(From MS Paint Adventures: Homestuck. Click for full-sized anniversary laziness.)
Once again, I goofed up in my reading of a Homestuck flash, and once again I’d like to shift the blame to how confusing said flash was. But I don’t think I can do so entirely, because there’s a lot that snaps together, both about the flash and about all of Act 6, once it’s properly understood, right down to that long-unexplained “wriggling day” reference… while also raising as many questions as it answers.
It seems that Roxy and Dirk are, in fact, native to the time “years in the future” (over four centuries in fact!) when the Condesce/Crocker has ruled for some time and flooded the planet. That explains a lot about what we’ve seen over the course of the act, well beyond just what Hussie points out here. It puts into perspective Dirk’s future tense here vis-a-vis what we learn about the Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff franchise in Act 6-2 (to the point it’s stunning in retrospect that it wasn’t glaringly obvious at the time for that reason alone). It gives an alternate explanation for why Roxy and Dirk know so much about the game, and explains the depth of Roxy’s commitment to the notion of the Batterwitch (and the witch’s copious appearances in the history of said franchise).
On the other hand… besides what it just plain doesn’t explain (namely, the lusii on Jake’s island, and the nature of the childhoods of Roxy and Dirk), and why they would withhold this aspect of themselves from Jane and Jake (I’m not convinced by the explanation Dirk gives), there’s also the fact that it renders the three-year gap the kids are making up completely meaningless. Even if Roxy and Dirk are ultimately the same age as Jane and Jake are at the time they’re communicating, the game is just as objectively tied to their timeframe as that of Jane and Jake. Then there’s the question of whether God Cat is shuttling between two time periods, if he’s screwing with people at two different points of his life, or whether there are two God Cats, and the question of whether the troll Jake saw has anything to do with the troll Roxy saw (which the subsequent intermission seems to give evidence for).
There’s also just how much technological prowess Dirk has contributed to the past, namely the robots sent to Jane and Jake, and the fact that Dirk (and his auto-responder) can control them (and detect their activities) remotely, which seems like it completely screws causality to bits. And then there’s the whole question of how these two time periods got so synched up in the first place, to the point that not only can Dirk serve as Jane’s server player, but so can his auto-responder, which screws up causality even more. (Well, more than it usually is in Homestuck.) The explanation we’re given in the intermission, “Trollian-like technology”, only raises the question of why Roxy and Dirk can’t simply contact Jane and Jake at any point in time they wish; clearly, the two timeframes are synched somehow.
It also suggests some interesting things about the origin of the game in this universe: namely, that Roxy must have hacked it off the Crockercorp servers after the invasion. Moreover, I can’t help but think the company planned on this, and that may help explain how the time periods got synched up, because Jane’s room contains an advertisement for the “alpha” game she’s about to play, but that game appears to only exist in the future. It’s possible that the Condesce imported the game itself from either the kids’ or trolls’ universes – and if the former, that may provide an excuse for how it’s pre-set up for the eventual arrival of the kids, down to what appears to be largely read as an unorthodox method of entry.
What happened in the intermission that just concluded? Well, the Wayward Vagabond was revived by a doomed-timeline god-tiered Feferi almost in passing. We learned not only that no one will prototype their sprite before entering the new session, but that there won’t even be a battlefield when we get there, destroyed by the Courtyard Droll for unknown reasons. We learned some really weird things about how the Scratch works, and it makes the troll session sound really, really unusual, in that it was the post-Scratch session that produced all the players for both sessions. We saw universe-warping god-dogs chase sprite cats. We got names for the two trolls encountered in Act 6-2, and seemed to confirm that they are, in fact, from the pre-scratch troll session.
And most weirdly of all, we got Hussie’s author avatar getting killed off by Lord English… and proposing marriage to Vriska. Yes, Hussie is indeed prone to trolling his fanbase.
I think I’m getting sick of Hussie’s penchant for these sorts of “everything you know is wrong” shocking swerves. “Roxy and Dirk are actually from the future! The guy making the comic in-universe is dead!” It’s just a random twist thrown in to make us ooh and aah at his ability to pull off a twist, with the former complicating things as much as anything. It’s the sort of thing that has me seriously considering dropping Homestuck. We’re two sub-acts in and I still don’t feel as connected to these characters as I have to the kids and trolls. I’m mostly holding out hope that they will finally show up in the new session soon. You have no idea how relieved I was when the intermission started – back to the characters we’ve actually been following for nearly three years! I never intended to be a regular reader of Homestuck, and if the kids and trolls don’t show up soon or the new characters don’t give me a reason to care about them, I may be one no longer.