Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood/Headscratchers

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  • Does present-day Monteriggioni have no night life?
    • It seems to be a small tourist village. It's possible that almost no-one even lives there any more, and the place is filled just with empty houses and gift shops.
    • It probably does, but Desmond appears to only go out just before dawn, when it's likely everything's closed up shop and everyone's at home.
    • The real-life Monteriggioni is a carefully preserved historical landmark. An active nightlife means drunk drivers, graffiti, etc. I would think that a city that prides itself on carefully preserved historical architecture would want to discourage that sort of thing. But I've never been there myself, so take that with a grain of salt.
      • It's hardly a city - more like a small village. Presumably bars and night-clubs are a bit thin on the ground. And in-game, you can see that the gates are closed at night, with a notice on them that cars aren't allowed in the town after nightfall.
  • Why is it that one has to buy a heavy sheath for Ezio to carry around heavy weapons when there is no sheath visible? In fact, none of his weapons have scabbards. I'd ask why Ezio doesn't keep his his weapons from slicing his legs open during free runs but that was "answered" on the main page's headscratcher.
    • As has been said, multiple times across the AC pages, it's an abstraction of the Animus.
    • For a less snarky and probably more accurate answer, it probably wasn't worth animating. Ezio changes his weapons whenever he wants, so why bother animating all sorts of different scabbards? Also, what if you use a mace or bludgeon? No scabbard needed.
  • What's with the Followers of Romulus? Machiavelli made them out to be a serious threat to the population of Rome, but there is exactly one incident where Ezio encounters them where he wasn't intentionally raiding one of their bases. He doesn't even always fight them when in said bases. The Cento Occhi at least were seen to be trying to rob people on occasion. These guys effectively don't exist outside of the missions about them. Also, Machiavelli acts as if being able to prove a connection between the Borgia and the Followers of Romulus would allow the Assassins to strike a major blow to Rodrigo's power. But when you finally kill the Pope's point of contact with the Followers of Romulus and get the code sheet to decrypt the messages they exchanged, nothing happens. There isn't even a cutscene where Ezio gives the sheet to Machiavelli so that they can attempt to use the information that they had apparently been after for three years.
    • You've already got around a bazillion parallel plots running to the main story, with the missions of the Thieves and Courtesans and such. If those didn't have any bearing on the main plot, why should the Followers of Romulus? At least that one got you special armor.
      • Because there's no actual conclusion to that plot point. There were still a couple of priests that the Cardinal was controlling on the loose, not to mention the actual followers. They are never really destroyed, they just vanish from the plot when Ezio isn't around one of their bases, and he eventually runs out of bases to rob.
        • Just because Ezio didn't hunt down and kill every single Follower of Romulus doesn't mean he didn't destroy the organization. If they're scattered and on the run, it's as good as being destroyed.
    • Most of what they do seems to happen offscreen, but that's probably a result of the Animus and the emphasis on Ezio's memories. The Romulus agents seem to mostly keep out of Ezio's way, and appear to fade into the background once the Assassins start taking over the streets. There is a conclusion to the Romulus missions, but that's when Ezio runs down the Cardinal in command of the entire order and finishes him off; after that, it is safe to conclude that the cult fell apart.
  • The modern-day villa at Monteriggioni is in a most peculiar state. Not only is it in poor repair compared to the rest of the town, though you would expect it to be the main attraction. And when you enter it, you find that the secret door is still bolted shut after 500+ years, there is the skeleton noone has bothered to remove even though it is in a rather obvious location, and there is a massive cavern with walls and scaffolding that has not collapsed or rotted away for centuries - all which mean that the villa is actually in excellent shape for being neglected for so long. And you can't blame the abstractions of the Animus either - those sequences are supposed to take place in the "real" world, and the villa is actually stated to be an Assassin sanctuary. It would have made more sense if you explored a well maintained tourist attraction using Eagle Vision to find secret passages and such left behind by Ezio and Assassins from the intervening years instead. To say nothing of silliness like the sword being stuck in the ground next to a tree.
    • Don't discount the Animus explanation so readily. There's a brief bit of dialogue during the credits which implies that all those scenes supposedly taking place in "the real world" have actually been an Animus simulation all along, possibly from someone else playing through Desmond's memories. If true, this would explain everything.
      • Info about the next game, Revelations, would seem to discredit the double simulation idea. In it, Desmond is trapped in a coma and is in an animus to keep his mind working, which fits perfectly with the voices heard during the credits, at least one of which can be assumed to be those of the high-up assassin mentioned in the team emails.
      • Assuming I understand you correctly, even if that's the case then it still means everything we've seen including the "real world" segments have been an Animus simulation, which was the original troper's point of contention. But we'll have to wait for the next game to be absolutely sure.
    • Hmm. The fact that subtitles are available outside the Animus is another piece of evidence supporting this hypothesis.
  • Leonardo is forced to work for the Borgia, but security is lax enough that he can afford to secretly meet with Ezio in the city, but for some reason won't use that opportunity to flee Rome or go into hiding with the Assassins? And Ezio is just fine with that? There's all sorts of missions to help people under too much Borgia scrutiny, but he just lets his best and oldest friend be bullied and pushed around by Cesare with a death threat hanging over him constantly?
    • Da Vinci was passing information to the Assassins, as Ascendence implies.
    • Maybe da Vinci didn't really want to be rescued? His only complaint was the use of his war machines, but Ezio took care of that. He probably just got comfortable enough that he didn't think it was worth bothering his friend over. Perhaps he even said as much.
    • Actually leaving Rome would be harder than it looks, with all those guards at the gates. And if Leonardo escaped from the Borgia, they would be after him like starving wolves. He's a strategic asset that Cesare cannot afford to let fall into the hands of any of his enemies. The only real way Ezio could rescue him from the Borgia would be to break their power; otherwise he'd be an eternal fugitive from the Templars.
      • Yeah, it's implied that while Ezio is weakening Borgia influence within the city, the Borgia still have all passages in and out of town locked down. Ezio can get in and out because he's a badass Assassin and not everyone knows his face. Leonardo on the other hand is a well-known figure in Roma and the guards at the outer gates have probably been instructed to keep an eye out for him so he can't flee the city. And even if he does somehow get out, he'll be a wanted fugitive until Ezio can take down the Borgia. And since Ezio was going to do that anyway, Leonardo has nothing to gain from going on the lam. As a virtual prisoner of the Borgia government acting as a double agent was the best he could do.
      • And he couldn't just ask Ezio for some Assassins to escort him out? Or even just move to the Assassin's Guild? Besides, it's highly doubtable that the Borgia would be smart enough (albeit Cesare is paranoid enough) to have guards in the underground-tunnels. Ezio can keep passing through those un-noticed, and a genious like Leonardo Da Vinci didn't think of that?
      • Its not an issue of hiding, its an issue of escaping and then keeping free. Da Vinci is a strategic asset capable of manufacturing weapons literally centuries ahead of their time; if he escaped the Borgia would waste no time tracking him down, and if he hid in the Assassins' Guild, they'd begin house-to-house searches, and for all the Assassins' power, they're no direct match for a Borgia army. The only reason Ezio is able to get away with his shenanigans in Rome is because Ceasere is away and leaving the city to a relatively incompetent relation and a power-hungry French noble. If Ceasere returns to Rome and directly controls the Templar operations in the city, the Assassins are in for a world of hurt, and the escape of his resident superweapon-designer would definitely count.
  • So after Ezio becomes il mentore is he the leader of the entire Assassin Order, or merely the leader of all the Assassins in Rome/Italy? Machiavelli's dialogue implies the former, but the Assassination Contracts and Yusuf in Revelations mention that other cities have guilds and leaders.
    • It's not clear. The Assassin order might not even have a fully unified leadership. Secretive, guerilla forces tend to compartmentalize, especially considering the Assassins have been around since before Abel and Cain. There's likely regional leaders of specific Assassin orders in various parts of the globe, with Ezio being the regional leader of the order in Europe.
    • The wiki defines it this way: the Assassin Guilds are local city-based groups of Assassins. The Guilds all come under the greater Assassin Order, the head of which is the Grand Master. In Brotherhood, that's Ezio Auditore. Grand Master and Guild Master can overlap, so Ezio is head of both.
    • Actually, throughout Brotherhood, there are three Grand Masters: Mario, Machiavelli (de facto), and then Ezio.
    • The vibe I got from Revelations was that Ezio was Yusef's boss. When Yusef dies, Ezio is the one to appoint a new leader. He's also the one who appoints the leaders of each Den in the city, and all the Assassin's respectfully refer to him as il mentore at all times.
  • Why does Desmond suddenly have a completely different hidden blade? I'll admit it looks more appropriate for the time period rather than the exact copy of Ezio's he got in the last one, but why the change? When did they get this new blade when they were on the road all that time? And where did the new blade come from? If they had it all along, why not give it to Desmond right away instead of the old one and if they acquired between ACII and ACB, where did it come from?
    • The new HB looks like the old one, minus the big gauntlet. It looks like a device specifically designed to be hidden under a long-sleeve jacket.
      • Which brings up the question of why does Desmond keep his blade on the *outside* of his sleeve?
      • Probably because he doesn't need to hide it at this point.
    • The gauntlet on the outside probably isn't necessary to the function of the hidden blade, that's probably just a decoration/arm guard. They could have just removed it on the way to Monteriggioni.
  • Something I noticed on a trip into Monteriggioni. A bit into the game, there's a strange red trail if you use Eagle Vision. This red trail starts near the back entrance to the Villa, wraps around one side of the building, and goes down one of the staircases before vanishing at the staircase fountain. This train bugged me, and I spent a long time trying to find out something about it in-game, terrified that it meant someone slipped into the base.
    • It was Lucy, judging by Juno's actions.
    • A lot of people noticed that, but no one is quite sure why it's there. As the above troper speculated, it could be Lucy's but it may also simply be a game glitch. FWIW, the red trail disappears after Sequence 8.
      • The glitch idea doesn't make sense though, since it always starts and finishes showing at the same points in the game. My guess would be that it's Paranoia Fuel, to keep people on their toes by wondering what the hell those footsteps are.
      • Well, maybe not so much a glitch as the remains of something cut from the game at the last minute.
      • Actually, I always thought it was the dripping blood from Ezio's wound. I mean it followed the same path and I thought it was there to keep it like some sort of brick joke or something.
      • Actually, the red footprints are just something from when the game was being tested, because playtesters got lost in montergonni as Desmond. Those red footprints are still there because they never got it out on time.
  • Let's take a quick glance at some enemy factions from Brotherhood. First, we have the Borgia. Led by a spoiled brat, they seek to control all of Italy by conquest. Then, in the Da Vinci disappearance DLC, we have the Cult of Hermes, who seek to use a "magic" artifact to force humanity as a whole to stop fighting. Hmm...which ones are the Templars again?
    • The Borgia? You, know the ones who are affiliated with the Templars?
    • The Cult of Hermes seems to have different goals than the Templars. The Templars and their modern-day incarnation Abstergo seem to be interested in keeping people as ignorant as possible so they can be more effectively controlled. The Cult of Hermes wants the exact opposite. They want to expose the truth entirely, but they want to force everyone to accept the truth that they're about to reveal. Sort of a "forced enlightenment" if you will. It's kind of interesting since they've taken a goal more commonly ascribed to heroes and shown how it can be made very sinister.
      • Even if the Hermeticists weren't assholes (they stab a guy when they could have let him live, they try to kill Ezio repeatedly, and THEY BEAT UP LEONARDO), the Assassins would still try to stop them. At the heart of their Maxim (Nothing is true, everything is permitted) is the philosophy that all men should be allowed to choose what they believe. Ezio's speech at the end of The Bonfire of the Vanities is the perfect summation of just why the Assassins combat the Templars, the Hermeticists, and others like them:

Ezio: People... Twenty-two years ago, I stood where I stand now -- and watched my loved ones die, betrayed by those I had called friends. Vengeance clouded my mind. It would have consumed me, were it not for the wisdom of a few strangers, who taught me to look past my instincts. They never preached answers, but guided me to learn from myself. We don't need anyone to tell us what to do; not Savonarola, not the Medici. We are free to follow our own path. There are those who will take that freedom from us, and too many of you gladly give it. But it is our ability to choose -- whatever you think is true -- that makes us human... There is no book or teacher to give you the answers, to show you the way. Choose your own way! Do not follow me, or anyone else.

    • Look beneath the surface. Cesare Borgia sought to bend a large chunk of Europe to his whims under the flimsy pretense of "bringing peace", ruthlessly exploited everyone who was useful to his cause (including his sister), and kept the populace mired in ignorance and poverty so they couldn't fight back. That he was a much bigger jerk than Al-Mualim doesn't change the fact that he was a Templar through and through. The Hermeticists were simply a classic case of good intentions gone horribly wrong, not unlike Girolamo Savonarola.
    • This was actually discussed in the game. In Assassin's Creed: Revelations, one of the Templar Inner Circle documents that you can unlock in multiplayer reveals that the modern Templars view the period when the order was under Borgia leadership as an embarrassment and refer to it as 'the dark times'.
  • Does anyone else think Ezio could have spared Ercole Massimo, the leader of the Hermeticists? During his last minutes he was unarmed and pleading for his life. While the Hermeticists may be going about it the wrong way, both they and the Assassins have similar motives, making it unlikely that Ercole would have backstabbed Ezio as soon as he turned around. Why didn't Ezio just verbally/physically harass him for a moment, then throw him down into the pit and tell him to get out? It seems Ercole's death was just meaningless.
    • The Hermeticists had just spent a lot of time torturing one of Ezio's friends, and they did try to kill Ezio himself a short time ago. I'd have killed him too.
    • Whether or not the target is unarmed really doesn't matter much to the Assassins. If they're dangerous to the organization or goals, they die.
    • Also, as discussed in Assassin's Creed II YMMV page on Motive Decay, the Assassins seem to have gone from stopping evil acts and schemes of the Templars, as we see Altair doing in ACI, to "Killing anyone who is remotely allied with the Templars and keep humanity's free will at all costs, even if at the price of war and destruction". Plus, I think that Ezio has a lot of moments that show just how the Assassins aren't much better than the Templars or even the Hermeticists. They're dead-bent on their own vision of how to make a better world, and they're willing to kill for it. While Altair/Ezio might rebuke or ignore whenever a Templar tries a Not So Different Hannibal Lecture, a sharp-minded player can see that the Jerkass Has a Point. Either the developers had this in mind(Subtly showing how all sides of the conflict had their points and similar flaws), or it's unintended and we're supposed to be playing under Protagonist Centered Moralty(Otherwise, the game's name would be Templar's Creed, Hermeticist's Creed, etc...). The Hermeticists may have been huge jerks in killing Lucrezia's former lover, attacking Ezio and beating Leonardo, but the Assassins are not beyond allying with morally ambiguous people or empires. (Caterina Sforza was no saint, Julius II(Rodrigo Borgia's successor as Pope and huge enemy of the Borgia Family) wasn't that noble and, in Revelations, the Assassins ally with the Ottoman Sultan and Empire, but we're shown multiple times that they're very little different from the Borgia, and the Assassins just accept them because, well, they don't have any other option. One gets the impression the Assassins are more interested in killing Templars and following their Creed than taking more reasonable courses of action towards helping mankind...
  • 'Project Legacy' example: We see the death of Niccolo di Pitigliano from his own point of view, and we get memories from Perotto Calderon after he has passed on his genetic material. If you think about the series' established rules of Genetic Memory (or, indeed, revisit the Altair flashback in AC2), this gets a little confusing...
    • It's possible that the DDS operates on different principles from the Animus. After all, what are the odds that everyone who uses the DDS has a direct lineage to all of the people whose memories that can be explored?
      • I'm fairly certain I read somewhere that the DDOS uses a different system to show users the events as they happened, but doesn't create an full 3D interface for users to play around in. But it also has it's drawbacks and disadvantages, which is probably why they need the Animus program to begin with. The DDOS is probably just an experiment to see if they can get any tangible benifits out of such a system.
      • Actually, the DDS isn't a full-blown Animus, but a "Data Dump Scanner", able to force random memories (seemingly coming from their "rightful" owners' minds) into the brains of willing appliants. The introduction cutscene before any memories warns the user of the possiblity of mindblowing glitches. Literally.
      • It's possible that Perotto had other kids who were born after the memories, and the two genetic lines simply converged.
  • Was anyone else bothered by the fact BOTH the Thieves's Guild Traitors had only one eye and wore eyepatches? I mean, they had separate character models and all. I just found it odd...