"A tragedy like that, at such a young age, must have been crippling..."
Riddle me this: What happens when a studio known for making serious and depressing games
mixes with a comicbook hero known for having serious and depressing stories
As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.
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- In general, any of Bruce's mentions towards his parents or his reactions related to them can be this. He's very clearly still traumatized by what happened that horrible night, and can react with lots of pain in his heart to it. He even keeps the bloodstained tickets from the night of the movie, and can later choose to keep them or to destroy them.
- When the cops come to register Wayne Manor, one of them accidentally broke the glass on a picture of his parents. Bruce's reaction is clearly tragic.
- In a way, Harvey Dent's appearance can be this, because knowing he's still not Two-Face, by this point anyone can tell his dreams of becoming Mayor are going to end badly. And sure enough, they do, even when you try all you can to save him later.
- The very end of the story, when Carmine Falcone reveals an unsettling truth: Thomas Wayne was connected to the mob, and Bruce's reaction towards Alfred really cements this. Up until this point, Bruce has seen his family name be slandered again and again, and he's done nothing but try to defend his parents' reputation all the time. Yet, this moment, when Bruce realizes that his parents who he (as well as the rest of Gotham) always saw as perfect role models, were actually in cahoots with the mafia, is enough to have him showcase his horror even when wearing the mask and yell at Alfred for what he hid from him.
- The opening scene in Crime Alley is filled with this. Not only this comes right after the events at the end of the first chapter and the revelation that Thomas and Martha Wayne were associated with the mob, but it's also a really hard moment for Bruce, as he not only remembers the deaths of his parents at the hands of Joe Chill, but also has to confront the fact that Chill didn't kill them for cash, but because he was a hitman. The Gray Rain of Depression and Alfred's sad retelling didn't help at all.
- If you choose not to forgive Alfred for hiding the truth to you, the "Alfred won't forget that" line can come off as this; whereas forgiving him can be this with happy tears.
- As is natural for the origin story of Batman, the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne are shown in full display, and as we can see in his flashbacks, not only did his parents pay for the special screenings of the film he loved, but also, when facing certain death, Thomas Wayne stepped forward to protect his son and his wife. For all the stuff he did, he was ready to sacrifice his own life to protect Bruce.
- The death of Carmine Falcone can come across as this. Even if most would agree (and even choose to say in-game) that he had it coming, his last moments were actually quite nice and calm, and he even could reveal that he had some form of appreciation for Bruce.
- The Reveal during the political debate shown by the Sons of Arkham: not only was Thomas Wayne a Corrupt Corporate Executive, but also, if his offers were refused, he drove his opposition insane with a chemical and had them forcibly committed to Arkham Asylum. Esther Cobblepot's tearful pleas and appeals to their childrens' friendship fall on deaf ears as Thomas instructs a hired goon to "Give her a dose she won't come back from.". Once again, Bruce (and everyone's) reaction was of pure horror.
- At the end of the episode, Bruce is faced with a viciously Sadistic Choice: Save Catwoman (who is being attacked by gun-wielding thugs) or save Harvey (who is about to be smashed with a kleig light by Penguin). Choosing the former disfigures Harvey into Two-Face, and choosing the latter causes Catwoman to lose her faith in altruism. And there's not enough time to save them both — you have to choose one. And the best part? Even if you save Harvey from being scarred, he still becomes Two-Face anyways!
- Everything about Harvey Dent, but particularly in his final scene in Episode 3, just after finding Bruce in Selina's apartment, and assuming, correctly or not, that Selina has cheated on him. Harvey is mentally struggling with schizophrenia, with a dark voice declaring his desire to harm Bruce and Selina, while Harvey's normal personality protests. He wrestles with the voice, and by the end, he falls to his knees, sobbing, begging Bruce not to leave him alone with his other half. His voice sounds more like a child scared of a monster only he can see than it does the brave man we originally saw at Wayne Manor. Sadly, Selina remarks that neither she nor Bruce is capable of helping. If Bruce refuses to abandon Harvey, Harvey remarks that he doesn't deserve Bruce's friendship.
- Commissioner Grogan's heroic sacrifice while protecting Batman.
- Depending on which enemy Bruce chose to take down last episode — Penguin, or Two-Face — an ironic flashback to better times will play:
- In Harvey's case, we see him first get the idea to run for Mayor while talking with Bruce, and Bruce pledges to financially support him 100%; finally, he playfully flips a coin as a way to decide if he'll get involved in "this election or next". It promptly cuts to the now-charred ruins of Wayne Manor, where he's been holed up for days, flipping the coin again to determine if his former secretary lives or dies.
- There's a dialog tree you can do with this event where you can get Harvey to fight back against Two Face, and release every single hostage he's taken. But you break him down so far, that he almost takes his own life with a flip. He's then lead away a wreck, even sadly stating that "no one can stop him."
- And you defeat him by simply taking his coin. Whether you throw it away or pocket it, denying him to see the result, he has a complete breakdown. After Harvey is arrested, Bruce sadly stares at an "Elect Harvey Dent" card he's found on the floor.
- In Oz's case, we see him and Bruce as children at Cobblepot Park, with Oz crying over his mother being sent to Arkham Asylum and that the other boys constantly bully him as a result. It's implied that said-boys have recently ganged up on Oz, with Bruce just barely managing to fend them off. Oz then seethingly swears that he would like to smash said-bullies' faces before breaking down into Bruce's arms, who comforts him. The scene then shifts to present day, with Oz, now the Penguin, standing in the rain at the exact same spot.
- The reveal of all the horrific abuse the Vales committed onto Vicki doubles as this and pure Nightmare Fuel.
- Even if Bruce has been playing it friendly with Selina all along and telling her You Are Better Than You Think You Are throughout, asserting that his emotions wouldn't exempt her from Batman's justice will put the two back at square one: hero and criminal, enemies.
- If you opt to attack Vicki at the end of Episode 5, Alfred ends up hit in the eye by one shot from her baton after decking her. When everything's said and done, we find out Alfred lost his eye in the process.
- The alternative has Bruce getting a hole blown through his right ear. Whatever the choice, the events will leave a permanent mark on someone...
- The death and funeral of Lucius Fox is a Player Punch from beginning to end. The ceremony is hushed, somber, and without any music at all. Bruce and Alfred sound absolutely devastated, their voices raw with emotion. Tiffany almost blames Bruce for what happened, then breaks down crying and says he's not to blame — all while Bruce is trying to wrestle with just how much he is. The scene even ends with Bruce forced to either reveal the Awful Truth and potentially lose her as well, or lie in an attempt to spare her.
- Think that you can at least find some solace at his funeral? The Joker unexpectedly shows up and spends the entire ceremony bothering and (possibly) unintentionally humiliating Bruce.
- Alfred insists he's mentally prepared to see the footage of Lucius's final moments. If Bruce lets him watch, it proves to be all too much for him; even after switching to audio at his request, he becomes stricken with grief at Lucius's last words, excusing himself while on the verge of tears.
- For all his stiff upper lip and reserve, it is very clear over the course of the episode that Alfred has not recovered from the trauma of his kidnapping and torture by Lady Arkham; his hands shake from time to time. At one point you see him at the Lady Arkham trophy case, just staring at her shattered mask.
- If Bruce isn't careful to remind him that they can't take the death of Lucius personally, and allows him to watch the video, Alfred — the only remaining family Bruce has, and his closest moral advisor — will turn "Vengeful" and approve of Batman's methods becoming more violent; even the most positive outcome, achieved by doing the exact opposite, leaves him "Grieving" instead. Whatever the case, this episode hits him hard.
- Similarly, Agent Avesta ends Episode 1 either "Traumatized" (if you let her be deafened by Riddler's sonic blasts) or "Guilt-Ridden" (if you let her fellow agents die). There's no good outcome for her.
- John Doe isn't taking his newfound freedom well. Now that he's out of Arkham, he has no idea what to do - he may be an insane criminal, but you can't help but feel bad for him.
It's- it's the freedom
that gets to you. There's so damn much, you hardly know what to do with it
. It's not like Arkham. Sometimes I miss those padded walls. You knew where the lines were drawn. Which ones not to cross.
- Of particular note is the get-well-soon card he gives Bruce at the funeral, in what seems to be a genuine effort to cheer the man up. If Bruce reacts with offense or takes the relatively gentler option of telling John that those kind of cards aren't given at funerals, John takes the card back and crumbles it up, berating himself over his lack of social skills.
- If Bruce calls John "crazy" when he brings the favor up, John — struggling to keep his composure — replies that 'crazy' can be a derogatory word, and has been used to stigmatize people. It plays a lot like someone trying to testily correct a friend after they've said something extremely offensive and hurtful. Also somewhat heartwarming, as "being disrespected" is John's biggest Berserk Button, so he cares about Bruce enough to restrain himself.
- Depending on your choices, it's possible for Gordon to completely lose trust in Batman and break off their partnership at the episode's end. It's not pretty to watch, especially as the player can drive in the knife deeper with how they react.
- Apologizing to Jim is even worse, as it's clear that he wants to remain your friend and ally, but the damage has been done and there may be no moving past it. The weariness and regret in both men's voices is palpable.
- The mechanic who dies saving Batman from being killed by Bane. Batman just sounds so defeated when he learns he didn't make it.
- If you left Agent Avesta traumatized last episode, then Blake blames himself for what happened.
- Just before Bruce enters the study after returning from Wayne Enterprises Alfred is sitting slumped over in an armchair with his hands clasped before him, trembling. He recovers as Bruce enters, but it's clear the damage from his experience with Lady Arkham is by no means fading away. If anything, with all that's happening it might be getting worse.
- Depending on how you handle the scene in Lucius' lab, you may have to find a way to keep Harley from hurting Tiffany. If you try to ward off Harley by declaring Tiffany family the young woman will growl "You're no family of mine."
- Depending on your choice at the climax, Harley Quinn may be left behind in the police ambush, her fate uncertain. John Doe is genuinely heartbroken, and won't stop demanding the rest of the group go back and save her. Seeing a version of the Joker care about her this much is both heartwarming and depressing.
- The ending scene, whether it's Bruce or Catwoman who's left in peril. If he sells out Catwoman as the mole, Bruce is horrified by Harley immediately trying to kill her and tries (and fails) to save her. If it's Bruce, Catwoman and John are clearly hurt by watching him get locked up in Freeze's machine and left to die. Especially if (depending on the player's choices) they both know for a fact that he didn't do it.
- Selina's horror at seeing Bruce frozen is even worse if they have just begun to genuinely open up to each other and become partners, whether platonic or romantic.
- Gordon's decline in this episode is hard to watch.
- If Bruce Wayne speaks up for him, Gordon ends up feeling ashamed, and with good reason - he believed Bruce to be corrupt like his father, and has just attempted to arrest him, only to be stopped and fired by Waller, and yet, despite all the reason Bruce should have to hate him, Bruce steps up for him instead.
- As chilling as John's downward slide into Sanity Slippage is this episode, there are parts that are heartbreaking as well.
- He sounds so defeated (and a bit drunk) when you encounter him in Harley's office, sporting a shiner that she'd given him for his betrayal.
- As you approach him in the carnival hideout, you'll hear sobbing with a tinge of laughter. Bruce will find him In a room of dead agents, having what sounds like a genuine Freak Out over the corpses and concern over how Bruce is going to take it.
- He calls out Bruce for just using him at the hideout, begging Bruce to at least admit to that rather than tell another lie.
- For that matter, any parts where John gets hostile and suspicious towards Bruce can be pretty sad to watch, especially if the player has been actively making choices to get on John's good side.
- Likewise, the Vigilante Ending for the episode has John betray Harley while sadly commenting that "Bruce showed me how to be good, Harley. In a way you never could." That Waller immediately fucks things up makes it that much worse.
- Finding Alfred unconscious in the cave. It becomes clear quick that he's not dead, but it's still concerning to hear Alfred talk to Bruce as if he's his father Thomas and Bruce pleading for Alfred to wake up.
- Depending on your choices, if Tiffany knows Bruce is Batman, she begins work on updating some of Batman's tech. Her first design is for an assault rifle. One of Bruce's reactions is to all but recoil in horror stating he hates guns after what happened to his parents. Tiffany quickly apologizes and asks Bruce if he's ever thought about using one in his work as Batman. Bruce can respond that if he ever started down that path, he'd never come back.
- In the Villain route, Jim Gordon betrays Batman by handing him over to Joker in exchange for a map of the virus bombs' locations, then gets shot in both legs by Joker to slow him down. Even if Batman says that he forgives Gordon and urges him to use it to save as many lives as he can, Gordon will be debilitated from that point onward and feel so guilty about his actions that he'll refuse to take his job back even if you have Waller pull some strings on his behalf.
- Selina attacking and choking Tiffany when she admits to killing The Riddler shows just how much Selina cared about Nygma.
- Batman's subsequent What the Hell, Hero? to Tiffany, which potentially drives her away into being a fugitive, when the entire series had hinted she'd be Lucius' successor. Veers into Heartwarming if Bruce forgives her, and offers to mentor her as a "sentence" for her crime — and she hugs him.
- Back in Episode 3, John can say he was waiting his whole life to be noticed during the cafe scene and in the vigilante route, he picks "The Joker" as a superhero name and says it's a name people are going to remember. It turns into this when Alfred shows Bruce new reports showing the horror of the Joker's rampage and that people associate the name "Joker" with terror. John got what he wanted, but not in the way he was hoping for.
- After Joker's arrest, Alfred decides to leave Bruce permanently after realizing that Batman made things worse in both seasons of the game. It's heartbreaking that Bruce pleaded for him to stay but he made his mind up. Depending on the player's choice, you can give up Alfred and continue being Batman or you could give up being Batman, to make Alfred reconsider leaving Bruce.
- The look on Batman's face when Vigilante Joker finally snaps.
- Hell, the entire fight is one big tearjerker: The Joker throughout the episode was so enthusiastic about being a hero and partner to Batman, and then he breaks down once his darker urges get the best of him and violently murders the agents trying to arrest him in a bloodbath. He spends the entire fight Cry Laughing and you can see the heartbreak on his face whenever Batman punches him. The kicker is at the climax when Batman has him cornered and Joker laments that his desire to be admired by Batman failed and caused Joker to lose himself, and once both fighters are down from exhaustion? The Joker sadly accepts that he can't be a hero and admits he knew Batman used him the entire time, but can't bring himself to hate him because he had so much fun spending time with Batman and asks Bruce if he ever thought of John as a true friend. No matter your answer, it's still sad; if you say yes you were his friend, Joker, with an truly shocked face and in a fit of self-loathing, declares Batman must be as crazy as him to consider someone as twisted as he is to be a friend, and if you say no or nothing, Joker, with an absolutely heartbroken face, accepts this and declares that from now on, they are enemies.
- Of course saying yes becomes Heartwarming once you see The Stinger.
- The end of the Villain route has a couple Cry for the Devil moments of its own if you take the sympathetic dialog options. Joker goes into cardiac arrest after Bruce nearly beats him to death, and Bruce sounds incredibly distraught as his attempts at resuscitation appear to fail - Joker survives, of course, but he seems utterly baffled that Bruce didn't just let him die, saying that nobody would blame him, coming off as if the lingering vestiges of pre-Joker John think he deserves it (and even if Bruce says his life has value, he bitterly laughs it off as another example of a pointless code). Then he says that at least part of him knew he was being fooled the entire time Bruce was undercover in the Pact, because why would a guy like that really want to be his friend? Which cuts even deeper if you remember Harley saying exactly the same thing when you first met...
- If you choose the option in the villain Joker ending that has Bruce rasp "I wish I'd never met you." Joker looks genuinely hurt for a moment. . .then he proceeds to stab Bruce in the side.. As he laughs you notice he's almost crying before he starts talking and states:
Joker: Oh Bruce. . .you say the cruelest things!
- If you say yes he stabs you anyways. Vigilante Joker thinks you are crazy for considering him your friend but at least The Stinger shows they are still are friends. Here it's clear as say the second Joker stabs you, unlike Vigilante Joker, he can not be saved. Your friend is truly gone forever.
- You can also choose to not answer his question at all and stay silent. If you do so, you can tell from Bruce's expression that he's so divided on Joker that he honestly cannot come up with an answer. Joker once again stabs him in the side during this moment of weakness. Thankfully he treats Bruce as if he said yes and the story plays out if you say yes.