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Forging a real, working Assassin's Creed hidden blade

The famous Assassin's Creed hidden arm blade becomes sharp reality thanks to master armorer Tony Swatton.

Hidden blade
This little beauty is crafted from steel and brass.
Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

The Assassin's Creed games have thrived on stealthiness and effective weaponry. The lead character has sported a hidden blade in every installment of the series. The spring-loaded knife attaches under the forearm with a leather brace and pops out to wreak quiet havoc on demand.

Master armorer Tony Swatton, the focus of the Man at Arms YouTube series, has created a real-world design based on a licensed toy version of the hidden blade. He started by reverse-engineering the toy to determine the size and how the retracting mechanism works.

The actual blade is made from steel cable, a fascinating process that turns the rope-like metal into a sharp, dangerous-looking blade. The biggest challenge was crafting a spring mechanism that wouldn't just send the blade shooting out like a ballistic weapon.

For good measure, Swatton also forged a pirate cutlass from Assassin's Creed 4, noting the likeness to a blade he crafted for the Elizabeth Swann character in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest."

Both items got a good workout, proving their mettle against some unsuspecting watermelons and unopened drink cans.

The hidden arm blade has long been a staple of historical fiction stories, but the real version seems like it would be surprisingly effective. Keep that in mind should you end up time-traveling back to the Third Crusade and finding gainful employment as a stealth killer.