The Secrets of the Secret Society

When the sun sets on the Soliton Mountain, the black moon will break into seven pieces and fall on the people “Ultania”. Nothing can prevent this…. Death and destruction will violate the land. Misery and suffering will assault the people…. Then, after 130 days of nothingness, a boy who controls the elements will come to save the people.” Book of Miraha – 3:11.

The Secret Society in Street Fighter is a hodgepodge of different European ideas brought together under the objective of establishing a utopia with Gill as its leader. Street Fighter fans already know that Gill and his underlings pursue that objective through illegal and underhanded means, primarily through deceit, experimentation, and intimidation. In fact, it could be said that, for those who know about the organization, the Secret Society isn’t really that much of a secret at all. They know who they are. They know what they do. We, the fans, are completely aware of what’s going on lore-wise. There isn’t much of a mystery left.

Or so you would think.

There’s been something hiding in the lore, one with a lot of twists and turns, one that is extremely difficult to pinpoint, and one that doesn’t seem to make sense at first. It didn’t to me. However, after looking at the mythology that the characters were based on, finally, the story of the Secret Society revealed itself, and their end goal is far more supernatural than it appears.

Overtly, the society has its origins in Hebrew mythology, and everything from the robes to the prophecies to the books they read emulate this. However, the most prominent example of this is Gill himself. He is seen as a messianic figure in the society, much like Jesus Christ, and has physical traits that can be described as angelic, from his long blonde hair to the wings he gains using Seraphic Wing, and his ability to bring meteors down on his opponents. Everything about him is god-like in nature. However, while the comparison to Jesus can be made, there is another figure in Christian mythology that could better explain Gill’s nature: Lucifer.

Lucifer was an angel who wanted to take over Heaven and rule it how he saw fit. He was kicked out of God’s kingdom for his rebellion, and eventually took over Hell, transforming into Satan. Lucifer was a fallen angel, someone created to be perfect, but who took up darkness to pursue his own selfish goals. Gill is exactly the same. He was chosen to be the one to lead his people to a utopia and used evil means to reach it. Lucifer is the standard of what Gill was based on.

This doesn’t mean he was the only being in mythology that Capcom designed around, however. Lucifer’s own story has parallels to the Greek myth of Phaethon, wherein the character arrogantly tries to control the chariot that controlled the sun, and fails. In an effort to prevent disaster, he is struck down by Zeus and dies while falling to the Earth. However, it isn’t the story that ties Lucifer to Greek mythology, but rather the celestial body influenced the story. Phaethon was the Greek name given to the planet we now know as Jupiter, and the god Jupiter’s influences on the Secret Society are even stronger than Lucifer’s.

While it’s speculated amongst fans that Gill’s name is also based in Hebrew, specifically the name Gilead (a common Sikh name that means “eternal joy”), there is also evidence that his name could come from the same root as his brother Urien’s. The name Julian is derived from the god Jupiter, and from Julian you can not only get Urien, but Gillian, which can be shortened to Gill. As for Urien, his attacks are all based on Greek and Roman symbols: Jupiter Thunder, Aegis Reflector, Chariot Tackle, etc. However, the name Urien is more famous in Arthurian legend as the name of the Welsh king of Rheged. In the legend, he opposes Arthur’s ascension to the throne and fights him to a loss before becoming his ally. Gill’s brother does things differently. He starts as an ally, but grows to resent his brother and his ascension to Emperor.

There was one other thing about King Urien that was in the legend, however: his unhappy marriage to the infamous Morgan le Fay. As it turns out, her likeness happens to be present in the Secret Society as well in the form of Kolin. As the Wikipedia article on Morgan le Fay states, “A significant aspect in many of Morgan’s medieval and later iterations is the unpredictable duality of her nature, with potential for both good and evil.” In Cinematic Story Mode, Kolin’s duality is present. She introduces herself as a kind-hearted person who wishes nothing more than to stop Bison, but eventually shows her real self as a scheming user of people. Much like Morgan le Fay to King Arthur, however, Kolin, because of her worship of Gill, helps him with his plans as his right-hand woman and personal assistant. It should also be noted that Kolin’s name, like Morgan’s, is rooted in Welsh; the name as it is pronounced, Colleen, translates to countrywoman.

Here’s where things came to a halt for me. I was able to find that the symbolism within the Secret Society was of Gallo-Roman origins, which included Greek symbolism as well. However, I couldn’t find anything solid within the mythologies that could hint at what the society was actually doing in their ranks or what stories Capcom may go forward on. However, I realized that I had only covered Western Europe. I had a whole another side of Europe to base my theory on, and as it turned out, that was where the symbolism got really interesting.

Kolin’s place of origin is a mystery, with her official birthplace being “Unknown.” It’s strongly hinted that she likely has a Russian background, with both her design and her accent reflecting this. However, her back story also reveals that she is from a war-torn land. In real life, there has been much publicized conflict in another country in Eastern Europe – Ukraine. It makes just as much sense for her to be Ukrainian as she is Russian. If Kolin is from Kiev, then her deep interest in the Secret Society’s Book of Miraha would hit closer to home.

Take a look again at the excerpt taken from the book: the black moon will break into seven pieces and fall on the people “Ultania”. In real life, Ultania actually exists. Oltenia, with a slightly different spelling, is a district in the southern part of Romania. If this is the location that the book prophesizes, then the “Soliton Mountain” must be the southern Carpathians in Oltenia, also known as the Transylvanian Alps. As it turns out, between Ukraine and Oltenia, there lies one of the most notorious places in Western civilization, made famous by Bram’s Stoker’s “Dracula” and, for many, the epicenter of the occult: Transylvania itself. While the Secret Society may reside in the Mediterranean, Transylvania may be the promised land that Gill seeks to establish his kingdom. However, while the society is obviously one of the occult, it’s the sciences that it practices that shed light on this and show what he may have been planning this entire time.

In the original novel, Dracula was an immortal vampire who could shapeshift into a wolf or a bat at his leisure. These aspects of Dracula are reflected in Kolin and Urien’s individual projects, with Kolin reviving Nash (immortality, and specifically Nash being undead) and Urien creating Twelve (who specializes in shapeshifting). We can go even further with both. Kolin doesn’t just reflect Morgan le Fay, but also Lucy Westenra from the Dracula novel. Kolin’s worship of Gill parallels Dracula taking complete control over Lucy: both belong to their master – mind, body, and soul.

On the other hand, Urien hates his brother, but nonetheless continues his project with the society’s aid in an effort to usurp Gill. As stated, Urien focuses on shapeshifting, which at first seems out of character for him, until you realize that everything about him reflects lycanthropy, the process of turning into a werewolf. Starting with Urien’s Greek and Roman background, we have Lycaon of Arcadia, who killed his son and fed him to Zeus, a.k.a. Jupiter, as a test of Zeus’s omniscience. As punishment, Zeus/Jupiter transformed Lycaon into a wolf. Lycaon being the root name for “lycanthropy” and Urien’s nods to Jupiter make the connection more apparent, but there is one other thing about Urien that fits into the werewolf mold: his ability to cover himself in metal. While it isn’t stated outright what the metal Urien covers himself with is, it’s been speculated by fans that it is silver. If this is true, the idea that Urien has a strong interest in werewolves holds water, as silver has been long known as the weakness of werewolves – they can only be stopped by a silver bullet (and Urien fires metal projectiles; you do the math).

In other words, the Secret Society has a strong interest in the occult, specifically vampires and werewolves, and with all of this finally written out, it points to one thing: Gill’s utopia would be filled with vampires and werewolves, and Gill would be the one to lead them all. The final proof of this is Gill himself, and specifically, his control over the elements – fire, which represents life, rebirth, and immortality (vampires are undead) and ice, which represents the cold of night and arctic weather (the full moon and a wolf’s emblematic climate). He maintains both with perfect balance in his own body, and this in turn makes him the ideal unifier (this notion also explains how Kolin has ice powers and represents fire while Urien and his fiery personality represents ice; it’s harmony among the elements.)

Basically, Capcom is slowly turning Street Fighter into Darkstalkers. Or Twilight. Take your pick.

2 thoughts on “The Secrets of the Secret Society

  1. Pingback: Is Vega a Vampire?

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