Assassin’s Creed Fans May Have Already Solved Shadows’ First Big Mystery

Assassin’s Creed Fans May Have Already Solved Shadows’ First Big Mystery

We’ve only seen one trailer for Assassin’s Creed Shadows, the next entry in Ubisoft’s open-world stealth-RPG series, but fans already think they know exactly where the game takes place. Beyond the era in which the game will be set, Sengoku-period Japan, a series of developer riddles has drip-fed information that seems to point to a specific area of Japan that will serve as the game’s location. Here’s what community sleuths have uncovered.

The hunt for Shadows’ location started only a couple of weeks ago, in mid-May. Right before the game’s official reveal, Ubisoft posted a series of ciphered numbers hidden in images on X (formerly Twitter) that sent fans scrambling. When aligned properly, the numbers could be graphed on X and Y axes to form a shape, that when compared to a map of Japan revealed it looked like the Kansai region, which contains Kyoto and Osaka.

Now, fans have solved a second round of puzzles that further support the Kansai setting, with Kyoto specifically seeming more and more likely as a hub for Shadows. On June 3, the official Assassin’s Creed Discord began something called Assassin’s Creed Shadow – The First Mission. Certain content creators were sent special boxes with codes and hints to unravel.

Access The Animus

This turned into an ARG-type experience that included creators messaging in-lore characters on Discord, unlocking real-world locks, translating Japanese, and many other puzzles the community helped solve. Access The Animus, a YouTube channel devoted to the series, streamed the entire puzzle experience and completed it in around two hours. At one point a map is compared to a real map of Japan, with landmarks surrounding Kyoto and Osaka lining up.

The final reward was unlocking new pieces of concept art for Shadows. Included in these are several landscapes and landmarks giving fans a better understanding of the possible map layout for the game. One image appears to show Kyoto in the winter, while another looks to be Takeda Castle, located to the northwest of Kyoto. With these key landmarks, the rough size of the map falls in line with the previously discovered map layout from the ciphered numbers puzzle. This would make narrative sense, given that Kyoto was at the center of political and military struggles throughout the Sengoku period during which Shadows is set. We know Shadows will be another open-world RPG in the vein of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, although it’s been confirmed the map will be slightly smaller, more akin to Assassin’s Creed Origins.

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