Video Game: Batman: Arkham Origins
"This city has a problem: some freak who thinks he's a hero. Luckily, there ain't a problem in the world that can't be solved with a little bit of money..."
— Black Mask
The third game in the Batman Arkham Series
, released worldwide October 25th, 2013.
Set several years before Joker takes over Arkham Asylum
, Batman is in his second year as a crimefighter. Notorious crime boss Black Mask has offered a substantial reward to anyone who can kill the Dark Knight. On Christmas Eve, eight of the world's deadliest assassins gather in Gotham City to collect Black Mask's bounty
. At the same time, a number of corrupt cops in the GCPD are also looking to claim the reward. Batman must learn why Black Mask wants him dead, fight off his assassins, and prove to Gotham that he is a hero to be trusted.
Notably, Rocksteady did not develop the game - instead, WB Montreal (who did the Wii U port for Arkham City
) took up the reins, allowing Rocksteady to focus on making Batman: Arkham Knight
. Similarly, the voice actors for Batman and Joker, Kevin Conroy
and Mark Hamill
, have been replaced
by Roger Craig Smith
and Troy Baker
respectively. Both voice actors do admirable impersonations of their predecessors, reflecting the game's status as a prequel.
The PC, PS3
and Xbox 360 versions of the game also include multiplayer. Players must take control of armed thugs in the Joker or Bane's gang, and try to kill each other while also fighting off two players stalking them as Batman and Robin.
Although the game recieved postive reviews from most critics, it was not as acclaimed as its predecessors and is heavily criticized by fans due to its game breaking bugs (particularly on the 360 and PC versions) and lack of originality.
A story-based DLC, "Cold, Cold Heart", was released on April 22nd, 2014. It focuses on Batman's first encounter with Mr. Freeze, heavily based on the episode "Heart of Ice" from Batman: The Animated Series
The teaser trailer can be viewed here
, and the first gameplay trailer can be viewed here
This game contains examples of:
- 100% Completion:
- It is nigh impossible to perform a 100% completion run on a first playthrough barring meticulous planning and in at least two cases outright exploiting a glitch or workaround. Some of the most glaring examples are:
- The 'Worst Nightmare' challenges due to predator rooms not respawning after completing them in the main story.
- The final rank of 'Gotham Protector' due to no Crime in Progress spawning on the Pioneer Bridge except for one point VERY early in the story where players would definitely not have reached that point in the challenge yet if not on a New Game+. If you want to do it after that, you have to go into a neighboring area, beat up most of a gang, and lure the last guy into an area that's considered part of the "Pioneer Bridge" sector.
- One of the Gotham Communication towers originally could not be completed without glitching, because Batman could not climb up a critical vent. This has since been fixed in a patch.
- Actually Pretty Funny: When Batman reveals that he just temporarily stopped Bane's heart instead of killing him in order to Take a Third Option, Joker scowls and deems it not funny. When he's being taken away in the ending cutscene, however, his opinion on the matter changes and he laughs it off.
- Adaptational Villainy: Ferris Boyle in the "Cold, Cold, Heart" DLC. In the original "Heart of Ice" story, he was willing to let someone die because of the bottom line, but overall the story had him as an Asshole Victim you had to save from Freeze's revenge. In this version, he was a lot more sinister in motives and the backstory reveals he recruited Victor Fries for weapons development in exchange for helping his wife, which he had no intention of actually doing. In addition, Boyle had his wife captive, and retrieving her is Freeze's real motivation in this story. After Batman subdues Freeze, Boyle restrains Batman in ice and tries to kill Freeze to leave no witnesses, thus the final moment is escaping the ice and taking down Boyle before he can finish the job.
- While closer to his comic book counterpart than Beware the Batman, this depiction of Anarky is still an insane terrorist who doesn't value people's lives.
- Adaptation Distillation: The story incorporates parts of Batman: Year One, The Long Halloween, Legends of the Dark Knight, and The Killing Joke.
- Adaptation Explanation Extrication: At one point, Bane tells Batman that with him dead he'll finally find peace. Part of Bane's backstory is that as a child, he was tormented by nightmares of a giant bat, one of the reasons he went to Gotham. The other mercenaries have taken up the bounty for the money, a chance to cause havoc, or to test Batman, but the game never explains why Bane seems to take his conflict with Batman more personally than the other assassins do.
- Affably Evil: Riddler is far more courteous as Enigma then he is in Asylum and City. He even seems to consider Batman a Worthy Opponent. That said, we can see the shapings of a Villainous Breakdown that likely led to his Riddler persona in the previous (chronologically later) games, especially later in his storyline.
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Near the end of the game, Bane deduces Batman's identity and attacks the Batcave.
- Amusement Park of Doom: Joker makes a makeshift one in the penthouse of a hotel he's taken over.
- An Asskicking Christmas:
- The game takes place on Christmas Eve. Partway through the game, midnight strikes, so it technically pushes into Christmas itself as well.
- The "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC occurs on New Year's Eve, so the holiday season hasn't even ended yet.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: For part of the game, you play as the Joker. And not just any point of the Joker: the Red Hood one from The Killing Joke.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes:
- A standard for the franchise, character skins are Downloadable Content that can be used in the campaign after finishing the main plot, as well as on challenge maps beforehand. These include ones for Batman, Robin, and Deathstroke. Unusually for the series, however, there are also skins for completing elements of the game itself, such as Batman One Million (Worst Nightmare has since been removed according to Word of God). Particularly notable is the sheer NUMBER of costumes, 12 pre-orders, and coupled with all of the available multiplayer skins, the one known unlockable skin, and the Adam West and Knightfall Batman pack, that puts the total number of available Batsuits at 24.
- Robin (Dick Grayson)
- Anti-Climax Boss: In-universe, Electrocutioner. He doesn't even try to attack before Batman kicks him in the head, he just taunts him.
- Anti-Frustration Feature: Whereas City forced players to prioritize their attacks to avoid knocking out Riddler's informants, the Data Handlers in this installment merely surrender after the necessary amount of punishment. They're even immune to all of Batman's special instant takedowns, so Bruce will instead automatically target other enemies over them, even those farther away.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: When one of Killer Croc's henchmen mentions he doesn't believe Batman exists, another guy points out that not only does he work for a nine-foot-tall reptile man, but that his boss was just taken down by Batman an hour ago.
- Armor Is Useless: Subverted. While in-game Batman is about as durable against various attacks as seen before, a few cutscenes explicitly show the armor cracking as it deflects a few bullets. It's especially interesting as this design looks to be more hard armor strapped together rather than the more flexible fabric armor seen in the Asylum and City games.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: Once activated, the Shock Gloves allow you to plow through enemy defenses like shields with ease.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The collector's edition includes GCPD bulletins on the assassins. Killer Croc's crimes are Burglary - Forcible Entry, Aggravated Assault, and Theft From Coin Operated Device.
- Artifact Title: While Arkham Asylum itself doesn't show up, this game serves as the "Origins" of the Arkhamverse via many Continuity Nods and, more importantly, the significance of Arkham Asylum in the mythology. After the events of this game, Quincy Sharp is heard in an interview demanding the re-opening of Arkham because of the ineffectiveness of Blackgate Prison in dealing with the Joker and other super-villains. In addition, one of the Cyrus Pinkney journals talks about Pinkney designing the asylum for his good friend, Amadeus Arkham. It also has The Joker getting sent to the newly re-opened Arkham Asylum, after the jailbreak and massive damage he caused to Blackgate Prison shows that he cannot be held amongst the main prison population.
- Artificial Stupidity: There is at least one area in the game where, if you get on the railing, the mooks will out and out stop attacking, rarely picking up a brick and chucking it at you, and sometimes enemies will completely ignore you. This video highlights some of the worst cases.
- Ascended Extra: Black Mask plays a prominent role in this game, despite the miniscule cameos that he makes in the Rocksteady games.
- Deathstroke had formerly made an appearance in Arkham City: Lockdown, but only as a single and very short boss fight. His appearance here gives him much more plot relevance. Including The Stinger where he's implied to take Amanda Waller's offer to join the Suicide Squad.
- Mad Hatter's segment of the game is much longer and more elaborate than in Arkham City, and he's also one of the overseers for several non-story Predator Challenges.
- Bane's appearance in Asylum was more Small Role, Big Impact, and his appearance in City was far less substantial. Here, he's one of the main villains who almost succeeds in truly defeating Batman physically and emotionally, and fights him thrice in one night.
- Assassin Outclassin':
- Beating eight different hired killers (plus other assorted bad guys and henchmen) over the course of one night, all without breaking your "one rule"... now that's class.
- There's actually achievements for defeating Deathstroke without missing a counter, and Lady Shiva without taking any damage.
- Asymmetric Multiplayer: While Bane and Joker factions are playing a fairly standard point-control deathmatch, a third faction of Batman and Robin play the predator gameplay from singleplayer, trying to terrify their enemies into giving up.
- As the Good Book Says: During the Predator Challenge aboard the Final Offer, Alberto Falcone's bodyguard quotes Matthew 5:5 in saying, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" - insinuating that although the family is currently struggling with running their crime empire, they will arise as the victor in the ongoing turf wars. One of Penguin's goons, not familiar with the proverb, mishears the word "meek" as "weak" and instead thinks he's insulting him.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: Batman can do this with Captain James Gordon at one point in the Blackgate Prison level.
- Badass Longcoat: Several appear, most notably Bane and Joker's. Batman's cape, although not technically a coat, has the same aesthetic function.
- Bad Boss: It's almost impossible to find a good boss anywhere in this game. Bad boss examples include:
- After taking over the Gotham City Royal Hotel, Joker puts a few of his own men inside various deathtraps as hostages for Batman to save. When he manages to escape and save them, Joker decides to just kill his chief architect for incompetence instead.
- During his boss encounter, Deadshot will constantly threaten and harass his henchmen with his laser sight as they patrol the Bank of Gotham. Once defeated, his mooks will abandon the fight and flee faster than the hostage does.
- Firefly's own men openly admit they can't trust a psychopath like him, and worry that they won't be able to get clear of the bombs before he just decides to destroy the bridge for fun. As one goon mentions to Branden, the only way they know he hasn't already is because the explosive caches are large enough to be heard across town.
- Bane treats his followers much better than the other villains, but he also uses them in his experiments in making a new form of Venom, and his guinea pigs are implied to have all died in certain ways. However, Bane's followers do say that laying down their lives for Bane's cause is an honor. So, that might lessen his standing.
- The closest anyone gets to a good boss is Commissioner Loeb, if only because he condones the cops' illegal activities. Of course, he also wants to kill Gordon just for not being corrupt, but still.
- Bad-Guy Bar: The club called My Alibi, where Batman confronts Bird.
- Bag of Spilling:
- Retroactively for the later games. When asked where some of Batman's cool gadgets will go for the chronologically later games, the developers said that he just happened not to bring them along those nights.
- Subverted in the "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC. The suit Bruce uses for the first half of the game is the fully-upgraded Batsuit from the end of the main game. One gadget (the Glue Grenades) is explicitly described as not working because the compound used to make the glue disintegrated, but several other minor armor and weapon upgrades are not present.
- Bait and Switch: When you follow a mysterious S.O.S. signal, at first it appears you're going up against crooked cops. Then the police helicopter is shot down, beginning the mission against Deadshot.
- Batman Cold Open: The main menu.
- Better Than a Bare Bulb: Subverted. Acting as an Audience Surrogate, Alfred points out that, since the assassins are being sent to hunt him down tonight and nobody knows his secret identity, all Batman has to do is chill out at Wayne Manor. Batman points out that the assassins will draw him out by attacking innocents, so it's better for him to be proactive and engage on his own terms. He's proven correct when Firefly attacks Pioneer Bridge and is further vindicated when he finds Bane's lair and sees from the gathered evidence that Bane had already figured out that Batman is Bruce Wayne.
- Big Bad: Black Mask, the crook offering $50,000,000 to the person who can put down the Bat for good. Except it's the Joker, who's posing as him.
- Bigger Bad:
- Ra's Al Ghul. He's indirectly referenced as Shiva's master several times, and through his and her manipulations Arkham Asylum is reopened.
- If you check Penguin's office, you'll find orders for weapons and equipment for Deadshot, Deathstroke, and Bane. Bane's rocket launcher is in a crate in the office.
- Bittersweet Ending: Batman has defeated Black Mask and his assassins, ingratiated himself with the police, and managed to make Gotham less of a hellhole, but Black Mask's fall leads to a power vacuum in Gotham's underworld that a certain clown steps in to fill, and we all know how that goes.
- Bloodstained Glass Windows: One optional battle with the real Black Mask takes place in a church. And the final battle with the Joker in a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown takes place in a prison chapel near the execution chamber in Blackgate Prison. Though neither place is stained with blood, there is, however, the fact that the Joker brandishes a literal Gun in the Chapel and may not hesitate to bring in a Pretty Little Headshot to kill Batman if he doesn't counter (especially in I Am the Night Mode).
- Bond One-Liner: Though they don't die, Batman has a tendency of quipping a bit more in this game to his villains.
Killer Croc: Wait 'till Black Mask's assassins get through with you. Whoever wins is gonna be famous! And rich!
Batman: *punches him unconscious* At least we know they won't be ugly.
- Bonus Boss: Lady Shiva and Deadshot, who are encountered during sidequests. Among non-assassin villains, there's Anarky, Mad Hatter, Black Mask, and Bird.
- Book Ends: The story begins and ends at Blackgate Prison. And both missions there end with Gordon having Batman at gunpoint but failing to capture him. Series-wise, this game, which deals with the start of the Batman/Joker feud in the Arkhamverse, ends the same way Arkham City, which saw the end of the feud, did: the Joker singing.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: After the Joker sees that Bane has apparently died by Batman's hand:
Joker: Well, I'd love to stay and celebrate your victory, but I've got stockings to stuff, mistletoe to hang - and about fifteen skyscrapers to blow up before sunrise. Ciao.
- A minor example can be found in Black Mask's safehouse apartment. In the kitchen area, you can see hanging from the wall a standard set of cooking knives... and a bone saw.
- Broken Faceplate: Deathstroke's mask gets punched off at one point during his fight with Batman. Batman also does it to Firefly after their battle.
- Broken Pedestal: Ferris Boyle, who Bruce and the other citizens of Gotham looked up to as an inspirational leader of industry, is revealed by New Year's Day to be a ruthless, greed-driven extortionist and attempted murderer.
- Butt Monkey:
- "Loose Lips" is first beaten up by Batman, then choked until he passes out, then dropped off a roof by Batman, then captured by the GCPD, then interrogated by Batman again and threatened to drop him off a roof again, then knocked unconscious. It's just not his night. It becomes a Running Gag in the "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC when Batman runs into Loose Lips again at the My Alibi club, and the latter pleads not to be thrown off a roof again before the former knocks him unconscious.
- Electrocutioner fares even worse. His fight with Batman results in him being knocked out in one hit. Though he manages to escape before Batman can incarcerate him, it's not long thereafter that Joker decides to murder him.
- Call Forward:
- The Cameo: At the start of the game, Calendar Man is saved from the gas chamber. Where he goes after that is anyone's guess. It's Christmas time, and what is Calendar Man to do? His "Christmas special".
- Came Back Wrong: Cyrus Pinkney, the founder of Gotham City. He was poisoned by Henry Cobblepot, saved by Amadeus Arkham, and then became obsessed with revenge.
- Canon Discontinuity:
- Harleen Quinzel's first meeting with Joker contradicts the story portrayed by her tapes in Batman: Arkham Asylum. (To be more precise, the meeting takes place at Blackgate rather than Arkham, and she, for the most part, lacks the more pronounced "Harley" voice which she had in those tapes - however, this version is actually more in line with the original scene.)
- Carnival of Killers: The plot of the game is that the Black Mask has placed a bounty on Batman's head, which leads to eight assassins hunting Batman on Christmas Eve.
- Character Development: Part of the story involves Batman realizing that he can't fight crime by himself, and understanding his need to have at least one ally.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- In his blustering, Electrocutioner brags that he'll kill Batman, use his gauntlets as a defibrillator to resuscitate him, and then kill him again. Batman ends up using them as a defibrillator to revive Alfred after Bane's attack on the Batcave, and does the entire "stop and restart heart" routine to Take a Third Option at the end of the game.
- It's mentioned that the experimental TN-1 can cause memory loss if used too much. Guess what helps keeps Bruce's secret safe after his second go-round with Bane
- Climax Boss: Bane, a far cry from previous encounters in the series.
- The fight against Deathstroke is clearly one of the most intense and climatic ones in the game.
- Clothing Damage:
- The Dark Knight simply can't make a cape last the night, apparently. By the end of the game, it's so full of bullet holes and tears that it's a wonder he can still glide.
- His armor takes a beating too, showing various scratches, bullet holes, and a metallic finish underneath. This is doubtless by design, indicating its lower tech level compared to the later armors. That said though, this suit doesn't get holes torn in it like the previous games.
- The Coats Are Off: During the Batman vs. Bane fight in the Royal Hotel, Bane dramatically shrugs off his Badass Longcoat, then proceeds to kick Bat for a while.
- Cool Mask: Deathstroke and Black Mask. Bane, Firefly, Deadshot, and Anarky as well, to a lesser degree.
- Cool Plane: The Batwing is available for fast travel.
- The Commissioner Gordon: Noticeably not nearly as accommodating, or actually Commissioner yet. This game is partly the story of how the Trope Namer became as such.
- Continuity Nod:
- The Penguin doesn't have his monocle yet, given he hasn't been in the altercation that caused it.
- Amusement Mile is still above water as the earthquake that sank it hasn't happened yet.
- Batman's fight against Deathstroke in the trailer also has him performing a few moves that would be seen in the chronologically later games. Like using the Batclaw to pull an opponent towards him and strike. He also performs a long-range flying kick, a staple of the series' Freeflow Combat style.
- Batman cannot punch down wooden barriers himself, something that he's unable to do until City.
- Joker likes stuffing TVs over people's heads, the same way he did in Arkham Asylum, though this time none of them are him in disguise.
- In Arkham City, Alfred requests that Batman should get a bigger utility belt, which he denies because he felt it slowed him down. In this game, there are more tools for the Dark Knight to use - meaning a bigger utility belt is a necessity.
- Dick Grayson is Robin in the multiplayer mode, since this takes place years before. Posters advertising Haly's Circus & the Flying Graysons as coming soon can be found in various places in Gotham, and Tony Zucco's name can be found as a person of interest on one of the walls in the GCPD — Zucco being the man who kills the Graysons.
- The Batmobile appears in the Batcave, still under construction.
- Likewise, a half-finished Line Launcher appears on Bruce's workbench when he gets the Concussion Detonator.
- Bane's physical appearance is more like a normal person's than the hulking brute in Asylum and City, due to him not being used as a Titan test subject yet, only using the standard Venom; Batman noted in Asylum that he was more powerful on Titan than he was prior. Though TN-1 appears to be somewhat of a prototype to the Titan formula, and changes Bane to the same approximate size and proportions to his appearances in the other games.
- Killer Croc appears, smaller, less powerful, and less bestial than in Asylum and City. Here, Batman's able to fight Croc on more equal terms, whereas in Asylum, he stood no chance against him in a straight-up fight.
- Edward Nigma is introduced prior to adopting his Riddler persona, instead acting as a hacker using the handle "Enigma".
- Batman's fight against Deathstroke has him countering Deathstroke's sword strikes with his gauntlets in the same way he did in his fight against Ra's Al Ghul in Arkham City.
- Likewise, he also rescues the Mad Hatter's hostage using the reverse batarang in the same manner he would later use to save Talia from Ra's.
- The story shows us the first meeting of Joker and Harley Quinn, whilst she was still a psychiatrist. During this session, we actually get to see how Joker perceives his origins, and they seem to be exactly how he described them to Hugo Strange (who dismissed his story as a lie) in Arkham City (a version of The Killing Joke).
- Likewise, the scene in which Flashback!Joker fights his foes in a Dance Battler way is a nod to the Melee Challenge Map fights in the PlayStation 3-only Joker DLC, while the scene where the pre-Joker Red Hood walks across contorted walkways at the Ace Chemical Plant (and the following hallucination walkway that Batman walks through in the Batcave) is a nod to one of the Scarecrow's Mind Screw segments in the main story, all from Arkham Asylum.
- TN-1, a permanent, super-enhanced Deadly Upgrade version of Venom that deteriorates memory in the process of Hulking Out, is the formula that is ultimately perfected into Titan, the Psycho Serum enhanced version of Venom created from Bane's blood in Asylum and continuing to affect the world in City. It's also the same serum that the Joker poisoned himself with, which took about a year to completely take over his bloodstream and thus ended up killing him at the end of City.
- Scribbled on the wall in Calendar Man's cell in Blackgate are references to the holiday murders he'd remind Batman about whenever he visited Day in Arkham City. His absence in the main game is presumably due to him hunting down and killing Judge Harkness, the judge who slated him for execution even after Day had been declared insane. (Or rather, was so desperate to slate him for execution that Warden Joseph pressured Harleen Quinzel to change her evaluation of him to "sane", so that they could legally give him the death penalty.)
- In a Freeze-Frame Bonus, it's shown the GCPD's walkie-talkies come from military contractor / equipment manufacturer TYGER.
- Dr. Penelope Young, still just a practicing psychiatrist, has an office in Lacey Towers.
- Continuity Snarl: When adapting Branden from Batman: Year One, he was a first name, which wasn't revealed in Year One, its Animated Adaptation, or in his brief appearance in Dark Victory. However, while his in-game bio states it's "Howard", according to a radio transmission the player can pick up on the Cryptographic Sequencer in "Cold, Cold Heart", his first name is "Scott".
- Controlled Helplessness: Subverted. It initially appears that the fight with Copperhead will take place after Batman recovers from his poisoning, since it's so deadly, akin to the Titan poison segments in City. However, Batman does fight Copperhead before he can get his antidote, albeit with frequent pauses due to his deteriorating condition.
- Copy And Paste Environments: Averted. Part of the map consists of the same area that Batman explored in Arkham City, but with major structural changes as the villains obviously have yet to make a home there.
- Cosmetically Advanced Prequel:
- Batman's suit is visually more impressive than in the previous games, ditches the Underwear of Power (or, in the series' chronological order, he decides to wear them once he gets older). This was done to show a less refined Batman, wearing a heavily armored and bulkier suit to deal with threats in a more direct manner. It is also intended to look like he is kit bashing his equipment together, thus the more complex look is actually intended to represent a less technologically advanced Batsuit than the simpler, smoother, sleeker, fabric-like version seen in previous games.
- With the reveal of Batman: Arkham Knight, this comes full circle. The newer costume looks to be a thick undersuit with shifting plates layered on top, feeling a lot like the practical armor worn in Origins while maintaining the flexibility of the Asylum/City suit.
- Deathstroke as well, considering his appearance in Arkham City: Lockdown. His character model was essentially reused from Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, meaning it looked identical to his classic comic appearances. Deathstroke's design here is given a true "Arkham-style" makeover, featuring him with sleek hard-edged armor. Lockdown's canonicity is unknown, however.
- Some gadgets like the remote claw and glue grenade are incredibly useful in gameplay and don't appear in later canon, but the developers commented that it is well established that Batman has so many gadgets he doesn't take all of them out every night, explaining their absence. The remote claw is useful but not as versatile as the line launcher (and the grapnel boost has mild differences to the grapnel accelerator), while things like the "scrubbing mode" for Detective Vision is pure Gameplay and Story Segregation, he can do it in later games but the fine controls are not available to the player.
- The glue grenades disintegrated, according to Alfred, in "Cold Cold Heart", not that glue would have been useful in a subzero environment.
- Could Have Avoided This Plot: All that Boyle would have had to do in order to avoid everything that happened during "Cold, Cold Heart" is honor the agreement he made with Fries back when he first hired him.
- The Cover Changes The Meaning: Apparently, the Joker's version of Hank Williams' "Cold, Cold Heart" (performed by Troy Baker) has turned a brokenhearted love ballad into a crazy Obsession Song. Many of the words are changed slightly: "Another love before my time made your heart sad and blue / And so my heart is paying now for things I didn't do" in the original becomes "Another crime before my time made your heart sad and blue / And so now you make me pay for things I didn't do"; and "The more I learn to care for you the more we drift apart" becomes "You won't admit that we're the same, and it's tearing me apart!" The entire third verse is changed from the original so it now reads like this:
You'll never know how much it hurts
To never see you smile.
You know you need and want to laugh,
Yet you claim it's not your style.
Why do you hide behind that mask?
I'm trying to do my part!
Why can't I free your doubtful mind
And melt your cold, cold heart?
- Covert Perverts: The boys down in the SWAT division have adjusted their security camera feeds to monitor places of interest — the holding cells, the bullpen, the womens' locker room...
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The fight with Electrocutioner.
- Cutscene Power to the Max: A very glaring example. When fighting TN-1 Bane, Alfred mentions that he's constantly growing stronger and will soon be able to kill Bruce with just one blow. As soon as the fight is won, Bane throws Batman across the hallway hard enough to fracture the wall he slams into, delivers two enormous punches straight to his midsection, and smashes him through a foot of concrete — an assault that, regardless of body armor, should've rendered his organs into paste.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory: The PS3 version reverses the trigger controls compared to Arkham City; so in the middle of a fight, meaning to quick-fire a Batarang, one can easily switch on Detective Vision by mistake.
- Darker and Edgier: The setting in general, since it's before the supervillains arrived; there are no themed henchmen, morality in general is skewed, and there are a lot of on screen deaths. The Joker in this incarnation is primarily this before he established his long-running obsession with Batman. As such, he's portrayed less as an Actually Pretty Funny, if still evil prankster, and more as a completely Ax-Crazy Mood-Swinger who could murder someone for saying even one word wrong, along with Suddenly Shouting tendencies. When we first meet him, he introduces himself by giving someone a brutal beating, and we get to see the creepy-as-fuck effects of his laughing gas.
- Dark Reprise: The menu music features a very dark rendition of "Carol of the Bells".
- Darkest Hour: Bane's attack on the Batcave briefly kills Alfred and almost briefly breaks the Bat emotionally, though not physically, causing him to almost completely give up being Batman. Some choice words from Alfred, Joker's breakout from Blackgate Prison, and Gordon's plea for aid from anyone possible neatly put a stop to that.
- Dead Man Writing: The Cyrus Pinkney sidequest, which revolves around searching out hidden pages of his journal regarding his impending murder at the hands of Henry Cobblepot. Subverted in that Cyrus was able to fake his death in such a way that made it seem that Cobblepot had succeeded in poisoning him...before he turned around and killed Cobblepot.
- Deadpan Snarker: Alfred is the most notable; he and Batman have this nice instance of Snark-to-Snark Combat.
Alfred: So you've decided not to test it, sir?
Batman: It's called field testing, Alfred.
- Demoted to Extra: The Joker, who was the Big Bad in Arkham Asylum and part of the Big Bad Ensemble in Arkham City, is claimed to be a lesser villain in this game so that Black Mask could have a major role. Trailers Always Lie. The Joker's actually the Big Bad while Black Mask has more of a minor role, though Black Mask still has a much bigger role than the previous titles.
- Dirty Cop: A large number of them are coming after Batman, headed up by Branden, a crooked SWAT official who's managed to broker a deal with Sionis. In addition to ignoring their duties as police to earn the bounty on Batman's head, they abuse and beat innocent homeless men for their own amusement, extort money from street gangs, and gang up and harass lone unarmed criminals; they're so bad that thugs on the street mention joining because it's such a good racket.
- Dismantled MacGuffin: To get past a particularly thick barrier of ice in the Cold, Cold Heart DLC, Batman needs a special device called the Cryodrill. Unfortunately, Penguin's men looted the Cryodrill from Gothcorp and have already taken it apart to sell the components even though they looted the drill that night.
- Does Not Like Shoes: This version of Copperhead is barefooted.
- Donut Mess with a Cop: When fighting a group of cops, a possible starting exclamation is "Put the donuts down!"
- Doppelgänger Attack: Copperhead appears to be able to do this, though it's actually a hallucination caused by her poison.
- Double Entendre: Black Mask's "And the night is young..." comment at the end of the first trailer can be taken one of two ways:
- The obvious meaning, that it's still early in the night.
- It could also reflect Batman, the "Dark Knight"'s status as a rookie vigilante.
- The Joker's line, "This fruitcake is fantastic! *stabs knife into table* Anyone want a piece?" Considering he says this right after Electrocutioner questions him in a disrespectful manner, and is then dealt with in typical Joker fashion, he could be asking the remaining assassins in the room if anyone else wants to question him. He may be referencing himself as an awesome insane man, hence the "fruitcake" is "fantastic", and then asking if anyone wants "a piece" of him by challenging him.
- The Dragon: During a side mission, the player hunts down Bane's lieutenant, Bird.
- Dragon-in-Chief: While the Joker is still unpredictable, dangerous, and establishes himself well as Batman's Arch-Enemy, it's pretty clear Bane is the most dangerous assassin of the night and Joker knows it. Bane also has his own agenda and nearly crushes Batman both physically and emotionally. Lastly, it's telling that the true Final Boss is Bane, beating Joker at the end is a series of Action Commands.
- The Dreaded:
- Batman himself. Criminals freak out at the sight of him and most of the hostages you rescue beg you to spare them, apparently under the impression you are attacking people indiscriminately.
- The Joker, who sets a record for sheer bravado for what he does to Black Mask.
- Batman was more concerned about Bane being in Gotham than any other assassin, to the point he doesn't give Bane a summary of his abilities.
- Duct Tape for Everything: Batman finds a roll of duct tape in the lab where Mr. Freeze was born, indicating that Freeze used it while making his armour.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: No matter how he fares while running the Togakure-ryu gauntlet at the monastery in the Initiation DLC, Master Kirigi will always give Bruce chores afterwards. He's forced to clean the latrines in the Downer Ending, told to scrub the floors in the "okay" ending, and tasked with making everyone tea in the Golden Ending (although Kirigi states in the latter that he is, in fact, impressed with Bruce's skill, and he will be granted the instruction he seeks). Justified, as he's not Batman yet, just a would-be student applying for training under an understandably harsh master.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Pretty much everyone (it's a prequel, after all), but a close inspection of some in-game security consoles will reveal a "Gothcorp, Inc." insignia, visible before the announcement of story DLC involving Mr. Freeze.
- Easy Amnesia: The unperfected TN-1 compound affects the memory center of the brain, once again leaving Bane with no knowledge of Bruce's secret identity once he uses it.
- Elite Mooks:
- The all-female assassins of the League of Shadows make a return appearance from Arkham City. They act the same way they did in the last game.
- There's a enemy type called the Martial Arts Experts who are capable of countering/dodging Batman's attacks (of which Batman can counter their counter), much like the the League of Shadow assassins in Arkham City, but they're better at it and they don't use weapons.
- Another new enemy type are the Enforcers/Armored Enforcers, who bear a number of similar traits to both the Abramovici twins and the armor-clad enemies of Arkham City.
- Also making a new appearance in the series are Venom Thugs, who are essentially miniboss versions of their leader, Bane.
- Three elite soldiers of Joker and Bane's respective gangs are playable in the game's multiplayer mode.
- Epic Fail: In "A Cold, Cold Heart", a scripted event will have one crook chiding two of his companions for managing to start a fire with an ice gun.
- Even Mooks Have Loved Ones: Several of the idle mooks on the street will mention having girlfriends, at least one of them even considering going straight so that they can get married. Some other mooks may mention their moms, one saying his is expecting him to bring fish back for supper.
- The mook who was planning to get married returns in the DLC, again expressing doubts about his criminal lifestyle now that he has a wife who wants a kid. His friend points out that in Gotham, there aren't a lot of honest ways to support a family.
- Everything Sensor: Detective Mode returns with the added bonus of being able to reconstruct crime scenes in real time, allowing Batman to play, pause, and rewind the event to look for more evidence.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Thanks to Black Mask's bounty, poor Bats has Dirty Cops, random Mooks, and eight of the greatest assassins in the world out for his blood.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: The police assume the Joker is Batman's accomplice after Batman decided to Save the Villain at the Royal Hotel. Neither the cops nor the Joker understand why.
- Evil Is One Big Happy Family: Played straight during the Crime In Progress events; even though two opposing gangs were fighting each other, as soon as you (playing the Batman) arrive, they instantly settle their differences and all attack you together. In real life, at least some of the mooks could be expected to continue their original quarrel for at least a few seconds.
- Expy: In a non-human version, almost all the "new" equipment in this game is just a slight retooling of gear from Batman: Arkham City. The Glue Grenade is functionally identical to the Freeze Grenade (and can be upgraded to mimic the Freeze Cluster as well), the Disruptor is City's Disruptor in a form similar to the R.E.C., and the electric gauntlets are Armored Edition's B.A.T. Mode with the ability to power generators like the R.E.C.
- Additionally, the Remote Claw, the only truly new piece of equipment in the game, is derived from the grappling gun from Just Cause 2.
- In previous games, the player opened traps and solved puzzles to collect Riddler Trophies. These have been replaced by Enigma Extortion Files, which can often be found by opening traps and solving puzzles.
- Eye Scream: The Warden of Blackgate spends the entire game with a bandage over one eye. A cutscene reveals that shortly before the beginning of the game, Black Mask (actually Joker) shoved a burning cigarette into that eye. The pseudo-sequel Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate states that he ends up getting a false eye to replace the one that was burned by the following spring.
- Fake Longevity: A common complaint concerning the Dark Knight System of challenges. See Lost Forever below for details.
- Fake Video Camera View: After Batman gets off Vicki Vale's news helicopter and drops down to the top balcony of the Royal Hotel, the scene cuts to this view at an aerial angle, and you can even fight Bane's mooks while in this view and on live TV... but only for a short while.
- Faking the Dead: At the end of the Cyrus Pinkney case-file, you learn that Amadeus Arkham can make a potion that does this. It probably explains how Joker faked his death at the beginning of City.
- Fire-Forged Friends: The conflict with Firefly begins the beneficial relationship between Gordon and Batman, as well as between Alfred and Batman.
- For the Evulz:
- Only four of the assassins (Copperhead, Deathstroke, Deadshot, and the Electrocutioner) actually care about the bounty. Firefly just wants to burn things; Croc doesn't even care about the bounty, he just wants to kill Batman, which quickly escalates into trying to eat Batman; and Bane states his desire to defeat Batman so he can finally be at peace. Only Shiva breaks the mold, being present simply to test whether Batman has what it takes to join her master, implied to be Ra's al Ghul.
- In the hotel and Blackgate at the end, Joker monologues this is why he does things. He doesn't care about right and wrong; he just does stuff because he thinks it's funny. However, in Blackgate, he says that by thwarting his actual scheme, Batman has shown him that there's so much more that he can do. The ending cements to Joker what a challenge Batman truly offers.
- Foregone Conclusion:
- It's a prequel, so it's inevitable. Batman will develop a good working relationship with the GCPD, and any character who appears in the later games will survive.
- In particular, two characters (Black Mask and Alfred) whose deaths are teased in this game (only for it to be revealed that they aren't dead), who are characters who appear in the chronologically later titles.
- In one of Black Mask's first appearances, he considers offing Calendar Man on Christmas Eve, which is just the kind of twisted yet hilarious scheme that Joker would do.
- It extends to the previews as well. Batman and Joker's voice actors did several interviews discussing the relationship between their characters, while Black Mask's voice actor was noticeably absent from preview material. A cynical viewer might have chalked up the emphasis on Joker as simple Wolverine Publicity, but now we know the real reason.
- Another more subtle bit on The Joker impersonating Black Mask. The Devs claimed Black Mask's design was based on his incarnation in The Batman. The suit Joker wears while disguised as Black Mask is almost a dead-ringer for the suit he wore in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
- When snooping on some of Black Mask's thugs, a few will mention if their colleagues have noticed how he's acting odd lately. Namely, he's become a lot more violent, whilst another notes he's been cracking a lot more jokes than usual.
- When Batman first encounters Electrocutioner on board the Final Offer, he boasts, "I'm-a kill you, then I'm-a jump-start your heart, and kill you again!" Later, while exiting the GCPD in the aftermath of the riot in the holding cells, Batman sees one of the medical staff members resuscitate one of the officers with Magical Defibrillators. These events come to help him in flashbacks later as clues, one in resuscitating Alfred, and the other in stopping and then restarting Bane's heart.
- Joker sings "Cold, Cold Heart" over the credits. Guess what the upcoming DLC is named?
- Free-Fall Fight: A short one when the Joker is blown from the Royal Hotel and Batman dives after him to Save the Villain, the two having a brief mid-air scuffle before they land.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: During the Crime Alley shooting side-mission, the Bat-Vision's virtual reconstruction of the crime will briefly show images of Thomas and Martha Wayne's corpses.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: The game represents the public unveiling of both Batman and the Joker. While Batman has been active before this night, he's been an unconfirmed rumor, with Gordon denying his existence to the press immediately before the game's events. By the end of the night, Joker and Batman have been fully revealed and confirmed to be nightmares to their respective targets.
- Futureshadowing: Par for the course for a prequel, many hints are dropped for events that take place in the chronologically later games:
- During the credits, a roundtable discussion on The Jack Ryder Hour that discusses the night's events features Quincy Sharp stressing the importance of re-opening Arkham Asylum to deal with the super criminals, as Blackgate clearly isn't doing a capable job.
- Shiva's side quest essentially revolves around her testing Batman for Ra's al Ghul's League of Shadows, chronologically before he has found out about Ra's at all. She even tells Batman that Gotham will burn in a way that is extremely similar to the way Azrael tells Batman in City.
- One of Shiva's blackmail files is a recording of her approaching Sharp on Ra's al Ghul's behalf, starting his rise to power and, ultimately, the events of Arkham City.
- TN-1 is a prototype version of Titan.
- Sionis Steel Mill's reasons for being chosen as Joker's base in Arkham City is revealed.
- When you get all the datapacks, you have access to the entirety of Enigma's base. Including a secret room that contains a Riddler Trophy (which nets you an achievement for Batman finding his first Riddler Trophy) and a prototype dome cage the Riddler uses to hide trophies in Arkham City. Showing Enigma's already begun developing the Riddler persona.
- Game-Breaking Bug: The game, unfortunately, is prone to bugs, glitches, crashes, and screen freezes. So much so that the game developers issued an apology to angry players. Some have been patched; most have not.
- While it doesn't interfere with the main story, the comms tower in Burnley cannot be taken back because Batman is unable to climb into a crucial vent. Now thankfully averted with a patch.
- The PC version has commands not appear or not respond to commands during the final fight with Joker.
- Plot-important mooks can become stuck in pillars or walls.
- On your way to Firefly's battle, you must take an elevator; there's a glitch that prevents the elevator from activating after it's been charged. You can still backtrack and work on side missions, but the main storyline is effectively cut off from you.
- Xbox 360 in particular is extremely glitch-prone, to the point of becoming nigh unplayable; think the PS3 version of Skyrim. Entire save files can become corrupted, and despite the developers' claims, the infinite falling bug has not been patched.
- Some PC versions make the "Fast" Travel mode last indefinitely, until you force-quit the program and just walk to the other side of Gotham. This came about through a couple of mixed-up variables in the source code.
- Game Over Man: As per usual, if you screw up, a villain taunts you. This time, with a bit more swagger, since Batman's still kinda green here.
- Gang of Hats: Just like in Arkham City, the mooks in the game have uniforms indicating the villains to which they're affiliated, or the location they're in, which also extends to the game's various Elite Mooks:
- Unaligned criminals wear heavy jackets and other thuggish accessories.
- Blackgate inmates wear the same orange jumpsuits they did in Arkham City.
- Hostile GCPD officers mostly wear blue and black SWAT gear, though several non-SWAT officers can be encountered inside the GCPD headquarters.
- Black Mask’s mobsters wear black suits together with skull-shaped masks, similar to the one of their boss. Some of them speak with distinct Italian accents.
- Anarky’s men wear hoodies, red armbands, and white masks. Some of them also have the Circle-A symbol on their uniforms. A few of Anarky's men are homeless men and use the same models as the Political Prisoners from Arkham City.
- Mad Hatter's goons are regular thugs that wear rabbit masks, similar to their appearances in Arkham City.
- Penguin's troops wear winter garb with the Penguin's symbol somewhere on their clothes, similar to their appearances in Arkham City; they also speak in British Accents, some of them with a Cockney dialect.
- Enigma's Data Handlers appear the exact same way as they did in Arkham City; they appear glowing green to Batman but otherwise are unremarkable and indistinguishable from other thugs.
- Joker's thugs wear black suits together with clown masks, much like how they looked in The Dark Knight. His elites in multiplayer take the appearance of clowns crossed with punk rockers, though they can be customized to the tastes of their players.
- Bane's hired mercenaries wear black and gray tactical clothing, and speak with Hispanic accents. His elites in multiplayer dress the same way, though they're also customizable.
- Genre Shift: In multiplayer, the game turns into an Always over the Shoulder Third-Person Shooter when playing as one of the villains' Mooks.
- Good Is Not Nice: Batman is the trope illustrator for good reason, playing the role of Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy for most of the game.
- Good Is Not Soft: Gordon gives an example when he doesn't hesitate to non-fatally shoot down two of Joker's mooks and holds Batman himself at gunpoint.
- Growing Muscles Sequence: In the finale, Bane injects himself with TN-1, causing him to morph into the hulking behemoth he is seen as in later games.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: As usual in Batman's predator sequences, enemies are sometimes terminally dim. You can yank a guard off a ledge while he's standing right next to another one and elicit no reaction whatsoever from the mook left standing. And in the GCPD Bullpen, you can perform an Inverted Takedown on all eight SWAT team cops from just one perch, by stringing one up, changing perches, cutting the rope with a batarang, then going back and waiting for the next target to walk under you.
- Guns Akimbo: One of the special abilities in multiplayer that members of Joker's gang can perform.
- Guttural Growler: In sharp contrast to Alberto's shrimpy, nasal voice, the Holiday Killer has an even deeper rasp than Black Mask himself.
- Harder Than Hard: "I Am The Night" difficulty, unlocked after New Game+. As well as ramping up the difficulty, it also disables saves and only gives the player one death, turning the game into more of a Roguelike.
- Harmless Freezing: Mr. Freeze's cryocannon in "Cold, Cold Heart", and all other guns with the same technology. What's curious is that Mr. Freeze is usually one of the few ice villains to avert this trope.
- Have a Nice Death: As expected for a Batman title, there are various examples featuring the villains appropriate to their areas in the game or the gang who just defeated you. And if you die in the Sionis Steel Mill too early in the game, you get The Joker, effectively spoiling The Reveal of his role later on.
- Heavily Armored Mook: Armored thugs make a return from Arkham City, but the game also introduces Armored Enforcers (see Elite Mooks above), large goons covered from head to toe in armor.
- Helpful Mook:
- Ricky "Loose Lips" LeBlanc, a thug wearing a Santa hat who Batman harasses multiple times for information.
- Anarky's missions are initiated by talking to lone members of his gang/social movement stationed outside. Though talking to them initiates the timer on one of Anarky's bombs, the lone thugs themselves won't fight Batman.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Batman suffers from this since the GCPD, even Jim Gordon, consider him a simple vigilante at this point. Though it's complicated by the sheer number of cops on the take from the mob...
- Hero Unit: In the multiplayer, after a certain amount of time has passed, Bane and Joker can be summoned by their respective gangs. Bane, as well as carrying around a giant rocket launcher, can pick up mooks to either kill them bare-handed or toss them around, while Joker carries two pistols: the Ace of Spades and the King of Hearts.
- Heroic BSOD: After Alfred is nearly killed by Bane, Bruce nearly quits being Batman.
- Hijacked by Ganon: Joker's first appearance shows that he is in charge of the assassins, having impersonated Black Mask the entire time.
- History Repeats: The final crime scene Batman investigates is the murder of two newly engaged socialites that were friends with Bruce Wayne, in Crime Alley & mere feet from where Bruce's parents were shot. Whilst reconstructing the crime scene & playing the murders back, Thomas & Martha briefly flicker back into their chalk outlines.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: As revealed in one of the Extortion Files, Judge Harkness was the one pushing to have Calendar Man executed on Christmas Eve, considering it "poetic justice", and went so far as to organize a party at his home to celebrate the occasion. When Calendar Man was sprung out of prison that night, however, he made a special point of visiting Harkness in disguise and leaving his corpse hanging off the roof by a string of Christmas lights.
- Hoist Hero Over Head: As is expected, Bane does this. Atypically, instead of using it to break the Bat, he just throws him out a window. He does this again in the second fight, where he does his classic maneuver. However, this doesn't break Batman's back either (unless you fail the quicktime event).
- Holding Out for a Hero: During his rant, Anarky calls out Batman on encouraging this in Gotham. Considering how rampant crime is in Gotham without Batman and how laughably incompetent and corrupt the cops are, he has a damn good point.
- Home Base: Players will be able to visit the Batcave for this purpose. There, they can switch costumes, get weapons upgrades, use the game's challenge mode, and advance the story.
- Hypocrite: Bane mocks and chides Batman for his use of 'toys' in 'one-on-one combat', all while an army of mooks keeps Batman busy and Bane pumps ever-more powerful steroids into himself.
- Anarky also has shades of this, claiming Batman is self righteous, when he himself is very self-important.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Anarky's given reason for his bombing campaign.
- I Work Alone: Batman's assertion throughout the game, until his character development. He hates the concept of relying on others (even Alfred, somewhat), and generally expects people to either do as he says or get out of his way. He doesn't trust cops in general, and is increasingly stubborn about working with Gordon — even after his refusal to do so causes some serious problems. It's only after Gordon helps him out with Firefly and Bane invades the Batcave, nearly killing Alfred, that he realizes how much he would stand to lose by refusing to let other people in — after that point, he becomes a lot more cooperative with both of them.
- Though in his defense, not even Gordon wants to work with him. For all of Alfred's pleas to cooperate with Gordon, it's not really an option for most of the game. It's not until after Firefly that they both admit they should work together.
- Idiot Ball: Maybe it's more like "Naivety Ball", but Gordon's assertion that his side works within the law is frankly quite ludicrous. The GCPD's corruption runs so deep that he's literally one of the only members who isn't actively aiding the crime lords. This is in contrast to other portrayals of his early years, where he's well aware of how bad the GCPD is. (He may have been speaking about "his side" as in non-dirty cops, but it's not clear.)
- If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: As usual, Batman does this. Deconstructed, as him following this rule so strictly (to the point of saving villains) is what causes the Joker to become so obsessed with him.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Deadshot, naturally. The first trailer has him shooting and breaking Deathstroke's second custom katana in two pieces, from what we can only presume is more then a couple miles away. He also uses his skill to break a single link in a steel chain being used to haul a shipping container. In the game proper, he manages to bring down a corrupt cop and a helicopter with a single ricocheted sniper shot. Then in his mission it's shown through the laser sight he can ricochet his shot to hit any one of his mooks in the room.
- Incredibly Obvious Bug: Enigma's network relays come equipped with large, brightly-glowing green panels that make them a bit conspicuous. You can spot them even easier in Detective Mode because the cowl can point out their transmissions in Free Roam.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Lady Shiva greatly resembles her voice actress, Kelly Hu.
- Interface Screw: When there are jammers nearby, your Detective Vision goes haywire and Cryptographic Scanners don't work. In Mad Hatter's world, Detective Vision doesn't work at all.
- Irony: The plaque over Cyrus Pinkney's crypt, likely donated by Arkham Asylum in return for his influence in its construction, reads "Sanity Fighting the Madness" - yet Amadeus Arkham, himself a delusional schizophrenic, was the one who gave Cyrus the sleeping potion that helped him fake his death and made him slightly unhinged in his obsession with revenge. In other words, madness fighting the sanity.
- It Is Beyond Saving: Shiva pulls this card on Batman after their fight, insisting that Gotham can't be saved, only reborn from its ashes. Batman refuses to listen.
- It's Personal: One of the crime scene investigations is a two-fer: the victims were friends of Bruce's, and it happened in Crime Alley, just a few feet from where Thomas and Martha Wayne were gunned down. Needless to say, when Batman tracks down the murderer, he's not in a very good mood.
- In the Epilogue mission, an escaped Blackgate prisoner threatens to go after Batman's family when he next gets out of prison. This ends badly.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Enigma makes a point to Batman to justify why he plans on blackmailing Gotham officials by saying that what he's doing is more peaceful in comparison to Batman just beating up everybody and destroying stuff. To his credit, he does mention that what he is doing is technically illegal, but so is being a vigilante.
- Hypocrite: But then, Enigma's not really blackmailing people. He plans to release his information the following morning, and is exulting in the chaos that will ensue.
- Jet Pack: Part of Firefly's arsenal.
- Kavorka Man: The Penguin has two Ms. Fanservice assistants, fully invoking this trope. It's very likely this has other reasons.
- Kick the Dog/Bad Boss/You Have Failed Me: In the trailer, Black Mask bashes the head of one of his own wounded thugs in when he asks for medical help. Except it's not actually Black Mask, but rather the Joker. Black Mask is implied to be nicer to his mooks.
- Kill It with Fire: Firefly's modus operandi, along with Stuff Blowing Up.
- Kill the Ones You Love: Black Mask had to Mercy Kill his girlfriend to keep her from dying from a hanging when Joker came in to his safe house. Averted that Joker forced Black Mask to kill her.
- The Killer Becomes the Killed: At the end of the Cyrus Pinkney investigation, it's revealed that Pinkney suspected that Henry Cobblepot would try to poison him, so he faked the dead with the help of Amadeus Arkham and then killed Cobblepot by sabotaging his car.
- Kryptonite Is Everywhere: As the game goes on and Batman grows more powerful, the street mooks he faces acquire more shields/car doors/etc. as well as more guns and knives, and seem to tailor their tactics to defend against him — so the challenge of the encounters remains refreshingly consistent.
- Kubrick Stare: Black Mask's character trophy has him doing this.
- Lampshaded Double Entendre: One of Joker's possible reactions to a takedown during a Predator Challenge.
"Hurry! Batman's just had his way with one of you! Now that's a spicy meat-a-ball!"
- Lampshade Hanging: Batman himself acknowledges the new female Copperhead by stating that all the info he has on Copperhead is on a male assassin.
- Left the Background Music On: When Batman starts heading toward the penthouse, all of a sudden, Bane arrives, set to the tune of Gioachino Rossini's "The Barber of Seville", grabs Batman, and tosses him into the penthouse where the Joker lives. The Clown Prince of Crime tells the Dark Knight that "it's a tradition in my house to open one present on Christmas Eve." He then chooses one of the detonators and uses it to blow up an empty construction site before laughing and singing "The Twelve Days of Christmas"... while the background music starts to sound more like Looney Tunes, as the Joker had been watching Bugs Bunny's "Rabbit of Seville" while he is doing the atrocity. Enraged, Batman grabs the Joker as the explosion rocks the building, cutting out the TV signal.
- Look Behind You: At the beginning of the game, Warden Martin Joseph is being beaten by one of Black Mask's thugs. As Batman approaches, Joseph is the first to see him and goes, "What is that?! Behind you?" The thug thinks that Joseph is trying to trick him and tells him to try something original...until he notices the shadow Batman's casting on the wall.
- Lost Forever: If you have completed the main story plot and have not completed the 'Worst Nightmare' challenges, you are way out of luck, as there is no opportunity to complete some of them in epilogue play. This is because for some reason, the main predator rooms do not respawn mooks like Arkham City does, and even the two places that do respawnnote don't count toward it after the completion of the storyline. Even worse is this seems to have been intentional, as one of the lead producers apparently tweeted that this is 'by design' in order to force players to load up a New Game+ for 100% Completion.
- Love at First Sight: Dr. Harleen Quinzel thinks that Joker is talking about this during his rambling speech about how fate shapes everyone's lives so that they reach one specific moment in which they finally meet the one person they can truly relate to. He isn't, or if he is, he isn't talking about her.
- Made of Iron: Batman may be wearing some high-tech body armor to protect him from an explosion, but even then, that didn't slow him down any, nor did it affect his hearing or his physical performance.
- Batman takes multiple punches from Bane that, judging from Bane's strength, should have shattered his chest bones and ruptured his organs.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: The Flashback!Joker (and the pre-Joker Red Hood) is this, since he can't take any damage from his tormentors (or fire-breathing traps, for that matter). Justified, since they're all illusions, and these scenes of his are all a part of his Mind Screw.
- Magic Pants: A thoroughly egregious example when Bane injects himself with TN-1 — his entire outfit grows to a monstrous size along with him, including his boots, his gloves, and the Venom filtration system on his back.
- Magical Defibrillator: Batman uses his Shock Gloves near the finale of the game to revive Alfred after Bane raided his house and to temporarily stop and re-jumpstart Bane's heart.
- Market-Based Title: Batman Arkham Begins in Japan.
- Batman: Lyetopis' Arkhema (Batman: Arkham Chronicle) in Russia
- Meaningful Echo: At the start of the game, Batman is reluctant to accept help from others, but as the story is progressing, he eventually realizes that he can defend Gotham more efficiently if he cooperates with others. At the end of the main story, Batman defeats The Joker and Gordon can finally arrest him. When Gordon contacts the GCPD, they ask him how he pulled it off. His response? "I had some help."
- Mêlée à Trois: The multiplayer mode is a three-way battle between Batman and Robin, the Joker's gang, and Bane's gang.
- Mind Screw: Multiple examples.
- During one of the side-quests, Mad Hatter sends you into a dark Wonderland.
- Batman suffers numerous hallucinations while under the effects of Copperhead's neurotoxin, including attacks from phantom assassins.
- Playing as the Joker inside his own mind might count as the ultimate Mind Screw.
- Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: Once again, Joker, but Mad Hatter steps in for several non-story Predator Challenges.
- Mook Horror Show: Street-level thugs often fall over backwards and scramble away when Batman suddenly appears amongst them. In predator sequences, their status goes from "calm" to "nervous" and, as they are picked off one by one, "terrified".
- Mushroom Samba: A staple of the Arkham series, and here there's three. See Mind Screw.
- Mythology Gag:
- The Batsuit is very visually reminiscent of/inspired by the Batsuit in The Dark Knight Saga. Also, Bane's appearance closely resembles the design featured in the final film in that trilogy.
- Batman uses his suit's scallops (the blades on his gauntlets) to break an enemy's sword, ala Batman Begins.
- Batman's fighting style, as seen in the trailer, has a lot of elements from Keysi Fighting Method, which is what Batman and the League of Shadows use for their fighting style. These elements are also seen as well in the other games in the Arkham series.
- Harvey Bullock makes an appearance, and — unlike his introduction in the comics — is actually one of the less corrupt guys on the force, having a positive working relationship with Gordon and being reluctant to dig up information on him.
- Deathstroke's body armor and costume looking more like what we see in Young Justice, Arrow and Injustice: Gods Among Us, rather than the spandex and scale mail combo that he's traditionally seen in.
- The green toolbox in the reveal trailer has "Queen Industries", the name of the company run by Oliver Queen (who's the Green Arrow), written on it.
- Batman breaking through the floor to incapacitate a thug is very similar to the Barrier-Busting Blow that was famously used in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, including his partner shooting a machine gun into the hole afterwards and being hit from behind.
- This game isn't the first time Batman's used electrically powered gauntlets. In fact, one of the takedowns when using the gloves has Batman electrocute someone, then follow up with a knock out punch.
- Bane's profile states that he's worked with Trogg, Zombie, and Bird, his cronies from the Knightfall story arc. Bird himself is the main adversary of one of the game's side-missions.
- In the reveal trailer, Batman once looks over a bullet marked "Amertek", a company related to the origin of Steel.
- Joker's longcoat looks remarkably like his Injustice: Gods Among Us Insurgency alternate. His outfit is also very similar to the one he wears in◊ his self-titled one shot, Joker.
- At the start of the first battle with Bane, the Joker acts as a Large Ham Announcer in saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you... the death of the Batman!", similar to when the Clown Emperor of Crime announced the same thing before activating the Rube Goldberg Death Trap on Batman in Batman: The Brave and the Bold's Lighter and Softer Animated Adaptation of the comic book Emperor Joker.
- The achievement for defeating the Joker is titled "Perhaps Sooner, Perhaps Later". And another titled "Legends of the Dark Knight" features his famous pose from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
- The multiplayer achievement for maxing out your level in Joker's Gang is called The Killing Joke, while the achievement for maxing out with Bane is called Fallen Knight.
- The achievement for clearing out a whole room using only silent takedowns is Silent Knight. Bonus for being a Christmas reference as well.
- There's a Koul-Brau brewery on the South Island, which happens to be just one of LexCorp's many business holdings.
- There's also a warehouse for Cale-Anderson Pharmaceuticals in the Industrial District.
- Among Shiva's known associates on file are David Cain (father of Cassandra Cain), Richard Dragon, and Nyssa Raatko, daughter of Ra's al Ghul.
- Inside the Sionis steel mill, you can find a dossier on Cain, as well as ones for Cheshire and Black Spider, all stamped "Rejected", suggesting that Joker considered hiring them for the group of assassins.
- A portion of Bruce's training is given some notice, and it appears to be very similar to that seen in Batman Begins.
- In The Stinger, Amanda Waller shows up to recruit Deathstroke to work for her, implied to be for the Suicide Squad.
- Joker's entire arc: He robs a mob bank wearing a mask, then escapes on a vehicle that has driven through the wall, but not before dramatically unmasking. Then he starts a campaign to kill Batman, until he witnesses Batman's unwillingness to take a life, which makes him obsessed with the Dark Knight. Joker is captured halfway through, but he escapes again. During the finale, he presents Batman with a Sadistic Choice intending to make him break his one rule. Yeah, that sounds very familiar.
- Similar to the Queen Industries toolbox in the trailer, there is a Queen Industries shipping crate aboard Penguin's ship, as well as a Ferris shipping crate on one end of the Pioneer's Bridge.
- During one of the sidequests when you're tracking down Blackgate escapees, one of them brags that the Joker made sure Blackgate won't hold them for long, so Batman says "Then maybe it's time for a better prison. One surrounded by water."
- Alberto Falcone's profile mentions he's got psychological disorders. A callback to The Long Halloween where he's one of the serial killers... possibly. The reference is well placed as in the Comic, Alberto's string of murders are the events that eventually lead to the eventual rise of super criminals in Gotham.
- Zatanna's magic act, Haly's Circus, and a exhibition of jungle cats by Thomas Blake (a.k.a. Catman) all have advertising posters in Jezebel Plaza.
- Just down the street is Riley's Bar, owned and operated by the same Irish gangster later murdered by the Sabatino crime family (and whose daughter Peyton will one day become the Ventriloquist).
- The Disruptor device strongly resembles the similar gadget Batman uses in The Dark Knight Rises.
- Like the Tim Burton film, Batman and Joker have their final showdown in a church.
- Also, during the final battle, the Joker takes a glass shard of the window he had been smashed into while doing his Motive Rant and tries to slit Batman's throat with it, similar to how the Clown Prince of Crime killed one of Black Mask's thugs (glass shard) in Batman: Under the Red Hood, and Dr. Bartholomew Wolpert (broken mug) in the Animated Adaptation of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
- One of the escaped Blackgate prisoners says he's being stalked by a guy with a boomerang who calls himself "Captain".
- A potential quote for mooks spotting you grappling away in their peripheral vision: "Was that a bird?"
- There are two postcards in the Batcave addressed to Bruce from Andrea Beaumont, who apparently is still searching for the whereabouts of her missing father.
- Bruce Wayne's "Vigilante" skin is pretty much identical to his training garb from Batman Begins.
- Look closely at the statues around the Gotham Royal Hotel's terrace. They're Talons. The familiar old rhyme is also printed in an open storybook on a bench near Wonder Tower.
- The end credits aren't the first time The Joker has sung his own version of a Hank Williams song.
- The younger Riddler uses the name "Enigma". In the comics, Enigma was the name used by his alleged daughter.note
- The trailer for the "Cold Cold Heart" DLC features the observatory from Batman & Robin.
- In the "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC, the opening sequence has a villain and his henchmen besiege Bruce Wayne's residence in the middle of a party, while Bruce sneaks out and is briefly accosted/threatened by a thug before beating the latter down. Sound familiar?
- One of the mook conversations is about why Penguin always carries an umbrella. All of their theories are things that have been done with his various trick umbrellas in the comics/tv shows/movies.
- Anarky apparently was a Batman fan at one point, even offering an alliance. In the comics, there had been plans for Anarky to be the third Robin.
- In the Batcave, an abnormally large bat, dubbed the "King Bat" by Alfred has taken up residence. Whilst the name and size does bring to mind Kirk Langstrom aka Man-Bat, the idea of an especially huge bat living in the Batcave is something that was also present in Batman Forever.
- The boss battle with Firefly plays pretty much as a 3D-third-person version of the first boss battle with Killer Moth from the first Batman game for the NES.
- Neck Lift: This seems to be the Batman's favorite way to interrogate a mook.
- Also how Victor frequently picks up Boyle from his position frozen in ice in the DLC — although by that point, there's really nothing else to grab.
- New Year Is Coming: The "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC takes place on New Year's Eve, with various thugs mentioning the date.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: One of Enigma’s blackmail tapes contains a record of Quincy Sharp agreeing to cooperate with Ra’s-Al-Ghul. If Batman had simply allowed the information to go public (as Enigma intended), Sharp would have been exposed and disgraced, and Ra’s would have been unable to use him as a pawn. Yet Batman couldn’t leave well enough alone, and several years later, Ra’s has successfully manipulated Sharp into making Arkham City a reality.
- No Badass to His Valet: As intimidating as Batman is to the criminals of Gotham, Alfred raised him from a child and is less impressed. He even gives a pretty good What the Hell, Hero? at one point during the game:
Alfred: You're not some hardened vigilante! You're a young man with a trust fund and too much anger!
- No Body Left Behind: While enemies defeated by Batman have bats come out of their unconscious bodies who remain that way until Batman leaves the room, enemies defeated by the Flashback!Joker dissolve into a glowing, purplish-black mass that quickly glows brighter before fading away. Justified, as all of these enemies are merely illusions set up by the Joker's Mind Screw.
- No Damage Run: There's an achievement in-game for defeating Shiva (who is generally considered the best martial artist in the DC universe) without taking any damage. There's another one for defeating Deathstroke while successfully countering all his moves, which is a lot harder than you'd think, as the counter icon doesn't accurately portray the correct time to hit counter when fighting him.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: There's one Beatdown sequence that outshines every single other in the franchise: the Joker takes one that lasts for about twenty seconds against a wall, a bout of being Punched Across the Room, and several other hits. It's amazing Batman didn't kill him by accident.
- No OSHA Compliance: For some reason people keep leaving unsecured tanks full of propane lying around areas where Batman has Predator Challenges, even when there's no logical reason for there to be propane tanks there at all.
- Not So Different:
- Many of the villains in this game pull this at some point or another with varying degrees of success, particularly Anarky and Enigma - who both consider their missions to be similar to Batman's and merely their methods being different (and given that in this game Batman is perfectly willing to beat up on people he suspects to be corrupt simply because they're in the way, sometimes they have a point). Shiva likewise claims she and him have similar goals, but that Batman is clinging to weakness by being unwilling to kill those who create the world's problems (a reflection of the ideology of her master, Ra's al Ghul). In his Motive Rant late in the game, Joker pulls this on Batman. He doesn't care.
We both exist because of them
- Not His Sled: Anyone who read Knightfall was gearing up for the climactic fight against Bane to be in the Batcave, but It ends in Blackgate instead.
- Obligatory Swearing: Subverted, likely because of the controversy the previous games created; here, the term "bitch" is used quite sparingly, and only in reference to men.
- Obvious Beta: The game was released with a lot of bugs, some of them game-breaking. Even the captions seem insufficiently copyedited, and 100% Completionnote is impossible due to miscalculation in the game itself. It was bad enough for the publisher to issue an apology to annoyed customers.
- Older and Wiser: Inverted. Batman is depicted as brash and inexperienced, in contrast to his hyper-compotent portrayal in the earlier games. For example, he tries to interrogate a thug, only to be too rough on him and accidentally knock him unconscious.
- One Dialogue, Two Conversations: After Batman captures The Joker, his psychiatric session with Harley Quinn falls squarely into this - she believes he's referring to her, while he's actually talking about Batman.
- Only in It for the Money: Deathstroke & Deadshot. Upon Batman's return to Blackgate at the end of the game, Deathstroke even comments that if he'd known it was just going to be a waste of his time, he wouldn't have bothered taking the hit.
- Only Mostly Dead: Both Alfred and Bane (the former attacked and fatally wounded by the latter in the Batcave, the latter in getting his heart temporarily stopped by the power of the Electrocutioner's Shock Gloves). And both can be revived by the use of these Shock Gloves as Magical Defibrillators.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping / Shocking Voice Identity Reveal: "CAN'T... YOU... JUST... PLAY ALONG?!"
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You:
- Deadshot proclaims "Not so fast, Deathstroke. He's my kill." in the trailer after shooting off the blade of Deathstroke's sword. He also shoots a police sniper, the bullet ricocheting to take out a police chopper, in the game proper.
- Killing a creature such as Batman being his lifelong goal, Bane is furious when it appears like Joker will be the one to do it. It takes the threat of Joker blowing up the entire hotel on a whim to get him to back off.
- Origins Episode:
- The game focuses on how Batman established himself as Gotham's protector and first met several major characters in the Arkhamverse.
- The Initiation DLC depicts Bruce Wayne training at a ninja monastery during his pre-Batman days.
- Upon The Reveal, this also is shown to be an origin for The Joker, as, while he was still a villain, he goes From Nobody to Nightmare, from a virtual unknown to taking over Black Mask's operation, in this game. It also serves as a starting point for the full Joker-Batman feud.
- "Cold, Cold Heart" is this for Mister Freeze, depicting the accident that made him and his first encounter with Batman.
- Overly Narrow Superlative: A pre-Harley Quinn Dr Harleen Quinzel is the seniormost member of the Blackgate medical staff... who's working the night shift on Christmas Eve. Given that she's still just an intern going through her residency, that probably means that she's the only member of the Blackgate medical staff working the night shift on Christmas Eve.
- Perma Stubble: Batman sports this in cutscenes throughout the game, adding to his badass quotient.
- Phlebotinum Breakdown: During the Cold Cold Heart DLC, Alfred explains that the formula used to make the Glue Grenades was unstable, and that the glue has disintegrated. Also, it looks like half the armor upgrades are missing, until you get the XE suit that is, and certain gadgets aren't at full power. These were likely removed so that the XE suit would feel like an upgrade and not a simple reskin.
- Playing the Heart Strings: "I Have Left Enough Life in Him for Some Final Words... If You Hurry". Named after the Exact Words spoken by Bane after he has mortally wounded Alfred in the Batcave, and it is played while Batman's on a frantic search for the latter. This is followed, close enough, by "Allies".
- Point of No Return: Going after Firefly will lock you into the endgame, though you'll get a Playable Epilogue once you've finished.
- Powered Armor: The XE (Extreme Environment) Batsuit from the "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC; it's heavily insulated and heated to counteract cold, and it can channel that heat to its external surfaces to melt through ice, or beat up bad guys with scalding punches (ouch). The whole thing looks clunky (albeit badass) and has visible servos and pistons to ensure that Batman can move and fight normally.
- Power Trio: Villain players in Multiplayer take control of a three-man team of henchmen. One of them can be swapped out for Joker or Bane (depending on the team) as the match progresses.
- Press X to Not Die:
- In a very early boss fight, you must do this to avoid Killer Croc's jaws. There are also annoying minibosses throughout who will grab and hold you, forcing you to rapid-push a button to escape.
- Also, when the SWAT team surrounds you while you confront Lieutenant Gordon in a cutscene, you have to throw a smoke pellet to avoid getting shot at.
- The final battle with the Joker in the prison chapel revolves around this a lot, all in a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
- Prison Riot:
- The game starts with Batman responding to one instigated by Black Mask breaking in to kill Commissioner Loeb. The game ends with Batman going back to Blackgate to quell a second, this time instigated by the Joker trying to escape.
- One of the multiplayer maps uses this as the set-up since it takes place at Blackgate Penitentiary. The backstory involves Joker and Bane fighting to control who gets to recruit the prisoners breaking out of the prison.
- Branden and his squad try to kill Captain Gordon by staging one of these in the GCPD Holding Cells. You can guess how that one turned out.
- Professional Killer: Eight of them, who serve as Batman's primary obstacles to stopping Black Mask. The group consists of Deathstroke, Deadshot, Bane, Copperhead, Firefly, Lady Shiva (known here as simply Shiva), Killer Croc, and Electrocutioner.
- Protect This House: Between Bane and Mr. Freeze, Wayne Manor has been broken into twice in one week.
- Public Domain Soundtrack Dissonance/Standard Snippet: Joker's more theatrical moments of cruelty are often underscored by classical music typical of cartoons - his "Sleigh Ride" in the Royal Hotel ballroom plays a warped organ version of Julius Fucik's "Entry of the Gladiators", he fussily selects the detonator for one of his bombs to Gioachino Rossini's "The Barber of Seville", and his hallucinatory fight in the comedy club has an arranged section of the overture from Rossini's "The Thieving Magpie".
- Punctuated Pounding: Joker does this to Black Mask when he ruins his plans by shouting at him. This punctuates his status as a Mood-Swinger.
"Can't... you... just play... along?!"
- Puzzle Boss: Unless the player stops mashing buttons and realizes that Batman will counter Slade's first two attacks automatically, the fight will be absolutely relentless.
- Pyro Maniac: Garfield Lynns, a.k.a. Firefly. And boy, does he love to remind people of that fact.
"Look at them, Batman. The flaaaaaames. Couldn't you just watch them for hours?"
- Reality Ensues:
- Promotional materials for the game mention "unconfirmed rumors" that Batman has personalized aircraft. When Batman discovers Bane's computer console and realizes Bane knows his Secret Identity, one of the monitors has a radar display. Bane figured it out by merely tracking the Batwing, and putting two and two together.
- During the credits, Jack Ryder is having a live conversation with Quincy Sharp and various political experts over the game's events, debating over how effective the cops are, the state of the country if such criminals can actually exist, and the failure of Gotham's prison system. The only one to escape criticism is Batman.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: After Anarky goes down, he starts monologing to Batman. It also careens through about five other tropes along the way.
- Enigma occasionally mocks Batman's agenda and priorities as the latter is shutting down his network. Several points are so compelling that Batman is unable to answer them.
- Recycled Set: In Deathstroke's introductory cinematic, the location he's fighting in is a hallway from Penguin's museum from City. Look closely and you can even see the portrait of young Oswald Cobblepot and his family.
- Religion of Evil : Bane's men speak about him in nearly messianic tones - this despite the notion (implied by Joker) that he just doesn't treat them very well.
- Reset Button: Bane deduces Batman's identity and attacks Wayne Manor, nearly killing Alfred. But when he takes the TN 1 formula, it damages his long-term memory so he loses this knowledge by the end of the game.
- Retcon: Joker's first meeting with Harley is shown here, and it's remarkably different from their first meeting as it was recorded in the patient interview tapes in Arkham Asylum.
- Revenge Before Reason: In the climax, Bane wants revenge on Batman for almost killing him in their prior fight - in order to defeat Batman, he injects himself with TN-1, despite knowing that it causes memory loss and insanity.
- Rhymes on a Dime: The graffiti on the wall outside the Royal Hotel has this:
The bigger they are, the harder they fall!
Try to resist, & I'll kill them all
Here's to Gotham, turned upside-down!
Come X-mas Day, I run this town!!!
- Room Full of Crazy:
- Very early in the game, you can enter Calendar Man's cell in Blackgate - just like it was in Asylum, it's filled with calendar cards and date notations... and in a chilling addition, there's now a list of potential targets...
- When tracking down Bane late in the game, Batman finds a room in his base that has photographs of himself on the walls as Batman... and Bruce Wayne.
- Near the end of the game, Joker uses bed mattress to make the corridors of Blackgate Prison look like one big padded cell.
- Rouge Angles of Satin/Wanton Cruelty to the Common Comma: Throughout the game, almost all of the text in the subtitles is riddled with typos and misspellings, along with missing words and words that don't match what the characters' voices say.
- Sadistic Choice: The penultimate boss fight has the Joker strap himself into an electric chair rigged up to a heart monitor, with the monitor stuck onto Bane. If Bane's heart-rate reaches a certain level, the chair activates, killing the Joker: if Batman wants to save the Joker, he has to kill Bane. Either way, Batman has to break his One Rule. Or Take a Third Option. All he has to do is stop Bane's heart, and those shock gloves of his could be neat defibrillators...
- Save the Villain: After the Joker is blown off the Royal Hotel by Bane, Batman dives after him and rescues him from a Disney Villain Death, albeit with a brief Free-Fall Fight.
- Say My Name: Batman shouts out "ALFRED!!!" after he discovers that Bane has damaged the Batcave. He does it repeatedly while he's on a frantic search for Alfred and he frees him from the rubble.
- Schizophrenic Difficulty:
- An Enigma Extortion File can be as easy to find as walking over and picking one up. It can also be much, much harder.
- Responding to a Crime In Progress can result in anything from a fight with a few mooks, to an ambush by Ninjas, to an engagement with both a full-scale SWAT team and the street gang they were just fighting; there is no real way to tell which it will be until you arrive on the scene. Although this would be Truth in Television for Gotham's overstretched police force as well, so the Batman (and the player) really can't complain.
- Even worse, the Crime in Progress may happen in an area that is not closed off, and may have another group of mooks a short distance off. Thus, an encounter that would normally be a standard five ninja ambush in any other area, can turn into five ninjas, two armored thugs, one shield wielding mook, three knife wielding mooks, one gun wielding mook, and six normal mooks.
- Certain rankings on the Worst Nightmare track can only be completed by means of in-story predator challenges, something the game itself doesn't explain. Due to the fact that only certain maps are conducive to certain tasks (Rank 6 and the Gotham Merchants' Bank, for example), players may have to start all over again just to make up for any lost progress.
- Schizo Tech: As the Cyrus Pinkney side-quest reveals, there were functioning automobiles in Gotham City as early as 1855. (This innovation might possibly be explained by the introduction of Ra's al-Ghul's new "Lazarus" technology.)
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
- After Deadshot is taken down, his mooks will flee rather that go after you.
- At the end, Croc is ordered to hold Batman off; but gets shot once and decides to simply leave.
- Scripted Battle: After Croc's health is reduced to almost nothing, he doesn't take any more damage until the final propane tank is detonated, triggering the necessary cutscene.
- During the second fight with Bane during the riots at Blackgate, Batman can only inflict a certain amount of damage before Bane picks him up, smashes him over his knee, and begins choking him underfoot. After the cutscene, he starts whaling on Bane once more with the Shock Gloves in an effort to temporarily stop his heart.
- Sequel Escalation: The map available for exploration is roughly twice the size of Arkham City, not only reusing the site of Arkham City, sans conversion, but also a new "New Gotham" section.
- Sequel Hook:
- Something of a bizarre case, considering its status, but there are some nonetheless. One example is the presence of Alberto Falcone; one extortion tape reveals he's been having 'sessions' with Hugo Strange, and another has him calling up Black Mask in what has to be his Holiday persona. A more minor case might be Cyrus Pinkney and what became of him after he faked his death.
- A HUGE one after the end credits: Deathstroke gets visited at Black Gate... by Amanda Waller. Who approaches him to join the Suicide Squad.
- After you do all of Enigma's stuff, he says that he still has one secret that puts all of the others to shame, but that Batman will have to wait to find out what it is.
- Also, one of the optional Alfred's Wisdom dialogs has Alfred mention that Enigma is curiously well-funded and organized for someone who has never been on Batman's radar before, with a network of relays and informants spread all across Gotham and throughout its criminal underworld. Batman intends to investigate it later.
- It's easy to miss, but while getting to the Batcave in Cold, Cold Heart there's a news broadcast about Mayor Hill being exposed for corruption, which happened about a week ago. Whatever it was, it was bad enough for Hill to resign, which also helped secure Gordon's promotion to Commissioner.
- Servile Snarker: Moreso than ever, Alfred Pennyworth.
"Why, thank you, sir. A few more remarks like that and I'll have earned my place in the Sarcastic Butlers' Hall of Fame."
- Should Have Thought of That Before X: One of the escaped Blackgate prisoners begs Batman not to take him back because it's so horrible. Batman tells him that he should have thought of that before he became a mob hitman.
- Joker destroys a building (without any people in it) just for blocking his view of the city. Notably, he's also watching the show when Batman comes in.
- The case given to Loose Lips, despite containing only paper money, glows orange when opened.
- A case of a Shout-Out, Internal Homage and Word of God clarification on series canon all in one: when The Joker's being psychoanalyzed by Harley in Blackgate, he imagines in his head how he came to be who he is. It's his origin from The Killing Joke: being a failed stand-up comedian and taking the deal with the mob to help with the Ace Chemicals robbery, wearing the iconic Red Hood and getting the fateful chemical bath courtesy of Batman..
- In addition to the usual Alice Allusions, the Hatter makes reference to Carroll's poem The Hunting of the Snark at one point.
- Joker's dialogue, naturally, is full of references, from quoting old Alka-Seltzer commercials to singing "Ding, Dong, the Bat is Dead". As the credits roll, he even recites Hank Williams' "Cold, Cold Heart" as a twisted Obsession Song.
- Likewise, the Joker's hallucinatory fight scene at the Comedy Club, set to the tune of "The Thieving Magpie Overture" by Rossini, is a nod to the same "Ultra-Violence" fight scene at an abandoned theater set to the same music in the film adaptation of A Clockwork Orange.
- The Final Offer's previous name, "Olivia B. Meredith", is a shout out to the original Penguin himself, Oliver Meredith, who used his middle name "Burgess" when acting.
- In the Royal Hotel's penthouse, just before the Joker reveals himself to the remaining assassins by taking off his mask, Electrocutioner is seen playing the 1970's classic Asteroids video game on his mobile phone.
- Shrouded in Myth: One of the new skins, though later removed from the game, is "Worst Nightmare", which depicts how most criminals see Batman: a monstrous, bat-like figure. This even shows up in-game when Batman is seen from Joker's point of view after a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
- Signs of Disrepair: As the player leaves the ballroom in the Royal Hotel, a neon sign that says "HELLO" can be seen, with its last letter flickering.
- Snowed-In: Gotham is in the grip of a severe winter storm during the events of the game, ensuring that, along with the curfew in effect, nobody is going outside other than cops, criminals, and Batman. A newspaper in the Batcave even says that the storm is expected to drop 400 inches of snow on the city (though, due to the nebulous phrasing, this will presumably occur over the next couple of weeks or so, as 33 feet all in one night is a bit much for a large coastal city).
- Spell My Name with an "S": Batman is known interchangeably as "the Batman", "the Bat-Man", and "the Bat Man". A Justified Trope, as until this night, the fact that he even existed was in question.
- Sticky Bomb: The new Concussion Detonator gadget.
- Stating the Simple Solution: Upon finding out about the assassins in the beginning, Alfred suggests that, since only he and Bruce know Batman's secret identity, Bruce just stay home to avoid the assassins. Batman shoots this down, saying the assassins would endanger innocents to draw him out.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Batman to Gordon, twice. It's kind of their thing.
- The Stinger: After the credits, Deathstroke is seen being found by Amanda Waller in prison, and given an alternative to prison: working for her.
- Subtitles Are Superfluous: Unlike in the previous games, mook chatter will only show up in subtitles if it's connected to a mission.
- Suicidal Overconfidence: The taunting that you'll hear from mooks in challenge mode comes across as this, especially if you're playing as Deathstroke. Batman may still be an up-and-coming vigilante at this point, but they should really know better than to insult the man who's widely regarded as the world's most deadly assassin.
- SWAT Team: Against Batman, and run by Branden.
- Take a Third Option: Actually, a fourth. During the game's final act, Joker and Bane offer Batman a Sadistic Choice: kill Bane, or allow Bane's heartbeat to charge up an electric chair that Joker is strapped to and fry the Joker. Either way, Batman will end up breaking his one rule. Or Bane kills Batman. Batman finds a way around it by temporarily stopping Bane's heart and then reviving him.
- Teen Genius: A fifteen year old Barbara Gordon hacks into Batman's comms to give him a tip off to Dirty Cop activity.
- That One Case: The century old murder of city founding father Cyrus Pinkney was this for all of Gotham. He was poisoned by Penguin's ancestor Henry Cobblepot for opposing Cobblepot's plans to build a munitions factory in the city. Unfortunately for Cobblepot, he didn't stay dead. Henry Cobblepot died in an 'accident' a few months later.
- Thoroughly Mistaken Identity: This game reveals that reason Harley follows Joker: When he had his first psych session with her, he continually talked about someone special he met that night. It was the night he met Batman, but she thought he meant her.
- Threw My Bike on the Roof: Firefly doesn't really care about the bounty, he just wants to burn things.
- Thou Shall Not Kill:
- The one rule Batman abides by, and which he never permits himself to break. Once Joker realizes that Batman is not only determined to avoid killing, but will even go out of his way to save his enemies' lives, he cruelly exploits it by rigging up a scenario in which Batman must either abandon his principles and kill, be killed himself, or let the Joker die by refusing to act. See Sadistic Choice.
- Bruce's sensei from the Initiation DLC, Master Kirigi, frowns upon his devotion to "Western morality", and warns him that such mercy will impede his training.
- Took a Level in Badass: Of a sort for the Joker. Promotional information shows him fighting Batman on somewhat even terms in hand-to-hand combat, much like the martial artist enemies, unlike his far less refined, very rarely used combat skills in other Arkham games. However, this being a prequel, it's more of a retroactive lowering in skill or acknowledgement of Batman's superior skills.
- Tragic Keepsake: The Joker wears the same coat he wore as the Red Hood, when he actually fell into the chemicals.
- Trash the Set: In the "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC, Mr. Freeze and Penguin's henchmen break into Wayne Manor to kidnap Ferris Boyle, and subsequently steal a number of expensive items and begin torching two of the wings before Bruce and Alfred stop them.
- Twisted Christmas: Christmas has historically never been a happy time for Batman, but THIS particular Christmas is downright brutal.
- One thug on the street can actually be overheard proposing to his friends ways to exploit the holiday, including singing carols door-to-door as a means of casing out homes, or dressing up as Santa so that they can carry around a bag of loot without suspicion. Both are dismissed as far too cliché.
- One of the comments thugs can make in Predator scenes when searching for the Bat is to 'check everything twice'. Unfortunately for them, they've all been Naughty, so Batman isn't Nice.
- Under New Management:
- In a heroic version, Gordon taking control of the GCPD after the murder of Commissioner Gillian Loeb.
- This also happened to Black Mask's mob before the game proper, courtesy of the Joker.
- Unfinished, Untested, Used Anyway: The XE suit from the "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC is still in the prototype phase when Batman puts it on, but, naturally, it works like a charm. Unusually, it's Batman who objects to its use, and Alfred is the one insisting that Batman won't get anywhere without it. Alfred's right (otherwise the Freeze encounters would have ended with a Batsicle), but at least Batman has him take some time to finish up and test the systems.
- Unhand Them, Villain!: Seeing as Batman is new at the crime-fighting business, he's begged by Loose Lips to "let him down". So he drops him off a building, leading to him hitting a Christmas tree on the way down. This being Batman, however, he makes sure that said fall isn't fatal.
- Video Game Caring Potential: The game encourages you to occasionally have small conversations with Alfred, just as a means of positive interaction. You gain experience from "Alfred's Wisdom" from some of the plot relevant discussions.
- Villain Exit Stage Left: Black Mask leaves (and ceases to be plot-relevant) when Copperhead attacks Batman. You get to hunt him down in a sidequest later.
- Villain Has a Point:
- Villain Team-Up: The basis of the plot, but most notably Bane and Joker towards the end of the game.
- Virtual Paper Doll: The Elites in multiplayer have extensively customisable appearances. (Batman and Robin can also choose from a number of costumes.)
- Vocal Evolution: Mr. Freeze's voice sounds considerably different in Cold, Cold Heart than it did in Arkham City, even though he's still voiced by Maurice La Marche. The difference is mainly due to Freeze having a different voice filter that makes him sound like an angry old man instead of an emotionless buzz. Once he encounters Ferris Boyle at the end, he sounds like he did in the last game without the filtered voice.
- What Is This, X?: When Firefly gets hit by a Glue Grenade, at one point he says, "What's this? Bat spit?!"
- What the Hell, Hero?: One cutscene about two thirds of the way through the game, Alfred attempts to stop Bruce from going back out again, yelling at him to stop putting himself through hell before he kills himself. Needless to say, Bruce doesn't listen. Gordon also spends most of the game railing against Batman.
Alfred: "You're not some hardened vigilante! You're a young man with a trust fund and too much anger."
- Wham Episode:
- When Batman asks Black Mask where the Joker is, he denies knowledge of him, and asks the bank manager he has captive if she knows. Her response is to laugh uncontrollably. Then "Black Mask" brings out an unmasked, captive Roman Sionis.
- Finding Bane's Room Full of Crazy and knowledge of Batman's secret identity.
- Wham Line:
Bane: I am in your house, Bruce.
- Where It All Began: The game begins and ends at Blackgate Prison.
- Where's the Fun in That?: Spoken by one criminal to another when asked if they should go kill the hostages, with Harleen Quinzel (the future Harley Quinn) among them during the final raid at Blackgate Prison.
- Whole Plot Reference: The "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC appears to be one to the "Heart of Ice" episode from Batman: The Animated Series.
- Why Won't You Die?:
Joker: You're saying that after I shot him, and blew up a building on him, the Bat - somehow survived?!!?
- Yelled out loud by Deadshot.
- Copperhead similarly is frustrated by the Determinator, who keeps fighting while weakened by poison.
- You Are in Command Now: Commissioner Loeb is murdered early in the game, leaving Gordon as the de facto head of the police.
- You Are Not Alone: This is Bruce's ultimate lesson right before the climax, that ignoring all potential allies and going at it alone is only leaving him with a job so monumental he is destined to fail. And that same attitude means when he actually recognizes Gordon could help him stop Firefly, Gordon isn't listening. Way too many mistakes were made before they started coordinating their efforts, by the end Gordon with Barbara's encouragement and communication frequency is working directly with Batman to help round up escaped Blackgate prisoners.
- You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good:
- From Anarky's point of view, this is the problem with Batman; he's preserving the society that Anarky thinks should be blown up. Batman naturally disagrees.
- Inverted with Deathstroke, on the other hand, who's just disappointed Batman isn't using his talents to make some serious coin.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
- This happens to Commissioner Loeb, when Black Mask (or rather the Joker) decides that the nature of crime is changing, and that he doesn't need his help anymore when it also includes taking down his men.
- When Joker took over Black Mask's operation, he killed almost a quarter of his men because they wouldn't take orders from him.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Happens in the final battle with Bane. After you have shocked him in traps and drained all his energy down to one hit point, you may think this is over when he falls to the ground. Then, just when Batman radios Alfred and says, "Alfred, it's over... I've defeated Bane"... all of a sudden Bane gets up and hits him very hard, and then you realize that the muscleman is not finished yet, and that you need to counter with the Remote Claw to subdue him and defeat him for good.
- Zero-Effort Boss: Electrocutioner. After a big, showoffy introduction, he goes down with one kick to the face. Then again, that may also have to do with the fact that his electrified powersuit came into contact with a metal grate and possibly shorted out.