"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 18 months 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. Sharp has arranged for all of the former residents of Arkham Asylum, as well as the prisoners of Blackgate Penitentiary, to be moved to a walled-off and heavily-guarded area of Gotham City (located in the slums). Psychiatrist Professor Hugo Strange is brought on to oversee the city. 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, Two-Face, Catwoman, 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 Rerelease called Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition is being created for the Wii U that features unique controls specially patented for that system. All DLC for the original release will be featured in the game, and Catwoman's role as a character is to be expanded upon. Furthermore, Batman and Catwoman also sport armored costumes.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 Batman and Robin as they head into the now-condemned Arkham City to 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.
Actor Allusion: A subtle one: Joker attempts to force Mr. Freeze to develop a cure for him by holding his wife hostage. Joker is voiced by Mark Hamill, whose first voice in Batman The Animated Series was Ferris Boyle, the guy responsible for Mr. Freeze, and Mark's performance as him also landed him with his voicing The Joker in that series. Furthermore, by reading one of the riddles called "Who can BOYLE and Freeze at the same time?" and listening to the Mr. Freeze audio tapes, you find out that Ferris Boyle is canon in the Arkhamverse.
MPT Anne Bishop is voiced by Kimberley Brooks. Given the character's looks and personality (her first question when Batman rescues her is where's Riddler, clearly intending to remove his spine) it's basically a reprisal of Ash from Mass Effect.
Batman: "Do you want to know something funny? Even after everything you have 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 borrows heavily 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.
The way Bruce Wayne's parents are drawn on the ground match how their bodies fell in Nolan's Batman Begins.
And of course the voice actors and Dark Deco art style come from the Animated Series.
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.
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.
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 will be different, including Talia and Joker's deaths during the final act.
The Azrael in the game is a completely different character from the Azrael of the comic continuity. They just share a name, confusingly.
Always Close: The church bell-tower always explodes seconds after Batman jumps you 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 Save the Girl: Deconstructed numerous times. First, when Batman puts his mission on hold to rescue Catwoman from Two-Face, then when she returns the favor by rescuing him and abandoning her loot. Later still, Talia puts her own life in danger to rescue Batman, and in a severely emotional (and, as Alfred himself notes, out-of-character) moment, Batman is prepared to risk the safety of thousands just to save Talia.
The only straight example is when Batman saves Vicky Vale, which is a pretty obvious shout out to the Tim Burton movies, and even then it's a bit Zig Zagged since saving her leads to some troubles with The Mad Hatter kidnapping Batman, so saving the girl only lands Batman in trouble for his efforts.
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.
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.
Anti-Villain: Type I; Catwoman 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 Type IV, 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 Type I, 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, Talia, Hugo Strange, Ra's and, shockingly, The Joker have all met their ends, though odds are Ra's will find a new Lazarus Pit for himself and perhaps his daughter.
Apocalyptic Log: Inverted this time. Since it is HugoStrange 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.
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 the 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 the victims is killed by a bullet ricochet, something the MythBusters also proved to be impossible.
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.
Bad Boss: Well, this applies to most of the villains; Joker has his Comedic Sociopathy, Penguin's got a more down-to-earth "fail me and I'll throw a temper tantrum and/or kill you" line of thinking, and 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. Two-Face, surprisingly, seems more concerned with boosting morale of his followers, though (aside from the occasional screw-up that lands a hapless henchmen on the wrong side of his coin...).
The Penguin is definitely the worst boss. Two-Face gets taken down (well, strung up) early in the game and then disappears for a while, and his goons spend most of that time boasting about his inevitable triumphant return. Joker's goons also seem to think highly of their boss, and talk about killing anyone who stands against him. They're also still going strong after Joker's death. As soon as Penguin is defeated, his goons immediately jump ship and join up with one of the other two factions, even though it would probably be pretty easy to free him.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Many have misquoted or misinterpreted Mark Hamill as saying this game will be the last time he plays The Joker. He clarified that what he meant was he wouldn't continue playing The Joker if he felt that he couldn't top his performance, he wanted to leave on a high note.
That said, this would seem to suggest that he has no plans to play the Joker again in the future.
Alternately, it could be talking about Joker's death at the end of the game.
Then there is the fact that Endgame shows his body being cremated. As if telling the fans "he isn't coming back".
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, oddly enough; barring some unfortunate mooks we hear about who apparently had his coin land scarred-side up when he was deliberating what to do with them, 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 (fittingly given his past as district attorney) and an essential part of politics is buttering up the people you depend upon...
It also earns him the distinction of being the only crime boss whose mooks follow him not out of fear, but out of true loyalty. This is affirmed from several mook conversations where they state that Two-Face is still their boss despite the fact that he's gone into hiding and they could have easily jumped ship over to either Penguin or Joker (although the fact that said minions would know of Joker and Penguin's "treatment" of their minions probably would explain why they didn't jump ship to them anyhow).
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.
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, 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. Not to mention 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 oh, by the way, fully half the map which 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.
Overall, it's actually a fairly creepy and deliberate evocation of the Tim Burton Batman films and all their little oddities.
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, it really nullifies the trope when there are three other black men in the squad (Elvis Jones, Forrester, and Southwold).
Bloodless Carnage: Like Arkham Asylum, Arkham City has a ton of bloodless violence, except for 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.
Strange was working for Ra's and Talia, who hold Batman in much higher esteem, and indeed reacted quite poorly when Strange tried to kill Batman.
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".
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.
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.
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 at you she will get back at him if he keeps doing that.
Bowdlerise: In the X-box/Playstation/PC versions Catwoman is wearing a catsuit zipped down below her chest. 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.
Averted for Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, who remain unchanged.
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.
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.
Not as stupid as you might think, if you dig deeper. The thugs live by a dog-eat-dog hierarchy; the tough rise up, and any weakness shown will drag you down. They have to make threats and get alpha male on everyone they can, unless they lose face and therefore status. The clincher, though, is the fact that if you look at their vitals in Detective Mode, as soon as they spot Batman, they are nervous. No matter the weapons, the armor, the numbers of the home turf advantage, they are not exactly eager to face the Dark Knight.
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 throw grenades. They might be more effective if they didn't always scream, "GRENADE!" before each throw.
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. It's all needed to keep them all in until Protocol 10, however.
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.
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.
Color-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.
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.
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.
Catwoman's face resembles Halle Berry, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Even worse when you realize that there's likely a reason people on the outside couldn't negotiate his release - because of Hush's work as the Identity Thief Killer, he'd have left some of "Bruce's" fingerprints at the scenes of his previous crimes, giving Strange a damn strong reason for keeping Wayne in Arkham.
Cutscene Boss: Bane and Hugo Strange. Some people believe the latter would be justified because he couldn't stand up to Batman in a fight, but the truth is that Strange is trained to physical perfection, as evidenced by his bio in both games and the profile picture in Asylum.
"Trained to physical perfection" does not mean "expert in hand-to-hand combat". Batman is both, Strange is only the former.
Cutscene Incompetence: Oh dear gosh how pretty much 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.
Slightly justified, though, as he was dressed as Bruce Wayne, not Batman when that happened. You have to figure that the Batsuit probably has some form of protection in the hood.
So far only once justified when Strange has a Political Prisoner hostage and threatening to kill him if Batman moves, to which Batman does not attack even when guards are surrounding him.
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!
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.
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. Only one of them realizes the gravity of the situation.
"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!"
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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..
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.
Development Gag: At one point, Batman overhears thugs talking about the rumor that Harley Quinn used to be a man. Harley Quinn was actually motion-captured by a man, and they even released a fake reveal trailer to tease fans about it.
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.
How many of you thought to throw a batarang at Harley when you first encountered her in the church? Go on and give it a try, see what happens...
If you activate one of Harley's mannequins in the steel mill, you can hear random comments. If you activate it after the end of the game, you will hear her crying. If Batman is killed on the Joker's turf during the epilogue, Harley will say "You were supposed to save Mistah J, Batbrain!" to you.
Actually, she says it before he's killed, too, when you're trying to find the cure.
When The Joker does his Break Them By Talking on your second trip through the steel mill, notice that the cameraman coughs and shakes the camera during the broadcast. Because it's the real Joker filming it, and he's not cured.
One notable aversion: The Mad Hatter interlude is a side mission and hence can be done after the main mission is complete. However, the post-hypnotic suggestion still says that a cure has been dropped. Batman still injects himself with it, despite already being cured and in the cut scene the Mad Hatter talks about Strange as if he was still alive.
An actual example of this trope, if you look at the capsule that has the "cure" in Detective Mode, you'll see a syringe in it. This is notably different 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.
Also they clearly figured out the question how Mr. Freeze could get over to his wife after you tell him where she is. After doing so, you will find behind the GCPD a long ice walkway in the water leading to the warehouse.
In the New Game Plus, during the first Riddler room you can bypass most of it by using 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.
Averted during Protocol 10. Despite the constant air strikes all over the city, if you chat with any character inside a building, they will act as if nothing is going on.
Strangely, after Protocol 10 you can go talk to one of the cops holed up in the Iceberg Lounge who will ask if Batman was the one that stopped the explosions, when he acted oblivious to it not too long ago.
Averted with the DLC outfits. During pre-rendered cut scenes it will have him change back to his default outfit, despite having him wear another outfit.
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.
To prevent the player from destroying all of the Titan before talking to Bane, as in doing so would give Bane no time to find his 6, the Titan Container by Joker's hideout does not appear until after you talk to Bane.
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).
Intentionally screwing up Zsasz's sidequest will lead to extra phone calls past the ones in which Zsasz describes his first kill. Failing both of the extra calls as well will finally make the game automatically find his hideout for you.
Batman can find and destroy five out of the six Titan containers he needs to destroy for Bane's sidequest before ever even speaking to Bane. His dialogue will change to reflect this.
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.
In addition, it's also possible to use a glitch to get out of bounds in one of the Riddler Rooms. There you find a model of the Riddler and he moves, meaning the projected images you see of him mocking you are actually a character model in the room and not just a pre-rendered video.
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.
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.
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.
Distressed Damsel: 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. The women in this game do not mess around.
Diving Save: In a cutscene, Batman does one on Catwoman when he notices a laser sight targetting her.
Doing It for the Art: 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.
Dont 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.
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 even 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.
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.
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.
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.
Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Robin and Nightwing themselves, both of whom are completely silent during their intros for whatever confusing reason. Thankfully, Robin is finally voiced in the Harley's Revenge DLC.
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 Calender 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".
Catwoman (who is, admittedly, more of an Anti-Hero) refuses to enter Zsasz's lair if you try it, saying he gives her the creeps. Penguin also refers to Zsasz as a vicious monster (possibly for dramatic effect) in the prerecorded message found in his cage.
A number of Mooks also talk about how bad The Penguin is, and how things will get even worse if he takes over Gotham.
Occasionally you might overhear some of the Mooks talk about how Catwoman "needs to be careful" because "some of these maniacs ain't seen a woman in years."
In Harley Quinn's Revenge, quite a few of Harley's henchmen are shown to be more than a little disturbed by just how far Harley is willing to go to kill Batman.
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.
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 vs. 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...
The 12 minute video, seen here, has Catwoman slash Harvey in the face. Pay close attention to his right eye.
The Faceless: Kind of. Miller, one of the members of Precinct 13 that was taken hostage by Penguin's gang, never shows his face. All of the angles either show the back of his head, or Batman's head blocking his face.
It sort of applies for the Riddler too, as most of his promo images show his back and his character bio image doesn't show his face. Though in the screenshots, and once you actually start finding his challenge rooms you can see his face plain as day.
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 googles note (allows them to see an un-upgraded player hiding on gargoyles and renders smoke from grenades and broken fire extinguishers useless), ludicrous weapons note (full health upgrades will let you survive a maximum of 3-5 shots from any weapon at any distance all round, thugs will hit you every time, even across the room with a shotgun whilst Batman is grappling at high speed), 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 Ultimate Hero: Quincy Sharp took the credit for saving the day in the first game, which let him become mayor.
It appears 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.
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.
True Final Boss: Harley Quinn, since Harley Quinn's Revenge takes place after the end of the main story.
Final Solution: Protocol Ten, 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 cure could be 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.
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.
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 developers have said it's not necessarily the Titan that is causing Joker to become sickly. But it is.
The memory card Catwoman steals from Two-Face and inserts into her smartphone-like device displays a map of Park Row, otherwise known as Crime Alley; the place where Bruce Wayne's parents were murdered. When Batman visits this location in the game, Strange has left an audiotape for him to listen to.
It gets worse; if one walks from the Monarch to the chalk lines, you can hear two gunshots followed by screeching bats.
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.
Also, after Harley Quinn locks you out of Joker's office, you can hear Quinn say "Oh, Mr. J, you look perfect! Oh, wait, it isn't you..." 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.
And during one of the Joker's broadcasts when he reveals that he has taken the cure, the actual Joker holding the camera coughs.
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.
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 Iceburg Lounge.
A couple of Easter eggs:
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.
The foreshadowing to this game from Arkham Asylum - The Spirit of Arkham chronicles, Ra's' disappearing corpse, and the blueprints for Arkham City in Sharp's secret room.
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 is 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). Finally, when Batman enters Harley's hideout, he overhears her goons discussing the possibility that the corpse Batman carried out of the theater with him could have been Clayface pulling another body swap. Joker might not be as dead as everyone thinks, though this is highly unlikely due to how far apart Clayface and the Joker were from each other in the ending when the Joker died.
Endgame, which takes place after the game, confirms that he is dead.
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.
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 "he" is, but it seems likely that he is talking about Quincey Sharp, who believed Batman to be some sort of worthy successor for his work. He's actually talking about Ra's Al Ghul.
Hugo Strange definitely comes off as this. 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 armed or 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. You can choose the second option, resulting in a Non Standard Game Over. The game then restarts you at the decision point, but with the exit door locked.
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.
Not to mention 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, 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 infects 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: Mostly averted, but according to her character bio, Talia has an elite personal guard around her at all times, each one capable of fighting against 100 men and winning. They are nowhere to be seen while she's being held hostage by the Joker, and it sounds like one of them was taken down after killing less than ten of the Penguin's men.
Not so much an issue of this. She deliberately let herself be captured so Batman could get the cure, as indicated by her showing that she put the tracer he used on the assassin on her lapel.
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 wear 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.
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 "Joker RIP" on them.
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."
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.
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.
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, 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. This is perplexing, as she received a heavy dose of the Titan formula during the events of Arkham Asylum, yet she isn't suffering the same blood poisoning disease as Joker. 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). This is unnessecary considering immunity to poison is part of Ivy's schtick, and the Joker has various toxins in his body anyway that would intermix with the Titan formula.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 gadgets he constructs or receives from willing inmates, which he could not possibly have prepared for.
Says who? Surely Batman would have left a few slots in his belt to make room for any gadgets he recieves elsewhere. He IS Batman after all. Besides most of the gadgets he just modifies an existing gadget for the new uses (REC, gun jammer, etc).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Inferred Holocaust: It's never said whether Batman and crew somehow found a way to cure all the people with Joker's poisoned blood in them, but there isn't exactly enough cure to go around for everyone by the time the credits roll...
If this version of Lucius Fox is anything like the version in Batman Begins, he should have no problem synthesizing a cure for the entire city based on a small sample. Then again, given Oracle's assessment of the rate of infection, it's almost assured some of the victims will die before that can happen.
According to the Downloadable Content "Harley Quinn's Revenge", Bruce managed to synthesize a cure in time to save the two thousand with the Joker's poisoned blood in them. Or at least most of them, anyway.
Also, all those times Batman finishes an arena-style fight, only for the 'arena' to blow up or wreckage to fall immediately after it's finished. It's doubtful the unconscious goons were moved to safety beforehand... examples that spring to mind are the Joker fight just before Protocol Ten initiates and the Tyger guards in Strange's tower.
Speaking of that, during the race to stop Hugo Strange, he says that fatalities caused by Protocol Ten are reaching twenty-two percent. One in five of the inmates Batman took down were killed in the destruction.
Also, in the Riddler's lair where all of the doctors plus Aaron Cash are being forced to walk along tracks, there's a list of names with two names crossed out, and one of the guards from the church is missing. The other one could be on the Riddler hostages, but this guard, the mustachioed guard, is nowhere to be found.
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.
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, 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 may have chipped a nail."
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.
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.
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 pretty 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 himself qualifies. 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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'thave to.
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.
More than likely, considering Zsasz has four sixes and Penguin's hand has a fifth six in it...
Zsasz says that "for some reason" he thought he would win, and that Penguin would play fair. Penguin cheating him out of what little money he has left goes well with the rest of Zsasz's stories.
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.
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.
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.
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.
More than Mind Control: Brought up by Oracle in the Identity Thief side mission, when it turns out the titular Serial Killer's fingerprints are the same as Batman's-she points out it's not at all difficult for Scarecrow or Dr. Strange to do it. Subverted when it turns out the killer is Hush.
Mythology Gag: Joker's pose during his "final death" is virtually the same pose as Jack Nicholson's Joker's death pose in Batman. Likewise, the church appears to modeled similarly to the cathedral from the same film.
Joker: "That's not funny... that's not..." (Return of the Joker)
Bit of a meta-example: rather than strike a generic Batman look like the rest of the character trophies, the Animated Series Batman trophy holds the exact same pose that punctuated the opening of Batman The Animated Series.
Another meta-example: One of the achievements/trophies unlocked when rescuing the Riddler's hostages is called "The Puzzler". "The Puzzler" is one of the names Edward Nygma considered choosing in Batman Forever.
Even though the person who says it is different, the game ends with Batman telling Joker a joke that the two both find funny, much like the rather open-ended ending of The Killing Joke.
The ball-shaped cat head from Batman Returns can be found near the courthouse.
Harley's got a new outfit, but the one she wore from Batman Arkham Asylum is on a stand in the Joker's hideout, and throughout his hideout are cartoonish statues of Harley wearing her classic jester's outfit.
The movie playing during the Clayface fight is the one he starred in when he was an actor. His origin was that he was an actor who went crazy when he found out his last film, "The Terror", was being remade.
Though they are of a different design, there are dirigibles floating around Arkham City, similar to the opening theme of Batman The Animated Series.
The way Batman carries Joker's corpse resembles A Death in the Family.
It has stronger similarities to No Man's Land as well. Both see Bruce Wayne campaigning against the titual artificial crisis, both see the city (or a section, in this case) abandonded to its devices and divided between various gangs led by the supervillains as well as a turf war between Two-Face and Penguin (who has gladiatorial fights and controls the food supply), both crises are indirectly caused by Ra's al Ghul. There is even at least one Shout Out— the code word for the undercover cops in Penguin's crew, to identify them, is "Sarah", Gordon's wife, murdered by the Joker in that story.
There's a bar next to where the first Riddler hostage is. The bar's name? The Black Canary.
When Catwoman's apartment explodes, there is a shot of her lying on the ground surrounded by cats, very similar to a shot used in Batman Returns when Selina is Thrown out of a window and apparently killed. Incidently both scenes involve her being defenestrated.
When pondering new riddles for Batman, the Riddler considers stealing Penguin's Shark, thinking Batman would not be able to get past a shark. He then decides against it, figuring Batman might have Shark-related contingencies. A reference to the Adam West Batman film and the infamous "Shark Repellent Bat-Spray" Batman kept handy.
Batman actually does have a shark-related contingency. It's just that in Arkham-verse, it happens to be his fist.
Some of the Enemy Chatter involves mooks considering the pros and cons of giving up on Gotham and moving to Bludhaven.
Upon rescuing Vicki Vale from the Joker's snipers, Batman uses the Line Launcher (he usually uses the Grappling hook, which makes this stand out more). Batman using the Line Launcher to save Vicki Vale from Joker's thugs has been done before.
Another reference to the movie is the fact that her weight is listed as 121 lbs, rather than the 108 lbs she claimed, which Batman called her out on.
In The Joker's interview tapes, Strange wants him to detail the story of what made him who he is. He retells the backstory given in The Killing Joke, but Strange calls him out on it by claiming he changes the story every time he tells it. Joker then almost word for word uses the original quote for Multiple-Choice Past.
In the Playable Epilogue, when Catwoman is going after Two-Face (again), he yells out, "The man who takes down Catwoman gets to be my number one... guy!" in exactly the same way as Jack Palance's Boss Grissom (and Jack Nicholson's Joker.)
This isn't the first time Harley Quinn sings a variation of "Hush, little baby."
Penguin has a Robotic Tyrannosaurus Rex in his trophy room too.
Arkham City's church (or maybe it's the natural history museum) features some rather familiar statues of St George slaying the dragon with his spear.
The Krank Co. Toys building ( Bane's hideout) is a reference to Cosmo Krank, A.K.A. the Toymaker, a Canon Foreigner villain from The Batman and the former C.E.O. of Krank Co. Toys.
One of the newspapers that can be found throughout the city is about a "Criminal Couple" being killed, with the subhead reading "Boy Watches as Parents Die". This can refer to plenty of so-called "Anti-Batman" characters, most notably Prometheus (who had a easter egg in Batman Arkham Asylum) or the Wraith.
One of the places where this newpaper can be found, the old GCPD building, also contains an Arkham Medical Examination Record for Prometheus which states he "passed". Article and record can both be seen here.
The password Gordon gave to the undercover cops is Sarah. Sarah Essen-Gordon was Gordon's second wife, until she was murdered by The Joker.
Posters of Cadmus Lab can be found in Harley Quinn's Revenge.
As you enter Wonder City, the narration (suspiciously sounding like Ra's al Ghul himself) describes Gotham as hell, rising up through the pavement and continuing into the sky. Exactly the kind of grim, Gothic aesthetic Anton Furst did for [[Batman]] 89.
Batman in Harley's Revenge becomes distant from his allies and more brutal with his crime fighting after the woman he loved was shot in the back and killed. This strikes pretty close to what happen in Bruce Wayne: Murderer/Fugitive.
Not many people know this, because it's not as well-known of a series, but Mad Hatter's tapes contain many lines taken from his chapter in Joker's Asylum.
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 Plus: 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 Plus per file and no option to start one over from beginning.
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*
Which actually makes sense, insofar as the gel doesn't have shrapnel, and the mines don't look to either: they're concussive, which is much less fatal than fragmentation explosives.
Non-Standard Game Over: During the Catwoman missions, Type B, 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.
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.
Averted with Ra's, as if it wasn't his own sword it is the fall that kills him.
Played straight with Catwoman, you can jump from the highest building, and she will land perfectly with no problem.
Not so Above It All: Batman's pride is a serious issue, a large section of the problems he faces could have been avoided if he had simply gone with the flow. He stubbornly refuses help from anyone even when it would clearly help, like when Robin offers to help him find Ra's al Ghul. He refuses to take orders from anyone, the entire boss fight with Mr. Freeze could have been avoided if he had simply agreed to get Nora. Finally, he is so dead set on doing what he wants, he was willing to let Arkham City burn in order to get Talia, that Alfred has to cut off access to his satellites to get him back on track.
He's also more aggressive in this game than he was in the first. He interrogates Freeze in a potentially lethal way, and he's more demanding that the police and bystanders explain who they are when he comes across them. Although considering he's in a prison environment where 99% of the population either wants to painfully kill or maim him on sight or wants to lure him into some kind of trap then painfully kill or maim him, Batman being instinctively suspicious of the people he encounters unless given a solid reason not to be isn't entirely unreasonable.
While Joker is not the most stable person to work with, Batman might have saved himself some grief if he had kept Joker in the loop on his progress for finding the cure instead of giving him the brush off. Instead he doesn't and Joker gets paranoid that Batman is double-crossing him, acting accordingly.
The Freeze example is debatable. Freeze could have just given Batman the cure straight away rather than trying to hold him hostage with it until Nora was rescued, after all.
By the time of the events in Harley Quinn's Revenge, he's gotten even worse, having gone into seclusion after the deaths of Joker and Talia afflicted him with a case of lingering Survivor Guilt. His interrogation of random mooks has become almost psychopathic in its intensity, and his only words at the end of it all are a bitter, wounded snarl of "I'm done here." Gordon sounds almost frightened to ask Robin if he's all right.
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.
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.
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.
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 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".
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: Batman returns to Arkham City to finish any sidequests the player didn't get through during the main game. 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.
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!
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.
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 possibly acknowledges 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".
Of course, Selena was going to be killed. Batman will save people if he can, regardless of whether they are good or bad, when they are in a potentially deadly situation. Saving political prisoners is a sidequest, and Batman saves a mook from being tortured. He even would have saved the Joker, had he been given the option.
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 instance of The Dev Team Thinks of Everything, 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?
Well, that, and at that point in the game Penguin is finished, so he's actually still following Riddler's orders by switching to another faction.
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 first story Downloadable Content that is up front stated to be after Arkham City propernote The "Black Mask's Hideout" content was just heavily implied to be very soon after the game itself for Robin is "Harley Quinn's Revenge", being her Revenge plot to get back at Batman for letting TheJoker die or killing him himself.
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 every female character 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 tries 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.
Second Hour Superpower: The player starts out as Bruce Wayne in civilian clothes; the first challenge is getting the Batman gear.
Sequence Breaking: The New Game Plus 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?"
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, ThomasElliot.
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.
During the final sequence of the game, Clayface gets knocked into a Lazarus Pit. Considering his chemical malleability, just think about the effects it could have on him.
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.
A confirmed one is the song that plays at the very end of the credits, 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.
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.
When you return to the Steel Mill, Joker gives a lengthy speech about "your favorite TV show" — LOST ("You've been with it through the ups, the downs, the contrived coincidences, and then you wondered: why did it end up 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.
In Catwoman's last level of her playthrough, Two-Face mentions that any one who finds her will become his "right-hand guy" with the exact tone and inflection as Jack Nicholson.
If you visit Mr. Freeze at the warehouse where Nora is kept while playing as Catwoman, she'll ask Freeze if she's up for helping her steal a diamond from an art museum. Mr. Freeze blows her off.
Mr Hammer threatens you thusly during any of your fights with him: "I Will Bury You!'
When Batman walks into the shell game, the Riddler calls out "Roll up! Roll up!" While this phrase goes back to the days of real carnival barkers, it also appeared above a carnival game on one of the screens of the Commodore 64 Batman game.
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.
Also seemingly related to Superman 64, TYGER operatives in helicopters will often say, "Batman wins," after a battle. This is quite similar to Superman 64's victory screen, which read, "Superman wins."
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.
Or it at least appears to be - Harley Quinn's Revenge revealed that Harley cheaped out on the pregnancy test, resulting in a false positive. The discovery has only served to compound her sense of loss.
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 hell of a lot better here.
Standard Female Grab Area: When Batman first confronts Harley and the Joker, he grabs her by the elbow and throws her out of the way.
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.
Then again, sometimes even if you're on opposite sides of the room and Bane is surrounded by enemies, he'll deliberately walk over to where you are and start swinging. It's easy to question his sincerity.
Stripperiffic: None of the ladies except for Vicki Vale are dressed for winter - and poor Ms. Vale's legs are probably freezing after she's stranded from her helicopter crash.
Though, granted, 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.
Ivy is just kind of inexplicable, though, unless she's really got the heat cranked in her lair. You'd think Harley would also dress a bit warmer.
Suicidal Overconfidence: Generally averted; Batman, being a DreadedTerror 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.
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 You with Me: It certainly seems that Ra's was going to impale Bats through his own body with the sword. Bats is a little too Genre Savvy for that.
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.
Well Grundy is a zombie so... Batman probably figured that out right away; that is if he didn't know already. And Clayface doesn't seem to be able to be killed since Batman froze and cut him up multiple times and he still lived. Though with Clayface, Batman most likely knew that already.
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. Of course, if you're playing Catwoman and decide to oblige them...
That Was Objectionable: Two-Face shows his displeasure at Batman interrupting his trial by planting a bullet in his chest while yelling "OBJECTION! ... Overruled."
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". 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 his aid in developing a cure for his Titan poisoning.
Possibly justified as Batman IS is a giant prison city with 99% of the population wanting him dead AND many supervillans having their own agenda so he has to stop them too. And oh yes, he's dying. That's gotta be stressful.
In Harley Quinn's Revenge, Batman is even grumpier; suggesting the loss of Talia (and maybe even Joker's death) have taken their 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 More specifically, one of the rooms has a dead guard on an interrogation bed.
Tranquil Fury: When Penguin kills and tortures the cops, Batman is clearly pissed, but his voice never raises at all.
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).
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 Clayface.
Both are rather iffy: Solomon Grundy is explicitly undead and comes back to life again every time his current body dies; Clayface has survived multiple seemingly-lethal situations due to his unique chemical make-up, and Bats probably counted on the same here.
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 even 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 literally 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 mostly patrolled by thugs wielding 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.
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.
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.
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.
Wasted Song: The piece of music used when Bruce pays respect to his dead parents is beautiful and powerful, but doesn't show up at all in the official score album.
The Heavy's "Short Change Hero" (which provides this page's pic caption) plays in a trailer and is widely regarded as one of the best licensed songs promoting the game, but does not appear on the Arkham City Album.
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.
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.
With all the Big Badsdefeated, it would have been safe enough for Robin to take them back to Gotham.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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." If you listen to the interview tape in question after unlocking it or finding it on YouTube, you will understand why. If you want to know right this minute, then 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. When she refuses to answer one particular question, he radios a TYGER sniper and asks the man if he currently has Holly in his sights. The man responds that he does, and Strange orders him to pull the trigger, eliciting a shout of "NO!" from Catwoman. Strange cancels the order on the condition that she's more cooperative from then on, while telling the sniper to keep Holly targeted. It's at that point that Catwoman calls him a bastard.
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.