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Video Game: Batman Dark Tomorrow

"He will try to stop you, will he not?"
"I have already anticipated his involvement."

A video game developed by Hotgen and published by Kemco in March 2003 based on the DC Comics character Batman.

While working to end a gang war between Scarface and Black Mask, Batman learns that Commissioner Gordon has been abducted by the Joker and taken to Arkham Asylum. As Batman fights his way through the Asylum, he learns that one villain has a much more dire scheme afoot; a scheme that could change the world and bring about... a Dark Tomorrow...

The game is widely considered to be the worst Batman game ever made, and one of the worst video games to be based on a comic book character (though it has stiff competition from Superman64 and Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis). The game was blasted for its awkward controls, confusing game engine, broken combat mechanics, and multiple bad endings, but it was praised for its graphics, story, and for featuring the comic book incarnation of Batman. Some also consider the game to be a decent stealth title, describing it as "Batman meets Metal Gear Solid."

This game contains examples of:

  • Absolute Cleavage: Poison Ivy and Talia.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: A lengthy portion of the game takes place in one; it's large enough to fight several mooks at once.
  • Action Girl: Averted. Usually either Batgirl or Talia (or both) would fill this trope, but the former appears in only one cutscene (where she does nothing except swing on a line and arrest an already incapacitated henchman) and the latter does nothing except try and tempt Batman into doing a face-heel turn.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Arguable. The Joker tying Commissioner Gordon to a chair and sending thugs to go beat him up while Batman protects him is VERY tame compared to the Joker's usual plans. (This may have been intentional: see For the Evulz below).
  • All There in the Manual: To get the True Ending, you must disarm Ra's Al Ghul's signal device using the Universal Tool, a gadget that is only used as a lockpick earlier in the game. The pause menu describes the Universal Tool as being able to hack computers; without reading the description you have zero chance of figuring this out.
  • Awesome, yet Impractical: Batarangs and smoke bombs can be used to take out mooks, but they are difficult to aim and enemies usually travel in groups, making them nearly useless. Batarangs only really come in handy when detonating exploding barrels.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Talia.
  • Bigger Bad: Ra's Al Ghul
  • Big "NO!": Batman lets one out in one of the bad endings- the one where he doesn't die.
  • Butt Monkey: Robin. He appears twice in the game: once to pick up henchmen that Batman has already defeated and then to travel through Gotham's sewers to pick up Ratcatcher- whom Batman has already defeated.
    Batman: "Make sure your rabies shots are up to date."
  • Canon Discontinuity: Two tie-in comics were released for Dark Tomorrow; the second has Batman fight Killer Croc. During the fight Croc gets his arm caught in a print roller, resulting in several bones in his arm being broken before Batman saves him. (It's not clear what injuries Croc sustained, but he's confined to a hospital bed by the end of the comic and Croc acknowledges Batman just saved his life.) This event is not mentioned in the game, and Croc's arm is perfectly fine when you fight him.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: While many of the bosses are easy to defeat with hit-and-run tactics, Killer Croc unquestionably fits this trope if you play the game correctly. If you find and turn a valve before going to the battle, you'll lower the water temperature in his cell, Killer Croc loses half his health at the start of the fight, and he moves extremely slowly. May count as a Puzzle Boss.
  • Cutscene Boss: The Joker. You fight mooks that attempt to kill Comissioner Gordon under the Joker's command, but the Joker himself is incapacitated in a cutscene.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Batman gets some good ones.
    (To Batgirl and Robin, after incapacitating Scarface's gang)
    Make sure none of them are in need of immediate medical assistance.
    (To Robin, when instructed to come arrest Ratcatcher)
    Make sure your rabies shots are up to date.
    (To the Joker, when he reveals Commissioner Gordon tied to a chair)
    Batman: Commissioner!
    Joker: on the nosey! Say; you're good at this!
    Batman: You're not.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If you die, you simply restart at the room where you were killed. That alone is enough to satisfy this trope, but it goes further than that. Dying is- aside from finding an extremely rare resupply- the only way to restock your Batarangs, Smoke Bombs, and the vitally important medical kit. Getting yourself killed is actually beneficial to you.
  • Downer Ending: Three to pick from. To get the game's good ending, you must win the Ra's Al Ghul boss fight and disarm the signal device controlling Ra's bombs. Failing to do one or both results in a bad ending. There are three bad endings: either Batman dies, the world is flooded, or both. Of course if the machine is disarmed and Batman dies the world is still flooded off-screen, since it's stated the machine can be repaired.
    • Particularly infuriating, since the game at no point tells you that you need to disarm the signal device to get the proper ending.
  • The Dragon: Ubu, to Ra's Al Ghul.
  • Easter Egg: Just before proceeding to the final boss, it is possible to find a Lazarus Pit.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: In the second Dark Tomorrow Tie-in comic, Batman saves Killer Croc from being crushed by a printing roller. Croc asks why Batman saved him. Batman replies that all life is sacred, and Croc doesn't understand.
  • Exploding Barrels: Played completely straight. Every barrel violently explodes when punched or hit with a batarang, they are everywhere, and often there will be several in a row to trigger a chain reaction of explosions.
  • Fission Mailed: An unorthodox example, but getting yourself killed so as to refill your medical kit (without which many combat sections are insanely difficult) is a very viable tactic to progress through the game.
  • For the Evulz: Deconstructed: the Joker states that he could abduct Gordon and take over Arkham every day of the week before breakfast; he just doesn't because "what's fun about it?" The fact that Joker has taken over the Asylum without a punchline in mind tips off Batman that the Joker isn't the mastermind behind the chaos in the asylum.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: The sentiment of many players; the medical kit is the only thing that makes the combat winnable- let alone tolerable.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Batman's night vision goggles. It is entirely trivial to finish the game without using them once; they only have a use if the player's TV is too dark to make out what is happening on screen... or if the player desperately wants a first-person view... which will happen a lot.
  • Guide Dang It: The game does not tell you- or even hint at- what you need to do in order to get the good ending. Playing the game like normal and beating the final boss gets you a bad ending where Ra's Al Ghul detonates his bombs and floods the planet.
    • You have to disarm the signal device controlling Ra's Al Ghul's bombs to get the good ending. To disarm the device you need to use the Universal Tool, a gadget that is only used as a lock pick up to that point.
    • You HAVE to disarm the signal device BEFORE you go to fight Ra's Al Ghul. If you go to the final boss before disarming the signal device and you save (which many players do so as to not have to go back in the game) it becomes impossible to get the true ending without starting the entire game over, unless you have a different save file that is not saved at the final boss.
  • Hammer Space: Though you have a limited supply of Batarangs, Smoke Bombs, and the Medical Kit, Batman never runs out of Bat-Cuffs
  • Healing Factor: Batman has a medical kit that- when used- will refill Batman's health until the kit is empty. The kit will even refill your health automatically if your health hits zero while equipped. When the kit is used the animation suggests that Batman is simply injecting himself with something; he is doing no surgery of any kind. This implies Batman has invented a serum that immediately heals any and all injuries within seconds with absolutely no lasting damage from gunshot wounds and etcetera.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Talia manipulates Ra's Al Ghul's security system to help Batman get to Ra's undetected... for a while.
    • Face-Heel Turn: When all is said and done, Talia still leaves with Ra's in the Good Ending. Ra's being dead and needing a resurrection at the time might have been a contributing factor.
  • Hilarious In Retrospect: This would not be the last time the Joker would take over Arkham Asylum in a videogame; though the second time he did it resulted in the best Batman game ever made up until its own sequels came out.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Mr. Freeze directly quotes this trope when he is frozen by his own equipment. Though he's frozen off-screen, so it's not clear exactly how this happened.
    • Ra's Al Ghul arranges the gang war and Gordon's kidnapping to keep Batman distracted from his master plan. Batman would likely never have found out about Ra's Al Ghul's plan if he had not arranged these distractions to keep him from it.
    • Rather than fly to Ra's Al Ghul's base in the Himalayas, Batman jumps out of the Batwing and hang-glides to the base (leading to an incredibly frustrating sequence). Mooks later find the abandoned glider, alerting the entire base to Batman's presence.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Ra's Al Ghul wants to flood the planet and kill roughly a third of the Earth's population to eliminate the pollution that humans create and so that he can rule over the humans that are left and keep them from screwing up the Earth again.
  • Idiot Ball: Ra's is holding it when he decides to invent distractions to keep Batman away from his master plan... which Batman would not have found out about if Ra's had not invented the distractions in the first place.
    • Batman holds it when he decides to jump out of the Batwing to hang-glide through the Himalayas to Ra's Al Ghul's base.
      • A possible- though arguable- further example in that Batman does not bring backup of any kind to Ra's Al Ghul's base, even though he knows Ra's is about to enact a plan on a global scale. He justifies the decision by saying he never knows whether or not he'll survive an encounter with Ra's, even though that'd be all the more reason to bring backup.
  • Irony: When Microsoft became involved in the game's development, they said they would make much needed changes to fix the game's combat. Considering how the game's combat is widely considered to be broken on every conceivable level, one shudders to think how bad it was before Microsoft "fixed" it.
  • Lethal Klutz: In the True Ending, Ra's Al Ghul's Dragon Ubu throws a sword at Batman. It misses, and impales Ra's instead.
  • Moral Dissonance: Batman decapitates Scarface. Sure he's a puppet, but still...
  • Most Common Superpower: Batgirl, Poison Ivy, and Talia; as per tradition in Batman.
  • Multiple Endings: The game has four endings depending on what you do at the end of the game; only one is good and you're not told how to get it. Playing the game like normal will net you one of the bad ones.
  • Mythology Gag: It is unknown who voices Batman in the game, but he appears to be doing a Kevin Conroy impression.
    • Talia's stripperific outfit bears more than a slight resemblance to her outfit from the Batman: TAS episode "The Demon's Quest, Part 2"
    • Poison Ivy's look is pretty much identical to her original Batman TAS design, before the season 4 Art Shift.
    • Detectives Bullock and Montoya appear in one of the game's cutcenes.
    • When Batman is flying to Ra's Al Ghul's base, Oracle mentions that Nightwing is on hand to provide backup if Batman needs it.
  • Obvious Beta: One of the game's early maps is incomplete and contains paths that lead to nowhere. Offscreen enemies fire hails of bullets that are impossible to survive if you attempt to go down these paths.
    • The game gives you a maze-like map of the Gotham Sewer system for the sewer level... and then the sewer is structured with absolutely zero branching paths and is completely linear. Seems they didn't have time to build the rest of the map they had in mind...
  • Offhand Backhand: How Batman defeats the Joker in a cutscene. He even does it while video chatting with Ra's Al Ghul.
  • Off Model: The tail of the logo on Batman's chest changes lengths throughout the cutscenes.
  • Oh Crap: Batman investigates Gordon's office when the Commissioner goes missing. He finds a deck of cards with no Jokers.
  • Only Six Faces: More like three per level.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: The game's pause menu- and a gadget that Batman has- is some kind of fully sized laptop that is somehow able to collapse so that it easily fits into a pocket on Batman's belt. Robin has one too.
  • Some Dexterity Required: In addition to having awkward controls for the use of gadgets, the camera completely shifts directions (and thus the directions on the control stick) every couple of seconds.
  • Stripperific: Talia. Averted by Poison Ivy, who is dressed quite modestly for the character.
  • The Cameo: Detectives Bullock and Montoya- well known from Batman: the Animated Series- appear in one of the game's cutscenes.
    • Batman's sidekicks are basically cameos as well. Batgirl (Cassandra Cain) appears in only one cutscene and Robin (Tim Drake) appears in two. Nightwing is mentioned in a cutscene but does not physically appear.
  • The Hyena: Many of the inmates you fight at the Asylum.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Or rather the man behind the three men; Ra's Al Ghul not only helped the Joker take over Arkham Asylum, but he gave weapons to both Scarface and the Ventriloquist and goaded them to going to war with each other.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Being Batman, he refuses to kill Ra's Al Ghul if he wins the final boss fight. He also saves Killer Croc from being crushed in a print roller in the tie-in comic.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Ubu attempts to throw his sword at Batman in the game's good ending. inverted when it impales Ra's instead.
  • Title Drop: Ra's Al Ghul insists his actions will bring a bright tomorrow. Batman says otherwise.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The cutscene that plays if the player stays on the main menu too long shows clips from throughout the game, including Batman fighting Ra's Al Ghul.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: EVERYBODY who plays the game dies several times during the start of the game when you must travel between rooftops, and dies several times again when you must hop between two adjacent buildings to make your way down a few floors to Gordon's office. This is mostly due to the fact that Batman has a Bat-cable and the grapnel to travel between buildings; the grapnel is only used twice in the game while the cable has extremely finicky controls. And that's not even mentioning the gliding sequence...
  • Unwinnable by Design: In a sense: if you save at any point during the final boss rush and you haven't disarmed the signal device yet, it becomes impossible to get the game's one good ending without starting over or going to a different save file.
  • Useless Item: Almost too many to count.
    • The player can find e-mails and documents with backstory about the game. Barring one that pertains to Killer Croc, none of the documents have any relevant- or interesting- information.
    • Two mysterious items- Weapons Crate 1 and Weapons Crate 3- bear the description "increases weapon power" but seem to do absolutely nothing. Furthermore, a Weapons Crate 2 has never been found.
    • The night vision goggles and fingerlight have no use in the game unless the player's Television is too dark to make out what is going on. Although some players choose to use the night vision goggles so that they can play with a first-person perspective and get around the game's fixed cameras.
  • Useless Useful Stealth: The game tries to be a stealth game; emphasis on "tries." You have the option of taking down most groups of enemies with stealth instead of combat, but since enemies have very good peripheral vision, there is often little cover, so many of the levels are built entirely out of corridors, Batman's stealth walk is unbearably slow, and many enemies travel in groups where somebody is looking in all directions, resorting to stealth is often infeasible.
    • There is one encounter in Ra's Al Ghul's castle that seems to force you to use stealth, as there are far too many mooks to take in combat. However, if you handcuff a few enemies, leave the room, save, and then re-enter, taken down enemies will remain taken down. Abusing this exploit removes the need for stealth.
  • Villain Opening Scene: the first cutscene in the game shows two silhouetted figures- one male and one female- discussing plans to change the world forever while some giant electrical machine powers up. It's Ra's and Talia Al Ghul.
    Talia: "He will try to stop you, will he not?"
    Ra's: "I have already anticipated his involvement."
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: Batman and Gordon seem to have a lot of advance warning that Black Mask and Scarface are going to war, but Batman doesn't do anything to prevent or stop the gang war until it erupts into the city.
  • Villain Team-Up: Ra's Al Ghul orchestrates his distractions for Batman by hiring the Joker and anonymously giving weapons and orders to Black Mask and Scarface. The Joker- in turn- creates chaos in the Asylum by freeing several supervillains.
  • We Can Rule Together: Ra's Al Ghul's offer to Batman when he confronts the villain.
  • What Might Have Been: Word of God has it that Batman: Dark Tomorrow was originally going to be an open world game, similar to the movie-licensed Spider-Man 2 game. The game underwent massive delays when Microsoft expressed interest in releasing the game for the X-Box and became involved in the game's development. The final product is anything but an open-world sandbox.
    • Microsoft said they would make needed changes to the game, including fixing the game's broken combat system. Pretty much everybody agrees that the game's combat is hideously broken as is.

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