Sprites, known in their initial, unprototyped form as Kernelsprites, are entities released from the Cruxtruder when first opened when a person is setting up after beginning to play Sburb. Before entry and after a single, normal prototyping, the sprites appear as simplistic floating heads within the kernel. However after hatching, or a they appear in a ghost-like form possessing a tail. Despite their name, ghostly appearance and abilities they have been and are considered to be alive (although arguably undead).
Sprites are meant to serve as a player's guide, but they also have functions important to a session. Despite serving as a guide sprites cannot accompany their players through The Seven Gates until they have unlocked the ability to do so at which point the sprite gives the player a pendant which they can use to summon the sprite. Until that point, a Sprite can still communicate with their player using a Spritelog, which can work at a distance - at least allowing Nannasprite to communicate with John as he was down on his planet past the first gate, and she was still in the house.
Sprites are Lususprites were all said to be dead and were not seen during the battle against the Black King, it is possible they were killed by meteors during the Reckoning, though this is unconfirmed. However during Cascade, Davesprite and Jadesprite were seen almost being struck by a meteor without any apparent attempt to flee.at some point for unknown reasons. However the trolls'
Combining the kernelsprite with inanimate objects, living or formerly living beings is a process known as prototyping, the objects or beings become the sprite. The sprite or the individual(s) prototyped are given access to a wealth of knowledge about Sburb and their corresponding player's personal quest, with the ability to convey the information limited by intelligence of the sprite which is limited to that of its composing parts, as seen with Jaspersprite, who struggles to convey and understand complex concepts. They are supposed to be coy in about the information, only revealing it in vague statements, riddles, or when it is deemed appropriate, however they are perfectly capable of being direct with the information as seen with Davesprite who offers to tell the alpha Dave everything. Sprites do have holes in their knowledge of Sburb, most notably in regards to the Denizens and the Choices they offer.
Along with guiding the player, they can also aid in combat, possessing the ability to create beams of energy and/or objects which can be used as an attack, heal the player and telekinetically pick up objects. The nature of their abilities is determined by the prototypings, with Nannasprite seen creating house hold appliances and food and healing John after a fight with ogres, Calsprite seen creating smuppets, Davesprite being able to use his stomach sword as a weapon and Becsprite appeared to be able to enhance his energy beam with his first guardian powers. Sprites can also use their conjuration powers for non-combat purposes, as seen when Nannasprite conjured a bed and oven , and when Davesprite used his sprite powers to scribble on John's Armageddon poster / letter . Sprites are also capable of passing through solid objects, which sometimes leaves behind ectoplasm .
A prototyped sprite, upon entering The Medium, will divide into a kernel and a sprite, and then the kernel will also divide in two, carrying the prototyping data to spires on Prospit and Derse. The data modifies the Underlings players face and the Royals of the light and dark kingdoms. Because the sprite only splits upon entering the Medium and never again, only the prototyping done before entering the Medium will affect the Underlings and Royals. (For example; John prototyped his sprite with a harlequin doll before entering the Medium, and with his grandma's ashes after entering the Medium, but the Royals and Underlings only were affected by the harlequin prototyping.) A sprite entering the Medium also causes the the Battlefield to grow, with each entry of a prototyped sprite causing it to grow further. The final form of the Battlefield can only be reached by all players prototyping at least once before entry, as the final form of the Battlefield is required in order to grow the Genesis Frog and thus win the game.
A session with no pre-entry prototyping is called a void session. A lack of spires on a session's Prospit and Derse (as well as orbs on the Queens' rings and Kings' scepters) are indicative of a Void session. In such cases the Kernelsprite is unaffected by entry and instead the kernel disappears upon prototyping.
Prototyping is where an object, or living or dead organism is combined with the sprite. Each individual sprite can be prototyped twice, although they only need to be prototyped once prior to entry to make a session viable, and the second prototyping can still be undertaken post-entry, however with the kernel gone the information will not be dispersed. In order to be prototyped a sprite needs to have direct contact with an object or organism. Jasprose mentions that brief or incidental contact may not result in a prototyping.
Kernelsprites that have not been prototyped pre-entry areremain in their Second tier prototyping mostly works the same as first tier, except that extremities of the sprite such as a or will not lead to prototyping - touching the core of the sprite, or full-body contact, appears to be necessary. However, this might be a special circumstance applying to players and their own sprites, since Nepetasprite was prototyped with Davesprite when they shook hands. Alternatively two sprites would be more reactive with eachother than a sprite and a living person, as it has been previously stated that Kernels and Sprites have an affinity to be prototyped with the dead.
While inanimate objects appear to act as templates for the sprite affecting its behavior and personality, living or deceased beings do not merely act as a template for the sprite to imitate, but rather literally become the sprite with the deceased being resurrected, including bringing the soul back from the afterlife. The Kernelsprite also has an innate attraction to the dead or soon-to-be-deceased, with almost all Kernelsprite across all sessions ever played being prototyped with such individuals.
While the physical traits and associated abilities of prototypings are cumulative upon a sprite, the mental identities of the prototyped components are not. When people have been prototyped with animals or objects, or animals prototyped with objects, they keep their identity, with the other prototyping only influencing their instincts and some behavior. However in the case of two components of an equal "level" the two different identities are merged, as seen with the trollsprites.
What constitutes a single component is complex, as two things combined into one can count as a single prototyping, while a single component that is existing in multiple pieces can count as a single prototyping. Prototyping two separate components simultaneously also appears to use up both prototypings.
Sprites with unstable components or conflicting prototyping are liable to self-destruct. Tavrisprite "tavrispl♉ded" themself only minutes after being created due to the irreconcilable personalities it possessed. Jadesprite, while she did not self-destruct, released a burst of energy similar to Tavrisprite soon after being created due to being upset over being revived, this was exacerbated by her other prototyping causing her to see the Green Sun. It is unknown if this was her simply losing control of her first guardian powers or a failed attempt at self-destruction, as first guardians are nearly indestructible it could possibly have prevented her self-destruction. Even though the combination of Feferi's and Nepeta's personality seemed stable, Roxy's Fefetasprite
exploded dear, sweet, precious, fefetasploded as well after Erisolsprite and Arquiusprite simultaneously kept addressing a specific part of her personality.
While sprites are supposed to act as a guide to the player, a player is also capable of prototyping themselves and becoming their own sprite. This can be used to circumnavigate the normal process by which information is revealed, as well as giving the player a power boost but at the expense of having no one to assist the player for parts of the session. However, alternate selves can also be prototyped to varying effect.
A tier 1 sprite can be prototyped with another sprite. This process allows a sprite to be prototyped with more than two non-sprite objects. This new type of sprite is referred to as a sprite^2, or "squaredsprite". The unique prototyping results in many peculiar changes to the sprite, including the discarding of the usual "sprite tail" in favor of actual legs. The sprite also flashes constantly between the two original sprites' color schemes.
All squaredsprites gain partial access to the memories of all alternate versions of the entities that make up the sprite. The specific physical iterations that were prototyped to result in a squaredsprite stick out as the "main" ones, but memories of other iterations' experiences are accessible. For example Jasprose has the memories of multiple Roses and Jaspers, and Davepeta has the memories of several Nepetas and Daves. This may partly explain why the design of a squaredsprite incorporates elements of a person's dream self, since those "kind of operate outside the normal time continuum", as shown by Rose inheriting memories of her doomed dream self.
However, all squaredsprites seen have involved sprites from two different sessions - it might be the case that the access to alternate memories requires sprites from multiple sessions, not just any two sprites. It should also be noted that Rose and Davesprite both already had some memories from a doomed timeline - this may also have contributed to this ability.
The B1 kids' spritesEdit
|Character||Sprite||Prototyping Tier 1||Prototyping Tier 2||Effect on Medium||Notes|
|John||Harlequinsprite* (Tier 1)|
Nannasprite (Tier 2)
|Harlequin doll||Nanna's Ashes||Missing eyes and arms, harlequin clothes, shoes, and hats, increased likeness towards clowning around|
|Rose||Jaspersprite||Jaspers||Eldritch Princess||Tentacles, eldritch mouths, cat mouths, cat ears and cat-shaped heads, Jaspers suits, princess dresses||Only B1 sprite to be prototyped twice pre-entry. Also the only sprite whose text color matches neither the dancestors' text color nor the sprite's own outline color. Released by Rose.|
|Alternate Future Dave||Crowsprite (Tier 1)|
Calsprite (Tier 2)
|Rambunctious Crow||Lil Cal||Wings, beak, sword through stomach, feathery heads.||Only existed in an alternate timeline, ceased to exist when Dave traveled back to avert the timeline.|
|Dave||Crowsprite (Tier 1)|
Davesprite (Tier 2)
|Alternate Future Dave||Released by himself.|
|Jade||Becsprite (Tier 1)|
Jadesprite (Tier 2)
|Becquerel||Dream Jade||Dog ears, jowls and snouts, flicker effect, teleportation, highly increased capabilities, loyalty to Jade, thinking of bones and other dog things.||Vriska put John to sleep before he could prototype one of the Distinguished Houseguests. Subsumed by Jade when she ascended.|
The B2 kids' spritesEdit
The session being void, nothing was prototyped pre-entry. As such, none of the prototypings have any effect on the Medium or the royalty. In the pre-retcon timeline, Gamzee prototyped three of the sprites with two trolls each. Only the prototyping of one of these sprites was seen, during which he prototyped both trolls simultaneously; as such, it is likely he prototyped the other two in the same manner. Dirk's sprite was only prototyped with one troll by Gamzee. It was subsequently prototyped again by Dirk, thus making it the only sprite of the session pre-retcon confirmed not to have its prototypings occur simultaneously and the only sprite to have a non-troll component.
In the post-retcon timeline, Vriska managed the prototyping instead of Gamzee. She prototyped Tavros individually into Jane's sprite, and once again Equius and Lil Hal were prototyped into Dirk's sprite. Vriska planned to save the other two sprites in the event of an emergency and not revive any of the remaining corpses. However, Jaspersprite prototyped Pre-retcon Rose into Roxy's sprite after Roxy's funeral for Rose, unbeknownst to Roxy, and Jasprosesprite^2 prototyped Jake's sprite with Nepeta's head.
|Character||Sprite||Prototyping Tier 1||Prototyping Tier 2||Notes|
|Tavrisprite||Tavros Nitram and Vriska Serket's remains simultaneously.||Their personality was so irreconcilable that they "tavrispl♉ded" almost immediately after being created.|
|Tavrosprite (Tier 1)|
Gcatavrosprite (Tier 2)
|Tavros Nitram's remains.||God Cat||With Vriska alive, her body was no longer available, so Tavros was initially prototyped by himself. After Tier 2 prototyping, allergic to himself.|
|Fefetasprite||Nepeta Leijon and Feferi Peixes' remains (order unknown).||Mirrors Jaspersprite as a combination of a princess and a cat-themed troll. She eventually "fefetasploded" from confusion over whether to listen to Arquiusprite or Erisolsprite.|
|Rosesprite (Tier 1)|
Jasprosesprite^2 (Tier 2)
|Pre-retcon Rose Lalonde's remains.||Pre-retcon Jaspersprite||Prototyped by Jaspersprite after Roxy's funeral for Pre-retcon Rose.|
As Jasprosesprite^2, sets the precedent of squaredsprites having defined legs and flashing constantly between the two component sprites' colors.
(Pre- and Post-retcon)
|Equiusprite (Tier 1)|
Arquiusprite (Tier 2)
|Equius Zahhak's remains||Lil Hal||Prototyped by Gamzee 5 months after entry. Tier 2 prototyped moments later by Dirk. Mirrors Davesprite by being first-tier prototyped with a being connected to the sprite's player's themed animal, and being second-tier prototyped with an alternate version of the sprite's player. This sprite is now inside of Lil Cal with Caliborn and will eventually become one with Lord English, although it is currently unclear which Arquiusprite. Post-retcon, Vriska and/or Dirk prototyped the same sprite for him (order is the same as pre-retcon, confirmed).|
|Erisolsprite||Sollux Captor and Eridan Ampora's remains (order unknown)||Hates himself, has considered self-destruction but a combination of apathy and possibly, a love of suffering, stopped him.|
|Nepetasprite (Tier 1)|
Davepetasprite^2 (Tier 2)
|Nepeta Leijon's remains||Pre-retcon Davesprite||Second squaredsprite to appear, and also the second gender ambiguous sprite after Tavrisprite.|
The trolls' spritesEdit
While itwhat all the trolls prototyped with, only half of the trolls' sprites were ever seen, and only four of the trolls had their sprites named within the comic. However, given the consistency of sprite names, the remaining names were easily surmised.
|Character||Sprite||Prototyping||Effect on Medium||Notes|
|Aradia||Frogsprite (Tier 1)|
Aradiasprite (Tier 2)
|Blue frog temple head (Tier 1)|
Herself (Tier 2)
|Frog eyes, webbed hands||Prototyped with herself post-entry, only troll sprite to be prototyped twice. Only troll sprite not prototyped with a lusus.|
|Tavros||Tinkersprite*||Tinkerbull||Fairy wings, bull horns||Only seenfrom a distance.|
|Sollux||Bicysprite*||Bicyclops||Extra head, single eye, affiliation duality|
|Karkat||Crabsprite*||Crabdad||Crab claws, head spikes, four eyes|
|Nepeta||Pouncesprite*||Pounce de Leon||Cat ears and cat-shaped heads, double cat-shaped mouths||Effect is very similar to Jaspers' prototyping.|
|Kanaya||Mothersprite||Virgin Mother Grub Lusus||Large lips, horns like Kanaya's||Name confirmedin Spritelog.|
|Terezi||Dragonsprite||Dragon Lusus||Dragon wings, dragon heads, dragon tails, clawed feet|
|Vriska||Spidersprite*||Spidermom||eight eyes, extra appendages|
|Equius||Aurthoursprite*||Aurthour||Mustaches, udders, horse-like lower bodies, dense muscle|
|Gamzee||Goatsprite*||Sea goat lusus||Goat horns, face fins, fish tail|
|Feferi||Gl'bgolybsprite||Gl'bgolyb||Drastic increase in size, tentacles||Name confirmed by Feferi.|
Enabled the Black King to release the Vast Glub.
*The names of eight of the trolls' sprites and tier 1 prototyping of John's sprite were never revealed; the names listed here are conjecture based off what was prototyped.
Dead session spritesEdit
Sprites in dead sessions do not serve the same purpose as in other sessions; instead they act as a replacement for the cruxite artifact. Soon after being released, the kernelsprite collapses into a black hole and grows to a massive size, sending the player's planet to the Medium. The was when Caliborn entered his session. Unlike other sprites, his alternated between two colors, his and Calliope's blood colors, despite Caliborn being the sole player. The exact reason for this is unknown.
In the only seen dead session, prior to entry there were signs the session had potential to be a multi-player session. If it is the case that would likely mean all dead sessions require a single player to reject the other player(s) and play by themselves. It was speculated that as the other player(s) are prevented from playing that their sprites and the player's sprite are all released at once. This could potentially cause them to prototype each other and collapse into the black hole, thus allowing entry into the dead session. However Andrewthat it was a single kernel that collapsed.
- Aradiasprite is the only prototyped troll to not have her sign after prototyping. She was combined with a sign-less animal though.
- During Vriska's with alpha John in the dream bubbles, she claims that the unspeaka8le prototyping atrocity (Tavrisprite) couldn't have happened unless her 8ody was sufficiently preserved during the 3 year meteor trip between when she died and when her body was prototyped, which would mean that a sufficiently decomposed corpse would not be prototyped. Contrary to this, Nannasprite was prototyped from a jar of Nanna's ashes, which is about as decomposed as a corpse can possibly get.
- However, , so Vriska may have simply associated improper preservation with being devoured by random wild animals as per the norm of her culture.
- The colors of the alpha kids' sprites are the same color the beta kids type in and visa versa (with the exception of Jaspersprite, who only ).