The lights are on
It’s not who Minerva is, or the content of her message that was so memorable, but rather how she delivered it that made Assassin’s Creed II’s endings one of my favorite moments in the series. We’re talking about the ending of Assassin’s Creed II here, so if you want to keep it spoiler free, don’t scroll down.
After defeating the Pope and recovering the pieces of Eden that Ezio had been seeking, Minerva showed herself like a holographic Princess Leia to deliver a message. Much like holographic Leia, the message was not meant for the person who saw it first.
The cutscene begins with Minerva speaking directly to Ezio, but then she turns her gaze towards the camera, i.e. the player. Never in the entirety of the Assassin’s Creed have I felt more connected to Desmond. It was as if a fifth wall had been broken. The fourth wall was broken when Minerva began to talk to Desmond in Ezio’s world, but the fact that she was looking at me in the eyes, made it seem as though she was talking directly to me. Ezio quickly becomes aware that he is not part of the conversation, pointing out that none if what she is saying makes sense (a running theme in Assassin’s Creed, I might point out), and she turns to him for a brief moment only to say, “Our words are not meant for you,” after which she immediately continues her conversation with Desmond and I.
It might be embarrassing to admit that this whole sequence genuinely freaked me out. Seeing Desmond acknowledged in Ezio’s world was a huge surprise, and also lent importance to Desmond. Initially he seemed like a filter for the Assassins to solve their puzzles, but after that moment, it was clear that Desmond was something much more. We’re still waiting to figure out exactly how much more.
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