Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained is a memory in Assassin's Creed II.
In this memory Ezio seeks the aid of his friend Leonardo da Vinci to help him get in the Palazzo Ducale. Ezio suggests he uses Leonardo's Flying Machine. At first Leonardo protests that it is not safe to use and might cause fatal injuries, but he eventually agrees to let Ezio use it and be the first one to test it for him. They then both go on top a roof top where the machine waits for their arrival. Ezio then got himself on and leaped through the air with the machine. It did hold his weight and carried him only a short distance, and it wasn't in the condition to carry him all the way to the Palazzo. Ezio, Antonio, and Leonardo sit in silence thinking of what to do, while a frustrated Leonardo threw a part of the blueprints in a burning fire. This, however, did prove useful, for Leonardo's sharp eyes caught the heat of the fire holding up the paper in the air. Leonardo then excitedly shared with the other men that the Flying Machine may be able to carry Ezio if they set up large bonfires around Venice for Ezio to fly over when he begins losing speed and altitude. With that, Ezio and Antonio leave for the Thieves Guild to get them ready.
Ezio goes to Leonardo's workshop.
- Ezio: I need your help, Leonardo. Does it work?
- Leonardo: What? What are you asking?
- Ezio: Does it work, Leonardo? Can it really fly?
- Leonardo: I don't know. It's only a prototype, an idea. It's not ready yet.
- Ezio: Have you tried it?
- Leonardo: No! It's too dangerous. To test it, you'd have to leap off a tower. Who would be mad enough to do a thing like that?
- Ezio: Leonardo, I think you just found your madman.
Leonardo and Ezio get the Flying Machine to the top of a tower.
- Ezio: So, how does she work?
- Leonardo: Have you ever watched a bird in flight? It's not about being lighter than air, it's about grace and balance. You must use your body's own weight to control your elevation and direction. Good luck, Ezio.
Ezio mans the Flying Machine and leaps off the tower. He shortly begins to lose altitude and starts drifting to the ground.
- Ezio: Ugh! Why am I crashing?! This is ridiculous! The palazzo is too far away! Diavolo (Damn) I give up! I'm going to end up killing myself before I ever kill another Templar.
Ezio crashes the machine. Frustrated, he returns to Leonardo.
- Leonardo: I can't believe it! It really worked! You flew, Ezio! You flew!
- Ezio: Si, (Yes) but not very far.
- Leonardo: Well, what were you expecting? The machine wasn't designed for distance. Alright, look, let me go over my plans here. Maybe I can find some way to extend the duration of the flight.
- Antonio: Ezio! My men tell me Carlo has the poison! We must hurry!
- Ezio: Antonio, this is Leonardo, the master inventor who built this...this...pezzo di merda (piece of shit).
- Leonardo: Hey! It's not the machine's fault, it's mine. I've checked and rechecked my blueprints. It's just impossible! I don't know how to extend the flight! Ah, che idea del cazzo!
Frustrated, Leonardo throws a piece of the blueprints into the fire. He is surprised to see that the heat makes it float.
- Leonardo: Eureka! Of course! Genio! (Genius)
- Antonio: What is he doing now?
- Leonardo: Heat rises...it needs fire. Heated air under its wings will lift the machine.
- Ezio: Leonardo, what good is one fire going to do?
- Leonardo: Not one fire, Ezio. A dozen, built all across the city. Enough to carry you from here to the Palazzo Ducale!
- Antonio: How? Oh, capisco! My men could do that, but you're forgetting about the guards.
- Ezio: Don't worry, I will take care of them.
- Antonio: I'll give the order to have my men move in behind you and hold the locations. They'll light them all up the second the sun goes down over San Marco.
The Flying Machine gets tested for the first time ever. The Assassins gain hope that the bonfires will help Ezio fly to the Palazzo Ducale.