Sburb Glitch FAQ
Let me drop the guillotine blade to the neck of the matter. This is not a walkthrough. There are no Sburb walkthroughs.
And no, it's not because of the procedural generation. - Preface
is a Homestuck
fanfiction that is written as if it were a Strategy Guide
, written by a Sburb veteran for Sburb players. The author writes of the many glitches in Sburb, such as the Dummied Out
"Clown" title, the unfortunate case of the temporally unglued pumpkins, the Saccharine Doppelganger
, the undocumented Instant Death Radius
around the prototyping towers... and the elephant in the room, why there are Sburb veterans in the first place.
The problem is not that the game actually does transport you to another dimension
. It's not that dying is everyone's favorite hobby
. It's not even that every single instance of the game destroys a planet and civilisation
. It's that the children who play the game are promised the Ultimate Reward... and it turns out it doesn't work
. Instead, the game kicks the players
into another game of Sburb
, which when won drops them into another, and another...
Although the FAQ itself doesn't dwell on it, much. Because the game is supposed to help you grow up as a person; it just happens to be so bugged that there's not much chance of getting out alive without a guide.
Or a guard, like a Guard of Might
Contains many, many references to the Homestuck
soundtrack, extensive worldbuilding, and a subtle subplot about how the narrator himself is trying to deal with the game. It also managed to spawn an extensive list of fanworks, most of which are on AO3
The work is here
. An associated discussion/roleplay forum is here
and more recently on sburbnetdotorg. Tropes for the latter are here
Tropes in this work:
- Anachronic Order: The table of contents doesn't match up with the actual chapter order, even when you ignore "missing" chapters.
- Antagonist in Mourning: The guide suggests this might be the case after you kill the denizen in a normal game.
- Boss Room: Sunslammer zones implicitly: if you're attacked by a Colossal-class the surrounding area will stop spawning smaller Underlings. Also the last room of a Dungeon, the one lit by Crystamanthequins.
- But Thou Must:
[QUESTION] When I try to come near a consort village, they come out and attack me!
[...] Just let them surround you and wait a bit until a consort with a fake beard comes out. It will calm down the crowd and then announce that you are the Chosen One. Then it will ask you to confirm if you're the Chosen One. If you say "no", it will just keep asking "are you sure?" until you say yes. After this, the consorts will be pacified into a normal village.
- FAQ Part 3
- Class and Level System
- Coming-of-Age Story: The game appears to be trying to invoke one of these, with all its focus on "Maturity" and gradually taking away lifelines like your parents and your sprite, and major boss battles that are really just emotional trials. It somewhat missed the mark.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Where do we start?
- Confusion Fu: Dream players, by necessity; their major power revolves around not doing the same thing twice.
- Cooldown Hug: Present and apparently very useful in many situations, including berserk players, PTSD and Corruption.
- The Corruption: Comes from both Others (aka the Horrorterrors) and Angels. They usually cancel out. Tends to result in destroying things vital to the session, player killings, and stories that haunt the survivor forever.
- Crapsack World: The two basic rules the author obeys when adding features to the universe are "Sburb is buggy" and "Sburb is sadistic."
- Cutscene Boss: Denizens are not meant to be "fought". Any further explanation would be a spoiler.
- Also the Nightmare Heir, who is closer to being an extended verbal and emotional Quicktime Event than a boss battle.
- Dark World: The Underworld of each Land, an inside-out Hollow Earth occupied by Angels and containing a "FAKE" version of your own house.
- Dead Character Walking: High level Doom characters get access to an ability called [Even in Death], which activates when they are about to die and freezes the script that kills them when they hit zero health. As a result the player keeps running around even though they are technically 'dead'. They will even auto-ascend upon touching their crypt slab while in zombie mode.
- Dead Fic: The eponymous fic and the forum haven't really been posted on for months, the former due to several reasons including the Admin going missing.
- Death World: Any Land of Angels, Glog'oht, or Pumpkins.
- Ditto Fighter: The Aspect of Mist can copy abilities from the session's other players, and even disguise the user (almost) perfectly as those players.
- Don't Think. Feel: Several abilities don't work if you try to force them to occur, but work fine if you just go with the flow of whatever's happening.
- Easter Egg: The Skaian Magicant, a.k.a. "That basement with the record player". Of course, as an area that can connect other areas and in which enemies can't spawn it actually turns out to be pretty important in many sessions.
- Elemental Powers: Some of the new aspects, and added to some of the old ones.
- Endless Game: The game will never stop.
- Escort Mission: Inverted with Miss Taylor, an NPC who can be made to follow you around but is completely defenseless. G Gt G notes that Guards and similar classes get massive bonuses for "defending" someone, leading him to the following conclusion:
Sburb: the only game where you want an NPC because it's defenseless.
- Event Flag: Entering the first Gate. The Knell. The Slaying of the Beast and the resulting Terraforming. They're everywhere. And of course, in true buggy RPG fashion, you can accidentally fail to trigger some and then get stuck when a later scripted event doesn't trigger until you go back and redo it.
- Evil Twin: Nightmare Heirs.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: The three general ways of fighting in Sburb are strife, magic, and "shenanigans".
- Floating Island: The Earthsea Borealis, which rises from the surface of your land upon the second Knell. It means that the Nightmare Heir is challenging you for ownership of your land. Some sources suggest other players could do this too.
- Fun with Acronyms: One of the in-game diseases is called Deficiency in Elementary Reasoning Procedures.
- Game-Breaking Bug: Present in spades. The comments beneath each page and the forum often contain roleplays in which one or more players ask for advice on how to survive horrifically bugged sessions, and articles are sprinkled with warnings about things you should avoid doing at all costs.
- Giant Flyer: The Heirfare, a truly massive mount that takes the form of an oversized land-familiar.
- Guest Star Party Member: There are plenty of Non Player Characters willing to follow you around if you know how to convince them. The narrator doesn't really understand why so many players like dragging Jack Noir around with them.
- Guide Dangit: Many things. Of special note is the part on active/passive roles, where the author spends half the first chapter frothing at the mouth about how the game expects you to figure this out on your own without any hints.
- Healing Potion: Health gels, although they become less useful in the mid-game due to being specified by number instead of percentage.
- Healing Checkpoint: There are no checkpoints in Sburb, but there are Crystalanthologies, which aside from replenishing health gels also sate hunger!
- Heroic BSOD: Knights and Pages have these hard-coded into their Myth Arc.
Sup, Knight Syndrome.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: Averted. The author would like to remind you that when you lose a battle, you actually die.
- Although trying to fight your Denizen before you're "ready" will usually result in getting swatted out of their lair with one hit point.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Most veteran players on the associated roleplay forum/chatroom. They speak of the game bitterly and have given up on ever expecting any breaks, but whenever a player (new or old) has a problem they'll flock to give helpful advice.
- Literally Shattered Lives: Rhyme has this ability.
- Meaningful Background Event: Check the comments, almost all of which are in-character.
- Mirror Boss: The Nightmare Heir is one of the Sheathe Your Sword variety, except for the part where you still "fight" it in between mental trials.
- The Missingno.: The "Ohgodwhat", a catchall term for when the Underling spawning mechanics hiccup and place several dozen monsters in one horrible Siamese twin body.
- Monsters Everywhere: Underlings will spawn wherever you are not looking. Like behind doors, or in your fridge, or buried six inches under the dirt.
- Mood Whiplash: Dealing with Death part 3, a chapter about how to accept the permanent death of one's coplayers, is followed shortly by SBURB STUNT FAQ, a chapter about BIKE STUNTS. Though if you compare them, the Stunt FAQ was what the last line of Dealing with Death was talking about... Given hints that the narrator is the only one left alive in his session, the STUNT FAQ isn't quite as whiplashy as it first appears.
- Musical Gameplay: The Player Commands and the Fraymotifs. Hope you learned an instrument.
- Obvious Beta: Sburb in its entirety.
- The entire Void Aspect is either a horribly buggy feature in need of a patch, or working exactly as intended.
- It is most likely the second of the two as Void is explicitly meant to be ridiculously hard to find any mention of and deals entirely in non-existence and lacking. It is also coded specifically to compensate, and sometimes overcompensate, the player for the normal game features that it removes.
- Our Angels Are Different: In this case, Angels are entities found in the land's underworld, whose singing echoes throughout. They can corrupt and cause game breaking just as bad as the Others. The fandom expands on this idea.
- Peninsula of Power Leveling: Atomyk Ebonpyres, the most dangerous zone type. Time aspect players like to farm these.
- Power Born of Madness: Rain Players in general.
- Me's a Crowd: Their signature ability- madness is repeating the same thing every time and expecting different results.
- The Loonie: "Rain player stories" are apparently quite popular for this reason.
- Retcon: Rhyme was always ice/stopping and Flow was always fire/moving. Past GGTG just got them mixed up in the guide because he's a Sboob.
- Running Gag
- Dying is everyone's favorite hobby!
- Ollying outy.
- Extended metaphors involving bike stunts.
- Committing Sudoku (as opposed to Seppuku - Sudoku is, after all, a heinous act).
- The three options when another player goes bonkers: Run Like Hell, Hug and Dropkick to the Head. It's always one of those three options.
- Shadow Archetype: The Nightmare Heir.
- Shout-Out: Two of the aspects are Flow and Rhyme - their whisperings are the Groove and the Shade, a reference to one of Hussie's other works, And It Dont Stop.
- All of the names of the Hope abilities are shout outs to The Protomen's songs.
- Side Quest: Hundreds to thousands of optional quests, dungeons, and puzzles are referred to as Potential Verdancy.
- Title Drop: Not for the fic itself, but for songs on the various official music albums, which are often the names of gameplay features or player abilities (or fan-made terms, such as for the sburb mental disorders).
- Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Many features can kill you completely without warning, such as Atomyk Ebonpyres (often placed right next to a starting zone) and the prototyping towers (which flat out kill for approaching them).
- Useless Useful Spell: [Coolkid], the Rhyme ability that makes ectobiology babies fireproof on their meteors. It's not even supposed to be learnable, but a weird glitch makes it possible anyways.
- Uncanny Valley: In-Universe and out, Saccharine Doppelgangers.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Inverted. Heart players have the ability to rip your soul out of your chest, make modifications to your personality and then put it back. The Guide's author finds this power so terrifying he refused to use it or any other Heart ability for the entire session when he rolled Heart.