Without the antagonist, the hero does not exist. Starting from a condition of neutrality, the enemy, for a more or less solemn reason, with his work creates an abnormal condition that the paladin has to solve. In this view of Cause and Effect can be seen, therefore, the preponderance of the role of the opponent.
Ubisoft started with the intention of showing two views of the same object of analysis in a more subtle and relative manner (which can roughly be summed up with the Peace obtained by free choice VS the imposed Peace), over the years this way to show a conflict has sometimes changed in favor of a more pronounced dichotomy that sees the Assassins and the Templars represent the good and the evil.
This duality is due to some scriptwriting choices such as to show the enemies as atrocious and unprincipled. On the contrary, the characters impersonated by the player are guilty of serious crimes but for a purpose shown as more solemn.
Here, for example, between a Bill Miles who sent on a suicide mission and Lucy Clay and Vidic who sets up a double-cross and rages on the subjects of analysis, the latter arouses more resentment. This is also due to an unexpectedly deep characterization of the factions: the Abstergo to date has shown many more controversial sides than the Order of the Assassins, many more details of its identity. Torture, plots, utopian experiments and dubious ethical choices, which allowed the user to get a much clearer and detailed idea of the Templars, rather than of the Assassins. This result is in part due to the constant changes to the plot that, initially conceived for a trilogy, has been redefined for a broad spectrum saga.
As evidence of this revolutionary movement we have new parts periodically introduced.
Keeping this view of things, let’s quickly analyze the status of the nemesis in an attempt to understand or at least try to guess how it will turn the franchise in the near future, what will be its role and the role of heroes who face them.
Abstergo Industries, the Utopia of Control: everything starts with a goal as simple to define as titanic to accomplish. Control, total and systematic of all humanity. The control of the world.
But where was this desire to impose born? To understand the basics of these aims it is necessary to go back to the dawn of time in the universe of Assassin's Creed, to the rebellion of man who was slave to Those Who Came Before.
The germ of the purpose of the Templars is purely naturalistic, evolutionary type: humans have had the better of their masters, the superior race has prevailed on the inferior one. The new dominant race claims ownership of the land it occupies. The slaves replace the enslaver.
I abandon myself to speculation when I say that the Templars thus arise from the disagreement of some men, the dissent of the most radical, that in the period immediately after the Cataclysm do not forget slavery, do not forget the dark, do not want to fraternize with the enslaver who until recently had been their jailer.
I abandon myself to speculation, but I see no other plausible scenario. In support of this narrative framework, there is a burning desire for revenge that leaks from the lines of the ACR dossier
- One day, through continued scientific advancement, we shall be able to reawaken the genes that lie dormant in all of us, the genes that our makers, the Ancients, Those Who Came Before, deprived us of. And thus give back to humanity the birthright it was wrongfully denied. –
But also by the crazy plans that leaked from the Clusters in ACB (see dialogue in the tenth cluster). The Templars are well aware that the human species, no matter how dominant, is imperfect. Imperfection leads to foul, leads to make mistakes and atrocities, leads to chaos. Hence the desire for order and to ensure safe driving to these lost souls. The utopia of the Templars arises therefore from here, blossoms into an anti-faith that gives them the evolutionary thrust toward the future, toward the finish line. Throughout the history of mankind they will weave a web of intrigues and conspiracies and, once entered into the modern era, by drawing on new technologies they will pave the way to the impossible. It’s at this stage that the Animi Project was born, that the whole dimension linked to the genetic memories unfolds. The Animi Project will complement the research of the ancestral legacy of the First Civilization, the recovery of the artifacts of Eden, the only ones capable of making possible the plan of the Templars. Or maybe not?
Abstergo Entertainment and reinterpretation of the plan: the initial idea of Abstergo was to use the Pieces of Eden to control the entire population, amplifying the effects of artifacts via a satellite network developed under the code name of Abstergo Eye.
Ironically, the same objects used by their captors to enslave became the subject of salvation and necessary to ensure the future peace.
But to make this plan viable, it was necessary to turn the attention to two other important factors: the favorable conditions for the launch of the satellite and the possible obstacle to this, the Assassins.
For the first they had to wait for the course of the effects of 21/12/2012, the date on which a solar flare would have wiped out much of the earth's population, ensuring easier management of the survivors.
For the second they had a well thought out plan, which sees Daniel Cross involved, guaranteeing the Templars a huge advantage over their opponent. The Great Purge decimates the majority of the Assassins, who are in serious trouble during the well known events related to Desmond.
However, some decisive events forced the Templars to reevaluate their plans: the death of Lucy Stillman and the consequent acquisition of the Piece of Eden by the Assassins, the death of some of the most influential figures in the Inner Sanctum including Warren Vidic and the Cataclysm averted by Desmond Miles.
The launch of the satellite is cancelled, they need to find a new solution.
During the period immediately before and after the loss of the Piece of Eden, Abstergo works on the Data Dump Scanner, the concretization of the Surrogate Initiative born from the realization of the deceased Aileen Bock.
Already at this stage the Animus, object of research previously limited to the analyzed subject, crosses the threshold of data sharing, allowing anyone to relive memories external to its genome.
This will lead to the creation of an elite team of operatives, among which Otso Berg will stand out, a team trained to deal with the critical situation created by the unexpected incident under Santa Maria in Aracoeli.
This juncture will pave the way to the gaming branch, the Abstergo Entertainment that, after being started in 2009, in the following year will launch Project Legacy, the result of research made possible by the DDS.
Since the end of 2012 every element listed so far has contributed to create the new plan of the Templars. With the inability to launch the Eye Abstergo, the Templars re-evaluate the potential of the Animus and try a different approach. We witness a clearance of both content and functionality. The body of Desmond Miles is recovered for new analyses, Animus Omega is created, data network virally expanded. The Animus enters homes, showing a altered version of history.
Thus begins the new phase of the plan of conquest by Abstergo.
The future Templar threat: what are we going to see? How much of the Templar utopia is taking shape? A Animus in every home, historical events modified for propaganda purposes, a genomic census on the go.
These new variables, combined with the media and capitalist control (although the latter is tending to decline) are opening up new possibilities for global control, that does no longer come from above but moves sinuously among men, the streets and their interaction channels.
With the death of John from IT, who was the reincarnation in modern times of the genetically recombined Aita, the Templars get a fundamental element for the success of their aims: in previous centuries all the Sages when on the verge of dying felt the need to completely cancel their traces.
The reason until then was to make it inaccessible to the Templars the Observatory, a complex system of surveillance that allowed the geo-location of individuals through the reading of their DNA.
But after the events related to Edward Kenway larger implications take over. After the arrival of Torres in the temple of the Observatory, the vials of blood kept in it mysteriously disappear, and with them all the genetic material contained in it.
At present Abstergo is working to decode the genome of the First Civilization, a step of their plan that will seal their absolute control on genetic inheritance of the world.
To do so, however, they need to retrieve genetic material 75,000 years old.
In the first dossiers dedicated to ACIV I spoke of the files shown during the demo, including one specifically dedicated to some artifacts of TWCB which stated that by achieving 250 vials, the encoding would have been possible.
The vials, however, have disappeared.
Here's the reason why the genomic census started by the Animus portable consolles provides access to a massive amount of information from thousands of unsuspecting users.
In this way not only Abstergo can probe more historical periods along the genealogies of each individual, but can check if these could have in their genome DNA of the First Civilization.
The recovered body of John from IT will do the rest, giving access to Templars to memories 75,000 years old and to a genetic set terrific to interpret and synthesize.
The Templar threat is thus evolving, switching from "simple" mind control to genetic and temporal control.
Control of genome and History will allow subjugation of unaware minds.
The Templars seek in every way to the replace of their creators. Abstergo wants to create his own First Civilization. Will it be able to take the place of Juno? Will the Templar threat become larger than that of the resurrected goddess?
I'm sure that soon, with the release of AC Brahman, we will have a partial answer.