The Street Fighter games take place in an exaggerated cartoon world where shirt sleeves can be used to fly and everybody’s always ready to get up and fight a second round, but what would Street Fighter moves like, say, the Shoryuken Dragon Punch do to a real person?
Well, YouTube channel Vsauce set out to discover exactly that. I can’t say I really kept up with all their math, but apparently Ken’s Dragon Punch lands with around 7,700 newtons of force or 66 pounds of pressure per square-inch. That’s enough force to break your neck and probably detach you head from your body altogether.
Of course, there’s a limit to how interesting all this math is. Thankfully, the guys at Vsauce went the full MythBusters route and built a machine that punches with the same force as Ken’s Dragon Punch and sic-ed it on a ballistics gel victim. The results aren’t pretty…
The robo fist doesn’t so much knock off the head as obliterate it, sending broken bones and jellied brains flying in every direction. It’s pretty graphic stuff, and the fist isn’t even on fire like it would be with a proper Shoryuken. Turns out Mortal Kombat isn’t gratuitously violent, it’s just realistic.