Aragami is a pure stealth game and I love that. I love the Aragami, its dedicated and loyal shadow-wraith hero, the gameplay, design and the music. Of course, there are more challenging missions than this one, stealth-wise, but it makes up for that with drama and suspense aplenty. The stakes are incredibly high and, to add to that, the ending of the mission reveals a major plot-point. THE major plot-point, to be precise. So, if you haven’t played this gem yet, stop reading now, as there will be SPOILERS.
Here is a overview of which games and missions were featured in this series so far:
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, Saving Caterina Sforza: The romance, the humor! Everything about that relationship,really.
Deus ex: Mankind Divided, Claiming Jurisdiction: Do you choose the smart, stealthy approach, or brute force?
Deus ex: Human Revolution, Infiltrating Tai Yong Medical and confronting Zhao: That’s one intense infiltration mission where my sole goal is remaining undetected.
Assassin’s Creed II, Assassinating the Templar Doge: This one is Ezio’s masterpiece and a kind of deja-vu.
Thief, A Friend In Need: The master-thief may not need friends, but he does not let his allies down. Even if it means walking into a trap.
Assassin’s Creed, Assassinating William of Montferat: Over the past missions Altair has gained notoriety and this hit is the last one before he faces his arch-nemesis, so the stakes are high and the guards on high alert.
Why this mission?
After the excellent excursion into the Mausoleum Of The Fallen, which is maybe the most difficult mission of the game, this one seems much easier at first. Since, ususally, you will have relatively big maps that will have you unlock up to three different areas, there is just this one courtyard. But. Instead of nameless guards you will be facing Hikaru, the last captain of the Kaiho army, Yamiko’s fiercest enemies. And he is not alone. Apart from a few regular guards a couple of floating light orbs will be actively scouring the area. And if they find the Aragami they will latch onto him and end his existence.
With enemies all around remaining unseen is very hard. You will have to be on the move constantly to avoid detection and thus death. Yet there is also that surprising twist…. Let’s start.
The Aragami is nearing the end of its night-long journey and defeating captain Hikaru would mean being one step closer to freeing Yamiko, the girl that summoned the vengeful spirit from the shadows to aid her.
Yet Hikaru has set a trap for the Aragami, with himself as bait. He is well shielded and obviously knows how to use the two swords he wields. Luckily, he is not really quick. That is a plus. But the confidence with which this heavily armored warrior strides across the courtyard is very intimidating indeed.
Hikaru challenges his unseen stalker to a duel, but the Aragami does not fall for that. Advised by Yamiko, he proceeds to destroy three blue light orbs placed in different areas of the courtyard. Each time he does, Hikaru weakens and is therefore vulnerable to a sneak attack. Unfortunately, those leave the Aragami exposed to the other enemies roaming the yard. Which is why I usually try to take out as many of the guards as possible before even engaging Hikaru.
Defeating Hikaru and learning the truth
Once the last light orb is destroyed, we are treated to an awesome cutscene that details the very short duel between Hikaru and the Aragami. To everyone’s surprise, the shadow-wraith emerges victorious. He demands that the Kaiho general surrenders. In exchange, he will spare Hikaru’s life. There is a sweet irony in that, of course, since SPOILER the Aragami is – unbeknownst to Yamiko – the deceased Kaiho general Ryo himself. Which is why he could defeat Hikaru at all. Hikaru then scoffs at the presumptuous demand and instead ends his own life. But before he does, he reveals that the dreaded Shadow Empress, the one Yamiko claims to be imprisoned with, is actually Yamiko herself.
I love it. Which is why this mission is my favorite of the game.
And that’s it for Favorite Mission Seven! I have not yet decided on the next one.
Until then, keep on playing.