open/close all folders
- Didn't the assassins keep an anti-revolutionary stance in Unity? Unless the twins are still yet to be recruited to the assassin order, aren't they going against their ideals by inciting a working class revolution?
- The Assassins are generally pro-revolutionary. In Assassin's Creed I, you have Altair being a Vigilante in the liberation missions, in Assassin's Creed II you have Ezio leading La Résistance against Savonarola, in Brotherhood, he recruits disaffected anti-Borgia Romans into the Assassins, in Black Flag, the Assassins are friendly towards pro-democracy Pirates rather than slave-owning empires and Assassin's Creed III has them supporting the American Revolution. Notice these games are all more historically accurate and less biased than UNITY, which is the ugly stepchild of the AC family, the first game Ubisoft outright apologized for. UNITY stood out as a sore thumb because it was highly anti-revolutionary and far below AC's standards of Shown Their Work. So essentially, you can say, "Unity never happened".
- An in-universe explanation I think, would be that the Parisian Assassins at the time would be an example of No True Scotsman. As the troper above stated, most Assassins have generally had a sympathetic view of revolutionaries, often being ones themselves. The Parisian Assassins of Unity simply seem to have a different opinion. It doesn't mean all other Assassins since then (or even at the time) agree with them. There's a lot of implication that the Parisian Assassins had become corrupt and ineffectual. Presumably the London Assassins who lived about a century later didn't agree with them.
- Given that the French and American revolutions happened within decades from each other, that would be 'at the time'.
- Besides, Mirabeau was a historical French Revolutionary. He was just far less radical and famous than Robespierre and Saint Juste.
- Precisely. If this troper has their history correct, Mirabeau was an advocate for a constitutional monarchy, seeing as the people likely blamed Louis and Antoinette (not without basis, admittedly) for France's financial problems.
- Still, aligning with the Girondins doesn't really make sense for the Assassins. Especially given how the actual membership and structure of the Jacobin Clubs resembles the Assassins quite a bit.
- There's a certain level of Gameplay and Story Segregation even in the story itself with the Multiplayer having the Assassins do numerous missions for the more radical Revolutionaries of the set. A Handwave would be Mentor Dumas was more radical than Mirabeau but Arno's politics took second-place to his lust for revenge against Germaine.
- The French Assassins and their portrayal in Unity aren't actually anti-revolutionary as is the common misconception. The Assassin way is to oppose fanaticism, and Arno closes the main campaign with this very explanation on the creed. In general, the Assassins sided with the Girondins, the moderate revolutionaries because they wish to spread democracy without the excesses that the Jacobins would devolve into. However, Mirabeau decided to try his hand at steering between all factions in his fear that the revolution would get out of hand. Some players even interpret the brief exchange between Mirabeau and de la Serre in the beginning of the game as implying that that they had plotted the revolution together, but it was hijacked by Germain's breakaway group of Templars. Unity is meant to illustrate how the Assassins, true to their creed, are above simple labels and try to view a conflict from multiple angles. Unfortunately, this meant that for players that side with the revolutionaries, they appear royalist, and for players that side with the monarchy, they appear radical. Ultimately the Assassins tend to be very liberal and leftist in their ideals, so supporting the working class is consistent, but they oppose chaos and excessive violence, and their creed expressly forbids extremism, hence why they don't side with the Jacobins.
- The problem in any case is that Unity is one giant lie in its representation of history and the circumstances of the events. To anyone with a modicum of knowledge of the events, the Assassins would be right-wing royalists, or if they are pro-girondins, expansionist warmongers. The scenario mentioned here only works if you take the cornball and inconsistent representation in Unity at face value even if it contradicts the lore and the series. Like in Assassin's Creed: Initiates, the Haitian Assassins welcomes Robespierre's abolition of slavery but in Unity they don't mention this at all because if they did, Arno and his gang would be pro-slavery right-wingers (and the fact that they pal with Napoleon in the end, even if he betrayed their fellow Haitian Assassins further suggests that).
- Part of the issue here seems to be that players forget that the Assassins are a political entity of its own, in other words a side of its own on the international stage, even if it "permeates borders" and works in secrecy. It is rare that in an alliance, the allied factions agree with one another on every last issue; i.e. the Assassins assist Girondins in Paris without necessarily condoning their expansionism, the Assassins can sympathize with some of the revolutionary ideals of the Jacobins without condoning their excesses and Reign of Terror. The tragedy of Unity is that the French Revolution is such a NOT black and white event that they can't possibly side with one side over another without being hypocritical in some aspect or another. So it seems that Ubisoft tried to be more distant from the events, helping out various sides when it is the "right thing" to do in the situation, i.e. negotiating with Louis XVI or warning Girondins of their impending arrest by Robespierre or trying to save Danton. But it seems even not picking an explicit side also appears hypocritical to players. In the case of Napoleon, he becomes an adversary to the Assassins after Arno discovers his plans to seize the Apple of Eden, and it is clear that Arno was simply ignorant of Napoleon's true character, though perhaps for pragmatic reasons they save him from an assassination attempt. In any case, Assassin's Creed seems to have striven hard not to involve itself in too much philosophy or politics in Syndicate.
- Napoleon never becomes an adversary to Arno...in Unity's Brotherhood Co-Op mission, Arno saves his life (after Dead Kings), and the Epilogue shows them together in 1807, this after Napoleon had betrayed the Haitian Assassins, so yes, Arno is a Bonapartist pro-slavery advocate. In any case, Ubisoft will probably never revisit and clarify all those contradictions in their lore. Anyway, Unity should have had Pierre Bellec as a protagonist, because he's the anti-hero badass a French Rev setting deserves and needs. And that mission about saving Girondins from Robespierre is just historically absurd, because the person who saved the Girondins from The Purge in history was...Robespierre, he saved 70 of them from joining the tumbrel and kept getting heat for vouching for them from other tribunals. Danton (who started the Revolutionary Tribunals) washed his hands off them. Robespierre would have had to be The Mentor or ally in a true AC-French Rev game, but you know it's easier to do a revisionist take on a pirate like Blackbeard than the Incorruptible it seems.
- Strangely enough, there's only one thing about the grapple gun I don't get. I like the mechanic, so I don't really mind the fact that it's far-fetched for its time. No, of all things, what really confuses me is that when Kaylock is in possession of it, the piece meant to connect the rope to its grapple target is the Assassin logo. When Evie and Jacob have it, that makes some sense, but why a Templar? Did he steal it from a London Assassin?
- It's likely he did - they may hate each other, but that (usually) doesn't stop them from using the others' tech, even if they can't modify it to their exact customization standards.
- I understand why the Assassins associate with organized crime. This allows them a lot of money and muscle in societies which are controlled by the Templars. However, I'm confused by what Starrick and the Templars are getting out of controlling a street gang in London—let alone one they have running wild across the entire city. Shouldn't these guys be controlling entire armies and massive corporations? Why are they so focused on a bunch of thugs? A LOT of the gang bosses are wearing Templar uniforms.
- The same reason many corporations in real-life associated with organized crime. To keep the workers from forming a Union and asking for fair wages. In real-life, mafia and other organizations came to prominence because businessmen would pay them off to get a supply of cheap, compliant labour. Look up Lumpenproletariat or better yet see On the Waterfront (which shows a mob-controlled union and how they are kept in line). Anytime a worker gets uppity or the like, the mob steps in. As for the uniforms, I see that as an Animus convenience. I don't think you are meant to assume that they really did wear Templar Cross armbands like Nazi swastikas.
- SPOILERS (Do I censor those on discussion pages?): Not to mention, think of when Roth was killed. Starrick had then decided he would purge the London leadership, be it Parliament or the Queen, whoever held any sort of power. It's quite possible he'd noticed the Blighters had failed him in their intended purpose, plus their leader was now dead. If he took over, he'd have a greater chance of holding firm power over the Police and perhaps even something akin to the Grenadiers, especially seeing as even gameplay-wise, a group of policemen is much more difficult to face than a group of Blighters. Even then, the Blighters weren't ineffective - remember at the beginning of the game that until Henry had Jacob and Evie (very likely two of the best Assassins in Britain, even if Evie held more of the Assassin role) to help him establish contacts throughout the city and later an entire street gang, the Blighters had an iron grip on the streets of London while Starrick's allies in parliament handled the politics, explaining why he even kept them around in the first place. And as for the Templar uniforms, my guess was that he'd sent some of his smarter people to control the boroughs themselves. That or, based on the behavior of some of them, picked out and initiated (or at least prettied up so they could look the part) the smarter ones from Roth's ranks. The Assassins knew who he was and who worked for him, so while it wouldn't really be a bonus to Sigil Spam, it wouldn't be quite a downside. Even then, those not aware of the Templar-Assassin war might just assume the crosses they wear are meant to be Starrick's business logo.
- On the topic of labor unions, that's also quite an important factor within his own ranks. Starrick mentions at one point raising the wages of his staff (something to do with countering inflation) showing he does at least have official members outside of the Assassination targets. Maintaining such a staff is much cheaper than maintaining a professional Police or even paramilitary force without the sort of power (and to a lesser extent, money, as he was quite the businessman) the Queen and Parliament had. Add to that his funding of Brewster's experiments on the Piece of Eden (likely costly), the apparent success of the Blighters at the time, and having to manage the search for the Shroud. Even if Starrick is an extremely successful businessman, he doesn't have resources or authority matching that of the Pope, who could fund his entire army and also had access to the Swiss Papal Guard and a successful (as far as I remember from history) tactician in his son. Had Starrick tried to maintain a professional army, he most likely would not have been able to simultaneously offer good pay and good equipment, which could heavily affect loyalty.
- Skip lower for the actual question. The Assassin hierarchy seems to go back and forth, with Mentors in charge most of the time. The Levantine Assassins during the Third Crusade followed Al Mualim on every decision, with Master Assassins being more field operatives than anything. As I recall, Altair did change this, or at least point out problems with it. The Italian Assassins during the Renaissance were led by the Machiavelli, who ironically (Il Principe) didn't seem to exercise that much power over the Master Assassins, who appeared to act rather independently. The Caribbean Brotherhood in the Colonial era appeared to be primarily led by Ah Tabai. The American Brotherhood of roughly the same era seemed like a balance between the Levantine and Italian hierarchies, Achilles at the head while Adewale seemed in charge of the Caribbean. Unity isn't technically the first to do it, but it introduces the first Assassin Council that we've really seen and had a name to. Unlike the Italian Brotherhood where each member was very independent, they still seem to defer to the Mentor Mirabeau's veto/judgement much of the time. Here, Syndicate makes frequent mention of the Assassin Council, but nothing of a Mentor. After that dissertation of a Headscratcher, here's my actual question: Are these hierarchies so diverse due to differences in time and debut of different concepts of leadership, or differences in region, as regional Brotherhoods have shown big differences between each other before?
- The Doylist explanation for this is that Ubisoft are themselves vague and unclear about this Assassin Council thing. It only came up in Unity and was absent in the games before it. Even the MD before that had a Mentor at the top of the Assassin hierarchy. In Unity they didn't want to make Arno the same kind of hero as Altair, Ezio and Connor, the rebuilder of the Brotherhood who recruits other people so the Assassin Council came into being as a way for them to do Brotherhood Co-Op, so the idea of an organization with rankings made sense, to them. The Watsonian explanation is that different places, different rules, the Assassins in Unity are generally not a very impressive bunch, being quite corrupt and violating Altair's claim that the Assassins shouldn't be this cult but actually live among people and work with them which Connor does with his Homestead, Ezio did with his Brotherhood but the other Assassins all tried to build mini-Masyafs forgetting that the original was a sign of arrogance.
- Going back to the overanalysis I have in the folder above about forms of leadership the Brotherhood uses: As stated, repeated mention is made of the Assassin Council for presumably the British Brotherhood during Syndicate, and little mention of a figure actually in a position to overrule. However, in an early level Jacob and Evie are discussing the chances of Jacob leading the Brotherhood afterwards, which normally might assume Jacob just wants to change the rules. Though then Evie says that George would never allow it, implying he is either on the Council to would vote against it (which would be strange as he refers to the Council with no form of "we" at the start) or that George, like Mirabeau, has ultimate authority over said Council but prefers to let them make the decisions for a less one-sided result. Akin to a constitutional monarchy in which the monarch holds some form of veto power. My question for this one is, what hierarchy does the British Brotherhood follow at the time of 1868?
- That actually is a good question. I think the British Assassins being that they are English and so kind of eccentric, don't have a strict hierarchy. In the database for the Brotherhood in Syndicate, they say that Edward and Miko in the past basically split duties between them, with Edward working on the social stuff of building connections and a network, and Miko focusing on First Civilization research. It's weird that Syndicate doesn't bring any follow-up from the Council about these two Assassins going rogue. Anyway, Doylist explanation is that they wanted Evie and Jacob to be the start-from-the-bottom type Assassins like Connor and Ezio, but they didn't want to make them too special, so they had things both ways, ubisoft style.
- There's an Occam's Razor explanation which does away with the ideas all above. There's numerous branches of the Assassin order, just like the Templars, all independent with one Mentor and an Assassins Council beneath them which everyone answers to. In practical terms, they're the head of the group and the people underneath him who do the day-to-day lifting. It's very likely the Mentor is also a member of the Assassins Council the way the President is the head of his Cabinet—which would explain why they refer to the Council versus the Mentor.
- Does he not realize the Fryes are the leaders of the second largest gang in London (and eventually the biggest)? You'd think he'd want to arrest our heroes given not only the amount of mayhem they cause but also the fact they're leading an army of criminals.
- Also, why are so many otherwise respectable individuals hanging out with the Fryes? (Charles Darwin, Dickens, Nightingale, and so on). You'd think someone would clue them in they're the Kray Brothers of the 19th century. Marx, at least, is already being watched by the police anyway and knows they have populist anti-authority sympathies.
- Abberline's database entry mentions that he regretted turning away from the Fryes activities and always felt that using the Fryes to clear up Victorian corruption, while a Necessary Evil, was maybe another form of corruption. He's kind of like The Commissioner Gordon to the Assassin vigilantes, since after all "no-kill" rule aside, Batman is a criminal too. As for the others, I don't think they know or look too deeply if the Fryes are criminals. Unlike the Krays, the Fryes don't own nightclubs for the very wealthy, don't really have headquarters and mostly turn the Blighters into Rooks, Neighborhood-Friendly Gangsters. Most of the time, Darwin and Dickens, and also Marx, see the Fryes as these resourceful do-gooders. Still it's a little fuzzy and not-exact.
- Very true, OP, but here's the thing: surely the Fryes are well-known. So, surely, they must know at least something about all the things they do for London. While they may not know about the Creed itself, it's quite possible they'd detected a "never hurt the innocent" pattern that must have extended to the rest of the Rooks. Obviously, the Frye twins are still crooks, but they could very well be seen as something of a Robin Hood figure, a Hero with Bad Publicity, especially once you get to know them even without knowledge of the Creed. Makes even more sense if you participate in the crowd events, tackling thieves, scaring bullies, disposing of criminals about to attack either a Rook or a citizen. Considering how well-known the Frye twins were, I was never surprised Nightingale was willing to work with Evie, especially as the latter was clearly concerned about Clara. As for Abberline, I'm sure he realizes exactly who they are, and I think he was even going to cut off work with them until Evie was an in-universe Author's Saving Throw. Plus, according to Full Sync, they always brought wanted criminals back to him alive, jobs his own men couldn't do but more in a manner of competence than morals. After all, their first meeting ends with him asking them to stay within the bounds of the law when catching his criminals.
- What exactly will the British Assassins do after London is freed? Jacob and Evie defied orders, yeah, but they kept true to the Creed, at least mostly. They never harmed innocents, sometimes hid in plain sight, and they never compromised the Brotherhood. Add to that the fact that London is no longer under Templar control. Would the Council punish them?
- Well, they're still around twenty-years later and both live into World War 1 due to the Foregone Conclusion of the Lydia chapter. As such, they're probably given a nasty talking to but it's not like the Assassins haven't bent the rules in ridiculous ways before.
How the Fryes make money
- My one big concern for the Aftermath is mainly Fridge Logic. The "Jack the Ripper" DLC implies that the brutal slum conditions of that part of London and appalling prostitution would continue after the game at a time when the Assassins and Rooks have taken over London. Since prostitution isn't mentioned once in the main game, even if it was everywhere in London at this time, the Fryes arent shown addressing it. In real-life and by basic common sense, a lot of street gangs were pimps and traffickers, so are the Rooks and the Fryes, involved in human traffic? How are they going to address this in the DLC? This is a basic problem of open world history-based games, whatever little victory the gameplay manufactures is simply contravened by the general historical context.
- The Assassins have nothing against prostitution in general given we see in Assassins Creed 2 that at least two of the Assassins Council of Italy are Courtesans. It's highly unlikely they would be involved in involuntarily prostitution (i.e. slavery), though. Given Ned Wynert's status as a fence as well as the fact the Blighter's cargo is being sabotaged, we can assume the Rooks are financed in large part by their stealing from the Blighters as well as templar owned businesses. Even so, it should be noted that prostitution was something of a Red Scare of the Victorian period of the 1860s where the numbers of prostitutes and fallen women were grossly exaggerated as well as many women being wrongfully imprisoned. Many were merely sexually promiscuous and thus against the prevailing morality of the day (not that imprisonment for prostitution is worthwhile anyway). Whether the Fryes engage in extortion, drugs, or other criminal activity is anyone's guess but the money is coming in from somewhere. Everything is permitted by the Creed after all, except hurting the innocent.
- Even after the Fryes seize control over all of the Burroughs, the Blighters do not cease to exist and continue on as an organized gang. It's very likely, despite the Fryes efforts, criminal activity continues beyond what they're capable of controlling. It's very likely the two organizations continue into the future with the worst crime carried on by the Blighters or other gangs without Templar involvement.
- The Fryes canonically do gambling as part of their ownership of bars throughout the city of London which are later added to by tea companies. It seems the Fryes do smuggling, theft, gambling, and a couple of legitimate businesses to keep their gang running.
- Anytime after you complete a child liberation mission, you'll see adult labourers and Rooks around the factory floor instead of children. I think this implies the Fryes have taken over the business and use the profits to improve worker rights in the area as well as funding their gang. The gang upgrades also have you move up from off-track betting and pubs to tea imports and shop ownership. Combined, by the time you have expanded your gang as far as is possible, the Fryes could be running an enterprise to rival Starrick's own. All of it completely legal. Sorta.
- The DLC also does a Reality Ensues with the Fryes Friendly Neighborhood Gangster ideals. The gang doesn't give a whiff about it and turns to the Ripper when offered a better deal.
- Plus, Jack's the worst, most terrifying murderer in town at that point. Fear's an excellent motivator.
- As said on the Nightmare Fuel page, Lucy Thorne promises to strangle Evie with the Shroud once it's found, but if Thorne is holding it and it's around Evie's neck, wouldn't that mean Evie would be the one wearing it and she'd be fine? Seems kinda strange when Thorne brags that she knows more about what the Shroud does.
- I think the obvious solution is she's not being literal. The Templars know far less than they claim about the Pieces of Eden, though. Both they and the Assassins are, essentially, playing with objects well above their comprehension level.
- Even assuming it was a literal threat (which I doubt), note that when Starrick wears it heals him quickly but he still suffers the pain and effects of the stabbings. Presumably if you started choking someone with the shroud they would just suffer endlessly until you removed it.
- It was legal for children as young as eight to work in factories in this time period as long as it was eight-hour workshifts. This is horrible but an improvement over what used to be done. However, are all the children supposed to be slaves or orphans? What do their parents think about these liberations?
- It's very possible the children were forced into the factory jobs. It's not like their parents would have room to complain, since the Templars controlled the Blighters who would be used to stamp out any resistance.
- And then there's the fact that a good deal (but certainly not all) probably were orphans, or ran away even. The Cinematic Trailer shows a Templar purchasing children from an (apparently Blighter controlled) orphanage to work in his factory, which means it's quite likely that a sizable portion of the children working in the factories are orphans.
- Exactly. That "Boy For Sale" scene in Oliver Twist was not poetic license. That sort of thing actually happened back in the day.
London "too strong"?
- Even though I get a feeling I know the answer, just why were the British assassins so reluctant to get more involved in the main part of london again? This series seems to indicate that the assassins are generally pretty good at keeping up with their history, especially for their great members like Edward Kenway or Ezio. And consider: Ezio had his stronghold ripped from him, but in response he entered the main templar stronghold in Rome, and took it from them through alliances, assassination, and strategy. So there's an obvious historical precedent for assassins entering Templar controlled cities and taking it back from them. So why were the London Assassins so reluctant to do the same in London for 100 years? Did Reginald Birch really scar them that badly? Or was it something else?
- Notice the dates during Assassin takeovers; months pass between events frequently, even years, regarding the adventures of Altair, Ezio, Connor, and so forth. This implies the standard procedure is to gather all information they can from the shadows, plan things out, and only then take action (then repeat)- thus said takeovers take time, while gameplay only looks quick and easy. The London Assassins may also believe in this, and are waiting for 'the right moment', if perhaps too much about it. Evie shares this planning mentality as well due to following Assassin traditions, but it's due to Jacob's more hands-on approach, that they almost-completely liberate London in less than a year.
The Master Spy
- Is the Master Spy Sage from the WWI meant to be a historical figure? We're given a few details about him that seem almost to be hints that this is the case, and yet nobody has connected him to anyone.
Jack being playable?
- So in the Jack the Ripper DLC, we can actually play as Jack for three missions. Now, don't get me wrong. Being able to play as THE Jack the freaking Ripper is awesome!... But it really doesn't make any sense with the rules of the series lore. In order to relive a person's memories in the Animus, they need to have had a child in order to pass on the genetic memory to whatever descendant the Animus gets the memories from. The problem is that Evie kills Jack at the end of the DLC. And the last Jack mission where you play as him takes place only a few hours before his final fight with Evie. So how did Jack pass on his genetic memory before Evie killed him?
- By this point in the series, Abstergo found a way to access genetic memories through DNA samples (that process is used by Abstergo Entertainment in Black Flag and Rogue) and crowdsourced their research by turning those memories into games that can be played through the Helix platform (as seen in Unity and Syndicate) and this process was hijacked by the Assassins. It's possible, in this setting, that the body of the individual in question was located an a viable DNA sample was extracted to be explored through Helix.
- Child by Rape in that brief hour? Maybe there's a loophole somewhere where he bled on someone and passed on his genetics that way? I'm sure there's a loophole somewhere that makes it work.