1. #1

    Bad Guy Byzantines? A look back at Revelations' disappointment

    NOTE: IN NO WHERE OF MY POST AM I PRO/ANTI: CHRISTIAN, MUSLIM.
    In preparation for Liberation, I've repolished my Revelations cd and plugged it in. Things I didn't notice when I was just a teenager stood out to me now.
    Assassins Creed is many great things, but being historically accurate is not one of them.
    As a history buff, I must say I am ashamed that Ubisoft developers advertise their games as well-researched and historical.
    I go a bit red whenever a review calls their games historically accurate nowadays.

    Now, you guys by now might say: "Retset, what are you doing? Didn't you read the part in the intro of the game that calls it a work of fiction? " whilst inserting a condescending emoticon.
    To that I would respond: "Yes, yes I have, but it's not enough of a warning to people that the story and game shouldn't be taken seriously."
    You see, like it or not, Ubisoft still advertises its games as being 'historically-plausible', and like it or not, people not well versed in history actually thinkk that these games are 'educational'. They are misinforming their audience. History is not black and white. You can't shove entire civilizations into roles of good or evil.
    Back to the issue at hand, I present a comparison:
    In comparision, the Continental Army of the 13 Colonies were treated as freedom fighters under British oppression, whilst the Byzantines in Constantinople were treated like terrorists by Ubisoft.
    First, note that less than 60 years ago, the Byzantines had ruled Constantinople for nearly 1000 years. They have a almost deserved 'right' to attempt to liberate their city ust like how France has a 'right' to liberate Bordeux and Aquitane from the English in the same time period.
    Now, I'm not being Anti-Ottoman here. I am just sick of the black-and-white portrayal of history Ubisoft presents and the sacrificial civilizations they throw into the 'nasty Templars' against the 'almighty Hassassin'. I know Ubi needs a villain, but I'm sick of how they made the Byzantines into that role.
    The Byzantines are always unjustly sterotyped as undeserving and vilainous by historians and non-historians alike despite them being a rich and unique culture.
    This racist role Western civilization had towards Byzantium even played a significant role in the Greek War for Independence where they denounced their Byzantine heritage.
    In modern day Greece (where it's common to destroy Byzantine momuments to get to the Ancient Greek monuments located below) and Turkey, their momuments are neglected except for those that had played a religious role.
    It's nice to see Ubisoft continuing the Byzantine bashing role Gibbon started.
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  2. #2
    Im a muslim and i personally feel it was terrible how the otomans treated the byzantines in a way... for example turning the byzantine church into the hagia sophia mosque was disrespectful!

    However in the games it was more that they showed both sides as the bad guy... in AC3 was the only time the assassin really favoured a side...
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  3. #3
    Legendz54's Avatar Senior Member
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    Originally Posted by king-hailz Go to original post
    Im a muslim and i personally feel it was terrible how the otomans treated the byzantines in a way... for example turning the byzantine church into the hagia sophia mosque was disrespectful!

    However in the games it was more that they showed both sides as the bad guy... in AC3 was the only time the assassin really favoured a side...
    Yea Until the side he favoured screwed him over.. hard.
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  4. #4
    Jexx21's Avatar Senior Member
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    the assassins aren't heroes and the templars aren't villains

    Just because the Assassins worked with the Ottomans and fought the Byzantines doesn't mean that the Ottomans were the good guys and the Byzantines were the bad guys.

    Also, in AC3, George Washington was clearly shown at the end of not being a good guy and in the modern day the character Shaun repeatedly argued with Desmond over whether or not the British or the Colonies were rightful in the war.

    Assassin's Creed never claimed to be historically accurate but in general they do provide a good basis and it's a great tool to inspire people to read more about history.
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  5. #5
    Yes the Ottomans desecrated the holy places of the Byzantines. The dude who wears the mask in ACR who's name I can't remember. In his bio it talked about how he wanted revenge for what the Ottomans did to his people. So I felt they were pretty fair. You just have to look at the other sides motives to do it. All of ACs games are pretty fair. But you usually have to look deeper into the info they provide and the story to find all the info. And don't oversimplify things based on one point of view or one character. They usually are accurate at least 80% of the time.
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  6. #6
    Jexx21's Avatar Senior Member
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    His name was Vali. He was the one with the hood.

    But he was also a big fan of Vlad the Impaler, a guy who actually did do some pretty terrible things.
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  7. #7
    Originally Posted by retset123 Go to original post
    Now, I'm not being Anti-Ottoman here. I am just sick of the black-and-white portrayal of history Ubisoft presents and the sacrificial civilizations they throw into the 'nasty Templars' against the 'almighty Hassassin'. I know Ubi needs a villain, but I'm sick of how they made the Byzantines into that role.
    The Byzantines are always unjustly sterotyped as undeserving and vilainous by historians and non-historians alike despite them being a rich and unique culture.
    This racist role Western civilization had towards Byzantium even played a significant role in the Greek War for Independence where they denounced their Byzantine heritage.
    In modern day Greece (where it's common to destroy Byzantine momuments to get to the Ancient Greek monuments located below) and Turkey, their momuments are neglected except for those that had played a religious role. It's nice to see Ubisoft continuing the Byzantine bashing role Gibbon started.
    I am glad someone else has pointed this out. And so wonderful it is simply from a historical point of view. I converted to Russian Orthodoxy about 5 years ago after a long period of religious studies.* Being a Russian Orthodox Christian, I know a thing or two about Byzantine history. You see, Russia itself was formed because of the destruction of Constantinopolis, when the Ottoman's laid siege to her. So, really the Western (occidental) racism towards Constantinople is also a very anti-Christian. Ubisoft continue to use conservatives of tradition as their game's antagonists. The Emperors of Constantinople were Orthodox Christian, starting with Constantine himself from whom the city derives its name. The Templars were of Frankish origin and were at one point responsible for sacking Constantinople and killing thousands of its 'byzantine' citizens. The Templar's Frankish origin is likely derived from an earlier secred society known as the Vehmegericht - a juridical 'vigilante' group that operated under Charlemagne (Karl der Große). It was Charlemagne who caused the Great Schism between the East (Constantinople) and the West (Rome) in the first place. The inhabitants of Constantinople had a very very low regard for the Franks and their King, and to this day the Russian Orthodox still percieve Charlemagne as the prime cause of this division and isolation of what may be called 'two Europes' which still persists in the form of Atlanticism v.s. Eurasia. There is no plausible way that the Paleologos family would have formed any alliances with a surviving Templar faction! First, their ideas of Monarchy are completely different. Secondly, the citizen's of Constantinople would have percieved the Frankish Templars as the cause of weakness to Constantinople. A weakness that made it possible for the Ottoman's to take control.

    The phrase 'Byzantine Empire' was coined and popularized by French Enlightenment scholars such as Charles-Louis Montesquieu. Montesquieu was the same author whose seminal volume The Spirit Of The Laws did much to inspire the Founding Fathers of the United States in their writing of the American Constitution and also incide the actions of Robespierre in the French Revolution. The word Byzantium itself is term which the citizen's of Constantinople would have never used in reffering to themselves, simply because it was coined in the 18th century!

    What, if anything, is a Byzantine?

    "Inspired by historical events and characters, this work of fiction was designed, developed and produced by a multicultural team of various religious faiths and beliefs"

    The opening disclaimer of each Assassin's Creed game a saftey measure on Ubisoft's behalf. But in truth their disclaimer is nothing more than a fluffy platitude. The Assassin's Creed franchise is a falsification of history.



    *I began my research with the Isma'ili Nizari's (Assassins) very own esoteric beliefs via a French oriental scholar known as Henry Corbin. So I am particularly well versed in the very secret doctrines of the hass'assin (Syrian & Persian).
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  8. #8
    Jexx21's Avatar Senior Member
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    Saqaliba the devs actually said in the months leading to Revelations that the Byzantines weren't actually called that until the 18th century and that they saw themselves as Romans. Also the Byzantines weren't shown to exactly be evil in the game or anything like that, just that they were controlled by a Templar puppet.

    I actually am fond of the Byzantines and Constantinople, I did a report on the Christian Church in Constantinople for a class of mine because of my hype surrounding Revelations.
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  9. #9
    pirate1802's Avatar AC Expert
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    Hm.. I must be playing the wrong game them because I never got the feeling the Ottomans were overtly favoured over the Byzantines. Both were depicted as pretty extreme, the way the Janisseries treated the people, those fruit vendors. And there's those words of manuel. Also, Templars arent the villains, neither are Assassins heroes. Not sure how anyone playing the series from the start still harbours this idea. Assassins are protagonists, Templars are antagonists. There is a difference between being protagonists/heroes and antagonists/villains.

    And lol @ falsification of history. It is a work of fiction, if some misinformed kid somewhere gets the wrong idea then it's not my fault as the author. That was the whole point of the disclaimer. Might as well rail against every bit of historical fiction anywhere in the world. Or maybe it's alright until they target your country/religion.
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  10. #10
    DinoSteve1's Avatar Senior Member
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    lol if you are using Assassin's Creed to get an accurate picture of history, you are a moron and I have no sympathy for you.
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