I know it’s been awhile since my last post. But Act 5 Act 2 of Homestuck is a very long Act. It is filled with over a year of updates, so trying to summarize all that seemed overwhelming. Finding a good break in this act was just as overwhelming, because everything just flows together, and with the timey-wimey-ness of the whole thing, things mentioned earlier could easily come up again later. Just how long is act 5 act 2? It starts in September 2010, has a recap in January 2011 and ends again in October 2011. I’ve chosen to break at the end of January, where it feels the tone of the story really starts to change. For those in the know, I’m stopping just before the flash “Kanaya: Return to the Core.”
Act 5 Act 2 Part A: Jade FINALLY Enters
This act opens with a flash animation that showcases the life of John, as viewed by Karkat. This takes place not long after the trolls have entered the veil and they learn about the universe they created and the humans through a timey-wimey event orchestrated by Terezi with Dave. This leads to Karkat’s first conversation with John, which is the last from John’s perspective, just before they put in place a plan both the humans and trolls have been planning for a while now that could save them both. This is where Karkat institutes his plan to troll the humans to get back at them for ruining their session. We see Vriska, Karkat, Kanaya and Terezi start their trolling of their prospective humans, becoming “patron” trolls to John, Jade, Rose, and Dave respectively, as they take active roles in helping the kids through their game session. Many of the conversations that were confusing to either Troll or human start to make sense, as we see how and why they started.
Once the trolls get on with their patronage, we finally get Jade to enter the game session. Remember in my last post when I said I hated Vriska for what she did on Alternia? Yeah, what she did as Jade entered makes me still hate her, maybe even more. Even though they are stuck in paradox space, and it had to happen anyway, one way or another, the hate that gets piled on Jade by the trolls for something that ultimately wasn’t her fault is wrong. Jade’s entrance transforms their Jack Noir into a being of overwhelming power that wreaks havoc on the kids’ session, and it is revealed he is the monster that stopped the Trolls from completing theirs. But it was Vriska’s meddling that caused this to happen, which continues to keep her from endearing herself to me. Once Jade is in the medium, she goes on an Alchemizing spree as the other kids did, but Jade gets to go overboard, as the update happens at Christmas. I especially like the Iron Lass Suit.
This act also introduces a new power level for the characters to achieve: God Tier. As has been mentioned a few times in previous acts, each of the humans as well as the trolls in their session has powers they can unlock. John becomes the first of the humans to unlock his and becomes the Heir of Breath, with control over the wind and a new snazzy outfit. It’s how the power is unlocked that is disturbing. I swear my heart stopped when I saw it happen to John! We also see Vriska’s rise to the Thief of Light in a flashback from the trolls session. I only felt bad for what she put Tavros through for her ascension.
There is a recap in this section, the last one Hussie does, because, as he says, they are a pain. This one is written in sections from the perspective of Karkat, John, Rose, Dave and Jade, describing the events from their timelines’ perspectives. It attempts to put everything in a neat linear timeline, but I think we’ve pretty much passed that road marker a long time ago. Now, I’m just trying to keep up with events and not worrying so much about when they happened. I don’t need as much aspirin that way.
I break off this act with Rose trying to put into motion a plan that she hopes can save them by destroying the Green Sun, the source of Bec Noir’s power, Dave trying to reach God Tier, and Kanaya teaching Jade about making paradox clones. All the while the clock is ticking down to the Critical Moment, the one John is about to put in motion when Karkat first contacts him at the beginning of the act.
I continue to enjoy Homestuck for a lot of the humor. Karkat arguing with his past and future selves in memos he creates is hilarious, and the memo he creates specifically for John and Dave to tell them to stay away from Vriska and Terezi is great! I also really love watching the trolls’ reactions to seeing pails when viewing the humans in the viewports. They have a much different use for buckets than humans, and therefore react much more emotionally to them. I also really enjoyed the mini flash game with the trolls in their control room. You get to control Karkat, Vriska and Terezi, interacting with the other trolls and exploring the asteroid they are on. The game mechanics are getting better as well. The game takes on a RPG feel as each conversation pulls out the characters and there is more animation. It reminds me of RPGs for the Game Boy Advance. It also shows them in hero mode. As much as I like their sprites, I like their hero mode much more.
I chose to end this just before a big flash that is run in that same game mode because it feels like things are about to get more serious. So far, Homestuck has had a lighter feel to it. Characters have died, but there has been a second self, a dream self, to can take over, or they reach God Tier, so the character isn’t really dead. But it appears this all about to change. There have been a few deaths already in this part, and it looks like it’s going to continue to escalate in the next part. This is the part that got me wondering what my kids were reading when they were telling me about it, so I hope it will make sense now, since I couldn’t make hide nor hair of it then.