Assassin’s Creed is known to be a game where players can run around rooftops and swing from one building to another. However, not many players know that the game is based on real-life historical figures, a group of highly-trained assassins.
There’s more to this game than just the adrenaline-pumping action. Here are some facts that players may not know about Assassin’s Creed.
They’re Based On Real Assassins
Many might think that Assassin’s Creed is all about a group of assassins fighting against an enemy when it is also true in real life. The game itself is based on a real group of assassins during the Crusades.
Not many people know that the word assassin is derived from the term hashshashins that was used during the time to describe people who either killed targets or scared them. This group was founded by a Persian missionary named Hassan-i-Sabbah.
These hashshashins would often gather information from their target and use them to leave messages or threats. These were effective submissive methods for his rivals.
Prince Of Persia: Assassins?
Long before the game was released, the game’s concept was first to be thought of as a sequel to the very successful Prince of Persia game. You might think that the game is set in a Middle Eastern region would be the perfect way to try and introduce a new story to the Prince of Persia series.
However, many didn’t agree with this new take on the franchise and suggested that it would be better off as a new game. Most of them aired that there wasn’t even a single prince in the game for it to be called Prince of Persia.
They then decided to change the title and make it stand on its own, resulting in the first Assassin’s Creed game.
Kristen Bell Voiced Lucy Stillman
In the first three games, we could hear a very familiar voice from the character Lucy Stillman.
At first, I was a bit hesitant in naming this iconic voice, but upon revisiting the original games, I found myself nodding in agreement that it is indeed Kristen Bell of the Veronica Mars, Gossip Girl, and Good Place fame who voiced the titular character.
I also discovered that this was also her first gig as a voice actor for a video game which cemented her status as both a gaming and nerd icon for many years to come.
20 Games And Counting
Assassin’s Creed has one of the most expansive universes in the gaming industry. The stories have been set in many different eras and regions of our history, but the game remains almost the same.
With so many stories to tell, the franchise has featured nine mainline games so far, but many other games on different platforms carry the name of the series that has reached up to 20 games and counting.
Platforms such as the PlayStation 3, Windows PC, Xbox One, and even Android and iOS phones have been known to have Assassin’s Creed games.
Read All About Assassin’s Creed
Not only does Assassin’s Creed have more than 20 games under its belt, but it has also expanded to many other forms of media. I’ve seen many toys and other merchandise sold in stores and in conventions where the games are presented.
However, the best part about the game is that you can also read more about its expansive universe through a series of books. The main franchise has created at least ten spin-off novels that are set within the Assassin’s Creed universe and are authored with the likes of Anton Gill.
Check out your nearest bookstore and read the novels to gain more insight into the world of Assassin’s Creed.
Ubisoft Was Not A Fan Of The Animus
When Assassin’s Creed was pitched to become a game, many of its developers wanted to include a sci-fi element, especially in terms of connecting the past and the present.
The Animus was the way to merge the storylines with our protagonist, using the Animus to reconnect with his past, thus allowing players to go back in time. Ubisoft was not a fan of this idea and was a bit too unusual for a game that’s grounded mostly in reality.
You can still see that the developer does not have faith in this piece of the story as there have been games that did not feature the Animus.
Names With Meaning
Many of the game’s characters might have very generic names, but there’s more to it than what it seems. Altair, our protagonist, means the one who flies or hunts birds in Arabic, just like how the assassins move in this game.
They are flying on rooftops that hunt their targets to eliminate them. It was also known that Altair meant “son of none,” which referred to him being an orphan from a very young age.
Altair’s mentor himself is named Al-Mualim, which means the mentor. I’ve also seen a lot more character names with their meanings derived from a direct translation of their local language, which to me sounds awesome.
In the early days of Assassin’s Creed, I’ve noticed and many other players that Altair doesn’t seem to be fond of swimming in the game. Rebecca Crane, later on, explained it through cutscenes about Altair’s lack of affinity in the water.
But the truth is, the developers thought that swimming would only provide a new challenge to the players. They also thought that it wouldn’t bring that much new gameplay or thought it didn’t bring any importance at all to the game.
Imagine being an assassin who doesn’t know how to swim. It’s crazy to think that Ubisoft would find swimming as a non-factor. However, later on, they realized this mistake and went on to add swimming into the game as part of the assassin’s skill set.
Visit Masyaf In Real Life
One would think that the city of Masyaf would be fictional within the world of Assassin’s Creed. As with many other historical facts that the game is based on, the city of Masyaf is pretty much real.
The city can be found in Northwest Syria and is home to the castle you can also find within the game. You can also visit the castle thanks to the restoration that was completed in 2006.
The castle also featured many hidden areas, such as an underground tunnel which has been used to get to different areas in the castle.
Al Mualim Is Rashid Ad-Din Sinan
Many thought of Al Mualim as someone who just founded the assassin’s group in the game, but many also noticed the many similarities of the famous Rashid Ad-Din Sinan, who founded the Hashshashin group in the late 12th century.
It is quite fascinating to think that many of the game’s characters are truly based on real-life people.
And while the game does have to take some liberties, including changing the name to avoid legal problems, it is obvious that the game truly captures the essence of Rashid Ad-Din Sinan in Al Mualim.
A Crossbow Out Of Time
Assassin’s Creed has been somewhat faithful to the history where the game is based from.
However, the developers made a little blunder during the opening scene from the game, where we see Altair fighting Templars using a crossbow.
It was believed that the crossbow had not yet been invented during the time, which meant that the game had some obvious inaccuracies at that point.
Unity’s Historic Patch
There was a time when a certain Assassin’s Creed game was riddled with bugs that the developers had to release a whopping 40GB patch to fix most if not all of the issues in the game.
It was pretty heavy for players at the time, but this ultimately solved many of the game’s problems.
Later on, the game rebuilt its reputation and is one of the most well-received Assassin’s Creed games of all time.
The Legacy Of Desmond Miles
The game’s protagonist, Desmond Miles, ended up sacrificing himself to save the world.
But, the developers planned this all along as it was discovered that Miles had a son before his untimely death.
Elijah is a reincarnation of the First Civilization, also known as Sage, further explored in Black Flag and the Uprising comic series.
Meet The First Female Assassin
Many players tend to think that Evie Frye was the first female assassin to debut in the series; however, many fans have already met the first female assassin in 2012 through a PSP game called Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation.
Here we meet Aveline de Grandpré, who is officially the first female assassin we meet in the franchise while Evie was introduced in 2015’s Syndicate.
This shows that even though Assassin Creed still lacked female representation in the game, it was willing to make female characters the central and integral part of the story.
While many other gaming franchises wouldn’t want their series of games to end, Assassin’s Creed’s ending has already been written, and time will only tell whether it will come soon enough.
This is what I like about developers who have a plan from beginning to end. They know what they’re doing with the franchise and know when to stop milking the game for what it’s worth.
Here’s to having the best sendoff to a beloved game.
And those were some of the things that you may or may not know about Assassin’s Creed. It’s fun to think that a game that I play just for fun would have so many connections to the real world and our history.