Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Nightmare Fuel / Batman: Arkham Origins

Go To
Not the most pleasant face to wake up to.

Batman: Arkham Origins might not have the long-term scare factor of City, but it compensates for this with an upfront maniacally scary story.

WARNING: Spoilers are unmarked.

  • In a shout-out to Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Batman performs a High-Altitude Interrogation on one of Penguin's thugs, Loose Lips, with the guy in question previously being unconscious beforehand. As he wakes up, we see things from his Point of View, showing exactly just how frightening it would be to actually be caught by Batman. Imagine waking up dozens, if not hundreds of feet above the ground, upside down, with no idea how you got there. Then you look up and see this shadowy black figure that everyone else you know is terrified of, holding onto you.
    • Not only that, but despite being able to see how high up he was, the thug didn't start freaking out until he noticed Batman! Clearly, his reputation precedes him.
      • And as a bit of Fridge Horror, it makes you wonder just what kind of things the goons in Gotham do to each other if waking up like that isn't enough to freak him out...
      • Even Batman's own notes show that he realizes the badassery of Loose Lips, saying he could be a valuable informant.
  • As Batman carefully makes his way up to the very top of the Royal Hotel, Bane ambushes him and delivers him at the feet of a much more spry and over-enthusiastically insane Joker, who's revealed to have a table covered with detonators for bombs in hidden locations all across the city. Not only does he threaten to activate the explosives within the hotel itself, sufficiently convincing Bane to give them some privacy, he even triggers one wired to a location right outside the window, destroying the building completely. It was an empty construction site, but even so...
  • From the perspective of the Blackgate staff, having not only a prison break assisted by Killer Croc, but the execution of the police commissioner within their own halls while being powerless to do anything about it.
    • The casual nature with which Sionis (actually a disguised Joker) has Commissioner Loeb thrown into the gas chamber, simply because he doesn't feel like relying on him anymore now that the nature of crime in Gotham is changing, is positively chilling.
    • An example that's only terrifying if you've played Arkham City: Calendar Man's cell at Blackgate. Scribbled on the wall is a to-do list which namedrops several of the horrific murders you hear about in City. The worst part? Even though he sees the list, Batman can do nothing to save those people.
    • While fighting on the roof, Batman is thrown into a sudden quick-time event where Croc holds him and attempts to bite off his face, getting progressively closer with each snap of his jaws.
  • Joker Venom is as terrifying as ever. When the poisoned bank manager is thrown to Batman, and upon her death, that Nightmare Face is horrifying, especially since you wake up to it. It's even worse in the Copperhead-induced Mushroom Samba Controlled Helplessness segment.
    • When Black Mask is un-gagged and begins to threaten Joker's life for usurping him, Joker flies into a rage and viciously beats him, screaming at him for not "playing along" in his real voice.
      Black Mask (Joker): CAN'T. YOU. JUST. PLAY ALONG?!
    • Advertisement:
    • And as this is happening, the bank manager is laughing her head off because of the Joker Venom.
  • In the end, we finally see just how much of this trope applies to Batman himself. Seeing him from Joker's point of view, we see only the Worst Nightmare skin, snarling horrifically.
    • The entire sequence of Joker's psychiatric interview is perhaps the most frightening thing ever featured in the Arkham series, particularly the ending.
    • It's almost impossible to overstate the amount of nightmarish Foe Yay present in the entire interview. Joker talks in a way that sounds like he's met his one true love, someone that has given him a reason to live. Notably, Harleen is downright flattered because she thinks he's talking about her.
  • "I am in your house, Bruce."
    • "ALFRED!"
  • One of Deathstroke's game over screens ends with him pointing a gun at you.
  • Look into the side rooms en route to Black Mask's hidden drug manufacturing plant. One is filled with formaldehyde-filled mason jars which are themselves filled with dismembered body parts: Hands, feet, and more than a few heads.
    • It doesn't help that, in the forefront of all those jars, is one of the victims that is placed in an "experimental" branded barrel of formaldehyde staring back at you with that one eye.
    • His office in the drug lab has not only multiple skulls labelled in a glass case, but a fully-stocked torture facility complete with a plush armchair and a tripod camera.
    • Also worth mentioning, located at the same location of where the aforementioned jars are kept: If you look down at the lower right corner of the shelves, you'll find a collection of suspicious-looking items. A mop, bucket, a pair of gloves and a canister of solution that is obviously bleach... Apparently, Black Mask's goons do "clean-up" jobs after rubbing out those that were a threat to Sionis and his gang. Kind of makes you wonder of what they do before or during the events of this game. There's also a bit of those same items in Sionis's office where he does his favorite "hobbies".
  • Similar to the above, Cyrus Pinkney's 190-year old crypt has a baby doll missing an eye and covered in blood that's sitting along with a skull in a basin filled with blood. It's just... there. No backstory, no indication of what it is or where it came from, no nothing.
  • The whole corruption of the GCPD, most particularly Branden, the head of its SWAT team. But corruption aside, the moment that is well-captured is when Gordon corners Batman with Branden behind him ready to open fire on both Batman and Gordon. If Batman hadn't thrown that smoke bomb...
  • Here's one that shows how truly corrupt most of the Gotham police force is. Throughout the station, especially noticeable in certain of the interrogation rooms, some of the floors are stained with dried blood.
    • One of the police officers hanging around Enigma's hideout tells a sickening anecdote of how he mistreated a female civilian without any just cause. She apparently came back to file a complaint against the department... only to find the officer himself sitting at the desk, grinning his head off and asking how he might be of assistance. As she started to scream about what a disgrace he was, he had her booked on drunk and disorderly conduct, and tossed her into a holding cell where he apparently "visited" her during her time there to "teach her not to make a scene next time." She left the GCPD a broken woman, even apologizing to the officer on her way out—something he particularly enjoyed. Fortunately, you have the option of breaking the officer as well.
    • You come across SWAT officers beating down homeless people in the station, with their colleagues cheering them on. After putting a stop to this, when Batman suggests they get themselves to a homeless shelter, the man he's speaking to tells him that's where the cops round them up. Implying that the cops have not only been doing this for a long time, certainly far longer than Anarky has been around, thus eliminating the possibility of simply using brutal interrogation methods to gain information on their "boss", but that they do it for entertainment.
  • Joker throwing Electrocutioner out of the penthouse window. Just the fact that he falls such a long way so fast, and you can hear him screaming.
  • What tops the Nightmare Fuel listed on this page would have to be the final confrontation against Bane during a long, grueling grudge match against Bane and the eventual apprehending of Joker. Joker hooks Bane up to a heart monitor that links it to the electric chair to kill Joker. Gordon and Warden Joseph then storm in to unstrap the wily Joker, only then to have Gordon being countered and pulled in and held at gunpoint. Joker knew that, in order to stop it from being activated, Batman would have to have killed Bane in order to prevent the electric chair from killing both himself and Gordon. The fight is fierce, physical, and utterly brutal. Do things get better afterwards? No. It doesn't. It starts after, when Bane gets resuscitated back to life, he goes all out. He injects himself with a new strand of Venom, turning into a hulking abomination. You're given 10 minutes of taking down this ungodly sight of a man, until his attacks become one-hit kills. What makes this fight worse and hectic? He adapts to whatever you throw at him! The fight is the stuff of true nightmares.
    Bane: COME! BATMAN! DIE!!!
    • What makes Bane even more terrifying is that, in previous entries, Bane was never that fast. In Origins, he is terrifyingly faster and can outright obliterate you if you're not quick enough.
    • Looking at Bane with Detective Vision, at this point, shows you that his condition is "Crazed." The background musicnote  more than suits that.
  • The trip up to meet Joker in the hotel. The man converted a penthouse into an Amusement Park of Doom which you have to make your way through. Along the way are bodies with TV or Christmas ornaments stuck on their heads as well as a few thugs stuck in Death Traps. There are dead bodies everywhere, some are which are Joker's own men. It truly hammers home how monstrous Joker is. Batman himself is actually shaken by the sight; when he talks to Alfred about it, it's clear he couldn't fathom how a human being could wreak such carnage.
  • Joker himself, because he's just in it for himself this time and just sees Batman as a distraction. As such, he's particularly much more brutal in his methods and he just does not care at all if he lives or dies. He even gives Batman a What the Hell, Hero? after he saves him from getting blown off the hotel, stating he deserves to die. But after Batman saves him again, this just fuels his fascination with him, like he's now found a purpose to live.
    • That's exactly what defines Joker in this entry of the Arkhamverse series. Joker actually finally "found" a calling in his life. When Batman saved him from death, he found in his life and time an equal of his very own. A mirror of himself. A "friend" to match wits with...forever, until either in the very end of time or until one of them gets killed by one another. But what was so nightmare-inducing would be the brutal smackdown that Batman delivers to Joker after the above mentioned rant. The quick glimpses and random flashes of the events that unfolded between Batman and Joker's time in Gotham. And the closeup of Joker's eyes dilating from the sheer pleasure and fear of seeing Batman on what he is in his twisted warped mind is truly shocking to say the least.
    • Using Detective Mode during that fight reveals that the Joker's heart rate is "calm."
    • Joker's always been crazy, but it's much more obvious here. He's completely Ax-Crazy. This game makes it clear more than any other how deeply psychotic he is, and it's terrifying just how easy it is to send him from Faux Affably Evil to homicidal rage, since there's no way of knowing what's going to do it.
  • An extremely flexible woman contorting around Batman in skimpy clothing might sound sexy in theory, but Copperhead's movements are reminiscent of basically every creature that could crawl on your body and fill you with venom while you're helpless with fear, from the obvious copperhead snake to a large poisonous spider. Her bio even states that she crushes some of her victims this way. And this is in addition to the hallucination sequence, with Copperhead lunging and taunting Batman about his impending death while previous failures jeer about his incompetence.
    • The fanservice is further ruined when she hisses and unveils her tongue. Compared to the rest of her human body (save her glowing eyes), that reptilian tongue is jarringly different and all kinds of wrong.
    • Whenever you counter Copperhead's strikes, Batman succeeds in dislocating her shoulder. Copperhead just laughs and manages to reset it with a flick of her arm. It's incredibly freaky.
  • When you rescue the Mad Hatter's most recent 'Alice,' she just breaks down weeping. Batman tries to tell her that it's going to be okay...
    'Alice': No... it's not.
  • The Mad Hatter's level, in general. A twisted, nightmarish "wonderland", complete with jittery camera, poor lighting, and the Hatter's constant taunting. Especially bad for anyone who has fond memories of Wonderland from the original book.
    • The introduction is deeply unsettling as well. Three criminals greet Batman in the garage of the GCPD in animal masks and sing an 'invitation' from the Hatter to the tune of "London Bridge." When they finish, they're zapped by the Hatter's devices and fall unconscious.
  • Batman's battle with Firefly on the bridge. A cacophony of explosions, flaming cars, and falling rubble. And it gets more and more hellish as it progresses.
    • At the end, Batman punches his visor so hard it cracks enough to see his face. We don't see all of it, but what we do see...
  • Just like in Arkham City, Penguin keeps lots of glass cases on his ship...cases containing the corpses of men who failed or betrayed him. The worst one is pinned to the wall by knives.
  • Batman's interrogations and behavior in cutscenes are generally much more frightening in this game, because both his reputation and self-control are at a much lower level than in the other games. In City, Batman could get thugs to talk with only a few quiet words, often with the threat more implied than explicit because he was so much The Dreaded that he didn't need to do more, but here he looks like he might lose his temper at any moment and slaughter the thug he's interrogating, and his cutscene No Holds Barred Beatdowns of the already helpless Penguin, Black Mask, and Joker aren't something you'd expect from the more mature Batman to which we've become accustomed. Seeing the fledgling Batman so barely containing his inner darkness makes it quite clear how dangerous he could be if he slipped up, and seeing the customary Tranquil Fury replaced with something closer to The Berserker can be quite shocking.
    • One particularly jarring instance of this is after rescuing Sionis and trying unsuccessfully to interrogate him about Joker, Batman reveals he can control Sionis's pacemaker remotely. He threatens to crank it up to 250 beats per minute.
    • One of Enigma's data handlers you have to interrogate initially refuses to talk, pointing out that he knows Batman won't kill him.
      Batman: No... I'll make you wish you were dead.
    • Yet all of this is topped by the Crime Alley shootings. Batman's interrogating the man who killed his two closest friends... and he starts going on a rant against Joe Chill, aka THE MAN WHO KILLED HIS OWN PARENTS, and Alfred notes that his vitals are going erratic. Bruce was ONE STEP AWAY from actually killing this man! Sure, he would've deserved it, but still.
  • The murder scene at Lacey Towers has a really creepy atmosphere, as it is far more elaborate than any other crime scenes depicted in the game. While we find out the reason for this very quickly, Batman is actually completely thrown off by the brutality and sadistic nature of the crime as well as the seeming senselessness of it.
  • The Cold, Cold Heart DLC explains how Victor realized he would die if he went in above zero temperatures after the accident. There was a security guard who was also affected by the cryo-blast. Not sure what was going on, he stumbled desperately out of the frozen lab and into the entrance area... where he promptly died of heat stroke as a result of Ferris Boyle turning on the quarantine features of the lab.
  • Ferris Boyle's Adaptational Villainy. The original Boyle from Batman: The Animated Series was an opportunistic scumbag for sure, but he was correct that Victor's work wasn't authorized and things didn't get out of hand until Victor pulled a gun on him. The Boyle here, in his version of the accident, takes Nora away, against his agreement, for the express purpose of experimenting on her and the process Victor used. He has his guards hold Victor back and pistol-whips him before kicking him into his equipment, and when that sets off the chain of events that causes Victor to become Mister Freeze? He just stands and watches for a moment, not trying to get help or intervene, before running off. When Batman finally rescues him, he freezes Batman with a broken cooling pipe and taunts a helpless Victor that he'll kill Nora before he kills him, just so he can see her slip away, all the while bashing him over the head with a piece of Victor's suit repeatedly. What's worse is that all of this, his vile personality, is wrapped up in a demeanor so kind and innocent that he had the World's Greatest Detective fooled.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: