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News of Assassin's Creed 3 is now all over the Wiki, and people are putting forward their current theories about what's going to happen. So here's my 2 cents.
Currently everyone is speculating that Altair will return, or perhaps a descendant of Ezio. I think our ancestor will be a forefather of Altair, from before the Crusades.
The latest previews imply it will be set in Constantinople/Istanbul. Well, before it was Constantinople it was Byzantium, the capital of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines pursued a policy of keeping their enemies at each other's throats, and so their name has become synonymous with complicated polital conspiracies.
An interesting side note: as Byzantium was getting its butt kicked in its wars with Persia, it pleaded with the Western Roman Empire for military support. This was what kicked off The Crusades in Western Europe.
8 May 2011
It's been announced that the latest AC chapter will be another Ezio spin-off, although Altair will still play a part. So what do I think will happen?
Desmond's still trapped in the Animus, in a coma. Perhaps Des will experience Ezio's memories as Ezio treks to Constantinople to trace the origins of the Assassin order and prepare for its future. As Ezio researches and discovers artefacts, Desmond starts reliving them due to some kind of glitch in the Animus. Or maybe Ezio, through the Apple, relives Altair's life? Desmond reliving Ezio as he relives Altair?
24 May 2011
AC: Revelations has been confirmed as part 2.x of the trilogy. But what about AC3?
That can be my new focus for the blog: jot down the various points in history I'd like to experience AC-style. First, some criteria:
- It has to occur before Desmond's birth, otherwise he won't have the genenic memories. The cutoff is hereby deemed 1970.
- It can't be too reminiscent of any of the previous games. Therefore, all the Crusades are out; anything between 1450 and 1520 is out; the Bolshevik revolution has been done in the comics so that's out.
- It must have a reasonable chance of making it to AC3. Ubisoft have already said they're trying to set them during periods that aren't normally explored in video games, so it has to be a relatively untouched history period. Therefore the following events are out:
- The World Wars (1914-18 and 1939-45) and the various intermediate & subsequent wars. Even if the Great War/Korea/Vietnam/etc hasn't been done too much, game-wise it will be indistinguishable from the Second World War -- and Ubi have said AC3 won't be set during WW2.
- The Napoleonic wars. There's been a few real-time strategy games revolving around those.
Thus the question becomes:
Where/When to set AC3??
- The Gunpowder Plot.
- The execution of Charles I of England
- Catherine The Great's Russia. Or Russia during the time of Elizabeth (Katerina's mother-in-law) or Peter The Great. Here's a hint: Catherine The Great was able to convince the Orlov family to hasten the death of her husband.
- Pre-Revolutionary France, especially Versailles in the 16-1700s. John Laws when he was head of the Banque Royale in France.
- Filibuster South America, such as the armies of William Walker. Or maybe even we could play a European settler in the 16-1700s in South America.
- The golden age of guano
- The Dutch Tulip Bubble. Or during the heyday of the VOC -- Dutch East India Company.
- Portugal. I haven't really studied Portuguese history (apart from the Portuguese Banknote Crisis), so it would be nice to get an AC-style introduction.
- Denmark during the days of Dowager Queen Juliana.
- Scandanavia. Again, I haven't really studied their history and they didn't have a Portuguese Banknote Crisis. The problem is that the ancestor's skin might be too dark for a native Scandanavian.
Based on my highly extensive research (looking at the comments posted below) it seems the French Revolution is the most popular period of when AC3 will be set. I'm not particularly hopeful of this: I think that Revolutionary France has had enough exposure in other media (Les Miserables, Count of Monte Cristo). But then, simply setting the games in the Holy Land during the Crusades or Italy during the Renaissance are also somewhat stereotypical, so maybe that's what we should expect. Ah well: until it's formally announced, I'll keep speculating! :)
A More Distant Ancestor?
Do we really have to assume AC3 will follow a grandson of Ezio? Maybe it will instead be a grandfather of Altair. I think the games will still be set in the Mediterranean, since the ancestor will (according to tradition) have the same facial structure as Desmond himself. That gives us an excuse to consider a few more settings:
- Thebes during the Egyptian New Kingdom
- The Greek & Persian wars
- Fall of Troy. This would tie in neatly with the legends of the Apples.
What will happen?
As we enter the final innings of the AC series, we need to have some of the in-game questions answered. So what questions will we need to see answered?
- The Chalice: What is it? Apart from a beautiful lady? My pet theory: Desmond will be obliged to track down Adha's descendants, because the combination of Assassin and Chalice genes are....somehow important.
- Templar Satellite Launch. I think the FINAL battle will see the Satellite launched with an Apple on board and the world will become zombies, with only a handful of survivors. The zombies don't know to report the early signs of the Great Disaster and so after Des & other survivors undo the satellite's effects, the Templars see the error of their ways and become Assassins. Or, at least, the nice ones who appear in the ACB multiplayer intro cinematic do.
- The Templar Agents. We've killed Brother Ristoro et al, but what about those that came with the Da Vinci Disappearance? I want to see them as the story mode assassination targets.
- The Father Of Understanding. Who/what was he, and why does he guide the Templars?
After replaying various assorted AC games, it's time for some speculation about the Templars.
Mark of Cain
In AC2's Glyphs, 16 calls the Templar cross The Mark of Cain. My first reaction (and the popular one on the wiki) is that Cain, the son of Adam & Eve who killed his own brother in jealousy, was the first Templar. Even the Morse code on the glyph indicates this is the "adapted" history of the Templar order.
Could it be that the Templars were entrusted with the Pieces Of Eden after the First Civilisation perished? That the Templars are descended from those who successfully averted the First Disaster? Maybe someone amongst them realised their potential for world domination and turned them to evil, thus becoming the modern Templars.
Maybe, once upon a time, the Templars were more like the Assassins: good guys acting as guardians of the various PoEs. But something changed and they became the "slavery is good" brigade.
The Templars certain believe they're superior. Could their founders also be descended from the first civilisation? Maybe that's why they believe they're so qualified to turn us all into slaves: they're half-TWCB, not just mutated apes like the rest of us mugs.
Name of the Brotherhood
The Assassins call their mortal enemies Templars, and that's the name that has stuck. But is that their ACTUAL name? Al-Mualim merely recites their slogan and then lets them be. The only other one who calls them Templars is the informant we beat up in Masyaf, and one can hardly expect him to be in on all their secrets.
Could it be that Abstergo know they are descendants of the First Civilisation, and hence that's why they're entitled to make such nuisances of themselves? Is that why al-Mualim was so favourable to Altair, because he knew Altair had Eagle Vision?
While the Assassins call them Templars and that name has stuck, I think the Templar Knights were just another front like Abstergo Industries. What could their real name be? (I know Multiplayer calls it Templar Vision rather than Eagle Vision, but the Abstergo Animus still called it Eagle Vision so maybe that's a game goof?)
All of Desmond's ancestors so far have been named for eagles: Ezio is the Italian for the Greek for Eagle, Altair literally means 'The Flying One' and is the name for a constellation of Eagle. The most modern form of the name is Arnold, but that's too Governator for me.
From  Search text: eagle
ANDOR (1) m Norwegian ANE (2) m Frisian ANNE (2) m & f Frisian ANTINANCO m Native American AQUILA m & f Biblical, Ancient Roman ARAS m Lithuanian ARI (2) m Ancient Scandinavian, Icelandic, Finnish ARLETTE f French ARLIE f & m English ARNBJÖRG f Ancient Scandinavian ARNE (1) m Scandinavian ARNOLD m English, German, Ancient Germanic ARVID m Scandinavian CUAUHTÉMOC m Native American EZIO m Italian HAYTHAM m Arabic SHQIPE f Albanian VEGA f Astronomy
Search text: bird
ADERYN f Welsh AVIS f English CIRCE f Greek Mythology (Latinized) DERYN f Welsh ÉNNA m Irish FAIGEL f Yiddish FULTON m English PARASTOO f Iranian SACAGAWEA f Native American SARIKA f Indian SHAKUNTALA f Indian TSUBAME f Japanese TURGAY m Turkish ZIPPORAH f Biblical, Hebrew
These are actually forming some great ideas for where to set the next game. Scandanavia during the 1700s or 1300s? Germany during the Roman Empire?
Revelation & Brotherhood Timing
An idea just came to me: in 1506, Ezio comes to Leonardo to charter a ship and the next year is the confrontation in Viana. Yet in 1503ish, Ezio announces he has to leave after gazing into the Apple. Could Ezio have spent those 3 years away from Rome and working through Revelations, then come back to Rome for the Da Vinci Disappearance?
If you re-read the Codex, Altair remarks on the nature of immortality. Has someone, somewhere already used a Piece of Eden to become immortal? If so, what do they spend their painfully long lives doing all day? Will we encounter one of these people in the next game?
Were Those Who Came Before immortal, in the sense that they never aged? Could one or two TWCB survivors be out there, waiting to be encountered in the next game?
12 Dec 2011: Post Revelations with Spoilers
I've just completed the single-player story of Revelations; everything below this heading should be considered a spoiler if you don't want to learn about it.
Firstly, I was thrilled by being able to have predicted the memory seals. Desmond reliving Ezio reliving Altair....[satisfied sigh]
The 'Revelations' part, however, might have been a bit overrated. Seeing Altair complete his plans for the Masyaf library was indeed a revelation, but the finale just didn't have the hypoxia of "The rest is up to you, Desmond" or the horror of Lucy being stabbed.
Anyway, Desmond apparently now knows the locations of the various temples and what exactly they need to do to prevent the Second Disaster. His skin's also doing a 'cool glow' thing, which may indicate his First Civilisation genes are starting to get REALLY active. Can Desmond access his genetic memories directly now, or does he still need the Animus?
And why will we need to traverse another of Desmond' ancestors in AC3? To discover the locations of more temples, to determine where the Assassins hid the information in them? Perhaps the Desmond phase of the game will involve crawling through one level, and then we play the ancestor to learn more of the location.