Assassin’s Creed 2 EP20: No Hug for You!

By Shamus
on Nov 15, 2011
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

Ezio! Please help us! Please steal us some uniforms. And a boat. We’re just simple thieves, and know nothing about… stealing things.

I’d love to know how Ezio carries multiple sets of archer armor / uniforms. Or why these uniforms are in treasure chests. Or why the chests are in the street. They’re supposedly awaiting delivery to Seta, but that doesn’t really explain why they’re spread all OH STOP THINKING ABOUT EVERYTHING JUST GO STAB DUDES AND DON’T ASK ANY QUESTIONS!

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2020209Sixty-nine comments, dude! Excellent!

From the Archives:

  1. Thomas says:

    This is a silly thing that’s been bugging me, but you know that bird droppings on the roof are the way the game tells you you can do a leap of faith right Josh? Because sometimes you need to get down and you just go for the pancake method :D

  2. River says:

    Everytime someone asks “so what are we doing today” i automatically think “SSDD”

    • swimon1 says:

      Had to look up what that meant. Personally I think “the same thing we do every night pinky, try to take over the world”. Would’ve worked better with what are we doing tonight but I stand by it.

      • James says:

        But isn’t the question “what are we doing tomorrow night?”
        also Pinky and the Brain was the best tv show of all time no question.
        i think its just a matter of time before josh rushes through the game, so he can play more Skyrim?

  3. Gale says:

    STOP SAYING “BLOODY MY SWORD”. Oh my god. The first time Ezio said it, my mind went to a terrible place and immediately turned it into a horrible, horrible euphemism. Then you all went with it for next three minutes and it just got exponentially worse from there. Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh.

  4. Jakale says:

    So Shamus, is your book actually done or was that just screwing with Rutskarn?

    • Grag says:

      Shamus tweeted this several days ago. It is worth noting that his book is not for NaNoWriMo, he had much more than a month to work on it.

      Whereas Ruts is engaging in an insane literary speedrun.

      • swenson says:

        I was going to say that I feel about like Rutskarn in regards to NaNo right now, but then I remembered–I’m already at 30k. I’m perfectly content with my current rate of writing. :D

        • Grag says:

          30k in the bag with half the month left to go? Not bad.

          I would love to do a project like this.

        • Alex says:

          30,000 words? Good on you, sir. I really wish I was even halfway to that. Stupid writer’s block.

          And then he brandished his steel- wait, do they make those out of steel? Is steel even a thing anymore? Or do companies just use some fancy new nano-fiber thingy now?

          Great, now I have to research thatOH LOOK IT’S 4 IN THE MORNING FFFFFF-“

  5. CrushU says:

    @14:00 No, it’s obviously a HOUSEBOAT.

  6. Mincecraft says:

    Spoilers in the titles! Noooooooo.

  7. Zero T. Katama says:

    I always got the impression that for the Thief Guild Quests, it’s less “We can’t do anything” and more “We could set up this complicated scheme to get this stuff and risk our own members, or we could let this heavily armed, armored and agile individual take care of things.” If you look at the DNA, apparently those missions take place over 3~4 years.

    • Jakale says:

      Yeah, I never paid attention to the dates on each scene change notice until about mid Venice when the game itself brings it up. Things alternately make more and less sense with this in mind. Less because it feels like tons of stuff could be done in less than a day so why would it take so long, even though realistically the answer is obvious.

      • Thomas says:

        The problem with the thieves guild stuff though, is that it’s hard to see why you couldn’t just do it yourself, and whilst 3-4 years might be sensible for mounting an operation like that, it’s not at all sensible for what you’re doing, stealing some clothes and a boat, assassinating three people already known to you and freeing some people in cages right now.

        The AC games always subtly make me feel disconnected from the game (as though I were a person watching a person playing a game) and I’ve always blamed that on how automated everything is, from fighting to climbing, but maybe the actual gameplay and mission structure/ story is doing it too. Nothing works out like it would in real life and maybe too many games like Heavy Rain and Uncharted (and even the hated ME2) are spoiling me on things like that now. I don’t like ME2 but it does succeed in given actions the weight they need

        • Irridium says:

          “as though I were a person watching a person playing a game”

          Like… Desmond?

          • Thomas says:

            Yes and who would want that? For me it really is as though it’s Desmond playing the game. Heck at the end there is that awesome spoiler and I think, wow this is great and totally awesome and then it turns out it’s just about Desmond again

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Well it just seems like it couldve been done in one day,but consider that this is a very,very scaled down venice.I seriously doubt that anyone would be able to run the length of a city in mere minutes,especially when burdened with armour and weaponry.So it makes sense that time was scaled down as well as space.

        • noahpocalypse says:

          Actually, Renaissance cities were very small at that time. Straight from a historical video my AP Euro teacher showed my class, one could take a leisurely walk from one end of Florence’s market to the other within maybe 10 minutes. If one hurried, and especially if one ran across the rooftops, avoiding the crowd, he could get across town in 5 minutes. So, yes, the cities in AC2 (aside from Rome in Brotherhood, I don’t know how big that is) are surprisingly accurate in size. Demography? Psh. There would be way more peasants covered in filth and yelling about repression back then. If anything, their arguments would have advanced from the Middle Ages, and they oughta be hippies by now.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            I seriously doubt that.I lived in a small city that is about 3km from end to end,and it still took me 30 minutes to walk across it.I mean sure,if I jogged I couldve done it in 10,but I doubt Id feel much like jogging if I had all that cutlery strapped to my body.

            In the game,meanwhile,you can run the whole venice in a minute.So thats at least 10 times scaling down.Id call that quite significant.

            • Shamus says:

              It’s also possible that Ezio runs at superhuman speeds. What feels “right” in a game is usually something close to Olympic sprinting.

              I’m not saying that the city is or isn’t accurate. I’m just pointing out another aspect of the whole “shrunken city” feel.

    • Raygereio says:

      If you look at the DNA, apparently those missions take place over 3~4 years.

      This is actually a rather big problem in AC2’s storytelling. More specifically, it handles timeskips very poorly.

      It’s only at the very end of the game when Ezio becomes visually older when I got the message that a lot of time has progressed first time I played AC2. Beyond the year popping up when a new memory-chapter loads, the game makes absolutely no effort of informing you of the fact time has progressed.
      If you do catch on to the fact that time skips forward then in some cases you’re left wondering what the hell Ezio does of camera as you’re never told this and in other cases end up being confused as what happens in some scenes doesn’t make a whole lot of sense with the time skip in the equation.

  8. Torsten says:

    New opening credits, nice. There is still somebody landing on his face on the sync with the symbal clash, but that new guy just does not have the fun factor of Ezio falling from a tower

  9. Mathias says:

    @ the comment about boats – English professional longbowmen could fire about six arrows a minute, which could penetrate heavy plate armor at up to 200 metres. Italian mercenary bowmen could probably handle 3-4 arrows a minute.

    Incidentally, Leonardo -did- invent the tank, it’s just that he didn’t have any way to propel it forward (a common problem with his inventions was the lack of fuel, that’s why his flying machine and submarine designs didn’t work either, yet most of his military inventions did). There’s a bit about the tank in Brotherhood based on Leonardo’s schematics.

    • Amnestic says:

      Said bit was annoying as all hell if you wanted to Perfect Sync it. I dunno which designer at Ubisoft did that sequence but they could do with a slap around the head for even thinking that was a good idea.

      • Mathias says:

        Oh yeah. I actually tried once, for about three or so hours, just that mission. Never again.

        • 4th Dimension says:

          What was so hard with it? The only part that is challenging to get 100% sync is when you duel other tanks, but then you can circle strafe those.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            The last part has you against three tanks.Easy enough,except for the teency fact that its next to impossible not to get stuck on some rock and get hit,and if you do,you have to replay the last 10 minutes,no matter how tedious they are.

    • Raygereio says:

      “which could penetrate heavy plate armor at up to 200 metres”
      That’s a common myth. The longbow didn’t have magic powers.

      As for six arrows a minute. According to some sources that was considered to be the upper limit of firing rate for warbows. Drawing such heavy bows was damned hard work after all and you don’t want to wear out your archers within minutes.
      Smaller bows with lighter draws such as the ones the archers in AC2 would be using can naturally be fired quicker then that.

      • Mathias says:

        Not much faster, though, you can only draw and nook an arrow so fast.

        And when I say “could penetrate heavy armor” I mean “in very big clusters of arrows with arrows meant to penetrate armor” (which do exist, they were heavier but with a shorter range).

        • 4th Dimension says:

          And even than they could penetrate Iron plate (I think?) but not newer steel plate knights were using. (Major cause of death in battle of Agincourt was drowning in mud, not arrow fire, at least with rich knights).

          • Raygereio says:

            And when I say “could penetrate heavy armor” I mean “in very big clusters of arrows with arrows meant to penetrate armor” (which do exist, they were heavier but with a shorter range).

            It still couldn’t penetrate plate armour. There’s no real supporting historical evidence for it and present day tests show that under optimal condition a longbow-fired arrow could punch through the outer metal layer, but that would take pretty much all of the arrow’s kinetic energy and it would then simply get stuck in the padding underneath.

            Now do mind that not all plate armour was well made and well maintained. Poor maintance and as 4th Dimension indicated the use of lower quality material such as wrought iron instead steel provided weak spots an arrow could punch through more easily and actually start wounding the wearer.
            That and other types of armour provided less protection against arrows. For instance, arrows from a longboy can make someone in dressed in maille pretty darn miserable.

            My point though was that is wasn’t the magical superweapon a lot of people seem to think it was. It was effective, but it did not win battles on its own. And let’s not even get into the fact that certain battles which have contributed the myth of the longbow – such as Agincourt – were won more through the stupidity of the enemy commanders.

            • 4th Dimension says:

              Not even stupitity of the commander, (who had a reasonable plan), but because stupidity of knights who were all “honor before reason” idiotic glory hounds.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Actually you do want to wear down your archers fast because you dont want them shooting at your own men once mele is joined.Well,unless you have a mercenary army,in which case you wouldnt care and probably would tell them to fire slowly.

        • Simulated Knave says:

          When melee is joined, at least in the case of English longbowmen, it’ll often be WITH the archers. The archers support the men-at-arms (or pikemen, or what have you).

        • Raygereio says:

          You want to deliberatly tire out your own men, so that they won’t attack your own men?
          I’ve never heard of that practice and it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Besides I recall instances where leaders have ordered a volley of arrow fire at the enemy with their own men stading close to said enemy.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            No,I mean you want to fire all your arrows long before your people get in the fray.What would be worse,firing arrows on half of your men,or tiring out your archers?

            And yes,there were plenty of battles where arrows were fired regardless of who was in the fray,but those were the times when casualties werent all that important.

            • Raygereio says:

              Tiring out your archers would be far worse.
              The firing at your own men is a false argument anyway. People weren’t retarded, there were commanders present that recognized when archers shouldn’t fire in order to prevent friendly fire.
              And think about it; if you tire them out immediatly they’ve become useless as a resource. You can’t use them as reserves any more, you can’t order them to fire at reinforcements or at fleeing enemies anymore, if the enemy breaks through and attacks you archer lines they’re frelled, etc, etc.

              There is simply never a good reason for deliberatly tiring out your own men with no good return for that exertion unless you want to go down in history as an example of how not to go about doing things.

    • MatthewH says:

      A couple years ago I got a book on medieval warfare out of the library for my own novel writing. Alas, I didn’t record the name of the book and I can’t find it in the card catalog, so you’ll just have to trust me.

      According to my notes, English archers were unusual, and very different from continental archers. At Agincourt, the English archers went out with 4 dozen arrows -3 dozen of the “flight” type and 1 dozen of the “sheaf” type. The archers released all of them in the time it took French knights to cover 300 yards. Though the French covered that 300 yards fairly slowly, even on horseback, because it is hard to keep a formation of running armored horses together at full speed. Also, their horses were smaller than ours. A knight’s horse was about 14 hands, or 4 feet 8 inches at the shoulder. Modern big horses are 18 hands (6 feet at the shoulder).

      My notes on cavalry give a charge as going at approximately 100 feet per 15-20 seconds (yes, a horse wearing 200+ pounds of rider and armor is slower than an Olympic sprinter) so the English would get off approximately 1 arrow per second. This was what made them unusual. They aimed on the pull, where the continentals pulled and then aimed. This required the Yeomenry to practice constantly to be able to do it. Hence the crack about starting training an archer with his grandfather.

      The first 3 dozen arrows were fired in high arcs -these were the flight arrows. They could, if you got lucky, kill a knight. They had to hit the space between shoulder and helmet and punch through the joint there. They were really intended to disable the horse. They worked by mass volleys. At 100 yards, the archers switched to the sheaf arrows, which were big heavy arrows with a spike point. These were aimed and fired with a flat trajectory and were intended to punch through armor.

      After the last dozen arrows were fired, the archers would switch to their mallets (big hammers with lead heads) or their knives and join the infantry.

      Two other unusual parts of the English: the English drilled to pull the arrow back to the ear or shoulder, while the continent pulled to the chest. The second was that the English mixed their archers in with their infantry and cavalry (not as horse archers, but as mobile archers. At Agincourt, Henry sent horse archers down the side, where they dismounted and shot into the main French battle). The continentals mainly kept their archers separate. By the time of Agincourt, the French had actually given up on archers in favor of guns.

      Edit: Looking at my notes, my guess is that the rate of fire is somewhat slower than it looks. Maybe closer to 2 seconds per arrow, depending on how early the English started shooting. And flights would be different from sheafs on account of not aiming. But yes, this would be tiring -which is why they only did it for 60 seconds before joining the infantry. At least when stopping a charge. When pumelling a schiltron they may have acted differently.

      • Mathias says:

        It’s true, the English archers were -highly- unusual, especially in sheer density of how many they were. In comparison to most Renaissance (hell, most medieval armies), there were an insane amount of archers both in proportion to men-at-arms and other assorted infantry for melêes, and cavalry.

        Agincourt is a special case just because of the fact that the English only pulled victory there because their archers had every advantage over the charging French knights. If the French had had just a slightly better position, they would have dropped those archers in no time.

      • 4th Dimension says:

        Have you taken into account that the field of Agincourt was a mud HELL.

  10. Daemian Lucifer says:

    19:59 – Oh god!That was brutal!Is this the same guy who minutes before gently lowered the body on the ground so it would remain as intact as possible?Damn ezio,when did you take levels in samuel jackson?

  11. Hitch says:

    C’mon, Josh. I know it hurt when Mumbles said Ezio was just copying Batman fights, but that’s no excuse to try to change things up and fight like Aquaman.

  12. Nidokoenig says:

    You know what I really love? Right at the beginning when they’re talking about playing Skyrim, there’s an arrow sticking out of Ezio for a good ten seconds. Look for it between 1.40 and 1.50.

  13. noahpocalypse says:

    Josh, you are aware that you can dive, right? Press the jump button while in the air, and if you aren’t going to faceplant on hard concrete, he’ll dive.

    I hate. hate. hate. raccoons. One once stole my bag when I was camping in the middle of a swamp. And don’t even get me started on that one time when I nearly stepped on an alligator…

  14. tengokujin says:

    Jensen, stop sending Ezio on wild-goose thief chases >.>

  15. GM says:

    Oblivion is on 75% off now on Steam should i buy?

    • swenson says:

      It’s only 5 bucks. If that’s not a lot of money to you, then you might as well. I know people give it flak for not being as good as Morrowind or whatever, but honestly, I’ve had a lot of fun with it. Just be sure to get all the mods that patch its myriad bugs.

      • James says:

        and get shivering isles, that DLC is bar none the best beth have ever made. its not only fun, but has a great story completely separate from Oblivion. nights of the nine is cool too. oh and HORSE ARMOR

        • Irridium says:

          Yeah, Shivering Isles is amazing.

          Also, Bethesda switches up the Sheogorath statue quest. I won’t spoil anything, but activate it every now and then as you progress through the main Shivering Isles quest. Saving before activating, of course, so you can reload, do more Shivering Isles, then come back and repeat.

          It’s hilarious.

          • Sleeping Dragon says:

            It is, Shivering Isles all the way, I wouldn’t blink if it replaced the main plotline altogether. Also, by now modders have had plenty of time to work on the game so if you dislike some aspect of it there is almost certainly a mod for it. I believe there are fan patches for most bugs that may be left and there are also alternative levelling systems, new gear, new mobs, scripted spells, entire questlines and factions… just go in and pick whatever suits you.

  16. Johan says:

    Surely it would be easier to just kill a few guards and take their uniforms. Maybe wash them and patch them up afterwards.

    • 4th Dimension says:

      There is a similar mission in Brotherhood, allthough then you don’t steal uniforms, you simply need to kill the guards less violently (assassin style).

  17. Well you know what they say time is honey…

  18. ben102 says:

    Who do I have to pay to get a copy of you book, Shamus?

  19. anaphysik says:

    Wow Josh, your impressions in the beginning of Mumbles doing impressions of you and the gang are way off. Especially the Mumbles one, sounds way too nice.

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