||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (May 2013)|
|Assassin's Creed character|
Desmond Miles in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
|First game||Assassin's Creed (2007)|
|Voiced by||Nolan North|
Desmond Miles is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Assassin's Creed series, a historical fiction, action-adventure, open world, and stealth video game series that consists of seven main games and a number of supporting materials, as of 2013. He is a descendant of other Assassins, including Aquilus, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, Ezio Auditore da Firenze, Ratonhnhaké:ton (Connor), and Edward Kenway. Miles is voiced by Nolan North and modeled after Canadian fashion model Francisco Randez.
Desmond ventured to New York and became a bartender but lived under assumed names to protect himself. He used cash only in a further attempt to hide his true identity, but was eventually found by Abstergo via his fingerprint (needed for a motorcycle license). In Abstergo, Desmond was put into the Animus, a machine that allows him to relive the memories of his ancestors stored in his DNA, by scientists Dr. Warren Vidic and Dr. Lucy Stillman, employees of Abstergo Industries. They explain that they are searching the memories of Desmond's ancestors, specifically those of Altaïr ibn-La'Ahad, for a certain piece of information, which they refuse to disclose. Without much choice, Desmond agrees to help them.
After recovering the information for which Vidic was searching, Abstergo's executives order Desmond to be killed, but Lucy's quick thinking saves him, and she persuades Vidic to keep him alive until they know for certain that he is of no further use. Upon returning to his room, Desmond, suffering from the "Bleeding Effect", discovers that the side effect has given him Altaïr's "Eagle Vision", allowing him to discern friend from foe and read cryptic messages left on the walls and floor by Subject 16, another Animus subject that Lucy and Vidic talk of from time to time.
Assassin's Creed II
After the events of the first game, Desmond escapes from Abstergo with the help of Lucy, who was revealed to be an undercover Assassin in Abstergo. He enters the Animus 2.0, supervised by Lucy and her team—consisting of Englishman Shaun Hastings and American Rebecca Crane, in order to be quickly trained as an Assassin via the Bleeding Effect. This time, he goes into the memories of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, an ancestor from the Renaissance time period. After successfully navigating Ezio's early memories, Desmond is extracted from the Animus to avoid the mental degradation that Subject 16 suffered as a side-effect of the Bleeding Effect and spending too long in the Animus. Shortly after extraction, Desmond flashes back to one of Altaïr's memories, despite not being linked to the Animus. Desmond learns of Altaïr having a lover, Maria Thorpe, a former Templar used as a decoy by Robert de Sablé in the first Assassin's Creed. As Altaïr leaves, Desmond wonders why he isn't following the Assassin; instead, he moves towards Maria, where he enters her womb, showing that Altaïr's child (and another of Desmond's ancestors) has just been conceived.
After spending more time in the Animus 2.0, Desmond begins to adjust to his newly developed skills, becoming highly agile and an expert in whatever weapons Ezio learned to use. The last segment of Ezio's memories brings an astonished Ezio (and Desmond) to a futuristic chamber underneath the Sistine Chapel, where the hologram of the goddess Minerva, addresses Desmond by name, and through Ezio, warns him of an impending cataclysm that has the potential to destroy all life on Earth. Desmond is pulled from the Animus afterward, as Abstergo had discovered their hideout. The team escape, with Desmond using the skills acquired from the Bleeding Effect to help fight off Abstergo's forces. Desmond enters the Animus while in transit, knowing that Ezio, and perhaps Subject 16, may have the answers they seek.
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
Desmond, Lucy, Shaun and Rebecca arrive at Monteriggioni, where the Villa Auditore was located. They set up a safehouse in the Villa's sanctuary, and Desmond re-enters the Animus 2.0, in order to discover the location of the Apple of Eden, an artifact obtained by Ezio and one of the "Pieces of Eden". After finding the location of the Apple through the Animus, Desmond and the others learn that the Apple is hidden under the Colosseum. Due to the Bleeding Effect and Desmond's abilities, the Assassins find a way inside an ancient Vault, where the Apple is located. He then takes the Apple and through it, Juno takes control of his body and forces him to stab Lucy, who is revealed to be a Templar agent in DLC, and her death is foreshadowed by Subject 16's message. After Desmond passes out, he gets put back into the Animus by William Miles and an unknown man, who are Assassins. The events and assignments for the Assassins seem to end after this and Desmond falls into a coma.
Assassin's Creed: Revelations
Within the Animus, Desmond finds himself in the Black Room, a "safe mode" area for the device. There, Desmond must find a specific memory that links him with Altaïr and Ezio so that he can reintegrate his shattered subconscious and awaken from his coma. In the Black Room's "Animus Island", he sees the consciousness of Subject 16, and often speaks with him about how to reawaken from his coma. Desmond can also hear the voices of his father, William "Bill" Miles, Shaun Hastings and Rebecca Crane while he is in this state. After awakening from his coma, Desmond sees Shaun, Rebecca, and Bill around him; and when his arm glows a mysterious blue and he sees the Apple, he tells them: "I know what we need to do."
Whilst in the Black Room, there are sequences where Desmond talks about his life and how he came to be in the hands of Abstergo. In Desmond Sequence 1, he expresses regret for running away from The Farm, and also wishes that he could apologize to his family. In Desmond Sequences 2 and 3, Desmond explains his early life on The Farm and the training he went through. He also describes his escape, which happened at the age of 16. He ran away into the Black Hills, before running into girls from Illinois who drove him to Chicago. After this, he moved to New York City. During Desmond Sequence 4, he talks of his life in New York, and the job he got at a bar. In the last sequence, Desmond Sequence 5, Desmond describes the moment Abstergo found him, at age 25, and how much he regretted not taking his parent's warnings and training more seriously. In Sequence 5, Desmond ends by saying, "My name is Desmond Miles, and I am an Assassin."
Assassin's Creed III
Desmond awakes from his coma, and through the help of his father, friends, and his ancestor Ratonhnhaké:ton (Connor), must find his way into the Central Vault and stop the world from perishing. Using the new Animus 3.0, Desmond begins to live another one of his ancestor's memories: Native American (Mohawk) Assassin, Ratonhnhaké:ton, who fought during the American Revolution. Desmond is noticeably thinner and frailer looking in the game, most likely as a result of the coma and being in the Animus for such a long time. After Desmond relives the life of Ratonhnhaké:ton and kills Warren Vidic and Daniel Cross, he finds the "Key" that will open the secret door. After Desmond opens the door, he speaks with Juno. Minerva suddenly appears out of nowhere and tries to dissuade him. She tells Desmond that while they were planning to save the world, Juno wanted to use the machines and set her plans of global conquest and return of the old order in motion.
Minerva warns Desmond that if he touches the pedestal, he will be destroyed and Juno let loose, but the world will be saved. After a conversation between Juno and Desmond, where she shows how his divinity among the survivors of the catastrophe would end up with the world going through another cycle of political and religious war, Desmond decides to use the device and save the world, believing that the world has a better chance fighting Juno. While Shaun, Rebecca, and his father William exit the temple, Desmond touches the pedestal and releases Juno, saving the world, but he is killed in the process. In the credits, Juno appears in the Central Vault, saying; "The world is saved. You played your part well Desmond. But now it is time that I played mine."
According to lead designer Steve Masters, Desmond's story ends in Assassins Creed III: "What we’re trying to do is bring some finality to Desmond’s story. To actually wrap up what you’ve opened and experienced with him." Creative director of the series, Jean Guesdon, said that Desmond is an important character in the Assassin's Creed series, and will be playing a large part in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.
Assassin's Creed IV - Desmond's legacy
Despite his physical death, Desmond still manages to be a powerful asset for both Templars & Assassins. Shortly after Desmond's death, a sample recovery team from Abstergo is sent to collect his body (roughly intact, save for a badly burnt right arm) and collect samples for the new Project 17. Desmond's DNA is stored in the Abstergo Entertainment's servers, where a crew of analysts are tasked with reliving his copied genetic memories and learn about his ancestors. One of them in particular, the player character, is tasked to relive the memories of Edward Kenway, Ratonhnhaké:ton's grandfather and a pirate, collecting enough data to lead the Abstergo to the Observatory, a First Civilization's temple hosting an advanced tracking device and several vials of First Civilization's blood samples and allow Abstergo Entertainment to fund their operations by scripting a movie about the Golden Age of Piracy.
The nameless analysts also gets to steal, and send back to the Assassins, several recordings left by Desmond himself, detailing his initial doubts of leaving the farm, his acceptance of the role he had been chosen to play and his love for his mother and father.
Also, due to Abstergo now being able to collect anyone's else genetic memories without having to use blood-related analysts, the mere property of Desmond's body gives Abstergo full knowledge about his entire family life.
Michael Fassbender announced that he will star in and co-produce an upcoming film adaptation of the series, projected to be the first of several films. Initially believed to be cast as Desmond Miles, Ubisoft has stated that Fassbender would not be playing Desmond, but another character.
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Desmond Miles was voted as the twentieth top character of the 2000s decade by Game Informer's readers. He received mixed reviews from critics. PlayStation Universe rated Desmond as one of the PlayStation 3's worst characters, saying, "While voiced admirably by the ubiquitous Nolan North, it’s impossible to shake the feeling of pure monotony when stepping into Desmond’s shoes when all you want to do is hop back in time and stab people in the face.
- Harris, Ron (2011-11-16). "Review: 'Assassin's Creed' puts premium on stealth". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2013-09-07.
- [dead link]
- Ubisoft Montreal (15 November 2011). Assassin's Creed: Revelations. Xbox 360, PC. Ubisoft. ":Desmond: I know what we need to do."
- "Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag references Desmond Miles as part of a "consistent mythology" | News". PC Gamer. 2013-03-07. Retrieved 2013-09-07.
- Spangler, Todd (2012-07-09). "Fassbender fastened to 'Assassins'". Variety.com. Retrieved 2013-09-07.
- Gilbert, Ben (2012-07-09). "Fassbender's Assassin's Creed character not necessarily Desmond". Joystiq. Retrieved 2013-09-07.
- Bryan Vore (December 3, 2010). "Readers' Top 30 Characters Results Revealed". Game Informer. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
- "Ubisoft Ready To Eliminate Desmond Miles From Assassin’s Creed". EGMNOW. Retrieved 2013-09-07.
- "PS3's top 5 worst protagonists - PlayStation Universe". Psu.com. Retrieved 2013-09-07.