In Sequence 5 of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, there’s a great conversation that’s really easy to miss. Especially if you’re, you know, actually good at playing stealthily.
This chapter, called “Research and Development,” opens with Jacob Frye’s business partner (and partner in flirtation), Pearl Attaway, asking him to steal some internal combustion engines for her. The engines are being delivered to her rival, Millner, by train. In a classic Jacob Frye leap of logic, he concludes that he needs another train for this heist, and of course we all know who freaking loves trains.
Ned Wynert is the Frye twins’ ally, and he’s introduced when he waltzes onto their train, throws a wink and a business card at Evie, and promises he can teach them a thing or two about transit. Ned runs his own crime syndicate, and the Fryes build up loyalty with him by pulling off cargo heists across London.
Anyway, that whole thievery thing is probably the reason that Research and Development starts off with Jacob needing to rescue Ned from the police. And this is where being stealthy will make you miss out on one of the best interactions in the whole game.
It is possible to reach the carriage that Ned is trapped in, either by knocking out or killing all the police officers, or just sneaking by them. I tried this. I tried it so many damn times. The mission has a bonus objective of not killing any police officers and I really wanted that XP boost, but they kept catching me and I failed over and over again to reach the carriage.
So I decided to steal it.
To my delight, as I drove away with the carriage Ned started yelling at me for daring to try to help him, of all things.
“Frye? God dammit, where do you come off rescuing me?”
“I believe it’s pronounced ‘thank you,’ you ingrate,” Jacob snipes back.
When you get far enough away that the police aren’t chasing you anymore, you can stop and let Ned out. This cues up the cutscene that plays when if you sneak in and open the carriage without driving it away. You can watch me play the whole rescue sequence, including the two cutscenes that follow it, right here:
The whole carriage interaction is hilarious, adorable, and shows a wonderful camaraderie between the two characters. I’ve spoken to a ton of people who missed it entirely. And of course we’re all super thirsty for more Ned Wynert. Not only is he one of the first trans men in video games, but he’s also an interesting, well-written character.
This easy banter with Jacob tells us something about Ned (he likes it when people owe him…not so much the other way around), and his annoyance also hints that he had his own plan to get out of police custody, and Jacob probably ruined it by impulsively “rescuing” him.
And not to get all serious on y’all, but this cute scene is all the more important for what it doesn’t say. Jacob is a hotheaded little anarchist, but he respects Ned’s prowess for stealing things on trains, and he respects his gender too.
All that from two dudes razzing each other on a carriage ride.