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The Hidden Gun, also referred to as the Pistol, was one of the innovations for the Hidden Blade, and consisted of a small firearm with a very short barrel. Though it was an excellent weapon for assassination from afar, it would give away its user immediately after firing, due to its loud discharge and smoke.
The weapon was invented by the Assassin Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, through knowledge gained from an Apple of Eden. From there, after discovering the design schematics for the Hidden Gun in one of Altaïr's Codex pages, Leonardo da Vinci managed to craft the weapon for the use of Ezio Auditore da Firenze in the Renaissance.
- "We have found a way to alter the structure of the hidden blade so that it can be used to launch small projectiles. It is capable of grievous damage – even from great distance."
- ―Altaïr's Codex, page 28.[src]
In the early 13th century, during his experimentation with the Apple of Eden, the Assassin Mentor Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad was able to miniaturize the design of a standard firearm into a "fiery weapon" small enough to be concealed on the wrist. However, ammunition for the Hidden Gun was scarce, so he went on to refine a combustible powder that could be manufactured from common ingredients.
The first known time that Altaïr made use of the Hidden Gun was in Masyaf, after his return from exile. There, he spoke briefly to Abbas Sofian of the things he had learned from the Apple, "Of life and death, of the past and the future." After stating that he would show him, Altaïr shot Abbas with the Hidden Gun, resulting in the latter's death.
Altaïr later recorded his designs in his personal journal, which eventually came to be known as the Codex. After Leonardo da Vinci translated the page with the Hidden Gun's design, he created the weapon for use by Ezio Auditore. Ezio went on to notably use it during the assassination of Marco Barbarigo in Venice, masking the sound of the device with the fireworks of Carnevale, an annual festival that the Italian city held.
In the Renaissance, ammunition was easier to come by, and could be looted from dead guards or purchased from any blacksmith; though they were relatively expensive. Ezio initially only carried six bullets at a time, though he could hold up to twelve after purchasing pouches from a tailor.
In modern times, the Hidden Gun was one of the rendered abilities granted to the participants of Abstergo Industries' Animi Training Program, where the weapon could be used by the recruits in their training sessions.
The Hidden Gun took around a second and a half to completely aim, though it could be fired before a shot had been fully focused. However, firing immediately without aiming was not advisable, as even at close range, it was highly unlikely to result in a hit.
Aiming the Hidden Gun within guards' lines of sight would automatically make them suspicious, and when in combat against a small number of guards, aiming it for several seconds would also cause the group to lose morale and eventually flee, though this tactic was ineffective against Brutes.
Some time before the siege of Monteriggioni in 1500, the aiming method of the Hidden Gun had been modified, no longer requiring a trigger pull to be fired. Though perfect aim was achieved much more quickly, the bullet could only be fired after Ezio had completely focused on a guard while using the weapon.
Ezio also gained the ability to dual-wield the Hidden Gun alongside a medium, primary weapon; such as a sword or warhammer. It allowed him to seamlessly switch between short and long ranged combat in battle, using the Hidden Gun with his left and a sword with his right.
After reuniting with Leonardo da Vinci in Rome in 1502, Ezio was able to purchase an upgrade to his Hidden Gun that allowed him to fire small poison darts from it, in addition to bullets. These darts shared the effects of the Poison Blade, allowing him to quietly kill targets from a distance.
In around 1503, Leonardo also created an alternative to the Hidden Gun called the Hidden Bolt, which could fire small crossbow bolts instead of bullets. This modification was requested by an apprentice of Ezio's, Francesco Vecellio, as Ezio had not allowed him to carry a Hidden Gun of his own.
By the time Ezio departed for his pilgrimage to Masyaf and Constantinople in 1511, the Hidden Gun had been modified further. It could be aimed and fired twice as fast, without the need to reload a bullet after each shot.
Over the years that he owned the Hidden Gun, Ezio also improved his own skill with using it. He eventually did not need both hands to align his shot, and learned to dual-wield the Hidden Gun with several different weapons.
- Assassin's Creed II
- The bullet that Ezio fired from his Hidden Gun in the Assassin's Creed II E3 trailer was marked with the Assassin insignia.
- Often when the Hidden Gun was fired, a dog could be heard barking in the background. However, no dogs were seen or mentioned in the game.
- Both the Hidden Gun and throwing knives were disabled in the secret locations which required Ezio to chase after Agile guards.
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
- Ammunition could be found when looting the bodies of any deceased guards, regardless of whether or not they were arquebusiers.
- Four additional bullet slots (for a total of ten) could be purchased for 30 Units on Uplay.
- The sound of the Hidden Gun more closely resembled that of a musket, rather than the cannon-like sound in Assassin's Creed II.
- Despite this, the Assassin apprentices' Hidden Guns used the same firing sound heard in Assassin's Creed II.
- The apprentices' Hidden Guns were less effective than Ezio's, taking up to four shots to kill a guard, however, this could be attributed to them possessing less experience with the device.
- When firing the Hidden Gun in the Memory Corridor, no sound could be heard and the flash is bigger than normal.
- The Hidden Gun was actually a wheellock pistol based on a design found in the Codex pages, which wasn't actually developed until just after the time-frame of Assassin's Creed II, at the beginning of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. Historically, Leonardo designed some of the first wheel-lock firearms, right around 1500, however, a drawing from a book of German inventions (dated 1505) and a 1507 reference to the purchase of a wheellock in Austria may indicate the inventor was an unknown German mechanic instead.
- Due to connectivity features with Assassin's Creed II, in Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines, it was possible to obtain a variant of the Hidden Gun that fired throwing knives.
- In Assassin's Creed: Revelations, the bullet pouch for the Hidden Gun could contain up to ten bullets regularly, and twelve with capacity upgrades.