Purely Subtle


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August 12th, 2009

Purely Subtle

RayI’m a little bummed we didn’t get to include Diddy Kong wearing a Nintendo hat, as it probably would have made an ironic ending panel. To make up for it though, you can take a look at the vector art for Samus, Link, and Luigi, as well as a sketch I did to prepare. Which is actually pretty rare…
I’d also like to thank all of you readers for making 2P START! such a long and enjoyable journey thus far. It’s been lots of fun, and I hope you are enjoying it as well. If you have never checked out our podcast before, I encourage you to take a listen. We actually strive to keep it a worthwhile piece of edited audio.

TimI was excited about this comic for a couple reasons: first, Ray got Link’s panel done a day early and it looked GOOOOD, it built up the anticipation for me! Second, those complaining about last week’s lack of ‘quality artwork’ would hopefully be more than satisfied with this one! Regarding the topic at hand, one of my favorite TV shows, Burn Notice, recently sold itself out to a beer company and now episodes include closeups of the beer label and lines of dialogue about how few calories are in this particular beer. I fear that as the gaming industry ‘matures’ we’ll see more and more of this (as if we don’t see enough already). Please Nintendo, never sink to this level!


  1. blaster says:

    That sure would be a nice way for Nintendo to make some extra money…

  2. randomperson says:

    Wow ! no wonder link has so much energy he drinks Gatorade and because of that he loses all his energy and dies.

    Anyways when did link start using Gatorade?

  3. Kvb says:


    Also, I was going to locate that secret preview Ray said wouldn’t be in the comic, but it’s far too obvious where that one goes… Bottom of the second panel. Rats.

    • CKcheeseboy says:

      Whoa whoa whoa, don’t be dissing Pikmin 2. Sure, there was a crapload of product placement in that game, but in my opinion, that one was excusable for the reasons sheppy mentions below. Those products fit because you were actually on Earth (SPOILERS! :P) collecting real things. If they only had random blank bottle caps lying around, it doesn’t make it feel like it actually is Earth as much as a Snapple cap does. I loved it every time I found another Chap-Stik or Duracell battery, because it really made it believable that you were actually on Earth. Now, if your spaceship had a giant Chevy logo on it or something, that wouldn’t fit as well, but the way it was done was, in my opinion, probably one of the best forms of product-placement in video games. In fact, that is one of the “features” that I actually would be really excited to see return in Pikmin 3. I just really enjoyed it.

      As far as the comic goes, this one doesn’t really do it for me. I guess I just feel like there really isn’t a joke. The art is good, though.

      • Kvb says:

        I’m not dissing Pikmin 2. I’m pointing out that “if Nintendo did product placement” really happened. That’s indisputable fact.

    • Samuraix98 says:

      yes i would agree with some PIKMIN plugs

  4. sheppy says:

    I remember when Nintendo first started 3D. They plastered their logo on ever polygon they could. Actually, this was sort of exclusive to Nintendo. Waverace plastered billboards with N64 logos. “Why yes, thank you Nintendo. I am indeed playing on an N64… it’s a good thing you reminded me.” Meanwhile the Playstation route was actual sponsors which may or may not annoy. “Yes, thanks Sony. One must Do the Dew while flying around on Rocket Bikes in an extreme fashion.”

    • sheppy says:

      Holy Demons! Why is there a star next to my name? In Mario Party, this would make me a target!

    • yeah568 says:

      Ahh… Yes. The N64 logos on essentially every billboard there was. I mean, we already know that it’s an N64, so what’s the point? To advertise for the console that you already have? Maybe if someone else is there, and they don’t have an N64, it’s to get them to buy one (As if you just playing it wasn’t big enough of an ad already…)? I dunno. Well, time to stop this comment before it gets too long and turns into a blog post……

  5. FireSpark says:

    I find this amusing, and yet depressing at the same time. It is an unfortunate sign of the times though. With modern technology granting us the ability to bypass the traditional TV commercial all together, we left advertising agencies nowhere to go. Thus they have burrowed themselves directly into the entertainment we enjoy. Tim mentioned Burn Notice, but also shows like Eureka have fallen prey to then need for ‘de moolah’. Eureka’s current masters? Subaru. Not so bad really, compared to last seasons ‘Degree Anti Perspirant’ travesty.


    Already in video games we have seen ads driven by user habits and computer history, along with the ubiquitous billboards and posters. But mark my words: I wouldn’t be surprised to be playing HALO:ODST, only to see my troopers chugging down on Game Fuel between missions.

    But regardless of the future of advertising in general,


    • sheppy says:

      I don’t mind advertising in games, so long as it doesn’t break the universe. Like Wipeout HD, for example, is rife with the possibility of advertising. Just watch a REAL race on TV. Problem is, with Wipeout HD, they didn’t TRY to be clever with it at all. Just imagine what a Pepsi commercial would look like in the Wipeout universe. Take a look at Back to the Future 2. Why companies aren’t trying to do that is beyond me. Most of them pull things off sooo hamfistedly, you end up shooting your first music video… sponsored by PONTIAC?!?

  6. JD Fedule says:

    Samus: What’s going on! Those things hit for two points of damage! TWO POINTS! You DO know the difference between TWO POINTS and TWO ENERGY TANKS worth of damage?! Right? RIGHT!?

  7. Tacos says:

    Very nice comic. Especially love the Luigi panel, with the slightly grainy look giving it the 50s style.

    And as for product placement in games, the one I always point out is the bananas in Super Monkey Ball have the Dole sticker on them. Its as if there aren’t any other actual bananas in the world.

    • Tacos says:

      And for nitpicking (probably my first time doing this): Link isn’t bleeding blue, as one does when they consume Gatorade. Clearly, it is not in him.

      • Tacos says:

        Also missed the logo. Not quite as subtle as the others, but still funny.

        And man, I love replies. That way I don’t feel guilty for taking up random spaces throughout the comments. Its just all stuck in one place.

  8. steve-ohs says:

    Greaet comic!! I love the art style of the Luigi and Link panels. I had to relook at the comic because the first time i missed that a bunch of gatorade wasn’t even going into link’s mouth (and he had pit stains). and there is a ad on Luigi’s overalls.

  9. Mikallein says:

    Hello 2P start! I am Rising from my grave!!!! I have been lurking is the shadows of the website sece the mario cart comic, AND i have herd ALLL the podcasts. (“wshew”)


    well untill the podcast….BUY ALL THERE T-SHIRTS AND…..and what?…i guess u guys dont have any thing els……hmmmmm Ray you need to get Tim to get a shovle and take out some cash out of his pool so u can make some Tim and Ray toys or trophies….HEY BRAWL TROPHIES lol. sorry i kinda rambled Anyways DOWNLOAD ALL THERE PODCAST’S AND HAAAAAAAACK’S!!!!!!!!

    • Airknight says:

      I have the strong urge to sing that last sentence to the tune of cheat commandos theme

  10. Siggy13 says:

    Product placement isn’t always bad. NBC signing a major advertising deal with Subway is the reason Chuck is still on so I’m pretty happy about that. Of course it remains to be seen just how placed Subway’s product is…

  11. elah says:

    Now imagine all those ads in the city levels of Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2. Then replace their made-up stuff with big-name brands. Actually, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Soap Shoes (Sonic’s funky footgear from Sonic Adventure 2 and the source of those ads with the word “soap” on them) might be an actual product.

  12. MetaRidleyR27 says:

    Nice Comic Guys! The joke was clever, and the art was great!

  13. Airknight says:

    Honestly, I’m fine with in game advertising as long as it doesn’t interfere with gameplay or take up unnecessary loading time. Don’t you hate it when your in the middle of something inpatient or exciting and an ad shows up.DANIEL X VIDEO GAME IN DS — JANUARY 2010! SEE TRAILER HERE! http://www.max-dan-wiz.com/profiles/blogs/daniel-x-video-game-in-dsIt’s like watching something on NBC.com and every 5 min an unskippable ad stops the show and makes you wait for the exact same commercial EVERY TIME!!! Anyway great comic and I wish Samus good luck in not hitting any 3G dead zones.

  14. DrOswald says:

    I think people slam companies too much for product placement. It can be a good way for producers to make an extra buck, and as long as product placement isn’t obtrusive or actually works in favor of the movie (or game) then it is just fine. I read the article that Tim linked to and I disagree with most of it, especially about Cast Away. Much of the enjoyment of that movie came from the excellently integrated product placement. It wouldn’t have been nearly as good if Tom Hanks worked for some random fictional delivery service, or he had decided to name an off brand volleyball Fred.

    That said, I do think there needs to be a lot of thought about how product placement is done, or it can really hurt the game or movie. There is a balance there, and context is very important. Putting real ads on in game billboards, for example, works fine if the game is in the real world (or close to it) setting. In game adverts in Metroid, however, are not so good.

  15. Kyzin says:

    Worst example I can think of this is Monkey Ball and Dole brand bananas. It got to the point where it was just ridiculous, Dole stickers were on anything, and I stopped playing for that reason.

  16. BadnikHunter says:

    That would be awesome. Just imagine…
    Link: “I JUST BEAT GANNON! That’s G.”

    Oh the possibilities of the different Nintendo characters…

    Of course, if Sonic Team allowed people to take THEIR characters for advertisments, Sonic would advertise shoes, Knights would probably advertise Red Bull, and the Monkey Ball characters would advertise… pet toys?

  17. roadjcat says:

    This was one of those clever comics, not necessarily a haha comic, but I enjoyed it nonetheless, and the last panel is freaking amazing and it’s awesome and it doesn’t need Rouge and it awesome!!! And it’s awesome!

  18. Funny joke x beautiful art + small details = classic 2P START!

    I hope no one else looked at this comic on their iPhone, as it’s too small to see the joke in the final panel.

    • cramill says:

      I saw the comic for the first time on my iPod touch. Yeah, I couldn’t really see the joke in the last panel. I was like “Whats ‘veri on’?” (I couldn’t really see the Z but i could barely see the ‘wireless’)

  19. DrOswald says:

    You know, it just occurred to me. Web pages always make T-shirts and other stuff, but I have never seen websites selling pants.

    • Gadoink says:

      Probably because pants don’t really have as much design potential as a shirt.

      Think of it like this:

      Would you rather draw on a big canvas or a narrow strip of paper?

  20. roadjcat says:

    I want to say a few things about the last panel:
    1. It would’ve been really awesome if you could see Samus’ eyes.
    2. I can’t believe you put the radar, weapon, and visor selections on the visor. That’s awesome. Oh and the energy tanks! But no missiles. At least not that I can see.
    3. NITPICKY TIME! Now don’t get me wrong I absolutely love that last panel, but sadly, nitpicking is fun for me. Umm…Samus has FAR too many energy tanks for her not to have all four visors at this point.

  21. Snifit says:

    Good comic though as soon as I realized it was a trademark 2PStart one joke per panel comic I was hoping for a few more panels but oh well. Great art (as usual) with a few good laughs (as usual) Nice job guys. Also like the small OshKosh ad on the overalls. Good touch.
    But now I have to ask who is the sexier cell phone spokeswoman, Catherine Zeta Jones or Samus Aran?

  22. cramill says:

    Good comic guys! I really enjoyed it. I love the small details. Great work!

  23. DGR says:

    All this comic needs is two things, one the Verizon people need to be behind Samus. Second you should have had Donkey Kong eating bananas from a certain company. I could just imagine him saying” The reason Bowser tried to steal my bananas was because they are fresh and full of vitamins. Silly lizard (Insert brand name here) are for monkeys.

  24. DGR says:

    Also you should have added a 2p start logo for one person. She could be surfing the internet and looking at your comics on Verizon threw her visor.

  25. The art is as great as always, but strip was just “meh”. I mean, yea, there is product placement in some games. So what? It’s less of a joke and more of a statement.

  26. Jonny Niko says:




  27. Dark_Devin says:

    ok so let me get this straight: Link drinks Gatorade which would explain why he runs around like a midget on crack all the time during wind waker, Luigi is homosexual and cleans houses in his spare time(no wonder Mario never invites him to save the princess, he doesn’t want to have to rescue a queen too), and samus always works alone on the alien planets cause she can’t call for backup on her verizon headset cause its always ‘out of service area'(those text messaging rates must suck)? Thats a really really interesting way to look at things..of course you forgot the best of all….Dr. Layton is legoman not to mention that lego and 2p start may be affiliated in some way on that note.

  28. D3vin says:

    The best game with product placement has got to be Crazy Taxi. Why deliver people to generic locations when you can take them to KFC, Pizza Hut and the now defunct Tower Records?

    Nice Comic Guys, the Luigi panel looks good.

  29. Bobipine says:

    Pretty good comic this week. Link’s artwork is really good, the water drops ad to the thirst quencher add, Luigi’s older comercial feel for house wives and samus being advertised for wireless stuff. fits each character in some way, sadly, for Luigi also (and I can’t read his ”cover-all” add)

    • CKcheeseboy says:

      Speaking of the water drops, what are they on? Initially, you would think they’d be on the camera, but none are in front of Link. So then you would think they’re behind him, but the blurry background makes it seem like it’s far away. Is there just a transparent screen behind Link with droplets on it, or is the background fake? Or did the cameraman simply clean only the drops that were in front of Link?

  30. roadjcat says:

    And I just noticed that outcast island is behind Link! I fail to notice too many things in these comics.

  31. dj75728 says:

    Product placement has to be the last concern that I have for Nintendo.

  32. roadjcat says:

    btw, is Samus’ background anywhere in particular like Link’s is? Because I see a couple blue/red objects in the background. And to my knowledge there is no Metroid Prime area with that olive-y atmopshere.

    • Ray says:

      Luigi’s background is generic, and Samus is in Brinstar from Super Smash Bros. Melee.

  33. Kilburn says:

    Not a bad comic at all. Wonderful styles for each.

  34. D3vin says:

    Samus should have had the ‘Can you hear me now’ guy following her, checking how strong the reception is on Zeebes

  35. Mattalorian says:

    So, how much did they pay you guys for this comic?

  36. BulimicKoala says:

    Isn’t it cheaper for Nintendo to release a plastic dumbbell for Xtreme Curls. They would make more money.

  37. BvrBoy says:

    Now this is the 2P Start I know. I had to look over the comic three times just to find all of the details. I love looking at the vectors and seeing all the things that you drew, but aren’t even in the comic. It shows how much work you actually put into this site. I love the idea, and I love the art styles this week. NCG, keep it up!

    Also, what happened to previewing comments? It was nice to check if the formatting was working correctly.

  38. Gadoink says:

    I actually like the panel with Link the most out of the three.

    • roadjcat says:

      That one’s a little too dark for me. I think that’s one reason why I love the Samus panel, it’s just really bright and has amazing coloring to it in addition to the amazing detail. I really cannot stress enough how much I love that panel.

  39. Gadoink says:

    Also, I’m just waiting for Nintendo to start doing product placement for SEGA, Sony, or Microsoft.

  40. zijjh says:

    Im sure that its been said already, but I think that the logo is almost funnier then the comic, just cause I do!

  41. dashx747 says:

    I particularly liked the drawings this week. Nice details on the backgroung. And Osh Kosh B’ was a great touch.

  42. Nebula427 says:

    Mario using a Craftsman wrench, DK eating a Chiquita banana, Fox flying a Boeing Airwing, the possibilities are endless!

    • D3vin says:

      Duck Hunt with a specific brand gun/bullets
      Shadow riding a Harley Davidson
      Pac-Man on Prozac

      • roadjcat says:

        When did Shadow and Pac-Man become Nintendo characters? XD

        But now that were going past Nintendo now…Rouge advertising Rouge anyone? haha. The bat advertising the blush if that wasn’t clear.

      • Gadoink says:

        It’s even better because Rouge DOES wear makeup…

      • roadjcat says:

        I wouldn’t doubt that’s where she got her name…

      • D3vin says:

        They qualify using the “Smash Bros Brawl Canadate” law:
        -If they have been on a Nintendo console, they are considered for the role.

      • Gadoink says:

        From the Sonic Wiki:
        “Rouge may have been named after the Jewel, the rouge, relating to her “jewel stealing”. “

      • roadjcat says:

        I’m pretty sure there’s no gem (btw, don’t look up Rouge Gem on Google Images) called Rouge. I googled all variations I could think of on the subject and came up with nothing. I’m pretty sure it’s the make-up.

  43. ­ says:

    I just noticed the logo on Luigi’s overalls, I can’t read what it says so I am going to assume it is somehow a Link to the Past reference.

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