What is a man? A miserable pile of secrets is a popular quote from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
It can be read right before the epic opening battle of the video game, and has been parodied by fans of the title years after the game’s initial release.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was released for PlayStation on March 20th, 1997 by Konami.
The game starts with a recurring character of the series, Richter Belmont approaching the vampire lord Dracula, exchanging a short dialogue, before facing off.
The dialog goes as:
Richter: Die monster. You don’t belong in this world!
Dracula: It was not by my hand I was once again given flesh. I was brought here by humans who wished to pay me tribute!
Richter: Tribute!? You steal men’s souls, and make them your slaves!
Dracula: Perhaps the same could be said of all religions…
Richter: Your words are as empty as your soul! Mankind ill needs a savior such as you!
Dracula: What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets. But enough talk… Have at you!
“What is man? A miserable pile of secrets” was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2006.
The phrase would be featured in YouTube videos and parodies, following 2009, appearing in various memes on the platform, like the Sparta Remix or the Hitler’s Downfall Parody.
It would later be featured in image macros on sites like Twitter, Reddit or Facebook.