Maimed Clown. Undead Cat. Impaled Crow. Omnipotent Dog. These four shall be held in reverence for the eternity they serve to cut short.
Sprites are a game construct provided to all players of Sburb, intended to give the player a Spirit Advisor
in the form of someone/something they know and trust. They are initially generated as a formless glowing orb known as the Kernelsprite, and are given form by the player; this is achieved by "prototyping" an object, or putting an object into the sprite, at which point the sprite takes on the form, attributes, powers and (if it is/was alive) mind and personality of the object.
Every sprite can be prototyped twice, which adds the properties of the second object onto the sprite and, if the second object is/was alive, overwrites the personality of the first object with that of the second. Prototyping twice is optional and can be done both before and after entry into the Medium, but a sprite must
be prototyped at least once before entering if the session is to be successful. Whenever a prototyped sprite enters the Medium, its properties are transferred into the "prototyping" towers of Prospit and Derse
, which shares the properties among the game's mooks
and the Requisite Royal Regalia
wielded by the White and Black Kings and Queensnote
. Additionally, the prototyping allows the Skaia Battlefield to develop, evolve and become ready to bear the universe the players are destined to create. As such, if there are no pre-entry prototypings, the game becomes Unwinnable
All the sprites are examples of:
- Back from the Dead: A sprite uses the form and memories of a deceased individual to create a trustworthy companion for its owner. Based off the ultimate fate of Jadesprite, it seems that prototyping a corpse as sprite actually brings it back to life, as Jadesprite serves as a living dream self for Jade's ascension to God Tier.
- Color-Coded Characters: Their colors are close to that of their player's. Later, we find out that their colors are the same that each player's corresponding Post-Scratch counterpart uses. The sole exceptions are Nannasprite, whose associated shade of blue is darker than Jane's (outside of text color), and Jaspersprite, who is slightly purpler than Roxy.
- Crutch Character: Sprites protect a young, inexperienced player from harm when they first enter the game, but a player must eventually leave them behind. It is possible to bring them back later, but as equals rather than betters. And it seems in normal sessions they ultimately die as well.
- Exposition Fairy: To a limited extent. It seems like this is a role they share with a land's Consorts in a normal session, but the trolls largely take over the exposition role by Acts 4 & 5.
- Nannasprite and Jaspersprite introduce John and Rose to their myth arcs early on.
- Davesprite subverts the trope. He doesn't say much about Dave's arc to him on camera and actually goes and takes care of some of it himself behind the scenes when it doesn't look like Dave is going to.
- Jadesprite averts it entirely by being completely useless; Tavrisprite averts it by being Driven to Suicide immediately.
- Metamorphosis: All kernelsprites can be prototyped twice. The first time sets a form, and the second melds new traits into the sprite. As mentioned above, prototypings done before entry also applies to the monarchs and, in Mix-and-Match Critters form, to the imps and other monsters of the game.
- Mon: Type 2, at least until no longer needed as a Crutch Character. Once a player climbs their echeladder, they get a medallion which can be used to summon them, and the by time characters are ready for God Tier, they wander off and fade into the background, having served their purpose as a guide.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: The powers of a kernelsprite are ill-defined, but one thing they seem to universally have is a beam attack, often augmented by summoned objects. A few have displayed other random powers at opportune times. Nannasprite can act as The Medic, Jaspersprite has Tentacle Ropes, and Davesprite ...can deface posters from a distance (though Nanna did something similar with her beams).
- Out of Focus: You can count the appearances of sprites in later acts on one hand and have fingers left over. Nannasprite is the only one who gets any significant amount of screentime.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: They are game constructs rather than proper ghosts (except for the ones who were ghosts to start with). It's notable that they show more properties of traditional ghosts than actual ghosts in the setting do.
- Spirit Advisor: They explain what the kids must do on their journey...
Pre Scratch Human Session Sprites
John Egbert's sprite. Rose Tier-1 prototyped it with a giant maimed harlequin doll. After entering, the Harlequinsprite accidentally Tier-2 prototyped itself by knocking over the urn containing the ashes of Nanna
, John's grandmother who was killed thirteen years earlier in the meteor collision which brought John to Earth. While certainly wise and helpful, she does strongly lean toward pranking everyone and everything
incarnation is Jane Crocker
- Cool Old Lady
- Eye Beams: A Shale Imp winds up on the wrong end of this when trying to steal cookies. They can also be used to levitate objects, heal people and write.
- Familiar: She's obviously tied to John, and gives him advice and aids him in combat. She fits the role of one, at least, the other Sprites are similar in nature.
- Fan Nickname: "Nannaquin," after the music theme of the same name.
- Healing Hands: She has minor versions of her Post-Scratch Self's powers, as do all the other parents. In this case, Life powers.
- The Hyena: HOOOOOOOOOOOO HOO HOO HOO!
- Leitmotif: Nannaquin.
- Like Brother and Sister: Betty Crocker tells Nana that she and Grandpa were supposed to get married but it's not clear if they ever felt like anything other than siblings.
- However, Betty Crocker's words make sense in a way after Nanna's death, when Nanna and Grandpa are mixed Ectobiologically, creating John and Jade.
- Mission Control: For John, after he gets past the first gate.
- Mrs. Exposition: She finally explains to us what the eff was going on after the house got hit by a meteor and transported to a different dimension.
- My Future Self and Me: With the arrival of the battleship, Jane and Nanna are the only Sburb player(s) to have both of their pre/post-scratch incarnations alive in the same universe simultaneously.
- Never Mess with Granny: Despite being old, dead, and ghostly, she's pretty badass.
- Posthumous Character: For Act 1 and most of Act 2.
- The Prankster: Gets the best of John despite how you cannot hope to defeat him in a prank-off. He is simply the best there is.
- Put on a Bus: When John lost her summoning pendent, she mostly lost any ability to appear in the story outside of increasingly-rare cuts to what's happening at his house; and unlike some of the other sprites, she has no way to talk remotely. She doesn't seem to mind, though.
- She is finally out of the house and is shown alongside the other sprites after Jake awakens to his page of Hope powers.
- Strong Family Resemblance: When she was younger, she looked a hell of a lot like Jade with different glasses and hairstyle. It's implied that John and Jade take after her equally, with Jade leaning towards her father and John his mother, though the sprites leave this up to interpretation.
- Summon Magic She could summon ovens to fire energy beams and streams of cookies and those spring-snake things that pop out of novelty joke cans.
- Supreme Chef: At least John seems to love her home cooking, and she has his Dad's love of random baking.
- Trickster Mentor: Being prototyped with a harlequin doll will do that to you, but considering her upbringing and ownership of a joke shop prior to her death, she may well have been like that even without the harlequin doll's influence!
- You Can't Fight Fate: She claims that no matter what John and his friends do, the world will end. At this point, it already has.
Rose Lalonde's sprite, and the only sprite double-prototyped before a player's entry. It was prototyped with the taxidermied corpse of Jaspers, her long-dead cat from childhood, and the eldritch princess doll Rose made from one of Mom's passive-aggressive gifts. He doesn't know much, because he's a cat
During his time as a cat, he disappeared from Rose's life due to Roxy's fooling around with her appearifier. She then adopted him, naming him Frigglish after one of her mother's wizard characters. She was very attached to him, until she accidentally killed him during an appearifier experiment.
- Animalistic Abomination: Courtesy of being tier 2-prototyped with an eldritch princess doll.
- Cat Smile: Not only does Jaspers have a cat face, the :3 shows up in his Spritelogs.
- Chekhov's Boomerang: Turns out his disappearance meant he traveled to the Post-Scratch Universe, where he spent time with Roxy, until he died in an accident involving a book, a teleporter, a suspicious perfectly white cat, and a misguided notion to prove something.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Being just a cat and having all that Sprite knowledge dumped on him makes him especially hard to understand.
- Foregone Conclusion: Between his Meaningful Rename, the fact that he was a corpse when he returned to the Beta timeline, and Roxy's freakout over the successful Appearification of the unabridged Sassacre's, his demise could be seen coming a mile off.
- Freudian Couch: Young Rose, being a fan of psychiatry, often held psychoanalysis sessions with Jaspers while he was alive.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Jaspersprite is one of the tallest kernelsprites shown, following only Becsprite when he trails his long ghost tail behind him. Compared him to Rose here.
- Leitmotif: The aptly-named Chorale for Jaspers, though it was bootstrapped into being one of Rose's themes.
- Meaningful Funeral: Despite what Rose thinks, her mother's elaborate ways of mourning the deceased Jaspers were genuine.
- Meaningful Rename: Roxy names him Frigglish, after a wizard character in her mother's book series. Said wizard got crushed by a giant book.
- Mentor Mascot: Subverted. Jaspers was Rose's pet first and doesn't consider it his place to tell her what to do, i.e. to follow her quest, and when he does suggest things to her, he's too childlike to explain it properly. This is a factor in why she goes Off the Rails.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: After being prototyped with the Eldritch Princess, he gains tentacles while retaining a cat face.
- Morality Pet: For Rose. He's one of the few people she openly shows warmth towards. When she leaves him behind, it's a subtle but important step onto the path which leads her to becoming a pawn of Doc Scratch and the Horrorterrors.
- Likewise with Roxy, who immediately freaks out when he dies.
- Posthumous Character: For the first three acts, at least.
- Put on a Bus: Rose gave him her old laptop and let him go off and chat with Nepeta to his heart's content.
- The Bus Came Back: We get to see one of those conversations near the end of Act 5. Then afterwards he was taken with Rose's land by Jade. He appears in the Post-Scratch Universe in Act 6, taken from before he became a sprite and now his sprite form has been seen on the battleship with John and Jade.
- The Bus Came Back again when it turned out he only went and stowed away on LOWAS when John played the Breeze and as a result is unaffected by the Cosmic Retcon just like Roxy (and Rose's corpse). He shows up to comfort Roxy at Rose's funeral, showing that he did indeed care about Roxy.
- Replacement Scrappy: In Universe usage; he was never as fond of Roxy as he was of Rose, though he grew to love her in time.
- Talking Animal: After being prototyped.
- Rose also reveals that non-sprite Jaspers told her a "stunning SECRET" just before he disappeared. Then subverted when the "stunning SECRET" was later revealed to be "MEOW", and doubly subverted when said "MEOW" unlocked strings of mismatched letters M, E, O, and W in Rose's subconscious that connect with the base pairs G, C, A, and T. When the combination of pairs is spliced into another creature's DNA, it will give them powers just short of a GOD.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Ends up being prototyped with Rose's Kernelsprite, which in turn is then prototyped with Rose's Eldritch Princess doll, creating Eldritch Princess Jaspers.
- Wingding Eyes: As a corpse.
Davesprite/Alternate Future Dave
Dave Strider's sprite. In one of her fits of dream-cloudcuckoolandery, Jade Tier-1 prototyped with a recently-slain crow accidentally impaled with a katana. Shortly after Dave's entry, another Dave from a Bad Future
travelled back in time to cause things to happen properly, and then Tier-2 prototyped himself. Davesprite is obviously quite similar to Dave in personality, but having spent four months dealing with the deaths of his friends in his Bad Future
made him slightly more emotional than Dave.
In the Bad Future
whence he came, future-Dave had Tier-2 prototyped Lil Cal instead, an act he perpetually regretted
. In the alpha reality, Dave was
about to do that, but the arrival of future-Dave prevented that from happening.
- Always Someone Better: If you thought the original Dave had self-esteem issues, Davesprite is this for himself. Davesprite can't help but compare himself to the "real" Dave.
DAVESPRITE: nobody really deserves bird dave as a boyfriend or a friend or anything its like getting one of the janky daves from the bargain bin at the dave depot
DAVESPRITE: or one of the marked down daves the day after national dave day
DAVESPRITE: its like somebody taxedermized your dave and expected you not to notice
- Alien Blood: He bleeds orange (the same color as his text), maintaining his mostly monochrome look just like Jadesprite cries green tears. Oddly, despite missing a wing, this blood is absent at the site where he lost it to Jack.
- Cloning Blues/Clones Are People Too: Zigzagged. On the one hand, he does a lot of stuff independently of Alpha Dave, the other characters treat him as a person, and Jade even dates him for a while. On the other hand, the everyone including Davesprite still tend to think of Alpha Dave as the "real" Dave and Davesprite as the knock-off.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Here. No pun intended.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Future!Dave is already awesomely Bad Ass in his own right, but gains some spiffy new abilities after merging with his present self's kernelsprite.
- Informed Ability: That he demonstrates all of once, off panel where no member of the cast could see.
- Fan Nickname: ExCaliBird.
- Future Badass
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: His default state as a result of being prototyped with the impaled crow.
- Insistent Terminology: He gets quite peeved if you imply he's not the real Dave. At first, anyway.
- Leitmotif: Davesprite.
- Not Quite Dead/Disney Death: A conversation between Dave & Terezi in Act 5 and both feathers and his pendant left at the site of their duel led people to believe that he was killed along with Bro after Jack Noir was prototyped with Bec. However, he shows up later in Act 5 on the Battlefield with a bandaged, bleeding torso and missing a wing. By a year into John and Jade's trip across the "yellow yard", he's completely healed.
- Not So Stoic: If he's genuinely upset at something, it will actually show in his conversations with the other characters. He's far more sincere with his emotions than Alpha Dave.
- Which may have to do with the fact that he just arrived from a Bad Future where his best friend and another good friend died.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: "caw caw motherfuckers"
- Time Travel: Hooo boy.
Tropes which apply specifically to Calsprite:
Jade Harley's sprite, and the source of both the problems facing the kids and trolls and
one of their solutions to the problems. While Jade was distracted trying to enter the Medium, Becquerel Tier-1 prototyped himself into the sprite, unintentionally giving Jack Noir and all the Underlings
access to his Reality Warper
powers. After entry, Jade Tier-2 prototyped her deceased dream self's taxidermied body, but it initially backfired - the revived Jadesprite was thoroughly distraught about being pulled out of the afterlife and proved to be little more than a blubbering goddamn pansy
Later, when Jade ascended to the God Tiers
, she effectively merged with Jadesprite
, gaining all of her powers and knowledge. See Jade's section here
for tropes, as Jadesprite and Jade are virtually one and the same. For tropes applying specifically to Becsprite, see Becquerel's section here
Troll Session Sprites
With the exception of Aradia, all of the trolls Tier-1 prototyped their sprites with the recently-slain corpses of their lusi, their guardians
prior to entry and did not Tier-2 prototype. For tropes relating to the Lususprites, see the Lusi section here
Alone amongst the trolls, Aradia Megido did not prototype her lusus, as its corpse was unavailable. Instead, she Tier-1 prototyped her sprite with the desecrated head of the blue Frog Temple, an act which proved critical to the trolls' success. After entering, she tier-2 prototyped it with her own ghost, thus reviving herself and giving herself access to all the knowledge sprites possess (among other things
); to better facilitate playing the game, she later possessed an Aradiabot constructed by Equius. When Aradia ascended to the God Tiers
, Aradiasprite "died" and her robot body exploded as her consciousness was transferred to her new fully-alive God Tier body.
For tropes relating to Aradiasprite, please see Aradia's section here
Post Scratch Human Session Sprites
Jane Crocker's sprite. Prototyped post-entry like all the other Kernelsprites of the B2 universe, it's the product of Gamzee prototyping the corpses of Tavros
. They were prototyped at the same time, so Tier-1 and Tier-2 are indistinct. It exploded shortly after its creation, splitting itself back into Vriska and Tavros in the afterlife.
- Ambiguous Gender: Referred to as it here on this page not out of any offense to people of complicated gender, but because it was a Body Horror monstrosity with no distinct gender.
- Body Horror: To the point it immediately committed suicide.
- Came Back Wrong: So wrong it exploded immediately.
- Deconstruction: Of the fusion Davesprite and Jadesprite went through. And unlike Jadesprite, it can self terminate.
- Driven to Suicide: It immediately exploded.
- Fandom Nod: The name Tavris is a reference to the Portmanteau Couple Name some use for the ship of Vriska/Tavros (mostly because Vrisros doesn't roll off the tongue easily). Idiosyncratic Ship Naming is more common however.
- Irony\Call Back: That Vriska herself would become a sprite prototyped from the remains of a dead troll after subjecting Aradia to that same fate. She doesn't enjoy it one bit.
- Mind Hive: Sort of. Tavris is a fusion of Tavros and Vriska, but it has an irreconcilable personality because of that.
- Take That, Audience!: Fans had long clamoured for Vriska and Tavros's revival. This method of revival was... unanticipated to say the least.
- Of course, they returned to being semi-important characters again, so said fans sort of half-got what they wanted.
- Two Trolls One Body
- Wanton Cruelty to the Common Comma: "I h8te, the way, i FALTERINGLY, sPEAK OUT, my jum8led, tHOUGHTS"
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Existed for literally all of 3 panels before exploding.
Jake English's sprite. He's presumably the product of Gamzee prototyping the corpses of Eridan
. Ordering of prototype is unknown, so Tier-1 and Tier-2 are indistinct.
Roxy Lalonde's sprite. She's presumably the product of Gamzee prototyping the corpses of Feferi
. Ordering of prototype is unknown, so Tier-1 and Tier-2 are indistinct.
- Body Horror: Definitely an Aversion of Tavrisprite's precedent.
- Call Back: As the sprite of the first Lalonde was prototyped from a cat and a "princess" doll with Cosmic Horror "improvements", so the sprite of the second is prototyped from the trolls who are most like those two components - a cat-themed troll, and a sea-themed princess troll who regularly communed with the Emissary to the Horrorterrors.
- Cute Mute: Only communicates with emoticons (onscreen). Is also the combination of Nepeta and Feferi. Dear, sweet precious Fefeta.
- Driven to Suicide: Via Logic Bomb. In the Trickster sequence, she exploded after being drawn into an apologetic conflict between Arquiusprite (apologetic toward the Nepeta half) and Erisolsprite (apologetic toward the Feferi half).
- Fandom Nod: Averted, since Feferi/Nepeta isn't a popular pairing, being a Crack Pairing at best due to both of them being Those Two Guys.
- Fashionable Asymmetry
- Flat Character: Probably because she never spoke or did anything other than float onscreen (unless you count her making faces in chatlogs.)
- Informed Attribute: Was very talkative, according to Roxy, but used only emoticons onscreen.
- Killed Off for Real: By her confusion and emotional trauma multiplied by Arquius's and Erisol's arguments over each other's apologies for wrongs against each of her components. The Irony of this is that in doing so, they commit the same crimes they're apologizing for: Eridan has once again killed Feferi, and Equius has once again failed to protect Nepeta.
- Mind Hive: Of the same nature as the other troll-based sprites, and like Erisolsprite, their personality combination was stable. Unlike Erisolsprite, though, the stability was no surprise, as Nepeta and Feferi have had no on-screen interaction, and were probably the "nicest" and least self-centred of the trolls.
- Satellite Character: Really, all you know about Fefetasprite is through what other characters say about her!
- Two Trolls One Body
- Visual Pun: Also a Stealth Pun. She's a catfish!
- The Voiceless: Only communicated through emoticons. She only talked around Roxy, though, as she helped her with her alcohol problems.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Although she lasted much longer than Tavrisprite.
Dirk Strider's sprite, and the product of Gamzee prototyping the corpse of Equius
(notably, behind Dirk's back). Since Gamzee was down to just one corpse at this point, the Tier 2 prototyping stage was left open, and Dirk fulfilled this with Lil' Hal.
- Body Horror: Definitely an aversion of Tavrisprite's precedent, as the two components seem delighted with the result. Lil Hal loves being alive and strong, and Equius enjoys having an insanely powerful computer brain.
- That and AR doesn't have a body to begin with.
- Then played a bit straight when Fefetasprite appears. Lil Hal is terrified of Equius' feelings of guilt over letting Nepeta die. Dirk is unsympathetic, reminding Lil Hal that he wanted to live, and dealing with emotions like guilt is part of life.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Arquiusprite f***ing loves being STRONG, and brags about being ripped almost endlessly in his first real chat with Dirk. He also enjoys being alive!
- Call Back: An inversion. When alive, he designed a blue-blooded robot for a dead troll with red blood that was prototyped with a kernelsprite. Now, thanks to Gamzee's own designs, he's a dead troll with formerly blue (now red) blood prototyped with a red kernelsprite and a robotic pair of shades.
- Censor Box: Lil' Hal drops Cluster F Bombs left and right, but Equius's preference against using such verbage cause a good deal of the text to get censored.
- Comically Missing the Point:
ARQUIUSPRITE: I advise you to talk about your interests
ARQUIUSPRITE: Like dairy
ARQUIUSPRITE: Fine art
ARQUIUSPRITE: And muscles
DIRK: Those are your interests.
ARQUIUSPRITE: Good point
ARQUIUSPRITE: I advise you to talk about my interests
- Fetish: Equius' fetishistic disdain for low bloods mixed with his now red blood.
- Foreshadowing: Shortly before the prototyping, Lil Hal and Dirk get in an argument during which Dirk nearly breaks the AR shades. He relents, leaving them cracked in a familiar way...
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Equius' squeamishness about serious curse words and preference to substitute them with syrupy euphemisms, combined with Hal's utter nonchalance about breaking out the big guns (although he and Dirk aren't outstandingly foul-mouthed by Homestuck standards), produces a distinctive profanity-mixing, self-censoring slurry.
- Irony: The blue blooded troll with a disdain for the low-blooded ends up on the lowest colour in the hemospectrum? Yup, that's irony.
- Which is more fitting given the person he is the sprite for.
- Mind Hive: Averted at first, until Dirk decided to use his Auto-Responder to perform a Tier-2 Prototyping. Equius and Lil Hal.
- Motor Mouth: He is coming off as one in the spritelogs since the amount of text from him outnumbers Dirk's.
- Narcissist: Comes across as this, considering the fact that his first spritelog has him bragging about his muscles and demanding that Dirk look at/touch them.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: His arguing with Erisolsprite causes Fefetasprite to explode out of confusion, which means that, once again, Equius has failed to protect Nepeta.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: It's really noticeable given every 1-2 sentences has a word censored. Yeah, this and Gosh Dang It to Heck! apply to the same character!
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Arquiusprite is the third sprite to have been prototyped with two (mostly) animate beings in non-simultaneous prototypings. Unlike Davesprite and Jadesprite, he is native to the post-scratch session and his first personality wasn't wiped from existence upon the prototyping of the second being.
- Two Beings, One Body: Arquiusprite is prototyped with both Equius and Dirk's Auto-Responder.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Dirk had been trying to prevent Gamzee from prototyping his kernel (by bribing him with orange soda) but, as the Auto Responder said prior to Equiusprite appearing, it was only a matter of time. A few panels later, Gamzee gets the surprise on Dirk by first tier prototyping it behind his back. Dirk goes "Fuck It" and tosses the Auto-Responder in anyway.
- Played straight when the trickster-fied kids come to Dirk to assimilate him. Dirk is about to fight back, but Arquiusprite informs him that he'll never be happy as himself so he should go Trickster instead. Dirk being completely depressed and filled with self-loathing agrees and does it.
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