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

Introduction

< Part 132 | Part 133 | Part 134 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 7 of 12

Pages 7672-7732

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

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

Wow, 10 path options!!!

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

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

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

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

Continue reading

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

Introduction

< Part 130 | Part 131 | Part 132 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 5 of 12

Pages 7561-7634

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

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

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

*sigh*

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

Continue reading

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

Introduction

< Part 128 | Part 129 | Part 130 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 3 of 12

Pages 7502-7514 (not in order)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading

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

Introduction

< Part 127 | Part 128 | Part 129 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 2 of 12

Pages 7486-7501 (not in order)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 125: Vriska the Bus Driver No Longer

Introduction

< Part 124 | Part 125 | Part 126 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 4, Part 8 of 8

Pages 7359-7408

I came up with this post’s title months ago, so please appreciate it.

Just a reminder, don’t expect more Homestuck posts for probably the next few months. I have a real life too! Not to mention ambitious projects unrelated to these posts.

It’s time for John to read the final instruction on Terezi’s scarf. He has the following to say about it:

JOHN: uh, wow.
JOHN: not sure what to expect for this one.
JOHN: alright, here goes.

I can imagine how confused John is. He’s far too thick-headed to have any idea who Terezi wanted him to stop her from killing. Obviously it can’t be Vriska, right? As far as John knows, Vriska and Terezi hardly knew or cared about each another. I never stopped to think about how long it took for him to learn that Terezi killed Vriska—he didn’t know that until he was about to stop that event from happening!

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 123: Tales of an Empress’s Neutralization

Introduction

< Part 122 | Part 123 | Part 124 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 4, Part 6 of 8

Pages 7226-7283

Analyzing Homestuck is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
(Just kidding, it isn’t.)

Only two posts left of A6A6I4 after this! I’ll probably finish A6A6I4 before this month ends, then put my Homestuck posts on what will hopefully be my last hiatus before I finish them.

Just like my last post, this one begins with a Vriska/Meenah dream bubble scene. This time, it’s somewhat more morbid in tone, taking place in what looks to be the same dream bubble that the Openbound games started in. But just like last time, I’m going to sidestep the fact that Hussie forgot all about their age difference.

MEENAH: BOOM
MEENAH: there goes another one
VRISKA: Wow, yeah.
MEENAH: dude sure is busy today
VRISKA: I’ve got to hand it to him.
VRISKA: As far as indestructi8le, reality-destroying monsters go, he really is tireless.
VRISKA: Even though on some level I can tell he’s pro8a8ly a complete moron, his dedic8tion and persistence is actually pretty admira8le.

MEENAH: holla

This is exactly what I keep saying about Caliborn. He’s dedicated so much energy into improving his art skills and becoming as powerful as can be, and as Lord English it’s on some level admirable how relentless he is in his quest to kill his sister.

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 121: sup

Introduction

< Part 120 | Part 121 | Part 122 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 4, Part 4 of 8

Pages 7100-7162

Yes, “sup”. That’s what I’ve chosen to title this post.

Sorry this post took so long! Schoolwork has been ramping up this semester, so don’t rule out the possibility of me continuing to be slow.

It’s so weird to process that John completed his planet quest at long last.

The Pipeorgankind flash is followed by a callback to the Myststuck games, with John exploring his newly cleared planet that he warped into the middle of nowhere. The fireflies are no longer confined by the fourth wall and now fly about through the screen’s space, which is quite a charming sight.

All the old setpieces from LOWAS, like the Parcel Pyxis and the salamander village, are still there, which must be a strangely nostalgic sight for John. Not an unwelcome one, though, because he still has plenty more adventures to go through.

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 119: Denizen Persuasion and Footwear Theft

Introduction

< Part 118 | Part 119 | Part 120 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 4, Part 2 of 8

Pages 7007-7058

“H3R SHO3S W3R3 R3D, SP4RKLY, 4ND D3L1C1OUS. 1 4M ONLY FL3SH 4ND BLOOD”
—Terezi Pyrope, 2014

The secondary storyline of Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 4 focuses on Jade and Calliope (later also Jane) sharing stories in dream bubbles, feeding readers hints before the grand reveal that concludes the act, by which I obviously mean the sub-sub-intermission.

Oh yeah, the trollsona stuff is a thing too. I’ll talk about all that when the characters themselves discuss trollsonas, whenever that is, I forget when. For now I’ll discuss Jade and Calliope’s conversation about their childhoods.

… actually, I have very little to say about this scene so far. It’s just Jade and Calliope saying stuff we already knew about their upbringings.

JADE: when i was a kid i grew up with plants all around me
JADE: but i was very lucky… i guess i took all the nice things about my life on this island for granted
JADE: i even had my own garden where i grew flowers and vegetables and fruits and such
JADE: that is all i ever ate, the things i grew myself
CALLIOPE: ooh!
JADE: but i will admit to having developed a taste for meat since becoming a dog <_<;
CALLIOPE: meat is very good.
CALLIOPE: for all the complaints i might have aboUt my childhood, near exclUsive sUbsistance Upon raw flesh is not one.
CALLIOPE: bUt then, i am sUre that comes with the territory of being a monster. heh.


I do want to say that I’ve always been a sucker for scenes in any media (such as the one above) where characters talk about food. Food is just such a joy to talk about—if you have a conversation with someone about food, chances are you’ll learn a lot of interesting things about that person you wouldn’t have learned otherwise. At least that’s true for me, not sure about you. Food is only rarely talked about in Homestuck, which means the occasional times characters do talk about food tend to be very charming.

Continue reading

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

Introduction

< Part 117 | Part 118 | Part 119 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 4, Part 1 of 8

Pages 6944-7006

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

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

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

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

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

Nice job there, Aranea.

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

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

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

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

Continue reading

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

Introduction

< Part 115 | Part 116 | Part 117 >

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

Pages 6901-6920

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading