A theory on blood moons

TL;DR: Low memory triggers a Blood Moon to mask garbage collection? Help test the theory: Warp to stables and villages, pick up items that always spawn in the same place, then throw and break them. Post your results here.

I suspect the trigger for a Blood Moon is simply the game running low on memory. More precisely, if it starts running sort of low on memory, the next night is forced to be a Blood Moon. If it runs really low on memory before nightfall, it just forces the Blood Moon on the spot.

Why? First, consider what happens during a Blood Moon: The state of all the minor things in the world resets. Enemies you've defeated respawn, but it's more than that. For example, some items are fixed spawns, e.g. the baked apple at the beginning of the game, the Sunshroom behind Hateno Research Lab, various pot lids and Iron Sledgehammers, etc. and if you pick them up, they all reappear after a Blood Moon. These are all things the game can forget you've done after a Blood Moon, freeing up memory.

Second, people have reported that killing a crapload of enemies usually triggers a Blood Moon. There are way so many enemies across the whole map that it would be silly for the programmers to keep track of every single one with a flag in memory, so the game probably just keeps a list of enemies you've defeated. Then whenever you approach an enemy's spawn point, it checks against the list and only spawns the enemy if it's not on there. Same for the fixed spawn items, they go on the do-not-spawn list when you pick them up. So every enemy killed and every fixed spawn item picked up grows the list and takes up more memory.

Third, this would explain the glitch where you get more frequent Blood Moons the longer you play without fully closing the game. There's a memory leak somewhere gradually eating up memory, leaving less room for the do-not-spawn list to grow.

It would also explain why there's a fixed cutscene that you can only skip after a couple seconds. The game is buying time for its garbage collection routine to go through memory and delete everything it can forget.

There's a way to test this theory: Warp to various stables and villages, pick up all the pot lids, tree branches, sledgehammers, and whatnot you can find, then throw and break them. Then see if you get a Blood Moon soon after, and post here with your results. If it consistently happens for everyone regardless of your console or how far you are in the game, that would lend some credibility to this theory, and it'll be useful to know in case you really want to force a Blood Moon. If not, well, myth busted, and I'm more than happy to be proven wrong through empirical evidence.

One Reply to “A theory on blood moons”

  1. I’ve been trying this but nothing has happened so far. Also I don’t imagine a weapon you pick up and throw respawns back in the same area if you don’t destroy it, right?
    And what about trees? Would destroying those help to?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.