Ubisoft has revealed that they nearly removed the tattoos from Eivor, the protagonist in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
Nicolas Rivard, Valhalla‘s art director for conception, recently spoke to GamesRadar about the matter.
He stated that the game’s historians experienced difficulty when trying to determine if people during the game’s time period actually had tattoos. “AC is historically accurate, as much as possible,” Nicolas Rivard, Valhalla‘s art director for conception, recently told GamesRadar. “So we were a bit stressed out because our historian was hard at work trying to figure out is that true? Did they actually wear tattoos?”
Rivard said that the tattoos would have been removed if they were not realistic to the time period, which he guessed would have caused some sort of backlash. “We would have a lot of explanation to do on social media, people would have been outraged,” Rivard predicted. He even joked that players would be dismayed that they could not add features such as head tattoos.
Tattoos are a major part of Assassin’s Creed as it is known today. They offer a multitude of options to give Eivor a unique appearance. There are also mini-quests that bestow new tattoos to players.
Rivard feared the major changes that would be required if tattoos were no longer part of the game.”I remember I was in one meeting, my head was shaking, because I was like, the tattoo graphics are going to be used across every touchpoint, every aspect of my rendering. If there are no tattoos, I gotta rethink my art direction for this.”
The final verdict by Assassins Creed Valhalla‘s historical team was somewhat mixed. They referred to a Muslim historian who encountered a clan of vikings. “The guy was named Ahmad ibn Fadlan, and this guy is sort of a religious advisor and a historian and he was traveling to Scandanavian countries… he describes their ritual of a burial of the chief. Every historian now says, ‘those were Vikings, for sure, those were Norse people,'” Rivard said. “And they were wearing markings on their body…it set us up for ‘okay, we can go with this.'”
As a result, tattoos in Assasins Creed Valhalla have been preserved.