PDA

View Full Version : The Ideology of Peace in the first Assassin's Creed?



Aisoreal
05-27-2014, 02:31 PM
Hi guys,

Please help me out here.

I'm doing research (Masters thesis) on the ideology of peace that's communicated in the first AC game.
After playing it, and scouring through the in-game transcript, I have come to these conclusions:

-Religion and God, as well as sacred texts are elements that are mentioned repeatedly. And usually in an unfavourable light, as in men justifying their actions by using faith and God's name (for both Crusaders and Saracens). Example dialogue,

Altair: Conquered the Holy Land?
Sibrand: Freed it you fool! From the tyranny of faith

-There can only be peace when there is order. And order can only be achieved when men are controlled and disciplined (robbed of their free will), as was mentioned by various characters, such as Vidic and Al Mualim.

I don't know, but I feel that there is contradiction here: I mean if Al Mualim wants peace through order and discipline, isn't that what religion is supposed to do? Then why is he against religion and God so much? Does he still serve the Templar in the end? Or just his own personal motives?

-There is no room for diplomacy, like when Altair said "Some men cannot be reasoned with" and as such that is why war and violence is key to achieving peace.

There are multitudes of representations in the game as well. I think the Piece of Eden is meant to represent all the illusions that men have blinded themselves with, using things such as faith and God, and it's also meant to represent our justification for our ignorance of questioning what is true and what is not.

The feather that Altair uses to mark with blood after each assassination, what does this represent? That freedom (feather) can only be achieved when evil is slaughtered (blood)?

If I have any other that I missed, please feel free to tell me. And tell me what you guys think. I truly appreciate the input!

Locopells
05-27-2014, 02:36 PM
From the Codex in ACII,


What follows are the three great ironies of the Assassin Order:

(1) Here we seek to promote peace, but murder is our means.
(2) Here we seek to open the minds of men, but require obedience to a master and set of rules.
(3) Here we seek to reveal the danger of blind faith, yet we are practitioners ourselves.

I have no satisfactory answer to these charges, only possibilities... Do we bend the rules in service to a greater good? And if we do, what does it say of us? That we are liars? That we are frauds? That we are weak? Every moment is spent wrestling with these contradictions and in spite of all the years I've had to reflect, still I can find no suitable answer... And I fear that one may not exist.

Nothing is true. Everything is permitted. Does our creed provide the answer, then? That one may be two things – opposite in every way – simultaneously? And why not? Am I not proof? We of noble intentions, possessed of barbaric means? We who celebrate the sanctity of life and then promptly take it from those we deem our enemies?

From the AC Wiki:


The three great ironies were observations that described the contradictions between the Creed, and the actions of the Assassins who followed it. They were:


The Assassins seek to promote peace, but commit murder.
The Assassins seek to open the minds of men, but require obedience to rules.
The Assassins seek to reveal the danger of blind faith, yet practice it themselves.

Though seemingly hypocritical, the ironies did not undermine the Assassins' cause. Rather, they demonstrated the way in which they embraced contradiction, "that one may be two things – opposite in every way – simultaneously.

Aisoreal
05-27-2014, 03:22 PM
AH! Yes, the ironies and contradictions! Thank you so much!



From the Codex in ACII,



From the AC Wiki:

jdowny
05-27-2014, 04:02 PM
Interesting topic for a thesis. This is why I love AC, that it touches on subjects that are incredibly deep, complex and ancient. It's not as simple as good vs evil or right wing vs left wing, but free will and order, and the advantages and disadvantages of both. It's an almost bottomless subject.

But to your points:

- I don't think AC has ever been expressly anti-religious. It just warns against the blindness of faith and the dangers of extremism. As someone with religious faith, I entirely agree with this idea. If anything, it has encouraged me to question every aspect of religion, politics and news instead of receiving it on trust.

- 'There can only be peace when there is order.' This one's a tricky one. I don't have enough knowledge of AC lore or quotes to hand to fully argue the details of this point, but again - it's an incredibly deep subject and without a satisfying answer. On the one hand it's true - order = peace. But on the other hand, taking away free will is a violent act and therefore not peaceful. This is why the Assassin philosophy is more realistic. I don't think they strive solely for peace (at least no one that I can think of), but simply to retain free will. Of course true and universal peace is, I think, impossible when people have their free will, but this is the price we pay. One of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite characters:

'This Templar fantasy of his is dangerous. It flies in the face of reality. The world is a tapestry of many colours and patterns; a just leader would celebrate this, not seek to unravel it.'
Suleiman.

But then this brings us to our free will. Another excellent piece of dialogue in AC comes with the battle between Connor and Haytham - the old, cynical, intelligent vs the young, impressionable, naive, headstrong. (I know you're only referring to the first AC, but this is still some of the strongest writing I've ever seen in gaming.)

'The sheep need a shepherd... under our rule all would be equal. Do the Patriots offer the same?'
'They offer freedom.'
'Which I've told you - time and time again - is dangerous. There will never be consensus son, between those who help to ascend. They will each differ in their views on what it means to be free. The peace you so desperately seek does not exist.'
'No. Together they will forge something new - better than what came before.'
'These men are united now by a common cause. But when this battle is finished they will fall to fighting amongst themselves about how best to ensure control. In time it will lead to war. You will see.'
'The Patriot leaders do not seek control. There will be no monarch here. The people will have the power - as they should.'
'The people never have the power - only the illusion of it. And here's the real secret - they don't want it. The responsibility is too great to bear. It's why they're so quick to fall in line as soon as someone takes charge. They want to be told what to do. They yearn for it. Little wonder, that, since all mankind was built to serve.'

You make an excellent point about the PoE representing the illusions men bind themselves too. I'd go further with that, since it also represents people's willingness to submit, to be controlled, to accept blindly. It's the embodiment of a lot of fairy tales and myths - the el dorado, pandora's box etc (there are loads more). A kind of promised land.

Never thought about the feather much. I think it's significant that it's a white feather (perhaps an eagle's, though I don't know of any white eagles). I'm sure you can look more deeply into the symbolism of birds and eagles (which is incredibly common throughout history and cultures). But birds such as white doves often represent freedom, purity, truth, hope. The Holy Spirit in Christianity is often represented by a bird (look to the story of Noah and the flood for similar ideas). So therefore I think you're right - blood on the feather is likely a symbol of the necessity of violence in order to uphold peace - or the need to fight for truth. Purity, at least in a very dishonest world, is not enough to guarantee peace.

I'm trying to think of other possible symbols. The eagle is a common motif in AC 1 - Altair roughly means 'the flying bird,' and a lot of his clothing and weapons is laden with that sort of symbolism. Other than that, you could look to the characters - none of them are entirely evil or saintly, but instead exist in shades of grey, the protagonist included. I think each one of the Templars represents a weakness of humanity that could very well cause them to lose faith in it - whether that's vanity/humiliation (Abu'l Nuqoud), greed (Majd Addin, al-Mualim), loss of religious faith (Sibrand), political disenchantment (William of Montferrat). Jubair al-Hakim is an excellent example of freedom of speech and the hypocrisy of the Assassins (which could then be linked to an ideology of peace.) These are just off the top of my head, and I may be going completely off on a tangent.

But the depth of symbolism in religious and political subjects are some of the many reasons why I love the AC series, and in particular AC1. Can I ask what you're studying?

DumbGamerTag94
05-27-2014, 04:46 PM
Hi guys,

I don't know, but I feel that there is contradiction here: I mean if Al Mualim wants peace through order and discipline, isn't that what religion is supposed to do? Then why is he against religion and God so much? Does he still serve the Templar in the end? Or just his own personal motives?



The feather that Altair uses to mark with blood after each assassination, what does this represent? That freedom (feather) can only be achieved when evil is slaughtered (blood)?



Al Mualim, while secretly associated with the Templars unknown to Altair, Is not loyal to the Templar cause. Al Mualim just wants the POE. He orders Altair to kill them all so that he "doesn't have to share" the POE. He used it to turn the people into mindless zombie followers because he saw the world as only seeing peace if under his complete control. Which is not exactly what the Templars want, while they admit to wanting more control and to eliminate differences in ideologies and thoughts(religious, scientific, cultural) they didn't ever want zombies, only a stable and controlled peace, and Robert's words to Altair at Arsuf tend to agree with that point. While we never fully get the complete picture of what the Templars wanted to ultimately do in that game, we do get from their words and Altair and Al Mualim's at the end, that it is not as severe as what Al Mualim did, as they seem angered/fearful/betrayed by him.


As for the feather........dude sometimes a feather is just a feather.

People tend to look way to far into things partially because it has been glorified as a type of profession these days(English Teachers, Art Critics, Movie Reviewers, etc)
For example an author could write:

"The blue curtain fluttered in the night breeze".

An English Teacher would be all over it...... Oh the blue curtain is a symbol of human sadness(blue) as they float uncontrollably through their lives(destiny) and the darkness outside represents our confusion at the road ahead of us(since it is dark and the wind is coming from there)

However the author could walk right in and say.......Oh?! Really????? Nahhhhh....in all honesty I was just describing what the room looked like. All I meant by it was "The blue curtain fluttered in the night breeze".

So sometimes a feather is just a feather and a curtain is just a curtain. You see what I mean. You can honestly find meaning in any object or picture and make it a symbol for something else, yet that does not mean that is what it was intended for. In ACs case I honestly believe using a feather as a marker only means that......The assassins use feathers stained with blood to prove they killed their target....nothing more....no deeper meaning. But if you really wanted to you could force it to mean something to you if you wanted, a symbol is only a symbol if you view it that way.

Take for example a swastika. Previously it was a symbol of peace, balance, and the circle of life in ancient India. Then later on it became just a meaningless symbol(like anything in wingdings font). It was only given its current meaning during the Events in WW2 and now is associated with evil, racism, and death. The kind of symbol that can get you called to the principals office(headmaster for you Europeans on here) for drawing on a wall. How does something go from meaning good things, to meaning nothing, to meaning evil? Perception. Because you are taught it is evil.

A person who lived in the middle of nowhere their whole life and never learned of WW2 would just see it and think nothing of it. In all truth a swastika is only a swastika it is your perception and what you have been taught that gives it any kind of meaning. The same goes for any other kind of symbol. A Cross, Star of David, Crescent Moon, Bald Eagle(US), Lion(Britain), Hammer and Cycle(Communism). The list goes on and on. To a person who doesn't know, or if we are never told ourselves all of these things would mean nothing. It is based all on what you want to see when you look at it. It just happens that they have agreed meanings, and we teach each other that is what they mean. There is no real power or true "meaning" to any of these things they are just what they are at face value in all truth. The "meaning" is a nonexistent thing we create in our own minds. Just like the English Teacher takes an authors intended description of a curtain, and tries to make it a symbol for the human condition.

It is somewhat a result of the tendency for blind faith that we assign meaning to such silly inanimate objects. I know this is probably not what you were expecting or looking for as a response, but I hope it helps. Maybe you could include it somehow as an analysis of humanities tendency to just blindly accept/follow. But the feather is just a feather.

jdowny
05-27-2014, 05:13 PM
Err, that's weird logic. You seem to be saying that because we give things meanings, we should therefore disregard all meaning. We're humans - our entire lives are filled with meaning. That doesn't make it useless.

I see what you're saying - we can often apply meaning to things that might not be there, but that's a subjective thing and kind of the entire purpose of being. Okay, the hypothetical author you mentioned might not have intended the curtain flowing in the breeze to mean anything, but does that make the person who interpreted it to mean something wrong? Of course not. That's that person's opinion. It would be dull if we all conformed to the author's beliefs.

So no, I don't necessarily agree with you about the feather in AC. If it meant nothing, then why not wipe your target's blood on a cloak or a piece of cloth? Or for that matter why get blood on anything in the first place? The feather's been put there for a reason. I don't think it's a coincidence that the bird motif is everywhere in AC.

On that note - any thoughts as to why the AC robes are white and red?

DumbGamerTag94
05-27-2014, 05:38 PM
Well you kind of just elaborated what I meant to say. It is ALL about subjectivity. Just because there is something there and it wasn't intended to mean anything doesn't mean it can't have meaning to someone else. I was meaning to get across that there is no one "true" or definate meaning. And in some cases ther could be no meaning at all. Sometimes a feather can just be a feather but we impulsively want to attribute a higher meaning or divine purpose to things as an aspect of our nature. And often times overcomplicate the things around us and get so distracted by minor irrelevant details we become blind to the overall point. But that isn't all situations sometimes meaning is supposed to be there. Others it is invented by us wanting to be there.

As for the robes. I want it to mean that the robes mean a kind of purity in the assassin order the red represents the blood spilled both by the assassins and their victims in the effort to defend purity. The beaked hood to resemble the eagles beak which is their chosen symbol because of its nobility. The way it is constantly scanning for prey and ever vigilant. And the way it swiftly strikes it's prey and leaves just as swiftly as it struck. It's a perfect animal to symbolize the assassins. And the black robes of the mentor shows that they have to be wiser than the others and accept the impurity of the world around them(thus the black instead of white) but that is what I WANT it to mean. My blind faith in what it SHOULD be.

In reality the TRUTH the actual meaning could be that the White just looked really cool with a red sash, and it blended with monks so that's why the designers chose it. And the Eagle just because it was a bad *** animal. And the beaked hood because it's cool. The black robes of the mentor could just be to distinguish him from the others clearly. Or to hint that Al Mualim was evil.

None of that is what I believed but could be the case. Doesn't make me wrong. I created my own TRUTH in my mind and I believe that is what it means. I created that illusion for myself and chose to follow it. It doesn't mean it is true. And doesn't mean the authors intention is the only way. We assign our own meaning to the world around us. The only thing that will always remain is that the feather is a feather or the robes are white and red. We fill in the blanks ourselves.

As the assassins put it themselves "nothing is TRUE. Everything is PERMITTED". And to be able to accpg alternatives or that there could be no meaning at all makes us wiser. See what I mean?

Aisoreal
05-27-2014, 06:04 PM
Hi and thanks for your response!

As a person of faith myself, I do admit that it was something that struck me, you know this whole business of using God and religion as an excuse to commit senseless and cruel acts. But it is something that happens in real life too, and it has made me personally, question the beliefs that people hold: is it what God truly wants us to believe, or is it what we make ourselves to believe what God wants us to believe (if that makes sense).

If you will allow me, aside from the ideology, I am also looking at realism that is presented in the game, and whether or not the degree of realism AC presents affects the way players view the 'ideology of peace' message that is communicated in the game. In your own personal opinion, do you think AC is 'real' or brings into focus issues that happen in real-life in any way? And does this affect how you understand, perceive, accept or reject the ideology they present?

Cheers for your great input so far and let me know what you think!

PS: I actually study intercultural communication, with lots of stuff on identity, religion, and culture, as well as bits of media and ideology. :)



Interesting topic for a thesis. This is why I love AC, that it touches on subjects that are incredibly deep, complex and ancient. It's not as simple as good vs evil or right wing vs left wing, but free will and order, and the advantages and disadvantages of both. It's an almost bottomless subject.

But to your points:

- I don't think AC has ever been expressly anti-religious. It just warns against the blindness of faith and the dangers of extremism. As someone with religious faith, I entirely agree with this idea. If anything, it has encouraged me to question every aspect of religion, politics and news instead of receiving it on trust.

- 'There can only be peace when there is order.' This one's a tricky one. I don't have enough knowledge of AC lore or quotes to hand to fully argue the details of this point, but again - it's an incredibly deep subject and without a satisfying answer. On the one hand it's true - order = peace. But on the other hand, taking away free will is a violent act and therefore not peaceful. This is why the Assassin philosophy is more realistic. I don't think they strive solely for peace (at least no one that I can think of), but simply to retain free will. Of course true and universal peace is, I think, impossible when people have their free will, but this is the price we pay. One of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite characters:

'This Templar fantasy of his is dangerous. It flies in the face of reality. The world is a tapestry of many colours and patterns; a just leader would celebrate this, not seek to unravel it.'
Suleiman.

But then this brings us to our free will. Another excellent piece of dialogue in AC comes with the battle between Connor and Haytham - the old, cynical, intelligent vs the young, impressionable, naive, headstrong. (I know you're only referring to the first AC, but this is still some of the strongest writing I've ever seen in gaming.)

'The sheep need a shepherd... under our rule all would be equal. Do the Patriots offer the same?'
'They offer freedom.'
'Which I've told you - time and time again - is dangerous. There will never be consensus son, between those who help to ascend. They will each differ in their views on what it means to be free. The peace you so desperately seek does not exist.'
'No. Together they will forge something new - better than what came before.'
'These men are united now by a common cause. But when this battle is finished they will fall to fighting amongst themselves about how best to ensure control. In time it will lead to war. You will see.'
'The Patriot leaders do not seek control. There will be no monarch here. The people will have the power - as they should.'
'The people never have the power - only the illusion of it. And here's the real secret - they don't want it. The responsibility is too great to bear. It's why they're so quick to fall in line as soon as someone takes charge. They want to be told what to do. They yearn for it. Little wonder, that, since all mankind was built to serve.'

You make an excellent point about the PoE representing the illusions men bind themselves too. I'd go further with that, since it also represents people's willingness to submit, to be controlled, to accept blindly. It's the embodiment of a lot of fairy tales and myths - the el dorado, pandora's box etc (there are loads more). A kind of promised land.

Never thought about the feather much. I think it's significant that it's a white feather (perhaps an eagle's, though I don't know of any white eagles). I'm sure you can look more deeply into the symbolism of birds and eagles (which is incredibly common throughout history and cultures). But birds such as white doves often represent freedom, purity, truth, hope. The Holy Spirit in Christianity is often represented by a bird (look to the story of Noah and the flood for similar ideas). So therefore I think you're right - blood on the feather is likely a symbol of the necessity of violence in order to uphold peace - or the need to fight for truth. Purity, at least in a very dishonest world, is not enough to guarantee peace.

I'm trying to think of other possible symbols. The eagle is a common motif in AC 1 - Altair roughly means 'the flying bird,' and a lot of his clothing and weapons is laden with that sort of symbolism. Other than that, you could look to the characters - none of them are entirely evil or saintly, but instead exist in shades of grey, the protagonist included. I think each one of the Templars represents a weakness of humanity that could very well cause them to lose faith in it - whether that's vanity/humiliation (Abu'l Nuqoud), greed (Majd Addin, al-Mualim), loss of religious faith (Sibrand), political disenchantment (William of Montferrat). Jubair al-Hakim is an excellent example of freedom of speech and the hypocrisy of the Assassins (which could then be linked to an ideology of peace.) These are just off the top of my head, and I may be going completely off on a tangent.

But the depth of symbolism in religious and political subjects are some of the many reasons why I love the AC series, and in particular AC1. Can I ask what you're studying?

Aisoreal
05-27-2014, 06:07 PM
@Bmark94

Thanks for your input!

I understand what you mean by the meanings certain objects may or may not possess. It is all about subjectivity really - it can mean something or nothing, depending on the person that views it. That's why as a student performing research, I guess when I try to argue for something (like seeing a particular meaning an object embodies) I guess I have to backup my claims with academic references (and perhaps input from seasoned players as well!) :)

Thanks again! Btw, as I am also looking for realism, do you think that AC reflects real-life or issues in real-life in anyway?

jdowny
05-27-2014, 07:37 PM
^ It definitely reflects real life issues, otherwise I don't think its story would work as well as it does. But like any good story, it uses metaphors and symbols to better communicate its meaning. The question of free will and control is ancient, and has been around since the dawn of civilization.

As you said, the Apple of Eden can represent a lot of things, from blind faith, to desire, to willingness to submit. Our modern world is full of this - we submit every day to authorities we don't always question - politicians, newspapers, television, media. But by slow increments we can become indoctrinated to a certain belief and world view. Take the city of Baghdad for instance - if over a period of 10 years all we hear about it is suicide bombs and Islamist fundamentalists, we will begin to believe that they are disproportionate to reality. Our view of the world becomes tainted, an illusion if you will. It's part of the truth but not the whole truth.

The Creed encourages the questioning of these authorities. And by questioning we are able to dispel that illusion and learn truth.

On the topic of truth, I like this dialogue:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6byvnr2wjso

The Crusades are a prime example of the blindness of faith and the willingness to submit. People might look at the Crusades as an abhorrent example of the evil of religion, of the Catholic Church, of Christianity etc. (I'm not denying this per se); they distance themselves from it, but what people often fail to understand is that this is ongoing. It's happening every day, just under a different guise. Look at the 2003 Iraq invasion. Ostensibly western forces were searching for WOMDs - ostensibly crusaders were seeking to reclaim the Holy Land. Soon the two became an entirely different matter altogether, perhaps to install a pro-western government, capitalise on oil, take control of land and trade routes, the list goes on. Or look at Syria today. On the surface this is a corrupt government vs rebels, but beneath the surface it's a proxy war fought between western forces (US, France, Germany, UK) and eastern (Russia, Iran, China).

The AC world works because of these parallels. It's a timeless struggle, an age-old story which will inevitably repeat itself again and again. This is why for me the Middle Eastern setting is so powerful and successful, because it is literally the meeting point and the crucible between east and west. And why it is so often in turmoil.

SixKeys
05-27-2014, 08:58 PM
@Bmark94

Thanks for your input!

I understand what you mean by the meanings certain objects may or may not possess. It is all about subjectivity really - it can mean something or nothing, depending on the person that views it. That's why as a student performing research, I guess when I try to argue for something (like seeing a particular meaning an object embodies) I guess I have to backup my claims with academic references (and perhaps input from seasoned players as well!) :)

Thanks again! Btw, as I am also looking for realism, do you think that AC reflects real-life or issues in real-life in anyway?

AC2 and AC Brotherhood have a lot of commentary about real life politics in the form of glyphs (messages from the mysterious Subject 16). The in-game explanation is that the world has been ruled by power-hungry Templars for centuries, all the way until today. If you take away the Templar fiction though, it's obvious the writers were criticizing things like the current US justice system and the Bush administration (AC2 came out in 2009 and Brotherhood in 2010).

DumbGamerTag94
05-28-2014, 12:00 AM
@Bmark94

Thanks for your input!

I understand what you mean by the meanings certain objects may or may not possess. It is all about subjectivity really - it can mean something or nothing, depending on the person that views it. That's why as a student performing research, I guess when I try to argue for something (like seeing a particular meaning an object embodies) I guess I have to backup my claims with academic references (and perhaps input from seasoned players as well!)

Thanks again! Btw, as I am also looking for realism, do you think that AC reflects real-life or issues in real-life in anyway?

AC definitely covers real issues in many ways. jdowny gave an excellent explanation. But there's some more id like to say about it.

AC covers almost every type of worldview and faith throughout the series. AC1 focuses strongly on religion mostly due to its setting in the Crusades for obvious reasons. AC2 focuses on the desire for revenge(Ezio) and lust for power and wealth(Templars). ACB is again covers religion, but also the concept of authority. ACR covers family and the notion of a "Right" to something. AC3 is about faith in a cause, and the concept of "Freedom". AC4 is about the worldview of Pirates "A man can do as he pleases" and "a short life and a merry one". These are all worldviews, or "Creeds" that are explored in the series. It is about far more than one Creed, it is about all of them, and comparing them and showing the impurities in holding to only one.

The Assassins Creed is ironic in that their creed dictates to avoid any creed. That "Nothing is True. Everything is permitted". To understand that nothing is true is to realize that no single creed or worldview is 100% right all the time about everything in any situation. The realize Everything is Permitted is to comprehend that even though none are true, it does not necessarily dictate that any one in particular is Wrong. It is the Truth we create for ourselves that forms our way of looking at things, and if we can learn to compartmentalize and set our own beliefs aside, accepting only the core facts as universal. For example if you believe that the feather in AC1 symbolized the staining of purity(with the white feather meaning purity of the world, and blood representing the blood spilled by the assassins to protect it) and I said that the Feather represents the good of the world being stained by the evil of the Templars. We could bicker about it for ages with neither side ever able to disprove the other.

The Assassin way to view that conflict would be to accept the fact that nothing is true. That at the core of things the feather is just a feather, nothing more, and thus neither of our arguments are "truly" relevant. To realize everything is permitted we must understand that either argument is possible, acceptable, "permissible". It encourages an understanding between all parties involved. Not to argue over a particular viewpoint, but to transcend such basic things and minor details and interpretations. To realize we are both share the commonality that a Feather is important. That to both of us the Feather is a Feather at its face, and thus the fighting unnecessary. That if we could just agree on the basic principals that the feather is important and agree to disagree on detail we would have peace. Do you understand what I'm saying?

Take the conflict in AC1 between the Crusaders and Saracens. The battle for the Holy Land. To the Muslims the Holy Land was the divine home of Mohammed, not to de desecrated by European invaders. The Crusaders saw the Holy Land as the divine land of Christ being denied to the peoples of Europe. What we would do as an Assassin to solve this is understand that either religion is just as valid as the other, they are both permitted. If we accept that neither is "true"(weather we actually believe so or not does not matter) we learn that The Holy Land, is just simply Land. No different from any other. And when looking from both views we see that it is important to both sides. Thus if they learn that the Land is special to both of them so neither wishes to desecrate it we could live side by side in peace while still holding our own separate opinion.

It is peace through understanding. That is all the Assassins Creed is asking, is to understand all Creeds so that you do not hold one so superior that you treat others wrong. Thus cooperation and peace coexists with free will.

This opposed to a Templar view of the world where they find this to be impossible, and thus free will and disagreement must be done away with, and replaced with a "new world order" of one agreed upon ideology, one supreme law, one global power, one government, One EVERYTHING. Thus conflict is removed and the world will have peace by process of eliminating the competing ideals. Which to the Templars is a far more attainable goal than Coexistence, and doesn't take into account weather anything is "right" or "wrong", or how people feel commonly about issues, only that it is One ideal and it reaches their goals.

So the Assassins Creed is about far more than just Religion. It commands an understanding. Be it between Political Parties, Governments, People, factions, races, languages, cultures, any of the worlviews or concepts I mentioned earlier, and even just between two people. It is about finding common ground whilst agreeing to disagree to the means or details, thus having peace and coexistence.

The is the overall point of the series and to the Assassin's Creed, and it applies to literally any real life conflict you can find. So yes AC is very much based in reality, and on top of that they are fairly good representations of actual historic events(with inaccuracies and not perfect, but still good)

Locopells
05-28-2014, 12:53 AM
AC2 and AC Brotherhood have a lot of commentary about real life politics in the form of glyphs (messages from the mysterious Subject 16). The in-game explanation is that the world has been ruled by power-hungry Templars for centuries, all the way until today. If you take away the Templar fiction though, it's obvious the writers were criticizing things like the current US justice system and the Bush administration (AC2 came out in 2009 and Brotherhood in 2010).

If you read Assassin's Creed: The Fall, it's obvious. In the AC universe, Bush only gets in because of the Great Purge (i.e. the wiping out of the Assassin's that were gonna stop him)...

Aisoreal
05-28-2014, 08:21 PM
@jdowny @Bmark94 @locopells @Sixkeys

Thank you all (again!) for invaluable input.

Having come to the conclusion that AC does in fact mirror real-life issues, what elements in the game do you think makes the message the game tries to communicate, successful to the players? Take note that I take the word 'successful' here to mean that the game has created discussions and debates about issues among players.

What do you think was the underlying reason behind putting a Middle-Eastern character with a distinctly Arabic name as the main protagonist? Altair's religious affiliations and his view on God aside, do you think it was a deliberate decision by the AC team to somehow a) reach a broader market, as in not to alienate Muslim players (due to all the anti-Muslim games that are rampant in the gaming world) b) Challenge the now increasingly accepted worldview that Islam & Muslims (even Arabs) = terrorists?

Does the way Altair is portrayed in the game affect your perception of the game at all? What about the settings as well?

PS: Quick question,
if I were to do an online questionnaire and distribute it here, do you think other players will be responsive to answer?

Thanks guys!

Locopells
05-28-2014, 08:42 PM
Welcome!

I think, simply put, the reason the AC games are successful in that regard is because they do mirror real-life issues and questions - what is truth, myth or religious doctrine, peace and order vs freedom and chaos - and are those are necessarily seperate from each other? All of that, and more, come up at one point or another.

As for Altair - he is what he is, because the game is based loosely on the real Assassins - and that what they were, more or less. Anything else was just a bonus.

Can say his portrayal changed my view of the game much - I didn't really know exactly what to expect the first time I played it.

And yeah, I think some members here would be responsive to a questionnaire. Try me!

SixKeys
05-28-2014, 11:16 PM
@jdowny @Bmark94 @locopells @Sixkeys

Thank you all (again!) for invaluable input.

Having come to the conclusion that AC does in fact mirror real-life issues, what elements in the game do you think makes the message the game tries to communicate, successful to the players? Take note that I take the word 'successful' here to mean that the game has created discussions and debates about issues among players.

What do you think was the underlying reason behind putting a Middle-Eastern character with a distinctly Arabic name as the main protagonist? Altair's religious affiliations and his view on God aside, do you think it was a deliberate decision by the AC team to somehow a) reach a broader market, as in not to alienate Muslim players (due to all the anti-Muslim games that are rampant in the gaming world) b) Challenge the now increasingly accepted worldview that Islam & Muslims (even Arabs) = terrorists?

Does the way Altair is portrayed in the game affect your perception of the game at all? What about the settings as well?

PS: Quick question,
if I were to do an online questionnaire and distribute it here, do you think other players will be responsive to answer?

Thanks guys!

1) I think what makes the "message" of AC so successful is that it's subtle. Alta´r's character arc is that of a person who starts off thinking he knows everything, and throughout his journey learns humility. At the beginning of the game he claims to serve the assassins' creed, but does not truly understand its meaning. The player starts off brash and clumsy like the impatient Alta´r who hasn't yet mastered full control of himself nor the art of subtleness. As the player progresses and the stakes get higher, learning to be stealthy and patient pays off. At the same time, Alta´r begins to understand that his old approach may not have been as wise as he thought. He starts off blindly obeying his master, but the further the story progresses, the more he learns and begins to question what is really true.
This progression feels natural. Both the player and Alta´r are learning in tandem. The answers aren't spoonfed to you, but instead the player is encouraged to question the nature of reality. The Templars that Alta´r kills don't do bad things simply because they are bad people, but because they believe it will lead to peace. The Crusades were arguably some of the bloodiest times history has ever known, so it's understandable for characters in this world to strive for peace through any means possible. Both Templars and assassins have valid arguments on their side: is order more efficient than freedom when trying to create unity among men? Or should freedom always come first, even if it has the potential to create chaos? The game doesn't directly answer these questions, although given that it's called Assassin's Creed and not Templar's Creed, it's pretty obvious which side of the argument the developers fall on. But players are encouraged to question who is ultimately in the right and to judge for themselves what they believe. That, I believe, is the key to the game's success in communicating its message.

2) AC started out as a Prince of Persia spinoff, that's why the protagonist was originally Middle-Eastern. As the concept evolved more and more into a new IP, some elements remained. I don't think the motive was to make the character of Alta´r more accessible to audiences - if anything, having an Arabic protagonist was quite a bold decision IMO. They still didn't dare to go all the way, as evidenced by the fact that Alta´r's voice actor was expressly forbidden from giving the character a Middle-Eastern accent. Alta´r's father was a Muslim and his mother Christian, and Alta´r himself is an atheist. I believe his character was borne out of a desire to show many different cultures and beliefs in the same game, during a historical period when all the Abrahamic religions were waging war against one another, and one man, who doesn't specifically align himself with any of them, is trying to uncover the ultimate truth of the world.

3) I congratulate Ubisoft for having an Arabic protagonist and for using a time period that hasn't often been explored in games due to its controversial nature (religious wars). My only wish is that Alta´r's voice actor had been allowed to give the character a Middle-Eastern accent. It seems obvious to me that they made him sound American out of fear of alienating mainstream audiences. Considering all the other bold choices they made, they should have just gone all out and made all characters look and sound Middle-Eastern.

4) I'm sure other people would be happy to reply to a questionnaire. :)

Aisoreal
05-30-2014, 02:57 PM
Thanks so much for the input Sixkeys!

a) The way you have phrased your answer and opinion on this gives me a lot of insight. Indeed, research on videogames have argued that the way videogames have the potential to influence or even have effects on players is through the processes and the progression that players have to go through (via the avatar) in order to complete the game.

b and c) To be honest, I was initially looking forward to playing a game that had a ME protagonist, but was slightly put off once I heard Altair speak. Somehow it felt to me that he wasn't authentically Middle-Eastern anymore, unlike his fellow Assassin brothers (and most of the characters in the game). But perhaps, Ubisoft does want to lower the risk of alienation - maybe at the time of its release, the gaming world (of which North American players constitute the majority, I assume) isn't ready for a fully non-American protagonist yet.

Where do you see Desmond in all of this? In the first AC, it is almost his input and views are dismissible, because there is very little space to play as him (only when we're out of the Animus and only in the office), so we can't really gauge much from him. It seemed that he was only tool to gather insights from other characters such as Lucy and Vidic.

In terms of the environment of the game and the setting that it was placed in, as you said it was during a period in time where Abrahamic religions clashed with each other. Do you think that this could evoke certain feelings with certain players (ie ones with religious faith, especially Muslims and Christians and certain ethnicitiies (European/White, Middle-Eastern). I mean some of the in-game dialogue Altair encounters in his missions, particularly from street preachers sound very provocative, ie "Curse the Christian King and his army of infidels" (not forgetting the Christian preachers who also have their own views on Salahuddin and the Saracens).

As for the questionnaire, thanks for expressing your interest!


1) I think what makes the "message" of AC so successful is that it's subtle. Alta´r's character arc is that of a person who starts off thinking he knows everything, and throughout his journey learns humility. At the beginning of the game he claims to serve the assassins' creed, but does not truly understand its meaning. The player starts off brash and clumsy like the impatient Alta´r who hasn't yet mastered full control of himself nor the art of subtleness. As the player progresses and the stakes get higher, learning to be stealthy and patient pays off. At the same time, Alta´r begins to understand that his old approach may not have been as wise as he thought. He starts off blindly obeying his master, but the further the story progresses, the more he learns and begins to question what is really true.
This progression feels natural. Both the player and Alta´r are learning in tandem. The answers aren't spoonfed to you, but instead the player is encouraged to question the nature of reality. The Templars that Alta´r kills don't do bad things simply because they are bad people, but because they believe it will lead to peace. The Crusades were arguably some of the bloodiest times history has ever known, so it's understandable for characters in this world to strive for peace through any means possible. Both Templars and assassins have valid arguments on their side: is order more efficient than freedom when trying to create unity among men? Or should freedom always come first, even if it has the potential to create chaos? The game doesn't directly answer these questions, although given that it's called Assassin's Creed and not Templar's Creed, it's pretty obvious which side of the argument the developers fall on. But players are encouraged to question who is ultimately in the right and to judge for themselves what they believe. That, I believe, is the key to the game's success in communicating its message.

2) AC started out as a Prince of Persia spinoff, that's why the protagonist was originally Middle-Eastern. As the concept evolved more and more into a new IP, some elements remained. I don't think the motive was to make the character of Alta´r more accessible to audiences - if anything, having an Arabic protagonist was quite a bold decision IMO. They still didn't dare to go all the way, as evidenced by the fact that Alta´r's voice actor was expressly forbidden from giving the character a Middle-Eastern accent. Alta´r's father was a Muslim and his mother Christian, and Alta´r himself is an atheist. I believe his character was borne out of a desire to show many different cultures and beliefs in the same game, during a historical period when all the Abrahamic religions were waging war against one another, and one man, who doesn't specifically align himself with any of them, is trying to uncover the ultimate truth of the world.

3) I congratulate Ubisoft for having an Arabic protagonist and for using a time period that hasn't often been explored in games due to its controversial nature (religious wars). My only wish is that Alta´r's voice actor had been allowed to give the character a Middle-Eastern accent. It seems obvious to me that they made him sound American out of fear of alienating mainstream audiences. Considering all the other bold choices they made, they should have just gone all out and made all characters look and sound Middle-Eastern.

4) I'm sure other people would be happy to reply to a questionnaire. :)

Aisoreal
05-30-2014, 03:02 PM
Welcome!

I think, simply put, the reason the AC games are successful in that regard is because they do mirror real-life issues and questions - what is truth, myth or religious doctrine, peace and order vs freedom and chaos - and are those are necessarily seperate from each other? All of that, and more, come up at one point or another.

As for Altair - he is what he is, because the game is based loosely on the real Assassins - and that what they were, more or less. Anything else was just a bonus.

Can say his portrayal changed my view of the game much - I didn't really know exactly what to expect the first time I played it.

And yeah, I think some members here would be responsive to a questionnaire. Try me!

Thanks for your input and your interest in completing a questionnaire!

As you said in your answer, Altair was "loosely based on the real Assassins". That means he had a degree of historical relevance to him (as well as other characters such as Al-Mualim and Richard the Lionheart). Does this not have an influence over your perception of the game, the story, and its message? How about the setting of the game - it is one of the most well-known and well-chronicled historical periods in time, in locales that are even to this day faced with war and violence.

SixKeys
05-30-2014, 04:09 PM
Where do you see Desmond in all of this? In the first AC, it is almost his input and views are dismissible, because there is very little space to play as him (only when we're out of the Animus and only in the office), so we can't really gauge much from him. It seemed that he was only tool to gather insights from other characters such as Lucy and Vidic.

Desmond is the 'straight man' standing in for all the players feeling confused and dazed by the story. His job is to ask the "stupid" questions, like "durr, what are Templars?", in case there are players who don't know Templars from history. He was designed as an empty vessel for the player to identify with (similar to Link in Legend of Zelda, for example), that's why he has little personality of his own. If you wanted to take his role further, you could see him as a symbol for the player: Desmond is basically playing a video game, asking the same questions the real player is probably asking as they progress in the game ("what the heck is going on?") and learning to question his own reality, just like players are encouraged to question the world around them. At one point Desmond and Vidic have a conversation where Vidic tells him that Templars have rewritten history books to make themselves look better. This is a huge revelation about the nature of reality to Desmond. Similarly, a player might ask themselves if there are real-life parties who might be skewing the reality they live in.


In terms of the environment of the game and the setting that it was placed in, as you said it was during a period in time where Abrahamic religions clashed with each other. Do you think that this could evoke certain feelings with certain players (ie ones with religious faith, especially Muslims and Christians and certain ethnicitiies (European/White, Middle-Eastern). I mean some of the in-game dialogue Altair encounters in his missions, particularly from street preachers sound very provocative, ie "Curse the Christian King and his army of infidels" (not forgetting the Christian preachers who also have their own views on Salahuddin and the Saracens).


Speaking purely from personal experience, I've never met anyone who felt like their faith was being singled out for mockery in the first game. I do think AC1 has a clear secular message, but it's not after Muslims or Christians specifically.

The street preachers' speeches are provocative, but equal-opportunity. They're meant to highlight the fact that every religion had their own propaganda and everyone was looking at the war only from their own perspective. In the Muslim city of Damascus they praise Salah al-Din and cry that King Richard is the evil one. In the Christian city of Acre it's the other way around. Alta´r is exposed to all these propagandists in equal measure, so it doesn't feel like the creators were being racist or favoring one religion over another. What I find interesting is that pretty soon you, as the player, grow numb to the same speeches being repeated over and over again. It becomes nothing but background noise. The way you find new missions is actually when your ears pick up a town crier who is spouting something different from the others. That's how you know he's got important information to share.

The fact that you become numb to what you recognize as empty propaganda vs. perking up when one preacher stands out from the rest, to me that says something deeper about religious propaganda in general. The way I interpret it is that at the beginning of his journey Alta´r, just like the player, is still learning and all the propaganda he hears is new, but the more he visits different areas of the same cities, the more he hears the same empty rhetoric everywhere. It's easy to grow cynical of something when you hear it repeated over and over and nothing changes. It plays well to the game's general themes about religion and society. The most knowledgeable characters in the game are also the most disillusioned: Warren Vidic mocks the na´ve Desmond by suggesting that the history taught in books has often been tampered with by Templars. Al Mualim tells Alta´r that some of the greatest religious miracles in history were in fact nothing but illusions created by advanced technology. Alta´r himself, after much reflection, explains the meaning of the assassin's creed as "recognizing that laws arise not from divinity but reason". The game seems to imply that people who cling to religion and authority are living a lie and do not see the world the way it truly is, while freethinkers understand that only humans themselves are capable of changing the world for better or worse. With great power comes great responsibility, and all that.

Locopells
05-30-2014, 04:22 PM
Speaking purely from personal experience, I've never met anyone who felt like their faith was being singled out for mockery in the first game. I do think AC1 has a clear secular message, but it's not after Muslims or Christians specifically.

The street preachers' speeches are provocative, but equal-opportunity. They're meant to highlight the fact that every religion had their own propaganda and everyone was looking at the war only from their own perspective. In the Muslim city of Damascus they praise Salah al-Din and cry that King Richard is the evil one. In the Christian city of Acre it's the other way around. Alta´r is exposed to all these propagandists in equal measure, so it doesn't feel like the creators were being racist or favoring one religion over another. What I find interesting is that pretty soon you, as the player, grow numb to the same speeches being repeated over and over again. It becomes nothing but background noise. The way you find new missions is actually when your ears pick up a town crier who is spouting something different from the others. That's how you know he's got important information to share.

SixKeys, you have it - that's more or less the angle I was working on, although rather less eloquently!

HercRembrandt
05-30-2014, 05:14 PM
Writing a Masters on just the ideology thing in AC1? Sounds like a tough subject, considering that there's not that much material there to analyze. If I was in your place, I'd probably try to expand to some comparable, yet contrasting media. But hey, if you can make it work, great.

It's been a while since I played AC1, so I don't really recall all the intricacies of the philosophical arguments. It's worth noting how the talk of preserving the peace got pushed out in favor of "Freedom" slogans after the first game, though. Dunno, maybe there are some observations to be made there. Did the writers find the idea of peace through selective violence too hard to justify, while a nebulous "freedom" is vague enough to base a creed of assassination on? Or is it that the idea of "freedom" started to make more sense once the series moved into less rigidly feudal settings?

I guess that's not very helpful. Good luck on your thesis, in any case.

JustPlainQuirky
05-30-2014, 07:26 PM
Are you serious? Bush only gets in because 'assassins were wiped out'? Some author certainly hates a certain president.:nonchalance:

Locopells
05-30-2014, 08:23 PM
Writing a Masters on just the ideology thing in AC1? Sounds like a tough subject, considering that there's not that much material there to analyze. If I was in your place, I'd probably try to expand to some comparable, yet contrasting media. But hey, if you can make it work, great.

It's been a while since I played AC1, so I don't really recall all the intricacies of the philosophical arguments. It's worth noting how the talk of preserving the peace got pushed out in favor of "Freedom" slogans after the first game, though. Dunno, maybe there are some observations to be made there. Did the writers find the idea of peace through selective violence too hard to justify, while a nebulous "freedom" is vague enough to base a creed of assassination on? Or is it that the idea of "freedom" started to make more sense once the series moved into less rigidly feudal settings?

Haytham does quite a good speech on how the Assassin's original goal of Peace, rather then Freedom, made more sense, also see the posts on the first page for how they deal with the other issues.


Are you serious? Bush only gets in because 'assassins were wiped out'? Some author certainly hates a certain president.:nonchalance:

Yeah, it's quite clear from what the Assassin Grand Master says, plus radio broadcasts in the background...

Aisoreal
05-30-2014, 09:51 PM
Writing a Masters on just the ideology thing in AC1? Sounds like a tough subject, considering that there's not that much material there to analyze. If I was in your place, I'd probably try to expand to some comparable, yet contrasting media. But hey, if you can make it work, great.


I guess that's not very helpful. Good luck on your thesis, in any case.

Hi and thanks for joining in! To be honest, with the material I have now just from data collection alone and input I have from you wonderful and insightful people so far, I'm actually getting worried that I may overstep the word limit! :) But, yes, the initial investigation point stems from AC1, but the analysis will undoubtedly look at other relevant and related materials as well.




you could see him as a symbol for the player: Desmond is basically playing a video game, asking the same questions the real player is probably asking as they progress in the game ("what the heck is going on?") and learning to question his own reality, just like players are encouraged to question the world around them. At one point Desmond and Vidic have a conversation where Vidic tells him that Templars have rewritten history books to make themselves look better. This is a huge revelation about the nature of reality to Desmond. Similarly, a player might ask themselves if there are real-life parties who might be skewing the reality they live in.


Hmmm...that's very interesting, I've never seen his role quite like the way you've put it.



Speaking purely from personal experience, I've never met anyone who felt like their faith was being singled out for mockery in the first game. I do think AC1 has a clear secular message, but it's not after Muslims or Christians specifically.


Hmmm...judging on the game's storyline and how it was enacted in the game by the players and such, do you think AC1 easily offered or sided with one particular message? Like other players have commented, the game seems to invite players to engage and discuss, as well as debate about issues, and whatever is true lies in whatever you believe and defend to be the truth?




Alta´r, just like the player, is still learning and all the propaganda he hears is new, but the more he visits different areas of the same cities, the more he hears the same empty rhetoric everywhere. It's easy to grow cynical of something when you hear it repeated over and over and nothing changes. It plays well to the game's general themes about religion and society. .

When you think about this in terms of the news on war, violence, and terrorism, everyday, do you think what you say apply as well? That, over time, they become just 'empty rhetoric' and people more or less become accustomed to these things being bombarded to them everyday that they grow, not ignorant, but less responsive and receptive?



Back to the topic at hand,
I think it is safe to say that the game offers plenty of criticisms on many aspects of real-life, like religion, politics, society etc. The game has been able to instigate discussions among players like yourselves, bringing up debates and comparing and contrasting different POVs, but do you think the game has presented solutions to the dilemmas and troubles presented in AC1?

SixKeys
05-30-2014, 11:20 PM
When you think about this in terms of the news on war, violence, and terrorism, everyday, do you think what you say apply as well? That, over time, they become just 'empty rhetoric' and people more or less become accustomed to these things being bombarded to them everyday that they grow, not ignorant, but less responsive and receptive?

Good question. I would say yes. The street preachers of back then were basically the televangelists and even news outlets of today. Have you ever seen Monty Python's The Life of Brian? There's a funny scene in which we seew a whole row of street preachers, all trying to get their own message heard. When the clueless protagonist Brian has to pretend to be one of them, the crowd he gathers starts off criticizing his performance ("he's making it up as he goes along!") and comparing him to the other preachers. It reminds me of people watching television and trying to choose the channel to watch. In order to stand out, the new "channel" has to offer them something new and more entertaining than the old ones that they've seen and heard a million times. Almost like people are windowshopping for the message they like the most instead of looking for the ultimate truth.


Back to the topic at hand,
I think it is safe to say that the game offers plenty of criticisms on many aspects of real-life, like religion, politics, society etc. The game has been able to instigate discussions among players like yourselves, bringing up debates and comparing and contrasting different POVs, but do you think the game has presented solutions to the dilemmas and troubles presented in AC1?

Solutions? No. Different viewpoints, yes. The Templars and assassins represent two extremes on the same issue. The Templars kill in the name of order, the assassins in the name of freedom. Both groups' ultimate goal is peace. As others have pointed out before, the fact that both groups kill for peace is ironic, that's why they're extreme. I don't think the game seeks to provide answers, but to make players question. We've had numerous threads on these forums where people have asked which group would you support in real life, and the results are always pretty even. I find that fascinating.

Farlander1991
05-31-2014, 05:33 AM
The Templars kill in the name of order, the assassins in the name of freedom. Both groups' ultimate goal is peace.

I wouldn't exactly agree with that - I think both group's ultimate goal is order and peace. While the Templars want to force it with control, but the Assassins want to retain free will to allow it to emerge naturally.

Very often the goal of order is applied only to Templars, and I don't think that's fair to the Assassins and their ideology. After all, Altair himself says in AC1 that the Creed does not command them to be free - but to be wise (though, of course, the nature of the Creed's meaning varies from person to person, but Altair's revelation is somewhat universal I think).

SixKeys
05-31-2014, 04:15 PM
I wouldn't exactly agree with that - I think both group's ultimate goal is order and peace. While the Templars want to force it with control, but the Assassins want to retain free will to allow it to emerge naturally.

Very often the goal of order is applied only to Templars, and I don't think that's fair to the Assassins and their ideology. After all, Altair himself says in AC1 that the Creed does not command them to be free - but to be wise (though, of course, the nature of the Creed's meaning varies from person to person, but Altair's revelation is somewhat universal I think).

Depends on what is meant by order. The assassins are not opposed to organisation and government, which implies order. But they do not think order is necessary. They just want people to have the choice to organise if they so choose.

Aisoreal
05-31-2014, 07:55 PM
.
In order to stand out, the new "channel" has to offer them something new and more entertaining than the old ones that they've seen and heard a million times. Almost like people are windowshopping for the message they like the most instead of looking for the ultimate truth.

IMO, this is much like the AC franchise when they first started off with the first game. We've had a gazillion war and conflict games that are pretty much set on one POV, but with AC, as you said instead of telling players which side to believe in, the game invites players to question the values, beliefs, actions presented in the game.



We've had numerous threads on these forums where people have asked which group would you support in real life, and the results are always pretty even. I find that fascinating.

Do you think there ever could be a middle ground on all this?


I wouldn't exactly agree with that - I think both group's ultimate goal is order and peace. While the Templars want to force it with control, but the Assassins want to retain free will to allow it to emerge naturally.

Very often the goal of order is applied only to Templars, and I don't think that's fair to the Assassins and their ideology. After all, Altair himself says in AC1 that the Creed does not command them to be free - but to be wise (though, of course, the nature of the Creed's meaning varies from person to person, but Altair's revelation is somewhat universal I think).

This echoes what someone earlier in this thread posted about the Assassin's creed of "Nothing is true. Everything is permitted." With careful, reasonable, and rational deliberation, you can see the good and the truth in everything, as well as the bad. There is not one perfect medium to achieve anything.

Very interesting POVs from everyone so far. Now, I'd like to know if you guys ever feel like you 'own' the game and are 'one' with the character during gameplay. For instance, do you feel that the game allows you freedom to do whatever you want? To bend the rules - to follow the Assassin's tenets, or just to be a bad-*** warrior?

Because there has been research that shows that what certain NPCs say during the game (ie the comments a player gets from the public when Altair does something 'socially unacceptable') can affect how the player navigates his/her character in the game. Like, perhaps this has prevented you from making Altair kill innocents or something like that.

PS: And how weird is it that AC does not feature any children? You'd expect some to be lurking around in the cities. But there are none! Is it because children are the embodiment of innocence and thus should not be included in such bloody and violent context?

SixKeys
05-31-2014, 10:17 PM
Do you think there ever could be a middle ground on all this?

Not everything has a middle ground. It's possible one side is simply right and the other is simply wrong. It's up to each individual to decide which side they consider that to be. I believe that the two ideologies are too different at the core for there to be a middle ground.



Very interesting POVs from everyone so far. Now, I'd like to know if you guys ever feel like you 'own' the game and are 'one' with the character during gameplay. For instance, do you feel that the game allows you freedom to do whatever you want? To bend the rules - to follow the Assassin's tenets, or just to be a bad-*** warrior?

Because there has been research that shows that what certain NPCs say during the game (ie the comments a player gets from the public when Altair does something 'socially unacceptable') can affect how the player navigates his/her character in the game. Like, perhaps this has prevented you from making Altair kill innocents or something like that.

The first game mostly allows freedom for both approaches. Being loyal to the creed is encouraged simply by the fact that being stealthy is less dangerous than fighting your way out of a tough situation. There are one or two instances where one approach is forced on you, like the final battle against Robert de Sable.

The NPC reactions definitely affect my gameplay style. Sometimes I will direct Alta´r into a quiet alley before making him climb a building, so as not to attract attention from onlookers. I try to steer my horse carefully without trodding over innocents, lest I invite comments like "I almost got hurt, young man!". I only kill guards who are a direct threat, never innocent NPCs.


PS: And how weird is it that AC does not feature any children? You'd expect some to be lurking around in the cities. But there are none! Is it because children are the embodiment of innocence and thus should not be included in such bloody and violent context?

The majority of violent games shy away from including children. I don't know if there are any actual codes against showing violence towards children in games, but at least most companies do it just to avoid complaints. Because game development is tricky and glitches happen, it's sometimes possible for players to harm children in the game even if that was not the developers' intention. AC3 had child NPCs for the first time in the series and the devs disabled being able to hurt or kill them, but some players still found ways to do that through exploits. In AC4, children were gone again. Coincidence?

Ureh
06-01-2014, 12:42 AM
The majority of violent games shy away from including children. I don't know if there are any actual codes against showing violence towards children in games, but at least most companies do it just to avoid complaints. Because game development is tricky and glitches happen, it's sometimes possible for players to harm children in the game even if that was not the developers' intention. AC3 had child NPCs for the first time in the series and the devs disabled being able to hurt or kill them, but some players still found ways to do that through exploits. In AC4, children were gone again. Coincidence?

Also they probably didn't want to put children next to the "dancers" and drunk pirates. :p

DumbGamerTag94
06-01-2014, 01:05 AM
@Aisoreal Sorry I couldn't respond to your questions earlier I've been busy the past few days.

As for Why Altair and the Middle Eastern main character: I really think it is just because the setting is the middle east and it is more personal to have a protagonist from there, also it is loosely based on the historic order of Assassins that were actually active during the Crusades and did call Masyaf one of their homes.
-as for why no Arab accent: I think that I may have been something to do with the anti-Islamic sentiment that has prevailed since 9/11 in the united states. At the time the game came out it was not that far removed from 9/11 (only 6 years), The Iraq war had only started 4 years prior, and during the time of the games release some of the most brutal fighting of the Iraq war was taking place, with sectarian violence at a high point and the US troop surge not far around the corner. I feel it may have been an attempt to make their protagonist not accrue the stigma of the day, and be more easily accepted by American audiences. I personally would rather have seen an authentic accent it would feel more immersive. But the series was not established at that time and I don't think Ubisoft wanted to take the risk of an unrelatable protagonist(which Altair kind of was anyway imo)

As for the NPC reactions: They never really bothered me. I always just do what I want and execute the missions how I see fit. I never bothered with what NPCs say.

Aisoreal
06-05-2014, 09:48 PM
Hi guys,

Thanks for everyone's awesome responses! I will now close this discussion as I will begin distributing the questionnaires soon (here on the forum!). So look out for that!

Thank you again so much!

:D

DinoSteve1
06-05-2014, 09:52 PM
CCan I haz on pls?

Aisoreal
06-05-2014, 10:52 PM
Hi Steve,

If you wanted to have a go at the questionnaire: I just posted it up here:

http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/888498-QUESTIONNAIRE-on-ASSASSIN-S-CREED1-(AC1)-Please-help-to-fill-Thank-you!-)


CCan I haz on pls?