The Ridiculous Riddle of Reda
Written by Sorrosyss, September 3rd, 2021

Note: Some main story spoilers for Origins and Valhalla

“Always good to see a friendly face...”

For those of you who follow our articles regularly, you'll know that we love nothing more than a lore mystery in the Assassin's Creed franchise. Therefore we will today look into a more recent oddity within the games that has remained of interest to me, that of the character of Reda.

Let us recap a little and get you up to speed then. Reda originally appeared in Assassin's Creed Origins, at its release in 2017. When the protagonist Bayek first comes across Reda, he is apparently a nomadic merchant running his own Bazaar from the back of a camel. This would not be too strange if not for the fact that he appears on face value to be a young boy of no more than ten years of age.

Naturally at the time of the release of the game, to most fans he was just an NPC (non player character) that allowed players to obtain Heka Chests for 3,000 Drachmae of the in-game currency. Those chests in turn gave you the randomised chance of obtaining top items and gear, which of course drew comparisons to so called “Loot Boxes” from the gaming industry, especially as you could buy more Drachmae for real world money from the in-game store. Reda was essentially the personification of Ubisoft's live service model, and a literal poster child for microtransactions within the franchise. For many fans, that was where their interest began and ended with the character.

If you looked a bit more deeply at Reda though, a lot of things about him simply did not add up. How exactly did this small boy obtain so many rare artifacts? How did he protect himself with no apparent bodyguards or help? Most peculiar. I also distinctly recall wondering at the time, how exactly was he able to appear at the location you just left, yet somehow travel ahead and appear at your destination before you?

The strangeness doesn't end there. Reda's personality is unusual as well. He speaks with a tone of confidence that almost borders on the wisdom of old age, which is striking for one so young. Indeed, he even gives a slight air of deception about him, as when pressed on the subject of his parents he appears to give multiple completely different tales of how they died. This could either be selective amnesia, or that he simply wants to keep his background a complete secret. In his own words, he even enjoys stories more than the truth, which makes taking him at his word a little difficult to accept.

What happened next fell under the radar of most players, but again bears repeating as it is a crucial detail. With the release of the expansion DLC “The Hidden Ones”, the events depicted take place around ten years later than the main game narrative. This can be seen partially in Bayek himself, who looks slightly aged. There are also several characters who have noticeably aged visually too. The most obvious one is Kawab, who in the main game we met as the young son of the Scarab – one of the members of the Order of the Ancients. Yet within the expansion he is now a young man, initially intending to exact revenge on Bayek for killing his father. We also see a similar transformation within the character Esiocles, or Esio as he originally goes by when you meet him as a boy, who also makes an appearance in the expansion as a young adult.

With all of this in mind, with the game world clearly altered forward in time, when the player meets Reda once more he is still a young boy. He should be a man after ten years have passed, but he has not aged a day. Whilst some fans pointed this out at the time on the forums and Reddit, the general consensus was that he either had a genetic disease that prevented aging, or simply that Ubisoft did not bother to update his model as he was simply the “Loot Crate” guy.

And there the mystery of Reda laid. Assassin's Creed Odyssey was the next game release, and a new microtransaction NPC took the spotlight in the guise of Sargon. Admittedly the sequel was set further back in history, but Reda was nowhere to be seen.

Fast forward to 2020, and the release of Assassin's Creed Valhalla. As players explored the world as Eivor, after establishing their base in Ravensthorpe a merchant sets up shop – none other than Reda himself, and yes he is still evidently a child. He does not appear to have aged at all.

Still replete with his demotic Egyptian accent, he now apparently speaks English as well, and has turned his merchant shop into a full blown multi-national guild, with businesses evident in both Ireland and Francia as well. Titled “The Thousand Eyes”, his guild is also a secretive network that apparently comprises of orphan children who spy on all kinds of matters. Not only is Reda therefore offering kill contracts and involved in trading rare artifacts, he now has apparently become an information broker as well. Not bad for a ten year old over achiever.

Of course, some fans have been quick to point out that it could simply be a distant relative. Someone who looks and sounds like Reda, but who also has the same name. I mean... yeah, that is a very remote possibility. However, I feel it is pretty obvious from how he narrates the story of Bayek and Aya to the gathered villagers that it is the one and the same individual. You can tell he speaks fondly of Bayek as if from a memory, not to mention that he has a letter from him as well.

Thus the mystery widens deeper now. Reda somehow does not age. Is he immortal? What is he? How is he doing this? Could he still be around in the Modern Day? (Just imagine him bumping into Basim)

There is an answer of course. But whatever it is, it must reside within the lore of the franchise. I decided to do the sensible thing like any wannabe journalist, and speak directly to the source. As such I reached out to Reda's creator himself, the writer Alain Mercieca, who worked on both Origins and Valhalla. Whilst I won't reveal the full extent of the conversation, he was kind enough to leave me with this small tease:

“For Reda, the intention is that he has ties to the Isu, how deep they run I am not at liberty to say. What those ties are exactly we hope to explore in later iterations.”

When it comes to unusual abilities within the Assassin's Creed universe, you can usually bet it involves the Isu or their technology. So let us take a look at the possible explanations for Reda's apparent immortality.


You would be right in thinking this should theoretically be the most obvious answer. After all, he trades in all kinds of strange and rare artifacts as part of his trade. Could he have come across a piece of Isu technology that prolongs his life? We've seen it before in the franchise of course, such as with the Staff of Hermes Trismegistus that enabled Kassandra to live for thousands of years.

You would assume therefore he must be carrying such an item on his person. If you look at his actual outfit for clues between the two games there is not a lot of items carried over. I've seen suggestions in the community that his orange belt from Origins (worn as a neck scarf in Valhalla) could in fact be a Shroud of Eden, which we know has regenerative abilities. That's a very viable possibility. I suppose there are his shoulder feathers too, but I suspect these are more of a fashion choice. Admittedly, feathers have a long running symbolism within the franchise, especially being tied to the Assassins, though there is no apparent provable connection with The Hidden Ones shown in either game for Reda. A few fans have suggested they could actually be Phoenix feathers that he wears, which have infamously been mentioned throughout mythology as iconography for rebirth. Abstergo of course used the Phoenix name in their own project to resurrect the Isu, but that's a story for another time.

One really wild theory is that he is a time traveller. It sounds a bit far fetched, but we know that the Isu of course experimented in this area with some modicum of success. I have this amusing image of Reda in my mind boarding a TARDIS from Doctor Who and re-appearing randomly in different locations and time periods. In fairness that might also explain his apparent ability to appear in destinations before you arrive there. Though that too has been acknowledged Isu technology, such as the translocation devices that teleported Bayek from the Isu mechanism sites.


If we take standard Isu technology out of the equation, then we could instead explore their work in the field of genetics. Sages have become quite a prevalent recurrence in the games, originally with that of the reincarnating Aita, but more recently with the “Asgardian Sages” as depicted in Valhalla.

As the concept goes, the “host” human body is eventually (to varying degrees) taken over by the latent Isu consciousness contained within. Was Reda originally a standard human who has triggered the Isu DNA within him? It’s a possibility, after all we have seen some suggestions that Sages could theoretically survive for extended periods of time.

Admittedly most Sages have distinguishing features that often set them apart. Aita Sages typically have heterochromia, which gives two distinct different eye colours to an individual. Asgardian Sages usually have a very visible vein neck marking which is theorised to be a kind of physical birth mark from the Isu DNA itself – but also of course is the physical site on the neck where the original Isu DNA was extracted from their bodies before being uploaded to the Yggdrasil device. Whilst Reda evidently doesn't have any of the traditional Sage features, there have been examples of other Sages without them too, so we should certainly not discount this possibility.


Let us take things a little further then. If we argue he is not a Sage, could he be a different kind of experiment? He could easily be some kind of hybrid, or a heavily modified human even. For example, we saw in Odyssey that the infamous Olympos Project used some advanced gene splicing and technology to create some pretty horrifying subjects. We know that the Isu were obsessed with finding a way to outlive a pending global catastrophe, so it might not be too far-fetched to believe that they found a way to manipulate human DNA in this way to invoke a much longer life span.

The same project also produced another interesting subject, in that of cloning. This was clearly a procedure that the Isu were using to test their various theories upon, and it still echoes through to the Modern Day, such as the fairly recent clone body that was created for Juno within the Phoenix Project. Could Reda have been such a clone? That would certainly explain how he can seemingly be in multiple places at
once, or indeed travel ahead of you as it often appears. This can be seen even more acutely in Valhalla when you fast travel between England, Ireland and Francia. He is always there before you!

If the clone theory holds, that would also explain how he was able to create such a seemingly vast guild within the dark ages. What business person could resist being able to operate in multiple places at the same time? It would also possibly explain why he seemingly doesn't have any bodyguards if he has multiple instances of himself in the world. What's the loss of one body when you have several more?


That really leaves one final option to my mind. It is an outlier possibility, but what if Reda is actually an Isu himself? This would be quite the revelation, as generally speaking there have been no depicted 'living' Isu that survived the Toba Catastrophe and continued to exist for much longer after it as they originally were in the world. Admittedly there are the unique cases of Juno and Aletheia that survived
via digitization methods, but no-one akin to a fully formed and walking humanoid has emerged.

Is Reda an Isu child therefore? We still do not know what the typical lifespan of an Isu actually was. We know they lived much longer than humans, but pinning an actual number upon the life expectancy of an Isu is a challenge within the existing lore as some sources like Assassin’s Creed 3 mention “centuries” while others like the Assassin’s Creed Encyclopedia just mention that the lifespan was longer than humanity. It would certainly pose us with some interesting questions for going forwards though. How did he survive? What is his aim in the world? Is he really still around within the Modern Day? What would happen if we put him in an Animus?
It is all fun to speculate, but at the same time this option could very well still explain a lot of the strange mysteries surrounding the character too.

But what about you dear reader? Would you like to see more of the enigma that is Reda in future games? Which of the theorised options do you think explains his immortality? Vote in our poll, or leave us a comment if you have your own views! We always love to read them. Thanks for reading. Until next time ladies and nebs.


What do you believe is prolonging Reda's lifespan? free polls

All images thanks to the AC Wiki

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