Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s Devs Told Us How They Sneak In References To Older Games

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s Devs Told Us How They Sneak In References To Older Games

An assassin in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla shares a small but fun connection to a templar in Assassin’s Creed III, as confirmed by Ubisoft in a recent interview with Kotaku.

In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla players will quickly encounter two assassins. One is Basim and the other is his younger apprentice, Hytham. That name might sound familiar to folks who’ve played through Assassin’s Creed III, as it sounds an awful lot like Haytham, the first Grand Master of the Templar Order in North America and the father of AC3 protagonist Connor. This similarity wasn’t a coincidence and is an example of how the developers and writers working on the franchise weave references and lore into the game without some grand plan already laid out.

[referenced id=”1203220″ url=”” thumb=”×155.png” title=”The Making Of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s Best Bonus Region” excerpt=”One of the best parts of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla does not take place in England. Where you go is a spoiler. It’s also one of the best parts of the game. We recently asked the people who made it to explain its origins.”]

Darby McDevitt, the narrative director on Valhalla, along with other Ubisoft devs, recently answered some questions for me about Vinland, an area that appears later in Valhalla and which I enjoyed a lot. During the interview, I asked the developers and writers when and how they decide to include lore connections to other games in the long-running series. If you thought there was a grand plan or some master story bible with every detail and event carefully planned out, you’d be wrong. Instead, as McDevitt explained, these types of details and references come about organically as they work on the game.

“Most of this stuff comes as we dance our way through production,” explained McDevitt. “As things come together we see connections to other games and we pounce on them.”

So during development, when it came time to name the two assassins you meet and befriend in Valhalla, McDevitt saw an opportunity. “I remembered fans have wondered why Edward Kenway gave his son an Arabic name, Haytham,” said McDevitt. “So when it came time to name our two Assassins, I suggested Haytham or Hytham to imply that Edward named his son after the Assassin who brought the Hidden Ones back to England.”

Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku
Screenshot: Ubisoft / Kotaku

Something similar happened with the cities in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Fans noticed that the assassin targets in the three cities seemed to be references to the targets found in the three cities of the original game. This would later be confirmed by McDevitt, who explained that this was a similar situation.

“When we decided the three cities in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla would be assassination-themed, we immediately jumped on the idea of turning them into a grand homage to the first Assassin’s Creed’s cities. It was something that grew out of iteration.”

So while fans might be tempted to read into every little detail and assemble grand theories online, keep in mind that the odds are decent that you’re thinking about these things a lot more than the folks making the games.

Related Stories

[referenced id=”1203602″ url=”” thumb=”×169.jpg” title=”Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Gets History Right Where It Matters” excerpt=”If Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is indeed based on historical events like its intro screen says, it is based very loosely. Yet for all its simplification and misrepresentation of the Viking invasions of Britain, there’s one thing the game depicts really well: the idea that England’s history is one of immigration.”]

[referenced id=”1202963″ url=”” thumb=”×169.jpg” title=”Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Is Too Damn Long” excerpt=”I finally got around to finishing Assassin’s Creed Valhalla this week. And while I had a great time with the game I also parted ways on a pretty sour note, because like its predecessor, it is just too damn long.”]

[referenced id=”1202900″ url=”” thumb=”×169.jpg” title=”Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Players Figured Out How To (Legitimately) Score That Secret Bow” excerpt=”Over the weekend, players of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla uncovered a secret bow (the laughably powerful Noden’s Arc) by…smacking a rock in the middle of a lake over and over again. The trick bounced around the web. Ubisoft’s Darby McDevitt even chimed in, describing it as a “clever brute force hack”…”]

The Cheapest NBN 1000 Plans

Looking to bump up your internet connection and save a few bucks? Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *