|Assassin's Creed character|
|First game||Assassin's Creed (2007)|
|Voiced by (English)||Philip Shahbaz (Assassin's Creed)
Cas Anvar (Revelations)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Katsuyuki Konishi (Japanese version)|
Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad (Arabic: الطائر بن لا أحد, meaning "The Bird Son of No One") is a fictional character in the Assassin's Creed series. He serves as the protagonist of Assassin's Creed, Assassin's Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles and Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines. Altaïr also appears as a playable character in Assassin's Creed: Revelations and is playable once in Assassin's Creed II. Although he had received some criticism for his voice-over performance and (initial) lack of backstory, he was nonetheless well received by critics and gamers alike.
In the video game universe, Altaïr is an ancestor of Desmond Miles, a modern-day assassin (on the side of his mother). He killed his mentor, whom he called his second father, Al Mualim in September 1191 in Masyaf, after finding out about his betrayal. He was a close friend with Niccolò Polo, father of Marco Polo. Using the Apple of Eden he seemed to know the future, as he uses a small firearm to kill Abbas Sofian in 1247, long before guns were invented. He lived from 1165 to 1257, and his remains are found in the Masyaf castle library by the Florentine Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze in 1512. His face was only revealed in Assassin's Creed: Revelations.
In the Assassin's Creed series
The original Assassin's Creed takes place in 1191. During the Third Crusade, the Crusaders' armies clash with Saracens, fighting over control of the Holy City of Jerusalem. Altaïr is tasked by Al Mualim to find and retrieve a sacred object: The Chalice. It is said to have the power to unite under one flag all the factions of whatever side possesses it - in order to win the final battle. But the Chalice is too powerful an object to be left in the hands of men alone – it must be found and destroyed quickly. After learning that the Chalice is kept in Jerusalem, Altaïr manages to arrive before the Templar leader, Robert de Sable. There, he successfully rescues the Apple of Eden from a group of Templars. There it is revealed that the Chalice is a woman named Adha, the woman Altaïr knew and had feelings for before the events of game. From her, he learns that the Templars have paid off Harash, the second-in-command of the Assassins, to betray the Brotherhood. Altaïr then plans to attack Alep (the assassin fortress), kill Harash, and run away with Adha – but after making his way through Harash's assassin guards and killing him, Adha is kidnapped by Robert and taken to the Templars' port in Acre.
Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines takes place between the events of the original Assassin's Creed and Assassin's Creed II. The game is set on the island of Cyprus, taking the player to two of its cities, Limassol and Kyrenia. Altaïr has traveled to Cyprus from the Holy Land (the setting of the first game) in order to assassinate the last remnants of the Templars. Bloodlines includes more face time with Maria, the female Templar that was spared by Altaïr in Assassin's Creed. Altaïr captures Maria as a prisoner, but she escapes, before being captured again by Altaïr. In the novel Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade, Altaïr and Maria's relationship is more fully explored. They are married and have two sons: Darim and Sef.
In Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Altaïr creates a massive library hidden beneath the Masyaf fortress that supposedly has information that can tilt the scales in the war between the Templars and the Assassins. Ezio discovers that that five locks seal the door to the library, and that five 'Masyaf keys' must be found in order to open the library. Whenever Ezio finds a Masyaf key, he inadvertently accesses one of Altaïr's memories – deliberately stored inside each key. As Ezio discovers more keys, the memories inside them are further along in Altaïr's life; for example, in the final key, there is a memory of Altaïr in his early 80s, returning to Masyaf to kill Abbas. When Ezio finally enters the Masyaf library, however, there are no books or writings in the library. There is only the skeleton of Altaïr, holding the sixth Masyaf key, and the Apple of Eden on a pedestal at the back of the room. Ezio chooses to leave the apple, having "seen enough for one life".
- In Academy of Champions: Soccer, Altaïr appears as a playable character.
- In Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Altaïr's outfit is available with the "Lost Archive" DLC and he appears as a playable character in certain missions.
- In Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Altaïr's outfit is unlockable through a UPLAY download.
- In Assassin's Creed III, Altaïr's outfit is available by completing all of the constraints in the main story.
- In Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Altair's outfit is unlocked by having Uplay data from one of the previous Assassin's Creed titles (it does not matter which previous AC title it is only that there is Uplay data of a past Assassin's Creed game present). Altaïr's Swords, an Altaïr themed ship figurehead, and Altaïr themed sails can be obtained via the DLC "Crusader & Florentine pack". In the present day, an Abstergo Entertainment market analysis on Altair can be found via hacking computers. The Market Analysis reveals Abstergo was looking into the possibility of using Altair as a role model for Abstergo's outreach programs, but found his habit of flouting his cultures taboos (demonstrated by video of him burning Al Mualim's body) and passed on using Altair instead deciding to focus on fellow Assassin Abbas Sofian who's character they found more suitable for their purposes.
- In the video game Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, player character Solid Snake can disguise himself with Altaïr's outfit.
- In the video game Prince of Persia (2008), Altaïr's outfit is unlockable for the Prince to wear.
- Altaïr's outfit also appears in the video game Rayman Raving Rabbids 2.
- In the video game The Saboteur, the player can obtain an Altaïr trophy.
- In the video game The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, there is an Easter egg which shows a dead Altaïr in a haystack.
The character was well received. In 2008, The Age ranked Altaïr as the fourth greatest Xbox character of all time, declaring "Not everybody was overly enamoured with Assassin’s Creed, but we have nothing but respect for its protagonist ... If everything about the game he inhabited had been as polished and brilliant as him, we certainly would have felt very differently about Assassin's Creed." The 2011 Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition lists the character as the twenty-fourth most popular video game character. He was voted as the ninth top character of the 2000s decade by Game Informer's readers.
IGN nominated and gave the award Altaïr for their "Stars' 2007 Badasssss!" award. In 2008, Mikel Reparaz of GamesRadar ranked him as the sixth best assassin in gaming, stating "Cool talents aside, Altair's a pretty compelling character in his own right, gradually growing out of his arrogant-prick phase to become more noble and altruistic. And as he does, he begins to actually question the morality of what he's doing, something few of the other assassins on this list ever do." That same year, IGN's Jesse Schedeen listed Altaïr as one of the fighters they would have in their ultimate fighting game, saying he was a slightly more realistic and efficient version of the Prince from Prince of Persia. In 2009, he ranked first on FHM's list of most memorable hitmen in gaming.
On other hand, Philip Shahbaz's vocal performance was widely and heavily criticized. Hilary Goldstein of IGN, in her review of the original Assassin's creed, called the voice acting for Altaïr "abysmal," going on to say that he "speaks with an American accent and sounds as if he is auditioning for community theatre." ZTGD's Joey Guacamole offered a similar opinion in his review of the game, calling it one of the worst voice acting performances of recent memory. GameSpot's Kevin VanOrd was somewhat less critical of Shabaz's performance, writing that he did an "all-right" job as Altaïr, but still felt he was the weakest actor in the game. Some critics also took note of his undisclosed backstory in the original game. GameSpy's Will Tuttle, when comparing the character to Assassin's Creed II's protagonist Ezio Auditore, wrote that while Altaïr was "undeniably badass," the lack of any backstory or motives made him difficult to care about. IGN, using results from a reader's poll and comments, also listed Altaïr as the ninth most overrated video game character, calling him to a "poor man's Prince of Persia" and declaring him a two-dimensional, very formulaic character.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Altaïr ibn-La'Ahad.|
- "Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines Debut Trailer". GameTrailers. July 16, 2009. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
- Rositano, Joseph (September 22, 2009). "Academy of Champions Soccer Review". PALGN.
- "The Top 50 Xbox Characters of All Time". The Age. September 30, 2008. Archived from the original on October 6, 2010. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- Jeff Marchiafava (February 16, 2011). "Guinness Names Top 50 Video Game Characters Of All Time". GameInformer. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
- Bryan Vore (December 3, 2010). "Readers' Top 30 Characters Results Revealed". Game Informer. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
- IGN Stars (December 5, 2007). "Stars' 2007 Badasssss! Awards! Continue". IGN. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
- The Top 7... Assassins, GamesRadar US, 2008-02-05
- Jesse Schedeen (October 15, 2008). "Players Wanted: Ultimate Fighting Game, Part 2". IGN. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
- Gelo Gonzales, The 5 most memorable hitmen in gaming, FHM, November 26, 2009
- , IGN US, November 13, 2007
- , ZT Game Domain, January 17, 2011
- , GameSpot, November 13, 2007
- , GameSpy, November 17, 2009
- Jesse Schedeen (April 24, 2009). "Top 10 Most Overrated Videogame Characters". IGN. Retrieved April 8, 2011.