View Full Version : How much history have you learned from AC?

09-30-2014, 12:44 AM
How much did you know about the historical locations and events in AC prior to picking up the games? Was there one time period with which you were more familiar with than others? Did you have a different view about some historical characters prior to playing the games?

I only had a rough idea about the Crusades when I picked up AC1. I had some basic knowledge about the era, but didn't know about the historical Hashashin order (apart from where the name came from). I knew a little bit about Templars and had always viewed them as "the good guys", in a way. That's why I was intrigued to find out they were actually the antagonists in this game. I liked how they portrayed Richard the Lionheart. He was so strong in his faith that he willingly put the lives of some of his best men on the line when Alta´r, the master assassin, showed up. It was a reckless and almost childish move from a traditionally revered historical figure so often portrayed as wise and brave. But I also liked that he wasn't completely na´ve, as he was fully aware of his son's traitorous nature.

I wasn't at all familiar with the history in the Ezio games. Only the names of some historical figures (Leonardo da Vinci, Machiavelli, Lorenzo de Medici), but nothing more. I learned a ton from these games. I expected Machiavelli to be a villain initially since I had always learned of him as a ruthless and cold person, so I was mildly surprised when he turned out to be an ally. I wish they would have showed Lorenzo de Medici's ruthlessness more. No doubt he was taking advantage of Ezio's na´vete by sending him out to kill "traitors" when it's more likely he was just getting rid of political opponents.
I was hoping Suleiman would have a larger role in ACR, especially since he became such a controversial figure in his later years, but he was still pretty young in the game, so there wasn't much they could do. Piri Reis was a disappointment, he was supposed to be a legendary sailor but all he did was sit on his *** in a dark house all day.

With AC3, I knew even less about the historical events than in the Ezio games. It wasn't an era that ever particularly interested me. I only knew a bit about the characters. I was looking forward to Benjamin Franklin's appearance, as I thought he would have more of a presence in the story, but he turned out to be a boring and slightly creepy old man who just loved to go on about sex for 20 minutes. I was hoping Connor and George Washington would have a lot more conversations, make them become friends, that way Washington's betrayal would have had a lot more impact. I felt like they were afraid to portray Washington in too negative a light, even though everything Charles Lee was saying about him (as a military leader) was true. I knew that a lot of what we know about Paul Revere's Midnight Ride is BS (including his name), I was hoping the game would acknowledge that and make it somehow funny. Like have Connor be the one who does all the work, nobody knows his name, so in the end they just credit Revere. Instead we had Revere riding with us and screaming in our ear. :rolleyes:

I had some vague knowledge about the golden age of piracy before AC4. I knew about Blackbeard, Anne Bonny and Mary Read. That's why I was all the more disappointed that Anne and Mary felt largely neglected in the final game (especially Anne). Blackbeard looked badass in the trailers, but he was gone before we really got to know him. The devs kept talking about how the historical character loathed killing and that's why created this frightening persona, but in the game that pacifist side never came through. I liked Charles Vane. Had no expectations for him beforehand, but he turned out to be an entertaining character.

I have some passing familiarity with Unity's events, but I'm sure a lot of them are based on myths ("Let them eat cake!") and I'm looking forward to learning more. :)

09-30-2014, 12:45 AM
I didn't learn anything from the games because I didn't know what to believe was true and what wasn't

But when I watched "AC the real history" youtube videos I learned a lot.

09-30-2014, 12:52 AM
Besides the historical settings and characters, nothing worth noting, really.

Every now and then, I would read the bios, but I'd forget most of what I read the next day.

09-30-2014, 01:09 AM
-AC1. I knew very little about this period. But since it was overly fictionalization I didn't learn too much. Aside from the historical characters and the places and the battle of Arsuf.

-AC2 knew most of the historic people. But not much about what they did and why those things were so historically significant. Like Medici=banks Davinci=science and art. Etc.
But after AC2 I jnew about the Pazzi Conspiricay, The Doges of Venice, Rodrigo Borgia, and the Bonfire of the Vanities.(this was when AC switched to more historical accuracy in their people and events)

-ACB learned a lot about the Borgia Papacy and Cesare Borgia(a guy I hadn't heard of before). AC2 make me(already a huge history buff) shift my focus to more world history than just American.

-ACR I literally knew about none of this beforehand(except the fall of Constantinople to the Turks)

-AC3 I knew literally all of this stuff before hand as I'm a US history nut. But did learn of a few folks I hadn't known about. Mainly the lesser actors of the revolution who were total badasses(like Putnam, Pitcairn, Biddle, and hickey)

-AC4 I knew the general history but not in great detail. I got more into this period afterword. And was impressed to see how close AC stayed to the real life.

So I've learned bits and peices from each game. Some of them entire events I never knew about.

09-30-2014, 01:13 AM
I see it all.

09-30-2014, 01:37 AM
I like this franchise because I am a huge History fan, a trend that has led to many "I knew that would be a target" stuff. That and the fact I always look for possible plots once the setting is revealed :p

09-30-2014, 01:42 AM
I like this franchise because I am a huge History fan, a trend that has led to many "I knew that would be a target" stuff. That and the fact I always look for possible plots once the setting is revbealed :p

I think my lack of in-depth history knowledge has saved me from many a spoiler. I tend to stay away from fan theories precisely because so many people are too good at guessing the plot.

09-30-2014, 01:52 AM
I'm honestly not a fan of history after 1776 or so, but I'm well aware of American history from that point forward. The Renaissance and Crusades I knew little about, but religious wars aren't my cup of tea so the Crusades I often ignore. The Renaissance, beyond what I caught from history class and the Anne Rice Vampire Chronicle novels, I didn't care much for, either. I know plenty about the Roman empire, though. Can't say I cared much for Constantinople history so beyond me being aware that it was founded by Constantine and where it was located, I didn't care. Even after playing the games, I still don't care.
Playing the series did get me to look more into my family tree which caused me to find out George Washington's my 3rd cousin, 4 times removed, and, through the Washington line, I found out I'm related to the Plantagenets. Then I found out I'm the 2nd cousin, 6 times (and 7 times) removed of Meriwether Lewis. I'm related to the guy twice due to inbreeding. The Lewis and Meriwether families are apparently quite notorious for intermarrying with each other. Just in the lines I have, I found 8 Lewis-Meriwether marriages in about 200 years. I'm sure there's more than that. Several branches of my dad's family were also one of the first settlers in the Northwest Territory after the Revolution (hence why I think a Connor sequel should be in that area). I found quite a few of the soldiers who fought at the Battle of Monmouth were in Ohio during the Northwest Indian War as settlers. I had discovered that I had a relative (like my 6th great uncle or something like that) at the Battle of Monmouth as well as 11 of my ancestors who fought in the Revolution.

I also found I'm related by married to Martha Doddridge Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Zachary Taylor, Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, and Pocahontas as well as the Dutch pirate Murat Reis (Jan Janszoon). Via Pocahontas, I'm related to the Randolph family (although only by marriage as far as I know).

Most of my dad's family has been in the US since the 1600s with some branches coming over in the 1700s. My mom's family came over in the 1800s. Knowing all that made me more interested in AC3 and partly AC4. Can make the game seem more real knowing I had relatives walking the same streets at the same time ... but then it can lead to more irritation when something's wrong such as Washington and the king offer at the end of ToKW. That never happened.
Looking into history can make the games more entertaining and explain certain events better, but it's a double-edged sword. Researching history would make you aware of the shuffled events or dates or the wrong character portrayal. Sometimes it's better to not know.

09-30-2014, 06:47 AM
@guardian_titan, you have a richer bloodline than Desmond!


I knew many of the big things,but I've learned lots of little things over the series. For example, I'd heard of the Pazzi Conspiracy, but didn't really know what it was; I'd heard of the Bonfire of the Vanities but wouldn't have known Savonarolas name. And, not being one to leave well enough alone, I usually do some out-of-game research (partly to see how accurate the game is) and learn even more that way. For example, did you know the future kings of England, William and George, are descended from Caterina Sforza?

09-30-2014, 08:05 AM
AC3 I knew literally all of this stuff before hand as I'm a US history nut. But did learn of a few folks I hadn't known about. Mainly the lesser actors of the revolution who were total badasses(like Putnam, Pitcairn, Biddle, and hickey)

You're a US history nut who didn't know about Israel Putnam? Child, what's wrong with you?

Just kidding, you regularly put me to shame with your historical knowledge, please don't be offended :p

On topic; I wouldn't say I necessarily "learned history" through any of the games, but they certainly inspired me to do my own research about the period. I actually ended up taking a few Renaissance art classes I thoroughly enjoyed because of AC2. Though admittedly, my knowledge of the paintings in that game TOTALLY saved my *** on the midterm :p

I already knew pretty much everything major that happened in AC3 and AC4 (my granddad liked telling stories about pirates, so there's that) and AC1's history is just depressing to me TBH so I never got wholly engrossed in it outside of the game.

09-30-2014, 08:19 AM
Crusades was one of the reasons why I was interested in AC1. I was into that historical period, so when I heard about a third-person action adventure (Crusades are mostly a strategy game thing) in that era from the creators of Prince of Persia, I was hyped. The only new thing I learned from AC1 is about the Assassins themselves. I didn't really know much about the Order's existence or history, so it prompted me to do some more research.

AC4 is also an era that I was very interested in and I knew about all the historical figures that participated in AC4, with the exception of Torres, Burgess and Cockram. I loved how AC4 was seamlessly connecting history with fiction. Getting the Jackdaw in the hurricane that sunk the Treasure Fleet was such a 'squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!' moment for me.

When it comes to Ezio's trilogy and AC3, this is where I've learned the most. I barely knew anything about the Renaissance and American Revolution outside of a few names there and there. Of course, I would say that research outside of the game was important as well, but the games showed me many things.

09-30-2014, 09:47 AM
Ac1 not much...
Ac2 a lot about the people and the things that happened especially from those little clips u got of your target!
Acb I learned quite a lot from this because I enjoyed it and researched because of it.
Acr I didn't know much about this and I like to think I learned a lot.
Ac3 I did learn some but it was just so overloaded with the history it was annoying so I didn't let myself learn much from it.
Ac4 I learned loads from here.

09-30-2014, 11:10 AM
I think AC2. The pazzi conspiracy was something I didn't know about and the Medicis being attacked in public.

Mostly the series just does a more careful version of famous historical events. So you don't get anything too unfamiliar. It sticks to general perceptions so you won't find information about Rome's Jewish quarter and how the Borgia's showed rare religious tolerance.

09-30-2014, 12:22 PM
Before playing any of the AC games, I did have prior knowledge about the Knights Templar, the Medici family, the Borgias, Leonardo Da Vinci and George Washington. I also knew a little about The Third Crusade, Blackbeard and Native Americans etc.

After playing all of the games, it encouraged me to learn more and read about the historical events, people and places that were featured in AC.

09-30-2014, 12:35 PM
In Iraq, we’ve studied history in details, the ancient history of our country, of adjacent countries and the world as well, the most notable battles, events..etc. Of course, I studied those for the sake of exams, and eventually forgot a large portion of them. Assassin’s Creed helped greatly in renewing my knowledge and of course, adding way much more information to it. Assassin’s Creed helped me learned not only about history, but about many scientific, pseudo-scientific and conspiracy theories. So yes, I can say that I’ve learned more about life from Assassin’s Creed than school.

09-30-2014, 04:08 PM
I really hated history when I was younger. Wasn't too interested in it.

But then when I heard about Assassin's Creed and started playing it, I said to myself "this should have been assigned to us to learn about history." :p

But eventually I came to appreciate a little history, especially AC1, AC3 and AC4.

I learned about AC1 and AC3 in elementary school, but never really paid attention. Once again, if AC was used for the class, I would have paid more attention to it. lol

When I told my father about AC4 having to do with some Jamaican history (he's Jamaican) and Port Royal, he told me about how Port Royal was one of the richest places in the world, but was eventually attacked by pirates (I believed that was stated in the description of Port Royal in BF.)

10-01-2014, 03:57 AM
I'm a simpleton so I only know what most other people know before starting the games.

I would compare what I learned from the AC games to what I usually get from glancing through a textbook and only reading the captions under the pictures. Or one of those trivia booklets.

p.s. The first time I played ACR I was expecting to see a really chubby Suleiman because I remember reading that he ate several dozen dishes per day but I guess - if it's true - that he only starts that habit after he becomes sultan. I might be wrong. :p