Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 113: Brain Ghost Realitification Station


< Part 112 | Part 113 | Part 114 >

Pages 6682-6749

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 2, Part 3 of 4

This is the second last post featuring content released before the Gigapause, which is when I first read Homestuck.

Friendly reminder that among my creative projects, my current priority is making 8-bit covers of the entire soundtrack of Sonic Robo Blast 2 v2.2, which means my Homestuck post series is currently something I do every now and then when I want a break from that.

Also, friendly reminder that I’ve firmly divorced the masterwork that is Homestuck from the bloated mess that is Homestuck^2, so don’t expect me to talk about the latter in this post series unless it somehow becomes good. As for Pesterquest, there isn’t a whole lot I have to say about it because basically the whole thing played it as safe as possible. It’s really a shame this recent Homestuck media hasn’t been very remarkable after the horrifying yet incredibly cathartic epilogues, but that sure isn’t going to stop me from writing paragraphs upon paragraphs about Homestuck. I don’t think of it as “Homestuck 1” or even “the original Homestuck”, I just think of it as “Homestuck”.

A third friendly reminder that I soon hope to no longer use for my Homestuck posts, instead some offline archive or fanmade way to read the comic as originally intended. At some point, I should really get around to editing my old posts to include pages from because the MSPA domain has been somewhat unstable lately.

Anyway, where were we? Looks like I left off right before a panel with Gamzee restraining an aggravated Jane in a geometrically improbable position.

GAMZEE: honk.
GAMZEE: honk honk.
GAMZEE: honk.

Hussie has always had a knack for writing humorously verbose insults, and it’s interesting that he’s doing it with Jane of all characters. A6A6I2 has been consistently putting a more comedic light than before on Crockertier Jane, and she’s a fairly understandable choice for someone to plug vocabulary jokes into. Jane’s always been high up on the scale of character vocabulary, not quite as high as Rose or Dirk but still up there. Reading these insults she gives Gamzee, most of the non-profane words are surprisingly in-character for Jane.

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 111: Extremist Blueblood Relevance Delusions


< Part 110 | Part 111 | Part 112 >

Pages 6531-6605

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 2, Part 1 of 4

I’m so close to the Gigapause now, I can almost smell it!

Sorry it took so long for this post to come out! I started it shortly after the last one, but I’ve been busy with finishing my classes the past few weeks. I now have one final exam and one project left for the semester, so I finished this post after doing one of my exams.

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 2 of Homestuck opens with Crockertier Jane revealing herself to be the one who’s been building the alpha kids’ houses. This is a pretty cool usage of Act 6 Act 6’s motif of having our heroes hack their way through the final necessities of creating the new universe. It’s an odd choice for this intermission’s first scene given the nonstop action scenes that follow, but it makes sense to get this information out of the way before we dive into the meat (or at least, an extremely foolish attempt at generating meat).

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 102: The Great Metafictional Nostalgia Trip


< Part 101 | Part 102 | Part 103 >

Pages 6055-6110

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.


Picking up from where we left off, we’re about to see what everyone’s favorite lesbian couple is up to in the meteor.

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 101: Faygo Degradation and Chair Tantrums


< Part 100 | Part 101 | Part 102 >

Pages 6015-6054

Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 3 of 5 (not to be confused with Mr. 305)

My Homestuck blog post series officially has a Pitbull reference now. I have no idea why I just did that.

The first thing we see when we check back in on the meteor crew is THIS horrifying panel. Terezi reveals that her eyes are regular seeing troll eyes once more, which is an image that feels INCREDIBLY wrong, and rightfully so. Her eyes are pulsing red as if she isn’t used to not wearing her dragon hood, her mouth is in a weird frown, and there are heavy bags under her eyes that tell us what shape Terezi is in right now.

Karkat’s facial expression tells us more than words ever could. Sometimes the guy just mirrors readers’ reactions to story events SO WELL.

This panel, man. Terezi is surrounded by these horrible bottles of Faygo and clown horns, but she’s still carrying a scalemate plush to remind us that she’s the same Terezi Pyrope we’ve followed since Act 4.

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 100: Antagonist Origination Station


< Part 99 | Part 100 | Part 101 >

Pages 5947-6014

Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 2 of 5

Imagine a gigantic balloon shaped like the number 100 filling your screen right now.

Well, I did it. After four long years, I’ve reached the 100th installment of my Homestuck post series (which will hopefully not be my last Homestuck post of 2019) on the first anniversary of this post series’ resurrection. I worked on this post sort of on and off over the course of a month, because I know well that with my Homestuck posts I’m either absurdly fast or absurdly slow. I’m rather pleased with what material my 100th post turned out to cover: Aranea’s explanation of Lord English’s backstory, a villain we’ve known about since the Midnight Crew intermission.

I must say, having these posts’ numbers in the triple digits now is really goddamn weird. It now officially feels like this is a project I’ve gotten way too carried away with—not that it didn’t before, but this is just the nail in the coffin for me getting carried away. If I keep doing about 50 pages per post, this means that I’ll reach the end of Homestuck around post 140; realistically, probably quite a few more posts than that. The end of Homestuck won’t be the end of this post series though—I will continue with the epilogues, and IF IT BECOMES ACTUALLY GOOD, Homestuck^2 as well. Again speaking realistically, I estimate that I will reach the end of Homestuck in these posts in early 2021, which is a weird date to consider, almost like I’m a Hollywood studio announcing the release date for a movie or something. In any case, 100 posts is one HELL of a milestone.

… Alright, let’s stop rambling and get on with Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 100!!!

A fitting image for my 100th post if I say so myself.

Act 6 Intermission 5 Intermission 2 is immediately followed by a scene showing us what John is up to. He’s sleeping on the couch, dreaming in a bubble amidst the cracks in paradox space formed by Lord English to complete an enormous circle of stupidity, which I mean both literally and figuratively. This image humorously calls back to Caliborn’s approximation of a circle with a mess of lines, showing that some things about him just never change.

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 91: Drunken Smooches and Costume Parties


Part 90 | Part 91 | Part 92 >

Act 6 Intermission 3, Part 6 of 6

Pages 5399-5437 (MSPA: 7499-7537)

Featuring the best psycheout in all of Homestuck.

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: (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.


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: 😉 
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.
Terrifying panel.

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: 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. 
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. 
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: . 

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? 
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…

Trivia time!

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?


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.

—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.
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 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: 000H WH04 N1C3 C057UM3 8UDDY
CRONUS: (be quiet. by saying anything youre really making a horrible impression on people we should be trying to impress here.)
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…
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
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

Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 89: Return of the Egbert-Serket Chronicles


Part 88 | Part 89 | Part 90 >

Act 6 Intermission 3, Part 4 of 6

Pages 5309-5397 (MSPA: 7209-7297)

I hope you like lengthy rants about Vriska.

July 2019 has been the most productive month for this post series in a very long time! School starts again in a few weeks and it’ll probably slow down my posting speed just a tad. During fall semester I’ll probably go back to releasing Homestuck posts every Friday morning.

Rufio, is that you???

After, what… another hour? Another hour of bumbling through the afterlife with very little to show for your efforts, you decide to pause the game again. You can only spend so long powering through the dead troll equivalent of an unpleasant high school reunion without making a trip to the load gaper, or fixing yourself a little snack from the hunger trunk. 

Just like last time, Openbound Part 2 is followed by a pause page that was most useful for serial readers at the time. But this time, the pause page has a small teaser of what will come next: Rufioh standing next to Meenah, with wings that suggest he’s a god tier. This teaser probably got readers excited for two things: meeting the homage character to Dante Basco, and Meenah finally finding someone useful for her army.

There’s definitely someone else we should be checking in with right now. Someone we are all desperate for an update on. And that someone is…


This is the guy who you are now being.

The sudden focus on the beta kids’ Jack Noir is an interesting surprise. I can tell Hussie felt bad for neglecting this once mighty villain for so long and decided to remedy that. And my god, what a glorious remedy it is (at least according to my memory).

The feisty mailwoman is still chasing you. Unbelievable. She hardly seems to care at all that something is causing reality to shatter around you. For a moment, you thought you and she might be able to reach an uneasy truce. To stand together if only for a moment and assess the ominous cracks spreading through the void. Maybe even take some time to get to know each other a little, and try to bury the hatchet? You are so tired of running. 

But no. She is as furious as ever. What did you even do? Just a couple of routine murders, which was TWO YEARS AGO already. The ring hath no fury, you swear. She is never going to stop. Her delivery is justice, and as you know all too well, nothing stops the mail. 

You need to find somewhere to hide and rest for a while.

The narration here surprisingly makes us feel bad for Jack. His role as an unstoppable dog monster has been usurped by the mighty Prospitian Monarch, vengeful as ever after two years. With his role usurped, it’s only natural that Noir wants to take a rest after witnessing the Furthest Ring’s calamity.

Jack enters a dream bubble. One word: nostalgia.

PM in the background is just as scary as Jack was back then.

Remember all the carapacian soldiers Jack killed so long ago? Skaia’s bruise by the fiery remains of Prospit? Can you believe all that was before he even became a dog??? You can see that this guy is reflecting on his mass destruction from so long ago.

Remember Grimdark Rose? What a goddamn joke. She never even blew up a single universe.

PM again looks just as scary as Jack once did.

Remember when John explored a Skaian castle, searching for his father and avoiding Jack? Now it’s Jack’s turn to explore a memory of a Skaian castle, searching for a place to hide and avoiding the Monarch.

Poor Jade, shafted again and again throughout Act 6. And in the epilogues.

Remember when Jack zoomed around the Medium, destroying everything he touched except Jade??? Yeah, those were fun times. Jack probably forgot Jade existed until he looked at the memory of the space symbol just now.

The moment you see the Genesis Frog’s severed hand, you’ll remember that all this chaotic destruction we just revisited was only the first half of Jack’s crimes.

This is a gorgeous image that successfully blends at least three different art styles.

The second half started the moment the Droll killed Jade, and it’s so much worse than the first half. Jack killed the Droll, went to Earth, killed most of the exiles, went to the trolls’ session, destroyed fourteen planets, and finally destroyed the entire human universe.

In the chest, Jack finds John’s Pop-a-matic Vrillyhoo Hammer! That’s a bit of a red flag that this is all memories, because John didn’t make that thing until after he came back from a neutral death.

Get ready for John to take out his fury at Davesprite on someone else with the same wings…

Turns out John’s corpse wasn’t just an empty memory; it was a vessel for John’s dream phantom to appear and START KICKING ASS.

It’s been too long since the last SWEET CATCH. This one has fancy effects and everything!

John’s fury at Davesprite is taken out at the best person possible. He wanted to beat up the guy who mocked his father, but ended up waking in a dream bubble to beat up the guy who killed his father!

We thought so long ago that Vriska in a mind vision was the only person who could put up a fight against Jack. And we thought wrong.

Did Jack just lose his sword? He’s never seen without that thing!

Now THIS is how you do a sequence of pure visuals. No one says a word, and no one has any reason to. It’s kind of cool seeing it all as a drawn-out sequence instead of a flash. Though flashes understandably get all the attention, there’s quite a few purely visual scenes like this that are just as good. I’m especially looking forward to going through the split-screen part where the alpha kids ascend to god tier.

Jack’s tentacles didn’t stop being a thing or anything.

Suddenly, Jack reminds us that he’s still a scary first guardian and has John in a headlock. For the first time in quite a while, he looks intimidating and ready to stab John.

Fortunately, John has sweet new powers as a god tier that Jack has never dealt with before, plus a cool Vrillyhoo hammer. He has the upper hand once more and is ready to beat Jack on the head.

… or is he? What is Rose doing here?

Rose moving her eyebrows up and down is funnier it has any right to be.

Rose takes full advantage of her newfound teenage flirtiness and does her coy eyebrow thing in front of John and Jack.

Love the scribble renditions of angry John and flirty Rose.

Just like any iteration of Jack, Bec Noir doesn’t think his murders through and is confused to see people he killed turn up alive.


I don’t know about you, but if I see someone I haven’t seen in years show up out of nowhere, wink, and disappear, I would stand in awe for at least ten minutes.

Luckily, John is not that type, or at least not when he has a murderous dog to beat up.

I love how Vriska’s dice options now show John’s interests rather than hers.

John doesn’t have ALLLLLLLL the luck like Vriska does, so his dice merely roll “RIDICULOUS HAT”.

The Droll would kill for a hat like this.

This is the funniest throwback we’ve seen in a long time. John says “hehe…”, appropriately enough.

With Noir distracted by his Bunny Sassacre Fedora, the Monarch catches up with him once more, leading to a FACEPAW x1 COMBO!

Jack flies away, PM flies away, and the curtains close in on…

… no wait, the curtains don’t close in on anything. Tempting as it may be to end things here, we still have a lot left in this act.

And so, we zoom back in to the dream bubble to find John watching in confusion as the Bunny Sassacre Fedora falls.

John explores memories of Skaia until the scenery starts changing. What could this be?

The memory of his dad’s spare car is a nice touch. Kind of fun to reflect the trilogy of Dad’s cars and the fates they all meet. The first was driven by a father; the second flown by a young man with a loyal mayor in search for his father; the third flown by a somewhat less young man with a loyal troll, to be found by his alternate self who became a father.

The ever-shifting scenery in dream bubbles never gets old.

I can’t go on too long reflecting on John’s steamy troll/human sloppy makeouts though. What follows is a series of short flashes where John walks through an empty desert filled with horses, calling back to the memorable Death of the Author sequence that ended Act 6 Intermission 2.

But the horses don’t lead us to Hussie’s self-insert this time. Instead, he encounters Tavros of all people sleeping in the ground? I guess this is supposed to be a confusing surprise.


JOHN: huh? 
JOHN: what… the ring? 
JOHN: who are you? 
JOHN: so you found it here, like exactly where i just found it… but then instead of picking it up, you fell asleep? 

Tavros is being weird and confusing. Well, even more so than usual. Apparently he wants to use this ring to propose to Vriska, who is now his girlfriend again? Yeah, I have no idea why that could be.

VRISKA: Hi John. 
VRISKA: Tavros, I didn’t know you were hanging out with John. You should have come told me. 
VRISKA: What? What were you arguing a8out? 
VRISKA: W8…….. what do you mean woke up? Why were you asleep? 
VRISKA: Dammit, Tavros. You can’t 8e slacking off like that. 
VRISKA: I told you, we aren’t fucking around anymore. This is serious 8usiness. 
JOHN: hey… 
JOHN: excuse me, but 
JOHN: are you… 
JOHN: vriska? 

To this day, I find it kind of incredible that John immediately recognizes Vriska despite having never seen her face. Their testy dynamic is truly something else.

VRISKA: Yeah! 
VRISKA: Oh, sorry. I really should have introduced myself. I guess I forgot I technically never met this version of you. 
JOHN: uh. that’s alright. nice to meet you. 
JOHN: wait… 
JOHN: are you a ghost too? 
JOHN: so… you’re dead? 
VRISKA: Yes, John. That’s what 8eing a ghost means. 
JOHN: ok, i’m still confused though… 
JOHN: sorry if i sound dumb, but dream bubbles are still kind of baffling to me. 
JOHN: you’re, uh… “REALLY” dead? 
JOHN: as in, the real you? i mean… dang, what the hell am i even trying to ask here… 
VRISKA: No, I get what you’re asking. 
VRISKA: Yes, the real me. The actual, legit, fully authentic alpha timeline Vriska. Dead. Gone. Fuckin’ toast. 

It’s also kind of incredible that only now did John learn Vriska died. When Jade showed him all the trolls gathered on the meteor through first guardian powers, John could immediately tell which were Karkat and Terezi, but not which was Vriska. I am sure he would have immediately identified Vriska if she was there. Though he does know some trolls were killed before they could meet up with Dave and Rose, as the airheaded optimist he is he didn’t stop to think Vriska may have died until she says it to his face.

JOHN: oh. 
JOHN: so when i meet up with everyone on your troll meteor in a year, that means… 
JOHN: you’ll be… 
VRISKA: A corpse!!!!!!!! 
VRISKA: That’s assuming my 8ody was sufficiently preserved during the trip. 
VRISKA: Which, now that I think a8out it, I guess it was? It must have 8een, 8ecause otherwise that unspeaka8le prototyping atrocity couldn’t have happened. 
VRISKA: That piece of shit clown. I still have no idea what the deal with that was! He’s completely lost his mind. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. 

This bit is rather ironic in retrospect. After the retcon, Vriska was the one who preserved all the dead bodies while Gamzee was closely monitored at all times and then stuffed into a refrigerator. Kind of goes to show that the retcon was clumsily handled in a lot of ways and mostly done because Hussie wrote himself into a corner.

VRISKA: Honestly, I’m surprised you hadn’t already heard I was dead, one way or another. It’s kind of old news? 
VRISKA: Then again, these things are all relative. So who knows. 
JOHN: … 
VRISKA: Are you ok? You seem sad. 
JOHN: well, 
JOHN: yeah. 
JOHN: it’s always sad to hear a friend died. even if you find out about it from their ghost. 
VRISKA: I guess so. 
JOHN: also, i had kind of thought that when we all arrived at the new session, that… 
JOHN: we were going to like… hang out. or something. 

Remember when John talked to Jade about the trolls on his fourteenth birthday? He looked forward to seeing Karkat again but didn’t seem to care much for Vriska and didn’t even refer to her by name. But now it’s clear that either he changed his mind about Vriska or was in denial about anything positive he felt about her. Normally I’d say he was in denial knowing John, but since this is Vriska we’re talking about it could easily be a mix of both.

VRISKA: Oh yeah! That’s right. We were. 
VRISKA: 8ut then I got sta88ed through the 8ack. Which to 8e fair, was for the good of the party, so the meteor could make the trip in the first place, and keep this whole crazy sequence of events intact. 

It goes without saying that this line reads differently in retrospect after Vriska was retconned back to life. But what maybe doesn’t go without saying is that I find the whole “third option” motif in the retcon arc to be terrifyingly foolproof. I can’t think of a single dilemma someone went through in the comic that couldn’t have been resolved through retcon powers giving a third option. Say what you will about the retcon and what it meant for a good chunk of Act 6, but I find a lot of merit in the third option motif.

VRISKA: A lot has happened since I died. John, did you know the little rendezvous we planned sort of already happened? I mean, in a way. 
JOHN: what? it did? 
VRISKA: Yes. With your ghost. 
JOHN: huh?? 
VRISKA: I mean, the ghost of one of your altern8te selves, who died along the way doing some stupid thing. 
VRISKA: Actually, he and I d8ted for a little while. 

Vriska x Doomed John is the second ship in this act (barring the Beforan trolls) that’s canonized and sunk in the same line. But the outcome is much more tragic this time, as we see shortly.

VRISKA: Groan. Here we go. 
VRISKA: Tavros, I have led a rich and complic8ted life and death. I can hardly 8e expected to tell you a8out every little thing that I’ve 8een through. 
VRISKA: 8esides, you should have already known this a8out me. 
VRISKA: 8ecause we shared a sprite 8ody once!!!!!!!! We 8riefly had access to all each others memories and feelings. 
VRISKA: So if you didn’t take the chance to dig that out of my memory, you only have yourself to 8lame. 
VRISKA: Well, all I can say is, I managed! I took the opportunity to remem8er pretty much all YOUR memories. 
VRISKA: I was in and out like a 8andit, and now all your life experiences are mine. 
VRISKA: Them’s the 8r8ks!!!!!!!! 

It’s sometimes speculated that Tavros and Vriska gaining each others’ memories caused their personalities to gradually invert, with Tavros becoming a mighty leader and Vriska becoming, uh, (Vriska). It’s a fun theory, but I don’t think this passage supports it very well. But to be fair, this stretch of pages was probably long before the retcon arc was even conceived.

JOHN: wait, i’m with tavros here, i think we should back this up a bit. 
JOHN: so, my alternate reality ghost dated you? 

JOHN: that… 
JOHN: but… 
VRISKA: What? 
JOHN: vriska, this is a very bizarre and unsettling fact to me!
JOHN: because… 
JOHN: man, i don’t know, it just is! 
JOHN: you say we dated for a while, but like, i don’t even get to remember doing that? 
JOHN: i think that’s mostly what’s weird about it. 

Note that John said “i don’t even get to remember doing that”, not just “i don’t even remember doing that”. Those two words, “get to”, leak out that John still has lots of unresolved feelings regarding Vriska despite what he may have said to Jade back then.

VRISKA: Hey, we apparently don’t get to remem8er the results of a lot of choices we didn’t actually make! 
VRISKA: Again, see: the 8r8ks. 
JOHN: well… 
JOHN: can you at least tell me what happened there? like, how did that go? 
VRISKA: It was fine. For a while. 
VRISKA: It didn’t really work out. 
JOHN: oh. 
VRISKA: We crossed paths every now and then after that. 
VRISKA: Things stayed pretty friendly 8etween us. 
VRISKA: Until he died. 
JOHN: what?? 
JOHN: what do you mean he died? 
VRISKA: He was murdered. 
JOHN: you mean… his GHOST died? 
JOHN: as in, he just doesn’t exist at all anymore? like DEAD dead? 
VRISKA: Yes! Dead dead. For good. 

And here’s the tragic outcome of the subplot with doomed John and Vriska. John’s ghost was double killed as we saw in [S] Caliborn: Enter, a flash Vriska is recapping as we speak.

VRISKA: Yes! Dead dead. For good. 
JOHN: i don’t… how does that even… 
JOHN: who killed him??? 
JOHN: was it jack? 
VRISKA: Jack? Are you kidding? No, John. 
VRISKA: Jack is 8arely in the picture as a threat anymore. He’s just more old news. 
JOHN: he is not old news though! 
JOHN: he’s still as strong and menacing as ever. 
JOHN: i just had an awesome battle with him in this very dream bubble! 
VRISKA: You did? 
JOHN: yeah. i found him skulking around a memory of my dead dad, and i got pissed off, so i really let him have it. 
JOHN: oh, i even used the cool hammer you helped me make. remember that? 
VRISKA: Oh yeah! 
VRISKA: Those were good times, when I helped you 8e gr8. ::::) 

JOHN: yes. 
JOHN: the last time i faced him was kind of embarrassing. i let him get the drop on me, and he just stabbed me right away. 
JOHN: but this time i think i held my own pretty well. i even got in one good hit against him! 
JOHN: i gave him a solid bop on the head, and the dice roll made him wear a silly hat. 
VRISKA: That’s awesome!!!!!!!! 
VRISKA: One time in an altern8te reality, I came pretty close to killing him apparently. 
JOHN: oh really? 
VRISKA: You 8et. Too 8ad that was in a timeline that didn’t really count. 8ut it’s always reassuring to know you can put up a good fight against a strong adversary if you ever needed to. Now I guess you know you can too. 

John and Vriska’s bonding is legitimately heartwarming, probably more than ever before. It makes it easy to forget the more negative things John has said about or to Vriska at various points.

JOHN: whatever jack’s doing out here in dream bubble land, he seems to have his hands full with her on his tail. 
JOHN: but as you can see, he is FAR from out of the picture. 
VRISKA: Ok, that may 8e, 8ut it sure wasn’t Jack who killed a whole shitload of ghosts out here, including one of yours. 
VRISKA: I really dou8t Jack can even kill ghosts. In fact, I don’t think anyone can except for this guy. 
JOHN: what guy? 
VRISKA: Lord English. 
JOHN: who?? 
VRISKA: Wow, John. Really? 
VRISKA: Time to get a clue! 

It’s kind of crazy that John has been so out of the loop on the story’s plot lately—certainly more than the meteor crew and dream bubble inhabitants are. It’s an unfortunate side effect of the comic’s protagonist being sent to Hussiespace of all places. A fortunate(?) side effect of John’s shafting is that it gives more reason for him to interact with Vriska, who gets him up to speed on recent plot events.

VRISKA: Hasn’t it ever occurred to you to wonder who the ultim8 8ad guy of this adventure was going to 8e? 
JOHN: ultimate bad guy? 
JOHN: you mean like the last boss? 
VRISKA: Man, even that way of putting it is a little too pedestrian. 
VRISKA: I mean, I already 8eat a last 8oss! The 8lack king was the officially sanctioned last 8oss of our session, and I killed him. This is different. 

Vriska says that she killed the black king, which is technically true but the way she phrases it shows that she hasn’t quite gotten over her self-importance despite all her character development.

VRISKA: There’s always someone stronger w8ing to 8e revealed. Jack showed up shortly after that, and he was MUCH stronger. 
VRISKA: Eventually the curtains get pulled 8ack, and you find out who was 8ehind every terri8le thing that happened all along. Someone who is invaria8ly stronger than all other adversaries 8y a wide margin. The supreme villain! 
VRISKA: To 8e honest, I was always kind of w8ing for that guy to show up, whoever he was. For the other shoe to drop, you know? There’s always a 8ig 8ad 8ehind everything. A true gamer sees stuff like this coming a mile away. 
JOHN: ok. if you say so. 
JOHN: i always kind of thought jack was evil and strong enough to be our main antagonist. but if you say there is someone even stronger and more evil, then… wow. 
VRISKA: Yes, I’ll admit, I was fooled 8y Jack 8riefly. 
VRISKA: For a little while, I thought he was the supreme menace, and I would have to face him in a final showdown. 
VRISKA: 8ut it turned out that was just a 8it of standard misdirection. He was just another step up in a typical pattern of escal8tion involving increasingly “insurmounta8le” threats, which legendary heroes like us have to overcome to achieve total victory over everything. 
VRISKA: Also, let’s face it. I don’t think Jack is all that evil, so much as he’s just a murderous asshole. Trust me, I know the type. 
VRISKA: 8ut English, that guy is as evil as they come. He’s the real deal!!!!!!!! 

Wait, let me correct myself. Vriska hasn’t even come close to getting over her self-importance. All Vriska ever wants to do is deal the final blow on the final boss, and she gets incredibly deluded by these fantasies. First with the black king, then with Jack Noir, and now with Lord English. John knows this trait of Vriska’s far better than she does. In Act 5 Act 2, John claimed that Vriska’s plan to create and defeat Bec Noir was how villains have their downfalls; in the Candy Epilogue, John disagrees with Rose’s claim that Vriska defeated Lord English because it feels so wrong to him.

The only way Vriska can get over those fantasies of defeating the ultimate villain is by becoming (Vriska). First dead Vriska Serket is usurped by alive Vriska Serket, then alive Vriska Serket is usurped by Vriska Lalonde. Vriska Lalonde has the exact same ambitious mindset as all the other Vriskas we’ve known; she’s extremely excited to join the troll rebellion and face off against the final boss, who to her knowledge is Jane. Meanwhile at the end of Candy, (Vriska) has moved past wanting to face a final boss and simply wants to get in touch with Terezi.

(I think I have a bit of a problem with writing essays about Vriska.)

VRISKA: Tavros, come on. We’ve already talked a8out this ad nauseum. 
VRISKA: He’s the 8ig 8ad!!!!!!!! It’s so o8vious. I mean, MAY8E there’s someone stronger out there in paradox space? Who knows.
VRISKA: 8ut whoever that is has nothing to fucking do with this massive extended multiverse-spanning campaign!!!!!!!! 
VRISKA: English was the guy who stacked the whole deck against us from the start, rigging shit to go haywire, wiping out our race, 8lowing up universes, exterimin8ting ghosts, slaughtering dark gods, and shattering reality itself. Pretty sure we reached the top floor, 8uddy! 

VRISKA: Un8elieva8le. 
VRISKA: John, just ignore him. He tends to 8e contrary just for the sake of 8eing contrary. It’s just what he does these days. 
VRISKA: He seems to think it’s how you show confidence and assertiveness. The key to high self esteem is apparently just saying “nuh uh!” all the time. 

Tavros questions Vriska’s insistence that Lord English is the final boss and claims there’s probably someone even stronger behind English; Vriska dismisses Tavros as being contrarian just for the sake of it. Though Homestuck never shows us a bigger villain behind Lord English, you probably know that this foreshadowing comes true in the epilogues, and that the villain behind Lord English turns out to be Dirk Strider (or god tier Calliope, depending how you look at things).* Regardless of what I think of Dirk’s villainous turn, I am extremely glad this foreshadowing came true because it would be absolute bullshit if it didn’t. I can only say here that as of this page, Vriska obviously still hasn’t gotten over her villain defeat mindset.

* Before you call me a buffoon, tell me which of the two brutally destroyed Meat Jade’s hope for a character arc???? Jade deserves better than this.

VRISKA: This was apparently the 8ig lesson he learned from sharing a 8rain with me for a few minutes. In order to feel good a8out yourself, just 8e a constant pain in the ass!!!!!!!!
JOHN: haha. 
JOHN: i see what you mean. 
VRISKA: Alright, granted, there did in fact exist a person 8y that name. 
VRISKA: You aren’t spelling it right, though. 
VRISKA: 8ecause that’s how you spelled it when we used to chat online, dum8ass!!!!!!!! You weren’t using enough letters. 
VRISKA: And in any case, he doesn’t actually represent your self esteem. He’s just some dude. 

I’m not sure if gaining Tavros’s memories caused ghost Vriska to gradually change as a person, but gaining Vriska’s memories definitely caused Tavros to change in the best possible way. He’s laying his contrarianism a bit thick right now, but it’s an extremely positive change that he now realizes Vriska isn’t always right. He demonstrates this new mindset by talking about Rufioh, which is a rather silly example but a good start.

JOHN: i take it you were pretty good friends back on your planet? 
VRISKA: You could say that. 
VRISKA: There’s a pretty loaded history 8etween us. It’s pro8a8ly 8est not to get into it. 
VRISKA: None of that matters anymore anyway, it was so long ago. You know how it is. 
JOHN: um. sure? 
VRISKA: Issues 8etween people seem like such a 8ig deal when they’re happening. 8ut then you die, and time just goes on, and on…….. then on some more. 
VRISKA: If enough time passes, shit that used to 8e a 8ig deal kind of stops mattering. 

A year into the battleship journey, John talked to Jade about how all the stuff they went through with the trolls seemed like a much bigger deal back then than it really was. Vriska is talking about the exact same thing here, but now John isn’t quite sure if he agrees. Maybe John’s opinion on events of the past correlates to his opinion on Vriska.

VRISKA: Ok, full disclosure. I used to do a lot of terri8le things to Tavros. 
VRISKA: Once I launched him off a cliff and paralyzed him. And if that wasn’t 8ad enough, I spent sweeps mocking him for the disa8ility I caused! Haha. 
VRISKA: Oh yeah. Then I killed him. 
JOHN: oh, right. i remember you said you killed someone that you cared about. i guess this is him? 
VRISKA: Mm hm. 
VRISKA: 8ut like I said, that’s suuuuuuuuch old news now, it might as well not have even happened. 
VRISKA: Tavros doesn’t give a shit a8out that stuff anymore. 

VRISKA: Hahahaha! John, can you 8elieve this guy? 
VRISKA: This is the kind of shit I have to deal with all the time. 
VRISKA: Tavros, the 8igger man is only ACTUALLY the 8igger man if he doesn’t refer to himself as the 8igger man. That’s kind of the point? 
VRISKA: Unless the intent is to produce some form of socially awkward comic relief, which let’s face it, is what you’re all a8out. 
VRISKA: 8ut that’s what I like a8out you. 
TAVROS: yES, }:) 
JOHN: hmm, i feel like… maybe we got sidetracked there? 

John seems a bit uncomfortable hearing Vriska talk about her romance with Tavros. This either demonstrates that he’s squeamish about romance in general or that he still has unresolved feelings for Vriska.

JOHN: maybe you should tell me more about this english guy. 
JOHN: frankly, it seems like i’m usually one of the last people to learn about stuff like this, and it’s starting to make me feel like a bit of a tool. 

This line reminds me of when Vriska complained about lack of narrative relevance the last time we heard from her. I’m a bit surprised this line doesn’t lead Vriska to bond with John about that.

VRISKA: He’s just some huge overpowered green freak. A time traveling monster, supposedly invinci8le. 
VRISKA: Who he is, what he is, where he came from, none of that really matters. 
VRISKA: What matters is how we’re going to defeat him. 

It’s only fitting that Vriska doesn’t care one bit about who Lord English is or what his motives are. She just sees big tough green guy and decides to kill big tough green guy. Later in the comic we get a very interesting sequence where Dave argues that Lord English barely did anything to our heroes and there’s no reason to care about him, which cements that English is sort of a deconstruction of the concept of final bosses. (Man, all this villain talk is making me thirsty for a continuation to the epilogues.)

VRISKA: That’s what Tavros and I have 8een working on here for some time now. 
JOHN: working on what? 
VRISKA: Treasure hunting! 
JOHN: oh yeah? 
JOHN: what treasure? 
VRISKA: Yes. Ok, I should explain. 
VRISKA: There’s sort of a plan in motion to 8eat English. It’s a three pronged approach. 

Three pronged, you say? This plan to fight Lord English has Meenah written all over it. Makes sense because Meenah doesn’t want to fight English out of self-importance, but simply out of Alternian fighting spirit.

VRISKA: A num8er of people out here in the furthest ring are working on different prongs of the strategy independently. 
VRISKA: The first is a quest to find the lost ghost of some alien girl. She’s said to 8e one of the keys to defeating him in some way. 
VRISKA: Other people are allegedly out there working on that right now. If you ask me, it sounds like a really 8oring approach to defeating him. Who knows if it’s even true. 

I have to agree with Vriska here. The lost cherub plan is a massive red herring that’s brought up a few times and then forgotten until we meet the real lost cherub, who already knows damn well what she’s doing.

TAVROS: (gIVe it tO me,) 
JOHN: (stop that!) 
JOHN: (keep your hands to yourself.) 

Unfortunately, John and Tavros aren’t listening because they’re busy fighting over the ring. Both seem to be mysteriously drawn to it even though we have no idea what it does.

VRISKA: The second is a quest to raise an army of ghosts to challenge him directly in some kind of huge 8attle royale, I guess. 
VRISKA: From what I understand, some yahoo out there is 8usy rounding people up. I really have no idea how that’s going. I usually just hear stuff through the grapevine. 
VRISKA: That approach doesn’t really interest me either. Gonna file it under “8oring” as well. Seems a little heavy handed, not to mention too slow. 

I can see why Vriska isn’t a fan of this approach either. A glory hound like her wouldn’t be one for teamwork. It’s the same reason why after the retcon, alive Vriska went by herself to kill Lord English instead of joining any of the fighting teams.

TAVROS: (gIve Me thE riNG,) 
JOHN: (no!) 
TAVROS: (yes, yOu ASs,) 
JOHN: (dude, you suck at whispering!) 
TAVROS: (you sAiD you’D GIve it to me,) 
JOHN: (i changed my mind!) 

John and Tavros still aren’t listening. Helps make Vriska’s self-important lecture on Lord English harder to take seriously.

VRISKA: The third prong is what Tavros and I are 8usy with. The aforementioned treasure hunt. 
VRISKA: The legend says there’s some mystical ancient treasure hidden somewhere out here in the furthest ring. 
VRISKA: I’m assuming it’s some kind of weapon. It’s said that if you use it, or like, activ8te it in some way, he can 8e defeated forever. 
VRISKA: The nature of the treasure is pretty vague, actually. 8ut the first rule of treasure hunting, which I’m admittedly just making up now, is that it doesn’t fucking matter what the treasure is. 

A one-use weapon that you can activate right in front of English? A mysterious treasure whose hunt is just like your childhood pirate fantasies?? Now THAT is right up Vriska’s alley. I’d go so far as to say Vriska is the only character in the comic who would focus on this part of the plan. It’s so straightforward and simple, such obvious glory bait. Exactly the sort of thing (Vriska) wouldn’t concern herself with. Vriska and (Vriska) are two very different identities, held by different versions of Vriska at different parts of the comic.

TAVROS: (wE had a deAl,) 
JOHN: (quit it!) 
TAVROS: (why Are you sUcH a liar,) 
JOHN: (shut up. i’m keeping it.) 
TAVROS: (thiS is noT cOOl,) 
TAVROS: (you’re PrevenTing joYful human sTYled matrimonY frOM happEning,) 
JOHN: (yeah right. like she would even say yes.) 
JOHN: (i don’t even think she’s really your girlfriend. i think you made that up!) 
TAVROS: (wow, no, wOw,) 
TAVROS: (you wEnt thERE,) 

Seems like John wants to keep the ring just as badly as Tavros does. This is starting to hint that John has been feeling romantically lonely, especially after Jade broke up with Davesprite. 

TAVROS: (unhAnd the treasurE,) 
TAVROS: (it’s prEcious to Me, jUst liKe, My beautiful GIRLFRIEND,) 
JOHN: (you are so full of shit!) 
TAVROS: (we’re in LOVE toGetHEr, aSSHole,) 
JOHN: (there’s no way you’re getting this ring.) 
TAVROS: (fUCk, YoU,) 

I think it’s clear at this point that John may have suspected himself to be aromantic before, but clearly turned out not to be. As I said two posts ago, I greatly appreciate the way Homestuck handles identity questioning, probably more than the way it handles queer orientations and identities in the first place. I particularly think Roxy’s gender detransition in the Candy Epilogue was handled very tastefully, which is rather impressive.

VRISKA: Not that I’d have it any other way. This just sounds like the 8est plan to me. Why 8other messing around with an army of ghostly dipshits, or some shy magic alien when you can go str8 for the ultim8 weapon? 
VRISKA: Hell, may8e I’ll just walk right up to him, one-shot the guy and end it all right there. 
VRISKA: That’s how a real pro goes a8out 8usiness. You take any shortcut you find. 

After Act 7 came out, these lines must have been an absolute pain to reread. Why would the story end with alive Vriska doing exactly that, without any subversion??? The epilogues redeemed my Vriska salt in the stupidest but most brilliant way possible: she’s hit by a fragment of spacetime right before the chest opens and sent hurling into a black hole, then lands on Earth C and winds up having a heart-to-heart with her clone that I love every word of.

JOHN: (i am going to wish as super hard as i can that i wake up with this ring.) 
JOHN: (it’s probably magic, so i bet it makes my wish come true!) 
TAVROS: (i doubT that From happeNing,) 
JOHN: (if i wish hard enough, that will make it slightly less impossible!) 
TAVROS: (oh, you bastARD, you arE gOOd,) 
JOHN: (i think some day i will use it to propose to *MY* girlfriend. what do you think about THAT, wise guy?) 

This is the second time in this act that John mentions his nonexistent girlfriend. The Roxy foreshadowing is obvious, as is the implication that John is probably just as romantically oriented as his friends but never got the opportunity to start a relationship with anyone. I think this romantic isolation for the first sixteen years of his life instead of just the first thirteen made him so weird when it comes to romance. Same goes for Jade in the epilogues, regrettably enough.

TAVROS: (noOO!!!) 
TAVROS: (gIMme,) 
JOHN: (this is pathetic.) 
JOHN: (stop grabbing at me! we’re missing what she’s saying!) 
JOHN: (she’s going to think we’re idiots, won’t you STOP?) 
VRISKA: Are you fuckers even listening to me???????? God DAMN it. 
JOHN: yes! 
VRISKA: No you’re not. You’re squa88ling with Tavros and his loud shitty whispering a8out some 8ullshit. 
VRISKA: Come on, guys. Am I really 8eing that 8oring? 
VRISKA: I’m really starting to understand how my ancestor must have felt sometimes. No8ody ever respects an important explan8tion!!!!!!!! 

As the story progresses, it only becomes more obvious that Vriska and Aranea aren’t as different as one may think. Aranea’s self-importance is much better hidden than Vriska’s at this point, but it’s certainly visible.

I’ve seen a lot of meme edits with this image. Not surprising—Vriska holding a blank map is just asking to be memed.

Upon Vriska’s command, Tavros gets out all the treasure maps and Vriska explains some interesting stuff. First she shows us a blank map, which demonstrates how horribly stupid navigating the Furthest Ring normally is. I suppose we are to assume that Vriska’s Sburb planet, the Land of Maps and Treasure, had magical maps of the planet abound? As in maps that automatically update whenever circumstances change. That is the best explanation I can think why these maps show pure void.

VRISKA: The guy who’s 8een fucking shit up is the 8ig 8ad himself! 
VRISKA: Every time he destroys another dream 8u88le, he does a little more damage to the furthest ring, inexplica8ly shattering the essence of all-encompassing nothingness. 
VRISKA: As the cracks spread across the void, new points of reference show up on our maps! 
VRISKA: Then we look at the angles and intersections and all the shapes formed 8y the cracks, and compare them to our notes from the various riddles and clues we’ve discovered a8out the path to the treasure. 

Or rather, they showed pure void until Lord English came along. Vriska’s been putting a lot of work into the treasure hunt mission, which kind of redeems her self-importance because she’s actually doing something. It’s only fitting that after alive Vriska steals the chest standing right in front of her, she is brutally taken out of the spotlight because she didn’t even do anything to deserve being the one to kill Lord English.

VRISKA: It’s actually a little like how in old times on Alternia, pir8s used to navig8 8y shapes the stars made. Constell8tions used to have a lot of significance in our culture, not just guiding explorers on their journeys to physical destin8tions, 8ut guiding them on the choices they made in life, pertaining to f8 and all that. Not that humans would really understand anything like that. 

The way Vriska describes astrology and horoscopes, it really does sound kind of alien. I love jokes like this where trolls think they’re more different from humans than they really are.

VRISKA: I actually find the situ8tion to 8e pretty funny. This guy’s ego must 8e astronomical. Classic case of unchecked hu8ris paving the way for his own downfall. 
VRISKA: I didn’t even need to 8uild a we8 to trap him. He just went ahead and started 8uilding his own. 
VRISKA: Talk a8out a lucky 8r8k!!!!!!!! 

Though Vriska is every bit as self-important as she was when she was alive, she did seem to learn a lesson or two from being killed. She can now recognize cases where hubris leads to downfall and accurately describes Lord English’s situation that way.

JOHN: that is pretty neat. 
JOHN: so does that mean you know where the treasure is now? 
VRISKA: No, 8ecause the map isn’t complete yet! 
VRISKA: Needs more cracks so we can plot the rest of the course. All we’re a8le to do now is head in the right general direction. 
VRISKA: So ironically in order to prevent reality from 8eing destroyed, we need to w8 for it to 8e damaged further. In fact, we’re 8etter off encouraging it! 
JOHN: encouraging it? 
JOHN: what, you mean like, making him mad so he breaks more… uh… 
JOHN: nothingness? 
VRISKA: Yes, 8ut it has to 8e strategic. We have to somehow lead him in the direction of the places we want him to damage. 
VRISKA: Specifically, the places where the route dead-ends. Wherever we need new points of reference to keep going. 

Vriska’s morality starts to get a bit questionable here. She’s started to encourage destruction for what she sees as the greater good (Lord English’s defeat). At the end of the comic, the Furthest Ring is completely destroyed and I’d argue it’s partly Vriska’s fault things turn out that way. Because of the Furthest Ring’s annihilation, I think that though the intended purpose of Tavros’s ghost army was to fight Lord English, the true purpose it ended up serving was to gather as many troll ghosts as possible in one place so that they could survive the destruction and end up on Earth C. I can only assume the ghosts are competent fighters this time around when they join Karkat and Meenah’s army—lots of powerful god tier trolls and quite a few with high strength attributes. Or at least, I sure hope they are.

JOHN: so that means you have to piss him off i guess. 
VRISKA: Not really. He’s already pissed off. I think he’s just permanently that way? 
VRISKA: It’s more a8out getting his attention. Using the right 88! Like going fishing. 
VRISKA: 8ut to do that, you gotta know what he really wants. Like what motiv8tes him. I mean, 8esides indiscrimin8tely killing dead children and huge tentacle monsters. 
JOHN: i am guessing you have an idea what that might be? 
VRISKA: Sure. The rumor is he’s trying to find that dead alien girl I mentioned, and kill her ghost for good. 

Here Vriska tries her best to guess what Lord English’s motives are, which is of course rather difficult. Vriska’s speculation is making me think of English as a bit of a tragic figure who’s trapped himself in a shameful existence doing nothing but destroying everything now that he’s achieved his ultimate power form. Caliborn was so much cooler, why did it have to come down to this.

VRISKA: If he catches on to the fact that some of us are looking for her too, and thinks we’re hot on her trail, he’ll pro8a8ly start following us around and wreaking havoc wherever we go. 
VRISKA: We just have to make sure we’re in the right place when he tries to kill us. Oh, also try not to actually die again while we’re at it. Haha. 
JOHN: so the bait is really you. 
VRISKA: Sort of! It’s actually more the 8ogus idea that we’ll lead him to the cheru8, 8ecause we’re looking for her too. Which we’re o8viously not. 
VRISKA: There’s some manipul8tion involved. 

Vriska is taking advantage of the part of the plan she sees as boring and using it as a distraction against Lord English. It’s kind of clever, but unfortunately Lord English isn’t very smart and probably doesn’t think that far ahead. It’s an admirable idea though.

JOHN: well… 
JOHN: cool! 
JOHN: that was actually a very interesting story, vriska. 
JOHN: you’re a pretty good story teller! 
VRISKA: You think so? 
JOHN: oh yeah? 

The first John/Vriska scene in Act 6 wraps up on a reasonably positive note. John compliments Vriska’s story and Tavros pokes a bit of fun at her.

JOHN: that’s… one way of looking at it. 
JOHN: i don’t know about excessive minutia or brain peace, but i was hanging on every word! 
VRISKA: Aw, you guys. You’re making me 8lush. 
JOHN: i wish i could hang out with you longer and maybe even help you with your treasure hunt. 
JOHN: but i just know i’m gonna be waking up soon. 
JOHN: darn. who even knows how long it will be before we meet again in another bubble? 
TAVROS: (soOn, iT wilL be MIne,) 
VRISKA: Don’t mind him, John. He’s just 8eing weird and tooly again. 
VRISKA: It was nice to see you and catch up like this. If we don’t meet in another dream soon, don’t worry. 
VRISKA: I have a feeling we’ll 8e crossing paths again 8efore this is all over! 

This scene ends with Vriska telling us this won’t be the last time she and John meet, which is basically a “see you next time” sort of deal. Readers probably expected John and Vriska’s next meeting to be much testier than this one, and they were unsurprisingly right.

Speaking of “see you next time” sort of deals, the next page after this is Openbound Part 3, so I’m concluding this post here. See you next time as we meet the last three Beforan trolls, who have a backstory considerably more anime than the rest. I wonder how different that part will read now that I have actually seen some amount of anime? (I still haven’t seen very much anime, don’t be misled.)

>> Part 90: Tsundere Vacillation Station

The Obligatory Homestuck Epilogues Post, In Full

I am still burnt out on this blog, that’s still a thing. Only a week since hiatus and I already wince at the thought of reviving my Homestuck posts, especially on a platform that’s not convenient at all for hosting these posts. I’m sick of gaining pretty much no traction because Blogger and search engines go together like jelly and hot dogs. I currently plan on switching to a different platform, maybe even purchasing a personal web domain because I’m 20 and that’s what 20-year-olds do. But for the time being, I might as well write a post providing my full thoughts on the Homestuck Epilogues.


4/20, read through Meat: epilogues pretty good
4/20, started Candy: what the fuck
4/21, stopped: aaaaaaaaughhhhh bluh i hate everything
4/24-ish, continued Candy: epilogues alright i guess also i am sad now
4/27-ish, finished: I LOVE HOMESTUCK


Meat was a wild ride that started as cool plot stuff and things that make you go “OH FUCK”, continued as basically chapters 7-9 of Detective Pony (which I naturally enjoyed a lot), and ended as a mess of sheer chaos and destruction. My thought process ended as, “oh duh, this is the bad ending, candy must be the good ending”. I was in for quite the nasty surprise.

I quit reading Candy just a few pages in. It didn’t take long for it to suddenly become the weirdest fanfiction ever. Frustrated, I started skipping and searching through later parts and got rather salty when it turned out both sides were the “bad ending”. I saw firsthand what vfromhomestuck meant by “clear your whole week”: this is not something most people can just read in one sitting. Then I recovered a few days and read Candy in earnest, in a somewhat anachronous order and with many parts read multiple times. Slowly, I started to hope that the epilogues would be followed up with a true happy ending for real this time. I may or may not have written a snippet of some form of fanfiction paving the way for a happy ending.

Once I finally accomplished the equivalent of reading Candy as intended, I got hit HARD with feels. I accepted that the epilogues have many issues but as a whole (not just the sum of parts) are an absolute masterwork, sometimes because of those issues. It didn’t take me long to realize the brilliant duality either. Meat is a side-splitting metafictional farce that (for me at least) is impossible to treat as anything resembling a story of people doing things. Candy is a tale of FEELS, and I don’t use the word FEELS lightly. FEELS means I almost cried, like I did when I watched the Futurama episode Luck of the Fryrish.


Before I move on and talk about the CHARACTERS, I’m going to discuss the meat epilogue’s resemblance to sonnetstuck’s Detective Pony. I love everything about Detective Pony, more than almost anything else in existence. My abnormal love for that godlike fanwork probably skewed my perception of Meat a bit. Starting from page 17, Dirk takes over the narration then fights over it with god tier Calliope; both do rather questionable deeds and Dirk was hit hard by fans as a result. Seeing other fans react towards that character with such hostility gave me a very distinct feeling of “what, am I missing something?” Dirk’s takeover felt like a lengthy work of comedy to me; a story that never strips away from the fact that it’s fiction, in a vein near identical to that of Detective Pony. I like to think I am in the right for perceiving that arc this way, because I think everyone who has read Homestuck should read Detective Pony. One of the epilogue authors read Detective Pony after writing the epilogues and was struck by it; I take this accidental mirroring of (post-)canon as proof that sonnetstuck understands Hussie’s ways through and through. I like to think I have a solid understanding of Hussie’s ways by now, but this guy is on a whole new level.

That said, the meat epilogue gets a bit carried away with metafiction to the point of making me think, “god when will things go back to normal”. Towards the end of Detective Pony, Dirk goes through an existential crisis followed by a powerful revelation, and then resolves to do whatever it takes to erase his abominable creation. But the meat epilogue ends with (both figurative and literal) crashing and burning; no ultimate redemption for our poor Strider. Homestuck doesn’t usually have much of a problem with getting carried away with stupid nonsense; maybe a few rare occasions in cases like Hussie’s self-insert scenes. But getting carried away is a major criticism I have with cool and new web comic. I love that comic to death, but the parts that take a long time to dwell on the cool and new characters being creepy or weird are a chore to go through. o (the author of CaNWC) seems to have improved in that regard; the cool and new trolls’ arc is much more to-the-point with such nonsense.

Meat getting carried away with metafiction is a major cause of my initial burnout shortly after starting Candy. I was sick of this mass dump of metafiction and expected Candy to be a refreshing change of pace. Haha, if only. My fault for reading Meat first. At night I sometimes ponder in envy of the parallel universe me that started with Candy. Actually I don’t do that, I just thought it was a funny thing to say. Though I have on more than a few occasions sat in bed fantasizing about how awesome my life probably is in some parallel universe. What point was I making again? Oh whatever, it doesn’t matter. I guess I should write a similar overview of Candy’s narrative nature. Here goes:


Sad things are sad.

^ There, that’s my candy overview. How hard was that?

With the two summaries out of the way, I figure the best way to dump out my residual thoughts on the epilogues is going character by character. I won’t do every character, mostly just the ones who played large roles and were already characters in Homestuck proper. I’m sorting these characters in tiers of how well I think the epilogues handle them, mostly from worst to best.


N is not the lowest tier; it’s the tier that cannot be ranked. N stands for two things here: “Not Applicable” and “Narrators”. Naturally enough, two characters fit into that tier.

Dirk Strider: I’ve already talked about this guy quite a bit. I have a fondness for Dirk’s character and I think his dialogue and narration in meat do a good job portraying some ascended, ultimate version of his character without straying from his voice, the tone that makes him Dirk. That said, I’m a bit peeved that “normal Dirk”, the one iteration of Dirk Strider that isn’t total bonkers and just wants his friends to be happy, doesn’t exist in this story. In Candy, Rose suddenly loses the memories of her alternate selves, but for some reason Dirk keeps those memories and soon after commits suicide; he’s left out of the picture until Candy’s postscript, which I guess is a reasonable balance considering his indulgence throughout Meat. But why is only one of the succulently verbose Strilondes let off the hook? Some readers imagine Dave as the comic’s protagonist and Dirk as the antagonist; I’ve toyed with that idea myself and can see it symbolized, but it just feels so wrong to me. Maybe the authors did too good a job writing Dirk for me to be complacent with such a shift in role. His conversations with Rose were just as delightful as I had hoped and they aren’t weighed down too much in light of his shift in role, at least not for me.

Alt Calliope: The narrative rival to Dirk, as I mentioned previously. I’m not totally sure what to say about her, other than that one could see her as a counterpart to let’s say Anna Harley; a necessary piece in the Detective Pony analogy. Alt Calliope’s narrative arguments with Dirk were hilarious and that’s all there is to say on the matter.


I’m lucky Gamzee’s name starts with a G, because this means I can give him a tier of his own worse than F. As an individual arc that is; he’d get a much higher rating when taken as part of a whole.

Gamzee Makara: Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. I despised reading every word that came out of this guy’s mouth as soon as his “””redemption arc””” started. But I can clearly tell that was the point and that the suffering that is reading his words has a much greater purpose. Before you deem me a masochist or the kind that insists everything is “bad on purpose”, know that I am neither of those things but really do mean what I say here. Gamzee’s role in Candy draws tension between individuality and the whole. Reading this guy’s hogwash is suffering in and of itself, but ultimately it serves a role of showing us how fucked up the world of Candy is and helps the reader experience John’s existential crisis with him.


As before, these tiers are strictly about character arcs in isolation and not the big picture. This tier is home to none other than the legendary…

Jane Crocker: Boy did I predict the future on that one. A bit like Dirk, I would’ve liked it more if in only one epilogue did sweet innocent little Jane become such a monster. No way in hell am I going to run through the asshole things she does; it’s a load of sensitive topics I’m not comfortable discussing in any capacity. Instead, I’ll say that if I had to choose only one epilogue where Jane ran through her crazy presidential campaign it would be Candy; as with Gamzee’s arc, this campaign serves well as a part of John’s existential crisis. What’s weird here is that in Candy she originally cancelled all this, but later ended up basically doing it anyway with Dirk gone. I can imagine Jane going back to normal in Meat, maybe? Or in the hypothetical “true ending” I discussed prior.


Better known as “meh” tier. Mostly the characters that don’t do much and I wished did more.

Meenah Peixes: Needed more screen time, god damn it. She survives the Furthest Ring apocalypse, nabs the Ring of Life, then makes her way to Candy Earth and joins Karkat in the rebellion. Maybe it makes sense that her and Karkat teaming up in war is relegated to the background, to show how far the shouty guy has come in comparison to everyone else. I’ll come back to this point when I talk about Karkat.

Roxy Lalonde: Doesn’t do too much in either side, but does go through some touchy topics I’m not sure what to think about; I’m most certainly not ready to talk about those topics now. And regardless, Roxy’s role in the epilogues is better discussed when I talk about John and Terezi a few tiers up.

* UPDATE: I have now written a post about these touchy topics. Read at your own discretion.

Calliope: Doesn’t do all that much either, full circle to being the exposition alien with mysterious morality. I’m actually pretty OK with that. Certainly beats out the slog of endless “ur pretty” conversations. Calliope pretty much fades into the background on both sides, which is sad but fitting.

(About pronouns: I’ll keep referring to Roxy and Calliope as “she” unless I find reason to talk about the little those two do in Meat. I just avoided using pronouns in those paragraphs above.)


Better known as “meh” tier, but with a more positive “meh” than before. It’s the “meh” that indicates lukewarm satisfaction rather than annoyance at mediocrity.

Jade Harley: Really should be on a lower tier, because she did dick squat other than being horny and painfully oblivious to all the nonsense going on. But I’m a sucker for Jade being “Jade” and was happy to see even a trace of that early in Meat. As before, I’ll avoid the controversial topics surrounding Jade in the epilogues, aside from pointing out that this post reads very different now.

* UPDATE: I have now written a post about her in the epilogues too.

Karkat Vantas: This guy’s a bit of an odd spot. His leadership role is addressed in the absolute last way I expected. Could’ve gotten more attention from the story I suppose, but damn if his character arc didn’t get the most triumphant return imaginable.

Kanaya Maryam: I touched upon Rose and Kanaya’s relationship when I discussed the “buddy system” in my first epilogues post and I still stand by what I said there. Her strong attachment to Rose is integrated well into Meat without seeming like fluff or defining her entire character, because she actually does other things there too. In Candy they remain a stable happy relationship and I guess I’m cool with that.

Aradia Megido: Role is the same as ever and I’m fine with that. Death fangirl who works for predestination and has ambiguous morality. Her arc with alt Calliope ends with a cliffhanger that is easily the biggest reason to hope for a follow-up to the epilogues; if such a follow-up were to happen, I really look forward to hearing more from Aradia.

Sollux Captor: Sollux is by nature the other guy, that’s an immutable fact of life. He doesn’t do much other than snarking at whoever’s nearby and I can’t imagine it any other way.

Jake English: If not for a scene near the end of Candy, I’d put Jake at D-tier. Through all of Meat and most of Candy, Jake’s role is one of the oddest spots of all and it’s pretty hard to pinpoint what the authors were going for, lest I dabble in controversial topics some more. But Jake’s scene with John near the end of Candy is uniquely touching and makes the most out of his role as a second John. He moves in with John, bringing his son Tavros with him, and encourages John to reconcile with his former wife and make amends of sorts, ultimately giving a small portion of the cast a pseudo-happy ending. That whole part of Candy made me tear up.

Talking about the really GOOD parts is a perfect point for me to move on to…


Stuff that didn’t make it into A-Tier, which I’ve reserved for what struck me HARD.

Dave Strider: In both epilogues, Dave’s behavior generally seems based on how he acted in Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, which is actually a LOT better than it sounds and hell if I know why that is. Dave’s rants about politics and sexuality now have a charm I can’t quite describe. His absurd fixation specifically on the economy matches shockingly well with the nature of Homestuck. The three-way romance between him, Karkat, and Jade goes in very different directions on either side, which I’ll discuss a bit later. The epilogues even made Dave x Karkat an actually decent ship, how crazy is that??? The writers deserve a big badge of honor for doing that. Not sure what to say about specific things, but Dave was really well-written in an unexpected way.

Rose Lalonde: Again not sure what to say about anything in specific. Just really enjoyed reading Rose on both sides of the story. Shoutout to the heartwarming moment with John near the end.


Oh boy. Oh boy. Time for the big guns.

Vriska Serket: My mind hurts to process just how good Vriska’s appearance in Candy was, after leaving the Furthest Ring and landing on Earth. First she talks with John rather aggravated, then she brutally murders Gamzee, then she sits down and has an honest talk with her ectobiological clone raised by Rose and Kanaya, and in the end gets in touch with Terezi which leads to a cliffhanger. The story somehow created the PERFECT balance of sincere reflections and typical Vriska flavor, which was deeply lacking in A6A6I5 with its horrific polar opposite versions of Vriska. The two Vriskas’ conversation late in Candy is incredibly endearing and almost feels like an apology for the controversial Vriska/Vriska encounter back then. I accept the apology with open arms. Why is everything always so wonderful?

John Egbert: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ <3. WHY IS EVERYTHING ALWAYS SO WONDERFUL? John gets a deep meaningful existential crisis arc in both epilogues; both cases I easily latched onto and found a bit of myself in. I absolutely loved seeing him and Terezi interact as a duo of people with some perception of canonicity; I’ll get back to that point soon enough. John’s marriage to Roxy not working out is a testament to both his issues with canon and Roxy’s issues dealing with harsh situations. Roxy latches onto John and their son as a huge carefree pushover and he doesn’t like that at all. And that’s actually cool with me because John x Terezi is better in every way, as the epilogues made me realize. If that wasn’t enough, the end of Candy spoils our little hearts by having John reconcile with Roxy anyway and give hope for a better future. Though a part of me does want to see a true happy ending where John and Roxy date with their delightful dynamic from their first interactions, I’m beyond pleased with the epilogues’ handling of John either way. Swaying deep into some rather sad territory while remaining 100% faithful to his character that I’ve always loved so much.

Terezi Pyrope: FUCK YES FUCK YES FUCK YES FUCK YES FUCK YES. Every scene with Terezi in the epilogues was so goddamn awesome. Her interactions with John were such a blast to read, with exactly the mix of humor and touching aspects that make both of the big John/girl ships what they are. How did the authors pull it off, making deeply emotional scenes without ever sacrificing that goofy Terezi flavor???


S in rating systems these days is way misused in my eyes. Normally A is meant to be the highest rating and S is used for the very rare absolutely exceptional case A doesn’t do justice. But now you see shit like SS, SSS, SSSS everywhere like one S isn’t the ultimate badge of honor? S is a rating I’d gladly give Detective Pony and may or may not give cool and new web comic. Same goes for my very favorite Futurama episodes. I’d give a few of Neil Cicierega’s works that rating if I’m feeling up to it. In this post, I’ve reserved the S rating for:

Barack Obama: THE BEST PART OF THE EPILOGUES, HANDS DOWN. His conversation with Dave near the end of Candy is perfect in every way, it really transcends words. Humor, emotional touching, plot revelations, and straight up “Homestuck feel” are blended into the most delicious melting pot imaginable. When Dave confesses that he might be gay and explains troubles in his three-way romance, Obama responds with a truly inspiring speech about identity that raises an excellent point about the differences between the epilogues involving aspects of people that may seem immutable to some. I think Obama’s speech leaves a powerful message I never expected Homestuck of all things to convey so well. I hope readers take that speech’s message into account, though I know many will probably be a bit naive about it.

If you refuse to read the epilogues at all costs, then I implore you to read Dave and Obama’s conversation anyway. You won’t be disappointed.


This post was so much fun to write, holy shit. I so badly needed to get all this out of my system. The only thing stopping me from continuing my Homestuck post series (plural) is that I don’t want to do it on Blogger anymore. The move to a new platform will happen soon enough, once I have some real-life things sorted out.

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 75: The Juggalo Strikes Back


Part 74 | Part 75 | Part 76 >

Act 6 Act 3, Part 1 of 8 or so

Pages 4820-4840 (MSPA: 6720-6740)

Fun fact: the music in this walkaround was written for Rose’s planet, and yet it somehow works reasonably well here.

Act 6 Act 3 opens up with a walkaround game where Jane explores her planet, much like Act 4 did. As much as it established Doctor as a memorable song, the Act 4 walkaround was definitely a drag to get through. This one is very different with a more point and click style that makes it somewhat harder to miss out on anything, but requires more of you actually doing stuff and figuring it out. Or at least, it did according to my memory. Better see for myself.

This isn’t very cautious of her, actually.

Unlike in the last view of Jane’s house, her mailbox is gone once again.

When Jane enters the game, the first thing she does is jump off the balcony of her sinking house onto this platform thing. Unlike when John entered the game, she’s immediately exploring the world which is weird considering how much the alpha kids are thought of as doing nothing pretty much forever. At least this is a step in the right direction; if I remember right this whole act is one of the better parts of Act 6.

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 74: Dawn of the Other Twelve


Part 73 | Part 74 | Part 75 >

Act 6 Intermission 2, Part 3 of 3

Pages 4741-4819 (MSPA: 6641-6719)

NOTE: I’m not going to pretend this isn’t just filler text again.

2019 NOTE: Actually I don’t need filler text anymore, I can have actual text here because I have something to say as a disclaimer! In the interest of dramatic irony, I will be keeping everything I said in this post about John and Roxy’s relationship completely unedited. I’m doing this because I believe Hussie intended readers’ massive confusion at them not getting together in the credits to be part of the “experience” and I’d rather not taint my expression of my reaction with the usual “holy shit this reads differently after the epilogues”.

John wakes up in a dream bubble and oh hey it’s another 2x callback combo: to Jake waking up to see Aranea, and to Karkat getting hit in the face by a bucket.

Continue reading