Released for consoles in November 2009, and for Windows in March 2010, Assassin's Creed II is a historical fantasy third person action-adventure video game. The frame story is set in the 21st century, with player-controlled protagonist Desmond Miles escaping from Abstergo Industries with an employee, Lucy Stillman. Then Desmond enters the Animus 2.0, and relives the genetic memories of ancestral nobleman Ezio Auditore da Firenze, who lived during the Renaissance period of the late 15th century in Italy.
Best time: 5:42:16 by François 'Fed981' Federspiel on 2011-03-26, done in 18 segments.
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I thought to do this run in November 2010 ; the first segment was finished on 2011-02-27 and the last one on 2011-03-26.
I wish to thank firstly my girlfriend, for her support during the attempts. I also wish to thank SDA team, especially for the technical problems I had. I thank people on the forum too, for giving me many tips. I also took some tips on several websites : TheHiddenBlade, The Assassin's Creed Wiki, and other things like walkthroughs on YouTube.
The game settings were all at the minimum, including the resolution. Finally the different resolutions are : 800x450 for IQ, 672x378 for HQ, 544x306 for MQ and 416x234 for LQ.
The only rules I fixed were no save warping and no death abuse. Originally the run was planned to be a single-segment run, but I finally did it in 18 segments, because a single-segment would have been too difficult and too long. As a general comment, I would say that I tried to run as fast as possible, but I had sometimes to slow down in order to dodge people in the streets, for instance. Also, I know that, in a few moments, I could have done quicker, but I prefer to be sure, rather than use a random method. For the time, I think that we can trust the in-game timer, despite it does not count the time spent oustide the Animus. Each segment adds about 5 seconds to the time.
Segment 01 - Beginning (Abstergo Industries/hideout)
A good thing in this segment is the only cutscene you can skip in the game, the very first one, right after the name entry. The beginning is easy ; I managed to perform every move before the game prompts to do them (as baby Ezio). After following Lucy till the elevator, as you can see, it's possible to run stright forward to the next elevator without being spotted, but you have to wait for Lucy to stop and to run along the left side, because there are two guards on the right.
The fight in the parking lot has been improved comparing to the original plan : Lucy can beat the guards much faster than Desmond, because she can perform counterkills. So, just put Desmond in a corner, do not look at Lucy and the fight will end quickly, as in this run.
Nothing special to say about the hideout ; I decided to begin to talk with Shaun because he's far away comparing to Lucy and Rebecca. Also I turned a little too much while approaching Rebecca.
Segment 02 - Sequence 1 (Florence)
The first fight can be very random, and in this run I had the chance to hit the guys every time except once. As usual, there are some weak and some strong ennemies. I test first, if a simple attack does not bring much damage, I wait in order to perform a counterkill. It worked for the first one, and almost for the second one ; I had to kick him on the ground and grab him. In the second part of this fight, I prefered wait (and not taunt the guards), because they automatically attack Ezio, apart from a few of them. I also tried to get their hits, and it worked quickly.
To run to the doctor, SDA knowledge base says to take the way on the left, but for me the one on the right is faster. Also, for the race against Federico, my route is faster, because Ezio runs and climbs at the same time, whereas beginning to climb directly on the church makes the race longer. After that I lost half a second on the steeple.
After "visiting" Cristina, the original plan was, once on the rooftop, to continue to the right, on the wooden board. But this route is very random comparing to the one I take in this run. Also I managed to land immediately next to the objective (Giovanni). There, except the hit I received, the fight against the three Pazzi's men went well, as well as the way to go back.
The order of the next three missions was improved to run as few as possible, and also to do the mother's mission at last, right before the real stuff. The fight against Duccio went well, I managed to taunt him and perform a counterkill quickly. As you can see I lost a second while climbing the first building for Petruccio's feathers, but the rest went very good ; for instance I managed not to be spotted near the house.
In the next mission, the three deliveries were planned to avoid the guards, also this route is quite fast. I tried to shorten the waiting time right after picking up the pigeon's letter by pressing, as prompted, the camera button, but I think it had no impact on this time.
The way to the jail was a little messy because of people on Ezio's way, but it's finally quite good, as well as climbing to Giovanni's cell. I don't use active profile directly after the hay pile, because, otherwise, Ezio returns in the pile, I don't know why.
The fight against the four guards in the next mission went well ; I didn't want to attack or taunt them, since it's finally faster to wait and perform counterkills.
There's nothing special to say about the last mission.
Segment 03 - Sequence 2 (Florence)
The way to Paola is pretty good ; I managed to be fast, to dodge people and to avoid alerts. The next part is a little boring, but I managed to concentrate and steal quite quickly the first person and then the five courtesans, finishing right next to Paola. The rooftops make finally the best way to go to Leonardo, since it allows to avoid alerts, and it's quite fast. The way back to Paola went also pretty good ; in particular, I had the chance not te be spotted next to the cathedral.
I lost a second while going to Uberto, because Ezio didn't want to land on the very first rooftop ; he had to climb on it. Almost no people appeared in this mission, except one group that allowed me to avoid an alert. I also had the chance to avoid it in the next corner, and to use the courtesans quite quickly. After the assassination, I lost about three seconds on the first building, but the rest went so well that I decided to keep this run. As you can notice, a fake witness has appeared just a few meters away from the beginning point, and I didn't loose time with other people in this mission.
I met a troubadour in the last mission of this sequence, but at least the family has passed successfully the first checkpoint (this does not happen every time). Also I decided to use the courtesans to exit the town (they're very close to the guards), since I had problems with throwing money in many attemps.
Segment 04 - First part of sequence 3 (Monteriggioni/San Giminiano)
There, I managed to kill directly the first two guards ; usually you have to wait for the second one to hit you once before perform an assassination. The next fight went quite well, and as you see, I had the chance to stand immediately after the first "active profile" assassination, thanks to a hit of Mario.
I waited till the middle of the last sentence of Mario to begin to run, so that I was near the desynchronization limit when I had to go for real. I lost half a second with a man after buying medications. The rest till San Giminiano went also well.
The big fight near the main door was quite good, except that the last man killed was a little far from the door ; I lost a few seconds at this moment. The next fight went really well, as I managed to attack only ennemies (and not friends). After that, the weapon choice was a little messy but Vieri was killed quite quickly.
Segment 05 - End of sequence 3 and beginning of sequence 4 (Monteriggioni)
In this segment I pick up the first codex pages. I discovered that beginning with the one which is outside the town is faster than finishing with this one. Note that climbing to the view point can not be skipped.
I decided to make the cloth shop available in order to have 15 throwing knives rather than 10 for the next segment. After that, once arrived in the crypt, I'm looking for a special point near the cross on the ground (you can see it next to Ezio's foot), so that he hasn't to move so much when Mario arrives.
Segment 06 - Main part of sequence 4 (Florence)
The beginning went well. As you see, because his appearance has changed, Ezio is blocked for a little while after leaving Leonardo. Except some little hiccups here and there, all went well till Santa Maria Novella. There, I didn't manage to kill the fleeing guard after the first grid, depite I was close to him. I tried to kill him right after the stairs with big steps, but I finally did it in the last straight line.
I activated the eagle vision at the beginning of the mission with Lorenzo, so that the targets get spotted earlier. The next fight went quite well ; I just took a few seconds to aim at Francesco, because the fight is timed from the moment he escapes.
Then the fight near Lorenzo's house was a little longer than usual, because Lorenzo has fallen, and I missed a hit. But the rest was good ; I only had a little trouble to aim at Francesco at the end, because of guards standing around.
Segment 07 - Sequence 5 (Florence/Monteriggioni/San Giminiano)
The first part in Florence and Monteriggioni was very good. To disarm Mario, you have to wait a little while before aiming at him, I don't know why ; but it's definitely not a loss of time.
I lost half a second at the start with the horse, but I managed to land directly next to the mercenary for the mission. I had the chance not to loose time with people in this one. For the next mission, the original plan was to go on the right, without horse. But it's finally faster to go, with the horse, on the left. As you see, the target is completely outside when I kill him, whereas it would have been under the columns with the previous plan. After that the escape went well.
Then I pick up the codex pages of San Giminiano, with the help of mercenaries ; I have to admit that the framerate decreases there. It could be due to the number of people in the streets. Then I lost half a second with a hit from a guard after assassinating the man, but the escape was quite good at all.
As you see I begin to climb on the right tower in the next mission, because climbing directly on the target's tower takes a few seconds more. I lost a second with the wall after having killed the target, and another one because Ezio didn't want to exit the hay pile on the right.
The camera angle is special while following Jacopo, because there are many people, and I wanted to keep a good framerate. At the end of the mission I save at least one minute by going directly to the target point, close to the desynchronization limit.
Segment 08 - Sequence 6 (Florence/Apennine mountains/Forli)
All went well there. In the mountains, just before the wooden bridge, I couldn't make the guard fall, lacking of place to do it. So I had to throw him away, but no time was lost finally. I pass through fire points at the end of this part, but it's for the pleasure to see the guards getting hit by the trees.
In the next part I had the chance not to fall with the horse, and also to land directly next to the viaggio. The gondola part went excellent, since I usually arrive when Caterina finishes her second sentence. In this run it was at the beginning of it.
Segment 09 - Intermission (hideout/Acre)
The training in the hideout went pretty well, but no time was saved, since the in-game timer does not count it, and also because this part is timed (with the discussion).
The Acre part was quite good too ; I didn't manage to climb (at first) at the second building, but no time was lost since the target moves quite slowly. Two more hiccups, one near the ladder, and another while climbing the tower, but I'm satified with this run.
Segment 10 - Sequence 7 (Venice)
This segment was quite difficult to finish. But in this run the beginning was much faster than usual. I did not loose any time there. I especially had chance by recruting the thieves just before being attacked (while carrying Rosa) ; right after that I wasn't spotted by the guards on the left too. When I wait for the gondola to come, I try to find the point where the cutscene is activated, otherwise it's possible to wait a long while for it to begin.
I use hyperblending for the first traitor in order to avoid alerts, and assassinate him softly and quickly. For the second one, it was a little messy, but I finally lost only a second or two. The next mission can be very random, but I managed to be quite fast and to fight correctly. The exception is the third group of thieves : the fight was messy, but as you can see I had the chance to avoid fighting the last group of guards nearby. Also, the thieves were pretty good during this run, they have correctly followed Ezio and correctly climbed.
Climbing directly on the church is faster than climbing on the other building, as firstly planned. I also discovered that it's not necessary to stand on the view point ; I jump back right after having touched it.
In the next mission I had to wait a little bit at the second chest, because one of the guards was not in the smoke area near the first chest. The last mission of this sequence is faster when using as many throwing knives as possible, rather than the hidden blades, for the archers. I could have been a little faster if I had landed better near Emilio. And, the time next to him before the assassination is not an mistake, it's just a kind of bad glitch ; apparently he had to call the guards before dying.
Segment 11 - Sequence 8 (Venice)
The first part is really boring ; but at the end I like the way Ezio stands right next to the men, on Rialto's bridge. After that, Ezio falls in the beginning of the mission with Antonio, but it's finally not an mistake, since I never arrived at the target point before Antonio says "Non". After that I don't climb directly the tower, in order to show to Antonio where to climb, because he isn't able to climb directly. There, Ezio didn't want to grab the first wooden board ; again, it's finally not an mistake : Antonio never stopped moving. The next way, to the cathedral, seems messy, but no time was lost : Antonio has arrived a little after Ezio at the target point.
To pick up the codex page, in the original plan, I go on the right and swim a little bit. But the route I use in this run is as fast as the other, but safer : the mercenaries avoid alerts for Ezio.
Secure the fire places went very well. I could have been a little faster while climbing the building for the last mission. There, it's several seconds faster to go straight forward to Carlo. In this run the angle of the flying machine was a little downwards, but I finally managed to reach the objective ; the end went fine.
Segment 12 - Sequence 9 (Venice)
You may notice a small black border on the right, in this segment and in the next one. It's due to a bad glitch, because of an update of the game launcher (in my opinion). But it's not disturbing at all.
I was spotted after picking up the first codex page, but the alert has stopped before Theodora's door, so no time was lost. It's a shame to wait for the guards to go around before shooting the man in the next mission, but you can not do otherwise to be faster there.
Apart from a few hiccups, the quest for the golden mask went very well. I take a medication at the second round of the flag race, in order to ensure to be first at the third round. The fights went really fine after that (no counterkill from ennemies) ; I only get hit two times at the end, because Ezio isn't able to aim at a moving and upper target.
For the next codex page, I wait until the last moment to use the courtesans, so that they run as much as possible. I slow down while entering the party, so that the guards "recognize" me ; as you can see, I would have been blocked otherwise. Then, I use hyperblending, just because it's a lot easier. The way to go back after the assassination was a little messy but I managed to stay without alert till Theodora's door.
Segment 13 - Sequence 10 (Venice)
There I decided to use the thieves and mercenaries as bait, in order to avoid fighting the guards ; this is much faster. Except in front of the art shop, all went very well in the beginning. In particular, I managed to fight quickly and not to fill the notoriety level so much.
After that, as you can see, I let the mercenaries behind, so that they don't disturb during the different fights. On the other hand, they come quickly once the guards dead.
Also, in the last mission, climbing the tower went well. In the original plan I perform a leap of faith and go to Bartolomeo on the ground, but in fact it's a little faster to dive.
To assassinate Dante and Silvio, I wait for them to be next to each other ; this happens after the first group of guards, under the condition that Ezio isn't too close to them. And this is what I managed to do in this run.
Segment 14 - Sequence 11 (Venice)
Hitting Leonardo allowed me to place him as close as possible to the next objective. I stay at a distance between 13m and 15m so that they continue to speak, without desynchronization, and in order not to make Leonardo move.
Picking up this codex page during the mission saves about two minutes comparing to the original plan ; it can be a little random sometimes, but in this run I managed not to be spotted. I would have used a bomb otherwise.
I wonder why the guards don't see Ezio at the end of this mission, but for the beginning of the next sequence, it's a good thing to keep ammo. Also, all went quite well while fighting Rodrigo ; it was a little messy for the third "round", but as you can see, I had chance not to loose time with the seeker, at the end (I don't get hit by him before throwing the last knife).
Segment 15 - Sequence 12 (Forli)
This part was also very difficult to finsh because of the randomness in the different fights. I start it before the real sequence, in order that Ezio is close to Caterina at the beginning, as he has to be.
I had no chance in the very first fight, because a guard has gone away, but it was finally a good attempt, even there. After that, I save a second or two by normal assassination of the first two archers (not air assassination).
Then begins the real stuff. I lost a small amount of time with the choice of weapon in front of the blacksmith, but the time spent to stop the alert was used for friends to fight more. The result is, after picking up the codex page, only two guards left to kill.
Near the second codex page, the time taken to kill the last guard was finally a good thing, since the camera angle didn't change to focus on Caterina and Nicolo. I let them run after that, and this allows me to avoid the next fight, going directly to the last place. Apart from the fact I fell once, all went very well there. The next "ambush" is timed so I decided to wait and try to perform counterkills.
The next mission went excellent in this run ; I only lost a few seconds at the end, because finally, Caterina did not need my help to kill the last guards. After that, to save Ottaviano, I use hyperblending in the original plan, but it's more a loss of time rather than a help. I take one or two seconds to kill an archer on the tower, so that I haven't to wait on the top to stop the alert and save the boy.
The duration of the bomb isn't enough to let me pick up the next codex page, so I threw the bomb and killed, quickly, the four guards.
With the horse, after having assassinated Checco, I take some time to dodge people before the bridge, in order to avoid an alert from the two guards nearby. Then I use the sword to save the monk, because an attack with the hidden blades is always blocked unless you perform an air assassination from the rooftop. Finally I had the chance not to fall with the horse on the way back to the town, many people were on this way.
Segment 16 - Sequence 13 (Florence)
Almost all things went really well in this part. To begin, the first fight with Nicolo : I was not hit once and Nicolo has stayed close to me. I couldn't go straight backwards after the assassination of the first target, because of a guard was hanging there, so I lost a second at this moment.
For the target on the bridge, I used a glitch that could be called "back from blacksmith". I heard that, during this mission, if you buy ammo at the blacksmith, the assassination cutscene begins just as you exit the shopping menu or the shop. Finally my method to activate it is : wait until (at least) the end of the first sentence, then run like I did, and when the distance is between 100m and 105m, go straight backward. This allowed me to reduce significantly the time on rooftops and in water.
After that, I used hyperblending for the target on the boat, it allowed me to stay completely anonymous after the mission. The original plan in the next mission was much longer than what I did in this run, so I'm satisfied with it. Then I could have been a little faster to assasinate the next target (on the rooftops), but I'm also satisfied with it.
Also, for the target on the cathedral, the final plan is a lot faster than the original one ; I managed to perform it excellently. I even had to wait a little for the archer to go around.
In the next mission (the "trap"), I climb on the right ladder in order to be sure not to fall (because of an arrow). And I managed to kill the target quickly, before he took his sword, and to become anonymous before the next mission.
There, the final plan with a throwing knife is also much faster than the original one. The only thing in this run is that I didn't manage to aim at the doctor (this happened in about half of the attempts), so I had to walk and to trust the direction ; it worked.
For the first two codex pages (and the last one also), I decided to use money, because those pages are close to the door ; it allowed me to pick them up quickly, and without being spotted. I wait a little while before the first one in order to avoid an alert. Then the thieves and courtesans were very useful to avoid the fight against a lot of guards.
In the last mission, I usually have to throw a bomb in order to escape the guards ; in this run they were actually too slow to follow me.
Segment 17 - Beginning of sequence 14 (Monteriggioni)
I created a segment for that because I didn't want to combine it with the previous segment or the next one. Remember I fixed the rule of no save warping, that's why this segment begins at the end of sequence 13, and why Ezio is so far from the town after that.
Nothing special to say about the rest. Only that I was astonished to take just one or two frames to confirm going to Rome.
Segment 18 - End of sequence 14 and ending (Rome/hideout)
This part went also very well. At the beginning, I take some time to land on the wooden board, because otherwise Ezio doesn't want to grab it. It's not a loss of time because I had to wait for the archer to come after that. Then the horse didn't want to jump over one of the obstacles, but at least it didn't fall and jumped over the ravine.
I had the chance to stop the alert from the archers before reaching the next lever. Then I slow down a little before the last lever, in order to be as "silent" as possible. While fighting Rodrigo, I stay at a mid-distance ; too far the damage would have been too small, too close he would have gone away. Then I activate eagle vision in order to be able to push the two buttons quickly. I wait, one time, a little while grabbing Rodrigo during the second fight, so that he doesn't finish his sentence "C'est quand meme plus plausible...".
The end credits action went excellent ; I missed only one counterkill and Lucy came quite quickly after the end of the fight.
Final stats :
- 61,26% synchronization
- 05:42:16 play time
- 46404m travelled distance
- 1 death (I don't know why)
- double hidden blade favorite weapon
- 269 ennemies killed
- 173 hidden blade(s) assassinations
- 6 air assassinations
- 2 double air assassinations
- 3 disarmings
- 1131m climbed distance
- 33814m ground distance
- 277m water distance
- 3219m horse distance
- 451m gondola distance
- 516m sky distance
- 3% Monteriggioni restoration
- 5790f Monteriggioni value
- 135 Monteriggioni inhabitance
- 0% renovations
- 19% shops
- 23% collections
- 9% equipment
- 214708f won money
- 21617f spent money
- 00:05:18 total blended time
- 24 "notorious" status
- 0 Borgia's men killed
- 4 recruted courtesans
- 7 recruted mercenaries
- 6 recruted thieves
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