Video Game: Assassin's Creed II
"Insieme per la vittoria!"note
Carlo: We kill thinking it's best for us, do we not, Messer Ezio? Assassin's Creed II
Ezio: I do this not for myself. Compio questo sacrificio per il bene superiore. Requiescat in Pace. (I make this sacrifice for the greater good. Rest in peace.)
is the sequel to the Assassin's Creed I
game, created by Ubisoft, and the second game in the Assassin's Creed
Contrasting to the Crusade time period of the first game, this one jumps us forward a few hundred years
and a few hundred miles to Renaissance
Italy, while in the real world, the game picks up right where the first left off: Desmond and Lucy escape Abstergo's facility at the beginning of the game and flee to an Assassin safe house, where two other Assassins put him in a new and improved Animus, hoping he'll pick up some of Ezio's skills and find more Pieces of Eden.
The focus this time is on another one of Desmond's ancestors, Ezio Auditore da Firenze. Ezio is like most other young guys of his age and class: rich
, spending most of his time wooing girls
(and then some) and jumping around the rooftops of his native Florence
. Life takes a brutal turn for the teenager
when most of his family is arrested in a political plot that leaves his father and two brothers dead — it turns out his father was an Assassin, and he has passed that mantle
(along with some shiny equipment) to Ezio. Ezio, seeking revenge
, flees with his sister and mother to his uncle's villa and begins to track down those responsible for the death of his family
, following clues that lead from Florence to Tuscany, Forlý, Venice, and even Rome.
Both Ezio and Desmond follow the plot all across Italy as hidden truths become uncovered and ancient conspiracies
become unraveled. The way things appear is not the way things are, as secret messages from Desmond's predecessor Subject 16 reveal
, and the men in both time periods find themselves wrapped within something that is much bigger than just the Templars versus the Assassins. As Ezio hunts down his family's killers in the Templar ranks, he gets closer and closer to discovering the truth — a truth that reveals the very core of who we are and where we came from to be one big lie. Like the first game, it ends on a very clear cliffhanger
As a sequel, Assassin's Creed II
introduced many changes and features in comparison to the first game. There were a range of Assassination techniques, traversal was made crisper and in addition to the campaign, there were several different side missions and decoding puzzles. Equally important is the fact that it is with this sequel that the element of "historical tourism" became a core element to the Franchise via its recreation of Renaissance Italy, namely the historical monuments, actual historical events and its large supporting cast which includes the likes of Lorenzo de'Medici, Caterina Sforza, Rodrigo Borgia, Niccol˛ Machiavelli
and Leonardo da Vinci
. Two episodes of DLC were released to fill in missing Sequences 12 and 13 (Battle of Forlý
and Bonfire of the Vanities
) offering a more complete experience to the game.
The game had a direct sequel, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
, which commences where the game left off and was then concluded Assassin's Creed: Revelations
which rounded off the Ezio trilogy and the Renaissance Era with, Assassins Creed III
shifting to a new ancestor and the 18th Century.
Additionally, Ezio (specifically, his Brotherhood
incarnation) crossed over◊ to another series,
as a Guest Fighter
in Soulcalibur V
This game contains examples of:
- Gameplay and Story Integration: There's a scene where a Brute disarms Ezio and forces him to flee. A Brute can actually disarm you (save from the Hidden Blades) in game if you try to block his attacks too often.
- Generation Xerox: Averted, for the most part, but Desmond has a scar on his face that exactly matches Ezio's scar that he receives in the beginning of the game. Since Desmond has had this since the first game, this probably counts as Contrived Coincidence.
- Genre Savvy: Rodrigo Borgia seems to be the only one able to see an Assassin in broad daylight and in his fight with Ezio, after being knocked down, he simply uses his powers to restrain and stab Ezio rather than engage him again.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Alta´r noted in the Codex that many would-be Assassins could not accept the Badass Creed and broke in the face of it.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: The Beat-Up missions have you going around getting into fistfights with adulterous husbands. Additionally, attempting to steal from men more than once will provoke them to carry out a little street justice themselves... even the monks want a piece of you! Like the Hidden Blade, unarmed fighting has also been upgraded; Ezio can block, after a fashion — it's more like automatic dodging — and counter in unarmed combat now, as well as disarm enemies.
- This is Ezio's only combat mode throughout his pre-Assassin life, although it's not until his training at Monteriggioni that he learns to disarm. Later on, during the contests for the Golden Mask, he's supposed to stick to unarmed fighting — though, when the last set of enemies bring weapons into the pit, you're allowed to use your own with no penalty. And of course, the final fight with Pope Alexander VI.
- Good People Have Good Sex: Ezio is quite the ladies' man. As we later learn, so does Alta´r.
- Gory Discretion Shot: When Ezio's little brother is hanged, the body ends up below the platform hiding it. His father and older brother don't have the same luck.
- Gotta Catch Them All: Like the first game, there are a number of collectibles, like feathers, paintings, Assassin Seals, etc. Unlike the first game, collecting all of these will net you actual benefits (the paintings spruce up Monteriggioni, the Seals unlock Alta´r's armor, 50 and 100 Feathers unlock the Condittiero hammer and Auditore Cape respectively — and all of these mean more in-game revenue and a higher uncollected income maximum).
- In-universe, they're all required for "100% synchronization" with Ezio, as are the DLC Sequences 12 and 13.
- Gratuitous Italian: Almost every other sentence is Italian. Thankfully the game gave you a subtitles option to figure out just what the heck the characters are saying. In an optional cutscene, Desmond even thanks Rebecca for the Animus 2.0 having subtitles!
- Penny Arcade pokes a bit of fun at this in this strip...
- The foreign dubs (particularly the French dub) aren't quite as bad about this, but they'll occasionally throw in a word or two of unsubtitled Italian every so often, provided the Italian word is close to the original word.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: Different kinds of guards react differently to Ezio when searching for him; polearm-carrying guards ("Seekers") will poke their weapons into stacks of hay looking for him. However, Ezio will relatively early on learn to make kills from hiding spots.
- Guide Dang It: The answers of Subject 16's glyph puzzles can sometimes cross into this, as Shaun's advice becomes less and less helpful throughout, climaxing with Puzzle 20 where he outright admits to having no clue, even though it's explicitly declared on-screen. Another Guide Dang It comes from the fact that while you get helpful maps showing every one of the hundreds of treasure chests in the city, updated in real-time (each opened treasure chest's icon disappears from the map), there's no such option for the ultimately more important feathers, considering what you get out of collecting them all.
- Handsome Lech: Ezio.
- Hammerspace Hideaway: The haystacks can apparently hold an unlimited number of corpses, their weapons, and still have room for Ezio to hide in.
- Healing Potion: The sequel dispenses with the 'sync' thing of the first game and gives us a regular health meter that doesn't fully replenish on its own. Cue little vials of a miraculous healing concoction.
- The change from the first game is implied to be a result of the Animus 2.0's superiority over the original Animus.
- Heroes Fight Bare Handed: Once Ezio has acquired a pair of vambraces, it is possible to block and pummel a guard who could be armed with any type of melee weapon. Taken a step further with the disarm skill, he can leave an entire group of guards alive and rolling in pain.
- Highly-Visible Ninja: Ezio is possibly a bigger offender when it come to this than Alta´r. In Alta´r's time, the bright white assassin robe at least had the perk that it was reminiscent of the one the local scholars wore, which made masquerading as one or hiding amongst a group of them possible. Ezio on the other hand has no such excuse, but unlike Alta´r, he has the option of changing the robe's color to a more camouflage-friendly one. Interestingly, his father, Giovanni, apparently kept the robe in its white default color, making him qualify for the trope as well. Note that this does tie into gameplay: if Ezio passes into line of sight of a guard in an area he shouldn't be in, they spot him right away. If the guards are on high alert, they'll also spot Ezio if he's walking down the street without using crowds, picking him out based on his flashy clothes.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: Lorenzo de'Medici was a lot more ambiguous in reality.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: Although Rodrigo Borgia (a.k.a. Pope Alexander VI) was a corrupt, despicable man in real life, his villainy (and, likely, his manipulative skills) are ratcheted up for Assassin's Creed II.
- Henry Ford goes from the garden-variety anti-Semite that he was in real life to a lunatic who gave Piece of Eden 4 to Hitler specifically to start World War II, and who considered the Holocaust to be a good thing!]]. And he isn't even a character outside of the backstory!
- Thomas Edison's... contention with Nikola Tesla is given a Templar flavor when he conspires with J.P. Morgan to prevent Tesla from providing free electricity as well as a worldwide network that would provide free information. Tesla's Assassin-suggested revenge: The Tunguska Event. (Though the explosion in this case was from destroying a Piece of Eden).
- Savonarola in the Bonfire of the Vanities DLC. Granted, having countless Renaissance paintings and sculptures thrown into a fire because you find them indecent is a bit of a dick move. But people forget that Savonarola's denouncements of such priceless artworks were very popular at the time, mainly because the continued patronage of fancy artwork by wealthy Italian families began to seem like a mocking gesture as poverty, plague, and other miseries continued to climb in Italy. He's definitely extreme, but probably had good intentions, and he certainly wasn't the conniving maniacal bastard he is in the game. (In fairness, the AC team aren't the first ones to portray him that way.)
- In his case, it seems more like a downgrade, since instead of his influence over others coming from nothing but innate charisma and a heaping helping of fearmongering, in this game, he just happened to walk by an Apple-shaped pouch next to a gut-stabbed Ezio and pick it up.
- Historical-Domain Character: Virtually all of the cast except Ezio's family, a series staple.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Ezio can disarm guards and kill them with their own weapons immediately afterwards.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: The Courtesans work for a brothel whose "mother" is on Ezio's family's side. Ezio can hire them to follow him as a "mobile crowd," and distract guards.
- The mothers, Paola and Theodora, are both Assassins.
- I Call It "Vera": Bartolomeo's massive sword, Bianca.
- Meanwhile with the Assassins, Rebecca refers to the Animus 2.0 as Baby.
- I Know Mortal Kombat: Desmond obtains all the skills of Ezio by playing through a simulation of his memories, leading to a 'bleeding effect' that causes them to be assimilated into his own mind... along with other things.
- Immediate Sequel: At least from Desmond's point-of-view; the first thing you do in this game is snap out of Eagle Vision, said ability being the last thing Desmond used before the first game abruptly ended.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: Assassin's robes became memetic for badassness.
- Improvised Weapon: When Ezio busts Bartolomeo out of jail, the latter initially uses a broom as a weapon and beats the hell out of a bunch of guards in the process. Ezio himself can pick up brooms, farming implements, fishing poles etc. and use them like bludgeons.
- Inevitable Tournament: Venice's Carnivale, featuring an unarmed-fighting event, stealing ribbons from pretty ladies, and...um... Capture the Flag. Played with in two ways: first, Ezio willingly enters the tournament as part of a Batman Gambit arranged by the local Hooker with a Heart of Gold to get a pass to a party arranged by his target; and secondly, although Ezio wins the contests the Carnivale organizers are paid off to rig the final results anyway in favor of a guy that Ezio had beaten in public as part of the fighting tournament and defeating a bunch of guards who'd entered with weapons. Fortunately, afterward you're then given a mission to steal the golden mask from the "winner" while he's distracted.
- Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Loads of them. You can even buy maps that lead to these treasure chests. In addition, there are guards scattered around with nothing better to do than to protect a chest by a hay pile outside of town all day — even after you've already looted them.
- Infant Immortality: Averted. Ezio's kid brother Petruccio, who has to be only ten or eleven years old, is hanged alongside his father in the mission "Last Man Standing".
- Shaun, whilst informing you about one of your assassination targets, recounts the time that the man, in order to stop a prominent family's plot against him, invited the entire family, including their children, to an Easter celebration, then had the children shot whilst their parents watched.
- Infinity+1 Sword: The Sword of Alta´r, which has maxed-out ratings in all three weapon stats. Interestingly, it's one of the least ostentatious-looking weapons you can have (though the eagle's head pommel is a neat touch) and is actually shorter than some of the other longswords, despite its status as top blade. It's also apparently manufactured in large quantities by blacksmiths, since you have to buy the historically ancient blade.
- Alta´r's armor is also the best in AC2, with only the Missaglias Vambraces having any advantage (3 Health to the Vambraces of Alta´r's 2 Health). While all four pieces have to be worn together, at 8 Resistance they never break (hence saving florins) and grant a whopping 15 Health, three times what Ezio started with.
- The Hidden Blade is effectively one solely for the guaranteed fatal Counter Kills irrespective of enemy Health. Sadly, unlike that of the first game, the Final Boss here is immune to this counter-kill.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Thanks to Lineage, which uses some of the VAs to live-act their game roles, you can see that a lot of characters are modeled after their live-action actors. This video places the actor's pictures side-by-side with the characters, and you can see how many of them match.
- Instant Expert: The purpose of letting Desmond relive Ezio's life is to gain the latter's skills. Ezio himself takes to the Hidden Blade very quickly, though he could possibly have had weapons training in the past for the other weapon types and the training with Paola and Mario has a montage flavor to it that Renaissance confirms.
- Insurmountable Waist High Fence: In The Stinger, Vidic stands in an open semi trailer and mocks you while you fight his mooks. You can let Lucy handle the mooks and head straight for Vidic, but you can't get onto the truck, and it drives off when the mooks are defeated. Then Lucy tells you to just let him go.
- While Assassin's Creed II is incredibly open world, there will be areas rendered unavailable during certain memories such as missions, and at points in the story certain districts won't be available to reach yet; staying too long in them will cause desynchronization with Ezio.
- In the countryside areas of the game — there are hills surrounding all the edges of the map that act as literal versions of this.
- Considering Ezio can scale sheer walls roughly twice his height with very little effort, insurmountable waist high fences are very rare, but very jarring when they appear. The guardrail on top of the Duomo in Florence is an example, and it comes to bite the player in the Bonfire of the Vanities. The guardrail on top of the Doge's Palace in Venice is a particularly egregious example, as even though it looks perfectly climbable, Ezio's inability to get past it is a plot point. The one at the Doge's palace is especially ridiculous. After climbing up the side of the building, Ezio and his companion come up against a 6-foot tall fence, through which they can see the Doge (who they're trying to save) talking to the man who's going to poison him. Their reaction: "Damn, we can't get past this fence. We need to find another way in." The "other way" involves a long process of killing guards and lighting fires so that Ezio can launch Leonardo's flying machine from the other side of the city to try to land inside the fenced in courtyard of the palace. Apparently that is, somehow, a simpler solution than simply climbing over the fence.
- As evidenced by Palazzo Ducale (the aforementioned Doge's palace), apparently pointy fences are enough to stop an intruding Assassin.
- Internal Homage: In Bonfire of the Vanities you have to kill nine subordinates of the current villain who has the Apple before you can vanquish him. Sound familiar?
- In the Back: If Ezio attacks an enemy from behind while the enemy fighting another opponent, he instantly kills them, usually by grabbing them and cutting their throats, running them through, or by playing Whack-A-Mole with their skulls using a hammer. In fact, the main use of the mercenaries is to provide said distractions.
- If Ezio uses the Poison Blade on a target from behind, he lightly stabs the target in the back, injecting the poison. The advantage over the Hidden Blade is that no one will notice, and the target's subsequent descent into madness followed by death is a complete mystery to everyone else, who will only watch helplessly.
- In the Past, Everyone Will Be Famous: Taken Up to Eleven. Seriously. Ezio can't go for more than ten minutes without coming face-to-face with some important historical figure.
- In-Universe Game Clock: Includes a day/night cycle which affects things like guards' shift positions. On a more literal note, the game slips surprisingly quickly from 1476 to 1499 — most gaps between memory sequences span years.
- It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: After participating in the Inevitable Tournament missions, a section of Venezia will be constantly celebrating Carnivale for the rest of the game. Even ten years after the plot begins.
- A straighter version of this trope is when you get the DLC pack that allows you to play through the Bonfire of the Vanities. After you kill the major villain, you can still go into that new section of Florence and people will still be burning stuff.
- It Will Never Catch On: Ezio suggests to Antonio that he add milk or sugar to his caffÚ. Antonio scoffs, suggesting that coffee is simply an acquired taste. In another mission, dock workers complain about the ruling class importing an expensive powder from China, for fireworks.
- Jerkass: Shaun Hastings, one of your handlers.
- Just One Man: Desmond claims that this is the reason he has no chance of fighting back against the Templars, but Lucy hits him back with: "Sometimes that's all you need." You'd think he'd have learned what one man is capable of after what happened in the first game.
- Justified Tutorial: The first third of the game is one big long one for Ezio. We're introduced to him during a street fight; right after we're introduced to looting enemies for pocket change, with which to pay doctors for medicine (another new gameplay mechanic). Climbing rooftops and delivery missions for Ezio's family flesh out Ezio's life as well as refamiliarizing the players with his free-running and climbing abilities. Screwing up at the gallows scene introduces us to the concept of "hide or die," and is shortly afterwards supplanted with the courtesans teaching Ezio and the player with how to hide in plain sight by blending in with the crowd. Killing the Pazzi thugs near Leonardo's studio teaches us how to hide bodies by moving them around. Finally, getting our hidden blade shows us how we can use it to actually perform an assassination mission.
- Karma Houdini: Neither the guard who pulled the lever at the gallows nor those who assaulted Ezio's mother are ever shown as suffering any negative consequences, nor does Ezio target them personally for those acts — though those guards may have been among those he killed along the way.
- Kick Them While They Are Down
- Knight Templar: Guess who.
- Lampshade Hanging: The sequel on the first game, no less! When Ezio kills one of his early targets and demands to know what he is up to before he dies, his target replies: "I'm sorry, were you expecting a confession?" Then he promptly dies, causing Ezio to angrily spout curses at him.
- Also, in the instruction manual, above the control scheme for swimming is this: Lucy — Make sure to fix that annoying bug in the Animus 1.0 software which prevents ancestors from swimming!
- There's also the aforementioned conversation with Rebecca where Desmond notes his appreciation for the subtitles — the first game lacked subtitles completely.
- And there's a mission where Ezio has to assassinate his target, who is in a monastery filled with his personal guards, who are disguised as monks. The name of the mission is "the cowl does not make the monk". Gee, I wonder what that's a reference to?
- Large Ham: The civilians, especially if you kill a guard nearby them.
Civilian: (Ezio kills a nearby guard) The Lord is my shepherd! THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD!!!
Female Civilian: I can't die! I'm beautiful!!!
- Bartolomeo. Seriously, just listen to his increasingly gruesome and hilarious rants while locked up in the jail cell.
(I swear when I get out of here I will SEVER ALL of your FUCKING heads and SHOVE them up your asses)! And do not think I will be matching heads to asses! It will be glorious, and they will sing of it for YEARS to come!
- Also Caterina Sforza in the DLC. Try listening to her complete tirade before trying to breach the city walls. It involves tempting enemy soldiers to come over to her and try to grab her breasts so she can kick them in their balls so hard they'll fly out of their nostrils. This rant, according to contemporary sources, actually happened.
- Leitmotif: Take a good listen to that riff ("Ezio's Family") that plays when Ezio and Frederico are on top of that church — you'll be hearing it a couple more times throughout the game.
- There's also a riff that could be considered the "Assassin's leitmotif". Remember the choir that sang in the Masyaf background music for the first game? You hear that same choir singing in the San Gimignano BGM and when Ezio is officially branded.
- Not to mention the tune sung by the female singer in a lot of the background music.
- Legacy Character: The second installment adds Ezio to Alta´r's line, along with Desmond. Both of whom are full-fledged Assassins by the end of the game (or at least in Desmond's case, close to getting there).
- Le Parkour: Strangely, the Assassin technique seems to have spread among the young men of Italy — the heralds warn against the Italian youth engaging in Roof Hopping, implying that they're proficient at this to an extent. The thieves are even better — of course, they still don't hold a candle to Ezio.
- Lethal Joke Item: You see those brooms citizens might occasionally sweep the floor with? Those are apparently made with metal wires, because they animate, sound, and hit just like reskinned maces. It becomes hilarious when Ezio walks away from a group of dead guardsmen holding only a bloody broom in one hand.
- Lighter and Softer: Instead of Alta´r, the serious master assassin from the first game, the player controls Ezio, a happy and playful nobleman in Florence. Well, happy and playful initially, at least.
- Limited Wardrobe: Ezio wears the same robes for over twenty years, though you can dye it different colors by visiting tailor shops. Wearing the Armor of Alta´r, however, disables dyeing.
- Living Legend: By the end of the game, Ezio is famous among the assassins, and terrifying to the Templars.
- Losing the Team Spirit: The death of Giovanni, Ezio's father. In terms of gameplay, killing a high ranking guard or lots of guards quickly may cause the other guards to rout.
- Also, aiming the pistol at someone for long enough will cause this.
- Lost In A Crowd: Ezio being able to hide in any sufficiently large crowd of people (sufficiently large being about 4 or so). In place of the priests ("Scholars") from AC, Ezio can hire some... Courtesans to follow him as a mobile safepoint directed by him. People not noticing Ezio in that particular crowd is easier explained.
- Lovable Rogue: Ezio. Especially in his younger years, though he never completely loses the charm.
- Mama Bear: Caterina Sforza. Her daughter, Bianca, is a Sister Bear towards Ottaviano, her little brother.
- Manipulative Bastard: Rodrigo Borgia.
- Marked Bullet: The bullets Ezio uses for his hidden gun are marked with the Assassin symbol.
- Master Swordsman: Ezio appears to be this, which is lampshaded by Francesco de' Pazzi while fighting his guards.
- He's even better by the time he went to the Vatican, though due to the gameplay limitations of AC2 combat, this isn't revealed until Brotherhood. While he isn't able to perform "sub-weapon" attacks at the beginning of Brotherhood, Ezio had by that time learned to perform kill streaks.
- Maximum HP Reduction: The game uses Body Armor as Hit Points, and all but the ultimate suits of armor wear down upon sustaining damage, reducing maximum synch bars until it is repaired by a smith.
- Meaningful Name: Aside from many of the characters, the mission names themselves are mostly modern (or at least, younger than the Renaissance) slang that reflect the theme of each mission — for example, "Boys Will Be Boys" for a gang fight between the Auditores and the Pazzis; a mission where you ferry letters from one man to two courtesans is called "Casanova"; a fight against a large group of enemies is called "Last Man Standing"; and another letter-delivery mission is called "Paperboy". And that's just in the first hour or so of the game!
- "Ezio" is an Italian name that comes from the Greek word for "eagle". Ezio's last name is "Auditore"; an auditor is a bookkeeper; the Auditores are bankers.
- Cristina Vespucci happens to be the cousin of Amerigo, of, you know, American fame.
- Mario Auditore was given his name to invoke a Shout-Out to a certain video game franchise.
Mario: It's a-me, Mario!
- La Volpe means "The Fox" in Italian. Probably has something to do with the fact that he's a thief, and foxes are generally pretty agile animals.
- MŕlÚe Ó Trois: During the Bonfire of the Vanities, Templar and Savonarola aligned guards will fight each other, while both are hostile to Ezio.
- Mercy Kill: Ezio gets to do this to Jacopo de' Pazzi after Rodrigo gives him severe wounds, as well as to Savonarola who is being burned alive by angry Florentines.
Savonarola: Please, show mercy.
Ezio: I have.
- Mind Screw: There's a reason why Desmond's last words in the game are "What... the... fuck?" In addition, the Dream Sequence has Desmond reliving the conception of one of his ancestors.
- Money for Nothing: Perhaps a lampshaded example. When the game begins, Ezio is Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense, regularly emptying his wallet on booze and whores. (He'd never call that a waste!) Of course, you jumped into his life less than a day before it went to hell; the local magistrate frames and executes his family, for which he ends up as Ezio's first assassination. After that He Can't Go Home Again, eventually settling in a broken-down slum. Here's the lampshade; keep up that behavior and you'll spend the rest of the game — and the next two decades of his life — in Perpetual Poverty. Invest in turning that slum into something respectable, and you'll soon have cash coming out of your ears.
- Eventually revenue goes up way higher than costs, and other than broken armor there are no maintenance costs, meaning that near endgame having over 100,000 florins (when heals cost 50 florins) to Ezio's name is the norm.
- More Than Mind Control: Experienced by most of Savonarola's lieutenants.
- Munchkin: As noted on that page's quote. Ezio lives in Renaissance Italy, and by the end of the game is armed with: a dozen unblockable throwing knives, two wrist blades that can deflect almost any close-range attack or (with good timing) counter-onehitkill any mook, a pistol, several doses of poison, armor made of a very light and strong metal that humans wouldn't have invented on our own, and at one point he ends up flying around on a hang glider, punting guards off of rooftops. Also, he can jump some six feet straight up while hanging from walls... while wearing armor and carrying weapons and coins.
- Motive Decay:
- Compared to the Templars of the previous games who (with only a couple of exceptions) were for the most part people who demonstrated (or satisfactorily explained) their intent of working towards the greater good of the people a-la transforming the Holy Land into a state straight out of Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan, with many a reference to the "state of nature" and what not, the Templars in ACII for most part tend to come off as selfish dicks who are more interested in their twisted vices than the overall Templar goal of bringing about peace by stripping humanity of their free will and only see allegiance to the Templar order as a means of getting what they want. This is likely intentional on the part of the writers, who probably wanted to show the decaying effect an excess of power has on an organization, even one that has such reputably lofty goals as the Templars. It is worth noting that in the first game, there were also Templars who also used their power primarily for personal gain, i.e. Tamir, Majd Addin, and Abul Nu'qoud. A couple of the Templars in the second game are also decent people; Alberto Uberti comes off as a scheming killer out for revenge in Shaun's notes, but his letter to his wife indicates he only betrayed Giovanni because of fears for his family's safety. Dante Moro was little more than a victim of circumstance and the scheming of his superior.
- The Motive Decay appears to be part of a general theme in the second game; in the first, both factions had very different methodologies but also remained fundamentally noble. In the second, however, while both groups have the outward trappings of nobility, both sides have actually decayed in their own ways. The Assassins' allies range from the corrupt (the Medici) to the brutal (Caterina Sforza) to the inept (the Barbarigo who controls Venice once the Templars are driven out). The Assassins freely utilize and associate with the dregs of Italian society: mercenaries, thieves, and prostitutes. It's subtle, but the Assassins over time have decayed much like the Templars. At least with the Assassins, their overall goal doesn't appear to have deviated as much as that of the Templars.
- Mr. Fanservice: Ezio, and possibly Leonardo.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Some of Savonarola's lieutenants say things to this effect when Ezio gets to them.
- Subverted by the Merchant, who asks this very question then uses his last breaths to convince himself he was right anyway; as well as by the Preacher, who followed Savonarola of his own free will.
- Naughty Nuns: Sister Teodora and her — ahem — congregation.
Teodora: Men's hearts grow firmer with my guidance.
Ezio: Among... other things, I'm sure.
- Never Hurt an Innocent: The game penalizes you for harming civilians, as it's a violation of the first tenet of the Creed.
- Nice Hat: Lots of Italians wear hats. The lowest-ranking guards have berets.
- No-Gear Level: After the execution of Giovanni, Frederico and Petruccio, a Brute disarms Ezio, forcing him to run for it. You don't get the Hidden Blade for a while, and a permanent sword even later.
- The final fistfight with Rodrigo Borgia.
- Nostalgia Level: The flashback where you play as Alta´r has you traversing the rooftops of Acre, specifically the citadel where William of Montferrat was assassinated.
- No Such Thing as Wizard Jesus: Averted. It's heavily implied that numerous prophets throughout history, Jesus included, were in fact the survivors of an advanced race similar or precursors to humans. Alta´r speculates that such prophets wielded real power, not just illusions from pieces of Eden. It's also explicitly shown that humanity was created as a servant race for these precursors, forming the basis for most of the world's creation myths, including the Book of Genesis, with a dash of Prometheus from Greek mythology.
- Not Allowed to Grow Up: Even though Ezio's sister Claudia should be in her late 30s by the end of the game, she still looks and acts the same as her 15-year-old self from the beginning of the game.
- The only obvious physical change Ezio undergoes between the ages of 17 and 40 is that he grows his beard a bit. He doesn't become any less physically fit over time, either.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Subverted with the Assassins' improved Animus 2.0, as everyone has an Italian accent.
- Notice This: Collectibles (treasure chests, feathers and also glyph locations) are more visible than in the first game (using Eagle Vision also helps with this), and are now indicated by an audible "glistening" sound effect as well.
- Not So Different: Ezio's first mark (Uberti) throws this excuse at him: "You would have done the same, to save those you loved." Ezio's response is "Yes. I would. And I have." Ezio's later marks usually don't bother to defend themselves, likely in response to complaints about the overly-long speeches in the first game.
- In Subject 16's hidden backstory messages, you see that the Templars have used assassinations as well. Notably for Abraham Lincoln (Booth is expressly listed as a Templar), and JFK (there are detailed plans to use a Piece of Eden to distract people with a fake grassy knoll sniper.)
- Not Worth Killing: Ezio eventually decides this about Borgia.
- The Obi-Wan: Mario Auditore.
- Of Corsets Sexy: Caterina.
- Offhand Backhand: Press the Weapon Hand button when prompted during the cutscene where Ezio faces down Rodrigo Borgia in Venice, and he'll do this to a pair of mooks with his Hidden Blades, without so much as taking an eye off his target. Similarly, this is one of his low-profile double Hidden Blade assassinations, standing between his two targets and stabs them both in the face while staring straight ahead.
- Offstage Villainy: All of the major villains get a short cutscene detailing who they are and why we should hate them. Then they come onstage and do their best to act as despicably as possible.
- Some Templars, such as Jacopo, are shown to be misguided, and Ezio feels sympathy toward his targets.
- Older Is Better: Alta´r's Armor and Sword. Alta´r's armor was forged using the Apple of Eden, so it is pretty much indestructible, and doesn't need repairs from the blacksmith. His Sword is the most powerful in the game, with all it stats maxed out.
- Older Than They Look: Although Ezio appears to age over the course of the game, mostly due to facial hair, his uncle, mother and sister appear and largely act the same even 23 years later.
- One Mario Limit: Averted for the most part with Mario Auditore, one of the principal characters of the game who mainly has nothing to do with that other Mario, but the game can't help providing a Shout-Out, as in his first scene, Mario cheerfully introduces himself with "It's-a me, Mario!"
- One-Woman Wail: Present in a lot of the soundtrack, most noticeably the title sequence.
- Only Smart People May Pass: Subject 16's "The Truth" puzzles, especially the last few.
- Painting the Medium: In a conversation with Rebecca, Desmond thanks her for the implementation of subtitles.
- Panty Shot: Given intentionally by Caterina Sforza in the DLC Sequence 12.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: During Carnevale, Ezio wears a little mask to disguise himself. It works surprisingly well, given that he's wearing it under his hood. That is to say, the hood of his distinctive Assassin's Robes, which he continues to wear. Even during the rest of the game, this applies just because of him being able to be Incognito despite wearing the Assassin's Robes — aka the very robes he had been wearing at his father and brothers' execution — in public.
- Somewhat justified with the fact that many travelers in 1500s Italy would wear robes with hoods to protect themselves from the forces of nature. In addition, guards wouldn't usually call out armed people on streets unless they had a reason to, which is apparent in the "Restricted Areas."
- Perfect Poison: Ezio eventually acquires poison that he holds in a hollow section of a Hidden Blade. This likely means he transfers the poison to his target by a cut or prick (the in-game animation is a subtle poke). The poison acts so quickly that the target doesn't even have time to realize that he's been poked with a sharp object before it takes effect.
- It isn't likely that poisons were so potent in Renaissance Italy, much less so in wide distribution, as you can acquire some from doctors.
- Point of No Return: At the start of Memory Sequence 14, after finding and putting together the Codex you'll be given a choice to travel to Rome. Once you do, you won't be able to go any other part of the game until after you finish the story by defeating Rodrigo Borgia and entering the Vault.
- Plot Lock: Throwing knives are disabled for at least one of the catacomb chase sequences.
- You also can't grab on to Rodrigo Borgia if you enable your sword because doing so would give you the option to kill him way before you're supposed to.
- You aren't allowed to brandish any weapons in the fighting ring in Venice.
- Posthumous Character: Technically, all of Those Who Came Before. By the time the very first AC game rolled around, their race was extinct.
- Power Fist: You can buy a Metal Cestus for Ezio. It only goes on one hand, oddly enough, and can never be unequipped.
- Power Perversion Potential: In-Universe, Desmond (unwillingly) experiences the conception of one of his ancestors through the "bleeding effect" from using the Animus.
- Practical Taunt: The taunting action makes an opponent attack sooner, so you don't have to wait as long to counter the attack.
- Precision F-Strike: Although the F-bomb is dropped several times throughout the game, there are several points where it truly serves to accentuate the scene:
- In the beginning, Lucy yells at Desmond to "Shut the fuck up!" during their escape.
- Ezio tells the final boss, Pope Alexander VI, the most powerful man in Italy and the entire Catholic religion, to "Go fuck yourself." Talk about balls of steel.
- The last line in the game before the credits roll and The Stinger occurs is "What. The. Fuck." Desmond adequately sums up what's probably running through the gamer's mind or being spoken at the time.
- Precursors: The plot reveals them to be a humanoid-like race that created humanity "in their own image" thousands of years in the past. The humanoids fought a war against the early humans, and were defeated thanks to the sheer number of humans there was. Both races however, were devastated by a apocalyptic event, but humans came up on top. Gods in all world religions are actually distorted historical truth about these humanoids.
- Press X To Get Laid: Present, but much more merciful than most — the windows are not as tiny as normal and failure is not critical. They also tend to show up not just as a means of ensuring that the player is paying attention to not being dead, but to accomplish more mundane actions. Like taking off a young lady's dress. "Free Hand" indeed.
- Prodigal Hero: Ezio must flee Florence when his father and brothers are killed. He goes to his uncle's villa, learns to be an Assassin, and returns to Florence to investigate the conspiracy.
- Public Domain Artifact: A number of them, including the Shroud of Turin, Excalibur and the Papal Staff, are actually Pieces of Eden.
- Punch Clock Villain: The game sometimes shows guards to be normal people whose only offence is being on the wrong side. Ezio notes this in the mission where you track down Jacopo de' Pazzi.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Desmond: Shut. The Fuck. Up. Please."
- Random Encounters: Pickpockets and Borgia couriers. There are also several guards scattered throughout the various cities, who will attack you if you're infamous enough.
- Rape as Drama: It's heavily implied that the men who came to arrest Ezio's father and brothers tried to rape Ezio's mother, who fought back. When Ezio finds her again, she is unable to speak and in a state of shock.
- Rasputinian Death: The elderly, apparently physically frail Jacopo de' Pazzi is stabbed four times: twice in the chest, once through the neck, and once more in the neck/head by Ezio to "finish him off" (after he's had a few minutes to bleed out). He is still alive as Ezio administers final rites.
- Francesco de' Pazzi and Bernardo di Bandino Baroncelli stab Giuliano de Medici 19 times. Which actually happened, according to The Other Wiki.
- Reality Is Unrealistic: When including ACII on its list on the top 10 games of 2009, TIME criticized how the voice acting was a cheesy attempt at sounding Italian. Many of the game's voice actors actually are Italian, and the ones who weren't were coached by Italians to ensure authenticity (and unlike other North American games that may have only English, French and Spanish voice options, there's an Italian voice language option). The accent coaches are even credited along with the voice actors.
- Rearing Horse
- The Renaissance
- Red Herring: Forlý pre-/without DLC. With feathers and side-missions, it looks to be important, but nothing comes of it. By association, Caterina Sforza's appearance there becomes this for the same reasons.
- Regenerating Health: Ezio can only regenerate his last health square. Luckily, the player can buy medicine from doctors around Italy.
- Ridiculously Fast Construction: As soon as you buy the property in the village, it's instantly upgraded by the time you walk out the door.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Take a guess. Though he starts to roar less as time goes on, having spent most of his fury on the guy who directly executed his family. He's actually tired of revenge by the end of things.
- Rule of Cool: In addition to stabbing guards in the back of the face still being fun, Ezio's hidden blades don't seem to have any mechanism to deploy them. They just magically come out when he flicks his wrists (while a Hidden Blade prop was made for the Lineage short movie, there's no official word as to how the prop blade was actually deployed, and there are varying designs on YouTube).
- If employing the bonus Alta´r costume, the second hidden blade is there without even being visible at all.
- Saved for the Sequel: A significant amount of the gaps in this game's storyline are left open for Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood:
- There's a sign in the Abstergo parking garage: "Altezza Massima." The Assassin hideout contains such signs as well. This foreshadows Desmond's location: Italy.
- How Ezio and Cristina Vespucci first got acquainted, as well as other events involving the two of them.
- The Unresolved Sexual Tension between Ezio and Caterina Sforza remains unresolved by the end of the game.
- The consequences of Ezio letting Rodrigo Borgia live.
- The rest of Renaissance-era Rome aside from the Castel Sant'Angelo.
- Scenery Porn: The view of Italian Renaissance cities from viewpoints is to die for. Venice and the Tuscan countryside in particular are stunning.
- Science Marches On: You can occasionally hear the doctors advocating medicines based on lead.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: After you save him from the Pazzi Conspiracy, Lorenzo de' Medici gives you a cape that marks you as a friend of the Medici family. While wearing it, guards in Florence will turn a blind eye to most acts that don't involve murder, represented in-game as your notoriety not increasing.
- Second Hour Superpower: You don't actually gain the Hidden Blade for Ezio until some way in.
- Ezio doesn't get some of his best combat moves, like disarming, until training with Mario during Sequence 3.
- Second Love: Maria for Alta´r, according to one of the Codex pages.
- Settle It Without Weapons: This is why the final boss of the game turns into a Fisticuffs Boss halfway through.
- Sequel Hook: The game ends with Desmond and the other Assassins on the run from the Templars, trying to digest what they learned from the Vault.
- Sexy Discretion Shot: When Desmond experiences one of Alta´r's memories as a result of the "bleeding effect", it shows Alta´r meeting the Templar Maria on a tower. Rather than him trying to kill her like Desmond thought (since Templars and Assassins are enemies), Maria beckons him over with a "Come hither" look on her face, Alta´r walks right up to her, and they start passionately making out, revealing they had been in a relationship. The scene then fades away and the next one we see, is of Alta´r and Maria cuddling in the hay (clothed), after having "done the deed". Not long after it is revealed that this was actually the conception of one of Alta´r's descendants.
- Near the beginning of the game, Ezio pays a visit to his girlfriend at the time. After some kissing, Ezio begins to slip her dress off (or not, if you miss the quicktime event) and they fall over onto the bed. The last action you perform is blowing out a candle.
- Shout-Out: A little bit into the game, Ezio's uncle Mario cheerfully introduces himself with "It's-a me! Mario!"
- Also, sometimes, a civilian who sees you free-running will remark, "Another capering crusader. Che idiota." in a bored tone, apparently referencing the fact that many fans 'felt like Batman' playing the first game. On top of that, Rosa comes up to Ezio in one cinematic and asks him: "Why so serious?"
- On top of that, if you knock an Italian man onto the ground, he may go "Oh no! Dinner is a-ruined-a!", a reference to the "Thumb" series of films by Steve Oedekerk (otherwise known for Kung Pow! and, to a lesser extent, Jimmy Neutron), several of which feature a random Italian man who gets knocked down and laments the loss of dinner.
- After you complete the first catacomb, wherein you are shown a series of platforms/ledges/jumps in a cinematic and then expected to travel the demonstrated pathway, you find the first Assassin tomb. It happens to be Darius, who assassinated the King of Persia.
- Due to the nature of Shout Outs, you rarely see one that's a reference to a later work, but... There's an assassination contract in Forlý called "Mark and Execute". This game, released in November 2009, was developed by Ubisoft Montreal—the same company that developed Splinter Cell: Conviction, which was released just 5 months later.
- There's at least one Venetian during Carnevale who's dressed uncannily similar to Superman.
- To get the Achievement called "Perfect Harmony", you must first dye your outfit with the Wetlands Ebony style, then dye it with the Wetlands Ivory style - a reference to the Paul McCartney / Stevie Wonder duet "Ebony and Ivory", which contains the chorus "Ebony, Ivory, living in perfect harmony".
- Shown Their Work: The sequel contains a "database" of sorts, with blurbs of information on important people in Ezio's life and noteworthy places in the various cities. It's not necessary to know or view these tidbits. It looks like the game developers almost went out of their way to research and include them. The database is a cool feature with more than a few funny and/or snarky anecdotes.
- The layouts of the city are also well researched and are practically identical to their real-life counterparts, albeit with changes that occurred afterward which are sometimes noted (for example, the Sistine Chapel doesn't look like its modern incarnation because you get there before it took on its iconic appearance).
- A few oddities still pop up (such as the schiavona, which is indeed an Italian sword... from the 17th century), but many of the weapons are period-correct. Weaponry in the late 1400s was much the same as it was in the medieval period, just with a bit more ornamentation.
- The plot itself, while obviously taking liberties on historical events of the era, nevertheless faithfully recreates many important events of Renaissance Italy's history, such as the Bonfire of the Vanities. It also effectively captures the cloak-and-dagger politics of the era: assassination and conspiracy were very much a part of Italy's political system during the era.
- One of the few acceptable roles for a woman of Claudia's age during the Renaissance was to maintain the books of their home.
- Shrouded in Myth: La Volpe.
- Sigil Spam: Not only is the Assassin's logo prominently displayed on Ezio's belt and bracers, but there's a giant version of it etched in stone on Mario's villa. After you pay for repairs, it appears on the flags around town. An enormous version also appears in a couple of Assassin's Tombs. The Templars show more restraint, typically limiting themselves to a pendant or ring, though modern-day Abstergo has a thing for crosses in their architecture.
- Ezio had the Assassin logo engraved on his bullets.
- Sinister Minister: Savonarola.
- Slut Shaming: The courtesans all wear a certain style of dress and have their hair up in points by law. This was to define and constrain them because Sex Is Evil. See Double Entendre above for another example.
- Soft Water: In addition to the Soft Hay from the first game, the trope is played perfectly straight; you can jump off a viewpoint toward the water and sustain no damage. Ezio's ability to swim is added to the Assassin repertoire.
- Spam Attack: One of the animations you can get if an enemy is killed with Hidden Blade normal attacks is Ezio stabbing him in the gut many times.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: In Carlo Grimaldi's backstory, we are told about how he became a confidante to a noble's daughter who was in love with a servant's son and wanted to run away with him. Grimaldi quickly rewarded the couple's trust by selling them out to the girl's father, to further his own political aspirations.
- The Stinger: Desmond battling the Templars during the end credit sequence.
- Stealth Mentor: See You Are Not Alone below.
- Giovanni Auditore. Under his secret tutelage, his sons Ezio and Frederico learned fighting skills and Le Parkour while remaining unaware of the existence of the assassins and that their father was one of them.
- Story-Driven Invulnerability: If the plot doesn't call for Ezio to kill his target yet, even if the mission objective is "assassinate such-and-such", then the target will be Immune to Bullets, Smoke Bombs, Throwing Knives, Counter Kills, and practically everything else you could use to kill them without having to wear them down.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Vieri de' Pazzi has the above in his first two appearances... but when it comes time to assassinate him, he's impossible to sneak up on and One-Hit Kill, even if you're literally right behind him clinging to the topmost ledge of his tower; as soon as you climb up, he and his guards all react and and draw their swords. He also seems to preternaturally sense your location, making it impossible to double back to assassinate him from behind (as long as you can find a high enough spot with a line of sight to him, you can actually kill him with a pair of throwing knives without ever getting close).
- Dante Moro is can be encountered several times before he is an actual assassination target, but he cannot be killed (which makes sense if he did not historically die at that time). Knocking him in the water is a way of weaseling around this trope, though; he is eliminated as a threat for the time being, but of course he is not dead plotwise.
- Suit-Up of Destiny: Ezio continues his legacy when he puts on his Assassin's Robes for the first time. He doesn't take them off for the next twenty years, not even when making love... Except for that one time he had to impersonate a Borgia guard, and he puts on their armor.
- Super Drowning Skills: Ezio can swim. The guards, even Venetian ones? Not so much. Civilian NPCs can't swim either. When you climb onto a boat and the owner leaps off in fear? He's committing suicide.
- Particularly egregious since Ezio is wearing a small armoury and likely, by Venice at least, the same amount of weight in metal armour. Those civilians, on the other hand, wear simple cloth shirts, or robes/dresses of the same length (and probably composition) as his.
- Surprisingly Easy Mini-Quest: When Desmond relives Alta´r's memories in a bleeding-effect-induced dream, he's in Acre, right inside William of Montferrat's citadel, which is heavily guarded by Templar knights... except that said knights seem completely oblivious to his presence, even when he starts doing High Profile stuff.
- Surprisingly Sudden Death: You're supposed to be doing this, as with the first. It's particularly visible in the Attract Mode video.
- Sword Lines: With an appropriate digital flavor.
- Sword of Plot Advancement: The Hidden Blade, and the dual blade, poison blade and pistol upgrades.
- Take That: Someone in the development team (or just Shaun) might have a thing against travel agents.
Guides called Vetturini were sometimes hired to help plot the route of the caravans and book rooms at local ins, but those carriers were often working with the bandits, just like travel agents today.
- Taking You with Me: Checco Orsi tries to do this.
- Talk to the Fist: Ezio does this with Duccio, Claudia's unfaithful lover, provided you hit the attack button at the right moment.
- Tempting Fate: Very early in the game, Ezio and his brother Federico take a quiet moment on top of a tower in Firenze to reflect on how good they have it and how lucky they are. It doesn't take long for the opposite of those reflections to be become true.
"It is a good life we lead, brother." "The best! May it never change." "...and may it never change us."
- The Hologram Knew You Would Say That: Minerva. Very much so. Very, VERY much so. She even knows what someone would say, after her death.
- Thieves' Guild: In Venice. Its leader Antonio is an Assassin.
- The Mean Brit: Shaun Hastings, who goes out of his way to make Desmond feel like a pussy.
- There Are No Therapists: You father and two brothers are killed, your mother is raped and now mute and unresponsive, your sister is scared out of her wits, and you've got The Knights Templar out for your blood? Time to murder half of the Italian nobility.
- The Tetris Effect: Essentially the idea behind the Animus' "bleeding effect". Desmond relives Ezio learning his skills, and as such, knows them through memory and muscle memory alike. The bad news is that spending too long reliving your ancestors antics in the Animus can cause some major Sanity Slippage. Just ask Subject 16.
- This Bed of Rose's: Ezio, Maria and Claudia.
- Timed Mission: The majority of the Assassin Tombs; the races; the courier missions; main missions requiring you to be somewhere or collect something within a minute; and to top it all off, if you are tailing a target to a meeting and you lose sight of him, then the game will give you a 25 second timer to catch up to them again. Some of these are quite frustrating, especially tailing missions: being seen by anyone other than civilians on a tailing mission automatically equals desynchronization, meaning you have to move slowly — moving fast to catch up to them makes you more likely to get caught.
- Even more annoying in the tailing missions is the fact that the game will throw an endless barrage of crate-carrying civilians at you; disturb even one and it draws attention to yourself; if a guard is nearby, you may as well prepare to restart.
- With the tailing missions, this timer doesn't show up if you have Eagle Vision activated; in that case, the target leaves a trail for you to follow.
- Time Skip: As mentioned, the game leaps several years over the course of the story — Ezio is 40 by the endgame. And all he has to show for it is a beard.
- Took a Level in Badass: By the end of the game, the previously wimpy Desmond has absorbed enough knowledge from the Animus to allow him to mow down an army of Templar soldiers without breaking a sweat.
- In fact, Desmond has absorbed so much of Ezio's badassery that he is fully capable of wielding one of the Abstergo goons' dropped telescopic batons as Ezio would wield a sword. This includes sheathing it in extended state on his hip (despite the fact that he's wearing blue jeans and no sword scabbard), and slitting their throats with it.
- At the beginning of the game too, regarding the fact Lucy pwns two guards, to which Desmond exclaims "Holy shit!" Desmond can also get a few kudos here as well, considering the fact he does assist Lucy in fighting despite the fact he sucks at it, and the fact he saves them from being trapped in a Labyrinth Laboratory by figuring out the keypad code.
- Ezio himself was an ordinary Italian youth at the start, but started levelling after the bad stuff went down. The Hidden Blade and fistfighting have also been much improved from 1.
- Training Montage: The combat tutorial is a playable montage, taking place over the course of a year as Ezio's uncle gives him Assassin training.
- Truth in Television: The armors you can buy include a "Helmschmied" Armor Set. The Helmschmied Family was, in fact, a renowned maker of armor. It is also ironic that the Helmschmied Armor is weaker then the Metal Armor Set, a type of light plate armor, considering that the Helschmied Family was renowned specifically FOR its plate armor and was famous across Europe.
- Turned Against Their Masters: The early humans fought against the Precursors in prehistory. Because of humanity's sheer advantage in numbers (and the possibility they got a hold of some of their technology, as implied by a secret video obtained when you get all the glyphs), the Precursors were mostly overcome by them.
- Unexpected Inheritance: According to a family history recorded in the Auditore tomb in Monteriggioni (in a DLC), the Auditores aren't really nobles. They were founded by a fisherman who was a junior Assassin who ended up being the last person to have the information needed to access the accounts of an Assassin-run trading company after all the others were killed by Templars. He used the identity to create a new identity for himself in Romagna and started the Auditore family.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Ezio and Rosa show elements of this, though there's no on-screen evidence of them going farther than snarky flirting. Ezio even acts slightly miffed when Leonardo interrupts him and Rosa talking.
- Ezio and Caterina Sforza also have a bit of this.
Ezio: I think I'll miss you, Caterina.
Caterina: I know you will.
- Unstoppable Rage: According to the Codex pages, the Templars murdered Alta´r's love Adha, and he went on a psychotic rampage killing the Templars responsible.
- Unwitting Pawn: Ezio, though in this case the gambit is organized by Those Who Came Before.
- Upgrade Artifact: The Animus 2.0 which the modern Assassins used on Desmond to relieve Ezio's life as Assassin training for Desmond.
- Useless Useful Stealth: The introduction of Seekers, combined with the increased paranoia and searching ability of existing guards, and the vast improvements of combat mechanics (while stealth mechanics are altered only a little) means it might actually be more efficient to become anonymous by killing all the guards than it is to run away and hide.
- Add to the fact that Heavies and Seekers aside, pretty much all guards are very easily killable, so it makes little sense to run from them anyway. Even those two aren't that hard to kill if you know how to counter and/or combo kill using the hidden blades or if you use smoke bombs.
- Worse, in the other two games in the arc with the introduction of kill streaks which allow you to slay whole groups of guards with relative ease, not to mention improved killcams that encourage you to kill rather than flee.
- Subverted in missions that require you to remain undetected at the risk of desynchronization, which might cause a Difficulty Spike for those accustomed to killing everyone.
- Video Game Caring Potential:
- Thieves will compliment you on how well you climb, courtesans will compliment you on your good looks — sometimes while you climb! — and mercenaries will compliment how badass you are when you take down a small army of guards all by yourself. It's very rewarding to hear something other than "That idiot will hurt himself!" or "Must be a drunken wager or something!" from EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THE DAMN STREET. As if they have nothing better to do than stick their nose into your business.
- A quick-time event lets you hug Leonardo da Vinci in one instance.
- The first half hour you spend in the game with Ezio's family makes you care about them. The snarky banter with his older brother and protectiveness of his younger siblings, as well as his relationship with his parents clearly demonstrate the loving upbringing he's had. Which makes it all the more wrenching when his brothers and father are hanged... and makes it all the more satisfying when you get your revenge.
- Feel sorry for the beggars who slump against the wall, holding their hands out, and are polite enough to not get in your face (unlike the insufferable ones in the first game)? Toss them some coins.
- Collecting all the feathers to help your mother mourn will cause her to finally speak to the family for the first time in decades.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential:
- The game goes even further than its predecessor with the brutality. Some of Ezio's finishing attacks make one wonder why there isn't an announcer shouting "FATALITY!" as he performs them.
- Countering an attack while holding a spear occasionally results in Ezio shoving the spear right into his enemies' spines. The sounds do not help. Not to mention bringing down an axe into a guard's head, then letting him fall and leaving it there. In another polearm finisher, he impales the victim through the stomach and jams the weapon into the ground, and after a moment the body begins sliding down the pole. There were no psychiatrists in Renaissance Italy.
- You can poison a guard and cause him to go slightly berserk before he dies. He will draw his weapon and swing it around wildly. At this point, many civilians will be watching him. Ezio can use his ability to throw coins on the ground to send greedy people into the mad guard's rampage and laugh gleefully as they are cut down.
- Walk up with a hammer behind a guard fighting your mercenaries. The resulting instant kill is... crunchy.
- One of the ending counterkills when using the dagger is to knee your opponent in the stomach. Then as he falls over, writhing in pain, you grab him by the throat from underneath and then snap his neck with your bare hands... with the accompanying neck-snapping sound effect, no less.
- While Ezio is explicitly said to not kill civilians if you do it, you can cheat the system in Venice or other water levels by simply knocking into someone next to a body of water which is an instant kill. Particularly satisfying against the Bards. You can knock over whole crowds into the water in the Romagna wetlands by riding your horse through them. The few who are not knocked into the water will beg for mercy. If you want to be really cruel, you can knock them in as well.
- The crowning moment of brutal for unarmed counters is probably the one-two punch that, on the second hit connecting, releases an audible cracking effect. Add that the victim falls while clutching his throat and, well, draw your own conclusions.
- Video Game Cruelty Punishment: You do not lose health for killing civilians any more, but killing three within a short time still automatically desynchronises you and this time the "punishment" remains even after completing the game. The game also introduces "Notoriety," which goes up every time you perform a dazzling, dangerous, or otherwise just illegal action in broad daylight. Once fully notorious, the guards attack you much more quickly.
- Video Game Historical Revisionism: Ezio becomes chummy with a number of important Renaissance figures, like Leonardo da Vinci, Niccol˛ Machiavelli, Caterina Sforza, and Lorenzo de' Medici, and is enemies with a whole bunch of other important figures, like the Pazzi family and Rodrigo Borgia, who becomes Pope Alexander VI later in life. It's like a Renaissance version of Ocean's Eleven.
- Vocal Evolution: Ezio's voice is noticeably higher-pitched during his younger days. As the years go by, it deepens into a Badass Baritone.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: Shaun and Rebecca fill in this role. Lucy can even join in too. Sometimes, Desmond even talks back! (Not through Ezio, of course.)
- Wallet of Holding: Mixed usage. The amount of money that can be stored in the Villa's strongbox is finite. The amount that can be stored in Ezio's purse is not.
- Claudia suggests to Ezio that he take the Villa's funds to the bank, but this isn't actually possible. Presumably the canon explanation for his endless pockets is the existence of banks, but the designers probably realized that filling out deposit slips (or whatever the Renaissance equivalent of this was) doesn't make for compelling gameplay. When they first set up shop in the Villa, Claudia tells Ezio in no uncertain terms that once the chest is full, she'll skim the rest off the top.
- The War Sequence: The final sequence of the game has Ezio invading the Sistine Chapel, running through an asinine number of soldiers along the way. Doubles as a bit of a Final Exam Boss because each section of the sequence tests all of the different skills you learned, whether it's specific assassination skills (such as stabbing them from a haystack or pulling them off a high ledge) or simple man-to-man (or perhaps more accurately, man-to-ten-men) combat. There's even a section involve horse-back riding. How a horse came to get on top of Rome's outer walls is probably best left unanswered.
- Warrior Poet: Alta´r becomes one of these while writing his Codex.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: After you assassinate Vieri, Ezio acquires a letter where Vieri is diagnosed as this. Pity about the way he seeks attention.
- Well, This Is Not That Trope: In describing the tragic life of Bianca Riario (Caterina Sforza's daughter), Sean opens this way: "Some people live in a dream, Bianca Riario...was not one of those people."
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Played straight, with Ezio cutting a swath through countless guards throughout the game....only to let the Spaniard go at the very end.
- Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Blacksmiths provide simple equipment. Leonardo provides the advanced stuff.
- White Mask of Doom: The Doctors.
- Wife-Basher Basher: Ezio in the Beat-Up missions, though rather than beating them up for domestic abuse, he beats them for cheating on their girlfriends.
- "World of Cardboard" Speech: Ezio delivers one of these at the end of the Bonfire of the Vanities DLC, stating that he was almost consumed by his hatred and desire for revenge, but that his family and fellow Assassins showed him a better path.
- Worthy Opponent: Vieri gives the we-could-have-been-friends line when he dies (at least in Renaissance). Ezio disagrees strongly.
- Wrestler in All of Us: One of Ezio's unarmed finishers is a chokeslam.
- You All Share My Story: It turns out virtually everyone Ezio encounters on his journey has a closer connection to him than he realized.
- You Are Not Alone: Invoked by name when Mario, and many of your previously-met allies and a newly-met Machiavelli show up to assist you in fighting Rodrigo.
- You Are Too Late: ...to save the Doge.
- You Cannot Kill An Idea: Alta´r's notes reveal that he mused on this subject more than once, noting that the Templars sought to conquer people not with swords and arrows, but with concepts and ideas. This makes it rather difficult for the Assassins to fight back... But it also makes it rather difficult for the Templars to exterminate them.
Alta´r Ibn-La'Ahad ...how does one wage war against a concept? It is the perfect weapon. It lacks a physical form yet can alter the world around us in numerous, often violent ways. You cannot kill a creed. Even if you kill all of its adherents, destroy all of its writings ľ these are a reprieve at best. Some one, some day, will rediscover it. Reinvent it. I believe that even we, the Assassins, have simply re-discovered an Order that predates the Old Man himself...
- You Get Knocked Down, You Get Back Up Again: Enemies won't attack a grounded Ezio. You don't have to return the favour.
- You Have Failed Me: Jacopo de' Pazzi gets this.
- You Have Researched Breathing: Ezio can't crowd-blend until taught to do so (so in essence not only does he learn a skill but somehow the guards become less observant in doing so).
- You Killed My Father: Ezio goes on a crusade against his father's (and brothers') killers.
- Subverted in the end when Ezio spares the life of Rodrigo Borgia, the man ultimately responsible for the conspiracy.
- Younger Than They Look: Ezio is only 17 at the start of the game, but he looks like he's in his 20s.
- Inverted by the end of the game, when Ezio is 40, but still looks like he is in his 20s or early 30s at the most.