Breaking Down the Assassin’s Creed Reveal

Breaking Down the Assassin’s Creed Reveal

Update: A few minutes ago Ubisoft unveiled the upcoming Assassin’s Creed game, Revelations, along with details. How accurate was I? Take a look here!

Authors Note: After I started to write this, two new video reveals have been presented so they will be broken down and analyzed below as well. As future video reveals are released I will continue to update this article.

For a few days the Internet has been buzzing about revealing the next Assassin’s Creed game. On the Facebook Fan Page for the game fans are asked to Tweet and spread the word to their friends, and the more people who “like” the page and tell their friends, the more we will see of the reveal. Right now the Activity Monitor says it’s at 74%, but from what I’ve been able to see I’ve managed to uncover many clues about what Ubisoft has to offer next.

Upon starting the video it looks like a computer booting up with file names and other program information. If one was to take a screenshot and capture that, they’d see that there are what appear to be a bunch of file extensions however it’s not exactly something you can Google. Since this is something that couldn’t be thrown in there for shits and giggles, let’s assume the numbers are actually dates. Could they bear some significance to the upcoming game and the Assassin’s Creed universe as a whole?

  • The first is 26051512. Since there aren’t 26 months in a year, I can naturally assume that the date is formatted in continental European style. By doing a search for May 26th, 1512 I came across the Wikipedia page for Bayezid II, a Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. That date marks his death, and from what I’ve read of him he seemed to be a just ruler.
  • The second number is 24061459, or June 24th, 1459. That marks Ezio Auditore da Firenze’s date of birth, and we all know just how awesome Ezio is. As I’m sure many of you have already played through AC II and Brotherhood, I shouldn’t really have to elaborate on who Ezio is or why he is significant.
  • The third, 06111494, is the date of birth for another ruler of the Ottoman Empire, Suleiman I, otherwise known as Suleiman the Magnificent. After the death of Bayezid II, another ruler stepped in for a bit and that was Suleiman’s father, Selim I. Upon the death of Selim in 1520, Suleiman ascended to the throne. Suleiman was much more aggressive than Bayezid II, having launched at least 13 military campaigns against various nations/civilizations.
  • The fourth set of numbers, 11011165, is a bit tricker because when searching for it nothing directly comes up however we know that Altaïr, the main protagonist in the first Assassin’s Creed, was born in 1165. I think that, if the date of birth for Ezio is thrown in there, then maybe this truly is the date of birth for Altaïr. I’ll mention more as to why I feel that way in a bit.
  • The second to last string of numbers, 10091509, immediately brings up results for a massive earthquake that hit Istanbul. It had an estimated magnitude of 7.2, had 45 aftershocks that followed, and there was even a tsunami. It’s speculated that at least 10,000 people died from that natural disaster. No other events or famous births/deaths occurred on that date.
  • The final date, 15061511, has absolutely no events, no famous births or deaths tied to it at all so it’s a blank slate. There could be a possibility where the date bears some significance in the game, maybe having you begin on that date, or maybe that is when the next ancestor is born/dies. I can’t be certain.

The second section also includes more booting up, but this time it lists more than just file extensions and numbers. We can see that this program is actually the Animus and that it tried to boot up the memory files of Ezio Auditore from s17, which has to stand for Subject 17 AKA Desmond Miles. From the screenshot below it says that there was a fatal error in the boot up, that the memory failed to reinitialize and that the Animus had to be reset. Upon starting up other items in the Animus listed as sourcestdphysics.aphy and sourceislandtest.ageo we can see that the Animus was able to initialize and that whoever was hooked up (most likely Desmond) was able to sync back in.

The reveal then flashes back to the same numbers/dates that I broke down above and then we see a string of files being loaded that are listed as memory archives for s17. If you look closely enough you’ll see that the memory archives are not only out of order after a certain point, but one for Subject 16 managed to slip on in there. In Brotherhood you get a decent amount of story for Subject 16 and what happened to them so I hope that they manage to come back in some shape or form in the next installment. I’d really like to explore their story even further.

Once that initializes, a gorgeous image appears where most of it is sadly blurred, but there is a clear shot of an assassin wielding a hidden blade and a building is in the background. The hidden blade, and the sheath, looks almost identical to the one Altaïr wears in the first Assassin’s Creed, and even though I’m no expert on architecture, the building behind him looks a lot like the ones we saw in the game. The base of the building gets a bit fuzzy but it appears to be on a cliff, with Altaïr looking at it from an area somewhere below. There are no other figures in the image, so I can’t say for sure that he is about to shank somebody, or if he’s shaking his fist in the air out of anger or disapproval (although that would be hilarious to see), but a blade is a blade.

Another reason why I’m going with the entire Altaïr assumption is because his full name, Altaïr Ibn-La’ Ahad, flashes on the screen twice in backwards Arabic. Traditionally Arabic is written from right to left, opposite of the way we read and write things in English (and most languages for that matter), but in the flashes the letters aren’t connected like they normally would be. Also they are going from left to right (random cool fact: Altaïr’s full name means Eagle, Son of No One).

Now, from this particular video reveal, one piece has thrown me off greatly and it’s the stone wheel that appears in between flashes of Altaïr’s name in Arabic. The stone wheel is known as the Phaistos Disc, and is a real artifact that was discovered in Phaistos, Crete by an Italian archaeologist, Luigi Pernier, in 1908. Why is it throwing me off so much? Well, for starters the Phaistos Disc has been rumored from time to time to be a fake and not a real fact dating back to the Minoan Bronze Age. The Disc has two sides written in two different languages. The side in the video is written in a symbolic language similar to Linear A, and to this date nobody is able to give a clear translation as to what is said on either side of the Phaistos Disc. Part of that is because there isn’t enough known about Linear A, and what it would translate to in a modern language. There have been some guesses, but from what I was able to find none of it would be truly applicable to the Assassin’s Creed Universe, nor does the era from which the Disc would’ve been from tie in with anything. There is the possibility that the Phaistos Disc will be the artifact you have to retrieve in the game before the Templars reach it, but I think that might be difficult since little is known about it at all, much less what is inscribed on it.

The video reveal that came afterwards only helps support my theories even more. In this one the date of Ezio’s birthday flash, similar to the Arabic script of Altaïr’s name, however a new symbol appeared. Instead of having an item, like the Phaistos Disc in the previous reveal video, the Tughra of Suleiman I is shown. A tughra is a calligraphic monogram of the Ottoman Empire, and is similar to the ways the Egyptians had a cartouche for their Pharaoh’s. Every Sultan of the Ottoman Empire had one however Suleiman’s became the classical standard to have.

To further drive the numerical date connections home, the Hagia Sophia is in the background, and ties in with many things. Bayezid II had one of the minarets for the Hagia Sophia constructed in the NE corner, but during the earthquake of 1509 that hit Istanbul, one of the minarets cracked. Suleiman I also added to the Hagia Sophia by way of two candles he brought back from Hungary, and those were placed on both sides of the mihrab, a semicircular niche in the wall of a mosque. Aside from the obvious connections to the dates, the name Hagia Sophia translates into “holy wisdom.” Remember the Phaistos Disc? Well, that was found near a place named Hagia Triada, which translates into “holy trinity.” I’d be a fool to think that somehow the two names don’t help clue us in to what’s to come.

In the latest video not too much more is given however we get a clear image of Altaïr. If you look closely you can see that his left arm is bent at the elbow, mirroring the post of the hidden-blade arm in the other video. If one were to layer them on top of each other I’m positive they would line up, creating one solid image. In addition to that we get a flash of, what we assume to be, Altaïr’s date of birth. Finally, a crest showing two eagles appears and it is the same coat of arms used by the Russian Federation, previously used in the Russian Empire. Now, the double eagle crest was first introduced by Ivan III after his marriage to Byzantine princess Sophia Paleologue. Sophia’s uncle was Constantine, the last Byzantine Emperor. The coat of arms went under many transformations after Ivan III brought it over but it wasn’t until 1993, when it was brought back by presidential decree, where it was given the orb and sceptre. If you think about the previous Assassin’s Creed games, and what the main objective is (getting the Pieces of Eden), the orb and sceptre significant takes on a completely different role. The orb very well could be the Sixth Apple, and the sceptre could instead be The Sword, which is the 25th piece.

It is worth noting that during Constantine’s reign Constantinople (now known as Istanbul) was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, and through that the Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque. See how that all ties in together? Of course the eagle crest can be thought of in other ways too, such as how I mentioned earlier that Altaïr means eagle, or how the assassin ancestor, Nikolai Orleov, in the Assassin’s Creed comics was from Russia during the reign of Tsar Nicholas II. Also, let’s not forget how Desmond has an eagle on his clothing, so the eagle plays an important role.

So what does it all mean? Good question. There are heavy references to the Ottoman Empire, to Altaïr, and to that entire region. Of course Altaïr was around a few hundred years before the events of the fall of Constantinople, the reign of Suleiman I, and much more. Could the next game include a relative of Altaïr’s and Ezio’s, since it would fill in the time gap? If the memory archives of Ezio are refusing to load we honestly can count him out, so who could it be? Let me know your thoughts in a comment below!

  • Mike

    Awesome stuff. What a fun read. Thank you!!!

    • Lindsey

      Thank you so much! I love history so I had a lot of fun going through and seeking everything out 🙂

  • Mike

    Awesome stuff. What a fun read. Thank you!!!

    • Lindsey

      Thank you so much! I love history so I had a lot of fun going through and seeking everything out 🙂

  • Triano

    Good read. I hope it will be in the Byzantine years and not ottoman.

    • Lindsey

      That could be interesting. Would you want it to take place towards the end when there is the Ottoman takeover?

  • Triano

    Good read. I hope it will be in the Byzantine years and not ottoman.

    • Lindsey

      That could be interesting. Would you want it to take place towards the end when there is the Ottoman takeover?

  • SprDan

    This is a fantastic read. I too have done the ‘deep’ searching into the phaistos disc, Suleiman I, Hagia Sophia, the Byzantine shield, the Ottomons, the Tsar’s I, II, III, and the string of numbers (dates) The date of 15061511 i too found nothing, but a date of 18061511 came up about an italian architect called Bartolommeo Ammannati, born in Florence. He trained in Venice, moved to Rome, then in 1555 returned to Florence and worked for the Medici. I know this is a bit off track but it could be of use. I like the connection with Nikolai, that could work!!

    • Lindsey

      I will admit I was a bit disappointed when there was no literal translation to the Phaistos Disc. It would’ve been awesome if it had something that really would’ve brought on intrigue, but maybe the connection with the nearby site name is enough? Thanks for the tip about June 18th. I hadn’t come across that yet but it could be something worth looking in to. You never know 🙂

      The Nikolai connection would be awesome, if it turns out to be true, since all we know about him comes from the three comics. I wonder though if the eagle symbol is to imply other things though and a possible trick to throw us all off by thinking too literally and not outside the box, lol!

      • SprDan

        Whatever the case may be, i for one am intrigued about the upcoming AC:R and cant wait till the E3 show and the actual release date. Hopefully we will be fighting as a different assassin, Nikolai would indeed be awesome. I’ll watch your posts with intrigue. thx

        • Lindsey

          I hear ya about E3! We’ll be there and will definitely be swarming the Ubisoft booth to get as much info as possible 🙂

          I wouldn’t mind playing as Altaïr again since so many improvements have been made to the AC games since the first one, so it would be nice to be as him with the updated mechanics, but I would easily welcome a new assassin. Nikolai would be an excellent choice.

          • SprDan

            I too would play as Altair, but he is limited in what he carries. I liked the fun of having two hidden blades on Ezio, you wouldnt get this on Altair, the crossbow got me out of some s**t sometimes too. However that did take the fun out of the game. I wouldnt be upset if Altair came back again so we could see how things ended with him, ive had enough of Ezio (he was an awesome character though) and would be dissapointed if we play with him. I believe for Ubisoft to keep the franchise going we have to play as someone else. Or both???

          • Lindsey

            True, Altaïr is limited in what he can carry because of the time period he existed. I agree with the dual hidden blades of Ezio, and I too found the crossbow to be a ton of fun. I do wonder if they do go in a different direction and not bring Altaïr back, if they go with an ancestor that existed between the times of Altaïr and Ezio, maybe to fill in that gap. As much as I’d love to keep playing as Ezio, I know that others will feel that his storyline is complete so it is time to give us something different.

  • SprDan

    This is a fantastic read. I too have done the ‘deep’ searching into the phaistos disc, Suleiman I, Hagia Sophia, the Byzantine shield, the Ottomons, the Tsar’s I, II, III, and the string of numbers (dates) The date of 15061511 i too found nothing, but a date of 18061511 came up about an italian architect called Bartolommeo Ammannati, born in Florence. He trained in Venice, moved to Rome, then in 1555 returned to Florence and worked for the Medici. I know this is a bit off track but it could be of use. I like the connection with Nikolai, that could work!!

    • Lindsey

      I will admit I was a bit disappointed when there was no literal translation to the Phaistos Disc. It would’ve been awesome if it had something that really would’ve brought on intrigue, but maybe the connection with the nearby site name is enough? Thanks for the tip about June 18th. I hadn’t come across that yet but it could be something worth looking in to. You never know 🙂

      The Nikolai connection would be awesome, if it turns out to be true, since all we know about him comes from the three comics. I wonder though if the eagle symbol is to imply other things though and a possible trick to throw us all off by thinking too literally and not outside the box, lol!

      • SprDan

        Whatever the case may be, i for one am intrigued about the upcoming AC:R and cant wait till the E3 show and the actual release date. Hopefully we will be fighting as a different assassin, Nikolai would indeed be awesome. I’ll watch your posts with intrigue. thx

        • Lindsey

          I hear ya about E3! We’ll be there and will definitely be swarming the Ubisoft booth to get as much info as possible 🙂

          I wouldn’t mind playing as Altaïr again since so many improvements have been made to the AC games since the first one, so it would be nice to be as him with the updated mechanics, but I would easily welcome a new assassin. Nikolai would be an excellent choice.

          • SprDan

            I too would play as Altair, but he is limited in what he carries. I liked the fun of having two hidden blades on Ezio, you wouldnt get this on Altair, the crossbow got me out of some s**t sometimes too. However that did take the fun out of the game. I wouldnt be upset if Altair came back again so we could see how things ended with him, ive had enough of Ezio (he was an awesome character though) and would be dissapointed if we play with him. I believe for Ubisoft to keep the franchise going we have to play as someone else. Or both???

          • Lindsey

            True, Altaïr is limited in what he can carry because of the time period he existed. I agree with the dual hidden blades of Ezio, and I too found the crossbow to be a ton of fun. I do wonder if they do go in a different direction and not bring Altaïr back, if they go with an ancestor that existed between the times of Altaïr and Ezio, maybe to fill in that gap. As much as I’d love to keep playing as Ezio, I know that others will feel that his storyline is complete so it is time to give us something different.

  • DT

    Great article, Lindsey.

    I don’t know if this could mean anything, but I believe a document dated 15 June 1511(15061511) records “the settlement of a dispute between the church of the Carmine and the heirs of the organ builders, who had not finished their work.” The interesting part is that the Church of Carmine is in Florence, Ezio’s hometown. Also, the church organist was called Petruccio. Could we be helping the musicians in ‘settling’ the dispute?

    Personally, I doubt this is true. It doesn’t seem like a major event. I have a couple of ahem, sources in Ubi, but they’re always tight-lipped when it comes to the AC series. Can’t blame them!

    • Lindsey

      Thank you so much! I really appreciate it 🙂

      You know, you could be on to something with that. I couldn’t find anything on that date when doing a Google search for it, but obviously I didn’t go too deep if you managed to find something. I think it’s definitely worth looking at because you never really know. What makes me exceptionally curious about the date is that, and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, the latest date for Ezio, as far as the events of Brotherhood are concerned, is 1507, so who knows.

      • DT

        Yeah, it was 1507. 12 March 1507, to be precise. The free-roam segment occurs back in 1503.

        The document I mentioned was published by Milanesi in his “Documenti per la storia dell’arte senese”. Gaetano Milanesi was an Italian art historian in the 19th century. Don’t let this confuse you – the actual document is dated 1511.

        • Lindsey

          Well, you never know if that document holds some real weight to it. I really think it’s worth looking in to and I’m sure that I’ll be super sleuthing until November 🙂

  • DT

    Great article, Lindsey.

    I don’t know if this could mean anything, but I believe a document dated 15 June 1511(15061511) records “the settlement of a dispute between the church of the Carmine and the heirs of the organ builders, who had not finished their work.” The interesting part is that the Church of Carmine is in Florence, Ezio’s hometown. Also, the church organist was called Petruccio. Could we be helping the musicians in ‘settling’ the dispute?

    Personally, I doubt this is true. It doesn’t seem like a major event. I have a couple of ahem, sources in Ubi, but they’re always tight-lipped when it comes to the AC series. Can’t blame them!

    • Lindsey

      Thank you so much! I really appreciate it 🙂

      You know, you could be on to something with that. I couldn’t find anything on that date when doing a Google search for it, but obviously I didn’t go too deep if you managed to find something. I think it’s definitely worth looking at because you never really know. What makes me exceptionally curious about the date is that, and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, the latest date for Ezio, as far as the events of Brotherhood are concerned, is 1507, so who knows.

      • DT

        Yeah, it was 1507. 12 March 1507, to be precise. The free-roam segment occurs back in 1503.

        The document I mentioned was published by Milanesi in his “Documenti per la storia dell’arte senese”. Gaetano Milanesi was an Italian art historian in the 19th century. Don’t let this confuse you – the actual document is dated 1511.

        • Lindsey

          Well, you never know if that document holds some real weight to it. I really think it’s worth looking in to and I’m sure that I’ll be super sleuthing until November 🙂

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