Despite my complicated feelings with some of its reveals, I did really enjoy a majority of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. Pretty much anything that didn’t require me to climb and deal with the game’s weird imprecise parkour mechanics was a good time. Whether that was going through its episodic vignettes across England, traveling around the open world to get all the sync points, or my neverending conquest to kiss any man that would let me. But after 90 hours put in, I found myself face to face with a glitch that has prevented me from seeing the final 15 minutes, and after I realized it was happening, I found out I wasn’t alone.
For those that don’t want spoilers and just want a quick tl;dr of how to avoid the glitch: don’t report any of your Order assassinations to Hytham until you’ve completed them all and also finished the Hamtunscire arc. This will help you circumvent an issue of the game thinking you’ve already completed the quest line and not only prevent you from finishing it, but will actively spoil it for you by triggering dialogue early.
Anyone else who wants a breakdown of what’s happening, read on.
Spoilers for Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla follow. Reader discretion is advised.
Valhalla has two endings, the standard one that ends with protagonist Eivor and their brother finding an underground Isu vault, and a second is an epilogue that happens when you assassinate every member of the Order of the Ancients, an early iteration of what would eventually become known as the Templars in later (chronologically speaking) Assassin’s Creed games. And let me tell y’all, that is a time investment. I held off on most of the assassinations until I had finished the main game, which took me about 70 hours. By the time I had killed every member of the Order but the final one, I had reached 90 hours of play time. This included some other open world shenanigans and the final arc in Hamtunscire, but a lot of this time was spent tracking down people who move across Valhalla’s ridiculously large open world. So it was a lot. But I had a fun enough time doing it, and despite my relative detachment from Assassin’s Creed’s larger story, I was enjoying seeing Eivor’s role in it all.
But that was when things started to get weird. After completing all of the Order assassinations other than The Father, the final head honcho, I went to report all my murders to Hytham, the Hidden One representative at my home of Ravensthorpe, and was immediately confused by the dialogue that followed. Eivor told Hytham that he’d encountered The Father, and found it was none other than King Alfred the Great, who had been working with Eivor and the Hidden Ones to destroy the Order from the inside. I was so confused by the exchange that I thought I must’ve misheard it, or thought I had picked up a note of one of the Order lackeys I’d taken out that clued Eivor into this information and I had just overlooked it. But nevertheless, since I knew Alfred was going to be involved in the Hamtunscire arc, I figured I had to finish that to see the end of the Order story.
So I took Thor’s cape (pictured below) Hytham gave me as a reward and wore it through the entire Hamtunscire battle. What I didn’t realize was that I was wearing what was supposed to have been a reward for completing the entire Order storyline. The game had, for some reason, raised flags that I had killed all the members of the Order and I was wearing a trophy for a quest line I’d not even seen through. I didn’t fully wrap my head around what happened until I finished the Hamtunscire arc and Hytham wasn’t giving me the quest called “The Poor-Fellow Soldier,” which was meant to be the final scene of the main game.
The scene is a short conversation between Eivor and Alfred, where the latter reveals that he has been sending letters with information on the Order to Eivor and Hytham to speed up the destruction of the faction. He had inherited the role from his brother, who had taken it on from his father before him. Alfred thanks Eivor for his cooperation, and hopes to use his influence to create something he believes is better, and is more in line with the Christian ideology he ascribes to. This is the beginning of what would become the Templar Order. It’s a pivotal moment in the series’ overarching story, but I wasn’t able to access it because, somehow, the game thought I already had.
As the reality of this started to dawn on me, I looked up to see if this was a common occurrence, and it turns out that several people are finding themselves unable to actually see the conclusion of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. In a thread on the Ubisoft forums, a handful of people are all running into the issue across different platforms. A PC player initially reported it and I experienced it on PlayStation 5. Generally the only solution people have so far is to reload an old save and don’t report all the assassinations until after you’ve completed the Hamtunscire arc. But I’m unlucky enough that the most recent save I have before reporting those to Hytham was ten hours prior, as I had been working with auto saves, and had spent much of a full day tracking down the zealots and cleaning up the rest of the Order. I don’t know if I have the energy to reload back that far and do it all over again.
In the end, this final quest is just a conversation between Eivor and a few letters to read, and even with all of the epilogue content, the real ending of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla for me was when Eivor was named jarl of the Raven Clan. So I’m not as distraught a few days distanced from it as I was in the moment. I watched the conversation on YouTube and as disappointing as it is, it’s such a small segment that I’m fine without going back and killing all those Order members for something so brief. I’ve been playing Valhalla almost exclusively since I got my PS5 last month, and I’m ready to shelve it for a bit and play some Spider-Man. But it is such a shame that a game’s final moments are being blocked by a bug no one is able to prepare for. Valhalla is a long ass game, and even this many weeks removed from its launch, most people won’t be reaching the end any time soon. It’s also behind what is essentially a collectible, so it’s not as simple as a glitch getting in the way of a key story moment that will be more widely reported.
All I can say is until Ubisoft patches this: if you’re working your way through the Order assassinations in Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, don’t report any of them to Hytham until all but The Father is dead. And even then, save before you do in case you somehow end up on the wrong side of this hitch. Otherwise, you won’t get to see a key moment in Assassin’s Creed’s story, and the final moments of Eivor’s journey. Hopefully this won’t interfere with me playing the upcoming DLC, because I already bought the season pass.