Ubisoft is known for creating rich, textured in-game worlds, full of lore, mysteries, and, in some cases, cat boats. This particular Easter egg has a history at Ubisoft dating back to 2014, appearing in multiple titles across the three franchises Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, and Far Cry, a peculiar feline thread connecting many games in the Ubisoft library. Here’s a breakdown of cat boat appearances in Ubisoft games, where to find them, and what to expect when you get there.
Assassin’s Creed Unity
One of the earliest instances of Ubisoft’s cat boat phenomenon is in Assassin’s Creed Unity. When exploring Paris – the Saint-Marcel district, to be exact – players can dive into La Bièvre and swim to a boat to find a very strange sight: a man, a pile of corpses, and over 20 live cats. The man seems highly distraught, muttering to himself in French, rocking back and forth on his heels. Players aren’t able to speak to him, and there’s no context for the situation. Players have the option to shoot the man or leave him be, but the sight of 20-odd cats licking their paws and meowing in near-perfect unison is hard to forget.
Watch Dogs 2
In 2016, Watch Dogs 2 continued the cat-boat tradition – albeit with a little twist. On the southwest portion of the map, on the shore of the game’s iteration of Lake Merced, players can find a wooden boat run aground, filled with black cats. Unlike Assassin’s Creed Unity, however, the cats aren’t alive; they’re Maneki-neko-style dolls. There’s no explanation for the sight, nor does it have any connection to the story of Watch Dogs 2, but there are a couple of chairs nearby if players need a break from dismantling Blume and want to take in the sight of fabricated felines.
Watch Dogs: Legion
Watch Dogs: Legion continued this feline tradition, and expanded it. London’s cat boat can be found under Little Tony’s restaurant on the river Thames, near Westminster Abbey. Players can swim up to a small boat filled with rows of more Maneki-neko-style cats, white this time. They are covered with a mossy net, implying they’ve been there for some time. Nearby, there’s a white box with a hacking opportunity inside, and depending on the time of day there will be a recruitable man named Anthony as well.
Players can also visit The Three Hawker Boys pub, and by deploying their infiltrator spiderbot, can maneuver through the fireplace and into a secret back room. In it are boxes full of more cat dolls, some of which are arranged around a table in a makeshift tea party. Exploring other areas with the spiderbot is also a surefire way to uncover the stray Maneki-neko hiding in random spots, like the rafters of a pub or behind bottles.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Technically, there’s no secret cat boat in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – but players can recruit the cat Nali to be a Viking on their longship. While exploring Norwich in East Anglia, players will encounter a white cat, Nali, near the longhouse. Interacting with the cat will cause it to run away, and will trigger a Norse child to run after it. After being chased, Nali will jump into Eivor’s arms, prompting the child to exclaim how much Nali likes them. Eivor will then extend an invitation for Nali to join their longship, citing cats as good luck for raiding and good for keeping rats away. Moving forward, whenever a player climbs aboard, they’ll see Nali running around the ship’s wooden planks.
Far Cry 6
Yarans can also experience feline overload on Cat Boat Island. It’s located on an island in Tormentoso Bay in the northeastern region of Yara. There are a couple ways to reach Cat Boat Island, but it’s no easy task – there are no nearby docks or airstrips, and sharks make swimming there impossible. Once there, players will find a rowboat run aground, full of cat dolls in a variety of colors. Additionally, an aerial view of the site will show rocks in the sand that spell out MIAU, the Spanish version of “meow.” Though there is nothing else to do on the island, it’s a fun way to experience the most recent cat boat Easter egg installment..
If you want to experience these cat boats for yourself – or find more – you can play all of these games (and many more) by signing up for a free Ubisoft+ trial. For more on an inside look into Ubisoft games, check out this interview detailing Far Cry 6’s stealth, or read about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s Dawn of Ragnarök DLC.