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Assassin’s Creed’s Entire Story Explained in a Simple Timeline

Assassin's Creed

The convoluted history so far.

Assassin’s Creed Timeline

Though the history of Assassin’s Creed starts in B.C. times, the earliest, playable part of the franchise begins in 1190 A.D. Altair, an Assassin, must retrieve an ancient relic known as the Chalice which was said would end the Third Crusade.

The first game in the franchise takes place in two timelines, which would be a recurring theme for the series. Altair searches for the powerful Peace of Eden artifact while assassinating Templar leaders in 1191. Desmond Miles, a descendant of Altair, gets captured by Abstergo Industries in 2007. The company, a Templar front, uses Miles’ memories to search for other Piece of Eden artifacts.

Altair continues his assault against the Templars shortly after the events of Assassin’s Creed. He travels to the island of Cyprus to eradicate the Templars and learn more about the Pieces of Eden.

The movie, released last year, stars Michael Fassbender as Callum Lynch and Aguilar de Nerha. Lynch, like Miles, can access the memories of his ancestor through Abstergo’s Animus machine. Lynch must fight Templars in 15th Century Spain and his own time in 2016.

Assassin’s Creed: Lineage was a series of short films following Giovanni Auditore, Ezio’s father, as he investigates the assassination of the Duke of Milan and learns of Rodrigo Borgia’s conspiracy. The story takes place in 1476.

Arguably the best received game in the franchise, Assassin’s Creed II moves out of the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance. Desmond Miles, on the run from Abstergo after escaping, taps into memories of another ancestor from the 15th Century, Ezio Auditore da Firenze. Ezio joins the Assassins to avenge the deaths of his father and brothers who were betrayed by a family friend turned Templar.

This game, released for the Nintendo DS and iOS, takes place between The Battle of Forli DLC in Sequence 12 and Bonfire of the Vanities DLC in Sequence 13 from Assassin’s Creed II. Ezio postpones his Pieces of Eden search and travels to Spain to help rebuild the Assassin Brotherhood there.

Assassin’s Creed: Ascendance is an animated short which takes place between Assassin’s Creed II and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, telling the backstory of Cesare Borgia’s rise to power. It can be found on YouTube and available to rent through Amazon.

The fourth main entry in the series expands upon the naval aspects of Assassin’s Creed III with pirate-faring sea battles. While Desmond died in the previous entry, his brain was extracted by Abstergo and the company continues to search his memories of past ancestors. Edward Kenway, a Welsh pirate in 1715, gets mixed up in the battle between Assassins and Templars.

Brotherhood picks up where Assassin’s Creed II leaves off, as Ezio continues to fight the Borgia family and growing Templar influence in Rome. In modern times, Desmond Miles and his Assassin group continue to search his memories for the location of a Piece of Eden.

Revelations is the final, playable chapter of the Ezio trilogy. In 1511, he travels to Constantinople, present day Istanbul, to search Altair’s old Assassin stronghold for another Piece of Eden. Meanwhile, Desmond Miles is trapped in an Animus-induced coma and must find a key memory that links Altair and Ezio to wake up.

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