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View Full Version : I have serious issues with Shay’s character arc (spoilers obviously)



EmptyCrustacean
01-15-2015, 11:42 PM
So I completed the main campaign of Rogue yesterday at 89%. Just a few bits and bobs left to do. Obviously it’s miles better than Unity because it has a decent story and mechanics that actually work – even though it’s difficult to look at old gen graphics now and the game play is essentially a Black Flag cut and paste job. But I wanted to talk about Shay’s character arc because that is both this game’s biggest strength and weakness.

First the good:

Yes it is an origin story. Again. But, thankfully, there’s no daddy issues to be found. Rogue is about a guy trying to navigate his way through his own principals to figure out what’s right and wrong. The central conflict between the Assassins and Templars is the context for that - which I love. The focus on Assassins versus Templars is what every AC game should be, not merely in the background like Black Flag and Unity. It’s just sad that when the game finally gets back to its roots I’m playing on the wrong team! But no matter, it was nice to take it back to what I initially loved about the franchise – Assassin versus Templars, not Ezio wannabes with their own personal agendas.

Now the bad:

the game totally sold me on why Shay was anti-Assassin but what it failed to do is convince me of why he was pro-Templar. For a short while in the game he has no allegiance to anybody and I thought that was great because it would have been so forced for him to side with what he was trained to think was his worst enemy so quickly. However, once he does join the Templars officially – people who support the British and would rob Americans of their independence - I found myself asking one question: why?

Yes, they did a few good here and there but their endgame is to have complete world domination which would have naturally resulted in the slaughtering of innocents – as it has time and time again. We never get to see Shay contemplate what it truly means to be part of the order. The Templars have done worse things than what the American Brotherhood did and slaughter innocents all the time in the name of gaining control. Rogue glosses over their aspirations to overthrow the world’s leaders however necessary by making them look like criminals to the public. We see that in Unity where instead of the Templars using their power and influence to feed the hungry and poor and end the revolution itself, they hoard food and blame it on the king just so they can gain control. Rogue seems to leave out how they are willing to rob people of their free will in the name of peace even going as far as to use piece of Eden to do so. Glossing over that is a manipulative attempt by the writers at making Shay look sympathetic rather than showing how a man can grow into a monster. Throughout, Shay questions some of the things Haytham does like letting criminals go free to serve their cause or the fact that he doesn't seem to show mercy but it never sticks or goes anywhere – again, it’s just to show us that Shay's “not a bad lad really”.

Also, even though the American Brotherhood were misguided why did Shay take it out on ALL Assassins? What they did was not in line with the Creed at all and thus does not represent all Assassins. The American Brotherhood broke one of the three tenets (to not harm innocents). Why didn’t he just say “you guys are corrupt and you’ve broken one of our rules; I’m forming my own Brotherhood’ Could he not have come to the conclusion that the Assassins was in fact the right way but his colleagues had abandoned their own Creed?

AC1 does a great job of showing a corrupt Assassin. His name was Altair. When we first meet Altair we discover that he has broken all the tenets of the creed due to hubris. Did the game turn around and say all Assassins should be destroyed? No, it made Altair the main character and wrote it as such that his arc was about getting over himself to rediscover what it truly means to be part of the Brotherhood, working his way from novice to master and regaining honour and respect. In the case of the American Brotherhood, that person is Achilles but unlike Altair he doesn't see the error of his ways until its too late. But the fact that he did realise he was wrong is all the more reason why Shay turning against all Assassins wasn’t worth it. He blamed the Creed when he should have blamed the man. It was just a weak attempt at justifying Shay joining the Templars AKA people who represent everything he hates. The Templars have no such rules about not harming innocents; in fact their initiation speech is more concerned about not divulging their Order to anyone which says it all. They are not concerned with life but with order which doesn't align with Shay's own moral code. His reason for joining the Templars seemed flimsy and glossed over in an attempt to make him not look bad so I lose respect for Ubisoft for not having the balls to show how corrupt he truly was.

As an old man who kills Arno’s father, Shay appears more ruthless, cold and ambitious than ever. He is way more cunning and sure in his convictions. I kind of wished we had seen this version of Shay and his transition into that person rather than skipping ahead several years later and giving us one mission where he embraces his inner Haytham. I wanted to see him embody the Templar ideals but still at this point we have no idea why he is still with the Order. All I got, in the end, was a man who hated Assassins and joined the Templars in order to stop them without ever considering the consequences of his actions long term.

So that’s my thoughts on Shay’s arc. Just to clarify again, I have no problem with Shay turning against the American Brotherhood but what didn’t work for me was his decision to join the Templars. Just didn’t make any sense.

JustPlainQuirky
01-16-2015, 12:17 AM
Here is my take on the situation.

Shay joined the assassins at a very young age because he had nowhere to turn to. He didn't fully comprehend how the brotherhood worked nor their philosophies. (the developers emphasized this.) When we start Rogue, Shay is a novice in training. When Chevalier (IIRC) meets his spy, he introduces Shay as an "acquaintance," not a member of the brotherhood. Shay hasn't made the transition quite yet nor has he been fully accepted. So it's clear Shay lacks experience in what he has been introduced to. So it's very likely he is even less aware of Templar ideals. He only knows the words of the brotherhood. In his conversation with Monroe, he accuses Monroe (IIRC) of mistreating his people simply for being a templar with strong power/influence over New York. His image of the templars is initially tainted. So when Monroe confronts him and reveals his good side, Shay is taken aback and isn't sure what to believe anymore regarding the Templars. This way, he becomes open to what they have to say.

He does not -however- agree with the ends-justifies-the-means policy the Templars generally tend to share. At least, not initially.

I believe he is not aware of the policy when first introduced to the Templars. But overtime he subconsciously absorbs the Templar philosophy and becomes more stone cold and straight to business. This can be observed in the end of Rogue where he kills Charles.

Secondly, the templars "taking over the world" is not what Shay disagrees with. When Shay converses with Monroe, Monroe explains to Shay that control isn't bad if managed by the right people. Then Monroe demonstrates his kindness. Shay overtime believes him. He doesn't necessarily believe control is the right path at this point (he is mainly concerned about saving individuals from the natural disasters resulting from the PoEs) but he is open to the idea.

Shay doesn't join the order until a year after working with them. And his reasoning for joining the Templars may very well be the same reasoning for the Assassins. He has nowhere else to go. Not only that, but he needs to stop the Assassins and (seeing as they are the enemies of the Templars) takes advantage and joins the Templars.

The Templars have killed many innocents in the past, yes, but remember Shay is a novice and may easily not have been exposed to their cruelty.

And I don't think the idea was to sympathize with Shay. In marketing, many spokesmen say you may sympathize with him "up until one point" which is presumably in the ending where he is a completely changed man fully synchronized with classic templar ideals.

As for the tenant breaking, unintentional indirect killings may not be counted as breaking the tenant. Especially when the tenant reads "stay your blade from the flesh of the innocent" IIRC. A small technicality, but possibly a viable explanation.

And Shay DID blame Achilles. Shay even says "I will stop Achilles. I will kill every man who defends him if I must." and if you pay attention to synchronization, he does generally abide by that policy. For example, the idea to kill Adewale is Haytham's, not Shay's. And when Shay submits to doing it (upon his disinterest) he is careful to ONLY kill Adewale and nobody else. He doesn't go out of his way to kill Kesegewasse or Hope for being Assassins, he does it because they are attacking him or harming his progress in tracking Achilles.

Shay's own moral code is something that changes throughout. He wants to save lives. Not knowing the potential cruelty of the templar and after observing what he saw of the assassins, he joins the Templars to stop the Assassins. Overtime he subconsciously or consciously adopts their beliefs presumably including their ends-justifies-the-means policy. (Yes, it goes against what he initially believed but individuals such as Haytham are highly influential and may have easily convinced him to see sacrifices in a different perspective)

I find it compelling. Yes, Shay is inexplicably a bit of a goodie doer in the beginning and is gullible at times but a lot of his journey resulted from misconceptions and uncertainty. At times, he is a fool. He can only believe in what he sees. And what he has seen is cruelty of the brotherhood and kindness of the templars. It isn't until overtime does he slowly become wiser and decide to really delve deep into philosophies and believe them. It just so happens the philosophy he grew accustomed to is the Templar one.

That's just my analysis.

wvstolzing
01-16-2015, 12:23 AM
I don't care about Shay at all; though it's nice to see a character in AC even stupider than Ezio.

I'll just make this unnecessary pedantic point:

It's 'tenets', folks, not 'tenants', when you wish to talk about 'principles'.

A 'tenant' is someone who lives in an apartment he or she has rented.

JustPlainQuirky
01-16-2015, 12:28 AM
I don't care about Shay at all; though it's nice to see a character in AC even stupider than Ezio.

I'll just make this unnecessary pedantic point:

It's 'tenets', folks, not 'tenants', when you wish to talk about 'principles'.

A 'tenant' is someone who lives in an apartment he or she has rented.

I find Shay impulsive and foolish, but I do believe it was intentional.

Much like Edward was foolish.

But he is a fool with an open mind. instead of making a ton of mistakes and having consequences come back to bite him, he slowly begins to put value into philosophy and becomes a changed man because of it.

Changes, not grows.

In the end he is not portrayed in an obviously good or bad light. He's just...different. And it's up to our interpretations whether he took the right path.

And I find that very interesting.

EmptyCrustacean
01-16-2015, 12:31 AM
I don't care about Shay at all; though it's nice to see a character in AC even stupider than Ezio.

I'll just make this unnecessary pedantic point:

It's 'tenets', folks, not 'tenants', when you wish to talk about 'principles'.

A 'tenant' is someone who lives in an apartment he or she has rented.

lol sorry. It's my subconscious playing up 'cause my tenancy in my apartment has been on my mind lately.

JustPlainQuirky
01-16-2015, 12:35 AM
I do find Shay deeply flawed. For instance, he believes Hope is creating a poison for the public because Monroe says so.

Much like how he believes Templars are cruel simply because the brotherhood told him so.

He's gullible.

And never are his choices (resulting sometimes from gullibility) portrayed as right.

Every single kill is about uncertainty, and you can bet Shay reflects on that. You can tell just by his facial expressions in the white rooms.

He's confused, as he is a novice to both factions.

And in the end he picks a side and overtime he finally gets his chance to fully understand it. And now full of knowledge, believes it.

I found it interesting.

wvstolzing
01-16-2015, 12:35 AM
lol sorry. It's my subconscious playing up 'cause my tenancy in my apartment has been on my mind lately.

Mine, too, incidentally; since I'll be moving in about a month. :)

wvstolzing
01-16-2015, 12:40 AM
I do find Shay deeply flawed. For instance, he believes Hope is creating a poison for the public because Monroe says so.

Much like how he believes Templars are cruel simply because the brotherhood told him so.

He's gullible.

And never are his choices (resulting sometimes from gullibility) portrayed as right.

Every single kill is about uncertainty, and you can bet Shay reflects on that. You can tell just by his facial expressions in the white rooms.

He's confused, as he is a novice to both factions.

And in the end he picks a side and overtime he finally gets his chance to fully understand it. And now full of knowledge, believes it.

I found it interesting.

I think you're being a little too charitable -- if the 'screenplay' (so to speak) for Rogue were a *draft*, then your reading would be an excellent piece of *advice* for further revision, so that the character's *potential* could be better realized. But, alas, the 'finished product' is what it is.

JustPlainQuirky
01-16-2015, 12:41 AM
I think you're being a little too charitable -- if the 'screenplay' (so to speak) for Rogue were a *draft*, then your reading would be an excellent piece of *advice* for further revision, so that the character's *potential* could be better realized. But, alas, the 'finished product' is what it is.

I do not understand.

wvstolzing
01-16-2015, 12:53 AM
I do not understand.

I think you see more in the character, than what was put in there by the writers -- that is, your Shay seems to be more well-rounded & nuanced that what they've intended. All I'm saying is that if the writers could go back and revise their script, then they'd be well advised to revise it in a way that would let those qualities stand out more unequivocally.

Likewise, I've been reading analyses of Arno, and others, on these forums that are way more subtle than what the finished product actually contains. I might be too cynical in thinking this, but it seems to me that all the writers do is to throw together a few tired tropes for some 'least common denominator' -- then, for one reason or another, their cheap, trite nonsense captures the imaginations of fans, and grows into something a *lot* more interesting and valuable in *their* minds.

Given how AAA-titles are produced nowadays, I don't expect this to change anytime soon; so the moral of this cynical story of mine is...

-- Hold on to your own 'head-canon', people. It really *is* better than the original thing.

(oh, and in my head-canon, Raton totally kills Shay)

Perk89
01-16-2015, 12:56 AM
Whoa whoa whoa man we don't go talking about the Templar's complete disregard for slaughtering civilians in droves around here man (see: Hitler, Adolph)

it goes against the moral grey thing and that's just so mature and elite and sophisticated and stuff.

you need to stop pretending like there are bad people in the world, and especially need to stop pretending like there are bad people in a video game.

JustPlainQuirky
01-16-2015, 12:56 AM
I think you see more in the character, than what was put in there by the writers -- that is, your Shay seems to be more well-rounded & nuanced that what they've intended. All I'm saying is that if the writers could go back and revise their script, then they'd be well advised to revise it in a way that would let those qualities stand out more unequivocally.

Likewise, I've been reading analyses of Arno, and others, on these forums that are way more subtle than what the finished product actually contains. I might be too cynical in thinking this, but it seems to me that all the writers do is to throw together a few tired tropes for some 'least common denominator' -- then, for one reason or another, their cheap, trite nonsense captures the imaginations of fans, and grows into something a *lot* more interesting and valuable in *their* minds.

Given how AAA-titles are produced nowadays, I don't expect this to change anytime soon; so the moral of this cynical story of mine is...

-- Hold on to your own 'head-canon', people. It really *is* better than the original thing.

(oh, and in my head-canon, Raton totally kills Shay)

I see what you are saying.

I suppose I could ask the writer, but he does not have a twitter.

Time to harass senpai.

Namikaze_17
01-16-2015, 01:12 AM
This is why Shay needs a book.

Would really help his character in Rogue...

JustPlainQuirky
01-16-2015, 01:13 AM
This is why Shay needs a book.

Would really help his character in Rogue...

http://img.pandawhale.com/43591-THIS-gif-ECaV.gif

Namikaze_17
01-16-2015, 01:16 AM
I personally see Shay as the "reversed Connor".

aL_____eX
01-16-2015, 01:18 AM
I personally see Shay as the "reversed Connor".
I think Connor is more absolute in his actions and mentality, while Shay's character leaves much room for interpretation whether the way he chose is right or wrong. Maybe more polarizing than Connor. But then again, who could be more polarizing than Connor?

JustPlainQuirky
01-16-2015, 01:20 AM
I think Shay and Connor are parallels.

Both progress a journey full of doubts and eventually form confidence in what they believe in, whether or not that pathway proves to be effective.

GoldenBoy9999
01-16-2015, 01:22 AM
I think Shay and Connor are parallels.

Both progress a journey full of doubts and eventually form confidence in what they believe in, whether or not that pathway proves to be effective.

Which is why Connor and Shay should totally meet up at some point. :cool:

JustPlainQuirky
01-16-2015, 01:23 AM
Which is why Connor and Shay should totally meet up at some point. :cool:

http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2014/360/3/d/shay__vs__connor_by_yordan96-d8bdefx.jpg

aL_____eX
01-16-2015, 01:26 AM
http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2014/360/3/d/shay__vs__connor_by_yordan96-d8bdefx.jpg
That shadow in front of the sword. ( ͠° ͟ʖ ͡°)

Most photoshop 'fails' are because of missing shadows, this is the opposite. lol

JustPlainQuirky
01-16-2015, 01:26 AM
lmfao i didnt make it

GoldenBoy9999
01-16-2015, 01:26 AM
http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2014/360/3/d/shay__vs__connor_by_yordan96-d8bdefx.jpg

Nice, but Shay is a Vampire. :p

JustPlainQuirky
01-16-2015, 01:27 AM
i just googled shay and connor and that popped up, lmfao

GoldenBoy9999
01-16-2015, 01:29 AM
Lol, I figured. But that's like the one time the shadows are noticeable for me. XD

ze_topazio
01-16-2015, 01:30 AM
http://fc09.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2015/014/3/c/assassin_s_creed__the_revolutionary_vs__the_rogue_ by_undeadpayaso87-d8dy27x.jpg

Namikaze_17
01-16-2015, 01:30 AM
I think Connor is more absolute in his actions and mentality, while Shay's character leaves much room for interpretation whether the way he chose is right or wrong. Maybe more polarizing than Connor. But then again, who could be more polarizing than Connor?

While that may be true, Shay did what Connor could not; he questioned.

Connor endured much pain & suffering from choosing the Assassin life, but still found their cause "the right thing" with no questioning.

( While that's okay because Connor had deep respect for the Creed)

Whilst with Shay, he questioned from the beginning and ultimately gained something greater at the cost of his former life.


They start the same...but one questioned everything and the other questioned nothing.

EmptyCrustacean
01-16-2015, 02:01 AM
Whoa whoa whoa man we don't go talking about the Templar's complete disregard for slaughtering civilians in droves around here man (see: Hitler, Adolph)

it goes against the moral grey thing and that's just so mature and elite and sophisticated and stuff.

you need to stop pretending like there are bad people in the world, and especially need to stop pretending like there are bad people in a video game.

lol yeah emember a time when Ubisoft had the balls to stick with the premise that freedom = good, loss of free will = bad and none of this pretentious grey area crap they think makes for complex story telling but actually just retcons previous story lines and gives the narrative no focus, turning it into a bombastic mess? I miss that.

JustPlainQuirky
01-16-2015, 02:03 AM
freedom = good, loss of free will = bad

maybe because that's a single view point that already has been emphasized and is not the only view point individuals hold regarding the subject.


none of this pretentious grey area crap they think makes for complex story telling but actually just retcons previous story lines and gives the narrative no focus, turning it into a bombastic mess? I miss that.

because mustache twirlers make for such compelling villains, amiright?

Namikaze_17
01-16-2015, 02:26 AM
l none of this pretentious grey area crap they think makes for complex story telling but actually just retcons previous story lines and gives the narrative no focus, turning it into a bombastic mess? I miss that.

So I guess you're content with the format of mustache-twirling villains & protagonist who are seen as "the ultimate good"?

Assassin: "I'm right about this conflict, you're wrong."
Templar: "I-I wanted power..."
Assassin: "Rest in peace."

Okay. :rolleyes:


that's a single view point that already has been emphasized and is not the only view point individuals hold regarding the subject.

This.

EmptyCrustacean
01-16-2015, 02:48 AM
maybe because that's a single view point that already has been emphasized and is not the only view point individuals hold regarding the subject.

because mustache twirlers make for such compelling villains, amiright?

Templars have never been moustache twirlers; they each had very human motivations. The old Assassin's Creed never said that the Templars were evil, it said the Templars are wrong. Which is different. And it showed us time and time why that is. They strive for something that does not exist - not peace but perfection. They believe they have the right to have control everyone because people are corrupt but forget that they too can become corrupt (as they have before) which is why they are in no position to take charge. It was the same thing with the First Civilisation: the moment the Apple was stolen the humans grabbed at the chance for freedom because that is their natural instinct - the will to choose, not order. The Templars' no1 priority is preserving their Order no matter the cost. It has always been their number one priority. They do not value life because they're too cynical. If you think that people are natually bad and will give into their worst instincts unless controlled of course you will be willing to sacrifice innocents as a means to an end because then there are no 'innocents'. Like I said, their number one priority is purpose and order, not people. The Assassin's number one concern is preserving The People so much so that it is one of their tenets but that doesn't mean the game wasn't aware of the contradictory nature of their work. The Brotherhood sacrfice their own freedom, their own morality so that society can be free. 'They work in the dark to serve the light'

Again in AC1 if you listen to some of the dialogue between Altair and his targets you will even see moments when it caused Altair to doubt himself. Throughout his targets point out the hypocrisy of the Assassins. Like when he killed that man because he was killing those that didn't follow his religion and the target (forget his name now) quite rightly pointed out that he had just done the same thing. Altair would question himself but would always believe in what he perceived to be the right thing and this was reassured by his colleagues. The difference between Altair and Shay is that we see Altair truly rediscover the Creed all over again, not just by listening and learning but by asking the questions he never got to. Being stripped down to novice presented him with something he never had before: a choice. And we get to understand fully why he makes this choice and goes on to serve the Assassins for many years. With Shay, that part of his evolution into a Templar is conveniently cut out because there is no way someone could question the Order, make the decision to stay and still remain moral in the eyes of the player. There is no way we could sympathise with a man who would sacrfice the lives of innocents in order to overthrow current leaders. That goes against Shay's entire motivation for leaving the Brotherhood. Yet THAT is the nature of the Templar's work. We never get to see how he feels about the Templar Order. Not ever. We just know he hates Assassins. Here, we had the perfect opportunity to find out why anyone would become a Templar and it was deliberately glossed over so the lead character wouldn't look bad. It was poorly written and only confirms that this whole 'unity' thing is just Ubisoft being trendy with the 'anti hero' thing, rather than because they believe there is a story to tell from a Templar's point of view.

JustPlainQuirky
01-16-2015, 02:56 AM
If the templars were clearly 'wrong' their faction wouldn't exist forever alongside the Assassins.

that's like saying the republicans are 'wrong'

it's an opposing faction with arguably justifiable viewpoints. If there wasn't an ounce of validity to them, the faction would not be able to last.

the fact that templars value order over human life isn't factually wrong nor has that been established in the franchise. the assassins simply view it as wrong.


With Shay, that part of his evolution into a Templar is conveniently cut out because there is no way someone could question the Order, make the decision to stay and still remain moral in the eyes of the player.

the idea isn't to remain moral in the eye of the player

the whole point is shay's actions and choices are questionable and up to interpretation

we're not meant to sympathize with him at that point. we're meant to ponder.


That goes against Shay's entire motivation for leaving the Brotherhood.

it does. but he changed.


Here, we had the perfect opportunity to find out why anyone would become a Templar and it was deliberately glossed over

i do agree an important transition was skipped

hence why i desire a novel covering his missing years


It was poorly written

i would say it was average


rather than because they believe there is a story to tell from a Templar's point of view.

i do agree we never really got to play as Shay as a dedicated templar enough.

it doesnt mean as much if he doesnt believe

we saw his upbringing but the most important part was, as you say, glazed over

EmptyCrustacean
01-16-2015, 03:04 AM
Here is my take on the situation. Shay joined the assassins at a very young age because he had nowhere to turn to. He didn't fully comprehend how the brotherhood worked nor their philosophies. (the developers emphasized this.) When we start Rogue, Shay is a novice in training. When Chevalier (IIRC) meets his spy, he introduces Shay as an "acquaintance," not a member of the brotherhood. Shay hasn't made the transition quite yet nor has he been fully accepted. So it's clear Shay lacks experience in what he has been introduced to. So it's very likely he is even less aware of Templar ideals.

No, sorry. Throughout the game Shay and the Assasins make quips about "siding with our worst enemy!" He knows full well about the Templars.


He only knows the words of the brotherhood. In his conversation with Monroe, he accuses Monroe (IIRC) of mistreating his people simply for being a templar with strong power/influence over New York. His image of the templars is initially tainted. So when Monroe confronts him and reveals his good side, Shay is taken aback and isn't sure what to believe anymore regarding the Templars. This way, he becomes open to what they have to say.

That's what I meant by Shay wtinessing them doing some good here and there but not considering what their end game is and the cruel things they have done to achieve it. It makes him look fickle, naive and ignorant.


He does not -however- agree with the ends-justifies-the-means policy the Templars generally tend to share. At least, not initially. I believe he is not aware of the policy when first introduced to the Templars. But overtime he subconsciously absorbs the Templar philosophy and becomes more stone cold and straight to business. This can be observed in the end of Rogue where he kills Charles.

I don't believe for one second that he is not aware of the Templar's ideals but say what you say is true and he does adopt all their principals eventually - we are never shown this and that is the issue I have with his arc. It cuts out such an important part of his development. It tells us why he doesn't want to be an Assassin but it doesn't tell us why he wants to be Templar. We never see any sign that he is gradually absorbing what it truly means to be part of the Order. We know what he doesn't want but we don't know what his goals actually are.


Secondly, the templars "taking over the world" is not what Shay disagrees with. When Shay converses with Monroe, Monroe explains to Shay that control isn't bad if managed by the right people. Then Monroe demonstrates his kindness. Shay overtime believes him. He doesn't necessarily believe control is the right path at this point (he is mainly concerned about saving individuals from the natural disasters resulting from the PoEs) but he is open to the idea.

That is NOT what Monroe says. I know the conversation you are referring to and this takes place when Shay and he are first getting to know each other and stuff about Templars and Assassins is not even brought up because Shay isn't aware that Monroe knows who he really is and he wants to keep it that way.


Shay doesn't join the order until a year after working with them. And his reasoning for joining the Templars may very well be the same reasoning for the Assassins. He has nowhere else to go. Not only that, but he needs to stop the Assassins and (seeing as they are the enemies of the Templars) takes advantage and joins the Templars.

Sorry but I feel like you’re adding stuff that simply isn’t there. It is never shown in the game that the reason for joining either group was because he ‘had nowhere to go’. In fact we are never given reasons as to why he became an Assassin in the first place.


The Templars have killed many innocents in the past, yes, but remember Shay is a novice and may easily not have been exposed to their cruelty.

Again, I don't buy that. It would have been one of the first things he would learn. The Templars represent everything Assassins are against. How can you learn what it means to be an Assassin without learning about the things that directly contradict those beliefs? Also, you theory makes his arc seem even weaker because, again, he has joined based on ignorance.


And I don't think the idea was to sympathize with Shay. In marketing, many spokesmen say you may sympathize with him "up until one point" which is presumably in the ending where he is a completely changed man fully synchronized with classic templar ideals.

Yes, that happens right at the end of the game but for 99% of the rest you are expected to sympathise with him.


As for the tenant breaking, unintentional indirect killings may not be counted as breaking the tenant. Especially when the tenant reads "stay your blade from the flesh of the innocent" IIRC. A small technicality, but possibly a viable explanation.

Of course it is. Achillles was going around destroying cities knowing full well the consequences. He broke the tenet and he knew it which is why he had doubt towards the end.


And Shay DID blame Achilles. Shay even says "I will stop Achilles. I will kill every man who defends him if I must." and if you pay attention to synchronization, he does generally abide by that policy. For example, the idea to kill Adewale is Haytham's, not Shay's. And when Shay submits to doing it (upon his disinterest) he is careful to ONLY kill Adewale and nobody else. He doesn't go out of his way to kill Kesegewasse or Hope for being Assassins, he does it because they are attacking him or harming his progress in tracking Achilles.

I never said he didn't. But he also blamed the entire Brotherhood with him which made no sense.


Shay's own moral code is something that changes throughout. He wants to save lives. Not knowing the potential cruelty of the templar and after observing what he saw of the assassins, he joins the Templars to stop the Assassins. Overtime he subconsciously adopts their beliefs presumably including their ends-justifies-the-means policy. (Yes, it goes against what he initially believed but individuals such as Haytham are highly influential and may have easily convinced him to see sacrifices in a different perspective)

Again, this is all a bunch of ifs, buts and maybes - none of which was actually shown in the game.


I find it compelling. Yes, Shay is inexplicably a bit of a goodie doer in the beginning and is gullible at times but a lot of his journey resulted from misconceptions and uncertainty. At times, he is a fool. He can only believe in what he sees. And what he has seen is cruelty of the brotherhood and kindness of the templars. It isn't until overtime does he slowly become wiser and decide to really delve deep into philosophies and believe them. It just so happens the philosophy he grew accustomed to is the Templar one.

Again, I would have no problem with this if that was actually what was shown. As it stands, it's just you filling in the gaps when it's the job of the writer to do that.

JustPlainQuirky
01-16-2015, 03:22 AM
No, sorry. Throughout the game Shay and the Assasins make quips about "siding with our worst enemy!" He knows full well about the Templars.

being aware the Templars and Assassins are enemies does not correlate to knowing the full history of the Templars and an in-depth analysis of their ideology.


That's what I meant by Shay wtinessing them doing some good here and there but not considering what their end game is and the cruel things they have done to achieve it. It makes him look fickle, naive and ignorant.

Yes, that's part of his character.


I don't believe for one second that he is not aware of the Templar's ideals but say what you say is true and he does adopt all their principals eventually - we are never shown this and that is the issue I have with his arc. It cuts out such an important part of his development. It tells us why he doesn't want to be an Assassin but it doesn't tell us why he wants to be Templar. We never see any sign that he is gradually absorbing what it truly means to be part of the Order. We know what he doesn't want but we don't know what his goals actually are.


I agree with this assessment.


That is NOT what Monroe says. I know the conversation you are referring to and this takes place when Shay and he are first getting to know each other and stuff about Templars and Assassins is not even brought up because Shay isn't aware that Monroe knows who he really is and he wants to keep it that way.

Essentially, yes he does. Shay accuses Monroe's kind as being cruel and Monroe explains that he tries a different approach. That of care. And Shay doubts him until Monroe offers a demonstration in which he does. And in doing so Monroe demonstrates that power given to the right ruler may not always necessarily result in a negative turn of events.


Sorry but I feel like you’re adding stuff that simply isn’t there. It is never shown in the game that the reason for joining either group was because he ‘had nowhere to go’. In fact we are never given reasons as to why he became an Assassin in the first place.


It was an example. What I was trying to say is he obviously did not join the templars because he believed in their cause at the time because he clearly expressed doubts afterwards.

And if you check the wiki it states Shay joined the assassins because he became an orphan and Liam took him in.


Again, I don't buy that. It would have been one of the first things he would learn. The Templars represent everything Assassins are against. How can you learn what it means to be an Assassin without learning about the things that directly contradict those beliefs? Also, you theory makes his arc seem even weaker because, again, he has joined based on ignorance.


And Shay did assume Monroe was cruel, but Monroe proved he wasn't which made Shay drop the idea of Templars being inherently wicked and self-interested.

And the biggest difference is Shay witnessed the Assassin's actions cause thousands of people to die infront of him. He hasnt had that same traumatic experience with Templars. And if he did know the Templars (those specific he contact with) have done just as cruel deeds, he obviously would not have aligned with them.

And Shay being initially ignorant isn't necessarily destructive for his character. It's an underrepresented flaw IMO.


Yes, that happens right at the end of the game but for 99% of the rest you are expected to sympathise with him.


Sympathize the fact that he's struggling with confusion, yes.


Of course it is. Achillles was going around destroying cities knowing full well the consequences. He broke the tenet and he knew it which is why he had doubt towards the end.

Achilles wasn't certain going to another precursor sight would trigger yet another earthquake. The losses of life was unintentional.


I never said he didn't. But he also blamed the entire Brotherhood with him which made no sense.


He speaks of the brotherhood as his enemy, if that's what you mean. Because the brotherhood openly targets him.

He may refer to the colonial brotherhood as a whole (considering Achilles represents the brotherhood) but he clearly had no intention on killing them otherwise he wouldn't have hoped that Hope wasn't involving in a poison gas scheme. He would have killed her regardless.


Again, this is all a bunch of ifs, buts and maybes - none of which was actually shown in the game.


Yes as I said it's an assessment.

But I also do believe it is implied.


Again, I would have no problem with this if that was actually what was shown. As it stands, it's just you filling in the gaps when it's the job of the writer to do that.

I do agree on that regard

RuNfAtBoYrUn740
01-16-2015, 03:31 AM
I agree. I never really liked or enjoyed Shay as a protagonist as others have. I liked Arno far more.

Some of his problems weren't to do with his actual character. The fake accent and some of the cliche dialogue made me cringe a bit at his character, but I just feel like he's so gullible and inept. He never questions, he just follows orders.

JustPlainQuirky
01-16-2015, 03:34 AM
Some of his problems weren't to do with his actual character. The fake accent and some of the cliche dialogue made me cringe a bit at his character, but I just feel like he's so gullible and inept. He never questions, he just follows orders.

I agree the dialogue was cringe worthy at times

as for steven's performance, I can't differentiate accents but I heard it's cliche hollywood irish accent ( i love steven regardless)

and I agree he is gullible follower. but i find that somewhat endearing.

but it is bad when trying to show the story of why someone might become a templar, that much I can agree on

because as OP said, a crucial moment of his life was skipped

Journey93
01-16-2015, 04:20 AM
I agree completely OP
Rogue was supposed to be a real templar game but Shay the main protagonist was a lame templar
I thought his transformation from Assassin to Templar was very contrived and his character arc made no sense


maybe with a few more sequences they could have gone more into detail but as it stands Shay sucked but definitely less than Arno
at least they tried to make a more unique protag even though they failed
If I ever hear "I make my own luck" again I'm going to hit someone


in the end I guess I expected too much from the writers of Liberation (which also sucked)
They should have retconned/changed Forsaken so that Haytham could have had his own main game (so its actually the Kenway Saga, not the Kenways + Shay Saga) he is still the best templar and one of my favourite characters in the series so far

JustPlainQuirky
01-16-2015, 04:23 AM
maybe with a few more sequences they could have gone more into detail but as it stands Shay sucked but definitely less than Arno
at least they tried to make a more unique protag even though they failed

He's def unique to the AC franchise.

But yes this game was marketed as bringing a bit more reasoning to the Templar side and having an initially gullible goody goody follower isn't good for getting that message across.

I do believe however that Monroe did do a good job of that.

But alas his character was short-lived.

Journey93
01-16-2015, 04:29 AM
He's def unique to the AC franchise.

But yes this game was marketed as bringing a bit more reasoning to the Templar side and having an initially gullible goody goody follower isn't good for getting that message across.

I do believe however that Monroe did do a good job of that.

But alas his character was short-lived.

I still don't get why they didn't give Haytham his own deserved game
I mean they could have easily changed some of Forsaken to make the story more suitable for a game the missed potential pisses me off
people would have loved that game

of course then it also should have been a main title just like 3 and Black Flag to close off the Kenway Saga in a proper way
instead we got lame Shay and a rushed story with no closure

JustPlainQuirky
01-16-2015, 04:33 AM
I still don't get why they didn't give Haytham his own deserved game
I mean they could have easily changed some of Forsaken to make it more like a game the missed potential pisses me off
people would have loved that game

of course then it also should have been a main title just like 3 and Black Flag to close off the Kenway Saga in a proper way
instead we got lame Shay and a rushed story with no closure

how would they show Haytham's later life? His animus DNA is in Connor.

But him having his own game would just be a retelling and wouldn't bring anything new to the franchise.

Shay at least is new (and I personally find him interesting despite his blatant ignorance at times. same with connor)

Haytham wouldnt be new.

But I agree Rogue is NOT a proper ending to the Kenway Saga.

Journey93
01-16-2015, 04:42 AM
how would they show Haytham's later life? His animus DNA is in Connor.

But him having his own game would just be a retelling and wouldn't bring anything new to the franchise.

Shay at least is new (and I personally find him interesting despite his blatant ignorance at times. same with connor)

Haytham wouldnt be new.

But I agree Rogue is NOT a proper ending to the Kenway Saga.

yeah the so called Kenway Saga was definitely not really planned ahead
And while I agree that he wouldn't be new he is a fan favourite and objectively a great character and if they hadn't cornered himself with Forsaken and animus logic
we could have gotten a full game with him and a Kenway Trilogy

well it wasn't meant to be hopefully we will get a AC game (that they actually focus on not some rushed and lazy game like Rogue) in the future with a great new templar as the protagonist who actually believes in their ideology

JustPlainQuirky
01-16-2015, 05:26 AM
shay does believe in the ideology by the end of the game.

the whole problem is it's in the end of the game.

so we dont really get to experience much of it

Mr.Black24
01-16-2015, 07:28 AM
shay does believe in the ideology by the end of the game.

the whole problem is it's in the end of the game.

so we dont really get to experience much of it I honestly feel like Rogue had a big chance to show more of the Templar side of the war and it blew it in this way. Seeing Shay's moment of actually learning of the Templar ways and accepting them as his own. I mean think about it, it had a chance to explain what is The Father of Understanding! Like The Creed, it could have been explained in such a huge way. We could have actually see a bit more of Haytham playing a role as teacher to Shay, explaining the foundations and Origins of the Order, its ideals, and the long awaited chance to hear the meaning of their phrase. We see a lot of talk of Assassin teachings, I actually wanted to see more indepth of Templar teachings too, and the ball dropped there.

JustPlainQuirky
01-16-2015, 07:48 AM
I agree so much Mr Black

I would have loved that

it does feel like an essential element missing

DemonLord4lf
01-17-2015, 12:53 AM
Well... i just beat the game... and there goes my theory that it was a fourth group that started the revolution. >.> Regardless,i did find it odd that Shay just joins the Templar order so quickly. Is he like Arno, using the Templars to fulfil his own needs? If so, that would explain why he joined them so quickly. I really enjoyed the story, combat, gameplay, missions everything about this game far more then Unity. I believe Unity was a "testing the waters" game. It was a new engine and all so they didn't put as much work into it as they should have. Rouge is everything Unity should have been. Lets hope that Justice does a far better job.