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The Assassin's Creed 2 teaser site has gone live, complete with cryptic word puzzles and webcam frippery. But what does it all mean? Is there any kind of information to be gleaned from it? You bet! Have a look at the video for yourself and then read on for everything found so far.
It does NOT depict Altair
The figures shown in the diagrams do not have their middle fingers cut short, which suggests they're pictures of someone else (unconfirmed reports suggest a new hero called Ezio). Of course, they could be mere schematics of a new hidden blade, but the video definitely makes a point of showing fully-fingered hands with the blades coming from the wrist, so logically these are not the assassins of the first game.
There will be flight/gliding of some description
Altair is referred to as the 'Eagle' in the first game, with promotional artwork showing his shadow to take the form of the beautiful bird of prey.
But these diagrams look too much like mechanical schematics to be metaphorical. See how these wings appear to be made of wood and bound together at the joints - they're certainly not the wings of a bird.
It would fit the game so well, to climb one of the tallest towers and then glide across the city and landing right behind your intended target. And there's more evidence of flight that we'll come to shortly...
It's most likely set around the 15th Century
The whole style of the drawing is not just reminiscent of Leonardo da Vinci's work but blatantly copies it, clearly with the intent to look like it was drawn by the man himself. Da Vinci lived from 1452 to 1519. Look at the oddly de-genitaled Vitruvian Man from the teaser site in comparison to Da Vinci's own work:
Above: The Assassin's Creed 2 Vitruvian Man
Above: Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man, complete with man bits
Like Da Vinci's unpublished texts, the writing is mirrored. And Ubisoft appear to have copied the Vitruvian Man text word for word, implying the concealed blade was the design of Da Vinci himself.
It's likely to be set in Venice:
A report that people have seen 'swimming animations' for Altair couples with a separate report that the game will be set in Venice, even if it's not Altair himself who'll be doing the swimming.
If the game is set in Renaissance Venice, it's likely to look extremely beautiful. Imagine looking down from a high vantage point at reflective water effects between Italian architecture stretching off into the distance. Incidentally, Da Vinci did briefly live in Venice during his lifetime, so the mixture of teaser and rumour sounds plausible to us.
However, the solid Assassins Creed 2 details haven't ended yet. At the end of the video on the teaser site, an Animus logo appears on the left. Click this and you get taken to a new area of the teaser site, which asks for permission to use your webcam. By printing out and physically showing the webcam a symbol downloadable from the site, you can unlock 3D images, presumably from the work in progress game. Different symbols unlock different images.
There's only one officially released so far - the 'EFBUI' file:
Above: The EFBUI file via webcam - your character's hand with the blade
The image is fully 3D and moves with your printout as you hold the paper at different angles in front of the camera. There may only be one symbol officially available so far, but of course that doesn't stop Assassin's Creed's fans, who have been sharing symbol designs on the game's official forum to uncover two more from the list:
Above: The IFSP file
Above: The VQHSBEF file, which shows two hidden blades. And man bits
The names have also been decoded by clever forumites (using a code we used to send messages to a girl we liked at school!) - just switch the letters in each word for the letters preceding them in the alphabet and you get: EFBUI = Death, IFSP = Hero, VQHSBEF = Upgrade, BMBUPNZ = Anatomy and GMZ = Fly.
Surely 'Fly' is going to answer a lot of questions. Can you figure out the symbols to unlock the two remaining images? Let us know!
07 April, 2009
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