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Death by Degrees of Separation
July 1, 2012 4:28 AM   Subscribe

Recently we learned about Erdos-Bacon-Sabbath numbers. Continuing in this vein, forum members at Select Button have been compiling Williams numbers, being characters in video games who can be linked to Nina Williams from the Tekken series of fighting games. [NSFW forum images]
Mikhail Gorbachev is easy, he has a Williams number of only 2. Adolph Hitler has a Williams number of 3. Also, the guy from Doom, Voltron, Barack Obama and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. God has a Williams number of 4. So does T. E. Lawrence and Tron. The Burger King has a Williams number of 5 as well as Sarah Palin, Sigmund Freud, Avatar Aang and H.P. Lovecraft. Homestar Runner has a Williams number of 7.

A few connection chains:

Nina Williams -> Ryu (via Street Fighter X Tekken) -> Rad Spenser (via Marvel vs. Capcomm) -> Adoph Hitler (via Bionic Commando)

Nina Williams -> Pac-Man (Street Fighter X Tekken) -> Mario (Mario Kart Arcade) -> Solid Snake (Super Smash Bros. Brawl)

Nina Williams -> Ryu -> Mikhail Gorbachev (Street Fighter II, Zangief's ending)

Nina Williams -> Heihachi Mishima (Tekken series) -> Seigfried (Soulcalibur II PS2 version) -> Darth Vader (Soulcalibur IV)

Nina Williams -> Ryu -> Chun-Li (Street Fighter II) -> Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law

Nina Williams -> Pac-Man -> Mario -> Mike Tyson (Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!)

Nina Williams -> Pac-Man -> Mario -> Leonardo Da Vinci (Mario's Time Machine)

Nina Williams -> Ryu -> Wolverine (Marvel vs. Capcom) -> The guy from Doom (Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3)

Nina Williams -> Ryu -> Iron Man (Marvel vs. Capcom) -> Gene Simmons (Tony Hawk Underground)

Nina Williams -> Ryu -> Tekkaman Blade (Tatsunoko vs Capcom) -> Voltron (Super Robot Wars W)

Nina Williams -> Pac-Man -> Mario -> Wario (Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins) -> Bomberman (Wario Blast Featuring Bomberman)

Nina Williams -> Pac-Man -> Mario -> Sonic the Hedgehog (Super Smash Bros. Brawl) -> Practically everything Sega has made (Segagaga)

Nina Williams -> Pac-Man -> Mario -> Moogle (Mario Hoops 3-on-3) -> Mickey Mouse & Tron (Kingdom Hearts series)

Nina Williams -> Pac-Man -> Mario -> Solid Snake -> God, Vic Viper, William Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln, Benjaman Franklin, Napoleon, George Washington, Julius Caesar, Little Red Riding Hood, Doctor Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, Santa Claus, Hercules, Rumpelstiltskin, Baba Yaga and the Loch Ness Monster (Scribblenauts, Japanese version)
posted by JHarris (27 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Adolph"?
posted by brokkr at 4:56 AM on July 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Since these are all representations of people, where do the living, breathing humans connect up? Do I have to mediate this through my avatar? Does my gamer tag or online username suffice? Basically, how do I enter this world?

I also love how as a society we've become delightfully obsessed with quantifying ourselves and others.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:58 AM on July 1, 2012


These people, they have some time on their hands?
posted by scruss at 5:30 AM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Adolph"?

Yep, Bionic Commando was an entire generation's introduction to the joy of killin' Hitler.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:15 AM on July 1, 2012


By the laws of six degrees of freedom wouldn't the maximum number be six? Or, wouldn't the maximum Erdos,Sabbath,Bacon number be 18? I should write a mathematical paper about this. Which co-author with Erdos is still alive?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:21 AM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I misspelled "Adolf Hitler." It's weird but I never noticed that I spell it wrong until now. Oh well, live and learn.
posted by JHarris at 7:22 AM on July 1, 2012


It looks like Seaman has a Williams number of 5, if you count Leonard Nimoy as a character (he apparently voices one of the villains) in the Kingdom Hearts games.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:30 AM on July 1, 2012


It doesn't work that way, because Seaman is the only game in which Leonard Nimoy appears as a character called "Leonard Nimoy." In most games featuring his likeness, the character is called "Mr. Spock." Maybe if he cameoed as a head-in-a-jar in the Futurama game we could find a connection through Bender.
posted by JHarris at 7:32 AM on July 1, 2012


Since these are all representations of people, where do the living, breathing humans connect up? Do I have to mediate this through my avatar? Does my gamer tag or online username suffice? Basically, how do I enter this world?

Nina Williams -> Pac-Man (Street Fighter X Tekken) -> Mario (Mario Kart Arcade) -> Me, as Mii (Mario Kart Wii)
posted by Navelgazer at 8:13 AM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Which co-author with Erdos is still alive?

Sam Wagstaff
posted by Adamsmasher at 8:20 AM on July 1, 2012


I love the internet.
posted by lkc at 8:23 AM on July 1, 2012


So somebody needs to put Natalie Portman in a video game now, I guess, so she can have an Erdos-Bacon-Sabbath-Williams number.
posted by mightygodking at 8:35 AM on July 1, 2012


So somebody needs to put Natalie Portman in a video game now, I guess, so she can have an Erdos-Bacon-Sabbath-Williams number.

Brian May already has an E-B-S-W, if you count his guitar parts in the Guitar Hero/Rock Band games as a "character."
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:56 AM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


His Lego avatar in Lego Rock Band should count.
posted by rewil at 9:03 AM on July 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Which co-author with Erdos is still alive?

Most of them!

Also, it's spelled Erdős.
posted by erniepan at 9:56 AM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


It doesn't work that way, because Seaman is the only game in which Leonard Nimoy appears as a character called "Leonard Nimoy." In most games featuring his likeness, the character is called "Mr. Spock." Maybe if he cameoed as a head-in-a-jar in the Futurama game we could find a connection through Bender.

I don't know, I can think of one game that involved Leonard Nimoy voice acting in which he wasn't playing a character (but rather a narration of sorts), so...

Nina Williams -> Pac-Man (Street Fighter X Tekken) -> Mario (Mario Kart Arcade) -> Leonardo Da Vinci (Mario's Time Machine) -> Leonard Nimoy (Civilization IV) -> Seaman
posted by Navelgazer at 10:01 AM on July 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, Nina. So beautiful. So cold. So connected.
posted by mph at 10:55 AM on July 1, 2012


JHarris: "Maybe if he cameoed as a head-in-a-jar in the Futurama game we could find a connection through Bender."

Well, he was the narrorator in Civ 4, if that helps expand the search space any.
posted by pwnguin at 1:02 PM on July 1, 2012


Can someone please make a video game where you publish a math paper with Paul Erdös?
posted by Jon_Evil at 2:36 PM on July 1, 2012


The umlaut o thing with Paul Erdös' name, and spelling Adolf as "Adolph," is why I really wish it was possible to edit FPPs, even though it'd probably be abused by some people.
posted by JHarris at 3:15 PM on July 1, 2012


Does he call himself "Leonard Nimoy" in Civ 4? Is he credited as "himself," or as "narrator" or not as anything? In the narration to Seaman he actually says "I am Leonard Nimoy, and I am your guide," that's what solidly affixes his identity in that game. Not that I'm any kind of authority on the assigning of these numbers. Connecting by voice alone would make it way too easy to connect games; the guy who voices Solid Snake is everywhere, and Tara Strong's in a few places herself.

Of course, Gorbachev isn't credited as anything in Street Fighter II, he's just a little in-joke, so that's an argument in favor. It might just be someone who looks like Gorbachev, but the joke doesn't work unless it's him.

Death is thrown around everywhere from Family Guy to Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy to Castlevania as being the same "person," but he's (it's) used in wildly different ways in each.
posted by JHarris at 3:42 PM on July 1, 2012


Okay, I wasn't enticed by the Bacon-Erdos-Sabbath number, because although I have a Bacon-Erdos number of 3 & 3, respectively, I've never published any music. :(

But now my curiosity is piqued anew! Since I appear in two video games: one as an interactor playing a character, and the other where I'm not seen but referenced by name, I might have a Williams number. So now I got to spend my Sunday afternoon doing some research!
posted by darkstar at 4:12 PM on July 1, 2012


The umlaut o thing with Paul Erdös' name

It's not an umlaut; it's a double-acute accent, a fairly rare typographical mark outside of Hungarian and a few other languages.

posted by hattifattener at 4:53 PM on July 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Of course, concerning Seaman and Leonard Nimoy, we could go about it the other way around. Seaman was made by Sega, and thus probably has a cameo somewhere in Segagaga. From there we could connect Leonard Nimoy, the only other character in Seaman other than the moths, the spider, the eggs and eyeball things, the poor nautilus, and I guess the unseen Jean-Luc Gasse.
posted by JHarris at 4:55 PM on July 1, 2012


So somebody needs to put Natalie Portman in a video game now, I guess, so she can have an Erdos-Bacon-Sabbath-Williams number.

She voiced a character in the Lego Star Wars video game. Does that count?
posted by WaylandSmith at 5:27 PM on July 1, 2012


Metafilter: the guy from Doom, Voltron, Barack Obama and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.
posted by A dead Quaker at 5:36 PM on July 1, 2012


A post containing a phrase that someone can turn into a tagline is a successful post!
posted by JHarris at 7:17 PM on July 2, 2012


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