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Assassin's Creed Retrospective: Everything You Need To Know Before Assassin's Creed III

Posted on Thursday, October 25 @ 17:20:00 Eastern by

1. Stay your blade from the flesh of an innocent.
2. Hide in plain sight.
3. Never compromise the brotherhood.


You'll be forgiven if you've already forgotten the three tenets of the Assassin's Creed. There have been four games released in the span of five years, each building on the network of assassins and the lore leading up to 2012, the end of all things, the apocalypse, or so we think.

Before Assassin's Creed III lands on Tuesday, let's take a look back at where Desmond Miles, our modern-day, over-arching protagonist began and where Ubisoft has taken him throughout the centuries. Beware: there will be spoilers below.

First, let's look at the important figures in the Assassin's Creed universe:

Desmond Miles - As the overarching protagonist in the modern day, Desmond experiences the lives of his ancestors in the Animus. While Desmond is originally introduced as a simple bartender, he's quickly pulled back into the war between the Assassins and the Templars. Desmond quickly gains the abilities of his ancestors through the Bleeding Effect, a symptom of frequent use of the Animus that also emotionally and mentally links the user and the ancestor.

Altr ibn-La'Ahad - Literally translated, Altr's name means "The Bird, Son of No One." Altr lived during the Third Crusade, at a peak in Assassin strength. Altr lives a long and happy life, marrying Maria Thorpe and fathering two sons. He dies of natural causes in a scene towards the end of Assassin's Creed: Revelations. Like Ezio after him, Altr is also driven by a strong sense of personal justice. Even when facing off with his mentor, Al Mualim, Altr is dedicated to truth and honor above all else.

Ezio Auditore da Firenze - Players come to know Ezio, as the lead protagonist in the central trio of Assassin's Creed games, better than anyone else in the series. The Italian noblemen is first seen on the day of his birth in 1459. Players spend decades of lifetime in the guise of Ezio, fighting corruption across Italy, liberating Rome, and eventually traveling to Istanbul to discover the path of Altr.

William Miles - Desmond's father worked as a member of the Assassins Order as a point of contact for the groups working around the globe. William raised his son on the Farm, a compound used to protect Desmond from the Templars. William rejoins his son, along with Rebecca and Shaun at the end of Brotherhood. By the time Desmond awakens in the Animus in Revelations, William has relocated the team to North Eastern New York to find the Grand Temple. To think all Desmond wanted was a Game Boy and the Templars never would have gotten him.

Lucy Stillman - Though she appears to the player and Desmond as an Assassin agent within Abstergo industries, Lucy is eventually killed by Desmond's hand at the end of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. Though it's unclear why, it comes to light later that Lucy was a Templar double-agent. It also comes to light that writing off characters is really easy when you've got a machine that allows the user to see what life was like centuries and centuries ago in the past.

Warren Vidic - As the Templar overseeing Desmond's progress in the Animus in Abstergo, Vidic acts as the main modern day antagonist in Assassin's Creed. As demonstrated by Subject 16's descent into madness and eventual suicide, Vidic cares about nothing other than the pursuit of the Templar's goals. Vidic also heads up the Templar Order's initiative to train an army of would-be soldiers in the series' multiplayer.

Subject 16 - Clay Kaczmarek preceded Desmond in Abstergo's plot to uncover the truth. As such, 16 was driven insane by way of the Bleeding Effect and the ancestral identities sharing his mind. In his madness, part of Clay was left inside the Animus (later to antagonize Desmond in his coma). As a part of the Animus, 16 leaves clues for Desmond throughout the world. Clay also leaves a message for Desmond, written in blood on the walls of the holding chamber within Abstergo.

Next: the war against the Templars begins....
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