precisionfstrike

7

OH GOD

THIS

I JUST

holy shit i have a lot of feelings about this one i just

holy hell

That entire section. Just.

Both of them are freaking out here. Tavros is not okay with Vriska asking him to kill her. There’s no way he could kill somebody, even as a mercy kill—she should know that, shouldn’t have even asked in the first place… but at the same time, she’s also freaking out on Prospit. Maybe she’s looking to die, since she stopped him from kissing her and had him bring her to her quest cocoon (recuperacoon?). But at the same time, I’m not so sure that she’s not afraid of the pain that comes with it. Bleeding out is torturous, especially since she’s already been beaten by Aradia to this point. It’s got to be incredibly painful, and she’s putting all her trust in Tavros asking (begging) for him to kill her. To save her from the pain of a slow death. And as she gets closer to dying, both of them start freaking out more—maybe Vriska’s getting scared of dying and wants him to end it fast so that she isn’t lingering between both worlds. I’m not reading this as her getting angry at him just because he won’t kill her. There’s something more at work here.

She offers him a chance at revenge, vengeance for everything she’s ever done to him.

He won’t take it.

That’s also playing into her skewed vision of how the world works, again tracing back to her shouting at Aradia that she has no soul. By all means he should hate her, and the fact that even after all of that he doesn’t hate her enough to kill her… she can’t comprehend it, and that’s also contributing to her breakdown here. He’s crying over the fact that she’s dying and asking him to kill her—why should he be crying? (As a side note, the panel where her blue blood and his brown blood mingle and make that change is just. Oh my god.) It doesn’t make sense to her, but she’s also, for what might be the first time, respecting the fact that he won’t (can’t) kill her, and refusing to make him do it. Maybe because she understands the feelings that come with killing someone you consider a “friend” now.

TL;DR: THESE PANELS. I JUST. I CAN’T. HOLY SHIT.

persona-q asked:

I really don't have anything to add, but I still wanted to ask: Why do you think he chose death as the method to god tier. It always seemed odd to me, especially since no one has really capitalized on the whole "facing your morality" thing in-comic, and reached god tier through it. Mostly it seems sort of about facing some sort of realization about yourself, or facing some challenge that is related to your role. (making choices and stuff.)

PFS wrote this great analysis of John’s first death scene, discussing how he leaves behind all traces of the material world. I don’t know if she’s ever thought of it in these terms, but this is exactly what Gnosticism and the Breath aspect are all about.

It’s hard to say if the Gnostic themes in Homestuck belong more to the setting or to John’s role as the main character. Judging by certain events before the great hiatus, there may be no difference between these two things. At any rate you can just think of it as Gnosticism stuff: The material world is an illusion, and achieving enlightenment means you get to leave it behind and go to the “real” real world — by dying and giving up your meaty body.

It might be fun to compare this to The Matrix, which was very Gnostic but played around with which world was which. Note also that John is the only character who has existed as a being of pure spirit (breath). Even ghosts have to pee! I’m not sure what we can say about the incompleteness of god tier breathification. I’ll look at this in more detail later.

So I've been reading a few Homestuck liveblogs lately...

Namely LOBAC, Bloggery, Lil’ Sis, and PrecisionFStrike (there were a few others, but most of them stopped posting for one reason or another). I like them a bunch, because it’s always fun to see people’s first reactions to things you love. And I was thinking about the impending Final Homestuck Update in the future and thought, why not do a liveblog/audio react for it? I dunno if anyone gives a shit about my reaction to watching Homestuck videos, but still, this will be the LAST time I’ll be able to be surprised by ANY Homestuck updates forever. I kind of want to record my reaction/impressions for posterity for my own sake, you know? I’m all about keeping sentimental stuff and concert ticket stubs and journal entries and that kind of thing, and this is basically the same principle. And if I’m gonna do it anyway, I might as well post it! But we’ll see. It seems like it might be a pain in the ass to write out commentary while I’m reading, so maybe I’ll just do an audio react. We’ll see.

Either way, I should probably post my theories about what I think/suspect will happen towards the end of Homestuck beforehand, so maybe I’ll post about that soon. Could be fun to get it all out in text, even if I’ll likely be proven drastically wrong on all of it. 

Dear world,

I am so sorry.

You keep on turning, and turning, and with your turning you bring newer and newer things.

(Not always newer and better, you see, but constantly something new.)

And I try my best to keep up, but sometimes the past—to borrow a phrase—can’t just die. 

I thought I was safe. I thought that there was nothing that would take me by surprise. I thought I had it all figured out, that I had until the end of the month when Assassin’s Creed released Black Flag to read and liveblog and take back control of everything I ever needed to do.

But then October 9th came around.

At first it was me. I’ll admit that, world. I take a while to talk myself around sometimes, but we both know that once I get myself there I Get Up and Get Shit Done. So maybe when I had expected to be doing other things, I was instead busily psyching myself up and then going through with The Thing. (I regret nothing, by the way.)

But, world, I think you’re to blame for this one as well. After all, it was you who chose to show me that The House of Hades had come out. It was you that reminded me that the new Phoenix Wright game had a free demo up for download. Did you really expect me to be able to resist?! I’ve been waiting for Phoenix to make his return to the courtroom (oops, spoilers!) ever since 2008; you knew the chance to play and fly through a cross-examination making brash assertions and pounding emphatically on desks would be more than I could bear.

And House of Hades. Let’s just talk about that one for a moment. Let’s just talk about the fact that when we last left off, Rick Riordan had just dropped our main characters over the edge of one of the biggest cliffhangers in recent memory. I am not sure that they are alive! Scratch that, I’m sure they’re alive. But for how long? You knew that the instant that book hit the shelves I would have to read it, and when I had managed to forget the release date you made sure to remind me of it.

So really, this is all your fault, world. I’m placing the blame firmly on your shoulders.

From the fictional worlds of courtrooms, justice, and demigods,

Precision F-Strike

(PS to anybody actually reading this: I’m gonna try to do some liveblogging tonight. I REALLY AM. But oh man oh man I’ve been waiting for House of Hades for literally a year, and I’m warning you now I’m falling facefirst back into it, at least for an hour or two, because I love, love, love Percy’s snark. It is my favorite thing.)

and then booze was added to the liveblog. we're all screwed.

also, self, regardless of how awesome these chiptunes are, YOU SHOULD PROBABLY KEEP READING INSTEAD OF LETTING EVERY SOUND PAGE LOOP WHILE YOU GET DISTRACTED AND SURF THE INTERNET. THE MUSIC IS GOOD, BUT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE READING THIS COMIC, NOT ONLY LISTENING TO IT.

…probably the first and only time i will ever type that sentence.

i should make myself a martini and then i could be like rose’s mom.

nah

the trial is on a gigantic libra sign!

symbolism hussie

Savior of the Waking World

or, why PFS is obsessed with [S] JOHN. RISE UP.


“To die would be an awfully big adventure.”
—J. M. Barrie



There have been several people who expressed interest in reading this, so… here we go.

It’s really difficult for me to put into words why this flash is so amazing to me, as so much of it has to do with the general feeling I get from it. There’s a feeling I get from this flash that is entirely different than any of the others—it’s similar to why I will sit there with the walkabout flashes in the salamander village up. The music and the imagery just creates this feeling of tranquility, regardless of the content matter (because come on, let’s be honest, [S] JOHN. RISE UP. is brought on by a main character’s death, and I am thinking of one very specific moment in the salamander village involving salamander firefighters armed with cans of Barbasol…). So the first thing to keep in mind is that it is largely due to feel, which definitely differs from one person to the next.

That said, there are a number of factors that play into this flash that aren’t personal! The largest one of them is probably what it means in terms of the flow of the story. This flash is page 4987 of MSPA—that’s page 3087 of Homestuck. That’s a long way into a story. We’ve been with John since page 1. We’ve laughed at his antics, we’ve rolled our eyes, we’ve watched him grow as a character and, well, we’ve gotten attached to the little fucker. As I mentioned way back in my character analysis of John, he is our everyman in this story. He’s the one that goes into the story with no idea what’s happening, and he serves as our link to the narrative. When John learns about the mechanics of the game, we do as well. Without him, we would have been thrown right into the deep end, lost amidst sylladexes and captchalogue cards and prototyping sprites and alchimeters. In a way, no matter what prompted you to start reading in the first place, John is our first real tie to Homestuck.

So by this point he’s our constant. Though everything and everyone around him is changing, John’s simple, optimistic nature remains the same. He’s still the same kid that began this crazy ride, and he isn’t affected by the sort of madness that’s taking hold of the rest of the narrative. He’s not involved in these crazy schemes like the other kids are; he’s just kind of shooting the breeze (pun totally intended) and going along with what everybody else is saying or doing, seeing where it takes him. He’s still the almost naïve ingénue we were introduced to at the beginning of the story, even though he’s grown a lot and is becoming much more capable as a player.

And all of this is why it’s so heart-stopping when Jack stabs him.

John isn’t the character that these sorts of things happen to. John is the hero, after all, the one we expect to come out on top no matter what challenges he faces. We’ve seen him making mistakes before, sure, but they’ve always turned out right in the end. Even when he does get himself into a mess he can’t wiggle out of, he’s got his friends to help him out (or a conveniently located pile of rocks awash in a sea of oil. Either one). Though he has died in the past, it didn’t happen onscreen. It was almost immediately reversed! Rather than showing us the reality of a main character’s death, Hussie only mentioned it through dialogue. He softened the blow. Here? He doesn’t shy away from it at all. You get one panel of John sleeping peacefully, Bec Noir looming over him, and bam, dead, stabbed through in a pool of blood while Vriska watches and is pleased with this turn of events.

That’s part of why this flash works so very well. John’s death and then rebirth into the god tiers signifies a very big shift in the story—for one thing, it shows us the kids’ vulnerability. In most games if you die, you just respawn. But here, there’s something very finite about John’s death. Even though he resurrects as a god tier, his physical body remains dead. He can no longer inhabit it. Consider: by this point, just about everything John has on him was created through alchemizing. His computers, his clothes, his glasses… everything on him is a construct. And with his resurrection, he’s shedding the last remnant of our world—his own body. His dream-self is a construct of the incipisphere; whether it was created by the game itself or if it existed prior to the creation of this session is unknown, but it is still not of our world. Sure, he has his house, the most visible feature of the Land of Wind and Shade, but by this point he has grown far beyond it. We can even say he’s grown even beyond LOWAS—after all, he’s at the top of his echeladder; it’s not as though much there poses a threat to him there any more. At this point, he should be able to defeat his denizen, even without having reached the god tiers.

When he reaches the god tiers, John moves beyond even WV’s reach—and this may be the reason this flash gets me the most. WV sees both halves of this flash: he sees what happens on the battlefield, where John resurrects, and then years later, sees it happen on the screens of the command station. When he sees John on the battlefield, WV is still quite young himself. He’s just seen the combined black and white armies decimated by Bec Noir, has just cast away his Dersite origins for the RAG OF SOULS that fell from John’s tower in the destruction of Prospit’s moon… and he sees the quest bed on the battlefield lighting up, watches the Heir of Breath coming into his power. You can see his awe in the flash as he watches. Then, hundreds of years later, after he’s been exiled to the remains of Earth and he discovers the command station where he can watch John, he recognizes him. He knows John is the Heir of Breath—he commands several times for him to do the “windy thing.” WV doesn’t necessarily realize that while he’s gone on into the future and aged, the version of John he’s viewing on the command screen is younger, hasn’t come into his power yet.

So when he sees John die at Bec Noir’s hands… that’s the end. WV is actually the one to type the command JOHN. RISE UP. in the first place, and it doesn’t seem to do anything. WV doesn’t know that he’s seeing the other side of John’s ascension. He sees John die, he sees the fireflies gather around him and the lights of his quest bed light up… and then nothing. You can see how stricken he is near he very end of the flash as John remains dead. Bec remains victorious. The archagent has won.

And then WV turns the screen off.

The motion is twofold here—on one level, WV accepts a loss and an end. He accepts that the Heir of Breath was slain by Bec Noir. But on another level, John is freed of the exiles’ influence. Much as WQ gives Rose advice and then leaves her to her own devices, John is now on his own as well. There will be no more help from somebody who has already lived these precise events. He must utilize the resources that area available to him: the advantages the game presents to him, the help of his friends, and the outside help offered to him by the Alternian trolls.

Which brings me to another reason why I love this flash so much: Vriska’s apparent betrayal. John has been tricked by the trolls before, led to his death by Terezi. Vriska appears to be somewhat different; she certainly views John as a pawn to play, but she isn’t just messing with him for shits and giggles. She’s somebody who always has a plan, and we reason that she’s got a plan for John as well. So when her plan to reach the god tiers ends in him dying… well. It’s a shock. At this point we don’t know yet that to reach the god tiers you must die on your quest bed, so it seems as though she’s simply led John to his death under the pretense of helping him out. The addition of her “8888)” to the final panel before the flash only adds to that idea.

Then we reach this flash. And John resurrects into the god tiers. And, regardless of if you like Vriska or not, you have to admit that in the end she assisted him here. She may have gotten him killed, but at the same time you realize that perhaps she didn’t tell him what was going to happen because she thought it would have been difficult for him to face. Facing your mortality is an incredibly difficult thing to face—would you have been able to go to sleep, knowing that as soon as you did you were going to be murdered? Could you face Bec Noir without wanting to fight back, to cling to life? Even if you knew you would be resurrected in the god tiers, there’s a natural inclination we have that makes us want to avoid dying at all costs.

Which brings me to the quote from J.M. Barrie I placed at the top of this. “To die would be an awfully big adventure.” That quote is all about not being afraid of the unknown, and this flash echoes that idea. Although it is very difficult to face our mortality—and in fact John really didn’t at all, or won’t until after the fact—it leads to the next adventure. A whole new realm of possibilities is opening before John here, and when you watch this flash you know that things aren’t going to go back to the way they were before. This flash is Hussie stepping Homestuck up to the next level. John’s ascension is such a big deal that it’s visible from all the other lands; we see Jade and Dave and Rose all stop what they’re doing and look to the sky, ostensibly seeing the light of his quest bed from Skaia. Even though they don’t know what’s going on, it’s enough to make them give pause—the entire world halts for John.

And all of this fell into the hands of a hero who had no idea what he was about to do. Who had no idea that he was about to change their entire game.

I love the animation of [S] JOHN. RISE UP., I love the music (I know I’ve mentioned before that “Savior of the Waking World” is actually the most-played song in my entire iTunes library; it’s over 400 plays by this point). The art and the music work so well together that I can just sit and stare and be brought into a state of utter chill. But that the flashes are great is a given. What really makes this flash my favorite by far is the content, is John becoming more than he’d ever imagined himself capable of, more than I had imagined him capable of. This flash showcases his growth—yes, his personality is (for the most part) the same as he began… but he’s grown so much, too. He’s become a leader, someone for the others to rally around. He’s stepped into his role as “Heir,” and in this flash he comes into everything that implies. 

[S] JOHN. RISE UP. is a turning point for the entire story—and for that reason, it’s my favorite in the entirety of Homestuck so far. It’s amazing.

youtube

[S] Cascade.


I won’t waste your time. LET’S DO THIS SHIT.

10

BASICALLY

ALL OF THIS

SUMMED UP

KANAYA IS A FUCKING BADASS.

GAMZEE: FUCK YEAH KICK HIM IN THE NADS SHE FUCKING KICKED HIM SO HARD HE WAS PHYSICALLY LIFTED UP AND THROWN OVER THE EDGE OF THAT DROPOFF

VRISKA:SHE WAS JUST STANDING THERE. GOING “WHAT.” LIKE ANYONE WOULD’VE DONE. BUT NO VRISKA, KANAYA’S NOT DONE YET SHE’S GOT SHIT WITH YOU TOO NOW IT’S TIME TO MAN UP AND GET READY AND CLENCH YOUR TEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETH

ERIDAN: FUCK ERIDAN YOU THINK YOU CAN FIGHT KANAYA? YOU THOUGHT BLASTING HER WITH YOUR SCIENCE STICK WOULD BE ENOUGH? SHIT NO THIS IS KANAYA FUCKING MARYAM WE’RE TALKING ABOUT AND SHE’S HAD IT UP TO HERE WITH YOUR BULLSHIT MURDERING SPREE. SHE GAVE YOU THAT POWER AND SHE CAN TAKE IT AWAY TOO, AND FURTHER LET’S NOT FORGET THE FACT THAT NOW YOU’VE GOT NOTHING AND OH SHIT, SHE’S GOT A FUCKING CHAINSAW.

LESSON TO BE LEARNED HERE: YOU DO NOT FUCK WITH KANAYA. SHE WILL FUCK YOUR SHIT UP.