Assassin's Creed - Leap of Faith . Altair of Assassin's Creed teaches a valuable life lesson: look before you leap off of tall minarets. . (posted 3/17/2008)
EDIT: I decdied my comments about the game sounded a bit overly negative, so I have edited them.
A while back, I posted an Assassin's Creed parody comic, and since I did enjoy the game and a lot of people have been asking me to make some, I decided to build some Assassin's Creed LEGO creations. Where to start? With my comic, of course!
I admit the hay cart is the weakest part of the model. The stones are hard to see (somewhat spoiling the joke, but oh well), and the hay is sparse. That's because no Bricklink orders were placed in the creation of this model. You're looking at my entire collection of tan rods. Ack!
The "hero" of Assassin's Creed is Alta´r, a member of an order of assassins based out of the Byzantine fortress of Masyaf during the Crusades. His order, for some reason that couldn't possibly be historically-accurate, apparently wishes to bring peace to the land. They plan to do this by killing lots and lots of people. Because that makes sense. Among Alta´r's many abilities are the power to keep his hood perfectly in position even when riding a horse at rapid speeds or jumping off the top of a building, and the ability to blend in with a crowd of monks or scholars despite the fact that he's bristling with visible weaponry. Heheh.
NOTE: Yes, the white hood is painted.
A couple of Knights Templar and a monk (or at least a certain character of mine dressed like a monk). I actually had more fun with these guys than with Altair. I guess I just like armor. The helmets they're wearing are from BrickForge, while the swords are from LittleArmory (now out of business, sadly).
I always feel hesitant about a posting minifigs all on their own, so I decided to build a vignette. Since I usually build spaceships and video game stuff, I've very rarely tried my hand at detailed LEGO architecture. For some reason the idea of building the minaret of a mosque really inspired me, perhaps because it was different from my usual fare. I really got into building it.
Some design elements you may note include the striped arch made of 1x2 plates (yes, it's made entirely of bricks - no printed parts, stickers, or paint - except on the minifigs, of course) and the use of minifig legs on the wall. Since you already know I could never come up with anything as ingenious as the latter idea, I'll have to admit that I got it from Corran101. Originally I just had little wedges there like on the balconies farther up.
Alta´r ponders whether to kill or simply avoid this crusader. Personally I tend to avoid killing people, even armed soldiers. I guess I'm nicer than the real Alta´r probably would have been, judging from his actions early in the game. It's a different story with those naked madmen that get in your way, scream, and shove you around though. I can't resist punching their daylights out.
Did anyone here ever play any of the Thief games? I've only played Thief: Deadly Shadows. It was a pretty neat game. There is an interesting parallel (or rather opposite) between the two games: while Assassin's Creed takes place entirely during the day, Thief takes place entirely at night. I'm already considering making an alternate version of this vignette featuring Garrett the Master Thief as opposed to Altair, climbing up part of a Gothic catherdral-eque building as opposed to a Muslim-esque minaret... I'm still waiting for a Thief IV... maybe they could use the Assassin's Creed engine?
As Alta´r looks out over the city, or lack thereof, the eagle overhead threatens to ruin the pristine whiteness of his robes.
Does anyone ever wonder who builds those little wooden perches for the eagles/assassins, and always positions a hay cart conveniently beneath them? On the other hand, does anyone ever wonder if a human could really break a fall that big with a little pile of hay? Somebody call Mythbusters.
Since LEGO has never made any birds with actual outspread wings, I was forced to come up with this really wacky design for the eagle that always soars away when Alta´r approaches his perch. People seem to like it though. Random observation: those posts must be covered in bird crap. Makes you wonder why Alta´r never slips up on it. Didn't the game designers ever play Metal Gear Solid 2?
Another shot of the upper half of the minaret. I actually had some extra sections in there at first, but I had to remove them to photograph the thing properly. The total height is around 28 inches!
I was a bit disappointed that they decided to include so many sci-fi and conspiracy buff elements in the storyline of Assassin's Creed. When I first heard about it, I had really hoped it would simply be a reasonably historically-accurate medieval action game. Those are very rare in the gaming world. Most medieval games are strategy titles, and all the other genres feel the need to include fantasy elements with anything medieval. I would have preferred the game without the genetic memory story and the sequences as Desmond... Oh well.
Why do they call it a leap of faith anyway? What exactly does Alta´r have faith in? It's not God, because even though Al Mualim says "Go to God!" and the real Assassins were probably Muslims, both Altair and his master seem to be pure atheists. Is it fate? Heroes' luck, perhaps?
Hope you enjoyed the model as much as I enjoyed making it. More Assassin's Creed or just generic crusades creations may be coming in the future!
NOTE: The character minifigs shown on this page were made using custom decals (stickers / labels) that I designed myself.If you would like to make your own minifigs, I now provide a printing service for my decals. Just visit my website!
Jonathan Thomas: It's not clay; it's paint. :P Blame LEGO for not making a white hood piece yet. Heheh.