Assassin’s Creed is an infinite series of mysteries and riddles, the most enduring of which is the language of Isu. While it was first introduced in 2009 Assassin’s Creed II, it was only last year Assassin’s Creed Valhalla gave significant clues that fans were finally able to crack the dead tongue.
In a video released on YouTube earlier today, people on fansite Access to Animus details the steps they took to unlock the complex language of Isu, a race of god-like figures, which in Assassin’s Creed lore, prior to human civilization. But this was not simple replacement encryption; decoding the foundation of the Isu language was only made possible by Valhalla acts as a kind Rosetta stone through which meaning could be extrapolated.
Access Animus was able to identify grammar cases, verb tenses, inflections and key rules for sentence construction by comparing several pieces of Isu text with English translations provided during Valhalla history. They were then able to apply what they learned to their main goal: translating multiple Isu markings on the game’s collector’s packaging.
However, the work is far from done. Valhalla makes it clear that Isu was not as monolithic a civilization as first assumed, accounting for important inconsistencies between letters and sentence structure across different texts. Since the Isu text looks very different in older Assassin’s Creed games, it is still unclear whether these specific findings can be applied throughout the series.
Access to Animus plans to go over additional topics, such as the Isu number system and a massive in-game document known as the Canterbury file, in a future video. It would probably be a stretch to say that the language has been nailed down completely, however Valhalla narrative director Darby McDevitt has especially praised the performance on Twitter. They are definitely on to something!