The Assassin’s Creed gaming franchise had something of a soft reboot with the release of Origins . Going back more than two thousand years into the past, the story is about Bayek of Siwa and the events that led to him forming the Hidden Ones (the group that went on to become the Assassin Order).
Along with Bayek, the game also brought in historical figures in important roles, with the likes of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar, among others, all having a part to play. The overarching plotline concerns Bayek’s bid for revenge against the people who killed his son, and this story features an interesting supporting cast. It’s worth looking into the hits and misses where overall character quality is concerned.
The modern-day plotlines have always been among the most disliked aspects of the Assassin’s Creed series for being nothing more than framing devices for the stories set in the past. Layla suffered from this effect in Origins , having no real characterization and simply being placed as the person who looked into Bayek’s memories.
Her personal arc was about uncovering the truth about Abstergo, but this was too late to spark interest Absergo’s nature as a Templar organization is common knowledge to fans. She received more to do in the follow-up, but her role in Origins is interchangeable with just about any present-day character.
Cleopatra could have been interesting to follow due to her association with Bayek and Aya, but the game chose to depict her stereotypical persona. She was basically a vamp figure who used her looks to gain favor and this has been portrayed repeatedly in movies and other media.
Cleopatra’s part in switching allegiances, from Bayek and Aya to their enemies, was easy to see coming, as she was instantly established as a duplicitous figure. While her voice acting and dialogue were engaging, Cleopatra’s overall role was predictable.
As one of the most well-known people in history, Julius Caeser will most likely be a character in the Assassin’s Creed TV series as well. His role was relatively subdued in Origins , where he showed up sporadically and was essentially swayed by both the protagonists and the villains.
It was unique to see a person in power, such as Caeser, be played like a puppet by others and the chance of him realizing this kept him engaging (to an extent). It’s a shame he ended up being killed without actually becoming a true threat, as Caesar had good potential to be placed as the villain.
Septimius made a good change from the norm, changing the way hulking individuals are portrayed as brutes without any characterization. He was a true force to be reckoned with in terms of gameplay and his plotting to corrupt Caesar to his benefit was a devious move.
The one drawback in considering Septimius as a big-time threat is that he wasn’t presented as Bayek’s main rival. Since players spent the majority of time with Bayek, they had to wait until taking control of Amunet to fully feel the antagonism against Septimius. Still, his villainy was on point as he managed to gain access to the Isu vault he was after during the whole story, and it was satisfying to put an end to him.
Flavius’ goal of opening the vault for nefarious reasons is formulaic on paper, but he had a deeply personal antagonism with Bayek. He was the one responsible for the killing of Khemu, which means he’s responsible for the creation of the Hidden ones.
The story gave fans good reason to hunt him as Flavius was shown to be a cunning but petty man with no qualms about hurting innocents and children. His role in using Caesar as his puppet, alongside Septimius, adds to Flavius’ impressive feats of villainy, and his eventual defeat was cathartic after witnessing all the evil he’d committed.
Rather than playing into the friend trope, Apollodorus was the ally whose presence made the difference between Cleopatra allying and betraying the protagonists. It was after his demise that she turned on Bayek and Amunet, as Apollodurus’ positive influence was gone.
He was loyal to everyone, from Bayek to Cleopatra, being the only major character in the game who demonstrated this trait. Apollodorus’ last act was to warn Bayek of Flavius, which was in line with his overall attitude toward helping his friends.
His death was a way for this Assassin’s Creed game to recap the major plot point of Bayek’s depression and thirst for vengeance, but it was also shown what kind of person Khemu was. Bayek’s memories showed Khemus to be a curious, lively young boy with hopes of learning the secrets of the world.
He was the glue that held Bayek and Amunet’s marriage together, without whom the two fell apart. In a story that was gritty all around, Khemu’s role was appreciated for injecting a much-needed dose of light-hearted moments and some innocence.
The transformation of Aya into Amunet is a quality arc that could be a story the Assassin’s Creed TV show incorporates. Starting as a wholesome mother, Amunet became a hardened individual who channeled her anger at Khemu’s demise into becoming the perfect assassin.
It was saddening to see how far gone she became that she could never return to Bayek after the loss of Khemu, but it also made Amunet a fascinating character. Moreover, her turn into a legendary assassin closed a plot arc from Assassin’s Creed II, where a shrine dedicated to her had revealed she was the one who killed Cleopatra.
Bayek was the most layered protagonist the series had in years. He was shown as a brooding man in need of familial love, and who was searching for redemption. Bayek was also a full-on noble character, whose fierce side only came out when his loved ones were threatened.
True to his honorable nature, Bayek decided to move on from Khemu’s death after achieving his revenge, which set a good message of accepting the sorrows of the past. He was a warrior in every way as well, overcoming both emotional and physical challenges to begin the Hidden Ones and setting up the platform for the Assassin’s Creed to be established one day.
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Saim Cheeda (1043 Articles Published)
Saim Cheeda is an entertainment writer covering all of Film, TV, Gaming and Books. He's been a writer for Valnet since 2017, contributing 500+ articles for The Gamer, The Things, Game Rant, Comic Book Resources and Screen Rant. Apart from freelance writing, Saim is a lifestyle blogger, co-owning the blog 3 States Apart. http://3statesapart.com
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