|This article is about the type of assassin. You may be looking for the henchman of the Monger.|
In the early 15th century, the Byzantine Rite often dispatched agents to stalk and assassinate enemies out on the streets of Constantinople. One of their most notable targets was Ezio Auditore da Firenze, the Mentor of the Italian Brotherhood of Assassins who operated in the city from 1511 to 1512. Armed with only a dagger and dressed in plain clothes, these Templar stalkers were generally little more than thugs, but their inconspicuous appearance helped them to blend naturally among the throngs of common people. In times where the notoriety of the Assassins peaked, they would be able to track down the Mentor and other targets with ease, but otherwise, their adversaries always proved to be untraceable to them. Even in the former scenario, these stalkers were frequently felled by Ezio before they even had a chance to strike, as he could easily identify them with his Eagle Vision, nor would the Ottoman guards tolerate such acts of open assault. The Mentor slew at least five of them as part of a guild challenge issued by the Romani.
After the Colonial Assassin Shay Cormac defected to the Templars, Assassin agents were dispatched to hunt him down throughout the Seven Years' War. These agents specialized in ambushing Templars from hiding places and defended Assassin bases and gang strongholds across the North American colonies in this way, but none were ever able to kill Shay.
Stalkers of the Byzantine Rite relied on rudimentary social stealth to approach their targets. Dressed in plain clothes, they would masquerade as everyday harmless civilians as they followed their quarry. However, beyond this basic principle of blending, they were not trained to hide as an Assassin would. Their only weapon was a dagger, and due to their low combat training, they would only ever strike once and only when their target's back was turned. Their most common tactic was to abruptly grapple their target from behind and stab them. Should they fail to kill their target with this attack, their protocol was to then flee instead of engaging in a fight or making another attempt.
The Assassin stalkers of the Colonial Brotherhood, on the other hand, utilized a wider range of social stealth techniques, all of which were typical of Assassin training. They would hide in haystacks and brushes or disguise as civilians. Trained to assassinate from higher elevation or from hiding with Hidden Blades, they were deadly and had standard tools like throwing knives and smoke bombs to supplement their confrontations. Despite their proficiency at freerunning, however, they suffered from a relative immobility in their operational behaviour as the Templar Shay Cormac frequently outmanoeuvred them without them being aware.
Behind the scenes
Assassin's Creed: Revelations
The stalker is a special enemy archetype in Assassin's Creed: Revelations (2011) which spawns whenever the Templar Awareness gauge is at maximum. Killing the unit reduces Templar Awareness by 25%. It outwardly appears to be like any other civilian but will follow the player discreetly. An ambient whispering will play as they approach; this sound is identical to that which plays when pursuers are near in multiplayer.
If the player character, Ezio Auditore, has his back turned to the stalker, the stalker will suddenly grab from behind leading to a brief grappling sequence along with threatening background music. If the player successfully counters the stalker, Ezio will manage to wrangle out of the stalker's grip and kill them with their own weapon. Alternatively, it is possible to counter just before the stalker reaches Ezio, in which case, Ezio will push the stalker to the ground. Failing to react in time to a stalker's attack leads to the stalker wounding Ezio, but unless the player is at low health, it should not be fatal. A stalker will not press the attack and will flee upon landing the strike. Ottoman guards will treat stalkers as hostiles and pursue them when they have revealed themselves.
Stalkers can also be detected before they strike, especially with Eagle Sense, which highlights them as enemies. This will also create an indicator of the stalker on the map in the form of a white knife. The player can preemptively kill a stalker anytime even when the stalker is not attacking. If by chance the player preemptively kills a stalker without formally exposing them through Eagle Sense, the kill will still be valid and the game will not register it as a civilian casualty. The second set of the Romani guild challenges consist of killing or countering five Byzantine stalkers before they have stabbed Ezio.
Assassin's Creed: Rogue
The stalker archetype returns in Assassin's Creed: Rogue (2014) where they appear as either male or female and are dressed in yellow uniforms. While the concept of a stealthy enemy who tails the player is retained, the gameplay of the unit is quite different. Stalkers represent Assassin agents hunting the player character, the Templar Shay Cormac, and therefore can perform many common Assassin techniques, including air assassinations and hiding spot assassinations. They can be found in hiding spots, such as hay or brush, but they may also position themselves on rooftop ledges or blend in with crowds while disguised as civilians. In certain areas, such as the wilderness, they may move from cover to cover.
The presence of a stalker nearby is indicated by a pulsing, light red border around the screen alongside the same telltale whispering sound that players hear when in the proximity of a pursuer in multiplayer. These enemies are easily countered with Eagle Vision, particularly as Rogue's variant includes a compass borrowed from multiplayer that points toward stalkers. Despite the premise of tracking and assassinating Shay Cormac, the stalkers in Rogue are robotically stationary and will not actually pursue him. They will not react if Shay runs around their hiding spot, hover next to them, or upon waking up after being hit with a sleep dart. Instead, they are programmed to strike only if the player happens to step into their hiding spot or stand directly below them if they are positioned on a ledge. However, a stalker's assassination attack can deal sizable damage, and when confronted in open conflict, they can actually fight, freerun, and use smoke bombs.