Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Eivor can spend time fishing in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla should the player choose. The thing is, the fish you catch in this game are really, really big. And I’m not talking about being slightly exaggerated here — these things are freaking gargantuan. For example, the image at the top of this article shows Eivor holding a perch.

Yeah, I’ve caught perch myself, and I’m not sure I’ve seen one more than a foot long. In fact, the average size of a yellow perch is about 7.5 inches, and in 2015, a twelve-year-old girl scored an ice-fishing world record by catching one that was 15.5 inches long.

So Eivor’s three-foot-long monster is a thing of fairytales. Or is it?

I actually started wondering if perhaps overfishing has caused the average size for these fish to dwindle. I know this is the case for lobster, which can reportedly grow to be five feet long if allowed to do so (they’re typically fished long before they reach this length). So I did some Googling.

As it turns out, there are two factors here that I hadn’t considered. First of all, these are European perch rather than the American variety, and the largest European perch on record in the modern world is about 24 inches long according to Wikipedia (though this claim seems to be unsourced). Of course, you also have to consider the fact that perch tend to be larger on mainland Europe than in England where Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is set.

On top of this, overfishing was actually becoming a problem in Europe around the turn of the millennium (around 1000 AD, I mean, not the more recent turn of the millennium), and this actually did have an impact on the size of these things.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any exact sizes for medieval European perch. I’m also nowhere near being an expert in fish, so maybe take my words with a grain of salt (and a dab of tarter sauce). Still, I think the fish sizes in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla are still probably exaggerated. That said, there is a historical precedent, as well as a regional one, that justifies larger fish in the game’s world.

So there you have it. I didn’t get to the very bottom of this mystery, but I did learn that the fish sizes in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla are maybe a bit less fishy than you might expect. And that’s something!

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