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"This city has a problem: some freak who thinks he's a hero. Luckily, there ain't a problem in the world that can't be solved with a little bit of money..."
Black Mask

The third game in the Batman: Arkham Series (but the first in the timeline), released worldwide October 25th, 2013.

Set eight years before Joker takes over Arkham Asylum, Batman is in his second year as a crimefighter. Notorious crime boss Black Mask has offered a substantial reward to anyone who can kill the Dark Knight. On Christmas Eve, eight of the world's deadliest assassins gather in Gotham City to collect Black Mask's bounty. At the same time, a number of corrupt cops in the GCPD are also looking to claim the reward. Batman must learn why Black Mask wants him dead, fight off his assassins, and prove to Gotham that he is a hero to be trusted.

Notably, Rocksteady did not develop the game - instead, WB Games Montreal (who did the Wii U port for Arkham City) took up the reins, allowing Rocksteady to focus on making Batman: Arkham Knight. Similarly, the voice actors for Batman and Joker, Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill, have been replaced by Roger Craig Smith and Troy Baker respectively. Both voice actors do admirable impersonations of their predecessors, reflecting the game's status as a prequel.

The PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game also include multiplayer. Players must take control of armed thugs in the Joker or Bane's gang, and try to kill each other while also fighting off two players stalking them as Batman and Robin.

A story-based DLC, "Cold, Cold Heart," was released on April 22nd, 2014. It focuses on Batman's first encounter with Mr. Freeze, heavily based on the episode "Heart of Ice" from Batman: The Animated Series.

The teaser trailer can be viewed here, and the first gameplay trailer can be viewed here.

This game contains examples of:

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  • 100% Completion:
    • It is nigh impossible to perform a 100% completion run on a first playthrough barring meticulous planning and in at least two cases outright exploiting a glitch or workaround. Some of the most glaring examples are:
      • The 'Worst Nightmare' challenges due to predator rooms not respawning after completing them in the main story. The most frustrating of these is the exotic takedown challenge, which requires you do an explosive gel, vent, hanging ledge and corner takedown. It can only be completed in the Merchant's Bank because it's the only location with both heavy walls for an explosive gel takedown, and ledges that can be used for hanging ledge takedown. There is a second predator encounter here as part of a side quest, but not only is it harder to pull off, but if you destroyed both walls already or popped off all the vents, it becomes impossible because they don't respawn. As a fun added bonus, the game tells you to perform a ledge takedown, but only a hanging ledge takedown counts. Finally, if you manage to complete an encounter, then discover you missed the challenge, you can't just reset, because the game autosaves.
      • The final rank of 'Gotham Protector' due to no Crime in Progress spawning on the Pioneer Bridge except for one point VERY early in the story where players would definitely not have reached that point in the challenge yet if not on a New Game Plus. If you want to do it after that, you have to go into a neighboring area, beat up most of a gang, and lure the last guy into an area that's considered part of the "Pioneer Bridge" sector.
    • One of the Gotham Communication towers originally could not be completed without glitching, because Batman could not climb up a critical vent. This has since been fixed in a patch.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: When Batman reveals that he just temporarily stopped Bane's heart instead of killing him in order to Take a Third Optionnote , Joker scowls and deems it not funny. When he's being taken away in the ending cutscene, however, his opinion on the matter changes and he laughs it off.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The story incorporates parts of Batman: Year One, The Long Halloween, Legends of the Dark Knight, and The Killing Joke.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: At one point, Bane tells Batman that with him dead he'll finally find peace. Part of Bane's backstory is that as a child, he was tormented by nightmares of a giant bat, one of the reasons he went to Gotham. The other mercenaries have taken up the bounty for the money, a chance to cause havoc, or to test Batman, but the game never explains why Bane seems to take his conflict with Batman more personally than the other assassins do.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: In the comics, Black Mask, Bane, Bird, Anarky, Lady Shiva, and Deathstroke all came into conflict with Batman and/or his allies after at least Dick Grayson became Robin (and in the case of most of them, after he became Nightwing, too) and Barbara Gordon became Batgirl. Here, they're among Bruce's earliest enemies.
  • Adaptational Jerkass:
    • Ferris Boyle in the "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC. In the original "Heart of Ice" story, he was willing to let someone die because of the bottom line, but overall the story had him as an Asshole Victim Batman had to save from Freeze's revenge. In this version, he was a lot more sinister in motives and the backstory reveals he recruited Victor Fries for weapons development in exchange for helping his wife, which he had no intention of actually doing. In addition, Boyle had his wife captive, and retrieving her is Freeze's real motivation in this story. After Batman subdues Freeze, Boyle restrains Batman in ice and tries to kill Freeze to leave no witnesses, thus the final moment is escaping the ice and taking down Boyle before he can finish the job.
    • Kirigi from the "Initiation" DLC is a mild example. While the DLC has him an indifferent Jerkass at worst, his comics counterpart was one of the most pacifistic mentors Batman ever had (Denny O'Neil's Knightfall novelization mentions he stopped training Bruce because Bruce refused to forsake violence forever).
  • Adaptational Villainy: While closer to his comic book counterpart than Beware the Batman, this depiction of Anarky is still an insane terrorist who doesn't value people's lives.
  • Affably Evil:
    • Riddler is far more courteous as Enigma then he is in Asylum and City. He even seems to consider Batman a Worthy Opponent. That said, we can see the shapings of a Villainous Breakdown that likely led to his Riddler persona in the previous (chronologically later) games, especially later in his storyline.
    • In the "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC, one of the goons who breaks into Ferris Boyle's company has a surprisingly cordial conversation with one of the hostages, and acts positively giddy about the cool technology that Boyle is developing.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Near the end of the game, Bane deduces Batman's identity and attacks the Batcave.
  • Almighty Janitor: Basically what Alfred is. He basically does everything in this game from synthesising cures to pinning locations on your map, to sending the flying batcopter for you.
  • Almost Dead Guy: When Bane breaks into the Bat Cave and beats Alfred to death, he taunts Batman that he'll have enough time for last words if he hurries. Fortunately, Bruce uses the shock gloves to revive Alfred.
  • Ambiguous Time Period:
    • Par for the course for comic adaptations due to Comic-Book Time. But Origins is even more noticeable than usual because it is a prequel to Asylum and City and yet technology seems to be more advanced than ever. Barbara Gordon even lampshades this trope at one point by sarcastically asking the cops "What decade do you think we're in?"
    • The PS3 exclusive Knightfall DLC takes this even further, to the point of becoming Schrödinger's Canon. The game gives you the batsuit used by Jean-Paul Valley, the first Azrael, and five challenge maps/one campaign that's loosely based on the storyline the DLC is named after. The loading screens suggest that the Valley batsuit is canon to these maps and one of the maps is called "Azrael does not protect" suggesting you're playing as Valley (it helps that the suit covers Wayne's face entirely) or at least a Composite Character of Wayne and Valley. However, Bane's off-screen presence makes it's near impossible to place the campaign anywhere on the timeline, since either a version of Knightfall happened before Origins (highly unlikely), or Bane somehow regained enough intelligence to make plans again after his brain damage, only to revert back to idiocy before Asylum. That said, it's hard to say whether the whole thing is even meant to be canon in the first place, especially since the campaign can be played as Deathstroke and pre-Batman Bruce Wayne, which would make even less sense if they were canon.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: Joker makes a makeshift one in the penthouse of a hotel he's taken over.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: For a small flashback scene, you play as the Joker. And not just any point of the Joker: the Red Hood one from The Killing Joke.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: A standard for the franchise, character skins are Downloadable Content that can be used in the campaign after finishing the main plot, as well as on challenge maps beforehand. These include ones for Batman, Robin, and Deathstroke. Unusually for the series, however, there are also skins for completing elements of the game itself, such as Batman One Million (Worst Nightmare has since been removed according to Word of God). Particularly notable is the sheer NUMBER of costumes, 12 pre-orders, and coupled with all of the available multiplayer skins, the one known unlockable skin, and the Adam West and Knightfall Batman pack, that puts the total number of available Batsuits at 24.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: In-universe, Electrocutioner. He doesn't even try to attack before Batman kicks him in the head, he just taunts him.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature:
    • Whereas City forced players to prioritize their attacks to avoid knocking out Riddler's informants, the Data Handlers in this installment merely surrender after the necessary amount of punishment. They're even immune to all of Batman's special instant takedowns, so Bruce will instead automatically target other enemies over them, even those farther away.
    • During the Deathstroke battle, getting too close to a wall will trigger an automatically-countered grapple that moves Deathstroke more towards the middle of the arena, preventing any awkward camera angles that could mess you up.
    • Intentionally or not, the costume unlocked by beating all ambient dark knight challenges is made available in all save files - even future ones - once you unlock it once.
    • The mere inclusion of the Grapnel Boost — this time around referred to as the Grapnel Accelerator to distinguish it from its successor — is this, since South Gotham contains much taller buildings than Arkham City and therefore would be much more tedious to navigate without it. There's also the massive bridge between North and South Gotham to contend with, which Batman even lampshades the first time the player crosses it.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: When one of Killer Croc's henchmen mentions he doesn't believe Batman exists, another guy points out that not only does he work for a nine-foot-tall reptile man, but that his boss was just taken down by Batman an hour ago.
  • Arc Welding: Downplayed. In Arkham City, the Joker asks, in one of his spiels, "How come it all ended in a church?" The intent of the line was most likely a swipe toward Lost, but Batman and the Joker's final encounter in this game is in a chapel, retroactively turning a simple Shout-Out into a Continuity Nod.
  • Armor Is Useless: Subverted. While in-game Batman is about as durable against various attacks as seen before, a few cutscenes explicitly show the armor cracking as it deflects a few bullets. It's especially interesting as this design looks to be more hard armor strapped together rather than the more flexible fabric armor seen in the Asylum and City games.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Once activated, the Shock Gloves allow you to plow through enemy defenses like shields with ease.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The collector's edition includes GCPD bulletins on the assassins. Killer Croc's crimes are Burglary - Forcible Entry, Aggravated Assault, and Theft From Coin Operated Device.
  • Artifact Title: While Arkham Asylum itself doesn't show up, this game serves as the "Origins" of the Arkhamverse via many Continuity Nods and, more importantly, the significance of Arkham Asylum in the mythology. After the events of this game, Quincy Sharp is heard in an interview demanding the re-opening of Arkham because of the ineffectiveness of Blackgate Prison in dealing with the Joker and other super-villains. In addition, one of the Cyrus Pinkney journals talks about Pinkney designing the asylum for his good friend, Amadeus Arkham. It also has The Joker getting sent to the newly re-opened Arkham Asylum, after the jailbreak and massive damage he caused to Blackgate Prison shows that he cannot be held amongst the main prison population.
    • Subverted for the ‘Origins’ part. While the game doesn’t delve too deeply into the actual origins of Batman or Joker like Batman Begins, the series as a whole places a primary focus on the conflict between Batman and Joker, and documents the start of their decade long war.
  • Artificial Stupidity: There is at least one area in the game where, if you get on the railing, the mooks will out and out stop attacking, rarely picking up a brick and chucking it at you, and sometimes enemies will completely ignore you. This video highlights some of the worst cases.
  • As the Good Book Says...: During the Predator Challenge aboard the Final Offer, Alberto Falcone's bodyguard quotes Matthew 5:5 in saying, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" - insinuating that although the family is currently struggling with running their crime empire, they will arise as the victor in the ongoing turf wars. One of Penguin's goons, not familiar with the proverb, mishears the word "meek" as "weak" and instead thinks he's insulting him.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Black Mask plays a prominent role in this game, despite the miniscule cameos that he makes in the Rocksteady games.
    • Deathstroke had formerly made an appearance in Arkham City: Lockdown, but only as a single and very short boss fight. His appearance here gives him much more plot relevance. Including The Stinger where he's implied to take Amanda Waller's offer to join the Suicide Squad.
    • Mad Hatter's segment of the game is much longer and more elaborate than in Arkham City, and he's also one of the overseers for several non-story Predator Challenges.
    • Bane's appearance in Asylum was more Small Role, Big Impact, and his appearance in City was far less substantial. Here, he's one of the main villains who almost succeeds in truly defeating Batman physically and emotionally, and fights him thrice in one night.
  • Assassination Attempt: The plot of Arkham Origins comes down to a young Batman surviving eight of these while catching the man who put a price on his head, Black Mask, a mob boss who has an interest in keeping crime high in Gotham.
    • Killer Croc happens to meet Batman in Blackgate prison and fails to beat him in a bare knuckle brawl.
    • The Electrocutioner boastfully confronts Batman in Penguin's Final Offer ship arena while showing off his electrical gloves. Batman kicks him in the face and he goes down in that one blow.
    • Deathstroke attacks Batman in Penguin's Final Offer ship's arena and engages him in a three-phase duel using his bo staff, katana and grappling hook to no avail.
    • Lady Shiva turns out to have no interest in assassination or even the money itself, calling it a mere "consolation prize", and only seeks to test Batman's abilities for her master.
    • Copperhead catches Batman off-guard and injects him with a toxic hallucinogen. She waits a few minutes for it to really kick in before engaging him, but he manages to cure himself thanks to Alfred's air-dropped cure and takes her down.
    • Deadshot holds a man hostage in the Gotham Bank, and orders Batman to confront him or have blood on his hands. Batman sneaks around the bank and silently takes down Deadshot and his goons.
    • Firefly is one of the last assassins to confront Batman. That's because he spent the night setting bombs up along the Pioneer's Bridge, forcing Batman to work with the GCPD to defuse the bombs while avoiding Firefly so he doesn't blow the bridge to hell as soon as he sees Batman on it.
    • And lastly, there's the most dangerous of the assassins, Bane. He tries to take Batman head-on at the Royal Hotel before the fight gets broken up by the GCPD. Later, Bane forces Batman into a situation where he either has to die or kill one of his enemies, hoping to play on his "Thou Shalt Not Kill" policy. Batman tricks the Joker in order to get out of that, prompting Bane to take an extreme dose of his strength enhancing drug "TN-1"", turning him into a snarling monster. Even then, Batman manages to fight and defeat the final assassin.
  • Assassin Outclassin':
    • Beating eight different hired killers (plus other assorted bad guys and henchmen) over the course of one night, all without breaking your "one rule"... now that's class.
    • There are actually achievements for defeating Deathstroke without missing a counter, and Lady Shiva without taking any damage.
  • An Asskicking Christmas:
    • The game takes place on Christmas Eve. Partway through the game midnight strikes, so it technically pushes into Christmas itself as well.
    • The "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC occurs on New Year's Eve, so the holiday season hasn't even ended yet.
  • Asymmetric Multiplayer: While Bane and Joker factions are playing a fairly standard point-control deathmatch, a third faction of Batman and Robin play the predator gameplay from singleplayer, trying to terrify their enemies into giving up.
  • Axe-Crazy: The Joker's really always been this, but his psychopahty has dialed up to eleven in this game. See the part where he kills the Electricutioner for instance.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Batman does this with Captain James Gordon at one point in the Blackgate Prison level.
  • Badass Boast: When Alfred tries to stop Bruce by pointing out that Batman is not some hardened vigilante, he gets an awesome retort.
    Batman: While you are in here every night, I am out there...the only thing between the innocent and the predatory!
    Alfred: You may be, but —
    Batman: [interrupts] No, not 'may be'! I am! When the mugger or the thief stops to think twice, that is fear. That is what I am. That is why they hired assassins. Because I am the reason that criminals breathe easier when the sun rises. So no, Alfred, I am NOT in over my head! Tonight will not be my end. But it will be theirs!
  • Badass Longcoat: Several appear, most notably Bane's and Joker's. Batman's cape, although not technically a coat, has the same aesthetic function.
  • Bad Boss: It's almost impossible to find a good boss anywhere in this game. Bad boss examples include:
    • After taking over the Gotham City Royal Hotel, Joker puts a few of his own men inside various deathtraps as hostages for Batman to save. When he manages to escape and save them, Joker decides to just kill his chief architect for incompetence instead.
    • During his boss encounter, Deadshot will constantly threaten and harass his henchmen with his laser sight as they patrol the Bank of Gotham. Once defeated, his mooks will abandon the fight and flee faster than the hostage does.
    • Firefly's own men openly admit they can't trust a psychopath like him and worry that they won't be able to get clear of his bombs before he just decides to blow them up for fun. As one goon mentions to Branden, the only way they know he hasn't already is because the explosive caches are large enough to be heard across town.
    • Bane treats his followers much better than the other villains, but he also uses them in his experiments in making a new form of Venom, and his guinea pigs are implied to have all died in various ways. However, Bane's followers do say that laying down their lives for Bane's cause is an honor, so that might lessen his position under this trope.
    • The closest anyone gets to a good boss is Commissioner Loeb, if only because he condones the cops' illegal activities. Of course, he also wants to kill Gordon just for not being corrupt, but still.
    • To be fair, Gordon is on the fast track to the boss’s chair, and is probably the straightest arrow in Gotham. In an inversion of this trope, Gordon becoming commissioner would make him a bad boss to all the joyfully corrupt cops in GCPD.
  • Bad Guy Bar: The club called My Alibi, where Batman confronts Bird.
  • Bag of Spilling:
    • Retroactively for the later games. When asked where some of Batman's cool gadgets will go for the chronologically later games, the developers said that he just happened to not bring them along those nights. Though it is hinted that Batman used the Remote Claw's reel to complete the Line Launcher, and it is confirmed in Knight that Batman eventually turned the Shock Gloves in to the police as evidence.
    • Subverted in the "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC. The suit Bruce uses for the first half of the game is the fully-upgraded Batsuit from the end of the main game. One gadget (the Glue Grenades) is explicitly described as not working because the compound used to make the glue disintegrated not long after the night of the main story, but several other minor armor and weapon upgrades are not present.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Not only Batman and Deathstroke, but there are Elite Mooks in the game that are trained Martial Artists, and those take a bit more effort than the standard Mooks.
  • Better than a Bare Bulb: Subverted. Acting as an Audience Surrogate, Alfred points out that, since the assassins are being sent to hunt him down tonight and nobody knows his secret identity, all Batman has to do is chill out at Wayne Manor. Batman points out that the assassins will draw him out by attacking innocents, so it's better for him to be proactive and engage on his own terms. He's proven correct when Firefly attacks Pioneer Bridge and is further vindicated when he finds Bane's lair and sees from the gathered evidence that Bane had already figured out that Batman is Bruce Wayne.
  • Big Bad: Black Mask, the crook offering $50,000,000 to the person who can put down the Bat for good. Except it's the Joker, who's posing as him.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: A very unusual example, in that the assassin Bane and his employer appear at first to be a case of Non-Action Big Bad and Dragon-in-Chief, but it becomes clear through dialogue and audio recordings that Bane's agenda is entirely unrelated to collecting Black Mask's bounty, and his actions are very much his own.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Bane calling Joker "payaso" (Spanish for clown).
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • Batman has defeated false Black Mask (the Joker) and his assassins, ingratiated himself with the police, and managed to make Gotham less of a hellhole, but true Black Mask's fall leads to a power vacuum in Gotham's underworld that a certain clown steps in to fill, and we all know how that goes.
    • The DLC "Cold, Cold Heart" has one, too, though on more uplifting note. Yes, Batman defeats Mr. Freeze and surrenders also both Penguin and Boyle to the police, Mayor Hill resigns, and James Gordon is on his way to become police commissioner, but Mr. Freeze has become Batman's new enemy, and he eventually will fail to save Nora.
  • Blatant Lies: When Gordon confronts Batman in the GCPD, he tries to claim the moral hogh ground buly saying that the police are legitimate and have earned the city's trust and respect, when he full well knows that the precint is corrupt to the core and the citizens see no difference between the cops and the criminals.
  • Bloodstained Glass Windows:
    • One optional battle with Black Mask takes place in the Gotham Cathedral, the same one that Riddler vandalized years later in Arkham City.
    • The final battle takes place in a chapel, and the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown Batman delivers takes the fight from the altar, through the pews and right into one of the chapel's stained glass windows. The chapel is located within Blackgate Prison and Batman's opponent is the Joker.
  • Bond One-Liner: Though they don't die, Batman has a tendency of quipping a bit more in this game to his villains.
    Killer Croc: Wait 'till Black Mask's assassins get through with you. Whoever wins is gonna be famous! And rich!
    Batman: (punches him unconscious) At least we know they won't be ugly.
  • Book Ends: The story begins and ends with Blackgate Prison. And both missions there end with Gordon having Batman at gunpoint but failing to capture him. Series-wise, this game, which deals with the start of the Batman/Joker feud in the Arkhamverse, ends the same way Arkham City, which saw the end of the feud before Arkham Knight: the Joker singing.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick:
    • Joker loves to spoil the beauty of Christmas with his violence, which he verbally does after seeing Batman defeat an assassin.
      Joker: Well, I'd love to stay and celebrate your victory, but I've got stockings to stuff, mistletoe to hang - and about fifteen skyscrapers to blow up before sunrise. Ciao.
    • A minor example can be found in Black Mask's safehouse apartment. In the kitchen area, you can see hanging from the wall a standard set of cooking knives... and a bone saw.
  • Brick Joke: During "Cold, Cold Heart," an angered Batman declares to Alfred that he'll have Mr. Freeze "wheeled into (Blackgate) on a gurney" for kidnapping Ferris Boyle, who at the time was still considered a friend to Bruce. Near the end of the story, after discovering the truth, Alfred sardonically asks if Batman "still requires that gurney." Batman does...but not for Freeze, this time.
  • Broken Faceplate: Deathstroke's mask gets punched off at one point during his fight with Batman. Batman also does it to Firefly after their battle.
  • Broken Pedestal: Ferris Boyle, who Bruce and the other citizens of Gotham looked up to as an inspirational leader of industry, is revealed by New Year's Day to be a ruthless, greed-driven extortionist and attempted murderer.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • "Loose Lips" is first beaten up by Batman, then choked until he passes out, then dropped off a roof by Batman, then captured by the GCPD, then interrogated by Batman again and threatened to drop him off a roof again, then knocked unconscious. It's just not his night. It becomes a Running Gag in the "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC when Batman runs into Loose Lips again at the My Alibi club, and the latter pleads not to be thrown off a roof again before the former knocks him unconscious.
    • The Electrocutioner's fight with Batman results in him being knocked out with little effort. Though he manages to escape before Batman can incarcerate him, it's not long thereafter that the Joker uses him for a lethal punchline.
  • Call-Forward:
  • The Cameo: At the start of the game, Calendar Man is saved from the gas chamber. Where he goes after that is anyone's guess. It's Christmas time, and what is Calendar Man to do? His "Christmas special."
  • Came Back Wrong: Cyrus Pinkney, the founder of Gotham City. He was poisoned by Henry Cobblepot, saved by Amadeus Arkham, and then became obsessed with revenge.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • Harleen Quinzel's first meeting with Joker contradicts the story portrayed by her tapes in Batman: Arkham Asylum. (To be more precise, the meeting takes place at Blackgate rather than Arkham, and she, for the most part, lacks the more pronounced "Harley" voice which she had in those tapes - however, this version is actually more in line with the original scene.)
  • Carnival of Killers: The plot of the game is that the Black Mask has placed a bounty on Batman's head, which leads to eight assassins hunting Batman on Christmas Eve.
  • Casting Gag:
  • Chaos of the Bells: "Carol of the Bells" is used as the Joker's theme, played when he commits his acts of terrorism on Gotham on Christmas Eve. It also plays upon the completion of a Crime in Progress.
  • Character Development: Part of the story involves Batman realizing that he can't fight crime by himself, and understanding his need to have at least one ally.
    • Gordon meanwhile goes from insisting that the police can handle the situation to realizing that Batman's help is needed.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In his blustering, Electrocutioner brags that he'll kill Batman, use his gauntlets as a defibrillator to resuscitate him, and then kill him again. Batman ends up using them as a defibrillator to revive Alfred after Bane's attack on the Batcave, and does the entire "stop and restart heart" routine to Take a Third Option at the end of the game.
    • It's mentioned that the experimental TN-1 can cause memory loss if used too much. Guess what helps keep Bruce's secret safe after his second go-round with Bane.
  • Climax Boss:
    • Bane, a far cry from previous encounters in the series, serves as the last great physical challenge to the player before they have a cutscene-driven encounter with the over-arcing villain of the story. It involves a challenging one-on-one duel, a second phase where Bane begins to make use of hordes of minions, and a final segment that requires the player's to use stealth to finish the job.
    • The fight against Deathstroke is clearly one of the most intense and climatic ones in the game.
  • Clothing Damage:
    • The Dark Knight simply can't make a cape last the night, apparently. By the end of the game, it's so full of bullet holes and tears that it's a wonder he can still glide.
    • His armor takes a beating too, showing various scratches, bullet holes, and a metallic finish underneath. This is doubtless by design, indicating its lower tech level compared to the later armors. That said though, this suit doesn't get holes torn in it like the previous games.
  • The Coats Are Off: During the Batman vs. Bane fight in the Royal Hotel, Bane dramatically shrugs off his Badass Longcoat, then proceeds to kick Bat for a while.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Batman does this in an early conversation between him and Alfred.
    Alfred: If children look out their window to see who is pattering across their rooftop, they'll expect Santa Claus, not some black-clad bat-creature.
    Batman: I don't patter.
    Alfred: (loud sigh)
  • The Commissioner Gordon: Noticeably not nearly as accommodating, or actually Commissioner yet. This game is partly the story of how the Trope Namer became as such.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Penguin doesn't have his monocle yet, given he hasn't been in the altercation that caused it.
    • Amusement Mile is still above water as the earthquake that sank it hasn't happened yet.
    • Batman's fight against Deathstroke in the trailer also has him performing a few moves that would be seen in the chronologically later games. Like using the Batclaw to pull an opponent towards him and strike. He also performs a long-range flying kick, a staple of the series' Freeflow Combat style.
    • Batman cannot punch down wooden barriers himself, something that he's unable to do until City.
    • Joker likes stuffing TVs over people's heads, the same way he did in Arkham Asylum, though this time none of them are him in disguise.
    • In Arkham City, Alfred requests that Batman should get a bigger utility belt, which he denies because he felt it slowed him down. In this game, there are more tools for the Dark Knight to use - meaning a bigger utility belt is a necessity.
    • Dick Grayson is Robin in the multiplayer mode, since this takes place years before. Posters advertising Haly's Circus & the Flying Graysons as coming soon can be found in various places in Gotham, and Tony Zucco's name can be found as a person of interest on one of the walls in the GCPD — Zucco being the man who kills the Graysons.
    • The Batmobile appears in the Batcave, still under construction.
    • Likewise, a half-finished Line Launcher appears on Bruce's workbench when he gets the Concussion Detonator.
    • Bane's physical appearance is more like a normal person's than the hulking brute in Asylum and City, due to him not being used as a Titan test subject yet, only using the standard Venom; Batman noted in Asylum that he was more powerful on Titan than he was prior. Though TN-1 appears to be somewhat of a prototype to the Titan formula, and changes Bane to the same approximate size and proportions to his appearances in the other games.
    • Killer Croc appears, smaller, less powerful, and less bestial than in Asylum and City. Here, Batman's able to fight Croc on more equal terms, whereas in Asylum, he stood no chance against him in a straight-up fight.
    • Edward Nigma is introduced prior to adopting his Riddler persona, instead acting as a hacker using the handle "Enigma."
    • Batman's fight against Deathstroke has him countering Deathstroke's sword strikes with his gauntlets in the same way he did in his fight against Ra's Al Ghul in Arkham City.
    • Likewise, he also rescues the Mad Hatter's hostage using the reverse batarang in the same manner he would later use to save Talia from Ra's.
    • The story shows us the first meeting of Joker and Harley Quinn, whilst she's still a psychiatrist. During this session, we actually get to see how Joker perceives his origins, and they seem to be exactly how he describes them to Hugo Strange (who dismissed his story as a lie) in Arkham City (a version of The Killing Joke).
    • Likewise, the scene in which Flashback!Joker fights his foes in a Dance Battler way is a nod to the Melee Challenge Map fights in the PlayStation 3-only Joker DLC, while the scene where the pre-Joker Red Hood walks across contorted walkways at the Ace Chemical Plant (and the following hallucination walkway that Batman walks through in the Batcave) is a nod to one of the Scarecrow's Mind Screw segments in the main story, all from Arkham Asylum.
    • TN-1, a permanent, super-enhanced Deadly Upgrade version of Venom that deteriorates memory in the process of Hulking Out, is the formula that is ultimately perfected into Titan, the Psycho Serum enhanced version of Venom created from Bane's blood in Asylum and continuing to affect the world in City.
    • Scribbled on the wall in Calendar Man's cell in Blackgate are references to the holiday murders he'd remind Batman about whenever he visited Day in Arkham City. His absence in the main game is presumably due to him hunting down and killing Judge Harkness, the judge who slated him for execution even after Day had been declared insane. (Or rather, was so desperate to slate him for execution that Warden Joseph pressured Harleen Quinzel to change her evaluation of him to "sane," so that they could legally give him the death penalty.)
    • In a Freeze-Frame Bonus, it's shown the GCPD's walkie-talkies come from military contractor / equipment manufacturer TYGER.
    • Dr. Penelope Young, still just a practicing psychiatrist, has an office in Lacey Towers.
    • The hallway in Wayne Manor where you first gain control of Bruce in "Cold, Cold Heart" is very similar in appearance to the hallway in Arkham Asylum which becomes "Wayne Manor" to kick off the second Scarecrow hallucination.
  • Continuity Snarl: When adapting Branden from Batman: Year One, he was given a first name, which wasn't revealed in Year One, its Animated Adaptation, or in his brief appearance in Dark Victory. However, while his in-game bio states it's "Howard," according to a radio transmission the player can pick up on the Cryptographic Sequencer in "Cold, Cold Heart," his first name is "Scott."
  • Controlled Helplessness: Subverted. It initially appears that the fight with Copperhead will take place after Batman recovers from his poisoning, since it's so deadly, akin to the Titan poison segments in City. However, Batman does fight Copperhead before he can get his antidote, albeit with frequent pauses due to his deteriorating condition.
  • Conveniently Empty Building: Invoked by the Joker. He purposefully blows up a construction site with no people in it (he thinks) because it was "blocking his view." He does, however, assure that the next building he plans to blow up isn't empty.
  • Copy-and-Paste Environments: Subverted. The northern half of the map consists of the same area that Batman explored in Arkham City, but with major structural changes as the villains obviously have yet to make a home there.
  • Cosmetically-Advanced Prequel:
    • Batman's suit is visually more impressive than in the previous games, ditches the Underwear of Power (or, in the series' chronological order, he decides to wear them once he gets older). This was done to show a less refined Batman, wearing a heavily armored and bulkier suit to deal with threats in a more direct manner. It is also intended to look like he is kit-bashing his equipment together, thus the more complex look is actually intended to represent a less technologically advanced Batsuit than the simpler, smoother, sleeker, fabric-like version seen in previous games.
    • Deathstroke as well, considering his appearance in Arkham City: Lockdown. His character model was essentially reused from Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, meaning it looked identical to his classic comic appearances. Deathstroke's design here is given a true "Arkham-style" makeover, featuring him with sleek, hard-edged armor. Lockdown's canonicity is disputed, however.
    • Some gadgets like the remote claw and glue grenade are incredibly useful in gameplay and don't appear in later canonicity, but the developers commented that it is well established that Batman has so many gadgets he doesn't take all of them out every night, explaining their absence. The remote claw is useful but not as versatile as the line launcher, as he most likely used the reel from the remote claw to perfect it, the grapnel boost has mild differences to the grapnel accelerator, it's stated in Arkham Knight that Batman eventually turns the shock gloves into the police as evidence, while things like the "scrubbing mode" for Detective Vision is pure Gameplay and Story Segregation since he can do it in later games but the fine controls are not available to the player. (He does use it again in Arkham Knight, albeit only once). The glue grenade chemical compound disintegrated before the events of "Cold Cold Heart" according to Alfred, further suggesting a constant evolution of gadgets rather than conveniently not having them.
  • The Cover Changes the Meaning: Apparently, the Joker's version of Hank Williams' "Cold, Cold Heart" (performed by Troy Baker) has turned a brokenhearted love ballad into a crazy Obsession Song. Many of the words are changed slightly: "Another love before my time made your heart sad and blue / And so my heart is paying now for things I didn't do" in the original becomes "Another crime before my time made your heart sad and blue / And so now you make me pay for things I didn't do"; and "The more I learn to care for you the more we drift apart" becomes "You won't admit that we're the same, and it's tearing me apart!" The entire third verse is changed from the original so it now reads like this:
    You'll never know how much it hurts
    To never see you smile.
    You know you need and want to laugh,
    Yet you claim it's not your style.
    Why do you hide behind that mask?
    I'm trying to do my part!
    Why can't I free your doubtful mind
    And melt your cold, cold heart?
  • Covert Pervert: The boys down in the SWAT division have adjusted their security camera feeds to monitor places of interest — the holding cells, the bullpen, the women's locker room...
  • Crime After Crime: Several of the murders Batman can investigate over the course of the game were committed to keep someone from reporting on or testifying about another crime.
  • Crow's Nest Cartography: Jammed transmission towers Batman needs to hack in order to unlock fast travel serve this purpose.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • The fight with Electrocutioner at the Final Offer...really more just a single curb stomp than a battle. And he doesn't even get a chance at a rematch given the Joker just throws him off a window before Batman can get to him.
    • The fight with Copperhead is also over very quickly once Batman receives the antidote to her hallucinogenic poison from Alfred.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: A very glaring example. When fighting TN-1 Bane, Alfred mentions that he's constantly growing stronger and will soon be able to kill Bruce with just one blow. As soon as the fight is won, Bane throws Batman across the hallway hard enough to fracture the wall he slams into, delivers two enormous punches straight to his midsection, and smashes him through a foot of concrete — an assault that, regardless of body armor, should've rendered his organs into paste.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: The PS3 version reverses the trigger controls compared to Arkham City; so in the middle of a fight, meaning to quick-fire a Batarang, one can easily switch on Detective Vision by mistake.
  • Darker and Edgier: The setting in general, since it's before the supervillains arrive; morality in general is skewed and there are a lot of on-screen deaths. The Joker in this incarnation is primarily this before he establishes his long-running obsession with Batman. As such, he's portrayed less as an Actually Pretty Funny (if still evil) prankster, and more as a completely Ax-Crazy Mood-Swinger who could murder someone for saying even one word wrong, along with Suddenly Shouting tendencies. When we first meet him, he introduces himself by giving someone a brutal beating, and we get to see the creepy-as-fuck effects of his laughing gas. Batman himself is also much angrier and brutal due to his youth and inexperience and everyone, criminal and civilian alike, is terrified of him due to his Shrouded in Myth status. Actually averted atmospherically. The lighting in this game is so bright and so frequent that the battles are mostly actually pretty hard, because you don't see the counter icon over enemy head so easily. The games really get brighter and brighter, with Asylum being dark horror asylum, City kinda bordering on steampunk prison with all the nifty supernatural things like Solomon Grundy and Wonder City, and lastly Origins. Arkham Knight slides back to the Asylum feel.
  • Dark Reprise: The menu music features a very dark rendition of "Carol of the Bells." This also serves as the Joker's Leitmotif.
  • Darkest Hour: Bane's attack on the Batcave briefly kills Alfred and briefly almost breaks the Bat emotionally, though not physically, causing him to almost completely give up being Batman. Some choice words from Alfred, Joker's breakout from Blackgate Prison, and Gordon's plea for aid from anyone possible neatly puts a stop to that.
  • Dead Man Writing: The Cyrus Pinkney sidequest, which revolves around searching out hidden pages of his journal regarding his impending murder at the hands of Henry Cobblepot. Subverted in that Cyrus was able to fake his death in such a way that made it seem that Cobblepot had succeeded in poisoning him...before he turned around and killed Cobblepot.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Alfred is the most notable; he and Batman have this nice instance of Snark-to-Snark Combat.
    Alfred: So you've decided not to test it, sir?
    Batman: It's called field testing, Alfred.
  • Death Faked for You: Bane is a walking tank, and needs to be stunned three times in a row to even scratch him (and that’s when he’s not using Venom). However, Batman’s shock gloves can cut straight through every single defense Bane can put up which proves instrumental in faking Bane’s death in the ending.
  • Demoted to Extra: The Joker, who was the Big Bad in Arkham Asylum and part of the Big Bad Ensemble in Arkham City, is claimed to be a lesser villain in this game so that Black Mask could have a major role. Trailers Always Lie. The Joker's actually the Big Bad while Black Mask has more of a minor role, though Black Mask still has a much bigger role than the previous titles.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • During the Deathstroke boss fight, if Batman manages to back him up against a wall, Deathstroke performs an unblockable move that causes Batman to throw him back into the open area. This prevents the player from making the boss fight too easy and stops Deathstroke’s attacks, which mostly involve his staff and thus have a wide berth, from glitching into the wall.
    • When you are trying to find Penguin early in the game, you will need to take down one of Enigma's towers to get the chance to decrypt Penguin's communications. However, if you have already taken it down, you will be able to immediately go after Penguin.
    • In Cold Cold Heart, Batman and Alfred's dialogue will change depending on if the side missions are completed before the main story. If they are not, Batman will tell Alfred that there is still work to be done. If the side missions are all completed before you finish the main story, Batman will tell Alfred he is free to turn in and he may watch over South Gotham for the rest of the night.
    • If Batman does a silent takedown while the Shock Gloves are activated, they are automatically deactivated. This might be done more for appearances than any gameplay mechanics, so players will not be wondering how harmless the takedown can be if Batman is holding an electrified gauntlet over the mook's mouth for several seconds.
  • Dirty Cop: A large number of them are coming after Batman, headed up by Branden, a crooked SWAT official who's managed to broker a deal with Sionis. In addition to ignoring their duties as police to earn the bounty on Batman's head, they abuse and beat innocent homeless men for their own amusement, extort money from street gangs, and gang up and harass lone unarmed criminals; they're so bad that thugs on the street mention joining because it's such a good racket. One of Nigma's extortion tapes mentions that Gordon is literally the only "clean" cop in Gotham.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: To get past a particularly thick barrier of ice in the Cold, Cold Heart DLC, Batman needs a special device called the Cryodrill. Unfortunately, Penguin's men looted the Cryodrill from Gothcorp and have already taken it apart to sell the components even though they looted the drill that night.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: When fighting a group of cops, a possible starting exclamation is "Put the donuts down!"
  • Doppelgänger Attack: Copperhead appears to be able to do this, though it's actually a hallucination caused by her poison.
  • Double Entendre:
    • Black Mask's "And the night is young..." comment at the end of the first trailer can be taken one of two ways:
      • The obvious meaning, that it's still early in the night.
      • It could also reflect Batman, the "Dark Knight"'s status as a rookie vigilante.
    • The Joker's line, "This fruitcake is fantastic! *stabs knife into table* Anyone want a piece?" Considering he says this right after Electrocutioner questions him in a disrespectful manner and is then dealt with in typical Joker fashion, as well as the menacing tone of the question, it's clear that he's really asking the remaining assassins in the room if anyone else wants to question him. He may also be referencing himself as an awesome insane man, hence the "fruitcake" is "fantastic," and then asking if anyone wants "a piece" of him by challenging him.
  • The Dreaded:
    • Batman himself. Criminals freak out at the sight of him and most of the hostages he rescues beg him to spare them, apparently under the impression that Batman is attacking people indiscriminately.
    • The Joker becomes this for his sheerly joyful willingness to murder. He leaves entire buildings littered with dead bodies that he's decorated and Batman, no matter how hardened he is, can't do anything to get the images of the bodies out of his head.
    • Batman is more concerned about Bane being in Gotham than any other assassin, to the point where he doesn't give Bane a summary of his abilities in favor of shocked silence.
  • Duct Tape for Everything: Batman finds a roll of duct tape in the lab where Mr. Freeze was created, indicating that Freeze used it while making his armour.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: No matter how he fares while running the Togakure-ryu gauntlet at the monastery in the Initiation DLC, Master Kirigi will always give Bruce chores afterwards. He's forced to clean the latrines in the Downer Ending, told to scrub the floors in the "okay" ending, and tasked with making everyone tea in the Golden Ending (although Kirigi states in the latter that he is, in fact, impressed with Bruce's skill, and that he will be granted the instruction he seeks). Justified as he's not Batman yet, just a would-be student applying for training under an understandably harsh master.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Pretty much everyone (it's a prequel, after all), but a close inspection of some in-game security consoles will reveal a "Gothcorp, Inc." insignia, visible before the announcement of story DLC involving Mr. Freeze.
  • Easter Egg: The Joker (and Red Hood, because it's the same outfit) has a belt buckle on. What is it? A bat.
  • Easy Amnesia: The unperfected TN-1 compound affects the memory center of the brain, leaving those who overdose on it with severe memory loss. Conveniently, this leaves the antagonistic Bane with no knowledge of Bruce's secret identity once he uses it.
  • Elite Mooks:
    • The all-female assassins of the League of Shadows make a return appearance from Arkham City. They act the same way as they did in the last game.
    • There's an enemy type called the Martial Arts Experts who are capable of countering/dodging Batman's attacks (which Batman can retaliate to by countering their counters), much like the League of Shadow assassins in Arkham City, but they're better at it and they don't use weapons.
    • Another new enemy type are the Enforcers/Armored Enforcers, who bear a number of similar traits to both the Abramovici twins and the armor-clad enemies of Arkham City.
    • Also making a new appearance in the series are Venom Thugs, who are essentially miniboss versions of their leader, Bane.
    • Three elite soldiers of Joker's and Bane's respective gangs are playable in the game's multiplayer mode.
  • Epic Fail: In "A Cold, Cold Heart," a scripted event will have one crook chiding two of his companions for managing to start a fire with an ice gun.
  • Even Mooks Have Loved Ones: Several of the idle mooks on the street will mention having girlfriends, at least one of them even considering going straight so that they can get married. Some other mooks mention their moms, with one saying his is expecting him to bring fish back for supper. The mook who was planning to get married returns in the DLC, again expressing doubts about his criminal lifestyle now that he has a wife who wants a kid. His friend points out that in Gotham, there aren't a lot of honest ways to support a family.
  • Everything Sensor: Detective Mode returns with the added bonus of being able to reconstruct crime scenes in real time, allowing Batman to play, pause, and rewind the event to look for more evidence.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Thanks to Black Mask's bounty, poor Bats has Dirty Cops, random Mooks, and eight of the greatest assassins in the world out for his blood.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: The corrupt cops assume the Joker is Batman's accomplice after Batman decides to Save the Villain at the Royal Hotel. Neither the cops nor the Joker understand why anyone would risk his life to save someone as deranged as the Joker.
  • Evil Is One Big, Happy Family: Played straight during the Crime In Progress events. Even though two opposing gangs were fighting each other, as soon as you (playing the Batman) arrive, they instantly settle their differences and all attack you together. In real life, at least some of the mooks could be expected to continue their original quarrel for at least a few seconds. Depending on how large the group is, some may continue fighting each other for some time. It may be proximity that switches them over to fighting the Bat. This is most notable in the first Bird quest, which features a spectacularly large gang fight, although noticing this requires paying attention to actions in the background, rather than the dozen or so mooks trying to beat you to a pulp.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: In a single Christmas Eve night, Batman faces two riots in Blackgate, seven assassins who arrived in Gotham, etc.
  • Eye Scream: The Warden of Blackgate spends the entire game with a bandage over one eye. A cutscene reveals that shortly before the beginning of the game, Black Mask shoved a burning cigarette into that eye for interrogative and recreational purposes, establishing him as a sadistic and deplorable villain. The pseudo-sequel Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate states that he ends up getting a false eye to replace the one that was burned by the following spring.

    F — M 
  • Fake Longevity: The Dark Knight System of challenges requires players to pull off fifteen different stunts in Predator encounters, except there aren't enough Predator encounters to clear the system in one playthrough. Whoops, looks like you'll have to load up a new game, and if you mess that up, try another one!
    • This is somewhat eased by there being several challenges that do not require Predator encounters, just an enemy with a gun.
  • Fake Video Camera View: After Batman gets off of Vicki Vale's news helicopter and drops down to the top balcony of the Royal Hotel, the scene cuts to this view at an aerial angle, and you can even fight Bane's mooks while in this view and on live TV...but only for a few moments.
  • Faking the Dead: At the end of the Cyrus Pinkney case-file, you learn that Amadeus Arkham made a potion that does this. It probably explains how Joker faked his death at the beginning of City.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: The conflict with Firefly begins the beneficial relationship between Gordon and Batman, as well as tightening the existing relationship between Alfred and Batman.
  • Foe Romance Subtext:
    • The Joker gets psychoanalyzed and begins to describe his relationship with Batman, which the psychologist mistakes as a confession of love. Joker doesn't deny any of this.
    • The game alludes to this when Batman is giving the Joker a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. The Joker is evidently enjoying it, and Batman's suggestive grunts and movements greatly increase the moment's sexual undertones.
  • For the Evulz:
    • Only four of the assassins (Copperhead, Deathstroke, Deadshot, and the Electrocutioner) actually care about the bounty. Firefly just wants to burn things; Croc doesn't even care about the bounty, he just wants to kill Batman, which quickly escalates into trying to eat Batman; and Bane states his desire to defeat Batman so he can finally be at peace. Only Shiva breaks the mold, being present simply to test whether Batman has what it takes to join her master, implied to be Ra's al Ghul.
    • In the hotel and Blackgate at the end, Joker monologues about the fact that this is why he does things. He doesn't care about right and wrong; he just does stuff because he thinks it's funny. However, in Blackgate, he says that by thwarting his actual scheme, Batman has shown him that there's so much more that he can do. The ending cements to Joker what a challenge Batman truly offers.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • It's a prequel, so it's inevitable. Batman will develop a good working relationship with the GCPD, and any character who appears in the later games will survive.
    • In particular, two characters (Black Mask and Alfred) whose deaths are teased in this game (only for it to be revealed that they aren't dead), who are characters who appear in the chronologically later titles.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In one of Black Mask's first appearances, he considers offing Calendar Man on Christmas Eve, which is just the kind of twisted yet hilarious scheme that Joker would do.
    • It extends to the previews as well. Batman and Joker's voice actors did several interviews discussing the relationship between their characters, while Black Mask's voice actor was noticeably absent from preview material. A cynical viewer might have chalked up the emphasis on Joker as simple Wolverine Publicity, but now we know the real reason.
    • Another more subtle bit on The Joker impersonating Black Mask. The Devs claimed Black Mask's design was based on his incarnation in The Batman. The suit Joker wears while disguised as Black Mask is almost a dead-ringer for the suit he wore in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
    • When snooping on some of Black Mask's thugs, a few will mention if their colleagues have noticed how he's acting odd lately. Namely, he's become a lot more violent, whilst another notes he's been cracking a lot more jokes than usual.
    • When Batman first encounters Electrocutioner on board the Final Offer, he boasts, "I'm-a kill you, then I'm-a jump-start your heart, and kill you again!" Later, while exiting the GCPD in the aftermath of the riot in the holding cells, Batman sees one of the medical staff members resuscitate one of the officers with Magical Defibrillators. These events come to help him in flashbacks later as clues, one in resuscitating Alfred, and the other in stopping and then restarting Bane's heart.
    • Joker sings "Cold, Cold Heart" over the credits. Guess what the upcoming DLC is named?
    • During the second Blackgate riot, Deathstroke tells Batman that since the bounty's been cancelled, there's no reason for him to seek a rematch, at least until someone else puts up another 50 million. Fast forward to Batman: Arkham Knight, when the combined Rogues Gallery of Gotham pools their resources to put up three billion dollars for Batman's death and...
  • Free-Fall Fight: A short one when the Joker is blown from the Royal Hotel and Batman dives after him to Save the Villain, the two having a brief mid-air scuffle before they land.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: During the Crime Alley shooting side-mission, the Bat-Vision's virtual reconstruction of the crime will briefly show images of Thomas and Martha Wayne's corpses.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The game represents the public unveiling of both Batman and the Joker. While Batman has been active before this night, he's been an unconfirmed rumor, with Gordon denying his existence to the press immediately before the game's events. By the end of the night, Joker and Batman have been fully revealed and confirmed to be nightmares to their respective targets.
  • Futureshadowing: Par for the course for a prequel, many hints are dropped for events that take place in the chronologically later games:
    • During the credits, a roundtable discussion on The Jack Ryder Hour that discusses the night's events features Quincy Sharp stressing the importance of re-opening Arkham Asylum to deal with the super criminals, as Blackgate clearly isn't doing a capable job.
    • Shiva's side quest essentially revolves around her testing Batman for Ra's al Ghul's League of Shadows, chronologically before he has found out about Ra's at all. She even tells Batman that Gotham will burn in a way that is extremely similar to the way Azrael tells Batman in City.
    • One of Shiva's blackmail files is a recording of her approaching Sharp on Ra's al Ghul's behalf, starting his rise to power and, ultimately, the events of Arkham City.
    • TN-1 is a prototype version of Titan.
    • Sionis Steel Mill's reasons for being chosen as Joker's base in Arkham City is revealed. Joker stole all of Roman Sionis's assets by impersonating him.
    • When you get all the datapacks, you have access to the entirety of Enigma's base. Including a secret room that contains a Riddler Trophy (which nets you an achievement for Batman finding his first Riddler Trophy) and a prototype dome cage the Riddler uses to hide trophies in Arkham City. Showing Enigma's already begun developing the Riddler persona.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The game, unfortunately, is prone to bugs, glitches, crashes, and screen freezes. So much so that the game developers issued an apology to angry players. Some have been patched; most have not.
    • While it doesn't interfere with the main story, the comms tower in Burnley cannot be taken back because Batman is unable to climb into a crucial vent. Now thankfully averted with a patch.
    • The PC version has commands not appear or not respond to commands during the final fight with Joker.
    • Plot-important mooks can become stuck in pillars or walls.
    • On your way to Firefly's battle, you must take an elevator; there's a glitch that prevents the elevator from activating after it's been charged. You can still backtrack and work on side missions, but the main storyline is effectively cut off from you.
    • Xbox 360 in particular is extremely glitch-prone, to the point of becoming nigh unplayable; think the PS3 version of Skyrim. Entire save files can become corrupted, and despite the developers' claims, the infinite falling bug has not been patched.
    • Some PC versions make the "Fast" Travel mode last indefinitely, until you force-quit the program and just walk to the other side of Gotham. This came about through a couple of mixed-up variables in the source code.
    • Certain quest lines' scripting can become broken and never activate, such as Deadshot's and the Blackgate escapees. Most frustratingly, this can happen late into the game and the player can be close to 100% before finding out the rest is locked by a bug. The Intermediate AR gliding drills can similarly never appear.
  • Game-Over Man: As per usual, if you screw up, a villain taunts you. This time, with a bit more swagger, since Batman's still kinda green here.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • In Arkham City, audio tapes were unlocked through solving Riddler challenges. In this game, the Riddler Trophies are replaced with "Enigma datapacks," which are part of the extortion tapes Enigma has been hiding.
    • After first breaking into the GCPD building, Alfred asks Bruce to take it easy on any police officers he fights. From that point on, the only Special Combo Takedown animation that is triggered when fighting corrupt cops is the only one that doesn’t leave the victim with a broken limb.
    • Unlike Asylum and City, this game gives an in-universe explanation for the various challenge maps; they are virtual training programs inside the batcave, and performing well in them now gives the player extra experience points.
    • Batman triangulates Penguin’s hideout using a holographic map projected from his left gauntlet. The map is identical to the in-game map that players use to fast travel and set waypoints, explaining how Batman uses the map in all four games.
    • When Batman reaches Joker in the hotel penthouse, Bane tells Joker he has one minute with Batman. If you try to attack Joker immediately after the cutscene ends, Bane comes back pretty much exactly one minute later.
    • The various mooks in free roam (but not challenge maps) are noticeably faster than in the previous games, likely to showcase Bruce's relative inexperience in fighting them before the mooks became Dented Iron.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • In the cutscene where Black Mask talks to the assassins in the penthouse of the Gotham Royal, Deadshot and Shiva are shown attending through video conference, though they don't contribute anything to the meeting. This happens even if they've already been defeated in the optional sidequests.
    • Thanks to the "Challenge maps are training programs now" integration mentioned above, it makes a bit less sense why characters other than Batman are playable. While the playable Bruce Wayne is sensible enough (In case Bruce needs to work without the suit), the concept of playing as Deathstroke is less sonote .
  • Gang of Hats: Just like in Arkham City, the mooks in the game have uniforms indicating the villains to which they're affiliated, or the location they're in, which also extends to the game's various Elite Mooks:
    • Unaligned criminals wear heavy jackets and other thuggish accessories.
    • Blackgate inmates wear the same orange jumpsuits they did in Arkham City.
    • Hostile GCPD officers mostly wear blue and black SWAT gear, though several non-SWAT officers can be encountered inside the GCPD headquarters.
    • Black Mask’s mobsters wear black suits together with skull-shaped masks, similar to the one of their boss. Some of them speak with distinct Italian accents. Unlike other mooks subtitled as "criminal", they are typically listed as "mobster".
    • Anarky’s men wear hoodies, red armbands, and white masks. Some of them also have the Circle-A symbol on their uniforms. A few of Anarky's men are homeless men and use the same models as the Political Prisoners from Arkham City.
    • Mad Hatter's goons are regular thugs that wear rabbit masks, similar to their appearances in Arkham City.
    • Penguin's troops wear winter garb with the Penguin's symbol somewhere on their clothes, similar to their appearances in Arkham City; they also speak in British Accents, some of them with a Cockney dialect.
    • Enigma's Data Handlers appear the exact same way as they did in Arkham City; they appear glowing green to Batman but otherwise are unremarkable and indistinguishable from other thugs.
    • Joker's thugs wear black suits together with clown masks (i.e. Black Mask thugs who switched masks), much like how they looked in The Dark Knight. His elites in multiplayer take the appearance of clowns crossed with punk rockers, though they can be customized to the tastes of their players.
    • Bane's hired mercenaries wear black and gray tactical clothing, and speak with Hispanic accents. His elites in multiplayer dress the same way, though they're also customizable.
  • Genre Shift: In multiplayer, the game turns into an Always Over the Shoulder Third-Person Shooter when playing as one of the villains' Mooks.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Batman is the trope illustrator for good reason, playing the role of Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy for most of the game.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Gordon gives an example when he doesn't hesitate to non-fatally shoot down two of Joker's mooks and earlier, holds Batman himself at gunpoint.
    • Batman's ancestor Solomon Wayne was a Hanging Judge. He was also merciful to the needy, and sought to create various programs to the help those who needed it. The result was that he was loved by the citizens of Gotham and hated by the criminals.
  • Greater-Scope Villain:
    • Ra's Al Ghul. He's indirectly referenced as Shiva's master several times, and through their manipulations Arkham Asylum is reopened.
    • If you check Penguin's office, you'll find orders for weapons and equipment for Deadshot, Deathstroke, and Bane. Bane's rocket launcher is in a crate in the office.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: In the final boss battle, Bane will sometimes pick up an inmate and try and smash Batman with the thug.
  • Growing Muscles Sequence: In the finale, Bane injects himself with TN-1, causing him to morph into the hulking behemoth he is seen as in later games.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: As usual in Batman's predator sequences, enemies are sometimes terminally dim. You can yank a guard off a ledge while he's standing right next to another one and elicit no reaction whatsoever from the mook left standing. And in the GCPD Bullpen, you can perform an Inverted Takedown on all eight SWAT team cops from just one perch, by stringing one up, changing perches, cutting the rope with a batarang, then going back and waiting for the next target to walk under you.
  • Guide Dang It!: Reaching Worst Nightmare rank 15 has a bit of this. Unlike previous games, the predator rooms do not reset after they're completed, so you only have a limited number of chances to complete all the challenges. To further complicate things, some of them like "Three with a Single Blow" require a tricky combination of gadgets that may take some trial and error to get right. If you aren't planning your strategy from the very beginning toward completing as many challenges in each room as possible, you won't get them all in one playthrough. Then you'll be stuck trying to finish them in New Game Plus, when the predator rooms become even more difficult.
  • Guns Akimbo: One of the special abilities in multiplayer that members of Joker's gang can perform.
  • Hanging Judge: Information came by during a sidequest about Cyrus Pinkney, Gotham's original architect, implies that Bruce's ancestor, Solomon Wayne, was one of these.
  • Harder Than Hard: "I Am The Night" difficulty, unlocked after New Game Plus. As well as ramping up the difficulty, it also disables saves and only gives the player one death, turning the game into more of a Roguelike—or at least that's what was advertised. In reality, WB Montreal decided not to disable the autosave for "I Am the Night" mode, meaning there's no repercussions for restarting from the last checkpoint.
  • Harmless Freezing: Mr. Freeze's (usually one of the few ice villains to avert this trope) cryocannon in "Cold, Cold Heart," and all other guns with the same technology, because the chemicals they use can preserve living tissue without cellular degeneration. Still, Batman needs his thermal gloves to remove them safely.
  • Hate Sink: The Cold, Cold Heart has Ferris Boyle. While Ferris Boyle is an awful person in Batman: The Animated Series, he did have a point that Victor's experiment was unauthorized and he was using stolen equipment. This Boyle has no such excuse and is given far crimes than his animated counterpart. He makes a deal with Victor that he will help him find a cure for Nora in exchange for him developing cryo-weapons, personally assaults Victor when the latter realizes he has no intention of honoring his bargain and refuses to cooperate with him any further, kidnaps Nora (all the while claiming she's his property as cryonic test subject), sadistically taunts a helpless Victor about how he will kill Nora in front of him before killing him, just so he can see her slip away, all the while bashing him in the head, and attempts to kill Batman even though the latter saves his life just so he can erase all evidence of his crimes. Batman punching him unconscious is definitely satisfying as it is well-deserved.
  • Have a Nice Death: As expected for a Batman title, there are various examples featuring the villains appropriate to their areas in the game or the gang who just defeated you. And if you die in the Sionis Steel Mill too early in the game, you get the Joker, effectively spoiling his impersonation of Roman Sionis.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Armored thugs make a return from Arkham City, but the game also introduces Armored Enforcers (see Elite Mooks above), large goons covered from head to toe in armor.
  • Helpful Mook:
    • Ricky "Loose Lips" LeBlanc, a thug wearing a Santa hat who Batman harasses multiple times for information.
    • Anarky's missions are initiated by talking to lone members of his gang/social movement stationed outside. Though talking to them initiates the timer on one of Anarky's bombs, the lone thugs themselves won't fight Batman.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Batman suffers from this since the GCPD, even Jim Gordon, consider him a simple vigilante at this point...though it's complicated by the sheer number of cops on the take from the mob. This begins to dissipate over the course of the game as Batman selflessly saves more and more people who thought he was going to hurt them. By the end of the game, a group of people that he saved are trying to spread word that the big, scary man in black is actually a hero.
  • Hero Unit: In the multiplayer, after a certain amount of time has passed, Bane and Joker can be summoned by their respective gangs. Bane, as well as carrying around a giant rocket launcher, can pick up mooks to either kill them bare-handed or toss them around, while Joker carries two pistols: the Ace of Spades and the King of Hearts.
  • Heroic BSoD: After Alfred is nearly killed by Bane, Bruce nearly quits being Batman.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Joker's first appearance shows that he is in charge of the assassins, having impersonated Black Mask the entire time.
  • History Repeats: The final crime scene Batman investigates is the murder of two newly engaged socialites that were friends with Bruce Wayne, in Crime Alley & mere feet from where Bruce's parents were shot. Whilst reconstructing the crime scene & playing the murders back, Thomas & Martha briefly flicker back into their chalk outlines.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: As revealed in one of the Extortion Files, Judge Harkness was the one pushing to have Calendar Man executed on Christmas Eve, considering it "poetic justice," and went so far as to organize a party at his home to celebrate the occasion. When Calendar Man is sprung out of prison that night, however, he makes a special point of visiting Harkness in disguise and leaving his corpse hanging off the roof by a string of Christmas lights.
    • The Joker hires the Electrocutioner as one of the assassins, then kicks him out a window in a fit of pique. This allows Batman to collect Electrocutioner's shock gloves, which prove instrumental to foiling Joker's scheme to force Batman to break his one rule and kill Bane.
    • Bane's attack on Alfred gives Bruce the idea to circumvent his and Joker's "kill or die" dilemma.
  • Hoist Hero over Head: As is expected, Bane does this. Atypically, instead of using it to break the Bat, he just throws him out a window. He does this again in the second fight, where he does his classic Batbreaker. However, this doesn't break Batman's back either (unless you fail the quicktime event).
  • Holding Out for a Hero: During his rant, Anarky calls out Batman on encouraging this in Gotham. Considering how rampant crime is in Gotham without Batman and how laughably incompetent and corrupt the cops are, he has a damn good point.
  • Hollywood Hacking
    • Averted when Batman breaks into the GCPD server room. He’s shown plugging in a wireless access point to the GCPD servers to get direct access. Barbara then tells him he needs to physically uplink to the national criminal database. Hackers in the real world often require physical access in order to break into computer networks.
    • Played Straight when Barbara hacks into Batman’s communications to warn him about Penguin’s arms supply. She’s never shown doing anything to access Batman’s equipment when they met.
  • Home Base: Players will be able to visit the Batcave for this purpose. There, they can switch costumes, get weapons and upgrades, use the game's challenge mode, and advance the story.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Bane mocks and chides Batman for his use of 'toys' in 'one-on-one combat', all while an army of mooks keeps Batman busy and Bane pumps ever-more powerful steroids into himself.
    • Anarky also has shades of this, claiming Batman is self righteous, when he himself is very self-important.
    • Gordon calls out Batman for supposedly killing Bane and refuses to work with Batman despite the fact that Gordon himself previously shot two mooks trying to kill Warden Joseph.
      • To be fair, Gordon is police officer, and therefore has the legal authority to use lethal force if necessary. Batman has no such legal authority.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Anarky's given reason for his bombing campaign.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: The Joker has an obvious fascination with Batman's moral code, and is fixated on making him break it, even at the expense of his own life.
  • I Work Alone: Batman's assertion throughout the game, until his character development. He hates the concept of relying on others (even Alfred, somewhat), and generally expects people to either do as he says or get out of his way. He doesn't trust cops in general (which is entirely justified in Gotham), and is increasingly stubborn about working with Gordon — even after his refusal to do so causes some serious problems. It's only after Gordon helps him out with Firefly and Bane invades the Batcave, nearly killing Alfred, that he realizes how much he would stand to lose by refusing to let other people in — after that point, he becomes a lot more cooperative with both of them.
  • Idiot Ball: Maybe it's more like "Naivety Ball," but Gordon's assertion that his side works within the law is frankly quite ludicrous. The GCPD's corruption runs so deep that he's literally one of the only members who isn't actively aiding the crime lords. This is in contrast to other portrayals of his early years, where he's well aware of how bad the GCPD is. (He may have been speaking about "his side" as in non-dirty cops, but it's not clear.)
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: As usual, Batman does this. Deconstructed, as him following this rule so strictly (to the point of saving villains) is what causes the Joker to become so obsessed with him.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Deadshot, naturally.
    • The first trailer has him shooting and breaking Deathstroke's second custom katana in two pieces, from what we can only presume is more than a couple miles away. He also uses his skill to break a single link in a steel chain being used to haul a shipping container.
    • In the game proper, he manages to bring down a corrupt cop and a helicopter with a single ricocheted sniper shot. Then in the mission in which you take him down, it's shown through the laser sight that he can ricochet his shots to hit any one of his mooks in the room. However, anyone who understands ricochet physics can tell that a number of the laser sights shown when he aims at his mooks in this mission would never actually work, making this more like impossible aiming skills.
  • Incredibly Obvious Bug: Enigma's network relays come equipped with large, brightly-glowing green panels that make them a bit conspicuous. You can spot them even easier in Detective Mode because the cowl can point out their transmissions in Free Roam.
  • Inherent in the System: Anarky seems to think so, hence his goal of anarchy. The Joker is even more pronounced on it, going on a rant about how screwed up Gotham society - and the world in general - has to be if it can spawn supervillains and crazy-looking superheroes and barely lift two fingers to try and stop them.
    "Why won't you get it into your thick skull?! WE BOTH EXIST, BECAUSE OF THEM!!!"
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Lady Shiva greatly resembles her voice actress, Kelly Hu. And no, it's not because all Asians look alike.
  • Interface Screw: When there are jammers nearby, your Detective Vision goes haywire and Cryptographic Scanners don't work. In Mad Hatter's world, Detective Vision doesn't work at all.
  • Internal Homage: The first combat room in Blackgate prison is a small room with cells on both sides, just like in Asylum.
  • Ironic Echo: In the opening cutscene, Captain Gordon says on camera that "There is no such thing as the Batman". After the first boss fight, after Batman has escaped from Gordon and other cops, Bullock(who is among them)says "No such thing as the Batman, huh?".
  • Irony: The plaque over Cyrus Pinkney's crypt, likely donated by Arkham Asylum in return for his influence in its construction, reads "Sanity Fighting the Madness" - yet Amadeus Arkham, himself a delusional schizophrenic, was the one who gave Cyrus the sleeping potion that helped him fake his death and made him slightly unhinged in his obsession with revenge. In other words, madness fighting the sanity.
  • It Is Beyond Saving: Shiva pulls this card on Batman after their fight, insisting that Gotham can't be saved, only reborn from its ashes. Batman refuses to listen.
  • It's Personal:
    • One of the crime scene investigations is a two-fer: the victims were friends of Bruce's, and it happened in Crime Alley just a few feet from where Thomas and Martha Wayne were gunned down. Needless to say, when Batman tracks down the murderer, he's not in a very good mood.
    • In the Epilogue mission, an escaped Blackgate prisoner threatens to go after Batman's family when he next gets out of prison. This ends badly.
      Batman: You shouldn't have said that.
  • Jack of All Stats: Played with. Though Batman is clearly strong and agile enough to qualify as a Lightning Bruiser, some assassins outclass him in at least one aspect. Being the second best in every other aspect grants him the victory, however.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Gordon has a good point in that Batman is a violent criminal no matter what side he fights for. He is essentially committing unauthorized crime investigations, assaults on criminals and police alike, stealing classified information from the GCPD and resisting arrest.
    • Batman himself acts like a Jerkass numerous times in the story, particularly to Alfred who just wants him to be safe, but he correctly points out that ignoring all the assassins would just make them use civilians as hostages to lure him out. Adding to that, Alfred urges him to work with Gordon numerous times in the story, but Batman tells him even if he wanted to, Gordon certainly wouldn't, which he is also right about. It's only after Firefly's defeat that Batman and Gordon come even close to being civil with each other, and things are still pretty shaky. They very nearly become enemies for good when it appears that Batman has killed Bane, and even once everything's finally over, Gordon still wants to arrest Batman.
    • Judge Harkness may be a Hanging Judge, but given the nature of Caldendar Man's crimes (and the ones he goes on to commit), he had the right idea in executing him.
  • Jet Pack: Part of Firefly's arsenal.
  • Kavorka Man: The Penguin has two Ms. Fanservice assistants, fully invoking this trope. It's very likely this has other reasons, however.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Discussed when talking about Killer Croc's origins.
    Batman: Imagine growing up looking like he did. Children are cruel, Alfred.
    Alfred: So are adults, sir.
  • Kick the Dog: In the trailer, Black Mask bashes the head of one of his own wounded thugs in when he asks for medical help. Except it's not actually Black Mask, but rather the Joker. Black Mask is implied to be nicer to his mooks.
  • Kill It with Fire: Firefly's modus operandi, along with Stuff Blowing Up.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: Black Mask had to Mercy Kill his girlfriend to keep her from dying from a hanging when Joker came in to his safe house. Averted because Joker forced Black Mask to kill her.
  • The Killer Becomes the Killed: At the end of the Cyrus Pinkney investigation, it's revealed that Pinkney suspected that Henry Cobblepot would try to poison him, so he faked the dead with the help of Amadeus Arkham and then killed Cobblepot by sabotaging his car.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The Joker. His Laughably Evil tendencies are almost non existent, and his Axe-Crazy side is more pronounced. The result is a genuinely frightenting psychopath.
  • Kryptonite Is Everywhere: As the game goes on and Batman grows more powerful, the street mooks he faces acquire more shields/car doors/etc. as well as more guns and knives, and seem to tailor their tactics to defend against him — so the challenge of the encounters remains refreshingly consistent.
  • Kubrick Stare: Black Mask's character trophy has him doing this.
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: One of Joker's possible reactions to a takedown during a Predator Challenge.
    "Hurry! Batman's just had his way with one of you! Now that's a spicy meat-a-ball!"
  • Lampshade Hanging: Batman himself acknowledges the new female Copperhead by stating that all the info he has on Copperhead is on a male assassin, but states that "Copperhead" is a crime organization full of members of both genders.
  • Left the Background Music On: When Batman starts heading toward the penthouse, all of a sudden Bane arrives, set to the tune of Gioachino Rossini's "The Barber of Seville." He grabs Batman and tosses him into the penthouse where the Joker lives, and the Clown Prince of Crime tells the Dark Knight that "it's a tradition in my house to open one present on Christmas Eve." He then chooses one of the detonators and uses it to blow up an empty construction site before laughing and singing "The Twelve Days of Christmas"...while the background music starts to sound more like Looney Tunes, as the Joker is watching Bugs Bunny's "Rabbit of Seville" while he is committing the atrocity. Enraged, Batman grabs the Joker as the explosion rocks the building, cutting out the TV signal.
  • Look Behind You: At the beginning of the game, Warden Martin Joseph is being beaten by one of Black Mask's thugs. As Batman approaches, Joseph is the first to see him and goes, "What is that?! Behind you!" The thug thinks that Joseph is trying to trick him and tells him to try something original...until he notices the shadow Batman's casting on the wall.
  • Love at First Sight: Dr. Harleen Quinzel thinks that Joker is talking about this during his rambling speech about how fate shapes everyone's lives so that they reach one specific moment in which they finally meet the one person they can truly relate to. He isn't...or at least, if he is, he isn't talking about her.
  • Made of Iron:
    • Batman may be wearing some high-tech body armor to protect him from an explosion, but even then, that doesn't slow him down any, nor does it affect his hearing or his physical performance.
    • Batman takes multiple punches from Bane which, judging from Bane's strength, should have shattered his chest bones and ruptured his organs, armored or not.
  • Magic Pants: A thoroughly egregious example when Bane injects himself with TN-1 — his entire outfit grows to a monstrous size along with him, including his boots, his gloves, and the Venom filtration system on his back.
  • Magical Defibrillator: Batman uses his Shock Gloves near the finale of the game to revive Alfred after Bane raids his house and to temporarily stop and re-jumpstart Bane's heart.
  • Market-Based Title:
    • Batman: Arkham Begins in Japan.
    • Batman: Lyetopis' Arkhema (Batman: Arkham Chronicle) in Russia
  • Meaningful Echo: At the start of the game Batman is reluctant to accept help from others, but as the story progresses, he eventually realizes that he can defend Gotham more efficiently if he cooperates with others. At the end of the main story, Batman defeats The Joker and Gordon can finally arrest him. When Gordon contacts the GCPD, they ask him how he pulled it off. His response? "I had some help."
  • Mêlée à Trois: The multiplayer mode is a three-way battle between Batman and Robin, the Joker's gang, and Bane's gang.
  • Merry Christmas in Gotham: Despite being the Trope Namer, this is averted. Eight of the world's deadliest assassins have descended upon Gotham to kill Batman, hundreds of criminals, mercenaries and dirty cops are loose on the streets wanting to collect the bounty on Batman's head amidst the chaos, bombs set to blow have been planted all over the city, and Batman encounters the Joker for the first time. Countless millions in property damage and dozens of dead people later, this will be a Christmas no one will forget.
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: Copperhead's boss battle ends with an abrupt deconstruction of Waif-Fu. The trope is played straight while Batman's poisoned, but once Copperhead tries to come at a newly-cured Bats, it turns into a Curb-Stomp Battle. Batman simply grabs her, twirls her over his shoulder with his superior size and strength, and then slams her into the floor like a ragdoll, instantly knocking her out.
  • Mind Screw:
    • During one of the side-quests, Mad Hatter sends you into a twisted version of Wonderland with his mind control equipment.
    • Batman suffers numerous hallucinations while under the effects of Copperhead's neurotoxin, including attacks from phantom assassins.
    • Playing as the Joker inside his own mind might count as the ultimate Mind Screw.
  • Misidentified Weapons: One example requires sharp eyes to spot and is probably just a typo, but when analyzing Crime Scenes, sometimes Batman will find a piece of evidence that identifies the caliber of a firearm. In at least one, it identifies the caliber as "45mm." It was likely meant to be .45ACP (i.e. 0.45 inches wide), because a 45mm is an antitank artillery piece.
  • Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: Once again, Joker, but Mad Hatter steps in for several non-story Predator Challenges.
  • Mook Horror Show: Street-level thugs often fall over backwards and scramble away when Batman suddenly appears amongst them. In predator sequences, their status goes from "calm" to "nervous" and, as they are picked off one by one, "terrified."
  • Mushroom Samba: A staple of the Arkham series, and here there are three.
    • During one of the side-quests, Mad Hatter sends you into a twisted version of Wonderland with his mind control equipment.
    • Batman suffers numerous hallucinations while under the effects of Copperhead's neurotoxin, including attacks from phantom assassins, curses from the dead he failed to save, and a lecture from a bitterly disappointed Alfred.
  • Mythology Gag: Has its own page.
  • Neck Lift: Along with stepping on their faces, this seems to be one of the Batman's favorite ways to interrogate mooks.
    • Also how Victor frequently picks up Boyle from his position frozen in ice in the DLC — although by that point, there's really nothing else to grab.

    N — Z 
  • New Year Has Come: The "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC takes place on New Year's Eve, with various thugs mentioning the date.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: One of Enigma’s blackmail tapes contains a record of Quincy Sharp agreeing to cooperate with Ra’s-Al-Ghul. If Batman had simply allowed the information to go public (as Enigma intended), Sharp would have been exposed and disgraced, and Ra’s would have been unable to use him as a pawn. Yet Batman couldn’t leave well enough alone, and several years later, Ra’s has successfully manipulated Sharp into making Arkham City a reality.
    • Batman saves the man who would become his arch-nemesis from falling to his death, and attempting to shoot himself in the head immediately afterward despite seeing what a completely crazy lunatic he is. This experience causes the Joker to develop an obsession with the Dark Knight, and gives him a reason to live beyond causing random mayhem like he'd been doing.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: The Joker does this as much as his usual schtick, as he points out to Batman in the Royal Hotel. First, he takes over Black Mask's gang, slaughtering the loyal ones, cutting down Gotham's total criminal population and indirectly exposing Sionis as a crime boss (the Black Mask sidequest). Second, he hires the assassins, which causes a lot of damage, but gets some very dangerous people behind bars. Third, his first riot at Black Gate gets Commissioner Loeb killed, opening up the spot for Gordon. Finally, he starts a prison riot at Blackgate again...while Batman was having a Heroic BSoD in his Darkest Hour. This effectively snapped Batman back into action and led to Joker's defeat. To top it all off, the Joker not only caused Batman to get a Heroic Second Wind but he ended up convincing Batman to be the hero Gotham needs.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: The Flashback!Joker (and the pre-Joker Red Hood) is this, since he can't take any damage from his tormentors (or fire-breathing traps, for that matter). Justified, since they're all illusions, and these scenes of his are all a part of his Mind Screw.
  • No Badass to His Valet: As intimidating as Batman is to the criminals of Gotham, Alfred raised him from a child and is less impressed. He even gives a pretty good What the Hell, Hero? at one point during the game:
    Alfred: You're not some hardened vigilante! You're a young man with a trust fund and too much anger!
  • No Body Left Behind: While enemies defeated by Batman have bats come out of their unconscious bodies who remain that way until Batman leaves the room, enemies defeated by the Flashback!Joker dissolve into a glowing, purplish-black mass that quickly glows brighter before fading away. Justified, as all of these enemies are merely illusions set up by the Joker's Mind Screw.
  • No-Damage Run: There's an achievement in-game for defeating Shiva (who is generally considered the best martial artist in the DC universe) without taking any damage. There's another one for defeating Deathstroke while successfully countering all his moves, which is a lot harder than you'd think, as the counter icon doesn't accurately portray the correct time to hit counter when fighting him.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: There's one Beatdown sequence that outshines every single other in the franchise: the Joker takes one that lasts for about twenty seconds against a wall, a bout of being Punched Across the Room, and several other hits. It's amazing Batman didn't kill him by accident.
  • No OSHA Compliance: For some reason people keep leaving unsecured tanks full of propane lying around areas where Batman has Predator Challenges, even when there's no logical reason for there to be propane tanks there at all.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • Many of the villains in this game pull this at some point or another with varying degrees of success, particularly Anarky and Enigma - who both consider their missions to be similar to Batman's and merely their methods being different (and given that in this game Batman is perfectly willing to beat up on people he suspects to be corrupt simply because they're in the way, sometimes they have a point). Shiva likewise claims she and he have similar goals, but that Batman is clinging to weakness by being unwilling to kill those who create the world's problems (a reflection of the ideology of her master, Ra's al Ghul). In his Motive Rant late in the game, Joker pulls this on Batman. He doesn't care.
      Joker: We both exist because of them!
    • Alfred even lampshades this in regards to Firefly, of all people. When going through the initial files, Bruce comments Lynns' obsession will be his downfall, to which he responds, "How unlike anyone I know."
    • Batman himself tries to convince Gordon they're on the same side, but given that they're both too stubborn to listen to each other, he doesn't make much headway.
  • Not His Sled: Anyone who read Knightfall was gearing up for the climactic fight against Bane to be in the Batcave, but it ends in Blackgate instead.
  • Not Hyperbole: Bane tells Joker "You have one minute" to talk to Batman before he starts pummeling him again. If you time the exchange, it is pretty much exactly one minute until Bane comes back.
  • Obligatory Swearing: Subverted, likely because of the controversy the previous games created. Here, the term "bitch" is used quite sparingly, and only in reference to men.
  • Older and Wiser: Inverted. Batman is depicted as brash and inexperienced, in contrast to his hyper-compotent portrayal in the previous games. For example, he tries to interrogate a thug, only to be too rough on him and accidentally knock him unconscious.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: After Batman arrests The Joker, his psychiatric session with Harley Quinn falls squarely into this — she believes he's referring to her, while he's actually talking about Batman. Worse, he seems to realize that she's misinterpretting him, and starts manipulating her.
  • Only in It for the Money: Deathstroke & Deadshot. Upon Batman's return to Blackgate at the end of the game, Deathstroke even comments that if he'd known it was just going to be a waste of his time, he wouldn't have bothered taking the hit.
  • Only Mostly Dead: Both Alfred and Bane (the former attacked and fatally wounded by the latter in the Batcave, the latter in getting his heart temporarily stopped by the power of the Electrocutioner's Shock Gloves). And both can be revived by the use of these Shock Gloves as Magical Defibrillators.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You:
    • Deadshot proclaims "Not so fast, Deathstroke. He's my kill," in the trailer after shooting off the blade of Deathstroke's sword. He also shoots a police sniper, the bullet ricocheting to take out a police chopper, in the game proper.
    • Killing a creature such as Batman being his lifelong goal, Bane is furious when it appears like Joker will be the one to do it. It takes the threat of Joker blowing up the entire building they're in to get him to back off for twenty seconds.
  • Optional Boss: Lady Shiva and Deadshot, who are encountered during sidequests. Among non-assassin villains, there's Anarky, Mad Hatter, Black Mask (after his in-story encounter), and Bird.
  • Origins Episode:
    • The game focuses on how Batman establishes himself as Gotham's protector and first meets several major characters in the Arkhamverse.
    • The Initiation DLC depicts Bruce Wayne training at a ninja monastery during his pre-Batman days.
    • Upon The Reveal, this also is shown to be an origin for The Joker, as, while he was still a villain, he goes From Nobody to Nightmare, from a virtual unknown to taking over Black Mask's operation, in this game. It also serves as a starting point for the entire Joker-Batman feud.
    • "Cold, Cold Heart" is this for Mister Freeze, depicting the accident that made him as well as his first encounter with Batman.
  • Outside-Context Problem: The Joker comes as one to everyone in Gotham. He shows up with no name or motive, causing wanton destruction for the fun of it. Even Batman is taken aback by his brutality and sadism, saying that while he's put away psychopaths before, the Joker is something completely different.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: A pre-Harley Quinn Dr. Harleen Quinzel is the seniormost member of the Blackgate medical staff...who's working the night shift on Christmas Eve. Given that she's still just an intern going through her residency, that probably means that she's the only member of the Blackgate medical staff working the night shift on Christmas Eve.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • If you have completed the main story plot and have not completed the 'Worst Nightmare' challenges, you are way out of luck, as there is no opportunity to complete some of them in epilogue play. This is because for some reason, the main predator rooms do not respawn mooks like Arkham City does, and even the three places that do respawnnote  don't count toward it after the completion of the storyline. Even worse is this seems to have been intentional, as one of the lead producers apparently tweeted that this is 'by design' in order to force players to load up a New Game Plus for 100% Completion.
    • Now that WB Montreal has shut down the servers for the multiplayer section of the game, the multiplayer trophies are unachievable for good. This, in turn, means you can't achieve the Platinum trophy in the PSN or the Perfect Game on Steam, leaving you with a list of games that can never be at 100% completion.
  • Perma-Stubble: Batman sports this in cutscenes throughout the game, adding to his badass quotient.
  • Phlebotinum Breakdown: During the Cold, Cold Heart DLC, Alfred explains that the formula used to make the Glue Grenades was unstable, and that the glue has disintegrated. Also, it looks like half the armor upgrades are missing, until you get the XE suit that is, and certain gadgets aren't at full power. These were likely removed so that the XE suit would feel like an upgrade and not a simple reskin.
  • Playing the Heart Strings: "I Have Left Enough Life in Him for Some Final Words...If You Hurry." Named after the Exact Words spoken by Bane after he has mortally wounded Alfred in the Batcave, and played while Batman's on a frantic search for the latter. This is followed, close enough, by "Allies."
  • Plot-Irrelevant Villain: Only two of the eight assassins (Firefly and Bane) are directly relevant to the plot. The others are divided between two entirely optional villains who only show up in sidequests (Deadshot and Shiva), and four bosses that show up out of nowhere and attack Batman while he's trying to deal with someone else.
  • Point of No Return: Going after Firefly will lock you into the endgame, though you'll get a Playable Epilogue once you've finished.
  • Powered Armor: The XE (Extreme Environment) Batsuit from the "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC. It's heavily insulated and heated to counteract extreme cold, and it can channel that heat to its external surfaces to melt through ice or beat up bad guys with scalding punches — ouch. The whole thing looks clunky (albeit badass) and has visible servos and pistons to ensure that Batman can move and fight normally; it even features a badass voice filter when the B-man talks.
  • Power Trio: Villain players in Multiplayer take control of a three-man team of henchmen. One of them can be swapped out for Joker or Bane (depending on the team) as the match progresses.
  • Power-Up Letdown: The Concussion Detonator essentially serves no purpose in what it's intended for (helping Predator encounters) since it doesn't do anything useful enough to even bother with, and the Glue Grenade completely outclassing the gadget once Batman obtains it.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: A few of the more morally-lax GCPD officers discuss how much they hate civilian casualties. Not because they actually care about civilian deaths, but because they don't like doing the field work and paperwork afterwards.
  • Press X to Not Die:
    • In a very early boss fight, you must do this to avoid Killer Croc's jaws. There are also annoying minibosses throughout who will grab and hold you, forcing you to rapidly push a button to escape.
    • When the SWAT team surrounds you while you confront Lieutenant Gordon in a cutscene, you have to throw a smoke pellet to avoid getting shot at.
    • The final battle with the Joker in the prison chapel revolves around this a lot, all in a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • Prison Riot:
    • The game starts with Batman responding to one instigated by Black Mask breaking in to kill Commissioner Loeb. The game ends with Batman going back to Blackgate to quell a second, this time instigated by the Joker trying to escape. Ironically it turns out to actually be the Joker both times, albeit the first time in disguise.
    • One of the multiplayer maps uses this as the set-up since it takes place at Blackgate Penitentiary. The backstory involves Joker and Bane fighting to control who gets to recruit the prisoners breaking out of the prison.
    • Branden and his squad try to kill Captain Gordon by staging one of these in the GCPD Holding Cells. You can guess how that one turned out.
  • Prisons Are Gymnasiums: The two times we see Deathstroke after he is imprisoned in Blackgate, he is doing a seemingly endless number of pushups in his cells.
  • Professional Killer: Eight of them, who serve as Batman's primary obstacles to stopping Black Mask. The group consists of Deathstroke, Deadshot, Bane, Copperhead, Firefly, Lady Shiva (known here as simply Shiva), Killer Croc, and Electrocutioner.
  • Propping Up Their Patsy: Discussed. One of the blackmail tapes obtained from Enigma alias the future Riddler shows that the late Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb was talking with Harvey Bullock about setting up one for a potentially troublesome newcomer to the GCPD, one James Gordon. The plan in question would have made it seem like Gordon was having an affair, or at least giving Loeb potential blackmail on Gordon to shut him and his anti-corruption crusade up.
  • Protect This House: Between Bane and Mr. Freeze, Wayne Manor has been broken into twice in one week.
  • Punctuated Pounding: Joker does this to Black Mask when the latter ruins ... a bad joke. This punctuates his status as a Mood-Swinger.
    "Can' play...along?!"
  • Puzzle Boss: Unless the player stops mashing buttons and realizes that Batman will counter Deathstroke's first two attacks automatically, the fight will be absolutely relentless.
  • Pyromaniac: Garfield Lynns, a.k.a. Firefly. And boy, does he love to remind people of that fact.
    "Look at them, Batman. The flaaaaaames. Couldn't you just watch them for hours?"
  • Readings Blew Up the Scale: When Bane injects himself with TN-1 at the end of the game, the monitors in the background reading his heart rate immediately static out and start popping one by one as he mutates.
  • "Rear Window" Witness: Commissioner Loeb is locked into a poison-filled chamber by Black Mask while Batman watches helplessly behind glass.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • After Anarky goes down, he starts monologuing to Batman. It also careens through about five other tropes along the way.
    • Enigma occasionally mocks Batman's agenda and priorities as the latter is shutting down his network. Several points are so compelling that Batman is unable to answer them.
    • The Joker gets in on this trope again. He mocks Batman about how useless his heroic actions truly are. Of course Batman still doesn't listen.
    • Black Mask tells Batman that no matter how many times he locks up people like him, they will always get released to continue to plague Gotham because of how ineffectual the justice system is.
  • Religion of Evil: Bane's men speak about him in nearly messianic tones — this despite the notion (implied by Joker) that he doesn't treat them very well.
  • Reset Button: Bane deduces Batman's identity and attacks Wayne Manor, nearly killing Alfred. But when he takes the TN1 formula, it damages his long-term memory so he loses this knowledge by the end of the game.
  • Retcon: Joker's first meeting with Harley is shown here, and it's remarkably different from their first meeting as it was recorded in the patient interview tapes in Arkham Asylum. Her accent is also a lot less pronounced than it was in the first game's interview tapes, which include her entrance interview.
  • Revenge Before Reason: In the climax, Bane wants revenge on Batman for almost killing him in their prior fight. In order to defeat Batman, he injects himself with TN-1, despite knowing that it causes memory loss and insanity.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: The graffiti on the wall outside the Royal Hotel has this:
    The bigger they are, the harder they fall!
    Try to resist, & I'll kill them all!
    Here's to Gotham, turned upside-down!
    Come X-mas Day, I run this town!!!
  • Room Full of Crazy:
    • Very early in the game, you can enter Calendar Man's cell in Blackgate. Just like it was in Asylum, it's filled with calendar cards, date notations...and in a chilling addition, there's now a list of potential targets...
    • When tracking down Bane late in the game, Batman finds a room in Bane's base that has photographs of himself on the walls as both Batman...and Bruce Wayne.
    • Near the end of the game, bed mattress are used to make the corridors of Blackgate Prison look like one big padded cell.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: Throughout the game, almost all of the text in the subtitles is riddled with typos and misspellings, along with missing words and words that don't match what the characters' voices say.
  • Sadistic Choice: The penultimate boss fight has the Joker strap himself into an electric chair rigged up to a heart monitor, with the monitor stuck onto Bane. If Bane's heart-rate reaches a certain level, the chair activates, killing the Joker. If Batman wants to save the Joker, he has to kill Bane. Either way, Batman has to break his One Rule. Or Take a Third Option. All he has to do is stop Bane's heart, and those shock gloves of his could be neat defibrillators...
  • Save the Villain: After the Joker is blown off the Royal Hotel by Bane, Batman dives after him and rescues him from a Disney Villain Death, albeit with a brief Free-Fall Fight.
  • Say My Name: Batman shouts out "ALFRED!!!" after he discovers that Bane has attacked the Batcave. He does it repeatedly while he's on a frantic search for Alfred and while he frees him from the rubble.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty:
    • An Enigma Extortion File can be as easy to find as walking over and picking one up. It can also be much, much harder.
    • Responding to a Crime In Progress can result in anything from a fight with a few mooks, to an ambush by Ninjas, to an engagement with both a full-scale SWAT team and the street gang they were just fighting; there is no real way to tell which it will be until you arrive on the scene. Although this would be Truth in Television for Gotham's overstretched police force as well, so the Batman (and the player) really can't complain.
    • Even worse, the Crime in Progress may happen in an area that is not closed off, and may have another group of mooks a short distance off. Thus, an encounter that would normally be a standard five ninja ambush in any other area, can turn into five ninjas, two armored thugs, one shield wielding mook, three knife wielding mooks, one gun wielding mook, and six normal mooks. Special mention should go ones near the Diamond District jamming tower, as the snipers on it may take notice of you and open fire. Have fun taking on a riot while being shot by a sniper.
    • Combat in general once you've gotten the shock gloves. The game gets progressively harder, much harder than Arkham City, once it starts adding multiple special mooks and weapons to just about every encounter, which makes maintaining your mulitiplier very difficult. But if you can get enough hits in to charge the gloves, the fight will instantly turn into a joke, and you won't need any of your other special abilities.
    • Even on harder difficulties, Predator challenges in the main story are remarkably easy. None of the thugs have the Heart Monitor system that immediately alerts their colleagues that they have a man down, the rooms are very big and easy to traverse with very little of the multi-tiered clutter that forced players to move around the room rather than stay perched on a gargoyle. The Remote Claw also makes it possible to string up mooks on vantage points without you directly standing above them. The final Bane TN-1 boss fight, which uses similar design as the Mister Freeze fight, i.e. attack Bane with different predator tactics as he will adapt to your variation, is harder than earlier challenges due to Bane's speed and the insane amount of damage he can cause, but it's still easier than the Mr. Freeze fight because you only need four or five moves to defeat Bane..
    • Certain rankings on the Worst Nightmare track can only be completed by means of in-story predator challenges, something the game itself doesn't explain. Due to the fact that only certain maps are conducive to certain tasks (Rank 6 and the Gotham Merchants' Bank, for example), as well as the fact that certain challenges require specific room layouts, players will have to start all over again on New Game Plus just to make up for any lost progress.
    • Rankings on Shadow Vigilante, Gotham Protector and Worst Nightmare aren't in any discernible order of difficulty. You can be spending hours trying to complete a ranking while the next one you might be able to do in mere seconds.
  • Schizo Tech: As the Cyrus Pinkney side-quest reveals, there were functioning automobiles in Gotham City as early as 1855. (This innovation might possibly be explained by the introduction of Ra's al-Ghul's new "Lazarus" technology.)
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • After Deadshot is taken down, his mooks will flee rather that go after you.
    • At the end, Croc is ordered to hold Batman off; but gets shot once and decides to simply leave.
  • Scripted Battle:
    • After Croc's health is reduced to almost nothing, he doesn't take any more damage until the final propane tank is detonated, triggering the necessary cutscene.
    • Beginning of the last fight with Bane, Batman can only inflict a certain amount of damage before Bane picks him up, smashes him over his knee, and begins choking him underfoot. After the cutscene, he starts whaling on Bane once more with the Shock Gloves in an effort to temporarily stop his heart.
  • Sequel Escalation: The map available for exploration is roughly twice the size of Arkham City, not only reusing the site of Arkham City, sans conversion, but also a new "New Gotham" section.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • Something of a bizarre case, considering its status, but there are some nonetheless. One example is the presence of Alberto Falcone; one extortion tape reveals he's been having 'sessions' with Hugo Strange, and another has him calling up Black Mask in what has to be his Holiday persona. A more minor case might be Cyrus Pinkney and what became of him after he faked his death.
    • A HUGE one after the end credits: Deathstroke gets visited at Black Gate... by Amanda Waller. Who approaches him to join the Suicide Squad.
    • After you do all of Enigma's stuff, he says that he still has one secret that puts all of the others to shame, but that Batman will have to wait to find out what it is.
      • Also, one of the optional Alfred's Wisdom dialogs has Alfred mention that Enigma is curiously well-funded and organized for someone who has never been on Batman's radar before, with a network of relays and informants spread all across Gotham and throughout its criminal underworld. Batman intends to investigate it later.
    • It's easy to miss, but while getting to the Batcave in "Cold, Cold Heart" there's a news broadcast about Mayor Hill being exposed for corruption, which happened about a week ago. Whatever it was, it was bad enough for Hill to resign, which also helped secure Gordon's promotion to Commissioner.
  • Servile Snarker: Moreso than ever, Alfred Pennyworth.
    "Why, thank you, sir. A few more remarks like that and I'll have earned my place in the Sarcastic Butlers' Hall of Fame."
  • Shocking Voice Identity Reveal: Black Mask tries to introduce Batman to a hostage, only for that hostage to ignore the Dark Knight and curse out Black Mask, who starts beating his hostage while speaking in an entirely new voice. This is when Batman realizes the Black Mask he's been hunting isn't the real deal; it's the Joker in disguise.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The entire Christmas setting is probably one for Batman Returns.
    • Joker destroys a building (without any people in it) just for blocking his view of the city. Notably, he's also watching the show when Batman comes in.
    • The case given to Loose Lips, despite containing only paper money, glows orange when opened.
    • A case of a Shout-Out, Internal Homage and Word of God clarification on series canonicity all in one: when The Joker's being psychoanalyzed by Harley in Blackgate, he imagines in his head how he came to be who he is. It's his origin from The Killing Joke: being a failed stand-up comedian and taking the deal with the mob to help with the Ace Chemicals robbery, wearing the iconic Red Hood and getting the fateful chemical bath courtesy of Batman.
    • In addition to the usual Alice Allusions, the Hatter makes reference to Carroll's poem The Hunting of the Snark at one point.
    • Joker's dialogue, naturally, is full of references, from quoting old Alka-Seltzer commercials to singing "Ding, Dong, the Bat is Dead". As the credits roll, he even sings Hank Williams' "Cold, Cold Heart" as a twisted Obsession Song.
      • Likewise, the Joker's hallucinatory fight scene at the Comedy Club, set to the tune of "The Thieving Magpie Overture" by Rossini, is a nod to the same "Ultra-Violence" fight scene at an abandoned theater set to the same music in the film adaptation of A Clockwork Orange.
    • The Final Offer's previous name, "Olivia B. Meredith," is a shout out to the original Penguin himself, Oliver Meredith, who used his middle name "Burgess" when acting.
    • In the Royal Hotel's penthouse, Electrocutioner is seen playing the 1970's classic Asteroids video game on his mobile phone.
    • In the Initiation DLC, Master Kirigi wonders if Bruce has "learned to overcome his fear, his anger, his hate," since no mention of suffering is made it may be unintentional, though.
    • Joker mentions shaking hands with the man who sold him the amusement park, and leaving him with a smile on his face. In The Killing Joke, after he makes the deal for the derelict park, he kills the seller with a joy buzzer fitted with a needle poisoned with Smilex toxin.
    • At the Monarch Theater in Park Row, an advertisement for The Pirates of Penzance can be found.
    • The Ellsworth building may be named after Ellsworth Toohey in The Fountainhead; it's the one the Joker blows up, and The Fountainhead climaxes with a building being blown up.
  • Shrouded in Myth:
    • At this point in Batman's career he's still relatively unknown to the point that most people believe him to be an urban legend. Batman fully capitalizes on this as part of his Terror Hero routine, meaning criminals and law-abiding citizens alike are utterly terrified to be in the presence of what they thought to be a myth. By the end of the game, the myth aspect fades thanks to actual news footage of him proving his existence to the world and his newfound willingness to cooperate with Gordon and Barbara but as the other games demonstrate, it doesn't slow him down one bit.
    • One of the new skins, though later removed from the game, is "Worst Nightmare," which depicts how most criminals see Batman: a monstrous, bat-like figure. This even shows up in-game when Batman is seen from Joker's point of view after a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • Signs of Disrepair: As the player leaves the ballroom in the Royal Hotel, a neon sign that says "HELLO" can be seen, with its last letter flickering.
  • Snowed-In: Gotham is in the grip of a severe winter storm during the events of the game, ensuring that, along with the curfew in effect, nobody is going outside other than cops, criminals, and Batman. A newspaper in the Batcave even says that the storm is expected to drop 400 inches of snow on the city (though, due to the nebulous phrasing, this will presumably occur over the next couple of weeks or so, as 33 feet all in one night is a bit much for a large coastal city).
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Joker's more theatrical moments of cruelty are often underscored by classical music typical of cartoons - his "Sleigh Ride" in the Royal Hotel ballroom plays a warped organ version of Julius Fucik's "Entry of the Gladiators," he fussily selects the detonator for one of his bombs to Gioachino Rossini's "The Barber of Seville," and his hallucinatory fight in the comedy club has an arranged section of the overture from Rossini's "The Thieving Magpie."
  • Spell My Name With An S: Batman is known interchangeably as "the Batman," "the Bat-Man," and "the Bat Man." A Justified Trope, as until this night, the fact that he even existed was in question.
  • Spotting the Thread: Promotional materials for the game mention "unconfirmed rumors" that Batman has personalized aircraft. When Batman discovers Bane's computer console and realizes Bane knows his Secret Identity, one of the monitors has a radar display. Bane figured it out by merely tracking where the Batwing takes off from and lands, and putting two and two together.
  • Sticky Bomb: The new Glue Grenade gadget.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Upon finding out about the assassins in the beginning, Alfred suggests that, since only he and Bruce know Batman's secret identity, Bruce just stay home to avoid the assassins. Batman shoots this down, saying the assassins would endanger innocents to draw him out.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Batman to Gordon, twice. It's kind of their thing.
  • The Stinger:
    • During the credits, Jack Ryder is having a live conversation with Quincy Sharp and various political experts about the game's events, debating over how effective the cops are, the state of the country if such criminals can actually exist, and the failure of Gotham's prison system.
    • After the credits, Deathstroke is seen being found by Amanda Waller in prison and given an alternative to staying there: working for her.
  • Subtitles Are Superfluous: Unlike in the previous games, mook chatter will only show up in subtitles if it's connected to a mission.
  • Suddenly Shouting: At the Gotham Merchant's Bank, during Joker's reveal, when Sionis doesn't "play along", Joker suddenly goes from having a laugh pretending to be Black Mask to brutally beating Sionis and screaming at him for not playing along.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: The taunting that you'll hear from mooks in challenge mode comes across as this, especially if you're playing as Deathstroke. Batman may still be an up-and-coming vigilante at this point, but they should really know better than to insult the man who's widely regarded as the world's most deadly assassin. Luckily for them, they are beneath Slade's paygrade.
  • Superhero Paradox: Discussed. Some random criminals will note that it used to be that the mob owned the city, the police didn't interfere, the lawyers and politicians turned a blind eye, and the civilians "knew their place". Then Batman arrived and started challenging them, which forced the mob to respond to avoid losing face. End result? Tonight, with 8 of the world's best assassins here in Gotham gunning for Batman.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Firefly's plan to lure out Batman for a confrontation (and have some fun for himself) involves rigging Pioneer Bridge up with bombs and threatening to detonate them if anyone comes close. His plan is foiled due to Batman shutting down three of the bombs and Gordon ordering the bomb squad to breach the last one when Batman is unable to... except the bridge itself is still wrecked because Firefly spent the whole intervening time blowing up various stalled cars spread across it, including at least one oil truck. This still manages to be the better outcome, as Firefly's actual bombs would've destroyed massive chunks of Gotham if they'd gone off.
    • Due to not having become a full supervillain yet, Enigma never actually directly confronts Batman during the course of the game. His hideout is long abandoned with only his servers inside, and Enigma himself has no reason to be even close to where Batman is operating throughout the night due to not yet developing an obsession with beating him. In this game, he's a Karma Houdini even if Batman collects all his extortion data and destroys all his relays... though obviously it's a Foregone Conclusion that his later escapades as The Riddler won't end as well for him.
  • SWAT Team: Against Batman, and run by Branden.
  • Take a Third Option: Actually, a fourth. During the game's final act, Batman is offered a Sadistic Choice: kill Bane, allow Bane to kill him, or allow Bane's heartbeat to charge up an electric chair that Joker is strapped to and thus fry the Joker alive. Either way, Batman will end up breaking his one rule. Batman finds a way around it by temporarily stopping Bane's heart and then reviving him.
  • Teen Genius: A fifteen year old Barbara Gordon hacks into Batman's comms to give him a tip off to Dirty Cop activity.
  • That One Case: The century-old murder of city founding father Cyrus Pinkney was this for all of Gotham. He was poisoned by Penguin's ancestor Henry Cobblepot for opposing Cobblepot's plans to build a munitions factory in the city. Unfortunately for Cobblepot, he didn't stay dead. Henry Cobblepot died in an 'accident' a few months later.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich: Alfred keeps trying to get Batman to sit down for a few minutes to eat Christmas dinner, only for Batman to learn about another crisis that he has to fly into Gotham to handle. Finally, during the Playable Epilogue, Alfred mentions that once he finishes up with the night's cases, they'll finally be able to have that Christmas ham...for breakfast.
  • Thoroughly Mistaken Identity: This game reveals the reason that Harley follows Joker: when he had his first psych session with her, he continually talked about someone special he met that night. It was the night he met Batman, but she thought he meant her.
  • Threw My Bike on the Roof: Firefly doesn't really care about the bounty, he just wants to burn things.
  • Thou Shall Not Kill:
    • The one rule Batman abides by, and which he never permits himself to break. Taken to absurd extremes of Honor Before Reason at one point: Bane fires a rocket that blasts the Joker off the hotel. Batman could have just let him fall, ridding Gotham of its greatest menace while keeping his own hands clean. Instead, he dives off the building to save him at great personal risk, enabling the Joker to kill hundreds of people over the course of the game, and probably thousands over the rest of his career.
    • Once Joker realizes that Batman is not only determined to avoid killing, but will even go out of his way to save his enemies' lives, he cruelly exploits it by rigging up a scenario in which Batman must either abandon his principles and kill, be killed himself, or let the Joker die by refusing to act.
    • Bruce's sensei from the Initiation DLC, Master Kirigi, frowns upon his devotion to "Western morality," and warns him that such mercy will impede his training.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Of a sort for the Joker. Promotional information shows him fighting Batman on somewhat even terms in hand-to-hand combat, much like the martial artist enemies, unlike his far less refined, very rarely used combat skills in other Arkham games. However, this being a prequel, it's more of a retroactive lowering in skill or acknowledgement of Batman's superior skills. Given that the fight in the game proper is actually a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, its actually a case of Trailers Always Lie.
  • Tragic Keepsake: The Joker wears the same coat he wore as the Red Hood, when he actually fell into the chemicals that scarred him.
  • Trailers Always Lie: A very minor but still somewhat jarring example from the trailer for the "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC, wherein the shot of Mr. Freeze's boots as he walks into the trashed Wayne Manor is slowed down from his real entrance in-game; consequently it ends up looking like it's been fast-forwarded during the real cutscene.
  • Trash the Set: In the "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC, Mr. Freeze and Penguin's henchmen break into Wayne Manor to kidnap Ferris Boyle, subsequently stealing a number of expensive items and torching two of the wings before Bruce and Alfred stop them.
  • Twisted Christmas: Christmas has historically never been a happy time for Batman, but THIS particular Christmas is downright brutal.
    • One thug on the street can actually be overheard proposing to his friends ways to exploit the holiday, including singing carols door-to-door as a means of casing out homes, or dressing up as Santa so that they can carry around a bag of loot without suspicion. Both are dismissed as far too cliché and cute.
    • One of the comments thugs can make in Predator scenes when searching for the Bat is to 'check everything twice'. Unfortunately for them, they've all been Naughty, so Batman isn't Nice.
  • Under New Management:
    • In a heroic version, Gordon taking control of the GCPD after the murder of Commissioner Gillian Loeb.
    • This also happened to Black Mask's mob before the game proper, courtesy of the Joker.
  • Unfinished, Untested, Used Anyway:
    • The XE suit from the "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC is still in the prototype phase when Batman puts it on, but, naturally, it works like a charm. Unusually, it's Batman who objects to its use, and Alfred is the one insisting that Batman won't get anywhere without it. Alfred's right (otherwise the Freeze encounters would have ended with a Batsicle), but at least Batman has him take some time to finish up and test the systems.
    • In a meta example, the game itself, at least in its release state, where it was so overwhelmed by bugs that it kept crashing, glitching and breaking in the worst ways. Some sidequests were impossible to finish, and some bugs could render the actual main storyline impossible to continue at certain points as well. None of this stopped the publisher from putting it out for sale, though.
  • Unhand Them, Villain!: Seeing as Batman is new at the crime-fighting business, he's begged by Loose Lips to "let him down." So he drops him off a building, leading to him hitting a Christmas tree on the way down. This being Batman, however, he makes sure that said fall isn't fatal.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: The game encourages you to occasionally have small conversations with Alfred, just as a means of positive interaction. You gain experience from "Alfred's Wisdom" from some of the plot relevant discussions, and there's an achievement/trophy for listening to all of them.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Like all of the other Arkham titles, Batman can beat the living daylights out of thugs and cops alike, hitting them with endless amounts of batarangs, constantly blowing them up with explosive gel and yanking them all over the place with the Batclaw. However, the real cruelty comes in the Predator encounter on top of the GCPD building. For some reason, there isn't an invisible wall on one of the platforms by the front of the building that prevents enemies from falling to their deaths. Bats can lure cops to this platform, jump to the adjacent building and yank the cops off of the building and watch them fall ten stories down into the Gotham streets below. Although Detective Mode still lists them as "unconscious," there is no way that they would not be dead from that.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Black Mask leaves (and ceases to be plot-relevant) when Copperhead attacks Batman. You get to hunt him down in a sidequest later.
  • Villain Has a Point:
    • The Riddler is an egomaniac and Tautological Templar who thinks he's Paying Evil unto Evil by exposing dirty secrets in Gotham. During one of their exchanges, Batman demands that he stop. After Riddler states that he's mainly trying to clean up the streets, entice the police to do their jobs, and remove corruption, Batman replies that this is simply blackmail. Riddler then asks if what he's doing is worse than beating the tar out of criminals.
    • Listen to Anarky's Character Filibuster after he's been apprehended and tied up, and he actually starts out with some good points. It's too bad that he quickly nose dives off the slippery slope and invalidates his own argument a few moments later.
    • The Joker points out how Batman hasn't accomplished much in his war on crime in the past two years, while he himself has only been in Gotham for two weeks and yet he's already done more help for Gotham with his actions. These actions include executing Commissioner Loeb and exposing Blackgate as a Cardboard Prison. Despite being a psychopath, The Joker is entirely correct about these particular points. That's all in addition to dethroning Black Mask.
    • Black Mask, after you capture him, points out that he will soon go free, as his resources are enough to buy or threaten the officials to release him, the judicial system (at least in Gotham) is a lie, and Batman is the sign of this. Add Anarky's information and your own knowledge about Gotham City, and it's difficult to disagree with his point.
  • Villain Team-Up: The basis of the plot, but most notably Bane and Joker towards the end of the game.
  • Villainous Crush: When The Joker's being psychoanalyzed by Harley while detained in Blackgate, he starts narrating his origin to her: being the Red Hood and the fateful bath in chemicals courtesy of Batman that transforms him into his present state. In his mind, he's imagining a horrifying ordeal; narrating it to her, Harley interprets it as him confessing to being in love with a special someone on sight... i.e. her. And the dialogue even suggests that he's fully aware of such a thing, using his words to convey his true feelings about Batman while being vague enough to play on Harley's emotions.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: The Elites in multiplayer have extensively customisable appearances. (Batman and Robin can also choose from a number of costumes.)
  • Vocal Evolution: Mr. Freeze's voice sounds considerably different in Cold, Cold Heart than it did in Arkham City, even though he's still voiced by Maurice LaMarche. The difference is mainly due to Freeze having a different voice filter that makes him sound like an angry old man instead of an emotionless buzz. Once he encounters Ferris Boyle at the end, he sounds like he did in the last game without the filtered voice.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: After a manageable fight with Killer Croc and a Zero-Effort Boss with The Electrocutioner, Deathstroke comes in and absolutely punishes impatient players who try to spam their attacks, requiring a mastery of the counter system.
  • Warp Whistle: The player can instantly travel to other districts in Gotham or the Batcave by calling the Batwing, grappling up to it, and skydiving into the city. You can only fast-travel to a district if you've disarmed the Riddler's jamming device in that district's radio towers. This is the only game in the series with fas travel available.
  • Wham Line: This exchange when confronting Black Mask at Gotham Merchant's Bank.
    Batman: Roman. I'm here for the Joker.
    Black Mask: "The Joker"? Never heard of him. [Points gun at bank manager] How 'bout you doll? Know the Joker?
    Manager: The who? [Giggles]
    Black Mask: [Brings out a suited man with a bag on his head] And you sir? [Removes bag] Name "Joker" ring a bell?
    Roman Sionis: You sunova bitch! You think you can steal from me and get away with it? You're a dead man! Dead!
    Joker: [Pistol whipping Sionis]' CAN'T.. YOU... JUST... PLAY ALONG?
    • After finding out that Bane has figured out his secret identity, Batman hops on the Batwing and beelines for home. While trying to contact Alfred, somebody else answers him:
    Bane: I am in your house, Bruce.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Black Mask bringing out an unmasked, captive Roman Sionis, letting us know "Black Mask" has secretly been the Joker the whole time.
    • Finding Bane's Room Full of Crazy, which reveals his knowledge of Batman's secret identity.
  • What Is This, X?: When Firefly gets hit by a Glue Grenade, at one point he says, "What is this? Bat spit?!"
  • What the Hell Are You?: Batman gets this reaction a lot, given that he's still pretty unknown, and still feared from a superstitious sense rather than just a reputation sense. A few bosses also express this, in marvel of Batman's abilities and/or willpower.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In one cutscene about two-thirds of the way through the game, Alfred attempts to stop Bruce from going back out again, yelling at him to stop putting himself through hell before he kills himself. Needless to say, Bruce doesn't listen. Gordon also spends most of the game railing against Batman.
    Alfred: "You're not some hardened vigilante! You're a young man with a trust fund and too much anger."
  • Where It All Began: The game begins and ends at Blackgate Prison.
  • Where's the Fun in That?: Spoken by one criminal to another when asked if they should go kill the hostages.
  • Where's the Kaboom?: Happens when Firefly tries to set off the bombs, not knowing they’re all disarmed. It’s also played with in that Batman also expected a kaboom, not knowing that the bomb squad got to the last one before he did.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: The "Cold, Cold Heart" Downloadable Content appears to be one to the "Heart of Ice" episode from Batman: The Animated Series.
  • Why Won't You Die?:
    • Implied.
      Joker: You're saying that after I shot him, and blew up a building on him, the Bat...somehow survived??!!
    • Yelled out loud by Deadshot.
    • Copperhead similarly is frustrated by the Determinator, who keeps fighting while weakened by poison.
  • Worthy Opponent: In comparison to how he talks to the Mooks in Challenge mode, Deathstroke shows Batman a certain respect as a highly skilled fighter who provides a true challenge.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Batman uses a reverse DDT to takedown foes, as well as a Diamond Cutter/RKO. Copperhead hits Batman with a flying headscissors during the opening of her boss fight.
  • You Are in Command Now: Commissioner Loeb is murdered early in the game, leaving Gordon as the de facto head of the police.
  • You Are Not Alone: This is Bruce's ultimate lesson right before the climax, that ignoring all potential allies and going at it alone is only leaving him with a job so monumental that he is destined to fail. That same attitude means that when he actually recognizes that Gordon could help him stop Firefly, Gordon isn't listening. Way too many mistakes were made before they started coordinating their efforts, and by the end, Gordon (with Barbara's encouragement and communication frequency) is working directly with Batman to help round up escaped Blackgate prisoners.
  • You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good!:
    • From Anarky's point of view, this is the problem with Batman; he's preserving the society that Anarky thinks should be blown up. Batman naturally disagrees.
    • Inverted with Deathstroke, on the other hand, who's just disappointed Batman isn't using his talents to make some serious coin.
  • You Have Failed Me: The Joker is so furious with Electrocutioner's ineptitude, he murders him as punishment.
    Joker: So when I hire you to kill the Batman, you SHUT THE HELL UP AND KILL THE BATMAN! So do you have anything else to contribute? (Silence) I didn't think so. (Kicks Electrocutioner out a window to his death.)
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: The unstated reaction of Batman to Killer Croc and the revelation when Barbara hacks his comms and apologizes for it afterwards, given his tone in the first example and lack of response in the second one.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • This happens to Commissioner Loeb, when Black Mask decides that the nature of crime is changing, and that he doesn't need his help anymore, when it also includes taking down his men.
    • When Joker took over Black Mask's operation, he killed almost a quarter of his men because they wouldn't take orders from him.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Happens in the final battle with Bane. After you have shocked him in traps, and drained all his energy down to one hit point, you may think this is over when he falls to the ground. Then, just when Batman radios Alfred and says: "Alfred, it's over...I've defeated Bane..." all of a sudden Bane gets up and hits him very hard, and then you realize that the muscleman is not finished yet and that you need to counter with the Remote Claw to subdue him and defeat him for good.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: Electrocutioner. After a big, show-offy introduction, he goes down with one kick to the face. Then again, that may also have to do with the fact that his electrified powersuit came into contact with a metal grate and possibly shorted out.


Video Example(s):


The Joker Kills the Electrocutioner

One of the most famous examples of this trope in popular culture shows you exactly why you shouldn't question him when he gives you an order.

How well does it match the trope?

4.98 (41 votes)

Example of:

Main / AxCrazy

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