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Video Game / Batman: The Telltale Series

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You're Batman.

"Let Gotham see who Bruce Wayne truly is, and let them know what you plan to do for its future."
Alfred Pennyworth

Batman: The Telltale Series is an episodic Adventure Game by Telltale Games. The game is based on the Batman character by DC Comics.

Early in the Caped Crusader's career, before he encounters many of the Rogues Gallery that would go on to define him, the Dark Knight wages a war against organised crime in Gotham City, his primary targets being suspected mob boss Carmine Falcone and corrupt mayor Hamilton Hill. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne attempts to help Gotham City by funding the mayoral campaign of District Attorney Harvey Dent, while his old childhood friend Oswald Cobblepot comes back to Gotham after a near twenty-year absence. After a chance encounter with a certain feline-themed thief, Batman finds his dual identities colliding in ways he never could have foreseen, leading him to wonder if his parents were the pillars of Gotham he thought they were...

Episode List:

  • 1. Realm of Shadows (August 2, 2016)
  • 2. Children of Arkham (September 20, 2016)
  • 3. New World Order (October 25, 2016)
  • 4. Guardian of Gotham (November 22, 2016)
  • 5. City of Light (December 13, 2016)

A second season, titled Batman: The Enemy Within, was later announced, with episode 1 released on August 8, 2017.

Episode List:

  • 1. The Enigma (August 8, 2017)
  • 2. The Pact (October 3, 2017)
  • 3. Fractured Mask (November 21, 2017)
  • 4. What Ails You (January 23, 2018)
  • 5. Same Stitch (March 27, 2018)

A comic book series set between the first and second season called Batman: Sins of the Father started in February, 2018.

The series had been assumed to be cancelled when Telltale shut its doors in the Fall of 2018 but new life was breathed when the company’s assets (including the license for this series) were purchased in August 2019. In December 2019, the new Telltale Games released Batman: Shadows Editon, a bundle of both seasons with a new noir graphics mode.

Batman: The Telltale Tropes:

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     Season One 
  • Act of True Love: A platonic parent-child one. In the final confrontation with Lady Arkham, she threatens to kill the hostage, Alfred, unless Batman proves how much he truly cares for the butler by taking off the cowl and revealing his secret identity. It's up to the player's choice whether or not Batman complies.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Oswald Cobblepot is tall, slim, and handsome, which is definitely not the case in the comics and most other adaptations. Oswald wears a penguin mask instead of resembling one.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Thomas and Martha Wayne are extremely ruthless in this version, with Bruce having remembered them fondly while not knowing much about them. In reality, they were part of a mob, with Thomas being one of the triumvirate in charge of Gotham City, alongside Carmine Falcone and Hamilton Hill, and drove Esther Cobblepot to insanity and threw her away in Arkham Asylum along with many others to punish them for not going along with deals he wanted made.
    • Vicki Vale is the leader of the Children of Arkham here, instead of the friendly reporter she is everywhere else.
  • Alternate Continuity: Not related to previous versions of the character, Batman is an entirely new rendition of the Batman story. At the very least, Harvey Dent is still a popular politician at the start of the series, Oswald Cobblepot is a childhood friend of Bruce, Waynes weren't law-abiding, Joe Chill was a hitman hired to gun down the Waynes, and Vicki Vale is the leader of a revolution against the elite of Gotham.
  • Anti-Climax: Invoked. Due to the combined efforts of Batman, who destroys their weapons delivery system and incapacitates Oswald, and Mayor Dent, who extrajudicially takes out their remaining drugs and many of their personnel, the Children of Arkham meet this end — going from a shadowy group of revolutionaries capable of attacking a mayoral debate head on, usurping Bruce Wayne from his own corporation, rallying the underclass to their cause, and threatening an entire city with their mind-altering chemical weapon, to a petty band of terrorists whose sole remaining option is to release all of the insane inmates of Arkham to cause short term chaos.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • The corrupt Mayor Hill gets shot to death by Penguin at the end of Children of Arkham, right after admitting that he wants to wipe out the poor, as well as revealing that he was the one who ordered the hit on Thomas Wayne.
    • Vicki Vale's foster parents were viciously abusive, and would often throw her into a tiny room, chain her to the wall, and beat her with a metal belt until she bled. This is what pushes her to murder them once she becomes Lady Arkham; she even kills her father with a belt to give him a taste of his own medicine.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Penguin, Two-Face, and especially Lady Arkham are all able to give Batman serious trouble after he manhandles their Mooks.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Literally during Episode 2 with Bruce and Selina's fight against Penguin's goons:
    Selina: I think they want more!
    Bruce: Let's give it to them!
  • Badass Bystander: In "Guardian of Gotham," a young boy hits one of The Penguin's armed drones with a lamp to protect Batman. Granted, it didn't really do anything except giving Bats time to go in for the kill, but it was still incredibly brave.
  • Bash Brothers: A short segment features Bruce and a childhood friend he used to get in trouble with beat up some muggers. Said childhood friend is Oswald "The Penguin" Cobblepot.
  • Bat Signal: It shows up at the start of Episode 3, to Bruce's bewilderment.
    Batman: That light...has a bat on it, Jim.
    Gordon: You give me a number to call, I'll rethink my methods.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished:
    • Alternatively subverted and possibly played straight with Selina, who sports a black eye after her fight with Batman, but is unscarred and moving perfectly fine a mere week after being shot in the shoulder if you choose to save Harvey instead of Catwoman at the debate.
    • Bruce himself plays with this- he has several scars from his excursions as Batman, but only sports three very small scars on his face after being clawed by Catwoman, which aren't always visible on his character model. However, if you chose to have Batman unmask himself to Lady Arkham, then during the ensuing fight, Lady Arkham blasts Bruce in the face, removing a good chunk of his right ear. If you don't do this, Alfred loses his eye instead. Either choice will carry over into Season 2.
  • Bedlam House: Arkham Asylum has this reputation. Bruce is trying to get a more modern and humane hospital built as the series begins.
  • Betty and Veronica: The game appears to be deliberately letting you set this up, as is the case often in the comics, between the optional Vicki Vale (Betty) and definitely Selina Kyle, or rather her Catwoman persona (Veronica). This ultimately goes off the rails when Vicki drugs Bruce.
  • Big Bad: A Big Bad Ensemble between the Children of Arkham led by Lady Arkham/Vicki Vale and her dragon, Oswald Cobblepot, as well as Harvey Dent's alter ego of Two-Face.
  • Big Good: Harvey Dent is trying to be this at the beginning of the story, running for mayor against Corrupt Politician Hamilton Hill on a platform of cleaning up the city.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Par for the course for a Batman story, and almost a borderline downer. In the end, Gotham is saved from the Children of Arkham and from the now twisted Harvey/Two Face; the two former kings of crime Carmine Falcone and Mayor Hill are dead and Gordon has been promoted to commissoner. However, said promotion came after the death of Grogan (who is a good person in this continuity); Harvey has lost his sanity and is now trapped with a horrible mental (and, depending on your choices, physical) disfigurement that has made him a villain and lose everything he fought for; The Waynes have been exposed as villains and Bruce had to pay the price by taking the rage of Gotham's citizens and losing his position as CEO of Wayne Enterprises (however momentarily, it still proves what kind of city he's defending), even moreso if you choose to accept the blame in the end; the dingy and corrupted Arkham Asylum still stands even after it was planned to be demolished; the whole police force had to scrap their entire communications system to save themselves from the Wayne Tech hacking and both Bruce and Alfred had to endure lots of physical and emotional pain during these few days, including torture, betrayals, beatdowns, guilt and scarring (either Alfred loses an eye or Bruce loses a piece of his ear). All they can do in the end is have a toast hoping that there will be peace till the next threat attacks...a peace that is promptly ended when someone tries to kill either Gordon or Bruce Wayne, and a now fugitive Joker muses on what will happen next...Also, even if you do everything right with Selina, she still runs away when Bruce needed her the most, tried to steal an electronic skeleton key from him, and now she and Batman are back at square one.
  • Blown Across the Room:
    • During his first fight with Lady Arkham, Batman grabs onto her staff. The electronic charge blows him across the entire sky train depot.
    • Not directly shown in episode five, but is deduced from investigation of the aftermath. When Bruce is investigating how Alfred got kidnapped, he sees a broken bookshelf. Putting the clue links together, he realizes that, as Alfred tried to run out of the room, Lady Arkham blasted him with her electronic staff, throwing him into the bookshelf across the room.
    • In the final boss battle with Lady Arkham, Batman's finishing move involves taking her staff, jumping across the room, and using it on her in mid air. This results in Lady Arkham being blown across the room into a giant angel statue (Her breaking it causes the entire room to start collapsing.), and Batman equally blown backwards to the other side of the room.
  • Body Horror: Harvey's transformation into Two-Face in this continuity involves a white-hot stage light being pressed against his face, burning him horrifically along his left side. Episode three shows that the wound is constantly bleeding.
    • If you chose to stop Harvey from destroying Wayne Manor the transformation into Two-Face is finished when Batman causes his explosive round-filled shotgun to backfire and explode in his hand, setting his entire left side on fire.
  • Bookends: Depending on player choices, the phrase "Cut myself shaving" can happen early in Episode 1 and late in Episode 5.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: Towards the end of Episode 5, should you choose to fight Two-Face and risk losing all tech, Bruce uses an early prototype of the Batsuit to use to rescue Alfred and fight Lady Arkham.
  • Broken Pedestal: In-Universe. So far, the game explores Bruce's idealized view of his parents and that his dad at the very least wasn't the pillar of the community he thought he was.
  • Bruce Wayne Held Hostage: Exploited in episode 5. If you chose to fight Two-Face instead of the Penguin, now that you don't have your technology, the only way to face the Penguin will be by letting Bruce be held hostage so he can get close, distract him to aid Gordon and take the Penguin down. Bruce can invoke this himself:
    "Penguin wants hostages to bait Batman. Bruce Wayne will be the perfect hostage."
  • …But He Sounds Handsome: Players can chose to invert this in Episode 2 by making Bruce comment that Batman freaks him out.
  • But Thou Must!: When staying at Selina's apartment, Isis will still move the door enough to have Harvey see Bruce in his underwear whether or not you succeed the QTE.
  • The Cameo: Victor Zsasz and The Ventriloquist show up in Arkham Asylum in episode four. Joker uses Victor as a distraction.
  • Casting Gag:
  • Cats Are Mean: Catwoman's pet cat, Isis, doesn't like Bruce, and when he chooses to try to hide, Isis gives him away.
  • Central Theme: Seems to be becoming "everybody has secrets" given the number of characters who's true natures are nothing like their typical Batman portrayals.
  • Chairman of the Brawl: Batman hits Blockbuster with a stool...that breaks on impact without hurting him in the slightest.
  • Cool Car: The Batmobile, obviously. This one can change color and transform a little to look a lot like a Ferrari.
  • Contrived Coincidence: This trope is thoroughly deconstructed. Catwoman manages to figure Batman's identity simply from the wound she inflicted on him, and Bruce has to hide some of his injuries' in public, and even then, they still get noticed. Alfred points out how fortunate they are that no one has figured Bruce's secret yet.
  • Credits Gag: The "Special Thanks" section of Episode 3's ending credits thanks "Oswald Cobblepot, CEO of Wayne Enterprises."
  • Creepy Doll: Batman finds one resembling the Children of Arkham's leader in a crude oubliette in the Vales' basement. No doubt Vicki made it as a girl, signifying the birth of her revenge.
  • Cut Himself Shaving:
    • At the end of Episode 5, this is Bruce's excuse to Gordon if he loses a piece of his ear.
      Gordon: What'd you use, a chainsaw?
    • The player can also choose to use this excuse early on in Episode 1, when Bruce has to explain his cuts from Catwoman's claws and the blood on his shirt from them.
  • Darker and Edgier: Though it isn't nearly as dark as the Arkham series in terms of overall story, the 'M' rating allows the game to get away with more in terms of content — characters use harsher expletives like "shit" and "goddamn", and the violence is very bloody (Batman's first crime scene involves a man torn to pieces in an explosion). In fact, just to give you an idea of how violent the game is, you see a security guard get shot in the head thirty seconds into the game.
  • Darkest Hour:
    • Episode 3 ending: Bruce is ousted from Wayne Industries, replaced by Oswald Cobblepot, and committed to Arkham Asylum, while being betrayed by Vicki Vale, all while finding out he's the son of crooks.
    • Episode 4 isn't any better: Harvey starts going mad with power and using his influence to track down the Children of Arkham and not caring who he hurts, while Vicki is still on the loose and it's implied she's about to take her plans to the next level. Meanwhile, the Penguin still hasn't been ousted from Wayne Enterprises and, considering your last decision, Harvey will either set Wayne Manor aflame (if you went after Penguin) or Batman will be forced to deactivate the Batcomputer to keep Penguin from getting into the system (if went to save Wayne Manor).
  • Dating Catwoman: But of course. Though at least initially, it's Harvey doing so, there's her and Batman's Belligerent Sexual Tension as always...
  • Deceptive Legacy: Bruce grew up seeing his parents as pillars of virtue, Thomas especially, and dedicates Batman's crusade against crime to their memory. He's devastated to learn Alfred withheld the truth of how they collaborated with mobsters to keep Gotham under the Wayne thumb. If anything, the kind, honourable butler is the reason Bruce has the compassion and fortitude to become a hero.
  • Dented Iron: Bruce as usual. After a fight gives him a deep cut in his side that requires stitches, he immediately puts on a shirt and coat and hosts a fundraiser for Harvey.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The Agency manages to implant a shock collar onto Bane to keep him under their thumb. However, they send the agent who controls Bane out in the same battlefield as the berserk villain to keep an eye on him instead of having the controlling agent away at a safe distance where Bane can't reach him. Unsurprisingly, this leads to Bane breaking free from his control temporarily to rampage. Even worse? There’s an Agency helicopter that’s used to drop off Bane, meaning there’s zero justification for the collar controller being on the ground in the first place.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Falcone is built up as a recurring threat by the trailer, but in fact he's taken out by the end of the first episode. He's offed before the midway point in Episode 2.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: The eponymous leader of the Children of Arkham turns out to be none other than Vicki Vale, she admits this revelation herself during Bruce's resignation speech after drugging him with her serum.
  • The Dragon: Penguin is this to the leader of the Children of Arkham.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • In the first episode, Bruce can suggest one of several slogans for Harvey's mayoral campaign. A couple ("Let's Put a Dent in Crime!", "A New Face for Gotham!", to which Harvey replies "that's not half bad.") foreshadow Harvey's transformation into Two-Face. Similarly, when Bruce brings up how Corrupt Politician Hamilton Hill is trying to screw both him and Harvey over with the allegations that the Waynes were corrupt, Harvey mentions that with Hill going behind his back to get a warrant to seize Bruce's assets, the corrupt mayor has made two enemies.
    • One of the influential, old-money couples attending Bruce's ball in the first episode advises him that, "Old families like ours should flock together. Like birds." In addition to being a sly allusion to the Court of Owls, it presages how Oswald Cobblepot — himself the bankrupt scion of an old-money family — will attempt to bring down Gotham's elites and take on the mantle of "The Penguin".
    • When talking about how Bruce needs to distance himself while still financially supporting the Dent campaign, Harvey turns to his left side, with his face under-lit by the glow of his phone — serving to hint at his future potential accident. He even mentions "putting on [his] face" before heading on stage.
    • Given the dual identity of Batman and Bruce Wayne, this happens with a few characters. Harvey Dent is Bruce's best friend, but despises Batman if Batman abandons him to rescue Catwoman in Episode 2. Renee Montoya shows her support for Bruce when he comes under fire, but doesn't like Batman if he goes to rescue Harvey Dent in Episode 3. Penguin despises Bruce for what Thomas Wayne did to Esther Cobblepot, but considers Batman a kindred spirit.
    • In Episode 4, Bruce is protected in Arkham by another inmate who happily shows him around and helps him escape. Trouble is, the player is well aware that he's actually the Joker.
    • And the major choice leading into the climax of Episode 5 is whether or not to reveal your identity to Lady Arkham - doing so causes her to suffer confusion because she's convinced that Bruce Wayne could never be as selfless as Batman, before twisting it in her mind that this just means Batman is his outlet to wreak the same kind of havoc that his father did.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Frank, the guy playing pool in the bar who Bruce bumps into becomes one of Joker's henchmen in season 2.
  • Ear Notch: In the climax of Episode 5, Bruce can lose a piece of his ear to Vicki's blaster.
  • Empire with a Dark Secret:
    • As the game begins, a chance encounter with Carmine Falcone slowly leads Bruce to allegations and evidence that the Waynes — a family "synonymous with Gotham" and a symbol of its rebirth and potential — may once have been one of the biggest crime families in the city.
    • Then we get to see footage of Mayor Hill and Thomas Wayne injecting Mrs. Cobblepot with hallucinogenic drugs. All so Wayne could take her assets to build his tower.
  • Enemy Mine: A political one between Harvey and Falcone. Harvey is well aware that Falcone is an infamous mob boss, but is also aware that he needs Falcone's support if he's going to have a shot at winning the election.
  • Enhance Button: Batman notices a reflection on the glasses of a hostage in a ransom video, and instructs the Batcomputer to extrapolate a 3D VR recreation of the room from it, which is detailed enough to include readable text on the label of the water heater across the room and the bus stop sign outside the window.
  • Everything Sensor: Late in the game the Children of Arkham kidnap Alfred and send a ransom video to Bruce Wayne. Based on the reflections in Alfred's glasses in the video, he's able to use the Batcomputer reconstruct not only everything in the room the video was shot it, but also things like a bus stop sign on the street outside the building.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • At the end of Episode 2, when Penguin drugs Harvey into complete honesty, Harvey admits that while Gotham is not perfect by any means, he loves the city and genuinely wants to save it. Cobblepot proceeds to vehemently berate Harvey for lying. Later, in Episode 5, if Bruce chooses to apologize for what his parents did to Cobblepot's, he flies into a rage, refusing to believe that Bruce could genuinely feel sorry for him.
    • Happens again in Episode 5, if Batman reveals his true identity to Lady Arkham. She's unable to accept that the man she thought was every bit like his father and the man who strikes fear into Gotham's criminal underworld are one and the same, which leads to a full-blown Villainous Breakdown.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • The Children of Arkham's leader serves as this for Batman, once you learn their identity.
    • Penguin might be one for Lucius Fox, as he aids the Children of Arkham with business connections and tech support.
    • The unholy alliance of Thomas Wayne, Hamilton Hill, and Carmine Falcone seems like the evil parallel of the relationship between Bruce/Bats, Harvey Dent, and Commissioner Gordon.
  • Exact Words: A humorous example in one of the dialogue options appears in Episode 1.
    Harvey: Say hi, Bruce!
    Bruce: "Hi, Bruce."
    Harvey: Well, I tee 'em up and he knocks 'em down.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: During the bar scene, Frank can note that Bruce is shorter than he expected.
  • Eye Scream:
    • During Batman's first investigation at the initial warehouse, Batman finds a dead mercenary. His left eye (along with the left side of his face) has been ripped out by someone's bare hands. The player then has to deduce how that happened.
    • Happens in one outcome of the final choice of Episode 2. If you choose to help Selina, Batman will throw Batarangs at the three goons menacing her, and one of them is clearly hit in the eye.
    • In this continuity, one of the bullets that killed Thomas Wayne went through his eye.
    • One of the victims in the fourth episode's detective segment, Vicki's foster mother, had her eyes brutally gouged out.
    • At the end of Episode 5, if Bruce chooses to attack Vicki instead of unmasking, Alfred loses his left eye.
  • Failure Is the Only Option:
    • Thanks to an error in the dialogue, regardless of how pacifistic Batman is with the sniper, either not hitting him at all or only once, and the game explicitly pointing out that Gordon noticed his nonviolence, Alfred will still say Bruce nearly killed him.
    • No matter whether or not you succeed or fail the skill check revolving around Selina's cat, the door will still open enough for Harvey to see Bruce in his underwear.
    • Several times after Bruce is drugged, the effects cause him to fly off the handle even if the player chooses calm dialogue options.
    • No matter how hard the player tries to prevent it, Harvey is going to become Two-Face. Even if he never receives the iconic facial scars the character is known for, he goes through major Sanity Slippage for other reasons besides his face that ensure his alternate personality will eventually take over.
  • Fantastic Drug: A chemical agent that temporarily causes people to act on their base impulses. The simplified form seen in "Realm of Shadows" was a psychoactive compound that caused people to lash out and savagely attack others, while the more refined form in "Children of Arkham" caused them to lose their moral filters.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Harvey Dent's ultimate fate is well known to any Batman fan. While he can potentially avoid getting his infamous scars in Episode 2, the events still cause him to lapse into his split personality.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In Episode 1:
      • During the fundraiser event at Wayne Manor, Harvey makes a remark about cutting Gotham's crime rate in half, and after receiving tips on a slogan, Harvey suggests he and Bruce shake some hands in order to shake things up a little in Gotham, which is immediately followed by a shot of Falcone's car approaching the Manor, and the player soon gets to choose whether or not to shake the mobster's hand, impacting his reputation.
      • Bruce can say that "for the mentally ill, scars are often invisible." This foreshadows Harvey turning evil even if you save him at the debate.
    • In Episode 2:
      • Falcone tells you that "You can't trust anyone in this city. Least of all those you call friend." At the time, it seems like a nod to Penguin's machinations, but Episode 3 widens that line to include Harvey's fight with Bruce and Selina, and how Regina turns on Bruce with the board at Wayne Enterprises.
      • After speaking with Bruce over the phone regarding whether or not the latter will continue the funding of his mayoral campaign, Harvey finishes the conversation by casually remarking that his make up person is here and that she needs to put on his face, foreshadowing his possible disfigurement and the Big Bad's true gender. Additionally, should Bruce refuse continued funding, Harvey will briefly respond with his Two-Face voice.
    • Plenty regarding a certain twist revolving around Vicki Vale:
      • During Harvey's fundraiser event at the beginning, Vicki is one of the few who doesn't applaud him.
      • If you give the Falcone data to Vicki, she'll tell Bruce that she despises the corruption in Gotham and thinks that someone besides Batman needs to step up to stop it.
      • In Episode 2, as Bruce tells Alfred that either Penguin or someone working with him drugged Renee Montoya, Vicki approaches Bruce.
      • At the debate, Penguin chooses Vicki from among the hostages to administer the truth drug to the candidates and if you're paying attention, you'll notice he doesn't have to give her any details on how to do so. Additionally, Penguin tells Vicki that while he would get her started by introducing the canidates, it was "her show."
      • In Episode 3, Vicki sums up her interview with the Children of Arkham's leader as "a lot of posturing and grandiose monologuing... not great from an investigative standpoint". In other words, carefully chosen to give Batman no clues as to the real identity of Lady Arkham. She is also far more critical of Bruce when speaking to Batman than she is when speaking to Bruce. She also downplays the violent methods of the Children of Arkham, even though they threatened her life at the debate, and tries to make them look better by highlighting their intentions.
    • In Episode 4, the young boy's reaction to his rescue, combined with the details of the murder scene, may tip off astute players to the fact that the Vales abused their foster children. This becomes extremely relevant towards understanding the villain's motives.
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • As always, Batman himself has one in the form of his parents, who were killed when he was a child.
    • The Final Boss has some serious issues stemming from this: After Thomas Wayne had her birth parents killed, she ended up living with a couple who were not only Fostering for Profit, but horrifically abused her by whipping her with belts and trapping her in a hidden cell under the basement.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Two, at least on the Playstation 4. The first is that you're sometimes told that you need to establish an internet connection to create a Telltale account - which is required to view player stats on choices from each episode - even if you're connected to the internet and using other features that require it. The other is that the game can soft lock at the credits and leave you unable to do anything but exit the game.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Bruce actually takes the Batmobile out during the day, disguised as a sports car.
  • His Name Is...: Renee Montoya kills Carmine Falcone before he can reveal Hill's betrayal of Thomas to Bruce.
  • Hollywood Law: Deliberately invoked. In the United States, a mayor cannot authorize a search warrant with their signature; only a sitting judge can sign a warrant, and only law enforcement officers may request a search warrant if they have sufficient probable cause. This is intentional, showing the inordinate amount of power that Mayor Hill wields over the city, and adding to the idea that Hill is blatantly corrupt; the police chief is equally corrupt and in Hill's pocket. Harvey points out that it's illegal without his signature, but they still went completely over his head.
    • Likewise, once Hill gets killed and Harvey starts going off the deep end, he starts abusing his power just as much as Hill did, if not more. Creating a private militia beyond the reach of the law is only the start.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: John Doe is canonically infatuated with Harley Quinn, but this doesn't stop him from hanging onto your every word and trying to convince the other members to let you in by saying "Bruce's smart - and handsome! He's really handsome, you guys! (Beat) Where was I going with this..." Basically, Bruce serves as his Morality Chain and Harley is, well, the opposite.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In Episode 3, if Bruce examines the Chinese takeout boxes in Selina's apartment he'll comment that she should be rich enough to afford better food and then immediately imply that he makes the same choices.
    Bruce: She can afford to eat anywhere, and she still chooses Chinese takeout. That isn't even the good place.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: In Episode 5, Bruce can investigate Oswald Cobblepot's dealings while he was CEO of Wayne Enterprises and discover that he was planning on using Falcone's name to open an island amusement park named..."Falcone Island". Alfred just groans in responsenote .
  • In Spite of a Nail: Even if Harvey Dent doesn't get scarred in Episode 2, fate seems intent on him going down the road to becoming Two-Face anyway.
  • Interface Screw:
    • After Bruce is drugged by Vicki Vale, the effects cause him to fly into an Unstoppable Rage several times throughout the game. Whenever this happens, the relatively calm dialogue options mean absolutely nothing because Bruce will fly into a rage and say much worse things no matter what you pick.
    • This occurs during Batman's confrontation with either of the main antagonists in Episode 4, when Batman attempts to use his Detective Mode technology to plan a strategy of attack. This is due to Oswald "Penguin" Cobblepot's attempt to hijack the arsenal of technology connected to Batman's network — ultimately rendering the Detective Mode ineffective. The first sign of such an Interface Screw occurs during the investigation of the Vale residence.
  • Irony: Naming a hospital after his parents in the hopes of helping the mentally ill is much Harsher in Hindsight In-Universe when Bruce finds out his father had hundreds of people fraudulently institutionalized.
  • Kaizo Trap: Don't relax when you reach the end of Episode 5. There's one more surprise during the press conference.
  • Karmic Death: Vicki Vale's father tortured her with a belt when she was a child. Vicki winds up beating him to death with a belt.
  • Literal-Minded: At the fundraising ball for Dent's mayoral campaign, Harvey says, "Say hi, Bruce." Naturally, you can quip "Hi, Bruce!" for a few chuckles.
  • Loss of Inhibitions: The Children of Arkham's Psycho Serum induces this by causing anyone injected with it to lose all sense of morality and restraint.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The Children of Arkham wear unsettling helmet-like masks while committing their terrorist activities. Oswald's, designed to look a dark-beaked penguin skull with a gas filter underneath, really takes the cake, as well as Lady Arkham's skeletal cowl.
  • Mêlée à Trois: The conflict in Gotham later escalates into a three-way war with the Gotham police force and Batman versus the Children of Arkham versus Harvey Dent's dictatorial regime
  • Meta Twist: The central plot of the season involves newfound evidence that Bruce's father was actually a criminal. There have been several stories based on that premise in the comics, usually ending with Bruce discovering it's all slander, and the hints (like Thomas' supposed business partner getting offed before he can provide details) are that it's the case here too... but no. It's all true. Telltale Thomas Wayne was indeed a crook, and a nasty one at that.
  • Multitasked Conversation: When being introduced to her boyfriend Harvey Dent's best friend and campaign contributor, Bruce Wayne, Selina Kyle makes a point of letting him know that she notices the scratches she left on Batman's face. Bruce can do likewise, with Harvey being none the wiser throughout.
  • Never Found the Body: The fate of Lady Arkham in episode 5 - though Bruce and Alfred are convinced that they're dead, it wouldn't be the first time a Batman villain escaped certain death.
  • Not What It Looks Like: The end of Episode 3 - except, depending on player choices, it may or may not be exactly what it looks like.
  • Ominous Visual Glitch:
    • In Episode 4, this occurs upon the establishment of a link between two specific items during Batman's investigation of the Vale residence. Batman is notably surprised by the brief holographic glitch in his own Detective Mode technology. The genre-savvy player would first notice the visual static noise within the user interface just as the specific link is established.
    • It is later revealed that Oswald "Penguin" Cobblepot had implanted a bug into Batman's network as part of an attempt to hijack Batman's entire arsenal of technology.
  • Order Versus Chaos: The conflict between The Children Of Arkham and Harvey Dent.
  • Police Are Useless: When the GCPD storm the mayoral debate, the handful of officers that first enter are immediately taken out by Blockbuster after not having fired a single shot.
    • Averted in Episode 5 when the GCPD storm Arkham Asylum, where they work to contain the riot while Batman goes after Lady Arkham and Alfred.
    • Apparently a full scale civil war between the police and the militia doesn't warrent any federal agencies or the national guard getting involved to clean up the issue.
  • Police State: Harvey begins to throw the city into one almost as soon as he's given power. He essentially creates his own private militia that listens to no one but him and will do absolutely anything he says, meaning he can do pretty much whatever he wants whenever he wants. There's even a scene where Jack Ryder begins to criticize Harvey on the air and he's kidnapped from his chair while the camera is still rolling. It takes both Batman and the actual GCPD getting into a full fledged battle with them in the mayor's office to even begin to dent their power.
  • Pop-Up Texting: Used whenever Bruce receives or sends a text message.
  • Press X to Not Die: A staple of modern Telltale games, most of Batman's action scenes are done through cinematic quick time events.
  • Pretty Little Headshots:
    • The guard shot at the beginning features this, and though we don't actually see what it does to the back of his head, Gordon is disturbed when he sees it.
    • Renee Montoya shoots Carmine Falcone twice, once in the head, which causes a small but spurting wound. This, despite the standard issue for a police officer are .45 caliber weapons.
  • Red Herring: With their similar costumes and use of mind-altering chemicals (including one that seems to specifically induce fear in the victim), one could be forgiven for thinking the Children of Arkham's leader is a proto-Scarecrow. It could also have been mistaken for Bane as the chemicals cause rage like steroids. The MacGuffin in the beginning of the story has a Black Skull on. Finally, the sniper job could have been Deathstroke or Deadshot. In reality it's an original villain, the sniper was a mook, the drug doesn't cause enhanced strength, and fear has nothing to do with it.
  • The Reveal: At the end of Episode 3, the leader of the Children of Arkham is revealed to be Vicki Vale.
  • Revealing Injury: Selina instantly figures out Bruce is Batman from the scratch marks on his face that she gave him during their fight at City Hall. Likewise, Bruce figures out that Selina is Catwoman after she walks up sporting the black eye he gave her.
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • In Episode 2 (if Bruce visits Mayor Hill as himself and not Batman), Hill will offer to give Bruce more information about his dealings with Thomas Wayne if Bruce pulls funding for Harvey Dent's mayoral campaign.
    • The last choice of Episode 2 — Bruce must either save Harvey and drive Selina away, or save Selina and watch Harvey be horribly disfigured by Penguin.note 
    • The ending of episode 4 — Either race back to Wayne Enterprises and stop the Penguin from gaining the secrets of the Batman, or race back to Wayne Manor and save it from Harvey. Stopping Penguin will give you back your tech, but Wayne Manor is burnt to the ground and Harvey later starts taking hostages. Saving Wayne Manor has Harvey imprisoned for his crimes (either in Arkham or Blackgate), but he gets burns on his body to match his face (completing his slide into permanent supervillainy) and Bruce loses his tech and is forced to go the old-fashioned way. The one you don't go after is dealt with in the beginning of Episode 5.
    • At the end of Episode 5, Lady Arkham threatens to kill Alfred unless Batman reveals his true identity to her. If you unmask, Bruce gets a chunk of his ear blown off by Lady Arkham's staff. If you refuse and attack, Alfred gets free but gets blasted in the face in the ensuing struggle; it's later revealed that he lost one of his eyes and has to wear an eyepatch. Either way, someone isn't walking away from that final battle without a permanent reminder...
  • Sarcastic Confession: In Episode 3, Gordon overhears Batman talking to Alfred on his comms, and asks who he's talking to. One of the dialogue options is "My butler."
  • Save the Villain: After defeating Lady Arkham, Batman attempts to help her escape the collapsing catacombs, but she refuses his help and attempts to escape on her own, whereupon she is crushed to death by fallen debris.
  • Secret-Keeper: Bruce and Selina figure out each other's secret identities after meeting each other in and out of costume once each, and both decide to keep quiet about it, and work together instead.
  • Sequel Hook: At a speech at the end of the game, a man will try to either assassinate Bruce Wayne or Acting Commissioner Gordon (depending if you chose to show up as Bruce or Batman). The ending shows that John Doe is watching the report from the Stacked Deck, either telling Bruce he'll see him soon or that it'll be hard to top that.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: In Episode 3, if Bruce and Selina end up sleeping with each other in her apartment, the last thing we see before it happens is the two of them falling onto her bed through the ajar bedroom door before said door sways back blocking the rest of the scene.
  • Shout-Out: A not-so-subtle one in Episode 2 - Selina stipulates "No capes" for Bruce's meeting with her.
    • Also in Episode 2, after Montoya kills Falcone, Harvey slams his open hands down on an interrogation room table in the same manner as a certain other Ace Attorney.
    • Doubles as a Casting Gag in Episode 4, after Bruce cures himself of the mind-altering drug, he declares "I feel better already" in the exact same tone as Booker DeWitt does in BioShock Infinite whenever he gets a Health Upgrade.
    • If the player chooses the response in Episode 5 telling Vicki that she's not well, Batman will quote the exact same line the dream manifestation of Batman says to Bruce in "Perchance to Dream" when confronting him in the belltower.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Although Bruce Wayne himself never did anything wrong, the general public becomes ever more distrustful and hateful of him once his father's corruption has been revealed.
  • Smokescreen Crime: Martha Wayne intended to expose her husband's criminal ties to Carmine Falcone and Hamilton Hill. When Hill learned of this, he hired Joe Chill to kill both Thomas and Martha, disguising the assassination as a robbery-homicide.
  • The Stinger: At the end of episode 5 John Doe is seen in a bar watching news footage of the assassination attempt and reacts differently depending on the choice to attend the event as Bruce Wayne or Batman:
    • If Batman attended the press conference:
      John Doe: Ooh boy, it's gonna be tough to top that! But I'll give it a shot...
    • If Bruce Wayne attended the press conference:
      John Doe: He sure does clean up well. See you soon, Brucie.
  • Talking to Themself: After being assaulted at the debate, Harvey suddenly gets frustrated with how little progress "Harvey Dent" is making against the city's crime problem, speaking of him in a lower, raspier voice as if he isn't even the same man if he was scarred. When both voices start to argue with each other, Bruce (who doesn't yet know just what's happening) is distinctly unnerved. Happens again later in Catwoman's apartment, with Selina being just as freaked out. Notably, whenever Harvey realizes he's doing it, he starts freaking out too.
  • Third-Person Person: Starting with episode three Harvey Dent starts holding conversations with himself as he becomes more paranoid, referring to himself as "Harvey" and taking on a darker persona, signalling the emergence of his other personality.
  • Transforming Vehicle: Bruce is seen several times driving a red, Ferrari-like supercar, fitting his playboy persona. When he has to change into his Batman persona, the paint job changes from red to black, fins appear at the rear, the hubcaps are altered, and the back end opens up to reveal twin afterburners.
  • Truth Serum: The chemical that removes a person's filters is used as such during the election debates between Hill and Dent. Hill says that they should incinerate the poor, while Dent remains sincere about wanting to help the city.
  • Undying Loyalty: A meta-example: well over 90% of players chose to keep funding Harvey Dent's campaign despite him telling Bruce that he needed to distance himself from him and even publicly badmouth him. A similar number of people refuse to resort to violence when Harvey believes Bruce and Selina are having an affair in Episode 3. Especially since a good number of those people just got done sleeping with Selina.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • When Harvey finds Bruce and Selina and accuses them of having an affair, there are 2 of these:
      • The first one is that Bruce's arm and shoulder are wrapped into a sling, an injury that would have raised a few questions from someone else.
      • The second one is optional, but if you didn't take the Bat Grapple back, Harvey will act as if it is not even there.
    • Everybody on staff at Arkham seems to have gotten used to the sight of John Doe; Bruce himself seems to be unnerved, but never comments on it.
      Scarface: You'd think a freak with green hair would be pretty goddamn memorable, right?
    • Similarly, no one even blinks at the sight of Blockbuster just hanging out by the window of the Asylum. Bruce himself, the only one who knows who he is and where he came from, seems to be the only person who shows any reaction at all.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Harvey becomes this later on in the game. As mayor, he establishes a police state, sends the city into a dictatorship in all but name, and is perfectly willing to blow up an entire city block filled with cops and citizens if it means that he can disrupt the Children of Arkham's plans. These actions are absolutely horrible, but they actually do work and ruin the Children's plans. As much as he genuinely believes that he's helping the city by doing this, however, that doesn't change the fact that he's a madman with too much power who needs to be stopped before he inadvertently destroys the whole city.
  • We Need a Distraction: If you choose to go after Harvey as Batman in the climax of Episode 4, Episode 5 opens with Bruce tasked with keeping Oswald occupied long enough for a police officer to take down the tranceiver Oswald is using to control the WayneTech drones. This can culminate in Bruce pulling a viscious Your Mom insult on Oswald, sending him into a frothing rage.
  • Wham Line:
    • When Penguin holds Mayor Hill at gunpoint in Children of Arkham, the latter reveals his biggest secret out of sheer desperation, right in front of Batman.
      Mayor Hill: I took out Thomas Wayne! That was all him, he didn't know when to stop. I had him killed because of it!
    • At the end of "New World Order", when Vicki stabs Bruce with a pen laced with Psycho Serum:
      Bruce: You. You're with the Children of Arkham!
      Vicki: No. I am the Children of Arkham.
    • From "Guardian of Gotham", in a conversation between Bruce and the Joker:
      The Joker: Don't be ashamed; it's in your blood! I see a lot of your father in you. She probably does, too. It's obvious that's why Vicki hates you — your dad helped bump off her parents!
      Bruce: Why would my father have the Vales killed?
      The Joker: I never said he killed the VALES. She was born an Arkham. Victoria Arkham.
  • Wham Shot:
    • When Batman confronts Falcone at the end of "Realm of Shadows", the mob boss defensively blames everything on the Waynes, who he claims were one of Gotham's most powerful crime families. The scene then cuts to a picture of Thomas and Martha Wayne sitting with Falcone and some other mobster at a table... and Alfred serving drinks.
    • At the end of Episode 3, Bruce's veins turn blue, the same color as the veins of those exposed to the Children of Arkham's Psycho Serum, after Vicki stabs him with her pen.
  • What the Hell, Player?: If Bruce decided to sleep with Selina in Episode 3, Harvey's reaction will really make you feel guilty about it.
  • Where It All Began: The final confrontations with Two-Face or Penguin in Episode 5 take place in the locations where you first meet them: Wayne Manor and Cobblepott Park, respectively.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: During the bar fight, Bruce will hit a mook with a belly-to-back suplex through a table.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Batman can and does in fact. The Children of Arkham planned to spray Gotham with Psycho Serum using a train that goes through the busiest parts of the city. Batman blows up the train and their supply of Psycho Serum. This combined with Dent's extreme actions against the Children of Arkham basically scuttles all their plans. Ultimately, Lady Arkham is forced into a plan B which is to cause a jailbreak at Arkham Asylum. This is little more than petty revenge as the police round up nearly all the escaped inmates rather quickly and Lady Arkham herself gets crushed by falling debris beneath Arkham Asylum.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Penguin respects Batman for his refusal to let the law stand in the way of his goals. Batman is rather disgusted when he learns this.
  • Your Mother: Oswald's mother's fate is a big sore spot. If Bruce confronts Oswald in the beginning of Episode 5, he can use this against him to distract him for Gordon by claiming his mother deserved to go to Arkham.
  • You Talk Too Much!: This is one dialogue choice that Batman can use in Episode 3 in his fight with the Children of Arkham's leader.

     Season Two - The Enemy Within 
  • Aesop Amnesia: A rare acknowledged example. In the Vigilante Joker path in episode 5, Batman can tell Joker that heroes never kill, to which the game tells you "Joker will remember that". Later on, you can remind him that heroes never kill, at which point the game says "Joker totally forgot to remember that".
  • Ambiguous Situation: The mess in John's funhouse. John swears that the now dead Agents attacked first without attempting to bring him in peacefully, but there's evidence on both sides - while John is violently unstable and switches from peaceful to murderous in the blink of an eye, the Agency has a horrible track record of trying to resolve situations peacefully, so it is entirely possible they attacked first. This is completely intentional, of course; it's up to the player to decide if John is telling the truth, and this decision directly creates either the Vigilante or Villain path for Episode 5.
  • Anyone Can Die: By the end of the first episode, both Lucius Fox and the Riddler are dead, and depending on your choices, so is Agent Blake.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The Lotus virus. It has the ability to kill almost instantly, but a small percentage of people can survive it. People who survive it can then manufacture a cure from their blood that heals all ailments. The cure can also drive the user insane if not manufactured correctly.
  • Arc Words: "We're two threads in the same stitch."
  • Arms Dealer: Rumi Mori: import-export magnate, former CEO, and international arms merchant.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: John Doe hates the Riddler for being a thief, a killer, "and worst of all, he's... he's rude."
  • Art Shift: The game's models and environments have become much more detailed and intricate, on par with later installments of The Walking Dead.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Agency's arms its field agents with advanced pistols that fire nonlethal electric shocks instead of bullets. Unfortunately, it also means their fancy guns are rendered useless by an EMP, which the Pact exploits in their attack on the Agency convoy in Episode 2, while their henchmen's machine guns work just fine. Additionally, Tiffany points out that the gun firing electric charges heats the barrels up incredibly quickly, meaning they just as quickly become incredibly inaccurate.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Possible with the unlikeliest of people in episode 5 - The Joker himself.
  • Badass Boast: Batman can give a seriously chilling one when interrogating Riddler's henchman.
    "Riddler just dabbles in pain, Eli. (in a lower, more threatening voice) I've turned pain into an art form."
  • Badass Bystander: Episode 2 has Chip, a police mechanic, save Batman by stabbing Bane when he's got the Dark Knight at his mercy.
  • Berserk Button: John Doe hates being disrespected, to the point that he'll maniacally stab Bane while acting as a vigilante when Bane accuses him of killing The Riddler.
  • Big Bad: Ultimately Subverted with both the Riddler, who was built up to be the main villain in much of the promotional material, and also with Harley Quinn, who acted as the unofficial leader of the Pact, as the Riddler will canonically die in the first episode, and Harley will lose this position by the season finale, thanks to John Doe becoming The Joker.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: John and Harley share a passionate kiss during one of Episode 4's endings. This is actually what gives John his iconic red Joker lips.
    • Prior to this, Bruce can share one with Selina - both as himself, and as Batman.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Bruce does one when Lucius is murdered in an explosion.
    • In the villain path, Joker does this if Bruce makes excuses for his actions when playing Never have I ever. The trope is humoristically lampshaded, as the camera has a dramatic zoom-in effect on Joker's face the moment he uses the N-word.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Pact is shut down, the Joker is sent back to Arkham regardless of whether he became a villain or vigilante, and Waller pulls the Agency out of Gotham, promising not to reveal Batman's identity. Alfred, however, can no longer stomach working for Bruce (fearing that he is heading towards the same fate as his father), and leaves unless Bruce gives up being Batman. Selina also either leaves Gotham again (even if she and Bruce are on the best of terms), or is roped into working for Waller in the vigilante path if Bruce doesn't negotiate her release.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: Batman gets involved in a conflict between the Agency, a government organization that is willing to do some very morally ambiguous things to keep the world safe, and the Pact, a group of vicious supervillains with various degrees of redeeming features. Both are the gray to SANCTUS, a rogue Agency project that performs lethal experiments on human subjects and has no qualms with killing millions to protect their secrets.
  • Break Them by Talking: Bruce can give Villainous Joker an epic "The Reason You Suck" Speech that gives him a Villainous Breakdown because he wants to be special.
    Bruce: You're nothing special. You're just another nameless scum I have to put down.
  • Broken Aesop: In the final scene of Season 2, Alfred calls Bruce out on creating the villains that he has to fight, and Telltale clearly wants the player to be hit hard by it. The only problem is that in Telltale’s continuity, Batman is only responsible for the creation of Joker and Two-Face, and even then, not only is the level of responsibility is dependent on the player’s choices but most of them were caused by Bruce's actions, not Batman's.
  • Bullying a Dragon: In the Vigilante path of Episode 5, the Agency has Bane in a shock collar. Considering Bane is now juiced up with improved Venom, he quickly loses patience with the agent giving him orders and tries to pancake his skull into the pavement when he shocks him one too many times. Whether or not he succeeds depends on if Batman saves him or the Joker goon he's struggling with note .
  • Call-Back: There are multiple references to past events such as those of the first game.
    • The Batcave now has a small Superhero Trophy Shelf that includes Catwoman's broken goggles from her fight with Batman and the kitten postcard she sends him if they parted on good terms, a Harvey Dent campaign poster and either his coin or his prosthetic mask if he was scarred, Cobblepot's penguin mask and either the monocle or one of the Power Fists he uses in his fight if Batman went to stop him from hacking the Batcomputer, and Lady Arkham's broken mask and staff.
    • If you chose to go after Cobblepot instead of Harvey in episode 4 of Season 1, Wayne Manor will still be undergoing repairs from the fire Harvey started.
    • In the final episode soon after the dinner scene when Bruce and Selina both fight Harley and villainous Joker and if they have a positive relationship there is a call back all the way back to the second episode when Bruce and Selina fought Penguin's thugs in The Stacked Deck with two lines repeated exactly:
    Selina: I think they want more.
    Bruce: Then let's give it to them.
    • If you offer to go on a vacation with Alfred after the events of Season Two, he will say no batsuits are allowed, referring to when Selina mandated no cape back in the first season.
  • Canon Character All Along: The surnames of Willy and Frank, two patrons of The Stacked Deck introduced earlier in the series, are revealed to be "Deever" and "Dumfree" after they become Joker's accomplices, meaning that they're this continuity's version of Tweedledee and Tweedledum.
  • Central Theme: "Keeping Secrets Sucks" and the inversion "Honesty and trust yield rewards" is significant throughout the second season. Amanda Waller threatens to reveal Batman's secret identity if he doesn't play by her rules, putting Bruce in mortal danger to infiltrate a gang of supervillains. On the other hand, if the player chooses for Batman to not isolate himself, he will stay on Gordon's good side, Tiffany Fox will follow in her father's footsteps as the Bat-family's tech expert and eventual vigilante (rather than join the Agency and follow Waller's ruthless example), and Selina will become a full ally and something more.
    • Subverted in that honesty will also create serious problems, too. Tiffany admitting she killed The Riddler can end up alienating both Batman and Catwoman.
  • Comic Role Play: Possible between Bruce and John Doe in episode 3.
  • Controllable Helplessness: When Joker shows up at Wayne Enterprises at the beginning of Episode 5, the game supposedly gives you options... every one of which will be neatly neutralized by the baddies, or will just fail anyway. It really hammers home how much of a threat Joker is.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The Pact's members all have their own color for their subtitles. Harley is red, John is green, Freeze is blue, and Bane is a palish-yellow.
  • Create Your Own Villain: No matter what choices you make, Bruce is at least partially responsible for John's decent into becoming the Joker. That said, if you make the right choices, you can at least minimize his destructive desires and stop him with minimal bloodshed.
  • Critical Psychoanalysis Failure: Averted. Turns out, when trained psychologist Harley Quinn meets unstable, erratic John Doe, she's a bit better at manipulating him than vice versa, even if he's smarter than he seems and she does have feelings for him. Subverted later on; Joker's influence may not be what drives her insane, but Harley does have genetic mental problems that appear to be eroding her sense of self. When John starts asserting himself, there are signs of their traditional relationship being set up.
  • Curse Cut Short: Not a curse, necessarily, but episode 4 can have this line depending on earlier choices.
    John: Bruce and John. John and Bruce. J and B. B and... you get where I'm going!
  • Cut the Fuse: In the Villain Joker version of Episode 5, cutting the yellow wire disables the bombs with the Lotus Virus. At the dinner party, Bruce uses a broken blade as a throwing knife to slice through the yellow wire on another bomb.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Optionally in Episode 4. If the proper choices are made (Bruce admits he is the mole at the end of Episode 3 and Batman allows Catwoman to fight alongside him) then Catwoman and Harley will fight each other in the SANCTUS facility while Batman is busy with Bane and Freeze.
  • Developer's Foresight: In Episode 4, if you explore the Batcave, you will find the items related to Freeze, Bane, and Riddler in your display case.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Riddler arrives with a lot of fanfare in the first episode, only to be killed off at the end of it.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In Episode Two, Harley Quinn insists on having Bruce drink her slushie through her straw but using highly suggestive phrasing with John Doe right there. If you accept, the game notes that "John is getting jealous..."
  • Double-Meaning Title: The Enemy Within could either refer to Bruce going undercover as a member of the Pact, or the darkness inside John that eventually manifests as the Joker in the final episode.
  • Dramatic Dislocation: In Episode 5, during Villainous Joker's story arc, Bruce finds himself handcuffed. Since he doesn't have a key or the ability to break the bar he's handcuffed to, he ends up having to dislocate his thumb, and put it back again. Selina's response indicates she's had to do the same thing on several occasions.
    Selina: I hate having to do that.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: If John is forced to intervene to save Batman's life at the black site, Harley gives him a black eye and dumps him. By the time Bruce and Avesta find him in the Pact's lair, he's completely wasted and surrounded by empty beer bottles.
  • Evil vs. Evil: In Episode 4, the Pact attack Project SANCTUS in an attempt to steal the Lotus virus. Neither group is on the side of good in this situation. The Pact is a group of supervillains from Batman's Rogues Gallery, while SANCTUS is a rogue Agency division involved in various illegal activities such as human experimentation.
  • Exact Words: At the end of Episode 4, Harley demands that Waller hand over Riddler's blood or she'll blow them all to kingdom come, but Waller tells her that she can't do that. If you try to talk Waller into just giving Harley the blood, you find out handing Harley Riddler's blood really isn't an option; either Agent Avesta destroyed them or a mole in the Agency contaminated all the samples, making them useless.
  • Fingore: Mori loses two of his fingers (and very nearly his head) to Riddler's deathtrap. Another of his victims lost even more fingers before dying.
  • Foot Popping: If you choose John to go down the Villainous Joker arc, when John finally embraces who he is and goes to Harley, she foot pops in approval (though they just hold hands instead of kiss).
  • Foreshadowing: One of Harley’s lines in Episode Two foreshadows how John can be influenced by the players actions to become either an Anti-Hero Vigilante or a Card-Carrying Villain
Harley: Poor John. He just...doesn’t know who he is yet. You know...he’s searching. Highly impressionable.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • As players may expect, earning Victor's trust requires that Bruce promise to cure his wife. What players may not expect is it will only work if you make that promise in a certain way, by telling Victor that his wife deserves a chance at life or proposing that they mutually help each other out. If you make that promise by telling Victor that Bruce takes care of his "friends", this will actually cost you Victor's trust, as Victor will decide that Bruce is being "very vague" after Bruce says he takes care of his "people" when Victor says he doesn't have friends.
    • Succeeding in actually getting a Relationship Upgrade with Selina in the Vigilante ending of Season 2 can be a real pain. The steps involved include picking the dialogue option for Waller to release Selina in exchange for your help, telling Selina you love her when she saves you from the rubble, then finally reminding Waller she owes you after you rescue her from Joker. It's such a hard-to-complete path that the end-of-episode statistics state that only three percent of players have managed it. What doesn't help is that many players will instead ask Waller to leave Agent Avesta out of it. Given that she is an ordinary, though incredibly talented, field agent, she just gave you dirt on Waller leading you to a stalemate. Catwoman, on the other hand, is a superhero who can more or less take care of herself.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Multiple times.
    • Episode 1 sets up the Riddler as the main villain, even going through the trouble of giving him a major badassery upgrade; he's dead at the end of the episode, seemingly setting up Harley Quinn as the Big Bad
    • For the next three episodes, SANCTUS appears to be the Big Bad, with both the Agency and the Pact gunning to replace them... but after SANCTUS is defeated in Episode 4, Joker takes center stage for the finale.
  • If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten!: In order to gain Bane's vote to join the Pact, Bruce has to beat up a suspected traitor from Bane's crew.
    Bane: The aristocrat is not afraid to dirty his hands. I say we add him to the pact.
  • Indirect Kiss: In Episode 2, Harley Quinn offers Bruce a taste of a slushie she just drank. Accepting her offer will make John quite jealous.
  • The Infiltration: Bruce, as himself, goes undercover in the Pact in episode 2, 3, and, depending on your choices, part of episode 4.
  • Interface Spoiler: The silhouette on Episode 3's blurb is unmistakably Catwoman's, severely lessening the shock when she returns at the end of Episode 2. Similarly, while Mr. Freeze and Bane's silhouettes are generic enough that they aren't obvious, there's no mistaking Harley and her giant hammer.
  • It's Personal: After the Riddler gets Lucius killed, Alfred states that now "this is personal" at the funeral. This may be a minor example since Alfred and Batman would likely want the Riddler to face justice even if they were not targeted and a dialogue option in response to Alfred has Bruce say that they shouldn't make it about them.
  • Joker Immunity: But of course. Rather humorously, it can be lampshaded in Episode 5 when Bruce asks Vigilante Joker how he survived the fall from the bridge. Joker says it was a high fall but he managed to grab onto a raft and drift to shore, which still doesn't answer the question of how he survived the actual drop.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Not that John Doe was always there to begin with, but the Vigilante Joker arc has a very clear moment where he completely loses it. After Batman intervenes to prevent him from killing Waller, he's confronted by several members of the Agency, and proceeds to absolutely butcher them in the blink of an eye. From that point on, Joker is officially an enemy no matter what you try.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Amanda Waller (The Agency) and Gordon (GCPD) have a very adversarial relationship, with Batman stuck in the middle. Waller views the GCPD as inefficient, slow, and an impediment to the investigation, insulting his tactical decisions, while Gordon is wary of the Agency's reputation for brutality and lack of administrative oversight, outright telling Batman not to entrust any evidence with them. This goes about as well as one can expect; the Vigilante Joker path has Gordon note at Bane and Joker's crime scene that, with himself being fired and Waller being kidnapped, no one knows what jurisdiction the scene falls under.
  • Laughing Mad: John Doe is prone to fits of nervous laughter throughout the season, but in episode 4 on the Vigilante path, Joker truly does this after experiencing what he believes to be a Heel–Face Door-Slam.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When Alfred mentions that Bruce and Thomas may have walked different paths in life, but that they end up at the same point in the end is more than likely an allusion to the nature of Telltale's storytelling practices of giving cosmetic choices that still lead to the same ending.
    • Waller makes comments that may qualify as this and Lampshade Hanging on the GCPD's roof directed at the vigilante Joker which take another meaning with familiarity with the Joker's other incarnations:
    Waller: You think you're some kind of force for justice, "Joker"? Don't you see how ridiculous that is?
  • Left Hanging: With Telltale's closure, it's unlikely that any of the remaining plot threads from this season will be resolved. That being said, Telltale has been picked up by LCG Entertainment as of August 2019 and they have back catalogue rights to Telltale Batman and The Wolf Among Us, meaning there's now a chance of revival—though, as of this writing, nothing has come of it.
  • Left the Background Music On: In Episode 5 Villain Route, before the battle against Joker and Harley one of the henchmen turns on a gramophone to play music. The gramophone is still running during the battle but the music is appropriately intense.
  • Legion of Doom: The Pact, a group consisting of Batman's typical Rogues Gallery, which includes Riddler, Harley Quinn, John, Mr. Freeze, Bane and Catwoman.
  • Love Confession: In Episode 5, (Vigilante Route) if all the right choices are made then Batman can tell Catwoman that he loves her.
  • Love Triangle: This season sets up a love triangle with Bruce, Catwoman, and Agent Avesta. John lampshades this in Episode 4, asking if Bruce is cheating on her. Ultimately, it goes nowhere, with Avesta not developing full romantic feelings for him and Selina leaving Gotham even if she and Bruce are on the best possible terms.
  • Man Bites Man: In Episode 5 (Villain Route), the final confrontation between Joker and Bruce does include a moment when Joker bites Bruce's arm.
  • Meaningful Background Event: In episode 3 during the cafe scene, Bruce notices the Batsignal and gives John one of his excuses. Once Bruce leaves, John also starts leaving but notices the signal and stares at it until the scene ends. Being a Batman fanboy it seems like he's just awestruck about seeing the signal, but episode 4 reveals it was one of the major clues that allowed him to realize Bruce is Batman.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Twice.
    • First, John at one point confesses to Bruce that he has fallen in love. One of the possible dialog options is "With me?". It's actually Harley, but it definitely wouldn't have been Out of Character for John if it was Bruce.
    • Later on at a cafe John is trying to figure out a way to gain Harley's affection, and persuades Bruce to pretend to be her. One of these attempts ends with him grabbing Bruce over the table and yelling "WHY WON'T YOU LOVE ME!?" as at least one onlooker turns their head to them.
  • Mutually Assured Destruction: Depending on your relationship with Waller, the only thing that stops her from revealing Bruce's identity to the world is the fact that Bruce now holds incredible amounts of blackmail data on her that would cost her her career and freedom should he reveal it.
  • No Man Should Have This Power: In Episode 4, John holds this view of the virus he swindles from Harley, refusing to hand it over to Waller for this reason. Granted, he partially forgets this in the next episode, but still!
  • No-Sell: Trying to kick Bane in the crotch just has him look at Bruce in bemusement.
  • Not His Sled: In the Vigilante Joker path, Joker gets knocked over a railing in Ace Chemicals and starts falling towards a vat of green chemicals. At first, it seems that Telltale is going with the classic The Killing Joke origin story for the psychotic clown we all know, but then Batman manages to grab him with his grapple before he lands.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: If Bruce chooses to honestly tell Tiffany that the device Bruce brought played a role in what happened to Lucius, Tiffany will become very angry and promise to investigate the "business" Lucius was mixed up in, and then shout it to the world. This ends up being a subversion, as if you didn't tell the truth about Lucius, in Episode 2, she finds out on her own, and there will be no way to convince her to give Bruce the Phalanx Key.
    • Played straight in episode 4, coming off of a decision you make in episode 3. Think giving yourself up for Catwoman is the right thing to do? Well, if you sell her out and go with the Pact to infiltrate the spa instead, you can intercede and stop some of their more brutal actions, saving quite a few lives in the process. If you give yourself up in her place, Bane and Freeze are allowed to kill unchecked.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: In episode 3, John declares that he knows Bruce will never betray him.
  • Our Hero Is Dead: In "Fractured Mask", if Bruce refuses to let Catwoman take the fall for stealing the Riddler's laptop, the episode ends with the Pact apparently freezing Bruce to death in one of Mr. Freeze's death traps. Subverted as in the next episode Bruce is able to activate the EMP remotely to disable the trap and escape.
  • Plot Armor: If Agent Avesta dies in the Riddler's game in the first episode, it's game over. Agent Blake, on the other hand, is not quite so irreplaceable and can be killed in her place with no issue.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • Riddler arranged for his allies to join him for his plot at the end of Episode 1. Unfortunately for him, John, who hates Riddler, apparently didn't pass that message on to said allies. It results in his plan getting foiled, and him getting killed.
    • Neither Gordon nor the Wayne Board is told that Bruce is undercover. As a result, Gordon gets fired when he attempts to arrest Bruce for what he perceives is aiding a terrorist cell, while in the villain route, Bruce almost loses his job unless he says that he was undercover. You're also not allowed to tell Gordon that Batman is Bruce Wayne and that you are undercover even if you have the best possible relationship with Gordon. This is slightly justified as revealing your identity to Gordon may cause him to one day arrest Bruce if he goes too far as Batman or at least tempt Gordon to do so. What makes it especially egregious, though, is that you can't just outright say that you're working for Waller while being arrested. Though, to be fair, Gordon was so off the deep end that he may have continued to arrest Bruce just to spite Waller, again, even if Bruce has the best possible relationship with Gordon.
  • Press X to Die: At one point, Bruce gets the option of touching a massive, active Tesla coil as if it were a normal object. Doing so gets Bruce fatally electrocuted.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: If you tell Vigilante Joker that you did truly consider him a friend, The Stinger shows him happily reuniting with Bruce in Arkham, implying that perhaps he can still be at least somewhat reformed, even if he can never become a hero.
  • Red Herring: At the end of the first episode, Riddler's killer is given the silhouette of John Doe in order to further stack the evidence against them. In actuality, it's Tiffany Fox who killed him.
  • Relationship Values: Many of the choices that Bruce makes will affect how other characters feel about him or how they feel in general. The mood or states of characters and the relevant decisions are listed along with and separate to the main choices. An example of a decision that has a significant effect on a character's relationship with Bruce is whether or not he tells Tiffany that the Riddler's puzzle box had a major role in how Lucius died, this character will feel "furious" with him if they are told the truth while they would instead feel "comforted" if they are lied to, with this specific decision seemingly overriding other decisions contributing to how this character feels overall because of the importance of this decision.
  • The Reveal: Episode 5 reveals that Tiffany Fox was the one who killed the Riddler, as she wanted justice for her father's death.
  • Right Behind Me: One of the scenes in Chapter 2 has Bruce go to the Stacked Deck to meet with John, and the former finds that the latter is running a therapy circle attended by Willy and a couple of dolls. Willy, after getting provoked by John, begins to rant to a doll that looks like Bruce and call him mean adjectives, and right before he can finish, notices Bruce standing behind him.
  • Sad Clown: John Doe is this, and he only becomes worse when he becomes Joker. The main source of his anguish depends on whether you pick the Vigilante or Villain route.
    • In Episode 5, on the Vigilante path, Alfred will tell a joke about a man with shaky hands when Bruce comes to after having fallen several stories down a building and being impaled on a piece of debris. It is during this part of the story that Alfred is slightly more upbeat and funny, but is visibly fed up with the anxiety he gets from Bruce's stubborn crusade as Batman.
  • Sadistic Choice: They're back, and they're much, much worse.
    • All of them in Episode 1. To be more specific:
      • At Lucius's funeral, you're forced to choose between telling Tiffany that the puzzle box Bruce brought to Lucius is what got him killed and possibly driving a wedge between the two, or lying to Tiffany in an attempt to spare her the Awful Truth.
      • You can try to find the Ridder's location either by talking to businessman Rumi Mori, but doing so will irritate Amanda Waller, or by talking to the Riddler's henchman Eli Knable, but doing so will irritate Commissioner Gordon. Additionally, if you go to Mori, he'll give you a flash drive with info on Riddler if you give him enough money to leave the country. You can choose to do so and allow him to get away with his crimes, or take the drive by force and earn Mori's wrath. On the other hand, if you go to interrogate Eli, you can play good cop and try to coerce and bluff him into giving Riddler up. Or you can beat a confession out of him, and the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique is played completely straight, to a brutal and frightening degree if you do, leaving Eli a bloody, begging mess, likely with irreversible brain trauma.
    • Later, when the Riddler traps Batman and Agent Avesta in a cage, he makes you play what he freely admits is an "unfair game": he'll ask you questions, and getting a question wrong will result in the Riddler killing one of his hostages—but if you answer a question right, it will still result in a negative consequence, as the Riddler will blast Batman and Avesta with a sonic device repeatedly and render Avesta deaf.
    • At the end of Episode 3, The Pact (correctly or incorrectly, depending on your choices) accuses Bruce of stealing the Riddler's laptop. John gives Bruce the option of framing Catwoman (whom Bruce might be in a serious relationship with) to keep himself safe. If Bruce frames Catwoman, she gets an arm frozen to the point of immobility, and is jammed inside one of Riddler's murder boxes. If Bruce takes the fall to protect Catwoman, the Pact freezes him to his apparent death, and threatens to hurt Tiffany for what he's done, meaning that both she and possibly Alfred are now in serious trouble.
    • If John becomes a villain at the end of Episode 4, he triggers Harley's explosives, and three people are about to get crushed to death by debris: A civilian, a cop, and one of Waller's agents. You only have enough time to save two of them.
    • The final decision of the game likely tops all of those. During the conversation where Alfred reveals he's leaving, the Batsignal flares up. Bruce is given the choice to stop being Batman and give up his sense of self, or continue his vigilante crusade and give up his foster father.
  • Sarcastic Confession: When a woman at the casino asks Bruce what he's up to, this is one of your options.
    "Don't tell anyone, but, ah...I'm here undercover."
  • Save the Villain: This is what happens at the end of Episode 5 if the Villain route is taken. After the fight between Bruce and Joker leaves the latter beaten nearly to death, Bruce resuscitates Joker and saves his life, something that Joker is vocally confused by when he wakes up.
  • Sequel Hook: "I can't change the past, Bruce, but I can make sure our future is very, very bright!"
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The Pact hopes the Lotus Virus combined with Riddler's blood can synthesize a cure for their various ailments. While it's true it can be used to cure a person of their physical illnesses, its side effects result in insanity, rendering any positives in can cause pointless at best and dangerous at worst. This is especially ironic with Harley, as her entire reason behind wanting the virus is to cure her already pre-existing mental health issues.
  • Shout-Out: During the fight with Catwoman in Episode 3, one of the options to subdue her is "sweep the leg".
    • One of the achievements for Episode 5 is called "Funny or Die", in reference to the website.
  • Shmuck Bait: When Riddler's electric deathtrap is triggered in Episode 3, Bruce has the option to touch one of the tesla coils. This obviously kills Bruce instantly and leads to a Non Standard Game Over.
  • The Stinger: The Joker is shown in Arkham Asylum, his actions depending on what choices were made during the episode and the previous episode:
    • Vigilante Joker: If Bruce told Joker that they were friends, Bruce visits Joker in his cell. If Bruce told Joker that they were never friends and gave up Alfred, Joker spots Batman through his Asylum window and gleefully declares that nothing can keep enemies like them apart, foreshadowing their eternal rivalry. Batman grapples away as Joker laughs maniacally. If Bruce told Joker that they were never friends and gave up Batman, Joker spots the batsignal outside his Asylum window and smiles, but becomes enraged when the batsignal turns off and smashes a photo of him and Batman (or a random man with Bruce's face taped on if Batman refused to let John take a selfie).
    • Villain Joker: If Bruce told Joker that they had some good times, Joker draws a smile onto a doll he has of Bruce. If Bruce told Joker that he wishes that they had never met, Joker promises to make sure their future will be "very, very bright" and lights his doll of Bruce on fire.
  • Superhero Trophy Shelf: By the first episode, Bruce has already begun to form his usual collection of mementos from past enemies and case files, this time including Catwoman, Two-Face, Penguin, and Lady Arkham. If you bring Selina to the Batcave, she is a bit surprised to see her old goggles there, but she tells Bruce to keep them. By the end of the game, the collection now includes Joker (Vigilante or Villain), Mr. Freeze, Harley Quinn, Riddler, and Bane.
  • Time Skip: Takes place a year after the first season.
  • Too Happy to Live: The game opens with a reporter talking about how low crime has fallen in Gotham, and how ecstatic the populace is about the Gordon-Batman relationship. That's a clear indication shit is going to go down.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: In episode 5, during the Villainous Joker story arc, the clown is holding several people hostage at a sadistic dinner party, including Bruce and Alfred, Alfred making a tray of scones for the occasion. When the tray is smashed over Bruce's face, one of the scones falls on the table, smashed open to reveal one of Batman's electronic shock weapons. Considering this is a black puck with electric bolts noisily flying around it, you would think it would be noticed. However, neither Joker, Harley Quinn, or any of their goons see it, despite the former two sitting down at the table with it right in front of them. Also, if any of the other two dinner guests see it, they don't show it.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: While talking with John over coffee in "Fractured Mask", Bruce can urge John to be manipulative and play head games to get the relationship he wants with Harley, and to make people do as he wishes. Given how he's behaved up to this point, it's playing with fire, to say the least.
  • Video Game Caring Potential:
    • In Episode 2, as of this edit over 95% of players accepted John's pinky swear to be "friends for life".
    • In Episode 4, currently almost 94% of players showed Mr. Freeze compassion and lowered the temperature in the airlock.
  • Villainous Face Hold: 'The Joker is born' trailer and promotional images feature the Joker using the barrel of his gun to lift up the chin of a restrained Batman whilst bragging about how he's won.
    Joker: Maybe that's why you're so mad, because I'm on top; because I have you completely in my power.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Mori is publicly known as a philanthropist.
  • We Do Not Know Each Other: Bruce and Selina have to pretend to be strangers while working for the Pact. They're not always that convincing.
  • Wham Line:
    • The first episode ends with one.
      Waller: You and I will be working together very closely...Bruce Wayne.
    • The trailer for episode two sets up Bruce, John Doe and Harley Quinn as the main players...and then throws in one more right at the end. Before you even see them, the voice of Bane is instantly recognizable.
      "Stand up. This has only just begun."
    • A big one in Episode Three, if the player so decides:
      (To Tiffany) "I'm Batman."
    • John drops this bombshell in Episode 4, in one of three ways depending on your actions:
      John: [if you get John angry and dodge his attack] I know you can fight better than that! Or do you need to put on your bat suit to really get in the mood?
      [if you get John angry and punch him] I could have had you if not for that sucker-punch. Didn't think Batman fought dirty like that.
      [if you don't get John angry] You forget, I know you. The real you. Always hiding behind some kind of mask. Playboy, businessman, criminal. Bat. Ooooooooooh! Dun-dun-duuuuuuunnnn!
    • In Episode 5, the Riddler's killer is finally revealed in one of two ways depending on what path you're on:
      Tiffany: [on the Villain route] Joker's right. I killed Riddler.
      Tiffany: [on the Vigilante route] Waller didn't kill Riddler. I did.
  • Wham Shot: At the end of Episode 2, Bruce is given the honor of opening the case the Pact stole from the Agency. What's inside of it? What did they go to all that trouble to take from right under Waller's nose? Riddler's frozen corpse. Oh, and Catwoman is back.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The counteragent to Bane's venom that Waller gives Batman if he called her during episode 2 seems to be of no consequence and if it is covertly given to Bane and he is left behind and uses it at the end of the episode there does not seem to be any reaction by Bane or any other character in later episodes and the opportunity to give it to Bane in episode 2 may be the only one and it seems forgotten about.
    • The characters Eli Knable and Rumi Mori are never mentioned again after the first episode other than one sentence by Waller at the start of the second episode even though Rumi hints at getting retribution for Bruce's violent theft of the drive containing Riddler's location or rewarding Bruce for his cooperation.
  • Worf Had the Flu: To justify why Vigilante Joker is able to put up such a strong fight against Batman himself, Batman is still recovering from having a piece of rebar shoved through his side, and the wound acts up at inconvenient times throughout the fight.
  • Wrench Whack: In the first episode, Riddler's right hand attacks Batman with a hefty-looking wrench.