Juhani Otso Berg is a former Finnish Special Forces member who joined the Templar Order at Abstergo Industries. He is a protagonist character in the multiplayer of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and Assassin's Creed: Revelations, also appearing in the comic series Assassin's Creed: Brahman and Assassin's Creed: Initiates, and the present-day main antagonist of Assassin's Creed: Rogue and Assassin's Creed: Syndicate.
Before joining the Templars, Juhani was a part of the Utti Jaeger Regiment, which composed Finland's special forces. However, around 2010, he opted to become a mercenary, believing the pay would be better than that of the Jaeger's – Juhani needed the money to afford cystic fibrosis treatments for his newborn daughter, Ilena.
One night, an Abstergo team headed by Dr. Warren Vidic broke into Berg's home and apprehended him. As Berg watched, Vidic gave Ilena Abstergo-brand medication that he promised would help to cure her condition, with the promise of more doses if Juhani would join him.
Faced with a solution to his daughter's illness, Berg agreed, with one condition – to eliminate the one who had caused Ilena to wake up and cry. Vidic granted it, and Berg ruthlessly killed the Abstergo agent.
Rise as a Templar
On 12 October 2012, Berg was briefed alongside several other Abstergo operatives who had impressed Vidic enough to begin training in the second stage of their Animi Training Program. Warren promised Juhani and the other operatives greater power, wealth, and information on the Templars if they succeeded, but also warned that there was no backing out from that point.
On 28 October, Berg had interested his superiors within Abstergo with his training in the Animus, enough to be promoted within the ranks of the Templar Order.
In an agent evaluation report conducted on 8 November, Ctibor Hašek identified Berg as a potential candidate for the Inner Sanctum, noting him as an obedient, loyal agent who was dedicated to the Templar cause. However, Hašek was concerned that Juhani's daughter could be a weakness.
On 16 November, Berg was sent to New York by Laetitia England, in order to investigate a cyber-security breach related to artifacts that Abstergo was tracking, one of which was located in a Manhattan penthouse.
There, he found Daniel Cross, who had escaped the Philadelphia facility the previous day and had been subsequently injured during a confrontation with the Assassin Desmond Miles. Though Berg was attacked by Daniel, who apparently suffered another attack of the Bleeding Effect, he was able to neutralize Cross and returned him to Abstergo. Nine days later, in Helsinki, Finland, Juhani was seen spending time with his daughter.
Raid in Florence
On 28 November 2012, after an attack on the Abstergo campus by the Assassin Harlan T. Cunningham killed four Abstergo hackers and destroyed servers, Berg tailed Cunningham on the regional road SR2 in Italy. From there, Berg called his superiors and convinced them to allow him to follow the Assassin back to his base, instead of killing Harlan.
Successfully, Juhani tracked Cunningham to an Assassin base in Florence led by Adriano Maestranzi. Afterwards, he called for backup and was given command of Abstergo's Sigma strike team, before leading the Templar assault on 30 November.
Maestranzi, not wanting to abandon the base, detonated a bomb that destroyed the Assassins' hideout and files, and killed all of Sigma team except for Berg, who suffered burns that left facial scarring. Despite the outcome, Juhani's superiors were pleased with his performance, crediting him for the deaths of three Assassins – even though Cunningham escaped – and did not hold him responsible for the loss of Sigma team.
On 6 December, Berg was brought to a hidden chamber in Abstergo's Philadelphia facility, where he met with Laetitia. There, she made him a Master Templar and inducted him into the Templar Order's Inner Sanctum, but also had Daniel Cross inject Berg with a tracking device so they could monitor all of his movements.
Four days later, Juhani met with Vidic, England, Cross, and several other Templar operatives within the same room in Philadelphia, where England revealed that Abstergo had located the leader of the Assassins, William Miles, in Cairo, Egypt. Soon after, Berg was dispatched with a team to capture the Assassin.
On 12 December, Berg led the reformed Sigma team in cornering William inside a museum in Cairo, and successfully captured and extracted him from the city, taking him to Abstergo's facility in Rome.
In 2013, Berg led an Abstergo team to India assigned to retrieve Jot Soora, an employee of MysoreTech and a descendant of Raza Soora. The Templars' goal was to extract memories relating to the Koh-i-Noor from Soora.
Assassin's Creed: Rogue
By 2014, Berg took over security in Abstergo Entertainment's Montreal facilities as an "independent contractor" working for Abstergo. He, alongside Violet da Costa, supervised a research analyst that dove into the memories of Shay Cormac located in the Helix, which had a virus implanted in them.
When the computer virus was released during a research analyst's attempts at looking into Shay Cormac's life-story, Melanie Lemay and Violet da Costa got everyone to evacuate except the analyst working on Shay. When Otso hears Violet and Melanie discussing destroying Shay's memories, Otso got in the way, telling them via earpiece to keep looking into Shay, believing that he was perhaps the most important Templar in history. The analyst would then fix the servers at Abstergo and rid some computers of the strange virus, while also researching Shay.
During one such occasion where the analyst comes out of the Animus, Otso talks with him/her. He states that Shay has seen the true face of the world and a "choice" would be presented when this was all done. The analyst goes to a different floor to repair some servers and heads right back to Shay.
When the Seven Years' War memories of Shay were finished, Otso then told the analyst to go into the basement of the building and fix up some servers, as a way of presenting to the Assassins how close Achilles Davenport came to ending the world. He wanted them to suffer majorly. This was done, then the analyst researches a memory of Shay in Versailles in 1776 killing Charles Dorian, father of Arno Dorian. With all this well and done, the analyst was taken up to the CCO office where Otso, Melanie and Violet were present. As a reward, Melanie gives the analyst a choice; join the Templars as an official member and help in the war against the Assassins. Otso then takes a gun and shows that he would kill the analyst if he/she refused. The game credits come up before the decision is made, ending the game as a cliffhanger.
Assassin's Creed: Syndicate
In 2015, Otso and Violet were assigned to aid Templar agent Isabelle Ardant in finding the Shroud of Eden, a shawl-like blanket that could heal any wound. While meeting with her, they were interrupted when Assassins Rebecca Crane and Shaun Hastings tried to kill Isabelle. As Otso and Violet were about to kill them, an explosion distracted them, allowing the Assassins to escape.
Some time afterwards, Otso, Violet and Isabelle, having found the Shroud underneath Buckingham Palace, accompanied her. They were attacked by Shaun and Rebecca again, along with Assassin Galina Voronina. During the resulting battle, Shaun managed to use a Shock Blade device to kill Isabelle. Otso gets the upper-hand over Voronina and broke her Hidden Blades, ordering Violet to get the Shroud before the Assassins could. She managed to injure Rebecca and escape with the Shroud in the process. Voronina overpowers Otso and knocks him out; she is right about to finish him with a large rock, but then Templar reinforcements arrived, forcing the Assassins to flee. Otso later recovered from his injuries.
At Laetitia England's officer later, Otso is told to deliver the Precursor box to a top-secret facility, with co-ordinates meant to be sent by scientist Alvaro Gramatica. After delivering the box to Alvaro, he said that he'd use it in the classified "Phoenix Project" in order to better understand the Shroud's power.
Personality and Characteristics
Juhani proved to be a hardened individual, ensuring operations proceeded efficiently. After being recruited by Warren Vidic, he has become a strong believer in the Templar cause and ideology, seeing it as a righteous cause for a better future. He showed respect for both the Assassins and his fellow Templars, as shown in a series of logs regarding certain figures from both factions across the ages, who had inspired Berg in certain ways. However, he did possess a strong determination when fighting against the Assassins, and even a streak of cruelty, shown through his desire to see their mind and spirit broken by before allowing them to die by his hands.
As a former member of the Finnish Special Forces, Juhani possessed a diverse knowledge of melee and ranged combat. He was skilled to the point of being able to subdue Daniel Cross, another Master Templar, and took charge of the mission to capture William Miles in Cairo. However, he did not act solely based on orders alone, displaying a sense of flexibility in the field that resulted in him being scolded by his superiors. One such situation occurred during the mission in Cairo, as William Miles posed as a tour guide to a group of students once he had arrived.
As opposed to causing a scene, Juhani opted instead to apprehend Miles in the Cairo museum when the Assassin attempted to recover the First Civilization power source for the Grand Temple. Being a member of the Inner Sanctum, Juhani possessed knowledge of all activities in which Abstergo Industries was involved.
Laetitia England later accused him of avoiding conflict in order to protect the young civilians, as they reminded him of his daughter. Juhani resented the accusation, explaining that causing unnecessary chaos would have allowed Miles to slip away.
Abilities and Equipment
- Peak-Human Condition: Due to extensive training in Abstergo's training facilities, He gained peak physical levels of strength, speed, endurance, agility, metabolism and intelligence.
- Master Templar: He is a highly accomplished Templar Knight, having mastered all of the Templar and Assassin's abilities. He always refers to himself as a Templar Knight.
- Martial Artist: He is a very accomplished martial artist. He was able to combat Galina, a highly skilled Assassin "super-soldier", despite being defeated long after.
- Superior Athleticism: Due to Abstergo's training, he developed peak-level agility, mobility, reflexes and equilibrium. He is also very advanced parkour specialist, with his great speed and agility. While as the Black Cross, he performs all of the acrobatic abilities possessed by the Assassins, while wearing a heavy technologically advanced Templar Armor.
- Escape Artist: He managed to escape from Hart suicide bombing himself ad jumped into the river below.
- Deduction: He was also a highly skilled detective and carefully took notice of even the most smallest of clues in a crime scene. He is often studying Assassin memories of the past so as to learn of patterns in their working styles and make the Assassins more predictable to him.
- Intimidation: Due to his natural appearance and personality, he is often quite intimidating. Despite his intimidating appearance, he always treats those who cooperate with him with respect and as welcomed guests. He even holds a firm hand with his daughter, despite his love for her.
- Resources: As a Templar Knight, he has access to all of Abstergo's resources and even has a large amount resource himself.
- Templar Armor: While he is the Black Cross, he wears a technologically advanced Templar armor which, despite being bulky and heavy, doe snot hinder his performance. He also has other systems on the armor such as a grappling gun and a tactical visor system. It even has some level of gliding system and very thick armor.
- Juhani is a Finnish cognate of the Hebrew name Yochanan, meaning "God is gracious". The name Otso is also Finnish, though archaic, meaning "bear". His last name, Berg, means "mountain" in several Germanic languages.
- In an audio file, Juhani revealed to Violet that he had only used an Animus to view his own ancestry once, and discovered that one of his ancestors was a Viking raider.
- In Assassin's Creed: Rogue, Juhani's clothes bore resemblance to the attire worn by Shay Cormac during his time as a Templar, and were also adorned by an Yggdrasil emblem.