- "We're in the guts of the Animus, the original test program. No memories here, just basic physics, weather simulations. Hello world!"
- ―Clay Kaczmarek in the Black Room.[src]
The Black Room, also known as the Animus Island, was a safe mode inside the Animus virtual machine, which could be accessed through a back door in its programming. The room was located below its polar opposite, the White Room.
The Black Room was the original test program, which consisted of only basic physics and weather simulation. Not intended for direct human interface, the Black Room formed the backbone of the Animus' higher levels of programming.
A little before his death at Abstergo Industries, Clay Kaczmarek inserted an AI recreation of himself into the Animus, which allowed him to continue to exist in the Black Room, even after the death of his physical body.
In 2012, when William Miles placed his son Desmond back inside the Animus while he was in an unstable mental state, the Animus was unable to support him, and he was allocated instead into the Black Room.
There, Desmond looked through his own lost personal memories. By accessing them, he hoped to reintegrate the splintered layers of his subconscious in order to wake up from his coma. However, Desmond was unable to wander out of the Black Room, since it would result in him being "deleted, like a little virus," according to Clay.
Somewhere in the Black Room, the key to Desmond's recovery from his coma was located at a point in time where the paths of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, Ezio Auditore da Firenze, and Desmond all coincided, similar to a hub. This created a Synch Nexus, which allowed the Animus to separate the lives of Desmond's ancestors from his own and ultimately repair his fractured mind.
- The Black Room involved puzzle-oriented gameplay as a means of representing Desmond piecing together his subconscious mind. According to Alexandre Breault, this gameplay was inspired by the works of René Magritte and Roger Penrose.
- Because of this, the Black Room is nicknamed "Penrose Island" in the internal files of the game.