The Master Thief of Anbar is your first quest in Assassin’s Creed Mirage. Being the game’s first quest, a big portion of The Master Thief of Anbar will revolve around explaining the gameplay mechanics and taking you through tutorials. This prologue quest also sets up the game’s story and how Basim joined the Hidden Ones in Assassin’s Creed Mirage.
The Master Thief of Anbar in AC Mirage begins with you waking up from a nightmare. You will have a brief conversation with your partner Nehal before insisting she ignore the commotion and take up a contract from an acquaintance known as Dervis.
You’ll leave the hut and follow Nehal. Eventually, you’ll reach a tutorial segment introducing the series’ staple mechanic ‘Freerunning.’ Press A + Left Analogue stick to board narrow walkways and scale the distance, or even jump off ledges and footholds onto different ones.
At this point, it will be a series of Freerunning mini-events to help you familiarize yourself with the mechanics. So walk and leap off terraces, ropes, footholds, etc., until you climb a ladder over a bustling market. Here, a cutscene will trigger with a key takeaway: Basim mentions some group called the Hidden Ones.
Once the cutscene ends, Nehal will comment on how crowded the market below is, with Basim mentioning it may have to do with the Caliph visiting the Winter Palace nearby; more on this later. In any event, a Caliph is often followed by his retainers where he goes, and Nehal points out as such, with this being a good opportunity to get some pickpocketing practice in and snag some good loot.
This is where the iconic ‘Eagle Vision’ gets unlocked in AC Mirage. Press the left button on the D-pad to activate Eagle Vision.
Eagle vision focuses your sight, greying out all non-essential parts of the surroundings and only highlighting notable objects you can pick up or interact with, or allies, notable NPCs and enemies, etc.
At this point, you’ll go through several quick tutorials as you follow Nehal’s lead. Next up will be ‘Pickpocketing’. Walk over to the unassuming target Nehal points out, oblivious to your presence, and press Y. Trying to pickpocket in AC Mirage triggers a small QTE.
A blue diamond shape will appear, as well as a white outline that shrinks within seconds. Press Y again when this white outline overlaps with the blue diamond, and if timed right, the diamond will turn yellow, indicating that the pickpocket attempt was successful.
Afterward, Nehal will ask you to pickpocket a lady, and with that done, you’ll now be able to pickpocket any NPC in the game you see fit.
Once the pickpocketing tutorial ends, you will have to make your way to Dervis. You can either take a path of your own or climb the stack of crates next to Nehal to take the path the developers intended to get you familiar with some more traversal options like pole vaulting and ziplines.
As you progress, you will eventually see a small set of buildings and some NPCs you can talk to; of note are some children that run up to you here. Walk towards the next marker for The Master Thief of Anbar quest in AC Mirage and enter Dervis’ house. A small cutscene will play out where he asks you to steal a shipping ledger for its information.
After the cutscene ends, you will exit the building. However, Nehal will refuse to take up the contract due to the low reward, leaving you to see it through by yourself. Follow the quest marker until you reach the docks. At this point, a small cutscene between two guards will play out.
Steal the ledger
As the cutscene ends, one of the guards will be alerted to Basim’s presence. He will go to check out the spot where you are currently crouched. This triggers the stealth tutorial and first stealth section of The Master Thief of Anbar in Assassin’s Creed Mirage.
Press B to crouch and hide within tall vegetation or behind cover to avoid being detected. As the guard comes closer, you will be given another prompt about Stealth Elimination. Press RB while undetected to silently knock out an enemy when they are within range.
After this, turn left, hiding in the vegetation as you progress. You will reach a point where you are hidden in a small patch of tall grass with a ramp that leads upward right in front of you and a guard facing the opposite direction to the left.
You can ignore this guard and climb up the ramp. Now, just a little ahead, you will reach your quest objective. However, a new complication arises as the door you need to open is locked.
How to get the ledger key
Now, you must use eagle vision to find the guard holding the key to this locked door. The guard that carries the ledger key in Assassin’s Creed Mirage will have a key icon over his head when using Eagle Vision.
With the guard in the building on the opposite side, you’ll need to make your way there silently past a couple of guards. While there are a few ways to go about it, a simple method you can go for is simply to walk down the stairs into the tall grass ahead since the guard to the left is looking the other way.
In this tall grass, move forward a bit until behind a few hay bales. At this point, the game will tell you about another mechanic, i.e., ‘Whistling.’ Whistling can attract an enemy’s attention and get them to investigate the area you are in, opening them up to silent takedowns without risking your own neck.
Whistle to lure the guard and knock him out to go into the building to the left. You can take the first left and the ladder up to your objective, or you can take the second left a little ahead to grab some loot. Go up the ladder from the first left within the building, and you’ll find your target, who holds the key.
Move ahead and take cover behind a nearby table. He will move occasionally but pause to inspect each time he shifts positions. Simply wait and then move in while he inspects with his back to you to knock him out and grab the key to the locked door. Now, backtrack to the locked door and pick up the Shipping Ledger.
Return to Dervis, and another cutscene will play out, with a member of the Hidden Ones named Roshan discussing something with Dervis.
Basim will urge to be given a chance to do more, but Roshan will turn down the request, and Dervis reprimands him for speaking out of line. Afterward, during some back and forth with Nehal, one of the children, Jasib, tries to steal Basim’s coin purse but fails.
After a brief conversation, Basim will ask the child if he heard about a unique chest while fishing at the docks. The child will reply yes, so now you have to go and steal the chest yourself and deliver it to the Hidden Ones. Nehal will also agree to join you for this task.
After a dialogue prompt with Nehal, indicating whether you are ready or need more time, you will follow Nehal again, and she will lead you to the outskirts of the Winter Palace. She will pick a spot that overlooks the Winter Palace at one point, and you both will wait there till nightfall.
Infiltrate the Winter Palace
Once you regain control, you will have two options: 1) Follow Nehal or 2) Carve your own path.
Following Nehal is a simple and safe method. She will guide you exactly where you must go while avoiding conflict, watching for patrols, and taking the safest route.
This option takes care of the infiltration aspect all by itself with minimal effort until you end up at a locked door and must look for a guard holding the key to get through.
How to steal the Winter Palace Key in AC Mirage
Use Eagle Vision to find this guard with a key icon over his head and make your way to the fountain garden where he stands. Avoid the roaming guards and utilize the tall shrubs and cover within this garden to stay hidden.
The guard holding the key will relocate to an office nearby, and you can utilize the vegetation as cover to make your way to him slowly, knock him out, and grab the Winter Palace key from his body.
The alternate path you could have taken involves going through this garden first. This can be beneficial as you will encounter the guard that holds the Winter Palace key in Assassin’s Creed Mirage before reaching the locked door. Meaning you can resolve that requirement ahead of time while you progress through this route.
Regardless of how and when you get the Assassin’s Creed Mirage Winter Palace key in The Master Thief of Anbar, make your way to the locked door that the quest marker points to, and with the key in hand, you can unlock it.
Steal the chest’s contents
After the cutscene, you will briefly regain control of Basim and follow a linear path along with Nehal. A few guards will rush down the hall ahead, so be sure to stay low and take some cover. After that, Nehal will lead you into a small hall with plenty of loot.
Grab what you can and progress onward for another cutscene to play out. Basim will investigate the loot inside the chest and hold a sigil that recreates some conversation with two holograms in the room. Basim understandably starts panicking, at which point the Caliph enters the scene.
After a brief altercation, Nehal will stab the Caliph, killing him. The heist ends in disaster, and it is time to escape the Winter Palace.
Return to the hideout
With the Caliph dead, all hell has broken loose, with every guard in the city out to get you. Sprint by holding down the left analog stick and moving forward, avoiding any brawls along the way. Run past any guard you see and approach the quest marker indicating the hideout location.
While returning to the hideout is the main objective, you cannot enter said hideout while the guards still have a lock on your location. Taking the streets straight ahead is not a viable solution, as you will aggro every guard along the way, needlessly complicating the objective.
Simply run forward, evading any guards along the way, until you see this ramp to the right of the street.
Take this ramp up, proceed across a tight rope, then take the right path ahead where a guard is stationed, and two other guards will close in on you. Take this path and drop down to the docks below. Keep running along this path; eventually, you will have escaped the enemy’s line of sight.
Proceed down the harbor till you see a guard facing the land across, separated by a waterbody in the middle. Take out this guard silently and swim to the other side.
On the other side, take the first open doorway slightly ahead of you. Then, take a left into the building in front of you. Within this building, exit the door ahead, and you should see a stack of boxed crates you can climb.
Simply climb these crates ahead and take the first right from the path above. The rest is a linear path, ending with you dropping down in front of the door to your hideout. Enter it for another cutscene to play out.
Warn Dervis and the others
After the cutscene ends, Basim realizes that Dervis, Nehal, and everyone else will be in danger because of the Caliph’s death, and since he is the prime suspect, the guards will be looking for him. Return to the site where you started Dervis’ contracts, ideally using rooftops to reach here and avoid needless detection.
Once you arrive, a brief cutscene plays out with everyone Basim knew here, having been killed as an example. Nehal will rejoin Basim here, but in his rage, Basim will take it out on Nehal, hoping never to see her again.
Get to the docks
Once you regain control, guards will be on your tail. You will want to stick to the roofs to reach the quest objective with minimal roadblocks.
Once you reach your objective, another cutscene will play out, with Basim getting caught but being saved by Roshan, who kills the guards. The cutscene ends with the both of you taking a plunge from a building into the waters below, thus ending the prologue quest: The Master Thief of Anbar in AC Mirage.