I Read Homestuck So You Don’t Have To: Part Two

Image via Mspaintadventures.com
Image via Mspaintadventures.com

Welcome back to this adventure  through one of the Internet’s more bizarre offerings: Homestuck. After last act’s cliffhanger, we cut to a bright orange mushroom cloud. There’s a red curtain that opens and closes, as if we were in a theater — which, metatextually, we are, but now we’re also textually. The intertextuality continues in the next scene when we are introduced to the Wayward Vagabond’s footsteps. A link beneath a picture of tracks in the desert leads us to a smaller strip that’s not connected to the other strips — where a dark figure in a gray outfit finds the Sburb logo.

The next page takes us to Rose Lalonde’s Sburb walkthrough. She explains that by installing Sburb, you have become responsible for ending the world, although nothing you could have done would have stopped it. Her prose is very purple, but clear. Finally, we cut back to John’s house, stuck on a precipice in a void of darkness. Somehow, they survived.

The instruction text starts to get weird. I’ve mentioned before that creator Andrew Hussie started out taking direction from his audience. My guess is that hereabouts is the cut-off point because the direction text starts getting weird and referring to John as Boy, and John hears it. There’s also a section where you can direct John to explore his house and interact with all the objects he’s interacted with before, which is pretty cool! You get new text, which is…really interesting and in the same flavor as the direction text. It gets to the point that John has to reintroduce himself as John, which gets the direction text to stop referring to him as Boy.

Once you stop scurrying around, Rose is up on pesterchum. She reveals that John’s neighborhood was destroyed, but his dad is nowhere to be found. They jointly manage to retrieve the PDA by creating a Sims-ish floor platform that stretches out from the balcony. John reveals that he has been feeling compelled to do things, and it’s revealed that the Wayward Vagabond has been telling John to do things from the Sburb bunker he found in the desert.

A cut to Rose reveals that she continues to be threatened by a raging forest fire and her home’s power outage. Back to John’s home, and they have to figure out how to prototype the sprite that came out of one of the Sburb platforms. By accident, they prototype it with his grandmother’s ashes. This is the introduction of Nanna Harlequin. Further conversations via pesterchum reveal that John’s friend turntechGodhead (TG) is a terrible rapper. Rose tries to move the car so that John can retrieve his copy of the server disk and help her escape, but loses her connection — and the car. We then get a rare conversation with GG, the Garden Gnostic, who thinks that maybe all this is John’s destiny. John then convinces TG to go find his brother’s server copy, and we cut to Rose.

Rose is pretty adorable, all in all. She has a laptop cozy. She has a princess doll with a knitted squid mask. She faces awful circumstances, however; the fire around her home is getting worse. It’s about here that we find the astonishing revelation that she has arms! They aren’t immediately visible most of the time, though. It’s a quirk of the art style, I’m guessing.

We then cut over to John’s pesterchum friend TG, otherwise known as Insufferable Pri– Dave Strider. Dave is late 2000s hipster trash soaked in a zesty brine of irony and kool. This is his laptop. His music isn’t terrible, though. Dave and Rose’s entire relationship is based in saying the opposite of what they actually mean to each other in a shifting kaleidoscope of irony to the point that the ironic turns around and becomes genuine. This gives me a lot of flashbacks to that whole 2009-2011 era where everyone was too cool to feel emotion and care about things and where irony was the height of coolness; but, really it was just sort of dumb because nobody knew what irony actually was. So is that ironic, or isn’t it? You decide. Somewhere Alanis Morissette is crying, her destiny complete.

Dave also has a really terrible webcomic. If you’re more interested than I am, go for it. My patience for bro-ness only goes so far. Help me, Obi-Bro Kenobi; you’re my only hope. It is then revealed that we’ve actually skipped back in time to the beginning of Act 1. Dave loses his server copy of Homestuck via a crow that flies in his window, which is super embarrassing. He kills the bird with a spare katana, which he just happens to have lying around… because it’s badass. There’s also a great meta joke about a webcomic that is 3000 pages long, way too long to start reading.

We cut to Rose navigating her mansion and attempting to avoid her mother. Rose’s relationship with her mother here is interesting; she assumes that all affectionate overtures made by her mother are out of spite. Rose did a drawing of her pet Jaspers when she was five, and her mother installed it in a $15,000 frame on the refrigerator. Rose wrote the word shrew on the fridge in magnet letters, so her mom bought a pack of magnetic W’s since she’d only had V’s, and then Rose wrote an official thank you note, notarized and sealed with a drop of blood. Her mom put a velvet cushion underneath it so that it wouldn’t hit the floor. Rose’s next move is to take the velvet cushion so she can embroider a poem in praise of motherhood on it. I’m in awe of how far they’re both willing to go to say they care about each other. Rose briefly encounters her mother but makes a somersault over the kitchen counter in order to get away from her.

Then we cut back to Dave, in the past, talking to the elusive and mysterious Garden Gnostic, who somehow knows that John is going to lose the server copy and then find it again. I am intrigued and bewildered. She seems like a relatively nice person, too, and nice people are always my jam.

We then cut to John in the…present? Who is talking to a Dave in the present and dealing with monsters galore. Rose finally has the fight with her mom, knitting needles defending when — PSYCHE — her mom decides to go away. John gets attacked by a monster and fights back; it’s some pretty great fight music. Also, you get to do the fighting! It’s pretty nifty. When John kills the monster, he levels up to Plucky Tot.

Homestuck definitely is beginning to feel more like a video game. Whether that’s for the better or worse is yet to be seen. Until next time, my friends!


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