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Leap of Faith

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"They lead, each Brother plummeting from the tower and landing safely below in a bale of hay. They are like eagles. Truly free. I do not hesitate. The fall feels like a flight. Exhilarating!"
Perotto Calderon performing a Leap of Faith for his initiation.[src]
AC-LOF Masyaf
Altaïr, Rauf, and another Assassin performing Leaps of Faith in Masyaf

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 move was integral for the members of the Assassin Order and served as a requirement for their initiation.

HistoryEdit

AC1 Altair Leap of Faith Damascus
Altaïr performing a Leap of Faith in Damascus

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.[1]

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.[2]

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.[3]

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.[1]

High Middle AgesEdit

In 1191, during the Defense of Masyaf, Rashid ad-Din Sinan ordered several of his Assassins to perform Leaps of Faith before the attacking Knights Templar; both to proclaim that the Assassins did not fear death, and to successfully trigger an ambush that would rout the attacking forces.

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.[1]

RenaissanceEdit

AC2 San Gimignano Leap
Ezio performing a Leap of Faith from a tower in San Gimignano

Though Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad only performed Leaps of Faith into piles of hay, Ezio Auditore da Firenze could make use of water and other sorts of soft material, such as spice carts or flower petals.[3]

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,[3] and his Roman recruits performed the act from atop the Tiber Island headquarters, into the Tiber below.[2]

Modern timesEdit

BH-Mesmond LoF
Desmond's first Leap of Faith
Vatsa1708Added by Vatsa1708

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.[4] 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.[2] Several Abstergo recruits also performed Leaps of Faith during the simulations they have trained with, as a part of the Animi Training Program.[2]

TriviaEdit

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
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 wasn't a member of either the Assassins or Templars.
  • The 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.
Other
  • 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.

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

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