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WoP #20: Insane Pokemon Physics 1 - Helium Whale



Many people understand that game designers take certain liberties with physics in video games. It makes the games more fun to play, especially when it's the difference between jumping off a cliff and either rolling to inexplicably survive, or dying due to a ton of fall damage. Or the difference between having an awesome volcano map and burning up the moment you set foot within a few meters of lava. No, wait, magma, lava is outside the earth's surface. But, you get the picture.

Of course, when the mechanics in question have NO AFFECT whatsoever on the game play, designers have no excuse.

Take a look at Wailord, a Pokemon based on the blue whale, for example. In game, Wailord is listed as having a weight of 877.4 lbs (398 kg), and a height of 47'7" (14.5 m), being one of the heaviest and largest Pokemon in the game. Ignoring the fact that Wailord and other 'mons can survive outside of water, however, can bring about an almost paradoxical revelation: the fact that Wailord seemingly floats above the ground in battle both does and doesn't go against the laws of physics. The reason? Wailord is actually less dense than air, meaning it should not only float, but float out of the troposphere.

Want proof? Based on Wailord's in game model, it is approximately six times as long as it is tall, giving it an approximate length of 58 m. It is also almost perfectly round, meaning it has a depth of about 14.5 m. Given Wailord's shape, a cylinder with two half spheres on either end, it has an approximate volume of 8779.4 m3. Knowing that density = mass / volume, it's possible to calculate Wailord's approximate density as being .045 kg/m3. A quick google search reveals air's density to be 1.225 kg/m3. Even halving his estimated length doesn't help much, only increasing his density to about double the current, which is still well below air's density. Considering that less dense objects tend to float above more dense objects, this would mean Wailord should be floating well out of range of whatever battle its trainer sent it out into.


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