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Assassin’s Creed 2 Day#13: Vive la rivoluzione

Just past two weeks of gameplay (sort of ) and I get through some major plot. I’m pretty sure that I’m more than halfway through the game, but endings do tend to rush up on me.  I take some time to do some clean-up around a few locations, which actually reveals little by way of new stuff to find.  After that, it’s a major assassination and more of the story movement revealed. Spoilers within.

I left off last time looking for the bastard thieves who betrayed the assassins. (If you’re just coming on board here, don’t try to figure that out. I’m the good guys; I’m hunting bad guys. It makes much more sense that way.) Finding these targets is hard for some reason — maybe they are moving? I stumble upon three treasure chests along the way, at least. Even though I see a target indicator on the map, I basically stumble on and accidentally alert first target. I wasn’t expecting that at all, as I didn’t know that they knew who I was. I have to fight my way through, and it’s sloppy. I decide to try to sneak to second target, and on the way I figure this out. You have to FIND the target in an area, so when you get close, the indicator disappears and you need to use eagle vision to spot the actual victim. Knowing this, I do better the second time, but then he sees me at the last minute and I kill him with my sword. The last victim is on a boat out in the open water, and this time I actually do sneak up, hang on the edge of the boat, and when the time is right, leap up and assassinate the victim from behind. That felt nice, in a twisted assassin kind of way.

The traitors killed, I head back to the thieves’ HQ to see about my next mission. The mission wants to start as soon as I open the door, but I decide to reject it for now. It looks big, and I want to take a second to go back to villa to do my capitalist thang first. Villa upgraded and coffers empty, I head back to the mission. The head of the thieves wants to take down the big evil merchant man, and the first step is that Ezio needs to take out the archers surrounding the guy’s palace quietly so that the thieves can replace them with their own guys. I try once, but the archers are in a circle, and I fuck up and get seen. I run away to try to re-hide, but running around I guess I can lose sight of the target, because I do and desync. The second time in, I sneak up on the first archer and assassinate him, but the second one sees that happen and I have to charge the rest, killing them one-by-one as they scream for help. Should I have been stealthier?

I guess not, because the leader of the thieves tells me everything is set up when I return. Now it’s time to actually get Emilio (the target). I hire some courtesans to take out the guards at the front gate. Then, it’s a big climb up to the top of the tower to access the courtyard, with a stop midway to assassinate a guard. The first time up, I accidentally desync with a bad jump, but the second time is clean. I see a CS of Emilio talking, and then I drop into the courtyard, killing a sentry on the way down, flat run in the room where Emilio is and bracelet-dagger him in the back. In the death CS, Emilio only feels regret about what’s happened. He claims he only wanted stability, but as Ezio notes, at too great a cost. It’s actually a tad bit touching when Ezio gives him last rites, but only a very, very tad bit.  When the death is done, the thief archers kill the remaining guards, and I have to walk up to open gate for Antonio (the head of the thieves). Antonio gives some lines about how the city is now free, and how he now wants to return what Emilio stole. Vive la revolution, I guess, but isn’t Antonio the head of the THIEVES? Anyway, Antonio tells me about Carlo, the guy I saw Emilio talking to, and I guess my upcoming target. As I walk away, the game tells me Sequence 7 is done.

We come back into Virenze with new parts unlocked, and that means viewpoints GO!!! The second one of the set is very cool; it’s on top of a large tower, and the perch is the very tip —  hooray!  In the middle of the tower, I find a glyph. 16 talks about someone wanting to stop the cycle. This one starts with a set of light bulbs I have to mouse over; if there’s a puzzle here, I don’t know what it was.  Next is a find-in-picture puzzle. I see an option to hit X to take advice and I use it because I’m just guessing. Sean (from the future) gives me a hint and I get it. Then there’s another picture and make a lucky early guess to solve it. By the way, this glyph was all about Tesla, that darling of conspiracy theory. I get the passcode, and the video is naked people falling over, I guess?  Back to viewpoints with an easy third one. That one puts me near a codex page which I decide to take. I  desynch on STUPID jump because I had the camera positioned wrong. I stumble into a big fight outside the codex door, but I win pretty handily and walk away with the prize. I then claim the fourth and last viewpoint in an easy climb.

I know there’s plot calling, but I go back to the villa first because there is SO MUCH MONEY there. I buy more upgrades so my villa will earn even more money. As I’m leaving, I realize that the mountains (the area where the cart race happened) are still on my map, and I’ve never really seen what’s there, so I grab a horse and ride to them. It’s actually kind of disappointing — there are no viewpoints or glyphs, but unsurprisingly, there is lots of money in treasure chests.  I’ve basically run the whole way from the villa to Forli, so I just decide to keeping running until I’m back at Venezia. What the hell, at least my villa was earning income along the way.

Back in Venezia, I finally start the next mission. I see two Templars talking, and my mission is to follow them as they wander without getting caught.  They are talking about recruitment of the Doge (sp?), who I guess is some local leader. This follow is quite hard; I have to resync twice when I’m seen. There are a few chokepoints surrounded by guards that I can’t see how to sneak past. There are courtesans I can hire which gets me past the guards, and I have to say this one feel much less open-ended and much more puzzle-like, in that I don’t see any way to get through this one other than learning when to hire the courtesans and doing that every time. I finally get to a halfway point and  hear more conversation. Because of my assassinations, the Templars must accelerate their plot and either quickly recruit or kill the Doge. They also argue about who among them should become the new Doge. We continue forward, and I desync four times, dammit, before I hire at the right time and complete the follow. The Templars meet up with the Maestro, Maestro says Doge should die and Marco (one of the four or so Templars) will become new Doge. The spy in the palace will poison him, and Maestro will return to Roma, which means that I’ll be finishing the game there. Maestro also warns them that I’m in town and that they should be on guard.

In CS, Ezio realizes he needs to fix the mess he has made by accelerating everything, but first I think there is my money to deal with. I go back to the villa, and I have enough cash to complete the city. As the city is the most expensive set of things in the game basically, I think I’m heading toward inventory complete very soon. I then go back to Venice, and drop the codices I found off with Leonardo. I then find Rosa for the next mission, who takes me to Antonio. He tells me we need to inflitrate the Palazzo Ducale. He wants to help protect the Doge because the thieves are working for the city. Wait, the thieves are working for the city??? What is with the morality in this game? The assassins are the good guys, and the thieves want order and a fair distribution of property. I suppose the smugglers in AC2 are working to support third-world labor, and the drug dealers are all about giving cheap medicine to the elderly. In any event, I walk to the palazzo, but when I get there, it’s late, and I decide to call it a day.

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