It’s Saint Patrick’s Day (for another hour or so, at least), and I hope everyone’s had their fill of shamrocks, pots of gold, excessive boozing and iffy Irish stereotypes by now. This time of year we usually look to gaming’s most prominent Gaelic protagonists—the McRearys, Colin Moriarty and Irish from Red Dead Redemption haven’t gotten much attention since last year—to help ring in the drinking, but what about lesser known Irish inspirations? The sort that sneak into your favorite games where you might have missed them entirely? Well, I’ve got a frothing glass of them for you right here: 6 cool things from Irish history, folklore, music and programming that have slipped into and enriched our favorite games. Sit down, have a listen–the Leprechauns won’t leave you behind.
Acclaimed early-20th century writer Gertrude Stein once said, “This is the lesson that history teaches: repetition.” I say Gertrude Stein must’ve been an Assassin’s Creed fan, because Ubisoft’s award-winning action-adventure pseudo-stealth series has, over the years, made great use of repetition through history to intertwine the lives of its titular assassins.
Assassin’s Creed has built its entire story on the back of repetitious elements in the lives of successive assassin generations, recreated through the magic of technology and experienced by chosen one modern-day assassin Desmond Miles. Events that transpire in Desmond’s life reflect others borne by his 12th century Syrian ancestor Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad, and 15th century Italian forbearer Ezio Auditore da Firenze.
While each of the three assassins’ lives is unique, certain elements reoccur in each of their stories to emphasize their cyclical connection. The lip scar shared by Altair, Ezio and Desmond is a nice visual of that idea, and from a design perspective, the fact that they share the same face makes this association about as subtle as a sledgehammer through a china cabinet.
One such element deals with loss, guilt, and second chances in regard to romantic love, and is represented in an enduring pattern throughout the series: each assassin falls desperately in love with a woman, is peripherally responsible for her death, and is wracked with guilt over his involvement until years later, when he meets the woman that will become his wife.