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whatr_those
10-26-2015, 01:08 AM
Let's talk about Shaun freaking Hastings.


http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/assassinscreed/images/3/3b/AC2_Shaun_Desmond_Hideout.png/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/400?cb=20121008162907

Shaun was introduced as the historian/archivist of the group who provided tactical support to field operatives in the Order, as well as support via his cryptography and hacking skills. He was a bit of a smartass - just a bit - but a valuable asset to the team, nonetheless. You, as Desmond, weren't on his good side because, to him, you weren't "actually doing [anything]" of substance to contribute to the Assassin war effort. The way he put it may have been received as being a bit self-contradictory ("Risking their lives, little things like that."); he left you wondering what gave him the right to mouth off about an Assassin not doing risky field work, seeing as how he himself was sitting safely behind the screen of his computer only providing tactical support and archiving historical data. He later elaborates on this after being confronted by Desmond during one of the latter's periods of respite:


"Iím not out there cause my expertise lies in other areas. And to be honest, I prefer it that way. But make no mistake, Desmond, Iím an Assassin through and through. Iíve killed before, I expect to kill again. Itís just that Iíd prefer not to." óShaun

He was consistent in his contributions to the team, still providing analytical and tactical support, as well as archiving information found in the Animus into the database, with some historical trivia and witty banter to add on the side. Along with Rebecca (less so with Rebecca, though), Shaun, despite his sentiment above, didn't come off as a dependable field operative... that is until after Desmond's death.


http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/assassinscreed/images/d/db/AC4_Shaun_Hastings_undercover.png/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/400?cb=20131114193640

In order to find out what became of Desmond's body after his death and capture, as well as burrow deeper into Abstergo's cloud servers, Shaun and Rebecca had to go out into the field as spies and utilize the 'fanatic' John Standish - quite a feat of espionage and social stealth in general, seeing as Shaun was the one who remained at Abstergo to facilitate communication with Rebecca, who acted as a courier for the data obtained by the Abstergo analyst. This was when we found out that, at minimum, Shaun was adept in the art of social stealth.

And then Syndicate came along...

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate spoilers follow

http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/assassinscreed/images/c/c0/ACS-Shaun-Rebecca.png/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/400?cb=20151023131646

Now he and Rebecca are in the field in the most literal way, similar to Desmond in his last days. Equipped with electroshock hidden blades, the two are now performing dangerous infiltration missions to obtain critical information regarding the Pieces of Eden. Just after revealing themselves to Isabelle Ardant, preparing to assassinate her, they were cornered by Berg and Violet. Having an escape plan, Rebecca detonates the set explosives in the office and then something jaw-dropping happens: the duo perform a Leap of Faith off the high story building without hesitation. This isn't as eyebrow raising in Rebecca's case, seeing as how, prior to breaking her leg, she said she was "strapping on a board and dropping out of a helicopter". With Shaun, however, it's quite. Not only is he wearing a casual suit in the act, but he executes his leap masterfully, like any other highly-skilled Assassin.

Later, during the 'raid' of sorts on the London vault to acquire the Shroud of Eden, we see Shaun live up to his earlier sentiment: despite preferring not to kill, he tells Rebecca and Galina to kill all of the Templars in the vault, going on to increase his own kill count with the stealth assassination of Isabelle Ardant.

The most jarring effect Shaun performing a Leap of Faith and a stealth assassination had was the realization that he quite possibly is one of the most versatile known Assassins in history, despite being sidelined for so long. Whereas Galina is essentially a replacement for Desmond (maybe not as skilled, yet) and Rebecca is more or less an athletic technologist, Shaun is capable of contributing on a variety of fronts, including hacking, cryptology, history, analysis and deductive reasoning (figured out the meaning behind "72"), espionage, seeming Animus maintenance (in Unity, alongside Bishop), and co-op field missions.


http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/assassinscreed/images/8/8d/ACi-ShaunTexas.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/400?cb=20131022072144

His immense versatility aside, Shaun is admirable not only for his vast array of skills, but also for his convictions; they come off as being very pure Assassin ideologies, arguably more so than those of some of the more prominent protagonists in the series. For example, whereas Connor assisted Washington - a slave holder - and never even questioned him on how he could fight for liberty from Great Britain yet still so comfortably own slaves, unable to realize the specific group of people Washington and his cohorts were fighting for until it was too late and inadvertently causing the mass-eradication of his people (depending on your perspective), Shaun pointed out the contradiction between Washington's quest for liberty and ownership of slaves to Desmond:


Shaun: "I keep trying to understand how men like Washington and Jefferson could dedicate their lives to the pursuit of liberty and equality, yet have no problem owning slaves. It's hypocritical in the extreme. And your history books make only passing mention of the subject. As if... as if it were of little consequence."
Desmond: "They had a war to win. A country's future to secure. How could they deal with all these issues at the same time?"
Shaun: "Spoken like a true apologist. We hear it today too. That matters of civil rights and equality must wait. There are conflicts to settle. Economies to salvage. What do any of these things matter if the people are not free and equal? All of them."

His dedication to the Order isn't a product of, say, forced obligation (Altair; he knew nothing else), lineal commitment (Ezio initially became involved w/ the Assassins because it was a part of his ancestry), or a transitional change in perception (Edward; transition from acquisitive materialist to a follower of the Creed), but rather having ideals already in-line with those of the Assassins from the start; Shaun has always held beliefs in-line with those of the Assassins, despite not being born into the Order.

Shaun may be a bit of an *******, but he's a highly-skilled and -intelligent, valuable and respectable *******.

Locopells
10-26-2015, 01:25 AM
You're gonna make me post that song again, aren't you?!

Oh, what the hell:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMPYw72G8ic

VestigialLlama4
10-26-2015, 03:21 AM
I always felt that Shaun Hastings, and Rebecca, were the most human and relatable of the MD Assassins. They didn't have the baggage of Desmond "Jimmy Special" Miles, they don't have Subject 16 having his brain melted, Lucy being a Triple-Double Agent and William Miles being an a--hole. They joined because of conviction and commitment and you have to respect that. Desmond, if not for Abstergo and Juno, would have been a bartender scraping to make a living. Of course he's a likable guy too.

I think Syndicate shows a nicer side of Shaun

Alphacos007
10-26-2015, 08:21 AM
I love them, Shaun and Rebecca are awesome, I just dislike their redesign on this game. I mean, every character had face changes through the game, but on Syndicate it went too far, I only recognized them by the voice, if they had not spoken, I wouldn't know it was them.

Loco, where does that music come from? It looks a lot like Shauns voice lol

VestigialLlama4
10-26-2015, 08:26 AM
I love them, Shaun and Rebecca are awesome, I just dislike their redesign on this game. I mean, every character had face changes through the game, but on Syndicate it went too far, I only recognized them by the voice, if they had not spoken, I wouldn't know it was them.

Well they are what four years older than they were in AC3. So some changes would be logical. Shaun has Morrisey's hair style so that makes him odd.

ACHILLES4713
10-26-2015, 09:07 AM
I love them, Shaun and Rebecca are awesome, I just dislike their redesign on this game. I mean, every character had face changes through the game, but on Syndicate it went too far, I only recognized them by the voice, if they had not spoken, I wouldn't know it was them.

Loco, where does that music come from? It looks a lot like Shauns voice lol

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Wallace_%28humourist%29
Danny Wallace (the actor who plays Shaun) is a singer, comedian, writer, as well as an actor. He's done a bunch of different stuff. The song in the video is the song he sang for his TV show How to Start Your Own Country.

Alphacos007
10-26-2015, 09:32 AM
Well true, but they wouldn't change completely is a 3 years span (they appeared in AC4 too), they're not teens in puberty. I expected them to be different, but not this much.

cawatrooper9
10-26-2015, 02:51 PM
I thought Shaun and Rebecca were REALLY annoying in ACII- they just seemed to be too much, like that friend who always jokes around and never takes anything seriously.

Honestly, I felt this way until Desmond died.

Then, when I saw them in Black Flag, it was fantastic! Black Flag puts you into this soulless office building full of Templars, so seeing Shaun and Rebecca in the middle of it felt like seeing old friends (as well as the exciting implications that the Assassins were infiltrating Abstergo Entertainment).

Alphacos007
10-26-2015, 03:05 PM
Shaun was indeed kinda annoying in AC2, but I liked him in the next games, specially on AC3. His comments about the revolution were hilariously funny and on point.

Senningiri_GR
10-26-2015, 04:00 PM
I actually liked Shaun as I found him very funny and with and irony towards everyone. I never thought we would see him in action. Also he hasn't really changed, just the hair and that he looks taller.

Locopells
10-26-2015, 06:06 PM
Shaun was indeed kinda annoying in AC2, but I liked him in the next games, specially on AC3. His comments about the revolution were hilariously funny and on point.

Bear in mind that ACII takes place over only two MD days, during which Des spends most of his time in the Animus, so him and Shaun don't really warm up to each other until later. And yes, +1 on the revolution commentary...

whatr_those
10-26-2015, 09:53 PM
I actually liked Shaun as I found him very funny and with and irony towards everyone. I never thought we would see him in action. Also he hasn't really changed, just the hair and that he looks taller.
I also didn't see much of a drastic change in his design in Syndicate either. It's really just a higher definition model of his previous ones, with slightly 'shinier' hair.


I thought Shaun and Rebecca were REALLY annoying in ACII- they just seemed to be too much, like that friend who always jokes around and never takes anything seriously.

Honestly, I felt this way until Desmond died.

Then, when I saw them in Black Flag, it was fantastic! Black Flag puts you into this soulless office building full of Templars, so seeing Shaun and Rebecca in the middle of it felt like seeing old friends (as well as the exciting implications that the Assassins were infiltrating Abstergo Entertainment).
I didn't think they were that much annoying in ACII, but I do agree that the transition from them doing behind-the-scenes tech work and such to actually being in the field with you, in a place full of Templars, was indeed fantastic and even reassuring (from the perspective of an Abstergo analyst).

They literally DID infiltrate Abstergo Entertainment and that feat of espionage was a sweet addition to their repertoire skills, showing that on top of being expert hackers and tactical supporters, they're also pretty damn competent field operatives/spies as well.

cawatrooper9
10-26-2015, 10:08 PM
They literally DID infiltrate Abstergo Entertainment and that feat of espionage was a sweet addition to their repertoire skills, showing that on top of being expert hackers and tactical supporters, they're also pretty damn competent field operatives/spies as well.

Yeah, it was fantastic and comforting to see them, but the whole time I was like:
"What are you guys doing here? You're gonna get hurt, get out of here!"