Assassin’s Creed 2 EP17: Your Brain is Melted

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Nov 9, 2011

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 104 comments

Link (YouTube)

Whatever other complaints we have about the game, Venice is a really impressive accomplishment from a level design standpoint. I was amazed by some of the large cities in the original Assassin’s Creed, but I think Venice outshines them both visually and technologically. There’s a lot more variety of color, street traffic, and ground detail. I found myself getting lost (disoriented, really) less often, because the place was so much more visually diverse.


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104 thoughts on “Assassin’s Creed 2 EP17: Your Brain is Melted

  1. Airsoftslayer says:

    Not all assassins are stabby stabby jumpy jumpy types, caterina is just aligned with the assassins, and she is important!!! play the DLC
    And maria was a main character in the DS games.

    1. Methermeneus says:

      While it is nice that someone working on the game came up with something interesting for her, if you have to play the DLC to find out that she’s actually an interesting character, then she isn’t an interesting character in the game. That’s just as bad as hiding all the information that makes the plot make sense in obscure, unlikely-to-be-read diary entries. Worse, really, since it requires you to go to extra effort outside the game (ie: getting the DLC) to find it out. At that point, it may as well be in a tie-in novel.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        While this would be an example of a bad dlc,its not in this case.Its an example of bad publishing,since they didnt have time to incorporate that part for the console release,but had plenty of time to finish it for the pc,where you get it without any hassle.It clearly was meant to be an integral part of the game that got pushed into a dlc due to poor release planning.

      2. Viktor says:

        I’d look at it differently. They’re creating plot-hooks in the main game that can be used in DLC, so that it’s a more seamless integration. If there had never been DLC, she wouldn’t be a plothole, just a minor NPC who gets an unusual amount of focus. Instead, she’s a major character who we see in both the main game and the DLC. It’s better than the “create a door” DLC that Fallout does.

        1. Methermeneus says:

          It’d be nice if the plot hooks were, “This is something cool that you only hear about in passing, so get the DLC and find out more,” instead of, “This is something stupid that only makes sense when you hear more about it in the DLC… At least, it makes a little more sense.”

    2. 4th Dimension says:

      More likely, she is only aligned with them because Ezio impressed her. Knowing her, she could easily been a sympathetic vilan/opponent.

      1. Eärlindor says:

        Yeah, it’s been a few years since I last played AC2 but I’m pretty sure she’s not an assassin, merely sympathetic towards them.

    3. Toster says:

      I dislike cross platform continuity. I’m want the entire story available on one form of media. The exception would be a series that crosses console generations.

  2. DanMan says:

    So one thing I’d like to mention in defense of the woman stuck on a rock: Do any of you have any idea how incredibly heavy Renaissance era dresses like those are? And imagine swimming in one. Were she to truly need to get off the rock, she could probably have stripped down and swam the river, but that would have been improper. If she is an assasin and is trying to stay under cover, a proper lady would never have done that.

    Granted, it was a dumb plot point and doesn’t make sense to make the player go through it, but it’s not that improbable of an event.

    1. Hitch says:

      It looked to me like she just wanted to get close to Ezio (for obvious reasons), so she used the “I’ll pretend to be stranded on this rock so he can ‘rescue’ me,” ploy.

      1. Jakale says:

        I wouldn’t have minded Caterina’s situation as much if Ezio had asked what she was doing on a moss covered boulder with nothing else on it. You only find out if you check out her bio that she was stranded by her husband, though I don’t remember if it said why. I guess if they had it would have set up a plot hook for political machinations that the game wasn’t gonna follow through with.

        Also, if the rock was a lot more isolated than it actually was in the game, maybe solitary and out in the ocean. As is, it’s no farther than some of your “just a little too far” jumps and there’s little reason she couldn’t try to escape after nightfall when no one would be around to see her take off her clothes to swim.

  3. Gamer says:

    Caterina is aligned with Ezio and the assassin’s, but she herself is not assassin. They help her out by killing her husband when he’s revealed to be a Templar.

    Though this is only revealed in the DLC. And it really has no bearing on the overall plot.

    1. 4th Dimension says:

      Don’t Orsini brothers kill her husbands. You know, those sleazebags that in DLC attempt storming her castle.

      1. Gamer says:

        Actually, you’re right. The Orsini were hired by Caterina to kill him and then the Assassins put her under their protection in exchange for her support.

        Caterina was an extremely cunning individual.

  4. Greg says:

    Venice is my favourite city so far in the AC games, much prefered it to Rome, which was a pain the ass for getting about.

    1. 4th Dimension says:

      Actually while Venece is beautiful, it needs to come with a subtitle
      Venice: Hope you like swimming.
      My god how many times I fell into water and canals make crossing them difficult because of their width.

      1. Mathias says:

        If I had counts of all the guards I’ve killed in Venice because of all the nice tall buildings and the deliciously exposed necks.

        1. 4th Dimension says:

          Now that you bring up guards, most times I wanted to loose them, I would simply jum in the water swim away, and then make noises at them.

    2. Rosseloh says:

      Oh, I loved Rome, especially how it fit different landscape styles into one seamless area.

  5. Someone says:

    Rutskarn is no-one to throw stones when it comes to gangplanks.

  6. Hitch says:

    Everyone knows that the proper protocol in that kind of open-space loft/office/apartment is to stop and click your heels together while miming a knock when you get to the Les Nessman tape on the floor. It’s incredible rude just to walk up to someone.

    Did I say we spared no expense to recreate your workshop? I meant to say we “incurred” no expense. It’s kind of the same thing.

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      This makes me want to live in an open loft just so I can do this all the time. Maybe wear tap shoes and do a little jig.

  7. RTBones says:

    Wait…conception? You mean…really? How does it work without interweb porn?

  8. Peter H. Coffin says:

    I keep waiting for Desmond to say “But… You’re BUFFY! Why the hell aren’t YOU defending everyone?”

    1. NihilCredo says:

      Wrong Hollywood teenaged blonde with a dangerous after-school hobby, this one is Veronica Mars.

  9. GM says:

    It Seems Desmond is becoming more and more Ezio,what with jumping there and there:)

    and narrowly catching once hand on something before falling.

  10. Daemian Lucifer says:

    That conversation you guys had in the beginning,that just shows you really need to play the game you are doing a show on.At least 3 out of 4 of you.Please,dont do any more games that most of you havent beaten before the show.

    The explanation for desmonds muscles being in good shape,he is an assassin after all,so he is trained a bit during his youth.And he spent just a few days in the animus(about 2 weeks throughout all 3 games,I think).And,on top of that,he isnt really a human,which you learn quite a bit about if you get the glyphs and play brotherhood.

    1. Shamus says:

      I did play through this part, and that was the reaction I had. “WTF? What was that all about? Is this a set-up for a later plot point? No?”

      I agree that the show is better when we’re really familiar with the game, but in this case that was a genuine response to the game.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Yeah,but it is the setup for a later part of the game.The only shame is that that part was cut out to be released as a dlc.I still think its a bad thing they did with it,but the blame isnt on the writers this time.

        1. Shamus says:

          Well the blame isn’t on me, either. The various departments at Ubisoft may do whatever finger-pointing they like. This scene only make sense if you pay them money.

          1. 4th Dimension says:

            Only if you play it on consoles.

    2. Raygereio says:

      The explanation for desmonds muscles being in good shape,he is an assassin after all,so he is trained a bit during his youth.

      Only that explenation doesn’t really work. He left at the age of 16 and kept a low profile for 9 years. Dialogue ingame between him an Lucy indicates that he did not receive any training (I forgot the details: something about him leaving before that, or something).
      This is also backed up by Desmond being supposedly terrible at fighting at the start of AC2.

      Basically, by pretty much all real-world logic Desmond should not be able to do this preform most of the free-running action muscle-wise, even if he did got the muscle-memory for it through the animus.
      Now, I’ll grant you the not-human thing, but then that is a somewhat weak explenation in my opinion.

      1. Raygereio says:

        Huh, won’t let me edit for some reason.
        Ghetto edit time!
        “Basically, by pretty much”
        Should be:
        “Basically, unless Desmond kept up a pretty darn impressive physical training routine for quite some time before he was caught by Abstergo, by pretty much”

        1. Mathias says:

          He used to be a bartender, and he does looks like he’s at least in decent shape. Suppose if he has been doing workouts in those nine years, the muscle memory and technique would be the only things really holding him back.

          1. Raygereio says:

            Wait. Bartending somehow involves intense physical activity?

            1. Sleeping Dragon says:

              I could buy into Desmond getting all sorts of assassin’s reflexive reactions and “muscle memory” from the animus, sure it is a plot device but if we’re going to foam at each and every we may as well throw the Force out the window. However, he should be put through at least some basic training regime to keep in shape during all this and I am in fact about 95% sure that in Brotherhood someone (possibly Lucy) mentions that he’s actually putting on weight because all he does is stay in the animus for days at a time.

              I mean, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ubi lampshaded it in some later part by stating that assassins (as in: the real, bloodline assassins, not every single person associated with the group), are pretty much incapable of falling below certain level of fitness but people saying that’s the case so far is pretty much fans trying to stitch together the plotholes.

            2. Moving casks of Italian wine around?

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        If you do about an hour of workout every day(maybe even less because desmond is young),you will retain your muscles for decades.He didnt train fighting,sure,but who says he wasnt jogging,or swimming,or doing push ups,or something other.He does seem pretty fit,so he only lacks skill,which animus provides.

        The only things he shouldnt be able to do are the things that are already otherworldly,like grabbing a ledge mid fall,hanging from his fingertips almost indefinitely,etc,and thats where the superhuman stuff comes in.

        1. Raygereio says:

          Having had some parkour experience myself I stronly disagree with that.
          Anyway, let’s just leave it at that it isn’t explained in game (or according to the wiki, any of the side media), so any fan-made explenation to justify it ends being a hand wave along the lines of “Oh surely he exercised a lot”.

          1. Mathias says:

            Just saying it might be an explanation, but it does smell of hand waving, yeah.

          2. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Seeing how parkour is being done for fun by many nowadays,who says that he wasnt doing it recreationally all those years?We did see him as a dolt,true,but that was all on the solid ground,and these are the edges now.Completely different.

            1. Rutskarn says:

              If these assumptions are true–and he was already doing enough parkour to have that kind of grounding, and he used to be an assassin who kept in good shape–then what’s the point of putting him through a crazy messed-up experimental training program to turn him into a badass when he already basically is? Yeah, obviously, there’s a point to this besides ninja training him, but it does seem to call into question the assertion that this is the big obstacle standing between Desmond and somebody competent enough to resist Astbergo instead of meekly going along with everything they told him to do.

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                But it was not ment as a training program,that was the side effect(along with the craziness).The purpose of the animus was to discover the secrets lost in the past.Namely,the location of the alien tech.

                Wait…Now that I think about it…I think it was meant as a training program…God damn,why do these have to be a year apart from one another?I need to brush up on the lore.

              2. 4th Dimension says:

                maybe he did parkour as a hobby, but doing parkour as a hobby is not doing things Ezio/Altair style. They were trying to bake a superassasin (parkour, advanced fighting, assassin thinking, EAGLE VISION, etc) quickly (he went from a reasonably fit dude to almost master assassin in days). Although Asbergo did it only to get info out of Desmond.

  11. Tobias says:

    While Enzio politely looks Catherina in the eyes, the player stares intently at her subtitles.

    1. 4th Dimension says:

      And what wonderfull . . . fonts she has.

      1. swenson says:

        Broad tracts of land, perhaps?

        1. Mathias says:

          Which reminds me of the first scene you get with her in Brotherhood.

          Let’s just say it was -really- weird for me, since I haven’t played the DLC suddenly having this lady whom Ezio’s barely met jumping her proverbial bones. I guess he’s just -that- pimp.

          1. NihilCredo says:

            When you carry her around later, there are a bunch of lines of dialogue if you’re patient, and she straight-up says that she seduced him purely for political/safety reasons (i.e. to get the Assassins on her side).

        2. Velkrin says:

          The way he does it so openly is rather Bold of him.

          1. Mathias says:

            It contrasts nicely to the Christina segments in Brotherhood, which I just -loved-, though the game never really explained why Ezio suddenly got flashbacks to his past.

            1. Raygereio says:

              I don’t recall it ever being stated ingame, but apparently those were repressed memories that somehow resurfaced when seeing women in Rome that reminded Ezio of Christina.

              1. Mathias says:

                Makes sense, though why you have to play through them is kind of questionnable.

                Animus, I guess.

              2. Daemian Lucifer says:

                Actually I think they were mentioned precisely as repressed memories somewhere in the beginning.Im hazy about that though.

                1. MrWhales says:

                  There was a mention of repressed memories at the beginning.

  12. Aanok says:

    With regard to the fat merchant dude who got his poor fishies chopped into bits, couldn’t it just be that the bad guys had tried to extort money from him in the past but he didn’t want to pay, so now they’re showing him what happens if he won’t comply?

    Maybe when he’s saying he paid the rent he just means he paid for his legit selling license, while the bad guys are looking for protection money (“pizzo”, in Italian, that’s what your general mafia would do).

    Not having played the game I really can’t know for sure :/

    1. Simulated Knave says:

      Yeah, I thought this too.

      Honestly, a lot of the complaints about this game around seem to be “the reasoning behind this is not explicitly spelled out, and thus it must be illogical and wrong”.

  13. JPH says:

    Yaay you did the brohug!

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      My guess is that Josh has prepared himself specifically for this,and only this qte.

    2. Sir Broccoli says:

      I actually failed the QTE when I played this and I still feel bad about it. Leonardo looked so very very sad…

      1. Raygereio says:

        And thus Ubisoft’s motivation for their heinous crime of not including a save feature is finally revealed: they wanted to make you feel bad for missing a QTE.

        The evil bastards.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Ive missed that one too.So I restarted the memory.

      3. Rosseloh says:

        Me too. Heaven forbid I set down the controller to take a drink or a quick bite during a cutscene…Thank goodness they got rid of most of that in Brotherhood.

  14. anaphysik says:

    @16:54 – Leonardo up and SHOVES some dude in the back. Hilarious.

    1. Scott (Duneyrr) says:

      I saw that too and was disappointed by the lack of responses from the hosts.

  15. Mathias says:

    One note about why we have three Ezio games even though when the next generation is born you lose the ability to access the earlier ancestor’s memories:

    SPOILER FOR ASSASSIN’S CREED: REVELATIONS (since I don’t know how to actually spoiler tag it because I’m an idiot):

    Ezio doesn’t become a father until after he leaves Constantinople (the main setting of AC:R) where he marries a young Venetian merchant woman and has two children. Before this, there’s no mention of Ezio having any kids.


    So hopefully AC:R will be the last game in Ezio’s arc and we can move on to someone else. Maybe Imperial France? Or Singapore in the 1800’s, perhaps?

    1. Velkrin says:

      Use “strike” tags (add your own )

      1. Velkrin says:

        That post did have less than/greater than signs in it, but the webpage ate them.

        1. Mathias says:

          I’ll remember that for next time I post spoilers, thanks.

    2. Raygereio says:

      So hopefully AC:R will be the last game in Ezio's arc and we can move on to someone else. Maybe Imperial France? Or Singapore in the 1800″²s, perhaps?

      I recall it being states that this game will wrap up both Ezio’s and Altair’s storylines. So I reckon that between this game and the animated movie thing comming out at the same time, Ubisoft is going to be done with Ezio.

      As for the next setting. I recall this teaser picture:
      Has somewhat of a revolution era French feel to me.

      1. Mathias says:

        I can’t see the exact date, but if it’s around the 1790’s, it could very well be the French Revolution.

        …That could be kind of cool. Our protagonist starts by helping the French Revolutionaries only to realize that they’re really Templars and goes about helping the various forces who want to see the Revolution terminated kill them off or frame them so they end on the guilloutine? That’d be great!

        Instead of Leonardo they could have Guilloutine (as in the doctor who made the execution instrument) as the go-to guy for upgrades.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Does anyone else get the feeling asscreed got the saw treatment?You know,started out as a trilogy,but got so popular that they padded it to the max so they could milk more money from it.

        1. Eärlindor says:

          Yeah, pretty much. That seems to be exactly what happened: got to AC2 and realized they could make MOAR MAWNEE!!!

          Sorry. Anyway, yeah, Ubisoft did say that AC:R would be the end of the “Ezio trilogy,” and that it would completely set the stage for the series’ ultimate conclusion, which I take to be the official “Assassin’s Creed 3.” Ah, the silliness of sequels.

          1. Sleeping Dragon says:

            True, true. I mean, I did have this feel as if certain arcs, like, say, Catherina’s, were meant to be in one game rather than two. Even with the extra/DLC mission she is kinda scarce in this game considering the exposition she gets in the part Josh just finished…

          2. NihilCredo says:

            Screw that. Timely conclusions and tightness are for plot-based games. For Assassin’s Creed, I want dozens over dozens of games, because as long as there are interesting settings there is a game to be made; the LSD-fueled Dan Brown plot can easily cover absolutely any amount of titles.

      3. Seriously? they’re STILL not going to the future?

        1. NihilCredo says:

          Who gives a bloody damn about the future? I’ve played dozens of games set in the future, I want to explore more interesting cities in interesting times, damn you.

          (I really find it hard to understand how people can feel annoyed that Ubisoft is making more AC games then they thought. Are you seriously playing this series for the plot, as opposed to the environment and gameplay?)

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Im not annoyed…yet.As long as they can keep the games improving,it will be fun.But that cant go forever.And having the series become stale long before it climaxes is a bad thing.

      4. modus0 says:

        IIRC, that was just some guy’s concept of what Ubisoft could do, and has absolutely nothing to do with a real AC 3.

  16. Johan says:

    So if Maria is also one of your ancestors, can you follow her in the Animus? Or is it unigender?

    1. Mathias says:

      She’s not of the same bloodline as Altaà¯r. She was sort of “brought into” the ancestry line that Ezio and Altaà¯r both belong to. You’d be able to access her memory if she and Altaà¯r had been related (which would have been awkward, but hey, it’s the Middle Ages).

      1. Raygereio says:

        The animus reads the genetic memory of whoever is in there. Maria is related to Desmond by virtue of her being one of his ancestors.
        So technically they should be able to access Maria’s memories prior to her and Altair concieving a kid.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Maybe the animus needs the Y chromosome to follow,since you only have been following the males of the bloodline.

          Though it couldve been eve you were following in the truth video and not adam.It wasnt made clear.

          1. Raygereio says:

            Maybe the animus needs the Y chromosome to follow,since you only have been following the males of the bloodline.

            *hits the wiki*
            One of the assassin whose memories Abstergo uses in the facebook game Project Legacy was a woman.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              That just proves how facebook ruins everything.

          2. Zerotime says:

            Rebecca mentions in one of the games (Brotherhood?) about trying the Animus and reliving the memories of a Prussian mercenery who spent a lot of time shooting and reloading guns.

        2. Wtrmute says:

          Although considering she’s a normal human, maybe she doesn’t leave a genetic memory for the Animus to read into. If that’s the case, you’re not actually following her, but the unborn child.

          In that case, it would be interesting to see the effects of the “hand” and “foot” buttons… (poor Maria!…)

          1. 4th Dimension says:

            Rebeca is a normal human (as is Shaun) and both of them get to play in Animus. For that matter, all those Asbergo assassins in multi are probably human too.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Now that I think about it,who says that we cant follow maria?We dont follow a bunch of desmonds ancestors,but that doesnt mean we cant.

          2. TSED says:

            You would be following the unborn child ANYWAY. Getting genetic memories from your mother after you’ve been conceived is ridiculous!

            It’s like suddenly getting an X chromosome from your dad turning you into a woman (from a man)… after you’re 10 years old. Simply wouldn’t happen.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              “It's like suddenly getting an X chromosome from your dad”

              That….is quite a disturbing image

              1. TSED says:

                It’s how daughters are made, you know.

    2. Johan says:

      First, I don’t have permission to edit my comment, am I doing something wrong?

      Second, on the British Guy and Bioware conversation, maybe it’s just my experience but it seems more common to make the Female Asshole the love interest rather than the Male Asshole.

      Jack, Morrigan, Viconia, Bastila (OK, not so much asshole as insufferable), that girl from Mass Effect 1 (which I didn’t play but saw the SW of). I’m having a hard time coming up with a Male Asshole character who was also a love interest. Maybe the emo elf from Dragon Age 2? He was an asshole to mages.

      1. Mathias says:

        Not strictly BioWare, but Gann-Of-Dreams. God I wanted to sack that guy in the face.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        “First, I don't have permission to edit my comment, am I doing something wrong?”

        Shamus still has some bugs in the code.I suggest deleting the cookies for twenty sided and logging in again.It worked for me the last time it happened.

      3. Simulated Knave says:


        1. Johan says:

          Stick in his ass, maybe, but hardly an asshole. So yeah, scratch Bastila from that list but for the most part Bioward assholes follow the tried and true formula of insulting you for ever taking the “good” options, and of Bioware’s numerous contributions to the plethora of fictional assholes, only the women have ever seemed to be flirtatious.

  17. Sir Broccoli says:

    Man, it was as if Josh didn’t even SEE the gangplank. I mean, it was right there staring him in the face and he just walked right past it. Man, I bet Rutskarn would never do a think like that.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      He would stab the plank.

  18. klasbo says:

    The eyes in this game are really weird some times.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Gah!Shes a replicant!

      You know,that would explain so much.

      1. Scott (Duneyrr) says:

        Maybe she’s just got a lazy-eye. Don’t be hatin’.

    2. Otters34 says:

      Meh, that’s actually a lot like real people’s eyes when they pull the lids back further than usual. The rest of the model, on the other hand…

  19. Spammy says:

    No, see, I figured out what happens when you flake out and you’re suddenly in memories. Desmond is becoming more comfortable in the Animus when he’s badasses/ladies men/awesome assassins and not in the real world where you’re dealing with asshole Brits and Templars trying to get you. So he imagines the old-timey worlds over the real ones, in fact you’re starting to… Project them.


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