From the start of the Assassins Creed series, immense scrutiny has been placed on each main player character. These characters have, at times, been found wanting by the community at large, who were spoiled by the great story arcs and voice acting behind Ezio Auditore and Altair Ib-La’Ahad.
The essence of and enjoyment people had through these first two main characters that the developers over at Ubisoft have been chasing for over a decade now, sometimes even reverting to Ezio in times of need through the ‘Ezio Auditore Collection’ released a couple of years ago.
Regardless, I will say that while the protagonists found in future AC games have not quite lived up to the mark set by their forebearers, Ubisoft has still managed to give us some great stories and character arcs with their more recent leads. However, one of these such leads appeared to miss the mark slightly with fans, with many disliking the character and some even abandoning the game altogether.
I am, of course, talking about the male protagonist of Assassins Creed Syndicate, Jacob Frye, a character who I believe is not only misunderstood but terribly remembered by the AC community at large. So, with this in mind, why don’t I stop rambling and start defending myself and poor Mr. Frye? Let’s go!
Bottom Line Up Front
Jacob Frye is one of the two main protagonists in Assassins Creed Syndicate. Along with his twin sister, Evie, Jacob grapples with the pressures of being an assassin and maintaining his own rogueish charm alive. Throughout your journey with Jacob, you will fight against the Templar Order, who are attempting to hold London captive under their tyrannical rule.
Jacob Frye Background
Jacob’s life has never really run smoothly, with his mother dying in childbirth after bringing him and his sister into the world. Evie, his twin sister, was born four minutes before him, yet the pair are like chalk and cheese, both having unique ways and personalities.
After their mother’s death, the siblings were raised by their father, Ethan Frye, who seemingly loved the children very dearly, even though many could infer that he preferred Evie to Jacob. Luckily or unluckily enough for the twins, they had been born into a family of assassins. Therefore, from a very young age, Ethan’s sole responsibility was to educate his motherless children in the assassin way and how to survive in this dangerous life.
Evie would take to this training quickly, enjoying it all but keeping a soft spot for the research and planning side of the whole thing. She slowly grew obsessed with the planning and proper execution of assassination contracts/targets and the pre-cultural objects left behind, such as the pieces of Eden.
Jacob, on the other hand, rebelled against his father’s teachings and his penchant for discipline. As a lighthearted and laid-back soul, Jacob could not quell his natural instincts long enough to stay seated while Ethan schooled him in the proper assassin way. Instead, Jacob would regularly disappear into the city, exploring the vast array of nooks and crannies that 1800s London could provide a young yet skillful young man.
This is the point where I would like to mention Jacobs’s similarity with Desmond and his story arc. Jacob, like Desmond, was born into a family of assassins and, therefore, was expected, from birth, to become another member of the Creed.
However, their parents’ teachings and aggressive nature ultimately drove them away, turning them into more reckless and endangered individuals than they would have been if born without said pressure. I don’t know whether this similarity between the two was intentional on Ubisoft’s part, but I appreciate it.
Ethan’s Death and Becoming a True Assassin
Everything changed for the twins when their father, Ethan Frye, died from natural causes in 1868. While the twins were already established within the Creed and the London branch of assassins, they were still relatively green and untested in the field as they always had their father at their backs to protect or bail them out of trouble when necessary. Now, however, they were well and truly on their own, orphaned.
We do not know exactly when, but the twins sometimes met with a fellow assassin named George Westhouse after their father’s passing. With another assassin in tow, the group made towards Ferris Ironworks in Crowden to plan and carry out the assassination of both Rupert Ferris and David Brewster.
Jacob’s target was Rupert Ferris, the iron factory’s owner and a British Rite member, making him a high-ranking member of the Templar Order in 1868. Jacob completed this assassination by sneaking into the factory and carrying out the dead without much fuss. His sister simultaneously killed the Scottish Templar scientist, David Brewster.
Soon after this mission was complete, the twins returned to Westhouse and immediately pushed their want to return to London, their need to liberate their city from Templar control. However, as the higher-ranking assassin, George forbade them from such a journey, informing them that the Assassin Council had ruled against any forward operations within the city for the time being. While George believed he had made his and the order’s point very clear to the young assassins, their need for Templar blood overcame their better sense as they both fled secretly to London via a night train.
- Jacob and Evie Frye were born into a family of assassins and trained in the art by their father, Ethan, from a very young age.
- Their mother died in childbirth, leaving Ethan to raise them alone.
- Jacob and Evie left for London against the Assassin Council’s and George Westhouse’s orders.
When the twins arrived in London, they first set down in Whitechapel. From here, the twins immediately went out and searched for the last remaining master assassin in the entire city of London, Henry Green. Upon meeting their elder, they were informed of the dire state London had found itself in and how the Templars controlled the entire city through invisible political power and street gangs.
Hearing this, the twins immediately came up with two distinctly different ideas on how to proceed and save the city from the Templars. Jacob wanted to fight them head-on, creating a gang called the Rooks to challenge the Templar gangs with violence. Evie, on the other hand, being the wiser and subtler twin, decided that London would be best served by the recovery of the Pieces of Eden. While the two disagreed, they both went on and did their own thing.
The game continues from this point from the perspective of both Frye twins and sees the player using both characters to win back points of control from the Templars slowly. This side of the game will have the player fight against the Templar gangs who roam the streets of London, as well as tackling Templar-owned businesses and sabotaging them through any means necessary. All this fighting and gradual progression eventually led to a final standoff with the Templar commander in London, Starrick.
After this Templar is killed, the city of London can be officially liberated and wrestled out from under the control of the Templar Order. However, this does not spell the end for Jacob Frye.
Jack The DLC Killer
After the success of Assassins Creed Syndicate, the developers over at Ubisoft decided that they would stick true to form and try to milk all the money possible from their avid fan base. They created and released a Jack The Ripper DLC to do this, setting the story 20 years after the base game.
Not only did this DLC disrespect the poor victims of the real Ripper, but it also consumed a great deal of my time for little gameplay reward. However, with this being said, the revelations it made about Jacob and Evie 20 years on were very interesting.
When we load up the DLC for the first time, we learn that while Evie has left for India with her husband, Jacob has remained behind in London to head up the London branch of the Creed. After this short depiction, we learn that London is under threat from the mysterious Jack the Ripper, a figure who was actually an assassin before turning into a murderer and the protege of Jacob himself.
This DLC sees Evie return to London to find her brother, who has seemingly gone missing. Throughout the DLC, we are unaware whether or not Jacob is alive; however, by the end, we learn of his survival despite repeated attempts by the Ripper.
Jacob, the Grandfather
While only involved briefly, we do know that from the side quest Time Anomaly, Jacob goes on to have children. We know this as this mission shows how Jacob instructs his granddaughter Lydia Frye’s assassin training instead of her busy parents alongside his sister Evie.
This training would see Lydia work alongside William Churchill to eliminate London-based Templars during the events of World War 1.
- Jacob and Evie work to take London bit by bit via gang battles and the taking down of Templar-controlled businesses.
- Jacob ends up as the head of the London Assassin bureau after the events of Syndicate and serves in this role for over 20 years.
- Jack the Ripper is conically a former assassin and mentee of Jacob Frye. Because of his hatred for Jacob, the Ripper repeatedly attempts to murder the master assassin.
Jacob’s Portrayal in the Game
While Evie and Jacob are both protagonists in this game, Evie does more than her fair share of narrative setting. She is the one that has mostly darkened gamer’s opinions on Jacob, as, throughout the game, she routinely ridicules her brother by speaking negatively about him and criticizing his methods or beliefs.
However, the narrative she spouts about her brother, in my opinion, couldn’t be further from the truth. While she and her brother’s methods may be different, that does not mean one is more valid than the other. It certainly doesn’t mean that everything accomplished in the game would have been possible without a figure like Jacob taking the reigns of most assassination contracts in the quick and precise manner that he did.
Through Evie’s eyes, Jacob can do nothing right and, therefore, her in-game narrative and the one we can find via her journal poises the player negatively towards Jacob from the get-go, but when you really think about it, does he actually do anything wrong or have any bad intentions throughout the game? No, I don’t think he does.
In the end, I think we have to take Evie’s perspective with a little bit of salt as she is still his sister and probably feels responsible for her actions; therefore, the developers of AC Syndicate have given us an unreliable narrator once again.
One thing that players of AC Syndicate often look over is the sexuality of their male protagonist. Unlike all other lead characters before him, Jacob’s sexuality is left purposely ambiguous by the developers in this game.
Jeffrey Yohalem, the lead writer on the game, has even spoken about the decision, remarking that he and his team purposely avoided his sexuality and the possibility of a female love interest due to the character (unspoken) connection with his former partner, Maxwell Roth.
While nothing was ever made distinctly evident in the actual base game, it has been confirmed post the title’s release on the official AC Tumblr page that he is bisexual.
The easiest way to distinguish an AC main character from other entries in the series is by differentiating how they fight and the weapons they use. Therefore, it is vitally important that we look at the weapons Jacob used to rid London of the Templar Order.
As with all assassins, Jacob has the ability to intricately weave stealth and free running into his combat base and the use of the patented hidden blade. However, like other assassins, he is also skilled in eavesdropping, pickpocketing, and lockpicking.
Jacob’s freerunning ability also allows the character to scale and traverse through trees and other natural pieces quickly. Also, like some assassins, Jacob also possessed the rare ability of Eagle Vision.
As mentioned, Jacob had access to and frequently used the hidden blade worn by all assassins. However, this weapon is one of stealth, something the rather bombastic and confident Jacob didn’t refer to often, preferring head-on confrontations with brass knuckles, a cane sword, and a six-shot revolver.
Jacob would also use a kukri blad and his hidden blade’s firing mechanism, which he equipped with poisoned and hallucinogenic darts. Lastly, he was equipped with a rope launcher to help the assassin traverse large buildings with speed and ease and create impromptu ziplines when required.
- Jacob was the first AC main character to be confirmed as anything other than heterosexual. However, his sexuality is never openly confirmed in the actual game but on an official Tumblr post.
- Some argue that Jacob’s negative portrayal in the game at the hands of his sister Evie’s account is unjustified and should be disregarded due to her biased position as his sister.
- Jacob uses many of the same weapons as previous assassins. However, this more modern assassin usually has slight variations or additions to the old weaponry, such as a rope launcher with one of his hidden blades.
Frequently Asked Questions
Questions: Why does Roth kiss Jacob?
Answer: While the game’s writers have retroactively declared Jacob as bisexual, the game never definitively tells players this. However, we know that Roth loved Jacob, which is why he kissed him.
Question: Who is older, Evie or Jacob?
Answer: With the pair being twins, the age difference is marginal; however, Evie is still the older of the two by four minutes.
Question: How old is Jacob Frye in Assassins Creed Syndicate?
Answer: Jacob and Evie Frye were born in 1847, and the game’s events occurred in 1868. This would make Jacob and Evie around 21 years old at the start of the game
So, there you have it, a detailed guide to Jacob Fyre, one of the two main protagonists in Assassins Creed Syndicate. It is my opinion that Jacob is easily one of the most misunderstood main characters in the AC universe, and for that reason, I really do hope that this guide has helped change your mind about him.
Perhaps it has even given you the incentive to return to the title and give the young British assassin another go. With all this being said, I hope to see you again soon. Good luck with your next contract.
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