The bells of the Duomo ring 18h. The court of the Invalides was emptied of its visitors. But the long rows of guns, two hoods appear. Silhouettes dressed in bures walk slowly along the arcades. Boarders unusual of the necropolis military, these shadows hooded are “the keepers of the secret of Napoleon”, the theme of this investigation around the video game Assassin’s creed.

Created by the publisher Ubisoft, this universe brings together a series of historical epics in which the main hero is a part of the brotherhood of assassins. Middle Ages, Renaissance, French Revolution, Ancient, Egypt… With eleven episodes already out, this video game has become a benchmark in the genre. And what better than the history of napoleon to imagine a game of track to the inside of the Invalides? For the first night of the third and ultimate edition, they are a score to participate in the survey grandeur nature at the heart of the parisian monument.

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Inevitably, many of them are buffs of the universe Assassin’s Creed, as Arthur, 25 years old, a parisian, who came with his girlfriend: “I played the full license! So yes, you can say that I know the game very well”, he smiles. But some are a little less up to date. “Hey young people, you know this game? What is it?”, ask Audrey, Jessica, and Jennifer, three thirty-somethings come to try the experience. Don’t panic, no need to know the universe on the tip of the fingers to participate in the experience, reassures them to the moderator. It is time to begin the search for the secret of Napoleon.

Put on the cape for a game trail in the Invalides. Michael Naulin, Le Figaro

But above all, it is necessary to choose its camp: that of the assassins, “the guardians of the free will”? Or that of the templars, “the bearers of peace by the order”? This will be the team of assassins to Le Figaro . Once the symbol stamp on the wrist, in the direction of the arches to join… brother Thomas. One of the keepers of the secret of the Emperor, it is what it is.

Game track smartphone

But what secret could hide Bonaparte? “The location of the apple of Eden, a legacy of the first civilization, and which passed into the hands of Napoleon.” In Assassin’s Creed, where the Story is revisited in the sauce and the Da Vinci Code, the forbidden fruit is a relic coveted for its supernatural powers, a sort of Pandora’s box. In 1815, the good old emperor, therefore, would have hid the apple in the Invalides so that they would not fall into the wrong hands. You will have understood, so the aim is to find the object coveted.

For an hour and a half, we arpentons the different parts of the building in search of clues. For this, we are armed with our smartphone, loaded as advised on the ticket. An application will allow to scan codes scattered everywhere. The game can begin! Ah, last point: “I remind you that we are in a historic place, of memory, so it does not run, one does not shout, and especially we do not sit on the graves of the people.” Thank you brother Thomas, to be precise.

The countdown is launched, the first riddle: find the “gun protector”. It is one of those lined up in the courtyard. Bingo! On one of the bases is a plate scanner. A sentence in three dimensions appears on the screen of the laptop. We must return to the tomb of general Charles Victoire Emmanuel Leclerc, said that, “man of heart” of Napoleon, and husband of his sister, Pauline.

Visit exclusive places

the court of honor at the church of the Dome, passing through the crypt, the clues scattered allow to visit the most emblematic places of the monument, almost in peace. It is found several times alone to face the grave imposing of Napoleon, designed by the architect Louis Visconti. A privilege enjoyed by visitors investigators, such as our three Parisian accustomed to these types of visits: “We have already done the game track in the opera, there is a lot of escape game”, explains Audrey while scanning one of the indexes. One is from Paris, but we do not know all the monuments of the city, it can visit differently.”

A Cluedo giant to the right leads to the tomb of Napoleon. Michael Naulin, Le Figaro

The quest takes us to places usually closed to the public as some of the vaults. And, most importantly, in the chapel of St. Jerome, where the body of Napoleon was installed before the construction of the tomb. To enter, you must give a password: “Nothing is true, everything is permitted”, one of the currencies of the assassins. Some people don’t have trouble finding it. Others struggle a little more. “One for all, all for one!”, tent a young man accompanied by his mother. “Well tried! But no”, replied the keeper. Our team is progressing well, and leads us to the feet of the slabs which covered the tomb of Napoleon at Saint-Helena. We have found the secret of the Emperor! We are the guardians of the apple.

A secret to 24 euros for 1h30 race to the indices rather convincing in the Invalides. It lends itself easily to the game. Even if the ruckus from some participants, we sometimes regret this tendency to want to systematically transform major historical places in Cluedo giant. Virginia, employed in the public service, is looking forward to his side having been able to “visit the Invalides without a person”. “It really is a chance, continues the young woman. But it would also take more time to enjoy the place.” For Alexander, our specialist, Assassin’s Creed, the experience has been good. Small flat, the augmented reality offered by the mobile application is “not very intuitive”.

At the output, the scores are revealed, the team of assassins has won! It is a not triumphant as we pass the front porch, proud to have discovered the secret of the Emperor. You want to know? Impossible, we have sworn not to reveal it to anyone.

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