Aussie Transcribes Assassin’s Creed’s Heiroglyphs (And They’re Legit)

Aussie Transcribes Assassin’s Creed’s Heiroglyphs (And They’re Legit)

Assassin’s Creed: Origins is set in ancient Egypt, specifically during Cleopatra VII’s reign. That means there’s a lot of hieroglyphs, not just in the game, but the marketing materials too.

There’s one such mural for Origins at Melbourne Central. So one Aussie gamer, with a background in history, decided she’d start decoding it.

Meet Claire Manning. She’s a gamer with a background in archaeology who studied the Cleopatra VII period for her honours thesis.

Ubisoft popped up a giant poster for Assassin’s Creed: Origins in her home town of Melbourne recently. So Manning did what any gamer with a background in history would do: started studying it.

The mural doesn’t show the full message, but fortunately there was a full picture available online:

Image: Ubisoft

It didn’t take long before a code started to emerge.

“A lot of the words seem to be acting as a filler – it looks like the graphic designer was trying to fill space for a lot of this. But there’s clearly a message in here related to the game,” she continued.

She continued to share her findings on Twitter, using the Middle Egyptian textbook and A Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian as references.

That’s Assassin’s Creed, alright.

Remember this? “We work in the dark, to serve the light. We are assassins.” That was a quote from Assassin’s Creed 2. Pretty sure it was when Niccolo was formally bringing Ezio into the fold.

In a chat over Twitter, Manning explained that knowing the beginning of the sentence gave her a leg up. She added that there’s also a few symbols referring to ancient Egyptian gods, which could be referencing a prayer.

The fascinating part of all of this is the amount of effort and detail Ubisoft has put into making things accurate. Most hieroglyphs in public are completely fake: symbols that don’t exist, signs aligned the wrong way, that sort of nonsense.

But Ubisoft has put in the time to make sure that not only are their hieroglyphs historically accurate, there’s also a coherent message.

I’m guessing the final message will be along the lines of nothing is true, men blindly following the light, anything is possible.

Manning reckons it’ll be something about the foundation of the brotherhood. “My guess at this time is that it’s probably a statement of the Assassin’s ethos at the time of their foundation,” she reasoned. “The beginnings of their code, most likely.”

Manning hasn’t finished decoding the full message yet, but we’ll check back in when she does.


  • Interesting in the replies to the researcher’s twitter feed:
    Guillaume Pierre (@DesignGuillaume – formerly SimCity+ Sims etc designer) commenting on the thread: “Looks like they’ve done their research,” and tagging-in former Assassin’s Creed 3 creative director Alex Hutchinson (@BangBangClick) who has replied, “Always!”

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