Westworld: How bullets work and a potentially important flaw in their design

Gunshots appear to leave a bruise on humans similar to that of a paintball

Christopher Hooton
Thursday 27 October 2016 12:09
Comments

Thus far in HBO’s Westworld, the precise mechanics of the park haven’t been explained. We know that human Guests are (relatively) safe unlike the poor robot Hosts, but how is it that bullets rip through the latter but not the former?

The Terms of Service of Westworld’s parent company Delos has the answer, an indispensable source of Westworld trivia and backstory, that also turned up the different ways humans have died in the park.

According to one contract clause:

'(c) All weapons and equipment used within Delos parks are the exclusive property of Delos, Inc. Gun ammunition contains proprietary safeguards related to bullet velocity, and tampering with gun safety features or ammunition automatically transfers liability to you and absolves Delos, Inc. of any injury or death that may occur as a result.'

It seems it’s all down to the velocity of the bullets. Co-creator Jonathan Nolan elaborated on this to Rotten Tomatoes:

“We thought a lot about this. In the original film, the guns won't operate guest on guest, but we felt like the guests would want to have a more visceral experience here. So when they're shot it has sort of the impact. They're called simunitions. The U.S. military trains with rounds like the ones we're talking about. But there's a bit of an impact, a bit of a sting. So it's not entirely consequence-free for the guests.”

This suggests that either all of the bullets are low velocity - only leaving a bruise on human skin but being fatal to the Hosts’ less resistant skin - or the guns somehow fire one kind of shell at Hosts and another at Guests.

If this is the case, there could easily be a plot point involving it at some stage. The contract acknowledges that tampering with the guns is possible, and this could lead to a dramatic death scene as a Guest realises they’ve been shot for real.

Westworld continues on HBO on Sunday nights and on Sky Atlantic on Tuesday nights in the UK.

(H/T r/Westworld)

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in