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Usually, when a stalker happens upon me (which may or may not be random, as we've seen), he comes up behind me and grabs me. The music and camera change and I mash X until Ezio throws him off.

Last night I was hanging out on an empty rooftop (so much for stalkers lurking in crowds, eh?) when a stalker showed up. Thing is, I didn't even know there was a stalker around, since Ezio had already wrecked the guy before I even knew he was there. He threw him off before the stalker managed to grab him. It was awesome, but I have no idea how it happened.

How'd I do that?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I found a couple of reports where people claimed stalkers on rooftops are just weirdly glitched. I think the game spawns them on the roof but then doesn't really know how to get them "stalking" properly. It wouldn't surprise me if encountering them on the roof occasionally triggered other glitches.

Apparently also turning around at the last moment causes Ezio to push them down instead of the stalker grabbing you (according to part of that thread which I apparently skimmed and did not fully process...), so maybe it's a combination of the two?

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Oo. Halfway down the page on your first link I found: "I love turning around at the last moment so they grab, but Ezio just shoves them down. I get such a kick out of it." – hairboat Dec 20 '11 at 15:15
Uh. Yeah. I totally read that and it's in the answer, right? coughs – agent86 Dec 20 '11 at 15:20
Re: your edit, I think that yes - the stalkers showing up on roofs for no reason is some kind of glitch, but Ezio can also waste a guy pre-emptively if he turns around at the right time. – hairboat Dec 20 '11 at 15:25
I should've thrown a smoke bomb first, and then edited while you were stunned. – agent86 Dec 20 '11 at 16:07

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