It’s finally happened. After seven years (exactly) and seven acts, Andrew Hussie has brought Homestuck to an end.
It’s an ending with a sincere, hopeful tone; more characters than I could name without a scoresheet find themselves in a new world, building a new community to replace the destruction that has preceded. It started on the 1901st page of MS Paint Adventures, and wrapped up 8127 pages later, many of them comprising extensive video, music, interaction, or just a mountain of text¹. It’s been meticulously planned (in the blogpost below today’s finish, Hussie notes that the Act Seven animation was storyboarded four years ago and required a year of work).
And the end result is much more than a creation myth about kids in houses (Hussie’s description); it’s beyond my ability to say exactly what it is in the amount of space available to me here. It probably requires an annotated reader’s guide (cf: another dense, heavily-populated, extensively-recursive story that benefits from such) to provide page-by-page, reference-by-reference help to those who aren’t able to devote months of continuous reading and can’t quite remember what happened a thousand or so pages back². I suspect that anybody that’s able to compile such (and it would pretty much have to be the work of a single POV, not an ever-changing wiki) could submit it as a graduate thesis.
This isn’t the end of MS Paint Adventures; it may not even be the end of Homestuck; Hussie notes:
[O]ne more thing. If you’re curious about whether there will be anything resembling an epilogue to this ending, yes, I’ve been thinking about that for some time. It’ll take a while to produce though, whatever specific form it ends up taking. Working on Collide took months, and came right down to the wire. I’ve got more time now though obviously. But that said, I’m not in a huge hurry at this point. Keep an eye out here for developments. There should be plenty of other news in coming months too.
Nor will it ever be the end of the endless side-stories, fanworks, shipping, cosplay, and love that have been a constant for those who have taken Homestuck to heart; multiple internet and IRL subcultures will likely look back to this story as their own foundational myth. It’s been a long time coming, but at long last Hussie can let one of those other ideas out of his brain for a while and the rest of us can start over again from the start. Somewhere in there, reading the binary coding of each page in the correct order, you’ll find all the secrets of creation.
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¹ To provide a single example, since the return from the most recent hiatus on 28 March, Hussie has added 168 pages and 27 minutes of animation.
² Personally, I read approximately the first two years of Homestuck through over the course of about ten days, but then life intervened and I was able to read small chunks only sporadically. Such an extensive story doesn’t reward such an approach, particularly when it’s prone to lengthy asides from what might be deemed the main narrative. I’m pretty much unfamiliar with anything past the introduction of the trolls as actual trolls. I know, I know, that’s when it started getting really good.