The Pirates Of Smuggler's Cove: An Assassin's Creed Mystery
April 28, 2020
Thanks to the pandemic lockdown, I've had lots of extra free time to dump into a video game I've wanted to come back to playing for months, Assassin's Creed Odyssey. ACO is set during the era of Ancient Greece and sees the protagonist, Kassandra, wandering the Greek world doing all of the usual Assassin's Creed kinds of things. This time around there is an evil Cult of Kosmos whose members are all hidden away across the land and their identities kept secret. Over the course of the ninety hours I've spent so far in the game, I've managed to uncover most all of the cult members and eliminate them. As the cult eradication sidequest starts to wrap up, I'm left to hunt cultists that aren't explicitly set in my path by the main story. These last cultists are covertly hanging around Greece and I must uncover clues that will uncover their true identities so I can go finish them off. Clues are acquired by slaying other cultists or, as I'm dealing with now, finding stray letters and memos hidden in unexpected places.
I only need one more clue to uncover a specific villain and slay his portion of the cultist org chart, and the game helpfully tells me to search Smuggler's Cove in Achaia for the clue. This should be easy enough. For some reason, I expect pirates to be there. I've been to enough places in Achaia that I've uncovered most all locations, but I don't remember seeing a Smuggler's Cove on the map. That it's a cove is a giveaway that it's somewhere on a coastline, so I have Kassandra climb aboard her trusty fire horse of the damned (that's a long story) and I start riding my way around the Achaia coastline waiting to see which of the little inlets on the map is Smuggler's Cove.
Traversing Greece in ACO takes a while, especially when you're following every nook and cranny and curved shoreline of a massive nation-state. I rode all the way from end to end, tripping over bandits and stopping to infiltrate military camps while I was in the neighborhood, but never found Smuggler's Cove. Wondering if somehow I missed it, I turned around and backtracked my way over my path, but still nothing. Where is Smuggler's Cove? I pull up the map for the dozenth time and pan around the land looking for some sort of sign. Finally, I double check the cultist clue menu to make sure I have the right location. Guess what? I'm not supposed to be looking for Smuggler's Cove. The last clue is hidden in a place called Scavenger's Coast. Checking the map again, I see that Scavenger's Coast is not a definitive map location, but a smaller sub-region inside Achaia, so I start riding the fire horse around that area until eventually I find the last clue (it was attached a dead man's body on a little island in the sea, by the way). So that took care of that. But how did I confuse Scavenger's Coast for Smuggler's Cove? And where did I get the idea of pirates? I marked is down as a simple brain glitch and let it go.
Overnight I often have my television on as I fall asleep, and lately I've been binging classic seasons of The Simpsons on Disney+. I restart episodes during which I fell asleep previously, and last night that meant a replay of Season 10, Episode 2: "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace" in which Homer tries to out-invent Thomas Edison. Having slain the cultist, I went to bed and caught up with the episode as my day ended, and I finally put it all together.
So not only did this Simpsons reference bleed into my ACO work, but my mind remixed the book title so that Smuggler's Cove and Scavenger's Coast would correlate. Thanks for trying, Homer.