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View Full Version : Are the Templars done as villains?



Charles_Phipps
12-20-2013, 04:38 PM
We've been killing Templars for seven games now.

Altair's game depicted the Templars as a vast secret society responsible for virtually every evil in the world and went so far as to say that World War 2 was a gigantic sham, their involvement in the Kennedy assassinations, and possibly a role in the genocide of Africa. This was, ironically, while depicting the Templars in the Medieval Era was a semi-justified bunch of extremists.

So far, so good. The Illuminati vs. Plucky Arabic Ninjas. I'm in.

Ezio's story, as we know, is all about the delightfully evil Borgias. They were portrayed ridiculously over-the-top and all of their allies were craven, rapists, or psychopaths. Despite this, I really enjoyed their depiction and felt it was very fun doing an Italian version of the Count of Monte Cristo.

Unfortunately, things started wearing thin for me in Revelations as while I was willing to stretch my credulity for Lorenzo D'Medici and Caterina Sforza as allies to our protagonists (if not heroes), that became damn near impossible with the Ottoman Empire.

The game did a cruddy job of establishing why the Templars would be any worse than one of the most massive slave-holding societies of all time who actually "created" kindapped "children raised from birth to be slave-soldiers" as a concept.

Assassins Creed III, for me, sealed the deal with Haytham and the Templars being depicted as anti-slavery and pro-racial equality with a heaping dose of trying to prevent the destruction of the First Nations people. This is so RIDICULOUSLY ahead of its time that if we're to assume this is standard Templar dogma they look good compared to vast sections of history. Liberation also continued the "Templars are anti-slavery even if they're power-hungry jerks."

Which, for me, made it seem like the Assassins were wasting their time fighting the Templars period when there were so many other RL evils to be fighting. Indeed, Minerva flat out said the Templars and Assassins war was a massive waste of time. With Juno, it looked like we were going to be moving away from that.

Black Flag didn't move away from the Templars vs. Assassins BUT it also kind of made it ambiguous. The Templars are out to dissolve the slave-holding societies of the time, fight for justice, and generally do good deeds while having some severely jerkish members. The real enemy was Black Bart. Likewise, while Kenway joins the Assassins to be a "force for good" I never quite bought the idea the Assassins were wholly in the right. Freedom Cry underscores this by having him fight against slavery only when he ABANDONS a pointless hunt for Templars.

Even the modern era is kind of iffy as while we see Vidic and Cross as complete ****s in AC3, Abstergo Entertainment is made up of a bunch of corporate feel good types. They're SORT of evil but kittens compared to Black Bart.

So, really, should AC move on to new villains?

DinoSteve1
12-20-2013, 04:46 PM
The Templers always say they are out to do good, but when you boil down to it what they want is subjugation of everyone, not freedom. Abstergo is a front to help them achieve this.

MnemonicSyntax
12-20-2013, 04:50 PM
I'm fairly sure that Haytham and his Templars aren't exactly anti-racist/pro equality, as much as saving the Mohawk people from capture "opened a door."

Templars would only do something like that if it was beneficial to them. Such an idea wasn't even suggested until it was used to infiltrate the fort.

The Templar/Assassin war is still going on present day. The Assassins are regrouping, while the Templars are trying to plan their next move (ie The Observatory location)

The employees at Abstergo Entertainment are NOT Templars, with the possible except of Oliver (sp?) and even then he seems kinda clueless as to Laetitia's true intentions for wanting to know the location of the Observatory. His hinted capture by the Assassins is either because he knows something, or he's a ransom, or he's totally clueless but the Assassins aren't sure what he knows.

Charles_Phipps
12-20-2013, 05:00 PM
The Templers always say they are out to do good, but when you boil down to it what they want is subjugation of everyone, not freedom. Abstergo is a front to help them achieve this.

That's where it gets weird, though. They want to take over the world to fix all the worlds problems and think they can do a better job than everyone else. Which, arguably, they can.

It's a bad-bad viewpoint.

However, it's not as one-dimensional as it could be.

Assassin_M
12-20-2013, 05:22 PM
The last 2 games have hinted towards an Alliance and if anyone read Brahman, it strongly hints towards a team up to defeat Juno

so yeah...i'd say one more game and they're temporarily done as villains...

Shahkulu101
12-20-2013, 05:26 PM
I like the moral ambiguity, but both the Assassin's and Templars are pretty much extremists - from an outsiders perspective they're both a bit crazy. From each if their own perspectives they're bad people.

DinoSteve1
12-20-2013, 05:28 PM
That's where it gets weird, though. They want to take over the world to fix all the worlds problems and think they can do a better job than everyone else. Which, arguably, they can.

It's a bad-bad viewpoint.

However, it's not as one-dimensional as it could be.But would that not make you wary, if someone said to you, we will fix all your problems as long as you and your descendants do what we say, forever?

ReaperSaga
12-20-2013, 05:43 PM
I can't remember the details anymore, but somehow I started to side a bit with the Templars over time (like, starting after revelations or so), because they were making much more sense than Assassins. I was anyways left to that impression that Assassin's Creed were pretty much this "Templars vs Assassins" kinda thing, and I don't really want it to change.

Maybe I'm a bit old fashioned or something, but I never like it when things start to take a new direction. You know, when new enemies start replacing the old ones, everything suddenly starts to change completely from the old and so on.

HiddenKiller612
12-20-2013, 05:50 PM
Depends on how you view them. Ac1 they looked, acted, and even spoke as if they were villains.... In modern day and in the past segments. In AC2, same thing since we gained little knowledge of the present day Templar Vs. Assassin fight and the Templars were painted as villains yet again, moving past Brotherhood and revelations since those were extensions of AC2... In AC3 we see that perhaps the Templars aren't so black and white, but maybe there's a gray area... This is shown between Connor and Haythams interactions... Still, we have a sort of modern day evil Templars. Maybe the Templars will team up with the Assassin's at some point, as Assassin_M suggests, but I could only see that effecting modern day...

Charles_Phipps
12-20-2013, 06:28 PM
But would that not make you wary, if someone said to you, we will fix all your problems as long as you and your descendants do what we say, forever?

Yeah, it's the one party system ideology.

"You and your descendants can have a say in the world. As long as you become Templars and we find you worthy of being so."

But yes, the Assassins biggest problem is they're devoted to killing Templars 24/7 and are a purely REACTIVE group now. Haytham commented the Assassins used to be all about world peace and Altair said that he was interested in educating the populace as a whole. Ironically, you might argue this is MORE likely to make people side with the Templars than the reverse. However, the biggest thing the Templars have going for them is they have all these big dreams and the Assassins want to stop them irregardless of what those dreams are.

BoBwUzHeRe1138
12-20-2013, 07:30 PM
I don't think the Templars are by any means "done as villains."

We know the war between Assassins vs Templars has gone on pretty much since Cain and Abel to present day so even if Assassins and Templars called the fight off in 2013, we'd still have literally every year before then to explore.

That said, the threat doesn't always have to be Templars. Assassins regard anyone and anything that is a threat to freedom and equality to be an enemy so there could very well be a game where you play as an Assassin battling a different faction. This was actually sort of done in the Da Vinci Disappearance with the enemies being non-Templars and even celebrating your actions against the Borgia. Instead of a ridiculously organized and secret background puppeteer group throughout history, the enemies in the Disappearance were just a small cult essentially, though admittedly, a decently powerful and organized one still.

I think it could be interesting with Assassins as villains. The Assassins aren't perfect and I'm sure that at some point, at least one sect was pretty bad. Kind of like the Borgias are regarded as awful BY the Templars themselves, this group of Assassins could be like the Brotherhood's own Borgia. The game could firmly establish you as a Templar and have you fighting against the evil Assassins Brotherhood OR it could return to the original AC's more mysterious and less straightforward plot by having you be sent to kill off Templars who were plotting the destruction of the Brotherhood. During the "last words" Animus moments, the Templars could reveal why they did what they did and could perhaps, actually open the protagonist's eyes to how corrupt the Brotherhood is. From that point on, you decide to take out the Assassin leaders.

That said... meh. I like the struggle between Assassins and Templars as it's an eternal fight IRL. How much freedom does one forfeit in order to be part of society? Do you let the government control x, y, and z? How much personal freedom do you give up to ensure peace and security?

aL_____eX
12-20-2013, 08:38 PM
Both organisations have more or less noble creeds. But I think the Templars are more the dictator type, as they want to control everything, so it becomes good and everything goes its predetermined way. The Assassins fight for the free will of all human beings, for the right to make your own decisions that no one can touch and will fight against everyone who tries to prevent people from being free!

I love this "war" between the two of them and hope future brings more of it. More details about the different teams and important characters of both and how the story goes on... What I also want for the future of AC is that Ubi moves on to TWCB or especially Juno as she might become the biggest danger for the world and so maybe the fight against her will be more focused on. I can imagine that Assassins and Templars temporarily team up, but the conflict is still there.

Perk89
12-20-2013, 08:39 PM
The series has been making Templars more and more "grey" for some time now. I'd actually prefer it if we got back to just being an Assassin having to kill Templars circa AC2. I understand mixing up the story, it was needed.... But it'd be nice to get the norm back again. Story was strong when it was that way.

Charles_Phipps
12-20-2013, 09:40 PM
The series has been making Templars more and more "grey" for some time now. I'd actually prefer it if we got back to just being an Assassin having to kill Templars circa AC2. I understand mixing up the story, it was needed.... But it'd be nice to get the norm back again. Story was strong when it was that way.

I always felt the first game sort of cheated by making the Mentor a Templar. Wouldn't it have made more sense that the Templars were evil but the Assassins had a leader who was even more evil?

DarktheMagister
12-20-2013, 09:42 PM
I always felt the first game sort of cheated by making the Mentor a Templar. Wouldn't it have made more sense that the Templars were evil but the Assassins had a leader who was even more evil?

Al Mualim wasn't a Templar as far as I recall.....he was just allied with them....until of course he wasn't anymore.

MnemonicSyntax
12-20-2013, 09:44 PM
I always felt the first game sort of cheated by making the Mentor a Templar. Wouldn't it have made more sense that the Templars were evil but the Assassins had a leader who was even more evil?

Eh... what?

Neither side is really "evil" as much as one wants peace through tyranny, the other wants peace through freedom and free will.

It's the classic story line. Transformers has done it, the Matrix, Assassin's Creed, etc.

It's what the Templars do to ensure they are the ones that write history in the books that would make them "evil" but again, it's to merely open a door. A ways to a means.

DarktheMagister
12-20-2013, 09:45 PM
As for Haytham's group.... (which is kind of a splinter cell....since he goes back to England to kill the group there)..... Their reason for slave freedom and helping the natives was less about "freedom and good things" and more about "now these people will want to follow our goals because we helped them."

MasterSimaYi
12-20-2013, 10:12 PM
Altair's game depicted the Templars as a vast secret society responsible for virtually every evil in the world and went so far as to say that World War 2 was a gigantic sham, their involvement in the Kennedy assassinations, and possibly a role in the genocide of Africa. This was, ironically, while depicting the Templars in the Medieval Era was a semi-justified bunch of extremists.

The stuff about World War II and the Kennedy assassination is from the second game, not the first. No mention of the genocide of Africa in the games. The second game started to portray the Templars as purely evil, when the first game emphasized they still had good intentions.


Liberation also continued the "Templars are anti-slavery even if they're power-hungry jerks."

Remember the slaves the Templars in Louisiana rounded up to work at the excavation site at Chichen Itza to uncover First Civilization artifacts.


Likewise, while Kenway joins the Assassins to be a "force for good" I never quite bought the idea the Assassins were wholly in the right.

That's exactly what they're gunning for. They don't want them to be "good" and "evil" or "right" and "wrong" anymore, they mean for it to be a gray area. It's a conflict of ideologies; peace through free will, and peace through control.


Abstergo Entertainment is made up of a bunch of corporate feel good types. They're SORT of evil but kittens compared to Black Bart.

The employees at Abstergo Entertainment are all oblivious to the Templars, aside from Olivier Garneau.


The last 2 games have hinted towards an Alliance and if anyone read Brahman, it strongly hints towards a team up to defeat Juno

so yeah...i'd say one more game and they're temporarily done as villains...

As long as there are historical segments in the game, they will be the enemy. There may be unity between the Assassins and Templars in the modern day segments of the next game(s), but that would not apply to the ancestor segments.

There have already been heroic Templars and evil Assassins through the games, as has been pointed out. I'd like to make a mention of the Assassins aiding the Bolsheviks and forcing the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and aiding in installing a populist government - a communist government. I think most people nowadays would consider that a bad move, but that's what the Encyclopedia has established. While we have the Templars to 'thank' for capitalism.

ajl992008
12-20-2013, 10:15 PM
what would be cool to see is a civil war of sorts in a faction, one in the assassins would be great to see on a full scale as we saw something with abas but his motivations were mainly personal due to hating altair. what if we see a rift in the faction where both sides thing their interpretation of the creed is the correct one, this leads to grey morality and an inner debate in the assassin you are playing as, this can be further complicated by the interference of the templars and their ideology which could cause conflict for the character. I don't know, just seems like a cool story to tell in my opinion.