Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad (Japanese: アルタイル・イブン・ラ・アハド Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, Arabic: الطائر ابن لا أحد) is a major character in Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed franchise and the main protagonist of the first installment of the series.
Altaïr is an ancestor of Desmond Miles, a modern-day American bartender and assassin who is forced to use a contraption called the Animus to relive the memories of his ancestors. In the year 1191, during the Third Crusade, the Crusaders battle against the Saracens for control over the Holy City of Jerusalem. A member of the Assassin Brotherhood, Altaïr, along with two other assassins, botch an attempt to assassinate Robert de Sablé, Grand Master of the Knights Templar, in order to retrieve a treasure known as the Piece of Eden. This causes one assassin to be killed and another to be seriously injured, and Altaïr's master, Al Mualim, admonishes him. Later, Altaïr fends off a group of Templars attacking their home village of Masyaf, partially redeeming himself, but Al Mualim soon orders him to assassinate nine individuals that he might fully redeem himself. Unbeknownst to him, these nine were comprised of high ranking members of the Templar order within the Holy City. After dispatching all nine, Al Mualim, leader of the assassin guild, takes the Apple of Eden for himself and uses it to obtain power of those he deemed a threat. This includes Altaïr, as he uses the apple to slow down and almost kill him. After Altaïr kills Al Mualim, he burns the body and tells the onlookers of his treachery. Now a hero to the entire order, Altaïr assumes the role of mentor to restructure and improve their practices. After many years of training the next generation, studying the apple and liberating nations from the Templars, Altaïr gains the status of a legend. However, his legacy would be put at risk when the Order of Assassins became corrupted, growing weak and lethargic in the face of mounting threats. Seeing no way to deal with this situation diplomatically, Altaïr and several other assassins go behind the Order's back and stage a coup to send a message. After the overthrow of the current leaders, Altaïr once again became a mentor, vowing to keep it that way. Later in life, Altaïr chronicled his life, adventures, and moral code. This codex would shape the lives of future assassins in the series.
As a costume
Altaïr's reveal trailer primarily makes reference to the maneuvers used by Assassins throughout the Assassin's Creed series. It begins with the Mii Swordfighter landing in a bird's nest on Skyloft, akin to the Leap of Faith, a move used to safely fall from great heights by landing on a soft material, most commonly a pile of hay. During the move, a faint screech from a bird of prey can be heard while the Assassin is airborne, which is reflected in the trailer. Following this, the Swordfighter is seen hanging from an edge in Gerudo Valley where Sheik stands near, then briefly getting up and back throwing Sheik into the chasm below, mirroring a similar move used when hanging on ledges to pull a near target downwards to their death with the assistence of the Hidden Blade. Afterwards, the Swordfighter confronts Robin, whose appearance resembles that of Al Mualim, Altaïr's mentor, wearing a dark cloak and wielding a sword, as well as another item. This mirrors an event near the end of Assassin's Creed, where Altaïr must confront his mentor to prevent him from further controlling the minds of the Masyaf populace at his will. The tome held by Robin represents the Apple of Eden, an item held by Al Mualim throughout the confront, with the casting of Arcfire resembling the Apple's strong, yellow glow.