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"As an empire falls, a brotherhood rises."

We are the first. The first to see the gods, the first to tame their beasts, the first to guard the souls from evil. We conquered this land and built an empire. But there are whispers on the winds. A brotherhood born in the shadows. They are the first to call themselves, the Assassins.
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Assassin's Creed Origins is the tenth major entry in the Assassin's Creed series. It was released October 27, 2017, on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

The game is set in Ptolemaic Era Egypt during the reign of Queen Cleopatra VII Philopator in the year 49 BCE. Your protagonist is Bayek of Siwa, a Medjay, a former member of an elite police that had mysteriously disappeared in the collapse of the New Kingdom. Bayek becomes the founder of the group that would become the Assassin's Brotherhood, while Egypt experiences a turbulent period of civil war and occupation by The Roman Republic. The game includes a huge swathe of land filled with countryside and small settlements, the Nile River Delta, sandy and white deserts, and the cities of Memphis and Alexandria.

Earlier entries to the series had always implied that the Assassin's Brotherhood, which originated as we understand it during The Crusades, was Older Than They Think. Origins is the first entry in the series to actually be set in a Pre-Crusades era, during the era of Antiquity.

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It also has a prequel book, Assassin's Creed: Desert Oath, detailing Bayek becoming a Medjay in 70 BCE. Some of the DLC was free, including "The Trials of the Gods" (timed events that have Assassins fighting Animus-renders of the Egyptian Gods) which was available fifteen days post-launch; a Horde Mode, and most importantly the "Discovery Tour", available early 2018, which is an entirely new mode of the game without any action NPCs and violence, and serve as an entirely educational mode with commentaries by Egyptologists describing the research that went into the games.

Paid story DLC became available in 2018. The first DLC, The Hidden Ones takes places 4 years after the base game. The people of the Sinai are revolting against the Roman occupation, with the assistance of the Hidden Ones led by Tahira. However when two of the Hidden Ones die in a massacre, Tahira contacts Bayek, pleading for the mentor of their order to join them to rebuild the Sinai branch of the Hidden Ones and throw off the Roman occupation.

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The second DLC, The Curse of the Pharaohs goes to Thebes and the Valley of the Kings, featuring a large new landmass. The Hidden Ones hear rumors of a new Isu Relic surfacing in Thebes. Bayek goes to investigate, but things prove more complicated as the city appears to be under a curse causing the old pharaohs buried in the nearby Valley of Kings to rise from the dead and attack the city.

''World Premier trailer'', Cinematic Trailer and Launch Trailer.

The game was later followed by a prequel, Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, taking place in Ancient Greece.

Tropes

  • Absurdly Low Level Cap: Zigzagged, in that Bayek stops levelling at 40, but still gains experience and ability points, he just doesn't level up any further. The Hidden Ones raises the level cap to 45, while The Curse of the Pharaohs further raises the cap to 55.
  • Action Girl:
    • Jeskya, a smuggler in Sais, who had been taken by Sufetu's men. She still manages to escape after being tortured, and when Bayek finds her she's single-handedly fighting off several hippos.
    • Zahra, a farmer in Faiyum who assists Bayek with the Sons of Ra, in-between flirting with him.
    • Shaqilat, a one-woman La Résistance operating in Sinai who slaughters her way through some Roman slavers before Bayek meets her. She impresses him enough to ask her to join the Hidden Ones.
  • Adult Fear:
    • The Crocodile murders Shadya by throwing her in a river with a weight around her legs in front of her mother.
    • A side-quest has a woman mention her town's well-being was held by the local commander taking her child hostage, then later killing her. Only to turn out instead he'd raised her as his own child, with the child being so young she actually forgot her real mother.
    • A woman whose village was attacked by bandits mentions that she's already seen her father and son die at their hands.
  • A God Am I: One of Bayek's targets, the Son of Ra, has convinced the followers of his Cult that he is an invincible deity, giving orders to his followers from prison. When you find him, he is nothing but a weak, babbling madman who goes down from a Hidden Blade just as easily as any other target, though at least he makes you chase him down first. Still, there may be some validity in his egotism, as he's the only sidequest target to get a white-room scene when he's assassinated, and there are inconsistent hints that he may be a Sage.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg:
    • A corrupt merchant in Faiyum, when caught selling rancid food by Bayek, will do this (assuming the player lets him live long enough), along with trying to bribe Bayek.
    • Gaia, who has been kidnapping and selling children from Memphis, tries pleading to Pluto to spare her when faced with Bayek (after he's mowed through her guards). It doesn't help.
  • Ancient Egypt: Billed as this, but the Ptolemaic Era of Egypt, especially the time of Cleopatra's (where it would be occupied by Rome), is a good deal more recent than you would expect of this trope. The Great Pyramids were more ancient to her time (2500 BCE to 1 BCE) than her times are to us (1 BCE — 2017 CE). The developers chose this era because they noted that a truly ancient era would not quite provide them cities like Alexandria (which as the name suggests comes from Alexander the Great's invasion), and this era allowed them a huge swathe of architecture from multiple eras as well as monuments that no longer exist (such as the Pharos of Alexandria, Cleopatra's Palace, and the Library of Alexandria).
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes:
    • Some quests do give out new outfits for Bayek, but the biggest one is for the Isu outfit which involves having visited all 12 stone circles and gotten 50 silica from the tombs, which you bring to a room under the Sphinx. Another one is the Black Hood, your final reward for hunting down and defeating all ten Phylakis.
    • Completing all the tours in Discovery Tour unlocks an alternate skin for Senu that gives her white feathers.
    • Finishing the New Game Plus just unlocks another outfit for Bayek.
  • Animal Motifs: As per series tradition, the Proto-Assassin Bayek's name is apparently a transliteration of an Egyptian hieroglyph which means falcon or vulture. He also has a pet Eagle called Senu who serves as his scout, à la Far Cry Primal.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • If you need to cross bodies of water but can't find a boat, just jump in and start swimming. The game will spawn a civilian boat that's headed right for you after a couple seconds.
    • (Almost) wherever you are, your loyal mount is never more than a whistle away.
    • Secondary locations with quests or non-generic rewards attached (such as tombs, elephants, standing stones) are marked with subtly glowing, pulsating question marks on the map instead of the usual plain white ones.
    • Trying to find the constellation to align for the Stone Circle sidequest can be quite difficult. If you're having trouble, the game will take pity on you and give you a glowing line showing which way to go, and if the player is getting close, there's an increasing sound of rushing wind.
    • One of the Ancient Mechanisms is underwater, but once the message starts playing, Bayek's air-meter is paused, allowing him to hear the whole thing without concern of drowning.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Common to a lot of animal lairs is a note nearby with someone remarking on the local wildlife.
  • Arbitrary Mission Restriction:
    • The gladiator arena missions limit Bayek to a predetermined load-out that varies between fights rather than the gear the player has.
    • Aya is equally restricted to her basic weaponry whenever she's playable, her missions never giving her the ability to loot different weapons.
    • In a departure from this trope, returning to I and II, Origins does away with arbitrary optional mission targets, leaving you free to conduct your operations as you see fit.
  • Arc Symbol: The Assassins' sigil is noticeably absent for the vast majority of the game, until the very end, when Bayek drops Khemu's eagle skull necklace on the beach. Aya picks it up and notices that it left an interesting indentation in the sand. Of course, in the DLCs, the Hidden Ones have already started using it everywhere.
  • Arc Villain:
    • Sufetu, for the Sais area missions. He's responsible for all the bad happenings going around, until Bayek finds and kills him. However, he's merely The Dragon for the Scarab.
    • Mehetep for a few missions in Krokodilopolis, a corrupt priest who's moonlighting as a crime lord.
    • Tychon and the Strategos of Yamu in Curse of the Pharaohs. They're leading looter gangs, and generally making life around the valley miserable, but neither of them are responsible for the curse itself.
  • Arc Words:
    • "Nothing is true, everything is permitted" is actually nigh-absent from the game... until the last message from Those Who Came Before is found. Only instead of "true", it says "nothing is real", so rather than being a note on law or morality, it's a pointer to Layla that she could, perhaps, Screw Destiny and rewrite reality.
    • "The Order is eternal" for The Hidden Ones.
  • Arrow Cam: Arrows shot from predator bows can have this once the respective upgrade skill has been unlocked. They can even be steered like a wire-guided missile. Killing an enemy from 60+ meters this way grants an achievement.
  • Arrows on Fire: Used extensively throughout the game. Bayek can light his nocked arrows on fire at any fire source in the vicinity, assuming his bow doesn't already have the On Fire legendary ability. Shooting the highly flammable reed boats on the Egyptian rivers and coastlines with fire arrows is a quick and simple method to neutralize them and everyone aboard, although sadly it doesn't work on the wooden triremes. Enemy archers also like to use this trick against you, which is predictably bad since burning targets not only steadily lose health but also take more damage from other sources. The various sea battles of the era mostly rely on volley upon volley of fire arrows as well, coupled with the fairly justified mindset that Ramming Always Works.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Hippos can be seen swimming, but in actuality, despite being semi-aquatic animals hippos can't swim and sink to the bottom when the water's deep enough.
  • Artistic License – History:
    • You play a Medjai during the reign of Cleopatra. The Medjai had long disappeared well before Alexander's conquest of Egypt, let alone Cleopatra's reign which is the very end of the Ptolemaic era, though this is justified in the game by virtue of Bayek being The Last of His Kind.
    • Many of the Greek/Ptolemaic soldiers are seen wearing Corinthian helmets, even though they were largely replaced by the Thracian and Chalcidian helmets centuries prior.
    • Similarily, the Roman soldiers depicted in the game come across as cartoony and "Hollywood Roman". Not only do they have archers in bright red robes (at this time the only archers in the Roman armed forces would be non-citizen auxilliaries), they also have a greater variety of equipment than is historical (some run around with long spears, others are giants with large clubs)
    • Bayek uses a khopesh more than 1,000 years after they were replaced with straight swords among the Egyptians. He also uses a Roman spatha, which wouldn't see widespread use for at least a century after the birth of Christ; legionaries were using the gladius during the Late Republic period.
    • The game has Cleopatra speaking with an English accent to emphasize her Greek origins as Accent Adaptation. Similar to Assassin's Creed: Unity and Napoleon's lack of Corsican-tinged French, this ends up neglecting a crucial aspect of a historical figure, namely that one of the few very well known facts about Cleopatra was that she was the only known member of her family to speak Egyptian fluently and communicated in it, appealing more to the people than her brother Ptolemy XIII (who only spoke Greek), so she should ideally sound the same to players as Bayek and Aya.
    • Their half-sister Arsinoe IV (captured by Caesar and put under house arrest at the temple of Artemis in Ephesus until murdered by order of Mark Anthony some years later) and their younger brother Ptolemy XIV (installed as co-ruler with Cleopatra after XIII's death, died not long after Caesar's assassination in 44 BCE.) are not mentioned at all. Ptolemy XV Caesarion (offspring of Cleopatra and Caesar) has a brief appearance at the end of the game, but looks much older than the slightly less than three years old he would be at the time.
    • The finale of the game is set in Rome during the Ides of March, and Caesar's assassination. The meeting convened is explicitly about Caesar asking the Senate to confirm him as King and tyrant. In actual fact, Caesar at the time of his assassination was en route to Parthia to avenge Marcus Licinius Crassus and the Senate meeting was in his eyes, a minor call-to-order of no importance whatsoever. Likewise, the Assassination is shown to be quite clean and smooth, when in actual fact multiple senators tripped and injured themselves as they ganged up on Caesar, and Caesar himself used a stylus to vainly try and defend himself. The actual Assassination was a far more tawdry and pathetic affair than what you see here.
    • Both Alexandria and Rome were cities in the Ancient World that had large populations, a million people each and as such both of them should have NPCs on the level of Paris in Assassin's Creed: Unity, but the game greatly limits the number of foot-traffic in both on the scale of the first two medieval-Renaissance games. One of the reasons both cities fascinated historians and authors is that after the fall of The Roman Empire, it would take more than a millennium for cities of that size and scale to rise again. The Roman Forum we see in the finale, is empty of crowds and shown as a militarized zone that Aya moves through but it should be packed full of people and NPCs since Caesar's assassination was an immediate public event.
    • Cleopatra is shown to have attempted to court an alliance with Pompey first, and then turn to Caesar. There is no record of her attempt to court Pompey's favour at all. The game also dramatizes her famous meeting with Caesar (being rolled into a carpet) by Apollodorous the Sicilian, as Plutarch described, but Plutarch describes that happening privately while in the game it happens in the presence of her own brother. She also immediately offers a marriage proposal to Caesar, when in reality, their relationship was controversial because Caesar was already married, and it would be hard to convince the Republic to accept Cleopatra, a foreigner, as a wife over a Roman woman of patrician stock (as Caesar's wife was at that time), and Cleopatra at the time of Caesar's death was anxious about getting her child with Caesar, Caesarion, Roman citizenship, which even Caesar, after becoming dictator perpetuo, found it hard to do and too controversial to support, and in any case, his will listed his nephew Octavian, the future Augustus, as his heir.
    • Tutankhamun's ghost (or whatever it's supposed to be) is shown to be a large, physically imposing bruiser who can and will kill even a fully levelled up Bayek. As opposed to the real life Tut, who was only eighteen when he died, and was lame and sickly to boot.
  • Assassin Outclassin': The Crocodile sends minions to kill Hotophres, but by the time Bayek reaches him, Hotophres has killed them all and is wiping the blood off his sword.
  • Asshole Victim: Just so no-one feels too sorry for Irsu the tomb-robber in Curse of the Pharaohs after he's found having been tortured by Tychon's men, he casually mentions how he killed his brother and sister in-law and wishes he could've killed his nephew (who ran off with an important artefact he was trying to flog).
  • Attack Its Weakpoint:
    • During naval battles, enemy ships have at least two highlighted areas per side that, when hit with a Rain of Arrows, explode for a significant amount of damage. Phoxidas helpfully points this out the first time it's applicable.
    • The gods, when fought in the Trials of the Gods, can only be damaged by hitting the huge glowing sphere on their chest with arrows.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Egyptian gods you can fight in the Trials of the Gods are huge. Only their upper body from the waist upwards is sticking out of the desert sand, but are still towering fifty feet over Bayek at the very least.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: After de-emphasizing this trope in the past few games as the historical periods came closer to the modern day, Origins brings back this trope and the resulting major boss fights in full force. Justified, as the game is a return to a time period in which leaders came to power as much by their personal martial prowess as their wealth and political influence.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Quite a few skills fall under this category, most of them due to their prohibitive points cost:
      • Elite Ranger: Aiming in slow-mo while in midair sounds (and is) cool, but utterly useless in actual combat. Giving up the high ground for some flashy move is among the dumbest things you can do, plus you'll probably take heavy fall damage once you hit the floor.
      • Hijack: You don't need to pull enemies off their horses to ride them yourself when your own mount is but a whistle away at all times, though it should be noted that Hijack becomes much more useful in tandem with the automatic looting perk, since you can immediately steal a delivery and ride away from the courier's guards all in one swift motion.
      • Air Attack: You can perform an assassination when you're above an enemy anyway, and once open combat breaks out, you won't be able to hold the high ground long enough to use this skill.
      • Breath-Holding Champion: Bayek can hold his breath long enough to explore everything in no hurry by default (though it does become useful with the DLC missions, where there are underwater areas that do require it).
      • Animal Taming: No animal lasts long enough against soldiers with pointy weapons to be of any help in battle.
      • Chariot Owner: Normal mounts are far more maneuverable and better in terrain. They also don't kill civilians when you run into them.
      • The Master skills of each tree offer miniscule boosts of 1% per point. While they can be bought over and over, even past a +100% bonus if you keep at it, the experience needed per-point at mid-to-endgame makes them fit only for those who have acquired all other skills already.
    • Dual swords prevent the use of a shield, leaving you open for hostile archers to turn you into a pincushion at their leisure. They also block melee attacks far less effectively, so they turn Bayek into even more of a Glass Cannon then he already is. They're also one of the main reasons why Aya is so fragile.
  • Ax-Crazy: Sufiya, the Heron's mistress, who has been betraying rebel fighters to Ptolemy's forces. Bayek can stumble upon a victim of her's stashed away in Natiria, Sufiya having killed him for being loyal to Cleopatra. When she turns out to be the Heron's mistress, she draws a knife and charges Bayek, screaming.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The Templars that attack Layla's cavern nook during Act 3 are wielding bows. Since Layla has been shown to be suffering from the Bleeding Effect in increments throughout the game, the player would probably assume that it's another symptom and that they're wielding guns. William Miles points out that they were, in fact, using bows. At least they are modern pulley operated compound bows..
  • Barred from the Afterlife: Egyptian beliefs have the heart as the container of the soul, so if the heart is damaged or removed it will turn the soul into a wandering shade and keep them from rest. The Big Bad specifically mutilates his kills this way to taunt Bayek, and Bayek's journey is meant as a way to put his son to rest, whose heart was cut when he was killed.
  • Beef Gate: If you travel to an area that you're underleveled for, you're going to have a tough time with all the enemies you'll encounter. The game is not subtle about this - enemies more than a few levels above you have skull symbols above them instead of the usual level number, just in case you thought there was still a chance.
  • Benevolent Boss: Vitruvius, a Roman architect, is introduced stopping a Roman soldier from killing his workers for arbitrary reasons.
  • Better Than a Bare Bulb: The Sigma Team members who come to kill Layla halfway through the game are all carrying compound bows instead of guns for some reason. Namely, the reason that bows are the only ranged weapons in the game and the devs aren’t going to waste time and resources coding gun physics for this one scene. Literally every voiced character in the Modern Day segment draws attention to how weird it is that the hit squad are using bows.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: "Curse of the Pharaohs" has giant scorpions.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing:
    • Bayek encounters one during a quest at the Temple of Sekhmet. A merchant offers to help him in his investigations on who's been selling fake cat mummies, and asks Bayek to meet him on the edge of the town, at night. Naturally, he's working with the bandits responsible, and tries setting them on Bayek.
    • The villain of "Curse of the Pharaohs" is Isadora, the priestess Bayek encounters early on, who's been using the Apple to create the Pharaohs' Curse to get revenge on her mother being killed.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Bayek and Aya kill the last two members of the Order, avenging their son. Bayek lets go of his grief over Khemu's death; however, Egypt is done for; with Rome turning on Cleopatra, there's no hope of restoration for Egypt to its golden days. Bayek notes that Greece and Egypt are already falling to chaos, and students of history know a civil war awaits Rome, and then the rule of Emperors. Lastly, Bayek and Aya's marriage does not endure the events of the game, both of them realizing they cannot continue as a couple. And fans of the franchise know the Order of Ancients isn't finished and will eventually become the Templar Order. On a more positive note, Bayek and the Hidden Ones of Egypt continue to help the poor and oppressed, and last scene with Bayek is him taking the child he rescued back to his parents.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • A group of thugs come to Hepzefa's house, saying they only want to talk. While armed. It probably wouldn't have been any more convincing if Bayek and Hepzefa hadn't been lurking in the bushes and heard their captain tell his men no-one was coming out alive.
    • In Krokodilopolis, criers can be heard declaring the rulers' phrase "liberty / prosperity / security for all". All in this case having the meaning of "Greeks, and only Greeks", as the policies implemented further oppress and degrade the Egyptian population.
    • In the Sinai, Bayek tells a boy planning to rat him out to the Shadows of the Scarab that Senu is just a pigeon, not an eagle. The kid buys it for a moment.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Origins in its cutscenes features far more violence and bloodshed than the series often has. Even combat involves a lot of blood compared to the series usual Bloodless Carnage outside of cutscenes. Somewhat hilariously, even taking falling damage will result in huge splashes of blood from Bayek, even though as long as he survives he's able to keep running and jumping with no broken bones or visible injuries.
  • Bonus Boss: A lot of them, actually - the ten Phylakes, the four War Elephants (five actually, one battle involves two at once), the six gladiator arena boss battles, and the Trials of the Gods are merely the "official" ones. Then there are countless hostile strongholds dotting the map, each of which has at least one commanding officer in charge that can be seen as minor bosses, and one type actually behaves like a real boss (see Boss in Mook Clothing below).
  • Book-Ends: The Hidden Ones begins and ends with a blind beggar singing about someone as Bayek watches.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: All hostile strongholds have at least one captain leading the garrison, with larger forts often having two captains plus an even higher-leveled commander. While these guys are fairly powerful, they're still just basic enemy types that hit slightly harder and can be killed with a single headshot from a decent predator bow. Except for that giant, black-armored, scythe-swinging harbinger of death that counts as a standard captain and can occasionally be encountered in late-game forts. These monsters have a crap-ton of health, hit like a freight train and are completely immune to your trusty assassin tricks. Hidden blade assassination? Barely scratches them even at maximum level. Arrow to the head? Just makes them angry. You better make sure the fort is empty of soldiers before you engage these brutes lest you have to contend with their reinforcements as well. It's never touched upon why they're so different from any other non-boss enemy in the game, or why they're just captains, not commanders.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: A quest in Alexandria has Bayek having to play bodyguard for a wealthy merchant's daughter, who'd rather head over to the market to buy silks, rather than go home like daddy wants. After spending some time with her, however, she turns out to be less bratty than appearances suggest.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory:
    • As usual for Ubisoft games, a lot of powerful items can be acquired by purchasing them at the UPlay shop or as pre-order bonuses. The latter in particular have examples like the "The Fang" sickle sword or the "Snakes on a Shield" shield that are among the best in their respective classes, and since items can be upgraded to the Player Character's current level at any blacksmith, retain their usefulness throughout the whole game.
    • In a more low-key example, Bayek can buy special items that give 1000 XP for 1000 drachmas each, basically trading in-game money for XP, but only after the main story has been completed.
  • Bullying a Dragon:
    • In the sidequest "The Weasel," a Greek named Dymnos, accused of having killed his master Apollodorus's servant, Ruia, picks a fight with Bayek after being confronted.
    • A man who's been selling tainted meat has his goons try to kill Bayek when he makes it clear he's not falling for the man's Blatant Lies.
  • The Bus Came Back
  • But Not Too Black:
    • Bayek himself is noticeably a dark-skinned North African, and the only really light-skinned characters are people of Greek or Roman descent. His wife Aya, the other player character plays this straight, being that she is half-Greek.
    • An in-universe example can be found in Krokodilopolis, with an Egyptian mother to-be praying to Sobek her child will look more like his Greek father.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Zig-zagged with Layla, who was born in Cairo but has lived in America for most of her life (and in New York until she was 16). However, she still maintains something of an Egyptian accent hidden in her Brooklyn Rage drawl.
  • Cain and Abel: The game deals with the Civil War between Cleopatra VII and Ptolemy XIII, brother and sister (and since these are the Ptolemies, husband and wife).
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Or in this case, Call a Diamond a Carbon Crystal. And wonder why you need dozens of diamonds to upgrade armor and pouches made from leather and furs. Bling of War?
  • Call-Back:
    • The new modern-day protagonist, Layla, designed the Animus 4.3 used by Callum Lynch, having been specifically recruited for the job by Allan Rikkin's daughter Sophia. Layla's computer also has files on Allan's death, as well as that of Isobel Ardant.
    • Alexander the Great had a Staff of Eden in his tomb. One of the Truth files in II said he'd had one.
    • Deanna is wary of Layla testing her Animus on herself, after what happened with Aileen Bock (from the back-matter in Black Flag), not knowing Bock's work was sabotaged by Warren Vidic.
    • The Messages occasionally mention Desmond, including his death.
  • Call-Forward:
    • Some brainwashed minions of Flavius can be found in Cyrene, reciting a few familiar bits of their master's philosophy, such as "we need no creed", and "all we require is the world to be as it is".
    • During the battle against Flavius, the Apple illusions used take on the form of people Bayek has killed, much like what Al Mualim did during his battle with Altaïr.
    • When Aya finally assassinates Julius Caesar, she parts with words that wouldn't show up again until almost 1500 years later: ''requiescat in pace''.
    • The end of The Hidden Ones has Bayek and Aya codify what will become one of the central tenets of the Creed - stay your blade from the flesh of an innocent.
    • After the main story of Curse of the Pharaohs, the dreamseer of Thebes assures a troubled Bayek that he "works in the dark, to serve the light".
  • Canon Character All Along: In the end, Aya renames herself Amunet - an Assassin, mentioned all the way back in Assassin's Creed II, who killed Cleopatra with a snake.
  • Canon Welding: Information from Olivier Garneau's file in Layla's computer indicates that Watch_Dogs does seem to take place in the same fictional universe in some way.
  • Captain Obvious: Bayek's only reaction to seeing the map of Egypt under the Sphinx rise up to reveal an Isu tomb? "This is not Egyptian."
  • Celebrity Paradox: Aiden Pearce from Watch_Dogs is shown to exist and to have killed Olivier Garneau, meaning that the two franchises take place in the same universe. Yet, in Watch_Dogs 2, we saw ads for the Assassin's Creed movie, the events of which actually happened in Origins' timeline. Origins itself is also featured in a sidequest in Watch_Dogs 2 under the codename "Project Osiris"!
    • Possibly justified as Assassin's Creed III: Liberation's framing device is that it was released in universe under the name "Liberation" by Abstergo based on Avaline's real memories, but with chunks edited out to spin the events in Templar Favor, before being restored in the player's copy by a hacker. It's entirely possible the Movie and Origins exist in some form in universe with the same spin on them. That or the same names is just a cool easter egg.
  • Central Theme:
    • A very common theme throughout the story, and indeed the franchise as a whole, is that of loss, particularly that of children, whether it's Bayek and Aya mourning their son's death, Khaliset being driven by the desire to revive her daughter, or Hotephres and Khenut losing their daughter at the hands of the Crocodile.
    • This even extends to present day. At the end of Act 3, Abstergo sends out soldiers to hunt down Layla and her co-worker Deanna. While Layla manages to eliminate them using Aya's Hidden Blade, Deanna did not fare as well and was presumably killed.
  • Changing Gameplay Priorities: Looted equipment can be disassembled for crafting components or sold for money. In the early game, when you need lots of crafting materials to improve your gear, disassembly is the recommended choice. Once your upgrades hit the point where you require carbon crystals to proceed, the other materials are usually available in abundance while money becomes much more important in order to keep your weapons and shields up to date with Bayek's character level, so you're advised to sell all your junk to the nearest merchant instead. You can also use the gold to purchase said carbon crystals from Reda if you don't feel like raiding heavily defended forts for them, although they carry a hefty price tag.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Sufiya, who briefly appears at the beginning of Bayek's first quest in Natiria. She's the reason for the town's curse.
    • On meeting Kensa, she mentions she was taken from Siwa by a guy called Septimius, who becomes very important some time later. Meanwhile, during the arena fights, it's possible to see an old woman sitting behind Felix. She's the Crocodile.
    • A quest added after the Hidden Ones DLC came out has Bayek being contacted by a man working on information from a man called Gamilat, informing him about a major new Templar called Rufio looking to take over Egypt. Both become very important in the DLC.
    • Sutekh, the red-head who appears at the beginning of "Curse of the Pharaohs" turns up again. And again. And again.
  • Children Are Innocent: Bayek's troubles began when a friend of his son's told several armed, angry men where Bayek was, because they'd asked and he had no reason to suspect them of wrongdoing. Fortunately, Bayek knows this and doesn't blame the kid for what happened.
  • Circle of Standing Stones: Bayek can visit twelve stone circle locations around Egypt and complete stargazing mini-games that will help him gain access to the Isu Armor.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: A guy in Sinai, who due to his habit of eating and drinking anything he finds, is more than a little baked. He thinks his camel talks to him, and chastises it for not being more help.
  • Comforting the Widow: A side-quest in "Curse of the Pharaohs" has a guy wanting to do this to his sister.
  • Conspicuously Public Assassination: Discussed between Tahira and Bayek in "The Hidden Ones", when Bayek goes to kill a Roman member of the Order while he's giving a speech at a quarry. Bayek tells Tahira it's to send a message - no-one is beyond the reach of the Hidden Ones.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • When Aya gives Bayek the Hidden Blade, she notes that it was the very same weapon used to kill King Xerxes I, and it looks exactly like Darius' Hidden Blade does in his concept art.
    • Bayek's ability to perceive through Senu's eyes isn't new to the franchise either. Io:nhiòte, Connor's daughter, displays the same ability as Bayek, to see through the eyes of an eagle in Assassin's Creed Reflections (also counts as an Early-Bird Cameo, since the comic was made while this game was in production).
    • Layla's computer is full of this, thanks to her privately investigating both Abstergo and the Assassins. They include security footage of William Miles' kidnapping in Assassin's Creed III, Olivier Garneau's murder by Aiden Pearce's hands, and investigation into Abstergo's claims that Subject 17 graciously donated his body to Abstergo Entertainment.
    • One of Layla's files is Grammatica examining an Isu's memories, from Syndicate, only the file's become corrupted by the time she's found it.
    • After the assassination of Caesar, Aya takes on the name of Amunet - one of the Assassins with a statue dedicated to them under the Villa Auditore - who killed Cleopatra with a poisonous snake.
    • The History of the Animus files mentions how the one in the 80s was tested on Subject 4 (Daniel Cross).
  • Contrasting Sequel Protagonist: Bayek is a Religious Bruiser, Happily Married to start, and a responsible adult which contrasts him to Altaïr, Edward Kenway, Ezio, Connor, and Arno in various ways. They also have a bit of fun with the series' Women Are Wiser trope as Aya is the far more Hot-Blooded of the Origins' protagonists as a contrast to Evie and Aveline.
  • Cool Horse: In Curse of the Pharaohs, Bayek's mount gets replaced by a special one whenever he's in the afterlives. Afterwards, he can buy it and summon it in the real world.
  • Corrupt Church: While organized religion as we know it didn't really exist during the time, there are plenty of priests abusing their power over the common people. This isn't overbearing, however, as a lot of the corruption is due to the Order, and there are heroic priests as well.
  • Corrupt Politician: Leander, magistrate of Cyrene. He's working with the Lion, and keeping tabs on his rivals, before moving on to attempted murder, which ends with him getting killed by Bayek.
  • Cosmetic Award: Unlike in past games, the various outfits — even the Isu armor— are merely cosmetic and do not augment Bayek's stats. The Isu Armor gives his voice a subtle artificial inflection when the hood is worn, like it was processed through a helmet's voice module while armors with masks muffle his voice.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: A woman whose village was attacked by bandits after her father's bow notes that if they wanted it so badly, they could've just asked and she'd have given it to them. Bayek notes they probably would've killed her anyway.
  • Crossover: The sidequest, "A Gift from the Gods" features one with Final Fantasy XV. In addition to a brief cameo from the game's antagonist Ardyn Izunia, the player receives the Ultima Blade sword, the Ziedrich shield and a Chocobo-like camel called Kweh upon completing the quest.
  • Cryptic Conversation: The Oracle of Apollo, on account of being someone either seeing the future or having one of the Isu speak through her, filtered through someone who think it's her god speaking through her. Some of what she says is easy enough to figure out ("trust his whiskers" - referring to The Mouse, whom Bayek meets in Cyrene), but some of it... not so much.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: As befits Ancient Egypt. The Blank White Void used for confessions and to represent the Animus has been replaced with a black void. Probably due to this being a different Animus, but ironic since Egyptians saw black as the color of fertile soil and thus life.
  • Death of a Child: Khemu, Bayek and Aya's child, dies in the flashback near the opening and his body shows up constantly. Khaliset, the crazed Proto-Templar also tries to revive her child, who is wrapped in a mummy beneath a pyramid's tomb, and Shadya, the child of Hotephres and Khenut, who Bayek befriends, drowns in the water after being dropped from a ship with a weighted stone on the orders of Berenike the Crocodile. Bayek swims beneath to find her lifeless corpse, which her mother then mummifies and grieves over.
  • Desecrating the Dead: At one point during "Curse of the Pharaohs", Bayek comes across a group of thugs who've gone above and beyond merely Robbing the Dead - they're stealing the corpses of regular folk, burning them and looting them for riches (which, according to Ancient Egyptian beliefs, prevents the body's soul from getting to the afterlife).
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • If you get interrupted during one of the non-cutscence conversations by enemies after fighting them, they'll acknowledge being interrupted before going back to the original conversation.
    • As demonstrated in this video, there are a throve of miniscule details the developers paid attention to, among them: Sand blowing in the wind's direction, oil slicks and blood flowing in water, reflections in eyes, hallucinations when wandering the desert for too long, and if Bayek gets shot in the leg with an arrow, he'll trip over. He'll also limp for a little while after injuring himself on a jump.
    • It is possible to visit the location of Bayek's eventual tomb as Bayek, who will comment about how it's where he and Aya used to hide out as children and that their love should end where it begun. If you leave the cave as Layla, she'll comment about how she's visited here as Bayek.
    • It's possible to turn nocked arrows into Arrows on Fire by holding the tip near a burning brazier, a coal pit or the like. None of those nearby? Just light a torch, drop it on the ground and use that. Works like a charm.
    • It is entirely possible to complete some mission objectives before you've ever taken the mission (if you decide to clear out a guard outpost before doing any quests nearby, for example). Some missions note this, like one early in Siwa where the blacksmith asks Bayek to retrieve his stuff and kill a guard captain. Should the player have already done that, Bayek will note he's pretty sure he's already done what the blacksmith's asking him to do.
    • A small one, but after running all over the place and clearing out a bandit's nest for Apollodorus' informant, Mered, Bayek can leave with his horse yes, the one he had Bayek steal!. Mered yells "Hey, that's my horse!" after him as he leaves. Small, but satisfying.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The entire point of the Trials of the Gods challenges, which pits Bayek against Egyptian gods like Anubis.
  • Dissonant Serenity: In Cyrene, when Flavius has the Apple, it's possible to see people calmly walking into bonfires, and burning to death without so much as a scream.
  • Don't Tell Mama: A pair of mooks in one Memphis mission can be heard talking about their mothers' cooking, then mentioning they wouldn't want her to know what their job is now - namely, helping kidnap and sell kids for Gaia.
  • Door to Before: Tomb annexes containing Ancient Devices usually have a glowing golden circle on the floor somewhere that teleports Bayek back outside in a flash. Most other tombs also have more mundane one-way exits that save you having to traverse the whole thing to get out again.
  • Downer Ending:
    • The Modern Day segment: Act 3 sees Layla's best friend captured and/or murdered by the Templars. (Meaning that their research data she was going to submit to Abstergo is either compromised, for naught or both.) Plus, her cavern nook also comes under siege, forcing her to use Aya's Hidden Blade to murder people from the very same company she worked at. It all ends with circumstances conscripting her into an unofficial alliance with the Assassins: a group she wants nothing to do with; meaning that she's probably going to be a fugitive now too.
    • An early quest has Bayek retrieving an old man's Book of the Dead, which was stolen from him. By the time Bayek's recovered it, the old man has died of grief.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Averted in a side mission. A woman claims that her husband has gone missing, and Bayek seeks him out. However, he reveals that she is not his wife, but a stranger who got him drunk enough to have sex with her note , which she then used to extort money from him. Bayek takes the man's side, and after her goons are killed, the woman runs off.
  • Dramatic Irony: At the end of Phanos' quest line, he tells Bayek he'll make sure Bayek's name lasts forever.
  • The Dreaded: Several of the Members of the Ancient are feared under the moniker they use, with many refusing to discuss them openly.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come:
    • The Oracle of Apollo in Cyrene supposedly saw Bayek coming to visit her. However, keep talking with her, and she'll tell Bayek "you walk in the shadows of we who came before", so she's not the one doing the dreaming. Among some of the other things she mentions are the collapse of the Roman Republic, and the rise of the Roman Empire.
    • The Master of Secret Things in Thebes, since it is quite literally his job (though he's got some scrolls for decoding what he's dreaming about). After Bayek's done with the pharaohs, he gives Bayek some cryptic hints about the future.
  • Drop the Hammer: A handful of bosses wield absurdly huge, often spiked hammers in combat, like the first Cyrene gladiator arena champion, The Hammer, whose weapon looks impossible to even lift for any normal human. They're shown to be appropriately ponderous in cutscenes but, while among the slowest weapons in the game, are still swung frighteningly fast during actual combat.
  • Dual Boss: The two Gallic Brothers in the Krokodilopolis gladiator arena are fought simultaneously, as are the two war elephants Qetesh and Resheph.
  • Dual Wielding: There's a whole weapon category dedicated to this: dual swords. They attack extremely fast but have short reach and absolutely suck at blocking, especially arrows. To make sure everyone plays fair, your enemies also like to do this, with the one enemy type that specializes in it being among the most dangerous non-boss foes the game has to offer.
  • Early Game Hell: As per the franchise custom, most players will likely spend Origins' first dozen or so hours grinding animals and hostile patrols for upgrade materials, as well as side quests for the Experience Points necessary to overcome the closest Beef Gate. The latter is particularly pronounced because — contrary to earlier titles where any enemy could be defeated right away if the player was sufficiently skilled — the new leveling system makes it nearly impossible to successfully explore new regions or tackle story missions unless the Player Character is at the appropriate level. The overhauled combat system is also much more challenging now that the almighty block-and-counterattack mechanic has been removed in favor of a hitbox system that requires much more situational awareness on the player's part.
  • Edutainment Game: "Discovery Tour", available from 2018, takes the role of the database (which isn't present in the vanilla game), and is a sandbox of the game without enemy NPCs and attacking animals intended entirely for the academic and class-room setting, as well as for the curious layman. It has commentaries and displays by historians and commentators exploring the background detail of various activities and buildings recreated for the game and era.
  • Effective Knockoff: The "Imitation Siwan sword" is a Cursed with Awesome sword that does triple damage as well as multiplying your critical hit chances but also caps your health to one-third of your normal maximum.
  • Eldritch Location: The afterlives Bayek encounters in Curse of the Pharaohs. Common to each of them are the Anubites and harpies, but besides that they're just not right.
    • Nefertiti's looks like endless reed fields, which boats sail across, and a sun set at permanent eclipse.
    • Akhenaten's is a city with a sun hanging above it, surrounded by endless rock desert.
    • Ramses II's is all desert, dotted with monuments to him, but apart from one of his children is utterly uninhabited by actual people.
    • Tutenkhamun's, the Duat, has giant bioluminescent lotuses everywhere, and what are apparently souls floating around freely.
  • Empty Room Psych: Taken Up to Eleven with the White Desert and Great Sand Sea regions. There's absolutely nothing there - no (side) quests, no marked locations, often not even distinctive landmarks. It's just you, your mount, your inevitable heat stroke hallucinations, and a whole lotta sand and stone. Exploring these areas can get very creepy very fast simply because of the extreme contrast to the bustling rest of the world, although many players report it as a strangely serene and calming experience instead.
  • End of an Age: A recurring theme. Aya in particular hopes that Cleopatra's coronation will lead to a renewal of Egypt and a return to the age of Pharaohs. It becomes clear it's not meant to be, and that the age of Ancient Egypt is ending just as the Roman Republic is going to end and make way for the Roman Empire, with Egypt as one of its provinces.
  • The Ending Changes Everything:
    • The ending, specifically the final words, identify the story not only as an Origins Episode for the Brotherhood, but also as the rise of Amunet, the eventual killer of Cleopatra, after she gives herself a Meaningful Rename. See Wham Line below.
    • The largest Isu Vault implies something mind-bending. Not only does it imply that Layla could create an animus capable of altering reality and/or past, by the time it says "Nothing is True" the realization hits you; the real world of AC may be just an another simulation.
  • Eureka Moment: A note found in Krokodilopolis details the moment the Crocodile first came up with their "prosperity for all" phrase - at a party they were hosting, watching a man chasing a woman, they thought about the way Greek and Egyptian cultures intermingled. And then set about doing everything in their power to utterly quash Egypt's culture.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The Strategos of Yemu is a corrupt ass leading the local tomb-robbing, but it's possible to find a surprisingly heartfelt note to his lover in one of the military camps in Thebes.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Bayek believes the Gaulish gladiator brothers Diovicos and Viridovix were responsible for killing Shadya. Although they admit to acting as goons for hire, they claim that they refused to go so far as killing a litttle girl. A letter from Berenike the Crocodile talking about how they won't be hired again because they questioned orders confirms their story. Likewise, earlier on, two soldiers working for the Crocodile can be heard expressing horror that their boss did what they did.
    • A mook in the "Feeding Fayum" mission can be overheard grumbling about what they're being ordered to do, lamenting that this makes them "thugs". His associate doesn't share his concern, and tells him to shut up and do his job.
  • Evil Is Petty: A post-Krokodilopolis sidequest has Khemut telling a guard to stop harassing people and just do his job. Following the man, Bayek overhears him and his troops planning to go to Khemut's house in the night and murder her for that.
  • Evil Old Folks: A Memphis quest deals with Gaia, an old woman who kidnaps and sells people, children included.
  • Exact Words: An off-screen exploit reveals an interesting detail with Apples of Eden; the subject's mind interprets the orders given by the wielder. So, when Flavius orders a man to act like a chicken, expecting him to peck at the ground and cluck, the man instead decided to try and fly.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Both Caesar and Cleopatra start out as staunch allies of Bayek and Aya, but ultimately end up as their enemies in the game's final few chapters. This is something of a Foregone Conclusion if you're familiar with the existing lore concerning them in past Assassin's Creed games.
  • Failed a Spot Check: In The Hidden Ones, Bayek is being hung from a crucifix with two guards watching. Someone throws a knife at Bayek's bonds, freeing him and allowing him to kill the guard nearest to him. The other guard notices exactly none of this before Bayek sets on him.
  • Fake Longevity: The Trials of the Gods seem set up to become this. They're active for one Real Life week each before they cycle to the next one. In a game that takes about 60-70 hours to complete and doesn't really offer anything to do past that, there's no real reason to fire up a completed savegame for another four times at least otherwise. Even if you do it for the Bonus Boss battle and the equipment you gain, there's nothing meaningful left to do with it anymore, so you practically got yourself a Bragging Rights Reward that you'll probably never be able to put to good use (aside from beating the next Trial...).
  • Fanservice Extra: Female extras are occasionally seen topless, with one of Cleopatra's scribes during a royal audience being the most prominent example.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: To be expected, given the historical setting. The number of outfits with anything even remotely resembling symmetry can be counted on one hand.
  • Finally Found the Body: Played With. It was heavily implied that Abstergo knew what happened to Olivier Garneau, but players see for the first time what exactly happened to him.
  • Finger in the Mail: The Twin Priestesses are forced to poison the Apis Bull not only from their brother being kidnapped, but also getting his severed finger in a box.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: On meeting Shaqilat, eagle-eyed viewers may notice her outfit has the typical white-with-red common to most Assassin outfits. Bayek asks her to join the Hidden Ones shortly afterwards.
  • Flaming Sword: Hepzefa's Sword, which Bayek obtains in the penultimate act.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Cleopatra will triumph over her brother Ptolemy in their Civil War, and she in turn, several years later, would lose to Augustus and Egypt will become a Roman Province for the next five centuries until the Arab Conquest.
    • As revealed in Assassin's Creed II, Cleopatra will eventually be assassinated by the Assassin Amunet for collaborating with the Templars.In the closing scene, Aya renounces her name, renaming herself Amunet.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • If you've paid any attention to how Bayek can hide from enemies in low vegetation, you'll notice immediately that the cave that leads to the tomb where Layla is doing her research in the present-day segments has an awful lot of these areas spread throughout...
    • Diligent players will likely try and synchronize all available viewpoints as quickly as possible. Since many of them are atop important landmarks like the Alexandrian Pharos, said players will inevitably come across the occasional suspiciously open and well-stocked circular room that everyone with even a hint of gaming experience will immediately identify as what they are.
    • When Layla integrates Aya's genetic memory into her Animus, one prominent shot is Aya slamming Apollodorus into a wall, which doesn't happen until a long time in the game.
    • Phanos's toga includes the Assassin colors of white with red.
    • Bayek's quote to an hesitant Caesar that 'Many have doubted Aya, and most of them had met their ends at her blade'. Aya, or rather Amunet, is one of the assassins of Caesar.
    • Chat with the Oracle of Apollo, and she gives brief hints of things to come, including Curse of the Pharoahs, the Jackal's death, Aya becoming Amunet, "the Hidden One".
    • The missions "Incoming Threat" and "Lights Over the Desert" are designed to set up the DLC missions. The former has Bayek foiling the plan of "The Hidden Ones"'s Big Bad, and the later has him investigating something having gone incredibly wrong with an Isu tomb, ending with mention that bad things are happening over in Thebes.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Unfortunately there's one on at least PS4's disc version. The game may suddenly crash without warning, claim that there's an error on the game's data, and will either crash or load forever before reaching the main menu from now on. This will still happen if the game is deleted and reisntalled or launched from an another account, meaning it's not a problem with the save file either. This renders the entire game uplayable, and attempting to get past the initial load can even slow the console itself down. To actually play the game again, you may need to reset your PS4 and reinstall everything. However, there has been increasing amount of reports about this issue happening to other disc-based games as well, but the issue still seems to be frustratingly common with this game.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: Zigzagged. If an ally is killed in battle, they stay down until the fight is over, at which point they pop back up fresh as a daisy.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: As a devout Egyptian, Bayek would be very strongly against disturbing tombs, much less stealing from them, but since it's Ancient Egypt there's still tombs you can raid with unique rewards within.
  • Gas Leak Cover Up: Abstergo's explanation for Isabel Ardant's death? Bad wiring at Buckingham Palace.
  • Gaslighting: The end of one mission in Giza has Bayek doing this to a trio of tomb-robbers, who've been fighting over a gold ring. Once Bayek confirms they care more about the ring than each other, he makes sure none of them get it, and messes with their heads as they frantically search for it.
  • The Ghost: Mark Anthony is mentioned through The Hidden Ones, but never makes an appearance.
  • Giant Mook: The game pits you against various types of giant, heavily armed soldiers that tower head and shoulders over Bayek. There's also a special breed of Captain in high-level strongholds that're even larger, wield huge scythes, and are for some reason immune to all your dirty tricks like bow headshots or hidden blade assassinations.
  • Gladiator Subquest: Bayek can fight in the arenas as a gladiator to earn money and XP.
  • Glass Cannon: Bayek can become one by equipping a cursed weapon. They have triple the damage outputnote  but cap health to one-third of normal.
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: The Trials of the Gods pit Bayek against various gods of Ancient Egypt, starting with Anubis himself. Since this is a huge stretch even for a franchise built on Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane, these battles are explained as being caused by glitches in the Animus.
  • God Mode: The PC version includes an Animus Control Panel that allows players to tweak some of the game's paramaters to their heart's content, and this includes increasing the movement speed, the amount of health available, damage done to enemies, infinite arrows and so on.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs:
    • Bayek can always unequip his weapons to fight unarmed, with the fists' flavor text hinting at some missions having a no-kills restriction. Thankfully, it never actually happens aside from a handful of street brawls as part of a side quest about an old arena fighter long past his prime.
    • While his big brother prefers wetwork with a giant scythe, the smaller Gallic Brother in the Krokodilopolis arena deals at least as much damage with nothing but his fists and an unhealthy dose of Wrestler in All of Us. They even have tag-team moves where the scythe guy uses his weapon to throw Bayek straight at his brother, who catches him and continues to pile on the hurt in a hard-to-escape combo attack.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Pharaoh Smenkhkare serves as one to the game, and by extension the entire franchise, by being the founder of the Order of Ancients, precursor to the Templar Order and the one who gave them their mandate to study leftover Isu technology, even though he's been dead over a thousand years before Bayek was even born.
  • Groin Attack:
    • Pay attention to where Brutus sticks his blade during the main story's final assassination. Must be something personal there.
    • Bayek is on the receiving end of one from the wife of a man she killed.
  • Guyliner: Bayek of Siwa sports it, embodying the classic Egyptian look, as of course does Queen Cleopatra VII Philopator, and her kid brother and co-ruler Ptolemy.
  • Hell Is That Sound: Should Bayek get within one hundred meters of a Phylakitae, Shadow of the Scarab, or Shadow of Anubis a horn will sound to alert the player that they're nearby.
  • He's Back: Khemut goes into a Heroic BSoD after Shadya is killed. It's not until she sees a captain bullying a farmer right next to her that she starts pulling herself back together.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: Mostly averted, as aside from the bonus outfits, most of Bayek's clothing would be otherwise commonplace in the time period and location.
    • Deconstructed in the Hidden Ones DLC, where the titular brotherhood's method of making their presence known, and dressing very obviously only attracts dangerous attention.
  • Historical-Domain Character: It's Assassin's Creed, so there are plenty. Cleopatra VII and Julius Caesar make appearances, as does Pompey the Great, Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus, and Marcus Vitruvius among the Romans. Among the villainous Order of the Ancients, Lucius Septimus, the Gabiniani killer of Pompey, and Pothinus, the Royal Eunuch of Cleopatra's brother also make appearances. Apollodorus the Sicilian, Cleopatra's loyal follower, is an ally of Bayek, as is Pasherenptah, the High Priest of Memphis.
  • Hufflepuff House: Alexandria's Jewish Quarter. In real life it was one of the most important centers of Jewish culture (it's where the Septuagint was compiled) and testimony to Alexandria's diversity and scholarship. Here it's nothing more then a place to be passed through, with the only indication it's Jewish being the name.
  • I Can See My House from Here: The actual name of the achievement you get for climbing to the top of the game world's highest peak in the heart of the Black Desert.
  • I Have Your Wife:
    • The twin priestesses of the Apis Bull were forced to poison the bull by mixing peach pits into its feed when their brother was taken hostage by the Order.
    • Another person in Memphis is forced to help lace natron on the Lizard's order because they kidnapped his sister (and cut his nose off as an example of what they'd do if he didn't comply).
    • The kids in a Giza quest are forced to commit crimes because some bandits are holding their guardian hostage. Said guardian turns out to be a dog.
    • A character in a Curse of the Pharaohs quest is forced to assist because a local steward is holding his family hostage. Said family is his cat. Called "Mister Furface". Then he nonchalantly gives the poor kitty up, saying he can always get another cat.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Bayek keeps running into people who say he has no idea what it's like to see a loved one die. Depending on who they are, Bayek will say nothing or firmly state he does. By the time of Curse of the Pharaohs, he's gotten a lot sorer about it, with Sutekh's comment inspiring a small rant on the matter.
  • Invulnerable Horses:
    • Bayek's mounts are nigh-indestructible. They can ride through the desert for hours on end, be stabbed, slashed, shot, set on fire, and soon get back up again fresh as a daisy... except in Curse of the Pharaohs, where the Pharaohs can kill Bayek's steed (and even then, only as long as they're around. Once the ghosts are gone, Bayek's able to summon them again).
    • Averted with other mounts, which can be killed. Horses can be cut down with relative ease, though their health is comparable to other animals of levels close to Bayek's. This is to prevent accidentally killing one with a glancing blow.
  • In Medias Res: The game begins with Bayek witnessing the arrival of Ptolemy in Siwa, before skipping ahead one year to him having just cornered and killed the Heron, before skipping ahead to his fight against his bodyguard, Hypatos.
  • In the Hood: A first for the series, you can toggle the hood at will, so you can go bare-headed the whole game if you want. The only exceptions to this are the Protector and Hunter's Furs outfits, which lack hoods.
  • Interface Spoiler: The new abilities added to the tree with Curse of the Pharaohs lets slip that Bayek will visit the afterlife.
    • A task in "The New Kid in Town" quest involves finding the secret Temple of a Million Years. The location isn't marked on the map but can be recognized by the statues of lions in the front. Occasionally, some of the photos taken by other players reveal the exact location with the lions in full view.
  • Internal Homage:
    • The final level has you leave Egypt and march to Rome to assassinate its most powerful ruler in the hall of power, much like Assassin's Creed II. Sadly no fistfight with Caesar.
    • Likewise, the sequence just before the finale has Aya sail through a Roman blockade against a fireship, similar to how Edward and Charles Vane escaped Nassau in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag with the main difference being that here it's Aya trying to escape the fireship, whereas Edward and Charles Vane used one against the blockade.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: Immediately upon Bayek's reunion with Aya after he killed his first major targets, the two of them proceed to make love atop a high building in Alexandria. This becomes a recurring theme later on.
  • Intoxication Ensues: Bayek meets up with an old friend of his near the Hippodrome, and the two start drinking. The second half of the quest has Bayek unable to walk very fast, and the camera swaying wildly. They then get into a drunken fistfight.
  • Irony: Aya, as Amunet, killing her former friend Cleopatra with the very symbol of the Order she sided with positively stinks of this. Except the tie-in comic retcons Cleopatra's death to match how she died in real life; poison.
  • It's Personal:
    • Bayek's quest for vengeance against the Order is kicked off by an early confrontation during which a masked Order leader redirects Bayek's attack to cause him to stab his own son in the heart. Bayek spends the rest of the game seeking revenge, often believing the wrong Order member is the one responsible. His final fight is against the actual Order member responsible, Flavius the Lion, the group's apparent leader.
    • When Bayek confronts one of the Crocodile's "tax collectors", said official tries to say it's just his job and if he doesn't do it, someone else will. Bayek snaps back that it's always personal, and saying it's not is just an excuse to clear one's own conscience. Every time anyone says "nothing personal", it's a lie.
  • It's Probably Nothing: Bayek can find a note of this ilk near an abandoned camp swarming with crocodiles. The entry stops the day after the writer says "those rustling noises probably aren't anything to worry about".
  • Jerkass:
    • Klaridas, an old friend of Bayek's who left Siwa to become famous. He's a jerk, repeatedly insulting Bayek for no real reason, and eventually stomping on Bayek's Trauma Button, leading to a well-deserved beatdown. Not that he actually stops being a dick afterward.
    • Mered, Appolodorus' contact in Giza, who is a money-grubber who charges Bayek for the information he's got on the Hyena, and then makes Bayek retrieve a horse for him (which turns out not to belong to him). Investigation elsewhere in the area reveals the other shopkeepers are banding together because he's rummaging through their stock at night, and a guard post by the Nile has a note stating he's smuggling goods for the local toughs. Bayek can deliver some small measure of Laser-Guided Karma by stealing back the horse Mered tricked him into stealing.
    • Felix, the manager of the Krokodilopolis arena is a complete dick, who will make fights to the death even harder if someone does something as innocuous as ask him questions.
    • A priest of Sobek Bayek runs across in Dionysias, who is beating a boy for losing two golden statues, with the further promise that once he's done beating him, he'll mutilate him. After Bayek proves the boy innocent, the priest bludgeons the poor kid over the head with aforementioned golden statues, and sets his bodyguards on Bayek for calling him out on his dickery. At which point, Bayek can kill him.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The Greeks are slowly quashing out Egyptian culture, bullying and oppressing the locals in increasingly petty ways. In Cyrene, it's possible to find the Romans doing the exact same thing to the Greeks, which Bayek notes and almost approves of.
  • Last Disrespects: Bayek finds a mother weeping over her son's body in front of her other son's memorial. He was a racer, and his team's rivals came upon mom while she was trying to pay her respects. They murdered her son and kidnapped another, throwing their intended statue of Icarus into the river just to be dicks.
  • Leitmotif: The refrain from "Ezio's Family" returns in full at several points in the game, especially notable at the climax when Bayek and Aya split up, and Bayek inadvertently creates the symbol of the Brotherhood.
  • Life Drain: A very useful ability of a few legendary weapons that comes in two flavors: Life on Kill, and the even rarer Life on Hit. The former restores 15% of Bayek's total life per kill, which is a godsend in battles against many Mooks at once and one of the reasons why swords like the Golden Wolf or the Conductor of Souls are usually considered the best weapons in the game.
  • Limit Break: Called "Overpower", landing hits on viable targets (plus doing other stuff, depending on your equipment traits) builds up an adrenaline bar above the health gauge. Once that's full, the Player Character can unleash a devastating attack whose actual effects vary between weapon types. More than half the skills in the Warrior tree revolve around augmenting the Overpower ability in various ways, from increasing the damage to making it available more often or adding special functionalities. Other skills allow the bar to always be filled (partially or full) at the start of combat.
  • Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair!: Curse of the Pharaohs has the player stumbling on to the tomb of the man who gave us the Trope Namer, complete with a piece of poetry mirroring Shelly's. In that regard, it's probably not a coincidence that Ramses II's afterlife is filled with statues in an endless desert.
  • Lost in Imitation: The "Game of Power" trailer shows that the game borrows a lot from Joseph L. Mankiewicz's Cleopatra, with Cleopatra and Caesar allying against her effeminate boy-king brother Ptolemy XIII complete with Cleopatra and Caesar waxing poetic on Alexander the Great and his vision. Cleopatra also resembles her appearance in Asterix and Cleopatra, a spoof of the same film.
  • Lovable Rogue: The Mouse, whom Bayek meets and befriends in Cyrene. He's a thief, but a good one, who tries protecting children while he's at it.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: And it really does. Shields are among the most important pieces of combat equipment on both sides of the conflict as they reliably block both melee strikes and arrows, provided the wielder knows how to use them properly. Given the prevalence of hostile archers and the heavy focus on Bayek's own archery skills, anyone going into battle without a good shield won't last very long. It's the main reason why virtually no "must-have equipment in Assassin's Creed: Origins" list includes any set of dual swords despite their great damage output.
  • Made of Explodium: Refreshingly averted when it comes to the big red containers standing around in enemy camps, the usual suspects for this trope. They contain oil, are breakable, and their contents are of course highly flammable, but said oil just forms a large burning puddle instead of exploding when hit with a fire arrow.
  • Made of Incendium:
    • Metal and wood were rare commodities in Ancient Egypt, so things were usually made of stone and/or reed. Since stone ships are a tad impractical, the majority of boats in the game are made of reeds and will turn into a blazing inferno when hit with Arrows on Fire, much to the detriment of everyone aboard.
    • The red jars full of oil may not explode when destroyed, but they will catch fire and reliably burn everything the game will allow it to, including enemy soldiers of all classes. Oddly enough, jars gathered around trees, in brush, or near hay bales/leaf piles will not burn said objects despite them being perfectly flammable in real life.
  • Make an Example of Them: One quest in Siwa has Bayek going to rescue a friend of his, only to find the man dead in his cell, and his family dead after their home was burnt down to punish him, while his wife and child were still inside.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Despite Assassin's Creed as a series generally considering the supernatural as merely baseless superstition or the actions of Those Who Came Before, some of the more esoteric happenings in the game are ambiguous to whether they're merely hallucinations or real, such as Khemu coming to Bayek during Flavius' death scene to tell him he'll be free and will be waiting for him in the Field of Reeds.
  • Mind Screw: "The Curse of the Pharaohs" might well be the most out-there piece of Assassin's Creed yet. Bayek travels to multiple afterlifes, and interacts with the dead, solves quests, and meets and talks with Anubis. All via doors in the tombs of dead pharaohs, with no "it's an illusion / simulation / glitch in the Animus" style handwaves to be found. Not even Bayek seems to understand what the hell's going on. And then, two of Anubis' jackal-men servants show up in the real world, acknowledged by the characters. Bayek tries to dismiss it all as illusions caused by the Apple, but the Apple was nowhere near him for most of it.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Several characters are of mixed Greek and Egyptian heritage, with some leaning more towards one side or another.
  • Monumental Damage:
    • Just east of Krokodilopolis, Greeks are making Egyptians tear down an old temple. A note found has several workers praying to the gods for forgiveness, while noting that if they don't, the guards beat the living daylights out of them.
    • In Sinai, Bayek finds a pyramid being torn down by the Roman army. He's appalled at the senselessness of it.
  • Mook Chivalry: Defied, enemies will all attack at once and can overwhelm Bayek if there's too many of them, especially if they're higher leveled. Story-wise, When the Order pressgangs Bayek into helping them they have a bunch of Greek soldiers (All higher leveled than him) attack him at once and beat him into unconscious submission.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: The Gladiator Arena pits players against waves of increasingly difficult enemies that culminates with a boss fight. The December update will even add a Horde mode which pits players against unlimited waves of enemies.
  • Multishot: Bayek can shoot up to five arrows at once while using a certain type of bow. Unlike the promotional material, however, he doesn't target multiple simultaneous enemies, instead loosing them all at a single target, buckshot-style.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Bayek stops levelling at level forty in the main game, forty-five in The Hidden Ones and fifty-five in Curse of the Pharaohs. His enemies don't have this restriction, and enemies in Pharaohs can go up to level fifty-eight.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In Cyrene, Bayek meets a local lad by the name of Esio, who's highly impressed by his climbing skills. In Curse of the Pharaohs, he meets the kid as a teenager, and ends up getting him sent to Rome.
    • Meanwhile, another quest in the same area has the quest giver sound exactly like Bartolomeo, while the man he tasks Bayek with hunting down sounds like Cesare.
    • Like Joseph Lynch, Layla comes into possession of a Hidden Blade with no bracer. Unlike Lynch, however, Layla is able to use it as intended via Duct Tape for Everything.
  • Never Found the Body: In the sidequest "The Hungry River," Bayek retrieves bodies from a hippo attack, though one of the villagers is worried about her nephew Meketre, the town's protector, who was not among the dead. Subverted as Bayek finds out that Meketre was kidnapped by bandits to keep him away while they raid the village.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Nile crocodiles swim the Nile River and are hostile to Bayek, one exception being the Daughter of Sobek, a giant albino Nile crocodile.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • The trailers give the impression that the term "Assassin" was first pioneered in Egypt as a minor Retcon, but the term is never uttered once to describe the proto-Assassins in the Animus portion in-game.
    • The trailers show various fantastic monsters out of place for the usual setting of Assassin's Creed. Such as a giant snake and a large glowing Jackal headed construct. The former turns out to be Apep, as seen in a recurring dream Bayek has. The trailer deliberately misleads by portraying Bayek as having a normal bow, when during that dream he wields a bow made of light. The later is Bayek's memory corridor confrontation with one of his targets.
  • New Game+: Gained one in an early 2018 patch. The player can restart the game with all their already acquired levels, abilities and equipment, with the difficulty bumped up one level (except on Nightmare which obviously stays at Nightmare), and enemy level scaling turned on. Both settings can be changed back at any time during the game, however.
  • Nintendo Hard: A New Game Plus with a fully levelled up Bayek. Even the base mooks of Siwa can utterly massacre him in a few seconds, thanks to their level being scaled with his, to say nothing of bosses, or a Boss in Mook's Clothing.
  • No-Gear Level: A very brief one after Bayek survived being subjected to a Sand Necktie courtesy of the Scarab. He's capped at one third of his health but still in possession of his Hidden Blade, and recovering his missing gear is easily done without any fight whatsoever. After that, it's back to business as usual.
    • When Bayek infiltrates a bathhouse to assassinate the Hippo, he obviously has to ditch everything but his hidden blade to avoid suspicion. Unfortunately, after doing the deed, soldiers start looking for you...
  • Noisy Nature: Bayek's pet eagle, Senu, sounds like—you guessed it—a red-tailed hawk.
  • Noodle Implements: A priest in a side-quest in "Curse of the Pharaohs" has a plan for recovering a statue from some bandits that involves a rabbit's skin and one of the thug's uniform, among other things. Bayek has a more... straightforward solution (go in and kill the bastards).
  • Noodle Incident: Bayek knows the high priestess of Bast over in Bubastis (located in what is now Zagazig), and whatever went down between them was highly embarrassing for him, such that he'd rather his name not be mentioned to her.
  • Notice This: Important undiscovered areas are signified by their question markers glowing.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Your mount does this, appearing about twenty meters behind you every time you call it. If the terrain behind you prevents it from spawning there, you can actually see it popping up out of thin air in your line of sight, thus turning it into actual on-screen teleportation.
  • Oh, Crap!: A horrific version at one point, when Bayek realises three things: One, Shadya has the scroll that the Crocodile's minions are after, two, those minions are going to seize Shadya's mother, and three: He just sent Shadya back home.
  • Older Than They Think: In-Universe: Many of the assassination techniques said to be pioneered by Altaïr in his Codex in Assassin's Creed II turn out to have been things Bayek was doing even before he formed the Brotherhood. These include ledge assassinations, air assassinations and the use of poison.
  • Ominous Message from the Future: A fun bit of mind-screw thanks to The Isu and their future-predicting schtick. Under the Great Pyramid, Bayek finds a message they've left which one assumes is them talking to him from the past. Then it mentions Brutus opening the Vault under the Colosseum "2000 years ago". Messages found elsewhere reveal the truth: the message is for Layla, with Bayek as a conduit à la Ezio/Altaïr. Bayek can't even understand the message.
  • Origins Episode: As the title states, this game shows the origins of what would become the Assassin's Brotherhood.
  • Panthera Awesome: Both lions and leopards can be found in-game.
  • Papa Wolf: During one sidequest, Bayek finds a child as he's looking for an escaped gladiator. Immediately after talking to her, dad comes along trying to run Bayek through with a sword, even though Bayek isn't trying to capture him. Fortunately, the mother manages to intervene before anyone gets hurt.
  • Personalized Afterlife: The four afterlives in Curse of the Pharaohs are each designed for the Pharaoh they're associated with - Nefertiti's is a peaceful, endless farmland with her temple in the middle, Akhenaten's is a city devoted to him matching a model found in his tomb exactly, Ramses II's is dedicated entirely to his glory as ruler, mainly the biggest battles he fought, and Tutenkhamun's is a version of the Duat, representing how he restored Ancient Egypt's traditional gods after Akhenaten's reign.
  • Pet the Dog: You can pets cats by crouching near them (if they come to you first). You can also pet and feed Senu by pressing the interaction button when she lands on your arm during an idle animation.
  • Player-Guided Missile: The Enhanced Bow abilities allow you to manually steer an arrow after firing it from specific bow types, as absurd as it sounds.
  • Play Every Day: Reda, the kid trader, offers one quest per Real Life day that's usually easily solved and nets either a rare or a legendary piece of gear. Completing ten of them completes a UPlay club challenge called Regular Customer. Ubisoft also seems to aim for an additional "play every week/month" effect with the Trials of the Gods which are active for a week before they despawn and are replaced by another one.
  • Politically Correct History:
    • The game also plays into the Good Republic, Evil Empire stereotype without quite grasping the particularly volatile nature of the Roman Republic and how vastly different it was from modern ideas of democracy. A good example is that the game's portrayal of Caesar's assassination dials down the fact that Caesar was genuinely and truly popular and beloved by the people of Rome, and that the Assassins of Caesar were so hated, that they were hounded out of the city, and even before that they had to hide and barricade themselves at the top of the Capitoline Hill. The simple reasons for this is that Caesar had briefly ended the Cycle of Revenge that had gone on for a century in Rome where polarization in Rome saw purges and counter-purges, and which Caesar put a stop to, and which his assassination triggered again, leading to the end of the Republic and the rise of the Empire. In the finale, Aya tells Cleopatra that the people call her a "dead tyrant's whore", which implies that Caesar was seen as a tyrant by the people of Rome when in fact the opposite is true, and the demonization of Cleopatra would happen decades later under Augustus.
    • Much of the game focuses on Siwa oasis and its history, and Bayek is identified as being tied to its history and origins. One of the most famous facts about Siwa was that it nurtured acceptance and celebration of homosexuality, and even same-sex marriage, with traditions dating back to the ancient era, suppressed only recently in the 20th Century. Yet there's barely any mention of this in the game, or hints in the background, with nearly all of Bayek's friends and associates being female (Tahira, Kensa, Rabiah) and no mention is made of any same-sex marriages there. The only acknowledgment of same-sex relations is an Easter Egg in Heraklion where one can surreptitously glimpse two Greek men having sex through a window.
    • Caesar's contempt for women fighters is depicted as unmerited and naive. Yet due to the infant mortality rate, the far greater deaths via childbirth, and the lower life expectancy of the time, women often needed to bear as many children as possible to keep the population afloat (there was also the legitimate fear of being outnumbered by rival clans or nations). Every time a woman died in battle, her unborn children were perceived to die with her, so most cultures were reluctant to allow or encourage them to enter into harms way. (Female gladiators were an exception; most were criminals who were condemned to die anyway, and even they were railed against by writers such as Juvenal, before being outlawed by Septimus Severus.)
    • The place of slavery in Ancient Egyptian and Roman society goes almost completely unmentioned. This is important as the Greco-Roman period is when slavery really boomed in Egypt. This is relevant especially as the Assassins / Hidden One's entire thing is to fight for people's freedom. You'd think the whole slavery thing would come up. OTOH, this may also be a way of avoiding Politically Correct History as the practice of slavery would realistically be completely normal to Bayek and Aya.
    • In the Library of Alexandria and associated university, as well as other locations in Alexandria and Cyrene, you see tutors teaching both male and female students in equal numbers. In real history, these students would be almost exclusively men. In the Discovery Mode update, a behind-the-scenes segment even admits the developers knew this and intentionally chose not to display it in order to, in their words, "prioritize inclusive gaming over historical sexism." There are a few other cases, generally in the culturally Greek areas, where women are anachronistically seen doing jobs that would likely be males-only. A loading screen text actually points out that Egyptian women generally had more legal rights and equality than Greek or Roman women, and that many historical Greek writers wrote disdainfully of the practice, casting Egyptian men as emasculated and Egyptian women as domineering.
  • Precision F-Strike: Most of Bayek's swearing is Ancient Egyptian curses, which makes his angry declaration to Sufiya about how her "fucking lover" killed his son stand out all the more.
  • Promoted to Playable: In addition to Bayek, several of the game's supporting cast and NPCs are playable in the Discovery Tour mode.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: One note found in the Krokodilopolis Granary is from a soldier lamenting that he hates doing the Crocodile's work, but if he raises objections, the Crocodile will have him killed.
  • Pyramid Power: The Great Pyramids appear as they did in their heyday, smooth and gleaming white with golden caps.
  • The Queen's Latin: Certain Roman characters as well as Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII speak with a British accent.
  • Rain of Arrows: The main weapon in any naval battle of the era are about a hundred archers on deck that unleash volley after volley of Arrows on Fire upon the enemy's ships, burning down sails, blowing up vulnerable supplies, and setting fire to the wooden hull. Octaremes take it to the extreme due to being much larger than the usual triremes and having appropriately larger crews — whereas a trireme fires one volley per attack, an octareme dishes out three to four. Funnily, the archers' effective range seems to be significantly longer than that of the cannon broadsides deployed in the games that codified the franchise's naval warfare mechanics.
  • Ramming Always Works: Used often in the naval sequences. Incidentally while the earlier AC naval component had this too, this is the first time ramming has used in an era-appropriate context. In the Ancient to Medieval era, galley ships often used ramming in naval combat.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • The loss of their only child combined with the fact both Aya and Bayek bury themselves in their work as the Assassins' founders results in the crumbling of their marriage. The game teases that getting their revenge and finding a new purpose would bring them back together but it's not to be. The fact that Aya chooses to be buried with her husband, at least, implies they never stopped loving one another and possibly might've reconciled some time after the game's events.
    • In The Hidden Ones, the group's habit of being Highly Visible Ninja bites them in the ass when, thanks to operating in broad daylight, the Roman army finds one of their bureaus and burns it to the ground.
    • The game ends with Aya, alongside Brutus and the Libertores, assassinating Caesar. "The Hidden Ones" confirms that, as in real life, this made them Public Enemy No. 1 in Rome, and led to Brutus' death.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: One side-quest in Cyrene deals with a slave who faked being abducted to get out of the arena, so he could be with his family, after having been a slave since he was eight. His reasons for going about it this way become clear when Bayek tells the slave-owner what's happened, and he takes some men to find the man's family and kill them.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Diocles, a magistrate in Cyrene whom Bayek meets while hunting Flavius. He's opposed to the local corrupt politician Leander, and is trying to stop him, which Bayek helps with.
  • Retool: The game serves as a soft reboot, discarding the various plotlines the games have gathered from Assassin's Creed III onward. Gameplay-wise, the "sequence" style of missions that has been the standard since the first game is discarded. Exploration is changed, with the map updating whenever Bayek enters a new area, rather than when he climbs a viewpoint, and areas of interest being displayed on the map as question marks until Bayek approaches. The Animus Fragments that have been present since III have been removed, and the treasure chest system is altered so that they do not appear on the map. Also, the database, a feature of every main AC game since II, is entirely absent.
  • Reverse Grip: Bayek switches to this when he has primed a Charged Heavy Attack with a sword.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: One group of rebels Bayek meets in the Faiyum grab a camp commander who killed the rebel leader's family, and set him on fire with an arrow.
  • Rewatch Bonus: After finishing the quest, Bayek's first meeting with Tarhaqa looks very different, when you wonder what would have happened if Bayek had drunk that wine he'd been offered.
  • Sacred Bow and Arrows: As part of the mission to discover The Lizard, Bayek experiences a drug-induced hallucination in which he floats along a river on the solar barge of the god Ra, fighting and defeating the god Apep with a glowing bow that shoots unlimited arrows.
  • Sand Necktie:
    • The Scarab does this to his victims. To torment them even further, he drops a skin of water next to them.
    • In The Hidden Ones, Bayek finds some thieves who've had this done to them, by the Scarab's son, no less.
  • Scenery Porn: Ancient Egypt looks positively stunning, with some incredible views of ancient cities and the freaking pyramids still having most of their limestone facade.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Nehi, a guy Bayek helps in Letopolis, decides to flee the place after his quests, simply because Bayek found some ancient writings that the old inhabitants believed they were cursed.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Among the hyenas seen in the game are striped hyenas, which are seen much more rarely than their spotted cousins.
  • Selective Condemnation: There is a quest where Bayek is outraged and considers it blasphemy that someone is slaughtering crocodiles in Krokodilopolis, the town containing a large temple to crocodile-headed god Sobek. Another quest involves freeing a large albino crocodile captured by hunters. While this happens, Bayek is able to slaughter random crocodiles for crafting materials to his heart's content and with no penalty at all. It has been pointed out, though, that only albino crocodiles were considered sacred. Bayek also routinely condemns grave robbers, and several time righteously points out that he isn't one... even though the game allows you to walk through a number of tombs, picking up bits and pieces of treasure.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike:
    • Using "sequel" in terms of its release date instead of chronological order, Origins has noticeably more difficult combat than any of its predecessors. The all-powerful block-and-counter mechanic has been replaced with a hitbox system that requires precise timing and a lot more situational awareness. Many enemies use attacks that can't be blocked and need to be dodged in a specific direction; others are immune to attacks from the front and need to be staggered or flanked, something that is often more easily said than done. As in Unity, enemies defy Mook Chivalry, which turns being surrounded into the dangerous situation it actually is in Real Life — it's no fun fending off the shield-bearing Elite Mook in front of you while archers are merrily shooting you in the back. Boss Battles are a lot more prevalent, each of which requires studying the boss' unique attack patterns to figure out a viable strategy to defeat him. While a maxed-out Bayek can attack hostile strongholds head-on and emerge victorious, the odds are still very much against him, and the stealthy approach one should have in mind when one thinks of assassins has never been more recommended in the history of the franchise.
    • Inverted in the mission design — there are no timed missions at all, and none that fail automatically if the protagonist is spotted, leaving it entirely up to you how you approach any given task.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: All over the place. Even basic soldiers often carry shields and can be a pain to overcome without copious use of heavy attacks and dodging behind them. Various Giant Mooks and Elite Mooks take it to a whole new level with their huge tower shields that require a special skill to break through, and even that only gives an opening of a few seconds. It's usually best to single them out as your first-wave targets for assassination, or headshots from very, very far away.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work:
    • The Great Pyramids are depicted as smooth and gleaming white with golden caps; this is exactly how they would have looked back in the heyday of Ancient Egypt - the surface stones and caps have since been lost due to varying reasons, which is why they look as they do now.
    • While mostly extirpated save for the southeastern portion in modern times, leopards could be found throughout Egypt.
    • Kensa the female gladiator who Bayek runs into on the trail for the Crocodile might seem like a case of Politically Correct History, but in fact female gladiators really did exist in history.
    • The style of armor and weapons is primarily Hellenistic, and wouldn't look out of place in a Macedonian army, showing heavy Greek influence, as afforded by Egypt's current status as a Successor Kingdom.
    • The Seer in Memphis performs a ritual to protect a pregnant woman with a birth tusk, a period-accurate and obscure piece of Egyptian religious paraphernalia.
    • The developers even managed to successfully guess the location on a then-unknown hidden chamber inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, relying on the theory of French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin about how the structure was built and consulting him during development. Just days after the game came out, scientists discovered the chamber that Houdin, and by extension the game, had predicted the existence of.
  • Skewed Priorities: A quest in Cyrene has a local man going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against an escaped slave-fighter of his, not because the man ran off, but because he took the guy's favourite sword with him.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Most of the time slavery comes up, it's because someone's enslaved children.
  • Stealth Pun: Since Bayek can see what his eagle Senu sees a la Far Cry Primal, technically he's using a form of Eagle Vision.
  • The Straight and Arrow Path: The Sigma Team operatives sent to murder Layla all wield bows rather than guns. William Miles admits this is rather strange.
  • Take a Third Option: The final mission has Aya trying to assassinate Julius Caesar on the far side of an extremely heavily guarded courtyard. You can't climb onto the surrounding roofs due to spikes lining the edges, so you're forced to either sneak past several dozen overlapping patrols, or fight through the same number of high-level enemies. Or... you can just climb along the walls of the courtyard and reach the target without anyone on the ground being the wiser.
  • Tap on the Head: A Giza sidequest begins with Bayek finding a Greek geologist who's been laid out by an attacker. Then one of them gets the drop on Bayek himself.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: As absurd as it may be, but of all the Assassin's Creed games so far, the one that's farthest back in history is the one to introduce teleportation, courtesy of Those Who Came Before, of course. Most of the tomb annexes that contain an Ancient Device can be left instantly via a teleporter that looks like a golden circle composed of complex sigils on the ground. Using it results in Bayek materializing somewhere outside with a kickass graphics effect.
  • Too Dumb to Live: A bandit hideout in the White Desert Oasis has a note found telling the bandits to stop washing themselves by the nearby waterfall at night. The note is found next to the corpse of a bandit by the foot of the waterfall.
  • Tron Lines: The Isu Armor has some yellow ones.
  • Undying Loyalty: The Heron's bodyguard doesn't care much about his boss, affably informing Bayek that he's only after him as a matter of honor, as he's trying to skewer him.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • Bayek shows barely any reaction to finding multiple precursor tombs, and no reaction whatsoever to the secret messages from the future he finds there. He also never mentions any of this to anyone else. The not so secret entrance to the Map Chamber is an example for the villagers of Siwa, as well.
    • Aya never comments on the fact Bayek slices off his own finger.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: One of the Isu tomb messages explains that, even after Desmond stopped the 2012 coronal mass ejection devastating mankind, something else is coming to finish the job, and nothing can stop it happening.
  • Vendor Trash:
    • Looting containers and corpses may yield the occasional piece of junk (ranging from a bunch of grapes to golden jewelry) whose sole purpose is to be sold to a merchant. Any merchant's "Sell" interface has a special button dedicated to this exact purpose, and selling 100+ junk items in one go actually unlocks an achievement.
    • Regular (blue) and rare (purple) gear quickly loses any combat value once the first legendary items begin to appear roughly one third into the story, which reduces them to Bayek's most profitable source of income from that moment forth.
  • Verbal Tic: A quest giver in Faiyum has a pronounced stutter when first met. After Bayek saves him from some cultists, it's vanished, which he claims is because Bayek scared him.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: One of the achievements/trophies has you feeding a corpse to a predator.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: The Templar Order (although here called the Order of the Ancients) is already ancient by the time the story takes place. Bayek first regards them as a standard conspiracy and treats them as such, but when Cleopatra and Caesar fall under their sway and they learn the true scope of the Order, he decides to beat them at their own game by forming the Brotherhood.
  • War Elephants: Bayek can fight against these as high level opponents for an ability point.
  • Was Once a Man: One of the more bizarre parts of the already very bizarre Curse of the Pharaohs has Bayek helping a man find where his wife has gotten to in Nefertiti's afterlife, at the end of which he finds she'd been turned into one of the jackal-men.
  • Wham Line:
    • A major one from the Isu tomb under the Sphinx: The One Who Came Before recording it says that while using the Animus, one cannot change what happened, Layla apparently could devise a way to make one that could. Combined with the thoughts about reality and time the previous vault recordings told you, it now seems likely that even the "Real world" of the AC lore is just an another simulation. Hearing "Nothing is True" will never sound the same.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: One quest involves helping a man who remembers going to a festival, getting drunk, and then finds himself waking up in some ruins surrounded by hungry crocodiles.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • The Staff of Alexander forms the crux of the reason why Caesar and Cleopatra betray Bayek and Aya to side with the Order. Flavius mentions it was sent to Rome after it was used by the Order to open the Vault in Siwa, while Flavius kept the Apple. It is never seen again in the game.
    • Similarly, the Isu Vault under the temple of Amun in Siwa. Getting inside is the entire goal of the Order, the reason behind everything they did. We never find out what they found there, or what purpose it served. When Aya and Bayek enter it, they see a hologram of the Earth and spot the mortally wounded Hepzefa, whom Septimus made a point to drag into the vault, pick him up, and immediately leave the Vault. The Vault can no longer be visited after this. Flavius seems content to just go on to use the Apple's mind control powers in preparation for an invasion of Egypt, while Septimus goes with Caesar in Rome where Caesar tries to have the Senate crown him. The Vault or its relevance are never mentioned again, save for one sidequest where General Rufio wants to seize Siwa to get at it.
  • Where It All Began: In one of the Giza pyramids, Bayek can investigate the site where he killed the first of the Order he went after.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Technically, Bayek is one during the festival mock-battle and any time he wears the associated Sekhmet costume, since it represents the goddess herself.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: The game's overworld has been compared to the Caribbean of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag with all the water being land, and the entire map is seamless, i.e. the overworld includes Alexandria, Memphis and the inner environs in one mammoth overworld, in a sharp departure from earlier multi-city AC games where each large location had a separate map and layer. In addition, underwater sections are also integrated in the open world rather than being separate areas.
  • Worth It: Bayek says losing his ring finger via accidental Hidden Blade activation was worth it for giving him the chance to kill Eudoros.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Those Who Came Before seem to have come to this conclusion. One of their Ancient Devices claims that mankind is destined to be all but annihilated one way or another, and that Desmond's Heroic Sacrifice to protect Earth from the sun's coronal mass ejection in Assassin's Creed III only delayed the inevitable. We will be screwed rather sooner than later, it will happen within the century, and there's nothing we can ultimately do about it. Considering how accurately the Isu were able to predict future events so far, the franchise's real-world segments might take an even darker turn in upcoming games, especially since the groundwork has already been laid thanks to Juno and her crazy cronies. Then it's subverted, when the final message says Layla could.

Remember:
Nothing is real. Everything is permitted.
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