Assassin’s Creed 2 EP12: FREE HUGS

By Shamus Posted Friday Oct 7, 2011

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 119 comments

Link (YouTube)

Man, I’m really regretting falling behind on the game. I’d probably have some sort of plot-related criticism for this stuff, but this part of the game is new to me, and it’s in Italian. This was perhaps not the wisest course of action.

I will say I’m grateful to the developers for giving us a durable NPC for this escort mission. The bad guys poke a lot of holes in him, and he manages to hang in there.

5:08 It’s raining men! Really, what was that all about?


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119 thoughts on “Assassin’s Creed 2 EP12: FREE HUGS

  1. Nyctef says:

    Nobody lives to see their wife and children when Josh is around!

    Clearly being on fire is not a noticable heuristic for Italian merc pathfinding :)

    So now we have to murder Reginald Cuftburt so that we can become him for this series.

    Oh man, Reginald gets to troll Josh so bad. But then Reginald is dead. Long live Reginald Auditore!

    Back to the beginning of the game, and a new father figure. But no hugs :(

  2. Jabrwock says:

    “I will say I'm grateful to the developers for giving us a durable NPC for this escort mission. The bad guys poke a lot of holes in him, and he manages to hang in there.”

    It’s actually refreshing to have an escort missions in a game where the escortees can actually help defend themselves.

    1. swenson says:

      Or *gasp* are strong enough to actually help YOU instead of you just helping them! HL2 Episode 2 was fun because of that. In fact, I missed the parts when I didn’t have Alyx along, because I wanted her help to shoot stuff!

      1. FalseProphet says:

        Escort missions are some of the easier fights in the game, because it’s so easy to insta-kill enemies from behind when they’re occupied with the NPC you’re escorting (AKA, the “flank and shank”). Never thought D&D rules knowledge would help me in a platformer.

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          I don’t really remember how the escort missions in AC/AC2 felt, I recently did Brotherhood though and I have to say I don’t hate the escort quests in that game. The escortees have quite a lot of health and many of them can stand their own in a fight which will, like FalseProphet said, expose the guards to your insta-kills (which is even better in Brotherhood because you can start a chain that way). Also, they follow you rather than stroll at their own leisurely pace, they don’t rush you with lines like “hurry up, we have to get out of here” while strolling at their own leisurely pace AND they mostly can and will run to keep close. It’s possible I repressed some annoying quest though…

          In fact, I remember I at one point realised that the guards weren’t attacking me at all (if I wasn’t notorious) until I myself attacked. They just went after the guy they were looking for and only after I started stabbing they realised “hey, that dude is with the target!”

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Yeah,its fun to let the guards cluster around your buddy,then walk behind one and start mass murdering them all.

  3. X2-Eliah says:

    @mumbles – why is it only guys with ‘free hugs’ shirts that are creepy? I’d say that any person wearing stuff like that is to be avoided.. Not just guys. Free Hugs Shirts are just.. there’s so much implication of wrongness.

    1. Jabrwock says:

      The shirt is creepy because it implies that there may be some reason you wouldn’t even consider hugging that person. And they are aware of this and are trying to put your mind at ease. Which only makes it more awkward.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      But girls have boobs,and everyone loves squishing boobs.

    3. ps238principal says:

      At this year’s Dragoncon, I saw one guy with a sign that said “Free Hugs.” Next to him, another guy had a sign that read “Deluxe Hugs – $5.00.”

      1. Fang says:

        Oh man! Those guys had to have been friends. That can’t be just luck.

  4. Spammy says:

    Wow. Are we sure that we’re not playing as the bearded guy? I feel like I just watched a mirror match.


  5. LurkerAbove says:

    I usually don’t even make my dude’s face. I might change the hairstyle to the longest option, but that’s usually it. No patience for it.

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      Ahh, I think I said it during the Mass Effect season but if I get a game in the afternoon and it has a character editor with lots of sliders I won’t get into the game proper that day. It happened with both DAs, ME and it still happens with Sims whenever I start a new guy (practically every time I sit down to the game). I just keep fiddling with those wonder if the nose looks better this way or that way and if the eyes don’t seem slightly off, then I forget what the setting was for the nose that looked “quite nice but not exactly what I wanted” and can’t go back to it… the horror…

      1. bit says:

        In Fallout New Vegas, I could not throw a single piece of clothing away; Not because of a pack-rat mentality, but because every time I found something interesting, I immediately ran home and tried it on with everything else. I also carried around different outfits for different situations, ranging from casual outfits for hanging around small towns, fancy ensembles for the Strip etc. And officious clothing for talking to important people. Yay roleplaying!

      2. Eruanno says:

        Yeah, I remember last time I tried replaying Mass Effect 1 – I restarted the game four times because I couldn’t get my Shepard to look right. “No, the nose is wrong!”, “I don’t like that hairstyle, on second thought…”, “AAAUGH WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOUR FACE SHEPARD” etc.

        I don’t want to see that intro ever again… D:

        1. swenson says:

          And then there’s ME2, where you have to sit through a good five or ten minutes of gameplay/cutscenes before you even can make your Shepard’s face, which means there’s no way at all to fix it without replaying ALL of it. Even if you edit the .ini file to make those cutscenes skippable (which I used to have, but then I updated the game and I think it overwrote it), you still have to do the whole conversation/mini intro gameplay on the Normandy SR-1.

          SO ANNOYING.

  6. Indy says:

    I think that was the best chase I’ve ever seen. Somebody definitely should make a clip of that with Yakity Sax.

    1. Jabrwock says:

      I hear that music every time I’m chasing the messenger. Sometimes he’ll jump off and run up the side of the same building, over and over, constantly yelling “HELP! Murderer! Get away from meeeeee!”

      And yet it’s the guards running to his “aid” who stab him, not me.

      1. Jakale says:

        You mean the flamboyant caped pickpockets?

      2. Eleion says:

        It’s usually because he’s been running along the rooftops, which is a big no-no, even for people who aren’t Ezio.

  7. Hitch says:

    Shamus, put down the Yogsbox. You have more important things to do. Unless you’re making a Minecraft Spoiler Warning. (Which I can’t imagine being all that interesting, but I’m sure you guys could make it awesome.)

    1. Mathias says:

      I mentioned this yesterday, if someone makes a “booze and dynamite” mod for Minecraft, that would make the most awesome Spoiler Warning ever.

      1. Matthias says:

        Well, TNT is already part of vanilla Minecraft. As for booze: :-)

        1. Mathias says:

          Your name is eerily similar to mine…

          1. Matthias says:

            That’s because I’m the evil You from an alternate universe :-)

            1. zob says:

              That explains the goatee

              1. Destrustor says:



  8. Ringwraith says:

    I think that falling guard at 5:08 got pushed off a roof during a fight, which is why he randomly fell backwards into the street from above.

    I’m not one to fuss over appearance massively that often, aside from that I tend to draw a line when something is very obviously ugly and it has to be a really good bit of equipment for me to even think of wearing it. Although I am guilty of passing up better stuff because it doesn’t look as cool as my current stuff, but that’s usually when I’ve got some really awesome-looking stuff on at that time.

  9. Exasperation says:

    You know, you would never have managed to catch him if he weren’t carrying all those incinerators.

  10. Guthie says:

    Am I the only one who thought certain angles during Ezio and Lorenzo’s heart to heart made Ezio look like War from Darksiders?

    1. Nyctef says:

      I didn’t notice it at the time, but yeah I can see the resemblance.

  11. Factoid says:

    Are you guys keeping the italian next week? It seems to be dragging the show down a little.

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      I’m surprised how good it sounds. I was expecting I would cringe my teeth after hearing the game in English due to the contrast with the voices but the selection is pretty good (I think someone said the same thing on the show earlier this week). Still, the fact that three out of four people can’t read the dialogue AND haven’t actually played through the game (as I understand it) harms the show I think.

      1. swenson says:

        Agreed with all of that. I kinda like the Italian, to the point that if I ever played this game, I might actually turn on Italian once you get to that part, but it does make it difficult for this sort of series.

        Still, though. This is making me seriously consider buying AC2 and I would give a great deal of consideration to doing the Italian thing. It just sounds so much better.

  12. Pete says:

    15:45: Its at this point that it becomes official that Ezio is Renaissance Batman.

    Also, as promised, the following have been already used.
    Assassin's: Heed Need Read Bleed Deed Dweeb Steed Breed Seed Plead Feed Cred Freed Tweed Mead Indeed Weed Guaranteed Agreed Screed Intercede Proceed Lead Speed Bead Flee Nosebleed Greed Stampede Misread Misdeed Reed Peeved Degreed Succeed.
    And one of my own – after all, we dont want any Assasin’s repeat.

    1. SolkaTruesilver says:

      Dude, release your spirit of this burden. Let the Assassin’s Freed.

      1. SolkaTruesilver says:

        If we keep up with these jokes, it’ll be Assassin Inbreed. But we shall retaliate with crushing violence, until it ends in Assassin Pureed.

        1. I call foul – Pureed is accented and doesn’t rhyme with Creed

          1. Syal says:

            But it’s been assassins okay’d. It was weighed by assassins greyed men in assassins suede, and in the end it assassins stayed.

          2. tjtheman5 says:

            Artistic (trolling) liscense.

    2. Atarlost says:

      If this is ones that have been used in comments I used Treed yesterday and don’t see it on your list.

      I’m looking forward to getting back to the villa now so we can se Etzio use that disk thingy to get the first statuary assassin keyed.

      1. anaphysik says:

        (Keyed, nice!)

        Someone also used Glee; I think it was the first one they Assassin’s Teed off.

        1. Syal says:

          Curses, I had been trying to find a way to use keyed.

          But I kept getting distracted by images of someone keying a horse.

    3. Daemian Lucifer says:

      What about the hashashin puns?Or are those worth rehashin’?

      1. anaphysik says:

        Fashion, Compassion, Ashen, Passion, Mashin’, Lashin’, Dashin’, Smashin’, Clashin’, Ration, Bashin’, Rehashin’.

        I’m sure these horrible pun memes have left the crew Hashashin gnashin’ their teeth at us.

        1. Pete says:

          Huh. That is a lot more of those than I thought. Very well, noted.

    4. decius says:

      It would be great if the Assassins Read this list before posting

      1. X2-Eliah says:

        The advice applies retroactively too ;)

        More to the point. I’m surprised Ezio’s knuckles aren’t buckled from all those jumps and scuffles.

    5. LB says:

      Assassin’s Tweed: Starring Anthony Stewart Head.

  13. Tobias says:

    I just thought of a good explanation for the pimpy plastic armor.

    It is how Desmond imagines an assassin should look like. He wore something like this at some convention. So now when he plays assassin, he dreams up a dress like this.

    1. nerdpride says:

      On the subject of clothes, Ezio’s pink-red hood makes it look like his face is a clitoris.


    2. Gamer says:

      But that explanation doesn’t work with the Animus. What it does is take a sample of the user’s DNA and turns it into computer code so that he can relive his ancestor’s memories in a video game-like simulation. All of the objects are taken wholesale from the ancestor’s memory. Desmond is essentially nothing more than the player.

      OMG Josh is Desmond. :(

  14. Wolverine says:

    When I played AC2, I never encountered any of these bugs. Must have played the game wrong :)

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Nah,Josh just has an aura of weird buggyness.Its his special class skill.

      1. ? says:

        Maybe it has something to do with all the extra software he runs to record everything.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          I see how that would result in slow downs and crashes,but a random npc running into a fiery wall?

          1. Mathias says:

            As someone said on one of the BioShock videos:

            “Developers refer to Josh’s rig as The Gauntlet. Anything that gets through that without a single bug is considered a perfect game.”

            Really, I’m surprised they could even run New Vegas at all.

  15. CTrees says:

    When I worked at Target, I used to occasionally go shop at Walmart still in a shirt that said Target. The looks from employees were actually kinda fun, but I did get people asking me for help sometimes. I always gave them bad advice, just for being that stupid.

    1. AbruptDemise says:

      When you think about it, that Target metaphor is way too accurate…

      Was Target founded by anyone going by the last name ‘Auditore’?

  16. AlternatePFG says:

    At 9:42, did Rutskarn just yell “Telepor” or am I hearing things wrong?

    1. He did. Does this mean we have to start referring to him as the Eevee of let’s plays?

  17. ehlijen says:

    The Fall: Last Days of Gaia has a sidequest where you have to help fix the Dolorian.

  18. Factoid says:

    I wanted to leave a note for the editor here: Did you know that the red font you’re using for the intro screen is basically unreadable at low bitrates and on small screens? It’s OK on a computer monitor, but if you stream to a mobile device it’s just a blurry mess.

    I may very well be the only one this affects, but I thought I’d leave the feedback anyway. Not really a big deal, but on the mobile devices I frequent (android and ipod touch) the red text is compressed into garbage. The white shows up OK though.

    1. Destrustor says:

      This happens with a PS3 too. It seems it can’t display youtube at adequate resolutions and all I ever see of Shamus’ titles are a blurry red cloud.

    2. Jarenth says:

      Seeing as though I’m 83% sure ‘the editor’ is also Josh, you’re probably in for a rough ride.

  19. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Lorenzo and ezio in the new hit:Assassin heat.Rated XXXXXR.

    Ill also cast my voice in the dont-bother-with-looks crowd.Rarely do I find something so cool that I simply must wear,and never have I found something so hideous that I had to take off.

  20. Airsoftslayer93 says:

    The thing with the timings is that because of it’s open world nature you can approach different ‘memories’ at any time, and if those memories didnt occur at that time then it skips forward to when it does.

  21. Jakale says:

    I like how in the same episode we get to see an example of how guards don’t die if you only push them off a short fall in combat, but how that same fall(height-wise) will murder them if you assassin-pull-them-down.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      They die because you assassin pull them with your wrist blade.

      1. Raygereio says:

        For emphasis: the guards died because Ezio stabbed them in the gut and then pulled them down.

        1. Jakale says:

          Must be a homing blade seeing as he only got his arm near the guy’s posterior.

          1. Atarlost says:

            Maybe he went for the femoral artery.

  22. Cineris says:

    I really wish you guys would return to English audio. Hearing English commentary mixed with Italian audio and trying to read English subtitles is just too many crossed wires in my brain.

    1. Moriarty says:

      yeah, this. I have to repeat every cutscene at least once to understand what’s going on

      1. Pete says:

        There are actually people out there who didnt play the game and are trying to understand it watching spoiler warning?

        I feel so, so sorry for you.

    2. Peter H. Coffin says:

      Honestly, I couldn’t often hear the game dialog anyway, under the general conversation, so I’ve practiced skillz at reading dialog and listening to a conversation that’s only tangentially related and keeping both in my head at the same time. The game dialog, at least never contests with anything I actually want to pay attention to otherwise on the screen; the subtitles and the action never really never happen at the same time.

  23. Zerotime says:

    Why is there a giant slice of pizza on the side of the building at 19:02?

    1. Milos says:

      Slice of pizza is the Italian flag, don’t you know anything about Italy?

  24. Some Jackass says:

    Greatest chase sequence EVER. Reginald wouldve gotten away too if he didnt weight himself down with unnecessary weapons. He mightve even stood a chance in battle if he didnt put all of his skill points into guns as opposed to melee…especially since there are no guns, but doing something so counterintuitive would be part of what made him a Reginald in the first place.
    I’m suprised they hung his corpse though. If he was true to his title of Reginald, then he would have deserved a fate much worse than that.

    1. JPH says:

      Reginald probably would have been fine if he’d remembered to bring dynamite to shove into Ezio’s pants.

      Also, he didn’t seem drunk enough.

      1. This game only has conventional medicine, not a hammerspace buffet of junk food and alcohol to consume at once. He was playing with a handicap

        1. Destrustor says:

          And his sword wasn’t stealthily on fire.

        2. Jarenth says:

          You mean the kind of conventional medicine that heals a man to full health after he jumps off a three-story roof, arrows still sticking from his garish cloak?

          1. Irridium says:

            Conventional for video games.

  25. Dante says:

    Why does it seems like Mumbles is the manliest of the group?

    1. Milos says:

      Because Rutskarn is a minor, Shamus is married and Josh drinks himself into incompetence while Mumbles has a manly chiselled chin (or at least that’s the way of things in my mind.)

    2. BeamSplashX says:

      When she’s not an amalgamation of people I know that sound like her, she’s a talking cartoon bunny.

      Though we all know she is Rutskarn’s dark mirror, meaning she’s John Carmack with boobs.

      1. Methermeneus says:

        Is it wrong that I am turned on by that thought?

        1. BeamSplashX says:

          It’s so, so right.

          Oh hi Mumbles, didn’t see you there.

            1. BeamSplashX says:

              Would a FREE HUG make you feel better?

                1. BeamSplashX says:

                  Now I’m imagining Batman making that face. You’ve become Batman in my mind.

                2. Peter H. Coffin says:

                  Deluxe hug: $5.00.

                  1. BeamSplashX says:

                    Custom Hug: Name your price.

                    The word “hug” just sounds like caveman nonsense to me now.

                    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                      Coming this summer on mtv:Pimp my hug!

                    2. JPH says:

                      Yo dawg, I heard you like hugs…

    3. Shamus says:

      “Why IS Mumbles the manliest of the group?”


    4. Irridium says:

      Consider the company she keeps.

      An 8 year old boy.
      An old man who just doesn’t care.
      Whatever the hell Josh is.

  26. BeamSplashX says:

    Shamus, I think you meant ALTAIRed Beast.

    Also, the picture for The Pazzi Conspirators looks like it should be the album artwork for The Very Best of… The Pazzi Conspirators.

  27. decius says:

    17:57- Press X to no homo.

    1. BeamSplashX says:

      You unlock that counter move later.

      But by then, your reputation is sealed.

    2. Sumanai says:

      I feel it should be the other way around. Simply for the mental image of thousands of players with ingrained QTE-reactions going “wait, what did it say?”.

  28. Wait, Mumbles doesn’t like playing dress up with video game characters? That doesn’t even make any sense

    1. Eärlindor says:

      She calls us crazy. I call her crazy.

  29. Methermeneus says:

    I can’t be the only one who, when Josh mentions the conspirator, “Frencesco diPazzi,” I hear the mafia capo “Francesco da patsy.” Can I?

    1. tengokujin says:

      Cannot unhear :/

  30. Sleeping Dragon says:

    The moment I Josh started climbing into the restricted zone I was giggling wondering when he is going to realise the huge green marker on the map is outside of it. Then I thought “well, at least he’ll synch the viewpoint,” which of course he didn’t.

    I was surprised the guards didn’t respawn though, I thought their placement/patrol routes were memory specific.

  31. Bryan Bridges says:

    Nice series. Love your work Shamus.

  32. Slothful says:

    Does anyone else notice how Ezio is just clubbing people with his delicate stealth-stabbing device? If that thing can break, it should be absolutely unusable by now.

    He should really just get a sword like a normal person. By this point, the chinese emperor probably knows about that thing.

    1. Raygereio says:

      The game even lampshades that. One of the optional side-quest-assassination-missions orders you to kill your target by any means – exept with the wrist blade, as anyone will know it was you who did it if you used it.

  33. *laughs* The “ladder” chase scene cracked me up, it really reminded me of Benny Hill
    (Note! darn hard to find good vids on the net of the chase scenes+music for some reason).
    When doing the ladder runs the Benny Hill “theme” was playing in my head, hehe.

    Corncob might do the trick as a royalty free alternative

    1. Jarenth says:

      For future reference: that Benny Hill theme is the Yakety Sax Shamus and co were talking about.


      EDIT: Also, that first video of yours is great. Thanks for linking it.

  34. McNutcase says:

    And I JUST NOW realised I’ve been failing in my duty to hunt down and identify the music used.

    Aces High, in the Funk section, or just go by feel and pick “Bouncy”. You’re welcome.

  35. SKD says:

    These games remind me of why I dislike platformers. But I find that I like them much more than I thought I would before I picked them up on Steam a while back. At the pace I am going I hope to be caught up by the release of Revelations.

  36. Gamer says:

    Wow. It’s been awhile since you guys updated. Any problems, or is life keeping you all busy lately?

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