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Assassin's Creed: Odyssey's hidden Historical Locations map is stuffed with Ancient Greek lore

Historical past is my favourite a part of Murderer’s Creed. Years in the past I used to learn thru all of the historic database entries, getting context about historic figures and landmarks in Florence, Rome, colonial Boston, and extra. And I spent hours in Murderer’s Creed: Origins’s Discovery Excursion previous this yr, admiring how a lot element Ubisoft put into recreating Ptolemaic Egypt from each number one and secondary resources.

This yr’s Murderer’s Creed: Odyssey ($60 on Humble) could also be set to obtain a Discovery Excursion mode one day at some point, and I’m having a look ahead to it. Historic Greece is a favourite technology of mine. Nevertheless it turns in the market’s reasonably somewhat of historical past already in Odyssey—however you need to know the place to seem.

As I performed Odyssey, I spotted I saved unlocking what it termed “Historic Places.” Some have been lovely obtrusive, just like the Agora in Athens. That’s a space of serious historic significance, positive. However others have been a lot stranger. At the early island of Ithaka for example, you’ll unencumber a…goat farm.

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey IDG / Hayden Dingman

Or the Bull of…Oreos? Sounds scrumptious.

At our preview tournament in September, I even requested one in every of Ubisoft’s builders concerning the aforementioned goat farm. “Is there lore hooked up to it or one thing?” And he swore that there used to be, however after having a look within the menus for somewhat he conceded that “Perhaps it’s simply there for taste or one thing.”

And that’s why I’m writing this text, as it took me one thing like 25 or 30 hours to determine that sure, there is lore hooked up to these historic places. It’s simply hidden in such an impractical position you may by no means realize it—and that’s a disgrace, as it provides so much to what’s another way mere set dressing.

First, pull up the map. It’ll most definitely glance one thing like this:

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey IDG / Hayden Dingman

I’m specializing in Kephallonia as it’s early within the sport, nevertheless it doesn’t subject. You’ll see it’s lined in icons—forts to overcome, sync issues, caves to discover, and so forth. Those are what Odyssey phrases “Gameplay Icons,” and also you’ll realize within the backside proper nook there’s a button suggested to cover them, yeah?

Apart from that it doesn’t bounce directly to hiding them. Hit the Tab key as soon as (or left cause on a controller) and it’ll first trade to turn you simplest “Incomplete Places.” Effective. Hit Tab once more, and it’ll change to “Historic Places.”

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey IDG / Hayden Dingman

Oh, this is interesting. Yes, this is where Ubisoft’s hidden all the history blurbs about Ancient Greece. Every single “Eye” icon on the map indicates another blurb. They don’t show up on the map normally, nor is there any indication that this feature even exists. But it does, and it’s great!

Remember that goat farm on Ithaka? Turns out it’s much more than a goat farm. Mouse over it and you’ll see the following: “Melanthios, Odysseus’s goatherd, mistook him for a beggar upon his return and hit him. Sure his master had died in Troy, he betrayed him to impress Penelope’s suitors.” Courtesy of Homer’s Odyssey, now an unremarkable setpiece has some flavor.

The blurbs are rarely extensive, definitely not as long nor detailed as the database entries in older Assassin’s Creed games. But there are a surprising number of them, and they provide information on religious rites, sporting events, monuments, landmarks, notable buildings, mythology, and more. For instance, the Odeon of Perikles “was modeled after the Persian king Xerxes’s tent” and “was the largest building in Athens and the first theater to receive a roof.”

It also explains some of the artistic license Ubisoft took. For instance, in the Forest of Pholos you’ll find a series of centaur statues in various poses. It’s a neat visual to stumble upon sans context, but look in the Historical Locations tab and you’ll find the inspiration:

”Herakles met the centaur Pholos here while hunting the Erymanthian boar. When Pholos opened a jar of wine, other armed centaurs arrived, and Herakles fought them, killing all—including Pholos.”

Thus, centaur statues—a marriage of myth and history that Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey likes to explore but doesn’t explicitly call out in-game.

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey IDG / Hayden Dingman

The enormous Zeus statue on Kephallonia is another such example. It’s not a recreation of an actual statue (to my knowledge) but as the accompanying Historical Location entry explains, “The Lightning Zeus is depicted as such to mirror the geophysical phenomena of Mount Ainos, known for its spectacular thunderstorms.” Like the centaurs, it’s a cool visual and one Ubisoft’s used a lot in marketing. It takes on a deeper meaning though when you realize why that mountain, why Zeus, why this larger-than-life depiction.

And for some reason Ubisoft hides that meaning multiple menus deep.

I don’t know why the developers made that decision, although the map is certainly cluttered enough without these Historical Locations. Maybe that’s the problem. It’s too bad you could play through the whole of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey ($60 on Humble) without stumbling on this other layer though. There’s a lot of interesting historical information contained within, and a lot of great pseudo-historical information as well—insight into the Ancient Greece of Odyssey that explains how and why it differs from the strictly historical Ancient Greece we might know.

Hopefully Odyssey’s Discovery Tour will have even more to say on these subjects, but for now it’s well worth checking out this semi-secret map layer. You never know what you might learn.

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