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Visual Novel / Pesterquest

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Pesterquest is a sequel to Hiveswap Friendsim, a spin-off of both Homestuck and Hiveswap, and just like Friendsim, it is written by a number of people with Andrew Hussie overseeing the project. He also wrote the first volume, which along with the second volume was released on September 4th 2019.

The game picks up after the epilogue of Friendsim, where you play as the MSPA Reader again, who is very unhappy with how The Homestuck Epilogues has ended and while looking for answers, comes across the white Homestuck logo, which gives them its powers and sends them to just outside of John's house on April 13th 2009, somehow erasing their memories in the process and giving them back the desire for friendship, and they end up stopping the kids they encounter from playing a certain game.

Pesterquest has released the following befriendable Homestuck characters:


    Volumes and befriendable characters 
  • Volume 1 (released 9/4/19) John Egbert
  • Volume 2 (released 9/4/19) Rose Lalonde
  • Volume 3 (released 9/18/19) Dave Strider
  • Volume 4 (released 10/2/19) Jade Harley
  • Volume 5 (released 10/16/19) Karkat Vantas and Kanaya Maryam
  • Volume 6 (released 10/30/19) Gamzee Makara and Vriska Serket
  • Volume 7 (released 11/13/19) Equius Zahhak and Terezi Pyrope
  • Volume 8 (released 12/4/2019) Tavros Nitram and Aradia Megido
  • Volume 9 (released 12/20/2019) Nepeta Leijon and Sollux Captor
  • Volume 10 (released 1/15/2020) Eridan Ampora and Feferi Peixes
  • Volume 11 (released 2/5/2020) Jane Crocker
  • Volume 12 (released 2/19/2020) Jake English
  • Volume 13 (released 3/4/2020) Roxy Lalonde
  • Volume 14 (released 4/1/2020) Dirk Strider
  • Afterw@rd (released 4/1/2020)

This visual novel provides examples of:

  • Accidental Murder:
    • Happens in Volume 5. Karkat impulsively attacks the MSPA Reader with his sickle if they decide to zap over to him instead of walk.
    • In volume 7, if the Reader attempts to escape from Terezi, they'll end up botching it so badly that they accidentally hang her in the process.
  • Adaptational Gender Identity: Vriska, Sollux, and Eridan are all implied to be under the trans umbrella (Vriska being a trans girl, Sollux being a trans boy and Eridan being ambiguous but possibly nonbinary), when Homestuck itself had no allusion to any of this. Sollux's example, at least, was later "canonized" by Hussie, though it's hard to tell how serious they were being seeing as the canonization was done in a tongue-in-cheek essay involving Eridan idolizing Shrek (yes, really).
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  • All Just a Dream: The picnic at the beginning of Jane's route turns out to be a dream.
  • Ambiguous Gender Identity: Sollux and Vriska are implied to be a trans boy and trans girl respectively, while Eridan's implied to be non-binary (albeit with a leaning toward he/him pronouns), but the story never makes it explicit. Both Andrew Hussie and the author of Vriska's route have implied on Twitter that the subtext is intentional.
  • Ambiguously Human: The MSPA Reader was initially thought to be a human in Friendsim, but in this game, the kids don't see them as one, and are unsure as to what they really are. Even the reader themself is unsure of this.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Nepeta and Feferi's routes have multiple good endings. It's left unclear which ones are actually canon to the MSPA Reader's personal timeline. Jake's route suggests that the path of Nepeta's route where the Reader brings Dave and Jade over to Alternia is canon, but due to how the Reader's powers work, the one where they bring Nepeta to Equius could still be canon in some way.
    • In the good ending of Roxy's route she briefly mentions Calliope and, worringly, that she hasn't repsonded to her for quite a while. The game doesn't elaborate on it and Calliope's, and Caliborn's, fates are ultimatly left unaccounted for.
  • Arc Words: In Volume 6, What will you do?.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: In Hiveswap Friendsim, the MSPA Reader made several friends who were dissatisfied with the crappy system of life on Alternia, a couple of whom (namely, Tyzias, and Daraya to a lesser extent) hoped to change it for the better from the inside. Since Friendsim took place either before or during the "Hivebent" arc of Homestuck, it seemed almost certain that they were Doomed by Canon to fail at this goal. In Pesterquest, it's confirmed that the events of Friendsim took place quite a ways in the past relative to the present day, and when the Reader meets Terezi and hears her saying something similar, they are reminded of Tyzias; though they can't remember her name or all the details about her goals, they themself realize that she must have failed to enact such changes, and gets quite sad thinking about it.
  • Asleep for Days: Implied to have happened to the Reader in the ending of Nepeta's route where Dave and Jade are involved, after they jump in front of Jade to stop Nepeta's lusus from attacking her, and get badly wounded themself.
  • Asshole Victim: The good ending of Vriska's route has the MSPA Reader drop her Lusus into a volcano; this is after she's eaten a flock of trolls again.
  • Bad Present / Bad Future: While Alternia as readers of Homestuck know it is the present time in this game, it's indicated to be quite a ways into the future from the Alternia the MSPA Reader originally got to know in Hiveswap Friendsimnote . They contemplate at one point that, despite having made friends at that time who hoped to make Alternia better, it seems to be even worse now than it was then.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Just like in Friendsim, there are times when you're lead to believe you're on the good route, only to get the bad ending. The same goes for thinking you're on the bad route and getting the good ending.
    • A meta example: Many people assumed Volume 3 would feature Dave, believing the volumes would feature the characters in the order they were introduced. A teaser was posted with the silhouette of Caliborn... which was eventually revealed to be a joke, and that the volume would indeed have Dave.
    • In Dave's route proper, when MC decided to take Dave to wherever he wants to go most, his friends houses cycle through each other in the background before he ends up... at an Olive Garden.
    • Another meta example: People assumed that the order the characters would get their routes would be the same order they were introduced in Homestuck, mainly because that was the order of the Beta Kids in their volumes, while others thought that the Trolls would have their routes in the order of the Hemospectrum. While people were right about Karkat being one of the trolls in Volume 5, they were surprised to find that the other one would be Kanaya (instead of Gamzee if they went by introduction order, or Aradia if they went by Hemospectrum order).
    • Yet another meta example: Some people thought that Vriska wouldn't get a route until Volume 8. Instead she was in Volume 6 (however, she was the 8th character to get a route).
    • And again with Volume 7: People were lead to believe that all the Prospit Trolls would have their routes first, and therefore the next volume would have Terezi and Tavros. Then it was revealed that the volume wouldn't have Tavros, but Equius, a Derse Troll.
    • Aradia's route is full of this. First, she appears alive and with her hive in the background, implying that the MSPA Reader travelled back in time to before her death during their zapping. Then at one point she reveals herself to actually be a ghost. Then it turns out she's actually her current God Tier self, and the MSPA Reader has met her in a dream bubble. But that's not all. Every time a bad ending happens, instead of going back to the start screen, the route rewinds back to a certain point before the choices appear.
    • In Sollux's route, you may pay a visit to Kanaya's hive. While you're there, she will describe something that sounds alarmingly like an STD, only for her to clarify that she was just joking to try and make light of her obvious crush on Vriska. In fact, her obliviousness to the parallels imply that, despite Alternia's reputation as a Crapsack World, there is no Alternian equivalent of STDs.
    • In Jane's route, if the Reader decides to "practise self care" by baking with her, initially it seems like you're headed towards the good end, and it even shows an ending card. But then it cuts back to the game, and Jane gives the Reader her tiaratop to look up some recipes on. Since neither of them know how harmful it is, the Reader puts it on, and gets taken over. Cue the bad ending card.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Just like in Homestuck proper, Jane's friends (especially Roxy and Dirk) try to convice her that Crockercorp is secretly planning to take over the world. Due to the actions of the MSPA Reader, Jane realizes that Crockercorp has been behind all her assassination attempts the entire time. Which is something Roxy has hoped for. Unfortunatly, this also causes Jane to abandon their plan on playing Sburb. Soon as Roxy hears about this, she begins to realize what this might mean for her and Dirk.
  • Bittersweet Ending: After making friends with the main cast, the MSPA Reader is suddenly summoned by Ultimate Dirk into the Afterw@rd. While there, they are are told by both him and the Director that Sburb must take place, and tells them that they must start it. Any attempt at fighting back causes the game to crash, but just as they're about to betray their friends' trust, they decide to Take a Third Option and with help from Aradia, fuse with the Green Sun and become the Guardian of the entire Pesterquest timeline, locking it away so that at least this version of the kids can be happy.
  • Breather Episode: Some of the more intense and/or plot-heavy routes have routes before or after that are shorter or are more involved with a character's personal issues than about the plot or their actions:
    • After the introduction to the game's main plot in John's route, Rose's route is based more on her life with her alcoholic mother and her secretly liking wizards more than she claims, and there is only one bad end. This comes before Dave's route, which is mostly about the abuse he suffers from.
    • Karkat's route explores more of his life on Alternia as a mutant-blood, and its bad endings are particularly cruel. Then there's Kanaya's route, which focuses more on her feelings for Vriska and her interest in vampires. This comes before Gamzee's route, which has one of the worst bad ends in the game so far.
    • Tavros' route, which involves the Reader either helping his dream self wake up or getting Kanaya to make his hive more accessible, comes right before Aradia's route, where it's revealed she's the one resetting every time the Reader gets a bad end, and she also helps them regain their memories of the Trolls they befriended in Friendsim.
    • Eridan's route features a very big fight between him and Sollux. Feferi's route, in comparison, is mostly drama-free and only has one bad ending, which only happens because of something the Reader doesn't want to do.
  • But Thou Must!: As well as singular choices appearing again, there's also a few other examples:
    • In Tavros's route, when you have to choose whether to side with him or Vriska, there is a choice to not choose a side, only for the narration to tell you that this is a game based on choices before bringing you back to the remaining two choices.
    • In Aradia's route, every time you get the wrong end, instead of taking you back to the start screen, everything rewinds back to a certain point instead, and at one point the interface even disappears, forcing you to go through everything again instead of reloading or using the fast-forward option. In fact, you are also forced to get the first bad ending, as the right option doesn't appear until after the first reset.
    • In Eridan's route, at the beginning, he'll ask you to choose something for the two of you do together; there are six different options for what you can do, or a seventh one where you allow Eridan to decide. Since five of the six other options leads to the first bad ending, with identical dialogue regardless of which one you select, someone who picked one of them the first time might be led to believe that you're supposed to let Eridan decide, but choosing that option has him reiterate that he wants you to pick, and bring you right back to the menu of choices.
    • At the beginning of Feferi's route, when the Reader is having thoughts of inspiring a revolution on Alternia, you're given the option to either act on them or just sleep them off. Choosing the latter has the game scold you and outright tell you to go back and pick the right answer before the options pop up again.
  • Call-Back: In Jade's route, one of the bad endings has an appearance from Sollux and Aradia, with the latter telling you "better luck next time". Then in Aradia's route, the first bad ending has the same message.
    • Jane's route has a few call backs to John's route. For example, Jane first appears wearing a disguise much like John did, and one of the paths has the Reader taking Jane back in time (only this time it's an hour instead of a week) and ending with Jane facing an existensial crisis (only this time it's the good ending). She also has a fairly lengthy conversation with a TG before said ending.
  • The Cameo:
    • In the prologue in Volume 1, the arrival of Spades Slick lets the MSPA Reader know that they must leave before he sets the place on fire. Later on, at John's house, the first bad ending involves his Dad being displeased with you for stealing the mail and showing up in the following ending card, and the second bad ending features adult John and the rest of the kids as teenagers zapping into the yard as they did in the Meat part of the epilogues.
    • In Volume 2, if the Reader zaps into the lab, they'll come across Mom Lalonde and the mutant kitten.
    • In Volume 3, Bro throws them out the window if they try to teleport away with Dave while a camera is watching, though unlike the above example, he isn't actually shown onscreen.
    • In Volume 4, one of the bad endings involves the Reader ending up at the Green Sun after their fight with Bec, where they are found by Sollux and Aradia.
    • In Volume 5, Gamzee, Sollux, and Vriska are heard from. John and Dave also show up in Karkat's route when the Reader takes him to Dave's apartment to escape from the drone.
    • In Volume 6, Gamzee's talk about the Dark Carnival causes the MSPA Reader to remember Karako, even realising how similar Gamzee looks to him, though they quickly forget soon after. Karkat also appears at the beginning of Gamzee's route when the Reader takes him back home, and it turns out the Reader zapped to the time when their past self zapped with him into Gamzee's closet. And then there's what happens if Gamzee stops eating pie. And during Vriska's route, when she attempts to mind-control the Reader, they instead pass out and dream about Boldir and Doc Scratch, which they also forget upon waking up.
    • In volume 7 during Equius' route the MSPA Reader messages Karkat to prove to Equius that they know him, and during Terezi's route they bring her to either Gamzee or Vriska.
    • Volume 8 has appearances from Vriska and later Kanaya in Tavros's route. In Aradia's route, the ending screens from Friendsim are briefly shown when she helps the MSPA Reader remember all of the friends they made in that game.
    • Nepeta's route in Volume 9 is full of cameos. If you choose to be straightforward with her, you'll end up taking her to Equius' hive, where they joyfully meet in person for the first time. If you choose to deflect, some shenanigans and an almost-Heroic Sacrifice leads to Dave and Jade staying at Nepeta's cave for some time.
    • Sollux's route (also in Volume 9) has you visit Kanaya once more, where Sollux helps her with a computer problem (read: replace a computer Kanaya chainsawed out of frustration), before they reminisce over some old pictures.
    • Eridan's route in volume 10 has Sollux come over to throw an entire mall at Eridan.
    • Feferi's route (also in Volume 10) features a vision of Karako in the dark carnival. Though, his heavy-handed metatextual speech implies that whoever's speaking isn't actually Karako...
    • In volume 11, All the trolls except Equius, Tavros, and Aradia (though it's implied they were present but not onscreen) along with all the Beta kids except John show up in the dream sequence at the beginning. And in one path of Jane's route, she gets messages from someone who is implied to be Jake and the Condesce appears in the bad ending card, while in the other path, Jane is seen messaging Roxy.
    • Brobot appears at the beginning of Volume 12. One of the endings involves the Reader bringing Jake to meet Vriska, and the other has them taking him to see Jade. Jake also mentions the other three Alpha kids, and at one point the Reader accidentally takes him to Joey and Jude's home.
  • Contrived Coincidence: In Eridan's route, the mall that Sollux brings to the fight is noted by the Reader to be the same one from Daraya's route in Friendsim.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: One path of Jane's route involves her baking, and getting the Reader to do it for her when she gets distracted by messages from Jake. They mess it up, but she is fine with it and says that at least they tried and that she'll bake something else for them of their choice. A good end card appears, but then cuts back to the game, where Jane gives the Reader her tiaratop to look online for what they'd like her to bake. They put it on and fall under the control of the Condesce, who plans to use their powers, and the bad end card appears.
  • Cuteness Proximity: If the Reader zaps into the lab in Volume 2, they will encounter the mutant kitten. The narration points out how cute the kitten is even with the extra eyes. They feel a similar way about Bec in Volume 4, though they also find his powers unsettling.
  • Destination Defenestration: Happens in Volume 3 when the Reader tries to teleport away with Dave while one of Bro's cameras is still watching - Bro shows up and throws them out of the window.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Vriska's route gives you the chance to come up with a character name when playing FLARP, which includes some easter eggs:
      • If you enter the names of Terezi, Aradia, Doc Scratch, or any variations of them, Vriska will push you into the water. There isn't even an ending card before the game fades back to the start screen.
      • If you choose Tavros or any variations, she'll say that name is "too wimpy".
      • If you name your character after any of the other Trolls, she say that's not original enough.
      • If you enter Vriska or Mindfang of any variations, she'll tell you that doubles aren't allowed.
      • If you choose "MSPA Reader", she'll accept it while saying that it's a strange name but it still suits you.
    • The credits show the name of the track for Terezi's route to be a QR code. Scanning it results in a message telling you to "CH3CK TH3 M3T4D4T4", where you'll find a message that says "oh wow you really checked."
    • In Tavros's route, the MSPA Reader and Vriska will remember the player class and name you chose in Vriska's route.
    • The music that plays in Aradia's route contains "Megalovania", and the credits list the track as being called "yeah, it is", intended as a response to people asking if that really is "Megalovania" they can hear. It can also be interpreted as a response to people saying the song is not Aradia's theme but Vriska's, since she was also involved in the scene from Homestuck where it plays.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: In Homestuck, the trolls generally used nearly identical sprites, and even in more-detailed form had similar body types. Here, they've been somewhat given their own distinctive appearances (which may or may not be inspired by common fanon). Most notable is Terezi being short and chubby (which would also make her and the now taller, thinner Vriska Fat and Skinny during their Scourge Sister days).
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Before you meet them in their own volumes, Dave and Jade are heard from in the first two volumes in conversations with John and Rose respectively.
    • In Volume 4, Sollux and Aradia appear in one of the bad endings.
    • In Volume 5, Gamzee is heard from when the Reader and Karkat end up in his hive. Also, Karkat messages Sollux, and Kanaya messages Vriska.
    • Enforced and defied in Volume 7, where Equius may ask you to take him to Nepeta. Because of mysterious cosmic forces, the Reader is hardlocked out of doing this, since Nepeta's route hadn't been released yet when Equius's came out.
    • In Volume 11, Jane talks to Roxy on her good route, and on her bad route she gets messages from Jake and the Condesce takes control of the MSPA Reader. GCAT is also stated to be present when the Reader first arrives at Jane's house.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Though not fully "evil", Eridan is a racist, entitled, sleazy, unpleasant asshole whom the Reader gets "soft Zebruh vibes" from, but he actually has pretty progressive views about gender. He recognizes gender as the social construct that it is, and finds it to be super fucked up how many people are determined to treat it as binary and reinforce its stereotypes.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: Used in Jane's route when she apologizes to the Reader for getting distracted by messages and leaving them to follow the baking instructions, which they are unable to keep up with. She tells them that they can choose a recipe for her to start over with, and an ending card is displayed. But then it goes back to the game instead of the start screen, and she gives the Reader her tiaratop to look for said recipe. This allows the Condesce to take control of them and their powers.
  • Fission Mailed: Happens in Aradia's first bad ending. You are forced to get this ending because the correct option isn't available at first - after getting it, the game will rewind instead of fading back to the start screen, and this time the correct option, helpfully labelled "this one", will be there.
  • For Want of a Nail: The MSPA Reader loses John's mail when his Dad catches them off guard, stopping the Beta Kids from playing Sburb, which will likely have consequences in future volumes.
    • Volume 4 reveals that John's Sburb copy being lost has resulted in all other copies of the game not working, Jade no longer dreaming on Prospit, and the Trolls no longer contacting the kids. A few days have also passed since the game was lost, and the meteors haven't destroyed the world.
    • Volume 5 reveals has the MSPA Reader messing up the Troll's Session as well by bringing Karkat to Earth, preventing him from playing the game. Whether or not returning him to Alternia has any effect on this is currently unknown.
    • Volume 6 has this in Gamzee's second bad ending. if the Reader refuses to eat the slime pie he offers them, he'll decide to stop eating them too, and...well...
    • Volume 8 reveals that due to the MSPA Reader's actions at the start of Volume 5, Karkat's dream self woke up much earlier than he did in Homestuck. Meanwhile, Tavros's dream self remained asleep.
    • In Volume 11, Jane decides she doesn't want to play the Sburb Alpha anymore after discovering that her own company was trying to assassinate her.
  • Foreshadowing: In Volume 4's good ending, the stars in the background are actually the constellations of Cancer and Virgo. Karkat and Kanaya are the first Trolls the MSPA Reader meets when they go (or rather, return) to Alternia.
    • In Karkat's route, at one point the Reader zaps to Gamzee's hive with him, and they find themselves in his closet. Gamzee's dialogue from outside suggests that there is another visitor in the hive, which is proven right in his own route - it's the future MSPA Reader.
    • There are a few details throughout the game that don't quite make sense with the canon of Homestuck or just seem out of place, such as Karkat's sickle being one he wasn't supposed to have until he played Sburb, or Vriska not having blue lips. It's revealed in Volume 8 that this is due to the MSPA Reader and Aradia deciding to try and break reality by zapping throughout canon and making these changes.
    • In one of Jade's routes bad endings, Aradia says "better luck next time". In her own route, it's revealed that she's been the one resetting time back after the bad endings.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The first volume shows an error screen after the Reader gains the powers from the white logo. Decoding some of what appears on it results in a message that is implied to be from none other than Ultimate Dirk, meaning that his abilities as a Fourth-Wall Observer can extend to other medias that are on their own separate timelines.
    • In Dave's route, a camera comes out of the fridge, and it can be seen looking straight towards you, letting you know that Bro is watching.
    • In Equius' route, the MSPA Reader attempts to take him to Nepeta, only to keep ending up back at his hive. During one of these attempts, they briefly see the place they first zapped to in Gamzee's route, with someone saying they shouldn't be skipping ahead, likely referring to how Nepeta's route was not yet available at the time.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Vriska's excuse isn't enough for Tavros to forgive her for what she did to him. Even if she did have an abusive lusus and was influenced by Doc Scratch, she still tormented him about the paralysis she caused and he has every right to not want to be friends with her again.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: Discussed when the MSPA Reader warps Kanaya to Tavros's hive, commenting on what an "unconventional pairing this is (conversation-wise)". Of Course, while not featured often, they fared off far better than some other troll pairings comparatively.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Happens in Tavros's route if the MSPA Reader gets him to wake up on Prospit to give him more freedom. He'll enjoy flying around there so much that he won't want to go back to real life.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: In Vriska's route, she asks the MSPA Reader to come up with a name for their FLARP character. You then get to submit a name, which she'll address the Reader by. There are also certain names she'll comment on, most of which she won't accept.
  • I Hate Past Me: Ultimate Dirk is shown to feel this way when the Reader is befriending his past self.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • It seems that despite the kids not playing Sburb, Jack Noir somehow still took the Black Queen's ring and still has the features of everything the kids prototyped their sprites with except Bec. Either that or it was the Black Queen that the Reader saw, but the latter fact still stands.
    • The Green Sun also still exists even though Rose and Dave were the ones behind its creation.
    • Gamzee still becomes murderous after he stops eating slime pies despite not having seen the video Dave sent him. However, there was a doomed timeline in Homestuck where this happened to him before he saw the video, so it's possible that the video isn't the only thing that caused it.
    • In Homestuck, the relationship between Sollux and Feferi started with a mutual Rescue Romance as they first entered the Sgrub medium. Here, like the Beta kids, they never play Sgrub, and this doesn't happen, but a romance seems to be blooming between the two anyway (only this time, it's because Kanaya introduced them to each other and they've begun chatting often).
  • Interface Screw: Lampshaded in Volume 4 - if the Reader gets into a fight with Bec, he bites them and causes them to bleed, and when blood appears on the screen, the narration mentions that it's probably gotten on the actual buttons of the game, and maybe even the coding.
  • The Internet Is for Cats: In Jane's route, when she gives the Reader her tiaratop, the first thing they find themselves looking at online is pictures of cats.
  • Irony: Considering that PesterQuest effectively makes fun of Homestuck's plot, there are quite a few examples.
    • In John's second bad ending, him and MC end up witnessing Meat!John and the future versions of Rose, Dave, Jade, Jane, Jake, Roxy and Dirk. John thanks MC for coming into his life, as it surely meant that it would lead to him speaking with so many people with such authority. Unbeknownst to him, this potential future is one that MC specifically avoided by throwing out SBURB. Furthermore, John should be thankful that MC PREVENTED this outcome, since at around this time, John was at his most miserable.
    • In Jade's second bad ending, MC ends up passing through Becquerel after picking a fight with him, and contemplated the nigh-impossibility of someone doing that on purpose. In Homestuck proper, Aradia did just that.
    • Dave jokingly claims that he wasn't raised right due to never thinking to put MnMs and popcorn together. Considering his home life, this comes into Crosses the Line Twice territory.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Not only does this spoil the ending of Friendsim and allude to some of the events from it, it also spoils various parts of Homestuck and The Homestuck Epilogues.
  • Lighter and Softer: Downplayed. The first four volumes are not as violent as Friendsim's, but that's because they take place on Earth rather than Alternia. However, the kid's issues are still brought up, and one path of Jade's route has a lot of violence from Bec attacking you when you try to fight him. Downplayed in the trolls' routes on Alternia, which has about as much violence as Friendsim and describes blood quite a bit, but shows very little.
  • Loving a Shadow: Homestuck had already shown that the main reason for Vriska's crush on Tavros was because her ancestor (whom she tries to emulate) and his were lovers, with his own personality being secondary. Tavros's route suggests that this was mutual; though he didn't love Vriska, he does admit that he saw her as a very good friend and admired her a lot, but the Reader also notices that the fairy girl in his Pupa Pan posters bears a striking resemblance to her.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Tavros's route suggests that, until Vriska causes his paralyzation, he might have seen her as a literal version of this, since she greatly resembles the fairy from Pupa Pan.
  • Meaningful Background Event: In Volume 3, Dave's rapping causes the camera in the fridge to go away. However, it comes back out again soon after, without the narration mentioning it at first. If you've chosen not to wear Bro's shirt, the events that happen after lead to you trying to teleport away with Dave while the camera is still watching, only for Bro to throw you out of the window before you can.
    • Karkat's route in Volume 5 has an audible variant, where the sounds of a drone approaching can be heard while he takes you downstairs.
      • The same route has another variant earlier when the Reader and Karkat zap into Gamzee's closet - Gamzee can be heard talking to someone before preparing to look inside. Volume 6 reveals that it was the MSPA Reader from the future attempting to befriend him.
    • A few details that could easily be seen as continuity errors or mistakes made by the artists are revealed to have been this in Aradia's route, they were actually caused by Aradia and the MSPA Reader deciding to purposefully mess up the timeline.
  • Medium Awareness:
    • A subtle example in Dave's route. When he raps in the Olive Garden, he refers to himself as "racially ambiguous", referring to how he's always shown to have stark white skin specifically to avoid giving him a canon race.
    • Aradia seems to be aware of the Reader's ability to restart routes if things go wrong, and tells them "better luck next time!"
      • Her route also implies that she's the one bringing MSPA reader back to a previous decision whenever they make a wrong choice.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Just like in Paradox Space, there are different possible ways that Equius' horn was broken. The narration suggests this has something to do with him being a Void player.
  • Musical Spoiler: The music that plays in Aradia's route is revealed after a minute or two to be a cover of "Megalovania", which played in Homestuck during the animation where Aradia became a God Tier. This leads up to the reveal that the Aradia this route features is actually her God Tier self rather than her pre-Sgrub self.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In Volume 1, if the MSPA Reader tries to "Play it cool" when Dad comes home while they're looking through the mailbox, they'll end up walking away with the stolen mail while he watches with "STERN FATHERLY DISAPPROVAL".
    • In Volume 4, when Jade appears, there's a line in the narration that reads: "Is this Jade? She doesn't sound like a Jade, based on what John told you. She looks more like a Gigi. Or maybe a Lynn?" This is a reference to the now defunct MSPA-Forums, where back in the day, Hussie had the forum's users decide on the kids', and later Trolls' names. "Gigi" was Jade's nickname on the forums before her name was officially decided, based on her Pesterchum abbreviation "GG", and the user who's name suggestion of "Jade" was ultimately picked, offered "Lynn" as their second choice for her name.
    • In volume 5, after hearing about Kanaya's issues, the Reader tries to console her by saying that relationships are hard and nobody understands.
    • In Gamzee's second bad ending, we get to see the aftermath of Gamzee slaughtering Kanaya and Karkat. When seeing him covered in their red and green blood, the MSPA Reader notes that "it's like fucking Christmas up in here".
    • In Aradia's route, Aradia teaches MC how to laugh just like how Sollux did on this page.
    Aradia: Try it with me say ha
    MC: Ha.
    Aradia: Now say it again.
    MC: Ha.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: Gamzee's first bad ending involves this. While in his hive, the MSPA Reader hears noises coming from the closet, and realises they've travelled back in time to when they zapped there with Karkat. If they choose to open the door, time and space will fall apart and they'll end up back at the start screen.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In Karkat's route, when a drone shows up in his neighbourhood, he tells the Reader to stay with him. Doing so results in the drone detecting them both, as their presence was stronger when they were hiding together, resulting in Karkat's hive being destroyed, his lusus dying, and him being discovered thanks to his symbol and the Reader's blood getting on him, and drones keep coming after him everywhere they zap to.
    • Gamzee's route has this happen if the Reader refuses to eat the pie he offers them, telling him that it isn't safe to take drugs. You can probably guess what happens next...
    • Jane does this in her route when she gives the MSPA Reader her tiaratop to look up baking recipes on. When they put it on, they get taken over by the Condesce, who plans to use their powers for her own advantage.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: The Director is drawn similarly to Hussie's sprites from within Homestuck.
  • Non Standard Game Over: Happens in Vriska's route if you name your character Terezi, Aradia, Doc Scratch, or any variations of those names. She'll kick you into the sea, and there won't even be an ending card before the game fades back to the menu.
    • A variant occurs in Aradia's route. Each time you get a bad ending, instead of fading back to the menu, the route will rewind back to a certain point before you made the choice. Do this three times in a row on the first choice, however, and Aradia will look at you in disbelief before booting you back to the menu.
    • In the Afterw@rd, if you choose not to betray your friends, you won't even be sent back to the start screen, the game will just close instantly. The same thing happens if you are unable to go through with it and throw John's mail away again instead of putting it back. However, there is a third option.
  • Oxygenated Underwater Bubbles: When the MSPA Reader zaps to where Feferi is, they end up underwater. She breathes a bubble for them to stop them from drowning, but the air inside is still limited and they end up passing out.
  • Painting the Medium: In Volume 4, if you choose to accept Jade's realisation that heroes must live miserable lives and therefore living alone on the island for the rest of her life (with Bec preventing her from leaving) is part of her destiny as a hero, the end card will say "BAD END", but Jade has crossed it out and written "important, heroic end!!!!! :D"
    • In volume 8, it's revealed that Aradia is responsible for resetting things whenever you get a bad ending - this is demonstrated by her route rewinding rather than fading back to the start screen (unless you annoy her enough). Also, when you reach the first choice again after the first reset, there will now be another option to choose, which she has labelled as "this one" (choosing the first option over and over is what will annoy her).
    • Throughout volume 14, Ultimate Dirk will interrupt the route to deliver his thoughts. Additionally, when he and the director speak, their textboxes look like they were directly cropped from, complete with a "close Dirk/Directorlog" button.
  • Recursive Canon: The game starts with the MSPA Reader finishing reading Homestuck and The Homestuck Epilogues as they were instructed to at the end of Friendsim, and when they see Doc Scratch talking to Spades Slick, they know from what they've read that the place will soon be on fire, which prompts them to find a way out before it happens.
  • Relationship Upgrade: In one path of Kanaya's route, the Reader, after realizing that she has more-than-moirail feelings for Vriska, encourages her to confess her feelings. She does, and Vriska agrees to flip red with her and become matesprits; Kanaya immediately runs off to visit her at her hive. Unfortunately, she only stays there for a week before the relationship becomes toxic, prompting a heartbroken Kanaya to break up with her and return home. This leads to her second bad ending, where she's shown sobbing her eyes out in the end card.
  • La Résistance:
    • After Terezi and Vriska make up and reform the Scourge Sisters in the former's route, their new goal is to form a revolution among the citizens of Alternia to reform their system for the better.
    • The Reader, after seeing how much their Alternian friends (past and present) have suffered under the system and inspired by the actions of Vriska and Terezi to fix it, decides to visit the "highest authority" on Alternia to confront them about it; this takes them to Feferi. They quickly discover that, contrary to what they'd expected, she, too, hates the system and really wants it to change. One of her good endings has the Reader inspire her to take action and be part of the revolution as well, even planning to introduce her to Terezi and Vriska in person so they can work together.
  • The Reveal: That "T-posing" figure that the MSPA Reader keeps seeing? That's Aysha U Farah's Author Avatar, also known as the Director.
    • A subdued example of the above: turns out, she was actually a-posing.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: The MSPA Reader correctly thinks that the stuffed corpse in Jane's living room is John. What they don't know is that it's not the same John they befriended, believeing that they've travelled to the future rather than an Alternate Timeline. In Roxy's route, after meeting post-Scratch Rose, who doesn't know them, they come to the conclusion that they're in another universe, which is a bit closer to the truth.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The MSPA Reader does this quite a few times:
    • In Dave's route, they leave when he spends too much time questioning his sexuality.
    • In Karkat's route, when the two of them are hiding from a drone, they can escape by zapping over to Dave's home. Unlike most examples, this leads to the good ending.
    • In Vriska's route, they can leave if they're too grossed out by the grubs Vriska uses to play FLARP with.
    • Aradia's route, when they tell her they don't believe in ghosts, her reaction is to suddenly stop being cheerful and pretend to be her ghost self. The Reader is so scared by this that they leave. And then she rewinds to before that point.
      • Aradia herself does it if you keep choosing the first option even after the second option appears.
    • The Reader has to do this in Eridan's route during the fight with Sollux to save themself. Thankfully, Eridan isn't too badly hurt because of his toughness as a highblood.
    • They do this again in Feferi's route when they find that the bubble she made for them is running out of air. If they zap away, they'll realise that zapping back will just bring them back to the same problem, and decide not to return.
  • Secret-Keeper: Sollux is apparently aware of Karkat's mutant blood colour. So is Terezi. It's implied they haven't told him that they know.
  • Sequel Hook: When the Director refers to the Reader as "MSPA Reader", they are about to tell her their real name, only for her to say that should be found out in the sequel.
  • Sequel Reset:
    • The Reader loses their memories of Friendsim and regains the strong desire to make new friends once again. They haven't completely lost everything, though...
    • The events of John's route have effectively turned the game into one for the entire Homestuck canon.
  • Ship Tease: Several romantic relationships that occurred or were alluded to in Homestuck receive some tease in this game too, in spite of the events that caused these relationships to occur (playing Sgrub/Sburb) don't happen here:
    • After Dave and Karkat meet in Karkat's good ending, dialogue from some of the other trolls in later routes indicates that Karkat talks about Dave all the time. When the Reader accidentally brings Dave to Alternia in one of Nepeta's routes, he seems interested in it as the place that Karkat is from. He also describes him as having a "great tongue", before quickly backtracking to clarify that he was talking about Karkat's shoutiness.
    • Dave and Jade get some too. In one of Dave's bad routes, when he's frantically trying to deny the idea that he might have feelings for John (which is also some John/Dave tease, for that matter), he states that, "hypothetically", if he had a crush on anyone, it would be another one of his friends, but "you don't know her, she lives really far away", clearly meaning Jade. In her route, she mentions that Dave is the friend that talks the most about coming to visit her and seems the most serious about it, and when she kisses each of her friends on the cheek after meeting them in person for the first time, Dave "goes nearly catatonic". Nepeta's route also shows Dave and Jade hanging together at her house, just the two of them.
    • In Vriska's and Terezi's routes, each of them has a major heart-to-heart with the Reader about how much she misses the other despite everything that happened between them. Vriska negatively compares her relationships with Kanaya (her moirail) and Eridan (her ex-kismesis) to the much-deeper something she had with Terezi. When the two meet again in Terezi's good ending, they share a hug and looks between them that the Reader describes as gestures of "friendship" in a way that comes off as obliviousness or Suspiciously Specific Denial.
    • Sollux's route establishes that, in this non-Sgrub timeline, Kanaya introduced him to Feferi, who has apparently been talking about conversations that they've been having. He describes Feferi as "not as boring as I thought she'd be" (which, coming from him, is pretty good praise), and describes whatever's happening between them as "it's going", prompting the Reader to muse to themself that, despite initially seeming like a bit of a loser, Sollux actually has quite a bit of "game".
    • Played for Laughs in Tavros's good ending; he somehow mistakes the occasional icy looks that Kanaya gives him when he insults Vriska as amorous glances, and mistakenly assumes that she has a crush on him (a Call-Back to how, in Homestuck proper, Vriska mistakenly believed that Tavros was Kanaya's crush instead of herself). The Reader, who knows that this is highly untrue, quickly sets him straight while letting him down easy, assuring him that she's not his type.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The MSPA Reader briefly expresses concern for Rose's mother about the wraithlike creature they saw near the window (actually Rose's mother herself), but shrugs it off, thinking Moms are tough.
    • When reminding Terezi of what you were up to:
    MSPA Reader: Crimes?
    Terezi: CR1M3S.
    • The song "yeah, it is" plays during the route involving a character associated with bones, puns, and time shenanigans, and it has a leitmotif that may bring to mind some... bad times.
    • Eridan's route has the both of you going to see the cinematic classic Shrek 2. They didn't even bother giving it a long troll title, implying it's old enough to predate that naming scheme.
  • Stylistic Suck: The official announcement of Sollux and Nepeta's chapters on Twitter took the form of a circa-2007 Caramelldansen Vid apparently created in-universe by Nepeta herself, complete with grainy quality.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Noted by the Reader in regards to Nepeta.
    Nepeta may goofy and playful and awkward... That doesn't make her an idiot. And you get the idea that treating her like one is a very good way to have a very bad time.
  • Suddenly Speaking:
    • Mom Lalonde, like Dad Egbert, Bro Strider, and Bec, never had any spoken dialogue in Homestuck. In Rose's route, if you get the bonus scene in Mom's lab (by answering "No" to Rose's question), Mom sees you as an intruder and tries to use the transportalizer to summon something to get rid of you, only to accidentally summon a pumpkin on the first attempt, as her Post-Scratch iteration, Roxy, was frequently wont to do. She reacts to this by saying "fuck" in the same pink text used by Roxy.
    • Equius' route has a variant - when the MSPA Reader messages Karkat to prove to Equius that they know him, their messages are actually seen rather than narrated. The Reader types with proper capitalization and punctuation, and no typing quirks, as they do in their narration.
    • The Director's appearance in volume 14 marks the first time that an official Homestuck property features voice acting for anything other than a music track. Though, it's less voice acting and more just Aysha U. Farah, the game's director, speaking normally.
  • Take a Third Option: Forced to kickstart Sburb by the game's Director and Ultimate Dirk, and any attempts at fighting back result in the game crashing, the Reader instead opts to use the game and the Green Sun to become the First Guardian of the entire Pesterquest timeline, locking it away so that the kids aren't forced to play.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Zig-zagged in Eridan's route. Sollux throws the ruins of an entire mall at Eridan. With him being a violetblood, though, he's tough enough that he gets away with it with no more than a few bad scrapes. It's a whole different story with the Reader, though....
  • The Unreveal: Aradia's route reveals that the MSPA Reader has a class and aspect, but not what they are. They also have a canon name which they tell Jade and almost tell the Director, but the audience does not see it.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Just like in Friendsim, there are some options that seem like they would be a good idea, but turn out not to be. Karkat's route in volume 5 has two examples - firstly, the MSPA Reader teleports a fairly long distance outside his hive, and he tells them to come back before the sun is fully out. You'd think that zapping back over instead of walking would be a good idea, but Karkat reacts to this by attacking the Reader with his sickle on instinct, fatally wounding them. Secondly, when Karkat and the Reader are hiding from a drone, he tells them they'll be safe if they stay together. If the Reader does stay, not only will the drone find them, but Karkat's hive will be burned down and he'll be forced to go on the run as the drones now have him on their list of trolls to kill immediately, and it likely won't be long before they find him. Choosing to flee instead leads to the good ending.
  • Wham Shot: Happens in Volume 8, when Aradia reveals that she's actually the God Tier version of her out in the Furthest Ring.
  • When He Smiles: Eridan has a few smiling sprites here, which is noteworthy as his canon self never smiled onscreen, barring a Freeze-Frame Bonus from [S]: Collide, which was more or less intended as a joke.
  • Wistful Amnesia:
    • The Reader may have lost their memories of the events of Friendsim, but there are times when they do remember certain situations, and seem to know things they don't remember learning. They also feel attached to the hoodie they're wearing, and later have similar feelings for a robe Rose gives them to wear, because they remind them of Mallek and Tagora respectively. In Volume 4, they initially refer to Bec as a lusus before correcting themself, and it's implied he reminds them of Skylla's lusus (while his powers remind them of Doc Scratch).
    • When they visit Alternia, they somehow know the planet's name, and that the aliens that live there are called Trolls, and the place seems familiar to them since they've been there before. Sometimes they zap to various places they've been to before, not quite knowing the significance those places had.
    • They finally remember their friends with help from Aradia, but their memory hasn't been completely restored just yet. Namely, while they do recall their Hiveswap friends, they don't remember having read Homestuck and the Epilogues. As such, every new friend they meet in Pesterquest feels familiar to the Reader without them understanding why or knowing the reason they're so determined to befriend these specific characters and no one else.


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