- "To find the temples, I'm convinced we need to get our hands on Ezio's Apple of Eden. Minerva altered it somehow when she "touched" it."
- ―Lucy Stillman, 2012.[src]
Designed to create illusions and to control human minds, the Apple owned by Ezio could be used in conjunction with a Staff of Eden – presumably as could other Apples. Following this, it also contained knowledge of many technologies used by the First Civilization.
In chronological order:
- First Civilization (? - ?)
- Mehmed II (? - 1481)
- Cem (1481 - 1482)
- Templars (1486 – 1488)
- Ezio Auditore da Firenze (1488)
- Caterina Sforza (1488)
- Checco Orsi (1488)
- Girolamo Savonarola (1488 - 23 May 1498)
- Ezio Auditore da Firenze (23 May 1498 - 28 December 1499)
- Mario Auditore (28 December 1499 - 2 January 1500)
- Cesare Borgia (2 January 1500 - 1501)
- Leonardo da Vinci (1501 – 1502)
- Rodrigo Borgia (1502 - 18 August 1503)
- Ezio Auditore da Firenze (18 August 1503 - 1506)
- Desmond Miles (2012)
In 1453, Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II used the Apple to conquer the city of Constantinople and bring the Byzantine Empire to its demise. Many years later, Mehmed's son Cem learned of this, and after he failed to secure the throne of the Ottoman Empire after his father's death in 1481, he took the Apple for himself and looked to it for aid. The Apple, however, did not listen to Cem, nor would it "speak" to him.
Because of this, Cem decided that the Apple should be passed on to the Templars in Italy, to men who had done more research into the Apple's power. However, Cem was fearful that the leaders of the Order, the Borgia family, would forget him if he gave them the Apple, and decided to hide it, until he could establish the Borgia's trust and his place in the Order.
Move to Italy
- "What if that's why they sent the ship to Cyprus? To find this... Piece of Eden... and bring it back to Venezia."
- ―Ezio discovering the Spaniard's plan.[src]
In 1486, while hunting down the Venetian Templars, Ezio Auditore da Firenze learned from Silvio Barbarigo and Dante Moro that the Templars had set out on an expedition to the island of Cyprus. Two years later, in 1488, the ship returned to L'Arsenale bearing the Apple, which was encased in a golden, ornamental housing.
The sailors handed it down to one of the local guards, though they were closely observed by the Assassins Ezio and Mario Auditore. Ezio tailed the guard, in hopes of being led to Rodrigo Borgia, but the courier stopped to store the Apple more securely in a chest. Ezio took this opportunity to infiltrate the courtyard, killing the courier and donning the man's armor to bring the Apple to Rodrigo Borgia in his place.
Ezio was soon greeted by a guard captain, who asked the disguised Assassin not to ruin the delivery and to follow him to the designated meeting place. The captain and two other soldiers escorted Ezio and the package to a secluded area by the Venetian canals, where they rendezvoused with the Spaniard.
When Ezio arrived, the Assassin killed the guards and faced Rodrigo, daring the Spaniard to take the Apple from him. The two dueled, and though Rodrigo called for reinforcements, all of the Assassins that had trained Ezio came to their brother's aid.
In the end, Rodrigo escaped, though the Apple safely remained in Assassin hands. Shortly afterwards, Ezio, Mario, and Niccolò Machiavelli brought the Apple to Leonardo da Vinci's workshop, in order to study it. As they did, Ezio touched the artifact and accidentally activated it, causing it to project symbols and images into the air.
After the light had faded, Leonardo proclaimed that the Apple was potentially dangerous, and "would drive weaker minds insane." With this, Mario suggested that Ezio bring the Apple to the citadel of Forlì, where their ally Caterina Sforza resided.
Battle of Forlì
- "The Apple needs to remain in the citadel. Keep this safe."
- ―Ezio entrusting the Apple to Caterina.[src]
After arriving in Forlì in 1488, Ezio, Caterina, and Niccolò were confronted by the brothers Checco and Ludovico Orsi, who had attacked the city to gain the Codex map. As the Assassins aided in the defense of Forlì, the Orsi brothers discovered the presence of a second prize, the Apple that Rodrigo Borgia desired.
Ezio left the Apple in Caterina's care, and set out to rescue Caterina's children, assassinating Ludovico in the process. However, while he was away, Checco and his forces stormed the citadel a second time and took the Apple from Caterina. Determined to get the Apple back, Ezio pursued Checco through the countryside and assassinated him. Despite this, as Ezio took the Apple from Checco's dying grip, Checco stabbed him in the lower abdomen, causing the Assassin to collapse.
Before he passed out, Ezio witnessed a monk with a missing finger pick up the fallen Apple from the road. After recovering several days later, Ezio set out to find the identity of the man, eventually discovering him to be a monk who had studied in Florence, Girolamo Savonarola.
Bonfire of the Vanities
- "You will do as I command! You will submit!"
- ―Savonarola trying to control a crowd with the Apple.[src]
Ezio arrived in Florence in 1497, intent on finding Savonarola and recovering the Apple. There, he found that the monk had instigated the Bonfire of the Vanities, using the Apple to influence the city leaders to do his will and terrorize the citizens.
Rodrigo Borgia had also heard of the Apple's presence in the city, and sent several of his men to Florence to reclaim it. However, Savonarola's loyal fanatics suppressed any attempts, and Savonarola himself hid with the Apple within the fortified Palazzo Pitti.
Ezio sought out and killed Savonarola's nine lieutenants, greatly reducing the monk's power in the city and forcing him to come out of hiding. As Savonarola exited the Palazzo Pitti, he found that Ezio, Niccolò, La Volpe, and Paola were awaiting him with the enraged crowd of civilians that had gathered. Savonarola began to remind the civilians that they should be submitting to his cause, though they refused to listen.
After this failed attempt, an enraged Savonarola drew the Apple and attempted to use it to forcibly subdue the crowd. However, Ezio quickly threw a knife at Savonarola's hand, breaking the illusion and causing the Apple to slip from his grasp. As the crowd carried Savonarola off, a Borgia guard picked up the Apple and fled.
Ezio pursued the guard and killed him, retrieving the Apple once again for the Assassins.
- "Whatever lies beyond that wall won't be able to resist the Staff and Apple. They were made for felling gods."
- ―Rodrigo before the Vatican Vault.[src]
Ezio carried the Apple with him until 1499, when he met his fellow Assassins at the Villa Auditore to discuss their plan and analyze the map hidden under the assembled Codex pages. At that point, Ezio realized that Rodrigo had claimed the Staff of Eden through his ascension as Pope and sought to use both it and the Apple to open the Vault beneath the Vatican.
At once, the Assassins travelled to Rome, and Ezio faced off with Rodrigo in the Cappella Sistina. Though Rodrigo struck Ezio aside with the Staff and subdued all else in the room with its power, the Assassin was able to resist thanks to the power of the Apple.
Ezio used the Apple to create duplicates of himself to aid in the fight, and though he was able to subdue Rodrigo, the Pope used the power of the Staff to turn himself invisible and slip away. During this time, Rodrigo knocked the Apple from Ezio's hand, and, with the power of the two Pieces of Eden, was able to overpower the Assassin and escape towards the Vault.
As his armor protected him from mortal injury, Ezio was able to pursue Rodrigo to the Vault entrance and defeat him. At this point, he then used the Apple in conjunction with the Staff to open the Vault, where he heard the message of one of the First Civilization, Minerva.
Subsequently, Ezio and Mario took to the rooftops and made their way to a high tower overlooking a canal. Once there, Ezio withdrew the Apple of Eden from his cloak and prepared to drop it into the Tiber, however, he hesitated. Acknowledging that destroying such a powerful artifact was not a decision to be made quickly, Mario offered to keep the Apple safe until Ezio had made up his mind, and the two rode back to their base of operations in Monteriggioni.
Acquisition by the Borgia
- Cesare: "You intend to give me money?"
- Rodrigo: "No, I do not."
- Cesare: "Then I will use the Piece of Eden to get what I want. Your help is not necessary."
- —Cesare and Rodrigo Borgia.[src]
In late 1499, the Apple was returned the Monteriggioni. When the city was besieged in January 1500, Mario tried to ensure the Apple's safety, though the invading Borgia were able to breach the city and take the Apple from him. The Captain General and commander of the siege, Cesare Borgia, personally took possession of the Apple and victoriously brought it back with him to Rome.
Rodrigo eventually took the Apple from Leonardo in 1502 without Cesare's knowledge, and hid it in a locked drawer within the Castel Sant'Angelo. Occasionally, he would allow his adopted grandson Giovanni Borgia to "play" with it, particularly after discovering that Giovanni could activate the Apple and use it to create illusions.
After ordering Giovanni to converse with an old man, Micheletto strangled him in front of Giovanni to teach him the cruelties of the world; scaring the boy and causing him to use the Apple's power to create an illusion of his adopted father. Though Micheletto fled in fear at this, Giovanni was later punished for what he had done, and was never allowed to handle the Apple again.
By August of 1503, Cesare returned to Rome to seek out his father, angered at the Assassins' success in interfering with his troops and funding and blaming Rodrigo for his misfortunes. Since Rodrigo refused to help him in his difficulties, Cesare proclaimed that he would instead use the Apple to get what he wanted and demanded its whereabouts.
As Rodrigo refused, Cesare leapt upon him, and forced a cantarella-filled apple into his mouth; the same one Rodrigo had attempted to use to poison Cesare. Lucrezia Borgia tried to save their father, quickly telling Cesare that she knew where the Apple was hidden, but this only resulted in Cesare violently interrogating her until she revealed the Apple's location.
Ezio, who had infiltrated the castello and had overheard the exchange through the window, raced Cesare to St. Peter's Basilica and was able to arrive first. Using his gift to locate the Apple, the Assassin was able to retrieve it just as Cesare arrived with his guards.
Using the Apple to dispose of the two guards accompanying Cesare, Ezio fled for Tiber Island as he was pursued by the Templar's reinforcements. There, he told his fellow Assassins of Rodrigo's demise, as well as his recovery of the Apple.
Last usage by Ezio
- Bartolomeo: "My men will patrol the city, but we might need an army."
- Ezio: "We have one."
- ―Bartolomeo and Ezio, planning to use the Apple against Cesare.[src]
Realizing that Cesare would attempt to rebuild his forces in the coming months, Ezio concluded that the Apple would aid them in defeating his remaining allies. Throughout August to December of 1503, Ezio weakened Cesare's military strength by killing important officers with the Apple.
Eventually, however, Cesare gathered his remaining supporters at the gates of Rome. Ezio and the Assassins confronted him there and destroyed his remaining supporters with the Apple, while Cesare stood on the other side and waited for his servant Micheletto to arrive with more troops. After Cesare's arrest on the orders of the newest Pope, Julius II, Ezio was unsure of what to do, and at Leonardo's promptings, he used the Apple's powers of prediction to look at the most probable future. With this, Ezio was granted a vision of Cesare's escape and immediately left Rome to face him in Viana.
In 1506, Ezio decided to hide the Apple in the Colosseum Vault. However, some time earlier, Leonardo had begun speaking openly of Ezio's possession of the Apple, and the Cult of Hermes decided to take it for themselves. Their attempts were unsuccessful though, and Ezio was able to leave the Apple on the Colosseum Vault pedestal, as well as seal the Vault itself.
- Desmond: "I wonder if [the Apple] will change things. Whether it can tip the scales in our favor."
- Shaun: "I'm sure it will. It has to."
- ―Shaun and Desmond at the Colosseum.[src]
In 2012, the modern day Assassins Desmond Miles, Lucy Stillman, Shaun Hastings, and Rebecca Crane located the Apple of Eden using the Animus. They arrived at the Colosseum on October 10 that year, and Desmond made his way through the Colosseum to the Santa Maria in Aracoeli, where he found an entrance to let the other Assassins in.
While in the church, Desmond activated a pedestal that led them to the chamber where the Apple was held. Following a short freerunning course around the Vault, Desmond climbed his way to the central platform and touched the Apple, causing his DNA to activate it. This resulted in the Apple projecting multiple, shifting holographic symbols, many of which were the same ones scrawled by Clay Kaczmarek on the walls and floor of Abstergo Industries as a series of cryptic messages.
Two of these symbols stood out in particular, the Masonic eye and the Phrygian cap, which Shaun attempted to explain. However, as he spoke, Desmond lifted the Apple from its pedestal and time seemed to slow to a stop around him.
Through the Apple, Juno showed Desmond a series of visions and urged his body forward, subsequently influencing him to stab Lucy in the abdomen. Desmond then went into a state of shock, and both he and Lucy collapsed to the floor of the Vault.
Shortly afterwards, William Miles and Harlan T. Cunningham retrieved Desmond and returned him to the Animus, in the hopes of helping him recover from his trauma. The Apple ended up in William's hands, and though he admitted that he had been waiting a long time to get his hands on one of the Apples, he realized that he did not possess the genes to properly wield it. When William, Desmond, Shaun, and Rebecca flew to New York, they took the Apple with them.
After the team had reached the Grand Temple, Desmond used the Apple to open its entrance, sliding it into an opening to "power" it. A while later, after Desmond had used the Animus and started reliving his ancestor Ratonhnhaké:ton's memories, he learned that he needed to retrieve power sources to help open the Temple's inner gate. Upon the discovery of a third power source's location in Cairo, William volunteered to travel to Egypt and retrieve it so that Desmond, Shaun and Rebecca could continue the Animus sessions. In Cairo, William was captured by Abstergo guards and flown over to their Rome facility, where Warren Vidic made a video of a detained William for Desmond to see, asking him to surrender the Apple for his father's life.
Desmond, Shaun and Rebecca hurried to Rome, where Desmond fought his way through the facility in an effort to get to his father. Killing Daniel Cross in the process, Desmond arrived at Vidic's office and was confronted by a squad of trained guards. Upon Vidic's demand to hand over the Apple, Desmond took out the artifact and used it to influence the guards' minds. Desmond then made one of the guards shoot Vidic, before having them all commit suicide. Afterwards, Desmond proceeded to cut his father loose and the two made their way out of the facility, using the Apple one last time to remove the remaining Abstergo guards that were sent after them.
The Apple possessed the ability to dispel the effects of a Staff of Eden. It also possessed the ability to create holographic doubles of the user, and though these doubles couldn't deal any damage to an enemy, they served as a distraction when needed. When combined with a Staff, both their powers were amplified, and could be used to open the door to the Vault.
Ezio briefly used the Apple as a weapon when dealing with Cesare's army. By charging it, a golden perimeter spread around him, followed by a smaller, white perimeter, though these circles decreased slightly upon release. These affected the minds of the victims, as the ones within the outer perimeter would fight each other, and the ones within the inner perimeter would immediately die. 
If the golden perimeter affected an enemy with no other enemies around to attack, or if all other enemies had already been killed, the affected person would just fall to his knees and beg for mercy. The Apple could also be used in a counter-attack, where briefly activating its effects just as an enemy attacked resulted in an instant kill. The offensive uses of the Apple appeared to weaken its user; however, it is unknown whether this was due to overuse of its powers, or of a desynchronization between Desmond's and Ezio's memories.
The Apple possessed the power to completely control a person's mind, as demonstrated by Desmond when he forced Warren Vidic's guards to kill their leader and then shoot themselves. Desmond also used the Apple during his escape following the assassination, using the Apple to kill enemies in a similar fashion to how Ezio did. However, the Apple did not need to be used for a prolonged time for the kill as it instantaneously killed any desired victim within a certain radius. Also it didn't appear to weaken Desmond at all when he used it. Whether this is because Desmond possessed a greater concentration of First Civilization DNA, or Ezio appeared to be weakened because of desynchronization is unknown.
- The Apple is mentioned as an important icon in many religious writings; most notably as the "Fruit of Knowledge" in the Garden of Eden.
- After completing Assassin's Creed II, Ezio would still wear the Apple at his waist, hidden inside a small red pouch under his cape.
- In Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, the Apple affected and could potentially kill almost anyone, including allies (such as mercenaries and Assassin recruits) and civilians.
- Using the Apple would drain Ezio's health, with a greater area of effect requiring a greater amount of health; though the Apple would allow health to recover faster over time.
- In Assassin's Creed III, Desmond was neither injured nor healed with the usage of the Apple.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Assassin's Creed II
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Assassin's Creed: Revelations
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Assassin's Creed: Recollection
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Assassin's Creed II - Battle of Forlì (DLC)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Assassin's Creed II - Bonfire of the Vanities (DLC)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy - Rome: Chapter 2 - Giovanni Borgia
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood - The Da Vinci Disappearance
- ↑ Assassin's Creed
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Assassin's Creed III
- ↑ Assassin's Creed: Initiates