Assassin’s Creed Horses Were Based On Human Skeletons

The Assassin’s Creed games are known for being quite ambitious in terms of design, but that comes at a price. The very first game in the series had you riding a lot of horses to get around. But, according to developers, that game’s horses were hiding a rather bizarre secret. While they may have looked quite normal, the developer has revealed that inside were twisted models of human skeletons. Whether players like it or not, Altair was actually riding across the land on a horse built on top of human bones.

The Assassin’s Creed Horses

When it was released in 2007, Assassin’s Creed immediately drew a lot of attention. Though it received a fair amount of criticism, it grew to be hugely popular among all sorts of gamers. It provided an epic quest and an expansive world to explore on foot or on horseback. And with a world that big, you’ll naturally be spending a lot of time on horseback.

As such, effort was put into the horse animations to make them appear as natural as possible. That fact only makes their unnatural structure all the more horrifying. Their “[messed] up human skeleton” foundation was confirmed by former Ubisoft developer Charles Randall through Twitter.

The human-horse hybrid secret was not the only one Randall exposed in his talks about the now-classic game. He also describes the character Malik, notable for having only one arm and how he was animated. Instead of creating a one-armed character, they created both arms, then folded one of them up inside his body to give the appearance of a missing arm. Randall also talks about the punishment applied to players wanting to go beyond the game’s limits. Though more recent Assassin’s Creed games have been more technical about the borders of the world, the original one didn’t hesitate to simply kill players for pushing it too far.

It’s not unusual for developers to use strange and unusual tactics to get something to work, especially if they’re limited in terms of resources and technology at the time. As such, it stands to reason that the human-horse skeletons aren’t the only ones in the Assassin’s Creed closet.

Will Quick is a freelance media wizard living in Spain. When he's not gaming or writing, he's doodling comics or whatever else pops in his head.