Assassin's Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles
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|Release date(s)||Nintendo DS:
April 23, 2009
January 25, 2010
Windows Phone 7:
November 11, 2010
Assassin's Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles is a video game released for the Nintendo DS, Android, iOS, webOS, Symbian, Java ME and Windows Phone. It is a prequel to the 2007 video game Assassin's Creed, developed by Gameloft and published by Ubisoft. It was released in the United States on February 5, 2008. It features two new cities, Tyre and Aleppo; and the three original cities, Jerusalem, Acre, and Damascus; but does not include Masyaf. Unlike the original Assassin's Creed, the game is not told through the perspective of Desmond Miles, but rather the perspective of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, although the menu screens do take place in the Animus.
The iOS version was removed from the App Store in 2013 and is no longer available.
The year is 1190 AD, and the Third Crusade is engulfing the Holy Land. Crusaders clash with Saracens for control of the Holy City, Jerusalem.
A young assassin returns home to Aleppo from an arduous journey, and finds it under attack by Templars. He has no choice but to repel this attack, killing a low-ranking captain in the process. Soon he 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 — either the Crusaders or the Saracens — and end the Third Crusade in victory for one side or the other. But the Chalice is too powerful an object to be left in the hands of men alone: It must be found and destroyed.
The assassin, Altaïr, begins his journey in Damascus, where a Rafik tells him (after testing his skills on a target.) that the merchant, Tamir, has connections to the Templars. Upon interrogating Misbah, a man with connections to Tamir, Altaïr confronts him and, before killing Tamir, learns that the Chalice is kept in the Temple of the Sand and that Altaïr needs three keys to enter it. Altaïr then visits the circus dancer, Fajera, but she is unwilling to help, leaving Altaïr to fight a circus brute, Badr. After catching her, she gives Altaïr the first of three keys, and tells him that a man that is at the Templar hospital in Tyre could help him find two more keys. Fajera also tasks Altaïr with killing a Templar named Alaat.
Arriving in Tyre, the first thing for Altaïr is to speak with Hamid, the Tyre assassin, from whom he learns that Roland Napule, head of the hospital, has been questioning someone recently. In order to get into the hospital, he navigates through the sewer, enters the building and assassinates Roland. Altair is given the second key by a prisoner of Roland, an old man who has been to the mysterious temple of the Chalice.
Altaïr then travels to Jerusalem and speaks with local assassin agent, Kadar, learning that the Templar leader, Basilisk, is usually at the Jerusalem royal palace with the king, and that he has the third key. The king is going to have a party somewhere soon, and in order to get closer to Basilisk, this location should be discovered. Altair overhears some of the noblemens conversations and questioned Ayman, a man invited to the party. He finds out the location of Villa where the party is about to begin, infiltrates it with the help of one of Kadar's men, and encounters Lord Basilisk for the first time. After a battle with him Altair gets the key, but has no time to kill him and runs away. Later in Jerusalem, Templars attack an assassin agent, Hazad, and steal the map to the desert temple. Altaïr chases them to their tower, climbs to the top, facing heavy resistance including catapults, archers, and a mindless brute he fights in a courtyard. After making his way through the tower defenses and killing the archer captain in charge, Altair finds the way to the tower and its Master, an assassin-like figure who is actually a high-ranking Templar. Altair fights his way through the tower, killing the Master's guards and his student. Finally, he reaches the Master himself, kills him and takes the map. Altaïr then proceeds to the Temple of the Sand, where the Chalice is probably kept. There, he encounters Templar forces and fights his way to the antechamber, defeating the Axe Warrior. There, he finds an empty chest and Lord Basilisk, who hints that the Chalice is in fact a woman. Basilisk taunts him, and Altaïr runs back to Tyre before the temple collapses.
In Tyre, Hamid tells him that in order to infiltrate the local Templar stronghold, where Basilisk is located, he needs to free two captured men. After freeing two captive brothers, they pinpoint the entrance for him, and Altair infiltrates the hold (encountering another Brute on his way), where he fights and badly wounds Basilisk. Altair agrees on a deal: Basilisk's life in exchange for information. Basilisk reveals that the Chalice is in Jerusalem, and that the Templars are sieging Acre and are going to poison the water to quicken the siege. Before leaving for Acre, Altair burns Basilisk's ships so he can't reach the Chalice first.
Altaïr journeys to besieged Acre and helps the city by fighting off attacking Templar soldiers, infiltrating the siege camp first in a disguise of a soldier, but continuing in a scholar's attire, and killing the Templar commander. Altair manages to escape the camp using a catapult.
He then goes to Jerusalem, where he successfully rescues the Chalice from a group of Templars. Altair identifies the Chalice as Adha, the woman he knew and liked before the events of the game. From her, he learns that the Templars have paid off Harash, the second-in-command of the Assassins.
Altaïr 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 Basilisk and taken to their port in Tyre.
Altaïr fights through the Templar knights and kills Lord Basilisk in one final confrontation on his ship. But Adha is on a different ship, which escapes before Altaïr can catch it. He swims to shore and, seeing the Templar ship far off in the distance, yells "I will find you, Adha!".
Assassin's Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles takes advantage of the Nintendo DS features. The game's main gameplay featured a 3D platform-puzzle game format with third person hack-and-slash combat and more limited stealth maneuvering. The touchscreen is utilized for mini-games, like interrogation and pickpocketing, as well as displaying a map during standard gameplay. The game's combat system consists primarily of weak attacks, strong attacks, blocks, and combos of the three with the sword, while bombs and projectiles are made available in later gameplay. Seven different weapons are available, including the hidden retractable blade, a sword, crossbow, explosive bombs, smoke bombs, and throwing knives. The game also features three different levels of difficulty, allowing for more experienced players to take on a bigger challenge. Unlike the console/PC versions of Assassin's Creed, however, the game does not feature open-world gameplay or any form of free-roaming.
The Symbian mobile version is almost an identical port of the DS version.
The game has been received with mixed reviews; IGN gave it a 7/10, GameSpot gave it 6/10, Nintendo Power gave it a 7.5/10, X-Play gave it a 2/5, and Game Informer magazine gave it a 6.5 out of 10. Official Nintendo Magazine gave it 69%. In Slide to Play's review of the iOS version, they gave it a 2/4.
- Ryan Perez, "Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicles," GamePro 235 (April 2008): 40.
- Harris, Craig (2008-02-06). "IGN: Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicle review". IGN. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
- VanOrd, Kevin (2008-02-11). "Gamespot: Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicles review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 8 December 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-17.