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

Introduction

< Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 >

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

Pages 1358-1454

Link to old version

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 4 Rewritten: Haunting Voices and Coolkid Mishaps

Introduction

Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 >

Act 2, Part 1 of 5

Pages 248-357 (MSPA: 2148-2257)

Link to old version

Keeping this post’s title the same as before. Couldn’t think of a better one.
Also, just warning you: this post is HUGE.

Before we begin Act 2, I’m going to talk about John, then talk about Rose. It’s a longstanding tradition for me to talk at length about characters when they are first introduced, but it’s a little difficult to do with the first two main characters this early on so I’ll talk about them now instead.

I love John Egbert. Have I ever said that? He is a protagonist done right and is the best character other than Caliborn. In many works of media, the protagonist is the main focus but the one people love the most is a wacky side character or someone else in the main group. But in this comic, none of the other three kids I think have quite the same charm as John. Almost every protagonist of the comic’s story arcs (John, Spades Slick, Karkat, Roxy, Meenah) has a distinct kind of charm to them. In Roxy’s case, she wasn’t the original protagonist of her group, but retroactively became the true protagonist because she was the one that turned out to have the most “protagonist charm”. I relate to John a lot; he is extremely honest and doesn’t believe in anything that’s too weird, confusing, or depressing, whether it be complex romance*, Rose’s interest in dark things, or impending inevitable doom. Naturally enough, John is airheaded a lot of the time, but maybe a bit less than you’d think. If you see him lying about something, usually he’s lying to himself, denying something he doesn’t want to be true.

* His later romantic dynamic with Roxy is not complex at all! Just a girl who is as pure-hearted and silly as he is. If Karkat’s explanation is anything to go by, same goes with Terezi blackways.

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 1: Bedroom Screwaround Session

< IntroductionPart 1 | Part 2 >

Pages 1-46 (MSPA: 1901-1946)


Act 1, Part 1 of 3


UPDATE (2/13/2019): Check out my rewritten version of this post!
I recommend you read the rewritten post instead of this.

A young man stands in his bedroom…

Homestuck opens up with a picture as mundane as can be: a nerdy-looking 13-year-old birthday boy standing in his bedroom, looking left and right and blinking his eyes, and drawn in an odd “stubby” fashion that conceals his arms, as the text below reads: “A young man stands in his bedroom. It just so happens that today, the 13th of April, 2009, is this young man’s birthday. Though it was thirteen years ago he was given life, it is only today he will be given a name! What will the name of this young man be?” These famed words that open Homestuck insinuate that the boy doesn’t have a name until now, and that we will give him a name. As it turns out, this is a joke, since the boy has called himself “John” since a few years before the story started.

Continue reading