We're through the looking glass, people. My recent article about an ever-present stage design element in many Mega Man adventures has led The Mega Man Network to focus on something similar in terms of character design. The next time you take a look at some of those great pieces of Robot Master promotional artwork, take special note of each character's hands. In almost every instance in which the characters have open hands instead of fists or blasters, the Robot Masters have their middle and ring fingers stuck together. Is it significant? Does it imply a "W-for-[Dr.] Wily" formation? What does it mean?!
As you can see, the middle finger and ring finger are practically fused together. It’s really as if the artist had trouble drawing a proper hand with five fingers, and had to make one of them really big to imply two fingers together. This hand pose isn’t present with all Mega Man characters, but many hold their hands in a fist, and some just don’t have hands at all. But when a Mega Man character tries to open his or her hand, those two fingers just won’t come apart.
Of course, the reality is that it’s just the style of the artist, likely Keiji Inafune himself, who began as a character designer. I presume many of these character images were created, if at least drafted, by him. Starting in Mega Man 8, Hayato Kaji became the head of illustrating as Inafune went on to take more production roles, which would indicate why the gesture disappears around that time. Then it naturally reappears in Mega Man 9 and 10, games which try to recapture that retro feel. You can tell they really paid attention to all the small details!
Who knows what this strange gesture, which I am naming the “Capcom Hand,” really indicates. All I can say for sure is it’s very Mega Man.
How many other little hidden elements are hiding in Capcom productions? I think it's time that we as a community go A Beautiful Mind on the entire Mega Man franchise to crack open its secrets and overanalyze the P-chips out of it. Pick a topic and get started. If you need me, I'll be over here in the corner taping printed-out screenshots to the wall to see what kind of secret message they spell when arranged in the proper order.