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Sburb is the human name for a sandbox-style game that takes place superimposed over the real world, rather than in a virtual space. The game is known as Sgrub to the trolls. In the game, the server player is able to manipulate the client's environment in real time in a manner reminiscent of The Sims. The client of the game has no need to interact with the computer and can freely roam around completing objectives. Computers are only necessary for interacting with other players and performing actions like downloading Grist with GristTorrent.
Actions available to the server player include being able to build rooms, add on to existing rooms, deploy game objects such as the Totem Lathe, and manipulate objects in the client's environment, though the server player cannot manipulate objects directly affecting the client player. It is said that the server cannot operate outside of a certain radius of the client, however Rose at one point that she has been working on the house while John was away, and Lil Hal later states that In addition, it seems that Dave's time shenanigans interfered with Jade's server application zeroing in on a single Dave automatically. It's possible that the proximity rule only holds before the player enters the Medium. Furthermore, the server's actions are limited by the client's supply of Build Grist.
Each new client-server connection generates a unique session of the game that is apparently independent of all other sessions, unless a daisy-chain of connections is formed with existing players. The exact number of connections varies depending on the length of the chain in question, though the minimum number of players for a normal session, even if additionally null or void, is two.
Each session has been hardwired to support its final player count from the start, because Sburb cares nothing for the concept of chronology. GristTorrent supports this, displaying three players online and one offline even before Jade installs her client copy, though it may have inferred that Jade will install the client from the fact that she is already running the server. An even more extreme example of this achronology is the fact that anyone who is going to play Sburb in a particular session, at any point in their life, will be a dreamer in one of the moons of that session even before the game begins; some, like Jade and Kanaya, awaken and are free to explore their dream planets the game starts.
The game appears in each universe through mysterious means. In both the troll and human sessions, one or more meteors had (in another example of disregard for chronology) fallen to Earth hundreds of years before the game began, containing frog temples. On the walls of these temples are hieroglyphs, which can be deciphered to reveal the code for the game. In the kids' session, this was done by Grandpa, who then released Sburb through his company. In the post-scratch troll session, Sollux decoded the glyphs in Aradia's temple, and sent copies of the game to his friends.
Standard session featuresEdit
- Skaia, a "dormant crucible of unlimited creative potential". Under its thick atmosphere lies The Battlefield, a planet that changes every time a player enters the medium with a prototyped sprite. It's here that a war between Prospit and Derse takes place, which Prospit must always lose. This war is always headed by the White King and Black King respectively.
- Prospit, a planet that orbits Skaia like a moon. Home to the forces of light, and ruled by the White Queen. Prospit's moon passes through the atmosphere of Skaia, allowing Prospitian dream selves to see the future in the clouds. In the kids' session the dream selves of John and Jade reside here, post-scratch the dream selves of Jane and Jake reside here. In the trolls' session, the dream selves of Karkat, Terezi, Gamzee, Tavros, Vriska, Kanaya, and Sollux (who has two) are also on Prospit. In the cherubs' two-player session, Calliope resides on Prospit. At the core of Prospit's moon lie the Sacrificial Slabs of the players whose dream selves reside there.
- Derse, a planet that orbits beyond The Veil. Home to the forces of darkness, and ruled by the Black Queen. The Noble Circle of Horrorterrors, who reside in the Furthest Ring, whisper advice to Dersite dream selves. The dream selves of Rose and Dave reside here, post-scratch the dream selves of Dirk and Roxy reside here. In the trolls' session, the dream selves of Equius, Aradia, Nepeta, Eridan, Feferi, and Sollux (who has two) are also on Derse. In the cherubs' session Caliborn dwells on the moon of Derse. At the core of Derse's moon lie the Sacrificial Slabs of the players whose dream selves reside there.
- Planets. Every player has their own unique planet orbiting Skaia in the Incipisphere. These are all home to other session constants, such as Consorts, Denizens and Quest Beds.
- The Forge. A volcano whose whose purpose is not entirely known, but which has appeared in every session so far that has not been null or void, brought into the Medium along with a player's house. When the player who lives by it (usually a Hero of Space) enters the medium, one of their first jobs is to light it, which seems to bring about some kind of Planetary change that is presumably necessary for advancing.
- Frog Temple. The frog temples on a planet provide the initial coding for Sburb, and are typically the place where the whole thing seems to start. They seem to always contain a Lotus Time Capsule that, as the name suggests, allows objects (and living things) to be put in and retrieved after a certain amount of time. They are responsible for a great deal of time shenanigans. In a typical session there is a single Frog Temple located near The Forge, which is, in turn, near the home of the Hero of Space. The beta trolls' bifurcated session has a second Frog Temple near the hive of Aradia, the session's Hero of Time. The alpha kids' void session doesn't have a Hero of Space, and their volcano is not a Forge, however the Frog Temple is located in the same place as its pre-scratch counterpart, near the homes of both the pre-scratch Hero of Space and her post-scratch counterpart.
- The scratch construct. Appears in some sessions on the planet of the Hero of Time, as a tool for initiating Sburb's Emergency Reset Method. It must be damaged in a specific way, usually with tools that must be specifically obtained for that purpose, after which it flies up to Skaia. Skaia will then retroactively redirect the destinations of various defense portals, changing the roles of the people ectobiologically created within the game.
- The Veil. The ring of meteors dividing the Medium from the Furthest Ring where Derse orbits. These meteors are the same as those which hail in The Reckoning, and also seem to contain a number of laboratories for the practice of Ectobiology and creating the carapacian armies.
- Underlings are monsters who act as the primary enemies of Sburb. They are created by the Denizens under commission from Agents of Derse, and appear to be made of materials associated with various types of Grist. In a typical session, Underlings inherit features from pre-entry Prototypings, however the precise features vary from individual to individual. In a void session, the Underlings are undead, skeletal in appearance, and difficult to kill due to their extreme durability.
- Denizens are immense, powerful NPCs. It appears that their primary role is to teach and test their corresponding players, offering The Choice, acting as the final boss of each player's planet, and, in at least some cases, giving players quests or riddles.
Sburb's distinctive logo on Earth (first iteration) is a neon-green silhouette of a simple house, broken into six pieces. Animated representations of the logo have the house disassemble and reassemble, with the smallest part spinning back and forth in between. The Sburb logo made a few appearances in the beta version of Homestuck's interface. An animated version of the logo appears on the preloader for animated pages (and continues to do so for many pages in the game proper). Another version of the logo, also animated but lacking its roof, signified clickable hotspots.
The Spirograph is another logo associated with Sburb, and also appears on page preloaders and in various locations associated with the game or with the Medium. The House logo appears on the client disc, while the Spirograph appears on the server disc.
In the post-scratch universe, the Sburb logo is red instead of green, and is horizontally reversed compared to the original logo.
The Sburb discs have been of great importance to the story ever since John started playing Sburb. In the B1 session, there were eight discs in total, four server discs and four client discs. That would be one of each for each of the four kids, except Jade uses Dave's discs, while Dave uses the discs belonging to his Bro. Dave eventually alchemized himself another copy of his server disc, using the Intellibeam Laserstation to extract the code, in order to become another server to Jade while John was busy.
Almost all of the Sburb discs have gone through some kind of journey. It took John five acts to get his copy of the server disc.
John's client and server copies arrive late, three days after the Beta was launched. John's Dad gets the client copy from the mail, and leaves the server copy in his car. John has to Strife with his Dad in order to install the client version. The server version, however, has gone on a lengthy journey, with the car being dropped down into the Land of Wind and Shade, the package with the server picked up by the Authority Regulator, getting tracked down by the Parcel Mistress, and getting put into a Parcel Pyxis. After being dropped off in LOWAS, however, the disk was ejected from the Pyxis, and John finally has the server disc.
Dave also had issues with retrieving his discs. After spilling apple juice upon them, Dave hung them up to dry, only to throw a sword at an encroaching crow, sending the disks flying out onto a building below. Instead of using them, Dave sourced his copy of the discs from his Bro by battling him in a display of their mad skills. After Dave installs his Bro's copies, Jade retrieved his original copies from his roof and gave them back. They were later stolen by the Draconian Dignitary.
It is Dave's discs that turn up within the Frog Temple. When Jade enters the Frog Temple and the Lotus Time Capsule blooms, it reveals Dave's original discs. It is revealed that the Draconian Dignitary discarded Dave's juice-stained discs, at which point they landed in the Lotus Flower.
Then, while John was using his client Disc, and had finally retrieved the server, Dave made a second copy of the server disc and connected to Jade, meaning that John only once got the chance to be the server.
Rose is an exception, as both the client and the server discs were never lost, and she simply had access to them from the beginning of the story.
For the B2 session, Jane was the only one to be sent discs, but they detonated in her assassination attempt. Others never received any discs, and are using Roxy's pirated copy instead (though, Jane was sent an ~ATH file disguising itself as the client instead of the real copy and had her computer blown up, forcing Lil' Seb to install the game on Dad's computer instead).
The game begins when two players make a client-server connection. The server player gets a viewport through which they can observe the client and their house, and they have the power to interact with their environment in a way resembling that of The Sims. The first server gets a relatively small amount of build grist and a Phernalia registry with a selection of items, which they can place in the client's house. As more client-server connections are made, each new server player gets a broader selection and ten times more grist.
One of these items, a Cruxtruder, must be hit on top with a heavy object, at which point it will open and release a Kernelsprite, and will begin to display an ominous countdown: generally until the arrival of a meteor that will destroy the player's house and possibly the surrounding area, or some similarly destructive threat. Although it initially appears as if this meteor is triggered by the opening of the Cruxtruder, in reality the meteor's arrival is inevitable and the game has already begun regardless of the player's actions.
The player now has a limited amount of time to save themselves before the threatening event takes place. They must use the items in the registry to alchemize a unique Cruxite artifact, and utilize it in some way. If they succeed before the threat occurs, their house and surrounding area are excised from the physical plane and transported to their planet within the Incipisphere-- where the real game begins.
Before entering the Medium, the player had the ability to prototype their Kernelsprite with an item - virtually any item. After entering the medium, they can prototype it again, ideally with a sentient or formerly sentient being. The sprite will now be able to speak, and will serve as the player's guide to the game, offering cryptic advice and explaining what to do. Although this is the ideal prototyping procedure, it is possible for the player to prototype twice after entry, twice before entry, or only once.
Electrical power still seems to be available in John's house when it is excised and sent to the Medium, though the source of this power is unclear. Apparently fumbling about in a dark house while trying to complete game objectives would not be within the intended spirit of the game.
Upon the client's entering the Medium, their server player is supposed to build up their house. Since building requires significant amounts of grist, the client player can harvest that grist by defeating monsters that will begin swarming their house. They can also use their Alchemiter to create useful items, such as portable computer or more powerful weapons for themselves, improving their fighting abilities. (Players tend to as well).
The purpose of building up is to allow the client player to reach the gates above their house , which are portals that will take them to other locations in the Medium. The First Gate will take them away from their house, to some location on their planet. There they must find the second gate, which will take them to the second gate above their server player's house. Ideally, their server player will have already had their house built up to their second gate by this point, so the player doesn't fall to their death if they cannot fly. The player then builds up their server's house to get to the third gate above it, which takes them to a random location on their server's planet. There they look for the fourth gate, which takes them to the next player's house, and so on. If every player in a session does this at similar times, each will progress to a house that's built up to the current gate they enter through.
Over the course of this progression, the player can explore their land, meet the consorts living there, and learn about their mythos. They may also find out their own personal quest, which generally has to do with fixing a wrong committed by that planet's denizen: John must unclog the oil in the pipes on his planet and clear the overcast sky, releasing the fireflies his denizen trapped there; Rose must restore underwater life to her planet after her denizen had eaten every living thing, etc. Their denizen will be awoken at some point over the course of this quest.
Once a player reaches the seventh gate above their own house, it will lead them to their denizen's palace. The point of progressing gate-by-gate is to steadily gain the powers and abilities necessary to be able to fight and defeat the denizen, which guards a huge hoard of grist. This grist is meant to be used for the Ultimate Alchemy, and complete the game's true purpose.
While the players carry out their quests, a battle takes place on the Battlefield within Skaia between the forces of light and dark. Inevitably, dark ultimately wins, and the Black King, using the defeated White King's scepter, then initializes the Reckoning - a 24-hour event that results in a rain of meteors upon Skaia. Although Skaia tries to defend itself by redirecting meteors through defense portals, it will eventually be destroyed if the Reckoning is not stopped. These are the same meteors that initially barrage the players' home planet and urge them to enter the game. It becomes the job of the players, then, to fight and defeat the Black King before the 24 hours are up.
This is the generic template of a game, however. The player's actions determine whether or not they will complete any or all of their quests, and they may choose to deviate from the rules entirely.
Certain players also have specific tasks in the game. One player must perform ectobiology, creating paradox clones of the players and their guardians, paradoxically ensuring their birth. These paradox clones are sent back to the home planet on some of the meteors from the Reckoning. Other players, usually a Hero of Space and a Knight, must breed frogs, ultimately creating the Genesis Frog, which is essentially a new universe.
As the players explore their planets and learn of their lore, they learn of their personal planetary quest: a task that they must accomplish to help their planet in some way. Each quest is unique to the player and their planet.
These quests aren't necessarily instrumental in the game's outcome, but instead appear to serve to develop each player's abilities, and help their personal growth. As Jaspersprite told Rose, "its not just an important thing to do to win the game... Your quest is really important for you to do. Not really because thats how to get the prize. But because its what you need to do for yourself!" Rose develops this idea, later saying that "I think my quest was fundamentally bound to the nature of this land, which was customized to the profile, needs, and potential for growth of a thirteen year-old girl."
The quests all appear to require the player to, at some point, face their denizen, or at least wake them.
Since before John's entry into the Medium, LOWAS had had a sky overcast with dark clouds. Typheus is implied to be responsible for this. John's quest, phrased as a riddle, was to journey to the place where "constellations danced beneath the clouds," and to free the stars from the shade and release them into heaven. The "stars" refer to the fireflies that inhabit LOWAS, trapped under the clouds. To clear them, John had to travel to his denizen's palace, which resembles a large pipe organ, and on the piano within.
However, John's quest had two stages. Before he could use the pipe organ, he first had to clear the oil that had covered his planet and clogged all the pipes. To do that, he had to face his denizen, and presumably ask him to clear the oil.
It is unknown how the issue of the oil would have resolved itself had he requested this from his denizen: rather, John came to Typheus asking for help mastering his retcanon powers, and, in the process of that, banished the oil from existence on LOWAS and.
Rose's denizen, Cetus, had at some point eaten all the marine life on LOLAR, and then gone to sleep. To restore life in the oceans, Rose must "play the rain," meaning that she must play a song whose notes form the musical analogue to a genetic code that will make life possible again. Involved is the comparison between light waves, waves caused by falling rain, and sound waves: Rose must somehow play the music formed by these.
Out of all the kids, Rose is the one who has done the least progress on her planet quest. She seems to be disinterested in it entirely, and has instead spent a large amount of time navigating her planet, attempting to find ways to break the game. After arriving in the new session three years after the scratch, she began to wonder if she should still do her quest at all, as it was designed for a thirteen year old girl who has since matured, or if she was ever really meant to complete it in the first place.
Dave's Quest Edit
Dave's quest is the most vaguely-described of all the beta kids' quests. It has something to do with Dave's pulling Caledfwlch out of the golden stone on his planet, LOHAC, and having to break it in the process. As Davesprite tells Dave, "that sword / its important to getting your shit figured out / you were supposed to break it to get it out of the thing / like another personal sort of mythological milestone you were supposed to clear"
Breaking the sword angered Hephaestus, who wanted to fix it but could only do so with lava from a lit Forge. Thus, integral to the completion of Dave's quest was bringing the Forge into the session, and Jade convincing Echidna to light the Forge, creating some sort of truce between Echidna and Hephaestus. However, Hephaestus could not do this in Davesprite's timeline, as Jade died before entering, hence his frustration.
Davesprite brought the broken Caledfwlch to Hephaestus, who gave him The Choice: to either repair the sword and forge the Royal Deringer, or to fix something else, that Davesprite never mentioned (though he did say that Hephaestus, with the Forge, can fix anything).
Although Davesprite knows much about Dave's personal quest, he decides not to explain anything, as he and alpha Dave would find that boring. What the true purpose of this quest is remains uncertain: it may be to mend Caledfwlch, to grant Hephaestus use of the Forge, for Dave to simply contemplate and grow into his role as a Knight, or something else.
When Jade arrived on LOFAF, the entire planet was covered in deep snow, freezing most of the wildlife there. Although this was never explicitly phrased to be her quest, Jade had to meet Echidna, and somehow convince her to stoke the forge, which melted all the snow and brought its forests to life again. None of these events were ever shown in-comic, only discussed, so the exact mechanics of how a forge is stoked are unclear.
|RIDICULOUS FOLLY. INEXCUSABLE.|
|While sloppy is fine, it might be good idea to arrange this particular page because, to be quite frank, as it is right now, it is just total shit. In particular, this section is messy, repetitive, and probably unnecessary.|
Sburb has no description or instructions regarding its true objective, instead revealing information to its players through cryptic explanations from their sprites. As John and Rose begin to meddle with the game, John discovers a Meteor barreling toward his house, apparently triggered by the creation of the Kernelsprite. The sobering reality hits Rose as she discovers that Sburb is a game that destroys the world. It's able to do this by sending meteors down to Earth through portals around Skaia. Only those that enter The Medium survive.
The game Sburb is being played by many people, each one of them unknowingly the target of their own meteor, each one of them being oblivious to previous players' experience, each one of them being annihilated individually yet collectively, every one of them victim of destruction on a massive yet undetermined scale, leveling entire cities and towns.
Through exposition from their sprites, the players learn the objective of the game. The player must build using Build Grist to pass through the gates to get to Skaia, where, ultimately, a battle of good and evil is being waged, and the players have opened up what was a supposed eternal stalemate now into an all out war that evil always wins. When the villains win, the Black King calls down meteors to destroy Skaia, which protects itself by teleporting them to the host planet, destroying it in the process. The players must stop the meteors before the defense portals fail and Skaia is destroyed.
The game comes in multiple phases: climbing through The Seven Gates, defeating the Denizens, the Ultimate Alchemy, and the Reckoning (up to and including the final confrontation with the Black King and Queen), to name a few. The trolls' session offers a brief glimpse of the end of a Sburb session (or, in their case, a Sgrub session): A massive upright Sgrub/Sburb logo with a mysterious door, which leads to the reward for their efforts. However, they are interrupted by Jack Noir before claiming it. This reward was stated to be entry to a new universe which they had created - the Kids' universe - where they would have ruled as gods.
Thus it is revealed that the ultimate purpose of Sburb is as a method of procreation for entire universes - a single planet is sacrificed in order to create an entirely new universe (or several are sacrificed for several universes), which may themselves propagate one or more universes, and so on. Therefore, the objective of Sburb is the successful creation of a new universe, which is implied to be the nature of the Ultimate Alchemy.
The trolls have an equivalent version of Sburb adapted by Sollux Captor based on technology found in some ruins by Aradia Megido. Sollux , including the fact that their planet, Alternia, will be destroyed if the trolls don't play it. However, Aradia was just leading him on in order to convince him to create the game. By the time Sollux realized this and deleted his copy, Karkat Vantas and Terezi Pyrope had already begun the trolls' session.
Eventually, the trolls ultimate reward and enter the Universe they created, because the prototyped Jack Noir from the human session stopped them from doing so. After the trolls escaped in the Veil, Jack Noir proceeded to destroy the twelve planets as well as Prospit and Derse before being locked in time by Aradia Megido, thus pretty much wrecking the Sgrub session.. Nevertheless, they couldn't claim their
The Sgrub logo is similar to Sburb's but instead of having 4 squares, it has 12 arranged in a cross, mirroring the arrangement of windows on Alternia and the layout of the display screens used during the Midnight Crew Intermission, as well as referencing the number of the troll kids involved in place of the four kids in the human session.
There are no discs for Sgrub, since Sollux simply sent the Sgrub copy he made from the Frog Temple to Karkat and Aradia, and they sent it on to the remaining trolls. It is unknown whether Sollux shared the file he made online in some manner, or if he and his eleven coplayers caused the entire apocalypse of Alternia themselves.
- According to John's official Sburb calendar, the game was supposed to have gone into beta on April 10, 2009 (for reference, Homestuck begins on the same date on which the story was started, April 13th, while the Homestuck Beta began on April 10, 2009). In the post-scratch universe, the alpha was released on November 11, 2011.
- A list of the phrases that appear on the loading screen for the Sburb installer can be found here.
- The Sburb loading image is a hypocycloid with continually changing values for a/b.
- As revealed on Andrew Hussie's Blog, the author had two possible names for Homestuck in mind, "Homestuck" and "Sburb". The latter however was "a sort of deliberately ugly word reminiscent of the name of a Sim game" and also "kind of crude and really awkward to say" while Homestuck "better followed the templates of the previous adventure titles, like Jailbreak". The name Sburb only was left as the name of the game within the game. The word "Sburb" is an abbreviation of the word "suburb."
- The ==> commands are in fact representations of the four kids, while the ======> command represents the twelve trolls. Each "dash" represents one character, while each equal sign represents two. When the beta kids joined the alpha kids' session, the arrow changed to ====> due to the fact that it is now an eight player session.
- Alternia appears to have Andrew Hussie has threatened to introduce, and shortly thereafter kill, 48 squiddles. , implying that the session that created their universe consisted of 48 players. In that may or may not be related,
- Calliope and Caliborn could have started a two-player session. This is the minimum amount of players for a normal game, though not the mininum players allowed.
- It is possible to play a one-player Sburb session; however, doing so causes it to become a dead session.
- The color of the Sburb/Sgrub logo seems to correspond with the most important player in the session. In the pre-scratch kids' session, this was Jade, while in the post-scratch trolls' session it was Gamzee. Similarly, Mituna was implied to be the most important player, hinting that the pre-scratch trolls' logo may have been yellow. This would make the two Sgrub logos complementary colors, the same way that green and red are, in addition to representing Derse and Prospit respectively. The post-scratch kids' logo is red, implying that Dave or Karkat will be the most important player. However, it is worth noting that the Auto-Responder and Dirk's rapbots are also associated with the color red, and it is also possible that the most important character in the session may be considered to be Caliborn, even though he is not a player in it. After the events of the End of Act 6 Act 5, Jane is also associated with the colour red, considering her outfit and eyes have changed to this colour.
- There's also the possibility of the pre-scratch Sgrub logo being blue, as it would complete the blue-purple-red-green pattern often seen in Homestuck.
- The color could also be associated with important events happening in that session. In the pre-scratch kids' session, the creation of the Green Sun was a major event. The post-scratch logo would be red to show the rule of Betty Crocker, while in the post-scratch trolls' logo might be purple because Gamzee (a Purpleblood) dealt most of the damage to the Black King. An alternative explanation could be that it's representative of the rampage of Jack Noir, a Dersite archagent.
- The colors on the left border of the Homestuck #4be24f, Sgrub Beta #7638e7, and Sburb Alpha #f40c0c.
denoting "parts" 1, 2, and 3, also seem to represent the Sburb/Sgrub logo colors. This would make Sburb Beta
- The part 2 image originally had a different blueish color for Sgrub Beta, however, which was #4047e0.
- As showed in [S] ACT 7, each of the four sections of The Treasure has an aspect symbol of one of the Beta kids. The section with the Breath aspect looks different from the others, which might reference the fact that he was from a different timeline due to the use of his retcon powers.
- Because the Alpha logo is horizontally reversed, the same square was on the top left, where Light, Rose's aspect, was. If you replace all the Beta kids with the Alpha kids, then Roxy has the different square. This might also mean the same as John, as she travels along with John to the new timeline.