Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Assassin's Creed III

Go To
"In the name of liberty, I will fight the enemy — regardless of their allegiance."

"I realise now that it will take time. That the road is long and shrouded in darkness. It is a road that will not always take me where I wish to go. But I will travel down it, nonetheless."
Ratonhnhaké:ton (Connor Kenway)

Assassin's Creed III is the fifth main entry and the third numbered entry in the Assassin's Creed series. The game skips a few hundred years and takes us to The American Revolution by way of the French and Indian War as a half-English/half-Native American Assassin named Ratohnhaké:ton, a.k.a. Connor Kenway, and was released on October 30, 2012 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 (Xbox One via backward compatibility), Wii U and PC in conjunction with a PS Vita exclusive, Assassin's Creed III: Liberation (which later became available on PSN and XBLA in early 2014).

Born to a Native American woman and a British man, Connor spends his early years in a Mohawk village on the American frontier. His village is soon attacked and burnt down. Believing the Templars responsible, he becomes an Assassin and joins the fight against them, only to be caught up in the Revolution. He fights alongside historical figures such as George Washington while using the cover of the war to seek out his targets. Meanwhile, in 2012, Desmond Miles and the modern Assassins plumb Connor's memories for clues to unlocking the Grand Temple, which offers the last hope of saving the world from impending destruction.

Assassin's Creed III brings an overhaul to the franchise, including a completely new graphics and gameplay engine that allows for fluid free-running through natural environments. Weather plays a significant role, as the game takes place over all four seasons, with strong emphasis on the harsh winter environments of upstate New York. In addition, the game features a naval combat system wherein Connor can take command of a ship and engage British and pirate vessels on the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

The multiplayer section of the game has also evolved, moving from the internal training of Templar agents in Abstergo facilities via the Bleeding Effect to being an actual product of Abstergo Entertainment, aimed at the mass market and "based on real memories of real history". Our old friend Erudito is back, however, hacking the program as the players play it, and revealing that everything the "game" shows is twisted to fit the Templar purposes.

Ubisoft released a DLC for Assassin's Creed III titled The Tyranny of King Washington, spread over three parts. It follows Connor as he wakes up in an Alternate History where George Washington found an Apple of Eden, went crazy, and took control of the United States, declaring himself king. Tropes for it go at the bottom of the page.

There is also a tie-in novel called Assassin's Creed : Forsaken, which isn't focused on Connor, but instead his father Haytham.

For official trailers, gameplay, and promotional videos, go here.

Followed up by 2013's Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, which vastly expanded upon the naval combat system introduced in AC III, and with a new historical player character (Edward Kenway, Connor's grandfather). Subsequently in 2014, there was the Interquel Assassin's Creed Rogue, which revisits the Prolonged Prologue set in the Seven Years' War as well as subplots and characters such as Haytham and Achilles.

The Remastered Edition of this game, its DLC and Liberation were included in the Assassin's Creed: Odyssey Season Pass, as well as seeing a standalone launch on Steam and Uplay in 2019.

This page assumes that you have played the first four games of the franchise. All spoilers for those four works will be unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

This game contains examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    A - H 

  • 11th-Hour Superpower:
    • In the Abstergo mission, Desmond steals Daniel Cross' silenced handgun, which can one-shot the guards. Never before has a simple semi-automatic pistol felt so empowering.
    • In the final part of Desmond's assault on Abstergo, he's able to use the Apple to get guards to kill themselves.
  • 20 Bear Asses: There aren't any in the main game, but a good chunk of blatant ones exist as sidequests where you go around collecting pages of Ben Franklin's almanac, bird feathers in the frontier, letters, and animal pelts to present to random NPCs who often don't say anything more than "You have my everlasting gratitude, sir!" and nothing else. Even without the subquests, collecting bear asses (And deer antlers, and fox tails, and...) is an easy way to earn money.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The game takes this trope to its logical extreme: Desmond's storyline starts on October 31st 2012, one day after the game's initial release on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in North America, and the same day it was released in Europe. Later games simply had them be set around the time of release.
  • Abusive Parents:
    • William used to beat Desmond as a child. Nominally part of his Training from Hell, it left Desmond hating his dad but also desperately seeking his approval. William admits later that he "wasn't always the best father", which is quite an understatement.
    • Haytham to Connor as well. Though justified, since they’re both on opposite sides and Haytham not feigning in affection. He didn’t even hesitate to kill Connor!
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: The game is mostly historically accurate (see Shown Their Work below) but there are some deviations from history because of the limitations of video games.
    • History tells us that the American rebel forces had a notoriously hard time getting matching and functional uniforms for themselves. However, since it is not very easy and not very fun to attempt to ID which badly-dressed NPCs in a sea of them are going to be hostile to the player without help, every squad of Patriots is identically, immaculately dressed.
    • Similarly, the ladies attending the London Royal Opera House scene at the very beginning of the game are the exact same character models used for the colonial townswomen in America. They should be dressed in the incredibly opulent fashions of the Georgian era (high, powdered wigs, highly embellished ballgowns etc), but it's likely the developers wanted to avoid having to design a distinct set of complicated female models for just one scene.
    • As mentioned under Global Currency, the game has simplified the reality of the colonial monetary system into pounds. In-universe example as well, as Shaun tells Desmond he programmed the Animus this way to make it easier for him.
    • Real naval battles had hours of maneuver followed by an hour or so of intense combat, when they came to combat at all. Commanders were damned proud if their sailors could manage three or four minutes between broadsides, and they were difficult to aim at the best of times. In short, view the naval battles as a compression of events, if that helps you accept the Aquila spinning on a dime.
  • Action Commands: They reappear in the series for the first time since Assassin's Creed II. Notably, you can't actually fail them unless Connor's health bar is showing up.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: With the crafting system, prices go up with each craft in one session. This is aimed to stop you from crafting enough to start drowning in money in one sitting, but this tends to result in nails, apple pies and wooden barrels somehow costing hundreds of pounds to create.
  • Adjective Animal Alehouse: The Green Dragon Tavern in Boston.
  • After-Combat Recovery: The primary method of recovering from damage, as health regenerates much more rapidly when outside of combat.
  • Agent Provocateur: Connor can do this with crowds, turning scattered groups into one angry mob.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: A somber aftermath is surprisingly prevalent in the majority of assassinations. Heck, the Big Bad even gets a funeral with mourning fellow Templars. After his first big kill, Connor says he just feels regret and Achilles says "Hold fast to that."
  • All There in the Manual: If you only played the main series of games and didn't read all the expository information plus engage in all the dialogues, you will likely have no idea who Daniel Cross is or why he's so messed up in the head.
  • Alternate Timeline: Due to the game wanting to be released before a certain date, it clearly invokes this.
  • Always with You: What Ziio says to Connor as she dies: "You will think yourself alone, but know that I will be at your side. Always and forever."
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: The first three sequences are played as Haytham Kenway, Connor's father.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: For completing certain challenges you'll get different outfits to dress Connor up in:
  • An Entrepreneur Is You: Connor can sell animal pelts and other parts in the various stores in the game, and he takes ownership of the dilapidated manor his mentor Achilles owns. Setting up trade routes and sending off caravans with goods — each with risk/reward ratios, even! — is a big part of it as well.
  • Animal Motifs: The trademark Assassin eagle shows up again, but the game also makes use of wolves to match Connor's predator theme and Meaningful Name. Additionally, Connor's Assassin robe has a bald eagle reflecting his indigenous and American roots since the species is very much native to North America and serves as a national symbol for the United States.
  • Annoying Arrows: If your arrows fail to kill an enemy, they'll continue to attack Connor unhindered. If Connor stays undetected, they'll ignore the arrow and return to their normal routes after a quick search.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The remaster made inventories less of a hassle, as now all of Connor's weapons can be accessed through the weapon wheel at all times, and the Manor's basement now has a wardrobe that allows the player to access the default robe reskins without having to buy them again.
    • The remaster also made the weapon wheel transparent, so opening it no longer brings up a screen that covers everything.
    • While you still need to synchronize with viewpoints, the map immediately around you is now exposed as you walk through the open world, in comparison to, say Assassin's Creed II, where the map remains greyed out until you synchronize.
  • Apathetic Citizens: In the Brazil mission, citizens don't let things like gunfire coming from a VIP box, a hooded criminal fighting security officers, or bloodstained corpses distract them from their routine of walking in circles and idly chatting up their buddies. But Heaven forbid you run instead of walk.
  • Apocalypse How: At the end of the game, Desmond sacrifices himself to keep humanity from being nearly wiped out, but releases Juno in the process. There are still worldwide disasters that, while not wiping out humanity, still cause a lot of trouble down the line.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Haytham is not merely a Templar, but the Grand Master of their Colonial branch.
  • Arc Villain: Edward Braddock for the prologue portion featuring Haytham, then William Johnson for the Boston Tea Party, John Pitcairn for Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill, Thomas Hickey for New York, and Benjamin Church for the missing supplies arc; Haytham is the Big Bad while Charles Lee is The Dragon. Nicholas Biddle serves as the Arc Villain for the naval missions.
  • Arc Words: A brief exchange between James Barrett and Connor after the Battle of Lexington and Concord sums up the grim mood of the game.
    Barrett: We did the best we can with what we've got.
    Connor: It is not enough.
    Barrett: It never is.
  • Armed Blag: Convoys filled with money and special items occasionally spawn in different parts of the frontier and Connor is able to steal from them after killing every guard. It´s also implied the player is on the receiving end of this as sending a land/naval convoys with products to a city or the frontier will usually present a percentage of failure.
  • The Artifact: Cleverly subverted. Due to the remaster's larger amount of outfits, the Davenport manor basement now has a wardrobe that opens a list of all the outfits when used. However, the old outfit wall is still used to display the outfits of the franchise's other playable assassins once you obtain them.
  • Artificial Atmospheric Actions:
    • Citizens in the cities and the Frontier settlements are programmed with a wide variety of activities and conversations to help the game feel more alive.
    • Animals have routines that they perform, and you may see elk antler-wrestling or a pack of wolves bringing down prey. One achievement involves witnessing an animal attacking a human.
    • An entire sidequest is devoted to examining the actions of your Homestead residents. You have to follow everyone in every profession and focus your crosshairs on them when they are cleaning animals they've killed, repairing wooden structures, making ales, and so on.
  • Artificial Brilliance: Since almost all of your enemies now wield bayoneted muskets, whenever they have a loaded shot, they will usually maintain distance from you while lining up a shot. However, they never think to avoid shooting their fellow comrades once Connor uses one of them as a human shield. Also, the importance of using different fighting tactics on different enemies is more prominently enforced in this game, particularly through the Boston Brawlers sidequests.
  • Artistic License – History: See the franchise's page.
  • Artistic License – Ships: The game has Connor take command (and helm) of the Aquila, a Revolution-era frigate, despite never setting foot on a ship before. The experienced former captain of the ship becomes your Number Two and just gives out advice. The Aquila is extremely maneuverable for a frigate, and the cannons reload way too fast. Also, you can go from "no sail" to "full sail" in two seconds, with the ship immediately accelerating to that speed. There are no consequences to having all sails unfurled when sailing into the wind. This can be explained away as being a heavily abstracted and condensed reconstruction of Connor's memories by the Animus 3.0 (which is supposed to be the most realistic Animus yet).
  • As Long as There Is Evil: Haytham Kenway of the American Templars spells out why his order keeps coming back no matter how many times it gets decimated by Assassins: they need no creed, no ancient instructions, they merely need the world to be as it is.
  • Assimilation Plot: Back in Assassin's Creed, the Knights Templar went to launch satellites into the Earth's skies containing alien technology plundered from the Mayans and Japanese humanoid alien precursors to use their religious brainwashing power to cause everyone to think exactly alike. By the time of this game, this plan was quietly terminated after Desmond killed Dr. Warren Vidic, the supposed brains in the operation.
  • Athens and Sparta: Colonial Boston with Colonial New York during The American Revolution. In a shocking reversal from the modern era, the former is bigger, richer, and a much more lively area of activity while New York (as it was during the Revolution) is occupied by the British and filled with Loyalist sympathies, so it has a heavier military presence, a much tinier map and more or less a little bland and colorless.
  • At the Opera Tonight: The game sets its first mission in a revival performance of The Beggar's Opera in the 1750s.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: In naval combat, if you deal enough damage to the bow of a frigate-sized or larger ship, you may expose the ship's powder magazine. Shooting this with the swivel guns results in an instant kill. Some optional objectives (for full sync) require you to do this to a certain number of enemy ships, which can be an exercise in frustration as it is all too easy to accidentally sink them before exposing the magazine.
  • At the Opera Tonight: Sequence 1 opens with Haytham attending The Beggar's Opera in London.
  • Automaton Horses: Horses can get shot by a musket volley, lay down on the ground for three seconds, and then get back up and ride normally as if nothing happened. The only time when a horse actually dies in the game is in a cutscene.
  • Awkward Father-Son Bonding Activity:
    • Nothing quite like a traitorous Enemy Mine to help Connor and Haytham develop a connection. Granted, they still push each other at every turn, but there are moments where it's clear that Haytham is at least trying to bond with him, when he tries to tone down his snarky tendencies.
    • Desmond and William use their enforced proximity to haltingly resume a relationship that was already in bad shape when Desmond ran away from the Assassins' enclave as a teenager.
  • Back from the Brink: The American Brotherhood of Assassins, implied to have been plentiful and prosperous, is now reduced to a grumpy old black man in a run-down house on the Frontier, an old sailor drinking his sorrows away, and a second HQ run by a former slave in the Bayou swamps by the time Connor comes along.  How prosperous the Homestead becomes is up to the player, but according to the game's version of history Connor was able to restore the American Brotherhood to its former glory.  He must have been a busy boy.
  • Backstory Horror: Invoked in the multiplayer mode, which is marketed as a This Is Reality version of the Animus Database that allows people to relive the past. As the player levels up, they unlock cheesy, happy-go-lucky meta-commercials promoting it; completing difficult challenges, however, unlocks hacked versions, which contain "Erudito" pointing out true motives, hired actors, careful marketing and blatant lies to hide the truths about it.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Connor and Haytham fight together in several battles after they temporarily join forces.
  • Badass Boast:
    • From a five-year-old Connor after Lee threatens to destroy his village:
      Connor: Tell me your name.
      Charles Lee: Charles Lee. Why do you want to know?
      Connor: So I can... find you.
    • Connor, now 20, puts on a brave face when Thomas Hickey has him sent to the gallows on false charges of attempting to assassinate George Washington:
      Connor: I will not die today. The same cannot be said for you.
    • Haytham delivers one to a drunk soldier who tries to challenge him to a fight:
      Soldier: Oi! Whata' you doing!?
      Haytham: Well... I, uh, I was leaving.
      Soldier: Oh? And now?
      Haytham: [steps away from the door] Well, now... I'm going to feed you your teeth.
    • Done by Charles Lee in the finale. Needless to say, threatening to kill everything a One-Man Army loves isn't the best idea.
  • Badass Longcoat: Connor wears one of these. Unlike Altaïr and Ezio, his white outfit camouflages him believably with the winter environments. It's also based on British and Colonial uniforms of the time, making it possible to mistake him for a light infantry soldier.
  • Badass Native: Connor, the (second) playable ancestor.
  • Bar Brawl: During Segment 3, Haytham gets into a bar brawl with some Redcoats when they accost him.
  • Bayonet Ya:
    • All muskets have fixed bayonets. Connor can scoop one up at will and run it through an unlucky enemy. If the musket's loaded, he can also shoot a second target with it at the same time. There's a special Achievement/Trophy for doing this.
    • Muskets are also a powerful weapon in melee combat, being able to counter nearly any attack. Truth in Television, that, because each one was three feet long and heavy as hell and intended to be used as a melee weapon at need. There were whole manuals dedicated to it; it was a martial art in the most literal sense.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Wilderness encounters may include bears, which Connor can fight (and collect their pelts to trade) or bait into attacking enemy patrols.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Part of what makes the Colonial Templars' Grand Master such a deadly foe is that he's received the same training as Connor. In fact, this could be said to work both ways, as the Templars have no qualms about adopting Assassin tactics if it aids them in achieving their goals.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Vidic asks Desmond for the Apple. Desmond obliges.
  • Because I Said So: Said by Haytham to Connor at one point, when Connor asks why he should be the one chasing a soldier down, continuing the theme of Connor being treated like a petulant child.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Like Ezio before him, Connor does this. He works with George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, and is an Arch-Enemy of Charles Lee, for starters.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Par the course for this series. Most Founding Fathers were allied with the Assassins and Charles Lee was a Templar trying to sabotage the Revolution. Contrary to what you may expect, however, the Freemasons didn't have any grandiose secrets or extensive history.
  • Best Served Cold: Connor's main story arc begins when Charles Lee burns his village, killing his mother in the process. The arc ends some twenty years later, when his vengeance finally comes to fruition.
  • Big Applesauce:
    • Connor visits New York after the fire of 1776.
    • Desmond visits the Big Apple for a story mission. After almost falling off a tall building, Shaun tells him to hold position because of the view of the city's night skyline. Desmond is rather annoyed by this. Amusingly, data from Desmond's phone — which you can find through hacking computers in the sequel — includes a picture he took of himself with that same view as the background.
  • Big Bad: Much like in Revelations, there is a Big Bad. Only this time, we get a Big Bad Duumvirate in the form of Haytham Kenway and Charles Lee for the American Revolution portions of the storyline followed by Vidic and Greater-Scope Villain Juno, in 2012.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: One of the sidequests has the player investigating the legends of the sasquatch. As it turns out, the sasquatch is simply an Irish hermit wearing pajamas with a mild case of kleptomania.
  • Big Good: George Washington is the leader of the American Patriots and an ally to the game's protagonist Connor Kenway. It's somewhat subverted since he is actually the man responsible for the raid on Connor's home village after the Seven Years' War and not Charles Lee as the latter previously presumed. That said, Washington is still very much a good guy despite his shortcomings.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the present, the Apocalypse has been prevented but Desmond is dead and Juno has been unleashed upon the world. In the past, Connor has successfully slain all the major Templars in the Colonies and the British have left, but Achilles dies soon after, Connor's people have been forced out by the new government, the "spirit" is finished with him and his people, and there is still oppression in the land.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: Both major factions (Assassins and Templars, and by proxy the American leaders and the British colony) as shades of Grey compared to Juno, who straight up loathes humans and wants to conquer them.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: A variation standing out from previous games' protagonists. Haytham and Connor continue to wield two hidden blades, but the left blade (the one traditionally used for assassinations) has been modified so that it can be pivoted off the mechanism to be used as a clip point knife.
  • Blade on a Rope: This installment introduces Conner's rope spear, a vicious little gadget he can use to yank unsuspecting opponents towards him. Even nastier is that, while up in a tree, he can use the rope spear to yank a victim up into the tree, effectively removing them as a combatant. Note that it will not work on the larger heshian soldiers.
  • Blunt "Yes":
    • William Johnson and Haytham both give one.
    • Desmond also gives one to his father William Miles near the end of the game when he rescues his father from Abstergo and kills Warren Vidic and Daniel Cross in the process.
      William: You put everything on the line for me?
      Desmond: Yeah.
  • Boarding Party: Happens in a couple of naval battles, usually when someone on an enemy ship needs to be interrogated. To do it, you have to destroy any other ships attacking while keeping the target ship afloat. Then, you have to switch to Chain Shots, loading your cannons with chains that are shot in an arc to break the ship's mast, which of course leaves it as a giant hunk of wood in the water. Then you approach, and you and your crew jump on. Cue a massive, widespread battle on the deck. Special mention goes to the Battle of Chesapeake Bay: At the end, the cannons are destroyed after a Man O' War hits the ship full blast with its broadside cannons. Without missing a beat, Connor rams into the Man O' War and boards it alone. He kills dozens of men, including the captain, before blowing the ship to bits by shooting the gunpowder reserves and jumping back to his ship. Without a doubt one of the most awesome moments in the game.
  • Bookends:
    • Per the tradition of his tribe, Connor buries a hatchet into one of the mansion's support column which represents the beginning of his battle against the Templars. He removes it in the epilogue, symoblizing that he has won the battle.
    • Part three of Desmond's gameplay has him returning to the Abstergo facility in Rome to rescue his father from Vidic. At one point, he even visits the Animus 1.0 room where he was kept during the duration of the first game.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: At Haytham's funeral, Lee captures Connor but refuses to kill him — instead taunting that he will destroy everything he holds dear first. He then leaves Connor to be beaten by some random mooks, from whom Connor predictably escapes and murders Lee. Meanwhile, in 2012, Warren Vidic asks Desmond for the Apple. Suffice to say he got way more than he bargained for.
  • Boring, but Practical: The game sports a revamped system for recruiting Assassins and sending them on missions for money as well as an interesting trade system where you have people who live on your homestead provide different goods to sell for profit... but odds are, you'll just stick to hunting for treasure chests in towns for profit, since finding them earns you more money than you'll need in the main game. Even if you do wish to get money by trading, you're better off selling the furs you get from hunting rather than doing any crafting. Also, regarding the new Assassin training system, the introduction of the new abilities means that in order to level them up faster, you're supposed to rely more on using those abilities rather than sending them off to time-consuming but not-so-rewarding missions (a 10-minute mission earns a 60-XP reward, while simply using an Assassin to kill one guard yields about 40 XP and can be repeated after less than 30 seconds).
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Connor comes to see the positives of the Templar beliefs, enough to seek a truce, but not enough to actually compromise on his Creed.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted except for one instance during the Captain Kidd missions, where someone fires a single-shot muzzle loading musket onscreen... twice in less than five seconds.
  • Bows and Errors: Connor always has his quiver on his back, but can still instantly conjure arrows into his hands.
  • Braids, Beads and Buckskins:
    • Connor Kenway (Ratohnhaké:ton), his village and some of the multiplayer characters embody this trope; understandable because of the time period and setting.
    • Also, all of the outfits worn by characters in the game are authentic Mohawk, as opposed to the mismatch of tribes expected from this trope, and Ubisoft worked closely with several native cultural consultants to make sure to avoid unfortunate stereotypes once they realized that they were all "essentially a bunch of middle-aged white guys".
  • Brain Uploading: One of the "methods of salvation" attempted by the First Civilization was to transfer their minds into a computer for storage against the apocalypse. The problem they had was not how to get in, but how to get out. It is strongly implied that Juno, Minerva, or both underwent this process, and that Desmond's sacrifice is in some way Juno's ticket out.
  • Breather Episode: The Homestead missions are this, depending on when you play them. It's certainly a breather to find Connor smiling and helping his friends with their problems compared to the grim campaign.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: In multiplayer. You can buy Erudito Coins for real-world money which allow you to unlock most (but not all) unlockable items regardless of fulfilling conditions to unlock them for purchase for Abstergo Credits (like reaching a certain level).
  • Broken Aesop: Ties directly into Bribing Your Way to Victory as Erudito's messages to the players of the game all carry a heavy anti-Abstergo and anti-capitalist message. Yet, the buy-for-real-world-money currency the game uses for its application of that trope? Erudito coins.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield:
    • Connor can use enemies as shields against massed musket fire, then close with the remaining soldiers before they can reload. It also features in one dual execution move, where Connor knocks down one soldier, then grabs the other to block the knocked down soldier's musket shot.
    • Connor has a dual execution move that defies this trope: he can run a soldier through with the bayonet of a musket, then fire the musket at the soldier behind the first one. It is similar to one of Ezio's moves in Brotherhood, wherein he counters a soldier by blocking him, then shooting him through and killing the soldier behind him as well.
  • Bullet Time: Like in Revelations, you get slo-mo effects when you do an Air Assassination or finish off the last enemy in an encounter.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Charles Lee at first fails to recognize Connor; it takes a face-to-face confrontation for him to remember that little Native boy whose village he hadn't burned so long ago.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Connor is half-Mohawk, half-British. He can use this to his advantage; at the advice of his mentor Achilles (who is black), he accepts the name "Connor" and tries to pass off as being of Spanish or Italian descent.
    Achilles: Better a Spaniard than a native... and far better than me.
  • But What About the Astronauts?: Mentioned during a modern day segment. Shaun says with everything going nuts thanks to the sun, there's talk of bringing the crew of the international space station back to Earth.
  • Calling the Old Man Out:
    • After Sequence 3, Desmond finally snaps at William, ranting about how he hates being nothing but an Unwitting Pawn who is treated like he isn't even there, and that William himself is just as bad as the Templars. His father punches him in the face in response.
    • Connor accuses Achilles of failing to protect the Assassin Brotherhood before setting out on his own in Sequence 10.
    • Connor later calls Haytham out for deliberately concealing the fact that Washington was involved with the attack on his village years ago and had just authorized another attack due to them supporting the British in order to manipulate him. He also calls Washington out for this and declares that he will no longer aid him in the war.
      Connor: A warning to both of you: either follow me, or oppose me and I will kill you!
  • The Cameo: Besides the huge list of historical people who show up, special nod goes to Daniel Boone, who appears in a tavern in Boston as a background NPC. Connor can't interact with him outside of the Frontiersman missions, but the game nonetheless acknowledges that it's him by popping up his database entry.
  • Canada, Eh?:
    • Some of Stéphane Chapheau's French ranting during his Sequence 6 mission reveals that he grew up in the "Province of Quebec", a British colony and a small section of what is now eastern Québec.
    • There's an Assassin Recruit mission that takes place in Montréal, which is where Ubisoft's headquarters is located. It even involves investigating a company making games that are addictive and distracting to the population.
    • Norris, the recruitable miner for the Homestead, is also from Quebec. His accent is far more believable than Stéphane, who alternates between a Québécois accent and one tinged with French-from-France notes (this may be intentional, as it's stated that he's a second-generation Québécois, therefore his parents would have spoken with a French accent).
    • Two of the Captain Kidd missions take place in the Northwest Passage and Oak Island.
  • Captain Ethnic / Captain Patriotic: Connor is essentially a Revolutionary War version of these tropes. He's a mixed race Native American from the Mohawk tribe who works with the Patriots to achieve the independence of the Thirteen Colonies from Britain. He's also deeply loyal to his new country despite it's shortcomings and his Assassin robe is red, white and blue which are national colors of the United States not to mention that his preferred weapons are a tomahawk and a bow with arrows which are deeply rooted in many indigenous cultures. Additionally, his original outfit is Braids, Beads and Buckskins and his Brotherhood attire later incorporates the typical Mohawk haircut and red makeup when he confronts Charles Lee near the end of the American Revolution.
  • Cartography Sidequest: Merely moving around the map reveals it, which is useful in areas not covered by viewpoints. As in previous games, filling up the map is required for 100% Completion.
  • Cassandra Truth: After rescuing William from Abstergo, Desmond and Shaun discuss just telling someone about the upcoming solar flare. Shaun says no-one believes the situation is that bad.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: In sharp contrast to the earlier games as well as the follow-ups - Black Flag, Rogue, Unity, the game has several unique NPCs outside the main fictional and historical characters. Every settler of the Homestead and all of the Assassin recruits have a distinct model and unique animations. The Encylopedia of Common Man side-mission has you follow and trace every unique animation coded into the NPCs at the Homestead and there are several varieties.
  • Cats Are Mean: Cougars and bobcats can be found in the frontier. They'll attack you and any other humans they run across, in addition to hunting down prey animals. Not to mention the stray cats you find wandering around everywhere won't let you pet them.
  • Cheat Code: Finishing the game unlocks a mini-storyline about a team of hackers hacking into the Animus, which allows you to unlock Cheat codes that give you various things like infinite ammo or changing the weather.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • In the opening opera house scene, the little boy whom Haytham Kenway gestures to be quiet to is Duncan Little, who would eventually go on to be one of Connor's Assassin recruits.
    • In Sequence 1, the boat that (apparently) sinks in the storm while tailing Haytham is implied to be the Aquila, which Connor later repairs and captains.
  • The Chessmaster: The Assassins and Templars are playing their usual game of Xanatos Speed Chess against each other as they derail each other's plans, but the true chessmaster is Juno, who sabotaged Minerva's plan millennia before it had even started to be put into action and is single-handedly responsible for the Assassin vs Templar conflict keeping everyone too busy to save the world. The reason for this was to set up a situation where either the world would be devastated and then restart its old cycle of fanaticism and violence, or she would be set free to take over the world.
  • Climax Boss: The climactic fight with Haytham is the only thing that resembles a proper "boss" fight in the main campaign, and takes place very close to the end of the game (although there's still one more mission to go that involves dealing with the Non-Action Big Bad). That said, it's very much a Puzzle Boss fight and fairly simple.
  • Collapsing Lair: Several, usually caused by copious amounts of gunpowder. Most notable one is the literal load-bearing treasure left behind by Captain Kidd at Oak Island. Another load-bearing treasure is Achilles's original Assassin costume, hidden in an unstable underground cavern.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The British wear redcoats while the Colonials wear blue.
  • Command & Conquer Economy: The game sees the player in-charge of a small homestead in frontier America. The player must find skilled laborers to bring to hamlet but they build their own home. You do however have to instruct them in what products they have to make, secure their resources and charter your own ship to make deliverers, in a rather complex (given it's completely optional) economy mini-game.
  • Confusion Fu: According to the Battle of Bunker Hill's database entry, unintentionally done by the Continental Army. Their organization and communication was rather poor, causing some units to arrive in different places at different times with no idea what to do. General Howe saw some of these units and assumed that they were freshly arriving reinforcements, causing him to hold his deployment back until his own reinforcements could arrive. Unfortunately for the Redcoats, this gave the Continental Army more time to dig-in and construct more fortifications, turning what would have been a mop-up into a drawn out meat-grinder. Shaun says in the same entry that he's thinking about using this technique himself by shouting about tables at people who start at him until they give up in confusion.
  • The Conspiracy: This time it's not limited to the Templars anymore. The game's climax reveals that Juno has been manipulating humanity from before recorded history so that she could blackmail Desmond into bringing her back to rule over humanity. To this end, she did this entirely through prerecorded messages left where certain people would find them. And she did it without the entirely benevolent first civilization conspirators noticing.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • When Cross goes insane in the final encounter with him, he begins shouting in Russian, as a reference to his ancestor from Assassin's Creed: The Fall and its sequel, Assassin's Creed: The Chain.
    • When Desmond infiltrates Abstergo's headquarters, if you activate Eagle Vision, you will see that Clay's (Subject 16's) blood writings are still all over the lab.
    • The Rope Dart was created by Shao Jun.
    • Remember Leonardo's flying machine? It makes another appearance, though it's not quite so successful this time around.
    • Towards the end of the game, Desmond and Shaun talk about one of The Truth puzzles showing George Washington with an Apple, something that doesn't happen in the game (along with the implication that he was a Templar). Shaun speculates that in addition to taking place somewhere after the game's scope, there might be more to the story.
  • Contrasting Sequel Setting: The base game takes place during the American Revolution. Unlike the busy cities of all the previous entries, the setting here is the entire east coast of the American continent and then some, where nature is still clearly the ruler of this world, the "cities" are barely established - even the largest one give a port-town kind of feeling, and you can go for literal hours in the game barely seeing any signs of civilization. The modern-day section is startlingly different. It takes place inside a cave with advanced Precursor tech, giving it a look like TRON - complete with Tron Lines - while simultaneously having the mystery and foreboding feeling the franchise associates with the ancient.
  • Controllable Helplessness:
    • You control Connor during his walk to the gallows in Sequence 9, but you can only go forward, and you can't control the camera.
    • During his assault on Fort George in Sequence 11, Connor is caught in a cannonball blast and spends the rest of the mission dealing with what appears to be a concussion. He can't run and can barely fight.
    • In Sequence 12, Connor is severely injured in a fall, and can only hobble in pursuit of Charles Lee.
  • Cool Ship: The Aquila, the "Ghost of the North Seas", the former Assassin flagship which Connor restores to her former glory.
  • Cosmic Deadline: The plan for the Assassin's Creed trilogy of games was to bring Desmond's story to a close by the end of the year 2012, to play off the end of the Mayan calendar as an impending apocalypse that the world in general does not take seriously, but the Assassins must try to prevent. To this end, there was a rush to get Assassins Creed III out the door by a particular date important to the story. While Ubisoft did a commendable job, the result is some rough elements that they did not have time to polish out.
  • Creator In-Joke: The inn at the Homestead is called the Mile's End. You'd have to be very familiar with Montreal and the location of the Ubisoft Montreal studio to know that it's located in a neighborhood called... the Mile-End. Also, Foreshadowing to Desmond's death at the end.
  • Creepy Child: Both New York and Boston are infested with random trios of "orphans," whose entire purpose is similar to that of the "beggars" in previous games: To jump out and obstruct your path until you get pissed enough, chucking coins at them so they'll go away. But the creepy part comes in after you run into them a few times, and realize that their character model has only one sound associated with it...Which is a repetitious, bizarre, wordless whoop-and-giggle combo that rapidly becomes extremely unsettling. So much so that you'll find yourself doing just about anything to avoid hearing it.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: In the regular story, the PlayStation 3 version of the game included extra missions in which Connor tries to stop Benedict Arnold from betraying West Point to the British, which were omitted from the others. In the DLC, which is set in an alternate timeline but with Connor aware of the events of the main story, he remarks that he finally got Arnold back for West Point when he kills him at the end of the first chapter. Arnold says that he has no idea what Connor is talking about, since in this timeline he never turned coat and thus never betrayed West Point. To Wii U, Xbox and PC players who didn't get those missions, it comes off as a cryptic background reference, merely something that happened off-screen.
  • Cultural Posturing: Shaun is not shy about taking potshots at the American Educational System and history when writing the database entries, often implying Desmond's lack of education or intelligence in the process. It is mostly Played for Laughs though, as Shaun says he is unsure if Desmond is even reading them, so he has to find some way to amuse himself. Although if you take time to talk with him, they do have serious debates about these issues on occasion.
  • Culture Clash:
    • Played for Laughs when Connor sets out to assassinate William Johnson in Sequence 6. Kanen'tó:kon gives Connor a hatchet, which he plants into the side of the Homestead. Achilles chews him out, but Connor explains that the Mohawk plant a hatchet into a post when going to war, and remove it when it is finished.
      Achilles: You could have used a tree!
    • Haytham expects Connor to give him automatic deference as his father. Connor is from a matriarchal culture and doesn't care.
  • Cutting the Knot: Haytham tries to find another way into Church's home. Lee simply kicks the door open.
  • Cutscene Boss:
    • After a long chase that ends in a burning ship under construction at the dockyard, Charles Lee is shot in a cutscene by the wounded Connor. And it still takes a long trip to the inn Lee fled to and a second cutscene to finally kill him.
    • Warren Vidic is killed off in a Press X to Not Die scene.
  • Cutscene Incompetence:
    • No matter how well he does in gameplay, Connor tends to get beaten down in cutscenes with great regularity.
    • In the final storyline naval mission, the Aquila confronts a Man o' War not unlike the others that you've probably taken down with relative ease. However, its first volley manages to knock out all of the Aquila's cannons, forcing Connor to board it instead.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • Blocking is changed to B/Circle/E instead of RT/R1/RMB. This is included with a handful of other minor changes (such as Connor automatically locking into combat), which can disgruntle long time fans who have had four games to grow used to the control style and now find themselves accidentally hammering the wrong button only to get hit. Blocking is just the most notable change considering how much the combat relies on counter moves.
    • This also applies to multiplayer where you would stun pursuers with B/Circle/E, but now it's on X/Square.
    • Don't forget map navigation on consoles! In every other game in the series, the left stick moves the map and the right stick zooms in/out. Now the right stick moves the map, the shoulder triggers zoom in and out, and the left stick opens up a Ring Menu which customizes markers. It's a really good system once you get used to it, but it'll take a while for series vets to adjust.
    • Countering is done by tapping B/Circle/E at the right time instead of holding it down and then pressing X/Square/LMB at the right time. Pickpocketing is holding down B/Circle/E rather than tapping A/X/Spacebar, with A/X/Spacebar now just used to fast walk and gently push.
    • The fact that B/Circle/E was previously used to help Ezio make his way through crowds without stumbling led many players to hold the button constantly as you move about the streets. The fact that this action now causes you to start randomly pickpocketing people in front of you means you'll spend a lot of time accidentally getting into fights until you learn to stop holding the button.
  • Dark Reprise: A more somber version of the main theme plays whenever Connor assassinates a Templar.
  • Darker and Edgier: To the franchise as whole:
    • The Ezio games are Lighter and Softer despite the high body count and Trauma Conga Line undergone by Ezio. Also, both Altair and Ezio have the luxury of definite victories since they belong to cultures which are stable and near their peak, whereas for Connor, his goal of trying to protect his village, and by extension halting the spread of the American frontier, can only lead to Failure Is the Only Option which makes his game feel very grim and dark and with a real sense of Pyrrhic Victory in his hunt against the Templars. His ethnicity and mentions of Sam Adams's slave Surry also emphasize how hollow the Patriots' espoused freedom really is as the likes of him and Achilles are still not entirely free.
    • The overall Gray-and-Gray Morality of the Assassins vs Templars conflict and the theme of compromise makes this overall a sadder and more grim experience reinforced by the dark conclusion of the present day story when Desmond finds that his destiny is to merely enable the return of an Eldritch Abomination and he has to make another compromise, at the risk of his life.
  • Dashed Plot Line: The game covers the lives of two protagonists, and as such there are several massive time jumps to account for the second one, Connor, to grow up and complete his Assassin training, in addition to the typical skips of months between memory sequences.
  • Dawn of the Wild West: The game is set during the Revolutionary War, with the large untamed frontier west of the Alleghenies to explore.
  • Deadly Lunge: Aggressive animals will lunge at Connor if he gets too close, forcing him to perform a sequence of Action Commands to counter. If the counter fails, you take damage and have to either counter again (for bears and elk), or button-mash to throw them off (for cougars, bobcats, and wolves). Bears and elk also take more than one successful counter to bring down and will continue lunging until either they or Connor are dead.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Shaun and Haytham. Rebecca tells the former to back off on the snarking during the outside missions, however.
  • Death by Origin Story: Connor's mother was killed when his village is attacked by Charles Lee, setting him on the path of vengeance.
  • Deconstruction Fleet: The game gives a Warts and All depiction of The American Revolution, showing what happened to people who didn't profit from the movement. And both in the present and modern stories, the game also deconstructs the Assassins vs. Templars conflict. The historical portion shows the Assassins and Templars briefly united by a common purpose as well as familial bonds while at the end of the contemporary storyline, Minerva tells the contemporary Assassins that they wasted the whole of history fighting the Templars instead of working to the common good.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The first three Sequences are played as Haytham Kenway, Connor's father.
  • Deflector Shields: One of the technologies perfected by the First Civilization was a personal forcefield (a limited version of which you can obtain for Connor in a sidequest). One of the "methods of salvation" they attempted was to scale this up to a planetary shield, which they lacked the energy to accomplish.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Especially since the setting is Revolutionary War America you know that this trope is bound to pop up frequently throughout the story:
    • This game has much more ethnically diverse NPCs as well as taking place in colonial America. Connor is treated with quite a bit of prejudice, referred to as a "half-breed" (his father is English and his mother is Mohawk), and personally thinks that the Patriots should be fighting for the rights and freedoms of all the peoples who live in the Thirteen Colonies, as opposed to just the ethnic Europeans. He even has a brief conversation with Samuel Adams over Adams' owning a slave; Adams explains that she's legally a free woman (actually true, as both are historical characters) and that the Patriots just want to achieve general freedom first, after which they will work for the rights of non-whites. After the game's official end, in a cutscene set on Evacuation Day (when the British soldiers left the newly-formed United States) Connor witnesses the crowds cheering as the redcoats shove off, then sees a public slave auction happening right behind the crowd.
    • In the same game, Achilles deliberately gives Ratonhnhaké:ton a European name like Connor, so he doesn't stand out in cities. He also tells him to pass himself off as a Spaniard, since Connor's darker complexion would allow for that. Yes, he won't be treated as well as a WASP, but it's still better than being half-Mohawk and much better than being like Achilles (black).
    • William Johnson mentions to Haytham Kenway that his Irish Catholic background meant that his opportunities in life were limited and had to convert to Protestantism when he and his uncle left for America.
    • In one mission where Connor briefly teams up with his father Haytham tries to assert patriarchal authority over him. Connor (raised in a matrilineal culture) makes it clear he sees him as nothing more than a man who had a one night stand with his mother.
  • Description Cut: After the Boston Tea Party, Connor returns to Achilles and tells him William Johnson will no longer be able to buy the land Connor's village sits on. Achilles just says time will tell. The story then jumps ahead six months, to Connor being told Johnson has managed to get the money anyway.
  • Detachable Blades: Connor's Hidden Blades are capable of detaching in order to be used as knives.
  • Determinator: Connor in the finale. Not only does he go to outrageous lengths to find Charles Lee following his escape, but continues until he kills him despite the fact he is barely standing and bleeding heavily following impalement. Charles Lee can be probably be considered one at that point as well, since he's still going after being shot.
  • Deus ex Machina:
    • The proposed salvation of the Earth plays to the original usage of the term, as it is quite literally a god intervening to stop the Sun from wiping out humanity. It is also literally a god emerging from a machine.
    • The assault on Abstergo is resolved only by Desmond's use of the Apple, a plot point that is foreshadowed in such a way that one can easily miss it.
  • Developer's Foresight: If Haytham or Connor are interrupted while switching weapons or reloading their pistol(s) and perform a counter kill, the kill will be a barehanded beatdown.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: At the very end, we learn that Juno's proposed "salvation" of the world comes at a cost — namely that she will attempt to use the power of the Grand Temple's Lost Technology to Take Over the World and recreate the First Civilization, thus making the Assassins' work something of a Pyrrhic Victory.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Connor's inability to think beyond his next kill is repeatedly condemned by his enemies, and the fact that part of the Templars' plan was to preserve Native American land and negotiate a peaceful end to the war, when it is a Foregone Conclusion that neither will succeed, shows just how serious the consequences of this are.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: When Stephane Chapheau goes on a rampage after discovering that he had been robbed by British tax collectors (literally; they broke into his house when he was out) Connor tries to talk sense into him to stop it. When Stephane finds the man responsible for the robbery, Connor only says "create a window", not more violence. Then the guy makes the mistake of mentioning that he does not work for the British Parliament but William Johnson. At which point, Connor has an abrupt change of mind and says "end his pain cleanly". The guy realizes his badly chosen words moments before Stephane kills him.
  • Dirty Old Man: Benjamin Franklin freely shows his appreciation of the fairer sex when he is seen in his later years. His conversation with Haytham is a paraphrased version of a letter he wrote extolling the virtues of a having an older mistress, so there's some Truth in Television there.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: Connor has just gone through an epic naval battle at Chesapeake Bay, all to get some French ships to aid him in his assault on Ft. George in New York. When he begins to explain his request to the Admiral, the following exchange occurs:
    Admiral de Grasse: Wait, wait. I thought you might need some pirates killed, or goods transported. And instead, you ask us to... what, shell New York?
    Connor: No. Of course not.
    de Grasse: Ah...
    Connor: Only part of it.
    de Grasse: ...explain yourself.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: One of Shaun's database entries relates a tale of how the Clutterbuck brothers were convinced to sign on a ship's crew after hearing a sailor boast about the power of his "cannon" and misunderstood the euphemism. Shaun then goes on to explain the euphemism with further euphemisms for several sentences, before finally dropping the euphemisms altogether. He closes the log saying that he will explain the euphemism again later in case Desmond did not get it the first time.
  • Doomed Hometown: Double Subverted. Connor's village is razed during his early years, leading him to the Assassins in a search for justice. However, it is rebuilt and is alive well into Connor's Assassin career. And then at the end, his people are forced off their lands by the colonists.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Some Native American women and a majority of the women in Brazil are barefoot.
  • Downloadable Content:
    • The Tyranny of King Washington, a multi-episode What If? single-player story set after the American Revolution. Its tropes are listed past the base content's section.
    • Two single-player weapon/skin Pre-Order Bonus packs, including the "Captain of the Aquila" and "Colonial Assassin" packs
    • Two Pre-Order Bonus single-player missions, including "Lost Mayan Ruins" (Gamestop) and "Ghost of War" (Best Buy)
    • The Benedict Arnold Missions, a PlayStation 3 exclusive set of four missions.
  • Downer Ending: At the beginning of the game, when your targets call you naïve when you're about to kill them, Connor scoffs them off. By the end, it all makes sense because it is revealed many of the Templars are WellIntentionedExtremists, like John Pitcairn. He knew that a war would result in colonists getting killed and thus was tried his best to parley and prevent a Revolutionary War from being triggered. Killing him didn't just stop the Templars, it also signed the death sentence for many fellow colonists and soldiers. William Johnson was convinced that the currently amicable colonists would turn on the Natives once they were finished with the British, hence why he threatened the Mohawk chiefs to accept Templar control. Seeing him call Connor's naivete out is gut-wrenching, especially if you know what happens to the Natives once Americans began going West. The Templars' accusation of naïvete suddenly makes sense. And if you choose to do the homestead missions, Achilles dies. It's bitter to say the least.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After the Aquila was decommissioned and the Assassins all but wiped out, Robert Faulkner fell to drinking. He sobers up once Connor promises to give him a job again.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • The combat system has been revamped to allow Connor to wield multiple weapons and fight with two weapons at once at all times. The promotional art depicts him holding his iconic tomahawk and a pistol, and he has access to double Hidden Blades, like Ezio Auditore, with one Hidden Blade now detachable for use as a short knife.
    • Desmond wields a combat knife alongside his Hidden Blade during his one man assault on Abstergo HQ.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?:
    • James Barrett calls Connor a boy and initially asks him to get out of the way of the fighting.
    • When talking about going after Pitcairn, Sam Adams doubts Connor's ability, saying that a thousand troops stand in the way. You should have cut down hundreds by now...
    • Israel Putnam doubts Connor's ability to do the impossible. And he doesn't just doubt once, but twice in rapid succession.
      Connor: I expect an apology on my return.
  • Dueling Player Characters: This happens when Connor fights against Haytham, the Decoy Protagonist of the first part of the game.
  • Due to the Dead: Connor continues the tradition for his targets in Assassin's Creed III (except for Charles Lee), though he uses the Mohawk language instead of Latin and leaves off anything resembling "Requiescat in pace," though the intent is mostly the same. His father and grandfather are not so respectful.
  • Dull Surprise: Connor. Justified, since English is his second language and so he often speaks very formally and in a monotone because he is still thinking through what to say.
  • Dying Truce: An example with no words. Charles Lee has been badly wounded by Connor during their chase, and Connor is in only slightly better shape. When Connor finally tracks Lee down to a tavern, Charles doesn't even try to resist. Knowing he's finished, he simply enjoys one last drink before passing the bottle to Connor. Connor accepts it, then ends Charles' suffering with a final stab.
  • Easing into the Adventure: We spend the first three Sequences as Haytham, and it's a full three more for Connor to grow up and learn all the ropes—hunting, notoriety, the economy system, ship captaining and more. The process is slow, but designed to help players learn all the systems at work before throwing them to the wolves, literally as well as figuratively.
  • Edgy Backwards Chair-Sitting: Connor always turns his chair around before sitting. Of course, this might just be because of the 50 pounds of assassin equipment strapped to his back.
  • Elite Mooks:
    • Officers can block armed combos and counter unarmed ones when they're wielding their sword. They can also counter your counter kill attempts even without it and pack a pistol.
    • Grenadiers and Highlanders wield large axes and able to counter Connor's counter attacks. If you don't learn to use defense breakers or to disarm them first, you'll learn to run away very fast.
    • Scouts pack knives and are pretty hard to get away from, even if you take to the rooftops. They can counter defense breaks and disarm attempts.
    • Hessian Jägers are the most dangerous. They are extremely skilled swordsmen, can pull out their pistols at half the speed of an Officer and can only be countered with a disarm attack, a lucky back stab or shooting first, they block and counter everything else. Once you hit notoriety level 3, they begin spawning every thirty feet. Also, Fort Captains are always Jägers, so be stealthy or prepared for a rough fight. In addition, while Jägers can be killed by a single bullet if you are stealthed, shooting them while you are in open conflict with them just causes them to stagger back and look down at their chest for a moment. While this does give you a good opening to finish them off, if you assume that they are dead and move on to another target, you can be in for a nasty surprise.
  • Enemy Civil War: Happens at one point when Benjamin Church abandons the Templars and steals their resources for his own profits, causing the Assassins and the Templars to have a rare Enemy Mine moment when fighting him.
  • Enemy Mine: Quite a few missions have Connor teaming up with Haytham, the Grand Master of the Templars in America.
  • Escort Mission: Numerous, but by far the worst one is where you must defend a fleet of 8 merchant ships against 4 capital ships. The merchant ships excel in getting in front of your course and your firing line. They also appear to be suicidal, as even if you immobilize one of the enemy ships, they will happily sail right in front of its cannons.
  • Eternal Recurrence: Defied in the ending. The world is about to be destroyed in a catastrophic event the main characters are trying to prevent. At the end it's revealed that stopping the event will unleash a potentially great evil on the world, and Desmond will die as a result, and he's told the better alternative is to let it happen and become the leader of a new world of survivors who will eventually be revered as a god and whose teachings will be subverted and used in the name of evil, causing many conflicts until the world gets hit with another catastrophic event, just as it has before and implied to have happened many, many times before. He chooses not to hit the reset button, letting the world continue on.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Although it isn't played straight as Connor is generally considered a good guy, even if you haven't done anything "wrong" in front of a dog, it may start barking at you, and grab a nearby enemy patrol's attention.
  • Experienced Protagonist: Decoy Protagonist Haytham is already a Master Assassin at the start of the game. When you finally get to control Connor, he's already proficient enough in hunting that the Justified Tutorial is him teaching his friend and even without Assassin training he can still handle trained redcoats.
  • Externally Validated Prophecy: Climax Boss Charles Lee rants about how the freedom sought by the Patriots during the American Revolution will eventually lead to a war between Americans themselves in a few short decades. Connor expresses his doubt over this, but anyone familiar with the timeline of the American Civil War knows that Lee was eventually proven right.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Charles Lee and Connor are both too wounded to fight in their final confrontation. They silently sit together, share a drink, and then Connor stabs him.
  • Faceless Mooks:
    • Several Redcoats wear scarves that obscure most of their faces. As damage grunts imply, some of them may be Sweet Polly Olivers.
    • The Jägers are also wearing scarves, which adds to their menacing appearance.
  • Father Neptune: Robert Faulkner is an old navy sea dog in service of the Assassins who was decommissioned along with the Aquila. When Connor offers to renew his services, he proceeds to help recruit a new crew and seems to enjoy bossing them around. He is also stated to have an uncanny ability to predict the weather.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Connor's relative naivete and earnestness, his anger issues and many other flaws only reinforces the fact that he's doomed to fail to protect his village and halting the spread of the frontier. His victories, turning the Homestead into a proper community, rebuilding the Aquila, seem very hollow in comparison, at least for him. And so is his hope for the goal of resolving, even temporarily, the Templar-Assassin conflict in service of the greater good and forming a bond with his father Haytham.
  • Final-Exam Boss: Both Charles Lee and Daniel Cross serve as these for Connor and Desmond respectively. Charles Lee's assassination is an intense obstacle course testing the player's reflexes and free-running skills. Cross' assassination is much more open, but it requires skill at tracking enemies through dynamic environments and at traversing complex platforms and pathways. However, in neither case do you actually engage the target in a fight.
  • The Final Temptation: Subverted for Desmond Miles. Sure, following Minerva's advice would involve burning and effectively rebooting the world. But Desmond himself would survive to become that new world's hero and messiah. He would even be seen as a god in due time after his death. Unfortunately, this would also involve his would-be work turning on its head as history repeats itself and the Templar-Assassin war begins anew. Desmond instead opts for the relatively lesser evil: Juno.
  • First-Episode Twist: Haytham Kenway, Connor's father, is a Templar, and you control him for the first three sequences before switching to Connor.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: There are a few hints leading up to The Reveal in that Haytham is a Templar, but there's a big one just before at the mention of "order and purpose" during Charles Lee's initiation. Astute players have just enough time to think "Wait, what?" before the Wham Line hits.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • The historicity of the events surrounding the American Revolutionary War makes the outcome of much of the game's plot rather obvious. Even if you don't know the history, the Animus database tells you all about it and unlocks the ability to read about events as they happen.
    • Shaun hangs a lampshade on the fact that the Continental Army succeeds and George Washington lives to be the first President of the United States, by referring to that conclusion as a "spoiler alert" in a database entry.
    • Anyone with even a vague grasp of history knows that the Iroquois Confederacy (of which Connor's tribe is a member) is forced off their lands by colonial expansion, making Connor's quest to protect them in vain.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the early parts of the game, there are a lot of subtle hints that Haytham is a Templar, such as the similarity of the council to Templar councils, the emphasis on the "weapons" in the Precursor vault, the use of a single assassin to try and kill Haytham on the Providence (he uses white chalk on the barrels), lots of emphasis on order and purpose, calling their organization an "Order" rather than a "Brotherhood", Haytham and his colleagues being quite callous (Thomas Hickey in particular stands out as a crude, boorish drunk), and the ring that Haytham takes from Braddock. Also, he has no qualms about threatening to kill the captain just for insulting him, whereas an Assassin would not harm an innocent, and the subtle fact that he doesn't pay his respects to Braddock upon killing him as Altair or Ezio would have done and just takes his ring and leaves. Lastly, a big visual hint: the Assassin emblem on his hidden blade bracer is scratched and defaced. It's also foreshadowed in the database entries for each of Haytham's group during the prologue, if they were Assassins, Shaun would mention it in his entries for them.
    • There is much evidence that Juno hates humans and wants a return to "how things were before," with humanity at the first civilization's feet. So, it's unsurprising that she betrays you and plans to conquer humanity.
    • Visit Connor's village right after Sequence 8 and talk with Kanen'tó:kon. He's not too happy with staying neutral, or the fact that Connor is telling everyone to stay neutral while fighting for the Patriots.
    • Desmond's use of the Apple of Eden at Abstergo is foreshadowed very lightly in the introduction and in Juno's exposition segments. In fact, it's likely to make complete sense only if you've played the previous games.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: During Connor's Crystal Ball Samba, Juno deliberately gives Connor the form of an eagle because of its relevance to Native culture, as well as its association with the Assassins, especially the line of Altaïr.
  • Freak Out: Daniel Cross has one of these right before he's about to shoot Desmond, apparently due to the Bleeding Effect finally overcoming him, with strong hints that the Apple is involved. Desmond has to chase him down to finish him off.
  • Friendly Enemy: Connor and Haytham's interactions give off this vibe sometimes. They work together when their interests align on occasion, and Haytham constantly tries to connect with his son and turn him to the Templars despite the fact that they are on the opposite sides.
  • From Bad to Worse: The Assassins manage to stop the Templars' plan and avert the destruction of the world, but now Desmond is dead and Juno is free to take over the world.
  • Frontier Doctor: Dr. Lyle White starts a new life in the frontier Homestead, in order to help a couple deliver a baby (and also because the Redcoats were dragging his name through the mud back in Boston).
  • Funny Background Event: During Haytham's trip to America, several crewmembers can be heard wondering about that hat of his, and whether he ever actually takes it off.
  • Game-Breaking Injury:
    • Connor suffers a Game-Breaking Injury with the final battle with Charles Lee. He chases him into a burning ship that was under construction and gets a piece of wood impaled through his stomach. Said injury disables him from even running for the rest of the game and even in the after game, his animation shows he's still injured.
    • Our hidden-blade-equipped player characters from the period get into a fight. One receives a stab wound through his wrist and ends up being forced into fighting with just a sword. He's still formidable, but when both combatants are stunned by a nearby cannon blast and end up grappling with each other, he is forced to use both hands to try and strangle his opponent and is thus vulnerable to a throat stab. And that's how Connor killed his father Haytham.
  • Game Hunting Mechanic: Conner can hunt animals for pelts, receiving better quality ones using less destructive kills, like the hidden blades. This can bog down traveling, as you have to skin every animal you kill and it is very common to be attacked by a few wild animals running between different locales.
  • Game Within a Game: Connor can play Fanorona, Morris, Bowls, and Checkers.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • With elements of Mood Whiplash: It can be somewhat jarring to go from the many side and some story missions where Connor's kindness, generosity and respect for human dignity are on display in fine form in his expressions, choices, and dialogue — to usual combat gameplay, which is amazingly brutal.
    • Finishing certain optional objectives "out of order" will trigger cutscenes wherein NPC's comment on things that haven't happened yet, or speaking of things that HAVE already happened as if they're still imminent.
    • The optional objectives are supposed to represent the exact method that Connor completed the missions, but some of them seem to defy any kind of common sense solution for the sake of providing a good challenge.
  • Global Currency: In the database, it mentions that Colonial America's traders traded in an absurd number of different currencies, which the Animus has simplified into just British Pounds for Desmond's (and the player's) convenience.
    Shaun: You're welcome!
  • Godzilla Threshold: In one conversation, Rebecca suggests presenting all of the information the team has gathered to Abstergo so they can help avert the solar flare. Desmond replies that he actually considered that option, and only refrained from doing so because he believes Abstergo already knows about the threat and is trying to take advantage of it. The very idea of Assassins seriously considering working with Templars, in particular Desmond (who has been their prisoner and test subject), shows just how dire the situation is. Later, Minerva will actually encourage Desmond to allow the solar flare to wipe out most of humanity rather than set Juno loose. Juno is apparently that dangerous.
  • Going Down with the Ship: Templar Nicholas Biddle asks to go down with the Randolph after you disable it. Connor accepts, but blows up the magazine to ensure that it actually sinks.
  • Grapple Move: Connor faces firearm wielding enemies. Their attacks are always telegraphed so that you have the opportunity to grapple a hapless nearby opponent as a Human Shield, protecting you from harm and getting rid of the enemy in one stroke. This can be particularly useful for more powerful enemies who would otherwise take more work to defeat.
  • Greater-Scope Villain:
    • Reginald Birch and Edward Braddock loom over the events of III as the British Templars who played a big role in the life of Haytham Kenway. The former was responsible for corrupting him into a loyal, devout Templar after killing his father Edward and selling his sister Jenny into sexual slavery while the latter was the superior officer of George Washington who led a massacre of Native Americans and French soldiers which led to Haytham eventually killing him during a chase near Fort Duquesne in Pennsylvania after he was restrained by his wife Kaniehtí:io.
    • Shay Patrick Cormac from Rogue retroactively become this as he is the Assassin turned Templar responsible for annihilating the Colonial Brotherhood in the Seven Years War before Connor can reform it.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality:
    • Templars and Assassins fight on both sides of the war, and the relative morality of the two factions comes into play to a much greater degree than in Ezio's story. Similarly, neither the Colonials nor the British are portrayed as wholly good or evil; in the official trailer, Connor observes that the Colonials may be in it for their own freedom, but not necessarily for his. Bonus points for Washington himself ordering the destruction of Connor's village.
    • During their "final words" scene, Connor's assassination targets tend to say something along the lines of "What have you done!? I was just trying to help! Now more people will die!", which is more in line with how they were in the first game. They seek to control, but also to protect humanity, mostly from itself, whereas the Assassins are slipping from trying to encourage people to better themselves, to doggedly harassing the Templars because they don't know how to do anything else. Connor, to his credit, is aware of this and can see both sides of the picture.
  • Groin Attack:
    • Connor can finish off incapacitated opponents with a groin kick.
    • Connor punches Haytham in the 'nads in their final fight.
  • The Ground Is Lava:
    • "Feathers and Trees" acts as a tutorial for the player to become accustomed to the climbing and free moving mechanics in the game. It also has a full synchronization requirement of not touching the ground or water at any point, only moving from tree to tree.
    • One of the full synch requirements during the mission "Broken Trust" is to not touch the ground while Connor tries to reach his village. While this initially seems easy, since he's on a horse, you also need to kill several people along the way without dismounting the horse.
    • One mission in the Tyranny of King Washington DLC is to save a giant bear spirit without touching the ground. You do this by utilizing the eagle spirit to fly from platform to platform.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The game avoids this in most cases by giving the option for the player to buy an in game map for collectibles, but it still has a habit of not showing certain things, like the last chest in Boston or some of the Liberation missions. The methods for achieving 100% Completion are in many cases anything but obvious, including a number of missions and locations that don't appear on the map at all, requiring either a guide or obsessive, almost foot-by-foot exploration.
    • There are no hints that you can counter enemies using your gun, which is unfortunate given how much more effective it is against most of those resistant to normal weapon counters.
  • Gun Fu: Some multiplayer characters have the option of equipping a normally cumbersome flintlock musket, which (for the sake of balance) is used as a mix of being fired, thrown, as a spear, and juggled between punches.
  • Guns Akimbo: Connor can wield dual pistols. Justified, as before the invention of internal magazines, pistols were limited to one shot per barrel before they had to reload, which was a rather involved process, so for those with the means it was often a good idea to carry more than one. That was the only realistic way to sequentially fire several shots without pausing to reload in the middle of combat.
  • Guns Are Worthless:
    • While Connor can One-Hit Kill most enemies with guns, the same cannot be said in reverse; even a full musket volley only takes off a decent sized chunk of his health. Later in the game, he can acquire a hidden item that can deflect bullets, making them even more worthless against him.
    • When Desmond confronts Abstergo security officers during his missions, their pistols are harmless to him, dealing no apparent damage if they even hit at all. Of course, when Desmond gets his hands on a pistol late in the game, he can immediately one-shot all the guards.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination:
    • Connor is looked down upon by quite a few people on both sides of the war for his heritage, though the Assassins, the Homestead inhabitants, his village, and several other sympathetic characters don't.
    • Juno towards humans, some of whom are half-breeds of humans and precursors.
  • Hammerspace: The remaster alters the weapon wheel to hold all weapon types in it at all timesnote  and the icons now double as folders that hold all of Connor's weapon collection. So Connor may be walking around New York hiding several axes, hammers, swords, pistols and tomahawks under his robes.
  • Handshake Refusal:
    • Haytham refuses to shake the hand of Louis Mills the first time they meet. No explanation is given, but it's implied to be a class issue; Haytham is a British aristocrat and Mills is a working class sailor, so Haytham probably regards a handshake as beneath him.
    • Connor is a more justified example; he was raised among Native Americans, who consider it taboo to touch someone you don't know, so he Hates Being Touched. He turns down an offer of a handshake with John Adams, though he does grow to accept a handshake as an acceptable greeting once he's spent some time living amongst the colonists.
  • Hates Being Touched: Connor reacts very poorly to hugs, shoulder claps, and similar "familiar" behavior from the Colonists he meets. Sam Adams has to show him how to shake hands. Even late in the game, he reacts to pats on the shoulder with a Death Glare. People who are familiar with him grow to recognize this. He becomes less averse to it as the Homestead Missions go on, as he begins to see the other people on the Homestead as a family.
  • Headless Horseman: The Horseman appears as a side quest for Connor to disprove is real. He finds the Horseman is indeed real.
  • The Hedonist: Thomas Hickey, unlike most of the other Templars that Connor assassinates, is not in it for their principles or ideals; he just goes along with them because they pay well. All he wants out of life is girls and booze, and his Motive Rant to Connor is all about how he, unlike the Assassin, can have what he wants. That is, until Connor kills him.
  • He Had a Name: While out of the Animus, Desmond can start a conversation with Rebecca, during which she'll refer to Subject 16. Desmond immediately cuts her off.
    Desmond: His name was Clay.
  • Hellhole Prison: Connor gets thrown into one complete with asshole guards and the occasional tortured scream, and an architecture that's somewhat reminiscent of The Dark Knight Rises' pit. The Prison Ship HMS Jersey also plays a minor part in the game.
  • Hiding Your Heritage: Achilles worries that his protege, Ratonhnhake;ton, won't be accepted amongst the American colonists if they know that he's half-British, half-Native American, so he gives him a new name, Connor, and tells him to pass himself off as a Spaniard if anyone questions his heritage.
  • Historical Domain Character: Up to 80% of the characters appearing in the game are based on real people.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: After concocting the plan to distract a fort by bombarding it from the sea, Connor doesn't get far before he's caught in a blast from one of his own cannonballs, severely concussing him.
  • Hollywood Healing: Subverted — late in the game, Connor gets caught in a blast that takes him a long while to recover from, and then later impales himself accidentally and requires a vast amount of time to recover.
  • Hollywood Natives: Averted with extreme prejudice. Not only does the game avoid the stereotypical depictions of Native Americans but it shows a very accurate look into the culture of the Mohawk tribe.
  • Hologram: There are several within the Grand Temple, all showing different ways to try to avert the First Disaster, and another interface in the center of said Temple... though it turns out the holograms aren't just holograms after all, including both Minerva and Juno this time.
  • Hope Spot: An in-universe one. After Connor kills William Johnson, his tribe notice the colonists have stopped making expeditions onto their land, and that things seem to be looking up. Anyone even remotely familiar with American history will know what happens after that.
  • The Horseshoe Effect: Haytham Kenway's arc at the beginning of the game is played just like a regular Assassin in both plot and gameplay. The twist is revealed that the entire time he was working in the interests of the Templars, their motivations so similar to one another that neither Desmond nor the players realized this until it is flat-out stated that Haytham and his friends work for the Templars. Later in the game both factions back the Rebels in the American Revolution for their own reasons, leading to many awkward moments when Haytham and his Assassin opposite Connor are both hanging around with Washington; in one mission they outright team up.
  • Hostage For Macguffin: Late in the game, William is captured by Abstergo, and Warren Vidic offers to trade him for the Apple, setting up a Storming the Castle scenario which Desmond turns into Be Careful What You Wish For.
  • Hunter Trapper: Connor can hunt and trap animals in the North American wilderness and then sell the meat, skin, bones and fat to several of the craftsmen that lives nearby his homestead to produce the goods he can then sell to finanize his war against the Templars and their British allies during the American Revolution.
  • Hunting the Rogue: Benjamin Church decides to sell out the Knights Templar by stealing supplies and selling them in the Caribbean to line his own pockets. The Templar Grandmaster is so incensed by this that he offers a truce to the Assassins (who have been feuding with the Templars for centuries) if they'll help him bring the traitor to justice.
  • Hypocrite: Connor states this about the Colonists for wishing for freedom yet owning slaves. It is actually because of this viewing that Connor suggests trying to reach a truce with the Templars.
  • Hypocritical Humor/Motive Rant: After you kill Cross, Vidic begins ranting about how you're dooming the world with your actions, how Cross (who we'd witnessed shooting up a VIP box full of innocents, which included a fellow Templar's wife) was a true hero, and that Desmond's really the evil one and the Templars are the one who are justified.

     I - Z 
  • I Meant to Do That: A young Ratonhnhaké:ton retrieves feathers from an eagle's nest on a high branch, but the eagle returns and knocks him down. He safely lands in a pile of branches, and tells the anxious Kanen'tó:kon that it was entirely intentional.
  • Idiot Ball: Warren Vidic kidnaps Desmond's father, and demands Desmond trade the Apple for his life. His terms are that the Apple be handed over by an Assassin in person at Abstergo's Italian headquarters — seemingly forgetting that the Apple lets the wielder mind control other people. This does not end well for anyone at Abstergo, least of all for him. Didn't Think This Through doesn't even begin to describe it.
  • If We Get Through This…: Near the end, Desmond and his fellow Assassins start to talk about what they will do after the solar flare is stopped. Shaun wants to take the Animus all the way back to the First Civilization, Rebecca wants to go on vacation, and Desmond would like to meet up with his mother again. None of them get a chance to do this.
  • Immediate Sequel: The present era of the game continues where Revelations left off.
  • Impairment Shot: There are two scenes in which Connor is concussed or recovering from a concussion; the game liberally applies blur and slow-motion effects, and Connor visibly staggers.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • Some of the Bayonet executions have Connor ramming the bayonet straight through his target.
    • There's an environmental/stealth kill where Connor rams the victim's head into a pitchfork on a rack of tools.
    • Connor is impaled by a piece of wood while chasing down Lee. He lives but the effects of the injury stay with him even after a few years.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Apparently the training of Abstergo security officers involves wielding semi-auto pistols like flintlocks, and being unable to hit a human target at two paces. They are remarkably good at shooting each other, though. Desmond's carrying the Apple, though, so he may have some precursor-tech protection going on there, like the ring Connor can find, which, note, is referred to as a "Shard of Eden".
  • Important Haircut: In the final act, Connor gives himself a mohawk; this was a tradition among his people, later adopted/popularized by American soldiers in Vietnam, whence it worked its way into popular culture in the seventies and eighties.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Unlike earlier games in the series, there are plenty of children around; however, they cannot be harmed in gameplay. Domestic animals like cows, pigs, and chickens can be harmed, but it causes Connor to desynchronize if done too often.
  • Improvised Zipline: Although not a game mechanic, Connor does use his tomahawk to slide down a slanted rope during a cutscene.
  • Inevitable Waterfall: In the first Homestead mission you have to save one of the woodcutters before he goes over.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: The replica of Major General Lincoln's sword.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Any combination of the replica of George Washington's sword, the War Tomahawk and Obwandiyag's War Club, the "Broken Sword" knife and the Pitcairn-Putnam (one shot, most effective pistol at either short or long range), French Coat (two shots, incredibly strong at short range) and Royal (two shots, balanced between short and long range effectiveness) flintlock pistols will make combat much easier.
  • Injun Country: Ratonhnhaké:ton/Connor is from a Kanien'kehá:ka village known as Kanatahséton, located in upstate New York deep within what is called Mohawk Valley.
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • Faulkner insists that the Aquila is a ship, not a boat, and that you call a ship a "she". Connor catches on after a few corrections.
    • Godfrey wants Terry to know that there's a difference between a tribe and a confederation, you totty-headed twiddle-poops.
  • Interface Spoiler: Inverted during the first three chapters. When you're playing as Haytham, there are no Assassin symbols in the game world, neither on your faction nor on your enemies. That would perhaps make you suspicious, but the GUI still contains the regular amount marking for example your allies. Of course, the Animus GUI is designed by Rebecca who thinks that Desmond is playing an Assassin.
  • Involuntary Battle to the Death: The climax of Sequence 10 has Connor attempting to stop his people (the Native Americans) from entering the war between the Americans and the Colonists. He succeeds, but is forced to kill his childhood friend in the process.
  • I Regret Nothing: In Haytham's final words to Connor:
    Haytham: Don't think I have any intention of caressing your cheek and saying I was wrong. I will not weep, and wonder what might have been. I'm sure you understand.
  • It Always Rains at Funerals: At both Haytham's and Achilles'.
  • Item Crafting: A lot more involved than the bomb-crafting of the past, too. You need to set up a bunch of other people in your Homestead (basically, the countryside around your manor) before you can even begin to craft, since they provide you with resources and are the ones who actually turn those resources into weapons (or other tradeable materials).
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Haytham Kenway, whose friendly but snarky interactions with Connor is only to turn him into the Templar ways. And when the latter finally goes against him, he drops the facade.
    Haytham: Even when your kind appears to triumph, still, we rise again. And, do you know why? It is because the Order is born of a realization. We require no creed! No indoctrination by desperate, old men. All we need is that the world be as it is. And this is why the Templars will never be destroyed!
  • The Joys of Torturing Mooks: Connor's kills are even more brutal than previous playable Assassins. Notable among his implements of murder is the rope dart, which can be used to hang enemies from trees, Predator style (it's even referred to as a Predator move in-game!), and you get an achievement for doing it. 100% Completion also requires that you perform such actions as killing enemies with every type of weapon in the game and killing a certain powerful enemy type with their own weapon.
  • Justified Tutorial:
    • The Animus provides an inherent justification for its tutorial elements, as it is explicitly teaching Desmond how to navigate the memories.
    • Playing as an experienced character for the first three memory sequences provides ample room for the player to learn how to master all the Assassin skills. There are some missions where Haytham demonstrates his skills to characters who are not familiar with his repertoire.
    • The introduction to tracking is shown as a young Connor playing a game of hide and seek, and the introduction to tree-running and hunting is shown as a teenage Connor teaching his friend the ropes.
    • The introduction to naval combat is a teenage Connor learning the skills of navigating and fighting from a veteran sailor.
  • Kill Streak: Plays this straighter than the previous two games. Some Elite Mooks that are normally immune to the One-Hit Kill chain from an existing foe will turn vulnerable if you rack up enough kills, or disarm them, first.
  • Konami Code: If Connor leans against a wall of Achilles's house and whistles, a wild turkey appears. If the player then enters the Konami Code, the turkey gains a hood and becomes... an Assassin Turkey.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: The simplest way to kill mooks in combat is to block their attack and stab them. This doesn't work on officers though. The higher ranking the officer, the fewer types of attack work on him.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Somewhat downplayed. The opening cutscene spoils the major details of the overarching plot (ancient civilization, Abstergo = Templars, planet about to get fried by the Sun, etc) but it actually avoids the major spoilers of the individual games. For example, Cesare Borgia is shown as the leader of the Templars, probably because he's the only Big Bad whose identity isn't a spoiler.
  • La Résistance: Besides the Patriots, The American Brotherhood of Assassins was rebuilt into a formidable fighting force by Connor to oppose the American Templars after the subsequent purge by Shay Patrick Cormac reduced it to just two old men living in a dilapidated household.
  • Left Hanging:
    • The "Eve" sub-plot from the end of Brotherhood seems to have been dropped, as Desmond completes his journey without it ever coming up. Then again, it turns out Juno is actually evil, so it's possible she was lying or needed to give an excuse for killing Lucy. Assassin's Creed III: Liberation addresses this at its ending — apparently Eve led the humans in the war against the Precursors. in Black Flag, Juno for some reason is helplessly trapped in Abstergo's network, only saying that "perhaps the Vault was opened too soon".
    • Connor's ultimate fate. In Black Flag, Connor is only briefly mentioned with no new information.
    • That mysterious voice at the very end. This is the closest one to have ever been resolved (an Abstergo tech guiding one of the company's Animus users).
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Haytham is lured and trapped belowdecks by one of the ship's mates, who threatens him with a sword. Haytham (the player character) notes that it would be unfair for him not to have a sword of his own, so the mate tosses him one, which Haytham uses to kill him.
  • Lifesaving Misfortune: Near the beginning of the game, young Connor stumbles across some Templars in the woods who proceed to beat him up and threaten to kill him. When he comes to and wanders back to his village he finds the whole thing burning and many people, including his mother, dead or dying.
  • Limit Break:
    • These are what kill chains are for. As you kill more and avoid any damage, you can start just murderizing more advanced enemies in one stroke, with each kill getting flashier than before. You get to the point where you can kill Grenadiers in one strike, who are normally immune to combos.
    • Possible in the "Wolfpack" co-op mode through sync-kills; meeting difficult circumstances with 2+ players prompts a Finishing Move wherein the players quickly dispatch a group in style through coordinated flips, weapon juggling, and dodging.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: In the final act, Connor not only gears back up, but adds war paint, gets an awesome haircut and leaves his hood down, possibly suggesting that this time It's Personal.
  • Losing the Team Spirit: True to historical reports, many of the militia at the Battle of Lexington and Concord ran for the hills when the shooting started. Connor is among them, but he's running to Concord under orders to warn the others.
  • Low-Speed Chase: This is how Connor and the Big Bad's confrontation ends, because it took place in a burning shipyard and Connor got impaled by falling rubble, while he shot the villain mid-gloat, meaning the two are crawling and limping their way through.
  • Luck-Based Mission: While every mission can be reliably have its core objectives completed by player skill alone, sometimes the optional objectives (which are required for 100% Completion) can depend completely on luck. Particularly, this is the case when they depend on the enemy A.I. being cooperative, such as lining up so that the player can take them out under a strict par time which would be impossible if they choose to be more dispersed, or when the player must execute particular actions within a time limit in the middle of a panicked crowd who push and shove randomly and where some enemies are rarely susceptible to said actions.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Connor knows everything about his father—his mother and his mentor tell him everything. Haytham doesn't even know he has a son.
  • Made of Plasticine: Under the right conditions, you can kill your enemies with a single kick without using your weapons.
  • The Marvelous Deer: One of the hunting sidequests involves hunting a deer which, according to all the hunters who've tried to bring it down, is Immune to Bullets.
  • Mayincatec: One of the Gamestop pre-order bonuses is a single player mission called "Lost Mayan Ruins", where Captain Kidd has buried treasure and his favorite saw-toothed sword. Unlike most examples of this trope, it's not full of Bamboo Technology or spike pits. The danger comes from the fact that the pyramid is falling to pieces after two thousand years of disuse, and generally speaking its architecture is pretty normal.
  • The Maze: There are elaborate tunnel mazes underneath Boston and New York, built by the Masons. Navigating them unlocks more fast-travel options. Tons of maze-related tropes are included, such as Door to Before.
  • Magical Native American: Like his ancestors and Desmond, Connor has the Eagle Vision ability, but is otherwise an ordinary if very skilled fighter.
  • Magical Negro: Achilles averts this. He fits the role plot-wise, but his personality is that of a Grumpy Old Sink or Swim Mentor, and he makes the young Connor work hard to earn his Assassin robes, and always goes out of his way to question Connor's true motives.
  • Mass Monster-Slaughter Sidequest: Early in the game, you have a mission where you have to hunt a set number of animals. This is done to teach you about the different hunting skills.
  • Meaningful Background Event: As Connor's being led to the noose in Sequence 8, his Assassin recruits can be seen moving about the crow. Not that they actually help, mind.
  • Meaningful Name: The epilogue reveals that Achilles named Connor after his own deceased son.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • After the battle at Lexington and Concord, Connor and James Barrett have a brief exchange:
      Connor: It is not enough.
      James Barrett: It never is.
    • At the end of the game, he has a similar exchange with Juno, noting that safeguarding the Grand Temple key is a feeble achievement compared to what he hoped and sacrificed for in the course of The American Revolution:
      Connor: It is not enough.
      Juno: It will never be enough. You strive for that which does not exist.
  • Mêlée à Trois: Neither the Assassins nor Templars have any loyalty to either side in the American Revolution. Haytham makes it clear that he cares nothing about England's "idiot king", and Connor is motivated purely by personal vengeance and doesn't really give a damn if America wins independence. The very messy political situation is reflected in the ending, where the Colonial Templars have been wiped out, England has lost its colonies, and Connor realizes that the men he slew, though certainly despicable, weren't in any way responsible for the destruction of his village, while the man who was is now the most powerful man in the newly-formed United States of America.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard:
    • A villanous example: Haytham dies trying to defend Charles Lee from Connor. Lee even exhibits The Hero characteristics (as in, promising to avenge him) when he meets Connor in Sequence 12.
    • Averted with Achilles. He does die near the end of the game, but quietly and peacefully in a chair in his parlor, passing on from old age after living to see Connor become a successful Assassin and the Brotherhood beginning to rebuild in the Colonies.
  • Mighty Whitey: The game subverts it by means of the protagonist's skewed perception. Once with Haytham Kenway who gets involved with the Mohawk during his mission and falls in love with a Native American woman, only to be ultimately kicked out by his lover due to his Templar allegiance despite him and his faction trying their best to keep the Natives safe from the ever-expanding colonies; the second time with William Johnson, an Irish templar who spends most of his time among native Americans, to the point where he wears several articles of tribal clothing above a typical British colonial outfit. He has spent most of his life trading with the natives, which Connor assumes is ultimately part of an evil plan due to his belonging to the Templar Order. Except Connor is entirely wrong, Johnson was helping the natives all along including Connor's own tribe, and represents their sole salvation in a world where every other colonial wants them eradicated. The fate of the Native Americans is sealed when Connor stabs Johnson to death and sides with a faction that proceeds to drive all the natives off of their lands and kill most of them.
  • Mind Screwdriver: While Revelations answered many important questions about the Meta Plot, this game contains vast amounts of exposition about the schemes of the First Civilization, including an explanation of the "six methods of salvation" described at the end of the previous game. It seems that the writers consciously try to address every single fan question that's ever arisen. In typical Ubisoft fashion, though, the end adds another layer of Mind Screw to replace the ones that the game takes off.
  • Miracle Food: In an optional conversation, Shaun reveals that, while poking around the Grand Temple, he found machines that manufacture manna, a bland but nutritious substance, evidently intended to keep the people of the First Civilization alive while sheltering there. He theorizes that this is the origin of the concept of ambrosia, and to the dismay of his companions, states that he tried some of it. According to him, it tastes like cardboard.
    William: You ate something that came out of a seventy five thousand year old machine?
  • Mirroring Factions: While all the games in the series have suggested that the Templars and Assassins seek similar goals with similar deadly means, this game makes it very blatant in various ways. For instance, you might not even realize you're playing as the Templars during the first three chapters of the game because they operate similarly to the Assassins and are led by a reasonable and affable anti-villain. In-universe Desmond doesn't, and has a minor freakout when it becomes clear. Templar Haytham and Assassin Connor even team up while their interests align, and both Connor and Desmond contemplate a Templar-Assassin alliance to accomplish more together. In fact both sides are backing the rebels, although for near opposite reasons. Furthermore, the game is quick to point out that the Patriots aren't the perfect good guys either, with their actions benefiting whites but doing little for or even harming blacks and Native Americans. By the epilogue, Connor seems disillusioned with Commander Washington and the Patriot cause, disgusted by their railing against oppression whilst still supporting slavery and driving the natives out of their homelands.
  • Mission Creep: Connor's general mission is to protect his village and people, but then he receives Juno's message to join the Assassins and protect the Key to the Temple. Connor took this to mean that joining the Assassins and fighting the Templars would help his people. And later, he interacted with Patriots and came to see his causes (Protect his Village, Serve as Assassin) entangled with American Independence. This taking of additional duties complicates his adventures and eventually leads him to confront his overall failure when two of those goals: American Independence and protecting his village, gets compromised by his duty as an Assassin. In the end, Connor came around to Achilles' way of thinking and realized he was too naive and burdened himself with false expectations.
  • Moment of Silence: When you stab Charles Lee , not one word is shared between Connor and the victim. All the more notable because prior to this, every console entry for Assassin's Creed had a poignant dialogue between the assassin and the main villains.
  • Money for Nothing: Once the Homestead is able to provide good animal furs and you have access to land convoys, you'll rarely have to worry about money again. Just buy as many pelts as you can and send them off to Boston or New York.
  • Money Sink: It's possible to complete the entire game without upgrading the Aquila once. However, once you master the trading system, buying advanced ammo or a new rudder is the only thing preventing your coin purse from weighing you down.
  • Mook Chivalry:
    • Standard for the series, but played amazingly, stupidly straight with Abstergo goons. Entire groups of them will holster their fully-loaded 9mm pistols and pull out telescoping batons, then sequentially attack Desmond as he is finishing off the last group of guards who did the exact same thing.
    • Occasionally averted by Revolutionary-era guards. They can form firing lines that can take off quite a bit of your health or have one grab you while another one attacks. Sometimes, up to 3 guards will attack Connor at the exact same time, though he can counter-kill all of them in a cinematic sequence if the player times it right.
    • Wolves play this straight, pouncing at you one-at-a-time and making the fact that they appear in packs completely irrelevant. Even if you botch the Quick Time Event and get brought down by one, the others will hang back until you get free.
  • Mooks, but no Bosses: There are no real major boss fights, unlike previous games in the series. Most of the assassination targets aren't even particularly skilled combatants. The only real exception is a Climax Boss fight against Haytham Kenway towards the end.
  • More than Mind Control: Desmond confesses that this was what he was under when he killed Lucy near the end of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, saying that it was not just mental domination, at some level he let it in, being shown visions of future betrayal which convinced him it needed to happen. He observes that this is in many ways what being under the influence of a Piece of Eden must be like.
  • Motive Decay: Mentioned in-universe about the Assassins. While in Ezio's trilogy, it seemed the Templars had fallen from their original goal of benevolent control of mankind to simply wanting power for selfish motivations, it wasn't really pointed out that the Assassins weren't the lighter shade of grey they had been in Altair's time. Now with plenty of Sympathy for the Devil towards the Templars, the Assassins' fall from grace really gets highlighted. While Connor's enemies do most of the ranting about this, Rebecca has a conversation with Desmond in which she laments that it feels like killing people and nothing else is all the Assassins ever do. To be fair, Connor himself angrily calls Achilles out on this.
  • Multinational Team:
    • Most of the American Assassins are not part of the typical English immigrants who came to the New World. By the end of the 18th century the Assassins consist of (at a minimum) a British-Native American outcast (Connor Kenway), an Afro-Caribbean old guy (Achilles Davenport), a French-Canadian rabble-rouser (Stephane Chapheau), an Irishman (Duncan Little), a former Hessian German mercenary (Jacob Zenger), a Scot (Jamie Colley), an African ex-slave (Agate), and an Afro-French noble (Avéline de Grandpre). There's a frontier sharpshooter (Clipper Wilkinson) and a tomboyish girl (Dobby Carter) to make sure that the trope is not completely played against the stereotype, though.
    • In the same way, the colonies as a whole are realistically portrayed as the multiracial, multicultural, multilingual hodgepodge they were. Though the English language would have sounded more like a slightly German-English version of Yosemite Sam than the modern dialect we hear in the game, the German shopkeepers, Dutch bystanders, indigenous warriors, and French workers were part and parcel of Colonial life.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: You get an entire action-packed minigame to break up a fistfight. You need to continually apply pressure to 2 bars on 2 separate lines lest one bar reach the center and result in one opponent sucker-punching the other.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Eagle Vision works great at picking your target out from a crowd and, as a young Connor found, making it easier to win at hide and seek.
    • By the time the game is over, Connor will likely have used his hidden blade to kill and skin game far more often than he will have used it to assassinate people.
  • Mushroom Samba: A teenage Connor undergoes this due to a Crystal Ball Piece of Eden. It is a vision guiding him to the Assassins, with the voice of Juno narrating. The strangest part of this is that Connor takes the form of an eagle, not a human.
  • Name That Unfolds Like Lotus Blossom: Connor Kenway, Mohawk name Ratonhnhaké:ton which means "Life that is Scratched", a poetic symbolism to the struggles he went trough during his journey.
  • Never Bring A Knife To A Fistfight: The best way to deal with Officers and Jagers is to disarm them and use their own sword against them; you must be fighting unarmed to attempt this.
  • Never Bring A Knife To A Gunfight:
    • When Desmond and Daniel Cross face off for the last time, Cross mocks Desmond for using a knife in the modern era. Cross then conveniently has a Freak Out, after which Desmond takes his silenced pistol and takes the lesson to heart by gunning down Abstergo security guards.
    • Abstergo's security guards avert this; for some reason they wield their guns like flintlocks instead of actual semi-automatic pistols, and prefer melee combat, letting Desmond beat them up with ease.
    • In gameplay, trying to fistfight Officers and Jagers without disarming them first will get Connor countered and cut to bits. It also works to your benefit, though; Jagers and Grenadiers that would easily counter Connor to death if going weapon-to-weapon are much easier targets once Connor's the only one with a weapon.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • An interesting example, where the developers have stated in every interview that the more jingoistic commercials for Assassin's Creed III were a huge pile of Blatant Lies, probably anticipating the backlash from non-American fans of the series. Turns out the developers were right.
    • In a smaller example, in a media preview of Sequence 6, one cutscene showed the then-unnamed Kanen'tó:kon prominently and implied that he was Achilles. While it is an actual cutscene from the game, the real Achilles' lines were removed.
    • The "Yet you fight. You resist. Why?" dialogue is in Achilles' voice in one trailer. It is said by Charles Lee in the game.
  • New Media Are Evil: Shaun makes a crack about this in the database entry about The Beggar's Opera. Yes, even opera has been hit with this trope.
    Shaun: That bloody opera, corrupting our kids!
  • New York Is Only Manhattan: Connor and Desmond only visit Manhattan, though in the former's case it's justified because during the 18th Century New York City was comprised solely of what would later be called Lower Manhattan.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: A near literal example. The game was released in North America on October 30, 2012 and Desmond's story opens... in North America, on October 30, 2012.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: If the Templars' post-assassination words are to be believed, Connor only made the Revolutionary War worse and more deadly for all involvednote . Furthermore, Connor siding with the Patriots despite urging his village to remain neutral and outside of the conflict backfires when his lifelong friend is convinced by Charles Lee that Connor is an enemy and is part of the impending Patriot attack on the village.
  • Nintendo Hard: The game is perhaps the most difficult in the entire series to date. Particularly difficult segments include:
    • The minigames. With the possible exception of bocce and checkers, many of the strategic boardgames have maddeningly difficult AI that's very unforgiving. One mistake can easily spell the foregone conclusion of a loss or draw, most notably in Fanorona where bad positioning can have your opponent perform up to five or six moves in a row to devastate your numbers.
    • The optional objectives can range from readily achievable to noticeably more difficult than the base objectivenote  to borderline random; fortunately, your prior optional objective progress for that mission is preserved even when you Reload(ing) From (the) Last Checkpoint, and doing so doesn't count against you for the purposes of the "do all of the above optional objectives in a single playthrough" optional objective.
  • No Cutscene Inventory Inertia: Due to a bug, Connor sometimes randomly loses the pistol in the second holster after you have crafted it. He also occasionally loses some of his tools, like bait and/or arrows, for no explained reason.
  • Nondescript, Nasty, Nutritious: Shaun in one combo mentions finding an old machine Those Who Came Before used to create manna, the so-called food of the gods, only to find that its taste is utterly unappealing, which he theorizes may be the result of them having different taste buds than humans. Rebecca proposes the alternative theory that the machine's "flavorizer" broke down in the 50,000 years it went without maintenance. It's never cleared up who's in the right.
  • Non Standard Game Over: As usual, harming civilians will cause desynchronization, since neither Haytham (who is played as before becoming a Templar) nor Connor (who is an Assassin with principles) are supposed to commit that crime. There is, however, a unique case present in this game as well: If you kill a wild animal but don't skin it afterwards, you receive a warning stating that Connor always skinned the animals he hunted. If you refuse to heed the warning and leave too many animals lying around dead and unskinned, you will be forcibly desynchronized.
  • Nostalgia Level: The Abstergo headquarters in Rome is a perfect match to its appearance in the first and second games... and in Desmond's memories of it in Revelations. The markings on the floor of the Animus room left by Subject 16 are icing on the cake (although they do not exactly match their locations in the first game).
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: The game takes place during The American Revolution. The protagonist is a young half-Mohawk raised by his mother's tribe. However, he and most Americans sound like modern-day Americans instead of period-appropriate accents. It's likely this is also the work of the Animus. Interestingly, the original game has Mohawk characters speak in their native language, while the Alternate History DLC goes with Translation Convention instead.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The game provides the biggest shake-up for the series by killing Desmond, the main character. Most of the subsequent games would instead focus more on the past sections and put the player in the first-person shoes of a rotating cast of nameless minor characters who become involved in the Templar-Assassin war. While the original plans for the series involved Desmond continuing to act as the protagonist and developing the cyberpunk action further with his abilities developing through the Bleeding Effect, Ubisoft noted the much greater popularity of their historic reenactment gameplay and chose to change direction.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: Connor's motivation is to save his people and preserve their land, and he becomes an Assassin to that end. The American Revolution is more of a sidequest to him, and he sides with the Patriots because he believes that they will help him find and defeat the Templars who attacked his village. When he discovers that George Washington ordered the attack, all bets are offnote .
  • Not Quite Flight: The carpenter at Davenport Homestead finds the designs for Leonardo Da Vinci's naflying machine and makes one, which Connor decides to take for a test drive and immediately crashes it into the sea.
  • Now What?: After the completion of the game, Connor looks around and contemplates his next course of action since he had been so obsessed with his battle against the Templars since childhood in order to protect his village but now lacks either.
  • Obviously Evil: Post Time Skip Charles Lee, to the point of getting a facial makeover, complete with some nasty scarring.
  • Offhand Backhand: Connor pulls one of these when countering an enemy attacking him from behind. Typically, this happens when he's attacking another enemy in front of him.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The Templar at the end of the "Rise" trailer points his pistol at Connor after being shot in the shoulder with an arrow, but it misfires.
    • Haytham's reaction to asking Connor to find something to pry open a door to escape a burning building, only to turn and find him preparing to charge both of them straight out the door.
  • Old Save Bonus: Having played Brotherhood and Revelations, respectively, gives a Courtesan and Deacon costume for this game.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: A reed organ with fake front pipes appears during The Mad Doctor's Castle. When climbed on to ascend through the ceiling, it produces a brief cluster of notes (which is unlikely, since organs don't produce sound unless they've been turned on and one or more stops are drawn).
  • Omniscient Morality License: The ending reveals that Juno at least doesn't really care about humanity at all. She's been manipulating everyone to facilitate her own return and bid for conquest.
  • One-Hit Polykill: This is actually an achievement. It goes as "killing three Mooks with a single musket instantly". You line up three mooks, stab through the first, and then shoot the second. The bullet will pass through and hit the third. That only happens if the distance is small enough.
  • One-Man Army: In keeping with the tradition of the series, Connor can take on entire regiments of troops by himself and come out victorious. Developers note that this is partially because his brutal, in-your-face combat style is nothing that the European armies were trained for, being taken from the American-adopted guerrilla tactics begun by the Native Americans (with whom Connor grew up).
  • Order Reborn: The Assassins were all but destroyed in the New World by the Templars (it helps that the Grand Master of the Templars' New World Chapter is a former Assassin, who knows all the ins and outs of his former comrades). Connor calls Achilles out on the fact that it happened on his watch. By that point, Achilles is an old man with a cane whom the Templars (usually) leave in peace as long as he stays in the Davenport Homestead and doesn't try anything. It's up to Connor to rebuild the Assassins by recruiting those dissatisfied with the British rule and sending them on missions to other colonies. The state of the Assassins in the Old World is unknown.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted, there are at least three characters named Benjamin (Church, Franklin, Tallmadge).
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Desmond's death during the game's finale sends William Miles into a Heroic BSoD and causes him to leave the Assassin Brotherhood.
  • The Overworld: After variations (including one aversion) were seen in II and its sequels, a "true" overworld separate from the cities finally returns in the form of the Frontier, set in New England. This region links to real-world cities Boston and New York and to the fictional Davenport Homestead. Through harbormasters, Connor can also travel to smaller areas throughout North America, as far south as Jamaica and Martinique and all the way up to the Northwest Passage.
  • Le Parkour: As the setting lacks the tall urban environments of the previous games, this game adds "tree-running" to the Assassin skill set. As trees are not typically shaped in right-angle boxes like buildings, programming this was a new hurdle for Ubisoft and it's the reason their main team worked on Assassin's Creed III' for three years while Ezio's games were developed with the older Assassin's Creed II engine.
  • Pet the Dog: Literally, and some other animals too if you want. As a trope, Haytham is probably the least evil-seeming of the Templars, ever. In his sequences, he frees Mohawk slaves, rescues a man being tortured, chews out a ship captain for being an asshole to his crew, and assassinates a butcher of a general. It's all to forward his goal of getting into that vault, but it's not just a chess game to him; he really does want to help people in the long run.
  • Playable Epilogue: The postgame allows you to explore the past-era world freely to complete any missed or unfinished sidequests; however, the new content is brief, including only some post-independence cutscenes and a pivot quest. There's also Tyranny of King Washington which takes place after the events of the base game's story, but it's DLC.
  • Plot Coupon: Finding the temple key is the only actual reason why Desmond would need to experience the memories of the two player characters. The power cells for the Grand Temple also function as this, justifying Desmond's excursions to New York, Brazil, and Italy.
  • The Points Mean Nothing: In ACIII, contrasting the other games prior, completing missions grants you synchronisation points with more points being rewarded for completing side-objectives. The pause menu even shows you how many points you have out of how many points there are in the game. What do these points do? Well, in pre-release information, the developers had stated that they were meant to be used to purchase upgrades and new features for the Homestead and for Conner himself. But in the fully-released game, they amount to nothing what-so-ever, with the talked-about upgrade system scrapped but the points remaining.
  • Point of No Return:
    • You can't access the present day missions after the end of Sequence 12.
    • Starting the first mission of sequence 11 locks you in and prevents any exploring or side missions until the post-game epilogue.
  • Politically Correct History: Averted. This may be the era that invented the notion of "equal rights", but they're in their nascent form and it's going to take a hundred years or more for lawmakers to realize that equal rights apply to more than just white land-owners. The less-than-appealing traits of many historical figures are also on display and/or mentioned multiple times.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: While people calling Connor a "halfbreed" and a "savage" among other lovely epithets is certainly accurate to the times, it's noticeable that it's only done by people the writers want the player to dislike and feel okay about killing.
  • Poor C Ommunication Kills: The game is a massive Gambit Pileup that comes because nobody clearly explains themselves. Connor assassinates Templars who claim to be doing good but whose Jerkish attitudes and arrogant refusal to explain it to people lesser than them, results in them dying painfully. Connor and his own father, Haytham are too proud to truly express themselves and in the end nobody wins, with the hero getting a Pyrrhic Victory that he admits is "not enough".
  • Post-End Game Content: Beating the main memory sequence unlocks some epilogue missions and a hacking minigame.
  • Powderkeg Crowd:
    • Referenced by Achilles just before the Boston Massacre.
    • You can cause riots in order to cover your movements, either by talking to specific groups of civilians or by using your Assassin Recruit abilities.
  • Preacher Man: Father Timothy, one of the final residents to come and settle in the Davenport Homestead. He finds fulfillment in being the Good Shepherd to the townsfolk.
  • Press X to Not Die:
    • You need to press a random sequence of commands when countering the Deadly Lunges made by various animals.
    • When piloting the Aquila, you press a command to take cover from incoming cannon volleys and rogue waves. In this case, it's "press X to not take damage".
  • Prison Episode: Connor finds himself in a depressing recreation of Bridewell Prison, after a violent altercation leads to a cross-city pursuit that gets him arrested and framed.
  • Private Military Contractors: The player can run into Hessians, who are considered elite mooks. The player themselves is stated to be a privateer working for the Colonials during the naval missions.
  • Prolonged Prologue: The first three sequences are played as Haytham Kenway, Connor's father. It isn't until Memory Sequence 5 that you control Connor and have full freedom to move around the Frontier.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Thomas Hickey is revealed to be one of these as he's assassinated, only being interested in the Templars because they pay him. Unlike other examples, this makes him come off more despicable compared to the other villains who are genuinely dedicated to the Templar cause.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Some Elite Mooks can perform a combo breaker if you hit them several times in a row (unless you've broken their defenses beforehand), which also slightly hurts Connor.
  • Punctuation Shaker: There's a case that's grounded in reality. The protagonist, a Native American, is named Ratonhnhaké:ton—it's pronounced along the lines of RA-doon-ha-GAY-doon, not ra-TONE-ha-KAY-ton, which is acknowledged by the character and his people obvioulsy pronouncing it correctly while a contempoary-period chaacter in the immediate sequel completely butchers it. This is a name based on the Kanien'kéha aka Mohawk language, and the punctuation shaker comes as a result of transcription methods doing this to a lot of First Nation languages. In the story, he's given the name Connor by his mentor Achilles both because of the issues between colonials and natives, and so others can refer to him easily without needing to figure out another language.
  • Purposely Overpowered: Midway through the Abstergo infiltration mission, Desmond gets a silenced semi-automatic pistol. There is no need to reload it and each shot is an instant kill, allowing you to mow down anything in your path. However, your time with the gun is brief because Desmond gets to use another Purposely Overpowered weapon — The Apple of Eden, which automatically forces all enemies to cower as he walks up to them and induces Psychic-Assisted Suicide on all of them at a press of a button. Your time with it is just as short.
  • Puzzle Boss
    • Climax Boss Haytham can only be defeated by smashing him into scenery objects. The game outright gives this away in a big text message the moment the fight begins.
    • The Ropebeater of the Boston Brawlers has to be defeated in the same fashion. The difference is that the game does not give away the hint this time and the scenery objects are not obviously shown, making this a longer trial-and-desynchronization process.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: In the present day, the Earth is saved, but Desmond dies in the process and unleashes a vengeful Physical God on the world. Back in the Revolutionary War, Connor kills the Templar leadership in the Colonies and the British have been driven out, but not everyone is free and his people have been driven from their village, forced to move west.
  • Rabble Rouser:
    • Connor's first visit to Boston has him following a man assigned by Haytham Kenway to make the agitated people of Boston more agitated by getting them to go to the courthouse. Connor kills the man before he can open fire on the British soldiers... only to discover seconds later there's a second man on a roof across the street. And so the Boston Massacre occurs.
    • You can order your assassin recruits to start riots. Stephane also starts one in a fit of Unstoppable Rage while he's searching for the Redcoats who robbed his home.
  • Ramming Always Works:
    • The Aquila can ram enemy ships, which can sink smaller vessels and badly damage bigger ones depending on how fast both ships are going. Upgrading the Aquila with the Naval Ram increases the damage dealt. Watch out, though, they can ram the Aquila as well.
    • In the battle of Chesapeake Bay, the Aquila is badly damaged and the only weapons she has left are her momentum and the Assassin onboard. Full sail ahead, boys!.
  • Real Event, Fictional Cause: The Boston Massacre is portrayed as a Templar plot to destabilize the colonies and fan the flames of war.
  • Reality Warper: Human minds, when coupled with the Pieces of Eden, can alter reality if enough of them are enthralled at once. The First Civilization attempted to use this to prevent the solar flare from destroying them, but they couldn't control enough minds at once to generate the effect on the scale they needed to prevent annihilation. The narrative teases players by hinting that this is what Abstergo might be attempting, but it turns out that Desmond got a vision of the future showing that it would fail.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Connor gives out one to both Haytham for hiding the information that George Washington is responsible for the attack on his village and hiding the fact that he intends on doing it again and on Washington himself for what happened.
    Connor: Enough! Who did what and why must wait. My people come first.
    Haytham: Then let's be off.
    Connor: No! You and I are finished.
    Haytham: Son...
    Connor: Do you think me so soft that by calling me "son" I might change my mind? How long did you sit on this information? Or am I to believe you discovered it now? My mother's blood may stain another's hands, but Charles Lee is no less a monster, and all he does, he does by your command. A warning to you both — choose to follow me or oppose me and I will kill you.
  • Refuge in Audacity: While stealth can be used as an option, you can run inside Templar-controlled forts through the front door, dash to the Hessian Jäger fort leader past the troops he was instructing, and assassinate him in front of them, all without a bit of subtlety.
  • Refuse to Rescue the Disliked: Downplayed, but used as a warning by Connor Kenway, a Native American living during the American Revolution; after discovering that George Washington, whom Connor knew personally and highly respected, was not only condoning acts of genocide against Native American tribes (including Connor's own), but had actually taken part in them personally in the past, making him indirectly connected to the atrocity that killed Connor's mother and ruined his childhood, Connor is understandably pissed. Having been on the Colonist's side during the Revolution up to this point, Connor proceeds to help one last time, then bitterly tells Washington that this is the last battle he will win for him. From then on, Connor remains unaffiliated with either side during the rest of the war, outside of hunting the Templars.
  • Regenerating Health: Connor's health regenerates spontaneously, like in Assassin's Creed (no medicine). It regenerates very quickly out of combat, and at a much slower rate in combat. If you absolutely must, it is possible to break out of a fight and run around in circles or climb a tree until your health meter fills enough for you to continue.
  • The Remnant: The Assassin Brotherhood doesn't have a large contingent in the Colonies, following some unspecified incident where they were wiped out by the Templars. It's down to, at the beginning, just an old man in a manor in the countryside, an old sailor with a wrecked ship and Connor. That's it.
  • Renovating the Player Headquarters: Achilles's Homestead takes the place of Monteriggioni from the last game, allowing Connor to find prospective settlers to move in and help build up the place as a proper town. The homesteaders can provide Conner with raw resources to make more or better equipment, as well as provide local color when Conner visits with them. The settlement can be further improved by doing tasks for the residents, further enhancing the resources you can gather.
  • Rescue Romance: Kaniehtí:io defies this trope; while Haytham Kenway does indeed rescue her and a number of her people from enslavement (or worse) at the hands of a British thug, she refuses to trust him until he accepts her as an equal and fights on her side.
  • Retcon: The first Assassin's Creed game was released in 2007 but is set in 2012. Several e-mails can be read which tell of things such as Hollywood having closed and most of Africa's population having died out. But in this game, the series caught up with 2012, and every subsequent installment has been set in its year of release, so those e-mails have been retconned to have been propaganda to Abstergo Employees by the hacker group Erudito.
  • The Reveal:
    • For the first 3 sequences you play as Haytham Kenway, an assassin who is sent to Colonial America on behalf of his order. After spending the first act recruiting allies and assassinating a few ponces, it's revealed that Haytham is actually an Assassin who defected to the Templars, and you've just built the entire Templar Order you'll spend the rest of the game dismantling as his son, Connor.
    • The climax of Sequence 10 drops a big one: It was George Washington who ordered the destruction of Connor's village, not Charles Lee; and Washington now plans to kill the remaining survivors. This permanently severs the bonds between Connor and Washington, as well as between the former and his father (for not having told him about this information earlier, thinking that he was holding it out as an excuse to earn his trust). By the end of the sequence.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The game makes it clear that the Revolution is essentially led by a group of wealthy white slaveowners who will attack native villages and displace them from their land. Much to Connor's dismay, George Washington is no exception.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Connor performs one against Charles Lee for burning his village and killing his mother. Only to find out that Charles Lee is innocent of the burndown. The one who really did it was no other than Connor's idol, George Washington.
  • Roofhopping: Downplayed, as buildings tend to be lower and farther apart from each other in colonial Boston and New York. You can still do it, but you'd have a hard time crossing the entire town without touching the ground.
  • Rule of Cool: When talking about the combat animations with the tomahawk, developers say that they went over actual military maneuvers and tomahawk moves, but decided that they "weren't awesome enough", hence why Connor's fighting style is the way it is.
  • Rule of Symbolism: While Connor burying a tomahawk onto the mansion's support column instead of a tree is Played for Laughs, it also represents his ignorance and recklessness in his war against the Templars. In the epilogue, after removing it, he looks around the mansion to see there are plenty of trees for him to bury the tomahawk on, symbolizing the fact that Connor's pursuit against the Templars has led to his tribe being evicted by the very people he thought would help them and killing his own father.
  • Sadistic Choice: In the end, Desmond either has to let the world be wrecked beyond repair, essentially rebooting the planet with him as Messianic Archetype, only for a whole new order of Assassins and Templars to arise and begin the whole war all over again or save it at the cost of own his life but unleash Juno upon it. He chooses the latter.
  • Savage Wolves:
    • You can encounter wolves out in the countryside, typically in small packs. They will attack you if they see you and you are close to them.
    • Connor's Animal Motif — besides the eagle that all Assassins identify with — is that of a wolf, to indicate his predatory hunting style. The name "Connor" even means "lover of wolves".
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Connor is raised as a hunter with Eagle Vision, and he can stalk his prey and pick up tracks very quickly. He takes this to Sherlock Scan levels when he investigates several clues to unearth secrets in a room as well as reconstructing past events with a high degree of accuracy.
  • Scenery Gorn: The AnvilNext engine allows for real-time destruction of environments within gameplay. This in turn allows the game to present such visual spectacles as an escape from a fort that's on fire, an escape from a sinking ship, and a mad dash through a town being shelled.
  • Schizo Tech:
  • Schmuck Bait: You can invoke this: Entering a hiding place gives you the ability to whistle, which lures guards to investigate, allowing you to easily take them out.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: It turns out that the Grand Temple is not only the place where The Ones Who Came Before stored all their Lost Technology, but also the place where Juno stored herself, waiting for Desmond to come along and let her out. And Juno doesn't want to save mankind; she wants to rule it.
  • Second Hour Superpower: Zig-zagged. Haytham has a hidden blade from the get-go, but Connor spends a long time training with Achilles before he gets his and the signature outfit.
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • A small one, but during one of Desmond's encounters with Juno in the Grand Temple, he is shown a vision of Ezio meeting Minerva beneath the Vatican, but in his Brotherhood-era Roman robes and not the Armor of Altair he was canonically wearing at the time.
    • The intro movie has Ezio meeting Minerva while wearing his Revelations-era Pilgrimage robes.
  • Serrated Blade of Pain: Captain Kidd's Sawtooth Cutlass, which as its name suggests is a sabre with a serrated back edge.
  • Settling the Frontier:
    • The focus of the Homestead side quests, finding and encouraging people to come and settle near Achilles' manor, then helping them settle in and sort through their issues. They are far enough away from big cities that they need to pull together and depend on each other's skills and efforts, but close enough that they can trade. As new people come into the homestead and business operations are further developed, new buildings will go up and new people will walk the unpaved roads and go about their business.
    • The progressive march of the American colonists into the frontier is what threatens the lifestyle of Connor's Mohawk tribe. In the end, for all his other victories he is doomed to fail at protecting them.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • Desmond's story is resolved in the most conclusive way possible, and the destruction of the world is averted, but in the process Juno is freed. Now it's time to conquer Earth. According to Juno, Connor's story isn't over.
      Juno: Still, you have made a difference, and you will do so again.
    • Near the end of the game, Marquis de Lafayette invites Connor to France, which may imply his involvement in the French Revolution (Unity shows that either he never crossed paths with Arno Dorian or simply never went).
  • Shoot the Dog: Possibly literally. There are guard dogs you can silence and one mission involves rabid ones needing to be put down.
  • Shop Fodder: There are a lot of craftable goods which serve no in-game mechanical purpose but to be sold at a profit.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of the craftable weapons is a knife called the "Broken Sword". The Broken Sword series of adventure games featured a couple of storylines which dealt with the conflict between the Hashshashin and the Templars.
    • The Gunstock Club weapon is a direct reference to Chingachgook's club in The Last of the Mohicans.
    • One possible dialogue if you happen to have a close brush with a city dweller is "What we have here is a failure to communicate".
  • Shown Their Work:
    • The development team went above and beyond the norm for historical events, showing the political figures Warts and All and even hiring consultants so they could accurately portray life in a Mohawk village. This includes never actually using the term "Mohawk" to refer to the culture, other than a codex entry explaining the history of the term. It was clear that the developers put a great deal of effort into creating a proper non-cliched portrayal of Native Americans, specifically in this case, the Mohawk Nation. A way into development, the team even realized that they would need help and actually brought on a member of the Nation onboard to serve as a cultural consultant to make sure they got all the details right. Much of Connor's character; especially in how he presents and handles himself are rooted in this research. It's Kanien'kehá:ka all the way.
    • Every Mohawk tribe member you encounter in the game? Played by actual members of the Tribe. That's dedication.
    • While expatriated now, during the 18th Century cougars and elk really could be found in the northeastern US.
    • Captain Kidd's sword is based on a real sword that George Washington wore when he examined his troops in the field.
  • Shrouded in Myth: The Aquila is known as the "Ghost of the North Seas" and was rumored to be crewed by actual ghosts.
  • Sidequest Sidestory: The game has this with the Homestead missions from recruiting new people to join as well as helping them deal with their own story arcs. Notable arcs involve Warren and Prudence finally having a child of their own, Norris and Myriam's relationship, Ellen dealing with her abusive husband and Big Dave defecting from the Redcoats.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: This could be the Central Theme of Assassin's Creed III. Juno puts it bluntly, when Connor laments that his efforts have not benefited his tribe.
    Juno: You strive for that which does not exist.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Much of the game's playable terrain becomes snow-themed during winter in Sequence 3. The dense snow reduces mobility, especially on steep areas.
  • The Slow Walk: Desmond and William's departure from Abstergo Industries Headquarters. Desmond also has the option to cause any guards in their way to commit Psychic-Assisted Suicide using Ezio's Apple, but this is optional.
  • Small Steps Hero: Connor will always fight the Templar present at the moment, regardless of whatever "greater good" that Templar claims to be pursuing.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: The game features these as vagrant traders, who'll advertise their magic cures as they ride around town with their wares. You can't actually buy any snake oil from them though, only generic supplies such as arrows or firearm cartridges.
  • Snow Means Death: The game takes place across all four seasons, with winter being the hardest to maneuver in for both Connor and his enemies. The gameplay trailers and related cover art make a point of showing Connor assassinating soldiers in the snow.
  • Space Compression:
    • Inverted for the cities. New York and Boston are stated to be about three times the size of their real counterparts of the period.
    • Played straight for the Frontier. It encompasses most of the game map, which is about two square miles in size, or slightly larger than Rome in Brotherhood. This is an area that represents eastern Massachusetts (Lexington and Concord), central New York State (Johnstown and the Mohawk Valley), central New Jersey (Monmouth), eastern Pennsylvania (Valley Forge) and western Pennsylvania (Fort Duquesne i.e. Pittsburgh), and wherever Davenport Homestead is (coastal New England).
  • Spiritual Antithesis: To The Patriot. Both works focus on a protagonist who joins the cause of independence during The American Revolution after witnessing a loved one die in a raid conducted by British forces. Other than the story, setting and a couple of characters, they couldn't be any more different from each other since ACIII not only serves as a Deconstructor Fleet to most works set in the Revolutionary War but Gray-and-Grey Morality and Deliberate Values Dissonance are very much prevalent throughout the story whereas The Patriot being Braveheart in America sticks to good old-fashioned Black-and-White Morality as well as using Artistic License and Politically Correct History to portray the conflict.
  • Staged Populist Uprising:
    • The Templars believed that the American Revolution would be an opportunity for them to start their ideal benevolent-control society from the ground up. So they fomented events such as the Boston Massacre to spark unrest so that they can negotiate a peace settlement either for devolution or full independence. From their highly biased perspective, Connor messed things up and made it a real revolution which quickly went out of control for both Assassins and Templars.
    • Haytham also states that their attempt to direct the revolution isn't so different from the Continental Congress who promise freedom while owning slaves, claim to represent the people when they form at best a highly privileged Vocal Minority. In his mind, the only difference is At Least I Admit It.
    • In Assassin's Creed Rogue, a dying Charles Dorian mocks Shay for the fact that Connor ruined the Templars' plans for co-opting the American Revolution. Shay counters that the Templars will try again in France.
  • Stealth Pun: Connor begins his search for Benjamin Church in an abandoned church.
  • Stock Scream: Apparently Private Wilhelm was a redcoat, since you hear him scream if you shoot a powder cart near the end of Sequence 3. Also, his identical son joined the Colonial militia, but unfortunately got killed by artillery fire as Connor approached Israel Putnam at the Battle of Bunker Hill.
  • The Stoic: Connor is a very stoic person. He gets it from his mom, apparently.
  • Storming the Castle: When William is captured by Abstergo and brought back to the Italian headquarters where Desmond started the first game, Desmond leads a one-man assault with help from Rebecca to save him, killing Daniel Cross and Warren Vidic in the process.
  • Storyboarding the Apocalypse: At the end, Minerva grants Desmond a vision of the future of the world should he choose not to save it. She also tells Desmond what will happen if he does save it, which is not much better.
  • The Straight and Arrow Path: Connor uses one, though he mainly uses it for hunting. He can use flintlock pistols, but they end up damaging his quarry's pelt, reducing the value.
  • Sugar Bowl: The Homestead is almost always an idyllic, almost utopian, community barring a few incidents here and there. The villagers regularly tell Connor how happy they are and how perfect their lives seem now.
  • Subliminal Advertising: As you progress in the multiplayer mode, you unlock various Abstergo Entertainment designer interview videos and Abstergo Industries advertisements. Fulfill certain challenges, however, and you gain access to Erudito-hacked versions of them, revealing all the subliminal trickery used to affect the viewers.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Both protagonists appear to be the only characters ever to learn this skill. Anyone else who ventures past waist deep plunges under the surface like they have legs made of lead weights and die instantly. This MIGHT be acceptable for soldiers, who are carrying heavy packs and weapons, but if you nudge a fisherman who is dressed in light clothing and is only carrying a fishing rod? Same thing. Amusingly, this panics any other people in the area, who flee the waterfront as they apparently realize just how close to instant death they are. As a bonus, you get no penalty or warning for shoving people to their watery graves, unlike the threats of desyncronization that come if you outright shoot them. Just like with Revelations, apprentices are immune to this, merely despawning instead of dying.
  • Super Swimming Skills: Not only can Connor swim indefinitely without getting tired or sinking no matter how much armor he's wearing, but he can also swim in icy-cold water without suffering hypothermia or frostbite.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: The game does much to make Haytham into a sympathetic Templar figure. If it weren't for him callously murdering people after interrogation and associating with Templars that are less justifiably sympathetic than him to say the leastnote , he could easily pass as an anti-hero at worst.
  • Tap on the Head:
    • All of Connor's (and by extension, Desmond's) unarmed finishers will never kill his opponents, as they merely moan and writhe on the floor afterwards. Considering his high-profile behind attack is a Suplex Finisher that breaks the victim's spine, and one open combat finisher involves forcing an opponent to his hands and knees, then curb-stomping his neck, it becomes downright impossible for his opponents to not be dead. At the same time, a halfhearted kick to the leg of the same guy who survived his neck being broken will kill him dead.
    • Connor himself gets beaten up and knocked out on multiple occasions, and seems to be suffering from concussion symptoms after several of them.
  • Taught by Experience: Achilles directly refers to the value of real-situation experience when explaining why he left Connor behind in Boston in Sequence 5.
  • Teased with Awesome: The carpenter at the Davenport Homestead tells Connor that he found designs for Da Vinci's flying machine and has built it. Connor immediately goes to the cliff overlooking the homestead's bay, climbs onto the flying machine, leaps from the edge...and promptly flies right into the water.
  • There Is No Kill like Overkill: Some of the combat finishers approach the level of Video Game Cruelty Potential, like the one where Connor stabs an opponent through the chest with his sword not once, not twice, but three times. What makes this even more over the top is that if you get interrupted before the end of a finisher combo, your opponent might not be defeated.
  • The Tetris Effect: In-Universe. Due to his exposure to the Animus, Desmond's view in his sequences in Brazil and Italy includes "counter" prompts and "awareness" indicators, both of which were not visible the last time he was in a battle in the present day in Assassin's Creed II. Also, if it is not a Translation Convention, the exposure also gives him enhanced language acquisition, as he is able to understand Portuguese enough for it to be translated in subtitles as he passes people by. Essentially, the exposure since finding his Synch Nexus has had added beneficial components, while lacking the Sanity Slippage.
  • This Means Warpaint: Connor puts on warpaint before going after Charles Lee for the last time.
  • The Three Faces of Adam: Connor (Hunter), Haytham (Lord) and Achilles (Prophet). Connor becomes involved in the American Revolution, looking for answers from his father, Haytham. As the Templar Grandmaster, Haytham struggles to keep order during the war, he knows very well how the politics work. Achilles met Haytham prior to Connor's involvement, however he trains Connor as a last attempt to right the wrongs of the previous brotherhood.
  • Three-Point Landing: Starting from this game, you can manually execute these by jumping of a high place and holding the high-profile button, making your character stay in that position until you release the button.
  • Title In: The game lets you know when you've entered a new area. As the Frontier is a single HUGE area, it's been subdivided into a number of regions so players can roughly identify where important things are. It also allows for a hunting sidequest.
  • Tomato Surprise: Haytham and his friends are Templars, and you've unwittingly been playing as (or at least with) the Big Bad of the game. The twist at the end of Sequence 3 is set up by the fact that throughout all previous games, you have always played as an Assassin. This causes you to cheerfully ignore the foreshadowing. The twist is further enhanced by the inversion of Interface Spoilers: You don't see any ingame Assassin symbols during the prologue. Well, maybe the assassins have finally figured out that a secret order shouldn't advertise its presence with a great honking flag - but you're still definitely playing as an Assassin since your GUI involves some Assassin symbols (marking your compatriots for example), right? Wrong - your GUI is written by Rebecca who also assumes that you're still embodying an Assassin. As always, Desmond speaks for the players; as soon as Haytham's true allegiance is revealed, the sequence abruptly stops with Desmond exclaiming "Wait, what!?"
  • Too Dumb to Live: In-universe, twice during the Storming the Castle sequence. First, Vidic lampshades the idiocy of using an elevator in a building where the person in charge (who would have control of the elevators) knows he is there. Later, Daniel Cross lampshades the stupidity of continuing to run around with a knife as a main weapon in the 21st century, when most people have guns. As it turns out, Desmond has the Apple, which is all he really needs.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: All of the Templars, post-timeskip, but most severely is Haytham. He spends every scene he gets seeking new and exciting ways to be a massive condescending jackass to Connor. Charles Lee is even more noteworthy, as his change from a respectful and polite young man to arrogant and hateful after the Time Skip is very noticeable. Part of this is a matter of perspective. Charles Lee, for instance, spends most of his time in the first three scenarios speaking with his direct superior and role model, and so of course he is respectful and polite, rather than to a native boy that is either beneath his respect or a thorn in his side.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The interactive trailer effectively ruins the twist of Sequence 3.
  • Translation by Volume: Haytham slowly enunciates his English to Ziio, a native; she asks him, in excellent English, why he's talking like that.
  • Translation Convention: One of the few games in the series to totally avert convenient language translation. All voice acting is done in the appropriate language, with large amounts of dialogue among the Kanien'kehá:ka being done by native speakers and given subtitles; they never speak English unless it's appropriate to the situation or person, even if they know it fluently. There is a mild "Accent Convention", where colonial characters speak using American accents while British characters speak with British accents, even though both should be using the same accent (which, incidentally, would sound closer to a modern American accent than a modern British one).
  • Trojan Prisoner: Connor can call on Assassins dressed as Redcoats or Patriots to help him infiltrate fortified areas by taking him "prisoner".
  • True Companions: In deliberate contrast with his participation in the war, Connor develops strong relationships with the settlers on the Homestead; they come to regard each other as the closest of friends.
  • 20 Bear Asses: The collection sidequests involve gathering a bunch of items for a random person for no explained reason. Amusingly, the game doesn't take them from your inventory afterwards, even though it does give you the money for them.
  • Uncleanliness Is Next to Ungodliness: Charles Lee was mentioned in his database entry to have incredibly poor hygiene habits. After the time skip from between Connor meeting him as a child, and later as an adult, he gets even filthier, both in appearance and in villainy. Truth in Television, too.
  • Unreliable Expositor: While Juno is telling the truth throughout her exposition segments, she is not telling all of the truth.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: In the Brazil mission, the amorous couples don't seem to even notice when Desmond gets into punch-ups with guards.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Early in the game, Desmond complains about being treated like a pawn by both the Templars and Assassins in a Calling the Old Man Out speech to his father. Ironically, it turns out that he, plus all the Assassins and all the Templars, are pawns in Juno's scheme.
  • Urban Legends: The Frontiersmen quests, in which Connor investigates certain local legends, including the Headless Horseman and the Sasquatch. All but one turn out to have mundane explanations.
  • Useless Useful Stealth:
    • Social Stealth, a staple gameplay element of the previous games in the series, is no longer quite as important. This is likely because it's harder to hide from alerted enemies than before, and simply killing all the pursuing guards is faster.
    • Assassin Recruits can disguise themselves as guards and escort Connor through enemy guard posts. While this works on regular guards, those guarding forts still won't let you in and will attack if you try to press it. They also have a tendency to dress up in the wrong uniform, sometimes leading to you being paraded around Redcoat territory by Patriot guards or vice versa, rendering the disguise useless as guards will attack them on sight.
  • Victorious Chorus: Played while Desmond strides towards Abstergo's front doors, holding the Apple aloft and slaughtering guards. He's so powerful you don't even need to press any buttons; the Apple reduces the guards to trembling kittens.
  • Video Game Caring Potential:
    • Connor can feed and pet all sorts of domesticated animals, from kitties to lambs. Awww~
    • The grand majority of Homestead missions seem to be intentionally designed for causing warm fuzzies.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • Yes, we've slain hundreds across our Assassin careers, but have you ever wanted to snap a beaver's neck with your bare hands?
    • If you find an aggressive animal near a squad of soldiers, sprinkle some bait in their path and watch the fun.
    • Using the Apple of Eden to force Abstergo guards to shoot themselves in the head. You don't have to do it; they'll flee in terror otherwise, but it's just so satisfying...
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: As in the previous games, the Animus will start desynchronizing if you start killing civilians. It will start desynchronizing if you start hunting animals for sport (that is, fail to skin your kills) or killing domestic animals as well.
  • Villain Decay: Cross is easily trounced by Desmond every time they meet, and is a Zero-Effort Boss when you finally get to kill him. If he isn't just taken down in one hit when he is chased in Brazil, his combat prowess and durability is about as much as the average Mooks. You'd expect better performance from someone who killed the Mentor of the Assassins and got away with it. However, William acknowledges that after 12 years, Cross is more of a symbol than an asset to Abstergo.
  • Villain Opening Scene: The first quarter of the game's campaign features the Templar Grand Master Haytham Kenway traveling to America and gathering his team of Templars.
  • Villain Protagonist: At the end of Sequence 3, Desmond and his team learn that Haytham was a Templar, seeming to have defected to that cause from the Assassins.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Cross goes over the edge late in the game when he's subject to an intense Bleeding Effect, and after Cross is killed and Desmond is annihilating Abstergo agents, Vidic launches into a tirade of Templar rhetoric and attempts to justify what he's done, while claiming they help enrich lives at Abstergo and Desmond is just taking and taking and being evil.
  • Walking Armory: Connor can carry a tomahawk/knife, a pair of pistols, a bow, a sword/club/bigger axe, and a pair of Hidden Blades, one of which can be detached and used as a dagger. In addition, he can pick up muskets with fixed bayonets.
  • War Is Hell: You see the bodies piling up, soldiers of both sides being blown to pieces by stray cannon shells, as well as starvation and the other ailments soldiers and civilians went through during this age.
  • Warp Whistle: The game goes even further than its predecessors by letting you fast-travel to any viewpoint already unlocked but unfortunately these are pretty scarce. New York also has a Tunnel Network that must be explored to unlock fast-travel points.
  • We Can Rule Together: Haytham Kenway tries more than once to make his son Connor adopt the Templar way of thinking. Haytham is so dedicated to the Templar cause that he doesn't quite get why Connor is so opposed to it, Connor would be a very deadly Templar agent, Connor is his son, and (perhaps most importantly) Haytham really wants to hear Connor say "Father, you were right".
  • Welcome to Corneria: The collection, delivery, and assassination sidequests have utterly generic dialog. "You have my everlasting gratitude, sir."
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: For all of Desmond's rebellious nature, he reveals through conversation that he is also desperately seeking his father's approval. William for his part acts like a Jerkass to him (though not without reason) for the first half of the game, not warming up until later.
  • Wham Line: At the end of Sequence 3, though talk of order and purpose immediately prior does hint at it. To hammer it home, the achievement earned for completing the sequence is "How D'ya Like Them Apples?"
    Haytham: You are a Templar. May the Father of Understanding guide us.
    Desmond: Wait... what?

  • What a Piece of Junk: See that wrecked ship in the harbor near Achilles' homestead? Yeah, that's your ship. Fortunately, it's repaired into great condition after a Time Skip.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In-Universe, Desmond's crew speculate on why, of the Triumvirate, only Juno seems to be present in the Grand Temple. It turns out to be because she threw away the memory discs they left for him as part of her secret plan. And Minerva shows up at the end anyway. Tinia (Jupiter) still remains unaccounted for, though.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The Templars that Connor kills accuse him, not without some justification, of blundering around and starting the Revolutionary War when they were only trying to achieve a peaceful resolution.
  • Where It All Began: Desmond tracks down and kills Vidic in the building where they first met in Assassin's Creed, in the Abstergo Headquarters in Italy. Similarly, the Green Dragon tavern is where Charles Lee was inducted into the Templars early on and where the final confrontation with him begins.
  • White Void Room: As before, this is the Animus loading screen, but it's been updated (along with the game engine) so instead of looking like a void with grid lines, it looks like a chaotic void made of shards that mirror you in odd ways as they tumble around you.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: The Frontier, a countryside area near Boston, is one and a half times bigger than Rome as seen in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.
  • Wiki Tropes: The informational tidbits Shaun provides now exhibit some of these, especially brief, hilarious parenthetical commentary on the subject at hand. What's even funnier is that Shaun alone writes the entries.
  • Wooden Ships and Iron Men: The naval combat in this game, though taking a few liberties, works hard to capture the experience of this.
  • Workplace-Acquired Abilities: Connor Kenway learns free running, growing up in an environment where tree climbing is a must. Connor is also raised to be a Mohawk warrior, giving him some fighting prowess before he was sent to join the Assassins.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Well, when you have to fight one (actually two) in a brawling tournament, of course you have to.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Connor's and Haytham's unarmed finishers include a dropkick, suplex, and DDT.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: There are several side missions that can take place years after your current time period, despite just becoming available, most notably the Benedict Arnold missions. You can do them as soon as you arrive in New York in Sequence 10, but for some reason, Connor is extremely hostile to Washington during the mission and returns to being friendly towards him after it ends. This is because Washington ordered Connor's village destroyed, which he isn't supposed to find out until Sequence 11.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: The Templars have to hastily recalculate to try and salvage their plans, which Connor keeps screwing up. They fail, and since their goals were protecting Native American land (so they can obtain it for themselves to find and secure the Grand Temple) and organising a peaceful resolution to the conflict, it's safe to assume that Connor has made matters quite a bit worse. Achilles plays too, but is at a disadvantage because the Assassins have deteriorated so much.
  • You Are Too Late: In the ending, Minerva states that the Assassins and Templars could have saved humanity had they only found the Grand Temple a few hundred years earlier and not spent all their time fighting with each other. It was her original plan that humans perfect the technology that the First Civilization left behind. Instead, Juno manipulated history in such a way that the only remaining choice is to free her or let the world burn.
  • You Can Barely Stand: After the chase sequence in the burning ship, both Connor and Lee are too badly injured to fight, and are reduced to sharing a drink across a tavern table.
  • You Cannot Kill An Idea: Exaggerated by Haytham Kenway when fighting Connor; while the Assassins are literally born of lifetimes of discipline and self-study, the Templars grow like weeds no matter what the Assassins do because Evil Is Easy and Evil Pays Better. The Templars are even more resilient than the Assassins because they're not even an idea — they're the absence of one.
    Haytham: Even when your kind appears to triumph, still, we rise again. And do you know why? It is because the Order is born of a realization. We require no creed! No indoctrination by desperate old men. All we need is that the world be as it is. And this is why the Templars will never be destroyed!
  • You Don't Look Like You: Arno's robes in the remaster aren't the blue ones he's usually associated with, and instead are made of what seems to be black leather.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Haytham Kenway has a tendency to execute those he interrogates after he's done with them, regardless of whether or not he gained any useful information off of them. This is mostly because he's not willing to expend the effort and resources to take them prisoner.
  • You Killed My Father:
    • As revealed in this very game, this trope is the reason behind the events of the entire series. Juno's father was killed during the war between Those Who Came Before and humanity. This left her with a deep-seated resentment of humanity. As a result, she manipulated the plan to prepare humans for the next solar flare to ensure that she would be able to return to Earth and conquer humanity after the threat had passed. The war between the Assassins and Templars, two groups of people who both ultimately just wanted to make the world a better place and merely disagreed on how to do it, was at least partially Juno's fault thanks to her manipulations via the Pieces of Eden, since the two groups working together might have found a way to stop the solar flare without following her plans.
    • Connor hates Charles Lee and wants him dead because he blames him for the attack on his village that killed his mother Ziio. He does not respond well when he learns that his ally George Washington was the one truly responsible for the attack. He eventually leaves Washington alone (he merely cuts off all ties with him) though.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: Post time-skip, Haytham casually murders just about everyone he's captured for interrogation, usually right after they beg for mercy. "Right! Off you go!" *slit* These Kick the Dog moments help justify Connor deciding to kill him rather than ally with him.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: Both Daniel Cross and Charles Lee are killed without an actual fight, despite the large amount of build-up the former gets throughout the series, and the latter being the Big Bad of Connor's storyline. Justified in that Cross is prone to mental freakouts that render him unable to fight, something that's been previously established, and Lee isn't an Assassin-level fighter and knows it. The confrontation with Lee is further justified by both characters being severely injured.

    The Tyranny of King Washington

Some time after the main game, Connor wakes up to find himself in a changed landscape. A world where the American Revolution became twisted and its greatest hero turned into a tyrant who oppresses the same people he once liberated.

  • A God Am I: While King Washington never outright claims godhood, he still purposefully elevates himself to a mythical status by claiming he embodies freedom and that he and Ratohnhaké:ton are "above" the common people.
  • All Just a Dream: The bonus memory fragments and the ending reveal that the entire Alternate History was a vision caused by an Apple that Washington found in Yorktown. Apparently, the entire sequence of events plays out in a fraction of a second after they both touch it. After that, Washington realizes that such a powerful artifact must never be used, lest the user become corrupted by it. Furthermore, the experience only serves to reinforce his belief in the republic. Connor is also humbled into avoiding such objects in the future and vindicated that backing Washington was worth something after all.
  • Allohistorical Allusion: King Washington's pyramid is a large scale model recreation of the Great Seal of the United States.
  • Alternate History: An Alternate History of an Alternate History, primarily caused by Washington finding an Apple of Eden and being corrupted by its power. It's explained by writers and hinted in the expanded backstory of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag that what we see in the DLC is a "calculation", that is, the Applied Phlebotinum of the Apple's Timey-Wimey Ball sometimes gives glimpses of possible futures as well as actual ones, with Connor and George merely getting a glimpse of one. Although this isn't without precedent in the series: Desmond describes his compulsion to kill Lucy as an informed decision due to having seen what would have happened otherwise.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Connor is convinced that Washington's becoming a tyrannical king is because of his coming under the Apple's spell. Washington, when the idea is presented to him, claims that he is in his right mind, but admits that he never considered the Apple might be controlling him. Unlike the others, he never "wakes up" from the control, and shortly after the vision ends he reaches for his sword as if to continue fighting Connor. However, he immediately relents and firmly rejects a man's proposal that he be crowned king, leaving it unclear whether he was controlled or just wrapped up in his power and realizing how bad he had become only after the fact.
  • And I Must Scream: It is revealed that everyone under Washington (including Washington himself) are under the influence of the Apple. On their deathbed, they seem to finally snap out of it and realize what they have been made to do.
  • Another Story for Another Time: While sailing to New York in The Redemption, Ratonhnaké:ton mentions to Faulkner that he is not the first in his family to be drawn to the sea, but then decides to focus on piloting the ship, telling Faulkner that the story of Edward Kenway (the protagonist of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Ratonhnaké:ton's grandfather) will have to wait for another time.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: More like Armor Piercing Exchange, as King Washington takes note of Connor's increasing addiction to the Willow's gifts and his temptation with the Apple:
    Ratonhnhaké:ton: You have been corrupted by the Apple's power.
    King Washington: Corrupted? Well, that raises an interesting question: Do you wish me to give up the Apple in order to ... save my soul? ... Or do you wish the Apple for yourself, so you can control the nation?
    Ratonhnhaké:ton: ... The true rulers are the people.
    King Washington: Let's not deceive ourselves. It's an absurd thought, but let's suppose I were beholden to this Apple, how would you behave differently?
    Ratonhnhaké:ton: I would use it for the good of everyone.
    King Washington: Possession of the Apple is both a burden and a blessing. Tell me, when you shake the earth, do you feel that you are a slave to the people? ... Or do you wish to be their master?
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Mad King George has mastered the power of the Apple to a degree unmatched by any previously seen user, giving him incredible sorcery-like powers in combat. The first time you fight him at the end of Act I, it's a Hopeless Boss Fight. Only after gaining the animal powers from the Great Willow Tea are you able to match him in combat at the end of Act III.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • The Apple seems to have had an especially bad effect on Israel Putnam who has a constant look of craziness in his eyes.
    • There's also a bit from King Washington in the second episode where, seeing that Ratonhnhaké:ton has been captured after surviving the fight at the Mohawk village before, he orders that Connor be executed the following day. He then adds on that a score of civilians will also be executed, picked out at random, "as an example." It's implied that this happens regularly.
  • Balcony Speech: King Washington delivers one to the public from the balcony of his New York Pyramid:
    King Washington: Citizens of the United States! I come before you a humbled man. As I look out upon this vast land, I see each of you suffering, yes, suffering! And striving for a better life, a better future, a better America. Each one of you sacrificing, slaving for this great country, for freedom. And I humbly say to you, your sacrifices inspire me! ... Today I announce the great project of this nation. We are mustering vast armies. We are fashioning powerful armadas. We shall soon march upon our great, dark enemy: England! We shall invade her shores and irrigate her fields with blood. English bones shall provide grist for our mills, and her people shall become our slaves. Each of you shall profit from the sweat of their labors! Our nation shall rise to its proper place as the greatest of all: The Most Sovereign Kingdom - The United States of America!
  • The Beastmaster: Connor's Sky Journey gives him command of a pack of invisible phantom wolves.
  • Big Bad Friend: George Washington is this to Connor (who remembers the normal timeline), though the Washington of this timeline has never met him. Samuel Adams and Thomas Jefferson also express disbelief at their friend becoming a tyrant after the Revolution.
  • Big Good: After the end of the DLC, Washington firmly settles himself into this role for America. He tells Connor to hide the Apple from human hands and is so creeped out by the vision of himself as a psychotic King that he's even more firmly a believer in a republic than before.
  • Broad Strokes: The DLC doesn't entirely clarify how the new timeline diverged from the original one or what role the likes of Haytham or Achilles played in it, which makes it more of a All Just a Dream than a true alternate universe.
  • Call-Back: In the end, Connor disposes of the Apple by dropping it in the sea. This is one of suggestions Altaïr gives for cover stories regarding what happened to his Apple in the final mission of Assassin's Creed: Revelations.
  • The Cameo: Several of the Homestead settlers make brief appearances though they aren't acknowledged by Connor by name. Big Dave is the blacksmith in Boston who sold the metal needed to complete Benjamin Franklin's key, Warren is the farmer who drives the food cart in New York and Godfrey is one of Jefferson's associates who's lined up in the firing squad.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The new animal abilities are staggeringly powerful but rapidly drain Connor's health.
  • Colossus Climb: The final Sky Journey has Connor climb a giant bear as he removes the various spears impaled on it from different sides.
  • Contrasting Sequel Setting: The DLC takes the same physical location as the base game and turns it into a horror setting. It's the dead of the winter, all the cities and other inhabitable locations are dead and ruined, there are corpses hanging everywhere and Everything Is Trying to Kill You. To top it all off, there is Mason symbolism everywhere, and THE most important elements of the franchise - aka the Assassins and the Templars are completely absent. It's dark, foreboding, and creepy as hell. There are random trinkets all over the place that look like they came straight out of the Virtual Reality mentioned in Revelations.
  • Crapsack World: The relatively peaceful Frontier from the main story has become a frozen near-wasteland. Bodies are hung from trees or left to freeze, and Lexington and Concord are abandoned and nearly destroyed. There are also wolves everywhere. Boston and New York aren't any better off, considering how many civilians are being executed or caged up all over both cities, plus the massively increased number of trigger-happy guards and the presence of wolves on the outskirts.
  • Creepy Blue Eyes: The final Sky Journey, makes Connor's eyes a dark electric blue pupils with no white left. Benjamin Franklin is pretty creeped out at seeing him like this.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: Conversations can be overheard in towns—particularly from heralds—referring to real historical events, such as a town crier informing citizens of events taking place in Egypt that have no bearing on the story at all.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: One of the trailers shows a battle during The American Revolution, which seems to be a curb-stomp for the redcoats (led by a Templar). Then Connor shows up, "borrows" a horse, gets it shot out from under him, hides behind some rocks as another volley of musket balls head his way, runs out while the troops are reloading, jumps into the ranks, and the slaughter starts. Even the elite Highlanders can't stop him. The fleeing Americans see the commotion and charge back into the fray, helping Connor with some well-placed cannon fire. Connor kills the Templar general, hitting him with an arrow and then finishing him off with a tomahawk, and disappears. The British are in utter disarray and are quickly routed.
  • Dying as Yourself: Israel Putnam dies admitting My God, What Have I Done? while taking responsibility for his actions. Benedict Arnold is a slight aversion in that on one hand he's free of the Apple but on the other hand he hasn't become the traitor of the Revolution in this timeline.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Washington himself but also Israel Putnam. Right at the end, it appears that Connor is about to grab the Apple and take power as well.
  • Fanservice: There's couple of nice long scenes of Connor shirtless, plus his clothing is considerably more, ahem, revealing in this universe.
  • The Final Temptation:
    • For both George Washington and Connor. The real-life George Washington stepped down after a two-term limit, setting the precedent for limits of term of office and in his retirement, some ex-soldiers approached him with an offer to be King of America which he refused. The game takes this and runs with it in an Alternate Universe showing Washington what would happen to him and what he would become if he became king.
    • For Connor. The Apple and the sky-journeys offer him a sense of power and command that gives him quite a high after his Break the Cutie in the main game and he is seriously tempted to take the Apple and use it for his own means. He turns it down, of course.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Episode 1 has a serious one that was never patched. In some games, completing (or even activating) any side activities before finishing the main missions caused the final main mission to become Unintentionally Unwinnable, as the enemies the player is supposed to intertact with in the mission's first objective do not appear. The only known solution is to delete the save file containing the glitch and, in severe cases, reinstall the entire game.
  • The Ground Is Lava: One mission is about saving a giant bear spirit without touching the ground. You do this by utilizing the eagle spirit to fly from platform to platform.
  • Ground Pound: After drinking the Great Willow tea for the third time, Connor gains this power in the form of a bear. Doing this kills anyone in the vicinity and throws them far away. It also destroys certain mission-critical barriers.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: It's strongly implied that Ratohnhaké:ton suffers this by using the Great Willow tea and Sky Journeys to take down King Washington. The DLC ends before we see what Ratohnhaké:ton planned to use the Apple for.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: The Assassins have never been ones for true stealth, but Ratohnhaké:ton takes it up to eleven in this one by outright wearing a wolf pelt over his head. By the third episode, the Town Criers are calling out for everyone to report any sightings of a man "wearing a wolf" and the guards will attack you on sight.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: George Washington. If you run up to him, he blasts you away with an energy wave; if you run circles around him, he'll shoot lightning at you; if you just keep your distance, he'll summon thunder bolts from the sky on top of you. Eventually he hits you with his staff, shoots you with two pistols, takes a musket and stabs you with the bayonet, simultaneously shooting you a third time before leaving you for dead. You get your revenge later... sorta...
  • Humanoid Abomination: Connor's Sky Journeys make hims into a Voluntary Shapeshifter with the powers of the Wolf, Eagle and the Bear. When he takes the final Sky Journey, his eyes become a cold blue.
  • I Am the Noun: When told by a bluecoat that his palace is being attacked by rebels, Washington goes on a rant that includes phrases like "I "am" the people" and "I am freedom!" This coming from a man who declared himself king and plans to conquer and enslave England.
  • Magical Native American: Whereas the base game only plays with the trope, this DLC plays this straight with the abilities granted by the Great Willow tea. However, since it's not clear if Connor is dreaming all this, this may just be a figment of his imagination, especially since the Great Willow is not there in the "normal" reality. So far, Connor can:
    • Become invisible in plain sight (he can run up to a guy, kill him, run away, and everyone will just wonder what happened to the guy who collapses) and summon a pack of spirit wolves to attack nearby enemies. The first ability is Cast From Hitpoints.
    • Turn into an eagle and fly to any ledge or rooftop or person (for assassination). This ability is also Cast From Hitpoints.
    • Ground Pound as a bear, killing anyone in the immediate area and damaging certain objects.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: At the end of the DLC, Washington is confronted by a mysterious figure who somehow appeared in his office soundlessly, who tries to convince Washington to take up the mantle of King. Washington lays a verbal smackdown on the man for his troubles, but somehow the mysterious man disappears from the office while Washington is in mid-sentence and is looking right at him. Sneaky Templar agent? Techno wizardry from Those Who Came Before? Symptoms of insanity or dementia on Washington's part caused by the stress of the events of the DLC? You decide.
  • Mind Screw: If the title isn't enough, here is a brief summary; Connor finds himself in an alternative universe where his mom is still alive, there a magic tree which corrupts everyone who drinks its tea in exchange for life-draining powers via Mushroom Samba, there are fragments of the real world rendered in PS1 graphics everywhere, and the American Revolution apparently never properly happened. Then there's the excessive Mason symbolism, that Everything Is Trying to Kill You, and whoever the hell that royalty supporter was at the end.
  • Mirroring Factions: A major theme of the DLC. While the Redcoats were the Designated Villains of the vanilla game and the rebels were the de facto "good guys", the roles are switched for the DLC. It even goes so far as renaming the Redcoats to the rebels and the former rebels to Bluecoats. Also, in numerous ways the Bluecoats are actually worse; they carry out executions far more often and frequently cart around captives. Also applicable to major characters; under the influence of the Apple, allies in the vanilla game (e.g. Putnam and Franklin) become villains in the DLC. Averted for Samuel Adams, who is a good guy in both alternative histories. It's justified in that Samuel Adams was always against centralized government having too much power. Historically, he was one of the loudest critics of the Constitution and vehemently opposed the creation of a central government. In the final Boss Fight, King Washington notes this about Connor, wondering if he also covets the same power. Connor, in the King's words, never answers the question. Connor himself seems to get addicted to the power of the sky-journeys and becomes unstable and crazy as the story goes along.
  • Mushroom Samba: Technically, the entire DLC is one for Connor and Washington, but the Great Willow Tree Sky World Journeys stand out. It has Connor communing with an animal spirit in really creepy areas before slowly acquiring their powers.
  • No Kill like Overkill: During the first episode, Washington knocks Ratohnhaké:ton out with the Apple, shoots him with both his side pistols, then stabs him with a bayonet before shooting him with the musket it's mounted on. How Ratohnhaké:ton survived is a mystery. It is the first sign that the DLC is not a true Alternate Universe, but All Just A Dream.
  • No Man Should Have This Power: In the ending, Connor and Washington decide to drop the Apple to the bottom of the sea so no one can use it.
  • Noodle Incident: For Xbox 360 players (and PC players who didn't buy the Steam Digital Deluxe Edition) who didn't get to play the Benedict Arnold missions, Connor's referencing their previous encounter will seem like this to those players.
  • Not Himself: Everyone serving under Washington, as well as Washington himself, due to the Apple. When they are freed of its influence, they are horrified by the actions they have committed. Benjamin Franklin is the only one lucky enough to be free and still be alive. It's also interesting to note that with his dying breaths King Washington does not express remorse like the others but rather grasps for the Apple and dies on his throne.
  • Offered The Clown: The epilogue features a phantom created by the Apple of Eden suggests that Washington crown himself king of the United States. Washington rebukes such a proposal before the phantom disappears after Connor drops the Apple in the ocean.
  • People's Republic of Tyranny: Washington reigns King over The Most Sovereign Kingdom - The United States of America.
  • Plot Coupon: Franklin's special metal to defeat King Washington's security system. It's brought up multiple times but its intended use is vague at best. Ratohnhaké:ton somehow uses it before confronting Washington and it's never mentioned again.
  • Purposely Overpowered: The Great Willow powers can come across like this when one is used to the vanilla game's abilities. However, this is the point of Ratohnhaké:ton choosing to get these powers in the first place, as the increased number of enemies and the Purposely Overpowered nature of King Washington himself make it necessary.
  • Rage Quit: In-Universe, when Ratohnhaké:ton plays checkers with a man who begins laughing about Samuel Adams' rebels being massacred. The player is given the prompt "Press X to Rage Quit," at which point Connor smashes his face with the heavy wooden board. And then beats down every Bluecoat in the bar. invoked
  • Ramming Always Works: In the third episode, the Aquila engages in an uneven battle against Washington's fleet near New York. Despite the fact that you can curb stomp them, a lucky hit destroys the ship's cannons, so Connor orders everyone off the ship and goes at full sail towards a man-o'-war blocking the harbor. The collision sets off the man-o'-war's powder reserves, resulting in both ships exploding spectacularly.
  • Rebel Leader: Samuel Adams in Boston and Jefferson in New York.
  • Recollection Sidequest: Connor can find various fragments which display events from the main game, in which he is the protagonist. It is implied in the DLC that being Trapped in Another World has messed with his memories.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Connor/Ratohnhaké:ton awakens believing the year is 1799 with all the information from his own timeline. He is completely flummoxed at how everyone around him has changed, and even cuts off his now-alive mother when she tries to reveal that Haytham was a Templar (or possibly an Assassin in this timeline) and offer his hidden blades - as Connor already knows. Becomes a plot point when Connor gets his "revenge" on Benedict Arnold, a Karma Houdini from the main story. However, in this timeline he never betrayed West Point or defected to the British, so he has no idea what Connor is talking about, and begs him to stop Washington.
  • Sequel Hook: While captaining the Aquila, Ratohnhaké:ton references his paternal grandfather, a pirate named Edward Kenway — the player character in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. This scene also invokes Another Story for Another Time.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A scene early in the first chapter depicts bluecoats locking an entire town in a church before lighting it on fire, just like in The Patriot. The townsfolk make it out much better this time around.
    • Part of the last Sky Journey in the DLC looks and plays very similar to Shadow of the Colossus: Rakonhnaké:ton needs to climb an enormous, walking bear, although rather than kill it, he needs to pull out the spears stuck in it. The final spear is even stuck in the bear's forehead, the final weak spot on many of the Colossi.
  • Supervillain Lair: Washington's Lair is complete with its own zoo of pet animals and large vents and an enormous throne room.
  • Tropical Island Adventure: Part of the game takes place in the Caribbean, with Martinique, Jamaica and The Bahamas being prominent locations.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: As soon as we get a glimpse of Washington's pyramid at the end of Episode 2: The Betrayal, you can be sure that it would become this. It doesn't disappoint, an Assassin's Tomb with an environment modified to accommodate Connor's new powers.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The tea made from the boughs of the Great Willow grants Connor this power. After one sip, he can turn into a wolf and walk around unseen. After two, he can turn into an eagle and fly from rooftop to rooftop. After three, he can turn into a bear and Ground Pound.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Connor's default outfit.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Essentially asks this question of Washington and Connor. They are both shown a vision of absolute power and given a glimpse of how things would be had they taken the Apple. Turns out that they live up to their ideals after all.
    George Washington: Your proposal raises the greatest mischief that can befall my country. You could not have found a person to whom your schemes are more disagreeable. Let me conjure you then, if you have any regard for your country, concern for your self or posterity, or respect for me, to banish these thoughts from your mind, never communicate, as from yourself, or anyone else, a sentiment of the like nature.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Double Subversion - King Washington does shoot Ratohnhaké:ton (twice, in fact, and stabs him with a bayonet too for good measure) when he gets the chance. However, he inexplicably survives. When Washington finds out about Ratohnhaké:ton's survival, he seeks to behead him to try to ensure his death this time around. Ratohnhaké:ton still easily escapes.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity:
    • This DLC is all about this, under the premise of Washington obtaining an Apple and using it to declare himself King of the United States. He rules with an iron fist, mind-controls his advisers and generals, and orders the bluecoats to destroy the Frontier when Connor's mother tries to steal the Apple. He then commissions a giant royal palace in New York that looks like a Mayincatec pyramid. In a big speech in the third episode, he announces that he is planning on raising a huge army and building a huge fleet in order to defeat and enslave England.
    • It's also hinted at some points that Connor is becoming corrupted by the powers of the Great Willow Tea. Aside from him becoming tattooed and getting bear-like and blue Black Eyes of Crazy, he talks about replacing King Washington with a new leader, rather than the "power to the people" ideal that the rebels and he himself used to speak of. King Washington himself lampshades this by asking Connor if he would use the power of the Apple to control the people, and Connor visibly struggles to answer.
      Intro: Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
    • It's also hinted earlier, where Connor and Thomas Jefferson discuss the future with Connor noting that after they take down King Washington the people will need a new leader, the tone essentially becoming very sinister, which Jefferson picks up on and calls him out on.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Assassins Creed 3


Connor Kenway

An ancestor of William and Desmond Miles, Ratonhnhake:ton (who adopted the name "Connor" to ease communication) is a Kanien'keha:ka (Mohawk) born from a Native American mother, Kaniehti:io, and an English father, Haytham Kenway. He had a turbulent childhood that saw his tribe destroyed by colonial forces, and his hatred of tyranny led to his recruitment by the Assassin Order in 1770 and involvement in the American Revolutionary War.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheHero

Media sources: