Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Map Analysis

Yesterday, Kotaku released an image of a poster for Ubisoft’s next Assassin’s Creed game, Black Flag. This showed a new protagonist fighting with burly pirates. What is interesting however, is the other side of the leaked poster. It has a large map adorning the back featuring the details of the locale in AC4.

With the help of a little research and geography, we will try to pick out the details and some places where you can expect to be assassinating people in the upcoming game.

First off, the top left hand corner of the image sets the general area that will be available to us in the next game. The “Caribbean Islands” is the term used to generalize the map. The large names shown on the map are the capitals of each island, presumably major areas that will be visited. Havana is the central name which makes the large island slap bang in the middle Cuba. The smaller island south of Cuba is Jamaica, as seen by it being labelled by its capital, Kingston. Above Cuba, the collection of islands labelled Nassau will be the Bahamas, Nassau being the capital. The name Andreas links to one of the islands of Colombia, San Andrés. Other areas shown on the map are Florida and the Cayman Islands. The unnamed area to the east of Cuba is the country of Haiti but seeing as it is not labelled, don’t expect access to it. Maybe access could be granted in future DLC.

After researching “Castille de Jagua” (the name right in the middle of Cuba), what came up was a real-life fortress called “Castillo de Jagua”. This fortress was built to keep the pirates from landing in the town of Cienfuegos. However, this conflicts with the date shown on the map of 1715 as the fortress was not built until the 1740’s by Spanish king Phillip V. The Cayo Islands (located slightly north of the main island, Cuba) were used as a hideout for buccaneers in earlier colonial times, which could mean that it could be a safe point for the character or something treasure related. The name Matanzas can be seen and is a province of Cuba with the capital being Matanzas again. This city is apparently known for its poets and culture.

Map of Cuba and Surrounding Areas

Map of Cuba and Surrounding Areas

The pictures of objects next to some of the place names around the map are interesting. Examples of these are the Crab next to Kingston, the Seahorse next to Havana and the Anchor next to the Cuban town of Matanzas. What comes to mind when seeing these are the locations of the major ports. This could mean that, if you captain a boat in the game (which would seem likely to travel between islands), you could dock it at certain points around the map to search for targets, supplies and ammunition.

Another interesting point is the logo of the Assassins with a skull in it. Obviously a cross-over between pirate flags and the sign of the Assassins but looking across the map, they are spread across different playable areas. Example:

The map highlights these areas with details of their exact location. Note that the map says “Within a shipwreck on the beach,” referring to the sign in Florida. This hints at something to find. Seeing as it is treasure, it would not be a stretch to imagine it being Assassin treasure. Perhaps this signifies puzzle areas similar to the Assassin Tombs from AC2 or the secret locations to find William Kidd’s Treasure.

Lastly, the time period for the game is 1715, which sets the game 45 years before the start of AC3. As this game features a new protagonist, this would not put the game at odds with the third but sets the game up for a possible cameo from Connor?

An Assassin’s Creed event is scheduled tonight, so check back later for any information on a possible announcement for AC4.

Is there anything you have noticed? Let me know.

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