Over the weekend, players of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla uncovered a secret bow (the laughably powerful Noden’s Arc) by...smacking a rock in the middle of a lake over and over again. The trick bounced around the web. Ubisoft’s Darby McDevitt even chimed in, describing it as a “clever brute force hack” before mentioning that some players were close to decoding the official method. Today, the folks at fansite Access the Animus published an in-depth video that appears to show how you actually unlock this thing. And yes, it’s all kinds of bonkers.
Light spoilers follow for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
To understand how to formally earn Noden’s Arc, we have to turn back the clock a few weeks. Recall how, earlier this year, Access the Animus cracked the Isu language. (The Isu are a precursor race who play a major role in Assassin’s Creed lore.) Apparently, Isu glyphs are all over the bonus items included in the collector’s edition of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. That serves as the basis of the solution.
From the text on the box, Access the Animus was able to decipher the phrase, “The tool to not lock is the sword”—or, as rephrased in the video, “The tool to unlock is the sword.” There are a gazillion swords in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, but just one weapon offers text remotely like a clue. The in-game description for Excalibur says it can “break anything,” including, presumably, boulders in the middle of nondescript frozen lakes. What’s more, if you look closely at the raven motif on the box of the collector’s edition, you can make out the silhouette of Excalibur.
Oh, yeah, in case you didn’t already know, you can find Excalibur in Valhalla. It’s a two-handed sword that offers the chance of blinding nearby enemies with every kill.
Access the Animus wasn’t the first to this particular realization. As the video notes, other players put two and two together and tried to smack the rock while wielding Excalibur—to no avail. Turns out, you have to swing Excalibur exactly at sunset, a realization Access the Animus came to after analyzing the lithographs included in the collector’s edition.
Now, this entire discovery is predicated by the earlier discovery—detailed in a video by YouTuber JorRaptor—that the rock hiding Noden’s Arc is located in a lake in Eurvicscire. But imagine that such knowledge wasn’t out there? Bust out your tinfoil hat for a second.
Access the Animus pointed out a string of numbers on the spine of the steel case included in Valhalla’s collector’s edition. Some of those numbers were written horizontally. Others, vertically. Access the Animus assumed that, hey, maybe that indicates a set of real-world coordinates. As pointed out in a video by the YouTuber Jayvee, the shoreline of Eurvicscire’s lake bears a rough resemblance to the borders of Singapore. According to Ubisoft Singapore’s website, the studio developed Valhalla’s Northumbria region, where Eurvicscire is located. When you punch in the coordinates from the steel case IRL, you get the approximate location of Ubisoft Singapore’s address. And Ubisoft’s Antoine Henry, who worked on developing the Isu language, is based out of Singapore. Wild coincidences, right?
Okay, tinfoil hats can come off now.
Those are just the broad strokes. Anyone interested in the depths to which Access the Animus went to crack this enigma should check the video out in full:
Access the Animus / Ubisoft (YouTube)
Really cool stuff. Next up, someone’s gotta figure out how to use Mjölnir to uncover the Philosopher’s Stone.