While Ace Dick sets up the rather complicated board game, Death clicks his BALL POINT SCYTHE and jots down a few notes in his TOME OF WAYFARING SOULS.
He documents the tale of three detectives trapped in their offices. In the due course of time, they escaped from their offices, only do discover they were still trapped in what could loosely be considered a larger office building, held hostage by an unscrupulous mob boss named Mobster Kingpin. MK wets his bill in just about everything, liquor bootlegging, laundering, embezzling treasure concealed in stone busts, prostitution outfits orchestrated by his Madame accomplice along with sinister urban mural rackets. Additionally, MK guards the MEGATON KEY required by the sleuths to exit to the REAL CITY STREETS which are in dire need of their sleuthing services!
The detectives were able to escape their offices by accomplishing various feats both inside their offices, and on the IMAGINARY CITY STREETS, a realm accessible in ways twofold: Through A) electrically-powered WINDOW PORTALS, and B) alcohol-fueled spells of IMAGINATION from within the safety of a small FORT.
The detectives additionally advanced their situation by forming alliances with various KINGDOMS residing on the flip-side of the IMAGINARY UNIVERSE. Problem Sleuth befriended ELVES, Pickle Inspector befriended WEASELS, Ace Dick befriended HOGS, and unfortunately, Mobster Kingpin made an ally as well in CLOWNS. Each aided his ally in its struggle against its warring party and received boons for their efforts. Eventually, Problem Sleuth used his heightened DIPLOMATIC ABILITIES to resolve all disputes among the KINGDOMS, thus winning him favor with the WEASEL KING.
Through the boons of their respective efforts, the sleuths gained a mysterious form of cognizance regarding their FEMALE ALTER EGOS. PS cognized awareness of Hysterical Dame, PI cognized Nervous Broad, and of course, AD merely cognized himself for lack of IMAGINATION. These ladies were revealed to be trapped in a DOLL HOUSE in MK's office, a room which he himself was proven to be trapped in as well, only freeing himself upon receiving his boon from the CLOWNS. The females had to overcome their prison as well as their DIMINUTIVE SIZES by accomplishing various feats within their rooms, utilizing SIZE ALTERING PORTALS to and from the IMAGINARY UNIVERSE involving a MUSIC BOX, a STOREFRONT, a MIRROR, a MANHOLE, and a JACUZZI.
Meanwhile, the sleuths engaged in battle with various DEMONS in the IMAGINARY UNIVERSE, gradually increasing their skill levels and adding to their repertoires of BATTLE TECHNIQUES and COMBAT OPERANDI. At one point, Ace Dick brewed a batch of CANDY CORN LIQUOR. The resulting explosion from the volatile concoction is ultimately what freed them from their offices. (For him, by blowing a hole in his front wall. For PS, by triggering an event which caused the OBOE to be dislodged from the back doors.) Later, Pickle Inspector drank the CANDY CORN LIQUOR to max out his IMAGINATION gauge, giving him tremendous powers in the IMAGINARY UNIVERSE.
His powers lead to these consequences.
A) Splitting himself into 8 clones.
B) One of those clones turning into a monster which killed most of the clones, and was then shot by...
C) One which summoned a CANDY MECHA, and then later killed by the "female" AD in the DOLL HOUSE.
D) One rising into the sky and becoming GODHEAD PICKLE INSPECTOR.
E) One using ABSTRACTED THOUGHT, allowing the real PI to function in reality, while the imaginary ones remain.
F) The final remaining one using TEMPORAL REPLICSIMILE, splitting himself in two. One disappearing into the PAST (PPI) and the other into the FUTURE (FPI).
Also meanwhile, Ace Dick (the original one) found the CONTROL ROOM containing a complicated PUZZLE and a CODE MACHINE. First, he tried jumping out of his SIDEWAYS WINDOW, fell through the IMAGINARY UNIVERSE sideways, and died. In taking a step back, he used the CODE MACHINE to skip ahead to a point in the game where the complicated PUZZLE was solved. (It was later determined that it was Past Pickle Inspector who went back in time to solve this puzzle, and then died.) Upon solving the puzzle, a hatch opened, allowing him to travel to the IMAGINARY UNIVERSE to collect his boon from the HOGS.
A little later, Problem Sleuth found the CONTROL ROOM too. He used the CODE MACHINE to return to an earlier state in the game, to the moment before Ace Dick jumped out the SIDEWAYS WINDOW. This time, AD was able to jump into the STOREFRONT before falling to his death. He emerged from Hysterical Dame's MUSIC BOX, causing him to be VERY SMALL. He eventually came to be normal-sized by using the various SIZE ALTERING PORTALS.
This is how there came to be three Ace Dicks.
Furthermore, by this point, there were two Pickle Inspectors: the original real one (PI), and his super-powered imaginary form in the future (FPI).
After PS used the CODE MACHINE to create the third AD, he then jumped through the UPSIDE-DOWN WINDOW with the PARACHUTE to fall through the sky of the IMAGINARY UNIVERSE, past the SLEAZY BROTHEL IN THE SKY, landing in the WEASEL KING'S palace. This is how he came to be charged with diplomatically resolving tensions among the FOUR KINGDOMS. However, he was only successful upon looking up a CHEAT CODE on GAMEFAQS, and printing it out. The PRINTOUT was generated in the ALCHEMY ROOM, which PI then took and used with the CODE MACHINE to skip ahead to the SUCCESSFUL POLITICAL NEGOTIATION. As a boon, PS received a great deal of AMMUNITION, ELF TEARS, WEASEL SNOT, HOG SLOP, PIE FILLING, and the loyalty of the WEASEL KING, and was returned to reality. He then collaborated with the other ADs to fit the SKULLS of the sleuths previously slain into the slots to unlock the DOUBLE DOORS.
In the ALCHEMY ROOM, PI also printed out a recipe for 5 ALARM HOT SAUCE, which involved a CHIPOTLE PEPPER, a rare item which proved to be found beneath AD's HAT. One of the ADs prepared the concoction in the HOT SAUCE STILL and waited for it to mature.
Upon freeing themselves from the DOLL HOUSE, HD, NB and "female" AD encountered MK, who'd just returned to his office. This sparked a fierce battle, whereby the heroines dealt damage to MK by raising his BLOOD SUGAR and using powerful attacks such as their CHARM BREAK! and MURDER FLUX! techniques. Power for these attacks was supplied when damage was taken by their counterparts. In the meantime, PS and the other two ADs were climbing the levels to MK's office, fighting monsters along the way. Damage they took fueled the females' attacks, and vice versa.
NB's MURDER FLUX was maxed out when PI was fooling around with windows in the CONTROL ROOM. He dropped one window through its own corresponding window portal, in spite of warnings from the HONEYBEE PROFESSOR. The reaction triggered a massive explosion, killing PI and the PROFESSOR. PI met with DEATH for TEA. The PROFESSOR pollinated the floral/fractal-based AFTERLIFE, while GPI fondly regarded it. After her attack, MK pushed NB through his office window. She fell through the sky in a nervous manner for some time until FPI appeared from the past and caught her.
In the course of the battle with MK, AD was killed in a suicide maneuver. He met PI and DEATH in the AFTERLIFE. Together, they eventually bested DEATH in a series of sudoko-based challenges to return to life. Pickle Inspector would bring a tear to DEATH'S eye by completing the LABRYNTHINE SUDOCUBE COMPREHSENSILE.
The earlier window explosion caused by PI was so massive, it caused a city-wide blackout in the IMAGINARY UNIVERSE. The darkness triggered the release of the terrible DEMON called FLUTHLU, the final adversary PS would face at the top of the tower, which physically corresponded with the imaginary TOWER OF SYNDETIC ASCENSION connecting both sides of the universe. FLUTHLU would climb that tower and emerge through the DEATH STAR WINDOW. PS would easily kill FLUTHLU with his TRUSTY KNIVES attack.
On the way up, one of the ADs was attacked by a ZOMBIE HIRED MUSCLE (who would later prove to be a hero) and became ZOMBIE ACE DICK. ZAD snuck by FLUTHLU to discover the giant BOWEN STILLSON DOGG bust blocking MK's office door.
Meanwhile, HD killed MK with KISS OF DEATH. However, MK snuck out of the AFTERLIFE while DEATH was distracted by PI and AD. MK revived himself with INSULIN SHOT, and knocked HD out cold. He then built a FORT out of his desk, drank some liquor, and retreated into the IMAGINARY UNIVERSE.
Once the 5 ALARM HOT SAUCE was finished, the explosion destroyed the BOWEN STILLSON DOGG, allowing PS into MK's office, to find MK in his fort.
The other AD drank the 5 ALARM HOT SAUCE and became a very strong FIESTA ACE DICK.
When FAD inverted the universe by flipping a window, this allowed MK to descend into demonhood to become DEMONHEAD MOBSTER KINPIN, MK's final form. PS, FAD and ZAD went through the office and upstairs to the deck of MK's imaginary pirate ship, the CHICAGO OVERCOAT. FAD had to destroy/dislodge a series of busts along the way, including a SNOOP BUST which he tragically sent into the sky never to be seen again.
PS flipped the ship's STEERING WHEEL to invert the universe again to begin waging battle. PI and AD, having bested Death, returned to the ship. FPI conjured CANDY ARMOR for the party, which was quickly negated by DMK's powerful attacks. The sleuth party countered with a series of their own attacks, raising DMK's BLOOD SUGAR and dealing damage by summoning the WEASEL KING, conjuring a JAWBREAKER SKYLIGHT BOMB, and invoking a COMB RAVE to execute a ridiculously powerful TRIPLE TRUFFLE SHUFFLE. DMK's first face was defeated, only to reveal DMK's second face with two fully revived health meters.
To counter this, the sleuth party invoked their GAMBIT SCHEMAS to enhance their offensive and defensive attributes.
Meanwhile, HD and NB find themselves trapped in the SLEAZY BROTHEL IN THE SKY, where they pursue a mission to best MADAME MUREL, MK's female counterpart and brothel matron, and plug in a GIANT FAN for some reason.
Also, while DMK's WEAKSPOT was exposed, AD foolishly got on top of DMK's HAT. (The AD who was at one point the "female" AD but now ironically functions as the "normal" AD.) DEATH met him on top of the HAT and then challenged him to a friendly game of LIFE, which brings us to the present moment.
It's all so simple you wonder why you even bothered to ask.
Not that it's particularly relevant, but remember I'm not actually working on the next update in the meantime. I wrote all this stuff almost a year ago. Just spacing out the content while I get more stuff done. Feels odd to be pulling content off a dusty shelf like this instead of making it all on the fly at breakneck speed, with my keen finger GLUED to the PULSE of the fandom and "the cyber zeitgeist". So if you read a joke and go, pff, that was SO last year, that's why. But really, the joke is on you, because cracking wise about DeviantArt weeaboo culture I believe was en vogue in 2007, so in summary, eat it nerds. Actually it's amazing how DA still seems to be running about as strong as ever on that front. It will be our cultural touchstone for crude anime while we are all being lowered into our sad lonely graves.
Ok, I lost track of what I was actually talking about, so see you next week.
Meant to put this here sooner along with the updates, but still been tweaking some server stuff. Caliborn's self insert guy is a nod to some classic fan art from 4 years ago, which to my memory was the first speculative drawing of LE before he was introduced. (Actually I guess two people made it? Didn't know, but thanks to both of them for the inspiration.) Also definitely wanna point out I'm not making fun of that art, which I think is a good drawing. I do remember once upon a time thinking it was pretty funny to imagine LE as a cool anime guy though. So maybe that idea stuck with me all these years and led to the inspiration for this ridiculous arc? Who knows how inspiration really works. Anyway it's all in good fun, and I still sometimes try to do the "reader input influencing story outcomes" in little ways like this to keep that part of MSPA alive, even long after the fanbase got too big to do it directly through commands.
Or maybe, since Halloween is coming up, I should call it The Itinerscary. Especially because we may be in store for some spoooooky server crashes with these first few update dumps. Eep, I'm gettin the willies here!
One page today to test the waters (or uh, yesterday). When that's done and the coast is clear (it won't be), I'll post a bunch of pages on the 17th and 18th (oops, now the 18th and 19th). Then there will be nothing until 10/25. And then nothing until 11/1, at which point regular updates will begin again, according to an update schedule which I will share with you on that day. Then you will know which precise pattern of dates you will need to handcuff yourself to a computer and plug in your custom keyboard that only has a single giant F5 key.
It would seem against my better judgment, or really my ability to control in any way whatsoever, a fair amount of hype has been brewing for the return of Homestuck. People are jacked up. They are doing little dances in places they cannot be seen. They are writhing in kiddie pools of pins and needles for the return of all their favorite fantasy children. "John." "Karkat." And more. So it's hard to avoid finding it just a LITTLE funny that after a year-long drought, hopping back in the saddle means we will have to wade through 50 pages of completely atrocious garbage before anything happens. It's funny how life works out sometimes. Funnier than a clown tickling a horse. Sometimes you pause your famous webcomic for a year, and then your grand reopening is a lot of bad anime. On such occasions, when life hands you those kooky lemons, there is really only one thing you can say.
Let's see if I can "tldr" a few things up top, since this news item might begin to nose dive dramatically through the vertical space of this web layout. Am I finished HS yet? Um, nope. But I think enough is probably enough on the site's indefinite period of hibernation, so it's likely I will just start posting some stuff I have anyway, starting next month. Either mid or late October, let's say.
I said it would be a long pause, didn't I? Let's face it, a gigapause is just one big ass pause. It contains the smaller word "giga", which, in addition to literally meaning "one billion", you will find to be the root of the word "gigantic", which as we all know, means super huge. This intriguing fact reminds us that in our culture of words, we hold the number one billion as the indivisible quantum of general bigness, as a matter of principal. Food for thought!
We're coming up on almost a year since I paused. So that means I got like, SO much done on the story, right? Wow, no. Innumerable unspecified problems happened which badly prevented this from being true. I'd estimate out of those 12 months, I maybe squeezed in a grand total of 3 months worth of work on HS in there. Kinda dribbled across the year in the most frustrating way possible. So, I'm just gonna cry uncle on this dogshit pause and start posting stuff, but probably in a regimented way so I don't blow through everything I have too fast, thus giving me some time to work on the rest.
Back at the onset of the pause, I said I'd just post everything at once. (I was oversimplifying. I had always intended to stagger the final content to whatever extent, so as not to destroy the server.) But also that "post everything at once" idea was predicated on actually sorta... having it all done. Which as I have already culpa'd, is not the case. So I'm improvising at this point. I'll (probably) relaunch the story next month, come up with some kind of update schedule, and we'll see how it goes.
What have I been doing all year? Let's chalk it up to, in this order of relevance, a swirling multitude of Daunting Life Challenges, a flurry of accidental weird adventures causing me to thrash wildly across the nation, and the escalating complexities of running a business while tending to peripheral creative projects, not the least of which has been overseeing the development of an expensive video game. Actually, all things considered, I'm surprised at how much I actually HAVE gotten done this year. It just happens that "making a ton of HS pages" isn't one of those things.
What were the problems? What were the adventures? Sorry, nothing to see here. Me and the General Public just aren't that tight, and wild sob stories ain't my bag (unless they pertain to visits to the Olive Garden). Well, maybe I'll mention some things some day. But definitely nowhere in the proximity of a virtual stage adjacent to the sphere of rhetoric which could conceivably be construed as a series of excuses for why a mammoth load of free entertainment hasn't been finished yet. Did you follow that? Look over there. (When you look back at me, I am slowly rolling into a pile of trash.)
The good news is, I'm still all about horses. Did you know that about me? It's true as shit. Horses; wow. Pretty good weird big animals? Or pretty GREAT weird big animals??
What else should I say here. Oh.
We've also been chipping away at upgrading the server over the last year. It's been surprisingly complicated and slow-going. Actually, prior to the pause, it was one of the most difficult things about updating, having an insufficient server that was GUARANTEED to crash every time I posted something. This was even after many, many upgrades over the years. It gets a little demoralizing trying to make tons of cartoons every day for a small nation of lunatics when the server constantly struggles to keep up with the ever-burgeoning readership, no matter how much I upgraded it. This was one of the (lots of) factors which contributed to me finally just saying, fuck it, time to pause.
Hopefully it can handle it now, but guess we'll see. It all runs on fancy clouds and such now. Which has been tricky to configure for such a complicated site utterly dependent on all the garbage ass-backwards code I've written over the years. Maybe... maybe once I start updating again, nobody will notice?? Man, wouldn't that be sweet. It will just be me and like a cozy little clique of 50 randos and 10 web bots, just like the old days. We'll bring this sucker home together, then hit up the local bargain Italian restaurant to celebrate. (Then a horse nuzzles me out of my sleepy dream fantasy, and the hammock flips over and dumps my screaming body on to the lawn.)
Feels a little odd even TALKING about revving up this monstrosity again. It's been pretty serene on the web these days. I've been reluctant to even drop a pebble into the pristine glass-like state of the fandom, before being good and damn well ready to. Why wake the beast prematurely? We'll enjoy more than our share of blistering pandemonium when all is said and done. We are slowly building to a particular moment I foresee on the horizon. It's not just characterized by the end of the story, though that should be a factor. It's more than that. Things I have planned, and some other things we'll say may be fortuitously aligned. Invisible pieces of a heinous machine all snapping together, mechanically congealing with a grim sense of purpose. I'm tentatively branding to this moment as The Rapture, and it will be more than you can bear. More than anyone can. And everyone won't.
Happy 4/13, a.k.a. 5 years of Homestuck being a thing! Since I know how much you like things, to celebrate I thought I would show you another thing that's been in the works for a while.
It's a new webcomic based on Homestuck, called Paradox Space! Have a look. That is all I will say about it here. But if you would like to know what the heck this ACTUALLY IS, here is a permalink to the news post where I talk about such matters.