought it was a little weird that dream Jade was so different from waking Jade when we didn’t see much other difference between players and their dream selves. But looking back now, I think I have a good explanation for why that is. I think the dream self’s memories diverge from the player’s memories the moment the dream self consciously wakes up for the first time. For most players, the dream self’s awakening occurs shortly before or during the game, but for space players the dream self has usually been awake since childhood. Maybe dream Jade and waking Jade have the same memories and knowledge from the first few years of their lives, but have had many years since then to diverge and are now effectively two different people. I wouldn’t be surprised if the same held for Kanaya and Calliope’s dream selves, who we don’t see as much in action because they don’t have dreambots. As I said in a post from years ago, this is also why it makes sense that Jadesprite is even less like regular Jade, because she spent eons in dream bubbles getting to know a bunch of ghosts implied to be the Beforan trolls.
> Jade: Realize you can fly! There is not much to realize. Of course you can fly. I imagine the reader who suggested this command thought it would be funny if Jade suddenly realized she could fly, but it turns out Hussie had already planned that to be true. It’s not just that Jade already knew, it’s that Hussie already knew. Or at least I assume he did. I think I have a good grasp of Hussie’s motives when writing early Homestuck, if only because I’ve read Homestuck so many times.
Jade then taunts us with a mystery package—she already knows what’s inside. I don’t remember exactly how this package time travel arc plays out, other than that it involves the exiles following instructions written by dream Jade. I think the package is mirrored between its dream projection and its real-world self? Kind of stupid to use the word “self” to refer to an inanimate object, but that’s Homestuck for you. I’m probably wrong about all this.
All of John’s clown scribbles are in Rose, Dave, and Jade’s text colors.
This leads us to a birthday flashback with a huge surprise shot: John seems to have had clown scribbles on his walls months before the story started, which we had never seen before. This will lead us to enormous dramatic irony when John comes in his room and finds all his posters defaced, which he thinks was the imps’ doing. This image also confirms Rose, Dave, and Jade’s birthdays which is a good bonus.
— ghostyTrickster [GT] began pestering gardenGnostic [GG] —
GT: hey, happy birthday jade! GG: yay thank you john!!!!! 😀 GT: whew ok, i got your present in the mail JUST on time. GT: plus i sent rose’s and dave’s too. GT: why do your guys’es birthdays got to be all bunched together like that??? you are running me ragged! GG: heheh i know but it is nice of you to think of us all like that! GT: i can’t wait for you to see what i got you. i don’t want to spoil it or anything but hopefully it will help you solve those problems you’ve been having lately. GT: MYSTERIOUS WINK 😉 GG: im sure it is great, i cant wait either!!!!! GG: it might take a while to get here from there but it will be worth the wait! GT: oh man. GT: i am such an idiot, i forgot about how long it takes you to get stuff. GT: ARGH. GG: john thats ok really! im sure will get to me exactly when it needs to and it will be a nice surprise when it does! Jade is awful at lying, which is fine because John is gullible as all hell. She speaks in her usual cryptic tone and cleverly hides that John’s gift is going to be sent back in time. It’s crazy how easy it is to forget about all the time loops in Homestuck’s early acts. GT: ok well i hope so. GG: <3…… GG: uhhhh hold on GG: ok im back sorry GG: i had to tell someone to go away! GT: oh god. GT: the trolls again? GG: yup 😮 GT: they have been such a pain in the ass lately. GT: it seems like there are so many. GT: there are either like fifty of these retards or it’s one guy with a lot of alt accounts. GG: ive never had any sort of feeling about them or what they want which is kind of weird!!! Jade’s last line here implies she never learned anything about the trolls in her dreams. I’m guessing Skaia’s refusal to show her anything troll-related was to make sure she didn’t believe anything the trolls told her about the day they fuck everything up; we see in later acts that Skaian clouds can show any scene from anything. GG: but it seems to me like they are probably all different people and not one guy GG: i have counted twelve GT: what do they want with us!!! GG: some people just like to needle others for some reason john GG: it is like a game i guess. they are like pranksters!! GT: oh hell no, shittiest pranksters ever. GG: but i think they are mostly harmless GG: every so often they manage to get through my block filter and hassle me. its been going on for years! actually some of them are kind of funny i think hehe GT: oh wow, what? years?? GT: ok, well i am sick of them. GT: i’ve been thinking of changing my pesterchum handle to throw them off the trail. GT: so… GT: i guess i’m gonna do that. There are so many mystery seeds planted in this conversation, which seems simpler now than what it later turns out to be. We don’t know that Terezi led John to come up with the chumhandle “ectoBiologist”, or that the troll who just hassled Jade was talking about something important to the plot.
… Wait, hold that thought. I think the time Karkat trolled past Jade about her dreambot was really just fulfilling a stable time loop, wasn’t it? God damn, thinking about all this plot stuff is kind of giving me a headache. The exact opposite kind of headache I get when I spend a long time analyzing a relationship drama section. Meat and candy, I’m telling you. The dichotomy is off the charts.
Every time you reenter your room, you shudder at the recent handiwork of some mischievous imps. You just can’t turn your back on them for a second! Rotten imps. Those posters were like children to you. Wonderful use of dramatic irony. We just got done learning that these posters were defaced the whole time.
At long last, you have returned to your bedroom with a stable power supply and internet connection. VODKA MUTINI purrs at your side. You SUPPOSE you will call it Mutie for short. Vodka Mutini is a great name. I don’t think it’s any question that Rose is the best out of the beta and alpha kids at naming animals.
Rose pesters John in a sequence I love EVERYTHING about. The psychoanalysis portion where Rose reveals to us the story behind Dad’s supposed interest in clowns is brilliant in every way and is one of the best things to come out of Rose’s character. TT: That’s quite a totem collection. TT: What are you planning? EB: oh whoa hi! EB: oh… EB: gonna make some stuff. EB: are you ok? hasn’t your house been on fire for like… EB: five hours now? TT: No, that was the nearby forest, which up until quite recently would have been best described as “on fire”. TT: But you may be excited to learn that just as recently, my house finally notched that achievement. EB: wow, congrats i guess? Rose in the early acts is an absolute treasure. Thought I’d point that out before I get into the meat (loaded word, dammit) of this conversation. TT: I’m going to start putting this grist to use too. TT: Let’s be sparing with the frivolous knickknack breeding and focus on getting you up to the gate, ok? EB: yeah, ok i hear you, but… EB: i think we’ll have plenty. i’ve been killing imps all over the house and now its lousy with gushers. TT: Gushers? EB: i mean grist. EB: serves them right for ruining my posters. the bastards. TT: Which posters? EB: don’t you see? my sweet movie posters. look at them, they’re fucking ruined. TT: John. EB: ?????? TT: Are you suggesting that imps are responsible for defacing your movie posters? EB: uh, YEAH? TT: Your posters have looked like that ever since I first saw your room. TT: The moment we started playing this game. TT: I thought you had defaced them ironically to mock your father’s interests. It’s so funny to me that Rose initially thought John defaced his posters to mock his father’s interests. While her initial analysis is as absurd as all the nonsense she thinks about her mother, all it takes for Rose to bring out her true psychoanalysis skills is for John to disprove her first hypothesis.
I love this panel so much. John looks like an angry businessman slamming his keyboard, perhaps frustrated that his bills didn’t arrive on time and exerting all his anger on an innocent coworker. EB: VERY FUNNY ROSE HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA EB: NICE JOKE EB: GREAT JOKE THERE ROSE EB: TOP OF THE LINE PRANK EB: HE HE EB: HA HA HA HA HA TT: This is good. TT: Laughter is probably the best way to avoid being especially melodramatic about the revelation. EB: yes EB: YES EB: LET’S KEEP THIS JOKE GOING EB: BECAUSE IT IS SUCH A GOOD ONE EB: HA HA HA HA EB: OH MY EB: HA HA HA HA HA HA EB: HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA John’s sarcastic laughter is all it takes for Rose to put the pieces together and figure out the story behind John’s clown scribbles.
Now we check out what WV is up to. He’s in a bit of a predicament right now: he’s stuck on top of his command station and doesn’t have enough cables to climb all the way down. The exile arc is probably where reader commands shined the most in Homestuck: WV first declines a command to use his mayor sash as cable, then declines a command to appearify the frog temple.
Instead of following any suggested commands, WV notices someone else carrying a cable down—perhaps someone who knew that he needed help and that he didn’t want to sacrifice his mayoral sash. This surprising moment of friendship is a really cool way to add a third exile to the mix.
First explicit confirmation WV is male.
WV tries to appearify the cable but ends up appearifying John’s birthday package to Jade because the machine was set back a few hundred years. The package contains a letter to WV from Jade, which confuses him just as much as it probably confused readers. How could dream Jade know nothing about the trolls but be perfectly familiar with the exiles? We’ll find out soon enough.
WV then appearifies the cable and successfully climbs down, which transitions us a sneak peek at our third exile, the Aimless Renegade. This sneak peek shows him as an aloof but probably friendly exile, who seems to be a bit of a weirdo given that he’s wrapped in caution tape. I find it entirely unsurprising AR is such a fan favorite.
It’s time to go through John and Rose’s psychoanalysis session. Are you ready? EB: ok, while i make some stuff here can you keep an eye out for imps? EB: just keep the safe or tub handy or something. EB: it’ll serve them right for trashing my posters. TT: I keep telling you the posters were always like that. EB: AND I KEEP TELLING YOU HA HA VERY FUNNY TT: Here, look. TT: http://tinyurl.com/O413nanna TT: http://tinyurl.com/O413weirdo
EB: yeah, i saw those, but… EB: they didn’t look like that before. you must have changed them. TT: Even if I had the motive for such a bizarre and pointless deception, where would I find the time? TT: I don’t even have Photoshop.
Funny that Rose mentions not having enough time to edit these images when she somehow managed to write an enormous wall of text in Jaspers’ mausoleum while her forest was burning down. Though maybe it makes sense she wouldn’t have the time to edit her images of John, since she doesn’t seem to be much of a visual artist. EB: then why didn’t you TELL me they were there??? TT: I had no reason to think you were not aware of them. TT: I thought they were strange, certainly, but was not struck by any particular impulse to discuss them. EB: ok, it still doesn’t make sense though. EB: implying that i drew them a while ago and then forgot and couldn’t see them and now suddenly see them. EB: that’s stupid, what would that even mean. Here we’re about to see what sets Rose apart from the other beta kids. She can read between the lines and notice cosmic connections that fly over her friends’ heads. Sometimes it’s for the best her friends don’t care about those connections, but here cosmic connections are going to spark something HUGE in John’s mind.
The book commentary on this page rightfully pokes fun at John/Rose shippers. How boring can you even get???
TT: It looks like you were in your father’s room recently. EB: yeah. TT: And how did it make you feel to discover what was in there? EB: oh no, i just realized! EB: you are going to psycho-therapify me. EB: well don’t bother! TT: Maybe I am just being a friend? EB: maybe… EB: /EYES SUSPSICIOSLY Though John likes to poke at Rose for acting like a stereotypical psychologist, he obviously doesn’t mean bad by it and finds her analysis fascinating and a lot to take in. Terezi likes psychoanalyzing John too, in a slightly more flirty way. (And eventually way more than just “slightly”.) EB: anyway i guess you saw what’s in there, it’s boring and there’s not much to even see. TT: That doesn’t matter. TT: What matters is how seeing it affected you. TT: I think it clearly has in some way. EB: well… EB: i don’t know, at first i was nervous to go in and find more of his weird clowns, because of course they are stupid and i hate them a lot. EB: but then when i didn’t see any, it was weird. EB: i felt weirdly, like… disappointed almost. TT: Is it fair to say this changed your perception of your father? EB: yeah, i guess. TT: Is it such a stretch to conclude it changed your perception of other things as well? EB: uh no, maybe not. EB: but what are you getting at? EB: it sounds like you’re saying i’m crazy! TT: I don’t like to use the word “crazy”. EB: oh god. EB: see?? this is therapy bullshit! TT: That was a joke. Even though she said it in a deliberately stereotypical way, Rose is right about the word “crazy”. In the field of psychology, it’s a meaningless catch-all word that’s only useful if you want to dismiss people who you know are right.
TT: But anyway, whether it means you are crazy or not, consider this theory: TT: Your presumably longstanding tendency for scrawling this imagery is really your subconsious trying to express something disturbing within you. TT: Possibly something from your past, which you have blocked out. TT: And since you have supressed it, your conscious self cannot acknowledge the drawings, therefore they have been invisible until now. Before explaining Dad Egbert’s motives, Rose starts up a new mystery arc: what disturbing thing caused John to subconsiously draw clowns all over his posters? We’ll know what it is later in this post, but the story behind how it got there is saved for near the end of Act 5. I wonder if Hussie had already planned by this point to reveal Gamzee was behind the clown doll? It’s likely he at least planned for Gamzee to be an oddball among the trolls, knowing his chumhandle. He’s the only one whose motifs aren’t related to his zodiac sign (juggalos instead), and he had nothing even remotely resembling plot relevance until he turned evil and then was revealed to have dealt massive damage to the Black King. EB: why now? TT: Perhaps because you have seen evidence that conflicts with the worldview your subconscious has constructed to obfuscate the truth. TT: That your dad is not necessarily the clown-loving maniac you thought he was. TT: All along, this negative attribute buried in your psyche may have been projected on to him, and subsequently reviled, as a sort of defense mechanism. EB: but this is absurd, my dad LOVES these shitty clowns. EB: he’s got all these statues and paintings EVERYWHERE. TT: Is it unthinkable that over the years it was he who believed you were the one with a passion for clowns? Because of the all the strange drawings in your room? TT: A father then embraces a son’s hobby to establish a stronger bond. And there’s the reveal of why John’s father pretended to like clowns. It’s both a demonstration of Rose’s analytical strengths and a step in a huge chain of events that leads to the human universe’s destruction. Rose’s analysis of John’s father is easy to trust because she immediately offers a blatantly false alternative explanation: TT: Or wages a campaign of passive-aggresive mockery of your interests. TT: Either is plausible. I don’t know your dad that well. It’s too bad Rose thinks her mother is passive-aggressive. If she opened her mind to alternative analyses like she just did with John’s father, she’d know the truth about her mother before she’s tragically murdered. EB: i dunno. EB: not sure about all this. EB: but i think we need to stop and acknowledge the bunny sassacre fedora i just made. TT: It’s awesome. EB: yeah. This heavy plot revelation is immediately followed by John being an absolute dork. The bunny sassacre fedora is one of the best things to come out of Homestuck, and I’m glad Rose agrees.
Then we see Rose’s progress on building up John’s house. It kind of looks ridiculous with so many tall chimneys; Rose says she’ll soon come up with a better strategy.
[S] Jade: Dream up extra arms and play advanced bass solo is another flash that was originally scored by Bill Bolin, and the only such flash where I think the old version is FAR superior. The old version has an EPIC drop and then another EPIC drop; the new version adds a scene where Jade presses keys on her bass to achieve a similar effect but it just isn’t the same.
The flash starts with dream Jade playing on her newly expanded bass. She somehow grew three extra arms and is smiling as she plays like it’s no big deal, which is an extreme case of early installment weirdness. Though all kinds of weird nonsense has happened in Homestuck characters’ dreams, this is the only time someone EVER undergoes such an unexplained bodily mutation. It doesn’t really matter though; this scene puts a smile on my face either way.
Jade’s dreambot plays the bass in the real world, which helps her plants grow. I think the whole motif of playing instruments to grow plants is a Zelda reference? Kind of weird because Homestuck doesn’t directly borrow much from iconic video games. I don’t know, it’s cute either way.
Just like with Jade’s relaxing bassline, we’re treated to a zoom-out even more surprising than the last one. At first it seems like Jade simply dreams in a pink and golden projection of the real world…
… but THEN pieces of the plot come together as the zoom-out reveals a golden planet called Prospit. Though it’s surprising to find Jade’s dreams take place on whole different planet, the puzzle REALLY comes together at the next zoom-out:
There we have it. A flash that starts as a silly advanced bass solo, but ends up revealing that Jade’s dreams take place within the world of Sburb. I can only imagine how crazy this reveal was for serial readers back then. I don’t think many people expected Jade’s dream world to have been connected to WV’s drawings and Nannasprite’s exposition the whole time.
> Jade: Change wardrobifier to cycle thru STAR HEART HORSESHOE Ok, good idea. You leave the MOON in the cycle though cause you like it. Here’s a reader-suggested command that Hussie liked and followed through with. I applaud whichever reader suggested to bring this Problem Sleuth reference to the table; it’s a great fit with Jade’s dream wardrobifier. Note that four of the wardrobifier options are turned on in the image above: moon, star, heart, and horseshoe. All four of those are among the nine leprechaun romance symbols. I would assume that all the options on the dream wardrobifier are the leprechaun romance symbols, but there’s a tenth one unaccounted for (the topmost is a randomizer). In the spirit of MSPA, I’m going to assume the tenth one is a pumpkin. Let’s be real, what else would it be?
Jade explores the golden city and sees someone who looks familiar. Who could it possibly be??? (it’s PM) I love the way this scene provides our very first hint at the exiles’ backstory as Prospitians and Dersites. It’s a bit of early installment weirdness, since next time we see PM in the past she’s wearing a slightly different outfit.
Meanwhile, Jade’s dreambot randomly floats around her island, echoing all of dream Jade’s moves. This serves as a convenient transition to the exile arc. We see PM right as that transition finishes, which further makes it obvious dream Jade just saw her past self.
Act 3 has been making very good use of scene retraces. They’re always shown side-by-side so you can’t really call them visual callbacks, but they do play a very similar plot role.
What exactly inspired Jade to pretty much beg WV to give PM her package in such a pushy tone and claim that “the freedom of [their] people depends on it”? Probably cloud visions that made it incredibly obvious WV likes being a mayor and PM likes being a mail lady. Maybe she also saw PM in person delivering mail, because this note was quite obviously written by dream Jade and the entire package is presumably mirrored between the dream and waking worlds.
The delivery mission has one problem though: AR is randomly shooting at everyone because he thinks he’s the lawyer of the frog temple or something. We don’t yet know AR wants to be a lawyer, but we will soon enough. Knowing how horribly Earth C’s politics fell apart in the epilogues, I’m suddenly sad AR didn’t get to rebuild civilization like the other two exiles did.
WV’s attraction to PM reminds me how separate the exile arc is from the rest of the story. Their storyline has its own unique charm and it’s unfortunately often forgotten about.
First explicit confirmation that PM is female.
I think Jade’s letters are a very creative way to confirm the exiles’ genders.
WV finally gives PM the present! Hooray!!!
Why are John’s clown scribbles glowing?
I think it’s to convey to us that these scribbles are mirrored in the waking world and/or early installment weirdness.
Jade flies to the other tower and checks in on John’s dream self, who apparently “will wake up when he is ready”. The panel where we see inside John’s dream room is a major wham shot, especially the scary clown doll. It both answers (the first half of) a plot mystery and foreshadows the main antagonist of the first five acts, which is really damn cool. Sometimes it impresses me how efficient Homestuck can be at driving mysteries.
Speaking of John, you wonder if he got the birthday present you sent him? Or for that matter, if you even remembered to send it? Darn! You get so confused sometimes. If only you had some system in place to help you remember things. This page again shows us that dream Jade is considerably more forgetful than regular Jade. The book commentary on this page is very interesting: Jade’s dreaming confusion and forgetfulness is kind of an odd symptom that’s never quite been duplicated by another waking dream self. There are two possibilities. One is I was still ironing out the dream self rules early in the story, and that symptom never panned out for others, OR, it is because her sleeping habits are imposed on her unnaturally by external forces. GUESS WHICH EXPLANATION I PREFER. As a wise clown once said: can’t it be motherfuckin’ both things? It only makes sense that external forces, which may or may not be code for a certain self-important troll girl, would retroactively make themselves responsible for cases of early installment weirdness and story inconsistencies. I absolutely fucking hate that all this retroactive justification through *this one character* makes metafictional sense. Note the word “metafictional”—no way in HELL it makes regular plain old “sense”.
Your MOON is getting very close to SKAIA. You had better go inside soon. It is never a very good idea to be outside during the ECLIPSE. Maybe you can take the opportunity to log onto your computer and ask John about his present. You just know he will think it is awesome, and it will be a great way to thank him for the wonderful present he got you! This scene hints that one of Jade’s early conversations with John was typed by dream Jade, which is fully confirmed a bit later. A very good example of feeding attentive readers breadcrumbs towards the grand reveal. I’m ending this post here, just like I did with the old version of this post. See you next time as we go back to Act 6 Act 5 and read Detective Pony’s lesser-known sibling. And see you at some point in the future as I go through the last 100 pages of Act 3, ending with an iconic flash that is just SO GOOD AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. correction: next 50 pages of Act 3, featuring an amazing flash that SHOULD be iconic but everyone forgets about for some reason. >> Part 12.1: Scrawlings in Puddles of Sloppy Discharge
If only John and Vriska knew how much their friends nearby miss them…
You reach the end of the game to find an intriguing convergence of outrageous personalities. You are just dying to see what these heavyweights of badittude have to say to each other, but somehow you discover within yourself the superhuman restraint to hit pause. When I got to the end of Openbound Part 3 in the last post, I already knew that the walkaround ended right before Meenah could talk to Vriska, John, and Tavros but I was still a bit disappointed to remember it cut off right there. But upon further consideration, I think it’s fair to cut things off here and resume this arc with something other than a walkaround because we’ve been overdosed with walkaround content this whole intermission. You probably know that Homestuck doesn’t have any more full walkaround games after Openbound. I’ll discuss this point at the end of this post, where I recap Act 6 Intermission 3. There is a whole world of fucking around going on with the meteor crew during the second year of their voyage, and it would be a criminal act of negligence to end this intermission without at least having a peek at their tomfoolery. A weaker person would just want to see what happens with Meenah and Vriska right away. Thank goodness you are a player with a strong sense of responsibility and discipline.
Every scene on the meteor so far in Act 6 has been hilarious, so I’m totally down for checking out what those characters are up to even though we’ve already seen plenty of it in this intermission so far.
Seems like this image is supposed to give a time scale for the meteor crew’s portion of Act 6 Act 3. The meteor crew first met Aranea and Meenah a year into the journey, and shortly after that Dave witnessed Lord English’s dream bubble explosion. Openbound Part 1 takes place a year into the meteor crew’s journey; Part 2 also probably a year, given what Terezi had to say about her upsettingly radical ancestor. Part 3 takes place two years into the journey, less than a day before Rose and Kanaya’s date. I was always pretty confused about that whole timescale, not knowing that the image above clarifies everything.
Dave Strider is not a homosexual, as we all know. (BLATANT LIES)
I fucking love this panel so much, everything about it is perfect. The scribbled out rap notes. Karkat riding a giant penis into the sunset. His usual screaming expression while riding the penis. Lord English drawn with the same body form as Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff.
Obama’s raps are unfortunately nothing more than Dave’s silly fantasies. (ALSO BLATANT LIES)
DAVE: (just dropped that shit like a bad phone connection) DAVE: (i put gravity in charge of its downward direction) DAVE: (unfettered descents what it considers perfection) DAVE: (shit thinks of the ground and it gets an erection) DAVE: (best hope its carpet bound in its downward spiral) DAVE: (cause linoleums frowned on, met with an eyeroll) DAVE: (landin on grass is just the course that its par for) DAVE: (but hardwood fuckin floors what its woods gettin hard for) DAVE: (guess i should mention stead a motherfuckin hardons) DAVE: (how my motherfuckin french could use a presidential pardon) DAVE: (KICK IT BARACK) DAVE: (heres where obamas rap solo comes in) DAVE: (no but how dope would that be!) DAVE: (oh fuck me that would own) Dave’s obsession with Obama continues to be one of my favorite things about Homestuck. Given that Obama supposedly dated Dirk at one point, we can safely say Dave’s “Obama the rapper” theory ended up just as true as his “Obama’s secret session of Sburb” theory. ROSE: SLUUUUUUUUUURRRRP. Oh mother fuck.
Oh mother FUCK. Both Lalondes have a habit of dressing up way too fancy when going out with their love interests. It’s kind of funny going back to these pages after seeing what Roxy was like in the Candy Epilogue. DAVE: dammit DAVE: rose dont drink so loud its messing up my raps DAVE: i can actually hear your sips through my headphones ROSE: Yea well,, ROSE: I can her your rasps through your whipsers. ROSE: *Whipspers… ROSE: *Whip.. ROSE: …… ROSE: Zers. ROSE: 😉 ROSE: HIC!!! DAVE: oh my god DAVE: you are so fucking hammered DAVE: how strong did you even make that stuff What the fuck… Rose is way more incoherent and prone to speech slip-ups now than Roxy ever was.
Dave asks Rose why she hasn’t made any apple juice, and Rose goes on a drunk lecture about apples which I’m guessing was first written in Hussie’s usual prose, then smeared all over with typos to make it unreadable. I can tell because I just now took the time to rid Rose’s speech of typos. See for yourself:
DAVE: and where the FUCK is my applejuice rose DAVE: gotta say DAVE: you really let me down on the aj front ROSE: I tried!! ROSE: I tried making it… ROSE: Is was HARD, Dave. ROSE: (Sluuurp.) DAVE: bullshit it was hard DAVE: whats so hard about applejuice its like DAVE: the most basic goddamn juice DAVE: like the square one of juice
ROSE: Yes, that’s the POINT! ROSE: Apples are startlingly difficult to reproduce. ROSE: We take for granted our ability to take idealized instances of even quite complicated objects and conjure them from the void. ROSE: But complexity implies a heavily recombinative nature. So many things are synthesized from a series of much simpler ideas. ROSE: To those entities capable of conceptualization and abstraction, an apple is as close to being a notionally irreducible object as it gets. ROSE: Tell me, hotshot, what ideas would you combine to make an apple? DAVE: uh ROSE: Exactly. ROSE: This is why apples are such indivisible symbols, when it comes to the field of ideas and their reductionistic essence from the perspective of humans in particular. ROSE: Both from a standpoint of cultural and mythological significance, and from a practical one a swell, if you happen to find yourself actually trying to engineer one. ROSE: Why do you think Adam and Eve were punished for biting into one? ROSE: They attempted to penetrate an indivisible unit, of fundamental knowledge. To consume the interior of a thought which cannot be reduced any further. ROSE: This knowledge was forbidden, so humanity was forever banished to live in sin, and has strived ever since to redeem itself from the hubris of this intellectual folly. ROSE: Or what about the tale of Isaac Newton under the tree? He was BONKED on the head by an apple. ROSE: Not really an apple though, an atomic idea. An elemental unit of inspiration itself, it clocked him right on the noggin. ROSE: And this indivisible notion colliding with his awareness, much like a high speed particle fired to create a nuclear chain reaction, jarred from the void a more profound understanding of the intrinsic nature of nothingness. That is, gravitation. ROSE: Of course, these stories are actually bullshit. They didn’t happen in reality. But the fact that they are bullshit makes them more interesting. ROSE: Men have crafted many stories that are bullshit out of symbols risen from the abyss of consciousness without necessarily knowing what the fuck they were doing or saying, as they floundered around for some truth. ROSE: But in spite of themselves, they would for however briefly cross through a ray of light regardless. Because of the symbols. Dave, the symbols hold all the power. With the typos cleared out, Rose’s speech about apples reminds me of Detective Pony. And you know I get super excited whenever anything reminds me of Detective Pony. In case it wasn’t clear, I am telling you to read the typo-free version of Rose’s apple speech quoted right above.
Kanaya somehow looks way fancier simply with her long undershirt taken off.
After some nonsense where Rose denies she’s going on a date, Kanaya arrives and Rose realizes she “forgod” about their date!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And then the date begins. Rose and Kanaya walk down a dark hallway, Gamzee honking in the background. I said at one point in this blog that I like to think this whole scene is a parody of lesbian fanfictions, which was really just something I read somewhere and thought “oh hey that makes sense”.
Upon rereading this scene, I feel Rose is a severely exaggerated fanfic parody while Kanaya is her usual self, a little confused at this whole situation but truly in love with her idealized version of Rose.* So I guess this is a parody of lesbian fanfics.
Rose asks Kanaya to keep a secret and tells about Terezi and Gamzee’s black relationship.
* Just like John was in love with an idealized version of Roxy in the epilogues.
ROSE: I learned somethin earlier today. ROSE: It was trobuling. ROSE: Something about, ROSE: Teresi. ROSE: Aand, ROSE: … KANAYA: And What ROSE: And Gamshee. KANAYA: !!! ROSE: See… ROSE: I bumped into him earliar. KANAYA: You Did KANAYA: Where?? ROSE: No no please, pleeasse don’t get angry, and. .. ROSE: Go on another vengeful clown hunting espedition, I… ROSE: This is the point, this is was troubling me abou this. ROSE: I don’t want anyone to fight! KANAYA: Actually KANAYA: Theres No Need To Worry About That KANAYA: I Think Im Done Trying To Kill Him ROSE: You are? KANAYA: Yeah KANAYA: He Has Achieved Victory Through The Gambit Of Cowards Default KANAYA: Dont Get Me Wrong He Is Still Utterly Awful KANAYA: But Sometimes You Just Have To Let A Thing Go KANAYA: You Know At this point, I think Kanaya has succeeded in learning how to let go. Well… mostly succeeded. Her insistence not to put stock and trust in people who may seem fishy (literally or otherwise) is rivaled by her love for the girl who wrote the mind-blowing poetic Sburb walkthrough so long ago. ROSE: Yeahhh, KANAYA: What Were You Saying About Terezi And Gamzee ROSE: Righ, well apparenly they.. ROSE: Are. ROSE: An item? ROSE: Blackways, I mean. KANAYA: What ROSE: The y’are spades dating. In theh shadowns… nobody knows. But me. An now, ROSE: You. KANAYA: Are You Serious ROSE: Yesh!! ROSE: And it’s been troubling me, the more I thing about it. ROSE: All lot. KANAYA: Why ROSE: Because it presends a prickly prolitical sishuation. ROSE: Terezi’s relationship with Karkant is already somewhat tenuous, with their… well from, what I’ve gathered, about their hishtory. ROSE: And Dave! His involovment makes in even more complicated, and, ROSE: I think, with Karkat being moirails to Gamzee, if he finds out Gamzee iss spades with Tetreezi, then… ROSE: Correct me if I’m wrong but isin’t that whole arrangemen getting into territory of social taboob? ROSE: * Tabob. Escuse me. KANAYA: That Could Be Very Awkward Yes Kanaya is trying to politely tell Rose that she doesn’t quite understand the deal with troll romance as well as she thinks, by saying the romantic situation “could be very awkward” rather than agreeing with her that it’s social taboo.
ROSE: Right!! ROSE: I don’t no if it’s my ser powers or what, but, HIC, I can see it unfolting all too clearly. ROSE: Karkast finds out about it and flies inno a rage. It ruins hish moirlallegelleninance… I mean his moiraHIC!.. It ruins his diamonds with Gamzee, who thefore becomes less stable. ROSE: And he villifies Trepezi as well, and who knows how she reacs. Or what happens with Dave for that matter. ROSE: Would Dave actually be aright wich Terezi dating a psychotic clown on th side, even if its is a releationship centered around only enmity? I kinof doubt it. ROSE: He could side with Korkat on the matter.. Not even tos peak of where your alignment is on the subjech of Gamzeen. ROSE: Which is, what I fear. I’m afraid that, ROSE: This could create a schisasm in our group, that we could all be torn apart. ROSE: And I don’t wand that!!!!! ROSE: I want us all to stay friends, and jus be… peaceful togehter. 😦 Rose is starting to show shades of Roxy, with severe concern for her friends’ relationships and desire to keep them all happy. What she fears is a major falling out where most of her friends refuse to talk to each other. But what actually happens is a… *shudder* buddy system. As in one where pairs of people are bound together and barely talk to anyone else and it sucks and is upsetting. Rose talks about how unhealthy she thinks it is for Terezi to hate-date Gamzee. Kanaya explains auspisticism as a way to mediate between a chaotic black relationship. Rose reacts as follows:
ROSE: Yes… ROSE: . ROSE: hic. ROSE: . ROSE: YES….. ROSE: KANAYA THAT IS EXAGLY WHAT I NEED TO DO!!! KANAYA: Oh No KANAYA: Really ROSE: Absoulutely. ROSE: I haf never been so shure.. about, anything. ROSE: Well maybe, almost anaything.. :), but yes. KANAYA: I Dont Think I Would Advise It KANAYA: Its Extremely Difficult And Can Often Feel Like A Thankless Undertaking KANAYA: In Truth It Is Probably The Most Challenging Quadrant To Master KANAYA: Trust Me ROSE: I believe you. ROSE: But I wants to know. ROSE: Can you teach me? KANAYA: I KANAYA: … ROSE: There’s so mouch I just don’t understand. ROSE: About your romanse, but, ROSE: I’m soi curious. ROSE: I try to understand the concept of either contentatious or plastonic relationships as something that… ROSE: Can be parshed through the emotions assoliated with romance but,, ROSE: It still doesn’t realay compute to me. KANAYA: I Really KANAYA: Dont Know If I Would Be A Good Teacher KANAYA: Of Auspisticism KANAYA: I Honestly Was Not Very Good At It Myself Kanaya isn’t particularly enthusiastic about helping Rose auspisticize between Terezi and Gamzee. She’s lost the hubris she once had as the master mediator between rivalrous trolls due to catastrophic outcomes involving her friends, especially Vriska who she used to have a huge crush on.
ROSE: Tha’s fine.. ROSE: Forget aushpipshit… ROSE: Auspishtishimish.. ROSE: Good damn. ROSE: Forget specificulty that right now,. ROSE: I want… ROSE: You to teach me evvverrreeything! KANAYA: Everything ROSE: Yez. KANAYA: That Is KANAYA: A Lot Of Things ROSE: I want you… to, ROSE: Teash me ALL the quadrans. And yet, Kanaya’s love for Rose is strong as ever and she complies just like she did with Vriska so long ago.
ROSE: I want you toot, ROSE: Tell me about your spabes, ROSE: Your didamounds, ROSE: I wank you to, ROSE: Share wish me yur clumbs… ROSE: And your hearst. ROSE: I want.. ROSE: Yuouo…. Beneath all the drunken misspellings, you can’t argue that these are some heartfelt words from Rose. Shortly followed by…
This whole sequence of pages, ending in the big kiss, was posted on October 25, 2012. The second anniversary of Alterniabound and the first anniversary of Cascade. I THINK it was intentional?
THE KISS. A stunning image, just like Jake and Dirk’s severed head’s kiss not long ago. Rose is all the way into it. Just look at her closed eyes and hands running through Kanaya’s smooth hair. Kanaya is into it too and no doubt thinks Rose is very beautiful in her dress, but she’s using her arms to keep Rose’s balance and prevent her from—
This SBaHJ reference is so perfectly executed, I love it.
HOLY SHIT I FORGOT ABOUT THIS
—executing what is arguably the best SBaHJ reference in all of Homestuck. This is fucking incredible mood whiplash, as is the narration that follows: And with the smitten Seer’s inebriated descent down a flight of escalation zigzags through the dark subway-like belly of the meteor, and with teen xenolove mingling with weird honks wafting from the ventshafts to fill the fetid laboratory air with equal parts mirth and gaiety, we are ready to bid adieu to this vignette of hyperimportant fucking around on the pitch-perfect note of a single textbook deployment of the rare yet highly embarrassing DRUNK HAPPEN xROSE COMBOBOB. And once again we find ourselves poised to attempt to exit this intermission prematurely, while forgetting to address exactly no loose ends whatsoever. You turn the page to find a pair of green curtains that won’t close, and are fooled completely by them, as usual.
And there you have it. Literally the worst psycheout in Homestuck to date, hands down. But seriously, we still need to see what Meenah and Vriska have to say to each other. Proceed to the next page to find out how these twin titans of in-your-face delinquency react to each other’s unique brands of reckless antihero chutzpah.
The worst psycheout in all of Homestuck is immediately followed by the BEST psycheout in all of Homestuck.
This loading screen starts off fast but then becomes extremely slow, then fast again, then even slower as it crawls up to 100%. When it reaches 100%, we’re treated to this:
[in dialoglog, masked by a “spoiler warning”]
You spend no less than 90 seconds staring at this fucking GIF image before you realize the actual Flash animation is on the next page.
I fell for this psycheout so hard the first (or second?) time I read Homestuck. I’m pretty sure I’ve fallen for it at least twice and it made me so mad every time. Still cracks me up to this day.
MINISTRIFE is the actual Meenah vs. Vriska flash animation and my god is it fun. It cracked me up the first and/or second time I read Homestuck. It’s still pretty good but not the same knowing the twist that it turns out to be the exact opposite of what its title implies. MEENAH: H-EY YOU! serket lookin girl MEENAH: wanna join my army VRISKA: Oh, I see. It’s the Peixes wanna8e. So you’re the one raising this army. That’s hilarious. VRISKA: Sorry, I can’t join your dum8 army. I’m 8usy pursuing a much more intelligent strategy. MEENAH: who da fuck you callin a wannabe?? lousy pants wearin smart mouth aranea ripoff MEENAH: now get in my army fore i poke you up beeyotch VRISKA: Not gonna happen!!!!!!!! I am however looking for a large num8er of recruits to follow me on my treasure hunting expedition. MEENAH: wut VRISKA: I need an enormous mo8 of ghosts following me around to get that asshole’s attention, so he can wreck more empty space and help me find the treasure! You want in? MEENAH: that makes no fuckin sense at all MEENAH: anemoneway i dont recall giving anyone clearance for a whalenormous treasure hunt MEENAH: as the rightful heiress that sorta noise has to go through me yo!!! VRISKA: Haha! Wow, I had no idea the Peixes twin was such a riot! At least, I HOPE you were trying to 8e funny with that remark. Meenah and Vriska’s first ever meeting does not disappoint. The ambitious-minded thieves immediately show a humorous rivalry between combat and treasure hunting and they resolve to fight over it.
Vriska changes into her god tier outfit, Meenah changes into hers and cycles through various other fashion styles, and then Vriska rolls her dice and changes into her pirate outfit which looks pretty sick if I say so myself.
And then Meenah and Vriska start bringing in more and more troll ghosts from their respective groups. Here’s a highlight amidst the silly nonsense: ARADIABOT 1: lets annihilate them ARADIABOT 2: yes lets. i am in the m00d t0 ruin s0meb0dy VRISKA: Right on! I knew I could count on you crazy metal 8roads for some mayhem. SOLLUX: hey aradia, uh… y0ur rob0 clones l0ok like they’re ab0ut to flip the fuck 0ut. they’re making me nervous, eheheh. can you try talking s0me sense into them? ARADIA: sorry sollux my robotic duplicates have always been free agents totally exempt from my influence and better judgement ARADIA: equius do you think you can calm them down? EQUIUS: D –> They are pernickety devices EQUIUS: D –> Often sweat seeps into their circuitry and causes them to behave more erratically EQUIUS: D –> Which unfortunately only causes me to sweat even more profusely, I am afraid ARADIA: equius weve never talked about it but im not sure how comfortable i am with you um… courting such a great plurality of my mechanical doubles EQUIUS: D –> On a scale of 1 to 100, how depraved would you say you find my behavior? EQUIUS: D –> (please be 100, please be 100…) ARADIA: i never should have kissed you that time it was such a mistake 😦 EQUIUS: D –> (I NEED A TOWEL) EQUIUS: D –> (A NEW ONE I MEAN) Equius is living the DREAM right now. How lucky do you have to be to get to spend the afterlife tending to and managing thousands of loyal robotic clones of a girl you’re fetishistically obsessed with? Not even to speak of how lucky you need to be for many different versions of yourself to get treated to such luxurious servitude.
Kurloz seems to be not only a mysteriously talented matchmaker, but also a talented costume designer. So many hidden depths from this Beforan clown…
MITUNA: HA7H 4NYW0NG 533N MY H4ML37 KURLOZ: :o) MITUNA: 000H WH04 N1C3 C057UM3 8UDDY KURLOZ: :o) CRONUS: (be quiet. by saying anything youre really making a horrible impression on people we should be trying to impress here.) MITUNA: 1M 50RRY CRONUS: (ill forgivwe you, but this is the last time i evwer do. im at my vwits end with you.) MITUNA: 1M 50RRY PL3453 PL3453 F04G1V3 M3 4G4IN Most of the Beforan trolls seem to be treating this fight as a costume party, but Cronus is treating it as an opportunity to hit on new faces. Assuming this version of Cronus didn’t go god tier, he might have gotten the idea of making a fake god tier outfit with a codpiece from Gamzee.
I like how there is only one version of Gamzee in this whole crowd, alive and wearing his ridiculous fake god tier suit.
What is Gamzee even thinking about? He’s probably too busy being satisfied with his new attire.
After a heap of hilarity and trolls freaking out over meeting their dancestors, we suddenly run into a miserable ghost of Rufioh permanently stuck in a robotic horse body. By taking a long, hard look at this version of Rufioh, I am only now realizing how simultaneously hilarious and horrifying it must be for a troll to be trotting around in a mechanical horse body. After a Karkat ghost is grouchy as ever running through this crowd, the scene gets bigger still:
Ministrife is nothing if not true to its title.
Now this is quite a sight. Numerous versions of all twenty-four Beforan and Alternian trolls, all gathered in one place and each saying at least one line. This flash is the first and only time that ever happens. TAVROS: (none of Them, can uNderstAnd,) bot!ARADIA: destr0y RUFIOH: haha, yo 1 th1nk 1 hear my young ancestor wh1sper1ng from all the way over here… about someth1ng prec1ous… sh*t 1s crazy! TAVROS: (tHe beAUTY, of my PrEcious,) HORUSS: 8=D < It reminds me of when I was similarly sm*tten, and searched everywhere for the perfect snout ring for you, to FORTIFY our commitment. Do you remember, Rufioh? RUFIOH: whoa, yeah! heh, those were the days… RUFIOH: (hey doll, m1nd 1f we talk a b1t? 1 ma1nly want to look d1stracted… so the guy w1th the ponyta1l leaves me alone… you d1g?) ARADIABOT: death t0 all RUFIOH: ahaha… d*mn. so much l1ke the real th1ng 1t’s… freaky }:o ARADIABOT: like what real thing RUFIOH: uh… you know, l1ke… ARADIABOT: if y0u say like alive aradia i will make y0u BEG f0r a h0rse b0dy RUFIOH: no no, l1ke someone else!!! d*mn… uncanny… ARADIABOT: 0h 0k RUFIOH: hey, you’re pretty cool babe… want to… like… if you aren’t doing anything… EQUIUS: D –> E%cuse me, what is going on over here RUFIOH: (man… not another zahhak! haha, this is f***in crazy…) ARADIABOT: this guy with the m0hawk was flirting with me and i was being fully receptive to his advances RUFIOH: whoa you were? Ministrife takes a moment to revisit Rufioh and Horuss’s romantic drama by having Rufioh just as desperate to get away from his relationship as Cronus is to have any relationship. The robotic Aradias’ aggressive demeanor gives me strong Damara vibes. EQUIUS: D –> I see. Aradiabot #100502, why must you devastate my pump biscuit so? NEPETA: :33 < *the pouncellor astutely pawbserves the exchange and updates her shipping grid with startling developments of the heart!* EQUIUS: D –> Nepeta, stop! NEPETA: :33 < no! EQUIUS: D –> Yes NEPETA: :33 < no EQUIUS: D –> Yes NEPETA: :33 < no GAMZEE: HONK some!TEREZI: MOR3!!! MOR3 1 S4Y!!! 4444H4H4H4H4H4H4H4H4!!!!!!! Nepeta still exists! Remember her? An eccentric but friendly roleplayer who copes with her loneliness by shipping her friends, with a moirail obsessed as ever with Aradia. This whole flash is a pretty great brief return to spotlight for many of the trolls killed in Act 5, and they all are the same as ever when we just got done meeting their exaggerated ancestors.
And here’s the troll crowd at its fullest. Numerous ghosts of 23 different trolls plus a coy as ever Gamzee. Most of these outfits are regular, dream, or god tier, but there’s some more humorous outfits and some that reference fandom memes. Just take a look for yourself in case you forgot all the wacky outfits troll ghosts are wearing in Ministrife. Vriska and Meenah are both annoyed with this absurd crowd. Aranea tries to intervene.
ARANEA: Listen to me, 8oth of you! This duel is incredi8ly pointless! Surely there is a way for you 8oth to pursue your o8jectives without conflict. ARANEA: In any case, I don’t have time to moderate your ridiculous fight. I have a cheru8 to find!!!!!!!! VRISKA: I couldn’t agree more! Making him think we’re all looking for the cheru8 is a very important part of the plan! I guess gr8 minds think alike. ARANEA: No, 8ut I REALLY AM looking for her! VRISKA: All the 8etter then. That’ll really help sell the ruse. ARANEA: It’s not a ruse!!!!!!!! Holy shit, I feel bad for Aranea. She’s still trying to keep up the image that she’s concerned with a mysterious and boring cherubquest even though she’s obviously more excited about the other two parts of the plan.
Meenah and Vriska fight anyway to see whose plan wins. This stunning image transitions us to…
… Calliope’s trollsona self-insert fanfiction???
I LOVE how Calliope’s self-insert fic of all things is used as a transition device, doubling as a way to show what sort of stories our fandom satire cherub girl likes to write: existing scenes from the comic, but with the Callie Ohpeee intervening so that she plays a role in the story’s plot. The premises of Calliope’s self-insert fics are all adorably amateurish and simplistic.
I love the “S” in “BITCHES” written partly over the side of the book.
Now that his sister is dead, Caliborn has free reign to scribble over her fanfiction and tear it apart.
This funny little cherub moment shows us another self-insert fic, which transitions us to what John is up to. Sometimes you have to appreciate just how many different things can be used as transition devices in Homestuck.
John wakes up and it turns out he has the ring now.
The curtains finally close in for real on a Skaian cloud showing the mysterious ring in John’s hand. A great wham shot to end this intermission on.
Time to recap Act 6 Intermission 3! The main highlight of this act is the Openbound games, which to many readers are one of the worst parts of Homestuck. I liked Openbound Part 1 a lot; Parts 2 and 3 are fine on their own but the whole concept of troll walkaround games gets really grating near the end, which I assume is why a lot of people hate Openbound. As I said before, Homestuck doesn’t have any more proper walkaround games after Openbound. Going through those games, I’m totally fine that there aren’t any more because these walkarounds did get tiring near the end. There was, however, one point in time where I badly wanted Homestuck to have another walkaround game. When Act 7 was announced to be only two pages, I thought for sure that it must be a huge walkaround because that was the only way I could imagine so many plot points could even come CLOSE to being resolved. Then I was kind of salty that Act 7 turned out to be a single flash. But what can I say, the epilogues were an EXTREMELY satisfying follow-up to Homestuck that made plot point resolution itself into a plot point so arguably it was all worth the frustration of Homestuck’s non-ending. Homestuck may have been done with walkaround games after Openbound, but its expanded universe sure wasn’t. Imagine me ranting about how much it sucks that over the years Hiveswap has gone through such opaque development hell and unfulfilled promises. Now imagine me saying I’m going back on topic now to recap the rest of Act 6 Intermission 3. Aside from the Openbound games, Act 6 Intermission 3 is largely an act of nostalgia, with plenty of scenes revisiting prior parts of Acts 1-5 in new styles. These scenes are a lot of fun, especially John’s dream bubble fight against Jack Noir, but mix those with the Openbound games and you get an act whose pacing is all over the place. The strange pacing makes it hard for me to judge Act 6 Intermission 3 as a whole, I’m afraid to say. In the acts that follow, I’ll be sure to see for myself if the end of Act 6 Act 3 really is a turning point in Homestuck’s enjoyability. The next standard act after this is Act 6 Act 5, which isn’t a very well-liked part of Homestuck. Act 6 Act 4 is a single flash which I remember having kickass music, and Act 6 Intermission 4 is a short stretch of pages focused on Caliborn which I remember being an absolute laugh riot. My next post will cover both those acts, which will probably be a lot of fun. In the next post after that I’ll start Act 6 Act 5. See you next time as Caliborn meets the two most important characters in Homestuck. >> Part 92: Quirk Resignation and Clown Vomit