Hello Internet, welcome to Game Theory! Can you finish watching this episode without touching a coin? No.
No you cannot.
You know, over the years we've explored the Super Marioverse from a number of different angles.
We've looked at the sciences, from the biology and psychology to the psychics and astronomy We've examined the humanities! Through Mario's communist leadings and the economics of the Mushroom Kingdom's real estate market We've looked at the heroes, the villains, the side characters and the blurry lines that divide them all! However, after all those years of analysis, one question remains: Well, actually a lot of questions remain I could dig deeper and deeper into this series forever But let's just say one question remains, for dramatic effect ONE QUESTION REMAINS A question about the single most important item in any of these games The driving force that compels Mario to go forth on adventure after adventure Today, we're looking at the primary MacGuffins of the series, The Power Star Or, more accurately, the Power Moon Since, Mario Odyssey is the most recent and the most topical game.
Seriously, though! Why is Mario collecting these things? What exactly do they do? In past games it was always a bit unclear Their power lets you.
open doors? Okay.
For being such an overly elaborate locking system, it didn't really stop Bowser, did it? Super Mario Sunshine, they make the sun shine brighter.
Awesome! I'm glad the random shine sprite I found, hurling my body through your trans dimensional pachinko machine, got you a better tan.
But its Galaxy and even more so in Odyssey, that their purpose finally becomes clear.
As expected by their names, Power Moons and Power Stars are used as fuel In Galaxy the Grand Stars charge up Rosalina's space station.
In Super Mario Odyssey, the literal butt ton of Moons that you collect are the gas that enables you to chase princess Peach from kingdom to kingdom.
Which then prompts the question Just how powerful are the Power moons? If these moons and truly fill an airship's gas tank, how much punch does each one pack? For the lengths that Mario goes to collect these things, they must be pretty darn good right? Right?! Oh ho ho ho Dear sweet summer theorists, you don't know the half of it.
But you will, in a little over ten minutes.
So, how do we determine how much energy is contained in each individual Power Moon? Well, my first impulse was to see how many Moons it took the Odyssey to travel any set amount of distance.
The problem is, the number you collect in the game doesn't correspond to actual flight power.
For example, Mario only needs five Moons to travel from the Cascade Kingdom to the Sand Kingdom.
But he needs twenty to reach the Snow Kingdom.
arbitrary And then once a kingdom's visited Mario can just return as often as he wants without needing additional moons.
Conservation of energy much guys? Imagine if you car required an increasing amount of gas for each new city that you visited, but then you could return to the previous cities without burning any fuel.
Forget plumbing, Mario's got himself a future in perpetual motions machines.
Lucky for us though, Moons are shown as a power source in not just one, but two different locations.
Sure, there's the Odyssey spaceship, but in a mission mid way through the game we see them as a fuel source in the bowels of the Metro Kingdom.
A mid game mission requires Mario to fix the power plant that drives New Donk City and, as you can see here Full Power Moons enter the reactor, and empty Power Moons are dispensed on the other side.
Timing it out, this generator ends up consuming one Power Moon per second Now, I don't know about you, but this is a weird scene for me.
In a game where, you're traveling the world looking for anyway possible to nab these up to rescue your kidnapped girlfriend, It's uncomfortable to see so many Moons just sitting there, right out of reach.
And then getting devoured so quickly by the reactors.
Screw New Donk City, Mario! Break that pipe, grab yourself the 124 moons you need, (Seems like they have plenty to spare) and go save your girlfriend.
Talk about speed runs, the game would be over in a little over 2 minutes.
Anyway, we're told my Mayor Pauline at the start of the mission, that the power plant in necessary for the kingdom's festival.
Now that's a bit unclear.
Is it only generating electricity for the extra lights at the festival? Is this the only powerplant in the city? Does it fuel the section of New Donk City that we play through? Or is it responsible for this whole city that we see, surrounding the play area? Unfortunately Nintendo, for some reason , didn't program functioning electric meters for every building in the game So we're going to have to make a few assumptions here.
First, let's assume this is the only power plant in New Donk City.
Now we know for a fact that that can't be true, as prior to this mission we see devices that are actively using electricity.
Including stop lights, marquees and even the stage lights inside of city hall.
And when we first get to the kingdom, we see the entire city lit up in the night sky.
So, something has to be giving these building the juice.
That said though, we can balance out that first assumption, by making a second one.
That the New Donk power plant that we repair only provides energy for the main elevated section of the city that we play through, as well as the two side areas to the east and the south.
Now, why am I including the side areas to the east and the south, but not the one to the west? Well, notice how power cables connect the main area to the side platforms on east and the south but not to the western one.
And how does that balance things out? Well think about it, we're saying its the only power plant in the city, but we know that there must be at least one more.
That would be over estimating the amount of power this one is generating.
But by restricting the area it's giving power too to only the playable area of New donk and ignoring the out skirt territories we see in the distance, we're under estimating its potential energy output.
So in total, it should give us a reasonable approximation.
With all that out of the way, we can now determine an estimate of the energy contained within each moon, by calculating the total electoral consumption of New Donk City, the area of New Donk City can be calculated relativity easily by using some basic geometry in the Luigi's balloon world minigame as a measuring stick.
Doing this we learn that the main elevated area measures 36, 700 square meters, while the eastern platform measures 1, 090 square meters and the southern platform measure 2, 025 square meters.
In total the explorable area covers about 39, 800 square meters or around 10 acres of land.
That's about the size of two big city blocks in New York City.
And speaking of New York I'm going to go out on a limb and say that New Donk city has a similar power consumption density as the real life New York city.
Think about it, New Donk is clearly inspired by New York.
If the names weren't obvious enough, look no further then the New Donk City hall, which is modelled after the Empire State Building.
Both cities feature a relatively even mix of sky scrapers, high rise developments, industrial buildings, and public parks.
And they even have a similar population density, with around 10, 000 residents per square kilometer.
and you might think that I'm making that up, but I'm not.
I put my census taking skill to the test and counted how many residents are in New Donk City, and the math checks out.
And I point this out specifically because I know a lot of people out there, give us crap when we make mistakes but I hope you realise how hard we're trying here, we literally counted everyone in a fictional city in order to scale to the population density of a real world local all for the sake of measuring the fictional energy output of a fictional power generator utilising fictional moon fuel.
If that doesn't deserve a subscribe right now, I don't know what does.
And it gets even more ridiculous.
Thanks to New York City's local law 84 Mayor's office of long term planning and sustainability releases an estimate of energy consumption every year.
According to that data New York city as whole consumes one quadrillion British Thermal Units or about 1.
055 Exajoules of energy each year.
But of course none of that means anything.
Just like when we deal with force siting of a big number of BTU's tells us literally zero.
So lets simplify things a little bit shall we.
We can convert those dumb meaningless number into 33.
36 Gigawatts Which is a number that means something to me because it's 27 times the power required by the flux capacitor to travel though time in Back to the Future (1.
21 Gigawatts!!) So New York City every year is using 27 times the energy needed to break the laws of physics.
Sounds like it might be time to go green there New York.
In all seriousness though, 1 Gigawatt is the equivalent of a hundred million L.
lightbulbs so the city is using 3.
3 billion L.
lightbulbs of energy per year According to the U.
census bureau New York City has an area of 783.
8 Square kilometres So dividing the total energy consumption by the total land area provides us with the average power density of the city Which comes out to be 42.
56 Watts per Square Meter.
Multiply that by the area of New Donk City and we finally arrive at an estimate of the cities total energy consumption of 1.
7 Megawatts of power used by New Donk City per year.
Again, meaningless number.
So let's try to turn them into something that makes a little bit more sense.
The problem with watts, and the reason no one can read their own electric bill, is that they're a rate, they measure energy consumption over time.
I mean seriously if you look at your electric bill or you buy an appliance and it's like this refrigerator uses 200 watts of electricity per year You're like, sure I guess 200 doesn't sound that big it's not like a million, so I'll take it.
(??) But what that watt number really means is that that refrigerator uses 200 joules of energy per second that its turned on and plugged in.
And you're like wooo, hey now! That seems like a lot of energy 200 joules per second maybe my Go-Gurt doesn't need to be that cold, you know.
But before you start defrosting the thing, turns out its not that much energy.
In fact the energy in a single calorie of food is over 4000 joules.
So the energy needed to power that refrigerator is nothing compared needed from the food that exists inside of it.
So, if joules hold that much energy, what does that mean for our Power Moons? Well, they're still stuck in useless watts over here So, if we're going to make anything of them we got to convert them to a more useful unit So a watt equals a joule per second, right? And it just so happens that New Donk City consumes moons at a rate of exactly one per second.
Which makes the math really easy 1.
7 Megawatts of energy equals 1.
7 Megajoules of energy per second times 1 second just equals our total number of drum roll please *Drum roll sound effects 1.
7 Megajoules of energy per Moon Now again, that may seem like a lot It's got the word mega in it so it must be good right? But going back to our calorie example 1.
7 Megajoules is around the amount of energy that you get from eating A medium Fries at McDonalds.
Carrying it even further to power your own body for a 2000 calorie per day diet, you'd need to consume 5 Power Moons every day just to get enough energy.
So, I may of been predicting that Power Moons would have the energy of a nuclear bomb at the beginning of this video.
But all they really have is the power do is give you a nuclear tummy ache.
It's no wonder Nintendo literally crammed these things everywhere.
Here we all were thinking this was some sort of special collectible.
When in actually they are no more powerful then a candy bar or two.
Throw another 500 Snickers bars into the Odyssey kids we're flying to the moon.
But this seriously can't be right.
Right?? It is such a low power level.
It's under 9000! Which is why I wanted to verify this math using a different technique, by trying to figure out the composition of the Power Moon.
You see in version 1.
2 of Mario Odyssey Nintendo added a neon filter to the game, Now that might not seem like such a big deal.
Just some cool filter to make everything look like Earthbound's Moonside, which we all know was one of the coolest levels in all of gaming history.
But if you dive a little deeper into that neon filter and how it works, you discover something that's pretty interesting.
Take a look at what happens when I point the in game camera at the sun, and then turn on that neon filter.
For some reason the sun appears blue, rather then yellow or orange Why would that be? There is actually a shocking reason.
You see in real life, scientists use a tool called a spectrometer to determine the composition of light emitters.
Spectrometers work by using a lens to filter a light though a prism Which then separates the light into individuals wavelengths across the electromagnetic spectrum.
This tool is super cool and super useful because each chemical element emits light at a unique frequency when it's excited.
These unique wavelengths are called its spectral signature Because just like a real signature on a document they are unique to whatever produced them.
For example if we have a far away star we can compare Its spectrometer reading with the known wavelengths of the elements we have here on earth, to determine what elements that star is made out of Which then leads us back to Super Mario Odyssey Why would the sun in the game produce this specific shade of blue or teal? Well many stars including our sun are made of mostly hydrogen And if you look at the spectral signature of Hydrogen one of the most prominent wavelengths produced is 486.
1 nanometres a wavelength of light that produces close to the exact shade of teal that we're looking at in the Odyssey's neon filter Which honestly is Mind Blowing I mean think about it, someone at Nintendo actively programmed the neon filter to turn light blue when it was directed at the sun.
Either this is the randomest piece of Mario trivia ever found and is a complete coincidence, or it was intentionally added to the game as a nod to real world science.
Now, let's look at the Moons! In General when you look at any Power Moon the neon filter primarily shows you the color the corresponds to each kingdom Green for the Sand Kingdom Pink for the Lake Kingdom Blue for the Wooded Kingdom and so on However the moons also are surrounded by these colored sparks And it makes sense that these sparks related in some way to the composition of the Power Moons, because the colours appear consistent regardless of what Kingdom they're found in.
So using the neon filter, I took a screenshot of a few of the moons surrounded by these sparks and then uploaded those photos onto a computer.
I then used an eye dropper tool to find the specific hues of the 4 colours that you see emanating outside of the moon Specifically red yellow green and blue with wavelengths of 700 nanometres 585 nanometres 500 nanometres and 485 nanometres respectively.
And wouldn't you know it, this almost perfectly aligns with the 4 largest emission signatures of the element helium Now Helium itself is a noble gas And therefore it doesn't form any significant bonds that could hold energy.
That said an isotope of Helium could.
Specifically Helium III Now the interesting thing about Helium III it's very rare here on earth, but it's believed to be abundant on the moon.
More importantly its been theorized as a possible source of nuclear fusion.
In Super Mario Odyssey, Cappy hints that Power Moons and Power Stars are made of the same materials saying, “Apparently Power Moons come in other shapes, I had no idea.
” This would explain why power stars in Super Mario Galaxy form a sun in the centre of the common observatory.
In order to harness the true power of the Helium III that exist within the Power Stars and by proxy the Power Moons they have to undergo a fusion reaction.
And that's also the reason they're so weak in the Metro Kingdom Humans don't understand fusion, but future space princess Rosalina over here, does.
Meaning that there may just be more power hidden inside these things then we originally thought.
We just need to unlock the power of fusion to get there.
Until then we're just going to keep using them as glorified keys.
BUT HEY–(Subtitles By loyal theorist: Matthew Bagas) Before we end today's episode I have a quick announcement, that's your chance to win some new never before seen merch prototypes.
Early edition of theory wear, that's coming out later this year.
You will literally be the only person in the world to have these things.
So, today's episode was obviously a theory.
Right? No big shocker there.
A theory that has made it all the way through the production.
But not all our ideas for episodes do, in fact, a lot of topics that we try to make into theories, just don't have enough there for a full episode.
Either they aren't long enough for a full episode or they go off the rails at a certain point, in all the best ways possible, I swear.
So, why am I telling you all this? Well, it's because of our sponsor for today's episode, TikTok Yes, as of today I am officially on the TikTok app.
(Link to download is in the top line of the description) You can find me @MATPATGT M-A-T-P-A-T-G-T And sure most of you probably know TikTok as the place where pewds (SUBSCRIBE TO PEWDIEPIE) finds all the cringe he reacts to, but for me, I'm trying out a lot of fun new ideas on the app.
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( Probably shouldn't name it that) Game Theory Shorties? (Nope, try again) Q-QUICK TAKES GTFAILS, for all the episodes that didn't quite get there.
It's a place for me to do all the stuff that I can't do anywhere else.
Flex my musical theater skills, after all these years.
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Which, I gotta be honest, is actually freeing from a content standpoint.
Each platform has its own culture and feel, and TikTok, quite honestly, just embraces all the fun, dumb, off the wall stuff that the internet was built for.
Which is pretty great for someone like me who usually just takes fun stuff and make it way too serious for its own good.
So, when they asked if I wanted to give TikTok a try, I said “Yeah! Let's do this.
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Like I said, I'm experimenting with a lot of different things, gaming related, game theory related, and otherwise.
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And to commemorate all the new stuff that's happening over at TikTok, two of my new followers on the app will win themselves those new never before seen merch prototypes I mentioned earlier.
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That makes you, literally the only people in the world who will have these things, period, ever, and stop.
So, come on over for your chance to win the merch, and stay for the riddles, musical theater serenades, dancing, GT Quick Takes, and whatever other cringe I can come up with.
Download is in the top line of the description, search for @MATPATGT.
(Subtitles By loyal theorist: Matthew Bagas) I'll see you over there.
(Subtitles By loyal theorist: Matthew Bagas).