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View Full Version : The case for a Mormon history Assassin's Creed storyline



Lawesome_Sauce
01-06-2015, 07:40 AM
Full upfront disclosure, I’m a Mormon so I might be slightly biased in favor of Mormon history to begin with, but I was recently playing AC: Black Flag and a lot of things really just started clicking together that meld so easily into the AC franchise that I couldn’t ignore them. I do ask for some open-mindedness and respect in your replies.

To start, there’s already a Mormon connection that some of you may be aware of. In Brotherhood one of the puzzles depicts Cain slaying Abel, each picture captioned with a scriptural verse. The verse is not from the Bible, but rather an excerpt from the Pearl of Great Price, a Mormon text that, among other things, contains a translation of the first few chapters of Genesis. The giveaway is the title Cain gives himself, Master Mahan, which is a name exclusive to that book. At the bottom of the screen written in code is the message, “Templar texts adapted by Mr. Smith,” without a doubt referring to Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church. Beyond that, the meaning of the message is ambiguous. Many think it means Joseph Smith was a Templar. Personally I think he was uncommitted to either Templars or Assassins, but was probably friendly towards the Assassins like George Washington or Leonardo and the like, given the good nature of Joseph and the Mormons and their doctrine (i.e. people should be free to choose for themselves). I could elaborate more on this if you want.

There are a good number of other reasons for a Mormon storyline, that I think would best be presented in a list format.

1. Potential for Pieces of Eden – The Book of Mormon lists a few objects that would certainly be First Civilization artifacts in AC lore. One is the Liahona, a brass ball (Apple of Eden?) used as a navigation device, having two spindles, one pointing the direction the user needed to go while the purpose of the other is unknown (perhaps its purpose was removed from the record at the request of the assassins). The object was first discovered and used by a group migrating to the Americas from Jerusalem just before its destruction by the Babylonians in 600 BC. The object was rediscovered by Joseph Smith when he found the Golden Plates (a record written on sheets of metal from which the Book of Mormon was translated). Another potential Piece of Eden are the Urim and Thummim two glass-like objects held together in a frame that were used to translate the Golden Plates into English (this device is also mentioned once in the Old Testament). The Golden Plates themselves could possibly be a Piece of Eden, but more on that later.

2. Lots of places to explore – a good number of cities were founded and/or developed by Mormons on the frontier of the 1800’s U.S., including Kirtland in Ohio; Independence and Far West in Missouri; Nauvoo in Illinois, and a number of other small towns. Besides that, obviously it doesn’t have to be limited to Mormon settlements. This also opens up potential for city building minigames in each of these towns, if that’s your thing.

3. Lots of conflict in Mormon history – the establishment of the religion was met with a LOT of persecution. All of those cities Mormons were well established in? Yeah, they got kicked out, often at gunpoint and after their buildings were burned down, their possessions were looted or destroyed, their women were raped, and many were murdered, including men, women, and children. Then they trekked through the snow to the next city they would establish and be forced to leave. One notable massacre at a settlement called Haun’s Mill saw 17 Mormons dead. The Governor of Missouri, Lilburn Boggs, even issued an extermination order against the Mormons unless they evicted themselves from the state. Fun side note: an assassination attempt was later made on Governor Boggs’ life. He was shot with a gun, receiving two pellets from the gun in his skull, another lodged in his neck, and one more in his throat which he swallowed. He was presumed dead on the scene. However he survived and recovered (which is unfortunate for the assassin who was after him) and lived for another 18 years until he died in obscurity in California, having been disgraced to the point of destroying his political career after the whole extermination thing, so I guess it still worked out for the Creed. And speaking of assassins…

4. Porter Rockwell, bodyguard and close friend to Joseph Smith, was almost certainly a member of the Assassin Creed. It’s difficult to separate fact from legend, folklore, and myth about him, so this makes him a perfect playground for Ubisoft to play with. One thing that is certain though is that he was a legendary gunfighter and he killed a lot of men in defense of Joseph and his fellow church members. In Porter’s words, “I never killed anyone who didn’t need killing.” One legend about him concerns Joseph Smith prophesying that as long as he was faithful and didn’t cut his hair (much like Samson in the Old Testament) not a blade nor bullet would harm him. The one time he did get struck by a bullet was after he cut his hair to give to a woman gone bald from typhoid fever, though the bullet did not kill him. Gunfighting wasn't his only skill though, so there's plenty more to add to his character.

5. John Browning – this is a small item, but John Browning, the famous gunsmith, was a Mormon and made guns for the Mormons. Could be a good assassin ally. His son of the same name became more famous for his many gun patents, particularly the BAR, but John the elder also made some notable guns. He could be a Leonardo da Vinci equivalent, developing weapons for you. Perhaps Ubi could even take liberty with this and have the early models of John the younger's patents made exclusively for the assassins. A frontier assassin needs a good gun.

6. The Golden Plates – Now this is something that really got me excited. First, short background on the Book of Mormon. It is purportedly a record of a people that migrated to America from Jerusalem, covering a time period from 600 B.C. to 400 A.D. It also has a record of another group called the Jaredites that migrated there after the confounding of everyone’s language at the Tower of Babel, who had all but wiped themselves out with a civil war up until the point the 600 BC group arrived. Something worthy of note: the problems all began when wicked dissenters among the Jaredites discovered and adopted the “Great secret of Master Mahan.” Remember that name? It was what Cain, the first Templar, called himself, and the great secret was murder to get gain and power. The 600 BC group was a family who split into two groups upon arrival in the Americas due to the death of the father. These groups were the Nephites (named after a man named Nephi, one of the youngest in the family, generally a good people) and the Lamanites (named after Laman, Nephi’s wicked older brother, who swore to kill Nephi after their father’s death because he feared Nephi would be chosen to lead over him (Templar), his descendants were generally wicked). Over a period of 1000 years the two groups warred with each other (the secrets of Master Mahan were rediscovered by a group calling themselves the Gadianton robbers, who gained so much power that they infiltrated every level of government, killing for gain and getting pardoned by high level officials). Sounds like Templars to me. Surprisingly the generally wicked Lamanites reject the (Templars) and the Robbers have no power among them, but the Nephites are corrupted by it and this eventually results in a war between Nephites and Lamanites that sees the destruction of the entire Nephite civilization. The Lamanites survived and became the principle ancestors of the Mayans, Aztecs, Incans, American Indians, etc. Remember in Black Flag when you discover the Assassin hideout and learn the Mayans and Assassins had very similar ideals and so merged quite easily? This could explain all of that. But it gets better. The record of these people were written on metal sheets that had the appearance of gold, with a seal being placed on about two-thirds of the book (in other words, only one third of the book was translated and published in the 1800s). Why is this important? Because in AC Revelation we learn of First Civilization devices called Seals that can relay memories. This means that the player character in the 1800s could relive all the coolest moments of the Book of Mormon, and I assure you, there are plenty. There’s a whole slew of other reasons in the Book to make a game out of it, just a couple of which are:

- You can be an assassin exploring ancient American civilization cities, before they were ruins. There’s a huge number of cities to choose from in the BoM, a few sites of which survive intact today. The exact locations of many of the cities is unknown, so that gives Ubisoft plenty of room to play in. They can do what they want to make it look cool.
- There are a lot of wars and a LOT of deaths in the Book of Mormon. Cities and fortifications get taken (I always loved the “take the fort” mechanic in the AC games).
- Lots of bad guys die. A notable one is a Lamanite general assassinated in his tent in the middle of a war camp without a sound by a Nephite general in the middle of the night by a man named Teancum who brought along an unnamed “fellow servant” with him. Teancum later assassinates the general’s brother (who took control of the armies after the first General’s death), but this general cried out before he died and Teancum was killed.

I could go on and on about every perfect moment for an Assassin’s Creed mission in both the Book of Mormon and the 1800s, but I’ve already written way too much. If you really want I can list off more. I do understand that Ubisoft already has a large number of options on their plate for game settings, so the chances of this being even DLC or a short side entry like Freedom Cry are next to nil. Furthermore the Book of Mormon is the only text I know of detailing that time period so widely-accepted history is lacking, but that didn’t stop Ubisoft from taking liberties with pirate history and other settings. However, that also means it's a history not many people know or consider (particularly the 1800s part). But you gotta admit, things line up very nicely lore-wise and I think it has a lot of potential.

Okay, I’m done now. Thoughts, anyone? Again, I do ask for respectful discussion in regard to my beliefs (but seriously, you can cut down the game idea as viciously as you want).

Ureh
01-06-2015, 10:36 AM
Hello and welcome Its_the_Law,

We can only guess where and when the next AC game will take place but I can't still help but feel a excited for your ideas. At the very least I hope they continue to slip in a few hints and bits (similar to the Mr. Smith secret code in ACB and referring to Cain as Master Mahan). I wouldn't be surprised if some of the major story elements we've already experienced in the games were inspired by what can be found in the BoM.

If you wish to receive more input on your idea, you could try asking one of the Moderators (a list of Mods can be found on the bottom of this page (http://forums.ubi.com/forumdisplay.php/27-Assassin-s-Creed)) to move your thread to the General Discussion forum. That's where most of the forum activity takes place.

Lawesome_Sauce
01-08-2015, 01:23 AM
Thanks for the advice, Ureh! One other thing I forgot to mention is the Mormon exodus westward following their expulsion from Nauvoo provides a good lead into a Wild West Assassin's Creed, a possible game setting mentioned in Black Flag. There are a number of other good events to cover in such a game, some of which Mormons were involved in. The westward trek, of course, along with other pioneer companies like those who went on the Oregon trail. There's the Mexican-American war (a Mormon Battalion was recruited from those going westward). There's the California Gold Rush, beginning at Sutter's Mill where soldiers discharged at the conclusion of the war were working, including some men from the Mormon Battalion. But I'm probably getting ahead of myself here.