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Video Game / Batman: Arkham City

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"How does it feel, Wayne, to stand on the very stones that ran with your parents' blood? Do you feel sad? Full of rage? Or does that outfit help bury your feelings; hiding your true self? Oh, you are a truly extraordinary specimen... I look forward to breaking you."
Hugo Strange

The sequel to the Batman video game Batman: Arkham Asylum and the second game in the Batman: Arkham series produced by Rocksteady Studios. Released in 2011.

The game takes place eighteen months after the events of Arkham Asylum; Quincy Sharp is now Gotham's mayor, having won the election after taking credit for stopping Joker's assault on Arkham. With Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Penitentiary both closed due to the events of the previous installment, Sharp has arranged for all of Gotham's inmates to be moved to Arkham City, an open-air prison built around the slums of Gotham City. Which doesn't sound too bad until you realize that anyone with even the slightest record is thrown in. Which means tax-dodgers and petty burglars are in there with crime bosses, serial killers and lunatics.

Many of Batman's arch-foes are among the incarcerated, returning from Arkham Asylum or being newly introduced as characters within the series.


Psychiatrist Professor Hugo Strange is brought on to oversee the prison. In a complicated series of events, Bruce Wayne gets taken into the city, learning that Strange knows the identity of Batman and has a mysterious plan in motion. Escaping and suiting up, Batman dives into the gangs of Arkham City to rescue Catwoman and encounter many of his Rogues Gallery, who have carved out their own territories — including The Joker, who (true to form) has some wicked plans of his own...

Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill return from the previous game to portray the roles of Batman and The Joker respectively. Besides the characters mentioned above, Bane, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Victor Zsasz, Killer Croc, and The Riddler return (with Killer Croc being relegated to a cameo appearance, while The Riddler gets a much bigger role than he had in the previous game and is given a physical appearance this time around); newcomers to the series include Robin, Catwoman, Two-Face, The Penguin, Deadshot, the League of Assassins, Mr. Freeze, Hush, Mad Hatter, Calendar Man, Solomon Grundy, and Black Mask.


The combat includes more options and integrated gadgets, there are more enemy types, detective mode involves more forensic deduction, the Riddler Challenges involve more varieties of puzzles, the battles are more expansive and the environments are much larger — but the story is still in a confined setting so that there is a focus to the game and doesn't require you to wander around aimlessly.

In addition to all of the above, there are more challenge game types with loads of new features. Catwoman is playable with a complimentary campaign mission, she is also available as a character to play in the challenge missions along with Robin and Nightwing.

The game became known for an unprecedented number of cinematic trailers outlining the different features. A Primary Trailer, a gameplay trailer, the Riddler trailer, the Penguin trailer, the Mr. Freeze trailer, the Joker trailer and Catwoman trailer.

An Updated Re-release called Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition was created for the Wii U. It features unique controls specially patented for that system. All DLC for the original release are featured in the game, and Catwoman's role as a character is expanded upon. Furthermore, Batman and Catwoman also sport armored costumes (justifying the game's strength-boosting "Battle Armored Tech" mode), optional touchscreen and motion controls for Batman's gadgets, and a sonar to reveal nearby villains and Riddler trophies.

The game also has several pieces of tie-in media:

  • A comic prequel (also named Arkham City), which was released in mid-2011 and is set between the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum and City. The story follows the Caped Crusader as he works to uncover the truth about Mayor Quincy Sharp's plans for the walled-off Arkham City, and the various villains inside the city walls who are fighting for control.
  • Arkham Unhinged, a digital-exclusive tie-in comic series which follows various characters in the leadup to Arkham City, including Hugo Strange, Arkham inmates, various villains and different plots that occurred before Bruce Wayne was arrested and put into the city.
  • Arkham City Lockdown, a mobile game developed by NetherRealm Studios for iOS systems, which pits Batman against a number of enemies and villains (with the addition of Slade "Deathstroke" Wilson and Kano) seen in the core game via a series of one-on-one battles throughout the city.
  • Arkham City: Endgame, a six-issue digital comic series that takes place directly after the ending of the main game, and involves Batman coming to terms with the blood on his hands.
  • Harley Quinn's Revenge, a downloadable addition to the main game. The DLC takes place "weeks after" the end of the game, and follows Robin as he heads into the now-condemned Arkham City to rescue Batman and stop Harley Quinn's revenge plot. The DLC was also included in the special Game of the Year Edition, which shipped on the same day.

Has a Character Sheet that includes the previous game.

This game contains examples of:

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    Tropes A to B 
  • Abominable Auditorium: The old Monarch Theater; presumably abandoned for several years, the fact that a good chunk of the surrounding area has been converted into the Arkham City prison has only left the aging cinema complex in even worse condition. It's been repurposed as a temporary base for the Joker and his gang by the time you find it because there's a Lazarus Pit directly under the building, giving Joker an easy route to immortality once he blasts the floor open.
  • Aborted Arc:
    • The main game ends with the strong implication that Harley is pregnant with Joker's child. This plot point gets hastily retconned in Harley Quinn's Revenge, with the reveal that Harley just got a false positive.
    • Quincy Sharp's identity as the spirit of Amadeus Arkham, one of the biggest Sequel Hooks at the end of the previous game is dropped. It's revealed to be a delusion induced by Hugo Strange, and it doesn't factor into the plot at all.
  • Absence of Evidence: Invoked as part of the hunt for the "Identity Thief"; the third body discovered has had all trace evidence left by the killer destroyed with bleach, but Batman is able to track the traces of bleach used to find a vital witness.
  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: There are four distinct sewer areas in the game, and their convenient size is justified this time around. One connects the Industrial District and the Bowery and is connected to the old subway (for maintenance access), one is underneath the Steel Mill and serves as a tunnel to dispose of boiling water from the furnaces, and another is inside Wonder City (an abandoned Steampunk-style subterranean city) and appears to have been built by some ninjas for their own convenience. The sunken ruins of Old Gotham near Wonder City also appear to be connected to the city's sewers.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Near the end of the game, Hugo Strange says "This is just the beginning", a line said near the end of Attack of the Clones by Count Dooku, who Corey Burton has played.
    • A subtle one: Joker attempts to force Mr. Freeze to develop a cure for him by holding his wife hostage. Joker is voiced by Mark Hamill, whose first voice in Batman: The Animated Series was Ferris Boyle, the guy responsible for Mr. Freeze, and Mark's performance as him also landed him with his voicing The Joker in that series. Furthermore, by reading one of the riddles called "Who can BOYLE and Freeze at the same time?" and listening to the Mr. Freeze audio tapes, you find out that Ferris Boyle is canon in the Arkhamverse.
    • MPT Anne Bishop is voiced by Kimberly Brooks. Given the character's looks and personality (her first question when Batman rescues her is where's Riddler, clearly intending to remove his spine), chances are that Ashley Williams will come to mind.
    • Catwoman is voiced by Grey DeLisle so chances are she'll remind some people of Kitty Katswell.
  • Actually a Doombot: To keep up his appearance while dying from the Titan formula, Joker enlisted Clayface to stand in for him at certain moments. Joker referred to as 'The Ol' Fake Joker Gag'.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Almost word for word.
    Batman: Do you want to know something funny? Even after everything you've done, I would have saved you.
    Joker: That actually is... pretty funny.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Arkham City seems to borrow heavily from the film incarnations; much of the architecture takes from the Schumacher era with its neon lights, tall human statues and small oddities, and the rest of it takes cues from Nolan's series. The overall mood of the city, however, strikes far closer to Tim Burton's outings. The story is also vaguely similar to Batman: No Man's Land, and one region of the game was struck by a major earthquake (which seems to have been taken from this storyline, as The Dark Knight Rises had yet to come out).
    • The way Bruce Wayne's parents are drawn on the ground match how their bodies fell in Nolan's Batman Begins.
    • The Remote Electrical Charge gadget functions and is fired a lot like the timed explosive launcher from The Dark Knight, and the artwork in the menu looks a lot like it.
    • The voice actors for Batman and Joker, and the Dark Deco art style come from Batman: The Animated Series.
  • After-Combat Recovery: Like in Arkham Asylum the XP you gain after a combat or predator sequence determines how much health you recover. Amusingly, in this game it also determines how much armor you recover.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • Solomon Grundy may not have been the most sympathetic of characters, being that he's not much more than a mindless killing machine, but nobody deserves a death that brutal. This wasn't the first time he's kicked the bucket, but even some of his offscreen deaths involve being tortured and experimented on until he drops dead.
    • Hugo Strange might have been a deluded fanatic, but still, seeing him broken, betrayed and nearly crying after being stabbed in the back by Ra's al Ghul (both literally and figuratively) you nevertheless feel some kind of pity for him.
    • The freakin' Joker! Even though you know he's getting what's coming to him, it's still sad from an audience's standpoint when the bond between him and Batman is being severed, knowing that he will never have anymore battles or games of cat and mouse ever again. Especially since Batman thinks of his death as a failure on his part.
  • The Alcatraz: The titular Arkham City itself. It is an interesting example, as there are no major security measures beyond the big wall and the turrets keeping everyone in, no attempts to control or discipline prisoners' activities by the guards, and seemingly no guard presence in the City outside of their security cameras and surveillance choppers. Though Hugo Strange's announcements say otherwise, there is only one real rule in the facility: "Don't try to escape and we won't kill you." It's similar to Manhattan from Escape from New York, with both acting as quarantined sections of Metropolises that our lone action hero must navigate.
  • All Crimes Are Equal: Criminals of all levels of heinousness are thrown into Arkham City, from supervillains, to murderers and rapists, to petty thieves.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • Many in-game stories are unlocked when you find enough riddles, from info-blurbs detailing the transition of the neighborhoods and various gang activity to interview tapes establishing how Strange has been manipulating the Rogues Gallery up to that point.
    • The Comic tie in Unhinged explains a lot of what happened that was either happening before or during the game. Many of the Noodle Incidents are also revealed such as Beloved explaining what Talia and Bruce did in Metropolis or how Black Mask broke out of Arkham City in Evicted. It also reveals why Sharp was thrown into Arkham City. Where it revealed that Quincy was breaking free from Strange's mental control and was trying to find out where all the money was coming from. Strange caught him, sentenced him with Treason, and threw him into Arkham City.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us:
    • In the Non Standard Game Over, this apparently happens offscreen to Wayne Manor. Also, Two-Face bombs Catwoman's apartment near the end of her storyline, and Two-Face also takes over Penguin's headquarters.
    • During Protocol Ten, Hugo Strange tells Batman of his intention to march on Wayne Manor, capture Alfred, and drag him through the streets of Gotham. Alfred and Nightwing fend off the attack.
  • Alternate Continuity: While the first game was clearly its own continuity, it was designed to be almost identical with the comics. The sequel makes it clear that certain things are indeed quite different.
    • The events of the game are apparently the first time that Batman has directly gone up against Hugo Strange.
    • In the game's continuity Bane broke Batman's spine, but Batman doesn't know Azrael, who, in the comics, briefly took the mantle of Batman while Bruce Wayne recovered. To clarify, there's two Azraels in the DC comics universe. Arkham City's Azrael is clearly a black man, which means he's the Michael Lane version. Meanwhile, the one that replaced Batman while he was injured in Knightfall was Jean-Paul Valley, a white man. But in the game Batman seems completely unfamiliar with the Azrael persona, as if he's never seen the costume before.
    • This is the first time Batman has crossed paths with several members of his Rogues Gallery, including Hugo Strange and Hush, and Hush has already altered his face and finger prints to match Bruce Wayne as he had at the end of Heart of Hush. Batman references having crossed paths with Ra's Al Ghul before, but he has no idea how Ra's is several centuries old and the discovery of the Lazarus Pit beneath Gotham is new to him. This Lazarus Pit is also the only one in the Arkham universe, while in the comics there are several around the world.
    • Several characters explicitly die during the game and, unlike the comics, they stay dead.
  • Always Close:
    • The church bell-tower always explodes seconds after Batman jumps out the window, regardless of whether or not the countdown finished and Joker finished his monologue.
    • During the Deadshot mission, you find his PDA that lists the exact times of his planned assassinations. No matter when you find it, it will always be only four minutes for easy, three minutes for normal, and two minutes for hard, until Jack Ryder is set to be killed. Once you make it to Jack, you'll always save him a split-second before he's killed, no matter what the on-screen timer says. There are other examples, too many to list.
  • Always Male: Except for Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn (and Talia Al-Ghul and her personal guard, which may or may not be there under incarceration), the entire prison population seems to be male.
  • Always Save the Girl: Deconstructed. Batman's desire to save Talia before stopping Protocol 10 puts the entire prison population at risk (many of whom were political prisoners, petty crooks, and the mentally ill). Oracle and Alfred both call him out on it, and force him to do the right thing.
  • Amazon Brigade: Talia al Ghul has a small cabal of female ninjas at her disposal. It's a good thing this version of Batman doesn't have a problem with fighting women.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: Joker's gang turns Arkham City's industrial district into one, complete with dilapidated carnival rides, ferris wheels, giant toy soldier statues, bright painted wood facades, flashing colored lights and dissonant carnival music. Neon signs in the area even call the place "Joker's Funland". There are even bumper carts inside the Steel Mill itself.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different:
    • With the Catwoman DLC the player switches between her and Batman at certain points in the story.
    • In "Harley Quinn's Revenge", you start off as Robin for a short while before switching to Batman in the flashback, and then back to Robin again before finally getting back to Batman near the end.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: An odd version in which, while you don't unlock any outfits upon beating the main story or reaching any specific milestone, you can only use any DLC costumes on a New Game Plus (unless you use a cheat code beforehand) or in the Playable Epilogue. In any case, Batman naturally gets the most costumes, while Catwoman and Robin get 3 including their defaults (Catwoman gets her original Arkham City outfit in the Wii U port since her default costume was changed) and Nightwing only gets two, counting his default. The costumes consist of:
  • Another Side, Another Story: The Catwoman DLC campaign lets you see the story from her perspective.
  • Anti-Climactic Unmasking: Defied. The Joker tells Harley not to unmask Batman for exactly this reason.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Batman will automatically glide down to rafts and ice floes if you point him toward one. The game also guides him towards mooks with ridiculously long leaps in combat like in Asylum and gives armored mooks priority when performing instant takedowns, and attempting to perform a disarm on an enemy with no weapon results in an instant takedown instead.
    • If you die enough times or take too long to figure out how to damage Mr. Freeze, you'll get some additional help in form of a checklist of possible takedowns you've done on him already.
    • In addition to tagging trophies to find later, the game also flags and allows you to interrogate Riddler's informants to find out where the secrets are, an attempt to avert the Last Lousy Point.
      • The Wii U version adds a sonar feature that auto-tags trophies, riddles, and other subquest items, even while gliding.
    • Some Riddler Challenges require certain enemies to complete, such as shocking an armored enemy into any other enemy, or performing an Inverted Takedown to subdue them. The way enemies respawn means that the player always has a chance to complete these challenges, even after they've finished the game (e.g. an armored enemy will always respawn near Joker's area, while the Subway has a room with both respawning enemies and vantage points needed to do an Inverted Takedown).
    • No matter how many trophies you collect, the third Riddler hostage room does not become available until you have the zipline, which is required for solving the room.
    • When you speak to Calendar Man on a holiday, the month in question will be scribbled out with red ink, letting you know that you've acquired that holiday.
    • If you start the Identity Thief side quest but don't finish it by the end of the main story, the remaining victims will be marked on the map automatically.
    • Aside from a certain body of water outside the Iceberg Lounge, there's no penalty for falling into the bodies of water in Arkham City (Batman notes aloud that his suit can't take water for very long); Batman will simply auto-rappel or do a fade-to-black reset to a nearby platform or where you launched from.
  • Anti-Villain:
    • Catwoman is a Noble Villain; she is largely self-interested and has her own agenda which is cleaning out the Arkham City confiscated valuables vault, but when push comes to shove, she'll rush to help Batman, albeit grumbling about when she somehow developed a conscience. Unless you decide not to, in which case you get a Non Standard Game Over and the game resets to the moment just before this to help you make the right decision.
    • Mr. Freeze is a Villain in Name Only, as the Boss Fight is the only time in the game where he goes against Batman, and it's instigated mostly because of a misunderstanding, and Batman threatening to destroy his life support system in the museum didn't get him in a good mood (the player may know he was bluffing, but Freeze certainly didn't).
    • Two-Face is a Noble Villain, at least when his 'Good' side is in control. He tries to keep his troops' morale up, shares his loot fairly and keeps Penguin and Calendar Man locked up rather than killing them despite them being former enemies. When his bad side takes over, he's a pure Card-Carrying Villain.
  • Anyone Can Die: By the time the game ends, several characters (Hugo Strange, Talia, The Joker and possibly Solomon Grundy, Ra's al Ghul and Clayface) die during the events of the plot.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Inverted this time. Since it is Hugo Strange doing these interviews, most of patient interviews end with Strange's manipulating criminals to his own ends or delivering a crushing Break Them by Talking that causes them to break down.
    • In the Non-Standard Game Over, which you get if Catwoman takes the money and runs, Oracle gives an apocalyptic log as Joker's forces overrun the city.
  • Arc Hero: The other main playable character, Catwoman, whose story affects the Batman part of the story. She plays similarly, but not the same, giving it a unique challenge. A lot of promotional material focused on Catwoman being added to the game. There's also a bunch of DLC characters for challenge maps, but they're far closer to pallet swaps for Batman, and don't have a playable role in the story.
  • Arc Words:
    Joker: You fell for the old fake Joker gag, Batman!
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Hugo Strange in his final "Break Them by Talking" lecture gives one to Batman, which he tellingly never gives an answer or comeback to:
    "I have a question for you. Before my arrival, this city was drowning under a tide of filth. Have you ever considered that all this is your fault? Your presence creates these animals; like germs, they spread. You created the environment that allowed the germ to mutate, to become stronger. Look at The Joker. Would he even exist if not for you?"
  • Artificial Brilliance:
    • Mr. Freeze analyzes the strategies used against him and manipulates the environment to prevent the player from repeating it.
    • Normal enemies start using increasingly effective equipment to thwart Batman's attacks as the game progresses. They will also pick up weapons dropped by comrades to use themselves, or just stuff lying around to throw at you. If you use the Disruptor to disable an enemy's gun, once they realize this they'll run and grab another weapon if one is nearby.
  • Artistic License – Biology: This version of Penguin has the bottom of a broken bottle jammed over and around one eye instead of a monocle. It is explained it has not been removed because that would risk severing major blood vessels and killing him. However, there are no such blood vessels near the eye, and since the bottle remains a protruding object with sharp edges, any mild impact could move it enough to cut those as well.
  • Artistic License – Law:
    • There is absolutely no way for any Mayor to give a private security force enough power to just randomly arrest people who politically oppose them (among them well-known figures like Bruce Wayne and people working at the press like Jack Ryder) and throw them into jail without any trial.
    • More-so "Artistic License - Law Enforcement," but when someone is arrested they are typically handcuffed with their hands behind their back, with the exception of people with certain medical concerns (e.g., pregnant women). This is done to avoid giving the arrestee the range of movement and opportunity to assault any nearby officers - which is precisely what Bruce does at the beginning of the game. Of course, that would suck the fun out of the fights with Penguin and his men, wouldn’t it?
  • Artistic License – Physics: The Deadshot side mission ignores all the laws of physics to justify the assassin's ridiculous kill shots.
    • When Batman is hunting Deadshot, his second victim is sniped through a full water tower. Even assuming there was a gun that could still be lethal after shooting through 6 feet of water (and MythBusters confirmed there is not), the bullet's trajectory is completely unaffected.
    • All of Deadshot's bullet trajectories follow straight lines instead of parabolic arcs like they do in real life.
    • Deadshot's bullet trajectories are determined using only a single point of impact, which is impossible. Indeed, the trajectory of Joker's bullet can only be traced using the bullet hole on the floor and the hole in the window.
    • One of Deadshot's victims is killed by a bullet ricochet, something the MythBusters also proved to be impossible.
  • Art Shift: The playable characters have alternate skins based on their designs from various comics and Batman: The Animated Series.
  • Ascended Extra: Zsasz, who was little more than a tutorial boss in the first game, reappears in a major sidequest. The Riddler's Collection Sidequest is twice as lengthy, and he makes an actual physical appearance. A lot of the Batman villains that featured as unlockable bios in the first game also make actual physical appearances: Hugo Strange, Two-Face, the Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Ra's al Ghul...
  • Ascended Meme: At one point, while berating his henchmen for failing to catch Batman, Joker asks, "How hard can it be to kill a man dressed like a bat?!"
  • Attacking Through Yourself: After jumping out of Hugo Strange's building with Ra's al Ghul in custody, Ra's attempts to strike Batman with a sword. However, Batman notices this and lets go before Ra's can get him. Ra's will need to make a trip to the lazarus pit indeed.
  • Autosave: When entering or exiting a building. Also going hand-in-hand with anti-frustration features listed above, the game will also auto-save when you clear a Predator, combat, or puzzle section during a story mission, and after grabbing any collectible in the game.
  • Backstab Backfire:
    • What ultimately does the Joker in. He stabs Batman in the arm to steal the cure from him after Clayface has been defeated, but it causes Batman to drop the vial, shattering it.
    • Harley tries to stab Batman with something resembling a retractable stake at the end of Harley Quinn's Revenge, but a well-timed shuriken from Robin knocks her out cold.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Batman and Bane pull this off against a group of Tyger mooks.
  • Badass Boast: The game's first stealth section has four armed mercenaries taking two hostages in a church building, which gives Batman the opportunity to quip about how unthreatening the scenario is.
    "Four thugs, all armed. Two hostages. This is going to be easy."
  • Badass in Distress:
    • The game starts off with Catwoman being held hostage by Two-Face.
    • Later on, Catwoman gets to return the favor by rescuing Batman when he's buried under rubble.
    • Again, Talia by the Joker. First chance she gets, she actually manages to stab her capturer. Or so she thinks...
    • Batman spends about half of Harley Quinn's Revenge unwillingly suspended.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Albeit tattered by the time the fists fly. The game prologue starts off with Bruce Wayne, in civilian clothes, finding himself being processed into Arkham City after the TYGER security goons trample all over his and the press gathering's first amendment rights. He throws down with a few thugs in processing despite handcuffs, and then breaks out of the handcuffs as he trounces all of the thugs The Penguin gathers. Shortly after, he suits up properly in his body-armored Batman costume.
  • Bad Boss: Well, this applies to most of the villains; Joker has his Comedic Sociopathy (though his mooks are somehow still loyal anyway). Riddler can't stop being an Insufferable Genius even to his hired help. Hugo Strange is so dispassionate he doesn't really care one way or the other about his men. Penguin's got a more down-to-earth "fail me and I'll throw a temper tantrum and maybe kill you" line of thinking—he's actually so bad that his are the only minions to immediately jump ship after their boss is taken down.
    • Strangely, not Two-Face. His henchmen are clearly loyal, and he seems to have a "campaign" to take over Arkham City. He does have his... episodes when the coin lands on the wrong side.
  • Bag of Spilling: Played with. Batman starts the game with most of the gadgets he had in the previous game, and obtains several more gadgets and upgrades in the main story. However, many of those gadgets only get a tutorial when they become needed. The only gadgets he never gets a replacement for are the multi-batarang and the multi-batclaw (the former is no longer strictly necessary since Batman can spam Batarangs one after another now, although the latter had a Red Herring, appearing in the Hugo Strange trailer).
    • Also, a Freeflow Focused Batarang seems to throw multiple Batarangs at once.
    • Also Lampshaded and Justified; when he requests a piece of equipment he had in the last game, Alfred snarks that he should consider a bigger belt. Batman said he had one, but it was too bulky. And seeing as he can have the Batwing drop off gear anywhere in Gotham, it isn't really necessary. This old gadget is the Line Launcher, which isn't as useful for most outdoor activities when you can glide around and the insides of most buildings should be little more than hallways.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Poison Ivy, Harley's new outfit bares her midriff as her previous one did, and Talia al Ghul.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: Wall takedowns, window takedowns, floor takedowns, vent cover takedowns and grate takedowns.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Appropriately played entirely straight in one of the sidequests. At the resolution of the Bane/Titan quest, Batman reveals that he knew full well Bane just wanted the drug for himself and that he let Bane collect his half anyway so he could dispose of them in one go.
    • Joker pulled one by poisoning Batman in the first place. If Batman himself was never in any danger, Talia wouldn't have attacked Harley. Also there's no way that Joker would know that Batman would start succumbing to the poison while underground instead while gliding or engaged with enemies.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: While he doesn't actually use a firearm, Batman does resort to using lethal force on two different bosses. The first is Solomon Grundy, who can't be stopped by anything less, and the second is Clayface, who's immune to all of Batman's conventional tactics.
  • Batter Up!: Other than some of the enemies in the game, Harley Quinn also whacks Batman with a baseball bat when Joker ambushes him, even dropping the trope name.
  • Battle Bolas: Bolas are the second gadget Catwoman receives. They can be thrown at enemies to stun them and are Catwoman's equivalent to Batarangs.
  • Bench Breaker: In the intro scenes, Bruce Wayne rocks back and forth in a chair he's been tied to, and then escapes from his bonds once he (and it) topples to the ground.
  • Benevolent Boss: Two-Face seems to be one of these - half of the time. Unlike most of the other crime bosses we encounter in Arkham City he seems to be relatively fair, reasonable and concerned with keeping the morale of his underlings up. He's also one of the few bosses that we hear who for the most part doesn't try to 'encourage' his mooks to do his bidding by threatening various painful deaths upon them if they screw up. The Bat-computer even notes that he's approaching his campaign for dominance in Arkham City as if it were a political campaign - a classic trait of writing Two-Face lies in remembering his good side is Harvey Dent, District Attorney. An essential part of politics is buttering up the people you depend upon...
  • Betty and Veronica: Talia and Catwoman for Batman, though they'd no doubt fight to the death over deciding who's more Veronica than the other.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Most of the major villains spend the game jockeying for the Big Bad position.
    • Strange and the Joker more or less serve as the two main Big Bads in the story. Most of the stuff you end up having to do relates to thwarting either one of their plots. Ra's is The Man Behind the Man to Strange, but it's established that Arkham City is entirely Strange's idea.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: The prequel comic shows Batman was only able to slip into and out of Arkham City once. In-game, there are security cameras everywhere, which must be destroyed to satisfy Riddler Challenges. The inmates will even comment they find the fact they are constantly watched creepy.
  • Big Fancy Castle: While not exactly a castle, Penguin's Museum and the Iceberg Lounge have been remodeled to serve as Penguin's headquarters. Both areas are quite fancy, and the Museum itself is massive and a somewhat haunting location.
  • Big Guy Rodeo: Returns from Asylum as Penguin and Joker have their own supplies of Titan and give it to some of their henchmen to add some heavy muscle to their gangs.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • Batman saves the day. Unfortunately, Talia is dead (for now), Catwoman's apartment got bombed by Two-Face, it's left unclear whether any of the people Joker poisoned can be saved (though the DLC later clarifies they were), and Batman actually intended to save the Joker, despite the latter's evil nature, and failed.
    • The Harley Quinn's Revenge DLC ends with Harley's plan a resounding failure, but Bruce is still even more emotionally closed-off than usual. Not even the brief prospect of losing Tim gets him to open up - he just grapples away, leaving a very concerned Gordon in his wake.
  • Bizarrchitecture: Even walled-off, broken freeways and all, Arkham City makes no sense from a civic planning point of view. Freeways come and go into what was once the islet, branch off to the GCPD and the Steel Mill with about twenty feet's notice. The alleys and streets in Crime Alley and the Bowery which are on a lower level from the interstates and have their own dead ends and secret corners. And fully half the map is subsumed, the victim of an in-universe earthquake prior to the game's events. As with the first game, you will take the long way around to get where you're going. Except in the Courthouse.
  • Black-and-White Morality: As far as the prisoners are concerned, the subtitles helpfully divide them between "inmates" and "political prisoners". Most of the inmates will fight Batman even if they were saved by him seconds ago, while political prisoners never attack. Occasionally, inmates will run into a corner and cower when they see Batman, though this usually doesn't happen with the inmates who are part of one of the villains' gangs.
  • Black Dude Dies First: With the Precinct 13 cops: The first (and only) death of the 10 man squad, Officer Best, was a black man.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: How the upgraded quick-fire Batclaw Disarm works (yanks weapons out of the hands of enemies).
  • Blood from the Mouth: Batman starts coughing up blood when the disease starts to affect him.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Like Arkham Asylum, Arkham City has a ton of bloodless violence, except for Batman's aforementioned coughing up blood and Hugo Strange's death.
  • Blown Across the Room: Hitting an armored henchman with the REC will result in this, and getting him to collide with another thug is a Riddler challenge.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: Played straight with the Armor upgrades you can get, which extend your life bar. Interestingly, they are two separate life bars which protect against either melee or gunfire attacks, so you take damage from your normal health bar if you get hit by a baseball bat with 0 Combat Armor, but full Ballistic Armor.
  • Body Double: Joker uses this trope in order to get the drop on Batman early on. Though it's later revealed to be more complicated. In order to keep up appearances while he's sick, Joker has Clayface stand in for him at several points. The one you thought was the real Joker was actually Clayface, while the apparent Body Double was the real Joker.
  • Body Horror:
    • By the end of the game, Joker is a coughing, disease-ravaged wreck sporting a disgusting rash and he can barely stand.
    • Solomon Grundy's body is eventually set on fire and burned by the electric currents powering him during the course of his boss fight. He's constantly releasing supernaturally huge maggots. Plus, by the final stage of his boss fight, his ribcage is exposed.
    • When we first find Mr. Freeze, he's not in his suit, and he does not look well. Like someone undergoing chemo. Plus the coolant device plugged into his chest. His fingers look badly frostbitten. His ears are gone. Some of the original concept art for Freeze openly showed him lacking ears and a nose - It could be that this made him look a little too close to the comics mob boss Great White Shark, whose frostbitten extremities were actually referenced in Arkham Asylum's morgue.
    • Ra's al Ghul's initial appearance. That trip to the Lazarus Pit looked like it was long overdue for him.
    • While Joker has a fully-formed Titan thug in his employ (likely due to his gang stashing more of what remained), Penguin only managed to obtain the unrefined formula, meaning that his thug has the alternately bulging and atrophied limbs of the "prototype" fought at the beginning of Asylum. In "Harley Quinn's Revenge", Harley has one too, due to Batman having destroyed all known samples of the Titan compound during the events of the game.
  • Bond One-Liner: Near the end, after Ra's falls from Wonder Tower, impales himself and smashes onto an iron fence:
    Oracle: Are you okay?
    Batman: I'm fine.
    Oracle: And Ra's?
    Batman: Let's just say he's gonna need another trip to the Lazarus Pit.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity:
    • Hugo Strange captures Bruce (whom he knows is Batman), then just dumps him into the City. No part of his plan required Batman to do anything, and indeed he hires Deadshot to kill Batman, which means he could and should have killed Bruce when he was unconscious and shackled.
    • When Batman confronts Penguin outside the Iceberg Lounge, Penguin uses Mr. Freeze's gun to freeze Batman's arm and leaves him briefly stuck to the wall, but instead of just killing him then and there, he tells him to come meet him in the Iceberg Lounge so he can "kick his arse again".
    • Averted by Mr. Freeze and the Joker in the latter half of the game; they adapt their tactics accordingly, but Batman is prepared for them before hand.
    • Once you infiltrate TYGER's base, Hugo Strange will appear on a video screen with a hostage, forcing Batman to stand still while his thugs surround him and tries a Break Them by Talking. Once he orders them to kill him, he's moved away from the hostage. Nice scene, Strange, but any particular reason you didn't keep that weapon pointed at the hostage? Batman wouldn't have fought back if it meant that the hostage would die.
    • In order to start Deadshot's side quest, you need to find a political prisoner atop the building. Batman will speak with the prisoner, and then Deadshot will kill the man on the spot. Later, it will be discovered that Batman is on Deadshot's hunting list. Why didn't he took the opportunity to kill Batman in there before the prisoner? Because of a schedule, but that's not enough to justify it.
  • Book Ends: Cross-media example. The site of the final battle? The same movie theater the Waynes left the night Bruce's parents were killed. Hammering the point home, their Chalk Outlines are still there, behind the building, in the helpfully-indicated Crime Alley, originating Hugo Strange's quote atop the page and allowing you to "pay your respects" (which also gives you an achievement).
    • Strange also left some flowers and a note that reads: "It will end where it began."
    • At the beginning of the game, Joker attempts to kill Catwoman, due to believing Batman is in love with her. At the end of the game, he succeeds in killing Talia, a woman Batman also loves.
    • In the beginning of the game, during the opening cutscene, a painting of Cain's murder of Abel which shows Cain carrying Abel's body in his arms is shown. At the end of the game, Batman carries the Joker's body away in the same manner.
    • Early in the game Batman is forced to dive out of the window of a church tower before it explodes. Near the end of the game Batman dives out of the window of Wonder Tower before it explodes. Both happen before Batman sets out to confront The Joker.
    • Towards the beginning, after Batman has "rescued" Catwoman, this exchange occurs.
      Batman: It looked like you needed my help back there.
      Catwoman: You're right. I think I chipped a nail back there.
      • At the end...
        Catwoman: It looked like you needed my help back there.
        Batman: You're right. I think I chipped a nail back there.
  • Border Patrol: If Batman tries to glide over the perimeter wall of Arkham City, he will turn around while escaping gunfire from turrets.
  • Boring, but Practical: How Hugo Strange figured out Batman's Secret Identity, as he explains, with no small amount of pride, to The Riddler (whose Complexity Addiction would never countenance basic by-the-book analysis):
    "Oh, I used no tricks, no childish puzzles. I simply created a psychological profile of the man most likely to be the Batman, and then matched it against the most logical candidate. I was right, of course."
  • Boss-Arena Idiocy: Clayface, whose arena is covered in TNT. If you stand right in front of it as he rolls towards you, he will blow up and take at least almost half his health.
    • Subverted by Mr. Freeze. He didn't expect the lab to become a boss arena, but every time Batman gets the drop on him, Mr. Freeze will make sure the Bat can't do it the same way a second time. Pop out of a vent? He'll freeze the vent covers shut. Attack him from the air? He'll humidify the room so that gliding is impossible. Use the Line Launcher? He'll recognize the noise the next time it's used and counter it.
  • Bound and Gagged: While exploring Joker's hideout the second time, you come across Harley, taped to a pole and gagged. It's not explained who did it at first, but Talia reveals during the final boss fight that she stole the cure from Harley, so presumably she's the one who tied her up. For added bonus, you can regag Harley; if you take it off again, Harley yells that she will get back at Batman if he keeps doing that.
  • Bowdlerise: In the Wii U version of the game, Catwoman has a different costume, more similar to Batman's, which covers up her cleavage. Justified in game as it is a suit of armor, which offers more protection and allows her to store and release kinetic energy.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The henchmen under Poison Ivy and Mad Hatter. It's also revealed that Strange has used the Mad Hatter's methods at brainwashing and has used it on both the TYGER guards into serving him and on Quincy Sharp; however, the latter does not fall into this trope and fits the brainwashed trope more.
    • One of the Arkham City Stories establishes that the lunatics from the first game were TYGER guard recruits who didn't take to Strange's Brainwashing. He had them lobotomized and dumped in cages to be forgotten.
  • Break the Haughty:
    • After mortally wounding him, Ra's takes a second to casually dash Strange's dreams and crap on a game's worth of boasting, coldly stating that he's once and for all proven himself inferior to Batman.
    • On a less extreme level, this is usually what happens to the Mooks during predator gameplay. Before:
      "Ha ha, Batman don't stand a chance!"
    • After:
      "Don't hurt me! *sobs* Please!"
      "G-get away!
  • Break Them by Talking:
    • Hugo Strange makes a lot of these.
    • Joker gets in his fair share.
  • Brother–Sister Team: In the comic, the Trask brother/sister duo.
  • Bullet Catch: If you throw a batarang at Batman's mysterious stalker, he just snatches it out of the air. There's actually an achievement for it, and one of the Riddler challenges requires you to catch one by yourself.
  • Bullet Time: A minor version in form of Freeflow Focus, which slows down all enemies slightly and is activated by getting a high enough combo multiplier without using any special attacks. The Bullet Time appears to increase the more combos one racks up.
  • Bullying a Dragon: If the Mooks spot Batman, but can't reach him, they'll taunt him, calling him "chicken" and the like. Yeah, that's a great idea. Taunt the guy who takes down supervillains on a regular basis.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • In the Plus mode, Batman will avoid using the gadgets he gained in the previous gameplay, with him saying "this can wait". So no, you cannot directly enter Wonder Tower the moment you start the game.
    • In Catwoman's third chapter, you get the choice to either save Batman or leave Arkham City with the loot. Taking the second option, however, leads to the end credits complete with Oracle begging for help over the radio due to Batman dying and Joker's troops overrunning Gotham, only for time to be rewound so you can go back and make the 'correct' choice. If you attempt to leave Arkham city a second time, Catwoman won't even open the door.
    • During normal gameplay, you must go find Mister Freeze in the coldest point of Arkham City. However, you can ignore this and go directly to the Museum, where you can hear the goons saying Penguin has Freeze trapped in the museum. However, Batman will not react to this, and the game forces you to go to the old GCPD building so hack into Penguin's communications.
  • Butt-Monkey: Arkham Asylum had "Razor", a minor Joker goon who got into a pickle a few times, and he's mentioned again in this game. He still seems to keep getting into trouble.

    Tropes C to E 
  • Cain and Abel:
    • The Abramovici Brothers, conjoined twins who separated over political differences and now act as high-ranking members of opposing gangs. The Playable Epilogue has a scene where they make up and decide to be sewn back together.
    • When playing the game with the Catwoman DLC, the opening shot is of a picture of Cain carrying Abel, titled "The Duality of Man." In the same pose as when Batman carries The Joker later on.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Mooks who are aware of Batman's presence, but don't have a line of sight to fire upon him, will occasionally announce that they're throwing grenades. This is to avoid blowing each other up, but also gives Batman a chance to avoid the blast.
  • The Cameo: Several notable characters have very brief roles.
    • Black Mask shows up in the opening, getting beaten by TYGER guards. He also has a small DLC role in the Robin DLC.
    • Killer Croc has a brief cameo that can only be seen after the Ra's fight.
    • In Lockdown, a tablet tie-in game made by Netherrealm Studios, features Kano as an optional fight.
  • Camera Screw:
    • What is your greatest enemy in the Riddler's combat challenge maps, you ask? The camera! For reasons unknown, the developers thought it'd be helpful for you if the camera automatically spins around 180 degrees whenever you do a counter or get hit from behind. It's not. Prepare to rage as your combos get broken because you attacked the wrong person thanks to the camera spinning wildly around. It doesn't help when you can't adequately control what enemy you attack either.
    • This is also rant-inducing when trying for Riddler trophies that involve having to rebound off of walls during flight. Having to orient yourself several times during a trophy challenge to kick off specific targets in a row can be frustrating to say the least. Please resist the urge to throw your controller at the screen.
    • This is specially bad during beatdowns. Unavoidably, the camera will slowly pan around Batman beating the mook. It's not a problem if there are no enemies left, but as soon as one comes, if you want to keep the beatdown you have to counterattack the coming mook and reposition yourself into the former, whose direction is changing constantly.
    • It's also (albeit in a much smaller scale) a problem in predator challenges. Entering an air vent will always turn Batman's view to the inside, even if you enter backwards with the intention of seeing if mooks are looking at you. Grappling will always turn the camera up, which seems logical at first but it's completely unnecessary once you initiated grappling. Speaking of which... want to grapple to a certain point on the scenery? Well, make sure you rotate the camera to the exact position. Just because you can see the point you want to grapple to, doesn't mean the game does. Good luck trying to do this while moving or falling.
  • Canon Foreigner: In addition to Quincy Sharp returning from the first game, we get the Abramovici Twins.
  • Casino Park: Amusement Mile, which was an entertainment district along a major highway in Gotham's slums before a huge earthquake hit, dropping much of it into the bay. Despite being abandoned, the neon lights that advertise the various businesses in that part of the city are still on.
  • Cardboard Prison: The back-story for the game has Quincy Sharp recognizing this as the reason for moving the criminals to the new location. It also helps that the first game ends with both Blackgate and Arkham ravaged.
    • Arkham City itself, however, is anything but - the perimeter has turrets, and helicopters with guns patrol regularly, and very few have been able to get in or out of the prison.
  • Casting Gag: Fred Tatasciore as Solomon Grundy. He's also known for playing the Hulk, another green monster with enormous strength, broken speech, and limited intelligence.
  • Ceiling Cling: One of Catwoman's abilities; she has to use this to get Catwoman-specific Riddler trophies and can use it to her advantage both as an additional hiding spot and as a way to take out any mooks walking above or below her.
  • Chairman of the Brawl: Some mooks may opt to throw chairs at Batman. The counter involves a Catch and Return.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Due to the way the story is told, it’s possible to miss it until after it goes off. In the backstory, Joker fakes his own death to escape a hospital. Early in the game, he fakes his own death in the Steel Mill to allow Clayface to get the drop on Batman.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Throughout the game, TYGER helicopters patrol Arkham City; their spotlight will focus on Batman if they catch sight of him and, if he's in a fight at the time, the pilots will admire Batman's skills. Once Protocol 10 activates, Batman needs to find the Master Control Program from one of said helicopters in order to gain access to Wonder Tower. The choppers themselves also become a legitimate threat and can easily gun down Batman once he's in their sights. It could also double as a game-long Antepiece getting the player ready for Protocol 10.
    • In the end of the "Harley Quinn's Revenge" Downloadable Content, the previously inanimate Wonder City automatons are the last opponents in a straight on battle.
  • Central Theme: Do criminals deserve rights? The theme of Arkham City is specifically a question of whether criminals deserve basic fundamental human rights. To what extent do the worst of humanity command compassion and restraint? What does it say about a society that decides to wash their hands of them and simply corral them to a dustbin where they will eventually be subject to extermination?
  • Chokepoint Geography: Wonder City/Tower is only accessible through a subway entrance on one side of the map, and a hole that leads to the sewers in the other. Besides guards from several factions being stationed at those points, the middle zone that contains the actual entrance to Wonder City and the elevator to Wonder Tower is also heavily guarded.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Joker has a case of this, which plays a part in why he has no alliances with the other gangs in the City. This turns into an outright fatal case at the game's end. Worse, he constantly assumes Batman will do this as well, complicating the game by constantly sending mooks to kill the player just in case Batman was intending to double cross him.
  • Circling Monologue: Harley and Talia do one around Batman.
  • Cliffhanger: With the Catwoman DLC installed, Batman's story cuts away to Selina's exploits as soon as he is captured by Joker and Harley. Then that episode of Catwoman's tale also ends with a Cliffhanger.
  • Climax Boss: Ra's al Ghul, Mr. Freeze and Clayface.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture:
    • After Penguin captures Mr. Freeze, his freeze gun becomes Penguin's new favorite toy. While Batman is trying to figure out how to get to him and save the two undercover police that he's taken hostage, Penguin freezes one of the cop's fingers one by one and then takes a hammer to them, all over the loudspeaker so Batman can hear it. Then he just decides to freeze his whole hand and smash it all at once.
    • Hugo Strange tortured a TYGER captain to death in one of the trailers, during a brutal interrogation. Finding the corpse of the TYGER operative is one of the game's Riddler secrets.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: At the end of Catwoman's second episode, the green arrows lead back to Arkham City, where Catwoman saves Batman and allows him to save Gotham. The red arrows lead into Gotham City, Batman's death and the fall of Gotham City at the hands of The Joker.
    • Almost everything associated with the Riddler is green. This makes it easy to spot switches, trophies and question mark symbols against the more muted background coloring. If you have the Catwoman DLC, her Riddler trophies (which will shock Batman if he tries to pick it up) will be colored red, while his are the normal green.
    • Just like in the first game, Batman's detective vision differentiates between normal mooks (blue) and those holding guns (orange). This is actually intentional from Batman's part.
    • Again, like in Batman: Arkham Asylum, when an enemy is about to attack Batman, a symbol appears over his head to make the player know how to proceed. A blue symbol means you can simply counter-attack. A yellow one means it's going to be a blade attack, so it has to be dodged. A red one means it cannot be avoided, so you have to jump out of the way.
    • Armored mooks's costumes come with large patches of white or red to easily differentiate them from the rest.
  • Composite Character: Almost all of the characters in the series endeavour to pick and choose the most popular elements from their various portrayals across the television shows, comics and movies. See the Character page for specifics.
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard:
    • You get a helpful message from Alfred that Lucius Fox has synthesized a cure and it's been deposited by Bat-Missile onto a nearby roof. Sounds like a pretty important side-objective, huh? Too bad the whole thing was entirely a fabrication of your own imagination after Mad Hatter put the whammy on you remotely. If you return to that rooftop later, you'll find, instead of a Bat-Missile, a picnic blanket with an elaborate tea-set.
    • The achievement for defeating Solomon Grundy appears... before he's actually defeated!
    • In the French version of the game, the ingame instructions for one of physical challenges are mistranslated, which makes it impossible to get without checking a guide. You need to "Aerial Attack off a stunned enemy into another", but it has been changed into something like "throw an enemy into another with an Aerial Attack". This mistake actually looks credible on paper (there are physical challenges which require to get an enemy to hit or attack another), making it especially misleading.
  • Conflict Ball: Mr. Freeze manufactures a cure for Batman's poisoning, then locks it up and demands Batman rescue Nora from Joker first. Batman is going to die within hours if he doesn't get that cure and has already had a near-death experience, and it would be pretty hard for him to help Freeze if he's dead. Not only does Freeze overlook this lapse in logic, but Batman doesn't even try to reason with him and just dives for the locked safe, prompting Freeze to start attacking him. Also, if Freeze did give him the cure now, Batman would still probably be willing to find Nora for him, since he'll be on his way back to Joker's hideout after this anyway. But if they didn't have their disagreement, there wouldn't be a boss fight.
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back: Catwoman, who makes the choice to either escape with the riches, or go back and help an incapacitated Bats. Subverting this gets you a Non Standard Game Over.
  • Constructive Body Disposal: Whilst exploring the Penguin's Museum base, at several points if you turn on Detective Vision it will reveal a number of corpses within the walls of the building.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: At one point, Batman enters Joker's steel mill through the main chimney and ends up right in the main furnace, is perfectly fine as long as he doesn't touch the coals at the bottom. There is one small part where he has to pour water over the coals to cool them down, but that's only for a small section of the room.
  • Conjoined Twins: The Abramovici Twins used to be, but had themselves separated over political differences. The Communist brother went to work for Joker, the Capitalist brother joined up with Penguin. They reconcile at the end of the game and decide they want to be rejoined.
  • Conservation of Detail: The Hugo Strange trailer stands out in that it is the only one of the trailers that wasn't put together out of a combination of gameplay and cutscene footage. The interesting part is that the TYGER guard he interrogates and kills can actually be found in the game itself and is also the answer to one of the Riddler's riddles.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In the church, Batman stops Harley's attack the same way he did in the last game.
    • You can see Arkham Island from the bay and it's still covered in giant vines. It's even the answer to a riddle.
    • The centerpiece of the final room converted into a shrine in honor of the Joker's death in Harley Quinn's Revenge? A giant Joker robot.
    • The outlines of Bruce's parents behind the theater is the same position they were in Bruce's nightmare by Scarecrow.
    • The glass case Penguin has reserved for Joker at his museum contains as a placeholder one of those Joker mannequins with a TV for a head that Joker would use to talk to you in the Visitor's Center of the asylum.
    • The Visitor's Center TV heads also reappear during Harley Quinn's Revenge, where she's placed them all over the Steel Mill.
    • Harley's outfit from the previous game is displayed on a mannequin in the Steel Mill. It's the answer to another riddle.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: There are a few places where Batman will remind you what you need to do if you spend too much time poking around. This is most noticeable in the church, where if you try to listen to everything the medical workers and guards have to say, you'll be told several times that you need to go to the top of the church.
  • Crapsack World: What kind of world must the inhabitants of Gotham City live in, where a whole district of their city can become a dumping ground for criminals? Worse yet, a lot of the prisoners just plain don't belong there, but were thrown in for political reasons or because Strange wanted to get rid of them. Bruce Wayne gets captured and thrown in without warning for organizing a protest rally.
  • Cute Kitten: In Catwoman's second episode, while she fights enemies near her apartment, you can actually see a cat walk by unfazed. And in her final episode, after she is knocked out unconscious by a bomb blast, two cats walk around her lying on the floor. Awwww!
  • Cutscene Boss: Bane and Hugo Strange. Some people believe the latter would be justified because "trained to physical perfection" as it states in his bio does not mean "expert in hand-to-hand combat". Batman is both, Strange is only the former.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Every problem one has in this game is caused because of a cut-scene:
    • Able to block an attack when someone comes up behind you... not in a cut-scene which happens TWICE
    • Able to take a hit to the head with a baseball bat during and only get slightly dazed... not in a cut scene, to which you are knocked out for some time.
  • Cutting the Knot: You can easily rescue the first Riddler hostage with the Line Launcher or by running across the floor and absorbing damage. If you do, the Riddler condescendingly says he knew you would "cheat".
    • You're required to do this on the Riddler's Shell Game, since he will cheat.
    • You can do this in the third room instead of solving the magnet block puzzle by dive-rolling from the pressure switch to the door, although there's no text for it suggesting it's a glitch.
    • If you have enough health upgrades, you can use the Line Launcher to skip deactivating the electrified floor at the start of the fourth room. Doing this means that the game doesn't realise you've beaten the first area and Riddler will continue to mock you for being unable to beat it even while you're talking to the hostage you just rescued!
    • Apart from the Riddler rooms, you can Disrupt the firearm of a hostage-taker, eliminating the need to sneak up on him from behind.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Some of the gadgets are in different locations on the utility belt than in the previous game. Most jarring is the batclaw in slot 2 and the explosives in slot 3, when in Arkham Asylum they were the other way around.
    • The keys (on PS3, at least) for the Batarang and the Batclaw have been flipped from Batman: Arkham Asylum. Considering they're two of Batman's most used tools, expect to throw a Batclaw at a mook and a Batarang at a Riddler trophy many times.
  • Damsel in Distress: Catwoman is briefly Two-Face's captive. And we do mean "briefly" - as soon as it looks like he's actually going to kill her, she cuts herself loose and slashes his face. Overlaps with Badass in Distress.
    • Talia is taken captive by Joker and used as a motivator to lure Batman into the final battle, but given how easily she breaks free of his hold and disarms him it's likely she was just leading him on.
  • Dance Battler: Catwoman's move set is a lot more fluid and ballet-like than Batman's, who uses more brute strength than acrobatics or gymnastics.
    • Nightwing is another example, having once been an acrobat himself.
  • Darker and Edgier: They actually managed to trump Arkham Asylum. And that's saying something.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Implied by Harley.
    Harley: Mr. J's really not up to a visit right now. He's not feeling himself. Well, actually, he was earlier but that's not what I meant.
  • Dating Catwoman: Interestingly, it's not just with Catwoman, but with Talia as well.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Catwoman and Alfred. Batman actually does it once to Catwoman in an Ironic Echo, but Catwoman tells him to "stick to brooding".
  • Death by Cameo: Bud and Lou, Harley and Joker's pet hyenas, to whom Harley referred as her "babies", show up stuffed and on display at Penguin's museum.
  • Death by Secret Identity: Hugo Strange finds out Batman's identity before the events of this game, and dies at the end of it.
  • Death Seeker:
    • Ra's al Ghul. He's 600 years old, and wants Batman to replace him as the Demon's Head, repeatedly telling Batman to kill him during their encounter in Wonder City, even holding a knife to Talia's throat and outright demanding that Batman kill him.
      Ra's: You should have killed me.
    • Harley Quinn by the time of "Harley Quinn's Revenge." At the end, she angrily chastises Batman for saving her from the explosion she attempted to engineer rather than leaving her to meet her Mr. J again.
  • Death Trap: The Riddler's contraptions. Even a few clusters of Riddler trophies are set up in such a way that you will die in the attempt without a couple gadgets given to Batman during the storyline, thus preventing the Riddler from anticipating them.
  • Decomposite Character: As mentioned above and as in The Dark Knight, while the Maroni family is mentioned, Sal Maroni has his role as the man who scarred Harvey Dent taken by someone else, which in this case was Carmine Falcone.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: Over the course of the narrative, this game deconstructs Batman's overall effect on actually deterring crime in Gotham (as opposed to just fighting it), the Joker's own sense of invincibility and mortality, Batman's overall love life and how far he's willing to go to protect the women he cares for as well as how far they're willing to go for him as well, how much Batman's allies will let him get away with before calling him out, how practical Thou Shalt Not Kill really is, and ultimately, whether or not even the most despicable and deplorable examples of humanity are worthy of basic human rights.
  • Demoted to Extra: A lot of the returning villains from Arkham Asylum don't have exactly big parts. Poison Ivy only shows up in the Catwoman missions (very, very briefly), Bane sends you on a sidequest and that's about it, and Croc is completely absent aside from an Easter Egg. And while obviously not a villain, Commissioner Gordon has only one in-game appearance and a few short audio ones, only getting slightly more of a part in the "Harley Quinn's Revenge" DLC.
    • Scarecrow is an interesting example. He actually does not appear at all in game. However, a boat with his latest experiment is found floating in the harbour, and 3 undocumented radio frequencies continually replay messages from him. His abandoned mask can be found on a pile of hay on top of a building between the police station and the steel mill.
  • Destroy the Security Camera: One of the alternate missions is to destroy all the TYGER security cameras of Arkham City.
  • Determinator:
    • Ra's is so determined to prevent Batman from saving his life yet again, that he stabs himself through his chest to make sure Batman lets go as they are falling, finally fulfilling, in his own way, what he had wanted all the time: to be killed by Batman.
      • Or it was a case of Taking You with Me, or maybe trying to stab Batman forcing him to take a dip in the Lazarus Pit to save himself.
    • Again, Batman. Spends a night fighting supervillains while dying of blood poisoning.
    • Batman's determination to keep with his code of not killing (or allowing to die) is really pronounced throughout the game.
    • Two-Face's reputation as one keeps his men from deserting the gang after his initial defeat, citing his refusal to stay down even as half his face was being burnt off. And while he takes a couple whoopings, and long stretches go by where nobody knows where he IS, once everyone else's theatrics are concluded he's holding half of a now-unmanned prison city.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • Unfortunately, their thoughtfulness is a huge spoiler if you think to do the following, as if you turn on Detective Mode while fighting the Joker, you'll see he has no bones... because he's Clayface. This is changed in the Game of the Year edition but was oddly retained in the Return to Arkham remaster.
    • Tossing a Batarang at Harley in the church will result in her cartwheeling to the side before resuming her run at Batman.
    • From the Mad Hatter mission, if you look at the capsule that has the "cure" in Detective Mode, you'll see a syringe in it. This is notably different from what Batman uses to inject the supposed cure.
    • Depending on whether you finish the Bane sidequest before or after you beat the game, his hideout is ambushed either by TYGER guards who want to confiscate the TITAN before the inmates get it, or a group of Joker mooks who want to either use it for themselves to have a chance of survival now that their boss is gone or just take it back since it was Joker's to begin with.
    • If you manage to destroy all of the Tyger cameras before Protocol 10, one of the Tyger guards will mention over the radio they are completely blind.
    • If you steer a remote-controlled Batarang into Batman's head, he'll catch it. There's even a challenge for it.
    • You can bypass a lot of the first Riddler Room if you use the line launcher. Riddler will remark on it, and mock you for cheating. He'll also do so if you just choose to run across parts of the electrified floor to skip most of it.
    • In the beginning of the game, after beating up Penguin's mooks, the player could just leave Penguin alone without knocking him out and go up the ladder. The Dev team anticipated this possibility, so they had Penguin say something specifically for that occasion, which is where he taunts Bruce Wayne about him always knowing that Wayne was a coward.
    • If the player decides to stick around during the "countdown" on the clock tower, Joker will end up summing up the final events of the game before telling Batman that he really needs to get out of there.
    • Batman can find and destroy five out of the six Titan containers he needs to destroy for Bane's side-quest before ever even speaking to Bane; his dialogue will change to reflect this.
    • Catwoman has a surprising number of lines that play in specific circumstances. You can go back during the epilogue and visit any of the villains that are locked up or incapacitated (Bane, Mad Hatter, Ivy, etc.), where you will get special one-off conversations where they ask her to release them (which she refuses every time, for various reasons). In addition, she will have a unique conversation with Calendar Man if you visit him, where she says she won't release him after "what happened with the Falcones" (a likely reference to Dark Victory).
    • It's entirely possible, using a glitch involving standing on a ledge and continually throwing Freeze Grenades on end, to glitch yourself up high enough in the game world to glide over the barrier surrounding Arkham City. Using this method, you can actually fly around and explore the rest of Gotham City. Yes, that big skyline you see in the background throughout the game was actually constructed and was fully detailed by Rocksteady (although the buildings are all hollow inside). You can glide around and watch cars passing back and forth on the bridges, fly to Arkham Asylum (which is also present, although significantly scaled down) and fly up high and see that the game world goes much further than just Arkham City. Most players won't even glimpse most of it (and it will glitch your save file out if you haven't backed it up elsewhere), but the fact that they put all this work into something most players would never see up close is nothing short of incredible.
    • Several puzzles in the games require you to throw an electrified remote control batarang to hit control boxes out of reach. If you hit a thug with one of these, it'll knock them out instantly. However, there are only two places in the game you can do this, on the Joker's goons when you follow the ninja into the sewers, and on the Two-Face thug you rescue in the steel mill. There's no practical way to use it, it seems to be there just because it makes sense.
    • In the Iceberg Lounge, if you try using the explosive gel while walking across the ice, Batman will point out that using the gel on the ice is a very bad idea.
    • When you are fighting Grundy and use the REC on him, Penguin will comment on how that was a bad idea.
    • It's possible to unlock the Riddler side-mission almost as soon as the game begins by finding a trophy (as early as getting the bat-suit), at which point the Riddler will introduce himself to the player and mock you for finding one of the 'easy' trophies. You still aren't able to solve any riddles themselves, but you can begin working on the trophies and challenges immediately with this method.
    • During a stealth section in the Museum, you can lure a mook away by triggering one of the exhibits, and they'll go and turn it off. If you do this enough times without taking down the responding henchmen, they eventually piece together that it's Batman doing it and irritably tell him to knock it off because it's becoming more annoying than scary.
    • Some enemy chatter will have a mook bicker about one of the other members of the gang stealing from them. While normally if you take an enemy out in stealth and he's found, their allies will call for reinforcements just to make sure you're not baiting them into a chain reaction - if the dialogue about stealing from each other happens beforehand, the mook will instead tell the others to fan out to find Batman and kicks the unconscious thief while calling him a bastard and saying he got what he deserved.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Seems to be a tactic Catwoman can use to her advantage, as one of her counters involves kissing a mook right before tossing him to the ground with a Judo throw.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Ivy, as fitting her character. She tries to kill Catwoman, and then later pledges to go on a homicidal rampage throughout Gotham. Why? Apparently because Catwoman was housesitting for her and forgot to water her flowers, all of which died except one (which Catwoman later destroys and blames on Strange). Granted, from her perspective, Catwoman just let her children starve to death.
    • Joker also has his moments. The Arkham City Stories detail an Escalating War between him and Penguin, Joker's side is rife with this. Spraying a waitress with acid when she spilled a drink on him was just the start.
  • Diving Save:
    • In a cutscene, Batman does one on Catwoman when he notices a laser sight targeting her.
    • He also does one on Jack Ryder when Deadshot is about to shoot him.
  • Doing It for the Art: In-universe: Clayface, who apparently has been using every trick up his sleeve to avoid being put in Arkham City, eventually willingly enters when given the opportunity to play "The role of a lifetime."
  • Domestic Abuser: Strange suggests that even before becoming a villain, Harvey Dent had a violent side that would sometimes show itself around his wife.
    • The Joker towards Harley once again.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: In the prequel comic, Catwoman advises Ivy not to go wandering into the park around her hangout at night, presumably because it's where one of the creepier inmates reside. Considering Catwoman is talking to Poison Ivy, who can control plants, and a park will most likely have plants, this may not really be necessary.
  • Downloadable Content: Challenge maps, extra characters (Robin and Nightwing), alternate skins for practically every player character, Catwoman DLC... you name it, this game has got it.
  • Driving Question: What is Protocol 10?
  • Dude, She's Like in a Coma: Enemy Chatter occasionally features thugs commenting on the attractiveness of Nora Fries and how they would still sleep with her if given the chance out of desperation. It's heavily implied that the mooks Joker leaves her with are playing a game of Rock–Paper–Scissors to decide who gets a turn with her, but Batman intervenes before any of them can do the deed.
  • Dying Smirk: The Joker dies smiling at Batman's joke (that he would have saved him if he could despite everything he's done) in the very end of the game.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The blueprints for Arkham City can be found in the first game, in a secret room in the Warden's office accessible by detonating three gels on one of the walls. However, the developers had to tell the community the location of this easter egg/cameo — it's hidden behind a destructible wall that shows no signs of being destructible and behaves differently from all other destructible walls. Prior to the developers coming out with the proper location and method, the only way anyone had found to get at it was with noclip cheats.
  • Easter Egg:
    • The Calendar Man is a living easter egg; he's sitting in a cell in the courthouse, and asks you to come back to him on various different holidays so he can spin a yarn about a crime he committed on those days. In 2014, three years after the release, people discovered a brand new secret dialogue that triggered when you set the game-clock to December 13, 2004 (the year of Rocksteady's founding).
    • You can find Leslie Thompkin's clinic near Poison Ivy's hangout. Strangely, it's not part of a riddle.
    • Big Head Mode.
    • Throughout the game are scattered teddy bears that look like the giant one on top of Krank's Toys. Most of them are changed to reflect the environment they're in. For example, a bear in a Riddler death trap room will be in its own miniature death trap.
    • In the caged in area where Bruce Wayne is being processed and has to save Jack Ryder, if you look upward you'll notice that Azrael is watching the whole thing.
    • There's a boat at sea with nothing special-looking about it. However, if you use your Cryptographic Sequencer to hack into its entrance (which, unlike every single other hackable entrance in the game, has no prompt indicating that opening it is a possibility), you'll find yourself in a first-person view walk down a boat full of stored insects and chemicals, and... a dead-looking man who wakes up to give his final throes once you get close to him. Examining scattered documents will reveal the boat and everything in it belongs to Scarecrow, who acquired it from The Broker - like the previous game had an Easter Egg hinting at Arkham City, this one hints at Arkham Knight.
    • There are three unlisted frequencies with hidden messages. They all simply read out repeating sequence of numbers you can decode to letters. The first is 700,500 where simply swapping numbers to letters (1=A, 2=B, 3=C, and so on) will get you the message "I WILL RETURN BATMAN". The second frequency is 500,900 where the numbers to letters is reversed (1=Z, 2=Y, 3=X...) and then you need to shift up the numbers by three (4=Z, 5=Y, 6=X...) to get the message "YOU WILL PAY FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO ME". The final one is 200,500, and that is even more complex. You first have to reverse the order of the letters as in the first step to the previous one and then use the Vigenére cipher with the keyword "SCARECROW". This finally gets you the message "FEAR WILL TEAR GOTHAM CITY TO SHREDS".
    • All the Easter eggs you could ever want.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: The game makes it so you cannot play New Game Plus after beating it on Easy, and therefore can never get a 100% Completion unless you play normal or hard.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Wonder City is an entire city built underground with Steampunk technology that has been rotting for years, untouched except as an occasional hub for the League of Assassins and their master, Ra's al Ghul.
  • Elite Mooks:
    • The Tyger security force has been specifically trained to counter and apprehend Batman, even proving wise to most of his gadgets. They're also impossible to completely frighten - in Predator challenges they're never above being "nervous." Still, none of that stops Batman from repeatedly beating and/or evading them, though.
    • Talia's guard also counts, as their weapons can't be destroyed, they randomly Smoke Out of the way of an incoming attack (which thankfully doesn't break your combo), more of them can spawn in the middle of some combat challenges, their attacks have 2 different counters and the one that needs to be evaded hits 4 times instead of 3 (unlike any other enemy with a bladed weapon) and they get up immediately after being knocked down, making them immune to Ground Takedowns.
    • Harley's reprogammed and repainted Wonder City robots are also a minor example: since they're machines, Batman can't read them as well as humans and thus they have no counter prompt.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: There is a commonly re-used model of a stuffed bear to be found all over Arkham City. In a Funny Background Event, you can find one in Thomas Elliot's hideout that has had its face cut off and bandaged over, like his victims.
  • Enemy Chatter:
    • An overwhelming amount of it. They always have something to say about what's going on, and Batman's wearing a device that lets him hear everything someone's saying within a city block's distance of him.
    • They'll also change their chatter when fighting Catwoman, Robin and Nightwing. Some of the dialog during the Robin "Predator" missions are pretty funny.
  • Enemy Mine: Batman and Bane join forces to rid Arkham City of the Titan drug. In the in game profile, it states that he has dedicated himself to hunting down Venom and Titan in an attempt to prevent other innocents from being subjected to the same addiction he suffers from. Bane betrays Batman, he wanted all the Titan for himself and used Batman to make sure none could be used against him. Which Batman knew.
  • Epic Fail: In the backstory, Joker and Harley break out of the prison hospital where he is recuperating from the boss fight of Batman: Arkham Asylum to avoid a transfer to Arkham City. In the ensuing speedboat chase, they manage to break into Arkham City by accident.
  • Eternal Engine: Joker's Steel Mill, which was remodeled by his gang to serve as his base. Despite having been abandoned for years, all of the furnaces and some of the conveyor belts are still running. The main furnace in particular is how Batman enters the Steel Mill the first time, and it eventually becomes unstable and collapses in on itself.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Subverted twice. When you go down the elevator shaft in the steel mill. One of the mooks tells another that he killed his mother by forcing her to eat a poisoned birthday cake. And Calendar Man tells Batman that he killed his mother on Mother's Day.
    • In the Harley DLC, you run into a few mooks talking about how they're unsatisfied with Harley's leadership. One of them claims he could become a supervillain, but the others tease him by pointing out that the only thing of note he's done was killing a family and stealing their Thanksgiving turkey to give to his own mother. They suggest the name "Turkey Man".
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Catwoman (who is, admittedly, more of an Anti-Villain) refuses to enter Zsasz's lair if you try it, saying he gives her the creeps. Penguin also refers to Zsasz as a vicious monster (possibly for dramatic effect) in the prerecorded message found in his cage in the Museum.
    • A number of Mooks also talk about how bad The Penguin is, and how things will get even worse if he takes over Gotham.
    • Occasionally you might overhear some of the Mooks talk about how Catwoman "needs to be careful" because "some of these maniacs ain't seen a woman in years."
    • Part of Enemy Chatter outside the Steel Mill (the first time). Some Mooks are talking about how two mooks named Dom and Harry took the (female) doctor into the Mill. One of them expresses disgust for what they normally do to their victims (implied particularly depraved rape).
      Mook 2: And that's coming from a serial murdering cannibal.
      Mook 1: Hey, I got standards man. No way would I do what they use to.
    • In Harley Quinn's Revenge, quite a few of Harley's henchmen are shown to be more than a little disturbed by just how far Harley is willing to go to kill Batman.
  • Evil Brit: The Penguin inexplicably has a Cockney accent. Hugo Strange's accent is also mostly British at times.
  • Evil Gloating
    • Hugo Strange likes to do this.
    • Riddler, especially in his game-over scenes. There are villains more evil and dangerous than him, but probably no one the player wants to punch so much.
  • Evil Phone: Victor Zsasz's side mission involves answering several ringing payphones throughout the city in order to track him down. The back story reveals that as soon as he got put in the City, Zsasz started playing with the phones, calling them at random and killing whoever answered. He did this only because 1) he was bored and 2) he knew Batman would eventually track him down for it.
  • Evil Plan: The Joker's overarching scheme. Dying of a disease, Joker's plan was to lure Batman close enough to spread the contagion to him and thousands of others, then have Batman do the work of getting the cure for him while leaving Bats ill and the Joker good as new. In the comics we learn that the Joker planned everything up to and including his death on page 3.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Hugo Strange's forces set up shop in Wonder Tower, the tallest building in the limits of Arkham City.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Arkham City is divided into gang territories, with Joker, Two-Face, and the Penguin's gangs in constant warfare. Hugo Strange usually just lets them do what they want, but he will intervene if he sees fit. And that's not getting into the various independent villains. And then there is Protocol 10...
  • Exposed to the Elements: Since the game takes place in a bitterly cold night, this goes for many of the characters, male and female. The men at least complain about it.
  • Expository Gameplay Limitation: Used in much the same way as Arkham Asylum—the most common being Batman putting his hand to his ear while speaking to Oracle, which limits his range of motion keeps him from climbing.
  • Eye Scream: The Penguin's monocle isn't actually a monocle but the bottom half of a glass beer bottle shoved into his eye.
    • The 12 minute video, seen here, has Catwoman slash Harvey in the face. Pay close attention to his right eye.

    Tropes F to H 
  • The Faceless: Hush, having already replaced his face with Bruce Wayne's by the time he takes the bandages off.
  • Fake Difficulty: Not much, but it subtly exists when fighting against max-difficulty thugs such as in the Extreme Predator Missions. The Extreme difficulty variations of maps equip all thugs with thermal goggles note , ludicrous weapons note , and the ability to alert others instantly. To make things even more unfair, there will always be a thug with a detective vision jammer thrown in, who always either a) has an incredibly awkward route that overlaps with other mooks and/or goes to a difficult to reach area; or b) must be taken down last for all level medals. And most mooks will be armored, which will make most silent takedowns impossible.

    There's more to this. Whenever someone spots you or you take down an enemy, mooks will look at whatever vantage point you're grappling to and inevitably see you. Even if you're far away of the taken down enemy, or you took him out with a ranged attack, they will still somehow know exactly where you are. Hidden below a grate or on a certain vantage point? Expect mooks' patrol routes to converge near you constantly, making it ridiculously hard to pick them off one by one. Falling behind a mook to take him down silently? He will, more often than not, choose that exact moment to turn around (though this only applies to the random routes they take after you're first spotted or you take down your first enemy, as their starting patrols are set). And know how mooks will look at the grates if there's a fallen comrade nearby? That happens even if the grate had nothing to do with the takedown and everyone saw it. Threw the enemy off the balcony? Well, tough luck, now the grate he fell on top of is suspicious forever.

    Mooks will also sometimes sense ranged attacks before they reach them, even when they have their backs to them. No matter how fast you shoot batarangs, electric charges or hooks, they will move out of the way with speed The Flash himself would envy.
  • Fake Kill Scare: Done by Strange in the Catwoman trailer; see You Monster!, below.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Quincy Sharp took the credit for saving the day in the first game, which let him become mayor.
    • Strange's goal is to become this, to be seen as the hero after killing off everyone who ever gained a criminal record in Gotham.
  • Female Gaze: Most character trophies zoom into the face. Nightwing's zooms into his groin while his animated skin zooms into the face, so it's clearly not an accident.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: As shown in the first cutscene, Bruce Wayne was arrested and thrown into Arkham City simply for embarking on a peaceful protest against the facility.
  • Feuding Families: The Waynes and the Cobblepots were rivals for decades, and Penguin blames the loss of his family's fortune on the Waynes. It certainly explains his hatred for Bruce.
  • Fight Clubbing: Bane's turf in the digital comic prequels.
  • Final Boss: Clayface for Batman, Two-Face for Catwoman.
    • Post-Final Boss: Harley Quinn, since Harley Quinn's Revenge takes place after the end of the main story.
  • Final-Exam Boss: More like Midterm Boss in this case. Mister Freeze cannot be hurt by the same trick twice and will activate a countermeasure each time you hit him with one of your moves (either by freezing part of the scenery or by activating a new countermeasure in his suit). You're going to need to pull out a lot of different tricks to defeat him. Depending on the difficulty, the number of times Batman has to trick Freeze increases from three on Easy to five on Normal, to eight on Hard and to nine on New Game Plus. Additionally, on New Game+, Freeze will deploy a permanent jammer if Batman keeps his Detective Mode on for too long.
  • Final Solution: Protocol 10, for criminals and people that know too much.
  • Find the Cure!: Much of the plot involves Joker's search for a cure for his fatal disease. Just to improve his chances, he has his now-toxic blood donated and transfused into Batman and several innocent people, thereby ensuring that Batman looks for a cure as well. Batman's the only one who gets cured in the end, though, although more of the cure is created for the innocents after the end of the game.
  • Fingerprinting Air: Not as bad as some versions of Batman, but he still has to perform some highly-detailed forensics tests in the game, particularly when trying to track down Deadshot. We do get the tried-and-true Batman technique of analyzing some paint residue and narrowing it down to a ridiculously specific point of origin to determine what products that paint was used on.
  • Fingore: Penguin captures Bruce Wayne right when he's first transferred to Arkham City intent on settling their old family feud by introducing Bruce's face to a set of brass knuckles. Bruce responds by blocking the punch and breaking Penguin's hand. Penguin spends the rest of the game with his fingers in bandages that coincidentally make his hand look like a flipper.
    • Also, one of the torture techniques Penguin applies to an undercover cop, involving Mr. Freeze's ice gun, a hammer, and the victim's hand. We never actually get to see it, but Penguin's narration of it is bad enough.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Batman comes upon the realization that The Joker he's been after is a fake just seconds before the real Joker reveals himself and shoots Talia.
  • Flatline: Happens to The Joker during his (supposed) death scene in the first act.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: An early on scripted conversation between Joker thugs in the steel mill occurs between two men - one of whom was beaten up by Batman in the first game and the other who thinks that Batman might just be an urban legend. There's plenty of evidence of Batman's existence - if nothing else, then the news footage of him from the first game. The first thug is appropriately incredulous.
  • Flat "What": The Riddler's reaction when Strange tells him that he knows Batman's true identity.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: The Penguin's shark's name is Tiny.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Batman is seen with his nose bleeding in some of the promotional posters. It shows that Batman is infected with the Joker's disease.
    • The memory card Catwoman steals from Two-Face and inserts into her smartphone-like device displays a map of Park Row, otherwise known as Crime Alley; the place where Bruce Wayne's parents were murdered. When Batman visits this location in the game, Strange has left an audiotape for him to listen to.
    • Throughout the game, inmate chatter repeatedly mentions how hungry they are, and how there have been no food drops recently. Of course, Strange wouldn't waste resources feeding men about to be killed...
    • If you don't jump out of the church when Joker reveals that he's wired the place with bombs, he drops a few hints about the ending.
      Joker: Sometimes I wonder if all this would just end with one of us looking down at the other's corpse, trying to work out what to do next? The only question is, whose body will it be?
    • The very first thing seen when launching a new game is a painting called Cain and Abel, the duality of man. Sure enough, the final cutscene has Batman and Joker emulating exactly that painting.
    • There's a lot of hints dropped about Clayface impersonating the Joker.
      • After Harley Quinn locks you out of Joker's office, you can hear her say "Oh, Mr. J, it's a miracle! You look perfect! Oh, wait, that's not you, is it...?" to which Joker's voice can be heard telling her to shush. That's because she briefly mistook Clayface's Joker form for the real Joker. What's particularly interesting is that this happens at a very early point in the game, and the statement isn't clarified until the very end.
      • "You fell for the old fake Joker gag, Batman!" Apparently spoken by Joker about a dummy, actually Clayface disguised as the Joker, and the dummy was the real deal. Players may also notice that when the Joker attacks Batman, he looks normal, not sickly, because it's Clayface.
      • After briefly capturing Batman in the Steel Mill, Joker stops Harley from taking off Batman's mask. When she protests that she wants to know Batman's true identity, Joker replies "Nobody's who you think they are, my dear."
      • Just before you need to infiltrate the Steel Mill for the second time, some Enemy Chatter can be heard discussing The Joker's newfound health. One Mook says "It's like he was a completely different person before, but now he's back to his old self again." It's actually the other way around.
      • During the second infiltration of the Mill, one piece of Enemy Chatter you can catch has two mooks claiming that they each just saw the Joker in two wildly different locations.
      • After the battle with Mr. Freeze, when Batman opens the safe and finds that the cure has vanished, there are two Joker cards. One of them is faxed with a scribbled message that reads "Get well soon, Mr. J. XOXO"; the other is a physical one. Both are clues that indicate that there are two Jokers, one of them real and the other a fascimile.
      • When Batman confronts the Joker after he got the cure, Joker is examining himself in a mirror, looking diseased, then turns around revealing he's healthy again. It's easy to chalk it up to one of Batman's hallucinations, but if you look closely, you can see the other Joker walking away, and that both have their flower on the same side — that's the real Joker and you're now talking to Clayface. There was no mirror, just a pane of glass.
      • Using Detective Vision during the fistfight with Joker later will reveal that he has no skeleton, just like Clayface in Arkham Asylum.
      • During one of the Joker's broadcasts when he reveals that he has taken the cure, the actual Joker holding the camera coughs.
      • A few times, Joker's speech patterns change a bit, like him using some British slang and being inconsistent in calling Batman "Bats" or "Batsy". Clayface is the one using the slang and never uses the Joker's nicknames for you.
    • Deadshot, sans gear, is in front of you in the line during the opening sequence.
    • Hush, sans trenchcoat, is on one of the beds in the west side of the Chapel the first time you visit. When the radio mentions Bruce Wayne's name, he becomes visibly disturbed in his sleep.
    • Azrael can be seen watching you from the rooftops when you enter Arkham City as Bruce Wayne.
    • There's also Azrael's grim little speech to Batman hinting at events later in the series.
    • The museum has posters for Wonder City.
    • Most of the villains mentioned in the Enemy Chatter get appearances later on in the game.
    • The giant poster of Solomon Grundy you find in the subway, the mooks looking at it practically state Penguin has him in the Iceberg Lounge.
    • The music played when Batman pays respects to his parents is "A Rose for Respect". This music foreshadows what happens in the ending, as it takes on a whole new meaning in the end credits of Harley Quinn's Revenge.
    • The boat filled with cockroaches and a screaming man you can find in the middle of the flooded downtown district, that was supposed to be delivered to Scarecrow. This foreshadows events in Batman: Arkham Knight. The glass-fronted cockroach boxes show up again in Knight, on Stagg's airships.
    • The ice cream truck Harley uses to crash into the church has "Mind the child" written on the front. This is the first hint in the game that Harley may (or may not) be pregnant.
    • Harley Quinn's Revenge gets in on the act, too. During a radio broadcast near the beginning, Commissioner Gordon cuts an interview with Vicki Vale short when she asks why no one has been allowed to see the Joker's body. In the flashback, when Batman is about to infiltrate the steel mill, talking to Gordon reveals that after the hostage situation is resolved, he needs Batman's help with "that other problem," which is left ominously unexplained (it is elaborated on more in the Endgame comic).
    • You also see dolled-up Mechanical Guardians posed around Harley's lair as soon as you walk in. She sics a load of active ones on you at the DLC's end.
    • During one of Hugo Strange's game-over screens, he will say "So, you failed to live up to his expectations. How predictable." It isn't explained who the "his" is, but it seems likely that he is talking about Quincy Sharp, who believed Batman to be some sort of worthy successor for his work. He's actually talking about Ra's Al Ghul.
    • When beating down Mr. Freeze, Batman momentarily hallucinates Joker's face on Victor's, foreshadowing how Joker's blood can infect people by slowly making them insane. Which is a integral plot point in Arkham Knight.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul:
    • This incarnation of the Riddler wears glasses.
    • Hugo Strange, exemplified by getting Catwoman to co-operate by ordering Tyger to shoot a 13 year old girl.
  • Fragile Speedster: Catwoman is explicitly faster than Batman, but also not as heavily armored, and requires more stealth tactics.
  • Friend-or-Idol Decision: In Catwoman's section, after grabbing the suitcases full of money, she finds out Batman's life is in danger, and is torn between saving him or taking the cash and running.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Exclusive to the Wii U port is an upgraded Batsuit for Batman (and Catwoman) featuring a power up function called Battle Armor Tech mode.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • When Penguin sends his goons after you in his "initiation" pit, he accidentally whacks one of his lieutenants in the groin with his umbrella.
    • Some of the conversations you can listen in on amongst the prisoners.
      Inmate: It's been weeks since I last updated my status! How's everyone supposed to know... oh yea, I've been locked up in some freaky-ass prison.
  • Gambit Pileup: Of epic proportions. Hugo Strange and Ra's al-Ghul plan to gather Batman and all of Gotham's criminals in one place and slaughter them all, with Strange intent on breaking Batman's spirit in the process. Joker has Clayface impersonate him to keep up appearances, and kidnaps Mr. Freeze's wife to force him to make a cure for his disease. Penguin kidnaps Freeze to prevent his hated rival from getting said cure, as well as for his "collection," forcing the Joker to then infect Batman and thousands of ER patients to get him to rescue Freeze. Two-Face is building up his gang and preparing to go to war with Joker and Penguin. Riddler's once again out to prove he's smarter than Batman, and is willing to kill to do it. And to top it off, Catwoman plans to loot the prison's confiscated goods vault and escape. To cap off Hugo's scheme, Ra's is also running this as a test to see if either Batman or Hugo is a worthy successor, and is more than willing to execute both if they fail. And that's not even counting the smaller-scale schemes being run by Bane, Hush, Zsasz and Mad Hatter. In short, this game gives the dubious honor of having nearly every A-list Batman villain participating in a scheme worthy of their comics legacy (although some do get left out). Nearly every one of them is playing against the others, and the villains are arguably larger impediments to each other than Batman is; his job is to mostly keep the chaos contained.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: the Titan poisoning really kicks in the first time you go to Wonder City. On top of his pale skin and Tainted Veins, there are three points where Batman is stalled by extreme nausea (he vomits blood at one point), he's reduced to a limp until he drinks the cup of Lazarus, and Oracle says his vitals are "in free-fall." Sure enough, the player's health is gradually reduced to 25% each time a wave of nausea hits before it's restored by said Lazarus.
    • Another minor case with the upgrades: the Titan poisoning won't reduce any of the health given to the player through the eight armor upgrades, only the baseline health. Which makes sense, since Batman's body and suit are two separate objects.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • A minor example with Catwoman. If the player tries to make Catwoman walk into one of the Riddler's hostage rooms, Catwoman will say something like "Oh Edward, when will you learn I don't have time for your silly little games?" The player might have already found all of Riddler's Catwoman trophies by this point, making her claim ring a little hollow.
    • Riddler is convinced that you can't get through the beginning of the third Riddler room, saying that he has studied your gadgets and you have nothing that can beat the room. This is despite the fact that both gadgets you can use have their own Riddler challenges, meaning Riddler must be aware of their existence.
    • As an inversion of that, some challenges and trophies require gadgets that Batman hasn't obtained yet. Even if Riddler were to know about gadgets Batman owns but didn't bring (such as the Line Launcher), there's no reason for him to know about gadgets Batman makes on the spot (such as the gun disruptor) or is given by someone else (such as the freeze grenades).
    • Batman still has Tainted Veins and pale skin in the postgame. This was corrected in the remaster.
  • Gang of Hats: Mooks now have uniforms indicating the villains to which they're affiliated:
    • Unaligned inmates wear orange Blackgate prison uniforms, similar to those worn by the High Security Henchmen in the last game. Some also seem to have the Arkham logo branded onto their chests or backs.
    • Joker's men either wear spraypainted hoodies and clown masks or sweaty undershirts and facepaint. Armored Joker thugs wear makeshift metal armor, and resemble toy soldiers. The Joker Titan Henchman wears a striped purple coat and brown Magic Pants, and has clown makeup and dyed hair.
    • Penguin's men have urban camo pants and winter jackets, as well as a black outlined penguin insignia somewhere on their clothes or body. Some of them wear black and white balaclavas. Armored Penguin thugs wear top-grade red and black padded armor from the military. The Penguin Titan Henchman resembles a normal one, but with ripped clothing.
    • Two-Face's men wear white prison jumpsuits, with one side burned, and most of them wear spooky rubber masks with one side melted.
    • The Mad Hatter's Mooks are Mooks from other gangs wearing white rabbit masks (with mind-control devices in them.)
    • Riddler's men are in fact moles and plants he's bribed to inform on their bosses to him; they appear glowing green to Batman but otherwise are unremarkable and indistinguishable from other thugs.
    • Like the Hatter, Poison Ivy doesn't have henchmen of her own. She just poaches them from the other gangs by using her pheromones to brainwash them. In Arkham City Lockdown, her mooks are brainwashed policemen.
    • Most of Penguin's Mooks change allegiance during the game either willingly or forcibly, which is also reflected on their outfits by having their new boss' main uniform features crudely spraypainted/burned on, as can seen from the ingame trophies. They may also wear gang-affiliated masks.
    • Harley's mooks from "Harley Quinn's Revenge" share her normal outfit's color scheme and face paintings, and generally have a diamond motif somewhere on their torso, while armored ones wear makeshift metal armor and football helmets. The Harley Titan thug is a re-textured Penguin Titan Thug. They also all wear black armbands with "R.I.P. Joker" on them.
    • During Protocol 10, it's possible to find a few dead "Scarecrow Thugs," which are just reskinned Joker hoodie thugs.
  • Gateless Ghetto:
    • The entire plot revolves around an in-universe justification of this trope, where massive, heavily guarded walls have been erected around an enormous chunk of Gotham to make damn sure its denizens are kept away from the rest of the city.
    • Out-of-universe, this seems to be their way of setting the game in the streets of Gotham itself (as opposed to on a remote island compound like in Asylum) without making the entire city seem absurdly small.
  • Genre Blindness: As Batman climbs the tower, the guards say they can no longer see him. The man in charge upstairs says, "Good. He probably fell. Move your search lower."
  • Ghost City: The ruins of Old Gotham, as well as Wonder City, Ra's al-Ghul's failed underground Victorian utopia powered by a Lazarus pit.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The final boss is a well-known Batman villain, but that villain is never mentioned in the main story until just before the final battle starts up. One of the Arkham City Stories does mention them, but if you haven't seen the comics or cartoons, you'll probably be more confused than anything else when Batman has to fight a giant shapeshifting clay monster, Clayface.
  • Go into the Light: While near death from being poisoned by the Joker, Batman sees a bright light with his parents standing in it calling him to join them. He tries to reach out to them, only for his mother's voice to fade away as Mission Control calls out to Batman to confirm if he's alright.
  • GPS Evidence: The paint and rust traces Batman uses to track down Deadshot tend in this direction, although it doesn't go the full "This is only found in one place"; even after combining several types of trace evidence, Batman is still left with multiple possibilities that he has to physically visit to find the right one.
  • Graffiti Town: Most of Arkham City, considering it was once Gotham's old slum district before everybody living there was evicted to begin construction on the city. And with supervillains taking over specific districts of the city as their own, large swaths of the city has been personalized to mark the territory of Two-Face (mainly with his political posters) and the Joker (with whatever amuses him that day.)
  • Greek Chorus: After nearly every in-game event, goons littering the streets of Arkham can be heard gossiping about that event, how it impacted the villains' power struggle, and how they think Batman was involved.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body:
    • Just like in Batman: Arkham Asylum, Titan infected enemies will throw unconscious bodies at you.
    • When attacked by three enemies simultaneously, Batman's counter animation tends to grab one and use him to beat the other two around the head. There's also a two-person counter involving throwing the first goon at the second.
    • When using the full speed glide boost attack, Batman will use the targeted mook as a flail in a massive overhead swing, instantly knocking out anyone unfortunate enough to be in the same place.
    • Batman's Remote Electrical Charge sends armored enemies flying, who may collide with another enemy, stunning them both.
    • One of Robin's special attacks involves grabbing a mook by an arm and a leg and swinging him around to then throw him away. This can harm other mooks in the way.
  • Groin Attack:
    • Batman pulls one on a Tyger mook in the Hugo Strange trailer.
    • Penguin also does this to one of his own mooks by accident.
    • Catwoman kicks Two-Face in the nards early in the game once Batman has subdued him.
    • Against a normal mook, Catwoman will occasionally knee them in the crotch. In slow motion. Hard enough to lift him two or three feet off the ground.
    • Like in Asylum, using a ground takedown on an enemy ends up with Batman punching them in the head or the crotch, depending which way the enemy is positioned.
  • Guide Dang It!: Two of the sidequests (Watcher in the Wings, and Identity Thief) consist entirely of finding a single individual, multiple times, in out of the way places with no hints where to look. Detective Vision is required if you don't want to use a walkthrough, and it only helps a little. One thing that does help is that they are always found in the same type of area. Rooftops and dead-end alleyways, respectively.
    • The "Joker's carnival" DLC map has an unique point system, with levels that go up to 6. The map is fairly challenging, until you learn that having the max rank and beating enough goons automatically rewards you with 1000000 points; which also happens to be the 3 medal goal. Since getting hit once resets the level back to 0, most players will likely bank the level 6 rewards the second they reach it, as the game doesn't give a reason to go higher than that.
    • Calendar Man tells stories of his past deeds on specific days of the year, with an achievement for hearing all twelve of them. Most of the days are obvious: New Year, Christmas, Halloween, Saint Patrick's Day... And then there is... Feast Day of Saint Roch (March 16th). Good luck figuring that one out on your own. The game gives you the hint of the calendar on the wall next to his cell... but that was disabled after 2021. The game stopped updating and the only way to earn the achievement now is to fuck with your system's clock, which, honestly, is how most people got the achievement even so.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: According to Enemy Chatter you can hear outside the courthouse some unfortunate Mook called Bailey upset Two-Face and was strapped to an industrial saw, and one of the thugs you hear talking had to clean up afterwards.
  • Hammer and Sickle Removed for Your Protection: Averted. Russian Siamese Twins are named Hammer and Sickle. It is also their weapons.
  • Handicapped Badass: The Abramovici twins, a pair of Elite Mooks each working for Penguin and Joker, are both missing an arm. Enemy chatter involves the rumor that they were Conjoined Twins working in a circus freakshow before being separated (which is confirmed in the Arkham City Story about them). You can later find a Joker mook talking with some others about how watching it convinced him to switch sides.
  • Hand Wave: When Catwoman finds Poison Ivy during her 2nd story chapter, Ivy looks perfectly healthy, despite receiving a heavy dose of the Titan formula during the events of Arkham Asylum. One of the Arkham City Stories you unlock gives a very hurried reason for this, saying that Ivy used some special pollen on a priest's clothing along with her own pheromones to create a cure (or something to that effect).
  • Hanging Judge: Two-Face puts on a mock trial to rally his troops and gain their support by sentencing Catwoman to death. Fortunately, his courtroom is adjourned when Batman shows up.
  • Happy Ending Override: Asylum had a fairly happy ending as far as the series goes, with Joker and the other inmates of the Asylum being apprehended, the Asylum being returned to police control, and the general order being restored with little suggestion of any unforeseen negative consequences. The sequel reveals that the Asylum was too heavily damaged after the events of this game to continue holding inmates, leading to the construction of Arkham City. This was all spearheaded by the new Gotham mayor Quincy Sharpe, who won his office by taking credit for stopping the breakout.
  • Harmless Freezing: One of Batman's new gadgets can freeze mooks. Others can break them out and they rejoin the battle. As usual, this is averted by Mr. Freeze, who has some of the most powerful weaponry in the game. What makes the freezing harmless is that it's a relatively thin layer of ice coating the victim's torso and some of their limbs. Their heads are uncovered, so they don't suffocate, and they're not being frozen solid. It's still really, really uncomfortable.
  • Have a Nice Death: Like the first game, villains mock you when you die while trying to stop them and their plots.
  • Healing Boss: Solomon Grundy is a reanimated corpse a la Frankenstein that has his health bar restored every so often by three generators that shoot electricity. What's interesting about this example is that you have no way of reducing his health bar, he just loses health on his own since he's decaying. So the object of the fight isn't depleting the bosses' health, but stopping him from healing so he can naturally die.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Batman accuses Ra's Al Ghul of this.
  • Hellhole Prison: Arkham City itself. The only enforced rule is to stay inside, and as a result, the inmates join armies lead by the super-criminals, who hoard the food supplies for themselves, and go to war with top-notch military equipment and weaponry, while innocent prisoners inside the city get beaten up or held hostage by the murderers and rapists. There is also little food, little regard towards the medical center and its staff, and winter clothing doesn't seem to be provided to the inmates.
  • High-Altitude Interrogation: Batman can interrogate Riddler's henchmen in this manner, depending whether or not the player is near a ledge. Also Batman's preferred method of questioning Quincy Sharp during a cutscene.
  • High-Class Glass: The Penguin's monocle... but not really. It's actually the bottom of a glass bottle.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Ra's al Ghul is the actual Big Bad. Also, Joker has to be dealt with after Strange and Ra's are defeated.
    • Though, surprisingly, the actual Final Boss is Clayface, who turns out to be The Dragon for The Joker.
  • His Name Is...: The first of Deadshot's victims is killed just as he's about to tell Batman the specifics of his work during the construction of Arkham City.
  • Historical In-Joke: Sal Maroni's Restaurant, where the Maronis were murdered by their long-time rivals, the Falcones, has a note that the place is closed (possibly due to shootout and subsequent investigation). The date of the closure? February 14th. Possibly also a reference to The Long Halloween, as a attack on Maroni's restaurant occurs on Valentine's Day in that work.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • The Riddler's final deathtrap for his hostages involves exploding helmets wired to a track in the floor. They have to keep walking or... well... When Batman finally beats him, he wires Riddler into a helmet and starts the track up. Riddler says he knows Batman won't kill him, to which Batman replies that Aaron Cash and the other hostages will be holding the detonator. After he walks away, miserably following the track, we get this exchange:
      Cash: You're sure this thing won't actually work, right?
      Batman: I'm sure. But there's no need to let him know that.
      • Even better, just get in the way of the Riddler on the track and watch him squirm.
    • If the Joker had just waited another minute for Batman to finish his thoughts instead of jumping him and stabbing him in the shoulder to try and get the cure, he would have been saved.
    • If Strange had left Batman alone, the latter would have never heard of Protocol 10 until it was too late. Except that part of Strange's plan was to kill Batman along with everyone else in Arkham City. Except except that part of Ra's's plan was to let Strange and Batman duke it out to see who was more fit to succeed him. Wheels within wheels.
  • Holiday Mode: If you find Calendar Man and talk to him on certain holidays, he'll tell you a story about a crime he committed on that holiday.
  • Hulk Speak: Solomon Grundy; as in some incarnations, particularly Long Halloween, the only thing he can say is the poem from which his name comes.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: In response to Batman's request for new equipment, Alfred snarkily lampshades that he might need a bigger belt. And that's not even counting the infinite number of batarangs and freeze bombs. Catwoman also qualifies with all of the caltrops and bolas.
  • Hypocritical Humor: At the end of Catwoman's campaign, she groans about Two-Face's obsession with his "2" theme. Despite her own tendency to make cat puns.

    Tropes I to L 
  • Idiot Ball: Joker trying to get the cure he needs from Batman by stabbing him in the arm carrying it who then drops it. Made even worse by the fact Batman would have cured him had Joker not made him drop the cure. One could argue that Joker's mind was going, and/or he was too desperate to think straight.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: After rescuing the undercover cops, one of them mentions that he's going to kill all the Penguin's thugs that he sees only for his commander to insist they do it "by the book" as it's what Gordon would want.
  • I Have Your Wife:
    • Hugo Strange kidnaps Mr. Freeze's wife to bring him to Arkham City and ensure his cooperation. He later gives her to Joker, so he can force Freeze to find a cure for his disease. One of the side missions involves finding out where her cryo-box is being stored so Freeze can get her back.
    • Strange uses I Have Your Friend and threatens to have Holly Robinson killed to make Catwoman participate in his sessions.
  • I Know You Know I Know: Joker hides from Batman that he is sick and that someone is impersonating catching him into a body double trap and showing him that he is obviously sick, knowing full well that Batman will eventually believe the whole ordeal to be a ruse to hide the fact the Joker is perfectly healthy. It works like a charm. When later Joker appears to be fully cured, nor Batman nor Talia (who should know that Joker never had the chance to get the cure, because she is holding the only dose of it) suspect in the slightest that he may be an impersonator. That allows the real Joker, who really is sick, to ambush Talia and kill her.
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You!:
  • I'm a Humanitarian:
    • Some of the dialog you can overhear suggests that some of the inmates have taken to eating other humans to survive, since the three major supervillain factions have been hoarding the food the guards drop in, and it tastes like crap anyways.
  • I Meant to Do That: On the Predator challenge maps, no matter what is happening, Riddler claims it's All According to Plan, even when it contradicts his previous claims.
    • At first, he smugly taunts you as if this is a sincere attempt to defeat you. Partway through, he smugly acts as if this is some kind of experiment he's conducting with equal odds of either result. When you're winning, he smugly acts like he predicted you would win (and his minions deserved to be beaten up). Unless you then lose, whereupon he smugly claims that he predicted you would lose.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Ra's al Ghul, on himself. And for added irony, also on the "A" of Arkham City's entrance sign.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Batman and the mooks he fights.
  • In Case of Boss Fight, Break Glass: You have to do this to Mr. Freeze's helmet while he's stunned from a takedown.
  • In Medias Res: "Harley Quinn's Revenge" starts off as this, where you start off as Robin before switching over to Batman in the flashback.
  • Instant-Win Condition: In Catwoman's final fight with Two-Face in the museum, he will not stop spawning guards if they are discovered. However, if you defeat Two-Face, the cutscene acts as if the other half-dozen armed men aren't in the room any more.
  • Insufferable Genius: The Riddler, as always. It's like he's pathologically incapable of going 5 minutes without insulting someone else's intelligence. During "Riddler's Revenge" missions, his own minions are so sick of being compared to "retarded monkeys" that many of them swear to shoot him the next time they see him.
  • Intercom Villainy:
    • Arkham City's PA system constantly plays pre-recorded messages from Hugo Strange reminding inmates that they lack rights, that they can be killed at any moment, and that he has absolute control over him. Any time Batman interferes in his plans directly, Hugo uses the PA system to publicly psychoanalyze him.
    • When fighting goons in Predator encounters, the player can hear whichever supervillain the goons work for giving them orders via radio. Each supervillain threatens to torture the minions if Batman defeats them, insults them whenever they lose another member, and asks Batman to end the encounter quickly whenever there's one minion left.
  • Interface Screw: The baseball bats and stun-sticks return, performing the same function as before. A subtle story version occurs when Batman is heading to Wonder City for the first time, as the poison has begun to take its toll. The camera ever so gradually starts skewing to the left and right like a seesaw, to reflect Batman's sickly state.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • Using Detective Mode during the fight with Joker and his goons will reveal who his Body Double is before you find out in the story.
    • One side-mission opens with Alfred calling you to inform you that Lucius Fox has developed a TITAN poisoning cure, and has sent you a sample to use while he is synthesizing more for the city. Chances are you will immediately smell a rat since there's no way such a huge plot point would be resolved in an optional side-mission. It's a trap.
    • Thanks for buying the Game of the Year Edition! We'll go ahead and start your model gallery off with the non-spoileriffic costume models, and the super-spoileriffic Mourning Harley model!
  • Invisible Wall: Not for Batman, but for mooks. When fighting guys on rooftops, if Batman kicks or throws a guy, they usually won't fall over a ledge to their death (as they sometimes did in Asylum), but stop at an invisible barrier at the edge. Gotta enforce the Thou Shalt Not Kill policy, after all!
  • Ironic Echo:
    • Between Batman & Mr. Freeze: "You look unwell."
    • Batman to Catwoman: "I think I chipped a nail back there."
    • Batman to Joker: "You wanna know something funny?"
    • Might have been unintentional, but one of the conversations between a thug and political prisoner will end with the guy begging the thug not to hurt him and him saying, "I can't guarantee that." Batman and Penguin later have the same conversation.
  • Irony: The first police officer from the GCPD to die? Agent Best.
  • It's All Upstairs From Here: The final area of the game to be explored is the tallest building in the City, Wonder Tower, where Hugo Strange runs Arkham City through his TYGER guards.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: When playing as Catwoman, you can choose to leave Batman to die by a missile sent by Strange, so Catwoman can steal a ton of valuables and money. Naturally, this results in a Downer Ending.
    • Also, in Harley Quinn's Revenge, take too long during the scene where Batman must disarm the bombs, and you see Gordon watch the building Batman, Robin and Harley are in explode along with Gordon saying "no".
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Done to Mr. Freeze by Batman. Batman pulls out a vial of supercoolant keeping Freeze alive outside his suit and slowly pours it out until Freeze reveals the secret to beating his weaponry (currently possessed by the Penguin). He also threatens to do this to the Riddler's spies.
  • Jerkass: In his interview tape, The Penguin recounts to Strange how he "laughed for weeks" when he heard Bruce Wayne's parents were shot to death and how it "couldn't have happened to nicer people". Given his family's history with the Waynes, this isn't too surprising.
  • Jiggle Physics: Unless looking closely, this is pretty easy to not notice, but Harley Quinn and Catwoman both have this applied to them (most noticeably for Harley during her Bound and Gagged moment).
  • Joker Immunity: Averted.
  • Jump Scare:
    • The player is actually the one delivering it most of the time. Batman appearing out of nowhere tends to make the Mooks fall over in panic.
    • The T-Rex in the museum is a mild one, popping up to roar a Batman from behind the wall when he walks in.
    • "Tiny," the Penguin's killer shark, pops out from the ice like this twice.
  • Just You and Me and My GUARDS!: Invoked almost word for word by the Joker when Batman fights him.
    Joker: Please! Stop! I can't take anymore! You win, ya beat me! ... Hang on, did I say "me"? I meant me and these guys!
  • Karma Houdini: Even though Batman plans on taking him down as soon as he is finished in Arkham City, Hush nevertheless escapes from the game with every murder he committed.
  • Karmic Death: Joker stabbing Batman in the shoulder leads to the cure vial getting dropped and destroyed, and the Titan formula he created is what ends up killing him in the end.
  • Kent Brockman News: Vicki Vale and Jack Ryder undergo a very public feud of opinions regarding the construction of Arkham City in the prequel comic. Played with, in that Jack is actually deliberately playing the role of the hard-line conservative for his own kicks.
    • After you rescue Vicki, she begins a news report on the deplorable conditions in the city.
  • Kick the Dog: While some of the political prisoners have been thrown into Arkham City for pragmatic if evil reasons, most of them appear to be people who helped build Arkham City's wall or control tower. While Shoot the Builder is a known trope, the game doesn't show that there's anything special or secret about either building, and thus there seems little point to locking them up.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: As the game begins, Penguin has an unconscious and handcuffed Bruce Wayne dragged to an alley so he can beat him to a pulp with brass knuckles, all as a bit of "good old-fashioned revenge" for what he claims were the Waynes ruining his family. After Bruce breaks Oswald's hand, gets free of the cuffs, and takes out all of the goons present, he can escape to the rooftops... or he can walk over to where Penguin is cringing in fear, cornered, and give him an uppercut that knocks him senseless.
  • Killed Off for Real: Hugo Strange and The Joker.
    • Though it seems the same for Ra's al Ghul and Talia, not quite. In Ra's' case, Batman suggests that "he'll need a trip to a Lazarus Pit". Considering there are still League of Assassins ninjas around, Ra's still has a chance. The same with Talia as the assassins would make her survival a priority as well. That and Talia's body disappears during the Clayface fight. Then again, the only known Lazarus Pit in this continuity is hopelessly ruined in the fight with Clayface, with all of the necessary equipment being destroyed and the pit itself being contaminated with Clayface's flesh. Years later, Batman: Arkham Knight confirms Ra's lived.
  • Knight Templar:
    • Quincy Sharp. He ordered Tyger to round up anyone they deemed a criminal, regardless if they served their sentence or not. If you've got any sort of criminal record, you're dumped in with the psychos. One issue of the prequel comic begins with Sharp's goons attempting to arrest the Carpenter of all people.
    • Strange is even worse. His plan is to kill every inmate in Arkham City, believing that this elevates him to the status of Gotham's savior. Even when confronted by Batman, Strange revels in the "glorious" sight of Arkham City burning, killing hundreds of inmates.
    • The League of Assassins, as led by Ra's al Ghul. Throughout the campaign in Wonder City, both Ra's and Talia speak of creating a "better world" as they try to convince Batman to join their crusade, and during Ra's' boss fight, Talia states that only the League of Assassins can "wipe [the world] clean of the scum of humanity". Ra's also funded Strange's plans for Arkham City, fully supporting the plot to massacre the criminal population. Ra's even declares that Protocol 10 would only be the beginning of his efforts, again offering Batman the chance of joining him.
    • We also have a literal example in Azrael.
  • Knowledge Broker: Oracle is named as an "information broker."
  • Lag Cancel: Sort of: you can cancel the lengthy silent takedown with a Knockout Smash, which is quicker but just as loud as a regular combat takedown.
  • Lampshade Hanging: After Harley leaves the church, if you stand long enough with the mooks pointing their guns at you, one would suggest Batman might just use a smoke bomb, disappear and take them out one-by-one.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The Riddler ends up in the exact same predicament that he had put his victims in.
    • After torturing and murdering countless patients in Arkham Asylum, taking credit for stopping Joker's plot after Arkham Asylum, using that to become mayor, and getting Arkham City approved it's pretty easy to have zero sympathy for Quincy Sharp after Strange has him thrown into Arkham City. Even if you've brushed up on your backstory.
  • Laser Sight:
    • At one point, the Joker uses a sniper rifle with a customized laser sight: instead of producing a red dot on the target, it's a green smiley face.
    • Sniper mooks use visible laser sights (with standard red lasers), letting Batman see where they are and whether they're looking in his direction.
  • The Last Thing You Ever See: One time the Joker comments on the progress of the henchmen:
    Joker: Do you need a motivational speech about now? OK. I think you are all going to die down there. And this will be the last voice you hear before you cross over to the other side. And I am very, very, very disappointed in you.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Batman can overhear crooks talking about how they're surprised various villains are in Arkham City (the prison), going on to lampshade their return in Arkham City (the game).
    • Also:
      Criminal: Arkham City's worse than the old one. I should get a refund.
    • One dialogue among three thugs inside the museum during the epilogue initially sounds like they're just discussing what's going to happen to the inmates now that the Arkham City experiment has failed. But considering that players never hear who the 'they' they're talking about are, it sounds an awful lot like they're talking about where the sequel will take place. Here's the exchange, with a bit of paraphrasing.
      Thug 1: So what happens now?
      Thug 2: I guess we'll just stay here until they figure out what they're doing next.
      Thug 3: C'mon, man. What could they do next? Arkham County? Arkham Country? Big-ass Arkham World?
      Thug 2: I dunno, man. These guys are crazy, aren't they?
      Thug 3: Yes, they are.
    • It's also lampshaded by Joker in his video for winning the Spike Video Games Awards for Best Character, where he tosses out a script book titled "Batman: Arkham World Script" before saying "Whoops, spoilers..." Speaking of "spoilers", near the end, the fake Joker calls Batman through the intercom:
      Joker: Helloooo! Batman! You can hear me, right? It's just, you don't seem to be coming to the movie theatre and I'd hate for you to read the spoilers on the Internet again.
    • In "Harley Quinn's Revenge", a couple of thugs discuss the fan theory that Batman carried Clayface out of Arkham City, not the Joker, before one of them dismisses it as stupid and unrealistic. The other responds that so was the idea of two Jokers.
  • Leitmotif: There's a certain little tune that plays whenever you go through Arkham City as Catwoman. There's also a specific one that plays every time she finishes off the last mook of a fight.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!:
    • The mooks in any predator fight will suggest this, even after said tactic has already wiped out half of their team one by one.
    • This is especially surprising considering the mook's tactics in the previous game. When Batman took down one of the armed goons and their buddies noticed it, two would team up and search the room together. They would stick like glue to each other's back, making sure to cover each other.
    • To be fair, at a certain point in the fight, mooks will still decide to travel in packs, they just don't announce it. Then again, when there are only two or three left you usually get this exchange:
      Thug 1: Hey! I need help here!
      Thug 2: Screw you! It's everyone for himself!
  • Lightning Gun: The Remote Electrical Charger (REC), a handsome multitool used for puzzle-solving and crowd control.
    • Nightwing has escrima sticks that, for the game, have been upgraded to stun batons.
  • Locomotive Level: The Freight Train DLC challenge places Robin aboard a running mass-transit train in the city, which also fixes the camera in a way that simulates 2D gameplay. Uniquely, instead of stopping the gameplay in between rounds and spawning new enemies in the same location, the Freight Train ends each round by allowing the player to run through to a different part of the train to continue the challenge.
  • London Gangster: Rather than his usual depiction as being rather urbane and classy (if pretentious), in the game the Penguin is presented as closer to a vicious Ray Winstone-style thug with delusions of grandeur, complete with East-End accent.
  • Lost in Translation: Edward Nygma's riddles uses many puns that lose meaning in the translation due to a lack of substitute. This, in turn, can confuse some players on what exactly they are supposed to be looking for. Here are some examples from the Spanish version of Arkham City:
    • "Who's crazy enough to date this guy?" was translated to "¿Quien esta tan loco para andar con este sujeto?" ("who's crazy enough to hang out with this guy?"). The translations gets rid of the only clue about Calendar Man's riddle, as date has no translation that carries out the pun with the calendar theme.
    • "I wonder how could you land an appointment with this milliner? Perhaps it would be best to book" was translated to "Me pregunto como puedes concretar una cita con este sombrerero. Tal vez sea mejor reservar." (I wonder how could you land an appointment with this hatter. Maybe it would be best to book)." While the translation is correct, and any player would understand it involves The Mad Hatter, the book pun is lost in the translation, as the riddle is the Alice's Adventures in Wonderland book in Hatter's table.
    • "Would an invitation to party like the gods be a bolt out of the blue?" was translated to "¿Una invitación a festejar como los dioses sea algo inexperado?" ("Would an invitation to party like the gods be something unexpected?"), effectively getting rid of the clue to the blue bolt statue in Amusement Mile.
    • "You don't want to be caught off-guard in this place, do you?" was translated to "No quieres que te agarren desprevenido en este lugar, ¿o si?". While an accurate translation, it doesn't translate the "guard" effectively, losing the riddle of the dead guard in the entrance to Arkham City.
    • "Do you really need to hammer it home? Everyone knows Harley's stupid" was translated to "¿En serio tienes que remacharlo? Todo el mundo sabe que Harley es estupida" ("Do you really need to point it out? Everyone knows Harley's stupid"). An accurate translation that misses the "hammer" pun, as the answer to the riddle is Harley's iconic hammer.
    • "Who can Boyle and Freeze at the same time?" was translated to "¿Quien puede hervir y congelarse al mismo tiempo?" ("Who can boil and freeze at the same time?"). A very literal translation that kills the point of the riddle, pointing out at Boyle's company.
    • "You're a dummy if you don't try and buy one" was translated to "Eres un bobo si no intentas comprar uno" ("You're a fool if you don't try and buy one"). An accurate translation that misses the riddle, refering to a puppet's shop. Dummy can both mean puppet and fool, but in Spanish this translation is impossible.
    • "Can anyone top the Penguin when it comes to the full VP treatment?" was translated to "¿Puede alguien superar al Pinguino en cuanto al trato VIP completo?" ("Can anyone surpass the Penguin when it comes to the full VIP treatment?"). A literal translation that gets rid of the pun, as Penguin's hat is the answer to the riddle.
    • "Brothers in arms, brothers at war, who is right? Who is...left?" was translated to "Hermanos armados, Hermanos en guerra. ¿Quien tiene razón? ¿Quien...queda?" ("Armed brothers, brothers at war. Who is correct? Who's...left behind?"). A very tricky translation trying to make sense of the puns in the riddle. For starters, "brothers at arms" was translated to "hermanos armados", which has no pun related to arms, instead "armados" refers to them wearing weapons; "Who's right? Who's left?" is translated to "who is correct? Who is left remaining?", a very literal translation with no pun whatsoever in Spanish. However, an avid player (or a dirty cheater) will know it refers to the Abranovich brothers.
    • Averted, but still worth pointing out. "This place has taken a turn for the worse. Is it a little bear for your taste?" was translated to "Este lugar ha dado un giro para mal. ¿Muy osado para tu gusto?" ("This place has taken a turn for the worse. Is it a little brave for your taste?"). While the "giro" part makes no sense in the riddle, "osado" is a very similar word for bear in Spanish, "oso", making it effectively a clever pun about the Toy factory Bane is hiding.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The thugs eventually arm themselves with riot shields (or discarded car doors), the only way for Batman to hurt them is jump on them.
    • They can also hit you with it, which is unblockable. The finishing move on them is ripping the shield out of their hands and slamming it into their stomachs. This is averted if you use a Disarm on them - Batman either kicks them away and crumples the shield, or punches them in the face through the window, then crumples the metal.
    • In Harley Quinn's Revenge, Robin gets in on both of these tropes — there's even an achievement for bashing five mooks with his shield. While his shield cannot protect him indefinitely, it generally doesn't have to.

    Tropes M to P 
  • Mad Doctor: Hugo Strange. The second trailer shows him torturing a guard to death to get information, for one.
  • Made of Iron: Surprisingly, mooks tend to qualify. Most people would either drop like a sack of bricks or be too busy whimpering on the floor to fight back after being kicked in the head with steel-toed boots or bashed across the temple with an electrified escrima stick. But unless it's a combo finisher or they've been knocked around a few times already, mooks will get back up and attack again.
  • The Magic Poker Equation: Zsasz claims that Penguin beat his four-of-a-kind with a straight flush to bankrupt him. But, considering the source and the players, it's likely Zsasz is lying or one or both of them was cheating anyway. Zsasz had four sixes, while Penguin's Straight Flush included a fifth six.
  • Male Gaze:
    • The "slide" maneuver used while playing Catwoman to move through very narrow, low obstacles involves Catwoman sliding on her knees and leaning back with her arms spread just so, giving the player a perfect view of Catwoman's cleavage...
    • Talia. While she and Batman walk down the Chamber of the Demon, the camera has a pretty good view of her behind while walking down the stairs.
  • Male Might, Female Finesse: Batman tends to use heavy punches and kicks while Catwoman flips around and cartwheels.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Hugo Strange to Warden Sharp, Ra's al Ghul to Hugo Strange.
    • If you listen to the interview tapes, it's revealed that Professor Strange was behind a lot of the subplots in the game; he told Catwoman where Two-Face's datapad that she wanted to steal was, told Two-Face that Catwoman was going to steal it, told Mr. Freeze that it was the Joker who had captured Nora, and supplied Penguin with weapons and informed of the GCPD officers which had infiltrated his gang. Ever The Chessmaster indeed.
  • The Man in the Mirror Talks Back:
    • When Two-Face is about to host Catwoman's trial, his good half and bad half debate what they should do: the Good half mentions they need to gain respect in the town if they are to last in the town. The Bad Half wants the town to fear them, thus kill her immediately. The Good half is reluctant to kill Catwoman, at least not immediately, as they are in a courthouse, a place of justice, and the Bad Half says they should screw justice, kill Catwoman, and be done with it. (Seeing as the "trial" would have been a joke, this is a Morton's Fork for Catwoman anyway.)
    • Another example, although a subversion: when the fully-healed Joker is revealed, he sees himself as his sick self in the mirror before the reveal. However, it is not a mirror, it's actually thick glass, and the Joker in the "mirror" is the real Joker. The one outside it is actually Clayface.
      • The subversion is even easier to spot if you know the twist, notice that the Joker in the mirrors' movements don't actually match up perfectly, if you didn't know the twist you would assume that it was an animation error.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Harley manages to reactivate some of the Wonder City Guardians and sics them on Batman in Harley Quinn's Revenge.
  • Menacing Museum: The Penguin has taken over the Cyrus Pinkney Institute for Natural History and is now using it as his base of operations, repurposing several display cases to house his growing collection of human trophies. Batman has to venture inside in order to rescue Mr Freeze, and quickly finds himself up against not only an army of henchmen, but also Penguin's pet great white shark, and even Solomon Grundy.
  • Metroidvania: To a greater degree than the previous game, as the open world is filled with Riddler challenges that require specific plot-acquired upgrades to complete. However, a few challenges can be completed with fewer gadgets and greater creativity.
  • Mind-Control Device: Mad Hatter's white rabbit masks.
  • Mission Control: Alfred takes the role for the first part of the game. Oracle replaces him later, though Alfred takes it again every so often.
  • Mistaken Identity: When Two-Face's men are guarding a safe holding something of particular value to Two-Face, they initially assume that the pointy-eared person intruding the shadows is Batman. The figure walks out... and it's Catwoman.
  • Monster Arena: The first fight against Penguin places Batman inside of one of these, where he fights a ton of potential recruits to Penguin's Gang and a big Titan Monster.
  • Mook Chivalry: Semi-averted. While mooks will still wait until you finish your combo takedowns they no longer attack one at a time and its not uncommon for two or three to strike at once. Conveniently, Batman can now counter two or three attacks at once.
  • Mook Horror Show: The Hugo Strange trailer. Also, just like the first game, you can cause these in Predator mode.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Catwoman, Harley, Ivy, and Talia.
  • Mundane Utility: The code-breaking gadget can also be used to listen in on radio frequencies. You might occasionally hear a Vicki Vale news report should you choose to check it out.
  • Mugging the Monster: Upon seeing Bruce Wayne escorted into Arkham City, many of the crooks and inmates express a desire or intention to target him. Some of them, including the Penguin, even decide to take the opportunity. Unfortunately for all of them, there's something they don't know about Bruce Wayne...
  • Multi-Mook Melee: A staple of challenge maps and boss battles.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Joker attempts this twice in the game, toward any girl who would stand in between him and Batman. The first time he tries to kill Catwoman with a sniper rifle ("Twinkle, twinkle little Bat; watch me kill your favorite cat") The second time, he shoots and successfully kills Talia.
  • Mushroom Samba: At one point, Batman drinks some Lazarus Pit and goes on a strange trip through a swirling desert while Ra's al Ghul eggs him on.
  • My Eyes Are Up Here: Catwoman says so in mockery to an unflappable Hugo Strange in one of her interview tapes.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Joker's pose during his "final death" is virtually the same pose as Jack Nicholson's Joker's death pose in Batman (1989). Likewise, the church appears to modeled similarly to the cathedral from the same film.
    • Joker's last words were slightly similar to his last words in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
      Joker: That actually is... pretty funny... (Arkham City)
      Joker: That's not funny... that's not... (Return of the Joker)
    • Rather than strike a generic Batman look like the rest of the character trophies, the Animated Series Batman trophy holds the exact same pose that punctuated the opening of Batman: The Animated Series.
    • One of the achievements/trophies unlocked when rescuing the Riddler's hostages is called "The Puzzler". "The Puzzler" is one of the names Edward Nygma considered choosing in Batman Forever.
    • Even though the person who says it is different, the game ends with Batman telling Joker a joke that the two both find funny, much like the rather open-ended ending of The Killing Joke.
    • The ball-shaped cat head from Batman Returns can be found near the courthouse.
    • Harley's got a new outfit, but throughout Joker's hideout are cartoonish statues of Harley wearing her classic jester's outfit. Her classic outfit itself is at the time under the Penguin's possession in one of his museum displays. Also, her nurse-styled outfit from Arkham Asylum is on display in Joker's office.
    • The movie playing during the Clayface fight is the one he starred in when he was an actor. His origin was that he was an actor who went crazy when he found out his last film, "The Terror", was being remade.
    • Though they are of a different design, there are dirigibles floating around Arkham City, similar to the opening theme of Batman: The Animated Series.
    • There are strong similarities to No Man's Land, and as such has at least one Shout-Out the code word for the undercover cops in Penguin's crew, to identify them, is "Sarah", Gordon's wife, murdered by the Joker in that story.
    • There's a bar next to where the first Riddler hostage is. The bar's name? The Black Canary.
    • One of the Joker's mooks brags that he'll kill Batman and be rewarded with a "ride on the Harley" [Quinn]. She herself made the same joke in the award-winning Batman: The Animated Series spin-off comic "Mad Love," written by Paul Dini — who also wrote the dialog for this game.
    • When Catwoman's apartment explodes, there is a shot of her lying on the ground surrounded by cats, very similar to a shot used in Batman Returns when Selina is thrown out of a window and apparently killed. Incidentally, both scenes involve her being defenestrated.
    • When pondering new riddles for Batman, the Riddler considers stealing Penguin's Shark, thinking Batman would not be able to get past a shark. He then decides against it, figuring Batman might have Shark-related contingencies. A reference to the Adam West Batman film and the infamous "Shark Repellent Bat-Spray" Batman kept handy. Another reference to the shark repellent shows up if you die at the jaws of Tiny: the hint will advise that you make use of "Batman's shark repellent: A flurry of furious strikes." Sefton Hill, the game's director, once stated that the team considered putting in a more blatant Mythology Gag about this in which Batman pulls out a can of shark-repellent and pulls a huge knuckle duster out of it to fend off Tiny with. Another reference to Adam West's Batman (also a Shout-Out) can come up with mook commentary if you fight them while wearing the 1970's suit:
    • Riddler also considers using dogs.
    • When Batman walks into the shell game, the Riddler calls out "Roll up! Roll up!" While this phrase goes back to the days of real carnival barkers, it also appeared above a carnival game on one of the screens of the Commodore 64 Batman game.
    • The mission in which you find Nora is called "Heart of Ice".
    • Upon rescuing Vicki Vale from the Joker's snipers, Batman uses the Line Launcher (he usually uses the Grappling hook, which makes this stand out more). Batman using the Line Launcher to save Vicki Vale from Joker's thugs has been done before. Another reference to the movie is the fact that her weight is listed as 121 lbs, rather than the 108 lbs she claimed, which Batman called her out on, and that she's blonde here, as was Kim Basinger's Vicki in that film.
    • In The Joker's interview tapes, Strange wants him to detail the story of what made him who he is. He retells the backstory given in The Killing Joke, but Strange calls him out on it by claiming he changes the story every time he tells it. Joker then almost word for word uses the original quote for Multiple-Choice Past.
    • In the Playable Epilogue, when Catwoman is going after Two-Face (again), he yells out, "The man who takes down Catwoman gets to be my number one... guy!" in exactly the same way as Jack Palance's Boss Grissom (and Jack Nicholson's Joker.)
    • Penguin has a Robotic Tyrannosaurus Rex in his trophy room just like Batman has been shown in other works to have one in his cave.
    • Arkham City's church (or maybe it's the natural history museum) features some rather familiar statues of St. George slaying the dragon with his spear.
    • The Krank Co. Toys building (Bane's hideout) is a reference to Cosmo Krank, A.K.A. the Toymaker, a Canon Foreigner villain from The Batman and the former C.E.O. of Krank Co. Toys.
    • One of the newspapers that can be found throughout the city is about a "Criminal Couple" being killed, with the subhead reading "Boy Watches as Parents Die". This can refer to plenty of so-called "Anti-Batman" characters, most notably Prometheus (who had a easter egg in Batman: Arkham Asylum) or the Wraith.
    • One of the places where this newpaper can be found, the old GCPD building, also contains an Arkham Medical Examination Record for Prometheus which states he "passed". Article and record can both be seen here.
    • Posters of Cadmus Lab can be found in Harley Quinn's Revenge.
    • As you enter Wonder City, the narration (suspiciously sounding like Ra's al Ghul himself) describes Gotham as hell, rising up through the pavement and continuing into the sky - an almost direct quote from Anton Furst regarding the aesthetically grim set design he did for Batman (1989).
    • After you rescue Nora Fries and visit Mr. Freeze as Catwoman, she'll mention that there's a museum with a prominent diamond on display and wants his help stealing it. Freeze blows her off.
    • There's a billboard for "Monarch Playing Card Co.", the same company mentioned in the very first origin story Joker received, by Bill Finger.
  • Navel-Deep Neckline: Catwoman's suit is zipped down to the point where her whole cleavage and her stomach can be seen at some angles.
  • Neck Lift: Batman's default way of interrogating a Riddler informant once they're isolated, both standing, when he doesn't have a ledge to dangle them over or a wall to hold them against.
  • Nerf: Detective Mode. In Asylum, it was so useful, and lacked any significant disadvantages, that so many players played the entire game without ever turning off. This displeased the developers, who didn't like the idea of their meticulous art direction being viewed blue-tinted, so they redesigned detective mode to have reduced visibility in this game so that players would turn it off at some point.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight: The blade counter technique is guaranteed to one-shot any blade-wielding Mook, unlike the ordinary counter, which most of the time only knocks them down.
  • New Game Plus: Allows you to start the game over with all of your previously gotten gadgets and upgrades, but disables counter icons, gives you better-equipped mooks right from the start, makes them more aggressive and gives most bosses extra health while also disabling Anti-Frustration Features for the Mr. Freeze fight described above. Annoyingly enough, you can only have a single New Game+ per file and no option to start one over from beginning.
  • Never My Fault: Joker angrily croaks "Are you happy now?!" at Batman, after he himself stabbed Batman in the shoulder, which made him drop the vial of Mr. Freeze's cure, dooming himself.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: Victor Zsasz, made clear as he taunts you over the telephone.
  • Nintendo Hard: The Augmented Reality Training sequences.
    • In New Game Plus, which is on a higher difficulty setting, Catwoman's fights against Two-Face's two dozen-ish mooks in the museum. Catwoman is naturally a Fragile Speedster, so she won't take very many hits to go down. Add in the greater number of mooks equipped with shields, stun-sticks and/or body armor and the lack of counter cues. Better hope you've been practicing, because one or two mistakes and you have to start the whole fight over.
    • Your first fight with the Joker can be this. At first it's just you and him... easy. Then he calls in several dozen or so mooks to help him out... still handle-able. Then, without so much as a cutscene, Mr. Hammer joins the fray, followed shortly thereafter by a random Titan thug. To top it all off, you're fighting in the Joker's funhouse, which has trains speed through the area with only a couple of seconds worth of warning, all while you're trying to deal with the Joker, a small army of mooks, and a pair of characters that would count as boss battles by themselves.
    • The Mr. Freeze boss fight in New Game Plus. Not only do you have to take him down nine timesnote , but you also have to do it without overusing detective vision or Freeze will block it.
    • The "Extreme" versions of the Predator challenges in Riddler's Revenge. Not only does sustained gunfire kill Batman in seconds in this mode, they often feature downright sadistic enemy loadouts, like armored snipers, give nearly every enemy thermal goggles, and frequently use Detective Vision Jammers. And two of them have challenges that force you to take out the Jammer last.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Averted after you take down the Penguin. After defeating and imprisoning the Penguin, Penguin's thugs are all massacred by the forces serving under the other bosses at large in Arkham City. It's particularly jarring after emerging from the subway for the second time in the game to see a massive pile of dead corpses of men who all worked for Penguin.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: This trope is what leads to the endgame: Batman is able to get a sample of Ra's al Ghul's blood and get it back to Mr. Freeze to make the cure. Freeze makes two copies of the cure, but to force Batman into finding and rescuing Nora, Freeze destroys one sample and locks away another, leading to the two fighting and Harley stealing the cure under their noses. While the heroes are able to create copies to save those poisoned by the Joker outside of Arkham City, the Joker ends up causing his own death by stabbing Batman and causing him to drop the cure.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: The explosive gel, as in Asylum. In addition, mines do a chunk of damage to Batman and knock out unarmored Mooks if remote-detonated, but not much else.note 
  • Non-Indicative Difficulty: In contrast to the above, the "Extreme" combat challenges are actually easier to get medals on than the normal versions, as more enemies lets you maintain a higher combo count, and thus a higher score, much more easily. They also add Titan Thugs, which, if studded quickly enough, are more like a weapon for Batman to use than an actual threat.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: The alternative character skins invoke this to varying degrees, especially those corresponding to the animated series.
  • Non Standard Game Over:
    • During the Catwoman missions, you can choose whether to go to Batman's rescue or get out of Arkham City with her newly gained loot. The one that furthers the plot is saving Batman. Being selfish cuts to the credits, with a panicked voiceover by Oracle, sending out a distress call as Joker brings Gotham to its knees without Batman to protect it. The game then rewinds back to the decision point to let you "choose" to save Batman.
    • Failing to solve the various Riddler rooms in time results in Riddler murdering the room's hostage.
    • During Catwoman's final battle with Two-Face, getting detected by Two-Face or his men and failing to get back into cover in time results in you automatically getting shot.
    • Similarly, when Catwoman is trying to steal the security keycards from Strange's TYGER guards, getting spotted results in an automatic failure due to the ensuing emergency lockdown.
    • During the vast majority of the game, falling from any height won't even be a minor inconvenience for Batman. However, if Bruce Wayne falls from a significant height during the tutorial, such as the jump to the Ace Chemicals building, it's an instant game over that sees Strange golating over your failure.
  • No Peripheral Vision: Played about as straight as a ruler. Mooks appear to have a horizontal peripheral vision of 90 degrees (if not less), which can lead to situations where you can be technically taking out a mook in the field of vision of his buddy.
  • Not Quite Flight: By using the Grapnel Boost, it's actually possible to travel around the city without touching the ground or roofs. Likewise, the Dive Bomb maneuver allows you to glide for an extended period of time at roughly the same height.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: Depending on when you open Batman's cape to glide. Suddenly bringing out the cape a few inches from hitting the ground has no more ill effects than gently floating all the way down.
  • Now What?: The ending to Batman's campaign ends on this note after Joker dies and he takes the body out of the city. Unlike most other instances of this trope, however, the consequences of the final battle are shown in the Playable Epilogue and the DLC.
  • Obligatory Swearing: The thugs sure like to use the word "bitch" a lot, especially during the Catwoman DLC missions. This jars a bit with the conversational style of all the main characters, who rarely, if ever, swear.
  • Off-Model:
    • In the ending, from the time that Batman drinks half of the cure until the time that he gets knocked out by the explosion of the Lazarus Pit, the cure is in his left hand. When he wakes up, however, the cure is now in his right hand. This mistake has led to some fan theory that the Joker may still be alive, a theory that is later dismissed as a stupid idea by one of Harley's thugs in Harley Quinn's Revenge.
    • Harley's picture on her character bio page looks different compared to her in-game model, and a lot creepier at that.
  • Offscreen Inertia:
    • Twice in the game, Batman rescues someone, and tells them to stay put and remain in hiding. They both turn out to still be where he left them, hours later, even if new bad guys have moved into the location.
    • This is lampshaded in the dialogue of one of them, and the other attacks Batman with a lead pipe when he returns, not realizing it was him.
    • This is an improvement for them over Arkham Asylum, where the majority of people you save will be murdered the second you leave the area.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: TYGER guards attack Wayne Manor and the batcave, but they are defeated by Nightwing and Alfred.
    • Implied with the range in which Riddler has hidden his trophies, requiring him or an agent of his to have gotten there and prevented others from removing them. These includes several inside the lairs of all the mob bosses of Arkham City, inside the TYGER base and Strange's headquarters, and - most impressively - two trophies inside The League of Assassin's private sanctum, behind a door that requires the weapon of one of Talia's elite guard to open.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • One of Batman's new gadgets allows him to jam a mook's gun, cue this reaction when Batman is right in front of them and their gun won't fire.
    • One of the Riddler physical challenges actually requires you to jam an enemy gun, make them try to shoot you then take them down: it's also a recurring predator challenge medal requirement.
    • In the story, Batman has this reaction near the end, when he pieces together that the Joker that Talia just "killed" isn't really the Joker.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: At the end of Catwoman Episode 2, when Poison Ivy's plant entangles Catwoman in its vines and hangs her upside down, she says, "Not again," marking the second time she's been caught and hung upside down (the first was by Two-Face).
  • Old Superhero: One of the downloadable skins is 55-year old Batman from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. He is no less capable in combat than his younger iterations and, amusingly, his flirtatious banter with the now much younger Catwoman and Talia doesn't change - making him look like a Dirty Old Man.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: When Talia stabs Joker, Batman has a series of flashbacks to scenes and dialogue throughout the game, and pieces together that it's actually Clayface.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted, as there are two important characters with the same first name. We have side-quest, psychically unbalanced individual Victor Zsasz and cold-hearted super villain Dr. Victor Fries, aka Mr. Freeze.
  • One-Time Dungeon:
    • The main furnace in Joker's Steel Mill can only be entered once, since it collapses on itself later on.
    • In Catwoman's DLC, there's Strange's vault, which collapses on its own the moment you leave, thanks to Ivy's plants destroying the surroundings to make an entrance.
    • Near the end of the game, there's Wonder Tower, which is destroyed by when Hugo Strange activates Protocol 11.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Mayor Sharp is largely out of focus in this game; it's Hugo Strange who is the apparent Big Bad, and he's being crowded out by the Joker and other more prominent villains. See Big Bad Ensemble above.
  • Overly Long Fighting Animation: The main disadvantage of using silent takedowns. Better make sure you don't do it in full view of someone else with a gun. Subverted if you use the Knockout Smash, although it defeats the purpose of a silent takedown.
    • Also a problem while playing as Nightwing or Robin. They both put too many flair into their moves. This is specially ridiculous with Robin, whose ground takedown animation has him twirling his staff for a bit for no reason before using it to knock out the enemy, giving other mooks ample time to get near him and attack him while he does that.
  • Painting the Medium:
    • Much like in Batman: Arkham Asylum, getting hit by blunt weapons gives you momentary double vision and getting hit by stun batons causes the screen to develop interference patterns and static.
    • When Batman starts to feel the effects of Joker's poisonous blood, the camera sways and tilts subtly when stationary until he drinks the Blood of the Demon to cure it temporarily.
    • You know that Two-Face mook who attacks you after you rescue him in the Steel Mill? Well, he won't attack until you aren't looking at him. You, not Batman. Batman can have his back completely turned, but so long as the player can see the thug, he'll just keep rubbing his wrists. As soon as you shift the camera off of him, he rushes in.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Throughout the game, when you use the cryptographic sequencer on the panels, the correct word combination is typically one that relates to whomever set it up, or is otherwise very appropriate for the situation. For example, to get out of the room that Hush locks you in, it's "Mockingbird". To open the door that Hugo Strange is standing behind towards the end of the game, it's "Gotham Savior". To get into Scarecrow's secret hatch, it's "City Of Terror". And with panels that were set up by the Riddler, the solution is always something like "Enigma" or "Conundrum".
    • Additionally, the password used by members of Commissioner Gordon's elite team to identify themselves is "Sarah" — the name of Gordon's second wife.
  • Patrolling Mook: Later in the game, Mooks will have devices on them that alert each other if they are knocked out, causing the rest to be more cautious and more scared.
  • Playable Epilogue: Catwoman gathers up her loot in preparation for leaving the City, finds that some of it has been stolen, and sets out to steal it back. Batman returns to Arkham City to finish any sidequests the player didn't get through during the main game.
  • Playing the Heart Strings:
  • Point of No Return: Once Batman enters the Steel Mill to steal the cure from Harley, he's locked into the main story for the rest of the game. Disregarding the Playable Epilogue, the only exception is if he goes after Freeze's weapons in the boiler room.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: A lot of random mooks love to talk about what they would do with Harley or Catwoman. They don't quite stray into PG-13 territory, but they're not family friendly.
  • Prison Rape: Never explicitly mentioned, but one of the inmates at the beginning tells Bruce Wayne that Bruce is going to be his bitch. Additionally, a handful of Enemy Chatter involves inmates talking about what they or others would do to Catwoman or Harley if given the chance.
  • Private Military Contractors: TYGER's front. In actuality, they are Blackgate inmates who have been brainwashed.
    • A Joker gang member comments that the Penguin's gang members can't be trusted, since "half of 'em are mercs".
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: There's a brief bit of enemy chatter that discusses this. Sometime after the courthouse, you can hear some guys talking about Batman rescuing Catwoman. One of them asks why Batman would save Catwoman, since she's a thief like them. Another snarks back "She's better looking than you". In the actual story, there's Batman wanting to save Talia more than everyone in Arkham City because he cares about her more, though he's convinced otherwise.
  • Psycho Psychologist:
    • Hugo Strange, and more specifically, in his capacity as "therapist" to Quincy Sharp.
    • Harley Quinn. Her PhD diploma from University of Gotham is seen hanging in one of the rooms of the steel mill.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis! / Punctuated Pounding:
    • During the "Acts of Violence" sidequest, one thug is seen beating up a political prisoner while bellowing, "Why! Didn't! You! Do! What! I! Said!"
    • The Joker does this near the end, albeit with no pounding:
      Joker: But first, if you would be so kind... Hand. Over. My. Cure. [points the gun at Batman]
  • Putting on the Reich / A Nazi by Any Other Name : Hugo Strange has a very Mengele vibe about him while TYGER operates much like a Secret Police under his rule. Gotham eventually becomes a Police State after Arkham City is created, and then there's Protocol 10.
    • The Penguin has red banners with his sigil adorning his headquarters that are very reminiscent of the Nazi regime.
  • Puzzle Boss:
    • Solomon Grundy regenerates so quickly that he's effectively immune to all physical attacks. Trying to beat him up will get you nowhere.
    • Mr. Freeze quickly adapts after each beatdown you give him, forcing you to find several different ways of stunning him or catching him off guard.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The Joker stabs Batman in the shoulder, making Bats drop the cure, dooming Joker.
    • How Penguin ended up in Arkham City in the first place; as his criminal nature was in disrepute he had been ordered to vacate the Iceberg Lounge like all other civilians living in what would become Arkham City, he refused. As a result GCPD and TYGER were sent to forcibly reclaim the building the day the perimeter wall was to be complete, Penguin had his men open fire and killed three officers; thereby confirming his criminal status and prompting the Mayor to simply allow the wall to be finished, leaving Penguin incarcerated.
  • The Quisling:
    • Sometimes in enemy chatter you'll hear about a mook who sold out his villainous faction to join up with the villain who look like he might win. Like say, a mook who left the Penguin to join up with Two-Face.
      • In a fun bit of detail from the dev team, turning on your Detective Vision while listening to a mook talk about betraying his faction will, more often than not, reveal that the mook in question is a Riddler mole; he's already sold his boss out once, why not again?
    • Also just after fighting Ra's al Ghul, you get to the subway entrance where a armored Joker Thug is convincing a large group of Penguin thugs to join up with the Joker after the recent defeat of The Penguin.

     Tropes R to T 
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Batman can perform a "Beatdown" move on a stunned foe, in which he starts channeling Kenshiro and jabs the opponent in the midsection as quickly as possible before landing an incapacitating finisher. Catwoman can do it even faster.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Mr. Freeze. Granted, they're not his eyes, but rather red computer text on his goggles, but when that starts up, he's going into Killer Freeze Robot mode.
  • Red Herring:
    • In Batman: Arkham Asylum, the revelation that Quincy Sharp was actually writing all of the "Spirit of Amadeus Arkham" inscriptions seriously called his sanity into question, and led many fans to suspect that he would be the Big Bad of the sequel. In reality, his role in Arkham City is minimal—he is merely a pawn of Dr. Strange, and he gets thrown into Arkham City himself about halfway through the game. His morbid obsession with Amadeus Arkham is explained as a manifestation of Strange's brainwashing (similarly to Mad Hatter's "cure").
    • In the final Riddler room, one of the plans Riddler briefly considers is filling a tank with water, hostages, and literal red herring, proclaiming that Batman won't "get" it.
    • As of "Harley Quinn's Revenge", Harley's pregnancy. Go to where you saw the first pregnancy test and you see a box of them warning of "false positives." This might explain why she's even crazier in the DLC.
  • Remilitarized Zone: The lower parts of the Bowery district are patrolled by Penguin's hired mercenaries (who are armed with military grade firearms), and exploding mines serve as common hazards in the area. To a lesser extent, the entire city counts, since it's in the middle of one big gang war.
  • Red Right Hand: In addition to the deformities of villains present in the comics and other media (Two-Face's scarring, Joker's bleached skin and green hair, Poison Ivy's green skin, etc), the Penguin's monocle is replaced by the base of a bottle that was jammed into his eye by an angry customer at the Iceberg Lounge before the events of the game, and stayed there. The Joker also gets his awful rash from the toxin.
  • Red Shirt Army: The 13th precinct of the Gotham City Police Department. Unlike most examples of the trope, they survived and were saved by Batman (well, most of them, anyways). To be fair, you do get to learn all their names.
  • Revenge by Proxy: "Harley Quinn's Revenge" has Harley kidnap members of the GCPD and try and blow a chunk out of Gotham, with Robin inside as revenge against Batman for what she assumed to be him killing the Joker. Granted, she does try to kill Batman himself to top it all off.
  • Revenge of the Sequel: Of a sort. The story Downloadable Content that is up front stated to be after Arkham City propernote  is "Harley Quinn's Revenge", being her Revenge plot to get back at Batman for letting The Joker die or killing him himself.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Calendar Man becomes a poet at this, especially on Mother's Day:
    Calendar Man: "M" was for the murderous look she gave me.
    "O" meant only that she was weak and old.
    "T" is for her terror as she fought me.
    "H" is for her heart that I now hold.
    "E" is for her eyes swiftly dimming.
    "R" means rot, and soon rotting she will be.
    Put them all together, they spell "MOTHER",
    A word that means a corpse to me.
    Happy Mother's Day, Mommy.
    Believe it or not, this aforementioned poem is a parody of the song "M-O-T-H-E-R" by Howard Johnson.
  • Right Under Their Noses: Joker hangs a spectacularly evil lampshade to this,
    "So how do you keep a secret from the World's Greatest Detective? Well, do you know? It's easy. You stick it right in front of him, right under his long, pointy nose and wait."
  • Rock–Paper–Scissors: During one sidequest at the Steel Mill when you have to rescue Nora Fries, you'll notice some of the inmates decide to play a game of "Rock-Paper-Scissors" to see who can start a business. One of them tries to cheat with a gun and dynamite, both of which aren't allowed and don't work on paper. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Rule of Sexy: The player is constantly reminded that it is cold in Arkham City, to the point where random thugs wish they had coats almost as often as they wish they had food that didn't taste horrible. This doesn't stop the main female characters from wearing low-cut shirts, baring their midriff, showing lots of leg, or all three. In a prison filled with men no less, something at least one Enemy Chatter conversation Lampshades.
  • Rule of Three: Deadshot manages to kill three Political Prisoners before being caught. Hush killed three people before entering Arkham City, and three more in.
  • Sadistic Choice: After Protocol 10 goes into effect, Batman has the choice of going to rescue Talia from the Joker, sacrificing thousands of lives in the process, or stopping Protocol 10 and potentially letting Talia die. Unlike most examples within video games, the choice is already made for the player; see What the Hell, Hero? below.
  • Save the Villain:
    • Deconstructed. The Joker himself notes that Batman would never let him die if the means to save him were in his power, but the trope itself is soundly averted when Joker tries to take it from him by force and destroys the vial containing the cure.
    • Also, earlier, when Strange is stabbed by Ra's al Ghul, Batman tells Ra's to get him medical attention. Subverted immediately when the dying Strange initiates Protocol 11.
    • Also what Batman does by stopping Protocol 10, he saves the lives of every remaining random Mook in the city though the mooks are about as grateful as you would expect.
  • Scenic-Tour Level: The start of the game when you control Bruce Wayne being brought into Arkham City as a prisoner. Add in the opening cutscene at the beginning of the game and you get a pretty good introduction to how completely messed up the situation has become.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: Depending on the order in which you complete the Riddler's challenges and collect his trophies, they can come across like this. Some are as easy as traveling to a conspicuous location and performing a simple hack or gel placement. Others require a lot of out-of-the-box thinking or tightly timed dexterity.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • There are two of them set up by the Riddler in the subway system. Both are rooms that have 3 Riddler Trophies that from the looks of it you can get without much trouble. However if you activate it you will be locked in the room and killed. However Batman being Crazy-Prepared, can get out of these when he acquires the right gadgets.
    • Shortly after rescuing Vicki Vale, Batman gets a call from Alfred saying that Lucius Fox has managed to synthesize a cure for Joker's infected blood, and that he's dropping off a sample. Considering that the player, at least, just saw Mad Hatter in the background of the preceding cutscene, it's especially obvious.
    • Knives during combat. Mooks that use knives are vulnerable to a free takedown if the proper command is tapped. Mooks will continue to pick up the dropped knife of a KO'd mook, and come after you with it.
  • Second Hour Superpower: The player starts out as Bruce Wayne in civilian clothes; the first challenge is getting the Batman gear.
  • Secret Identity Apathy: Early on, Batman is unconscious and in the Joker's custody, but he keeps Harley Quinn from unmasking him.
    Harley: But I wanna know who he is, sweetie!
    Joker: Where's the Fun in That? Nobody's who you think they are, my dear.
  • Sequence Breaking: The New Game Plus mode allows you to keep all of your gadgets, but if you try to use them to get to an area before you're supposed to, Batman will say "This can wait" or "There's not enough time."
  • Sequel Escalation:
    • How do you make a game like Arkham Asylum better? Well, the first thing you can do is have Batman keep his cool toys from the first game and let him upgrade them from the beginning, then have a section of Gotham be dubbed as "Arkham City" and make it an open world to explore... also have Riddler keep some henchmen around for added fun in his Riddle challenges... Batman can counter up to three people at once now and use more of his gadgets seamlessly in combat...
    • Getting just one Riddler trophy can be a minor ordeal now. In the first game, they were mostly just tucked out of sight; here, they're often in plain sight, but sealed under a mechanical dome that only releases when you perform a series of challenging physical actions.
    • The idea is spoofed in a certain conversation you can overhear between several thugs after the ending of the game, wondering about the fate of Arkham City. "What's next? Arkham County? Arkham Country? Big-ass Arkham World?"
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: Protocol 11 is this for Wonder Tower.
  • Sequel Hook: Various:
    • Azrael's ominous words about Batman and Gotham going up in flames sometime in the future. He actually predicted the events of Batman: Arkham Knight.
    • Bruce Wayne impersonator Thomas Elliot (aka Hush) being at large in Gotham. Batman makes a mental note to track down the latter once he leaves Arkham City. He eventually reappears in a mission in Batman: Arkham Knight called Friend in Need.
    • In a lesser degree, you can visit Calendar Man as Catwoman. He states that he might pay a visit to her (or her father) soon. Also after you visit him on the 12 dates related to his achievement, visit his cell again and it will be empty, with a Two-Face goon hanging from the ceiling within.
    • Killer Croc is still at large in the city. If you take the time to visit the sewers after the fight with Ra's al Ghul, you can spark a brief encounter with Croc who states he "will wait and then feast on his corpse". It's very clear Croc ain't giving up any time soon. However, Killer Croc will only come back in the Arkham Knight DLC: The Season of Infamy.
    • There is a hidden hatch that hints at Scarecrow's return. Judging by the contents of the ship, he may be working in tandem with Bedbug, who made a brief cameo in the Arkham City comics.
    • When checking the radio stations on the Cryptographic Sequencer, you made find some channels that spout off random numbers. When matched up with alphabet and decoded, they likewise hint at Scarecrow's return: the first one is a simple alphabet substitution cipher and translates to "I WILL RETURN BATMAN", the second one uses a reverse alphabet and translates to "YOU WILL PAY FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO ME" but the third one is a much more elaborate one that not only uses the reversed alphabet, but also a Vigenere cipher: by using "SCARECROW" as the keyword, the decoded message becomes "FEAR WILL TEAR GOTHAM CITY TO SHREDS". He eventually becomes the Big Bad of Arkham Knight.
    • During the Protocol 10 segment, a group of thugs in unique outfits with Scarecrow's motif appear on the roof of the building with a frozen over swimming pool: they're out of way from your next destination and they disappear after Protocol 10 gets shut down, so this one's quite obscure as well.
    • Tanks of Scarecrow toxin shows up throughout the city, usually in Riddler rooms, but even in the hideout of his student, Thomas Elliot.
    • Two-Face's role might belong here as well, at least going by the main campaign; he starts off the game as the leader of the weakest of the three main power-blocs vying for control of Arkham City, is easily taken out by Batman and Catwoman early on, who just leaving him hanging in the courthouse, and looks poised to be overrun by the forces of the Joker and the Penguin combined. By the end of the game, he's in a pretty good position to be Arkham City / Gotham's new major crime-lord once Joker's dead and Penguin's been taken down by Batman. Two-Face actually works with Penguin in Arkham Knight.
    • Doubling as a Call-Back to the previous game, in the Playable Epilogue, if you return to where Ra's al Ghul landed after his fatal fall from Wonder Tower, his body will be gone, hinting that Ra's may, yet again, rise from the dead.
    • During the Playable Epilogue, if you visit Ivy again as Catwoman, she swears to kill everyone in Gotham. Including Batman and Catwoman. In reality, she eventually becomes an ally to Batman in Arkham Knight.
    • The song that plays at the very end of the credits, if you complete the game in New Game Plus mode, where Harley chillingly sings "Hush little baby, don't say a word. Mama's gonna kill for you the whole damn world." Fittingly, Arkham City: Harley Quinn's Revenge was announced as a downloadable spin-off about six months after the game came out.
  • Sexy Walk: Catwoman, Talia, and Harley.
  • Shapeshifter Showoff Session: During the finale, it's revealed that Basil Karlo, AKA Clayface has been serving as a Body Double to a major character for most of the game, eventually leading Batman to find himself meeting two versions of the character and prompting the imposter to enact a horrific-looking reversion to their gigantic true form. For good measure, it's clear that this is being done mainly for the sake of drama, as it's already been established in the previous game that the character can transform in the blink of an eye; Clayface is deliberately drawing out the transformation in order to show off.
  • Shapeshifting Sound: In the finale Clayface is revealed to be serving as a Body Double for the Joker, and transforms back to his gigantic Shapeshifter Default Form with a series of loud, wet sloshing noises.
  • She-Fu:
  • Shell Game: The Riddler uses one for his second hostage. Though he also tries to cheat.
  • Shield Bash: Some mooks carry riot shields or discarded car doors, and can perform unblockable attacks on Batman with them.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Ra's al Ghul's Lazarus flying challenges are set above a surreal desert landscape intertwined with structures existing in Arkham City. It's all just a Lazarus induced dream, but Batman will still die if he fails during the challenges.
  • Shirtless Scene: Mr. Freeze, of all people, gets one when you find him out of his suit.
  • Shock and Awe: As with Batman: Arkham Asylum, some elite mooks own dual shock sticks. Players finally get to use them with the Escrima sticks Nightwing DLC gives us, plus the Remote Electrical Charge.
  • Shooting Superman: Some of the Penguin's goons mention offhand that Cobblepot dangled one of his hostages over a pit of rats, but for some reason the guy managed to last days without being harmed. It makes sense knowing that one of his prisoners was Otis Flannegan, a.k.a. "Ratcatcher". Eventually, Penguin lost patience and dropped him into Tiny's tank instead.
  • Shoot the Hostage Taker: Ra's Al Ghul holds his own daughter, Talia, hostage at knife point when Batman refuses to kill Ra's and take Ra's places leader of the League of assassins. Batman saves Talia by hitting Ra's with a Batarang.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shows Damage: Some bosses, but also Batman and Catwoman look more and more roughed up as the storyline advances. By the end, Batman's cape in particular has dozens of cuts in it.
  • Shrine to the Fallen: In Harley Quinn's Revenge, in two weeks the Steel Mill has turned into a shrine to the Joker, who has died of the Titan disease. The exterior of the former funhouse has been renamed as "Harley's Funland", with statues of Harley guarding the gates and banners bearing the Joker's pictures and writings such as "R.I.P., Joker" and "Joker Forever". The interior is redecorated a little bit, while the centerpiece of the final room is transformed into a chapel interior, with lots of lit up white votive candles surrounding the altar and the monument of the Joker holding a glass globe, with Batman encased inside it.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!:
    Two-Face: OBJECTION! [shoots Batman] Overruled.
  • Silliness Switch: If you hold LT and RT (Xbox) or L1 and R1 (PS3) and move the right joystick in circles, it will cause every character in the game to gain a giant head, hands and feet: this also works in menu screens, allowing you to do things like have the background of the level select screen in Riddler's Revenge to be taken up by his gigantic face.
  • Skewed Priorities: Played for drama. Protocol Ten is killing everyone in Arkham City, but Batman is willing to sacrifice all of them to go after Talia, who has been taken by the Joker. It takes both Oracle and Alfred to reason to Batman that one life isn't worth hundreds.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: One of Catwoman's finishing moves - followed by a haymaker takeout.
    • How Talia greets you when you arrive to her hidden lair.
  • Slide Attack: It's possible to hit mooks while performing the slide move.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The Gotham City Police Department building is the coldest spot in the city, and is the location of Mr. Freeze's hideout. Later, there's the Torture Chamber in Penguin's museum, which is an indoor aquarium that gets partially frozen over by Penguin as he uses Mr. Freeze's gun.
  • Slut-Shaming: The inmates of Arkham City make it clear that anything that might happen to Catwoman or Harley would be entirely deserved because of their outfits.
  • Smoke Out:
    • Smoke bombs are one of the new gadgets in Arkham City. Though they can be targeted and thrown like a smoke grenade, their main function is a Ninja-like smoke pellet effect that allows Batman to ninja into the rafters to escape gunfire.
    • You can also Batarang fire extinguishers to make a shorter-lasting smokescreen.
  • The Smurfette Principle:
    • Despite their being countless male inmates, there are only three female inmates, Harley, Catwoman and Ivy.
    • Though the comic, especially Unhinged, shows off more female inmates: such as the Carpenter.
    • Inverted with the League of Assassins, where Ra's al Ghul is the only male of the group.
  • Snow Means Death: Discussed by the Joker when Batman, infected with the clown's poisoned blood, approaches the Steel Mill for a second time on his search for the cure. In his intercom speech, the Clown Prince of Crime says he's locked the Steel Mill, then says something along the lines of, "I dread having the thought of you lying dead in the sno-ho-ho-ho-ho-hoooooooowwwwwwww. That truly brings a smile to my face!" Given that it's winter in Arkham City, he seems to be making a point about it.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: The Riddler's trophies now require either precision acrobatics or clever use of Batman's tools to be retrieved.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Joker's dead by the end of the game. However, Harley's pregnant. Subverted by "Harley Quinn's Revenge", however—she cheaped out on the pregnancy test, and it gave her a false positive.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance:
    • Only yoooooou...
    • "Hush little baby..."
    • Also in the end credits, some incredibly eerie and disturbing ambient tracks which serve as a final illustration of just how dark this game was.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Carmine "The Roman" Falcone is mentioned in the "Arkham City Stories" to still be alive. Granted, he's hiding out in Bludhaven after Strange and Sharp drove him out, but compared to his comic counterpart, who was killed by Two-Face in The Long Halloween, and his The Dark Knight Trilogy counterpart, who was driven insane by fear toxin, he's doing a lot better here.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The Joker. Hugo Strange is the Big Bad but The Joker hogs so much of the screentime and is the driving force of the plot of Batman finding a cure for Titan Poisoning anyone who isn't familiar with the game may be forgiven for thinking that Joker was the real Big Bad of the game. He's one of the Big Bad Ensemble but Strange is more content with staying in Wonder Tower. This is despite him being hyped as the Big Bad in early trailers and the fact that Arkham City was his idea.
  • Stalker Without A Crush: Azrael and Hugo Strange to Batman.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Just like the first game, this is to be expected (Batman isn't bulletproof). There's also a pair of stealth-based boss fights in Mr. Freeze and Two-Face (the latter only in Catwoman's DLC).
  • Stealth Pun:
    • One of the Abramovici twins uses a hammer, and the other uses a sickle. They're Russian, and the hammer and sickle are on the former Russian (or as it was known at the time, the Soviet Union) flag.
      • Semi Stealthy maybe, their backstory has them as a double act in a Russian circus under the moniker of Hammer and Sickle, there's a poster in the museum advertising them which is also the solution to a riddle.
    • Where can you find Scarecrow's Boat? Under a Crane.
  • Steam Vent Obstacle: A number of these occur.
  • The Stinger: The final Catwoman episode effectively serves as one, starting after the credits & immediately going into the Playable Epilogue.
    • Midway through the credits, Batman gets one final voicemail from the Joker, singing "Only You (And You Alone)". Likewise, if Catwoman leaves Batman to die in Protocol 10, Oracle is heard making a desperate cry for help to stop the Joker's army as Batman, Robin, Nightwing & her father have all been killed.
  • The Stool Pigeon: Batman can single out the Riddler's agents and slap them around for info, as well as Harley's in the DLC.
  • Stripperiffic:
    • With Catwoman one can imagine the "Cat-suit" probably insulates heat fairly well (though you'd think she'd zip it up, at least), and with another, given that she has a blatantly fantastic regenerative agent running through her body, there's some question as to just how much things like cold or frostbite would even affect Talia. You'd think Harley would also dress a bit warmer.
    • Ivy is wearing just her shirt, like in the last game. Unlike the others, however, she's in a lair with much more heat to accommodate her plants, avoiding the winter problem.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Generally averted; Batman, being a Dreaded Terror Hero, will occasionally have mooks simply cowering in his presence rather than attempting to fight back against someone they know can kick the shit out of them. In Predator challenges, playing as any character and silently taking down mooks one by one ends with the final few mooks utterly terrified, sometimes outright begging for mercy — and, in rare cases, too scared to fight back if the hero drops down right in front of them. The only exception to this is (understandably) the combat challenges, where even racking up an unbroken x1000 combo and effortlessly taking out dozens and dozens of mooks, Titans, or the Abramovici Twins will not stop other mooks from rushing in and declaring how easy this is going to be.
  • Suicide Is Painless: When you fight the inmates on the frozen pool roof, some will actually jump over the side of the ledge into the water below rather than get their butts handed to them by Batman. Though it is unknown if this is actually a glitch.
  • Superhero Paradox: Hugo Strange believes in this trope and tells Batman Gotham City would be way less of a craphole without him. It plays a good part in his motivations.
  • Suplex Finisher: Even Batman isn't immune to performing this: it's one of his double counters with 1 attacking enemy in the front and 1 behind.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Averted by Mr. Freeze. There are multiple tricks that let you get a hit in, but he never falls for the same one twice.
  • Take That!: To ''Lost'. Funnily enough, the game's writer has actually worked on that show.
    Joker: I can hear you all now. "How did this happen? Can I get me some of that crazy cure? Oh, I want answers, damn it! Now." Well, here's the thing. Answers don't give you everlasting satisfaction. Sometimes, you need to brace yourself for disappointment. Now think about it. Imagine your favorite TV show. You've been through it all. The ups, the downs, the crazy coincidences. And then, BANG! They tell you what it's all about. [the real Joker is heard coughing behind the camera] Would you be happy? Does it make sense? How come it all ended in a church?
    • Blink-and-you'll-miss-it dialogue from one random inmate has him asking, "Wait—did they ever explain what the island was?"
  • "Take That!" Kiss: Catwoman will occasionally deliver one of these to a thug in combat just before throwing him over her shoulder and slamming his head into the floor.
  • Take Your Time: Hugo Strange spends much of the game giving a count down until Protocol 10 is enacted and much is made of Batman's deteriorating condition. But only during specific story points, feel free to search for Riddler Trophies, and do side missions until then.
    • At least until the second time you enter the steel mill, after that Protocol 10 is enacted, you can still go after side quests, but every helicopter in Gotham will be gunning for you. If you enter Wonder Tower, you're locked into the end game. However, once the main story is completed, you can explore Arkham City with only ordinary thugs patrolling.
  • Taking the Bullet: In Harley Quinn's Revenge, Batman takes the bullet for one of the police officers Harley intended to kill, and ends up injured and unconscious at the end of the flashback.
  • Taking You with Me:
    • Once Joker reveals he poisoned Batman with his own Titan-tainted blood, Batman immediately deadpans "So we both die. I'm fine with that." It's only when Joker adds that he also sent his tainted blood to hospitals all over Gotham that Batman goes along with his search for the cure.
    • It certainly seems that Ra's was going to impale Bats through his own body with the sword. Bats is a little too clever for that.
    • Harley tries to destroy Batman and herself in a massive explosion at the end of Harley Quinn's Revenge, sobbing afterward that she only wanted to be with Mr. J again.
  • Technical Pacifist: Batman. This time, lampshaded by the mooks who talk about the extensive damage Batman's done to them. One states Bats broke a few ribs, his legs, punctured his spleen, while another talks about losing his five front teeth, and so on. However, Batman uses clearly lethal force on Solomon Grundy and Clayface. Justified in that anything else wouldn't stop them, and it's debatable whether or not they can truly be killed. A couple of the takedowns look like they should be lethal - for example, a special takedown on a shield-wielding mook involves knocking him down with it, then smashing the edge of the shield into his face/throat on the ground. We only have Detective Mode's word for it that they're unconscious.
  • Tempting Fate: There are a couple of lines in the game where the goons will say that they wouldn't mind getting beaten up if it was Catwoman doing it. If you're playing Catwoman and decide to oblige them...
    • Another example that takes two games to come into effect: In Batman: Arkham Asylum, Joker jokingly says "I have nothing left to live for" before shooting himself with the titan serum. In Batman: Arkham City, Joker dies of titan poisoning.
  • Terminal Transformation: Downplayed; in the previous game, Joker dosed himself with TITAN in order to go One-Winged Angel, but now finds himself suffering from terminal blood disease as an aftereffect of the drug, leaving the Joker in a race to find a cure before he finally succumbs.
  • That Was Objectionable: Two-Face shows his displeasure at Batman interrupting his trial by planting a bullet in his chest while yelling "OBJECTION! ... Overruled."
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: "Two guns, bitch!"
    • Also: "I will make you meow, bitch!"
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Inverted at the end of Two-Face's boss battle. Catwoman says "This is gonna hurt" as she reveals a set of cat-like metal claws on her gloves.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill:
    • Batman's modus operandi, as in all incarnations. It even extends to trying (and failing) to cure the Joker from his TITAN poisoning. In fact, despite deliberating if he should finally break the rule, he admits to the Joker, whose grabbing of the Idiot Ball got himself killed, that he would have saved Joker even after everything he's done. By the Harley Quinn's Revenge DLC, there are rumours floating around Gotham he's broken it (due to the aforementioned death of the Joker).
    • He also broke it in regards to Solomon Grundy and Clayfacenote .
  • Threatening Shark:
    • The museum features a rather large area filled with water, with a thin layer of ice at first that gradually melts down. The Penguin has let loose a huge shark in it that will attack from time to time and devour Batman if he falls in the water. If only he had some shark repellent...
    • Lampshaded in the last Riddler hostage room where you hear the Riddler musing on whether or not Batman would have a gadget to help, were he to steal Penguin's shark to use in a trap. Counts as a Shout-Out to the Adam West series and its Bat Shark Repellent.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Batman invokes this after the final boss battle. Joker dodges the sword, but Batman wasn't aiming for him, but rather the device Joker was standing in front of.
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: The Joker makes this reference if you remain at the bell tower:
    Joker: What are you waiting for? We both know how this is going to turn out: you're going to come and find me. You can't stop yourself, can you? Sometimes I wonder if all this would just end with one of us looking down at the other's corpse, trying to work out what to do next? The only question is, whose body will it be? I know who I'm rooting for! [giggles] What about you? [laughs madly] Now, get out of there now, or you'll ruin everything!!!
    • It turns out that this "one of us" to whom the Joker refers happens to be Batman and that "the other's corpse" happens to be himself, the speaker, who indeed dies from Titan poisoning right at the end of the game.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • If you glide around near the water areas of the game and use Detective Mode, you may see some dead inmates in the water who possibly tried to jump in and swim out of Arkham City. Let it be known, that it is the middle of winter.
    • Hugo Strange knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman and knows that Bruce is the head of Waynetech. While the majority of security boxes are municipal locks that were built well before Arkham City, Strange decides to make the command boxes for Tyger be from Waynetech. Ra's al Ghul could easily have given him the money to create his own encryption boxes. As a result Batman tears through his security with ease.
    • Towards the end game, as Batman scales Hugo's tower, Hugo's arrogance has him assume that Batman fell off the tower and died when his goons report that everything's gone quiet with no Bat in sight. Then he goes face-to-face with Batman on their confrontation boasting about how he's the real savior of Gotham, and gets punched in the face for his stupidity.
    • Joker is literally right at death's door and Batman is holding the only cure. What does he do? Stab him in the shoulder, which results in him dying of blood poisoning.
    • Batman suffers from this at one point. Mr. Freeze has the only cure for Batman's condition, and he demands Batman to find Nora before he gives him the cure. Batman doesn't even attempt to negotiate or mention the fact that he was vomiting blood and almost died while getting the ingredients to said cure.
    • Various Enemy Chatter reveals that quite a few of the inmates are this. Special mention goes to one mook in the Steel Mill that mocks another inmate for taking Batman seriously, boasts about how he's going to kill Batman and get a 'ride on the Harley,' states how he's not afraid of the Joker since he'll be dead soon and seriously states that Batman is probably just an urban legend.
    • In the Steel Mill, shortly before Strange starts his plan to murder all of the inmates on the pretext that the prison is flooded with military-grade weapons and the prison gangs are preparing to break free by force, you overhear Joker thugs discussing it in a way that really lampshades the stupidity of the gang leaders for letting him give them those weapons:
      Thug 1: You heard all that Protocol 10 bull that Strange has been spouting?
      Thug 2: What the hell's his problem? Didn't he give us these guns in the first place?
      Thug 3: Yeah, I thought he wanted the Joker to win.
      Thug 4: Me too, but, don't you think that's kind of crazy? Who spends billions of dollars building a prison and then gives everyone guns?
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • In the first game, Victor Zsasz was a tutorial boss and gets beaten up again later on. This time round he's the villain of one of the longer sidequests, forcing Batman to travel across the entirety of Arkham City to track him down.
    • Clayface was an Easter egg in the first game and is the final boss this time round.
    • Riddler's puzzles were a minor challenge in the first game, but this time he created harder trophy puzzles, held hostages in elaborate traps, and actually makes a physical appearance.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass:
    • While Batman wasn't exactly a barrel of laughs in Batman: Arkham Asylum, in this one he's almost humorless, to the point of arguing with Oracle about Talia and outright torturing Mr. Freeze to gain information on how to stop his Freeze gun.
    • In Harley Quinn's Revenge, Batman is even grumpier; suggesting the loss of Talia (and maybe even Joker's death) has taken its toll on him.
    • Harley herself in Harley Quinn's Revenge. A bit justified, since she's in mourning, but she seems to have completely lost her sense of humor and treats everyone around her like garbage. Not to mention all the people she plans on killing.
  • Tracking Device: Batman plants one on an opponent during a fight, then lets her get away so he can trail her back to her hidden base. Neither she, nor any of her colleagues back at the base, notice it until he arrives and points it out, despite the red flashing light.
  • Trailers Always Lie: Subverted. One of the first Trailer spots has Dr. Strange interrogating a guard with electric shocks and truth serum in order to learn everything about the encounter (as well as being implied to be already aware of what happened anyways), with the guard eventually expiring at the end of the torture. While this isn't actually seen in the game itself, an easter egg in the Wonder Tower area late into the game implies that the event in the trailer did happen.note 
  • Tranquil Fury: When Penguin kills and tortures the cops, Batman is clearly pissed, but he never raises his voice at all.
    Penguin: Oh, aren't you scary? [Evil Laugh]
    Batman: [quietly] You're about to find out.
    • When Batman has reason to believe Robin might be dead in Harley Quinn's Revenge, he softly whispers "What have you done?" to Harley as he turns away from the flaming wreckage of the warehouse.
  • Transfer Student Uniforms: After Penguin is defeated, his Mooks abandon him to join up with the other factions since he's such a Bad Boss. They still dress in the same military/professional merc style combat gear that they wore when working for Penguin, but they alter it slightly to suit their new employer. The ones that join Two-Face's gang burn the left side of all their clothes. The ones that join Joker's gang put clown makeup on their balaclavas and also have pictures of Joker's face on their clothes.
  • Trap Door: Penguin has one in the prequel comic, sending mooks to an unfortunate fate at the hands of his "partner" Solomon Grundy in the basement of the Iceberg Lounge.
  • Traveling at the Speed of Plot: Going by the countdown for Protocol Ten, Catwoman spent several hours being tied up by Poison Ivy until she's set free in time to save Batman from the Steel Mill.
  • Treachery Is a Special Kind of Evil:
    • Talia al Ghul is angry at Bruce and said him and her father deserve each other. Two minutes ago, she was the hostage of her own father. On the other hand, Bruce manipulated her because he needed Ra's al Ghul's blood to save a lot of lives. Of course, the al Ghul family doesn't have the same moral code as Batman.
    • The Talia's guard who's been wearing the tracking device seems to be in trouble, despite she didn't consciously betray anybody.
  • Truth in Television: A real life Arkham can be found by looking up Kowloon Walled City, which was featured in the Street Fighter II V anime, minus the Tiger guards. Similar ideas have cropped up in regards to declaring certain areas a no go zone, and proposals to turn areas into a prison town where the law is uninvolved and the society stands or falls on their own.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: It's not too noticeable at first, but the two storylines (Hugo Strange's mysterious Arkham City plot on one hand and Batman's search for a cure to the Joker's blood on the other) have essentially nothing to do with each other other than taking place at the same place and time. It's debatable which of them is the A-plot: The former starts the game and was more presented in the trailers, but the latter takes up the vast majority of the main questline in the game, including the final boss.

     Tropes U to Z 
  • Ultimate Authority Mayor: Quincy Sharp was able to turn half of Gotham into a penal colony where all criminals are dumped, with a special emergency procedure which would allow the TYGER PMC to burn Arkham to the ground. Judging by the presence of the political prisoners, and Bruce Wayne and Jack Ryder's incarceration, it seems that actually being charged with a crime isn't even required. Some justification comes from the quick message stating that the city is under martial law at the time.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Joker sometimes looks almost plasticine, possibly because many times Clayface is acting as him.
    • The Joker always looks different than your average clown, but in Arkham City his dying, decaying form looks disturbingly realistic somehow and Clayface's version of him is disturbingly... just slightly "off".
    • The Batman: The Animated Series alternate skins deliberately evoke this; they're rendered in a completely different art style with mostly smooth textures and simple colors.
  • Underground Level: The areas under Arkham City, which includes the subway and the associated train exchange, the ruins of old Gotham, the sewers and collapsed tunnels, and Wonder City.
  • Ungrateful Bastard:
    • The second time you enter Joker's hideout in the story you'll come across a couple of Joker thugs standing before one of Two-Face's goons hanging from a hook and considering boiling him alive or something equally nasty. Take them out and let him down and he'll catch his breath for a moment... but once you take your eyes off him for more than a few seconds the punk will try to knock you out.
    • Batman is this also, towards Robin. The first time after Tim saved him from The League of Assassins (he didn't know Batman was faking his loss) and the second time after he saved him from Harley Quinn (and certain death). First time he just rudely sends Robin away and tells him he doesn't need help. Second time he asks "What kept you?"
  • Vagueness Is Coming: Thanks for the heads up, Azrael. Although it sounds like just another Tuesday in Gotham.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Monarch Theater in Park Row.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment:
    • After being rescued by Batman, Catwoman takes back Two-Face's smartphone and seems to hide it from Batman by putting it down the front of her partially unzipped catsuit.
    • In the Harley Quinn's Revenge DLC Harley does the same with key to the Joker Shrine. This does nothing to stop Robin from simply reaching into her cleavage and grabbing it.
  • Victory Fakeout: In the Solomon Grundy boss fight, you get a "Finish Grundy" button prompt, which causes the Achievement/Trophy for beating him to pop up... but afterwards, he gets back up again for one more go.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: On the spot marked where Batman's parents were killed you are given the option to "Pay Your Respects," where Batman will kneel to the ground and the camera will circle him for as long as the player allows. There's even an achievement for it.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • Most of the options from Asylum return, but it's quite fun to single out a lone mook and spam the REC on him and watch him squirm/fry/dance around.
    • During the Mr. Freeze battle, it is possible to destroy four statues of his terminally ill, currently kidnapped wife. This makes him very angry.
    • Whilst Harley is tied up, it is possible to repeatedly tear off and replace the duct tape over her mouth. She even calls you out on the cruelty of doing it. (It may or may not be causing her pain; if it is, she does a good job of hiding it. She doesn't even try to hide how much you're pissing her off by continuing to do it.)
    • After defeating the Riddler, the player can give him a taste of his own medicine. He's locked into the same device he used to force his remaining hostages to walk constantly or have bombs strapped to them detonated... without knowing that it's actually been deactivated. If you want to, you can taunt him by getting in his way and making him panic that he'll be blown up if you don't move. And given what he's done up to this point, you almost definitely want to.
    • Out of spite, Catwoman can smash and stomp Ivy's orchid she was sent to collect in the vault, and later tell that Strange did it.
  • Video Game Sliding: Batman and his allies have such keen sliding abilities they can slide up a flight of stairs.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Quincy Sharp. Later in the game, Oracle expresses disbelief that someone like that could pull off the circumstances that started the game legally.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Strange has a epic one when you reach the top of Wonder Tower. By going to crack the doorway that leads to his booth before taking out the rest of the guards, the alarm would sound and he would go from calm to nervous and fearful.
  • Voice of the Legion: Poison Ivy gets this, for some reason.
    • Ra's al Ghul's voice has this effect throughout the Demon Trials, and after he uses the Lazarus Pit. Ra's even exclaims "We are legion!" during the fight. Given the nature of both the Trials and the boss fight with Ra's, this is justifiable as Batman hallucinating.
  • Wax Museum Morgue: The Penguin set up a minor one in the museum of natural history. It's only got a few entries; a female ninja who tried to kill him, a TYGER guard, and some Joker goons. He's got some other displays set up for Zsasz (who apparently escaped from his own display case) Batman and Bruce Wayne.
  • Welcome to Hell: Penguin says this to Bruce Wayne when he captures him after he's locked up.
  • We Need a Distraction: Rare villainous example. After the Freeze boss fight, Joker has Vicki Vale's helicopter shot down and sics snipers on her to make sure Harley comes back to the Steel Mill (with the cure for his TITAN-induced illness) without Batman on her tail.
  • Wham Episode: It doesn't get more "Wham" than the Joker dying. Along with a little bit beforehand with the flashback revealing this whole time the "healthy" Joker was just Clayface to get the cure back to Joker.
  • Wham Line: And in the introduction scene, no less:
    Bruce Wayne: Shut Arkham City down. It's out of control.
    Hugo Strange: Shut it down? By tomorrow I will be a hero, just like you...Batman!
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Robin mentions that Joker has affected up to 2000 hospital patients with the contaminated blood, but no more mention is made of them, or even if any effort was made to provide them with antidote once the story is concluded. The Harley's Revenge DLC reveals that Batman was able to mass-produce the cure and get it to the patients in time to save them all.
    • Stacy Baker and Fiona Wilson both have disappeared after you return for a third time to the areas you left them in.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • When The Joker takes Talia al Ghul away, Batman tries to race directly after her, disregarding that Protocol 10 is in effect and that hundreds of inmates, both criminals and innocents, are being slaughtered. Alfred and Oracle both call him on it, and Alfred even goes as far as to deny Batman satellite assistance to find her in order to make him save the inmates. Certainly a sign that the night in Arkham City, the disease attacking him, and Batman's all-too-human emotions are taking their toll on him.
    • Before that, when Batman manipulated Talia's affection for him to get her to do what he wanted. Ordinarily, it would just be chalked up to Batman's usual M.O. for using people, if he didn't attempt to smooth talk her over afterwards. Justified, since according to Oracle, he was mere minutes from death at that point.
    • In "Harley Quinn's Revenge", there is a subdued version. When Robin saves Batman from suffocating in his cell, he doesn't thank him, merely asking where the cops are and wondering why it took so long. Robin calls him out on being an Ungrateful Bastard, but quietly, and he doesn't press it when it evidently doesn't make a dent in Batman's attitude. Given Oracle's comments at the start of the content pack, it's likely that they had dealt with this before in the weeks after the end of the game.
      Robin: Ever heard of "thank you"? ... I guess not.
  • Where It All Began:
    • The site of the final boss battle is a stone's throw away from Ace Chemicals, where Bruce picked up his Batman gear and the game proper begins. The final boss fight occurs in the same movie theatre that that Bruce Wayne went to on the night of his parent's murder.
    • If you go to the crime scene and listen to the tape left there by Hugo Strange, he even tells you beforehand that this will be the case.
    • Also, the penultimate conflict takes place in Wonder Tower, and you get in by going through the processing center you started the game in. You can even break the large mirror in the very first room to find a Riddler trophy. Likewise, you can find the Tyger captain Strange accidentally (?) killed in the first trailer for the game and scanning him is a riddle solution.
    • One of the riddle hints is "Look Out! Can you see where the Madness began?" To solve it, you need to scan the old Arkham Asylum island from the first game.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: In Harley Quinn's Revenge, when the henchmen are talking about Joker's death, and the Clayface switcheroo that he pulled, one of the henchmen suggests that it was Clayface, not Joker's body that Batman carried out of the theater. Another henchman replies by saying that it's "the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Do you think this is TV or something?" The first henchman responds by saying, "Oh, and two Jokers ain't."
  • Whole-Plot Reference: The entire Ra's al Ghul arc across the game is essentially the two-parter "The Demon's Quest" from Batman: The Animated Series. Much of the artwork from the Vision Quest is drawn from the last of Ra's's strongholds in the second episode.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Often spoken by Sickle during the long battle.
  • With My Hands Tied: You start off as Bruce Wayne as a prisoner with his hands cuffed. Even then, he's fully capable of kicking ass and snapping arms.
    • One of the negative attachments in the Campaign is labeled "One hand tied" In a Combat match it disables the counter icon, in a Stealth it makes it so you can't use silent take downs.
  • Wicked Cultured: Subverted with this version of The Penguin - he's a thoroughly coarse and unpleasant individual, even if he'd like to think otherwise.
  • Wild Card: Would you ever have guessed, The Joker. Strange supplies him with a military arsenal, so that the he'll give Strange a very public reason to wipe him and Arkham City off the face of the earth. However, a Non Standard Game Over reveals that without Batman's intervention the plan fails, the Joker survives Protocol 10 and uses the weaponry to overthrow Gotham.
  • Withholding the Cure: Mr. Freeze does this to Batman until he saves his wife from the Joker.
  • Worthy Opponent: Both Ra's Al Ghul and Hugo Strange consider Batman to be this.
  • Would Hit a Girl: The game introduces female mooks, who Batman beats up like the male thugs except for the limb-breaking finishers.
    • Two-Face won't hesitate to hit Catwoman when he has the chance.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Batman is now able to grab a weapon out of an enemy's hands and destroy it. He smashes bats and knives, dismantles guns, and bends metal pipes and car doors in half.
  • Wretched Hive: The game has taken the worst part of one (Gotham city's slums) and combined it with another (Arkham City itself, a Hellhole Prison and a Bedlam House).
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: The enemy chatter after completing the game shows a lot of the inmates doubt that Joker is gone for good. "How many times has he died already?". It's been established that he is most certainly dead, which makes them holding out for him a bad move.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: In the third act, the Joker does what he does best: make crap up as he goes. While the second act of the story was a brilliantly-activated plan, the last bit was speed chess.
  • Year X: A plaque near the city gateway reads "Arkham City - Opened by Mayor Quincy Sharp on the November 19th, 1-", with the rest of the date obscured by damage to the plaque.
  • You Are Already Dead: Bane says "Eres un Hombre Muerto (You are a dead man)" to an unlucky entrant in the fight club shortly before he shatters his spine. Almost subverted in that the man manages to overpower Bane with Titan afterwards, but he is paralyzed by cardiac arrest and Bane kills him.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Ra's eliminates Strange after Protocol 10 is deactivated by Batman and their plan fails.
    • Sharp as well, who Strange throws into Arkham City and announces his arrival to all the criminals to come kill him.
  • You Monster!: Catwoman growls at Hugo Strange, "You bastard." It's because Strange threatens to have his men harm her adopted daughter, Holly, unless she answers all the questions he's got about what makes her tick..
  • You Must Be This Tall to Ride: Harley Quinn's message on the speaker radio in the Steel Mill starts off with: "Welcome to Mr. J's Carnival. You must be 74 inches tall to ride."
  • You're Insane!:
    Batman: You're insane.
    Riddler: No, that would imply either mental illness or derangement. I suffer from neither.
  • Zeerust: Wonder City, a sort of steampunk concept for a 'green' Gotham built some time ago. Only instead of steam, it was secretly powered by chemical from the Lazarus Pit, so unsurprisingly, the ones who built it turned out to be Ra's al Ghul and the League of Assassins. Surprisingly for this trope, though, the technology actually worked. Batman even comments that it was far beyond what was possible at the time, but it isn't explained. That whole slight madness thing might have had something to do with why it never caught on.


Video Example(s):


Hugo berates Batman

Hugo Strange blames Batman for the rampant crime and corruption in Gotham City.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheReasonYouSuckSpeech

Media sources: