The Assassins featured in Ubisoft's action RPG series throughout the centuries
For the last 10 years, an ancient rivalry has seen the Assassins and the Templars battle across various time periods in the Assassin’s Creed franchise – entertaining fans of video games, comics, books and movies alike.
For those who are not familiar with the back story of Assassin’s Creed, the game revolves around Desmond Miles, a bartender who finds out that he is actually the descendant of several lines of well-trained Assassins throughout history. Using the Animus – a Matrix-esque device which allows Desmond to travel back in time and relive memories of his ancestry using his DNA – players take control of some of the deadliest Assassins known in the AC universe, and learn what secrets each character witnessed of the mysterious First Civilization and how it has shaped the future.
Each Assassin has different traits and quirks, though the majority boast the same abilities in stealth, athleticism and combat skills. Here, we eagle dive into the Animus to look at the main Assassins of the Assassin’s Creed video games so far - don't forget to vote for your favorite below!
Member of the Levantine Brotherhood of Assassins, Altaïr was the first historic Assassin introduced in the original Assassin’s Creed game. Born in Syria, he served as Mentor to the Levantine Brotherhood and was the first Assassin to discover the ‘Apple of Eden’ – a gold circular orb that pretty much grants the user unlimited power. Altaïr’s influence across the Old World helped shape the Order, writing details in his fabled codex for later generations to discover.
Altaïr was a powerful Assassin – however, as Assassin’s Creed players will know all too well – he can’t swim!
Ezio Auditore da Firenze
Ezio wooed the ladies during his time in the Renaissance period, and entertained gamers across four AC titles including Assassin's Creed II, Assassin's Creed II: Discovery, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and Assassin's Creed: Revelations. The Florentine nobleman finds out that his father and uncle served with the Assassin’s and, with some training from Uncle Mario, he becomes an Assassin himself – embarking on missions to kill those responsible for the death of his family.
Dubbed as the ‘Ezio Trilogy’ (not including Nintendo 3DS game ACII: Discovery for some reason) Ezio ventures from Italy to Constantinople, present day Istanbul, to discover the secrets revealed by Altaïr. There is also a short-animated film called Assassin's Creed: Embers (2011) which shows an elderly Ezio living out his remaining days.
Also known as Connor, which is a much easier to pronounce, Ratonhnhaké:ton stars as the first leading Assassin during the Colonial era in Assassin’s Creed III and also appears in Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation. Connor is the first Assassin in the games to wield a bow and also climb trees, which proves effective for escaping enemies and stealth attacks.
Fighting for the Patriots during the American Revolution War, Connor becomes allies with Commander (George) Washington as he seeks to destroy the Colonial Templars.
Although Haytham technically isn’t an Assassin, he’s a Templar, he plays a key role in Assassin’s Creed Rogue – a prequel to ACIII. British-born Haytham is, wait for it, Connor’s father and is also a playable character in the ACIII prologue, where players infiltrate the Royal Opera House to assassinate a patron before later meeting Connor’s mother – a member of the Native American confederacy ‘Haudenosaunee’.
He was trained to become an Assassin by his father Edward James Kenway, but after Edward’s death, Templar Reginald Birch took young Haytham under his wing – nurturing him over to the dark side, which resulted in him becoming a Grand Master of the Templars.
Aveline de Grandpré
Aveline is the protagonist in Assassin’s Creed: Liberation, based in New Orleans during the middle of the 18th century. The French-African Assassin embarks on assassination missions to kill Templar members of the Spanish government, who came into power after the French were defeated in the French and Indian War.
Edward James Kenway
Edward sailed the seven seas in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag - the first AC game to predominantly feature pirate-theme voyages with a large ocean to sail across, as well as various islands to explore. Father of Haytham Kenway, and grandfather of Ratonhnhaké:ton, Edward takes on Templars within the British and Spanish empires who have located the Sage, the only man that can lead them to the Observatory – a First Civilization device which will allow them to spy on, and blackmail, world leaders.
Born a slave on a sugar plantation in Trinidad, Adéwalé is introduced as Edward James Kenway’s Quartermaster aboard the Jackdaw, before later training to become an Assassin himself. Adéwalé is the playable protagonist in Assassin's Creed: Freedom Cry and appears in ACIV: Black Flag and AC Rogue.
Freedom Cry is set 20 years after the events of Black Flag, where Adéwalé teams up with a group of freedom fighters called the Maroons, and vows to eliminate Templars controlling Port-au-Prince.
Shay Patrick Cormac
One year after the events of Black Flag, Assassin’s Creed Rogue let players take control of Irish Assassin Shay Patrick Cormac, based in the North Atlantic during the French and Indian War. Trained by Achilles Davenport, Connor’s Mentor from ACIII, Shay must hunt down a Templar that has been deciphering a Precursor artifact, revealing the locations of ‘Pieces of Eden’ scattered across the world.
Arno Victor Dorian
Arno is the main Assassin in Assassin’s Creed Unity, set in Paris between the French Revolution in 1789 and the Thermidorian Reaction in 1794. After being adopted and raised by François de la Serre, Grand-Master of the Templar Order, Arno discovers the truth about his father’s murder and the Templar Order – swapping allegiance by joining the Brotherhood of Assassins to defeat François-Thomas Germain, who wields the powerful Sword of Eden.
The French-Austrian proved to be a handful for the Assassins, he was temporarily exiled from the Brotherhood after choosing to protect love-interest Elise, rather than pursuing Germain after the execution of King Louis XVI.
Shao is the first Chinese Assassin introduced in the AC universe as a playable character in Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China and also appears in the AC Embers short film, where she meets with Ezio Auditore da Firenze – her former Mentor. Ancestor of Lin, an Abstergo Foundation test subject – and a concubine of the Zhengde Emperor – Shao was rescued by the Assassins following the death of the emperor and pledged her allegiance to them following her rescue.
Shao must track down the Templar group known as Eight Tigers, who are responsible for the elimination of the Chinese Brotherhood.
Arbaaz stars as the leading Assassin in Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India, where he must discover why a Master Templar has arrived with a mysterious item during the war between the East India Company and the Sikh Empire.
Arbaaz’s character features in the graphic novel Assassin's Creed: Brahman.
Nikolai Andreievich Orelov
Russian brute Nikolai is the protagonist in Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia, who also appears in the Assassin's Creed: Subject Four comic book. After witnessing the massacre of the Tsar Nicholas II's children, Nikolai manages to save the princess, Anastasia, who shares Shao Jun's memory.
Wielding a custom Berdan rifle fitted with a bayonet, Nikolai must escape the Templars while protecting the artefact and Anastasia. The game takes place during the aftermath of the October Revolution in 1918.
Jacob and Evie Frye
The Frye twins are both playable characters in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, based in London. Both Jacob and Evie use a combination of stealth and aggression to influence underground crime groups during the Victorian era to help topple the Templar Order controlling the city. Meeting the likes of Charles Dickens and Florence Nightingale along the way, the duo attempts to track down the Shroud of Eden – a device which can heal and give a person immortality – and make sure it doesn’t fall into the hands of Templar Grand Master Crawford Starrick.
Bayek of Siwa
Bayek is the latest Assassin to arrive in the AC games after the launch of Assassin’s Creed Origins, set in Egypt. As the founder of the Assassin Order, Bayek possesses powerful, unnatural powers including a symbiotic relationship with the eagle, Senu, which allows him to see the world through Senu's eyes – a stronger ability compared with Eagle Vision used by other Assassins.
Medjay Bayek must use his abilities to protect the people of the Ptolemaic Kingdom under potential invasion from Julius Caesar and the Roman Republic.
Spartan mercenary Kassandra is one of the protagonists in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, set in Ancient Greece. Sentenced to death by her own father, Nikolaos, Kassandra survived the attempted execution and fled to Kephallonia, where she lived in exile.
Kassandra wields the Spear of Leonidas, an Isu weapon first used by the Spartan King Leonidas. The spear was passed down to Kassandra's mother after Leonidas' death, before being passed down again to Kassandra.
The spear was broken almost in half and its appearance is more of short bladed weapon that an actual spear, allowing Kassandra to use it one-handed.
Alexios is a Spartan warrior and is one of the protagonists in Assassin's Creed Odyssey. He is the younger brother to Kassandra and, likewise, is the grandson of King Leonidas.
Is worth noting that regardless of which protagonist players choose - Alexios or Kassandra - both characters' stories will unfold the same - so it's a case of whether you'd prefer to player as a woman or man.
Eivor (Male & Female)
Eivor is a Viking warrior and main protagonist in the upcoming action RPG Assassin's Creed Valhalla.
You'll be able to choose to play as either a male or female Eivor, as well as having access to customization tools including the ability to customize hair, tattoos, war paint and gear. Eivor's clan of Norsemen must travel across the icy North Sea to the rich lands of England’s broken kingdoms - to carve out a new future for their clan.
Thanks to Ubisoft's revamped combat system, Eivor and his clan showcases the ruthless fighting style of Viking warriors, with the ability to dual-wield weapons against a greater variety of enemies than ever before.
Not much is known about these characters yet, but we have seen the female version of Eivor via the Collector's Edition images of Valhalla.