'Assassin's Creed: Valhalla' Pays Tribute To '90s Music In The Goofiest Way
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, a video game about Viking assassins in first-century England, contains a digital tribute to the Prodigy, a ‘90s punk/electronica band – and it does it with the world’s single greatest, most ridiculous, and also kind of unfortunate, pun.
Occasionally referred to as “the godfathers of rave,” the Prodigy were one of the most successful electronic acts of all time, with a bunch of awards on their shelves arguing as much. They were perhaps most famous, though – and in America, for sure – for their controversial 1997 song “Smack My Bitch Up.” The band argued that it wasn’t what it pretty obviously was, but, come on.
Anyway, the makers of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla decided to twist this unfortunate ode to domestic violence into a different kind of hate crime: a medieval chant entitled “Smack My Bishop.” This is, of course, accompanied by the actual smacking of a bishop, should a player be so inclined.
Now, obviously, hitting women is bad. It’s very much a problem, in fact, and if you need assistance, there are organizations that can help. However, attacking holy men for being holy men isn’t exactly better – it’s the literal definition of religious persecution. And a core part of Valhalla that we’re all kind of just ignoring? Not that the early Christian church was blameless or anything.
The pun is included as a tribute to the Prodigy’s late front-man Keith Flint, who died in 2019, while Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla was still being worked on. The in-game world event takes place in Essex, home of Flint, and the character who instigates the quest – and sings the song – is named Keith. Even the event itself is called “The Prodigy,” too.
Your mileage will obviously vary, but strictly as far as wordplay goes? Damn. That’s pretty good.
Eirik Gumeny is the author of the Exponential Apocalypse series, a five-book saga of slacker superheroes, fart jokes, and assorted B-movie monsters, and he recently added werewolves and assassins to The Great Gatsby. He’s also on Twitter a bunch.
Top Image: Ubisoft