"I have lived my life to the best of my ability. But I have not been able to escape fate... anger... or pain. Bring me the answers, and the road that leads to truth. Reveal to me once and for all how all of this will end."
—Ezio Auditore da Firenze
Assassin's Creed: Revelations is the fourth entry in the main Assassin's Creed series.Revelations is unique in that it places you in control of the three primary characters in the Assassin's Creed story thus far: Ezio Auditore from Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Alta´r ibn La-Ahad from the first game, and Desmond Miles — the descendant that links all the Assassins together. Ezio and Alta´r have their stories completed in this game.In Ezio's storyline, Ezio travels abroad to explore Constantinople at the height of the Ottoman Empire, where an increasing number of Templars threatens to destabilize the region, and a lot of information about the Precursor society is revealed. As part of his mission in Constantinople, Ezio must collect a series of discs. Contact with these discs allows Ezio to relive some of Alta´r's memories (creating an Inception-like memory-within-a-memory for Desmond). The Alta´r memories fill in gaps in his story from before, during, and after the events of the first game.Back in 2012, Desmond finds his mind trapped deep within the Animus, along with that of his predecessor, Subject 16, and he must continue to relive Ezio's memories if he ever wishes to wake up again. Revelations serves as a sort-of loop closer, tying up storylines and plot threads started in the first three games.A multiplayer component is also present, as are new weapon and tool systems. The collectors' editions include an animated film, Assassin's Creed: Embers, that stars an aged Ezio and fully closes his story arc.After Revelations, the series continues with the next numerical entry (and new historical protagonist) in Assassin's Creed III.
Desmond never addresses the cryptic and troubling implications of Subject 16's message "The Truth" from Brotherhood upon meeting him in Revelations. Then again, he's up against a Cosmic Deadline, so that may be the least of his worries.
Alta´r's gives a portion of his MacGuffin books to Niccolo Polo, which form Plot Coupons for this game. Alta´r also gave part of his books to his son to take to Alexandria (well after its famed Library was burned) — they are never heard from again.
Action Commands: The Long Jump sort of becomes this during chase sequences, where you need to press your Unarmed Hand button at certain points to avoid taking a slower route. This becomes quite prevalent in the Forum of the Ox hidden tomb, where failing to perform Long Jumps will make you lag too far behind and take damage from the Templars' shots (a No Damage Run is required for full sync).
Action Girl: Shao Jun, an Assassin from China, appears in Embers. There are also various female Templars as multiplayer characters, and, of course, your female Apprentices can be pretty terrifying as well.
Action Survivor: Sofia, a librarian, does a very respectable job of driving Ezio around, shortly after being narrowly rescued from death by hanging.
Adventures in Comaland: Desmond is in a coma following the events of Brotherhood, and must put back the fractured pieces of his subconscious whilst inside the Animus in order to wake up, before it finds him and deletes him.
Anachronism Stew: The main antagonists are the Byzantines, and they are frequently referred to as Byzantines. However, the term "Byzantine" is a modern invention used to describe the society and culture of the Eastern Roman Empire, and was never used by contemporaries. The Byzantines insisted until their last days that they were Romans, or Hellenes, or Greeks. Even during the War of Greek Independence centuries later, many Greeks STILL considered themselves to be Romans. Then again, this can be Hand Waved as another of the Animus's oversimplifications for the subject's sake, like the convenient subtitles.
And Your Little Dog Too: In the Champion mission, you initially have to defend a printer from the eponymous Templar. In the second part, the Champion goes after the printer's father instead.
Completing the Desmond memory sequences in the Animus Island area unlocks Desmond as a "costume" while playing as Ezio.
Annoying Arrows: Ezio treats that arrow to the shoulder like a mosquito bite. According to the book, the arrow was mostly stopped by the armor. He only snapped the arrow because it was barbed and could not be fully removed through the armor.
Anticlimax Boss: invokedUnlike in the previous games, there is no climactic duel at the end with the Big Bad. Prince Ahmet in Ezio's story gets killed in a cutscene by a supporting character, while Abbas in Alta´r's story is killed in one shot by the Hidden Gun. The penultimate boss, Manuel Palaiologos, is also rather easy, dying to a single Counter Kill.
Apocalypse Wow: The catastrophic disaster that Minerva talked about in Assassin's Creed II is quite amazing when you get to see it, and you will get to see it. It's also one of only two cinematics that isn't done in-engine.
Armor of Invincibility: There are two, the Armor of Ishak Pasha (obtained by finding all ten of Ishak Pasha's memoir pages and completing a free-run mission) and the Master Assassin Armor (obtained by completing the first parts of all the Master Assassin missions). Both are unbreakable and provide the maximum health bonus, and the former can deflect bullets, weakens bombs and makes guards more likely to flee, while the latter allows Ezio to sprint completely silently.
Artificial Brilliance: Remember in the previous two games when you could just pickpocket entire crowds with only a few people noticing you? Try that in Revelations and see what happens. Similarly, heralds will try to punch you out if you bribe them, then swipe the money back.
Ezio Auditore. In Assassin's Creed: Embers (a short film released along with Revelations and set roughly ten years after it), he shows that he can still wield a blade, despite having finally settled down with a wife and two children.
Alta´r. Despite being too old to free-run, he still takes Masyaf back from the usurper Abbas by force at the age of 82. And all you have to do is disarm them. Then they join you. Essentially, he's so badass he scolds an army of deadly killers into joining him.
Leandros constantly insults his men, pulls one who'd come to his rescue from his carriage out of mere spite (the guard not even having done anything against Leandros) and throws another off a rooftop in an attempt to slow Ezio.
Abbas, during his reign as Mentor, nearly destroys the Assassin Brotherhood through arrogance and mismanagement.
Back-to-Back Badasses: The box art (the page image) has Ezio and Alta´r in this position, brandishing their Hidden Blades.
Bag of Spilling: Ezio starts off with just his bare hands, thanks to being captured by the Templars and having his right Hidden Blade broken during the fight. He retrieves his sword and the Hidden Blade with the gun and poison attachments, including the poison dart launcher, soon after escaping imprisonment, though.
Getting dragged behind a carriage for a few miles is a nice bit of action and a handy way of explaining the damage to the Armor of Invincibility he got in the previous game.
Bald of Evil: Leandros, a member of the Templars, sports a chrome dome.
Beat Them at Their Own Game: One of the new enemy types is the Stalker, who blends into the crowd, appears out of nowhere, and tries to shank you... just like you've been doing to countless Templars. Thankfully, they're easy to counter as long as you're paying attention.
The very first time we see Alta´r in the flesh, he's evening out the odds in a two-Templars-vs-one-Assassin fight. Within the same memory segment, he also saves about four civilians and even goes on to prevent Al Mualim's death.
In-game, Ezio and/or the Assassins he commands can be this to any new recruit you encounter. Either have Ezio jump down and take out the citizens in danger, hide from a distance and call on Assassins or an arrow storm to do all the dirty work, or a mix of both! Either way, Ezio earns gratitude in the form of a new Assassin recruit.
Ezio, having become Mentor and leader of the Italian Assassins in the previous game, is treated like this on his arrival in Constantinople.
Alta´r even more so. He was also Mentor in his day, and posthumously acts as the guy even Ezio looks up to.
Bittersweet Ending: Desmond manages to restore his sanity, but Ezio's quest to find Alta´r's library ultimately ends up accomplishing nothing. (Well, not exactly nothing; he accepts his role as a conduit through which Those Who Came Before can address Desmond, after which he goes on to finally settle down with Sofia.) Oh, and a solar flare is going to destroy the universe unless Desmond and company can open the Grand Temple in time.
Black Bug Room: Literally, in the form of the Black Room. Desmond is now stuck here thanks to the Animus trying to preserve his fractured mind. As noted above and below, piecing his subconscious back together is the only way for him to escape.
In one mission, Ezio dresses as a minstrel and sings about various events from the previous two games. The entire mission is one huge running joke based on people's mockery of the minstrels in Assassin's Creed II and Brotherhood, from Prince Ahmet mocking the Janissaries' leader for an Italian lutist defending Prince Suleiman from an assailant when they could not to one of Ezio's own songs:
He also has this remark when told to beat some of them up for their clothes:
Ezio: I'm going to enjoy this...
Ishak Pasha's coffin looks exactly the same as the one found in the Assassin Tombs in Assassin's Creed II.
Ezio also storms an Arsenal to take down a target, yet again.
Christmas Cake: If Ezio wasn't this in Brotherhood, he certainly is now. Yusuf provides the jokes.
Yusuf: "You fight like a man late for his own wedding." Ezio: "Si, by about 25 years." And another gem from Yusuf, after Ezio mentions learning to play the lute when he was young: "When were you ever young?"
City of Adventure: Constantinople straddles so many different regions of the world, it's a place where anything can happen.
Collection Sidequest: Animus data fragments replace Borgia flags. Ezio can also track down memoir pages belonging to Ishak Pasha, for a chance to find his armour. Thankfully, this time they can all be finally marked on the map, the former after collecting 50/100, the latter by buying a map from the bookshops.
Combat Pragmatist: As is traditional for the series, Ezio pulls no punches in combat. In this, he inherits Assassin traditions well from Alta´r, who at 82 is not above fighting swords with bullets — one bullet, to be precise.
Contest Winner Cameo: At several moments during the game, you may notice a female singer oohing and aahing along with the main theme in certain emotionally charged situations, such as when Alta´r talks in the Black Room with Abbas, whom he has just shot. She was chosen by a contest hosted by Ujam.com, judged by Hans Zimmer and two other members of the Assassin's Creed dev team.
Continuity Nod: In the fifth Desmond memory sequence, the route you take through the Abstergo facility is the reverse of the route you exited with Lucy in the beginning of Assassin's Creed II.
Ezio is fifty-one years old at the start of Revelations (March 1511) and badass enough to defeat an entire army of Templars. He is also badass enough to realize when he's had enough, and by the end of the game is ready to lay down his Hidden Blades and live out his life with Sofia.
Alta´r shows that, at 82, he is still a badass, as despite the fact that he's unable to run or climb anymore, he can still assassinate unsuspecting targets with his Hidden Blades, and brings Abbas down with the Hidden Gun... that he just recently invented. Then he takes over the Order and spends the next ten years teaching them how to live in the shadows rather than openly at Masyaf, setting the stage for Ezio to pick up his legacy two and a half centuries later.
Ezio is depicted in trailers and images as wielding a yataghan, and he starts with one.
The Gamestop-sold Signature Edition included an extra single-player mission which would reward the player with an especially-jagged-edged sword found in Vlad the Impaler's tomb.
Shao Jun wields a jian in Embers.
Cosmetically Advanced Prequel: Thanks to out-of-game engine upgrades (inspired by L.A. Noire), Alta´r and Al Mualim look a touch more detailed than they did in the original Assassins Creed. In-universe, the Assassins' Animus is more advanced than the original game's Animus.
Coup de GrÔce: This game has some of the most brutal finishers in the series to date, even outdoing the original's knee-stomp. The hookblade kills are particularly nasty. To wit:
Everything to do with Vlad the Impaler's Sword. The biggest two are likely lifting the poor enemy's entire body up by ramming the blade through the bottom of his skull or bringing him to his knees and forcing him to swallow your sword.
Cozy Catastrophe: The solar flare that caused the collapse of the First Civilization was revealed to have been this. "Less than ten thousand" individual humans remained after the solar flare, which still allows a substantial buffer before the species died out.
Cult: Desmond's back story reveals that he spent his time in New York thinking he had escaped a conspiracy theory cult. Then he got kidnapped by the Templars he'd spent his childhood training to fight and being taught to fear.
The fact that the Head button now activates your secondary weapon, rather than initiating conversations and synchronizing with viewpoints as in the previous games, has caused a large amount of wasted ammunition and accidental civilian casualties, such as accidentally throwing a bomb at a vendor or shooting them in the head.
In-universe example: While in the Animus Island "hub", press whatever button the Hidden Blade is bound to, as you would while waiting on the loading screen in any of the games. Desmond will flex his empty left hand in the characteristic gesture of flicking it open, then glance at his wrist as if wondering why it didn't work.
Doom Troops: Jannisaries are never seen without their intimidating black frowny masks. You get one too by unlocking the Armor of Ishak Pasha.
Enemy Civil War: Can be invoked. Ottoman and Byzantine Templar guards will get into fights if they see each other, and one tutorial specifically tells you to make use of this. One of the side missions requires you to do this to two different groups for full synchronization.
In Memory Sequence Eight, Ezio leads the Assassins in a siege on the Arsenal, where he enjoys permanently maxed Assassin Signals that let him call upon an unlimited number of Assassins or Arrow Storms.
Alta´r, at 92, fights off waves of Mongols attacking Masyaf by using the Apple of Eden to summon spectral Assassins. Unlike Ezio's use of a different Apple in Brotherhood, this one isn't Cast from Hit Points; it just works. Granted, Alta´r has also had nearly seventy years to master it by this time.
Elite Mooks: Having different classes of guards with different levels of strength is nothing new, but the Janissaries are a major pain in the arse. In previous games, only bosses were able to survive a counter attack or a kill streak, but the Janissaries are only damaged by them. Not only that, but they can survive multiple bullet wounds, and will draw their own pistol and shoot you. They are peculiarly vulnerable to Ezio's fists, however, see Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight below.
Escort Mission: Frequent throughout the game, some of these add the requirement for 100% Completion that you keep your escortee from taking damage.
Everything's Deader with Zombies: Corruption is the obligatory Zombie-esque multiplayer mode. Players infect each other with a computer virus, but the effect is pretty much the same.
Desmond's platforming sequences provide a lot of new information about Desmond's youth.
Alta´r's memories give a lot of new insight on his life and the Assassins' developments during it.
The "Lost Archive" DLC provides a lot of information about Subject 16.
Fake Longevity: The "Scholar" achievement. It's not uncommon to have collected every treasure, data fragment and got full synch before you have the roughly 500,000 Akše needed to buy all the game's books.
The Farmer And The Viper: Alta´r remains infuriatingly respectful of Abbas despite the latter being an insufferable Jerk Ass to him, having his youngest son executed out of spite, murdering and then beheading his best friend, and nearly destroying the Assassin Order. He only finally kills him at the end as a last resort.
Fire Keeps It Dead: This was the only way Alta´r could prove that he actually killed Al Mualim instead of just a dupe created by the Piece of Eden. Needless to say, Abbas was displeased with this action; then again, just about everything about Alta´r displeases him.
First-Person Ghost: Justified in the Desmond's Journey sections, as the puzzles are made of pure Animus data, and Desmond can't even feel or see his own body. Also applies to The Lost Archive DLC with Subject 16.
Foreshadowing: Suleiman asks Ezio to spare the life of his uncle Ahmet, but acknowledges that his father would not show mercy in the same circumstances. Ahmet dies at the hands of his brother.
Good All Along: Subject 16 early on displays a few hints that he might try to take over Desmond's body. Then he outright asks to be carried out of the Animus and given a new body. Then he takes it incredibly well when Desmond says no and, at the end, performs a Heroic Sacrifice to throw Desmond back in Ezio's memories and save him from deletion.
Tarik was actually keeping close watch on the Byzantines, and not plotting against the Ottomans. Ezio finds out just right after he stabs Tarik.
Grand Theft Me: 16 asks for Desmond's help with this, and takes it surprisingly well when Desmond denies his request.
The easiest way to break a guardsman's defensive stance? A quick shin-kick to the loins, of course!
A potential finisher for an unarmed combo. Judging by the sounds, Ezio likely broke that poor guard's pelvis. For added hilarity, it's one of the most effective methods for dealing with Janissaries.
Gypsy Curse: Invoked in one of the missions, which involve silently poisoning Templar guards trying to take the Romanies' chest of money to get them to think that the chest itself is cursed. After poisoning several guards, you have to carry the chest back to the Romani camp. Upon seeing the chest, all guards will run away screaming.
Heroic BSOD: Promotional material reveals that Desmond is in one thanks to the events at the conclusion of Brotherhood, and his portion of the game is his mind trying to put itself back together after it was shattered.
Heroic Sacrifice: As if to make up for the hints that he might try to pull a Grand Theft Me on Desmond and even asking Desmond to help him pull it on someone else, 16 throws Desmond into Ezio's memories to save him from being deleted by the Animus, and is himself deleted by the Animus.
At one point, an Assassin in Alta´r's time says that he's taking some books "to Alexandria."
Ezio laments that no one will remember Christopher Columbus after America was named after Amerigo Vespucci.
Ezio says that Suleiman has a magnificent mind.
Hostage for MacGuffin: Prince Ahmet kidnaps Sofia and threatens to kill her unless Ezio gives him the Keys he's spent the entire game collecting. This despite the fact that Ezio specifically anticipates such a ploy and arranges for protection on the hostage in question — sadly, it isn't enough.
A House Divided: Alta´r's story involves what amounts to a civil war between him and Abbas Sofian, an Assassin who has had it out for him ever since they were teenagers, who usurps his position while Alta´r is away from Masyaf.
Hub Level: The Animus Island, the program construct that Desmond takes refuge on when not immersed in Ezio's simulation.
I'm Not Here to Make Friends: Dilara says that she's at Cappadocia to rescue her men, not make friends when Ezio asks why she's so uncooperative.
Infinityľ1 Sword: Several, including the faction weapons (Alta´r's Sword, Romani Stiletto, Ottoman Mace, Broadsword) and the Signature Edition exclusive Vlad Tepes' Sword, which makes guards more likely to flee and has unique killing animations.
Infinity+1 Sword: There are three, all unlocked through the Master Assassin missions. We have Mehmet's Dagger (obtained by completing The Trickster, Part 1 or Discovery), Yusuf's Turkish Kijil (obtained by completing The Deacon, Part 1) and the Almogavar Axe (obtained by completing The Champion, Part 2). Aside from maxed-out stats, the secondary effect for the former is a small chance of poisoning anyone it hits, while the latter two make guards more likely to flee.
Instrument of Murder: During one mission Ezio and the other Assassins pretend to be minstrels to infiltrate a party and protect Prince Suleiman from Byzantine killers. Towards the end, one of them charges Suleiman, but Ezio breaks his lute in half and stabs the killer in the heart with the handle.
Interface Screw: In-universe, the normally white void from the Animus has been corrupted to a dark grey colour. In a meta-example, some trailers (and the opening cutscene) have the Ubisoft logo flicker and skip, to reflect the fact that the Animus's systems are in a critical state.
Item Crafting: Ezio can now make his own bombs, combining different types of shells, gunpowder and ingredients at crafting stations to make 120 permutations.
The whole "saving Constantinople from the Templars" thing is really a sidequest to Ezio, as he is primarily concerned with recovering the Masyaf Keys and, later, with wooing Sofia. Then Ahmet has to go and kidnap her and murder Yusuf. You know he's going to die after doing that.
Similarly, Alta´r had nothing really personal against Abbas, until the latter made a point of executing his youngest son and was indirectly responsible for the death of his wife. Even if it took twenty years, it was going to happen.
Journey to the Center of the Mind: While trapped in the Animus, Desmond has the opportunity to collect Animus Fragments that unlock elements of his own backstory, in a series of narrative-fueled puzzle sequences. To fully realize his place as an Assassin, he has to complete and come to terms with these memories.
Kick the Dog: Swami just can't resist digging in the knife when Alta´r is negotiating with Abbas over the Apple. He tells Alta´r that, as his son was executed, he was told that it was under his father's orders, so that he died thinking that he was betrayed by his father. And then he learns about Malik... Alta´r reacts as expected.
The Crusader is a bit more flamboyant than you might expect.
Subject 16 has taken several levels in hamminess.
Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: As with the previous game, the Russian release features unique feelies — this time out, a leather armband with a metallic insignia in the shape of the game logo/Auditore Family Crest and a t-shirt-hoodie hybrid bearing the same version of the game's logo. In all other respects, it is the same as the worldwide Collector's Edition.
Loveable Rogue: Yusuf Tazim, the charming, upbeat and also somewhat cocky leader of Constantinople's Assassins. Ezio uses the term "affable" to describe him in one of his letters to Claudia.
Made of Iron: Ezio takes an arrow to the shoulder with barely a flinch, then casually snaps off the end while enemies swarm above. Cool as can be, he goes on to fight an entire army, and at one point, he headbutts an enemy wearing an iron helmet. With his bare forehead. The soldier is the one who gets knocked down, and Ezio continues with his curb-stomping without even pausing to grimace. At fifty-two years old. Appropriately, the accompanying music is titled "Iron". The conclusion of the cutscene has Ezio literally fall several stories straight down only to make a Three-Point Landing on a wooden platform which partially broke from the impact and casually walks away. Seeing as the first memory of Sequence 1 starts immediately after that, this is all canon, AND his free-running ability is intact!
Manchurian Agent: The Templars have used these against the Assassins before, according to Shaun. He suspects Desmond might be one after killing Lucy. As shown in The Lost Archives DLC, she was the real traitor.
Meaningful Echo: In the fifth Masyaf Key memory, an aged Alta´r is asked if he has any regrets, and he says, "If only I had the humility to say, 'I have seen enough for one life. I have done my part.'" At the very end of the game, Ezio chooses the path that Alta´r could not, declaring, "I have seen enough for one life."
Mind Screw: The ending sequence is intended to be more of a Mind Screwdriver for the series, although the final memory in Alta´r's library (with Ezio talking directly to Desmond) and what happens afterward may be perplexing to anyone who hasn't played at a very minimum Assassin's Creed II.
Mind Screwdriver: It's called "Revelations" for a reason. A lot of questions get answered, though new ones get raised...
Moral Dissonance: Of course, Ezio probably didn't know or intend for the consequences of setting an armory on fire, however, his lack of remorse for burning down an entire underground city and choking most of the civilians is a little jarring.
The whole conflict as a whole has this if you bother to examine it. First, the Ottomans are warmongers, especially the Janissaries, who bully smaller countries and are responsible for many of the Templar Agents that Ezio kill, especally Vali cel Tradat, who was an Wallachian ex-Assassin and admired Vlad Dracul for protecting their country, and Shahkulu, who came from a village the Ottomans razed and was raised by the Templars. Lots of the civilians complain about the Ottoman occupation and are oppressed by the Janissaries. None of that seems to matter to Ezio and the Assassins, who are focused on their war with the Templars and the seeking for the Masyaf Keys. The Janissaries don't want Ahmet on the throne because he's a pacifist, and they want Selim on the throne so he can lead them in a holy war against the other nations. Ahmet himself, while the Big Bad behind the Byzantine Templars, is nothing like the Borgias and wants to find the Grand Temple to destroy the divisions between men, follows the original Templar doctrine, and actually puts up a good Shut Up, Kirk! speech to Ezio. But Ezio, who only fought and interacted with Templars like the Borgias, couldn't make peace with Ahmet. This leads in to the ACIII plot, where the fact that Assassins aren't exactly the good guys is once again highlighted.
Mundane Utility: In addition to using the Hidden Blade to pick locks, Ezio picks a few tulips with it for Sofia.
Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight: Can be played surprisingly straight, because a dodge followed by 4 unarmed punches will incapacitate any non-boss enemies. This is a slower technique against standard Mooks, but can eliminate Janissaries in one combo when it normally takes 2-3.
Also subverted when facing riflemen, due to the time period. An arquebus that takes 30 seconds to reload won't help you much against the sword-wielding Grand Master of the Assassin's Order.
No Sell: A rare heroic example. When the Assassins under Abbas try to use Assassinations on Alta´r, it only hurts him, but doesn't One-Hit Kill him like when he does it to others.
Another one: The Renegade actually interrupts his own eulogy to come back to life and start strangling Ezio. Ezio stabs him again, and the guy just laughs crazily and gets back up.
Nostalgia Level: Desmond's final memory sequence takes place in locations from the first and second games in the series. Some parts are easier to recognize than others due to the bizarre nature of the viewing mode, but they're a near-perfect match nonetheless.
Oh Crap: Ezio's face when Shahkulu gets up from his assassination and starts strangling him.
Old Master: Ezio fits the criteria: still able to train Assassins, still able to soundly kick the asses of anyone he meets despite his age. Alta´r even more so: at 82 (never mind 62) he is still incredibly deadly, and further has the absolute respect of all his fellows who remain true to the Creed, as Abbas discovers to his misfortune.
Old Save Bonus: A save of Brotherhood unlocks you a Courtesan avatar in multiplayer.
Ezio: "Tarik sent me." Dilara: "...Just you? Why not more?" Ezio: "I am enough."
Open Secret: Lots of people know about Ezio's Eagle Vision. He'd prefer if they kept it quiet.
Painting the Medium: A variation on this. The console versions of this game miss out on this, but with the PC version, when you start the 'Desmond's Journey' sequences, the main game closes, and soon after, the sequence opens up in a new program. It seems like an odd bug, but it's not — the Journey sequences are is an entirely different program from the main game's. It also feels perfectly in line with the entire "corrupted dataflow" style the Animus of this game has adopted.
This also occurs on the Xbox360 if you install the game to the harddrive. When you start or complete the Desmond sequences the system begins to read from the disk as if the game were not installed.
Passing the Torch: From Alta´r to Ezio to Desmond, complete with pat on the shoulder. And a minor example with Alta´r and Niccolo Polo. Even the soundtrack has one track named this, as well as one of Alta´r's sequences.
Poor Communication Kills: At the request of Prince Suleiman, Ezio assassinates Tarik Barleti, who had secretly been working against the Templars. Would've been nice if he had shared that info. In the end, his plan succeeds only because Ezio intervenes. Lampshaded by Suleiman who'd requested the assassination:
"If only he had not been so secretive."
Even Tarik admitted that in hindsight it was sorta his fault:
Tarik: "I blame myself. Not for treason, but hubris."
Praetorian Guard: The Janissaries, which is a plot point thanks to their loyalty to their captain Tarik Barleti, who opposes Prince Ahmet's succession of the reigning Sultan Bayezid II.
Recursive Reality: The player is controlling Desmond, who's experiencing his ancestor Ezio's life, who occasionally experiences Alta´r's life as he gathers the Masyaf Keys, which basically act as mini-Animuses to him. And no, this is not Mind Screw yet, at least not by Assassin's Creed standards.
Red Herring: Subject 16 shows hints of being possibly maybe evil and trying to steal someone's body (maybe Desmond's) to get out of the animus. But then, before the third chapter, he asks Desmond if that's a possibility and accepts with good grace when Desmond says no.
Alta´r barely resists the temptation to go on one of these against Abbas for executing his youngest son Sef. Maria talks him out of it, seconds before she herself gets killed. He gets even twenty years later.
Ezio rallies the Constantinople Assassins to one of these during Sequence Eight, after finding Yusuf's body in Sofia's bookshop. The next memory consists of the Assassins assaulting the Arsenal en masse. Your Assassin Signals stay maxed out without a cooldown and you can stroll casually through the whole mission while an endless stream of Assassins and Arrow Storms help you carve a bloody river of bodies to your target.
Rousing Speech: Ezio gets to deliver one this time around. "Fight with me, and show him what it means to cross the Assassins!"
Manuel Palaiologos tries to give one to his Byzantine troops, but the sight of Ezio shuts him up pretty quickly.
Rule of Funny: The likelihood of Italian minstrels showing up at a party for a Turkish prince is slim, but then you wouldn't be able to beat them up, steal their clothes, and make fun of them in song.
Scare Chord: One starts up when a stalker is coming up behind you and climaxes when he tries to shank you. It's often the only warning you'll get.
Shaggy Dog Story: The entire purpose for Ezio's visit to West Asia is to enter Alta´r's library. The game is spent searching for the keys to said library. When he gets there at the end of the game, it's empty of everything but Alta´r's skeleton and his Apple. And Ezio leaves the Apple and says, "Hey, Desmond, be a good kid and listen to Unca Jupiter for a bit, okay?"
One of the Random City Events for Ezio has you in a fistfight with a man that says he "floats like a butterfly, stings like a scorpion", a reference to Firefly.
Since the game's creators has confirmed an Inception angle, Desmond beginning the game by waking up on a beach in a constructed world plays out like this.
Shown Their Work: There actually is a hypothesis out there that the human race went through the bottleneck mentioned by the game, when our numbers were reduced to just 10,000 people, maybe as few as 1,000 breeding pairs between 60 and 140 thousand years ago, nearly driving us to extinction. Most of the hypotheses have to do with supervolcano eruptions and 1,000 year volcanic winters and things like that rather than a solar flare that goes un-thwarted by Physical Gods, but that's okay, the evidence is still coming in.
Super Drowning Skills: NPCs still can't swim, even after multiple games and Animus upgrades. Unlike in Brotherhood, however, your Assassin recruits don't die if they fall into the water; they simply despawn.
Super Senses: As in the previous game, Ezio's Eagle Sense allows him to perceive things that no ordinary person should be able to, such as tracking someone across multiple city blocks from the scent of the poison she is carrying, or knowing from a distance which guard among dozens has a particular key. As powerful as it is, it's a pale shadow of the "Knowing" of Those Who Came Before, but was their gift to the bloodline of the Assassins.
Alta´r has hidden the Apple from the first game in a vault under Masyaf, requiring all of his seals to open it. While it is a surprise to Ezio to find it there, he refuses to use it, and the previous games' stories reveal that it was later found and used by the Templars until being destroyed in a satellite accident.
A minor example, from the antepenultimate Alta´r sequence:
Alta´r:"I learned many things from the Apple. Of life and death, of the past and the future. Let me show you..."
Swiss-Army Weapon: In Assassin's Creed II, Ezio's hidden blade got attachments for a thin poison needle and a pistol alongside the usual stabbing blade. In Revelations the hookblade is added, useful for ziplining, faster climbing, all new fatalities, and picking flowers!
All of Ezio's songs when he's disguised as a minstrel.
The Deacon is unimpressed when confronted with an assassin. "Go hide in your haystack, fool!"
Taking You with Me: In multiplayer, a player can now opt to try and fight back when running isn't an option, stunning the attacker and causing them to draw a great deal of unwanted attention to themselves. Whilst the defendant can never win, it effectively attracts anyone hunting the attacker, acting as a sort of Suicide Attack that dooms an attacker to a similar fate.
Took a Level in Badass: Didn't think the Hidden Blade could possibly get any cooler? Say a big hello to the Ottoman Hookblade, and learn just how very wrong you were.
Use Your Head: Kill-chains usually don't work on Janissaries, as evidenced when they block both Ezio's sword and his hidden blade. So, in this situation, Ezio headbutts the metal mask-wearing guy, dealing as much damage as a regular sword attack!
And we finally have contenders for the knee-stomp, such as damn near every hookblade kill, and one sword kill that involves stabbing them in the throat and then snapping their neck 180 degrees with it. Ezio may well be the most lethal example of a grumpy old man, and Alta´r isn't far behind.
Bombs have a lot of cruelty potential. Ezio can plant Datura tripwire bombs, taking out entire patrols of guards in one go, and wipe out crowds of civilians with Splinter or Thunder Bombs before desynchronizing. Even better, Thunder Bombs are non-lethal, so you can attract huge crowds with money or Pyrite Bombs and blow everyone up to your heart's content.
One of the Mercenaries Guild challenges is to "destroy a scaffold by throwing someone into it." It does NOT specify that it had to be an enemy.
While running close to somebody, it is possible to trip them up using the hookblade, often for no good reason except that you can.
You can shove a fisherman to cause him to drop his fishing rod, and then pick it up and use it as a weapon. For bonus cruelty, you can use it to kill the poor civilian you just stole it from, and the kill animations for it are just as brutal as the actual weapons.
Alternatively, you can simply shove the poor fishermen right off the dock and into the water.
One of the fastest ways to get down from a rooftop to street level is to use a random pedestrian to break your fall. "Is there a REASON for this abuse?" and "Shall we pretend that was just an accident?" are two of the more hilarious things that they will say in response to this.
For several of the multiplayer characters, when assassinating a player that is sitting on the bench, He/she will walk up to the victim and quickly pull them off the bench and then kicks their head back into the bench. In a setting where you are constantly assassinating other characters, this animation is especially shocking.
When you use a lift, a pile of bricks is dropped as a counterweight. Sucks to be the civilian walking peacefully on the street when suddenly that bunch of bricks drop on you.
When you steal from civilians, they will attempt to fight you. If you choose to counterattack them unarmed, it doesn't count as killing them, so you don't desynchronize. You can then abuse the groaning injured in the same way as you can corpses.
Vocal Dissonance: Despite the fact that Alta´r is well into his 90's by the end of Revelations, he stills sounds exactly the same as his 20-year-old self- he does not sound any raspier or gruff. Chalk it up to production oversight.
Weaksauce Weakness: Janissaries are resistant to all types of attack... except bare fists, apparently. Dodging, then landing one unarmed combo somehow incapacitates a soldier who can survive multiple stab, bullet, and blunt weapon injuries.
What the Hell, Hero?: The latter half of the game is full of these moments, with Ezio arguably at his ugliest in this game:
In a mission, Ezio bribes some heralds into instigating a riot in order for the mob to break the doors of the arsenal, which ultimately led to a huge loss in lives and property, and the Arsenal district remains ruined until the end of the game.
Yusuf: Feigning solidarity to advance your own agenda? How nice. Ezio: It's not pretty, I know.
Causing an explosion in the underground city of Cappacodia, causing half the city's population to choke to death from the smoke and fire, killing many innocents. Ezio was not shown to even care in the slightest about the collateral damage, instead fixing his mind on the Masyaf keys and his love interest.
The Assassins also backed the Ottoman Empire to gain an ally in fighting the Borgia Papacy. This has unintended consequences as *many* Templar agents are recruited from countries the Ottomans proceed to invade and conquer. The Count (aka Vlad Tepes) allies with the Templars in order to defend his homeland, and is promptly murdered by Ishak Pasha, an Assassin. As a result, the Sentinel betrays and murders many of his former comrades for selling out his homeland. The Renegade fights to avenge his murdered tribe as Manuel's bodyguard. The Vanguard likewise seeks to defend her homeland from Turk conquest. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero.
After being mysteriously silent about it in Brotherhood, civilians now once again call you out if you loot corpses in front of them.
Win to Exit: Desmond's part of the story. He must complete Ezio's and Alta´r's memories in order to wake up from the coma he's in as a result of the events of the previous game, and thus escape the Animus before it deletes him.
With This Herring: Justified; Ezio gets disarmed after his in-cutscene capture, and one Hidden Blade is missing because it got broken. He replaces it with a presumably spare hookblade Yusuf gives him.
You All Share My Story: There is a single key moment in history that links Alta´r, Ezio, and Desmond together, which is called a Synch Nexus. Finding that moment is the key to freeing Desmond from the Animus. It ends up being the moment right after Ezio discovers the Apple Alta´r left for him, a few feet from where Alta´r laid himself to rest. Ezio calls Desmond by name and provides a direct link between Desmond and the Apple that allows Those Who Came Before to communicate with Desmond directly across time, and gives him the Mind Screwdriver he needs to wake up.