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Assassin’s Creed 2 Day#14: Un migliaio di piccoli tagli

Day 14 is a short session that’s all set-up. I basically spend the whole session preparing for a major plot point. This is largely okay, but there’s a lot of small frustrating stuff every step of the way. It ends with a first part of a multistep mission that’s fun,  but one stupid, stupid puzzle ruins the rest of the experience. Spoilers within.

I pick up the session walking to the next checkpoint. When I get there, it triggers a cutscene where I talk to Antonio and we decide that we can’t get to Doge (the guy the Templars are going to assassinate; I realize this plot is complicated) from the front of the Palace because of the guards. The rest of the mission goes this way — we walk to another position facing the palace only to discover that it’s not a possible entrance. It’s not the most interesting mission, but it’s sort-of immersive.  We do finally find path into the palace that involves a bit of climbing. There’s a set of ledges that allows me  to climb the basilica, but Antonio has to follow me, and for the first time in this game, bad AI breaks the experience. For some reason, Antonio can’t follow me up after I get a certain distance ahead of him, so many times I have to backtrack to get him to figure out where I am. Retracing this way costs me a bunch of health and wastes several frustrating minutes, but finally Antonio figures out how to get to the roof and we score the checkpoint. From behind a fence, we see Grimaldi (Templar spy) talking to the Doge. We realize that the Doge doesn’t have much time, and I get to click to see a video about Grimaldi, a power-hungry dick who betrayed two lovers for influence. Can’t wait to whack this guy. Antonio can’t get into the palace here because of the fence, but Ezio CS realizes that Leonardo’s ship could fly over it, so the next step is to go to him.

However, before doing that, I decide to do some clean up. I try and get a remaining codex first, but oddly the area is off- limits. Why do they show me something on an off-limits area as a target on my map? Sigh. I ditch that to do an assassination mission.  I have to  follow a gondolier and then kill a guy on a boat; the following is weird and kind of pointless, but the killing is fun.  Then I go back to the villa for my cash. It’s a kind of crazy amount, so I buy a ton of weapons just to complete my collection. This is almost a chore, but I guess I have to do something with all of this money. Purchasing done, it’s back to Venice.

I go to Leonardo, and in CS Ezio asks if Leonardo’s bird thing can fly. Leonardo needs a test subject, and Ezio volunteers.  We cut to me using the glider, and I literally crash it right after I get on it. I’m not kidding — I get on it, I see a set of commands in the lower left, I try to fly up, and I immediately hit a chimney.  When I get back, there’s a CS in which Leonardo figures out how to make flight longer using fires in strategic locations, and Antonio shows up and can get men to get the fires ready.  My mission is to clear locations for the fires of the archers positioned there.  There are four positions with two archers each.

I head out to take them down. Turns out I have to eagle vision when I get in the area to identify them. I get the first two of them with fairly clean assassinations. The second two I find but my attempts at stealth fail me. I try to run so I can rehide, but I then lose distance to target and desync. Didn’t realize I had a target — so annoying. I resync, screw up the stealth again, and then kill  groups two and three in a crude fight. I’m on my way to the fourth fight when I  accidentally find a new glyph, and here is where the game goes sharply down.

It starts with an archive file on Edison. It’s another number substitution code with a screen surrounded by pictures. The solution (in white): I find the key to the code on a photograph. When I unlock it, I get more narrative, and in classic conspiracy style, Edison is the bad guy who destroyed the hero Tesla.  Don’t know enough about the facts there to judge the truth of that, but it’s such a standard conspiracy story.  The next step is a map on which I have to blow up a bunch of light bulbs by mousing over them.  My reward for this is I get to see footage of Edison when he electrocuted an elephant (look that up if you’re interested).  This is followed by a find-in-picture puzzle. It’s kind of obvious. This is then followed by a final number-substitution puzzle.  I just cannot get it. I hit the hint, and it does literally NOTHING to help. There’s some code that needs to be filled in, but every logical attempt I make trying to solve the puzzle the way they tell me fails.  After fifteen minutes, I’m just guessing. That literally means guessing every combination possible.  I realize that this will take forever, so for the second time, I do the thing I hate — I look the fucking thing up online.  It’s a code three thing that frankly makes no sense with the wheel. I would give you the solution here, but I still don’t get it. Whatever this puzzle is trying to communicate, it FAILS. I type in the solution and I get whatever shit I get. Don’t care, so frustrated. When I get out,  I quickly kill the last guys, and call it a night. I’m really annoyed, and I’m sincerely hoping the game does not force me to do this again.

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2 Responses

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  1. Andrew Mayer says

    Glyphs aren’t mandatory, but clearly weren’t tested, and in the end didn’t go for all the glyphs. I figure I can watch their little movie online…

  2. Douglas Yee says

    I beat AC2 last night!

    The last few glyphs are ridiculously difficult. Some are difficult in interesting ways, like using Bablyonian numbering to lock a code up, but others basically just involve you guessing your ass off or using an online FAQ. And honestly, the metaplot points that are revealed by the final movie are more or less repeated in the final CS of the game, so it’s hardly required.

    Now that I’m done with this game, I really think they should have put a disclaimer at the beginning that says, “You must play Assassin’s Creed 1 to play this game.” The metaplot is a direct continuation and the codexes and dream sequences really rest on your knowledge of events in the first game.

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