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ZOMG Moment – Altair has only 9 fingers

posted on July 8th, 2007 by matt

I talked a little bit about my anticipation for Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed in my recent Game Designer article, but my frothing demand for this game has just gone to 11 this weekend after catching a glimpse of their developer diaries on Ubi’s official site for the game.

You can check it out here, with a whole slew of info on one of the most anticipated games of 2007.

And one of the coolest bits of info that I found in the Developer Diary video on the game’s storyline is the fact that Altair, the game’s main character, has only 9 fingers. Altair is a member of the original group of assassin’s, or Hashshashins, that committed political assassinations in the Middle East from 1090 to 1272 AD. Assassin’s Creed takes place during this time-period, in the year 1191 AD. And one of the initiation rights into the Hashshashins was the “replacement” of your left ring finger.

Basically, they cut off your ring finger and attached a dagger that retracts under your cloak. There’s a setting for the dagger where it only shows the tip, whereby it looks like a very sharp finger. And it goes in the exact same position where your ring finger was.

Wow.

That’s pretty fucking cool if you ask me. I’m not sure if that was historically accurate or not, as I can’t find any mention of a retractable dagger in any of the Hashshashin documentation I’ve looked at, but for a video game, it’s an awesome feature, real or fake.

They also show a clip of Altair jumping through the air and pulling his dagger out the moment he lands on his target’s neck, successfully committing his assassination (pic featured above). Yeah, that basically sealed the deal for me.

And think about it. For most of last generation, and even a little before it, we’ve been dying to have our characters with 10 fingers, all fully animated. Now we’ve gone so far ahead of those foolish ideals that we’re taking fingers away. In the hands of the right people, technology can be used for more than just theatrics and become something meaningful. Hopefully everyone follows suit when Assassin’s Creed becomes one of the greatest games of all time.

Yup, I said it.

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