Layla Hassan (Arabic: ليلى حسن; born 1984) is a member of the Assassin Brotherhood and former employee of Abstergo Industries. Forced to leave Abstergo following a Templar attempt on her life, she was offered a position with the Assassins by their leader, William Miles.
Though initially reluctant, she eventually joined the Assassins and became an important member of the Brotherhood, taking control of her own cell within a year. In 2018, her exploration of the memories of the Greek mercenary Kassandra led her to the ancient First Civilization complex of Atlantis, where she received the Staff of Hermes from Kassandra.
Born in Cairo to parents Ashraf and Zeniab Hassan, Layla and her family emigrated to the United States in 1986 when she was two, before finally settling in Queens, New York. It was there that Layla grew up alongside her two younger brothers, Rami and Kaden. She was granted American citizenship through a process known as naturalization.
In her childhood, Layla often drove her parents crazy as she always disassembled her toys rather than playing with them. She also disliked surprises and objects that seemed to work by magic, Growing up, Layla began showing a penchant for rulebreaking and she disliked the regimented nature of formal schooling, due to having an unpleasant experience of being punished for playing by the rules. This cemented her existenting tendency to buck authority.
After high school, Layla was pressured by her father into post-secondary enrolment despite her plans not to continue studies as well as her poor grades. However, she showed promise in engineering and this led her father to enrol her in the University of California in Bekerly under the electrical engineering program.
Working at Abstergo
However, Layla remained uncommited to her studies and found herself thriving in the campus' highly politicized atmosphere, feuding with the school's administration. It was during this time she met Sofia Rikkin, who was part of a delegation of Abstergo touring the campus with the company’s “young innovators” recruitment program.
Sophia was intrigued by Layla's interest in technology, and as such offered her a job with Abstergo where she could work her way up to the Animus lab. In 2006, Layla dropped out of the university and joined Abstergo, working in the Research and Development division.
Over the years, Abstergo used several of her ideas to make adjustments to the Animus, though she was never made aware of the company's Templar affiliations. Although Layla worked for Abstergo for eleven years, the one thing she wanted more than anything else was a promotion to work on the Animus Project. However, she was denied this offer due to her numerous transgressions of Abstergo protocols.
Assignment in Egypt
In 2017, as part of a Historical Tactical Team, Layla and her co-worker and best friend, Deanna Geary, were assigned by Simon Hathaway to find and retrieve an important historical artifact from the Qattara Depression in Egypt. During this expediton, Layla found the mummies of the ancient Assassins Bayek and Aya. Without informing her superiors, she used her own portable Animus to relive their memories from around the year 48 BCE in order to prove her worth to the Animus Project.
Layla's refusal to check in with Abstergo led to the company deploying a Sigma Team to find her and Deanna. While Deanna was assaulted in her hotel, Layla made use of the skills she'd obtained through the Bleeding Effect to dispatch her attackers.
She was later found by William Miles, Mentor of the Assassins, after he had caught wind of her situation and offered her a position with the Brotherhood. Faced with no other option, Layla agreed to work with him, but refused to actually join as a member.
Working with the Assassins
By the end of 2017 she not only became a member of the Assassins, but befriended several members, including Charlotte de la Cruz, Arend Schut-Cunningham, and Harlan Cunningham, and became a leader of her own Assassin cell.
As part of her first Assassin mission, she and Kiyoshi Takakura went on a mission to Quebec. They searched the Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame de Québec for a relic belonging to the Recollects. Things went sideways when they were confronted by Abstergo, Kiyoshi's ex-yakuza skills came in handy when he saved Layla from danger.
Herodotos' Lost Histories
In the midst of her quest for Isu artifacts, Layla discovered the Lost Histories of Herodotos, the earliest known Greek historian. Within it, she learned of the Spartan mercenary Kassandra who wielded an Isu weapon, the Spear of Leonidas. Layla went out searching for the broken spear, after finding it she was then able to relive Kassandra's memories with the help of ex-Abstergo employee Dr. Victoria Bibeau.
After reliving Kassandra's memory of discovering Atlantis for the first time, Layla and her crew sailed from London to the coast of Santorini aboard the Altaïr II, hoping to find the secret underwater entrance to the ancient city. Layla, having found the entrance and the city, further explored Atlantis, looking for a way to open it. Not finding anything then, she decided to further relive Kassandra's memories to find out how she opened the city.
Once Layla had the necessary knowledge to open the city, she realigned the mirrors reflecting the light beam and the city was opened. It was then that she met with Kassandra herself, kept alive by the Staff of Hermes Trismegistus. Kassandra warned that as the Templars and Assassins represent order and chaos, either side prevailing over the other would result in the world's doom. Declaring Layla the prophesized one who would bring balance, Kassandra passed on the staff to Layla and immediately lost her immortality and expired – Layla held her in her arms as she died. Layla then returned to the Animus to synchronize with the remainder of Kassandra's memories.
Unlocking the Seal of Atlantis
Whilst exploring Kassandra's memories, Layla encountered a hologram of the Isu Aletheia, who guided Kassandra to hold onto the Staff until she could hand it over to Layla, whom Aletheia referred to as the Heir of Memories. Upon exiting the Animus, Layla heard Aletheia's voice issue from the Staff, instructing her to identify the three symbols to unlock the Great Seal to Atlantis. Layla, with the assistance of Altaïr II, would later locate the symbols in the tombs of Agamemnon, Orion and Eteokles.
All the while, Bibeau expressed concern for Layla's well-being while Aletheia warned that someone called the Interloper seeks to stop her. Realizing that Kassandra's associate, Phidias, knew the meaning of these symbols, Kassandra relieved the memories of Kassandra's brother Deimos, who was responsible for the sculptor's murder, despite the dangerous effects on her mind, at which Bibeau was forced to remotely pull her out.
After hearing from Aletheia that the Interloper was male, Layla soon lost contact with the Altair II as it was attacked by Sigma Team. Uncertain of her team's status, Layla went to unlock the Seal, realizing the three words Phidias repeated when Alexios assaulted him were the password. Subsequently, she was relived to hear that her team had fought off Sigma Team. Furthermore, Alannah Ryan claimed that someone was listening in on their communications, so the Altair II was forced to go dark until it was safe to open up Atlantis.
Having successfully unlocked Atlantis, Layla entered the room, where she was greeted by Aletheia and joined by Victoria, who was concerned about her friend's wellbeing. Aletheia tasked Kassandra to enter simulations of realms created by her in order to master the staff. This was so that Layla would not fall to the Staff's influence and corruption.
As Layla continued to relive Kassandra's memories as she explored these simulations, her behavior became increasingly aggressive, which caused Victoria to forcefully pull Layla out of the Animus, citing the Bleeding Effect to be affected her. This culmilated in Layla accidentally knocking out Victoria Bibeau with the Staff. Horrified at what she has done, Layla was approached by Aletheia, who proclaimed that Layla may not be the true Heir of Memories and needed time to reflect. Layla refuted Aletheia's statement, blaming the staff for her actions though Aletheia reminded her that she dictates who the Heir was and not her. Layla later agreed to leave and take sometime to reflect, requesting Aletheia to look after Victoria until she returned.
Personality and characteristics
During her early years, Layla Hassan was noted by her colleagues for her strict adherence to policy and protocol. On the occasions in which she was forced to act outside of these boundaries, she often took on an apologetic tone; this was shown on at least one occasion when she emailed Juhani Otso Berg regarding his use of her allocated parking space at Abstergo's offices. Eventually, however, Layla's frustration at the perceived lack of respect from her colleagues convinced her to act outside of the company protocol and attempt to "prove herself" by undertaking the mission to sequence Bayek's genetic memories, alone, save for Deanna on the other end of a phone.
Layla seems somewhat addicted to the Animus and the freedom it gives her. This is evident by how she reacts when Victoria pulls her out with no warning. Along with the staff's meddling and her experiences of the Bleeding Effect from Deimos and Kassandra, Layla has become prone to sudden bursts of anger, although she later forgets what she did or why.
Equipment and skills
After reliving the memories of the Medjay Bayek, Layla experienced the Bleeding Effect and was able to perform freerunning, leaps of faith and assassinations flawlessly. Layla is also an adequate swimmer, being able to dive underwater to find the hidden city of Atlantis, albeit with the assistance of scuba gear.
Once Layla had found Aya's hidden blade she taped it to her forearm as a make-shift hidden blade. With it she was able to dispatch the members of Sigma Team sent to find her without much effort.
- Layla is a feminine Arabic name meaning 'night', while Hassan is a common Arabic surname meaning 'strong' and 'good'.
- Layla's father, Ashraf Hassan, shares his birth name with Ashraf Ismail, the game director for Assassin's Creed: Origins.
- Around Layla's equipment are a Moogle doll, a Cactuar statuette, and a Chocobo sticker. All are Easter eggs towards the Final Fantasy series, particularly Final Fantasy XV.
- Assassin's Creed: Origins (first appearance)
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood of Venice (Tokyo XXI Expansion)