How to get rich without killing anyone in Assassin’s Creed: Liberation

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I need money. More money. I’ve got some money, but not enough for the really nice weapons. For instance, the dual pistols would be nice for the aesthetic appeal of flintlocks akimbo. The three-round magazine on the pepper pistol would be really sweet for setting up chainkills. Of course the most practical firearm would be the cute little pocket pistol, because Aveline can use it when she’s disguised as a slave or out on the town as a proper lady. I would love to be able to whip out that pistol when Aveline, dressed like a lady, starts getting grief from those thugs at the docks, or in the slums to the northeast. They don’t care about Aveline when she’s dressed as a slave, and they know better than to mess with her when she’s decked out in her assassin’s gear. But when I show up in a dress, they’re downright impertinent. A pocket pistol would be just the right response.

Otherwise, Aveline can only pack heat when she’s in her assassin outfit, and that attracts far too much attention for just getting around town. I suppose I could lower the assassin’s wanted level by paying off New Orleans magistrates, but that gets expensive. Once Aveline has knifed a few soldiers, the going rate for hush money is a few thousand dollars. I’m never going to get better weaponry if I keep paying corrupt politicians.

But what I really need the money for is a hook axe. It hits hard, it’s fast, and it can set up dramatic chain kills on up to four enemies. Chain kills are cinematic freedbies without any counterpart in the other Assassin’s Creed games. Once I’ve built up charges, I can pause the game, pick as many targets as Aveline’s weapon allows, and dispatch them in a flurry of dramatically presented automatic kills. With a hook axe, I’ll be a melee powerhouse. And this is important, because the melee in Liberation isn’t quite the gimme that it is in Assassin’s Creed 3.

A hook axe costs 24,000 from the weapons shop. By the way, don’t buy anything expensive from the wandering smugglers. They may talk a good game, but they’re only good when you need to buy something cheap in a hurry. They’re selling hook axes for 31,000. Fools. Do they know that I’ve made thousands of dollars dealing drugs in Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars? Do they think I have no business sense when it comes to open-world games played on handheld systems?

After the jump, they might be right.

I don’t have a hook axe yet, or even dual pistols, because I’ve fallen prey to some risky business ventures. My first stupid business venture was loading up a galleon with spices from Haiti and sending it directly to France. I stupidly sent the Jupiter — Assassin’s Creed: Liberation assigns your ships names — straight to Bordeaux, without stops to repair in Barbados and Spain. The result was one galleon full of spices at the bottom of the sea. You’re welcome, fish. What I should have done was sent it one step at a time. But even then, crossing the Atlantic is a journey fraught with risks. Nine of them, to be precise. Any ship will face nine risk checks. Seven for storms, each for 50%, which inflicts 30 points of damage. One for a hurricane, at 10%, which inflicts probably even more damage. And once for pirates, at 20%, which does Blackbeard only knows what (fortunately, I haven’t run into pirates yet). A galleon only has 100 hit points. It’s probably not going to make the trip, even if you carefully usher it from Jamaica, to Spain, to France. I know this from experience.

My replacement galleon was named Success. That bodes well. For irony.

To ships goods across the Atlantic, you need to unlock and then buy an East Indiaman, whose 300 hit points can weather the risks. But that’s going to cost me 14,000. Alternatively, the equally hardy brig carries a lot less cargo, but it’s superfast. That matters, because these trips run in real time. Well, “real” time. Aveline can loiter about the office and wait for the ships to reach their destinations. My pokey galleons takes 13 minutes to run cotton from New Orleans to Havana. Rather than wait patiently in the office, Aveline ducks outside to pick a few pockets, unlock another tailor’s shop, tear down some wanted posters, or finish climbing to the last few vantage points to finish the city map. She’s a busy woman. She’s got better things to do than fret over a map while her valiant crews brave storms.

There are dogs to be petted.

Trips to make, but only in the proper attire (note that Aveline is treated like a lady, even if she’s carting unladylike accessories).

She has to deal with fame.

But when it comes to the fundamental character progression of getting better weapons, Aveline is a businesswoman, making calculated risks about what cargo to send where in which ships. For instance, I’ve just expanded my fleet to include a nimble brigantine, the Florida, that I can use to make quick runs of fruit from Haiti out to Barbados or barrels of pitch from Mexico up to New Orleans. East Indiaman, here I come. Bordeaux, are you ready for a taste of Port-au-Prince’s finest? What was that I was saying earlier about some sort of axe? I forget. I get so wrapped up in these Assassin’s Creed trade empire games that I sometimes completely forget about the combat minigames.

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