Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is the third chronological game in the Assassin's Creed series, but is not a numbered sequel. The game opens in 1499 immediately after the end of Assassin's Creed II, and centers around Ezio's continuing conflict against the power-hungry Borgia family and his attempt to restore the Assassin Brotherhood to its former glory. And back in 2012, Desmond and the other Assassins continue their search for the Apple of Eden that Ezio left behind.Gameplay improvements include a more robust fighting system that allows chaining instant kills together if you don't miss or take damage, riding horses inside the city, and control of larger weapons such as cannons. In addition, multiplayer has been added to the roster for the first time in series history, with the "plot" being Templars in training at Abstergo to think and work like Assassins.Ubisoft has gotten very involved with the fandom for Brotherhood, hosting videos on a YouTube channel as well as their official website.The sequel, Assassin's Creed: Revelations, concludes Ezio's story, after which the series resumed being numbered.
This game contains examples of:
Action Girl: The Courtesan, The Thief, The Smuggler, The Hellequin, The Dama Rossa, Claudia, and even Caterina in a sense. Also, any female Assassins you recruit.
The Blacksmith and Engineer, despite a prominent beer-gut, are just as capable free-runners as the other multiplayer characters.
If one of the Assassin recruits is detected (when called to kill one of the guards) during the pagan party, Juan Borgia can become this.
Alas, Poor Villain: The Baron of Valois lived a completely uneventful life until his distant cousin became king of France, at which point he was given the enormous responsibility of leading the French forces in Italy. When Ezio assassinates him, he weakly tells Ezio that he "only wanted respect"; learning the error of his ways, his last words are "perhaps you are right... I need more time..."
Ezio:Che tu sia parte nella morte. (May you be equal in death.) Requiescat in pace.
Alliterative Name: Many of the Assassin Recruits: Carlotta Caci, Ciro Cavallari, Desideria Donati, Giovanni Gugliemi, Nestore Nucci, Panfilo Petaccia, Paolo Profetta, Piero Piacentini, Primo Penna, Rinaldo Rocca, Severino Sabelli, Stefano Spallone, Zita Zanovelli...
Amazon Brigade: It's possible to make an all-female Assassin's Guild. An in-Animus cheat called Sisterhood does it for you.
Ambiguously Gay: Leonardo da Vinci. Considering that in the DLC his assistant Salai was around, this could be Truth in Television since they were rumored lovers. This is all but outright stated in the DLC. Most prominent, a short conversation between Leonardo and Ezio in which Ezio informs Leonardo he knows that Salai is not just Leonardo's apprentice. When Leonardo is at a loss of words, Ezio puts him at ease by saying Salai is right for Leonardo. It makes this a May-December Romance, as the visibly aging Leonardo is clearly older than Salai, who looks like he's in his late teens. Of course, there is also this exchange:
Leonardo: I work on this small portrait of a woman, I grow rather fond of it. Ezio: Do not let a beautiful girl distract you from constructing my designs. Leonardo: Have no worries, women... provide little distraction. Ezio: Wait... I don't get it. (cue awkward looks)
Apologetic Attacker: In addition to Ezio's traditional "Requiescat in pace," the assassin recruits sometimes quietly mutter their condolences after taking out a target, such as, "You did your duty," or "Be at ease," or (when using Italian voices) "Riposa in pace".
Arc Number: The number 72 plays an important part in the final section of the game; it's the password that opens up the second vault in Rome where Ezio hid the Apple, the number of days left until the launch of the Templar satellite, the age at which Rodrigo Borgia died, the year construction on the Colosseum began, and is the result of a mathematical equation involving all the names of God.
Averted and played straight. Ezio's armor increases his health as he gets stronger versions of it. But the real aversion comes from Cesare during the final sequence, where his well-placed upper body armor deflects Ezio's Hidden Blade. The battle comes with a series of quicktime scenes where you strip away the armor piece by piece to render him vulnerable... and then Ezio makes all that work pointless by dropping him off the wall.
Ezio also revealed to Mario during their escape from the Vatican that the Armor of Altaïr prevented Rodrigo Borgia's dagger back in AC2 from effectively wounding him.
Played straight with opponents in combat — while the amount of armor a guard is wearing correlates with his Health, there's no real protection from Ezio's kill streaks — and Ezio's attack/kill animations sometimes have him slashing/stabbing in locations where some enemies are wearing armor (i.e. gut stabbing an unarmored Regular, then gut stabbing an armored Brute).
Again played completely straight by a disarm animation when you disarm a Brute guard. Ezio headbutts the fully plate-mail-wearing guard and suffers no ill effects.
Armor of Invincibility: The Armour of Brutus, which you get for completing all the Templar Treasure free-running missions. Like the Armour of Altaïr in the previous game, Brutus' armour offers the highest HP bonus and is also unbreakable, but prevents you from being able to dye your clothes. The Armour of Altaïr does appear in the opening memory sequence, and can be recovered as a bonus costume after Ezio loses it, but in this case it is merely cosmetic and uses the stats of whatever armour you actually have equipped.
Ascended Extra: Cristina Vespucci, seen only briefly as Ezio's sex partner in Assassin's Creed II, appears in Brotherhood in a series of repressed memories for Ezio, showing her as a much more important person in Ezio's life than a mere "outlet".
Authority Equals Asskicking: Ezio is even more kickass than he was pre-Master Assassin and is naturally more badass than the novice Assassins he recruits... though as Assassini, those former novices are among the game's strongest NPCs, able to hold their own against multiple enemies — and armed with Smoke Bombs, at that.
Automaton Horses: Barring one in the finale, they can't even die! You can whistle for your horse just about anywhere they'll go, and within seconds, you've got a horse.
The game starts off with Ezio after the final battle of ACII, wielding the Sword of Altaïr, the Notched Cinquedea, and wearing the Armor of Altaïr, thus having his maximum health from AC2 when escaping from the Vault, the Vatican, and Rome. After the Siege of Monteriggioni, he loses the right-forearm Hidden Blade as well as much of his stuff — which he didn't have time to put on — leaving him with five Health squares, the same as what he'd started with in AC2. He still gets to keep the Poison Blade and Hidden Gun since they were built into his left-forearm Hidden Blade's bracer which he did put on.
The Armor of Altaïr can be unlocked for 20 Units through Uplay, though now it's only cosmetic (it uses the stats of your most powerful armor pieces), while the Sword of Altaïr is unlocked by completing all of the Assassins Guild Challenges (Assassin recruits who reach max level are given replicas called Assassin Swords).
Ezio can climb leap at the beginning of Brotherhood but loses the ability after being wounded, even after he recovers all of his other "free-running" abilities. Starting in Sequence 4, Memory 8, after reuniting with Leonardo he can buy a "reinforced" Climb Leap Glove which lets him climb leap again and upgrades his Fists to the Metal Cestus (increasing his Damage from 1 to 3).
All of the missions Leonardo gives you are A Taste of Power. Specifically, he's been forced to create War Machines that you need to destroy (and burn the blueprints for so that nobody can make more). Before wrecking the machine, Ezio inevitably decides to have fun with it first before crashing it and blowing it up. Justified with the Tank, since there were three other functional, combat-ready tanks... all conveniently in Ezio's path, and with the Chariot Machine Gun, as when Ezio blew up one of the only two known working vehicles, two Borgia soldiers promptly fled on the other one.
And let's not forget the Apple of Eden in the final stages. You basically get to walk casually around, turning enemy soldiers against each other or reducing their brains into mush with the power of the Apple.
Attempted Rape: As if his implied comments weren't enough in Assassin's Creed II, Vieri de' Pazzi attempts to rape Cristina Vespucci, before Ezio comes along to beat the crap out of the little bastard, in a flashback to Ezio's pre-Assassin life.
Awakening the Sleeping Giant: After defeating the Borgias and obtaining the Apple of Eden in the previous game, Ezio returns to Monteriggioni and decides to retire from the Assassin lifestyle. However, those plans are dashed when Cesare decides to show up (against his father's orders) and attack Monteriggioni, stealing back the Apple and killing Mario. Later in the game, when the tide begins to turn against the Templars, Rodrigo calls out Cesare for unnecessarily pissing off Ezio when the Borgias could have easily taken over Italy without the Apple.
Cesare, despite being, well, Cesare, gives us a pretty good one. It doubles as a Villainous Breakdown though due to the timing and what causes him to say this — finding out that daddy's stiffing him for money, didn't tell him about his French ally's death, won't give him the priceless artifact that's been used to support their regime... oh, and poisoned the apple he just ate.
"...Do you not see, Father? I control all of this. If I want to live, I live.If I want to take, I take!If I want you to die, you DIE!"
Ezio rushes to the Rosa in Fiore, fearing the worst after an attack... to find four dead men and Claudia holding a dagger.
Ezio:[shocked] Claudia: What? Ezio:[impressed] My sister knows how to wield a knife! Claudia:[smiling] And I'm ready to do it again! Ezio: Spoken like a true Auditore.
Bag of Spilling: Justified, as the the sneak attack on Monteriggioni in the early morning leaves him only enough time to put on his pants, boots, a shirt, a sword and one Hidden Blade — though it's the original inherited from his father, and thanks to Leonardo da Vinci it also has both the Hidden Gun and the Poison Blade (it is not explained why those are also on Ezio's "new" left-arm Hidden Blade, so they may be the original weapons with a new bracer). He also loses the ability to do the climb leap until you buy it back as an equipment upgrade from Leo.
The Prowler (Il Lupo, "The Wolf") is a Templar hitman trained in Assassin techniques from notes taken by Cesare's master spy Baltasar de Silva ("The Barber") in "Project Legacy". He looks very similar to Ezio, save for darker colors and no "eagle beak" on the hood, and uses a Switchblade that operates akin to a Hidden Blade.
The Smuggler (Lia de Russo), while not sharing the Prowler's training, is also similar in look to the Assassins. She wears a hooded robe, which can be upgraded to Assassin colors, and uses an "Inverted Hidden Blade" on the outside of her forearm.
The entire multiplayer mode is basically this, Abstergo trying to replicate the Animus bleeding effect on a bunch of employees/Templars.
The Borgias, already a Truth in Television example. Made most obvious in an incident where Lucrezia berates a servant because they were all out of her favorite blend of arsenic, only to learn that it was gone because her father had used it all.
Ezio's family too in many ways but managing to still be somewhat familial despite it all.
Italian: Just like Assassin's Creed II, the Animus is still pretty buggy and many Italian words and phrases slip through.
French: The sequence where Ezio and Bartolomeo try to bluff their way into the French camp is utterly hilarious to any French speaker. Ubisoft Montreal even sneaks in some brilliant Self-Deprecation in there. Loose translation:
French Guard: What is your business? Ezio: French gibberish French Guard: ... what part of France are you from? Ezio: Montréal!
Boisterous Bruiser: Bartolomeo returns with significantly more screen time, and an equally badass wife.
Book Ends: The first words you hear from Ezio in Assassin's Creed II are "Insieme per la vittoria" as he and his gang prepares to take on Vieri. He uses those very same words at the end of Sequence 8 when he gathers up his allies to take on Cesare.
Ezio begins his campaign against the Borgia in Rome by fighting off a group of guards harassing a peasant in a plaza before the northern gate into the city. His fight against Cesare and the very last of his supporters also happens here, and ends with Cesare being dragged off by the Papal Guards, destroying the last vestiges of the Borgia's power in the city.
Boring, but Practical: Poison darts. An extremely covert and efficient way of eliminating guards, but is nowhere near as cool as the other methods of killing them.
Break the Haughty: Lucrezia gets her ego steadily beat down throughout the entire story by at least three different people including her brother, which finally breaks her. Cesare gets it even worse; see Humiliation Conga below.
Broken Bridge: The barriers that wall off areas not available in the current memory sequence. Going past them desynchronizes you.
After Marco Barbarigo was killed late in AC2, his brother Agostino succeeded him as Doge of Venezia and tolerated the Assassins' conflict against his cousin Silvio (a Templar). Nevertheless, according to Project Legacy he was turned by the Borgia, and he dies in September 1501 after handling poison-coated letters sent by an Assassin one too many times.
While some of the multiplayer characters' single-player counterparts are killed by Ezio or his apprentices, the rest — specifically "The Barber" Baltasar da Silva, "The Harlequin" Cahin, "The Hellequin" Caha, "The Mercenary" Rocco Tiepolo, and "The Prowler" Il Lupo — are killed by other Assassins (possibly including Ezio's apprentices) when "The Courtesan" Fiora Cavazza turns on Cesare Borgia.
Caterina Sforza isn't heard from again after she leaves Rome. Shaun later tells Desmond she died in Florence, never being able to reclaim nor return to Forli.
Can be Invoked by the player during "The Apple of Eden" Memory by taking the same route Mario and Ezio took when they escaped from El Vaticano.
Camera Screw: Usually you can turn your camera with the mouse, and move Ezio by issuing commands relative to the camera. However in some platforming situations the camera will fixate at a specified angle, which is deliberately done to give you a clear view of where you're supposed to jump. This in turn leads to situations where the command for "going forward" from Ezio's point of view is now "right", because you cannot turn the camera, and input is relative to it. Especially annoying in situations where you're under pressure, because it might lead to you suddenly jumping in the wrong direction. The PC-version suffers the most from this, because you have no analogue stick to fine-tune your directional commands, and have to very carefully adjust your directions with the keyboard.
Catfight: Caterina Sforza and Lucrezia Borgia. At first, it starts with verbal insults from both sides, finally culminating with Ezio and Catarina locking Lucrezia into a cell, in which then Caterina slams her head on the jail cell bars.
Cast from Hit Points: Using the Apple of Eden will drain your health, causing Ezio to faint if you lose it all. However your health regenerates fairly quickly during the sequence, so it's not too annoying.
Chainmail Bikini: Averted with the female Assassin Recruits. Their robes, while low-cut, are covered up by adding the chestpieces, and they never show any more skin than that and their faces. As with their male counterparts, upon promotion to the highest rank Assassino they wear slimmer versions of Ezio's attire.
Character Development: Ezio's repressed memory missions are like a cross-section examination of the stages of his life. The first is of him as a carefree youth palling around with his brother, the second is of him as a tormented young man out for justice, the third is a more determined and mature, but slightly scarier Assassin Ezio, and so on.
Character Outlives Actor: Likely the fate of Rosa in Assassin's Creed II, who had been a love interest for Ezio but suffered Chuck Cunningham Syndrome after that game since her actress, Lita Tresierra, was killed in a car accident shortly before production began this game. Despite the character never appearing in the games again the novelizations for Brotherhood and Revelations say that she eventually took over the Rosa in Fiore from Claudia and became an Italian Assassin leader.
The thief with the cloth eyepatch when Ezio and Claudia enter Mario's office during the Siege of Monteriggioni and excuses himself to "help the troops" is spotted three years later when Ezio brings Pietro to a doctor near the Colosseum for treatment, and after Ezio chases him down, he realizes that the thief and not Machiavelli was the Borgia mole all along. This is hinted at when the thief tries to close the door of the stairwell to the Sanctuary as they arrive, expressing surprise at Ezio's survival, when someone amongst the refugees reports that Borgia troops are circling the town, and then centuries later when one of Desmond's hallucinations has a male voice saying, "Soldiers, I have found an entrance!" implying that the thief "helped the troops" alright — the Borgia troops — by telling them where the people were retreating to.
After Ezio's arrival in Roma, he gets introduced to Bartolomeo's cousin Fabio Orsini, who rents the hideout on Tiber Island for the Assassin Order. Fabio doesn't appear in the game until the end of Sequence 8, where he arrests Cesare by order of the new Pope he's serving under.
Christmas Cake: Ezio starts getting a few jabs about his age in this game from people who don't know just how physically fit he is. Considering he's living in an era with terrible life expectancy to begin with, maybe he is crossing over into what they would consider Cool Old Guy territorynote For the record, in 1499, he's 40 years old. By the end of the game, in 1507, he's 48, so he's definitely up there in years.
Ezio: Someone my age. Imbecille. Ezio(moments later while climbing up a wall): Ugh. My back.
Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The Borgias. If Ezio wasn't literally backstabbing them they'd tear each other apart. In the end, that's what happens — Rodrigo tries to poison the ambitious Cesare, but when Lucrezia betrays the plot to Cesare, he uses the same poison to kill Rodrigo, only to then turn on his sister-lover Lucrezia... after which she tells Ezio where the Apple of Eden is.
Since the first Assassin's Creed, the series has steadily become this, touching on pretty much every scrap of cryptohistorical, parapolitical, and paranormal event and pseudoscientific theory.
Interestingly, you can see through the hidden files as well as the series progression that the Templars have been adjusting their world-domination scheme to go with the times. During Altaïr's time, they focused on playing multiple sides in wars and influencing the monarchy with physical power; Rodrigo Borgia's rise to the papacy allowed him and others to dominate the world through people's faith; in the 20th and 21st century, Abstergo set about quietly dominating the world through raw, unchecked capitalism, greed, and stimulating people's consumerism. Many, many historical names (and currently-living ones too!) are dropped in all this.
Contractual Boss Immunity: Most bosses not only resist grabs but can also block or dodge counter-kill attempts. The new kick attack, however, levels the playing field.
Borgia Captains are all immune to attempted Poison use (i.e. a Poison Dart will automatically miss if he is unaware and you full locked on before firing), and Papal Guards — despite being Elite Mooks — also have the ability to dodge counter kills even from the Hidden Blade.
As with AC2, Ezio loses his ability to use ranged weapons when chasing targets inside the Lairs of Romulus or the Templar Lairs, or to call Assassins or Arrow Storms, since any of those would make the chase moot.
Cool, but Inefficient: Quite a few of the later weapons, thanks to the execution/Kill Streak mechanic making melee weapon Damage irrelevant in most cases — for example, you can clear out a group almost as quickly with the Common Sword as with the Sword of Altaïr. The main exception would be Cesare Borgia, simply because he as a boss is immune to executions.
Coup de Grâce: Taken even further than II, possibly comparable to AC1 (because so far nothing outdoes the knee stomp). Some of the moves shown include sweeping an enemy off his feet for an near-point-blank crossbow shot, or following up a flooring Groin Attack with a curb stomp.
Creator Provincialism: Ezio, trying to pose as a French soldier, manages to mangle a few lines of French. The guard, finding his accent suspicious, asks him which part of France he's from. Ezio says he's from Montreal. Obviously, Montreal, Canada, didn't yet exist back in 1500; however, there is also a small town in southern France called Montreal, and the southern French accent has a Mediterranean sound to it, making it somewhat closer to Ezio's thick Italian accent.
Creepy Cool Crosses: A rare Western example of this trope; crosses are found throughout the the Lairs of Romulus, which to be honest would probably be a good secret symbol to have if you were trying to hide your murderous cult in the capital city of the Papal States... more so, if some Templars are ultimately behind it; crosses are kind of their thing.
Creepy Crows: Murders of crows are seen flying around towers under Borgia control.
Creepy Twins: Cahin the harlequin, and Caha the hellequin, who perform, kill, and die together.
Crew of One: Both used and averted with Leonardo's war machines:
The Bomber is the only one he operated by himself with both "move" and "shoot" actions simultaneously. In-universe, the Tank requires a crew of three (gameplay-wise the tank is entirely under the player's control), Ezio ends up first driving the chariot before letting go of the reins to operate the Machine Gun with no drivernote In a surprising moment, this ends up going as badly as you'd expect, and he had to alternate between rowing a boat and operating its onboard Naval Cannon.
The Machine Gun one is lampshaded — Ezio mutters "You're smart, aren't you." to the horses just before he lets them have their head.
Averted in the Attract Mode video (the E3 reveal trailer), where all of the capabilities demonstrated by Ezio — calling Assassins, Arrow Storms, double hidden blades, multiple throwing knives, countering horse charges — are mostly-accurate representations of his in-game capabilities. (The only difference being the Assassins/Arrow Storm's shared cooldown timer.)
Also, his fancy martial arts in the "Story Trailer" (narrated by Cesare) are actual footage of his Hidden Blade and Short Blade + Throwing Knife kill streaks, in slow motion with the HUD off and at cinematic camera angles.
In the Lair of Romulus mission in the Vatican, if you throw the boss off of an edge, you get a special cutscene where Ezio catches the guy, grabbing the Romulus Key he has, then unceremoniously dropping him as opposed to the general *stab* "Requiescat in pace" thing he usually does.
There's also the changing behavior of NPCs in Rome, particularly civilians, as Ezio renovates Rome and progresses through the story.
Died in Your Arms Tonight: In the last of the bonus memories, Cristina Vespucci (Ezio's first love) was killed during the Bonfires of the Vanities and dies in Ezio's arms.
At least a third of the Borgia Captains will immediately flee if detecting Ezio; if they escape to their tower, then the player has to leave the immediate area (of the tower's "restricted area") and wait until the next guard shift at dawn or dusk before the Borgia Captain reappears; these Captains are explicitly called "Coward" type in the in-game main map's Borgia Influence view.
Cesare. It's Truth in Television because Cesare Borgia was actually killed by being thrown over a ledge.
The final Lair of Romulus allows you to do this to the Cardinal if you catch up to him or throw him at a ledge.
Do Well, But Not Perfect: The "Strong Closer" Achievement/Trophy, for taking the lead within the last ten seconds of a multiplayer match and thereby coming in first place.
Dressing as the Enemy: On three occasions: the first was to infiltrate Juan Borgia's party disguised as Luigi the money-chest-carrier, albeit it's found out when the real carrier's body is found... too late to prevent Ezio's entry. The second was to get Ezio and Bartolomeo's men into Octavien de Valois' camp while disguised as French troops, with Bartolomeo pretending to be captive. The third time was when when Ezio and his recruits reached the ground floor of the Colosseum during the Passion play and put on the ancient-Roman soldier costumes they had taken from Micheletto's slain accomplices, so that they could get close enough for Ezio to disable Micheletto.
The Da Vinci Disappearance is set in 1506 and fills in part of the time skip between Sequences 8 (set in 1503) and 9 (set in 1507), adding eight mission memories, two new mini-games, and ten achievements/trophies. The DLC includes an extra outfit previously exclusive to Amazon.com pre-orders (of Brotherhood) and the two Templar Lair mission memories from the collector's editions. On the multiplayer side of things the DLC adds four multiplayer personas, two new match types, and one new map.
There's also the Copernicus Conspiracy, an exclusive for the PS3 system that has Copernicus and his fellow scientist hunted down in an effort to silence them.
The Dragon: Cesare Borgia, who takes this role for his father Rodrigo despite also being the Big Bad.
Dragon with an Agenda: Cesare wants to conquer Italy, while Rodrigo wants to consolidate the family's political and military power.
Elaborate Underground Base: The Assassins' Headquarters are in the cellar of a warehouse in the Centro District of Rome, and include a large ceremonial hall, a library, an art gallery, an armory and three secret exits apart from the main one, to sewers, the river and the roof.
Elite Mooks: The Papal Guards, both in-universe and in gameplay. They're able to dodge/counter attempted counter kills, use pistols of their own, use any of the other guard archetypes' melee weapons, and they have a lot of Health and armor of their own, which can take quite a while to deplete with regular melee attacks.
In general the mooks are somewhat more effective than their counterparts in the previous game. Arquebusiers are more damaging than Crossbowmen and can use the arquebus for melee attacks, while Crossbowmen deal more damage than AC2 archers, back away if closed in on, and never draw a melee weapon that could be countered. Likewise the game introduces cavalry in the form of the armored Regular guard, who is capable of getting onto an available horse (or spawning on horseback as a Horseman) and charging at the player — the only melee attack in the game immune to a Hidden Blade counter kill... oh, and they have Crossbows of their own. The three special archetypes from 2 are still here too, though Seekers (at least moreso than any other guard archetype) can toss sand at Ezio or his apprentices to stun them, in Ezio's case also ending any kill streak he was performing. Finally, many of these guard types (though mainly Regulars) are able to grab Ezio, ending any in-progress kill streak and immobilizing him so that other guards can get in a free hit.
Enemy Civil War: Enemies are not immune to each others' attacks/collision detection, so occasionally you might see guards shoving each other around angrily. Additionally, when you use the Apple of Eden, invoking this trope is its primary effect.
The multiplayer characters were thought to use this before the beta revealed their names, made canon in Brotherhood's Templar Agents side missions and Project Legacy's Rome set (Chapter 1, Fiora "The Courtesan" Cavazza's memories). Whether the fans will remember to use them, on the other hand...
The Heavy Sheath now allows you to carry axes and two-handed swords permanently, but polearms still need to be taken off of Seekers, and are still dropped if performing Off-Hand actions or sprinting/free-running.
Slightly more exploitable now, as if you equip a Heavy Weapon (instead of picking it up from a slain Brute) and use its special attack, that slot will be emptied and Ezio will be able to keep the next Medium or Heavy Weapon he takes (he can lose it again if you switch weapons at the Blacksmith or at the Hideout armory, but otherwise it's his to keep, though sometimes it appears in his Inventory, sometimes not).
Arquebuses and Crossbows cannot be looted or disarmed from Arquebusiers, Crossbowmen or armored Regulars, nor can a Papal Guard be looted or disarmed of his Pistol. As with AC2, one can also only loot weapons that had been drawn (requiring that the guard have detected Ezio or one of his apprentices), with the exception of Polearms carried by Seekers or Papal Guards.
False Flag Operation: It seems that the point of the Followers of Romulus is this. A Templar cardinal comes up with the idea of a cult of violent pagans in wolfskins running around to vilify any non-Church-related religious activity and thus send more people into the arms of the Church, with the added side-benefit of having a group of violent crazy men with knives to do his secret bidding.
Fake Difficulty: All missions have an extra, optional "victory" condition, to achieve what is known as 'full synchronization' (i.e. what Ezio canonically accomplished). This is done to pad out the game, but in some places can be seem lazily done.
The mission "Crepi Il Lupo" requires the player to defeat no less than thirteen enemies without taking a single hit, a feat made even more difficult by the fact that the mission begins with the enemies spawned in a tight circle around the player, some readied to attack.
Oddly enough, the easiest way to clear this "full sync" condition is to do exactly what the execution/kill streak gameplay was supposed to avert, staying in Defensive Stance the whole time and just countering all attacks.
The worst of these are the Bomber and Tank missions, both of which have a 'full synch' objective where the war machines cannot sustain any damage. With the Bomber, at least, altitude — and therefore flight control — can easily be regained; the Tank is a nightmare to maneuver, and the further along you are, the more accurate the enemy cannons become.
Fake Longevity: Some missions take place in isolated areas inaccessible outside of the mission and feature a time limit that you have to beat to achieve 100% sync ratio. They also feature collectibles such as flags and chests placed outside of the ideal route such that the time limit is impossible to beat if you deviate to collect them, thereby forcing you to play the mission twice to achieve 100% Completion.
Final Death: Assassin recruits that die, whether due to mission failure or in combat, are gone for good. Fortunately unlike the finite secondary missions in AC2, the game will dynamically generate recruiting missions whenever an Assassin recruit slot is unfilled.
When destroying the machine gun, Ezio says that the world is better without it. However, its invention will still come to pass...
While playing Ezio's repressed memories regarding Cristina Vespucci, it's pretty obvious Ezio and Cristina don't get married and settle down...
One implication of the premise of the game, "DNA memory", is that whatever is happening to the protagonist whose memories are being relived, he definitely survived to get laid at least one more time after that, otherwise it wouldn't have been passed on as genetic memory. On the other hand, Ezio has had many one-time lovers, so he may have many children out there... Also applies to the Templars in Multiplayer.
A subtle one of the ending location: at the end of the Colosseum Romulus Tomb you dive into a temple-like place that looks different to the rest of the area, it's only at the very end of the game that you find out it has importance to the present-day storyline.
Perhaps as a more subtle one, when Desmond asks Shaun about Monteriggioni (in his first "2012" conversation after setting up the Animus in the Sanctuary), it sounds more Italian-accented than usual...
Yet another subtle one: the Apple's hideout glows when seen in Eagle Vision before Ezio knows it is there.
Another piece of ending-related foreshadowing (though easily missed) comes from Shaun's in-Animus description of a church on the Campigdolio; apparently, there's a rumour it's built upon the ruins of the Temple of Juno and may be of significance. It is, but not during the Ezio segments of the game.
The appearance of Juno at the end of the game is possibly foreshadowed by Lucy's e-mail password. It also would appear to foreshadow Juno forcing Desmond to stab Lucy.
The Da Vinci Disappearance DLC sequence has you looking for five Plot Coupons in order to get to a certain location and unearth a secret intended for someone in 2012. The main plot of Assassin's Creed: Revelations pretty much plays out almost exactly the same way.
Octavien de Valois is exceedingly condescending towards the Italians and seems to believe that he'll eventually conquer all of Italy... or so Cesare lets him think. His guards aren't much better either.
Also Gaspar de la Croix, aka the Engineer in multiplayer, one of the Templar Agents who's holed up with an arquebus firing at any haplessly inadvertent trespassers.
The Truth segments end this time with a bizarre platforming sequence, after which it's revealed that Subject Sixteen has apparently uploaded his consciousness into the Animus.
Sure, it makes sense as a cliffhanger, but still... damn, Juno.
The weird orange cutscene with Cesare repeating his last words for no apparent reason after you throw him off the castle.
Game-Breaking Injury: At the attack on the villa near the beginning of the game, Ezio suffers a gunshot wound to the left upper chest/shoulder which cripples his mobility so severely he even limps in the loading screen. Although his fighting animation doesn't change, but this could be justified gameplay-wise by the Animus still being in tutorial mode at this point (it's likely the real Ezio had a much harder time of it — though strangely, synchronization isn't affected at all). Your armor (and thus maximum life bar) will also be reduced if you take too many hits, necessitating going to the blacksmith to repair it.
For the remainder of the Sequence Ezio is unable to sprint, free-run, catch ledges or climb leap, and when he first arrives in Rome he's initially unable to even jog. Although he regains those abilities (and his unwounded posture), he's unable to climb leap until midway through the story when he can buy a reinforced brace for the right hand — suggesting that the gunshot wound also affected his right arm or hand, albeit only in that respect.
Gender Is No Object: For the Assassin Brotherhood, anyway. Ezio treats women exactly the same way he treats men; it's not quite clear when the Assassins started their equal-opportunity recruitment drive but Altaïr may have gotten the idea from his wife, whom he first met (and fought) wearing a suit of armor.
Several of the Borgia Captains that you must assassinate to liberate a zone of Rome run off the moment they see you, and if they get away you need to wait to try again.
In two separate Lairs of Romulus, you have to chase after the "bosses" until near the end of the Lair — which makes the Church official an incredible free-runner considering his occupation (and attire). (He is one of the only NPCs known to use the lift under any circumstances, albeit in a scripted sequence).
The Papal Guard who's the boss of the (seemingly collector's edition-exclusive) "Liquid Gold" memory will flee once Ezio manages to break the platform he's on (forming a ramp for Ezio to ascend), forcing a protracted "chase" mainly in the form of free-running maneuvering until Ezio can finally corner him in a cave.
Good Colors, Evil Colors: The Prowler wears dark grey, whereas the Assassins he seems to copy wear mainly white. This only applies to Ezio and his recruits, though, as the guild leaders (Assassins themselves) and Machiavelli wear appropriate clothing for their public roles.
Gotta Catch Them All: Much better now. You can unlock and buy maps for the Borgia Flags on the overworld and Feathers, in addition to the treasure chests. Unfortunately, the Flags and chests in the Lairs of Romulus do not have maps, so you have to run around in Eagle Vision and hope you spot them.
Grand Theft Prototype: All of the missions to destroy Leonardo's war machines will eventually involve Ezio taking the things and briefly using them against the Borgia.
Guide Dang It: For a series that's been significantly improving since its first installment, there's still a surprising amount of cases like this.
You're supposed to use the horse on Timed Missions. The Apple of Eden is a Charged Attack. While there are now maps for the Feathers and Borgia Flags, some of them are in places where how to access the things is not immediately obvious, and the maps only unlock when you either acquire 25 Borgia flags or clear the story. There are no flag maps for the Secret Locations. Some of the Guild Challenges are not so obvious to complete as they first appear, such as the jump from horse to beam onenote You need to manually tap the button at the right time and Ezio must flip onto the top of the beam rather than just catch hold and hang on, or the guards killed while on horseback onenote You must kill a guard while he is on horseback and spawned on horseback; guards who started on foot but get onto an available horse do not count.
In order to access one of the Lairs of Romulus, you need to repair certain aqueducts in Rome. There is no indication in-game that repairing the aqueducts has any other effect on the over world or that repairing the aqueducts is the solution to entering the Lair, or even which aqueduct it is.
Most Trading Items exist only for the purpose of being sold to merchants, but some are required to complete Shop Quests. There is no indication as to which items are for Shop Quests outside going to each individual shop that offers them. There is also no indication as to when all of the Shop Quests are actually viewable. Many players don't realize that there are more Shop Quests that unlock later in the game, since the game makes it seem like the first group of quests are the only ones available. This results in players accidentally selling shop quest items only to realize later they lost access to an item only available for those quests. The Fast Poison one is among the worst because it uses Tomatoes. Most players will get almost all of the Tomatoes very early in the game, but the Fast Poison shop quest is one of the last to unlock.
Of sorts, since she doesn't do anything else in the game to redeem herself: Lucrezia Borgia. Cesare threatens and bullies Lucrezia into telling him where the Apple is hidden. Ezio comes in seconds after Cesare leaves, and Lucrezia turns from her family roots of Templars and tells him where the Apple is hidden, in St. Peter's Basilica, asking Ezio to get there before her brother does.
In Project Legacy, Fiora Cavazza aka "The Courtesan" sided with the Assassins after being attacked by Malfatto.
Heroes Want Redheads: Ezio forms a relationship with the red-headed Caterina Sforza. Well, a one-night stand, anyway. Unfortunately, when Desmond asks Shaun what became of Caterina, he says she languished in Florence and eventually died there.
In multiplayer you can take this route by running about and climbing walls. However, the game rewards you with more points per kill for killing your target without blowing your cover. Doing this sort of stuff, which NPCs do not do, is a quick way to give yourself away. Furthermore, performing High Profile actions within line of sight to your target will quickly result in the game automatically tipping your target off even if s/he was not actively looking out for you.
Ezio has the same issues as he did in AC2 (although the Assassin emblem is no longer on his starting Hidden Blade vambraces and a stylized arrowhead — albeit within the arch of the Assassin emblem — against feathers or leaves is used for his front buckle), and while for "immersion's sake" one could use the Florentine Noble Attire (a Uplay Reward that makes Ezio look like he did in AC2 before first donning the robes), it has no half-cape to conceal his main weapons in Low Profile and the Crossbow is still openly worn on his back.
However, as with the previous game, when a guard is actively looking for Ezio, or Ezio is in a restricted area, the guards spot him instantly and will draw weapons in seconds and attack if he doesn't hide or move away quickly.
This can be taken to ludicrous proportions with a couple unlockable outfits. Completing all the VR training with at least a bronze medal unlocks Raiden's outfit from Metal Gear Solid 4. Beating the game will give you the ability to play as Desmond even while in the Animus. Needless to say, neither of these fit well with the attire of those around you, but as they are both purely cosmetic changes, no one will notice you any more than wearing Ezio's default robes.
When Machiavelli questions how Ezio got the Thieves to help them again, Ezio only responds "virtu," which Machiavelli contemplates. The joke comes from the fact that this is a central concept in Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy, which he will write in 1517.
Later on, after Ezio becomes the head of the Assassins, Machiavelli says that he might write a book about him one day. Ezio then tells him "don't make it too long." The Prince, Machiavelli's most well-known work, is only 100 pages long in most versions.
Machiavelli also scoffs at the idea of turning public opinion against the Borgia and inciting the Romans to fight against them, noting that relying on the people is like building on sand. In The Prince, he uses the same phrase, but considers it wholly untrue - a Prince should in his opinion care more about the opinion of his people rather than his nobles and he will surely fall if he does not manage to become either beloved or feared. Either Ezio's actions in the game inspired the book or Machiavelli engaged in some stealth mentoring and fully expected Ezio to act the way he did.
Sequences 5 through 9 are one long spree of failures for Cesare Borgia: first Ezio kills Cesare's money-man who was his main source of funds, then he deprives Cesare of his French allies and (optionally) his Leonardo da Vinci-designed war machines, kills Cesare's lieutenants and wrests control of Rome away from Cesare, all right under his nose. Cesare then gets a stern talking-to — and attempted poisoning — from his daddy who'd withheld both financial support and the Apple of Eden from him and didn't even tell him about the death of his French general, though Rodrigo's attempted solution fatally backfires (while this was going on, Ezio had also prevented Cesare's hitman from killing a love rival). Cesare's own sister Lucrezia betrays the location of the Apple of Eden to Ezio, who reaches it first despite Cesare's head start, and then incapacitates quite a few Borgia troops along the way out of the Vaticano District. Several surviving Cardinals put their support behind "Della Rovere" (actually Giuliano della Rovere) for the Papacy after telling Cesare that his family's money is "tainted." After several skirmishes in Roman streets are all lost by Cesare's men, in the final battle for Rome the Assassins openly take to the streets and literally force him outside one of the city gates. Even then Cesare still believes that his army is returning to retake Rome, led by his hitman... but instead, a general previously forced into his service now arrests Cesare at the new Pope's order — complete with a charge of incest — and Cesare is dragged away by Papal Guards whom he might have previously commanded. It would be a year or more before he escaped, breaking several bones in the process, and Ezio would finally catch up to him while Cesare was making a last desperate grab at a comeback — not commanding, but commanded by a relative. Oh, and so much for being "the best fighter who ever lived."
Revealed in Project Legacy to have been pretty much intentionally planned by Ezio, when he turned down a shot at Cesare's life, claiming that the death of one man would not bring down the Borgia — instead resorting to things like poisoning French duelists (to "force" Cesare to applaud their Italian opponents and thus potentially degrade relations with his French allies), or swapping prisoners scheduled for execution with hapless Borgia guards.
In general, Ezio's main antagonists enjoys their fruits of success in the short term after causing him great personal and emotional pain, but later come to pay dearly for it, and this is particularly evident with the excruciating humiliation he deals to Cesare over the course of several years. All of Ezio's other victims have a quick death, but for those who really piss him off, he determines to make their lives a living hell by the end.
Achieving "Full Synchronization" requires missions to be completed with set standards (avoiding detection, avoiding damage, set time limit), the completion of which allows access to Ezio's Repressed Memories... though the last one is actually unlocked at only 75% overall Synchronization.
"Hundred percenting" the renovation of Rome unlocks the Auditore Cape, while removing all of the 101 Borgia flags unlocks the Borgia Cape, though both have the same effect of artificially keeping Ezio's Notoriety at zero. Collecting the ten Feathers this time only results in an Achievement/Trophy.
Hypocrite: While rescuing Caterina in the Castello, you must take Lucrezia Borgia up to where she's being held, by force. The entire time you do this she's ranting about how the Assassins have ruined many people's lives and ensured the end of the Pazzi family's bloodline... despite the fact that the Borgia destroy businesses, have let Rome fall into ruin and squalor, have hopelessly corrupted the Cardinals, and have Ezio as the only surviving male member of the Auditore family by the end of the game's intro, this last one for apparently giggles.
I Found You Like This: After the siege on Monteriggioni, Ezio takes a bullet in the side and proceeds to ride towards Rome. He collapses on the road and awakens in a small house on the outskirts of Rome being tended by an anonymous woman. Causes him to Level Drain. The end of Sequence 8 reveals that Machiavelli found and rescued him by taking him to the woman, hoping that he would be able to finish the job of ending the Borgia line.
I Have Your Wife: The Baron de Valois does this against Bartolomeo, though Pantasilea is abducted off-screen.
Guards now carry more stuff on their person for looting, as opposed to just cash in AC2. Thieves, especially the Cento Occhi Random Encounters, are notorious for this.
Borgia Captains are particularly lucrative sources, particularly for ranged weapon ammo, and tend to have 900+ florins in coins.
One upside to chasing down Pickpockets and Borgia Couriers this time is that they inevitably have a trade item when you tackle, grab or loot them (Borgia Couriers in particular are the exclusive source of Aconite), and Bandit corpses inevitably have trade items.
Most of the weapons that the multiplayer characters use make some amount of sense. But the Engineer? He uses a Compass, the sharp kind people used for maps, but it's still a compass. The Dama Rossa, meanwhile, stabs her victims with an oversized hairpin. The Thief may qualify as well, as she uses one half of a scissor... though it is a rather pointy, tapered scissor blade at that.
Ezio can kill people with a broom. The achievement for actually killing someone with it is called "Spring Cleaning". It'shilarious.
There's another improbable weapon achievement for killing a guard by dropping the counter-weight of a winch lift on him as you ride it upwards. It's easy enough to do by purposely bumping into a guard near one of the lifts and having him follow/harass you as you go over to the lift; he'll end up right behind you as you ascend and be crushed under the counter-weight. Strangely, doing this doesn't provoke the other guards into chasing you.
Infinity–1 Sword: Obtained by completing the Guild Challenges (besides the Assassin's Guild). They don't have maxed out stats like the Sword of Altaïr or Dagger of Brutus, but are the next best things.
Infinity+1 Sword: Both the Sword of Altaïr (unlocked by completing all of the Assassin Guild Challenges) and the Dagger of Brutus (acquired along with the Armor of Brutus by completing all six Lairs of Romulus) have maxed out stats. The Dagger of Brutus also has a hidden effect that makes guards more likely to flee, and it has unique kill animations compared to the other Short Blades.
In Medias Res: The very first cutscene after Desmond's introductory recap is Ezio confronting Cesare near the end of the game. Then the first playable bit rewinds to escaping from the Vault and Vatican immediately after 2.
It's Probably Nothing: When Ezio is roused from slumber with Caterina due to cannon-firing noises, he thinks this since the men of Monteriggioni had been planning on cannon practice that morning. Then a cannonball goes through his room, knocking over the Armor of Altaïr in the process. It can't be destroyed, not even by cannons because it's made from super-metal, and Desmond later sees Ezio wearing it after the attack.
It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Ezio attempts this with Maria and Claudia by sending them to Florence. Needless to say he is somewhat annoyed when they turn up in Rome anyway, and especially when they decide to "fill the gap" (after his failure to save the madame of a Roman brothel) by taking over it themselves. He gets over it though when he is shown his sister Took a Level in Badass.
Just Following Orders: Cristina, in one of the flashback memory missions, tells Ezio to not kill the guards moving his family's bodies because they're just doing their jobs. Ezio doesn't really buy this ("They follow orders without questioning—!") but he relents to appease her.
In addition to retaining (from earlier games) some mooks' ability to resist grabs or block frontal assassination, Papal Guards can block/dodge counters without taking damage, in some cases even hitting Ezio in the process (albeit without Ezio taking damage). They are not, however, immune to executions and inclusion in a kill streak.
Unlike the first Assassin's Creed I's bosses, Cesare Borgia shares that immunity, since he's essentially a reskin of them but with execution/kill streak immunity.
The Assassins under Ezio's rule becomes this against the Borgia-ruled Rome.
Subject 16's last Cluster puzzle also implies that resistance against Templar control is growing stronger and stronger on a biological level, particularly among the younger generations, which is why they desperately need the Apple. Previously though, it's implied that the communists — or at least the true believers — were resisting by default due to opposing capitalism, revealed to be the Templars' means of control.
The "Templar Agent" mission against Gaspar de la Croix involves an attempted resistance, formed apparently independent of the Assassins.
Late-Arrival Spoiler: The intro movie effectively spoils the ending of the first game, namely the betrayal of Al Mualim. You would expect the game to spoil ACII, what with it being a direct sequel in the same setting, but not the first one where Desmond's experiences in the Animus are unrelated.
The American collector's edition has the usual DVD bonuses... and a jack-in-the-box!
There's a European Codex Edition, which features a real-life version of Altaïr's Codex as a hardcover book with a large Assassin logo.
The Russian Collector's Edition is similar to the Codex Edition (albeit on a shoestring budget — lower quality for the Codex itself, and all the extra discs come in paper slips), BUT it also comes with six metal figurines of the multiplayer characters — The Courtesan, The Executioner, The Prowler, The Doctor, The Noble and The Priest. The lesser-grade Limited Edition has half the digital bonuses and two seemingly random figurines from the whole set.
Loophole Abuse: Invoked by Ezio when Cesare claims that no man can kill him. Probably was unnecessary but Ezio was likely being cautious given how Cesare's previous statement that chains could not hold him turned out to be rather prophetic.
Ezio's goal is to rebuild the Assassin Brotherhood by training new recruits from those already... displeased with the current state of affairs, eventually building an army to strike at the Borgia.
It's revealed in Project Legacy that some of them were already-inducted apprentices who were transferred over to his tutelage after the death of Perotto Calderon, an Assassin who turned against his Brothers.
Meaningful Name: Cesare is the Italian variant of "Caesar," and he's planning on taking over Rome and the rest of Italy (and eventually Spain too) by force. Even his father thinks that's pretty hasty of him. Interestingly, a sidequest has you looking for keys to unlock a vault containing the Armor and Dagger of Brutus, the most infamous of Caesar's killers.
The end of The Truth segments features none other than Subject Sixteen himself, having uploaded his consciousness into the Animus.
At this point, required at the end of every Assassin's Creed game. Good luck figuring out what happens at the end and why Desmond was forced to stab Lucy.
And whether we're actually playing as Desmond, or as someone in the future viewing Desmond's memories through a future Animus. Teased by being able to load Desmond's image the way you can the other outfits, if you achieve 100% synchronization on Sequence 8.
The DLC mission The Da Vinci Disappearance confirms that we are still playing as Desmond after the credits are rolling. There had been some speculation as to whether or not Desmond was still in the Animus during the Playable Epilogue.
Mook-Face Turn: Lucrezia Borgia, albeit due to a bit of er... forceful persuasion.
More Dakka: Borgia arquebusiers, cannons, and Leonardo's various inventions, including a prototype machine gun, though its slow (by modern standards) fire rate makes it essentially a large, chariot-mounted repeater.
Mugging the Monster: Ezio will be randomly attacked by thugs who are convinced the man in the fine cape and hood is an easy mark, though this is useful in that they have trade items on their bodies. They invariably learn their mistake to their thorough dismay when said hooded man mows them down like wheat. And that's if they're lucky; if they're unlucky, he just waves his hand, keeps walking, and a half-dozen Assassins leap out of the bushes — or they get "randomly" filled with arrows.
Sending more than one Assassin on a mission increases the chance of the mission's success but evenly splits the experience point reward among them. If a mission fails then you may lose at least one of the Assassins you've sent out on it. Fortunately, unlike the finite Assassin's Creed II secondary missions you'll always have an available "rescue/recruit citizen" mission whenever you have an unfilled Assassin recruit slot. Finally, for obvious reasons any mission-deployed Assassins are not available to help you in person (either for assassinating targets or to fight in Open Conflict), and Assassins of any rank can be killed when they're around in person.
Arrow Storms will kill multiple guards (apparently as many as you have available Assassins) without the Assassin recruits having to appear (so no chance of them dying), but calling one requires that all three Assassin Signals be full (hence six available recruits), depletes all three signals at once, and it may be difficult to call for one while in Open Conflict or having to stay on the move.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: In The Da Vinci Disappearance, after Ezio defeats several of his followers, the Hermeticist leader throws one last follower down to stop him. This not only kills the hapless follower but breaks off part of the stone platform that he's standing on, creating a path for Ezio to climb directly up to him. Ezio had no other way of reaching him before that.
No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Thoroughly averted. When destroying the War Machines, you need to not only destroy the prototype but also the blueprints, as well as any other prototypes of the same design that may be fighting back.
Even though Ezio's sister Claudia should be in her late 30s, she still looks and acts the same as her 15-year-old self from the beginning of Assassin's Creed II. The acting could be justified by the fact that she was kept locked up in Monteriggioni for the entire length of AC2.
Ezio also suffers from this. He's pushing fifty by the time of the final memory, and yet he stills looks like he's in his late twenties. Revelations finally averts it, but in a way that makes things seem even more strange — it begins only four years after the last mission in Brotherhood, but Ezio looks like he's aged about 15-20 years.
No Sell: The Truth Cluster 10 implies that the Templar's usual control methods simply do not work on the younger generations of people, with an internal Abstergo report claiming subtle but crucial biological changes in young adults. This explains why they commissioned the Animus Project, so they could find at least one Apple of Eden to put in their satellite.
Not Worth Killing: Remember when Ezio sparedRodrigo Borgia? That turns out to have been a mistake in hindsight, although in the end Rodrigo is not the real threat. In fact, Ezio's "mercy" caused him to focus on power consolidation to the consternation of his son, splintering their family. So, it was actually a good thing, oddly enough.
Obstructive Bureaucrat: According to the Heralds, all incidents of petty theft must be reported to the Vatican Office of Complaints, not the Guard. But according to another message from the Heralds, the Vatican Office of complaints has been closed indefinitely due to the death of its only employee.
Of Corpse He's Alive: Stealth-killing from a bench causes Ezio to gently prop up the target on the bench he was sitting on, as in the previous game. To fully sync with the memory of Juan Borgia's death, Ezio has to kill him in this way without being detected, though in the cutscene the body is supine instead of seated.
Offscreen Teleportation: Your horse when summoned. The Assassin recruits do this as well if there's no obvious hiding spot for them to have emerged from.
Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: The mid-40's Ezio going up against mid-20's Cesare; by the time of the final battle they're 47-48 and 31 respectively.
Older Is Better: Brutus' Armor and Dagger are, despite being supposedly over 1500 years old during Ezio's time, better than any other armor available during that time. The Sword of Altaïr and Armor of Altaïr are also better than Renaissance equipment despite being centuries old as well — although their superiority is explained by Altaïr using the Apple to design them. The armor and dagger of Brutus are also justified, as his letters reveal he'd been in contact with Those Who Came Before, specifically Juno in the temple where Ezio leaves his apple.
Older than They Look: Ezio's mother and sister appear and largely act the same as they did at the beginning of Assassin's Creed II, even though in their first appearance in Brotherhood — 23 years later, at the beginning of the new century — Maria should be about 67 and Claudia about 38.
The advertised "offensive" combat gameplay has been explained as essentially meaning that after a counter kill (or a "special" melee kill), as long as Ezio is able to successfully hit opponents in melee without taking damage or missing attacks, he'll be able to chain one-hit regular kills ("executions") together in a "kill streak," intended to encourage players to attack more aggressively than in the extremely counter-oriented AC2 — not least because this is one of the few ways to quickly kill enemies with a lot of Health (specifically Borgia Captains, Brutes, Papal Guards, and certain targets) during Open Conflict. However, the execution animations can be interrupted (sometimes before the fatal blow and therefore negating the kill) by an untimely enemy attack, grab or sand toss, any of which will abruptly end the kill streak.
While equipped Throwing Knives are only a one-hit kill against the weakest enemies, when using the special attack to throw two or three Throwing Knives at once, each "charged" Throwing Knife will result in a one-hit kill. Throwing a Heavy Weapon or a Polearm (out of Open Conflict only) results in a one-hit kill, and the Crossbow and Pistol cause one-hit kills against almost all enemies.
Ezio can easily fell a platoon of soldiers if the player has good enough reflexes to counter and dodge when the situation calls for it. On top of his kill streaks, Ezio has a sub-weapon for his main weapons (gun for the one-handed sword/blunt weapon and throwing knives for the Short Blade) which he can utilize by holding and then releasing the Attack button during a kill streak with those weapons, acting as his special attack for those weapons (if he runs out of ammo he instead will toss sand, which is also his special attack when using his Fists, and if wielding a Polearm during Open Conflict he'll perform a spinning slash that cuts the throats of most enemies in close range).
When a recruit reaches level 10 and is promoted to the rank of Assassino, he or she becomes perfectly capable of taking down almost any NPC group single-handedly without losing even one Health square in the process... on top of that, he or she has as many Health squares as the final boss, and those Health squares deplete almost as slowly as his do. Short of falling off of a high-enough rooftop or into water, even a lone Assassino is de facto invincible against almost all enemies.
Fully realized in the final Sequence, as Ezio goes off alone to hunt down Cesare without informing the Brotherhood, disabling your ability to call Assassins in the process.
Mario: What can I say? We sent a single man against an entire army. I was concerned.
One-Woman Wail: Present in a lot of the soundtrack, most notably in the title sequence.
Only a Flesh Wound: Ezio gets shot through the shoulder during the attack on Monteriggioni. With a hole through his chest you could shoot pool through, he fights his way out of the city and rides to the outskirts of Rome from Tuscany. Then he goes to a doctor, gets a potion and is immediately perfectly healthy, with only a few muttered comments about his age.
Only Shop in Town: A variation. There's multiple shops with different shopkeepers (albeit ones that look exactly the same), but as you pretty much singlehandedly renovate the entirety of Rome, you own — or at least have a share in — most of the shops.
Only Smart People May Pass: Subject 16's puzzles, especially the last few. The password to the Temple of Juno requires piecing together information about dates, the Name of God, and the Tetragrammaton.
Orcus on His Throne: Rodrigo Borgia is largely absent from the game; when Ezio first goes back to check on him upon exiting the Vault all he finds are the papal robes. Rather than being the Big Bad that Machiavelli believes him to be, Rodrigo is instead trying to build up the forces of the Papacy and the Borgia family, while Cesare is being an idiot and stirring up the hornet's nest known as the Assassins. Rodrigo wants the long view, while Cesare desperately wants to be powerful NOW.
Overlord Jr.: Cesare Borgia, though he has pretensions of intending to being the Overlord, even if only unofficially.
Pet the Dog: Lucrezia in Project Legacy, as she's the only one shows any love towards Giovanni, her son through an Assassin, but cannot let him know about his true lineage. In return, when he leaves the Vatican, she's the only one in the household he misses — and while he doesn't go to see her "one last time," he figures that it would just make her (more) sad, whereas he dislikes or hates the rest of his male relatives.
Pietà Plagiarism: Ezio's carrying a poisoned actor playing a newly-crucified Jesus out of the Colosseum. Heavily lampshaded, as the dazed actor asks Ezio who he is, and Ezio sarcastically answers "Your Saviour".
Playing The Player: Used to set up the Cliffhanger ending. When Desmond is dominated by Juno after picking up the Apple of Eden, the game stops before the crucial moment and tells you to "press any button". So not only does Desmond kill Lucy, so do you.
Plot Armor: Desmond is unable to damage himself during the platforming sessions, specifically because he doesn't have a health meter and has no way of restoring it even if he did.
Point of No Return: Sequence Eight. To make things worse, it's not immediately obvious until the second Memory starts with no way to decline. Furthermore, after the fracas in the Colosseum you cannot return to 2012!Monteriggioni or replay either of Desmond's platforming portions... though it beats every story Memory being a point of no return (for the previous Memories) in AC2.
Poor Communication Kills: Ezio is never fully informed of Lanz's history beyond the fact that he lost his child, his wife is suicidal, and that he is a Templar agent who murders people. Thus Ezio hunts Lanz down and kills him.
The Papal Guards, of course. There are however several enemy leaders, i.e. Overseers for the War Machines, a trio accompanying the Baron de Valois, and the boss in the "Liquid Gold" mission (a capable free-runner at that), plus a few scattered around Centro District, who wear the Papal Guard armor and have their abilities despite not being on bodyguard duty.
Subtly reinforced when they arrest Cesare Borgia, previously their former commander, at the order of the new Pope.
Put on a Bus: Several key characters from the second game are neither mentioned nor appear at all.
Quicksand Box: Not a serious example since the game does have a fairly well-established goal, but the fact that it has more side quests than a JRPG does give some players a sense of not knowing what to do next, although throughout the story the "next" memory has a specific icon.
Rain of Arrows: Ezio can call an Arrow Storm down if he has at least six Assassin recruits at the ready. It kills virtually all the guards near you (up to a number equal to your available Assassins), effectively functioning as a Smart Bomb and extremely useful for later missions where the full sync condition requires that multiple enemies die without Ezio taking any damage. Unless those missions disable the use of your guild. The ones where it would be most helpful are universally the ones in which your assassins are unavailable. It's also a great way to take out Borgia Captains, even those who are aware of Ezio and therefore either in Open Conflict (thus taking more than one hit from Ezio's weapons to kill) or fleeing.
Red Herring: Several things seem to suggest that Mario (somehow) survived. Nope.
Red Herring Mole: La Volpe is suspicious of Machiavelli to begin with, and several unfortunate incidents indeed indicate that Machiavelli is likely to be feeding information to the Borgia. However, it turns out he's not the traitor Volpe had been making him out to be, and unbeknownst to Niccolo, he was vindicated mere seconds before he would have been killed.
Desmond mostly acts stable but there are signs that his continued use of the Animus is taking its toll on him, such as increasing hallucinations — of the aftermath of the Siege of Monteriggioni, Ezio's return to the Sanctuary at some point in his life (which according to the Ubisoft community manager may or may not have actually happened), as well as Ezio making his way to Juno's Temple to put the Apple — and inadvertent references to when "he" had done things that Ezio had done. Being physically in the same place one of his ancestors lived probably isn't helping. More subtly, when Desmond first speaks to Shaun after the Animus is set up in the Sanctuary, asking him about Monteriggioni, Desmond pronounces it with a slightly more Italian accent...
Through reading Lucy and Rebecca's emails you learn that Desmond has been screaming in his sleep. Maybe he's dreaming about the conceptions of his other ancestors...
In Project Legacy, Assassin trainee Giovanni Borgia, has not only voices in his head thanks to being "saved" by the Shroud of Eden which he refers to as "Consus" (possibly referring to "consciousness"), but also sometimes experiences his father Perotto Calderon's and his implied ancestor Marcus Junius Brutus' memories. The implications of the former are kind of squicky...
Self-Deprecation: The depiction of the French soldiers in this game is less than flattering. Ubisoft, the company that publishes the game, is based in France. In addition, the game itself was developed by a Quebecois studio, Ubisoft Montreal.
Sequence Breaking: Unlike the Assassin's Tombs in AC2, the Lairs of Romulus have a persistent plotline and are intended to be played in a certain order, but there's nothing actually stopping you from playing them out of order once you've unlocked them all.
Sherlock Scan: Senator Troche assumes that this is how Ezio knew that he had been whoring. The truth is much simpler: Ezio owns the Senator's favorite brothel.
Metal Gear has made at least two major shout-outs to Assassin's Creed (such as Big Boss' ability to perform the Leap of Faith in Peace Walker and Altaïr's robe MGS4), it's only fair for this game to return the favor. Firstly: Raiden's MGS4 outfit becomes a possible costume for Ezio — albeit with Ezio wearing it — if you happen to complete all the Virtual Training missions, which themselves could be construed as a shout-out to the many VR Mission modes for MGS games. Secondly, when you first meet back up with Leonardo, his voice appears to be coming from inside a modern cardboard box.
When Ezio and Bartolomeo's mercenaries disguised as French troops arrive at the French camp, he attempts to converse with the guard manning the outermost gate in French. The guard, finding the accent off, asks, "Which part of France are you from?" Ezio responds, "Montreal." Ubisoft Montreal is the company's primary studio for all Assassin's Creed development.
On its own, having to impersonate a guard named Luigi doesn't mean too much, considering where you are after all, but Ezio also having an Uncle Mario makes it more suspicious. In addition, the achievement for completing that memory sequence is named "Principessa in Another Castello".
In the Japanese version, the above is somewhat more explicit: "Thank you EZIO! But princess is in another castle"
The way Ezio can charge up and wing a two-handed weapon through the air to improbable effect at improbable range will look suddenly familiar if one watches a little movie called Stardust. It's how Prince Septimus kills off one of the witches in the finale, gigantic two-hander and all.
The sequence where you stab Lucy is similar to the scene prior to Aerith's death, in that each time a button is pressed, or in this case the stick is tilted, causes our hero (Cloud/Desmond) to take another unwilling step towards their own ally (Aerith/Lucy), and yet it is the only way to progress, you can't just put the controller down.
The trophy for completing Subject 16's Maze is called ".. .- — .- .-.. .. ...- ." Which is morse code for "I AM ALIVE" which could be interpreted in two different ways one being a possible reference to subject 16 and the other being a Shout Out to the game I Am Alive which is also being developed by Ubisoft.
Sibling Team: The Harlequin and the Hellequin are brother and sister, Cahin and Caha. They are not seen in Brotherhood, as they were killed by other Assassins — possibly Ezio's apprentices — at some point during Ezio's time in Rome.
The Thief's profile implied that she (Faustina Collari) and her brother were one, though his fate is unknown.
Sinister Surveillance: We are told that Abstergo is using cell towers to keep tabs on people and that satellite surveillance was phased out for being inferior at this. This is the given reason why Desmond's not supposed to be out of the Sanctuary for more than ten minutes at a time, though fortunately if a player does let the timer expire Desmond is simply returned into the Sanctuary.
Smug Snake: Ye gods, Cesare. He wants to be an amazing Magnificent Bastard but in reality he's a cowardly, hysterical, spoiled brat. This is very much highlighted when he has to meet his father because the invasion money's dried up and he NEEDSMORENOWDAMMIT, and then when he tries to take (back) Rome without the Apple of Eden. He also completely underwhelms during the final boss fight, bragging that he's "the best fighter who ever lived" and still having delusions (four years later) of being able to retake Rome, then to resume his failed conquest of Italy, and even to go on to conquer Spain, when he can't even best an Auditore.
Simply put, his problem was that he was very deluded about the real source of his power up until his forced return to Rome, thanks to the Assassins having ripped the real power out from under him.
Initially, the Courtesan was the only female PC in multiplayer. Then the Smuggler, Thief and the Hellequin were introduced, subverting this.
Upheld in single-player, as Claudia is the only explicitly-canon female Assassin in the game, but Project Legacy both subverts it and plays it straight with Tessa Varzi: the second canonical female Assassin during the events of Brotherhood but the only one shown in Project Legacy or amongst Ezio's canonical apprentices.
You will most likely start implementing this rule yourself when you begin recruiting apprentices. Since male apprentices seems to be far more common than female ones.
Or you can avert it entirely by selectively recruiting only female Assassin Recruits, either by ignoring the men or saving them, but not speaking to them to recruit them. You can even take it farther and send the male recruit you automatically get when you first gain the ability to recruit assassins to his death on a mission he couldn't possibly hope to accomplish on his own in order to forge an Amazon Brigade.
Set up and subsequently subverted when Ezio has Bartolomeo pretend to surrender to his own men who are disguised as French troops. A guard at the main gate asks their business in French and Ezio is able to hold a conversation in it. The guard then asks where in France he's from (possibly due to a curious accent?), Ezio is able to provide an acceptable answer. Apparently, his womanizing days paid major dividends almost a quarter-century later.
Every game of (Advanced) Wanted requires this. The newbies who run on rooftops openly aren't even trying — despite the Compass not showing the target's elevation — but to spot more skilled players demands that you know what NPCs will and will not do. Then again that might not save you...
The Squadette: You can recruit females into your guild, and a cheat allows you to have all of your recruits appear to be female when replaying Memories.
The heralds have several of these. "Reminder! Do not drink the waters of the Chevre south of the Campo Marzio. The recent outbreak of syphilis has been linked to this ill-advised practice."
Shaun's "Oh my God!"
When Desmond and crew are at the Colosseum looking for the Apple, Shaun's advice to Desmond is "If you see any gladiators, leg it!" In this case, a "legate" (pronounced the same way) is a member of the Roman army.
Ezio's taunts from Assassin's Creed II, in which he has a higher voice, are mixed in with his new taunts.
The generic citizen voices are used in every location. While it's understandable since the majority of the game takes place in Rome, it gets rather silly when people call you the "Curse and shame of Roma" while you're in Florence.
Stopped Numbering Sequels: There's a reason why this is "Brotherhood" and not "Assassin's Creed 3". It's largely Assassin's Creed 2-and-a-half, a direct continuation of where Assassin's Creed II left off without being a major paradigm shift like 2 was over 1. It's far more than a Gaiden Game, though.
Sadly, this applies to NPCs equally — including your Assassin apprentices. Oddly enough, for some reason Ezio's armor isn't as heavy as the guards, even when he appears to be wearing more (and heavier robes at that). Then again, density is what determines buoyancy, not weight.
Sword and Gun: Ezio can now use both a longsword or bludgeon and the Hidden Gun together in combat; a variant option is his ability to use a short blade in conjunction with throwing knives. The Papal Guards and Cesare in the final boss fight will also pack a pistol and sword.
Tank Goodness: One part of the story requires Ezio to retrieve a tank built from Leonardo's plans, as well as burn the stolen plans to prevent the Borgias from building more. Fortunately he did that in the opposite order, since it wasn't the only working tank. Though you wouldn't think this good if you're going for full synchronization...
Tap on the Head: After Ezio rescues Caterina Sforza from the clutches of the Borgia's, Caterina orders Lucrezia into a cell. Lucrezia screams for her guards, but Caterina slams her head into the cell bars, knocking her out.
There's an unarmed finisher that involves Ezio stepping on his opponents foot (causing them to hop on one leg), before stomping on the knee they're balancing on, snapping it at a near 90 degree angle.
Most of Ezio's new unarmed finishers seem to be attempting to outdo Altaïr. Of note is the one where Ezio approaches a guard from behind, punches him in the kidneys, then turns around and breaks the guard's neck over his shoulder. It has to be seen to be believed.
Tempting Fate: One of the first things Ezio does upon returning to Monteriggioni is catch Mario's favorite horse. When he brings it to the stables he's told "Enjoy your good health. Do not spend as much time in battle as your uncle Mario." He replies with "My battles have already been won." Apparently the Borgia didn't get that memo...
One of the move involves stabbing a guard in the underside of the head, then firing the Hidden Gun at point-blank. Consider how powerful the Hidden Gun is even from afar... If the graphics were any more realistic, Rome would be filled with scattered brains.
There are tons of way to dispatch enemies from range. You can use your hidden gun, throwing knives, crossbow, poison dart, or even call in your Assassin recruits. While these methods are practical, they have the disadvantage of not being as awesome as throwing an axe/2-handed sword into your enemy's head.
Ezio's "charged-up" special attack for Heavy Weapons (axes and two-handed swords) is overhanding that sucker right into whoever is unlucky enough to be targeted or in front of him. He then has to go over and pick it back up — though if you're actually equipped with one (by using the Heavy Sheath), this attack empties your Medium/Heavy Weapon slot, which can actually be exploited to be able to semi-permanently keep an enemy's Medium/Heavy Weapon; it's the only way to be able to keep the Scimitar, for one.
Alternately he can throw a Polearm, though those can not be kept like Heavy Weapons can. This is one of the only ways to "elevate" a Polearm, by throwing it at a rooftop guard while Ezio is not in Open Conflict, though finding a well-placed "free-run" to a roof or using a merchandise or ladder will work as well.
Too Dumb to Live: In the DLC, the returning Duccio de Luca publicly insults Ezio's sister as the "whore of Rome" and picks a fight with Ezio thirty years after their last meeting, all because he's got a few unarmed henchmen on hand. This works out for him about as well as you'd expect. Worse yet, the games assume that Ezio was wearing the Assassin Robes at the time.
Ezio has learned even more killing moves, along with the kill streak techniques/strategy to put them all together, making him able to take out practically any melee group in the game.
The Hidden Gun is also far more useful than it used to be due to his having had over a decade to practice with it, and somehow modifying it (before going to infiltrate the Vatican at the end of 1499 in AC2, since he himself didn't probably have time to do so between his return to Monteriggioni and the next morning's siege) to be able to fire using his left wrist alone.
Also, Claudia has gone from villa bookkeeper, to head of the Courtesans as brothel madam of the Rosa in Fiore ("Blooming Rose"), and confirmed Assassin after slaying four attacking guards while Ezio is away. Afterwards, she is officially inducted into the Assassins, performing a Leap of Faith and fighting alongside Ezio during the mop-up skirmishes.
Trash the Set: Ezio's town gets sacked by invading Roman troops not long into the game.
Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Several events that occurred at the time of Assassin's Creed II are accessible in Brotherhood; since most of these events would be traumatic for Ezio, the apparent explanation is that Ezio sealed them away within his own memory, and Desmond is only able to access them due to his greater level of sync in this game.
Tyke Bomb: Il Lupo (The Prowler) from Multiplayer.
Destroying the Borgia oppression leads to the revitalization of Rome, and eventually the Renaissance. As you progress through the game, the background chatter of NPCs will include statements like "Things are really getting better," and "There will be a special throne in Hell for Cesare Borgia when this is all over."
In liberated zones you will also have Vigilantes appear, usually near certain guard locations, who will jeer at the guards and grab any guards that try to fight near them, just like in AC1.
And of course, who could forget about your recruits... especially since once a recruit hits max EXP, you're notified to return to the Hideout to attend AND officiate their graduation/promotion. They grow up so fast...! *sniffle*
If you think that's nice, pay attention to how the couples act before and after your liberation has progressed... from tears and consoling hugs, to watching constellations from rocky outcroppings and proposing... The open fields even have families or friends having picnics.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: Some of Ezio's kill animations are much more brutal this time around, especially with the introduction of kill-streaks.
Villainous Breakdown: Cesare's mood starts to fall rapidly when he learns that his friends and allies were killed (in one case without him even being told), that the money for his warmaking has dried up, and the man he'd thought he'd killed years ago had stolen Rome out from under his nose. In the entire scene after that, he loses his shit completely.
The Harlequin went into town, a deadly man in tights, Went medieval on some dudes and laughed until they died! The Harlequin tears it up, the Harlequin is sneaky, Fills his victims up with fear because he looks so freaky! The Harlequin jumped off a roof and landed in a crowd, Before they had a chance to laugh, he took those suckers out!
Warp Whistle: In the form of tunnel entrances around Rome that Ezio must renovate to use.
Was It All a Lie?: Lucrezia to Cesare during his brutal interrogation for the Apple's location.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Hermeticists are looking for a magic number that will grant them the power they need to banish ignorance from the world forever. A very noble goal, indeed; too bad they're so fanatic about it they think it's okay to go around stabbing people in their way. Their leader is shocked that Ezio is fighting them.
Wham Line: The short conversation between two men at the end. One claims to be an expert on the Animus and that placing Desmond in the Animus would stop him from going into shock. Then the realization kicks in that these men must be Bill Miles and some other Assassin, whom Lucy would have told where to go to retrieve the apple from Juno's Vault.
Teodor Viscardi, "The Officer" in multiplayer, is an agent of Cesare's whose fate hasn't never revealed, as he isn't a target in either Project Legacy or Brotherhood. His sole appearance is a quick cameo in one Legacy memory.
The same deals with Faustina Collari, the Thief. She is not mentioned to be in service to the Borgia, in either medium. Oddly enough, however, she is the one with the most backstory, concerning her lost brother.
Likewise with Paola, Antonio, and Teodora from Assassin's Creed II. The end of that game implies they traveled to Rome with the rest of the Assassins to make trouble in the city to divert the guard's attention from Ezio infiltrating the Vatican, they are not seen or mentioned at all in Brotherhood. The most likely explanation is they simply returned to Florence and Venice respectively after causing the distraction in Rome, but the game never comments one way or the other.
Wife-Basher Basher: Ezio in the Blacksmith's Templar Agent mission. Though, he goes a little farther than just beating him...
The World's Expert on Getting Killed: Tommaso di Viterbo, the closest Borgia Captain northeast of the Thieves Guild, claims to know how Assassins operate when addressing troops, but is no harder to kill for all his bluster. Many players time their assassinations perfectly to milk the speech he gives to provide the most dramatic irony possible.
Wide Open Sandbox: Unlike previous Assassin's Creed games, this one (mostly) takes place in a single large city rather than bouncing around between different cities.
When holding Lucrezia hostage during a mission (as she has the key to Caterina Sforza's cell), Ezio has no problem tackling her to the ground if she tries to escape, putting the left Hidden Blade to her throat to keep her in place (though she inevitably breaks out after several seconds), and even threatening to "take" her tongue if she screams... although he doesn't follow through.
Lia de Russo, the multiplayer Smuggler, is the target of a Templar Agent mission, and full synchronization requires that Ezio finish her with his Hidden Blade. Oddly enough, she's not sure why Ezio is hunting her.
Wrestler in All of Us: In addition to Ezio still using a chokeslam, Il Carnefice/The Executioner can kill his target from behind by using a standing version of an Inverted Death Valley Driver/Burning Hammer, and the Blacksmith uses a backbreaker.
Wretched Hive: Rome under Borgia rule. It's up to Ezio to clean it up.
Purposely invoked in multiplayer for the purpose of Paranoia Fuel. To maintain this, if a player equips their character with visible customizations, all of that character's NPC counterparts will match the player's look. Somewhat mitigated in Alliance, Chest Capture and Manhunt modes as the pursuers and targets are clearly defined — thus narrowing down who is your target but also who your pursuer could be, unless a Disguise is used — but in full force during Wanted and Advanced Wanted.
Further invoked for any ability which affects characters' appearances, i.e. Disguise ("reskins" the player character into a different character for at least ten seconds), Morph (up to four or six NPCs near the player character suddenly "transform" to match the player character's appearance), or Blender (changes a NPC in a crowd into the same skin as that of the player for as long as the player character stays in that crowd, and as long as there isn't an actual NPC that already has the same skin).
You Killed My Father: Part of Ezio's conflict with the younger Cesare, is because Cesare killed Uncle Mario.
Zerg Rush: This is the strategy the Cult of Romulus uses against you. Although they are burly men in wolf pelts, they have little armor and only wield daggers and rocks. There are usually lots of them and they will attack more readily than the regular guards. They're practically Kill Streak fodder.
0% Approval Rating: The Borgia is not exactly well liked despite their iron grip on Roma. The army is more interested in the pay the Borgias offer and they have to rely on French Mercenaries to keep the city in fear of them.