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.