A Gaze into the Nexus: The Coded Language of the Isu
Written by Markuz, Sorrosyss, Hephaestus

By now, most Assassin's Creed fans are aware of the Isu, the highly advanced civilization who created the Pieces of Eden (and the human race while they were at it) and who has interacted with so many characters throughout the franchise. We are used to their cryptic messages, their temples, their technology and even the classic shapes and figures that appear along with them.

One element that we have never really considered or significantly analyzed is the way in which they communicate(d) – apart from using specific technology like the Crystal Skulls or the Eye – and, more specifically if they had a language of their own. Well, we might have some more information about that now.

Our attention was recently drawn to an image within the Jupiter issue of the Hachette Magazines for the official Assassin's Creed Collection:

The image confirms that the Isu used some sort of “communication tool” which – although it’s not outright stated - may have used some of the symbols in the picture, possibly even more. What we know for sure is that the symbols in the picture are, in fact, of Isu design and that they are not new to us. In fact, some of those could actually be found within the Pythagorean Vault of Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, as well as the Nostradamus Enigmas of Assassin's Creed Unity.

The “Isu symbols” in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and Unity
Source: Youtube channel ALEX and Usgamer.net

Seeing the picture in the Hachette magazine got us thinking if there were any other symbols throughout the franchise that could be considered as part of a potential Isu “language” and surprisingly we found more than we expected. Here is a basic list of what we found:

Assassin's Creed II

  • The Staff of Eden / Papal Staff: if watch closely enough you will see that the pole of the Staff contains strange symbols that are arranged in a specific order, possibly implying words.

  • The cuneiform-like writings scattered throughout the Vatican Vault. In this case the cuneiform language was possibly used to give an even stronger idea of antiquity to the First Civilization

  • The text-like symbols that the Apple shows in the Battle of Forlì DLC

  • The symbols in the pictures of Minerva’s message. As we have mentioned these already in our “Breaking the Code” series of articles, there are two symbols in those pictures that have been used more than once in the Isu locations in Origins, creating an idea of repeated use of the symbols themselves. Those are the Abstergo logo and an inverted triangle which you can see in the pictures below

We suggest you to click on the pictures to enlarge them (Source: AC Wiki and Youtube channel CJake3)

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood

  • The cuneiform-like writings that appear in the Colosseum Vault

  • The symbols appearing in the Pythagorean Vault

Source: Youtube channels TetraNinja & ALEX

Assassin's Creed Unity

  • The symbols of the 18 Nostradamus Enigmas which were left by the apothecary and reputed seer all around Paris, containing vague prophecies as to the locations of the fragments of the three rings that unlocked a vault containing Thomas de Carneillon’s armor. Not really Isu-related but one would wonder where he originally found those symbols

Source: USgamer.net

Assassin's Creed Origins

  • The symbols that appear in every Isu location in the game

Before you mention it, we haven’t included the glyphs written by Subject 16 in AC1 which also appeared in the Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood finale and in the memory corridor of François-Thomas Germain’s assassination in Assassin’s Creed Unity. The reason for that is that, even though they clearly come from the Isu (they are shown by the Apple in ACB, Germain sees them because he’s a Sage, Clay possibly saw them after interacting with Juno), they are mostly related to the human history and culture, and thus are probably not part of a supposed Isu language.

Going back to the topic at hand, seeing all these different symbols got us thinking – what if all of these signs or part of them have been part of “the Code”?

Many of you should know by now the Isu messages in Assassin’s Creed Origins that form the so-called Empirical Truth. Indeed, our very team have done a series of articles about the topic already (you can find the links here, here and here).

Throughout such messages there are a lot of references to the 'Code', a language / set of equations that defines time and reality itself. A language that could be read by The Ones Who Came Before (although they could not modify it). But what might this actually mean? Is it just a piece information we (and Layla) are told or is it something more tangible?

One of the messages in Origins actually states “The walls told us of your coming. When we once were. Look at them. Are they not fascinating?” and “These walls tell of a tragic story. A story we transcribed on our structures, on our artifacts.” and even “The stories written into the walls of these rooms. By whom, we never knew.”

The walls told us of your coming. When we once were…

Apart from vaguely suggesting about a potential civilization predating the Isu, the messages reference multiple times the stories (as in the events predicted by the Code) that were written on the walls of the rooms of the Isu buildings. So we looked at each of the Ancient Mechanism rooms, and lo and behold – they are covered in Isu symbols. With Ubisoft going to great lengths to ensure that the Hieroglyphics of the game were accurate, it would not surprise any of us to discover that the Isu symbols hold a similar kind of narrative purpose.

Even the name of the Isu locations in the game isn’t there by chance and has a meaning. A meaning we could get only by asking our friend @Assassins_M who just happens to be Egyptian and (as our Hephaestus hypothesized in his latest article) realized these names are the anglicized / romanized version of Ancient Egyptian words:

Khesesh Em Sesh Em Eeneb
(xasaX) (m) (sax) (m) (inb)
Stars and Uraeus and the Palace Wall (the Uraeus is the snake on top of Pharaoh crowns symbolizing supreme power)

Eesfet Oon-m'Aa Poo
(Isft) (wn-mAa) (pw)
Falsehood, Reality, whichever / it doesn’t matter

Eeyoo Sekedoo Aat
(iw) (sqdw) (aAt)
Welcome The Builders of Metal/Great Things/Truth

Qeneb.too Kah'Aiye
(qnb.tw) (qAh'iy)
Subjugate them bend to our will

Seshem.eff Er Aat
(sShm.f) (ir) (aAt)
Lead Him To Truth

Oun-mAa Niye Ressoot
(wn-mAa) (ny) (rswt)
Reality of dreams

As you can see, there’s some interesting stuff in there. We’ll probably get into it in our Breaking the Code articles but what we wanted to show is how one way or another there might be more Isu “language and text” that might be waiting for a translation.

And so, after all of this we get to the main questions we asked ourselves: is there really a meaning behind any of the symbols we previously mentioned or were they always placed in the games “just” as a visual support to add to the mystery of the locations?

At the moment we have not been able to decode what the symbols meant (that is, if they indeed have a uniform meaning at all). However, this is now a good opportunity to open this mystery to the wider Assassin's Creed community. Are you capable of decrypting any of the symbols / messages in the games? What do they say? Do they mean anything at all? If you manage to crack the Code, be sure to let us know in the comments!!

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