- "Why anyone would think the Northwest Passage exists is beyond me."
- ―Ratonhnhaké:ton, upon his arrival to the Northwest Passage, 1776.[src]
The Northwest Passage is a sea route through the Arctic Ocean along the northern coast of North America via waterways amidst the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The Northwest Passage was frequently sought after by explorers as a possible trade route.
William Kidd's treasure
During the late 17th century, Hendrick van der Heul, Captain William Kidd's former quartermaster, sought to uncover the Northwest Passage and sailed to the northern seas of North America. However, Van der Heul's ship, the Octavius, got stuck in ice in the arctic environment, and Van der Heul died on his ship.
In 1776, the Northwest Passage was visited by the Assassin Ratonhnhaké:ton, as part of his search for the map pieces which led to the location of Kidd's hidden treasure. Amidst the arctic wastes, Ratonhnhaké:ton boarded the Octavius; however, after obtaining the map piece from the dead captain's corpse, the ice beneath the ship broke and caused the vessel to sink, forcing Connor to flee.
In 2012, the Northwest Passage was used as a simulated location by Abstergo Industries' entertainment branch, in order to influence the general public through the console stage of the Animus technology.
The simulation depicted multiple ships having gotten trapped in the ice of the Northwest Passage, with its passengers huddled around various campfires. Small tents and strung-up skins were set up on the icy terrain, in an effort to ward off the cold, though people could also find shelter within one of the ships' lower deck. While the environment was, for the most part, safe, snow drifts could suddenly seal up tunnels, prompting the people to tread with caution.
With the implementation of new technology, simulated locations in the console stage were upgraded to have multiple aesthetic variations. Because of this, the Northwest Passage could be utilized during the day, the night (when an aurora could be seen), or amidst a snowstorm.
- In the Animus console version of the location, two hidden paintings of Animi Avatars from the Animi Training Program could be found in the captain's quarters of the largest ship. The portrait depicting the Vanguard laid on the ground near one of the exits, while the portrait of the Nobleman was hung up against a wall.