A Gaze Into The Nexus: The Atlantis Fallout
Sorrosyss, July 28th, 2019

Warning: Spoilers from Odyssey, Fate of Atlantis, and from across the franchise.

The Fate of Atlantis DLC concluded recently, and with it comes a whole spate of lore consequences, questions, and wild theories. Let us take a look at a few of them now.

Reality Is A Simulation

Source: AC Wiki
We have covered the Isu Ancient Mechanism messages of Origins already across multiple articles on this very site. But in summary, they warned Layla that she had to “Break The Code”, by stopping a cyclical node of reality from happening. This was stated to be a third disaster akin to the coronal mass ejection that Desmond Miles successfully prevented destroying the Earth through the sacrifice of his life in 2012. We were also told that her Animus was special, and that it had the capability of not just looking at the past, but also altering it. Finally, she was also warned that reality may well be a simulation, and this was something she took to heart judging by the articles on “Alternate Realities” that she has stored as research on her laptop in Odyssey.

Fast forward to the events of Atlantis, and we now see such a scenario playing out. Layla is handed the Staff of Hermes by the Eagle Bearer (Kassandra), and is told that she is the one that must bring balance to the world with it. The Isu Aletheia, then tries to solidify the link between Kassandra (and thus Layla) and the Staff by subjecting her to a series of “Simulations” known as Trials. These have the desired effect on Kassandra who emerges from the Trials more powerful along with a stronger developed Sixth Sense. (Referred to here as “Knowledge”, but essentially we are talking of Eagle Vision, and the extrasensory perception to see the Code of reality/time.)

Aletheia explains whilst each Trial is a simulation, it is also an echo of memories. In essence a similar format to that created by the Animus. We are not entirely sure how powerful Isu tech is, but one has to question – if reality itself is a simulation, then what are these Trials really? Pockets of contained reality?

Source: LeoKRogue

For a long time, fans pondered about the events of The Curse of the Pharoahs DLC for Origins. Many assumed that Bayek entered visions of the Afterlifes brought on by an Apple of Eden, but it was later stated that he had indeed physically travelled to them. This makes sense in that not only did creatures from them spill over to his Egypt, but that he was also able to return from these realms with physical tangible objects. You can therefore apply the same rationale to Aletheia's simulations. Kassandra returns with both new weaponry and physical improvements. This also means that the other realms, Elysium and Tartaros, should now be treated as factual locations, as they are recalled memories and not traditional fiction.

This is further backed up by the way that multiple entities in the Trials have displayed memories of events (such as Phoibe and Brasidas), or even memories that cross over realms – such as the way Poseidon is aware of Kassandra's actions in the other Trials. In a way, you are looking at a mirror of what Layla is trying to achieve with her Animus, by being able to go back and directly make a difference to the past.

This gives us one interesting question though. If Kassandra was originally not present in the events represented in the simulations, then who was fulfilling the role of the unflinching hybrid in these memories?

The Eve Conundrum

Source: LeoKRogue
For the first time in many years, we actually got some new lore surrounding the hybrid Eve. According to the repository data files held within Atlantis, she was born to an Isu scientist called Phanes. He was the original creator of the human race, but was apparently banished from most history sources due to his actions. Phanes eloped with one of his female human creations, and escaped to Atlantis with her. It was there that the hybrid Eve was born from their union.

Now how is all this relevant you ask? Well look at things from a higher objective stance. Phanes laments that people are after Eve in order to experiment on her, and in his last message, it is cut short as he is presumably found. Project Olympos is subsequently created by the Isu Aita, as he experiments with human genome splicing which creates such monstrosities as the Minotaur and Medusa. When Kassandra confronts him within his lab, she is able to access an experimentation room where she finds what appears to be clones of her.

Now think about this backwards. If that was originally not Kassandra, then who else could it have been? It is a stretch, but Phanes message appears to only play for Kassandra as it detects her hybrid DNA. The message is even skewed as if it could only be read by Eve. So what does this mean?

Presumably, Eve was the original perfect hybrid born out of love rather than cold experimentation. She was therefore theoretically the one that challenged Juno and Aita in Atlantis, and she was also the one that not only destroyed Atlantis, but then went on to Eden to try and save the rest of enslaved humanity.

But what does that mean for Kassandra? Of course, we saw her in Odyssey's story growing up, but do we know for certain that Pythagoras was her true blood father? He resided in what remained of Atlantis, therefore could he have had access to some kind of Eve clone DNA? “Eve's DNA... the key.” With Myrrine impregnated by some device, this actually makes a lot of sense as to why Kassandra is so much more powerful than either of her supposed parents with demi-god level strength.

Source: LeoKRogue

“Eve will lead us through the war of generations.”

With Kassandra armed with the knowledge of what Eve did, and her near immortality thanks to the staff, it makes the whole “Lady Eve” reference in Dead Kings take on a whole new light. Was she assuming the Eve identity whilst hunting down Pieces of Eden? In the end, it may well be that Aletheia's simulation was simply adjusting the narrative to Kassandra's presence, but to my mind, if those are indeed memories as is claimed – then some hybrid was certainly clearly present in Atlantis. The Phanes text file cannot be a coincidence in light of this.

Besides, Ubisoft seem pretty fluid with their naming conventions throughout Odyssey. For example, we have a ship Lieutenant who is supposedly Athena, but whom looks nothing like Minerva – who in turn previously referred to herself as Athena. You do get the impression that the Etruscan and Greek gods have actually now been separated as different individuals, and are no longer the multi-faith entities they once were. Speaking of Isu changing their name...

Aletheia X Juno

Source: LeoKRogue
Aletheia has remained a highly unusual individual throughout her appearances in Odyssey. Unlike the vast majority of her kind who threw disdain at humanity (especially when they were at war with them), she supposedly wants to help mankind by changing the original fate of both species in the past. To do this she sets the trials for the Keeper (Kassandra) and ensures that the Staff of Hermes can be carried safely into the future for the purposes of bringing balance until the Heir of Memories (Layla) can “Break The Code”. Her argument from the Trials is that you can see that a society directly steeped in Order or Chaos, is doomed to failure. Balancing the two is the only way to stop the world falling into disaster. These can be seen as echoed elements of the invisible war between the Templars and Assassins, as they battle between their main aims of Control and Freedom. Ultimately, the two sides need each other like the Yin and Yang, complimenting each other to a balanced whole.

What intrigues me though is that Aletheia at times uses language that comes across as manipulative. She refers to Otso Berg as an “Interloper”, and even takes the time to reassure Layla that she is “on her side” - which is about as classic a villain phrase as you can get. To my mind, Aletheia's schemes make little sense to me, and I was convinced at any moment in the closing scenes that she was going to reveal herself as being a version of Juno all along.

This theory has been going around for awhile, and it cannot have escaped most people's attention that the two characters have a very similar face model, headdress and clothing. This got more traction in my mind when Juno actually appeared in Atlantis and we heard her voice, as it sounded to me like they had used the same voice actress who voices Aletheia – and not Juno's traditional voice as performed by Nadia Verrucci. I may be completely mistaken on this part as Juno's voice was not filtered to the extent we normally hear, but when you factor in the above points you start to see one possible reason for a recast. To my ear, if you listen to Aletheia's delivery in her final scenes of the DLC, she even slips into the Juno accent on a few words here and there.

Source: LeoKRogue

It would ultimately be such a great deception and plot twist. Here we have someone who is supposedly here to help humanity, when it is actually the one individual who hates them the most. Think about it, who would gain from reality being altered – especially if she had been killed from this world? Do you really believe that Aletheia could be so wrong about her choice in Layla? Are Isu calculations really that inaccurate? Look at the way she manipulates Layla by goading her self confidence, knowing full well that Hassan's arrogance will make her press on ahead straight into her own corruption. It smacks of classic Juno scheming, and a very underhand back up plan and cunning way to achieve what she wants from beyond the grave. Let us also not forget that only a handful of Isu scientists could manage to understand Consus's process to transfer a copy of their consciousness to a Piece of Eden. Juno was supposedly the only one who had access to this research, hence why her husband Aita ultimately became her first test Guinea Pig. It seems awfully convenient that some other Isu just happened to stumble across the process all on her own accord, and put herself into the Staff of Hermes. Note how Aletheia states that the simulations are from her memories too – yet she is not actually present in any of the stories in the realms? However, according to the text files, Juno travelled through the Underworld and of course was present at Atlantis.

This would however mean that Ubisoft would be doing a complete 180 on their decision to remove Juno from the games. Admittedly it would be pretty unusual, but it may in fact have been sparked by fan upset over her death in the comics. They did confirm recently that Layla and playable Modern Day returned to the franchise purely as so many fans called for it, so there is some precedent for a creative change of heart. Frankly I would love to see this. But let us see how it plays out...

The Disaster – aka Layla Hassan

Source: LeoKRogue
So what happens now? Well, for one, Layla has gone down a very dark path now. I think it is plain to see to everyone that the Staff has corrupted her. Many fans have disliked her since the start, but in a way I can kind of understand why she was designed that way. It does kind of feel like she is being set up as a new main villain. Think about it, she has lied, killed at least two assassin colleagues through her actions, casually paralysed someone, become very arrogant, and now seemingly has a god complex along with her obsession over her new found immortality. We have been warned of the power of the Staff Of Hermes, and we have already seen how it very easily destroyed the realm of Atlantis. What would happen if its wielder became totally corrupt and power obsessed? The Tyranny Of King Washington should give you some insights, if you have not yet played its story. But in Layla's case, it may well be that the oft prophesied new Disaster that we have been warned about – is actually her.

Assassin's Creed does like to do self fulfilling prophecies in its storytelling, so this would not surprise me. The question is, will players still want to play as Layla? It would be a pretty tall ask to try and identify with this character now, and to my mind I cannot see how she is very redeemable as a hero at this point. For now, all we do know is that Layla heads up an Assassin operation in Japan in the story for the tabletop board game Brotherhood of Venice, but we do not know at this time if that event precedes the events of Odyssey.

So what is the alternative? Perhaps Otso Berg, even paralysed, will take up the mantle of the next Modern Day Protagonist – even though he too has done some pretty despicable actions in his time. Layla was a bit too trusting to just leave him there whilst she popped back into the Animus. He could easily crawl across to her! However, if he was in fact captured by the Assassins, he may well be forced into an Animus by Layla, or alternatively could go into one with Abstergo to look for answers on how to stop her. (Side note: Interesting to point out that Odyssey even talks about his Animus suitability) There has been a subtle focus on Norse mythology previously in the franchise, especially in Rogue. Otso actually wears a badge of Yggdrasil on his jacket – which is known as the World Tree. This tree has been suggested to be what we see in Assassin's Creed III when Connor and Juno fly into its roots in his Spirit Vision. The tree has traditionally been known as a conduit to multiple realms, which would play in nicely considering this theme was present in both Origins and Odyssey. The cataclysm of the planet is known as an event called Ragnarok. Supposedly the World Tree is the one place that you can survive this disaster. If Layla is indeed destined to destroy reality, then Otso may simply be seeking safe refuge from it!

Source: AC Wiki

I would be remiss not to point out that multiple news sources have suggested that the next Assassin's Creed game does supposedly centre around the Viking Raids of the early Middle Ages around England. To this end, many fans have also pointed out that Otso himself supposedly has a Viking ancestor per the audio files of Rogue;

Violet: You never used a normal Animus, like this one? To relive your own genetic history?

Berg: Only once.

Violet: Really? Who were you?

Berg: I was a young man... On the Viking raid on Lindsifarne.

Violet: 793. Northeastern coast of England. Sorry. History nerd! So how was it?

Berg: It was summer, good sailing weather. The monastery was a center for religious studies and we crashed into the city like a tidal wave.

Violet: And? And?

Berg: We pillaged and burned. They thought we were demons. The details of the memory were so vivid... I lost myself in the bloodlust. I defeated a Saxon, a great warrior, but did not kill want to kill him. I invited him to join our clan.

Violet: Oh! Norse adoption rituals! The chance to sail the world with the Vikings!

Berg: Yes, a chance to see the world as it really is.

Violet: What happened then?

Berg: He wept. Then he cried out that God had abandoned his people and that nothing remained but chaos. I felt such pity for him. I killed him without a second thought.

The correlation there for Otso and the setting does appear to be clear. It has also been suggested that individuals in an Animus may experience improvements to their physical condition thanks to the Bleeding Effect. In the same way that muscle memory can give subjects the physical prowess of the individuals they experience, so can it too theoretically repair and regenerate the damaged cells of the human body. However, we already know that Abstergo has advanced leg prosthetics, as they were to be tested on the wheelchair bound Sean Molloy. Either way, Otso would likely not stay paralysed for long.

Final Thoughts

Source: LeoKRogue
Amidst all the dark theories, there yet remains one slightly hopeful one. When we last saw Kassandra, her expired body laid on the floor near to Layla's Animus headset. However, at the start of the Heir of Memories questline, you will note that her body has completely vanished. You can actually have Layla click on the empty space, and she expresses shock that Kassandra has gone – and that there is no trace of her. This is interesting, in that it proves Layla did not throw her in the water. The fact that there is no trace is highly suspect too. If her cells did indeed break down and she simply disintegrated, then there should have been some residue – if only from the clothes she was wearing. For there to be absolutely nothing there is a true stretch of belief. At this point in the story, Abstergo has not yet breached Atlantis, as they have not attacked the Altair II, so it was not their actions either to have removed the body. Are we to conclude therefore that the Eagle Bearer actually defied the staff's power, survived and walked away? Without any further evidence at this time, it remains a theory. But if she were to see that her faith in Layla was misplaced, perhaps she may yet play a future role to redeem that mistake.

For all of the debates about Odyssey and it's canonicity (when you consider the 76.3% accuracy of the Greece Extrapolated Simulation), our biggest hope at this point is that this particular Modern Day tale actually will be concluded in a satisfying fashion. The Fate Of Atlantis sadly has a very abrupt and unsatisfying cliffhanger conclusion, much in the same way that Origins left us with Layla awaiting a helicopter. We all also sadly remember very well how the threat of Juno closed out Assassin's Creed Syndicate, only for that narrative to be dropped from the games and finished in the comics. If Layla's story concludes in a similar fashion, it will be a tough ask of fans to invest in any future storytelling if there is never any true payoff to be had in the games themselves.

At this juncture we have listed potentially two villainous candidates to continue the Modern Day narrative. We could still potentially jump onto a brand new protagonist. There remains one further potential candidate though. The exiled son of Desmond Miles, Elijah, remains at large and wields the Koh-i-Noor. From what we know, the diamond remains one of the most powerful Pieces of Eden, and possibly may be the only other one that can stop the Staff of Hermes in its tracks. In a franchise that likes cycles and echoes to its past, it might be a nice thread to see the legacy of Desmond once more saving the world.

Source: Titan Comics

comments powered by Disqus