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Eagle Vision

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"Why do we have these gifts? These abilities? Because it's in our blood!"
―Clay Kaczmarek, about Eagle Vision.[src]
AC1 Eagle Vision
Altaïr observing William of Montferrat and his guards with Eagle Vision

Eagle Vision is a dormant sixth sense that humans possess, as a result of being created by the First Civilization. Though each human holds the potential to utilize it, bloodlines of those whose distant ancestors have interbred with their creators display a greater concentration of the necessary genes, and thus are more likely to exhibit Eagle Vision.

Those who possess the gift are able to instinctively sense how people and objects relate to them, which manifests as a colored glow, much like an aura.

When an individual masters Eagle Vision, the ability can evolve to the more advanced Eagle Sense. This stage heightens all the senses of its user, allowing them to detect the heartbeat of a target in the area, or even foresee a target's path.

For this ability, a variety of colored glows are used to mark different people or objects. Red indicates enemies or spilled blood, blue indicates allies, white indicates sources of information or hiding spots, and gold indicates targets or objects of interest.

History

Middle Ages

The Assassin Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad possessed Eagle Vision from an early age. His fellow Assassins knew of his special ability as well, and were the ones to dub it as "Eagle Vision."

With it, Altaïr found himself able to read the emotions and intentions of all those around him, driving him to perfect the ability in secret.[1] In his later life, he would make use of it during his many assassinations and investigations.

Eagle Vision aided Altaïr in locating targets, and was particularly useful during his duel with Al Mualim, who used an Apple of Eden to create phantoms of himself. With his ability, Altaïr was able to pinpoint the true one from the crowd.[2]

Renaissance

Ezio Auditore da Firenze

"Listen closely: Return to the house. In my office is a hidden door. Use your talent to find it."
―Giovanni Auditore instructing Ezio to use his Eagle Vision, 1476.[src]
ACII Codex Eagle V
Eagle Vision used on the Codex Wall

Ezio Auditore da Firenze, much like Altaïr, possessed Eagle Vision and made use of it to locate hidden passages, as well as to predict the intentions of his allies and enemies. Additionally, he was also able to see the map hidden beneath the pages of Altaïr's Codex with it.

Though it was never explicitly labeled "Eagle Vision," Giovanni Auditore da Firenze once referred to Ezio's ability as his "talent,"[3] and Salaì spoke of it as his "gift."[4]

The Ottoman Assassins also knew of Ezio's ability, even before they had met him. When Piri Reis instructed him to use it to see through a smoke screen, Ezio pretended not to know what he was referring to, but Piri merely answered that "word gets around." At hearing this, Ezio suggested that he keep the information to himself.

Yusuf Tazim spoke of Ezio's skill as his "legendary senses," and Piri once mentioned that Ezio was a "special sort of man, with strange gifts." Ezio himself also admitted that his senses were "more finely tuned than most."[1]

Others

"The note told me to use my other eyes. Sometimes I see things that are not there. Drawings or waves."
―Giovanni Borgia describing his Eagle Vision.[src]
My Own Eyes PL
Giovanni Borgia using Eagle Vision
GuardDogAdded by GuardDog

La Volpe was thought to possess an advanced form of Eagle Vision, as it was claimed that he could "look through walls."[3]

Giovanni Borgia also had Eagle Vision, which he used to locate and tail Francesco Vecellio through a crowd. He was also able to see images or drawings that were not really there, such as waves, arrows, and footprints; Francesco referred to Giovanni's ability as "using his other eyes."[5]

Caribbean

The Assassin Mary Read described Eagle Vision as the residue of life essence, attaching itself to every living thing around those with what she called "the Sense". She claimed that every person could harness the Sense, but most either did not know they could or were unable to truly use the power until later in life. Edward Kenway claimed to have known the sensation since childhood.[6]

Much like Altair and Ezio, Edward could identify enemies, allies, and targets, but he could also 'tag' these people, allowing him to see their location when out of Eagle Vision, even through walls and other obstacles. He was also able to see hiding spots, such as haybales and bushes, which would shine with golden and green glows respectively. The Jackdaw's quartermaster-turned-Assassin, Adéwalé, also possessed Eagle Vision.[6]

Colonial America

Like his father, Haytham Kenway possessed Eagle Vision, though his Eagle Vision was unable to tag targets; Ratonhnhaké:ton also possessed Eagle Vision that worked much like his father's but lacked the ability to tag targets. During his childhood, Ratonhnhaké:ton learned how to use his gift to improve his tracking skills and help pin down the location of his fellow playmates in games of hide-and-seek. As a young adult, he would use his gift combined with his tracking skills to hunt animals, later utilizing it as an Assassin to hunt down his enemies.

One notable instance of this represented itself while Connor hunted down one of the pieces of Captain William Kidd's map, contained at Edinburgh Castle in Jamaica, where he used his Eagle Vision to examine clues in order to reconstruct the murder of one of Lewis Hutchinson's victims, later finding the man's body and retrieving the map piece he had stolen.

Father's Troubles 1
Aveline using Eagle Vision to see hidden tracks

Aveline de Grandpré was one of the few known female Assassins to possess Eagle Vision, which functioned similarly to Connor's, though certain things possessed purple highlights such as blood and wanted posters. Much like Connor as well, she could use Eagle Vision to examine clues to reconstruct past events and crimes, aiding her in investigations and finding targets.

By the year 1784, Aveline had gained the ability to tag targets with Eagle Vision like past Assassins Adéwalé and Edward Kenway, though it is unknown whether or not Connor or his father Haytham developed the "tagging ability" later on in life as she did.

Modern times

"Try using that special sight you learned from Altaïr."
―Lucy Stillman to Desmond Miles in the Sanctuary, 2012.[src]
AC2 Eagle Vision Code
Desmond using Eagle Vision to find the code to a keypad

By using the Animus to follow the memories of his ancestors, Desmond Miles also gained the ability to use Eagle Vision, likely as a result of the Bleeding Effect. Through it, he was able to see Lucy Stillman and Warren Vidic, shimmering with a blue and red auras, respectively. He was also able to use this ability to see the cryptic messages that Subject 16, Clay Kaczmarek, had written in the Abstergo laboratory with his own blood.[2]

Clay also hid a series of Glyphs within the rendered Animus environment, which needed to be scanned with Eagle Vision to be unlocked.[3] Similarly, the Rifts that the Glyph puzzles led to also needed Eagle Vision to be both seen and accessed.[7]

During his escape from Abstergo Industries, Desmond found another application for his newly acquired power. Much like thermal vision, he used it to discover the code of a keypad, by seeing the heat signature or the fingerprints left upon the correct numbers.[3]

Later, upon reaching Monteriggioni, Desmond was also able to use Eagle Vision to see a message that Ezio had left upon the wall of the Sanctuary stairwell, which bore the password to the Colosseum Vault.

While traveling through the Colosseum to the Santa Maria in Aracoeli, Desmond used Eagle Vision to locate a series of switches to open hidden entrances. He also made use of it to see the proper sequence of levers he needed to activate, in order to access the Apple of Eden hidden within the Colosseum Vault.

The Abstergo recruits who participated in the Animi Training Program were also granted an ability named Templar Vision. This rendered ability mimicked Eagle Vision, and allowed the user approximately 3.5 seconds of the gift.[7]

When he traveled to Osaka, Japan, in 4 December 2013, Gavin Banks used his Eagle Vision to determine that the Yakuza, not Abstergo, had killed the Assassin cell in the city, though this invariably taxed his energy.[8]

Eagle Sense

"As Ezio matured, so did many of his stranger abilities, not least of which was a rare form of extrasensory perception – you know, what we Assassins call "Eagle Sense" in its most robust form."
―Clay Kaczmarek's digital construct, 2012.[src]
The Wounded Eagle 6
Ezio using Eagle Sense
Vatsa1708Added by Vatsa1708

Mastering Eagle Vision led to an "awakening of the sixth," as Juno once termed it, and granted the user Eagle Sense.[7]

A more heightened form of Eagle Vision, it allowed one to focus on a target and sense approximately where they had gone, or inversely, where they would go. This was particularly helpful in tailing a target, or detecting the path a guard would take, in order to set up a bomb or lay an ambush.

With Eagle Sense, Ezio was also able to pick up cold trails, or locate disguised enemies. However, for the latter, he was required to concentrate harder and scrutinize people individually, rather than as a crowd.

Ezio also once used his Eagle Sense to follow the scent vapors of datura, and to diagnose an injured mercenary by listening to his heartbeat. As such, the latter technique allowed him to conclude that the man was alive but weak, and likely affected by some form of poison.[1]

Trivia

Assassin's Creed
  • An Assassin guard could be seen glowing red in Eagle Vision at the Kingdom entrance to Masyaf, but he reacted in normal guard behavior. This guard was Jamal, an Assassin who aided Masun in betraying the Brotherhood, and was originally intended to have been a target. However, the sequence where Altaïr assassinated him was cut, leaving him as a minor Easter egg.
  • In the original Assassin's Creed, movement was restricted while using Eagle Vision, and Altaïr was required to be at maximum synchronization. These requirements were removed in succeeding games.
  • In Assassin's Creed, Eagle Vision was said to actually be the Animus' visualization of the Assassin's observational skills.
Assassin's Creed II
  • The users of Eagle Vision saw themselves marked with blue.
  • At the beginning of the game, while playing as Desmond in the Hideout, he could see equipment shine blue in Eagle Vision. This indicated that they could be used for freerunning purposes.
  • Lucy made a reference to the ability by saying "Open your eyes, Desmond," when Desmond asked her how to find the sensors for the Hideout's defense system, which she had tasked him to switch on.
  • In some memories in both Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, water was shown to be glowing white like hiding spots when Eagle Vision was activated.
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
  • When traveling through Rome, Eagle Vision could be used to mark flags, feathers or treasure chests on the map.
  • While using Eagle Vision and roaming Monteriggioni as Desmond, a red trail was visible that led from the fountain with the Assassin insignia to the door of Mario Auditore's study. The trail was colored similarly to the blood glyphs of Subject 16, and appeared to be made up of many footprints.
    • An interview with Darby McDevitt and Falko Poiker explained that the trail was intended to help gamers find their way back to the Sanctuary, though its red color was a developer oversight.
  • When outside of the Animus, there was sometimes a pause that caused allies to glow gold for a few seconds.
  • Unlike in Assassins Creed II, enemies and allies did not glow their standard colors after they died, and would appear grey like civilians and inanimate objects.
  • When dressed as a Borgia guard captain in the memory "When In Rome," if Eagle Vision was activated, the armor would glow red, though Ezio himself would still be marked with blue.
  • Unlike Eagle Vision, Templar Vision marked targets with blue rather than with gold, since they were hunting other Templars and could be considered allies within a contained session.
Others
  • In Assassin's Creed: Revelations, during Ezio's pilgrimage to Masyaf and Altaïr's return from exile to Masyaf, ghostly images from Altaïr's past could be seen.
  • Unlike normal enemies, the paths of officials and the two guards accompanying him could not be tracked with Eagle Sense.
  • A mini-game in the Assassin's Creed room of PlayStation Home featured an Eagle Vision puzzle that, when completed, opened up the Hideout.
  • An issue of Nintendo Power stated that the Wii U tablet controller could be used as an alternate view for Eagle Vision in Assassin's Creed III, using the built-in accelerometer to control the camera view.
  • It is interesting to note that Ezio Auditore's Eagle Sense functioned in a clairvoyant manner.

References

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