Some observations about classes/aspects
Space is associated with frogs, creation, metamorphosis, and of course geometry. Some of these symbols are explicitly or implicitly related to each other anyway; for example, frogs are associated with metamorphosis in many more contexts than just Homestuck. Others branch out to cover a lot of ground by way of puns and metaphors: Whereas Jade can manipulate the physical distance between objects, Kanaya goes around restoring emotional distance between people (personal space).
(NB. Dave and Aradia are both really distant when we meet them, but warm up later on. Inversion?)
Time represents patience, entropy, destruction, and mortality. That last one is kind of controversial because it seems to overlap with Doom, yet it’s also pretty consistent in canon, and even explicit at some points. Given the wealth of meaning death has for us as living beings, I interpret Doom not as death itself (the event of life’s expiration) but the state of being dead, which is the ultimate failure mode for adventurers. Doom represents fate, helplessness, and the price of making mistakes; death is the most severe price, but not the only one possible.
Heroes of Breath are almost uniformly detached from reality in an emotional capacity: John has bizarrely calm reactions to all sorts of shocking events like his dad’s death and the existence of a game that can remodel his house. Heroes of Hope have a related detachment on a rational level. Once they’re convinced something is true, they get hard-headed about it and ignore evidence to the contrary. Eridan couldn’t be dissuaded from joining Jack, and the reality of his wand’s uselessness was totally lost on him. Nobody could convince Jake that Meenah was not literally the Condesce. Cronus was talked out of his wild magical fantasies, but he’s a Bard, after all; he’s allowing his Hope to be destroyed!
We know Meenah stole literal Life by blowing up her teammates. Metaphors are tougher with this aspect. We could say the Condesce stole agency from the Psiioniic, or power from other civilizations (and presumably her predecessor as empress). It’s possible Betty Crocker was a real person she impersonated (a stupid hypothesis, but relevant). She took the abilities of other trolls by tinkering with her own genetic code, which is associated with both Life and Blood. Other terms that might be relevant, by way of economics: Risk, reward, success, investment, etc. etc.
If Doom is failure, is it still possible to tell which Doom players are active, and which are passive? Passive classes are supposed to be altruistic, or have powers that work automatically for others’ benefit. I think Equius and Roxy are good points of reference here, with Void powers that activated without their awareness to benefit their team members. Sollux fucked up a lot (or made it possible for others, like Karkat, to fuck up harder) but in each case it was vital to the players’ ultimate success. In other words, he unconsciously turned failures into successes.
An incomplete list of times when Sollux fucked up or had bad things happen to him:
- Killing Aradia (but she survived as a ghost)
- Tried to sacrifice himself and his friends in order to save the world, when it actually worked out the other way around (but trolls as a species have a chance to survive now that they’re not stuck in a dying universe)
- Accidentally convinced Karkat to run the virus, thus killing his lusus (but Karkat was able to prototype his kernelsprite, and Gamzee remained sober much longer)
- Tried to stop everyone from playing the game, forcing Aradia to knock him out and barely waking up in time to enter (but he woke up on Prospit and had a lot of visions vital to their session’s success)
- Couldn’t stop the Reckoning (but used it as a weapon against the Black King)
- Got his ass kicked by Eridan (but he survived)
- Died of overexertion while propelling the meteor (but getting there as fast as they did was vitally important, and as a result he became a half-ghost with the power to leave dream bubbles)
More later. This isn’t supposed to be coherent or anything.