Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Skills of Ezio Auditore

Alrighty!  Ezio Auditore is a master assassin.  We've been over this already.  Something else to note is what I referred to in my initial character breakdown; Ezio's feats and skills may be astounding and unbelievable but they are, for the most part, possible to perform in real life.  The major exception to this is the leap of faith maneuver, which, at low heights and jumping into certain substrates, is possible, but the whole hay/flowers providing enough cushioning for such falls is dubious.  Foam pits at gymnasiums would work, though :-P  His martial arts styles and feats are also grounded in realism, and we'll touch on those, too.

So!  First and foremost is Ezio's parkour skills.  His climbing, leaping, jumping, and general acrobatics are awesome to watch and perform, and chances are, you know that these things are already possible.  But how do you go about it?  First off, I'd recommend getting in relatively good shape before you attempt too much.  Once you can perform level two of The Ezio Auditore Workout I'd recommend you start giving some parkour a shot.

While I am an amateur traceur myself, I would not consider myself anything near the caliber of Mr. Ryan Doyle.  Above is his roll tutorial, which is what I would recommend you start with when you're beginning to learn parkour.  I love everything about this video, but especially, "we teach you how to fall before we teach you how to fly."  You're going to encounter more danger from falling in your life than just about any other threat. I wouldn't recommend doing ANY other parkour until this roll is second nature to you.  Just a word on his progressions, though, before you try diving over an object(progression 3), I would recommend practicing the dive roll without any object on soft grass or mats(if you have access to gym mats).  Also, start with a lower object to dive over after that.

And that's it for parkour!  I know, I know, Ezio does WAY cooler stuff than that, but I really want you to learn the roll first and foremost.  If you're interested in getting yourself hurt by jumping in faster than you should, feel free to look up more tutorials on youtube, but don't say I didn't warn you.  But while you're at it, look up Ryan Doyle's show reels and you'll know what I meant when I say that Ezio's feats are possible in real life =D  I promise you, I will revisit parkour MANY times in the future, especially since it's the latest cool thing to add to games right now.  We'll look at more advanced stuff, just LEARN THE ROLL NOW so you're ready for it!

Climbing is another thing Ezio does well, and the best advice I can offer you on this one is to climb as much as you can, whenever you can.  Climb trees, walls, climbing walls, rocks, whatever.  Know your limits, don't go higher than ten feet without safety equipment(or a reckless disregard for your own safety), and if you have a climbing gym near you, DEFINITELY go check them out and take a lesson or two, you'll learn some neat stuff.  Maybe someday you'll even be like this guy.

Big skill number three we're going to look at is martial arts!  For all intents and purposes, Ezio is a fencer.  Not a modern foil fencer like in the Olympics, though, we're talking traditional Florentine Fencing with some hand-to-hand and knife work mixed in.  If you can, your best bet would be to find a medieval or "classical" fencing school, Italian if you can, but any European style school should work.  I personally take Scottish Broadsword lessons from the Cateran Society Broadsword Academy long-distance apprenticeship program, and I like them just fine.

With his assassin blades, we're a bit stuck.  First of all, they don't exist as a traditional weapon in history.  You can get some props, like this one from Amazon, but these are contemporary props, not  functional weapons.  Though there are some similar weapons like the Katara/Suwaiya, but  nothing that is explicitly a double-action wrist-mounted switchblade.  Exotic Automatic is a forum devoted to crafting exotic wrist-mounted blades, but before you go there, know these things: 1) You need to read all the rules before you post, and the registration process is convoluted.  Seriously, read the rules.  2) If you go in there, and ask for designs for an "Assassin's Creed blade for my wrist because I R 1337 azazzin plz!" I swear to god I will find you, and I will discipline you.  They are a serious weapon and prop design forum, go there only if you're interested in actually contributing to and learning from discussions, rather than just getting something easy for free.

As far as fighting with the assassin blades...Honestly, I would recommend you master any other style that has weapons of some sort(like the classical fencing schools we discussed), and then use what you've learned to start working on ideas yourself.  Note:  seriously, master a real style first.  By master, I mean spend years on it.  It takes a LOT of experience to know what is and is not viable in combat.  For instance; I would never personally design a style to use against other weapons that involves blocking with the inside of the forearms like Ezio does.  Even if there is a bracer there there are way too man squishy, vulnerable tendons and arteries there for me to use it as a blocking target.  But hey, what do I know, I'm not a master assassin either :-P

So that's it for today folks.  Feel free to leave comments saying you love/hate the post, or to suggest another character to profile!  We're almost done with Ezio, Donkey Kong is currently our frontrunner for the next target.  Oh yeah!  We've also got a Facebook page now!  Go, like it, repost it to your friends, spread the good word!

See you tomorrow, for a look at leadership, ethics, and philosophy!
Dan "DaRatmastah" Wallace

Ezio Auditore, Assassin's Creed, and all other property therein are © Copyright Ubisoft Entertainment

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