Posted on Thursday, October 25 @ 17:20:00 Eastern by Daniel Bischoff
The first Assassin's Creed game released to mixed reviews, but many fans rose to defend the title based on the deep narrative threads and open-world traversal that have become hallmarks of the series. Desmond, of course, is just a simple bartender with no ties to any century-spanning orders dedicated to fighting other globe-spanning multinational (evil) organizations. What could his ancestral memories possibly unlock?
Regardless of how unassuming Desmond Miles might be, Abstergo industries is hoping to record his ancestral memories by way of the Animus, a device that allows the user to relive the lives of generations past. In the Animus, Desmond inhabits the body and mind of Altaïr ibn-La'Ahad, a disgraced assassin on the road to redemption after the violation of the Creed's three tenets (see first page). Altaïr is directed to kill nine targets or else face exile from the order. When Altaïr's final target reveals that there were in fact 10 templars and that the final enemy of the order is in fact Al Mualim, the leader of the Assassins, Altaïr races back to Masyaf, the order's stronghold.
After Altaïr defeats Al Mualim and recovers the Apple of Eden and it's revealed that 28 such items are scattered around the world. With the knowledge in hand, Desmond is removed from the Animus back at Abstergo. Lucy Stillman, an assistant in the lab, reasons with Warren Vidic a leader within Abstergo, that they should keep Desmond alive until they've recovered the Pieces.
When Desmond is left alone in his room, the bleeding effect, by which Desmond gains the abilities and experience of his ancestors, allows him to use eagle vision which reveals messages written in blood on the walls. One of these messages reads: "I Entered the Animus and never returned."
Assassin's Creed II
Lucy breaks Desmond out of Abstergo and takes him to a hideout where two other templars, Shaun and Rebecca, are waiting to further Desmond's progression in the Animus. This time, Desmond lives the life of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, a young italian noblemen whose father and brothers are killed by Uberto Alberti, a corrupt official with ties to the Templars.
When Ezio and his mother and sister flee to Monteriggioni, they meet Ezio's Uncle Mario who teaches Ezio about his Assassin bloodline. Ezio also befriends Leonardo da Vinci who helps the order by decoding a codex that contains Altaïr's memories (in addition to some advanced gadgets for our new assassin). Once all of the codex pages have been gathered, Ezio's eagle vision reveals the locations of several tombs around the world. Over the next 10 years, Ezio exacts his revenge on the conspirators that murdered his father, until only Rodrigo Borgia is left.
Borgia loses the Apple of Eden to the Assassins and flees. Here a glitch in the Animus skips Desmond and Ezio ahead about a decade. Players can see Ezio's role in the Battle of Forli and the Bonfire of the Vanities if they play the DLC chapters released for Assassin's Creed II.
The next thing Desmond sees is the Vatican, where Rodrigo leads as Pope Alexander VI. The Papal Staff is another Piece of Eden, used as a key to open a vault described in the Codex's prophecy. Ezio defeats Rodrigo, spares him, and enters the vault himself after the other members in the Assassin order tell Ezio they believe he is the actual prophet.
In the chamber, Ezio discovers a hologram of Minerva, a member of the first civilization. Minerva tells Ezio that her society suffered a great disaster and that it would soon repeat itself. Minerva turns to the camera and speaks directly to Desmond when she says finally, "The rest is up to you."
At the end of the game, Abstergo storms the hideout where the team had set up while Lucy, Desmond, and the others flee in the hopes that they can return Desmond to the Animus so he can unravel further clues as to what the order must do next.
Next: Ezio's saga of violence against the Templars continues...