- Anastasia: "The world is changing...my father's empire is gone...my family...dead."
- Nikolaï : "You will survive this. You are strong, just like Shao Jun."
- ―Anastasia and Nikolaï discussing the turn of events, 1918[src]
Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna "Anya" Romanova of Russia (18 June 1901 – unknown) was a Russian princess, the fourth and youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II and last survivor of the Romanov family. After her secret emigration to Germany, she took the name Anna Anderson.
During the slaughter of her family, the genetic memories of Chinese Assassin Shao Jun somehow contained in Ezio's Precursor box bonded with Anastasia when the girl came in contact with both the box and a shard of the Imperial Scepter formerly owned by her family. Protected by Russian Assassin Nikolaï Orelov but tracked by both the Templars and the Red Army, Anastasia used her connection with Jun to learn Assassin skills like freerunning, lockpicking and combat to survive the ordeal. Eventually Anastasia left Russia for Germany under the name Anna Anderson after being rescued by Nikolaï from the Assassins, who had betrayed and experimented on her.
Anastasia was born as the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, the last sovereign of Imperial Russia, and his wife Tsarina Alexandra Fyodorovna. Anastasia had four siblings: Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Alexei.
Early during the Russian Revolution, Vladimir Lenin asked the Assassin Nikolai Orelov to kill Tsar Nicholas II. The tsar had just finished saying goodnight to Anastasia and her three sisters when he was confronted by Orelov. Recognizing the Assassin as the man who had once made an attempt on his father's life, Nicholas requested that his family be spared. However, Orelov was only interested in taking possession of the Romanov family's Imperial Scepter and left warning him that there would be a future assassination attempt.
Shooting of the Romanov
- "Mama... How could I ever be as strong as you were? This bracelet bears the initials of all of us. It's mine to wear now. The last of us."
- ―Anastasia Romanova.[src]
In July 1918 during the height of the Revolution, Anastasia's family was assassinated inside Ipatiev house by Templar agents within the Bolsheviks sent to obtain the Precursor box that was in her family's possession. Romanova temporarily escaped with the box but was hunted down and cornered in a boiler room, where she was rescued by Nikolaï Orelov who had infiltrated the house in order to take the Precursor box for the Assassins. However the box Romanova held and the fragment of the Imperial Sceptre Orelov wore resonated just as more soldiers rushed in, causing a blinding light to appear. When it cleared Romanova stood over the bodies of the soldiers with Orelov's knife, having been imprinted with the memories, experiences and skills of Shao Jun.
Devastated by the death of her family, Romanova was reassured by Orelov who helped distract the soldiers while she escaped from her pursuers through the sewers. While in the sewers, Anastasia used many of the skills inherited from Shao Jun, including whistling, freerunning, lockpicking and pickpocketing, to avoid detection from the soldiers posted there. After exiting the sewers, Romanova attempted to find Orelov to escape the area and amazed herself with her new-found abilities. In order to more easily traverse the ruined environment of her now former home, Anastasia made a makeshift rope dart using Nikolaï's dagger and a rope she found while scavenging through the Cheka compound.
Following this, Anastasia was pinned down by a Machine Gun but was saved by Nikolaï, who told her to meet him at the edge of the estate. As Romanova went through her home, she collected heirlooms belonging to her departed family. Further into her house, Romanova overheard soldiers gloating about killing her family, which sent her into a rage and drove her to assassinate all of the present soldiers, losing herself into the persona of Shao Jun.
Exiting the house, Romanova ran into a rifleman who was quickly shot by Orelov who had taken a vantage point as a sniping position. Covered by the Assassin, Anastasia escaped the compound. Outside the compound Anastasia fell to the floor, feeling unwell. As Nikolaï attempted to help her up a guard approached and shouted at them causing Orelov to push Romanova down in an attempt to hide her. While the guard interrogated Nikolaï, Anastasia, temporally possessed by Shao Jun, strangled the guard from behind and snapped his neck. She then threatened to kill Nikolaï for pushing her down and took offence to him calling her "child". Romanova only snapped out of her trance once Orelov reminded her of her true name.
- "These are not your memories. You are not Shao Jun. The box or the shard did this. I've witnessed the things this technology can do. You have to remain yourself, Anastasia. You have to shut her out."
- ―Nikolaï Orelov.[src]
Orelov and Romanova boarded a train heading from Yekaterinburg to Kazan in order to escape persecution from the Templar agents in the Red Army. While on the train, Anastasia revealed to Nikolaï that she recalled events from Shao Jun's life, including the hunt for the Eight Tigers where Shao Jun freed China from Templar control. Orelov warned her to not lose herself in the memories of Shao Jun, and explained that they would reach Kazan in order to head to Moscow with the aid of some friends of Orelov belonging to the Narodnaya Volya. Romanova expressed doubt about his intentions due to his friends' allegiances, but Orelov simply replied that he had a daughter himself and that their cause does not include murdering children.
At this point a noise startled them as Templar soldiers boarded the train in search of the box, prompting Orelov to tell her that he'd be back after taking care of them. After Orelov took care of the soldiers on the train, an armoured train pulled up to theirs and started attacking the train as more soldiers boarded, forcing Romanova to run from the back of the train under heavy fire as the train collapsed and caught fire around her. Reaching the front where Nikolaï had commandeered a machine gun to counter attack, Anastasia barely escaped the explosion of the back cars alongside Nikolaï.
- "He should have been back by now. Something must've happened... I can't go out there. Too many of them. I'll never make it. Unless... she helps me..."
- ―Anastasia Romanova.[src]
Realizing that something must have happened to Nikolaï, Anastasia decided to look for him. However she realized that unless she relied on the genetic memories of Shao Jun she would fail, and forced herself to synchronize with them, allowing her to use Shao Jun's skills.
After leaving her hiding place, Romanova noticed cannon fire as Red Army forces started marching into Kazan. As she continued through the city in search of Orelov, she freed three people she knew from before her ordeal that were being held prisoners by the Red forces. Entering a train station, Anastasia saw multitudes of refugees attempting to leave the city before the battle started proper as well as guards scanning the area. She proceeded while blending with the crowds in order to shield herself from the guards eyes and left through the station.
Outside the station, Anastasia overheard a conversation between two guards, one of whom claimed to have been just stationed at Bodarenko Ulitsa outpost, where they were holding Nikolaï, who hadn't told them the location of Anastasia and the Box. With this information, Anastasia was determined to help him escape. Romanova sneaked past the guards and boarded on top of a tram which she hopped would take her to the edge of the Volga, however the train was stopped for inspection forcing her to get off and find the signal box to change the light to green while avoiding being spotted by the patrol. Once done she quickly returned to the Tram before it left and continued riding it until it's final stop, where she climbed on top of the nearby buildings and jumped on top of a train headed near Trotsky's Mansion. Once the train was as close as it would get her Romanova jumped off and continued on foot, through some Cheka barracks, reaching the mansion where Orelov was held captive. Here she assassinated all of Orelov's captors and rescued him. Nikolaï, worried, asked her if she had been taken over by Shao Jun, but Anastasia reassured him that she was herself.
Reaching the Assassins
- "I know I'm not her, but I also know I can no longer be myself. Anastasia Nikolaevna needs to... fade away... She cannot be a part of this new world..."
- ―Anastasia Romanova.[src]
Once Anastasia rescued Nikolaï, he suggested that they split up in order to avoid detection from the Templars. Distressed, Romanova believed that Orelov wished to abandon her but he reassured her that he'd be covering her from the rooftops while she stayed on street level as they headed towards the Volga. On their way out of the compound, Anastasia sneaked through guards' patrols and through buildings while Nikolaï covered her with his rifle from afar. At times, Romanova lured troublesome guards near windows or open areas, allowing Orelov to shoot them. Soon enough Anastasia encountered a barricade which she could not pass through. However moved a barrel filled with explosives for Nikolaï to shoot destroying the barricade, allowing her to pass through.
Arriving at a warehouse near the docks filled with guards and explosives, Anastasia dropped explosive barrels near the main doors, allowing Nikolaï to them, killing the guards and clearing the way for her to get through the area. Once through Nikolaï once again covered Anastasia as she crossed a bridge, this time, however, an alert was raised and many guards converged on her location as she ran over the bridge. Once through she pushed another explosive barrel towards the bridge, allowing Nikolaï to blow it up.
Once clear of the guards, Romanova and Orelov took a small rowboat on the Volga. While drifting in the water Anastasia reminisced over her losses and Nikolaï reassured her of her ability to get through her current predicament. Anastasia resolved that she, as Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova, could not continue to exist.
Arriving in Moscow, Anastasia and Nikolaï met Sergei, an Assassin scientist, who took the box. Anastasia asked him if he could cure her to which he clarified that while he couldn't, their Mentor might be able to. Sergei said he'd take her to him, but when Nikolaï prepared to accompany them, Sergei reminded him that he had to go to the Bureau to report all he had seen. At Nikolaï's protests, Sergei reassured him that Anastasia would be safe. Anastasia reassured him as well as she walked away with Sergei.
Imprisonment in the Kremlin
Unbeknownst to Nikolaï, Anastasia was taken by the Assassins to the Kremlin in order to experiment on her in an attempt to extract the genetic memories given to her by the box. While being brought there, Anastasia fought her captors, even having to resort to biting one of the Assassins that attempted to handle her, but was subdued. Once underground in the Assassin science facility, she was subjected to procedures that had previously resulted in subjects either being killed or permanently damaged.
Eventually Orelov arrived, having betrayed the Assassin's in order to save her. Upon being waked from unconsciousness, Anastasia noticed Nikolaï on the other side of an observation window as he remotely opened a door for her. Orelov apologised for his involvement in the situation and Romanova once again took the persona of Shao Jun — her psyche unstable due to the experiments performed on her — and launched in to a diatribe against him, threatening to kill him as "she" had the Tigers. Nikolaï called out to her in an attempt to ground her in herself, and urged her to run.
Once outside of the experiment room, Anastasia attempted to escape the Kremlin. While moving through the facility, she noticed two of the scientists that had experimented on her and Assassinated them for the cruelties they inflicted upon her. Romanova proceeded to the maintenance levels in her attempts to escape, dodging scalding steam sprouting from the decrepit machinery, eventually reaching a path blocked off by steam entirely and finding herself unable to keep going forward until Orelov activated a piece of machinery that blocked the steam enough for her to pass.
Once through the area, Anastasia attempted to open a security door which locked her into an airtight room with gas filtering in, choking her, only surviving through the quick intervention of Nikolaï, who stopped the gas and opened the door forward. However due to this, the pipes began to burst, starting a chain reaction that forced the weakened Anastasia to flee from the explosions behind her. Once outside Romanova once again reunited with Orelov. Their reunion was short lived however as a tank approached them to attack. Nikolaï ordered Anastasia to run towards the Bolshoi while he distracted it, once again promising to meet her later.
Escape from Russia
- "I have strength now. Whether that was Shao Jun or something within me, it does not matter. I know exactly who I am."
- ―Anastasia Romanova.[src]
Having escaped successfully from the tank, Anastasia later met Nikolaï outside the Bolshoi theatre, having disabled the tank and escaped himself. Once together Anastasia asked Nikolaï how to leave the country. Nikolaï answered by giving her the fake papers that he had prepared for his wife, Anna, as he had been preparing to leave the country with his family. The papers where those of an "Anna Anderson", which, Anastasia commented, sounded American and would serve her even in Germany, where she was headed.
Anastasia thanked Nikolaï and bid him take care of his family and escape the country himself. Nikolaï expressed concern for her state of mind after what the Assassin scientists did to her and her being alone, but Anna replied that she had the strength to survive, despite not knowing if it came from Shao Jun or herself. Nikolaï questioned if she knew who she was, to which she simply replied that she was Anna Anderson.
Personality and characteristics
- "You did something to me! Cursed me... with that necklace. I could never kill anyone! I can barely hold a gun!"
- ―Anastasia Romanova.[src]
Anastasia was 17 years old when her family was killed and was distraught when her she found out. However, a need to escape with her life as well as overhearing the callous and sadistic remarks made by Bolsheviks regarding her slain family imbued her with enough anger that she became willing to violently kill several men to escape, also taking cold satisfaction in punishing those who celebrated her family's deaths.
Equipment and skills
Anastasia was not adept at using weapons by age 17. Once imprinted with Shao Jun, she inherited many skills and abilities from the Chinese Assassin, including freerunning, lockpicking, and Eagle Vision, as well as the intrinsic knowledge of how to build Rope Darts - Shao Jun's signature weapon.
Unlike the Master Assassin Nikolaï Orelov with whom she travelled, Anastasia's equipment was limited to a knife given to her by Orelov and her makeshift rope darts, which she used with great skill.
- Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova is the second historical character playable in the series, following Jack the Ripper in Assassin's Creed: Syndicate.
- Historically, Anna Anderson was an impostor who insisted she was Anastasia Romanova; while her claims were never proven, they became notorious due to extensive media coverage. After the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union, the bodies of the Romanov family were subjected to DNA tests, revealing that the real Anastasia had died with the rest of her family on 17 July 1918.
- The premise of Anastasia surviving the execution of her family and serving as the main heroine of a story, was previously explored in both a 1956 movie and a 1997 animated movie both titled Anastasia, the latter of which was later made into a musical in 2016 that then got updated for Broadway the following year. Coincidentally, in both that story and in the Assassin's Creed one, Anastasia tries to get out of Saint Petersburg by train only to then have to get off it to escape those out to kill her (the Bolsheviks in the Assassin's Creed story and Broadway Musical, and Rasputin's demonic imps in the animated film).