Assassin’s Creed Revelations: The Real History of Constantinople | Ubisoft [NA]


[GENTLE MUSIC PLAYING] YOUSSEF MAGUID:
Assassin’s Creed– Revelations is the final
game in the Ezio Trilogy and takes the aging Italian
assassin to Constantinople, a city so diverse, so
layered, and so important that it spans two continents. MAN: [INAUDIBLE] YOUSSEF MAGUID: The
city gets its name from the Roman
emperor, Constantine, who took over the Greek
city of Byzantium, beginning what’s known as
the “Byzantine Empire.” However, by the time Ezio starts
zip-lining across town in 1511, the Byzantines are out of power. And Constantinople
has been under control of the Ottoman Empire
since its conquest by Sultan Mehmed II in 1453. It didn’t take long for the
Ottomans to leave their mark, adorning the skyline
with cascading domes and spiking minarets. [CHIRPING] So sit back and relax
as we take a look at some of the city’s
most important sites and the people behind them. And if you want to revisit
Constantinople yourself, pick up Assassin’s Creed– Revelations. It’s available as
part of Uplay Plus, along with more than
100 other games on PC, or as part of the Assassin’s
Creed Ezio Collection on consoles. [LOW WHOOSHING] MAN: Welcome to
Constantia, Ezio, the crossroads of the world. Many generations of men
have ruled this city, but they have never subdued her. [DISTANT WAILING] She always bounces back. It seems a fine
place to call home. YOUSSEF MAGUID: For
nearly 1,000 years, the Byzantine Empire was the
most powerful economic force in Europe. And Constantinople was
at the center of it all. But by the time the
Ottomans arrived, Constantinople was
in rapid decline. And its population had dropped
from more than half a million people to less than 100,000
due to various attacks from neighboring nations. Once Mehmed took power, he
began to revitalize the city. While he converted
Constantinople to a predominantly
Muslim city, he invited people from
all over Europe, creating one of the first truly
cosmopolitan cities in history. The city went from a
pagan Greek city-state to a Christian Byzantine capital
to a Muslim Ottoman metropolis with monuments from all
three periods coexisting. What was it about Constantinople
that made it so important? Why was it the center of the
Byzantine and Ottoman empires for more than 1,500 years? It all comes down to location. Constantinople straddles the
Bosporus Strait the separation between Europe and
Asia, and the passageway between the Black Sea and
the Aegean and Mediterranean. When you control trade
routes, you control money and can make a whole lot of it. Revelations takes place
during a pivotal time in Constantinople’s
storied history. The two sons of Sultan
Bayezid II, Ahmet and Selim, were conspiring
against one another to become the next sultan. Bayezid had chosen
Ahmet as his successor. But Selim was the one who
eventually claimed his father’s throne due to his ruthlessness. And by ruthlessness,
I mean the fact that he assassinated any family
member that could possibly dethrone him, including
his two brothers– [GRUNTS] YOUSSEF MAGUID: –all
seven of their sons– [SHOUTS] YOUSSEF MAGUID: –and even
four of his five own sons. His favorite son, Suleiman,
was the only survivor. When we first meet Suleiman
in Assassin’s Creed– Revelations, he’s a 17-year-old
returning from his travels abroad. But he would go on to rule far
longer and more successfully than his brutal father. Suleiman would eventually become
the longest reigning Ottoman sultan, ruling for 46
years, during which time the empire saw unprecedented
militaristic, economic, and political growth. He became widely known as
“Suleiman the Magnificent.” Get back! Hold swords. YOUSSEF MAGUID:
It’s just too bad that Ezio wasn’t around to
see his old friend succeed. [MUSIC PLAYING] The world is a tapestry
of many colors and patterns. A just leader would celebrate
this, not seek to unravel it. He fears the disorder
that comes from difference. That is why we
make laws to live by. A [INAUDIBLE] that applies
to all in equal measure. YOUSSEF MAGUID: Without a
doubt, the most iconic landmark in Constantinople
was the Hagia Sophia. Originally built as a church
by Constantine in 326, the version we
see in Revelations has been through
significant changes thanks to multiple
riots that destroyed two previous iterations
of the building. The main structure
as it stands here was built under Emperor
Justinian in 532. When the Ottomans
took the city, Mehmed considered Hagia
Sophia his grand prize and quickly converted it to
a mosque and added a minaret, a tower used to sound the
Muslim call to prayer. The three others you see
here were added later in the 16th century. Head inside the Hagia
Sophia, and you’ll be greeted with a
massive open space. The interior transitions
from a square shape the lower area
into a circular dome thanks to the use
of pendentives– these things here–
while the clear story window around the dome’s base
make it almost appear to float. The sheer engineering feat
combined with the luminous rays of light was enough to convince
visitors of a holy presence. Despite being constructed
as a Byzantine church, there’s arguably no
building more influential on Ottoman architecture
and the Hagia Sophia. When it came time for Mehmed to
build a new mosque, the Fatih Cami, the design
borrowed heavily from Hagia Sophia with
lack of distinct facade and its large, centralized
dome flanked by half domes. You don’t have to look too
far to find other buildings mirroring its appearance, like
the Beyezid Mosque that we see here, or the famous
Blue Mosque built in the 17th century. Before Mehmed could
construct his new mosque, he needed a new palace– one far from the
city center, located at the tip of the peninsula
where the ancient Greek city of Byzantium once stood. He would go on to
construct Topkapi Palace, a secluded residents
with high walls that featured more courtyards
than interior spaces, and stylistically appeared
more like the gardens found in China than anything
happening in Europe at the time. The palace was also a place
for everyday civic affairs of the sultan, which took place
in the Diwan, or council hall, in the northwest corner
of the palace complex. Mosques, minarets, and
palaces may litter the city and dominate the skyline. But arguably the most
important location and the true lifeblood of the
city was the Grand Bazaar. Begun in 1455, it
is often referred to as the world’s
first shopping mall and was the commercial
center of Constantinople. Remember that part
about Constantinople controlling trade routes? That means they had access
to more exotic goods than just about any
other city in the world. So it only makes
sense that they need a massive center of commerce
to buy and sell their goods. [INAUDIBLE] YOUSSEF MAGUID: Food, clothes,
spices, textiles, art, jewelry, carpets, leather, and
so much more were all sold at the Grand Bazaar. I sell 200
[INAUDIBLE] for these. My final offer. When I find him, I
will ask about the rugs. You drive a hard
bargain, [INAUDIBLE].. Shall we compromise at 180? 180 [INAUDIBLE]? We [INAUDIBLE]. YOUSSEF MAGUID:
Assassin’s Creed– Revelations sends
Ezio off in style, thanks to the exotic tools
he uses, monuments he visits, and people he meets. If you want explore
Constantinople at your own pace,
check out more tidbits thanks to the in-game database. And be sure to pick
up Assassin’s Creed– Revelations as
part of Uplay Plus. For more on Assassin’s Creed,
subscribe to this channel, and visit us at
news.ubisoft.com. [GRINDING] [CHIRPING]

Comments 36

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *