Thread: Mentors Guild Community Discussion - Fantasy Elements in Assassin's Creed | Forums

  1. #1
    SixKeys's Avatar Senior Member
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    Mentors Guild Community Discussion - Fantasy Elements in Assassin's Creed

    Forgot to post this yesterday, but better late than never. The community discussion for July 24 - 29 is about fantasy elements in Assassin's Creed.


    MAKING SURE THE FANS ARE HEARD

    As part of a set of new Community Initiatives, we'd like to give opportunities to the community to give more direct feedback, and will now host weekly discussion on specific topics that relate the Assassin's Creed Franchise. These community discussions will take place on the AC subreddit, the Official Ubisoft Forums, and on the Mentors Guild Twitter. These discussions will be open for 1 week. The threads and responses will be shared directly with the Assassin's Creed Community Development team, who will then pass that info on to concerned parties within Ubisoft itself.

    While the Mentors get opportunities to speak directly with the creators of Assassin’s Creed and frequently communicate with the Community Development Team, this is not the case for every fan. We want to change that. We want fans to have their voices heard directly, in the same ways the Mentors do. These activities are a step towards meeting this goal. If you want Ubisoft to see what you have to say, this is the place to do it.


    THIS WEEK'S TOPIC

    Topic:
    Fantasy Elements in Assassin's Creed


    Info: A few AC games have gone out of their way to toy with fantastical elements in a series mostly grounded in history. Assassin's Creed 3's DLC "The Tyranny of King Washington" featured an alternate timeline where Ratohnhhaké:ton gained various animal spirit powers - including the power of flight and invisibility - via a mystical potion. Assassin's Creed: Origins' DLC "Curse of the Pharaohs" featured a scenario where Bayek got to fight reanimated mummies and visit the afterlife. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey's trailers have teased encounters with creatures from Greek mythology such as the beastly Minotaur and Medusa, the snake-haired lady. How do you feel about the inclusion of fantasy elements into AC?


    QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

    -Do you enjoy fantasy elements in AC? Why or why not?

    -What has been your favorite fantasy element in AC?

    -Is there a particular mythological story you would enjoy exploring in the future?

    -How do you feel about fantastical outfits or mounts? Do you use them? Do you spend money on them if they are offered as paid DLC?

    -Assassin's Creed started as a more realistic offshoot of the fantasy series Prince of Persia. How do you feel about AC moving closer towards its spiritual predecessor?

    -Is there a difference between already existing fantastical (sci-fi) elements like Pieces of Eden or Eagle Vision vs. mythology-based elements like animal powers?

    -"Nothing is true, everything is permitted": is there a line that should never be crossed in terms of suspension of disbelief, or is anything fair game?


    REMEMBER:

    While these discussions are meant to allow for honest and raw feedback directly from the community, the best way to ensure your voice is heard is to be constructive - be critical of the process, not the people. Be specific with your criticisms and suggest tangible solutions and improvements.
    We hope to see active participation and that this will be a successful way of getting the fans' voices truly heard.
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    darklion2043's Avatar Member
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    -Do you enjoy fantasy elements in AC? Why or why not?

    Fifty-fifty. AC had got a good balance science fiction, fantasy and reality for me. But after Origins we saw many fantasy elements and this balance became deterioration.

    -What has been your favorite fantasy element in AC?

    For me PoEs are fantasy elements too. First Civilization materials which have many different powers are most impressive fantasy elements in AC. My favourite PoE is Altair's Apple that have many ghost fighters help us. Also Ezio's Apple gave us to control people minds and when Desmond used it to rescue his father, it looked like a movie scene. I can write all of them but last I impressed when I got Maya Outfit in AC:BF that protected you fire weapons damage.

    -Is there a particular mythological story you would enjoy exploring in the future?

    No. Because AC Story created it's own mythology. They mixed many mythology elements with AC Story and this thing made AC unique and impressive.

    -How do you feel about fantastical outfits or mounts? Do you use them? Do you spend money on them if they are offered as paid DLC?

    I tried to use them but no I don't like them. Some of them funny and some of them soo cool. But when I used them, I always thougt that they didn't belong AC. No, I don't spend money on them.

    -Assassin's Creed started as a more realistic offshoot of the fantasy series Prince of Persia. How do you feel about AC moving closer towards its spiritual predecessor?

    I played this two Franchise many hours but we must separate these two exellent Franchise. Yes AC's spiritual predecessor is PoP for many parts. But when we compare the beginning stories, we see that one of them(PoP) a fantasy game and AC had its own balanced story with using sci-fic, fantasy and reality. So my opinion it is NOT about AC moving closer towards its spiritual predecessor. It's about AC moving closer towards most popular games best parts combination fantasy game. And honestly I hate that moving. I write it again and again, AC deliver it's soul and we'll play soulless, pointless but a beautiful game includes RPG elements, Fantasy, a bit Changing Historical Places and amazing sights with Assassins and Early Templars.

    -Is there a difference between already existing fantastical (sci-fi) elements like Pieces of Eden or Eagle Vision vs. mythology-based elements like animal powers?

    We may see Sci-Fi elements one day at the future( Why not an Animus or light saber ) but never see fantastical elements. And no there is no difference between them. BUT PoE and Eagle Vision are enough elements for AC. When I heard 'leap of fate, eagle vision, PoE, First Civ or The One Who Cames Before, ... ' , I understood that they knew AC and probably spoke about it. But other myths don't remind me AC. This is why I say PoE and Eagle Vision(sixth sense) are enough elements for AC. Because these two strong elements processed The AC DNA.

    -"Nothing is true, everything is permitted": is there a line that should never be crossed in terms of suspension of disbelief, or is anything fair game?

    This sentence have many meanings for many fans. For me Assassins used it to give courage, power and belief to each others in AC games.

    Thanks for these discussions. I answered all of these questions with honestly and clearly. Have a good day everyone.
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    cawatrooper9's Avatar AC Forum Moderator
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    -Do you enjoy fantasy elements in AC? Why or why not?
    Personally, I enjoy them if they draw from the culture that the game features, in a somewhat believable way, and works to do something with the game's story. For instance, and spoilers if someone still hasn't played Origins yet...

    Spoiler:  Show


    I really enjoy the Field of Reeds scene with Bayek and Khemu after defeating the giant snake. It was a really moving scene that managed to fit well within Bayek's worldview, still have a reasonable enough real life explanation, and moved the story forward. So really, I think that whole sequence was done really well.

    Later, in COTP, we visit Aaru, and I'll agree with pretty much everyone that played that the area was one of the most beautiful we've seen in the series... but it just didn't feel like it did much to actually advance Bayek's character, even though there are some very obvious ways it could have.


    -What has been your favorite fantasy element in AC?
    Outside of the Isu stuff, which if it counts would win by a mile, I would say the two vision sequences (Edward and Arno's). If those don't count too, then I guess the scene from Origins I referenced above.

    Really, what all of those other than the Isu have in common is that they tend to be more of a conscience-driven fantasy allegory for issues the character is going through, rather than something we're supposed to suspend disbelief that it actually exists.

    -Is there a particular mythological story you would enjoy exploring in the future?
    Not particularly. I really wouldn't want the games to directly explore mythological stories at all.

    -How do you feel about fantastical outfits or mounts? Do you use them? Do you spend money on them if they are offered as paid DLC?
    I don't have a whole lot of interest in them. I used the Chocobo mount for a while for giggles, but I personally tend to prefer the more grounded stuff.

    But I'm not really bothered by them either, and I think that, at least for the sake of those interested, that they're a good option to have.
    -Assassin's Creed started as a more realistic offshoot of the fantasy series Prince of Persia. How do you feel about AC moving closer towards its spiritual predecessor?
    I think it's an interesting and definitely valid addition to the age old argument of "What IS Assassin's Creed". But personally, I still feel like the series already has its identity, and I don't feel it's really meshed with that in the past.
    -Is there a difference between already existing fantastical (sci-fi) elements like Pieces of Eden or Eagle Vision vs. mythology-based elements like animal powers?
    Sort of? I think it's fair to pin stuff on POEs (like if a POE causes Kassandra to see Cerberus or something). But if Cerberus just exists in the game's lore as is, I think that's a pretty different scenario.
    -"Nothing is true, everything is permitted": is there a line that should never be crossed in terms of suspension of disbelief, or is anything fair game?
    Really fantastic question.

    I think there definitely, absolutely is.

    I just have absolutely no idea where that line lays, not even for my own preferences.



    As always, thanks Six!
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  4. #4
    dxsxhxcx's Avatar Senior Member
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    Originally Posted by SixKeys Go to original post


    QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

    -Do you enjoy fantasy elements in AC? Why or why not?
    I don't mind the story taking advantage of legends of the era the game is set in and using it to enhance the narrative as if it was something made by a Piece of Eden as long as they don't go overboard with it like they did with the DLCs mentioned for example.

    -What has been your favorite fantasy element in AC?
    Fantasy to me falls into the category of The Witcher like games where we fight all sort of monsters and magical creatures, I don't consider elements such as the animus or the POEs fantasy elements as some people above, to me they're advanced technology, some POE like the Ankh (capable of temporarily ressurect the dead) are a little exagerated but since these POEs usually aren't the focus of the games/plot I don't really mind them.


    -Is there a particular mythological story you would enjoy exploring in the future?
    Not really

    -How do you feel about fantastical outfits or mounts? Do you use them? Do you spend money on them if they are offered as paid DLC?
    Kinda hard to judge since these are broad terms that could easily pass as TWCB technology (even though I wouldn't like to see a game focusing on them), as for flying unicorns and such, as long as they don't have any connection with the story, if people feel inclined to pay for this kind of thing then by all means, make them available.

    -Assassin's Creed started as a more realistic offshoot of the fantasy series Prince of Persia. How do you feel about AC moving closer towards its spiritual predecessor?
    Not trying to be disrespectful here, but it SUCKS, period.

    -Is there a difference between already existing fantastical (sci-fi) elements like Pieces of Eden or Eagle Vision vs. mythology-based elements like animal powers?
    Yes, the former can be explained as technology/evolution, the latter falls into the fantasy category to me, yes, we can assume these animal powers are related with the background of the POE's wielder, but this kind of experience holds little relevance to me especially if it doesn't serve the narrative in any way.

    -"Nothing is true, everything is permitted": is there a line that should never be crossed in terms of suspension of disbelief, or is anything fair game?
    Yes, the one Ubisoft unfortunately has already crossed.
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    ninja4hire10's Avatar Member
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    Do you enjoy fantasy elements in AC? Why or why not?

    At times, yes. At least when it's handled via DLC and an in-story explanation of those elements is presented (i.e. Connor's "animal" abilities of AC3.) I'd rather have the main story, which already is sci-fi in flavor, be free of fantasy stuff.

    -What has been your favorite fantasy element in AC?

    Curse of the Pharaohs, no doubt. Each section of the Afterlife differed one another and I thought it was not only creative but visually a treat, too.

    -Is there a particular mythological story you would enjoy exploring in the future?

    Chances are Odyssey will take care of the only mythology I actually care about. That said, AC ever goes the Viking route, Norse mythology would be cool--if done well.

    -How do you feel about fantastical outfits or mounts? Do you use them? Do you spend money on them if they are offered as paid DLC?

    Doesn't matter at all to me as I tend to stick with the same mount, if at all possible. But if in ODY we get to ride a Pegasus that actually flies, now that's another matter entirely

    -Assassin's Creed started as a more realistic offshoot of the fantasy series Prince of Persia. How do you feel about AC moving closer towards its spiritual predecessor?

    I'd like to see the return to more the original flavor in the future. My favorite type of fiction is the kind that's...plausible? The blend of realism with the more fantastical elements is what hooked me at the beginning with AC1. I don't mind this new direction, at least for the time being, but a return to form is welcome...and kinda expected.

    -Is there a difference between already existing fantastical (sci-fi) elements like Pieces of Eden or Eagle Vision vs. mythology-based elements like animal powers?

    The short answer: Yep. PoE is about alien technology while "animal powers" are about magic. Eagle Vision to me isn't a superpower but rather the Animus' visual manifestation of what the assassin senses. Example: Arno doesn't actually "see" red and blue glowing people walking around but rather we "see" what his senses tell him, like maybe Arno hears a guard's footsteps or smells the bourbon on the guard's breath due to his heightened awareness per his assassin training. I absolutely HATE the notion of assassin's being superheroes or superhero-like.

    -"Nothing is true, everything is permitted": is there a line that should never be crossed in terms of suspension of disbelief, or is anything fair game?

    Keep it in the past and work from there. As a customer and fan, I'm along for the ride and buy whatever Ubi dreams up, but take AC to Mars in the year 3012 or something along those lines and I'd probably hand in my hood.
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    Samurai587's Avatar Member
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    Do you enjoy fantasy elements in AC? Why or why not?

    Yes. It's like God of War except nothing's being destroyed. I think you should employ fantasy elements because you can't avoid it. This series although has a sci-fi/history discussion/connection, let's not forget that the Sumerians/Babylonains/Indians talked about 'plastic surgery' and advanced treatment etc. There's a lot of conspiracy material to use it. After all, we never knew WHAT HAPPENED. AC lets you explores so much - it should have more.

    -What has been your favorite fantasy element in AC?

    Bayek meeting the Gods!!!

    -Is there a particular mythological story you would enjoy exploring in the future?

    Oh yes. Roman Mythology would be one. Hindu Mythology would be mind blowing. Ancient Babylonian mythology? - First civ material right there. But Ahura Mazda - Persian mythology. That'd be great! Make the next game in Persia.

    -How do you feel about fantastical outfits or mounts? Do you use them? Do you spend money on them if they are offered as paid DLC?

    No. The outfits cost too much. Heka chests make you waste hours of gameplay just to get one fancy suit.

    -Assassin's Creed started as a more realistic offshoot of the fantasy series Prince of Persia. How do you feel about AC moving closer towards its spiritual predecessor?

    Not sure what this means, but okay!

    -Is there a difference between already existing fantastical (sci-fi) elements like Pieces of Eden or Eagle Vision vs. mythology-based elements like animal powers?

    No. It's all the same if you ask conspiracy theorists and all haha. It's fine.

    -"Nothing is true, everything is permitted": is there a line that should never be crossed in terms of suspension of disbelief, or is anything fair game?#

    Well the game says Nothing is true isn't it? What if God didn't exist? What if the world was created by aliens? There has to be a line broken.

    I'd say - go in the direction you're going and you'll have a $110 billion franchise with games exploring lore and mythology so much more.

    Thanks!
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    -Do you enjoy fantasy elements in AC? Why or why not?

    Yes, I loved them, especially in Assassins Creed Origins. To the people of Egypt and other time periods represented in the AC series, the gods of their mythologies were very real. I feel incorporating these elements is necessary in games like Origins and Odyssey because it allows the player to experience the reality of these gods within the mind of the character. I never considered the fantasy elements of the game to actually be literal, but instead expressions of the beliefs within the mind that had the memories you are experiencing. After all, within the animus, you are reliving a memory- and memories can be colored by many things, including religious experiences and beliefs. There is no true solid line between reality and what the mind can create for itself. So the fantasy elements may very well have been "real" to Bayek, for example.

    -What has been your favorite fantasy element in AC?
    The inclusion of the gods in Assassins Creed Origins and the way so much of what Bayek deals with involves both the positive and negative aspects of beliefs that were very real to the people of the time period. Especially the battle with the enormous serpent and the field of reeds.

    -Is there a particular mythological story you would enjoy exploring in the future?
    I'd actually like to see Cupid/Eros explored in Odyssey, because he was much more to the Greeks and Romans than a simple god of love. Since homosexuality will be possible between the player character and love interests, I feel it would be prudent to include him as he was often seen as a guardian of love between men. Also because he's rarely represented as he once was- a young man, rather than a small child.


    -How do you feel about fantastical outfits or mounts? Do you use them? Do you spend money on them if they are offered as paid DLC?

    I really enjoyed them in Origins, and would purchase them if they are offered as DLC (though I'd also like to see possibilities to obtain them through gameplay) Ultimately, your game is your own, no one else has to see it or play it with you, and if people do not like fantasy mounts, they will not be affected by someone else owning them in their own game. So please do continue to put them out.

    One slightly unrelated thing I'd love to see, though, is more solid white and black horses, and horses that match on chariots. (Maybe an awesome underworld/Hades themed black chariot, trailing black smoke, pulled by black horses? XD)

    -Assassin's Creed started as a more realistic offshoot of the fantasy series Prince of Persia. How do you feel about AC moving closer towards its spiritual predecessor?
    I welcome it. Honestly I'm rather open minded about the franchise. I loved what it was and I love what it's slowly becoming.

    -Is there a difference between already existing fantastical (sci-fi) elements like Pieces of Eden or Eagle Vision vs. mythology-based elements like animal powers?
    As far as I'm concerned, the only difference is thematic. In my mind, if a character -believed- they had certain powers, then those abilities have the potential to express themselves within the animus, since you are experiencing history as it was seen in someone elses head, rather than actual history.


    -"Nothing is true, everything is permitted": is there a line that should never be crossed in terms of suspension of disbelief, or is anything fair game?

    As far as I'm concerned, everything is fair game as long as I'm still learning interesting things about history and exploring fascinating recreations of actual places in the process

    The world needs more games that explore mythology in this way. You did a beautiful job in AC origins incorporating fantasy with actual life, and how mythology affected the actual lives of people. I can't wait to see it done in Odyssey.
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  8. #8
    Swailing's Avatar Member
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    QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

    -Do you enjoy fantasy elements in AC? Why or why not?


    I do. The mysterious power of Isu technology is a feature worth exploring, but I think social history is blind if it does not include the belief systems of cultures of the past. It's important that both sides are used well.

    -What has been your favorite fantasy element in AC?

    Origins' 2nd DLC is definitely my favourite so far.

    -Is there a particular mythological story you would enjoy exploring in the future?

    Project Legacy's William Robert Woodman story about the Victorian Hermetecists contacting the Secret Chiefs. There were hints that the Secret Chiefs were possibly Isu, and then there was the Hermetecists themselves using ritual mind-alteration to do the same thing that Animus technology does for 'us' today. It's my favourite story in the AC lore so far, and I was sorry that we didn't go there in Syndicate.

    I also liked the hints in Brotherhood that the last survivors of the Isu lived long enough to co-exist in a post-war world with the humans, in which the humans had theoretical power but the Isu dwelled in holy places and were worshipped as gods, and were known by names that we recognise today as gods (Minerva, Juno, Saturn, Jupiter et al).

    After all the coy dodging that's been going on to draw out the weak Juno story, I've thought for years that it would be an incredibly powerful moment to be exploring in an ancient society and walk into the dwelling of a living god. The ancestor would have their own special astonishment, and we as the players would have a particular dread due to our knowledge of what the Isu really are. That scene would have enormous weight, and from there, there are so many interesting directions that the story can take.

    The human worshippers would defend their god. Perhaps we would see that these stragglers weren't really so bad, but still decide that they could not be allowed to live. What does it mean to be a god-killer? Again, the weight of that: to know that we are the reason that none of these last immortals exist.

    -How do you feel about fantastical outfits or mounts? Do you use them? Do you spend money on them if they are offered as paid DLC?

    I had the Gold edition of Origins. I used the silly items and mounts a bit, just to try them out. I used the Final Fantasy sword the most. Ultimately, I mostly tried to keep Bayek looking somewhat normal, and once I got the Black Hood outfit, that was my best balance of 'plausible' to 'badass' and I stuck with it

    -Assassin's Creed started as a more realistic offshoot of the fantasy series Prince of Persia. How do you feel about AC moving closer towards its spiritual predecessor?

    The only Prince of Persia I liked was Sands Of Time, which I utterly loved at the time. I hadn't really felt like it was moving closer to PoP. Is that what it's doing?

    -Is there a difference between already existing fantastical (sci-fi) elements like Pieces of Eden or Eagle Vision vs. mythology-based elements like animal powers?

    Yes, and I think both need to be explored in different ways.

    It's no good if these things are just thrown together in a compartment marked "Fantasy Elements". There is a difference. One strengthens the game's lore, and the other should provide a deeper exploration of the historical era's culture.

    The latter needs to be respectful of the culture and apply itself accordingly. It would be terrible if every game came with a side salad of god-killing. It fitted with the Egyptian lore, and there are many mythologies through time in which gods and god-like beings are thoroughly engaged with war and fighting. But it would be appalling if we engaged with a Buddhist otherworld and interacted with Avalokiteśvara or even a more fierce figure such as Dorje Shugden through blunt violence. So the treatment needs to fit the circumstances, and besides, it might be refreshing if these encounters were sometimes a respite from all the killing and were simply about philosophy and wonder.

    I do not feel that Isu technology has been explored particularly well. When Altair and Ezio wrestled with the power of the Apples, it scared them. But the King George DLC weakened that mystery considerably: now it could put you in a long sleep, and make you dream of magic, and its power could be seductive and damaging, but it was too much like The One Ring for my liking. Dead Kings tried to restore a little of that darkness, but nothing has really gone far enough.

    There is something awful at the heart of every Piece of Eden. Isu society was already on the path to implosion even before the solar cataclysm. That hidden horror, that ghost in the machine, ought to be the reason why Juno is the way she is. And if only that was the explanation, instead of her being yet another old-fashioned megalomaniac whose end game would result in a very boring world for her.

    PoEs are too ordinary now. They're fancy laser weapons and body armour. The story has gone astray. I want the writers to imagine, really imagine, digging up an Isu weapon of this power, to really think what it be like. Isu technology should be scary, and when you look into it, the results should be incredibly weird. There is a lot of potential in this.


    -"Nothing is true, everything is permitted": is there a line that should never be crossed in terms of suspension of disbelief, or is anything fair game?

    If it's in service of a good story, go for it. Just make sure it doesn't feel like Paranormal Entity of the Week every time a new game rolls around. And don't start using or not using settings on the basis of whether there's game-oriented mythology there or not. If the mythology's not suitable for fantasy gameplay, just don't include it as gameplay. Let me see it via something else in the 'real' game world instead.
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  9. #9
    AmaterasuCALI's Avatar Junior Member
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    I would love to see fantasy elements! yes!
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