Recap: Assassin's Creed

aka: Assassins Creed I
This article will consolidate the recaps for all the games in the Assassin's Creed series.

Spoiler alert: This page contains unmarked plot spoilers. Read at your own risk.

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The Assassins and Templars are two factions that have been vying for power for thousands of years. The Templars' goal is to bring Order by stripping humanity of its free will. To that end they are willing to enslave and murder, engineer wars, and commit countless atrocities. The Assassins' goal is to safeguard the freedom of humanity by selectively eliminating those people who would seek to dominate it, which typically means the Templars.

In addition to the surface conflict, the two sides are fighting over artifacts left behind by an ancient civilization known only as The Ones Who Came Before. They had a glorious First Civilization that was destroyed in some sort of catastrophe, and they left behind bits of their technology — known as the Pieces of Eden — which, among their other uses, can enslave the minds of humans. The Templars want these to cement their control over humanity. The Assassins want them to keep the Templars from getting them.

The modern day incarnation of the Templars is a Mega Corp. known as Abstergo. Using technology reverse-engineered from the Pieces of Eden, they have built a device called the Animus, which allows its users to relive their Genetic Memory in a holographic projection. They employ this device to research the lives of individuals who had contact with other Pieces in order to discover their locations. However, the Pieces of Eden have their own purpose: to communicate a final, crucial message from the First Civilization.

    Assassin's Creed 
Desmond Miles is a modern-day descendant of the Assassins but didn't believe in any of that mumbo jumbo until he was snatched off of the street by Abstergo, a Mega Corp. that is the modern front of the Templars. They compel him to use a device called the Animus which can access the Genetic Memory of his ancestors. You see, Desmond has a unique bloodline — one that prominently features several Assassins who had close contact with the Pieces of Eden, and Abstergo hopes to plumb his memories to find their location.

His captors are a Templar Master by the name of Warren Vidic, who is the principal author of the Animus program, and Lucy Stillman, a scientist who knows the ins and outs of the Animus and appears to be sympathetic to Desmond's plight. As Desmond works in the Animus, she secretly helps him access internal Abstergo emails revealing what seems to be an Assassin scheme to rescue him. There are also cryptic references to a Subject Sixteen, who was his predecessor in the Animus program — he is Subject Seventeen. Sixteen apparently went insane through overexposure to the Animus and committed suicide.

Desmond relives the rise to fame of a Persian Assassin named Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad who lived during the Crusades. At the start of the story, he is brash and arrogant, and violates the Assassin's Code on a mission to retrieve one of the Pieces of Eden for his master, Al Mualim. He is stripped of his rank after a symbolic death and forced to relearn his trade by killing nine targets assigned to him by Al Mualim. Each is a Templar who has committed vile acts in the furtherance of their cause. The final target is Robert de Sade, a vicious killer who leads the armies of the Crusades on behalf of King Richard.

In each mission, he hears things from the mouths of his victims that cause him to doubt the rightness of his cause. When he returns to Al Mualim, he learns the truth: his master is also a Templar who used Altaïr to eliminate his rivals for power. He attempts to use the Piece of Eden to control Altaïr, but fails. Altaïr fights and defeats him, and when he holds the Piece of Eden, he is astonished to see a vision of the entire planet, with the locations of the other Pieces of Eden marked on it.

Vidic pulls Desmond out of the Animus, having discovered the information that he sought. Desmond is told that he will be killed, since he's no longer needed, but Lucy convinces Vidic that he might still have value if the locations of the Pieces of Eden don't pan out. They leave him alone in the lab, when Desmond makes an astonishing discovery. Altaïr's Eagle Vision — his ability to see things beyond the perception of other people — has somehow communicated itself through the Animus to him. He sees cryptic messages written on the walls, floor, and ceiling of the laboratory, apparently in blood. The game ends.

    Assassin's Creed II 
This game opens at the exact moment that the previous one ended. Desmond Miles is alone in the Abstergo lab under stay of execution, pondering the meaning of his newly discovered Eagle Vision, when Lucy Stillman returns. She reveals herself as a sleeper agent for the Assassins and tells him to come along, that they are escaping. He will be killed if he remains, but if they join her cell, Desmond can use the Animus they built to explore more of his ancestors' memories, both to learn more about the Pieces of Eden and to exploit the Bleeding Effect to learn the skills of the Assassins.

Desmond's Eagle Vision comes in handy as they make their way out of the lab, and on the way to a secret hideout they meet Lucy's allies: a Playful Hacker by the name of Shaun Hastings and a Wrench Wench by the name of Rebecca Crane. Lucy gives Rebecca the memory chip she stole from Abstergo's Animus, which contains not only Desmond's memory sequence but also that of Subject Sixteen, Desmond's predecessor in the Animus program. Sixteen apparently left encrypted messages in the Animus that only Desmond can recover.

This time, Desmond is exploring the memories of a more recent ancestor, Ezio Auditore da Firenze. Born to a wealthy Florentine banker, Ezio enjoys a carefree youth until the dirty politics of Italy catch up with him and his father and brothers are framed and executed for treason. Obeying his father's last request, Ezio opens a hidden chest and discovers a set of Assassin robes and gear. Thus begins his initiation into the Order.

Making his base in the villa of Monteriggioni, Ezio embarks on a long journey through the cities and political intrigues of Renaissance Italy on his quest for revenge. He takes down the Pazzi family first, his family's direct murderers, and moves on to other noble families implicated in the conspiracy. Along the way, he befriends a number of august historical personages, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Niccolo Machiavelli, and Caterina Sforza. He also discovers the subtle machinations of the Templars behind it all.

The trail ultimately leads to Rodrigo Borgia, the would-be Pope. He is a master Templar and seeking to gain control of several Pieces of Eden, among them the Apple of Eden (a different one than Altaïr's) and, it turns out, the Papal Staff. Ezio manages to intercept the Apple and recover it instead. He prepares to face Rodrigo but before he can do so, all of the people who have helped him over the years reveal themselves as Assassins and officially induct him into the Order.

Outside the Animus, Lucy and the other Assassins express their concern for Desmond's well-being. The Bleeding Effect is rapidly granting him Ezio's skills but he is having hallucinations and other symptoms of excessive Animus use. The various Assassin cells around the world are being hunted down by a concerted effort from Abstergo and time is running out. Their only hope is to discover the location of Ezio's Apple of Eden so they can prevent Abstergo from acquiring it.

Ezio confronts Rodrigo Borgia, now Pope, in the Vatican. Rodrigo has the Papal Staff, but Ezio has the Apple, and a battle of mystic forces ensues. Despite Rodrigo's treachery, Ezio prevails, but the fires of his quest for vengeance have cooled and he elects to spare his foe's life.

The Staff and the Apple combine to open a secret vault beneath the Vatican built by The Ones Who Came Before. Inside, Ezio finds not the treasure or wisdom that he hopes for, but a holographic projection of a member of that ancient race. Calling herself Minerva, she addresses Desmond himself, using Ezio as a conduit. She tells him of an ancient cataclysm that befell the First Civilization and warns Desmond that he has only a short while to locate the other Vaults before such a disaster will happen again.

In the epilogue, Abstergo attacks the Assassins' hideout and Desmond confronts Vidic one more time as he uses his newfound skills to defeat Abstergo's security forces. Vidic retreats, but the Assassins flee to seek a new hiding spot to continue their search for the Apple.

    Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood 
Desmond, Rebecca, Shaun, and Lucy, on the run from Abstergo's security forces, make their way to the modern day Monteriggioni, now an archaeological site. By doing so, they hope that proximity to the long-time home of his ancestor, Ezio Auditore da Firenze, will help Desmond synchronize better with the memories. However, it carries a corresponding risk to his sanity, as he is increasingly having trouble distinguishing between his reality and Ezio's. He reenters the Animus in the hopes of discovering where Ezio left his Apple of Eden (And even though they know where to look for the Apple, Ezio's memories are corrupted, meaning that Desmond has to go there through chronological order).

Back in Renaissance Italy, Ezio returns to Monteriggioni, bearing the Apple and victorious in his conflict with Rodrigo Borgia, but confused over the meaning of the cryptic message he found beneath the Vatican. He is given little time to relax, as the villa suddenly comes under siege by an army under the command of Cesare Borgia, Rodrigo's son. Cesare has come to reclaim the Apple. In the ensuing battle, Ezio is wounded and his uncle Mario is killed by Cesare. Ezio heads for Rome to avenge Mario's death, but passes out from his wounds.

He awakens in Rome, having been brought there by an unknown person. He discovers a city that has fallen into despair and corruption under the crushing influence of the Borgias. The Assassin presence there is minimal and its economy is in shambles, while Cesare lives in pomp and debauchery and plots to conquer all of Italy. Consulting with Niccolo Machiavelli, Ezio determines that the best course of action is to undermine Cesare's base of power by reclaiming Rome from his control.

Over the course of months, Ezio recruits new Assassins to revitalize the Brotherhood. He renovates local businesses and recruits to his side the Mercenary Guild, the Thieves' Guild, and the Courtesans' Guild. He finds his old friend, Leonardo da Vinci, forced to build machines of war for the Borgias, and sets out to destroy them and burn the plans. He finds Cesare's allies and financial backers and kills them. He also confronts and uproots a pagan cult fomented by the Church in order to drive people into its arms.

By the time Cesare returns to Rome, his power is broken, his armies are leaderless, and his money is gone. He appeals desperately to his father for aid, but this time Rodrigo has had enough. He attempts to poison Cesare, but his sister Lucrezia (who is also Cesare's lover) reveals the plot. Cesare murders Rodrigo with his own poisoned fruit and then attempts to seize control of Rome using the Apple. Ezio, however, has been watching the whole time and beats Cesare to it. Using the Apple, he singlehandedly crushes Cesare's remaining forces until the would-be tyrant is arrested for treason by the new Pope.

Ezio has defeated his enemies yet again, reclaimed the Apple, and stands atop a revitalized Rome. Accordingly, the other Assassins now name him the Mentor of the Assassin Brotherhood. He has one task left, however. The Apple has shown him that Cesare will escape his imprisonment. Ezio sets out to hunt him down, and finally confronts him years later in Spain. In the ensuing battle, he throws Cesare off a wall.

That is the end of Ezio's fight, but not Desmond's. He views one final memory: of Ezio sealing the Apple in a vault beneath the Basilica di Santa Maria in Ara coeli. With all the signs and portents giving them a mere seventy two days until the catastrophe of which Minerva spoke in the previous game (and not coincidentally, the launch of the Templars' Mind Control satellite), Desmond's team travels there and discovers the vault.

Inside, Desmond alone can see and hear visions of another representative of The Ones Who Came Before. Calling herself Juno, she talks of their society creating humans and attempting to bestow upon them their powers of Knowing, but succeeding only partially. She tells Desmond that he is not ready, but that he must go forth and find the remaining member of their triumvirate before time runs out. When he touches the Apple, she takes control of his body and forces him to stab Lucy with his Hidden Blade. Desmond falls into a coma, and the remaining Assassins, shocked and grief stricken but with no other options, put him back in the Animus to protect his psyche while they ponder what to do next.

    Assassin's Creed: Revelations 
The combination of events within his mind and without have broken Desmond Miles' psyche, and the Animus is the only thing keeping his mind intact. As his fellow Assassins move their base of operations from Italy to New York, he "awakens" on a bizarre island in the middle of nowhere. Exploring the island, he unexpectedly encounters the image of Subject Sixteen, who reveals that he suffered the same fate, and died because of it. Sixteen tells Desmond that he is being kept alive by the Animus, and that the only way out is to go deeper into his memories of Ezio and Altaïr, until they have nothing left to show him. Only then can he arrive at the Synch Nexus that is his ticket back to sanity.

Desmond dives back into the life of Ezio Auditore da Firenze. Now in his fifties, Ezio has become weary of the constant struggle against the Templars and seeks a deeper truth. Following the clues in a letter written by his father, Ezio travels to Masyaf, the ancestral home of the Assassins, in the hopes of finding Altaïr's hidden library, in which he is said to have stored all his accumulated wisdom. What he encounters, however, is a nest of Templars who are also attempting to unlock the library, in search of the location of what they call the Grand Temple, which they believe to house the most powerful of the artifacts of The Ones Who Came Before. The keys to the library were sent off by Altaïr in the hands of the Polo family and their locations were recorded in his journals.

The trail of the five Masyaf Keys leads Ezio to Constantinople at the height of its power and influence. There he meets an affable Master Assassin by the name of Yusuf Tazim, who offers to show him around the city and enlists his aid in restoring the power of the Assassins in their endless battle against the Templars. He also meets a young scholar and prince by the name of Suleiman, whose father and uncle are squabbling over the succession of the Sultanate. Finally, he encounters a comely librarian by the name of Sofia who aids him in his search for Polo's journals, and who rapidly engages his romantic attentions.

Each Key turns out to be more than just an inert object. As Altaïr grew in his understanding of and communion with his Apple of Eden, he learned how to use it to accomplish amazing feats, such as recording his memories in special artifacts, like a miniature Animus. Ezio uses the Keys to experience those memories as Altaïr, seeing his life before and after the events of the first game. Ezio witnesses Altaïr's first rise to prominence among the Assassins, the aftermath of the death of Al Mualim, his schism with another Assassin named Abbas who usurped control of the Brotherhood, and finally, his return to Masyaf with the accumulated wisdom of decades and his determination to pass on his legacy.

Back in Ezio's time, the schism between the Ottoman Turks and the Byzantine Templars threatens to engulf Constantinople in all-out civil war, and to find the Keys, Ezio must not only restore the Assassins to prominence, but also unroot the Templar conspiracy that festers at the heart of the city. In the course of doing so, he mistakenly assassinates a captain of the Janissaries who was secretly working to undermine the Templars. Ezio resolves to continue his work and travels in disguise to the hidden city of Cappadochia, where he finds and kills the leader of the Templars, Manuel Palaiologos, and recovers the last of the Keys.

No sooner has he done this, however, than Suleiman's uncle, Ahmet, appears, and reveals himself to be a Templar as well. He has learned of Ezio's interest in Sofia and will hold her hostage for the Masyaf Keys. Ezio rushes back to Constantinople to find Sofia missing and Yusuf killed in her defense. He rallies the Assassins and they storm the Armory in revenge for Yusuf's murder, but Ahmet still holds Sofia. Ezio bargains for her life, but after freeing her, gives chase to Ahmet. In the ensuing battle, Ezio recovers the keys, but before he can kill Ahmet, his brother Selim shows up and does the deed himself. Sofia and Ezio leave to return to Masyaf.

In the meantime, Desmond has been exploring the Animus Island and has discovered memories of his own past locked away. In exploring these and speaking with Sixteen, he has learned more about himself and has resolved many of the troubles of his life and his conflicts with his Assassin heritage. However, the Animus has been trying to keep itself stable by deleting corrupted data, and Sixteen is unable to hold it off any longer. He sacrifices himself so that Desmond can enter his memories one last time.

Ezio and Sofia have returned to Masyaf to unlock Altaïr's library. The keys match patterns in the constellations engraved on the door, and it opens. Ezio enters, to discover a barren vault, empty of books but housing only the remains of a single Assassin... Altaïr himself, clutching one final Key. Using the Key, Ezio witnesses Altaïr's final moments, wherein he sealed himself into the Vault along with his Apple, to await Ezio's coming centuries later.

Ezio hesitates to take the Apple, but it illuminates anyway. Ezio realizes that his purpose, once again, has been to act as a conduit for the mysterious Desmond that Minerva spoke to so long ago. Weary of his life as an Assassin and the endless search for truth that has come to this, he discards his Hidden Blades and his sword, but the Apple is not done. Completing Altaïr's and Ezio's memories has unlocked the Synch Nexus and bridges the gap of time, allowing the final representative of The Ones Who Came Before, Jupiter, to speak directly to Desmond through the Animus.

Jupiter explains that his people attempted to save the world and its people from a cataclysmic solar flare seventy five thousand years ago, but failed. The Vaults were constructed to house their experiments, and all their accumulated knowledge was transmitted to the Grand Temple. It is now up to Desmond to go there and unlock its secrets in an attempt to prevent the Earth's population from being wiped out again, in the present day. Freed from the Animus, Desmond awakens to see not just Shaun and Rebecca standing over him, but also his father, William. They have arrived at the Grand Temple, and Desmond now knows what they need to do.

    Assassin's Creed III 
Desmond and his team of modern Assassins have arrived at the Grand Temple in search of the First Civilization's promised mechanism to save the world from the impending solar flare on December 21, 2012. Upon entering, Desmond discovers a power source that when plugged in activates the Temple, including a strange glowing wall. When he approaches the wall, Desmond hears Juno's voice telling him that he must find the key. With that, he is hurled back into the Animus to relive the memories of another ancestor.

The Animus takes Desmond back to 1754 London, in the person of a British gentleman named Haytham Kenway. Haytham is at a theater, ostensibly to attend the Beggar's Opera, but in reality to assassinate someone. He sneaks backstage and flawlessly carries out the execution, retrieving an inscribed amulet from the body and making his way out of the theater in the ensuing chaos. Haytham takes the amulet to his fellows, who identify it as American in origin. They believe that a Precursor site may be in the region and that the amulet has something to do with it. Haytham takes ship for America.

On board the Providence, Haytham is approached by the captain, who is concerned about a possible mutiny. He tracks down the suspects but can find no solid information except that someone is dumping painted barrels overboard. He deduces that this is a trail meant to mark their course for a pursuer just before the ship is ambushed by another vessel. Below decks, it is revealed that there is no mutiny, only a lone man using it as a red herring to lure Haytham into a trap. Haytham defeats his attacker and the Providence sails into a storm to lose its pursuer, which founders.

Arriving in 1755 Boston, Haytham meets a young and aspiring Charles Lee, who is not yet a member of his circle but helps him recruit a number of personages to his expedition: William Johnson, a financier and explorer; Thomas Hickey, a mercenary; John Pitcairn, a military commander; and Benjamin Church, a surgeon. Together they hatch a plot to locate the Precursor site, which is hidden somewhere in the lands of the Kanien'kehá:ka Mohawk tribe.

Their plan involves rescuing a number of Natives from captivity at the hands of a slave trader named Silas, counting on their gratitude to establish friendly relations. In doing so, Haytham meets a young woman named Kaniehtí:io, Ziio for short, who grudgingly befriends him in return for his aid. She needs him to kill Edward Braddock, a ruthless and murderous British general with whom Haytham has had an association in the past.

Haytham does as asked, and after Braddock falls, Ziio takes him to the Precursor site, which we recognize as the Grand Temple. However, his amulet alone is not enough to open the door, and in his despair he finds comfort in her welcoming embrace. Afterwards, he returns to his fellows and determines to establish a new branch of the Order in the Colonies, and to induct Charles Lee into that Order... the Templar Order. It turns out that Haytham was a Templar all along.

Many years later, Kaniehtí:io has borne and raised a son. Named Ratohnhaké:ton, he is welcomed into the Mohawk tribe despite his half-British ancestry, but the encroaching colonial expansion threatens his village. In the forest one day, he encounters Charles Lee, who leads an expedition to burn out his people. Ratohnhaké:ton swears vengeance on Lee on the spot, and chases him back to his village to find it in flames and his mother dying.

Years later, the teenage Ratohnhaké:ton is restless, anxious to fight against the Colonists despite his elder's warning that his people must remain neutral. She hands him a Precursor artifact that grants him a vision — Juno, who tells him to seek out the Assassins in order to fight against the Templars; else they will find and destroy his tribe and everything he has sought to protect.

He travels east and finds an old man by the name of Achilles Davenport, the last of the American Assassins after a Templar purge years before. It takes some convincing, but Achilles finally agrees to train him. Achilles tells him of his father, now Grand Master of the Templar Order in the Colonies, and charges him with defeating Haytham and his fellows. It is Achilles who bestows the name Connor on the young boy, reasoning that he can pass for a Spaniard or Italian (both of whom are better than a Native or a Negro).

In Boston, Connor bears witness to (and fails to prevent) the Boston Massacre, and falls in with Samuel Adams and his Patriots. The fires of revolution are stirring. On his return, Connor learns of another asset that the Assassins hold in reserve, a ship named the Aquila — the same one that pursued Haytham Kenway on the Atlantic crossing some fifteen years prior. Connor helps refit the Aquila and learns to captain her.

Now grown into his full Assassin rank, Connor is thrust headlong into the nascent American Revolution. His quest, to seek out and kill the Templars, meshes with the Patriots' quest to free their land, but the alliance is not an easy one. Connor first attempts to stop the plans of William Johnson to buy his people's land, which embroils him in the Boston Tea Party. Johnson remains undaunted, however, and Connor is forced to find him and assassinate him at his estate in the Frontier.

Next is John Pitcairn, who is trying to quell the rebellion before it can fully start. Connor rides with Paul Revere to warn the Patriots of the British march on Lexingon, and holds the line in the battle of Concord. He then helps stop the British shelling of Bunker Hill so that he can get a clear path to kill Pitcairn.

Two Templars have fallen, but Connor has learned of a plot to assassinate George Washington himself, in an attempt to get Charles Lee promoted to commander of the Patriot army. Thomas Hickey is the man chosen to do the deed, but in cornering him, Connor himself is implicated in the conspiracy and imprisoned. Connor tries to break out of his cell and kill Hickey, but is confronted by Lee, who recognizes him as the boy whose village he attacked years ago and promises to have him framed and executed in the plot to kill Washington. Connor escapes hanging with the aid of his Assassin recruits and kills Hickey in the nick of time.

Connor is now faced with the challenge of defending George Washington against further plots. The Patriot Army's supplies have gone missing during the brutal winter at Valley Forge, and while tracking down the thief, he comes face to face with his father. Haytham spares Connor's life and offers to team up with him to find and kill Benjamin Church, who has betrayed the Templars to pursue his own interests. Connor and Haytham each attempt to recruit the other to their cause while they hunt Church; the hunt itself is more successful than their uneasy alliance.

Connor returns to Washington's side, doubting his ability to kill his father, but ready to begin the hunt for Charles Lee in earnest. What he finds instead is a threat to his people's existence coming from an unexpected source: George Washington himself. It seems that Washington seeks to drive out the Native tribes who are allied with the British, and Haytham has been concealing this information in a attempt to manipulate Connor. He breaks with his father and hunts down Washington's messengers, but must also stop his own people, goaded by Lee, from provoking a conflict. In the process he is forced to kill his childhood friend, Kanen'tó:kon. He returns with news of Lee's betrayal and has to help fend off a Loyalist attack on Monmouth, but Washington refuses to have Lee executed. Connor leaves in disgust.

Resolved now to find Charles Lee on his own, Connor enlists the help of General Lafayette, and stages a naval assault on the fort where Lee is hiding. Stunned by a cannon blast, Connor unexpectedly confronts his own father, who is now determined to kill him in order to protect Lee. In the ensuing fight, Connor defeats Haytham, but Haytham doesn't have the amulet anymore and Lee is still at large.

Connor finally tracks down Lee in the docks of New York, but in the ensuing chase, Connor receives a crippling injury. He manages to shoot Lee, however, who flees, with Connor staggering in pursuit. The two mortal enemies at last confront each other at a tavern in the Frontier. They share a drink, then Connor knifes Lee, finishing him, and takes the amulet.

Still in great pain, Connor returns to his tribe's village to find it abandoned, with only the Piece of Eden left behind. He receives another vision from Juno, congratulating him on his success and instructing him to bury the amulet where none will find it. He chooses a grave on the Davenport estate — the grave of his namesake, Achilles' son Connor, who died the same year that Ratohnhaké:ton was born. This ends Connor's story.

Meanwhile, outside the Animus, Desmond and company have been using their idle time to track down the locations of three power sources that they need to fully activate the Grand Temple. The first is in a New York office building. Desmond breaks in and is unexpectedly confronted by a Templar agent named Daniel Cross. Cross was turned long ago and used to purge the modern Assassin order; he was also experimented on in the prototype Animus, which damaged his mind thanks to the Bleeding Effect. Desmond stuns Cross and flees.

The second power source turns up in a stadium in Brazil. Abstergo has learned of the Assassins' interest in them and is seeking to recover all it can, but this one is still reachable. Desmond travels there and evades Abstergo security, only to once again confront Cross. He retrieves the second power source and escapes, but Cross remains alive.

With time running out, William, Desmond's father, attempts to retrieve the third power source from Egypt, but is captured and taken to Abstergo's headquarters in Italy where Desmond himself was held not long ago. Vidic, Desmond's former captor, offers to exchange William for the Apple of Eden that Desmond holds, which is the key to their world domination schemes. Desmond openly invades Abstergo, hoping to fight his way to his father. He confronts Cross yet again, but before Cross can kill Desmond, the Bleeding Effect finally drives him mad and he flees in confusion. Desmond kills him, then finally faces Warren Vidic. Rather than hand over the Apple, Desmond uses its power to compel Vidic's security guards to kill first him, then themselves. He walks out of the building with his father and the final power cell, leaving a trail of dead Templars in his wake.

Having learned the hiding place of the key from Connor's memories, all the pieces are now in place to activate the Grand Temple. Through exploring it, Desmond has learned much of the First Civilization and their efforts to save the world seventy five thousand years ago. All along, Juno has been a presence, urging him along but also showing her disdain and even naked hatred of humanity. When the key is used and Desmond faces the final mechanism, the truth is revealed. Juno betrayed Minerva and Tinia, hiding her consciousness in the Grand Temple, intending to manipulate the future not to save the world for humanity's freedom, but to use its salvation as a means of dominating humanity, recreating the First Civilization with herself as its overlord.

Minerva states that it is too late to save the world otherwise; the Assassins and Templars have squandered their chance, but if they allow the destruction to take place, Desmond and his fellows may hope to preside over a new civilization where they can undo the mistakes of the past. However, they do this in the knowledge that humanity will eventually fall to fighting and corruption yet again. Desmond chooses Juno's vision, and sacrifices his life so that the planet will be spared. Juno, however, has been unleashed.

    Assassin's Creed III: Liberation 

    Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag 
In modern time, this game opens a short while after the end of Assassin's Creed III, and no longer features Desmond Miles as the point of view character. Instead, you are an anonymous first-person perspective character who has been hired by the recently founded Abstergo Entertainment, a Montreal-based subsidiary of Abstergo Industries, that is seeking to produce video games and feature films using the Animus technology. (Their first product was Assassin's Creed III: Liberation.) To that end, your job is to be a historical researcher into the ancestry of Desmond Miles (who "generously donated" his DNA) via the recently perfected technology that allows users to experience the memories of people not in their direct bloodline.

Your boss, Melanie, tells you that Abstergo is producing their first film and seeks to build on the recent success of pirate-themed properties by delving into the memories of one Edward Kenway, a key participant in the Golden Age of Piracy. Edward's story is interesting because he was an unprincipled rogue and because his life intersected that of some more famous pirates, like Blackbeard, Ben Hornigold, Jack Rackham, etc. Of course, they'll "edit" his story to cut out the rougher edges of his character that "may not appeal to modern audiences". You enter your cubicle and begin your work, but not before discovering mysterious sticky notes around the office that, when decoded by your portable communicator, reveal the apparent ravings of a madman who is obsessed with a First Civilization woman who can only be Juno.

Back in the early 1700s, Edward Kenway's story begins when he is employed as a lowly pirate crewman and his ship comes under attack. When his captain dies, he takes the helm and barely survives the engagement, but his ship is sunk. He swims ashore and encounters another survivor, an oddly dressed man with a particular disdain for pirates. They fight, and Edward comes out the victor. He discovers in his enemy's robes some odd weapons and a letter identifying him as Duncan Walpole, a member of the Assassin Brotherhood on a mission to Havana to deliver certain items to its governor, with the promise of a substantial reward. Not one to pass up a lucrative opportunity, Edward dons the robes and takes passage with a merchant named Stede Bonnet whom he rescues from English soldiers.

In Havana, it's clear that Edward has something of a reputation as a rowdy and as a pirate, and he has a difficult time avoiding unwanted attention as a result. After helping Bonnet recover his goods from some robbers, he finally arrives at the governor's mansion and meets a number of interesting people, such as Woodes Rogers, an English aristocrat, and Julien du Casse, a French arms dealer. They welcome him as a new convert to their "order" and ask him to demonstrate his Assassin skills, which Edward bluffs his way through. When they finally meet with Torres, the governor, it turns out that he's a Templar Grand Master and that they are there as new inductees. Duncan Walpole, Edward's assumed identity, is a defector from the Assassins who brings both maps of their locations in the Caribbean and information vital to locating a precursor site known as the Observatory, which contains an artifact allowing its user to spy on anyone, anywhere in the world. The key to the enterprise is a mysterious figure called the Sage, who shows up in multiple eras, and whose latest incarnation, a man named Bartholomew Roberts, is in Templar custody.

Edward is no fool — he recognizes immediately that a man with control over the Observatory would rule the seas and be the most successful pirate in history, whereas if the Templars controlled it, they could shut down him and his kind forever. He therefore resolves to capture this Roberts for himself, but his disguise is penetrated and the Templars send him off on a prison ship. He breaks free with the aid of a former slave named Adéwalé, and the two of them capture a brig to escape from the storm that causes the rest of the fleet (the famed Spanish Treasure Fleet) to founder.

Edward travels to Nassau, home of the fledgling Republic of Pirates, and finds Edward Thatch and Benjamin Hornigold planning exactly how that enterprise will come to pass. They welcome Edward as a fellow captain and teach him the art of piracy aboard his newly christened Jackdaw. Edward also meets a slight but oddly wise individual named James Kidd who recognizes his Assassin outfit and plants barbs in Edward's conscience about the path his actions are leading him down.

The pirates are having troubles of their own. Faced with increased aggression from the English navy, they resolve to capture a galleon to use its fearsome armament in defense of Nassau. They are successful, but Edward is forced to hunt down and kill du Casse, who can identify him to the Templars. du Casse has a key that opens one of a series of locks in a remote island hideout, which Edward claims for his own. The other keys similarly belong to prominent Templars whom he must hunt down in order to acquire the armor sealed behind the door. Kidd invites Edward to Tulum to find out more about the Brotherhood whose robes he is wearing.

You are pulled out of the Animus at this point to attend a meeting with Melanie's boss, Olivier, who congratulates you for the ongoing success of your research into the pirate experience they are trying to produce, but is apparently under orders from his bosses at Abstergo Industries (the actual Templars) to focus on locating the Observatory. You are also contacted by a mysterious figure named John, the head of IT for the company, to whom you were introduced previously while he was fixing your workstation. He asks you to hack into some computers and deliver the data to a courier in the lobby. You comply, and discover that the courier is none other than Rebecca Crane, a member of the Assassin cell that Desmond Miles was a part of in the previous games. Her compatriot, Shaun Hastings, is posing as a barista in Abstergo's lobby. note  After this odd encounter, you may use your limited security clearance to hack more computers, but otherwise must return to the Animus.

On Tulum, Edward finds the home of the Assassin Brotherhood, which appears to be thriving. Kidd shows him a series of ancient Mayan artifacts that reveal, among other things, the face of the Sage — Roberts, whom Edward so recently met. How can so many men all wear the same face down through the centuries? It's a puzzle that Edward doesn't have time to solve, as the Assassins, having learned of his presence, are not happy to see him. Ah Tabai, their Mentor, tells Edward that the maps he sold to the Templars contained the locations of all the Assassin outposts in the Caribbean, and that they have now begun to fall under attack. To redress this crime, he must now help them fight off the Templars. Edward has no particular interest in their cause, but is certainly willing to do jobs for them for sufficient payment. Kidd is disgusted with his amorality but seems willing to let him pretend to be an Assassin in the hopes that he might develop a conscience.

Edward continues to seek Roberts, and thereby the Observatory, and discovers that he's currently in the custody of a Dutch slaver named Laurens Prins. Seeking to capture Roberts for himself, he runs afoul of Kidd again, who is on a mission to kill Prins for the Assassins. They work together in a teeth-clenched fashion, with Edward persuading Kidd to hold off on killing Prins until they can get their hands on Roberts. In the course of infiltrating Prins' manor in Kingston, Kidd reveals "himself" to be a woman named Mary Read, surprising Edward. With the aid of her distraction, Edward is able to kill Prins, but Roberts escapes.

Back at Nassau, all is not well with the Republic of Pirates. With no real local economy and no access to goods other than what they can steal, the pirates are wasting away of idleness and sickness. There's dissent among their leadership, some of whom wish to seek the King's Pardon. Blackbeard resolves to acquire medicine at any cost, and recruits Edward to assist him, first by diving in a shipwreck, then by raiding shipping, and finally, directly from the source in Charles-Towne. Under cover of Blackbeard's siege of the city, Edward sneaks in and recovers the medicine, providing a temporary reprieve. Blackbeard, however, has had enough of his life of piracy and plans to retire.

You are pulled from your Animus work to attend another meeting, but it's interrupted by a call from Abstero. John takes the opportunity to give you increased security clearance in order to hack more data, but also delivers some bizarre threats that indicate that he may not be entirely sane. You overhear an argument between Olivier, Melanie, and Abstergo over the project's creative direction and steal data directly from Olivier's computer. Again, Rebecca is waiting for it in the lobby. You continue to find sticky notes with lunatic ravings.

In the past, Nassau has come under siege by the English navy, led by Woodes Rogers, who offers the King's Pardon to all pirates there as an alternative to being hanged. Hornigold and some others accept. Charles Vane, on the other hand, refuses to have the terms of his freedom dictated to him and hatches a plot with Edward to break the blockade by blowing it up with a fireship. First, however, Edward must assassinate the Commodore of the English fleet, who is going behind Rogers' back and intends to sink the entire pirate navy via bombardment. Edward and Vane succeed, but the pirates are now divided and on the run.

Edward seeks out Blackbeard to enlist his help, but during his retirement party, he's betrayed to the English by a spy and dies in combat. Reminiscing with Charles Vane, Edward discovers a lead on Roberts' location; he's being held on a slave ship named the Princess. He and Vane seek out the Princess together, and succeed in capturing her, but Jack Rackham, tired of Vane's abuse and bloodlust and Edward's haring off on wild schemes, stages a mutiny. Edward and Vane are marooned on an island, where Vane goes mad, blaming his former friend for all his troubles. Edward is forced to fight him, but refuses to kill, instead leaving him beaten and raving while he escapes the island. Rackham, for his part, failed miserably at running the Jackdaw, and Edward gets his ship back.

Edward returns to Havana in search of information about Roberts' whereabouts and overhears a conversation between the turncoat Hornigold and governor Torres leading him to Principé on the African coast. The Templars have sent former pirates to capture the Sage, but Edward kills them instead and befriends Roberts, witnessing the rise of "Black Bart", who will turn out to be one of the most fearsome and reckless pirates on the seas. Roberts' plan is to steal a Portuguese galleon to be his flagship while he sets off in search of the Observatory, but along the way Edward must deal with Ben Hornigold, who has tracked him down and must now be killed.

You exit from the Animus again, this time to find yourself in a cozy but stark prison cell. Melanie tells you that, along with all the other Animus researchers, you are a suspect in the rash of hacking that's been occurring in their building. John offers to help clear the records of your involvement, but only if you help him break into Abstergo's mainframe. Doing so, you are unexpectedly confronted with the holographic face of Juno. As it turns out, she's supposed to possess your body in order to reincarnate herself! Fortunately for you, she is not strong enough to do so, and John raves furiously in disappointment. You are left with no choice but to return to the Animus.

True to his word, Roberts leads Edward to the Observatory, which turns out to be a First Civilization site as promised. His blood and knowledge are keys to disabling its various defenses. Inside is revealed a device, housed in a crystal skull, that can see through the eyes and hear through the ears of any being whose blood is captured in a vial and inserted into it. This revelation, along with the entire First Civilization narrative, astonishes Edward, but he has little time to sort through the confusion, as Roberts betrays him and sells him to the authorities for the bounty. In Kingston, Edward witnesses the trial of Anne Bonny and Mary Read, whose executions are stayed due to pregnancy, but is himself also sentenced to imprisonment and execution.

He only escapes with the aid of the Assassins, who need his help rescuing Bonny and Read. As he breaks back into the prison, Edward sees Rackham's hanged corpse and finds Vane a raving lunatic in a prison cell. The women are freed, but it is too late for Read, who contracted an illness during childbirth that she dies from in Edward's arms. This sends him into a bleak pit of drunkenness and despair wherein he hallucinates about Roberts and about the futility of his life's ambitions. He emerges from this nadir a man intent on seeking forgiveness for his actions and finding a new path, which he at last achieves in the embrace of the Assassin Brotherhood.

The stage is set for the finale. Bartholomew Roberts, Woodes Rogers, and Laureano Torres must all die for their crimes and to protect the Observatory from misuse. Edward hunts each of them down as a true Assassin, but finds Torres an elusive target, as his presence in Havana is an impostor laying a trap while the real Torres seeks the Observatory. Edward defeats Torres' brutish lieutenant and goes after his final enemy. He overcomes the Observatory's now active defenses and assassinates the Templar Grand Master in front of the device he sought for so long. Edward now knows that the Observatory contains a power too great for any man to control, and he, Adéwalé, and Ah Tabai resolve to seal the site away so that nobody else may find it, unless a Sage should come again.

In the modern world, you awaken from the Animus one more time to find "John from IT" standing over you menacingly. You hadn't seen his face before; now that you do, you realize that it's the same as Roberts' — John is another reincarnation of the Sage, and his obsession over Juno is because he's her long-lost husband and really, really thought that this time he could be with her in the flesh. This provokes him to a murderous rage, but Abstergo security intervenes in the nick of time and shoots him dead. You recover from the drug he injected you with, and Melanie tells you that your name has been cleared since John helpfully framed himself for the hacking. You can go back to work, with undetectable top security clearance and the Assassins giving you a congratulatory speech as well as a promise of future missions. You also get to preview Abstergo's first public trailer for "Devils of the Caribbean", a hilariously awful piece of corporate schlock.

You may then enter the Animus one last time to witness the epilogue of Edward's story, as he greets a ship sailing into Great Inagua bearing... his daughter, by the wife he left behind in Wales, who is now dead. She is unusually worldly for her age and engages in a lively and intelligent conversation with her father as the two of them sail to England to begin a new life. After the credits roll, we are treated to a closing scene at the same London opera house where Assassin's Creed III opened. Edward, a prosperous and respectable gentleman, fends off suitors for his daughter while doting on his young son... Haytham.

    Assassin's Creed IV: Freedom Cry 
Fifteen years after Black Flag, Adewale finds himself in command of a ship, hunting a Templar Admiral who has a package Adewale wants to intercept before it arrives at Port Au Prince. He's successful in killing the Admiral and taking the package, but French vessels arrive. Adewale tries to lose them in the storm, but he is unsuccessful and his ship is overturned by waves- Adewale is thrown overboard and falls unconscious.

After waking up, Adewale sees a woman about to be executed by a slave overseer- after appropriating a machete, he kills the overseer, freeing the woman before venturing into Port Au Prince, where he hopes to find Bastienne Josèphe, the person the package is meant for. After tailing someone to get to her brothel, Adewale overhears a conversation between Bastienne and Governor de Fayet, Adewale agrees to help Bastienne by finding Augustin Dieufort, but holds the package meant for her. Adewale uses a contact at a plantation to find a Maroon hideout, which is under attack. After helping hold off the attackers- and killing would be escapees- Adewale teams up with Augustin to free as many slaves and Maroon warriors as he can- now armed with a blunderbuss.

Soon after, Adewale and Augustin team up to take a new ship- the Experto Crede- and Adewale uses it to attack slave ships and rescue the inhabitants. When he returns to Port Au Prince, Bastienne gives Adewale a tip to infiltrate the Governor's mansion, where he learns of an expedition soon to depart. Adewale later learns that the expedition will be used to map the world by learning the circumference, and will be partially used to smuggle goods. Adewale wishes to use the opportunity to send in literate Assassins and Maroon soldiers- as the expedition needs literate slaves- to learn its secrets for the benefit of the Brotherhood and the Maroon.

Despite her hesitance at helping Adewale, believing him to be "a tempest of 'opportunity' and 'imagination'," that would leave her to pick up the pieces, Bastienne forges a manifest to allow slaves who followed Adewale's cause to join the expedition. On the way, Adewale defeats several pirates hoping to plunder off the expedition. Later, Bastienne calls out Adewale for his apathy towards the French growing more terrified against the Maroon revolution, cracking down on the slaves Adewale can't rescue. He attacks a slave ship, which is damaged by one of the escorts, boarding it and rescuing some slaves before more ships sink the slave ship- with Adewale barely escaping with his life. He vows afterwards to Bastienne and Augustin that the Governor will die for his actions, in accordance with the Creed and for the people who died on the slave ship.

Adewale launched an attack on the Governor's mansion, slaughtering dozens of guards before killing the Governor with a branding iron he had just been using to torture a slave with. Adewale is merciless, driving his machete into De Fayet. Adewale admits to De Fayet that he has never wanted someone to suffer in death as much as he does the Governor, before killing him. Adewale says his goodbyes to Bastienne and Augustin, finally giving the Templar Box to Bastienne before leaving Port Au Prince due to him no longer being safe there. Roll credits.

    Assassin's Creed: Unity 

    Assassin's Creed: Rogue 

Alternative Title(s):

Assassins Creed I, Assassins Creed II, Assassins Creed Brotherhood, Assassins Creed Revelations, Assassins Creed III, Assassins Creed IV Black Flag