Six we tried in succession...
Markuz, September 22nd, 2013
Translated by: Valeria

... Each more encouraging than the last...

This is what Jupiter said at the end of Revelations during his speech to Desmond.

Hi, I’m Markuz and I’m one of the columnists of ATA working on the plot of the saga. For this reason, with this new piece and basing myself on Jupiter’s words, I introduce a couple of articles that will try to shine more light on the Assassin’s Creed 3 finale, that has divided the fans so much in the last months. Dealing with the theme of the finale per se though, is not possible, because you risk to lose important parts and to not understand it completely. The instruments to understand AC3’s finale are basically two: the AC3 official guide (the dialogues in the finale are too obscure to make certain connections) and a clear vision of the six methods of salvation chosen by Jupiter / Tinia, Juno and Minerva and the other members of Those Who Came Before (TWCB) that followed them. For the guide, unfortunately, I can’t do anything but address you to the closest store, while about the six methods I will try to give you an overview with this article. Once we close the methods topic, we’ll be able to finally deal with the finale.

You will have you answers. Only listen and I will tell you how. Or at least I will try.

Before we can go see all the six methods one by one, an introduction is necessary, which will also be useful to comprehend the finale.
We learn about the six methods for the first time from Jupiter in the Revelations finale. With the intent of saving the world, some TWCB, or rather “those who knew to turn away from war” according to Minerva, built some crypts underground to plan different methods directed to save the world from the catastrophe that was going to hit it, later defined as the Toba Catastrophe. The information of every solution were channeled, as we know, in the Great Temple, located in the vicinity of Turin, New York. It was Jupiter, Minerva and Juno’s duty to analyze, select and test the most promising ones. Jupiter tells us and Desmond that the solutions were narrowed to six, one more encouraging than the other, but none of them worked, and so the catastrophe was not stopped.
Desmond therefore goes to the Great Temple, as he was advised / ordered to do by Jupiter and he finds Juno waiting for him. Not knowing about her thousand-year old plan, and pushed by his father to put the energy sources in the correct positions, Desmond wanders through the Temple. While Desmond encounters some particular objects or places, we can see some brief sequences in which the “goddess” shows him the six failing methods to make him understand how things went and also, as we can see in the finale, to contrast to the only working solution and make it more attractive to the young man. So let’s go see them in detail, so that we can really understand what happened at the times of Those Who Came Before (credits to the author of the videos that will be used, XCVii007r1).

First method – The four towers     (from 10:20 to 11:36)

The video starts with Desmond entering a location similar to the Synch Nexus from Revelations, which we can see in the first picture of this article. The object that launches the dialogue with Juno is some sort of pedestal connected to some wires descending from on high (versione Synch Nexus Version and present day version)wires that are probably part of the method itself.
Juno immediately starts her speech stating that this project was taken under consideration when TWCB still thought of being capable of saving the Earth. This confirms an old theory of mine, back from the times of Revelations, that stated that the TWCB who were able to reject the war were also able to foresee the arrival of the catastrophe long before its effective realization. Juno says that the first of the six methods was based on the idea of being able to contain the power of the solar flare. To do so, the project required the construction of four towers, with the purpose of drawing the fury of the solar flare on the Great Temple (“to pull her fury into this place”) and later dissipating all the energy that was collected. Juno though highlights that even with everything that they owned (I think the reference is to the technology) and with all the knowledge at their disposal, the construction of the towers would have taken too much time compared to the imminence of the catastrophe. The job would have required more than a thousand years to be brought to an end and TWCB didn’t have that much time. This is why they didn’t even complete the first tower, the project was abandoned and Juno, Jupiter and Minerva and the other TWCB moved on to something else.

The first tower

Juno though, at the end of the description of the method closes up with one last throw of the dice that is so important to be then fundamental for the finale (at least according to what reported by the guide) and that we have to keep in mind. While Juno and her hologram colleagues were busy doing other stuff, other TWCB came back to the tower project, with the intent of mechanizing the building process, speculating that "Metal might finish what flesh could not.” So, Juno’s phrase might have multiple meanings. My idea while watching these sequence live was that with metal they were referring to the use of not better identified machinery equipped with TWCB technology capable of working non-stop to the building of the towers through some kind of energy. Later I came up with another idea, maybe more fantastic: with “metal” Juno was talking about the machinery/container where her conscience dwells, a container that will be mentioned in the sixth method. According to this theory, the goddess would be referring to herself, stating that by surviving through the years and the millenniums, she managed to keep the construction of the towers going.
Anyways, whatever the methodology is, and keeping in mind that Juno’s conscience stayed in the Great Temple from the age of the catastrophe (which, according to Initiates’s timeline, happened in the 75000 b.C.), that according to Juno’s words, in order to complete the four towers it was going to be needed more than a thousand years and that, as Jupiter says, the six methods were tested by the Great Temple, we can infer that Juno had all the time to coordinate, realize and complete the towers in Turin, before Desmond’s arrival. At this point, those who do not own the AC3 guide will be wondering the reason why Juno built the towers. The answer is in the finale of AC3, but we are still missing a lot of elements to have the outline of the situation, and about this I refer you to the next article.
This whole part, I want to stress, as hermetically written as it is, can be deductable from the footage of the first method itself and from some information of ACR, without the support of the guide. This is very useful to understand the meaning and the evolution of the plot, but all the information, presented in a way that is more or less ambiguous, were already in the game.

Second method - The electromagnetic shield     (from 08:51 to 10:05)

The video of the second method opens with Desmond who watches a 3D representation of the sun and Juno who resumes her speech from where she left it during description of the first method. After considering that is was not feasible to contain and absorb the “the sun's cruel embrace”, TWCB believed they were able to repel it. Right after this the goddess shows, without saying anything, the hologram of a light blue object, that we can see in the picture below.

Women and rings, a deadly pair

As some of you probably noticed, the blue object is the representation of the Shard of Eden. The Shard, for those who don’t know it, is one of the unlockable contents of AC3 that can be obtained by playing the missions of William Kidd. I was already prepared with the big explanation about Kidd, but for what we need I will just report the basics. You're welcome.

The Shard of Eden
William Kidd is a Scottish captain who became a pirate at the end of the XVII century and who, under unknown circumstances, came into possession of the Shard. Because of this, he gets chased by the Knights Templar (though at the beginning he mistakes them for some English Navy soldiers). This is why, even without knowing the secret crusader organization, but sensing the danger, Kidd decides to hide his most valuable treasure on the Oak Island. Later Kidd reveals the location of the Shard in a map that he afterwards divides in four pieces which he sends them to his most trusted men with four letters that describe his last years. It is thanks to these letters and parts of the map that Connor finds the Shard and we finally get to know its abilities. The Shard is a Piece of Eden shaped into a ring, created by TWCB, which projects an electromagnetic field around the user and protects them from the damages of magnetic projectiles, like the Wikia says, rejecting or deflecting them.
The idea of TWCB’s second method is based on this principle, according to Juno’s words. The goddess also specifies that the Shards were necessary to protect them in time of conflict (so we can assume that there were conflicts even before the one with the humans? Maybe between TWCB?), while we can see Jupiter on the background who, wearing the Shard, has some sort of blue shield that covers his entire body. And uses a laser gun that destroys the aura of mistery and antiquity-technology around TWCB, and makes me doubt of the way they lost the war against humans (they had to be SO many). Besides, in reference of what we can see about Jupiter, the Wikia quotes that the Shards could be used with some sort of shield-projection gun, that made a spherical blue shield on the stricken area. I believe this quote is just a theory, since Juno states that the Shards were used in time of war and that the gun seems to be used more for offensive purposes, than defensive ones. An interesting fact that our Simonsens and Hephaestus pointed out to me is that the image of Jupiter with the shield and the laser gun might have more mythological references and less contradiction with the plot than it looks like. While the laser rays can be easily assimilated to the famous Zeus’s thunderbolts, forged by Hephaestus (who in AC would represent the builder of TWCB’s weapons and maybe the Pieces of Eden), the shield generated by the Shard would represent the Aegis, that is the mythological and impenetrable shield of Zeus and Athena, also forged by Hephaestus.
The idea TWCB had was to replicate the operation of the Shards on the Earth, generating a blue spherical electromagnetic field (and maybe this is where the Wikia’s theory comes from) that would have rejected the fury of the solar flare. Juno tells Desmond, though, that the solution was not practical because TWCB didn’t have the energy that was necessary to create such a big field. Up against this problem, Juno states that “they” said to try to apply the solution to half of the world. The interesting word is “they”, because it could define Jupiter and Minerva from Juno’s perspective, or, as an alternative, the other TWCB that could reject the war. It even looks like Juno talks about these “they” as someone who orders or invokes, who screams so that this solution can bring results, even if insufficient. So after the failure of the attempt on half of the world, TWCB tried to apply the field to a quarter, an eighth and one tenth of the world, without success.
Like for the first method, Juno leaves a mindfucking piece of information for experts also in the second one. Maybe, with time, the method could’ve been applied to a city (that is shown in a hologram) to save it, but this time wasn’t enough so TWCB moved on to something else. The – hypothetical – link is mandatory. What if talking about this “city” Juno was referring to Eden? This might give a more practical and less “philosophical” sense to Clay’s words about the Eden, at the end of the clusters of Brotherhood. About this, I tried to make a comparison between AC2’s Eden and the city showed by Juno:


Unfortunately, on a first glance, the profiles of the two “cities” look different, but there’s still the idea (hope?) that Juno was referring to the place where everything started.

Third method – The striking power of the Pieces of Eden     (from 11:48 to 13:45)

The “Nexus” opens with Juno asking a question to Desmond. Keep in mind that we are talking about Pieces of Eden (PoE) here, in particular about the Apple.

“What is a fact? Is it fixed? Immutable? Certain in its existence and only awaiting discovery? Or might it be changed?”

The brain waves during Juno's speech
Even from here, bearing in mind the PoE and their abilities towards the human psyche, we can understand where Juno is going. What is a fact and how is it perceived? We already know enough about the perception of the fact: with the PoE it’s possible to alter the way the victim thinks, sees and comprehends what surrounds him/her, operating on the famous neurotransmitter quoted in the glyph #18. Besides there are good chances that this is what the holograms similar to brain waves around Desmond and Juno refer to. This is what we already know, but it’s possible to change directly the fact intended as a phenomenon / event? Juno says that TWCB found the answer to this question (making a reference to an Apple from Eden) and based on this answer they tried to save the world. Making us see a much more believable Jupiter that uses the Apple in front of “very obedient” men, Juno states that the PoE were used to command, to control and to own, but TWCB shortly found out another use: when a sufficient number of slaves was ordered to believe in something, their thought took shape.
Believe, you fools!
This sentence is interesting for two reasons: the first one is that TWCB discovered this use of the Apple. Why did they discover it? Being the creators of the PoE, shouldn’t they already be aware of all their peculiarities? Or they simply weren’t the ones who created the Pieces of Eden? The other reason is that on this sentence is based the whole previous speech Juno made about the “fact”. TWCB realized with the Apple that imposing to the slaves to believe in something (possibly even unreal), this was going to come true or to take shape, therefore violating to the definition of fixed, immutable and certain fact. Juno brings as an example of this ability of the Apple the fact that a hundred minds (therefore, a hundred slaves) was able to destroy a wall or to create a tree and starting from here, she represents the thought of TWCB when they decided to adopt this method. If such a limited number of minds could realize similar prodigies, who knows what a thousand, ten thousand or even more slaves could have done.
Finally, since I haven’t commented about the method per se, I would like to point out that the long standing fans shouldn’t be freaked out by this ability of the Apple. The first time we saw this phenomenon happening was in Project Legacy, in the first chapter dedicated to Giovanni Borgia, during one of his childhood memories. Giovanni was with his “grandfather” Rodrigo who, maybe for the first time, let him play with the Apple:

Nonno is going to let me play with the Apple today! He says it is not a toy, but I think it is a toy. It glows. It makes noises. Sometimes it talks to me like Consus does.
Nonno asks me about Consus. He asks if he can talk to him. Consus is not here. He does not play when Nonno is around.
Nonno asks if the Apple is speaking. It is. He asks what it is saying. It says COME CLOSER. It says CLEAR YOUR MIND. Nonno asks me to pick it up.
I pick up the Apple. The room looks funny. The walls are bending. It looks like they are breathing. Nonno yells for me to stop! He is scared. I put the Apple down and he apologizes.
He asks me to take the Apple again. To make a bird. I ask what he means. He tells me again. Make a bird.
I think about a bird. An eagle! I see a bird's shadow on the wall. It's not right. I think harder. It begins to fly!
Nonno cheers as my eagle flies around the library! He sees it too! I begin to laugh and it disappears. Nonno writes in his book and tells me we have done enough for today.

Giovanni's concentration

After “clearing his mind”, Giovanni picks up the Apple and the walls change shape. From the text it is not clear if the walls really change shape or if it is the deceptive effect that the Apple has on the user, but it is a great coincidence that both Giovanni and Juno make a reference to it. Anyway, somehow Rodrigo feels hurt from the use of the Apple by Giovanni and he makes him put the Apple back, but right after that he makes him pick it up again, telling him to “create a bird”.
Giovanni simply thinks of a bird - oddly enough it’s an eagle - which materializes first as a shadow and then more well-defined and visible for Rodrigo as well, until Giovanni gets distracted and everything ends.
The pattern coincides with sufficient precision to what suggested by Juno, with the command of believing in something (the eagle) and the realization of it through a Piece of Eden.
This kind of situation can be found in one of Altair’s memories, from ACR, the one where Altair and Darim escort the Polo brothers to the border of Masyaf village, while it is under attack by the Mongolians. During the descent from the fortress, Altair uses the Apple to defend the Polos, creating some assassins who attack the assailants.

Altair's creations

My first thought was that these “assassins” were the classic illusion the victim suffers when attacked (to death) by the Apple, showed in the screen to let the player understand what was happening. As a matter of fact, though, it’s much more plausible that Altair created these very assassins with the Apple, with the modalities Juno described. Also, the fact that right after fulfilling their purpose these assassins vanish links to Giovanni’s eagle, disappeared right after being created.

Like it happened with the Shards, the idea of TWCB was to apply the method on a global scale to save the world and change what Juno defined “consensus”, which in my opinion should be interpreted like changing the destiny the almost everyone accepted by now.
So TWCB’s decision was to send in the sky (and so into space) a Piece of Eden, which would have illuminate (and so involved) all Earth’s inhabitants. Once reached the considered point in space, a phrase should have been directed to it, so simple in its content and so full of hope, to almost look naïve and desperate: "Make us safe" o "You must save us" ” in the Italian version. The solution, though, didn’t bring the expected results and, as it happened with the electromagnetic field, TWCB tried to improve the method, basing on the quantity and not the concept. The result was that TWCB sent into space a dozen of PoE to try the method again, but in this case another problem appeared: "There was no way to maintain control. To direct the beam. To enthrall the world. To speak the words." TWCB’s intention was to use more PoE to catalyse the flow of the forced intentions of being saved of all the sentient living beings on Earth (maybe because one single PoE had not been able to catalyse a sufficient number of thoughts), but this carried the problem of the difficulty of controlling the PoE, mainly in the distance. In particular, in my interpretation, some problems appeared also with directing the flow of the thoughts of every enslaved man towards the PoE that were in space (to direct the beam), maybe also because TWCB didn’t have enough PoE to force the thinking on all the human slaves in the same instant and make them request to save the world (to enthrall the world and to speak the words). If my interpretation is correct, then I can't do other but ask: “Couldn’t you just ask politely?”.
Besides, a little personal note: one of these PoE might be the PoE #5 – Apple that is discussed in Glyph #10, recovered from the Templars on the 20th of July, 1969 in the Apollo 11 mission. About that, good old Clay says something that, in the light of Juno’s explanations, now finally makes sense: "Something was up there. Something abandoned long ago..."
...” In conclusion, Juno, joining the habit of the entire saga to leave cliffhangers everywhere, states that, even if this method might look weird and dangerous, what was tried after was even worse, so…

Fourth method – The divination     (from 14:22 to 15:24 plus the addition until 16:43)

Things get serious and, as I said for the first method, we need to pay attention to this one too, because some implications of AC3’s finale depend from it.
After thinking of rejecting the flare, TWCB realize that “physical” actions towards the catastrophe are not effective, so after trying the combination will – Pieces of Eden, they start letting their imagination run free. Their first “instinct” is to get back in time to change the past and be able to respond adequately and in time to the catastrophe, but they can’t find a way to put this idea into effect. Juno tells that, in contrast to this, TWCB could look ahead and thus observe the future. While saying this, the “goddess” points out some sort of green globe, as we can see in the picture below:

"My right hand is bigger than the left one"

The allusion is that with this globe, which AC3’s guide defines as “Divination device”, TWCB were able to look beyond their time and everywhere in the world, as it is revealed by the representation of the Earth we can see inside the device. With this device TWCB had at their disposal a very effective tool, in terms of potentialities and fields of operation.
The first usage was of course to check if their efforts were going to save the world but, like Juno says, the result provided by the device was always the same, that is the Earth being hit by the solar flare, as showed inside the device. The fact that Juno specifies that the result was always the same points out that the device could give back different results and so that these results could have been influenced by some variables. About that, the AC3’s guide shows that the method had the initial function (the “first usage”) of predicting the future through machineries equipped with advanced processing capacity (the device), in order to find a future solution. Specifically, these are the words:

With computational devices of almost incomprehensible processing capacity, they sought to peer into the most plausible futures in order to learn of their ultimate salvation. This failed not because time and space were defined by a stochasticity that they could not decipher - their machines were perfectly capable of interpreting time's myriad variables - but because every line of inquiry led to the same conclusion: their civilization was doomed.

With computational devices of almost incomprehensible processing capacity, they sought to peer into the most plausible futures in order to learn of their ultimate salvation. This failed not because time and space were defined by a stochasticity that they could not decipher - their machines were perfectly capable of interpreting time's myriad variables - but because every line of inquiry led to the same conclusion: their civilization was doomed.

So we understand that the device is a machine equipped with TWCB technology, with such a great computation power to be able to manage all the variables that are necessary to foresee the evolution of a future event. So the substance of the method is that TWCB tried in any way to see if, modifying the variables at their disposal, the result could change and the world could be saved. Unfortunately though, the result was always the same, so TWCB moved on to something else, but…

… But she stayed. She who Desmond and we all know as Minerva. And this makes sense, if anything because of the fact that in the Revelations finale Jupiter states that calculations was Minerva’s domain and so this was probably a method Minerva really believed in.
With time, though, even Minerva stopped “looking” and started “to speak”, according to Juno.
We therefore come to find out, again through Juno, that the device didn't only allow to foresee the future, but also to interact with it. So Minerva sent some messages through the centuries, hoping to save Desmond, letting these messages where nobody could have found them, aside from Desmond himself and who was in the Temple. This part is essential to understand the finale and more importantly it represents one of the few and juicy links of AC3 with the other episodes of the saga. To clarify a little better, Minerva persists to use the divination device even after the other TWCB have abandoned the method, but finally even she realizes that the final result is always the flare hitting Earth, so she chooses a second solution, one that we have learned to know in the various episodes of the saga. The divination device reveals itself as the tool Minerva and the other TWCB used to leave the various messages to Desmond in AC2, ACB and ACR. Proof of that is also the simulation Juno offers to Desmond’s eyes of Minerva talking to Ezio. Simulation that is, by the way, erroneous, since Ezio is wearing ACB’s clothing while he should be wearing AC2’s ones, but whatever. Besides, since Juno says that Minerva stops looking and starts speaking, my interpretation is that hers are not pre-recorded messages or messages endowed with AI, but that Minerva is speaking live with her interlocutors from the future. This would lead to the doubt related to the fact that the device tries to predict the future and doesn’t know it, but to this we could answer that Minerva might have tried in time the situations that would have happened with more probability, in which the interlocutors she needed could have fulfilled their role of “messengers”.

"My left hand is bigger than the right one"

Another idea, much more renowned and presumed by the AC3’s guide (and that, because of this, will probably overwhelm mine) is that the messages are not simple recordings, but constructions provided with artificial intelligence, intended as “partial facsimlle of the sende”. As the guide says, this would explain the ability of Minerva’s hologram to interact with Ezio in AC2.
The “plot twist” of Minerva and her actions maybe diverts the attention from a sentence Juno says and upon which (I have to admit it) the Italian version may be more clarifying than the English one. Minerva spreads these messages to save Desmond (the Italian version says “to save you” referring to a single person) and she hides them in time, where nobody will be able to find them besides Desmond and those who were/are in the Temple. There are two important elements here, and I would like to highlight them well, because they might turn out useful in the evaluation of the finale. The first one is that Minerva spreads the messages (the plural might both include Jupiter’s one and point out that there are other messages that we don’t know) to save expressly Desmond, and not the world meant as the lives of every man who lives in it. This is in line with the vision of the “saving the world” Minerva has and that we can see in the finale, in other words, generally speaking, the acceptance of the solar flare and the immense number of lives that have to be sacrificed so that the society can restart from scratch, led by Desmond. So it’s possible that all Minerva’s attempts and messages had been done with the purpose of recreating the civilization through Desmond, starting from the ashes of the flare of 2012 and that there never was the intent of saving other lives. The second important point is that the messages were not visible only nu Desmond, but also by the ones that were and are in the Temple where these were sent from. This might have interesting repercussions on the finale, since it points out how Juno was aware of the messages sent to Desmond by Minerva and Jupiter, but there will be more space for this in the article dedicated to the finale itself.

The explanation of the method per se is complete, but we can’t even start to recover from Minerva’s appearance that William Miles makes a comment. He does that for the first time right after the explanation of a method and above all, he shows with his “Fascinating…” to be able to listen to Juno’s speeches, or that she makes herself visible and listenable by everyone. In the following scene, we see Desmond entering “Assassin’s Creed Fan” mode and yelling at Juno to be tired of cryptic warnings and threats. He shouts at Juno and, more generally, at TWCB, to tell him exactly what they want, but Bill tells him that TWCB are actually doing it, as he nonchalantly quotes the Numbers, the fourth book of the Jewish Torah and the Christian Bible:

We saw the Nephilim there. We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.

Incidentally, the quote was also written in hexadecimal code on the limited AC encyclopedias showed by Ubisoft at E3 2012.

La citazione, per inciso, era anche scritta in codice esadecimale sulle enciclopedie di AC3 in versione limitata mostrate da Ubisoft all'E3 2012.

The Encyclopedias by Fae Wright

By Nefilim he means a community born, according to the Genesis, from the crossbreed of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men”. The Numbers also define them as giants who occupy the lands of Canaan.
The Christian theories behind who these “sons of God” are, are basically two:they may be fallen angels or they may be descendants of Set – Adam and Eve’s third son. As for the daughters of men, the reference is referred to Cain’s children, and with this the mindfuck is served, thank you. This interpretation only regards the Christian vision, but there are other interesting interpretations. Wikipedia indeed quotes a pseudo-scientific theory that states that the Nephilim were maybe an hybrid between Homo Sapiens and Neanderthal Man, but the closest hypothesis to AC is Zecharia Sitchin and Erich Von Daniken’s one. These two gentlemen, who many AC fans should know by now, stated that the human race was created through genetic engineering from an alien race, coming from planet Nibiru and that could be identified in the Annunaki for the Sumers and could be precisely identified with the “sons of God” in the Christian tradition.
In other words, William is referencing TWCB and, as mine of information and operative leader of the Assassins, shows an element that is not as much present in AC3 as I would have liked, that is the link to works of art or literature, “reinterpreted” in favor of the plot. William compares the lack of communication between TWCB and men to the one between a grownup and a two-year-old child, and to the one between man and grasshopper, highlighting that when people speak of the unknowable of the gods, there’s more truth than one may believe. This is why the messages we ran into until today were cryptic and now that we know the procedure these messages were sent through, we have a clearer idea of the lack of communication between Desmond and TWCB.
But it is not over yet. Apparently without an explanation, Desmond says he killed Lucy, showing to feel guilty (after all, approximately two months went by). William answers to him like any fan would have, telling him it’s not his fault, that everything was due to the Apple he had in his hand and to Juno, but Desmond, for the first time, tells what really happened that night. In what looked to some fans like a retcon, Desmond tells that while he was holding the Apple, he was shown how things would have gone if he had let Lucy live. Lucy would have betrayed the Assassins (as planned in Project Siren), she would have brought the Apple back to the Abstergo, the Eye-Abstergo satellite would have been launched, but the intents of the Templars would have failed. It’s more than likely that this “vision” Desmond has was just another message sent by Juno through the Apple with the divination device, not differently than the predictions of the future that represented the original purpose of the device itself, and it’s probably because of this that Desmond talks about Lucy in this very moment..
Even more so, it is possible that this vision came from Juno because Desmond states that whatever is behind the final door of the Temple, it will benefit the goddess. This implies a reasoning from Desmond, that is that the vision about Lucy, that he believed anyway, was showed to him by Juno for her personal profit, to get him where she wanted him. This part will be important for the finale of AC3 too, as some fans probably already inferred.

Fifth method – Biomedical engineering     (from 12:30 to 13:53)

We are at the last moments, the last methods thought before the catastrophe. In Juno’s words, a new world was approaching, a cold and dark era, that was going to consume TWCB because they were flesh, and the flesh is frail. With “cold and dark era” Juno probably refers to the arrival of the catastrophe, that was not going to be so cold, but it would have definitely change the world as it was known (a new world approached). Another interpretation is that with new world and cold and dark era Juno was referring to death, that was getting close, inescapable, while the tested methods continued not to bring useful results. Anyway, the message is that TWCB were worried or at least aware of the fact that they were not going to survive, because flesh is weak and fragile.

Snooper of ancestral lovebirds
or planner of the fifth method?
While Juno talks about TWCB’s mood, Desmond is shown the holograms of Juno herself, of who we will discover being her husband Aita and of Jupiter too, going around them.
Jupiter is here seen only for a few seconds while he gets close to them, like he is telling them something. The two are probably discussing, maybe Juno is trying to convince him of something, getting him close to her, while Aita looks at her, pushes her slightly back with a resolved look, determined to do something, and he lies on some sort of bed.
Aita's resolved glance
Juno keeps going with her story, stating that even if they could protect themselves with suits and shields, these “adornments” were not going to be enough, not to save them all. The reference, in my opinion, is to the first two methods, specifically to the second one, that is just about an instrument to create a shield and that, in the final stage of its description, is revealed to maybe be able to save a town, but not all the other TWCB.
So, up against their upcoming death, and supporting Juno’s idea that moving on the methods were going to be worse and worse and with even more noxious intentions, TWCB thought of changing and therefore modifying themselves (through other machines/machineries), so that they would have survived in a world that was going to be “poisoned” (by the catastrophe). While the goddess is narrating, on the screen the scene continues with Juno taking care of Aita, checking his position on the bed (or whatever the support on which he’s laying is) and looking at him with intense concern. This display of worry explains itself soon after, when Juno says that Aita, her husband and love, had offered himself voluntary to test the fifth method, in other words to modify his body by means of the use of not better defined machines.

The parallel scene on screen goes on, showing Aita awaiting and Juno who, worried, lifts her eyes on Jupiter who can’t be seen directly, but whose traits can be sensed for some instants, as we can see in the picture here on the left.
The Injection
In fact for a few seconds the camera frames the arms covered by the cape while Jupiter approaches an object (the Syringe of Eden?) with some kind of needle to Aita’s arm. Aita immediately gets agitated, like he is in the grip of convulsions and while Juno looks more and more worried for her husband’s intense pain, on the background we can see Jupiter who, showing great sensitivity, comfortably leaves, having established that the method is not currently working.

Confirming the hypothesis of the bad operation of the method, Juno says that in the end the method changed Aita and ruined him, turning him into a “prisoner of the machines”. Juno narrates with heartfelt sadness that his body was even going to survive (giving the method an aura of effectiveness and the idea of a possible operation in different conditions), but that in the meantime his mind had become fragile, meaning that his pain was so extreme to lead him to insanity.

Those Who Came Before: masters of congeniality since 75.000 b.C.

The pain was so intense for Aita that for days, weeks and even months he had begged Juno to set him free from his sufferance, in other words to kill him, and while Juno tells this circumstance, we can actually see Aita that grabs her hand to let her know about his desire of “liberation”. Juno on the other hand was imploring him to resist, to wait until she and her TWCB companions would have found another solution, and while saying these words we can see her on the screen while stopping the hand with which Aita was searching for her with and makes him put it back on the seatback of the bed (as if she was trying to calm him down), leaning her head on her husband’s chest and probably crying.
Juno’s last words are, then, the ones that leave the most bitter taste to those who got involved in the whole scene:

"I pleaded with him to give us more time to find another way. But there wasn't one. Not for him. Not for us..."

In the english version, in particular, Juno’s voice is not as steady as in the rest of the description of the method, but it is echoed, maybe to give a more serious tone or to simulate some sort of wavering in the voice of the goddess, who, while pronouncing these words, is seeing again with Desmond the final part of Aita’s suffering, the moment when she, resigned herself to the lack of a solution to save her husband and extremely worn out by his pain, is forced to kill him like he asked.

A moment for the feels.
The scene we see on the screen offers different implications that deserve attention to have more information about the method. Jupiter is seen at the beginning of the scene while he approaches to Juno and Aita, as we saw. Knowing what was going to happen later, we can now speculate that Jupiter approaches to tell them which is the new method or, since soon after the two ancestral lovebirds start arguing, it is also possible that Jupiter is informing them that he is looking for a voluntary for the method, a phrase that was going to trigger the discussion between the lovebirds when Aita accepts. In my interpretation Juno tries to take Aita’s mind off of his risky intent, but her husband stays determined in his “heroic” intent of saving his counterparts. Juno reluctantly agrees to his husband to be a test subject, taking care of him in the preparation of the method experimentation, realized by Jupiter through an injection in Aita’s arm. About this, if in the dialogue Juno talks about modifying the body and about Aita prisoner of the machines, it’s plausible that these “machines” were contained in the syringe, and from here the hypothesis that the method is about machines of very reduced dimensions, used to modify the body from the inside. As we saw, the method hurts Aita and gets Juno worried, while Jupiter has the answer he was looking for, which is negative, so he leaves, leaving Juno and Aita to their destiny.
This really “cold” behavior of Jupiter proves two things. The first one, as you can imagine, is that Jupiter is the probable leader of the research project for the methods of salvation, dedicated (if the interpretation is correct and Jupiter was not just put there as a walk-on) to the achievement of the result, even before than to the safety of his subordinates, a little like William Miles. The second one is directly coming from the first one, in other words that all TWCB Desmond has met are not really saints, taking into accout Jupiter’s behavior, Minerva solution in AC3’s finale to let the whole world and the lives in it to burn, and obviously Juno with her intents and her actions showed in the finale. Nothing new, that’s for sure, but anyway having another proof with Jupiter’s behavior supports the idea, even though confused, that the fanbase created of these beings. Maybe this also suggests also a sense of justice different than the common ethical one, more inspired to the necessary and to the practical than to the sentiment.

I would like to close this part with some words about Juno’s husband. Aita is not an invention of AC’s plot, but he’s another one of the few examples of the linking between AC3 with literature and art of the “real world”. In the Etruscan mythology, indeed, Aita or Eita is the Etruscan equivalent of Hades in the greek mythology, that is the main god of the underworld, Persipnei’s groom, which is equivalent to Persephone.

Aita and the Phersipnei depicted in Ogre's tomb in Tarquinia, II century b.C.

As an interesting fact, it needs to be pointed out how Aita is represented most of the time with a wolf skin used as a cape and hood. Oddly enough this representation reminds a lot the Ratonhnhaké:ton of DLC “The Tyranny of King Washington” but at the moment everything remains just a coincidence, since there aren’t sound elements that link the two figures.

Sixth method – The trascendence     (from 15:19 to 16:36)

We have finally come to the end and this is the time for the real deal. This is the final method described by Those Who Came Before, the last bulwark before their end and the most important to understand the finale of AC3. The catastrophe is getting closer and closer and it is possible to imagine them progressively panicking, giving the fact that all their efforts systematically fail while the catastrophe approaches. This is probably why the methods from the fourth on get more and more beyond the common ethic. The only goal is safety, at all costs. This is where the sixth method is born.

"What is consciousness but a series of electrical impulses..."

Juno starts the description of the method, after Desmond gets near a wall of the Temple that shines, covered with the symbols we learned to know about TWCB’s architecture in the different crypts we ran into.

“And the body a vessel to hold these sparks."

Once again Juno highlights how the body is weak and goes up decaying in time, until it goes back to dust. The phrase and the idea remind the exact same premises of the fifth method and well represent TWCB’s fear of not surviving, of not being resistant enough towards time.
While Desmond walks between other walls that keep shining, them also covered of TWCB symbols, Juno tells him about the sequence of thoughts of the TWCB that planned the method, among which herself, since she uses the plural form. Up against the problem of the short duration of TWCB’s bodies, they wondered if it could have been possible to replace their body with something stronger, more resistant, better than what they had.
So they forged a new vessel, equipped with what they wanted the most, that is the ability of lasting in time. In this case it is also important to look at what happens in the screen while Juno narrates, and indeed, when she talks about the “new vessel”, the goddess indicates the shining walls that are covered in symbols.

"The new container"

Here Juno is showing the new container TWCB built to restrain the combination on electrical impulses she was talking about before to Desmond. TWCB’s intent was therefore, through their advanced technology, to move their conscience from their bodies to new containers, so that they could have somehow kept on living (hence the “transcendence”) and, from what Juno shows, these containers must have been huge and maybe the symbols drawn on them have a meaning related to the fact that they can contain the conscience of TWCB.

"It proved easy enough to enter... But to leave... To leave required something more... Something wrong...”
According to Juno it was easy to get in, that is transferring the conscience into the new machine-container-hard drive, and by the way she talks about it, it was also kind of relished, not painful or damaging. But when she talks about getting out of the container, the tone of her voice gets serious, as if she was talking about something really bad. To get out, in fact, a more complicated and “expensive” method than the one requested to get in was necessary (“To leave required something more”) and this method implied something wrong, against the ethic or the nature, which we now know it was the death of a non better identified living being (human or TWCB, with the “right” DNA or not, there will be space to discuss about this in the article dedicated to the finale), as presumed in the guide. Other than the fact that this last part of her sentence is pretty creepy, I would like to point out that it is not pronounced by Juno’s hologram. Desmond, in fact, not seeing Juno’s hologram, looks around, searching for her, and when she says “But to leave…” he looks up at the metallic monolith – the container – and walks around it, to understand where the hologram is, but he doesn’t find it. This could mean that maybe the voice was coming directly from the container, a clue that is potentially really useful for the AC3’s finale with the whole method. While Desmond is still concentrated to walk around the container, the hologram recreates itself behind him and asks him a question.

"And so this too they abandoned. I wondered, though... were they right to turn away..."

This phrase works as a keystone to relate Juno to this solution. The goddess narrates that the other TWCB abandoned this method too. The others. This time Juno doesn’t use the plural form of the first person, she actually creates a clear separation between the other TWCB and herself, to state that she didn’t abandon the method, a little like Minerva did with the fourth one. Linking all of this to Desmond who doesn’t see Juno’s hologram and “hears the container talking”, we can also infer what the AC3 guide shows off several times, that in that machine Juno’s conscience is still present, 75.000 years after Toba’s catastrophe. So much for time resistance.

In conclusion, I would like to highlights how this method, like the third one, is not new in AC3, since there actually were some elements in the past of the saga that referred to it or to some analogous version of it. It’s the case of the hints appearing in the enlarged universe of AC that refer to TWCB transferring from a body to another, hints that are present mostly in Project Legacy.

The Erudite God
The first element concerns, once again, Giovanni Borgia, who with his wife Maria Amiel, ventures in Pythagoras’ temple, which was visited in-game in the DLC “Da Vinci’s disappearance”, in Brotherhood. Maria says that when Giovanni gets in the final room, the walls come alive and starts to shine, and the light creates eerie patterns, numbers and glyphs, recalling the shining walls and the symbols that we saw during Juno’s explanation. All of a sudden Giovanni collapses to the ground, unconscious, and right after that his look (and according to Maria even his features or more likely his expression) changes to pronounce the famous phrase “I am Consus, the Erudite God”.
Shepherd's clothes, bearing of a king
The second “hint” makes reference to Pythagoras, the co-protagonist of Kyros from Zarax’s memories and his master. After years of travelling on the tallest mountains and along the most distant coasts, past Egypt and Babylon, Kyros and his master arrive to “the edge of the world”. Here they meet a “man” who is wearing shepherd’s clothes but showing the bearing of a king, who introduces himself as Hermes Trismegistus, and tells Pythagoras to have found him. Hermes, as in the various representations of him, owns a staff (probably one of the Staves of Eden), the famous caduceus, with two twirled snakes, which as a consequence of a particular movement of the Staff animate themselves, turning their heads to Pythagoras and in unison enunciate the phrase “You are a worthy successor”. Right after that the Staff starts releasing an “invisible, indefinable force” enough to move the sand and get Kyros to pass out right after hearing voices, probably the snakes’, saying “We hold the key to life's mysteries”. When Kyros wakes up Hermes is gone and the Staff is in Pythagoras’s hands, who has a golden thigh, solid as metal but supple like a muscle, and his face (and so his body) is back to the one he had as a young man. In conclusion, before saying goodbye to his student, Pythagoras states “This relic has been passed down since the dawn of time.”
Woodman's funeral
The third and last hint is set in recent times, in the last years of the nineteenth century. The protagonist is William Robert Woodman, one of the founders of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, who is called Frater V.O.V. (which probably stands for “Vincit Omnia Veritas”, the truth wins above everything/conquers all, from one of the title of his memories) in the Abstergo documents. Woodman’s memory is a one-of-a-kind in Project Legacy because, even if told in first person, it’s the only one where the protagonist is aware of what he is about to tell (instead of living it live), and is even aware of the memories of the characters from the previous chapters of Project Legacy, which have nothing to do with Woodman. From here we already have the idea that the main character is not really Woodman. After the second memory, Woodman gets murdered but the story goes on, still in the first person, for seventeen more memories, so the probability that a member of TWCB is the main characters is very high. In particular, the nameless TWCB (who shows to know Giovanni Borgia and Maria Amiel though, so he can be assimilated to Consus) after talking in first person as Woodman, states to be present at his (Woodman’s) funeral, without being seen by anyone except for Samuel Liddell Mathers, cofounder of the Order, and his wife Moina, bride and groom that he defines “very gifted”. The protagonist asserts to be trapped in a broken shell (since he’s old) when he speaks about the time he was impersonating Woodman, but even after his “shell” dies, he’s able to move through people and even to play chess with Mathers. In the final part of the memory, we also find out that the Templars were searching for the protagonist of the memory and he was more important than a PoE like the Book, which was precisely in possession of Mathers before disappearing into thin air.

These situations present similarities and differences with the method presented by Juno, with the peculiarity of the use by TWCB of the body of a human being as a container instead of a machine. In the case of Giovanni Borgia we find ourselves in a location similar to the Turin one: a temple in TWCB architecture, the shining symbols, the right DNA as for Giovanni (who shows in the previous to be an hybrid because he possesses Eagle Vision). The main difference with the method described by Juno is that, through another Project Legacy memory, we come to know that Giovanni survived to Consus’s exit from his body (unless the two consciences can live together, just to add other mindfuck) and the same thing goes for Maria. So in this case, there was not a high price to pay, maybe because the container was another human being?
As for Pythagoras, the description of Hermes Trismegistus and his shepherd’s clothes with the bearing of a king already gives an idea of the fact that it is a particular entity. In this case, in fact, Pythagoras and Kyros are probably already in front of a man who is a container for Hermes. In this case though, there isn’t a temple, but TWCB technology is still present through the Staff that Hermes Trismegistus carries around and so some premises for the transcendence are already present. The two snakes then, state that Pythagoras is “worthy”, definition that I’ve always interpreted as “compatible”, in other words, with the necessary DNA to make the transfer of the conscience. The phrase Kyros hears before fainting is indicating to hint that we are in front of an alternative version of the method of transcendence. With “the key to life's mysteries”, in fact, I suppose Ermes and the other TWCB refer to the fact that through this method it’s possible to maintain one’s own conscience intact and so, somehow, to keep living. Besides, Pythagoras’s last sentence appears to bolster this idea, stating that the Staff was handed down for a very long time just to support or catalyze the relocation of the conscience from time to time in the different bodies of the worthy successors. As a marginal note, I would like to add that it is unknown where the Hermes’ former body ends up after the transcendence, so even in this case it’s not clear if the method is totally aligned with the one described by Juno or not.
The Knight Templars in quest of the lost TWCB
Woodman’s memory is the most soaked with mindfucks, precisely because of its uniqueness and because of the narrating TWCB’s behavior. In this case we know from the beginning that the member of TWCB gets out of Woodman’s containing body at the moment of his death (unfortunately, it is unknown how he got in), but what looks weird is that right after the member of TWCB can walk around free among the world, in what looks like its hologram form, since the Mathers couple can see it (thank to the “gift” of the Eagle Vision) and even play chess with it (letting it interact with the pawns?). The whole thing could be justified with the presence of the Book, but it’s also true that the member of TWCB shows himself even when the Book disappears/gets stolen, so this part of the plot remains shrouded in mystery. The interesting thing, is the fact that at the beginning of the 1900’s the Templars already knew about this member of TWCB (and maybe also about the fact that he jumped from container to container) and were looking for him. This kind of knowledge would make the Templars much more aware of the nature of TWCB and of their actions than the Assassins and, in any way, if they were not aware at the beginning of the twentieth century, they surely get to know about it in 2012, when they get the information through Project Legacy.

Ultimately, the sixth method is the most important to understand how AC3 ends, but I think I’m repeating this sentence like a broken record, so once again I cross-refer you to the next article, that will finally attack the finale and, hopefully, will link all the clues left in the descriptions of the methods, some elements of the past of the saga and some other parts that are completely new and unexpected.

comments powered by Disqus




A new beginning - Part1

A new beginning - Part2