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Headscratchers: Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
  • How does Edward Kenway take Assassin Contracts before he actually is told about them? Gameplay And Story Separation or is there an untold story?
    • Perhaps the Bartender in Havana told him about them, recognizing his attire and assuming he was an Assassin? Murder for hire isn't beyond Edward's capacity.
    • The same answer to half the headscratchers from the first game; it's the Animus. Abstergo is just too lazy to put in the effort to have things take place in the correct chronological order. The in-game database entries even state this outright; plenty of structures and landmarks are in the game despite not being built until a decade or two after the event of the game. Its also fitting in their character as Templars, less devoted to the truth than the Assassins whose animus tends to have "fewer" anachronisms, guided mostly by Shawn's pedantry.
      • This. Don't forget, too, that he can find and retrieve a Mayan Stele stone on the first island he ends up on, long before James Kidd ever explains to him how.

  • Speaking of which, how DOES Edward possess so many Assassin skills before he becomes, well, an Assassin.
    • What Assassin skills? There is nothing the Assassins do that is unique to their profession, and a lot of their skills would be shared with successful pirates or aren't things that you really need to be trained by someone else to do (such as the leap of faith or parkour). You might as well be asking why Hathman has all the assassin skills despite his training being solely under the Templars.
      • Well there's all the various assassin tricks that he knows. Things like the way he uses the hidden blade like he's been trained in it for double kills, running kills and the other various special kills. Things like a regular stealth kill or kill from hiding make perfect sense, just imagine using a dagger. But these skills do not come off as the sort of thing just anyone would know how to do but Edward just does. Just because. As for Haytham this makes more sense than you're giving it credit for - there's no reason the two groups shouldn't fight in almost the exact same way - they're basically two sides of the coin. They want the same things essentially, they just want it to happen in entirely different ways.
      • Haytham was being trained in swordsmanship by his father Edward in the explicit hopes of raising him as an Assassin and he also inspired him to awaken his "eagle sense". Of course he died at the age of 10 but undoubtedly part of that training led Haytham in the same direction.
      • The best answer is perhaps blood, first-civilization genes which Edward and many Assassins possess. In the second game, the Video "The truth" with Adam and Eve showed them having Parkour and freerunning skills implying that this is the source for the Assassin's gifts. There's also the fact that Edward is a very quick learner, capable of assimilating information fast and good improviser. All it took was Woodes Rogers and Julien du Casse telling him the different assassination techniques and we play him go through that in an obstacle course. He also has skills as a sailor of climbing up masts and topsails, "every finger a fishhook".
      • "Things like the way he uses the hidden blade like he's been trained in it for double kills, running kills and the other various special kills." Really? I don't see what's so terribly complex about "stab two people at once" and "stab someone while running" that Edward couldn't figure out. Air kills in particular are something Edward would probably be quite skilled with already, being a sailor with a great talent for climbing. No doubt he's killed many men that way while boarding enemy ships, only now he's using an Assassin's hidden blade instead of his usual twin swords.

  • Why are the Templars interested in making public not only the Animus data but the Assassin vs. Templar conflict? Edward isn't a great role model for Assassin behavior but he's still not exactly friendly to their cause.
    • In-game its stated that they plan to alter the content and market it differently from how it was. The player character is Research Analyst who merely collects data as to how it happened in the past. The final game trailers are Stylistic Suck Pirates of the Caribbean knock-offs whereas Black Flag is a Shown Their Work Warts and All look at the Golden Age of Piracy.
    • This was actually addressed back in Assassin's Creed III: Liberation. All mention of Templars has been conveniently excised from what really happened in Aveline's life, and it's up to Erudito to hack the game and show the player that Aveline truly was unfailingly loyal to the Assassins and directly opposed the Templars. Presumably, Abstergo Entertainment intends to do the same with their depiction of Edward Kenway's life as well.

  • Why does the crew of the Jackdaw not object to Calico Jack's actions against Edward Kenway and Adewale?. It's understandable they stand aside for Charles Vane but you'd think they'd have a problem with marooning their Captain and Quartermaster before a total stranger takes over their ship. Charles Vane blames it on Edward's obsession with the Observatory but this seems to be Never My Fault more than anything.
    • One thing is timing, Jack pulls it off so suddenly that there's not much time to react, second the crew regards Edward, Adewale and Charles Vane as very tough fighters, which they are, so they would likely feel that they don't have the same luck and skill level and then there's self-preservation. Deal with Rackham for the time being instead of going Zerg Rush on him and his boys which would cause a massacre on ship and would likely endanger their captain and quartermaster. The other reason is that The Mutiny seems to be a common, and certainly not unknown occurrence so the crew might feel that if Rackham pulled it off than he's earned it. By and large the Jackdaw prefer Edward when he's successful, lucky and not working with Obviously Evil pirates like Bartholomew Roberts but beyond that they have no special feeling for Edward, they're Only in It for the Money, just like Edward, and want to save their own lives as well.
    • Also bear in mind that Edward rescued Vane and Rackham from their own sinking ship and along with them a bunch of their crew tumbled aboard the Jackdaw. So it wasn't just the Jackdaw's own crew but Vane and Rackham's boys to contend with.
      • The above is actually the best answer. If you look at the people rescued and the ones standing with Calico Jack they're the same. Those who are turning against you are Jacks own crew mates that he's already convinced to turn against Vanes. The bigger cause for confusion is why Vanes, Edward and Ade just stand there - those three could take Jack and the whole damn crew if they had to seeing as how you can basically do just that to any regular Man-o-War. Gameplay and Story Segregation at its finest.

  • The biggest headscratcher to fans who have played Assassin's Creed III and/or read Assassin's Creed: Forsaken and then played this game's version of Edward Kenway is how does The Captain of the Jackdaw, the scourge of Empires, the man who outlasted Benjamin Hornigold, Blackbeard, Charles Vane and Bartholomew Roberts, end up dying in his house, at the age of 42, killed by random mooks when in the past he cleared Spanish galleons, British Man O'Wars and several legendary ships, and hunted several sharks and whales moreover.
    • In the novel it is stated that Edward secured himself a pardon from Sir Robert Walpole by working for him, shortly after returning to England. This happens to be a curious fact in itself, given that he is the brother of Duncan Walpole, whose death at the hands of Edward signified Edwards foray into being an Assassin.
      • Robert didn't like his brother much.
    • There's an answer in Fridge Brilliance, which more or less states it's because Edward didn't have any of his armor or health bonuses and was protecting his wife and son—which means he was extra vulnerable. You could also argue that, like professional athletes, he'd done a number on his body with all the fighting and rum catching up to him. Which would be a case of Reality Ensues more than anything else.
      • That would be true if this wasn't already a running gag of the Assassin's Creed games. All that work Alta´r put into making things right in the first game? Irrelevant. Everything falls apart in front of him, he does nothing to stop it and his kid and best friend gets killed for it. Desmond busts his hump to save the world only to find out that every step of the way he's been manipulated and then he dies. So having Edward die, his son taken in by the Templars and his daughter sold into sex slavery makes perfect sense for an epilogue. In the future we'll find out that Connor was killed by slipping and falling down the stairs to his home, accidentally crushing his infant child in the process.

  • Related to What Happened to the Mouse?, in the game you build and upgrade the Jackdaw into a Cool Ship that can take out Man O Wars and Legendary Ships, so how come it seems to disappear completely by the time of Assassin's Creed III where the Aquila is the flagship of the Assassin Fleet. Did Edward salvage the Jackdaw or did it go down in battle sometime in his retirement?
    • Whereas the Jackdaw was repurposed from a Spanish escort, the Aquila was built specifically for usage by the Assassins. The Aquila outclasses the Jackdaw on almost every point, having 30 guns vs 23 on the Jackdaw, in addition to 4 vs 2 swivels.
    • It is possible to explore the fate of the Jackdaw in Freedom Cry.

  • Another What Happend To The Mouse, at the end of the game, Edward builds contacts with the Caribbean Assassins, Adewale and Ah Tabai and later works in England as an Assassin presumably with locals there. So in Assasssins Creed Forsaken, where were the rest of them when when Edward was attacked by Birch and Templars. Why didn't any of them rescue Haytham from Birch's evil influence or save Jenny from her fate. You would expect that Adewale, who admittedly has his own life and concerns far away in the Caribbean, would be interested about his old friend and his family.
    • Either dead or too far away to help, as what usually happens throughout the history of the games.

  • Edward had his daughter and Haytham, yet the Researcher can still access memories from well after Haytham was born; the Opera house epilogue. Unless it's not canon.
    • The same way we can see Ezio's dying moments in Embers more or less from his POV. It is canon but is essentially outside the Animus interface. A bigger question is how the footage from Embers is available in-game for Abstergo's perusal.
    • A more prosaic answer is that the memory at the end of game is Haytham's. He's very small and so is initially obscured until he tugs at his father's sleeve but is still close enough to see and hear everything even if he is too small to understand it. Likely the researcher sequenced the Haytham memories of his childhood as well and used that to draw on Edward's post-game life.
    • Also in Forsaken, the earliest journal entry that Haytham dates is towards a trip to White's Chocolate House which is where Edward promises to take him after quitting "this posh gig". The game ends right where Forsaken and Haytham's story begins.

  • During the review video for if Ezio would be a suitable property to use in video games, they show and discuss events that happened during Embers. How do they have this footage and know these events, if they occurred after Ezio had his last child and stopped passing on his DNA?
    • Abstergo may be raiding graves and tombs across Europe for their DNA.
    • Or have access to the DNA memories of Shao Jun who was with him for most of the events.

  • Where did the moniker R-L for the Player Character come from?
    • It stands for "Real-Life." If you want to know who first came up with it I doubt you'd be able to find out. Someone on the internet started using it and it caught on.
    • If you read the database, you'll see your co-workers' initials as well as your own, so it's a ID abbreviation. They'll likely reveal the character's full name and face next game.

  • What did Bartholomew Roberts intend to use the crystal skull for? He still had it when Edward confronted him, so obviously he wasn't going to sell it. It almost certainly wouldn't help with his piratical exploits. And while he hated the Templars, he didn't seem to have much interest in doing anything to stop them.
    • He's following the compulsions written into his DNA by Juno. He probably doesn't consciously know why he wants it, he just feels like it belongs to him the more the Aita personality starts kicking in.
    • He probably does have some plan for it. He said that he wanted to release Juno but he was born too early. Bear in mind that the Observatory contains Crystal Vials of First Civilization beings which go missing at the end, presumably Roberts hid it somewhere. It's likely, that he was searching for Juno's blood vial to find where her tomb is...but was limited by his very human body to do much and he somehow seems to have caught on that Edward(through his descendants) will do what he wanted to do anyway. He's pretty much a Shaggy Dog Story and he admits as much in his Famous Last Words.

  • Who is "Milo Van Der Graaff", anyway? Okay, it's pretty obvious he's a shady character (if not an outright pirate), he's a lousy liar, and he's pretty loaded. All reasons he wouldn't want you to see his face or dig into his past. But there's literally nothing at all on him. He's not in the database, no one ever says a word about him, and you don't even learn the name until you capture a fort and inquire about a "Naval Mission". Heck, you getting paid is pretty much the only evidence that he exists at all!
    • He probably doesn't exist. That is, "Milo Van Der Graaf" is likely an alias. A lot of pirates did that back then so as not to tarnish the family name. Blackbeard has around 7-8 known alternate spellings of his last name, some or all of which may have been invented by him personally. To this day, despite literally centuries of research and investigation, no one really knows for sure what his real name was, where he came from, or even how old he was when he died. So, who is Milo Van Der Graaf really? We may never know...

  • Edward's spiral of depression after escaping from prison. Okay, the Jackdaw is missing and he has no idea where Bartholomew Roberts is. He's escaped from two deserted islands (in both cases surviving an outright murder attempt from the other occupant); a bustling city should be a paradise compared to that. The smart thing to do would be to lay low, snoop for information about his ship and/or Roberts, pickpocket or loot once in a while, and otherwise just take it easy and enjoy the fresh air for a few weeks. The simple thing to do would be to steal another ship and pick up right where he left off (presumably shipping it off to the fleet once he found the Jackdaw) Sure, being betrayed by Roberts is a bummer, but of the "I'm going to kill that bastard" variety, not the "my life has no meaning anymore" variety. And on top of that, he just escaped from prison! Disappointment, frustration, sure, but what exactly is there for him to be depressed about?
    • Pretty sure it was less that Roberts betrayed him and more because Mary Read just died in his arms and everything had been going to shit. While his friends were of dubious quality, as mentioned below, he had been fighting and sailing by their sides long before the game began, so it's not surprising he felt bad after losing everyone even remotely friendly to him.

  • For that matter, the whole fall-and-redemption arc...he's shallow and selfish, all his friends are dead, he won't support the Assassins' cause. In order: 1. He became a privateer, and later a pirate, so he could become rich and build a better life for himself and his wife. And then he was called upon to put up a lot of his personal money to build a base of operations (which he did), free Assassins from slavers (did), obtain medicines for the people of Nassau (did), and help his friends escape from Nassau (did). What else was he supposed to do, start an orphanage? 2. With friends like these...well, let's just go down the list: A dimwitted rich boy who helped Edward get to Havana (where he was headed in the first place) and afterword did absolutely nothing of note, one of the most evil pirates in history whose crimes included statutory rape and murdering his own crewmen, a stubborn Assassin who helped Edward with a few minor tasks and otherwise treated him with contempt for nearly the entire story, a surly raging bull with no redeemable qualities who ended up trying to kill him, a snotty, snippy, good-for-nothing jerk who marooned him (leading to the aforementioned kill attempt), and a smug, self-important fop who sold out to the Templars. Anne Bonny, Adewale, and Anto are very much alive at the end, each of whom has more virtue than all of Edward's dead "friends" put together. 3. Why should he have supported the Assassins' cause? Up until when Ah Tabai rescues him from prison, they did nothing for him. Their whole philosophy baffled him and no one ever made any attempt to explain it, and he was effectively banished from Tulum after rescuing several of them from Laurens Prins. Time and again Edward asked what was in it for him, and he never got an answer.
    • All of those things you mentioned were still in keeping with his selfishness. 1:in order to get rich,he left his family. 2: having a base of operations was a huge benefit to him, and his reputation. 3: even though he was under no obligation to free the assassins, ultimately he only got involved because of his obligation to his crew. 4: getting medicine for Nassau was not a selfish act, but it wasn't done out of altruism, he wanted to protect Nassau, a place where he occupied a position of power.
    • Also, What is your point about the other pirates exactly? Sure most of them had serious issues but the point was that they were his friends. How else could you explain me almost crying when "one of the most evil pirates in history" is killed? They were his good friends and they all died. One of them happened to be the most constant woman in his life(though that doesn't mean much) since his wife, and she died literally IN HIS ARMS, after making him promise to better himself. In the end, the Fall part of the arc was little more than his realization that all of this money and fame that he had worked so hard for, and suffered so much for, would not bring him the happiness he always believed it would. At this point he realizes the true value of his friends and family, and subsequently becomes depressed because most of them are now dead or estranged. As for why he joined the assassins? I believe they literally picked him up on the rebound. Edward is emotionally vulnerable after his previous revelation, and now is beginning to see the possibilities in working towards a cause greater than himself. He already knows he is not joining the Templars, given his feelings towards Hornigold, and his knowledge of what they want to use the observatory for. Add in the sparks caused by 1: his closest remaining friend (Ade) leaving him to join the assassins and Mary Read's dying wish that he make something of himself, and he decides that the assassins are his best option.
    • As for the Assassin's negative attitude to him; he has no control a big part of what makes an assassin, he seeks not to better himself but his station, as such ideals are mere sophistry to him a way to keep him from money, oh; and he had just personally given the Templars information on all their activities in the Caribbean blowing the cover multiple agents and several deaths.

  • Were leather sails really a thing during the Age of Sail? Maybe I'm wrong, but I would think that leather would be too heavy and too expensive to make decent sails.

  • Where on the Jackdaw does Edward actually sleep? His cabin is full of stuff a pirate captain would need, and lots of stuff that really ought to be stored in the hold, but there isn't a bed anywhere. Even by the standards of the 18th century, his own comforts must be absolutely spartan.
    • Maybe he's got a hammock squirreled away in his cabin somewhere.

  • What the hell did John inject R-L with at the end of the game?

  • The Tulum mission. Why did Edward elect to just knock the assassins out when he never canonically bothered with going non-lethal before? How did the templars overrun and capture the assassins if they both knew they were coming and had had them on the run before? Why was the only points that any assassins actually help you out was if there happen to be guards near where you free them and those two kills under the synch point?
    • He knew or suspected they were with Kidd and figured that killing his friend's allies might not be such a wise idea. The Templars simply came back in greater numbers and stacked the deck in their favour before hand. The assassins are busy helping out all over the island rather than shadowing Edward who can take care of himself.
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