Assassin’s Creed Comic Hides Secret, Frustrated Artist Message


A young man with a spear walks near an assassin with a sword in a large stone church.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – The Converts
Image: Ubisoft / Kotaku

This year the Assassin’s Creed franchise turns 15 years old. In that time, the franchise has expanded into multiple games, mobile spin-offs, books, movies, shorts, and more. It’s a big, complicated universe that involves historical conspiracies, shadowy cults, and ancient aliens. And those ancient aliens, the Isu, have a complex language, and it’s that language that seems to have frustrated an artist working on a newly released Assassin’s Creed comic.

Since 2007’s original Assassin’s Creed adventure, each installment in the franchise has added more and more lore. At this point, it’s a batshit-wild universe and one key part of the madness are ancient beings, later named the Isu, who were technologically advanced, lived on Earth like gods long ago, and were wiped out 77,000 years ago following a war with ancient humans who they’d enslaved. Anyway, the Isu created all sorts of gizmos and trinkets that, thousands of years later, are still being sought after by humans obsessed with power. And many of these items are covered in the Isu language, which was largely untranslated until 2021, when fans finally cracked it.

But apparently working with this language is a pain in the ass, as seemingly revealed by a bit of text in the recently released comic book, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – The Converts. At one point, we see a close-up of an ancient Isu tablet of some kind which is covered in the ancient aliens’ language. And translated, part of the text reads says:

“If somese as esplasi how to write this shit it would be muc appreiated”

It’s pretty easy to see what this person was likely trying to say using the Isu language, even if it has a few mistakes. The message was likely meant to say:

“If someone can explain how to write this shit it would be much appreciated.”

This funny little message was first spotted by the Assassin’s Creed super fans over at Access The Animusthe same people who first cracked the Isu language a few years back. They also spotted “multiple bits of incorrect Isu language” in the comic, suggesting the artists or writers involved weren’t given enough information or direction about the Isu language, hence the mistakes and frustration.

Kotaku has reached out to Ubisoft, the comic book writer, and the artists.

While some fans had a good laugh at this angry Easter egg, others were upset that the creators behind the comic book didn’t consult fan guides and translation tools before working on the book. However, it should be noted that it would be very weird for an official Ubisoft-approved Assassin’s Creed comic to rely on fan translations, assuming the people behind the comic even knew of that work. (Which would explain why they included this Isu Easter egg at all: Maybe they didn’t expect anyone else to read it!)

Personally, as a big fan of Assassin’s Creed and its wild lore, I totally get how frustrating it must be to try and tell stories within that universe. It’s fun to experience the mess from the outside looking in, but working on it is likely a pain in the ass at times and I don’t begrudge an artist for sneaking in a little jab at how annoying and absurd it must be.

 

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