Assassin’s Creed’s Horses Are Just “Twisted Human Skeletons” Dev Reveals

The horses in Assassin’s Creed may seem innocuous at first, but underneath that coat is a twisted human skeleton.

15 years after release, a developer who worked on the original Assassin’s Creed dropped a horrible bombshell: the horses are modified human skeletons.

They still look and behave like horses, if you’ve played the game that much is clear, but the developer only had one skeleton to work with, a human one. So they had to improvise to turn that into something that would work with animals.

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As seen by Rock Paper Shotgun, Charles Randall tweeted a thread about a little game dev hack from the first Assassin’s Creed: “We didn’t have the budget for a custom skeleton or mail for Malik, so his ‘missing arm’ is right in there.” Also, the horse was just a screwed up, twisted human skeleton because our toolchain only worked with bipeds in 3ds max.”

The next time you ride a horse in the original Assassin’s Creed, remember what you might actually be riding. Beneath that coat is a stretched-out humanoid skeleton, contorted to fit the proportions, but we never get to see it in-game. However, with glitches and camera cuts, Randall thinks you might be able to see Malik’s missing wrinkled arm “inside the bicep.”

He then adds one more interesting tidbit about the development of Assassin’s Creeds, which is how the team handled players going out of bounds, going into “places you shouldn’t go.” The solution was simple: “If all else fails, kill the player.” So that’s what Randall did.

“There was always a new way to get your character through the level caps, letting you access places you shouldn’t go,” Randall wrote. “I have to fix it by developing my last theoretical solution: kill the player. So if you ever die near a boundary wall for no reason? All me.”

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