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Assassin's Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles is a 2008 video game released for the Nintendo DS, the iPod Touch/iPhone 4, Symbian Mobile, Windows Phone 7, and Sony Ericsson Xperia Play as a prequel to Assassin's Creed. It was published by Ubisoft and developed by Gameloft,[1] and was released in the United States on 5 February 2008. A port with improved graphics and gameplay was made for iOS by Ubisoft and released on 23 April 2009.[2]

## Gameplay

Assassin's Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles takes advantage of the Nintendo DS' features by utilizing the touch-screen for mini-games, like interrogation and pickpocketing, as well as for displaying a map during standard gameplay. The game's main gameplay is primarily Prince of Persia-style platforming, mixed with stealth and combat.[3]

The game's combat system consists predominantly of weak attacks, strong attacks, and combinations of the two, as well as including bombs and projectiles. Seven different weapons are available: the Hidden Blade, Altaïr's sword, a crossbow, explosive and smoke bombs, throwing knives, and a grappling hook which can be used to pull enemies' feet from underneath them and swinging across gaps that have no ropes.[3]

Weapons and skills can be upgraded or unlocked by using orbs found throughout the game. The game also features three different levels of difficulty, allowing for more experienced players to take on a larger challenge.[3]

## Plot

In the year 1190, the wars of the Third Crusade engulfed the Holy Land, and Crusaders clashed with Saracens for the control of the Holy City, Jerusalem.[3]

### Coming home

Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, a renowned Master Assassin of the Assassin Order, arrived at Alep from an arduous journey and found it under attack by the sworn enemies of the Assassins, the Knights Templar. Left with no choice but to repel the attack, the Assassin defeated many of them, even killing a low-ranking captain before the attack was halted.

Afterwards, tasked by Al Mualim, the Mentor of the Levantine Assassins, Altaïr was sent to find and retrieve a sacred object known as the Chalice, which was said to have the power to unite all the factions under one flag of whichever side possessed it, ending the Third Crusade in victory for either the Crusaders or the Saracens. Setting off immediately, Altaïr embarked on his new quest.[3]

### The quest for the Chalice

#### Assassination of Tamir

Altaïr began his journey in Damascus and met with Rafik, who tested his skills on an easy target. With the target dead, Rafik informed Altaïr that the merchant, Tamir, had connections to the Templars in the area. After interrogating Misbah, a man with connections to Tamir, Altaïr confronted and killed the merchant, but not before learning that the Chalice was kept in the Temple of Sand, and that three keys would be needed to enter.[3]

#### The dancer

Altaïr then visited the circus dancer Fajera, though she was unwilling to help him and left the Assassin to fight a circus brute known as Badr. After defeating the man and catching Fajera, she gave Altaïr the first of the three keys and told him that a man at the Templar hospital in Tyre could help him find the other two. Before he left, Fajera tasked Altaïr with killing a Templar named Alaat as payment for the information she gave, which he successfully managed to do.[3]

#### The red hospital

Later arriving in Tyre, Altaïr first sought Hamid – the Rafiq of the city – from whom he learned that Roland Napule, the head of the hospital and a Templar, had been questioning someone. In order to infiltrate the hospital, Altaïr navigated his way through the sewers, gaining entry to the building from below, before proceeding to assassinate Roland. Altaïr was then given the second key that he needed by a prisoner of Roland, an old man who had been to the mysterious Temple where the Chalice was contained.[3]

#### The hidden party

From there, Altaïr traveled to Jerusalem and spoke with Kadar, a local Assassin agent, where he learned that the Templar leader of the region, Lord Basilisk, was frequently at the royal palace with the king, and that he had the third key for the Temple of Sand.

The king of Jerusalem was going to throw a party somewhere soon that day, and in order to get closer to Basilisk, Altaïr decided to investigate for the location, so that he could sneak inside. After Altaïr overheard some of the noblemen's conversations, he then questioned Ayman, a guest for the party, and found out where it was due to begin.

Infiltrating the celebration with the help of one of Kadar's men, the two of them encountered Lord Basilisk for the first time, and after a brief battle with him, Altaïr obtained the key, but had no time to kill the Templar master before he retreated.[3]

#### Storming the tower

After the confrontation with Lord Basilisk, a group of Templars attacked Hamid and stole a map to the desert temple where the Chalice was supposedly located. Altaïr chased them to their tower and climbed to the top, while facing heavy resistance in the form of catapults, archers, and a mindless man known as 'The Brute', whom Altaïr faced off against in a courtyard.

After making his way through the tower's defenses and killing the archer captain in charge, Altaïr encountered the Master, an Assassin-like figure who was actually a high-ranking Templar. Having no choice, Altaïr fought his way through the tower, killing the Master's guards and his student, until he finally reached the Master himself. After facing off against the Master and assassinating him, Altaïr retrieved the temple map from his body.[3]

#### The Temple of Sand

Leaving the tower afterwards, and following the map he obtained from the Master, Altaïr arrived at the Temple of Sand. There, he fought his way through Templar forces to get to the antechamber, finally entering it after dispatching a large brute carrying an axe. Inside, he found an empty chest and Basilisk, who hinted to the Assassin that the Chalice was in fact a woman. Basilisk further taunted Altaïr and fled once more, leaving the temple to crumble around him. Managing to escape, Altaïr made his way to Tyre as the temple collapsed.[3]

#### Infiltrating a Templar stronghold

In Tyre, Hamid told Altaïr that in order to infiltrate the local Templar stronghold, he would need to free two captured men. After Altaïr found and freed the two captive brothers, who pinpointed the entrance for him, Altaïr infiltrated the hold, encountering another brute along the way.

Making his way inside, the Assassin came across Basilisk and engaged into a fight with the Templar leader, badly wounding him in the process. From there, Altaïr proposed to Basilisk that in exchange for his life, he would be required to give the Assassin information, and Altaïr listened as Basilisk revealed that the Chalice was in Jerusalem and that the Templars were besieging Acre. He also revealed that the Templars planned to poison the water supply of Acre in order to speed up their assault. Before he left for Acre, Altaïr set fire to Basilisk's ships, disadvantaging him so that he could not reach the Chalice before Altaïr.[3]

#### Infiltrating the siege camp

Altaïr then journeyed to the besieged Acre and helped the city by fighting off attacking Templar soldiers, before sneaking into the siege camp in the disguise of a soldier, and then as a scholar. When he had finally assassinated the commander, Altaïr managed to escape the camp by using a catapult.[3]

#### Discovering a traitor

After leaving Acre and arriving at Jerusalem, Altaïr successfully rescued the Chalice from a group of Templars. Identifying the Chalice as Adha, a woman whom he knew from his past, Altaïr learned from her that the Templars had paid off Harash, the second-in-command of the Assassins.[3]

#### Duel on Basilisk's ship

After cumulating a plan to attack Alep – the Assassin fortress – and kill Harash, before running away with Adha, things did not go as Altaïr had hoped.

After Altaïr made his way through Harash's Assassin guards and killed him, Adha was kidnapped by Basilisk and taken to the Templar port in Tyre. Tracking her down, Altaïr fought through the Templar forces and killed Basilisk in one final confrontation on his ship. However, with Adha nowhere to be found, he was disheartened to learn that she was on a different ship, which escaped from Altaïr before he could catch it. Swimming to shore and seeing the Templar ship far off in the distance, he yelled out a promise of "I will find you, Adha!" into the sky, as the vessel sailed further and further away towards the horizon.[3]

## Memories

Altaïr's Chronicles contained a feature in the main menu named Memories, much like the DNA Sequences from the main series, with the exception of Assassin's Creed II. This allowed for the selection of a specific memory that one had already completed, enabling players to continue the game from there. The Memories were categorized into 13 chapters, with up to 5 sub-chapters within them (e.g. 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 1-4).[3]

Chapter 1: Coming Home

• Consists of 4 sub-chapters.

Chapter 2: The Hunt Begins

• Consists of 3 sub-chapters.

Chapter 3: The Dancer

• Consists of 3 sub-chapters.

Chapter 4: The Red Hospital

• Consists of 2 sub-chapters.

Chapter 5: The Hidden Party

• Consists of 2 sub-chapters.

Chapter 6: Kill The Killers

• Consists of 3 sub-chapters.

Chapter 7: Temple Of Sand

• Consists of 3 sub-chapters.

Chapter 8: Great Angry Wall

• Consists of 4 sub-chapters.

Chapter 9: Flow of Poison

• Consists of 4 sub-chapters.

Chapter 10: The Running Wind

• Consists of 1 sub-chapter.

Chapter 11: The Chalice

• Consists of 1 sub-chapter.

Chapter 12: Snake Heart

• Consists of 2 sub-chapters.

Chapter 13: Always An End

• Consists of 1 final sub-chapter, being the last chapter in the game.

## Assassination targets

The following were all of Altaïr's targets in his Chronicles:

• Tamir
• Alaat
• Roland Napule
• The Master's Student
• Master of the Tower
• Harash
• Lord Basilisk

## Trivia

• The Abstergo Industries logo that acted as a visibility indicator, which was present in the loading screen, showed that an Abstergo Animus was being used. The Animus-like features (DNA health meter and memories menu) supported this.
• Snakes were present in the game as traps, and could be killed with a precise sword strike or by dropping a box on them.
• The iOS version was removed from the App Store in 2013.

## References

1. "Assassin's Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles", GamePro issue #235 - April 2008
2. iOS App Store
3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 Assassin's Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles