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"The Hidden Blade has been a constant companion of ours over the years. Some would say it defines us—and they would not be entirely wrong. Many of our successes would not have been possible without it."
―Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's Codex, page 13.[src]-[m]
Eerste-info-onthuld-over-assassin-s-creed-2 5 460x0

Front and back of the Hidden Blade; extended (center), and retracted (right)

The Hidden Blade is the signature weapon of the members of the Assassin Brotherhood, designed as their primary means of enacting assassinations. Consisting of a blade that can be discreetly extended or retracted from a bracer or gauntlet, the Hidden Blade's portability and concealability complement the Assassins' trademark affinity for stealth and freerunning. It allowed an Assassin to eliminate a target while drawing virtually no attention to themselves, and the techniques developed for its use often ensure near-instantaneous death.

Aside from its practical applications, the blade possesses a ceremonial status that owes to its long history, dating back to the Achaemenid Empire when the Protectors of Persia's leader Darius used it to kill the Persian king Xerxes I in 465 BCE.[1] The blade later travelled to Egypt with Darius.[2] By the 1st century BCE, Cleopatra had acquired the weapon and gifted it to her agent Aya, who in turn gave it to her husband Bayek[3] while Aya made herself a replica.[4] Bayek cemented it as the signature weapon of the Hidden Ones,[5] and through them, the Assassin Brotherhood.[6] Since then, the Hidden Blade has continued to evolve throughout the millennia.

Originally requiring the removal of a ring finger to facilitate the extension of the blade, the weapon was modified during the Mentorship of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad so that such a sacrifice was no longer necessary. Further modifications were carried out by various branches of the Brotherhood in subsequent centuries, often by individual users seeking to adapt it to their personal styles. Such examples include Shao Jun's Hidden Footblade;[7] the Pivot Blades used by Fujibayashi Naoe[8], Miko, Haytham Kenway, and Ratonhnhaké:ton;[9] Arbaaz Mir's Trident Blade;[10] and most recently, the modern Shock Blade.[11]

Design[]

"The blade is designed to ensure the commitment of whoever wields it."
―Leonardo da Vinci, regarding the Hidden Blade, 1476.[src]-[m]
Ace 3 v

Ezio Auditore with his father's Hidden Blade

As its name implies, the Hidden Blade is a concealable weapon that is composed of a narrow blade set into a channel on the underside of a bracer or gauntlet. Controlled by a spring-loaded mechanism, the blade can spontaneously extend and retract from its position.[12][13][14][15] While this mechanism has differed between models over the centuries,[14][16][17][18] the one in use by the Alamut Hidden Ones employed a leather patch over the amputated finger stump and tied to the blade.[19][20] This string, when tugged by extending the finger alongside a simultaneous flicking of the wrist, activated the mechanism and unleashed the blade.[14][16] The successive early Levantine Brotherhood would instead use a ring looped around the little finger for the same effect.[14][16]

The use of the Hidden Blade initially required the amputation of a ring finger as a means of allowing the blade to be extended should the user clench their fist. However, this is not to say that the blade itself was inoperable without the sacrifice,[14] as individuals like Bayek,[3] Layla Hassan,[21] and Kassandra[22] were capable of using the blade by simply flicking their wrists. As the blade's size allowed it to fit neatly through the resulting gap,[12] when an Assassin clenched their fist, the weapon essentially functioned as an extension of the Assassin's own spirit and body—a literal replacement for the lost finger.[14] In this way, the sacrifice demanded with the use of the Hidden Blade was meant to demonstrate the absolute commitment of the one wielding it.[12][13][5][14] This custom first began when Bayek accidentally severed his ring finger during his assassination of the Order of the Ancients member Eudoros.[23]

AC altair hidden blade

Altaïr with his Hidden Blade extended

Nevertheless, the custom proved to be a handicap, as the early Levantine Assassins could be recognized by their missing fingers.[24] To rectify this, the blade's mechanism was modified in the 13th century[15] by the Levantine Mentor Altaïr Ibn-la'Ahad—as outlined in his Codex—so as to no longer require such an extreme sacrifice and to keep Assassins from being identified so easily.[13] Instead, from the time of this reform until at least the early 20th century,[25] Assassins who still chose to physically mark their devotion to the cause used a variety of options, such as branding their left ring finger during their initiation into the Order[13][26][27] or having it tattooed.[14] However, some more traditional-minded guilds like the Spanish Brotherhood retained the practice of the finger sacrifice until as late as the 15th century.[28]

The blade's redesign overhauled the trigger mechanism as well, such that from then on, the blade was launched not by pulling at a ring on the little finger, but by a pressure switch inside the bracer itself. As with the former mechanism, flexing of the wrist remained the means of activation though the little finger was no longer involved in the process.[14][17]

Components[]

With the aid of his Apple of Eden, Altaïr re-discovered a lost formula for a secret alloy utilized by the ancient Isu. Under his leadership, Hidden Blades were forged from this metal.[13][14] Because the metals for this alloy were scarce, the Mentor had to be mindful of the supply of Hidden Blades. By the end of his life, his fear that the alloy would be stolen and appropriated by nefarious forces led him to erase all records of its formula entirely. As a result, he took this secret to his grave.[13][24] Hidden Blades afterwards reverted back to employing lesser, common metals such as iron for its blade.[25]

The standard model of Hidden Blade crafted by the Italian Brotherhood during the Renaissance was constructed from a bar of iron, at least two metal coils, three gears, two sprockets, one chain, and three screws alongside the hide for the leather bracer.[25]

Fragility and metal deflection plate[]

Due to their small size, Hidden Blades could be broken when struck with enough force and were not originally designed for full-fledged combat.[12] Although the use of Isu metal by Altaïr temporarily eliminated this flaw, not all Assassins had the luxury of accessing Hidden Blades forged from this alloy. Several Assassins after him had their blades broken in combat under the blow of a sword, including Giovanni Auditore[29] and his son Ezio.[24]

Edward Kenway Memory 16

Edward Kenway holding Duncan Walpole's broken Hidden Blade

In 1715, the blade of the Assassin turncoat Duncan Walpole was bent out of shape in the midst of combat with the pirate Edward Kenway, rendering it unusable.[18] This fragility persists in modern times; in 2015, the Master Assassin Galina Voronina's rush to stab the Master Templar Juhani Otso Berg missed and embedded her blades in a pillar behind him, allowing him the chance to punch her arms and snap the stuck blades.[11]

As a result, Assassins throughout history typically favoured more conventional weapons such as swords in open conflict, with Hidden Blades only relegated to assassinations.[12] Their short length—with a lesser reach than that of daggers—meant that without upgrades, they were unsuited for parrying. In his modifications, Altaïr added a plate forged from Precursor metal to act as reinforced barriers for the bracer.[13] As demonstrated by Ezio, this near-indestructible plate was highly effective at deflecting the strikes of other weapons.[13][26] In spite of its efficiency, this innovation was not ubiquitous, unlike the redesign that removed the necessity of severing the ring finger. As late as the 18th and 19th centuries, Assassins from the French[30] and British Brotherhoods could not feasibly utilize Hidden Blades in combat.[31]

History[]

Early use[]

ACOD Darius assassinate Xerxes

Darius asasssinating Xerxes with his Hidden Blade

The first recorded use of the Hidden Blade was in ancient Persia during the 5th century BCE, when Darius forged[32] and used it to assassinate King Xerxes I.[13][1] After fleeing Persia to escape the Order of the Ancients, Darius continued to rely on his Hidden Blade as his primary weapon of choice. He took the weapon with him to the Greek world, where he joined forces with the mercenary Kassandra and fought off the invading Order of the Ancients at the height of the Peloponnesian War. He would subsequently take it with him to Egypt.[2]

By the end of the Peloponnesian War, Kassandra had acquired a Hidden Blade of her own.[33] Unlike her former compatriot Darius, she wore it under her left forearm and, unlike later users of the weapon, did not have to lose a finger to operate it.[22]

The Hidden Blade's history of use was extended further in Egypt during the Ptolemaic Kingdom when Darius' Hidden Blade was given to his descendant Aya by Queen Cleopatra to aid in their quest to take down the Order of the Ancients; Aya in turn later gave it to her husband, Bayek.[3] It was the accidental severing of Bayek's ring finger[23] that began the custom of removing said finger as well as wearing the blade on the anterior forearm.[5]

ACV The Prodigal Prince 13

Eivor trying out her Hidden Blade

In 870, the Viking Sigurd Styrbjornsson killed the Hidden One Ammon in Bulgar,[34] as revenge for slaying his cousin Knud.[35] After defeating his opponent, Sigurd severed Ammon's wrist with an axe and took his Hidden Blade for himself,[34] though he later gifted it to his adopted sister Eivor Varinsdottir upon his return to Norway. Much to the protestations of the visiting Hidden One Hytham, Eivor unknowingly wore the weapon like Darius had, with the blade on top of the wrist rather than below it, though her justification was that she had no wish to hide the exquisite weapon.[36] She continued to sport it this way for years up until her death.[20]

By the 12th century, Assassins were regularly outfitted with a Hidden Blade as part of their equipment. The blades saw a wide and extensive use for assassinations, as they could be easily kept out of sight and allowed for quicker and stealthier eliminations.[12] Following his rise through the Levantine Brotherhood's ranks to become their Mentor in 1191, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad was inspired by the Apple of Eden to redesign the Hidden Blades so that they could be used without the removal of the ring finger, a construction that became common thereafter.[13]

Advancements in design[]

"Despite its age, the construction is rather advanced. I've never seen anything quite like it."
―Leonardo da Vinci studying the Hidden Blade.[src]
Lineage Hidden Blade

Giovanni Auditore's Hidden Blade

By the 15th century, the updated Hidden Blade design was dispersed throughout the Old World. The mechanism no longer required a wrist "flick" to release the blade, allowing the user to extend or retract it without any hand movement. Additionally, the weapon could be used with a clenched fist; Giovanni Auditore was one of the few known Assassins to use it in this manner.[29]

Through studying pages from Altaïr's codex, Leonardo da Vinci was able to provide Ezio Auditore with a variety of upgrades,[13] such as the addition of a second Hidden Blade,[37] a concept first conceived of by a 9th-century Ottoman Hidden One in Constantinople that still required severing his other finger.[38] The right to bear two Hidden Blades was thereafter reserved for those who had earned the rank of Master Assassin.[13] Later innovations to the weapon's design included a hook, most common to the Ottoman Assassins;[24] a blade hidden under the foot, utilized by the Chinese Assassin Shao Jun;[7] and a blade that could pivot and be used in a manner similar to a dagger.[8][9]

ACIII-LostSon 2

Ratonhnhaké:ton receiving his Hidden Blades

By the 18th century, use of dual blades had become more common, as suggested by a large number of such weapons collected by the Templar Julien du Casse. Slight structural changes had also emerged, with the blades used by the Caribbean Assassins, and the Colonial Assassins prior to the purge in 1763, being wider than those seen in 16th-century Europe.[18] The Colonial Assassins' Mentor Achilles Davenport later acquired a Pivot Blade and passed it to his apprentice Ratonhnhaké:ton, who often wielded it in conjunction with his tomahawk.[9]

During the French Revolution, the French Assassins utilized Phantom Blades, which could fire silent bolts via a crossbow-like mechanism attached to the gauntlet.[30] Similar modifications to the Hidden Blade had been made previously by Leonardo da Vinci for Francesco Vecellio in the early 16th century,[25] and by Yun Pyeong-Gyu for Edward Kenway in 1725.[39] In the mid-19th century, the Indian Assassin Arbaaz Mir utilized a Hidden Blade in the form of a trident, composed of three blades.[10]

Modern times[]

Nikolai's hidden blade

Nikolai Orelov's Hidden Blade

During the late 19th and early 20th century, the Hidden Blade was still a part of standard Assassin attire and continued to be commonly used in close combat. However, they began to decline in usage shortly after and were retained largely only by high-ranking Assassins, such as Paul Bellamy, for purposes of tradition. They were also used as part of initiation ceremonies, such as when Daniel Cross was gifted with a Hidden Blade by the Mentor in 2000.[40]

Regular use of the Hidden Blade, while uncommon in the 21st century, is still practised in some regions. In 2013, members of the Onmoraki-Gumi, a yakuza branch taken over by the Japanese Brotherhood in Osaka, wore Hidden Blades that were concealed by the long sleeves of their suits.[41]

By the 21st century, the Indian Assassins once again used a new design of this iconic weapon, one that incorporated an explosive device. This mechanism could be remotely activated by a touch screen on another wirelessly connected Hidden Blade and served as a means to dispose of the body of a fallen comrade. When Jasdip Dhami activated the weapon of his dead sister Siobhan in 2013, the explosion was so powerful that it destroyed an entire floor of a building. Aside from this, this particular model shifted the blade to the side, defying the usual custom of hiding it beneath the wrist.[10]

Combat[]

AC1 Hidden Blade Counter

Altaïr performing a counter with the Hidden Blade

As its main purpose was for stealthy assassinations, the Hidden Blade could only be used in combat under certain conditions, and could not block any attack. Altaïr was only able to assassinate a guard who had fallen to the ground or became inattentive.[12] Altaïr could also use the Hidden Blade in a counterattack; however, the time frame was extremely short in comparison to that of his sword and dagger. Successfully intercepting an attack enabled one of several different—and always lethal—counterattacks.[12]

The Hidden Blade became more useful in combat due to upgrades over time. The mounting of a metal plate on the opposite side of the blade allowed it to be used defensively. In terms of an offense; when used together, the dual Hidden Blades were swift but less damaging in comparison to a sword, with more utility in suppressing enemy attacks. In addition; every counterattack with the Hidden Blades resulted in an instant kill, with only the narrow timing window as a disadvantage.[13]

Other users[]

DanielKillMentor

Daniel Cross assassinating the Mentor

Despite it being their primary and most recognizable feature, the Hidden Blade's use has not always been exclusive to the Assassins, with some even falling into the hands of the Templar Order. Several Assassins who betrayed their order and joined the Templars were known to keep their Hidden Blades rather than dispose of them, understanding their usefulness. Vali cel Tradat[24] and Shay Cormac were both examples of this, and both actively used them to hunt down and kill many of their former brothers and sisters.[42]

Other Templars were known to take Hidden Blades as trophies from Assassins they had encountered; Haytham Kenway,[9] Julien du Casse,[18] and Francis Cotton[10] were examples, with Haytham's left Hidden Blade being taken from the British Assassin Miko after a duel[43] and later being taken in turn by his son Ratonhnhaké:ton as a memento.[9] Daniel Cross also possessed a Hidden Blade which the Assassins' Mentor gave to him immediately before Daniel used to kill him;[40] he then turned this blade over to his superiors at Abstergo, who studied and heavily modified the original design.[44] Finally, the French Templar Julie de la Serre, the wife of the French Grand Master François, used a blade hidden under her shoe.[45]

Upgrades and adaptations[]

Modifications by Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad[]

"The device has begun to show its age—and so I have been researching improvements beyond ending the need to remove one's finger to wield it."
―Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's Codex, page 13.[src]
ACB-HiddenBlade

The blade with the pistol and poison upgrades

In his studies of the Apple of Eden, Altaïr envisioned several upgrades for the Hidden Blade which he recorded in his Codex,[13] and which were implemented under his Mentorship.[24] Centuries later Ezio acquired these Codex pages over his travels, and Leonardo da Vinci recreated the improvements detailed within when Ezio presented him with a page.[13]

The first of these improvements was the provision of a metal plate on top of the primary blade's bracer. This allowed one to safely deflect enemy attacks with the blades and also made the blade more durable in combat. Most critically, the entire weapon was redesigned so as to eliminate the necessity of removing the ring finger for an extension. The third yet most simple was the provision of a secondary Hidden Blade; attached to the user's other arm and identical in every way to the first, allowing an Assassin to kill two targets, one beside the other, at once, whether on the ground or from the air.[13]

Poison Blade[]

Main article: Poison Blade

In a break from the prohibitions of his predecessor Al Mualim, Altaïr created the Poison Blade, a supplement to the Hidden Blade that is hollowed within to harbour poison that was injected when the blade was stabbed into a target. Because of its exceedingly thin profile and the requirement of a hollow chamber, the Poison Blade risked being particularly brittle, and in his Codex, Altaïr cautioned that deviations from his exact schematics would likely produce a blade that could easily fracture. Intended as an even less conspicuous weapon, the Poison Blade was not designed for high-profile assassinations, but to silently prick enemies and leave them to die slow deaths that occasionally serve as diversions for other enemies.[13]

Hidden Gun[]

Main article: Hidden Gun
ACBPistol

Ezio using the Hidden Gun in combat

An invention that was far ahead of its time, the Hidden Gun was a portable firearm built into the Hidden Blade's bracer which acted as a ranged counterpart to the usual blade. While its ammunition were shots typical of the pistols that were standard until the end of the early 19th century, its wheellock mechanism was far more sophisticated than the flintlocks of later centuries.[13]

Unlike later ranged variants, the Hidden Gun was as loud and disruptive as any typical firearm and emitted a cloud of smoke upon firing and consequently was not ideal for stealth; when Ezio used it to assassinate the Templar Marco Barbarigo, he timed his firing with the explosion of fireworks at the Carnevale to disguise the noise. Nevertheless, as a concealed, ranged weapon, it was an effective and deadly tool for surprise assassinations, discreet up until the instant after its execution.[13] The first recorded victim of the Hidden Gun was Abbas Sofian when Altaïr shot him in 1247.[46]

Poison dart launcher[]

Main article: Poison dart

The Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci, as one of the closest friends to Ezio Auditore, was a chief engineer and inventor for the Italian Brotherhood; and, using the blueprints found in Altaïr's Codex, he implemented further improvements to the Hidden Blade. During his time in Rome, he crafted a ranged-variant of the Poison Blade, a poison dart launcher, which fired poison darts from a distance and acted as a silent alternative to the Hidden Gun, an even more inconspicuous weapon than the prior advancements.[26]

Hidden Bolt[]

"I ask if he can arm a crossbow bolt beneath my wrist. He ponders for a moment and declares it possible, but expensive."
―Francesco Vecellio asking Leonardo to create the Hidden Bolt.[src]

At the request of the Italian Assassin apprentice Francesco Vecellio, Leonardo designed the Hidden Bolt, a weapon that could fire small crossbow bolts. As Francesco was only an apprentice at the time, Ezio had not allowed him to use the Hidden Gun, and so Francesco had devised a similar, though lighter, alternative.[25] As a portable miniature wrist-mounted crossbow, the Hidden Bolt was a precursor to the later Phantom Blade used by the French Brotherhood during the 18th century.[30]

Two-pronged Blade[]

AC Movie Maria's Hidden Blade

María's Hidden Blade

During the Reconquista, the Spanish Assassin María used a variation of the Hidden Blade which consisted of two thinner blades positioned next to one another. Besides this modification, the weapon operated similarly to the traditional Hidden Blade.[28] Its template, as a two-pronged Hidden Blade, was later adopted in the 21st century as the basis for the Shock Blade.[14]

Hook blade[]

Main article: Hookblade
"The Hookblade helps you get around fast, surprise guards, and is not too bad in a fight."
―Yusuf Tazim to Ezio Auditore, 1511.[src]-[m]
Hookblade 3

Yusuf showing the Hookblade to Ezio

The Hookblade was a modification of the Hidden Blade that was first adopted by the Ottoman Assassins. Unlike the other Hidden Blade advancements, it was attached to the user's secondary Hidden Blade instead of the primary. It consisted of both a curved hook and a regular blade, allowing it to be used for freerunning as well as combat.[24]

Upon his arrival in the city of Constantinople, Ezio was introduced to this advancement by Yusuf Tazim, who instructed the former in its application in both navigation and combat. With regard to the former, the Hookblade extended one's reach while climbing and leaping and could be used in conjunction with ziplines that had been installed throughout Constantinople. Additionally, it allowed the wielder to perform the "hook-and-run", a maneuver in which the wielder flipped over enemies to pass them by.[24]

The Hookblade also aided in battle by allowing a wider variety of attacks or counters, such as the "hook-and-throw", which pulled in targets for a close-range attack. In addition, it permitted one to "counter-steal", essentially tearing off an enemy's purse with the blade, which provoked them further and left them open to an easy counterattack. Aside from this, the Hookblade could be used to pull down scaffolds while on the run, thereby slowing down or eliminating pursuers. This was particularly useful when done in conjunction with caltrop bombs.[24]

Hidden Footblade[]

ACE-V 9

Shao Jun utilizing her Hidden Footblade in melee combat

Also referred to as the Hidden Shoe Blade, the Hidden Footblade was a modification made to the Hidden Blade by the Chinese Assassin Shao Jun. It allowed its users to maintain a low profile in areas where weapons were deemed restricted, as well as to surprise unsuspecting assailants with the combined use of blade and footwork, typically augmented through the studied use of leg-based martial arts. Shao Jun developed skilled footwork and flexibility because she danced in the imperial court when she was a concubine for the Zhengde Emperor, who refused to bind her feet. It was one of her favorite methods of assassination.[7][47]

However, this tactic was not solely exclusive to the Assassin Order. In 1776, the French Templar Julie de la Serre implemented the use of a Hidden Footblade in combat with the rogue Assassin Bernard Ruddock and his accomplice who had been hired to eliminate her and her daughter Élise.[45]

Pivot Blade[]

ACIII-Laststand 17

Ratonhnhaké:ton stabbing Haytham Kenway with the Pivot Blade

By the late 16th century, the Hidden Blade had become an even deadlier tool thanks to the development of the Pivot Blade, which allowed its user to rotate the blade 90 degrees and wield it like a dagger. The earliest known user of this new type of Hidden Blade was Fujibayashi Naoe, a Japanese Assassin during the late Sengoku period[8] who had modified the mechanism to fit a tantō.[48] The British Assassin Miko also used one until 1753, when the British Templar Haytham Kenway stole it from him during their duel in Corsica;[49] Haytham kept the blade with him for the rest of his life, only rarely using its pivot function. The Colonial Assassins' Mentor Achilles Davenport later acquired another Pivot Blade and passed it onto his apprentice Ratonhnhaké:ton.[9]

Because it could pivot in either direction, the blade could be wielded in either a conventional or reverse grip, and its main function was to render the carrying of an additional short blade unnecessary.[8][9] It could also be dual-wielded on the off-hand alongside a primary weapon, like a sword or tomahawk, in which case it would serve as a parrying dagger. The durability of its design was such that it could not be broken, even with the swing of an axe.[9]

When not used in open combat, the Pivot Blade could be retracted into the Hidden Blade configuration for stealthy assassinations. Moreover, the blade had utility in the wilderness.[8][9] Since it is double-edged with one side serrated, it was handy for skinning animals, and Ratonhnhaké:ton often employed this feature while hunting.[9]

Phantom Blade[]

Main article: Phantom Blade
The Kingdom of Beggars 3

Arno's Phantom Blade

The Phantom Blade was a variation of the traditional Hidden Blade, most notably utilized by the French Assassins during the French Revolution.[30] However, the earliest known iteration was designed in 1725 by the Korean engineer Yun Pyeong-Gyu, who modified Edward Kenway's right Hidden Blade during the latter's time in Southeast Asia.[39]

Taking inspiration from crossbows and condensing one onto the gauntlet, the Phantom Blade complemented the Hidden Blade with an option to deliver a swift and silent assassination at range. It could be loaded with either a regular bolt or a bolt laced with berserk toxins and could be modified to allow two shots per round.[30]

Trident Blade[]

3blades

Arbaaz Mir's three-pronged Trident Blade

The Trident Blade was a variation of the Assassins' signature weapon known to have been wielded by Arbaaz Mir, a member of the Indian Brotherhood during the mid-19th century. What set this Hidden Blade design apart was the inclusion of an outer compartment which could open out to form a three-pronged fork, revealing another blade nestled within.[10]

Shock Blade[]

Shock blade

Concept art of the Shock Blade

The Shock Blade was a type of Hidden Blade used during the 21st century, replacing the traditional steel blade with two parallel blades. Upon penetration into the flesh of the target, it generated an electrical arc, electrocuting the target and internally cauterizing the wound. By 2015, some Assassins were equipped with this new kind of weapon, most notably Shaun Hastings, who used it to assassinate the high-ranking Templar Isabelle Ardant in London.[11]

Composite Blade[]

Callum bloody blade

Callum's Hidden Blade

In order to infiltrate high-security areas, the Composite Blade was designed to be taken apart and put back together easily, with most of the separate components resembling everyday items, such as a belt buckle, a mobile phone case, and a pen. In 2016, Callum Lynch and a small group of Assassins infiltrated the Templar Council of Elders' meeting at Holborn Hall in London, assembling the blade in a secluded area of the building. Callum then used the Composite Blade to slit Grand Master Alan Rikkin's throat before reclaiming Aguilar's Apple of Eden.[28]

Razor-Wire Blade[]

In 2017, the Japanese Brotherhood's Mentor Saeko Mochizuki sent Kiyoshi Takakura a Razor-Wire gauntlet while he was on a mission abroad. Kiyoshi used his new gauntlet in Spain against two Instruments of the First Will members who restrained him, activating the device and severing their limbs.[50]

Replicas[]

"The assassin leaps! As he lands upon the senator, a weapon protrudes from his wrist. Pierces his victim's neck!"
―Fiora Cavazza observing an Assassin's technique.[src]-[m]

In their study of the Assassins' methods and weaponry, several members of the Templar Order created their own variations of the Hidden Blade, though the mechanism and appearance often differed.[25] Additionally, the practice was not exclusive to the Order, some existing instances have been taken into account.

Switchblade[]

ACB prowler switchblade

Il Lupo's switchblade

The first known instance of this was in the early 16th century when Fiora Cavazza and Baltasar de Silva tailed the Assassins of Rome in order to take note of their techniques. They eventually trained Il Lupo in the Assassins' ways and equipped him with a switchblade; a Hidden Blade variation that split into two parts, folding forward only when in use.[25] The smuggler and Templar Lia de Russo also wore her own Hidden Blade, and though its mechanisms seemed to match that of the Assassins, it was worn on top of her forearm, rather than underneath.[26]

Corvix Blade[]

The Italian scientist Demetrio il Silente designed a Hidden Blade replica based on blueprints the Templars-affiliated Crows had stolen from the Villa Auditore. These replicas bore the symbol of a crow's head and were the counter-Assassin group's preferred weapon.[15]

Hidden Kunai[]

ACFT - Hidden Kunai

Shimazu Saito's "hidden kunai"

In 1725, Yun Pyeong-Gyu created a mechanism for Shimazu Saito's left wrist bracer which allowed her to store her kunai and take it out at will. It functioned similarly to the Hidden Blade's retractable mechanism, and Yun even mentioned taking inspiration from Edward Kenway's blades when designing it.[51]

Hand-crafted[]

While disguised as a slave in Chichen Itza, the Assassin Aveline de Grandpré was forced to make replica Hidden Blades by scrounging up knives, belts, and wood. The end result was deemed crude but effective.[52]

Bi-jointed[]

In modern times, during the second stage of simulations hosted by the Animi Training Program of Abstergo Industries, every recruit was given access to a variation of the Hidden Blade. The virtual weapon was also worn under the left forearm, but its blade folded along two circular joints when not in use.[24]

Telescopic[]

As part of the console stage of Abstergo Entertainment's Animus technology, the Animi Avatars contained within could use another variation of the Hidden Blade, this time possessing a two-part telescopic function to the mechanism.[9]

Electric shock baton[]

ACFT - Shock baton

Noa Kim wielding the electric shock baton gauntlet

The Abstergo Industries special agent Yuki carried a bracer which featured a retractable electric shock baton. Its design and mechanism were similar to those of the Hidden Blade, functioning as a non-lethal alternative.[53] In 2023, after being injured in an ambush by the criminal organization Doom Eagle, Yuki entrusted the bracer to Noa Kim in order for him to protect Shimazu Sei.[53] Noa went on to use it to dispatch a number of Doom Eagle thugs who were pursuing him and Sei.[54]

Weapon statistics[]

Anglo-Saxon England (9th century)[]

Name Damage Speed Miss Chance Modifiers Requirements
Basim's Blades 700-820 1.00 10% +40 Attack
+20 Defense
+60 Health
+6% Critical Chance
+10% Critical Bonus
+8% Dodge
+110 Lethality
+20 Dexterity
+35 Agility
300,000 Coins
175 Damascus steel
100 Gold ingots
1 Ancient tablet

Spanish Renaissance (15th century)[]

Name Tier Damage Speed Miss Chance Modifiers Requirements
Hidden Blades 2-6 1.00 15% N/A 1,200 R
15 Copper Ore
15 Tin Ore
Wave Blades 3-5 1.00 15% +5 Lethality 1,200 R
10 Copper Ore
10 Tin Ore
Barbed Blades ★★ 6-19 1.00 15% +3% Critical Chance
+15% Critical Bonus
6,000 R
75 Iron Ore
75 Tanned Leather
Fine Hidden Blades ★★ 7-17 1.00 15% +5 Dexterity 4,000 R
50 Iron Ore
50 Leather Scraps
1 Hidden Blades
Fine Wave Blades ★★ 6-16 1.00 15% +8 Lethality 4,000 R
40 Iron Ore
40 Leather Scraps
1 Wave Blades
Serrated Blades ★★★ 20-40 1.00 15% +10 Dexterity 13,500 R
125 Steel Ingot
125 Silver Ingot
Fine Barbed Blades ★★★ 20-45 1.00 15% +3% Critical Chance
+30% Critical Bonus
10,000 R
150 Steel Ingot
150 Hardened Leather
1 Barbed Blades
Double Blades ★★★★ 65-105 1.00 15% +12 Lethality
+12 Dexterity
28,000 R
225 Toledo Steel
225 Steel Ingot
Master Serrated Blades ★★★★ 62-102 1.00 15% +12 Dexterity 21,000 R
200 Toledo Steel
200 Silver Ingot
1 Serrated Blades
Extortionate Pair ★★★★★ 400-500 1.00 10% +15 Attack
+5% Critical Chance
+30% Critical Bonus
+10% Dodge
+68 Dexterity
150,000 R
120 Damascus Steel
40 Gold ingots
1 Obsidian
Ruthless Blades ★★★★★ 410-495 1.00 15% +3% Critical Chance
+40% Critical Bonus
+50 Lethality
+50 Dexterity
150,000 R
110 Damascus Steel
45 Gold Ingot
1 Jet
Sultan's Vengeance ★★★★★ 710-820 1.00 15% +4% Critical Chance
+55% Critical Bonus
+5% Dodge
+90 Lethality
+145 Dexterity
300,000 R
220 Damascus Steel
90 Gold Ingot
1 Ancient Tablet
Lover's Parting ★★★★★ 670-785 1.00 15% +5% Critical Chance
+50% Critical Bonus
+4% Dodge
+115 Lethality
+115 Dexterity
300,000 R
220 Damascus Steel
90 Gold Ingot
1 Ancient Tablet
Auditore Blades ★★★★★ 695-810 1.00 15% +6% Critical Chance
+45% Critical Bonus
+3% Dodge
+170 Lethality
+90 Dexterity
300,000 R
220 Damascus Steel
90 Gold Ingot
1 Ancient Tablet

Colonial Louisiana (18th century)[]

Damage Speed Combo kill Chain-kill Cost Persona
2 5 5 2 N/A Assassin, Slave, Lady

Behind the scenes[]

Design[]

Assassin's Creed: Renaissance and early concept art for Assassin's Creed II show Ezio possessing three Hidden Blades; one on his right, and two on his left.

The original design of Ezio's second Hidden Blade in Assassin's Creed II is displayed as a brown glove. However, in-game it is replaced with a second bracer. This was reverted in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, however, where his second Hidden Blade included a glove until a bracer had been purchased.

Concept art for the Hidden Blade's modern form of the "Shock Blade" is shown in the Assassin's Creed Encyclopedia.

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood box art, its E3 Trailer, and other official media including the opening cinematics for Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and Assassin's Creed III depict Ezio with a secondary Hidden Blade bracer that is identical to his primary one even though no such second bracer exists in-game. The same occurs with Ratonhnhaké:ton on the "Ignite the Revolution" poster and in the box art for Assassin's Creed III.

In early concept art for Assassin's Creed III; rope darts were integrated onto the Hidden Blade's bracer, envisioned as the "Chain Blade". This concept was later modified to be closer to reality, resulting in the "Chain Blade" being scrapped for a more reasonable alternative. This ultimately developed into a grappling hook for the Hidden Blade in Assassin's Creed: Syndicate used by the twins Evie and Jacob Frye. However, in the comic Assassin's Creed: Templars, a similar weapon is used by the Black Cross Albert Bolden.

The second Hidden Blade is marginally longer than the primary one in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.

Early images of Assassin's Creed: Revelations show Ezio with a Hookblade on his left arm rather than on his right. In these, the hook was incorporated directly into the blade, rather than as a separate function. The actual hook of the Hookblade resembles the head of an eagle, a bird frequently associated with the Assassin Order.

In a 2011 IGN interview, Ubisoft Montreal's then-Creative Director Alexandre Amancio described the Hookblade as a "more fluid, faster, and more fun" way to travel intended to increase navigation speed by a factor of 30% in Revelations, in comparison to previous instalments of the Assassin's Creed series.[55] The Hookblade was also considered for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, but the game's lead writer Darby McDevitt objected, wanting to dispel the stereotype of hook-handed pirates.[56] Unlike the Hidden Gun and Poison Blade, the Hookblade supplemented Ezio's secondary Hidden Blade, rather than his primary one. One concept art by Martin Deschambault for Assassin's Creed II shows two unimplemented Hidden Blade upgrades; a retracting arrow-shaped blade, and a retracting trident-ended blade for parrying weapons and disarming enemies. His art also shows two designs of the blade itself, a feather-like look and a normal blade with designed holes. Noticeable similarities with this concept and that of the Trident Blade aesthetically suggest that the design may have been used to create Arbaaz Mir's Hidden Blade.

In Deschambault's concept art for Assassin's Creed: Origins, it shows how the original Hidden Blade from Persia in 500 BCE was originally worn above the right forearm rather than under the left wrist and did not require the sacrifice of the user's ring finger. This was later shown in Assassin's Creed: Odyssey with Darius wielding the first Hidden Blade above his right forearm whilst keeping all ten fingers. Additional concept art for Bayek's Hidden Blade differs from its final in-game design, in which the blade was hollowed out in the center, unlike the final design. However, a Hidden Blade with a hollowed out center resembling the concept art is used for the third, fourth, and fifth Hidden Blade upgrades in-game.

Mechanism[]

In Assassin's Creed's 2006 E3 teaser trailer, as well as in certain concept art, Altaïr can be seen pushing a button to operate his Hidden Blade. In-game, however, no such button or other trigger mechanism existed.

In the Assassin's Creed: Renaissance and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood novels, unleashing the Hidden Blade required the use of a button, via a certain muscle on the forearm being flexed. The same mechanism also triggered the Hidden Gun when Ezio's thumb was pushed to the left.

In an Assassin's Creed developer diary video, Jade Raymond spoke about the lack of Altaïr's ring finger and the Assassins' initiation ceremony.

The Hidden Blade is a crafted item in Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy. The materials for its construction are 2 Coils; 1 Iron, 1 Hide and 1 Box of Components. The latter in turn is crafted using 3 Gears; 3 Screws, 1 Chain and 2 Sprockets.

In Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade, the trigger mechanism is depicted as a ring worn around a pinky finger. Movement of that finger causes the blade to extend or retract.

Custom dictates that the Hidden Blade usually be worn on the left hand, as demonstrated by all Assassins who wield only one Hidden Blade.

The closest novel adaptation of the Hidden Blade to the in-game version appears in Assassin's Creed: Black Flag, wherein Edward Kenway stated he had activated the blade by the tensing of a muscle that comes from the upper arm as well as the forearm, and a simultaneous flick of the wrist. This is much unlike the ring-triggered or button mechanisms as mentioned in previous novels, thus more like the in-game Hidden Blade. However, this mechanism comes with the dangerous risk of accidentally activating the Hidden Blade while flicking the wrist unintentionally, which can result in the death of a person or the wielder themselves. This is acknowledged in Assassin's Creed: Underworld where, at one point, Ethan Frye rests his chin on his left hand while wearing a Hidden Blade, with the blade itself less than an inch from his throat.

Miscellaneous[]

In Assassin's Creed, despite being equipped with a Hidden Blade, some Assassins, such as Malik Al-Sayf, retained all fingers. This error was later corrected in Assassin's Creed: Revelations. However, the game presented another error, as Assassins would retain their amputated ring fingers even after Altaïr had changed the design of the blade so that amputation was no longer necessary.

In Assassin's Creed, the Hidden Blade is used in every major assassination. Even if an Assassin begins by attacking their target with a sword, they always finish them off with the Hidden Blade. Later games, however, changed so that the player can use any weapon they wish for major assassinations.

In Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines, if the PlayStation Portable was linked to Assassins Creed II, Altaïr's Hidden Blade can be upgraded to be able to block light and heavy attacks, as along with a variant of the Hidden Gun that fires throwing knives instead of bullets.

In Assassin's Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles, Altaïr can only use the Hidden Blade when standing directly behind an enemy for a low-profile assassination if that enemy is not a story-designated target. If the enemy is a specific assassination target; however, the player receives a prompt to high-profile assassinate from any position.

There is a glitch in the Assassin's Creed II memory "Practice What You Preach" wherein if Ezio purchases the Leather Vambrace armor from a blacksmith, instead of practicing the new assassination techniques, he acquires the second Hidden Blade before Leonardo has even made it for him.

The Hidden Blade can be used in Valve's Team Fortress 2 by the Spy class under the name "Sharp Dresser". It was available for those who pre-ordered Assassin's Creed: Revelations on Steam before 2 December 2011.

In many titles after Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, the Hidden Blade is restricted to stealth assassinations only, and is no longer selectable as a weapon to use in open combat. This is likely due to the removal of combo kills and counterattacks, which did not depend on a weapon's stats. That said, Jacob and Evie sometimes use the Hidden Blade in conjunction with their equipped weapon during kill animations. Usage of the Hidden Blade in combat returns in Assassin's Creed: Valhalla. However, it can only used in certain special attacks as opposed to being a selectable weapon in-game; one attack can have Eivor can use the Hidden Blade as her Left Hand Action if she is not wielding anything in her off-hand and isn't wielding a two-handed weapon such as spears and great swords.

In Assassin's Creed III and Assassin's Creed III: Liberation, some British, Continental, and Spanish troops, more specifically the scouts, can perform an animation that is similar to the hook and run which would temporarily disorientate Ratonhnhaké:ton and Aveline.

There are several cutscenes in which Ezio's Hookblade is not actually on his wrist. Examples include his conversation with Yusuf in "Setting Sail" and whenever he recruits an Assassin.

In the Origins memory "End of the Snake" when Bayek assassinates Eudoros with the Hidden Blade, it always appears in its initial form, even if the player has upgraded the weapon.

Appearances[]

Non-canonical appearances[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Assassin's Creed: OdysseyLegacy of the First Blade: HuntedShadow of a Legend
  2. 2.0 2.1 Assassin's Creed: OdysseyLegacy of the First Blade: BloodlineLegacy of the First Blade
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Assassin's Creed: OriginsAya
  4. Assassin's Creed: OriginsFall of an Empire, Rise of Another
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Assassin's Creed: OriginsBirth of the Creed
  6. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Hidden Ones
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Assassin's Creed: Embers
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Assassin's Creed: Shadows
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 Assassin's Creed III
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Assassin's Creed: Brahman
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Assassin's Creed: SyndicateModern day
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 Assassin's Creed
  13. 13.00 13.01 13.02 13.03 13.04 13.05 13.06 13.07 13.08 13.09 13.10 13.11 13.12 13.13 13.14 13.15 13.16 13.17 13.18 Assassin's Creed II
  14. 14.00 14.01 14.02 14.03 14.04 14.05 14.06 14.07 14.08 14.09 14.10 Assassin's Creed: The Essential Guide
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Assassin's Creed: Identity
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade
  17. 17.0 17.1 Assassin's Creed: Renaissance
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
  19. Assassin's Creed: Mirage
  20. 20.0 20.1 Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
  21. Assassin's Creed: OriginsModern day
  22. 22.0 22.1 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaAssassin's Creed Crossover StoriesTossing and Turning
  23. 23.0 23.1 Assassin's Creed: OriginsEnd of the Snake
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 24.5 24.6 24.7 24.8 24.9 Assassin's Creed: Revelations
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 25.5 25.6 Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
  27. Assassin's Creed: Project LegacyHolidays: Chapter 1 – Ghosts of Christmas Past
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Assassin's Creed film
  29. 29.0 29.1 Assassin's Creed: Lineage
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 30.4 Assassin's Creed: Unity
  31. Assassin's Creed: Syndicate
  32. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyLegacy of the First Blade: Shadow HeritageTheatrics and Espionage
  33. Assassin's Creed: Nexus VR
  34. 34.0 34.1 Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Song of GloryIssue #3
  35. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Song of GloryIssue #2
  36. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Prodigal Prince
  37. Assassin's Creed IIPractice What You Preach
  38. Assassin's Creed: MirageNotes from Basim's travels: "Dual-Wielding"
  39. 39.0 39.1 Assassin's Creed: Forgotten TempleEpisode 31
  40. 40.0 40.1 Assassin's Creed: The FallIssue #3
  41. Assassin's Creed: InitiatesSurveillance
  42. Assassin's Creed: Rogue
  43. Assassin's Creed: Forsaken
  44. Assassin's Creed: The Chain
  45. 45.0 45.1 Assassin's Creed: Unity novel
  46. Assassin's Creed: RevelationsThe Mentor's Keeper
  47. Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China
  48. YouTube Assassin's Creed Shadows Explained - Samurai, Shinobi, and Feudal Japan on the Ubisoft YouTube channel
  49. Assassin's Creed: Forsaken – 25 June 1753
  50. Assassin's Creed: Uprising [citation needed]
  51. Assassin's Creed: Forgotten TempleEpisode 41
  52. Assassin's Creed III: LiberationGathering Tools
  53. 53.0 53.1 Assassin's Creed: Forgotten TempleEpisode 44
  54. Assassin's Creed: Forgotten TempleEpisode 45
  55. Miller, Greg (9 May 2011). Assassin's Creed Revelations Stars Ezio and Altair. IGN. Archived from the original on 19 October 2018. Retrieved on 12 August 2023.
  56. Valdes, Giancarlo (21 August 2013). False rumors, ugly cities, and sharks: How meticulous research shaped Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Venture Beat. Archived from the original on 12 August 2023. Retrieved on 12 August 2023.

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