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Video Game / Batman: Dark Tomorrow

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"He will try to stop you, will he not?"
"I have already anticipated his involvement."

A video game developed and published by Kemco for the Gamecube in March 2003 based on the DC Comics character Batman, and ported to the Xbox by HotGen.

While working to end a gang war between Scarface and Black Mask, Batman learns that Commissioner Gordon has been abducted by The Joker and taken to Arkham Asylum. As Batman fights his way through the Asylum, he learns that one villain has a much more dire scheme afoot; a scheme that could change the world and bring about... A Dark Tomorrow...

This game contains examples of:

  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: A lengthy portion of the game takes place in one; it's large enough to fight several mooks at once.
  • Accidental Aiming Skills: Should Batman ultimately beat Ra's Al Ghul, he tosses his sword aside. Ubu later enters the scene and takes advantage of a distracted Batman by throwing his discarded sword at him. However, Batman dodges it and Ra's Al Ghul is hit instead.
  • All There in the Manual: To get the True Ending, you must disarm Ra's Al Ghul's signal device using the Universal Tool, a gadget that is only used as a lockpick earlier in the game. The pause menu describes the Universal Tool as being able to hack computers, but without reading the description, you have zero chance of figuring this out.
  • Awesome, yet Impractical: Batarangs and smoke bombs can be used to take out mooks, but they are difficult to aim and enemies usually travel in groups, making them nearly useless. Batarangs only really come in handy when detonating exploding barrels.
  • Big Bad: Ra's al Ghul is the game's primary antagonist, and is planning to create a huge tidal wave that will depopulate Earth. He even arranged for the other villains to provide "distractions" for Batman, so he wouldn't interfere with his plans.
  • Big "NO!": Batman lets one out in one of the bad endings — the one where he doesn't die.
  • Boss Rush: At the end of the game, you must fight two Elite Guards, Ubu, and Ra's Al Ghul all in a row. Losing to Ra's Al Ghul once allows you to respawn with refilled gadgets — as you do every other time you die. Losing twice to Ra's Al Ghul lands you a bad ending.
  • Butt-Monkey: Robin. He appears twice in the game: Once to pick up henchmen that Batman has already defeated and then to travel through Gotham's sewers to pick up Ratcatcher — whom Batman has already defeated.
    Batman: "Make sure your rabies shots are up to date."
  • Camp Gay: This game's version of The Joker, particularly toward Batman.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Two tie-in comics were released for Dark Tomorrow; the second has Batman fight Killer Croc. During the fight, Croc gets his arm caught in a print roller, resulting in several bones in his arm being broken before Batman saves him. (it's not clear what injuries Croc sustained, but he's confined to a hospital bed by the end of the comic and Croc acknowledges Batman just saved his life.) This event is not mentioned in the game, and Croc's arm is perfectly fine when you fight him.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: While many of the bosses are easy to defeat with hit and run tactics, Killer Croc unquestionably fits this trope if you play the game correctly. If you find and turn a valve before going to the battle, you'll lower the water temperature in his cell, Killer Croc loses half his health at the start of the fight, and he moves extremely slowly. May count as a Puzzle Boss.
  • Cutscene Boss: The Joker. You fight mooks that attempt to kill Commissioner Gordon under The Joker's command, but the Joker himself is incapacitated in a cutscene.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Batman gets some good ones:
    • To Batgirl and Robin, after incapacitating Scarface's gang:
    Batman: Make sure none of them are in need of immediate medical assistance.
    • To Robin, when instructed to come to arrest Ratcatcher:
    Batman: Make sure your rabies shots are up to date.
    • To The Joker, when he reveals Commissioner Gordon tied to a chair:
    Batman: Commissioner!
    Joker: On the nosey! Say; you're good at this!
    Batman: You're not.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If you die, you simply restart at the room where you were killed. That alone is enough to satisfy this trope, but it goes further than that. Dying is — aside from finding an extremely rare re-supply — the only way to restock your batarangs, smoke bombs, and the vitally important medical kit. Getting yourself killed is actually beneficial to you.
  • Downer Ending: Three to pick from. To get the game's good ending, you must win the Ra's Al Ghul boss fight and disarm the signal device controlling Ra's bombs. Failing to do one or both results in a bad ending. There are three bad endings: Either Batman dies, the world is flooded, or both. Of course, if the machine is disarmed and Batman dies, the world is still flooded off-screen, since it's stated the machine can be repaired. Particularly infuriating, since the game at no point tells you that you need to disarm the signal device to get the proper ending.
  • The Dragon: Ubu is Ra's Al Ghul's top officer and the one who fights Batman before he confronts Ra's Al Ghul.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Subverted in the ending where Batman disables the signal device but loses to Ra's Al Ghul: as he lays dying from a stab wound, Ra's is informed by one of his men (via radio) that the weapons system has been sabotaged, which Batman follows up with a smug "surprise" (which he also gives in the Golden Ending). Ra's isn't particularly fazed by this, and merely tells Batman to bask in his glory while it lasts, and asks the guy on the other end how long it'll take to reverse the damage, who informs him that the device would only take around 17 hours to repair, meaning Batman only bought the world a few more hours of freedom and essentially died for nothing.
  • Easter Egg: Just before proceeding to the final boss, it is possible to find a Lazarus Pit.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: In the second Dark Tomorrow Tie-in comic, Batman saves Killer Croc from being crushed by a printing roller. Croc asks why Batman saved him. Batman replies that all life is sacred, and Croc doesn't understand.
  • Exploding Barrels: Played completely straight. Every barrel violently explodes when punched or hit with a batarang, they are everywhere, and often there will be several in a row to trigger a chain reaction of explosions.
  • Fake Difficulty: The poorly-implemented camera and control scheme make the game harder than it should be.
  • Faux Action Girl: Usually, either Batgirl or Talia al Ghul (or both) would be an Action Girl and Dark Action Girl respectively, but the former appears in only one cutscene (where she does nothing except swing on a line and arrest an already incapacitated henchman) and the latter does nothing except try and tempt Batman into doing a Face–Heel Turn.
  • Fission Mailed: An unorthodox example, but getting yourself killed so as to refill your medical kit (without which many combat sections are insanely difficult) is a very viable tactic to progress through the game.
  • For the Evulz: Deconstructed: The Joker states that he could abduct Gordon and take over Arkham every day of the week before breakfast; he just doesn't because "What's fun about it?" The fact that Joker has taken over the Asylum without a punchline in mind tips off Batman that the Joker isn't the mastermind behind the chaos in the asylum.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: The sentiment of many players; the medical kit is the only thing that makes the combat winnable — let alone tolerable.
  • Goggles Do Nothing:
    • Batman's night vision goggles. It is entirely trivial to finish the game without using them once; they only have a use if the player's TV is too dark to make out what is happening on screen... Or if the player desperately wants a first person view... Which will happen a lot.
    • There's one point in the game where you're instructed to put on night vision goggles to avoid trip wire lasers. No such lasers exist in the entire game.
  • Guide Dang It!: The game does not tell you — or even hint at — what you need to do in order to get the good ending. Playing the game like normal and beating the final boss gets you a bad ending where Ra's Al Ghul detonates his bombs and floods the planet.
    • You have to disarm the signal device controlling Ra's Al Ghul's bombs to get the good ending. To disarm the device, you need to use the Universal Tool, a gadget that is only used as a lockpick up to that point.
    • You have to disarm the signal device before you go to fight Ra's Al Ghul. If you go to the final boss before disarming the signal device and you save (which many players do so as to not have to go back in the game), it becomes impossible to get the true ending without starting the entire game over, unless you have a different save file that is not saved at the final boss.
  • Hammerspace: Though you have a limited supply of batarangs, smoke bombs, and the medical kit, Batman never runs out of bat-cuffs.
  • Healing Factor: Batman has a medical kit that — when used — will refill Batman's health until the kit is empty. The kit will even refill your health automatically if your health hits zero while equipped. When the kit is used, the animation suggests that Batman is simply injecting himself with something; he is doing no surgery of any kind. This implies that Batman has invented a serum that immediately heals any and all injuries within seconds with absolutely no lasting damage from gunshot wounds and etcetera.
  • The Hero Dies: Batman is killed by Ra's Al Ghul in two of the bad endings. The main difference between said endings depends on whether he's disabled the signal device.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Mr. Freeze directly quotes this trope when he is frozen by his own equipment. Though he's frozen off-screen, so it's not clear exactly how this happened.
    • Ra's Al Ghul arranges the gang war and Gordon's kidnapping to keep Batman distracted from his master plan. Batman would likely never have found out about Ra's Al Ghul's plan if he had not arranged these distractions to keep him from it.
    • Rather than fly to Ra's Al Ghul's base in the Himalayas, Batman jumps out of the batwing and hang glides to the base (leading to an incredibly frustrating sequence). Mooks later find the abandoned glider, alerting the entire base to Batman's presence.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Ra's Al Ghul wants to flood the planet and kill roughly a third of the Earth's population to eliminate the pollution that humans create and so that he can rule over the humans that are left and keep them from screwing up the Earth again.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Ra's is holding it when he decides to invent distractions to keep Batman away from his master plan... Which Batman would not have found out about if Ra's had not invented the distractions in the first place.
    • Batman holds it when he decides to jump out of the batwing to hang glide through the Himalayas to Ra's Al Ghul's base.
    • Batman does not bring backup of any kind to Ra's Al Ghul's base, even though he knows Ra's is about to enact a plan on a global scale. He justifies the decision by saying he never knows whether or not he'll survive an encounter with Ra's, even though that'd be all the more reason to bring backup.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Mooks have no problem attacking Batman while he is sprawled on the ground. They will continuously kick/punch Batman unless the player manually instructs him to stand up (he is not even trying to defend nor fight back). And Batman CANNOT do this to his enemies.
  • Lethal Klutz: In the True Ending, Ra's Al Ghul's Dragon Ubu throws a sword at Batman. It misses, and impales Ra's instead.
  • Most Common Superpower: Batgirl, Poison Ivy, and Talia; as per tradition in Batman. Especially noticeable with Batgirl, who (usually) does not fit this trope in the comics.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Talia is a Head-Turning Beauty who wears an outfit with both Cleavage Window and Navel Window and her entire role in the game is to try to seduce Batman into pulling a Face–Heel Turn.
  • Multiple Endings: The game has four endings depending on what you do at the end of the game; only one is good and you're not told how to get it. Playing the game like normal will net you one of the bad ones. The endings relate to whether or not Batman disables the signal device and wins the fight against Ra's:
    • Bad Ending 1 (Batman does not disable the device and loses the fight against Ra's): Batman is stabbed and dies in Talia's arms as Ra's detonates the bombs, flooding the world.
    • Bad Ending 2 (Batman disables the device but loses the fight against Ra's): Batman dies, but takes solace in the fact he disabled Ra's' device... only for Ra's to learn the device will be back online in a few hours, meaning Batman died for nothing.
    • Bad Ending 3 (Batman does not disable the device but wins the fight against Ra's): Batman defeats Ra's, but Ra's simply detonates the bombs and floods the world. Cue Big "NO!" from Batman.
    • Golden Ending (Batman disables the device and wins the fight against Ra's): Batman wins the swordfight against Ra's. Ra's attempts to detonate the bombs, but fails because Batman disabled them. Ubu then tries to kill Batman, only to miss and accidentally kill Ra's instead. As Ra's temple self-destructs, Batman returns to Gotham victorious, while Talia and Ubu take Ra's to a Lazarus Pit and resurrect him.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Neck Lift: Batman does this to Bullock when interrogating him.
  • Neutral Female: Talia attempts to be neutral in Batman's conflict with her father. She manipulates Ra's Al Ghul's security system to help Batman get to Ra's undetected... For a while. But when all is said and done, Talia still leaves with Ra's in the Good Ending. Ra's being dead and needing a resurrection at the time might have been a contributing factor.
  • Offhand Backhand: How Batman defeats The Joker in a cutscene. He even does it while video chatting with Ra's Al Ghul.
  • Oh, Crap!: Batman investigates Gordon's office when the Commissioner goes missing. He finds a deck of cards with no Jokers.
  • Only Six Faces: More like three per level.
  • Point of No Return: Whatever you do, DO NOT save during any of the final three boss fights, because you can't go back if you do. If you do save during one of the final bosses and you haven't disabled the signal device yet, you won't be able to get the good ending on that save file.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: The game's pause menu — and a gadget that Batman has — is some kind of fully sized laptop that is somehow able to collapse so that it easily fits into a pocket on Batman's belt. Robin has one too.
  • Shave And A Haircut: After subduing a group of Arkham inmates, Batman hears someone playing an organ tune, and goes to investigate. The camera pans over to the organ and reveals it's Joker, who ends his session with a contrasting "Shave and a Haircut" snippet.
  • Some Dexterity Required: In addition to having awkward controls for the use of gadgets, the camera completely shifts directions (and thus the directions on the control stick) every couple of seconds.
  • Stripperific: Talia. Averted by Poison Ivy, who is dressed quite modestly for the character.
  • The Cameo:
    • Detectives Bullock and Montoya — well known from Batman: The Animated Series — appear in one of the game's cutscenes.
    • Batman's sidekicks are basically cameos as well. Batgirl (Cassandra Cain) appears in only one cutscene and Robin (Tim Drake) appears in two. Nightwing is mentioned in a cutscene but does not physically appear.
  • The Hyena: Many of the inmates you fight at the Asylum.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Or rather the man behind the three men; Ra's Al Ghul not only helped The Joker take over Arkham Asylum, but he gave weapons to both Scarface and the Ventriloquist and goaded them to going to war with each other.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Being Batman, he refuses to kill Ra's Al Ghul if he wins the final boss fight. He also saves Killer Croc from being crushed in a print roller in the tie-in comic.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Ubu attempts to throw his sword at Batman in the game's good ending. Inverted when it impales Ra's instead.
  • Title Drop: Ra's Al Ghul insists his actions will bring a bright tomorrow. Batman says otherwise.
    Batman: The death and destruction you speak of will only bring about a Dark Tomorrow.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The cutscene that plays if the player stays on the main menu too long shows clips from throughout the game, including Batman fighting Ra's Al Ghul.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: EVERYBODY who plays the game dies several times during the start of the game when you must travel between rooftops, and dies several times again when you must hop between two adjacent buildings to make your way down a few floors to Gordon's office. This is mostly due to the fact that Batman has a bat-cable and the grapnel to travel between buildings; the grapnel is only used twice in the game while the cable has extremely finicky controls. And that's not even mentioning the gliding sequence...
  • Unwinnable by Design: In a sense: If you save at any point during the final boss rush and you haven't disarmed the signal device yet, it becomes impossible to get the game's one good ending without starting over or going to a different save file.
  • Useless Item: Almost too many to count:
    • The player can find e-mails and documents with backstory about the game. Barring one that pertains to Killer Croc, none of the documents have any relevant — or interesting — information.
    • Two mysterious items — Weapons Crate 1 and Weapons Crate 3 — bear the description "increases weapon power" but seem to do absolutely nothing. Furthermore, a Weapons Crate 2 has never been found.
    • The night vision goggles and fingerlight have no use in the game unless the player's television is too dark to make out what is going on. Although some players choose to use the night vision goggles so that they can play with a first-person perspective and get around the game's fixed cameras.
  • Useless Useful Stealth: The game tries to be a stealth game; emphasis on "tries." You have the option of taking down most groups of enemies with stealth instead of combat, but since enemies have very good peripheral vision, there is often little cover, so many of the levels are built entirely out of corridors, Batman's stealth walk is unbearably slow, his stealth attacks only connect sporadically, and many enemies travel in groups where somebody is looking in all directions, resorting to stealth is often unfeasible. There is one encounter in Ra's Al Ghul's castle that seems to force you to use stealth, as there are far too many mooks to take in combat. However, if you handcuff a few enemies, leave the room, save, and then re-enter, taken down enemies will remain taken down. Abusing this exploit removes the need for stealth.
  • Villain Opening Scene: The first cutscene in the game shows two silhouetted figures — one male and one female — discussing plans to change the world forever while some giant electrical machine powers up. It's Ra's and Talia Al Ghul:
    Talia: He will try to stop you, will he not?
    Ra's: I have already anticipated his involvement.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: Batman and Gordon seem to have a lot of advance warning that Black Mask and Scarface are going to war, but Batman doesn't do anything to prevent or stop the gang war until it erupts into the city.
  • Villain Team-Up: Ra's Al Ghul orchestrates his distractions for Batman by hiring The Joker and anonymously giving weapons and orders to Black Mask and Scarface. The Joker — in turn — creates chaos in the Asylum by freeing several supervillains.
  • We Can Rule Together: Ra's Al Ghul's offer to Batman when he confronts the villain.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Ra's Al Ghul's plan to flood the world ends with him coming out on top no matter what. As shown in the Multiple Endings, he either succeeds in flooding the world, kills Batman, or both, and even in the Golden Ending where he dies and his plan fails, he is immediately revived in a Lazarus Pit by Talia and Ubu to start a new scheme.