Mathematicians as video game villains, Part 2: Cantor

October 6, 2009



Story: Though perhaps not a villain in the strict sense, there is no denying the wickedness that is Cantor’s jams. You might recognize him as the final boss of Karaoke Apocalypse, the monk with a slammin’ death metal sound that astounded punk rocker Mittag-Leffler, who declared that “it’s about one hundred years too soon for such righteous awesomeness to descend on the Earth.” Lead singer David Hilbert replied that Cantor death metal was here to stay, and that “No one shall expel us from the Paradise that Cantor has created!” At which point Cantor was crowned The Supreme Cardinal, which could never be exceeded. But the next move shocked everyone.

“Friends, rockers, fans, musicians,” Cantor addressed the screaming, enraptured masses. “Let it be known that there will always be a greater Cardinal! We must prove it… again and again, without end! I hereby declare a perpetual Karaoke Apocalypse!”

Who will be the next Greater Cardinal? Will it be you?

Powers: See for yourself:

Signature song: Continuum Hypothesis, probably the most awesome death metal song ever, but friggin’ impossible to sing because of a line that goes like this:


…and then back down again in reverse. It’s questionable whether it’s even possible for a human voice to rise that rapidly, but then again, no one knows whether Cantor is a mere mortal.

Weaknesses: None, really. The final stage of Karaoke Apocalypse is pretty much friggin’ impossible. However, there is a choice to make. You have to win at Continuum Hypothesis if you want the good ending, but a lesser ending is available if you play the easier Power Set instead. In this ending, you become the next Greater Cardinal, but the next year, a new challenger defeats you by playing the Power Set twice, playing better than ever before the second time, and reaching a new, higher level of Cardinality. Your fame is short lived.

Rumor: While it is unknown whether any gamer has ever gotten the good ending without using a cheat code, Kurt Gödel claims that he has done it, but Paul Cohen argued that since it’s pretty much friggin’ impossible, no amount of evidence could ever conclusively prove that it had been done. But at the same time, if anyone could do it, it’s probably Kurt Gödel, and it’s equally impossible to prove that he didn’t do it, either.

Pro tip: Practice makes perfect! You might have to do the Power Set several times before you become the Greater Cardinal, so don’t give up!


2 Responses to “Mathematicians as video game villains, Part 2: Cantor”

  1. […] If you play the game while your microphone is plugged in, and the music of Cantor is playing, then Brouwer gets even angrier. Truly, there are no depths of marketing gimmickry to […]

  2. […] June 5, 2010 Apparently, I did Stairway To Heaven at karaoke night in front of my colleagues. Alex Iosevich has a far too generous account of this and of my presentation skills. There even exists video footage of the night before, when Alex couldn’t make it. Maybe you will see it someday. We did karaoke a second night specifically for Alex, though his wife Shannon was quite suspiciously better at singing than the rest of us put together. I, on the other hand, mostly tried to sound more or less like the final boss of Karaoke Apocalypse. […]

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