1608: Hoverboard

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To experience the interactivity, visit the original comic.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: It's possible not all of the game's secrets have been unearthed yet.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

The "comic" is actually a browser game made to celebrate the release of Randall's new book, Thing Explainer, which was released on the same day as this comic (November 24th 2015). The comic appeared on a Tuesday, replacing that week's normal Wednesday release.

The game features Cueball riding on a hoverboard. The only controls are the arrow keys (or, on mobile, tilting to move left and right and tapping to jump). The player can jump repeatedly mid-jump to reach increasing heights. The player begins in a line-drawing maze with 17 gold coins located throughout and a "deposit" station. The ostensible goal of the game is to collect as many coins as possible and return them to the deposit in the fastest possible time, which returns a text message describing the result. Players consumed with obtaining the best possible time result for collecting the coins may not realize there is anything more to the game.

Beyond the maze on either side (just far enough that players who remain within the maze will not see) are tall walls seemingly designed to contain the player. However, the walls have a finite height and, combined with the ability to multi-jump, the player can leave the purported "play area" either to the sides or above the initial maze. This returns a flashing red error message "return to play area".

Outside the play area is an entire world to explore including numerous points of interest and Easter eggs similar in style to comic 1110: Click and Drag. The larger game world is physically bounded in the left and the right direction, but is technically unbounded upwards, however, past a certain point there appears to be nothing interesting in the up direction. However, the longer you continue to fly upwards by pressing the up arrow repeatedly, the longer will it take for Cueball to fall down again once you stop pressing. In principle it may also be unbound in the downwards direction, but there is only a few places you can "sink" into the ground/water/lava, and here you cannot go down indefinitely. It could be possible that there could be some unexplored parts of the map, but given the map is already made this seems unlikely. There are 152 more coins outside the initial "play area" for a total of 169 in the entire game.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Help needed migrating the info into a table
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.
Coordinates Description
x: 483735, y: -551990 "What news of the world above? Please tell me - what's hot and viral? What's trending on twitter?"
x: 509587, y: -554621 Washington Monument
x: 509587, y: -554621 Captain's log

Technical aspects

As previously noted, the comic bears considerable resemblance to 1110: Click and Drag. The comic is made in much the same way, with 'drawn' images "glued" together to form a large "map", with the illusion of infinite bounds made possible through space saving techniques where blank tiles are not stored and are instead painted white. The boundary between blank squares and 'drawn' squares is made clear as any white space in the normal images has a very slight grey tint. Thus, seams between images and blank spaces can be discerned.

The tiles for the map are stored as simple PNG files in the naming scheme: X:Y+s.png. An example can be seen here: http://xkcd.com/1608/1013:-1096+s.png Each file is 513x513 pixels in size, one pixel is reserved as overlap to ensure seamless joining of images. So far, through experimentation, tiles in the range 928 to 1108 X and -1112 to -928 Y have been discovered, internally, the position of the player is divided by 512 and rounded down to give the position of the tile.

The collision map is encoded in the darkness of the black. Using an image manipulation program, one can easily find the secret pathways even in the zoomed out maps provided below by enhancing the contrast of the dark areas. On a slow connection, it's possible to move into an 'open' area and then the black image loads in and (probably permanently, without tricks) traps you immobile.

The game was made by Max Goodman who has previously worked on 1416: Pixels. The source code for the game can be found here.


one incomplete compilation of the entire game area (note the missing pinnacle of the Washington Monument

Starting area - (x: 512187, y: -549668)

West / Left

  • Washington Monument - (x: 509864, y: -549746)
    • Invisible entrance through the Monument, indicated by arrow sign
    • Secret entrance into the inside of the Monument, right side, about halfway up - (x: 509815, y: -552614)
      • From there you can fall down to the fault line shown in about the middle of the monument. You cannot see Cueball while he is in the monument in either entrance.
  • Girl in a hamster ball - (x: 505790, y: -549905)
  • Yet another dig at the Lion King and the lands touched by shadow - (x: 504998, y: -550676)
  • An X-Wing at a gas station, with coin accessible from the left - (x: 503253, y: -551129)
    • Go straight up from the cockpit for a coin, carried by african swallows (non-migratory)
  • A well with a girl at the bottom of it (and one of the yellow game coins), claiming to not be a ghost. A possible reference to Sadako/Samara from Ring (novel,film,remake) - (x: 501998, y: -551030)
  • Landing re-entry capsule with parachutes - (x: 500040, y: -552369)
  • Local Mom discovering This One Weird Bug - (x: 497994, y: -551334)
  • Someone flying a kite, with a coin beside the kite.
  • Volcano -
  • Ponytail riding a cycle (a reference to canvas rider?)? (x: 490610 y: -554364)
  • LOTR Eagles - (x: 489661 y: -556811)
  • A periscope peeking out of a shallow lava pool near two people playing "the lava is a floor" - (x: 488573 y: -556337)
  • Lava pools -
  • A dark grey ocean that isn't noticeable until you fall in
    • With suicidal quadcopters taking footage of it over a coin - (x: 486640, y: -554838)
  • Elon Musk's Volcano Lair - (x: 484167, y: -549462)
    • entrance hidden under volcano lava, before reaching Artex - (x: 483791, y: -551292)
  • The ground, that presumably all grounded electronics are connected to - (x: 485125, y: -549062)
  • Artex + Gandalf - (x: 483715, y: -554354)
  • Basketball hoop, with coin - (x: 479523, y: -554877)
  • Giant floating rock island in the sky (x: 507163, y: -567537)
  • Hat underground
  • A hole which traps(?) the player unless noclip mode is used
  • A person sitting down and singing about gold (reference to the 1982 video game The_Hobbit_(1982_video_game))

East / Right

  • People holding anchor lines to the Tantive IV (Star Wars: A New Hope), being attacked by an Imperial Star Destroyer - (the people: x: 518954, y: -549056)
  • Desert with dunes - (x: 520000, y: -549114)
  • Ocean Yelper (giving only 2.5/5 stars) - x: 522015, y: -549015
  • Talking Rogue Wave - (x: 523460, y: -549013)
  • Wedding - (x: 531558, y: -549386)
  • Graveyard - (x: 534140, y: -549546)
  • Remains of Ozymandias' Statue - (x: 535927, y: -549666)
  • Huge pyramid - (x: 538167, y: -550906)
  • Blackhat's hat on a stick - (x: 549997, y: -549777)
  • Whitehat's head in the grass? - (x: 559826, y: -549847)
  • Giant bird nest - (x: 567123, y; -550417)
  • Beret Guy riding a torpedo - (x: 522754, y: -554342)

Rebel Blockade Runner

Up in the air is the CR90 Corvette, Tantive IV aka Rebel Blockade Runner with Princess Leia fro. The start of the original Star Wars movie.

  • Coordinates:
    • ??
  • Cueball is standing at a ledge with a fishing rod with something on the hook somewhere below the spaceship. Two birds are circling the line.

Imperial Star Destroyer

High up in the air there's a huge spaceship.

  • Coordinates:
    • top left at (513072, -560660)
    • bottom left at (513080, -559470)
    • top at (552154, -569022)
    • top right at (556557, -567711)
    • bottom right at (558244, -556542)
  • Entrances (from bottom left clockwise):
    • Tunnel at (513080, -559680)
    • Tunnel at (513166, -560434)
    • Shaft at (516560, -560912)
    • Shaft at (519200, -561108)
    • Shaft at (525255, -561527)
    • Shaft at (527990, -561844)
    • Shaft at (533087, -562298)
    • Shaft at (539637, -563233)
    • Tunnel at (540958, -563721)
    • Shaft at (543789, -564670)
    • Stairwell down at (547438, -565058)
    • Tunnel at (552319, -566184)
    • Tunnel to an isolated small room at (557774, -562042)
    • Shaft at (556350, -556720)
    • Glitchfloor at (547890, -556779)
    • Shaft at (543850, -557500)
    • Main ramp at (537260, -557969)
    • Tunnel at (531840, -558547)
    • Parachutists' ramp at (526624, -558664)
    • Ramp at (525300, -558747)
    • Shaft at (520440, -559100)
    • Shaft at (516825, -559300)
  • Interesting objects and places inside:
    • Steven Universe and the Crystal Gems - (x: 551664, y: -567383)
    • A nearly complete depiction of Level 1 of Prince of Persia - (x: 551532, y: -563512)
    • Emperor Palpatine Park and Gazebo - (x: 546819, y: -559584)
    • Dancers (possibly spinning counter-clockwise) dancing to piano music - (x: 547536, y: -563301)
    • Octopus guarding two coins - (x: 531646, y: -559663)
    • A sign saying "Caution GlitchFloor" (falling straight down through it nets you a coin someway down) - (x: 547898, y: -556784)
    • A huge light bulb - (x: 555405, y: -557769)
    • The Emperor birdwatching - (x: 554777, y: -567346)
    • Ponytail recreating Joust on an ostrich - (x: 552048, y: -568045)
    • A party on the ceiling (negative gravity?) - (x: 550350, y: -564354)
    • A huge ant - (x: 552309, y: -560208)
    • Tube slide - (x: 541813, y: -563721)
    • A reservoir (?) with hidden passages - (x: 541300, y: -560330)
    • A huge spark gap (?) - (x: 541900, y: -558110)
    • Torpedo launcher room - (x: 529627, y: -558481)
    • A Tetris block falling - (x: 529414, y: -529220)
    • Lightsaber Piñata party - (x: 515353, y: -560329)
    • Swimming pool - (x: 517346, y: -559831)
    • Children's swimming pool (ball pit?) - (x: 514500, y: -560436)
    • A crocodile - (x: 553623, -568091)
    • Spiral tunnel - (x: 543320, y: -558314)
    • A car - (x: 537750, y: -557937)



The keyboard controls are as follows:

  • Go Left - Left arrow key, a or h
  • Go Right - Right arrow key, d or l
  • Go Up (jump or hover) - Up arrow key, w, or k
  • Go Down (if gravity disabled) - Down arrow key, s, or j

This control scheme covers the three commonly used directional key sets: WASD a set of keys commonly used by modern games; HJKL a set of movement keys used by vi and applications which attempt to mimic vi key controls (vim); and the arrow keys, the most generic set of keys which is usually accepted by most applications which take movement as input, these were commonly used in older games.

On devices which have a touch screen and tilt sensor (portable devices like mobile phones and tablets) the controls are as follows:

  • Go Left - Roll the device anticlockwise
  • Go Right - Roll the device clockwise
  • Go Up (jump or hover) - Tap the screen

After inspecting the source code, there appears to be no way to move down on a portable device, this is only relevant if gravity is disabled.

Cheats and Exploits

Aside from the obvious ability to move out of bounds in the game, there are some more obscure hidden features which can't be enabled through normal gameplay, the ones found so far are as follows:

Modes are activated by opening the Javascript Console (F12 [Or Command-Alt-I in most browsers under Mac OS X] to open Developer Tools, then Console tab) and writing corresponding commands:

  • Gandalf Mode: window.i.am.gandalf = true - jumps and runs further. displays a white gandalf hat that works well in places where the avatar can't be seen.
  • Speedhack: explorer.opts.speed= *Value* - Speed hacking, with 1 = normal speed
  • Jump Hack: explorer.opts.jumpForce= -*Value* - Jump hacking, with -1 = normal jump (positive values cause the hoverboard guy to move down when jumping)
  • Mewtwo mode: window.mewtwo = true - disables gravity
  • Noclip mode: window.noclip = true - player is able to move around the map without collision. Combine with Gandalf and Mewtwo modes for free easy map traversal.
  • Goggles mode: window.ze.goggles() - displays a small window showing area around the player in a pixelated manner. The goggles indicate collision boundaries (where the player touches the world) in cyan lines. Black pixels that are passable (such as other characters or text) will be highlighted red (allowing secret passages to be discovered).
  • Position Tracking: window.explorer.pos - Returns the player location to the console. Can be used to track position and test to ensure you are still moving. Must be re-entered to compare positioning.
  • Position Setting: window.explorer.pos.x = *Value* or window.explorer.pos.y = *Value* - Can be used to manually set a position within the world. The start is at x: 512106, y: -549612. The left terrain bound is at x: 475210, y: -553711. The right terrain bound is at x: 567281, y: -549712. Mewtwo and Noclip modes are a must for exploring in this way.
  • All the above: window.explorer.opts - Contains all the game's parameters. You can directly mess with gravity, collision (disableCollision), jump force (jumpForce) and speed (maxSpeed), among others. Run Object.keys(window.explorer.opts) to list all available parameters you can tweak.
  • List all coins: window.explorer.objects - Array containing the position of the 169 coins of the game.
  • Disable tilt input: getEventListeners(window)['deviceorientation'][0].remove() - on Macs with motion sensor, disables tilt input which causes problems controlling the avatar

Getting All Coins: To instantly get all coins, input the below into the console window. Does not use standard formatting of [i] to avoid conflicts with window.i.am.gandalf

   for (var T = 0; T < explorer.objects.length; T++) {
       explorer.objects[T].got = true;

To teleport to the next coin every time you press the left or right arrow:

   var T = 0;
   document.onkeydown = function(event){
     if (event.keyCode == 37) { T = T-1 }
     else if (event.keyCode == 39) { T = T+1 }
     else { return }
     T = T % explorer.objects.length;
     var coin = explorer.objects[T];
     explorer.pos.x = coin.x1; explorer.pos.y = coin.y1;

For a quick tour of all the coins:

   var delayInMilliseconds = 1000; // 1 second delay between each teleport. feel free to change this.
   var index = 0;
       explorer.pos.x = x.x1;
       explorer.pos.y = x.y1;
       x.got = true;
       explorer.frame(); // forces a redraw
     (index + 1) * delayInMilliseconds);

To see a list of coin coordinates you have not yet collected:

   var L = 0;
   for (var S = 0; S < explorer.objects.length; S++) {
       var I = explorer.objects[S];
       if (I.got) {
       } else {
           console.log(I.x1.toString() + ", " + I.y1.toString());
   console.log("You've found " + L.toString() + " of 169 coins");

To display the distance and direction to the closest coin (with inverted colors once you have all the coins):

   function distance(x1, y1, x2, y2) {
       var dx = x2 - x1;
       var dy = y2 - y1;
       return Math.sqrt(dx * dx + dy * dy);
   function angle(x1, y1, x2, y2) {
       var dx = x2 - x1;
       var dy = y2 - y1;
       return Math.atan2(dy, dx) * 180 / Math.PI;
   function renderRadar() {
       var mindist = 10000000000;
       var closest = {
           x1:512278.0, y1:-549613.0
       var linecolor = "red";
       for (var S = 0; S < explorer.objects.length; S++) {
          var I = explorer.objects[S];
          if (!I.got) {
              var dist = distance(explorer.pos.x, explorer.pos.y, I.x1, I.y1);
              if (dist < mindist) {
                  mindist = dist;
                  closest = I;
       if (mindist == 10000000000) {
           mindist = distance(explorer.pos.x, explorer.pos.y, closest.x1, closest.y1);
           if (document.getElementById("radar").style.backgroundColor != "red") {
               document.getElementById("radar").style.backgroundColor = "red";
           linecolor = "green";
       } else {
           if (document.getElementById("radar").style.backgroundColor != "green") {
               document.getElementById("radar").style.backgroundColor = "green";
       var ang = angle(explorer.pos.x, explorer.pos.y, closest.x1, closest.y1);
       var indicator = "";
       if (ang > 112.5 || ang < -112.5) {
           indicator += "left";
       if (ang < 67.5 && ang > -67.5) {
           indicator += "right";
       if (ang > -157.5 && ang < -22.5) {
           indicator += " up";
       if (ang > 22.5 && ang < 157.5) {
           indicator += " down";
       document.getElementById("radar").innerHTML = "Distance: " + mindist.toFixed(1).toString() + "<br/>";
       document.getElementById("radar").innerHTML += indicator + " (" + -ang.toFixed(1).toString() + "°)";
       document.getElementById("radar").innerHTML += "<div id='circle' style='border: 1px solid black; border-radius: 50px; width: 100px; height: 100px; position:absolute; top:50px; left:25px'/>";
       document.getElementById("radar").innerHTML += "<div id='line' style='width: 50px; height: 1px; background-color: " + linecolor + "; position:absolute; top:100px; left:75px; transform:rotate(" + ang + "deg); transform-origin:0% 0%'/>";
   var d = document.createElement("div");
   d.id = "radar";
   d.style.position = "fixed";
   d.style.left = "0px";
   d.style.top = "0px";
   d.style.width = "150px";
   d.style.height = "160px";
   d.style.border = "1px solid red";
   d.style.zIndex = "2";
   d.style.backgroundColor = "green";
   d.style.color = "#8f8";
   setInterval(renderRadar, 100);

To display your current coordinates:

  function renderRadar2() {
      document.getElementById("radar2").innerHTML = "x: " + explorer.pos.x.toFixed(1).toString() + "<br>y: " + explorer.pos.y.toFixed(1).toString()
  var d = document.createElement("div")
  d.id = "radar2"
  d.style.position = "fixed"
  d.style.left = "150px"
  d.style.top = "0px"
  d.style.width = "150px"
  d.style.height = "35px"
  d.style.border = "1px solid red"
  d.style.zIndex = "2"
  d.style.backgroundColor = "green"
  d.style.color = "#8f8"
  setInterval(renderRadar2, 1000)


By observing page code while playing, the game grabs and displays images based on location, and subsequently clears all non-visible images. The game uses what seems to be a position syntax to retrieve the intended images live, and returns an error if such an image does not exist, such as a blank area. This technically means things could be added to the world and updated live. If the player is moving sufficiently fast or if the internet connection is slow, this means that the player can get stuck in a black area that does not load in time.

This also means that the game does not have coded top or bottom limits, so any attempt to find the ceiling of the game will be futile unless the game is tweaked. The game does however have side limits.

When you deposit a certain number of coins, you will get one of the following messages:

  • 0 coins : You got 0 coins in (n) seconds/ You successfully avoided all the coins.
  • 1 coin : You got a single coin in (n) seconds/ It's a start.
  • 2-4 coins : You got (n) coins in (n) seconds/ Not bad!
  • 5-9 coins : You got (n) coins in (n) seconds/ Terrific!
  • 17 coins : You got 17 coins in (n) seconds/ You found all the coins! Great job!
  • 42 coins : You got 42 coins in (n) seconds/ No answers here.
  • 169 coins : You got 169 coins in (n) seconds/ Are you Gandalf?
  • All others: You got (n) coins in (n) seconds

Opening the console will display the text: what? hoverboard not enough for you!? in the log. Activating goggles mode will cause the text 'B-)' to appear in the log.

Leaving the play area will cause the red text 'Return to the play area' to rapidly blink 3 times over 1.2 seconds (the text if gone for 150 ms duration between each blink), this is followed by a pause of about 1.3 seconds, and this will repeat 5 times for a total of 15 blinks over 11.3 seconds. This will also reoccur if the player passes through the play area on their way back from exploring one side. And it will stop if you return to the play area. It would probably stop some people from going forth...


[This transcript only covers the starting page as shown on xkcd: xkcd 1608. A full transcript of the entire comic will be listed on a separate page.]
[Cueball is shown on a hoverboard in the centre of the comic. Around him is a simple maze with 12 yellow coins. Another Cueball without howerboard is shown standing on one of the platforms to the right. The bottom half of the window is black. Right of where Cueball stands is a ramp. Behind the ramp is a computer. There is lots of space left of the maze, outside the maze. Text is only written in white below in the black area. The first part of the text is written below Cueball on hoverboard. Then there is an arrow pointing to the computer and a label. Finally there is a line of text at the bottom of the black area.]
[Under Cueball:]
My new book,
Thing Explainer,
comes out today!
To celebrate, here's
a small game.
[Under the arrow below the computer.]
Deposit coins here
[At the bottom:]
Use the arrow keys to move
[For the full transcript of the entire comic see 1608: Hoverboard/Transcript.]


  • There is as usual no title text for these interactive comics. But there is actually one listed in the info page on xkcd. But this text: "Return to the play area", is never shown as a normal title text. But it will erroneously be shown in the unofficial mobile versions of the site.
    • This is actually the text that is shown blinking red at the buttom of the screen when leaving the starting area.
  • If the focus switches from the game to the page, the cueball can freeze in midair. The same thing can happen if the window border overlaps the play area.
  • The Washington monument has an invisible floor next to the visible bricks which you can enter from further up the monument.
    • You can also just walk through the monument at its base as shown by the sign.

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Well, this will be the next incomplete explanation for a while. - 21:58, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Still working on it now four months later. But not many other helping with it. ;-) Getting closer to the end though with the table in place. --Kynde (talk) 14:10, 26 March 2016 (UTC)
It’s done! Rejoice

Yes, one thing to note is how to get the hell out of the cave near the volcano 22:38, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

The image is made up of small images with addresses of the form http://xkcd.com/1608/XXXX:-YYYY+s.png (although not every coordinate inside the bounds has an image associated). A script could probably dump out all the images and paste them together. -- 22:46, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

West -- Under Lava Pools -- Elon Musk's Secret Volcano Base (not as enjoyable as you might expect).

The Starship out east contains, among other things, Darth Vader, apparently explaining Steven Universe to a subordinate. (Steven and the Crystal Gems can be found a the west end of the ship, near an ice cream cooler.) The same ship contains an elaborate homage to the original Prince of Persia. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

There, have at thee an image! Arch-TK (talk) 22:58, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

"teleport to next coin" code doesn't work(insert name here) (talk) 14:47, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

There are 168 coins spread throughout the map according to the source code 23:03, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

It's actually 169 coins (t.length). -- 23:22, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

May I change the code for the display distance and direction thing to make the colors more appealing? I want to cheat but I don't want to stare at that yucky green the whole time. 17:44, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

When using a device, instead of saying "use arrow keys to move", it says "tilt to move, tap to jump". It's also a lot harder to control. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

What kind of device and is this through the normal xkcd home page? It does not work on my tablet by going to xkcd (anroid, leonov tablet). --Kynde (talk) 17:24, 16 December 2015 (UTC)

I got 153 coins!! :D There's two starships, one's a star destroyer with an expansive maze dropping regular torpedoes on the other. May be noteworthy that there are various references to Star Wars and Steven Universe throughout. 23:27, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

The second starship is the TantiveIV, Leia's ship at the beginning of episode 4. Note directly below the Tantive, the terrain seems to be sand dunes. Also there are two more space ships by the volcano; an X-wing at a gas station and an Apollo Command Module. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

https://xkcd.com/1608/tigl.js - Looks like there's an easier to read version of the code there. Maybe that'll help someone with extracting all the images. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I've got all the images downloaded. Zipping/uploading now. Should I post a link here when complete or what's the best way to share these? I'm also working on setting up a zoomable map. 23:57, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

The collision detection is glitchy. I keep landing/bumping against platforms I'm far away from. Is getting stuck against walls normal? -- 00:01, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Yes, getting stuck against walls is normal. If the wall has at least 1 pixel sticking out under the hoverboard, then that pixel will be treated as the floor, and the hoverboard will stop falling. This is easier to see in goggles mode. 13:15, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

Tiles are located here in a zip: https://up1.ca/#Gi51KPFyPRELe0T1D6q9Mw All I did was iterate over http://xkcd.com/1608/X:-Y+s.png from X=[916...1116] and Y=[916...1116]. I'm working on putting a zoomable map together. If anyone has interest in helping we could hop on IRC? Jcox (talk) 00:15, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

This was great. But the zip file misses all images in column 1019-1021 as well as the 6 lowest images of 1022 (X coordinates 1019-1022, all Y coordinatesin the first three and then 6 lowest Y coordinates in the last). It was managable to download the last with my click skills. So thanks anyway. --Kynde (talk) 20:15, 28 December 2015 (UTC)

I've written a zsh script to iterate over all possible tiles (does anyone know the height limits? the source only gives the left and right limits) and glue them together into one giant file. I'll upload the results as soon as it's finished. Arch-TK (talk) 00:17, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

I don't think it's limited vertically at all. I found a zoomable map on the reddit topic http://codepen.io/KyleDavidE/full/605dc87b614ff6b2bd716f4c6f640203/ (by kyledavide) Miraries (talk) 00:21, 25 November 2015 (UTC)Mirages

Here's a zoomed out map of all the game area: https://i.imgur.com/rNU9ZgN.png. From luke_in_the_sky at Reddit [1]. -- 00:35, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Alright, the full png of the entire map is almost finished, I should have used white tiles as blank tiles but I guess I can fix that up in gimp, and I'm not sure how to account for the 1 pixel overlap with just imagemagick convert. The last step is to merge allthe layer images into one giant image, wish my laptop the best of luck! Arch-TK (talk) 01:00, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Someone beat you to it, but keep on it: that one doesn't have right limit tiles. https://www.reddit.com/r/xkcd/comments/3u4sy1/xkcd_1608_hoverboard/cxc0p8x -- 01:19, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Perhaps we can change the screenshot at the top to this? It's a quickly hacked overview of the entire map: http://imgur.com/Mz9arHz 01:27, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

I think it might make more sense to just add it as another image, mediawiki supports this after all. The syntax should be: [[File:filename.png|thumb|Subtitle|alt=alt]] Arch-TK (talk) 01:34, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

[2] This one loads all of the images quickly (From the xkcd site), and uses browser zooming. 01:29, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

The impassible backgrounds are RGB(0,0,0), and the passable ones are RGB(1,1,1). #explore > :first-child {filter:brightness(30);-webkit-filter:brightness(30);-moz-filter:brightness(30);-o-filter:brightness(30);-ms-filter:brightness(30);} ... See https://twitter.com/BadPhysics/status/669354631869304832 03:40, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Here are all the secret passages marked I could find: http://imgur.com/a/fKE1Q -- 00:50, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

I wrote a tampermonkey script that shows you your coordinates and lets you teleport; will make coordinate sharing a lot easier. You do need tampermonkey installed for this to work. Click to install Minerguy31 (talk) 04:17, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

I got 159 coins without the map. If you guys are still wondering how to escape the volcano, move to the right for as long as you think you can, then start spamming the up key while switching between holding the left and right keys. It worked for me on my first try. 07:06, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

164 coins with the map. Guessing I might've missed the cotton ball pit bottom, some others in the star destroyer, and maybe one under the volcano. 21:03, 24 January 2021 (UTC)

Didn't take down the coordinates, but the layout to the first level of the original Prince of Persia is in there, including the guard standing by with his scimitar! I found it in the ship atop the pyramid east of the play area. -- 06:24, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Just thought this was interesting, when you "complete" the game by dropping coins, the following line of javascript is run, which sends your result to the server (L is number of coins, z is seconds used): (new Image).src = "//xkcd.com/events.gif?coins=" + L + "&seconds=" + z; Don't be tricked by the .gif extension, it doesn't show an image when opened, and the server probably handles this request by logging it to somewhere. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

It actually returns a 1 by 1 pixel white GIF. Arch-TK (talk) 13:14, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Is there a way that we can merge the "game" part of this comic with the map of 1110: Click and Drag? Allowing us to explore that one in a similar way? Bon (talk) 11:03, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Well I managed to find (nearly) everything, except the floating rock island, and 162 coins without the map, but even with looking at several maps, I didn't pass any graveyard nor found the way to the grey ocean, which I assume is underneath the "continent". Does anyone know where the entrance is? 11:54, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Search for any missing things in the complete 1608: Hoverboard/Transcript, and you shall find what you seek. --Kynde (talk) 17:40, 16 December 2015 (UTC)

Just thought I should say; the comic supports some alternative movement controls, there's the arrow keys, WASD, and also the vi keys (hjkl), and the numpad (8426). 13:29, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

I was not able to get to some points because they were surrounded by text, people or other objects. Is that normal, or are there tricks to get to every coin without using cheats (console)? It would be nice if this could be mention / explained in the article. 13:31, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

In some cases you can come in from the side as opposed to trying to come down through or up through something. Example: at the X-Wing "gas station", to get that coin, land on the ground to the left of the X-Wing and move to the right on the ground towards the gas station. Jarod997 (talk) 14:45, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
No text is solid! You can use the full 1608: Hoverboard/Transcript to find out how to get to every coin and place (or the great map linked at the top). --Kynde (talk) 17:40, 16 December 2015 (UTC)

The list of "areas" in the map would be much easier to read, and much easier to correlate with the map, if the origin were set to the starting area (that is, if the coordinates of the starting area were set to x:0, y:0). What is the reason for the very large numbers? --BlueMoonlet (talk) 15:50, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

The large numbers are the actual ones used by the game code and displayed by the hacked-up "radar" so it was a natural choice to use them as they are. We could define some origin and count coordinates from it but we would have to agree on its position and then change the "radar" code and recalculate all coordinates written down already. -- 08:53, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Coordinates is not very helpful to most people. It should more be in relation to the objects you pass. Either you just look at one of the maps (and then past the pyramid or in the volcano makes sense) or else you actually try the real experience, and again after the ocean comes a pyramid makes more sense than coordinates. Have moved this section to a trivia section. The table should be build differently. That is still work to be done. All things are at the moment mentioned in the complete 1608: Hoverboard/Transcript. --Kynde (talk) 17:40, 16 December 2015 (UTC)

The starting area is in no way related to pac-man. The lines are not all right angles, there is a timer, there's gravity, there are no aggressors, you're collecting coins instead of pellets.... Not every line maze is pac-man. This is an erroneous reference that should be removed. -- 17:16, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

The source code found at https://xkcd.com/1608/tigl.js does not seem to be complete. I would personally work on de-obfuscating the full source code using the fragment found there but technically the source is covered by implicit copyright laws and that means that if I published a derived work I would be breaking those laws. Should I just change the line from "The source code can be found at ..." to "The full (obfuscated) source code can be found at ...tigl.min.js and a deobfuscated piece of the source code can be found at ...tigl.js". Arch-TK (talk) 18:28, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

I added quick coordinate / teleport access on right-click to the quick hack map. Kyledavide (talk) 20:45, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Can't be bothered working out how to edit the page, but the explanation contains the phrase "People holding anchor lines to a Star Destroyer" - they're holding anchor lines to a CR90 Corvette, specifically the Tantive IV, commonly referred to as the "Rebel Blockade Runner", which in turn is being *attacked by* a Star Destroyer. I'll get my coat. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

That's no 'Children's Swimming Pool', it's a ball pit! 23:46, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

If it is, it's filled with water as well. There are waves on the surface and fish live in it. -- 09:00, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

I slightly improved the "direction to next coin"-code by displaying a compas. Code can be found here http://pastebin.com/PL6fv5XK . I'm new to this wiki and don't want to mess up the page, so I didn't put the code in there myself ... -- 00:01, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Haven't read all the comments above so maybe someone has written about it? If you click up it seems to count how many times. So it will just show white and then when you release again, it will take longer to hit the ground the longer you have pushed up. Tried with 100 clicks (9-10 seconds) and 200 clicks (20 seconds). I got about 163 coins in about 15886 seconds. (4 hours and 24 minutes.) That was with breaks. It was written so shortly on the screen I did not manage to take it down for certain. But after that I read here about the 169 and found that there where at least three in the volcano I had not noticed at first. And it seems likely that there would be three more I have missed. But really fun to explore. I wrote a lot of the transcript along the way (not from the very start though) This I have now posted without any real order in the 1608: Hoverboard/Transcript page. Hope fully a full and useful transcript can emerge from this. I hope my text can be used if not used as it is written at the moment.--Kynde (talk) 02:05, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Now a complete transcript... Took me about three weeks to get enough time to do that--Kynde (talk) 17:42, 16 December 2015 (UTC)

I thought Atreyu's horse was Artax, not Artex. 05:27, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

The beret guy riding a torpedo (/explosive device of some sort) looks like a Dr. Strangeloe tribute to me. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Just added in the 'collision detection' section the text "On a slow connection, it's possible to move into an 'open' area and then the black image loads in and (probably permanently, without tricks) traps you immobile." To expand upon this, if this is a risk to anyone else (I'm reliant on mobile internet, being away from any comparable landline capability) then you need to look out for perfectly horizontal/vertical edges. For example, hovering up the side of the Washington monument and encountering (typically above the 'bricks' line) a completely flat top. Drifting onto that soon gets you embedded in the remaining Monument, somewhere well below the eventual tip. Alternately, drifting sideways over the landscape and discovering a perfectly vertical cliff downwards (just past the bowling pins is a prime location) tempts you to drift down it and then suddenly the solid land 'happens' around you, forcing a page-refresh and restart (though doubtless there's also various console tricks that could be used). The well, also 'opens out', but it's a lie. I've ended up trapped 'in white' below the now closed black blocks that surround the well bottom (and not found any way back up). But if there a 'texture' (like other cliffs) or 'slope' (like the real Monument edge) to the surface, you're probably Ok. It's a genuine surface or wall that you can generally navigate around without fear of being misled. (Or so is my experience.) 09:12, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Doesn't show anything but a blank page on the first generation iPad. 10:41, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

I agree with Arch-TK. I have changed the text referring to the source code, since it does not refer to the full sourde code, but just an obfuscated part.--Gamevang (talk) 14:36, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

I can't pass through text, anybody else experiencing this? I remember being able to pass through text without no clip mode earlier, but for some reason not anymore.-- 18:16, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

I found that I can't pass through ANYTHING non-white when using current version of Chrome on an iPad iOS 9.1. Makes the "game" much harder to play. 04:23, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

We definitely need a better presentation of interesting objects/locations and their coordinates. Now, we have quite comprehensive multi-level bullet list and a newly-started table. Neither is perfect. We need some form that will show clearly what is where and where it belongs.

Issues to solve:

  • Many objects are large and a single coordinates pair simply don't describe them well. We need a clear presentation form that will allow putting both a single pair and several ones, e.g. top and bottom for thin vertical objects (e.g. poles, The Monument), four corners for objects occupying large swaths etc.
  • Grouping - we need to group objects that belong to an area, like all things within the Star Destroyer etc. Multilevel bullets are ok, but how to do that in a table?
  • Order - within groups and between them, we need some ordering that will organize the entries. For example left-to-right then top-to-bottom or something like that.
  • Coordinates system - the "native" game coordinates are large numbers, and negative values for the y coordinate to boot. Someone proposed setting a new origin and counting from there. I think it's a good idea, but will require a firm decision, rewrite of radar code and recalculating of all coordinates written down so far.

Any ideas? -- 09:24, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

If it weren't for so much effort put in already, I think that we could re-class features as follows:
  • All coin locations, and/or links to the locations they are associated with (e.g. "in original game area" and "carried by a quadcopter drone"), if that's not considered 'unfair' to those wanting to actually play the game (without the self-discipline not to browse the list ;).
  • Locations of all characters, certainly all stick-figures, but maybe also 'wildlife' (or automata) of notable types.
  • All monologues/dialogues/labels (albeit that this is almost entirely a subset of the prior list).
  • Other notable landscape (or structural) features that are more than mere 'flavour' (e.g. the T-shaped mushrooms/whatevers to the east, but not random ground-boulders).
  • Notable move-through spots; inclusive of 'sink-into'able waters/magmas (waist-height, neck-height, fully-submerged?), even when not featuring further hidden routes, but excluding vegetation (ground-grasses/tree-trunks) that mostly are pass-throughable.
Some of these are themselves useful references to other items (e.g. "inside front of Blockade Runner" or "beneath eastern stretch of magma") and so can probably be sub-grouped as all items in a given structure ("coins within the initial play area", "characters/speech within the Star Destroyer") and some things do occupy a swathe (the 'play area', the Monument, the ships, the kites, with their strings; the hail of (regular) torpedoes). And I bet there's a whole lot of arguments about what level of detail we could go to... 10:21, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

When you deposit 42 coins, the response, "No answers here" is a reference to "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."Hax (talk) 03:33, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

The full and complete 1608: Hoverboard/Transcript that I have made uses some of the ideas, and groups the stage into sections. Not saying these should be used as is. But all in the image has been described and text transcribed in there. So it would be easy to cut and paste something from them. I have used jump height and fall time as well as time elapsed when moving and the height of the hoverboard Cueball to measure distances/dimensions. I would suggest making pictures from the maps of larger rooms or items. And then zoom in on interesting features. --Kynde (talk) 17:50, 16 December 2015 (UTC)

Where can I get the uncompressed (original) source code? The reason I am asking is, /tigl.js is incomplete (no Easter Eggs, etc.), and /tigl.min.js seems complete, but is unreadable due to "minification" (compression). 03:33, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

It's a great comic, but does anyone know what it has to do the with his new book? 03:50, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

I've created desktop C++/SDL2 based version of 1608, maybe someone will find it useful: https://github.com/AMDmi3/hoverboard-sdl 17:57, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure what the coordinates are, so I'm reluctant to add it to the page proper, but I'm pretty sure Beret Guy riding the bomb near the Tantive IV is a nod to Dr. Strangelove 19:17, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

When I try to play the game on my machine (IE10, Win7), I have whole sections that are just straight lined black boxes, almost like a puzzle with pieces missing. The easiest one to find is by going to the left, the quadcopters are hovering over nothing. Is this a java issue, an IE issue, a Windows issue, or just a "shut up and reboot" issue? 19:19, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

You use IE? Suicide! The Department of Homeland Security considers IE as a threat. 22:39, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Also: If you are using IE, no matter what the problem is, it will always be an IE issue.

  • Stove fire? -- IE issue
  • Alien obduction? -- IE issue 12:47, 4 December 2015 (UTC)

Might be useful for exploration of the map: I have made a page that embeds hoverboard with a panel allowing you do perform various cheats and tricks. :) http://php.9kv.cu.cc/hoverboard/ 21:42, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Me Again: Here's a stitched-together image of the map (taken from reddit) with the areas that you can walk through that are normally black highlighted in red: https://www.dropbox.com/s/pnstn4oam15lvgf/hoverboard-collision-map.png?raw=1 22:34, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

The full transcript of the entire comic is now complete 1608: Hoverboard/Transcript.--Kynde (talk) 20:03, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

And I just tried it out to finally get all 169 coins and explorer the entire drawing the true way without cheating, in just 1½ hours: 1608:_Hoverboard/Screen-shots#All_169_coins.
And then later I took the shortest route between coins and finished in less than 25 minutes (see same link as above). Seems like I'm the only one still working to complete this comic... --Kynde (talk) 19:39, 28 December 2015 (UTC)

Here is a page with a fully sort-able table of all the links to images: All image links. It includes notes on which images there are people, text, animals, objects of some interest and coins. And it is designed so connecting images can be found by sorting on either locations, general content or the first word in the description. Only 3440 images described. Although more than 1600 of them are completely black and 40 more almost completely black as well as the 800 white. But still there was close to 1000 images left... Enjoy the easy way to find interesting stuff in the images --Kynde (talk) 23:46, 15 January 2016 (UTC)

I got 26 coins and it said "undefined" 00:29, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

You are probably using explorer, see the explanation for this above: Messages in Play Area. There even is some examples like this. --Kynde (talk) 14:08, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

Good LORD, why is this still "incomplete"? If you look at the red comments in the table, they are inane and unnecessary. Half of the "Missing Explanation" entries do not even *need* an explanation as the title says exactly what it is. Can we finally close this incomplete explanation? 14:13, 29 June 2016 (UTC)

  Hi, but what you are saying is that some of the red text is self explanatory. However, some still needs background information. Also, like most comics, things can be read different ways so there can be alternate explanations. If you feel like you need to say something different from the explanation, just edit. There isn't anything that can't be undone with a simple undo here. Dontknow (talk) 04:15, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

Under "Coins", the example says that it's a lamp and a broken lamp. Isn't it a beehive and then the remains of a 'stolen' beehive? Bees buzz. 13:49, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

When going through tight passages as Gandalf, rapidly changing direction can cause the game to teleport the character to the room of the Star Destroyer containing two characters swinging through the air. This has happened for me in the well, as well as the passage from Elon Musk's lair to the room containing the universal grounding rod. 13:15, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

It works on iPad now!

Just noticed that it now runs on my iPad, though it lags often and the controls are awful—even if I'm tilting in the same direction, Cueball moves randomly, and sometimes he just flies in one direction, and there's no way to get him to go up or turn around. Then he gets stuck on something and you have to refresh the page... Which is quite annoying when you're looking for a certain image to explain and you have to start over from the play area. Still, it's better than nothing. Herobrine (talk) 03:32, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

Actually, no, the title text isn't only visible on unofficial mobile viewers. You can see it at m.xkcd.com, which is very much official. 03:29, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

Here follows an extensive Latin discussion:

The commentator attempts to explain the motto, "Cur ego committitur dictar latinae."

There is repeated suggestion of 'now' or 'just now' somehow arising from the text. And the commentator makes a beginner's error by suggesting that iustus/justus could be used to mean just as in, just now. English has multiple uses of just - as an adverb speaking about time or exclusivity, and as an adjective talking about right and appropriate. For instance:

Adverb time: "Well that just happened." synonyms: currently, now Adverb exclusive: "Just do it." synonyms: only, merely Adjective: "That was a just choice." synonyms: righteous, appropriate

Iustus (also spelled justus) is a translation of the adjectival form of English just/righteous. So the exmaple the commentator gives: 'Cur ego iustus committitur loquitur.' Would mean: 'Why is the righteous I made to speak.' or, if the adjective is being used as a noun: 'Why am I the righteous/just is made to speak.'

Also, committitur and loquitur in the example are both third person singular, so neither could properly connect to 'ego' (English 'I'). To make sense in the expected way, we would need to put loquo- into the first person singular form at least.

So if the commentator wants to insert the idea of 'just now' or 'currently,' I suggest they use an adverb: 1 recens, 2 jam/iam, 3 nunc, 4 iamiamque/jamjamque 1 recently, 2 now (inprecise), 3 now (this time), 4 now (at once, already, hurry it up man).

On the proper translation: Dictus is a noun meaning word or speech, from the verb 'dico.' If you wanted to specifically imply that you were using audible words (rather than writing), you'd use the 'loquo-' base instead of 'dic-.' So dictus and dico (from dic-) mean 'words' and 'I say.' Dicto is a rarer verb meaning I recite, I dictate, I repeat, or something similar. See: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dicto#Latin The principal forms are dico, dictare, dictavi, dictatum. So we talking about a third declension verb, and the base is dicta-. Dictar would be the first person present passive imperfect. Typically that form would mean something like: 'I am being recited.' But since a person (as a physical object) can't be spoken or recited, the meaning is probably: 'I am being caused/made/forced to recite.' The exact nature of 'caused/made/forced' is described by the word, 'committitur.' The committ- base means commit, begin, or make happen. Committitur is the 3rd person (he/she/it) present passive indicative from: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/committitur Meaning: he/she/it is made/forced to. (Has become committed.) So: 'Cur ego committitur dictar latinae' means: 'Why am I being made/forced to recite/dictate in Latin.'

Also, it should be noted that while the Greeks invented many of the types of punctuation we use today, Romans usually only used periods. (And often Romans would use no punctuation at all. Sometimes they even left out the spaces between words.) Point being, the question mark; like the comma, colon, and semicolon; wasn't commonly used until after the introduction of the printing press. So the quote probably shouldn't end with one.

My Latin is rather rusty, so if you have any better suggestions, please send me an email: [email protected]

The Hoverboard comic
1608 Main theme is the Never Ending Story's 'Nothing'

In "The Never Ending Story" the main theme is the whole world is consumed by "The Nothing" which in this comic is the black part. The movie also includes [this clip](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vE8mFDabqD0) where the horse is artax(this is already told in the explanation).

So my suggesion is to add the "the nothing" theme at the start of the description.

The paste.click link for the full image is broken, but I do not have a copy of that image. Could someone with the image upload it to Imgur and switch the link? Thank you!


It seems the original site is down. I wonder if anyone still has a copy of it. 04:02, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

The volcano lair may be a reference to the podcast Bionic by Relay FM. I don't want to make the edit myself because the idea of Elon Musk (or other CEOs) having a volcano lair isn't super unique, and I'd want confirmation from someone else that this is a good enough connection for a reference. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I'd say it is such a common trope, that it is not a specific reference. Also since this comic is from November 2015, and podcasts have seen their rise in the last few years only, (also they may have existed before 2015) such a reference would definitely need to be sanity checked if it was available before release of the comic. If so it could be given as an example to the trope.--Lupo (talk) 08:11, 3 February 2021 (UTC)

So... I encountered an issue with the comic. Scrolling up I see that others appear to have found this before, where sometimes parts won't load, but I've never seen it this drastically... I left the destroyer, continued jumping until I reached the right side (when Cueball went all the way to the right), and fell, hoping to get down to the stork nest. I fell a minute or more before realizing something was wrong, after continuing to jump up for a long period of time I realized I'd been trapped underneath the ground (which was a smooth surface above Cueball's head). Turning on mewtwo, gandalf and noclip modes allowed me to get back up to the top, but I wanted to see how far down the tiles stop loading- I found it's three seconds in gandalf mode to get from the part under the ground to the bottom part of the volcano lair. Just thought you guys should know -- Anonymous Waste of Time, 2/8/21

Washington Monument

The text for the Washington Monument indicates that the crack might refer to damage from the 2011 earthquake. Is it possible that it instead refers to the fact that the Monument has a clear color change about a quarter of the way up, due to a halt in construction and a change in the source of the marble?

Has anyone else documented that Command + alt + k makes you go up? You keep going until you hit the downward key (which pauses ascent) or you hit the upwards key.