Assassin’s Creed: Altair
In 2007, bartender Desmond Miles is kidnapped by the Abstergo Industry and forced into their machine, the Animus, a device that replays the memories of the user’s genetic memories. Think DVR meets ancestry.com. Desmond is forced to relive the memories of his Assassin ancestor Altair Ibn-La’Ahad during the Third Crusade as he attempts to regain his former status by assassinating nine Templars.
During the assassinations, Altair learns that each Templar was searching for “Pieces of Eden” (artifacts similar to the Ark of the Covenant he’d stopped Robert de Sablé from stealing at the start of the game). Altair kills de Sablé, who then reveals the tenth Templar, Altair’s leader, Al Mualim, who also has the Apple of Eden that can control people’s minds.
Altair kills Mualim and touches the Apple, which shows other parts of the world that contain Pieces of Eden. With the locations discovered, Desmond is taken out of the Animus and learns that the Templars still exist in the modern day as Abstergo and want to collect the Pieces to take over humanity and prevent the end of the world in 2012. Now having what they need, Desmond’s saved from getting offed by Abstergo by Assassin mole Lucy Stillman, but the situation is further complicated by some residual Animus energy allowing Desmond to read messages on his room left in blood left by someone only known as Subject 16.
Later forced into the Animus again to repair his mind (more on that later), Desmond relives more of Altair’s memories during Assassin’s Creed Revelations. After killing Mualim, the Assassin took the Apple and command of the Assassins. While on a decade long defense against the Mongol invasion in Masyaf with his wife Maria, one of Altair’s disciples named Abbas stages a coup and killed Altair’s youngest son Sef. After Maria was also killed, Altair and his oldest son Darim go into self-imposed exile for 20 years. Altair later returned to Masyaf, killed Abbas, and years later, encodes his memories on five keys that access his library. Keys that would later by found by a future ancestor of Desmond’s…
Say Hello to Signore Ezio
Picking up literally just a few moments after the first game, Assassin’s Creed II kicks off with Lucy rescuing Desmond from Abstergo and coming into contact with fellow Assassin Shaun Hastings and Rebecca Crane. They strap Desmond inside their own Animus so he can relive the memories of ancestor Ezio Auditore de la Firenze in 15th century Renaissance Italy. After his father and brothers are hanged, Ezio learns of his father’s Assassin tools and vows to find and eliminate the people behind the conspiracy against his family. With the help of Leonardo da Vinci and other allies, Ezio discovers the mastermind of the plot is Rodrigo Borgia, who also possesses the Apple of Eden and thinks he’s “the Prophet” that’ll lead the Templars to a Vault.
Ezio and his allies attack Borgia, now Pope Alexander XI, at Vatican City. Using the Apple and the Papal Cross (which is, in actuality, a Piece of Eden called the Staff), Ezio goes into the Vault and meets the holographic form of a woman named Minerva. She explains that she’s part of a more advanced society that existed with the humans early on during our lifetime before going to war and a global catastrophe nearly wiped out both sides. The remaining survivors banded together to create temples across the planet so humans could prevent a similar catastrophe. Minerva then tells Desmond, by name, “the rest is up to you.” Desmond and the other Assassins are forced to book it once Abstergo finds their location, but he jumps back into the Animus to find out what else his ancestor knows. Ezio, confused as hell, heads back home now that his vendetta is over and his demons are laid to rest.
Of course, that lasts about 20 minutes before Rodrigo’s son, Cesare, kills Ezio’s uncle Mario, takes over Monteriggioni, and takes the Apple, forcing Ezio and his remaining family to run to Rome. Womp womp. Rome happens to be the Templar center of power and Italy and also where the Assassin numbers are dwindling, so Ezio spends the next four years building an (Assassin’s Creed) Brotherhood (including his sister Claudia), crippling the Borgia’s hold in the capital, taking out anyone of importance close to Cesare, and rebuilding Rome to its former glory. Cesare kills Rodrigo, Ezio takes the Apple, and Cesare is arrested by Pope Julius II’s Papal army and later breaks out of prison. The two battle and Ezio wins, taking the Apple to hide in a First Civilization Temple built underneath present-day Santa Maria in Aracoeli. Desmond and group go the temple, where holographic apparitions of a woman named Juno tell him that humanity is “innocent and ignorant” and “We should have left you as you were!” before telling him that he descended from her race and is her enemy. Juno takes control of Desmond’s body and kills Lucy, putting him into a coma that requires the Animus to get him out of. The Animus can repair Desmond’s broken mind by making him relive the memories of both Ezio and Altair so it can separate the three identities and get him out of his coma.
Four years after killing Cesare, Ezio has traveled to the Assassin fortress in Masyaf to discover Altair’s secrets and learn the true purpose of the Assassins. Unfortunately, the city has also been taken over by Templars as he discovers Altair’s library, which requires five keys to unlock, one of which is in the hands of the Templars under the Ottoman Sultan’s palace and the other four scattered around Constantinople. He finds the locations of the four keys thanks to Sofia Sartor, a woman who he falls in love with while also not telling her the truth about basically his life, reasons for coming to the city, and feelings. Great basis for a relationship.
Now armed with the five keys, Ezio and Sofia return to the library and discover a sixth key along with Altair’s skeleton. Altair sealed himself inside with the Apple to make sure the Templars wouldn’t discover its secrets, and Ezio opts to continue this trend. He talks to Desmond directly and hopes that his descendant will find answers to what both men before him worked so hard to uncover. His mind, now repaired, Desmond is approached by Jupiter and learns the First Civilization built multiple vaults to study ways to save Earth from destruction, but none of their methods proved effective. A second solar flare is on the way, so Jupiter gives Desmond the location of the central vault where all the data collected goes.
Assassinating the Apocalypse
It’s 2012. The clock on the end of the world is ticking, and the Templars and Assassins are still looking for those Pieces of Eden and that Temple. With Desmond awakened from his coma and no longer carrying excess memories, it’s time to put an end to this once and for all. Assassin’s Creed 3, folks.
Now in New York, Desmond, Rebecca, Shaun, and Desmond’s dad William find the Temple and strap the former into the Animus, where Juno’s influence takes him through the memories of Haytham Kenway in 1754 England. But it turns out that Haytham is actually a Templar, and what’s worse, he’s the Templar Grand Master. While in America searching for the Temple, he frees a group of Mohawks, one of which is a woman named Kaniehti: io. Kaniehti: io helps him find the Temple in exchange for him killing General Edward Braddock, and the two fall in love and have a son named Ratonhnhaké:ton.
As a teenager in 1760, Ratonhnhaké:ton’s mother is killed during an attack on his village by Charles Lee. Years later, Ratonhnhaké:ton is given a Sphere that lets Juno communicate with him and tell him how important he is. Spurred by the Assassin symbol in his vision, Ratonhnhaké:ton becomes an Assassin under the tutelage of Achilles Davenport and renames himself “Connor” to move about the Colonies more freely and all, because racism.
Despite being framed for the Boston Massacre by the Templars, Connor proves to be a significant aid to the Patriots during the Revolutionary War. He also ends up meeting his father, and the two put their issues aside to go after a rogue Templar. As the Templars start recruiting Mohawks, Connor becomes conflicted over going to battle with his fellow tribe members while Haytham is convinced that replacing Washington with Lee is what’s best for the nation. Father and son duel, with the son killing his father before later killing Lee and recovering the Key that can unlock the Temple. Juno talks to Connor through the Sphere that caused them to meet when he was a boy and orders him to hide the Key where no one can find it, so Connor buries it in the grave of Achilles’ son Connor. With the final British ships leaving New York, Connor returns to his village and learns that the Mohawks have gone west after Congress sold their land to a group of fur traders to settle war debts. Even though the colonies are free, Connor sees a man selling African slaves and is reminded that the war for freedom isn’t over for everyone.
In the present, Desmond finds the Key and accesses the inner chambers of the Temple. Juno shows up and tells him that while activating the pedestal will save the world, it’ll also kill him. Minerva tells him that it’ll free Juno and lead to her conquering humanity. But, when the solar flare comes and wipes out most of the human race, he’ll be one of the few survivors of the world and become revered as a god when he dies later on, creating a legacy that future generations will manipulate and continue the cycle. Desmond decides to activate the pedestal and save humanity from the solar eruption, sacrificing himself, at which point Juno says that it’s time for her part to begin and another voice says that they’ve connected to the cloud– wait, what?
Yo Ho, Yo Ho, a Kenway’s Life for Me
With Desmond now dead, Abstergo’s taken his body and used various parts for their new cloud computing abilities, which they use for Ubisoft Entertainment, a French video game company that shows players specific parts of history that they like through their hit video game series, Assassin’s Creed. No really, this is a thing that happened.
In any case, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag has the Ubisoft Employee plopped into a chair to sift through the memories of Welsh pirate/complete bastard Edward Kenway, respectively the father and grandfather of Haytham and Ratonhnhaké:ton during the Golden Age of Piracy in 18th century Carribbean. The official reasoning for this is to prep for an interactive Animus powered interactive feature film, but in reality, it’s to find a First Civilization Observatory that can monitor anyone anywhere in the world after acquiring a blood sample. Kenway gets thrown into the mix after killing and taking the uniform of a rogue Assassin and meeting with Bartholomew Roberts, aka the Sage (the only one who can lead the Templars to the Observatory).
Other pirates that Edward comes in contact with during his adventures, such as Blackbeard, Charles Vane, and Ben Hornigold, set upon making their vision of a pirate utopia a reality. Edward helps them seize control of Nassau and create a pirate republic that quickly gets exploited thanks to disease, a lack of economy, poor ruling, and the Templars exploiting it for their own gain. Edward and Roberts find the Observatory and grab the device powering it, but Roberts, who admits that he uses whoever he thinks will help him achieve his goals and doesn’t care about the Assassins or Templars, turns on Ed at the last minute and gets him locked in prison for piracy charges. Edward escapes thanks to the Assassin Mentor Ah Tabai and joins their Order. He manages to defeat Roberts and return the device back to the Observatory to lock it away for good before traveling back to England after learning that his wife Caroline has passed and of the birth of his daughter Jennifer Scott. Years later, Edward now lives with Jennifer and his young son, Haytham.
In the present day, the Employee is encouraged by the company’s IT manager John to start snooping around the offices and hack multiple Animus terminals and cameras to provide information to Shaun and Rebecca, who’ve infiltrated Ubisoft. John eventually has the Employee go to the Animus’ core, where they see Juno and learn that despite opening her temple to stop the flare, the world isn’t ready for her yet and she can’t even possess them. John tries to murder the Employee to cover up the botched Juno resurrection and reveals that he’s the reincarnated Sage, before getting killed by Abstergo security. The Assassins continue infiltrating Abstergo, but neither them nor the Templars can explain Sage’s presence or that of his followers, the Instruments of the First Will. Cryptic.
A year after all that Sage stuff happened in the Ubisoft offices, a new Employee ends up tripping a hidden memory file that corrupts the Abstergo servers and sends the entire building into lockdown, thus forcing the Employee to clear the system by going into the memories of one Shay Patrick Cormac, which kicks off Assassin’s Creed Rogue.
Shay is a recent Assassin recruit working in the North Atlantic during the French and Indian War under Achilles’ tutelage, even though he’s kind of a dick to his mentors. After being given a ship of own called the Morrigan, Shay is sent to track down a Templar cell that’s hard at work deciphering a Precursor artifact that can find the other Pieces of Eden. After seeing fellow Assassins not even talk to Templars before executing them and having just killed an already dying Templar, Shay ends up accidentally triggering an earthquake in Lisbon while recovering a Piece of Eden that destroys the city. He leaves the Assassins after learning they want to find the remaining Pieces and eventually winds up in New York City, using his skills to protect the city from gangs. The city’s governor, George Monro, reveals himself as a Templar to Shay and offers him a place in their Order, which he accepts just before Monro is killed.
Shay begins killing several senior members of the Assassin Brotherhood, including Adewalé, Edward’s first mate from Black Flag who took up the hood and blade some years after Edward’s adventures. Eventually, only Achilles and his old friend Liam are all that remains, and Shay and Templar Grandmaster Haytham Kenway follow the two Assassins to a Precursor temple in the Arctic. Shay manages to kill Liam and convince Haytham to let Achilles live long enough to persuade the Assassins from pursuing any more Precursor sites. Shay then spends the next 20 years looking for the man Achilles handed off the artifact capable of tracking the Pieces of Eden to, which places him in Versailles. Shay murders Charles Dorian, who turns out to be the father of one young Arno.
Assassin’s Creed Unity kicks off in 1776 with young Arno being adopted into the family of the Grand Master De La Serre after his father has been murdered by Shay. Despite knowing full well that Charles was an Assassin and fully aware that the son is unaware of this, the Templar raises Arno as his own for 13 years. When De La Serre ends up murdered and Arno gets framed, he meets an Assassin named Bellec in prison, who gets him to join the Brotherhood after escaping during the Storming of the Bastille. Mirabeau, an Assassin who planned on brokering peace between the rival Orders with De La Serre, allows Arno to pursue and kill Templars he thinks were connected with his surrogate father’s death. Arno soon discovers that the murder was ordered by silversmith François-Thomas Germain, who is also the Sage and plans to start a mass revolt against France’s King.
After Mirabeau is killed by Bellec, who’s then killed by Arno and the French Revolution kicks off, Arno finds Germain at the execution of King Louis XVI, but opts to stay and protect De La Serre’s daughter Elise. The Brotherhood exiles him for pursuing his own vendetta and falls into a drunken depression until Elise finds him months later. The two return to Paris during the Reign of Terror and discredit Maximillen de Robespierre’s reputation and eventually get him to tell them where Germain is in hiding. Germain, now armed with the Sword of Eden and intent on purging the Templar Order of everyone who forgot the teachings of Grand Master Jacques de Molay, fights Arno until they both wind up in a Templar crypt. Germain kills Elise as the Sword breaks, and is then killed by Arno, who promises to keep his love’s memory alive and watch over Paris. Years later and now a Master Assassin, he takes Germain’s skeleton from the Temple and puts it in the Catacombs of Paris.
The present day Employee in Rogue uploads all of Shay’s memories to the Assassin network, sending the organization into disarray and giving the Employee the choice of joining the Templars or die. What happens to the Employee is unclear, but in Unity, the Assassins retaliate by hacking Abstergo’s Helix gaming system to tell the Player about the company’s plan to find a Sage for their Phoenix Project and compile an entire Precursor genome. The Assassins, naturally, want to find a Sage corpse first, but not before destroying all of Abstergo’s Precursor samples and causing several of their servers to melt down.
A Syndicate is Born
In just a few short days, you’ll have Assassin’s Creed Syndicate in your hands (or hard drive). This one takes us to 1868 at the tail end of the Industrial Revolution. The Assassins are practically wiped out, with London under Templar rule and the Church and Monarchy losing their power, until twin Assassins Jacob and Evie Frye show up. They’re not too happy about their order falling on some hard times and plan on uniting London’s various criminal gangs to take back their city. Who’s up for forming a Syndicate?
Feel like you get what all the hell is happening in the Assassin’s Creed series? Still confused? Don’t really care and just wanna slice dudes’ throats? Let us know in the comments below.