Assassin’s Creed is a series that simultaneously loves and ignores history. But that just makes us love the stories more, right?
By Phoebe Hewitt
Published Jun 03, 2021
Assassin’s Creed has never been a?franchise to get too bogged down in its own historical accuracy. Nonetheless, it has ended up teaching much of its player base some valuable lessons in world history and mythology. Its catalog of games ranges from?Ancient Egyptian lore all the way to sea shanties?in the 18th Century’s Golden Age of Piracy.
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With so many games and historical periods to draw from, the franchise’s player-base has?wasted no time through the years in creating a plethora of memes?mocking?the bad game mechanics?and weird ways Assassin’s Creed has portrayed various historical periods and figures.?These memes are for those who loved learning about history, whether it be from the school textbooks or Assassin’s Creed itself.
It must be an experience to?watch the games?tear their own accuracy to shreds.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey took us to 422BC, placing us in the sandals of a mercenary fighting for both sides of the Peloponnesian War between the Spartans and Athenians.
If you’ve played the game, you’ll know?that the term “Malakas” was thrown around a fair few times. Reddit u/ToxicSkittles05?has shown,?but do you know what it means? Directly translated from Greek, the word means “man who masturbates”. Though the term changes depending on how it’s used, it’s nearly always used to describe an idiot.
Assassin’s Creed Origins was the series’ deep dive into the heart of Ancient Egypt near the end of the Ptolemaic period around 43 BC. If there’s one thing Assassin’s Creed fans love to ridicule, it’s Ubisoft’s love of getting bogged down?in its own historical accuracy before promptly throwing it out the window.
As Reddit u/KayRib shows, if their portrayal of Cleopatra?hadn’t?done enough for Egyptian history fans, then?the Trials of the Gods segment was sure to get their attention (but how else were you going to get that?cool Anubis outfit?)
Players of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla couldn’t wait to get in their ships and be blasted with Norse mythology. However,?those who knew the history of the Viking conquests of Wessex saw the inevitable before it hit the metaphorical fan.
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A confident Eivor frequently tells Aelfred that England will soon realize Viking rule.?History fans must have nervously laughed in?the background?given the knowledge that this plan was not going to end well. Yikes.
Reddit u/camp-cope managed to snag a photo of this Twitter exchange from someone obviously angry about Ubisoft’s addition of gay and lesbian relationships in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Not only is?the Twitter user wrong on the Grecians apparent homophobia, but also…Christianity?
There are many well-known gay Greek?relationships with Homer’s Achilles and Patroclus openly depicted as lovers in the archaic and classical periods of Greek literature. Let’s also not forget the?LGBTQ+ relationships even?seen among the Greek gods of Olympus. This isn’t the first time Assasin’s Creed has been accurate in their portrayal of?LGBTQ history either. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood’s Leonard Da Vinci is depicted as openly gay?–?a fact many historians believe to be accurate about him.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey allowed you to play both sides in?a mythologized Peloponnesian War between the Spartans and Athenians. This gave many the chance to have that 300 “This is Sparta” moment for their very own, as shown from Reddit u/halfcafian.
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Odyssey gave Classics buffs the game they’d always wanted?with an homage to Greek myths and literature alongside everyone’s second favorite 300 references:?the Spartan Kick. Players had the edge over enemies with a one-hit KO off the edge of cliffs. We all felt?like the Spartan hero?everyone’s always dreamed of.
If there’s something all fans can agree on, it’s what Reddit u/mariusiv put into meme form. The sea shanties you got to listen to whilst cruising the 18th century Caribbean in Black Flag were downright bops. The Greek songs from Odyssey were also hypnotic and entrancing.
Apart from being a great backing track on your adventure, Ubisoft also went as far as making sure all 35 of Black Flag’s songs originated, for the most part, from around the Golden Age of Piracy itself. These sea shanties have since gone down as one of players’ favorite elements of the game?and made history buffs shed a small tear for the effort. Bravo Ubisoft.
When?Assassin’s Creed debuted back in 2007, Ubisoft showed they?wanted games that?prioritized?historical accuracy. This resulted in the removal of the crossbow shown in the debut cinematic trailer before the game’s launch.
Fast forward to today, however, and fans like Reddit u/NRGpop?are quick to point out what’s happened in the 14 years since. If riding?a wolf mount?like the badass Viking in Assasin’s Creed Valhalla has you angry though,?don’t look too closely at the unlockable?mounts?in?Assasin’s Creed Odyssey.
We’ve all got “that” friend — the one that told us about how a bronze bar was made from smelting copper and tin ore when we actually learned it from Runescape’s Tutorial Island. But hey, knowledge is knowledge, rightAs Reddit u/ArcadiaXLO shows, sometimes it’s hard to explain just how you know so much about Ancient Greek history and myth.
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So having your helpful friend “Kassandra” or “Alexios” handy to back up your sick Grecian trivia at your next dinner party sure can come in handy. Just maybe don’t say “My friend Socrates”.
Players of Assasin’s Creed Origins are more than aware of how their Medjay protagonist Bayek of Siwa was often not at the mercy of The Order of the Ancients, but as Reddit u/kissehh_unbanned?shows, those hungry, hungry hippos.
One of players’ favorite additions to the Assassin’s Creed repertoire was being able to tame these fearsome beasts, alongside lions, hyenas, and even crocodiles. Although hunted to extinction around the 19th century, the hippo population of Ancient Egypt was no joke. Taweret, the goddess of life, regeneration, and birth was based on the hippo’s image.
The Egyptians noted how ferociously a mother would protect her calf with more than one having suffered their wrath, as Bayek also discovers more than once.
Assassin’s Creed Templars are loosely based on the Knights Templar; a group of devout Christians that protected European travelers wishing to visit the Holy Lands of Jerusalem after Christian forces took over in medieval times. They?are remembered today as some of History’s most aggressive fighters and were a powerful political force before their disbandment some 700 years ago by Pope Clement V in 1312.
The Templars we meet in?Assassin’s Creed, however, are a slightly different depiction of these fierce fighters; having done some?pretty despicable things?and somehow managing?to creep their way into every inch of history, as?Reddit u/FreestyleToGulag?shows.
But if history fans were looking for a game with historical accuracy, maybe they’d be better off not looking at one where two ancient orders take part in a never-ending historical war for artifacts. Maybe.
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Assassin’s Creed Origins
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
About The Author
(55 Articles Published)
Phoebe is originally from England but has decided to have a break from the rain and is now freezing herself in Calgary, Canada. She worked as an archaeologist for 5 years but unlike Lara Croft, never got to fight a T-Rex. She’s still scared of Lavender Town.
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