Just before Christmas, we ran a competition for an Assassin's Creed PS4 bundle that posed the following question: "If we put you in an Animus, to which time period would you go, and what would you likely see (or like to see) on a trip back through your genetic history?"
We got a ton of entries, and wading through them over the past few days, here's what we learned:
◆ Too many people get their "history" from fiction films
◆ A lot of people think they could change the course of history at crucial points, if only they were there
◆ A lot of people want to see the birth of humankind, or be responsible for it
◆ A lot of people want to see the New Zealand Wars first-hand
◆ A lot of people think the Animus is a straight-up time machine
◆ A lot of people just want to know if their older relatives are lying to them (let me solve that one for you: YES)
◆ At least one person seems to believe that mythology is stuff that happened long ago
◆ At least one person seems to believe that Adam and Eve may have been real
◆ Some of you have pretty interesting families!
However, probably our biggest takeaway was that this competition's entry mechanic was unclear and confusing. Sorry about that. We'll do better next time (unless we don't). Fortunately, enough of you picked up what we were putting down that we can confidently draw a winner.
Before we get to the finalists, below are a couple of random awards. Sadly there is no prize for these (beyond the glory of a GP shout-out, of course):
Award For Being Sensible: cyco
"After playing bf1 makes me wonder more about [going to World War I] but might be a little to much potentially"
"there is so much of prehistory more than anything I'd love to learn about! ..but you know, toilet paper.. id miss it."
Noblest Cause Award: iqooo
"My surname didn't exist before we arrived in New Zealand, it was a spelling error on a form. It was so complicated to change it they kept the same. I would go back and get that fixed up"
"I'd go back to the early 90s and make sure that the Super Mario Bros. Movie was actually good, setting the right path for all video game movies to follow so they didn't all suck."
"my DNA test said I've got part French heritage - so I'd like to go back to one of those French ancestors and experience eating genuine frog legs and snails. Totally worth it and saves taking a long haul flight"
Legit Noblest Cause Award: shizzlenizzle1
"Ohh, id like to go back about 30 years ago and knowing there would be a war in my country id do my best to get my family to safety and everyone else before hell broke loose. Today there would be a statue of me lol."
And now, the finalists!
Despite our apparently baffling entry question, we received a lot of awesome comments that met the entry criteria, so in order to pare them down, we eliminated those we felt were too broad and uncreative, and promoted those that felt personal. The remaining entries, shown below, all went in the draw for the prize pack.
My genetic history traces back to Ireland, and considering geneology through an Animus that likely means reliving memories of drunkenness, drugs and civil unrest. So I'd go back just sixteen years...As I'm closely related to a Charlie Angle! (or rather Drew Barrymore) what better adventure to have than relive that of a Hollywood Celeb on or off set! Can see and do it all, and I'm sure that even includes Playstation in her downtime
(Scottish Ancestry Here)
I would go back to the 16th century when the origin story of our clan crest occurred.
A rival clan (The MacNeish clan) had raided our convoy (that had all our stores to celebrate christmas) and returned to a secluded island on a loch where the only boat available belonged to them and was moored at the island (they figured they were pretty safe). The MacNeishes had prophecy that doom would befall the clan when 2 boats sailed the Loch.
A group of MacNabs (My clan but the spelling differs) went to seek vengeance led by the Chief's son "Smooth John MacNab" (this was apparently one of those ironic nicknames like "Little John"). They carried a boat on their shoulders so they could assault the island.
Once they reached the island Smooth John kicked the door down and they killed everyone except for a boy and girl who had hid under a table.
Smooth John took the head of the opposing clan leader and returned to his father (who had been scared stiff that his son would be killed). He threw the head down before him and said "Dread Nought", which became his war cry from then on.
This is why our clan crest features a severed head and the coat of arms has a boat.
Our clan motto: "Let Fear Be Far From All" (although I reckon Dread Nought sounds a lot cooler)
tl;dr: 16th Century Scotland where my Ancestors kicked ass and took names.
I see through the eyes of Edgar von Straus. It is June 6th, 1763. In 22 days an earthquake hits KomÃrom, Hungary.
History records that the quake is a mere 6.2, caused by an intraplate earthquake in the Pannonian Basin associated with the RÃ¡ba-Hurbanovo tectonic line. A deformation resulting from the movement of the Adriatic Plate relative to the Eurasian Plate is blamed.
The truth is that an ancient Isu outpost was located deep beneath the ground KomÃrom stands on. My ancestor, Edgar von Straus is a German born Assassin who has learned that the Templars have recently discovered the outpost's location and that they are busy digging towards it.
He makes his way across Europe to Hungray, impeded by Templars who, mysteriously, know his mission: To ensure that the Isu outpost remains buried and lost forever.
With his identity known to the Templars, Edgar has a harder time blending in, and must instead rely on shadows and cunning while trying to beat the clock.
How do they know his identity and mission? What is in the Isu outpost that the Templars want so bad? And what causes the earthquake - natural forces, or something far more insidious?
Guess you'll have to play the game to find out...
Considering with the Animus you can only go back through your own genetic history, my family being related to the Wallace clan, I'd like to go back to the battle of Stirling Bridge in the 13th century, and resistance against the occupation of Scotland.
I would go back to back to Medieval Scotland. Our ancestor was a wizard, you can go visit the castle today and see his dungeon with all the occult stuff. Would be cool to meet this ancestor, who knows maybe learn some tricks of the trade if there's any truth to them.
So apparently my Grandmothers family in Scotland (the Campbells) were right bastards in that they battled their neighbors to grab their land, shifted allegiances at will with the current ruling factions and were generally hated amongst the other clans. So much so that when my cousin went to what we thought was the area they lived she was met with disdain form the locals. I'd like to go back to the Scottish war of Independence so I could wear a kilt while doing a haystack leap.
I'd love to go back to start in early/mid 1800's New Zealand. The time when the pakeha were arriving in NZ and also the Maori Land wars.
Id love to play the part of an assassin spying on the newcomers, and executing the British militia leaders, taking on other Maori tribes who had sided with the pakeha.
Would be great to see whether something like that would have influenced the history of Aotearoa through the period of te Tiriti O Waitangi and on into the Maori Land Wars.
I would go back to see my pirate ancestors on the ship "the Bounty", I am related to Fletcher Christian who led the mutiny against Captian Bligh. I'd like to see this in action!
I've seen Dick Turpin on my family tree, would like to go back and give him a hand
Difficult to choose one moment in history, but I would love to go back to medieval Wales to find my ancestors and help the Welsh take control of Cardiff Castle from the Normans.
I would travel back to the 1700s where an aristocrat had an affair with his maid (my ancestor) and fired her when she fell pregnant so that we can know who he was and hopefully lay claim to some unknown fortune!!
Having just come back from the UK I reckon it would be pretty cool to check out some of my ancestral ties to places like Lichfield cathedral through the Animus (only 10mins away from my birthplace). There's also this awesome New Zealand connection there that makes it particularly relevant, in the 1800's the first Anglican Bishop of New Zealand was buried there. I can see a set of events leading the bishop to flee to NZ with Pieces of Eden after being offered safe haven by an NZ Assassin Order, only to be chased down and forced to return (but this time with an army of NZ Assassins in tow).
I would like to visit my distant French roots by dipping my daggers into the Caesar era Roman Empire. The Animus journey would look at a Gaulish assassin, sticking and moving his way through Roman Centurian led legions.....all in aid of a lost love, vengeance ala Spartacus feels.......there would be blood, with an evil Roman Imperator the ultimate goal.
I would accompany Hernan Cortes on his arrival in the New World in 1509 and throughout his campaign to conquer Mexico, finally achieving it in 1521. His single-minded determination, including the scuttling of his own ships to prevent retreat and recruiting rivals to the Aztecs to his own army, is one of history's most magnificent tales. Also one of the most distressing, since it involved the obliteration of 96% of indigenous Mesoamerican people and the looting of all their gold.
I would go back to world war two and follow my grandfather around as he trained to be a pilot in london (and met my grandmother) and when he flew on his last mission and they got shot at by the germans he got all his crew to bail out asap as he flew as long as he could to give them a chance to land safely and get away to safety. He bailed out at the last minute got tangles up in a tree and could hear the germans shouting at each other and the dogs barking he cut the harness off after climbing further up the tree rolled it up and shoved it into the tree trunk and climbed as high as he could and sat there for some reason the dogs didnt find him and after hours he climbed down and went to a local farm house and hid in there hay barn fell asleep and the next day a farmer found him and took him into the house for food anyhoo long story the farmer knew some local people who could make contact with people to help smuggle him out of the area back to safety to return to london so he kept a low profile for a few days but helped around the farm in the field one day the farmers wife came running up to say the germans were in the area so they hid him under the chicken coup sadly the dogs did find him but I would have loved to have been there at that time and intercept the germans and lead them away from him and lead them on a merry chase it would have been scary but also an adventure luckliy my grandfather survived the pow camp and he married my grandmother and came back to new zealand but I would have loved to have made it he didnt get caught and the not knowing what happened to the brave people who hid him and helped him when they knew they were endangering themselves.
For a road trip back through my genetic history I would probably be going back to WW1 and WW2 I have a lot of family history during those events. My gran was a nurse and my grandfather was a pilot in a bomber.
My mum is always on about how great the family used to be back in China, like landlords and whatnot - but I'll pretty sure that's BS. I'd like to go back to that time just to win that argument
I would like to back to the time of Vlad The Impaler and see if my crazy grandmother was right in saying we have romanian royalty in our ancestry.
I would go back to 1066 to see whether or not my genetic ancestors did invade England with William the Conqueror, or whether my grandmother has been making shit up the whole time.
And the winner is...
Our overlord random.org hath decreed that our winner this time is: Nerin!
Well done Nerin: you've scored yourself a brand new PlayStation 4 console with Assassin's Creed Syndicate and Assassin's Creed The Ezio Collection, alongside an Assassin’s Creed double movie pass, cap and wash bag.
Thank you very much to all who entered, and well done to all finalists as well.
Stay tuned for more competitions (that hopefully don't take as long to judge as this one did) in the future!