Britain in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

 

Mysteries- What’s it all about

Mysteries are a new addition to the Assassin’s franchise,  These are missions or activities that pop up on your world map when you’re nearby or after synchronizing at one of the high points (they’re presented as a beam of blue light) that have become a trademark of the series.

There are 11 different types of mysteries to be found as you explore Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s expansive regions, so let’s take a closer look at what you can expect to be doing when you’re not raiding or drinking your clansmen under the table.

Cairns

By definition, a cairn is a stack of stones that is placed upon a hilltop or overlook. In the world of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, stacking these stones is a relaxing, almost meditative activity that allows Eivor a chance to look back on old memories.

 

Animus Anomalies

Longtime Assassin’s Creed fans know the Animus as the machine that allows a user to access memories of their ancestors. That seems to be the case again in Valhalla, as you can find anomalies in the world that pull you out of Eivor’s body and into the current day character. Once there, you’ll need to make your way across a number of floating platforms to get a data packet for analysis. These are basically environmental puzzles that need to be solved.

 

Offering Altar

Scattered throughout the world are altars, where denizens of Britain leave items or sacrifices in an effort to appease or curry favor with the gods. In Eivor’s case, that favour comes in the form of a skill point, but it required a bit of effort to earn it.

 

Daughter of Lerion

These terrifying warriors are the daughters of King Lerion, who was betrayed by his subjects. Tackling these enemies results in a challenging boss fight in which all sorts of mystical attacks and powers are used against Eivor, with each of the daughters controlling a different element.

 

 

Standing Stones

These mysteries look a lot like a version of Stonehenge, with large rocks standing at different angles. Upon arriving, you to clear the area of enemies, then read a nearby stone for some context around the game’s mythology, as well as a symbol to look for. Using eagle vision near the arranged stones brings out jumbled elements of the symbol, requiring you to walk around until you have the correct angle for viewing the whole symbol.

 

Flyting

Did you know that rap battles have been around since at least the 9th century? I sure didn’t, but Assassin’s Creed Valhalla features activities called “flyting,” in which Eivor engages on a verbal war of words with another character in the game. You can place bets on these encounters (100, 200, or 300 gold) if you think you’ve got the chops to compete. Once you’re in the battle, you’ll need to choose a line that both rhymes with whatever you opponent says and fits the same cadence. The clock is ticking though, so you’ll need to choose quickly. If you’re able to best your foe, you’ll earn charisma that will give Eivor new dialogue choices in certain conversations.

 

Fly Agaric

Fly agaric is a type of mushroom that provides a powerful hallucinogenic response when eaten, and that’s exactly what happens when Eivor chows down on one. In the one of these you are tasked with walking through ethereal gates in the correct order.

 

 

World Event

These mysteries are essentially longer side missions that help to build out the game’s world a bit more. During a short snippet of the game, I viewed a side mission that protected the White Lady of Tamworth, who was role-playing being trapped in a tower by her lover, helped an incompetent warrior fake a raid by torching a house (with their mother’s precious axe inside), took part in some bare-knuckly basement brawls, protected holy women trying to escape persecution, and much more. These events were a fun way to meet some of the oddball characters populating the game’s world and often provided a bit of levity to the proceedings.

 

Lost Drengr

The Lost Drengr are fearsome Vikings warriors that came to Britain about a decade before Eivor’s arrival with their king, Ragnar. After the king’s passing, the Drengr lost their sense of purpose and have been wandering around Britain aimlessly, but Eivor is able to offer them a chance to get what they’ve always wanted: a glorious death in battle. That won’t come at Eivor’s hand, however, since defeating them (in what amounts to a boss fight) will recruit them into your clan, where they’ll be a big help in battles.

 

Legendary Animals

There are a number of mythical beasts roaming the countryside and defeating them in battle will provide Eivor with a skill point as well as bragging rights at the clan’s settlement. The one legendary animal that has been shown so far is the Black Shuck, a large, shaggy dog from English mythology that was said to fight like it was possessed by the devil. As with the Daughters of Lerion and the Lost Dregr, taking on a Legendary Animal is akin to a boss fight, so it pays to make sure you’re up to the task. You can even take on mythical monstrous wolf Fenrir!

 

 

Treasure of Britain

The final type of mystery in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla are the Treasures of Britain, which have not been shown yet. However, from what i have heard, I’d bet that some (or all?) of them revolve around the famed Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain, which feature everything from weapons to cloaks of invisibility. It’s likely that there are some artistic liberties here and there (does Eivor need a hamper that’s always full of food?), but given that the developers have already said that the famed sword of Excalibur will be in the game, we’ll likely be seeing some really interesting items.

We already knew that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla would feature a sprawling storyline and plenty of things to do in Britain, but the addition of these mysteries provides even more reasons to explore the game’s massive countryside. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla launches November 10th on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.

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