This ‘Curse of the Pharaohs’ DLC Cipher Might Change Everything We Know About Assassin’s Creed

Assassin’s Creed games are notorious for two things; open-world stealth gameplay and convoluted precursor plotlines. Speaking of the latter, the developers at Ubisoft love sprinkling their games with strange secrets, clues and Easter eggs to further expand the lore of the series or hint at the direction of future games. Origins is no different, as the main game hints at some pretty big revelations in those ancient Egyptian vaults. The DLC takes this one step further, both expanding on the ideas present in secret vaults and obfuscating them.

There’s a mysterious message hidden in the Assassin’s Creed Origins: Curse of the Pharaohs add-on that’s baffling players and Assassin’s Creed loremasters alike. In a seemingly inconspicuous section of the map you can find a note sitting in a bird’s nest. It’s not hidden and most players will probably find this note on their own, as it is found near a synchronization point. However, finding it isn’t the hard part; translating it is.

Though small, this short note could have huge consequences for the future of the franchise, and Assassin’s Creed super-fan folks on Reddit have offered some pretty tantilizing theories regarding the direction things could be headed.


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The Bird’s Nest Note Easter Egg

The Easter egg note is located on a synchronization point in the afterlife area called Aaru, on the Tower of Deathless Feathers. It’s found in the far southeast corner of the map.

The Note: YYIYY IIIYYIYYIYY YIYYIYY

Doesn’t look like much, does it? Well, some clever Redditors have put in the work to decode this cipher. Follow that link if you want the full rundown of their process. The short version is that they matched up those letters to symbols from the Egyptian alphabet, noting the difference in how they’re drawn to come out with Y=2 and I=1. From there they slapped the numbers together, combined them with a cipher key and came out with this:

9/17/12

Okay, that’s something, but what’s the significance? Here’s where things get interesting. 9/17/12 is the date for the day after Desmond Miles arrived at the Auditore Villa all the way back in Assassin’s Creed 2. No other significant events occur on that specific date. So what does THAT mean? Another Assassin’s Creed Lore nut has written a huge unifying theory regarding the nature of the series, taking into account the things learned in Origins.

The short version is; the animus is NOT a VR device that simulates the past, the animus actually takes the user to the past. It’s likely that the entire world, even the world outside the animus is a simulation and that the universe is built in the same way as a computer is coded. The Ancients figured this out but didn’t have the computing time or power to stop a disaster from destroying their civilization. But, in a matrix sort of situation, it is possible to manipulate the building blocks of the simulation and change history. So, that date could be a clue that Layla needs break the boundary of the simulation somehow and avert Desmond Miles’ death. For… some reason.

Yeah, so that’s a lot to take in for just a little cipher. Keep in mind that this is all fan speculation, so it’s possible that things play out completely differently in future games. But fans haven’t been wrong in the past, and these theories do clean up a lot of the storytelling issues plaguing the franchise, even if they are pretty wild.

 


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