Over the years, Ubisoft’s explored plenty of time periods and locations for the Assassin’s Creed franchise, from ancient Egypt and Greece to the Italian Renaissance and the American and French Revolutions. (Still no Wild West or Japan, though.) The sci-fi conceit of present day characters using a machine to relive the memories of ancestors genetic and otherwise is what gives the franchise its lifeblood, for better and worse. But back when it was originally being planned as a standard trilogy starring then-protagonist Desmond Miles in the modern day, the series would’ve had a much weirder trajectory.
Specifically, 2012's Assassin’s Creed III would’ve concluded with the series going to space. Lars de Wildt, a researcher for conspiracy theory and religion in digital media culture, recently published his research that came from speaking to multiple ex-Creed devs in 2019. Interviewing game designer and series creator Patrice Désilets and AC3's creative director Alex Hutchinson, de Wildt learned the modern day storyline would’ve had a more epic end to the war between the present day incarnations of the Assassins and Templars.
Desmond, de Wildt wrote, would’ve defeated the evil corporation Abstergo (run by Templars) by “using the combined knowledge and skills of all his ancestors, including AC1's Altair and AC2's Ezio.” And the 2012 doomsday storyline the games had been gradually building to would’ve seen Desmond and fellow Assassin Lucy be the new Adam and Eve (who showed up in AC2) on another planet. Asked by de Wildt where the two would go, Désilets eagerly replied: “Boum! It’s a freaking spaceship.” Many fans believed that the franchise’s precursor race the Isu were aliens, and presumably, they would’ve had a spacecraft for the two humans to stow away in.
Though this didn’t end up happening—Désilets left Ubisoft in 2010 before the release of 2010's Brotherhood, the game where Lucy was killed off, and Desmond died in AC3 to eventually make way for current protagonist Layla Hassan. Still, it would’ve been quite the batshit conclusion to the series. If the franchise went on after that original ending, it would’ve been interesting; you can easily imagine Ubisoft letting the franchise go on ice for a couple of years before bringing it back and picking up from that “humanity in space” thread.
Changing tracks on AC3 hasn’t stopped Ubisoft and the franchise from getting weird with the franchise: recent installments like Odyssey and Valhalla have played heavily with the mythology of their respective time periods. It’s possible that the series will return to the Adam and Eve thread in later games, and maybe even revisit that interstellar escape plan.
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