The Mega Man 9 Secret

So, the Mega Man 9 Secret, so called. What it is? Why do we still not know what it is to this day?
It all started with former Capcom Community Manager Seth Killian – a thread was started on the Capcom Unity forums listing all of the secrets. Contrary to the notion that all of the various easter eggs and hidden messages had been found in the game (of which there are many!), Killian told Mega Man fans that there was only one Mega Man 9 secret left, and no one has found it. This was said around the time of the game’s original release date, exactly one month from the day.
Mega Man fans, being the obsessive and dedicated sort, worked to the bone to find any number of interesting things in the game, ranging from levels that shared similarities with old Mega Man stages to small cameos, references to other games, and hidden messages (that don’t add up to much). Each one shows the dedication Capcom showed in turn making the game, packing it densely with as many little details as possible.
Still, Killian proclaimed that no one had found it yet! What could it possibly be? Capcom staff provided some clues over the years, yet none of them make the search any easier. For one, it’s located in the DLC-only Endless Mode, which has the player go through an infinite number of level screens until Mega Man dies. Once that happens, the number of “screens” you clear and/or traverse becomes your score on an online leaderboard. Christian Svensson, yet another community manager, stated that the secret involves clearing a certain number of screens…although it’s not specified how many. This led to instant speculation as to how many stages needed to be cleared in order to unlock the secret. Furthermore, would I even know what it is if I saw it? Rumors abound.  We can confirm that the secret requires finishing a certain number of screens – apparently, no one had gotten that far.
As well, someone (mostly likely hacking the game to get that far, as his/her score was quickly removed) made it to 99,999 screens, the highest possible score. Killian believed, at that point, that someone had discovered it – to his dismay, they did not. Furthermore, Killian stated that one was “half way there” at 7500 screens. Heck, that’s a lot for even an expert Mega Man player, so imagine the time and dedication you’d need to find whatever this thing is. Would it even be worth the trouble?
Leave it to the scientifc method to uncover one of life’s great mysteries! Or not. Fans decompiled the code of the game (yeah, they’re dedicated) and couldn’t find ANYTHING related to said secret – nothing out of the ordinary, no new weapons or bosses or stages. From that, fans conclude that the secret has something to do with Capcom’s servers for Endless Mode scores. Perhaps it’s a hidden congratulations message, but that’s not the case. GameTrailers’ overview of the controversy clearly shows their best effort, even given every single clue, were somehow misguided! Absolutely nothing happened at all. Thus, GT has two theories – one, something changes with in-game assets if you get far enough, and two, there’s actually an END to Endless Mode (which I think seems more likely and the most ironic).
Still, Seth Killian assures us that the secret is, indeed, real, and that the other community managers at Capcom know what it is. What’s telling about the situation, however, is that it’s a “little thing that’s not going to set the world on fire”, and supposedly it’ll become little more than a footnote once discovered.
I don’t have any vested interest in finding this secret nor helping in the search. Actually, I remember browsing the forums, seeing the message, and thinking “hey, the Internet is here; surely they’ll find it”. Somehow, four years later we’re no closer to getting to the secret, and only a few sentient beings in the entire universe, barring God, Seth Killian, and Capcom’s Community Managers know exactly what it is. Frankly, I like it that way.
As much as science and technology have provided a rich tapestry for civilization’s advancement, explanantions tend to reduce that sense of wonder and amazement that were often the progenitors of religious expression. Early religions assigned natural forces to gods and godesses who performed that particular function. Sure, a supernatural explanantion IS an explanation at some level, but it engenders different feelings than a scientific, empirically verifiable and understandable function of “nature”. Rather than sit in awe of our own might and ability to comprehend, our ancestors stood in awe of beings they could not see that manipulate the forces of nature to their own whims.
Why? Well, the Psalmist in his 148th work had this to say:

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all stars of light!
Praise Him, highest heavens,
And the waters that are above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For He commanded and they were created.
He has also established them forever and ever;
He has made a decree which will not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
Sea monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
Mountains and all hills;
Fruit trees and all cedars;
10 Beasts and all cattle;
Creeping things and winged fowl;
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples;
Princes and all judges of the earth;
12 Both young men and virgins;
Old men and children.

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above earth and heaven.
14 And He has lifted up a horn for His people,
Praise for all His godly ones;
Even for the sons of Israel, a people near to Him.
Praise the Lord!

Everything was created by God, and He controlled everything. They exist to give Him praise and to show His glory. That doesn’t mean His power wasn’t a total mystery, but it was real and known. That’s the key to it all.

Don’t take me for an anti-science curmudgeon, though! The theory of evolution has done a great deal for scientific progress, no matter where you look. Just because I don’t believe it’s the case doesn’t mean I can’t see the efficacy of the theory. But, when it encroaches upon the origin of everything, that’s where we have no definite answers other than those that make sense to , once again, a few people in all of the known sentient world. Maybe it’s nice to have a little mystery in these things, wouldn’t you say? It makes us a little more humble about ourselves and our ability to solve every problem.

Sometimes, you just need an all-powerful deity to help out a bit.

About Zachery Oliver

Zachery Oliver, MTS, is the lead writer for Theology Gaming, a blog focused on the integration of games and theological issues. He can be reached at viewtifulzfo at gmail dot com or on Theology Gaming’s Facebook Page.