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after many grueling hours of failed attempts i can now pass in a list of text and have it display one line at a time when you press Z !!!!!
(ended up moving the dialogue testing to a separate map to make it easier on myself)

some things i tried that didnt work out:

> Stencyl's draw functions include putting text on the screen so ofc that's the first thing i tried but those were impossible to use so i switched to labels (a rly nice dialogue extension exists for Stencyl but the repo for it isnt working so i cant install it!!!!!!! anger)
> it's cute when the text 'types' onto the screen itself so i thought i could try that by converting each line of text into a list of characters and have it print each character one at a time but that got convoluted fast so i dropped it for the time being since it's purely decorative

one thing i'm angry about right now!
obviously if the text is going to be on top of the player screen, u gotta have a text box to put the words in right? so i tried doing that multiple ways using a text box object with a plain rectangle sprite, drawing a rectangle with the draw function using the dialogue object, same thing with a new object, but i can't get the box to disappear with the dialogue after it's finished. most of my attempts involved basing the text box's visibility on a boolean (is dialogue happening? t/f) and the logic seemed to make sense to me but somehow the boolean wasn't changing to false at the end of the dialogue idk man!! suggestions are welcome as i continue to fight this very sad and small problem (i wouldve expected the text part to take longer but somehow this little rectangle is giving me more issues lmao cries )

if i figure out this text box thing then next will be getting the dialogue system to work with the actual player pressing Z in front of an NPC and setting conditions for what dialogue is shown!