Hello and welcome everyone, to “The Physics of Video Games”. We have grown to love this adorable little scamp since his debut decades ago. He has captured our hearts and countless hours of our time. This week in honour of the anniversary collection of the wonderful pink blob, we are going to analyze Kirby. Now I know the release has passed, but I do not believe that any of us playing are really done with these games yet. We haven’t been done for decades now.
We will examine his ability to clone the abilities of the enemies he swallows and decides to digest. This is actually a lot more plausible than it would seem at first glance. Let us use biology to explore this concept a little bit deeper.
Having DNA is one of three conditions that has to be satisfied for our carbon-based, squishy life forms to be considered living organisms. DNA contains two long strands which run parallel, but opposite in direction to one another containing many molecules to link them together. There are molecules connecting these strands which contain a person’s genes, which constitutes his or her genetic make up. Genes make a person who they are. For this reason some people will have darker skin and why others will have green eyes. The are an infinite number of ways these genes can be organized and every orientation will contain a different person, thus making every individual different.
Speaking of genes, it really gets a person to wonder how Kirby is able to reproduce. By immediate inspection of the pixels, one does not see a little wang dang doodle ready for mating. Maybe he is a lot like Kif from Futurama: once he becomes sexually charged he needs only to feel the ever so loving touch of his Fon Fon Joey DeSena. Sorry, that’s Fon Fon Roo, I always get those mixed up. Or maybe just left to his own devices, he can make his own babies somehow. That is neither here nor there, let us end this segue and return to the problem at hand.
We can immediately see that Kirby is not a normal life form. He is comprised of a material we do not understand, but we will assume he has some form of DNA similar to that of a human’s. Why? Because I said so. We will also assume he is some type of carbon-based life form seeing as he comes onto Earth and breathes, so it is not an unreasonable conclusion. Clearly seeing as Kirby is completely different than our life form, maybe his DNA acts a little bit differently than that of a human.
We can assume that Kirby has regular DNA strands, but has the problem where he has missing connections. Maybe throughout the chain there are protein strands and other connections normally found inside DNA which are missing. So when Kirby is walking around without the abilities of an enemy, he is in an incomplete state. If Kirby is to digest an enemy, maybe the genes of the enemies are then linked to the DNA strands of Kirby, thus why he takes on their powers. So Kirby has a special genetic make up which allows him to single out genes in his enemies which contain their powers and link them to his own genetic makeup. This could also explain why can loses these abilities as well.
In an ever so tragic display, if Kirby is inflicted with too many injuries, he loses the abilities which have become a part of his life (Anyone who has played Kirby knows the pain of bringing a particular ability so far, only to lose it to a stupid witch with a broom). This could very well be because his original DNA is not complete, but stable. So any introductions to his DNA could take the place of the voids, but is not permanent; thus meaning something like inflicting damage could basically knock the newly infused genes out of his DNA. He is also able to dispose of the abilities at any given time. We cannot discredit this seeing as humans are not able to do the acts that Kirby does, we will just have to accept his fantastic ability.
One last ability to examine is the capability of breeding a clone of the enemy Kirby has absorbed. Bacteria can follow through with asexual reproduction, the act of reproduction without a partner. So it is completely possible for Kirby to do the same thing. Kirby is not able to replicate another being exactly like himself, so maybe he has to follow through with sexual reproduction in order to create offspring (seriously, do not want to know how!). But when Kirby absorbs an enemy and completes his DNA he is able to create a clone similar to the enemy he absorbed.
When a bacteria reproduces, it makes a clone of all of its information, then sets the offspring free which is the process of asexual reproduction (Seriously though, why does the clone look cooler than Kirby? All Kirby gets is a hat!). Kirby may follow a similar method, but instead he may store the DNA which is unused from the absorption and combine it all in order to create a clone of the enemy. This would explain why Kirby loses the ability he cloned as he has given it up in order to create an offspring. His DNA is a permanent structure, but the unstable form with enemies DNA is not, so his body would probably prefer to rid of the instability and create an offspring instead.
Although these concepts do not seem ludicrous to Kirby, they are to the Earth’s scientists and life as we know it. We can not conclude that this is impossible, even the life of Kirby himself. Many consider the universe to be without borders, infinitely expanding. Although we have not encountered another life form which acts like what we have on Earth, if the universe is infinite, the odds are in the favour of there eventually being some life form which is similar to Kirby’s. It is impossible to draw conclusions one way or another seeing as we are not capable of reaching infinity, so the possibilities are limitless. See you next time!
Dan – The Physics Guy