Powers of Ten


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November 4th, 2009

Powers of Ten

RayThe #1 joke made against the NintendoDS i XL is that it’s way too big, so it was very important that we do the joke with a unique twist. Thankfully, Jon Watts helped lend me a hand with this idea while Tim was preoccupied. For those who have never seen “Powers of Ten” – here’s the link, which I highly recommend viewing.


  1. Keja says:

    Who is the target audience? I suppose it’s the Japanese poking fun at the increasing level of obesity in the western world.

  2. Anon says:

    Are Tim and Ray on a date in the beginning?

    Also, still not X-box hueg.

    • Anon says:

      Also, why are you guys in Michigan?
      I get that’s where it zoomed out from in the movie, but you couldn’t change it to like Washington or something?

      Or do Toon Tim and Ray live in Michigan?

      You should seriously put some bios on those guys.

    • Ahhhwuh? says:

      That is a date if I ever saw one. Ray is even leaning against Tim while he gazes at the clouds. TRUE LOVE.

      This was not funny at all, and once I realized where the joke was going (oh say panel 3) I just let my mouse wheel spin to the bottom. All those panels you worked on making a galaxy and such. Complete waste.

  3. TAYREL713 says:

    That is a heck of a lot of scrolling but darn if if the joke didn’t pay off in the end. Also that first panel is ridiculous, please discuss how that was made on the podcast. Well done gents, well done.

  4. blaster says:

    I saw that video before…
    And the joke in the end is epic!
    Some people here said it was for the old people.

  5. bababooey says:

    Isn’t lightyear a measurement of time instead of distance?

    • The Gastronomic Gamer says:

      -_- Don’t you go reverse-referencing Pokemon on me.

    • freeplay says:

      light-years is the distance light goes in one year.

    • Ashitaka says:

      A common mistake but no, a light-year is a measurement of distance.

      • Dominator_101 says:

        He was making (I’m pretty sure, anyway…) a reference to Pokemon Red/Blue where a guy in Brock’s gym says “You’re still light years from facing Brock!” but after you beat him, he says “Light years isn’t time! It measures distance!”

        Either that, or he really doesn’t know what a light year is…

    • NJcom says:

      It’s the distance light travels in one year. Roughly 5.8 trillion miles.

      So why is the lightyear a power of ten? πŸ˜‰

      • Dominator_101 says:

        Well first off, it’s in meters, but it’s still an approximation. in meters, a light year is 9.461Γ—1015. Rounding that up to 10 (which is a little bit of a stretch, but whatever…) we get 1016

      • Dominator_101 says:

        Oops… forgot the ^’s. should be 10^15 and 10^16

  6. The Gastronomic Gamer says:

    If this was not your best comic, it was definitely the most epic. I love the first panel because it feels so well-thought out and natural at once, then a you have a long build-up that only makes it better, and end it with a punchline that I had somehow not expected. SCG (Spectaular Comic, Guys).

  7. Batty1580 says:

    I agree. Awesomely epic. Not as funny assome of your others though. Keep it up!

  8. Kvb says:

    Really? That’s the joke you’re going for?
    We already did these jokes back when the Xbox entered the console wars.

    • DrOswald says:

      But 2p start wasn’t around when the Xbox entered. Plus, this is a much more relevant problem because this device is made to be portable.

  9. steve-ohs says:

    Haha, I didn’t see the end coming. This is a very epic comic! Very unique. And that first panel is awesome!!

  10. vitor says:

    awww, you guys make a cute couple…lol

  11. MetaRidleyR27 says:

    Wow, Awesome Comic Guys! I personally hadn’t seen that movie until now, but I still got the joke within the comic. After seeing the movie, it’s really cool how accurate you were to the source material. πŸ™‚

  12. Nebula427 says:

    I totally knew what the source material for this comic was. Cosmic Voyage is my favorite IMAX movie but I had no idea what the punch was gonna be. I laughed out loud when I saw the DS. Great comic guys. The first panel of Tim and Ray having a picnic is both bizarre and funny at the same time.

  13. Dominator_101 says:

    Am I the only one who half expected Brock at the end?

    Man, I didn’t realize that the DSi had such great resoulution. It can really zoom in that far?

    I think you also could’ve just combined the bottom two panels into one giant DS, seeing as how the panels are roughly the shape of the DS, especially because all the other panel had a smaller square for the middle of the panel.

  14. roadjcat says:

    Not sure really what to say. More of a “clever” than a “haha” but it was pretty good overall. I liked the first panel a lot for some reason.

  15. Tacos says:

    Amazing! I love that Powers of Ten video and as soon as I read the title, I knew I could expect a great joke, and you guys did not disappoint. Definitely a top-10 comic for you guys. NCG indeed.

    • Tacos says:

      Ok, my turn to nitpick. In the actual Powers of Ten video, Tim should have his hand across his chest, palm facing up. This way, when the camera zooms back down, it can go into his atoms and find the GB Micro.

  16. Bobipine says:

    I heard about the DSi size augment, well they do have a cmera and stuff… that are worst then cell phone quality also heard

  17. Nice rendition of the video in comic form. I just have to say that last two panels of the comic made me think, “It’s God’s hand-held.”

  18. Apkinesis says:

    Very nice! Never saw the ending coming, yet I totally should’ve expected it.

    While reading though, for a second there I started thinking, “man, my finger’s getting pretty tired,” but the epic kept me scrolling.

  19. ultimateDK says:

    Is it wrong that the funniest part of this comic is me wondering “whose idea was it to make Ray the wife @ the picnic? If it was Tim, why would Ray go along with it? IF it was Ray then…why?” LOL. NCG guys…very thought provoking :-p

  20. ultimateDK says:

    Oh snap! if it is D*S*i^(X*L) meters away from Earth, then it is an incalculable distance away, since i (or sqrt(-1)) to any real number power is an imaginary number! Ergo the DSi XL is an imaginary product…Ray and Tim are calling out Nintendo that the new DS is a bluff! Man this is intense!

    • Dominator_101 says:

      Actually, because the i is to a power, that means that it would depend on what X and L equal. If they are an even number, then it isn’t imaginary. So if either X or L is even, then its real.

      table of i’s:

      i^1= sqrt (-1)
      i^2= -1
      i^3= -sqrt(-1)
      and repeat…

    • Apkinesis says:

      Well, given the equation D*S*i^(X*L), we might be able to assume that X*L = 4n (where n is any finite positive nonzero integer), making i^(X*L) = 1 for any n or for X*L = 0 (which in turn forces us to assume that D*S is some positive nonzero number). Or if X*L = 4n-2, then i^(X*L) = -1 (which forces D*S to be some negative nonzero number). So unless we have explicit restrictions on the ranges of possible values of each X*L and D*S (or even constant values for each) that tell us otherwise, the equation D*S*i^(X*L) can still in fact produce some real positive number which can be realistically used with units of meters.

      Otherwise, if D*S*i^(X*L) does produce an imaginary or negative number due to certain variable restrictions, then we could always pick up a DSi XL in the Twilight Zone when it’s released πŸ™‚

      • Dominator_101 says:

        A little more in depth then mine…

        But can we assume anything about the values of D and S given that we already have the DS, and the results of the release of the DS were mostly positive?

      • Apkinesis says:

        Haha, that’s very true, Dominator_101. By that logic, I guess that means XL = 4n-4 if the new system will do well overall, or XL = 4n-2 if it will do poorly. Success is all about crunching the numbers.

      • Dominator_101 says:

        Well, since both DSi^(XL) and 10^24 (what 100 million light years is) are in meters, we know that they are equal. This means that DS = either 10^24 or -10^24. Since we are already assuming DS is positive, it must be 10^24, so therefore i^(XL) = 1, meaning that XL is some multiple of 4. I think that’s about all we can get with the given information…

      • ultimateDK says:

        I am ashamed two-fold…
        1) I am really rusty with complex variables and it shows
        2) I just ruined my chance to get comment of the week

      • Dominator_101 says:

        You shouldn’t feel too bad about being rusty. Heck, knowing that i is something other than the letter in front on Apple products is probably more than most people know/remember…

      • Tim says:

        Yeah, don’t feel bad, I’ve got a degree in Math and I’m rusty enough now to refrain from jumping in with my own theories as to the value of DSi^XL.

      • Dominator_101 says:

        I never would have guessed that you had a degree in math… Wow…

      • Tim says:

        I also have a degree in Computer Science, as well as a Masters in Business Administration.

      • Dominator_101 says:

        I never would’ve guessed those either. I especially wouldn’t have guessed you had a masters (no offense).
        I’m hoping to get a masters in Software Engineeng and possibly minor in Computer Science.

      • CKcheeseboy says:

        Him programming a good chunk of this website didn’t tip you off to his CS knowledge? πŸ˜›

      • Dominator_101 says:

        That didn’t mean he necessarily had a degree in it. Especially when you can teach yourself to program by looking up stiff online. I don’t think every person who runs a webcomic website has a CS degree.

    • D3vin says:

      Doesn’t “lowercase i” mean it is an imaginary number? As in D times S times “imaginary number ‘i’ ” to the power of X times L? That might throw a monkey wrench into things.

      Remember, Math is as easy as 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288!


      • Dominator_101 says:

        Except when you put i to a power, as it is in this case, it can become a real number.
        i= sqrt(-1)
        what is (sqrt(-1))^2? -1, which is a real number.

      • D3vin says:

        I never got that far into math… Algebra 2 w/Trig. is the latest I’ve had… We barely touched on the idea of “imaginary numbers”, I just remembered that they were represented by a “lowercase i”

  21. Zac Erickson says:

    Bahaha! I love it!

  22. DrOswald says:

    I like this comic. Clever way to do an obvious joke. It kind of falls off after about 10^9, its like “ok, how much am I going to have to scroll this week?” but the payoff is pretty good.

  23. This is one of my new favorites. I had no idea what the joke was going to be, so that was a nice surprise. It reminded me of a recent Simpsons opening couch gag that is very similar (can’t find it on YouTube). Even though I know I shouldn’t view it on my iPhone, it still worked.

  24. Highwater Trousers says:

    Clever, clever, clever… and funny. I really enjoyed all the details put into this one, but Ray, how long did it take to do just the first scene? There’s all the little details for the picnic, but it’s only visible for the frist, maybe, two or three panels. Not saying that the rest lack details, it’s just that there’s a lot of stuff to look at in the picnic.
    Is it just me, or are a lot people enjoying the whole “Tim, Ray, and a picnic ” more than the actual joke itself? Just wondering…

  25. DrOswald says:

    OK, I don’t have time to search for hidden jokes this week. Does anyone see any?

    • Gadoink says:

      Well, Ray edited a tree out of the picture near where the picnic blanket is, it should be a little down to the left of where the blanket is, does that help?

      Yes, I did in fact go find the exact location on Google Maps.

  26. Mikallein says:

    hmmm….not bad guys…not ur best but still good.

  27. 285 says:

    For some reason I find this comic quite artistic, though it is quite a cheap insult it’s done in a Honda kind of way

  28. zeldario says:

    I gotta be honest I didn’t notice ray in the first panel is he starting to subliminally add himself into comics now?

  29. Talduras says:

    Alright, a mini finger workout! My scrolling finger needed a good bit of exercise after roughly a month of low usage!

    You know, the sad thing is this comic could actually be used as a relatively viable commercial, which the whole thing being set to the 2001: A Space Odyssey theme, with a tag-line at the end that reads, “DSi XL: It’s like having the universe in your pocket!” Egh… I’m starting to scare myself now. That sounds like a tag-line Nintendo would’ve used for the system if they came up with it about 20 years ago. Wait… no, they’d probably just change their previous tag-line. “Play it large!”

    Anyway… GCG (I’m going against the grain and using “good” instead of “nice” =P )! I would’ve laughed out loud if I wasn’t sitting in class and worried about making a fool of myself. I think a snicker escaped, though.

  30. tustin2121 says:

    Hilarious! I was wondering where this was going for a moment, but then I saw the side of the screen. HA!!!

    Also, I still need to see what the deal is with the fourth generation of DS. WHY DO THEY KEEP REMAKING THIS THING?!?! I still have my DS Phat, the original one, and it still works FINE (minus the shoulder buttons – they don’t work because there’s too much pocket lint in them πŸ™ )

    • CKcheeseboy says:

      It’s not a new generation. It’s exactly the same as the DSi except for the screen size. In fact, I believe it will be sold side-by-side with the current DSi, although I haven’t seen that 100% confirmed yet.

      • I would argue that the annual iPod releases are considered different generations, even if the only difference is size. It’s a new SKU, but yeah, functionally the same.

  31. Acgamer says:

    This just made my day. Awesome job.

  32. ZackDark says:

    I’m glad he didn’t start from the point of view of a loaf of bread.
    THAT would surely freak us out to death.
    (Whoever gets the reference, consider myself owning you a hug.)

  33. Narnian says:

    Aw, the married couple!

    Clever comic guys, I feel like people are going to start recognizing you by these gigantic comics, ha ha. What is Ray holding in the first panel?

  34. D3vin says:

    The new dsi, as I see it, is a “large print” version for the old people it is now trying to target… Besides, I overheard that Japanese is harder to read on smaller screens than English.
    Ncg, Since I don’t yet have a Dsi, I might get the fat model to compensate for my big hands…

  35. Supersonic24 says:

    Clever joke, but I though it would have been funnier if it had the DSi XL floating in space, bigger than other planets.

  36. Talduras says:

    Alright, there have been a lot of people asking which demographic this remake of the DSi is for, so it’s time I answer that with a link to a Joystiq article that got the words straight from the horse’s mouth.

    So, essentially, it’s for old people, big handed people, poor-sighted people, but more specifically Iwata says it’s for people people.

    In other words, it’s another one of those “things only Japan will really make use of, but that they send to the U.S. anyway because it’s something of a novelty, something collectors will want anyway, and something that we’ll release there anyway just because there are some people that have nothing better to than to spend money on something old that is new again.”

    In even fewer words, it’s marketing at work. -_-

    • CKcheeseboy says:

      I’ll paraphrase something I said on the forums:

      It’s something that older Japanese people actually wanted, so it’s useful for them, but as far as the rest of the world it was a lose-lose for Nintendo.

      If they bring it elsewhere, people complain that it’s unnecessary and pointless.
      If they don’t, people complain that only Japan gets the new upgrade.

      Either way, people will whine about it, whether it’s meant for them or not.

  37. BadnikHunter says:

    Haha, I didn’t get it at first, but after watching the video I found this kinda funny.

  38. Chocolate_bob says:

    Wait, is Ray… reading? Nah, it’s probably just some book about Smash Bros.

    • Dominator_101 says:

      Well, you can see that the book is closed, so he currently is not reading. Maybe he started to and gave up.

  39. pcargill says:

    so…much…scrolling…ray…tim…suing….you…if…i…need…surgery…for…this…XD, NCG

  40. FreezeWarp says:

    I must say I was quite surprised to see this comic, being I saw the original video for the first time 8 days ago (in science class). Of course, the surprise ending was just plain epic.

  41. SMGPLaya says:

    It’d be kinda cool to see some Galaxy planets while zooming out of the planets :’D

  42. Mr. Beatdown says:

    I can’t edit myself. But that link didn’t work :(. Here it is by lat and long.


  43. Zoltan says:

    BRILLIANT, just freaken Brilliant. I actually recognize the old video you’re taking inspiration from (the one where they zoom out and then zoom in on the guy’s skin) After I recognized it I didn’t know where it was going to go so the suspense just incited me with every panel I went through, panel after panel after panel, when I got to the punchline I was more amused then I have ever been reading any web comic I can ever remember. Like I said before, Brilliant!! If I could somehow rebury myself just to rise from my grave again and say I just rose from my grave because this comic was so amazing, I’d do it. Thanks 2p start, for reminding me of why I love web comics in the first place.

    I love you guys, and hey you don’t live too far from where I live. Maybe I’ll drop by for a happy happy visit sometime soon.

  44. Kriever says:

    Ray and Tim in a picnic? There should be Tim and Sarah!

    • D3vin says:

      No, It should be Tim and Sarah and Lily!

    • BadnikHunter says:

      Or Ray and Miley, this would be a decent time to bring her back, yet not to necessarily commit to anything with her yet (concerning the comic that is, we already know that they had their Sonic wedding).

  45. BadnikHunter says:

    Also, I have to add that the first panel looked INCREDIBLY strange. We just never see Tim and Ray from a top view.

  46. KF91 says:

    I guess this is a good comic to rise from my grave. πŸ˜€ I’m not a long-time lurker (Or grave-er? O.o) I’ve been reading since Comic #129 when I saw it in the Kotaku’s weekly comic wrap-up section. I’ve also been trying to listen to all the podcasts, but it hasn’t really been going well (With school and work and all…) but I have been keeping up with the recent ones. πŸ˜€

    I was confused with Ray and Tim’s picnic scene at first, but I understood after the view kept zooming out and saw that it was a “Powers of Ten” remake. But I’m confused with one thing: Who made that huge DSi and who would use it? God perhaps? O.o

  47. Genebit says:

    Nostalgia. Is it sad that as I was reading this comic that i also had the narrators voice stuck in my head from the original video.

  48. Dry Bones says:

    NCG! Loved the punchline. I think the next DS should have 2 HDTV-sized screens. BTW, thanks for including the link to the video. I’d never seen it before. It was pretty cool.

  49. D3vin says:

    A sneak peek at my third guest/fan comic:
    It’s a work in progress, but I can say that my Digital art is almost there with my drawn art, wouldn’t you think? πŸ˜‰

  50. JamBlur says:

    Hey guys,

    I’ve been reading 2P Start for well over a year now and in honor of your 100th podcast and 143rd comic, I have finally decided to sign up to your website and RISE FROM MY GRAVE. I never have to worry if the latest 2P Start comic will be good this week like I do with several other “mainstream” web comics. You continue to create an amazingly entertaining and amusing comic with your own creative art style and sense of humor which stands out from every other comic out on the web.

    In your latest comic you reveal the shocking truth that our universe is contained within the massively large piece of plastic that is the DSi LL. However, I soon began to realize a surprising fact that made me ponder for several hours and at last drove me to sign up to your website. Our universe is as massive, ever expanding, never ending sea of galaxies, planets, stars and suns separated by billions upon billions of light-years. A universe so vast and large that we as humans, living on earth, one planet in a world of an infinite number of planetary systems, are but tiny dots in the eyes of this universe. Yet you, Tim and Ray, being only a two small dots in this grand ocean, have managed to become an important part of so many peoples days and lives, creating beautiful and entertaining pieces of art, and for that, I give you my highest praise and my best wishes.

    Continue to do the amazing things you do and never forget how much we appreciate the love and time you spend at making all us tiny dots smile each week.

  51. SmackleFunky says:

    I was really hanging out for a “You momma’s so fat” joke there. *sigh*

    • D3vin says:

      Yo DSi’s so fat, It removed the GameBoy Advance slot so it could have a fully stocked refrigerator instead!


      That’s all I have…

  52. Gadoink says:

    That. Was. AWESOME.

  53. Sam says:

    Brilliant, I thought; for a long time I always saw 2pStart as by far the weakest webcomic in the Joystiq Webcomic Wrapup, but it’s really improved rapidly. I’ve seen some great jokes from here recently Great going, guys πŸ™‚

  54. TheK3vin says:


  55. LngBtm says:

    I think this is the first 2pstart that has ever really made me laugh. Good stuff, guys!

  56. Succulent says:

    Haha, pretty good one guys, nice job, made me giggle.

  57. terrorforma says:

    it’s metres! not Meters! But great comic. πŸ™‚

  58. Madcow says:

    First i was like “hΓΆΓΆ?”
    Then the physicist in me kicks in and thought “quite interesting”
    At the end “Ahhhh i saw what you did there!”

    I like it, [smart ass]even if the exponents has to be +1 [/smart ass] πŸ˜€
    Also you could have used the Si units to support the DSi XL punchline.

    up tp Yocto meters πŸ˜€

  59. Will says:


  60. CaraShrane says:

    XD I’ve actually seen the whole vid

    that is soo true

  61. Mirby says:

    The astronomer in me loves this gag. The gamer in me loves this comic. The gamer in me and the astronomer in me are happy.

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