The Game Theorists: How Deadly is Super Mario’s Bullet Bill?


Mat Pat (Matthew Patrick) at the YouTube channel, The Game Theorists, recently uploaded a video on how deadly the classic Super Mario Bros. baddies Bullet Bills really are.

The episode was based on a post by Redditor RumblezMan who did a bit of research:

First off, to know the size, volume and mass of the bullet bill, we’d need a reference, and Mario is it. Considering that Mario is 1,42m tall (~4ft7in), we can calculate by pixel measurement that the bullet is 1,24m (~4ft) tall (facing to the right/left) and 1,42 large (~4ft7in).

Then we apply the formula NetForce = AppliedForce – FrictionForce, which is the same as:

  • mass * acceleration = AppliedForce – u(coefficient of friction) * mass * 9.81 m/s2
  • 0(no acceleration) = AppliedForce – coefficient of air * mass * 9.81 m/s2
  • Coefficient of air * mass * 9.81m/s2 = AppliedForce

Calculating volume and considering the bullet is made of iron (cannon bullets are made out of that), we know that the bullet is about 16 tons (16141 kilos or about 35510.2 lbs to be exact). So:

  • 158343,21 * Coefficient of air = AppliedForce

Using this link we can figure out the air drag coefficient on the bullet shape.

  • 158343,21*0.295 equals the final result:
  • 46711 Newtons.

That means it could break somenthing over 11 times harder than your hardest bone, the Femur (4000 Newtons). So yeah, if we didn’t do anything wrong, that means it would kill anyone.

Mat Pat had a very different perspective on the theory, stating that the Bullet Bill would likely be unable to do any real harm. Check out the video right here:

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