Journey Through History: TOWOB’s Timeline of the Assassin’s Creed Universe - 2023 Edition
Banner by Thea Marie Rivedal (Moonchildgecko) from TOWCB Art Team.
It's time for an update to the timeline I released last year here on The Ones Who Came Before for the Genetic Memory Timeline for the entire Assassin’s Creed Universe (or at least what I find to still be relevant). To get started, please download a copy of the following Google Sheet that I am sharing in a View Only format to avoid unapproved changes to the timeline. You can download a copy of the timeline here. As you read through the timeline, you can check off what items you own and which ones you have completed on one or both timelines. Links are provided for discontinued services that will redirect you to another site that has documented the content of these entries to read over. Overall, these timelines are a great way to explore the Assassin’s Creed universe.
Not every single item that Ubisoft has branded will be included such as the companion apps for games or the old mobile versions of titles that would have been played on non-smartphone devices. However, I scoured the internet from AC Wiki, Access the Animus, Wikipedia, and other sources to gather as much lore that I could and put it in on the timeline. In total there are over 250+ items within the Assassin’s Creed timeline so there will be plenty to choose from.
The original Genetic Memory timeline is organized by Century (both BCE and CE) from ancient content to modern day, but the new addition for this year’s timeline is the Release Date Timeline; organized by the date of release based on the information that I was able to locate. This timeline is divided by Release Year from 2007 - 2023, with a TBA section at the end for content that has been announced but not yet provided a release date.
Unlike the GM timeline, certain transmedia such as the Echoes of History podcast are not divided into individual episodes within the RD timeline, but grouped as one item to be enjoyed all at once. This is also something that you will notice with similar data points being merged together in each column to make it easier to read (at least it is to me). If you do not find this useful, once you download the spreadsheet, you will be able to edit it to your personal preferences. If a piece of content is available in a non-English language, it will be notated in parenthesis.
Beginning with the Genetic Memory Order tab, I will walk through each Century and provide a small explanation of what you will find in each section. With the dates for each historical period, you will find the range of when the content took place and find that some items may start at a similar point in time or even during the same time period as another (such as the Assassin’s Creed movie and Assassin’s Creed II). The earlier start date will take precedence over the other, so you can image this as a “Elsewhere this was happening” when moving through the recorded history. Periods that had no major event taking place are labeled with the area that the content takes place. Additionally you will find the GM character (such as Kassandra, Eivor, or Ezio) and then the Modern Day time period and respective character if available. If you have interest in following the MD story in order, see the Release Date Order tab for that option. However as we progress to the 21st Century, the GM periods will fill more with N/As and be replaced with more detail in the MD period and character.
The format that you will see for the majority of the main games in the series as it is meant to be an option of how you want to enjoy the story, is that the novelization and game are next to each other in order. I suggest going back to the one you didn’t start with (book or game) once you finish the first to get the full experience. You will also find that the supplemental content for the games in the form of strategy guides, art books, and soundtracks are grouped with their game to provide that full content line.
If you would rather explore the timeline in Release Date order, you can select the tab and just read top to bottom as it is organized by dates and doesn’t need any additional explanation.
6th Century BCE
From the Facebook application Project Legacy (courtesy of Access the Animus’ recording of the site data) we have a single entry for the period showing how Pythagoras received the Staff of Hermes Trismegistus via the story of his companion Kyros of Zarax.
5th Century BCE
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey resides in this Century and all of the content for the story of Kassandra will be located here (minus the Valhalla end of the Crossover Story with Eivor in the 9th Century CE). Starting with the Behind the Legend episode from Echoes of History, fans can learn more about Kassandra’s grandfather, King Leonidas I of Sparta before moving into either the novelization or the videogame for AC Odyssey. Fans will continue with the game’s DLC with a few items mixed in and follow this with the Discovery Tour, and close with the various VR offerings that are available either commercially (at a VR business) or on the Meta Oculus Quest.
3rd Century BCE
Assassin’s Creed: Codename Jade is the exclusive entry for this century. It is set in the Qin Dynasty and will be coming to mobile devices in the future.
1st Century BCE
Assassin’s Creed Origins is the focus of the 1st Century BCE. Starting with the prequel novel and another Echoes of History episode to set fans up for the main game and its additional content. Much like Odyssey, this will be followed with the Egyptian Discovery Tour and end with the Origins comic that takes place after the story of the game.
3rd Century CE
Moving into the Common Era, The Ankh of Isis Trilogy will be next on the checklist. Now while the Modern Day adaptation of Desmond Miles’ story is not considered canon to the universe, the Genetic Memories are as there are references to this transmedia piece in later content.
7th Century CE
The first book in the Imperial Jade Seal series will take place in 660 CE following Chinese Assassin, Zhangsun Qi. This book, Assassin's Creed: Chang'an Wang (Prophecy of the Emperor) is available exclusively in Chinese and has no current information available for additional languages.
8th Century CE
The Tang Dynasty continues with Assassin’s Creed: Dynasty in five volumes (6 volumes in France).
9th Century CE
This century is the one that many fans will currently be in or waiting for as both Assassin’s Creed Mirage and Valhalla take place here. With Valhalla you will see multiple DLC and content updates listed individually as they have major plot points and was the first game to offer a 2-year content schedule. If you do not see a particular content update listed, it was not added as it was assumed that you will play with the main story (such as the festivals).
10th Century CE
Another century with a single entry, The Last Descendants - Fate of the Gods. A good way to wrap up the Viking stories as we move to the original game.
12th Century CE
Assassin’s Creed (2007), the original game is the focus of this century. Starting with the DS game Altaïr's Chronicles and The Secret Crusade (Spoilers: This will cover content that you won’t play until the 16th Century as it is about Altaïr's life). The main game and Bloodlines will follow and wrap up with the historical podcast about the overall Assassin’s v. Templars in Echoes of History. I added this podcast after the original game and not in the 11th Century as I felt that it was better fitting to listen to after playing the first game as story elements of the game are covered within.
13th Century CE
Mongolia is a key location in the 13th Century as we start with the final content for Altaïr and his family, following with an Echoes of History episode on Niccolo and Maffeo Polo, and wrapping up with the second book of the Last Descendants trilogy, Tomb of the Great Khan. An additional YA novel takes place in Scotland with AC Fragments - The Highlands Children.
14th Century CE
The sequel to the Ankh of Isis Trilogy (3rd Century CE) is next with The Hawk Trilogy of books. Either the individual books or the combined trilogy will be acceptable here as it will get read all together. Of all the AC content that I have interacted with so far, this trilogy is my least favorite.
15th Century CE
Ezio Auditore takes over in the 15th Century after fans read AC: Heresy by the awesome Christie Golden. Assassin’s Creed II will be the majority focus this century, but will intertwine with the Assassin’s Creed movie as well.
16th Century CE
This is the second largest century for content with 41 items to read & play. AC Brotherhood, AC Revelations, and AC Chronicles: China are the major players as Ezio’s story continues and he passes the torch to Shao Jun.
17th Century CE
Do you know what the 17th Century has that the others don’t? Witches! Three of the four content entries in this century are about the witches in the US (Trial by Fire comic), France (The Witches of the Moors YA novel), and Germany (AC Hexe, not-confirmed). This century also includes the audiobook, AC Gold, that follows the blind Assassin Omar Khaled during The Great Recoinage in 1696.
18th Century CE
The Kenway Saga is the anchor for the 18th Century. Edward Kenway leads with AC IV: Black Flag & the currently running Forgotten Temple manga on Webtoon. His Quartermaster Adéwalé continues our time in the Caribbean with the DLC add-on, Freedom Cry (also available as a standalone game).Edward’s son Haytam is the transition with AC Forsaken (novel) into the Templar led AC Rogue, and then into his son Ratonhnhaké:ton’s (Connor Kenway) game Assassin’s Creed III. AC Liberation adds Aveline de Grandpré to the cast of Assassins and wraps the America’s story before rewinding to a character fans met in Rogue, Arno Dorian.
The French Assassin takes us to the French Revolution for the next 16 years of the series and the collection of media based around this release from 2014.
19th Century CE
A century of revolution and civil war. Assassin’s Creed India and Syndicate provide plenty of gaming options while The Engine of History trilogy provides amazing stories in novel form from author Kate Heartfield and Aconyte Books. Lots of time will be spent in the UK and Europe this century and covers a vast amount of historical time periods.
20th Century CE
The comic lines of the Assassin’s Creed universe take over from here as the games have not continued past the 19th Century, with the exception of Assassin’s Creed Russia. The Russian Civil War, World War II, and the Vietnam War all occur this century. This is also the century that Abstergo Industries was founded (the modern day Templar Order) so fans will get to explore the history of the organization via websites and multiplayer-files from previous games.
21st Century CE
We come full circle with more information about Abstergo Industries, including the Employee Handbook and the final volume of the original Assassin’s Creed comic line from Titan Comics. Fans can also continue into the future with the non-canon story of Assassin Darcy Clarkson in the DLC update for Watch Dogs: Legion if they choose to do so.
Additional Data (Multiple Time Periods)
In this section, I positioned alphabetically the content that covered too many time periods or content that was made for the Assassin’s Creed audience and not the story itself. This includes “The Network Podcast” which I have singled out in this explanation as one of the hosts, Andrien (@EscoBlades) was reported in 2020 for abuses against women. While TOWCB do not support this man in any form, the podcast which was also hosted by Stephen O'Neill (@SickSteeny) & Gabe Graziani (@GabeGraziani) who I feel should not be shadowed by this person.
If you want to deep dive into the series or get a quick overview of the story, this is the section for you. The Encyclopedias, The Essential Guides, The Official Collection magazine series, and other similar materials are all included here. I could have divided the magazines into their respective time periods, but there are 80 issues and I don’t have them to do that. Maybe if I can ever get my hands on them I will divide them, but it's best to keep them together for now like the Encyclodpia’s various pages on each Assassin and time period.
Any and all titles and projects that have been announced by Ubisoft and the Assassin’s Creed Brand that do not have enough information to be placed in the timeline are here. These will be added once more information is provided. But it's a nice way to see what is around the corner for us to explore when the time comes.
I hope that this timeline helps all of you organize your plans to explore the Assassin’s Creed universe. If you happen to find an issue with the timeline (as I have found a few typos or copy/paste issues that I have corrected), or if you have additional content that you think fits in the timeline, please reach out to me on this site in the comments or on Twitter @thelordreylus and I will look into it further. I plan on updating this article at least once a year, but with the spreadsheet, I will attempt to keep it updated as I update my personal copy.
So go forth and explore this historical playground that we all enjoy and I will see you online to discuss your favorites!
About the Author
Mike Smith is a collector of all things Assassin's Creed and a major supporter for the transmedia platform for the series. With nearly a full library of Assassin's Creed media, he is exploring the universe in order of Genetic Memory and waiting eagerly for the next story to be released.
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