magic belong in assassins creed
January 12th, 2019 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Is it really a stretch that the main character fought mythical beasts?

An interesting topic was brought up in a thread about the latest Assassins Creed. A commenter said that the inclusion of magical elements and legendary beasts we a step too far. Sure, by now we all know that the AC franchise take many creative liberties with history. But in a game where you can relive the memories of ancestor via DNA sample isn’t really hard sci-fi, is it? But yeah, the jump between pre-movie AC games and the newer post-movie AC games does mark a striking change in some of the established lore of the series. (BTW, don’t watch the movie, just using it as a point of reference here.)

Very minor spoilers for Odyssey, but there are optional boss fights with beasts of legend from Greek folklore. But it’s not that surprising is it? After all, we do know that the people of the “first civilization” enjoyed messing with early humans. But is it a step too far anyway? It’s still the memories of the ancestor, so you should see what really happened, right?

No, actually. Coming up toe to toe with the Minotaur actually might make a bit of sense. The key operating word is that we are exploring memories. The game already likes to throw around the “memory glitch” or something as a handwave to issues. But that’s a weak excuse and there’s a better explanation. Memories can be distorted over the years. Some things aren’t quite how you remembered them.

Like how to spell the BerenSTEIN Bears or whether or not Sinbad was a genie. No, I’m not trying to invoke the Mandella Effect but… Well, yes I am actually. The stories are stories for a reason. Do we remember who killed Medusa? Was it the gods or just that Kassandra person?

Okay, so why is it okay then?

But really what it comes down to is this. It’s perceptions that paint these memories the way they do. When Kassandra defeats the legendary beast, the moment she takes the artifact, the ‘monster’ quietly transforms into a little Sackboy, basically. Were the ‘gods’ just messing with Kassandra’s head? There’s no way to know for sure.

But we do know that Kassandra believes she defeated these beasts. It is what she thinks she did. So when you’re in the animus, exploring her memories, its going to show you she actually felt about the fight. Maybe the Minotaur was just a slightly oversized bull that she had a hard time with. Maybe Medusa was just a sickly woman using superstitions or herpetology to fight back. Maybe she ate some psychedelic mushrooms on her way to the Sphinx?

In the film 300, the bombs that the Persian army chucked at the Spartans were referred to as magic. As is the case here, I believe. Whatever happened, Kassanda had her very own explanation for what transpired. Simply a matter of what she believes. And if she truly believes that she fought mythical beings, then that’s what the animus is going to show you. It’s not magic, just perception.

MALAKA! Chet has played about 90 hours of Assassins Creed Odyssey and doesn’t expect to stop any time soon.



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April 18th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Sometimes you find love in weird places like the middle of a totalitarian cultist takeover.

Far Cry 5 is yet another example of how all the mainline Ubisoft games are getting rather homogenous. With the ability to hire a somewhat competent squad AI to help you fight the enemies, you’d be forgiven if you just briefly glanced at the game and thought you were playing Ghost Recon: Wildlands. Despite all of this, Ubisoft is making headway in all their sandbox games by giving the NPCs some actual characteristics and traits. Indeed, on top of the 9 companions you can receive in the game, you can also talk to the many many NPCs you find during missions, strongholds, and sometimes random encounters. They have interesting things to tell you, and a lot of them can be hired to fight by your side. These “guns for hire” do more than just that, they have unique skills that come with them, that they unlock when they score a certain number of kills.

While progressing through the game, I cycled around a lot of the specialty companions that had some things to say, especially to each other, but I found that their range of dialog grew short pretty fast. That was not the case for Diana Frye, an NPC I met in Fall’s End (I think) much earlier in the game. Despite going through the motions and finding new people with better special abilities, I was compelled to call on her to come fight with me instead. She had a large array of things to say and even addressed several other companions by name, which was the first thing that surprised me. There I was traveling with a random stranger in the game and just had another character join the squad, and she spoke to that character as if they were best friends. It was outrageous, never before have I seen so much work put into a character whom in any other game would just have been a nameless, faceless, disposable grunt.

She allowed me to keep extra ammo and was capable of reviving fangs for hire, sure, those were her “special abilities” but I was far more interested in taking her around and hearing her take on the local sights. Despite having some randomized catchphrases that plague all NPCs in every video game ever, I was continually taken aback when she mentioned some of the places I‘d walk through. I passed through a summer camp and she mentioned going there when she was a kid. When we ended up on the set for Blood Dragon, she enthusiastically stated how excited she was for the movie. And of course, the one-off “I think I peed myself” never got old. It really didn’t, it was funny EVERY SINGLE TIME. The only time I ever got sick of her was that she has only 1 or 2 lines to say about Peaches the cougar and she was repeating them ad nauseum to the point where I did have to send her away. But I legitimately felt bad about doing it. After I found Cheeseburger the bear, I brought her back into the fold.

I met many more named, fully developed NPCs as I tore my way through Hope County, but Diana was my favorite. She was the most adorable hillbilly in Montana and she was MINE. I don’t know what it was that made her so special. Maybe it was the accent, I do tend to fall for cute accents even when they’re possibly meant to sound “stupid.” You can meet characters who don’t have an accent, and you can meet characters who sound far more serious and grim. But Diana was not a grim character by any stretch. As I blew up the cult’s vehicles and heard her unironically shout “USA! USA! USA!” I grew rather fond of the character. I went through far more ordeals with this character than any other companions in the game and loved every second of it.

I did have another female NPC follow me around for a bit just to make sure the dialog wasn’t the same for everyone. Indeed it wasn’t, although I’m sure if I talked to enough NPCs I would eventually find the same voice actor saying the same lines on a differently skinned character. But that didn’t matter because I met Diana first and she and I racked up the kills together. I really appreciate the trouble Ubisoft went through to make Hope County a sandbox that has felt more full of life than I had in other games in their whole library of open worlds. This actually makes me want to go back and play other newer Ubisoft games like Assassin’s Creed Origins and Ghost Recon Wildlands just so I can see if they’ve done the same to those games.

And that was it, whenever she rode shotgun with me in a vehicle as rolled up to the next target event, I was actually happy to have her around, and she’s really not even my type as far as looks go. She said funny things and was effective in combat, respective of when I’d go in stealth and then switch to going loud. There are NPCs who don’t know how to stealth, but she did. I’m still just so surprised to have an enriched experience with one of the extras. I mean, later on, I did meet a cute and quiet sharpshooter, but I stayed loyal to Diana, just as my Commander Shepard stayed loyal to… oh wait, I left Liara for Jack, nevermind. But, Diana Frye is my bae for Far Cry 5 tho. I strongly suggest experimenting in the game, and if you look hard enough, your new red-blooded rootin’ tootin’ point-and-shootin’ American waifu will find her way to you. Alright, I’m off to purchase more 2B boob mousepads and hug pillows.

I did stay loyal to Jack, just so you know.




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