Just Who Is Assassin's Creed III's New Hero?

I've heard about three lines from Connor Ratohnhaké:ton, the hero of Assasssin's Creed III and I don't know what to make of him.

The hero of Ubisoft's massive October video game is no Ezio Auditore or even an Altair. He's not a beloved rogue or a noble assassin. He's not the star of multiple games.

He's the new guy, and even in the dozen minutes I've seen of the new game in action, recorded off of a PlayStation 3 development kit, he's been a cipher.

I've seen him leap through trees, assassinate British Redcoats. I've heard him say a few lines to Colonial general Israel Putnam at the game's Battle for Bunker Hill, but Putnam chewed the scenery and I don't remember Connor showing much personality.

So who is this guy?

"The story of getting to know this guy is the game," Assassin's Creed III creative director Alex Hutchinson said to me. "Ezio is this character who is over the top. He's the Errol Flynn. He's a womanizer and a braggart. We wanted a character [in the new game] who is more earnest."

Connor is Native American. He's a member of the Mohawk tribe. He sees his tribe's village destroyed and wants to take action, according to some basic bulletpoints the game's team shared, though the fact that ACIII is still in development means things could change. Something drives Connor to the Assassins, this ancient order dedicated to combatting the equally ancient Templars and to help people be free.

Why not a female assassin this time? Assassin's Creed lore is full of female assassins, but we've yet to be able to play one in the game (though we have played as female Templars in the game's multiplayer. Why not a heroine for AC III "It's always up in the air", the new game's creative director Alex Hutchinson said, "I think lots of people want it, [but] in this period it's been a bit of a pain. The history of the American Revolution is the history of men. … There are a few people, like John Adams' wife, [Abigail] -- they tried very hard in the TV series to not make it look like a bunch of dudes, but it really is a bunch of dudes. It felt like, if you had all these men in every scene and you're secretly, stealthily in crowds of dudes [as a female assassin], it starts to feel kind of wrong. People would stop believing it."

"We knew early on that we wanted a Native American assassin, because it's someone outside the conflict [of the American Revolution]," Hutchinson said. "We didn't want you to be a Patriot. We didn't want you to be a Redcoat.

"It's been a big challenge to get the right guy," Hutchinson continued. "It's not like creating an Italian who is part of a robust country. We're sort of picking a character who is part of an oppressed people. We had to be very very careful with it. We wanted to be both historically accurate and earnest in how we treated it. So we wanted to get an actor who is Native American. He is half-Blackfoot, and we wanted to get the events that happen in the game that are historically accurate as possible."

The team didn't want a jingoistic hero, though they knew that's what people would expect that as soon as they heard the game was set in America. "[People were worried] that it's going to be ra-ra- Team America and flag-waving," Hutchinson laughed. "It's not something we wanted to do and it's not the story we wanted to tell, anyway."

If Ezio is Errol Flynn, who is an analogue for Connor? Hutchinson and AC III producer Francois Pelland mentioned a 2001 French movie to me called Le Pacte des loupes, but didn't zero in on which character from that film helped inform Connor (I've asked in a follow-up and will update this if they're able to elaborate.)

The Ubsisoft creators want Connor to feel like an outsider. They want him to feel like an agent with his own allegiance outside the ones American players might feel. "The natives at the time," Pelland said, "...they fought for the British, they fought for the Patriots, they fought for the French."

"They were selling land because they thought it was funny," Hutchinson said. "They didn't think you could own land."

"They were not feeling the true oppression, but still they were being abused," Pelland said. "They were being abused, but they didn't have that reaction of: Let's fight everything."

So Connor's tale will be that of an oppressed people, but it won't necessarily be one of a rebellious people. It doesn't sound like it will be the tale of a man who decides to go, unquestioning, to one side.

And yet one of the player-fantasies cited by Ubisoft's creative team is to let players feel as if they are helping found a nation.

Our portrait of Connor is still vague. He's no Ezio yet, but maybe he just won't ever be.


Comments

    Brotherhood of the Wolf was a fantastic movie. The native american in it, the main character Fromsac's offsider/friend, was played by Mark Dacascos. He was stunning in it. If this is the approach they are going for, then sit very comfortably and know they're going for a very good angle. I highly recommend this movie. It's about the Beast of Gevaudan, thought to be possibly a werewolf at first, later revealed to be something more sinister. Based partially in reality, mostly in myth and legend, the movie also contains three things worth checking out:

    Soul Calibur IVY's segmented sword.
    Monica Belluccis boobs.
    Mark Dacascos as an Indian doing martial arts and kicking ass.

    All 3 things highly worth checking out :D

      Plus it has Vincent cassel being ultra evil. Awesome

      This. This. A million times this.

      Love that film. Dacascos was wicked as Manu.

      It's gloriously silly. I kinda hope the new Assassins Creed is a little more grounded in reality, but I'd love to play a Brotherhood of the Wolf game.

      That was an awesome film. A little OTT but fun all the same, and nice costumes. :)

      Aslo: Vincent. Fucking. Cassell. 'Nuff said.

    $10 says if he is half white, he has to eventually go kill his father who is some sort of evil general that raped his mother.

    I only played about 1/2 of the first AC, but isn't the deal that each of the protagonists are one of Desmond's direct ancestors?

      So far, yes. The broader story in the modern-day AC universe is focused on Desmond and his memory-extraction at the moment. From there you could either conclude that Connor is another ancestor, or that there could be another character to turn up in the modern-day timeline with Assassin ancestry. So far I haven't been able to find anything that confirms either.

      ...Internet? Lil' help?

        Its confirmed all the assassins are his ancestors, they come from different strands of his lineage though none are related to each other, Desmond is the point of union where all lines meet and merge, hence why he himself has the memory of all of them.

    I don't care if the new assassin is from Mars as long as the tower defence mini game is left out forever! Mass Effect 3 whingers should get that removed from AC Revelations if they want to do something useful.

      No tower defense in AC3 - already cinfirmed. Hey did anyone actually have to do the tower defense in Revelations? I of course did the tutorial mission, but I never had to do it again in the game.

    Extremely biased article.. Get over Ezio, I'm liking Connor already he seems more badass and to the point than Ezio. NO personality?? Everyone has a personality Connors is just different. You don't even know Connors story yet. This article just pissed me off

    Does his name really have a colon in it and how does one pronounce it

    I'm a little worried about the fact that all the AC stories seem to be the same. I haven't played Revelations because even playing brotherhood more than a year after ACII fatigued me but they all seem to go:
    - Upstart new guy thinks his life's pretty swell
    - Guy's family/home/community is raided and destroyed or people are captured
    - Guy joins assassins/picks up Assassin robes again
    - Guy goes through laundry list of people that wronged him for revenge

    It even happened in Brotherhood which was a sequel to an already established revenge killing scenario and it sounds like they're going with the whole "Revenge for destroyed village/life" thing again in AC3. There's an opportunity with the Revolution that Connor was coerced into fighting for the Americans or something but then learns that he doesn't have to listen to them and starts acting for a third party (the Assassins). Something other than "Hello. My name is Altair/Ezio/Connor. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

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