- "Discretion is a paramount in my profession. We must walk the streets freely: seen, but unseen. You too must learn to blend like us and become one with the city's crowds."
- ―Paola to Ezio.[src]
High Middle AgesEdit
When blending, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad moved very slowly, so as not to arouse suspicion. If he was on foot, he would lower his head, fold his hands, and imitate a scholar. Also, if he was on a horse, he would bow his head and slow his steed to a walk. Should they be nearby, Altaïr could even blend into a group of scholars for extra security, however if he did so, he was bound to follow wherever the group walked until he exited from the blend.
As a crowd, scholars were effective hiding places, provided an Assassin broke a pursuer's line of sight and join them during a chase. Should the scholars realize that the guards could see Altaïr coming to them, they would usually flee as well, preventing the Assassin from hiding amongst them. When guards were informed, shown as alert with their swords drawn, blending was the best way of avoiding attention.
However, blending was not effective in all cases. Archers and Knights Templar, for example, were often discerning enough to identify an Assassin quickly, and would attack one on sight, whether or not they were trying to blend. The guards before city gates also refused to allow a single "scholar" to pass them, and would only let by a group.
During the Renaissance, Paola taught Ezio Auditore da Firenze how to blend in with the crowd. Unlike Altaïr, Ezio could hide within any group of civilians, as long as there were at least four of them. An exception to this rule however was with hired courtesans, to which Ezio required only a minimum of two of them to blend amongst the faction. Whenever Ezio blended into the crowds, he would simply walk into the middle of a group of civilians and follow them, avoiding the notice of nearby guards.
Additionally, courtesans were useful allies to Ezio should he need to hide or pass through a guarded area. After purchasing their services for 150 florins, a group of four courtesans would join Ezio, concealing him amongst them much as scholars did for Altaïr. However, unlike scholars, courtesans would follow wherever Ezio walked, rather than the other way around.
Though the courtesans were not enough for Ezio to simply enter restricted areas, he could request them to distract any nearby guards, allowing him to bypass their attention and enter the area behind their backs. Should any guard pass by too close to Ezio as he traveled with the courtesans, two would often break away from the group to draw the enemy's attention.
Connor could blend with at least two civilians, which was represented through the Animus' heads-up display as a white circle above him to indicate his hidden status, with directional lines emanating from this circle to show who he was blending with. This allowed the Assassin a greater leeway when it came to blending in, as he could stand between relaxing civilians so long as there was a space, accompanying his ability to blend with crowds. Often, he would join in their activities, which showed him sitting down with the poor, or folding his arms and dropping his head to stand out less.
While recovering a First Civilization power source from a stadium in Brazil, which held a martial arts tournament, Desmond Miles used the skills he had inherited from his ancestors to blend in with the crowds that attended, in order to avoid detection from the guards sent by Abstergo Industries to locate him.
- A bug during Ezio's journey across Italy gave him the never-ending ability to blend. If Ezio walked onto a surface that he couldn't stand upon while blending, he would remain in blending mode until he stood up.
- In some instances, it was possible to blend with only one person. If Ezio managed to find one of the three factions (courtesans, mercenaries, or thieves) near to water, or on the top of a roof, Ezio could push all but one of them to their deaths. Following this, once he moved closer to the remaining person, Ezio could still blend.
- Blending was also available in the first and second stage of the Animi Training Program, alongside the console stage of Abstergo Entertainment's Animus games console.
- However, the only change to the blending mechanic in these cases was that the participant was no longer required to manually follow the crowd, and may simply allow the civilians to lead their Animi Avatar, much as scholars with Altaïr did in Assassin's Creed.
- While Desmond relived the first and the second repressed memories of Ezio, made available to him during the Italian Assassin's time in Rome, Ezio was able to blend, despite not having visited Paola and learned the skill at the time.
- After obtaining the Apple of Eden at the Basilica di San Pietro, Ezio was no longer able to blend with crowds, since the tell-tale glow of the Apple scared the civilians when he walked close to them, leaving no groups large enough for him to hide within.
- When equipped with the crossbow, Ezio would be greyed out with the crowd when blending, however, the crossbow would remain in full color.