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Video Game / Assassin's Creed II

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"Insieme per la vittoria!"note 

Frederico Auditore: It is a good life we lead, brother.
Ezio Auditore: The best. May it never change.
Frederico Auditore: And may it never change us.

Assassin's Creed II, the sequel to Assassin's Creed, is the second game of Ubisoft's eponymous franchise. It was released in 2009 on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 (playable on Xbox One via backward compatibility), and PC and in 2016 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as part of the "Ezio Collection".

Following the Third 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 21st century 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 his ancestors' skills and find more Pieces of Eden.

The focus this time is on another one of Desmond's ancestors, Ezio Auditore. Born and raised in Florence, Ezio is like most other young guys of his age and class: rich, carefree, spending most of his time wooing girls (and then some) and jumping around the rooftops of his native home city. Life takes a brutal turn for the young man when his family is betrayed 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 him from his home city of Florence to other Tuscany towns, Forlì, Venice, and eventually Rome.

Both Ezio and Desmond follow the plot 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 "historical tourism" thing became a core element to the franchise via its re-creation of Renaissance Italy, namely the historical monuments, actual historical events and its large supporting cast full of Historical Domain Characters which includes the likes of Lorenzo de' Medici, Caterina Sforza, Rodrigo Borgia, Niccolò Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci, to name the most famous. Two episodes of DLC were released to fill in missing Sequences 12 and 13 (Battle of Forlì and Bonfire of the Vanities) offering a more complete experience to the game.

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is an Immediate Sequel, starting where Assassin's Creed II left off. Another sequel, Assassin's Creed: Revelations, rounded off the Ezio trilogy and the Renaissance Era, with Assassin's Creed III shifting to a new ancestor and the late 18th Century.

Additionally, Ezio (specifically, his Brotherhood self) crossed over to another series as a Guest Fighter in Soulcalibur V, was a boss in a temporary crossover event with For Honor in December 2018/January 2019, and ended up playable again in the Oculus Quest VR game Assassin's Creed Nexus.

Assassin's Creed II, Brotherhood and Revelations were re-relased in November 2016 for 8th generation consoles as part of the "Ezio Collection". In February 2022, this trilogy-compilation was released on the Nintendo Switch.

This game contains examples of:

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  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: There are a number of catacombs and Assassin tombs to navigate. When they're not within churches, Ezio returns to the city proper via manhole.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality:
    • Played straight with being able to loot treasure chests as you find them, though most of the treasure chests are located in areas where people don't want you to find them... Also, you can buy a map of their location in each city... Do the citizens just not want to loot them or something? Or are the art merchants secretly rich and just feeling altruistic?
    • Sometimes the circumstances of your killings, or how wanted posters and heralds mentioning you only pop up when you get a little Notoriety (i.e. stealing or High Profile kills), even if you made a clean getaway with no witnesses. Or the fact that wanted posters often show up in places wherein it is VERY unlikely the general populace would ever see them.
    • A particular Hidden Blade counter-kill has Ezio tossing Brute-type guards away, heavy armor and all. This could be explained in that Ezio's Precursor DNA makes him physically stronger than normal humans (which is apparently canon).
  • Action Girl:
    • Lucy Stillman proves herself to be quite handy at dispatching Abstergo guards.
    • Rosa, Paola and Teodora also fall into this, the first being part of the Venetian Thieves Guild and more than capable of handling herself with an arrow in her leg, the latter being Assassins and performing leaps of faith at the end of Memory Block 11.
    • Caterina Sforza also gets in on the trope during the Battle of Forlí expansion, where she takes part in the battle itself.
  • After the End: The ending reveals that the current civilization, modern 21st century, is actually the world's second civilization. The first was destroyed by what is implied to be a massive solar flare that reversed the earth's magnetic poles, unleashing massive earthquakes.
  • A Handful for an Eye: One of the combat techniques Ezio can learn from Mario is a special attack for his Fists, where Ezio picks up quite a lot of sand and throws it at his opponent, disorienting them (as with the Smoke Bomb). If he attacks right afterward, he will instantly finish the opponent off.
  • Almost Dead Guy: One of Bartolomeo's men was shot with an arrow, and survives just long enough to tell Ezio where Bartolomeo has been taken.
  • Alternate History: By this game, the developers have outright proclaimed it to be alternate history.
  • Ambiguously Gay: The profile for Leonardo da Vinci outright states that he was most likely homosexual. Despite this, he does admit to spending some time at the local, er, "convent" for some quality time with ladies of the evening, so he's bisexual if anything. There's also the fact that this was probably true about the real Leonardo.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: As of Assassin's Creed II, it might be safer to ask who wasn't involved in this mother-of-all-conspiracies. Name a historical figure. Yep, they're involved on either the Assassin side, Templar side, or were just shmucks/descendants of Those Who Came Before who ended up with a Piece of Eden. A short list:
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Ezio obtains a pair of capes, the Medici and Venetian Capes, that mark him as a friend of them, keeping his notoriety from rising in Florence and Tuscany/San Gimignano (Medici Cape), and Venice. However, the reward for collecting all 100 feathers is the Auditore Cape, which makes you notorious everywhere except Monteriggioni; removing it sends your Notoriety back to whatever that was before you equipped it. Also, the game's ultimate reward is Altaïr's Armour, which is made from uber-metal that was literally only discovered with the help of the Gods (i.e. Altaïr consulting his Piece of Eden). It maxes out the health bar and is completely unbreakable, along with looking awesome.
    • The last one here is also oddly Inverted. Acquiring the Armor of Altaïr makes Ezio unable to change his appearance by dying his clothes, so Your Reward is Fewer Clothes unless you want to deliberately reduce your health bar and continue paying for repairs.
  • And Your Reward Is Interior Decorating: The house in Monteriggioni becomes decorated with portraits of Ezio's assassination victims and with art objects that Ezio is encouraged to purchase. The appearance of the rest of Monteriggioni also improves as Ezio's actions cause the town to become more prosperous.
  • Animal Motifs:
    • Both games have a thing for birds. Both protagonists are named after them, the presence of birds marks important/useful spots in the world, and bird feathers play a prominent background role in both games. Also, both Ezio's and Altaïr's Assassin's garbs feature a beak-like peak in the front of the hood and a wing-like split in the back of the lower 'cape', thus emulating birds, especially when diving off of rooftops.
    • The art book for the first one explicitly compares Altaïr to a bird-of-prey, saying that it was a big part of the inspiration for the character's design. Side-by-side art pieces show artists emulating the shape of an eagle mid-flight with Altaïr.
  • Annoying Arrows: While bowmen can be very frustrating, especially while fighting other enemies in close quarters, it's amazing how little damage their arrows do. Ezio can have five arrows sticking out of his torso and still keep fighting. Also, Rosa can still move and fight despite having an arrow piercing clear through her leg!note 
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The feathers side quest is treated as well as it possibly can without outright revealing where they are - the menu shows you how many feathers are still missing in each city as well as each individual district in order to help you narrow your search while you're looking for them. This is a far cry from how annoying the flags and Templars were in the original game.
  • Anti-Villain: Dante Moro. His master, Marco Barbarigo, tried to have him killed so he could steal his wife. His plan failed, but since Moro was left brain-damaged, Marco fooled him into divorcing his true love, and then hired him to be his personal bodyguard. Then married his ex-wife.
  • Apocalypse How: Somewhere between planetary societal collapse and species extinction in the distant past. It's about to happen again in Desmond's time...
  • Aristocrats Are Evil:
    • The Pazzi, Barbarigo and Borgia are all templars and all of them are listed in Shaun's database with a profession as "Noble".
    • In the Auditore crypt Domenico Auditore says to his descendants "remember that you are not a nobleman. You are not one of the deceivers, you are one of the people. Avenge us!"
  • Arm Cannon: The Hidden Gun fits on Ezio's wrist and can punch through any armor.
  • Armor of Invincibility: The Armour of Altaïr, which you receive for completing all the Assassin Tomb free-run missions. It offers the best protection in the game and is literally unbreakable (the armor never needs repairing) but unlike the Missaglias armour, which offers the same amount of protection and is breakable, it doesn't allow you to dye Ezio's clothes.
  • Army of Thieves and Whores: This game, and its sequels, show that the Assassins (the real "criminals" themselves) recruit the lowest members of society into their ranks or otherwise aid them. This is proudly spoken of by Antonio, who claims that the real heroes are the thieves, mercenaries, and prostitutes: they work towards a common goal to ensure freedom for all.
  • Artificial Brilliance: Civilians and Guards both act a lot more realistically than they did in the previous games. The latter will even start searching nearby hiding spots if you try to hide too soon, and seekers will pick and poke every hiding place they can find if you're notorious.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • The AI is only mediocre (i.e. slower and somewhat less strategic) at free-running, and will on occasion get stuck on a plank or fall off it. Thieves and Borgia informants are notorious for this.
    • Speaking of thieves, there's a spot in Florence where a bunch of thieves are located a little too close to a roof guard. They won't so much as react while the guard injures and picks them off one by one.
    • Rooftop guards will also shoot Borgia couriers when they try to escape you, even if the city's guard is aligned with the Borgia... while ignoring you completely. Of course, once the Courier/Pickpocket is out of the way, they'll turn their attention on you, too.
    • Guards still have next to No Peripheral Vision, you can sneak up behind them rather easily even from the side. You can even shoot them with an extremely loud pistol and they won't find you if you're shooting from a rooftop.
    • Somehow, Ezio is the only Italian capable of swimming. This comes in handy when fighting guards on docks or canal bridges.
  • Artistic License – Geography:
    • The borders of the districts of Florence are incorrect, with San Giovanni facing the river but not the walls while in real life it's the opposite.
    • In Real Life, both Florence and Venice (and many other Italian cities) have a district named "Santa Croce". In the game, the former gets renamed to San Marco, while the latter is inglobated into San Polo.
    • It appears the Bargello Palace (or Palazzo del Popolo) of Florence, which is not far at all from the Palazzo Vecchio, hasn't been modelized. It was a barracks and prison at the time and nowadays houses an art museum, especially about sculptures by Donatello and Michelangelo.
    • The Baptistery of St. John in Florence is nowhere to be seen, despite being one of the oldest and most famous buildings in the city. The graphic engine was too strained by the gargantuan model of the Cathedral for it to be included right in front.
    • The actual Olivetan abbey south-east of San Gimignano, known as Monte Oliveto Minore ("the lesser"), gets replaced with the more famous Monte Oliveto Maggiore ("the greater"), some fifty miles away.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: There's a reason why the "concealed gun" trick that Ezio uses in this game is never used in real life - there's simply no way that firing the gun doesn't cause the cloth surrounding it to catch on fire. Of course, if this was played realistically, no one would ever use the most powerful weapon in the game.
  • Artistic License – History: See the franchise's page.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Leonardo da Vinci's flying machine. It has been scientifically proven that his flying machine couldn't have possibly worked, even with the fires below to supposedly provide lift. In fact, the real Leonardo at least was such a scatterbrain that many of his projects were never finished, including the flying machine tests.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Why do we kill them? Because they are all corrupted bastards! Unlike the first game, though, most of their evil deeds are now informed by exposition (via Shaun's database) rather than overly-long scenes establishing their corruption.
    • Somehow the Corrupt Officials are so known to be such that passing crowds won't even pause when you publicly put a blade through the guy's torso (though guards will attack on sight of this). Rather conveniently though, these guys who "bear false witness against you" (Paola's words) only appear once you have quite a lot of Notoriety...
  • Athens and Sparta: Florence is more or less the Athens to Venice's Sparta. The former is a center of culture, art and philosophy, while the latter is an expansionist city-state-empire. The public square of Florence, Piazza della Signoria is an active bustling city center with shops, and city-life, while San Marco Square in Venice is a heavily guarded military area defending the Doge's palace. Furthermore, the biggest monument and most active area is Santa Maria Flore and Il Duomo while that of Venice is L'Arsenale, a factory which is almost a city-inside-a-city.
  • Bad Habits: As explained by Rodrigo Borgia, the Templars are actually not interested in the Catholic faith, they only took over the Church in order to gain influence. As it turns out, old habits die hard.
  • Badass Boast: Bartolomeo regularly yells taunts and threats to enemies.
  • Badass Cape: Ezio's Assassin costume comes with one of these, and he can get up to four (including the default one) as the game progresses. Antonio has one as well, but it's much, much thinner.
  • Badass Creed: The Assassin order adopted the creed of "Nothing is true. Everything is permitted." when Altaïr took over as the order's Grand Master. While seemingly simple, the Codex reveals that many recruits could not deal with the wide-reaching implications of the creed when they finally started to realize exactly what it meant. As the first game ended with this being said in Arabic, Ezio's Bond One-Liner to Borgia has him saying this in Italian. The Arabic translation (which was Altaïr's Pre-Mortem One-Liner to Al-Mualim) is even reprised when Ezio is formally acknowledged as an Assassin.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: According to the glyph puzzles, almost every prominent historical figure, from Thomas Edison to Adolf Hitler, were far more than they seemed to be.
  • Behind the Black: During Mario's introduction, Vieri de' Pazzi is yelling "show yourself!" and looking around wildly... for a person who is apparently standing right in front of him, within a hand's (or a sword's) distance. And who is accompanied by a dozen mercenaries.
  • Benevolent Architecture: Lots and lots and lots of conveniently placed grab points.
  • Big Fancy House:
    • Villa Auditore, the mansion that Ezio uses as his base of operations for most of the game, becomes fancier over time as he earns enough money to restore the surrounding town into a thriving economy.
    • You can explore the Palazzo di Medici using the "Templar Locations" variant of the Bonfire of the Vanities DLC; it's pretty damn impressive too (though it's a little bit messy since you visit it during a Templar attack).
    • The Palazzo Ducale in Venice. It is the home of the Doge, after all. Notable in that it lacks the Benevolent Architecture that many other buildings have, making it impossible to enter. Except in Memory 5 of Sequence 8, or if you use a glitch to climb it.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Naturally. The game takes place in Italy, and though the game is mainly English throughout characters will talk some Italian from time to time. One that stands out is Ezio's uncle Mario saying "Casa, dolce casa" (quite literally home, sweet home) when you get to the Auditore Mansion. Rebecca, as the one working on the new Animus, explains that it's a minor glitch and apologizes to Desmond for the inconsistent language use. Desmond then shrugs it off, and even shows appreciation for the subtitles!
  • Bittersweet Ending: Ezio spends twenty years hunting down the conspirators and searching for answers, only to at the end be told to keep quiet while the grown-ups are talking, and he leaves with absolutely no understanding of what transpired in the Vault. Back in 2012, after Desmond and the rest receive "Minerva"'s message, Vidic gets away again after a failed attempt to kidnap Desmond.
  • Biography à Clef: Leonardo da Vinci's flying machines is shown and presented as an actual object, and his other inventions would follow suit in Brotherhood, with special explanations provided not only as to why they weren't fully functional but how it didn't end Medieval Stasis and why modern historians believe they never worked.
  • Black-and-White Morality: In comparison to the first game and later entries, Assassin's Creed II and Brotherhood, its direct sequel, has Templars who are essentially mustache twirling bad-guys who often kill with psychopathic glee (Francesco de'Pazzi) or like Borgia are crazy unfettered in their lust for power and ambition. About the only exceptions are the poor and the befuddled Dante Moro.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Ezio's hidden blade is significantly upgraded over Altaïr's. For starters, he can use it as a weapon in standard combat (i.e. it's no longer a counter-and-stealth exclusive offensive weapon); it is however one of the weakest weapons in open combat. Then he gets one on his right arm too so he can stab two guys at once. Late in the game he gets a hidden gun attachment to it, as the intro movie promises. The hidden blades are the only weapon in the game that can counter-kill an enemy regardless of his status, although it's difficult to pull of regularly because the time window for the counter-kill is the shortest of all. And, best of all, this version of the blade no longer requires you to give up a finger to equip it. According to the Codex, all of these were 'granted' to the Order by Altaïr.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: Better armor = more health. Broken armor = less maximum health.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Bartolomeo d'Alviano is a loud and enthusiastic fighter who loves using his sword, Bianca.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: Giving Ezio's mother the feathers finally enables her to come to terms with her family's death... until she gives you the Auditore cape, which makes every guard immediately aware of your presence and is annoying as hell to walk around with. On a side note, you get an achievement on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles if you wear the cape once in every city.
  • Book Ends:
    • Once Ezio's story properly starts, the first scene is a fist fight with his biggest rival. His story ends with a fist fist against his mortal enemy.
    • Desmond's story begins with him and Lucy fighting their way out of Abstergo. It ends with both of them fending off an attempt to kidnap him by Vidic.
  • Boring, but Practical: Altair's armor is the reward for seeking out all the most difficult parkour courses in the game and retrieving the seals they contain. It is rightfully extremely practical, tying the next best purchasable armor in health, being obtainable somewhat earlier, and uniquely never needing to be repaired, saving plenty of florins and trips to the blacksmith. The boring? Wearing it locks your robes into a unique but only moderately stylish black color, completely overriding any color variant the player might prefer.
  • Break the Cutie: In the beginning sections of the game, we get a glimpse into the life Ezio leads. He has a loving family, a carefree and wisecracking personality, and seems to have carved a comfortable niche for himself. All that changes when his father and brothers are accused of treason and executed, while he watches helplessly. Seeing him transform from a charming young man into a revenge-driven assassin is painful to watch, and he just barely manages to avoid becoming no different from his enemies.
  • Breakable Weapons: Some kill moves involve Ezio breaking polearms.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Subverted, at least in terms of the fourth wall between gamer and game still intact. During Minerva's exposition, she looks directly at the camera and tells Ezio to shut up so she can speak to the one controlling him. Then it turns out she's talking to Desmond. So in a sense, it's played straight with regards to the distinction between ancestor and descendant reliving said ancestor's Genetic Memory (or more succinctly, breaking the Framing Story's fourth wall).
  • Broomstick Quarterstaff: Ezio can take brooms from civilians to use as a weapon. It even makes a crunching noise whenever you hit a guard with it.
  • Bus Crash: Lorenzo de' Medici disappears after Ezio goes to Venice and dies offscreen.
  • Bystander Syndrome:
    Random NPC: Isn't that illegal? Eh, not my problem...

  • Call-Back: The 3-episode miniseries Lineage, which takes place before the events of the game, contains many plot points that are later mentioned in the game. Some of these include: the assassination of the Duke of Milan, Giovanni being an Assassin, and the Pope's approval for the destruction of the Medici family.
  • Camera Spoofing: Lisa mentions she used loop footage in order to hide Desmond's night time snooping.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Requiescat in pace." Said by Ezio as a parting sendoff to all of his targets, preceded by an Italian-language, target-specific line. There's a variant in the final boss fight where he says: "Requiescat in pace, you bastard!" Then the boss wakes up. While it's used in both the English and Italian versions, in the Japanese voice track it's translated (nemure, yasuraka ni).
    • The Templars also have "May the Father of Understanding guide us." As shown much later, it seems like the Templar counterpart to "Nothing is true and everything is permitted".
  • Character Outlives Actor: Likely the fate of Rosa, who had been a love interest for Ezio but suffered Chuck Cunningham Syndrome after that game since her actress, Lita Tresierra, was killed in a car accident shortly before production began on Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. Despite the character never appearing in the games again, the novelizations for Brotherhood and Revelations say that she eventually took over the Rosa in Fiore from Claudia and became an Italian Assassin leader.
  • Charged Attack: When bare-handed, Ezio can pick up a handful of sand and blind enemies with it. He can charge his throwing knives during a fight and toss up to three at once. Heavy Weapons can be charged to crush enemies and potentially disarm them. Spears can be charged to sweep enemies off of the ground.
  • Chick Magnet: Ezio is indeed popular with women and has as many as four love interests in this game alone (along with many admiring courtesans).
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Seems like Ezio suffers from it as he often agrees straight away to help even before he's properly asked. Sometimes it's more of a guilt trip, like when he changed his mind about fleeing with his mother and sister to Spain and instead agreed to stick around to help Mario whack the Pazzis; Mario said he was abandoning his father's legacy. On other occasions, it is clearly inherent indignation, such as when Emilio Barbarigo's guards were causing trouble.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Lady Caterina has a very naughty mouth.
  • Color Wash: The color palette is much grayer when Ezio is in the decayed city of Forlì and its surroundings, whereas the dream-like Venice is bathed in light blue and white tones.
  • Command & Conquer Economy: With enough florins saved up, you can order your Architect to renovate your village back into the thriving economy it used to be.
  • Conspicuously Selective Perception:
    • Better about it than the first game: guards are smart enough to flush Ezio out of hiding spots if he hides while just out of sight. Also, guards will recognize Ezio more as the story progresses. You can, however, lower his infamy by tearing down wanted posters, bribing heralds, or ganking corrupt officials (who apparently no one but guards will react to). There are also minstrels, who become really tiring, really quickly. Especially when they travel in packs. At least they're slightly less annoying than the first game's madmen and beggars.
    • The main role of mercenari is to provide a fighting distraction for guards so that you can assassinate them while they're distracted. If you try to assassinate from the front even a 'distracted' guard is likely to block your attempt... but then he'll just turn back to the mercenaries he was fighting, as if you were never there. If the mercenaries started fighting with the guards and you just perform one-hit kills, it doesn't count as combat (this is an important note when trying to get "no-hitter", especially with the 10-Brutes-in-60-seconds mission, as you have to initiate combat by detection or non-fatally attacking the guard yourself before letting the mercenaries take over, for subsequent kills to count).
  • Contractual Boss Immunity:
    • When you finally get to fight Rodrigo, he cannot be disarmed or One Hit Killed with the Hidden Blade's counter. He also blocks regular counter attacks, as well.
    • While escaping from the Marco Barbarigo hit in Sequence 9 Dante Moro is guarding one of the exits, and cannot be assassinated, attacked or shot (the latter only alerts him to your presence.) Wouldn't want to make Sequence 10 any easier, would we? note 
  • Cool Old Guy: You wish you had an uncle as cool as Mario Auditore. Funny, smart, and a pretty good mentor.
  • Counter-Attack: Significantly revamped, but the basic function is still present. Some timing windows have changed, and the ability to steal weapons by countering when unarmed has been added.
  • Coup de Grâce: Attacking downed enemies while armed is a One-Hit Kill.
  • Cosmic Deadline: At the end of Sequence 11, right after Ezio is officially inducted into the Assassins, the Animus somehow glitches up and corrupts Sequences 12 and 13, skipping ahead to the final Sequence 14, which takes place 11 years after Sequence 11 and has Shaun helpfully inform you that Ezio's mortal enemy is now Pope Alexander VI. The broken segments are later "repaired" as DLC: "Battle of Forlì", followed by the "Bonfire of the Vanities".
  • Contract on the Hitman: The subject of at least one of the assassination side missions is actually an ambush to kill Ezio. Appropriately, it is one of the later ones.
  • Critical Annoyance: Same as in the first game, the health meter is still a synchronisation meter but, as noted in the manual, it has been re-named to "health" by Rebecca as it seemed more interesting. Rebecca also states that wearing the Armor of Altiar boosts the "health bar" not because of how good it is but because it aids synchronization. note .
  • Cruel Mercy: At the end Ezio spares Rodrigo's life, implying that while killing him won't bring back what Ezio's lost, letting Rodrigo live might be worse, as Ezio has defeated him at his moment of triumph, proved to Rodrigo the he isn't the Prophet he thought he was, and was going to enter the Vault and take what Rodrigo spent his entire life searching for. In that context, it is pretty damn cruel to let him live. On the other hand, he totally effing deserves it. A more subtle complement to this: While Ezio was unconscious, Rodrigo had both the Staff and the Apple, but the Vault did not open for him... yet at the end, it did for Ezio.
  • Custom Uniform: It's not clear if the Thieves have a per se uniform or they're all wearing the same kind of outfit for convenience, but Rosa and Antonio clearly don't use the same garb. For Rosa it's justified since she's the only female Thief so her costume was always going to be unique.
  • Cutscene Drop: It doesn't matter if you kill your target by shooting him from afar, throwing him off a roof and/or into the instantly-fatal-to-NPCs water, or slashing him with your sword as you gallop past him on a horse, somehow Ezio always instantly ends up kneeling on the ground with the target dying in his arms. This even happens when an ally specifically tells you to shoot the target. Blame the Animus if it doesn't make sense.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Ezio can wipe the floor with Rodrigo Borgia and all of his guards in under a minute, but as soon as the cutscene where he actually gets backup starts, the target manages to knock him over and disappear in the blink of an eye.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Averted in the Attract Mode video, where the moves shown are indeed usable in gameplay.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: While the Armor of Altaïr can be unlocked as early as Sequence 9, the Battle of Forlí DLC implies that Ezio did not acquire it until right before the Bonfire of the Vanities. The Christina missions in Brotherhood confirm this.
  • Damsel in Distress: The sequence where Ezio meets Rosa in Venice follows this pattern when he has to rescue her after she is hit in the leg with an arrow. Being an Action Girl, she's able to limp away a rather considerable distance and fight, with Ezio assisting in a basic Escort Mission. Eventually she collapses and Ezio has to carry her in his arms to a gondola to escape.
  • Dashed Plot Line: Going from one major memory to the next often involves jumps of several years (the game itself spans 23 years of Ezio's life).
  • Dating Catwoman: Desmond briefly experiences one of Altaïr's memories as a result of the "bleeding effect" that shows both Altaïr and the Templar Maria having fallen in love. You can even find a portrait of Maria (in full Templar regalia) drawn by Altaïr as one of the Codex pages.
    • He also realizes that he is a descendant of that one time they did it on top of a tower in Acre, as his memories of Altaïr in that instance end at the moment of conception, and in the realization that he's experiencing Maria's memory, not Altaïr's. Or maybe even their unborn child's.
  • Dead Guy on Display: Francesco de' Pazzi's body is hung from the Palazzo della Signoria... in his underwear.
    • The real life event this part is based on turns this up to 11. After trying to have Lorenzo de Medici killed, and failing, Francesco de' Pazzi was quickly questioned, then hung from the Palazzo della Signoria - along with about a half dozen other conspirators. The following day, another 14 guards in the employ of one of the conspirators were hanged, then left there all day, before being cut down and propped up against the Palazzo wall, weapons in hand, as if they were on guard.
  • Death by Irony: One of the Courier assignments implies this. When you meet your client, he tells you that he was delivering a letter when a thief snatched it and ran off. He asks you to get it back for him, but tells you not to read it, as it is his wife's private correspondence. You go kill the thief and return the letter to get your fee. But if you sneak a peek at the letter, you'll discover that his wife is writing to her lover, instructing him on when and where to murder her husband, for whom she has nothing but contempt. He is so oblivious and devoted that he unwittingly facilitates his own (implied, eventual) assassination.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Justified in the sense that you never die, you just "desynchronize". Nonetheless, there is literally no penalty for desynching. Just that you have to restart whatever memory you may have been playing when it happened.
  • Death of a Child:
    • 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.
  • The Descendants of Cain: One glyph puzzle reveals that The Knights Templar descended from Cain, and that their symbol (the Templar Cross) was Cain's mark.
  • Determinator:
    • Ezio. Borgia stabs him in the stomach after besting him with the Papal Staff, but when Ezio gets back up to challenge him to the fistfight, there is no effect on gameplay. Oddly enough, in the DLC, when Ezio is stabbed in like fashion by a dying Checco Orsi, he goes unconscious and nearly dies.
    • Rosa: She is shot through the leg trying to climb a secure building in Venice. Rosa rolls and runs off, with Ezio following. She makes it quite far before finally collapsing.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • The Templars that run away from you in the secret locations will happily stop and wait for you to catch up if they get too far ahead.
    • The achievement "Perfect Harmony", which is unlocked by applying two specific dyes to your armor, will still unlock even if you dye the Armor of Altaïr, which won't physically change color.
  • Dies Wide Open: One of Bartolomeo's men, who had been shot with an arrow. Ezio closes his eyes and says "Requiescat in pace."
  • Difficult, but Awesome: You can kill some of your targets in unusual but satisfying ways, such as sniping Vieri di Pazzi from a distance with throwing knives.
  • Dirty Coward: The "running Templars" you encounter in some of the Assassins' Tombs and Templar Lairs, who are near-impossible to catch just to add insult to injury. Fortunately, all of them except the first (the Basilica di Santa Maria Novella, a story memory) may be replayed.
  • Disappeared Dad: You get to see Giovanni "disappear"... by hanging.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Bouchart's Blade, the sword of Armand Bouchart, Final Boss of Assassin's Creed Bloodlines, provided you have a completed save data from that game on your PS3 (or more easily get it off of Ubisoft Club if you're playing on PS4 or Xbox One). It's available as soon as you gain access to the Monterrigioni Villa and far, far outclasses any other weapon you'll have not only at the time, but well into the game itself. The only thing that really competes with it is the Schiavona (itself an Infinity -1 Sword being the most powerful weapon you can buy from merchants) and even then it's not entirely better, meaning only the Sword of Altair, the Infinity +1 Sword of the game is statistically speaking, better. With Bouchart's Blade, you basically never have to worry about buying main weapons for 75% of the game!
  • Distracted by the Sexy: You can hire Courtesans not only to act as a "mobile crowd" in which you'll blend, but also order them to distract a group of guards, allowing you to slip past them.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: For one reason or another, neither the Modern Templars nor the Modern Assassins in the ending ending scene use guns, merely batons and a Hidden Blade. No explanation in-game other than neither side wants Desmond to die so anything else is speculation.
  • Doppleganger Attack: Similar to Al Mualim, Ezio uses the Apple of Eden to create copies of himself when he fights the Pope. It works quite well and even the Pope congratulates him on this trick.
  • Double Entendre: Early in the game, Ezio's mother complains that he needs to find an outlet for self-expression, while Ezio claims he has plenty of outlets. Her response? "I meant besides vaginas."
  • Downloadable Content: Two pieces have been revealed: one named "The Battle of Forlì", the other "Bonfire of the Vanities". It was widely speculated that these two events were the missing Sequences 12 and 13, which has been confirmed by Ubisoft.
    • There are also several bonus downloadable items depending on what retailer you preordered the game from. This is also Ubisoft's first game to integrate its community-based Uplay system, which lets you gain points ("Units") redeemable towards DLC for certain Uplay-enabled games.
  • Dowry Dilemma: An inverted example. Due to her temper, Giovanni (Ezio's father) was forced to raise Claudia's dowry by 1,000 florins, since she scared off all of her suitors.
  • Dual Wielding: Ezio has two hidden blades. Most of the time, they don't operate too differently from Altaïr, but they do allow you to shank two guards at once.
  • Due to the Dead: Ezio pays his respects to all the targets he kills, except for the first two, Uberto and Vieri. The first he gives a Bond One-Liner, the second causes him to fly into an Unstoppable Rage until Mario stops him and gives the last rites.
  • Duel Boss: Vieri and Borgia.
    • Can be averted in Vieri's case by throwing knives (if you find the right position to throw them from) or by surprising him (possibly by bumping into him) (at 1:01), but with Borgia the only way to do so is a game-breaking bug (in the sense that you won't be able to complete the memory).

  • Easter Egg:
    • There's a Giant Squid in the Assassin tomb under Santa Maria della Visitazione. Here's a YouTube video showing how to see it.
    • Wait one minute on the first menu (before pressing enter to start) and a short video (the game's E3 trailer) will play where you use a gun for an assassination.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: In a Shout-Out to AC1's final battle, Ezio's learned a few tricks from that Golden Apple, too.
  • Elite Mooks: Brutes, Agiles and Seekers.
    • The Agiles have a habit of dodging most attacks that you make, but if you can force them to block they'll eventually tire, opening them up for a One-Hit Kill, and as with the beret-wearing regular guards all counter attacks are fatal to them.
    • Brutes wear heavy armor that grants them great health and wield powerful heavy weapons.
    • Seekers use spears to flush Ezio out of hiding places.
  • Enemy Civil War: Archers will attack pickpockets and Borgia Couriers if they get onto roofs near enough, even though the Couriers will try to call for the guards to help them. In "Bonfire of the Vanities" you will see guards fighting each other even though they all appear red in Eagle Vision.
  • Even the Guys Want Him:
    • Come on; listen to some of the things the rooftop thieves say about Ezio when he goes past. They're like fanboys.
    • The Mercenary who presides over the Practice Ring in Monteriggioni.
    "Such skill... Such grace..."
  • Evil Old Folks: Some of the Templars scheming for the control of Florence and Venice are past 60 (which was an advanced age back then) like Jacopo de' Pazzi, Stefano da Bagnone and Emilio Barbarigo. Rodrigo Borgia too since he is 68 when Ezio eventually confronts him at the Vatican.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Pope Alexander VI aka Rodrigo Borgia, Templar Grand Master can be considered this when he fights Ezio since he's using the Staff of Eden.
  • The Evils of Free Will: To permanently secure their domain over the world, the Templars plan to launch a satellite with a Piece of Eden onboard, which will allow them to mass hypnotize the entire planet. Even better? The date that the satellite will be launched is December 21, 2012 (the end of the Mayan Calendar); this was hinted at in emails in the first game and some of the symbols that Subject 16 drew, and it's confirmed in the second game. However, the ending hints that this particular plot may be the least of the Assassins' problems. note .
  • Exclusive Enemy Equipment: Played with regarding longswords, axes and polearms. While Ezio cannot select any of these as his carry weapon, if he sheathes his sword/dagger (or successfully disarms a Brute), he can wield those weapons and he is lethal with them. They all work properly, have full counter-kill animations and move-sets, even if they do tend to use the same move-sets for axes and two-handed swords, and spears as well as polearms (running a man through with the front of a halberd all the way up the hilt is hard, but Ezio makes it look easy). Sadly, they're only good for one disarm-instant-kill and one counter, after which Ezio just leaves the weapon embedded in his victim's body. Ezio would gain longswords in Brotherhood and axes in Revelations as carry weapons.
  • Eye Scream:
    • One of the Hidden Blade counter attacks consists of Ezio shoving both of the hidden blades into his enemy's eyes.
    • There is one where when you counter a polearm guard while using a polearm, Ezio flourish-twirls the spear right into the guard's eye.
  • Falling Damage:
    • Ezio takes damage when falling from certain levels of height, and "dies" (desynchronizes) when falling from too important heights.
    • Desmond doesn't take damage nor dies when falling, having no health bar to begin with.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Ezio's assassin outfit has several examples, though they're not at Final Fantasy levels of dramatic. One hand gloved, one bare. Half-cape over one shoulder. Once you have the piece, an armored spaulder/pauldron goes over the other. Lastly, and this can be easy to miss, Ezio's left hand hidden blade has a white-silver finish, whereas his right hand blade has a black finish.
  • Feuding Families: The Assassin versus Templar conflict during the Renaissance essentially becomes a major feud between the Auditore family and their allies (Medici, Sforza, Orsini) versus the Borgia and their allies (Pazzi, Barbarigo, Orsi). This naturally mirrors the real-life Renaissance family feuds of course, and the first section in Florence deals with the Medicci's conflict with the Pazzi.
  • Fisticuffs Boss: It ends like this. Yes, you have a fist fight with the Pope.
  • Flat "What": The first reaction to the completed "The Truth" video? "Wow." Pretty underwhelming, considering what it revealed.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: Desmond Miles was the key figure in a scheme by an advanced species that communicated a warning to him through Ezio Auditore as he inhabited the body of his ancestor via the Animus 2.0. Needless to say, this caused Desmond to exclaim "What. The. Fuck?!"
  • Fluorescent Footprints: Available using Eagle Vision, footprints can be seen of those that have passed though it only applies to assassination targets.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: In the Attract Mode video, after the second target is shot, there is a beat, then a bell sounds as he falls over dead.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Bartolomeo's database entry mentions the fact that Rodrigo Borgia becomes The Pope. This database entry is unlocked two missions before Ezio supposedly assassinates him, meaning that he's definitely going to survive the attempt.
  • Foreshadowing: Lots. In particular, plenty of the paintings Ezio can buy and display in Mario's villa foreshadow Human/Those Who Came Before couplings, and the Assassins' true nature. The Glyph puzzles make these connections more explicit.
  • Fourth Wall Psych: In the final cutscene of the game, Minerva begins her monologue talking to Ezio, but turns to stare into the camera a few sentences in. When Ezio expresses his profound confusion, she tells him that she's not talking to him and continues to talk to the camera, despite his protests that there's no one else there. It isn't until the end of the cutscene that she confirms she's addressing future Desmond and friends. And maybe the player as well.
  • Fragile Speedster: Agiles and thieves are quick but can't take too many hits.

  • Gameplay and Story Integration: There's a scene where a Brute disarms Ezio and forces him to flee. A Brute can actually disarm the player (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.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Altaïr 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.
  • 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 Altaïr's armor, 50 and 100 Feathers unlock the Condottiero 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 because of a bug in "Baby"'s translation software (Ezio, of course, did not speak any English). 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. Obviously averted in the Italian dub.
  • Groin Attack: Ezio can perform this on guards as part of a finisher if he's using a war hammer. It's... not pleasant.
  • 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 early on learn to make kills from such 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 never lets an opportunity for a sexual conquest pass him by, and he's handsome enough to usually make it happen.
  • Hammerspace Hideaway: The haystacks can apparently hold an unlimited number of corpses, their weapons, and still have room for Ezio to hide in.
  • Harmful Healing: Alluded to by the doctor's lines. An altogether likely Truth in Television for the setting's time-period.
    I've concocted a tincture of lead and pomegranate! Ideal for the liver!
    A weekly bleeding is part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle!
    I've fresh caught leeches today!
    • In fact, buying poison from doctors is justified in-universe as buying normal medicine and applying it in lethal doses.
    Leonardo: In high enough doses, that which cures... can kill.
  • 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 Altaïr. In Altaïr'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 Altaïr, 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 Badass Upgrade: Most of the HistoricalDomainCharacters. For example, while he was a genius who drew a lot of contraptions, Leonardo da Vinci was not actually capable of building working ones in real life.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Lorenzo de'Medici was a lot more ambiguous in reality. It says a lot about Renaissance Italy that he can be the good guy partly by virtue of only hiring one contract killer. One of the reasons for the in-game database may be to let players know how historically accurate that is.
  • 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. However, 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 are real people who do some of the things they really did.
  • Hit Points: Represented by Life Meters. Ezio, his enemies, and the people he escort / follows have theirs marked.
  • 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.
    • In the modern day, 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.
  • Impossible Theft: Accourding to the database entry on La Volpe, he once managed to rob the Pope's carriage — while the Pope was still inside it.
  • 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 Capture the Flag. It is played with in two ways: first, Ezio willingly enters the tournament as part of a plan 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.
  • Inconveniently Vanishing Exonerating Evidence: The Auditore family is charged with treason and arrested. Ezio, the only man in the family to not get caught in the initial sweep, quickly acquires some documents that would exonerate them, but unfortunately, the court official he delivers them to is part of the conspiracy that framed his family, so the evidence disappears before the trial and Ezio's father and brothers are all hung.
  • 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.
  • Infinity +1 Sword:
    • The Sword of Altaïr, 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 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.
    • Altaïr's armor is also the best in AC2, with only the Missaglias Vambraces having any advantage (3 Health to the Vambraces of Altaïr'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, 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: Ezio can't go for more than ten minutes without coming face-to-face with some important historical figure, usually because they are his targets.
  • 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.
  • Invulnerable Attack: The guards cannot damage Ezio during his counter-kill animations.
Italian-American Caricature: Invoked as a joke by Desmond Miles, who has been relieving the events of the game through his Italian ancestor, thanks to technology from an ancient civilization.
Desmond: [in an extremely stereotypical Italian-American accent] Eyyy, whassa-matta-you, Altair?
  • 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 caffé. 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.
  • Jury and Witness Tampering: It's implied that the reason why Giovanni Auditore was framed for treason and sentenced to death by a rapidly held Kangaroo Court was because he was the key witness in a similar case against Francesco Di'Pazzi, a key figure in the Templar plot to seize control of Florence. With him dead, the case against the Pazzis fell apart, leaving them free to make their attempt to murder Lorenzo.
  • 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 a 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 the hidden blade shows us how we can use it to perform an assassination mission.
    • It's also justified by the in-universe circumstances: the only reason the Assassins are having Desmond relive Ezio's life is so that Desmond can acquire Ezio's training. In a sense, the whole game is a tutorial for Desmond.

  • Kangaroo Court: The Auditore family's "trial". The accuser, the prosecutor and the judge are the same person, who holds court on the gallows with the defendants already in nooses. They're found guilty and executed in under a minute.
  • 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: While guards will not act in this manner, Ezio sure can, either with literal kicks or sharp weapons.
  • Knight Templar: The literal Templar Knight organization from the previous game has evolved into covert organization of politicians, nobles, merchants and clerics. They believe that becoming shadow overlords of the world will ensure peace and stability, although most of them are just power hungry or evil.
  • 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".
  • 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 Altaïr'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).
  • 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.
  • Life Meter: Multiple, made of diamonds stacked or side-by-side.
    • Ezio has one at the top left of the Heads-Up Display.
    • Enemies have them above their heads, and stack upwards.
    • People that Ezio follow or escort have blue ones, located at the left side below their names.
  • Lighter and Softer: Instead of Altaïr, the grim and 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 Altaïr, 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: 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 is 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.
  • Lousy Lovers Are Losers: In "A Warm Welcome", one of the many faults Caterina Sforza allots to her dead husband is that he was a boring lover whom she never liked.
  • Lovable Rogue: Ezio spends his days with street fights, roofhoping, and flirting and is also a friendly and chivalric kind of guy.

  • Manipulative Bastard: Rodrigo Borgia is the head Templar here so he is highly skilled in manipulating others. It is implied that he is the one who tempted Alberti into turning on his dearest friend.
  • 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 noted 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.
  • Mêlée à 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: 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. However, this is a case of Unstable Equilibrium; If he keeps up that behavior, he'll spend the rest of the game — and the next two decades of his life — in Perpetual Poverty, without enough cash]] to keep up his stocks of ammo and medicine, let alone repairing his armor or the increasingly expensive equipment upgrades. Invest in turning that slum into something respectable, and he'll earn money at an increasing rate, enabling him to keep all his stocks at max and purchase new gear the instant it becomes available. By the endgame, his coffers will usually have over 100,000 florins - when heals cost 50 florins. Compared to the pitiful loot he finds in the Inexplicable Treasure Chests and pickpocketing, proper villa management will make him stinking rich before even the halfway point of the game, without even bothering with the many side missions.
  • More than Mind Control: Most of Savonarola's lieutenants were not under total Apple of Eden domination, but rather a mix of it and Savonarola's charisma.
  • 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 the 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 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.

  • Munchkin: 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 injectable poison, armor made of a very light and strong metal that humans wouldn't have invented on their 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.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Some of Savonarola's lieutenants are horrified over what they have done when Ezio gets to them. This is 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. note 
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: After killing Vieri, Ezio continues to insult the dead man until his uncle stops him, telling him he should not be like Vieri and closes his eyes in respect. Following this, Ezio would give his targets last rights after assassinating them.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • A minor one but the trailers show Ezio in his starting outfit during the execution of his father and brothers and is cut to suggest that he then claims his Assassin robes afterwards, in fact he claims the robes after their arrest and is wearing them at the execution.
    • One trailer shows parts of the cutscene in which Leonardo first restores the Hidden Blade however it is cut to imply Ezio will have to lose a finger, as the Assassins did in the first game. In truth, the blade was modifed to avert the need for this sacrifice and Leonardo's reference to the sacrifice was a simple prank on Ezio.
  • 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 Altaïr 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. Altaïr 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.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Averted by 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" Remark: 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.
  • Not Worth Killing: Ezio eventually decides this about Rodrigo Borgia. Instead, he leaves him defeated, humiliated and disillusioned.

  • Odd Reaction Out: When Ezio accidentally activates an Apple of Eden for the first time, everyone present (including the protagonist Ezio himself, the top Italian assassin Mario Auditore, and even Niccolò Machiavelli) is immediately overwhelmed by the terabytes of Precursor data being streamed directly into their brain and recoils in pain. Meanwhile, Leonardo just stands there with a fascinated grin on his face, going "Hmm, interesting".
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Part of Caterina's outfit includes a corset. She's 15th century noblewoman, after all.
  • 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: Altaïr's Armor and Sword. Altaïr'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. Since he had help from the Apple of Eden, it is justified that no other smith has surpassed his work since then.
  • 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-Steve Limit: Also averted with the Biancas, kinda. During the first few sequences of the game a Bianca is mentioned but never seen, then there Bartolomeo's Bianca and later, in Battle of Forlì, there's Caterina's daughter Bianca. Also with Maria Thorpe and Maria Auditore.
  • Only Smart People May Pass: Subject 16's "The Truth" puzzles, especially the last few, are encrypted so that only those intelligent enough to solve the puzzles can pass.
  • Painting the Medium: In a conversation with Rebecca, Desmond thanks her for the implementation of subtitles.
  • 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.
  • 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. "I could not do that....not so well at least".
  • 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: Unlike Brotherhood and Revelations, it's impossible to replay memories on the same profile. If the player wants to, say, beat the shit out of the Pope with his fists again, he'll have to start the game all over again.
    • 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.
  • Politically Correct History: Patrice Desilets mentioned that he wanted to make Leonardo da Vinci's homosexuality explicit and mention the fact that the real-life Leonardo faced charges for sodomy in Florence, but the producers insisted they remove it. While Leonardo's homosexuality is hinted at in the vanilla game of both Assassin's Creed II and Brotherhood, only the optional DLC for Brotherhood features a direct acknowledgement.
  • Plot Lock:
    • Throwing knives and the pistol are disabled during the catacomb chase sequences.
    • You 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. When the guards come in with weapons, this gets turned off.
  • 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.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: In Real Life, Giuliano de' Medici was assassinated inside the Cathedral. In the game, for the sake of the game's style and the fact that the inside of the church doubles as an Assassin's Tomb, the murder takes place outdoors.
  • 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 Not Die:
    • 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. Such as taking off a young lady's dress; "Free Hand" indeed.
    • The game's action ends with Press X To Strangle The Pope.
  • 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.
  • Prolonged Video Game Sequel: Assassin's Creed 2 added Sidequests, dungeons, equipment, factions and had a longer story than its predecessor. The world was also bigger.
  • 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!:

  • Random Encounters: Pickpockets and Borgia couriers will randomly appear near Ezio. 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.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: When including AC II 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: Ezio can make the horses he rides rear.
  • Red Herring: Forlì 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.
  • Refusal of the Call:
  • Regenerating Health: Ezio can only regenerate his last health square. Luckily, the player can buy medicine from doctors around Italy.
  • Renovating the Player Headquarters: Villa Monteriggioni serves as this for Ezio, providing a safe haven after his family is ousted from Firenze. Quite a bit of the game is spent acquiring artwork, trophies, and decorations, as well rebuilding the town's infrastructure and shops. This is Ezio's best source of new weapons, clothing, and upgrades, as well as consumable items at a reduced price.
  • The Reveal: The Animus from the last game? It's not the only one. Abstergo's got a whole floor full of the damn things.
  • Ridiculously Fast Construction: As soon as you buy the property in Monteriggioni, it's instantly upgraded by the time you walk out the door. It's implied to be a shortcut taken by the Animus.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Ezio executes his first target in a loud and angry fury. 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 Altaïr costume, the second hidden blade is there without even being visible at all.

  • Saved by Canon: The oddest example in history, given that "canon" in this case means Real Life, but given how strictly the game tries to follow real world European history, Rodrigo Borgia isn't going to die until after he becomes Pope Alexander IV, meaning that during the mission where you're directed to assassinate him it's obvious from the beginning that Failure Is the Only Option.
  • 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 Passetto di Borgo and Sistine Chapel.
  • Scenery Porn: The view of Italian Renaissance cities from viewpoints is to die for. Venice and the Tuscan countryside in particular are stunning.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!:
    • After Ezio saves him from the Pazzi Conspiracy, Lorenzo de' Medici gives him a cape that marks him as a friend of the Medici family. While wearing it, guards in Florence and neighbor Tuscany cities will turn a blind eye to most acts that don't involve murder, represented in-game as your notoriety not increasing.
    • Ezio also receives a cape with similar effects in Venice after his actions allowed a friend of the Assassins to become the new doge. That cape also works in Forlì.
  • 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 Altaïr, according to one of the Codex pages that include the fate of his first love and a lovely picture of Maria herself.
  • Secretly Earmarked for Greatness: In one of the game's later memory sequences, after defeating Rodrigo Borgia in Venice and claiming a Piece of Eden, Ezio Auditore da Firenze learns that almost all of the various allies he's encountered over the course of the game - including his uncle Mario - are secretly members of the Brotherhood of Assassins and they've all been guiding Ezio over the last decade until they've decided he's finally ready to be initiated into their order.
  • 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 Altaïr's memories as a result of the "bleeding effect", it shows Altaïr 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, Altaïr 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 Altaïr 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 Altaïr'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 performed is blowing out a candle.
  • Shady Lady of the Night: Sister Teodora and her "congregation", a local brothel who pays lip service to the Church's rule over Florence and serve as allies and a spy network for the Assassins.
  • 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! Enter the Fist 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 Forlì 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 landmarks in each city are also well researched and are practically identical to their real-life counterparts, the changes that occurred afterward are sometimes noted (the best example is the Sistine Chapel's ceiling: it doesn't have any painting, because Ezio gets there in 1499. Michelangelo started working on it in 1508).
    • 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's database is scant on information. What is there is mostly legend.
  • Sigil Spam: Not only is the Assassin's logo prominently displayed on Ezio's belt and bracers and bullets 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.
  • Sinister Minister: Savonarola is a monk who uses the Apple of Eden to take over Florence and enforce his idea of a proper and pious life. This leads to much conflict, destruction and death.
  • 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:
    • 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.
    • It turns out the leaders of the mercenaries, courtesans and thieves that Ezio met over the years are Assassins as well, having teaching him the necessary skills to become one and observing him all this years.
  • Stock Sound Effects: The sound of Ezio's armor being completely broken and needing repair is the same as Altaïr's Falling Damage sound from the first game.
  • 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.
    • 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 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.
  • Success as Revenge: Ezio Auditore beats the ever loving stuffing out of Rodrigo Borgia, the man responsible for the murders of Ezio's father and brothers, in a final fistfight beneath the Vatican. Content to leave Rodrigo to wallow in his humiliating defeat, Ezio lets him live and attempts to retire. Defied in the Immediate Sequel Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood when Rodrigo's son Cesare destroys Ezio's home on the first "official" day of his retirement, putting himself and Rodrigo at the top of Ezio's hit list.
  • Suit Up of Destiny: Ezio continues his father's legacy when he puts on his Assassin's robes for the first time in 1476, right before the execution of his father and brothers.
  • 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.
  • Supermodel Strut: The courtesans have a definite swagger as they saunter about town.
  • Surprisingly Easy Mini-Quest: When Desmond relives Altaïr'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.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: The Hidden Blade is required for Ezio to avenge his father and the first step in embracing his heritage so he can release Italy from Templar control.
  • 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.
    • A (perhaps unintentional) example: Leonardo's explanation for being able to buy poison from a doctor makes sense on its own, but if you know anything about 15th-century medicine...
    • In the database entry on Carnival Performers, it describes the general festivities before describing some of the more extreme festivities. This leads Shaun to conclude that Carnival was an important step on the path to Reality TV.
  • Taking You with Me: Checco Orsi tries to do this by stabbing Ezio post-assignation.
  • Talk to the Fist: Ezio punches 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 Tape Knew You Would Say That: Minerva knows what someone would say, after her death. The hologram knew what Desmond's name would be, and that he would be watching through a distant ancestor's memories.
  • Thieves' Guild:
    • Ezio has the option of renovating the guild in Monteriggoni to increase the value of the villa. Sure enough, he can then see thieves walking around. Since thieves explicitly worked for his father, it's implied they do the same for Mario.
    • There is one in Venice. Its leader Antonio is an Assassin.
  • 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? Work through your grief and anger by murdering everyone responsible.
  • 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: Paola, leader of the Florentine Courtesans, provides shelter to Ezio, Maria, and Claudia near the beginning of the game.
  • Timed Mission:
    • The races and courier missions are all timed. The former is obviously beating someone else's record and the latter are urgent deliveries for one reason or another.
    • Tailing missions in both the main story and the assassination contracts all require Ezio to keep his target within his sight or a timer will start until Ezio losses track of them. This timer doesn't show up if he has Eagle Vision activated; in that case, the target leaves a trail for him to follow.
    • Some assassination contracts have the requirement "kill X targets within y time limit" with the reasoning that the targets are about to make their move or before they can call for reinforcements. The timer doesn't start until one of the targets dies or Ezio is detected.
    • Some Assassins' Tombs (like the one in San Marco) have timed freerunning segments, where Ezio triggers a clockwork mechanism and has to cross a gate before it closes or pull a lever before it retracts.
  • Time Skip: As mentioned, the game leaps several years over the course of the story — Ezio is 40 by the endgame. 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 assists Lucy in fighting despite the fact he (by his own admission) 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.
  • 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 Altaïr's first love Adha, and he went on a psychotic rampage killing the Templars responsible.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Ezio spends decades unknowningly guided by someone else to fulfill their own agenda, though in this case the plan 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. It has many features that the previous lacked and enables him to gain many more abilities.
  • 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, all guards are very easily killable, so it makes little sense to run from them anyway in pure gameplay terms. 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. The only exception is that some missions require you to remain undetected at the risk of desynchronization.
  • 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 direct Ezio to 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 Ezio's 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.
    • One of the finishers when Ezio is using a war hammer is to slam the hammer right into a guard's crotch before smashing their head into the ground. It's as brutal and uncomfortable as that sounds.
    • 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, Niccolò 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.
  • Villain Pedigree: At the start of the game, the main enemy Mooks Ezio faces are regular thugs who work for the Pazzi family. They are unarmed and only fight with their fists; they only exist at all to provide an element of combat to Sequence One, which is mostly a tutorial level and takes place before Ezio gets his blades. After sequence one ends and the story really takes off, they disappear completely and the city guards take their place for the rest of the game.
  • Vocal Evolution: Ezio's voice is noticeably higher-pitched during his younger days. As the years go by, it deepens into a baritone.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Shaun and Rebecca fill in this role by providing Desmond with information about his ancestor's surroundings and the people he interacts with as well as modifying the map to help him navigate. 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. It 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 involving horse-back riding. How a horse came to get on top of Rome's outer walls is probably best left unanswered.
  • Warrior Poet: Altaïr becomes one of these while writing his Codex. In it he is quite philosophical about the Assassin life style, the nature of humankind, and there's also a drawing of Maria Thrope, who has become his Second Love.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: After Ezio assassinate Vieri, he acquires a letter where Vieri is diagnosed as seeking his father's approval through his street fights with the Auditore. 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), Shaun 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 and conspirators throughout the game....only to let the Spaniard go at the very end. This is because he decided that not killing him was a crueler punishment.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Blacksmiths provide simple equipment. Leonardo provides the advanced stuff.
  • Where's My Gun?: Bartolomeo practically tears his house apart to find.... his Claymore "Bianca". All the while Ezio was busy cutting down their enemies just outside.
  • White Mask of Doom: The Doctors wear a white mask with a long beak. It is an anti-plague mask so the doom is appropriate.
  • 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/wives.
  • Worst Aid: Ezio's poison is justified as medicine applied in lethal doses, which is why you can buy it from doctors.
  • 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 him in fighting Rodrigo.
  • You Are Too Late: Despite all Ezio does to reach the Dodge in time, he arrives just in time to watch him die from poison.
  • You Cannot Kill An Idea: Altaïr'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.
    Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad 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 – 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 stabbed several times by his allies for botching an operation.
  • 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. In the end Ezio spares the life of Rodrigo Borgia, the man ultimately responsible for the conspiracy because he decided on Cruel Mercy instead..
  • 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.

Alternative Title(s): Assassins Creed 2


Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is set directly after Assassin's Creed II.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

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