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This article contains spoilers, meaning it has information and facts concerning recent or upcoming releases from the Assassin's Creed series.
If you do not want to know about these events, it is recommended to read on with caution, or not at all.

AC4 Rope Dart

A rope dart

Rope darts, or shéng biāo in Chinese, are flexible weapons of Chinese origin that consist of a long rope about three to five meters long, with a metal dart attached at one end. The long-ranged weapons can be thrown at enemies and, once anchored into the target, could be used to pull them over distances. A dart can be thrown with the opposite end of the rope anchored to an object, or held in one's free hand.

The rope dart was prominently employed by the Chinese Assassin Shao Jun, who journeyed to Italy to locate the Italian Mentor, Ezio Auditore da Firenze, and learn from his legendary knowledge and skills in the hopes of saving the Assassin Brotherhood in China.[1][2]

Description

These ropes are equipped with a lethal grappling knife at the end, allowing you to pull a single opponent from a group and bring them to melee reach. It can also be used to pull an enemy into the air and hang them above ground.[2]

History

Everything is Permitted 4

Edward Kenway holding a rope dart

When Shao Jun was captured in 1526, the Templars stripped her of her weapons, including her rope dart. After recovering it, she used her rope dart to traverse the landscape and kill unsuspecting guards.[3]

In 1720, rope darts were given to the pirate Edward Kenway by Ah Tabai, Mentor of the Caribbean Assassins, after Edward proved himself worthy of having ties with the Assassins; unlike those later owned by his grandson, these darts could not be reused after being thrown at an enemy. He most notably used one such dart to kill the infamous pirate Bartholomew Roberts.[4]

Shay Cormac, a fellow Templar and associate to Edward's son, Haytham Kenway, also employed rope darts during the Seven Years' War.[5]

Haytham's son, Ratonhnhaké:ton, used rope darts during the American Revolutionary War, after they were given to him by his Mentor, Achilles Davenport. These were much more durable in construction than the ones used by his grandfather, allowing them to be reused.[2]

In 1841, rope darts were used as grappling hooks by Indian Assassin Arbaaz Mir during his quest to recover the Koh-i-Noor from Templars.[6]

In 1918, during and immediately following the Shooting of the Romanov family, Russian Assassin Nikolai Orelov was equipped with a rope dart, which he used when assassinating guards from ledges. During the same period, Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova, infused with the genetic memories of Shao Jun, used a dagger given to her by Orelov and rope to fashion a makeshift rope dart.[7]

In the year 2016, a rope dart was also used by Lin to kill guards while protecting the animus room after Callum was initiated into the Brotherhood.

Usage

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Achilles explaining the rope dart to Ratonhnhaké:ton

The weapon could be thrown down from amongst the treetops to impale enemies, who could then be used as a counterbalance for the user to drop down to ground level, hanging the victim in the process. Accompanying this aerial attack, rope darts could also choke victims to death, if an overhead ledge was utilized to increase the pressure of the strangle-hold. Following this, they could also be thrown upwards to drag enemies from rooftops.[2]

In open combat, rope darts could also be used to impale enemies and drag them towards the user, allowing for a close attack or for a human shield maneuver, as well as to wrench the intended target to the ground for a quick, instant kill. Additionally, they could also be used in conjunction with the Hidden Blades or Tomahawks and Swords whilst chaining kills together, throwing the lethal dart tips to impale enemies in the chest and throat and leaving them to a slow, painful death by blood loss.[2]

By contrast, Shao Jun primarily utilized the rope dart to swing across chasms or climb up to a ceiling, where she was harder to spot. As such, it functioned more as a tool to help her traverse the environment than as a weapon. Shao Jun generally did not employ the rope dart in open combat, but could use it to quickly assassinate a guard while she was hanging from a ledge. However, Jun often used the rope dart to kill a guard in open combat using Helix abilities.[3]

Lin, a decedent of Shao Jun, used a rope dart that she found in the Animus Room to kill armed guards while defending themselves.

Trivia

  • The Chinese name Shéng biāo (繩鏢) literally translates to "rope dart".
  • The art of wielding a rope dart is also named shéng biāo in Chinese martial arts.
  • In Scroll 16 of Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China, the name shéng biāo is introduced with its diacritics indicating the tone of each word in pinyin. While they help readers to pronounce the words correctly, these diacritics are conventionally omitted in romanization of Chinese names, a convention abided by the game itself with the sole, inconsistent exception of shéng biāo.
  • In Scroll 16 of Chronicles: China, it is also stated that the rope dart is Shao Jun's original invention. This is historically incorrect as the first known written description of the weapon dates to the Tang dynasty (618–907).
  • Originally, Ratonhnhaké:ton's long-range weapon was meant to be a "Chain Blade" that extended from the Hidden Blade similar to the Hidden Gun, but this was scrapped as it was considered too fantastic. The rope darts replaced this concept as they were deemed more realistic.[8][9] Exploring the game's assets revealed a planned icon and code for the weapon, suggesting it was scrapped late in development.
  • Attempting to hang multiple bodies from the same tree branch would cause them to fall to the ground.
  • Ratonhnhaké:ton could find rope darts on people he had killed before the tool was introduced to him by Achilles, though the darts could not be used prior to that point.

Gallery

References

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