Assassin's Creed 3 guide: Eight secrets you may have missed
13th Nov 2012 | 17:33
If, like us, you've been hammering
A NIGHT AT THE OPERA
During the opening sequence of the game, set in London's magnificent Theatre Royal, you may not have paid too much attention to what was happening on stage. If you take your time while progressing through the area you can watch and listen to the performance unfolding, though you may have to proceed to the next checkpoint to move the dialogue along.
The musical being performed is The Beggar's Opera, which was a satirical take on the Italian operas that were in favour at the time. This opera proved popular as the typically complicated Italian songs were replaced by folk tunes the audience could easily recognise and hum along to.
It was also controversial as it's set in Newgate prison and all the main characters are criminals. Due to its use of the common tongue it was accused of being a "base form of entertainment", and that the behaviour of one of the main characters Macheath was leading to an increase in violence and crime by young men - which sounds a lot like the "videogames lead to violent behaviour" controversies that still rage on today.
BOY BECOMES MAN
Remember the young boy who witnesses the assassination at the Theatre Royal, before being shushed by Haytham? He may have appeared to be inconsequential at the time, but in a twist of fate you get to meet him again while playing as Connor many years later.
When you reach Sequence 6, Liberation Missions become available in Boston and potential assassin recruits appear as contacts in each area. North Boston is covered by Irishman named Duncan Little, and after completing all of his missions you can return to speak to him in the pub that he's based at.
Sit down and Duncan will tell you a tale of how, as a child, he was attending the opera with an uncle and after returning from the toilet found him slumped dead in his chair. He was then terrified after being confronted by Haytham but acknowledged his gesture for silence, which he had duly kept ever since.
A NAVAL NOD
If you've been working your way through the Naval Missions you will have spent plenty of time on your ship, the Aquila. The name Aquila is particularly significant here as it's the Latin and Romance language word meaning 'eagle' - a symbol often used by the Assassins, appearing at Viewpoints and of course as a basis of your Eagle Vision ability.
Carrying the significance even further, there's also a star constellation named Aquila whose brightest star just happens to be... Altair - the name of the original Assassin's Creed protagonist, which is an abbreviation of an Arabic phrase meaning 'the flying eagle'.
YOU'VE GOT MAIL
During the course of the main story you'll see a number of pop-up notifications appear, alerting you to the arrival new email messages. Unlike the other notifications of information being added to your Animus Database, these emails can only be accessed by exiting the Animus.
After you reach the end of Sequence 3 and return to the present day, you can interact with the free terminal next to the Animus then choose the email option to catch up on your correspondence. Keep checking on this during the course of your playthrough for messages from your colleagues and even posts from Juno herself!
You can also use the terminal to replay Desmond's missions should you be so inclined, but be aware that once you finish Sequence 12 you will be locked into the Animus so after that point this area of the game is no longer accessible.
THE BULLETPROOF KIDD
Collecting the Peg Leg trinkets scattered around the maps will open up additional Naval Missions, after you return them to Peg Leg on the Homestead docks. Completing four of these Captain Kidd's Treasure Missions unlocks the final trial on Oak Island.
Once on the island use Eagle Vision to find the four clue points, then solve each puzzle they reveal by rotating and positioning the highlighted overlay so it lines up with the glowing objects in front of you. This will direct you to the entrance of an underground area, which you need to climb through and investigate.
Inside you will discover a ring with mystical magnetic properties, which turns out to be a Shard of Eden. When you arrive back at the docks you'll hear a voiceover from Shaun, explaining that the Shard is a First Civilization artifact which will greatly reduce the chances of you being hit by bullets when facing armed enemies. This proves particularly useful for beating the optional objectives when replaying certain missions where you need to limit the amount of damage you take from opponents.
Once you start adding settlers to your Homestead, you can craft items by using the Accounting Book found in the Manor. Although you can experiment by combining different artisans and resources, the best way to make new items is by collecting recipes. These can be used to create all sorts of items ranging from materials to clothing, food and more, but the most interesting ones relate to Benjamin Franklin inventions.
These recipes are found by collecting the Almanac pages blowing around Boston and New York; Almanacs are split into four pages, and each time you complete a book a new invention recipe is revealed. These generally require high level artisans to construct so you may need to complete further Homestead missions before you can finish the crafting process.
Each Benjamin Franklin invention you craft is added to an upstairs room at the rear of the Manor, and can be interacted with to provide tongue-in-cheek explanations of their creation and uses. The most interesting of these is probably the Glass Armonica, the description for which references the contemporary belief that the music created by the instrument could drive both the musician and audience insane!
By completing the Homestead Missions that appear in the area around your Manor, you can acquire new settlers to move in and work on your land. There are ten different individuals or couples to recruit, from farmers and lumberers to innkeepers, a blacksmith and even a priest! Some of these characters don't become available until you've completed a number of missions with other settlers, so keep plugging away at the Homestead Missions until you find them all.
Several of these missions follow Norris the miner's attempts to woo Myriam the huntress, which eventually prove successful. Once you have a full complement of settlers and most of the missions are complete you can head to the church and initiate their wedding.
Initially the big day doesn't go to plan but Connor quickly intervenes to turn things around, and before long you're walking Myriam down the aisle to give her away, then enjoying a celebratory knees up in the tavern with the rest of your Homestead folk.
After you've completed the main story of Assassin's Creed 3, a new 'W' marker appears in the southwest area of the New York map. By travelling to this location you'll meet George Washington, with whom you can discuss the outcome of recent events and formulate plans for the future.
Further interactions with Washington will then initiate games of bowls against him on the nearby bowling green, where it turns out his strategic mind extends to the sport and makes him a tough opponent to beat. Sadly there's no actual reward for winning one of these matches, other than the satisfaction of defeating one of the Founding Fathers at their own game.