For the most part, the Assassin’s Creed games attempt to present a semi-realistic, plausible universe, with one major exception: The haystacks. Next to every tall structure, you’ll always find a conveniently placed haystack you can swan dive into from 10 stories up without suffering a scratch. I know that assassins basically have Spider-Man powers, but still, that’s bullcrap, right?
It is. Students from the University of Leicester (the same school that published a paper tearing apart the world of Mario Galaxy) have thoroughly debunked the idea that leaping off a church spire into a pile of straw is a good idea. From the simply-titled paper, “Falling Into Straw”…
“While loose straw does undoubtedly provide cushioning from falls, the amount of straw used to cushion a character’s fall is always the same, no matter the height of the jump. Common sense dictates that the amount of cushioning, in this case, the height of a pile of straw, should be related to the height of the fall being cushioned. This is due to the increased kinetic energy of the jumper, which needs to be dispersed slowly.
Even using the most optimistic survivable impact accelerations, incurring severe injuries in the process, the leap off the cathedral in Acre (the tallest jump in AC1) requires a greater amount of cushioning than is depicted.”
Basically, all the haystacks in Assassin’s Creed games are only about one to two meters high, which would only protect you from a 12 to 13 meter fall (about two stories). I really shouldn’t have to tell you this, but don’t try this at any nearby cathedrals.