Video Game: Batman: Arkham City
"How does it feel, Wayne, to stand on the very stones that ran with your parents' blood? Do you feel sad? Full of rage? Or does that outfit help bury your feelings; hiding your true self? Oh, you are a truly extraordinary specimen... I look forward to breaking you."
— Hugo Strange
The sequel to the critically acclaimed Batman
video game Batman: Arkham Asylum
and the second game in the Batman: Arkham
series produced by Rocksteady Studios. Released in 2011.
The game takes place exactly one year after the events of Arkham Asylum
; Quincy Sharp is now Gotham's mayor, having won the election after taking credit for stopping Joker's assault on Arkham. With Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Penitentiary both closed due to the events of the previous installment, Sharp has arranged for all of Gotham's inmates to be moved to Arkham City, an open-air prison built around the slums of Gotham City. Which doesn't sound so bad until you take into account that tax-dodgers and pretty burglars are in there with serial killers, lunatics and crime bosses. Oh, and they didn't move out the poor people first.
Many of Batman's arch-foes are among the incarcerated, returning from Arkham Asylum
or being newly introduced as characters within the series.
Psychiatrist Professor Hugo Strange is brought on to oversee the prison. In a complicated series of events, Bruce Wayne gets taken into the city, learning that Strange knows the identity of Batman and has a mysterious plan in motion. Escaping and suiting up, Batman dives into the gangs of Arkham City to rescue Catwoman and encounter many of his Rogues Gallery, who have carved out their own territories — including The Joker
, who (true to form) has some wicked plans of his own...Kevin Conroy
and Mark Hamill
return from the previous game to portray the roles of Batman
and the Joker. Besides the characters mentioned above, Poison Ivy, Victor Zsasz, Harley Quinn
, and The Riddler return (Riddler in a much bigger role than he had in the previous game, and is given a physical appearance this time around); newcomers to the series include Robin
, The Penguin, Calendar Man, Mr. Freeze, Deadshot, Talia al Ghul
, Black Mask, and Solomon Grundy.
Rocksteady refined the original gameplay in such a way that it embodies a true sequel, rather than just being a comfortable rehashing of what was already done. The combat includes more options and integrated gadgets, there are more enemy types, detective mode involves more forensic deduction, the Riddler Challenges involve more varieties of puzzles, the battles are more expansive and the environments are much larger
— but the story is still in a confined setting so that there is a focus to the game and doesn't require you to wander around aimlessly.
In addition to all of the above, there are more challenge game types with loads of new features. Catwoman is playable with a complimentary campaign mission, she is also available as a character to play in the challenge missions along with Robin and Nightwing.
The game became known for an unprecedented number of cinematic trailers outlining the different features. A Primary Trailer
, a gameplay trailer
, the Riddler trailer
, the Penguin trailer
, the Mr. Freeze trailer
, the Joker trailer
and Catwoman trailer
An Updated Re-release
called Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition
was created for the Wii U
. It features unique controls specially patented for that system. All DLC for the original release are featured in the game, and Catwoman's role as a character is expanded upon. Furthermore, Batman and Catwoman also sport armored costumes (justifying the game's strength-boosting "Battle Armored Tech" mode), optional touchscreen and motion controls for Batman's gadgets, and a sonar to reveal nearby villains and Riddler trophies.
The game also has several pieces of tie-in media:
- A comic prequel (also named Arkham City), which was released in mid-2011 and is set between the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum and City. The story follows the Caped Crusader as he works to uncover the truth about Mayor Quincy Sharp's plans for the walled-off Arkham City, and the various villains inside the city walls who are fighting for control.
- Arkham Unhinged, a digital-exclusive tie-in comic series which follows various characters in the leadup to Arkham City, including Hugo Strange, Arkham inmates, various villains and different plots that occurred before Bruce Wayne was arrested and put into the city.
- Arkham City Lockdown, a mobile game developed for iOS systems, which pits Batman against a number of enemies and villains (with the addition of Slade "Deathstroke" Wilson) seen in the core game via a series of one-on-one battles throughout the city.
- Arkham City: Endgame, a six-issue digital comic series that takes place directly after the ending of the main game, and involves Batman coming to terms with the Joker's death.
- Harley Quinn's Revenge, a downloadable addition to the main game. The DLC takes place "weeks after" the end of the game, and follows Robin as he heads into the now-condemned Arkham City to rescue Batman and stop Harley Quinn's revenge plot. The DLC was also included in the special Game of the Year Edition, which shipped on the same day.
Has a Character Sheet
that includes the previous game
This game contains examples of:
- Aborted Arc: The main game ends with the strong implication that Harley is pregnant with Joker's child. This plot point gets hastily retconned in Harley Quinn's Revenge, with the reveal that Harley just got a false positive.
- Absolute Cleavage: Catwoman's suit is zipped down to the point where her whole cleavage and her stomach can be seen at some angles.
- Actually Pretty Funny: Almost word for word.
Batman: Do you want to know something funny? Even after everything you've done, I would have saved you.
Joker: That actually is... pretty funny...
- Adaptation Distillation: Arkham City seems to borrow heavily from the film incarnations; much of the architecture takes from the Schumacher era with its neon lights, tall human statues and small oddities, and the rest of it takes cues from Nolan's series. The overall mood of the city, however, strikes far closer to Tim Burton's outings. The story is also vaguely similar to Batman: No Man's Land, and one region of the game was struck by a major earthquake (which seems to have been taken from this storyline, as The Dark Knight Rises had yet to come out).
- The way Bruce Wayne's parents are drawn on the ground match how their bodies fell in Nolan's Batman Begins.
- The Remote Electrical Charge gadget functions and is fired a lot like the timed explosive launcher from The Dark Knight, and the artwork in the menu looks a lot like it.
- The voice actors and Dark Deco art style come from the Animated Series.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Implied by Harley.
Harley: Mr. J's really not up to a visit right now. He's not feeling himself. Well, actually, he was earlier but that's not what I meant.
- After Combat Recovery: Like in Arkham Asylum the XP you gain after a combat or predator sequence determines how much health you recover. Amusingly, in this game it also determines how much armor you recover.
- All There in the Manual:
- Many in-game stories are unlocked when you find enough riddles, from info-blurbs detailing the transition of the neighborhoods and various gang activity to interview tapes establishing how Strange has been manipulating the Rogues Gallery up to that point.
- The Comic tie in Unhinged explains a lot of what happened that was either happening before or during the game. Many of the Noodle Incidents are also revealed such as Beloved explaining what Talia and Bruce did in Metropolis or how Black Mask broke out of Arkham City in Evicted. It also reveals why Sharp was thrown into Arkham City. Where it revealed that Quincy was breaking free from Strange's mental control and was trying to find out where all the money was coming from. Strange caught him, sentenced him with Treason, and threw him into Arkham City.
- Alas, Poor Villain:
- Solomon Grundy may not have been the most sympathetic of characters, being that he's not much more than a mindless killing machine, but nobody deserves a death that brutal. This wasn't the first time he's kicked the bucket, but even some of his offscreen deaths involve being tortured and experimented on until he drops dead.
- Hugo Strange might have been a deluded fanatic, but still, seeing him broken, betrayed and nearly crying after being stabbed in the back by Ra's Al-Ghul you nevertheless feel some kind of pity for him.
- The freakin' Joker! Even though you know he's getting what's coming to him, it's still sad from an audience's standpoint when the bond between him and Batman is being severed, knowing that he will never have anymore battles or games of cat and mouse ever again. Especially since Batman thinks of his death as a failure on his part.
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us: In the Non-Standard Game Over, this apparently happens offscreen to Wayne Manor. Also, Two-Face bombs Catwoman's apartment near the end of her storyline, and Two-Face also takes over Penguin's headquarters.
- Alternate Continuity: While the first game was clearly its own continuity, it was designed to be almost identical with the comics. The sequel makes it clear that certain things are indeed quite different.
- The events of the game are apparently the first time that Batman has directly gone up against Hugo Strange.
- In the game's continuity Bane broke Batman's spine, but Batman doesn't know Azrael, who, in the comics, briefly took the mantle of Batman while Bruce Wayne recovered.
- Several characters (Hugo Strange, Ra's Al Ghul, Talia, The Joker and possibly Solomon Grundy and Clayface) die during the game's events, and, unlike the comics, will most likely stay dead barring a few possible exceptions (Ra's and Talia have potential access to Lazarus Pits via their loyal followers, Grundy is a zombie so he already was dead and Clayface might be able to reform himself, but that aside they do end up destroyed in some form).
- Batman has apparently never encountered Hush before, but for some reason Hush has already altered his face and finger prints to match Bruce Wayne as he had at the end of Heart of Hush.
- Always Close: The church bell-tower always explodes seconds after Batman jumps out the window, regardless of whether or not the countdown finished and Joker finished his monologue.
- During the Deadshot mission, you find his PDA that lists the exact times of his planned assassinations. No matter when you find it, it will always be only four minutes for easy, three minutes for normal, and two minutes for hard, until Jack Ryder is set to be killed. Once you make it to Jack, you'll always save him a split-second before he's killed, no matter what the on-screen timer says. There are other examples, too many to list.
- Always Male: Except for Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn (and Talia Al-Ghul and her personal guard, which may or may not be there under incarceration), the entire prison population seems to be male.
- Always Save the Girl: Deconstructed. Batman's desire to save Talia before stopping Protocol 10 puts the entire prison population at risk (many of whom were political prisoners, petty crooks, and the mentally ill). Oracle and Alfred both call him out on it, and force him to do the right thing.
- Amazon Brigade: Talia al Ghul has a small cabal of female ninjas at her disposal. It's a good thing this version of Batman doesn't have a problem with fighting women.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different:
- With the Catwoman DLC the player switches between her and Batman at certain points in the story.
- In "Harley Quinn's Revenge", you start off as Robin for a short while before switching to Batman in the flashback, and then back to Robin again before finally getting back to Batman near the end.
- Another Side, Another Story: The Catwoman DLC campaign lets you see the story from her perspective.
- Anti-Climactic Unmasking: Defied. The Joker tells Harley not to unmask Batman for exactly this reason.
- Anti-Frustration Features:
- Batman will automatically glide down to rafts and ice floes if you point him toward one. The game also guides him towards mooks with ridiculously long leaps in combat like in Asylum and gives armored mooks priority when performing instant takedowns, and attempting to perform a disarm on an enemy with no weapon results in an instant takedown instead.
- If you die enough times or take too long to figure out how to damage Mr. Freeze, you'll get some additional help in form of a checklist of possible takedowns you've done on him already.
- In addition to tagging trophies to find later, the game also flags and allows you to interrogate Riddler's informants to find out where the secrets are, an attempt to avert the Last Lousy Point.
- No matter how many trophies you collect, the third Riddler hostage room does not become available until you have the zipline, which is required for solving the room.
- When you speak to Calendar Man on a holiday, the month in question will be scribbled out with red ink, letting you know that you've acquired that holiday.
- Catwoman is a Noble Villain; she is largely self-interested and has her own agenda which is cleaning out the Arkham City confiscated valuables vault, but when push comes to shove, she'll rush to help Batman, albeit grumbling about when she somehow developed a conscience. Unless you decide not to, in which case you get a Non-Standard Game Over and the game resets to the moment just before this to help you make the right decision.
- Mr Freeze is a Villain in Name Only, as the Boss Fight is the only time in the game where he goes against Batman, and it's instigated mostly because of a misunderstanding, and Batman threatening to destroy his life support system in the museum didn't get him in a good mood (the player may know he was bluffing, but Freeze certainly didn't).
- Two Face is a Noble Villain, at least when his 'Good' side is in control. He tries to keep his troops' morale up, shares his loot fairly and keeps Penguin and Calendar Man locked up rather than killing them despite them being former enemies. When his bad side takes over, he's a pure Card-Carrying Villain.
- Anyone Can Die: By the time the game ends, several characters (Hugo Strange, Talia, The Joker and possibly Solomon Grundy, Ra's al Ghul and Clayface) die during the events of the plot.
- Apocalyptic Log: Inverted this time. Since it is Hugo Strange doing these interviews, most of patient interviews end with Strange's manipulating criminals to his own ends or delivering a crushing Break Them by Talking that causes them to break down.
- In the Non-Standard Game Over, which you get if Catwoman takes the money and runs, Oracle gives an apocalyptic log as Joker's forces overrun the city.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Hugo Strange in his final Breaking Speech gives one to Batman, which he never gives an answer or comeback to:
''"I have a question for you. Before my arrival, this city was drowning under a tide of filth. Have you ever considered that all this is your fault? Your presence creates these animals; like germs, they spread. You created the environment that allowed the germ to mutate, to become stronger. Look at The Joker. Would he even exist if not for you?"
- Artificial Brilliance:
- Mr. Freeze analyzes the strategies used against him and manipulates the environment to prevent the player from repeating it.
- The deadliest enemy Batman faces in Arkham City? The lowly mook. While at the beginning of the game they're pushovers, mooks get VERY formidable as the game moves along. They gradually get better equipment, take advantage of their numbers and fight much smarter. You'll see snipers taking high ground to be able to tag you easier, empty-handed mooks scrambling to pick up weapons another mook dropped (or even trash lying around to pelt you with), being surrounded to attack you from all sides (no Mook Chivalry here!), the placement of mines, use of thermal goggles, destroying gargoyles to avoid you stalking them from above, being smoked out by grenades, and much more. By the endgame, seeing a group of mooks carrying riot shields, stun batons, knives, guns and body armor will make you think twice before picking a fight. You'll pick the fight anyway, since you ARE Batman, after all, but it still won't be a picnic. What makes it even better is that Batman's new and improved gadgets can thwart every single one of the new enemy tactics. For example, the mine-laying mooks? Batman can use his remote trigger to detonate the mine as it is being deployed or whenever someone walks over it. He can also use his stun gun to temporarily disable the jammers, and armored mooks are especially susceptible to it.
- Artistic License – Physics:
- When Batman is hunting Deadshot, his second victim is sniped through a full water tower. Even assuming there was a gun that could still be lethal after shooting through 6 feet of water (and MythBusters confirmed there is not), the bullet's trajectory is completely unaffected.
- All of Deadshot's bullet trajectories follow straight lines instead of parabolic arcs like they do in real life.
- Deadshot's bullet trajectories are determined using only a single point of impact, which is impossible. Indeed, the trajectory of Joker's bullet can only be traced using the bullet hole on the floor and the hole in the window.
- One of Deadshot's victims is killed by a bullet ricochet, something the MythBusters also proved to be impossible.
- Art Shift: The playable characters have alternate skins based on their designs from various comics and Batman: The Animated Series.
- Ascended Extra: Zsasz, who was little more than a tutorial boss in the first game, reappears in a major sidequest. The Riddler's Collection Sidequest is twice as lengthy, and for once makes an actual physical appearence. A lot of the Batman villains that featured as unlockable bios in the first game also make actual physical appearences: Hugo Strange, Two-Face, the Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Ra's al Ghul...
- Autosave: When entering or exiting a building.
- Backstab Backfire:
- What ultimately does the Joker in. He stabs Batman in the arm to steal the cure from him after Clayface has been defeated, but it causes Batman to drop the vial, shattering it.
- Harley tries to stab Batman with something resembling a retractable stake at the end of Harley Quinn's Revenge, but a well-timed shuriken from Robin knocks her out cold.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: Batman and Bane pull this off against a group of Tyger mooks.
- Badass Grandpa: One of the downloadable skins is 60+ year old Batman from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. He is no less capable in combat than his younger iterations and, amusingly, his flirtatious banter with the now much younger Catwoman and Talia doesn't change - making him look like a Dirty Old Man.
- Badass in Distress: The game starts off with Catwoman being held hostage by Two-Face.
- Later on, Catwoman gets to return the favor by rescuing Batman when he's buried under rubble.
- Again, Talia by the Joker. First chance she gets, she actually manages to stab her capturer. Or so she thinks...
- Batman spends about half of Harley Quinn's Revenge unwillingly suspended.
- Bad Boss: Well, this applies to most of the villains; Joker has his Comedic Sociopathy (though his mooks are somehow still loyal anyway). Riddler can't stop being an Insufferable Genius even to his hired help. Hugo Strange is so dispassionate he doesn't really care one way or the other about his men. Penguin's got a more down-to-earth "fail me and I'll throw a temper tantrum and maybe kill you" line of thinking—he's actually so bad that his are the only minions to immediately jump ship after their boss is taken down.
- Bag of Spilling: Played with. Batman starts the game with most of the gadgets he had in the previous game, and obtains several more gadgets and upgrades in the main story. However, many of those gadgets only get a tutorial when they become needed. The only gadgets he never gets a replacement for are the multi-batarang and the multi-batclaw (the former is no longer strictly necessary since Batman can spam Batarangs one after another now, although the latter had a Red Herring, appearing in the Hugo Strange trailer).
- Also, a Freeflow Focused Batarang seems to throw multiple Batarangs at once.
- Also Lampshaded and Justified; when he requests a piece of equipment he had in the last game, Alfred snarks that he should consider a bigger belt. Batman said he had one, but it was too bulky. And seeing as he can have the Batwing drop off gear anywhere in Gotham, it isn't really necessary. This old gadget is the Line Launcher, which isn't as useful for most outdoor activities when you can glide around and the insides of most buildings should be little more than hallways.
- Batarang Catch: If you throw a batarang at Azrael, he just snatches it out of the air. There's actually an achievement for it, and one of the Riddler challenges requires you to catch one by yourself.
- Bare Your Midriff: Poison Ivy, Harley's new outfit bares her midriff as her previous one did, and Talia al Ghul.
- Barrier-Busting Blow: Wall takedowns, window takedowns, floor takedowns and grate takedowns.
- Batman Gambit: Appropriately played entirely straight in one of the sidequests. At the resolution of the Bane/Titan quest, Batman reveals that he knew full well Bane just wanted the drug for himself and that he let Bane collect his half anyway so he could dispose of them in one go.
- Joker pulled one by poisoning Batman in the first place. If Batman himself was never in any danger, Talia wouldn't have attacked Harley. Also there's no way that Joker would know that Batman would start succumbing to the poison while underground instead while gliding or engaged with enemies.
- Batter Up: Other than some of the enemies in the game, Harley Quinn also whacks Batman with a baseball bat when Joker ambushes him, even dropping the trope name.
- Bench Breaker: In the intro scenes, Bruce Wayne rocks back and forth in a chair he's been tied to, and then escapes from his bonds once he (and it) topples to the ground.
- Benevolent Boss: Two-Face seems to be one of these - half of the time. Unlike most of the other crime bosses we encounter in Arkham City he seems to be relatively fair, reasonable and concerned with keeping the morale of his underlings up. He's also one of the few bosses that we hear who for the most part doesn't try to 'encourage' his mooks to do his bidding by threatening various painful deaths upon them if they screw up. The Bat-computer even notes that he's approaching his campaign for dominance in Arkham City as if it were a political campaign - a classic trait of writing Two-Face lies in remembering his good side is Harvey Dent, District Attorney. An essential part of politics is buttering up the people you depend upon...
- Betty and Veronica: Talia and Catwoman for Batman, though they'd no doubt fight to the death over deciding who's more Veronica than the other.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Most of the major villains spend the game jockeying for the Big Bad position.
- Strange and the Joker more or less serve as the two main Big Bads in the story. Most of the stuff you end up having to do relates to thwarting either one of their plots. Ra's is The Man Behind the Man to Strange, but it's established that Arkham City is entirely Strange's idea.
- Big Brother Is Watching: The prequel comic shows Batman was only able to slip into and out of Arkham City once. In-game, there are security cameras everywhere, which must be destroyed to satisfy Riddler Challenges. The inmates will even comment they find the fact they are constantly watched creepy.
- Bittersweet Ending: Batman saves the day. Unfortunately, Talia is dead (for now), Catwoman's apartment got bombed by Two-Face, it's left unclear whether any of the people Joker poisoned can be saved (though the DLC later clarifies they were), and Batman actually intended to save the Joker, despite the latter's evil nature, and failed.
- The Harley Quinn's Revenge DLC ends with Harley's plan a resounding failure, but Bruce is still even more emotionally closed-off than usual. Not even the brief prospect of losing Tim gets him to open up - he just grapples away, leaving a very concerned Gordon in his wake.
- Bizarrchitecture: Even walled-off, broken freeways and all, Arkham City makes no sense from a civic planning point of view. Freeways come and go into what was once the islet, branch off to the GCPD and the Steel Mill with about twenty feet's notice. The alleys and streets in Crime Alley and the Bowery which are on a lower level from the interstates and have their own dead ends and secret corners. And fully half the map is subsumed, the victim of an in-universe earthquake prior to the game's events. As with the first game, you will take the long way around to get where you're going. Except in the Courthouse.
- Black and White Morality: As far as the prisoners are concerned, the subtitles helpfully divide them between "inmates" and "political prisoners". Most of the inmates will fight Batman even if they were saved by him seconds ago, while political prisoners never attack. Occasionally, inmates will run into a corner and cower when they see Batman, though this usually doesn't happen with the inmates who are part of one of the villain's gangs.
- Black Dude Dies First: Subverted with the Precinct 13 cops: Although the first (and only) death of the 10 man squad, Officer Best, was a black man, there are three other black men in the squad (Elvis Jones, Forrester, and Southwold).
- Blasting It out of Their Hands: How the upgraded quick-fire Batclaw Disarm works (yanks weapons out of the hands of enemies).
- Blood from the Mouth: Batman starts coughing up blood when the disease starts to affect him.
- Bloodless Carnage: Like Arkham Asylum, Arkham City has a ton of bloodless violence, except for Batman's aforementioned coughing up blood and Hugo Strange's death.
- Blown Across the Room: Hitting an armored henchman with the REC will result in this, and getting him to collide with another thug is a Riddler challenge.
- Body Armor as Hit Points: Played straight with the Armor upgrades you can get, which extend your life bar. Interestingly, they are two separate life bars which protect against either melee or gunfire attacks, so you take damage from your normal health bar if you get hit by a baseball bat with 0 Combat Armor, but full Ballistic Armor.
- Body Double: Joker uses this trope in order to get the drop on Batman early on. Though it's later revealed to be more complicated. In order to keep up appearances while he's sick, Joker has Clayface stand in for him at several points. The one you thought was the real Joker was actually Clayface, while the apparent Body Double was the real Joker.
- Body Horror:
- By the end of the game, Joker is a coughing, disease-ravaged wreck sporting a disgusting rash and he can barely stand.
- Solomon Grundy's body is eventually set on fire and burned by the electric currents powering him during the course of his boss fight. He's constantly releasing supernaturally huge maggots. Plus, by the final stage of his boss fight, his ribcage is exposed.
- When we first find Mr. Freeze, he's not in his suit, and he does not look well. Like someone undergoing chemo. Plus the coolant device plugged into his chest. His fingers look badly frostbitten. His ears are gone. Some of the original concept art for Freeze openly showed him lacking ears and a nose - It could be that this made him look a little too close to the comics mob boss Great White Shark, whose frostbitten extremities were actually referenced in Arkham Asylum's morgue.
- Ra's al Ghul's initial appearance. That trip to the Lazarus Pit looked like it was long overdue for him.
- Bond One-Liner: Near the end, after Ra's falls from Wonder Tower, impales himself and smashes onto an iron fence:
Oracle: Are you okay?
Batman: I'm fine.
Oracle: And Ra's?
Batman: Let's just say he's gonna need another trip to the Lazarus Pit.
- Bond Villain Stupidity:
- Hugo Strange captures Bruce (whom he knows is Batman), then just dumps him into the City. No part of his plan required Batman to do anything, and indeed he hires Deadshot to kill Batman, which means he could and should have killed Bruce when he was unconscious and shackled.
- Once you infiltrate TYGER's base, Hugo Strange will appear on a video screen with a hostage, forcing Batman to stand still while his thugs surround him and tries a Break Them by Talking. Once he orders them to kill him, he's moved away from the hostage. Nice scene, Strange, but any particular reason you didn't keep that weapon pointed at the hostage? Batman wouldn't have fought back if it meant that the hostage would die.
- When Batman confronts Penguin outside the Iceberg Lounge, Penguin uses Mr. Freeze's gun to freeze Batman's arm and leaves him briefly stuck to the wall, but instead of just killing him then and there, he tells him to come meet him in the Iceberg Lounge so he can "kick his arse again".
- Averted by Mr. Freeze and the Joker in the latter half of the game; they adapt their tactics accordingly, but Batman is prepared for them before hand.
- Book Ends: Cross-media example. The site of the final battle? The same movie theater the Waynes left the night Bruce's parents were killed. Hammering the point home, their Chalk Outlines are still there, behind the building, in the helpfully-indicated Crime Alley, originating Hugo Strange's quote atop the page and allowing you to "pay your respects" (which also gives you an achievement).
- Border Patrol: If Batman tries to glide over the perimeter wall of Arkham City, he will turn around while escaping gunfire from turrets.
- Boring but Practical: How Hugo Strange figured out Batman's Secret Identity, as he explains, with no small amount of pride, to The Riddler (whose Complexity Addiction would never countenance basic by-the-book analysis):
"Oh, I used no tricks, no childish puzzles. I simply created a psychological profile of the man most likely to be the Batman, and then matched it against the most logical candidate. I was right, of course."
- Boss Arena Idiocy: Clayface, whose arena is covered in TNT. If you stand right in front of it as he rolls towards you, he will blow up and take at least almost half his health.
- Subverted by Mr. Freeze. He didn't expect the lab to become a boss arena, but every time Batman gets the drop on him, Mr. Freeze will make sure the Bat can't do it the same way a second time. Pop out of a vent? He'll freeze the vent covers shut. Kick him from a gargoyle? He'll humidify the room so that gliding is impossible. Use the Line Launcher? He'll recognize the noise the next time it's used and counter it.
- Bound and Gagged: While exploring Joker's hideout the second time, you come across Harley, taped to a pole and gagged. It's not explained who did it at first, but Talia reveals during the final boss fight that she stole the cure from Harley, so presumably she's the one who tied her up. For added bonus, you can regag Harley; if you take it off again, Harley yells that she will get back at Batman if he keeps doing that.
- Bowdlerise: In the X-box/Playstation/PC versions Catwoman is wearing a catsuit zipped down below her chest. In the Wii U version of the game Catwoman has a different costume, more similar to Batman's, which covers up her cleavage. Justified in game as it is a suit of armor, that offers more protection, and allows her to store and release kinetic energy.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: The henchmen under Poison Ivy and Mad Hatter. It's also revealed that Strange has used the Mad Hatter's methods at brainwashing and has used it on both the TYGER guards into serving him and on Quincy Sharp; however, the latter does not fall into this trope and fits the brainwashed trope more.
- One of the Arkham City Stories establishes that the lunatics from the first game were TYGER guard recruits who didn't take to Strange's Brainwashing. He had them lobotomized and dumped in cages to be forgotten.
- Break the Haughty: After mortally wounding him, Ra's takes a second to casually dash Strange's dreams and crap on a game's worth of boasting, coldly stating that he's once and for all proven himself inferior to Batman.
"Ha ha, Batman don't stand a chance!"
"Don't hurt me! *sobs* Please!"
- Break Them by Talking:
- Hugo Strange makes a lot of these.
- Joker gets in his fair share.
- Brother-Sister Team: In the comic, the Trask brother/sister duo.
- Bullet Time: A minor version in form of Freeflow Focus, which slows down all enemies slightly and is activated by getting a high enough combo multiplier without using any special attacks. The Bullet Time appears to increase the more combos one racks up.
- Bullying a Dragon: If the Mooks spot Batman, but can't reach him, they'll taunt him, calling him "chicken" and the like. Yeah, that's a great idea. Taunt the guy who takes down supervillains on a regular basis.
- But Thou Must: In Catwoman's third chapter, you get the choice to either save Batman or leave Arkham City with the loot. Taking the second option, however, leads to the end credits complete with Oracle begging for help over the radio due to Batman dying and Joker's troops overrunning Gotham, only for time to be rewound so you can go back and make the 'correct' choice. If you attempt to leave Arkham city a second time, Catwoman won't even open the door.
- Butt Monkey: Arkham Asylum had "Razor", a minor Joker goon who got into a pickle a few times, and he's mentioned again in this game. He still seems to keep getting into trouble.
- Cain and Abel:
- The Abramovici Brothers, conjoined twins who separated over political differences and now act as high-ranking members of opposing gangs. The Playable Epilogue has a scene where they make up and decide to be sewn back together.
- When playing the game with the Catwoman DLC, the opening shot is of a picture of Cain carrying Abel, titled "The Duality of Man." In the same pose as when Batman carries The Joker later on.
- Calling Your Attacks: Mooks who are aware of Batman's presence, but don't have a line of sight to fire upon him, will occasionally announce that they're throwing grenades. This is to avoid blowing each other up, but also gives Batman a chance to avoid the blast.
- The Cameo: Several notable characters have very brief roles.
- Black Mask shows up in the opening, getting beaten by TYGER guards. He also has a small DLC role in the Robin DLC.
- Killer Croc has a brief cameo that can only be seen after the Ra's fight.
- In Lockdown, an tablet tie-in game made by Netherrealm Studios, features Kano as an optional fight.
- Camera Screw: What is your greatest enemy in the Riddler's combat challenge maps, you ask? The camera! For reasons unknown, the developers thought it'd be helpful for you if the camera automatically spins around 180 degrees whenever you do a counter or get hit from behind. It's not. Prepare to rage as your combos get broken because you attacked the wrong person thanks to the camera spinning wildly around. It doesn't help when you can't adequately control what enemy you attack either.
- Canon Foreigner: In addition to Quincy Sharp returning from the first game, we get the Abramovici Twins.
- Cardboard Prison: The back-story for the game has Quincy Sharp recognizing this as the reason for moving the criminals to the new location. It also helps that the first game ends with both Blackgate and Arkham ravaged.
- Arkham City itself, however, is anything but - the perimeter has turrets, and helicopters with guns patrol regularly, and very few have been able to get in or out of the prison.
- Ceiling Cling: One of Catwoman's abilities; she has to use this to get Catwoman-specific Riddler trophies and can use it to her advantage both as an additional hiding spot and as a way to take out any mooks walking above or below her.
- Chekhov's Gun: Due to the way the story is told, its possible to miss it until after it goes off. In the backstory, Joker fakes his own death to escape a hospital. Early in the game, he fakes his own death in the Steel Mill to allow Clayface to get the drop on Batman.
- Chekhov's Gunmen: In the end of the "Harley Quinn's Revenge" Downloadable Content, the previously inanimate Wonder City automatons are the last opponents in a straight on battle.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Joker has a fatal case of this.
- Circling Monologue: Harley and Talia do one around Batman.
- Cliffhanger: With the Catwoman DLC installed, Batman's story cuts away to Selina's exploits as soon as he is captured by Joker and Harley. Then that episode of Catwoman's tale also ends with a Cliffhanger.
- Climax Boss: Ra's al Ghul, Mr. Freeze and Clayface.
- Cold-Blooded Torture:
- After Penguin captures Mr. Freeze, his freeze gun becomes Penguin's new favorite toy. While Batman is trying to figure out how to get to him and save the two undercover police that he's taken hostage, he freezes one of the cop's fingers one by one and then takes a hammer to them, all over the loudspeaker so Batman can hear it. Then he just decides to freeze his whole hand and smash it all at once.
- Hugo Strange tortured a TYGER captain to death in one of the trailers, during a brutal interrogation. Finding the corpse of the TYGER operative is one of the game's Riddler secrets.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: At the end of Catwoman's second episode, the green arrows lead back to Arkham City, where Catwoman saves Batman and allows him to save Gotham. The red arrows lead into Gotham City, Batman's death and the fall of Gotham City at the hands of The Joker.
- Almost everything associated with the Riddler is green. This makes it easy to spot switches, trophies and question mark symbols against the more muted background coloring.
- Composite Character: As with Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman is once again based on the comics version, has the voice of his DCAU incarnation, and wears body armor with a glider cape. Likewise, The Joker is again based on the comics version, has the voice of his DCAU counterpart, wears a suit in poor condition similar to Heath Ledger's, has a face similar to Jack Nicholson, and mugs like Cesar Romero.
- Some of the pre-order bonuses include alternate costumes of classic 70's style blue & gray, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Batman Beyond, Earth-One and Batman: The Animated Series (in Bruce Timm's style!). A Sinestro Corps outfit could be obtained by purchasing the extended cut of the Green Lantern film on Blu-ray. All of these costumes were later made available via the Skin Pack DLC. Due to the game's success, Batman Incorporated was also made available, separately, for free.
- Pictures of Two-Face◊ revealed that his unscarred side looks similar to Tommy Lee Jones and the suit itself is based on the right half of Batman: The Animated Series Two-Face's suit. But the entire left side owes more to Aaron Eckhart (the scarred side and the suit being a normal suit with the left half ruined), though the left hand is also scarred ala B:TAS, and while Richard Moll from B:TAS isn't reprising the role, Troy Baker does seem to be emulating him. In fact, if Two-Face's interview tape is anything to go by, then in this continuity, Carmine Falcone, like Rupert Thorne on B:TAS, fills Sal Maroni's role in the origin of Two-Face, despite the Maroni family being mentioned in game.
- While not deformed like his incarnation in Batman Returns (though given the art for his bio in 'Batman: Arkham Asylum', the idea was probably toyed with), the Penguin does share a similar fashion sense◊ with the Returns Penguin and, while not deformed, has a similar personality (savage and animalistic, but trying to pass off as refined) as well. He also seems to look similar to Danny DeVito, albeit more along the lines of how the actor normally looks and not the make-up he wore as Penguin. After Bruce breaks his hand, it's wrapped up and looks like his flipper in Batman Returns. Finally, Penguin also complains about how the Waynes 'ruined his family', indicating they were once wealthy, ala both Returns and The Batman.
- Mr. Freeze looks like his animated series version, but wears power armor that's more streamlined, looking vaguely similar to what he wore in Batman & Robin. His voice filter, once it kicks in, is also very similar to the voice filter Freeze had in Batman: The Animated Series; a low, emotionless buzz. The game also hints that Freeze's body is gradually taking damage from his condition, much like his The Batman counterpart and, again, his animated series incarnation.
- Robin is Tim Drake and wears a costume similar (at least design-wise) to the classic one wore by his comics counterpart, though more in-line with the body armor aesthetic that Batman sports in the game◊. However, from the preview pic, he also looks to sport a hood similar to Damian Wayne's Robin and has a hairdo similar to the one sported by the version of the Dick Grayson Robin played by Chris O'Donnell. Like Batman, you can also get alternate costumes for Robin, based on Red Robin from the comics and Dick Grayson's Robin costume from Batman: The Animated Series.
- Nightwing's costume is based on his classic black and blue one from the comics, but like Batman and Robin, it has the look of body armor. The alternate Batman: The Animated Series skin is also included.
- Vicki Vale is a TV reporter like in The Batman vs. Dracula and is blonde ala her appearance in Batman.
- Catwoman's face resembles Halle Berry (ironic since that film had nothing to do with the Batman franchise), while her suit has a patchwork look reminiscent of Michelle Pfeiffer's. Unless the player goes with the animated or Long Halloween skins.
- Despite not appearing, Carmine Falcone gets in on this. As mentioned before, despite Sal Maroni being mentioned, Falcone fills Maroni's role in Two-Face's origins. Also, according to the game's version of the possible origin of the Joker in The Killing Joke, Falcone was the boss of the two men the future Joker worked with, but like the actual origin, this is suspect.
- Azrael is identified as Michael Lane, but his costume has elements of both his comic counterpart and Jean Paul Valley, including Valley's katars and like Valley, he serves the Order of St. Dumas.
- Conscience Makes You Go Back: Catwoman, who makes the choice to either escape with the riches, or go back and help an incapacitated Bats. Subverting this gets you a Non-Standard Game Over.
- Conjoined Twins: The Abramovici Twins used to be, but had themselves separated over political differences. The Communist brother went to work for Joker, the Capitalist brother joined up with Penguin. They reconcile at the end of the game and decide they want to be rejoined.
- Conservation of Detail: The Hugo Strange trailer stands out in that it is the only one of the trailers that wasn't put together out of a combination of gameplay and cutscene footage. The interesting part is that the TYGER guard he interrogates and kills can actually be found in the game itself and is also the answer to one of the Riddler's riddles.
- Continuity Nod:
- As seen in this video at the 90 second mark, Batman stops Harley's attack the same way he did in the last game.
- You can see Arkham Island from the bay and it's still covered in giant vines. It's even the answer to a riddle.
- The centerpiece of the final room converted into a shrine in honor of the Joker's death in Harley Quinn's Revenge? A giant Joker robot.
- The outlines of Bruce's parents behind the theater is the same position they were in Bruce's nightmare by Scarecrow.
- The glass case Penguin has reserved for Joker at his museum contains as a placeholder one of those Joker mannequins with a TV for a head that Joker would use to talk to you in the Visitor's Center of the asylum.
- The Visitor's Center TV heads also reappear during Harley Quinn's Revenge, where she's placed them all over the Steel Mill.
- Harley's outfit from the previous game is displayed on a mannequin in the Steel Mill. It's the answer to another riddle.
- Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: There are a few places where Batman will remind you what you need to do if you spend too much time poking around. This is most noticeable in the church, where if you try to listen to everything the medical workers and guards have to say, you'll be told several times that you need to go to the top of the church.
- Crapsack World: What kind of world must the inhabitants of Gotham City live in, where a whole district of their city can become a dumping ground for criminals? Worse yet, a lot of the prisoners just plain don't belong there, but were thrown in for political reasons or because Strange wanted to get rid of them. Bruce Wayne gets captured and thrown in without warning for organizing a protest rally.
- Cute Kitten: In Catwoman's second episode, while she fights enemies near her apartment, you can actually see a cat walk by unfazed. And in her final episode, after she is knocked out unconscious by a bomb blast, two cats walk around her lying on the floor. Awwww!
- Cutscene Boss: Bane and Hugo Strange. Some people believe the latter would be justified because "trained to physical perfection" as it states in his bio does not mean "expert in hand-to-hand combat". Batman is both, Strange is only the former.
- Cutscene Incompetence: Every problem one has in this game is caused because of a cut-scene:
- Able to block an attack when someone comes up behind you... not in a cut-scene which happens TWICE
- Able to take a hit to the head with a bat and only get slightly dazed... not in a cut scene, to which you are knocked out for some time.
- Cutting the Knot: You can easily rescue the first Riddler hostage with the Line Launcher or by running across the floor and absorbing damage. If you do, the Riddler condescendingly says he knew you would "cheat".
- You're required to do this on the Riddler's Shell Game, since he will cheat.
- You can do this in the third room instead of solving the magnet block puzzle by dive-rolling from the pressure switch to the door, although there's no text for it suggesting it's a glitch.
- If you have enough health upgrades, you can use the Line Launcher to skip deactivating the electrified floor at the start of the fourth room. Doing this means that the game doesn't realise you've beaten the first area and Riddler will continue to mock you for being unable to beat it even while you're talking to the hostage you just rescued!
- Apart from the Riddler rooms, you can Disrupt the firearm of a hostage-taker, eliminating the need to sneak up on him from behind.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory: Some of the gadgets are in different locations on the utility belt than in the previous game. Most jarring is the batclaw in slot 2 and the explosives in slot 3, when in Arkham Asylum they were the other way around.
- The keys (on PS3, at least) for the Batarang and the Batclaw have been flipped from Batman: Arkham Asylum. Considering they're two of Batman's most used tools, expect to throw a Batclaw at a mook and a Batarang at a Riddler trophy many times.
- Damsel in Distress: Catwoman is briefly Two-Face's captive. And we do mean "briefly" - as soon as it looks like he's actually going to kill her, she cuts herself loose and slashes his face. Overlaps with Badass in Distress.
- Talia is taken captive by Joker and used as a motivator to lure Batman into the final battle, but given how easily she breaks free of his hold and disarms him it's likely she was just leading him on.
- Dance Battler: Catwoman's move set is a lot more fluid and ballet-like than Batman's, who uses more brute strength than acrobatics or gymnastics.
- Nightwing is another example, having once been an acrobat himself.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: At one point Harley Quinn leaves Batman held at gunpoint by four goons. One of them realizes the gravity of the situation.
Mook: Because it's not like he has a reputation for breaking free of traps and then smashing people's face in. Oh wait! That's exactly what he does!
- Mr. Freeze also counts, though how much of a villain he is is debatable. For one, he subverts Boss Arena Idiocy by learning from how you perform your takedowns.
- In the DLC, two henchmen start discussing the location of a secret hiding place only to have one of them promptly silence the first stating that Batman could be listening in on the conversation from afar.
- Darker and Edgier: They actually managed to trump Arkham Asylum. And that's saying something.
- Dating Catwoman: Interestingly, it's not just with Catwoman, but with Talia as well.
- Deadpan Snarker: Catwoman and Alfred. Batman actually does it once to Catwoman in an Ironic Echo, but Catwoman tells him to "stick to brooding".
- Death by Cameo: Bud and Lou, Harley and Joker's pet hyenas, whom Harley referred to as her "babies", show up stuffed and on display at Penguin's museum.
- Death by Secret Identity: Hugo Strange finds out Batman's identity before the events of this game, and dies at the end of it.
- Death Seeker:
- Ra's al Ghul. He's 600 years old, and wants Batman to replace him as the Demon's Head, repeatedly telling Batman to kill him during their encounter in Wonder City, even holding a knife to Talia's throat and outright demanding that Batman kill him.
Ra's: You should have killed me.
- Death Trap: The Riddler's contraptions. Even a few clusters of Riddler trophies are set up in such a way that you will die in the attempt without a couple gadgets given to Batman during the storyline, thus preventing the Riddler from anticipating them.
- Deconstructor Fleet: Over the course of the narrative, this game deconstructs Batman's overall effect on actually deterring crime in Gotham (as opposed to just fighting it), the Joker's own sense of invincibility and mortality, Batman's overall love life and how far he's willing to go to protect the women he cares for as well as how far they're willing to go for him as well, how much Batman's allies will let him get away with before calling him out, how practical Thou Shalt Not Kill really is, and ultimately, whether or not even the most despicable and deplorable examples of humanity are worthy of basic human rights.
- Demoted to Extra: A lot of the returning villains from Arkham Asylum don't have exactly big parts. Poison Ivy only shows up in the Catwoman missions (very, very briefly), Bane sends you on a sidequest and that's about it, and Croc is completely absent aside from an Easter Egg. And while obviously not a villain, Commissioner Gordon has only one in-game appearance and a few short audio ones, only getting slightly more of a part in the "Harley Quinn's Revenge" DLC.
- Scarecrow is an interesting example. He actually does not appear at all in game. However, a boat with his latest experiment is found floating in the harbour, and 3 undocumented radio frequencies continually replay messages from him. His abandoned mask can be found on a pile of hay on top of a building between the police station and the steel mill.
- Determinator: Ra's was so determined to prevent Batman from saving his life yet again, that he stabbed himself through his chest to make sure Batman let go as they were falling, finally fulfilling, in his own way, what he had wanted all the time: to be killed by Batman.
- Or it was a case of Taking You with Me, or maybe trying to stab Batman forcing him to take a dip in the Lazarus Pit to save himself.
- Again, Batman. Spends a night fighting supervillains while dying of blood poisoning.
- Batman's determination to keep with his code of not killing (or allowing to die) is really pronounced throughout the game.
- Two-Face's reputation as one keeps his men from deserting the gang after his initial defeat, citing his refusal to stay down even as half his face was being burnt off. And while he takes a couple whoopings, and long stretches go by where nobody knows where he IS, once everyone else's theatrics are concluded he's holding half of a now-unmanned prison city.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything:
- Unfortunately, their thoughtfulness is a huge spoiler, as if you turn on Detective Mode while fighting the Joker, you'll see he has no bones... because he's Clayface. This is changed in the Game of the Year edition.
- Tossing a Batarang at Harley in the church will result in her cartwheeling to the side before resuming her run at Batman.
- From the Mad Hatter mission, if you look at the capsule that has the "cure" in Detective Mode, you'll see a syringe in it. This is notably different from what Batman uses to inject the supposed cure.
- Depending on whether you finish the Bane sidequest before or after you beat the game, his hideout is ambushed either by TYGER guards who want to confiscate the TITAN or a group of Joker mooks who want to either use it for themselves to have a chance of survival now that their boss is gone or just take it back since it was Joker's to begin with.
- If you manage to destroy all of the Tyger cameras before Protocol 10, one of the Tyger guards will mention over the radio they are completely blind.
- You can bypass a lot of the first Riddler Room if you use the line launcher. Riddler will remark on it, and mock you for cheating. He'll also do so if you just choose to run across parts of the electrified floor to skip most of it.
- In the beginning of the game, after beating up Penguin's mooks, the player could just leave Penguin alone without knocking him out and go up the ladder. The Dev team anticipated this possibility, so they had Penguin say something specifically for that occasion, which is where he taunts Bruce Wayne about him always knowing that Wayne was a coward.
- If the player decides to stick around during the "countdown" on the clock tower, Joker will end up summing up the final events of the game before telling Batman that he really needs to get out of there.
- Batman can find and destroy five out of the six Titan containers he needs to destroy for Bane's side-quest before ever even speaking to Bane; his dialogue will change to reflect this.
- Catwoman has a surprising number of lines that play in specific circumstances. You can go back during the epilogue and visit any of the villains that are locked up or incapacitated (Bane, Mad Hatter, Ivy, etc.), where you will get special one-off conversations where they ask her to release them (which she refuses every time, for various reasons). In addition, she will have a unique conversation with Calendar Man if you visit him, where she says she won't release him after "what happened with the Falcones" (a likely reference to Dark Victory).
- It's entirely possible, using a glitch involving standing on a ledge and continually throwing Freeze Grenades on end, to glitch yourself up high enough in the game world to glide over the barrier surrounding Arkham City. Using this method, you can actually fly around and explore the rest of Gotham City. Yes, that big skyline you see in the background throughout the game was actually constructed and was fully detailed by Rocksteady (although the buildings are all hollow inside). You can glide around and watch cars passing back and forth on the bridges, fly to Arkham Asylum (which is also present, although significantly scaled down) and fly up high and see that the game world goes much further than just Arkham City. Most players won't even glimpse most of it (and it will glitch your save file out if you haven't backed it up elsewhere), but the fact that they put all this work into something most players would never see up close is nothing short of incredible.
- Several puzzles in the games require you to throw an electrified remote control batarang to hit control boxes out of reach. If you hit a thug with one of these, it'll knock them out instantly. However, there are only two places in the game you can do this, on the Joker's goons when you follow the ninja into the sewers, and on the Two-Face thug you rescue in the steel mill. There's no practical way to use it, it seems to be there just because it makes sense.
- In the Iceberg Lounge, if you try using the explosive gel while walking across the ice, Batman will point out that using the gel on the ice is a very bad idea.
- When you are fighting Grundy and use the REC on him, Penguin will comment on how that was a bad idea.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Seems to be a tactic Catwoman can use to her advantage, as one of her counters involves kissing a mook right before tossing him to the ground with a Judo throw.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Ivy, as fitting her character. She tries to kill Catwoman, and then later pledges to go on a homicidal rampage throughout Gotham. Why? Apparently because Catwoman was housesitting for her and forgot to water her flowers, all of which died except one (which Catwoman later destroys and blames on Strange). Granted, from her perspective, Catwoman just let her children starve to death.
- Joker also has his moments. The Arkham City Stories detail an Escalating War between him and Penguin, Joker's side is rife with this. Spraying a waitress with acid when she spilt a drink on him was just the start.
- Diving Save: In a cutscene, Batman does one on Catwoman when he notices a laser sight targetting her.
- Doing It for the Art: In-universe: Clayface, who apparently has been using every trick up his sleeve to avoid being put in Arkham City, eventually willingly enters when given the opportunity to play "The role of a lifetime."
- Domestic Abuser: Strange suggests that even before becoming a villain, Harvey Dent had a violent side that would sometimes show itself around his wife.
- The Joker towards Harley once again.
- Don't Go in the Woods: In the prequel comic, Catwoman advises Ivy not to go wandering into the park around her hangout at night, presumably because it's where one of the creepier inmates reside. Considering Catwoman is talking to Poison Ivy, who can control plants, and a park will most likely have plants, this may not really be necessary.
- Downloadable Content: Challenge maps, extra characters (Robin and Nightwing), alternate skins for practically every player character, Catwoman DLC... you name it, this game has got it.
- Driving Question: What is Protocol 10?
- Early-Bird Cameo: The blueprints for Arkham City can be found in the first game, in a secret room in the Warden's office accessible by detonating three gels on one of the walls. However, the developers had to tell the community the location of this easter egg/cameo — it's hidden behind a destructible wall that shows no signs of being destructible and behaves differently from all other destructible walls. Prior to the developers coming out with the proper location and method, the only way anyone had found to get at it was with noclip cheats.
- Easter Egg: The Calendar Man is a living easter egg; he's sitting in a cell in the courthouse, and asks you to come back to him on various different holidays so he can spin a yarn about a crime he committed on those days. In 2014, three years after the release, people discovered a brand new secret dialogue that triggered when you set the game-clock to December 13, 2004(The Year of Rocksteady's founding).
- You can find Leslie Thompkin's clinic near Poison Ivy's hangout. Strangely, it's not part of a riddle.
- Big Head Mode.
- Throughout the game are scattered teddy bears that look like the giant one on top of Krank's Toys. Most of them are changed to reflect the environment they're in. For example, a bear in a Riddler death trap room will be in its own miniature death trap.
- In the caged in area where Bruce Wayne is being processed and has to save Jack Ryder, if you look upward you'll notice that Azrael is watching the whole thing.
- All the Easter eggs you could ever want.
- Easy-Mode Mockery: The game makes it so you cannot play New Game+ after beating it on Easy, and therefore can never get a 100% Completion unless you play normal or hard.
- Elite Mooks: The Tyger security force has been specifically trained to counter and apprehend Batman, even proving wise to most of his gadgets. They're also impossible to completely frighten - in Predator challenges they're never above being "nervous." Still, none of that stops Batman from repeatedly beating and/or evading them, though.
- Talia's guard also counts, as their weapons can't be destroyed, they randomly Smoke Out of the way of an incoming attack (which thankfully doesn't break your combo), more of them can spawn in the middle of some combat challenges, their attacks have 2 different counters and the one that needs to be evaded hits 4 times instead of 3 (unlike any other enemy with a bladed weapon) and they get up immediately after being knocked down, making them immune to Ground Takedowns.
- Harley's reprogammed and repainted Wonder City robots are also a minor example: since they're machines, Batman can't read them as well as humans and thus they have no counter prompt.
- Empathy Doll Shot: There is a commonly re-used model of a stuffed bear to be found all over Arkham City. In a Funny Background Event, you can find one in Thomas Elliot's hideout that has had its face cut off and bandaged over, like his victims.
- Enemy Chatter:
- An overwhelming amount of it. They always have something to say about what's going on, and Batman's wearing a device that lets him hear everything someone's saying within a city block's distance of him.
- They'll also change their chatter when fighting Catwoman, Robin and Nightwing. Some of the dialog during the Robin "Predator" missions are pretty funny.
- Enemy Mine: Batman and Bane join forces to rid Arkham City of the Titan drug. In the in game profile, it states that he has dedicated himself to hunting down Venom and Titan in an attempt to prevent other innocents from being subjected to the same addiction he suffers from. Bane betrays Batman, he wanted all the Titan for himself and used Batman to make sure none could be used against him. Which Batman knew.
- Epic Fail: In the backstory, Joker and Harley break out of the prison hospital where he is recuperating from the boss fight of Batman: Arkham Asylum to avoid a transfer to Arkham City. In the ensuing speedboat chase, they manage to break into Arkham City by accident.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Subverted twice. When you go down the elevator shaft in the steel mill. One of the mooks tells another that he killed his mother by forcing her to eat a poison birthday cake. And Calendar Man tells Batman that he killed his mother on Mother's Day.
- In the Harley DLC, you run into a few mooks talking about how they're unsatisfied with Harley's leadership. One of them claims he could become a supervillain, but the others tease him by pointing out that the only thing of note he's done was killing a family and stealing their Thanksgiving turkey to give to his own mother. They suggest the name "Turkey Man".
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: The museum features a rather large area filled with water, with a thin layer of ice at first that gradually melts down. The Penguin has let loose a huge shark in it that will attack from time to time and devour Batman if he falls in the water. If only he had some shark repellent...
- Lampshaded in the last Riddler hostage room where you hear the Riddler musing on whether or not Batman would have a gadget to help, were he to steal Penguin's shark to use in a trap. Counts as a Shout-Out to the Adam West series and its Bat Shark Repellent.
- Evil Brit: The Penguin inexplicably has a Cockney accent.
- Evil Gloating
- Hugo Strange likes to do this.
- Riddler, especially in his game-over scenes. There are villains more evil and dangerous than him, but probably no one the player wants to punch so much.
- Evil Plan: The Joker's overarching scheme. Dying of a disease, Joker's plan was to lure Batman close enough to spread the contagion to him and thousands of others, then have Batman do the work of getting the cure for him while leaving Bats ill and the Joker good as new.
- In the comics we learn that the Joker planned everything up to and including his death on page 3.
- Evil Phone: Victor Zsasz's side mission involves answering several ringing payphones throughout the city in order to track him down.
- Likewise, the back story reveals that as soon as he got put in the City, Zsasz started playing with the phones, calling them at random and killing whoever answered. He did this only because 1) he was bored and 2) he knew Batman would eventually track him down for it.
- Evil Tower of Ominousness: Hugo Strange's forces set up shop in Wonder Tower.
- Evil Versus Evil: Arkham City is divided into gang territories, with Joker, Two-Face, and the Penguin's gangs in constant warfare. Hugo Strange usually just lets them do what they want, but he will intervene if he sees fit. And that's not getting into the various independent villains. And then there is Protocol 10...
- Exposed to the Elements: Many of the characters, male and female. The men at least complain about it.
- Expository Gameplay Limitation: Used in much the same way as Arkham Asylum—the most common being Batman putting his hand to his ear while speaking to Oracle, which limits his range of motion keeps him from climbing.
- Eye Scream: The Penguin's monocle isn't actually a monocle but the bottom half of a glass beer bottle shoved into his eye.◊
- The 12 minute video, seen here, has Catwoman slash Harvey in the face. Pay close attention to his right eye.
- The Faceless: Hush, having already replaced his face with Bruce Wayne's by the time he takes the bandages off.
- Fake Difficulty: Not much, but it subtly exists when fighting against max-difficulty thugs such as in the bonus mission at the end of the main story (the one where Catwoman confronts Two-Face). Communication between them becomes instant; as soon as one (conscious) mook knows where you are, they all do, even before the thug that spotted you speaks.
- The Augmented Reality training also counts. The controls are much too sensitive and the precision required much too high in order to get one of the best, quickest ways to move around the city and an absolute requirement in order to meet the "get to the phone" parts of Zsasz's side mission.
- The same can be said for the Predator challenges, which come in two flavors: Normal and Extreme. The Extreme difficulty variations of maps equip all thugs with thermal goggles note , ludicrous weapons note , and the ability to alert others instantly. To make things even more unfair, there will always be a thug with a detective vision jammer thrown in, who always either a) has an incredibly awkward route that overlaps with other mooks and/or goes to a difficult to reach area; or b) must be taken down last for all level medals.
- Fake Kill Scare: Done by Strange in the Catwoman trailer; see You Monster!, below.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: Quincy Sharp took the credit for saving the day in the first game, which let him become mayor.
- Strange's goal is to become this, to be seen as the hero after killing off everyone who ever gained a criminal record in Gotham.
- Fat Bastard:
- Calendar Man's bigger than he used to be.
- The Penguin.
- Female Gaze: Most character trophies zoom into the face. Nightwing's zooms into his groin while his animated skin zooms into the face, so it's clearly not an accident.
- Feuding Families: The Waynes and the Cobblepots were rivals for decades, and Penguin blames the loss of his family's fortune on the Waynes. It certainly explains his hatred for Bruce.
- Fight Clubbing: Bane's turf in the digital comic prequels.
- Filk Song: Miracle Of Sound have provided this song based on the game called "Joker's Song" about the Joker's relationship with Batman. It's pretty ironic that the lyric in the chorus, "If I were to leave, / You would grumble and grieve. / Face it, Bats... / You'd be lost without me!" seems to foreshadow the Joker's "leaving" this world, i.e., his death by Titan poisoning at the end of Arkham City.
- Midterm Boss: Mister Freeze cannot be hurt by the same trick twice and will activate a countermeasure each time you hit him with one of your moves (either by freezing part of the scenery or by activating a new countermeasure in his suit). You're going to need to pull out a lot of different tricks to defeat him.
- Final Boss: Clayface for Batman, Two-Face for Catwoman.
- Post Final Boss: Harley Quinn, since Harley Quinn's Revenge takes place after the end of the main story.
- Final Solution: Protocol 10, for criminals and people that know too much.
- Find the Cure: Much of the plot involves Joker's search for a cure for his fatal disease. Just to improve his chances, he has his now-toxic blood donated and transfused into Batman and several innocent people, thereby ensuring that Batman looks for a cure as well. Batman's the only one who gets cured in the end, though, although more of the cure is created for the innocents after the end of the game.
- Fingerprinting Air: Not as bad as some versions of Batman, but he still has to perform some highly-detailed forensics tests in the game, particularly when trying to track down Deadshot. We do get the tried-and-true Batman technique of analyzing some paint residue and narrowing it down to a ridiculously specific point of origin to determine what products that paint was used on.
- Fingore: Penguin captures Bruce Wayne right when he's first transferred to Arkham City intent on settling their old family feud by introducing Bruce's face to a set of brass knuckles. Bruce responds by blocking the punch and breaking Penguin's hand. Penguin spends the rest of the game with his fingers in bandages that coincidentally make his hand look like a flipper.
- Also, one of the torture techniques Penguin applies to an undercover cop, involving Mr. Freeze's ice gun, a hammer, and the victim's hand. We never actually get to see it, but Penguin's narration of it is bad enough.
- Five Second Foreshadowing: Batman comes upon the realization that The Joker he's been after is a fake just seconds before the real Joker reveals himself and shoots Talia.
- Flatline: Happens to The Joker during his (supposed) death scene in the first act.
- Flat Earth Atheist: An early on scripted conversation between Joker thugs in the steel mill occurs between two men - one of whom was beaten up by Batman in the first game and the other who thinks that Batman might just be an urban legend. There's plenty of evidence of Batman's existence - if nothing else, then the news footage of him from the first game. The first thug is appropriately incredulous.
- Flat "What.": The Riddler's reaction when Strange tells him that he knows Batman's true identity.
- Fluffy the Terrible: The Penguin's shark's name is Tiny.
- Foreshadowing: Batman is seen with his nose bleeding in some of the promotional posters. It shows that Batman is infected with the Joker's disease.
- The very first thing seen when launching a new game is a painting called Cain and Abel, the duality of man. Sure enough, the final cutscene has Batman and Joker emulating exactly that painting.
- "You fell for the old fake Joker gag, Batman!" Spoken by the Clayface disguised as the "healthy Joker", no less.
- After briefly capturing Batman in the Steel Mill, Joker stops Harley from taking off Batman's mask. When she protests that she wants to know Batman's true identity, Joker replies "Nobody's who you think they are, my dear", foreshadowing the revelation that the apparently cured Joker is not the real one.
- Using Detective Vision during the fistfight with Joker later will reveal that what you're actually looking at is a humanoid form without bones.
- After Harley Quinn locks you out of Joker's office, you can hear her say "Oh, Mr. J, it's a miracle! You look perfect! Oh, wait, that's not you, is it...?" to which Joker's voice can be heard telling her to shush. That's because she briefly mistook Clayface's Joker form for the real Joker. What's particularly interesting is that this happens at a very early point in the game, and the statement isn't clarified until the very end.
- When the apparently healthy Joker looks at the "mirror", he sees a "reflection" of his sickly self, giving away the fact that the Clayface-Joker is next to the real Joker inside the glass wall while they mimic each other's moves.
- During one of the Joker's broadcasts when he reveals that he has taken the cure, the actual Joker holding the camera coughs.
- Another way to differentiate the Clayface-Joker from the real one: though both call Batman just "Batman", the real Joker calls him by different names such as "Bats" and "Batsy". The Clayface-Joker, however, doesn't.
- Deadshot, sans gear, is in front of you in the line during the opening sequence.
- Hush, sans trenchcoat, is on one of the beds in the west side of the Chapel the first time you visit. When the radio mentions Bruce Wayne's name, he becomes visibly disturbed in his sleep.
- Azrael can be seen watching you from the rooftops when you enter Arkham City as Bruce Wayne.
- There's also Azrael's grim little speech to Batman hinting at events later in the series.
- The museum has posters for Wonder City.
- Most of the villains mentioned in the Enemy Chatter get appearances later on in the game.
- The giant poster of Solomon Grundy you find in the subway, the mooks looking at it practically state Penguin has him in the Iceberg Lounge.
- The music played when Batman pays respects to his parents is "A Rose for Respect". This music foreshadows what happens in the ending, as it takes on a whole new meaning in the end credits of Harley Quinn's Revenge.
- The boat filled with cockroaches and a screaming man you can find in the middle of the flooded downtown district, that was supposed to be delivered to Scarecrow. This foreshadows events in Arkham Knight.
- The ice cream truck Harley uses to crash into the church has "Mind the child" written on the front. This is the first hint in the game that Harley may (or may not) be pregnant.
- Harley Quinn's Revenge gets in on the act, too. During a radio broadcast near the beginning, Commissioner Gordon cuts an interview with Vicki Vale short when she asks why no one has been allowed to see the Joker's body. In the flashback, when Batman is about to infiltrate the steel mill, talking to Gordon reveals that after the hostage situation is resolved, he needs Batman's help with "that other problem," which is left ominously unexplained (it is elaborated on more in the Endgame comic).
- You also see dolled-up Mechanical Guardians posed around Harley's lair as soon as you walk in. She sics a load of active ones on you at the DLC's end.
- After the battle with Mr. Freeze, when Batman opens the safe and finds that the cure has vanished, there are two Joker cards. One of them is faxed with a scribbled message that reads "Get well soon, Mr. J. XOXO"; the other is a physical one. Both are clues that indicate that there are two Jokers, one of them real and the other actually Clayface.
- During one of Hugo Strange's game-over screens, he will say "So, you failed to live up to his expectations. How predictable." It isn't explained who the "his" is, but it seems likely that he is talking about Quincy Sharp, who believed Batman to be some sort of worthy successor for his work. He's actually talking about Ra's Al Ghul.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul:
- This incarnation of the Riddler wears glasses.
- Hugo Strange, exemplified by getting Catwoman to co-operate by ordering Tyger to shoot a 13 year old girl.
- Fragile Speedster: Catwoman is explicitly faster than Batman, but also not as heavily armored, and requires more stealth tactics.
- Friend or Idol Decision: In Catwoman's section, after grabbing the suitcases full of money, she finds out Batman's life is in danger, and is torn between saving him or taking the cash and running.
- Funny Background Event: When Penguin sends his goons after you in his "initiation" pit, he accidentally whacks one of his lieutenants in the groin with his umbrella.
- Some of the conversations you can listen in on amongst the prisoners.
Inmate: It's been weeks since I last updated my status! How's everyone supposed to know... oh yea, I've been locked up in some freaky-ass prison.
- Gambit Pileup: Of epic proportions. Hugo Strange and Ra's al-Ghul plan to gather Batman and all of Gotham's criminals in one place and slaughter them all, with Strange intent on breaking Batman's spirit in the process. Joker has Clayface impersonate him to keep up appearances, and kidnaps Mr. Freeze's wife to force him to make a cure for his disease. Penguin kidnaps Freeze to prevent his hated rival from getting said cure, as well as for his "collection," forcing the Joker to then infect Batman and thousands of ER patients to get him to rescue Freeze. Two-Face is building up his gang and preparing to go to war with Joker and Penguin. Riddler's once again out to prove he's smarter than Batman, and is willing to kill to do it. And to top it off, Catwoman plans to loot the prison's confiscated goods vault and escape. To cap off Hugo's scheme, Ra's is also running this as a test to see if either Batman or Hugo is a worthy successor, and is more than willing to execute both if they fail. And that's not even counting the smaller-scale schemes being run by Bane, Hush, Zsasz and Mad Hatter. In short, this game gives the dubious honor of having nearly every A-list Batman villain participating in a scheme worthy of their comics legacy (although some do get left out). Nearly every one of them is playing against the others, and the villains are arguably larger impediments to each other than Batman is; his job is to mostly keep the chaos contained.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: A minor example with Catwoman. If the player tries to make Catwoman walk into one of the Riddler's hostage rooms, Catwoman will say something like "Oh Edward, when will you learn I don't have time for your silly little games?" The player might have already found all of Riddler's Catwoman trophies by this point, making her claim ring a little hollow.
- Gang of Hats: Mooks now have uniforms indicating the villains to which they're affiliated:
- Unaligned inmates wear orange Blackgate prison uniforms, similar to those worn by the High Security Henchmen in the last game. Some also seem to have the Arkham logo branded onto their chests or backs.
- Joker's men either wear spraypainted hoodies and clown masks or sweaty undershirts and facepaint. Armored Joker thugs wear makeshift metal armor, and resemble toy soldiers. The Joker Titan Henchman wears a striped purple coat and brown Magic Pants, and has clown makeup and dyed hair.
- Penguin's men have urban camo pants and winter jackets, as well as a black outlined penguin insignia somewhere on their clothes or body. Some of them wear black and white balaclavas. Armored Penguin thugs wear top-grade red and black padded armor from the military. The Penguin Titan Henchman resembles a normal one, but with ripped clothing.
- Two-Face's men wear white prison jumpsuits, with one side burned, and most of them wear spooky rubber masks with one side melted.
- The Mad Hatter's Mooks are Mooks from other gangs wearing white rabbit masks (with mind-control devices in them.)
- Riddler's men are in fact moles and plants he's bribed to inform on their bosses to him; they appear glowing green to Batman but otherwise are unremarkable and indistinguishable from other thugs.
- Like the Hatter, Poison Ivy doesn't have henchmen of her own. She just poaches them from the other gangs by using her pheromones to brainwash them. In Arkham City Lockdown, her mooks are brainwashed policemen.
- Most of Penguin's Mooks change allegiance during the game either willingly or forcibly, which is also reflected on their outfits by having their new boss' main uniform features crudely spraypainted/burned on, as can seen from the ingame trophies. They may also wear gang-affiliated masks.
- Harley's mooks from "Harley Quinn's Revenge" share her normal outfit's color scheme and face paintings, and generally have a diamond motif somewhere on their torso, while armored ones wear makeshift metal armor and football helmets. The Harley Titan thug is a re-textured Penguin Titan Thug. They also all wear black armbands with "R.I.P. Joker" on them.
- During Protocol 10, it's possible to find a few dead "Scarecrow Thugs," which are just reskinned Joker hoodie thugs.
- Gateless Ghetto: The entire plot revolves around an in-universe justification of this trope, where massive, heavily guarded walls have been erected around an enormous chunk of Gotham to make damn sure its denizens are kept away from the rest of the city.
- Out-of-universe, this seems to be their way of setting the game in the streets of Gotham itself (as opposed to on a remote island compound like in Asylum) without making the entire city seem absurdly small.
- Genre Blindness: As Batman climbs the tower, the guards say they can no longer see him. The man upstairs says, "Good. He probably fell. Move your search lower."
- Ghost City: The ruins of Old Gotham, as well as Wonder City, Ra's al-Ghul's failed underground Victorian utopia powered by a Lazarus pit.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Clayface can come off as one if you're not familiar with him from the comics or cartoons. One of the Arkham City Stories does do a bit to foreshadow it, though.
- Go Into the Light: While near death from being poisoned by the Joker, Batman sees a bright light with his parents standing in it calling him to join them.
- Go Out with a Smile: The Joker dies smiling at Batman's joke (that he would have saved him if he could despite everything he's done) in the very end of the game.
- The French translation deserve a note here since the expression the Joker used, "c'est à mourir de rire." can be roughly translated to "It's to die of laugh."
- GPS Evidence: The paint and rust traces Batman uses to track down Deadshot tend in this direction, although it doesn't go the full "This is only found in one place"; even after combining several types of trace evidence, Batman is still left with multiple possibilities that he has to physically visit to find the right one.
- Greek Chorus: The comments made by the goons and political prisoners Batman eavesdrops on have this effect.
- Grievous Harm with a Body:
- Just like in Batman: Arkham Asylum, Titan infected enemies will throw unconscious bodies at you.
- When attacked by three enemies simultaneously, Batman's counter animation tends to grab one and use him to beat the other two around the head. There's also a two-person counter involving throwing the first goon at the second.
- When using the full speed glide boost attack, Batman will use the targeted mook as a flail in a massive overhead swing, instantly knocking out anyone unfortunate enough to be in the same place.
- Batman's Remote Electrical Charge sends armored enemies flying, who may collide with another enemy, stunning them both.
- Groin Attack:
- Batman pulls one on a Tyger mook in the Hugo Strange trailer.
- Penguin also does this to one of his own mooks by accident.
- Catwoman kicks Two-Face in the nards early in the game once Batman has subdued him.
- Against a normal mook, Catwoman will occasionally knee them in the crotch. In slow motion. Hard enough to lift him two or three feet off the ground.
- Like in Asylum, using a ground takedown on an enemy ends up with Batman punching them in the head or the crotch, depending which way the enemy is positioned.
- Guide Dang It: Two of the sidequests (Watcher in the Wings, and Identity Thief) consist entirely of finding a single individual, multiple times, in out of the way places with no hints where to look. Detective Vision is required if you don't want to use a walkthrough, and it only helps a little. One thing that does help is that they are always found in the same type of area. Rooftops and dead-end alleyways, respectively.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: According to Enemy Chatter you can hear outside the courthouse some unfortunate Mook called Bailey upset Two Face and was strapped to an industrial saw, and one of the thugs you hear talking had to clean up afterwards.
- Handicapped Badass: The Abramovici twins, a pair of Elite Mooks each working for Penguin and Joker, are both missing an arm. Enemy chatter involves the rumor that they were Conjoined Twins working in a circus freakshow before being separated (Which is confirmed in the Arkham City Story about them). You can later find a Joker mook talking with some others about how watching it convinced him to switch sides.
- Hand Wave: When Catwoman finds Poison Ivy during her 2nd story chapter, Ivy looks perfectly healthy, despite receiving a heavy dose of the Titan formula during the events of Arkham Asylum. One of the Arkham City Stories you unlock gives a very hurried reason for this, saying that Ivy used some special pollen on a priest's clothing along with her own pheromones to create a cure (or something to that effect).
- Hammer and Sickle Removed for Your Protection: Averted. Russian Siamese Twins are named Hammer and Sickle. It is also their Weapon of Choice.
- Harmless Freezing: One of Batman's new gadgets can freeze mooks. Others can break them out and they rejoin the battle. As usual, this is averted by Mr. Freeze, who has some of the most powerful weaponry in the game.
- What makes the freezing harmless is that it's a relatively thin layer of ice coating the victim's torso and some of their limbs. Their heads are uncovered, so they don't suffocate, and they're not being frozen solid. It's still really, really uncomfortable.
- Have a Nice Death: Like the first game, villains mock you when you die while trying to stop them and their plots.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Batman accuses Ra's Al Ghul of this.
- Hellhole Prison: Arkham City itself. The only enforced rule is to stay inside, and as a result, the inmates join armies lead by the super-criminals, who hoard the food supplies for themselves, and go to war with top-notch military equipment and weaponry, while innocent prisoners inside the city get beaten up or held hostage by the murderers and rapists. There is also little food, little regard towards the medical center and its staff, and winter clothing doesn't seem to be provided to the inmates.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: In a very strange, dark, twisted way, Batman and Joker.
- This can be especially seen through Joker's voicemails. Example, especially the very last one.
- High-Altitude Interrogation: Batman can interrogate Riddler's henchmen in this manner, depending whether or not the player is near a ledge. Also Batman's preferred method of questioning Quincy Sharp during a cutscene.
- High-Class Glass: The Penguin's monocle... but not really. It's actually the bottom of a glass bottle.
- Hijacked by Ganon: Ra's al Ghul is the actual Big Bad. Also, Joker has to be dealt with after Strange and Ra's are defeated.
- Though, surprisingly, the actual Final Boss is Clayface, who turns out to be The Dragon for The Joker.
- His Name Is...: The first of Deadshot's victims is killed just as he's about to tell Batman the specifics of his work during the construction of Arkham City.
- Historical In-Joke: Sal Maroni's Restaurant, where the Maronis were murdered by their long-time rivals, the Falcones, has a note that the place is closed (possibly due to shootout and subsequent investigation). The date of the closure? February 14th. Possibly also a reference to The Long Halloween, as a attack on Maroni's restaurant occurs on Valentine's Day in that work.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The Riddler's final deathtrap for his hostages involves exploding helmets wired to a track in the floor. They have to keep walking or... well... When Batman finally beats him, he wires Riddler into a helmet and starts the track up. Riddler says he knows Batman won't kill him, to which Batman replies that Aaron Cash and the other hostages will be holding the detonator. After he walks away, miserably following the track, we get this exchange:
Cash: You're sure this thing won't actually work, right?
Batman: I'm sure. But there's no need to let him know that.
- Even better, just get in the way of the Riddler on the track and watch him squirm.
- If the Joker had just waited another minute for Batman to finish his thoughts instead of jumping him and stabbing him in the shoulder to try and get the cure, he would have been saved.
- If Strange had left Batman alone, the latter would have never heard of Protocol 10 until it was too late. Except that part of Strange's plan was to kill Batman along with everyone else in Arkham City. Except except that part of Ra's's plan was to let Strange and Batman duke it out to see who was more fit to succeed him. Wheels within wheels.
- Holiday Mode: If you find Calendar Man and talk to him on certain holidays, he'll tell you a story about a crime he committed on that holiday.
- Honor Before Reason: Arkham City's ending heavily emphasizes Batman's tendencies toward this trope, to the point of it actually being disturbing. As the Joker is dying, Batman reveals that he had fully intended to save him. He would have done this, knowing full well that the Joker would just break out of confinement and murder more people.
- Hulk Speak: Solomon Grundy; as in some incarnations, particularly Long Halloween, the only thing he can say is the poem from which his name comes.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: In response to Batman's request for new equipment, Alfred snarkily lampshades that he might need a bigger belt. And that's not even counting the infinite number of batarangs and freeze bombs. Catwoman also qualifies with all of the caltrops and bolas.
- Hypocritical Humor: At the end of Catwoman's campaign, she groans about Two-Face's obsession with his "2" theme. Despite her own tendency to make cat puns.
- Idiot Ball: Joker trying to get the cure he needs from Batman by stabbing him in the arm carrying it who then drops it. Made even worse by the fact Batman would have cured him had Joker not made him drop the cure. One could argue that Joker's mind was going, and/or he was too desperate to think straight.
- If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: After rescuing the undercover cops, one of them mentions that he's going to kill all the Penguin's thugs that he sees only for his commander to insist they do it "by the book" as it's what Gordon would want.
- I Have Your Wife:
- Hugo Strange kidnaps Mr. Freeze's wife to bring him to Arkham City and ensure his cooperation. He later gives her to Joker, so he can force Freeze to find a cure for his disease. One of the side missions involves finding out where her cryo-box is being stored so Freeze can get her back.
- Strange uses I Have Your Friend and threatens to have Holly Robinson killed to make Catwoman participate in his sessions.
- I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You:
- I'm a Humanitarian:
- Some of the dialog you can overhear suggests that some of the inmates have taken to eating other humans to survive, since the three major supervillain factions have been hoarding the food the guards drop in, and it tastes like crap anyways.
- Killer Croc
- I Meant to Do That: On the Predator challenge maps, no matter what is happening, Riddler claims it's All According to Plan, even when it contradicts his previous claims.
- At first, he smugly taunts you as if this is a sincere attempt to defeat you. Partway through, he smugly acts as if this is some kind of experiment he's conducting with equal odds of either result. When you're winning, he smugly acts like he predicted you would win (and his minions deserved to be beaten up). Unless you then lose, whereupon he smugly claims that he predicted you would lose.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Ra's al Ghul, on himself. And for added irony, also on the "A" of Arkham City's entrance sign.
- Improbable Weapon User: Batman and the mooks he fights.
- In Case of Boss Fight, Break Glass: You have to do this to Mr Freeze's helmet while he's stunned from a takedown.
- In Medias Res: "Harley Quinn's Revenge" starts off as this, where you start off as Robin before switching over to Batman in the flashback.
- Instant-Win Condition: In Catwoman's final fight with Two-Face in the museum, he will not stop spawning guards if they are discovered. However, if you defeat Two-Face, the cutscene acts as if the other half-dozen armed men aren't in the room any more.
- Insufferable Genius: The Riddler, as always. It's like he's pathologically incapable of going 5 minutes without insulting someone else's intelligence. During "Riddler's Revenge" missions, his own minions are so sick of being compared to "retarded monkeys" that many of them swear to shoot him the next time they see him.
- Interface Screw: The baseball bats and stun-sticks return, performing the same function as before. A subtle story version occurs when Batman is heading to Wonder City for the first time, as the poison has begun to take its toll. The camera ever so gradually starts skewing to the left and right like a seesaw, to reflect Batman's sickly state.
- Interface Spoiler: Using Detective Mode during the fight with Joker and his goons will reveal who his Body Double is before you find out in the story.
- One sub-mission opens with Alfred calling you to inform you that Lucius Fox has developed a cure, and is synthesizing more for the city. This is revealed as false because this would be a huge plot point, not something that would come up in an optional side-mission.
- Thanks for buying the Game of the Year Edition! We'll go ahead and start your model gallery off with the non-spoileriffic costume models, and the super-spoileriffic Mourning Harley model!
- Invisible Wall: Not for Batman, but for mooks. When fighting guys on rooftops, if Batman kicks or throws a guy, they usually won't fall over a ledge to their death (as they sometimes did in Asylum), but stop at an invisible barrier at the edge. Gotta enforce the Thou Shalt Not Kill policy, after all!
- Ironic Echo: Between Batman & Mr. Freeze: "You look unwell."
- Batman to Catwoman: "I think I chipped a nail back there."
- Batman to Joker: "You wanna know something funny?"
- Might have been unintentional, but one of the conversations between a thug and political prisoner will end with the guy begging the thug not to hurt him and him saying, "I can't guarantee that." Batman and Penguin later have the same conversation.
- It's a Wonderful Failure: When playing as Catwoman, you can choose to leave Batman to die by a missile sent by Strange, so Catwoman can steal a ton of valuables and money. Naturally, this results in a Downer Ending.
- Also, in Harley Quinn's Revenge, take too long during the scene where Batman must disarm the bombs, and you see Gordon watch the building Batman, Robin and Harley are in explode along with Gordon saying "no".
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Done to Mr. Freeze by Batman. Batman pulls out a vial of supercoolant keeping Freeze alive outside his suit and slowly pours it out until Freeze reveals the secret to beating his weaponry (currently possessed by the Penguin). He also threatens to do this to the Riddler's spies.
- Jerkass: In his interview tape, The Penguin recounts to Strange how he "laughed for weeks" when he heard Bruce Wayne's parents were shot to death and how it "couldn't have happened to nicer people". Given his family's history with the Waynes, this isn't too surprising.
- Jiggle Physics: Unless looking closely, this is pretty easy to not notice, but Harley Quinn and Catwoman both have this applied to them (most noticeably for Harley during her Bound and Gagged moment).
- Joker Immunity: Averted.
- Jump Scare:
- The player is actually the one delivering it most of the time. Batman appearing out of nowhere tends to make the Mooks fall over in panic.
- The T-Rex in the museum is a mild one, popping up to roar a Batman from behind the wall when he walks in.
- Just You and Me and My GUARDS: Invoked almost word for word by the Joker when Batman fights him.
Joker: Please! Stop! I can't take anymore! You win, ya beat me! ... Hang on, did I say "me"? I meant me and these guys!
- Karmic Death: Joker stabbing Batman in the shoulder leads to the cure vial getting dropped and destroyed, and the Titan formula he created is what ends up killing him in the end.
- Kent Brockman News: Vicki Vale and Jack Ryder undergo a very public feud of opinions regarding the construction of Arkham City in the prequel comic. Played with, in that Jack is actually deliberately playing the role of the hard-line conservative for his own kicks.
- After you rescue Vicki, she begins a news report on the deplorable conditions in the city.
- Kick the Dog: While some of the political prisoners have been thrown into Arkham City for pragmatic if evil reasons, most of them appear to be people who helped build Arkham City's wall or control tower. While Shoot The Builder is a known trope, the game doesn't show that there's anything special or secret about either building, and thus there seems little point to locking them up. Besides possibly preventing Rooting for the Empire when Strange reveals he wants to kill everyone in Arkham City.
- Killed Off for Real: Hugo Strange and The Joker.
- Though it seems the same for Ra's al Ghul and Talia, not quite. In Ra's' case, Batman suggests that "he'll need a trip to a Lazarus Pit". Considering there are still League of Shadows ninjas around, Ra's still has a chance. The same with Talia as the assassins would make her survival a priority as well. That and Talia's body disappears during the Clayface fight. Then again, the only known Lazarus Pit in this continuity is hopelessly ruined in the fight with Clayface, with all of the necessary equipment being destroyed and the pit itself being contaminated with Clayface's flesh. It's quite possibly they really are dead for good. We'll have to wait for a sequel to see.
- Kill 'em All: What Protocol 10 is; TYGER agents start bombing Arkham City and killing everybody inside.
- Knight Templar:
- Quincy Sharp. He ordered Tyger to round up anyone they deemed a criminal, regardless if they served their sentence or not. If you've got any sort of criminal record, you're dumped in with the psychos. One issue of the prequel comic begins with Sharp's goons attempting to arrest the Carpenter of all people.
- Strange is even worse. His plan is to kill every inmate in Arkham City, believing that this elevates him to the status of Gotham's savior. Even when confronted by Batman, Strange revels in the "glorious" sight of Arkham City burning, killing hundreds of inmates.
- The League of Assassins, as led by Ra's al Ghul. Throughout the campaign in Wonder City, both Ra's and Talia speak of creating a "better world" as they try to convince Batman to join their crusade, and during Ra's' boss fight, Talia states that only the League of Assassins can "wipe [the world] clean of the scum of humanity". Ra's also funded Strange's plans for Arkham City, fully supporting the plot to massacre the criminal population. Ra's even declares that Protocol 10 would only be the beginning of his efforts, again offering Batman the chance of joining him.
- We also have a literal example in Azrael.
- Knowledge Broker: Oracle is named as an "information broker."
- Lag Cancel: Sort of: you can cancel the lengthy silent takedown with a Knockout Smash, which is quicker but just as loud as a regular combat takedown.
- Lampshade Hanging: After Harley leaves the church, if you stand long enough with the mooks pointing their guns at you, one would suggest Batman might just use a smoke bomb, disappear and take them out one-by-one.
- Laser-Guided Karma: The Riddler ends up in the exact same predicament that he had put his victims in.
- After torturing and murdering countless patients in Arkham Asylum, taking credit for stopping Joker's plot after Arkham Asylum, using that to become mayor, and getting Arkham City approved it's pretty easy to have zero sympathy for Quincy Sharp after Strange has him thrown into Arkham City. Even if you've brushed up on your backstory.
- Laser Sight:
- At one point, the Joker uses a sniper rifle with a customized laser sight: instead of producing a red dot on the target, it's a green smiley face.
- Sniper mooks use visible laser sights (with standard red lasers), letting Batman see where they are and whether they're looking in his direction.
- The Last Thing You Ever See: One time the Joker comments on the progress of the henchmen:
Joker: Do you need a motivational speech about now? OK. I think you are all going to die down there. And this will be the last voice you hear before you cross over to the other side. And I am very, very, very disappointed in you.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
- Batman can overhear crooks talking about how they're surprised various villains are in Arkham City (the prison), going on to lampshade their return in Arkham City (the game).
Criminal: Arkham City's worse than the old one. I should get a refund.
- One dialogue among three thugs inside the museum during the epilogue initially sounds like they're just discussing what's going to happen to the inmates now that the Arkham City experiment has failed. But considering that players never hear who the 'they' they're talking about are, it sounds an awful lot like they're talking about where the sequel will take place. Here's the exchange, with a bit of paraphrasing.
Thug 1: So what happens now?
Thug 2: I guess we'll just stay here until they figure out what they're doing next.
Thug 3: C'mon, man. What could they do next? Arkham County? Arkham Country? Big-ass Arkham World?
Thug 2: I dunno, man. These guys are crazy, aren't they?
Thug 3: Yes, they are.
- Leitmotif: There's a certain little tune that plays whenever you go through Arkham City as Catwoman. There's also a specific one that plays every time she finishes off the last mook of a fight.
- Let's Split Up, Gang: The mooks in any predator fight will suggest this, even after said tactic has already wiped out half of their team one by one.
- This is especially surprising considering the mook's tactics in the previous game. When Batman took down one of the armed goons and their buddies noticed it, two would team up and search the room together. They would stick like glue to each other's back, making sure to cover each other.
- Lightning Gun: The Remote Electrical Charger (REC), a handsome multitool used for puzzle-solving and crowd control.
- Nightwing has escrima sticks that, for the game, have been upgraded to stun batons.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Features a massive chunk of Batman's Rogues Gallery, with almost all the villains from the first game returning alongside the new characters.
- London Gangster: Rather than his usual depiction as being rather urbane and classy (if pretentious), in the game the Penguin is presented as closer to a vicious Ray Winstone-style thug with delusions of grandeur, complete with East-End accent.
- Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: The thugs eventually arm themselves with riot shields (or discarded car doors), the only way for Batman to hurt them is jump on them.
- Shield Bash: They can also hit you with it, which is unblockable. The finishing move on them is ripping the shield out of their hands and slamming it into their stomachs. This is averted if you use a Disarm on them - Batman either kicks them away and crumples the shield, or punches them in the face through the window, then crumples the metal.
- In Harley Quinn's Revenge, Robin gets in on both of these tropes — there's even an achievement for bashing five mooks with his shield. While his shield cannot protect him indefinitely, it generally doesn't have to.
- Mad Doctor: Hugo Strange. The second trailer shows him torturing a guard to death to get information, for one.
- Made of Iron: Surprisingly, mooks tend to qualify. Most people would either drop like a sack of bricks or be too busy whimpering on the floor to fight back after being kicked in the head with steel-toed boots or bashed across the temple with an electrified escrima stick. But unless it's a combo finisher or they've been knocked around a few times already, mooks will get back up and attack again.
- The Magic Poker Equation: Zsasz claims that Penguin beat his four-of-a-kind with a straight flush to bankrupt him. But, considering the source and the players, it's likely Zsasz is lying or one or both of them was cheating anyway.
- The Man Behind the Man: Hugo Strange to Warden Sharp, Ra's al Ghul to Hugo Strange.
- If you listen to the interview tapes, it's revealed that Professor Strange was behind a lot of the subplots in the game; He told Catwoman where Two-Face's datapad that she wanted to steal was, told Two-Face that Catwoman was going to steal it, told Mr. Freeze that it was the Joker who had captured Nora, and supplied Penguin with weapons and informed of the GCPD officers which had infiltrated his gang. Ever The Chessmaster indeed.
- The Man in the Mirror Talks Back: When Two-Face is about to host Catwoman's trial, his good half and bad half debate what they should do: The Good half mentions they need to gain respect in the town if they are to last in the town. The Bad Half wants the town to fear them, thus kill her immediately. The Good half is reluctant to kill Catwoman, at least not immediately, as they are in a courthouse, a place of justice, and the Bad Half says they should screw justice, kill Catwoman, and be done with it. (Seeing as the "trial" would have been a joke, this is a Morton's Fork for Catwoman anyway.)
- Another example, although a subversion: when the fully-healed Joker is revealed, he sees himself as his sick self in the mirror before the reveal. However, it is not a mirror, it's actually thick glass, and the Joker in the "mirror" is the real Joker. The one outside it is actually Clayface.
- Mecha-Mooks: Harley manages to reactivate some of the Wonder City Guardians and sics them on Batman in Harley Quinn's Revenge]].
- Metroidvania: To a greater degree than the previous game, as the open world is filled with Riddler challenges that require specific plot-acquired upgrades to complete. However, a few challenges can be completed with fewer gadgets and greater creativity.
- Mind-Control Device: Mad Hatter's white rabbit masks.
- Mission Control: Alfred takes the role for the first part of the game. Oracle replaces him later, though Alfred takes it again every so often.
- Mistaken Identity: When Two-Face's men are guarding a safe holding something of particular value to Two-Face, they initially assume that the pointy-eared person intruding the shadows is Batman. The figure walks out... and it's Catwoman.
- Mondegreen: When fighting Penguin's thugs guarding Freeze's suit he'll chime in, demanding, "Are you mucking me about?" From the way it's said it can be very easy to mishear it as a Precision F-Strike.
- Mook Chivalry: Semi-averted. While mooks will still wait until you finish your combo takedowns they no longer attack one at a time and its not uncommon for two or three to strike at once. Conveniently, Batman can now counter two or three attacks at once.
- Mook Horror Show: The Hugo Strange trailer. Also, just like the first game, you can cause these in Predator mode.
- Ms. Fanservice: Catwoman, Harley, Ivy, and Talia.
- Mundane Utility: The code-breaking gadget can also be used to listen in on radio frequencies. You might occasionally hear a Viki Vale news report should you choose to check it out.
- Mugging the Monster: Upon seeing Bruce Wayne escorted into Arkham City, many of the crooks and inmates express a desire or intention to target him. Some of them, including the Penguin, even decide to take the opportunity. Unfortunately for all of them, there's something they don't know about Bruce Wayne...
- Multi-Mook Melee: A staple of challenge maps and boss battles.
- Mushroom Samba: At one point, Batman drinks some Lazarus Pit and goes on a strange trip through a swirling desert while Ra's al Ghul eggs him on.
- My Eyes Are Up Here: Catwoman to Hugo Strange in one of her interview tapes. In his defense, she brings it on herself.
- Mythology Gag:
- Neck Lift: Batman's default way of interrogating a Riddler informant once they're isolated, both standing, when he doesn't have a ledge to dangle them over or a wall to hold them against.
- Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight: The blade counter technique is guaranteed to one-shot any blade-wielding Mook, unlike the ordinary counter, which most of the time only knocks them down.
- New Game+: Allows you to start the game over with all of your previously gotten gadgets and upgrades, but disables counter icons, gives you better-equiped mooks right from the start, makes them more aggressive and gives most bosses extra health while also disabling Anti-Frustration Features for the Mr. Freeze fight described above. Annoyingly enough, you can only have a single New Game+ per file and no option to start one over from beginning.
- Never My Fault: Joker angrily croaks "Are you happy now?!" at Batman, after he himself stabbed Batman in the shoulder, which made him drop the vial of Mr. Freeze's cure, dooming himself.
- Nietzsche Wannabe: Victor Zsasz, made clear as he taunts you over the telephone.
- Nintendo Hard: The Augmented Reality Training sequences.
- In New Game+, which is on a higher difficulty setting, Catwoman's fights against Two-Face's two dozen-ish mooks in the museum. Catwoman is naturally a Fragile Speedster, so she won't take very many hits to go down. Add in the greater number of mooks equipped with shields, stun-sticks and/or body armor and the lack of counter cues. Better hope you've been practicing, because one or two mistakes and you have to start the whole fight over.
- Your first fight with the Joker can be this. At first it's just you and him...easy. Then he calls in several dozen or so mooks to help him out...still handle-able. Then, without so much as a cutscene, Mr. Hammer joins the fray, followed shortly thereafter by a random Titan thug. To top it all off, you're fighting in the Joker's funhouse, which has trains speed through the area with only a couple of seconds worth of warning, all while you're trying to deal with the Joker, a small army of mooks, and a pair of characters that would count as boss battles by themselves.
- No Endor Holocaust: Averted after you take down the Penguin. After defeating and imprisoning the Penguin, Penguin's thugs are all massacred by the forces serving under the other bosses at large in Arkham City. It's particularly jarring after emerging from the subway for the second time in the game to see a massive pile of dead corpses of men who all worked for Penguin.
- Non-Fatal Explosions: The explosive gel, as in Asylum. In addition, mines do a chunk of damage to Batman and knock out unarmored Mooks if remote-detonated, but not much else.note
- Non-Standard Character Design: The alternative character skins invoke this to varying degrees, especially those corresponding to the animated series.
- Non-Standard Game Over:
- During the Catwoman missions, you can choose whether to go to Batman's rescue or get out of Arkham City with her newly gained loot. The one that furthers the plot is saving Batman. Being selfish cuts to the credits, with a panicked voiceover by Oracle, sending out a distress call as Joker brings Gotham to its knees without Batman to protect it. The game then rewinds back to the decision point to let you "choose" to save Batman.
- Failing to solve the various Riddler rooms in time results in Riddler murdering the room's hostage.
- During Catwoman's final battle with Two-Face, getting detected by Two-Face or his men and failing to get back into cover in time results in you automatically getting shot.
- Similarly, when Catwoman is trying to steal the security keycards from Strange's TYGER guards, getting spotted results in an automatic failure due to the ensuing emergency lockdown.
- No Peripheral Vision: Played about as straight as a ruler. Mooks appear to have a horizontal peripheral vision of 90 degrees (if not less), which can lead to situations where you can be technically taking out a mook in the field of vision of his buddy.
- Not Quite Flight: By using the Grapnel Boost, it's actually possible to travel around the city without touching the ground or roofs. Likewise, the Dive Bomb maneuver allows you to glide for an extended period of time at roughly the same height.
- Not the Fall That Kills You: Depending on when you open Batman's cape to glide. Suddenly bringing out the cape a few inches from hitting the ground has no more ill effects than gently floating all the way down.
- Now What?: The ending to Batman's campaign ends on this note after Joker dies and he takes the body out of the city. Unlike most other instances of this trope, however, the consequences of the final battle are shown in the Playable Epilogue and the DLC.
- Obligatory Swearing: The thugs sure like to use the word "bitch" a lot, especially during the Catwoman DLC missions. This jars a bit with the conversational style of all the main characters, who rarely, if ever, swear.
- Of Corsets Sexy: Harley Quinn wears one, again.
- Off Model:
- In the ending, from the time that Batman drinks half of the cure until the time that he gets knocked out by the explosion of the Lazarus Pit, the cure is in his left hand. When he wakes up, however, the cure is now in his right hand. This mistake has led to some fan theory that the Joker may still be alive, a theory that is later dismissed as a stupid idea by one of Harley's thugs in Harley Quinn's Revenge.
- Harley's picture on character bio page looks different compared to her in-game model, and a lot creepier at that.
- Offscreen Inertia: Twice in the game, Batman rescues someone, and tells them to stay put and remain in hiding. They both turn out to still be where he left them, hours later, even if new bad guys have moved into the location.
- This is lampshaded in the dialogue of one of them, and the other attacks Batman with a lead pipe when he returns, not realizing it was him.
- This is an improvement for them over Arkham Asylum, where the majority of people you save will be murdered the second you leave the area.
- Oh, Crap: One of Batman's new gadgets allows him to jam a mook's gun, cue this reaction when Batman is right in front of them and their gun won't fire.
- One of the Riddler physical challenges actually requires you to jam an enemy gun, make them try to shoot you then take them down: it's also a recurring predator challenge medal requirement.
- Oh, No... Not Again!: At the end of Catwoman Episode 2, when Poison Ivy's plant entangles Catwoman in its vines and hangs her upside down, she says, "Not again," marking the second time she's been caught and hung upside down (the first was by Two-Face).
- Orcus on His Throne: Mayor Sharp is largely out of focus in this game; it's Hugo Strange who is the apparent Big Bad, and he's being crowded out by the Joker and other more prominent villains. See Big Bad Ensemble above.
- Overly Long Fighting Animation: The main disadvantage of using silent takedowns. Better make sure you don't do it in full view of someone else with a gun.
- Subverted if you use the Knockout Smash, although it defeats the purpose of a silent takedown.
- Overly Long Gag: "You have one missed call." The fourth one in particular.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Solomon Grundy, born on a Monday...
- Painting the Medium:
- Much like in Batman: Arkham Asylum, getting hit by blunt weapons gives you momentary double vision and getting hit by stun batons causes the screen to develop interference patterns and static.
- When Batman starts to feel the effects of Joker's poisonous blood, the camera sways and tilts subtly when stationary until he drinks the Blood of the Demon to cure it temporarily.
- You know that Two-Face mook who attacks you after you rescue him in the Steel Mill? Well, he won't attack until you aren't looking at him. You, not Batman. Batman can have his back completely turned, but so long as the player can see the thug, he'll just keep rubbing his wrists. As soon as you shift the camera off of him, he rushes in.
- The Password Is Always Swordfish: Throughout the game, when you use the cryptographic sequencer on the panels, the correct word combination is typically one that relates to whomever set it up, or is otherwise very appropriate for the situation. For example, to get out of the room that Hush locks you in, it's "Mockingbird". To open the door that Hugo Strange is standing behind towards the end of the game, it's "Gotham Savior". To get into Scarecrow's secret hatch, it's "City Of Terror". And with panels that were set up by the Riddler, the solution is always something like "Enigma" or "Conundrum".
- Additionally, the password used by members of Commissioner Gordon's elite team to identify themselves is "Sarah" — the name of Gordon's second wife.
- Patrolling Mook: Later in the game, Mooks will have devices on them that alert each other if they are knocked out, causing the rest to be more cautious and more scared.
- Playable Epilogue: Catwoman gathers up her loot in preparation for leaving the City, finds that some of it has been stolen, and sets out to steal it back. Batman returns to Arkham City to finish any sidequests the player didn't get through during the main game.
- Playing the Heart Strings: "A Rose for Respect", played when you look at the rose and pause for a few minutes of silence, uninterrupted.
- Playing The Player: You get a helpful message from Alfred that Lucius Fox has synthesized a cure and it's been deposited by Bat-Missile onto a nearby roof. Sounds like a pretty important side-objective, huh? Too bad the whole thing was entirely a fabrication of your own imagination after Mad Hatter put the whammy on you remotely.
- If you return to that rooftop later, you'll find, instead of a Bat-Missile, a picnic blanket with an elaborate tea-set.
- Several times, Batman (and the player) will get ambushed right in the middle of a stock animation. One Giant Mook smashes through a stone wall that Batman's spraying explosive gel onto, another kicks him off a ledge just as he's grappling up it, and once, a ninja attacks you in the middle of scanning for forensic evidence.
- The achievement for defeating Solomon Grundy appears....before he's actually defeated!
- Plot Tumor: Batman arrives to investigate the secrets behind Arkham City and Hugo Strange's real motives in setting up the prison. Half an hour later, the Joker takes over the plot.
- Catwoman's playable segments add little to the story, often interrupting the action at crucial points (such as when Batman has been captured by The Joker). One might almost wonder why they were included in the first place...
- Politically Incorrect Villain: A lot of random mooks love to talk about what they would do with Harley or Catwoman. They don't quite stray into PG-13 territory, but they're not family friendly.
- Private Military Contractors: TYGER's front. In actuality, they are Blackgate inmates who have been brainwashed.
- A Joker gang member comments that the Penguin's gang members can't be trusted, since "half of 'em are mercs".
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: There's a brief bit of enemy chatter that discusses this. Sometime after the courthouse, you can hear some guys talking about Batman rescuing Catwoman. One of them asks why Batman would save Catwoman, since she's a thief like them. Another snarks back "She's better looking than you". In the actual story, there's Batman wanting to save Talia more than everyone in Arkham City because he cares about her more, though he's convinced otherwise.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Zsasz, Mad Hatter, and Riddler.
- Psycho Psychologist:
- Hugo Strange, and more specifically, in his capacity as "therapist" to Quincy Sharp.
- Harley Quinn. Her PhD diploma from University of Gotham is seen hanging in one of the rooms of the steel mill.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis! / Punctuated Pounding:
- Putting on the Reich / A Nazi by Any Other Name : Hugo Strange has a very Mengele vibe about him while TYGER operates much like a Secret Police under his rule. Gotham eventually becomes a Police State after Arkham City is created, and then there's Protocol 10.
- The Penguin has red banners with his sigil adorning his headquarters that are very reminiscent of the Nazi regime.
- Puzzle Boss:
- Solomon Grundy regenerates so quickly that he's effectively immune to all physical attacks. Trying to beat him up will get you nowhere.
- Mr. Freeze quickly adapts after each beatdown you give him, forcing you to find several different ways of stunning him or catching him off guard.
- Pyrrhic Villainy: The Joker stabs Batman in the shoulder, making Bats drop the cure, dooming Joker.
- The Quisling: Sometimes in enemy chatter you'll hear about a mook who sold out his villainous faction to join up with the villain who look like he might win. Like say, a mook who left the Penguin to join up with Two-Face.
- In a fun bit of detail from the dev team, turning on your Detective Vision while listening to a mook talk about betraying his faction will, more often than not, reveal that the mook in question is a Riddler mole; he's already sold his boss out once, why not again?
- Also just after fighting Ra's al Ghul, you get to the subway entrance where a armored Joker Thug is convincing a large group of Penguin thugs to join up with the Joker after the recent defeat of The Penguin.
- Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Batman can perform a "Beatdown" move on a stunned foe, in which he starts channeling Kenshiro and jabs the opponent in the midsection as quickly as possible before landing an incapacitating finisher. Catwoman can do it even faster.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Mr. Freeze. Granted, they're not his eyes, but rather red computer text on his goggles, but when that starts up, he's going into Killer Freeze Robot mode.
- Red Herring: In Batman: Arkham Asylum, the revelation that Quincy Sharp was actually writing all of the "Spirit of Amadeus Arkham" inscriptions seriously called his sanity into question, and led many fans to suspect that he would be the Big Bad of the sequel. In reality, his role in Arkham City is minimal—he is merely a pawn of Dr. Strange, and he gets thrown into Arkham City himself about halfway through the game. His morbid obsession with Amadeus Arkham is explained as a manifestation of Strange's brainwashing (similarly to Mad Hatter's "cure").
- In the final Riddler room, one of the plans Riddler briefly considers is filling a tank with water, hostages, and literal red herring, proclaiming that Batman won't "get" it.
- As of "Harley Quinn's Revenge", Harley's pregnancy. Go to where you saw the first pregnancy test and you see a box of them warning of "false positives." This might explain why she's even crazier in the DLC.
- Red Right Hand: In addition to the deformities of villains present in the comics and other media (Two-Face's scarring, Joker's bleached skin and green hair, Poison Ivy's green skin, etc), the Penguin's monocle is replaced by the base of a bottle that was jammed into his eye by an angry customer at the Iceberg Lounge before the events of the game, and stayed there. The Joker also gets his awful rash from the toxin.
- Red Shirt Army: The 13th precinct of the Gotham City Police Department. Unlike most examples of the trope, they survived and were saved by Batman (well, most of them, anyways). To be fair, you do get to learn all their names.
- Revenge by Proxy: "Harley Quinn's Revenge" has Harley kidnap members of the GCPD and try and blow a chunk out of Gotham, with Robin inside as revenge against Batman for what she assumed to be him killing the Joker. Granted, she does try to kill Batman himself to top it all off.
- Revenge of the Sequel: Of a sort. The story Downloadable Content that is up front stated to be after Arkham City propernote is "Harley Quinn's Revenge", being her Revenge plot to get back at Batman for letting The Joker die or killing him himself.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Calendar Man becomes a poet at this, especially on Mother's Day:
Calendar Man: "M" was for the murderous look she gave me.
"O" meant only that she was weak and old.
"T" is for her terror as she fought me.
"H" is for her heart that I now hold.
"E" is for her eyes swiftly dimming.
"R" means rot, and soon rotting she will be.
Put them all together, they spell "MOTHER",
A word that means a corpse to me.
Happy Mother's Day, Mommy.
- Right Under Their Noses: Joker hangs a spectacularly evil lamphade to this,
So how do you keep a secret from the World's Greatest Detective? Well, do you know? It's easy. You stick it right in front of him, right under his long, pointy nose and wait.
- Rock-Paper-Scissors: During one sidequest at the Steel Mill when you have to rescue Nora Fries, you'll notice some of the inmates decide to play a game of "Rock-Paper-Scissors" to see who can start a business. One of them tries to cheat with a gun and dynamite, both of which aren't allowed and don't work on paper. Hilarity Ensues.
- Rule of Sexy: The player is constantly reminded that it is cold in Arkham City, to the point where random thugs wish they had coats almost as often as they wish they had food that didn't taste horrible. This doesn't stop the main female characters from wearing low-cut shirts, baring their midriff, showing lots of leg, or all three. In a prison filled with men no less, something at least one Enemy Chatter conversation Lampshades.
- Rule of Three: Deadshot manages to kill three Political Prisoners before being caught. Hush killed three people before entering Arkham City, and three more in.
- Sadistic Choice: After Protocol 10 goes into effect, Batman has the choice of going to rescue Talia from the Joker, sacrificing thousands of lives in the process, or stopping Protocol 10 and potentially letting Talia die. Unlike most examples within video games, the choice is already made for the player; see What the Hell, Hero? below.
- Save the Villain: Deconstructed. The Joker himself notes that Batman would never let him die if the means to save him were in his power, but the trope itself is soundly averted when Joker tries to take it from him by force and destroys the vial containing the cure.
- Also, earlier, when Strange is stabbed by Ra's al Ghul, Batman tells Ra's to get him medical attention. Subverted immediately when the dying Strange initiates Protocol 11.
- Scenic Tour Level: The start of the game when you control Bruce Wayne being brought into Arkham City as a prisoner. Add in the opening cutscene at the beginning of the game and you get a pretty good introduction to how completely messed up the situation has become.
- Schizophrenic Difficulty: Depending on the order in which you complete the Riddler's challenges and collect his trophies, they can come across like this. Some are as easy as traveling to a conspicuous location and performing a simple hack or gel placement. Others require a lot of out-of-the-box thinking or tightly timed dexterity.
- Schmuck Bait:
- There are two of them set up by the Riddler in the subway system. Both are rooms that have 3 Riddler Trophies that from the looks of it you can get without much trouble. However if you activate it you will be locked in the room and killed. However Batman being Crazy-Prepared, can get out of these when he acquires the right gadgets.
- Shortly after rescuing Vicki Vale, Batman gets a call from Alfred saying that Lucius Fox has managed to synthesize a cure for Joker's infected blood, and that he's dropping off a sample. Considering that the player, at least, just saw Mad Hatter in the background of the preceding cutscene, it's especially obvious.
- Knives during combat. Mooks that use knives are vulnerable to a free takedown if the proper command is tapped. Mooks will continue to pick up the dropped knife of a KO'd mook, and come after you with it.
- Second Hour Superpower: The player starts out as Bruce Wayne in civilian clothes; the first challenge is getting the Batman gear.
- Secret Identity Apathy: Early on, Batman is unconscious and in the Joker's custody, but he keeps Harley Quinn from unmasking him.
- Sequence Breaking: The New Game+ mode allows you to keep all of your gadgets, but if you try to use them to get to an area before you're supposed to, Batman will say "This can wait" or "There's not enough time."
- Sequel Escalation:
- How do you make a game like Arkham Asylum better? Well, the first thing you can do is have Batman keep his cool toys from the first game and let him upgrade them from the beginning, then have a section of Gotham be dubbed as "Arkham City" and make it an open world to explore... also have Riddler keep some henchmen around for added fun in his Riddle challenges... Batman can counter up to three people at once now and use more of his gadgets seamlessly in combat...
- Getting just one Riddler trophy can be a minor ordeal now. In the first game, they were mostly just tucked out of sight; here, they're often in plain sight, but sealed under a mechanical dome that only releases when you perform a series of challenging physical actions.
- The idea is spoofed in a certain conversation you can overhear between several thugs after the ending of the game, wondering about the fate of Arkham City. "What's next? Arkham County? Arkham Country? Big-ass Arkham World?"
- Self-Destruct Mechanism: Protocol 11 is this for Wonder Tower.
- Sequel Hook: Various:
- Azrael's ominous words about Batman and Gotham going up in flames sometime in the future.
- Bruce Wayne impersonator Thomas Elliot (aka Hush) being at large in Gotham. Batman makes a mental note to track down the latter once he leaves Arkham City.
- In a lesser degree, you can visit Calendar Man as Catwoman. He states that he might pay a visit to her (or her father) soon. Also after you visit him on the 12 dates related to his achievement, visit his cell again and it will be empty, with a Two-Face goon hanging from the ceiling within.
- Killer Croc is still at large in the city. If you take the time to visit the sewers after the fight with Ra's al Ghul, you can spark a brief encounter with Croc whom states "will wait and then feast on his corpse". It's very clear Croc ain't giving up any time soon.
- There is a hidden hatch that hints at Scarecrow's return. Judging by the contents of the ship, he may be working in tandem with Bedbug, who made a brief cameo in the Arkham City comics.
- When checking the radio stations on the Cryptographic Sequencer, you made find some channels that spout off random numbers. When matched up with alphabet and decoded, they likewise hint at Scarecrow's return: the first one is a simple alphabet substitution cipher and translates to "I WILL RETURN BATMAN", the second one uses a reverse alphabet and translates to "YOU WILL PAY FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO ME" but the third one is a much more elaborate one that not only uses the reversed alphabet, but also a Vigenere cipher: by using "SCARECROW" as the keyword, the decoded message becomes "FEAR WILL TEAR GOTHAM CITY TO SHREDS".
- During the Protocol 10 segment, a group of thugs in unique outfits with Scarecrow's motif appear on the roof of the building with a frozen over swimming pool: they're out of way from your next destination and they disappear after Protocol 10 gets shut down, so this one's quite obscure as well.
- Tanks of Scarecrow toxin shows up throughout the city, usually in Riddler rooms, but even in the hideout of his student, Thomas Elliot.
- Two-Face's role might belong here as well, at least going by the main campaign; he starts off the game as the leader of the weakest of the three main power-blocs vying for control of Arkham City, is easily taken out by Batman and Catwoman early on, who just leaving him hanging in the courthouse, and looks poised to be overrun by the forces of the Joker and the Penguin combined. By the end of the game, he's in a pretty good position to be Arkham City / Gotham's new major crime-lord once Joker's dead and Penguin's been taken down by Batman.
- Doubling as a Call Back to the previous game, in the Playable Epilogue, if you return to where Ra's al Ghul landed after his fatal fall from Wonder Tower, his body will be gone, hinting that Ra's may, yet again, rise from the dead.
- During the Playable Epilogue, if you visit Ivy again as Catwoman, she swears to kill everyone in Gotham. Including Batman and Catwoman.
- The song that plays at the very end of the credits, if you found the pregnancy tests, where Harley chillingly sings "Hush little baby, don't say a word. Mama's gonna kill for you the whole damn world." Fittingly, Arkham City: Harley Quinn's Revenge was announced as a downloadable spin-off about six months after the game came out.
- Sexy Walk: Catwoman, Talia, and Harley.
- Shell Game: The Riddler uses one for his second hostage. Though he also tries to cheat.
- Shirtless Scene: Mr. Freeze, of all people, gets one when you find him out of his suit.
- Shock and Awe: As with Batman: Arkham Asylum, some elite mooks own dual shock sticks. Players finally get to use them with the Escrima sticks Nightwing DLC gives us, plus the Remote Electrical Charge.
- Shooting Superman: Some of the Penguin's goons mention offhand that Cobblepot dangled one of his hostages over a pit of rats, but for some reason the guy managed to last days without being harmed. It makes sense knowing that one of his prisoners was Otis Flannegan, a.k.a. "Ratcatcher". Eventually, Penguin lost patience and dropped him into Tiny's tank instead.
- Shoot the Hostage Taker: Ra's Al Ghul holds his own daughter, Talia, hostage at knife point when Batman refuses to kill Ra's and take Ra's places leader of the League of assassins. Batman saves Talia be hitting Ra's with a Batarang.
- The entire idea of turning a city into a prison and asylum and allowing the inmates to create their own world harkens to John Carpenter's Escape from New York.
- Wonder City is a ruined, Zeerust model utopia powered by Applied Phlebotinum that eventually drove the inhabitants crazy. Sound familiar?
- When you return to the Steel Mill, Joker gives a lengthy speech about "your favorite TV show" — LOST ("You've been through it all: the ups, the downs, the crazy coincidences. And then, BANG! They tell you what it's all about. Would you be happy? Does it make sense? How come it all ended in a church?!"). Apparently, Mark Hamill is a Lost fan and Paul Dini was actually a writer on several episodes of the show.
- Also, Riddler's "challenges" heavily resemble the traps used in the Saw films. And it doesn't stop there: he introduces each challenge with a video featuring himself explaining the rules and on at least one occasion, refers to said challenge as a "game", two things Jigsaw is famous for.
- Somewhere between a shout out and a Mythology Gag, one of the buildings you clear snipers from during the Vikki Vale mission is called Dini Towers, also one of the 13th Precinct cops is called Miller.
- Zsasz also mentions the Sprang bridge.
- When Catwoman opens the suitcase she was looking for, it emits a bright light.
- On his Batcomputer profile, Zsasz's latest victim is stated as J. Carpenter. Now who was it who made the slasher genre popular?
- Batman's new wall takedown resembles Robocop's.
- The Penguin's hostages are from Precinct 13.
- You venture into a city in the bowels of the Earth to find an immortal sorcerer.
- The Non-Standard Game Over features a cryptic, garbled transmission from the future.
- One overheard conversation is an inmate anguishing over how he hasn't updated his status in weeks, so how will everyone know what he's up to... oh right, he's stuck in Arkham City.
- Mr Hammer threatens you thusly during any of your fights with him: "I Will Bury You!'
- The Augmented Reality sections consisting of sets of green rings to fly through are quite reminiscent of the Ride stages in the infamous Superman 64 game.
- When Batman can deactivate Freeze's...freeze gun he takes out Penguin with a Dragon Punch.
- Near the end, Hugo Strange says "I have powerful friends, Batman. This is just the beginning." Even funnier considering who voices him.
- Shows Damage: Some bosses, but also Batman and Catwoman look more and more roughed up as the storyline advances. By the end, Batman's cape in particular has dozens of cuts in it.
- Shrine to the Fallen: In Harley Quinn's Revenge, in two weeks the Steel Mill has turned into a shrine to the Joker, who has died of the Titan disease. The exterior of the former funhouse has been renamed as "Harley's Funland", with statues of Harley guarding the gates and banners bearing the Joker's pictures and writings such as "R.I.P., Joker" and "Joker Forever". The interior is redecorated a little bit, while the centerpiece of the final room is transformed into a chapel interior, with lots of lit up white votive candles surrounding the altar and the monument of the Joker holding a glass globe, with Batman encased inside it.
- Shut Up, Kirk!:
- Silliness Switch: If you hold LT and RT (Xbox) or L1 and R1 (PS3) and move the right joystick in circles, it will cause every character in the game to gain a giant head, hands and feet: this also works in menu screens, allowing you to do things like have the background of the level select screen in Riddler's Revenge to be taken up by his gigantic face.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: One of Catwoman's finishing moves - followed by a haymaker takeout.
- How Talia greets you when you arrive to her hidden lair.
- Slide Attack: It's possible to hit mooks while performing the slide move.
- Slut Shaming: The inmates of Arkham City make it clear that anything that might happen to Catwoman or Harley would be entirely deserved because of their outfits.
- Smoke Out: Smoke bombs are one of the new gadgets in Arkham City.
- Though they can be targeted and thrown like a smoke grenade, their main function is a Ninja-like smoke pellet effect that allows Batman to ninja into the rafters to escape gunfire.
- You can also Batarang fire extinguishers to make a shorter-lasting smokescreen.
- The Smurfette Principle: Despite their being countless male inmates, there are only three female inmates, Harley, Catwoman and Ivy.
- Though the comic, especially Unhinged, shows off more female inmates: such as the Carpenter.
- Inverted with the League of Assassins, where Ra's al Ghul is the only male of the group.
- Snow Means Death: Discussed by the Joker when Batman, infected with the clown's poisoned blood, approaches the Steel Mill for a second time on his search for the cure. In his intercom speech, the Clown Prince of Crime says he's locked the Steel Mill, then says something along the lines of, "I dread having the thought of you lying dead in the sno-ho-ho-ho-ho-hoooooooowwwwwwww. That truly brings a smile to my face!" Given that it's winter in Arkham City, he seems to be making a point about it.
- Solve the Soup Cans: The Riddler's trophies now require either precision acrobatics or clever use of Batman's tools to be retrieved.
- Someone to Remember Him By: Joker's dead by the end of the game. However, Harley's pregnant. Subverted by "Harley Quinn's Revenge", however—she cheaped out on the pregnancy test, and it gave her a false positive.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Only yoooooou...
- "Hush little baby..."
- Also in the end credits, some incredibly eerie and disturbing ambient tracks which serve as a final illustration of just how dark this game was.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Carmine "The Roman" Falcone is mentioned in the "Arkham City Stories" to still be alive. Granted, he's hiding out in Bludhaven after Strange and Sharp drove him out, but compared to his comic counterpart, who was killed by Two-Face in The Long Halloween, and his The Dark Knight Saga counterpart, who was driven insane by fear toxin, he's doing a lot better here.
- Stalker Without a Crush: Azrael and Hugo Strange to Batman.
- Stealth-Based Mission: Just like the first game, this is to be expected (Batman isn't bulletproof). There's also a pair of stealth-based boss fights in Mr. Freeze and Two-Face (the latter only in Catwoman's DLC).
- Stealth Pun: One of the Abramovici twins uses a hammer, and the other uses a sickle. They're Russian, and the hammer and sickle are on the former Russian (or as it was known at the time, the Soviet Union) flag.
- Semi Stealthy maybe, their backstory has them as a double act in a Russian circus under the moniker of Hammer and Sickle, there's a poster in the museum advertising them which is also the solution to a riddle.
- Where can you find Scarecrow's Boat? Under a Crane.
- Steam Vent Obstacle: A number of these occur.
- The Stinger: The final Catwoman episode effectively serves as one, starting after the credits & immediately going into the Playable Epilogue.
- Midway through the credits, Batman gets one final voicemail from the Joker, singing "Only You (And You Alone)". Likewise, if Catwoman leaves Batman to die in Protocol 10, Oracle is heard making a desperate cry for help to stop the Joker's army as Batman, Robin, Nightwing & her father have all been killed.
- The Stool Pigeon: Batman can single out the Riddler's agents and slap them around for info, as well as Harley's in the DLC.
- With Catwoman one can imagine the "Cat-suit" probably insulates heat fairly well (though you'd think she'd zip it up, at least), and with another, given that she has a blatantly fantasic regenerative agent running through her body, there's some question as to just how much things like cold or frostbite would even affect Talia. You'd think Harley would also dress a bit warmer.
- Ivy is wearing just her shirt, like in the last game. Unlike the others, however, she's in a lair with much more heat to accommodate her plants, avoiding the winter problem.
- Suicidal Overconfidence: Generally averted; Batman, being a Dreaded Terror Hero, will occasionally have mooks simply cowering in his presence rather than attempting to fight back against someone they know can kick the shit out of them. In Predator challenges, playing as any character and silently taking down mooks one by one ends with the final few mooks utterly terrified, sometimes outright begging for mercy — and, in rare cases, too scared to fight back if the hero drops down right in front of them. The only exception to this is (understandably) the combat challenges, where even racking up an unbroken x1000 combo and effortlessly taking out dozens and dozens of mooks, Titans, or the Abramovici Twins will not stop other mooks from rushing in and declaring how easy this is going to be.
- Suicide Is Painless: When you fight the inmates on the frozen pool roof, some will actually jump over the side of the ledge into the water below rather than get their butts handed to them by Batman. Though it is unknown if this is actually a glitch.
- Superhero Paradox: Hugo Strange believes in this trope and tells Batman Gotham City would be way less of a craphole without him. It plays a good part in his motivations.
- Suplex Finisher: Even Batman isn't immune to performing this: it's one of his double counters with 1 attacking enemy in the front and 1 behind.
- Tactical Suicide Boss: Averted by Mr. Freeze. There are multiple tricks that let you get a hit in, but he never falls for the same one twice.
- Take That: To ''Lost'. Funnily enough, the game's writer has actually worked on that show.
- Blink-and-you'll-miss-it dialogue from one random inmate has him asking, "Wait—did they ever explain what the island was?"
- Take-That Kiss: Catwoman will occasionally deliver one of these to a thug in combat just before throwing him over her shoulder and slamming his head into the floor.
- Take Your Time: Hugo Strange spends much of the game giving a count down until Protocol 10 is enacted and much is made of Batman's deteriorating condition. But only during specific story points, feel free to search for Riddler Trophies, and do side missions until then.
- At least until the second time you enter the steel mill, after that Protocol 10 is enacted, you can still go after side quests, but every helicopter in Gotham will be gunning for you. If you enter Wonder Tower, you're locked into the end game. However, once the main story is completed, you can explore Arkham City with only ordinary thugs patrolling.
- Taking the Bullet: In Harley Quinn's Revenge, Batman takes the bullet for one of the police officers Harley intended to kill, and ends up injured and unconscious at the end of the flashback.
- Taking You with Me:
- Technical Pacifist: Batman. This time, lampshaded by the mooks who talk about the extensive damage Batman's done to them. One states Bats broke a few ribs, his legs, punctured his spleen, while another talks about losing his five front teeth, and so on. However, Batman uses clearly lethal force on Solomon Grundy and Clayface. Justified in that anything else wouldn't stop them, and it's debatable whether or not they can truly be killed.
- Tempting Fate: There are a couple of lines in the game where the goons will say that they wouldn't mind getting beaten up if it was Catwoman doing it. If you're playing Catwoman and decide to oblige them...
- Another example that takes two games to come into effect: In Batman Arkham Asylum, Joker jokingly says "I have nothing left to live for" before shooting himself with the titan serum. In Batman Arkham City, Joker dies of titan poisoning.
- That Was Objectionable: Two-Face shows his displeasure at Batman interrupting his trial by planting a bullet in his chest while yelling "OBJECTION! ... Overruled."
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: "Two guns, bitch!"
- Also: "I will make you meow, bitch!"
- This Is Gonna Suck: Inverted at the end of Two-Face's boss battle. Catwoman says "This is gonna hurt" as she reveals a set of cat-like metal claws on her gloves.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill:
- Batman's modus operandi, as in all incarnations. It even extends to trying (and failing) to cure the Joker from his TITAN poisoning. By the Harley Quinn's Revenge DLC, there are rumours floating around Gotham he's broken it (due to the aforementioned death of the Joker).
- He also broke it in regards to Solomon Grundy and Clayfacenote .
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Batman invokes this after the final boss battle. Joker dodges the sword, but Batman wasn't aiming for him, but rather the device Joker was standing in front of.
- Tonight Someone Dies: The Joker makes this reference if you remain at the bell tower:
What are you waiting for? We both know how this is going to turn out: you're going to come and find me. You can't stop yourself, can you? Sometimes I wonder if all this would just end with one of us looking down at the other's corpse, trying to work out what to do next? The only question is, whose body will it be?
I know who I'm rooting for! [giggles]
What about you? [laughs madly]
Now, get out of there now, or you'll ruin everything!!!
- It turns out that this "one of us" whom the Joker refers to happens to be Batman and that "the other's corpse" happens to be himself, the speaker, who indeed dies from Titan poisoning right at the end of the game.
- Too Dumb to Live: If you glide around near the water areas of the game and use Detective Mode, you may see some dead inmates in the water who possibly tried to jump in and swim out of Arkham City. Let it be known, that it is the middle of winter.
- Various Enemy Chatter reveals that quite a few of the inmates are this. Special mention goes to one mook in the Steel Mill that mocks another inmate for taking Batman seriously, boasts about how he's going to kill Batman and get a 'ride on the Harley,' states how he's not afraid of the Joker since he'll be dead soon and seriously states that Batman is probably just an urban legend.
- Took a Level in Badass: In the first game, Victor Zsasz was a bit of a Butt Monkey, serving as a tutorial boss and getting beaten up again later on. This time round he's the villain of one of the longer sidequests (admittedly he still goes down from a stealth attack, but hey). There's also Clayface, who was an Easter egg in the first game and is the final boss this time round. Riddler counts as well, with harder trophy puzzles, hostages in elaborate traps, and he actually makes a physical appearance this time around.
- Took a Level in Jerkass:
- While Batman wasn't exactly a barrel of laughs in Batman: Arkham Asylum, in this one he's almost humorless, to the point of arguing with Oracle about Talia and outright torturing Mr. Freeze to gain information on how to stop his Freeze gun.
- In Harley Quinn's Revenge, Batman is even grumpier; suggesting the loss of Talia (and maybe even Joker's death) has taken its toll on him.
- Tracking Device: Batman plants one on an opponent during a fight, then lets her get away so he can trail her back to her hidden base. Neither she, nor any of her colleagues back at the base, notice it until he arrives and points it out, despite the red flashing light.
- Trailers Always Lie: Subverted. One of the first Trailer spots has Dr. Strange interrogating a guard with electric shocks and truth serum in order to learn everything about the encounter (as well as being implied to be already aware of what happened anyways), with the guard eventually expiring at the end of the torture. While this isn't actually seen in the game itself, an easter egg in the Wonder Tower area late into the game implies that the event in the trailer did happen.note
- Tranquil Fury: When Penguin kills and tortures the cops, Batman is clearly pissed, but he never raises his voice at all.
Oh, aren't you scary? [Evil Laugh] Batman: [quietly] You're about to find out
- When Batman has reason to believe Robin might be dead in Harley Quinn's Revenge, he softly whispers "What have you done?" to Harley as he turns away from the flaming wreckage of the warehouse.
- Transfer Student Uniforms: After Penguin is defeated, his Mooks abandon him to join up with the other factions since he's such a Bad Boss. They still dress in the same military/professional merc style combat gear that they wore when working for Penguin, but they alter it slightly to suit their new employer. The ones that join Two-Face's gang burn the left side of all their clothes. The ones that join Joker's gang put clown makeup on their balaclavas and also have pictures of Joker's face on their clothes.
- Trap Door: Penguin has one in the prequel comic, sending mooks to an unfortunate fate at the hands of his "partner" Solomon Grundy in the basement of the Iceberg Lounge.
- Truth in Television: A real life Arkham can be found by looking up Kowloon Walled City, which was featured in the Street Fighter II V anime, minus the Tiger guards. Similar ideas have cropped up in regards to declaring certain areas a no go zone, and proposals to turn areas into a prison town where the law is uninvolved and the society stands or falls on their own.
- Ultimate Authority Mayor: Quincy Sharp was able to turn half of Gotham into a penal colony where all criminals are dumped, with a special emergency procedure which would allow the TYGER PMC to burn Arkham to the ground. Judging by the presence of the political prisoners, and Bruce Wayne and Jack Ryder's incarceration, it seems that actually being charged with a crime isn't even required. Some justification comes from the quick message stating that the city is under martial law at the time.
- Unexpected Character: Solomon Grundy, though less so in the game than in the promotional information, as there are several hints and explicit mentions.
- There's actually many. Mad Hatter, Azrael and Clayface are probably the biggest ones.
- Also the five different Batman skins for pre-ordering: Batman Beyond, 70's Batman, Earth One Batman, DCAU Batman and The Dark Knight Returns Batman.
- The Nightwing DLC even comes with the Batman: The Animated Series skin of Nightwing.
- The Unfought: Hugo Strange, and technically The Joker, though you don't find that out until the end. A few "bosses" like Zsasz, Harley Quinn and Two-Face are taken out with one move (though you can fight Two-Face again as Catwoman).
- Ungrateful Bastard: The second time you enter Joker's hideout in the story you'll come across a couple of Joker thugs standing before one of Two-Face's goons hanging from a hook and considering boiling him alive or something equally nasty. Take them out and let him down and he'll catch his breath for a moment... but once you take your eyes off him for more than a few seconds the punk will try to knock you out.
- Batman is this also, towards Robin. The first time after Tim saved him from The League of Assassins (he didn't know Batman was faking his loss) and the second time after he saved him from Harley Quinn (and certain death). Both times he just rudely sends Robin away and tells him he doesn't need help.
- Vagueness Is Coming: Thanks for the heads up, Azrael. Although it sounds like just another Tuesday in Gotham.
- Victoria's Secret Compartment: After being rescued by Batman, Catwoman takes back Two-Face's smartphone and seems to hide it from Batman by putting it down the front of her partially unzipped catsuit.
- In the Harley Quinn's Revenge DLC Harley does the same with key to the Joker Shrine. This does nothing to stop Robin from simply reaching into her cleavage and grabbing it.
- Video Game Caring Potential: On the spot marked where Batman's parents were killed you are given the option to "Pay Your Respects". There's even an achievement for it.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential:
- Most of the options from Asylum return, but it's quite fun to single out a lone mook and spam the REC on him and watch him squirm/fry/dance around. During the Mr. Freeze battle, it is possible to destroy the Nora statues around the room. This makes him very angry.
- Whilst Harley is tied up, it is possible to repeatedly tear off and replace the duct tape over her mouth. She even calls you out on the cruelty of doing it. (It may or may not be causing her pain; if it is, she does a good job of hiding it. She doesn't even try to hide how much you're pissing her off by continuing to do it.)
- In an example that overlaps with The Dev Team Thinks of Everything after defeating the Riddler, he's locked into the same device he used to force his remaining hostages to walk constantly or have bombs strapped to them detonated... without knowing that it's actually been deactivated. If you want to, you can taunt him by getting in his way and making him panic that he'll be blown up if you don't move. And given what he's done up to this point, you almost definitely want to.
- Video Game Settings:
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: There are four distinct sewer areas in the game, and their existence is justified this time around. One connects the Industrial District and the Bowery and is connected to the old subway (for maintenance access), one is underneath the Steel Mill and serves as a tunnel to dispose of boiling water from the furnaces, and another is inside Wonder City (an abandoned Steampunk-style subterranean city built by Ra's al Ghul). The sunken ruins of Old Gotham near Wonder City also appear to be connected to the city's sewers.
- The Alcatraz: The titular Arkham City itself. It is an interesting example, as there are no major security measures beyond the big wall and the turrets surrounding it, no guard intervention unless authorized by Strange, and surveillance is by helicopter and outdoor cameras. Though Hugo Strange's announcements say otherwise, there is only one real rule in the facility: "Don't try to escape and we won't kill you". It's similar to Manhattan from Escape from New York.
- Amusement Park of Doom / Toy Time: Joker's gang turns Arkham City's industrial district into one, complete with dilapidated carnival rides, ferris wheels, giant toy soldier statues, bright painted wood facades, flashing colored lights and dissonant carnival music. Neon signs in the area even call the place "Joker's Funland". There are even bumper carts inside the Steel Mill itself.
- Big Fancy Castle: While not exactly a castle, Penguin's Museum and the Iceberg Lounge have been remodeled to serve as Penguin's headquarters. Both areas are quite fancy, and the Museum itself is massive and a somewhat haunting location.
- Casino Park: Amusement Mile, which was an entertainment district along a major highway in Gotham's slums before a huge earthquake hit, dropping much of it into the bay. Despite being abandoned, the neon lights that advertise the various businesses in that part of the city are still on.
- Chokepoint Geography
- Derelict Graveyard: The old subway tunnels under Gotham.
- Disc One Final Dungeon: Joker's Steel Mill, during Batman's second visit as he confronts Joker, and Wonder Tower, where Batman goes after Hugo Strange to end Protocol 10.
- Elaborate Underground Base: Wonder City, an underground city built by Ra's al Ghul that was quickly condemned.
- Eternal Engine / Lethal Lava Land: Joker's Steel Mill, which was remodeled by his gang to serve as his base. Despite having been abandoned for years, all of the furnaces and some of the conveyor belts are still running. The main furnace in particular is how Batman enters the Steel Mill the first time, and it eventually becomes unstable and collapses in on itself.
- Graffiti Town: Most of Arkham City, considering it was once Gotham's old slum district before everybody living there was evicted to begin construction on the city.
- It's All Upstairs from Here: Wonder Tower, where Hugo Strange's base is located in.
- Locomotive Level: The Freight Train DLC challenge places Robin aboard a running mass-transit train in the city.
- Monster Arena: The first Boss Fight against Penguin places Batman inside of one of these, where he fights a ton of potential recruits to Penguin's Gang and a big Titan Monster.
- One Time Dungeon: The main furnace in Joker's Steel Mill can only be entered once, since it collapses on itself later on. Later, there's Wonder Tower, which is destroyed by when Hugo Strange activates Protocol 11.
- Remilitarized Zone: The lower parts of the Bowery district are patrolled by Penguin's hired mercenaries (who are armed with military grade firearms), and exploding mines serve as common hazards in the area. To a lesser extent, the entire city counts, since it's in the middle of one big gang war.
- Shifting Sand Land / Dream Land: Ra's al Ghul's Lazarus flying challenges are set above a surreal desert landscape intertwined with structures existing in Arkham City. It's all just a Lazarus induced dream, but Batman will still die if he fails during the challenges.
- Sinister Subway: The subway tunnels underneath Gotham.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The Gotham City Police Department building is the coldest spot in the city, and is the location of Mr. Freeze's hideout. Later, there's the Torture Chamber in Penguin's museum, which is an indoor aquarium that gets partially frozen over by Penguin as he uses Mr. Freeze's gun.
- Underground Level: The areas under Arkham City, which includes the subway and the associated train exchange, the ruins of old Gotham, the sewers and collapsed tunnels, and Wonder City.
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Monarch Theater in Park Row.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Quincy Sharp. Later in the game, Oracle expresses disbelief that someone like that could pull off the circumstances that started the game legally.
- Villainous Breakdown: Strange has a epic one when you reach the top of Wonder Tower. By going to crack the doorway that leads to his booth before taking out the rest of the guards, the alarm would sound and he would go from calm to nervous and fearful.
- Voice of the Legion: Poison Ivy gets this, for some reason.
- Ra's al Ghul's voice has this effect throughout the Demon Trials, and after he uses the Lazarus Pit. Ra's even exclaims "We are legion!" during the fight. Given the nature of both the Trials and the boss fight with Ra's, this is justifiable as Batman hallucinating.
- Wax Museum Morgue: The Penguin set up a minor one in the museum of natural history. It's only got a few entries; a female ninja who tried to kill him, a TYGER guard, and some Joker goons. He's got some other displays set up for Zsasz (who apparently escaped from his own display case) Batman and Bruce Wayne.
- We Can Rule Together: Ra's and Talia both try it on Batman, it fails.
- Welcome to Hell: Penguin says this to Bruce Wayne when he captures him after he's locked up.
- Wham Episode: It doesn't get more "Wham" than the Joker dying.
- Along with a little bit beforehand with the flashback revealing this whole time the "healthy" Joker was just Clayface to get the cure back to Joker.
- What Happened to the Mouse?:
- Robin mentions that Joker has affected up to 2000 hospital patients with the contaminated blood, but no more mention is made of them, or even if any effort was made to provide them with antidote once the story is concluded. The Harley's Revenge DLC reveals that Batman was able to mass-produce the cure and get it to the patients in time to save them all.
- Stacy Baker and Fiona Wilson both have disappeared after you return for a third time to the areas you left them in.
- What the Hell, Hero?: When The Joker takes Talia al Ghul away, Batman tries to race directly after her, disregarding that Protocol 10 is in effect and that hundreds of inmates, both criminals and innocents, are being slaughtered. Alfred and Oracle both call him on it, and Alfred even goes as far as to deny Batman satellite assistance to find her in order to make him save the inmates. Certainly a sign that the night in Arkham City, the disease attacking him, and Batman's all-too-human emotions are taking their toll on him.
- Before that, when Batman manipulated Talia's affection for him to get her to do what he wanted. Ordinarily, it would just be chalked up to Batman's usual M.O. for using people, if he didn't attempt to smooth talk her over afterwards. Justified, since according to Oracle, he was mere minutes from death at that point.
- In "Harley Quinn's Revenge", there is a subdued version. When Robin saves Batman from suffocating in his cell, he doesn't thank him, merely asking where the cops are and wondering why it took so long. Robin calls him out on being an Ungrateful Bastard, but quietly, and he doesn't press it when it evidently doesn't make a dent in Batman's attitude. Given Oracle's comments at the start of the content pack, it's likely that they had dealt with this before in the weeks after the end of the game.
Robin: Ever heard of "thank you"? ... I guess not.
- Where It All Began: While the game doesn't end at the same place gameplay began, the trope still qualifies. The final boss fight occurs in the same movie theatre that that Bruce Wayne went to on the night of his parent's murder.
- If you go to the crime scene and listen to the tape left there by Hugo Strange, he even tells you beforehand that this will be the case.
- Also, the penultimate conflict takes place in Wonder Tower, and you get in by going through the processing center you started the game in. You can even break the large mirror in the very first room to find a Riddler trophy. Likewise, you can find the Tyger captain Strange accidentally (?) killed in the first trailer for the game and scanning him is a riddle solution.
- One of the riddle hints is "Look Out! Can you see where the Madness began?" To solve it, you need to scan the old Arkham Asylum island from the first game.
- Who Writes This Crap?!: In Harley Quinn's Revenge, when the henchmen are talking about Joker's death, and the Clayface switcheroo that he pulled, one of the henchmen suggests that it was Clayface, not Joker's body that Batman carried out of the theater. Another henchman replies by saying that it's "the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Do you think this is TV or something?" The first henchman responds by saying, "Oh, and two Jokers ain't."
- Why Won't You Die?: Often spoken by Sickle during the long battle.
- With My Hands Tied: You start off as Bruce Wayne as a prisoner with his hands cuffed. Even then, he's fully capable of kicking ass and snapping arms.
- One of the negative attachments in the Campaign is labeled "One hand tied" In a Combat match it disables the counter icon, in a Stealth it makes it so you can't use silent take downs.
- Wicked Cultured: Subverted with this version of The Penguin - he's a thoroughly coarse and unpleasant individual, even if he'd like to think otherwise.
- Wild Card: Would you ever have guessed, The Joker. Strange supplies him with a military arsenal, so that the he'll give Strange a very public reason to wipe him and Arkham City off the face of the earth. However, a Non-Standard Game Over reveals that without Batman's intervention the plan fails, the Joker survives Protocol 10 and uses the weaponry to overthrow Gotham.
- Withholding the Cure: Mr. Freeze does this to Batman until he saves his wife from the Joker.
- Worthy Opponent: Both Ra's Al Ghul and Hugo Strange consider Batman to be this.
- Would Hit a Girl: The game introduces female mooks, who Batman beats up like the male thugs except for the limb-breaking finishers.
- Two-Face won't hesitate to hit Catwoman when he has the chance.
- Wrecked Weapon: Batman is now able to grab a weapon out of an enemy's hands and destroy it. He smashes bats and knives, dismantles guns, and bends metal pipes and car doors in half.
- Wretched Hive: The game has taken the worst part of one Wretched Hive (Gotham city's slums) and combined it with another Wretched Hive (Arkham City itself, a Hellhole Prison and a Bedlam House).
- Wrong Genre Savvy: The enemy chatter after completing the game shows a lot of the inmates doubt that Joker is gone for good. "How many times has he died already?". It's been established that he is most certainly dead, which makes them holding out for him a bad move.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: In the third act, the Joker does what he does best: make crap up as he goes. While the second act of the story was a brilliantly-activated plan, the last bit was speed chess.
- You Are Already Dead: Bane says "Eres un Hombre Muerto (You are a dead man)" to an unlucky entrant in the fight club shortly before he shatters his spine. Almost subverted in that the man manages to overpower Bane with Titan afterwards, but he is paralyzed by cardiac arrest and Bane kills him.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Ra's eliminates Strange after Protocol 10 is deactivated by Batman and their plan fails.
- Sharp as well, who Strange throws into Arkham City and announces his arrival to all the criminals to come kill him.
- You Monster!: Catwoman growls at Hugo Strange, "You bastard." It's because Strange threatens to have his men harm her adopted daughter, Holly, unless she answers all the questions he's got about what makes her tick..
- You Must Be This Tall To Ride: Harley Quinn's message on the speaker radio in the Steel Mill starts off with: "Welcome to Mr. J's Carnival. You must be 74 inches tall to ride."
- You're Insane!:
Batman: You're insane.
Riddler: No, that would imply either mental illness or derangement. I suffer from neither.
- Zeerust: Wonder City, a sort of steampunk concept for a 'green' Gotham built some time ago. Only instead of steam, it was secretly powered by chemical from the Lazarus Pit, so unsurprisingly, the ones who built it turned out to be Ra's al Ghul and the League of Assassins. Surprisingly for this trope, though, the technology actually worked. Batman even comments that it was far beyond what was possible at the time, but it isn't explained. That whole slight madness thing might have had something to do with why it never caught on.