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AC1 Altair Viewpoint Damascus

Altaïr on a viewpoint in Damascus

Viewpoints were structures high enough for an observer positioned on its tallest point to view the surrounding terrain. They ranged from church towers and roof beams on a city's landmarks, to watchtowers and guard posts.

Viewpoints were essential for allowing an individual to collect their bearings, and navigate a landscape.

High Middle AgesEdit

AC1 Altair Leap of Faith Damascus

Altaïr performing a Leap of Faith from a viewpoint

Viewpoints could be found in the cities of Damascus, Jerusalem, and Acre, as well as the Kingdom, but not in Masyaf.[1]

Each city contained ten to twelve viewpoints located on the highest buildings; such as a cross on top of a Catholic cathedral, the top of a lighthouse in the port-city of Acre, or a palace guard tower in the city of Damascus. Individuals adept in freerunning, such as Assassins, would climb viewpoints to survey the area and take note of the people within the city, and their movements.[1]

Some viewpoints, such as watchtowers, had archers defending the position, or guards set around and below it, who could either fire arrows or throw rocks to prevent anyone climbing from reaching the top. At the very bottom of the viewpoint, carts or piles of hay were conveniently positioned, providing safe locations for the performance of a Leap of Faith.[1]


As Good As New 6

Ezio on a viewpoint in Rome

During the Renaissance, viewpoints functioned much as they did during the Third Crusade, and some were located on famous landmarks of the era. Assassins made extensive use of these, and would not only be able to dive into carts and stacks of hay, but also into those of flower petals, leaves, and spices, as well as into bodies of water.[2]

In the cities of Rome and Constantinople, various towers, such as Borgia Towers and Assassin Dens, possessed a commanding view over the surrounding area, and could be used for the same purpose as a viewpoint.[3][4]

Many viewpoints were located on famous monuments, such as the Pantheon, Colosseum,[3] Hagia Sophia, and Topkapı Palace.[4]

Golden Age of PiracyEdit

During the Golden Age of Piracy, viewpoints once again served the function of helping an ancestor survey the area. Edward Kenway made use of these viewpoints to reveal information about his surroundings. Once viewpoints were synchronized, they also served as locations for fast-travel.[5]

American RevolutionEdit

AC3 Haytham Viewpoint

Haytham on a viewpoint in Boston

Shortly before, and during the American Revolutionary War, viewpoints retained their function of providing an ancestor with bearings of the surrounding area, and were once again located on famous landmarks of the era, as well as high points in the Frontier such as trees on the hilltops.

Contrary to the viewpoints used by other ancestors, the ones in America revealed only small bits of landscape, leaving the area open to exploration even after all of the viewpoints were synchronized.[6]

Haytham Kenway and Ratonhnhaké:ton utilized viewpoints in Boston, New York and Frontier, and could perform a Leap of Faith to descend from them. In addition to previously seen places such as haystacks or water, they could also perform the maneuver into a moving cart, if it happened to be passing underneath the viewpoint.[6]


When Desmond Miles relived the memories of his ancestors through the Animus, viewpoints served an additional function. They would unlock parts of the Animus map, and displayed the location of various events that occurred throughout his ancestors' lives.[1]

When he relived Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's memories, he was required to climb a viewpoint whenever he entered a new city. On synchronizing with this viewpoint, the Animus map would display all the other viewpoints, along with the location of the Assassin bureau in the city. Climbing the viewpoints also allowed Desmond to find sources of information that he could investigate, and use to gain information on Altaïr's targets.[1]

Viewpoints served a similar function in the Animus 2.0, through which Desmond relived Ezio Auditore da Firenze's memories. It also helped Desmond locate side memories, such as races, message deliveries, assassination contracts, and beat-up events.[2]




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