Assassin's Creed: Renaissance is a novel written by Oliver Bowden based on the game Assassin's Creed II. It was released in the United Kingdom on 26 November 2009 and in North America on 23 February 2010.
- Main article: Assassin's Creed II storyline
- Official Blurb
To his allies, he will become a force for change - fighting for freedom and justice. To his enemies, he will become a threat dedicated to the destruction of the tyrants abusing the people of Italy.
So begins an epic story of power, revenge and conspiracy.
Truth will be written in blood.
- Alternate Blurb
- "I will seek Vengeance upon those who betrayed my family. I am Ezio Auditore di [sic] Firenze. I am an Assassin . . ."
- ―Ezio Auditore
The Year of Our Lord 1476 - the Renaissance: culture and art flourish alongside the bloodiest corruption and violence. Bitter blood-feuds rage between the warring political families of Italy.
Following the murder of his father and brothers, Ezio Auditore di [sic] Firenze is entrusted with an ancient Codex, the key to a conspiracy that goes back to the centuries-old conflict between the shadowy Templar Knights and the elite Order of Assassins.
Ezio must avenge the deaths of his kinsmen and in doing so fulfil [sic] his destiny, and live by the laws of the Assassin's Creed.
Differences and extras
Despite being a textual version of Assassin's Creed II, there were several differences present in the novel, as well as things added into the book that were not included in the game. However, certain events were instead depicted in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood; particularly the Cristina Memories.
The following are details of the novel that differed from the game.
- La Volpe's name was revealed to be Gilberto, although he still wished Ezio to call him "La Volpe." In the game, it was revealed that "La Volpe" was only his pseudonym and no real name was mentioned.
- Dante Moro's ex-wife's name was changed from Carlotta to Gloria.
- Cristina Vespucci's name was changed to Cristina Calfucci. This was later amended in Revelations.
- Mario Auditore had a thick beard and he was stated to be twice Ezio's size. In the game however, Mario had a small mustache, and was roughly the same size as Ezio.
- Antonio's full name was given as Antonio de Magianis.
- Giulio, Giovanni Auditore's secretary, was mentioned.
- Boetio, Lorenzo de' Medici's servant, was mentioned.
- Agniolo and Innocento, Leonardo's assistants, appeared several times.
- Desmond Miles and the other modern-day Assassins were not mentioned.
- A short account on how Ezio first met Cristina was provided.
- It was revealed that Vieri de' Pazzi also liked Cristina and once tried to take her by force, until Ezio came to the scene and fought Vieri off. This event was later featured in one of the repressed Cristina Memories in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
- Different parts of the book detailed Ezio visiting Cristina's house several other times; such as after his father and brothers were executed to collect a pouch he left there, and before he met La Volpe, wherein he helped Cristina's fiancé.
- Ezio's relationship with Rosa was explored in more detail; whereas in the game they merely flirted with each other, in the novel it was confirmed that they were lovers.
- Claudia Auditore married Mario's guard captain.
- After the Battle of Forlì, Ezio became intimate with Caterina for a few months during his recovery.
- Ezio frequently changed his clothes to blend in better, such as wearing monks' robes when going to the monastery, or wearing poor civilian clothes within the village outside Forlì. In the game, Ezio's outfit generally stayed the same.
- Ezio's first Hidden Blade was attached to his right forearm instead of his left.
- Ezio's second Hidden Blade was a double-bladed weapon. This was reverted in the Assassin's Creed: Revelations novel, as he wore one Hidden Blade on each hand.
- Ezio changed his Hidden Blade between the Poison Blade and the normal blade between missions. In-game, Ezio could change the Poison Blade on the fly.
- The bullets for Ezio's Hidden Gun were provided by Leonardo, instead of the blacksmiths.
- The Hidden Blade was more often referred to as the "Codex blade", and even more often as the "spring-blade."
- The Armor and Sword of Altaïr did not appear.
- Ezio often wielded his sword alongside either a dagger or one of his Hidden Blades. In the game, Ezio could only use one weapon at a time.
- Mario was shown many times to be nervous of the fact that Ezio shared the knowledge of the Codex with Leonardo, because he was not sure if anyone could be trusted with it.
- Ezio found many Codex pages on the dead remains of his enemies; such as retrieving one page from Vieri de' Pazzi's pouch and another from Emilio Barbarigo's satchel. In the game, Ezio found most of the Codex pages in Templar banks.
- Leonardo discovered that the Codex hid a map, even without having all of the pages. Ezio also noticed a map across the background in the novel. In the game, Ezio was the one to find it by using his Eagle Vision.
- During his battle with Ezio in San Gimignano, Vieri de' Pazzi fought at first with a battleaxe, drawing a sword and a dagger out later. In the game, he used only a sword.
- Ezio assassinated Uberto Alberti by stabbing him in the throat, while in the game, he angrily stabbed him multiple times in the chest.
- Ezio respectfully kissed Jacopo de' Pazzi on the forehead before his death. Additionally, instead of ending his slow suffering by stabbing him in the throat like in the game, Ezio stabbed Jacopo's heart in the novel.
- Ezio made the sign of the Cross over the corpses of certain targets as part of their last rites, such as Silvio Barbarigo and Dante Moro.
- Ezio walked out of the Vault to witness Rodrigo Borgia's death due to drinking poison, believing that he had failed his life's purpose of getting into the Vault. In the game, Ezio spared his life.
- This final scene took place in 1503, unlike in the game, where it took place in 1499.
- This scene was reverted in the Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood novel, wherein Ezio saw Rodrigo as he was leaving, but when he came back to check if Rodrigo was dead, he had gone, leaving only the Papal Cape behind.
- Vieri de' Pazzi threw a rock at Ezio and it hit him in the forehead. In the game, it hit him on the right side of his lip and the left side of his forehead, giving him the characteristic scar also shared with Altaïr and Desmond.
- The fight scene in the novel took place late at night, while in the game, it was set in the afternoon.
- During the fight with Vieri, Ezio (including his allies and Vieri's thugs) were said to have daggers and swords with them; though in the game, Ezio got his first weapon only when he found his father's Assassin robe.
- When Giovanni tasked Ezio with delivering a letter to Lorenzo de' Medici, he went on to reveal its contents to be about an ongoing conspiracy against duke Galeazzo Maria Sforza of Milan. This was not mentioned in the game as those events supposedly had taken place prior to it.
- Annetta contributed more to Ezio, but in the game, she was never heard from again after Ezio visited Paola.
- Eagle Vision was not mentioned at all during the events of the book.
- When Ezio headed over to the pigeon coop to receive the note for his father, he found some graffiti behind the coop that read: "HE THAT INCREASETH KNOWLEDGE INCREASETH SORROW" and "WHERE IS THE PROPHET?" These messages were not mentioned in the game.
- During the Auditore execution, Petruccio was executed first, shortly followed by Federico, and then finally, Giovanni. In the game, they were executed simultaneously. Also there were only 3 nooses, while in the game, there were 4, one of which was supposed to be for Ezio.
- Ezio gave his father and brothers their final rites by placing them in a torched boat set adrift down the Arno, where in the game, Ezio just simply set their boat adrift.
- The workshop of Leonardo showed an inner sanctum where he watched birds fly away. In the game, when Ezio went to him to repair his blade, there were no assistants or any sanctum.
- The Sanctuary was never shown in the book. However, it made an appearance in the Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood novel, as an escape route for the villagers.
- Maria and Claudia Auditore stayed in a convent near Monteriggioni after leaving Florence, where Claudia became a nun (although she later changed her mind and stayed at the Villa Auditore). In the game, they stayed in Mario's villa.
- Mention of a small incident of Ezio with Roberto, Vieri's drunk captain, was mentioned while in the game no such incident or character was present.
- Ezio rode a single horse and slew Borgia's men during his trip to Forlì with Leonardo da Vinci. In the game, he drove Leonardo's wagon. Additionally, Leonardo had a group of wagon riders and bodyguards with him before the attack, all of whom ran away at the first sign of trouble.
- When the other Assassins allowed Ezio to join their Order, they were all wearing the iconic Assassin hood; but in the game they were wearing their normal clothes.
- The events that covered the Battle of Forlì and the Bonfire of the Vanities were told in the novel. In the game, the two events were only accessible through downloadable content, unless players were on PC or had bought the Game of the year, Limited, or Complete editions.
- The fight with Checco Orsi differed in the novel. In the game, Checco fled on foot; in the novel, he rode a wagon accompanied by guards until Ezio killed them and ended up fighting Checco. Also, Checco did not stab Ezio in the side, but slashed Ezio's arm.
- Girolamo Savonarola was said to have been executed along with two others, Domenico and Silvestro while in the game, he was shown to be alone without any two followers. Historically, Savonarola was executed with these two followers.
- Ezio did not throw the knife that disarmed Savonarola, instead it was Niccolò Machiavelli. In the game, Niccolò would only throw the knife if the player did not press the button prompt during the cutscene.
- To end Savonarola's suffering, Ezio shot him with the Hidden Gun. In the game, he lunged forward and stabbed Savonarola with his Hidden Blade.
- Some citizens left Florence during the Bonfire of the Vanities. In the game, they were still seen walking around afterwards.
- Ezio's journey to Spain and confrontation with the Inquisitors was not mentioned in the novel.
- While Ezio was speaking to Minerva in the Vault, there was no mention of Desmond or the modern-day Assassins. However, Minerva still said that Ezio only anchored the one for whom the message was intended, hence the message was still not meant for Ezio.
- Most of the dialogues were changed while in The Secret Crusade novel of Altaïr's story, scarcely any dialogues were altered.
- Main article: Assassin's Creed: Renaissance/Terminology
The novel uses Italian and Latin terminology just like the game, but instead, releases the translations of the terms in a glossary.