“Isu language explains everything”

Discovering the future of Assassin’s Creed with Access the Animus, the most popular community born around the Ubisoft series.

Paolo Sirio

24 October 2021

For the first time in the history of the series, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will receive a Year 2, with more expansions than those launched after the main game’s release. A rather curious circumstance, mainly dictated by the additional time required by the next chapter of the saga. Additional time needed for two reasons: the difficulties encountered in video game development during the pandemic and the ambitions placed in the project that will follow Valhalla, the still mysterious Assassin’s Creed Infinity. Infinity will be a significantly different title from Valhalla: the subject of rumors and then confirmed by Ubisoft itself, it will be an online platform that will contain multiple experiences, among which it is rumored that remakes of old chapters and, perhaps, a recovery of multiplayer will be found.

The experts –

But the times are not yet ripe and this is how Assassin’s Creed Valhalla comes back into play, which is about to extend its expected life cycle with a new, and unpredictable, round of content. We talked about it with the experts of Access the Animus, the most recognized and appreciated AC community in the world, with dozens of videos, very popular social accounts and many collaborations with Ubisoft itself. In particular, the commitment to decipher the Isu Language, an authentic language coined specifically for the Assassin’s Creed universe, has caused a stir among fans and insiders. The development house has invited them several times to its offices in Montreal and Quebec City (where the two leading teams in the production of the main games of the saga reside): the level of trust in them is so high that it has allowed them to participate in test of the titles in preview to be able to gather the opinion. Also for this reason, it becomes very interesting to find out what they think and what their speculations are (with some spoiler on the plot of Valhalla, you have been warned) on the first Year 2 in the history of the series.

Year 1 –

Before entering into the merits of Year 2, it is time to give a look at Year 1, which brought as a dowry, in addition to a series of free updates such as river raids, two paid expansions: Wrath of the Druids and The Siege of Paris. According to the Access the Animus team, the DLCs are “decent”, with positive aspects concerning the settings (the first is set in Ireland) and the historical fidelity to the events of the time. However, four inconsistencies are evident, experts explain. First of all, both DLCs “although historically set years after the last historical events of the main game, are considered as if they were happening in parallel with the first narrative arcs of the main game itself. So there are DLC characters who say they have talked or interacted with other characters who have actually been historically dead for some time ”.

Both in The Wrath of the Druids and in The Siege of Paris, then the enemies belong to two religious orders and not to the Templars, historical enemies of the saga and the Assassins, on the other hand, are practically absent in both contents. But it is the plot of the series in general that does not get too much hands on it: “the events related to the First Civilization”, the ancient race that preceded human beings as they are known today, in the language of the saga, “are also in this case limited in DLCs “. Overall, the post-launch period of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, the previous chapter, is considered superior especially in terms of paid expansions.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Year 2 –

That should change dramatically with the second year of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, though. According to Access the Animus, it will be “the setting to amaze, because we know, or at least we can hypothesize with a certain degree of confidence, that at least the first DLC of Year 2 will be mythological”. A hypothesis confirmed by this week’s leak about Dawn of Ragnarok, which seems to be set in the realm of the dwarves, Svartalfheim; after all, in June, Ubisoft had explained that “Eivor has not finished with Odin yet”.

“In fact, the two sequences of the main game of Valhalla with a mythological setting (Asgard and Jotunheim) have Odin as the main protagonist and this is due to the fact that Eivor is a reincarnation of the Isu Odin who lived about 75,000 years earlier. Thanks to this, Eivor is able to see some of the memories of the Isu Odin, but through the “mythological filter” with which as a child she learned about the Norse gods, and that is why we do not see the events related to Odin in a pure Isu setting, but in the aforementioned mythological settings ”, say the experts. “Self Eivor isn’t done with Odin yet, it will mean that Eivor will relive other memories of Odin in a similar way to what was done in the main game. They will be memories of the Isu / First Civilization era (and therefore will be of great interest to hardcore fans, always very attracted to these themes) but set in mythological locations “.

The portal –

A mysterious portal is fleetingly shown in the Year 2 announcement trailer. But what is it about? “It is not known at the moment what function it has in terms of plot, but for the purposes of the teaser the portal is important because there are two types of runes and writings on it,” they explain from ATA. “Mainly what you see written on the portal is a type of language called Isu language, which in essence is the written language of the Isu / First Civilization (which therefore acts as a further clue to make it clear that the next DLC will show memories of the Isu era, but in a mythological sauce) ”.

The experts add that “at the top, in the center of the portal, there is another symbol that does not belong to the Isu language: it is a Nordic-Germanic rune called m-rune or Mannaz and which in several cases has been used to represent one of the nine realms of Norse mythology, that is Muspelheim, the land of flames and home of the fire giants and their leader Surtr. ”. The latest leaks seem to confirm that the first DLC of Year 2 should not be set in the kingdom of Muspelheim but a Svartalfheim; however, the plot should also feature Muspelheim and in particular an attack on the kingdom of the dwarves, and this may be enough to justify the rune on the portal.

The “translation” of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla –

On the portal, Access the Animus decrypted (by collecting

) Isu language that anticipates an important role for Loki. “Our translation of the Isu language on the portal is ‘Forsennato, what have you done?’, Where ‘The Forsennato’, within the plot of Valhalla is the name given to Odin by Loki and his partner Aletheia, during the Isu era. The hypothesis is that here it is Loki or his partner who is talking and that therefore in the next DLC Odin does something extremely serious or wrong. That said, it is possible that other Isu called Odin ‘The Forsennato’, so it may have been other characters who uttered this phrase ”.

The translation work required was massive and it’s interesting to take a look behind the scenes. “We passed from another Isu language phrase hidden in the teaser in none other than a repeated sound that is heard in its final and obtainable analyzing the spectrogram of this sound. This other sentence read: ‘What do you really understand? Would a blind man, trying to see, go mad? ‘ In this case, the sentence was also signed, by Loki: the ‘blind’ is in all probability Odin, notoriously blind in one eye in Norse mythology and equally blind in one eye also in the Isu plot of Valhalla. So, the hypothesis we extract from these sentences is that, sometime during Year 2, we may again be faced with some kind of confrontation between Loki and Odin ”.

The Isu language –

As experts say, the Isu language was created specifically by the developers of Assassin’s Creed and in particular by Antoine Henry, associate game director of Ubisoft Singapore. “Starting from the main game of Valhalla it was introduced to represent the written and spoken language of the First Civilization, the civilization of super-technological beings lived in the past that have permeated the saga since its creation” and, as a true language and own, contains “grammatical rules, words with roots and endings, grammatical cases that indicate the various complements, verbs with different endings to indicate the subject and the tense, adverbs “.

The Isu language is also referred to as a “progenitor language from which, within the lore of the saga, all the Indo-European languages, such as Latin, Greek and Sanskrit, which then led to the languages ​​we speak now ”and the developers have even inserted common words between the languages ​​in order to increase the credibility of their link. “The Isu language is also created as if it were an enigma to be solved: the developers have never published rules and it is up to the fans to understand and translate each new sentence released using those already translated previously”.

The fact that the intertwining of Isu and Norse mythology is more involved in the story suggests a closure with a bang for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. After an interlocutory Year 1 and in view of the reopening of the games with the next Infinity, is just what it would take: both for the fans, whose passion is bearing ever more surprising fruits, as demonstrated by Access the Animus, and for the Ubisoft series.

October 24, 2021 (change October 24, 2021 | 12:32)

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