Ezio Auditore da Firenze

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Ezio Auditore
Assassin's Creed character
Ezio Auditore da Firenze.png
Ezio in his signature outfit, the Roman Robes, from Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
First appearance Assassin's Creed II
Created by Ubisoft
Voiced by Roger Craig Smith
Fictional profile
Birthplace Florence, Republic of Florence
Nationality Italian
Fighting style Italian school of swordsmanship
(Soul Calibur V)
Occupation Assassin

Ezio Auditore da Firenze (Italian pronunciation: [ˈɛttsjo audiˈtoːre da (f)fiˈrɛntse]) is a fictional character in the video game series Assassin's Creed, where he serves as the protagonist of the series' games set during the Italian Renaissance. His life and career as an Assassin are chronicled in Assassin's Creed II, II: Discovery, Brotherhood, and Revelations, as well as the animated short film Embers. Furthermore, he appears as a guest character in the fighting game Soul Calibur V.

Born into Italian nobility, Ezio follows his family heritage as an assassin, after most of his immediate kin is killed during the Pazzi conspiracy. His quest to track down those responsible for killing his family eventually sets him up against the villainous Templar Order, led by the House of Borgia. Spending years to fight against Rodrigo and Cesare Borgia and their henchmen, he eventually reestablishes the Order of Assassins as the dominant force in Italy. His further adventures led him to Spain and the Ottoman Empire, where he is also essential in overcoming Templar threats and restoring the Assassins. After his retirement from the Order, he lives a peaceful life in rural Tuscany before dying from a heart attack.

The character has received significant critical acclaim. While most of it focusses on his portrayal and growth throughout the series, as well as the unique chronicling of his entire life, he has also been noted as one of the most attractive video game characters of all time. Due to his reception and the fact that he is the only character in the series to receive multiple main games,[a] he is usually considered the face of the franchise and its most popular character.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Assassin's Creed II and II: Discovery[edit]

Ezio is an ancestor of Desmond Miles, the protagonist of most of the early series' backstory, who experiences Ezio's life through the Animus, a device unlocking hidden memories inside his DNA.[1][2][3][4] As it is shown in the beginning of Assassin's Creed II, Ezio was born into the nobility on June 24, 1459,[5] in the Italian city of Florence.[6] Tutored by the great banker Giovanni Tornabuoni until the age of 17,[7] Ezio led an affluent, care-free lifestyle until his father Giovanni discovers a plot to assassinate the leader of Florence. Giovanni gathered evidence to accuse Francesco de' Pazzi as a conspirator. Giovanni attempts to present the evidence to Uberto Alberti, the Gonfaloniere of Florence. Uberto, however, is revealed to also be conspirator and orders for the Auditore family's arrest, blaming them for the plot. Out running errands for his father, Ezio is not home when his father and two brothers are arrested. Giovanni and Ezio's brothers are publicly hanged. Ezio, following Giovanni's final advice, finds his father's Assassin tools and flees the city with his mother and sister to the safety of his uncle Mario's estate in Monteriggioni, named Villa Auditore, in the countryside.[8] Mario assists Ezio in discovering the people behind the conspiracy, the search leading Ezio from Florence, to San Gimignano, Forlì, Venice, and eventually to Rome. As he identifies and assassinates more and more political figures, Ezio also gains several allies, including Niccolò Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci. These allies train Ezio into an Assassin and guide him on his quest. Eventually, the conspiracy leads to the mastermind of the plot: "the Spaniard" Rodrigo Borgia, Grand Master of the Italian Templars. He sought to find the Apple a — Piece of Eden —which lay in Florence. In his attempt to seize it, he organized the attempted assassination of the Medici family in Florence with the help of the Pazzi family and the Barbarigo family in Venice. Ezio finds Borgia in possession of the Apple and learns that Borgia believes himself to be "the Prophet" that will lead the Templars to the fabled "Vault". Ezio is able to confront Borgia with the help of his allies and recover the Apple, but Borgia flees before he can be killed. Ezio's allies reveal they are all Assassins and believe Ezio to be the true Prophet, allowing him to join their ranks.

During the events of Assassin's Creed II: Discovery, which plays after Borgia's escape during Assassin's Creed II, Ezio travels to Spain in 1490 to free his fellow Assassins, who have been imprisoned under the guise of the Spanish Inquisition. In the process, he discovers that the Templars are planning to sail west to discover the New World.[9] Ezio has to save Christopher Columbus and kill Tomás de Torquemada to end the Templar threat. Ezio must also assassinate some other important targets such as Gasper Martinez, Pedro Llorente, a Templar spy, and Juan de Marillo. Along the way, Ezio saves many Assassins who help him, including Luis de Santángel and Raphael Sanchez. Granada City is taken under siege by Templars, and Ezio has to save the Moorish King Muhammad XII. Ezio also encounters Queen Isabella.[10]

Years later, in 1492, Borgia becomes Pope Alexander VI and resides in Vatican City. By 1499, Ezio and his allies have completed the Codex, which is revealed to be a map, and discover that "the Vault" lies in Rome and that the Papal Cross is another Piece of Eden, known as the Staff. Ezio and his allies travel to the city. While his allies distract the city's guards, Ezio infiltrates the Vatican and attempts to assassinate Alexander. The Pope uses the Staff to incapacitate Ezio. He escapes with both the Staff and the Apple, the two keys to the Vault. Ezio, now injured, finds Alexander in time to stop him. Ezio fights him in hand-to-hand combat, easily defeating the older man. He decides to let the Pope live, realizing that killing him will not bring back his family. Now in possession of both the Staff and the Apple, Ezio opens the Vault, where a holographic figure approaches him. Identifying herself as Minerva, she confirms that he is the Prophet. She explains that she is part of an extinct and highly advanced race pre-dating humanity that created humans with the intent of using them as slaves, but the humans revolted, launching a war between the two races. The war was brought to a sudden end when a cataclysmic solar flare killed the Old Ones and most of the humans. Minerva goes on to explain that the Old Ones built several Temples as a fail-safe to protect against another solar flare, which is due to strike Earth in 2012. As Minerva's projection fades, she mentions Desmond Miles, Ezio's descendant who is viewing the memories of Ezio in the present, as the one destined to prevent another extinction event. Ezio is left confused as he tries to ask who Desmond is.[11]

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood[edit]

After returning to his uncle's villa from Rome at the start of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Ezio goes into the villa's Codex room and tells them everything that happened and what Minerva had said. A day later, the villa is besieged by the Papal Armies led by Cesare Borgia, son of Pope Alexander and the co-leader of the Templar Order. During the siege, the Apple is lost, Monteriggioni destroyed, Caterina Sforza is kidnapped, and Ezio's uncle Mario killed. Escaping outside the city with his mother and sister and the surviving townsfolk, Ezio sets off for Rome to destroy the Borgia once and for all.[12] However, Ezio was wounded during the raid on Monteriggioni; he collapses and falls unconscious on the road. Days later, Ezio awakens in Rome in the care of a woman. He receives a new set of Assassin robes and his basic gear, brought to him by Niccolò Machiavelli, a fellow Assassin. After his wounds heal, Ezio meets with Machiavelli and sets his plan in motion – to liberate Rome and remove the Borgias from power permanently, as well as retrieve the Apple of Eden.[13]

Slowly, over the next three and a half years, Ezio and his allies win a series of victories over the Borgias, reclaiming and restoring the city, by decapacitating the Borgias allies and resources. By 1503, Ezio has assasinated the clan's banker Juan Borgia and French general ally, and incapacitates his sister Lucrezia Borgia, leaving Cesare's power base in disarray. Cesare, in a fit of rage, kills his father, the Pope, and begins losing control over the city. By the end of 1503, Borgia control over the city is completely broken and Cesare is arrested by the new Pope, Julius II. Ezio recovers the Apple of Eden and hides it below the Colosseum in the Temple of Juno. Cesare ultimately escapes from prison and heads to Spain to raise a new army. In 1507, Ezio travels to Spain and catches up with Cesare at the siege of Viana Castle. Ultimately defeated by Ezio, an indignant Cesare Borgia is thrown off the castle walls to his death. Ezio then returns to Rome as the leader of the new Brotherhood of Assassins.[14]

Assassin's Creed: Revelations[edit]

After the events of Brotherhood, Ezio discovers a letter left behind by his father that talks about a hidden library full of vast knowledge underneath Masyaf Castle by legendary Assassin Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, setting the events of Assassin's Creed: Revelations into motion. In 1510, Ezio sets out from Rome to uncover said library and the knowledge it contains. Arriving at Masyaf in early 1511, Ezio is ambushed by Templars who occupy the fortress and are also searching for Altaïr's Library. After escaping capture and assassinating the Templar captain, Ezio recovers the journal of Niccolò Polo, which tells of the five seals hidden in Constantinople which will open the door to Altaïr's library.[15] Arriving in Constantinople, Ezio begins his search for the seals while helping the local Assassin's Guild, led by Yusuf Tazim, overthrow Byzantine Templar control. Ezio succeeds in eradicating Templar influence and subjugating the city to the rule of the family of Prince Suleiman.

Ezio recovers four of the five keys with the help of historian and book collector Sofia Sartor. He then travels to an underground city in Cappadocia, the new Templar base of operations in 1512. After assassinating the Templar leader Manuel Palaiologos and recovering the final key, it is revealed that Prince Suleiman's uncle Prince Ahmet has been secretly leading the Byzantine Templars and wishes to open Altaïr's library for himself. Ahmet asks Ezio to give him the Masyaf keys but Ezio pretends he did not know there were any more. Ahmet threatens Ezio to harm Sofia and sails off, leaving Ezio in Cappadocia. Upon returning to Constantinople, Ezio finds that Sofia has been kidnapped by Ahmet and Yusuf has been murdered to force Ezio to reveal the keys whereabouts. Leading an all-out attack with the Constantinople Assassins, Ezio ultimately saves Sofia. He then engages in a chase with Ahmet and eventually recovers the keys from the latter before killing him. A returning sultan Selim I thanks Ezio for saving his son and country, but at the same time orders him to leave the Ottoman Empire and never return.[16]

Ezio and Sofia make their way back to Masyaf and open Altaïr's Library, where Ezio finds Altaïr's skeleton and his Apple of Eden, but no books. He finds out that the entire purpose of the library was to convey another message to Ezio's descendant, Desmond Miles, through another Apple of Eden. Ezio decides that he has seen enough violence and mystery for one life, and leaves the Apple of Eden behind. After that, Ezio retires from the Order of Assassins to Montereggioni, where he eventually marries Sofia and has two children with her.[17]

Assassin's Creed: Embers[edit]

In the animated short Assassin's Creed: Embers, the last years of Ezio's life are chronicled. After he retired from the Assassin Order, he has settled down in a Tuscan villa near Monteriggioni with Sofia, and had two children, Flavia and Marcello.[18] In 1524, a mysterious Chinese woman appears at his door requesting his help. The woman, Shao Jun, is a member of the vanquished Chinese Assassin Order and sought Ezio's advice in how to help her people and rebuild their order. After helping Shao fight off soldiers sent by the Chinese Emperor Jiajing, Ezio sees Shao on her way back to China, armed with the wisdom she came seeking Ezio for. Shortly thereafter, while on a trip to the market square in Florence, Ezio dies from a heart attack at the age of 65.[19][20]

Other appearances[edit]

While Ezio himself does no longer appear in future installments, he is referenced by Achilles Davenport as "having opened Pandora's box" in regard to the First Civilzation in Assassin's Creed III.[21] Furthermore, he is considered unsuitable for video game installments by the fictional virtual reality department of Abstergo Industries in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.[22] In Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China, Shao Jun applies his teaching in her quest to restore her order and considers him her mentor.[23]

His signature outfit, mostly known as his Roman Robes, can also be unlocked in all subsequent releases of the series. Ezio's robes are also unlockable in the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands,[24] Final Fantasy XIII-2[25][26] (it has an exception with only Ezio's Pilgrimage outfit from Revelations),[27][28][29] as well as in LittleBigPlanet for the PlayStation 3[30] and PowerUp Heroes for Kinect on the Xbox 360.[31] His signature hood (under the name the "Dashin' Hashashin") was presented as promotional headgear to Team Fortress 2 players who had pre-ordered Assassin's Creed: Revelations,[32] along with a special knife modeled after his hidden blade (called "The Sharp Dresser") for the Spy class in the game.

As of 2016, Ezio appears as a guest character in the 2014 Asian free to play role-playing mobile game Soul Hunters, through a collaboration between developer Lilith Games and Ubisoft.[33]

Soul Calibur V[edit]

Ezio also appears as a guest character in the 2012 fighting game Soulcalibur V.[34][35] In the non-canonical storyline of the game, Ezio discovered a strange artifact in 1506, while on his way to Navarre to fight Cesare Borgia. On his voyage by sea, he dispatches a group of Templars plotting to overthrow Catherine of Aragon with said artifact. After touching what turns out to be a piece of the cursed blade Soul Edge, Ezio is transported 100 years in time into the late 16th century, where he fights against the characters from the series in an effort to collect all pieces of Soul Edge and its counterpart, Soul Calibur. Once he has collected all shards of the legendary swords, he is transported back to his own time and next seen back on his ship to Navarre.[36]

Reception and legacy[edit]

The character was critically acclaimed by the media and general public alike, with his depiction and transformation, as well as the chronicling of his entire life drawing significant praise.[37] To this date, he is the only character in the series to receive several main games. Ezio is widly regarded as the series' best character and the face of the franchise, finishing first in every ranking of the series' characters.[38][39][40]

Ezio Auditore received an award from GameSpot for the "Best New Character" in 2009.[41] GameZone had him nominated for "Gaming God of 2009".[42] He was also nomination at the Spike Video Game Awards 2010 for "Best Character". The 2011 Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition lists Ezio as the 35th most popular video game character.[43] The praise for his portrayal has also placed him high in multiple all-decade or all-time rankings. Ezio was voted as the third top character of the 2000s decade by Game Informer's readers.[44] In 2012, GamesRadar+ ranked him as the eigth "most memorable, influential, and badass" protagonist in games, citing the fact that his entire life is portrayed.[45] They also placed him second on the list of most badass game characters of the generation, saying "Ezio has become synonymous with the image of the video game assassin."[46] GamesRadar placed him at number 4 in a list of the 50 best game characters of the generation.[47] Complex listed Ezio among the "most badass" video game character of all time in 2013, ranking him at 37th place.[48] Complex ranked him as having the tenth best fighting game cameo for his guest appearance in Soulcalibur V in 2012.[49] He also featured on UGO Networks's list of most memorable Italians in video games at 15th place.[50]

The characters' physical attractivenes and clothing style have also been noted. At the 2010 Spike Video Game Awards, he won the award for "Best Dressed Assassin".[51] GamesRadar+ named Ezio "Mister 2009" in their article on the sexiest new characters of the decade of 2000.[52] Furthermore, PlayStation Official Magazine ranked Ezio fifth on their list of "finest facial hair gaming has to offer".[53] Mashable ranked him 9th in a list of the "the 10 most datable men in video games".[54]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Altaïr appears in several flashbacks in Revelations and is the protagonist of the handheld releases Altaïr's Chronicles and Bloodlines, but does not appear in further main installments then Assassin's Creed.

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Crecente, Brian (7 October 2009). "Hands On With Assassin's Creed II: Mario Kart And DiCaprio". Kotaku. Australia. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  3. ^ Schiesel, Seth (12 December 2011). "Time-Travel Tip for Constantinople: Pack Daggers". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  4. ^ Smith, Nick (26 December 2016). "Like the Assassins, Assassin's Creed Will Stay in the Dark". The Cornell Daily Sun. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Ezio Auditore da Firenze". IGN. Ziff Davis, LLC. 15 January 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  6. ^ "1 - Florence // Italy // 1459-06-24 - EZIO'S BIRTH". Access the Animus. 11 May 2013. p. 1. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
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  10. ^ Assassin's Creed II: Discovery
  11. ^ Assassin's Creed II, Chapter 15
  12. ^ Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, Chapter 1
  13. ^ Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, Chapter 1
  14. ^ Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, Chapter 15
  15. ^ Assassin's Creed Revelations, Chapter 1
  16. ^ Assassin's Creed Revelations, Chapter 15
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  21. ^ Assassin's Creed III, Chapter 3
  22. ^ Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
  23. ^ Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China
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  28. ^ Mateus, Fernando (2013). "Final Fantasy 13-2 se disfraza de Ezio". Hobby Consolas (in Spanish). Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  29. ^ Ashcraft, Brian (November 29, 2011). "You've Got Assassin's Creed in My Final Fantasy XIII-2". Kotaku. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
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  31. ^ Dyer, Mitch (October 25, 2011). "PowerUp Heroes Review". IGN. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  32. ^ "Dashin' Hashashin". Steam Community. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  33. ^ Wilmott, Ray (May 12, 2016). "Ezio Auditore joins Soul Hunters as a playable character". Pocket Gamer. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  34. ^ Smillie, C. J. (2012). "Assassin's Creed's Ezio Officially Confirmed For 'Soul Calibur V'". GameRant. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  35. ^ Hopper, Steven (October 21, 2011). "Ezio Auditore Confirmed for SoulCalibur V". IGN. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  36. ^ Soul Calibur V
  37. ^ Developer Economics (2014). "What greatly influenced you when you played the Assassin's Creed game series? Is there any sentence or scene that changed your life? Which person(s) in the game influenced you? Was it influential at all?". Quora. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  38. ^ {{cite news |url=https://www.pcgamer.com/the-assassins-of-assassins-creed-ranked-from-worst-to-best/ |title=The assassins of Assassin's Creed, ranked from worst to best |newspaper=PC Gamer |first=Andy |last=Kelly |date=November 7, 2017 |accessdate=October 9, 2018}
  39. ^ {{cite news |url=https://screenrant.com/assassins-creed-every-assassin-ranked-worst-best/15/?v=8 |title=Assassin's Creed: Every Assassin Ranked, Worst To Best|newspaper=Screenrant |first=Jason |last=Chamberlain |date=June 22, 2017 |accessdate=October 9, 2018}
  40. ^ {{cite news |url=https://screenrant.com/assassins-creed-every-assassin-ranked-worst-best/15/?v=8 |title=The 10 best Assassin’s Creed characters |newspaper=Lakebit |first=Marcos |last=Tadani |date=May 8, 2018 |accessdate=October 9, 2018}
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  42. ^ Romano, Natalie (2009). "The Top Five Gaming Gods of 2009". GameZone. Archived from the original on 1 February 2011.
  43. ^ Marchiafava, Jeff (February 16, 2011). "Guinness Names Top 50 Video Game Characters Of All Time". Game Informer. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  44. ^ Vore, Bryan (December 3, 2010). "Readers' Top 30 Characters Results Revealed". Game Informer. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  45. ^ Staff. "100 best heroes in video games". GamesRadar+. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  46. ^ Cooper, Hollander (September 28, 2012). "The Top 7... Most badass game characters of the generation". GamesRadar+. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  47. ^ Staff (October 11, 2013). "Best game characters of the generation". GamesRadar+. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
  48. ^ Avellan, Drea (February 1, 2013). "The 50 Most Badass Video Game Characters Of All Time". Complex. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  49. ^ Amirkhani, Justin (March 21, 2012). "The 10 Best Fighting Game Cameos". Complex.com. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  50. ^ Meli, Melissa (August 25, 2010). "The 25 Most Memorable Italians in Video Games". UGO Networks. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  51. ^ Hofer, Brandon (December 11, 2010). "2010 Spike Video Game Awards Results". Totally Gaming Network. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  52. ^ "The sexiest new characters of the decade". GamesRadar. June 23, 2012. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  53. ^ "The best PlayStation beards – the finest facial hair gaming has to offer". PlayStation Official Magazine. September 13, 2012. Archived from the original on November 29, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  54. ^ Joho, Jess (September 12, 2018). "The top 10 most datable men in video games, ranked". Mashable. Retrieved February 2, 2018.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]