Assassin’s Creed 2 EP28: Shark-Jumper’s Creed

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Nov 29, 2011

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 281 comments

Link (YouTube)

9:05 – Really? The guy delivering the SUPER EGG just jumped over a canal by hopping onto one of those barbershop poles in the middle of the water. Was nobody worried about this thing falling to the bottom of the canal? Does this guy have some alien blood in him like Ezio does? Is this really the most reasonable way to transport this thing across the city, or was this the way that made things easiest on the game designers?

14:35 – Game designer says, “Ha ha! GOTCHA!”

16:29 – After having a lone courier prance over the rooftops and over canals with the SUPER EGG, they’re suddenly all obsessed with ceremony and making sure it’s in a nice package. Perhaps we should wipe the dirt, sweat, and blood off the thing first, no?

16:37 – Ezio says, “The Spaniard’s here?!” Earlier Josh said that we were following the egg because we wanted the Spaniard. But now we’re surprised to find out he’s going to show? So now I don’t understand the in-world justification for not just nabbing the egg and walking away.

17:28 – Stay in formation? The contrast between this parade and the earlier parkour is rather striking. What ARE the bad guys thinking? Do their actions make any sense, or was this the way that made things easiest on the game designers?

18:30 – So you have an escort which does nothing to protect you from other guards or even from being jostled by civilians. In fact, your “escort” will ditch you if you get hung up on peasants! How to we explain this? Did the guards really act in this incomprehensible way, or did the animus fail to simulate their behavior? I can’t help but think of the joke Rutskarn made about Ezio de-synchronizing because the Wienermobile drove past. This really does feel like the game isn’t playing by its own rules. It does this in order to add “danger” or “tension” to an otherwise boring sequence. But rather than break the fiction of the gameworld, I think a better solution would be to not have boring sequences in the first place.

20:30 – I now officially hate Ezio. What’s your goal here, Ezio? Was it to assassinate that one guard? No? Then why did you give up your surprise advantage by killing him? You needlessly killed someone who wasn’t the target, thereby making it harder to kill the person who WAS the target. After spending 20 minutes punishing the player for slight failures in detection, Ezio pisses away all your efforts with a childish bit of macho showboating. Remember this moment when we get to the end.

20:37 – Uhhh. The guy falls, and Ezio is standing there still holding the box. His hands are around the bottom of the box. Didn’t he need one of his hands free to pull that off?

20:58 – “How many people have died for this?” He did not just say that! For those of you watching at home: Rodrigo has personally killed one person. (And actually, you had to finish him off.) Ezio has killed dozens, even in the hands of a merciful and careful player.

21:36 – Fight the old man who is immune to the hidden blade, extremely durable, as nimble as a ninja, immune to gunshots and smoke bombs, and… this is just shockingly childish and lazy. I can’t believe that the plot of this game requires us to fight this guy TWICE.

22:49 – Is this still going on? This is the stupidest thing I’ve seen in a long time.

23:16 – “Guards!” WTF?!?! So half a dozen guards were just standing in that alley, but they never made any effort to intervene until Rodrigo called for them? Remember this when the assassins run out in a few seconds. Were the assassins and guards waiting in the alley TOGETHER?

24:27 – Wooo! Jump that shark! Jump it, baby!

26:29 – I started doing these timestamp annotations because I was dumbstruck during the episode. But now I am, once again, dumbstruck. This game has abandoned any pretense of telling a coherent tale. I have no stake in the story because it’s clear this is a plot driven by convenience, not reason and logic. This fight even LOOKS ridiculous.

27:11 – I love how the game just spent the last 10 hours convincing you that your allies were smart, capable people. (Except for the Thieves’ Guild guy, obviously. He’s always been inept.) And now the game pisses them all away by showing them to be completely incompetent. Rodrigo evidently knows he’s got Plot Armor, since he hasn’t run away or retreated to the alley where he couldn’t be surrounded. He’s evidently confident that he can dispatch your entire group.

28:17 – Poof! The fat man runs away from you and ALL OF YOUR COMPANIONS. Including the Fox. Come ON, Ubisoft.

28:37 – Ezio says, “I don’t care about your prophet. I came here to kill the Spaniard.” Ezio, you lumbering dumbass, your actions over the last eight minutes say otherwise. If that was your goal, you could have handed over the box and pounced on Rodrigo instead of pointlessly murdering the guard.

29:17 – “You are all assassins? Paola? Volpe?” Yep, Ezio. They are. Now your follow-up question should be, “WHY DIDN’T PAOLA ASSASSINATE THE DOGE AT CARNEVAL?”

30:18 – These are the scribblings of a child.


From The Archives:

281 thoughts on “Assassin’s Creed 2 EP28: Shark-Jumper’s Creed

  1. Dovius says:

    Well, she didn’t kill the *Doge at Carneval because….uhm…..I dunno, the standard “This is your destiny, not mine” bull, probably.

    1. Adam P says:

      Paola was probably busy running her brothel in Florence, as well.

    2. acronix says:

      I see Paola and Fawkes went to the same school.

      1. Someone says:

        The Grand Academy of Lazy Shoehorn Writing?

  2. zob says:

    Yep this is the point where it fell apart completely.

    1. Eddie says:

      It’s truly awful. I don’t think there’s any part of the plot that I would call good, but at this point it just completely collapses. Plus, for me, it suffers for being after I had finished all the fun side missions and was reduced to finishing the crappy story.

      The kick and escape strikes me as especially clumsy (not that the rest of it isn’t exceedingly clumsy). Even if you had skipped all previous cutscenes and hadn’t listened to any of the dialogue this would be obvious hackery; if there’s one thing this game has established it’s that Ezio is quick, nimble and a very experienced fighter, not someone to get caught off by a kick from a fat guy. Plus it’s an absolute slap in the face to the player after that long, boring stupid fight. The game should desynchronise you because that could not possibly be how it happened. Or maybe Rodrigo is actually a future Templar using their own Animus and you’re just chipping away at his synchronisation.

  3. Ron says:

    Why did you pick Assassin’s Creed for the show?

    1. Tizzy says:

      Shamus and the others have literally written thousands of words explaining how they choose games in general, and the myriad of complications that severely restricts which games they can actually use. It’s not a one sentence answer, your best bet is to use the search box to find those posts.

      1. Piflik says:

        The short answer is, it was a compromise. They couldn’t agree on any game that anyone really wanted, so they settled with AC2 – not the top pick for anyone, but nobody vetoed.

    2. Dev Null says:

      Plus, you know, its less funny if there’s nothing to hate.

      1. James Pony says:

        Less funny, perhaps, but not necessarily less entertaining and definitely not less interesting. That, and hearing POSITIVE things about a game is a welcome change.

        Regardless of how positive or negative (or neither) on the whole, it could be interesting to see STALKER SoC or CoP, or Modern Warfare if they don’t go straight for Skyrim after AC2. I say this because STALKER would be so different from these Western big name titles because such is life in the Zone, and because Modern Warfare is a tight, non-sandbox package and the straightforward, more “grindy” shooty parts could be used for extended discussion of story, events and/or the graphics and level design, as they might be dull to watch otherwise.

        Then again, Skyrim is Skyrim and the number of reasons for not watching that is a negative figure.

        1. krellen says:

          There’s one reason: I’m already sick of hearing about Skyrim.

          1. James Pony says:

            Admit it, that’s just because you don’t have Skyrim.

            1. MrMurphy says:

              Probably rather because Krellen’s feelings for Bethesda, and Bethesda’s games, can be summed up in one word: odium.

              1. Irridium says:

                Plus it’s solely on Steam, which he isn’t exactly fond of.

                1. krellen says:

                  I’ll admit, Origin has done a lot to mollify that.

          2. acronix says:

            You just hung up a big troll bait. If this were a forum or a less reputable blog, I´d advise you to put all your second and third level spell slots into acid arrows and fireballs.

            1. Someone says:

              You don’t drop statements like that without setting up 15 sonic traps and half a dozen delayed blast fireballs first.

            2. krellen says:

              My sword is acid and fiery burst.

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                Swords are for whimps.Pros use golem armies.

                1. Pros use four hives of nano-sized insects or just roll Pun-Pun.

        2. zob says:

          I tried Stalker last year and it was still too buggy to play.

          1. Raygereio says:

            There are unofficial bugfix packs that fix most of the issues and make the Stalker games more then playable.
            Do a search for the stalker complete mod series.

            1. Viktor says:

              Spoiler Warning refuses to use mods unless they’re vital to making the game run. Their goal is to showcase the basic game that every player can expect to see.

              Plus, that way we can be sure that every bug Josh finds is the developer’s fault. Every. Single. One.

              1. 4th Dimension says:

                I think there is a version in which developers or modders merged all those updates. So they could play that edition.

              2. Jakey says:

                Did they ever specifically state that?

                Stalker with Complete Mods is just all around so much nicer, but even then they could just play vanilla Call of Pripyat – that one’s pretty enjoyable and bug-free in it’s vanilla version.

                Oh and to be honest, I’m pretty sick of everything Skyrim as well right now. And goddammit would a Skyrim season basically be 90% bitching about how Bethesda can make a very pretty vast sandbox world and then half-ass just about everything else about it.

                1. Raygereio says:

                  Did they ever specifically state that?

                  And I was making the suggestion in general, not for SW.

                  Also Call of Pripyat? No sir. If you’re going to play a stalker game with no bugfixes, you might as well throw a gallon of whiskey down your throat, take of your pants and dive into Clear Sky.

                  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                    Vodka.You cannot play a russian game and chug whiskey.

                    1. Klay F. says:


                    2. Someone says:


                2. zootie says:

                  I would absolutely watch that. Heck, that’s why I watch Spoiler Warning in the first place, so I can be educated away from accepting half-assery “because it’s just a game”.

                  So for my part, they can ring the bell for the Skyrim class anytime :D

        3. Someone says:

          CoD games don’t really have that much gameplay, so the discussion will quickly boil down to the plot and, thereby, politics and nobody wants THAT.

          Stalker games would be rather awkward to SW, if not for bugs then for the brutal difficulty. You already get killed every five minutes when you’re playing on your own, let alone with three other people distracting you with conversation. Also: Shamus is probably the only one who’s actually familiar with the game, dialogue is reliant on text and the font isn’t all that big etc, etc…

          If you want to know what Shamus has to say about Stalker, there’s an old review of SoC somewhere in the archives.

          1. Klay F. says:

            Metro 2033 could be a good stand in for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. as it was made by a few of the same devs, and also isn’t so unfairly difficult. Plus it has some of the best atmosphere of any game I’ve ever played. They’d probably get pissed at the railroading though.

            1. Someone says:

              Isn’t difficult? The Nazis vs Communists level begs to differ.

              1. Klay F. says:

                Its possible to get through that chapter without killing anyone. Granted, as I said above there is a bunch of railroading involved, and while its not good game design, all of my complaints are washed away the moment I step out onto the surface. I maintain that no game before or since has managed atmosphere like the surface levels of Metro 2033.

                Also, the ridiculous difficulty that most reviewers had problems with at release has long since been patched out.

                1. Someone says:

                  Nah, nothing beats the Shalebridge Cradle.

            2. Kana says:

              Oh god, I’d love to see a Spoiler Warning for Metro 2033. If only to see Josh attempt to maul Librarians to death in melee. Probably for the best if they don’t though, I can already barely resist buying the game. No way I could stop myself if I started seeing it every week.

              1. Klay F. says:

                You should totally buy it. There is no game in existence that can match the atmosphere of the surface chapters. I will stand by that statement to my grave. Other games might be better at keeping their atmospheres consistent throughout the experience, but on a level by level basis, its no contest.

                Also regarding your comment on the Librarians, I think it would be far more funny to see Reginald Cuftburt stare them into submission. But in my most recent playthrough, I had max shotgun ammo, and the auto shotgun. I cut through those Librarians like butter.

        4. Deadfast says:

          As much as I’d love to see them do S.T.A.L.K.E.R. it just wouldn’t work. While Call of Prypiat is a very solid game straight out of the box, a large portion of the game is its atmosphere. And we all know how much atmosphere you get when you have 3 people talking over each other in the background, don’t we?

          1. el_b says:

            there is neary no dialogue or real action in any stalker game and the text is tiny, it would be incomprehensible to most people and even moreso to the SW cast. also clear sky is way too buggy, and it crashes HARD, every time a recording starts it would be lost.

            dont get me wrong, stalkers awesome, but not to watch.

  4. Piflik says:

    I am a tactless minstrel.
    I sing off-key for coins.
    If you see me in the streets,
    Please kick me in the loins.

    1. Indy says:

      And while I strum on my lute
      Don’t forget why I’m in the way.
      Some game designer thought me cute
      And now I’m here to stay…

  5. Neil D says:

    14:35 — If you watch the arrow, the target went around the building to the right while Josh went to the left and met him coming around. So he didn’t exactly double back, but he did inexplicably take the long way around. Maybe that guy was also being controlled by someone else in another Animus somewhere.

  6. Thomas says:

    This was a good episode of Spoiler Warning, a good level of puns, explaining whats happening, making good points about the plot, Josh falling off ledges, Josh dying, Josh dying without even a clear reason…


    Although I have to admit, I don’t have quite as many complaints as you Shamus with this section. I thought the guy doubling back was great, it added a new challenge, stopped the following from being boring and was a reasonably realistic thing to do.

  7. Phoenix says:

    If you didn’t like CTF in AC2, be ready for some nice Tower Defense in AC2 Revelations. I like Tower Defense so it’s not actually a problem for me.

    Anyway I started noting incongruencies in the plot on AC2 Revelations after I started reading these rants. But I don’t mind. After all, it’s a game where people throw themselves from 30+ meters into bushes without damage and no assassin know phisical fatigue when parkouring and the buildings are all in perfect condition because the things that you hold to climb never fall apart.

    And it never rains, it would be impossible to climb a wet surface. And being outfitted differently from anyone else makes me invisible… yeah. Not very realistic.

    1. Pete says:

      Except for that one time in Brotherhood when it does. Coincidentaly its also the one time something breaks under Ezios weight…

    2. 4th Dimension says:

      Except in half of those tombs in Revelations are in crumbling condition so things often break under Ezio. Also, in Revelations if you break the game (don’t do missions until you have ALL of the Constantinople and your ASSASSINS are high enough, you are never going to experience Dower Defense, except that first time.

      But then I’m OCD about completing anything I can before attempting missions.

      1. Vect says:

        I do remember that I captured all the Templar Dens at least within the first quarter of the game as well as completing the Master Assassin sidequests that gets you maxed out weapons and armor.

        So yeah, the game is surprisingly easy to break.

        1. MrWhales says:

          I still havent done many of those, and I finished the game. I just like running around killing guards.

        2. 4th Dimension says:

          Especially since you get best armor and weapons as rewards for training master assassins.

    3. Eruanno says:

      Yeah, I did the Tower Defense once because I had to. It was horribly stupid, and I will now go level a bunch of assassins so I never ever have to do that dumb crap again :3

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    That 20:37 comment:Well ezio doesnt need his hand to be free to use the hidden blade.I forgot how it was activated,but it can be done even with full hands.

    As for rodrigo having tons of health,he doesnt really have that much(though he does have more than regular guards),but like Josh said,he has a crappy sword.

    The blood on ezios back,it seems to have sprayed directly through ezio.Yes,engine failure.

    It is a ridiculous sequence fight,yes,but its not really that bad since even before brotherhood fighting in asscreed was easy.And if you have a good weapon,its not even as tedious as it was for Josh.

    1. Shamus says:

      “That 20:37 comment:Well ezio doesnt need his hand to be free to use the hidden blade.I forgot how it was activated,but it can be done even with full hands.”

      Right, but in this position he would have simply skewered his own palm. Picture holding a box the way Ezio is. How could you position your hand so that you could attack someone in front of you? I can’t see how it could be done without letting go of the box.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Twist your hand so that the box rests on your thumb,then extend the rest of your fingers and activate the blade.

        1. Pete says:

          Alternatively, just let go with the left hand. Its not like you cant balance a box on one hand for a second anyway.

          1. Syal says:

            Or just move your hand forward so the box is on your forearm.

            1. anaphysik says:

              Something between this and the above is what Ezio actually seems to do. You can see his hand go back to holding the box as the guard falls away (though one could perhaps make pedantic arguments about the apparent high angle of the blade’s path).

              Of course, this is a minor point when everything else in this section is mind-numbingly stupid.

      2. Hitch says:

        You could almost justify Ezio not having the hidden blade for his fight with Rodrigo because it would ruin the disguise if not for the fact that he must have used it to pointlessly stab the guard to give up the element of surprise.

        I’d think about it more, but it’s not worth it.

    2. Robyrt says:

      Rest assured, even with the ultimate sword it is still a tedious battle, largely because you are forced to fight Rodrigo without any of your tricks, assassin skills, or really anything except a willingness to alternate between the attack and medicine buttons as necessary.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        No its not.He is basically just another heavy,only that you have to kill him through attrition.And you can do that with about 5 successful combos.You just have to know when to stop attacking in order to not get countered yourself.

        Granted,it wouldve been better if you werent limited like that,but its still not that bad the way it is.

        1. Supahewok says:

          Best way to handle any boss is just throwing knives. If you’ve got the Large Knife Belt, you should have plenty. They flinch long enough for you to keep tossing them, and if you’re locked on to the boss you don’t have to aim.

    3. Adam P says:

      I think the hidden blade is activated by the pinky? The palm might need to be flexed out as well. It’s like starting a lawnmower with a pull cord.

      1. Indy says:

        As long as another flamboyantly dressed character can fire webs from it, you’re doing it right.

  9. Ragnar says:

    You do know that the game designers are trolling you, right?

    In the first meeting for the game they decided that they was going to create the most stupid story possible without anyone really noticing (except for a few bloggers who obviously doesn’t count).

    1. JPH says:

      I’d say Bethesda trumped them in that regard. Fallout 3 was dumber than this.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Thats a bit too harsh.Especially since it seems that they went the bioware route,and had the flavor stories be much more interesting and thought of than the main one.Although,seeing how one of the flavor stories does involve the apple and the fate of desmonds world,I guess it can be seen as the main one.Its…a bit convoluted.

  10. Armagrodden says:

    I actually managed to kill Rodrigo, but I didn’t do it here. I did it during the ultimate showdown at the Vatican. And killing him caused me to desynchronize and I had to start the mission (to kill him) over again. But at least I had the satisfaction of doing it once.

  11. Daemian Lucifer says:

    By the way,Josh were you the author of vampire stalkers?

    Alien wizard?Oh my god,it all makes sense now!Thats why ezio bones every girl he meets!He has been infected with the sex addiction virus!Devious bastards were experimenting with ways to control our urges even back then*shakes fist*

  12. 4th Dimension says:

    Hmm, what to say, what to say.

    Firstly, Ezio is following that courier to see who is this prophet dude, and to see who are these templars he missed.

    Second, you DON’T need to kill that courier that way. You can distract the guards at the entrance by using courtesans, and then slip in. Might be trick to avoid a patrolling guard inside, but is doable.

    Yes, that boss fight is stupid and contrived, but other assassins appearing is not. They also were aware of Templars being up to something nefarious, and didn’t know Ezio knew Apple is coming (Rosa tipped him off). Also it solves the question how they all knew who you are and what you want to do. Also why they didn’t reveal themselves earlier: They themselves say they were there simply to guide him not tell him what to believe and do. So the hands off treatment.

    Oh, and it’s not excatly aliens. According to AC universe, before humanity, there was another species that walked the Earth and had a high tech civilization.

    It was them that made humans as their servants in their IMAGE, and gave them 5 out of their 6 senses. Also Apple is only one of the artifacts they left behind. Templars want them because one of it’s functions is that it enables the user to basically mess with human brains (our brains having in built receivers for mind control). Back in the day these were their instruments of control over human worker/slave population.

    Anyway since humans were built in their image, breeding was possible, and thus from unions between Those That Came Before and humans first Assassins (not the order), like Ezio/Altair/Desmond were born (which is in game tied to all those myths about gods mating/raping humans, and then demigods being born). They in turn because or their TTCB genes were mostly immune to mind control effects of apples, and had a silver of the sixth sense that TTCB possessed (Eagle Vision). That SIXTH sense supposedly was KNOWLEDGE (at least that’s what the lady from the end of Brotherhood says), which allowed them to peer into future and KNOW.

    Eventually humans rebelled and although they were basically bronze age people fighting high tech civ, they started gaining the upper hand because the seriously outnumbered TTCB. Then on eve of the human victory (or draw), sun had some freakishly huge CME that messed the Earth up completly.

    Last remaining TTCB not being too dickish, saw that their time was past and were afraid this cataclysm would happen again, so they built and left tools with which it could possibly be stopped (Apples and such).

    And most of that is revealed trough puzzles and those glyphs which you skipped. So if you want more about conspiracies, and back story you can do puzzles and find out much more. BUT if you simply want stabbing and don’t want plot, you go on only stabbing.

    Oh and I feel bad for dropping on people this wall of text. Sorry.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Well,technically speaking,the uber civilization can be called aliens,since they are alien to us.As for them being extra terrestrials,its moot.It was said that they were on earth before humans,but not whether they originated there or came from the stars.That is,unless revelations revealed something more about them,which Im still not aware of.

      1. Raygereio says:

        Revelations revealed absolutely nothing.
        Unless you count “there’s more then one piece of eden” a revelation. Of wait, we already knew that.

        1. acronix says:

          So the “Revelations” is that there are no revelations?

          1. Raygereio says:

            We get some more details about backstory things, but that was nothing we didn’t already knew the gist of.

            So yeah, nothing new was revealed.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              So they named the game ironically?

              1. Raygereio says:

                I do recall this dev interview in which they said there were going to some big reveals.
                I don’t know. Maybe Ubisoft is just trolling us.

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  *sigh*They have been trolling me for a very long time now.I hate their policies,but they still are behind some of the games I love,so I have to support them,even though I dont want to.

            2. 4th Dimension says:

              Well nothing much relevatory to us, but it’s certainly a Revelation for Altair, Desmond and Ezio. Also it ties a nice tie on Altair’s life.

              Also from the endgame cinematic it seems that the gift of prediction of TTCB was more of a mathematical model affair. Also we get to witness their civilization fall.

      2. 4th Dimension says:

        But if they were trans stellar civilization, a simple star problem shouldn’t have caught them flat footed. On the other hand I do agree that you can call any other sentient race alliens.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Just because they are trans-stellar doesnt meant they know everything.We have the knowledge to build flying machines,but we can still be caught off guard by sudden storms.

          1. 4th Dimension says:

            Even if they were caught off guard (which I find a lot less likely since I consider knowledge about astronomy a perquisite for stellar expansion), why weren’t they reinforced by other f their people from other planets, and why do they all the time speak about how they are gone as in extinct.

            It still could be that reinforcements are taking their time to get here under slower than light speeds, so it does take them couple of thousands of years to return. And the artifacts are not there to stop next cataclysm, but signal them when the ‘infestation’ is over.
            But I doubt it.

    2. Audacity says:

      That still makes no sense. If these alien precursor people could see the future, why’d they go and engineer a slave race that would ultimately rebel? How could they be beaten by that rebellion, and how could they not know the sun was going to go all death-ray on them? If this stuff is so integral to understanding what’s going on why isn’t it revealed in the game’s plot? While I love discovering bits of back story and flavor text on my own, like the books in the Elder Scrolls games, this is ridiculous. Why leave stuff so integral to understanding the plot out of said plot?

      1. From a strictly literal perspective, not making a slave race that rebelled on them would break the time loop. Seeing the future is not the same as seeing a possible future. A possible future is a consequence that can be averted – like being several moves ahead in chess. Actually seeing the future is like watching a video of the chess game before you play it. In order for that video to exist you have to make the moves you were always going to and they cannot ever be changed. The event doesn’t happen twice, you just have multiple perspectives on it.

        So they saw a rebelling slave race and a solar apocalypse, meaning they basically had to ensure those things happened for the stability of the timeline.

        It’s still stupid in principle of course.

        1. Danny White says:

          So what you’re saying is the aliens couldn’t deviate from the intended plot or else they would desynchronise?

          Why does that sound so familiar?

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Like Ive mentioned above,just because you are familiar with a piece of tech doesnt make you an expert in it.We know some things about the weather,but it can still surprise us.Why do meteorologists always say x% chance of rain,and not rain at that and that moment?Same can apply here.

        As for why this was left outside of the plot,well he main thing wasnt.You still get to see that these guys were before humans,that they vanished,that the sun is acting up,and that pieces of eden are important for that.What you dont see is the rebellion(which didnt change much),whole of history being dictated by pieces of eden(which also doesnt change the end outcome),and stuff like that.

    3. Raygereio says:

      Also why they didn't reveal themselves earlier: They themselves say they were there simply to guide him not tell him what to believe and do. So the hands off treatment.

      So Ezio, we didn’t tell you what the hell is going on because we didn’t want to tell you what to believe. So instead we kept our mouths shut about important details so that you’d end up running around like a headless chicken. Meanwhile we’re going to guide you (without actually doing any guiding – all that happened offscreen apparently) so that you’ll eventually start to believe what we want you to believe.
      Makes perfect sense to me.

      And most of that is revealed trough puzzles and those glyphs which you skipped. So if you want more about conspiracies, and back story you can do puzzles and find out much more. BUT if you simply want stabbing and don't want plot, you go on only stabbing.

      I have three problems with the points you’ve raised.
      1. The story told in the Subject 16 glyphs have pretty much nothing to do with the main plot of AC2. It’s mainly tied to the overarching plot. It’s only at the last scene with Ezio when that actually starts becomming relevant.
      2. In my opinion it’s more then okay to shove backstory in places where the player has to look for it. However it’s downright inexcusable to hide information like that behind shitty gameplay. Seriously, those glyph puzzles were about as fun and entertaining as watching paint dry.
      3. The exposition delivered through the glyphs raises far more questions then it answers. First naturally what the hell the writers were smoking when they thought that crap up.

      1. acronix says:

        They just wanted to shove every possible historical figure into their global conspiracy fanfiction. A sort of “See? In our world, Tesla was with the assasins! And his inventions were really ancient alien magic!” and etc.

        1. Syal says:

          “In our world, Abraham Lincoln was a Templar!”

          1. peter says:

            lee harvey oswald was, apparently. and kennedy had the (an?) apple.
            oh, washington, napoleon, gandhi, houdini, elizabeth the first, lyndon b johnson, mark twain, henry ford, hitler, and (yes) tesla used apples of eden.
            tesla because edison was a templar, of course.
            oh, and roosevelt had one too, and then teamed up with churchil and stalin in the use of it.

            yeah, it reads like really REALLY bad fanfiction.

            1. 4th Dimension says:

              One note about Tesla, while he did use the Apple during a period (until his labatory got smashed and Apple stolen) he still managed to destroy the STAFF without using an Apple and cause Tunguska explosion.

            2. Klay F. says:

              My favorite: Mark Twain apparently needed the Piece of Eden to… be funny I guess?

              Seriously, the fucking audacity of Ubisoft is unmatched.

            3. Zozma says:

              If Mark Twain had the ability to see in the future, you’d think he’d have made better investments…

          2. Vect says:

            I thought that they just said that Booth was killed by the Templars.

            FDR and Churchill were in cahoots with Hitler if I remember however.

            1. acronix says:

              I think the idea is that WW2 was some kind of templar induced massacre, with all faction leaders being templars (though I don´t remember they mentioning the japanesse).

              1. 4th Dimension says:

                Did they mention Stalin. I’m not sure about him.

                1. CTrees says:

                  Wait… are you guys being serious?

                  Not having played these games, I thought everyone was just making fun of the “lol, everything in history happened because of TTCB.” However… it really seems like you’re not joking, and they’re actually pushing that sort of thing as the story’s actual history. Which brings me nearly physical pain.

                  1. Nyquisted says:

                    The one that got me was in AC:Brotherhood when there was a Templar letter signed Margaret Thatcher.

                    Obviously everyone in authority ever was a Templar.

                    1. 4th Dimension says:

                      Not exactly. They try to paint anyone with conservative free market leaning as a Templar.

                      Kennedy and Gorbachev are on the other hand painted as enemies/obstacles for Templars.

                    2. Shamus says:

                      “Not exactly. They try to paint anyone with conservative free market leaning as a Templar.”

                      Which is, of course, backwards. I have a strong suspicion that the author didn’t like the idea of “their party” being the Bad Guys, so they just swapped it. Even though it makes less sense that way.

                    3. 4th Dimension says:

                      Well it all depends on how you look on Templar vs Assassin thing. If you like me think Templars SHOULD mainly be people that would like world to be more ordered lawful place even at the expense of some freedoms, while Assassins want freedom to do, and think anything at ANY cost, than these views are two sides of a coin. Both ant peace, only one side considers rules and mores to cause war,and the other considers lawlesness and anarchy to be causator.

                      In that case being a Templar isn’t a bad thing. Probably most people with a family would consider that opinion closer to them, because they will have security of iron rules protecting them and their ofsprings. On the other hand young people would often side with Assassins, because they enable them to strive for change and making their inprint on history and their future.

                      So not a bad thing.

                      But the way it’s actually handled in the game is that Templars are not so much obsessed by order but by POWER, for THEMSELVES. And POWER not to make peace, but power for the sake of power. While Assassins are surprisingly torchbearers of justice and law. So it isn’t two sides of one coun, but one side being made from uter sociopaths, and other made from Caothic Good good people.

                  2. Sleeping Dragon says:

                    It’s serious, the game implies that pretty much every major (and probably a lot of minor) historical event was either orchestrated by Templars (especially when it’s something that results in a horrible deathtoll), a result of Assassin’s meddling in Templar affairs, a direct conflict between the two or a reaction of one of these factions to the actions of another. Also, capitalism is totally a Templar thing, all democracy is just a show set up by the Templars and there are subliminal messages and monitoring equipment in TV.

                    I do feel the need to mention that most of this stuff comes from 16 who may or may not have been in his right mind at the time of leaving said messages, though whether he was or not this is all probably true in canon.

                  3. Audacity says:

                    Heh. I thought they were joking too. This is just, sad.

                    1. acronix says:

                      Yes, for the authors of this plot, humankind is incapable of doing anything unless it´s impulsed by ancient conspiracions, their opposers or magitech alien artifacts. Anyone who was/is reputed to be awesome in some way or another is put on the “had an alien artifact” place.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        2 is subjective.Lots of people liked the puzzles(well,some of the puzzles)and the exposition that came with them.I know I did.

        1. Raygereio says:

          Well, let’s just say that I can think of more fun things to do with my time then slowly moving over a picture with a cursor until my computer beeps at me.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Hence why I specified most of the puzzles.Thats not really a puzzle anyway.

            1. Raygereio says:

              But literally all of them were that. Oh sure, there were a couple of one where you had select the right pictures out of a batch. Big whoop.

              Honestly, I can’t think of a single subject 16 puzzle that required actual thought and didn’t either just hand you the sollution or boiled down to trial & error.

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                The one you mentioned where you pick pictures is pretty stupid to do with trial and error,since you have to pick 5 out of 10,so you need to guess 1 out of 252 combinations.So it is a word puzzle.

                The one where you need to guess the right wheel combination is also pretty stupid to go the trial and error way since it has 1000 combinations(if I remember correctly),so it is a puzzle of guessing the symbols meanings.

                The simplest one,and probably the only one you can do with trial and error,is the one where you rotate the circles in order to create an image.

                But,of course,if you tried to brute force them,then I see how you may think that they would require no thought.Though I dont see why youd even try since it would be much less time consuming to just look for the solutions online,and the effect would be the same.

                1. Raygereio says:

                  In the ones you mentioned they just outright hand you the sollution.

                  Well, let’s just end this. I don’t think the Subject 18 puzzles deserve the title of puzzle as no thinking is required. You disagree with me on that.
                  Let’s leave it at that.

                  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                    Fine by me.

    4. Paul Spooner says:

      Really though, that all of this CAN be justified is beside the point. It’s like making your relatives sit through a boring story, all to set up a (really good) pun at the end. Sure, it might make sense. It’s still stupid.
      Thinking about it, my analogy is rather an insult to puns. Sorry puns! I still love you!

    5. CTrees says:

      All that stuff… doesn’t make things better. I dare say it makes it worse, because it reads like a bad riff on Scientology.

    6. Alex the Too Old says:

      Holy… I’ve been playing video games and reading sci-fi a long time, and the Assassin’s Creed backstory may possibly be the stupidest thing I’ve read outside of fanfic sites. Wow. Are you sure there isn’t anything in there about them being half-dragon vampires with built-in WiFi?

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        So,youve never read 2001:space odyssey then,because thats probably the most well known book that uses the precursor civilisation.And youve also never watched stargate,since this is basically the same plot as in that movie.

        Please people,stop acting like simple plot=simple story.How about a world on the back of 4 elephants on the back of a turtle for a plot?Do you think thats stupid and nothing good can come out of that premise?Or how about cloned dinosaurs?Or a world orbiting 6 stars?Or an amnesia patient finding out he can slide between worlds?Or trying to travel to the center of the earth on foot?I could go on forever listing all these ridiculous sounding plots that ended up becoming some of the most well known if not even the best science fiction stories.

        (yes I know discworld is fantasy,and fantasy is usually considered to be a different genre,and I do make the distinction myself,but thats the first thing that came to mind,so I decided to leave it)

        1. Alex the Too Old says:

          I suspect I will be spending the evening wirebrushing bits of sacred cow off of my bumper.

        2. Jakale says:

          A number of those I would call settings rather than plots, but I agree that a simple underlying plot (get ring to volcano, foil prison break/robbery, discover and stop plan to rule/destroy world) can provide plenty of basis for complex and interesting journeys.

        3. Klay F. says:

          You…you did NOT just compare 2001 to the backstory of AssCreed. What…I don’t even…WHAT.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            The difference comes from writing,from the way the plots develop,but the plots can easily be equated in the beginning.These aliens come and create humans,and then all of history is dictated by their artifacts,and conflict arises because people want different things with these artifacts.See,when you put it that way,it seems like there is no difference,when in reality there is plethora of differences.

            1. Sumanai says:

              The devil is in the details after all.

            2. Klay F. says:

              Also, 2001 is sci-fi at its absolute hardest (a good thing), whereas AssCreed sci-fi is so soft you could use it as axle grease.

    7. zootie says:

      …holy crap. A large number of highly educated, highly skilled people worked for years on this project of pure imagination, using technology that comes very close to Arthur C. Clarke’s definition of magic, and THIS is the story they went with?

      I must now go wash my brain out with something written by an actual author.

  13. JPH says:

    There we go. This, this is the moment I’ve been waiting for this season.

    You got all angry about Carnevale, but that wasn’t as dumb as this. At least it wasn’t to me. Maybe it’s because Carnevale was basically totally non-sequitor, but it didn’t piss me off nearly as much as this. This was the moment when the Assassin’s Creed story really turned stupid for me.

    “Turns out everybody you’ve become friends with over the years is secretly part of the mysterious assassins alliance! Isn’t that so cool?!”

    No, no it isn’t. It’s stupid, and it makes everything before this point stupid as well.

    1. Josh says:

      The most mind-boggling thing about the entire sequence to me was how they just all showed up out of the blue with no introduction or warning aside from you seeing Mario for a few seconds at the beginning of this memory sequence. It was like I was watching a bad play where the director just had all the semi-important protagonist characters “Enter, Stage Left” all at the same time for the climactic final fight scene even if there was no established reason for half of them even being there.

      1. Paul Spooner says:

        And you just know that this whole thing was done because some guy thought it was a great idea to re-use all those expensive custom character models. Got to get your mileage out of those things!

        I can just imagine the “planning” meeting where everyone is trying to hype this idea to themselves.
        “They will be so excited to see all these characters again!”
        “Yeah, totally, the players will love it.”
        “Think we should use the ‘It’s me, Mario’ line again?”
        “No, we don’t want to make this ridiculous.”

      2. Jakale says:

        I thought the most mind boggling part was that no one, absolutely no one, chases Borgia. They stop Ezio right after the guy turns the corner and say he’s gone. NO! We ran down Francesco de’ Pazzi after he jumped off an entire building! That, and the numerous other places that chases take place in and out of the story, sets all the precedent for it we would need. At the very least Volpe and Antonio can keep up with or outrun Ezio. There is absolutely no reason aside from setting up the next section that we couldn’t run down the winded, old, portly man in a heavy, movement-restricting robe.

        1. Shamus says:

          Not just that they should be able to out-run him, but the very idea that he could even begin to escape through so many foes is ludicrous. He’s surrounded by people waving swords around. He’s got a wall on one side and the canal on the other. The only way out is through that alley. If the assassins can’t stop that guy from exiting the circle, then they don’t deserve to win. They’re losers.

          1. Ringwraith says:

            It would only be more credible if he dropped a smoke bomb before leaving, as they could explain the escape away, although the question of where he got them bombs from might surface then…

            1. 4th Dimension says:

              Got it as an added free extra, along with his robes made of titanium, from a local helpful blacksmith.

              1. Avpix says:

                No, he pre-ordered the collector’s edition from Gamestop and got a plot-armor cloak as a bonus.

          2. Irridium says:

            Hell, they don’t even have to chase him. Ezio has a gun for crying out loud.

          3. Daemian Lucifer says:

            And the best thing is that just seconds before he had a bunch of guards distracting you that he couldve used to escape with ease.But did he take that opportunity?Nope.

          4. Indy says:

            Face it Shamus, Borgia played Dark Messiah and learnt its secrets. You just can’t beat that. He is, and always has been, the Bootlord.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Well most of the people ezio comes in contact with were either friends with his father,or friends with friends of his father.And who else is an assassin going to befriend in this world were the two factions are in a constant state of war?

      What is stupid,however,is that so many important assassinations were given to ezio.

      1. Thomas says:

        Eh, it depends. Some of those people were friends of the father and the merc was understandable because he was referred by the thieves dude. The thieves dude though? I was never really sure why Ezio fell in with them like he did. I don’t Volpe was very explained either. And I’m a bit uneasy about the prostitutes because you just kinda fell into their care. Its believable but also a bit scratchy

        The other problem with it is that apart from Mario and Volpe those people were all shown as incompetent

        Imagine it the other way round, you’re in a fight and a ton of people you’ve never seen before suddenly show up and announce they’re assassins! It would have been so much funnier

        1. Spammy says:

          Or how about we see that Mario and Bartolomeo have a few distinctive lieutenants, and then they and some other guys show up in Assassin garb to help you out and say, “Your uncle sent us.” See then everyone gets to be an assassin but it doesn’t look like they all just never went to assassinate anyone because they wanted to make Ezio do it.

          Because seriously? You have all these relatively important people who could plausibly have staff and Ezio is the ONLY the only one they have to actually DO what the organization’s name implies?

          What were these people going to do if Ezio decided that revenge would solve nothing and instead stayed in the Mushroom Kingdom spending his days devoting himself to the town and counselling his mother?

    3. So the twist of this game is “That’s right Ezio, you were a rogue cell all along!”

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        And rodrigo is ezios fathers brothers nephews cousins former roommate.

  14. guy says:

    What. What.

    ALL OF THEM are assassins? Not just some of them, not just the people in vaguely-connected professions like thief or soldier, not just those guys and a couple of harmless-looking additions, but literally EVERY! SINGLE! ONE!

    ALL OF THEM! With the sole exceptions of Rosa, who allegedly is the most Parkouring of the named characters other than Ezio, and Leonardo Da Vinci, everyone on your side is an assassin! It also makes them look like a bunch of complete incompetents, because all the prior times you needed to bail them out no longer have the excuse that they were just random civilians and not Parkour murders!

    Now I have a rage headache. I mean, yes, it does make sense that a number of the people you’d meet and work with would be assassins, but all of them is stretching credibility.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Well,to be fair assassin in assassins creed doesnt mean exactly the same as in the real world.Its like the freemasons not really being masons.

      1. Raygereio says:

        Being an assassin isn’t the job that you do, it’s being part of the club. For instance, the madame of the whorehouse might not be the best at clubbing poeple over the head with a mace, but she might be decent at gathering information, etc.
        A better complaint would be why in the name of Ao’s pink undies none of them said anything about this to Ezio. There’s absolutely no reason for them not to.

        1. Audacity says:

          But they can ALL do the crazy parkour stuff. They all jump out of that tower into the hay at the end of that retarded initiation scene.

          1. Raygereio says:

            I’d say it’s been firmly established at this point (between Cuftbert doing the swandive into the hay, thieves teaching you free-running tricks, guards climbing up onto buildings like it’s nothing and NPC reactions to your free-running antics ranging from an indifferent “What’s that idiot doing?” to “Huh, I ought to find a good way to stay in shape to”) that any schmuck can do all that fancy free running crap in AC world.

          2. I love how they jumped off within seconds of each other, so that they were literally right above one another when they landed.

        2. Nidokoenig says:

          Ezio mentions at the start that it’s been ten years since his father and brothers were killed. It might be that this super secret order has a ten year rule, i.e. that somebody isn’t even told that the Assassins even exist until they’ve worked with them unknowingly for ten years, as an act of extreme paranoia that sort of makes sense with Templars essentially running everything. At which point they brand them with the organisation’s seal so they can be readily identif…fuck it.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            In brotherhood ezio recruits new assassins in mere seconds.I guess he is the progressive one.

            1. acronix says:

              That actually explain why the assasins weren’t winning until Ezio joined them.

          2. Sleeping Dragon says:

            I think the idea here was that Ezio was this young man bent on bloody revenge so they wanted to gently guide him into realising the tenets of the Creed by himself. The thing is they failed horribly at picturing that in the game.

    2. drlemaster says:

      “So we’re Assassins, right?”


      “And anything is permitted, right?”


      “So, surely it’s permitted to pretend to be incompetent, and make the noob do all the hard work, with out really telling him what is going on?”

      “Oh, hell yeah! It most certainly is.”

      (Please pretend a few random words are in Italian for the full effect.)

  15. twm says:

    oh man, you think THIS jumps the shark? I can’t wait to see you yell WHAT THE FUCK!? at the ending. Make sure you all stay silent during the exposition scene.

    1. Mathias says:

      Oh God, I can’t wait.

      The awkward silence followed by the cries of “WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT” coming from -everyone-, followed by the five to six minutes of snarking as Josh enters the vault. It’s going to be -great-.

      1. Sleeping Dragon says:

        And the worst part? Remember how in Shadow Broker that evil spectre gave you the line “you work for Cerberus, don’t you judge me”? Brotherhood is like an entire game ranting at the player character “why did you do this” for something that the player had no control over and that was like the dumbest decision he could have made under the circumstances.

    2. Shark hurdles ahoy! It started at Carnival and it just doesn’t stop!

    3. Hitch says:

      That wasn’t the end?

      Now I’m frightened.

      1. 4th Dimension says:

        That WTF, actually comes from Desmond, as even he is stumped.

        1. Hitch says:

          Yeah, I’d forgotten about Desmond. No comment on whether that was a willful act on my part.

    4. Sumanai says:

      Jumping the Shark is the moment after which a series (or I suppose story) goes notably worse. Not the worst moment, but which marks as the beginning of the downward slope. So I’d say the carnivale was Jumping the Shark. This is just the following free fall.

  16. Eleion says:

    Dogs in the Vineyard Magical Tropico sounds awesome. Definitely a thing that needs to happen.

  17. Michael says:

    Shamus, since you’ve been somewhat apologetic about recent episodes you might like to know that I think this is one of your funniest ever. I always enjoy Spoiler Warning regardless of the comedy-to-analysis ratio, but this episode made me laugh out more than any episode so far.

    …Although that may be partly due to the alcohol.

    Aaaaaaanyway, it had some great commentary, some really funny digressions and plenty of instances of Ezio Auditore herping derps. Good times.

  18. Mathias says:

    This is the one thing that pissed me off about the Pieces of Eden. They literally are “New Powers As The Plot Demands” personified:

    In the first, it had the ability to deceive. Al-Mualim used it to deceive Altaà¯r at the end. All it was was the power of illusion, and that’s why the bad guys wanted it – to create the illusion of a perfect world. It made sense.

    In the second game, all of a sudden it has the power of prophecy, the ability to store enormous amounts of knowledge and technology, and there are now -more- of them. Also, in Brotherhood, you can use it to kill people effortlessly, and it’s apparently okay to use it, becauze Ezio seems to be quite liberal with its application.
    Apparently it was meant to be fused with another artifact too (which we’ll get to), to open some sort of vault, but…Why? It only makes sense if you assume that the aliens -were- prophetic.
    In Revelations, it’s apparently revealed that the Apple Ezio has carried around was -not- the Apple Altaà¯r was dickering around with and that there are apprently more Pieces of Eden that look the same, even though through Subject 16’s optional puzzle sequence we know that the Apple was just carried through time.

    1. Pete says:

      Its a flash drive, with a wifi connection to the mind control chips built into human brains. Overload the chip, the brain goes pop. There, killing archieved, it can store information, and who says the future predictions werent uploaded to it ahead of time? The number of Pieces of Eden in existence being fifty was stated back in Assassins creed 1, and the glyph puzzles in AC2 explain that there is at least five apples milling around the world, and for that matter, Altairs apple has been stated to have been blown up in an accident in AC1 as well. The info IS there, you know.

      1. Mathias says:

        Oh, I just haven’t noticed it. My bad.

        As for the Machiavelli-being-an-Assassin thing, assuming that you consider The Prince a work of satire (which many of his contemporaries do since it stands in stark contrast to The Art of War, his major work, according to himself), he could be seen as an Assassin, considering his work mainly centered around political philosophy and the nature of having the right person in charge, relying on loyalty and charisma over coin. On top of that, he was a staunch defender of the Florentine Republic.

        The Prince is largely based (at least that’s the common assumption) on the experiences Machiavelli had while traveling with Cesare Borgia, who at the time was on his campaign to unite all of Italy, but if you consider that a satire of the way Cesare ran his army, and many of his contemporaries who read the book did not know, it could be seen as an appropriate “cover” for Machiavelli, pretending to be a Templar sympathiser to avoid implications of him being an Assassin.

        1. Mathias says:

          On top of that (for some reason it cut out in the middle of my edit), Machiavelli was a believer in a state run free of religion, and was censored by the Church for believing that it should be common law, not religion, that should unify Italy, which at the time was little more than city-states, akin to ancient Greece, with a lot of trade and warfare between them.

        2. Vect says:

          I know that in Brotherhood he had a whole Worthy Opponent thing going on with Cesare, saying how he’s “Teh Dangerous” and stuff.

      2. ulrichomega says:

        When do they state that there are 50 of them in AC1? I just finished playing it, and don’t remember that being mentioned. Then again, I finished it at about 10 in the morning after staying up all night, so my memory isn’t what it could be.

        1. Pete says:

          Okay, I just looked it up on youtube, and I was mistaken. Vidic actually says “at least half a dozen”. Though if you count the dots on the map in AC2 it still comes up to a full fifty.

        2. Sleeping Dragon says:

          I’m not sure about the number 50 (it’s been a while) but it has been clearly stated there are multiple. The map that appears at the end of AC1 shows numerous locations and when the good doctor comments on it he states that at least a few are on landmasses that no longer exist (or something to that effect). I think it’s also mentioned (not sure in which part, might not have been in AC1) that Templars got their hands on one of these earlier but lost it or it got damaged or something and are actually looking for a replacement. Also, the apple seen in the 16 pictures (if we assume he means an actual apple and not some symbol or metaphor) is unlikely to be the same one that Ezio gets his hands on since he seals it under the Colosseum and that’s where Desmond recovers it from. So either different apple(s) or it got stolen from that place and then replaced at a later date.

    2. Gamer says:

      Except that isn’t really a revelation because the truth segments from AC2 game reveal that there are at least 6 Apples of Eden. Possibly more.

  19. Alex says:

    The first seven minutes. Now I’m really hoping the sequel is about an alien wizard trying to impregnate Leonardo.

    1. Sumanai says:

      Through dance!

  20. Nawyira says:

    On the subject of boss fights. I found it so very refreshing that basically everyone in the original Assassin’s Creed was vulnerable to the hidden blade. In fact, during the fight with Al-Mualim I just so happened to make a counter move that threw him on the ground literally the first move he made against me. Instinctively I walked over to him, pulled out my blade and, BAM, no more Al-Mualim. That’s the way it should’ve been here aswell, being a boss-character shouldn’t confer invulnerability to the very basic methods of assassination.

    1. Ringwraith says:

      They only thing they are immune to is instant counter-kills with the sword, which is fair enough, as otherwise they would be insanely short fights very easily (whereas the hidden blade takes some practice and this being my first experience with a timing-based combat system like this, I liked being able to block).
      The reason why they’re immune to the hidden blade here is because they don’t actually die during these fights, so they can’t let you pull off a normally-fatal hidden-blade counter on them as it mess up their plot.

      1. Viktor says:

        Immunity to counter-kills with the sword, any hidden blade attacks, and the gun. And you’re trapped in an enclosed area where you can’t run and can’t disguise. That sounds like a lot of mechanics lost. If you’re eliminating that many things to prevent the player killing your plot-critical NPC, maybe you should let him die. Or at least not put the player in a positions where they have to fight him.

        1. Ringwraith says:

          I was referring to AC1’s boss immunities rather than 2’s with the first part, and the second makes sense with regards to making them not killable with hidden blade counters (so basically, laziness on their part) and the gun doesn’t work for the same reason you can insta-kill with the hidden blades (would ruin the plot-driven escape).

      2. Methermeneus says:

        Yes, we know what the game designers were trying to achieve in the boss fight. The problem is that it was a stupid thing to try. The reason for boss fights is generally that you’re fighting someone much tougher than the average opponent, or who is somehow immune to your usual advantages. That is, there is a reason for that toughness or immunity. Take a random space marine shooter. The boss is generally either going to be a piece of tech (say, a ship or a tank), which can be armored out the wazoo and therefore either takes many hits to take down regardless of what weapon you use, or which is armored except for an exhaust, view port, or maintenance panel, which is the small area you have to hit while dodging its fire; or an alien monster which is bigger, tougher, more agile, etc. than the other aliens because, hey, that’s how these aliens’ biology works. The point is, you don’t get your weapons taken away; you can try them, but they won’t work, at least not conventionally. And there’s a reason for that.

        Here, you’re humans fighting humans. Not only that, but it’s a somewhat realistic setting, so you don’t have any teleporting people or twelve-foot-tall freaks of nature for boss battles. This is why everyone keeps harping on Borgia’s physique: To the player he’s a boss, but in-game he’s not. He’s just an old fat guy. I’m not saying there couldn’t be a boss fight here. I don’t think anyone’s saying that. (It’s a little silly, yes, and breaks with the theme of most of the game, but, hey, some people expect boss battles. Fine, put one in.)

        You don’t want Ezio to use his hidden blade? Fine, he had to dump them for the disguise. (Make it more realistic: give the courier short sleeves and now there’s an obvious reason!) Don’t have him use them to take out the whole escort and then not allow their use in the battle. Because, regardless of what the game designers want, that’s not what Ezio would do. You don’t want him doing a counter/stab with the sword? Fine, give Borgia a damn breastplate, and have the sword clang off when he tries. Don’t want Ezio to be able to pull a hay-bale kill? Don’t use a freaking hay cart as set decoration for the fight!

        Do you get where I’m going with this? No one actually cares that it’s hard to kill Borgia. In real life, he was one of the most powerful men in Europe. He should have slews of guards, including his sons, who conquered swaths of territory in his name. He should be behind a fortress. Given the random historical innacuracies of the game, he could very well have been younger, fit, and an accomplished swordsman who Ezio really would have trouble killing if the game designers so desired. But he wasn’t. He was a fat, old man with no armor but plot armor standing in the middle of the street with no guards (well, during three periods in that fight he had no guards, anyway) in front of a young, athletic, skilled, fast assassin.

        The problem is that it’s hard for the player to kill Borgia when it should have been the easiest assassination the character has pulled off yet!

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          The worst thing is that this was completely unnecessary.You get to have another fight with him anyway,but at least that time he will have a piece of eden,which would easily explain why he is so tough.And seeing how he escapes here,there was no reason for him not to send some souped up soldiers against you that are immune to counter kills,while he is running away.

        2. MelTorefas says:

          @Methermeneus: Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Your post describes it perfectly. Spending years and years as a DM taught to hate plot hacks like this.

        3. Methermeneus says:

          Wow, positive reaction to my rant. Also, sorry, Ringwraith, for picking on your post in particular, but it was just the nth post absolving AC2 for its bad game design, where n – 1 = how much of that I can stand.

    2. Vect says:

      Well, I know that in Brotherhood and Revelations that the Papal Guard and Janissaries respectively are immune from counterkills, which they’ll block and get a bit of health nicked off at best. They are however not immune to you calling in your goonsquad to stab them in the back.

    3. Jabrwock says:

      The heavily armoured guards already do a counter to the hidden-blade. You hear this kind of ringing noise, and they grab Ezio’s arms and push him away.

      Making it unavailable is just stupid. Just have the Spaniard properly counter the attack.

  21. Johan says:

    “”How many people have died for this?” He did not just say that! For those of you watching at home: Rodrigo has personally killed one person. (And actually, you had to finish him off.) Ezio has killed dozens, even in the hands of a merciful and careful player. ”
    Hmm? I’ve only watched the SW, so maybe I missed something, but I kind of assumed this was about Ezio’s family (which he started the episode moping about)

    1. Robyrt says:

      If you add indirect deaths, what about all the mercenaries and thieves Ezio has sent to their deaths? Granted, this is usually the fault of someone else suggesting “My men and I will cause a distraction while you kill a dozen people,” but it’s still his responsibility to say “No, I am a superhuman killing machine, I’ll handle this old man and his half-dozen archers.”

    2. Peter H. Coffin says:

      Or it’s a giant case of Ezio implying “Look what you made me do!”

      1. Alex says:

        “This is why we can’t have nice things!”

      2. Sleeping Dragon says:

        “Why are you stabbing yourself?”

    3. Exasperation says:

      Not to mention that Ezio says it while standing on top of the bodies of the three guards he just killed in that cutscene.

      1. acronix says:

        Maybe he has a very narrow definition of people.

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          Game morality: only named NPCs with custom models and dialogue count as people.

          1. Johan says:

            Well, it’s player morality to, an to an extend real world morality. I can see him still being hung up (teehee) about his family being slaughtered even as he mows down mooks.

            1. Sleeping Dragon says:

              Oh, I’m not talking about AC only, and it’s player morality BECAUSE it’s been game morality since forever. It’s not really a new thing either, almost any game that gives the “good-evil” moral choices (don’t even get me started on how arbitrary that is) does, at some point, throw a “kill or spare” thing at you. This is usually after you cut through a legion, or several, of mooks on your way to said choice, this only makes sense when said underlings are in some way non sentient (like simple robots or undead) or somehow totally beyond redemption. To add insult to injury in most cases the mooks are such a pushover the player could disarm or otherwise neutralize them just as easily as kill.

              1. Johan says:

                I don’t really think it’s player morality because it’s game morality, I think it’s player morality because it’s human morality. Propaganda, movies, and armed forces have known since forever that if you conceal the face and make everyone look the same, it dehumanizes whoever is behind it. Since we recognize each other so much by facial cues, anything without a face is much more easily overlooked or deamed unimportant.

                1. Sleeping Dragon says:

                  Oooh, you meant it in this sense. Yeah, I know about this little bit of mental neatness that our brains have been gifted with. There is actually a fun bit of writing floating around the net since the days of yore using this to justify why imperial stormtroopers can’t hit any of the characters in Star Wars.

                  1. Klay F. says:

                    Yeah don’t even get me started on the whole, Palpatine murdered a few hundred (a thousand at most) Jedi and he’s evil, yet Luke Skywalker single handedly murdered well over 1.5 million people, the vast majority of which were conscripted, thing.

                    1. MelTorefas says:

                      Palpatine killed the Jedi to further his personal ambitions of being a galactic dictator. Luke Skywalker blew up the Death Star to stop it from destroying another entire planet.

                      Motivations matter.

                    2. acronix says:

                      Don´t forget about the ewoks!

  22. noahpocalypse says:

    At the end, Shamus says “Oh wait- is she still there with you?”

    The answer is worse than you thought- both whores, your creepy one-eyed plumber uncle, the old thief, the young pimp thief, the very large and buff warrior, and a politician. Six guys and two whores. All in a 5 by 10 feet haystack. Think about it… Think about it…

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      They’re all trying to decipher codex pages in there? Good thing Eagle vision lets you see in the dark!

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Indeed.Imagine using the wrong…word and trying to make it fit into the…overall context.It can end up being very nasty.

    2. Raygereio says:

      So all of them died when Ezio came down on them and skewered their little Assassin-pile with his sword.

      If only Ezio wasn’t too cool for a scabbard.

      1. Kana says:

        Considering the post right above yours…
        I may have my head in the gutter.

        Now if you’ll excuse me, I must update the AS2 shipping wall.

    3. 4th Dimension says:

      I now have a ridiculous picture in my mind of all those Assassins in the pile of hay disentangling themselves, only to hear a noise coming from above. Then they look up, and it’s Bartolomeo flailing his arms around and falling down, his mustache twirling in the wind. Falling along with his huge ass sword Bianca. And that’s how Assassin order perished.

      1. Mathias says:

        And when Ezio lands he lands in a puddle of crushed giblets and a groaning Bartholomeo.

  23. Gamer says:

    I actually thought that this part was very well done, especially in contrast to the carnival segment. Ezio finally grew a brain and used a disguise. I hated the ensuing battle and Rodrigo’s fuckton of health, but the sequence was interesting.

    I will admit that the “everyone’s an assassin” thing didn’t really make sense at first. However, if you consider that the assassins believe that everyone can choose their own path, it makes sense that they wouldn’t force Ezio to join with them. It still doesn’t quite explain why no one besides Mario ever thought to bring this up, but I imagine “By the way, I’m an assassin.” doesn’t really make for good casual conversation.

    1. Thomas says:

      I think the sequence before the fight is brilliant, from the following to the having to get in and get disguised.

    2. 4th Dimension says:

      Might be they weren’t sure he was at that point following their creed. They were waiting to see how things turned out.

    3. krellen says:

      Funny thing about Idiot Balls – when you drop them, it’s even worse, because then it becomes clear that this smart thing you’re doing now is something you probably could have been doing all along.

      Ezio wearing a disguise now is really jarring because of all the times in the past when wearing a disguise would have been a really really good idea, and yet he refused to do so. And there’s no intervening “hey, maybe you should try a disguise” conversation either.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Especially when one of the previous missions was disguising a bunch of thieves that would help you infiltrate a building.

  24. Paul Spooner says:

    20:37 ““ Uhhh. The guy falls, and Ezio is standing there still holding the box. His hands are around the bottom of the box. Didn't he need one of his hands free to pull that off?

    See, when I saw it I thought Ezio has shifted the box to one hand, killed the guard, and then quickly went back the way he was. Presumably to play it off.
    “What? I’m just holding this box! A guy just died? Wow. I wonder how that happened. Oh well, please continue your monologue.”
    Classic comedy material. Too bad they missed it.

  25. drlemaster says:

    You know, this exact gameplay would have been orders of magnitude cooler if it had ditched the Assassin plot, and just been a sandbox about Leonardo Da Vinci secretly being Renaissance-Italy-Batman.

    1. Dovius says:

      That immediatly made an image flash into my mind of Leonardo in Steampunk Power Armour.

        1. Alex the Too Old says:

          ……..That broke my brain.

        2. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Damn you,now I want to have that movie made.Luckily iron sky will come out in few months,so I can at least divert my attention.

        3. Dovius says:

          …yes, like that.
          Damn that’s awesome.

  26. Raygereio says:

    19:47: “You’re in my spot sir.”
    Rutskarn, where did that Swat4 reference come from?

      1. Rutskarn says:

        Correct. Spoony’s reactions to the repeated line in his classic LP are hilarious.

        “You’re in my spot, sir.”

        “Oh, you mother–I WILL PUNCH YOU IN THE *SOUL*.”

  27. lightningstrike14 says:

    Oh man, if you guys think this is bad I can’t imagine what you would do if this was Brotherhood. That game is a textbook example on how not to write a good story, not only is Ezio still a Mary Sue, but everyone thinks he is the greatest person to ever live. Machieavelli is chastised for inserting himself in the main villians group while Ezio wages open war in the streets, and then have the gall to try and say Ezio inspired the Prince. Every thing about that game is just so goddamn infuriating

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Not everything.Gameplay is vastly improved.And seeing how they basically say in the beginning “We dont care what happened then,but we cant access the memory without you going through this first”,you have a perfect excuse to just ignore the plot completely.So at least it doesnt pretend to be something that it isnt,like this story here.

  28. Watching this video (and having played through the game twice), I’ve just realised that one of the sword counters involves kicking the target in the balls…….and I noticed Josh did that a lot to Roderigo…….how tough must that old guys balls be?

    1. Johan says:

      +5 codpiece of holding

    2. Syal says:

      Considering he stood and fought five main characters by himself, you already know they’re brass.

    3. Sleeping Dragon says:

      He is not fat, he just needs all that space under the robe to carry that pair around.

      1. Mathias says:

        Rodrigo would have been Imperial Guard if he hadn’t been born in the wrong millennium. He has a set of heavy-duty brass balls so big they require a wheelchair or some really creative clothing.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Anyone else had this image come to mind?

  29. Dante says:

    After all this, I can only see Ruts as a bottom.

    Now get that image out of your head!

    1. Rutskarn says:

      Well, conventional wisdom does have it that I am a butt.

      1. Irridium says:

        Sorry, I’m a bit behind the times, when did this wisdom come about?

        1. BlackFox says:

          His estranged lover, Jibar, of Jibar vs. Rutskarn fame, once had the bright idea to nickname him Buttskarn, as Rutsky had done something to irritate him. Then Jibar told this nickname to every single one of Rutskarn’s friends, and it stuck.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            My god,you people are all sick!He is just a kid!Weirdos!

            1. Irridium says:

              I’d be sad if I was on the butt end of jokes, too.

              1. BlackFox says:

                Ohhhh don’t think for a second that he hasn’t got us ALL beat for jokes. If you watch his Borderlands recordings, they basically consist of him and sometimes Phase (the one that is not English or somewhat female) trolling the HELL out of us and us vainly attempting to call him a butt.

    2. Sleeping Dragon says:

      I’m sorry, what were you saying? Daddy was in his happy place.

      On that note the one reason why I find it somewhat damaging to my mental health is that in my mind’s eye Josh looks exactly like his avatar here…

  30. rayen says:

    21:18 : Ezio look out! That drunk is going to turn into Agent Smith!

    Also. Has anyone had trouble with youtube lately? It’s taking me upwards of two hours to load a 30 minute video.

  31. Nick-B says:

    I had an issue the first time I escorted the box to the meeting site. While a bard didn’t harass me, I think I ticked off a guard and he SHOVED me, forcing me to drop the box. I couldn’t pick it up in time (due to the constant shoving) in order to regain my position behind the oblivious “escort” that stupidly kept going.

    Pricks. >.<

  32. CalDazar says:

    I liked having Machiavelli in the game. I did feel he should have called Ezio on his stupid crap however.

    1. Mathias says:

      He does in Brotherhood, and it’s glorious.

      1. acronix says:

        Doesn´t he apologize in the end, though?

        1. 4th Dimension says:

          Not exactly. He doesn’t apologize for his expressed opinions. But he does admit Ezio’s methods of taking control of Rome (compared to his cloak and dagger style) work too.

  33. Thk13421 says:

    The first time I saw this, I assumed that the boss had somehow gotten a hold of the apple of Eden, and was trying to trick me. It was the only explanation I could think of for everyone showing up at once. That could have actually been very interesting, in addition to MAKING SENSE.

  34. HiEv says:

    When all of the other characters showed up near the end after the boss fight I almost expected one of them to put their hand on Ezio’s shoulder and say, “Ezio, my friend, this is an intervention.”

  35. swenson says:

    By the way, I have to say, when you first started playing this game, I was like “man, if only the PC controls were better, I would really, really want this game.” Even the Carnivale bit, I could live with.

    But this? This? Yeah. No thanks, I think I’ll pass.


    *mashes head against keyboard*
    huyjy6uhyuh7oio09bg5zdeho li;ehyiehio/;ehyp lwtiiuee ks eytrsusxy xtyu

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      This one isnt that long either if you know what youre doing.

      1. Hitch says:

        Josh had basically been using the hidden blade for everything up to that point. The game took that away, if he’d practiced at all with a sword he could have probably finished in half the time or less.

        1. Tse says:

          And if he had actually bought a better sword….

          1. Raygereio says:

            Upgrading items wouldn’t really have helped in this case as highter damage doesn’t actually do all that much. Sure, changes in the damage stat is the only stat that has a noticable effect when it changes, but it’s still a really small effect.

            Technique is of greater importance in this case. The way to beat Borgia or any enemy that doesn’t die instantly to counters in a reasonably fast manner is to wait until they attack, dodge out of the way and then smack them until they block. Repeat until dead.
            To bad they teach you this at the very start and you only actually need it 2 times at the very end of the game.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Thats what Josh is doing here,but it takes too long because he has crappy sword.It would take at most half that time if he had a good weapon.

          2. Hitch says:

            …or found the formula for Leonardo to make flamer fuel.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Or something even better.

    2. Paul Spooner says:

      After analyzing the character distribution of “*mashes head against keyboard*” I find the first section quite plausible. It has a nice spatial cluster on a standard keyboard layout. However, after the first 17 characters the pattern converts to a characteristic “random” finger typing, with a large number of “e” and “eh” pairs and non-clustered groups. For reference, actual forehead-keyboard-mashing looks like this:
      As you can see, it is quite short (only one character per forehead mash) and has no discernible linguistic pattern, being governed more by spatial position than by finger memory.
      I suspect the author smacked his head (at most) only a few times, and then supplemented with lazy key mashing using his fingers.
      Therefore, I give this comment a “6” out of “context”

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        You sir win the interwebs.

      2. Shamus says:

        Here is an actual forehead smash, which I just performed:

        hy6 bnnhjbuynhbjum

        I believe the space is due to my nose hitting the spacebar. It’s possible that different faces will yield different patterns.

        1. Tuck says:

          This sounds like excellent Ph.D level research. Also possibly Ignobel-prize material.

          1. Sumanai says:

            One of my Finnish teachers told us, when we were around 15, about a time when he was at an university party. An official thing with teachers and so on. There were a few guys, Finnish majors, who were talking about the etymology of the word “paska” (lit. “shit”) in serious tones. He found it extremely funny.

      3. MelTorefas says:

        You’ve made me so very happy.

      4. swenson says:

        …my good sir, I am quite impressed. You’re more or less correct. Face mashing hurts if you try to do it for more than a short period of time.

        I think I did try a bit of elbow mashing in there too, though.

  36. Ron says:

    Wouldn’t the other Assassins have been branded as well? If Ezio didn’t notice that then he should probably look into a profession that requires less observation. You would think that he would have been able to perceive something with his magical EVERYONE GLOWS A DISTINCT COLOR BASED UPON VERY SPECIFIC CHARACTERISTICS VISION!

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Eagle vision is a bit…wonky.Its never clear whether you see it because of animus,or because ezio used it.And even when you can use it in real life,it still isnt clear how it affects things you perceive.

      1. Ringwraith says:

        Eagle Vision is used to represent his sort of ‘sixth sense’ of being able to judge someone’s general intentions or simply having the good eyesight and be able to recognise them at a distance, which is why you can use it pick out guards from a crowd and whoever the important person you need to kill is.
        Like the one mission in AC1 with the target randomly dressed up very similarly to several other guys around the city, with only one distunishing feature to separate him from the rest.

        1. Mathias says:

          It’s the “Sixth Sense” of Those Who Came Before, imprinted upon bloodlines that had a strong connection to said aliens. The reason why Desmond, Altaà¯r and Ezio all have it is because they’re, well, related.

        2. Gale says:

          Which makes sense, right up until Desmond uses it to read messages written in blood that’s already been cleaned up, or traces of fingertip warmth on keypads, or numbers that nobody else can even see. At this point, Eagle Vision is more like a sense that detects knowledge or truth or something else vaguely-defined and plot convenient.

          1. acronix says:

            Let´s just call it “Plot Convinient Sense”.

    2. Raygereio says:

      To be fair, that brand looks like something that can be easily concealed with a glove or even a ring.

  37. CalDazar says:

    You know people are giving a lot of hate toward eveybody being an Assassin, but it’s not the part that struck me as the most weird.

    Everybody is wearing their regular clothing. Why is that exactly? Did the women climb that tower in a dress? Ezio may only wear one outfit, but at least it is armour. He doesn’t run into battle with one hand hiking up his skirts, although that is very funny.

    1. Alex says:

      If only they’d remembered to bring their impractical numbered gold masks, then they’d be inconspicuous.

    2. 4th Dimension says:

      It’s because art department couldn’t be bothered to make new models for this one scene only. And maybe players wouldn’t recognize all these characters without their grab.

      That is nothing compared to Caterina Sforza fighting like a sh**ton of mooks storming her castle in her gown, and than jumping all over tover and wires in it.

    3. acronix says:

      Evidently, assasins get the “Unhindered by any kind of cloth or armor” free perk.

  38. ClearWater says:

    It looks like Josh’s title in the intro is missing a letter. I think it’s missing a H.

    1. Hitch says:

      Good catch.

  39. JPH says:

    Unrelated: Hey Shamus, you played Serious Sam 3 yet? You should play Serious Sam 3. Shooting space monkey is fun.

  40. Phoenix says:

    Epic boss battle anyway! :D

  41. Wolverine says:

    Hey, Shamus, if you are going to do these timed annotations, could you do them in YouTube instead of a blog post? It is difficult to watch and try to catch the annotations at the same time…

  42. Brian Ballsun-Stanton says:

    I’d be happy to play a Tropico RPG with you, online somehow. Have you considered an Ars Magica setting? Then we can get a nice mythic europe along with our cigars.

  43. JAO5 says:

    “14:35 ““ Game designer says, ‘Ha ha! GOTCHA!'”

    Actually, I’m fairly certain that that’s just the path the Agile takes – he goes into the smaller alleyway just to the right of the bridge, which takes him along a path that circles all the way back around to the square. At least, that’s the route he took earlier, which led to Josh hopping in and out of the hay bale. It’s true that it’s still basically him doubling back, but it wasn’t that he actually turned around and retraced his steps.

  44. Johan says:

    You know, thinking about it this sequence looks (similarly to the carnivel sequence) a lot like a place where the devs said “ok, we need to mix this up somehow.” It would have made a lot more sense for this ARTIFACT OF DOOOOOOOOOOM to be taken to Borgia by a procession of say 100 guards (and would have given a good reason why Ezio couldn’t just kill-and-take), but they’ve already had several sequences where Ezio follows slow moving people from the rooftops, or by blending, so they decided to try to mix things up here. So good theory gameplaywise, bad execution narrativewise.

  45. Jarenth says:

    So, here’s a random thought.

    Ezio is dressed as a guard for a little while. Meanwhile, the Grand Assassin Scooby Gang is stalking the Apple, waiting for a good opening to attack.

    Can you imagine Mario attacking the procession before they reached Rodrigo? Because an attack like that would most likely have started with them stabbing all the ‘guards’ to death.

    Just take a moment to imagine that scene.

    1. Jabrwock says:

      I saw Mario and figured he’d turn out to be a turncoat. But running in to stab Ezio unknowingly and take the artifact would have been hilarious.

  46. 4th Dimension says:

    Might I inquire what happened to the rest of the episodes that were supposed to be aired this week?

    1. Shamus says:

      On the way.

      End-of-season eps are always edit-heavy, and so Josh had to put in overtime.

  47. Amnestic says:

    So…did any of the other assassins lose a finger for their Hidden Blades? Did Ezio’s daddy? I mean, the only reason why Ezio didn’t was because Leonardo was allowed a rare moment of not-stupid by the game designers. We know that Giovanni definitely had a Hidden Blade since it was passed on to Ezio. And yet, from a quick glance at screenshots around the AC2 wiki, it seems like all of these characters have their fingers. How can they be called Assassins if they’ve not been trained in the use of their most iconic weapon?

    Also: “That kicked me in the history dick!”

    Best line of the episode.

    1. 4th Dimension says:

      Ummm, actually I think I remember Altair writing how he discontinued this practice when he started remaking the order into a more decentralized covert force.

    2. Nidokoenig says:

      I vaguely remember the cutscene were Leonardo talked about it, he trolled Ezio by saying that, according to the plans, it required a finger to be cut off. Ezio said “Do it” and Leonardo thwacked the table with a meat cleaver. He said it had been modified since then, i.e. before he got hold of it.

      1. Amnestic says:

        Hmm, it’s not stated whether it was Leonardo’s modification or Altair’s, though I suppose the “it showed me exactly what to do” implies that it was Altair’s.

        Still, that would then imply that Giovanni (who was apparently the only other person to be able to decode the codex pages) constructed the Hidden Blades for all of the assassins. La Volpe, Antonio, Bartolomeo, Machiavelli, the two llllllladies, Mario (okay, that one’s believable)…And yet we never see them using them.

        And, wait, if Giovanni could decode all the codex pages, why did he only have one Hidden Blade with the junk in his trunk?

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