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Ezio and the Borromean rings glyph

Glyphs were data entry points scattered around the virtual representation of Renaissance Italy rendered by the Animus.

Desmond Miles was able to locate several of them while reliving the genetic memories of his ancestor, Ezio Auditore da Firenze. Each Glyph revealed historical details about humanity, Pieces of Eden, and the conflict between the Assassins and the Templars.

Origins

Ezio activating one of the Glyphs

The Glyphs were created by Clay Kaczmarek, Desmond's predecessor in the Animus Project. Clay had discovered "The Truth" during the prolonged Animus sessions, but he could not share this information during his captivity. Instead, he hacked the Animus and hid a video file in a number of encrypted data fragments, in the form of Glyphs on certain structures.[1]

In an effort to inform the next Animus subject of the hack, Clay left a number of cryptic images drawn in his own blood scattered across the Animus Project laboratory, as a clue to look for such symbols in the environments rendered by the Animus.[1]

Abstergo laboratory

Clay's messages on the bedroom wall

Before Desmond Miles was placed in the Animus, Abstergo had cleaned away Clay's blood messages.[2] However, through the Bleeding Effect, Desmond eventually gained the ability of Eagle Vision, which allowed him to perceive Clay's blood writing. Although he was able to see it, Desmond could not comprehend its meaning at the time of his captivity.[3]

In the Animus 2.0

During the escape from Abstergo facility, Lucy Stillman took the Animus memory core, unaware that it contained the data which Clay tampered with. When the core was transferred to the Animus 2.0, the Glyph data was transferred along with it.[1]

Rebecca holding the memory core with the Glyph data

While reliving the memories of Ezio Auditore, Desmond and his fellow Assassins discovered the existence of the Glyphs and guessed how they appeared in the Animus 2.0, eventually concluding the data was tampered with by Clay, and came with the Abstergo memory core.[1]

Desmond found numerous symbols echoing the ones in Clay's blood writing scattered across various landmarks, which contained the encrypted file fragments. Clay placed a safeguard in the files, however, as each Glyph had to be scanned with Eagle Vision to access it, and the files were only compatible with the Animus itself.[1]

Desmond solved the puzzles contained within each Glyph, allowing him to access a short clip of The Truth video. Once all the Glyphs were solved, these short clips combined to form a complete footage from one of Clay's classified session at Abstergo, depicting Adam and Eve running through Eden with a stolen Apple of Eden.[1]

The puzzles revealed some of the activities of the Assassins and Templars and instances where Pieces of Eden had emerged across human history.[1]

Rome

Ezio locating a Rift

When Shaun Hastings analyzed the results of the Glyph puzzles, he discovered the puzzles also contained coordinates to additional certain locations within the Animus. These led Desmond to a series of Cluster puzzles, accessible through the Rifts in programming in the city of Rome.[4]

These Rifts were also safeguarded, as they did not physically appear on the landmarks at all unless seen with the Eagle Vision. Another notable difference was that Ezio had to physically enter a Rift, rather than just scan it.[4]

After solving all ten of the Rift puzzles, a video message titled "The miracle is in the execution" appeared, though the Assassins figured it was not a video at all, but rather an encrypted file. Rebecca managed to make it accessible to Desmond. The file contained a course similar to the Animus Virtual Training Program. At the end, Desmond was presented with a digital image of Clay Kaczmarek, which spoke to him about Eve, the Sun, Desmond's son, Eden and the darkness, before disappearing.[4]

Glyph locations

Each Glyph was located on a historical landmark within the Animus. After approaching a landmark with a Glyph on it, the landmark's Database entry was marked with an eye icon. Proximity to a Glyph was also noticeable by an Animus-produced shimmering sound effect, identical to what Desmond heard near feathers and treasure chests when reliving Ezio's life.

Picture Location Description
ACII Glyph - La Rosa Colta.png Facing south on the roof of La Rosa Colta
San Marco District, Florence
An Omega symbol with a dot in the center.
ACII Glyph - Ospedale degli Innocenti.png Facing north on the eastern rooftop of the Ospedale degli Innocenti
San Marco District, Florence
The Eye of Horus. While this may be a reference to Horus, Egypt and all the Pieces of Eden related, it can also refer to the Ordo Templi Orientis, a German-Austrian order similar to the Freemasons which was believed to be related to the Knights Templar, and which had the Eye of Horus drawn at the top of their Lamen.
ACII Glyph - Basilica of Santa Croce.png Facing west on the northern lower roof of the Basilica of Santa Croce
San Marco District, Florence
A Japanese torii
ACII Glyph - Basilica of San Lorenzo.png On the south face of the northern bell tower of the Basilica of San Lorenzo
Santa Maria Novella District, Florence
Nazca Lines of a monkey
ACII Glyph - Mercato Vecchio.png Facing east in the northeast corner of the Mercato Vecchio courtyard
Santa Maria Novella District, Florence
Chinese for "One who does not forget what was before is the master of what comes after."
ACII Glyph - Villa Auditore.png Facing south on the southwest corner of Villa Auditore, Monteriggioni Barcode and Date: The numbers 12212012 make the date 21 December 2012 in the middle-endian format. The barcode, however, encodes the number 666.
ACII Glyph - Monte Oliveto Maggiore.png On the east face of the Monte Oliveto Maggiore tower, Tuscany Step Pyramid, a common symbol of Mayan and Egyptian architecture.
ACII Glyph - Antico Teatro Romano.png Just outside San Gimignano, facing west in the curved tunnel at the rear of Antico Teatro Romano, Tuscany Lorenz Attractor
ACII Glyph - Torre del Diavolo.png Facing north on top of Torre del Diavolo, San Gimignano The Eye of Providence
ACII Glyph - Torri dei Salvucci.png Facing south in the gap between the Torri dei Salvucci, San Gimignano Two Nara-style pagodas
ACII Glyph - Santa Maria Assunta.png Facing east at street level in Santa Maria Assunta, San Gimignano Mountain Valley, most likely Machu Picchu
ACII Glyph - Avamposto Veneziano.png On the north face of the Avamposto Veneziano lighthouse, Romagna Outline of Mount Fuji
ACII Glyph - Abbey of San Mercuriale.png Facing east above the west colonnade of the Abbey of San Mercuriale, Forlì Hebrew for Olam Haba, or "The World To Come" after the arrival of the Messiah in Judaism
ACII Glyph - Ponte di Rialto.png Facing west beneath the east end of Ponte di Rialto
San Polo District, Venice
Nazca Lines of spider
ACII Glyph - San Giacomo di Rialto.png Facing east between the dome and bell tower of San Giacomo di Rialto
San Polo District, Venice
Pyramid of Eden, an original design consisting of a series of eyes bound within a triangle with a radiating apple directly above it. It symbolizes the Templar plan to use the Apple in the Eye-Abstergo satellite to control all humanity.
ACII Glyph - Gilda dei Ladri di Venezia.png Facing east on the roof top of Gilda dei Ladri di Venezia
San Polo District, Venice
Three Triangles, most likely indicating the Pyramids of Giza, Egypt.
ACII Glyph - Torre dell'Orologio.png Facing up on top of Torre dell'Orologio, above the clock
San Marco District, Venice
Borromean Rings
ACII Glyph - Campanile di San Marco.png Facing up in an open section near the top of Campanile di San Marco
San Marco District, Venice
An upside-down Pentagram. Whilst the pentagram is usually affiliated throughout history with Satanic rituals, its origin comes from the Roman goddess Venus, as the orbit of the planet Venus forms a pentagram in space as seen from Earth.
ACII Glyph - Scuola Grande di San Marco.png Facing north on top of Scuola Grande di San Marco
Castello District, Venice
Nazca Lines of a hummingbird
ACII Glyph - San Pietro di Castello.png Facing east on top of San Pietro di Castello
Castello District, Venice
Mandelbrot Set

Glyph Puzzles

The puzzles were solved in numerical order, regardless of which Glyph they were accessed through. Whenever stuck on a puzzle, a help option appeared and Shaun Hastings offered a hint upon activating it.

In The Beginning

The puzzle involved finding the core similarity in each painting. It was solved by selecting the images containing apples.

The solved puzzle.

Glyph 1 1.png

Sixty-Four Squares

The puzzles were solved by rotating the various rings in turn until they formed an image.

The first solved image.
Glyph 2 1.png

The second solved image.
Glyph 2 2.png

The third solved image.

Glyph 2 3.png

Descendants

The puzzle was solved by locating a hidden Apple of Eden in each image, under the infrared light.

The first solved image.
Glyph 3 1.png

The second solved image.
Glyph 3 2.png

The third solved image.
Glyph 3 3.png

Hidden Morse and Masonic Pigpen symbols containing messages were present in the images.

Infinite Knowledge

The puzzle was solved by locating a hidden image in each photo.

The first image's location.
Glyph 4 1.png

The second image's location.
Glyph 4 2.png

The third image's location.
Glyph 4 3.png

The fourth image containing an Apple of Eden.
Glyph 4 4.png

Hidden messages were present in the images.

Instruments of Power

The puzzles were solved by selecting images which shared a common theme. A sword in the first set, a staff in the second set.

The first solved puzzle.
Glyph 5 1.png

The second solved puzzle.

Glyph 5 2.png

Brothers

The puzzles were solved by rotating the various rings in turn until they formed an image of Cain slaying Abel.

The first puzzle required rotating Ring One 2 times to the left, Ring Two 3 times to the left, Ring Four once to the right, Ring Five 3 times to the right, and Ring Three around to complete the image.
Glyph 6 1.png

The second puzzle required rotating Ring One 3 times to the left, Ring Three 1 time to the left, Ring Four 4 times to the left, Ring Five once to the right, and Ring 2 around to complete the image.
Glyph 6 2.png

The third puzzle required rotating Ring One 3 times to the left, Ring Three 1 time to the right, Ring Four 5 times to the left, Ring Five once to the left, and Ring Two around to complete the image.
Glyph 6 3.png

The fourth puzzle required rotating Ring Three once to the right, Ring Five 2 times to the left, Ring Four 2 times to the left, Ring Two 6 times to the right, and Ring One around to complete the image.
Glyph 6 4.png

The quotes accompanying the images were taken from the Pearl of Great Price, and the Morse Code underneath the final image read "Templar texts adapted by Mr. Smith".

Glyph 6 5.png

Keep On Seeking, And You Will Find

The first puzzle required finding the core similarity in each painting. It was solved by selecting the images containing the red shroud.
Glyph 7 1.png

The second part of the puzzle involved scanning a picture of the crucified Jesus Christ, in search for the Shroud of Eden. The Templar insignia and the words "They took it." were hidden in the image.

Glyph 7 2.png

Martyrs

The first puzzle was solved by locating a Piece of Eden using the sonar signals.

The first solved image.
Glyph 8 1.png

The second solved image.
Glyph 8 2.png

Each image contained a hidden message.

  • Nicholas II of Russia: A binary cipher which read "17th July 1918", the date Nicholas and his entire family were murdered, was hidden within the image.
  • Joan of Arc: Hidden binary message in the image read "30th May 1431", the date Joan was burned at the stake.

The next phase of this puzzle involved picking up the flame and placing it over the image of Joan, and placing the image of Grigori Rasputin over the image of Nicholas.

Image showing Joan's burning.
Glyph 8 3.png

Image showing the Russian Revolution.

Glyph 8 4.png

Hat Trick

The first puzzle involved using sonar to locate a Piece of Eden in the images.

The first solved image.
Glyph 9 1.png

Image of Houdini's grave.
Glyph 9 2.png

The second solved image.
Glyph 9 3.png

Image of Gandhi's funeral procession.
Glyph 9 4.png

The second puzzle involved solving a Caesar cipher to obtain the access code.

The solved Caesar wheel.
Glyph 9 5.png

A message followed.

Glyph 9 6.png

Apollo

The first puzzle involved using sonar to locate and identify the Apollo 11 landing module.

The solved image.
Glyph 10 1.png

A Masonic pigpen cipher that read "Johnson was one of them. The bee's drone too. Follow the money" was hidden in the image.

The next puzzle was solved by correctly aligning the gaps across the rings.

The solved image.
Glyph 10 2.png

The third puzzle involved using sonar signals to locate the Apple of Eden.

The solved image.
Glyph 10 3.png

Hidden messages were present in a negative visible underneath the official image. When scanned, the flag on the landing module contained the Abstergo logo, and the white flag contained the Templar insignia.

The Inventor

A message preceded the first puzzle.
Glyph 11 1.png

The first puzzle involved activating all the lightbulbs across the world map.

The first solved image.
Glyph 11 2.png

The second puzzle was solved by finding hidden images in the photos.

The second solved image.
Glyph 11 3.png

The third solved image.
Glyph 11 4.png

Hidden message were present in the images.

Titans of Industry

The first puzzle puzzle involved solving a Caesar cipher to obtain the access code.

The solved puzzle.
Glyph 12 1.png

A message followed.
Glyph 12 2.png

The second puzzle involved breaking all lightbulbs across the globe.

The solved image.
Glyph 12 3.png

The third puzzle involved selecting the Apple of Eden held in Mark Twain's hands.
Glyph 12 4.png

A hidden Morse cipher reading "They used it to make Tesla go insane. The organization took his research. Alien Property Custodian Office." was present in the image.

The fourth puzzle involved solving a Caesar cipher to obtain the access code.

The solved puzzle.
Glyph 12 5.png

A message followed.

Glyph 12 6.png

I Am Become Death, The Destroyer of Worlds

The first puzzle puzzle involved solving a Caesar cipher to obtain the access code.

The solved puzzle.
Glyph 13 1.png

A message followed.
Glyph 13 2.png

The next image presented a big red button, which had to be pressed to continue.
Glyph 13 3.png

A recording of the atomic bomb test followed.
Glyph 13 4.png

The second puzzle involved using a Geiger counter to locate the numeric code.

The solved image.

Glyph 13 5.png

Bloodlines

The puzzle was solved by selecting the paintings which portrayed a union of gods and mortals.

The solved image.

Glyph 14 1.png

Guardians

The first puzzle was solved by rotating the various rings in turn until they formed an image.

The solved image.
Glyph 15 1.png

The second puzzle involved highlighting various assassination targets across the globe.

The solved image.

Glyph 15 2.png

The Cavalry

A message preceded the first puzzle.
Glyph 16 1.png

The first puzzle involved selecting Tunguska on the map.
Glyph 16 4.png

The second puzzle involved dragging the Staff of Eden to the portrait of Nikola Tesla.
Glyph 16 2.png

A recording of the Tunguska Event was displayed afterwards.

Glyph 16 3.png

The Bunker

The first puzzle puzzle involved solving a Caesar cipher to obtain the access code.

The solved puzzle.
Glyph 17 1.png

A message followed.
Glyph 17 2.png

The second puzzle was solved by locating the Assassin insignia in the image of the Führerbunker.

The solved image.
Glyph 17 3.png

A hidden Caesar cipher which read "The double was killed in the bunker" was present in the image.

An image of the destroyed bunker was displayed afterwards.

Glyph 17 4.png

Synapses

The first puzzle puzzle involved solving a Caesar cipher to obtain the access code.

The solved puzzle.
Glyph 18 1.png

A message followed.
Glyph 18 2.png

The second puzzle involved moving the cursor over all of the synapses.

Glyph 18 3.png

The Fourth Day

The first puzzle was solved by selecting the images containing depictions of the Sun.

The solved puzzle.
Glyph 19 1.png

The second puzzle involved using sonar signals to locate the Earth within the Sun.

The solved image.

Glyph 19 2.png

Origin of the Species

The first puzzle was solved by rotating the various rings in turn until they formed an image.

The solved puzzle.
Glyph 20 1.png

The second puzzle was solved by locating the hidden image.

The solved image.
Glyph 20 2.png

The third puzzle had the words "Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted" written in it, meaning this puzzle had no right or wrong answer to it.
Glyph 20 3.png

A message followed.
Glyph 20 4.png

The fourth puzzle was solved by using the Apple of Eden to alter the hominid skeleton into a human one.

The image of skeleton being altered.

Glyph 20 5.png

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Assassin's Creed IIModern day
  2. Assassin's CreedWarren Vidic's email – Subject header: "Subject No. 16"
  3. Assassin's Creed – Modern day
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood – Modern day