Warning: This is a spoiler heavy article about the events which transpired at the end of Assassin’s Creed, Assassin’s Creed 2 and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. Proceed with caution.
Every Assassin’s Creed game thus far has managed to include a moment at the end of the game that just made you stop, put your controller down and take a long, deep breath to help clear your head. Not one has ended without giving players more to think about, and while subsequent games have always explained a little more, Assassin’s Creed Revelations is still going to have a lot of explaining to do.
After remembering where Ezio hid his Apple of Eden, Desmond wakes from the Animus and the Assassins head on out to Rome’s Colosseum to go recover it. Desmond enters an underground catacomb and has a run-in with another member of the First Civilization, Juno (recall: In Assassin’s Creed 2, Desmond encountered Minerva when Ezio unlocked the Vatican Vault). Eventually the underground passageway leads Desmund to the Santa Maria Aracoeli, where he rendezvous with Rebecca, Shaun and Lucy.
Inside the church, Ezio solves a puzzle which gives him access to the Vault where the Apple is stored. While down in the Vault, he solves another climbing puzzle and it becomes apparent that his companions cannot hear or see Juno, who is explaining to Desmond that humans are an imperfect race, created in the image of the First Civilization but without their sixth sense.
“A hundred years I might speak and still you would not know us. You with five senses. Us with six. The one we kept from you. To be safe. Now, you can never know. Only try. Grasp. You can SEE. SMELL. TASTE. TOUCH. HEAR. Knowledge has been blocked away. After, when the world became undone, we tried to pass it through the blood. Tried to join you with us. You see the blue shimmer. You hear the words. But you do not know! WE SHOULD HAVE LEFT YOU AS YOU WERE! It is hard to stay contained. Knowing as we do. We wait for you, Desmond. You will come here. You will activate it. You will know only when it is too late.”
What happens next is no doubt meant to tear a gaping hole into the chest of every Assassin’s Creed fan. Upon picking up the Apple of Eden that Ezio locked away, Desmond loses control of his body. With his allies standing seemingly still, Juno forces Desmond to move forward and stab Lucy. Then Juno leaves Desmond with a cryptic message as he stands there with Lucy’s life in his hands.
“It is done. The way lies all before you. Only she remains to be found. Awaken the sixth. Go. ALONE”
Both Desmond and Lucy collapse and the credits roll. During the credits we hear the voice of William M. and another assassin as they get Desmond back into the animus to help stabilize his condition.
While the ending is complex, Darby McDevitt, script writer for the Assassin’s Creed series, makes the ending sound so very simple.
“That was the shock that shattered him. But it was a long time coming. Just like what happened with Subject 16 and subjects beforehand, prolonged exposure to the Animus and reliving these fragmented memories really does a number on your head. You begin to develop something like multiple personality disorder, and you slowly go crazy. Putting Desmond back in the Animus is basically letting the Animus handle that partition.”
Using McDevitt’s explanation, a few things become clear(er). Juno’s aim wasn’t to kill Lucy, but to force Desmond into a state of shock similar to that which Subject 16 experienced, one which he had amazingly avoided thus far. Juno’s message about finding her and awakening the sixth is likely a combination of two different objectives. Awakening the sixth likely refers to discovering the sixth sense that the First Civilization locked away from mankind.
Darby further explains that the concept of discovering the sixth sense isn’t just thrown out there, but rather that it will play an important role in Assasssin’s Creed Revelations.
“Juno explicitly says that they have six senses, not five. That plays a role in our game and how we get to access Altair’s memories.”
Does this mean that this sixth sense, as we strive to unlock and understand it, will be what allows Ezio to relive Altair’s memories? In that case, just what exactly is the sixth sense beyond Eagle Vision? Juno called it knowledge, so is it the ability to see both the past and the future?
Juno mentions that Desmond can see the blue shimmer, but implies that this is the imperfect form of the sixth sense. Eagle Vision is seeing an upgrade in Revelations to Eagle Sense, an ability which will allow Ezio to read the paths of guards, seeing both where they have been and where they’re going. Is this just one way of seeing both the past and future?
Juno’s comment about finding “her” is a little more complicated and to explain what that might mean, we need to talk about Subject 16 a little. In both Assassin’s Creed 2 and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, Subject 16 left behind glyphs and rifts, respectively, for Desmond to find in Ezio’s memories.
These areas of the game lead to puzzles hidden away in the Animus which, when completed, unlock pieces of a video in Assassin’s Creed 2 and a sort of virtual reality program in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. Both of these gifts which Subject 16 calls “The Truth” are crucial to understanding just what Juno was trying to say at the end of Brotherhood.
The Truth video from Assassin’s Creed 2 shows two humans free-running through a garden and up a building in an advanced city, likely belonging to the First Civilization. We don’t see their pursuers, but the the girl refers to the man as Adam, and he refers to her as Eve just as it’s revealed that they’re making their escape with a Piece of Eden in hand. The video is included below for reference.
In Brotherhood, the Truth video shows a bunch of scrambled video with the words, “The miracle is in the execution.” Upon realizing that the file contains a massive amount of data, the team comes to the conclusion that its not just a video, but a file executable in the Animus. What loads up resembles the VR Training program already available in the Animus.
Upon completing the executable, your mind is blown to little tiny pieces as you encounter Subject 16 in the Animus. It’s not clear if he’s surviving in the Animus or if he’s just an AI construct, but one of the messages he gives you may be the biggest hint at what Juno says when she refers to “her.”
“Eden, she… in Eden, find Eve. The key, her DNA.”
One possible explanation is this: Juno and Subject 16 are both telling you find Eve in Eden. It isn’t explained whether or not this needs to happen in the present, but judging by Juno’s actions –forcing a shock that lands you back in the Animus — it’s highly probable that finding Eve is something you’re expected to do through the Animus, most likely by reliving a memory.
It’s also possible that doing this will be how you unlock your sixth sense in Assassin’s Creed Revelations, although any memory sequences going back to the lives of Adam or Eve — provided Desmond is a descendant — will likely be short or contained. The mountain behind Eden in the first Truth video appears to be Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, and Revelations takes place primarily in Constantinople so it’s a far stretch to believe that Ubisoft would create another whole city for gamers to explore in Revelations.
What mysteries do you hope that Assassin’s Creed Revelations is going to help solve?
Assassin’s Creed Revelations will hopefully be providing more answers than questions when it ships in November, 2011, for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.
Source: Game Informer