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10 Real Life Historical Events in Assassin's Creed Games

VOICE OVER: Riccardo Tucci WRITTEN BY: Caitlin Johnson
Assassin's Creed games have given us a better history lesson than most of us got in school! In this video we're looking at 10 times the AC franchise depicted actual historical events. Our list includes The 1755 Lisbon Earthquake “Assassin's Creed Rogue” (2014), The Battle of Chippenham “Assassin's Creed Valhalla” (2020), The Borgia Papacy “Assassin's Creed II” (2009) & “Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood” (2010), The Third Crusade “Assassin's Creed” (2007), The Plague of Athens “Assassin's Creed Odyssey” (2018) and more!
Transcript
Script written by Caitlin Johnson

10 Best Historical Events in Assassin’s Creed Games


Welcome to MojoPlays! Today, we’re looking at 10 historical events in “Assassin’s Creed” games; which ones did you read up on?

The 1755 Lisbon Earthquake

“Assassin’s Creed Rogue” (2014)


Portugal’s capital city was practically destroyed by a debilitating earthquake in 1755, in a natural disaster that caused up to 50,000 deaths at the highest estimates. You experience the quake first-hand near the beginning of “Assassin’s Creed Rogue”; it’s triggered by Shay taking a Piece of Eden from a vault beneath the city, and is the inciting incident that causes Shay to leave the Assassins. He decides that no organization that allows so many lives to be lost just for the sake of another Isu relic is worth his time, and defects to the Templars. The Lisbon earthquake broke the streets apart and destroyed thousands of buildings, and is recreated in one of the franchise’s best – and most tragic – platforming sections.

The Battle of Chippenham

“Assassin’s Creed Valhalla” (2020)


One of the major antagonists of “AC Valhalla” is Alfred of Wessex, better known as Alfred the Great, one of England’s most famous kings. Though history generally remembers Alfred the Great positively, hence the name, “Valhalla” took a different perspective, and that shows particularly in its version of the Battle of Chippenham. This was a major battle between the Anglo-Saxons and the invading Vikings, one which the Vikings ended up winning, seizing control of the entire region for some time. Eivor and the Raven Clan join forces with the Great Heathen Army – which was the real army involved in the conflict – and take Wessex, though it was only set to be theirs for a few months.

The Borgia Papacy

“Assassin’s Creed II” (2009) & “Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood” (2010)


One of the most notorious noble families to ever live, the Borgias have certainly been painted as villains by history – including when they appear during the “Ezio Trilogy”. Cesare Borgia is the main antagonist of “Brotherhood”, while his father Rodrigo takes control of the Vatican, becoming Pope Alexander VI. Today, it’s not clear how much about the Borgias is true and how much was slander invented by their rivals in European high society, but they did exist and also had control of Italy for a time. Being Spanish, they weren’t particularly popular in Italy, and that’s definitely something the games get right since Ezio spends his time trying to oust them from power.

The Third Crusade

“Assassin’s Creed” (2007)


Both the Assassin Brotherhood and the Knights Templar have their origins in the Crusades, despite both groups having existed for far longer according to the lore of later games – becoming the “Hidden Ones” and the “Order of Ancients”. But the very first game tackled the Crusades and their atrocities head-on, pitting Altaïr against many of the Holy Land’s most important figures, such as Richard the Lionheart. And when you’re not eavesdropping on conversations in one of the three main cities, you’ll be riding through war-torn no man’s land, just trying to get from one side to another without being taken out by a bloodthirsty Crusader.

The Plague of Athens

“Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” (2018)


In the year 430 BC and for a few years subsequently, Athens was struck by a devastating plague that killed tens of thousands of people. In “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey”, you witness the horrors of the plague outbreak – complete with a grey color filter on your screen – including the death of the Athenian leader Pericles. But “Assassin’s Creed” still can’t shed light on one of history’s biggest mysteries: what was the disease that caused the devastating plague? It may have been the Black Death, but it’s also been theorized to have been everything else from measles to Ebola, and some medical evidence suggests it might have even been typhoid.

Blackbeard’s Death

“Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag” (2013)


You’ll encounter many of history’s most notorious pirates throughout “Black Flag”, including Anne Bonny, Mary Read, Black Bart, and of course, Blackbeard himself – perhaps the most infamous of all. But just like in real life, Blackbeard meets an untimely and grisly end. He was killed during a surprise attack planned by Robert Maynard of the Royal Navy, who pursued him relentlessly for some time; upon his death, Blackbeard had his head cut off and taken as a trophy by Maynard, who planned to use it to claim a bounty. He’s given more of a hero’s death in “Black Flag” since he’s one of Kenway’s allies, but it’s still relatively true to life.

The Ides of March

“Assassin’s Creed Origins” (2017)


Another high-profile death that aimed to recreate history to the letter came in “Assassin’s Creed Origins”, where Julius Caesar is murdered by his fellow Roman senators for trying to make himself the Emperor of Rome. Roman Emperors did exist, of course, but not until after Caesar had been and gone, which is why the other politicians didn’t take kindly to him becoming a dictator. You’ve already had plenty of encounters with Caesar by this point, including witnessing his affair with Cleopatra, but it was certainly a dramatic moment to see his demise. He was brutally stabbed to death by a dozen men in broad daylight, who were supposedly members of the Assassins in-game.

Storming of the Bastille

“Assassin’s Creed Unity” (2014)


The French Revolution officially began on July 14th, 1789, still celebrated as Bastille Day every year in modern France. The Bastille, a large and oppressive prison in Paris, had stood for hundreds of years, starting life as a fortress. But while it was capable of repelling British invasions, it eventually fell to the Revolutionaries, who stormed the prison and broke the prisoners out – and one of those prisoners was, of course, Arno Dorian, soon-to-be Assassin. Arno didn’t really exist, but the Bastille’s storming remains one of the most important political moments in French history, leading to the establishment of the First French Republic and the advent of the Revolution.

The Boston Tea Party

“Assassin’s Creed III” (2012)


In 1773, American radicals launched a protest against the British colonial rulers, who had imposed higher taxes on tea that wasn’t sold by the East India Company. Outraged by British taxation, the Sons of Liberty took large amounts of the East India Company’s tea and dumped it in the Boston Harbor. In “Assassin’s Creed III”, this has the secondary aim of financially damaging the Templars, which is why it’s Connor who has the honor of carrying the tea and tossing it into the ocean. It’s still a huge part of Boston’s history and one of the first incidents in the successful American Revolution. Connor really hit the British where it hurts: right in the teabags.

Jack the Ripper’s Killing Spree

“Assassin’s Creed Syndicate” (2015)


The most notorious serial killer in history, Jack the Ripper was famously never caught or held responsible for his violent crimes. “Syndicate” mostly takes place in the 1860s, which left room for an entire DLC set in the unforgiving winter of 1888 when the Ripper was at large; Evie Frye returns from abroad and is tasked with unmasking the Ripper by Abberline when everybody believes her brother Jacob is responsible. Of course, you couldn’t set a game in Victorian London without getting Jack the Ripper in there somewhere, and dedicating a whole expansion gave these ghastly crimes the weight they deserve – saving them from becoming another of “Syndicate’s” penny dreadful side missions.
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