The Top 5 Haystacks in Assassin’s Creed History

The Top 5 Haystacks in Assassin’s Creed History

The Assassin’s Creed series has, through the years, received countless accolades. Every year they praise the stealth, then they praise the combat, and then the story. Mishaps get forgiven, plot points forgotten. And yet, if you ask the layperson they will often say that the most quintessentially iconic aspect of the games is nothing else but the hidden blade. The one constant in a story of change. Well, Poppycock! POPPYCOCK I SAY!

For the dark horses of the seasoned franchise have remained in the shadows for far too long, waiting for their fair and, deserved opportunity to bask in fame and glory. Laurels which the limelight hogging hidden blades have all but stolen. Well, this is the day; the wonderful, blessed, and sacred day when the true protagonists of the Assassin mythos get the recognition they have rightfully earned. Today, I’m proud to present to our beloved readers the delight of a fawning listicle, in pure celebration and adoration of the marvelous haystacks of Assassin’s Creed!

5. The St. Paul’s Cathedral Leaf Pile

We start in London, 1868. The Frye twins seek to liberate the city from Templar control when they encounter a breathtaking sight. A beautiful cedar-wood basket filled with a symphony of chromatic vegetation. Green, brown, yellow, orange, and even a little assassin red. Look at this beautiful being, only a cousin to the haystack and it still manages to take the breath away!

Why is a pile of leaves resting atop St. Paul’s cathedral, where not even the tallest of Redwoods reach? Why does that pile of leaves have its own designated little wooden platform? Who collected the leaves? And why use a box with foot sized holes for crunchy itty-bitty leaves? Does the game even take place during autumn? I have no earthly idea, and yet, I don’t care, because that Is one mighty fine pile of leaves.

still from Assassin's Creed syndicate, show a pile of leaves on the roof of a cathedral

This seductive bank of lifeless foliage needs not to be questioned but admired. For among the turmoils of a post-industrial revolution, gang stricken London, it doesn’t fail to present itself with dignity and class.

4. The Mobile Haystacks of Egypt

Next, our journey of praise takes us to the land of Pharaoh’s. Where the Medjay, Bayek of Siwa, leads a conquest of revenge for the life of his son. However, not even he, in his grieving state of feverish dreams could have wondered, reflected, speculated, or even dared to imagine, the spectacle of speed that is the next entry. But the ancient Egyptian peasants sure could. And by god did they manage to perfectly honor the legacy of the haystack.

Assassin’s Creed: Origins was a revival for the series because of its innovation, it fixed the one problem that true fans wanted to be fixed since the very beginning. The singular issue with haystacks was the fact that you couldn’t take them with you, but now that fantasy is achievable! Hay on wheels is the ultimate mix of comfort and speed that you could get in any Assassin’s Creed game.

still from Assassin's Creed Origins of a Man in a carriage transporting a haystack, with 2 bulls pulling the vehicle

The only thing holding back this magnificent speedster from a higher place in this list is its unfortunate proximity to those hefty looking cattle, who would surely take a bite if given the opportunity. Sadly, the most dangerous thing about a fantastic haystack like this one, is that everyone wants a piece.

3. The Tropical Stacks of Black Flag

We continue to the Caribbean, during the peak of pirate activity. Black Flag proved to be one of the most outstanding and unique entries in the AC universe. Placing you in the compelling shoes of Edward Kenway, a swashbuckling buccaneer with a heart of gold. Well, you know what else is golden? That’s right, hay! And in Black Flag, the haystacks join you in paradise.

Still from Assassins Creed Black flag of Pirate Edward Kenway standing in front of a haystack and facing the ocean

Let’s be honest people, there would be nothing better after a long day of piracy than sipping Margaritas and Mojitos, next to this beautiful mound of would be feed turned assassin hiding spot. I mean look at that texture! I may be wrong but it seems like that haystack even has some strands of palm leaves, making this haystack a hydroponic miracle of ingenuity. If that doesn’t shout luxury, then frankly I don’t know what does.

2. The Primordial Haystack

Our voyage has now brought us to the Third Crusade, where we join the adventures of Altair Ibn-La’Ahad. And while the Third Crusade conjures feelings of turmoil and frights, this is actually the haystack for the tranquil life. It’s reliable, rustic, and a little rough around the edges. This haystack comes from an era long gone, an era of fewer polygons, of wild ambitions and limited technology. But that haystack… that haystack made it work with the best of them, and I’d wager that it still does.

still from Assassin's Creed 1 depicts Altair jumping out of a haystack

The first haystacks of Assassin’s Creed were not outstanding, but for the humble do not need to be. They were not absolute, for the absolute cannot transcend. No, the first haystacks were exactly what they needed to be, a pillowy surface for the brave new world of Templars and Assassins.

1. This Cool Big One on the Street

We conclude in the pinnacle of culture, 16th century Italy, with Ezio Auditore. And we can see that this particular haystack has not escaped the effects of the Renaissance and humanism. The grass emits a ghostly glow like white marble, yet unlike the cold stone, the hay looks fluffy and warm like the womb of a goddess. And I’m sure it would make for a great hiding place after a bold political assassination. It’s even right on the corner, a leap of faith into that beauty would land you directly into a cuddle of grass that would surely leave you with some kind of itchy allergy. But hey, what’s a little scratching compared to that heavenly haystack?

 still from Assassin's Creed Brotherhood shows a Large haystack laying in an Italian street

I’ve declared it, this is the best pile in the entire franchise. Not in a palace or a beneath a grandiose tower, but in some random street of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. And it even comes with a free water pot just on the left side, so you can rehydrate after so much climbing. I urge you to go and find it! Take a picture with it or something, before it’s too late! For such a sanctified haystack can only fade with time. It’s a pretty cool pile of hay.

The Hay of Reckoning

All in all, I think I’ve proven my point. The haystacks of Assassin’s Creed deserve and need a lot more love than they’ve been getting lately. After all, they’ve been the safety net of every Assassin we’ve come to know and love for more than a decade. Not a tool of death like the hidden blades, but one of protection. And do they need to serve the Assassins? Of course not, just by taking one look you can see the level of caliber and prestige among the haystacks. But that’s how good they are, you ask to survive a 200-foot fall, and not only do they help you achieve that but then also bestow on to you the hug to end all hugs, so snuggly and warm that not even your childhood teddy bear could live up to such an embrace.

Haystacks are the backbone of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, nay, they are the backbone of our very society. And these 5 presented here today were merely the cuspid of beauty in a sea of sirens. As you’d be pressed to find a haystack that does not inspire awe and joy.

 

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Know of any other impressive Haystacks in Assassin’s Creed games? Let us know in the comments section, and while you’re at it why not check out our ranking of the Stardew Valley Bachelors!

 

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2 thoughts on “The Top 5 Haystacks in Assassin’s Creed History

  1. I will have to disagree with the cool big one on the street, the simmetrical inconsistency is an eysore. Haystacks should be simple, therefore the complexity of the hay on this location gives me an idea that it has been defecated and urinated on various times, making it hard for me to be relaxed with the idea of my character smelling like poop.

    1. Don’t get me wrong fellow haystronaut, I understand your uncertainty with my choice. But please, allow me to quell your fears. You see, a common misconception exists among the common folk that the middle ages were a cess-pool of extreme filth, of course, there exists a basis for this assumption; hygiene was not nearly as much of a concern, nor did they have the technologies that we have today, but that does not mean that personal care was not of importance, in fact in many ways it was a necessity.

      In and around the year 1347 the infamous black plague began its assault on Europe (surely you can relate to the plights of pandemics), ravaging the continent. This, while terrible, did demonstrate to the medievals the importance of sanitation. And while they did not understand how, they did acknowledge the dangers of scatological miss care, especially when it came to disease. As a consequence of this, renaissance period toilet practices were surprisingly sophisticated, involving primitive sewer systems, public and private latrines, and even a culture of self-responsibility. Lower class folks, who didn’t have access to latrines, would defecate in buckets and basins and then deposit the fecal matter into nearby rivers and streams. Some cities even had strict laws prohibiting civilians from sullying the streets. So a haystack on the road would likely be rather clean, some even used sticks with frayed bristles of hay on the end to clean their teeth.

      In reality, the danger of a foul-smelling character comes not from hay, but from the streams into which human waste was deposited. I believe that Ubisoft kept this in mind while making Assassins Creed Brotherhood, and that’s why the rivers and streams look so brown and drab, while the haystacks look so pristine and seductive!

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