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AC1 Animus 1

The Animus, a virtual device which the Animus Project was centered around

The Animus Project was an initiative conducted by Abstergo Industries to explore the genetic memories of subjects kidnapped by the Department of Lineage Discovery and Acquisition to discover information about the Assassin Brotherhood and the location of Pieces of Eden.

Operating since at least 1980 and initially led by Dr. Warren Vidic, the Animus Project was one of the most important Abstergo programs in their history.[1][2][3] After Vidic's death in 2012, the project fell under the leadership of Sofia Rikkin, daughter of Abstergo's CEO Alan Rikkin.[4]

History[]

Subject 1[]

Subject 1 was a male individual with an ancestral connection to the Louisiana Assassin Aveline de Grandpré, performing Animus sessions around late 1980 until January 1981. After reliving the lives of other ancestors, Subject 1 was assigned to relive Aveline's memories in 18th-century New Orleans. However, his connection with the Animus readily destabilized and he suffered a seizure, resulting in his death.[5]

Subject 2[]

Following the failure of Subject 1 in early 1981, Warren Vidic personally volunteered himself as the next Animus subject to keep the project running. He took a four-hour Animus session, first reliving the life of an 18th-century Hungarian ancestor, then Jeanne d'Arc's executioner,[6] Geoffroy Thérage,[7] in 1431.[6]

Subject 4[]

ACF vidic surgery

Vidic experimenting on Daniel

In 1983, Lineage Discovery and Acquisition delivered Subject 4, a 9-year old orphaned boy, to Warren Vidic.[8] After being codenamed "Daniel Cross", he was placed in the Animus both for his genetic memory to be explored and for his brain to be experimented upon using a replicated Piece of Eden.[1] With this, an impulse was implanted in the boy's brain, that would make him instinctively seek out the Assassins' Mentor and kill him, should the opportunity arise.[8]

After the experiments were finished, Daniel was released onto the streets, though he would suffer from a severe case of the Bleeding Effect for most of his life, involuntarily experiencing the memories of his great-grandfather, the Russian Assassin Nikolai Orelov. In 1998, Daniel was discovered by the Assassin Hannah Mueller, and after a series of events that led to him rising through the Brotherhood's ranks, his subconsciousness forced him to kill the modern day Mentor on 6 November 2000.[8]

Daniel later returned to an Abstergo facility in Philadelphia, where he was again placed in the Animus under the supervision of Vidic and relived the memories of Nikolai and his son Innokenti Orelov. Meanwhile, Daniel's own memories were viewed by Abstergo to obtain the locations of all of the Assassin camps he had visited, allowing the Templars to enact the Great Purge.[8] Eventually, Daniel ended his Animus sessions and officially joined the ranks of the Templar Order.[9]

Subject 12[]

Subject 12 was forced to relive the memories of an ancestor related to the 1943 Philadelphia Project, in which the USS Eldridge briefly manifested in a future state for approximately 18 minutes, due to the usage of a Piece of Eden. Using recovered data, Abstergo was able to reconstruct the original artifact used in the experiment.[2]

Subject 14[]

In 2014, the Abstergo Entertainment employee Robert Fraser, dubbed Subject 14,[10] was tasked with reliving the memories of the French Assassin Arno Dorian. Unfortunately, due to being severely affected by the Bleeding Effect, Fraser's health began to deteriorate, eventually culminating in him believing himself to be Arno. Wishing to help the Assassins, he destroyed Abstergo hard drives with the assistance of his psychiatrist Victoria Bibeau,[11] which led to his termination.[12]

Subject 15[]

In 2010,[3] the Animus Project focused on Subject 15, a pregnant woman who eventually started suffering from the Bleeding Effect. She experienced "memory-within-memory" patterns due to the memories of the fetus' father conflicting with her ancestors' memories.[1] Eventually, in mid-December 2010, Lucy Stillman noticed that Subject 15's Raphe nuclei were activating at an accelerated rate, and that the Animus was somehow inducing an incomplete state of dream-sleep. When Lucy informed Vidic of Subject 15's dangerous state, Vidic concluded that they had already gathered enough material from her, and subsequently contacted Steve Gibbs to send a disposal unit to "remove" Subject 15.[3]

Subject 16[]

Abs Room

The cryptic messages in Clay's cell

In 2011, Abstergo kidnapped Clay Kaczmarek, a member of the Assassin Brotherhood who specialized in computer hacking and engineering.[13] Dubbed Subject 16,[14] Clay was placed into the Animus at Abstergo's Rome facility for several months, in order to obtain the location of one of the Apples of Eden,[13] with some of the Animus sessions lasting for days at a time. As Clay was psychologically unable to maintain these sessions for such extended periods of time, the personalities of his ancestors began overlapping with his own.[15]

Eventually, Vidic discovered that Clay was a direct descendant of Adam, one of the first Human-Isu hybrids and an individual amongst the first few to rise up against the pre-existing species. Through reliving Adam's memories, Clay and Vidic obtained the secrets of the Assassins and the Isu,[16] though realizing his mind would soon disappear entirely, Clay hacked the Animus and placed an AI construct of his own personality in the machine that only the next Animus Subject would be able to activate.[17]

Clay also left behind several hidden Glyphs and Rifts throughout the memories of another of his ancestors, the Italian Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze.[15] Following this, as he delved into insanity as a result of the Bleeding Effect, Clay wrote various cryptic messages with his blood across the Animus room and his own cell before eventually committing suicide[2] on 8 August 2012.[18]

Subject 17[]

AC1 Monitoring Desmond

Desmond in the Animus

In September 2012, Abstergo captured their next Subject, number 17, a bartender by the name of Desmond Miles. Prior to his capture, Desmond had run away from his Assassin parents at the age of 16, and was discovered to have a high concentration of Isu DNA in his genes.[17]

At first, Desmond was directly put in the Animus and forced to relive the memories of the Levantine Assassin Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad. Upon reaching Abstergo's target memory, a map displaying the locations of several Precursor Temples around the world erupted from an Apple of Eden, the company to had no further use for Desmond. While Vidic's superiors ordered Desmond's disposal, Lucy managed to convince them of Desmond's use to Abstergo, saving his life.[2]

Not too long afterwards, Lucy, who was previously an Assassin and had secretly defected to the Templars,[13] escaped the Abstergo facility with Desmond and relocated to an Assassin hideout, where Desmond relived the memories of Ezio Auditore da Firenze in a recreated Animus,[15] unknowingly helped in part by Lucy and Vidic's secret plan.[13]

After Desmond's escape, Vidic turned his attention to the Animi Training Program, which held the objective of training Abstergo agents using numerous Animi and making them relive the memories of Templars, Assassins and unaffiliated individuals of interest through extracted memories, so that the agents would be able to combat the remnants of the Assassin Brotherhood with their newly accumulated skills.[1] The project eventually resulted in the promotion of Juhani Otso Berg to the rank of Master Templar,[19] who was immediately assigned to capture the Assassin leader William Miles.[17]

On 14 December 2012, Vidic was killed by Desmond at Abstergo's Rome facility using an Apple of Eden.[20] Even though Abstergo lost the world's leading expert in genetic memory and the pioneer of the Animus, the next phase of the Animus Project would proceed as planned with David Kilkerman as Director.[21][19]

Abstergo Entertainment[]

AC4BF-Present3

The work station of a Sample 17 Project research analyst

Following Desmond's sacrifice to prevent the Second Disaster and the subsequent recovery of his body by Abstergo, a new project started in 2013 at Abstergo Entertainment in Montreal called the Sample 17 Project. The company utilized employees to explore the memories of Desmond's ancestors, notably those of the pirate-turned-Assassin Edward Kenway in order to find an Isu temple known as the Observatory.[22]

Meanwhile, Abstergo made a deal with MysoreTech to release the Brahman V.R., spreading new Animus technology to the Asian market. This was done in an attempt to mine the genetic memories of their customers in order to gain more information about the Pieces of Eden. In November 2013, Abstergo managed to locate two individuals of interest, the actress Monima Das and her fiancé Jot Soora, whose genetic memories contained a possible lead to the location of the Koh-i-Noor. However, due to the intervention of the Assassins, Monima died while Jot escaped before he could be captured.[23]

In 2014, Abstergo released a cloud-based software named the Helix upon which they released more games created from the edited genetic memories of their subjects. Using Helix, a research analyst analyzed the memories of the Assassin-turned-Templar Shay Cormac and fixed a virus that had been hidden in his memory banks.[24] Also contained within those memory banks were the genetic memories of Arno Dorian,[25] and the twins Evie and Jacob Frye.[26]

In 2017, Abstergo Entertainment released a new Animus device titled the Mobile Animus 4.38. This device saw the release of Rebellion, a game created from the altered memories of the Spanish Assassin Aguilar de Nerha.[27]

Callum Lynch[]

By 2014, Sofia Rikkin became heavily involved with the Animus Project, which had moved from the Abstergo Campus in Rome to the Abstergo Foundation Rehabilitation Center in Madrid. In February of that year, Sofia's subordinate Layla Hassan suggested the creation of a new inverted six-axis motion rig Animus, which despite initial protest, became the new Animus for the project.[4]

Assassin's Creed (film) 15

Callum using the Animus

Over the following two years, Abstergo kidnapped several people to use as subjects for the project, including the Assassins Moussa, Lin, Nathan, and Emir, and kept them prisoner inside the Madrid facility. In October 2016, Abstergo kidnapped death row inmate Callum Lynch and staged his execution in order to use him as their next subject. Upon moving Lynch to the Abstergo Foundation, Sofia used Lynch's genetic memories to uncover the location of the Apple of Eden once held by Aguilar de Nerha.[28]

However, while Abstergo was successful in locating the Apple, their experiments backfired when Lynch and the other Assassin prisoners, using skills gained through the Bleeding Effect, staged a breakout. Although most of the prisoners were terminated, Lynch, Moussa and Lin managed to escape and destroy the Madrid facility in the process, and they later retrieved Aguilar's Apple after assassinating Alan Rikkin.[28]

The Aerie[]

The Aerie-0

The Aerie

In 2016, the Aerie, an Abstergo facility located in North America, utilized the Animus 4.35 on Javier Mondragón, Owen Meyers, Grace Collins, David Collins, Natalya Aliyev, and Sean Molloy in order to help the Templars learn the location of the pieces of the Trident of Eden.[29][30][31]

Kō Risa[]

In 2019, Kō Risa, also known as Lisa Huang, began her therapy at the Abstergo clinic in Yokohama, where Doctor Kaori Kagami had the teenager relive the memories of her ancestor, the Chinese Assassin Shao Jun, through the Animus, hoping to learn the location of the Assassin's Precursor box.[32] Eventually Risa started distrusting the doctor and was held against her will until she escaped with the help of the Assassin Kiyoshi Takakura and her cousin Mari.[33]

Noa Kim[]

ACFT - Noa in the Animus

Noa in the Animus

In 2023, Noa Kim was lured on a vacation prize trip to Macau after using the genetic genealogy site WhyYou, developed by Abstergo Genetic Research Lab.[34] Kidnapped by Abstergo agents and brought to the Exitus research vessel,[35] Noa was forced to relive the memories of his ancestor Edward Kenway in the Animus, under the supervision of Doctor Shimazu Sei, in order to locate a Piece of Eden found by Edward in Indochina.[34]

During their time together, Noa and Sei began to bond and the doctor even made a deal with Noa, promising him his freedom in exchange for his cooperation.[36] Although members of the Assassin-affiliated Zhawang Corporation tried to rescue Noa several times, both in Macau[37] and in Cebu, the young man refused their help as he wished to relive Edward's memories to learn more about himself, and chose to remain with Abstergo for the time being.[38]

Known Animus Subjects[]

Behind the scenes[]

In the non-canonical modern day storyline of the Assassin's Creed French comic, Abstergo was experimenting on a young boy designated as Subject 19.[44]

Appearances[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Assassin's Creed: BrotherhoodModern day
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Assassin's CreedModern day
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Abstergo Industries' website [citation needed]
  4. 4.0 4.1 Assassin's Creed: Origins
  5. 5.0 5.1 Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagNoob's personal files: "Subject Zero: Audio File 3"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagNoob's personal files: "Subject Zero: Audio File 4"
  7. Assassin's Creed: Heresy
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Assassin's Creed: The Fall
  9. 9.0 9.1 Assassin's Creed: The Chain
  10. 10.0 10.1 Twitter Christie Golden (@ChristieGolden) on Twitter "LOL okay, the answer is yes.  :)" (screenshot)
  11. Assassin's Creed Unity: Abstergo Entertainment – Employee Handbook
  12. Assassin's Creed: Heresy
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Assassin's Creed: RevelationsThe Lost Archive
  14. Assassin's CreedWarren Vidic's email – Subject header: "Subject No. 16"
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Assassin's Creed II
  16. Assassin's Creed Encyclopedia
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Assassin's Creed: Revelations
  18. Assassin's Creed: RevelationsThe Lost ArchiveThe End Is Only The Beginning
  19. 19.0 19.1 Assassin's Creed: Initiates
  20. Assassin's Creed III
  21. Assassin's Creed: The Essential Guide
  22. Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagModern day
  23. Assassin's Creed: Brahman
  24. Assassin's Creed: Rogue
  25. Assassin's Creed: Unity
  26. Assassin's Creed: Syndicate
  27. Assassin's Creed: Rebellion
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 28.5 28.6 Assassin's Creed film
  29. Assassin's Creed: Last Descendants – Locus
  30. Assassin's Creed: Last Descendants – Tomb of the Khan
  31. Assassin's Creed: Last Descendants – Fate of the Gods
  32. Assassin's Creed: Blade of Shao JunHomecoming
  33. Assassin's Creed: Blade of Shao JunCreed
  34. 34.0 34.1 Assassin's Creed: Forgotten TempleEpisode 1
  35. Assassin's Creed: Forgotten TempleEpisode 42
  36. Assassin's Creed: Forgotten TempleEpisode 7
  37. Assassin's Creed: Forgotten TempleEpisode 23
  38. Assassin's Creed: Forgotten TempleEpisode 46
  39. 39.0 39.1 Assassin's Creed: Bloodstone
  40. Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagNoob's personal files: "Subject Zero: Audio File 1"
  41. Assassin's Creed: Templars
  42. Assassin's Creed: Blade of Shao Jun
  43. Assassin's Creed: Forgotten Temple
  44. Assassin's Creed 5: El Cakr
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