An Assassin’s Creed streamer didn’t just beat a match on the highest difficulty without taking damage, he beat the entire 12-game series, from the first Assassin’s Creed to Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. On April 11, Hayete Bahadori uploaded the second half of his damage-free run in Valhalla, completing his long and impressive feat.
When I play Assassin’s Creed, I hide in tall grass for 50 years as I shoot enemies one by one. Bahadori, on the other hand, runs free through the Holy Lands. And he’s not fazed when forced into direct boss fights in the newer games. One of my favorite boss fights he’s done takes place in Valhalla, where rather than dodging or blocking Hemming’s lightning attacks, Bahadori grabs them randomly and throws them back to the draugr. While watching his videos, I’m excited to see Assassin’s Creed games again.
Pandemic lockdowns are the mother of innovation, and Bahadori began racing without damage at the height of the covid crisis. Star Wars: Fallen Order of the Jedi was his first successful no-damage challenge race, but he wanted a bigger challenge. He told Kotaku that he likes games that reward “stealth, subtlety, precision, and various approaches to a given storyline.” Assassin’s Creed seemed like the perfect fit, as he was already a fan of the series.
Bahadori stuck to certain rules: the health bar could not drop below 100%, from the “first possible instance [of] damage to the end credits of the game.” From Brotherhood to Syndicate, all levels had to be 100% synced (meaning all objectives were completed), with no reloads or restarts for gameplay advantage. All races were played on the highest difficulty, starting with Origins (this is the first time the series had difficulty modes). He also didn’t use glitches to ignore game content, as he was very serious about the intentions of the developers. If he failed at a single objective, he would start the whole race again. He acknowledged that the series would often have instances of forced damage scripted by the developers, which he did not factor into his run. Each time he was forced to take damage, he wrote it down in his Youtube descriptive.
While Bahadori makes challenge racing easy, completing games without taking damage actually took a lot of preparation. In his first game, he focused on identifying problem sections. In his second part, he used an iterative process to find strategies that would help minimize or eliminate risk. Bahadori was not attempting a speedrun, but he adapted many techniques from the speedrunning community.
However, not all existing strategies were viable. In order to achieve a damage-free run in his lifetime, Bahadori focused on techniques that would reduce the risk of his attempts. They had to be repeatable and they had to be consistent. He rejected strategies that required relying on luck. Through diligent practice, Bahadori estimates he’s probably failed over a thousand times. Including his practice hours, almost every game lasted around 100 hours. Valhalla, however, took a huge 800 hours due to the length of its main campaign, and Black Flag took 250 hours due to how some of the challenges were based on luck.
Bahadori took up the actual challenge on October 16, 2021, from the original Assassin’s Creed. He took a break from his regular streaming schedule to avoid burnout from his engineering job and to spend more time with his daughter. He played the games in his spare time and uploaded them to YouTube whenever he succeeded. This gave him time to play Assassin’s Creed more quietly. I say quietly, but he still beat 12 games in nine months while encountering outrageously difficult conditions he had imposed on himself. Despite his efforts to minimize the effects of RNG, there was a specific section in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood that forced him to rely on luck. When Ezio uses the Apple of Eden, he is sometimes hit by crossbow attacks that Bahadori had no defense against. The positioning of enemies was also “random”, causing a number of resets. And naturally, this segment comes towards the end of the game, so a bit of unlucky damage here meant abandoning what had been a perfectly good run and starting all over again from the beginning. Talk about painful.
In his Reddit post chronicling his achievement, Bahadori offers his own personal ranking of the series, along with his picks for AC games with best stealth, best story, best global aesthetic, and other categories. He says his favorite entry for the challenge was Odyssey, because game designers did not force the player to take damage. What he liked least was the first Assassin’s Creed, which he felt too “dependent on the camera” when protecting against attacks, which makes it “RNG heavy”. He thought Unity had the best stealth gameplay, while Valhalla had the best combat due to its more complex parry system. He said Syndicate needed the most reboots due to the number of bugs. Some of the most useful tools for his damage-free run were the Smoke Bomb, Hook Blade, and Rope Dart. It is also posted individual essays about the different challenges in each game, which might help you if you’re looking to take on your own challenge.
The streamer also does damage-free runs for other games, after clearing Batman: Arkham Knight and Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga barely take a hit. Bahadori said via email that he is currently working on a no-damage run for God of War. I have no doubt that he will succeed.
Article source https://kotaku.com/assassin-s-creed-no-damage-valhalla-origins-odyssey-ezi-1848913255