View Full Version : Synopsis: A detailed look into the REAL Jacob Frye.

12-05-2017, 01:29 AM
Greetings, everyone!

Today, I figured that I'd branch my thoughts onto a character that I feel hasn't gotten a consistent opinion out of me - Jacob Frye.

A character that I feel is in a sort of "grey area", and one that I sometimes feel has gotten a bit of the wrong rub from the community. This isn't necessarily a praise thread; nor is it to really bash the characters or story since I've already went into those in detail already. It's really just ya random dude's here opinion on how he may be a bit overlooked, as well as some of his inner complexities as a character. I'll elaborate further by saying that I'm currently on my third play-through of Syndicate. As usual, I already had my pre-existing notions on practically everything. Evie was boring; Henry was useless. However, with Jacob... there was nothing. I never pondered until now if there was really more to it all.
Okay, I'm getting too full of myself here. Let's evaluate, shall we? ;)

I'll start off by stating that Jacob Frye is a really 'different' kind of Assassin. By different, I mean that the forefront of the conflicts he faces aren't necessarily external or even grandeur such as stopping oppression, or leading a rebellion like how Ezio or Connor did (although ironically Jacob himself does both) but rather an internal, more relatively modern conflict of trying to find his place in the world. Whereas Evie is never in question of herself as an Assassin, Jacob spends much of the game at odds since he doesn't necessarily fit the mold of an Assassin that the older generation tried to impose on him. This is perhaps the result of his defiant, reckless behavior; he wanted to prove that things can be done another way -- HIS way -- although this is sometimes accidentally, and sometimes purposefully. He feels misunderstood by those closest for being himself when he was comparatively taught that free will and the love of others was at the heart of their Creed.

This also correlates with the importance of responsibility which is what we get to when Jacob meets Maxwell Roth. What's interesting about their dynamic (at least from my perspective) is that Roth is the sole representation of what Jacob yearns for out of life. He's who Jacob envisions as his perfect self in a world without duties, traditions, or creeds. No condescending Evie or his "out-of-touch" father to dismiss his individuality. He finally has someone who understands, supports, and most importantly - respects him. This is even more compelling when Jacob is finally faced with the logical extremes of his own actions through Roth. He realizes the importance of responsibility; solidifying what his father was trying to teach him, as well as finding his resolve with the Assassins, and a proper balance between the extremes of recklessness and caution, and anarchy and order. I think one overlooked part of Jacob's character is that he has all the traits of the "Modern Assassin" he was marketed as. He improvises on many situations and doesn't hold tradition as highly as others, yet he does stand to represent core aspects of the Assassins - freedom, free will, rebellion. All this being prevalent in whether he rebelling against the Templars, against society, against the traditions and restrictions of the Assassins, or simply a family that doesn't understand him. Plus, he thinks it's fun!

Another hidden aspect of Jacob as a character is actually displayed in the most key part of him: his sense of humor. It's very subtle, yet likely that Jacob uses his humor as a means to deflect - a defense mechanism to cover up his innermost turmoil, pain or jealousy.

This is prevalent during two instances in the story.

1) Sequence 6: This is which Jacob mocks Evie's infatuation with Henry. At face value, this is nothing more than a joke from Evie's end of the story. However, we don't really see much from Jacob's perspective. Throughout various parts of the story, Jacob is always purposefully mocking Henry, calling him "greenie" as a means to passive aggressively show his dislike towards him. To Jacob, this guy took away whatever attention his sister would give him. To him, Evie, though she annoyed him at times, was still the last bit of family he had that cared what he did. They grew up and trained together after all. It's only natural to feel a bit of resentment towards another person that resembled the same kind of "attention hogging" that he felt his father also did.

2) Sequence 12: Just like sequence 6, this takes place in the beginning which Jacob is heavily distraught from his "finale" with Roth. A subtle indicator of his is how he's not wearing his usual top hat, displaying his usually upbeat demeanor, and how he's holding his hand over his face. He's obviously depressed over the fact that the "freedom" he experienced with Roth wasn't all that it seemed and he needed some time to cope. Evie, who is blind to see any of this (due to her frustrations, of course), believes him to be his usual self and berates him like always. Jacob then says, "Let's ask Henry, shall we?" jokingly with slight inflections of anger and frustration in his tone. He had just went through the most life-changing experience of his life and his own sister just... disregards it. Only caring for the mission. Then to make matters worse is that throughout the game, she cuts down more and more of his individuality -- constantly reminding him of their father, downplaying his accomplishments, and ultimately throwing his flaws in his face. It was finally the last tipping point in which Jacob's true feelings were revealed when he exclaimed, "FATHER IS DEAD!" as a means to remind Evie that they both are not their father -- to not cling so heavily to past. Because unlike Evie, Jacob wanted to establish his own identity. His own purpose. His own Creed.


I suppose I sometimes find Jacob to be a bit puzzling due to there being layers to his character than I anticipated. A lot of the fandom simply writes him off as another generic clone of "you-know-who", but the way his character goes into exploring the issues of one's identity is a pretty powerful message in its own right. However, that isn't to say that it' was all handled or executed wonderfully. Far from it. But the effort is there, for sure!

I hope my post may have enlightened a few of you out there regarding this character.


12-05-2017, 01:27 PM
I honestly think each and every protagonist character they showed have his or her own story to follow, and even if they are compared to ezio's personality or character, its way too biased to say that, creativity is not respected much after ezio. The character of Altair of being a mentor and how it made his personality after facing a target of his own teacher, the character of Ezio, the revenge, the love, the sense of humor, and everything, masterpiece in itself, the character of connor, who is taught to always be right, and after the tragedy of his mother's death in his childhood, its obvious how he lacked the sense of humor everyone wanted out of him, it was creative and it was a very deep perspective. Then Edward Kenway, was very famous but very different then Ezio, and then the very berated one Arno, he was considered to be created in the footsteps of what Ezio was, but Arno's story has its own depth. It was just because we the fans of Assassins Creed franchise have already seen a lot of AC, so we are prone to judge these new stories and the new personalities in the backlight of older protagonists which is a shame.

Anyhow, I have not played syndicate till now, because I am waiting for a good gaming rig, and I m getting it sooner now, after reading your perspective on Jacob, I can imply that my perspective on AC protagonists personalities is accepted by others too