Assassin's Creed: Lost Legacy's concept found in Revelations

Living up to its name, Ubisoft's 3DS game Assassin's Creed: Lost Legacy seemed to slip between the cracks and disappear over the past year. First revealed during Nintendo's big E3 2010 coming out party for the 3DS, little was known of the title other than its premise: "Driven by curiosity and a desire to understand the origins of his Order, Ezio Auditore travels East in search of the lost castle at Masyaf, the ancient seat of the Assassins."

But that disappearance was no accident -- apparently the concept for AC: LL is what formed the foundation for this holiday's big AC release, Assassin's Creed: Revelations. Eventually, the 3DS project was dropped in favor of a console release for the final installment in Ezio's assassination hat trick. AC: R lead writer Darby McDevitt explained as much to me during an interview this afternoon. "You may have heard of the game 'Lost Legacy' for the 3DS. It was announced, but that kind of morphed into this idea," he said.

While that doesn't mean we'll never see an AC title on Nintendo's latest handheld, it does mean that Lost Legacy is no longer on the cards. And if an AC game does end up on the 3DS, it won't look much like what Ubisoft had planned for Lost Legacy, it seems. "The story that was announced about Lost Legacy was that Ezio goes to Masyaf and investigates the holy land," McDevitt laughed, inferring that the story for AC: LL was more or less directly parallel with AC: R.

Update: Ubisoft has since officially confirmed that Lost Legacy is canceled with IGN. CFO Alain Martinez explained, ""[The cancellation] was a decision made back in September 2010. It wasn't due to anything that took place. We felt the [Nintendo 3DS] already had a number of hardcore games for its release."

McDevitt also spoke to Ubisoft's annualized releases of AC entries, pointing out that he began work on the story for Revelations as early as February 2010, before the last major entry in the series, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, had even been released. "We do a lot of thinking ahead of time on big arcs, like knowing where Ezio is going, knowing where Desmond is going, knowing where Altair is going," McDevitt explained. "The major beats of all our characters' stories are planned well in advance, so we don't get Lost-itis where we're opening up more than we could possibly close off." So, no time wheels in Assassin's Creed, then. Great!

And it certainly doesn't hurt that Ubisoft has other outlets for story, such as the excellent "The Fall" comic series, which follows two previously unknown assassins during both modern times and the Russian Revolution. "The advantage with 'The Fall' is that it got to jump back and forth between the past and the present much more frequently," I was told. "So it's like half and half, or there's even more present-day stuff than the past -- it's probably 60/40. But the big draw for the actual games is to go and play in the historical period."

Additionally, according to McDevitt, the comic side project "was really well-received," and will be playing "a role in the larger picture." When I pushed on the subject of what that role might be, McDevitt laughingly rebuffed me, and pointed out that he couldn't reveal all his cards too soon. He remained similarly tight-lipped about the barely announced Wii U Assassin's Creed title. "I'll probably learn about that from reading Joystiq," he added. Oh go on, Darby! Flattery will get you everywhere!

This article was originally published on Joystiq.