Something has begun to whisper in the back of your head. Each day it grows louder. You feel the urge to tie an orange ribbon around your wrist. You check your snapchat frequently, waiting for updates. A copy of Con Air has appeared among the box of DVDs from the library. You dare not watch it. You open your backpack and discover a bottle of Faygo, unopened, at the bottom. You’re beginning to see those zodiac posts floating around again. The beast is awakening. Those shitty 3-D glasses are staring at you from the drawer you’d put them in. You stare back. Your heart is racing. The voice in the back of your head is loud enough to make out now. Something honks outside your window. The voice is not one, but dozens of voices, reawakened from their slumber. They whisper, and you feel sick. You can hear them, chanting over and over and over again: “4/13 is coming, 4/13 is coming”.
It’s tomorrow. You are terrified. Cal’s awful yaois are behind your eyelids when you blink. You begin to say it with them.
4/13 is coming. It’s tomorrow. Homestuck is awake. Brace yourselves.
and i KNOW that’s standard fare, i know most of us are over it, but i still can’t wrap my head around the fact that it’s been a year already? because homestuck had been such a big part of my life for so long, and suddenly- it’s gone.
homestuck redefined fandom for me, and i know that there won’t ever be something quite like it again- the way we came together, the upd8 culture and the cons and the panels, the lyricstucks, the fansongs and animations and meetups and the way we were a family, of sorts, united by our love for this dumb webcomic that brought us together- there’s never going to be anything like that. homestuck was a cultural masterpiece, a revolution in and of itself, and i honestly don’t think anything can top it in terms of impact.
homestuck was just so big, so much, for so long, and it’s hard to believe that- it’s not anymore. and it’s hard to believe that everyone’s moved on from something that we loved so much, that shaped us so much, that brought us together like nothing else before.
and maybe there will be no more spin the faygo games at cons. maybe there will be no more lyricstucks or fansongs, no more bucket full of homestuck-style panels, no more rush to make upd8 art and cosplay new characters and update shipping charts with all new quadrants. maybe it really is over.
but we’re all still here, whether we like it or not.
we’d use to joke that “the ride never ends.” and it doesn’t, not really. because homestuck is something that sticks with you no matter what.
so this is a love letter to my favorite story, the story that made me who i am. happy 4/13, everybody. thanks for eight fantastic years.
So, first of all, HYPE. Although I never stopped being Hyped but. MORE HYPE. Before I start talking at all about the teaser trailer, I gotta say, I’m glad WP are taking their time refining and bug-fixing to make a great game for us to enjoy, and knowing how far along it is and how close the release date might be, we’ll wait to see how it comes out!
Okay so the teaser, first we start with what seems like Joey peeping into the attic of the house through a hole. That already makes me feel we’ll get the little tease of knowing where to go but forbidding us from seeing what’s behind the cool curtain until we find the key that opens the door there.
There are a LOT of guns, some sarcophagus, tons of horse imagery, statues in the background, mirrors, Jake sure loves tossing stuff he finds during his adventures around the house! The multitude of items frame the centerpiece of the portal quite well, and the eerie glow gives-
Okay, wait, what the FUCK JAKE.
DO YOU SEE WHAT I’M SEEING?
WHERE THE HELL DID JAKE GET THE CLOCK?!
We start /well/ if this is the kind of shenanigans Hiveswap has prepared for us, oh my god. This means that by this point in the timeline, Jake had access to SBURB stuff, though, so that’s an interesting thing to have in mind.
The camera zooms on the portal, and then Joey appears, reaching over to expose it, before cutting to the title. Hiveswap.
Can I say, I’m really glad about the direction they took with the 2D stuff. Everything looks so good, Joey’s expressions and movement are so sweet. I love her already.
The next scene cuts to Jude using a flare gun (Which we see later in his inventory) likely to warn Joey or to use it as a distraction somewhere else? The pile of leaves right under the window makes me think he’ll have to hop right off the window and into it in the future. There’s also a fountain on the wall that looks like a Lich, further confirming Jake’s already gone hunting to the Medium by this point. Also, the sky, the clouds, the background, looks absolutely GORGEOUS.
Then the flare lands in front of the house, and here we can see a few things. First of all, the statue. Of course. And also, I bet Jude cut the bushes to look like Nessie because he’s a cryptid fan. However, there’s a thing I just realised. I don’t know if this was a detail in the prior trailer or not but…
Doesn’t the house look just… Not taken care of? The previews of the inside, all the stuff just thrown everywhere, I assumed Jake was just kinda like that, messy. But the look of the house on the outside, with the broken pillars and the vegetation growing everywhere. The broken glass is likely from the monsters, but otherwise…
Jake. How long have you left those two poor kids alone? Not to say, wherever ‘Hauntswich’ is, there doesn’t seem to be a soul ANYWHERE in the surrounding area except for their creepy neighbours.
Next, Joey is crawling through the vents, either to get in or escape from some monsters, and while happy, soon the vents shake and her expression shifts. The way her expression dynamically changes like that, I love it, makes me think a lot about some Homestuck panels. That being said, either the vent is shaky, there’s something BIG and lumbering down the halls of the manor, or the damage to the house is more extensive than it appears.
Then, oh boy the UI looks neat! Worried Joey wanders the halls of her basement, I presume. The X at the top-left might be to make the UI disappear, or perhaps a quick quit to the game? Options on the top-right, help… Then, the inventory seems managed with Captcha Cards, of course. Easy to access and drag around to combine with stuff. Then there’s her battle… Stances? Weapons? There’s what seems like a ‘stomp’, her normal shoes. Then ballerina shoes, and her flashlight.
This makes me wonder how the combat system is. Furthermore- Joey seems to have the shoe selected! What’s that for? Maybe to hint that’s what you want to do in a sneak attack? Or is it not the weapons, and just something more like her ‘stance’? But if it was her stance, wouldn’t the flashlight be the one chosen right now? We’ll see how that works.
Of course, more to the right, there’s the character… Selector? Right now we have Joey, and you can talk with your Jude with a Walkie-Talkie. Straight-forward enough.
Also Jake, please.
Jude’s side of things isn’t looking too hot. That mansion looks fucking MASSIVE. It looks more like a village, but everything’s too… Bunched up together for that to be the case. Lumbering shadows, just there. Staring. The view is amazing, but very, very eerie. Here we see he only has a flare gun- Which we see him using earlier. Again, straight-forward enough.
Now is when things start getting interesting.
First of all, the new design of the Cherub Key is amazing. Cherub Teeth are the fangs, with the Calliope-Caliborn spiral in the middle, and the snakes coiling up. But also-
IT’S ALIVE? JESUS THAT’S CREEPY.
Creepiness aside, I like this much, much more. The one preview we had when it was still 3D had Joey actually reaching in to turn it on herself, just out of pure curiosity. In this situation, however? She’s being /dragged/ by the key, forced to open the portal, not by her own volition. This makes much more sense narrative-wise, and also makes me wonder if the key itself is a Juju. The lollipop forced Jane to lick it after all, and Jake has the CLOCK, so a Juju key with a Juju teleporter? Yeah, that fits.
The cherub snake-beams activate and… Okay, while the glow of the energy is red on the Caliborn snake and green on the Calliope one, both the eyes AND the sparks around the energy are green on both sides. Maybe the teleporter uses First Guardian energy in some capacity?
Finally, we switch to the Trolls! Xefros is a cutie, and that’s some RADICAL VIOLET BLOOD riding a… Bronze grub. That sure’s a way to promote the drink. Anyone can decypher what the can says?
Then we have a first GOOD look at Xefros’ Hive! There’s a picture of the Sloth Lusus, Xefros and Dammek. Cute. Also there’s a tree going through the entire top, maybe his hive is like Terezi’s? It could be, his Lusus IS a Sloth, and Joey switches with Dammek, so it’d make sense Dammek is the one with the more urban hive.
We see an Alternian Phone, some videogame, with HEXAGONAL DISCS. I don’t care if it’s more bug-like, that’s so incredibly inconvenient and asinine, Hussie, What Pumpkin. >:V Then of course, theres Trizza broadcasting her memes permanently on the TV, and the first look at Xefros’ weapon of choice! Which seems to be a… Cricket bat? Cool.
Then Xefros slams the can of soda against his forehead to crush it. Nice.
This is a lovely look at the urban look of Alternia. It’s curious, Trolls are nocturnal so I expected to see more activity at night. Then again, Drones have been taking Trolls to cull, so it’d make sense if they’re all hiding.
ALSO DAMMEK’S LUSUS! They’re riding it around :D Likely going from Dammek’s place and towards Xefros’ if he does live in a tree-Hive. The background of the Alternian Landscape is absolutely haunting.
We have a VS Screen! Not only that, but Joey’s reaction to each enemy and situation seems to vary from one to the next. That’s a nice touch.
Joey, you’re being unnecessarily extra. That’s Jude’s pigeon though, and the bat monster seems surprised by Joey’s dramatic entrance!
Okay so, the thing at the bottom seems like it’s maybe the battle system? The right arrow points at Joey, so maybe it’s her turn and when it’s the monster’s it points left. Then the three spikes at the top might expand into something like. Abscond, Abjure, Aggrieve? Again, I have no idea how the system will work. Also, the bat seems confused and bouncing around. It’s hard to tell if this is RIGHT after the Vs Screen, and being surprised made it flip the fuck out, or if Joey did something that confused it and made it bounce around.
The state of the kitchen really drives home the fact Jake has been an absent father for a VERY LONG TIME. Have they just been ordering noodles to eat all this time? I can see some adorable pictures on the fridge.
There she goes. What do you wanna bet that in Hauntswitch Act 1 we get a scene exactly like this but with Dammek’s silhouette going down the red shaft?
Me too, Joey. Me too.
Finally, “The door is nearly open” seems like a reference to the little line on the Hiveswap page: “First thing’s first. You need to open the door.”
Conclusion: I NEED THIS GAME NOW. Patiently waiting for it to come out, still very hype.