Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 140: The Circle of Stupidity Is (Not) Complete

Introduction

< Part 139 | Part 140 (the end!)

Act 7 + Credits + Closing Thoughts

Pages 8127-8130

This is it, folks. This is the end of my Homestuck post series.

Are you ready for the grand finale of my Homestuck blog post series? After six long years going in and out of working on my Homestuck posts, I have finally reached the finish line. I cannot overstate how amazing it feels to get started on my final Homestuck post. It feels far more amazing than I could have ever imagined to actually be at the final point, not just imagining when I might reach that point.

There’s many ambitious projects that I’ve started over the years—since I was a child, in fact—but most of them fizzled very early on. A fair portion of those projects I got quite a good way through, but a much smaller portion of those did I successfully finish. On the day this post is published, I can proudly say my Homestuck blog post series has joined the elite club of personal projects that I have finished. The post series spent almost two straight years being a project that I thought I would abandon forever, but eventually I somehow had it in me to resume it after all, and from then on, it was an on-and-off climb to the finish line, which is where I am now.

After one year and seven months working on this post series, one year and ten months putting this post series on pause, and two years and nine months working on and off in months-long bursts, I proudly present to you Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 140: The Circle of Stupidity Is (Not) Complete. What better way to name my last Homestuck post than with a reference to an anime that I haven’t seen? I sure can’t think of any.

(By the way: happy sixth anniversary to my first Homestuck post! A fitting day to release the last one, if I say so myself.)


Alright, now let’s begin this post with Act 7!

Act 7, as you should already know, is a nine-minute animation that concludes Homestuck, released on the comic’s seventh anniversary. You should also already know that it is a very divisive ending that is often argued to leave a lot unresolved, and that it is animated in a style heavily inspired by anime, giving closure to the long-running misconception that Homestuck is an anime. Before writing any of the text from this paragraph onwards, I rewatched Act 7 in its entirety, and one thing is immediately clear: I had somehow never appreciated before how stunning the animation is. This may have something to do with the fact that when the flash came out in 2016, I knew nothing about any anime, and was expecting Act 7 to be… please don’t laugh at me for this… a gigantic walkaround with every character interaction possible. In retrospect, I think my dissatisfaction with Homestuck’s ending came mostly from the unresolved character interactions!

Now of course, my more positive reaction to Act 7 today no doubt relates to how the epilogues resolved the threads it left open in a way that brutally deconstructs the concept of plot resolutions. The epilogues allowed me to appreciate Act 7 much more for what it is: a beautiful animation that mostly shows things we already knew would happen, but in a fashion that’s stunning enough to be a worthwhile ending flash. But even putting aside the epilogues, I think I’ve outgrown all those childish complaints that I once had about Homestuck’s ending content. I guess that’s what happens when you’re 22 years old, huh? You realize that some things really aren’t worth getting hung up about.

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 138: Emotional Memories and Fight Preparations

Introduction

< Part 137 | Part 138 | Part 139 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 12 of 12

Pages 7939-8086

I’m so close to the finish line… SO CLOSE.

My eyes aren’t deceiving me, are they? Will the next Homestuck post after this one really be the second last, as the text “Part 139” above so indicates??? If this is true and I’m not hallucinating, then all I can say is god DAMN. This has been one hell of a wild ride—a ride with numerous excessively long bathroom breaks, but a wild ride no less. I think it’s fair to say we’re now in the home stretch’s home stretch!

Finishing up the pages I had wanted to cover last post, it’s time to go through Terezi’s monologue to Vriska, which together with the following flash was the last Homestuck update before the Omegapause began.

gallowsCalibrator [GC] began trolling arachnidsGrip [AG]

GC: H3Y
GC: YOU TH3R3?

I love the choice of making this monologue a pesterlog instead of a dialoglog, and not just for nostalgia reasons. The dialogue format is a great way to remind us of the turbulent relationship Terezi and Vriska have had since the trolls’ arc and how far back their dynamic goes… OK, fine, it’s also nostalgic.

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 136: The Tripling of the Feline Sprites

Introduction

< Part 135 | Part 136 | Part 137 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 10 of 12

Pages 7812-7880

All three feline sprites are of shown in this image. Though one will soon become something different…

With my Homestuck posts, the light at the end of the tunnel is now visible with the naked eye! It’s been visible for quite some time, actually. After releasing this post, I have only four left before I reach the finish line. This metaphorical tunnel hasn’t been unpleasant and dreary as such metaphorical tunnels tend to be, but it’s still the kind of tunnel that you spend big stretches of time thinking would never end. You get so used to being inside the tunnel that the thought of what it’s like outside the tunnel stops crossing your mind… at least until you can make out the light at the end. And then you start feeling amazed and get motivated to quickly get through the little that’s left to reach the other side.

What I’m saying here is, when I’m nearing the end of an ambitious project like I am now, my motivation to finish the project kicks into extra high gear.

Picking up from the short little select screen, Jasprose is ready to prototype Jake’s kernelsprite, but first she takes care of Tavros’s cat allergies using the placebo effect: she feeds him a button from her velvet pillow, purported to be a pill, and he succumbs to the effect. While the placebo effect is a real phenomenon that occurs in real life, Tavros succumbing to the effect so easily says a lot about how much of a pushover he is, setting up the contrast with his pre-retcon self.

I’m just going to assume she got Nepeta’s head out of the tightly locked fridge using some sort of squared sprite powers.

Ready to do the blindingly obvious, Jasprose acts rude and snooty to Jake, then gives a speech about Nepeta’s poor treatment that heavily leans on the fourth wall.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Mrow, well hello there, beautiful. ;3
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Fret no more sweet princess, for as long as I am here, you will never suffer such indignity again.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: How could anyone let such monstrous injustices happen to one so dear?
JASPROSESPRITE^2: What FILTH would dare to debase you in this manner?!
JASPROSESPRITE^2: To say it was the marginalization of a bright and pure spirit, to say it was MURDER, this would be too flattering to the purrrpetrator.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: What happened to you was nothing less than the desecration of a MASTERPIECE.

Jasprose is on to something when she says that saying Nepeta was murdered is a severe understatement. In Homestuck, murder doesn’t necessarily sever a character from the realm of relevance. A murdered character could well keep having screen time in dream bubbles, prevail as an alternate self, be talked about a lot by other characters, or even just leave behind a sizable impact on the plot. Nepeta got none of those opportunities, and due to presumably her squared sprite knowledge, Jasprose thoroughly knows as much.

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 135: Pleasant and Unpleasant Alternate Self Meetings

Introduction

< Part 134 | Part 135 | Part 136 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 9 of 12

Pages 7766-7811 (partly not in order)

Contrary to the post’s title, the unpleasant alternate self meeting comes first.

With this post released, I have only five Homestuck posts left!!!!! I’m rapidly approaching the end, and boy is it an enticing feeling.

Time for the tenth and final section of the fake character select screen! But first, let’s go through some of the hover options on the select screen. First off, Dave and Dirk round 1 finally shows them talking instead of sitting silently, which is very refreshing. They’re facing each other instead of sitting side by side, trading stories of their respective bros. Both of them seem to have greatly lightened up, talking about the more humorous sides of each other’s adult selves.

Meenah is dressed like the Condesce in this fantasy, in case it wasn’t clear enough that they’re the same person.

Meenah’s final fantasy (in no way a pun on the video game series) reminds us that after all this time, she’s still interested in killing Lord English—not out of narrative self-importance like the Serkets, but simply because she enjoys fighting and being badass. This makes a good leadup to the Vriskas’ verbal confrontation after the select screen ends.

Continue reading

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

Introduction

< Part 132 | Part 133 | Part 134 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 7 of 12

Pages 7672-7732

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

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

Wow, 10 path options!!!

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

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

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

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

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 130: um i guess this is the one where vriska devises the battle plan

Introduction

< Part 129 | Part 130 | Part 131 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 4 of 12

Pages 7515-7560

I couldn’t think of a good name for this post, so I’m left with a shitty name instead. Sorry about that.

The character select screen is officially over, and now we’re back to business with a comedic callback to Gamzee playing with dead trolls’ heads in [S] Flip. As much as A6A6I5 lays it thick with callbacks, I can’t stay mad at this one.

VRISKA: Ok every8ody, time’s up!!!!!!!!
VRISKA: Wrap up your convers8tions. Our tactical meeting is officially 8ack in order!

This passage combined with the panel above briefly portrays Vriska’s style of leadership in a more comedic light than usual.

This is a pretty fun group picture. I love how Vriska is standing on top of a fridge to indicate her leadership.

Vriska goes over the battle plans for our heroes to take down all remaining adversaries: the Condesce, Jack Noir, Jack Noir, Jack Noir, and possibly the Prospitian Monarch. She goes over them one by one, and so will I.

Continue reading

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

Introduction

< Part 128 | Part 129 | Part 130 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 3 of 12

Pages 7502-7514 (not in order)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading

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

Introduction

< Part 127 | Part 128 | Part 129 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 2 of 12

Pages 7486-7501 (not in order)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 127: Proper Relevance at Long Last

Introduction

< Part 126 | Part 127 | Part 128 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 1 of 12

Pages 7449-7485

A6A6I5 has so many painfully boring panels, so I figured I’d have fun with the title pictures whenever I get the chance.

With my Psycholonials review post finished, now I can finally get on with the true home stretch of my Homestuck blog post series! It’s time to dive right in and analyze the final act of Homestuck that’s of substantial length: the polarizing Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, or A6A6I5 for short.

Whether you love or hate Vriska, you can’t deny that her getting down to business with fully alive eyes is a satisfying shot.
Or maybe you can deny that?

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5 begins with a flash called Vriskagram. Technically, the flash is called [S] ACT 6 ACT 6 INTERMISSION 5, but everyone calls it Vriskagram because, well…

I love how the V in the Vriskagram logo is based on Vriska’s horns.

Yep, this is another instance of late Homestuck parodying social media of its time. In my Psycholonials review post, I talked at length about how the story explores the danger and perils of social media; Homestuck, in contrast, incorporates parodies of social media websites just for the hell of it. This light satire of social media is a fun motif, I must admit.

Continue reading

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

Introduction

< Part 124 | Part 125 | Part 126 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 4, Part 8 of 8

Pages 7359-7408

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading