What lies be­yond Tibia’s leg­endary level 999 gate?


The truth be­hind one of the old­est mys­ter­ies in gam­ing has been solved—and it’s a mas­sive dis­ap­point­ment. Around 15,000 peo­ple gath­ered on Twitch to watch as Tibia player Dev Onica opened the Banuta Gate of Ex­per­tise, which has been taunt­ing play­ers for 12 years. To pass through it you need to be level 999, which only one other player has achieved, and the mys­tery of what lies be­hind it has been a sub­ject of much spec­u­la­tion. Tibia’s other level 999 player, Kharsek, re­fused to tell the com­mu­nity what lay be­yond the gate. 5,000 peo­ple watched on Twitch as he reached the leg­endary level, only to re­al­ize that he had no in­ten­tion of show­ing them what was be­hind the door. He went through it later on his own, with­out any­one watch­ing, and hasn’t spo­ken a word about it since.

But Dev Onica was more forth­com­ing, al­beit while bom­bard­ing view­ers with ad­ver­tise­ments to try and make some money. He stepped through the gate and ap­peared on Schrödinger’s Is­land, a small trop­i­cal is­land with a few palm trees and ven­dors. And that was it.

Dev Onica re­ceived a vir­tual tro­phy and a con­grat­u­la­tory mes­sage from the de­vel­op­ers for ac­cess­ing the gate, but for the peo­ple watch­ing the stream there wasn’t much of a re­ward at all. “I’m not even sur­prised,” one player said on Red­dit. “Cip­soft couldn’t spend more than ten min­utes de­sign­ing some­thing for an ex­tremely im­por­tant mo­ment.”

But un­til re­cently, the gate led nowhere, be­cause Cip­soft didn’t think any­one would reach level 999. The mys­tery, as they of­ten do, took on a life of its own, and be­came much big­ger than they an­tic­i­pated.


Many are con­vinced the is­land is a cover for a deeper se­cret, but that could be wish­ful think­ing. Some in the com­mu­nity think Dev Onica is be­ing de­lib­er­ately un­help­ful and is mak­ing no at­tempt to solve the mys­tery, which has made peo­ple even more jaded.

An­other player, Lyh, is set to reach level 999 next year, and is promis­ing to set the record straight on the gate. But the sto­ries of these things are al­most al­ways more in­ter­est­ing than the so­lu­tions. Per­haps the press sur­round­ing this will in­spire the de­vel­oper to ex­pand on the re­ward. Andy Kelly

Many are con­vinced the is­land is a cover for a deeper se­cret

Re­leased in ’97, Tibia is one of the old­est MMOs.

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