I remember something Hussie posted on… I think it was his old Formspring? I’m not sure, maybe it was somewhere else. I’m paraphrasing, but it was something along the lines of:
“Homestuck is meant to be a story that’s also a puzzle. I don’t think all stories should be like that, but some stories should be.”
And that really hits home right now. Homestuck has always been what pretentious literary types would call ergodic literature. It’s not meant to be a straightforward story, it’s supposed to require effort in interpreting it, and leaves room for many different interpretations. That doesn’t make it better than other stories, but it doesn’t make it worse either. It’s a whole different medium that can’t really be viewed the same way you would a traditional narrative. It’s just really hard not to view it that way, as traditional narratives are really all we know.
But it started as a puzzle, and it ended as a puzzle, and if nothing else, I applaud Hussie for sticking to his vision of what the story should be, even if it wasn’t what many of us wanted it to be.
Homestuck did plenty of things wrong. I have a lot of criticisms for it, especially for Act 6. But it also did many things amazingly well, and it completely altered the way I think about storytelling (not to mention that it changed my life in many other ways).
As hard as it is to not be disappointed by this conclusion, it’s almost harder to be disappointed by it. Homestuck is still as great as it ever was, because it stayed true to the philosophy it was built on.