Assassin's Creed 2 Puzzle and Codex Contents and Analysis Version 1.00 Author: Irvine Tomoe Email: DarkerCompanion@gmail.com Date of Submission: November 26, 2009 ******************************* Table of Contents I. Disclaimer/Spoiler Alert II. Introduction III. Puzzle Information and Interpretation IV. Codex Script and Interpretation - Incomplete V. Auditore Tomb Script and Interpretation VI. Speculation VII. Personal Musings VIII. Legal Somesuch IX. Credits ******************************* I. Disclaimer/Spoiler Alert Before I say anything else, I have to warn that this file is intended to provide post-game information. This is not a guide having anything to do with how to beat the game, or the glyph puzzles. It is assumed that readers have solved all the glyph puzzles, beaten the game, and in some respects, have beaten Assassin's Creed 1 as well. I will discuss potentially every major plot reveal post game, as that is what this entire guide concerns. So if you are intending to find out the plot yourself, please, stop now. If you are reading this, and you are about to play Assassin's Creed 2 and you have NOT played Assassin's Creed 1, stop. Go buy AC1 for 20 bucks and play it first. Unless you hate it (in which case you will likely dislike the second as well), it will enrich the experience of the second. Furthermore, there is a significant amount of speculation on my part in this file. The first half is examining imagery, references to history, implied connections and deciphered codes, so most of it is only one step (or less) away from what is spelled out directly. However, there will be a few connections I make that may not necessarily be true, so nothing can be taken as absolute truth . . . I'm sure the Assassins would agree. The speculation section will be the most distant from fact, as I will tie together a picture of the state of things in a more linear, definitive fashion, but including some of my interpretations of the more vague plot points. If you are still reading, awesome. Moving on. ******************************* II. Introduction Assassin's Creed 1 is an interesting, fairly popular game about an assassin during the crusades and the political strife and conspiracies he and his order discover while fighting with their enemies, the Templar. That's all fine and dandy . . . but it doesn't get really interesting until you beat the game. At the end of the game, there is a tantalizing spoiler of Science Fiction potential in a game that was fairly grounded in reality up until that point. The game left you hanging, having just discovered what little was provided to you, and it left you in the ultimate cliffhanger. But, for those with an insatiable appetite for more, there were hints. Drawings on the walls, that hinted at clues as to the direction of the next game. Emails that hinted that certain well known events were not what they seemed. Suddenly, a game about killing people in an awesome manner, on a historical political backdrop became so much more . . . and said "See ya in two years!" Well, that's just mean. Some of that information requires knowledge of lots of minute details and mythological references, as well as math and languages. And you know, not everyone gets that stuff. Nor is everyone interested in spending days deciphering all the clues. So when I played Assassin's Creed 2, and found that it had at least ten times more subtle clues than the first, I decided I had to look into it. Rather than have people dismiss this aspect and ignore what I consider to be the most interesting part of the game, I aim to combine it all for the reader, so that these aspects do not go ignored. So here we are. I've written down the contents of the puzzles, and what they seem to imply about the plot. When something vital is referenced, but not spelled out, I have done my research and included the facts in the file. If any of it calls to you, I recommend wikipedia. So much of this is there, waiting to be read . . . would you believe that nearly every conspiracy in this game is a REAL conspiracy theory? They may not be real conspiracies in real life, but they are real conspiracy theories in real life. Assassin's Creed 2 makes up very little. I have also deciphered all of the hidden messages in the background of the pictures. It is possible that I have missed one, and if that is the case, please, let me know. In fact, while this file was written nearly entirely by me, I know I could not have caught everything. There must be underlying references of extraordinary value that slipped past me. Or perhaps I missed something obvious and inferred something else (you wouldn't believe some of the bad ideas I had WRITTEN DOWN in this file that I realized were wrong later). If you have anything you think would work well here, or if you have a suggestion, or maybe wish to contest that I have something so absurdly wrong it couldn't possibly be right, let me know. My email is DarkerCompanion@gmail.com, and while I can't guarantee a fast response, I know I am interested in hearing more tie-ins and references. If I wasn't, I wouldn't have written this. You could say the length of this document is how interested I am in hearing what you might have to say. With that explained, let me begin. ******************************* III. Puzzle Information and Interpretation Here, I will list each puzzle and the relevant images, facts, quotes, and the like included. I did NOT record all of Subject 16's dialogue, however, when it seemed important, I did. If you are here looking for solutions to the puzzles, you likely won't find it, except for on a few that the answer is relevant to the story. ----------------------------------- -Puzzle #1: In The Beginning ----------------------------------- This is an image matching puzzle. Its hint is "Five of These Mythic Scenes Share A CORE Similarity. Pick them out and you'll begin to see." The Fall Hercules in the Garden of the Hesperides Atalanta and Hippomenes Judgement of Paris Idun and the Apples These five include apples in them in a prominent sense, many of which are tied into biblical or mythological settings. Upon completion, the image of the Piece of Eden (The Apple) is displayed. Interpretation: This puzzle hints that the Apple/s have played a relevant role in the mythological history of mankind. It also notes several situations in which an apple was potentially more than just a fruit. The Fall - This is a simple image of Adam and Eve by the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. Given the contents of Subject 16's video, this one is fairly obvious. Judgement of Paris - This moment from the life of the Greek mythological figure Paris concerned a marriage celebration held by the Gods. Not invited, Eris, the Goddess of Strife, sought to disrupt the party by offering a Golden Apple of Discord to the most beautiful attendant of the party. This caused bickering amongst the arrogant attendees, allowing Eris to manipulate the attendees into doing what she wanted (ruining the party themselves, since she wasn't invited). This use of the apple to control others behavior is especially worth nothing. Eventually, it came down to Paris, a mortal, having to choose which of the three goddesses, Hera, Athena (a.k.a. Minerva) and Aphrodite. He choice and subsequent actions eventually led to the eruption of the Trojan War, a war which concerned humans, super-humans (Achilles was the son of a nymph and a human, who were supernatural beings, leaving him with vaguely defined half-God status, see the Speculation section for more), and Gods. Hercules in the Garden of the Hesperides - Hercules, a half-God (see the Speculation section for more on this subject) traveled to this location during his journeys to steal a Golden Apple as a task. Within the myth, these Apples had supernatural abilities, including immortality. Notably, in some variations of the myth, after the theft, Athena (Minerva) returned the Apples to the Garden. Idun and the Apples - Idun is a Norse goddess who was known, amongst other things, as a guardian of youth giving supernatural apples. Atalanta and Hippomenes - In this particular myth, Atalanta was a athletic, warriorlike woman who was far more capable than the average athletica male. Uninterested in marriage, she finally agreed that she would marry a male who could outrun her. Hippmenes was, according to the myth, granted 3 golden apples by Aphrodite that he used to trick her into slowing down, and through their use, was able to win. This myth is the only one of the five aside from the Judgement of Paris myth in which someone uses a Golden Apple to manipulate someone's behavior, but it is worth nothing. In all five of the myths, the apples are highly desirable and capable of what seems to be more than just being a simple fruit. Furthermore, except for that of Idun, all of the apples are golden. In all five myths are the apples related to the Gods in one way or another. ----------------------------------- Puzzle #2: Sixty-four Squares ----------------------------------- This puzzle begins with a number of spinning circle puzzles. The first: Queen Elizabeth of England,1559 In this image, Queen Elizabeth holds an orb in her hand. The implication is that this is no simple orb. Upon completion, it is highlighted and identified as: ID: Piece of Eden 2 - Apple The second: Emperor Napoleon 1 of France, 1812 In this image, Napoleon's characteristic "hand in jacket" pose implies a Piece of Eden. Given how well known this pose is, it may imply that the Apple had begun to influence his behavior. Upon completion, it is highlighted and identified as: ID: Piece of Eden 1 - Apple The third: George Washington, United States, 1781 In this image, George Washington is shown in a similar pose to Napoleon, and the completed puzzle reveals the same result. Upon completion, it is highlighted and identified as: ID: Piece of Eden 3 - Apple Interpretation: This puzzle is fairly simple in its implications. It shows three incredibly influential world leaders and gives evidence that they each were in possession of an Apple. Queen Elizabeth is considered to be the most recognizable leader in English history, and her reign has been considered as veritable golden age for the nation. Napoleon I was similarly one of the most recognizable leaders of France, as well as being extremely competent in war. George Washington is the first and the most recognizable of the presidents of the United States, and he too was a reputable politician and general. ----------------------------------- Puzzle #3: Descendents ----------------------------------- This puzzle starts with a relevant comment by Subject 16: "Power doesn't die; its passed on." A Where's Waldo style puzzle, this includes images of several famous individuals. The first: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Strategic Meeting, 1944 The image is labeled. "HE CARRIED IT WITH HIM. FIND HIS INHERITANCE" There is a hidden message that goes horizontally across the board. It says: THE MASONS BROUGHT IT ACROSS THE SEA. GEORGE WASHINGTON PASSED IT ON. The Apple one the table is IDed as the Piece of Eden #3. The second: Houdini Beginning the Chinese Water Torture Cell Escape, 1913 A Morse code message says "They hit him in the stomach." The Apple is on the water tank IDed as the Piece of Eden #1. The third: Gandhi During The Salt March, 1930 A Morse code message says "The bullet hit him in the chest." The Apple is on the end of his walking stick, seemingly invisible, IDed as the Piece of Eden #2. Interpretation: A second time, the puzzle reveals that influential world leaders were in possession of Apples. However, in these pictures, the others present in the picture seem ignorant of the presence of said apples. This would imply that that had not just used the apple to gain their power, but to blind their followers to the presence of the apple. This is particularly relevant to Houdini, a master of escape and illusion. The power of the apple would easily allow him trick audiences into believing he had performed his famous stunts, several of which are still considered "impossible" today. Also, this puzzle assigns an accusatory tone towards the Templar for the deaths of Gandhi and Houdini. The note above Roosevelt's picture is not present in the other pictures. When considered in the context of the hidden message in his picture, it shows an important link. Roosevelt was a member of the Freemasons, a fraternal organization guarded by secrecy. Membership was earned, and one had to rise through the ranks to attain higher levels of membership and access to greater secrets. The Freemasons are several centuries old, going as far back as the 16th century. George Washington was also a member of the Freemasons, 150 years before Roosevelt's time in office. Both Roosevelt's and Washington's apples are IDed in the pictures as Piece of Eden #3, so it is clear that it was passed along through the Freemason organization. The most important clue here, however, is that for over two centuries, speculation and conspiracy theories have existed claiming that the Freemasons are a front for the Templar, who were forcefully disbanded. The theories claim that the Templar, losing their official power, created a new order that they could control from behind the scenes, and it is certainly a powerful group, even today, with many important historical figures having been members. It is worth noting that one conspiracy claims that the Freemasons were responsible for faking the Apollo 11 moon landing (See Puzzle 11: Apollo). The hidden message was also encrypted in Masonic code, a form of secret writing used by the Freemasons to keep their communication from prying eyes. ----------------------------------- Puzzle #4: Infinite Knowledge ----------------------------------- This puzzle is another Where's Waldo puzzle. The first: Burning Viet Cong Base Camp, My Tho, Vietnam, 1968 The image is labeled: Its open MOUTH delivers the kiss of death. The picture shows a soldier in Vietnam with a rocket launcher on his back, set against a backdrop of destruction. The MOUTH refers to the rocket launcher. The second: Members of the 2D Infantry Division Advance Under Machine Gun Fire into the Outskirts of Brest, France, 1944 The image is labeled: Leading the YOUNG to their end. The picture shows soldiers in France. The YOUNG refers to a soldier in the background. There is a hidden message in this picture, encoded in Hexidecimal. Once deciphered, it says "Antikythera Mechanism, much older than 150 B.C.E." The third: Union Troops in Formation, Beaufort, South Carolina, 1862 The image is labeled: The Flames from its throat POKE out their eyes. The picture shows a group of soldiers, many of which have bayonets. The poke refers to these. There is a hidden message in this picture, that once decoded says "Ancient city, Rajasthan, India, irradiated by PoE" The fourth: The First Pictorial Representation of a Gun, 900 The image is labeled: The MONSTER did not come from man. An asian picture depicts a horde of demons assaulting a central figure. There is what looks like a firearm/cannon in the picture, and a demon holds a blazing golden sphere. This sphere ends the image, and it is IDed as "Piece of Eden 4 - Apple" There is a hidden binary message in this picture that translates to "Sumerian. Me 23." Ends on a picture of a demon, holding a flaming sphere (ID: Piece of Eden 4 - Apple) Interpretation: Well, this one is a doozy. It has a lot to say, and makes a lot of references. First, the overarching theme is of firearms. The labels imply that guns are not a human creation. With the last picture in mind, it seems evident that a human used the knowledge in one of the Pieces of Eden to develop guns. As to their demonic appearance, that same Piece of Eden (being wielded alongside the guns in the picture) could have been used to convince the wielder's opponents that they were fighting not humans, but demons. Or perhaps the presence of a newly invented gun could have brought such terror that the event went down in history as being a demonic event. The first hidden message refers to the Antikythera Mechanism, a real life artifact found in a shipwreck. It is a surprisingly complex tool that seems to have been used as an astronomical calculator. It was comprised of several dozen mobile gear parts, and when its calibration is compared to reality, it is exceedingly accurate. The mechanism's level of technology is considered to be equivalent to that of somewhere between the 15th and 18th century clockwork. However, it is estimated to be over 2000 years old, showing levels of advanced computing technology not believed to have existing during that period of time. The message implies that it is far older than estimates predict, implying is ancient technology from "Those Who Came Before", though not powerful in the sense of the Pieces of Eden. The second hidden message refers to a combination of myths and scripture. There is a seemingly difficult to trace study on the internet concerning soil samples taken from the Indian state of Rajasthan. The study indicates that they were contained dangerously irradiated dust from a depth indicating that a radioactive event at least several thousand years ago in this area. This study itself has been notoriously hard to back up, however, for the purpose of this explanation, we will take it at face value. Where this ties in is that in Indian scripture, like most scripture, there is a large amount of metaphoric imagery, as well as supernatural beings. Unlike many instances of scripture, however, taken in a science fiction context, the descriptions and powers of the people and beings seem to resemble not saints and gods, but members of an advanced civilization, complete with references to flying machines similar to jets/spaceships, and weapons with the destructive power of an atom bomb. It is the weapons themselves that tie into this, for in the scripture, there is implication that there was a terrible war, and being that this is Indian scripture, it took place in the general area of India. Allow me to say this in another way: An ancient civilization of incredibly advanced technology went to war, and phenomenal destruction ensued, including weapons that match the description of nukes, in the general vicinity of India. And according to this difficult to trace study, an Indian state have heavily irradiated soil under several thousand years worth of sediment and dirt. Suddenly, this seems incredibly relevant. Finally comes the last hidden message, Sumerian Me 23. In Sumerian mythology, the gods granted to humanity many dozen "Me" or aspects of humanity. These are not rules, like commandments, but literal gifts of abilities. Furthermore, these abilities are embodied within literal objects. Me #23 is "Weapons". A physical embodiment of a weapon could refer to an object of vastly powerful combat usefulness, which could match the description of a Piece of Eden. ----------------------------------- Puzzle #5: Instruments of Power ----------------------------------- This is an image matching puzzle. Its hint is "The power they wielded CUT down their enemies." Perseus, Greece Attila the Hun, Eurasia Sigmund, Norse King Arthur, Britannia Joan of Arc, France These five include powerful figures from the world's history, well known for their warrior nature and combat prowess. Each, in turn wields a sword. When completed, Piece of Eden 25 - The Sword is displayed. In this puzzle, the hint is "In their hands, the wise LEAN on a great force." John the Baptist, Jerusalem Alexander the Great, Macedonia Shabataka, Egypt Peter, Jerusalem Moses, Egypt The five include important figures from history, with all of them being from the bible or old world civilizations. In the images, each possesses a staff. Once completed, Piece of Eden 34 - The Staff is displayed. Interpretation: This puzzle reveals the first indication that not all Pieces of Eden are Apples, although we now know that there are multiple apples. The sword and the staff are both Pieces of Eden here, and one might infer from the famous figures wielding them that they possess powers relevant to their purpose. Amongst the wielders of the sword, there is a mix of contemporary history and myth. Perseus, a Greek mythological hero, was in possession of an enchanted adamantine sword that was granted to him by the Greek god Hermes. Interestingly, he was granted a plethora of magical items, including winged boots granting flight (also from Hermes), the shield of Athena (Minerva), and a helmet of Invisibility from god of the dead, Hades Sigmund was a hero in Norse mythology, who amongst other things, came to possess a legendary sword. The Norse god Odin (the leader of their gods), came to a party he was attending and embedded the sword in a tree, claiming that only the person who could pull it from the tree could have it. Sigmund was the only one able to remove it, leading to much jealousy and a fair bit of murder. Attila the Hun was a powerful conqueror from 430 A.D. to 450 A.D. He managed to conquer a significant portion of the known world at the time, and was well known for his skill in warfare and, in many accounts, his cruelty. A legend has arisen around him regarding his sword, which was found in the wilderness. He referred to it as "The Sword of Mars", the Roman god of war, equivalent to Ares in Greek mythology. Amongst non-Roman accounts, it was known as the "Sword of the War God". King Arthur's tale is far too well known to bother explaining it here, but his possession of the legendary sword Excalibur is evidence enough of its place here. Its role as being a sword in the stone, only removable by a specific individual closely parallels Sigmund's sword, indicating a potential connection. Excalibur was mentioned to have the ability to blind its opponents, and its scabbard was said to prevent the wielder from bleeding to death. The last, chronologically, in the line of individuals in this set is Joan of Arc. She stands out from the other four in that there is no record of her sword being in any way spectacular. However, her own life fills this role. She was an uneducated, poor farm girl who claimed to have received divine visions instructing her to lead France, her native country, to reclaim its lost territory from the English. With a lot of convincing, she received permission to fight with the troops, and her influence, through divine knowledge, innate skill, or extreme luck, turned the tide time and time again, resulting in a string of victories that had been preceded by decades of failures. Nearly every tactical decision she made resulted in a victory where others had failed, and she predicted enemy movements with an uncanny degree of accuracy that even veteran military tacticians did not foresee. She did this in the years when she was only 17 and 18. Ultimately, after making great strides in France's name, a political conspiracy against her resulted in her being burned at the stake. It was later officially found that the trials were performed unlawfully, and that she was innocent of the charges. On the subject of the staff puzzle, the individuals depicted all were in a position of power or leadership at one point. The first is Moses, of Jewish and Christian scripture. Most relevant to this topic, while doing God's bidding, he was told by God to perform certain acts with his brother's staff. This often resulted in supernatural event, and it soon became common for Moses to use his staff whenever invoking God's power. Included in these acts are: turning the staff into a snake, invoking numerous plagues upon Egypt, parting the Red Sea for passage, conjuring water, and allowing the Israelites to win a battle so long as the staff was raised high. The second is Shabataka, an Egyptian king who ruled around the year 700 BC. Aside from a brief campaign in Jerusalem, there is little linking him to previous owners of the staff, nor is there significant record of events or a particular staff in his possession. Third is Alexander the Great. Like Shabataka, there is no particular evidence of a staff in his career, however, he led a tremendously successful campaign that created an empire reaching from Greece to India. He accomplished this in about ten years, although his conquest eventually slowed to a standstill. After his death, his empire fell apart within a few short years, unable to maintain itself. Fourth is John the Baptist. His role in birth of Christianity is paramount, as he is arguably the second most important human in its creation, second only to Jesus himself. He himself had a sufficiently large following independent of Jesus, founded around baptism. He himself was the one to baptize Jesus, at which point his followers slowly merged with those of Jesus. He was soon killed by the regions local ruler, at a time which historians believe was within a year before Jesus himself was killed. It should be noted that his mother was a "Daughter of Aaron", or an individual who's lineage could be traced to Aaron, the brother of Moses. Last is St. Peter, apostle of Jesus, and often their leader when Jesus was not present. He would later become the first Pope, and in some ways, could be considered the founder of Christianity as an actual religion (In that Jesus merely spread the belief, but it was more of a following at the time). As the first Pope, it might be inferred that his possession of the staff allowed it to be passed down through the years, eventually culminating in Rodrigo Borgia. ----------------------------------- Puzzle #6: Brothers ----------------------------------- This puzzle contains 4 spinning circle puzzles, each depicting Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve. The first image depicts the burning altar sacrifice, and the remaining three depict the two struggling. Upon completion, each shows that they were reaching for the Piece of Eden. Each image has a line of text, forming a passage: And Satan Said Unto Cain: Swear Unto Me By Thy Throat, And If Thou Tell It Thou Shalt Die And All These Things Were Done In Secret And Cain Said: Truly I Am Mahan, the Master of This Great Secret. Wherefore Cain Was Called Master Mahan, and He Glorified In His Wickedness Upon completion, subject 16 says "Behold; the mark of Cain!" The red templar cross appears upon all four images. A passage of morse code below says "TEMPLAR TEXTS ADAPTED BY MR SMITH". Interpretation: This one holds an impressive array of implications. First: Cain and Able are the sons of Adam and Eve. In the context of Assassin's Creed, this may mean that they would inherit the Piece of Eden that Adam and Eve stole. However, it seems clear that Cain, the ever jealous brother in scripture and culture, would attempt to take the Piece of Eden for himself, and in doing so, commit the first murder in the name of possessing the Apple. This, with the mark of the templar appearing, shows that he was the first person willing to commit terrible acts upon other humans in the name of acquiring the power of the Pieces of Eden for himself. Whether his association with the Templar order is symbolic or real is not clear, but it could be that he would later go on to found the order, attempting to gain control of more of the pieces. Second: "Templar Texts Adapted By Mr. Smith". What an incredibly useless piece of information, what with Smith being so common a name. Fortunately, it is inextricably linked to one important Smith in history. "Master Mahan" is not a phrase present in most biblical accounts. It is, in fact, fairly exclusive to Mormon texts. The founder of the Mormon Order (The Latter Day Saint movement), who also "translated" the texts founding their scripture, is a certain Joseph Smith, Jr. Joseph Smith, Jr., as well as several other founding members of the Mormon Order were members of the Freemasons, and some aspects of Mormon ritual are based upon the rituals of the Freemasons (See Puzzle 3: Decendents). The take home message, however, is that the Mormons are implied to be Templar. ----------------------------------- Puzzle #7: Keep on Seeking, And You Will Find It ----------------------------------- Here, another image matching puzzle appears, with a lengthy hint: First Plucked From A Tree Guarded By A Snake, Its Powers Perform Miracles. Then, Worn Across The Ages, Torn Asunder, Hidden Under A Sea of RED, Reconstruct the Timeline Joseph, Egypt. C. 1700 B.C.E. Jason, Greece, Prehistory Jesus Christ, Jerusalem, c. 30 David and Goliath, Valley of Elah, c. 970 B.C.E. Christ Disrobed, Jerusalem. c. 30 These images share a slightly more subtle similarity than previous ones. All but one depict a figure from Christian/Jewish scripture wearing a bright red cloak or shirt. The fifth of Jason of the Argonauts, battling the hydra to take the Golden Fleece, a legendary article of clothing made from the fur of a supernatural ram. After matching the images, a new picture appears of Jesus crucified on the cross. Using the scanner, one finds the message "They Took It" written across the image. Scanning the note on the top of the cross reveals a Templar logo, and in the bottom corner the scanner reveals Jesus' cloak. Selecting it solves the puzzle, revealing the message: "Piece of Eden 66: The Shroud". Interpretation: This puzzle shows that Christianity has two Pieces of Eden resurfacing time and time again. Along with the Staff from Puzzle 6, the Shroud shows that it played a part in the lives of several of them. Furthermore, it implies it was more than a simple cloak by attaching it to the Golden Fleece. The quest of Jason is a lengthy one, concerning many aspects of Greek mythology, however, only a few are relevant to this context. First, the entire course of his quest is an attempt to get a golden fleece from a foreign land, so that he may rightfully take his place as king in his own nation. Later in the story, the fleece itself shows the power to heal the injured, and protects its wearer from harm. Another relevant thread in the plot is that Jason had a strong association with the Greek god Hera (Juno). It is worth noting that one of Jason's companions was Heracles (Hercules in Roman mythos).(See Puzzle 1: In The Beginning). The tale of Joseph is an important part of Jewish scripture, as it marks one of the many points at which Judaism began its spread in the world. However, one important portion of the tale concerns the beginning, where Joseph's father, Jacob, grants him alone out of his twelve brothers a beautiful, colorful cloak. Out of jealousy, the brothers betrayed Joseph, and sold him into slavery. The cloak is well known for being associated with Joseph's tale. David and Goliath is another tale in Jewish scripture accounting a battle between a young boy with little to no combat training and an immensely large warrior. Despite all odds, David overcame Goliath without so much as a scratch, and eventually went on to become king of the Hebrew nation, bringing it into a brief golden age that it has never regained. In the picture, he is depicted as wearing a bright red shirt. It is interesting to note that David's King, Saul, offers him the use of his own armor, but David refused, using his own cloth tunic instead. The dual images of Jesus both depict him wearing a bright red cloak, defying the conventional depiction of Jesus' cloak being a beautiful blue. However, if the cloak were indeed to be the same as the Golden Fleece, it could be in possession of the same healing powers. This would make sense, given that several of Jesus' miracles include him healing the disabled, sick, dying, or dead. The disrobing of Jesus is an important stage in the depiction of his crucifixion, and if the message at the end of the puzzle is indeed correct, then this may have been the ultimate purpose of Jesus' death. This might also be the earliest depiction of the Templar in action. ----------------------------------- Puzzle #8: Martyrs ----------------------------------- This puzzle is a simple Where's Waldo type puzzle, showing two images. The first: Czar Nicholas II, Russia There is binary code in the picture, which, when translated, says "17 July, 1918". This is Nicholas II date of death. Searching the picture reveals his scepter is the Staff, Piece of Eden 34. The second: Joan of Arc, France There is binary in this picture as well. It says "30 May, 1431". This is also her date of death.Searching the picture reveals her sword is the Piece of Eden 25. A pointer with the templar logo appears on a map. Place Fire over Joan of Arc, and it shows her burning at the stake, revealing the message "They took it". Place a photo of Rasputin over Nicholas, and it shows the revolution, with a red Templar cross overlaid, revealing the message "Rasputin took it to Tunguska." Subject 16 notes that without the staff, Nicholas could not control his subjects, leading to the Russian revolution. Interpretation: This ties the deaths of two historical figures into the mix. Joan of Arc was mentioned before as having the sword, and the conspiracy to have her executed seems that it may have been a Templar plot to get Piece of Eden 25, the Sword. Whether this is the case or not, the Templar came into possession of the Sword after her death. The information on Czar Nicholas is a bit harder to discern. While it says that Rasputin took it to Tunguska, it does not deliberately state that he stole it from Nicholas. Rasputin was a close advisor and highly trusted by the Czar. His status as a mystic, well versed in the ways of the spirits and magic, might have led Nicholas to trust him with his "magic staff". Czar Nicholas may not necessarily have been a good leader, but it seems he was manipulated by the Templar as well. ----------------------------------- Puzzle #9: Hat-trick ----------------------------------- A combination puzzle here, some Where's Waldo puzzles first, then a deciphering puzzle. First: They Made It Look Like An Accident Houdini and Bess, 1915 Sliding templar symbol over Houdini's chest/abdomen reveals one of the apples, with a heartbeat sound. It then shows Houdini's grave. He Almost BEAT them. Gandhi, 1946 The templar symbol over his chest reveals one of the apples. It then shows Gandhi's funeral procession. Dallas (Archive) file appears. Subject 16 says: "The wolves are out hunting. Where, oh where, has Jack gone?" When you solve the deciphering puzzle, a letter appears: =================================== Operation: New Frontier HQ has given the go-ahead to extract the resource. Negotiations are over. F is planning to give the vote to everyone. Reason just doesn't work with someone like that. I'll send you the driver. We've trained him with PE2 in our labs, he shouldn't be any trouble. The motorcade route is marked below. Once the target has been downed, either by Oswald or Z, use PE1 to stage a distraction. Make some kind of phantom appear around this slope I've marked with an X. Freak people out. The driver will grab PE3 in the confusion. =================================== The bottom of the letter displays a later Templar logo, that looks similar to a corporate logo, with the letters IHSV written on it. Interpretation: The first half of this puzzle reinforces what Puzzle 3: Descendents showed, which is that Houdini and Gandhi were in possession of Apples and that the Templar engineered their deaths, likely to take the Apples. The second part indicates that the Templar were behind the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It also sounds like JFK was in possession of Piece of Eden 3 at the time of the assassination. Lee Harvey Oswald and an unnamed "Z" sound both to be Templar operatives, and were both gunmen present at the scene. The grassy knoll, famous for having somehow been involved, seems merely to be a red herring created by generating hallucinations with Piece of Eden 1. It also sounds as if, by the end of the assassination, the Templar would be in control of Pieces of Eden 1-3. One of the only relevant Z individuals tied to the assassination is Abraham Zapruder, the famed individual who filmed the assassination. (Pointed out by Gamefaqs user Failbaddon) The wording of the second sentence of the letter could mean two things. It says "We've trained him with PE2". This could mean either than they have trained him in the use of Piece of Eden 2, or that they have used Piece of Eden 2 to "train" him to be effective and/or obedient. The latter would indicate a new possibility; that the Templar can use a Piece of Eden to not just make an obedient, mindless follower (think of the Masyaf populace at the end of Assassin's Creed 1), but a functional, talented operative who will mindlessly follow instructions. The logo at the end, with the letters IHSV likely stands for "In Hoc Signa, Vinces." This is Latin for By This Sign, Conquer, and the original Latin phrase was a Templar motto. ----------------------------------- Puzzle #10: Apollo ----------------------------------- An image of the moon appears in this Where's Waldo scanner puzzle. It is labeled "FIND THE EAGLE". A hidden code is on the moon in the Masonic script from Puzzle 3: Descendents. It says: JOHNSON WAS ONE OF THEM THE BEES DRONE TOO FOLLOW THE MONEY The scanner detects the Apollo landing craft, which then zooms in and begins a spinning puzzle. Below the puzzle, a quote is written: With these formidable weapons, the adversaries of freedom plan to consolidate their territory, the exploit, to control, and finally to destroy. - JFK After solving puzzle, a photo appears: Apollo 11 photograph released to the public. Scanning it reveals the image in negative, and the message at the top says, when scanned "Original Unreleased Negative" Scanning the American flag reveals the Abstergo logo. Scanning the banner on the moon reveals a Templar standard banner. Finally, scanning the ground in front of the astronaut reveals a Piece of Eden. When scanned, it is IDed as "Piece of Eden 5, Apple". Subject 16 comments "With Jack deep underground, it was easy." Interpretation: This one indicates that, for some reason, a Piece of Eden was on the moon, and the mission to the moon was created to get it. JFK had been a serious proponent for going to the moon, however, this decision was based upon the recommendation of his Vice President, Lyndon B. Johnson. Johnson would become president after JFK's assassination, and the moon landing occurred soon after the end of his tenure as president. The hidden message, along with two other cryptic lines, indicates that President Johnson was a Templar. Subject 16's comment indicates that JFK was not a Templar, or might have even been opposed to them. With him out of the way, and Johnson in power, they engineered the retrieval of Piece of Eden 5 without opposition. The images revealed by the scanner show that the entire mission wasn't even a hidden Templar mission under the guise of an American mission. It WAS a Templar mission, and the photos were doctored later to make it look like an American mission. It is interesting to note that there is conspiracy theory accusing the Freemasons of faking the moon landing. Given the information revealed in Puzzle 3: Descendents, the theory is only half true. It is clear that they were involved, but rather than fake the moon landing, they just concealed its true purpose. One interesting suggestion made to me by contributor Tyler Martin was that "the bees drone" might refer to the name of Apollo astronaut "Buzz" Aldrin. While a subtle and debatable reference, the possibility that "the droning noise of a bee" or a "buzz" is a play on words indicating the astronaut on the moon. However, what of Armstrong? Was he also a Templar, or was the entire secret meaning of the mission hidden from him. If so, how was that possible? It is important to point out, however, the "the bees drone" might not refer to the sound, but a drone bee, though this indicates little as to the meaning of the sentence. ----------------------------------- Puzzle #11: The Inventor ----------------------------------- A letter appears instantly upon starting this puzzle. =================================== The economic transmission of power without wires is of all-surpassing importance to man. By its mean he will gain complete mastery of the air, the sea and the desert. It will enable him to dispense with the necessity of mining, pumping, transporting and burning fuel and so do away with innumerable causes of sinful waste. It will make the living glorious sun his obedient, toiling slave. It will bring peace and harmony on Earth. - Nikola Tesla =================================== After a small pointer game, an image appears: Nikola Tesla's Wardenclyffe Tower, Under Construction. c. 1902 A number of quotes are hidden throughout the picture: "Fights between individuals, as well as governments and nations, invariably result from misunderstandings in the broadest interpretation of this term. - Nikola Tesla" "Money does not represent such a value as men have placed upon it. All my money has been invested into experiments with which I have made new discoveries enabling mankind to have a little easier life. - Nikola Tesla" "Misunderstanding are always cause by the inability of appreciating one another's point of view. The best way to dispel ignorance of the doings of others is by a systematic spread of general knowledge. With this object in view, it is most important to aid exchange of thoughts intercourse." - Nikola Tesla Scanning one of the upper windows leads to the next picture, one of arcing lightning coursing through a room. The image is labeled Nikola Tesla, c. 1900 A hidden image appears in the lightning. When deciphered, it says "HE USED IT TO DEVELOP A BOTTOMLESS SOURCE OF ENERGY TELEFUNKEN WIRELESS STATION". Scanning Nikola Tesla's lap reveals an artifact, IDed as "Piece of Eden 4, Apple". Subject 16 says "He found it in Croatia. They would find it in his lab." Interpretation: This one introduces a string of puzzles concerning Nikola Tesla. The first two thirds of the puzzle demonstrate that Nikola Tesla greatly valued technology and its advances, especially those of energy transmission and the sharing of information for the purposes of education. His philosophy on life seems to be that lack of communication, understanding, or knowledge seems to be at the core of all major disputes, and that one can reduce the risk of these disputes by improving these things. The second image shows Nikola Tesla in a room with arcing electricity. In his lap is an Apple, Piece of Eden 4. Subject 16 says he found it in Croatia, where Tesla was born. The hidden message indicates he used the inherent knowledge in the Apple to develop limitless energy, or the Apple itself provided the energy. It also references Telefunken Wireless Station, the first trans-Atlantic wireless station, which Tesla helped create. Subject 16s comment that "They would find it in his lab" foreshadows what would be revealed in the later puzzles, that the Templar took the Apple from him. ----------------------------------- Puzzle #12: Titans of Industry ----------------------------------- A file called Edison appears. Opening it reveals a letter: =================================== Dear Mr. Morgan: A serious matter has come to my attention. Nikola Tesla plans to use PE4 to create an information network across the entire world. And if that weren't bad enough, he intends to allow access to it for free! Imagine the masses spreading knowledge amongst themselves instantaneously. That would make everything we intend to do much more difficult. You must cut all funds for his experiments at once! In case you get cold feet, I'll have you know he wants to make electricity free as well, thereby putting us out of business. I've already begun slandering Tesla in the press. Just reallocate his funding, and I'll take care of PE4 myself. Sincerely yours, Thomas A. Edison =================================== A point and click game occurs, and as you complete it, it shows various actions Edison took to slander Tesla, culminating in a real video of an elephant being electrocuted to show that Tesla's energy was dangerous. An image of Edison holding a glowing light appears. Subject 16 says "He wanted everyone to know the secret. To set us all free. They used it to drive him insane." A hidden string of Morse code in the picture says "THEY USED IT TO MAKE TESLA GO INSANE THE ORGANIZATION TOOK HIS RESEARCH ALIEN PROPERTY CUSTODIAN OFFICE". Scanning the glowing orb reveals a file labeled Ford. Opening it reveals a letter: =================================== Dear Mr. Edison, I wanted to thank you for letting me make use of PE4 all these years. Among several things, I was able to convince the workers I was raising their pay to $5 a day, when in fact, I gave them a pay cut. But, I had to let PE4 go. As per instructions, I've shipped it to Europe. H. has it, so I assume the war will begin as soon as he can take over. We'll let him have his fun (Lord knows, that kind of purge will be good for Europe) and then end it with a bang, as planned. Out of the chaos of war a new order will emerge! I've enclosed a picture from Florida of you, me and Firestone. We should attempt to spend more time on the golf course this summer. Yours, Henry Ford =================================== Interpretation: At this point, it becomes clear that the slander of Tesla by Edison fueled by a Templar initiative, of which J.P. Morgan, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford are all members of. In addition to their regular drive to attain any Pieces of Eden they can get their hands on, Tesla represents a triple- pronged assault on their belief of what the world should be like. He intends to allow limitless and instantaneous transmission of information, he intends to offer it for free, and he intends to make electricity free as well, thereby undercutting the Templar's control of information and one of their sources of income. They instituted a dual assault on Tesla; Morgan cutting off his finances and urging other investors to avoid Tesla, and Edison publicly ruining Tesla's image. Without money and without people backing him, his finances fell apart. Further troubling this was that he had a number of mental issues including depression and eccentric behavior. The puzzle implies that this was a third method of reducing the threat of Tesla, by using the Piece of Eden to unsettle his mind. The second letter reveals an even more catastrophic turn of events. Henry Ford used the Piece of Eden 4 to manipulate his employees into happily accepting pay cuts. After he was done with it, he sent it to Europe to H. (Definitely revealed to be Hitler in Puzzle 17: The Bunker), knowing full well that Hitler intended to begin a purge and takeover of Europe. This means not only that Hitler was a Templar, but that the Templar order supported World War II's existence, and engineered the entire thing. The Piece of Eden, as often used in other situations, would be used to manipulate people, allowing his takeover of Germany and the creation of his army. The icing on the cake is that in the same paragraph as talking about deliberately causing the largest loss of human life in the world's history, they talk about playing golf. This provides very good insight into how far the Templar are willing to go to accomplish their means, and how little they care for the loss of life in the process. ----------------------------------- Puzzle #13: I am become death, the destroy of worlds. ----------------------------------- A file labeled Trinity appears, unlocking it reveals the following letter: =================================== Abstergo Corporation Subject: Test Authorization There comes a time in the life of every experiment when we must test our results outside, in the world. I do not relish a successful outcome, but one is essential if we are to begin the foundations of a new world order. Global security and prosperity depend on a steady hand guiding the populace, a hand that will not falter under the weight of conscience. Give O. the authorization. I believe that history will vindicate us in the end. Signed with the Templar logo. =================================== Pressing a button after the letter shows an atomic bomb go off. Interpretation: This one is not particularly full of hidden meaning, however, it shows very soundly that the Templar were responsible for the development of the atomic bomb. It may be likely that O (Oppenheimer, the most significant creator of the atomic bomb) is a Templar, or at least a pawn of the Templar. ----------------------------------- Puzzle #14: Bloodlines ----------------------------------- A matching image puzzle appears, with the following clue: The Seeds Were Planted As Two Worlds Became One. Behold, the Assassins, the Children of Two Worlds! Danae Visited By Zeus Jupiter and Io Leda and the Swan Cupid and Psyche Rape of Europa Upon selecting these five, depicting a human and a god mating, an Assassin Symbol is shown. Interpretation: A very brief puzzle, but exceptionally full of hidden clues. In Assassin's Creed 1, the implication was made that Eagle Vision was merely a talent, taught by the Assassin Order. However, it is clear further in history, that this is a gift that only a few possess. The only individuals we know of who possess it are Desmond, Ezio, and Altair, and they share a common bloodline. Altair and Ezio are also far more skilled than other assassins in their respective era, putting some level of significance in them that cannot just be coincidence. This puzzle indicates that Assassins are, if possible, some sort of cross- breed between the Ones Who Came Before and humans. This grants them a few advanced abilities, but not the longevity or other unknown powers possessed by the Ones Who Came Before. It is also possible that this is what grants Altair his immunity to the mind control of the Piece of Eden. While purely physical effects such as immobilization or temporary duplication still come into effect, the neural pathways transmitting the mind control neurotransmitter are not present. Perhaps it is possible that they are just less effective, as Altair still was susceptible to illusions, and it took him decades to try and destroy the Piece of Eden (inability to destroy the controlling Piece of Eden would be an intelligent inclusion when controlling hordes of enslaved humans). Either way, this puts a whole new spin on the many myths mentioned earlier in the puzzles concerning half-god individuals. ----------------------------------- Puzzle #15: Guardians ----------------------------------- The Death Of All Tyrants Will Set The People Free (Shows Assassin Symbol) Image of the world shows the following names: Joseph Stalin Rasputin Mary I of England Tomas De Torquemada Cleopatra Francois Duvalier Francisco Pizarro John Wilkes Booth Many of these individuals were cruel leaders in their respective countries. Some of them merely commit gross atrocities, including genocide or persecution. Cleopatra herself was one of the targets of one of the six Assassins in the Assassin's tomb, Iltani. Interestingly, one individual does not fit with the rest. John Wilkes Booth, while certainly responsible for what many would consider an "atrocious" act in assassinating Abraham Lincoln, was the only of these individuals who does not fit the description of tyrant. Despite being a popular actor, Wilkes Booth was effectively little more than an opponent of a political change with no financial backing, and little more than a few accomplices for support. In other words, aside from one act, he did not have a reputation, and no history book would ever describe him as a tyrant, or even a shadow ruler (like Rasputin may have been). ----------------------------------- Puzzle #16: The Cavalry ----------------------------------- The puzzle begins with a letter: ==================== Nikola, We know what they have done to your lab, to your career. It may be too late to set things right, but you can help prevent something far worse. They have taken an object from the Czar, and are conducting experiments in Tunguska to figure out how to use it. Before they do, we must take it from them, or the world will be in danger. We do not ask you to risk your life, just that, when the time comes, you use your electricity to destroy the object. Regardless of your decision, know that we admire your work greatly and will bear you no ill will. We respect your freedom above all else. ===================== A map appears. When you put the Assassin symbol over the word Tunguska, a picture of the Staff over the Abstergo logo appears. When touched with the logo and a picture, it shows an immense explosion. Interpretation: Whether Tesla and the Assassins were involved with each other regularly cannot be seen, but at the very least, they contacted him and asked him to help them in their endeavor against the Templar. The letter echoes that expressed in Puzzle 8: Martyrs, that the Staff, Piece of Eden 34, ended up in Tunguska under the control of the Templar. It is worth noting that the Assassins show a great deal of respect for Tesla, and even more respect for his right not to help them, if he were to choose not to. However, the Tunguska event did happen. For those not familiar with this event, it was a phenomenal explosion that occurred in northern Russia in 1908. It was far larger than the explosions caused by the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in World War II, however, it was non-nuclear, and did not cause radioactive fallout. It was also in such a secluded area that no one is known to have been killed by it, but it was seen by many, for thousands of miles around. It is unknown how it was caused, and many theories have arisen. One of the less commonly believed theories is that Nikola Tesla test-fired a weapon he had been developing, and that it caused Tunguska. Nikola Tesla had spent many years developing wireless energy, and theorized that by the same means wireless energy could be accomplished, the same energy could be used as a long range weapon, theoretically striking anywhere on Earth. He supposedly test-fired the weapon at the same time as the Tunguska event, but because the event was kept under wraps by the Russian government, little information got out for several years, and the test-firing was a "failure". This letter would imply it was not a failure at all, or a test-fire. That the Assassins asked him to use "his electricity", it is even more evident that this is the case. Theoretically, if the explosion was successful, the Staff should be destroyed. It is not shown in the ownership of any individuals after this point in time, nor does Abstergo reference its existence post 1908. However, in Assassin's Creed 1, an email did say that the destruction of an artifact by an Assassin agent cause the Tunguska event, and that a survivor was being sought so that they could use the Animus to examine the situation. ----------------------------------- Puzzle #17: The Bunker ----------------------------------- A file labeled WWII appears. When opened, a letter appears. =================================== Abstergo Corporation, May 02, 1945 The war is over, and we are in control, as planned. But a slight concern has arisen. I received word from our agents in Berlin. H. was supposed to execute his double inside the bunker and meet C. at the rendezvous point with the Piece of Eden. It's been three days and he still hasn't appeared. Something must have gone awry. Please send instructions. =================================== An image of Hitler's bunker appears. A message above it says: "We watched the exit from above. He didn't see us coming." Subject 16 angrily comments on the picture "They engineered the war, they engineered the peace. But they weren't going to get away with it. Find our mark." A hidden message exists in the picture that says: The Double Was Killed In the Bunker A hidden Assassin's logo is on the building. The building is later showed destroyed, the same logo still visible. Interpretation: This puzzle indicates that the Templar succeeded in their goal of gaining control over more of the world than prior to the war. As Subject 16 says, they started the war, and they ended it. The sole purpose of the war was to shift the power, and allow them to gain a better foothold in the world's governments. It had nothing to do with any of the other factors of the war. However, the Assassins seem to resurface once again in an attempt to hinder them. Hitler has not appeared to me with C (possibly Churchill), and this is of some concern to the Templar, as he also had Piece of Eden 4. Based on the letter, the label on the picture, and the hidden message, two possibilities occur. Scenario A) The double was killed in the bunker, Hitler left the bunker, and was killed from above by the Assassins. The Assassins claimed Piece of Eden 4. Scenario B) The double was killed in the bunker by the Assassins mistaking him for Hitler, striking from above as he left the door. Somehow, they did not realize that had Hitler escaped. However, if he does not return to the Templar, this means he likely went rogue, possibly with Piece of Eden 4 in tow. In Scenario A, the Assassins now have two successful victories against the Templar; The destruction of the Staff at Tunguska, and the killing of a high ranking Templar official and procuring Piece of Eden 4, putting the Templar down 2 Pieces of Eden. Either way, despite their success with the war, the Templar did not come out unscathed, as either way, they are missing an Apple. ----------------------------------- Puzzle #18: Synapses ----------------------------------- A Medical file appears, with the following letter inside: =================================== Biological Frontier Issue 1, January 2012 The scientific community is abuzz as the results of a new neurological study were made public today. What seemed to be big news in itself - that Dr. Yije We and Dr. P. J. Traunero had discovered a new neurotransmitter - turned out to be just the tip of the iceberg. To quote Dr. Wu "Using a prototype Dmri machine, we've been able to examine the contents of an actual neuron using living tissue. We've found a substance that appears to be an undiscovered neurotransmitter." "Here's where it gets crazy. To test our findings, we subjected the neuron to all kinds of stimuli, but we couldn't get it to release the transmitter. So, we've discovered an entire mechanism: there are vesicles filled with neurotransmitter lying dormant and corresponding ion channels, all for no discernable purpose." Expressing bafflement that natural selection would create an unnecessary neurotransmitter, Wu and Traunero searched for a predecessor in other species, with no luck. "Whatever this bugger is used for, it evolved in humans." Traunero told the press. =================================== A minigame has you highlight neuron synapses (the space between one neuron and another, where information is relayed) with an icon. Upon highlighting the last, the icon turns into a PoE apple. Interpretation: Knowing what we would know from beating the game (That the Ones Who Came Before created humans, and that we were created to be obedient), this puzzle reveals information that is not particularly surprising. The Pieces of Eden function within the laws of logic, physics, and reality. Their function of mind control merely works on a level that only modern technology can comprehend: Humans, engineered down to every detail by the Ones Who Came Before, were designed with a genetic control collar. An otherwise inactive neural pathway is designed to respond ONLY to a signal emitted by the Pieces of Eden. The Pieces of Eden use this neural pathway to control, manipulate, or cause hallucinations in humans. This, of course, cannot be resisted, because it is a physical manipulation of the function of the brain. However, Al Mualim of Assassin's Creed 1 expresses interest in how Altair resists the Apple's influence. This may be due to a few possibilities. (See Speculation). ----------------------------------- Puzzle #19: The Fourth Day ----------------------------------- At the beginning of this puzzle, Subject 16 says "The End. Almost the End. It happened before. The pieces were once part of a whole." Once worshipped, now ignored, from a distance it watched and waits. Nazca Textile Book of the Dead (portraying Ra) Sistine Chapel Fresco Aztec Calender Stone The Eastern Gate Five images are amongst the ten, each of which depict an image of the sun. Matching them reveals an image of the sun. An extremely small dot against the sun is revealed by the scanner to be the Earth. Four messages are displayed against the sun: 1. They died in the fire from the heavens. 2. Toba, 75ka was not a volcano 3. Near the day of purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky. - Hopi 4. A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky, which could burn the land and boil the oceans. - Hopi Interpretation: If the explanation of Minerva and Lucy at the end of the game weren't enough to indicate that the sun was the culprit behind the first "end of the world", then this one is. Subject 16 starts by saying the end had nearly happened before. Afterwards, he says that the pieces were part of a whole. This may indicate that the Pieces of Eden are paramount to preventing or alleviating the catastrophe should it occur a second time. The portion about the sun being worshipped as a God is interesting. It is personified, given traits such as being able to watch and wait. However, it is unlikely that the sun itself is sentient in this manner, although it was indeed worshipped as a God by many cultures, several of which are displayed amongst the five pictures. Most important is the inclusion of the word "waits", indicating that something will happen in the future with the sun. The part where it shows how small the Earth is compared to the sun is important, demonstrating how miniscule the Earth really is. If something extreme were to happen with the sun, it would not be at all unreasonable to think it could utterly devastate Earth. The four messages on the sun contain cryptic information. Two of them are quotes from a Hopi prophecy, describing catastrophic events involving the sky, and what sounds like smoke/clouds/ash. One of them, "They died in the fire from the heavens" seems to resonate with what we know of the Ones Who Came Before. The fourth has, potentially, the most hidden meaning. Toba, 75ka stands for a gigantic eruption that occurred 75,000 years ago. This eruption has been detected by examining the layers of dirt under the earth. At this time, there is a thick layer of ash, found in many parts of the world, with a layer 15 centimeters thick covering the entirety of India. All evidence indicates that it was what is called a "mega-colossal" volcanic eruption. The passage in this puzzle indicates otherwise. ----------------------------------- Puzzle #20: The Origin of the Species ----------------------------------- An image of God holding a sphere appears, labeled "It Has Been Hidden, Altered." Open Your Eyes. In the image, Jesus wields a sword and wears a red cloak, which glow under the scan. A staff leans against a sheep, which also glows. As does a sphere that is in God's hand. When scanning the eye above, Leonardo's Virtruvian Man appears. This ends the image. A file called Missing Link appears. The following letter is inside: =================================== Abstergo Corporation January 3, 1997 I'm writing in response to your concerns about the rising alarm in the press and the scientific community. The lack of a transitional ancestor from archaic hominids to modern mankind (Homo Sapiens) is no longer safe. As you wrote, we have to act. We can't let the truth get out, they'll find out about the artifacts. It will cause too much disruption, too much chaos. Bury our constructed skeletons near Tim White's expedition in Ethiopia. We'll give them their missing link. The birth of humanity. The truth makes me sick. Signed with the Templar logo. =================================== A cursor with the Apple allows you to shift an ape skeleton into a human skeleton. Interpretation: This letter seems to confirm that what Minerva said is true; humans were created. However, it seems as if we were not created from scratch, rather, we went through vastly accelerated evolution at the hands of the Ones Who Came Before, possibly, with the use of an Apple Piece of Eden. An interesting note is that the image you have to find to progress is that of Leonardo Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man sketch. The concept behind this image is that the proportions of the human body are very structured and organized, that the length of X body part will be equal to Y body part. In other words, the human body seems designed by an intelligent mind with a respect for symmetry and mathematics. This letter also shows that the Templar, at least the ones in the present, are not entirely unaware of what has happened in the past, and the reality of the Ones Who Came Before and our origins. To keep this truth (and the artifacts) safe from prying eyes, they created fake skeletons and planted them, leading to a scientific discovery of "proof" of human evolution from apes. The same knowledge seems, at least, to disgust the Templar writing the letter. ----------------------------------- The Truth (video): ----------------------------------- The video, as important as it is, is relatively brief in its scope, but its implications are tremendous. A brief summary is in order: Two humans, one male and one female, garbed in suits that are shiny, skintight, flesh colored and adorned with a few markings, run quickly through a smooth stone structure, surrounded by trees and foliage. They run to a door, which slides open of its own volition. The interior is full of metal scaffolding, and the two make a variety of extremely agile and acrobatic maneuvers to climb to the top. The male bashes out a thick window with an elbow. The climb up the outside of the building, stopping briefly to look inside: there are workers, hammering and hauling boxes, as a conveyor belt runs in the background, flames roaring behind them. Standing closest to the window is a dark figure, facing away towards the workers, holding a Piece of Eden Apple in his/her hand. Once they reach the top, the camera pans out, displaying a strangely shaped skyscraper, which they are on top of. The female turns to the male and holds out her hand: in it is a Piece of Eden Apple. She says "Adam, I have it!" The male, Adam, turns to look towards the camera, and panicked, says "Eve!" The screen fades to black, displaying a patch of binary code. Eve yells "LOOK OUT!" and the video ends. The binary says "EDEN" The video shows, that like many things in Assassin's Creed, myths are not necessarily fabricated, but merely a fragment of the truth. Adam and Eve do not seem to be the first humans, merely a pair of humans who seem to have done something very brave or very stupid: steal a powerful artifact from their creators. Those Who Came Before seemed to have ingrained in humans a neural pathway for servitude in the presence of Pieces of Eden. How these two resisted could be a few things. First, it could be that once they had the Piece of Eden, they were not susceptible to its suppression. Second, based on the agile movements and jumps, similar to Altair and Ezio's, they could be more than human; they could be Assassins . . . or at least, the genetic offshoot of half-human, half-TWCB (Those Who Came Before). This may have granted them sufficient resistance to steal the artifact and escape, although it seems that they are not out of trouble yet, given their speech at the end. ******************************* IV. Codex Script and Interpretation - Incomplete The following are the text scripts of the 30 codex pages in the game. Cryptic clues left by Altair hint at his actions after the first game, and some tie in strongly with the implications of the puzzles and the plot. Some of them are merely pictures, so I have attempted to briefly describe the pictures in text, but that is all I can do for them. ----------------------------------- Page 1 ----------------------------------- I have spent days with the artifact now. Or has it been weeks? Months? I can no longer be certain . . . The others come from time to time - offering food or distraction. They say I should separate myself from these studies . . . Malik has even suggested I abandon them entirely. But I am not yet ready to turn away. This Apple of Eden will be understood. It must be . . . Is it a weapon? Is it a catalogue? Is it somehow both? "He who increaseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow . . ." The philosophy of such a statement I can understand . . . But for it to be true - literally true? A society that waged wars with ideas and information in place of steel and swords . . . Its function is simple. Elementary, even. Dominion. Control. But the process . . . the methods and means it employs . . . THESE are fascinating. Those subjected to its glow are promised all that they desire. It asks only one thing in return: complete and total obedience. And who can truly refuse? It is temptation incarnate. I remember my own moment of weakness when confronted by Al Mualim, my confidence shaken by his words. He, who had been like a father, was revealed to be my greatest enemy. Just the briefest flicker of doubt was all he needed to creep into my mind. But I vanquished his phantoms - restored my self confidence - and sent him from this world. I freed myself. But now I wonder . . . Did I really? For here I sit - desperate to understand that which I swore to destroy. This is why: The Apple has a tale to tell. I sense the flickers of something - great and dangerous . . . We are all at risk. It is my duty to do something about it. I must not - cannot - turn away until I've found the truth. Interpretation: If one thinks of this in a direct timeline including the end of Assassin's Creed 1, Altair's treatment of the the Apple reminds me of one thing: the corrupting influence of The One Ring of Lord of the Rings. Not implying there is a connection, but it seems a good template to understand the Apple by. Altair, having sword to destroy the Apple, finds himself confronted by it and unable to carry out its destruction, seemingly to his own horror, as if it literally had some sort of influence upon him. Immediately after, Altair enters into a period of intense study, uninterrupted by food or anything else, pouring his life into understanding the Apple and its method of function. Altair himself muses upon how he seems unable to resist the temptation of that which he sought to destroy. The influence the Apple may have upon its users may very well be similar to what The One Ring had upon its users, and this gives strong insight to what "possessing" an Piece of Eden is like. While we know from Puzzle 18 that the Piece of Eden functionally controls humans through a specialized neural pathway, there was no discussion of the experience of the victim. If Altair's words are to be taken at face value, the Piece of Eden functions, emotionally, in this manner: The target becomes convinced that by giving in to the Piece of Eden, all of their desires and wishes would come true, as long as they are completely subservient to the Piece of Eden. Of course, none of these desires and wishes will ever come to fruition through this, but the Piece of Eden can convince them of such. It is possible that, aside from rare flukes such as Altair and Ezio, "resisting" a Piece of Eden is impossible. There is willpower and there is strength of mind, but neurotransmitters and neurons are the bread and butter of brain function. There is only so much that can be done to resist if one's own brain betrays you. ----------------------------------- Page 2 ----------------------------------- The second page is an image of Templars and Assassins on a battlefield. It is difficult to tell by the image, but the Assassins seem to be either in combat or dead. Interpretation: I can see little significance in this image, aside from Altair merely depicting recent events on paper. ----------------------------------- Page 3 ----------------------------------- The third page is an image showing the construction blueprints for a hidden blade. Interpretation: Of course, blueprints are certainly something worth recording, but I can find no hidden meaning in this picture. ----------------------------------- Page 4 ----------------------------------- What follows are the three great ironies of the Assassin Order: (1) Here we seek to promote peace, but murder is our means. (2) Here we seek to open the minds of men, but require obedience to a master and a set of rules. (3) Here we seek to reveal the danger of blind faith, yet we are practitioners ourselves. I have no satisfactory answer to these charges, only possibilities . . . Do we bend the rules in service to a greater good? And if we do, what does it say of us? That we are liars? That we are frauds? That we are weak? Every moment is spent wrestling with these contradictions and in spite of all the years I've had to reflect, still I can find no suitable answer . . . And I fear that one may not exist. Nothing is true. Everything is permitted. Does out creed provide the answer, then? That one may be two things - opposite in every way - simultaneously? And why not? Am I not proof? We of noble intentions, possessed of barbaric means? We who celebrate the sanctity of life and then promptly take it from those we deem our enemies? Interpretation: It is at this point that Altair realizes that flaws and sacrifices that must be made in the existance of the Assassin order. At the end of the entry, he can provide no satisfactory explanation, but based on his later entries, I believe he makes an effort to address some of them, as he reduces certain traditions and rules that serve little logical purpose, freeing the Assassins from some of the oppressing set in place by Al Mualim. ----------------------------------- Page 5 ----------------------------------- Who were The Ones That Came Before? What brought them here? How long ago? Centuries? Millenia? Longer still? So little remains of them . . . What drove them out? What of these artifacts? Messages in a bottle? Tools left behind to aid and guide us? Or do we fight for control over their refuse, giving divine purpose and meaning to little more than discarded toys? Interpretation: At this point in the game, The Ones That Came Before are still unknown to us. It seems at this point that Altair knows no more about them than we (the players) do. He suggests several valid points, however. The idea of the Artifacts as a symbol of their intention (not to mention the stored knowledge) may very well be a message for humanity. Tools left over to aid and guide us follows a similar reasonability, as Those Who Came Before did seem willing to allow us to inherit their legacy. Yet at the same time, his final theory carries significance as well; as powerful as the Pieces of Eden are, they may have been of somewhat everyday use for Those Who Came Before, rather than objects of power. ----------------------------------- Page 6 ----------------------------------- Robert de Sable may be dead, but his brotherhood survives. Though less conspicuous in appearance, I fear they remain a threat. Where once they proudly walked the streets - making for easier targets - now they retreat into the shadows. It grows difficult to track them. What wicked things will they weave in the darkness? Our work will be all the more complicated for it. Already there are rumors of a movement on Cyprus. I will have to investigate. It's made me realize that our tactics, too, must change. It means an end to our fortresses. To our penchant for spectacular displays of public assassinations. We must weave our webs quietly. And we must do so differently than we have in the past. Though I ask my brothers now to abandon their rituals, I do not ask that they abandon the creed. THIS is what makes us assassins. Not the removal of a finger. Not a false promise of paradise. Not the prohibition of poison. Our duty is to the people, not to custom. If we must sneak, we shall sneak. If we must use poison, we shall use poison. If our blades can be used without removing fingers, we shall not demand they be taken. And we shall not manipulate our initiates with lies and parlor tricks. We shall speak plainly and honestly. We shall be made anew. Interpretation: Altair realizes now that the Templar were unable to compete with the Assassins in face to face combat, forcing the Templar to break with tradition and go underground. Altair, a man who now follows logic rather than arrogant pride (as he did at the beginning of Assassin's Creed 1) recognizes that the only way to combat this is to follow suit. To this end, he changes the behaviors of the Assassins, but also realizes that it is the Creed that binds them, not the customs. He then lists a number of rituals of the Assassins, and gives insight into a few aspects of the Assassin order not mentioned in the game. The Assassins are based upon the real world counterpart, the Hashshashin, an organization in many ways similar to the Assassins. Rumors were just as common as the facts, but one aspect of their society concerned their initiation. While highly speculative and based in myth, it is worth mentioning. According to the rumors, the Hashshashin, when recruiting, would drug their initiates in a way that would cause them to think they were dying. Upon awakening, they would find themselves in a beautiful garden in the Hashshashin fortress, still drugged and delirious, but fed delicious food and wine by beautiful women (virgins, apparently, and you know how our earlier civilizations were about virgins). Convinced by the people there that this was, in fact, heaven, they would come to enjoy their new found paradise (keep in mind, this garden was a bit out of the ordinary, as this was the in the desert.) While in this state, the leader, Hassan-i Sabbah (a real life counterpart of Al Mualim) would convince the initiate that he was God or a representative of God, and that the new assassin needed to follow his every command, so that they could return and live in paradise forever in this mock up of heaven. This would add a religious slant to the mission of the assassins, increasing their devotion and zealousness to the cause. This was not spelled out in the original Assassin's Creed. However, in the back of Masayf, there was a large garden, more lush than any other in the Assassin's Creed 1 world, filled with somewhat scantily clad dancing women. This seems to fit the bill here. Now, consider Altair's two lines: "Not a false promise of paradise." as well as "And we shall not manipulate our initiates with lies and parlor tricks." Altair seems to acknowledge these real world rumors as being true in the in game Assassin order, and simultaneously dismisses them as unnecessary and deceptive, showing Altair's leadership style to be very different from Al Mualim (Al Mualim, a Templar at heart, kept with him his beliefs in controlling his people through deception and lies). This gives more insight into the real world and in game Assassin's Orders. ----------------------------------- Page 7 ----------------------------------- I had thought Adha would be the one to lead me to rest, that I might lay down my blade and live as a normal man. But now I know such dreams are best left to sleep . . . Her face. I try to banish it from my mind as I remember the days and nights during which I chased her Templar captors across the sea. I almost got to them in time. Almost. If I had only been faster. Instead, I held her lifeless body in my arms - saw the terror reflected in her fixed, unblinking eyes . . . I hunted each man - one by one - until all responsible were gone from this world. But there was no joy in this. No satisfaction or release. Their deaths did not bring her back. Did not heal my wounds. After that, I was certain I would never again feel for a woman as I had for her. I am fortunate to have been wrong. Interpretation: This gives us insight into the ultimate fate of Adha. Adha is an individual many Assassin's Creed players may not know. She was mentioned one time, and only once, in Assassin's Creed 1 by an informant who knew Altair well, saying something along the lines of "Have you heard word of Adha? No, well, I'm sure you will find her one day". Adha was revealed in the Nintendo DS version of Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicles to be a human with powers similar in some ways to the Pieces of Eden. While not explicitly said, it may even be possible she was somehow a human embodiment of one. While Altair's original mission was to retrieve this artifact, known to him initially as "The Chalice", he realized it was a person and actually fell for her. At the end of the game, the Templar escaped with her, and he swore to track her down, and we never found out what happened. Well, now we know it did not quite end well. Altair, an otherwise emotionless and cold man, seems to be quite traumatized by the loss of this woman, and it opens up more ability to sympathize with him emotionally. ----------------------------------- Page 8 ----------------------------------- Why do our instincts insist on violence? I have studied the interactions between different species. The innate desire to survive seems to demand the death of the other. Why can they not stand hand in hand? So many believe the world was created by the hand of a divine power - but I only see the designs of a madman, bent on celebrating destruction and desperation. Our origins seem chaotic. Unintended. Purpose and being instilled solely by the passage of time. Imposed first by nature - and later men . . . Interpretation: Altair thinks philosophically on the nature of violence and the violence of nature (I didn't even do that intentionally). While what he says is not particularly relevant, it does tie into one fact; Minerva states that humans, built in the image of Those Who Came Before, shared at least one major trait with their masters: A desire for war. While it is a bit of circular reasoning, the answer to Altair's question is thus: Our instincts for violence exist because we were created in the image of a species with the same instinct for violence. We were designed that way. Altair then dismisses such designed as insane, but it is worth noting that following the apocalypse, Minerva stated that the two races were able to put aside their differences and work together in peace. So while Altair is correct, that humanity's creators were no more enlightened than humanity in this regard, both species were able to rise above it in a time of need. I am sure this would have been of some comfort to him. ----------------------------------- Page 9 ----------------------------------- Over time, and sentence uttered long and loud enough becomes fixed. Becomes a truth. Provided, of course, you can outlast the dissent and silence your opponents. But should you succeed - and remove all challengers - then what remains is, by default, now true. Is it truth in some objective sense? No. But how does one ever achieve an objective point of view? The answer is you don't. It is literally, physically impossible. There are too many variables. Too many fields and formulae to consider. We can try, of course. We can inch closer and closer to a revelation. But we'll never reach it. Not ever . . . And so I have realized, that so long as The Templar exist, they will attempt to bend reality to their will. They recognize there is no such thing as an absolutely truth - or if there is - we are hopelessly underequipped to recognize it. And so in its place, they seek to create their own explanation. It is the guiding principle of their so-named "New World Order"; To reshape existence in their own image. It is not about artifacts. Not about men. These are merely tools. It's about concepts. Clever of them. For how does one wage war against a concept? It is the perfect weapon. It lacks a physical form yet can alter the world around us in numerous, often violent ways. You cannot kill a creed. Even if you kill all of its adherents, destroy all of its writings - these are a reprieve at best. Some one, some day, will rediscover it. Reinvent it. I believe that even we, the Assassins, have simple re-discovered an Order that predates the Old Man himself . . . Interpretation: Altair's description of concepts, objectivity, truth and the like is very interesting to be sure, but potentially the most important sentence in this entry his is suggestion that the Assassin Order itself is an idea that has existed long before Al Mualim founded it. Given the presence of Assassins in the Assassin Sanctuary from before Altair's time, this is likely, even more likely in consideration of the fact that the Assassin Order may have drawn its origins from the Assassin Bloodline (See Speculation on Assassins for more) ----------------------------------- Page 10 ----------------------------------- The tenth page is an image of a man in priestly clothing, with a glowing halo, preaching and reaching out to the masses. Above, three images exist; on the left, an apple (the fruit) and on the right, a mechanical device. In between them is an apple (the fruit) with the mechanical lines overlaying it, symbolizing the Apple (the Piece of Eden) Interpretation: This image seems to depict the control granted to a human by a Piece of Eden, with an interesting artistic depiction of the Piece of Eden as a combination of fruit and machine (though the true Piece of Eden Apple is nothing like a fruit). However, given the presence of actual Golden Apples of Power in mythology, this implies the connection may be more literal. ----------------------------------- Page 11 ----------------------------------- Attis. Dionysus. Horus. Krishna. Mithra. Jesus. Simlilar stories color their lives. Too similar, I think. Divine birthright. Persecution. Disciples. Miraculous acts. Resurrection . . . How is it possible? Perhaps it isn't . . . merely a single story told over the ages? Borrowed then changed to fit the times? Evolving as our tools and language do? Is this tale borne of fact or fiction? A bit of both? Could these figures be the same person - their life extended and transformed by a Piece of Eden? Al Mualim spoke of Jesus as a real person - a mortal who had mastered the arts of manipulation. But what if he was wrong? If these men are real - and if they have walked amongst us many times before - does it means they'll come again? Perhaps they are here now? So many questions, and every day, even more . . . Interpretation: Altair discusses a myriad of possibilities regarding several ancient mythological figures. With our knowledge shown in the Puzzles, implying the presence of a Piece of Eden at play in many myths, the reality of these stores may be far more simpler than Altair can imagine (especially since it seems Jesus possessed the Shroud, Piece of Eden 66). However, in the last paragraph, Altair considers the possibility that these individuals, at some level, were still more than human. He almost seems to indicate that they may have been related to Those Who Came Before, as superhuman beings walking the Earth in the form of man. Another possibility to consider, certainly. ----------------------------------- Page 12 ----------------------------------- The twelvth page seems to be a depiction of the solar system. Interpretation: Altair draws the solar system in a fairly advanced manner, seemingly unrelated to his other pages. Is this an image granted to him by the Piece of Eden? Its certainly possible. ----------------------------------- Page 13 ----------------------------------- The Hidden Blade has been a constant companion of ours over the years. Some would even say it defines us - and they would not be entirely wrong. Many of our successes would not have been possible without it. Still, the device has begun to show its age - and so I have been researching improvements beyond ending the need to remove one's finger to weild it. The first is the addition of a metal plate that can be used to deflect incoming blows. The other Assassins believe it is forged of a new metal - and credit me with the discovery of the formulae (included on this page). It is better that they not know the truth. I have also worked with Malik to describe new methods of assassination: from on high, from ledges, and from hiding places. Basic movements, but critical nonetheless. The third and final improvement is the most simple - the provision of a second blade - identical in every way to the first. Should an Assassin ever find himself tasked with dispatching two targets, he need only time his strike in such a way that he might reach both at the same time. These blades will be limited in number since the metals with which we forge them remain difficult to obtain. I will need to think carefully about who shall be allowed to carry two . . . (This page includes an image of a dual-wielding assassin, dispatching enemies from a variety of complex directions, as well as the construction of the new blade cover) Interpretation: Altair finally seems to have taken time away from his self- absorbed research into the Piece of Eden to further the goals and technology of the Assassins, starting with enhancements to the Hidden Blade. It is revealed he has already changed the law dictating the removal of a finger for the sake of the hidden blade, so he is true to his intentions to grant greater freedom to the Assassins. It is also revealed at this time (possibly years after the original Assassin's Creed) that Malik, who once hated him, now possibly his closest confidant, is still with the order, alive and contributing. The entry also shows that he has developed enhanced technology, and is secretive about the source of the knowledge (based on his later entries, it is likely he found the knowledge by using the Piece of Eden.) ----------------------------------- Page 14 ----------------------------------- Man seeks dominion over all that he encounters. I suppose it is a natural tendency for us to aspire towards mastery of our surroundings. But this should not include other human beings. Every day more and more are pressed into service - by deception or by force. Others, though not so firmly imprisoned, are made to feel as if their lives are worthless. I have seen the ways in which men persecute women. Heard the cruel words hurled at those who come from other lands. Watched as those who believe or act differently are made to suffer . . . We discuss such things often - watching as we do from the spires of Masyaf. What can be done to stop this? To encourage tolerance and equality? Some days we speak of education, believing that knowledge will free us from immorality. But as I walk to streets and see slaves sent off to auction - my heart grows cold. When I see the husband hurl abuses and stones at his wife, insisting she exists only to serve him - my fists clench. And when I see children torn from their parents so that another man might profit - sent off to suffer beneath the desert sun and die . . . . . . On these days, I do not think that dialogue will make a difference. On these days, I can think only of how the perpetrators need to die. Interpretation: Altair examines the cruel realities of his era, specifically, the terrible treatment humans give to one another. He specifically mentions slavery, sexism, and discrimination against minorities. It is clear he wishes to help abolish such terrible behavior, but he seems unsure if it is possible. He also implies that he is tempted to ignore the path of enlightening the ignorant, almost giving into the simplicity of just murdering those who disagree with you. Whether he acted on these temptations is unknown. Given Altair's consistant morality and loyalty to freedom and knowledge, it is unlikely he gave in, but is gives another chance to see that even the good can be tempted by the same behaviors that the Templars have embraced. Why spend time and effort to show someone why they should change, when you can just remove threats to your belief system by force? Two sides of the same coin, and showing how easy it would be to just flip to the other. ----------------------------------- Page 15 ----------------------------------- The fifteenth page shows an image of an island, Cyprus. Interpretation: Cyprus is visited in Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines, and an Assassin base is established there. The Piece of Eden may have been stored there, eventually. ----------------------------------- Page 16 ----------------------------------- The Apple is more than a catalog of that which precedes us. Within its twisting, sparkling innards I've caught glimpses of what will be. Such a thing should not be possible. Perhaps it isn't. Maybe it is simple a suggestion. How to know? How to be sure? I contemplate the consequences of these visions: are they images of things to come - or simple the potential for what might be. Can we influence the outcome? Dare we try? And in so doing, do we merely ensure that which we've seen? I am torn - as always - between action and inaction - unclear as to which - if either - will make a difference. Am I even meant to make a difference? Still, I keep this journal. Is that not an attempt to change - or perhaps guarantee - what I have seen? Interpretation: Altair reinforces the notion that the Piece of Eden is a database of some sorts, though he still seems unable to fully use it (this may be due to a hesitance on his part to use it too much). He has also discovered it possesses some form of prescient ability as well, but he is unsure what it means. Following this, he muses on consistant time travel/future seeing themes, such as the future being either THE future, or one of many futures, the idea that the future is changeable (or do your efforts to change the future CAUSE the future) and other such things. The fact that through the Piece of Eden Altair is able to see the future gives credence to the idea that it may have been the Pieces of Eden which granted prescience to Those Who Came Before in the first place. It seems as if such prescience was not necessarily an easy activity, and it may be that Altair would need advanced training and experience to make full use of it. Considering that he sees more specific images of the future, he may be getting more experience as time goes on. ----------------------------------- Page 17 ----------------------------------- Of all the things I've seen, none troubles me more than the image of the flames . . . Pillars so tall they seem to pierce the heavens. The ground rumbled and shuddered. Mountains split and crack. Great metal towers splintered, their innards strewn about the ground . . . And everywhere there was screaming. A chorus so terrible that even now I feel its echoes still. What is this madness I have seen? Is it them, I wonder? Those who came before . . . Is this where they went? Into the fire? Into the dust? Perhaps this destructive power is what the Templars seek. That they might hold it over us and command devotion. What hope would we have, then, if they held such darkness in their hands - that they could murder the world . . . Interpretation: Altair has seen something in the Piece of Eden, but it could be two different things. First, he could be seeing the effects of atomic weaponry. Vast pillars of flame, widespread destruction, and the idea of "murdering the world" match atomic weaponry. Especially the idea that Templars might seek to control this weaponry (which they eventually do, if you recall the Puzzle about the atomic bomb), this codex could be referring to nuclear weaponry. It could also be speaking of the apocalypse which brought about the end of Those Who Came Before. It would also make sense, widespread fiery death in pillars of immense fire. He also specifically mentions that perhaps Those Who Came Before may have been lost to this destruction. Either of these possibilities could be the case. ----------------------------------- Page 18 ----------------------------------- We are obligated to hide. To be silent. To shape the course of history in secret. But some of my brothers and sisters disagree. They grow angry, insisting it is a mistake to shroud outselves. They say it slows our work. But they do not understand the risks. To expose ourselves now would be too dangerous. I fear we would be branded madmen and attacked. So it goes. So it always has. If there is one think I know for certain, it is that men to not learn by being told. Instead they must be shown. They must make the connections themselves. If I say unto a man, be kind, be tolerant, be of an open mind - these words will wither and die long before they've affected change. It would be a waste. And so we must maintain our course. Interpretation: Altair's comments on the concept of educating draw dangerously subtle differences between variations of the Creed and the Templar's intentions. He specifies that you cannot spread wisdom by merely sharing knowledge, but that active learning must take place. To this end, the Templar would likely agree; you cannot just tell people things to make them believe what you want. But rather than find more creative ways to educate, the Templar would rather just force knowledge (truth or falsehood) on people instead. ----------------------------------- Page 19 ----------------------------------- Legend speaks of a Golden Fleece. Could the two be related? . . . I have further refined the metallurgic process, allowing for the production of a suit of armor the likes of which the world has never seen . . . . . . It is possessed of great strength, yet so light as to allow complete freedom . . . . . . I alternate between wonder and fear. Here we have crafted something that will surely change the face of warfare, making those who wear it nigh invincible . . . Perhaps it was a mistake to create these pieces. I think it best to erase the formulae. What if it were to fall into the hands of our enemies? The risk is too great . . . (An image is shown of a suit of armor, likely the Armor of Altair) Interpretation: This is the second mention of the Golden Fleece in the game. Likely through the use of the Piece of Eden, Altair has developed a supermetal, exceedingly strong and resilent, maybe even invulnerable, yet light, possibly lighter than aluminum. This would imply that he created a metal more advanced than anything developed in modern day. This sort of technology could be only one thing; a crude recreation of technology developed by Those Who Came Before. Given this, his thoughts about the similarity between his armor and the Golden Fleece (Piece of Eden 66) are shown to be closer to reality than he might think. ----------------------------------- Page 20 ----------------------------------- I have studied the ancient pagan faiths that came before this more recent obsession with a single, divine creator. They seem to have focused more on the fundamental forces at play in the world around us and less on arbitrary moral rules . . . The sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening. The tides ebb and flow. Grass grows, withers, dies and then in time, emerges from the ground once more. The air turns warm then cools and back again. Some hidden energy keeps us fitted to the ground and pulls us back when we attempt to leave it. Each of these movements was represented before by a god or goddess. Each force given face, but recognized as something distinct and powerful. Which is not to say there were not connections between these forces - a pantheon of individual spirits - of rules. Invisible hands guiding to progress of the world around us. And so here there was an attempt to categorize, study, explain, and understand the way things work - even if it was flawed. But no more. Now we are asked to succumb to a far more simplified explanation. How naive to believe there might be a single answer to every question. Every mystery. That there exists a lone divine light which rules over all. They say it is a light that brings truth and love. I say it is a light that blinds us - and forces us to stumble about in ignorance. I long for the day when men will turn away from invisible monsters and once more embrace a more rational view of the world. But these new religions are so convenient - and promise such terrible punishment should one reject them - I worry that fear shall keep us stuck to what is surely the greatest lie ever told. Interpretation: Another philosophical discourse is created by Altair, this time on the concept of religion. While interesting, it is not particularly full of higher implications. One of them is his reinforcement of the idea that the Judeo/Christian/Islamic faith is based on a lie. However, he does discuss the concept of multiple Gods associated with various phenomenon, as well as pantheons of Gods. This may mirror the actual existance of Those Who Came Before, but I can find little else to be taken from this. ----------------------------------- Page 21 ----------------------------------- One may cultivate extracts from various plants found throughout the region. More exotic species can sometimes be obtained from traders and travelers, but their properties are less documented and required further examination. Traditional alchemical implements can be used to distill the poison. Care should be used as certain poisons can be absorbed through exposed skin. Many are those who have lost their lives to carelessness. One's blade should be hollowed according to the specifications listed herein. Deviation may create fractures within the metal, causing the blade to weaken and possibly break. (An image is included of metalwork hollowing a hidden blade and various plants being processed) Interpretation: A very logical, straightforward recording of new methods of intruding poison into the Assassin repertoire. Little hidden meaning, but it does show Altair staying true to his word to eliminate the rule against poison. ----------------------------------- Page 22 ----------------------------------- What to make of this map? It appears to contain the entire world. Not flat as they claim, either, but round - like a ball. Like the Apple. But how is such a thing even possible? Stranger still are the lands it shows - great patches of the unknown. The unexplored. So many places yet to be discovered . . . Are there men there? Are they like us? And if not - different how? I should like to know the answers. Perhaps - in time - I'll have the chance to travel. To chart a course and make my way to these distant lands . . . (An image is included of a mostly accurate image of the world, focusing on the Euro-Asian side of the planet.) Interpretation: This may be one of the few instances (and they are few, rare and low in number) of Ubisoft not having their facts entirely straight. Research has shown that the idea of the Earth being flat was not nearly as prevalent, recent, or widespread as popular media portrays it. While the misconception of a flat Earth certainly existed, an educated man in the Middle East (a center of knowledge and advanced technology during the crusades) would likely have known the Earth to be round. That being said, under the pretense that Altair and peers were of the impression that the Earth was flat, it seems Altair came into possession of the knowledge that it was not, and seems amazed by the idea. Like other such information in these pages, he likely recieved the knowledge from the Piece of Eden, possibly the hologram displayed at the end of Assassin's Creed 1. ----------------------------------- Page 23 ----------------------------------- The twenty-third page shows an image demonstrating a variety of climbing and movement techniques used by the Assassins. Interpretation: Why Altair would record images that detailed what amounts to novice Assassin maneuvers in his personal journal, I cannot say. Perhaps he wished to record them for later use in education, but I do not see anything to interpret on this page. ----------------------------------- Page 24 ----------------------------------- Some days I miss my family . . . Or at least the thought of them. I never knew my parents well, despite them having lived within these walls. It was our way. Perhaps they were sad, though they showed no sign - it was not allowed. For my part, so much of my youth was spent in training, they was little time left to reflect upon the separation. And so when they were finally lost to me, it seemed no different than the passing of two strangers. Al Mualim had been as my father, and his was a weak and dishonest love, though at the time it seemed enough - better, even. Or so I thought. Some day I will have a child - such is the way of our Order. And I will not make the same mistake. Nor any who call themselves an Assassin. We shall be allowed to love our children - and, in turn, to be loved. Al Mualim believed such attachments would weaken us - cause us to falter when our lives were on the line. But if we truly fight for what is just, does love not make such sacrifice simpler - knowing that we do so for their gain? Interpretation: The Altair of Assassin's Creed 1 may have been one of the coldest, most emotionally detached (except for his arrogance) protagonists I have ever encountered. The man cared for nothing but his mission. You could tell him the funniest joke in the world and he would probably hate you that much more for it. Yet here we have him, discussing the empowering nature of love for one's family. Certainly, in his time in study over the many years, he has come to realize that cutting oneself off emotionally, while having its benefits, may not necessarily be optimal. To this end, he seeks again to overturn an Assassin tradition, allowing families to keep their children, and for these children to know the true love of parents. As is clearly his way at this point, he seeks once again to allow freedom within the Assassin Order, removing that which blinds us from reality, and allowing his peers to experience the powerful emotions that make us human, rather than removing them to make an even more efficient killing machine. ----------------------------------- Page 25 ----------------------------------- The twenty-fifth page shows a drawing of a templar, fairly feminine in appearance, potentially depicting Maria. Interpretation: Again, another page that may have just been Altair's drawing for his own enjoyment. The Templar depicted looked fairly female, and if he and Maria were together at this point in time, it is a reasonable thing for him to draw. ----------------------------------- Page 26 ----------------------------------- I have the answer now. I know the truth. I shall not touch that wretched thing again. Best that no one do, now or ever. I have tried - at least - to destroy it, but it will neither bend nor break nor melt. Oh the irony - I am certain if I asked, the Apple would tell me what need be done. But even this promise is insufficient. Always it holds one more gift to give. I must refrain. So it shall be sealed. We will take it to the island - once theirs, now ours. There is a treasury there - hidden well - and it shall have to suffice. Risky to separate myself from the artifact that others may discover it. Riskier still to keep it close. In time I will be tempted. I am weak. We all are. Who wouldn't be? Oh the things I have seen . . . The tale is here - inside the text. Not between the lines but beneath them. Where only our eyes might peer. Go and see it for yourself. That you might succeed where I and the others have failed. Time marches on - bringing with it new discoveries and developments. And so at least one day the doorway might be opened and the message delivered. They will have their prophet. Interpretation: It seems that Altair finally found the truth of the Pieces of Eden, the Apocalypse, and Those Who Came Before. How much he found out is not clear, but he knows enough that he feels that his search for "the truth" is fulfilled, but he does not seem happy now that he knows the truth. While it is unclear how many years have passed since Assassin's Creed 1 and this entry, it is more than a few and it took him this long to get up the nerve to destroy the Piece of Eden, even if he failed. This shows just how much of a hold it had on him, a hold I believe to be more than just Altair's own curiousity. Even now he speaks of being tempted by it, but he does not seem certain whether he should distance himself from it. While he knows what others do not, and he would be best suited for guarding it, he also fears he may be just as much of a threat, if not more, with it in his possession. This codex page contains a lot of information that would be relevant to someone who had not already completed the game, foreshadowing the hidden vault under the Vatican, the Prophet, and reveals the clue to seeing the hidden map under the codex. ----------------------------------- Page 27 ----------------------------------- We are growing larger. More make their way to our fortresses every day. Men and woman. Young and old. From different lands. Of different faiths. Each tells a similar story - of having discovered the first part of our creed: that nothing is true. Too often, though, the revelation undoes them. They lose their morality, certainty, security. Many are driven mad. We must guide them. Help them to heal. Their minds must not be filled with more fairy tales, but with knowledge instead. Let them have answers - and let those answers be difficult and complex. Such is life. Interpretation: Altair mentioned a variant of the saying that "Ignorance is bliss" earlier in his codex. While he seems to believe that this is a true statement, he feels that despite ignorance bringing happiness, knowledge must be sought after nonetheless. He reinforces the idea that full disclosure towards initiates is necessary, mentioning fairy tales (he may be referencing the Hashshashin initiation rites). He ends with a final instruction: let those answers be difficult and complex. This is a powerful statement, showing his devotion to knowledge and education. ----------------------------------- Page 28 ----------------------------------- Success! We have found a way to alter the structure of the hidden blade so that it can be used to launch small projectiles. It is capable of grievous damage - even from great distance. I confess, the means by which I came about the discovery was . . . risky to say the least. But I have found that in small doses, and with a focused mind, the Apple can be used without ill effect. Or so I hope. The knowledge of projectile combat is not new to us, having been observed amongst our Eastern neighbors. But their weapons were much larger - and insufficient for our needs. I have now found a way to miniaturize their designs, embedding their fiery weapon into a form that can be worn on the wrist. We have also refined the formula for combustible powder, such that common ingredients might be used. This is a dangerous bit of knowledge and it is best shared with only our closest allies . . . Interpretation: Again, Altair develops advanced technology through disciplined use of the Piece of Eden. He finally mentions that use of the Piece of Eden may have negative side effects on the user; this is not clarified indepth, but it may be that use of the Pieces of Eden by humans is not intended, and results in potentially disasterous results (likely of the mental kind). He seems to be taking his possession of the Piece of Eden very seriously, using it as responsibly as he can, though he fears that it might still be too dangerous, even with his precautions. ----------------------------------- Page 29 ----------------------------------- A dark tide rises to the east - an army of such size and power that all the land is made quick with worry. Their leader is a man named Temujin, who has adopted the title Ghengis Khan. He sweeps across the lands, conquering and subsuming all who stand in his way. Whatever his motives, he must be stopped. Were I younger, I might attempt to undertake this work in secret - as I suspect to presence of a Piece of Eden. But those days are years gone, now. The mantle must be passed. It is time she and I spoke with our sons. We will travel there together, that they may be tested and that this threat might be stopped. Interpretation: This entry provides a vital link into the timeline of the codex. If Altair went to combat Ghengis Khan, then this could explain why the Codex was in the possession of Kublai Khan, brought back to Italy by Marco Polo. Ultimately, through Marco Polo, the Codex found its way into the hands of Ezio's great-great grandfather, who spread it across the nation, though most seems to have come under possession of the Templar. This is also a sign that Altair still seeks to eliminate the threat of the Pieces of Eden in the hands of those who would abuse their powers. Even in his later years, he still stands by his mission to protect humanity from those who would oppress it. Finally, this codex confirms that Altair bore at least two children, and that their mother was still with him in the later years (likely Maria, given Desmond's dream sequence). While Altair must have had children for Desmond to be his descendent, this is the first definitive proof that it happened, and in that sense, it is important. ----------------------------------- Page 30 ----------------------------------- Soon I shall pass from this world. It is my time. All the hours of the day are now colored by the thoughts and fears borne of this realization. I know that the elements of my body will return to the Earth. But what of my consciousness? My identity? That is to say, what of ME? I suspect it will end. That there is no next world. Nor a return to this one. It will simply be done. Forever. Our lives are so brief and unimportant. The cosmos cares nothing for us. For what we've done; Had we wrought evil instead of good. Had I chosen to abuse the Apple instead of seal it away. None of it would have mattered. There is no counting. No reckoning. No final judgement. There is simply silence. And darkness. Utter and absolute . . . And so I have begun to wonder - might there not be a way to stop - or at least delay - death's embrace? Surely the ones who came before were not so frail and feeble as we. But I have sworn to be done with the artifact. To not gaze into its core. Still: faced as I am with the prospect of my end, what harm is there I one last look . . . Interpretation: Altair, in his last days, muses on the concept of the soul, heaven, the insignificance of humanity, and other such topics, but ultimately comes to the idea of extending his own life. His mind immediately shifts to Those Who Came Before and the Piece of Eden. Despite his oath, he is tempted again by the Apple, leaving one to wonder how tragic his life must have been in some ways, constantly tempted by a weapon of power and knowledge, but resisting its urge for decades. The last passage again implies another aspect of Those Who Came Before: their extended lifespan. It seems as if they were capable of living for long periods of time, but was this a innate aspect of their species, or was it brought about by effective use of Pieces of Eden? This last codex entry ends on a uncertain note, with Altair examining the Piece of Eden one last time, trailing off without telling us the result. While it is speculation, there is a strong possibility Altair might find a way to extend his own life, and it is possible we will see him again in Desmond's time, somehow surviving nearly a thousand years. That will remain to be seen. ******************************* V. Auditore Tomb Script and Interpretation There is a hidden tomb in the game, unlocked if one makes a UPlay account. It is located in Monterrigioni, the tomb having been built by Ezio's great, great, grandfather. I would highly recommend making the UPlay account to see this, as it costs only UPlay points, which are unlocked by doing "achievements" that are accomplished throughout the game. Inside of the crypt are engraved plates that tell the tale of the first Auditore. Venice, 1296 I was raised in a small house by the Venetian lagoon, within sight of the rough foam-capped waves of the sea. When I was barely old enough to walk, I became a sailor, navigating the Atlantic first as an apprentice and then while carrying cargo for my father's patron, Messer Marco Polo. It was a good life. Ashore One day, while ashore in the harbor looking for work, I fell in love. She was barely twenty, but when I looked into her eyes, the whole world was reflected back, clearer and brighter than the sun. After that, I still went to sea, but my heart remained on land with the girl, who had become my wife, and our young son. Birthright One afternoon that summer, Messer Polo called me in his study. My father was already there, beside an older man, dressed in a strange hooded cape, watching us. At that moment everything about my life changed, my father told me that he was an Assassin. Removing his ring, he showed me a strange marking on his finger, explaining that our family came from an ancient order that protected and defended mankind. He paused, and then, when I didn't speak, Messer Polo stepped forward. He told me that the stranger in the hood would teach me, and in return I would carry him across the Mediterranean to Spain. And so began my apprenticeship with Dante Alighieri, one that was to destroy every bit of happiness I would ever have. A Mentor In preparation for our voyage, Messer Alighieri met with me repeatedly. At first, our meetings were about purchasing supplies, but soon they became about higher things about life, love, honor and justice. He taught me that society was set up in such a way as to control its members, to stop us from thinking, from seeing. Soon, I could look past all laws and illusions. I understood that mankind was being used by its rulers, that we, the people, deserved freedom. It was then that Dante began showing me pages from a book that Messer Polo had brought back from the palace of the great Genghis Khan. The manuscript, the Codex, was about our order, the Assassins. An Unexpected Farewell Our planned voyage never took place. While returning to Ravenna to pick up the remainder of his belongings, Dante died. Dismayed at the loss of my mentor, I went to inform my father and Messer Polo of the sad news. Before I could even speak, I was ushered into the study, and my father, his face white, locked the door behind me. Shocked, I listened in silence as he spoke. Dante intended to take the codex to Spain where it would be safe. But he was being watched. The enemy of the Assassins, the Knights Templar, still existed. I recalled the stories he had told me of the Templars, and it all became clear. Dante had been murdered. The Templars knew about the Codex and they knew about us. Shaking my father told me to take the Codex and leave for Spain at once with my wife and child. As Messer Polo ushered me out the door, he handed me a small piece of paper with a number on it. With this number, I could draw on his credit, more Ducats than I had ever seen in my life, at any bank in Italy. At Sea We set sail that night, the ship filled with cargo to sell in the markets at Barcelona. At first, all was well. Then, to avoid a coming storm, we laid anchor in the Otranto harbor. Cloaked in darkness, the pirates came. I didn't see them until they were already boarding my ship. I hid my family in the hold. Pulling out the Codex, I ran the worn leather cover through my hands, then, I broke the spine. The pages slid silently onto the floor, I scattered them into the chests, boxes and containers I was carrying to market. The men who found us were drunk, I could smell it on their breath. When they asked for the Codex, I knew who had sent them. Holding back my rage, I said I had thrown it overboard. They started to laugh. Two held me down, still grinning, while the rest cut off my wife's clothes. She begged for mercy until her voice gave out. Once they were done, they threw her into the sea. They took my cargo and sunk my ship, and left me, adrift, clinging to a piece of railing. I made it to the beach with my son. My wife's body washed up on shore the next morning with the tide. A New Name I never saw the sea again. Making my way to Florence, I rented a small room and then visited the bank. I had memorized Polo's account number. With the vast sum I now had at my disposal, I went to Venice in disguise to find my father. I returned to Florence the next day. Both Polo and my father were already dead. From that moment forward, I collected treatises on architecture, studied the classics and took vocal lessons. I adopted the name Auditore, impersonating a noble at the Florentine Court. Accepted as one of their own, I took on the trappings of the nobility and constructed this villa for me and my son. And then, I hunted them. I raised my son to fight, to find the Codex, and to kill Templars. Together, we would regain the honor of my wife and avenge the death of my father, two debts that would never, that could never, be repaid. To the Auditore that reads this, remember that you are not a nobleman. You are not one of the deceivers, you are one of the people. Avenge us! - Domenico Auditore Interpretation: The records left by Ezio's ancestor show us a number facts: Altair's mention of an assault on the encroaching horde of Genghis Khan seems to have been attempted, though the details are unknown. However, for Kublai Kahn (the Mongolian leader with whom Marco Polo met) to have possessed the Codex, Altair's involvement must have been a present. As to how the Codex came to be in Kublai's possession is unknown. Based on the statue in Qulan Gal in the Assassin's Sanctuary, an individual trained by the Assassins was certainly responsible for Genghis Khan's demise. Is it possible that Altair, Maria, and his sons left a base of operations in the area? This might mean friendly relations with later leaders, including Kublai. He would have to be a most trusted ally to be gifted Altair's Codex, which contained many secrets he wished no one to know of. He may himself have been an Assassin, giving the Codex to Marco Polo, a fellow member of the Order, for safe keeping. The Templar seem to have come out of a "dark age" of their own during the time of Domenico's training. After the events of Assassin's Creed 1, Altair's Codex indicates that the Templar went into hiding, and it sounded as if their foothold was significantly weakened. However, during this period, the Templar struck back, eliminating several Assassins, as well as nearly gaining Altair's Codex, which would have provided them with extremely useful information, not to mention the location of a Piece of Eden. Based on the events of Assassin's Creed 2, it seems as if from this point on, the Templar Order once again rose to a position of power, having the advantage over the Assassins. The Auditore family, hinted in subtle conversations earlier in the game, is most definitely fabricated. Prior to killing Uberto Alberti, if you listen to his discussion with other upper class individuals, you can hear mention of the Auditore family "showing up so suddenly". The individual seems to imply she never really trusted the Auditore and harbored some secret suspicion as to their origins. While not explicitly spelled out, it is likely this is the origin of Altair's descendents leading to Ezio. Domenico was Ezio's great, great grandfather, and Domenico's father was only 2-3 generations away from Altair, possibly even 1, although that would be somewhat unlikely. ******************************* VI. Speculation Contents: 1. The Ones Who Came Before A. Speculation on Nature B. Speculation on Origins C. Speculation on Members 2. The Event A. What Might Have Happened B. When It Might Happen Again 3. Humans A. Origins B. Inherited Legacy 4. Assassins A. Known Assassins B. The Assassin Bloodline C. Links to Adam and Eve D. Half-Gods E. The Assassin Order F. Motives of the Assassins 5. Templar A. Known Templar B. Organizations and Influence C. Ultimate Goals 6. Artifacts A. Known Artifacts and Timelime B. Artifact Powers C. Present State of Things D. Deeper Meaning Behind the Artifacts ------------------------------- 1. The Ones Who Came Before ------------------------------- ===A. Speculation on Nature=== The Ones Who Came Before. We know so little about them . . . we don't even have a convenient name for them. Minerva's imbedded AI scoffed at the use of the word "God" to describe them, indicating without a doubt that they worldy and mortal. It is clear that they are of significant potency, but it seems as if much of this power comes from technology. What, amongst their clearly vast repertoire of abilities, were actually natural powers, and which were technological? It seems that, at the very least, they had extended lifespans. If Assassins are the result of a hybrid between them and humans (See VI/4/C), then some semblance of an Assassins powers likely originate from Those Who Came Before. This would mean that Eagle Vision (better said as a form of ESP that included subtle form of emotion reading) was derived from them, as well as enhanced agility and learning aptitude. It also seems that the Pieces of Eden may not respond fully to the touch of a human; whether this is a design of the Pieces of Eden, or if it requires a special ability natural to the Ones Who Came Before, it is not said. Either way, it is clear that they are a massively advanced, human-like race, who possessed technology so powerful that early humans could not comprehend them as anything but Gods. They seemed to be few in number (possible hundreds or thousands? It is not clear, but Minerva makes it clear that they were far fewer than humans), and possibly had a low birth rate. Their minds, while intelligent and more capable than those of humans, still function in a manner similar to humanity, complete with some level of emotion, as well as being susceptible to emotions clouding their judgement. While I will discuss it more in a bit, it seems that in most ways, they were extremely similar to humanity, but that humanity at the time could not see past their powers, granting them a divine nature. ===B. Speculation on Origin=== The discussion with Minerva's embedded AI does not reveal anything about the origins of Those Who Came Before. However, there are two clues that indicate two different possibilities. The first is that they were somehow extraterrestrial. The heavy use of space symbolism in Minerva's chamber may imply that they came from another planet. It would certainly make sense; they had the technological prowess to potentially engage in interstellar travel. The second, and the theory that I personally believe, is a bit more complicated and contrived. The Ones Who Came Before imply that their primary difference from humanity is that they "came before". Furthermore, they created humanity by using their technology to accelerate the evolution of apes to create humans. Ultimately, the resultant humans were very similar to the Ones Who Came Before, who stated that they created humans in "their image". Additionally, they seem to have been capable of crossbreeding the two species, indicating that they had similar genetic lineage. In my opinion, this indicates that The Ones Who Came Before were merely a primate to evolve into civilization far earlier than we did. If this logic is a bit hard to follow, allow me to put it this way. A. The Ones Who Came Before created Humans. B. They did this by advancing the evolution of Apes. C. Humans (with a genetic template based in Earth primate DNA) were able to crossbreed with The Ones Who Came Before. D. For the genetic material of the two species to be close enough to crossbreed, Those Who Came Before would have to be of a similar genetic template (with a template based in Earth primate DNA). E. This would exclude the possibility that they were extraterrestrials. There are possible arguments against this theory. The most prevalent of which is that if Those Who Came Before had such advanced technology, they could FORCE their DNA and human DNA to be compatible. A second argument against would be that it would be extremely unlikely that two parallel evolutionary lines descending from different parent ape species would be able to crossbreed anyway, however I counter this with Minerva's claim that they made humans in their image. While clearly the two species are distinct, Those Who Came Before made have used their own evolutionary path and applied it to early hominids, advancing humans in a way very similar to their own, resulting in a viable crossbreed potential. ===C. Speculation on Members=== We know of at least three members of the species to which Minerva belongs. Minerva herself indicates she had many names in her lifetime. She then lists two others of her kind. Minerva - Previous names, Merva and Mera Juno - Previous name Uni Jupiter - Previous name Tinia To those with knowledge of ancient Gods, these names should ring many bells. Allow me to summarize this information. Jupiter, Juno and Minerva are part of a trio of Gods that were considered the most important in worship in Ancient Rome. They are equivalent to the Greek Gods Zeus (the King of the Gods), Hera (Queen of the Gods, sister and wife of Zeus) and Athena (Zeus' daughter, and an influential member of his court). Amongst the Romans, Greeks and proximally located Etruscans, there was a vast overlap of religion. These same dieties find their counterparts in Etruscan mythology as Tinia, Uni and Merva/Mera. Minerva's explanation of this solidifies the nature of these religions as worshiping the same dieties. Due to the fact that three of these individuals are the classic "Greek/Roman" Gods, it may be likely that more of their number represent other Godlike individuals throughout mythology. At least one image in Minerva's chamber indicates a a member of their species in Egyptian style art, reminescent of Horus or Ra, but without the characteristic orb above the head which Ra possesses. Given this, it is likely that other members of the species may later come to be associated with Gods from other pantheons, such as: - Other Greek/Roman Gods - Egyptian Gods - Norse Gods - Mesoamerican Gods (Notably, Quetzalcoatl of this pantheon was mentioned in Assassin's Creed 1) - Sumerian/Mesopotamian Gods (Sumerian mythos being referenced in the Puzzles) ------------------------------- 2. The Event ------------------------------- ===A. What Might Have Happened=== We know, now, from Minerva, that some sort of apocalypse occured which scorched the Earth, killing a vast majority of both Those Who Came Before and humanity. She does not say what it was, but there are a lot of hints indicating what it might have been. She first says that while distracted by the war on Earth, they failed to "look to the heavens". At this point, a picture of the solar system appears, and a blast of energy, possibly a solar flare, bursts out of the sun, coursing over the inner planets in the solar system. She then stated that it left the world covered in nothing but ash, implying the visuals are probably exactly what happened. In Puzzle 19, there are a lot of hints towards this. The entire puzzle revolves around the sun, saying it was, at one time, worshipped, but is not anymore. This would make sense. Minerva speaks of how humanity could not understand that the powerful Ones Who Came Before were NOT Gods. Similarly, it is likely that following the apocalypse, humanity would not be able to understand that the sun was merely a natural phenomenon, and that they worshipped it as something they feared, hoping to avoid its wrath. In the puzzle, Subject 16 says that "End. Almost the End. It happened before.", implying again that this was what caused the apocalypse. Hidden against the Sun are four messages; two are from Hopi folklore, describing, in a symbolic, scripture like manner what sounds like massive destruction. The other two say "They died in the fire from the heavens." and, more importantly, "Toba, 75ka was not a volcano". This not only makes it clear what happened, but gives us a when as well. Possibly, 75,000 years ago, the fire apocalypse occured, resulting in an ash layer that, found today, indicates a massive explosion. Finally, at the end, Lucy speculates on the idea of a geomagnetic reversal. She says that one theory indicates that a sufficiently large solar flare could cause the magnetic poles to shift, temporarily weakening the Earth's magnetic field (which provides protection from stellar radiation and energy). Once weakened, the massive solar flare would pour through and incinerate the now undefended Earth. Given the depictions shown by Minerva, this may very well be exactly what happened, and that it will happen again. ===B. When It Might Happen Again=== Since Assassin's Creed 1, the end of the Mayan Long Count Calendar has been posited as being relevant to the game's universe. The predicted date of the Templar's satellite mind control scheme, the ultimate culmination of their plans, would occur on the same day as the end of the Mayan Long Count. Furthermore, a barcode written by Subject 16 showed the numerical representation of this date. For those who are not aware, the Mayan Long Count Calendar is a complex calendar system that is not at all like the one used by the modern world. It used a base of 18 and 20, rather than a base 10, and it had an internal limit to how far it could go (akin to a counter reaching 99:99 and going no further). According to the math, this "limit" will be reached on December 21, 2012, which is indicated in Assassin's Creed 1 to be the day the Templar would launch their satellite. As of AC1, it was believed this represented the coming "end of the world" that many associate with the Mayan Long Count. However, one of the previously existing apocalypse theories about this date was of a geomagnetic reversal triggered by a solar flare. So now, this has become the forefront expected occurance on that date, in game. That does not change the fact that this is still the date for the launch of the satellite. That makes for an interesting literary plot climax; with days to go until December 21, 2012, Desmond and Co. strive to do what they need to do, knowing full well that both a worldwide fire apocalypse AND a mind control apocalypse were about to occur. They will have to stop both; if they fail to stop either of the two, all is lost . . . god I can't wait for Assassin's Creed 3. ------------------------------- 3. Humans ------------------------------- ===A. Origins=== Through the puzzles and the speech by Minerva at the end of the game, it is very clear that humans were engineered by Those Who Came Before. Humans were "made in the image" of Those Who Came Before, paralleling the famed concept that the Judeo/Islamic/Christian God created man in his image. Thus, humans look very much like Those Who Came Before. Humans were created, it seems, by causing accelerated evolution of apes into the modern day humans through the use of Pieces of Eden. The Templar discuss how there is an incomplete fossil record; this indicates that up to a certain point, apes were evolving naturally, but the process was accelerated many years, possibly millions, in an effort to make humanity. The Templar seem to find this concept disgusting. Humanity was not created out of kindness or generosity, however. We were intended as slaves/servants to Those Who Came Before, providing manual labor for a group that seemed to have a low birth rate, hencing providing the necessary work force. While it does not sound as if Those Who Came Before had a particular sense of malice towards humanity, this master/servant relationship was non-negotiable. To this end, humanity was created with a failsafe to prevent uprisings. The human brain was installed with a unique neurotransmitter that is activated only in the presence of a Piece of Eden, allowing complete mental domination of a human. This neural pathway is not present in other animals, and likely not in Those Who Came Before. Humanity was unable to understand how Those Who Came Before were so much more powerful than they, and attributed Godlike qualities to them, not understanding that Those Who Came Before were merely technologically advanced mortals. This seems to have been met with a slight bit of amusement from Those Who Came Before, but it likely served their purposes well, as it would keep humanity even more firmly subjugated. At some point humanity was able to rebel against Those Who Came Before. In "The Truth" video, two early humans named Adam and Eve are shown stealing a Piece of Eden. It is also possible that Adam and Eve were crossbreed humans, giving them enhanced resistance to mind control. It also is possible, with evidence from the games, that Pieces of Eden grant resistance to the effects of other Pieces of Eden. Through this initial theft, a resistance may have sprung up. While Minerva and her kind were far more powerful than humanity, they had much fewer numbers, and with the stolen technology, humanity was able to actually put up a fight. Who would have won is not necessarily implied; in the distraction caused by the war, the Earth was subject to an apocalypse which crippled both sides severly. Humanity survived because, as Minerva said "we were built to survive", inciting again the idea that humans were made in their image. Humanity, made in their image, inherited some of their traits. Apparently, one trait shared by both species was a desire for strife. Despite their advanced knowledge and technology, Those Who Came Before were not above war, and it was this weakness that allowed them to be distracted into missing the signs of the coming apocalypse. Faced with the knowledge that hatred/war had blinded them and almost cost both species their lives, the few survivors of both sides banded together to rebuild the Earth. Living in harmony, rather than in a master/servant relationship, they worked together to recover scraps of civilization and restore the Earth, which had been completely burned by the vague apocalypse. ===B. Inherited Legacy=== A small fraction of both sides survived; humans, being far more numerous, had more survivors and were able to recover. However, Those Who Came Before were far fewer in number, and seem to have had a low birth rate. For this or other such reasons, they could not maintain a viable population and slowly died off, despite having extraordinarily long lifespans. Knowing that they would not survive, and rather than hold a grudge against humanity, they ensured the proper defenses were in place to resist against another such apocalypse, and seem to have left the Earth to humans. However, humanity never really got over their deification of Those Who Came Before (at least not while they still existed), and traded logic and understanding of this gift/responsibility for myth and legend. Those Who Came Before went down in history as Gods, insubstantial, distant, and all powerful, while the memory of their reality was forgotten. The Pieces of Eden, left on Earth, have come to be regarded as items of godly power, used for selfish gain, their original purpose forgotten in the legends. Meanwhile, Templars (refered to by Minerva as "the cross") were selfish humans who sought to take the legacy of Those Who Came Before for themselves. They wished to use it to rule the remaining humans, and evidently were a source of worry for Those Who Came Before. As Those Who Came Before died out, the Templar slowly gained power, forgetting the gift left to humanity that might one day allow them to avoid another apocalypse. This is a shame, as the Templar are the most likely organization to understand and be able to use defenses put in place, but this seems to be a lost cause. Hope remains however; Minerva implies that the factions of humanity tasked with guarding these defenses might not have forgotten the value of peace, or their original purpose. If the Assassins, particularly those of the Assassin Bloodline (the last remaining descendents of Those Who Came Before), can harness this, the Earth might yet be saved. ------------------------------- 4. Assassins ------------------------------- ===A. Known Assassins=== Aside from the main characters, such as Altair, Ezio, Desmond, and those in the present, a number of historical figures are also revealed to have been assassins, or people who were assassinated by them. These include: Pre-Rennaissance: Darius - Assassinated Xerxes Amunet - Assassinated Cleopatra Iltani - Assassinated Alexander the Great (Who had the Staff, PoE 34) Wei Yu - Assassinated Qin Shi Huang Leonius - Assassinated Caligula Qulan Gal - Assassinated Genghis Khan Rennaissance: Bartolomeo d'Alviano Niccolo Machiavelli Dante Alighieri Marco Pollo Leonado Da Vinci - Aided the Assassins, but may not have actually been one. Post-Rennaissance: Nikola Tesla* - May have been an Assassin, but it seems more likely that he was merely an ally of the Assassins, in a way similar to Leonardo Da Vinci. ===B. The Assassin Bloodline=== It becomes clear in Puzzle 14 that the Assassin Order is not just an organization. There may actually be a genetic basis for certain Assassins. However, much of this is theoretical, so the following will be mostly speculative. In Puzzle 14, images are shown with Gods and Mortals procreating, a message above indicating that Assassins are the children of two worlds. If this is to believed, it may indicate that The Ones Who Came Before and humans could crossbreed, resulting in a hybrid being. The Ones Who Came Before were certainly technologically advanced, but we do not know if the vast majority of their powers came from their technology, or if they were innate. They were certainly different in some way from humanity, but if they could produce viable offspring, it would mean that on a physical level, they were just advanced humans, or the other way around, that humans were an inferior version. Evidence, however, indicates that if this is the case, they may have had physical powers beyond that of humanity. The puzzle seems to portray Assassins as something unique and distinct from humans AND Those Who Came Before. If Those Who Came Before had no powers, there would be nothing differentiating these groups. However, we do know that there is something more than just human abilities. Altair, Ezio, and Desmond all seem to be in possession of abilities beyond human capabilities. Foremost is the most blatant, Eagle Vision. There is no human equivalent to the ability, and furthermore, not all members of the Assassin Order possess it. For instance, Lucy Stillman seems unaware of the fingerprints on the keypad in the beginning of Assassin's Creed 2, or of the writing on the walls. This would indicate that, despite being an Assassin, she does not possess Eagle Vision. In addition to this, who are the most agile characters between the games? Altair, Ezio, and Desmond. No one seems able to quite match their nimble abilities, even other members of the Assassin Order. Why is it that Altair rose to become the most skilled Assassin in his time? Or that Ezio, a fledgling member by some standards, was chosen to fulfill the goals set forth by the other Renaissance Assassins? It seems as if they were, on some level, physically superior, both in natural aptitude and ability to learn. Keep in mind that an untrained Ezio and his brother Fredericho casually climbed dangerously tall buildings for fun, with no training, but abilities on par with that of Altair. To me, this indicates that Desmond's ancestry, unlike most Assassins, is a direct line from an original hybrid between humans and Those Who Came Before. For the sake of definition, this means that there are now two types of Assassins. 1. Members of the Order of Assassins - These are individuals who are part of the organization of Assassins. These include the likes of Lucy Stillman or Shaun Hastings. Highly trained, they possess no supernatural abilities. 2. Members of the Bloodline of Assassins - These are individuals who are not quite human, possessing some genetic ancestry going back to a different species, Those Who Came Before. These include Altair, Ezio, and Desmond. They are also members of the Order of Assassins, but they are distinct from normal humans. Henceforth, I will refer to those displaying the hybrid blood as members of the Assassin Bloodline, rather than the Assassin Order. What other abilities could this genetic variant possess? For one, what is it that makes Altair different from all of his Assassin brethren, which Al Mualim points out? He is able to resist the Apple's mind control. This stunned Al Mualim, who had not yet encountered this phenomenon. This would make sense. Humans were genetically designed to be subject to the controlling powers of the Apple, and it is unlikely that Those Who Came Before were subject to these effects. Having a hybrid ancestry possibly allows Altair to resist these effects, in a way that other highly trained and disciplined Assassins could not. However, he is not entirely immune to some effects. This could be due to dilution, or only hybrid status, or it is possible that some of the artifacts powers would indeed influence Those Who Came Before. Another possibility is that these artifacts were not designed to be used by humans. Some, or all, of their abilities may not be usable by a normal human. While Al Mualim was able to trigger the mind control effects of the Apple, it was only Altair who was able to first access its database (initiated by the display of the Earth covered in markers for other artifacts). As he used it, he also gained access to possible visions of the future, an ability mentioned by Those Who Came Before. Later, Ezio was able to open the door to the Vault, whereas Rodrigo Borgia had not been able to. While it sounds as if Ezio was "chosen", this could merely be a roundabout way of saying that he had the correct genetic structure to activate the artifacts. And why not? The artifacts were extremely powerful in the hands of a human. A logical, advanced society would likely include such safeguards, preventing rogue humans from making full use of their tools. This, and the fact that Assassins seem more agile than other humans leads me to my next topic. ===C. Links to Adam and Eve=== Adam and Eve. After viewing "The Truth", we know they were real, and we know they stole a Piece of Eden. If they were a "first" of some kind, it was obviously not the first humans, but possibly the first to rebel. But how was it that they were able to rebel, when so many before had not? What made them different? Well, we know that they were extremely agile. Somehow, they were able to steal a Piece of Eden, and it is likely that such attempts in the past were prevented through the Piece of Eden's mind control abilities. Well, based on our previous conclusions, we know that members of the Assassin Bloodline can resist the mind control, and have exceptional agility. This might well mean that Adam and Eve, or even just one of them (likely Eve, if such is the case) were of this hybrid Bloodline. This would explain a lot, and it is quite possible that through Adam and Eve, the first resistance to Those Who Came Before developed. Why would Those Who Came Before crossbreed with humans? The answer may not be as complex as one would think. Minerva's assertion that humans and her own kind were both susceptible to a craving for war and strife indicates that they share more than physically similar bodies, but a similar mindset as well. It would not be out of the ordinary to think that passion could get the best of such an advanced race, given that rage did the same thing. Even in human history, when one group enslaves another, there are instances where the master may fall in love with a slave, or even just use them for sexual gratification. If Those Who Came Before are as similar to humans as I believe they may be, this is likely what happened. ===D. Half-Gods=== So we may not reasonably speculate that the offspring of a cross between humans and Those Who Came Before would result in a semi-superhuman being, stronger than a human, but not so powerful that they became omnipotent. Well, what does that sound like? For me, it reminds me of half-God individuals from mythology, such as Hercules. He was extraordinarily strong, but not quite on the level of the Gods. Gods that we now know are symbolic, overpowered images representing individuals who truly existed. Hercules is a great example, actually. His father was Zeus, or Jupiter in Roman mythology. Jupiter was one of the listed "others" that Minerva mentioned. If the true Jupiter is in anyway similar, personality wise, to his mythological counterpart, it would mean he too had a slight *cough* EXTREME *cough* problem with fidelity. Zeus/Jupiter of mythology was the father of dozens of half-human individuals, the result of unions he engaged in for nothing other than personal pleasure. Extrapolate that mythological reputation back to the fact that we have an advanced race (who the Gods were modeled after) with the possibility of hybrid offspring, and we have what might be a fairly clearcut solution. Zeus was the father of both Hercules and Perseus, individuals shown in puzzles. Hercules was displayed in the Garden of Hesperides stealing Golden Apples of Power (Huh? Piece of Eden what?), and Perseus was a hero, favored by many Gods, gifted with a large number powerful items including a divine sword, pictured in the puzzle showing Piece of Eden 25, the Sword. It might even make sense that Perseus was favored by Those Who Came Before. If we are to assume that they possessed normal human emotions (Minerva herself expressed sympathy, hope, and annoyance), then love of each other and for offspring might also be part of their psyche. If Jupiter sired an Assassin who later went on various "human" quests of his own, and Jupiter actually gave a damn about his son, he might just have done him a few favors to help him out. Its not uncommon for parents to help their kids cheat a little. It would not be extremely out of the ordinary to see Jupiter asking Minerva (his daughter, in the mythology) to keep an eye out for little Persey. Minerva, along with a few other Gods, granted Perseus possesion of a number of enchanted items for his quest, and Minerva herself kept a close eye on him, keeping him out of trouble. While this is all speculation, I will point out that none of it is all that unlikely. And this is the speculation section, afterall. Why would Those Who Came Before willingly aid a human by giving one their covetted artifacts? We do know that after the rebellion and the apocalypse, humanity and Those Who Came Before did actually collaborate, neither one as slaves, but as equals. It was likely some time before all of Those Who Came Before met their end, so its possible they charged select humans with taking care of tasks that they did not have the time to do themselves. At this point, it is likely that humans were governing themselves, and Those Who Came Before may have made minor strategic moves through chosen humans (or Assassins, their favorites!), without getting too involved. Another good example of this is the story of Jason and the Argonauts. Ignoring all the irrelevant parts, it basically came down to Jason trying to get the Golden Fleece (Piece of Eden 66 - The Shroud), and going on a dangerous journy, while Hera (The Greek version of the Roman Jove) watched over him, granting him favors and advice in his mission. In my opinion, it all ties together very nicely. While I am sure much of the original myths had been changed, they reveal an underlying theme of humans or half-humans being assisted by the Gods, often with powerful artifacts in play. ===E. The Assassin Order=== As opposed to the Assassin Bloodline, the Assassin Order's origins are somewhat mysterious. It is implied in the Codex of Altair that the Order which he belonged to had been created by Al Mualim, but he muses that perhaps Al Mualim merely stumbled upon a previously existing concept. This would imply that, prior to Al Mualim's Order, there was no existing Assassin presence on Earth, but Altair discusses the idea that ideas cannot be killed, and all ideas will inevitably be rediscovered. The Order itself may harken back to the Bloodline, which may have been an organization many thousands of years prior to the events of Assassin's Creed 1. It is worth noting that several of the six Assassins in the Assassin's Sanctuary were indicated as having been members of the order. The oldest of these is over 1500 years prior to the events of Assassin's Creed 1. The statues are clearly contemporary, however, so it is unknown whether the Assassin order merely "claimed" these famed Assassins as members of their fold, if they truly were of the same order. The Order itself has been shifting back and forth from being the dominiant member of the feud with the Templar. This timeline is worth noting. ~1150: The Assassin Order seems to no longer exist; it is refounded by Al Mualim. 1191: The events of Assasin's Creed 1 begin. The Assassins start at a disadvantage, with the Templar and their manipulated factions potentially poised to destroy Masyaf. 1191: With the defeat of Robert de Sable and many of his highest ranking agents, as well as Al Mualim (not to mention gaining an uneasy alliance with King Henry), the Assassin Order seems to have the upper hand, especially with their possession of the Piece of Eden. ~1191-1250?: Over the course of Altair's life, he pursues the Templar, but they going into hiding. ~1296: Over 100 years later, Ezio's great great grandfather is trained as an Assassin. His benefactors, several Assassins, are killed by the Templars, as the Templar attempt to retake Altair's Codex. This shows the Templar coming back out of hiding into a position of power. 1476: The events of Assassin's Creed 2 begin. The Templar have put a significant number of individuals into positions of power, and have orchestrated plots to allow these individuals to gain even more power. By the end of the game, their leader himself becomes Pope, possibly the most powerful individual in the world at that time in history. 1476-1499: Ezio learns the Assassin way and eliminates these Templar one by one. He eventually kills all except for their leader, but takes two Pieces of Eden which the Templar spent centuries trying to obtain, depriving them of victory and dealing them harsh blow to their number. 1500-1900: Over the next few hundred years, the Templar seem to find their way into positions of power world wide, particularly that of the newly founded American Presidency. 1900-1950: The Templar manipulate technological advances and politics in their favor, obtaining a number of Pieces of Eden in the process. They start World War II, with several of the main factions on either side under their control, utterly controlling the course of the war, and ending it when they pleased. Once finished, this leaves them with an extremely strong foothold in the world's power scheme, controlling the victors and the losers of Earth's largest war, but at the cost of a single Assassin reprisal; the possible loss of one of their ranking members and a Piece of Eden. 1950-2010: The Templar find themselves virtually controlling the developing world. Mention is made of illegal connections in the United States government, and the Templar control major technological advances, slowly approaching their goal of world domination. They begin to systematically track down and eliminate groups of Assassins across the world, overpowering them with numbers and greater resources. A few Assassin counterattacks are made, slowing, but not stopping, the advance towards their ultimate goal. 2012: The present day events concerning Desmond occur. Warren Vidic, though at least partially incorrect, indicates that all of the Assassins have been wiped out. Though we later find a few groups remain, a serious blow has been delivered to their organization. A rescue mission to save Desmond fails, resulting in the loss of even more Assassins. At the end of Assassin's Creed 1, the Templar extract the knowledge they desire from Desmond. Late 2012: Lucy Stillman escapes with Desmond from Abstergo. She attempts to train him in the ways of the Assassin, by allowing him to experience the events of his ancestor, Ezio. This is successful, though he suffers some side effects. Lucy believes that all it takes is one person sometimes to win a war, and her hope is that Desmond will be that one person. She also identifies that the Templar are not the most significant threat, and the stakes suddenly become much higher. ===F. Motives of the Assassins=== The Assassins have several motives. While the Assassins seem concerned with countering Templar activities, they also concern themselves with politics unrelated to the feud. Similarly, while the Templar have an ultimate goal that, once reached, would bring about their victory, the Assassins have no such possible victory; their goal is to counter the Templar indefinitely, and simultaneously maintain peace through strategic assassination. More specifically . . . The Assassins believe in the concept of freedom, particularly, freedom to choose one's own path and actions. While the idea of slavery goes against their creed, even worse an offense is enforcing ignorance on the masses. They believe that decisions are key to human life, and that these decisions must be educated ones, even if the knowledge gained in the process is painful to the person. The supression of knowledge and wisdom is a popular tactic of tyrants (not to mention the Templar), and so the Assassins believe that by eliminating these individuals, freedom of knowledge and choice can be granted to the masses. The Templar, too, would seek to subjugate humanity by removing free will, or by manipulating human knowledge to come to the same result (if you mind control all of humanity into thinking a decision is the right one, you effectively choose for them). To this end, the Assassins fight for freedom of knowledge and choice on two fronts, that of humanity in general, and that of the Templar. ------------------------------- 5. Templar ------------------------------- ===A. Known Templar=== I will start with a chronological list of known Templar. Speculated Templar will be marked with an asterisk. Prehistory: Cain - First "Templar", killed Abel for the Piece of Eden. May be Templar in behavior only. Later Templar use his symbol as their own. Crusades: 1190 - AC: Altair's Chronicles Basilisk - Grand Master of the Templar during AC:AC Master of the Tower Alaat Roland Napule 1191 - Assassin's Creed 1 Robert de Sable - Grand Master of the Templar during AC1 Maria - Robert's assistant. Eventually joins the Assassins? Tamir Garnier de Naplouse Talal Abul Nuqoud William V of Montferrat Majd Addin Jubair al Hakim Sibrand Masun - Assassin traitor Al Mualim - Traitor to the main Templar body, forming his own sect 1191-1192? - Assassin's Creed Bloodlines Armand Bouchart - Grand Master of the Templar during AC:B Frederick the Red Moloch Shahar Shalim 1390 Freemasons - Earliest known Masonic text originates from this time. Freemasons seem to be a Templar organization. 1480 - Assassin's Creed II Rodrigo Borgia - Grand Master/Leader of the Templar during ACII Uberto Alberti Jacopo de' Pazzi Francesco de' Pazzi Vieri de' Pazzi Antonio Maffei Francesco Salviati Bernado Baroncelli Stefano de Bagnone Emilio Barbarigo Carlo Grimaldi Marco Barbarigo Dante Moro Silvio Barbarigo 1700s George Washington - Member of the Freemasons 1800s Joseph Smith Jr. - Possible Freemason, translated Templar text. Founded Mormon faith. 1900s Rasputin - Served as Templar agent, influencing Czar Nicholas II Thomas Edison J.P. Morgan Henry Ford Harvey Firestone* - Close ally of Ford and Edison Franklin Delano Roosevelt - Member of the Freemasons Adolf Hitler - Worked for the Templar. Started WWII for Templar ends. C (Possibly Churchill) - Was supposed to meet with Hitler after WWII. O (Probably Oppenheimer*) - Worked under Templar, doing atomic research Lee Harvey Oswald - Commit JFK assassination under Templar Orders Z (Possibly Abraham Zapruder*) - Assisted in JFK assassination Lyndon B. Johnson - Templar agent, president of the U.S. Buzz Aldrin* - Cryptic message "the bees drone too" may reference Aldrin. 2012 - Modern Day Allan Rikken - Highest known ranking member of modern Templar Warren Vidic - Abstergo scientist ===B. Organizations and Influence=== The Templar are an ancient organization, using many names over the millenia. The name "Templar" itself seems to be a recent name, as they have been active at least since the time of Jesus, using the red cross as their symbol, but the Templar organization did not arise until more than a millenium later. As opposed to the Assassins, the Templar M.O. tends to be to create influential organizations, use these organizations to put members into positions of power, and then use this power to work towards Templar means. Usually, these organizations have a publicly known goal; this helps draw attention away from their true purposes, while not causing suspicion as to why they seek power. Sometimes this goal can be used as a diversion; enemies of the organizations will seek to undermine the public goal, allowing the organization to achieve its true purposes without opposition. These influence has spread to include a large number of powerful groups over the years. These include: The Knights Templar Several other Crusader Organizations The Ruling Bodies of Jerusalem, Acre, and Damascus The Freemasons Possibly the Mormon Faith (likely only at upper levels of the Faith) Possibly NASA A significant number of American Presidents Various circles of scientific entrepreneurs Several of the world leaders during WWII (U.S., Germany, and England?) Abstergo Industries The Assassin Order I would like to draw attention to the last group. Yes, the Templar actually controlled the Assassin Order. Furthermore, it seems as if they may have even created it, as Al Mualim was the founder and father of the Assasin Order. It is not likely he inherited his role, so it is possible the entire order was founded for the whims of a rogue Templar. However, it is worth noting that Altair muses on the idea that Al Mualim merely revived a concept that had existed far longer than the Order itself. This may refer to the difference between the Assassin Order and the Assassin Bloodline. Ultimately, however, Assassin Creed 1's Order was technically founded by the Templar, even if this were not to last. ===C. Ultimate Goals=== At face value, the Templar Order seems to have two goals. First, is the aquisition and monopoly of power, especially the artifacts of Those Who Came Before. Subjugation and control of the masses, particularly those who would oppose them, through any means necessary. The first goal, in a sense, is merely the means for accomplishing the second goal. Furthermore, the second goal is done with the ultimate purpose of instilling world peace and stability. When asked, the Templar state that their goal is bringing peace and happiness to the world, whatever the consequences. This would be an ultimate philosophical goal for their order, giving them their moral highground from which they can comfortably do what they need to do without remorse. This is extremely effective, as virtually no Templar throughout the games shows any guilt for the actions they have done, truly believing they are doing good. This is important form of psychological conditioning; with it in place, turnover and betrayal is greatly reduced (important in a secret society), and a zealous morality strengthens and focuses the drive to serve the order. In this sense, the Templar are not, nor do they consider themselves, evil. They merely differ from the Assassins in one key point; the Templar believe that peace is more important than free will, that removing the element of choice is a necessary sacrifice to ensure survival. The Assassins believe that peace is a worthy goal, but it is empty and meaningless if not chosen. Their "sacrifice" in the name of peace is the belief that taking a few, key lives is worth the benefit if it allows freedom and free will. This binds the orders on another level. They are both practitioners of the political/philosophical policy of Utilitarianism, which is to say, they both seek to attain the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people, recognizing that there must be sacrifice, or a few unhappy people, to attain a "greater good". Both Assassins and Templar believe it is okay to take the lives of others to gain this goal (though the Assassins seem less liberal in the use of death for their goals. Ironic, that Assassins are hesitant to kill, in this sense). The only true difference is that Assassins believe it is NOT okay to sacrifice free will for this end. This policy is further cemented when Altair takes over the Assassin Order, removing certain rules and restrictions that hindered or blinded free will and thought. An interesting example of this is in Altair's use of his Piece of Eden. The only time he used it to manipulate others was so he could show them the truth, clearing their minds of the propaganda that clouded their judgement and free will. I digress, however, from this lengthy comparison. The ultimate goal of the Templar, taking into consideration the artifacts, is to use a Piece of Eden's mind control abilities to entirely enslave mankind, forcing an unprecedented era of peace and "happiness". Accomplishing this goal is expensive, complicated, and requires political power, so certain parts of their organization aim not to collect the artifacts, but to maintain power and resources. As stated by Vidic, many of the technological advances throughout history were made by the Templar, either with the intention of aiding their ultimate goal (space travel and satellite technology) or to help strengthen their position of power (atomic weaponry) and resources aquisition (developing electricity and charging money for it). Even as far back as the Crusader Templar, there was the immediate goal of "the new world order". It is possible that the Templar may have been able to subjugate the world with a Piece of Eden, even if it had to be carried by hand to various parts of the world. But Al Mualim's loss to Altair demonstrated one thing; the Piece of Eden is only part of the solution. You cannot subjugate everyone with the Piece of Eden's power, and you must also be able to defeat those who can resist it. To this end, gaining government power and a technological advantage serve a double purpose, helping to achieve their ends in the now, and ensuring victory against those who resist the mind control. Additionally, more Pieces of Eden might possess powers that could be used to defeat those who resisted the mind control. However, as the years passed, it became obvious that just manually carrying a Piece of Eden would not be exactly efficient, so research was put towards finding ways of gaining more power, or making said power more convenient. Rodrigo Borgia sought the Vault, hoping to find within power more potent than that of the Apple (he would have been disappointed). Meanwhile, in the present, the idea of using the Apple in a satellite was developed, and as of AC1, the day of this launch is quickly approaching. The Templar are not stupid, however, and they seem to recognize that certain types of power are just too dangerous. The Philadelphia Experiment, seemingly performed by the government and NOT the Templar, showed that a certain Piece of Eden could allow time travel, if brief. The Templar show a strong interest in understanding and controlling this phenomenon, but once in control, they promptly secured the Piece of Eden and are conducting no more research. They fear the concept of a Temporal Paradox, a potentially disasterous outcome of time travel, and even they find that much power to be too risky to meddle with. One trait the morally minded Templar seem to ignore is their own selfish, immorality. Many of the Templar, though convinced of their moral highground, partake of extremely violent, greedy, and weak-minded behaviors. Individuals such as Tamir the Merchant give into a blind rage, mercilessly and brutally murdering people who anger them, with no real moral reason for doing so. Others, such as Marco Barbarigo, attempt to brutally murder their own loyal retainers for selfish greed, in this situation, ordering a hit on his guard captain Dante Moro so he could have Dante's wife for his own. There is no possible reason for this to be done "for the sake of mankind", but the supposedly moral Templar seem to overlook such blatantly evil behavior. For some reason, the Templar heirarchy does not seem to believe that this sort of evil, perpetrated by their own number, is an issue. In this sense, their grand scheme of providing "the greater good" is more of a grand farce. They cannot even control their own evil behavior, so why should they be granted the right to subjugate other such deviants. Rodrigo Borgia, like many individuals of the Rennaisance, might have been one of the best examples of a Templar corrupted by his own desires. Ignoring the other such disturbing implications shown in his video, or his willingness to kill, he infiltrated one of the largest religions on Earth, and expressed a belief that the entire religion was a sham (while maintaining his position and doing nothing to show its followers the truth). Furthermore, he did believe that a God of sorts existed, and desired to enslave God's power for his own selfish purposes. This act is associated with one other important figure in Religion; Satan. In Dante's Inferno, at the bottom of hell lies the imprisoned Satan, the most despised of all of the sinners, for committing so greivous and arrogant a sin as "Treachery against God". If Dante had played Assassin's Creed 2, Rodrigo Borgia would probably be right there next to him. Of course, Dante Alighieri was a member of the Assassin Order, so he fits into this comparison quite nicely. ------------------------------- 6. Artifacts ------------------------------- ===A. Known Artifacts and Timeline=== First off, I would like to document the known artifacts. Known artifacts: Piece of Eden 1 - Apple Piece of Eden 2 - Apple Piece of Eden 3 - Apple Piece of Eden 4 - Apple Piece of Eden 5 - Apple Piece of Eden 25 - Sword Piece of Eden 34 - Staff Piece of Eden 66 - Shroud Piece of Eden X - Unknown (Capable of limited time travel) Altair's Apple - Piece of Eden Unknown Now, I would like to document a timeline for each. If labeled with a (TC) it is under Templar Control. PE1 1812 AD - Owned by Napoleon Bonaparte 1913 AD - Owned by Houdini 1915 AD - The Templar have Houdini killed, taking it (TC) 1963 AD - Confirmed to still be in Templar possession (TC) PE2 1559 AD - Owned by Queen Elizabeth 1930 AD - Owned by Gandhi 1946 AD - The Templar have Gandhi killed, taking it (TC) 1963 AD - Confirmed to still be in Templar possession (TC) ~2012 AD - Destroyed in the DIA Event PE3 X-1781 AD - Brought to America by the Masons (TC) 1781 AD - Owned by George Washington (TC) 1944 AD - Owned by Franklin Roosevelt (TC) 1963 AD - Owned by John F. Kennedy (TC?) November 22, 1963 - Taken from JFK during Assassination (TC) PE4 ~900 AD - In the possession of an unknown Chinese warrior ~1900 AD - Found in Croatia by Nikola Tesla, who kept it ~1900-1908 AD - Stolen by Thomas Edison (TC) ~1914 AD - In the possession of Henry Ford, lent by Edison (TC) ~1914-1945 AD - In the possession of Adolf Hitler (TC) 1945 AD< - Unknown, possibly in the possession of the Assassins PE5 >1969 AD - Apparently, in the dirt on the moon 1969 AD - Found on the moon, retrieved during Apollo 11 (TC) PE25 - The Sword Pre-history - In the possession of Sigmund the Nordic hero Pre-history - In the possession of Perseus the Nordic hero ~420-450 AD - In the possession of Attila the Hun ~480-900 AD- In the possession of King Arthur at some point 1431 AD - In the possession of Joan of Arc 1431 AD+ - Taken by the Templar, killing Joan in the process (TC) PE34 - The Staff ~1200 BC - In the possession of Moses and his brother Aaron 700 BC - In the possession of Shabataka 330 BC - In the possession of Alexander the Great 30 AD - In the possession of John the Baptist 31 AD - Passed to the possession of St. Peter, the first pope. 31 AD - 1492 AD - In possession of the popes, as the Papal staff. 1492 AD - 1499 AD - In the possession of Rodrigo Borgia, Pope Alexander (TC) ~1903 - In the possession of Czar Nicholas II of Russia ~1904-1908 - Taken by Rasputin, Nicholas' mystic, to Tunguska (TC) 1908 - Tunguska is utterly destroyed in the Tunguska Event PE66 - The Shroud Pre-history - In the possession of Jason the Greek Hero >1700 BC - In the possession of Jacob, father of Joseph? 1700 BC - In the possession of Joseph, of Jewish/Biblical Scripture 970 BC - In the possession of David, of Jewish/Biblical Scripture 30 AD - In the possession of Jesus of Biblical Scripture 30 AD and later - In the possession of the Templar (TC) PEX - Time Travel Device 1943 - Philadelphia Experiment "works", but causes damage to artifact (TC) 2012 - Original artifact is repaired, but kept in isolation (TC) Altair's Apple Altair's Apple is likely Piece of Eden 1, 2, or 3, but it is not clear which one it is. 1191 - In Solomon's Temple 1191 - Taken by Malik from the Temple and given to Al Mualim 1191 - Taken from the now revealed Templar Al Mualim, by Altair 1191+ - Altair studies the artifact, and takes it to Cyprus for safekeeping 14xx - Retrieved from Cyprus by Rodrigo Borgia 1499 - Used by Ezio to open the Vault in the Vatican ===B. Artifact Powers=== Next, I using the ingame demonstrations, and the consistancy shown between mythology, I will create a list of definite and speculative abilties of each one. The Apples 1. Mind control over humans - This can include complete domination and (temporary?) mind cleansing, or it can be more subtle, inducing hallucinations, convincing individuals of a fact, or even insanity. Functions by activating an otherwise dormant neural pathway, specifically found only in humans. Possession of another artifact seems to negate or limit the effects, as does being a member of the Assassin bloodline. Altair was able to resist the direct mind control effect, but the hallucinations still seemed to influence him, though he fought through them. 2. Immobilization - A seemingly non-neural ability to immobilize a target. Strange bursts of light appear on the body of the afflicted target, indicating that it is purely physical. Resistance to the mind control effect does not seem to help in resisting the immobilization. 3. Duplication - The Apples seem to possess the ability for an individual to duplicate him or herself, and potentially bestow a different appearance upon the duplicates, which are capable of independent behavior. It is possible this is just a use of the hallicination ability, but it seems that duplicates are physical beings and can cause physical harm, indicating that this is an independent power. Loss of a duplicate does not seem to harm the original. 4. Storage of Data - The Apples seem to not only be an item of control, but also a library of data. Altair regularly mentions delving into the depths of his Apple to find information, but it seems it is not a simple task. His records indicate it requires a strong mind, and that care should be taken when using them, and he expresses a fear of losing oneself to it. It is possible that the Apples were not intended for use by humans, and that this ability is only somewhat accessible by them. It also can track the location of other artifacts in its database. 5. Foresight - It seems that Those Who Came Before had a limited form of foresight which required significant effort on their part. Altair seems able to tap into this ability through the apple, in a limited manner, indicating that the Apples themselves were the device through which the foresight was accomplished. 6. Opening Vaults - By combining the Staff (PoE 34) and an Apple, it was possible to open a vault. It is not shown if all of the vaults require the same combination, or if other combinations are possible. 7. Extended Life (Speculated) - In a number of the Apple related myths indicated in the puzzles, the Apple in question carried powers, and the most common of these powers was eternal/extended life/youth. Altair himself muses on the idea of extending his own life through the use of the Apple, but whether he succeeded is not known. 8. Temptation/Resisting Destruction (Speculated) - It seems as if something about the apples causes humans to desire them, but in a sense that also limits their desire to destroy them. Like the One Ring of Lord of the Rings, when it comes time to destroy the Apple, it takes phenomenal willpower to do so, and many people crave possessing it. It takes Altair several years to muster up the will to destroy it (which he was unable to do physically anyway), but at the end of Assassin's Creed 1, he was unable to destroy the Apple as he swore to do, choosing rather to use it for study. If the Apples were designed to control humans, then it would be logical to instill a safeguard within them preventing humans from destroying them willfully. Altair's ability to do so after years of effort may be a side-effect of his Assassin bloodline. It is also worth noting that the Apple of the Garden of Eden is nearly synonymous with Temptation, and the Apples in the various myths are also highly coveted (and well guarded by non-human methods). The Staff 1. Area of Effect Attack - One ability of the Staff that is definitively demonstrated is a sweeping area of effect strike, used to knock over nearby opponents. Once downed, some sort of energy seems to physically weaken victims of the attack, causing them to fall prone to the ground for some time. Like the Mind Control, it is possible to resist this ability. Ezio indicates that his possession of an Apple allows this, but it is also possible his Assassin bloodline granted him this ability as well. The physical wave still seems to hit him, but the weakening status effect has limited use on Ezio (though not entirely non-existant). 2. Short-range Telekinesis - The Staff demonstrates the ability to provide a short range "force push" of sorts, knocking Ezio over, allowing Borgia to use his disabling Area of Effect ability. It seems to work well on Ezio, despite his Apple and Assassin Bloodline. 3. Cloaking - Using the Staff seems to allow its users to temporarily cloak themselves. The limitations and duration of this ability are not shown. 4. Opening Vaults - By combining the Staff with an apple, it was possible to open a vault. It is not shown if all of the vaults require the same combination, or if other combinations are possible. 5. Mind control over humans (Speculated) - Like all of the Pieces of Eden, it seems that those in possession of the Staff had an extraordinary large number of followers. This indicates that it is possible it too was capable of the mind swaying abilities shown by the Apple. Similarly, it also seems possible it was capable of the hallucination inducing abilities, as it was used numerous times in the Moses myth to perform otherwise supernatural feats. 6. Other Apple Abilities (Speculated) - Ultimately, it seems that there is some overlap between the Apples and the other Pieces of Eden. How many of the abilities shown by the Apples are possessed by the Staff is unknown, if any, but it is a possibility that it too has the Data Storage abilities. Rodrigo Borgia seemed suprised at the Duplication and Immobilization capabilities of the Apple, so it is unlikely that the Staff had these abilities as well. The Sword (Entirely Speculative) 1. Combat Prowess - All five individuals who possessed the Sword in the puzzle are known for being, in one way or another, particularly skilled in melee combat. Like the Apple, it is possible that the Sword bestows enhanced combat knowledge upon its user, or guides/enhances the abilities of the user to the point that they are notably more skilled than their opponents. 2. Physically Strong Cutting Edge - Several of the myths include the Sword being made of supernatural material that was unsusceptible to wear and tear, and capable of cutting through extremely hard substances. For example, being shoved deep into a stone (Arthurian legend) or a tree (Sigmund's legend). Given the nature of those legends, it is also possible that only certain people could activate the weapon, or that its activation required a certain action unknown to most, and that only when activated did its special powers work (hence, being unable to be drawn from its place, as its edge was not active). 3. Knowledge of War - Several of the owners of the Sword were also skilled tacticians, notably Joan of Arc (who was the LEAST combat skilled of the five), leading their people on successful campaigns, sometimes when completely outmatched or where others had failed. 4. Limited Foresight - Like the Apple, it is possible that the Sword offers some form of combat foresight, accounting for the successful military campaigns led by some of its owners. Joan of Arc's legacy specifically mentions divine inspiration providing her with the advanced knowledge of her enemy's movements, especially significant given that there is no way she could have made the complex military predictions on her own (she had less than a year's veterancy in the military, and was an uneducated farm girl). 5. Other Apple Abilities - Like the Staff and the Apples, the users of the Sword often had a large number of loyal followers, and some were powerful leaders and kings. It may have possessed the same, or a limited form of, mind control abilities as the Apples. Possibly the same with stored knowledge. The Shroud (Entirely Speculative) 1. Resistance to Harm - The Golden Fleece had a number of capabilities, including being highly resistant to attack. When in the possession of David, he chose to wear it to combat a veteran giant soldier, turning down a King's personal suit of armor. If it is preferable to a high quality suit of armor, and given the outcome of David's battle, it may be likely that the Shroud protects against physical harm while being worn. 2. Healing Abilities (Possibly Resurrection) - The Golden Fleece was capable of healing the wounded or just-recently killed, and Jesus (in possession of the shroud) healed a number of disabled or wounded individuals. Jesus healed a variety of ailments, included fresh wounds, injury induced disabilities, birth defects, and mental disorders. He also was known to have revived a recently dead man. He himself was also well known for being revived after death, possibly through long term exposure to the Shroud (As it was taken by the Templar after he died). Hence, the Shroud may be designed so that it can repair natural and unnatural wounds and physical defects, as well as curing mental disabilities and reviving the recently dead. 3. Strange/Changing Color - The Golden Fleece was supposed to be amazingly brilliant in color, but it was definitely gold. In the puzzle, all of the later owners wore a red cloak, and Joseph's beautiful cloak was well known for being "techni-color". It is possible it could change color at the whim of the owner, but still possessed a consistant beauty. 4. Other Apple Abilities - Like the Staff and Sword before, the wearers of the Shroud had large groups of loyal followers, indicating the possibility of the mind control abilities present in the Apples. ===C. The Current State of Things=== With that concluded, let us look at the present state of the Assassin's Creed universe. In Desmond's time, to the best of our knowledge, the templar are in possession of a large number of the known artifacts. At their last known sightings, the Templar possessed 3 of the 5 Apples. They also had the Shroud and the Sword in their last known sightings (2000 and 600 years ago, respectively). The last known artifact, the Staff, seems to have been destroyed. They have a reconstructed version of Artifact X, the time control artifact. Given this, it also seems the Templar have a limited understanding of the technology of the Artifacts, indicating the possibility of them being able to make them some time in the future. They also have knowledge of the location of many more artifacts. Meanwhile, the Assassins, while losing ground, are not entirely out of the ballgame. They seem to be responsible for the destruction of 2 artifacts, and may be in possession of an Apple. ===D. Deeper Meaning Behind the Artifacts=== It is speculated by Altair that the Artifacts are merely discarded playthings, given divine significance by humans. He may have been closer to the truth than anyone things. While it is clear the artifacts are not merely trinkets, and that they are truly powerful for humans, they seem to have been a tool of everyday use for Those Who Came Before. The Apples, specifically, seem to have been some sort of multi-tool/PDA of sorts, from which the user could access a vast library of knowledge, see the location on Earth of other users, potentially see the future, and control one's human slaves. Powerful by human standards, certainly, but seemingly not so much within the context of the extremely powerful Those Who Came Before. The artifacts, however, seem to have been limited in their creation. They are not so abundantly plentiful that they were mass produced; rather, given the limited number of the Ones Who Came Before, it is possible that there was just 1 artifact created for each, though possibly more, given that different artifacts had different uses. This may have been partly due to fear of them falling into the wrong hands; through their use, humans would gain several advantages in rebeling against their masters. In addition to gaining resistance to some of the powers of the artifacts, humanity would also gain access to the technological knowledge stored within the artifacts, as well as use of its combat abilities, and an extended lifespan (In the Bible, Adam was supposed to have lived for 930 years). In this sense, it seems that ultimately, Altair is correct in his analysis of the artifacts as far more trivial than the millenia spanning fued between Templar and Assassins would dictate. However, Puzzle #19 reveals something more, implying that the artifacts may have had a much more significant purpose. After hinting at the end of the world almost happening in the past, Subject 16 says "The pieces were once part of a whole." Minerva's statements at the end of the game indicate that there is still hope if the other Temples can be found, possibly bearing more artifacts. It seems that through the combined power of a large number of artifacts, the apocalypse which devastated the Earth the first time might be mitigated enough to allow humanity to survive, a gift from the Ones Who Came Before to their creations. ******************************* VII. Personal Musings I have a few topics I would like to talk about, just for my own personal indulgence and interest. 1. The Mottos Nothing Is True. Everything Is Permitted. May The Father Of Understanding Guide Us. These mottos reflecting the Assassin and Templar orders are stated time and time again throughout the games. However, I find them ironic. Ultimately, I believe that they correspond to the wrong groups. Take the Templar's motto, for instance. "May The Father Of Understanding Guide Us" . . . this indicates a strong sense of reverence for knowledge, enlightement, and guidance by such traits. Knowing the facts, unclouded by propaganda and enforced uneducation . . . this sounds very much like an Assassin philosophy. The Templar, who seek to subjugate humanity by clouding judgement, or ultimately removing judgement entirely, do not seem to be the foremost authority to speak on the nature of understanding. Similarly, the Assassin's motto only halfway represents them. "Nothing Is True. Everything Is Permitted." Ultimately, the first half makes sense. One of the Assassin's foremost ideas is that rulers create myths to control the people, and that one can never take these ideas (or any ideas) completely to heart. At the same time, Altair muses in his codex that the Templar are painfully aware that nothing can be completely, and ultimately true, and it is this fact that leads them to create their own reality and truth. Hence, the fact that "Nothing Is True" is the driving belief behind the Templar's goals. Next, "Everything Is Permitted." The Assassins believe that sacrifices must be made, usually in the form of key individuals, for the sake of the greater good. However, they draw the line in many things, refusing to kill innocents, and respecting free will above all else. It is the Templar who truly believe that anything can be sacrificed in the name of their ultimate goal. There is nothing so immoral or so catastrophic that it is not worth doing if it will allow them to be one step closer to realization of their new world order. The Templar live by the policy that "Everything Is Permitted". I suppose it could be argued either way, but I found it interesting that these two mottos seem almost reversed. 2. Artifacts of Legend! I cannot wait until Assassin's Creed 3. You know what I am waiting for most of all? More Pieces of Eden. The revelation of the Sword, the Staff and the Shroud, and the association between them and mythological items just struck a chord with me, and I find myself considering other such possibilities. I have always been a fan of mythology, and magical weapons and the like have always been my favorite. So, I would love to see more of these items brought into the series. A few I would personally love to see: The Spear - Athena (Minerva) wielded a spear, and Odin, King of the Norse gods, weilded an enchanted spear (Gungnir) which could not miss its target. One spear, now regarded in a mythological context, is the Spear of Longinus (also known as the Spear of Destiny), a lance used to pierce the side of Jesus while he was on the cross. The Helmet - Athena/Minerva in mythology seemed to always were a helmet of some sort; however, we now see that Minerva wore some sort of headpiece that did not seem particularly special. However, helmets do come into play in other respects. In the legend of Perseus, he was granted several gifts, one of which was the helmet of Hades/Pluto, which allowed him to turn invisible. The Staff was already depicted as offering a cloaking ability, so this is not outside the realm of realistic. The Boots - Another item in the Perseus myth were Hermes/Mercury's enchanted sandals. They were made of gold, and had wings which allowed the user to fly at tremendous speeds. Within the context of an artifact, they could merely be some sort of propulsion device worn on the feet, yet still an interesting item. ******************************* VIII. Legal Somesuch This file is written and copyrighted by me, Irvine Tomoe. That being said, much of this is interpretation of facts that are merely implied already in a game. I would appreciate not passing off the document as one's own creation, but realistically, none of this is mine. I just made the connections that anyone can, with enough effort and research. If you would like you put it on a website, go ahead, though an email sent my way would be appreciated at DarkerCompanion@gmail.com. Thanks, and I hope you will be respectful, and spread this information to as many players of Assassin's Creed 2 as possible. ******************************* IX. Credits Credits go to four. Ubisoft, for making this game. All the connections I made over the past few days were not invented: they were found. The makers at Ubisoft must have had to scour history for ways to tie all of this in, and they have done an incredible job. How they found all of these coincidences is uncanny . . . and I am impressed. Gamefaqs, for hosting this guide, and for hosting the sharing of information on their forums. Wikipedia, for being my one-click guide to the world's information. Tesla would be proud. And last, Gamefaqs user Failbaddon who pointed out for me that Abraham Zapruder is a significant Z named individual in the JFK assassination. I would NOT have found that one on my own.