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William de Montferrat has lived long enough

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIyxKad0DXI

I saved William de Montferrat for last in Memory Block 4 because many players like to use Throwing Knives on this mission and Altaïr can carry 10 at a time if he's already finished off Abu'l Nuqoud and Majd Addin.

The Montferrat assassination seems to be Ubisoft's crown jewel of ASSASSIN'S CREED. It was the one they would always show in pre-release demos, so it must have been the first one that they developed. As such it feels more polished than some of the other missions. In fact, I think they added air to assassinate late in the development cycle and simultaneously placed a scaffold next to William.

citadel.jpg

INVESTIGATION

Three investigations produce maps of King Richard's Citadel. The Pickpocket inside the building with flag #21 on this map shows a unique way to get in. Another Pickpocket, on the west edge of town near flag #16, has a detailed map of all the archers. Finally, the Informer right next to the fountain with flag #9 gives a map of ladders to exit when the front gate is closed.

These are high quality maps (for once) instead of the usual tiny ones in the corner of the screen. They are oriented so that southwest is up. I actually prefer this orientation and will use it throughout the walkthrough instead of compass directions. For example, the Citadel's gate will be at the "front" and Montferrat's Quarters in the "back right". Below are all three maps, unedited except to point out an error in the location of one ladder to the outer wall.

citadelmap.jpg

PREPARATION

It's probably a good idea to climb the viewpoint at the back right corner of the Citadel before starting the assassination. That way your map of the area will be clear. While you're on the parapet wall, learn the locations of the archers and make a plan for how to systematically clear them later. They will be in the same locations when you come back for William.

There's one citizen to save inside the Citadel. However, the Scholars earned aren't very useful. They are designed to get you past some guard posts but not close enough to actually sneak up on William from ground level.

APPROACH

Just walk up to the front of the Citadel to start my favorite cutscene in the whole game. Richard the Lionheart and William discuss the execution of nearly 3,000 Muslim prisoners rather than negotiating a POW exchange with Saladin (a historical reference). Even Richard's horse is well dressed.

ASSASSINATION

The thing I like about this assassination is that there are dozens of ways to reach Montferrat's Quarters. I couldn't decide which was my favorite, so I narrowed it down to my top three:

  1. Well-planned

    The idea behind this one is to clear the exit route before assassinating William. Then there will be little resistance during the escape. Working backwards, the only available exits will be over the front wall (once they close the gates). The leap of faith on the right side is the swiftest way to descend the front wall. The shortest route from Montferrat's Quarters to the leap of faith is along the west wall. I know, I know... everyone does it this way. Stare

    Instead of walking through the front door, climb the farthest scaffold to your left. From there, jump left to that balcony. Then turn around 180 degrees and Free-step all the way across the front wall of the Richard's Citadel. In doing so, you may collect flags 31 and 32 if you haven't already got them.

    Get up on the parapet wall and make your way around to the right, killing any archers you encounter. Climb down the ladder and continue towards Montferrat's Quarters in the back right. There are two more archers along the inner rooftops. The second one paces above William's head. Be careful using a Thrownig Knife on him because sometimes his corpse will fall down into the meeting, creating an unwanted distraction. It's better to wait until he's walking away and run him down from behind with the Hidden Blade. If at any time you become Exposed, there are two hiding spots in the front right corner: a haystack inside the corner tower and a roof garden just below it.

    fourairs.jpg

    Proceed around to the far end of this sloped roof, but not quite as far as the ladder. Look down towards William and locate the scaffold. Position yourself directly above the scaffold, preferably the end farthest from William. Equip the Hidden Blade and target William by pulling the Left Trigger (L1 on PlayStation 3). When you're ready to strike, pull and hold the Right Trigger (R1 and PS3) and push the Left Thumbstick up. Atair should drop effortlessly to the scaffold. If he Drops and Grabs the edge of the roof, then you're out of position. Climb back up and try again.

    As Altaïr's feet hit the scaffold, continue holding Right Trigger and Left Thumbstick up (or R1 + up) and also press the X button (Square on PS3). You only have to hit it once at the right time, but you can mash the button if that makes you more comfortable. Altaïr bounces off the scaffold and jumps on William.

    I prefer to attack while William addresses his men. It's more dramatic to do in front of a crowd. If you wait long enough (or happen to drop a corpse nearby), William's men will leave and he will retire to his desk in the corner of the room. The air to assassinate also works when he's at this location. In any event, don't linger too long on the scaffold. Someone will spot you there.

  2. Super-fast

    The draw of this plan is that it only takes about 30 seconds and you only kill one person: William de Montferrat himself.

    Sprint through the front door of Richard's Citadel. Straight ahead and slightly to the left is a staircase leading up through a large archway. Sprint through that too and watch out for Crate Carriers. Straight ahead is a building behind a plam tree. Climb up the windows to the roof.

    Turn right and climb to a higher roof with an archer. If your timing's right his back will be turned. Ignore the archer and turn towards the back of the Citadel again. Free-step across a suspended platform, a roof, another suspended platform, and onto the roof behind Montferrat's Quarters.

    fastroute.jpg

    Ignore the archer here too. Quickly target William (be careful not to target one of his men) and do the same air to assassination as in the Well-planned option above. The escape will be challenging because the Citadel archers are still at full strength.

  3. Sky to assassinate

    I have a hunch that my "stunt assassination" will be the most popular one in the video, even though it's a parlor trick. So here's how you do it.

    The first thing you will need is a full synchronization bar with a minimum of 17 blocks. Get on the outer parapet wall and head for the view point tower in the back right corner of the Citadel. Once you get near Montferrat's Quarters he will begin his lecture. The clock is now ticking... don't waste too much time fighting archers. I prefer to approach along the back wall because there's less guard presence there than on the right.

    Jump up to the lower ring/ledge around the tower (you can't survive the fall from the upper ring Trig's nuke). Shimmy around until you're high above William. Look up and you will see two small rings that resemble door knockers. Center yourself exactly between them and wait.

    stunt.jpg

    William paces around a little bit while he talks. You want to make your move when he steps to the south of the turret's shadow, but you can't see him from here! Instead, listen to William's speech for verbal cues. Two good times to strike are when he says "lenient" and "obedience". The jump is easy. Just hold the Right Trigger and press A (R1 + X on PS3). Do not try to aim your jump with the Thumbstick. Altaïr falls from the sky and lands right behind William. The fall nearly kills him. When you hit the ground, just do a low or high profile assassination. It's not necessary to steer with the Thumbstick or target William. He'll be right in front of you.

ESCAPE

William's men surround Altaïr. The first thing to do is to climb out of Montferrat's Quarters. There are two ladders and a scaffold. The ladder on the right wall provides the speediest escape but may be hard reach in the panic. The scaffold is the easiest to negotiate. Be warned that if you fight some men first and throw one into the scaffold, it will collapse and you won't be able to climb out that way.

Once onto the roof, turn right and high-tail it towards the leap of faith. If you did the well-planned assassination then the right wall will be available. Otherwise you're better off Sprinting straight for the front wall and Free-stepping off the top of the Roof Garden. There are two places where you can initiate the Leap of Faith, both indicated by birds.

When you hit the haystack, you may or may not become Vanishing. If not, you're still in pretty good shape because the guards who were chasing you are now stuck in the Citadel. Stay clear of the guards in the courtyard and your logo will start flashing yellow (Cooling Down) soon enough. Then you can either jump back in the haystack or just start heading back to the Assassin's Bureau. Altaïr can Vanish just by keeping the line of sight broken long enough.

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PatrickDeneny
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Where has this reappeared from, stab? It's great, particularly the stunt assassination. Laughing out loud

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stabguy
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This video shows the original stunt assassination and arguably the first non-trivial blitz. It was one installment in my Stylish Assassination Guide walkthrough of AC1 on the old AC-maps website. When we launched THB I brought all of my videos over and indexed them here. Ian did the same for most of his.

The reason this video got "bumped" this week is because I fixed a broken link in it. Actually, the link was only broken if clicked from the summary shown under Find AC1 videos. Web crawlers find that sort of thing. I noticed it in the error log when fixing your problem with the Mediterrano theme.

I reach in my pocket, pull out some dough. Girl acting like she never seen a $10 before.
You can call me Aaron Burr from the way I'm dropping Hamiltons.

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PatrickDeneny
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Well, I'm glad there was an error with it because I've never seen it and it was certainly worth a watch. Tongue

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aurllcooljay
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What?! There's people here who haven't seen some of our videos? Shock You all need to visit the channels right now. I personally have seen nearly all of our AC vids except for the flag/templar/feather ones. I even visited the channels a little while ago to see if there was any I missed (I missed the first vids in one channel).

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PatrickDeneny
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aurllcooljay wrote:
What?! There's people here who haven't seen some of our videos? Shock You all need to visit the channels right now. I personally have seen nearly all of our AC vids except for the flag/templar/feather ones. I even visited the channels a little while ago to see if there was any I missed (I missed the first vids in one channel).

Despite it being one of the main parts of the site, I don't generally come here for the videos and will only watch them if they appear right in front of me (in a new topic, on the frontpage or on Youtube), although when I do see them, I'm usually very interested and impressed.

I prefer the discussion of past, present and future AC gameplay, storylines and ideas. Smile