View Full Version : The Case for Expanding the Meta Plot - From Eden to the Far Future (spoilers)

08-29-2015, 04:48 PM
This week, I would like to talk about the direction of the series. The Assassin's Creed Franchise has traditionally had three timelines to portray the multi-tiered meta storyline. As you will know, these are;

- The Present Day
- The Historical Period
- The First Civilization

But what if we were to add a fourth?

We'll come to that, but of the existing three, the First Civilization story content has never been playable. I believe that is due to change in the near future.

The First Civilization

Let's have a look at some of the evidence. First of all, dearest Darby McDevitt in an interview from February of this year;

"In the past two years I have been working with all the other writers to really get a great document together about the First Civilization. So, as a little teaser, we've really created like five, six, seven hundred years of First Civ history that we hope to start teasing out, you know, for the next ten or twenty years or however long we're around. Because as I see it - and I don't know how many people agree with me - there's always two ways to go with the First Civ. You could always make them mysterious and never quite know what they were. But I think that at a certain point in the game we said "Ok we know enough about them that they are a thing, they are real, so why not go the other direction and actually treat them as real history?".

So me and a number of writers have been [creating this], just as a side project, to really make sure that all future projects have this cool timeline to go from. We've created this huge, massive First Civ history with all the big moments and a ton of small moments that you never even thought of, so that every future writer can go like "Where's that timeline?" and "Ok, I wanna reference Juno again, or Minerva. Where was she at this date and what was she doing? In what stage of her progress was she? How far along was the Human - First Civ war going? When were humans created? How long between when humans were created and the war?"

The writers are already catering for it within the existing games. Abstergo are currently working on The Phoenix Project within the Present Day, and this outright aims to sequence the First Civilization genome. The promotional video that featured in Unity tells it best, but the plan is for them to then be able to access the First Civilization time period through the Animus/Helix technology. We know they are getting closer, with the scrambled footage (http://i.imgur.com/8gndA5N.jpg) they cobbled together and showed in the Assassin Intel.

Let us also not forget the "Truth" video from AC2, that Clay was briefly able to obtain. This set in motion the possibility that we could travel back, and Shaun Hastings even suggested it was possible during a conversation with Desmond within AC3.

So where would we go? By all accounts the First Civilization were predominantly based within Africa, with Tanzania supposedly the location of Eden.


In Brotherhood, a digital construct of Clay told us;

"Eden. She... in Eden. Find Eve. The key. Her DNA..."

With Juno seemingly approaching her goal of Singularity, the key to defeating her may not lie in the present - but in the very distant past. Eve, as the leader of the human rebellion against the First Civilization, seemingly must have been in possession of either a weapon or some knowledge that allowed humanity to battle with their creators on an equal footing. By being able to study the time period, and understand some of their technology, the attraction to journeying there cannot be understated enough for both the Templars and the Assassins.

I find it interesting that Syndicate gives us two protagonists to play as, with both a male and a female. It almost smacks of a test bed for a certain other pair who I can see as playable protagonists.


Within the Truth video we could see that both Adam and Eve were experts at freerunning, so they would make suitable candidates for our usual acrobatic explorers.

We have previously seen the Nexus and the Eye, two pieces of technology that allowed the First Civilization to see into our, and other possible futures. Ubisoft could use this to portray foreshadowing in a way that we could see future events and teases, of events that have not yet even occurred. To then play out these events first hand, with the possibility and the power to alter them, opens up a whole avenue of causality storytelling that would have players questioning everything - both the events of past titles, and those which are still to come.


From a narrative standpoint, we could also see;

- The beginnings of the Human rebellion firsthand
- Take an active part in the Human/First Civ war
- Uncovering weaponry, and technology to increase our ability set
- Seeing the decline of the First Civilization
- Observe the early beginnings of the Assassin and Templar factions
- Crystal skulls being used to transmit messages across timelines

Eventually we would be able to uncover the 'key' to defeating Juno in the present day. Or perhaps, knowing our plans as she was the one who put Clay up to it, she might escape us...

The Far Future

[Credit to KM33 (http://km33.deviantart.com/art/Deus-Assassin-359094987) for the amazing art]

Assassin's Creed has never truly explored the future. Traditionally, the franchise has been known for its historical tourism, and has always retained some element of real world relevance. If we were to jump the storyline forward say, a hundred years, we would be in a completely fictional arena. An arguably more Sci-Fi based one as well.

For a game known for its time travel though, it is the one direction we have never truly headed. If you look at the situation in the present day, Abstergo has the resources and the money to completely dominate the Assassins even now. Indeed, we are pretty much in another great purge, with the Assassins having to resort to hiding in 'cells' purely to survive. If we were to jump forward in time, with the addition of new technology one could easily see the Templar Order dominating the world once more, and arrogantly parading around like they own the place (because they do) like they once did in Victorian London with their logo plain for all to see. We know from recent surveys (http://i.imgur.com/YEWDfZ5.png) that Ubisoft is still considering allowing us to play as a Templar, therefore being exposed to a world where they have 'won' would be a wondrous way to learn about the lore of the order with all of their secrets out in the open to experience.

[Credit to alaztheri (http://alaztheri.deviantart.com/art/Templar-design-472559745)for the amazing art.]

"But wait!" I hear you cry. "The First Civilization never mastered time travel. This is all rubbish!"

Ah but they did. Not only that, but Abstergo has such a Piece of Eden, and even managed to get it working - partially. I refer you to the original Assassin's Creed, and an e-mail from Alan Rikkin to Warren Vidic;

Philadelphia Project - Data provided from Animus Subject Twelve indicates that the ship briefly manifested in a future state for approximately 18 minutes. It is unclear whether the timeline is consistent with or parallel to our own. Although we have recovered enough data to reconstruct and repair the original artifact used in the experiment, Administration has refused to move forward on the project, citing paradox concerns. Corporate policy remains in place: any objects found to interfere with or manipulate time must be contained. Artifact will be moved to secure storage.

With Juno darting around the networks of the world, she would likely have become aware of this e-mail, and probably knows its location and how to operate it as such. One would assume there is an attraction to her to jump forwards in time, as cloning technology would have reached the point where her body could be completely restored from the remapped First Civilization genomes. If she so chose of course. On the other hand, advances in technology would make her goal of singularity far easier to achieve. According to a memo in Unity, Abstergo estimated that Animus technology would go mainstream within "13 years", so the possibility of the entire world being plugged in - in some fashion - is quite high.

The themes of transhumanism become more and more relevant in our real world every day. Within our life times, it is more than likely we will see the typical dystopian sci-fi trope of humanity being torn further apart by those who have, and those who have not. We see in sports, and modern military, the extent that people will accept and incorporate chemicals and technology into themselves to gain that extra edge. A human being born a hundred years from now would likely be enhanced in some way from birth - and this is where Juno's plan would come to fruition without the aid of Pieces of Eden. Ironically she could enthrall the world with our own technology. This is with the assumption of course that Juno would escape to the future. Even if she was defeated, the Templar vision of an ordered world would very much look not too dissimilar to this.

Within this world, the Assassins would be up against an even more frightening enemy. Of course, we have always been concerned about the usage of guns in any future setting, but equally from a gameplay standpoint the technology of the time could open up new and interesting gameplay mechanics. Even adapting the current themes of the Assassin, you could easily see some kind of laser Hidden blade, or stealth technology to weave your way around the neon streets. Parkour, jumping and climbing abilities would also be enchanced. For the Assassins this would be a brutal narrative, fighting against the need to embrace technology to survive, or to destroy it - the only way to free humanity entirely.

[Credit to KM33 (http://km33.deviantart.com/art/Deus-Assassin-359094987) for the amazing art]

Whilst purists would decry such a setting, many others yearn for the series to reboot. Others want it to try something fresh and new. By first introducing the First Civilization, and then a Far Future setting, we could allow Ubisoft to fully explore their creativity and give us new features and narrative plotlines that could be featured across the same location in multiple time points (http://i.imgur.com/XteVW6F.png). Or even parallel timelines. I feel it would be a valid test, to allow playable portions of these two timelines within future titles, whilst continuing the historical storytelling that so many adore. If successful, they could either be expanded upon, or create a spin off series. A prime example, would be a series like Call of Duty - which Assassin's Creed has been compared to many times - whom have created a near future spin off within the Black Ops series. Personally it is something I would like to explore.

But how about you?

Those points again for expanding the meta plot;

+ Allows Ubisoft more creative options
+ Expands the narrative and allows for multiple timelines in one location
+ Possibility of new and interesting gameplay mechanics and features

- Detracts from the franchise reputation as "historical tourism"
- Could potentially reduce the length of existing portions of present day and historical period content
- Too Sci-Fi or similar to other titles such as Deus Ex and Cyberpunk 2077

And to those who think it will never happen - Well, this was from a survey just 8 months ago... never say never.


Thanks for reading!

(Unless credited, all images from AC Wiki (http://assassinscreed.wikia.com/wiki/Assassin's_Creed_Wiki))

08-29-2015, 04:56 PM
I would prefer it to be a first civ "future".

I found it interesting how they explained their technology ;)

Personal choice I guess ;) but good post

08-29-2015, 04:58 PM
Awesome tread !!!! the only thing that I disagree is that Phoenix Project not was made to stop Juno,his development and the hunt for Eve DNA is all in line with her plan to plug all humankind in the Helix. and the hidden twelve is fundamental for this to happen...

08-29-2015, 05:07 PM
What if the first civ are humans in the future who create all of this technology to go back in time to change things how they wanted it to change, what if the catastrophe was the end of the world. The Assassins Templar war became something so big that they travelled back in time to get what they wanted.

I know it's not possible, I was just messing around lol...

09-02-2015, 07:22 PM
What if the first civ are humans in the future who create all of this technology to go back in time to change things how they wanted it to change, what if the catastrophe was the end of the world. The Assassins Templar war became something so big that they travelled back in time to get what they wanted.

I know it's not possible, I was just messing around lol...

Well, as far as we know, the device can only go forwards in time. But I suspect thats a simple thing to fix with a rewrite. ;)

09-03-2015, 06:30 PM
My Would Be soooooooo Surprised if they brought it to the future!

12-12-2015, 03:44 PM
I was thinking a bit more about the Modern Day storyline, and came back to the ideas for the future. I can't help but think jumping the Modern Day to the near future may actually help the Juno storyline to reach a bit more fruition, especially if she wants to recreate her world with the high tech weaponry of the Isu.

Its a nice little cyclical story really. Kind of like Battlestar Galactica. All of this has happened before, and will happen again.

12-12-2015, 07:41 PM
The future is not going to be a good thing for this series because it confirms that we have one, which means any other games about the present day don't matter at all.

I'm not keen on the idea of laser hidden blades either. The metal ones kill you instantly, require no fuel, and are relatively easy to fix. The laser ones would kill you instantly, use energy, and would be relatively difficult to fix. To what problem is the laser blade a solution?

However, I do like the idea of a new landscape that can be designed exactly to the needs of the game and/or a mission with no reliance at all on resembling a real place. Remember Me has an augmented future Paris, and it's my favourite original game world (although sadly very restricted in the game), so if it was either like that or a completely new fantasy world that isn't Earth that would be fun. But I think it would need to be separate from AC, unless it was saved until after a point in the AC story where it's confirmed that the Assassin-Templar struggle is ended somehow. Ubisoft gets heavily criticised for taking the principles of one game to insert in its other games. Maybe they don't care, and I don't particularly mind because I think the zone-unlocking map is a perfectly unstandable way to run an open world, but maybe an AC-like game in a sci-fi future would be a bridge too far when we already have Watch Dogs.

12-12-2015, 08:35 PM
Modern day has too many elements it tries to tackle (which resulted in the mess we have in the first place), it needs less, not more.