The Leap of Faith was an acrobatic freerunning maneuver in which the person performing it dived off of a high structure and landed, unharmed, into a cushioning material.
The acrobatic move itself traditionally consisted of a vertical leap with a completely straight stature, followed by a head-over-heels roll in mid-air to allow the one performing it to land on their back.
The move could also be performed by simply walking off of a high ledge or beam, and leaning the entire body forward. This method was used by Roman Assassin recruits after their initiation ceremony.
An alternative Leap of Faith could be performed while hanging from a ledge, and dropping down backwards onto a safe landing spot that was directly below. Areas from which a Leap could be performed were often marked by bird droppings with small hay patches, or with pigeons perched upon the respective ledge.
In 1191, during the defense of Masyaf, Rashid ad-Din Sinan ordered several Assassins to perform the Leap of Faith before the Knights Templar gathered before the fortress, both to proclaim that the Assassins did not fear death, and to successfully trigger an ambush that would rout the attackers.
In the field, the Leap of Faith was mostly used to descend from View Points, each of which always provided a suitable safe target for it. However, it could be used to descend from anywhere, provided a safe spot was situated underneath. The Leap could also be used to escape pursuing guards on rooftops, since they were unable to perform the maneuver.
Upon traveling to Rome, Ezio made use of the Leap of Faith to quickly escape from the Borgia towers he had climbed and set aflame. As per tradition, whenever Assassin recruits were initiated, they performed a Leap of Faith, signifying their new rank. Ezio himself performed a Leap of Faith from atop a bell tower in Venice, and his Roman recruits performed the act from atop the Tiber Island headquarters, into the Tiber below.
During the 18th century, the pirate Edward Kenway was also able to perform Leaps of Faith from high points. However, many of Edward's jumps were often directed into pools of water below - provided the water was deep enough - such as those he executed while defending Tulum or while chasing Charles Vane during their marooning on Isla Providencia. It was also possible for Edward to perform diving leaps from the crossmasts of ships, landing safely in the sea.
Edward's grandson Connor was able to perform Leaps of Faith into moving carts of hay below. Notably, Connor also leapt from the seaside cliffs of a burning Fort Wolcott, and later into a giant cavern below Oak Island while searching for the treasure of William Kidd. The French-African Assassin Aveline de Grandpré at one point used the Leap of Faith to enter the Sagrado Cenote in Chichen Itza while looking for the pieces of a Prophecy Disk.
In 2000, Daniel Cross performed a Leap of Faith into the Persian Gulf to escape the Assassins' Dubai headquarters, shortly after instinctively murdering the Mentor with his newly acquired Hidden Blade. Later on, in 2012, Desmond Miles performed his first Leap of Faith in the modern, but run-down city of Monteriggioni, after witnessing a vision of Ezio climbing to a View Point due to the Bleeding Effect. A few months later, Desmond executed another, much higher Leap of Faith in New York City, jumping from the One World Trade Center, before deploying a parachute to glide to another rooftop. Several Abstergo recruits also performed Leaps of Faith during the simulations in the Animus, as a part of the Animi Training Program.
- Assassin's Creed
- When Masyaf was attacked by Templars, three Assassins displayed their devotion by performing Leaps of Faith from a cliff. This was based on a historical incident involving the Hashshashin, in which their leader proclaimed that his followers were more devout than any and would follow all commands he gave.
- There was nothing coincidental about the placement of the piles of hay in the Animus. It was explained that the bales of hay and the birds indicating them were programmed into memories by Lucy Stillman, as a way to help in navigation.
- Assassin's Creed II
- When being pursued by Ezio, Francesco de' Pazzi leapt from the Palazzo della Signoria into a haystack for a quick escape. This was the only known example for a non-Assassin performing a Leap of Faith until Assassin's Creed: Revelations.
- To earn the "High Dive" achievement, Ezio had to perform a Leap of Faith from Giotto's Campanile in Florence, as it was the highest View Point in the city.
- Ezio was forced to perform an alternative Leap of Faith at least once, after speaking with his father at the Palazzo della Signoria in "Jailbird."
- Assassin's Creed: Revelations
- Vali cel Tradat performed a Leap of Faith, becoming the second Templar to ever use the move. However, he was a former Assassin.
- Assassin's Creed III
- In Assassin's Creed III, the Kanien'kehá:ka woman Kaniehtí:io performed a Leap of Faith, becoming the first person to perform this acrobatic move, who was not a member of the Assassins or Templars.
- The Colonial Templar Grand Master Haytham Kenway also performed a Leap of Faith, becoming the third Templar to perform the move. However, he was raised as an Assassin during his childhood.
- Crows indicated where a Leap of Faith could be performed, instead of pigeons.
- Assassin's Creed: Unity
- Arno Dorian employed a maneuver similar to the Leap of Faith, known as the "Base Jump", leaping from a high point and swinging on an object as he fell to the ground.
- It was suggested that very few of the modern-age Assassins performed the Leap of Faith, due to Lucy Stillman saying it was "pretty awesome" when she witnessed Desmond Miles' Leap from the walls of Monteriggioni.
- In Assassin's Creed II: Discovery, Ezio could also perform the alternative Leap of Faith by hanging above a haystack and letting go of the ledge. Doing so correctly would let Ezio flip three times.
- In Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade, it was mentioned that the haystacks used in the Leaps of Faith at the Templar siege of Masyaf were placed there on the orders of Rauf.
- As an easter egg in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Big Boss – and by extension, the soldiers he recruited – could perform Leaps of Faith into a straw box called the "Assassin Straw Box."
- An easter egg in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings showed an individual dressed in clothing similar to an Assassin's robes, lying dead on top of a collapsed hay cart; whereupon the main character commented "Guess they'll never learn."
- In the reveal trailer for Hitman: Absolution Sniper Challenge, a man standing on a high beam was shot by Agent 47. After a few seconds, he fell, and as he tumbled, the sound of an eagle screeching played; the same sound that could be heard whenever a Leap of Faith was performed.