2P START! Live!: Positive Reinforcement Edition


RayTim’s sick, but Jon Watts fills his spot to rail on dumb comments about the comic, did Michael Jackson make the music for Sonic 3, guitarists and answering machines that drive Ray crazy, plus much more!


Music choice used


Specific artwork used only in this episode:



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  1. randomperson says:

    phew i thought this was going to be another dont listen edditon

  2. Zacko says:

    I thought that too! I’ll have to wait to get home now before I listen.

    I’ve been listening to a lot of the back episodes as well, and I have to say that they are all pretty awesome. For the sake of time I usually only listen to Comic Talk and Black Doom, and literally FELL APART LAUGHING HISTARICALLY when they were talking about the Wii “Have A Bath With A Buddy” Bundle. Anyways, looking forward to this one when I get home.

  3. Don’t forget, Gamefaqs’ character battle starts soon; be sure to nominate Black Doom! er, I mean, do forget to nominate Black Doom…

  4. roadjcat says:

    Okay again, I may be the only one who thinks this, but Ray you always say how you want people to be honest and say if they don’t like the comic, but you always seems to sound offended every time. This time you actually started mocking the people that didn’t like or get the comic. Yes, there are several levels of jokes here, each varying on your knowledge of the subject, but for the people that knew nothing about the subject, the base level joke, I’m sorry, was not funny. Without the knowledge of the incident it was just you going “Hey the box art looks funny!” If feel that not getting the comic is a perfectly legitimate excuse for not liking the comic. It is kind of your guys’ responsibility to present the comic in a way that the majority of people will get it. It is not to leave the people without knowledge of the subject high and dry, and make the upper two levels of the joke for the “informed”. I also have no problem with you guys relating to real life, but in this case, I feel the real life aspect overtook the game aspect, and that was my problem. I understand I sound rather obnoxious when I say it’s your responsibility to do certain things when you’re doing it for free, because it really isn’t your responsibility to make free material, good, however, I don’t think we should be made fun of for not getting the joke in the way it was presented. I even said, “Guess I’ve been under a rock, didn’t really care for the comic, but not really your fault.” I didn’t like the base level joke, so my lack of understanding of the subject did make the comic bad in my view, so just because we said we didn’t get it doesn’t mean we didn’t get the first joke. It means we didn’t get the other two levels of the joke, and thus it was unfunny.

    Now, for some random points about the podcast (very few):
    1. I didn’t care for the SNL skit about Woods much. Really I only watch that show anymore for the skits that Kirsten Wiig (Penelope, Judy Grimes, Target Lady, the woman that snuck in during the president’s speech in the cold open on Saturday) is in.
    2. I love Modern Warfare 2, but yeah now that you mention it, it’s very odd that in ended up on that list.
    3. Rouge.

    So yup, that’s it. I apologize if I came of a little rude in the comment above, not really intentional, just saying (XD) what I thought. No offense (XD). 😉

    • Zacko says:

      “It is kind of your guys’ responsibility to present the comic in a way that the majority of people will get it.”

      Really? REALLY?! I hate to say it, but this is the attitude of “entitlement” that Tim and Ray talk about. They are sharing their humor and artistic ability with you, as you said, for free. Also, would you have preferred Ray to be really depressed and offended by your comment? His confidence and pride in his work really shone through in this episode.

      Having said that, I don’t think I realized how much Tim serves as an anchor to reason until I listened to Ray and Jon ramble in this episode. NPG.

      • roadjcat says:

        I know I said that. They are not required to do anything for us. I freely admitted that. I was saying that if they’re asking for comments about the comic, honest ones at that, they should not be offended or start mocking the people who made such comments.

        I know I’m sounding rather obnoxious right now, but even for all the flack I’m giving Ray and Tim, but I hope they know that they could botch the next 50 comics and I still probably be here for the podcasts. Heck, I still probably be here for the comics.

    • CKcheeseboy says:

      “It is kind of your guys’ responsibility to present the comic in a way that the majority of people will get it.”

      I don’t know how this was addressed in the podcast (haven’t listened yet), but I disagree. In this case it’s slightly different because it’s not entirely video game related, but in the case of game-related jokes, not everybody plays every game, so there are jokes people aren’t going to get. If somebody has never played Animal Crossing, for example, the Tom Nook joke wouldn’t make any sense to them. That’s not Tim and Ray’s fault, nor is it the reader’s fault, it’s simply a case where the reader’s knowledge and writer’s knowledge don’t match up. If they tried to make every comic funny for everybody, they would run out of material and eventually they wouldn’t be funny to anybody.

      That said, I still think that this story was huge enough that almost everybody should have gotten it, and even if you didn’t hear about it, the basic “the box art looks like he’s screaming in agony” joke was clear enough to understand with context clues. In fact, I saw a picture of that box art in a sale flier yesterday and couldn’t help but think of his as screaming the way he was in the comic.

      • roadjcat says:

        Okay, I admit, saying it’s their responsibility was too harsh. And like I said several times, I got the base joke, I just didn’t think it was very funny.

      • roadjcat says:

        Okay, yeah thinking about it, I want to apologize. That was pretty harsh. It must’ve sounded less rude in my head.

  5. Apkinesis says:

    Nice Podcast considering the lack of Tim, and considering there wasn’t a whole lot of talk on video-games this week — just saying 😉 On a side note, I find it humorous that Tim’s latest Twitter update still says “Ray did a Podcast without me, yay!”

    This must be a new record for Longest Musical Misfit segment! Six and a half minutes if I counted right, granted the actual music only lasted about a minute and a half 🙂

  6. Supersonic24 says:


  7. Kvb says:

    Been a while since I suggested a Misfit, but here’s one:

    It’s the level 1 theme of The Adventures of Bayou Billy.
    It’s a funky fresh cool theme, but the game itself was horribly butchered during its localization, so the music never stood a chance. I’d say it was quickly forgotten, but it’s actually quite an earworm. I dare you to forget this this theme, once you’ve listened to it.

  8. CKcheeseboy says:

    Wow, that podcast was certainly…interesting.

    Anyway, how about a random Musical Misfit suggestion. It’s “Zombie Panic” from “Zombies Ate My Neighbors”, which recently came out on VC. Too bad I didn’t think of it before Halloween, but oh well.

  9. Talduras says:

    Nice podcast. Like the pun regarding Positive Reinforcement at the beginning of Black Doom. Priceless!

    So, um… I had a Musical Misfit suggestion lined up, but your suggestion of N+ reminded me of a Descent 1 track I heard a long time ago. As a youngster about a decade ago (meaning roughly Jr. High School age) I browsed a lot of websites related to video games, including http://www.newworldcomputing.com before they sank with the 3DO ship.

    Anyway, a website related to Descent had some tracks from the PS1 version of Descent, which featured some nice CD-audio quality renditions of the old MIDI tracks. My particular favorite was for Level 18 (the level is apparently called Miranda Mine). However, as yet I am VERY unable to track down even a single track from the PS1 game, and I don’t dare set foot into a Torrent site while on campus (probably wouldn’t do me any good anyway, since lots of downloader programs get throttled here).

    So, until I find that one, I’ll have to go with the suggestion of the most ridiculously over-the-top NES theme you will likely ever here: the title screen music from Solstice.

    …Maybe I’ll just save Descent 1 Level 18 for next week then. ha ha…

  10. The Gastronomic Gamer says:

    Ray, the messages are long and cumbersome for a reason: http://www.ted.com/talks/david_pogue_on_cool_phone_tricks.html

  11. Andrew says:

    I ALWAYS ask permission before I start playing the Carillon. It is just SO rude not to.

  12. Andrew says:

    Also, for a site apparently full of 12 year olds, not one person said something like, “I just stay on the phone when having sex with Jon Watts’ wife…”

    I think that says something positive about the maturity level of this site’s audience. Maybe you guys should consider upgrading your demeaning description of your fans.

  13. Highwater Trousers says:

    Rather surreal to hear your own voice… Anyways, when will we be seeing any 2P START! role model posters? A giant Ray Hargreaves poster says: “Lower your frickin’ expectations people. Then you’ll never be disappointed again.” In all seriousness, there aren’t that many great role models anymore. I can only think of one celebrity who cleaned himself up and turned his life into a success. Even then, he isn’t really seen much in the mainstream media.

    Dr. Phil the Video Game: Let’s Fix You. I heard there’s going to be DLC every week with new disorders and solutions. In addition, there’s going to be the Dr. Phil Network where people can take their own problems and use the Dr. Phil Program (sold separately) and turn it into DLC of their own. Well, great podcast guys!

    • CKcheeseboy says:

      This may be who you are thinking of, but your comment made me think of Josh Hamilton from the MLB.

      And I guess it also depends on what you are looking for for a role model. For example, Peyton Manning doesn’t have a “screwed up life –> cleaned up life” story, but he has admirable qualities that should be more prominent (especially in sports). Even though he’s one of the best QBs on one of the best teams out there, I don’t think I’ve ever heard him say anything negative towards an opponent. It’s always “both teams were great, everybody played really well, we just happened to be the team fortunate enough to come out on top of this one”, and he’s also one of the guys who directs a lot of praise away from himself and onto teammates, even when he (rightfully) deserves some of it. He’s a lot more refreshing to listen to than somebody like Randy Moss who’s mentality is “everybody sucks but me”.

      And if anybody says Chad Johnson (yes that’s what I mean) is a good role model then please never have kids.

      • Highwater Trousers says:

        My apologies, I seem to have forgotten the people who have just been decent people throughout their lives. Unfortunately, the world is just filled with people who have a “I’m better than you just because” mentality, so it is refreshing to see some decent people. Well, as rare as that is. One of the things I dislike is celebrities who have an incredible amount of fans, yet they snub them at every chance. Come on, the fans are the ones who support them. How hard is it to just be nice to these fans? Of course, we don’t have to make celebrities our role models, but it’s easier to track celebrities and follow their examples. Especially since the public eye is on them constantly.

        Bottom line: is the world more interested in Mr. Good Guy who always does the right thing or Mr. Thrill-A-Minute who always does something unpredictable and reprehensible?

      • roadjcat says:

        I could probably go through like my iTunes playlist and say that 90%, if not more of the artists would be good role models. XD

    • sheppy says:

      I’d say Captain Lou Albino is a good role model but he couldn’t even keep Cindy Lauper in line and where is he now? Dead, that’s where. Too soon? Well, for heroes I guess the Goonies are Good Enough….. OH, CAN HE STOP?

      Also, the sooner Dr. Phil dies, the better. He has no real solutions, just quick “made for TV” blame shuffling without tackling the problem head on. In fact, many of his solutions have been proven to be detrimental to the recover process of the people he claims he’s helping. But real help doesn’t make for good TV.

  14. Wyrm says:

    I hope Tim gives you a smackdown on why the voicemail message doesn’t do that next week Ray. Feel Better TIm.

  15. Keja says:

    I fell a sleep too early to call in, but I have a black doom for you anyway.

    Eddie. I stood by and watched as he mocked Ray’s devotion to Sonic’s original games and his displeasure at recent game attempts. I thought he was just having a joke; even though I disagreed with him I thought he was quite funny. Now fast forward to this week’s comic comments. I here see him completely insulting the readers’ intelligence. As talented as Eddie may be, he’s getting too big for his boots.

    Also, great podcast guys, even without Tim.

    • Wow, first I was surprised by getting Comment of the Week. Then I’m surprised again by getting a Black Doom Award! Just to clarify, it’s not an insult to call a 12-year-old a 12-year-old. It’s only an insult if I were to call someone older than 12 a 12-year-old. (BTW, Super Mario Bros. 2 & 3 came out when I was 12; so it was a good year for me)

      Jon was a lot of fun to listen to (as always), but I think Ray was a bit unhinged this episode. We really needed Tim around to ground it.

      For example, the reason mobile voicemail messages have those lengthy instructions is that the carriers put them there to tack on minutes. The reason Ray doesn’t have one is because he uses an iPhone and Apple insisted that AT&T remove them.

      Also, I disagree with Ray’s claim that you don’t have to have any knowledge in order to find the joke funny. As is obvious from the commenters on the comic, if you don’t know that Tiger Woods was involved with a car crash, it’s just going to seem odd to see that car on the back of the cover. Sure, Tiger’s victory cry doubles as anguish, and that’s the basic joke, but the car will be confusing if you haven’t heard about him. Of course, I haven’t read the Sports section of a newspaper or web site since before Tiger Woods started playing golf professionally, but I knew about this story. Meanwhile, I still don’t know what Patapon is.

      • Kvb says:

        The joke works without prior knowledge about the incident. I can attest to that as a foreigner who only reads up on international news that matters.
        Crashing a car actually happens to make a really good default reason for anguish. It really doesn’t come across as oddly specific.

        Why the other readers didn’t “get” it is because they’re stupid is beyond me.

        The reason I thought the comic was so-so was simply because I could spot some cheer in the Tiger Woods on that cover. I sort of had to blur my vision to not see it.
        That, and the car seemed a little too far away. I already had to ignore that little glimpse of happiness to make the joke work, but then I also had to rationalize taking a full 10 steps away from your crashed car before screaming in agony.

  16. randomperson says:

    again as my musical misfit idea frogs theme

  17. DrOswald says:

    First, positive reinforcement!

    Fantastic podcast. One of my all time favorites. You should get Eddie and John on the same podcast sometime. They make great guest hosts.

    I liked the black doom awards this time around.

    I was the one who made the comment about reading medical journals and such instead of the sports page, and I want to make sure people don’t think I am being all “holier than thou.” The reason I read mostly medical journals and scientific stuff is because I am trying to get into a cell biology graduate program with an emphasis on applying primary research to medical techniques. Therefore, I need to stay current. I am not trying to say I am better than anyone out there because I read “more important” things. As I said, I choose to live under a very specific rock because I don’t have much time to spend on popular culture. I would rather spend my free time on video games or something else I enjoy than sports. I would also like to point out that I said in that same comment that I liked the comic.

    Ok, I am going to say something that might sound mean but it really isn’t. I mean it from a point of constructive criticism, but however I write it it comes out kind of bitter and mean sounding, and I really don’t mean it like that.

    I think last weeks comic was not funny without knowledge of the whole Tiger Woods controversy. I think I am in a better position to make the call because I know why I didn’t find the comic funny at first, and it was specifically because I did not know about the controversy.

    The base joke of last weeks comic, that the Tiger Woods box art can look happy or sad, isn’t funny in the way it is presented if you do not know what was going on. The problem is that the joke is buried so deep in other jokes that the point is lost on someone who does not know what the other things mean. In essence, confusion trumps humor. Out of context the comic leaves too many unanswered questions to be satisfying.

    However, in context the joke is fantastic. After I had my brother in law explain the whole Tiger Woods thing to me I went back and read the comic again. I now find the comic very funny. I sent it on to my brother in law and he found it funny also. Knowledge is key to this comic.

    I think the disconnect happened because you got a little to close to the joke. You see the joke from the perspective of the whole creation process, we only see the end result.

    All that said, I think you were justified in using this subject as material because most of your audience will have the required knowledge and the rest of them can spend 10 minutes (like I did) to catch up on the thing and then the joke is funny.

    Wow. This comment turned out much longer than I meant it too.

  18. sheppy says:

    Okay, I guess I’m obligated to explain why I didn’t post a response to the comic last week. many reasons but let’s start somewhere.

    1. Technically executed quite well, I just didn’t find it funny.

    2. By Monday Morning, I was tired of hearing about Tiger Woods. It’s ridiculous that we have so many more important things to talk about and CNN, with my feed, is acting like TMZ. “The latest on something anyone with any sense of self importance could give three squirts about.”

    3. HE IS A JOCK. To defeat the whole “where have our heroes gone?” he is a big dumb jock. He is every single stereotype you can imagine (just look at the car he wrecked). And since when have sports heroes REALLY been morale pillars? When?!? Babe Ruth gambled, drank, fought, cheated and beat on his wife, but he played Baseball real good. And frankly, that’s where our interest in Tiger Woods should begin and end. Can he still play golf? Good, so he can still function in society at the capacity we paid him for. Is he cheating on his wife? He’s a professional athlete so I’m going with the entire history of all sports stars ever and saying “More than likely, yes.” But that effects his golfing how?

    All in all, had nothing good to say about last week so I decided to play Ratchet & Clank instead. But I thought I would chime in now that the “why wasn’t this funny” complaint has come forward. Sorry guys, better luck next week. Also my post would have been lost 30 comments deep past “NGC guys” and “First” fodder that typically fills the front comments.

  19. Ryman says:

    What? You killed a horse?! I’m calling PETA. Then you can explain to him about how you’re making fun of a Tiger, killing horses, and depicting the orphoning of poor baby penguins as commited by a short, overweight plumber that has a habit of wearing animal skins and beating up turtes.

  20. Loooca says:

    Along with a couple of people here, I’ll have to disagree with you, Ray. You DO need some (if whatever) sort of insight into the story. I didn’t know anything about it (after all, am not from the States) when I first saw the comic (I just tilted my head and moved on, glad I didn’t any of the comments) but then I did see the news a few hours later and then it made a lot of sense, and I came back to see it again.

    Get better soon, Tim!

  21. MiMGodfather says:

    Honestly Ray, I think you are totally justified in your annoyance toward these people. I remember looking through the comments and thinking how ludicrous some of them were. Yes I agree that *some* insight on the situation is required to get the full effect of the joke, but I see no reason why it would be considered *not funny* either way.

    Also, your interactions with Jon during the podcast were hilarious! I especially loved both of you ragging on the annoying comments and the ending story with Jon and his wife probably almost wanting to kill you 🙂

    Oh, and thanks for getting my username right. I’ve had to tell people who read it out loud that it’s not “mim-godfather”, it’s “m-i-m-godfather”. An easy mistake to make of course, but I guess it just annoys me a little because I’ve known how it should sound for a few years now.

  22. Aaron90 says:

    Rising from my grave!
    I’m Aaron, 19 years old and a fan of webcomics and also a co-author of one.

    I think I’ve been reading the comic since around the time Brawl was nearing release, cause I wanted to play Brawl so much I would have to find something Brawl to feed my unhealthy addiction to finding information about the game, me being from the UK meant I had to wait for like 12 more months!
    This comic happened to be there and I have been reading it ever since.

    I absolutly love these podcasts you guys do, more than the comics you do.
    I just prefer them, don’t hate me.
    I enjoy using them as background sound while drawing or whatever, its just good to sit listening to people talk about stuff.

    Anyway, I havent listened to all of the Podcast’s, though I plan on slowly getting through them.
    I’ve read through all the comics, my favourite has to be the Brawl one where Ray is all “Hey, come with me to get Brawl!!” and Tim’s all “NO! TAXES! But I’ll drive you there I guess.” and then Ray is all “LANDMASTERRRRRRR!”
    I hope the roof is repaired, they need to develop some kind of technique to make it appear under the roof, rather than on top.
    I cant remember the title, but the word Landmaster should narrow down the possible comic I am referencing.

    Anyway, you guys keep on rocking!
    Make more fun podcasts.

  23. pcargill says:

    NPG but there is a role model, his name is Larryboy and HE IS THAT HERO!!!! also, you let Jon Watts replace Tim and not me?!? how dare you? im much more monotone that Jon Watts

  24. TheNinjaMouse says:

    Um, wow, a little more behind-the-scenes look into Jon’s personal life than I was expecting.

  25. Doopliss says:

    So many essay comments this week.

  26. Tim says:

    The caller Michael lives literally minutes from me (Camarillo, CA). One week the caller is from another continent, the next it’s practically a neighbor!

    • Highwater Trousers says:

      So, how does it feel to be known by people all around the world? What are the odds of running into you by accident? Million to one? Trillion to one?

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