Smarty-pants fans over at Access the Animus have cracked the Isu language found throughout Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
The video below, which goes into granular detail of the fans’ exhaustive efforts, was praised by Valhalla narrative director Darby McDevitt after it went live last night.
The Isu language, used by Assassin’s Creed’s infamous precursor race, can be found in a few spoilery places within Valhalla.
In the game’s modern day portion, you’ll also see some translated texts from around the world in photos on Layla’s computer.
It’s these translations that have acted like a Rosetta Stone for the language, allowing fans to work out Ubisoft has created a vocabulary that includes verb tenses, grammar, conjugated words and a specific sentence structure.
Accompanying notes found on the laptop put in as clues to help translation note the language is an ancestor of the Indo-European family of languages. (These were sent to Layla by someone whose name looks like that of Ubisoft Singapore designer Antoine Henry, who worked on the language.)
The notes also state that not all Isu writing systems are exactly identical, as the ancient civilisation was not as monolithic as once thought (a useful hand-waving device to excuse small differences seen in the language’s various uses, and a comment on the various tribes of Isu – a narrative thread expanded on in the main campaign).
The video goes through the translated files on Layla’s computer, discussing each discovery, before going on to apply these learnings to texts located elsewhere in Valhalla (beware some mild spoilers if you don’t want to know exactly where).
And that’s just part one – upcoming videos will discuss the Isu’s numerical structure and tackle the even more complicated Canterbury file on Layla’s computer, before going on to apply all of these learnings about how the Isu language works to untranslated text found within the collector’s version of the game.