THE STORY HAS CHANGED.
We’ve all come to know to know the Assassin’s Creed series over the past decade. We’ve seen Assassin’s Creed at its best and at it’s worse. And yes, I know there are hundreds of discussions talking about those things, but that’s not what I want to talk to you about today. I want to talk to focus on the world of Assassin’s Creed. I want to dive deeper into the lore, story, and how the newest installment has changed everything as we know it. Sup Nerds, it’s Brandon and let’s talk the World of Assassin’s Creed.
Spoiler Warning. We’ll being going over some of the main Assassin’s Creed games, including Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. So if you don’t want anything spoiled; escape now. Feel free to check out any of our other articles or gameplays that don't have spoilers on our YouTube Channel.
Welcome To The Animus
"I've seen the truth. That's the beauty - and the horror - of the Animus. A device that allows us to enter and experience the lives of our ancestors. It holds the power to change everything. To show us history the way it really happened. Up until its creation - to the victor went the spoils - went the truth." — William Miles, Assassin's Creed III.
In the beginning of Assassin’s Creed we were introduced to Desmond Miles. A bartender who was raised to be an assassin. But he wasn’t about that life, so he packed up his stuff and bounced. Some time later some goons from Abstergo found him, snatched him out of his pockets, and brought him to their lab. Abstergo, a multibajillion dollar company that dabbles in such business as pharmaceuticals, fitness, entertainment, banking, medical, and so much more, also has a secret project on the side. They dive into the genetic memories with the use of a machine known as The Animus.
The story unfolds explaining Desmond was selected given his specific ancestry and that he belongs to a line of legendary Assassins. Those specific ancestors had ties and interactions with special precursor items known as the Pieces of Eden. Later in the series you learn the truth and origins of theses items. Where they come from, who made them, and why they’re so important. And it also reveals the truth behind Abstergo and who they truly are as the ancient organization, the Knights Templar.
I know, that’s a whole lot of information to be smacked with, but seeing it in action makes it all come together. And that’s the whole point of the game. You play through the lives of Desmond’s Ancestors to find these hidden secrets and lost truths.
Can you imagine it? You are seeing history as it happened. It’s coming directly from the source. No lies, no stories written by the winners, straight up actual factual. The idea in the series was monumental when the first game came out in 2007. Now here we are over a decade later and we are seeing more periods through history. This has shown us there is no limit to the stories we can explore.
We’ve traveled all the way from the 12th century and explored within the 3rd Crusade, to jumping hundreds of years into the Italian Renaissance. From there we explore the world through the eyes of Ezio Auditore to his dying breath. Through him we unlocking more secrets that led us down so many paths and led to new assassins. It’s amazing to look back on all the adventures had. And all of those adventures have now led us to the whole point of this article. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. What is it about Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is so different than the rest of the series? It’s actually Lala Hassan and what she’s done.
Animus Synchronization… 100%
Remember earlier how we went over how the Animus works? It appears that her Animus does not operate the same. In fact, it does something completely different.
All the various forms of the Animus used from Assassin’s Creed One to Syndicate all have one underlying principle. They put the “viewer” in the shoes of the ancestors/person(s) of interest. The person (Desmond/You) relives the specific period of time selected through the eyes of said character. Examples being:
In Assassin’s Creed one through three, Desmond relives the lives of Altaïr, Ezio, and Connor. He is seeing these events through their eyes. In Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag through Syndicate it is “you” the faceless, nameless player who is seeing these events through the eyes of Edward, Arno, Jacob and Evie.
The viewer has no true control over what happens in that world. They cannot make choices or deviate from what events happened/events the person performed. As an example, I cannot make Arno start killing innocent civilians if those events didn't happen. If I tried to take control I would be desynced from the Animus.
However, in the newest Assassin’s Creed, that’s not what happens. Layla’s Animus allows the person inside, in this case her, to make their own choices. These choices range from the ability to choose where she explores, who she does and doesn't help, and if she wants to can kill as many random people as she'd like. These choices can change the story's direction and events in the world. Thus changing what is seen as historical fact.
Choose Your Odyssey
That isn’t the only difference in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey either. And in fact, this might be the biggest change. The doctor assisting Layla explains to her that there are two different strands of DNA on the on the spear they’ve collected. Layla must select who’s DNA she wishes to enter the Animus with and who’s story she wishes to see these events unfold through. Now, here is where things get tricky. No matter which strand of DNA she selects, the story unfolds the same with only the main protagonist roles reverse. Meaning, if she selects Kassandra, then Kassandra is the older sibling making Alexios the younger brother. However, if she selects Alexios, now he is the older sibling and Kassandra is the younger.
Based off the world Assassin’s Creed has built, this shouldn’t be possible. One of the main reasons is the strands of the DNA. If there are two different strands of DNA then the stories told should be two different stories. If she completes going through the events of Kassandra and now wishes to go back and complete the events of Alexios, they should not be the same events. They should be two completely different stories. This was shown best in Assassin’s Creed Origins with Bayek and his wife Aya.
Two different DNA samples were collected and Layla was able to see through the eyes of two different people.
The second issue is that, as the developers have stated, Kassandra is the canon character. She is who the game is truly about within the Assassin’s Creed lore. So when they look back, the story is told about her. Now if that's the case, why is it if Layla selects Alexios, he is able to live Kassandra’s events? Why is it you do not see his canonical story? Why is she not able to explore the story of Dimos first hand?
Personally I think that would have been rather amazing. We’ve seen it done in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and Origins. Imagine this:
Layla reaches a point with Kassandra where the damaged DNA is starting to affect the memory. She cannot access these events and must find an alternative route. So she decides to jump into Alexios’s DNA and see if he is able to show her what happened.
There are other changes to her version of the Animus, but let’s look back at the other Animus machines to get a true understanding.
Diving Into History
Animus 1.0 - First Animus used in Assassin’s Creed one.
Animus 2.0 - Animus used in Assassin’s Creed two through Revelations. Introduced the bleeding effect. "Baby's twice as awesome as anything you'll find at Abstergo!" ―Rebecca Crane, speaking of her Animus, 2012.
The Bleeding Effect refers to a disorder wherein the genetic memories of one's ancestors begin to blend with the sufferer's own, real-time memories, often leading to difficulties in distinguishing between the two. In severe cases, this eventually resulted in mental breakdown. It starts out as learning what they learn and being able to do what they do. Example being Desmond learning to fight and climb the same way Ezio did. But later it shows progression into hearing voices, hallucinations, and mental breakdowns as seen at the end of Brotherhood and the island in Revelations.
Animus 3.0 - Animus used in Assassin’s Creed three. Minor software updates.
Animus Omega - Animus used in Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag through Syndicate. In 2013, the Abstergo Entertainment division in Montreal utilized the Animus Omega in their research and analysis of genetic memories harvested from the DNA of Desmond Miles. (This being for Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. The project was known internally as the Sample 17 Project. The employees of the Montreal division were told the memories would be used to explore possibilities of new settings for Abstergo Entertainment game products. While in reality, the data was being used by Abstergo Industries to locate information on the First Civilization and the Pieces of Eden.
Animus HR-8 - Animus used in Assassin’s Creed: Origins. The Abstergo Animus Guide states that the HR-8 can be compacted into a suitcase. For safety purposes, the epidural connection has been replaced with a hematological link. It sequences the information stored in the user's red blood cells and transmits data to every organ. As stated by herself, Layla built the HR-8 to enable her to access anyone's memories, "even ancestors not her own".
Animus HR-8.5 - Animus used in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. The Animus HR-8.5 is an updated version of the HR-8, and was developed by Victoria Bibeau. It featured more user-friendly options, such as the ability to further integrate the users sensory data.
And with the new upgrades it changes the laws of how the Animus works, which makes me ask; what is happening in the Assassin’s Creed world!? Who is Layla Hassan really and this team she’s working with? It’s said they’re fighting against Abstergo, but why would the assassins need to be able to control the world around them if they dove back into the past? The whole point was to see the past has it truly happened, not create your own story within it’s world.
This is where the conspiracy comes in. What if fighting against Abstergo and the Templars isn’t the true goal. What if there is a spy among them, similar to how Lucy was. What if the goal is to manipulate the Animus so they can show the world the “true” events of history. Negate all text book history. The Templars will show the world our history in the way they wish for us to believe it. They could weave lies and paint the assassin’s as this rogue group of terrorist and wage public war against them. Turn the world against the heroes and put the Templars one step closer to a New World Order and complete Domination.
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey creates more questions than it answers. And I can’t wait for the future installments to explain what's happening. Perhaps the next story takes us to Japan. Or maybe roam amongst the Vikings. Where the Gods of Valhalla truly Gods? Or were they kin to those that came before.
Something strange is going on in the world of Assassin’s Creed. We’ll just have to wait and find out what exactly it is.
Thanks for reading. Let’s talk about the theories behind Assassin’s Creed. What do you think is really going on? Do you trust Layla and her team? Sound off in the comments and let’s discuss. Thanks for reading again and feel free to check out some of our other articles on the page. See ya Nerds.