Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s Collector’s Edition Holds a Wild Mystery – and Fans Just Solved It
A team of dedicated Assassin’s Creed secret hunters have solved a wild mystery found within the bonuses included in the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s Collector’s Edition.
In early January, Access the Animus released a video talking about how they had decoded the ancient Isu language found in-game and then applied what they had learned to translate a series of corresponding Isu words such as “hidden inside”, “this lake” and “now” that can be found on the packaging of the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Collector’s Edition.
Already a staggering achievement, the team pressed on to see if they could unravel any more secrets, as it felt like the mysterious terms had to lead to something. In the meantime, user JorRaptor posted a video to YouTube showing players how they can find a secret Isu Bow called Nodens’ Arc in-game, by smacking a non-descript unbreakable patch of iron ore, exiting the game and reloading your save. But as revealed by Valhalla Narrative Director Darby McDevitt on Twitter, this was just a “brute force” way to solve a more complex mystery. The proper steps were still hidden, but have since been unravelled.
It is done! We were able to find the proper in-world path to obtain the Nodens’ Arc bow in #AssassinsCreed Valhalla!
Join us as we won’t just show you the proper steps to obtain it, but we’ll also show you the reasons that justify said steps!
— AccessTheAnimus (@AccessTheAnimus) January 27, 2021
Spoilers follow for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Access the Animus took note of the Isu Bow find and correlated what they had already found, unravelling the full mystery in a recent video. A sentence discovered on the Collector’s Edition box that remained untranslated read “The Key Is The …” The missing word was present on another part of the box, underneath a drawing of a crow. Perplexed, the team eventually discovered that the secret sword Excalibur was hidden within the Crow drawing, and took this to mean that the symbol meant ‘Sword,’ so “The Key is the Sword”. As it happens, the in-game description for Excalibur mentions how it can “break anything,” which further fueled the mystery.
Now that they knew what to do, Access the Animus then noticed a series of seeming Isu numbers on the game’s box, that could be used as co-ordinates that may lead to the unbreakable ore. This part of the translation remains unsolved, but here’s where it gets really wild. As discovered in the ‘Brute Force’ method, the location of the rock is in the middle of a lake in Valhalla’s Northumbria, and fans found out that the lake looks a lot like the island of Singapore. Ubisoft has an office in Singapore, and as it turns out, you can pinpoint the location of the unbreakable ore based on the real-world location of the Ubisoft Singapore office. This is yet to be confirmed by Ubisoft, but Access the Animus points out that this section of the map was worked on by that specific studio, and the Isu language was designed by Ubisoft designer Antoine Henry, who works out of Ubisoft’s Singapore office.
But you can’t just hit the ore with Excalibur and expect to receive the bow, as Access the Animus found out players must strike it at an exact time. Previously, the community had found and translated the word “now” by assembling the Collector’s Edition Lithographs so that they would display a symbol, but what was missed was that the symbols themselves were the actual mystery. When pushing the lithographs together, Access the Animus found that the symbols covered a picture of the sun, which led them to believe that the “now” prompt was alerting them to the time of day they should strike the ore. Sure enough, you have to hit the ore exactly at sunset with Excalibur, and then you’ll get the Nodens’ Arc legendary bow. With that, a fascinating mystery was solved. Massive props must be given to the community for cracking this wonderfully complex secret, one that could have easily gone unsolved for years without the work of dedicated fans.
In other Assassin’s Creed Valhalla news, here’s how to find and unlock the Excalibur Greatsword if you wish to complete the secret yourself. We reviewed the game upon launch, scoring it an 8 and calling it “impressive on multiple levels.”
Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.