Save Citizen refers to memories in which the Assassins Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad and Ezio Auditore saved helpless citizens from harassment, taunts, and threats by malicious guards who accused them of false crimes. On occasion, the Assassins would save citizens in the city from harassing guards, gaining their loyalty as potential allies.
During the Third Crusade, Save Citizen missions were simple affairs. Guards harassed a citizen, accusing them of crimes, while other guards stood around the scene, scaring away any resistance to the wrongdoing that went on behind them.
There were usually three to five guards around a citizen. Two or three were in the process of actively shaking and harassing them, while the remaining guards stood as lookouts. The lookouts would push Altaïr away if he got too close.
A few moments after locking on a guard, Altaïr swore at them in Arabic; infuriating them, thus provoking them into attacking.
In the Italian city of Rome, citizens saved by Ezio could be given the opportunity to join Assassins Guild as Apprentices and join the fight for the freedom of Rome by breaking the corrupt and ruthless Borgia influence. Save Citizen missions were only encountered if Assassin Recruit slots were open, which was relative to the number of destroyed Borgia Towers.
When encountered in Rome, the citizens, who could be either male or female, were usually surrounded by 4 to 5 guards in a standoff. Once Ezio physically arrived, the citizen engaged in combat after a couple of seconds. A few different situations could be seen:
- The citizen was surrounded on all sides and the guards had their swords drawn, frozen in a standoff.
- The citizen had taken a guard hostage and had pressed his/her blade to his throat in an attempt to make the other guards back down.
- The reverse could happen, with a guard holding a citizen in headlock.
- The citizen had a guard by the scruff of the neck and was holding the guard over a cliff, threatening to drop him to his death if the other guards were to advance on him/her (this happened more frequently in the hilly, countryside towns to the south and east of the city itself).
- The citizen had his/her back against the wall, brandishing his/her sword at the surrounding guards.
- Sometimes, the citizen had already started fighting with the guards in earnest. This could happen if Ezio was nearby the Save Citizen quest and could hear it, but not see it.
No matter what the situation, the citizens would eventually start fighting the multiple guards alone. If Ezio did not assist the citizen quickly, or simply walked away, they were killed by the overwhelming force presented by the guards, and the mission failed.
If Ezio chose to help the citizen and wished to recruit him or her, he killed all the guards, then talked to the citizen. They then thanked Ezio for his aid, and pledged themselves to his cause. Ezio recruited them and the citizen ran off (probably to the Tiber Island headquarters) to become an Assassin Recruit.
If Ezio decided he didn't want to recruit a particular citizen after arriving on the scene, he simply walked away without engaging the guards or he did not talk to the citizen after killing all the guards.
This was helpful when Ezio wanted to keep a healthy balance of male and female recruits, or simply did not wish to take on another Recruit at a particular time.
Six of the possible recruits posed a more complex challenge to Ezio, rather than just rescuing them from a fight: the wounded man whose family was in danger, the woman whose shop had been attacked, the man who wished to be an Assassin, the lady with light fingers, the guy who liked to fight and the woman who fled.
Ezio could save and recruit dozens more people than in Rome, because he could station newly promoted Assassins in other liberated cities, freeing up space in the number of apprentices he could train.
- As Altaïr approached Damascus for the first time, there was a citizen to be saved near the market located outside the main gates. This Save Citizen was mandatory - it had to be done and could not be skipped. It was the only required save citizen mission in the game.
- Citizens hid in fear while Altaïr fought the harassing guards. After the original guards were killed, the citizen looked up and acted normally, even if Altaïr was still fighting other guards who joined the fight.
- Save Citizen missions were only available in the three cities - Damascus, Acre, and Jerusalem.
- Unlike the missions in Assassin's Creed, the Save Citizen missions in Rome were always available as long as there was an Assassin Recruit position free in the Assassin Guild.
- Sometimes a citizen could fall off a cliff or another high structure to his death. However, if Ezio killed the guards before the citizen hit the ground, he/she just rose from the ground like nothing had happened and they could be recruited.